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  • Writer's pictureEarl Breon

006 - Command Ready W/ Col. Garth Massey

In this episode, I speak with Col. Garth Massey about getting your team Command Ready.


Earl Breon 0:09

Well, everyone and welcome to this episode of the burden of command podcast. Today's guest is Colonel Garth Massey. He's a 23 year veteran of the United States Marine Corps, and chief leadership Officer of command. Ready, Colonel, thanks for joining us today.

Col. Massey 0:27

Pleasure. Glad to be here.

Earl Breon 0:28

Yeah. So, so the first question I asked all my guests pretty standard at this time for the listeners is, what is the term burden of command mean to you,

Col. Massey 0:40

but can mean a lot of things. We call it the mantle of command, sometimes, almost jokingly in the Marine Corps. But I think collectively, it's, it's the things you need to do personally in your life or professionally for your, your career or your team, that require you to not focus on yourself, but focus on achieving other things. And whether that means helping other people, or sacrificing so that you can advance your business or your your fitness routine, or whatever it is, it's the idea that you can deny your own self interest for anything, pleasure, rest, sleep, food, all the other little things that we think of as like comfort items, and in that denial, you can create other things with that same energy that same time. But the problem is that it's hard. I mean, it's it's discipline, burden of command is really recognizing that self discipline is more important than self gratification, or self recognition, or all the things that, you know, are popular now in society, where we, we want to talk about passion and happiness. And, you know, it's, it's kind of the, the ability to set those things aside.

Earl Breon 1:58

Well, yeah, and you said things there, you know, getting some green myself that ring true, I love the talking about self sacrifice. And, you know, I mean, that's kind of the foundation really, of, of the United States Marine Corps and our history of leadership is, is kind of shared suffering and shared sacrifice for one another. Would you agree with that?

Col. Massey 2:19

Do and I mean, it's, you know, now you talk culture and history of warfare. I mean, every military, you know, to be successful requires a degree of, of shared sacrifice and suffering. And in that we build camaraderie, and a tight knit community, and a closeness that is hard to replicate other places. You know, there's that, that shared sense of service among veterans, throughout history across different militaries. And they'll do it a little bit differently. But yeah, I mean, think about boot camp, you know, or or OCS, or basic training, or whatever you went through, you know, the word AI is taken out of a lot of your communication. And everything is this candidate, or, you know, this recruit or, or we kind of thing and what they're trying to do is they're trying to make you see and understand that, you know, the special flower that you were growing up is, is not helping the larger organization and won't get you to mission accomplishment. And if you're going to be part of a team or part of an organization, you have to understand where the line is between individualism and sort of mission success. And it's not to say, like, individuals can't be successful, it's to say that you have to be willing to forego something to get other things.

Earl Breon 3:34

Right. Exactly. Exactly. And that's it and again, I love having this conversation because my past few guests have been Air Force colonels and Lieutenant Colonel's and, and you know, they there's a lot that goes on with Air Force leadership, that translates, but as a Marine, we've got that kind of bond going. And we see this a lot of the same way. So I like what you're saying, especially about boot camp, and taking that individualization out and being more of a team more of a tooth on the cog then trying to be the cog. Now, with your organization, command ready, you know, we kind of are in the same space as what we do and leadership failings, how have you how have you had that translate into the corporate world with with the egos that are at play out there? You know, that's, that's the whole purpose. What you were just talking about is kind of getting an ego suppressed. It's a little harder to do in a corporate world when you can't just put somebody that sandpit for 20 minutes.

Col. Massey 4:32

Putting you in a sandpit doesn't suppress your ego, it just tires you out, which makes you more willing to listen. There's there's no greater way to close off someone years than haven't been arrested. But you know, we in the Marine Corps, we wear him out first and then you talk to him, right? I would tell you that I mean, command ready we we we do corporate leadership training, but it's really based on like simple principles. They believe in the idea that fluency is what makes us better like it's the daily rapid tissue in the maintenance of basic principles, your character, your traits, you're now the blocking and tackling of leadership that gets you through. And we're not teaching that lots of places, we do individualism really well, you know, we get good grades in school, you take a good test, you get a good SAP or whatever, you know, you get into a good college, you get a good resume, get the job, you get promoted, like everything is individual individual all the way through. And then you get into a leadership role, or you take on the burden of command to do something, and suddenly, you're called upon, you know, to sacrifice self over over, you're a larger good, or larger group at least. And that's hard, because it takes a decision to change your behavior. But then we run into this problem, there's, there hasn't been anyone teaching you how to decide to focus on a bigger, bigger picture. I mean, there's, there's platitudes to it. And maybe you joined a sports team, and they talked about teamwork. But even in talking about teamwork, like we're still measured by our individual performance. So you know, if you're the fastest runner, that is jumper, whatever you might be on a team, but that individual performance is still celebrated, there's still one MVP. So when you get into a real leadership position, where it's not about you, if you're doing it right, and you really want the organization to succeed, you have to make a decision to remove things from your life that, you know, feed into, to you. And you have to be willing to use those choices to develop your humility and humility, will allow you to start focusing on, you know, the next level of leadership to actually transition most people. You know, they're they're individually excellent, and they're admirable, and they do great stuff. And then when they get to that leadership position, they're individually excellent at at Mach 10. So they do more of individual and then people just try and keep up. And it's called PACE setting. And it's very, very common leadership trade. And the idea is, I work harder than you. And I'll grind you to the ground, because I can show up earlier, I can work longer, I can produce more. And we're all in this this race, you know, and that's the, you know, the old rat race thing. But like decision, the root word of decision side, right is to cut in Latin. And when you cut things away, that means that something is gone, and you have to make a decision, you have to decide to cut away the things in your life that led to you being self serving, and grow into a leadership role where your focus becomes Alright, how do I take every success, every failure, you know, every opportunity to develop the system around me. And that doesn't mean, you know, everybody makes it in leaders have to make a decision to cut away the people who are bringing the culture down or bringing the organization down. I mean, if you're running a company, and you have people that when you tell them to do things, they don't do things like that's part of that burden is you have to make a decision to remove people. And those decisions have consequences. I mean, you know, that you're going to affect lives and families in all your choices when you're in charge. And you're there you take risk, it's inherent in the role, and you have to be willing to accept that. But I think that to be able to accept that means first you got to come to grips with your own humility, and recognize that, hey, you know, I'm gonna, I'm gonna try and make the omelet, right. And I know that that means breaking eggs, you know, and you have to realize what your comfort level is, for taking that on, like, a lot of people want to be in charge, but they don't wanna make any tough decisions. So, you know, when they, when they get there, and then that first tough decision hits him in the face, they just try and be everybody's friend. And so now you have someone who's pacesetting, you know, they're, they do the most situps, the most pull ups, but then they're trying to make everybody their friends. So they run around, and they gossip or they, they try and joke with the people or they try and, you know, whenever and it's false, and we all kind of see through it. And that leads to problems. So I like, you know, the concept of decision or deciding as being a recognition that you have to cut some things away from your life, and take other choices or take other paths that remove options for you. And in some of those in the burden of command. And you know, if you want to do it well, some of the things you have to remove are the self serving things.

Earl Breon 9:21

Well, and I liked that you tied all that in together because as you were talking about the deciding pay setting in your last comments there. We run into that a lot and the person who can run faster the person who can make the most sales the person who can do whatever your your organization's success metric is the person who do that, to best is seen as invaluable. The problem comes like you said, when that person starts causing problems and you're not willing to get rid of that for the good of the culture. You know what the problem with that Pace Setter is is they can be one of your most valuable assets if you can get them to bring everybody up with them. The danger is what how happens when that's the person that everybody looks to? And then they're no longer there. Right?

Col. Massey 10:07

So I, you know, I get what you're saying, and you're right. I mean, you have individuals who are rock stars, but I've worked in companies where the number one sales guy was abusive to the client service engineering and support teams. And at one point, the company in a very mature way made a decision and they, they cut him, you know, they're like, We can't continue regardless of the revenue you're bringing in, you're ruining, you know, 20 other people. And we're constantly out rehiring, and finding new people and retraining and we lose productivity time, because you walk into the customer service office and your customer and you're swearing and you're yelling at people and like, people go home crying, and they file HR reports. And, and it took a while. But they made that choice. And I'm not suggesting that the pacesetters in any way or, or not great and wonderful people but but when you recognize somebody who is a problem, or who is a cancer or who is because it's not just it's not just revenue, right? Like we look at our best salespeople and go, Oh, they they sold a lot, they bring in a ton of money, well, that's great. But how do they affect the culture of the organization? Do they fit in the mission profile, you know, are the having a great sniper, is awesome if you're in a place where snipers are useful. But if you're not fighting a fight, where you're you're slinging rounds, in that way, than having a great sniper isn't helping you out, right? So again, back to decisions, like bring the right tools. And the right tools can be people, personalities, traits, and you can't have an organization that's all participatory either. Like if everybody shows up and wants to have a vote every day, what you have is government. And I mean, I say that jokingly, but, you know, bureaucratic organizations are designed so that everyone can say no, very few people can say yes. And we spend, you know, all your time in committee or in meetings, or, you know, so there's a balance, but I don't think we're taught, you know, there are lots of levels of leadership and styles that you can embrace. And your job as you grow and develop is to try them on, test them out, and then use them, you know, where it makes sense. And when you're young, a paste it away, like go, you know, if you're brand new to a job, I want to see your work and I want to you know, see that you can fight in the cold and the hot and the dark and the you know everything out and you know, you show up to a range or patrol with a bunch of young brand new Marines, you want them working hard and hustling. And, you know, joke around and say, you know, it's a lot of yelling, like you want everybody making noise. Right. And that's how we look and we got leadership and they're out there training. And that's, you have to have that. But when you pull your senior staff NCOs, or your your junior officers or mid level officers decide you want to see him come from the yachting and then be able to take a deep breath and then stand in front of a map board and really think through right and, and spend time thinking at a different or a higher level. And you only get that when you've done all the yachting and the running around, and then you get a chance to like see how it's constructed. And then you get a sense to see how it's designed. And what you're really doing. Right is you're trying to you're trying to balance two systems, your imagination, and then just systems in general, right. So systems are like, how we sense things or how we build out options. And imagination is how we expand our perspective. Right? And as you grow in leadership, because you don't get this right out of the gates. But as you grow, you have to keep in mind that part of your job is to develop better systems, right? Create options, build your sensing tools, better optimize your stuff. But then your other half is you got to focus on how to develop your imagination. Are you thinking new ideas? Are you Are you challenging your preconceived biases are you You know expanding or able to open your perspective so that you can bring change and growth and development to your organization and with and without both halves, right, that the working half and the thinking half like it without those two halves. It's difficult to make the transition and you can be in a leadership role. But that's where you're the pacesetter. If you really want to, like just take an organization to the next level, you have to play with both those tools.

Earl Breon 14:17

Right? No, absolutely. And again, just to clarify for for listeners, you know, pay setting is fantastic. You want those people my, I guess what I was getting at is when you just let that in, you alluded to it there, actually you actually said it. When you let that pacesetter control everything else that becomes toxic. You have to be able to reel them in and keep the culture for the good of everyone. You can't sacrifice the 90% for the 10% being the pace setters and

Col. Massey 14:48

hey look if you're gonna be an Olympic sprinter, or you know wrestler or power lifter or whatever, if you're going to compete at the highest levels, be a pacesetter. That's right tastic but the day you decide you're are competing anymore and you want to coach? You guys, you got to add more stuff to your toolbox. Yeah. You start with Vernon command. So part of the burden of command is recognizing, okay, when is it time for me to learn some new skills, and practice and study and challenge? What I believe and try something new. And that that's tough.

Earl Breon 15:22

Right? Well, and I know so, I know you're a fan of history and and and you're one of the stories that I like to share that kind of exemplifies that is the Battle of Thermopylae. And a lot of people are familiar that from the movie 300, which was a gross dramatization, but still a good flick,

Col. Massey 15:40

high school football game.

Earl Breon 15:43

But there's a scene in there that a lot of people miss. And you know, as best I can tell, doing research, this is actually how it happened. But when they're talking about building the wall for the choke point, and King Leonidas, he consults his his captains, and they talk and he's just sitting there, he's listen to the talk, talk, talk, talk. And he gets up after a few minutes. And he just picks up a rock, and he goes over and set it down. And then the captains notice this, and he goes back, he picks up another rock and sets it down. And then it clicks. And they command everybody to go start building the wall. This was it. He said it he didn't say a word, he listened to their counsel. And he goes, and he sets the wall down and or sets the rock down, start building the wall. And it was like leadership by example.

Col. Massey 16:32

Well, sort of, I mean, he was looking for input. And what they were trying to figure out is, where should the wall be? Should it be up front towards the edge, you know, should be way back to draw them into the choke point, like they were they were debating the tactics of it. And what he realized is that, you know, they could debate participant, like I said, participatory, right. They could debate endlessly, because we never get 100% correct solution to anything. Like, there is no absolute and if you do figure out the absolute, what does it tell you in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, you know, if you, if you if you waited long enough to get the perfect answer to the problem, the questions change. And, and so you're right, what he did is he realized there's a an acronym I love, it's called act, and it stands for action changes things. So at some point, he had enough input as a leader to say, okay, you know, I hear the value of doing it this way and doing it that way. But at the end of the day, I gotta pick up a rocket and just get started. And, and he made a choice, right? Whether the funny thing is in the story, they don't say, you know, oh, here was his decision matrix is I figured it out. This is how you can figure out the exact depth of the wall. He just started moving. And everyone Yeah, whatever. It's good enough. You know, marines call it what the 70% solution, right? Yep. If you have 70% of the solution, get started. And then use that momentum to carry you forward. And I know, people who, like academics can say, well, 7% c minus, okay, great, call it the 80% solution, but, but recognize that at some point, you got to get a strap on and get going, right, you got to load your gear up, you put your kit together and start just start. And that action will change outcomes. You know, sitting around and thinking about it is is good. But that's where there's two parts imagination and building out of the systems. You have to be willing to engage both.

Earl Breon 18:21

Right? No. 100% And that's again, why like you said earlier kind of the basics, right? Because you can send your you can overthink it. I mean, you just overthinking overthinking, overthink it but if you never do anything, or he let me back up a second, if you do come to that, quote, perfect plan. As soon as you start acting, what happens? The battlefield changes, like you said, whatever your goal is, kind of moves on you and you have to adapt on the fly anyways. And

Col. Massey 18:48

that's not to say this doesn't give you a pass for planning, like planning is still important, right? But, but it's a recognition that no amount of planning will ever solve everything like in, you know, what a patent say, right? It's not the plan that matters. It's the planning. It's your ability to see your situation for what it really is that perspective, right? And understand the actual problem. A lot of people are building plans for things that don't really know what the problem is, you know, there's a general sense of uneasiness or unhappiness like, you know, I got a job and I like my job. If I was running a sandwich store, I'd be happier. And they sit and daydream about all the time, but they don't actually start the planning. If you sat down and figured out how much money do you need to live? Where could you put a sandwich shop? What does it take to run a sandwich shop? He did a little bit of research like those trigger items will get you started. But these were like my so my personal belief. I love continuous learning. I think we should all be reading I think we should be writing I think we should do all this stuff all the time. But people if given eternity, wouldn't do anything. Because you could always start tomorrow, right like January one gets a lot of props because everybody writes down all these great goals are going to do but their goals for a year. So by Jan We're a fourth, we're done, we've we've discarded them, we were off the program, right, we have to bring the horizon closer and recognize how our brains work and how society works and just be willing to make smaller micro goals and challenges and systems to support it. You know, if you want to change the way your fitness is you sign up for, you know, one of those 90 day challenges, or the 75 challenge or the you know, whatever. But you pick something with discernible limits, where you know, I'm going to knuckle down and just do this for a short period of time. Right. And we've got, like, you mentioned, command ready, we've got a virtual training platform. And it's a 21 day challenge for three weeks you log in, you watch one video, and you get one homework assignment. And the goal is, every single day, you put 15 minutes, you know, into your own life into investing. And what I found is that people will do that, especially if they go into it with their co workers or friends, and stick to it for 21 days. But if you do anything for three weeks, it changes how you see and perceive the world. So the outcomes are fantastic. Like we, I used to run a youth development program, our physical fitness development, it was a 12 week training camp for youth. And it was designed around youth, kinesiology. And so athletic stuff that made, you know, growing bodies stronger without breaking them was kind of the goal. And it was a sucker's bet, we could guarantee that if a kid showed up, and did you know this, this program, that they would jump higher, run faster, and do more, and it didn't matter where they were starting from, because it's 16, if you stare at weights every day, you know, for that period of time, you're gonna get stronger, that's just, you know, their bodies are growing. And if you can stare at it just a little bit more brains are the same way. If you challenge yourself to do something for a period of time and be consistent at it, you will get better. But what we do is we say I want to be rich someday. That's not action. You know, I want to be happy. Well, that's not action, right? Action is saying, Okay, I can't be happy, but I can change this aspect of my life. And now we're back to what we started with. It's a decision, you cut away the other choices to do the thing that you've committed to. And you you, you learn humility, and you learn character, you know, by making discipline to choices about what you're going to do with your behavior, and it doesn't mean it'd be perfect every day. You know, I can't tell you that, you know, I wake up every morning and, you know, eat one raw egg and do 400 Push ups, and then do six hours of Brazilian jujitsu. And you know, I don't do all that. But I do have a routine. And I do have ways that I start my day that ensure I'm off to a good start. And I am committed to, you know, reading and I'm committed to writing and I'm committed to my business. And so you build that routine, I'm not here to preach exactly how that works. But you know, throughout the human history, examples of people who denied self took on the burden of command, like you call it, you know, and allow that to develop their character and develop their humility. Those are the people we look at. Those are the stories we study. Those are the biographies, we remember, you know, and the person that every year said, Well, this year, I'm gonna do better. Okay. That's not a decision, that's an ambition and not use. But you know, what did they say Talk is cheap. Right?

Earl Breon 23:24

Right. Well, you know, and you said something else there that I agree completely with is the, you know, the continuing education, but you got to put in action. And I can't tell you how many times I've walked into a manager's office that wants to be a really good leader. And I look around their office, and they've got bookshelves full of they get every John Maxwell book, they get every Simon Sinek book. And I asked him, What's going on here? You know, you've got a PhD level understanding here of leadership, where's the disconnect? Well, you know, I'm gonna do this. I'm reading another book right now. And they they're constantly reading another book, and never taken time to put it in action, or worse. When they do put it in action. It's just a word for word regurgitation of quotes and, and isms. And you mentioned earlier that that comes across disingenuous when we people see right through them.

Col. Massey 24:20

There's a huge difference because one of my pet peeves is we, we look for things that help us mask the fact that we're not willing to take action. And academics is great, but there's a big difference between a degree and being a continuous learner. I mean, you can graduate high school, go to college, go get a master's degree, great. You're on 1820 years of school, right? And that's fantastic. But at some point, when you find the graduate, then you gotta go get a job, and you have to actually apply all that theory and get it into action. But what happens is people will do their four year college to go get a job and four years of higher education, if you want to call it that are supposed to carry them for their whole career which by the way, you Used to be a 20 year career. But what is it now, like 35, four years are expected to work. I mean, we're going to be working towards 6570, you think that four years of learning, when you were 2022, like that, that's going to carry you for 40 years of the world changing, and people evolving and ideas shifting and biases? No way. So don't use education as a crutch. You know, that just everyone being enrolled in an online university isn't going to make our society better, right, like, but an understanding that we can constantly be developing or growing or shaping ourselves and being willing to expose ideas. Cool, yeah, make that part of your thing, but but your learning, you know, is something that you do to then apply action later. And so if you're buried in the books, and you're always like, Well, when I read the next one, I love to play the same game, you go in someone's room, look at the titles, and you know, we are groupthink a lot. I mean, all most of the titles in most people's offices are exactly the same. And the great books, read them cool. But read them with a thought to application. And if you can't figure out the application, the idea for application that comes out of the book, you know, then reading it, I mean, you might as well read a fiction novel, because then at least you're working on imagination, right? Like, you start reading, and you're getting new ideas. But everything what's the there's a Kirkpatrick method, it's a four levels of training and development, right? And the the bottom level is entertainment, that's where most frequent fiction lives, then there's knowledge. Okay, cool, I got some new data. And then level three is application, if you can't get out of knowledge and application, you're missing part of it. And those books all have that level of application. But we typically don't take that we take the idea, we catalog it and go, Oh, well, when I win the lottery, you know, and there's always a trigger of, I need this one. Next thing to make me better. Now I don't, you need to start, build your support system, set up a set up a challenge there, or whatever it takes to get you off the couch. You know, change something about your life. Right? And then in that process of change, you're going to develop new habits. And you will be different when you wake up and you're you're at the next level, and then figure out how do I do this? Again? Like, okay, what's the next challenge? What's the next thing I can take on? But all of them have to be grounded in application?

Earl Breon 27:23

Exactly, no. And again, that's why I like to use the word basics earlier. And I think that's where the Marine Corps does a masterful job. And I know the army does as well, my business partners is from the army, and they were taught those leadership behaviors, or those leadership principles that are kind of that I'll always call it leadership one on one. And that's where we found a lot of our success is, is really given people the basics. And it's amazing to me, you know, we talk about things like knowing your team and looking out for their welfare, and why that's important. You start seeing those light bulbs go off because they they've read about this and other books, but they didn't understand what was going on. Because they kind of jumped in to that master's PhD level of education. But they didn't build their foundation, they didn't really understand the human interaction. Because, you know, my theory and this is this is really my theory is we've really overcomplicated leadership. We know what we want to see out of leaders. We know how we want to be treated, we know how we want to be led. And we know what that successful leadership looks like. We just think that it has to be more complicated than it is.

Col. Massey 28:41

For sure. Because we put on this mask of leadership like the sirens call, right. Like if you think of a famous American, like leader hero, you look at your money and see the faces you look at the you know, the mountains, like who the school is named after the streets named after the parks named after the statues built for. And we have this sirens call that a leader has to be somebody with you know, their foot up on the bow of the ship or on a rock and the sword John pointed at the North Star and you know, they're following that passion and vision that we just imagine was magically given to them. But no, that's not leadership. Like that's that that false cry of the sirens on the shoreline calling out to the sailors, you know, and you come over here and we'll give you everything you ever wanted. But if you follow that if you if you think you have to have the coolest pants and you know the best sunglasses to be a leader. Oh, great. You know, there are a lot of people online here who put pictures of you know, their garage with their three Lamborghinis and they're like, fallen maxeke feet and you know, YouTube can be a multimillionaire and okay, maybe it's not a lie. Maybe it worked for them, you know, but you could also buy a lotto ticket, and maybe win that, like, you know, I think you're better off recognizing the things you can do in your own life to build discipline. and focusing on how can I grow? And if you're, if you're taking those two, because we're not talking about, you know how to be the best human being on the planet, we're talking about to be the best you on the planet, right? I mean, and I'm not saying think small, think big, that's great to do big things. But recognize that it starts with, you know, sort of self mastery, right? Know yourself, seek self improvement. So are you doing things that make you better every day, and if you're not, pick a program and start it. And when you finish that one, pick another program and start it and then do the maintenance, be willing to invest? You know, and I don't mean, this is like a pitch for the command or anything, in any program, like pick something that challenges you, you have your whole life, you're not going to just do one thing for the rest of your life. I think Nina, maybe the philosophy of, of self development, but, but you get better by challenging yourself to achieve things. And then taking whatever you learn from that process, and applying it to how you you run and lead every day. You know, the things I've learned, like, you know, I can take a, you know, do do your best routine kind of thing, and I'm gonna pick the nuggets that worked for me, apply him, do them until I do them as a habit, or you know, 80% of the time without thinking about it. And then I find new stuff, you know, and whether it starts with, Hey, I should probably drink more water, okay, drink more water until you do it as a habit, and you don't think about it anymore. And then when you're doing your eight glasses, or whatever it is a day, cool. Now pick something else, and then work towards that. But always be willing to set a goal and make a decision to cut away things in your life that are holding you back, right and then advance yourself to that next level. And the burden of command is not only doing that for yourself, but figuring out how to shape an environment to do it for other people. And it's hard. And there. There's tons of examples, but very few examples with understanding built in because a lot of people have been totally successful and, and had had wonderful runs and good lives. And the stories in the biographies are not all true. And they leave out some of the dirt and the grit and the building that it takes to really make something exceptional. So just recognize you're going to have to go and through that and participate and, and be engaged in your own life in a very, very real gritty way. But the outcome is you'll know yourself. Seek self improvement, you will get better.

Earl Breon 32:31

Right? No and a lot of wisdom there. And, you know, we were talking about the statues and all that it was, it was something I've found myself talking about this a lot lately. And I don't know why but people have been talking about monuments and stuff. Maybe that's it. But I never realized exactly how Socratic my my grandfather was, until recently. And there was a saying he always he would always say whenever we would see a monument or statue or something like that. He would look at me and he'd be like, son, he goes, When I die. I'd rather have people running around asking why they didn't build monument in my honor than asking why they did. And I think I like that there. You know, because we do we have these icons that we hold up. I mean, some of them go back in history, you know, we still think about George Washington's and Abraham Lincoln's and all those individuals. But now we've got you know, moderns again, you know, the John Maxwell's assignments and things like that what they do is fantastic. But you're not them, you can't be them. And if you try to lead the way they do, if you try to implement the things they do their way, it's not going to work, you got to figure out what those nuggets are that they're sharing, and how that applies to you and your leadership style and how you can employ it. I mean, I'm sure you would agree with me. People come to your courses, you don't want them to go out and do things the way you did them. That's not no learning. And

Col. Massey 33:59

there's too many programs like that. They say, here's the absolute, here's the silver bullet. If you lead like I did, you can be me. And, you know, again, we need aspirational goals, we got to shoot for things that's important. I think you mentioned Simon Sinek and he talks about his his golden circle, and in the center of it is why but really, that's the visionary style of leadership and, and a lot of his stuff references the military, and particularly the Marines and what he's talking about is Commander's Intent. It's being able to say My desire is then fill in the blank. And then the second question, which is in order to like why is it you want to do that my desire is to have a big shiny house, okay, in order to what you know, and if you can answer both questions my desire is and in order to, you have what we call commander's intent or what the business world they talk about as why but what you have is a vision and that's a style of leadership that you form and shape around your needs your development and in anybody listening to this show could could be more exceptional and could grow and development could change. But it would be naive to say, you have to become the taekwondo champion of the Ukraine in order to really achieve success, because the answer is no you don't, you just got to be the best version of what, what you want. And until you can say My desire is in order to and then fill in those blanks. That vision might not be clear enough to act on. And so then we just spend our time, you know, spinning the wheels looking for a silver bullet. But no one else is going to be able to give that to you until you can articulate your desire. I mean, if you want to play a simple game, it's you hop in a time machine, and you go 12 months into the future. And you know, there's Earl of the future, and he's high fiving people and saying, Man, we did it, like, I feel really good about this. And I'm not just saying it's awesome. Like, this is something I truly achieved that I'm proud of, what would that thing be? And, and until you can start to answer those questions, you know, part of what you do is just spinning your wheels. So if you want to, you want to take your game up, you start with that Commander's Intent, My desire is in order to, and then once you answer those, then get to action. All right, if that's my desire, and that's my in order to, okay, what do I need to do. And by the way, as you start breaking this down, what you're really doing is you're looking at the planning process. And all the pieces are there. And this is nothing, none of this is new. You know, and once you start filling in the planning process, that's where you get back to what we talked about, which is, it really is the planning, it's not having the planet's going through these steps. And understanding your your commander's intent and understanding how you move forward and, and then surrounding yourself with people who are willing to hold you accountable, and to challenge you. And that takes humility, because we don't like being held accountable. We don't like being challenged, like, everybody wants it to be 72 degrees and sunny. Right, and that's not making you better. 72 degrees. And Sunny, is homeostasis, like we're just chillin, and that's good for a time. But if you want to grow, you want to start your thing, you want to launch your next whatever. Okay, you're gonna have to get uncomfortable.

Earl Breon 37:09

Yeah, and again, that would be uncomfortable being uncomfortable is critical. And, and again, I like what you're saying here? Because it's that's one of the things that I find that that is the trickiest question. When you, when when you're talking to a new leader is what does success look like to you. And inevitably, you're going to hear some corporate speak some, some goal, you know, some metrics that have come from on high, you know, what is success, define success for you. And be realistic about what success is, you know, because sometimes, sometimes goals are set so low that everybody can succeed is that really success, then sometimes goals are set so high that nobody can meet them. And if you fail at that, then you just brought down the morale of everybody, because you, nobody gets a boost out of failure.

Col. Massey 38:01

Right. And then that gets back to the burden of command. Right, so any individual anywhere on this, like your, your, your show, your team, the clients, you work for people who have talked, work, whatever anybody could make a choice a decision and make themselves into everything we're talking about. The burden of command, is that because of your role, you have to do it, you have an obligation to do it, because that will make the organization better. And, and recognizing that, hey, if you're going to be willing to take on the position of command that comes with, you don't get a choice about being comfortable anymore, like the burden of command is, you are making the hard choice for the discipline choice. And you're going to do the things that shape the environment and create a better organization. And you know, there are a lot of companies out there where people get promoted, but they don't really take on the burden of command. Taking that on is a recognition that it is now your job, to shape and create that environment and to maintain your own personal and professional discipline. So that other people around you can benefit and grow. Which brings us back to what we started with so

Earl Breon 39:10

well, and that's well stated, like you said, we come back full circle. And you know, we're coming up on 40 minutes or so here. And I just want to thank you very much for for your time. I really appreciate what you spent with us. I'm gonna have the links to command ready. I'll have links to your social media do like some of the videos and stuff you post especially on Facebook. There's there's some really good thought provoking discussions and great feedback. Before I let you go, the last question I like to always end with is, is there anything that we haven't talked about yet that you would like to talk about?

Col. Massey 39:47

So much stuff, but we've already gotten 40 minutes so I you know, hey, check out the command or anything if you're really want to do continuous learning, you want to take entertainment, get some new knowledge and figure out ways to apply it, you know, I put up free thing. And if you go to my website that you'll you'll send out, you can hop in for 30 days, there's two or three classes you can look at and, and knock out a couple of them, think about joining us, we'll be launching the 21 day challenge here, by the time this thing airs, it's 21 days, and you know, if you take Sundays off or whatever, that's fine. So then it'll take, you know, 24 days, but but the idea is, every day you get up and commit to an eight to 10 minute video and one homework assignment. And by challenging yourself to rethink about your position, your role, your job, your life, at the end of three weeks, you're gonna have some new ambitions set for you. And you're going to see how you can jump into your life and how you can lead yourself and your teams differently. So, you know, I don't know, there's a million ideas to talk about, but I would start with that one.

Earl Breon 40:53

All right. Well, you know, again, thanks for joining us, brother. I really appreciate it. Semper Fi. And for all the listeners, take the kernel up on his offer there, we'll have those links and get up there and take those free classes and consider that 21 Day Challenge. And since you had so much left to say, we'll have to look about getting back on here in the in the future so we can talk some more leadership, really appreciate it.

Col. Massey 41:17

Let me know there's there. There's so much to this discussion, and we have to be having it. So

Earl Breon 41:23

I agree. All right, sir. Appreciate it. Good luck on your continued success and for all of our listeners out there. Take action. That's the key element from this one. Take Action

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