Find Your Flow for Peak Performance

with Pro Golf Coach Rick Sessinghaus

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Our guest today is Rick Sessinghaus, the swing and mental coach for professional golfer Collin Morikawa, the No.2 ranked golfer in the world.

Rick, a former professional golfer and the mental consultant for the UCLA Men's Golf team, is well-known as a performance coach and mindset principles expert. His book, Golf: The Ultimate Mind Game, has been highlighted in national golf magazines and used by leading golf instructors across the country as the “best resource to improve your mental game.” Rick studied the mental and emotional skills that make or break a performance and quickly realized their need and application in the corporate arena.

  • Why should HR leaders listen to a golf performance coach?
  • How Rick began coaching Collin Morikawa
  • How mental coaching can reframe your perspective on pressure
  • Cognitive reframing
  • How do we better respond to the fear of failure?
  • How to diminish stress within your team?
  • How do you take a diverse team and pull everyone together effectively?
  • Consistency between values and performance
  • Rick's history as the first professional coach on LeggUP
  • Mental toughness
  • What is a flow state?
  • How to prioritize flow states as an individual, a team, and an organization
  • Where to connect with our guest, Rick Sessinghaus

[Tom Finn]    00:00:02    Hello, and welcome to the Talent Empowerment podcast, where we lift up people leaders so they can lift up their organizations. I'm your host, Tom Finn, co-founder and CEO of LeggUP. Together. We'll learn how to drive people innovation, how to transform HR into people ops, and how to secure buy-in to disrupt the status quo. And as I like to say, it's finally time to stop smoking on airplanes and update your people strategy. Let's transform your organization and move from a culture of talent management to talent empowerment. 

This week's episode of the talent empowerment podcast is brought to you by LeggUP’s Talent insurance, an inclusive people development platform designed to help HR leaders empower their people through one-on-one professional coaching with results like a 66% improvement in avoiding burnout, a 54% jump in leadership skills and a 73% increase in job satisfaction. LeggUP guarantees improved employee wellbeing, productivity, and retention. In fact, they ensure it, your people stay or they pay! Visit LeggUP, that's L E G G, to learn more. And without further ado, this is Talent Empowerment

Welcome to the talent empowerment podcast where we lift up people leaders. So you can lift up your organization. I am your host, Tom Finn. And today we have performance coach and mindset principles expert Rick Sessinghaus with us on the show. Rick, welcome to the show.

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:01:35    Thank you so much, Tom. And looking forward to this for a long time. 

[Tom Finn]    00:01:38    Well, if you don't know Rick allow me to take a moment to introduce him. Rick is the swing and mental coach for the 2020 PGA champion, 2021 British Open champion, and currently the number two golfer in the world, Colin Morikawa. He is also the mental consultant to UCLA's men's golf team. He is a professional golfer himself, turned performance coach, and a mindset principles expert. He's written a book golf, the ultimate mind game that has been highlighted in national golf magazines and used by leading golf instructors across the country. And it's known as the best resource to improve your mental game. So go ahead and pick that book up when you get a moment. Rick has studied the mental and emotional skills of golfers, leaders, and professionals. And he has figured out very quickly that the application of golf and focus and mindset plays very well in the corporate arena. So Rick, as a golf guy, why should HR professionals keep listening to this podcast?  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:02:52    Because life is about performance and yes, golf has every shot as a new performance and you're on different tournaments and different courses. But every day we have to perform and the stresses that are involved with that, and you can have talent and you can empower the talent, but if there's a lot of interferences involved and a lot of stress, you don't get the most out of your talent. So we need, to train performance and train mindset principles to be at our best.  

[Tom Finn]    00:03:20    Yeah, well said, and I think golf or particularly sports and business have a lot in common in terms of performance. So let's start there. How did you get into the golfing profession and where did this relationship with Collins start?  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:03:34    Sure. Yeah. I was a, uh, college athlete at Cal State Northridge. I play division one college golf and I had the aspirations to be a tour pro like all, you know, college players do, but I found out pretty quickly. Um, I wasn't making any cuts. I wasn't making any money. So I transitioned into coaching and loved doing swing coaching loved, uh, you know, the elements of having a student hit a ball the best they've ever had when I'm giving them a lesson yet it was still I needed to improve their performance on the golf course. And that's where I became intrigued with the mental side of the game. Went back to school, got a doctorate, and applied sports psychology. And then you fast forward to working with a lot of juniors, a lot of college athletes. And then one day, 17 years ago, I'm on the range at a golf course in Glendale, California.  And here comes this eight-year-old kid with his father. They walk up to me and said, “Hey, I understand you work with a lot of junior golfers. Would you mind working with my son?” And of course, that was Colin Morikawa who hit a few shots for me. And I said you bet, I would love to help him out. And he had talent. And as we'll talk about, talent can only take you so far if it does not perform well under pressure, and I have been very fortunate, being his swinging mental coach for 17 years, to see him go through the different stages, uh, of development, the different stages of performance, and knowing that these skills, you know, need to be applied to as many situations and environments as possible.  

[Tom Finn]    00:05:03    Well, that's terrific. And if you don't know, Colin Morikawa went to Cal. He is a PAC 12 alum and a west coast guy. He grew up in Los Angeles where Rick is based, as well. And so help me understand outside of swing. I think we all understand that's a sports thing. And we could probably take a whole nother show or a couple of shows or a year of shows on a golf swing. But let's talk about the mental aspect. So how, how have you impacted Collins's golf life through, your mental coaching? 

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:05:38    Sure. And I, but I think it is important to understand that golf has technical skills to it, right? And in all of our areas, uh, when you're a leader, you have different skill sets that you wanna develop. Golf is no different. You have to hit the ball a certain distance and hit it straight. Yet. What I found is those skills may suffer in certain, uh, cases, or they actually may get better. So Collins won two major championships. His actual performance gets better under pressure. So part of my goal is to figure out what are some of the, um, strategies, tools, frameworks that would help somebody be able to focus in the present moment, have confidence in their ability that they can perform in that moment, emotionally, they're calm, they're relaxed, you know, and so with Colin, you know, he's focused, he's calm. He has that confidence about him that he can take on any challenge that comes his way.  

[Tom Finn]    00:06:30    I, I love that. You just mentioned that he does his best work under pressure. And I feel like perhaps most of us would not say that we would say, when we feel under pressure, our heart starts to race. We have some physical changes. Perhaps we perspire a little bit more, um, perhaps we move faster, talk quicker, or the opposite. Perhaps we move slower and we talk slower and we get really nervous. And personally, I've had that happen in my life. I, uh, in my early career, I, uh, struggled with anxiety. And every time I walked into a big meeting room, my heart would pound, my palms would sweat and I would get really anxious. And it was probably my lowest performance. So people got to see me in meetings probably at my lowest performance. So I could have used you about 15 years ago, Rick. Um, so how do we, how do we help people look at this differently? How do we look at in intense moments or pressured moments and actually stay calm,  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:07:32    Right? And it's, you just said it. It's how we look at things. What's our association with that present moment is key. What's the meaning I'm putting to this? So Colin has a positive association with what pressure is. I ask people all the time is pressure good or bad. And guess what? It depends. It depends on your interpretation of what's happening in that moment. Colin will still have his heart rate. Uh, he will still feel some of those things you were experiencing before, but he looks at those signals as something that excites him. It's something that he goes, oh, this must be important. This is where I can show my best. And he just interprets the signal differently. I have a friend of mine. Who's a neuroscientist at USC. Talking about the basic difference is, do I look at this present moment as a threat or a challenge?  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:08:19    And Colin looks at it as a challenge that he wants to take on. Most people, unfortunately in a pressure situation, look at as a threat. And when you have a threat, you don't wanna take it on. You wanna work away from it. And unfortunately, that leads to more of that fight or flight instinct. So it's all about your interpretation and your perception of the moment. So one of the things I use this called cognitive reframing, how can we look at something different now? I didn't say positively, but just look at it differently from a different perspective, and you start to take some of the energy away from it. And, oh my gosh, I gotta do this. I got to, got to, got to, instead of, I want to, I want to do this. I wanna show up to that meeting today and be able to share with the team, some of my ideas, I wanna be able to be present and listen to my team. So we're on the same, uh, goal and same vision. So it is an interpretation of the present moment. And Colin is the best at it, he wants to be in contention. He wants to have it all on the line because that's a reminder of, he signed up for this. We all signed up for this, right? And so that's what I've, um, really been so proud of him as he takes on all of these situations, that challenges.  

[Tom Finn]    00:09:26    Wow. And so if I'm an HR leader, I'm in people development, I'm in talent, I'm in recruiting. I can take that same approach regardless of if I play golf or not. I can take that approach and say, I'm looking forward to this meeting. I'm looking forward to this challenge. I'm looking forward to expanding my budget. I'm looking forward to finding additional resources for my teams and just that small tip will help us all come a little more prepared, a little calmer.  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:09:56    Exactly. So perception is your reality. So I'm perceiving this as something. I want to do something that is going to expand me along these lines though. I wanna stress. Is that a call-in, or some of my other top performers they're willing to fail? They're willing to make mistakes. They're willing to look, you know, to other people as they failed, but they, they know that that's the only way they're going to push their skills to another level when people fear of embarrassment or what if I say something that the boss doesn't like, and what do I, and then they close up. They're not allowing themselves to push it. So part of this, which seems like the other side of the coin is if you can embrace that, it's okay to fail. It allows much more freedom to take on challenges, because as you know, Tom, I mean, we'll talk a little bit about your company is that there's been a lot of things down the roads and you've had to go down different paths, but you've been willing to try things and you've been willing to let's say fail. And that's the only way that it can get better after that point.  

[Tom Finn]    00:11:00    I think that word failure is so scary to people when they're thinking about their careers, um, which then leads them down the road of thinking about their family. And, uh, then we get into Maslow's hierarchy of needs and all of a sudden fear turns into, let me just keep my mouth shut, uh, because I don't, I don't want to be, uh, seen as somebody that fails. How, how do people deal with failure in a more effective way in the workplace?  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:11:29    So I think the first thing like you said, failure already has some negative connotations to it. So I may, uh, change the word to feedback. And what's the feedback loop is what happened. Did it match the intention I want, if there was a gap there, what caused that now on the golf course, it's very easy. The ball went into the trees. That's not what I wanted. I would wonder why it went into the trees. Was it technical? Was it mental, but in our business relationship, um, we have to also look that there was a feedback loop. There was a cause-and-effect relationship. And if we can answer those questions in a much more neutral way, we can pick up those clues of what led to those different results. And I think that the key thing is I'm looking at a feedback loop instead of saying, that's a failure. It's like, what would I do differently next time? Um, part of it could be preparation. Part of it could be even how I pose a question to my team, but I'm always constantly in a feedback loop.  

[Tom Finn]    00:12:27    Yeah. I love that. So feedback, not failure. Uh, let me say that again, feedback not failure. The key though is if you're a leader, you've gotta be able to do that for your team as well. You can't just do it for yourself. You have to allow your team to fail and create a safe space with some psychological safety within the organization so that you can fail. Uh, or in this case, you can have feedback loops that, uh, constantly lift people up instead of sort of making people feel like they're less than  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:12:58    I would agree. I think the challenge though, is if you're not clear on people's roles and not clear on people's goals, then people don't know what the feedback is being, uh, referred to. Um, and, and a leader may have their own particular data points or something like that, but they didn't share that with their team. And now you have different feedback loops that are not achieving the same goal. So I think clarity in the vision and the mission, uh, those are big picture things, but being clear on the role of the individual, what are they there to do? What are the expectations might be the wrong word, but we need to be very clear on the role, and what their goals are. And then we have something to have feedback off of.  

[Tom Finn]    00:13:42    Yeah, that's, that's fantastic. And so if I'm an HR leader and I'm thinking about how to approach my team in a new way or how to decrease stress, the first step is mission and vision really understanding what the corporate mission and vision is, and then maybe aligning that to your team. And then the second step perhaps is really understanding what the goals are for each individual and understanding how to support their professional and personal goals. And then the third step would be feedback loops and making sure we're all clear on expectations.  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:14:13    Definitely. And I would encourage leaders out there to have their team create their own vision for why they're there and their own roles. And because you may have something that comes to you that is even more empowering for them, you know, part of, um, performance is motivation. And a lot of the research states that if you have an individual that's intrinsically motivated, um, they're going to perform at a higher level yet they're gonna perform for a higher level longer. Uh, unfortunately sometimes we get into extrinsic motivation, which is somebody's starting to do it just for the paycheck, just for the bonuses, uh, just for certain things like that. And there becomes a disconnect quickly and we wanna empower our staff to do it for their reasons also because they can show up and say, I make a difference. They feel like they are valued.  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:15:05    Um, we know this through what people would prefer to have is recognition. Sometimes over a raise, they wanna be told they're doing a good, good job. They wanna be told, Hey, you are really a key part of our team that goes a long way to, when we talk about group performance. So allow your team to bring to mind why they're there and what they want to contribute and give them, as you mentioned, the safety of talking about things that may not be relevant in that moment to what the corporation's doing or the business is doing, but hear the creativity, hear what they're there for. And I believe that strengthens the bond within the team.  

[Tom Finn]    00:15:44    So let's talk about teams for a second, cuz I think that's a great point. Uh, most of our audience is leading teams and for many of them, they inherited a team. Uh, most of them would not have gotten to start from scratch and hire everybody on their team themselves. So how do you take a team that's come on at different times and has different skills, uh, has different backgrounds and idiosyncrasies, different fears? Um, how do you, how do you pull everybody together effectively?  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:16:17    Obviously it's a great question that has been challenged throughout the history of business. Right. Um, but going back to, um, when, when we look at, I use the word flow a lot, um, is a group flow environment. Um, part of those key things is that you do have clear goals. You do have clear expectations. You do have, um, the freedom to share information that your voice is valuable. Um, those things are kind of like the baseline, right? It can be challenging as the team gets bigger for a leader to be able to make sure everyone's feeling important, um, in that room or in that environment and checking in and certain things like that. I think it is extremely important. Um, sometimes an employee, a teammate may feel like they're lost on an island and there's nobody there to help 'em. And that's what I've heard a lot in the past is resources and I'm doing more with less and, and they already feel stressed.  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:17:18    And I think if the leaders, um, can be, uh, empathetic to that, but also then do something about it and, and, and be proactive with solving some of those problems instead of saying, well, that's just how it is. You're gonna lose some of that motivation for some, for somebody. So it's, it's an interesting twist because we have so many different personalities, we have different motivations, we have different communication styles and a leader has to be very adaptable to be able to read a room or read an individual. And that's where, you know, emotional intelligence comes in and, and communication styles comes in is you need to put the team member, um, make them more important than your own endeavors.  

[Tom Finn]    00:18:00    Yeah. So I always say invert the triangle or turn the org chart upside 

down and some would say that's servant leadership. So the idea of servant leadership, if you're not familiar is exactly what Rick said, that you, uh, look at your team as if you report to your team and your job is to support them, support their growth personally, professionally, bring them all together, understand their unique differences and support that, um, and empower them. And it is a wonderful way to lead. It makes your life so much easier because now you're not pushing, you're pulling. And instead of, uh, pushing people to do things, you're pulling them along with you, you're supporting them, you're giving them the resources they need to be successful, and that will improve your retention. It will improve the productivity of your team. It will certainly improve the wellbeing, uh, of the team as well. So lots of good business reasons to do it, if not just human reasons to do it  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:18:57    The right way. And, and one last thing on that, I think honesty is important. Uh, I used to work for, um, a golf company that had all their missions and their values listed up there. And yet day to day was nothing close to that. The behaviors were not congruent with those missions in VA and, and, um, and values that they were putting up there all the time. And I think it's important as a leader, to be honest, that if you don't have a resource, let's say to be honest and say, Hey, this is not gonna happen in, in, in quarter one, but it may happen in quarter two. I hear it like being able to really listen, to be people and hear what they're saying and be honest with what you can and cannot do. I think is important, not just being led on like, this is our mission. And then we see that none of the behaviors are matching to that. Your team is going to, um, to, to see that very quickly. And you're gonna get a very disengaged team.  

[Tom Finn]    00:19:48    Yeah, fair. I, I think one of the most prominent inconsistencies between values and performance is that of Enron, uh, who had integrity on the walls of their offices, uh, you know, as they, uh, were not living up to that core principle, uh, by any means. So there's, there's one example, uh, that, that people can take with them. So let's switch gears a little bit here. Um, now you and I have an interesting backstory, uh, we've known each other for a few years, um, because you were the first coach on the LeggUP platform. And for those of you that don't know, uh, I lead a company called leg up. Uh, it is a professional development organization that sources a network of coaches and brings in productivity and wellbeing science to ensure retention for employers, which, uh, actually we call the product talent insurance now did not start out that way.  

[Tom Finn]    00:20:48    Um, but as we were building the product, as we were building the technology, we were reaching out to top performing coaches in the area. And I got introduced to Rick and Rick was actually the first coach on the LeggUP platform with a profile. When we were in the beta stage, we barely had the technology. We barely had a logo. And Rick sat down with me at the JW Marriott in downtown LA for a one-hour meeting to load his profile. So I could see what it looked like and what the coaches would have issues with loading their profile. Do you remember the day, Rick?  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:21:25    I definitely do. I was looking so forward cuz I'm entrepreneurial at heart and yes, I've been a golf coach and a performance coach in sports. But one of my passions in the last 15 years is to be taking that information into, um, other arenas. And I felt the corporate arena made complete sense performance under pressure is what I talk about all the time. And we were connected through a mutual friend and just loved that you were creating a platform to help people and help companies because it's more than just about the bottom line. And that's what I appreciated with you. It was about people, it was about their own, um, personal development. And for me to be a part of that, um, I was really, really excited about it. So when we're going through that, I'm going, oh, this is gonna be so cool.  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:22:11    And, and it also helped me understand you're building a business. So I'm seeing some of the challenges you're going through in that first year. And I learned a lot, um, through that process too, but it, it was, uh, it was a little sticky at first, right. We had to go through a few hoops and this and that. Um, but I just saw that the constant, um, passion that you had for it and that you had a very clear, uh, intention with, with where you were going. And honestly, I wanted to be a part of that movement.  

[Tom Finn]    00:22:39    Well, thank I thank you. Uh, I thanked you publicly and privately, and uh, I'm very grateful for you doing that because it always takes one. It takes that first person that's willing to help. And you were one of the first people to raise your hand and say, I'd be happy to help. And of course, as an entrepreneur, we set a one-hour meeting and I think that meeting lasted about four and a half hours. Uh, so we, we definitely had a lot to talk about and a lot to get through, uh, and on that first day. But, uh, you were the first coach on the Lego platform and, eternally grateful, uh, for that as well.  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:23:11    No, no thank you. But I think part of that too, is when you get it, like-minded people who are passionate that one hour does turn into four hours because you do have, um, those values that are aligned. And I, I think that's what we're looking for companies to do is, is to get a team that has some similar values, but they all have that passion moving forward, um, to get better.  

[Tom Finn]    00:23:34    Yeah, that's exactly what we look for. Uh, certainly what I look for in an organization is I look for people that are passionate. I look for people that are goal-oriented, uh, and that has a really good character because everything else you can teach, if you've got a work ethic and you've got good character and you have passion for what you do, I imagine you could teach that?

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:23:53    Oh, I totally agree. I go back to the intrinsic motivators and passion and purpose are so important because it helps people with mental toughness when they do have, um, challenges and obstacles is the, we find that people that have a purpose and are passionate, can, you know, when there is a bump in the road, they can keep going. But if there's not the passion, not the purpose, you find that first obstacle and you stop and, you know, part in the sports psychology, we call it mental toughness, but it's basically dealing with adversity. And part of that is a, is a motivational strategy for sure.  

[Tom Finn]    00:24:26    Yeah, absolutely. So how did you get into performance coaching? You started on the golf side, you moved over to this performance piece because that maybe gave you some more traction as, as you were learning. And, and I know you have your PhD in sports psychology. So how did this, how did this occur to you that this was a space you wanted to enter  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:24:46    It, it came from, um, and I'll use the word failing as a swing coach is that I would give a swing lesson to an individual in that one hour, they actually hit the ball better. So in that moment I didn't fail. They were actually hitting better shots. They would come back for another lesson two weeks after I would ask him, Hey, oh, you must have had a great score must. And they go, no, I shot the same thing. In fact, I got a little worse and that didn't make sense to me as a swing coach because I saw in real time their swing got better. I saw the performance, the cause and effect, but what I learned, even from my own GA, uh, game, when I was a professional athlete, was my performance did not always show up in all environments. And it wasn't a swing.  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:25:28    It was mental, emotional, there was interference that I did not have strategies for. So I became obsessed was my students. Aren't getting better. I have to figure out a way. And that's when I went back to school and I've, I've studied a lot of, you know, human performance of, you know, what are, where is our focus? Where is our confidence? Where is our emotional state when we are performing? And I believe performance is very state dependent, mental, emotional, physical state. And we need to train that just as much as we need to train our technical type skills.  

[Tom Finn]    00:26:00    So you've mentioned flow a couple of times, and I don't know that we've gotten the official definition from you. So can you help us just understand if I'm sitting there and I'm thinking, okay, how do I get into flow? What is flow? What does that mean to me as a business leader? Um, can you help explain that a little bit?  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:26:17    Sure. So back when I was first getting my master's in sports psychology, the word zone was thrown out a lot. I play in the zone right in the zone, but now the word I'm in the zone, right? Um, but now the word is flow because it's actually a researched state. Uh, we know the brainwaves that go with it. We know, uh, neurochemicals, we know even heart rate variability that is associated with this specific state. So it's a researched state. A flow state is an optimal performance. We feel our best. We perform our best and it's not, when things are easy, I wanna make sure that that clear flow is actually one of the triggers is challenge. We are challenged in the moment, but we believe we have the skills to match it. At that moment. That's a key precursor to flow; flow follows focus.  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:27:06    What we pay attention to will trigger a different performance. And I don't care if you're in the boardroom or in the golf course. What you're paying attention to in the present moment is your reality. So being able to have routines to now pay attention to what's relevant at this moment is a skill we know in our environments where we have so many different things that could interfere and distract us. This is a skill that has to be talked about more and more because the only way to be in a flow state is when I'm engaged in the present moment. And some of the research says that if you're in a flow state, you will perform at sometimes 500% better because wow, you're not distracted. And in 20 minutes, you're gonna get more done than what some people get done in, in three hours, because they're always distracted and multitasking and they don't really have engaged work. So flow is optimal performance, but you're also feeling good as you're doing. You're actually, this is like meaningful, and this is what I was meant to do, right? So there's a tie-in with that also.  

[Tom Finn]    00:28:04    So does that have a trigger into your endorphins to make you feel better as, as a person as this is going on?  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:28:10    You bet. So we have dopamine, we have, uh, all these serotonin. We have all these different neurochemicals that will change how we feel and flow, um, can be in and of itself. Something that we desire because it feels so great to be fully engaged and to be passionate and to perform at a high level. Um, that is something we start seeking more yet. Unfortunately day to day. Most people are on the other side of the coin where they're stressed and their cortisol levels are up and they haven't recovered from the night before. And, and it's harder for them to get into a flow state because one, physiologically they're not ready. Okay. Um, but they're also focusing on too many things. They're, um, they're triggered by their environment way too much of what's wrong with things and da like that. And that's the other side of that, unfortunately. And a lot of people, especially with the pandemic, we saw how literally the environment was stressing people to the point where they didn't have strategies to even stay engaged, um, in the workforce anymore.  

[Tom Finn]    00:29:10    That's right. Yeah. So, if I'm an HR person I'm listening to this, I'm thinking about flow. I think this is a great idea. Gosh, I, I wish I could put this into my corporate environment. Can you talk to me a little bit about Flow Code for organizations for corporations? How, how can somebody actually take this from the podcast and make it real in their company? 


[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:29:31    Sure. No, thank you. You know, I have a company called, uh, flow code golf academy. So we certainly have, uh, flow is the website and, and we're creating frameworks for an individual golfer to perform at a high level, right? And now we've used some of those same principles now for flow code corporate, where we believe each individual has their own flow code that, uh, what's gonna help. One person performing at a high level might be slightly different than somebody else. And we use everything from mindfulness to recovery, to goal setting. There are many, many steps in this, but when you look at, from a group flow standpoint and a corporation wants to create a new culture, part of that is you want somebody to have, um, like-minded goals, right? We wanna have the vision. We've talked about that before. We wanna be able to share information in a safe environment, but ultimately it does come down to that individual.  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:30:25    Do they have the energy? Do they have the focus? Do they have the emotional management to show up day in and day out? So when we look at flow code corporate, we certainly can do live webinars. We can do in-person trainings, but we have a back, uh, part of this where people can go online. Now they can have their own portal where, where it has different mindfulness things it has. So they can create their own framework where they can train this daily. Doesn't have to take a long, okay, a few minutes a day can start to change things, even gratitude journals. There are a bunch of strategies to be able to do that, but we create a framework for the corporation, but then within that culture, now each individual is encouraged to create their own flow code of being able to perform at their best. Um, no matter the situation.  

[Tom Finn]    00:31:11    Yeah, that's great. And it sounds like the perfect timing for something like this, uh, in a bit of a wild world these days that we all, uh, live, uh, and, uh, participate, uh, in, um, can you gimme an example of a leader who uses flow or somebody you've helped in the past and, and a story around, um, their success?  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:31:33    Sure. I think once you understand that flow starts with an intention I intend to perform in a flow state, you then structure your day, uh, around that. And most of the time you're gonna be at your best in the morning, you have come off of sleeping and, and you have this now sweet spot of time where if you can protect it, if you can create boundaries that first 60 minutes, 90 minutes, where it is on pro very important projects, things that you're really gonna need to be focused on, and you can really create those boundaries. You can get a lot done in that 60 to 90 minutes then, of course, you're gonna have your meetings and you're gonna have potentially emails and stuff. After the fact, most people, unfortunately, flip that they're somewhat fresh. They get into there. They look at the fires that they have to put out that depletes them cognitively, and emotionally, and then they get to what they call their important work later in the day if they ever get to it. And they're not in the optimal state to do it. So we looked at routines just like in golf, there are routines, performance routines, there are performance routines in the corporate world too, is to be able to really protect yourself in a way to create boundaries. But it has to start with having clear goals and objectives and saying this next 60 minutes, I am only doing this. Um, that's, that's a new strategy nowadays, for sure.  

[Tom Finn]    00:32:57    Yeah. I gotta tell you, I am the worst at this. I mean, I am, I am raising my hand on this one. I am not good at morning routine and I tend to have a different morning routine every time when I wake up. Now I'm a dad, I've got young kids, I've got three kids and married and I've got, uh, a couple of businesses we operate. So I think there's probably a need for me to get into flow in the morning and actually create a 60 to 90-minute space for myself. And you're not the first person that's told me about this, Rick, that I need to get my act together. Um, and, but I, I, you know, I share that because it's hard, right? And, and I don't want people to feel like, oh my gosh, everybody does it. And I'm the only person that hasn't figured this out yet because it's actually really hard to do. Now. I've heard from others once you do it and you commit to it, it can really change your life. It can change your productivity, it can change your stature. It can change where you're going. I mean, there, it has so many wonderful core principles, um, that, that change your own behavior, uh, that it's really kind of magical, but, uh, to get there, I think we're all still trying to figure that out. Right, right. But it,  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:34:06    But it starts with baby steps, like any skill. So it could be 20 minutes. I'm going to wake up and write in my gratitude journal of five things. I'm grateful for. I'm gonna take, uh, one minute of, uh, smooth breathing to regulate my system and work on being calm and focused. I'm gonna write out the three most important things I want to accomplish today. 20 minutes, five minutes, what let's get the starting point going, uh, because if we create an intention now for the day and have a clear goal and know where we're going is a heck of a lot better than just throwing whatever it is against the wall and hope it works.  

[Tom Finn]    00:34:40    Yeah. A hundred percent. So that's, that's the homework for us, uh, as listeners to the podcast is to take that first step in the morning and start to create whether it's a five-minute routine that moves to 20, that ultimately moves to an hour or 90 minutes to really set our intentional focus for the day. Um, do we then check in with ourselves before bed? Is that the best way to, to be productive?  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:35:04    I check in with myself throughout the day. So I have reminders on my phone. Um, one of 'em usually goes off at 9:00 AM. I tend to wake up early. Sometimes I'm going to the gym. Sometimes I'm doing stuff at home that's for me. Um, and then my day gets started. I have three kids myself, and right. And I don't wanna let that now dictate. So at nine o'clock, I have a little reminder that comes on and says, what's your intention right now? And it's just a way to refocus me of like, wait a second. Am I gonna get lost in whatever everybody else's wants me to do? Or am I gonna really get clear on that? So I have check-ins throughout the day, um, I think in the evening, um, and I don't always do this next part is to review how the day went. Um, what did I do? Well, it's back to feedback loops again. Um, what do I, what's important for tomorrow creating an intention? Um, so I don't just get lost in the to-do list all the time and just keep growing the list is really now being more intentional with what did I do, what needs to be adjusted and put on, um, in my calendar that's protected the next day.  

[Tom Finn]    00:36:08    Well, great pro tips for anybody in HR, but also anybody that's, uh, in business in general. Uh, these are great pro tips. So what is next for you and Colin, uh, on the tour, on the PGA tour in 2022, what's next for you guys?  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:36:26    Well, it's very exciting. Me being the number two player in the world currently, uh, his goal is to be the number one player in the world. Um, and, and I think it's not only to get there it's to sustain that. So all those businesses out there may want to be the best in class, but then sustaining there and sustaining that is a whole different, um, game plan, right? So he does the routines day in and day out week and week out, um, to get a little better, a little better, and we're always having that feedback. So it's gonna be an exciting year. We're getting ready to go, um, to the player's championship next week. And, and then we've got the masters, we've got all those fun things that we're looking forward to, um, being the defending British Open champion. This is the hundred 50th anniversary of the open championship at St. Andrews this summer. So, wow. It's, uh, we have a lot of really, I'm very, very grateful for all the cool opportunities, uh, that, that have come my way because of Colin's success.  

[Tom Finn]    00:37:18    Yeah, that's wonderful. Well, any, uh, great, uh, success in sports academics, business education always has a great team around them. And, uh, you're part of that exceptional team for Colin and, uh, very grateful for having you on the show and spending time with you, um, and, uh, grateful for all of your support of, uh, my journey as well and, and, uh, our business at leg up.  

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:37:42    Well, thank you so much, Tom. And again, I, I, I do remember that day when we met and loved your passion and, uh, I'm so happy with how things are going for you right now. Yeah.  

[Tom Finn]    00:37:54    Appreciate it, Rick. So where can we find you for the folks listening to this podcast? 

[Rick Sessinghaus]    00:38:00    Easiest way is my website, Um, for all those golfers out there, uh, flow  We have an online community there, to help with the mental strategies for peak performance. And then we'll be launching the flow code, uh, corporate here, um, in a month or so.  

[Tom Finn]    00:38:22    Yeah. Fabulous. And we will put all of that in the show notes for you all. So you don't have to remember it. Uh, if you're driving, don't write it down. We'll get it to you in the show notes. Uh, well, Rick, thank you for being with us. It was a pleasure to have you, and thank you for joining the talent empowerment podcast. I hope this conversation lifted you up so you can lift up your teams and organizations we'll see on the next episode, but before that, let's get back to people and culture together.  

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