Learning from the Mindsets & Motivations of Executive Leaders in
Government | Military |Technology
Hear the leadership journeys of change makers that help us align with our purpose, grow professionally with meaning, and have a greater impact.
Monday Mindset | What We Resist Will Persist
What we Resist, Persist – Carl Jung
When we resist change, we are clinging to old ideas and limiting beliefs. Where focus goes energy flows. Focusing on the problem makes the problem bigger. Focusing on the Solution makes the Solution bigger.
Resistance can be procrastinating and listening to the voices in our heads telling us we’re some version of not enough; you’re not good enough, smart enough, young enough, old enough, there’s not enough time, even if you achieve it …you’re not enough to keep it.
This negative self-talk that feeds our self-doubt is created by our limiting beliefs, fears, and our selfish opinion of how something or someone “should” be.
Have you ever started “Shoulding” all over yourself?
If we focus on our fears, then they get bigger in our heads. We may even rehearse different scenarios in our mind where things go poorly. It feels like watching a movie in the screen of our awareness where we are the lead character and it somehow turns into a horror film.
We are effectively doing a visualization meditation on the fear and negativity that we are hoping to avoid but instead we are sending more energy and bringing more awareness to it. The Brains filter The Reticular Activating system kicks on in high alert to bring us more of what we focus on the most and unfortunately, it’s the very thing we hoping to avoid.
It’s like procrastinating on something we know we should do. Procrastinating feels like pushing it out of our minds temporarily (Resisting) but somehow when we do it ends up being all we think about all day. (Persisting)
The Secret of Change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but building the new. – Socrates
What have you been resisting?
How can you make space for that feeling or change?
Where can we refocus our energy to building the new…the Solution rather than the problem?
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LTG (Ret.) Bruce Crawford, US Army CIO, SVP Jacobs
Lieutenant General (Retired) Bruce Crawford former US Army 𝐂𝐡𝐢𝐞𝐟 𝐈𝐧𝐟𝐨𝐫𝐦𝐚𝐭𝐢𝐨𝐧 𝐎𝐟𝐟𝐢𝐜𝐞𝐫, 𝐔𝐒 𝐀𝐫𝐦𝐲 𝐑𝐚𝐧𝐠𝐞𝐫, 𝐂𝐨𝐦𝐦𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫 and now 𝐄𝐱𝐞𝐜𝐮𝐭𝐢𝐯𝐞 𝐋𝐞𝐚𝐝𝐞𝐫 with Jacobs joins the DC Local Leaders Podcast
“The greatest gift we can give to the next generation is the gif of a great example” … “Never Destroy a young persons dream by telling them what they can’t do”
After 34 years of service Bruce is most proud of the relationships he’s built and the joy he feels from mentoring others.
He reminds us not to rob ourselves of a wealth of knowledge that may exist outside of our own perception. “Surround yourself with people who look, think, and feel differently from you”
Lean in and hear his journey from being a teenager in Columbia SC in the 70’s to later becoming the CIO of the United States Army. What he thought would be a short career turned into become a Ranger, traveling the World, learning to be a Leader and building mental #resilience by being part of something bigger than himself.
One person saw something in him when he couldn’t see it in himself and instilled a passion for people. That one determined leader changed the trajectory of multiple generations with their generosity and set Bruce on a path to a gratifying life.
Bruce gives us an honest account of his own experience with #militarytransition and the 3 Major phases of exiting and finding a career for the next person preparing to transition.
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Monday Mindset | Neurons That FIRE Together WIRE Toegther
“𝐍𝐞𝐮𝐫𝐨𝐧𝐬 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐅𝐈𝐑𝐄 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫, 𝐖𝐈𝐑𝐄 𝐭𝐨𝐠𝐞𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫.”- Donald Hebb.
The Consistent and deliberate practice of Gratitude Practice is powerful enough to change the neurological make up of our Brain.
WHY? - Hebbian Learning shows the discovery of Mirror neurons that give neuroscientific evidence Of Vicarious Activations; the neural substrates of our own actions are vicariously activated while witnessing the actions of others through vision or sound.
If we surround ourselves with People, Places and Things that cause us to experience Gratitude we will be neurologically shifted into more Gratitude. Likewise, if everything we see, hear, and experience is fear based and negative we will be neurologically shifted towards Resentment
HOW? How then do we increase the frequency of these Vicarious activations in the Brain? By purposely building a consistent Gratitude practice. Hebbs research says that in order for one neuron to begin affecting the efficiency of another in a certain direction it needs to repeatedly (consistency) take part in firing (deliberate action or causality) the other.
simply put to the more gratitude we deliberately practice then the more we will begin to naturally experience Gratitude when not being deliberate.
WHAT? - I have come to view Gratitude as a VERB and not a Noun. It must be Acted upon consistently towards the people, places and things for which we are grateful. This reinforces Gratitude and increases the capacity to identify things in my life large and small that I am grateful for.
Consistently starting my day with a Gratitude list without any minimum or maximum of items allows for a Jump Start to the Reticular Activating System (our Brains filter) to be on the lookout for more opportunities, people, places and things for which I can practice gratitude.
As experience these People, Places and Things I am purposely ingesting through sight and hearing (what we watch and What we listen to) things that generate a feeling of gratitude that cause these Neurons to Fire Together and Wire together creating more opportunities for Vicarious Activation.
Question for the Week
What direction are YOUR Vicarious Activations occurring in?
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Monday Mindset | Healthy Mental Diet
Diet is way more than the food we put in our mouth.
We’ve all heard that we are what we eat but the idea of Nourishment includes more than just food that we put into our body.
I recently went on a 72 hour fast and have since been incorporating a 36 hour fast each week. One of the many benefits of fasting is that it eliminates Toxins from the body. In his book The Seven Day Mental Diet author Emmet Fox provides a method for going on a Mental Fast and eliminating the Toxins & negative thoughts from our Minds.
We’re not just what we eat. We are a product of everything we consume in every way that we consume it. We are a result of the people we surround ourselves with, everything we watch, everything we listen to, the ideas we are exposed to and believe, the examples we follow, and the environment we spend the most time in. Everything that affects our Human senses is a part of our Diet.
Is it reasonable to eat junk food nonstop and refuse to exercise and expect a healthy body?
Is it reasonable to allow junk thoughts into our minds nonstop and refuse to work on ourselves and expect a healthy Mind?
We take care of what we eat and don’t consume food in excess all day long, choosing healthy nourishing foods to intake, and perform regular physical exercise in a variety of forms to maintain a useful, healthy and strong body.
Likewise, to maintain a resilient, positive, healthy Mindset we must make healthy choices in the diet of what we think, view, hear, and the company we keep.
As with the requirement for the consistent practice of physical exercise, maintaining a healthy mindset also requires a consistent practice of mental exercises. These exercises come in the form of things such as Gratitude Lists, I Am statements, self-reflection, affirmations, meditation, identify limiting beliefs and reframing them into positive action-based statements.
I Am statements to for the week:
Today I am taking actions to maintain a healthy mindset.
Today I am Standing Guard at the Gates of My Mind.
Today I am fasting from Negative thoughts.
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BG Shane Reeves, Dean of Academics - USMA West Point
BG. Shane Reeves, the 15th Dean of the Academics Board at West Point joins the DC Local leaders podcast for our latest episode
Shane Reeves is a Brigadier General in the U.S. Army. He is the 15th Dean of the Academic Board of the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y, and previously served as Professor and Head of the Department of Law. He founded and was a Co-Director of the Lieber Institute for Law and Land Warfare.
While he could have practiced law anywhere but he couldn’t see himself doing it anywhere else but the US Army. His law focus has no greater stakes and focuses on National security, War and War Crimes which has taught how to understand the Human Condition.
Shane is an incredible example of Humble Selfless Service and in a charismatic and funny way he’s the lessons he’s learned in leadership and understanding humans that we can apply in our daily lives.
Humans are Humans – people always Step Up – If We don’t Lead then Who Will? Winning matters but it’s not, zero sum game, humbly champion the success of others Access to Information does not mean Wisdom Red Cell Everything Dispassionate disagreement Intellectual Coddling / Intellectual Adversity – Out think our Problems. Connect on LinkedIn, Youtube, Instagram
Monday Mindset | COLD SHOWERS
𝐓𝐀𝐊𝐈𝐍𝐆 𝐂𝐎𝐋𝐃 𝐒𝐇𝐎𝐖𝐄𝐑𝐒 𝐃𝐀𝐈𝐋𝐘 – 𝐓𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐌𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐑𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞
I was first introduced to cold immersion by Wim Hof a few years ago and now one of my favorite hobbies it to study the work of Dr. Andrew Huberman of Stanford. His research includes documents the myriad of benefits of cold-water immersion:
Metabolism, Optimizing Brown Fat Cells Mood (Dopamine regulation), Mindset, Mental Health Recovery Exercise Recovery Pain & Inflammation regulation Focus & Mental Resilience I am 100% seeking the psychological change. I am training for psychological resilience on a daily basis with deliberate periods of physiological discomfort. Through repetition we can develop a Habit and build more neurological feedback loops in the direction of taking action in the face of stress, strain and discomfort.
By utilizing the powerful connection between psychology and physiology we can change our narrative and remove our self-imposed limitations.
Multiple mornings have gone by where I say “ugh …I don’t want to do this”. I even begin developing justifications and excuses …” This is Excessive”, “Who do I think I am?”,” I’ve done it long enough”. I almost quit. As soon as I hear that voice and feel that physical feeling in my Vagus Nerve…I take IMMEDIATE Action in the opposite direction. I do it any way… I step and WIN that small mental battle.
This is me keeping a promise to myself. My SELF heard me commit to cold showers and each time I live up to that promise, I solidify the belief that I am a person who does what they say they will do. 𝐀𝐬 𝐃𝐨𝐧 𝐌𝐢𝐠𝐮𝐞𝐥 𝐑𝐮𝐢𝐳 𝐩𝐮𝐭𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐢𝐧 𝐀𝐠𝐫𝐞𝐞𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭 𝐈 – 𝐁𝐞 𝐈𝐦𝐩𝐞𝐜𝐜𝐚𝐛𝐥𝐞 𝐰𝐢𝐭𝐡 𝐲𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐝.
At some point throughout the day and life there will come times that I have to endure discomfort and each day I prove to my SELF that I am capable.
The water is also never as cold as I think it will be the second before step in. The narrative in my mind is worse than reality. The meditation I use while in the cold helps me focus on:
Where else in my life is my narrative worse than reality?
Where am I suffering my imagination in advance?
Where do I procrastinate? …maybe the water isn’t that cold.
𝐇𝐨𝐰 𝐝𝐨 𝐲𝐨𝐮 𝐭𝐫𝐚𝐢𝐧 𝐟𝐨𝐫 𝐦𝐞𝐧𝐭𝐚𝐥 𝐫𝐞𝐬𝐢𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐧𝐜𝐞?
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Leadership in GovCon
High energy, dynamic host Phillip Naithram brings incredible DC leaders to us, allowing us to learn from the long arch of their careers to be inspired by what is possible when we dream the future and stop constraining ourselves to today’s reality.
Insightful and unique
Phillip has a gift for asking probing and unique questions that force the interviewee to pause and reflect. Well done!
Positive and Motivating !
This podcast is exactly what I needed and I told all of my students to listen. It’s so positive motivating and a great lesson from leaders that can one day be their mentors .