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078. The Bridge to Burnout: Dr. Sarah Spradlin on Navigating Growth & Wellbeing as a High Performer

078. The Bridge to Burnout: Dr. Sarah Spradlin on Navigating Growth & Wellbeing as a High Performer Be Relentless

Today on "Be Relentless," join Dr. Sarah Spradlin, a leading expert on workplace dynamics and high performers, as we explore sustaining peak performance without burning out.Together, we dive into:Defining the warning signs before you reach true burnout.Crafting clarity and focus amid information overload.Setting non-negotiable constraints to safeguard health.Knowing when your value as a high performer peaks with a client.Leaving a positive legacy by creating "heat" for others.Dr. Spradlin shares insights from her experience coaching elite teams on amplifying their potential while protecting wellbeing.Discover how to keep surging forward as a high performer without crossing the bridge to burnout.Learn More About Dr. Sarah Spradlin:Prior to establishing Vitruvian Advantage as a leading business consulting firm in Central Virginia, Dr. Spradlin spent nearly 10 years as an active duty Marine Corps officer specializing in strategic manpower build plans and performance management. She transitioned to the civilian workforce to serve as the first Director of Administration and Workforce Development at United States Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command,  Marine Raiders Training Center. With more than 20 years of professional training, executive coaching, and c-suite advisory experience, Dr. Spradlin takes a uniquely grounded approach to remastering workplace dynamics through the application of emotional intelligence and chaos theory.She is a leading expert in the field of emotional intelligence as it relates to the talent management system of systems, M&A culture integration, transformational leadership, and organizational resilience. She serves as the President of the Virginia Chapter of the Society of Emotional Intelligence and as a member of the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology, and Emotional Intelligence Training and Research Institute. "I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the most remarkably diverse minds around the globe to develop and implement strategic level programs and policies that enhance the inter-disciplinary nature of our Nation's defense agencies, professional athletic teams, private corporations, and institutions of higher learning." – Dr. Sarah SpradlinLinkedinhttps://vitruvianei.com/Emotional Intelligence: The Intersection Where Warrior Meets Wall StreetDid you value today's conversation? If Yes, please SHARE IT, do not wait, take Decisive Action Now! Ready to dive deeper? Click HERE.We are grateful you joined us! Don't Forget! Use code 'BERELENTLESS' over at the ULA Universe to enjoy a 10% discount site wide!

Today on “Be Relentless,” join Dr. Sarah Spradlin, a leading expert on workplace dynamics and high performers, as we explore sustaining peak performance without burning out.

Together, we dive into:

  • Defining the warning signs before you reach true burnout.
  • Crafting clarity and focus amid information overload.
  • Setting non-negotiable constraints to safeguard health.
  • Knowing when your value as a high performer peaks with a client.
  • Leaving a positive legacy by creating “heat” for others.

Dr. Spradlin shares insights from her experience coaching elite teams on amplifying their potential while protecting wellbeing.

Discover how to keep surging forward as a high performer without crossing the bridge to burnout.

Learn More About Dr. Sarah Spradlin:

Prior to establishing Vitruvian Advantage as a leading business consulting firm in Central Virginia, Dr. Spradlin spent nearly 10 years as an active duty Marine Corps officer specializing in strategic manpower build plans and performance management. She transitioned to the civilian workforce to serve as the first Director of Administration and Workforce Development at United States Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command,  Marine Raiders Training Center. 

With more than 20 years of professional training, executive coaching, and c-suite advisory experience, Dr. Spradlin takes a uniquely grounded approach to remastering workplace dynamics through the application of emotional intelligence and chaos theory.

She is a leading expert in the field of emotional intelligence as it relates to the talent management system of systems, M&A culture integration, transformational leadership, and organizational resilience. She serves as the President of the Virginia Chapter of the Society of Emotional Intelligence and as a member of the Society for Industrial Organizational Psychology, and Emotional Intelligence Training and Research Institute. 

“I’ve had the pleasure of collaborating with some of the most remarkably diverse minds around the globe to develop and implement strategic level programs and policies that enhance the inter-disciplinary nature of our Nation’s defense agencies, professional athletic teams, private corporations, and institutions of higher learning.” – Dr. Sarah Spradlin

Did you value today’s conversation?

If Yes, please SHARE IT, do not wait, take Decisive Action Now!

Ready to dive deeper? Click HERE.

We are grateful you joined us!

Don’t Forget! Use code ‘BERELENTLESS’ at ULA to enjoy a 10% discount site wide!

Be Relentless is a Forge Publications LLC production and is proudly co-branded with the Universal Learning Approach. Copyright 2023. All Rights Reserved.

Episode Transcript Click Here

Jon Mayo: 0:08

Well, hello, hello, hello and welcome to Be Relentless. Today I had the privilege of sitting down with Sarah Spradlin, which was a conversation that’s been in the work now for almost half a year, and what’s really cool about it is that after the first couple of minutes and we get spun up, it’s like a rocket ship shooting through the galaxy. We just are on fire and flowing the entire conversation. A little bit about Sarah before we jump on in. She is a marine veteran, an IO psychologist and the CEO and founder of the Vitruvian Advantage Group. If I was to continue reading into her resume, credentials and everything she has accomplished and is currently doing to create heat across multiple industries, I would be talking about that for the next hour and we would not get to the show. So let’s jump straight to the value and get after it To help ground our exploration, because I know from our conversations you had interest in exploring iron front solutions and some of the things I’ve been up to. I have the luxury of knowing your background and some of the amazing things you’re doing, but if you wouldn’t mind, could you? Right now, you’re an IO psychologist with the Vitruvian Advantage, right?

Sarah Spradlin: 1:31

You said it right.

Jon Mayo: 1:32

Yes, oh, my goodness, man, that’d be embarrassing and perhaps you could share a bit about your background, what led you to founding and running that and what impact you’re working to have on the world and why you’re doing it all, and then that can be like a launching pad for us to continue exploring what comes natural.

Sarah Spradlin: 1:52

Yeah, I love it All right. So let’s see, I think you know, I mean really, I started off my adult career as an active duty Marine and it was phenomenal opportunity. I loved every second of it, absolutely. You know, eat, breathe, sleep, fill in the blank, you know, Marine Corps I absolutely love, just love the experience. At around the 10 year mark, just before the 10 year mark, I was having another child. I have four, I have my own fire team, so I’ve got four amazing little little humans who aren’t so little anymore. My oldest is actually a corporal in the Marine Corps and and then I’ve got 17, 13, 14 now and a nine year old, and at the time I was having my you know, pregnant with my second daughter and it was really just time to consider a change. We had had some phenomenal support systems throughout our time on active duty in particular, all over the world, but it wasn’t mom and it wasn’t dad and it was really eating at me just in terms of that. You know that, that role, that that we play in life as as a parent. And so I was serving as a deputy director at a PA school down at Camp Lejeune, mcc Triple S, camp Johnson at the time and at the same exact time that I had kind of voiced the idea that I was looking for a change to transition off of active duty. We were standing up, this organization is arm or or component of Special Operations Command, called Marine Special Operations Command, or Marsock as as we’ve come to know it, and I just served as a as a retiring officer for a really phenomenal gunnery sergeant who went over and started working at Marsock in a GS position, and they called and said hey, we hear you’re looking for a change. And of course you know female Marines are a very small talent population within the Marine Corps but female officers are even smaller. And so you know you, you sneeze and everybody says God bless you because you know just kind of echoes. And so I had mentioned that I was looking for a change and they called and said, hey, we’re standing up, this organization of so-called Marsock, and we’re really we’re looking for somebody to come over and work strategic manpower initiatives, administration, workforce development initiatives, those nature and we would love for you to consider this as, as your change so went over interviewed phenomenal opportunity, transition to serve as the first director of manpower and workforce development over at at the time, what was the schoolhouse, marine Special Operations School, but it is now Marine Raider Training Center and it has evolved significantly over the years and really worked strategic manpower planning. Because at the time we had kind of like a piece of paper that said this is what Marsock was going to look like, and we had to do a lot of work to turn that piece of paper into an operationalizable. Actually, you know, people in seats and not just people, but the right people with the right set of skills and competencies and knowledge in order to meet the demands of whatever Intel was telling us was going to be the requirements, you know, five, 10 years from now. And so did that for about four years. Great opportunity. And the family then retired and moved to Northern Virginia area and I decided at that point that I was going to take a little hiatus from working in really high up tempo organizations and I was going to be a stay at home. Mom and John, I don’t know if I mentioned this to you before, but I took it. I mean, I was really all in. I was like, hey, all this guilt, you know this big void of like, time and everything, missed opportunities, I’m going to fill it. I’m going to be a stay at home mom and I got through well. First, I mean, like I was rocking the minivan, I went out, got my first Pinterest account, like I was all in, and after about six months I totally lost my sense of self. And I mean I really I’d been working in in high performing, high up tempo environments for nearly 20 years at that point and I really lost my sense of self. And so at that point I, you know, kind of stepped back and had to do a little self reflection. Involve those people in the parties that really were the you know closest to me in terms of their vet. They were just as vested as I was family friends, and I decided to take my academic background, which is I have a doctorate and business administration specializing in industrial organizational psychology, and take this amazing network that I had and a passion, you know, for really this idea of human behavior in organizations and turn it into something that was going to create some heat in the world for as many people as possible. And that’s when I stood up. Now it’s been almost nine years. I stood up for Truvian Advantage and we’ve just been, we’ve just been trying to, like, you know, like I said, we’ve just been trying to create some heat in the world for, you know, for as many organizations as possible, in terms of providing that full scope talent management system, a systems approach to the appreciation that your people are your competitive advantage at the end of the day.

Jon Mayo: 7:10

Man, I’m pretty freaking excited, especially given I love the phrase create some heat, like goodness gracious. And you said something that really struck me. There’s a lot all right that you just gave. So I’m like I’m trying to pick right now. I’m like at the beginning of this trailhead with 15 options, something I don’t want to walk past. You talked about losing the sense of self. Right, you had all that guilt that we could call like the mother’s guilt, whatever right on how you wanted to show up for your children. And when you did pull the trigger to do that, within a few months you lost your sense of self, which I think happens in so many implications for so many people in so many different ways. That’s insane. And like the idea that came to mind. One, it’s hilarious that you want to take a break and shift things up. And then you went and helped stand up Marsock, which is not going to give a break. That’s great. And then, two, I’ve been playing with this idea that the best way we can love those around us is by being the most intentional form of self that we are and learning how to meet those who are around us where they are, with who we are, and in doing that we can better love, better pour out from a cup that’s overflowing, better live and show up and be in community with those people than instead doing the best stereotypical or the that almost has to negative connotation. But the idealized picture of the minivan with Pinterest right and so just I appreciate the can or the vulnerability of sharing that and I just also think that there’s like the goal that can be mined there for us is there is so much value being true to who we are, where we perform best, where we create the most value or creating the most heat, and allowing that to permeate into every element of our lives so that everything is a single, uniform expression of being right. Does that resonate with you? Yeah, absolutely.

Sarah Spradlin: 9:08

I mean there’s a reason why things like identify your strengths and work off your strengths really there’s just so much truth and authenticity to that. I mean there’s tons of value in understanding what your weaknesses are, your deficiencies or whatever that may be. But understanding your strengths is what’s going to figure out, what’s going to make you, you and the best version of you, right and being able to build on those, those strengths, those passions, those things that just naturally, that just naturally allow you to influence in a positive way and provide real servant leadership and allow you to be the, allow you to take breaks and get your rest and be, take care of yourself physically and mentally, so that then you can turn around and continue to give back to other people. I mean there’s that.

Jon Mayo: 10:01

I couldn’t agree with you more, john, and I think it’s directly related but, like, even now, I just had this like moment of awareness, introspection, as we’re talking, that, like I mentioned before, and then I’m afraid that’s how to you know, like packaged or something, but it’s so genuine, like you are an intimidatingly successful and accomplished person who’s doing cool things, and I’m just acknowledging that now because I love having just completely authentic conversations and I found that I was even posturing to like meet the level of action and professionalism that you protrude in our conversation so far. So I’m just calling myself out on the fact that I’m that I’m not going to continue, that I’m going to be completely authentic in myself, really dig into this with you, and I just am very grateful to have the opportunity for us to talk. So, being true to self, so that you can pour out more value for others and for those around you, is precisely the intent of every one of these conversations, and I had to do that like miniature self-check just now, based upon just how the conversations already started and we’re only a couple of minutes in. So just powerful stuff and it’s beautiful and I hope there’s freedom in it, not just like for the novelty of us getting to talk about in high five. But, like I know so many people right now who are becoming parents or who are in their wrestling with where do they create the most value or how do they do that. Or even like myself, professionally, with everything, I’ve been building in the shadows for years and I’m like thrusting into the light right now. It’s like, well, what is going to work? The, the truest expression of self as uniformly applied across all facets of life, is the best that I can summarize it based on what we’ve just tackled.

Sarah Spradlin: 11:49

Yeah, I mean it’s a lot to unpack and really I mean I guess the other. I go back to the idea that change is the only constant, and so this would apply universally, it would apply to your sense of self. So your sense of self changes. I mean these new variables that you encounter, new knowledge you encounter on a daily basis, failures that you overcome, they redefine your own perspective of self. We know that there’s this duality of self. There’s the self that I talk about, but then there’s also this self that I am. And so when I’m having a conversation with self talk, it’s the duality of self, because myself is talking to myself, about myself, and it’s constantly evolving. And so I think it’s also very liberating to step back and give yourself a little bit of grace in and talking about the general you, in saying, like it’s okay if, like, I’m constantly just reassessing that sense of self and what that authentic self sense of self is, you know, like there’s no line in the sand where it’s like, hey, well, you know, when I turned 40, that was it. I had to know it, I had to own it, I had to live it. Like. I mean, I think that really goes back to why Maslow’s hierarchy is so powerful, right? I mean it goes not only to self actualization that we don’t necessarily not many people ever actually attain, right, cause they’re always. You know, if you’re really looking towards self actualization and moving then onto self transcendence, which is that top level that really wasn’t published in mainstream media from Maslow you’re constantly reassessing, reevaluating what authentic sense of self really means to you. Is that me?

Jon Mayo: 13:41

So beautifully, so beautifully. I actually recorded a thought expedition, which is a sub series on the Be Relentless podcast this morning and we were talking about goal setting, and I guess I’ve been on a lot of conversations in the last 24 hours that are around the central theme and one of the ways that I’ve been approaching it is, if we poise what is ourself, our purpose, our ideals, who we want to be, all of that in the form of a question instead of a statement, and we treat it as a hypothesis to be tested, then it allows us to iteratively move towards what we can become, while always being open to changing that based upon real world data and living it now right, bringing the future, snapping it into the presence existing and being it to the best of our ability, and then perpetuating that further into the future, while allowing it to always evolve in pursuit of a more beautiful question. And that’s where this like just is clicking. It’s like oh man, here’s the third conversation 24 hours. There’s something to what we’re talking about for right now and it’s pretty cool.

Sarah Spradlin: 14:44

I love it, yeah, and I think that concept of like productive inquiry, where you’re just always going back to just the questioning, the evaluation, the just that lazy Susan approach where I’m gonna spin it around and look at it from a different perspective, it’s, I mean, that is pinnacle to perspective taking and a growth mindset just being able to just step back and ask more questions. I think there’s just so much power to question asking.

Jon Mayo: 15:23

I fully agree because, especially like right now specifically, I’m walking through an insane, we transformative, impactful season. The last 90 days has been insane and the last 30 days has been whatever’s above that, and now I don’t even know where I am, but I know what I need to do each day. And when you mentioned Mavlo’s hierarchies and going beyond, because I think most people think or like what I think about when I think about Mavlo is like the first three right you need protection, then you need provision and then after that you want to pursue purpose, or like you want to pursue something beyond yeah, belonging.

Sarah Spradlin: 16:04

Yeah, for sure. So that’s what’s interesting about Mavlo’s hierarchy is how close a sense of belongingness is to things like food, shelter, money, right, it’s like they’re like almost you know, and then you move into more of the purpose and actualization.

Jon Mayo: 16:23

Even more accurate, right, and I’m clearly less familiar with Mavlo’s because I remember, okay, like, once you get the essentials out of the way, then you can move on to the bigger things. Right, which is how I’ve summarized it, and what I call the self-actualization to self-transcendence is second mountain pursuits when, okay, we’ve hit the first things and now we are pursuing that which gives us value, helps us become the highest version of ourself and helps us to pour ourselves out into the world in such a fashion that it creates a positive impact, or I really love your term creates a lot of heat for those that you’re around, right, and what’s interesting is the dichotomy that I’ve experienced recently is having the provision element of the hierarchy removed, but I’m still living very aggressively in the, I would say, in the value creation ideal, pursuing self-actualization phase, and then looking at how do I not regress to basic functions but allow what I’m pursuing and creating to reshor up this newly created gap that has shaken the foundation some, because the belongings there, the physical protections there, right, a vision to pursue that creates immense value for individuals, communities and businesses, is now there. So it’s like I wake up with purpose and drive. I’m waking up at 2.30 in the morning most mornings and that is weird for me and I don’t recommend it. But I am why Because there’s work to be done and it’s like, okay, there’s no other way I wanna spend my life. Yet I still have this low level on the hierarchy thing that has to be resolved and at this point rather swiftly right, and then the whole balance of navigating that. But it’s just such a interesting dichotomy to find myself in when we’re talking about this topic in the pursuit and I think it also adds that real world element of life’s messy and it’s not always gonna be this perfect ladder, right, it’s campus.

Sarah Spradlin: 18:25

Right, yeah, absolutely I. So, in light of the pursuit and in light of a positive perspective on things, what we’re talking about really makes me think of like this concept of Murphy’s law. So the entire world, for all intents and purposes here’s the term Murphy’s law and they think. They think, oh well, if it could go wrong, it would go wrong and that that’s Murphy’s law. Right, well, that’s Murphy’s first law, but Murphy’s second law is really the idea that nothing is as easy as it looks. And Murphy’s third law is everything takes longer than you think it will. And instead of us being able to step back and go, oh yeah, it’s Murphy’s law. So you know what? It’s gonna take longer than I think it will. It’s not gonna be as easy as I think it’s gonna be. We kind of latch on to Murphy’s first law and we’re like, ah gosh, I got all this going on and if it could go wrong, it’s gonna go wrong. But that whole idea of like being relentless which is really that you know that just incessant pursuit and I hate to shift the conversation, but being relentless really means putting aside that like constant anxiety that you levy upon yourself, where you’re saying, oh, I’m trying to pursue here and I don’t wanna fall backwards and I keep wanting to stay at the self-actualization you know, valuation to other people perspective, that we kind of let go of that anxiety that we’re holding onto with going back and forth on that ladder or Maslow’s hierarchy, and going from like Murphy’s law one to really refocusing on like Murphy’s law two and three, like, hey, you know what I do gotta put in the effort and I’m here because I love this and I’m waking up at two o’clock in the morning because Murphy’s law number two does say that if nothing’s as easy as it looks, but I’m doing it because I love it, that’s why I’m, that’s why I’m burnt out. I’m burnt out because I want this. It’s part of who I am. I wish this is where I want to go, this is I’m headed in the right direction, you know. So if you’re feeling that, like you know, kind of just chaos and overwhelming, it’s almost like well, I’m feeling this because I’m clearly moving in the right direction, because nothing is as easy as it looks and everything takes longer than we think it’s going to and I’m moving, I’m moving in the right direction if I’m feeling, you know, towards that burnout side.

Jon Mayo: 20:55

Yeah, I think that’s beautifully staying spot on and I hope I didn’t give the condensation of feeling burnt out in what I’m sharing. It’s it’s, but, like the fact that you, what you just said I think is very important not to walk past. Because I will say, like for myself, at least in this moment, with the current engagements I’m in right, like the current things I’m navigating, it is a constant, relentless, intentional act of discipline to release control of that which I don’t control and find the joy, peace and value in that which I’m doing, because I do believe it’s the right path and I I frankly, don’t feel burnt out. I sometimes get despair, frustration, anger about the elements that haven’t clicked into place yet, but I do believe that it’s the right direction, the right work, that the value is there to do it and that there’s nothing else I’d want to do with my time. So it’s like it’s that balance in and that’s where I think you’re accurate. It’s like, yeah, that voice has to be told to shut up so that the freedom to be a conduit of what can happen is allowed.

Sarah Spradlin: 22:07

Yeah, for sure, and you know I mean. You and I have had some really healthy conversations, so I have no doubt in my mind that burnout is not something you would let yourself get to. But I think that your story and your pursuit, professionally and personally, probably resonates with a lot of people in the world right now. You know what I mean and they’re going after the same conceptually, the same ideal ideals, if you would whether it be with work or with family, and I think that there are a lot of people that could find themselves easily getting burnt out if they don’t have the opportunity to stop and really appreciate. Like you said, you know what I mean, you know everything that you just not to reiterate everything you just said, but you know you’ve got to be able to step back and say, okay, like this isn’t, I’m going in the right direction, this is good. I’ve got to let go of any kind of anxiety and despair, because if I didn’t think I was going in the right direction, then I wouldn’t be pushing this hard for something that I didn’t care about that much.

Jon Mayo: 23:10

So Absolutely and like going back to strategic manpower right, which is what helped fuel into the standing up of Marsock, which helped lead into you standing up the Vitruvian advantage right and everything you do. I know burnout, in the specific context of what we’re talking about, is like or at least my understanding is like that is part of your specialty, right In specific area of focus on how do you help high performing individuals across different industries Not burnout and maintain high level performance and I’m kidding it makes me actually laugh because it’s like, oh man, I’m sitting in the hot seat of someone who is seeing all the indicators likely regardless of what I’m seeing of where I actually am in this fight, and you’re sitting there with that like treasure trove of how you’ve been combating this now for a decade with the Vitruvian advantage group and everything else you’ve been in. So like what is going through your head with what we’re talking about, because I do believe, especially with, I do think that I’m willing to share this publicly, like what I’m working through, because I hope that it reaches and serves others where they are with what they’re working through and I think that societally, more recently than not, there is a heavier feeling. Whatever it may be that is further catalyzing the potential for people to burnout or grow and despair, things like that. So like how do we address that more aggressively? Who?

Sarah Spradlin: 24:40

How do we address it more aggressively? So I think, in terms of maybe a first step, a first step is really the appreciation of what exactly burnout is right and so being able to stop and tell yourself, hey, being anxious, you know, and feeling like maybe you’re not doing enough or you’re not doing good enough, that those are natural high performing. You know emotions that individuals who are, who are hypos, are going to experience and, quite frankly, if you’re a true high performer who has every intention of continuing to climb, you know the self actualization to self transcendence kind of. You know give back and create heat for other people. Latter, when you stop worrying, if you’re doing enough or you’re doing good enough for you and all the invested parties, that you know your scope of influence, then something’s actually wrong, right, like when you stop feeling that. So I think something’s probably, that’s probably an indication that something’s actually wrong. However, you know it’s when we move from those generalized sense of anxiety you know analysis, maybe you know rumination of, you know oh gosh, let me go over this over and over in my head and we move from that into the physical manifestation of stress, where we can’t, we’re insomnia, and you know we’re not eating, we’re losing weight, we’re gaining weight unexpectedly, our hair’s falling out Hides, like that is really what burnout burnout is right, I mean. So I think in terms of you know, how do we create maybe again that like social paradigm shift? I think the first part is education to appreciate that there is certainly there’s a bridge that you have to cross to move from anxiety and, you know, whatever other emotion you may be experiencing to burnout. And so to just simply start by saying there’s these two categories and I need to appreciate that you know, just kind of saying like, ooh, I’m burnt out. Well, no, you’re not burnt out, you’re stress. Right, and stress isn’t a bad thing. You know, stress is not always a bad thing. In fact, stress is what motivates us. You know to do a lot of things. So I think that’s probably the first step in terms of you know how do we, you know what do we do about it? Well, I think we educate everybody. You know, to start with, and I think that I mean, what are your thoughts on? You know that the nuanced, that crossing that bridge from generalized you know concern and anxiety and stress over to burnout.

Jon Mayo: 27:32

Well, what immediately came to mind and I think this will help snap it home is I was talking with my son the other evening and he was telling me he’s bored. He’s like I’m just bored, I’m bored. And I was like, buddy, you are not whatever. This is, it’s not boredom. And I started describing different emotions to him. Right, I was like okay, are you feeling stressed? And he’s like no, I’m bored. I was like, wait, this is what stress feels like, this is what anxiety feels like, this is what anger feels like. I started describing these emotions and then, all of a sudden, he’s like that one and he’s like I feel like that. And it was this matter of aha, from him just being in a state of like helplessness right To, through the knowledge of identifying what he was actually feeling, being able to begin communicating about it or taking action. And then and in my mind, that’s the same thing we’re talking about here it’s no, you’re stressed Like burnout, has these physiological hardcore symptoms that, if you’re at that point, like, that’s what real burnout is. So let’s re, let’s educate and re-empower you with tools so that you can actually see where you have authority in your current situation, and what comes to mind is ah man, I think it was Alex Ramosy, I’m not entirely certain, but I heard this sentiment the other day that depression comes from not knowing what your options are and anxiety comes from having too many options and not knowing what you should take and with or maybe that’s just who I heard it from. But, like with that context, I think that the bridge you’re talking about with education regardless of if someone likes the answer of what the truth of the education provides right. It is empowering and allows for sovereignty and agency such that it can be navigated and I do think that with anything that’s critical.

Sarah Spradlin: 29:14

Yeah, absolutely, I mean that’s it’s your spot on, I mean, john, your spot on, I mean. And so I think it goes back to this idea that, you know, we mainstream, you know, with the power that is the information age we have information overload and with information overload becomes, you know, just an uncertainty of ground truth in terms of knowledge and information. And so I think that I think that, like, just intellectual integrity is being threatened, is vulnerable right now with the, you know, information age, if you would, and so being able to kind of take a step back and just say, like you know, I mean, let’s talk about what is and what isn’t. And every time, you know, we keep using the certain terms, just like Murphy’s law, everybody thinks like, oh, there’s more than one Murphy’s law who knew right, and some of them can be really helpful, instead of like negative and be like gosh, darn it. Murphy’s law you know well, yeah, but think about the other ones. It could be really, like, you know, a powerful motivator for you. But it’s the same idea, like we got to, we really got to just stop and start like reminding the kids and you know, our peers and just you know students and things like that, just to take a step back and really ensure that the things you’re saying, you know words mean things and today, you know we get pushed words and we get pushed, you know, concepts and ideas that we just start, like, you know, parroting, and it’s dangerous, you know it’s dangerous. So, like now, everybody’s like, oh, you know I’m anxious. Well, you know, like to what end, you know, because I mean everybody’s anxious, you know, I mean my daughter came home maybe about a week ago. She’s going through a fun phase where you know she wants to have Matt black nail polish and you know her little combat boots with her little you know skirt and stuff. And she said, mom, this little girl at school called me emo today and I was like what’d you think? You know, let’s talk about what’d you think about it. And she said, well, I just kind of looked and was like I don’t care what you call me, I don’t care if you think I’m emo. And you know I said well, what does emo mean to you? And what it came down to is a conversation where I said so, really, emo really stands for emotional and all humans are emotional and you know my kids are like here, you say it all the time. Mom, you know humans are driven by emotional information. So it was like so, really, what she’s saying is you’re human, right? So she comes back the next day and she said well, what happened? She said, you know, oh well, they call it. She called me emo again, but I said hey, thanks, I think you’re human too. And I was like there, you go right. But it’s just, you know, we throw these words around like burnout and you know, whatever else it looks like. And you know, when we don’t have a real solid, like a real solid culture where we embrace and accept that mental health is not, you know, the stigma of mental health needs to be removed. Like we’re not there yet. We’re not there yet, we’re making great strides, but we’re not there yet. And so, in the meantime, throwing words around like oh, I burnt out, or you know I’m X or Y, it’s tough, right. Because it’s like, well, you know what I mean. Is it like, is it so what? Like you’re using that as a crux, you’re using it as a I don’t know. Or is like is it really a problem, right? And we’re getting to this point where, like it’s the boy that called wolf, kind of the cry wolf kind of thing, and we just don’t know where the line is drawn in and who really needs help sometimes, and you know and where to go. So I digress. Just started rolling. Go ahead, johnna.

Jon Mayo: 32:45

No, no, no, when we black out, like you and I are already on a wavelength, we’re just going to keep plowing forward because the intention out of speech and the fact that words mean things and they don’t mean the same thing to different people is so important. And, like when you talked about burnout, you saw me immediately, like vapor, lock on that word and say, okay, wait, let’s define that, because I don’t, that’s not what I’m trying to portray. And then, like we’ve done that now on three or four different words right, which is on help, which is helpful to highlight, especially for anyone joining us and listening to this because it’s like why isn’t that you jumped on this word and I jumped on that word and like wait, wait, wait, what do you mean here? It’s because the implication of the meaning of the word, as I or you hold it, is so critical for where our conversation goes and the implications that it has. And you mentioned integrity of mind or intelligence. Intellectual integrity, thank you. Intellectual integrity If, like I think, it’s difficult to maintain that as a practitioner who desires that, without disciplined separation from stimulus and taking time to think, because there are billions, hundreds of billions of dollars invested in helping to influence how I think, what I feel, why I feel that way, to the point where it’s like, wait, what is making you say that you feel anxious, right, like what is causing that, and then you’re able to pull on that, or what does emo mean to you? Like those things? We don’t even know how we’re being influenced, in some instances by some influencer and other instances by huge corporations or whatever, but by the world around us because of the overabundance of information. So, like without being like, I just don’t. I got hung up on that word, not in a bad way, but in the sense of like. That is such an important concept to highlight, because if you don’t invest in, fight for and protect intellectual integrity, you won’t have it. I don’t know how you could right Like. It seems to me something that’s not obtainable without intentional pursuit.

Sarah Spradlin: 34:51

Yeah, it’s a lot, I mean, and I think that concept of attention extraction right, that there’s this campaign, this global campaign, and putting it in air quotes right now, that’s just driven by I mean, just you name it whoever wants to be in control of the narrative, whether that’s for capitalistic purposes or intellectual purposes, whatever that looks like. But this campaign to just fully focus on the narrative, this campaign to just flood us with information and stimuli, is really exploiting the whole idea that I mean, humans can only attend to so much as so many things at one time. And so we’re just, we are just like these, just we’re just these culprits of attention extraction where, if we can just sit around and keep having our attention extracted, extracted, extracted I mean we don’t know what to focus on. And we’re, I mean that’s really where we’ve gotten in, and that, in and of itself, leads to burnout, right, like where you start seeing the I talked about walking over that bridge from. Like I’m stressed, I’m feeling anxious, I’m starting to get angry at people. Like now you start walking over the bridge and as you’re walking over that bridge, now you’re starting to feel numb and you’re actually starting to feel like a void of emotion, and walking that bridge is really where you’re walking over to burnout, and attention extraction and information overload is certainly an additive variable to that. I call it I don’t almost call it a disease at this point, although it’s not, but I mean it’s real and we walk that bridge and then that’s where it’s like okay, now I feel nothing and I’m numb and I’m void, and now I don’t sleep, but I don’t care that I don’t sleep right. Or I’m losing weight unexpectedly and I don’t care that I’m losing weight unexpectedly. So, anyways, I mean, it’s just this. Really. The conversation really comes full circle when we think about all these different variables.

Jon Mayo: 37:03

It absolutely does. And like the word that comes to mind for me is an unstigmatized pandemic, right? Like if we remove stigmatism from the word pandemic and if we were to divine pandemic as something that has mass negative effects I’m not even sure if negative should be included in that but effects on masses of people. Then, like this information overload, right, the attention extraction is causing that and what’s crazy about it is without people even realizing it, like how it’s happening to them, right? Because, like I always think about, I’m so excited this came to mind because it’s like ha ha that the one Orwellian dystopian future was where all books are burned right. But, the other is where information is so overly abundant it’s hard to identify the truth from the false, and I think that we’re far closer to that type of dystopian air quotes future where it’s like, well, what is true? This morning. A very fun, lightweight example of that is this morning and last night I’ve been having this debate as I’ve been grappling with one of my buddies. He’s a huge Star Wars guy. I know just enough to know the difference between Star Wars and Star Trek. Well, We’ve been debating, I’ve been making the argument and employing game theory and simulation theory and a bunch of other things, that they’re one and the same, that they’re just two different sides of a continual cycle and that right now we’re in between both of them. And it’s been a really fun debate and I went way hard in the paint overkill. And like wrote an article about it because it was in my brain, so like I had to get out of my brain and I was like you know what, I’m just going to twist the knife. I made it into a stinking podcast episode and published it this morning. So that’s fun, but to the same end it’s like that entire debate. One, it doesn’t matter. Two, it’s now 40 minutes of like really fun analysis looking at these different things that actually could have repercussions, like implications for us. But the bottom line is it’s a lot of data that’s now out there that’s saying that these two things are part of the same universe which factually, in the realm of storytelling, they’re not. But how? If you read that and then you go and read that they’re not. Like, now you have to. Now you have the burden of choice on what is true and I think that I guess the whole point of sharing this is there’s a burden of choice, of deciphering what information is valuable and holds truth and should influence my decisions. That is part of that attention extraction that I think is affecting a lot as well.

Sarah Spradlin: 39:31

Yeah, and I think when we start going back and saying, okay, well, what does it take in order for me to be able to divest myself of the attention extraction and be able to ask myself, well, what information is valid, what are the steps that it takes, like, what are these things that it takes for a high performing individual to do that? Well, clarity is one right. I mean you have to be able to focus, to experience a sense of clarity so that then you can identify those things. But I mean, again, these are all synergistic, because being able to focus and gain clarity in the midst of attention extraction and over stimulation, I mean we’re living in a time where it’s I mean it’s tough, it is tough, and so I guess I mean I would love to be able to ask, you know, like, just I love talking to, like fifth graders it’s a great age to like ask them, what would you do to fill in the blank, just get their innovative ideas. But I would love to hear, like a group of fifth graders share, you know, if you could come up with a way, a method, constraints, you know, in order to try to like mitigate, you know, your generation from not being able to step back and be able to appreciate and absorb, you know, the information that’s of value to your decision-making process. How would you do that for your generation? You know I’d love to hear a group of fifth graders, you know, just talk through that. It’d be like you know, arguing with somebody about Star Wars and Star Trek and that they’re one and the same.

Jon Mayo: 41:09

It’s yeah, it’s absolutely insanity, and I fully admit that was like a guilty pleasure, but I did it, so it’s done? How do you, what have you seen as an effective approach to that right? I’m trying to be intentional with how I ask the question because it’s like, yeah, what is the most effective approach you’ve seen in your line of work to help hypos accomplish that if they haven’t already, or if they’re beginning to suffer burnout because they’ve negated some element of it, or someone who’s wanting to start reclaiming some of that intellectual integrity?

Sarah Spradlin: 41:47

Yeah, I think, I mean there is absolutely no one, you know, one-size-fits-all approach, especially because I think some people you know they get on their phone and that’s you know what they wanna scroll through and other people wanna, you know, do that. So, I mean, depending on what it is, but I think, at the end of the day, I think, being able to have people step back and really clearly articulate their non-negotiables in life that are gonna get them to whatever goals like, or even working backwards, like, what do you wanna accomplish? And in order to accomplish these things, you have to say it, you have to put it down, you have to chunk it out. Those goals you wanna accomplish, what are the non-negotiable fundamentals that you are going to put in play in your life that you are gonna be wildly inflexible about? You will not, you will not gravitate, you know, outside the left and right lateral limits of these non-negotiables in order to, you know, make this happen, create that heat that’s gonna accomplish these goals, and being able to really understand what those constraints are that you’re going, you know, to place on yourself. You know, and forcing people to get comfortable with the uncomfortable, I mean, you will not grow, you will not focus, until you can appreciate that deliberate discomfort is. You know and that’s a little cliche, we wrote a book on it in 2019, but deliberate discomfort is just one of the most powerful tools that you can give yourself, most powerful gifts you can give yourself in order to be able to actually, you know, put a tactic into place in order to move forward and get out of that rut or just, you know, close the gate to the bridge that moves you from anxiety to burnout.

Jon Mayo: 43:39

Oh, I fully agree to the point that the way I articulate, that is, if the obstacle is the way, then we must be waymakers, which is to say, wherever the discomfort is, wherever there seems to be that pressure or that issue, the answer is somewhere in it. And until we understand it, which is embracing and pressing into it, we don’t know how to make the way, whether it’s over a round or through it. Right, and yeah, that’s just stinking gorgeous I’m. You’re preaching to the choir. When it comes to deliberate discomfort and using pain as a teacher, I just love it.

Sarah Spradlin: 44:17

I mean it’s also, you know, I mean it’s also part of the pain, is also part of the like idea of, okay, what is my limit? Right, like, what is my limit, so that I know when I have to say I’m whoa, wait a minute, how did I find myself on this bridge, you know, I mean it’s just as much of a teacher in terms of saying I need to turn around. Sometimes, as much as it is, I need to go over, under or through.

Jon Mayo: 44:47

And with that, a question I have so like, as I understand, burnout and the definite as you see it professionally in, I think clinically maybe the correct word, maybe that’s the wrong word, but as you see it, at least professionally right, as it’s a physiological response to losing control mentally, to the point that your body is essentially in a fight or flight response. This is at least how I understand it, so please correct me. And in that fight or fight response it’s burning, literally, like chemically or hormonally burning up different elements of yourself, causing adverse physical reactions. Is that accurate?

Sarah Spradlin: 45:20

I would say that that would be the ultimate, like that, or maybe even the pent ultimate, right I mean, depending on. I mean you could say the ultimate would be much more severe, but the pent ultimate would be like that explanation that you just gave, where leading up to that would really be that idea of fight. You mentioned fight and flee, but also the idea of freezing right. So I think that at first idea of I’m just done, I’m not gonna fight, I’m not going to flee, I’m just gonna freeze right here, I’m not gonna feel it, I’m not gonna own it, I’m just not gonna give a hoot right, and that numbness is just kind of that initial, that initial stage that then leads you to those much more physical manifestations of burnout. Yeah, absolutely.

Jon Mayo: 46:14

Do you see freeze as, at least from my word, as freeze has become the fight flee or freeze as the freeze elements become much more popular recently, at least from my perspective, and like the Sandy Hook shooting and things like that have helped to give substantiated examples of individuals who have the full physiological, like hyper acute freeze response right, but in this context of burnout you keep coming back to, like the numbness, the freezing right? Is your experience that that is the more likely course that people experience when they’re like going towards that bridge, that they become numb more so than angry or fleeing?

Sarah Spradlin: 46:57

Yeah, and I wouldn’t necessarily only equate the numbness to freezing. I mean you could equate it to fleeing, right, you could equate it to being like I’m done, I don’t. You know, I mean the fleeing of, I’m freeing myself by, you know, just fleeing from the anger, the sadness, the despair, the hopelessness I’m, you know. You could say that you know, the numbness could constitute either freezing or fleeing. However, I would say that, yes, that I mean that moving from I’m angry, when I’m angry, I’m, you know, I’m getting burnt out, like I’m at a really high degree of stress that is now moving from, you know, a positive motivator to now a demotivator that’s leading me over this bridge of burnout. And so I mean it’s really that like I okay, I’m still getting angry, and then, but I’m coming back the next day and saying I’m gonna try it again, right, so we’re not quite at that bridge, we’re definitely headed there, right, like our GPS is taking us there. But it’s really, once you finally go, you know what, I’m not angry anymore and I just don’t care and I’m done and I’m just I’m giving up, and the helplessness and the hopelessness really start to take over. That’s like the. I mean that is a absolute. You are there, you are, you have crossed the bridge. You are burnt out and we need to help. We need to make sure we help you.

Jon Mayo: 48:29

We should have done it a long time ago but and that context is specifically in, like the high performing circle industry, where it’s like oh, we’ve messed up and not helping you. But what comes to mind also in like a broader social level, was I just learned about this concept of the black pill where, like there’s the red pill, there’s the blue pill. Are you familiar with the black pill?

Sarah Spradlin: 48:51

I am.

Jon Mayo: 48:52

Okay, your explanation’s probably more in depth. How would you define the black pill, and is it up the same line of thinking that we’re discussing here? That?

Sarah Spradlin: 49:00

was an allistic. Yeah, absolutely right, I mean. So you get to the point now where you kind of it’s almost like, okay, I have the ultimate, it’s the ultimate destruction of, but I get to choose that destruction and I’m choosing to give up or I’m choosing to, you know, go postal if you would. You know I hate to use a certain terms, but you know, I mean I would almost from the conversation line that we are going down. That’s kind of how I would equate it to. It’s just that, you know, just kind of the ultimate choice of you know potential, you know almost Machiavellian despair. Does that make any sense, machiavellian despair? There’s a lot to impact with that statement.

Jon Mayo: 49:48

It’s nice because it’s such a complex mix of not-as-in-experience in that statement that it’s like well, yeah, I think it works. What comes to mind for me and for those not familiar with the pills because we both got excited talking about them as made popular by the Matrix? Right, there’s the red pill, which means, like you keep your awareness, you face reality and you take action based upon that. And the blue pills, like you naively go back to the illusion in which you live, but you have a naive joy in peace and you don’t have the problems of that reality. And then, apparently, there’s been a widespread effect on males 25 to 35 is what I heard, and I need to fact check this, so if you know the actual numbers, please correct me but where there’s this black pill phenomenon, which is just this heavy dose of nihilism and feeling of despair and helplessness and that things would be better if they were in any historical or fantastical reality, that any reality that is not this one, and that goes in my mind too. I’m curious the correlation, if any, between someone who’s in a high demand environment, who gets to the point of burnout and numbness, in that sense right, and someone who has never been in a high performance environment but is still getting to that same response due to feelings of helplessness or attention extraction, lack of intellectual integrity, things like that. But do you think there’s a correlation or connection?

Sarah Spradlin: 51:27

Between the fact that both of these groups the non-performers or non-high performers and high performers are both experiencing this.

Jon Mayo: 51:37

Yeah, essentially the throughput, and perhaps this helps make it clear. I’m wondering if we can help someone who is in a high performance environment and they’re approaching physical burnout, as we’ve defined it in this conversation. But we also know that societally, a generation is being largely affected by this similar phenomenon of helplessness, despair and nihilism, or at least a subset of it is is a more accurate speech. Can we extract what’s been learned from your work with helping high performers in a way that may make it more accessible to a larger group of individuals?

Sarah Spradlin: 52:13

You know, I’m not sure you can, and I say that because I mean everybody has a different threshold for push for perseverance physical, mental, emotional, and if you’ve never, you know it goes back to that idea of deliberate discomfort. You know, if you’ve never moved your threshold of deliberate discomfort up one notch, two notches, three notches, you know if I’ve moved mine up 100 notches over the last 10 years and I have, you know, the rest of, you know, we’ll just call it, you know, average society that has not moved their notch more than you know, maybe 10 units. I’m not sure that the same tactics applied to people who can embrace, appreciate and push through deliberate discomfort would necessarily work universally for those that have not yet even taken the step to embrace the value of deliberate discomfort. I’m not sure that their emotional or mental threshold would support the same tactics that we would apply to high-performing individuals. You know, here’s an example. So my husband is a retired Marine recon guy years and years and years and then from there he transitioned to special operations. He played collegiate football. You know he’s taken hits and his pain threshold is probably a little above other people’s. This morning he’s got really bad shoulder and this morning he was filling out the paperwork to go to the orthopedic surgeon on Friday and of course the paperwork’s asking everything under the sun. And then it’s asking him like, hey, tell me on a scale of one to 10, how much pain are you in? And he’s like I don’t know a three. And I’m like okay, and answer this as if you were. You know our neighbor who you know has never done really anything physical their entire life, never really been injured, never had a concussion, never broken their back. You know, never had a parachute miss. You know fire when you’re opening it. You know, never been rolled in a truck. We could go on and on and on. And I’m trying to explain to him. He said, okay, well then it’s asking me well, how good a physical condition are you in? Well, I don’t know, I think I’m in great condition really, because you’re going in to get surgery. Is that what you would tell people? And so I think it really, you know. I mean this is kind of one of those examples where he has to go into the physician and say, hey, look, here’s my background and based on my background, this is how I rate this pain. My guess is the rest of the world will probably rate it at 11 on a scale of one to 10, you know, but his ability to embrace the suck physically, mentally, is a lot higher, and so I really think that it’s kind of the same. Like you could juxtapose that concept onto you know, high performers versus just you know, I mean the rest of the world. We need to figure out how to get people, I think, at the end of the day, to get out of their bubble to embrace discomfort, to embrace the value of the power of deliberate discomfort on self reflection and self growth, before we could even really appreciate that some of the tactics that we would use on really high performers, high performing teams because a lot of people like to say they’re high performers and high performing teams and they’re not right and I mean I see you shaking your head in agreement there I mean that’s another words mean things when we talk about you know, high performers, I just think I think we have, I think I think we actually have more work to do with the general population in order to help the population at large become high performers, as opposed to focusing on the high performers, taking what we learned and giving it back to the general population. Does that make?

Jon Mayo: 55:59

sense it absolutely does and I think it’s an incredibly fair and careful answer. And one thing that’s amusing with the pain threshold thing and hopefully I found this amusing at minimum. So I was having a conversation with a doctor like four years ago or something, and they’re asking me a pain question on the scale from one to 10. And I was like, well, what, what? Like, what’s normal? And I was like yeah, and and they’re like zero, zero is normal. And I was like, oh God, my entire spectrum of life just changed. Because, like what you I remember it like truly shocked me like you don’t live with pain, like that’s not a normal thing, right, because, like, the more pain you have, the higher your tolerance and the low, like you just kind of exist at a two or three right Is kind of part of the concept. But then you find out that a lot of people you should be existing theoretically at a zero and it’s like, okay, I fully get that. And extrapolating it to like, okay, these precise actions right, or yeah, let’s use actions, prescriptions, right to help these high performers do that right, because they’re they’re already equipped to be operating at a level where they’re going to appreciate what that solution is. I think that’s fully reasonable and the reason I asked is cause I’m always looking at like, okay, well, anything that’s true in a value can be made so in multiple scenarios. So, for example, my life’s and that’s not to devalue your statement or any means, but like my life’s purpose as I’ve defined it thus far right. Going back to that is the question how might I unleash an impotential? And that consistently starts with self, in works and concentric circles outward. But it also has created I’ve also been able to formulate a methodology, framework, sequence of iterative events, if you will. That’s very simple that, I think, can meet someone where they are, whether it’s an individual or an organization, and begin to create the capacity for that at a gradually increasing scale. So I’m always curious what are the best doing? Because maybe then I can translate it or maybe we can work with it across the spectrum.

Sarah Spradlin: 58:15

Yeah, I think that that holds true for a lot of things, especially from an organizational standpoint. I mean, if we can take a process, any process, as long as you can scale it, which that’s the idea that you could scale any process absolutely. But when we talk about this concept, specifically of burnout, I think there is a lot of nuanced considerations with burnout that I honestly think that we wouldn’t necessarily say hey, this is what we’re going to do with the high performers. So now I’m going to translate this out, to scale this down per se. I think the idea really, with burnout particularly, is to figure out how to apply this process that you’re talking about, whatever it looks like, in order to create more high performers, which is exactly how do you unleash potential, Right? I mean so being able to start somewhere and say, hey, this is how we can get you from A to C instead of get you from P to Z, which is where the high performers want to go. But yeah, get your point completely Every process should be scalable. I just think it’s nuanced with the concept of burnout.

Jon Mayo: 59:47

Well, and I think, in agreement with what you’re saying, that even comes from my ignorance to the intricacies and specificity of burnout, specifically in the applications in which you apply it. Right, because really and what you said was more accurate how do we help? Like? My focus is how do we take someone who? How do we help people live intentionally in such a way that they’re exercising sovereignty over their life and creating value, ie becoming high performers Right? How do you take someone who feels like they’re helpless and help them to transform their existence into something that has agency, sovereignty and impact? Right, which is a very different question than For sure how do you help someone with burnout, especially in the physiological expanse of someone who’s in that high performing environment? So I’ll talk that up to my own ignorance or lack of nuance in the question. I think that’s a fair distinction, though, in the two, between the two, which I think is incredibly fair.

Sarah Spradlin: 1:00:52

No, and I think from a self-motivation theory, high performers in general have a very solid sense of internal locus of control. I mean, they want to own it. They are willing to say like this is mine, I want to own it. How can you help me? Not all of them, right. There’s plenty of high performers that are not pushing themselves and whatnot. But to have that internal fire of self-motivation, I mean we just don’t necessarily see that across the masses in the workforces. There are plenty of people who are out in the workforce and they’re checking a box and they have a job and they don’t want a profession. They like their job and they’re doing great things and they don’t want to shift. But we absolutely need them and they’re doing amazing things and they’re crushing it and without them fundamentally the organization will crumble. But they don’t want anymore. And if they don’t want anymore, then we certainly, as the practitioners, need to respect that and say, hey, that energy that I want to put into the masses probably should be removed from these particular individuals and placed somewhere else. And so I think we have to be cautious about just generalizing the idea of saying I just want to take people that in these two buckets, as if there’s high performers and not yet high performers, well there’s also. I don’t want to be a high performer and that’s okay, you know.

Jon Mayo: 1:02:34

That’s. I love the specificity of speech that we’re utilizing throughout this entire conversation because you’re absolutely right and the way I approach it to give it its appropriate context is I want to invite those who are interested in that transformation and in my own mind I’ve put a metric to it. Just one I think it’s kind of aggressive. But two, it helps me to think about who I may be talking to or working towards right, but I think of it as there’s likely one in every 10,000 who desire this manner of living right, and there’s eight billion of us on the planet or what have you. It takes different, it takes all of us to make this world go round in some capacity. So it’s not even necessarily a value or derogatory assessment of what different people value in their lives, but working in line with what my values are, into the types of people specifically I feel I can best serve or want to produce more of, to help create that in the world. It’s like, okay, maybe there’s one in 10,000 that if I can invite and identify and then assist in this, we think that will create ripples throughout society in a positive light that helps everyone with all of their different motivations and desires, right. So that nuance is so critical because otherwise it also is at great risk of becoming elitist or unhealthily skewed, and it could lose the value that I believe our conversation does have without that distinction, which is so important.

Sarah Spradlin: 1:04:03

Yeah, no, I love the conversation and, john, don’t think for a second that I didn’t think that, from a business model perspective, you didn’t have the metrics and the target population and the talent pools and everything laid out, because I know you better than that. I know that’s all fleshed out and it’s very detailed and comprehensive and assessed and reevaluated probably 30 times. So I do appreciate that. Shout out to the metrics that you’ve put in place in terms of the invite that you create right, like what are the parameters on the invite that you give out, like who am I inviting? And that’s very powerful. So, john, before we wrap it up, when we think about we’ve got this beautiful conversation about these people, this workforce of amazingly brilliant, messy humans that are just doing great stuff, that all are driven by emotions and they’re set back and they wanna move forward and one day they wanna keep going forward and the next day they wanna stop. Or the next day they move 10 steps forward and the next day they wake up and they say you know what? I wanna take one step backwards today and it’s hard right. And as practitioners, as consultants, we go into these organizations and we say we wanna help you, right, and we have a plan and we go through things like discovery, and we go through implementation phase and then a sustainment phase, but then it’s like well, to what end? Like to what end do we help you? Where do we know when our value in helping you be bigger, better, faster, stronger, where does that end right? And I understand, like at no point do we just wanna say, okay, the contract’s over by. Like we obviously wanna create this continuity of relationship and everything like that, but there’s a point in which we have to be able to identify, like where does my value in your journey, or this journey, where is it no longer creating heat? And one thing that I have learned over the years in consulting is there’s. Have you seen the movie Nanny McPhee? It’s a children’s movie? I don’t think so. It’s very Mary Poppins-esque. And there’s this point where this is she tells the family, she says when you need me but you don’t want me, I’ll be here, and when you want me but you no longer need me, I need to go. And that is a motto that I have embraced as a high performer, working with high performers, doing super cool stuff, to establish those non-negotiables that I talked about earlier in being able to say like how do I get better, how do I figure out, how do I get more focused? How do I identify clarity, how do I understand what information is coming at me right now with the client Is actually impacting the decision that is going to be the best decision for me and everybody in my scope of influence. And that motto of I don’t know when it is, but when it happens I will feel it and you will feel it, and we’ll know that, whether it’s six months, 12 months, shoot, I mean it could end up in five years. When it comes, it’s time for me to go, because you want me but you don’t need me and you need to. You’re creating so much heat that I’m holding you back now, right, and the opportunity for me now to take that energy that maybe comes from somebody who no longer wants it, or the employee that says I don’t want to grow anymore. It’s that time for me to take that energy from me and my team and apply it to somebody else who’s like let’s do this, let’s crush it. And so I think I mean just coming full circle from a practitioner standpoint, and all these little pieces and parts that we talk about is just really powerful stuff, john, and I appreciate everything that you do to create this heat in the world and make so many people and organizations bigger, better, faster, stronger.

Jon Mayo: 1:08:18

All right, that is another episode of Be Relentless. Thank you for listening, and if you found value in today’s show, share it now, not later. Do it right now and help to spread the value and make this world a little bit brighter than it was when we started Forge forward.

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