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CWJJ Episode 86: AGA Live: Mark Fiorita, Steve Allen, and Jeff Kotcamp
November 4, 2021
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November 17, 2021

CWJJ Episode 87: Get Out of Your Head: Veteran Support- Jon Smith

Jon smith

Thursday, November 11- This week Jon Smith with Hydromax USA joins the show for a very special #VeteransDay episode.

Quick Links:

Jon Smith on Linkedin

Episode Transcript

 [0:00] music] [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Good morning, everyone. Welcome to this episode of “Coffee with Jim & James.” As usual we look at the EM ecstatic on top of the world. All right, let’s…It’s a serious topic. Let me bring you down to reality. [0:00] [0:00] And if you guys don’t mind, I’m going to go off script a little bit because, you know, that, that persona that I just did, people know me in the industry for years. And they always say I’m positive, happy‑go‑lucky. And I always try to put on that persona, when at times it seems like I was suffering in silence. And that’s a term that James uses a lot. [0:00] [0:00] John and I have become good friends and we’ve had some open discussions. And I think this last year‑and‑a‑half has really enlighten me to the idea of not just looking at others, but also internally and all around us, you know, you know, those that may be suffering in silence, or putting up these facades that, “Oh, look at it. Everything looks great with Jimmy. [0:00] “[0:00] He’s always on top of the world,” when in reality I’m not. We were. we all attended AGA SGA recently, had some really good conversations. And that’s what really brought us back together again to have this really heartfelt, and really needed that conversation because I can’t tell you… [0:00] [0:00] I know discussions with John and James, you know, we saw so many people there when you ask them how they’re doing, they’re like, “Great. We’re on top of the world.” Then you’re like, “How are you really doing?” Well, you know. [0:00] [0:00] So with that, let me hand it over to James. Would you please bring in our friend for us, James, and, uh, we will, uh, dive into this really important subject. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  You bet, Jimmy. Thank you. Um, John, it’s always awesome when we have somebody back because, uh, you know, that means that it went well. [0:00] [[0:00] laughter] [0:00] [0:00] James; Everybody is so [inaudible 02:00], you know. The first one’s a courtesy invite, but the second one means that, you know, we got something good going on. But those that don’t know John, he joined us a while back. [0:00] [0:00] And, John, I’ll let you do a quick intro of yourself, but John joins us from Hydromax USA. We, as Jimmy said, we just saw them at AGA SGA as well and got fellowship, and actually joined them at their booth… [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  …to, you know, talk about some of their solutions. So, John, give us a little flyover, metaphorically. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Jim, it’s for EM. Thanks for us. This great to be back. So glad to be here. Um, you know, it’s always great, like you said to get asked back, especially on a topic like we’re going to talk about today. Uh, it’s near and dear to my heart. I’ve been in just a little bit for those who don’t know me. [0:00] [0:00] Part of my background besides, you know, uh, being privileged enough to lead Hydramax USA is that I’m a retiree of the US Navy, 21 years. Very, you know, different scenario than business in a lot of ways, but this topic we’re going to talk about, you know, it used to be that it was a very hidden subject. [0:00] [0:00] And it was very hidden when I was in the military. It was hidden even in business. When I joined business, you know, you know, you didn’t talk about these. You Jim, you wouldn’t get on a podcast and talk about, Jim, what you were saying, “Hey, you know what, every day isn’t great.” [0:00] [0:00] And, and, you know, it was really, it was really seen that you needed to be that person who was always optimistic, always out front. Inside people are fighting hidden battles. [0:00] [0:00] And I think a lot of that, you know, where, where we started talking about this, and where I get very passionate about it, and I admit like you Jim, very bad days sometimes. You know, there are days that you’re not OK. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Right. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  And it can seem like you’re very much alone. And I think those are a couple of symptoms of when people have that. And for us is, as, as either leaders in business or as friends, family members or others, it’s hard sometimes because we don’t know about it. [0:00] [0:00] And that’s what this discussion is going to be so good about is, how do we, you know, what, how do we kind of adjust on that? Because it’s very different than maybe two years ago, even prior to the pandemic, some world events that have triggered some anxiety for some people and some, some questions. [0:00] [0:00] And all these things are wrapped up today in, in what, in peop‑, in people’s psyche, as they’re going about their day‑to‑day home life and business lives. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Yeah. And John, when we discuss this, we kind of kick some e‑mails back and forth after you were on the first time. And right about the same time we were kicking off this mental health series “Get…” I believe we coined, “Get out of your head.” It’s still work in progress. [0:00] [0:00] And you reached out and said, “Hey, we actually have something going on right now that is so relevant and something…” And that’s, that’s where I’m going to tee it up for you is, you know, we’re pulling out of Afghanistan. We have a lot of folks that now are, you know, and leadership roles are… [0:00] [0:00] You know, everyday American civilian life, folks that are dealing with something that is very confusing. It’s very much, you know, a prideful thing for a lot of people. [0:00] [0:00] And, and like you said, I just read something from Brené Brown was she was discussing how sometimes, you know, for us men and, and, and especially those in leadership, that sometimes it feels like it’d be better to down the white horse, than to admit, you know, vulnerability or failure to espouse a co‑worker, you know, any of that. [0:00] [0:00] And that’s kind of what we’re going to dive into today, John, is how can we be better to those in those situations? How what does it look like? How can we help? So, let’s start with the why behind it all, John. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yeah, I mean, it, it…And I want to touch on one thing you just said there, James. You know, and this is an issue that it, it isn’t just, you know, men [inaudible 06:19]. It goes across gender. It goes across anyone. [0:00] [0:00] Um, and I see it as the scariest part for me and we won’t probably touch as much on this, but I have, uh, teenage children ‑‑ I had some, they were grown ‑‑ and how that manifests for them today. [0:00] [0:00] I mean, that’s because that’s a totally new world in this virtual. If you’re still in virtual, if you’re back at school, how does that social go? But, you know, the why just varies for a lot of different people. If you have a veteran network within your company, you’ve probably heard some people raised their hand. [0:00] [0:00] I’m very, very pleased and very proud that our company has that. And we have, we have I’ve had some discussions, you know, and send out some word to people on what is going to, it’s OK. And also, used it to also offer up our company resources that we, that we have for them if they’re feeling that way, if they’re feeling alone and don’t feel like they can reach out. [0:00] [0:00] But, you know, the events in the world today that the isolation, the people have gone through, I mean it’s bad enough. I will, I will speak from personal sprint. It’s bad enough to have I’m sort of a PTSD or, or anxiety, but then to be isolated, because one of the things that you use it, as you use this, you use people and outlets to help and to use as a coping mechanism. [0:00] [0:00] So isolation, the pandemic, the anxiety over the pandemic, now is, as whichever side of the fence you’re on, vaccinated and unvaccinated, we’re seeing different rules and things we got. All these things are affecting people at home and in, and in the workplace. [0:00] [0:00] And so the why is because they don’t teach this in business school. They don’t teach this as you’re going through. This is a leadership lesson from the field, we call it, that you have to understand people, you have to be aware of the signs that people are looking, you know, people are displaying. [0:00] [0:00] And then you have to understand that it’s very counterintuitive for us as leaders or, or as an, or even as family members sometimes is we want to fix it. We want to get in and help people right away. And I am extremely guilty of this, OK? [0:00] [0:00] I can I say it has self‑awareness right there. I’m extremely guilty of this that I, I asked sometimes people that I’ve known and I’ll say, “Hey, what’s wrong? Are you doing OK?” And they’re like, “Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Yeah. Yep. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  The first, the first talking point on this is the person who’s going through it has to be ready to talk. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Right. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  You’re not going to be able to dive in and extract it, or possibly they’re just possibly having just a bad day and they’re just getting, getting themselves through it. And we tend to want to go, “No, no, no, you tell me what’s going on. I can help you,” when really… [0:00] [0:00] I guess the first real lesson is today is, you know, be there, be present. Just when they’re ready, they’re going to talk to you if they’re going through that. And I think that goes for a lot of different stresses today. And, and again, they don’t teach us in leadership school and they tell you, “Go fix a problem.” [0:00] [0:00] And a lot of times all that person’s looking for isn’t here. [0:00]

[0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yeah, and, and, and John, I got a hit on something too because it’s personal for me. The three of us know this and most of the audience has because I’m not shy about it, but I’m an alcoholic. Although I’ve been sober for 10 years, 3, months, and 23 days, and I’m going to say, 14 hours. [0:00] [0:00] And I’m very proud every day that I hold on to that, but I just know I’m a volunteer at a recovery church, and the amount of people during this isolation time that look for coping mechanisms. Sometimes they’re, they’re good coping mechanisms and sometimes they’re not good coping mechanisms. [0:00] [0:00] And I think that, that whole idea of being a presence in people’s lives, for when they want to talk, that they know that you’re open. And, and James, you use a term all the time, but it’s like a non‑judgmental that you have. You want to have a talk, like, John being a CEO. A lot of people may be intimidated by that. [0:00] [0:00] But if John puts off that persona and says, “You can be honest with me. I want you to be. And I’ll, you know, give you my honest feedback to.” And I think that goes to my next point here is who, who else should be involved with this? [0:00] [0:00] I mean, you know, you mentioned a few people, I think we’ve dived a little bit deeper into that because I think a lot of us may not realize that we could be a great help and influencer to the folks out there. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Jim, and you’re spot‑on with that. And I think the other part of this is not everyone’s going to come to you, or me, or James. But they’re going to come to maybe that. And they’ve gotten the field or that person they’ve worked with for 10 years. [0:00] [0:00] And those people are the ones that I find come forward most times and they say, “Hey, so‑and‑so has approach me. I think they’re having a really tough time, what do I do? And how do I, how do I not?” [0:00] [0:00] And so, this is where I think the other form of leadership is being able to mentor and to help those people that, that the people are talking to, to be able to watch for the right signs, be able to talk to them and give them, you know, give them support when they, when they’re ready for support and to really show empathy. [0:00] [[0:00] crosstalk] [0:00] [0:00]

John:  I think you should show them empathy. And each little empathy… [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Yeah, to shut up and listen sometimes is so, you know… [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Exactly. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  You know that active listening trait that, you know, that you can hone in. Like the moment I realized how powerful it was just to listen and really just shut up, it felt like I changed as a leader. [0:00] [0:00] Like, because I’m same way, John, um, my wife’s probably watching this episode, going, “Amen,” because I’m the king of…I have a headache, “Have you taken some ibuprofen?” You know, like that’s my immediate response so much that it’s a joke, you know, now, but I’m same way. I’m, I want to prescribe something to make it better, when really listening sometimes is the best medicine. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Let me just jump in because I think it was John maybe at Orlando AGA, and correct me if I’m wrong, but when you and I were having a discussion about empathy versus sympathy. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Mm‑hmm. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  OK. Yep. Yes. Yeah, yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  That’s it. That was exactly where I was going with, James, what you just said is, you know, not only is it, I think better to listen, and I’ve learned those lessons too throughout my career and my life in those experiences, but you have to also realize this is the second point, I think from someone who does deal with anxiety or with, you know, dep‑, depression or whatever it is. [0:00] [0:00] And these are not dark terms. These are real things that people deal with today. I think it one time in our society there were just things you didn’t talk about, or somebody just can’t handle it. That’s not the case. That’s not the case. [0:00] [0:00] And I think we’ve come around as a society to understand that or as I see more of it, and I think that’s important. But back to this empathy and I said, leading with empathy, first, you’ve got to know your people. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  So to be, to see signs, you’ve got to know your people, and your leaders in your organization or your, they have to know their people, know their families and listen, so they can pick up on signs. [0:00] [0:00] But the other thing about listening is most people are not looking for sympathy. They’re looking for empathy and they’re looking for a leader who listens, cares, who, you know, will be that, that lifeline sometimes. And I think that is, that keeps the door of hope open. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  [inaudible 13:58]. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  And, and that’s what you need when, when something goes terribly wrong, the doors close. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  If, if, if there’s not a lifeline present, if there’s no way to, um, if it just seems like, well, you know, it’s just all, everything’s gone and I came and get, you know, talk to anyone, that’s a bad situation. And that’s when it gets too extreme, but we got to keep the doors open for these for people who are going through this. [0:00] [0:00] And I would say keep the doors open in from people that you don’t think are going through because I’ll just about bet somebody is. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  That’s a big point there. That’s a big point. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  John, can I ask you? And this is a very candid question because, and, and I don’t want this to come off as a lack of support because that’s definitely not the case. But being a non‑veteran leader myself, OK, which you know, odds that are there are a lot of us out there. [0:00] [0:00] How, how can we relate, empathize? You know, like is there something that we can go to…? Uh, it sounds, that sounds dirty. Like, is there a tip for me? But it’s…And sometimes I feel like it’s talking about a subject that I don’t know down to my core like someone that had lived through it and deals with it. You know that… [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Sorry. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Yeah, I mean like it or not, they are labeled and as a veteran. And how do I, how do I have those conversations, and how can I relate, you know, like, “Does that make sense?” [0:00] [0:00] That’s a great question. It’s a great question because as our military has kind of shrunk in the last few years, there are going to be fewer and fewer veterans out in public area, brought to your side, whatever you want to call it. [0:00] [0:00] Um, but you know, I think, I think, James, here’s an important point. You don’t have to relate. You don’t have to have had those experiences. And again, that listening is what that person’s there. They will, they’ll share with you their, their, their experiences, their comfort level of talking about that and there’s varying stages of that. [0:00] [0:00] My dad was a World War II veteran. I know what he, I know more about after he died, what he did then while he was alive. He just, he never talked about it. People you normally, that’s what they really won’t talk about, what causes a lot of the items that are happening, but they’re looking for that voice. They’re looking for somebody who at least gets that they’re going through something. [0:00] [0:00] Now, the other thing that I tell our leadership team and I tell our, you know, our channel ‑‑ We have a team’s channel for veterans. We have multiple ways to reach out and connect for our company because I also keep on there, some of the veteran hotlines. [0:00] [0:00] So if they’re looking for somebody, they specifically that specific can relate to that experience or can talk them through something that they’re still struggling with from that experience, they can go right there. So, sometimes just being that conduit to point them in the right direction, can help them even greatly. [0:00] [0:00] You don’t have, you don’t have to be the answer, but if you can help them understand their options, of the people there, that they can confidentially talk to…And then there’s so many great organizations that do this across the country today, that really… [0:00] [[0:00] crosstalk] [0:00] [0:00]

John:  …are kind in listening. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  [inaudible 17:10] ordinary costs. You know, John and it’s, it’s employee awareness, right, to, to another segment. It’s something that it’s so cheap, [laughs] you know, in the scheme of things that it takes no time to put a message out. It takes no time to pin that so that everybody sees it right when they come in. [0:00] [0:00] You know, like, whatever that is, whatever the cadence and messages, you can probably add [laughs] one more, you know, to it. And I like that view point. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Well, I encourage always being proactive because even though you look for signs, we talked a lot about signs, and that signs sometimes are a trailing indicator. By the time it’s gotten to signs, a lot of times it’s gotten down, down a road. [0:00] [0:00] And I think that a lot of them is making sure that you’re keeping the options out there, keeping the people that can talk to them out in front. That helps before there’s, you know, it gets too, too, too deep. [0:00] [0:00] And, uh, and I think just again, I think that this is great. You guys having this because, you know, having this kind of discussion is such a change from let’s say, five years ago, maybe even two years ago, you know, I mean, when we started talking about leadership, we start talking about people. And, and it’s not a stigma anymore. [0:00] [0:00] And that’s what I, that’s what I tell everybody is, “Hey. Listen, I’m very open with my group. But hey, some of the challenges I’ve had and things.” [0:00] [0:00] And, you know, I think that I’m not saying that to, you know, get a confidence, right? I’m just basically being very honest and open because I want people to feel that they’ve got that venue throughout. And it may not be me they want to talk to, but it may be somebody else. It maybe somebody at one of these associations we talk to, who can help them get through it because you know, that’s… [0:00] [0:00] People are like…And you know, pre‑pandemic, I would have said a CEO or a leader is probably dealing 50 percent of the time with people, you know, then there’s a strategy and then performance, psyche is what you do. I’ve got to say today it’s probably 75 percent. [0:00] [0:00] Yeah, everything we do has to be about people, you know. It has to be about helping people to succeed and to be able to have a, you know, uh, an environment where they can succeed. And that’s what’s most important. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Yeah, I, uh, I agree. And, and this year has taught us that sometimes we, you know, be less and will be taught until we learn it. [laughs] And here we are, right? And, and it’s a great time. [0:00] [0:00] I will say, even in this last couple of events that we’ve been together, you know, at that same topics and awards and things built around mental health is a great sign that we’re talking about it a lot more. And again, it’s a general awareness thing. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  So, so how do we, how do we get going? You said be present. I love that. You know, I think as leaders, that’s a super power in itself. Once you figure that part out, it’s, it’s huge. I think the companies out there that are really doing great things, and building places that people want to work, have realized that what else, John? [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Well, you know, it’s, it’s about being genuine, you know being, you know, having the culture in your organization where people can freely talk about these items, and, you know, and also I think it’s so important again… [0:00] [0:00] And I guess you guys had the tagline. I remember on one of your LinkedIn posts that actually really was what I reached out about was and I thought was great. Yet then you had, uh, one out there a couple months ago that said, “If you’re not talking about mental health, as a leader, you’re not talking about the right things.” [0:00] [0:00] And a lot of times we get buried into the business of business. So being able to back out and really say, you know, I mean, “I’m going to have an executive team meeting here in Omaha in the next couple weeks. We’re going to spend a lot of time talking about, how are you people doing? How are our team members doing what? [0:00] [0:00] You know, in general, not getting anybody specific but in general, what’s the, what’s the climate environment like? And I think that’s…I thought your comment about, if you’re not talking about today, you’re not talking about the right things spot on, because this is something personal, office, wherever people are dealing with it. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Well, and, and again, that’s awareness, right? Even putting out that message is that same thing. I hope that more people with influence, wherever you are, right? Everybody can be a leader, no matter where you sit, but being able to open up that dialogue and, and just, I think it’s amazing. [0:00] [0:00] It doesn’t have to define you, whatever this thing is, but it definitely can help labeling it and moving through it. No matter if you’re a veteran, a spouse, a human, right? There, there’s an outlet there. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  You know, I read a great, I read a great story today that it was just, it was just…Kind of read it in a, I caught them passing. But, um, It was about this, this person who is on a factory and they were working online. They noticed their, their manager wasn’t quite, you know, he was acting kind of not the way they normally act, right. [0:00] [0:00] Their supervisor online just seemed very sharp, actually wound up that they went and talked to that person and found out that they were going through and some mental illness that…I don’t say mental illness. They were going through some depression. They were going through some things that were affecting their psyche and actually intervened up. [0:00] [0:00] So we talk about leaders down, but, you know, this is a great opportunity for people to lead up too. And, you know, this is an opportunity that… [0:00] [0:00] Again, that’s why I say this is a full circle conversation. Not just veterans. Not just any gender or/and both. This is a full circle. If, you know, somebody that’s out there sees someone they interact with on a daily basis, whether it’d be their boss, so not just a leader, you know, just decide that. I bet, and I bet they’ll appreciate it. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  John, I think that is a huge suggestion, tip, trick, whatever you want to call it, because almost view it like, if you live in a cul‑de‑sac, how you would treat each one of your neighbors, Whereas in business we’re very vertical, right? Lack of better term, we are. We’ve been that way. [0:00] [0:00] So a lot of people here will look down and down and down. Not looking down on somebody, but let’s go, let’s go horizontal. Maybe you look in this way, you know, versus up, so to speak. [0:00] [0:00] But a question for you, and I don’t want to put you on the spot with this one. But, you know, we talked about what we can do as leaders, not just leaders of our people, but leaders as a person. And, again, looking at anybody they were interacting with, you know, and not to be shy, not to, not to, you know, to, as we’re reading this book. [0:00] [0:00] Let’s take off our armor. Let’s expose ourselves and say, you know, how can we help? And, you know, and don’t be afraid to go up to a vice president, or a CEO, or somebody on the factory, or some driver, or anybody would it be. [0:00] [0:00] But I don’t want to put you on the spot, and I have a couple ideas. But what do we look for? I think it’s easy when we see somebody sullen and depressed. But sometimes, you know, some of the people that know me very well, they’re like, “You’re acting awfully happy today. Almost too happy. What do you… Like what are you covering up?” [0:00] [0:00]

James:  What are you on? I’m not sure. [0:00] [[0:00] laughter] [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Oh, yeah. That’s exactly, yeah. Yeah. Well? [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  [inaudible 25:02]. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Any ideas with that? Anything that, you know, with…? Any tips or tricks? [0:00] [0:00]

John:  You know, I wish there was a set, thing that I could say. I mean, I’ve, I’ve some of the times that I’ve noticed is just because I’ve known some people. You know, I’ve seen a change in behavior so it can be really quiet. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  OK. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Really, really, someone who’s normally extrovert, becoming an introvert. Or, in your case, as you were saying someone who is normally an introvert becoming very extrovert all of a sudden. That sudden swing, for me, is sometimes how I, I’ll say, “Hey, you know, is everything OK?” or something like that? [0:00] [[0:00] crosstalk] [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Or they’d miss a deadline, you know. There’s somebody who’s always on time, come home early. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  There’s somebody who’s always, all of a sudden, performance. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Boom. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yeah, yeah. And, and, and some people will say, “Yeah, well, this person’s performance is declining maybe not is everything is OK.” I mean, it’s really becoming as a leader when you have performances starts declining, where maybe 5, 10 years ago have been, “OK, well, maybe we need to find someone new.” [0:00] [0:00] First question I ask a lot of times is, is everything OK? [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Why the change? You know, is everything OK at home? Do we know, is everything OK at work? [0:00] [0:00]

James:  You always checked in on them? [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yeah. Yeah, I mean and so that’s, that’s a couple of those items that you can look for. But, Jim, to answer your question, um, I go a lot by gut feel. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Sure. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  And I mean, it, uh…Probably sometimes in leadership that’s a, that’s a good thing, but sometimes it’s a, you know, most times a good thing. [0:00] [[0:00] laughter] [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  I think it’s a great thing. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  You can’t wait for it. But a lot of times, it’s just a gut feel like while something doesn’t seem right with, he or she. Yeah, you know, it’s just that it’s a gut feel, I think, everyone has to have. I wish there was a better more scientific way of doing it that or behavioral index, but sometimes it’s just… [0:00] [0:00]

James:  We always want to engineer all this stuff, right? [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  I mean, that’s that that’s been something eye‑opening for me is that we’re really smart people, OK? As in a society, there’s a lot of great talented people and you can engineer the majority of things, but what we’re learning more and more, as you can’t engineer this part and you’ve got to. [0:00] [0:00] There’s nothing like what, like what you said, John, being present because it’s genuine. It’s there’s not an ulterior motive. I’m not sitting there going, “OK, what are you going to do with this data when you get it?” and, “They’re just setting me up to be fired.” [0:00] [0:00] When you can shift that culture a bit where people do feel safe to have that conversation knowing, it’s not something that is, again, going to define me. We look at this call and all of us have dealt with some kind of mental health issue over the past two years or longer, right? [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  That does happen whether there’s a CEO, a VP of. So, you know what I mean? There’s, that isn’t the saying that we’re not functioning and not doing the best that we can. But it does bring light to the fact that there, everybody is battling something. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yeah, and I think the other thing, kind of going back, Jim, to little bit what you said too is, there’s, first you need to be prepared for rejection. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Sure. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  It’s nasty because you go up to somebody and ask him, you say, “Is everything OK? Are you doing OK?” 9 times, I would say, 99 times out of 100, their response is going to be, “Yeah, I’m fine. No problem.” [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yeah. But the fact that you asked… [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Don’t be surprised if three hours later, a day later, maybe a week later, that same person comes in and goes, “You know, I really appreciate you were asking me and I’m kind of ready to talk to somebody about some…You got a few minutes.” [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yep. And them… [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Don’t play off that. Don’t feel like that’s a…Sometimes, just opening that door again is the best thing that can happen. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yeah, and I, and I’m a product of that. Because when I was drinking 10 years, three months and x amount of days ago, you know, when I was drinking and people ask me, I’d be, I’d have the walls up, “No, I’m fine.” “[inaudible 29:09]?” “No, I just had one drink. I’m fine.” [0:00] [0:00] You know, because you’re ashamed of it and you’re hiding it, and that is just masking something else that you’re dealing with. It’s just a mechanism. And again, we talked earlier about good mechanisms to cope, i.e., going out for a walk and look at the sky or whatever, and then there’s others that are not good. [0:00] [0:00] And it gets back to something that really struck a chord. I don’t know what you said, John, but in our industry safety is number one, and the phrase, uh, you know, “See something, say something,” right? [0:00] [0:00]

James:  I was going to say that, too. That’s why Steve Allen and his PMS, PSMS world is clapping saying, “That sounds like big red button to me.” You know what I mean? [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yeah, and I mean… [0:00] [0:00]

James:  And if you don’t have a safety culture that is, is, you know, personified by somebody hitting the pause button going, “I’m not my best or I don’t, you know…” [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yeah. Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  I think somebody needs a hug, you know, whatever it might be. I think Steve’s heart grew two times today. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yeah, and that’s great. And as you see, we’re listening, we’re both thinking about that. Let’s… [0:00] [0:00]

James:  It’s going to be so proud of us. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Because we, we think about, “See something, say something,” as opposed like with in regards, that backhoe being used or… [0:00] [0:00]

James:  That’s for your powers, too. Yeah, I mean… [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  You know, that, that’s not assets that are most critical. The most important assets we have in our companies, it’s the people, right? [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yep. Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Jimmy, I think we only have one more thing to do with John and I’m excited for this. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  I am, too, John. At this point, we’ve gone, we’ve, we’ve just barely as they say, peel back the onion. We could talk for days. And I think we’re going to have you on again down the road because I think this conversation, we impact one person, then we’ve done our job today, period. [0:00] [0:00] But, you know, at this point of the show, we always like to give you the stage, you know. You have the whole audience’s attention. And if you want to say a word, a phrase, something you want to leave the audience with today? [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Yeah, they’re, they’re award‑winning audience. [0:00] [[0:00] crosstalk] [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Wait. I’m sorry. Wait. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  That’s what Jim was saying. As surprising was it, in one of you guy’s background. I’m not sure. Congratulations again, by the way. [laughs] [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  It’s, did something say that we won an award at the SGA? [0:00] [0:00]

James:  I think, John, just did. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  I think I did, yeah, yeah. Now, hey, hey Jim, thanks, yeah. And, and really, you know, it’s a phrase that I’ve used, and it’s very powerful, and I’ll say and I’ll explain it. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  OK. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  But it’s, it’s, “Make your next 24 the best.” And what that means to me is you got, everybody’s got 24 hours that’s coming up, you know? [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Lord willing. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Right, Lord willing. The difference between all of us is what we’re going to do with that 24 hours. So, I always live in a, in a world where I say, “I’m going to make my next 24 the best 24 I’ve ever had.” So if everybody can keep doing that… [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Love it. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  …whether it, whether it deals with, with the issue we talked about today, whether it deals about a relationship, whether it deals about business, or something that you need to mentor or someone you ask, make the next 24 the best. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Love it. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Pick up the phone, write that email, yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yup. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  That’s, that’s almost a mic drop. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Almost. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Don’t drop the laptop. [0:00] [[0:00] laughter] [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  John, we thank you. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  And you’re a good friend. You’re a good friend of the mystery. You’re industry leader. Thank you for taking your time today to talk about this very important subject. Um, I think we I speak for all the three of us here. We just hope that one person got one thing out of it to, to, to change your life in some way for the positive. [0:00] [0:00] And again, look for that friend. You know, see something, say something. Don’t be afraid to, you know, quietly say to someone, “Hey, how are you doing OK? Are you right?” I’m always here. And if you want to talk, I’m here.” [0:00] [0:00]

James:  And Jim, I don’t want to put words in anybody’s mouth here, so I’ll let everybody do their own, but… [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Yeah, yeah. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  …I’m happy to be one of those people if you want to reach out. Will also make it a point when we post this to share multiple sources as well. For anybody who may find himself, you know, needing to talk to somebody, um, you know, we’ll make that available too. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Absolutely. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  [inaudible 33:20]. Guys, it’s been great, it’s been great to get to know you personally, see you in‑person and everything else, but it’s always a pleasure to come out here and talk to us. The things that you’re bringing to this, to this environment right now are so timely. [0:00] [0:00] And they’re just things that sometimes we aren’t really good about stopping in a day and really thinking about. But this is, this is one that you guys hit spot on. So, congratulations again on the award, but that out there again, but until next time, can’t wait. [0:00] [[0:00] laughter] [0:00] [[0:00] crosstalk] [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Hey, I think you just got [inaudible 33:49]. [0:00] [0:00]

James:  You just closed it down on us. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  I’m going to go off that until next time, everybody until next week on Coffee with Jim and James, please connect with us. I’ll, I’ll speak for James and I, and I’m sure, John, if you want to connect, if you want to ask a question, people know that I’m very open about that such stuff. So, please do. [0:00] [0:00] And I’m going to end my safety note. I’m going to, uh, alter it this time. See something, say something and think about that in a personal aspect, you know, with another person. [0:00] [0:00] Until next week of Coffee with Jim and James, everybody, please have a great week. Thank you, John, for joining us. Everybody, everybody, please stay safe. We’ll talk to you next week. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Thanks. [0:00] [[0:00] background music] [0:00] [0:00]

James:  Bye‑bye, everybody. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  Bye‑bye, everybody. [0:00] [0:00]

Jim:  Thanks. John. [0:00] [0:00]

John:  It was awesome. [0:00]

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