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The Growth Connection Episode 2

By Elizabeth Sande | Jan 25, 2021 | Comments Off

COVID19 has been in our lives for an entire year now and it's caused us all to pause and reflect as businesses and human beings. 

It's been a moment of truth, almost like a forced reset.

Welcome to The Growth Connection, a podcast to help us all look forward to this year with a growth mindset. We'll feature interviews with cmi's elite roster of experts in the areas of diversity, leadership, the future, mentorship, performance, teamwork and inspiration.

On today's episode...

GC episode 2 FINAL

Hang out with Dan Thurmon and Chris Bashinelli as they explore positive mental health and the importance of taking time to breathe.

Chris is a Moderator for the United Nations, an Eagle Scout, a National Geographic Explorer, and has interviewed some of Time Magazine's 100 Most Influential People on the Planet. He's lived with nomads in Mongolia, farmed for tea on China's hillsides, and Sumo Wrestled the heaviest Japanese human being in recorded history. Bash's life mission is clear. When we 'change our mind,' we 'change our world.'

Dan Thurmon is the author of two books, a Hall of Fame speaker, and a recognized expert in delivering peak performances, on stage and in the workplace. He encourages audiences beyond the pursuit of "success" and enhances our life experiences and professional endeavours with purposeful, positive contributions. Dan's philosophy can be summarized by the title of his book, Off Balance On Purpose. He believes that we will never achieve "perfect balance" and should, instead, learn to embrace uncertainty and initiate positive changes that lead to growth.

 

Takeaways

  • How to stay focused on what you can control, to lessen levels of anxiety
  • Learn how to navigate productivity and connection during a pandemic, when distractions are everywhere
  • Why technical preparation is equally important to preparing your heart and good intentions
  • Different ways to create space in you mind for creativity to flow freely

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Transcript

Dan Thurmon
Hello, everyone, and welcome to the cmi speaker interview series, where speakers interview other speakers and go deeper into the wisdom and maybe a little bit of a story behind the story. My name is Dan Thurman, and I'm here today with the one and only Chris bastianelli, better known as Bash, to his friends and to his clients. With Chris really, the whole world is his friend. So you could call him Bash. Bash has acted on the sopranos. He's moderated at the United Nations. He's hosted his own TV show for PBS and Geographic magazine. And he's done so much travelling around the world learning, teaching, and educating audiences as a speaker for many, many years. He's still a young dude, just 34 years old. But you'll be amazed by the wisdom in this man. So Chris, thank you so much. And welcome!

Chris Bashinelli
Dan, thank you so much. You're a great friend, and you have been for many years. And still, one of the great I have to say regrets of my life is not taking you up on the offer to learn how to backflip all those years ago. It's a skill that I still wish I could learn. And maybe we can do it one day together.

Dan Thurmon
We were trying to do it in like five minutes, you know,

Chris Bashinelli
without any mat to brace the fall!

Dan Thurmon
Yeah, in a hotel gymnasium like that, like little workout room actually is all it was, and it was before your speech. So like you are getting ready for your speech, getting ready to go on stage, and you're like, Oh, damn thermos here, I've got to take advantage of this moment and learn how to do a backflip. But that's how you are. You learn from everyone everywhere, wherever you go. And you don't waste any time, like getting to the nuggets of what people are all about. I was so looking forward to being with you today. And I am just pumped about this moment. Because any experience with you is simultaneously therapeutic and a little bit of a conviction. Because you know, you have this way of caring for people, but because of such a loving presence, it's almost like you hold us accountable. You cause people to take a really good look at what's going on within their lives within their thoughts. And you have to take it very seriously. Right? So I wondered if you could give us a bit of your core philosophy about life that kind of brings that quality to the surface.

Chris Bashinelli
First of all, let me say thank you so much. And it's an honour to be with you. You're a great friend. And it's an honour to be a part of cmi. And to be a part of this speaker series. I just learned so much from each and every one of you and from our entire team. So for me, I'm very grateful to be here. The lesson that's been hitting home for me a lot recently is not trying to change the world. Instead, let's change ourselves. During this pandemic, I have found especially when all of our businesses have just been flipped completely upside down. The people who are doing really well, the businesses, the people, the individuals, and the communities that are doing really well are able to focus on things within their control. And at the very beginning of this, one of our good friends, Tim Gard, said to me, "Bash, focus on what you can control." And then it dawned on me riding this pandemic out, which I do believe it will pass, is kind of like riding out a wave. When I go in the ocean, and I surf. I'm not yelling at the waves. I'm not mad at the wave for wiping me out of everything that happens to me when I'm out there in the Atlantic Ocean or the Pacific Ocean or the Indian Ocean or wherever it might be. Everything that happens, every challenge, every wave that crashes on me is information. I take it as information. Oh, I need to move a little further up on my board. I need to move further back so that I can become a better surfer. And we can use this opportunity to become better surfers of life. Yes, we might not be able to control everything in our lives right now. The economy, the weather, our finances from day to day, but we can control the attitude that we bring to it. I believe.

Dan Thurmon
I love that, and that frame of reference and ownership of this challenge is so important, really to all of our clients; what are you finding in the individuals and the organizations that you're working with that you're able to help them see that maybe they couldn't see before like your gift is that you take these beautiful thoughts that can be philosophical, and in some ways, intangible, but you make them very practical, and you help people really understand what the next move is. So what do you think is the next move for the people who feel that way? Right now,

Chris Bashinelli
I would say, Dan, from the smallest company to some of the largest, and I recently had a conversation with one of my largest clients in a major, major international company. And I would say our next step, the first step, and the last step is to open our hearts, open our hearts to what other people are going through. Because from the smallest client to the largest client, everyone is struggling with the same things during this pandemic. How can we work from home with all of these distractions at our fingertips? How can we stay connected to our family when we might not actually be able to physically give our loved ones a hug, people are hurting, and people, in many ways, are working harder than they ever have before. One of the things that I've found to be super helpful for me and something that I'm sharing with clients is that we have to take care of ourselves to truly be there for others. It's not sustainable to work 12 or 14 hours a day, seven days a week, we must take time to breathe, we must take time to be grateful to go for a walk if we can, if we can exercise, whatever practice we have, that keeps us centred. Because if we are in a positive state of mind, then we are in so much more powerful of a place to give to our clients and to give to others. So the step I've been recommending to others is twofold. One, open our hearts to what others are going through because we are all struggling with the same things right now. And to create some boundaries in our lives so that we can be more productive at work and more relaxed when we're not at work. That way, we can become resourced when we're back at our computer and working with our clients.

Dan Thurmon
Yeah, that's great, great advice. Being heart-centred is something that just comes so naturally to you. You're a very empathetic human being when you mentioned not being able to embrace a loved one. You know, I thought about you and how much wisdom you derived from travelling the globe. And, and those experiences of searching and journeying have kind of brought you this, this level of clarity about how everyone truly is connected. Like we're all dealing with the same stuff. And you saw that regardless of culture, or language or occupation, or like class in society, and you brought that forward through your TV show to audiences everywhere to help us feel that way. And I think about the fact that you can't travel, the fact that we can't hug each other, we don't even see each other smile as much because we're wearing masks, right? And so, how do we find this sense of connection right now. You know, the need for humans to be around humans and draw energy from one another has not gone away? If anything, it's increased. So how do we do that now?

Chris Bashinelli
Well, Dan, I think the thing to keep in mind is that connection is an experience. And it's an experience of the mind. It isn't necessarily a physical experience. I've travelled to many countries, filming TV shows on an expedition for National Geographic, I've travelled to many countries, in many places, speaking at different conferences, every single one of those times that I've gotten on a plane, with the exception of a handful, when I'm travelling with the production crew, I travelled by myself, I am in hotels by myself, I go on stage, I'm with people, and then I'm by myself again, if I were to truly believe that in order for me to feel connected to the people I love, I had to be around them physically. It would be a really tough go for me. So one of the practices that I've done is a really simple practice. It is simply to close my eyes, think about somebody that I feel close with, and just really feel that closeness. And we might say, well, that's corny, and they're not really here and fine. We can listen to that voice if we want, but how is it serving us? Instead, we can just imagine the person is there with us. Imagine we are feeling connected with them. And then we and then what we realize is we actually have control over that feeling. Wow, I can feel connected to my mom, to my father, to my children, to my loved ones to my spouse to my cousin's to my clients, whether I'm in the same room with them or 10,000 miles away, and that connection is a choice.

Dan Thurmon
But it's such great advice. And you're full of practical pieces of wisdom like that. You're a young guy, and you've been doing this a long, long time. So when I think about your journey, the question that comes to my mind is when you were in your early 20s and moderating at the United Nations and putting yourself forward into situations that you know, from an academic point of view or whatever it's like, you're just going there and opening up to the experience, but with a level of confidence. How did you? How did you find that measure of confidence to step into new moments? And trust? I'm okay, I'm enough. I'm here; I'm prepared. I have something of value to say or to offer or to do. Do you remember that?

Chris Bashinelli
I have goosebumps from the question. Yeah, I remember it very vividly. I remember taking the train to the United Nations. When I was giving a speech at the General Assembly Hall. The first time I spoke in the General Assembly Hall when I was 23, with the Secretary-General of the United Nations. And I remember standing at the podium, something happened in the middle of my opening speech, and a massive fixture. I don't know if it fell from the ceiling or from the stage. But there was a massive crash. And it's recorded on video, there was a massive crash, everyone in the room heard it. And I looked over, and something had fallen; it was so distracting. And I just realized I didn't think I just said I'm sorry about that. I have telekinetic powers, and everyone in the audience laughed. The reason I share that with you is because I wasn't prepared on paper. But I was prepared in my heart. I was confident to go out there, not that I wasn't nervous, not that my heart wasn't beating- it was. But I trusted the greater mission that I was there, I trusted that, hey, these people believe in me enough to bring me on to that stage, our clients believe in us enough to hire us whatever field we're in, they believe in us, they trust us, that gave me confidence in myself. And it was kind of like not to go back to surfing again. But it was kind of like that experience of pushing down the face of a wave. And when you push down the face of a wave, for many years, I would pull back at the last moment, we're afraid to let go, we were afraid to let go. What enabled me to let go and go down the face of that wave in terms of speaking on that stage and many other states since then was the experience of losing my father. And when I saw my father, I mean, I literally saw my father passed away before my eyes from cancer. And when that happened, that rocked the foundation of my world in a good way. I'm sorry to say it was in a good way because it made me realize, hey, why am I really here? What's the greater reason? Why am I really here? On one level, that propelled me to go on an international expedition that lasted more than 10 years, which I'm still on today. But the real journey that happened was the journey within, so from that experience of loss, I was able to gain sort of a momentary feeling of life is very fleeting; if there's something I believe in, I better go for it. And so witnessing that empowered me to be able to go on a stage, even though I'd never done it before, and opened my heart,

Dan Thurmon
Yeah, that's great. If I can explore something you said about preparing your heart, it really was like a wild moment for me. Because I think about, you know, everybody's trying to get ready for the moment, whether it's a speech or a presentation, or the next job interview or, or serving your client or making the sale or whatever, and you do all the things or playing in a game, or you know, sport, you do everything that you think is required, you're still not ever going to be sure if it's enough, right. And you can kind of keep after it and keep after it. And then there's the other piece that is preparing your heart piece, which is, am I going to be okay to be successful in this moment? Do I feel like I've deserved it? Do I have something of value to truly give? Why does this matter to me? You know you're making a case for is, and I've experienced this in my life...sure we prepare. But in many cases, when your hearts prepared, it will compensate for maybe some gaps in like technical preparation, or by the book preparation. My question is, what happens if you do everything technically, but then you fail to prepare your heart? What do you think happens then?

Chris Bashinelli
We always have to start with a good motivation with a good intention. Intention is behind everything that we do. People can sense it, infants can sense it, animals can sense it. What's our intention when we're dealing with others, when we're dealing with our clients? I think it's a two-fold effect. There's the technical aspect. There's the preparation aspect. You're off balance on purpose. So you have the body of like Hercules. And so you do you the technical preparation is there for you. Still, your heart is just so pure. So giving. The technical aspect, and let's say the sort of inner aspect, the psychological aspect, I think they actually influence each other. Sometimes when we wake up, we don't want to exercise we don't want to work out maybe a lot of times, especially when working out in our living room, if we force ourselves to learn the technical aspect, to do the due diligence of the day to day work that we have to do to be physically technically prepared, that tends to have an influence on how we feel about ourselves. Sometimes we start from a positive feeling within, and that will inspire us to exercise or to engage in the technical aspect of preparation. But sometimes we have to just do the work. And when we do the work, we gain confidence in our ability within, I believe it was Mr. Rogers, the wonderful PBS television host, who was interviewed, and during the interview, he was asked, how long did you prepare for that program, and I'm making this up because I forget the number. But he said something like 52 years, like his whole life, his whole life, what we do on stage,

Dan Thurmon
I find that to be the simplest, the simplest thing, the most difficult thing is living a life that's in accordance with what we share on stage. That's the difficult thing. And that's, that's our work as speakers. And it's also the multiplier, isn't it? I mean, it makes everything else when you get that resonance between your life in your message when you get that right. It just takes the message to the stratosphere in terms of impact. And I think you're right; it all comes down to intention. And the audience knows on whatever level, Hey, is this guy just a messenger for a nice message? Or is he actually living it? Right? Or is she actually walking the talk and kind of filling the room with the, like, practical authenticity and social and proof that what they're teaching us is actually true?

Chris Bashinelli
We learn, I believe, very little by what people say very little. I think we learn mostly by who people are, we learn, yes, we learn by what our teachers are saying. But we mostly learn by who the teacher is themselves, what type of person are they that gives their words power? Otherwise, the words will go in one ear and out the other? Yep, sounds good. We can check off the boxes; they said all the right things. But it has no impact to move us. When somebody has done the work on themselves, the inner work, then their words have the power to move us because there's congruency, integrity. Now that's what we're aiming for. And that's a lot of work.

Dan Thurmon
That's such a powerful leadership message. You know, leaders really need to think about that and do that internal work. And in a way, I'm curious, do you think that COVID...everybody has their COVID story. We have ours and how it impacted the speaker's world, in our relationships with our clients and our families. But I think you know, that journey you talked about going within, in a lot of ways, there was this moment of truth, where everyone had to kind of experience it that almost like a forced reset, where you really had to look back and say the question, has everything I've done been working? Do I really believe what I thought I believed? What is true anymore? You know, who am I? And either you start doing the work to figure that out, or you have to distract yourself and all these ways, self-medication or abuse or, or just entertainment or whatever. You can only avoid that crack that question so long, though, right.

Chris Bashinelli
One of the things that really challenged me when I first started, I mean, I was running my company, Bridge The Gap TV, out of my parent's basement. I was 20 years old, I was editing films, I was on the phone pitching to like Ben and Jerry's ice cream and other companies trying to get sponsorships. And my mom would be like doing the laundry next to me, right. That's, I mean, that's not an exaggeration that actually happened. But one of the tools that I learned was first thing in the morning to do my most important task first thing in the morning, I think lots of entrepreneurs know that whatever is the most important thing on your list, do it first thing in the morning, do not please, for the love of everything. Do not check your cell phone first thing in the morning, unless you have to, because it puts you in that sort of reactive backfoot defensive state of mind doing the most important thing first thing in the morning. What that forced me to do is I would I would just be like sitting at my desk, Dan. And I'd be like, I don't know what, so I would just like close my eyes and just breathe. And just think about what is the most important thing that I have to do today. My point is that when we're not engaged in compulsive distractive behaviour, it creates space in our lives. And only from space can creativity be born. If we're constantly distracted? If we're constantly caught up in the noise, if we're constantly watching the news, which I do not recommend or mindless scrolling through social media. How are we ever going to know who we are, know what we have to offer to the world, and know what ideas are just beneath the surface? It's kind of like an ocean that's moving a lot. And the waters are very choppy. Meanwhile, there could be like, you know, this is a bad example. But like a gold iceberg right below the surface. It's only when we can calm our minds, like the surface of the ocean, then we can allow the beauty and that creativity to come from within. But we have to make a purposeful intention to create space in order for that to happen, I believe.

Dan Thurmon
So Chris, when you talked about closing your eyes and asking what's most important and getting clear on a question or an intention? Would you describe that as mental health? Is it accessible? Do you have to learn a specific process in order to get there? Or can anyone kind of easily do it? And if so, how would you suggest they start, then? It's

Chris Bashinelli
a great question. And I think one of the things to understand with mental health is that a path to positive mental health is available to anyone and everyone. It doesn't take a whole set of very complex techniques. We can just start exactly where we are. Where does anxiety come from? Like, for me, anxiety comes from focusing on all the things that I can control. If I continuously obsess about all the things that are outside of my control, whether or not this client is going to sign the deal, whether or not this person is going to like me who I have a crush on, whether or not it's going to rain, whether or not they're going to be waves, I will constantly be in a state of anxiety, the only thing I can control is what I bring to each of those experiences in my life, to bring my best self to each of those experiences. So when I think about something simple, like sitting down, when I'm at my desk, I'm about to start working, literally just closing my eyes. And Dan, it could be for 10 seconds, it could be for five minutes. I just breathe with my eyes closed. And I think about what is the most important thing I have to do that day. Or maybe I know what I have to do that day, maybe I have a conversation with Dan Thurman. Maybe I'm just going to sit down and breathe and think, what is the most important feeling? I want to get across to Dan in this interview? And just think about that. Or if I have a conversation with a client next week, or if I have a conversation with whoever might be coming up. Just think about what do I What, what are the questions, I have to ask this person. Or if there's a script I want to write or a video I want to record. And by doing that, all I'm doing is concentrating on one thing at a time, as opposed to sitting down at my desk, grabbing my phone, getting distracted, and not allowing those genuine, authentic answers that come from within each of us to come. But in order for those answers, in order for that creativity to arise, there just needs to be some space. And by closing our eyes, we create some space, and then the magic can happen, brother.

Dan Thurmon
Now can that space happen? Because that magic happened? Even when you're not sitting down at your desk? Like, do you create those moments of opportunity and clarity on your surfboard? Or when you're in the moment of doing something else? I know for me, physical discipline is quite often a very wonderful gateway that opens up a space for that opportunity to materialize.

Chris Bashinelli
Totally. For me, so much of what I do is about it's about being present. And that's one of the things that attracts me so much to surfing and to exercise that discipline. By being in such intense physical situations, it forces us to be present. When I think about your work off balance on purpose, I see you in some poses that if I ever tried them, I'd be in the hospital for a month. So I know that you bring intense presence, concentration, focus to what you do. When I'm on my surfboard, I know that if I'm present, I have a much better chance of catching the wave than if I'm distracted. Actually, I've been distracted on waves, and as a result, I've gotten hurt. So it's the same in our work. It's the same in our lives. And with physical discipline. That's sort of a way to, for me, get out of our head, get out of our head, get into our body and to be present. And that practice can be different for all of us every day. For someone who might be sitting down closing their eyes for another person, it might be gratitude practice for someone else, it could be throwing on an album yes, I do have a record player, listening to music, going for a walk in nature, exercising, taking those moments each day, even if it's one moment a day, to care for ourselves so that we can resource ourselves then and be there more for others and then what happens we're out there for a walk, or we're out there on our surfboard, or we're exercising We see that we're getting distracted and thinking about work. Maybe that's not our time to think about work, maybe we've made a boundary and said, You know what, I'm going to exercise for one hour every day. And during that time, I'm going to think about nothing else, then, except exercising, and then what happens, I finish exercising. Now I have more energy and creativity to bring to my office to bring to my work, we have to have the Yin to have the Yang, we have to have them off, to have them on, we have to have the space to have creativity arise.

Dan Thurmon
Yeah, and it's so great, and they come alongside each other. Because in those moments where we're out of our head, in physical activity, or exercise, quite often creating that space, even in the workout, the answer to the problem at work, or the creative idea for the next video or blog comes to you as just this clarity. And it's not because you were trying to pursue it. It was because you created the calmness of mind for it to materialize, created the calmness, and you created the space.

Chris Bashinelli
Like I think of another surfing example. I can think of standing on the shore and seeing all the waves break in front of me. And I'm trying to paddle out to get past the lineup where the waves start breaking. And I keep getting smashed back to shore, and I keep paddling out, I keep getting smashed back to shore. But there's another option. If I go back on the beach, and I look at the ocean, I look at the waves, I might see, hey, there's actually a channel 50 yards to the left, where the waves aren't breaking. And so I can just paddle out there without my hair getting wet and paddle out to the beginning of the lineup. It's the same with any problem-solving equation that we have creating some space gives us a new perspective. And the same goes with bringing in different perspectives, different people, different backgrounds, different cultures because when we bring in different perspectives, it allows us to look at that same problem from the wisdom and experience of countless other minds. And that will be more powerful than any problem-solving equation we try to solve on our own.

Dan Thurmon
You told me that this year, you've been so creative, give us a little insight into your creative process. And tell us what you're working on right now.

Chris Bashinelli
Believe it or not, then I think one of the foundations of creativity is stepping into our own self-worth. And what I mean by that is allowing ourselves to be successful; maybe we have heard stories growing up or had experiences or been let down or whatever that affects how we feel about ourselves. So we reach a certain level of success, or we reach a certain level of health, or fitness with our body or success with our clients or fill in the blank, whatever it is for you. And then we feel like alright, like that's my threshold, anything beyond that, I'm going to sabotage myself, and it's not even conscious. So that's why I think it is critical. Every day. Each of us has some sort of practice, whether it's gratitude, or prayer or meditation or breathing or going for a walk, something that centers us something that empowers us to feel good within not based on external conditions, not based on great the person I like they like me back or great this client I really wanted, I landed them not based on externals, based on ourselves based on knowing that we've brought everything we can to our lives. As you said, some days, we don't feel motivated. Some days we don't feel inspired. I think what we have to do, honestly, then we have to strike a balance between being gentle with ourselves and being disciplined. You know, if I don't get a good night's sleep, I'm not going to go and do the heaviest deadlift I can because I've done that, and then I hurt my back as a result. And then I'm out for a handful of days. So if I'm really not well-rested, I might just go and do a few practices of yoga. I might do some light exercises to know that I've done something. Consistency is key. But at the same time, we want to make sure that lazy narrative doesn't take over our minds so that we can use gentleness as an excuse for not reaching our potential. So it's that balance between Hey, am I just saying that I feel tired today? Or am I genuinely tired? Does my body need a rest? And listening to that and walking that fine line between being gentle with ourselves and being disciplined? It takes time, but I think it can produce sustainable positive results.

Dan Thurmon
Thinking of people who are gentle and disciplined. One of your heroes and personal mentors comes to mind, Dr. Jane Goodall, who is a world-renowned, of course, primatologist, an anthropologist, and just legend. I mean, I grew up seeing these movies of her With with the primates and developing relationships within the communities, and it just seemed almost like a superhero, to be able to transform as she did and to elevate her field to a level far beyond it ever was. How did you meet Jane Goodall? What was your relationship like? And how did she impact you?

Chris Bashinelli
Dr. Jane is an amazing inspiration. I feel very, very fortunate to have met her. I connected with her through my company bridged the gap TV, we made our first documentary on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, which is unfortunately still one of the poorest places in the United States of America now looking like me, or you, it's generally difficult to gain trust, filming on a reservation. Right? And that it's very, very clear why that is, I realized that if I was going to make a documentary on an Indian reservation, we needed the support from within, we needed the support of local grassroots nonprofit initiatives that were helping people without any hidden agendas. And Jane Goodall's Roots and shoots is a very, very powerful youth-led organization that inspires young people around the world. I think it's probably in more than 150 countries, right now working on everything from animal rights to human rights to saving our planet. And Jane Goodall's Roots and shoots had a community garden initiative on the reservation at the time, and I reached out to them. And over the course of several months, I got to know the local staff working in Pine Ridge, they became a part of the documentary, they invited us into the community. And Dr. Jane was a part of that process from beginning to end. And I've also gotten to speak with her several times, the United Nations and other places. For me, the most profound thing that I learned from Dr. Jane's life is that she really lives her life. For others. She's been travelling nonstop since 1986, which is the year that I was born. So since that year, but aside from now, aside from in a global pandemic, she had not been home consistently, I think for more than two to three weeks in a row for the entire year, because she was on the road, sharing what she learned. And I believe it was said in an interview, she said something along the lines of after discovering what I discovered in Gombe National Park, I had to share that with the world. It would be selfish for me not to everything that Dr. Jane gets; she gives back to the Institute. All the money she receives, almost all that it goes back to the Institute. She's not a rich woman, but she's the richest woman I know internally because she lives her life for others, all the fame, all the attributes, all the accolades, she doesn't care about it only to the extent that it can serve others. And that's an example that each of us can take. It's kind of like the more we shine our light on others. Guess what happens? It bounces back in our direction.

Dan Thurmon
No doubt about it! I want to perhaps close our time together. You've shared some wonderful thoughts about Jane Goodall, and I couldn't agree with you more just what a blessing and privilege it is for you to cross paths with her in life. And not just for a small encounter, but for a true relationship. And now we get to benefit secondhand, and our audiences get to benefit from that experience because of how you are able to articulate it and relate it to the circumstances that we face, in our lives, in our businesses, in our mental health and how we overcome adversity, and even issues of like diversity and inclusion and how we can accept each other and truly be present, and kind of get out of our own way in terms of connecting. So I want to just close with what Jane Goodall said about you, which is we all need more people like Chris in the world. We need more people like Chris in the world. That's the quote, We need more people like Chris in the world, and I agree, or I'd say it a little differently. I'd say we all would benefit from being a little bit more like Chris because that's the deal is we when we change ourselves, as you said, we change our world. We change our relationships. We change our connection. And Chris, I truly believe just our little conversation here today has truly changed some people who listened to it. And so, thank you for being a part of the CMMI speaker interview series. Great to be with you, my friend.

Chris Bashinelli
Thank you so much. Thank you to you and the whole CMI team. Thank you, brother.

Karen Harris
Wow, what a great episode. I've known and worked with Bashan Dan for many years. They are insightful, creative, and they walk their talk every day. Remember, growth is uncomfortable because you've never been here before. Keep growing!


The Growth Connection Episode 1

By Elizabeth Sande | Jan 11, 2021 | Comments Off

Welcome to The Growth Connection, a podcast to help us all look forward to this year with a growth mindset. We'll feature interviews with cmi's elite roster of experts in the areas of diversity, leadership, the future, mentorship, performance, teamwork and inspiration.

On today's episode...

GC episode 1 Copy 2 (1)

 

cmi's CEO and Super Promoter Karen Harris and keynote speaker, author and former Blue Angel Pilot John 'Gucci' Foley sit down to discuss the Glad to be Here mentality and get to one another on a deeper level.

 

Takeaways

  • Learn how John Foley got the call sign Gucci and what it was like filming the Top Gun movie.
  • Explore how the Glad To Be Here mindset can change not just your professional life but your personal life
  • How to find different and unique ways to increase communication between leaders and employees while converting to the virtual world
  • Why you have to start looking inwards to see an outright result

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Transcript

Karen
So here we are with the first edition of The Growth Connection. It's a series of interviews designed to help us all look forward to this new year with a growth mindset. I'm joined today by John "Gucci" Foley. Welcome, John!

John
Glad to be here. Such an honour.

Karen
Glad to have you here. So okay, first of all, this call sign named Gucci. Where did this thing come from?

John
Well, here's the thing with call sides. So all fighter pilots, we get called sides. But here's the key. You don't get to pick it. If you'd like it, it doesn't stick. So one day, I was with my team, and we were about to go out, and I showed up with this thin black leather tie on now that wasn't even cool in the 80s—right, Karen? Buddy looked at me they go 'What is that?' That's Gucci. Well, no fighter pilot wants Gucci. You want Hitman, Viper, Iceman, you know, something. But it didn't help us living on a sailboat and driving an alpha male at the time too. So it stuck.

Karen
oh, it's done. It's stuck. So my one of my all-time favourite movies is Top Gun. And of course, you know, Maverick, goose, they're my most favourite characters of the whole movie. So when I when, when we were talking about, you know how you got your callsign coochie? I'm thinking, Okay, so how did they choose, say Maverick or goose or whatever? So, from your perspective, it's, if you don't like it, it sticks.

John
Yeah, it's a little both. Well, you know, I actually did some of the real flying in that movie Top Gun. I'm not sure. Right, right. Yeah, yeah, that was on the carrier enterprise. And so I got to meet, Tom Cruise and Val Kilmer. And so Hollywood did a great job, by way of capturing the air to air scenes. It was incredible. You know, I did some of the flying, and my teammates did some of the flying. But I think what was really powerful was the captured the essence, a little bit of that competitiveness. And so that's what you're getting in those call sites. You know, Iceman is the far You know, right hand, you know, very cold and calculated. Mavericks, you know, kind of on edge, you know, push no limits and reality is that somewhere in between, right, but call signs, yeah, they come up in all different shapes and sizes. Hey, by the way, when this podcast comes out, I know it's coming out in 2021. We'll get to see Top Gun Maverick as it's going to be hitting the theatres probably late in the year.

Karen
I know, I'm so excited.

John
It's great. It's great flying footage, my buddies fly in, and it's incredible stuff, you're going to really like it.

Karen
oh, man, man, it was just so great. And, you know, I'm female, right? I'm a woman. However, it doesn't mean that we as women don't get excited about that sense of competition, that sense of accomplishment. So I'm very excited about that movie coming out. Okay, so I'm sitting here with a very accomplished individual, John. You're a former Blue Angel. Before that, you were an instructor pilot, a top 10 carrier pilot, plus you got a degree in mechanical engineering, and you have three master's degrees, two of which are from Stanford. So you have a thirst for knowledge for learning, for growing? Yeah. Where does that come from? Any idea where that's come from?

John
I think for me, it's always been part of my ethos. I think it came from my parents in the upbringing, you know, always trying to, to get better, right and, and do the best you can and accomplish something in a giveback way. And that's where I've got a new mantra now. It's called give, learn, grow. And I gotta be honest with you, I used to call it learn how to grow, give, and then Okay, lies that actually, the essence is to give first like we're doing right now just giving, what we can share with the audience, hopefully, being able to give them something of value, right. And so I realized that giving is first, and I do that with the course and all the engagements we have, it's just given as much as you can, but then you're continually learning. And I think that thirst is always been there and it really was strong on the Blue Angels, you know, we had an ethos of glad to be here, which means we're grateful. So we're really trying to put out this positive energy, but also an ethos of operational excellence, that allows you to get better every single day, where it's constantly trying to get better building trust building teamwork. And I think that that's always been a part of who I am. I mean, this whole zoom, this last year has been a great experience of learning and growing. And what we found is we're actually able to impact clients at even a deeper level, a more intimate level.

Karen
Yeah, yeah, you've really adopted this whole virtual space that we're in terms of finding ways to help your clients to deal with some of the disruptive pressures that they've been under all year. And it's probably not going to end into 2021. I think disruption is here to stay forever, major disruption. And so as a result, we need to find a very different unique ways to communicate with each other, and, you know, leaders with their employees, etc. So you've really been sort of one of the leaders in the space to do a great job of converting to the virtual world. Tell us a little bit about what that took for you. You know, since learning is one of your piece of your mantra, what did that take for you?

John
Well, first off, it's listening, right? It's listening to, you know, the customers and finding out what do they need, right. And if you remember, when it first happened, we weren't sure everybody was trying to have it, you know, and all that. But it became clear that people need a connection. That's why I like what you call growth connection, right? Before you can grow, you got to connect, right? And so especially virtually, with people, you know, some companies, most companies being remote, but a lot having hybrid cases, and I found it, that's what people are asking the most of how do I get my people to stay connected? How do I keep them inspired? How do I keep them not just motivated, but you know, feeling positive when there's all these challenges around us? So that was number one. But what I liked is that most clients, if that was it, that was would have been fine. But what we realized that it's not enough just to connect, we got to align everybody, we have to look at the glass as being half full, not half empty. And so how do you do that? Well, you got to paint a metaphor. And you got to connect people that, you know, these, these new tools we have that allow us to go into breakout rooms allow us to do these beautiful word clouds, allows us to do surveys allows the interaction that you know, people come out of these meetings, more inspired and more pumped up, but also with a clear action plan.

Karen
Yeah, yeah. You mentioned connect and alignment. In a recent tweet that you did, like, just a day or so ago. You talked about seeing something, seeing things from a different perspective. Yeah, which gives you greater context. And then that context gives you a greater understanding of how things connect. And then from that alignment grows. And that makes you that causes you to pay less attention to the insignificant things. Yeah, which allows you to become more strategic now. Holy, moly, there's a lot to unpack in there. I'd like us to unpack that. So I know You talk a lot about Connect, align, commit when you're presenting and with your clients, and you're doing training and advisory work. How does this what you tweeted about, you know, the different perspective gives you a greater context? Let's start there. Let's unpack that out.

John
Yeah, well, it's a, it's what you do. It's how you build trust and teamwork. And then the commitments get you whatever we're trying to achieve, right, which is taking care of our people first, taking care of the customers making a difference in people's lives. And what I learned was, there's a lot of science behind having this glad to be here a positive state of mind, it turns out, Karen, that when you're in a grateful state of mind, it lights up the area of your brain, okay, where your observations come from how you perceive the world. Now, then, also, when you're in a generous state of mind, so you're giving you're sharing with people, right? It lights up the area of your brain where self-esteem comes from. So here's what's powerful. When you connect those two dots. When you're in a grateful state of mind and a generous state of mind, you will see things others don't see. And you have the confidence to take the action. That's innovation, that's creativity, that's seeing a glass half full, not half empty. And so it's amazing. When you can get people not just, you know, myself, when you can get a whole organization to take on that mindset. It's amazing what can happen.

Karen
So gratefulness is something I've heard up for a long time, lots of us have heard about having a grateful mindset. But there's a lot of people that are probably pretty fearful, right? You know, even you know, going into 2021, there's a lot of fears. So how do you connect that dot between Oh, my gosh, how the heck can I be grateful when I'm scared? Right now I'm just scared.

John
Well, I like to make a distinction because you're absolutely right. The biggest thing challenge we have and the biggest call it an enemy out there is not the Coronavirus. It's fear. It's what you just said it's fear itself. And and so how do you overcome the fear? That, by the way, I think it is natural, it's okay to feel fear. I actually to flip it though, I say that I'm scared, but never afraid. And this is a subtle point, they that's a big difference. See to me scared is awareness. All right, it says little hairs that stand on the back of your neck. It says, Let's wear rpp equipment, let's take the precautions we're supposed to. I mean, companies are doing that they know that right? But how do you deal with the fear and in an individual's heart, right. And actually, the antidote for fear is joyful effort. Most people would have no idea that, but it's it's having a joyful effort. You watch, you will overcome that fear. And so with me, you know, whether it was flying jets off aircraft carriers, or final blazers, or more importantly, you know, what I've done after the military, you know, like I said, Business School worked with now over 1000 companies, and you get to see this at a real level, right. And what you can see is that, you know, we can show and analogies and give people the inspiration, but more importantly, the tools to overcome their own fear. And one of them is being scared. So again, what I mean by that is you don't walk down a dark alley late at night, you don't go off things, right? You're aware of it, you increase your awareness. And with that awareness, what you want to do, and what companies are asking for is alignment, right? Let's get our people aligned, because there are so many distractions out there, and there are so many things that are gonna pull us away. So if we can, we can get them connected and aligned, then what we want to do is be very strategic, and what's the commitments we want to make, and I call those high trust contracts, by the way, and those are verbal and non verbal. And with those high trust contracts, bam, you get some great operational excellence execution.

Karen
So how do you create those high trust contracts?

John
Well we do itright here in the zoom rooms, we are the breakout rooms, we do it right here in a virtual way is you get people to number one, lay it on the table, I have what I call five dynamics that create a high trust environment, Okay, first is you got to have a safe environment. And I'm not just talking physical safety, I mean, psychological safety. All right. Second, is you want to check your ego at the door, you know, I mean, we get to work with so many great people, there are so many amazing companies out there, right. And so what I've noticed is that everybody is good, let's just check our ego at the door, because this is about the we not the AI, this is about better together. So that's the second element. The third element is to lay it on the table. And that's just openness and honesty. Karen, it's you know, it's it's getting people in a room and saying, Let's be open and honest about this. The fourth is ownership mentality, I like to call it an own and and fix it, which is really accountability. You know, but when I learned and this is this was really critical, is it's not about accountability, if all you're working on is accountability, you're not a High Performance Team yet, because what you really want to have is personal responsibility. And when you have personal responsibility, accountability and ownership becomes a given. And then I think the fifth and most important one is to have a glad to be here mindset, you know, that out of respect and gratitude and gratefulness. And what I found, Karen, is that that works in every organization in every vertical, whether it's you know, healthcare, technology, manufacturing, I mean, it's about people in teams, right? And that's what's making the difference.

Karen
Yeah, I, you know, I've watched, obviously, I've watched some footage, footage of you doing a debriefing session, you call them I believe, I have a briefing session with the Blue Angels. And then I've had the honor to sit in on some of those debriefing sessions with some clients lately. And, you know, I've been thrilled to participate with you, where you were saying, hey, my safety, that was my, my error, or whatever you would say, that doesn't happen a lot. You know, in these kinds of environments when you're working with a client, so yeah, tell me what you feel that does by by saying, hey, personal responsibility, accountability, and my safety and being meaning, hey, I made a mistake, right?

John
Yeah, yeah. Or there's things we could have done better, right. Or we could have done better. And that's what we're always trying to give, right just give value. And I think the first thing is, you got to come from a humble mindset, right, that humility. So, you know, you mentioned it with clients and the debriefs are so powerful right after an event, right. And so what I've learned, Karen, is that, first, I paint the picture by showing a video. You've seen this in that briefing room. It's one thing to talk about it but it's a whole nother thing to start. See it, and you viscerally can feel it. Right. It's, it's, it's unique. And I always do a breakout with them and talk about, you know, well, how is that in your company in your relationships? Right? And and they get it, you know, people talk about those five dynamics. So then what we do is we actually implement them right after the event, I mean, right then and there, and they get to see how quickly you can, you can implement this. And it starts with an inward look for an outright result. That's why I always talk about myself, and what am I grateful for big picture. And it's such a, it's such a blessing to work with so many individuals, right, and to be able to share and give back, and then I'm always looking to improve. And I thought the way to improve is, number one, notice, is there anything you could have done better, and then just ask the client? And they'll tell you, and it's it allows us to get better for the next event.

Karen
Yeah, absolutely, for sure. And you mentioned earlier that you know, glad to be here and give learn grow are mantras of yours, right?

John
It's about better together. This is about leadership, this is about teamwork. And we are better the more diverse, the more we embrace other people's ideas, the more we learn to listen, and, and, and, and, and care about each other, then all your processes, your procedures work so much better. You reminded yourself How fortunate you were to be part of that team just to be selected. And I think of all the companies we work with, and actually it's not it's also the individuals, that's the secret sauce is just being grateful for the opportunities we have. Right? And, and that becomes the game-changer. Because when you can instill a culture of Glad to be here. And it's not just words, okay. And I think that's the essence that you're feeling is what I've noticed is it's an ethos, it's it's the way to see the world, it's about being respectful, but also about challenging each other in a beautiful way. It's about appreciating others, it's about a growth mindset, you know, glad to be here and mixed in with this operational excellence. So you got to have a plan got a process, right? And we show that when you when you combine the two, it really is exponential results. It's it's not one plus one equals two, it's one plus one equals 11. And most importantly, the people leave feeling better about not only themselves but about the world, and and the people they get to work with.

Karen
So has the Blue Angels always had that as a mantra? How long has that been? It's a cultural thing. It's something that, from what I understand is a long term cultural perspective there.

John
Yeah, when I joined the team, I, you know, you never get to sit in on a debrief. When you're an applicant. It's only when you're a Blue Angel, right? Because they're very, it's a sacred space. And I remember the first time I sat in on a debrief, I had just gotten selected, and I was blown away. Number one, just with how humble everyone was, number two, how they were constantly looking to improve what I thought was excellent, they picked apart and said, you know, we can be a lot better. But they always ended with this, just the words Glad to be here. And that's that stuck to my heart. But what I've really done is, is I've realized that I've taken in a whole new to new way of it's much more than just being grateful, all right, it's actually a culture of excellence. It's actually a culture of caring. And and this culture is what is the most important because when you have that, and you know, you can create these little small teams first, right? It doesn't have to come out. It's beautiful. And I've never seen anybody not only embrace it, but actually take it home. And people you know, they'll text me and they'll say, Hey, I used it up at the table with my kids. You know, when we when we talk about what are we grateful for today? And and what are we grateful for when we wake up? And this glad to be here is the secret sauce?

Karen
That's it. And it sounds I mean, obviously to me, it would also really help to increase performance, right? Personal my personal performance and my organization's performance, right?

John
Yeah, yeah, it's, it's the starting point. And actually, most people think that Well, after I increase performance, then I'll be happy. It's actually just the other way around. You know, once you create that gratefulness and gratitude in your heart, you watch not only your own individual performance go up, because it's natural, the energy I can create it right and but the team environment goes up the organization environment goes up and that to me is the benefit of having a process and a mindset that's called glad to here.

Karen
Now you created a foundation for at the glad to be her foundation. So kind of work has had that foundation, but doing

John
well. You know, Karen, in the last decade alone, we've been able to sponsor over I think 347 different charities around the world. We've donated over $2 million We sponsor my wife and I sponsor 47 kids. And I know you do, too, in countries all around the world. In fact, my vision and dream is the sponsor child in every country of the world, because I want us to come together, you know, but it started really, one day, I always wanted to give back and I said, Well, wait till I make a lot of money, and, and then I'll be able to give back. And that wasn't happening. You know, I finally said, hey, what the heck, just start tomorrow. And what we do now, and we've been doing this last decade is every time we get hired, it's all future revenues. I give 10% to charity. And and the clients, they usually don't know this when they select this, but there's 10% is going to go to charity. And then I realized that probably, you know, there's so many good works out there everybody is, is really caring that we give now we let the client pick where half of that goes. So that's where we've done 347 charities, because probably 300 of those have been clients, charities, and a bow impact. And when you see so many people out there, just really caring, and a lot of local stuff. I mean, because you know, it's wherever the client is, will support them. And yes, changed my life. I you know, our business took off like crazy. I don't know if that's because the business got better, or because we were giving more, I think it's a little both.

Karen
I think it's a little bit of both, but I think I'm a big believer in you give and you shall receive. I'm a big believer in that, that mantra. So, you know, Top Gun world Blue Angels rolled, it's historically very masculine. And I mentioned earlier, though, that I've really kind of identified with the Top Gun world from way back, when did that movie goodness, what is it 2530 years ago that they made that movie, whatever, a long, long time ago. So, you know, I had somebody asked me, just last week, you know, how do your ideas appeal to a more gender-diverse audience? males females?

John
What are your thoughts about that? Well, first off, thanks for bringing it up. It's it's always a challenge at first. But what what happens is, at the end of glad to be here is universal, okay? excellence is universal. It's it doesn't come from any, you know, male, female, it's not masculine or feminine. And what people find is that actually, I'm very proud of the military and the Blue Angels and what they've accomplished, since, you know, back in the 80s, and 90s, when I was there, much more diverse. I mean, if you look at it, it's amazing what the country is going through and, and how powerful that is, you know, I actually get more people standing in line to talk and say thankful there are more women than there are men, this message actually resonates more with the the women in the audience, because they realize that it's it's this caring piece, it's this idea of having both excellence with a deep compassion and a deep caring, and actually coming from a male, they're surprised a little bit. But they feel it. It's not rhetoric. Right. Right. And, and I think that that's, that's what we care about, right? It doesn't, it's about bringing the whole world together. That's why I met sponsoring a child in every country, it's, it's about better together. This is about leadership. This is about teamwork. And we are better the more diverse, the more we embrace other people's ideas, the more we learn to listen, and, and and care about each other, then all your processes, your procedures work so much better. Yeah,

Karen
I agree with you. 100% there. So, you know, this has been amazing. Thank you. I'm so grateful for the time that you spent here. One last thing, you know, if you could speak to directly to one or two people today, what do you think is the best next step for us as leaders or individual employees? Or just, you know, somebody doing whatever at home?

John
What's our next best step for this new year? Well, first, it's just embrace the change that we're seeing in the world. And what I mean by that is, I truly know that it's an optimistic timeframe out there to be aware that yes, we still have challenges, and we're going to take care of those. But I think back to my dad always said embrace challenges, because challenges, build endurance, and then endurance builds character. And with strong character, you're ready for anything. And I think that's true. as an individual, as a team and as an organization. We're building the character and the culture is making a difference. I'm super excited for 2021 I'm so grateful for all the opportunities we get, and let's continue to help others and help the world. Yeah,

Karen
I am with you. They're Glad to be here. I hope you enjoyed your time with John is glad to be here mindset has already helped me to reach new heights. Remember, embrace challenges and change. Growth is uncomfortable because you've never been there before. Keep growing.

Clint Pulver- 2021 and the To Don't List

By Clint Pulver | Jan 06, 2021 | Comments Off

2020 has been the year of the dumpster fire. I don't know about you, but I'm ready to start a new chapter. It's been crazy. It's been a wild time. I don't think ever in my life have I experienced such difficult turbulence.

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I remember when I was in flight school, and we were flying over a mountain range, and we hit some of the roughest air. I mean, massive turbulence was shaking the plane, I hit my head on the cockpit. My safety belt wasn't on tight enough. It was rough. And I remember pushing the throttle to get through the turbulence faster. I wanted to get over the mountain range. I wanted to get through everything and get to smoother air. And I was still in school, so thankfully, my instructor was with me, and he grabbed the throttle and pulled it back.

He looked at me, and he said, "You never speed up when you're in turbulence."

Every airplane has an optimum turbulence limitation. And, you know, it's like hitting a speed bump at 80 miles an hour versus eight miles an hour. There's a big difference in what that's going to do. Sometimes, when we start a new year or a new chapter, right, it's all New Year's resolutions. Its goals, expectations, and vision statements are set, and we get busy creating a lot of To-Do's. But I think there's power in slowing down.


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There's power and maintaining and setting your course and realizing that it's not always in the things that we do, but it's sometimes in the things that we don't do, where we find the greatest growth and success. Leonardo da Vinci said that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.

When the astronauts first went up into space, they found out that a ballpoint pen would not work in space. There's no gravity, so they couldn't write. So NASA and other engineers spent hundreds of hours and thousands of dollars trying to figure out how they could help astronauts write-in space. And they finally figured it out and developed this really cool pen that writes in space. But what do you think the astronauts did until they could figure that problem out? They used a pencil. Right? Simplicity is sometimes it is the ultimate sophistication.

In my years of research, and what we found is that, you know, good leaders, good entrepreneurs, business professionals, for the most part, you know what you need to do. But the great ones know what they need to stop doing. So this year, maybe you know, instead of writing the To-Do list, perhaps you write the To Don't list, and you focus on simplifying your life, focusing on the essentials.

As we do that, we realize that there's more to life than just speeding up. Sometimes the greatest thing we can do is simply slow down, especially in turbulent times. I wish you a Happy New Year, an excellent 2021 and continued success!

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Mike Rayburn- What Are You Grateful For?

By Mike Rayburn | Jan 04, 2021 | Comments Off
Virtuoso Practice #8_ Gratitude and Learning_ Thank You, 2020!!!


Many things have been said of and about 2020. What I say is, thank you. See, 2020 gave us some fantastic gifts. It taught us all what we're really made of. It showed us all how to do more with less. It taught us that it's when the going gets tough, the successful get creative.

It taught us all to be more creative, which is near and dear to my heart. It showed us all whether or not we walk our talk. And if our talk is worth walking in the first place.

More than anything, what I hope for you, and what I create with clients, is the sense that 2020 was an awesome launching pad. Now you can create a fantastic 2021 and beyond.

And if there's any way that I can partner with you in making that happen, please let me know. In the meantime, have a fantastic new year. It's going to be great!

 

Mike-Rayburn

 

Dan Thurmon Spectrum of Certainty

By Dan Thurmon | Dec 07, 2020 | Comments Off

At any moment in time, including this one, there really exists a sort of a spectrum of certainty. There are some things we're going to know for sure, absolutely. And others that are unknowable, there's a huge amount of uncertainty. And that's okay.

Dan Thurmon Spectrum of Certainty

All we ever get you to see is some certainty. So the question is, how can we operate every single day from this place of only having some certainty, and still be optimistic and confident, and joyful, and connected and fulfilled in what we do, and for in your case, to be the Great Leader, that can not only embody that for yourself, but give it to others, because you can't give away what you don't have. So here are three simple strategies that I promise you'll remember. And if you do this, you will have a better time navigating the future, and these moments.

Spectrum of Certainty

 

The first is to claim your certainties. You got to claim the certainties that you have. And you know a lot for sure. You know, who you are, you know your name, you know your past, what you love, who you love. You know, your purpose, your mission, your vision, and your incredible core values. And you know, that what you do matters so much, and your life matters, but it won't last forever. So we have to get busy living and becoming who we are at this present moment.

 

The second thing we need to do is to embrace the unknown. Right? Embrace the unknown and what that means is, you're going to be in this place, obviously, where some things you don't know. And rather than seeing the future as uncertain, I want you to think about it as unfolding. There are some things that we just don't know now. And they will be unfolded and revealed in time. Sure, we participate in making that happen. To help that happen, you can create and shape the future as you go. But imagine, for example, if you are reading a great book, or watching a fantastic movie, and for whatever reason, you couldn't enjoy yourself, unless you knew the ending in advance. It sounds crazy, right? And yet, this is how most people live their lives. So they say "when I'm dealing with only some certainty, I've got to know how this is going to work out" right? If I have a guarantee of success before I'm even willing to be comfortable, or to even start or try something new. But if you embrace the unknown, you see the future is just unfolding, and you're an active participant, and you become much more okay with that.

 

And then the third thing is to create more certainty, more certainty. And the way you do this, is you engage with the test. Now, our doctors have just told us a lot about the testing. And we know that testing has been a huge part of the psychology and the mindset and the language. And you probably have felt like you have been undergoing a test during these past few months in a new way. The question is, how do you engage with that? Is it a test coming at you? Or do you choose rather to test yourself? It's an intention.

 

Intentionality. And what you're saying really, is that in the midst of all this unknown and all that's uncertain, and things that might be going poorly or, you know, not necessarily in the direction that we wish them to go. That there is something, I can do right now at this present moment, to create a different trajectory in my life, that I know some things many things are going to be getting better in my life and in my leadership abilities and my skills.

Dan-Thurmon

 

John "Gucci" Foley - Joins cmi family

By John "Gucci" Foley | Dec 02, 2020 | Comments Off

John "Gucci" Foley is a former Lead Solo Pilot of the Blue Angels, "Top Ten Carrier Pilot," a best-selling author and an expert on high-performance teams. And we are proud to announce that he is also the newest member of the cmi family!

JOhn Foley Welcome-1

John is an expert at accelerating performance in turbulent times.

Connecting, aligning, and unifying virtual teams can be a daunting task. John’s message of trust and high-performance teamwork speaks directly to virtual teams. His unique keynote experience leaves audiences feeling inspired, energized, and “Glad to Be Here®”

As a keynote speaker, John has inspired over 1,000 organizations to increase trust, elevate execution and build a culture of excellence. He's delivered his Glad To Be Here message at over 1,000 events, to over 1 million people worldwide.

No other speaker in the world shares John's life experiences.

He has continually reinvented himself, working as an entrepreneur, venture capitalist, leadership expert, keynote speaker, and the best-selling author of Fearless Success.

John Foley's message goes above and beyond expectations. With engaging stories and electrifying videos of Blue Angel aerobatics, his presentations will give your organization a renewed spirit, purpose and energy. John’s events inspire, motivate and align teams to improve performance, strengthen teamwork, and thrive with a Glad to Be Here Mindset. 

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As the founder and CEO of CenterPoint Companies—which provides business performance training to companies worldwide—John knows first-hand how the best of the best excel and continually improve. By thoroughly studying the current climate within your workplace and reflecting on his past experiences, John Foley delivers personalized programs aligned with company culture and event goals. This detail-oriented customization will give your people the experience of a lifetime.

Inspiring Top Performing Organizations - Why Should You Hire John Foley?

  • John's process for building a culture of excellence aligns with any company striving for the top.
  • He knows how to align teams with your vision to fly in formation.
  • John's debriefing process creates a safe space for teams to trust, communicate and execute.
  • His approach inspires a disciplined dedication to teamwork.
  • John has delivered his extraordinary message at over 1 thousand events to over 1 million people.
  • He is a natural motivator with a proven record of inspiring greatness.
  • John holds 3 Masters degrees, an honorary Ph.D., and was a pilot in the movie Top Gun!

Welcome to the cmi family John!

 

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Ty Bennett - Devotion or Discipline

By Ty Bennett | Nov 16, 2020 | Comments Off

It's not enough to be busy. We're all busy. It's about being productive. We want to focus our attention on getting results. But as great as discipline is, it's not enough. 

 

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What we have to do is move to level four devotion. Now I have a lot of people say, "Ty, but discipline! That's what we're after. Discipline is great, but devotion is better. Luciano Pavarotti, the great tenor, said something really interesting. He said, "Most people think I'm disciplined. I'm not," He said, "I'm devoted. And there's a huge difference."

You see, when you're devoted, you will push through any obstacle. When you're devoted, you're not interested. You're not doing what's convenient. You're committed when you're devoted to a cause. You start to get the attention of other people, they see it in you, and they flock to you. They migrate to you. These are the kind of people that you want to be around, people who have a purpose, who are devoted. They are focused on what it is that they're going to do.

Have you been around people like this? Devotion changes everything. I had a mentor who used to say that successful entrepreneurs compress more activity into tighter timeframes at critical junctures in their business life. Have you seen that? Have you seen people who have come in and built a business quickly who have created this huge storm of activity because of their level of commitment and devotion? People seem to be magnets like magnetic people are drawn to them?

If I can attribute my success to anything, it's learning on that Russian train and being devoted to what I wanted to do. That's what allowed my brother and me to go and build the business that we made. That's what allowed me to go and speak on stages all over the world. That's what has allowed me to write and create three best-selling books. Its devotion, its commitment, its focus.

 

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Heather R Younger - Be Intentional

By Heather Younger | Oct 28, 2020 | Comments Off

Being more intentional in everything you do will give you great results. Heather R. Younger shares the top three things you can do to be more intentional about during this trying time.

 

Hello, I'm Heather R. Younger, keynote speaker and author on all things leadership, employee loyalty and engagement. Today I wanted to share just one positive message with you, which is to be more intentional.
Intentional? "What's that?" you might ask?

I don't mean intentional by sitting around in a robe and eating a jelly doughnut, and doing nothing that day. Unlike me...kidding! I don't mean that.

What I mean is to be intentional first in your mindset. And that means before you even go to sleep at night, figure out the kind of day you want the next day. And if you didn't have a great day today, make a decision in your mind that you will not have the same day the next day.

Number two, be intentional in your language. Our words mean everything. And what we say to ourselves and to those around us has a huge amount of impact. So choose to be positive to yourself. Choose to be uplifting to yourself and to others.

And lastly, be intentional in your behaviours. Set a plan for yourself for the day, maybe the night before or the day of, about what it is you want to achieve. And maybe it's not a whole bunch. Maybe it's just getting out of bed. Whatever that is for you during this time. Just be intentional.

Being intentional will make you feel like you've succeeded a lot more during this time when we're all sitting at home remotely. But know that you have the power and the strength to get through it all. But you have to first start with your mind, your language, your behaviours. Your results will all produce great things for you.

In the meantime, be intentional!

Listen to Heather's Leadership with Heart Podcast for more stories on employee engagement, loyalty, and leadership!

Book Heather for your virtual or live event today

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Tim Sanders Podcast

By Tim Sanders | Oct 26, 2020 | Comments Off

The Pandemic may have temporarily shut down live speaking engagements, but it hasn't slowed down Keynote Speaker and Author Tim Sanders from sharing his extensive knowledge of leadership effectiveness, human connection, and business performance.

The current  Vice President of Customer Insights at Upwork, Tim brings all of his life experiences and unconventional yet inspired strategies and perspectives to encourage others to reach their full potential.

One way he spreads his message is through his podcast Back to Better, brought to you by Upwork.

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Along with his co-host Gene Gates, an award-winning radio personality and podcast host, Back to Better tells the story of how companies are learning and growing through the crises of 2020. Podcast guests include leaders, authors and experts who share their perspectives on remote work, digital transformation, dealing with change and adopting the growth mindset.

In one episode, Tim converses with NASCAR's SVP of Marketing about significant changes the sports faced through 2020 and has an in-depth conversation with Blockbuster's last CEO about what went down with Netflix.

 

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Tim is also the author of five books, including the New York Times bestseller, Love is the Killer App: How to Win Business and Influence Friends. His publications have over one million copies in print with bestseller status in India, South Korea, Italy, Brazil, and Denmark.

As a strategic consulting for leading global brands, government agencies, and trade associations, he has helped individuals and organizations tackle marketing innovation, sales performance, talent management, leadership development, and organizational culture. Tim has served on advisory boards for several startups, including Goodreads' social reading website, purchased by Amazon.

Listen to Back to Better for ways you can find inspiration during one of the most challenging years on record!

Book Tim for your virtual or live event today

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The cmi Team & Breast Cancer Awareness

By Elizabeth Sande | Oct 22, 2020 | Comments Off

You’d think that writing about breasts would be easy, fun even, but these bouncy, squishy bags that hang off our chests that can sustain the life of tiny humans can also kill us.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, aka Pinktober.

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If you didn’t already know, cmi is solely owned and operated by women. We are a team of 6 intelligent, hard-working, creative and beautiful humans who happen to have mammary glands. And to support Breast Cancer Awareness, we spent some time decorating bras and learning about breast health.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women worldwide, and the second most common cancer overall. It is a leading cause of cancer death in less developed countries. The second leading cause of cancer death in American women is exceeded only by lung cancer. There were over 2 million new cases in 2018. 

unnamed (1)2020 has been a powerful reminder that our choices and actions have the power to protect or harm those around us. Taking away the taboo of speaking openly about Boobs and their health, therefore normalizing the jugs, is an essential first step.

It’s estimated that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed in their lifetime. A woman’s breast cancer risk nearly doubles if she has a first-degree relative (mother, sister, daughter) who has been diagnosed with breast cancer.

 

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Bosoms, busts, chesticles, jubblies….whatever you want to call them, don’t forget to do thorough self-exams and head for mammograms. Early detection is critical to positive outcomes.

Don’t be a statistic-The Breast is yet to come!

On a lighter note…"do you wear a Titsling or a Brassiere?"

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