Skip To Main Content
Featured, Motivational Mondays, Career Success, Personal Growth

Unleash Your Leadership Edge


Subscribe to Motivational Mondays on your favorite podcast platform!

NSLS_Leadership_Spotify_Podcasts-1 NSLS_Leadership_Apple_Podcasts NSLS_Leadership_Google_Podcasts NSLS_Leadership_Pandora_Podcasts

Leaders, listen up! This week’s guest has seen where leaders frequently go wrong, and he’s here to share how you can ensure your leadership journey goes right. 

Jose R. Costa is the CEO of Magnolia Wash Holdings (an express car wash operator with over 100 locations across the southeastern U.S.) and the author of “Leading with Edge: Activate Your Competitive Advantage Through Personal Insight.” He has a long history of experience helping major corporations develop and implement growth plans to improve organizational performance. Skilled in mergers and acquisitions, Costa has had the opportunity to observe the successes and failures of many leaders. Check out this week’s episode to learn how you can use his actionable insights to give yourself that all-important edge in your career as a leader or leader-to-be.


One of the common denominators that Costa identified among great leaders is humility. Costa says that when he meets people, “I just say that I work in operations. I never use the title CEO, because it truly doesn't mean anything to me.” Great leaders don’t use their titles or positions “to communicate power and importance.”

Instead, Costa emphasizes that leaders should check their egos and accept that they don’t have all the answers. Even early in your career, it’s important not to let insecurity push you into obsessing over job titles and promotions. “I always believe that someone is watching and that if you put your head down and do a great job, everything takes care of itself. You'll get promoted.”


Another vital ingredient for becoming a great leader is curiosity. While it’s important to admit when you don’t know something, it’s also essential to nurture a growth mindset throughout your career and personal life. 

Costa suggests implementing a routine to nourish your curiosity. For him, that means carving out an hour between dropping his kids off at school and going to work, then dedicating that hour to reading. That dedicated time means he can read about two books a week. “I try to learn as much as I can, and then I use that knowledge to help me connect the dots” between work and the ideas he reads about.

Part of having that growth mindset includes seeking knowledge and new ideas from outside your network. “[H]aving a lot of different perspectives is very important. [For example, h]iring people with different backgrounds.” Diversity, as so many great leaders remind us, is not only a social good but also beneficial for growth.


Costa also reminds us that connections of all kinds, whether through networking or with your employees, are essential. He points out that “the more you climb the … hierarchical ladder and you are gaining titles and responsibility and salary, sometimes you lose texture and contact with the front line.” Costa ensures he spends time in the company’s stores so that he never loses that “connective tissue to the front line.”

Two other helpful connections to develop are networking connections and intra-organizational connections. It’s important not to burn bridges professionally since you never know what may happen in the future. It’s also important to encourage communication and transparency within organizations. Candid, gracious feedback helps people and organizations grow together.

Watch the full episode to learn about the importance of emotional intelligence, why you should take your time to find exceptional talent, and some of the mistakes Costa sees leaders making!

Many of our Motivational Mondays guests have excellent advice on developing your leadership skills. Listen to Michelle Felder’s episode to learn how leadership starts at home.

Listen to this episode to learn about...

  • [2:04] The importance of humility for leaders
  • [7:47] Why a growth mindset and the pursuit of knowledge are crucial for leadership
  • [9:56] Mistakes Costa sees C-suite leaders making
  • [12:57] Why it’s important to maintain connections with the front line
  • [15:48] Networking and keeping lines of communication open
  • [17:35] How diversity helps organizations grow and improve
  • [18:34] Why you should learn to both give and take constructive feedback
  • [23:05] Why it’s essential for leaders to develop their emotional intelligence
  • [24:40] Investing in the growth of employees
  • [26:37] Taking the time to seek exceptional talent



MM Shop Promo