257 episodes

I created this podcast because I believe that much can be learned from digging deep with intentional performers. You can learn more about Brian Levenson and his company at www.strongskills.co.

Intentional Performers with Brian Levenson Unknown

    • Sports
    • 4.7 • 41 Ratings

I created this podcast because I believe that much can be learned from digging deep with intentional performers. You can learn more about Brian Levenson and his company at www.strongskills.co.

    Kevin Deshazo on Social Media, Leadership and Culture

    Kevin Deshazo on Social Media, Leadership and Culture

    Kevin DeShazo is an author, podcaster, and founder of “Fieldhouse Media,” which helps college athletes, coaches, and administrators be better on social media. Kevin also helps leaders and teams to create a championship culture with his company “Culture Wins.”


    In this episode, we discuss what comes to mind when Kevin thinks of the word “culture” (5:36), what qualities positively impact culture (7:01), why Kevin is drawn to sports (8:28), how he got interested in organizational development (11:21), his persistence (12:45), the values passed down to him by his parents (14:45), working in health care (15:49), why he changed course in his career (18:26), working for others compared to working for yourself (21:05), investing in others (22:34), getting bored and Keep Chopping Wood and how they play together (25:54), how to know when to stop chopping wood (27:24), what sparked his desire to form Fieldhouse Media (29:54), what we should know about social media (32:15), Twitter (34:47), his process in using social media (35:54), how he instructs people on social media use (39:03), how to prevent social media addiction (40:49), kids (44:53), discipline (49:16), mindsets during the pandemic (51:20), how he sets his mind when performing (52:43), when he feels most alive (56:41), where he sees his work evolving in 5-10 years (59:45), and scaling (1:06:34).


    Make sure to check out Kevin on all social media platforms @KevinDeShazo, and you can find the Culture Wins website here and Kevin’s personal website here. Lastly, I would encourage you to purchase Kevin’s book, Keep Chopping Wood, anywhere where you can buy books.


    Thank you so much to Kevin for coming on the podcast!


    I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.


    Thanks for listening.


    -Brian

    • 1 hr 12 min
    Damon West on Lessons Learned from Prison

    Damon West on Lessons Learned from Prison

    Damon West is someone who believes in inside-out transformation. Today, Damon is a college professor who is nationally known keynote speaker and best-selling author. He travels the country sharing his message. But, it wasn’t always as bright for Damon as it is today. At 20 years old, he was a division one starting quarterback at the University of North Texas, when he then suffered a career ending injury, turning to hardcore drugs to cope with the disappointments of his life. After graduation, he worked in the US Congress where he was a national fundraiser on a US presidential campaign. He eventually trained to be a stockbroker for UBS, one of the premier financial institutions in the world.


    It was at UBS where he was introduced to meth, becoming instantly hooked. While you hear these highs and these bright spots and what society often deems a success, Damon looked the part. And yet, he actually battled demons and battled severe substance abuse. As a result, he impacted lives of many innocent people from choices that he made in order to feed his meth habit. He robbed a lot of people, he became a burglar, and he ran an organized crime ring, ultimately leading to his incarceration. Damon went to jail for 7+ years, but he was actually convicted for 65 years, basically a life-sentence considering the time of his conviction. Damon’s story, in the end, is one of redemption, grit, and determination.


    In this episode, we discuss Call me MISTER and how it’s changing the world (7:14), what he learned about race while in prison (12:55), race outside of prison (16:33), cancel culture (24:19), being labeled as gifted and talented as a young man and how it both helped and hurt him (28:32), substance abuse (31:19), what allowed him to persevere in prison (35:01), what he does today to make sure he stays clean (37:35), good and evil (42:33), and why he has decided to pour his heart and soul into speaking (49:02).


    Make sure to check out Damon on both Twitter and Instagram @DamonWest7. Additionally, I would encourage you to check out Damon’s website here. Lastly, Damon’s foundation website can be found here as well.


    Thank you so much to Damon for coming on the podcast!


    I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.


    Thanks for listening.


    -Brian

    • 54 min
    Ed Offterdinger and Catherine Allen on Developing Employees

    Ed Offterdinger and Catherine Allen on Developing Employees

    Ed Offterdinger is Co-founder and Chairman of AO People Partners, a leadership development and people strategies firm. Ed is a strategic advisor and leadership coach with more than thirty years of leadership and client service experience as managing partner and CEO of large advisory companies. Prior to co-founding AO, Ed was Executive Managing Partner of the national advisory firm, Baker Tilly. Ed helps CEOs and other leaders improve their performance and do what’s best for their team, their business, and society. As cofounder and chair of the Washington, DC, chapter of Conscious Capitalism, Ed has been helping spread the message about the power of business to do good.


    Catherine Allen is Co-founder and CEO of AO People Partners. Catherine is passionately dedicated to helping leaders and organizations lean into the power of developing people to drive business success and meaningful social contribution. Catherine brings over 25 years of experience working collaboratively with industry leaders helping them and their organizations to thrive in both the human behavioral and process aspects of performance and organizational effectiveness. Catherine has a successful track record of helping leaders develop the awareness and "people" skills they need to define and communicate clear vision and direction, make difficult decisions, successfully lead their organizations through change, motivate and engage an intergenerational workforce, and cultivate their own authenticity and presence. As AO’s CEO, her focus is on guiding her team to build the full suite of capabilities to help leaders reimagine and create the culture that make investing in conscious people development more integrated and holistic.


    We are proud to welcome Ed and Catherine as Conscious Capitalism Press authors. Their new book is Conscious, Capable and Ready to Contribute: A Fable: How Employee Development Can Become the Highest Form of Social Contribution.


    AO People Partner’s mission is to inspire and support the conscious practice of people development in the workplace. AO’s team of experienced coaches and consultants bring business, leadership, and adult development expertise to help leaders and their organizations create the cultural conditions and sustainable practices that enable their people and their businesses to grow and flourish


    In this episode, we discuss Ed and Catherine writing a book together (7:06), the appeal to forming their partnership in 2017 (10:22), when Ed realized he wanted to become a coach (11:00), what it was like vacationing together before they formed a business partnership together (13:09), separating mind skills and people skills (15:15), if curiosity can be cultivated (18:52), what it looks like to reward curiosity and growth mindset in the workplace (21:12), how to embed these skills into levels where people are living paycheck to paycheck (29:46), how to help people in the organization figure out their direction (33:28), why so many people have decided to shift gears when it comes to their career of late (40:25), entitlement (44:49), employers helping employees grow in all walks of life (49:16), how organizations think about production and growth (54:36), transactions and transformations (58:42), where to start when developing people (1:04:31), what they do to make sure they’re at their best (1:10:14), and what allows partnerships to thrive and what can get in the way of that (1:13:39).


    Make sure to check out the AO People Partners website here! Additionally, you can follow Ed on Twitter and LinkedIn. I would also encourage you to follow Catherine on both Twitter and LinkedIn as well! Lastly, make sure to buy Ed and Catherine’s book Conscious, Capable, and Ready to Contribute anywhere you can buy books.


    Thank you so much to Ed and Catherine for coming on the podcast!


    I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally

    • 1 hr 23 min
    David Livingston on Optimizing Teams

    David Livingston on Optimizing Teams

    Managing Partner McChrystal Academy. David Livingston leads a team of subject matter experts, learning designers, and dynamic facilitators who develop and deliver custom learning courses and programs that leverage a variety of experiential learning methods to drive individual growth and higher performance for teams and organizations.


    In this episode, we discuss what David notices with regards to polarity when working with organizations (5:45), cultures of confrontation (7:23), leaders (10:04), how he balances wanting to be liked with having to make difficult decisions (12:32), balancing holding people accountable with knowing one’s roster is not very deep (15:56), why people struggle with paradox and instead like things to be neat (21:13), resilience (26:15), values (30:50), what led David to explore this field (33:43), where he starts when working with teams (35:39), how many teams have clarity on their purpose (36:32), what the military doesn’t do well that certain businesses do well (40:02), the relationship between the military and creativity (41:45), the importance of roles for high functioning teams in the corporate world (43:13), academia and application (45:03), religion and science (48:06), how he thinks about balancing tradition with his children and giving them space to make their own experiences (51:29), autonomy in organizations (54:45), what he does to make sure his own business is operating as its best self (58:23), flow state (1:04:30), organizational development in the future (1:09:08), and Jon Gruden (1:12:05).


    Make sure to check out The McChrystal Group website here and to see what David is up to on LinkedIn as well!


    Thank you so much to David for coming on the podcast!


    I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.


    Thanks for listening.


    -Brian

    • 1 hr 20 min
    Sean Magennis on The Power of Collectives

    Sean Magennis on The Power of Collectives

    Sean Magennis is the CEO of Capital 54, where he contributes 30 years of experience to entrepreneurs and growing professional service businesses, domestically and all throughout the world. He helps them with growth strategies, turnarounds, acquisitions, and financing. Sean supports the Capital 54 portfolio company CEOs, the investment resourcing, screening, and due diligence. He also is involved with all of their growth and exit processes. Prior to Capital 54, Sean led a global and diverse team, serving over 30,000 CEOs in 138 countries with combined annual revenues of 9 trillion US dollars. He was the president and COO of Young Presidents Organization (YPO). Prior to that, Sean began his business career in management at Dow Chemicals. He ran a professional services firm for 14 years focused on organizational development, consulting, people assessment, and executive search which grew to encompass operations in Canada, the US, and Mexico, where he and his team served several thousand clients. He has experience with real estate platforms, electricity infrastructure development, and financial services. Sean is also the past global president of Entrepreneurs Organization (EO). Today, he is still an active YPO member.


    In this episode, we discuss Sean’s roots in South Africa (6:16), the role of religion in his upbringing (8:49), his evolution in thinking about spirituality and religion over time, as well as his thoughts on racism and Apartheid (9:45), the intersection of being a team player and also an individual (17:17), how he thinks about challenging and supporting people as a mentor (21:01), why he values entrepreneurship (24:30), the skills that make a good entrepreneur (25:09), his mentoring process (26:19), how he uses his experiences to ask great questions (28:53), the keys to a great partnership (31:21), EO and YPO (33:40), where his curiosity came from (38:20), more on curiosity (42:53), the importance of gatherings (47:39), why he has always been part of the service industry (50:51), how he makes sure he’s doing well (54:58), what has driven the first chapters of his business career (59:22), Capital 54 (1:02:24), the difference between a chief of staff and an executive assistant (1:07:36), attention to detail (1:12:17),


    Make sure to check out Sean on LinkedIn as well!


    Thank you so much to Sean for coming on the podcast!


    I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.


    Thanks for listening.


    -Brian

    • 1 hr 16 min
    Marques Colston on Living His Vision

    Marques Colston on Living His Vision

    Marques Colston is in the record books with the New Orleans Saints for being on their all-time best wise receivers. He was recently inducted into their hall of fame, finishing his ten-year career atop the Saints reception list, their receiving yards list, their scrimmage yards list, and their receiving touchdowns list. During those ten years, he also helped lead them to a Super Bowl Championship. Marques was a 7th round pick when he entered the NFL. Prior to that, he only had 2 offers coming out of high school to play collegiate football, eventually going to Hofstra University. Today, Marques uses the skills and mindset he has developed over the years to serve as an executive coach.


    In this episode, we discuss Marques getting drafted by the Saints (5:16), what life was like for him as a kid (6:37), how his father’s passing impacted him as a high schooler (7:52), his siblings (10:24), raising his kids (11:48), his shared vision with his father (13:03), why he went to Hofstra instead of Missouri (15:03), balancing the ability to see into the future and also staying grounded and taking advantage of opportunities right in front of him (18:52), how his mindsets in preparation and performance differed (22:03), how he would let his body naturally perform on gameday (25:11), habits and routines that would help him get laser focused (27:41), being in New Orleans as they became a premier franchise (30:25), culture (35:05), the role of talent vs. the role of mindset (41:51), if there was a specific coach or player that helped develop him (44:53), being “The Quiet Storm” (47:30), what the Super Bowl was like for him (50:40), qualities associated with greatness on a regular basis (54:40), his decision to hang up the cleats after being released (57:38), his advice for athletes and the importance of getting educated in other things outside of football even while playing (59:56), what his vision for himself in 2026 was when he retired in 2016 vs. what it is now (1:05:54),


    You can check out Marques’s website here, and you can also check him out on all social media platforms @MarquesColston.


    Thank you so much to Marques for coming on the podcast!


    I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.


    Thanks for listening.


    -Brian

    • 1 hr 14 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
41 Ratings

41 Ratings

Marsh Buice ,

My weekly Yoda

Brian is my weekly Yoda. Unpretentious. Unassuming. He lands his questions in such a disarming manner that we receive enlightened answers from his guests.

Simfunny ,

Motivated to be better and to do more

I'm currently entrenched in a maniacal binge. I'm not very athletic and have no psychology background, but I've been enjoying it. Not too deep, yet not frivolous. Not preachy, yet informative. I'm inspired and humbled by these guests' drive and productivity levels. I also love the "preferences" segment that Brian would do. Good self-reflective exercise. Just arriving at an answer for most of them is such a challenge!

AdambSimon ,

Great Listen and Insights!

I love this podcast. Brian always has amazing guests join him but what makes this podcast great is the questions Brian asks and the valuable insights and gems he extracts from leaders in the business and sports world. You will enjoy learning and hearing how these top minds tick and what they do to achieve success!!

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