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“Up at the top levels, they have to set the example to make the changes, because if it’s in disarray up there, it’s going to trickle all the way down to the bottom.“ Matt Davis, the president of Driftwood Leadership LLC, and Eric Hipple, an outreach specialist, author, speaker and NFL alumni, join to discuss how focusing on mental fitness impacts leadership strategies, handling life’s transitions, the benefit of asking someone what is going on three times and the struggle around perception of resilience. They also share how they began working together and the priceless lessons they have exchanged.

Show notes:

0:00 Intro

1:14 Matt shares a little bit of background about himself and what he does and why he decided to do what he does

2:41 Eric also shares a little bit of background about himself, what he does and why he loves doing what he does

5:12 Matt and Eric talk about how they transitioned from working in major institutions to consulting and entrepreneurial work they are doing now and how it’s impacting their work

10:31 Eric talks about the term mental fitness and what comes to his mind when he hears that term and the importance of always talking about mental fitness

13:41 Matt also talks about mental fitness and being aware of the importance of mental strength

16:22 Matt and Eric talk about things that you can do when things happen in your life that are negative to help you identify your identity and get back to being mentally fit

22:39 Matt talks about how mental fitness plays into his work in leadership and advocacy

24:57 Eric also talks about how mental fitness plays into his work with the Center for Neurological Studies Foundation and the Mental Health of Western Michigan Foundation

28:48 Matt talks about the importance of always expressing your emotions and the impact it can make on you and the society

31:52 Eric talks about his book called Real Men Do Cry, what it’s all about and what happened in his life that inspired him to write the book

33:51 Matt talks about the lessons that he learned from reading Eric’s book and also talks about the importance of being aware that it is okay to be vulnerable

38:15 Matt and Eric share their advice to people who are hesitant of getting their own therapist to help them with their mental wellness and other things that you can do

45:32 Eric shares his last word about the importance of being a beacon of hope to others which helps them to also be in a state of well-being

47:15 Matt also shares his last words about why people need to show their emotions because all people go through mental stress sometimes

Books Mentioned:

Real Men Do Cry: 

Shows Mentioned:


Detroit Lions: 

After the Impact Fund: 

Saratoga Warhorse:

Quotes Mentioned:

“You cannot be at the top of your game in the business world if you’re not mentally fit.”

“You have to have both physical fitness and mental fitness, without one, you can’t have the other and vice versa.”

“Transition is what happens to you because of things that happen.”

“Anything that stops you from being your best self is an impediment to realizing your goals and your dreams.”

“Stress is part of everyday life.”

“When you get knocked down, you just get back up again.”

“You don’t need to be a jerk to be a good leader and you can be vulnerable and you can show emotions.”

“Life is full of firsts.”

“Don’t be afraid to be first.”

“If you are in a whole dark place right now, please know there’s a way to work your way out of it.”

“Be hopeful, not fearful, be hopeful and realize that tomorrow’s another day that you wake up and take a breath.”

“Focus on the here and now and what can you do right now to make your life better as days come and go.”

Guests Social Media Links:

Matt Davis




Eric Hipple