Developing a New Generation of Leaders
December 3, 2021
Today, I’m excited to introduce you to two good friends of mine, father and son Jim and Rick McCartney, who joined me on the Lead Different podcast this week to talk about the importance of developing a new generation of leaders.
As we discuss this theme, the inevitable topic we must explore is how to create a culture that helps these new leaders and innovators thrive.
Rather than building an organization around an individual leader or one generation of leaders, the goal should be to build a sustainable organization, which requires developing multiple generations of leaders who share the vision of building the organization to last.
We must learn to adapt, be humble, and work together toward a shared vision. This has been one of my favorite discussions on our podcast, and I hope you enjoy it, too.
Russ Ewell 0:25
Welcome to lead different. We’re excited today to have on our podcast. Two good friends of mine. Though we’re not always able to see each other and be with each other Jim McCartney and Rick McCartney. And you guessed it, it’s a father son Dynamic Duo. And there are other family members that I know that are also awesome. It’s just a really great family means a lot to me, and I wanted to bring them to you. Because we want to talk about developing a new generation of leaders, which has been the theme that I’ve been working on, but specifically a theme of creating a culture for developing leaders and innovators. And that sounds like a lot to talk about. But I think you’re gonna have fun on this maybe a little bit more fun than any podcast I’ve done before. Because these guys have talked to me off of microphone and they say what they think and I need to hear what other people think and I hope you’ll enjoy if we change minds, even our own minds and and get you to think about changing your mind.
But let me give you a background Jim McCartney has obtained his BA in English from Duke University, then went on to get his MBA in finance from the great I’ll add the great you didn’t put that in. My producer Nathan didn’t put that in the great Boston University. Gemma’s, a seasoned financial executive and leader with expertise in Investment Finance, consulting, operational management and leadership development. He has worked in for profit and nonprofit finance investments, and most recently been the managing director at Net Lease Capital Advisors for over 18 years. And Jim has a good balance, I can tell you of understanding leadership from a relationship point of view, from the emotional point of view from the spiritual point of view, organizational point of view. And as a person who can be a great friend, you’re gonna learn a lot from Jim today. And Rick, Rick McCartney received his BA in health and counseling psychology from Emmanuel College in Boston. And if you haven’t figured it out, that’s the connection we have is Boston, then attending Boston College for a Master of Science in Nursing, and of course, Boston College’s that college down the street from the great Boston University. I want to add that again, after working as a nurse practitioner for a time, Rick became CEO of companies like I reward health, then Lua, where he is using data technology to improve the health of people’s lives. And I had a chance to meet with Rick and learn about what he’s doing some of it, I understood some of it, I didn’t.
And the idea that he’s a nurse practitioner doing it was really exciting to me, and a lot of people I shared it with, one of the books we’ll be talking about, or I’ll be referencing, rather, is built to last by Jim Collins, as we discuss, but again, I want to thank you, Jim and Jurek for joining me on lead different and helping me help other people as well as myself learn how to lead different, I just want to start out by asking you guys a question about just generational leadership, because we’re going to talk about culture. And I’m going to go ahead and slip in my favorite football team and what I grew up on Jim Harbaugh in Michigan, and I’m going to set it up that way. And then I’m going to let you guys just riff and just talk about what you’re thinking. And we’ll get to some of my questions as we go. But this year of Michigan for the first time in a number of years, I don’t like to get into how many they beat Ohio State and they’re doing well. And if they went against Iowa, this coming weekend, they’ll be able to go to the college football playoff. Now, if you’re not a sports fan, hang with me. What Jim hotbar did is he ended up cutting his salary. And he ended up redoing his entire staff. He now has not a single guy who’s an assistant or position coach over the age of 40. They’re all underneath that age.
And that’s a significant thing. And they they have a lot more energy. They did some things this year that blew me away. They were at Wisconsin and Wisconsin was doing their fourth quarter get their fans fired up music. And then the Michigan player started jumping up and down to their fight song music to sort of as they call it steal their juice. And what it made me think about Rick, what it made me think about Jim, is that when you can get that balance, Jim Jim Harbaugh is about 57 years old, when you can get that balance of somebody at a certain generation 57. And then somebody else his new coordinator of defense, just like 32 years old, when you can get that balance, something magical begins to happen. And then these kids between the age of 17 and 21, who I actually think the 30 year old coaches relate to better than a 57 year old, me being 60 I think I have complete evidence that that’s the truth. But I just wanted to get your sense about how generations
work together. And and and why it’s important that those peep those who are older and working and managing understand this sort of generational shift that needs to take place, I’m going to get Rick in there first, Jim, then I’m going to come to you sure,
Rick McCartney 5:13
from the way that I see it, I think it’s really important to get different perspectives on situations, right? If you’re trying to have an impact, could be as a team could be as an organization, something else. Maximizing that impact means that you’re assessing all different risks, potential opportunities, other things. And if you only have one perspective, then you’re really capping your ability to assess well. And so I think when you have diversity of perspective, that could be generational, it could be a whole host of different areas. I think it enhances your ability to assess a situation and then create an action plan. I think the organizations and the teams that can value the different perspectives for their strengths, and then pull them in, as opposed to having age, seniority. Other things be the deciding factor for how things get, you know, get agreed on and move forward. I think those teams tend to perform very well, because they’re taking in different perspectives and executing on them.
Russ Ewell 6:18
That’s incredibly good. That’s a great start. Jim, tell me what you think,
Jim McCartney 6:22
Well, I think, for my generation, we grew up learning differently. Our default was apprenticeship. You know, you you sit with an expert, they are very good at it. They’ve had success. They told me how to do it. I do it the way they did it. They did it the way their parents did it. And it’s it Imitate me, and you’ll get the results that I get got if you’re as good as I am. Alright, well, that’s it. I’m uncomfortable right now, Jim. Yeah, should be.
the fact of the matter is, most creativity and innovation in energy is going to come from people under the age of 40. And I was watching, I watched part of the GET BACK documentary on the Beatles. Yeah, over the weekend. And they ended their act, when they were 29, or 30 years old. They were incredible innovators in musical style, in technique in studio production. And
if they didn’t have the ability to just run, and they had, they started with someone a little older, he was still pretty young by our standards, but they had someone who was 10 or 15 years older, that believed in them added a little bit of organizational overlay, but gave them total freedom to innovate, then you start to have a dynamic that can thrive.
Russ Ewell 7:59
So I’m gonna I’m gonna jump to something that I have in my my notes, and it’s a issue of midlife crisis, life crises and what I call the pursuit of control.
And, and that’s something that I’ve had to deal with in my own life is not that has nothing to do with my age, that has to do with my dysfunction. Just feeling more secure if I’m in control. And that’s one of the things I’ve had to battle and helping develop new leaders is, is recognize that the way I do it the way I think about it, what you said about the apprenticeship, that that getting someone else from point A to point Z is not going to happen the same way it happens to me. In fact, they may start at point C and jump to point Z or they may just get there. They may not even believe in the alphabet. You know, I’m saying they may go I’m not even into the alphabet. But there’s a guy that I know you’re familiar with these old guy been around a long time roads, man. But he laid out a lot of psychological groundwork Erik Erikson, and this comes from a book that’s old book, some people like it, some people don’t the road less traveled by M Scott Peck goes back to the 90s or something. But recently, this is what he says recently, we’ve been hearing of the midlife crisis.
Actually, this has been one of many crises are our critical stages of development in life is Erik Erikson taught us 30 years ago, he delineated eight crises, what makes crises of these transition periods in the life cycle? And the reason I’m bringing this up is I’m about to ask you a question, Jim, about how do people handle it because I’ve talked to people and when they hear us talk about developing young leaders, they feel like we’re trying to put them out to pasture and get rid of them. So I’m going to come to you on that in just a minute. Because I think it’s probably on our listeners minds, if they’re over a certain age. What makes crises of these transition periods in the life cycle that is problematic and painful, is that in successfully working our way through them, we must give up
cherished notions, and old ways of doing and looking at things. Many people are either unwilling, or unable to suffer the pain of giving up the outgrown, which needs to be forsaken. And I don’t believe that age excludes you from having an impact on things. But can you speak to that for a little bit?
Jim McCartney 10:26
I think the first key is humility. You know, I didn’t do it perfectly. I’m not this I’m not the gold standard. Right. I think the second is a willingness to learn. And shifting a little bit from I’m the teacher all the time to, um, well, I’m learning, I’m learning things, you know, one of the things you’ve been good at over the years, Russ, even with the things that you said you struggle with, is you’re constantly learning. And I think that, that can temper the perspective. And I think the final thing, and this one, you know, it comes naturally to me, because of my bent, I’m naturally more of a lieutenant or coach or a teacher. And, and with that bent, what I really enjoy, is helping other people be successful. It’s kind of like the teacher, right? Yeah. If their students do well, they just, that’s what makes them happy. It’s not them performing. And I think as we as we age, as we find ways to to mentor be useful, being able to pivot to getting incredible satisfaction and joy out of helping other people to be successful, and helping them to be successful, not in the way that I want to help them be successful in the way that they want to access my health. Yes, right. Yeah. You know, I love it
like with with my boys, my rule of thumb, and I violated it a few times, but not too badly. My rule of thumb is, if they want advice, they’ll ask me for it. Otherwise, I don’t give it. Wow. Because I want them to access it. Because that’s something that they want. Not because, okay, I’m the more mature adult here. And I’ve got experiences and let me tell you, yeah, yeah, right. I don’t want that dynamic.
Russ Ewell 12:29
Boy, I love that. I mean, that that’s, I think that’s emotionally challenging to a generation, that instinct, and I consider myself sort of on the edge of that generation, you know, I feel like I’m bad. I’m living in two generations sometimes. But that’s emotionally challenging to those of us who learned that command and control is the way you run an organization. It’s, it’s I know, in my life, sometimes, I had to sit down and ask myself the question, Am I trying to derive security and esteem out of this? And that’s why I want control? Or is it because it’s the betterment of the organization. And I found a lot of times I was trying to enrich me feel better about me, it wasn’t had anything to do with what was best for the organization. But Rick, I want you to get in here and speak if you can, to people that that like us that are older, we’re not, hopefully not aged, but we’re older. And we many people in that age range of it, let me just pick age range of 50 to 70, many of them are still running the organization are still the most influential people in the organization. But they can feel I think, sometimes we can feel threatened. I know people that feel threatened by seeing people that are younger, do things and I’ve had that in both my in the three different organizations I’m part of, and part of the team that runs it. I’ve seen people get really threatened and feel less valued, not because someone said they weren’t valued, but because they saw someone 25 able to do what they do better. And they didn’t know what to do with themselves. But maybe you can just tell me what’s in, in your in your mind about that. Yeah. So first of all, I don’t want to pass by
Rick McCartney 14:16
that comment that I Dad just made, which is which was 100% true to my experience growing up, right is that, you know, neither of my parents were looking for all the times to tell me hey, don’t do it that way. Don’t do it that way. You might want to do it this way. Instead, my experience of that was them creating an environment where they wanted to see me learn, hmm, and so if I’m going to learn, I need to build some of the skills around how to learn things, which means I probably have to try it wrong a few times, in order to say you know what, like, I need some help with this.
And I can reach out and know that, you know, they’ve figured out some with this stuff, and I can value that, right? I mean, my dad is one of my first calls on many things that I’m trying to figure out, I ask for the advice, because I know that it’s gonna be valuable to me. Whereas if it was the other way, and I was like, oh, okay, the phone’s ringing again, I’m gonna have to, I’m going to hear what he has to think that’s never ever been my experience. And so I just want to say that has been extremely important for me, and learning how to learn, and learning how to problem problem solve and figure things out, not being afraid to take on challenges, and being willing to say, well, I know I can either figure it out or access some people who could probably help me figure it out.
So So I don’t I didn’t want to pass that by I don’t think it’s a small, excellent, I appreciate the sizing. And so I see a few will. One, I don’t think that the skills in gifts and other talents that people have to bring to the table necessarily always is super related to their age, or their generation. Right. I think that there are some older people who they’re wired as doers, they always want to be doing something, if they’re not doing something, they don’t feel useful, they don’t feel valued, they don’t feel like that’s their mode that the wheels need to keep spinning or they feel like they’re starting to deteriorate.
And so I think it’s important to try to understand kind of what makes each person tick. But I do think that’s something that I’ve noticed. Oftentimes, people have been people who have been doing something or they’ve been in an organization or community for a long time, as it had to figure out how to stay relationally connected. Even when things are challenging, or you see things differently, or there’s there’s trouble, right is like, I do think that
experience and longevity in that way can bring a lot of wisdom and skill and okay, how do you maintain community? How do you maintain a certain cohesion? Even if the direction is not necessarily something everybody’s on board with? Or, you know, there’s there’s tension within the team is that I do think that a huge value can be when the older probably wiser, probably more experienced, people can share, hey, look, here’s how we’ve learned to, you know, disagree and commit, right, you know, or, you know, otherwise get through these challenges. And, and that’s where I think, looking to older people, more experienced people to be the cooler heads right? And say, okay, how can how can you help be the an asset here be a value,
but I do think something that really can exist, like really exasperate younger people that are trying to make things happen, can be if there’s a dynamic where the older people who’ve been around longer won’t let go of decision making power or other elements of controllers, you can end up with this friction, where it’s like, well, we’re not making merit based decisions, we’re not necessarily making principle based decisions or making decisions based on kind of an individual. And it makes sense to me, intellectually, that that could be coming from a place of feeling like, well, if I don’t have this decision, then it might be faster, right? Am I Am I being discarded? is Am I no longer important? And I think my view of that would be anytime you have a team, or you have an organization, or you have a shared vision and goal, if it becomes about any of the individuals and their own, well, how is this me?
That is going to be destructive to the whole, right? And so we can say, Okay, what do you personally need, you need to feel valued, that’s great, we can incorporate that. But if it comes a struggle of, well, I will tear down the organization for the sake of staying relevant. Okay, then we have a really serious problem, right is you can’t you can’t have people saying, well, I’m not going to give up control because I don’t want to, and I’m not going to feel valued anymore. It’s like, Well, are you considering what’s best for the team? Are you considering what’s best for the group? Or are you just saying, Well, what am I going to do with my free time? Yeah, I’m not doing that. And that’s something that I think maybe it’s another older person who can help reflect that it’s probably not younger people trying to say, let go, let go, let go. So you know, there’s another potential real valuable role there is that kind of peer mentoring to say, hey, how do we figure out how to value people with different generational views and different?
Russ Ewell 19:58
Well, I think one of the things I’ve noticed that. Even as I talk to you guys, but I’ve noticed that separately is that actually both of you like to listen. And I think that, you know, I know that’s something you Jim believed in for a long, long time. And I think when we listen in, we actually hear each other, there’s less tension in, in, in, in any set of relationships, especially in in, and specifically with generational change. I’m gonna tell a story that I may have told before to my listeners out there, the folks who’ve been joining us and support us, and we thank you. And you can find articles and items on www.lee.com. And we’ll probably be putting a transcription of this because this I’m already loved. I’m already learning a lot and loving everything I’m hearing, I need to hear it. So even if no one out there is benefiting, I’m benefiting tremendously when I was I played basketball growing up, that was my favorite sport wanted to go to the NBA, I didn’t make it.
You know, unfortunately, Magic Johnson was able to take my spot in the NBA, and I congratulate him on that. But in all seriousness, I played I loved it. In college, I did play in our big intramural program at Boston University, it was the largest in real program in the country for basketball to have like 100 teams. And I just really enjoyed the sport, I tore my Achilles tendons, eventually, both of them one year after the other and in became less less good for a couple of years and then got back to it. The reason I give my listeners and you guys that background is because then I got going to get and I played for a while at 35. I messed up my ankle, and I went to physical therapy, and I just couldn’t get it better. And it would eventually get better. But it took forever. And so I decided one summer that instead of playing in the league I was in I would coach a team of teenagers. So we are in an adult league.
But I said I’m going to take these teams and I knew we were going to lose a lot. And I said we’re going to lose a lot. But I like some of these kids. I’ve worked with him, I know him. And let me try, you know, coaching them up there a bit because I loved even coaching. And there was a moment we ended up going undefeated in the league and winning the championship of the adult league. And so there was a moment where I was sitting on the bench. And we were in the championship game and one of the teenagers wasn’t playing very well. So I took him out of the game. And he was very mad at me. He was so mad. Because he you know, he felt like I’m really great. And he was but he wasn’t playing very well at the time. So I said he was mad, he came off, he didn’t want to talk I walked him, I said, Look, you’re gonna have to trust me. Just trust me, you need to come out for just a little bit, you’re gonna get back in.
And when you get back in, you’re going to play better, but you just have to learn and not get mad every time. Something doesn’t go your way and just trust that it will work out as we’ve gotten this far. Can you just trust me this one time? And he said, okay, okay. And he got a, you know, a happier attitude. I put him back in the game and two things happened to me. One, he was able to execute on things I was coaching him on, then never in my life could I do. And in that moment, I began to realize the real joy in life is when you take concepts, you know, but you personally can’t do give them to somebody else. And they do them. And there is an experience of excitement and joy that comes from watching it.
And I just sat there and went, I could never I could I tried all my basketball life, I could never do what he’s done. But I’ve always knew how to do it. And then the second thing is he ended up winning the MVP of the playoffs from that game, the championship game. And he came afterwards I said, I told you to trust me. He goes, Yeah, he goes, that’s amazing. And and after that point, I said, I’ve got to reevaluate how I lead completely. And I’ve got to learn to get joy, going back to what you said, Jim, out of watching other finding people who are better than I am, and then allowing them to become that, and restraining myself when they have weaknesses in areas that I have strengths instead of you know, denigrating them and going, why can’t you do this, just bringing them along in the areas of weakness, but really celebrating those strengths. Now, I am successful sometimes at that, and other times my own personal pride and, you know, self glorification, and consumption with me gets in the way, and I have to pull back. But I wanted to share that because I listened to both of you.
It sounds like in your home. And I’m not trying to put pressure on you to say you had the perfect home. So don’t feel like that that’s I’m that no one does. But it sounds like in your home. You developed a culture and that that culture. And I’m going to ask you this, if you rate that culture has helped you go build at least two companies and make a transition from developing expertise as a nurse practitioner and then pivoting and taking that skill set and bringing it to technology to help people enjoy a better quality of life. Because their health is allowed to. They find motivations and inspirations to take care of their health that they might not find. Otherwise, I know that
It was true of I reward. But I want to ask you a little bit about what can we all learn about creating a culture in our home, that eventually can influence the cultures that are created by our kids, and their friendships and their companies, particularly because I’m really excited about your companies, and what you’ve done. But maybe you can just speak on that. And riff on that. And I’ll sit back and learn.
Rick McCartney 25:22
Yeah. Oh, and so, I think there are a couple of things that really stand out to me when I think about, yeah, what was the culture at home? What was my experience of that, and, you know, I’m one of four, and each of the four of us probably have a different experience of what was culture at home, and what was our dynamics with different parents at different times. And so, you know, this is not meant to be me speaking for anyone other than myself. But I think two things I think my siblings would agree with, with these as, as a child, I couldn’t fail. Right? Like, I wasn’t going to do something that would cause my parents to turn away from me or be disgusted with me, or, you know, there was nothing, you know, I remember, the phrase really stands out to me, you can always come home, wow. Right.
Like, doesn’t matter what happened doesn’t matter what you did, you can always come home, wow, you can wreck the car, you can make really bad decisions you thought you’re never gonna make before you can do what you think is a worst thing imaginable a person can do, you can always come home. And so that, to me, it just, it clearly articulated, you are part of this family, this is your home, you are safe here, you’re not going to cross any line or do anything that’s gonna cause us to cut you off from us. I therefore, this is a safe space. So if you can’t fail at home, you become a lot less afraid of failing outside, right?
Like, you’re not like, whoa, okay, so you did, you took a risk at work, and it didn’t work out. All right, you’ve got everything you need, like you’re not, you’re not worried in your kind of core environment. And I think something that can be very dangerous is when people feel either that they’re always failing at home, right? It’s like, the expectations are really high, I’m not meeting them, I’m not good enough, my parents are just, you know, disappointed in me.
And they’re using that kind of like pressure and shame to try to craft their kids behaviors. I’m not a believer in that at all. I don’t, I don’t think it’s good. And I think that can in teams and communities can do that as well. They can use, you know, being a member of the community or not, or being on the team or getting kicked off or kind of punitive measures to try to control behavior. And in reality, maybe there’s some short term benefit of you don’t have a lot of dissenting opinions, but the long term consequences that you’re not refined by those dissenting opinions, therefore you don’t build resilience, and you don’t become what you could become, right if you if you’re always cutting out dissent. And so the other thing that that really stands out to me as a culture at home was
really being taught to be independent and self reliant, and not so that I can be an island and just be okay, I’m self sufficient. I don’t depend on anyone, but really, so that I could help support other people who need help, right. So like, at an early age, it was clear to me from the example from my parents, and from what they taught us that we were fortunate to be able bodied, to be smart enough, have enough skills and resources now to really make something of ourselves. So we didn’t have to worry about whether or not we were going to be capable.
And therefore it’s kind of your responsibility to use that being able bodied smart enough and unable to figure things out in order to have an impact, right. And I saw that modeled in both of my parents are like they spent their time looking for in meeting external needs that they were able to meet because of the work they’ve done on themselves to build character and discipline and prioritization of others. And so that that was modeled it was normal to me, I think that just became a value because it was like, Alright, this is normal, where one I’m safe here in this space, and to I have something to give. So it’s kind of my responsibility to figure out how to give
Russ Ewell 29:36
what impressed me and not meeting you and you you would have been having the last name McCartney impresses me so that it wasn’t impressed like that, but the impression you made on me and the first time we met him face to face and talk. I thought how does a guy go from, you know, studying nursing. seeing and learning about that to becoming an entrepreneur and creating startups, because there’s a whole lot of risk involved in that life. But how does that inform how you try to build your companies like that, that you can always come home? I love that. I just think that that is more powerful than most of us as human beings know, and I won’t get into my life. But I think that as you were talking, I went, Oh, I didn’t come in a perfect family. But my parents made me think there was literally nothing that I couldn’t do. And that if I it to their fault, it was like, if you can’t do it, somebody else messed up. Now that part, was it. That part wasn’t good. But they just realized, oh, yeah, you get that? No, there’s nothing you get done. And so I understand that, essentially. But how does that inform how you manage because it’s one thing to be managed? Or one thing to be a part of a culture your parents build that gives you that? But are you able to see some progress in creating that and the startups that you have, and employees or team members that work with you?
Rick McCartney 31:06
I would say it’s always the goal, right? So we talk, you know, about no blame environments, right? You know, we want to create an environment where, you know, we might CTL McKell, will calm happy failures, or happy mistakes, right? He’s like you, you did something wrong, and you learned it was wrong. And so you’re not going to make the mistake again. And if you hadn’t made the mistake, you wouldn’t have learned that you’re not supposed to make that mistake. So it’s, you’re welcoming it. And so the whole way that we, we set up, how we do our work, right, a lot of our work is done in Sprint’s and we have retrospectives and we say what went well, what didn’t go well, what I do well, what did I not do? Well, what do I think you didn’t do? Well, and then you you take that and you go, this is gonna inform the next batch of work. And you create, if it’s, if it’s a no blame environment, and you’re just trying to evaluate, okay, how well did I do?
In my mind, I think about that as having a high safety net, right, like, I had a highest safety net at home, because I wasn’t gonna fail in any way that was gonna be detrimental. To me, I tried to have a, I had a really high safety net, becoming a nurse practitioner and psychiatry, having phenomenal earning potential, and then being able to say, I can take the risk of entrepreneurship, because my worst case scenario is not that, like, I can go back to nursing, and I’ll make great money. And it’s a satisfying life, and I so I have a high safety net there. And so then, in my company, I want to create a high safety net, in any company that I work with.
So if I’m consulting with a company, if I’m coaching founders, whatever I’m doing this look, you want a high safety net, where people know that they’re not on the brink of getting fired, they’re not going to get blamed for learning something, right? If they can, they can learn something, they can learn on the job. And that’s going to be a positive thing. And you’re gonna value it as positive. So we don’t dress people down. When a mistake is made, we say, okay, great. What can we learn from it? Let’s do it better next time. And so just right continual iteration is as a company and as a culture, I think is really important.
Russ Ewell 33:24
So yes, I listened to you. And and I may be making an assumption, so do some heavy pushback, to educate me if my assumption is incorrect. But you’re a fairly independent thinker, and your dad is too. But you’re more extroverted maybe, would be the word. And so are you a difficult person to manage outside of your home? That that would be the question. Now, let me tell you why I ask. Because this is my I’m gonna want to tell a story. I think it might help inform what you’re trying to figure out. In let me let me tell you my and I learned a ton from what you said about happy failures, and a no blame environment. I probably am not 100% clear, but I think a lot of that is people carry baggage when they fail. And that’s the blame part instead of going yeah, I failed. I blew it. I gotta learn from that. But there’s no need to carry around baggage from it. But as I did, or hide it, boy, oh boy. Oh, boy, man, holy cow. Yes. And I have to work myself on I’m emotional creating an environment for people where my emotions even though I may be saying the right thing. My emotions can make it sound like I don’t believe what I’m saying. Because I’m emotional about the failure and that’s what I’m because I’m so emotional. I’ve really had to work on by temporary myself and and now my wife, she’s
way better at that by not having a reaction. And so that’s one things I worked on. But the reason I mentioned about the independent thinker part is I find for me, because I have strong senses of where I need to go or where I want to take things, even when I’m wrong. So what I feel is I have to have around me people who think independently. So I have to have have around me people who will create a little friction with me without it messing up the relationship that it’s, you know, intellectual emotional friction, that’s not meant to do any damage. And so when I’m listening to you, I’m going, Oh, I’d really like working with Rick because I bet I would go, Hey, we need to go in this direction. And he’d sit there and think about he might agree, but he’d analyze it, evaluate it and go, Well, just because you said it. I’m not sure I’m gonna go there. I like that. But there are other people who don’t like that, and and see that as a criticism, or undermining of them, instead of as a compliment. You know, this is my, this is my comment. So when I try to build teams that I won, I don’t look for people like me, because, yeah, I mean, I look for people who think differently than me that that and even have different temperaments. I’m a very extroverted I think, so I like having people who are introverted, think internally, and then I like to talk to them outside of the meeting. What how did that go? Because sometimes they’ll be like, you know, someone saw I don’t think was very comfortable with that, you know, and I’ll be like, I didn’t even see that as because you were busy talking. Okay. But
So Jim, you can jump in with the story that will help inform this. And I and, and I’m not trying to say a negative thing, I’m actually saying a positive thing, right. But I’m trying to help our listeners, because sometimes really talented people who think independently, I run into people who don’t want to manage them don’t want to work with them. And I’m like, Are you kidding? Those are the ones you want, they’ll keep you from dying early. Anyway, good job.
Jim McCartney 36:51
So I’m going to tell the story in a minute. But just one thing for our generation, I think, just to maybe give us a little bit of grace. You know, when we think about our parents, they came from, we call them the greatest generation, right. And that was a that generation did things on the military model, a lot of them fought in World War Two, they came back there were, you know, there was chain of command, there was top down, there was, um, you know, very directive, right.
And a lot of those people, they were running the the successful companies, you know, IBM, et cetera. And so that was the culture of leadership and business management that we grew up with. That this is, this is the way to do things. And I think that that was a default. And what happened with us, and I’ll go to the story and make the connection, request and kindergarten. Oh, and we had we actually had parent teacher conferences in kindergarten. We were in a nice town, I guess, where they did that. And the teacher sat us mom, Maureen and I down and she said, she goes, You guys need to understand something. She said, Rick marches to the tune of a different drummer. And we’re like, yeah, we know that. We’ve been, we’ve been having all kinds of problems trying to figure that out. And then what she said next was a really mattered. She said, the educational system is going to try to beat that out of him. Ah, she said, Don’t let it happen.
And what that caused us to do was pivot, where we’re like, Okay, what’s normative? Maybe is not what’s best. Which meant we then had to just start, okay, we’re gonna have to learn to think differently, right. I think some of Rick’s independent mindedness is, is more nature than nurture. Yes. But because of our awareness, hopefully there was a little better nurturing of that. Yes. And so I think it I grew up a certain way, we valued certain things, but realize that that can be a problem for someone who’s creative or talented or a potential innovator. And so I don’t want to squash that, which means I’ve got to rethink. I got to rethink the rules of engagement here. How do we do it in a way that’s going to help someone like him, and his siblings are all different, right? So it’s like, forget any kind of standard rules to make the family go, everybody
Everybody was completely different. I can relate to that. Yeah, I mean, I remember one of them used to say, Dad, that’s not fair. And we’re not even trying to do fair. That’s not even something we care about. We’re trying to do what works for each of you. And so I think that shift from uniformity and certainty and control, yeah, new diversity. And that requires listening, empowering, being willing to being willing as a leader to be wrong and admit it. Yeah. You know, it’s a whole nother it’s a whole nother ballgame and leadership.
Russ Ewell 40:42
Oh, wow. So So Rick, I’m going to get you in on this. And I’m going to add a little something. So it’s context. One, your dad really set it up? Well, because I was I didn’t I don’t, I probably awkwardly asked that question. What I was trying to ask is, how does someone manage you, you know, how does someone manage people like you in the generation? And I like it personally, I enjoy. I look for people actually, when you were here, I said, Why don’t you think about moving here, because, you know, I’m, I’m very aggressive on wanting people around me like that. But as a parent, and you already know this, but I have two special needs kids. And one of the things that hit me and Gil early on was, the educational system is not equipped to give our kids a life of inclusion, they’re going to put them in these special needs classes where there’ll be separated.
And that’s when I began to change my command control more, because I went oh, eight, because I was a prototypical put me in the academic environment of command control. And like you said, Jim, I was I just function Oh, this is great. I know the rules. I know what I need to do. Let me hack the system and get where I want to go. Now I look back at other kids who I thought were failures in school, and I go, Oh, I know what happened to them. The system wouldn’t even begin to even think about adapting to them. It was like, here’s this is what makes our life easier. Let’s do it. But, Rick, just comment a little bit on, on how people this is a better way to ask that question than I did before. So I apologize if that question. It’s awkwardness. But how does someone manage people who just it’s in their nature, to think independently, they’re not against you, if you’re managing, they just think independently?
And they’ve also been nurtured at home? To know that that’s okay. Like, and I think there are a lot of people in Silicon Valley like that. And I think some people have trouble managing them. And that’s why they don’t that’s why some companies fail. People go, I’m out of here. I don’t want to be in this environment.
Rick McCartney 42:40
Good. So well. First of all, yes, people have a lot of difficulty managing. So yes, I think if somebody if somebody is trying to manage, yeah, right there, they are trying to say, Hey, you’re gonna do this for this reason, because I said, so right? It’s just gonna be a little bit of a like, Okay, I’m gonna want to internalize the value, right? So they have some value that’s driving, why they’re asking me to do something. And as soon as I’ve internalized that value, and I understand it, then I can help thinking about, okay, how do we solve this problem together? But at some, you know, it’s like, the person who’s not really afraid to fail is kind of hard to manage, because what’s the consequence? Right, like, I just, I like, I don’t do something to your satisfaction. Well, if I don’t really value, doing something to your satisfaction, then like, the risk to me is non existent. Right, like, so that I think it becomes hard to manage, because why, where’s the alignment of incentives?
Where’s the shared values? Where’s the shared understanding? I’m not somebody else’s person to the man. Right. Right. Like so there? You know, I think, I think that does, it creates tension, I would say, I have a phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal group of people who’ve I’ve have in my own kind of personal board of directors who, who I don’t think that they experience me as hard to manage, because we have a relationship, they value ways that I’m different from them. We there’s trust, there is, you know, an understanding that we have relational bonds that transcend any differences of opinions, there is mutual respect, and we think each other are smart, intelligent, you know, good natured people, and we’re not, you know, cutting down somebody’s intent or not being judgmental of the other person where they came to their assessment of something. And so I built for myself, a number of great relationships. And so what if I’m going to someone I needed to call someone or enlist someone to help or to help manage me through something.
I have that and lucky to have that But I think they’re the person who wants to come in and say, hey, now you’re going to do this like this, because I said, so it’s just not really gonna work all that well. And so I would say the answer to that, well, how do you manage somebody who’s not afraid to fail or is not afraid, you know that they’re not going to experience personal consequences, if they don’t do what you say. You start by treating them like a person, treat them with respect, treat them as respect as a, as an independent, free thinking person.
And listen to them, right, ask them what they see or what they value, I think alignment around something is really important. So if you can say, you know, I had a call with some of my teammates this morning, that really struggling to, to, to resolve a communication and conflict issue. And I just, I started saying, hey, look, my goal for this is, we have a great place to work that really enables the other function of the business with our work together, and that we can all have fun doing it. That’s my goal. That’s it. That’s the that’s like the end of the vision statement for how this department should work.
Can we set the tone of our meeting around that? And they were like, We all agree with that. We all want that. Great. Now, let’s get into how to, you know, bring things forward. And so I think setting a frame that can be generally agreed upon, if someone says, Hey, I want to make sure that we, you know, have X number of users, I’m going to say, Well, what does that get you that? Right, like? So what? What’s your desired impact when you reach that many users? Are those users? Because you paid for them? Are they because they love your product? Are they deriving value from you? Or are you just trying to sell them ads? Like what’s the what’s the mission behind it? And if we can get alignment there, and I got a million users, okay, I get, I get what you want that, but if you’re just gonna tell me, you’re going to hit a million and a half million, I’m gonna say, Alright, go buy a million users, if that’s the only thing that we’re going for. But we need to understand the why behind it.
Russ Ewell 47:03
So what again, is talking to Rick and Jim McCartney, a father and son dynamic duo, different people with similar and same core values, and we’re learning a lot I’m learning about the importance of listening, I’m learning about the importance of I just love the concept, happy failures.
I’m learning and I think you guys are demonstrating and helping, I think our listeners demonstrate how you have a conversation, which I think perhaps the most important part of this podcast today might be, how do you have a conversation about subjects? So you were talking, Rick, what I thought about is good to great. I love Jim Collins, I’ve been reading him for a long time. And one of the things he says in that book that I think oftentimes gets overlooked is he says one of most important things is getting the right people on the bus, it doesn’t matter where you’re going, you just got to get the right pill on the bus. And so what I just learned from you, is that the way that you work with me, or the way you work with anyone who can think for themselves, and I would count all three of us in that category.
And I would count most people as wanting to think for themselves, some people will conform and comply to survive. But most people want to be able to have an individual thought, you know, and be like, Hey, I think this and they don’t even want to I try to tell guys I work with people don’t even need you to do what they said. They just want you to hear what they said and go, Oh, that’s a good idea. Maybe we’ll try that sometime. It’s not necessarily this big, gigantic hurdle. It’s not pole vaulting, you know, jumping over a puddle, it’s not a big deal. And I find most people are not wed even to what they say they just had a thought.
But when I hear you talk, I hear relationship. That’s what I hear. And I think that many of us overestimate how good of relationship builders we are. I have learned in my life that there were times where I was really good socially, I was a social person. But I wasn’t a relationship builder. And what your dad talked about, is when you operate off of and I’ll use your language, Jim, the military model, which I think is a culture in and of itself, then you don’t have to build the relationship. You you don’t you can you can save learn having any emotional intelligence, you can put that aside and just go well, I’ve got it when I was working.
The working a lot in the nonprofit I still am but working a lot in the nonprofit arena. And in the spiritual arena, helping people spiritually to I had a mentor who’s my one of my best friends is Scott Colvin. His dad was Frank Colvin when he passed away a few years back, but he was one of the top executives at General Motors. And we were going through a lot of crisis of leadership around this is a long time ago. 2003 2004 and I went to him and I said I don’t know what to do, because everything has changed. And I wasn’t planning on the change. And and and I said there’s these guys I’ve always
followed. And I, I’m like, What do I do now? And he he epitomized I think, a, a mentor in that he had nothing left to prove he sort of on that other side of what you’re talking about Rick, where there’s no threat you can make, because he’s already taken care of in life. He doesn’t need any he didn’t need anything from me. And he said, you know, Ross, one thing you got to understand is, as people get older, they change, I go to your mate, he goes, I think you think the, the people you knew were gonna always be the same, they change and sometimes they change what they think. And what you have to figure out is what do you think it sounds like to me, you’ve not taken enough time to go, Well, what do you what do you think about all this? Because now it sounds like you got to figure that out. And he spent years we used to call it Starbucks university because he’d fly into the Bay Area, and sit down with me and his son. And he would say, Okay, well, where are you at? What do you got here?
And he kept telling me, so let me tell you what we do at General Motors, we take pictures of every single younger person in the in the management structure, and we put them on the wall. And we say, these are the people we want to develop for our future. And we and we have we put their pictures up in our office, we look at them, we meet with them, we think about them, he goes, that’s how you build an organization, you build the relationships in the organization. And so when I hear you saying that, I think about Jim Collins, I think one of the confusing things for some of us who may be managing people they’re younger and coming up is that we think we can motivate them with money. But that too, is an old structure, we think we can motivate them with a fear of not being promoted or being seen as a failure or loss of job. But as we’re seeing even today with COVID in the job market, people just resign and go, Well, I’m not worried about that. I’ll just move over here.
And I’ll go over there. And I think for some people, that’s flamin flummoxing them, they don’t know what to do with it. But when it comes to getting the right people on the right, the right people on the bus is Jim Collins talking about it. I think that really is culture. And so I want to go to something that we talked about a little bit Eric and I talked about a little bit before. And I’m not going to the if I would recommend a book to anybody, it would be built to last. But he talks in there about I went I actually tell the story a lot. But in talking to Jim Collins about this, but he talks about being a time teller or a clock builder. And basically, he says a clock builder is somebody who says I’m more interested in building the organization than I am in, in, you know, promoting myself or making myself the central visionary charismatic leader.
And I think that’s part of what you want to do. But you said earlier, Rick, and I’m gonna, this is a big pivot from we’ve been talking about that you you didn’t, I don’t want to put words in your mouth, let me say what I think I oftentimes think in terms of belief building, for the future, building an organization that will endure, and that will last beyond my lifetime. And that doesn’t necessarily mean that I know what the success of it will be or look like. But I feel like that part of the historical trend of societies throughout history has been that without great institutions, no nation, no state can really survive. And so what I tried to do is go can I build an institution that can make an immense impact on the world and even change the world? And so I tend to think in terms of, I’ve got to build to last, you said something that made me just incredibly curious when we were about to get started, that you didn’t count? Yeah, you didn’t think exactly like like that. Tell me what you’re thinking cuz I, you, I appreciate you guys spending so much time with me, because I’ve, I’ve learned a lot, I got all these notes for myself, I hope the listeners got as much out of it as I did. But just tell me what you’re thinking about that so we can bounce out.
Rick McCartney 53:58
So I think part of my understanding of that perspective was that you want to build organizations to last a long time, right? You want to build to last you want to you want to index for longevity, right? Is that and I think there can be this idea that, well, if it’s been around for a long time, then it’s having a lot of impact, or that’s a good thing, or that’s like that, that’s adding value. And I would just say I actually don’t believe in organizations indexing for longevity. I think that if you want to have a successful organization, I think we need to be very clear and index for impact. Right. And so I think they’re enormous amount of organizations, businesses, all kinds of different things where a healthy lifespan is 10 years, 20 years. And then it’s run its course, right? It’s added the value it’s going to add and that doesn’t mean the people involved or the principles learned or the assets developed aren’t going to be of great value. But I think many organizations if they have
Add a 20 year shelf life, and then you’re gonna be, you know, reincarnated into something new, right? Is that a new organization, a new way of doing things, there needs to be a new desired impact. And so I believe in indexing for impact, and not just trying to figure out how to keep doing something, right. When you index for longevity, you’re trying to figure out well, private businesses have this problem all the time. They rarely last through generational handoffs, right. Parents started a business, they’re trying to figure out which kid is going to be the next general manager of it, how do they train them? How do they do that? And then hand it off. And there’s always this tension around, well, did you destroy it? Or was it set up? Was it not set up with a good foundation? Or was the progress totally ruined? Or, you know, and they never make that second generational handoff? Right? If that first time goes? Well, the next time and so I think the problem there is there can be this idea of like that, the way that the legacy is achieved is by living forever through this organization that has longevity, when in reality, there’s just as much legacy and having impact in a defined amount of time, and then having that be a brick in building the next, you know, the next achievement in. So that I think is really the big difference.
Or as I think if if organizations churned you know, and we just said, Hey, look, we’re gonna play in for we’re gonna plan for end of life of this, you know, this business, this church, this other thing, we’re gonna say, look it, it has its purpose, it has a defined objective, and then we finish that objective, we’re gonna say, Okay, well, what’s next? What’s the next highest value objective? What’s the next area of impact? How do we do that? And the organization should be the tool. It shouldn’t be an ant, right? You know, and I think if the organization is an end, you’re just trying to keep the organization alive.
Well, then you become afraid of failure, right? Then you become afraid of what if we get on the wrong track? Well, we can’t close down and start a new one. So we’ve got to worry about what tracker, right, like, in reality, you can always close down and start a new one. But right, like, so let me ask you this. Is there a possibility that you’re totally wrong? Because you’re too young to have perspective? Absolutely. There’s like a 99% chance I’m wrong, right? I mean, there’s, um,
Russ Ewell 57:28
let me tell you why. Let me tell you why I said that. Because I think this is the kind of conversation people different generations have to have. I don’t actually think you’re wrong. I just thought, I want to know whether you think you could be wrong. And I think that kind of, that’s not tension to me. That’s creative destruction to us, you know, the economic term of being willing to look at it. So here’s why. Let me tell you what I learned. I want to get Jim in on this. What I just learned from you, because I wrestle with this, personally, I believe in building for longevity, but I actually believe in indexing for impact. Yet, I didn’t realize that till you said.
So I’m not into creating an organization that just stays the same and keeps on holding on. And then you bring on the next person and the next person. I told people in every one of the organization’s I work with, well, first of all, the new media company I’m trying to build. I don’t I don’t think I really run it though. I think I have it on piece of paper, it might look like that. You know, they look at the paper. Oh, that guy. But I don’t think that really happens. I always tell the guys though, and they’re all under 40. They all may they may all be under 35. Actually,
I think there’s one guy in his 30s for sure. But the the women and men in it are not that, that I always tell them. I said, I don’t know what this is going to look like. I don’t know that we’re even going to be doing what we’re doing now, five years from now. And we had some goals, we want this many subscribers, we want this money. And I found it was just burning us out, you know, and we were chasing something that wasn’t very satisfying at all. But when we measure and I didn’t know this until you said it so I’m there’s probably a book or an article I didn’t read or the Rick McCartney journals or whatever it I should have been reading. But what I love about this is that you just reduce my stress.
Because I have this part of me that’s like, Okay, I’ve got to build this thing to get here. And it’s a it’s a hard to hit target. Because I don’t even in my heart know if I want longevity, but I definitely know I want impact. And I definitely I’ve told people that work with me, I go look down the road here. You’re going to definitely look at stuff I taught you to do. And you’re gonna say, that’s the wrong way to do it. We got to change it. And I’m probably going to be sitting there watching
Should you do it? I said, my goal for myself is when you discover what I’ve done wrong. I’m like, Oh, wow, I didn’t, I didn’t see that. That’s what I that’s where I want to be. And I want you to be at a place where you’re very comfortable with me in the room saying we should have never done this, we’ve got to do that, which I take as your description of why indexing for longevity becomes a problem. Because inevitably, whatever we’ve intricately woven into the fabric of that culture will keep carrying on. And there’s cultures need to end that’s basically what you’re saying, Jim, let me go ahead.
Unknown Speaker 1:01:50
oh, for sure, biggest,
Russ Ewell 1:01:55
biggest conflict I have with my peers is that I don’t believe that what we’ve done or what I’ve done is success. I think it’s temporary. You know, in that day, maybe I was successful that year, those two years, that three years, but I don’t believe it’s arrival, maybe as the better terminology. And I run into conflict, because I think some people, they treasure so much what they’ve done, that they forget what we’re trying to do. And I think that’s a lot of what you’re saying. And indexing for impact means stop, in my mind holding on to yesterday, and I’m going to say this, and I’m going to get you in Jim to sort of pull a lot of these little pieces together. I talked about him a lot. I’m sure people are tired of me talking about him.
But I study Steve Jobs when I first moved to Silicon Valley, because very curious about them. And I could go on and on about what I learned. But when he left Apple or was fired from Apple, and then he came back, I feel like that was a situation where he came back a different person. Not personally, I didn’t know him personally. But managerially, he came back understanding he needed a team, he needed people who could help him achieve his vision. And I think he loved Apple, as an organism that grew more than as an organization that he had to, you know, hold up, which is why they could pivot and, and and become different things. There’s no perfect leader in that way. When I look at a government, US government, I go, that’s one of the challenges we’re facing. Now. If you go back throughout history, part of the Revolutionary War, which a lot of people, you know, hate the Founding Fathers for different reasons, but I still enjoy history.
And I think that you have to have sort of perspective about the times. But they actually did something pretty incredible, which is they were going to change up everything about how we think and how we live. And that the only way this country stays alive, I think is if it’s always able to do that, which is hard to do. Which is why Thomas Jefferson said I believe that there should be constant revolutions, which I don’t know that I want to be living through constant revolutions. But I think his point was indexed for impact. But it’s not just trying to become this entity. But Jim, when you look at what Rick and I are talking about, and you look at leaders need to understand that longevity isn’t impact that just because you’ve been around 30 years, doesn’t mean you’re making a difference. But then when you say, less look at whether that 30 years really makes a difference. When you hear that, does that ring true to you? Or do you disagree or what? No. So yeah, I think sometimes when we want to build an organization that will last what we really want is we want our personal legacy to be carried on into the future. And there’s a there’s a sense of
Jim McCartney 1:04:54
you know, it’s all about me, right? And and that would that can be breed is defensiveness, it can breed stagnation. It can hinder creativity and innovation because I’ve got to keep this thing going. Right, I’ve got to keep it going, in some semblance of the way it has been it is now. And as Rick said, it’s becomes way too much about the organization and the impact. Yeah, when I think about impact, it is its para organization. Right? The organization is subservient to the impact, and the impact can be made in many different ways.
Just to bring it back to the family thing, you know, 100 years from now, no one’s gonna know anything about me and our care, it’s gonna, you know, it’s just going to be a plaque on a wall. I won’t be a tombstone, because I’m going to be cremated. So it’ll be, you know, some, some papers in a box. Right? You know, that’s, that’s really what it is. The impact is, my kids and my grandkids and my great grandkids and whatever values and character if, if Rick’s grandchildren feel that they need to take the they’re able bodied giftedness and use that, to meet the needs of other people.
That’s impact. Wow. Right. And so it goes way beyond me. And it’s, I think, I have a poem I want to share, but it’s being forward thinking, and is being able to accept my role in that I’ll go ahead and, and read it now. But it’s by a guy called Gebran, who is on children. And he says, in a woman who held a baby against her bosom, said, speak to us have children.
Your children are not your children, they are the sons and daughters of life’s longing for itself. They come through you, but not from you. And though they are with you, yet they belong not to you, you may give them your love, but not your thoughts, for they have their own thoughts. You may house thei r bodies, but not their souls, for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow, which you cannot visit. Not even in your dreams, wow.
You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you. For life goes not backward, nor Terry’s with yesterday, you are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth. The Archer sees the mark up on the path of the infinite. And he bends you with his might, that his arrows may go swift and far, lets your bending and the archers hand be for gladness for even as He loves the arrow that flies. So he loves also the bow that is stable. And I think that goes to one of your earlier questions about feeling insecure. You know, as someone who’s older has had success is to be able to go,
I am now a bow. the arrow doesn’t go anywhere without the bow. Right. But the focus is the arrows going forward. And I’m now subservient to the future. I’m not trying to preserve the past, or my personal legacy, or how people are going to remember me. But it’s being forward thinking and realizing the world is different now than it was 20 years ago. And the world is going to be different in 20 years than it is now. I work in commercial real estate, and we look at at at useful lives of assets. And you depreciate it, you know, 3 5 7 15 39 years, right? At the end of that time period, they they, they they’re fully depreciated. They serve the purpose, and they’ve housed something that might be a launching pad for something else.
Rick McCartney 1:09:32
I think that poem and then even what I shared earlier about kind of my experience and as it relates to parenting is, you know, growing up my parents were not indexing for obedience. Right. Their goal was not to have the most obedient kids that will always stand straight in line. And you know, it really what they were indexing forward was those values
Right, how do you how do we instill in our kids curiosity, desire and skill to learn? Treating other people kindly, being a caring contributor to community? Like, those are the types of things that they were indexing for. And in so then yes, you learn, okay. There’s certain times where it’s really important that I listen because I understand the risks, the potential harms what’s at stake here. But you’re not, but they weren’t trying to raise me to just kind of do exactly what I’m told I wasn’t a soldier, right? Like, the goal was not to make me a stranger. And I think my generation,
it was a mixed bag. A lot of my peers didn’t have that upbringing, right? A lot of my peers. Parents were indexing for obedience. And the goal was to have the most obedient child. It was impressive when the kid you know, perked up and listen, the first time it came running over, and that was the value to be kind of coveted on the playground, right? Is you’re just indexing for that obedience. And so so we see that I see that now with my kids, my parents can tell they probably have dots and assessments of things that are going on, but with my girls, like, I’m, we’re not we, my wife, and I continually talk about this. We’re not indexing for obedience. Yes, we want them to be kind, respectful members of our family of our community and of society, I think we do a pretty good job at that. But we’re not barking orders at them for the sake of seeing if they respond to orders, right, we’re trying to help them understand the value in learning the value and problem solving the value and being a good citizen, you know, and, and then learning in that way.
And I think that’s something that I got from my parents, right. And but it’s something that I try to practically carry out with my own kids is equip them with the values and skills that will help them to be successful as they get older. And I don’t want them to be going, oh, man, I wish my dad was telling me what to do right now. Right, because I don’t know what to do other. Like, that’s not some, that’s something that I hope to avoid. Altogether, as I’m saying, I just I can’t do this, because someone’s not telling me what to do and how to do.
Russ Ewell 1:12:17
This is lead different this has been a profound podcast for me, as a parent of three kids to have special needs, I can tell you for a fact that indexing for obedience is pointless. We indexed for development for growth, and that made us parent, our youngest daughter differently than we might have otherwise. My parents never indexed it for obedience, they had three or four rules, if you broke those as a word problem. But other than that, you were free to roam and do and be and develop. And it’s interesting, because as I began to develop and change myself, one of my best friends who Jim knows, well passed away some years ago, Scott Green, he told me, he said, you know, Russ, the further you get away from these influences, the more I feel you’re becoming what you always kind of were, and I was more of a team oriented guy, you know, I sat the bench in high school, not because I wanted to, because that’s what my coach put me a lot of time.
And I was so frustrated with that, but and people tried to recruit me to go to their high schools, but I was like, No, I want to stay here. If I can’t make it here, then then I’m not good enough. And, you know, we were like, fifth in the state, stuff like that. But I years later, I went, Oh, that’s where I learned team, that I don’t have to be the center of everything every second. But as I listen to all of it, there’s several things I want to just highlight as we close one. Again, I want to thank you guys for taking the time, and the thoughtfulness. And the depth that you share is so helpful, the happy failures, I’m gonna, I’m gonna hold on to that.
And I’m going to hold on to indexing for impact, and not for longevity, I’m going to hold on to the humility to be a learner and that we’re that we may make many mistakes as we age. But if we have the humility to be a learner, we can temper those things I’m really going to hold on to as a parent not indexing for obedience, and not only as a parent, but as a leader not indexing for conformity, not indexing for behavior, because you can’t create, as Jim, you and Maureen have done. You can’t create thoughtful kids who manifest their own personality and destiny. If I can use that language. They can’t do it unless, you know, we create sort of a what how does Emerson say it Ralph Waldo Emerson says, character is higher than intellect, that that giving them the character that allows them to know how to develop to be all of who they are. And then finally, that poem gem that that was That was terrible that you put that on me and made me have to listen to that my emotions were stirred by that poem. I was like, Oh, don’t do that to me. Because he said
Life goes not backward. But then the one that just just pierced me was I am now a bow. And I just felt emotionally that that’s what I want to do. That’s what I want to do. I love that metaphor. I love that visual. And I think if you’re out there and you’re feeling like there’s people that are young or coming, and they, you know, a very talented, maybe more talented than you more capable than, you know, things you don’t know, just the supreme excitement of saying, let me be a bow. I mean, wow, if you can’t be excited about that, then you got to check the Paulson. And you got to get on, you got to call the Lula and I reward health and ask what can I do to get myself back to health here because there’s a problem. But I just You started reading that thing. I was like, This is terrible. Jim, you supposed to do that to me emotionally? You know, do that too. Oh, you poor guy.
Thank you both for being on lead different folks. This podcast may become two parts. I appreciate Jim and Rick taking so much time with us. We will transcribe the podcast will you be able to read it? We’ll put links to everything and maybe we can get
some form of link or something to the poem that you read, Jim, that would be great. We’ll highlight other some of the books that were mentioned. And we may highlight some of the quotes that were mentioned. Rick, I want to just one more thing before we go. Because Is there anything you want to share with our listeners about your company and what you’re doing? Before we go because I wanted to? I wanted to leave some time for that. I wanted to get that in there.
Rick McCartney 1:16:41
Yeah, I appreciate that. I would say like short answer. No, I mean, I don’t need I don’t need a plug for for… you know, personally, I have a vision of trying to use technology for good. And so that’s kind of the backdrop to starting technology companies. If you’re interested in locking us up, or messaging me or anything like that, go for it.
Russ Ewell 1:17:02
I love to let people know and we’ll put a link to we’ll put a link to both companies in our show notes. And I just personally be excited cuz I try to work on my health I try to think about it. And and I know that there’s a lot of different ways to to people I talk to people all the time, who they want to do better in their health, but they can’t get there. And and and I think a lot of what you’re doing does that but thank you for your humility and also your willingness to serve people for a purpose of good not just for financial reward, though I do hope you experience in your company experiences great financial reward.
Jim, thank you. I want to just say I’d say to people out there, Jim has been helping me since I was in my 20s and I didn’t learn everything I should have learned. But as I go back in time and remember what I saw, I go oh man, you know, I was supposed to learn that then. And part of it is you know being a better listener and being willing to be in the background and not always push myself forward and and realize that the real joy is helping other people become who they’re meant to be. So thank you guys very much. Again, this is lead different you can find everything to lead dif calm
Transcribed by https://otter.ai