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Lead a Team of Any Size (Mike Kai ep. 396)

Mike Kai

John O’Leary welcomes pastor Mike Kai to the Live Inspired Podcast to inspire us to practice excellence (not perfection!) when leading a team.

Mike Kai is a pastor, leadership expert and host of the Pound for Pound Leader podcast. From humble + challenging beginnings, Mike learned firsthand that in order to lead a team, cultivating a healthy culture is key.

Whether you’re leading a small family or large company, today’s conversation will help you practice excellence (not perfection!), move forward with intention and build sustainable change in order to leave a lasting legacy.

Join us to learn real-life examples and practical principles that will inspire you to grow in any season of life and be reminded that the best of our days remain ahead.

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  • The only astronaut from Hawaii, Ellison Onizuka, inspired Mike to pursue his dream to be a fighter pilot.
  • Mike’s kuleana: After learning he was becoming a young father, Mike abandoned his dream to provide for his family, losing sight of his purpose.
  • How Mike grew during a turbulent season: Discovered a relationship with God, cultivating self-worth and pursued a purpose, read dozens of books including Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill, The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino, and Tough Times Never Last but Tough People Do by Robert Schuller.
  • Believe in hope. Mike’s pain turned into anger as he developed homicidal + suicidal thoughts.
  • Mike’s advice from 28 years of marriage: Forgive quickly and freely, fight for unity and continue to date one another.
  • To lead a team of any size, Mike builds like Soloman and sees like Sheba.
  • Build better to finish better.
  • Excellence is an accelerator, elevator, separator, and income generator.
  • “Sometimes excellence gets a bad rap because people think it’s another word for perfection, but it’s not. Excellence is doing the very best you can with what you’ve been given.”
  • Learn more about Mike Kai, including his Pound for Pound Leadership Podcast here.
  • Get a copy of Mike Kai’s book It Doesn’t Just Happen here.

If you enjoyed this episode… You’ll love my conversation with Seth Godin. As a 20-time bestselling author, distinguished speaker and shares brilliant insights on life, success, failure, and the “audacity to settle for anything less than remarkable”. Listen to the ep. 356 Seth Godin now.


About our sponsor: Keeley Companies wholeheartedly believes that if you get the people right -the results will follow. They set themselves apart with a forward-thinking culture that empowers their people and fosters loyal partnerships. Keeley Companies are a proud sponsor, partner, and super fan of the Live Inspired Podcast. Learn more about Keeley Companies.


  1. Q. What is the best book you’ve ever read?
    A. The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino.
  2. Q. What is a characteristic or trait that you possessed as a child that you wish you still exhibited today?
    A. Curiosity.
  3. Q. Your house is on fire, all living things and people are out. You have the opportunity to run in and grab one item. What would it be?
    A. As many photo albums as I can.
  4. Q. You are sitting on a bench overlooking a gorgeous beach. You have the opportunity to have a long conversation with anyone living or dead. Who would it be?
    A. Coach John Wooden and Reverend Titus Cohen who pastored in Hawaii from 1840s-1870s and ask how the revival happen.
  5. Q. What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
    A. My pastor told me, "Don't buy the brand new car. Pay cash for everything. Save your money for a house."
  6. Q. What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
    A. Don't be so emotional and be run by your feelings.
  7. Q. It’s been said that all great people can have their lives summed up in one sentence. How do you want yours to read?
    A. Whoever he was with, wherever he was, he loved people to the fullest.