S2.E.33: FIREFIGHTER FENTON, how to lighten the F*ck Up!
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S2.E.29: RYAN PENNINGTON, exploring how to grow your foundation
Today Ryan Pennington of Jump Seat Radio and I dive deep into how to develop a strong and lasting foundation. We end up in an unexpected conversation that was amazing!
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S2.E.31: BENJAMIN MARTIN, the challenge of becoming an emotionally intelligent leader
Jeff Banman: This is going to be a fun episode this week. I've got Benjamin Martin with me. He's a captain in what we will term as a pretty large Metro fire department there in the Virginia area, not Northern Virginia where I grew up, but the lower half of Virginia. Uh, and you know, I getting to know Benjamin reading some of his other stuff in the past, you know, and man, I know you like, like engine company work and I'll forgive that you know right now, but, uh, uh, we'll have some banter about that. But listen, you know, Benjamin is been a pretty, uh, kind of a rising star in some of the areas, was a really unique look at leadership, emotional intelligence, organizational culture. Uh, you know, I listened to you speak here last October, uh, at firehouse expo talking about toxic leadership. Uh, you've had articles across fire engineering, fire rescue, uh, fire department training network, uh, and a bunch of others. And I know now, uh, in conjuncture your full time job, you're also running, uh, embrace the resistance. So let's actually start there cause I think that'll give us a good baseline. And understanding why today's conversation gets to be important. So, Benjamin, thanks for joining me today. I really appreciate it. And you know, give me some, give me some background on why embrace the resistance and what are you resisting?Benjamin Martin: Well, thanks for having me on Jeff. I've been looking forward to this for a long time, so hopefully we'll, we'll give them something entertaining and informational. So when we talk about it and embrace the resistance, it's really a journey that started 18 years ago. I was a volunteer and I was asked to be a duty officer, which was basically the equivalent of a frontline supervisor. And for me it was, you've been here the longest, which I think at the time had been a year. So a volunteering and I had the seniority and uh, that was it. Like I went in and I worked with people and I barked at them and they barked back and whether it was effective or not, like I don't even know. Looking back now, I don't particularly. It was, but uh, like, so then you freeze that for another eight years and I get hired by a professional department and I decide that let's not make that mistake again.Benjamin Martin: Let's take some time to develop. But I'm the type a go getter guy. Thank you. You know, and I had some early experiences in my department where I was just working for some terrible, terrible leaders, uh, not human beings, great people, good hearts, just not same boat, same boat. They were never prepared to lead people. And if you think that's not important, then you're probably are way early on in your leadership journey or you're way late. Uh, which is I hope where we can get you in this conversation with kitchen, looking at what you could be doing right now. So, uh, I made it eight years and I worked for good leaders and I worked for bad and then I got promoted and I don't know why. I don't know whether it was because I considered myself a well-read and into the job. So I knew admin stuff.Benjamin Martin: But I also knew ops and I love pulling hose as much as I do coaching and just building people up. So I really thought that with my energy and with what I knew and my passion is training that it would just fall in and it was just click and it did for about a year. And what I found was, uh, we had a, a senior firefighter that I worked with. He got promoted six months after I got there and then they sent us another senior firefighter and then he got promoted three months later and then it was a spoon, like what's the secret sauce over here at this station? So they sent someone that, uh, affectionately called George now and that's not his real name and his name changes as I traveled throughout the country. But George is the one I usually settle on. And George was a firefighter that was senior to me and George was in a bad spot.Benjamin Martin: He was going through some stuff that involved a domestic realignment and he was having some issues with accountability for his actions. There were some kids in the mix and young Lieutenant Martin at the time too, had a one-year-old and a pretty steady rock solid marriage. Tried to be empathetic to this gentleman. And that worked for maybe a few months and then it didn't. And when I say it didn't, it was oil and water, it wasn't anything close to mixing. And I realized, and then over the next four months when I finally got to a point where I watched him break down and just cry, that I was probably the most ineffective leader I had ever seen. And I always used to joke about all the people I complained about, but I wouldn't want to work for me back then. Looking back, it was, it was bad. And so, uh, I obviously got in the rumor mill, I got a lot of resistance from folks, even folks that I trusted, you know, I would go with them with things.Benjamin Martin: And you know, this situation with George wasn't one side and it was very complicated. You know, leadership is, you know, just not black and white at all. And I was trying, I always had it. I always had his best intentions at heart, but I really struggled and communicating with him, I just couldn't seem to get on the same page as him because I had the expectations of a leader of a player and he was looking for the minimum and maybe even below that a little bit. And uh, I forget who said it. This isn't novel, but I love it and I try to let it, you'll know a good leader because they'll understand what it takes to lead someone from where they are instead of where you want them to be and the ability to go from where you are currently to where they are and spend time with them and build them up and encourage them and forgive them when they screw off and be humble about your success and acknowledge that you will have failure coming and walk with them.Benjamin Martin: That journey, like that's a true for me, leader, follower, dynamic. And I don't see a lot of that and I didn't, I didn't deliver that to George. I just didn't. Um, and more so, you know, we're going to talk about today. Uh, it got to a point where George, where he was getting affirmation and confirmation that he was doing the right thing by fighting me from people, even other leaders, even people in my chain of command. And by the time all the facts come out and you've got, you know, basically dereliction of duty and subordination and not checking truck shop, not wearing his uniform, downloading copyrighted, uh, pornography on the station, wifi, just like ludicrous thing. Uh, and he stayed resolute to the whole thing of like, you can't touch me. You can't touch me. You can't touch me. And then when I finally was able to get him on paper, he still never technically got a writeup because of the events that happened where he broke down and I was like, Oh crap.Benjamin Martin: Like we know this guy doesn't need to be fired. He doesn't even need it to lose money. He just needs to be loved a little bit. Like, let's get them in a safe place. Let's figure out who the people are that can help him. And I wasn't, I wasn't that guy. And we realized that. And I actually left that team, that place that I wanted to be because it wasn't fair to move him and let him catch the rumor mill, you know, a why of you are only gonna move after six months. And I took that one across the chin and I watched people that knew me and knew my heart just turn a blind eye and a cold shoulder to me. I watched people as I reached out, tell me one thing to my face and then turned around and stabbed me in the back and it was lonely and it's led to depression and weight gain. And now fast forward a year and I'm in counseling myself and my own marriage and I'm like say what an arrogant piece of crap.Benjamin Martin: Like, like I had it together, which I obviously didn't. And it was at some point during that year where I was dealing with the rumor mail. Um, and I was working, trying to redeem myself and I was trying to get where home was the priority instead of work. Cause I was way in over my head at work and committed to too many things and I was flowing a handline teaching recruits, uh, about nozzle reaction and I set it down and turn it off and turn it off and then set it down and the said, so basically the only time you experienced this reaction is when it's flowing and yeah. And he's like, okay, so just don't flow it like joking. And I'm like, well yeah, I guess, but that doesn't make for a terribly effective fire attack. And I was like, you know, that's the same damn thing for leadership really. When you think about it. Like anytime I've set something in motion, it's reasonable to predict that there's going to be some kind of counter reaction. Unfortunately the fire service as a whole on its culture has gotten to this. Like there's only so much value that I can have. And if this guy has a little bit of that, then I can't have that. And so they try to take it like character assassination and gossip and rumormongering and just nasty things.Jeff Banman: And I had to hide somebody. Yeah, I had somebody to go a couple months ago, you know, and I can't remember if the fire service or law enforcement, it's across the board, military fire service across the board, any of ours and out of services we are great at one thing and that is eating our own and we want to just devour our own people and it's absurd and you know, it sucks that it's still going. I feel like it's getting better, but man, it's still like so prevalent. It just, it's tough. Yeah.Benjamin Martin: Yeah. And just a sidebar here before I've finished that thought, if I can even remember, it was like what you and I are talking about, if not hugs and kisses, we treat each other with kid gloves all the time and we don't, you know, get raw and get real with people and tell them where they need to improve and even demonstrate that by letting people make fun of us. That's not at all what I'm proposing, but there's a difference in my mind between busting somebody's chops and taking them in the balls. I should talk about. It's like dad versus a haymaker. When you jabbed somebody that's friendly, that kid, you know, that's, that's playground stuff. But when you try to land a haymaker on somebody, especially when they don't even know they're boxing with you, that's bullshit. Right? And then a lot of times leaders get in positions where they feel threatened, they feel challenged, and so they throw haymakers.Benjamin Martin: Uh, and then people on the other side of that respond by throwing more haymakers. And if there's one thing about the fire service, we love to run and tell our peers what's happened to try to build support and get our version of events out there first. And if you're in a formal leadership position, you're really hamstrung in that race because you can't, it's their privacy. So you sit there and you take it and you hear things about yourself and you're like, that's a, that's not true. See, that's certainly not true about who I am. See that never happened. And it's like cow, like day. How do you, how do you even start to get to the root of these things? And you can't. And so in that moment flown that hand on, I made a decision, I was like, listen, you know I'm gonna, I'm going to do everything I can to get better as a leader using George as kind of a near miss.Benjamin Martin: And then it's in my heart to travel and speak to anybody that'll hear me about this message, hoping that they never ever make the same mistake. And there were other things happening concurrent, which we could talk about where I took a disc assessment, which is basically like a behavior tool, you know about personality traits and dominance and influence themselves and the woman, God, I remember this woman, Jeff from HR looking at me and I knew her. We had a relationship. She had been my coach for about six months and she's looking at this thing and I'm like, just say it. And she's like, ah. And I'm like, Nancy, aK can't like whatever it is. Say it. I need to hear it. And she's like, you ever been accused of being arrogant? And I'm like, yes, all the time. They're clearly wrong. Move on now.Benjamin Martin: I'm just kidding. No. Tell me about that. Like, tell me about this, this arrogance phase. And so we went through and, and I thought about it and it basically was, you know, overconfident, arrogance lacks empathy and it's like, wow, I didn't think I was coming across that way. I'm a fun guy. Like I was a bartender for years. I played rugby. Like I love socials. Like I'll, I have friends, I have relationships. Like why am I so ineffective at work and this, and about the same time that that disassembled assessment was happening, that I got that feedback. I went up to Lieutenant and I didn't get it. And, uh, I was, uh, I guess I had enough of a relationship with one of the guys on the interview panel that after they made the promotions and then three months later they made more and I got in that round, he was able to talk to me and he goes, you ever has anybody ever tells you that you're arrogant and, or, or her confident?Benjamin Martin: I'm like, Sue, are you kidding me? And he basically, I almost felt like Nancy had emailed him the notes from the district assessment because he was going for batim and so I called Nancy up and I'm like, tell me more. And that's when my journey down, this emotional intelligence piece started, which was like, and I'll fight this to the death. Great leaders are not just made, but they die and they're reborn and they, they start over from scratch and then they learn and they, and they get better that way. It's just, there's no pinnacle success where you stay there and you certainly don't arrive knowing everything. And to think that is just ludicrous. Which takes me back to the volunteer thing. Why didn't anybody ever like, Hey, what do you like? What do you think about leadership? What do you think a good leader is? What do you think a bad leader is? What would make somebody feel good about you? What would make somebody not trust you? And just to even have that conversation would have been a good platform of, well maybe I don't have all the answers, which is a leadership. You're clearly not going to have all those answers. I'm getting to a place where you can be humble about it.Jeff Banman: You're spot on man. I mean, I think that that even, you know, my first massive touch, you know, with like Swift kick in the balls, uh, you are completely failing as a leader, you know, came. And then on the flip side of it, the first book I read is Daniel Goleman's 6,000 leadership. Uh, you know, what she takes and brilliantly lays out, you know, a deep seated understanding of emotional intelligence as it relates to, you know, very distinct styles of leadership that have to be applied in the right time with the right individual, right in the right context. Like there's so many components to it. And, you know, I, you know, I, I tell this story a bunch and because I'm listening to it and he's talking about like the commanding style of leadership and you know, I had just grown up in the fire service, gone in the military, came back from the fire service fire service culture changed, was not doing great with the shifts in the culture if you will say that, you know, late nineties, uh, changes, they're different.Jeff Banman: Uh, we're touchy feely for when I grew up and the expectations that I had, you know, for people. And, and it literally, you know, he was talking about, you know, all the great things about being in that commanding solid leadership. And I'm like, yes, yes, yes, we're going to turn around, we're going to try back from my house. We're going gonna make sure everybody listens to this. And they started talking about like all the consequences and all the negativity and all the crap that comes on. You exhaust your people and exhaust. And I was like, shit, he is totally right. And I totally screwed their thought. Yeah, man. I mean it's, I think you're right when you say leaders aren't, aren't even, you know, they're definitely not born. They don't even necessarily grow into it. They may grow into it a little bit and then they fail and fall on their face and then they pick themselves up and they keep going. So it is a moving target, you know, perpetually you will never arrive at a destination where you can look around and be like, okay, I got it. Because everything around you is changing constantly.Benjamin Martin: Yeah. I can tell you that I think the best leaders, when I look back, and this was what I'm trying to model myself, is when you work for someone who's on their leadership journey and is introspective of that journey and willing to share what they're feeling and thinking about it, right? So that's not even confident, but they're just that secure that they don't have all the answers and they're willing to let people look in, you know, to see what's on the other side of them, including all the, I don't know, I don't know what to do in this situation. Let's try to figure it out together. That's where people buy in. But presenting yourself as arrived and pretending just because your vehicles cross now that you have everything that you need to be successful and everything they need to be successful, it, it just doesn't happen that way.Benjamin Martin: Um, and saying like, you know, I know there's people listening that are like, Oh, this is crap and this is what I would tell people. Have you ever had a moment where you're having an argument with someone and you realize they're right and you're still not relieved that you know the correct answer, right? The feeling isn't enlightenment. It's resentment that this individual has the correct answer and whether they're your boss or your wife or your husband or, or whatever, it's just so counterintuitive. Like if we're trying to get the right things so we can move forward and, and be successful and experienced success as a group, then I should be happy that this guy or girl has the answer. And all I can think about is discounts. If we can know it all or this guy's an asshole. Of course he has the right answer. And that's the kind of unpredictability that, that people, because even you may never even know as a leader that they're thinking that like I was before the disc assessment had no idea. So yeah, I mean just this introspection and self awareness and social awareness is way, way, way more important than I think. Anything else out there that's been written about leadership? Well that's just my opinion.Jeff Banman: Yeah man. No I cause listen, it's a, you know, it's uh, there are so many pieces to this when you begin to, you know, break things down in one, you know, we have this idea of ourself and you know, last week I was telling you in the last week you had bill McKernan on and we really kind of talked about identity and just this very challenging conversation to be a part of. It was phenomenal and challenging all at the same time. But you know, we have perception of self and then there is the perception of who we are from the outside and rarely do those ever really match up. Right. I mean, I internally, I see myself who is, you know, who I am, where my intention lies, you know, I mean even with my wife I will like, like I will screw up. I didn't mean to you, I didn't intend to, but I still did.Jeff Banman: You know what I mean? And that's then that triggers for me this shame and guilt and Oh, I'm such a fuck up arm, such a screw up or whatever it might be. Right. And so this internal battle triggers and it's kind of designed around what body didn't intend to hurt you or say that or be mean. You know, that wasn't like at my core, but she can't see that. And it's the same thing in the firehouse. Like we can't see inside each other as to how we feel or what's going on. And yeah, you're right. It's not about giving you a hug. I'm happy to kick you in the ass and move you down the road. But at the same time, I think the biggest thing I've learned in youth, you feed back to this, I try to now, I kind of look at everybody like a five, six or seven year old.Speaker 3: AndJeff Banman: when they're kind of acting out, when there's some behavior out of the norm, it's like, okay, what's going on here? Because you're a little kid is showing up and you know, you, you feel unsafe, you feel unheard. You know what I mean? There's something causing this, this reaction, you know, cause I was, the more I've gone even deeper and deeper and deeper into some other areas, man, I, I really see that we're all kind of, you know, six year olds running around in grown up bodies. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. You know, we are, because we don't feel great about ourselves. We don't feel safe in the environment. We don't feel safe to communicate things or say things, you know? Now we're scared we're going to be judged. I mean, there's all kinds of behavioral patterns that come out when sometimes all we need are like, you know, a little Jeff just needs a hug. You know what I mean? Like a little George pulled George just needed somebody to freaking, you know, needed it, needed to crawl up on dad's lap somewhere and feel safe for a minute. Cause he's unsafe at home. He's unsafe in the firehouse, he's unsafe in his own career. He's unsafe and his own decisions, like he's just completely unsafe everywhere.Benjamin Martin: Yeah. And a lot of times people, no go, sorry, go ahead Jeff.Jeff Banman: No, I was going to say, and, and, and you know, and he's looking around and like nobody's providing it. You know what I mean? So goBenjamin Martin: right. Yeah. So a lot of leaders, and I don't know whether this was because we grew up under Maslow's needs or, or what it is, but we focus a lot on physical safety, right? So they're turning men and women to the firehouse from the fire scene and then getting them home. Uh, and that's how we're wired biologically. What is rumbling in the Bush? Is they're going to eat me or do I need to run away from it? Can I punch it in the face and survive? But that's not what threatens people. On a day to day basis at all. Um, if you've read anything, uh, David rock, uh, I think you and I have agreed eight days of the neuroscientist and he talks about that five times a second. The brain is scanning for threats in, uh, social domains, which are status, any press, a status, any threat to certainty, autonomy, relatedness or fairness.Benjamin Martin: And it's a scarf model for short, but most of the time, our subconscious, and if it's extreme, our conscious, but at least our subconscious is hijacked scanning for these things. When you're asking someone to show up completely to work and tune out the fact that they're going through a divorce or that their son has an appointment with the pediatric oncologist on Monday and then say, I still need 100% of you. It's like, no, ma, you got 50%, you can have 50% of my a game today. And you're like, Oh, well, no, I told you 100% no, that's less. And so that's when you get into this idea of having empathy and you know, recognizing how someone could feel in that moment of uncertainty about their son's life or I'm certainly about their marriage and then no matter what they're doing, they're completely helpless, at least in the cancer scenario. So there's no autonomy. Nothing they do makes it any better. It's completely reactive and that kind of stuff. It's just, it's like a backpack of rocks that people are walking around with. And we joke about how heavy arts here is. People are walking around with life circumstances that are way heavier on themJeff Banman: way. Yeah.Benjamin Martin: Yeah. I love this stuff. Keep, keep going. Sorry.Jeff Banman: Nah dude. Keep going. Keep rocking and rolling. Now this is part of the show man. We just get into conversation and we just go interrupt each other, cut each other off. Jump in. This is, this is the way this show works, so just go, don't worry about it.Benjamin Martin: You know, I wish, I wish what I talked about with sexier so I could have pack rooms and it's just not, it's never going to be fire attack. But I've tried to train people to anticipate people's reactions the way we would fire behavior, right? And just pulling it off and giving them chances to van and safe places and not allowing themselves to get in where they shouldn't be. And really approaching it from that fire service angle. Some sets, what we know, but what we're talking about here, like there's always a go or no go with a person or go and no go yet. And whether you have that conversation with them, whether you give them this thing that could potentially crush them, this feedback, uh, whether it's a friend who's struggling with alcoholism or whether it's a, you know, buddy who's got a wife, who's cheating on him.Benjamin Martin: Like at what point do you have this conversation and how do you have this conversation? And there's so much thought that needs to go into that rather than just having a knee jerk reaction. And that's why a lot of times you get leaders when they feel challenged because I said so. It comes out, which is the utmost dumbest thing that you could ever say. And I know we're modeled after after the military, and that's very chain of command for you, but if you're not looking for feedback, you're going to lose your people at some point or another because of what's happening in their lives. And that's how I lost George as I was completely confident in the direction I was going, and I was not willing to consider how he was doing in that moment. And I pressed on and I dragged him with me through the mud because he couldn't walk because he had no strength to, and I deserve every bit of of the Slack that I get from that time with him because I did everything right by the organization or policy, and I did everything wrong by as just a human being.Benjamin Martin: And I really wish I could have that back. I really do.Jeff Banman: Well, you know, I, and I would challenge you to say it's good that you had it. Yes, I understand what you're saying. Yes, it would be great to have it back, but yes, you wouldn't be, you wouldn't have the introspection today having not had it. Like you know, you wouldn't, you wouldn't have that anchor to really understand. I mean, this is, this is where I boil down today and, and you know, most of the listening audience gets it. I mean this is, this is the deal. You, you know, either listen to the podcast or you don't, right. You either want to grow and develop yourself in your career and your home life in every aspect of your life or you don't. Right. And we've got plenty of cross fire service, military law enforcement community that are just very rigid in their beliefs, in their processes and where they sit and you know, as it should be.Jeff Banman: And you know, they'll figure it out one day or they won't. That's kind of where it comes down to. But what I believe fundamentally, like all of the labels we put on things, you know, leadership is not 10 things to do, right. It's not an act of doing to me is leadership is how you show up, right? It is a state of how you are being, not what you're doing in the context of leadership. And, and I've really over my time now across the fire service, a military agency doing business just across the board. Here's what I continually come back to. And this is really where I've sat. So this is how we're going to pack your next room. Uh, it is the ultimate human question and it was running all day all the time. And it is, am I safe? That is just the ultimate question.Jeff Banman: And like you said, you know, we're so well developed in physical safety and creating physical safety for ourselves as AR, as across the service for our community, for our country, for our people around us, like work 20, 24, seven. It's our job, keep everybody safe and we've become great at that. Where we fail. That's a physical aspect where we can fail mostly miserably is creating an emotional level of safety for everyone around us at firehouse, at home, right? With the family, with the friends like this, this place where I can say, listen, I'm not doing great. Listen, I need some help. Listen, I'm struggling at home. Or Hey, I've gone back to drinking, or Hey, I'm thinking about killing myself. Like I'm really struggling here and we don't do that. That to me is now becoming a 21st century leader across the services is being the guy or the person or the woman, whoever it is, being the person that just generates a level of emotional safety around them, that people are willing to come speak and communicate. That to me is the secret sauce today.Benjamin Martin: Yeah, and that's your, I mean, when you're talking about trust, that's all that is. It's just emotional security that, you know what? If I tell you something for if I follow you, it won't. By late any of the things we talked about, it won't violate my sense of status. It won't violate certainty about the work. It won't violate my autonomy, you know? And that's not to say that I get to do whatever it is I want to do. It just means I don't feel like you're not battling my opinion that you've considered me or you've heard me and yet I understand you've chosen to go a different way, but at least you authentically heard me. And if you've ever worked on a committee and submitted something and then the fire chief did whatever they wanted to do, that's a complete waste of time. And there's nothing like that hurts.Benjamin Martin: That gut punch hurts as much as tripping and falling and skinning your knee. You know, it's the same pathways in the body, social pain and physical pain. But that's when you look at leadership leadership, for me, it's like a technology, right? It's no different than the gear that we have, right? But the problem is that we're carrying around 2020 gear where we can go deeper and further and survive hotter temperatures than we ever have with advancements in technology, like thermal imaging, with all this crazy training about re COVs and whether in the Pfizer's campus, there's another conversation, but you've got all this investment in that. But the leadership theory is still stuck in like late nineties right? We, you know, we're, we're still on this servant leadership mindset. And that's being generous. That's seen like I think the best departments are in this are in the servant leadership, but the majority of the fire service, we're still a little bit stuck back in theory ex, uh, leadership where like people are inherently lazy and I'm supposed to tell them what to do and the gap that's gonna come that, that I feel like, you know, I follow the statistics for people that are killing themselves in the fire service and law enforcement.Benjamin Martin: And I'm not an expert on those. I just know that it's going one way and I think it's going off as fast as it is one, because we've got reporting thanks to people like Jeff Hill on firefighter behavioral health and you've got people that are advancing this peer support narrative. So we're talking about it more, which obviously is gonna make you find more instances of this. But I also think at the same time, that is in response of living in a world in which you're always expected to be on with technology and social media. And you've got so much pressure socially to have a lifestyle and for your wife and your kids that's competitive with what you're seeing on Instagram. And then we text each other instead of call, we email instead of visiting them in person and our physical relationships. Your period like I mean Thanksgiving is a perfect example.Benjamin Martin: We just celebrated that, right? And I'm guilty of this too. I texted five of my closest friends instead of calling them because I was able to do that in five minutes instead of what would have taken me five hours. But Lord, help me if I find out six months from now that one of those phone calls, I would've found out my buddy's wife was leaving him and I could have talked with him about that. And like that's the piece we're missing. And because leadership's is technology and technology always improves in response to need. It's going to be a little bit, it's going to be you and I on the fringe talking about emotional intelligence and being authentic and humble and, and demonstrating humility. And there's going to be a core group of rock stars, air quotes, rock stars, like do whatever I say do it how I do it. You know, fuck you. If you don't like what I say. It's like, no man, that's, that's, that's crap. That's absolute crap and that's the best way to run somebody into the ground and ruin an organization. And when those jackasses promote high enough where they get the right audience that's promoted high enough, then that's what tanks organizations. And you do not have to look far to find legacy fire departments with toxic cultures because of that.Jeff Banman: Yeah, I was the Jack. I was one of their jackasses, you know 20 [inaudible].Benjamin Martin: Yeah, I was. I totally was.Speaker 4: All right, we're going to take a quick break to let you know that this episode is brought to you in part by brute force training. When you're ready to be in the physical condition necessary to meet the rigors demands and expectations of your profession and check out the team email@example.com and pick up their gear. I promise you, it will put you in the condition you need to be in for this moment. And the next you can use the discount code op mindset that's open mindset in the team will take a little bit off the top for ya. Now always remember, train accordingly. Now let's get back to the show.Benjamin Martin: I totally was too. Um, but you're at least smart enough that to learn and value the mistakes you've made and leverage those so that others don't have to make that. Whereas most people are just either embarrassed or they're too proud to look back and it, you know, like in my instance, it would be all the fault lies with George. That's not true. George has some responsibility in that I as a leader, should automatically as a default be at 51% automatically and could go higher. But to think that George has all of that flames now, now there's, there's many, many, many, many things I now know that I could have done better, which is why we go around talking about these things.Jeff Banman: Well, I man, I think, I think this is so I'm going to like banter with me on this one. I'm just going to idea coming to mind as we're talking. You know, it's interesting, right? Because we live in a world and I'm gonna, you know, fire service, law enforcement, military, and we have a very specific job to do. And in doing that job, we need to operate at an entire different level. Okay? And we do need to do things successfully. Like they know, compartmentalize the emotional content and separate ourselves from what's going on at home or you know, what's going on in the firehouse or you know, what's happening there. We have to, we have to understand how we kind of turn those channels down or close, you know, boxers, channels up for the time that we need to be fully present and in action, right?Jeff Banman: To respond an emergency, to fight a fire, to make an arrest, to do X, Y, andZ to go to war, to do whatever. Right? And all of our existence is centered around those moments. And the reality is, we all know this. If we're honest, those moments are so brief in, Oh, what is it? I don't even know what the statistics is. Like how many, how many did you spend a 25 year career in the fire service? How many years did you spend actually on a heightened emergency scene? You know what I mean? Like they're required maybe to, you know, maybe five if you're in a bust ass department, right? I mean it's not that much comparatively, but all of our world is centered around those few moments in time. Like all the training, the culture of the conversation, you know, fuck that, settle down, shut up, do your job kind of stuff.Jeff Banman: All settled for that one moment. And then we've left the 90% of the rest of our time to try to assimilate into those moments. Cause I mean I was awful dude. I in the firehouse, I'm mean on the fire ground. Great. No problem. And if firehouse total shit show what an asshole, you know, I mean I was a deck amongst Dick's. Like I ran the firehouse, like we were on fire 24 seven and exhausted the crap out of people. Right? And so yeah, but that's what you quote unquote do. That's how you do it. And so I think what's happening here is we're starting to chip away to be like, okay, listen, I need to, I'm going to fully, and this is where, this is why I call it an operational mindset, because it is the ability to execute the mission with absolute perfection and confidence and capability and everything you need to have in that moment in time.Jeff Banman: And then transition mentally, emotionally, physically from that environment to the next. And the next may be back in the firehouse. The next may be, you know, I got to give my buddy a hug or whatever it is. And I've got to have that bandwidth and that capacity to maneuver. And so guy, you know, people that are out there that are, that, that don't think this is necessary, are living in a fraction of their career, not the entirety of it or a fraction of their marriage and not the entirety of it. That's just me calling myself out along with, well, pretty much everybody else listening.Benjamin Martin: Yeah, no, I totally, so there's a couple of things if we can play this out that I'd like to talk about. So, um, I hear a compartmentalize talk about a lot and that's definitely something that I'm not sure if we can do. So I'm sitting here, I'm looking at the computer, which is running the program that you and I are talking on and I've got all the books that I've read in the background. I've got things on the wall, family pictures on the desk. Uh, but in the moment it's what is getting my attention, right? The computer, making sure that this conversation is happening and if there's anything that I want to reference having it up on here. But if you ask me the specifics about the book covers to my left or you know, what the brand of TV was in front of me or what dress my wife was wearing in the photo.Benjamin Martin: Like that's not important necessarily in this moment. So I'm not going to be able to tell you and it doesn't have my full attention. And that's where I think we've got to focus. Here is where you want to call. You know, you may have something going on at home, what the call is, what gets your attention. It gets 100% of your attention. Even though we know science has shown us it's subconsciously we're being distracted, but all of our conscious minds has gotta be able to focus on this. I've heard guys tell me that they don't feel like if they talk with their family during the day, very good a firefighter because all of a sudden they're distracted by the thought of their family.Jeff Banman: Would that be the worst thing you were saying you can do? The worst thing you can do on deployment is call home.Benjamin Martin: Yeah, and so it's like, all right, well if that's true and your family distracts you, then don't let me see you on social media. Right? If your family is going to distract you from the mission, don't let me see you do anything in your 24 hour period that would distract you from the mission. And that includes playing on your phone, playing a video game at the station, watching TV, having a conversation that isn't about the mission, which is not life, it's, it's not reality. So what we're really admitting is that we can tune into out of the mission. It's just a lot about our ability to maintain focus and attention. And part of our problem is that we were manta sized. We way over romanticized leadership because of what we see in culture and movies. Like we're like you talked about, you're like, you're waiting for this one moment where you're like Braveheart and you're Mel Gibson and you're giving this speech and you're like, John, like I got juice.Benjamin Martin: And the reality is you may you, you may get that, but probably more so where the goosebumps are going to come from is when you're able to have that one on one conversation in the parking lot of the food line. You went to get groceries where a guy breaks down on you and you have a safe place for him to land or whatever else it is that was occupying his attention. Like that's reaching a person. The other thing is just talking to them. Maybe they get the same feeling you get, but it's just like you and me. And they're like, we push them harder. We push them fast and like you're like, yeah. And they're like, no, no. [inaudible] but you're so focused, you know, just like on the computer, not paying attention to the color of the books. You have no idea that people have completely checked out around you and they're not, they're not buying into it at all.Benjamin Martin: So like, yeah, there's gotta be a healthy way to process what you're saying cause that's obviously important. Um, and we want to get away from where we're compartmentalizing too much. But at the same time it's like, all right, well, I want to do everything I can to be, to get home to my kids. And I tell people that training is the answer to that, right? When I don't have to think about how to do fundamental skills, that leaves up more brain power to think creatively and figure out solutions to problems that will arise. You can't plan for everything. So that's the goal. Train the shit out of people so that they can focus on the right thing when they call comes in and then when they get back to the firehouse they can make the switch back to maybe they want to tuck their daughter in over family time or a FaceTime or call the wife and see how her day was or something.Benjamin Martin: But I really failed like where I would go 24 hours, not talking to them and life just kept going on here. But the first steps I missed the first steps, the first words, Christmases, birthdays like. So it's like, all right, well I can make a decision to consciously not be a part of any of that if I'm at the firehouse or I can try to find a period where I can blend where I'm able to focus and not get distracted by them. And I think, Jeff, probably what I'm trying to say here is if you, if you can do this correctly, then your family life will be healthy and you will be in a healthier place and you'll be more emotionally stable and your leadership or even your followership will be more efficient and more effective. And then because it's all in balance, which really you probably won't ever happen because it's more imbalanced, you're not going to have all of the distractions you would with a divorce or with counseling or with a sick kid. And with any of those things. Um, it's just like span of control.Jeff Banman: Well, we, it is like span of control and we forget that we live, especially in these environments. Like most, most normal people, those people out there, right? They get up in the morning, they go to work, they sit at their desks, they do whatever they come home. And I'm not saying they're not without challenge and now without issue, but heightened in our worlds is this understanding that we need to be transitional beings like transitional, like, and, and transitions are we, you know, we've, we book end our day, we get in the car, we go to work, we getting in the car, we go home, right? We've, we book in our shift or whatever it is, we book ended. But in the context of every day, we are constantly transitioning moment by moment, by moment I'm at the firehouse. I want a new mass call. I'm helping him old lady get back in her bed.Jeff Banman: I'm, you know, pulling a kid out of a burning building. I'm cutting somebody out of a car who may or may not make it. I'm, you know, chasing somebody down the street. And then I'm counseling the domestic dispute and I'm, you know, helping the rape victim. Like, dude, that's, and by the way, that's Justin today, right? And, and yeah, exactly. And so, you know, what? We lose to me, what I think we lose sight of, and this is where things start to mound for us. We don't execute transitions well that's, you know, when we talk about emotional stability in the six pillars and, and mental acuity and emotional stability is the ability to transition rapidly. Right? To be able to say, okay cool. Done was a call. I what do I need to transition? Well I need to go for a walk around the block or I need to, you know, grab Ben and take him outside and scream cause I'm pissed off at whatever and then I can go home.Jeff Banman: Right. And so what I'm able to do, and when I talk about compartmentalization, it is more a transitional segmentation. Things not like isolation, not shutting people down or locking things out. Yeah. Yeah. Cause if I'm going to call home, if I'm overseas and I'm calling home, I don't want to dumb what I just did into my family. So I set myself up, I feel like it, what I need for the next moment and I put myself in DOE in the condition I need to be in for that moment. Not, you know, cause my family doesn't need firemen or you know, cop or military per, do I need any of that? They just need lesbian dad. Right? So what, what condition do I need and what do I need right now? Like just simply asking yourself that question, what do I need right now to call home to be the best dad, her husband or whatever, or mother or wife or whatever it may be. What do I need and what do I need to help me be that? Uh, yeah, yeah. I mean, I, dude, I think,Benjamin Martin: I think the difference, cause I've never served in the military, so I don't, my father was in the air force, so I have no authority to speak on this at all. So I'll, I'll very softly lay this up there. And then anybody's willing to slap it away. They can and they won't hurt my feelings. But when you're looking at the sacrifice of the men and women make that serve our country, where they go away for six months to a year to a year and a half. Like I could understand Jeff calling home, finding out his wife's cheating on him and then having another year on his stent and thinking about how distracted he would be with that. So we borrow from that with the fire service problem is I'm only gone for 24 hours or 48 hours or worst case scenario, I get forced hot over times and it's 72 hours but then I'm right back in their life.Benjamin Martin: And so I think when you look at military service members coming home, and Jeff, you can speak to this like we're going to have the most problem. And I think it's transitioning back into the people's lives because it never stops happening while they were gone. And that's what it was from my mother, you know, with my father. And you know, I was too young to remember any of that. So thankfully that wasn't an issue. But I think, I think for the fire service, like the idea of compartmentalizing. And here's a story, if we have a moment, I'll, I'll, I'll tell you when I was a new, when I was a new Lieutenant, right, I had all the status pressure, like really wanting to come across as a, you know, a subject matter expert on everything. I'm also a paramedic, don't judge me for that. So I've got two hats to wear, you know, I've gotta be good at on the fireside, but also good on the paramedics and sob.Benjamin Martin: And I'd been there maybe three months, still building relationships with everybody. Still hadn't caught a fire so nobody knows if I'm any good or bad anything. And we catch a pediatric shooting and I can remember driving and I didn't know the district that well. So I've got all this pressure about like I hope I'm going the right way. And the whole time I'm like, you know, looking at a four year old shot by his older brother or younger brother and it's like, ah crap, crap, crap, crap, crap. Like, just this gut wrenching feeling of like, shit, shit, shit, shit. Like, you know the big calls that can create that out. And I get there and I'm running up to the house and a police officer comes out and he's holding the kid in a, in a blanket and he goes, it's just a graze. And it's like, Ooh, right.Benjamin Martin: Subject matter expert. He's telling me it's just the grace. Thank God DEFCON level five back down the level one, like we're good, can't cancel the air strike. We're good. So I started getting into patient assessment of it. The mom is a mess, right? She had had people breaking in to the house or a neighborhood houses. So she got a firearm out, tuck it under a sofa question, I think. And the youngest son found it who was like two or three and accidentally fired upon his, um, brother, who I think was four or five at the time. So, um, I mean you can imagine just like in the back of her mind, subconsciously, am I going to lose these kids? But at the forefront of her mind, is my child going to live? Right? So when the police officer says it's just a graze, everybody can collectively breathe a sigh.Benjamin Martin: And I go in there and I recognize, I look over the kid, I peel the blanket back. If he's in a diaper and there's nothing, you know, there's nothing wrong that I can see. I look and it looks like a grave, like an almost like an abrasion. I'm like, are you sure he was even shot. Maybe this is a bug burn, whatever. And it's, it is, um, it's going in is like five, right? Or I guess what looks like wound to his inner thigh. So after like I took a, Paul says, profusions good kid, not even crying like, alright, is a healthy kid, let's go and ride on the hospital just to be on the safe side. Get you outta here. So I put mom on the back. I'm not even going lights and sirens to the hospital. And I look at her and she's just a wreck.Benjamin Martin: And I think to myself, if this was my child and is my oldest, so ALA was like one at a time. If this was a loss, nothing could stop me from holding this child. And I'm like, I'm not going to be in the way of that man. Would you like to hold your stone? Yes, I would. Right. So I give her the sun, she sits on the stretcher with the son, we go to the uh, trauma hospital and we get over to pediatrics and I'm talking to the attending and then the freaking department head walks in and I'm telling her about what's going on. It's just a graze. And then I hear, well, what's this then? And like I hadn't even looked over there yet, but I could feel myself getting nauseous just knowing what was coming. And I look over, they had taken the diaper off and it's like, I know your listeners have already figured out the end of the story.Benjamin Martin: They already knew this was coming, but I, I couldn't, I didn't, I left the type or on, I exposed everything else. Like it was a lower leg injury. There's no way that this child could shoot up this kid's leg and have an exit his button. But that's exactly what he did. And then all sudden details start coming back where the mom was like, be sure is filling up his diaper. He's seeing a lot. And I'm like, well shit, that was blood. Like it wasn't a lot of blood. It was just oozing blood. Thank God. But what if it had been so they did an X Ray and the kid who was an in and out, um, and I told, I told the department head, I was like, listen, I, I fucked up so bad here. I'm going to call the OMB. I'm going to own this.Benjamin Martin: I'm going to use this as a lesson. You do whatever it is you need to do carte blanche and you're not going to get any resistance from me. No embracing the resistance on this one. Like, just do what you need to do. And she's like, well, I can see it in your face. You feel terrible and I trust that you'll follow up on this and I will, I will talk with your own team to make sure you have, and she's like, you'd go do what you need to do and we'll see where it falls out. So I came back to the station and I talked to the guys and they're like, Oh, we should have prompted you. And I'm like, well listen, like if I'm going to be successful here as a leader, I don't ever want you guys to feel afraid that you can't challenge Lieutenant.Benjamin Martin: Like there's going to be critical moments. And I don't even think that this was a critical life threatening moment because it wasn't a flashover. It was a life threatening, but it had time to play out. I want you to challenge me. Please don't ever let this happen again. But I'm owning this like I don't hold any of you guys accountable. This is 100% Lieutenant Martins. Fuck off. And I'll own this. But just so you're aware, don't let this happen to you guys. Let's work together to have each other's back and let's not be so caught up in our egos that we're afraid to say something because we don't want to hurt anybody's feelings or that we're going to be resistant to it because we've got to maintain the ego. And so I got home and I was telling my wife about it and you know, she's Sam there in tears and I started doing some research in a corner costs role ambiguity, which you know, basically is you wear a lot of hats.Benjamin Martin: So it wasn't just that I was wearing a hat of a firefighter or hat of an officer or hat of her medic. I was wearing a hat as a father, as a husband, you know, as a brother, like all these different roles in my life. And in that moment when I should've had the paramedic hat on, I took it off on it, put the father hat on and I thought about her needs more and I failed her child and her in the process. And what happens is when we put our, we allow ourselves to get in situations where we haven't had training and we haven't had at least a discussion on it, we get into role conflict where doing one role conflicts with the outcome of another role. And a lot of times you see this in buddy to pause where it's like, well, I want to be the guy's buddy, but it gotta be his boss.Benjamin Martin: And you're not either you're just marginal at that. You think you're maybe winning because the guy's not actively shit talking to you. Maybe he has your back, but just because he's not, you know, confrontational to your face, you're like, yes, I'm winning as a leader. But that's not the case. And that's exactly like what we're talking about with this. What's getting your attention? You can say you can compartmentalize things that and leave it at home, but clearly you can't. That's not a, and it's not a bad thing. That's part of being human. That's part of our humanity. Like empathy is a core construct of our humanity and the more we express that, the better. And that I would argue, Jeff, that is why we would go into that fire because we want to that kid with their parents to give them a birthday, to give them an anniversary, like to see them get married one day.Benjamin Martin: Like we'll take significant risks that are counter to our best interest because of our empathy. Our empathy is not, it doesn't not handicap us, it does not distract us. It empowers us as long as we're valuing the right thing. And it's pretty obvious when somebody is demonstrating powers and not doing the right things. But that's what type of leader I want to work for. That that has the ability to come in and in one minute basis silly, bad-ass, but the next minute be completely humble over a mistake they made or sharing the mistake they made with me 10 years ago to establish level footing with me because I want to feel related to them because that's another fundamental construct of safety is relatedness. That's the next level stuff. And that's the stuff that's not being taught. I'm not reason why we're going to have this gap and this, but you know, and every gap you get people like me and you that are like, we're not, there's a need.Benjamin Martin: There's a technology that's not out there. So I'm going to, we're going to speak to it and literally build this, I don't want to say from scratch because we were studying research that's been done some, you know, sometimes the thirties but in the fire service it's all new and novel and you all, you, anybody listening here knows if it's new and novel in the fire service, it's the first to get, you know, an arrow swung at it. So like that's the hits were taken because we believe so passionately in it and like I've seen it, I've seen it affect my marriage and make it better. I've seen it at work and make my relationships better with people. And the reputation I have now is, so it's like one 80 from what I had seven years ago and it's all been about humility and learning and shared experiences. That's the only recipe that I've had any kind of success with. It's not ever been one class I took, well one moment I had. It's just a consistent showing up for people. And that's really what I think a leader needs to do.Jeff Banman: Dude, I, I can't disagree with any of that. I mean, I think that's exactly, we are human and as humans we are emotional beings. You know what I mean? We feel, we sense, we connect, uh, aid is just part of our lives and we can't shove it down. We can't turn it off. It's not going to go away. I level when people are like, well I don't really have any empathy or I was born without empathy. I'm like, yeah, I know you aren't. Uh, you know, cause I've had those kind of, I've had people say that, you know what, I've had people say that about their partners or other people in the, in the, you know, in their work environment. Like they just, I, they don't have any empathy. They do, they don't know how to unlock it. And there's probably a huge wall of fear there around it.Jeff Banman: So, yeah, man. I mean I think it's a, I think it's indicative on, on us as one, it's indicative on the leader today to step into this role period. You know, if you are, if you are in any of the services, uh, any, you know, if you, to people I hang out with across the platforms, the special operations guys, intelligence guys, the fire service guys, law enforcement across the board. Anybody who's been in a career for any length of time and has a sense of themselves, understands the value of this conversation of constantly looking at themselves, constantly develop things, you know, willingness to understand their people around them, you know, and really, and take action around it. Right? It's not just, Oh, cool, there's was a great podcast or, yeah, that makes a lot of sense. What now are you doing with it? What are you, what steps are you taking?Jeff Banman: You know, if you are a leader in the firehouse or you're, you know, a Sergeant in the law enforcement community or the Lieutenant or a captain or a chief, I don't know. You know what I mean? I've got chief officers that listen to this. It's like, how are you creating the environment for your people to really get all of this like through, through and through. And you know, that's not just, you know, let me go see Benjamin talk at firehouse expo. You know, it's like, how do I engage, how do I bring this conversation forward? I mean, I think that's, you know, you touched on the aspects of suicide in the rise around that stuff cause they ours. I mean, those are, that's why I created the operation mindset foundation because I'm a big believer, there's a big difference between prevention and intervention and 90% of what's done is intervention because the thought train has already started.Jeff Banman: And I know I speak openly about years, even prior to the services, this constant conversation of I shouldn't be here. You know, maybe I should just go now. Um, and my own challenges then, you know, enhanced by the stupid life I chose to live. Uh, you know, it's crazy what's out there and you know, we've gotta be more real about it. We've got to be more in tune with it. We've got to be available, the people around us, because that, you know, that person sitting with you at the dinner table in the firehouse, like you said, needs every ounce of the same person that will run in and snatch that kid out of that burning building like 100%. And if you can't be in, especially, you know, I don't care, I don't care what your rank is or whether you showed up yesterday or whether you've been here for 20 years and you're a grouch.Jeff Banman: That's the condition you have to live in now. Uh, because it's across the board, man, the game changed, like firing and getting shot at, it's a little bit more hay day. There's a lot more judgment from across the board. It's not just centered into law enforcement community, you know, or it's not just military stuff or whatever. I'll say it's across the board. Like you've gotta be ready for anything and everything and you're only gonna do that when the team is a whole, you know, is completely whole and able to perform in moment. So dude, I love it. We're going to have to schedule another time. And you know, have a whole nother conversation. Uh, anytime, anytime. I love talking toBenjamin Martin: Jeff. I think you're doing great work and it's humbled to be a small part of it.Jeff Banman: Well that's it dude. And we're gonna we're going to work together a little bit more in 2020, uh, through the operation Whiteside foundation and really developing and preparing guys, you know, people to step into harm's way and delivering the conversation early. Cause I think this needs to start like day one. This is the conversation. Yeah. This, this needs to be, I'll say this if you think you are an influencer in any of the services, you know, I, I feel like I served a little bit of that in my time in a couple of places. Like I was somebody people trusted or they listened to or they came to and talk to. If you're in that role, this is the conversation that needs to be had like this, you know, and I, and I was lucky I had some old school, gritty, gritty, gritty guys growing up that actually had these kinds of conversations with me.Jeff Banman: You know, may not have been this formal, may not have been in these particular words. You know, cause now we're talking almost started years ago, but they had conversations like this with me and that's what I love about these programs cause all that's still embedded in, in a lot of this, this old school, you know, old school hard ass mentality is to me I think is actually a big falsehood. And maybe that's what you and I'll attack on the next time we get on. It's like this, this perception of what I should be versus you know, you talked to the Al Dutton retired battalion fire chief from DC fire department who we know went to deep, went to work for DC the year I was born. You know, telling me how this stuff is radically important to success. Right? Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, we'll have to unpack that. All right man. So I'm going to make sure all the show notes are up. You and I are going to collaborate a little bit to recreate some of the conversation for everybody out there and get some key topics and some key learning points. So they've got them up there in the show notes. I'm going to make sure Benjamin's wonderful bio is up also in the show notes and a link to him at embrace the resistance but soon by checkout, embrace the resistance.com. Are you speaking anywhere? Anytime soon? You got anything coming up?Benjamin Martin: So then uh, I got uh, I got a small gig in Indiana for a department and then I'll be at the big show in SEIC April. So hopefully it will, we'll see each other there.Jeff Banman: Yeah, absolutely. So if you're going to FDIC, make sure you check out and Benjamin and get into his class cause it's, it is 100% worth it. I had a chance to sit in at, he spoke right before we prep the audience for them. We prepped the objective for me and in Nashville I did and then they all left and then you know, you can stick around five minutes and they left and I came up. So either you were really good or you're a really bad one or the other. What does the do? So I rather, well, thanks for coming on today.
10 Dec 2019
S2.LESSON 01: BEING OPERATIONAL, a look at how to become and stay operational with the 6 Operational Pillars
Today we look at what it means to become AND stay OPERATIONAL. On this teach time episode I walk you through the six operational pillars that provide us the mental, physical and emotional strength to navigate anything life throws at us.
2 Sep 2019
S2.E.41: MIKE BROWN, how to EVOLVE your thinking
Today Mike Brown and I sit down to look at the world of self development, living an examined life and what things look like on the other side. Mike shares how he evolves his thinking in ways that benefit him in ALL aspects of his life.
10 Mar 2020
BONUS SESSION | YOUR FRIDAY WRAP UP | Being Operational
Joining me today is Michael "Root" Burrier from the Northern VA/PG County Maryland area with now 30 years in the fire service and Robert Reid from Roanoke, VA and 555 Fitness. We go a bit deeper into the 6 Operational Pillars and have some fun exploring our operational lives.
6 Sep 2019
Taking a deeper dive into the art of how to influence by understanding someone's V.I.B.E.S. with Sharí Alexander
Today we go further into the crucial skill of influence. Monday we focused on Sharí's three step process of Observe, Connect, Influence and today we explore what it looks like to observe at a deeper level by unpacking someone's V.I.B.E.S.
31 Jul 2019
BONUS SESSION | YOUR FRIDAY WRAP UP | Awareness
Today we take it easy as we wrap up this weeks topic on AWARENESS and take a look at what the last 18 years has brought us.
13 Sep 2019
A new and fresh look at combat psychology through the eyes of someone's who's been there... with Matt Larsen
We get into some serious stuff with Matt Larsen as we talk combatives, combat and decisions in moments. We then go deeper into a conversation about combat psychology and moral injury. Matt shares more depth on why and how we experience combat as individuals and as a society.
7 Aug 2019
Why we put ourselves at risk: A look back to what drove us to do the jobs we do
In this Wednesday deep dive Elliot and I continue with our conversation and go a little deeper to look at why we have this deeper need to put ourselves at risk and how that can help, hinder and sometimes harm our abilities to be great in all aspects of life.
12 Jun 2019
S2.E.39: OPENING PANDORA'S BOX, going all the way through
After my unscheduled break I'm back to share what it has looked like to open Pandora's Box and get to the other side of my journey through self-development and healing the traumas that have shaped my life (unknowingly)
3 Mar 2020
Four years of work for 18 Seconds... Learning how to let go and just push print
Today we're talking with former Olympian Athlete and Air Force Special Operations Combat Controller Mike Hazle. In this episode Mike shares some powerful thoughts about the moment when all the preparation is done and now it's time to act. Hear what it was like putting 4 years of work in for 18 seconds of glory.
1 Jul 2019
I thought I'd die a hero... Just a real conversation with Mike Hazle
Mike and I go for it and have a real conversation about things that matter, things we think and things that often just live in the background of our lives. We look at the idea that many of us have or had over the years where we believed we would die a hero. We talk straight about hard moments, giving up and how to push through each moment.
3 Jul 2019
S2.E.26: MICHAEL TROTT, A deep dive into awareness from a man who has had to be "on" his whole life
Today Michael Trott joins me and shares his 30 plus years of service protecting individuals around the globe. Mike shares his experience from his career with the CIA and what it's been like in the corporate world all while examining the crucial skill of mastering the 4 points of awareness.
11 Sep 2019
S2.E.25: MARK BRIGGS, what it looks like to be operational from a long career of putting your ass on the line
Today I am joined by Mark Briggs, Army Veteran and retired Police/SWAT Officer who shares his thoughts on how to become and stay operational. Mark gets real and shares the no-shit consequences of not operating at the top of your game, making assumptions about your abilities and well, getting the crap kicked out of you.
4 Sep 2019
Learning to get out of your own way with Nick Wignall, PhD
In this episode Nick and I get down to it and dive deep into the conversation about how we constantly put garbage in our way that keeps us from performing at the level we want to perform and impacts us not only professionally, but personally as well! Nick shares huge insights into the processes that will keep you at the top of your game and in the exact condition you want to be in for whatever comes your way.
19 Jun 2019
S2.E.36: IN ACTION, going from discovery and putting ourselves in action
All right. Welcome back to mindset radio. This is your Thursday episode. If you caught Tuesdays, you know where we are. You know we're talking about planning for the new year. You know, we're talking about taking a look at ourselves and trying to figure out like what in the hell we want out of this year and how we're going to get it. And on Tuesday, you know, we talked a lot about discovery and you know, the real purpose there was to get more in touch with what's important to us because all of this is going to lead to a point here where we're going to begin to create some clear intentions for ourselves and what we want to operate like throughout the year, kind of in all aspects of our lives. And so, you know, that's why we kind of take a look at what, what do we want right now?What are we frustrated by? What are our deeper fears? Like what keeps us up at night and then what do we really aspire to be? And so that was Tuesday's episode. If you didn't catch that one, then I highly recommend you just kind of push pause real quick. Go back, listen to that one first and then come forward into this one because we're going to build on that episode and really start taking a look at how we take kind of what we learned in that exploration and in that place and start to put it into some clear action plans. So if you did the exercise with me on Tuesday or he kind of went back and listened and did it, awesome. If you didn't, I'm going to do a wrap up Friday, uh, as a Facebook live in the Facebook mindset radio groups. If you're not a part of that, go ahead and pop in.I will backtrack and add that back link into the show notes and stuff for you as well. But just the way that we've shaped up this week, I'm going to have to do on Friday. I'm on a plane tomorrow, so now bear with me a little bit. Well, we'll get that live up on Friday. We'll go through some of the, uh, uh, the actual forms and the downloadables that'll be available for ya. Uh, and so all that will be up and ready to go if you want to do that and kind of listen back through some of it or work through it with me. But even if you did the mental exercise on Tuesday, if you really got kinda down to where you are, right, what do you currently want current wants and frustrations, kind of the current right now situation, what is it I want, what's frustrating me?And then future look what are my biggest fears and then what do I really aspire to be? And so today what I really want to do is, uh, kind of begin to focus and break those down into kind of quadrants. And so if you did this exercise, more than likely what you found was my want and frustrations almost mirror each other. A lot of times, you know, if I want to be more physically fit, my frustration is I don't have time to be at the gym or it's tough to fit into my schedule or I feel, you know, overwhelmed by my day and I'm exhausted, et cetera. Right? So if you really look at it, you can often kind of find the want and then the frustration that's associated with it. And if you really want to go a little bit further, you can even take that one.It's like, okay, I want to be in shape. Great. Why? Like go a layer deeper. Why do I want to be in shape? Why is that important to me? What will that do for me? You know, I have a, I feel better physically in my body. I don't wake up with aches and pains. I don't walk around feeling lethargic. Most of the time I have more energy. Uh, I've got a little bit more vitality. I get a little bit better pep in my step. Maybe my physical appearance is better and I feel better about myself. It's gonna roll into the comfort and confidence I have to take on and deal with my life. Right. So that just kind of an example. That's, that's a good example for me. And I'm going to talk a little bit more about that on Friday, uh, related to my own stuff.And you fill it in if, uh, you know, you want to get promoted at work. Okay. Why, what does it actually do for you? Yeah, I'm sure there's some financial gain and it feels good to be promoted. But what's important about you being promoted? What's important about you making the next rank or being in a particular unit or making the grade somewhere or transitioning to a different role. Like why is that important to you? And if you go deeper and deeper and deeper, I think what you'll even find there is that actually begins to link into aspirations. And so this is why I kind of love this exercise and this is why it's going to take a little bit of time to like roll through this. It's not something you just kind of sit down and bam knock out. You kind of got to spend some time mulling this over, take a look at it and then come back to it and go a little bit deeper with it.So let's kind of back up just a little bit. Let's go into simplistic fashion of it cause I like you to kind of get somewhere with it, right? It just doesn't need to linger and you can do the deep dive a little bit later with it. But right now let's kind of take the face value of it. Let's take one of your wants or frustrations. So I either want to eliminate my frustrations or I want to fulfill on something it is I want, right? So let's kind of stay in the current PLA process. Here's what I want you to think about. What is life look like currently for you? If you take a want, if, if I want to be in shape, if that's a want of mine, what does life look like for me? What's the current right now? Truth that exists. The truth is I'm not going to the gym when I need to be going to the gym.I'm not giving the time and attention that I need to, to my body and my physicality and my working out and my, uh, my health in a lot of ways. You know, that may be very true. Uh, you know, I don't feel great day in and day out. Aches and pains. I wake up a little bit more lethargic. I wake up sore, I'm tired most days. I don't have the energy to really push through my days and be great the way I want to be. Great. Kind of all the way through my life. Like that's the current scenario. Then if I kind of really take a look at it, it's like, ah, I don't like that. Okay, cool. Let's set that aside for a minute. What's my desired state? Right? If I could snap my fingers right now and wake up and be physically fit or have different state of being, what would that look like?And so this is a good point to take a look at it and be like, okay, well, you know, I'd be going to the gym regularly and I would feel good about going into the gym. Like I would be propelled a call to the gym because there's success there because I have a tie in there because I want to do it and I want to do it because I feel better. I look better, I feel more confident in my body and who I am and how I look and you know, all these things. Then I've got more energy throughout the day. I feel stronger, you know, I feel more capable, whatever I'm, I feel more ready for whatever life may throw at me. Right? That's, that's that desired picture. So once we take a look at that, then we're going to start going down into the next step.And again, the forms will be available at the end of the week for you. But that desired result, like what's the outcome or what's the shift if I'm currently here, but I want to look like this or I want to be like this or I want to have this in my life, what is that? So let's take a look at that and let's start listening out. What's the desired result that we want to produce and list it out. Like, write it out, doesn't have to be long, doesn't have to be some long sentence or anything else. They can be bullet points, they can be a couple of different things and you can make the list as long as you want. So I'm going to list those out. Right? Desired result is I'm, you know, in great shape. Okay, cool. Now the question is what are the obstacles and objections that are in my way of being in great shape?Like what's the bullshit I run in myself? Or how do I create my day that doesn't support that if I want it, cool, well, you know, how does it feel to want rad, but what's in my way? What am I not doing? I'm not scheduling my day appropriately. I'm not responsible for myself in cutting out that time or segmenting that time. You know, and I'm using this as an example cause I think this is one that resonates with a lot of us along the way. Uh, and a lot of what we deal with and so, you know, this is the, this is the component piece to that.Now [inaudible]you know, so again, what are the obstacles? What are the objections? What am I saying to myself? Well, I'm too tired. Well, I don't have time. Well I need to be there or somebody needs my attention there. Or you know, I've had a long shift or we ran, you know, we're up all night running calls, running EOS calls where we had a storm and we were chasing fire alarms all night. Like whatever the objections is and the obstacles are, but just be and call them out. Like just be truthful with yourself and just list out what they are. Okay. I mean that's, that's really, that's all I'm asking you to do and it's all we really need to do in some ways, but I'm going to list those out and I'm just going to write the next column and just go, okay, here's my desired result and here's my objections and here's my obstacles in the way to having that result.And then now what I want to do is I want to explore the options. Like, this is my life. And you know, we don't have quote unquote, the perfect life that we want in a lot of ways, right? We don't have sometimes the freedom to do what we want to do or work out when we want to work out or eat the way we want to eat or be be who it is we want to be or whatever it is, whatever is there. So within the context of your life, what are the options? Can I get up earlier? Can I just segment a specific time? Can I create a flow pattern that I know I can commit to and be a part of each day? Right? Do I go to a, a group fitness class so I'm a little bit more motivated? Do I need to work out alone?Do I need a workout buddy? Do I need somebody to hold me accountable? Which I think is kind of crap, but you know, I mean, every once in a while it helps to have somebody kicking you in the ass. Um, you know, what is it? What are the options in front of me? I could hire a trainer or I could, you know, download an app. I could, you know, do whatever. Like there's a million options to achieve that outcome, right? But get real and get clear on some real options that are in front of you and list them out. Now from this point forward, what I want you to do is start to look at two or three actions you can take that will lead you down the path of achieving that result that you want. What are the action steps I'm going to commit to, you know, this program, bam, I'm going to hire this trainer, bam.I'm going to shift my diet to this, bam. Or you know, I'm going to do whatever it is I'm going to do. Just don't make a bunch. Don't write a bunch out. Don't write 10 or 15 things and don't make it. Don't make it unobtainable. Don't set yourself up for failure. Really call yourself out. That's one of the things that we really deal with in this hundred day challenge is identifying that more often than not, when we commit to something, we're actually setting ourselves up for failure. Because we haven't looked all the way through it. So do me a favor, just pick two or three specific actions and make them simple and achievable. Period. Every day. That's it. That's all I want you to do. And from that point then we're going to bring those action items into reality. And so what I want you to do is break your calendar out.Whatever you use, if you use something on the wall, if you use your phone, whatever it is, I want you to start putting that into your calendar and I want you to contextualize it like what does your hour at the gym give you, feed you, Hey, this is Jeff being stronger, capable, more confident, whatever the whatever, whatever that it is attached to, kind of that want that aspiration, that deeper level of stuff. That's how I'm going to create the context for what my time is and my time being spent is, and then you got to put it into a calendar. You got to create it and put it into existence so that it's there. And if you need to set reminders or you need to set yourself up or you need to communicate it out with the people around you and maybe your husband and wife or whatever, whoever it is, Hey, this is, this is the deal.This is what I'm doing. This is where it lives. This is my time. This is what I'm committed to. I need your support for that. I need X, Y, and Z. That's got to go into play because if it doesn't go into play, it will falter. Again, that's kind of a critical point of failure. We don't put things with good ideas. We have a desire, we kind of say we're going to do X, Y, and Z, but don't really put it into existence and we don't put it into existence. We're not accountable to ourselves around it, and so that's really this pattern. Okay, and you can blow this thing out and do this at multiple levels at any level you want in any way, shape or form you want, right? We talk about it. We talked about it earlier. You could do it directly related to work.You could do it directly related to relationship or family or whatever it might be. You could do it related to a promotion or an effort or operation you're going to run or whatever that is. You can kind of wrap this whole thing together and bring it together in a way that really works for you. And so today's episode pretty short, pretty straightforward too. It don't need to spend a lot of time on it. I really hope that you'll pop into the mindset radio, Facebook group that you'll join me from the model alive tomorrow or catch it on replay or catch it, you know, through the show notes and come back and watch. Um, cause I'm actually going to share the forms. I'm going to write them up. You're going to see how I'm going to kind of work through this stuff and we're going to talk through these pieces and parts with a little bit more extensively.And you know, again, don't hesitate, like reach out. I've got a fire already. Got some notes from a Tuesday's episode with a couple of questions from you guys out there and not a problem, right? Clarification. You're not quite sure. You need one a little bit deep dive. You need some support in there. It's just send me a note, ask. Um, that's an easy day. That's an easy answer. So guys, this is where, this is where I want you to really look at and this is how we're going to set ourselves up for this year and uh, on Friday and a few other episodes. And then moving forward we're going to start looking at how we operate with intention. And this is really the underpinning of all of this because in the research that I've done in the way that we looked at the operational life cycle and the way that we operate in our careers and in our jobs and in cycle, if we don't set ourselves up to step out of the door with intention, if we don't set ourselves to operate with a clear line of intention, with a clear purpose, we are vulnerable to the conditions.We are vulnerable to the things that will show up. And that's the biggest piece that we need to avoid. So you're going to hear me this season and you know, throwing on or through the beginning of the year. I'm going to do some teach backs online and I'm going to get geeky with you. I'm going to break down the science behind it. I'm going to lay it out for you. I'm going to teach you what it is and why this point of intention is so critical and you're going to begin to see, especially in our operating operating environments, especially with the way the conditions are constantly changing, things are constantly popping. We have to be on our game and the way that you're on the game where you get ahead of the situation, the way you're actually in command and control of it, the way you're going to bring calm, the chaos and all the things that we spent six months talking about this all going online and your ability to ground yourself, anchor in the present moment and operate with a clear line of intention or intentionality necessary to handle whatever it is that comes your way.So I hope you got something in front of the day. Check out the show notes and join me tomorrow or yeah, join me tomorrow Friday, uh, in the Facebook group. We'll kind of go through this thing to talk about a little bit more. Download the form. She can go to the website later to pick up the forms, work them through yourself. Ask me any questions that you got. I hope that it helps you set yourself up for an amazing until you read 2020. So again, listen, thanks for listening. I really appreciate it. We're going to close out today's show. We're only running probably, you know, 15, 20 minutes in today's, which is perfect. I don't need overrun yet. We don't once it's out, it's out. So, alright ladies and gentlemen, I appreciate you listening. Thanks so much. Next week I've got retired chief Gasaway on with me from essay matters.It's a great conversation whether you're in the military, the law enforcement community or in the fire service, and if you're in the fire service should probably know who he is. He's on next week. We have a great conversation about situational awareness, but a real deep dive into it. Really enjoyed it. I'm looking forward to getting that podcast out. Uh, because the rest of this month we're going to get into this mental acuity point. This is partly why this week was important, and understanding, kind of creating this intention in the background or this idea of creating intention in the background is critically important because I'm going to be talking about it through each episode or specially on the Thursday episodes where it's you and me talking and I'm trying to, you know, give some little, little teachbacks in there. We're going to really begin to explore how that unpacks and can impact us, uh, either in a great way or can really throw us off our game. So catch me on Friday. Send me any questions that you got. Tune in next Tuesday. Mental acuity chief Gasaway. It's a rad conversation. Listen, have a great weekend. Be safe out there. Happy 2020 and we'll talk to you soon.
9 Jan 2020
Stop being a coward and start taking care of you with Dr. Sherry Walling
Ok... get ready because we get serious with Sherry Walling, PhD as she schools us on the importance of taking care of ourselves. She has no issue calling us out and telling us to stop being scared of our own shadows - dealing with our mental and emotional health is NECESSARY for every single aspect of our lives, operationally and home!
8 Jul 2019