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The HaBO Village Podcast

Why Leaders Need to Play the Long Game - With Guest, John Ramstead [Podcast]

Episode 167: Michael and Kathryn interview returning guest, John Ramstead, about Leadership, perseverance, and how personal core values shape your future. If you're an entrepreneur, leader, or business owner, and are asking yourself, 'What kind of life do I want to live?'...then this episode is for you!

John Ramstead third interview HV podcast

 

In This Episode You Will...

  • Discover why John recommends planning ahead 7 years in your life and work.

  • Find out what Buffalos have to do with Michael and Kathryn's stance on leadership.

  • Hear John's perspective on what it means to be 'fully alive' and how that ties into your leadership decisions.

“I want my fruit to grow on other people's trees."

- John Ramstead

 

HaBO 20 Years - Join the Celebration

References:

 

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Michael:
             Hello, and welcome to the HaBO Village Podcast. I'm Michael Redmond.


Kathryn:
             And I'm Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
             And today, we have an old friend of ours. Welcome back to the show, John Ramstead.


Kathryn:
             John, John, John. Whooo.


John:
    It's great to be here with you, my favorite buffalo soldiers.


Michael:
             Yeah.


Kathryn:
             Yeah. There's a story.


John:
   Is the HaBO community, are they looped in on the buffalo story yet?


Kathryn:
             We might have done something, but it would've been-


Michael:
             We probably should loop in anybody who hasn't been listening. And for those of you who are new, this is the third time John's been on the show because we can't find anybody else to talk to and John keeps coming back. He's very gracious.


John:
    And I'm lonely.


Michael:
             And he's lonely in Colorado. No, John's a favorite of ours. He's a good friend and a great leader.


Kathryn:
             He has his own podcast that we've been privileged to be on called Eternal Leadership. He's written books. He's an executive coach. He coaches to coaches to coach.


Michael:
             He's just somebody we love.


Kathryn:
             He's just a good guy.


Michael:
             And he's got a good haircut today. You can just picture that with this great voice of his. So quickly, the buffalo. Let him in on the buffalo story really quick, Kathryn.


Kathryn:
             So the buffalo story is this really quickly. Michael and I have a thing about understanding that if you're running a business, it's about perseverance. So we were wandering Truckee open farmer's market one day, and we kept walking past this guy who had... Well, you describe the scenario because you're so much better at it.


Michael:
             So we're in Truckee. There's this hipster, cool, hippy dude. He could be in the '60s, but he is really this millennial hipster, and he's got this cool little... What do they call those? A soul patch. He's got a soul patch, which reminds me of Gilligan from Gilligan's Island before he was Gilligan in the '60s. Very hipster. He didn't have a beret, but he should have had a beret and some bongos.


Kathryn:
             Pretty sure we can find a picture of him.


Michael:
             He had a typewriter sitting on some cases or something on the side of a street corner and a sign that said, "Poems for 10 bucks."


Kathryn:
             Yeah. He was basically your topic, your price. We kept walking by him and we're thinking, "There's no way. He's just writing silly love stuff. There's no way." And finally, by the fourth time we walked by, I said to Michael, "What if we gave him perseverance? What do you think would happen?" He goes, "I don't know, but we should try," because literally it's a $10 risk. So we said, "All right," his name was William, "Okay, William. Write us a poem about perseverance." He goes, "Oh, perseverance. I'm going to need a minute." And understand, everybody else, he wrote the poem while they were standing there.


Michael:
             This is a short version of the story, right?


Kathryn:
             Yeah. And with us, he sent us off and said, "Check back with me in a bit." So we checked back with him about three times. And the fourth time, he finally said, "Yes, I'm ready for you." I think he'd written three other poems in the meantime.


Michael:
             Ready?


Kathryn:
             So here's the poem he wrote. It says this, "Like buffalo standing strong against the coming storm, not easily swayed once the direction has been decided upon. To grow any dream from seed takes incredible devotion and ruthless perseverance to manifest. Let us be like buffalo and stay true to our path of growth and becoming."


Michael:
             Bam.


Kathryn:
             The buffalo poem, with perseverance spelled wrong.


Michael:
             And you're in a blizzard today, right, John?


John:
    It just reminds me of the pictures you see, like the big giant buffalo standing.and then you pointed out that they actually face into the wind. They don't put their backs to the wind to shelter their face. No, they turn into the wind, which I'm guessing is because they're big bulls, they have to defend the herd. You want to smell what's in the wind, not what's coming from your tail.


Michael:
             Oh, that's a good idea. Yeah. I like that. Yeah. Coming from your tail, you might not have taken a shower that day as a buffalo.


Kathryn:
             So now, everyone's looped into the buffalo story.


Michael:
             Before we got on the show, we were talking about your day and that you're going to go talk to a bunch of teenagers that are in DECA. Remind us what DECA stands for.


John:
    What is DECA? It's an organization across all these high schools. I'd have to actually look up the definition, because I don't think I actually know.


Kathryn:
             I will look it up while you talk.


John:
    You can look that up over we're talking, but what it is, it's future leaders that want to get into business, entrepreneurism, finance careers. But here's how it works. You do a lot of prep work on how to think, but you show up to the competition. You don't have a business plan. You're not pitching anything. They basically say, "Here's a problem." One of his was he and his partner, they were doing it as a pair, how would Major League Baseball grow their influence with Gen Y and Gen Z attendees? And here's their market share. It's really low and it needs to go up."


John:
    So you get thrown a problem. It's a whole different range of business, economic problems, leadership problems. And you get 20 minutes and you have to come up with a plan and then you go pitch it to a panel, and then everybody's judged and ranked. And then you come first, second, third. And then they kept advancing all the way up. They were an alternate for the state and they didn't get to go to the state thing, but they had a ball doing this. And it's a lot of fun and it challenges you and just... It's on the fly, but there's a lot of foundational skills that allow you to do well in an environment like that, which has been really neat. So I get to speak to about 100 high school, mostly seniors and some juniors, and just talk about my whole entrepreneurial journey and some of the key elements that were part of, I think, me persevering. You're also talking about... What was the last line that it was...


Kathryn:
             It was, let us be like buffalo and stay true to our path of growth and becoming.


John:
    Now, think about how much there is to unpack and just be stay true to our path. Stay true to our path. What does that mean? Do most people even say, "Hey, what is my path? Where am I going? What is the destination? Why am I even doing what I'm doing today, let alone, what does this do for me long term, other than maybe I want to make an impact loosely defined?" No, I want to live a life of impact. What does that mean?


Kathryn:
             Yeah. So this whole thing about intentional living and being purposeful and actually defining a direction. By the way, the reason you don't know what it stands for and the reason they don't have it anywhere on their website and you have to actually go to Google and type in, what does DECA stand for, is because it's Distributive Education Clubs of America. It's just not very exciting.


John:
    It was on the tip of my tongue.


Kathryn:
             Yeah. Yeah.


Michael:
             It was right there.


Kathryn:
             So that's why you don't know. That's why they just call it DECA.


Michael:
             So I was reading your bio today, because when we get a new guest, for those of you who listen to the podcast and stuff, you get bios of everybody, and sometimes you read the bio and it sounds like a canned bio and all that stuff. I like the new one. This is a new version since the last time I read something that you had. But as we're talking, the last line in your bio, I couldn't tell you what the last line in my bio is so I'm going to read it to you just in case you don't have it memorized, "I learned how to create my best life and I'm excited to help you and your team do the same." Let's talk about that. In the context of path, finding your path and staying true to your path and your best life, how did the intersect for you, John? What do you think about that at this point in your life?


John:
    Well, if anybody's heard me before, and just a quick recap, 10 years ago, I had an accident that put me in the hospital for two years. I would not be here other than there was big time divine intervention. I had my body crushed from my chest up. Now, in that as I had basically two years in the hospital and 23 surgeries to reflect on my life up to 45 years old. And for me, I was actually reading something. It was in the Bible, but there was a verse that said, "I came to give you life so that you may live it to the full."


Michael:
             Come on.


Kathryn:
             Come one.


John:
    And so I started thinking about that is like, okay, what is a full life? What is living life fully alive? And it was interesting as I was getting into coaching and I went and interviewed 10 CEOs. And I work with the whole mix, people that are really strong, I'm trying to bring my faith into the world, and people, well, that's not important at all. The interesting thing was when I was talking about, what do you want out of life? And you're talking about that path, every single person had a version of, I would like to live life more fully. I would like to live life to the full. I would like to feel more alive. I'm like, "That's really interesting." And then when I would ask you, "Well, what does that look like?"The answer, almost universal, was, "I have no idea. I just know that I do not have it and I want it. And if you can help me move toward that, dude, that would be amazing."


John:
    But then I had to start thinking, what does that look like for me? What does a life fully alive, fully activated, full of joy, regardless of external circumstances, how do you get to it where you don't care about other people's opinions because you know you're doing the right thing in the right way for the right reasons? When you're in that place of just really understanding, not who you think you are, that constructed self, but really getting in touch with who you truly are, who you are, in my opinion, created to be. For me, it was that transition of closing this gap. There was this huge gap between who I saw in the mirror with all my different paradigms that were running and limiting beliefs and lies I've told myself that I'd honestly accepted as truths about who I was.


John:
    Just as a quick example, because this held me back for a long time. I'll never forget, when I was in high school, I was the short chubby kid, wasn't very popular. It was an all boys high school. It was just alpha male dominant. And I'll never forget in my public speaking class, I was scared to death. I woke up that morning and wanted to call in sick. My mom wouldn't have nothing to do with that. And I did my speech and it was horrible. I'm stuttering, I'm stammering, I'm sick to my stomach. And I remember after that, I'll never forget his name, my teacher at the time, but he basically said, "Hey, John, I hope you choose a career where you don't have to do a lot of speaking."


Michael:
             Wow.


Kathryn:
             Wow. Thanks for that.


John:
    And I got to tell you, that stuck with me. Every time I had to do anything with group, and I got to tell you, when I was in the military and I got asked to go brief the admirals on an alpha strike we were doing into Iraq, all those same feelings from that speech came back when I had to go present to my peers, actually not just my peers, but people I cared about, they're opinion leaders. Is it true that I'm not a good public speaker? Is it true that you can't learn how to communicate? A great book for folks out there, I would recommend, the book Mindset by Carol Dweck. It was a big book breakthrough book for me.


John:
    Because that is the definition of a fixed mindset. A fixed mindset is I'm looking at things in my environment to validate what I believe to be true about me. And what our identity is, our identity is all those things in total on what we believe to be true about ourselves. And the question is, are they really true? In a fixed mindset, you're trying to identify those. In a fixed mindset that I don't want to go do that because I might fail, other people might see my weakness. What she talks about in there as a growth mindset is, I can do anything. I just can't do it yet. Failure is only one of many outcomes. My goal is to go get experience and learn so next time, I can just be a little bit gooder.


Kathryn:
             Right.


Michael:
             Yeah.


Kathryn:
             A little bit gooder.


John:
    But in that was this process, and that's what I wrote about in my book is how I started to become clear and not only who I was and what I wanted, but the kind of life I wanted to live. For me, it came down to something that I wanted to live a life of impact, so how do I define that? That I live a life so the use of my life outlives my life in the lives of others. So I think a summary of that would be, "You know what? I want my fruit to grow on other people's trees."


Michael:
             Okay. Elaborate on that a little bit for our listeners, because I love that kind of metaphor.


John:
    Okay. So let's see if I can... Fruit trees and buffalo. Let's see if we can wind them all together. No, I don't...


Michael:
             Come on. Come on.


Kathryn:
             The buffalo is going to beat the tree to a pulp, but nevermind that, just run it straight up over.


John:
    Think about this. And that's why we named the company after a lot of thought and I was looking at what I was doing and my mission in life and my purpose, and that's why the company's name is Beyond Influence. Because I was looking at the leadership, when I first became a Christian, John Maxwell, if any of you guys follow Maxwell and read his books, he was my pastor way back when. This before he got into writing books and speaking, he was a...


Kathryn:
             You knew him when he was a little guy.


Michael:
             Were you in that small church he used to talk about on the cassettes?


John:
    Yes. Skyline Wesley... Oh no, no, no, no, no. I remember stories about his first church, amazing stories.


Michael:
             Like the guys on the board that were farmers or ranchers and he learned about influence and things like that from those guys?


John:
    That's right. That was before he came out to San Diego and he was running Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego. And I think it was either Lemon Grove or El Cajon in the San Diego area. But his definition of leadership, which a lot of us have heard, is when you have a positive influence over at least one person, which makes sense. My question is there's been people in my life that have had such a profound influence on who I am in a positive way that that has influenced my marriage, my kids, businesses I've started, and they have not been active in the lives of the other people that I've been able to influence. They don't even know most of these people or never will, and that is what I call leading beyond your own influence. How do you get to a place as a person where your impact on other people is transformational, which the word transformational means permanent change.


John:
    How do I help somebody get better as a person, instead of trying dealing with my anger management or dealing with different personalities or whatever it happens to be, or just trying to be nicer or more decisive? Instead of trying to be, what if you actually moved in the place where they were? I am nicer. I am more patient. I am more engaged. I've tapped into my core strengths and I am more innovative, versus trying to be. And when you do that, what I have found is when I just make a little bit of progress in my own life, I don't have to be the guru or the expert or of have figured it all out. What if I just figure out a little win? I can go out to somebody else, have a little win. And if you just do a lot of these little wins and you just start making small progress yourself...


John:
    And so for me, I was thinking about it this morning. What are those things that I love, just where I feel fully alive? And there's a couple different areas. For me, it's creating amazing memories with family and friends and keeping the important things important. The other thing is why I got into coaching and stay in coaching because when I'm working with a client, a CEO, a man or woman, and I see them have a breakthrough, I see them do something or accomplish something they didn't think that they could, I see them handle a very difficult situation or conversation in a way that built a relationship where maybe in the past, it just caused the wedge to get bigger. And you're just part of things that you know that, you know what? Five, 10, 20 years from now, they might go, "Yeah. I remember when I worked with John." That's when I had this inflection point, because I think of the men and women in my life that did that for me. And when I think I'm in that role, those are good days.


Michael:
             Well, and one of the things that, as you're talking about, that they're fantastic days, and when you occasionally, rarely get a chance to meet somebody who their life was affected by somebody you worked with, but it wasn't somebody you worked with. Does that make sense? So it's almost like you're... Yeah.


Kathryn:
             That's the fruit growing on other people's trees maybe.


Michael:
             So we were at-


John:
    Then it shows up in your grocery store and you're like, "How cool is that?"


Michael:
             Like, "What?" We were at, I don't know, some church event. I don't know if it was a pool party or something at somebody's house. There was a bunch of people there. There's a young couple in our church that works for InterVarsity. And he's gone through from working at one university to overseeing several colleges and staff. He and I, the couples, we're all close together, but he and I meet regularly or semi-regularly when our schedules can mix and yak and talk. And we have those deep conversations about life. The sun's down and you can talk about all kinds of stuff. And we're sitting there hanging out at this pool party and all of a sudden, these younger, very young family members, toddlers and little kids running around, they're all hanging around and they all work for this guy. And I've met them, but I don't know anything about them.


Michael:
             And all of a sudden, we realized they're standing in line, in a sense, to talk to us, and we have no clue. And it was the weirdest, most rewarding moment. Because what happened out of it, because we figured it out three fourths of the way through the conversation, they were talking about things that we had shared with their leader and impacted him, and he had shared with them and impacted their leadership so they could impact students, and they wanted to talk and share about their gratitude and they wanted to share stories about how it was changing their life, what we'd shared with him. It was so surreal, so bizarre, and one of the more gratifying moments in life, because you're like, "Crap, this stuff is actually... We're actually helping people."


John:
    For the two of you and everything that you've done, how does that tie into some of your core values, that experience?


Michael:
             That's not a rhetorical question, is it?


John:
    Nope.


Michael:
             We've just switched the interview into a coaching session.


Kathryn:
             Wait a second. I see what he's doing,


Michael:
             For those of you listening, we have a joke amongst several of our coaching friends that eventually when you're friends with another coach, you look at them sometimes and you go, "Okay, stop coaching me." Okay. How does that impact our values?


John:
    How about this? That was not a place of coaching. That was a place of curiosity, because I think when we find those things that light us up, I really do, and I think this is the connecting point that's often missing, if we take the time to slow down and say, what was it about that amazing experience? When we can say, you know what? This is where I connected with my core beliefs, maybe my core values, some of those things in my mission statement, because what that allows us to do is not only replicate it, but on those really bad days.


Michael:
             Well, and I was teasing you. I think it's great. I think it's a really powerful question, because I think you're right. It does connect.


Kathryn:
             Yeah. And for me, it's an easy connect because I have this statement, even in my own personal... I have a personal value statement who I am, what I do, what I believe, that kind of stuff. And in the middle of it, it says something to the effect of, I come alive when I see somebody have breakthrough, whether that's in the conference room, whether it's in the living room, or whether it's from the pulpit, because I love to preach. That's just one of my... Do not have the fear of public speaking. I do not.


Kathryn:
             So that sense of I come alive and I know that I'm living my best life when I see someone reach breakthrough, when that moment happens. So for me, while that was more Michael's moment because he was... But that's where it connects to just the core values that we share of wanting to, again, make a difference in the lives of the people that we're caring for and coaching. And that was a fun one cause that was outside of business. So we see it in business, but that was more just in a mentoring friendship relationship. So that was really cool.


Michael:
             Well, and for me, one of the core things that I have thought more and more and more about over the years is legacy. My grandfather was incredibly profound in my life and passed away a few years ago at 97. He was just cool all the way to the end. Putting a 96 year old in your convertible Beemer and driving around town with the top down and having him just go, "It's just so smooth. The shifting is so smooth," because he was an old professional driver for a long time. But he modeled pouring out into me and the grandkids. And then what did that look like? And so one of the lessons we've been learning for a long time is to play the long game.


Michael:
             We played the short game way too much in the beginning of becoming entrepreneurs and starting our company. And learning the long game not just in years, but to think about decades and think about generations. That's one of the core things I've been thinking about probably the last 10 years. We've been talking about if we were going to really play the long game, we started a mind exercise and talking about, "Okay, how could we impact our generations, whether it's people we've worked with or our family or whatever, 100 years out?" 100 years after we die. So it might be 150 years out even. And that-


John:
    [inaudible 00:22:23] 103 years for me, but...


Michael:
             103 years for you?


Kathryn:
             Well, Michael's going to live to 104, so that's why he's saying that. He's...


John:
    You know what I love about that is when I talk to people about vision, I know there's a lot of semantics around this, but what I like to do is actually have something way out on the horizon that's actually something I can't achieve.


Kathryn:
             Yep.


Michael:
             Yeah, we do too.


Kathryn:
             Yeah.


John:
    Now, I just met a guy. He was 88 years old. I was meeting with a CEO in town, just this amazing guy. He was at a group that I spoke to. He goes, "Hey, you got to meet my mentor, but we got to do it quick because he has terminal cancer and he might have a week or two to live."


Kathryn:
             Oh, goodness.


Michael:
             And he wanted you to meet him then.


John:
    Yeah.


Michael:
             Wow.


John:
    And I met with Pete, this guy, Pete. His life was dedicated to mentoring other leaders. He has hundreds of some of the top leaders in this country that he's mentored. And do you know what he did? I did the last interview that he ever had, because literally, it was three weeks after my interview that Pete... His name is Pete Ketler, on our podcast, passed away. And every time I went to his house though, because after that, I'm like, "I want to just be around this guy." His wife and his kids and everybody's there. I'm like, "I want to give him their space. This is the end. This is basically home hospice," is what he was in. And they're like, "No, no, no, come on over man. This is what dad does. This is what grandpa does." Every time I went there, there was somebody there. Because guess what? He could mentor and equip and sew into other people up to his last breath, which he literally did.


Kathryn:
             Wow.


Michael:
             Oh yeah, that's the life I want.


Kathryn:
             Geez. That's amazing.


John:
    And then I think how do we connect that though, that 100 year goal to that short term goal, like you said, that short term thinking? What I've realized for me, this is what works for me, is I think my short term goals need long-term planning.


Michael:
             Okay. Talk that through.


John:
    So here's how I think about this. I started thinking about, I used to say, "You know what? I can't think three to five years out." I can have a long term vision, like you talked about, a generational vision, but then I can look what's in front of me because I'm an engineer and an entrepreneur and I have ADD and I got all these ideas in my head and I can focus on the next two quarters, and I can have some goals for the end of the year.


John:
    But then I was talking with a friend of mine, Dory Clark, she's the head of the business school at Duke. What she has found in her research and her work personally, and then has written about, is seven years is something people can wrap their head around. As an example, and she said personalize it. Some of those goals you have this year for beyond influence. I'm 55 years old. What do those do for you, your wife, your family, your legacy, what you're trying when you're 62? Let's say you're 62 years old. All of a sudden, I can picture myself at 62. What do you want to have happening? How does what you're trying to accomplish this year fit into what you want to have just 7 years from now?


John:
    My youngest son, who's 18, he'll be out of college and in his professional career. We have one grandson. By then, maybe we have two or three grandkids. Here's what the company... All of a sudden, it became real, and I was actually able to connect a lot of our goals that we have this year to where I want to be at 62, 7 years out. And I said, "Some of these, I don't think they really move us toward what we're really trying to create." Because I've been asked recently to join some of my client's companies on the executive team, like, "We want you to just come in. This is what we'll pay you. We'll give you equity."


John:
    I'm not saying this is right or wrong, but as I looked at where that moves us toward, hey, where do we really want to be seven years and a little bit longer my framework, it was actually a pretty easy decision even though it would've been a pretty significant pay raise in the short term. Like you said, that would've been very short term thinking. And I'm like, "You know what? I trust God." I just didn't feel like was the right path. Something else might come up where I'm like, "You know what? That makes sense."


Kathryn:
             And what's interesting is we've always said the purpose of having those longer term goals, those things that are out there that you're like, "This is where I need to be," is so that you have something to navigate towards so you can make those decisions and you can do exactly what you said, which is, "You know what? This sounds really great, but I don't think it's going to take us closer to that goal. I think it's going to steer us off track a little bit, and I want to be intent on that goal." It's really fun to hear you articulate that. Even just to put a seven year hitch on it.


Michael:
             I find the seven year interesting.


Kathryn:
             It's really interesting.


John:
    Yeah, no, I found that interesting too. But I got to tell you for mem that worked, it made it really real. You talked about Kathryn, the goal of all this work that we do, what is our vision and our mission and our purpose and why is it important? What it does, it gives us a framework so that we can create alignment for what we do today and connect the present to the future. And that is why doing that work, slowing down to do some of that visioning work, that's where you want to go. What's my purpose? And I think that's the why. Why am I willing to put in the work? Why am I willing to do? Or am I willing to do what others are not willing to do to get these results? Because when you're talking about purpose, when you're talking about perseverance, when you're talking about being resolute-


Kathryn:
             Being like a buffalo.


Michael:
             I love the word resolute.


Kathryn:
             Being like buffalo.


John:
    Yeah. It's like, how do you keep taking that step forward in the middle of the storm when, you know what? You don't feel like taking that next step. And as entrepreneurs, it's even harder for entrepreneurs because we don't have bosses.


Michael:
             Yeah.


Kathryn:
             Yeah. The accountability's not quite there.


John:
    To be honest, at the end of the day, if I came down here to my office and did nothing today, nobody's going to check in and say, "Dude, what'd you do today?" I'm like, "I'm good." Or like, "Yeah, I didn't get any of that stuff done on my task list, but I'll get to it." Or do I come down to the office and go, I get to do this versus I have to do it? Because when I do this, it moves me closer to something that's really meaningful to me and my family and how I want to be known and the legacy I want to create. If we're not clear on that, man, I have stalled out many times. I am not perfect at this by any means.


Michael:
             Well, I do think. In the midst of this entire conversation, because I think we've talked around it, but I want to say it directly so people are listening, that if you are going to really accomplish something that you want to that you're dreaming about, if you're going to find the energy to have the perseverance and the tenacity that you are going to need, it is best to find your path and not try and be on somebody else's path. What are your gifts? What are your talents? What are your skills? What's that calling you have? Because just like you were talking about, John, of, should you take those jobs on those executive teams? Or does that help you get to where you want to be in seven years? And you say, "Well, it would make more money." That would be nice, but it takes it out of being part of your path you're calling and everything. We've got to, as leaders, continue to be part of that discovering, what is our path?


Kathryn:
             Well, and I'm thinking about something you said earlier where you're interviewing 10 CEOs and they all have a similar answer, but the ultimate question of what does that look like, the answer comes back I don't know. The reason for that is because most leaders are running so fast, they're not taking the time to really do that work, to pull back and do the vision work and do the why work and engage a mentor or someone who can walk them through and really unpack some of that stuff so that it can get to the answer to what that would actually look like. Would you agree with that, John?


John:
    Yeah, I think Barna, I can't remember how they framed it, but they basically asked the question, are you living on purpose? Are you fully alive? They interviewed thousands of leaders. And I think the number of people that said, definitely yes, I'm a 10 on 10, I think it was like 7% of people, if I remember the number, but it's in that range. Think about that. Nine out of 10 people were just like myself from big part of my life and the CEOs. Here's something I think if you're listening and you're an entrepreneur, how do you figure that out? I think you have to be very careful what voice you're listening to. Because you know what? Up to my accident that I referred to, if you looked at me from the outside in, I was at the top of my career, my title, the size of my company, my house, all this stuff. Outside in, you're like, "Wow, Ramstead's crushing it." I'd never been more miserable in my life.


John:
    I call it, as I look back on it, there's just this place of smoldering discontent. And you know what? I realized was I was living, because of my constructed identity and I didn't really know the core pieces, under the tyranny of they. I was living up to how they defined success. I was showing up the way they expected me to. I was on the nonprofit boards that they thought would be good for me. I was coaching my kids' sports because they expected it, not because I wanted to just be out there with my kids coaching sports. It was this mixed thing, because I was also working 70, 80 hours a week. And what I realized was, we talked about alignment before, nothing was in alignment. I had created this life that I didn't get to participate in and I didn't know how to change it. And at the time, I didn't realize that I always had the power to completely rewrite my script. It didn't feel like that was true to me. And when I realized it was true, man, it was absolutely liberating.


Kathryn:
             Do you think you would've been able to rewrite your script if there hadn't been the accident? Do you think you would've come to that?


John:
    It would've taken something pretty major, either moving toward... I've been married now to my wife 32 years. Would we be married today because of that dynamic that was happening? I don't know. We talk about it. We don't know. That might have been a huge wake up call because that's always been really important to me. But for me, it took being basically shook at the foundations and having basically everything taken away. When you're in a hospital bed for two years and you lose all your money, cost me a lot, and your network is gone because I had to learn how to talk again and walk again and think... I had to rebuild every aspect of my life over that two year period.


Kathryn:
             Yeah. And if you want to hear that story, by the way, just look up on our podcast, the first time we interviewed you, you told us that whole story, which was pretty profound. That story is there if you want to hear it. It's pretty stunning.


Michael:
             Dude, I love you.


John:
    I love you too, man, and it's not just your hair.


Michael:
             Aw. I'm going to go away from this conversation with two real big thoughts, actually three. One, I just love seeing you and having conversations with you, John, and I really appreciate and value the time we get. Two, seven years. I'm thinking about seven years. And three, I'm just-


Kathryn:
             I'm going to go with two major thoughts. One, two, and three.


Michael:
             No, I said three. I corrected it.


Kathryn:
             Oh, did you?


Michael:
             I did. I did. And then three... Clearly, you were listening to me.


Kathryn:
             Apparently not.


Michael:
             And the third is just, I'm going to continue to ponder, this is a good reminder to come back to because we think about it and talk about a lot, but just how do I continue to think about hold in front of us this core value, but the way you described it, helping fruit on other people's tree? That's the core of who we are and what we do anyway. But what I find thinking about it and just even thinking about the idea that later on today and tomorrow I'm going to remind myself about it, it jazzes me up. It fuels me for other stuff.


Kathryn:
             Well, yeah, and I think-


John:
    Can I give something to your audience? My exercise that I bring my clients through on values?


Michael:
             Absolutely.


Kathryn:
             Yeah, definitely.


John:
    It was so core to my journey and the work I do with my clients. It's a whole chapter in my book. Just go to beyondinfluence.com/values and you can download that values chapter and it'll walk you through a process for you to actually identify your core values. And I got to tell you, most people when they do this, they're like, "I had no idea. I had all these things here that I wanted to believe were true about me that I thought I should have. When I tested it," which is part of this process, "It did not measure up. It did not hold up under scrutiny." So that really is not a core value.


John:
    And knowing your core values, like you talked about, gives you such a powerful framework on what to say yes to, what to say no to. Because remember when we say yes to something, we are saying no to something else. That needs to be a conscious thought versus just what we think is appropriate or right or pleasing someone. And when we do that and now, you're moving into a place where we are living intentionally, and that moves us closer to living fully alive.


Michael:
             Amen.


Kathryn:
             Yeah. And I think too, the other thing that occurs to me is that I don't know about you, John, but I was thinking by 55, which I also am just for about a few more minutes, but I was thinking that by 55, I'm going to know who I am. I'm going to have this thing nailed. Really, seriously, how much could you still be struggling with identity in your mid fifties? But we are in constant growth. You can make breakthrough and revelation, but then there's places to go that are deeper and more understanding and more peeling back the layers. So I feel like this pressing in and understanding who you are and the implications of that... I don't know if you're familiar with Richard Roar and his work, but it's the, what does it look like to move from the false self, which is all the things you talked about, it's all the things they want and all the things that you think you ought to be, but you don't really fit and you don't actually really like, to the true self, which is who you actually are?


Kathryn:
             And all this work and emotional intelligence talks about moving into this place of self awareness, where you're like, "Okay, I'm moving into self awareness." But the real final step or the real ongoing step isn't just awareness. It's self acceptance. This is actually who I am and I'm okay with that. I embrace that. I am no longer trying to be someone else. And for me, it just continues to be an ongoing process because I continue to discover places in myself where I'm still falling back to pleasing other people or doing things that I don't really like that. So I don't know if you think you've arrived, but I know for me in my mid fifties...


Michael:
             What a set up. So John, do you think you've arrived?


John:
    You know what? We got some work together because I arrived about a year ago. So I'm done. No more growth required, but I can help you get there.


Kathryn:
             Excellent. I'll be signing up for some sessions soon.


John:
    Here's what happens though, because I think this is natural and we can't let it frustrate. Because as soon as we learn more about ourself, we accept more and then we learn how to do the things that serve us well and manage some of the weaknesses. You know what that does? That then opens up new possibility. So it's almost like the bubble is constantly... The more we learned about ourselves and what we can do in the world, all of a sudden, what could be gets a little bit bigger. And guess what? We have to grow to meet that and grow to meet that. Things that I'm doing today, I could not have done eight years ago when I was coming out of my accident. Things I'm able to do today, the advice and counsel, I couldn't have done 10 or 15 years ago. I wasn't ready. I's all this process. It's a beautiful thing.


Kathryn:
             Yep. It is.


Michael:
             What's your takeaways from this conversation?


Kathryn:
             Well, I love that you brought up Carol Dweck, the mindset stuff. We've just recently begun talking more and more about that and how powerful it is to have a growth mindset and to not get stuck and how many people seem to be stuck. They don't think they can grow. They're not even sure they want to, and mostly the fear of the work that it will take. So I love that. I like the seven years. I'm curious about that. Because 62, I'll be there as well. It's very 10 tangible to me.


Michael:
             What are your takeaways, John?


Kathryn:
             Tatonka. Go ahead.


John:
    Yeah. Well definitely Tatonka. That poem is beautiful.


Kathryn:
             I'm going to send it to you.


John:
    I think I need to journal and think about it, that last line, that path that you've committed to. What is that path for people? I think that is such a universal question. How do I find the path? And you know what? I just had a thought. A lot of us want clarity so we can move to action. And if a buffalo is moving forward against that wind, does it know exactly where it's going? No. You know what it does? It takes action. And along that path, the clarity comes to it on where to go on how to navigate it as the herd's moving. And it's no different in my own life. And I think it's action that begets clarity.


John:
    And so don't be afraid to try things, experiment, do a low cost probe, volunteer somewhere, read a book. I think little things like that, looking at it as a place, like you talk with Carol Dweck. This is going to either help me answer a question on whether I do more of it, or this isn't an area that's a good use of who I am. And I think in that, that path doesn't require clarity and you can accomplish amazing things by just keep taking small steps forward. I think that's a good reminder for me.


Michael:
             That's good.


Kathryn:
             It is good.


Michael:
             You used the term early at the beginning, Did you say Buffalo Brigade?


Kathryn:
             No. Buffalo Brigade.


John:
    Buffalo soldiers.


Michael:
             Oh, soldiers.


Kathryn:
             Oh, soldiers. That was it.


John:
    Although that's not a good reference, because I think the soldiers came in to wipe out the buffalo.


Kathryn:
             Yeah.


Michael:
             Yeah. I have an idea.


John:
    You know what? We should have organized the buffalos into a brigade to rebel against the soldiers. They'd still be around.


Michael:
             Here's what I'm thinking. I'm thinking we may have to nuance the name, but I think today begins the Buffalo Brigade with Half a Bubble Out, Half a Bubble Out.


Kathryn:
             Oh, goodness. That's a lot of B's.


Michael:
             No, no, no, no, no. We don't have to put all the Half a Bubble Out. But do you want to be an honorary member of the Buffalo Brigade?


John:
    Dude, I'd love to be part of the Buffalo Brigade.


Michael:
             Then right now today-


John:
    Strong, resolute, and shaggy.


Michael:
             Come on. Come on. The three of us today are the first members of the Buffalo Brigade.


Kathryn:
             I like it.


Michael:
             We start today honorary members and this thing. Who knows how many people we can bring into the Buffalo Brigade.


Kathryn:
             I don't know. John, it has been delightful super as always to have you.


Michael:
             You have a great day. Enjoy talking to those kids. I just pray a blessing on that and some real cool revelation would come out of that and a lot of fun.


John:
    Well, thank you. And you know what? I so enjoyed talking to the two of you guys. This is exactly what I need to get in that head space to go serve those kids. This was just a divine appointment prior to my speech this afternoon. I so appreciate both of you.


Kathryn:
             Yeah.


Michael:
             You, my friend, take care and we will talk soon.


John:
    All right. Adios.


Michael:
             Adios.


John:
    All right. See you guys.


Kathryn:
             Bye.


Michael:
             This is Michael Redman.


Kathryn:
             This is Kathryn Redman.


Michael:
             And this has been the HaBO Village Podcast. Thank you for joining us today. We hope you have a great week. We hope that you find your true path of becoming and we look forward to talking to you next time.


Kathryn:
             Take care.


Michael:
             Bye-bye.