Life After the Military - Ash Alexander-Cooper OBE

In this episode of Life After the Military, Howie and Lee talk with Ash Alexander-Cooper OBE. Ash, a highly accomplished leader in the United Kingdom Ministry of Defence, had a distinguished 21-year career that included special recognition with his appointment as an Officer of the Order of the British Empire.

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Ash shares his insights about the value of developing and leveraging a strong personal and professional network, the importance of creating and sustaining highly trusted relationships with colleagues and clients, and his strong desire to give back to those who serve our communities. He describes the work he does as a leadership and management consultant and talks passionately about The Unsung Heroes Foundation which he helped to found to give back to veterans and first responders.

Ash also talks passionately about the need to develop resilience by overcoming life’s daily challenges and the need to stay connected to others to help them in their times of need.

 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ashalexcooper/

The Unsung Heroes Foundation: https://www.unsungheroes.org.au/

 

Show notes

0:00 Lee opens the podcast

00:26 Lee introduces Ash

01:37 Ash talks how his military service shaped him

05:30 Ash describes how he prepared for and executed his transition from the British military and the value of networking

12:30 Ash reflects on things he may do differently to prepare for transition knowing what he knows now

18:00 Lee and Ash discuss some differences between the US and the British military and their treatment by the government

22:03 Ash describes the work he did as a leadership and management consultant and how he leveraged his extensive military experience and the need to be adaptable

29:24 Ash shares how he leveraged his network connections, the value of developing trusted relationships and describes the work he did for Palantir Technologies

34:03 Ash passionately talks about his desire to give back, support charitable organizations and the work he does with The Unsung Heroes Foundation

41:22 Ash describes the efforts he took to help evacuate Afghan translators and families from Afghanistan

47:04 Lee gives Ash his book title

48:25 Ash tells the story how he ran the London Marathon in a dinosaur costume to raise money for an Afghan charity

51:57 Ash talks about how he developed his mental strength and resiliency throughout his life and his focus on helping others overcome their challenges

1:00:54 Lee closes out the episode


Life After The Military - Master Gunnery Sergeant (Ret) Vonzell Mattocks


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In this episode of Life After the Military, Master Gunnery Sergeant (Retired) Vonzell Mattocks describes his Big 3 E’s: Education, Entrepreneurship, and Employment. Vonzell had a varied post-military career that included owning and managing an Express Employment Professional franchise; managing the execution of a Department of Labor hospitality industry grant for the Prince George’s Community College; and held several positions in support of active-duty military, veterans, and their families for the Northern Virginia Community College system. Vonzell most recently worked as the Executive Director of the Veterans Employment Initiative which is an integral part of the Northern Virginia Technology Council Foundation.

Learn more as Vonzell describes opportunities for veterans to get free certification and training with Syracuse University’s Institute for Veterans and Military Families Program and the Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses at Intellectual Point. See the links below.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vonzell-mattocks-77985414/

Northern Virginia Technology Council: https://www.nvtc.org/

Syracuse University Institute for Veterans and Military Families: https://ivmf.syracuse.edu/

Veteran Employment Through Technology Education Courses at Intellectual Point: https://info.intellectualpoint.com/en-us/en-us/veteran-programs?hsLang=en-us

Show notes

Show Notes:

0:00 Lee opens the podcast

00:26 Lee introduces Vonzell

01:48 Vonzell describes how his military service shaped him

06:35 Vonzell describes some of the positions he held after he retired from the Marine Corps

10:08 Vonzell talks about his transition and focuses on The BIG 3 E’s: Education, Entrepreneurship, and Employment

15:34 Vonzell shares more about why he chose to pursue his entrepreneurial spirit as a franchise owner early in his transition from the military

19:53 Lee and Vonzell discuss the existence of the team bond in the military and the lack of leadership and team bond in the private sector

27:21 Vonzell talks about how he managed a Department of Labor hospitality industry grant valued at over $2.4 million for the Prince George’s Community College

33:00 Vonzell describes his work with the Northern Virginia Community College System

41:30 Vonzell challenges veterans to envision where they see themselves in 1-3 years whether pursuing employment or educational opportunities

47:00 Vonzell provides great perspective about his role as Executive Director of the Northern Virginia Technology Council Veterans Employment Initiative

53:18 Vonzell reinforces that the Northern Virginia Technology Council Veterans Employment Initiative helps veterans worldwide find employment

56:04 Vonzell describes the value of the Vetworking Events that he hosts

1:00:32 Vonzell provides advice to veterans as they prepare for the Vetworking events

1:04:43 Lee gives Vonzell his book title

1:05:33 Vonzell transparently describes his challenges with mental fitness and what he does to strengthen it

1:15:40 Lee closes out the episode

 


Life After The Military - Colonel (Ret) Jeff Worthington


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“Use your last job in the military to prepare for your next job after you get out of the military” is one piece of advice Colonel (Retired) Jeff Worthington shares in this week’s episode of Life After the Military. Jeff, a 30-year Army veteran who recently retired in May of 2021, thoughtfully planned, prepared for and executed his transition which included use of the DoD SkillBridge Program.  Jeff also talks very powerfully, candidly and courageously about how he overcame suicidal thoughts, depression and how he now manages and strengthens his mental fitness by telling others about his story.  LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-worthingtonCrowdStrike: https://www.crowdstrike.com/
Show notes
0:00 Lee opens the podcast 00:26 Lee introduces Jeff Worthington 02:00 Jeff describes how his military service shaped him 06:02 Jeff shares great advice about how he thoughtfully prepared for and executed his transition to the private sector 21:31 Jeff talks about how he used the DoD SkillBridge Program to help him prepare for his successful transition  26:30 Howie reinforces some of the things that Jeff did to prepare for his transition like developing his network and profile on LinkedIn 29:01 Jeff describes the screening criteria and decision-making process he used to make his post military employment decision 34:28 Jeff shares the “dirty secret” about the DoD SkillBridge Program – he describes how he set up his own program with CrowdStrike  41:08 Jeff describes his role at CrowdStrike (formerly McAfee) 44:35 Jeff talks about the strategy behind setting up his own limited liability company (LLC) 48:00 Lee gives Jeff his book title 51:07 Jeff talks very candidly and transparently about how he overcame suicidal thoughts and how he now manages and strengthens his mental fitness 58:04 Lee and Howie thank Jeff for being so thoughtful and vulnerable by sharing his story 1:11:38 Lee closes out the episode

 


WIN: Championship Traits For Life - Mike McKenna


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The life of a professional athlete can be hard. The life of a minor league athlete, one who moves up and down and around consistently, can be even harder. Our guest today, Mike McKenna played 550 games between the ECHL, AHL, and NHL with multiple teams. However, his demeanor and approach to life lead him to not only a full career, but one where he found massive enjoyment, camaraderie and knowledge - all which he shares with us on WIN.

 

He played four seasons for St. Lawrence University before being drafted by the Nashville Predators in the 2002 NHL Draft.

 

Today, Mike is the volunteer goalie coach for St. Lawrence University, his alma mater where he played four years for their division 1 team. He is also a coach with 44VisionHockey in addition to being the host of two podcasts, “The Suitcase and the Scribe with Scott Burnside and the 6 Degrees with Mike McKenna podcast, where he has interviewed some very high-profile NHL goaltenders and executives.

Show Notes

Mike shares how he got into goaltending: 2:08

Mike talks about his mental fitness routine: 5:11

Mike discusses the traits that made the best and worst teams he played with: 13:11

Mike talks about the leadership traits he learned during his career and wants young athletes to pay attention to: 23:39

Mike discusses team roles and being led: 32:30

Mike talks to being a superstar in the role asked of you: 41:17

Mike shares about the mental resilience he had during his journey between the AHL and NHL: 50:30

 


WIN: Championship Traits For Life - Frank Buonomo


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You hear it all the time, the journey is the gift. But what does that actually mean? This week’s guest, Frank Buonomo, worked in a power position in the NHL for over 20 years, and in this episode, he will share insight about his journey, who helped him along the way, and what commonalities he sees amongst top performers in sport and business.
Show Notes

Frank shares about his mentors and how they molded him and his career: 1:51

Frank discusses why its important to slow down and not burn out on your passions: 5:51

Frank discusses the importance of leaders taking time to take care of themselves physically and mentally: 8:51

Frank shares the importance of creating connections and understanding how to motivate people: 14:22

Frank talks about the importance of culture and how to achieve a great team culture: 18:50

Frank explains the importance of maintaining a team’s culture and bond: 28:01

Frank discusses roles and respecting each others’ roles on a team, as well as the issues behind comparing athletic competition to being in the military: 34:51

Frank talks about Sidney Crosby and some of the qualities that make him such a wonderful human being: 38:27

Frank shares what separates the top people he’s worked with from the rest: 42:42

Frank discusses advice for helping young people to break into sports: 47:18

Frank talks about the type of people Ryan Whitney and Paul Bissonnette are and how the growth to their person brands is a testament to each of their character: 58:52

 


Life After The Military - Colonel (Ret) Fran Trentley


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In the latest episode of Life After the Military, COL (Ret) Fran Trentley provides spot-on guidance and advice for transitioning veterans. Listen to Fran describe his challenges with the transition process and upgrading the communications infrastructure at the White House Communications Agency in support of the President of the United States.

You’ll also learn about the techniques he used to decide to work for Akamai Technologies for over 15 years – he did his homework and made a great decision! Listen and learn from Fran.

Fran’s LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/frantrentley/

Show notes

0:00 Lee opens the podcast

00:31 Lee introduces Fran Trentley

02:51 Fran describes how his military service shaped him

26:35 Fran talks about upgrading the communications capabilities of the White House Communications Agency in support of the President of the United States

43:40 Fran shares his transition experience, creating evaluative criteria, gives examples of risk and reward, and provides great perspective for others going through the process

54:00 Fran reinforces the need to evaluate an organization’s leadership team and culture before you decide to join them

58:22 Fran describes why and how he worked for Akamai Technologies for 15 years

1:06:22 Fran shares how he applied the leadership and team building skills he honed while in the military to create success at Akamai

1:17:55 Fran provides insight into the corporate advisory work he does with Squirrel Compliancy Solutions

1:22:20 Lee gives Fran his book titles

1:24:10 Fran talks about how he manages and strengthen his mental fitness

1:32:00 Lee closes out the episode

 


A Story of Fortitude, Purpose & Joy


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Lauri Burns & Peter Olsen share with us the amazing journey of how they survived and thrived despite their horrific childhoods, how they found purpose and joy helping others like them, and how their lives divinely intersected. They walk us through their discovery of how their experiences should have left them wanting to quit life but ultimately gave them purpose and joy.

Guests Social Media Links:

Lauri Burns
Website: https://theteenproject.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LauriBurnsTeenProject/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/theteenproject
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theteenprojectca/

Peter Olsen
Website: https://www.camdennewjournal.co.uk/article/arsenal-fan-sends-money-home-to-fund-lorry-load-of-food
Podcast: https://www.listennotes.com/podcasts/volume-up/episode-6-peter-olsen-VCcPrEm52z4/

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Key Takeaways:

0:00 Intro

1:47 Lauri shares a little bit of background about herself, where she came from to where she is now and her journey in founding The Teens Project

20:35 Peter shares his story, how he lives in Hong Kong but he’s from London, how he meet Lauri, why he does what he does and his journey to success

35:58 Lauri talks about why she feels that she had to go through what she had gone through as a teen to prepare her for what she is doing now

50:01 Lauri talks about the best way that people with the resources can also contribute in doing a noble thing to the world

51:06 Peter talks about why it is important to also help drug addicts and foster kids because most of them will become successful when helped

52:44 Lauri explains why we should not give up when faced with challenges, but let them inspire us to do well and be successful

 


WIN: Championship Traits for Life - Ryan Whitney

Which would you rather have: a long career as a pro-athlete or the #1 podcast in your sport in the world? Ryan Whitney accomplished both, through an NHL career and co-hosting Barstool Sports Spittin Chiclets.

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In this episode of WIN: Championship Traits For Life, Ryan dives deep with us into his NHL career and the ups and downs that players experience as pro athletes. We also speak about some of the leaders that have shaped him throughout his life and also the keys to creating not just a winning organization in sports, business, and podcasting, but one where people can thrive continually.

 

Show Notes

Ryan discusses his hockey development through school and how it impacted his NHL career: 1:32

Ryan shares why culture is so important to sports and business: 6:56

Ryan talks about how he learned to overcome his adversities: 12:38

Ryan talks about being selfless: 17:30

Ryan shares stories of the leaders he had and learned from during his NHL career: 21:47

Ryan talks about being an authentic leader: 28:20

Ryan touches how organizations can change to allow their players (or workers) to reach their full potential: 30:05

Ryan comments on how understanding the motivation of players can help inspire them to their maximum performance: 36:55

Ryan discusses what skills he learned from his professional and youth hockey career and applied to Spittin’ Chiclets: 47:09


Life After The Military - Dr. Stacey Dixon


Charlie Mike Channel


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In the latest episode of Life After the Military, Dr. Stacey Dixon talks about her service in the United States Marine Corps as a Meteorology and Oceanography Officer, her challenging transition after an unforeseen medical retirement, and the passionate and fulfilling work she does in the education field. As the Director, Veterans and Military Program with National Louis University, Dr. Dixon helps student veterans adjust to the campus environment to build and execute their plan for their future.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/dr-stacey-dixon-6a097a156/

National Defense University Veteran and Military Program: https://nl.edu/student-services/veterans-and-military-support/

Student Veterans of America: https://studentveterans.org/

Show notes

0:00 Lee opens the podcast

00:50 Lee introduces Stacey Dixon

01:50 Stacey describes how her military service shaped her

09:32 Stacey talks about her transition experience and provides great perspective for others going through the process

20:11 Stacey shares her challenge with being medically discharged from the Marine Corps

25:35 Stacey talks about her decision to pursue a financial advisory career with Edward Jones

30:40 Stacey explains why she made a career change to go into the educational field with the Noble Network of Charter Schools and Junior ROTC in the greater Chicago area

36:58 Stacey describes why she pursued a career as a certified professional coach

47:00 Stacey shares some stories about young men and women that she coached and mentored

55:19 Stacey talks about her role and shares some stories as the Director, Veterans and Military Program with the National Louis University (NLU) system

1:04:50 Stacey describes how the NLU staff handles student veterans and their specific needs and challenges

1:12:02 Lee gives Stacey her book titles

1:14:00 Stacey talks about her challenges with mental fitness, being a woman in the Marine Corps, and how she handled them

1:27:34 Lee closes out the episode

 


Staying Present in a World of Distractions


Her Journey Channel


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Beth Shaha, Certified Life Coach and Founder of The Grounded Canary joins us again to share some great insights and wisdom around how to stay present in a world of distractions.  Beth helps us to see that we have a choice to live in the present moment.  Instead of worrying about the past or future, Beth guides us through finding freedom in living in the moment.

Guests Social Media Links:

Website: https://www.thegroundedcanary.com/ 

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-shaha-4aa96095/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thegroundedcanary/?hl=en 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thegroundedcanary/ 

Email: beth@thegroundedcanary.com

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Key Takeaways:

0:00 Intro

2:21 Beth talks about the importance of being present and mindful, some of the tricks to being present, and what happens when you’re in that zone

7:23 Beth talks about the power that our minds have and why it is important to be careful of what we feed our minds

9:55 Beth talks about how people can overcome the internal narrative that they have that there’s a storm in their lives and they can’t make it

12:39 Beth shares some of the tricks that you can use to bring yourself back to the present such as using the alarm clock in your phone

14:26 Beth also talks about how you can use technology to bring yourself back to the present such as Apple Watches

17:27 Beth talks about some of the simple things that we do at home that can help you be in the present

19:54 Beth talks about why appreciating and being grateful for the moment is a bonus to being aware and present

20:29 Beth also shares other things that people can do to help them be in the moment which she also does

24:05 Beth talks about the To-Do list, why it is important to have it, and how you should make your To-Do list

28:23 Beth shares her thoughts on what she feels are some of the things that would make your day fulfilling

30:00 Beth talks about some of the things that she includes in her To-Do list that makes her feel great at the end of the day

32:43 Beth explain why you should always look at things from different angles and not flee away when hard situations come your way

Quotes Mentioned:

“Our body is constantly working for us, not against us.”

“Our body wants what’s good for us.”

“Presence takes slowing down.”

“We can’t do anything about the present, but we can do something about the right now.”

“Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you’ve chosen it, always work with it, not against it, make it your friend, your ally, not your enemy, and this will miraculously transform your life.”

“Presence requires practice.”

“If not now, when?”

“Create a space that allows you to look at a situation rather than be in it.”

“An emotion only lasts 90 seconds, the only reason it would last longer is if you continue to re-engage.”

Quote from Transcript

“Create a space that allows you to look at a situation rather than be in it.”

“An emotion only lasts 90 seconds, the only reason it would last longer is if you continue to re-engage.”