My guest today is Brian Bogert, a human behavior and performance coach, speaker, and business strategist, Brian teaches disruptive strategies on how to create sustainable growth and lasting change personally and professionally. His life philosophies on “how to embrace pain to avoid suffering,” “people before profits,” and “who before what” has helped individuals and companies discover and activate their limitless potential. In a world that is disconnected, Brian is revolutionizing how individuals, leaders, and entrepreneurs deeply connect with their authentic selves to achieve the best version of themselves.
Brian’s passion for positive leadership extends beyond his business career and into the nonprofit sector. He is a founding member of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul’s professional advisory board, the Vinnies, and serves on various other advisory boards and committees like the American Cancer Society, Adelante a lonte —Healthcare, TGEN, United Blood Services, the YMCA and many more!
[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, leg up guarantees, improved employee wellbeing, productivity, and retention. In fact, they ensure it. Your people stay or they pay! Visit leggup.com to learn more. And without further ado, this is Talent Empowerment.
Welcome to the Talent Empowerment podcast, friends, where we lift up people leaders. So you can lift up your organizations. I am your host, Tom Finn, and today our guest is an incredible and ambitious mission-driven individual who wants to impact 1 billion people with a B by 2045. His name is Brian Bogert. Brian, welcome to the show,
[Brian Bogert] 00:01:42 Man. I'm happy to be here.
[Tom Finn] 00:01:44 Well, we are excited to have you, if you don't know, Brian, let me set the stage just a little bit so that you understand a little bit about his background. He is a human behavior and performance coach, a speaker, a business strategist. He teaches disruptive strategies on how to create sustainable growth and lasting change personally and professionally his life philosophies are how to embrace pain, to avoid suffering people before profits and who, before what, which has helped him and individuals and companies discover and activate their limitless potential in a world that is disconnected. Brian is revolutionizing how individuals, leaders, and entrepreneurs deeply connect with their authentic selves to achieve the best version of themselves. Now he goes beyond that. He's very philanthropic. He's got a passion for positive leadership, and it goes beyond his business career, into the nonprofit sector, a founding member of the society for St. Vincent DePaul's professional advisory board, and a whole host of other organizations that he handles in his local community. Brian, you've been doing a lot. You're helping a lot of people. Let's find out a little bit about you. Where did it all start?
[Brian Bogert] 00:02:54 Yeah. Where did it all start? Uh, that's a great question. I ask myself that all the time. <laugh> where did it start? Uh, those life, most profound questions. I have to say though, before I say anything else about myself, it's always important that I have to claim and make sure that everybody knows that the number one element for who I am is that I am a husband and father first. So everything that I'm doing in the community, everything we're doing in our businesses to create the collective impact of over a billion lives as quickly as possible is all going to be put to the side. If my wife and my two kids are not good. And so I always have to start there
[Tom Finn] 00:03:26 Reality to the others focused. You have to, uh, be engaged with your own family and make sure your own house is in order, right?
[Brian Bogert] 00:03:32 No, I mean, it's, it's the foundation that allows me to build and scale all this ripple affected impact. So not only are they my most important focus and the ones that I care most deeply about and who would I be if I wasn't applying all the work I do externally in the world to the three that are the greatest priority in my world one and then two. Yeah, the reality of it is, I can't do it without them. And so if they're not good and we're not good at home, I'm, I'm not a big believer in work-life balance. I'm a big believer in work and life integration. There's no way we scale the level of impact that we have unless the three of them are a part of the mission. It just doesn't happen.
[Tom Finn] 00:04:03 Yeah. Beautiful
[Brian Bogert] 00:04:04 Said, yeah. Anyway, thank you for letting me go down that, that rabbit hole for two seconds. I think it's always important. Cause when you say I'll give you a feel for who Brian is. I always have to hit that part first, cuz that, that is the greatest part of my identity. Now I will tell you, I know where you're going with. Where did it start? So I'm actually gonna ask you and I'm gonna ask anybody, who's listening to this. Just close your eyes for one second. Unless you're driving. Of course, please keep your eyes open. If you're driving, listening,
[Tom Finn] 00:04:26 <laugh> that's a, but everybody disclaimer,
[Brian Bogert] 00:04:28 But, but everybody else, please just close your eyes for one second. I want you to imagine going to a store, having a successful shopping trip and breezing through the checkout line. This is before self checkouts, by the way. So we know what that's like to get up there, have one open and we just go through, we walk out the doors of the store. We look up in the sky, we feel the sun and the warmth at our skin. And we feel that wind blow through our hair. Now you gotta pep in your step. You're walking over to your car. You know, you're gonna have a beautiful day ahead of you. And as you're fumbling to grab your keys, to unlock your door and get in your car and go on with your way you turn your head and you see a truck barreling 40 miles an hour, right at you with no time to react, go ahead and open up your eyes.
[Brian Bogert] 00:05:03 That's where this portion of my story begins. My mom, my lo my brother and I went to our local Walmart to get a one inch paintbrush. And anybody who's known me for more than about two seconds. And you probably could assume this after listening to me for about two minutes is that I talk fast. I walked fast. I've always had an excitement for life. So it wasn't a surprise to my mom and brother that I was the first one of the car I wanted to get home and put that paintbrush to use. And as we were doing that, we got up and I'm standing next to the car. My mom and brother are a few feet behind me. There was a truck that pulled up in front of the store and parked now as I'm standing next to the door, this was back in the day before key fob.
[Brian Bogert] 00:05:33 So I had to wait for my mom to literally physically reach into her purse, grab the keys, stick it in the door and turn it so that we could go on with our way. And as I was waiting for her to catch up and do that, this truck started moving backwards. After the driver and middle passenger got out passenger all the way to the right felt the truck move backwards. So Tom, he did what any one of us would do if I'm sitting in a vehicle moving backwards and I'm not in the driver's seat, I'm gonna get in the driver's seat as quickly as possible to try to stop that vehicle. He scooted over to put it on the brake, but he instead hit the gas combination of shock and force threw him up on the steering wheel, threw him up on the dashboard. And before, you know, he is catapulting across the parking lot, 40 miles an hour, right at us with no time to react, we were parked in an end spot.
[Brian Bogert] 00:06:08 He goes under over the median up and over the tree in the median hits our car, knocks me over, runs over me, diagonally tearing my spleen, leaving a tire track's scar on my stomach and continuing on to completely sever my left arm from my body. So it was August 10th, 1992, six, 10:00 PM, 115-degree day, mom and brother watched the whole thing happen. They now see me laying on the ground. They look up and they see my arm 10 feet away in the parking lot. Fortunately for me, my guardian angel also saw the whole thing happen. You see, there was a nurse that walked outta the store, right when this took place. And I always have to include her in this story because I'm forever ind to this woman because she saw the literal life and limb scenario in front of her. And she chose to turn into action versus to go on with her day.
[Brian Bogert] 00:06:43 She came over and she stopped the bleeding on the main wound and she saved my life. And then she instructed some innocent bystanders to grab a cooler, fill it with ice and get my attached limb on ice within minutes to get me a fighting chance of having a reattached arm. So had she not done one or both of those things, Tom, I either wouldn't be here with you today or I'd be here with today with a cleaned up stump. That's just the reality. And so I know for a fact that although you knew the background on this, there's probably a lot of listeners today who had no idea it was going there to start with. And yes, I have a very, very unique story, but what I've also realized in all my time of doing this is that each and every one of us has unique stories.
[Brian Bogert] 00:07:16 What's important is that we learn to pause long enough to become aware of the lessons we can extract from those stories so that we become intentional with how do we apply them in our lives. And we all have the ability to do that, but we also all have the ability to tap into the collective wisdom of other people's learnings to shorten our own curve to learning. And so I'm looking forward to unpacking some of those concepts with you today. And some of the lessons I've extracted not only from this, but from the time that we scaled over a 15 million risk management employee benefits consulting firm from really nothing in the span of a decade and how we used a lot of these concepts, not only to build our culture but to create deep levels of connections with our clients and community.
[Tom Finn] 00:07:50 Well, I love that you share your opening story around your personal experiences because those personal experiences really make us who we are, right? You wouldn't be the person you are today without that experience as traumatic and as challenging as it was at the time. And probably still continues to be, uh, you wouldn't be who you are. You wouldn't be impacting the lives that you're impacting. You wouldn't be doing the things you're doing without some of these moments in time. Uh, the good and the challenging. So I'm just grateful that you're here with us and, uh, grateful that you're taking this energy and putting it to good use, uh, you know, to make a better world. Um, but I do have to ask this question in your, in your intro, we talk about embracing pain to avoid suffering, which sounds really deep. Help us understand that a little bit.
[Brian Bogert] 00:08:34 Yeah. So I, I think just like your original question, it's important to understand where the concept came from. And then I'll describe it and break down the explanations because we need to understand the difference between pain and suffering before we can even understand the concept as well. So I'll layer this really quickly. I'll hit it high level, and then we can decide if we wanna go deeper or if we wanna talk about something else. But I would tell you that this was one of the core lessons I extracted early in life though. I didn't realize it until later. See it's 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 years old. Although I was the one having all the surgeries done, although I was the one going to, to therapy three and four days a week, just to be able to regain any kind of function and feeling in my arm. I was also very much in a fog.
[Brian Bogert] 00:09:12 I was being guided through the process. You see, my parents were not in a fog. They were intimately and vividly aware of the unseat medical treatments in years of physical therapy. And the idea of seeing their son grow up at the, the use of his left arm was a source of great potential suffering for them. So they wheeled themselves day in and day out to do what was necessary to do what was tough to ultimately embrace the pains required to strengthen and heal me. So whether it was intentional or not, what they did was they ingrained in me this philosophy and way of living, which was to embrace pain, to avoid suffering. Now, the part we don't necessarily always talk about in the same tagline is I also believe that this is the greatest path to gaining freedom. The world tells us to reduce eliminator, avoid pain at all costs
[Tom Finn] 00:09:53 At all costs.
[Brian Bogert] 00:09:53 That's right. And it makes sense, right? It's a natural evolutionary response to survival. Yeah, because pain used to be an indication of potential threat of death. You cut your leg a hundred years ago, Tom, you could die, right? That's I wouldn't be, I wouldn't be here today. If I had been run over or had a limb severed from me a hundred years ago, it just wouldn't have happened. The modern technology has shifted the way we need to view pain because it's not always that case anymore. And so I'm not suggesting that we embrace pain just for pain's sake, but I'm recognizing that we need to identify the proper pains between where we are today, where we want to go and start to use those as Lily pads to our success. So we need to understand pain and suffering. So, but
[Tom Finn] 00:10:32 So thinking about this in terms of HR and leadership and peop you know, people first does a little bit of pain help you get over the hump. Is that the impetus for those to improve performance?
[Brian Bogert] 00:10:45 It, it absolutely is. So let me, let me hit the concept real fast. And then I'll answer that question directly because it's, this applies to everything and you'll see why we need to understand pain and suffering. Cuz this exists in our lives. Personally, this exists in our business that exists in, in leadership. This exists in our health, in everything we do. So pain is defined as short term intermittent, a direct cause from something and alleviated one that direct cause is removed. Then we as human beings do what we always do. And we screw up the original meaning of something by throwing adjectives in front of it like acute and chronic. Now fortunately acute maintains the definition, but chronic inherently changes it because it implies that it's no longer short term and it persists after that direct causes removed. So let's stop calling that chronic pain and call it what it really is suffering.
[Brian Bogert] 00:11:25 Now we don't wanna admit that suffering exists, particularly when it's a direct result of our choices in our personal lives or in our businesses. And the problem with suffering is, is it often creeps up on us while we're adapting to it. So frequently that by the time we even notice that we're suffering, sometimes the effects are irreversible. Whereas pain is real time. It gets lots of attention, but it's also really difficult to measure because we can't draw any definitive conclusions on it, independent of the person, experiencing it with one exception, it's a universal human experience. And so what do we do with this? We need to really start to understand that pain and suffering are things that go hand in hand. So I'll give a couple of personal examples and then I'll give a couple business examples when to learn, to embrace the pain of hitting the gym for 30 minutes a day, to avoid the suffering of aches and pains for, from a sedentary lifestyle, we need to embrace the pain of a difficult conversation with a loved owner spouse to avoid the suffering of being stuck in a Loveless marriage.
[Brian Bogert] 00:12:13 That's gonna end in divorce or being stuck in a marriage. When we actually want divorce, we need to embrace the pain of the fit. Our kids are sure to throw by having 'em put down their mobile devices at the dinner table to avoid the suffering of years of lost, meaningful conversation and connection that will never get back. As business owners, we need to embrace the pain of firing our top salesperson, contributing the most, the top line growth to avoid the suffering of stagnant growth and losing all over the top talent because they were the greatest cancer in our culture. We need to embrace the pain of understanding what real leadership looks like and how do we come in and protect and connect our people instead of being guarded ourselves to avoid the suffering of an environment where no one trusts each other. The reality of it is, is that this is deeply ingrained in everything we do.
[Brian Bogert] 00:12:49 And I'm a big believer that we almost choose our pain or our suffering will choose us. So to your question on HR, the answer is absolutely yes. Now I often say that sometimes pain is not always what we need to embrace. Sometimes it's something as little as discomfort. I like to think that discomfort is like the 5k to pain's marathon and suffering is the thing we absolutely wanna avoid. And so we do have a framework for understanding this both in cultures and individual lives that we need to pay attention to. But yes, as a leadership team, as HR as talent, we need to really make sure that we're embracing the pain of doing the validation and the vetting to make sure that we have the right people on the right team and the right spots to avoid the suffering of feeling like we don't have a well-oiled machine.
[Brian Bogert] 00:13:27 We need to embrace the pain of actually holding people accountable for what we've hired them for and their performance, and also doing it in a way that's elevating and empowering them so that they can operate from a vision of autonomy versus a delivering control and micromanagement so that we can avoid the suffering of not having the creativity and the growth and the additive nature of what our people can bring to the table, because we feel like we need to do it as the leaders. There's a whole lot of areas that we can embrace the pain on and the way that we run and operate our teams in businesses that will actually eliminate the suffering that we experience when we're constantly hitting the same wall in issues with people. This is a deeply profound concept that, that I wish more organizations would actually integrate in the way they'd made decisions and help people accountable and implemented cultural, uh, shifts.
[Tom Finn] 00:14:09 I, is it fair after all of that to kind of simplify this, maybe I'm gonna oversimplify just a little bit, is it, is it fair in my mind to say look pain? Is this short-term, uh, noise that I have to go through to avoid a longer-term issue? Is that fair? That's
[Brian Bogert] 00:14:26 No, it's a hundred percent.
[Tom Finn] 00:14:28 So if I'm thinking about this, whether it's for my family or whether it's for my business or my community, if I'm thinking about this strategically, I could say, look, when that item of pain hits my desk right. Or hits my inbox or hits my front door, whatever that is, that little bit of pain, I actually need to say, hold on a second. This could be really good for me. This could be the thing that avoids
[Brian Bogert] 00:14:50 A lot of long-term suffering. That's exactly right. You say, I, I, I really like to believe that pain points us at what's important. It allows us to see where we need to put attention and focus. But again, we've been so conditioned to a reduced limited, avoid it at all costs that we typically just don't pay. Attention pain gives us indications. It gives us signals. It gives us feedback. It points us at what's important and it hones our focus if we're paying attention. And if we view pain as a critical part of getting on our path to where we want to be. So that's why we've got really three steps that we help people understand I'll hit 'em high, high level, but it is important. How do we do this from a decision-making standpoint? Yeah. And how do we actually establish as a habit in every area of our life?
[Brian Bogert] 00:15:27 The first and most important thing is that most people, I think actually set visions, goals, hopes, aspirations, dreams, and planning incorrectly. They only look at the positive side of it. Now I think that even when we look at the positive side of it, most of the time when we're doing business planning and we're setting targets, when we're setting goals when we're really trying to connect people, we also typically protect ourselves even on the positive side. What I mean by that is if we need to lose 30 pounds, we say we're gonna lose 20 so that we can feel really good about crushing 20. But we also know that we fall to our lowest common denominator. And so we've got this big belief in setting no-limits goals where we don't protect ourselves, because if we know that we can generate six figures per month additional in our business, then why are we not saying two 50 to stretch ourselves and see what might be possible?
[Brian Bogert] 00:16:09 Right? And so just from a high-level perspective, I have to say that most people only focus on the positive side, but even when they focus on the positive side, they protect themselves. When we acknowledge the suffering that exists, what ad allows us to do is really understand our bookends. So I'm gonna give you an example of a client, cuz this is just a great way to, to look at this, right? And then we'll talk about it from a business perspective as well. But I've got a 38-year-old client. He moved 26 times before the time he was 18, and literally lived with his mom, his dad, his grandma, and his aunt. He never lived in the same place twice. Never had the same set of friends twice to say that he never learned how to give or receive love. He didn't understand what the connection was.
[Brian Bogert] 00:16:43 And he lived as a nomad because it was a great way to protect himself would be an understatement. Yep. Fast forward to today, he's 38 years old. He's got a wife and two beautiful girls. Now when he sits there and he starts to begin with the end in mind and envision the world that he wants, he can sit back and say, oh yeah, I'm gonna sit on my ranch in Texas with my wife. And we're 80 years old and we're gonna sit in our reclining Wicker rocker chairs. And while the wind is blowing through the brush and the distance on our ranch, the only thing breaking the silence at the laughter of our daughters and our grandkids, that's a really effective, no-limits goal that he can take. And when he has that image, he can burn it into his soul. And then that purpose becomes big enough to overtake the pains required for him to change, to become the man husband and father and business person that he's capable of being.
[Brian Bogert] 00:17:22 But what he needs to understand is that if he doesn't actually embrace the pain of creating those changes today, then suffering for him as a life, without his wife and daughters, he needs to understand that if he doesn't put in the work to heal the pain, to actually focus on how do I establish effective human connection? How do I learn to give and receive love to the three girls that are most important to me? And how do I make sure that I understand that I am safe in this household that I'm building, because those same patterns don't have to be projected forward into this current world. If he doesn't understand that there's a real possibility that they would leave. If he does not change to become the man husband and father that he is, and he is capable of being, then that hope dream and aspiration will never be a reality. It's no different in business, right?
[Tom Finn] 00:18:02 Yeah. It's no different in business. But I think you gotta start with the personal, because that's always really what comes back to item one for all of us, right? Mm-hmm <affirmative> and what I heard was start with the end in mind, and that is always the most important thing for everybody listening. You've gotta start with the end in mind. Some people call it a goal, but in human behavior, we break goals all the time. Think about your new year's resolutions. When, when do they end to middle of January, maybe you make it to February, right? Because we're, we're willing to break goals if it gets too painful for us. But what we're not willing to do in terms of human behavior is break promises to ourselves. Exactly. So if you can start with the end in mind and then come back and say, you know what?
[Tom Finn] 00:18:44 I promise myself, I'm going to do this. I'm going to lose weight. It's going to be a definitive number. There has to be a mathematical metric around it for it to be a promise to ourselves or in your particular case, Brian, your great friend on a ranch in Texas, I can visualize it. Right? You can hear the wind. You can see the grandchildren playing that's at a certain date at a certain time with a certain amount of kids. And, and yes, it will fluctuate, right? Yeah. The road is not always straight. It might wiggle and move, but you've got that promise to yourself that it's gonna happen. And that's how you create change with the end in mind.
[Brian Bogert] 00:19:19 And, but just to your point, exactly, that's exactly right. And I, again, I think it's always important to not just look at the hope streams and aspirations, but understand what we're trying to avoid in terms of suffering. You know, I've got another client who's in their mid-fifties and they've not made the choices up until this point in their life and their business to make themselves a priority in their own health. Well, suffering for them is they're within five years of having grandkids and they wanna be able to play with their grandkids while in their seventies, but they've not made the choices to embrace the proper pains today to put them in the physical position to be able to do so in another 15 years. And so we have to understand what are those things that we're trying to avoid cuz to your point, exactly we break goals.
[Brian Bogert] 00:19:53 But when we understand suffering and we can project forward and really understand that if I make these choices today or I don't make these choices today, that suffering is almost inevitable. That's why I say we always must choose our pain or our suffering will choose us one or both is gonna happen. I'd rather be an influence and control of my destiny. So once we've defined that suffering, the next step we have to do is to identify the pains. We tend to avoid and learn to embrace them, right? So we have to start with the end in mind, we have to understand the suffering, but then we start bringing it in a more tangible sense. I'll use a personal example for myself and I'll give one other business example as well. Now I told you about my arm, okay. Had a significant injury. I don't have a lot on the left side of my back.
[Brian Bogert] 00:20:29 I don't have a tricep in my left arm. And my bicep is my GCIS for my leg. It's very obvious the imbalance that exists in terms of the muscular structure in my body. And I have a curve in my spine because it's pulling it over about 20 years ago, my daily back pain that was starting to contribute because of the curve in my spine and the decompression of my spine because of, of all of everything took place, started to get to a place where it was debilitating. It was starting to be suffering cuz it was impacting my quality of life. So I started to recognize that if I could stay lean, I could eat the right foods. I could stay limb and stay like actually stretch and focus on strength and core strength that I could mitigate that suffering, that debilitating pain to a manageable, everyday pain that I could just deal with.
[Brian Bogert] 00:21:08 So what I do, I went and I joined a gym just to your point on new year's resolutions, right? It's like I went and joined a gym and I went consistently for 30 days, Tom, I crushed it brother. I mean truly right. Like I went and I was awesome. And I was like, yep, this is gonna work. This gonna work. It's gonna work. And then I stopped going. Okay. And here's what I realized because I had gone to the level of understanding this suffering. I wish to avoid it caused me to ask another question, right? If I know that I had suffering, but I didn't have enough understanding on the things that were keeping me preventing, then I wouldn't have been able to do anything about it. So I would've just said, oh, well this gym doesn't work. I'll go join cycle bar. I'll go join orange theory.
[Brian Bogert] 00:21:40 I'll replace it with any strategy and tactics in the fitness world and hire a coach or whatever. Right. It's definitely gym's fault. Right? Jeff, definitely the Jim's fault, but we lost. Yeah. Always blame the, but that's what we think. So often as people, as business owners, as businesses and leaders, what we often think is that we are not accomplishing what we want cause we have the wrong strategy and tactics. So we start to replace it right? If I have the wrong sales training system or the wrong coach or the wrong, I'll just sweep swap all day long until I get the result that I want yet we perpetually repeat those same patterns. So in this case, cuz I knew the suffering and I knew what was gonna happen. If I did nothing. I had to ask myself that additional question, which was, am I afraid of the weight of lifting weights?
[Brian Bogert] 00:22:19 Am I afraid of the pain of stretching? Am I afraid of the pain of plyometrics? Am I afraid of the pain of committing the time, energy and effort to do this or the anxiety that I get when I'm in a crowded gym? Ah, very typically what we find is the pains we tend to avoid are not those strategy and tactics that we believe are the things keeping us stuck. It's almost always a combination of the emotional triggers, behavioral patterns and environmental conditioning. That's keeping us in that same defeating path. So I was dealing with a client. Who's a business owner. Who's an incredible business owner and entrepreneur. She is a creative solution oriented individual and she has absolutely no problem establishing conversations with people. She has no problem identifying issues within their businesses. She has no problem identifying how to outline solutions for them so that she can actually give them value into their world.
[Brian Bogert] 00:23:05 And she has no idea or no problem with really the customer acquisition or the journey and the relationship on the back end. None of the issues that, that she does, but she would look on her desk and see that telephone. And it looked like a 500 pound telephone. Doesn't wanna pick it up, did not wanna pick it up. And so she believed that it's cuz she didn't have the right scripts. She believed it was cuz she didn't have enough reps on the phone. She believed that it was all these things. Even over 20 years, she's been already trying to fix these things with strategies and tactics. What we ultimately discovered is that she has a deep level of fear connected to what would happen if she was actually really successful, what would happen if she created so much opportunity in her business, she didn't know how, how to build systems and processes.
[Brian Bogert] 00:23:46 She didn't have a team beyond two different people. So how was she gonna be able to execute and deliver what was happening is she was actually cutting off her own level of success because of the fear of what it would look like. If she was successful, there was an emotional trigger tied to that. It was connected to what happened when she was six. She just wasn't aware of it. So we started to help her unroot that emotional trigger so that she could move through it. And it was only a month later she started making a hundred calls a day and all of her skill sets to be able to uncover the issue, highlight and deliver a solution, be able to walk through that, have a strong customer acquisition and take care of her clients, her businesses grown exponentially as a result by simply trying to just recognize what was keeping her from picking up that 500 pound telephone.
[Tom Finn] 00:24:25 And if it's not the 500 pound telephone and that's not the process, that's a business owner. But if you're in a large organization and you are in people leadership that 500 pound telephone is something else, right? It may not be the telephone. You may not be a salesperson. You might be an HR, it might be strategy within an organization, right? I don't want to be strategic. We've done it this way for the last 30 years. Why change? That might be your, your 500 pound telephone. What about if it was, I don't want to present in front of the executive team because I have some anxiety around not having all the answers that could be your 500 pound telephone, right? Are there others that, that you've seen in your, uh, day to day activities, Brian, where people are challenged in, in large organizations?
[Brian Bogert] 00:25:09 Yeah, absolutely. That 500 pound telephone could be actually letting go and having to not be the person that answers all the questions, giving actual leverage scale and autonomy to people below you so that you can grow your organization. There are a lot of leaders who have control or perfectionism elements that are tied and connected to deep levels of shame that impact their ability to show up. They can't actually offload. They can't trust scarcity often can show up in a way that can impact your ability to actually understand where you would need to invest in people and resources to scale your teams. What types of support do they actually need either technological or training. And there's this fear that if I invest in that, right, what will that actually look like for the results of our business? So yeah, there is a lot of 500 pound telephones that are almost all tied to an emotional trigger typically for the individual or the leader.
[Brian Bogert] 00:25:55 But what happens is when it's tied to the individual or the leader, it starts to permeate through the culture in the organization. Yeah. And so one of the things we often do is we'll work with teams of executives and literally all of the top C suites so that we can see each verticals inside the business. And within a matter of three months, we can typically understand the emotional state and where the emotional triggers for the organization lie. So the leaders can start to evolve to let the ripple effect come down below. And that's where we start building better connection with not only ourselves, internally our associates, but our clients and our respective business partners.
[Tom Finn] 00:26:24 Yeah. I wanna, I wanna sort of wrap that up for folks that are listening. Cause I think that's really important. One of the things Brian said was, um, you can't have a scarcity mindset when you have a scarcity mindset, you think that things are going to run out and Brian, the opposite of that is an abundance mindset. Yep. Can you, can you help those that are in organizations today? Just sort of understand what the, the mindset of an abundance looks like and feels like and how does somebody actually shift from a scarcity mindset to a mindset of abundance?
[Brian Bogert] 00:26:57 Yeah. So I think that's a great question. Um, abundance is the idea that nothing is gonna be determined on any particular singular deal, any singular investment, that there is more energy, more opportunity, more resources available to us. If we're just open to receiving it and putting ourselves in the position to receive it. Abundance is a trained and conditioned thought process in a lot of cases because most of our world doesn't teach us to be open, to receive. They teach us who we are or what we're doing. Isn't good enough, which also conditions so many elements of scarcity. Cause from the time we're born, we're literally told you should do this. You shouldn't do that. You should be this. You shouldn't have that. You should hold on in control here. And we're taught all this polarization and politicization that actually separates us into camps for safety.
[Brian Bogert] 00:27:39 The reality of it is, is scarcity is also tied to a shame trigger most often than not, which is tied to either worth or when people shut that down and they show up in the arena of the radio battles, who do you think you are? It's the external judgment of decisions. And this idea of, I am only going to have what I have right now. I cannot create or develop or grow more. I'm also a big believer. I like the book mindset by Carol Dweck. It focuses on fixed mindset versus growth mindset. It's kind of a similar thought process. And in there on page 1 57, she outlines for parents, teachers, coaches, employers, language that identifies the way that we receive these things. So I'll hit on this cuz this is very real around scarcity and abundance. And why recreate something? If she was the one who was able to explain it, even though she used different words, right?
[Brian Bogert] 00:28:23 A fixed mindset would be this, Hey Tom, you got an app, you had an a on that test. I am so proud of you. You crushed it. You are so smart and the world is gonna be your oyster. I just cannot believe that you did so well. And I just wanna celebrate you for that. You're so smart growth mindset is this, Hey Tom, I love that you got an a, well, what I really appreciate is that regardless of how difficult that test was for you, I saw the level of commitment you had in really studying the material. Really making sure that you can understand it. And you're really focused on the process to put yourself in the best position to succeed. You knew that you couldn't control the outcome of that test, but you did everything you could to influence the outcome. And I just wanna celebrate the fact that you put yourself in the right position to do so.
[Brian Bogert] 00:29:02 It doesn't, it's not about the immediate crate. It talks about their effort, their actions, and their process. Right? What Tom heard in the first narrative was, oh geez. If I don't continue to be smarter, if I don't continue to test good, they're not gonna think I'm smart. And so now of a sudden I'm not gonna get the same validation, credit, and connection that I got through that communication. Whereas the alternative says cool. Nothing is based on my intellect. Nothing is based on the outcome. It's based a hundred percent of the things that I could control, which is put myself in the best position to succeed. Abundance is growth. Scarcity is fixed. And so how we start shifting that is a combination of really unroot some of these emotional triggers, but also being very, very clear on the things that have patterned you into this position of belief that you're either gonna be judged or you're not gonna have enough, or you're not gonna be able to deliver it.
[Brian Bogert] 00:29:48 So some of it's abstract and necessary too. Sometimes we just have to breathe through it and let it be. But there are a lot of like tactical elements that we can shift. And part of that is a leadership style, right? I just gave you that language because if you are a leader that celebrates the outcome versus the process, you likely are conditioning, a scarcity mindset in your organization. That's right. If you are a leader that empowers your teams, celebrates failure, extracts lessons from a place of awareness so that you can be intentional of how you move these things forward and know that you guys are doing everything possible to generate the path, to create success for your organization and your culture and your clients. Then you probably live in abundance mindset. And it's not always about resources. It's also about language and connection. And that's why this is so important.
[Tom Finn] 00:30:25 Yeah, I think, I think you summed up that up beautifully. Uh, just trying to understand the difference between a closed mindset and an open mindset, and thinking clearly in an organization it's so critically important and you nailed it with your last point, which is, look, if you're in a leadership role and you're giving an an on the tests all the time, you've got a clones mindset, you've got a scarcity mindset. You gotta change the way you are behaving. First always starts with us, right? As leaders, we've gotta go in there and we've gotta behave and show that this can be done in an appropriate way for others to follow. And for others, most importantly, not to follow, but to buy in and to change their behavior themselves.
[Brian Bogert] 00:31:02 That's right. One of my good friends, Alex Sharp, and has one of the quotes. I've always said, everything begins and ends with you, but I don't know. Last October, I heard this from him for the first time. So I always have to share it cuz he said, if you're constantly putting out fires in your life and in your business, there's a good chance. You're the arsonist
[Tom Finn] 00:31:17 That's right. Beautifully said. Um, so how do we make sure that we're not the arsonist in our own business? How do companies establish an effective culture? So they're listening to you, they're getting some tools today, but how do they, how do they actually roll this out and, and change the culture in an organization?
[Brian Bogert] 00:31:34 Yeah. So I'm a big believer that we always have to have a deep understanding of the human experience so that we can truly understand human connection and what are the things that contribute to it because that's what establishes culture. And so if we look at the human experience and this is, this is the way I view the world, it's not, I didn't pull this from a book, but it is universal thought. If we actually look in research and do different things, but I view this, that we all seek and desire for things as individuals. And we have to start there, cause everything begins and ends with us. We have to understand who we are and who we're dealing with, which is people, right? So we seek and desire to feel safe. We seek desire to feel protected. We seek and desire to feel seen and understood.
[Brian Bogert] 00:32:08 And we seek desire to feel connected. The things we desire the most are these last two to be seen and understood and connected, but they don't happen unless the first two do. And so often what happens is when we are in an environment, whether it's work or philanthropic or community or in our household, it doesn't really matter. Whatever environment we're in. This will apply to everything. But this is also how we develop cultures. If we walk into work and we don't feel, or seem understood, we don't feel like we're given grace. We aren't given elevation and empowerment. We have no autonomy and we are being micromanaged and constantly told who we are and what we're doing. Isn't good enough. Do we feel safe, Tom?
[Tom Finn] 00:32:40 No, no we don't.
[Brian Bogert] 00:32:42 What are we doing? We don't feel safe. We tend to protect ourselves.
[Tom Finn] 00:32:45 That's right. We put the wall up. That's right. We're gonna protect ourselves. Lower productivity, lower overall mental and physical health. Right. Lower ability to connect with others. And then we're always thinking, you know, if I just left this organization, my life would be better if I went
[Brian Bogert] 00:33:01 Else. I just want my strategy tactics, the job that I have, I'll just be happy and I'll be good to go. Okay. That's
[Tom Finn] 00:33:05 Right. All I have to do is just change my job and I'll be fine.
[Brian Bogert] 00:33:08 Now there are toxic organizations that I would argue that there are many people that if you left that toxic organization, you could probably find a better one. So I wanna be really, really clear. Like some of this is not always about the end user and the individual and the employee. A lot of this comes down to the leadership style and the leaders. And that's why this is so important because when we walk into an environment as an employee or even as a leader and we don't feel safe, we protect ourselves. Our wall goes up all the impacts of what you just said are true. But I also wanna say three other things about this, and I'm gonna give you guys an analogy to really understand how you effectively string this together at the end. Okay. So when we protect ourselves, our armor goes up.
[Brian Bogert] 00:33:42 Let's just assume that Armor's this invisible force field that we wrap around ourselves. There is no possible way through this invisible force field that I can effectively demonstrate to you who I am so that you can see and understand me and connect with me through my invisible force field. So I can't properly display who I am, but even if I could, you wouldn't be able to receive that energy and connection because I've got a wall up. So we're actually preventing the very thing we desire most, which is to be seen, understood, and connected. The other thing armor does is two more things. Okay? So Tom, if I were to give you two, five-pound dumbbells, and I told you to put 'em out in front of you and hold them, how long could you keep 'em there?
[Tom Finn] 00:34:18 Oh, that weight gets heavy pretty quickly. Probably not too long, Brian?
[Brian Bogert] 00:34:22 Probably not too long. Within 10 or 15 seconds, you probably start to feel your shoulders. Feel it, the muscles start to burn probably at 30 seconds or a minute. Right? And by five minutes, if you're lucky to hold it there, your arms are like holding on for dear life. That's right. But even the strongest people, I know some myth, your bodybuilders struggle with this for long periods of time. It's just the truth. And so the reality of it is the longer you carry that weight, the heavier it gets, guess what our armor is the same way we believe this armor is protecting us. But what it's actually doing is incrementally crushing us over time. So it's not only simultaneously preventing us from being seen, understood, and connected, but it's also crushing us. And the longer we carry it, the heavier it gets. The last thing armor does.
[Brian Bogert] 00:34:59 And there are two different buckets on this. We live in a container that's called our armor. Some people are loosey goosey and there's no lid. And there are others that are perfectionists and way more controlled that have a lid on top of their container. But the first one is okay. The world tells us to reduce limitations, avoid pain. We gotta show up with a smile on. We gotta make sure that we're moving fast. We gotta make sure that we're effective. You can't feel emotions at work. No, you can't bring any of that stuff or vulnerability or authenticity to the table because then you won't be seen and understood and connected, right? Cause that's what we're taught. So what do we do? Just like the trash can, when we don't wanna walk outside and just put that bag in the dumpster, we open up the lid and we just start shoving that trash down.
[Brian Bogert] 00:35:30 We start compressing it until they're some point the trash starts spilling over the top. Our emotions are no different. If we do not allow ourselves to feel, if we do not allow ourselves to understand what these the things are, if we don't feel we don't heal. And so what starts to happen is not only are we compressing our own issues into our own world, but when it starts spilling over, it starts rippling into everybody else's world. And for those control-natured, perfectionist, natured leaders, they always have a lid on top, cuz they're not gonna let that stuff spill because they don't want anybody see it. So what happens now? Now we have a container that's continually building more and more and more and more and more pressure in it until at some point it's gonna explode and create damage all the way around them. Armor does not give us what we want.
[Brian Bogert] 00:36:10 So we need to drop it. I was talking to somebody out that long ago. He's a multiple-time Mr. Olympia, and lives in this world of like absolute physical strength and stature. Like they, they are literally judged based on how their bodies look and for us in, in the United States and the Western philosophy, that is the epitome of physical strength. Whether you're attracted to that or not. That's not the point. These are some of the strongest men on the planet. Right. And so he's coming back to compete again. And he says, Brian, what? Well, if I drop my armor, what if I lose my edge? And I know so many leaders that are always worried if they just, if they come in vulnerable and authentic, if they come in open, then they're, they're gonna lose their edge. They're somebody's gonna take advantage of them. Right.
[Brian Bogert] 00:36:50 Somebody's gonna take advantage of 'em. They're gonna be able exactly. Right. But then I started to say, okay, well what, what really is the edge? So he says that to me. And the immediate thing that came to my mind is I said, do you know how they cut cheese? How, how they cut soap? Do you know Tom? Yeah. With a piece of wire, right? With string. Yeah. Yeah. A string pulled at the right tension. So a knife is our edge. It has a designed singular focus. You can't sheath it. It's walking around with you. It's just like your armor. Your knife is your armor. And so you have this knife and yeah, you have this edge, but it has one job and it's rigid. Meaning it's there to cut. That's the only purpose for a knife is to cut. That's the only purpose. Whereas a string, hold it the right tension.
[Brian Bogert] 00:37:30 They can cut through anything. They can cut through PVC pipes. They can cut through cinder block walls. They can cut through our bodies string hold at the right tension. The string can also choose to release that tension and FLA in the wind curl up in a ball or what's better yet. They can actually decide that they don't need to cut. So when we protect ourselves as leaders, the thing that we need to pay attention to is we are severing the ability for everybody else to be seen and understood and connected. So if we convince ourselves that we're safe and we can lower our own armor, lower and drop our own knife, then we can wrap that string. That layer of armor all around the environments that we're in, guarantees that everybody is safe. Everybody is protected. Everybody's seen understood, and everybody's connected. So that string actually becomes the ability for you as the leader to wrap and connect to each individual person and protect the environments that you're in versus having a blade, that's gonna cut through it.
[Brian Bogert] 00:38:22 So then they said, well, if I've got a knife and you're a string, can't I just cut right through you? Yeah. But that's assuming that the string is rigid and can't actually decide the level of tension that they operate under. Because if you come at me and I'm tense, getting ready to cut as the string and you're, you're gonna slice, I will just go limp. And I will wrap around you as the knife, giving you a virtual hug as the string, we can actually infuse the proper energy into the environments as leaders, if we're intentional and thoughtful and create those places where we always feel safe, we always feel protected. We always feel seen, understood, and we always feel connected. So do everyone else that works for us and in our environment. And oh, by the way, if they all feel safe and protected, how do you think that translates to their ability to interact with your clients? Now they're in a position to actually make your clients feel safe and protected, seen, understood, and connected. And the ripple effect of growth from a monetary perspective is exponential because that's what everybody wants.
[Tom Finn] 00:39:10 That's right. We all wanna be seen, heard, understood, and feel love, right? Those are all the things that we're looking for as individuals. And it translates into business. Uh, very seamlessly. I love the way you said it's not work-life balance. You said it's worth work. Life integration. Yeah. Is that the word you used?
[Brian Bogert] 00:39:27 Yep. It is. I'm, I'm, I'm a big believer that if we're thoughtful and we build our lives of intentional alignment, then we can ebb and flow and put our focus and attention where it's needed at the time that it's needed. And it becomes self-regulating over time because we know it fits and what doesn't. So if we view it as one life, we're setting ourselves up for a very thoughtful flow in life. Whereas if we set it up for balance, we're setting ourselves up immediately for failure because balance assumes equal parts. That's just not life
[Tom Finn] 00:39:52 That's right. And in the spirit of balance and in the spirit of people, finding you and learning more about you and understanding, you know, how they can implement this into their life, how would folks find you Brian, uh, after listening to this podcast?
[Brian Bogert] 00:40:05 Yeah. So if you wanna go to Brian bogart.com, that is gonna be a great place. That'll help you enter into a lot of our worlds. Um, multiple of our businesses. We're actually helping people connect at the deepest levels. Not only as people, but through systems and processes, after we deal with the people, Brian boger.com will be a great place to do that. Um, and then if it's okay with you, uh, if you're on social media, it's also at Boger Bryan. Um, and if it's okay with you, I'd like to give a free gift to everybody, um, as well, you know, to impact a billion lives. Uh, what we're very, very aware of is that 99.999999999% will never pay us a dollar. So, um, if you go to no limits, prelude.com, that'll be the entry point, over 30 minutes of video content in the very first chapter in our entire course that we use in all of our group coaching programs with organizations as individuals, et cetera for free.
[Brian Bogert] 00:40:50 Now here's the catch. I give a caveat all the way up front. Cause there's always a catch. Yes. You'll exchange it for your email. Yes. You will get emails through the process of completing the free course. Yes. When you're done completing it, you'll get four emails, outlining other opportunities to engage. This is not to perpetually spam you, which is why I'm telling you on the front end, that if you utilize it, you will get communication, but we are not gonna be spamming you and badgering you for the rest of your time. It's only if and how we can actually add value to your world.
[Tom Finn] 00:41:17 Yeah. And that's the key folks it's adding value. If, if you're finding people out there and who can add value to your life, that's when you should engage. Right. And your life includes your life in and out of business. Right. And so that's really important what Brian said there. And I think we can, uh, put that in the show notes. We'll put all of this in the show notes for folks that are driving, uh, or listening to this and don't have an opportunity to, uh, put it down, pen to paper or type that out. We'll get it in the show notes for Brian. Uh, Brian, thank you so much for sharing everything you shared today. This was a very rich and deep conversation. I said at the top that we've got an incredible and ambitious mission to accomplish. But today, uh, I think we've overcome a lot of boundaries, uh, for individuals and, uh, set people on a path to their own success in their own. Right. And you've done that flawlessly and beautifully today. So, so for that, I, uh, I thank you very gratefully.
[Brian Bogert] 00:42:07 Well thank you for building a platform that I can come into and pour good into the world brother. That's what this is all about. Collective impact.
[Tom Finn] 00:42:13 Yep, absolutely. Uh, and we appreciate you joining, and thank you out there for joining the talent empowerment podcast. I hope this conversation has lifted you up. So you can lift up yourself, your team, and your organizations, my friends let's get back to people and culture together. We'll see you on the next episode. Thanks so much.