Life After The Military: Army Signal Officer and Paralympic Athlete, COL (Ret) Patty Collins

YouTube player

 

Do you want to be inspired? Do you want to learn how someone overcame a life-changing accident to propel herself to be an Olympic athlete?

In this new Pivotal Moments Media Charlie Mike Channel episode of Life After the Military, Lee and Howie speak with Army Colonel (Retired) Patty Collins.

Patty shares an invaluable perspective on how she planned and conducted her transition from the Army. She highlights the value of finding a new community, taking time to spend with family and recharge, and the challenges of working in a consulting firm and pursuing a career in government service.

After surviving a cycling accident that left her as a below-the-knee amputee, Patty talks candidly about her challenging battle to recover and overcome significant adversity. Not only did she complete an extraordinary 24-year career as an Army Signal Officer, but Patty also competed as a triathlete in the 2016 Paralympics held in Rio de Janeiro.

Patty continues to inspire and lead others serving as the Deputy Director of the U.S. Government Publishing Office and as a coach and mentor of aspiring competitive disabled athletes.

 

Show Notes:

00:00 Intro

2:03 – Lee asks Patty how she prepared for her transition

6:50 – The importance of finding and/or creating a community, taking time to settle in and readjust, and being open to finding a new purpose

8:56 – Howie brings up how much of a difference financial discipline, becoming debt free, and how that financial freedom can greatly affect a transition for the better

11:57 – Why 6 weeks is the golden grace period for adjusting to your new life outside the military

14:25 – Patty shares more about her past and current work positions, why she chose those positions, and what she learned 

26:25 – Patty discusses a major accident she suffered and why she chose to amputate her leg
38:00 What motivated Patty to eventually compete in the 2016 Paralympics

41:00 – Lee talks about his experience in injury recovery, the benefits of physical therapy, and the emotional release that comes with healing

48:00 – Howie brings up the importance of claiming ownership of your situation, what it can take to do that, and how it can benefit your transition and your life.

57:28 – Lee gives Patty’s book title

59:30 – How does Patty maintain mental fitness at an Olympic level?


The Core of Social Responsibility and Practicing Presence

If you were in a job that wasn’t fulfilling your passions, would you leave it to do something else? Jeff Linihan is the Co-Founder and President of Advocado, but before that he was a lawyer. In this episode, Jeff takes Jenn and our audience down a road of pivotal moments and valuable lessons he’s learned along the way as an entrepreneur.

YouTube player

 

Watch the full episode to hear Jeff’s take on: 

  • Employee’s personal brand 
  • Empowering employees to pursue what they view as their personal social responsibility 
  • Broadening perspectives after using the culture index system
  • Flexing mental fitness muscles as an entrepreneur 
  • Practicing presence 

 

Show Notes

00:00 Jenn kicks off this episode with Jeff. He introduces himself as a lawyer who quickly realized his passion was in entrepreneurship. He dives into his media and marketing space, and how he set out to collect data in real time.

5:02 Jeff details how social responsibility plays into the vision of Advocado, and how he believes it’s important to help employees promote their own individual cause or what they view as social responsibility

8:55 Jeff and Jenn express their viewpoints on corporations assuming all employees want to work on their personal brand  

11:22 Jeff discusses broadening his perspective after using the culture index system. Jenn asks about finding balance between employee engagement and wellness while deploying culture index profiles.

15:10  Jeff reveals the first thing he looks at when someone applies for a job at Avocado, and how by doing this he’s able to build a high-functioning team.

17:30 Jenn brings up how large companies like Amazon are coming to large cities and are doing their part in the community, Jeff touches on the “PayPal Mafia” Effect and how great talent has the potential to pursue passions.

20:11 Jenn asks Jeff how he flexes his mental fitness muscles and how he navigates the grind of being an entrepreneur. 

24:15 Jeff briefly touches on the biggest challenge he faces when it comes to being present and connecting the mind and body. 

25:00 Jenn and Jeff close out the episode on a note about empowering others to pursue what they are passionate about. 


Life After The Military: Marine Corps Colonel (Retired) Beau Higgins

YouTube player

 

Interested in learning about the opportunities for transitioning military veterans to work at Amazon? 

In this new Pivotal Moments Media Charlie Mike Channel episode of Life After the Military, Lee and Howie speak with Marine Corps Colonel (Retired) Beau Higgins.

 Beau shares great insights into his planning and preparation for transition from the Marine Corps.

Working as the Senior Manager, Military Talent Acquisition for Amazon, Beau helps us understand the opportunities for transitioning service members at Amazon and how to best prepare and compete for them. Beau explains the Amazon interview process and how to succeed in that process.

 

Show Notes:
00:00 Intro

2:00 Lee asks Beau about his transition from military to civilian life

10:00 Don’t be afraid to ask for help

17:00 Why Beau chose to work with Custom Cable

26:00 Amazon plans to hire veterans and train non-military leaders to lead veterans successfully

41:00 Beau on Amazon’s keys to successful veteran integration 

50:00 Tips for preparing for interviews

1:05:00 Lee asks Beau about mental fitness


Soundboard: Love and Loss - Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry

Life’s journey can lead you down an unpredictable route filled with many triumphs and tribulations. 

YouTube player

 

Former Nashville Mayor Megan Barry joins Ty for a discussion about the twists and turns her life’s path has taken, and how she chooses kindness over bitterness and resentment. Megan opens about her upcoming book, What You Do Next, which reflects on the loss of her 22-year-old son Max who tragically overdosed, as well as how she saved her marriage and found joy again. Practicing mental fitness isn’t always easy, but it comes with great rewards and Megan is proof of that. This tell-all episode shows a side of the previous Mayor of Music City that we guarantee you’ve never seen before. 

 

Show Notes:

0:00 Intro

1:40 Ty asks the question “Who is Megan Barry?”

6:00 Megan and Ty discuss shame and substance abuse

14:30 Megan discusses her motivation for her upcoming book, What You Do Next

20:30 Megan speaks on finding joy

24:00 Ty asks Megan about the pivotal moments of her life

28:30 Megan tells Ty she does yoga for her mental and physical fitness

33:10 Close


Soundboard: A Crystal Clear Reflection of Growth, with Ty Herndon & Crystal Lewis

We’re back with another episode of SOUNDBOARD featuring Grammy-Nominated & GMA Dove Award-Winning Singer, Songwriter, and Actress: Crystal Lewis.

YouTube player

 

In one of our most powerful episodes yet, Crystal and Ty discuss the importance of reflecting on big changes and pivotal moments as they make us realize the growth we experience in our personal lives. Leaning in and Listening to others is often discussed on our show, but Crystal delivers a new perspective which is also reflected in her music. Tune in for this groundbreaking discussion and for a closer look into her latest album, Together We Can, and a breakdown of Ty & Crystal’s song “Everybody Hurts”

 

Check out Everybody Hurts by Crystal Lewis and Ty Herndon

 

Show Notes:

0:00 Intro

00:50 Crystal introduces herself

06:00 Crystal discusses what instilled fear in her

9:45 Ty asks Crystal if she has seen a change in herself 

11:00 Crystal discusses her pivotal moments

16:30 How walking helps Crystal clear her head 

17:40 Ty asks Crystal what she would tell herself at 16 years old

21:30 Crystal discusses her new album, Together We Can

27:30 Pain should make us grateful for each other

29:50 Ty and Crystal discuss their song together, Everybody Hurts

33:10 Close


Life After The Military: How do you handle physical and mental abuse?

Have you suffered from physical or mental abuse?

If so, how did you handle it?

If so, how has it changed you?

YouTube player

 

In this Pivotal Moments Media Charlie Mike Channel episode of Life After the Military, learn how LTC (Ret) Olivia Nunn dealt with an episode of physical and mental abuse early in her 20-year military career.

Olivia bravely and transparently shares how this episode of abuse and how the chain of command handled it led her down a very dark path that did not present itself until she decided to retire from the military.

Learn how Olivia confronted this challenge to get her life back on track to help other men and women in uniform who have similar mental fitness challenges.

 

Show Notes:

00:00 Lee introduces Colonel Retired Olivia Nunn

1:40 Olivia discusses her transition and her work at U.S. Army Soldier For Life

3:50 Loss of identity when leaving the military

8:00 Being a woman in the military and transitioning

13:40 How Olivia dealt with her challenges

15:30 Olivia was assaulted by her Platoon Sergeant during her first deployment

18:15 How Olivia’s mental health was affected by the incident 

21:20 Olivia had a successful career at the cost of her mental health

27:20 Why Olivia decided to finally leave the military and be a mom

31:00 Olivia’s exit from the military set her up for a successful transition

34:50 What resulted from Olivia’s troubles with mental health during her transition and after her divorce

37:00 Olivia contemplated suicide and reached out to resources

46:35 How Olivia’s family reacted to her struggles

51:45 Olivia eventually found a resource that helped her

54:00 Olivia tells how the resource helped her

1:02:00 Olivia talks about discovering her purpose and creating an LLC

1:07:00 Howie and Olivia discuss finding your past self following your service in the military 

1:19:50 Olivia speaks on why she shares her story

1:24:00 The three highlight the importance of giving back

1:28:30 Lee closes out the episode


Soundboard: CMT’s Cody Alan on Listening, Life and Love

On Soundboard we often talk about turning down the negative, and turning up the positive voices in our life- what we listen to always impacts our mental fitness. And what better way to amplify our voices with none other than CMT’s Cody Alan!

YouTube player

 

On Soundboard, we often talk about turning down the negative and turning up the positive voices in our lives — what we listen to always impacts our mental fitness. And what better way to amplify our positive voices with none other than CMT’s Cody Alan? Cody is one of the most notable voices in hosting country music television and radio. He also recently published his first book, “Hear’s The Thing: Lessons on Listening, Life, and Love” in which he details stories of his self-discovery journey and becoming a more active listener. In this episode, Ty and Cody walk us through their mental fitness routines, how they both came out as gay and felt empowered to live their most authentic lives, and how they have both gone through struggles in dark times only to emerge in light and love.

 

Show Notes:

0:00 Intro

1:50 Ty and Cody talk about their friendship and some of the lessons they have learned

4:40 Cody tells the Pivotal Moments of his life

8:00 Ty asks Cody what he does to stay mentally fit

12:00 Cody discusses a failure

15:00 The two discuss their experiences being married to women and being gay

18:00 Cody talks about being a father

23:15 Cody touches on the stories in his book

30:10 Close


Championship Traits For Life - Christine Krall

Who would’ve thought athletic coaching could translate into mental fitness advice?

YouTube player

 

Figure Skating Olympian & Coach, Christine Krall, has been on the ice arabesque-ing and coaching for a combined 49+ years, and today on our WIN podcast she taught us many pivotal lessons that we can easily apply to the way we approach life’s obstacles. In this episode you will learn about… – The “Silent Trainer” – Quantifiable feedback before the “do it again” method – Understanding young athletes’ need for mental health practices.


Asleep at the Wheel

Leadership is a dynamic process and a learned trait.  All of us are born with a certain amount of talent in a variety of different areas.  What we do with that talent based on the skill we put into it (practice) is what eventually will define us.  You would rather be the person that has gone above and beyond with limited talent than the one with all the talent and little to show for it.

That all being said I think it’s absolutely critical that leaders at every level know what’s going on around them and take responsibility for their actions and those under their charge.  Look, there will always be things that happen that are out of your control; things you don’t directly manage or affect.  However, the responsibility falls back to the “leader” and President Harry S. Truman said it best when he declared “The buck stops with me.”

No leader wants to be embarrassed, ridiculed, or exposed in a scenario where they seem as if they had no idea, training, or experience in what happened.  Murphy’s Law comes into play at times and “stuff happens;” how you deal with that as a leader will define you.  President John F. Kennedy had his own issues when he took office in January 1961.  He immediately was thrust into the debacle known as the  “Bay of Pigs.”   This operation actually began in the Eisenhower administration and was captained by the CIA.  The plan was to use counter-revolutionary insurgents (Cuban exiles) trained by the U.S. to overthrow the Fidel Castro regime in Cuba.  As history tells us this was a complete disaster and many feel JFK was pressured into the invasion by his more experienced senior civilian and military advisors.

Afterward, JFK didn’t deflect the issue to a previous administration, or to advisors that were possibly misinforming him in the hopes of making him look bad.  Rather JFK went on the air and took public responsibility for the failed invasion and said “…we got a big kick in the leg and we deserved it. But maybe we’ll learn something from it.”  People are not dumb; they can accept the truth and most often will welcome it regardless of how hard it is.

Now there are hundreds of other leadership examples out there and you can each do your research and form your own opinions.  Taking responsibility for not only your actions but also the actions of the people and situations you are overall responsible for, shows that you are “manning the helm” and being answerable.  When you don’t take responsibility, defect accountability, or make counteraccusations, all you do is display the perception that you’re “asleep at the wheel.”

As a leader, you have to keep abreast of what’s happening around you.  Many times we surround ourselves with very smart and extremely competent people.  The advantage of this is you can give these folks a direction and distance and they can get the task accomplished with little guidance.  The disadvantage is the left and right limits of the task sometimes get wider, making the target objective larger, and slowing the effort.  Then you also have what I like to call the “good idea fairy” that comes into effect.  Beware of this!  The good idea fairy only complicates the process by adding layers to the objective when you should be “staying the course.”  Simply, plan your fight (task) and then fight (execute) the plan!  If there are changes to be made then take time to make sure it’s the right change and don’t make change because you hit a speed bump.

The Take-Away:

If you’re a leader at any level, know what’s happening around you.  Manage, don’t micro-manage. Ask questions (a lot of questions), look for multiple solutions, and regardless if you made a particular decision or not, it’s your responsibility to be accountable for it.  You may get it wrong from time to time but the leadership value you will learn will assist in your expertise moving forward.

I never kept count of the times I was wrong, all that does is eat at your spirit and fuel a negative leadership style.  What I always do remember is standing there and being accountable for the men and women under my charge and my decisions and their actions.  Believe me, that’s what they will remember most!

I look forward to your comments and an always, Lead from the front! 

We climb! -JB

 

Keynote I: the highest point of JFK’s Presidential approval ratings came in wake of the Bay of Pigs disaster.  Despite the embarrassing admission, the White House made about the U.S. involvement in the botched invasion, JFK received a bounce in his approval ratings.

 

Keynote II: we would often say in the military “don’t scrap a good plan at the first sign of gunfire.  This is to be an expected part of what we do.”  The same goes for business.


Just Hustle

When you ask someone to define the word “hustle” you normally receive a variety of descriptions, from a dance move to an athlete running on a competition field.  It’s a word I like to use as a description for myself as well as what I want to inspire in others.  My youngest daughter, Abra, likes to say about our family, “We’re Spisso’s, we always hustle!” Meaning we put in the work and do whatever is needed to get the job done, the right way, with honor and courage. I mean this simply as a way to propel yourself forward, even if you have a shortage of smarts or talent.  Hustle means to have pace, an attitude, and the ability to do things with a purpose as if a Halloween character is chasing you!

The military introduces hustle in new recruits by having them jog from one location to the next, or walking quickly when leaving the chow hall or on a marksmanship range.  As a drill instructor, military leader, and coach I was consistently reminding people that pace and hustle are the foundations of getting things done.  It also affects your spirit!  Hustle is truly the force multiplier; where GRIT meets talents and crushes them like your uncle squeezing an aluminum beer can at a barbeque.   I was recently talking to a young employee who holds an entry-level position at a company, and he asked me, “How do I get ahead?”  I replied, “Well first you need to show some hustle!”  He looked at me confused.  I continued, “Every time I see you it’s like you’re at half speed. Get moving, hustle, go, move, and show some excitement!” 

The basis of hustle is simple:

  • Never be afraid of the hard work!
  • Pick up your pace in life! The way you walk, the way you work, your attitude and demeanor.
  • Be a game changer!! That project or idea you worked on behind the scenes, after hours, where no one sees your effort, finally is brought to the forefront and it’s a home run!

 

Don’t overthink this.  It’s an attitude, a speed, and a step forward.  Increase your stride, expand your bandwidth, and change the way you see challenges.  A good friend of mine owns a multi-million dollar glass business; designing, manufacturing, and installing designer glass in homes and hotels.  He came to the United States barely in his twenties from Ireland with $400 in his pocket, the only money he had.  He found a job on a construction crew that was doing interior demolition and remodeling for a New York City apartment building.  He was working six days a week and twelve hours a day; scratching, clawing, and positioning himself to get ahead.

The owner of the company asked my friend if he “wanted any side work.”  He said, “Of course,” and took on a side project working a deal for a bonus for each room he completed.  Within the first week, he surpassed the owners’ expectations and was astonished by my friends’ progress!  When it was tough and lonely, my friend resisted the urge to go back to Ireland and play it safe.  He didn’t know anyone in the U.S. and calling home in those days would cost a day’s salary.  Despite the hard work and seclusion, my friend kept his focus and, more importantly, his hustle.   He turned this work into his own trade and his own business.  Today when I see him, he’s still walking with a purpose and focus on success for his family.

There are countless stories like this, and you’re either painting one yourself or have already done so.  Enjoy life, keep your emphasis and your stride, and never forget the good fortune found when you simply hustle!

“Some people want it to happen, some people wish it would happen, others make it happen.” ~Michael Jordan