Ep139: Fostering Better Relationships and Improving Team Culture | with Jason Barger

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The quality of your life often comes down to the quality of your relationships. Whether it’s at work or at home, how you interact with those around you plays a huge role in how you rate your well being.

Are you running around putting out fires, reacting to whatever pops up in the moment, while never finding time for the important things?

Or are you calmly observing the situation and circumstances around you and responding in a thoughtful, constructive way and prioritizing your top values?

If you find yourself in the former camp – reacting rather than responding – then today’s guest is going to help you flip that script and improve the way you work and live.

Jason Barger is a globally celebrated Author/Speaker/Consultant and thought leader. He was a tremendous asset to me while I was directing and producing my documentary GO FAR: The Christopher Rush Story, and he is committed to strengthening leadership, culture, vision, and values using his 6 step framework he calls “The 6 A’s.” In our conversation we talk all about how to develop collaborative teams and positive work cultures, as well as fostering deeper professional and personal relationships using his “Thermostat Culture” approach.

If you’re tired of working for a company or a team that values “busy work” above being productive and actually getting things done, this episode is a must-listen.

If you’re exhausted by constant disagreements either with your co-workers (or your spouse or partner) and you want a simple framework to find common ground and move forwards with purpose, this episode is a must-listen.

Though this conversation is taken from the Fitness in Post archives, the information is still valuable and relevant to the challenges we face today in our post-pandemic working reality.

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Here’s What You’ll Learn:

  • How airports are a metaphor for how we move in the world and respond to adversity.
  • The difference between thermometers and thermostats and how it applies to our lives.
  • Whether we react or respond often has to do with the clarity (or lack of) around what we are trying to achieve.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: “Busy-ness” does not equal effectiveness.
  • BETTER QUESTION TO ASK YOURSELF: Am I doing the right things? (instead of: Am I doing enough?)
  • Teams that take the time to clarify and align their goals are more effective at accomplishing their highest priorities.
  • COMMON MISTAKE: Not getting a baseline assessment of where you or your team is starting from.
  • How to set expectations by debriefing the schedule at the start of projects.
  • KEY TAKEAWAY: Knowing the mission and understanding the deeper whys are the most important questions to answer. This applies to work and life.
  • My personal story of how my family had to create our deeper whys.
  • How the word attention can change the quality of your work, your relationships and your life.
  • The difference between rules and standards and why standards are more important.
  • The importance of finding language around your aspirations.
  • What the checklist manifesto is and how it can automate your to do list to free up your mind for creative thinking.

Useful Resources Mentioned:

Motivational Keynote Speaker: Jason Barger

Jason Barger (@JasonvBarger) / Twitter

Jason Barger (@jasonvbarger) • Instagram photos and videos

Jason Barger | Facebook

Jason Barger | LinkedIn

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Episode Transcript

Zack Arnold 0:00

My name is Zack Arnold, I'm a Hollywood film and television editor, a documentary director, father of two, and American Ninja Warrior in training and the creator of Optimize Yourself. For over 10 years now I have obsessively searched for every possible way to optimize my own creative and athletic performance. And now I'm here to shorten your learning curve. Whether you're a creative professional who edits rights or directs, you're an entrepreneur, or even if you're a weekend warrior, I strongly believe you can be successful without sacrificing your health, or your sanity in the process. You ready? Let's design the optimized version of you.

Hello, and welcome to the Optimize Yourself podcast. If you're a brand new optimizer, I welcome you and I sincerely hope that you enjoy today's conversation. If you're inspired to take action after listening today, why not tell a friend about this show and help spread the love. And if you're a longtime listener, and optimizer O.G., welcome back. Whether you're brand new, or you're seasoned vet, if you have just 10 seconds today, it would mean the world to me if you click the subscribe button in your podcast app of choice, because the more people that subscribe, the more that iTunes and the other platforms can recognize this show. And thus the more people that you and I can inspire, to step outside their comfort zones to reach their greatest potential. And now on to today's show. The quality of your life often comes down to the quality of your relationships, whether it's at work or at home, how you interact with those around you plays a huge role in how you rate your well being. Are you running around putting out fires reacting to whatever pops up in the moment, while never finding time for the more important things? Or are you instead calmly observing the situation and the circumstances around you and responding in a thoughtful, constructive way and prioritizing your top values? Well, if you find yourself in the former camp like most people do reacting rather than responding, then Today's guest is going to help you flip that script and improve the way that you both work and live. Jason Barger is a globally celebrated author, speaker consultant and a thought leader. He was a tremendous asset to me while I was directing and producing my documentary film Go Far: The Christopher Rush Story. And he is committed to strengthening leadership, culture, vision and values using his six step framework that he calls the six A's. And in our conversation today, we're going to talk all about how you can use that framework to develop collaborative teams and more positive work cultures, as well as fostering deeper professional and personal relationships using what he calls his thermostat culture approach. Listen, if you're tired of working for a company or a team that values busy work above actually being productive and getting things done, then this episode is a must listen. And if you are exhausted by the constant disagreements that you have with either your co workers, or frankly with your spouse or your partner, and you want a simple framework to find common ground and move forwards with purpose. Once again, this episode is a must listen. And as a super quick disclaimer, though, this conversation was taken from the fitness and post archives. I promise this information is still valuable and relevant to all of the challenges that we face today in our post pandemic working reality. Now, if you're struggling with creative burnout right now, or you find yourself sacrificing time away from family, when you know deep down that it doesn't have to be this way that I invite you to download my Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout), which offers over 50 pages of my best tips, tricks and strategies to consistently stay focused and energized throughout your long workdays. When you're trapped in a dark room that most likely has no windows, you can download my ultimate guide 100% free at optimizeyourself.me/UltimateGuide. Alright, without further ado, my conversation with author and speaker Jason Barger made possible today by our amazing sponsors Evercast and Ergodriven who are going to be featured just a bit later in today's interview to access the show notes for this and all previous episodes, as well as to subscribe so you don't miss the next inspirational interview. Please visit optimizeyourself.me/podcast.

I'm here today with Jason Barger. And you and I have a very unique relationship because we've been working together in the background for years. You somewhat serving as a mentor for me as I've been shepherding my Go Far film from the embryonic stages to try and developing it into a full educational framework. So this is this episode is going to be a little bit off the beaten path because it's not so much targeted. At What I usually talk about as far as creative work, but at the same time, we're gonna have a lot of stuff to talk about that really applies to team building. So I'm super, super excited to have you here today, Jason.

Jason Barger 5:13

Yeah. Great to be with you fun to connect and be a part of this.

Zack Arnold 5:17

Yeah. So it's gonna be really fun for you. And I have this conversation outside of the world of Go Far that we've got what like three or four years now that you've been helping and collaborating with me on that film. But we've never really had a lengthy conversation that had nothing to do with the movie yet you and I have so many different things, we're doing that align. And so I'm very excited about this conversation, just from a personal selfish perspective. But for my audience, I think this is going to be a fantastic conversation to really help people build engaging teams, which is so important in the creative world. But because a lot of people in my industry in similar Creative Industries, shows are living because we hate corporate culture. This is gonna be a very fun conversation. I want to jump into thermostat cultures. But I think it's important before we do that, to really understand your journey, especially what living in an airport has to do with it, because you have a very unique path. So let's kind of start from the origin story of what got you here today?

Unknown Speaker 6:16

Well, yeah, I mean, and especially if, if many people of your audience are creatives and folks that are, certainly they see their life as one that they love choosing a creative path to create the life that they want, then, then maybe my story is a bit interesting, you know, for my first job out of college, you know, for 10 years, I was lucky to be directing a big summer camp for kids, and then creatively thinking up and mobilizing people to meet needs in the world. And so was lucky to mobilize 1000s of people to build 125 houses for families, literally living in the poverty places in Mexico and the Dominican Republic started a project serving the homeless living outside of the shelter system in Columbus, Ohio. And so really amazing opportunities and great growth for me for 10 years. And then, and then I did what you referenced a minute ago, I quit my job, and which many people around me said are you what are you doing? You know, you got this cool, great job, and yet you're quitting? And what is it you're going to do, and I went a little bit against the grain, which I think maybe resonates with your audience. And that is that that from a creative perspective is I chose to take a risk and dive into creating this book called Step Back From the Baggage claim, where I spent seven days living in seven different airports without leaving the airports the entire time, from Columbus, Ohio, to Boston, to Miami, to Chicago, to Minneapolis, to Seattle, to San Diego, seven cities in seven days without leaving the airports, and just watching people watching the way that we human beings are literally moving throughout the world every day. But then wrote this book, it's not about airports, but uses air travel as a metaphor, to ask the question and talk about how is it that we, you know, not only literally move throughout the world, but how do we metaphorically move throughout the world? And how to the way that we lead and interact with people and show up? And what is important to us? How does that impact our journey, but then also the space along our path, which then started us started me on a whole nother path.

Zack Arnold 8:35

Now, before we go down that path further, which we're absolutely going to do. I've always been curious, why did you choose to do the airport journey over seven days? Because when you read Step Back From the Baggage Claim, it's I love the observations and how you apply it to life in general. But what is it that really made you decide I'm going to go live in an airport? or seven of them over seven?

Jason Barger 8:57

Yeah, cuz I'm a strange, weird guy. Yeah, no. And I think in all my travels, where I was leading these trips, which they were trips that were centered around helping the participants on these trips, think about who they want to be in the world, and what was important to them. And, you know, and it was there was a leadership development kind of component to it. But then we were going to these places where we were building houses, and literally like handing a set of keys to a family that was living in the dirt, and all those experiences of traveling around the world. I think the metaphor of travel just became really rich to me. And to see that, you know, these airports are these places every day where so many people around the world are going different directions and yet that's where our lives collide. And yet the metaphor being that we're always that, you know, the airport is not where we're headed, you know, we're all heading somewhere else, but where our life is, and that moment is lived within the airport. And so how we respond when things don't go our way to adversity to the person that needs our help to seeing how to enjoy the journey along the way, was a really rich metaphor, I think that could be applied to the way that we move throughout the world every day. And then certainly, whatever it is you choose to do professionally began, that began to have a very profound effect on people

Zack Arnold 10:20

well, and it's funny because at the airport, that's usually where you're going to get just about the worst of people because everybody is tired and cranky and stuck in lines. And you're you know that that's going to be the worst, if not the worst of but it's certainly going to be the the lower end of humanity, we're just nobody cares, they just want to get in and they want to get out.

Jason Barger 10:38

Yeah, it's certainly an environment where and all of us do this to some degree, although I've tried my best to be more aware of it. And try not to be that, especially since I wrote this book. But you know, it's a place where oftentimes we go a little bit into a shell, and we think that we're, you know, we only worry about our experience, and if I can get through this line, and I'm in a hurry, and I got to catch my plane and, and yet the reality is, is so does everyone else around us. And oftentimes, what that leads to your right is heightened stress, heightened anxiety. And oftentimes, it brings out not not the best in us. And yet, it's also an environment where then you can see extreme amounts of generosity and care for people. And, you know, I just, I just think that space is a very fascinating space that, whether it brings out the worst in us or the best in us, it is an indicator, or at least an interesting point of reference to say, if that's the way that I'm moving throughout the world, literally in the airports, am I carrying that same attitude and spirit and mindset into other areas of my life and my career as well?

Zack Arnold 11:50

Yeah, I love I love that metaphor. It's actually something that I've talked about extensively. When it comes to yoga, I've done a couple of past podcasts with a friend of mine, Allie Hamilton. And the idea of, you know, however you are on the mat is how you treat yourself and treat others off the mat. And you're using a very similar metaphor just to the airport, which is a very different experience than a yoga class. But, you know, clearly the lesson still applies. So now what I want to do is kind of dig into the meat of your latest book, Thermostat Cultures, because it really, really touches upon something that is so sorely lacking, especially in my industry, but I'm sure and other creative industries, and frankly, just kind of our, you know, modern society in general. But it's just this idea that there's a lot more to building a team than just hiring a bunch of individuals that are suited for that specific job. Everybody has a task or a project. And that project must be completed by x date. And when you dig into the most successful businesses and corporations or sports teams, because you talk about sports as well, because those are organizations who are even families, it goes a lot deeper than just we all have a common goal, and we need to reach it. So you talk about the six A's and we're going to get into those. But before doing that, I want to step backwards or step back from the thermostat cultures a bit and actually talk about the difference between the thermometer and the thermostat. Because if you don't understand those two, it's hard to move forwards. Yeah,

Jason Barger 13:19

yeah, I mean, the central image in the book, at least that frames up, then the ability to talk about this is the reason why it's called thermostat cultures is that you know, anybody that knows the difference between a thermometer and a thermostat, a thermometer just reads the temperature, right? All it does is react to the temperature around us. And so if there's a giant thermometer on the wall, all it would do is react all day long. And if it got hotter in the room, it would go up. And if it gets cold in the room, it goes down. And it just reacts to the environment around it. Well, a thermostat, sets the temperature, regulates the temperature controls the temperature. And so the difference between the two is and what I say is that so many individual people, but also leaders and entire teams and organizations in the culture that we live in today get stuck in thermometer mode. And what I mean by that is that when there isn't clarity around what is the temperature that we're trying to set, not just what we do, but how we're committed to doing it. When there isn't clarity, all we end up doing is reacting. And so you know, we just go up and down and the temperature goes up or down depending on our mood depending on who's in the room, depending on how we're feeling that day. And just like the thermometer, we're just very reactionary, well, but the best and you reference this the best teams, the best companies, the best families, the organizations that are compelling and thriving in the world today are the ones that are operating and thermostat mode. And what I mean by that is they are proactively not reactively But proactively, they have clarity around what is the temperature that we're trying to set. So whether it's a family, whether it's a small creative team of three or four people, whether it's a sports team, whether it's an entire fortune 500 company, or a school or classroom, there's clarity around, what is the temperature that we're trying to set together? And how do we each play a role in creating that temperature, that it's not about just what we do. But it's absolutely about how we do it. It's when that clarity, and there's discipline, and consistency to all showing up and trying to create that temperature is what drives us into creating a thermostat culture that's compelling. That's inspiring. And that's successful.

Zack Arnold 15:49

Yeah, and this is an idea that really needs to come specifically to the filmmaking industry, because the way that it works, at least on my end, and it's different for different companies, if you work for a full time company, for example, but in what I do for a living, which is a very similar model to what a lot of creatives do in a lot of industries, is I get hired on a show or a project. And I'll know I know that is probably gonna be for six, nine months at a time, I think the longest job I've ever had was a little bit over a year. So that's very common. A lot of people that I know that work in this industry will maybe get a job for a week, two weeks, four weeks. And basically, they come into their first day of the job. Somebody says, Here's your workstation, here's the binder for the lunch menus. And here's the folder with your footage. This is when we'd like to see a first cut. That's it. There's no culture, there's no conversation about our mission. It's just here's your workstation, here's what needs to be done. And there's no sense of teamwork whatsoever. And when you're on a gigantic show, and I won't name any names, but certainly most people listening know the the stuff that I've worked on, when the you know what starts to hit the fan. And there's no clarity around what is the mission of the show, either creatively as storytellers or just is us as a team trying to deliver it, then like you said, everybody starts to go into reaction mode and go nuts, and then things just never get done.

Jason Barger 17:10

Yeah, yeah, yeah, no, and no matter what your industry is, and what you just described is perfect. But no matter what your industry is, or even when you think about this, just through the lens of your personal life, when you know stuff starts hitting the fan, when we're when we don't have clarity, and we're stuck in thermometer mode, what that leads to is finger pointing, blame, judgment, everybody covering their own back, rather than because if there isn't clarity or connection to a mission that's greater than ourselves, or what we're all in this to try to create together, then what it leads to is a lot of nobody takes personal ownership and everybody covers their own back. And in typically blames other people points the finger somewhere else. And so it's typically very narrow sighted, rather than when there is that clarity, that there is a broader view of how do I play a role in helping to create something that's bigger than me? And instead of pointing the finger with blame, how do I become solution driven? And begin also to see, to take personal ownership over? Okay. Now, what can we together do for a better outcome?

Zack Arnold 18:21

Yeah. And that was always my approach, and has been on any project where something does go wrong. And inevitably, it always will. It's never Who did that? It's more. Alright, let's find out why this happened. Great. So I see that this happened because of that, how can we improve this in the future and fix it with no blame whatsoever. But when I try to take that approach with these larger studios and organizations, the response is what we don't have time, let's just keep going keep going. We're behind we're behind. And they just constantly live on the treadmill in the reaction mode.

Jason Barger 18:48

That's a symptom, right? That in the world that we're living into today, that is so instantaneous, and so fast paced, places everywhere, we start to buy into this myth that the faster I run, the further I get. And so the the comment that you just said, Of, we can't take the time, we're honored dead, like you just got to get going, you know, shut up and do your work. We think that we're going to actually be more effective when we do that, because we don't have time. yet. There's research and studies and things that show us that what that's leading to is this, this belief that buisiness equals effectiveness, that if I'm just busy, and I'm just doing a bunch of things that that means I'm effective when the reality is buisiness does not equate to effectiveness. And it's actually the places that do stop, to step back to take the time. We may not think we have the time, but we're going to take the time to make sure that we have clarity, have alignment. And in that stepping back, we actually move ourselves forward, and we're more effective with accomplishing our highest priorities. Rather than this just incessant rush of dizziness to try to hurry up and do the next thing,

Zack Arnold 20:06

yeah. And that's something that I will write about and talk about incessantly. I'm surprised that somebody hasn't turned this into a drinking game yet where I say it's all about working smarter, not working harder. And I don't know if you're familiar with Greg McKeown. Yeah. But I had had I had a full podcast with him talking about the idea of doing less, but doing it better. And I think the the important question that I always tell somebody that they need to ask themselves or their team is not, am I doing everything that I need to be doing? It's, am I doing the right things. And in order to know, if you're doing the right things, you have to step back and you have to assess those things. And that's where I want to go first, is you have the Six A Process for Leading Change. And I want to walk people through these steps. So if they're saying, oh, my god, yes, this is so the culture that I work in. But nobody wants to listen, if they can come to them with just a really basic framework, somebody might actually want to affect change. So let's start with the first one, which is assess.

Unknown Speaker 21:03

Yeah, well, then let me also say that this is the Six A Process for Leading Change is a framework, you know, if you're having frustration right now that the place where you work, or the group that you're a part of that they don't have that kind of clarity. And and yes, you're banging your head against the wall of helping them have a framework so that they can have language that will bring people together, you individually can start by thinking how can these six A's? And how can you begin to set the temperature with the people that you have control over? And that's really the idea behind this? And so that the idea between the Six A Process for Leading Change is that, that if you've never taken the time to think about how you lead change, or how does culture proactively get built, that it's a process, it's not a drive thru experience. And so it takes time. And the first a is to assess is to step back and again, in the culture we're in our first instinct is we have to hurry up and race forward. And yet, what I talked about is that the first step in this process is to identify where is your point A. And so oftentimes, in any kind of change initiative, again, whether this is change that you're wishing to see only for your personal life, or for a group that you're working with, it starts with Can you be honest, with where are we currently on the map? Where, where am I? Where are we at point A? What's going well, what, what's not going well? What are our opportunities? What are our challenges, let's name and understand where are we we have to be able to assess where we currently are before we start dreaming about where we want to go. And

Zack Arnold 22:46

that's something that I talk about extensively in my programs is this idea that you have to establish your baseline, you can't just you can't say, Well, I want to be more active, or I want to eat better, or like make all these changes. It's like, you need to stop, slow down. Let's just assess for a couple of weeks where you are now don't make any drastic changes, just find out how many steps do you get per day? What kind of food are you eating? What are the choices that you're making? Now you've established this baseline, let's move forward from there. And you're just applying that same idea more to corporate or individual culture.

Jason Barger 23:17

Yeah, and it's really it's about a change initiative. And no matter what it is, if you're thinking about it through the lens of a diet plan, or an exercise or fitness plan, or your own personal goals that you're setting for yourself and your career. The point is that when we don't ever take time to step back and think about what is the process, a framework that will really lead in me to the change that I want. Typically, what we do in this culture is we start racing to the endpoint, and we start, I want to lose a bunch of weight. And so we start racing in this path, without stepping back to say, Okay, hold on a second. Well, where am I actually? What do I weigh? Now? What is it is it may not be realistic for me to run a marathon next week? So let me let me hold on assess where am I? What is my current level of fitness? What is it that I'm currently able to do? What are what are the things that are going well, and one of the challenges that I have? And if I can't accurately define where I am, then it doesn't really matter yet where I'm trying to go. And so the common demo, I say to teams and organizations of all kinds in any kind of visioning process is the most common mistake in any visioning is not that we can't describe what we want point z to look like, you know, the end of our journey, the dream that we have for somewhere down the road, we're often pretty good at doing that. But the most common misstep is that we don't take the time to identify where point A actually is.

Zack Arnold 24:50

So if we're going to look at this, and we're going to really dig in and assess and I agree with you that even in my industry, it's like we're gonna release this film, and it's going to be in 3000 theaters, and we're going to have a release of $100 million on opening weekend like that's point z. That's the vision. Okay, great. So we're writing the script today, what would like what what is our actual process going to be? So if we're going to be assessing like, I'm just going to use kind of my, my, the most common environment that I'm in as an example, where I come on to a new show, it's going to be six to nine months. And I want to kind of get an assessment of how things are going, what are some very concrete things I can look at, like, if we're going back to the fitness analogy, I'm looking at my weight, I'm looking at my caloric intake, what are some very specific things I can start assessing right away, when we're looking at it through this lens? If I'm coming into a new job, where I know I'm going to be on a project with brand new people, because you're always working with different people? What are just some of those very clear benchmark assessments that would be akin to like calories or weight or whatever? Yeah,

Jason Barger 25:51

well, oftentimes, when a new group is pulled together for a project, or, you know, you're on a new team of some sort, and, you know, a sales team of some sort, and immediately what they start talking about is what are their year end goals, right? And they, they, they start talking about these arbitrary numbers of, hey, here's here, our end of the year goals. You know, here's the numbers, you got to hit each month, yada, yada, yada, yada. And, and oftentimes, we start, everybody starts running, right, nobody hits the streets, and everybody starts doing their work or, you know, which is similar to Okay, now you go back to your cubicle and you're editing film, or you're cutting tape or while you're doing whatever it is you do, and you're in the grind, right, hurry up and do it. You got to hit the numbers, we got a deadline common, but oftentimes, we don't give people the the time to assess and say, Okay, well, why is our number that how did we get to that number? What is it that we did last year? What is it we did last month? What is it that went into getting that number last month? Why is it that we've put that goal to be that? Is there a way that we could actually be more effective, where we were last year, so that the goal could be something different next year? And oftentimes, when we're in that repetitive pattern, where we're so looking out, you know, ahead that we don't take the time to actually say, Okay, well, what is it that we're going to do right now? So the best places are the ones that pause and assess, okay, this is where we were last year. And this is what went well. And this is where we fell on our face. And this is where it didn't work out for us. And this is why we think it didn't, you know, the the teams that are in the habit of doing that debrief after a project of not just what went well, but what didn't go well. Those are the ones that are able to assess, so that then they're able to move forward.

Zack Arnold 27:46

Yeah, and I could not overemphasize that enough. And I think that the the key benchmark that makes the most sense in this analogy would be deadlines and schedules. Because what I'm brought into a project or anyone else in my industry is brought on you brought in one day, before everything goes nuts. So you if let's say that they start shooting a project on a Monday, that means you're going to get your raw footage on Tuesday morning. So they say, well, we're gonna give you a day to come in and set up your desk and hang your pictures and set up your email address. And then Tuesday morning, like you said, you're off and running. But I've always lobbied for and I never get this where say listen, bring me on a couple of days early. Let me sit speak with the producers go over the schedule and the calendar. Because Never have I come to a show where I've said Oh, yeah, this calendar makes sense. And we can totally hit these these deadlines. They're always ridiculously overestimating the amount of time that they think they're going to be able to deliver this. So they say, Oh, yeah, I know, we're gonna be on the air at this time, we'll be fine. And then inevitably, two months down the road, all these things are converging everybody's way behind. There's massive amounts of overtime. And I hate to be that guy, but I'm like, yeah, we kind of saw this coming. But nobody wanted to talk about it. And I think that's one of the biggest areas, at least that I've seen over and over is this lack of assessment for schedule, and what the individual employees are going to be put through as far as their lifestyle. I mean, that's what my entire program is all about is trying to find work life balance in the hectic craziness of doing creative jobs. So if there's anything that you're really looking to assess when you come onto a new project, do the debrief about the schedules, ask everybody, is this realistic? Can we hit these marks? Where are the pain points? Where are the bottlenecks? And can we anticipate and then after a season of a show, have that debrief? Because I've begged and pleaded with people to say, listen, can we just have a meeting to talk about everything that didn't work? So when we go to next season, we can fix it? And of course, what does everybody say? Well, it's the end of the season. We don't have time, we're all gonna go on our vacations, and then it's just a hamster wheel

Unknown Speaker 29:44

well, and what I'll say is that the the most effective cultures are the ones that were the people involved are it's not being dictated only from above, that there is especially in the culture we're evolving into now. Where we are co creating together to say, how do we produce the best product? And so if you're the one editing that I ought to pick your brain and be interested in, is this timeline realistic? To use a couple other examples, my brother is in the construction business. And if you sit and listen to him, the single most important element of every job they do across the country with these huge job construction jobs that they do, is in the estimating it starts with is their assessment of what it's going to take to do the job? is it accurate? And if they miss on their estimation, and their assessments on the front end, then inevitably, what that leads to is missed deadlines, you know, budgets, everything falls apart. And so when they take the time to assess on the front end, everything is more effective. Down the road. It's the same, you know, another example outside of a work situation, but it's the person that knows Christmas is coming, right? It's the it's the housewife, who knows Christmas is coming, but yet is frantic, you know, December 22. And yet, if there was a better opportunity for them, the ones that that enter that and navigate their way through that oftentimes do a better job of pre planning and assessing. Okay, I know what happens December 24. And so what is it that I need to do? And how do I assess where we are? What's the plan of attack going to be leading up to that so that I don't get to the 24th. And I'm crazy and pulling my hair out? It's the same thing on a personal level as it is on a on a professional level.

Zack Arnold 31:48

Yeah, I've seen that exact mindset where it's the the night before you're airing the season finale of a show. And everybody's losing their minds. It's like guys, this all could have been prevented. Like it's serious. This really all could have been prevented. And we all saw it day one. But it's everybody has these, these blueprints, well, this is how we do it. This is our schedule for every show. And they're never assessing, oh, maybe this needs to be different for this type of show. But where I want to go next is to probably what I would consider my favorite word in the English language, which is why? why is a question that I asked like, I'm three years old of everything, and I dig in deeper and deeper as to why something happens, why something works the way that it does. Which brings us to the second step of this process, which is align.

Jason Barger 32:32

Yeah, yeah, absolutely. I don't know how anything special ever happens when we don't understand why it is that we're doing it. You know, in the book, I talk about how oftentimes we have it backwards, we work from the outside in, which means we think about the what? And then eventually, maybe we'll consider the how, and very rarely do we get to the center, which is why are we even doing this. And yet the most effective teams and organizations in the world, and individual people are the ones that start from the inside out, they ask the question of why are we doing this, and so on. The example that you can come back to is the starting the creative process of a show, you know, what, why is this show being created? And what is it that we're trying to accomplish? In our creative collaboration here, when there isn't a clarity around? Why do we do it, and the purpose and the mission, something significant gets lost, and eventually that falls apart. And so after we assess where we are, we have to align and aligning is about bringing human beings together. The most compelling and effective groups in the world are the ones that align people's minds and hearts in the purpose of what it is that we're doing.

Zack Arnold 33:54

My sincerest apologies for the interruption in the middle of this interview. But if you are a content creator, or you work in the entertainment industry, not only is the following promo, not an interruption, but listening has the potential to change your life. Because collaborating with Evercast is that powerful. Here's a brief excerpt from a recent interview that I did with ever cast co founders, Brad Thomas and award winning editor Roger Barton,

Roger 34:16

Living this lifestyle of a feature film editor has really had an impact on me. So I was really looking for something to push back against all of these lifestyle infringement that are imposed on us both by schedules and expectations. When you guys demoed Evercast for me that first time my jaw hit the floor, I'm like, Oh my god, this is what I've been waiting for. for a decade.

Zack Arnold 34:39

I also had the same reaction when I first saw ever cast to words came to mind game changer.

Brad 34:45

Our goal, honestly, is to become the zoom for creatives, whatever it is, you're streaming, whether it's editorial, visual effects, Pro Tools for music composition, LIVE SHOT cameras, it's consistent audio and video. Lip Sync. always stays in sync, whether you're in a live session where you're getting that feedback Immediately, or you can't get it immediately. So you record the session and you can share those clips with people on the production team where there's no room for any confusion. It's like this is exactly what the director wants. This is exactly what the producer wants.

Roger 35:12

What matters most to me is it makes the entire process more efficient, which then translates to us as creatives who spend way too much time in front of computers, we get to shut it down, and we get to go spend time with our friends and family.

Zack Arnold 35:25

The biggest complaint and I'm sure you guys have heard this many, many times. This looks amazing. I just can't afford it.

Brad 35:31

Tesla had released the Model S before they released the model three. So by the end of the year, we are going to be releasing a sub $200 version a month of overcast for the freelancer in indie creatives. Anyone who is a professional video creator outside of Hollywood.

Roger 35:47

I think what we've learned over the last few months is that this technology can translate to better lives for all of us that give us more flexibility and control while still maintaining the creativity, the creative momentum and the quality of work.

Zack Arnold 36:01

I cannot stress this enough Evercast is changing the way that we collaborate. If you value your craft your well being and spending quality time with the ones you love, Evercast now makes that possible for you and me to listen to the full interview and learn about the amazing potential that Evercast has to change the way that you work and live, visit optimizeyourself.me/evercast. Now back to today's interview.

What I can tell you coming back to our analogy, again is that the Why is the same for every single project, which is we're doing this so we can get the maximum number of eyeballs watching this so we can make money on advertising. And to me, that's not a Why. Like that's, that's a what the Why is you're trying to share this story to inspire this audience to do X, Y, and Z, whatever it is you need to find the heart and the emotion behind what it is. And that just doesn't apply to filmmakers or creative people like you have come back to that can be a personal thing. That can be an emotional thing it can have to do with the relationship that you want with your spouse or with your kids. It's like why is it that we're doing these things is such an important question if you're ever going to actually achieve what you want to hit that point z.

Unknown Speaker 37:10

Yeah, absolutely. That. You know, you think about some of the most iconic examples in the world that the why, you know, if you ask Steve Jobs, you know, why was Apple created? Or why was it becoming successful? It wasn't about the computer. The why was bringing technology and design to the fingertips of everyday life, of helping people's experience in the world and access for information. It wasn't about just selling a product. It was about creating an on tapping that ability that people could have an in and hold in their hand. You know Howard Behar the former president of Starbucks is a mentor and a great friend of mine that's been supportive along my journey to all the that I have going on. And he'll tell you from the beginning of Starbucks, you know, when nobody knew anything about Starbucks, until then, he and his team grew it to 15,000 stores around the world, that it wasn't about the coffee. The coffee was the product yet but they were really clear from the very beginning is this wasn't they weren't just creating a coffee shop. They were creating an experience. And so their why was they wanted to bring people together from the community so that people can come together and have the greatest conversation in their life. And oh, by the way, we're gonna sell coffee. And so all of a sudden the experience from the way that they you know, set up the seating in the restaurant to the little messages on the cup to the music in the background to the way that the barista welcomed you when you entered that there were plenty of other places you could come get a cup of coffee, but they created an experience that people wanted to be a part of. That was the why not the what one

Zack Arnold 38:55

a perfect example of that specifically is look at Dunkin Donuts versus Starbucks. Anybody that really is a coffee lover will say well, Dunkin Donuts is the best coffee I've ever had. It's amazing. But you don't see the type of culture and the type of people at a Dunkin Donuts because there you go up you order they hand you something and you leave and it's not an experience

Unknown Speaker 39:16

right yeah, I mean if you've ever been to Pike Place Market out in Seattle you know which is just a round the corner from the very first Starbucks that was ever started right and Seattle. Pikes Place market you know the famous fish market where if you've seen the people the big fish mongers is what they call them that they grant you know, the fish comes in off the boats and literally these fresh fish are thrown up and these these big guys you know, the fish mongers they take the the fish and they throw them you know, to to each other. And crowds come from all over to come to Pikes Place Fish Market to see this and they crowd around to watch these guys throw these fish because they're having fun. They're making a you know, a game out of it. And yet the reality is and people stand line to see it and then buy from Pikes Place Fish Market. And yet, if you've ever been there, you'll notice there are fish markets on either side of Pikes Place like multiple places where you can get the exact same fish out of the exact same waters. And yet people will stand in line to go to the Pike Place fish market, because of the experience they create. So

Zack Arnold 40:25

now we've gone through we've assessed the current culture that we have with we found our point A, and we started talking about aligning everybody around this specific why. So it's not just here's our goal, here's what we need to achieve. It's here's the deeper reason why this is important to all of us. And this is going to keep us moving. So now we're going to start to aspire to something. So let's talk a little bit about that step.

Jason Barger 40:49

Yeah. So you know, once you've, you've got your point A and once you start bringing people together and aligning them around, or are we into this? And are we buying into the why we're even doing this in the first place, then we can begin to aspire. And that is now we can begin to look out the windshield, you know, not the rearview mirror, but we can look out the windshield and say, Well, where is it that we desire to go? And and when we're talking about building the culture of a group of people, whether that's your thing, your family, or your team or your company, to ask the question of what is the culture that we desire? If we had to try to think about not just where we are, but what is it that we want to be different about what we experience? Not just what we do, but how we do it? What do we want? What is that culture that we desire? And so when you think about companies that that are known for their culture, or teams that have been most effective sports teams over time, or that family that you've watched that you say, Man, they just have a cool family. Chances are that they they have had clarity at some point where they said, No, no, no, this is what we proactively are trying to create together. And so they have a vision of what they aspire to be.

Zack Arnold 42:01

And this is something that I can really speak to from the personal level, it's, it's harder to talk about when it comes to the business side of things, because usually, I'm just coming into an already existing project or culture. And it's harder to really have those personal aspirations. But when we bring this into the personal sphere, this will be like really personal sharing this and frankly, most of my audience knows more about me than my wife says at this point. But basically, my wife and I have gone through a very similar process where when we had our two kids who are now seven and four and a half, we were just running in circles trying to survive, you try and get the kids up, you put the diapers on, you get him to school, and we completely lost sense of who we were as a family. And I finally said, I know that there's a lot going on, but we just need to start having these deeper conversations about what what is this family? What do we really want it to be? And what What experience do we want to give our children and once she and I kind of got through it, because with any marriage, no matter how healthy it is, when you have two kids, it is hard to maintain a healthy relationship. And I mean, it's anybody listening to this that has kids, they're just nodding their heads emphatically right now. But once and I went to this, this conference, and they were talking about this amongst many other things, but on the board, the person speaking just put up one word, and it was attention. And it was are you giving these things that are important to you attention as like? Nope, that's the problem. So once we started to give it attention, and decide what is it that we aspire to be as a family, everything started to change everything. And that's also happened in my professional life to where I said, What is it that I really aspire to be as a professional. And that has changed the course of my career, because I've been very clear about these are the types of jobs that mean something to me, that are worth giving 70 hours of my week to, as opposed to Oh, this is just a paycheck. And that's all about aspiring and I love one of the analogies you brought up. I'm kind of going back to the sports analogy with Coach K, who I think isn't the winningest coach in the history of any sport ever. But especially in college basketball.

Jason Barger 44:12

Yeah, it's certainly in the modern era. Yeah,

Zack Arnold 44:14

yeah. And he said, when he brings his his team together, and I won't let you go through this further, but he says we don't have rules. We have standards that we decide on together. And this is such an important process. So can you kind of talk about that a little bit more?

Jason Barger 44:26

Yeah, he does it with every team, you know, even if he has the exact same team back this year that he had last year, which is again, a great reminder to those of us that are building that family, or building that team or or continuing that culture with our company or organization, wherever it may be. But he gathers them again, and he says, All right, well, what are our standards for this year? What are one of our standards for being on this team and he very specifically draws the distinction between rules and standard. He says we don't have rules on this team. There are no rules. Where rules are somebody else's, you know, expectations that they're placing on you, I don't have rules. But what I do have and what we do have our standards. Now, what do you want our standards to be? And every year, there's a proactive process that they go, where it's engaging the minds and hearts of the players on their team, to say, here's what I want the standards for the team to be this is not just what we do, we're not just a basketball team. This is how we're committed to doing it. And, and together, they create the standards for what they want that you know, this is the way they're they're they're taking time to say, what do we what kind of team do we aspire to be? And then from the aspiring the next part of it is to articulate which these two are so closely linked, that once you can you aspire to say, here's the temperature we're trying to set, then you have to be able to articulate that. So from from Coach K asking that of the players, then they have to be able to find language, because language helps drive behavior. And so for that word that you just used a second ago, to be able to say, we need attention, what is it that we're going to give attention to all of a sudden that language drives that behavior in you? And so for his teams, they identified language that would say, Okay, this is the temperature we're trying to set. These are our standards. And now they could hold each other accountable to those standards, and say, are we living up to those? Or are we not? If this is the temperature we're trying to set, then we're going to be really clear on what it looks like when this goes well. And we've got to be able to articulate that's the next day, we have to be able to articulate what it is what this looks like in action and behavior so that we can bring our aspirations to life.

Zack Arnold 46:48

Well, this, if I were to choose one of the six A's, where I could pull off an entire spin off hour long show that applies to my industry, it would be articulate what I want you to bring up if you're comfortable with it, because it's in the book, I'm going to assume that you are is your own personal anecdote with an area of your life where this articulation didn't happen in a life was literally at stake, because this is the perfect analogy to how my industry runs every single day.

Unknown Speaker 47:13

Yeah, you know, the last few years of my life, with my parents health has not been been great. And I lost my mom to cancer, almost two years ago, brain cancer and at the same time, my dad, for about five year period, these last five years has been in and out of the hospital with kind of everything known to man. And so unfortunately, we got very used to culture within hospitals and being in there and the team of doctors coming in and out. And you never quite knowing what was going on. And so how you articulate and tell the story for where you are in the journey and where you're going, is really important. And so we got in the habit of you know, when you'd see a doctor come into his hospital room, you'd follow in, because you wanted to make sure you were there because oftentimes the person in the hospital bed doesn't remember what the doctor told them. So they need other people to be there to help understand what the story is. And so this one day, I followed this team of doctors into the my dad's hospital room, and there was about six or seven docs that were all there. And they were doing their normal poking and prodding of him and listen to his pulse and asking him what his birthdate is, and, and looking at him and whispering to each other. And I usually would just stay back in the back of the room. And I'd let them do their thing. And then after a few minutes, I got in the habit of asking two questions, I would step forward, and I would say Hello, my name is Jason I'm his son. And, you know, I would just want to know, can you can you explain to me, where are we right now? You know, where is our point A? Can you tell me? Can you assess for me? Where how's my dad doing now? And then, can you tell me what the game plan is? What is it that that you're suggesting we do next? And why are we doing it? So just those two questions. And so I got in the habit of asking those. And then this particular time, they looked at it, they all looked at each other and the lead Doc, she stepped forward and she said, Yeah, you know, I want to tell you, we think your dad's doing a little better. We think he's he's he's having a little bit of progress. But the situation is we can't seem to get his heart slowed down. And so what we think is needed next is we need to put a pacemaker in we need to do a procedure a surgery to put a pacemaker in to slow his heart down. We think that's the next step. And I paused for a second. And mostly because I was trying to figure out what to say. And then finally I stepped forward and said Yes, thank you. My father just had that procedure done this morning. So could you please Now tell me? Where are we? How's he doing? And what the next plan of attack is that this was a clear example of when the story is not communicated when the when they you're not able to articulate with clarity, with accuracy. And when it's not connected to the overall mission of why you're trying to do what you're doing. It fails dramatically. And in this moment, not one of the doctors had taken the time to check his chart, not one of them had assessed what had already been happened. And what are the other doctors already done, that they all came into the room and blew right past that, and didn't even notice that he had already had the surgery. And so their message was not clear. It was not accurate. It was not connected.

Zack Arnold 51:01

First of all, I'm sorry that you had to go through that. But I would pay good money to have seen the look on the doctor's face when you said that. I just I can't imagine how embarrassed they must have been when you're like, yes, he just had that procedure. Thank you.

Jason Barger 51:12

Yeah, it was, you could have heard a pin drop in the entire hospital, it seemed like I mean, the room went silent. And they all kind of put their heads down. And you know, and I choose to believe they're all obviously good people and experts in what they do, and, and that this was a miss. But in this situation, and again, this is the culture that they were creating, and the work that they do every single day that they had an opportunity with a patient and the family in the room to give a different experience and create a culture of collaboration and honoring the expertise that they were bringing. And instead when they missed those steps of not even assessing, and certainly not aligning, and they're not able to articulate, the entire experience fell apart. And I can tell you that the look on their face was embarrassment was they felt awful. And and they kind of walked out of the room with their tail tucked between their legs.

Zack Arnold 52:14

Well, the learning experience that I really take from something like this, and I think it's so important for other people to realize is your immediate reaction is to think, well, how dumb is this doctor, like, come on. But this has nothing to do with the individuals. This is a problem with the system, the system that they have set up is broken. And the same thing happens in my industry. And the reason I wanted to bring this up is that even though lives aren't at stake, although if you ask any producer or executive, they'll treat you like lives are at stake. But there will be things that happen every day, we'll deliver a file or whatever the task might be. And all of a sudden you do these things. But wait, we need this. We need that you're like, yes, I did that four hours ago, and you received an email on a follow up text message. And it's everybody wants to blame the individual. But nobody again, going back to this analogy. Nobody's stepping back and saying, Wait, why did this happen? This is a systemic issue. It's happening every day. But instead, it's all about well, it's your fault, because you did this thing wrong. And you didn't follow directions. It's like no, it's the system driving the machine. It's not the individuals, I'm sure this was a brilliant doctor. But whatever their her or his daily habits were didn't lead them to the right outcome.

Jason Barger 53:21

And that's why you know, the simplicity of the framework doesn't is meant to be something that we can all learn from it and remember, and then to, you know, it needs to be accessible so that we can follow it. But that doesn't mean it's simple. It's need to be simple to remember. But the problem is that we don't follow it. And again, when we're in a culture that's more busy than effective, we come running into the room. And, again, expert doctor that I choose to believe they mean the best. But they missed some important steps along the way that cause them to not be effective. And we as human beings, and in every team and organization in the world right now are doing that every single day.

Zack Arnold 54:11

Exactly. And this is going to bring us to the next a which is Act, which is something that I focus on intently, I'm always talking about next actions. Every one of these episodes has an action step, every lesson in my online course has an action step. This is really the foundation of all of it. And if the the actions that have been taken had been different, like you said, the outcome would have been different. And one thing that I loved in your book that you mentioned that I've talked about incessantly, and this could also be a drinking game is the checklist, the Checklist Manifesto. This was a game changer for me and I built an entire online learning course all about how to use the program Trello to develop checklists, so you can outsource your your automated and repetitive tasks in the checklist so you can have the room in your brain for creativity. But you can do these other four steps. But if you don't actually take action on the steps, you're still spinning in the same circle.

Jason Barger 55:03

Yeah, absolutely. Well, all of this and you know, every speech I give every workshop that I lead and or every organization that that I consult with over time, is all of it, I talked about having a bias toward action. And now you've heard me speaking already. So you understand that what I don't mean is a bias towards buisiness. That I'm not saying just come up with some action just to have an action. Once we assess, once we align, once we aspire, and we get clear on what we want to be different. And then we're able to articulate that. Now it's time to put it to action and say, Okay, what with not buisiness, but intentional action, what specifically and tactically and strategically are we going to do to put things into practice, so that we bring this vision to life. And so the checklist, and I tell some, some cool stories about that in the book, it really reveals this idea that when we're left to our own memory, even when we are the expert in what we do, in the world that we live in today, when we're left to our own memory to try to keep track of everything we forget, flaws are rampant. And there's all kinds of studies that will show us so that doctor example a story I just told is one of them, that when we think we can just organize it all ourselves, all on our own, and in our own head flaws are rampant. And so what is that checklist? And the Checklist Manifesto is about what are those few non negotiable things that every day, I can't afford to forget? What are those things that I have to put into place? So that I walk that process? And what are the actions that I'm going to put into place so that I can bring my vision to life.

Zack Arnold 56:49

And this is another step where again, I could do an entire hour long podcast about how to develop a macro goal, break it into micro goals, these are all things that you talked about extensively, I talked about it extensively, I mean, this, I could geek out on actions for days. But I certainly want to be respective of your time. So I want to go to this final step, which is anchor, because you can go through these first five steps, but you got to make it stick, whether you're talking about habit formation, whether you're talking about your culture, whether you're talking about exposure of your employees to a message that allows them to understand what you aspire to, and what their Why is. So let's talk a little bit more about how do we anchor all this and make sure it sticks.

Unknown Speaker 57:27

Yeah, once we do all these actions, and we get strategic about the checklist and what we need to put into action, then the key is we have to go to the last day, which is to anchor it, meaning we don't just do these actions one time. And so when you talk about building a culture with human beings, or creating the habits in your own practice, individually, that we can't just do actions one times we have to do them and anchor them so that they become habits and what we do. And so this is why I talk about that the six A process for leading change. It's not a drive thru experience it is, in fact, when I go in speeches, and when I'm visually showing it to people in those six A's, there's always arrows going in both directions, because it's really a circular framework, that once you then anchor, which means you say, all right, not only am I going to do this action next week, if I'm trying to run a marathon, not only am I going to run on Wednesday, but I'm going to run you know this, this and this, I'm going to anchor this behavior over a longer period of time, so that it becomes a habit and it just becomes one I do that when we're building a culture, we have to realize that it never stops. That culture is dynamic. It's it's changing moment by moment everyday, by the way, we think, act and interact. And so we have to realize that we have to over time, anchor actions and behaviors and thoughts into the culture that we're trying to create.

Zack Arnold 59:00

Yeah, and this is just exactly the idea that I will talk about in my courses as well is that you really have to, like, for example, my focus in my Y is all about figuring out how can you move more throughout the day. So you can generate more creativity, more energy, be more productive and actually have passion for what you do. That would be the why which then generates the actions which are doing these different things. But if you don't anchor it, and you don't build this habit, you don't become somebody who says I'm going to move more, or I'm somebody who's going to produce my show or my feature film or whatever it is for the right reasons because I want to affect this type of person. So again, like you said, you can do everything once you can do everything twice. But if you don't constantly reassess that process and go through this whole cycle on a regular basis, nothing's gonna stick.

Jason Barger 59:53

Yeah, right. Absolutely. And so I have teams and organizations that will you know, we're we're working this six day process over Time have now saying Okay, now let's assess where are we now? All right, are we aligned? Where do we aspire to be next? All right, how do we articulate that? All right, what are the next actions that we've got to put in place to keep this moving? And? And how are we going to anchor it over time so that this isn't just a one time discussion, and that process and that framework becomes an ethic of just the way that we move throughout the world. And then somebody five years down the road, looks back and says, Oh, yeah, they got a great culture that family's great, that team, they're so connected, they're so aligned with what they're doing, man, it's amazing how that's such a cool company to work for. So I wonder how they did that? Well, when you peel it back, it's because for the last five years, there were very intentional actions, thinking, acting and interacting that took place to create the culture that they ended up experiencing today.

Zack Arnold 1:00:54

Yep. And I could not agree with all that more. And this is something that my industry in many creative industries that I'm exposed to now are desperately seeking, because we're so caught up in the amount that needs to be delivered in such little time. And it's all about the task. It's all about the delivery, and not stepping back to assess these things. So if somebody wanted to go deeper with this, whether it's an individual or a team leader, this is equally applicable to both if they want to go deeper, and they want to learn more about you. And they want to get more involved. How can they do so?

Jason Barger 1:01:26

Yeah, if you just go to Jasonvbarger.com. So Jason, then v as in Victor Barger, ba RG er, dot com, you'll learn all kinds of stuff, you can see bunch of videos and information, certainly about books and that kind of stuff. But that can be your, your starting point. And then if you're into Twitter, @Jasonvbarger, or Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, all those kind of normal places, if you're into that, you can track me down in any of those spots. But Jasonvbarger.com is the first place to connect

Zack Arnold 1:02:00

well, as always, it is a tremendous pleasure to have a conversation with you, whether recorded or otherwise, tremendous influence on my journey, the person that I become in the work that I'm doing. So I am so appreciative to have you here today and have your time and attention.

Jason Barger 1:02:15

Hey, man, it's always great to talk with you, and I love what you're doing. So keep in touch and hope people enjoy listening to this. Awesome. Well, thank

Zack Arnold 1:02:24

you so much. I appreciate it.

Jason Barger 1:02:25

All right, man.

Zack Arnold 1:02:26

Before closing up today's show, I would love to ask for just a couple additional minutes of your time and attention to introduce you to one of my new favorite products created by my good friend Kit Perkins, who you may recognize as creator of the topomat. Here's a brief excerpt from a recent interview that I did with Aero driven co founder and CEO Kit Perkins, talking about his latest product, new standard whole protein,

Kit Perkins 1:02:51

to health and fitness generally, but I want it to be simple and straightforward. About a year, year and a half ago, I started adding collagen into my protein shakes. And man, the benefits were like more dramatic than any supplement I've ever seen. So I thought if I could just get this down to coming out of one jar, and it's ingredients that I know I can trust, and you just put it in water. And you don't have to think about it.

Zack Arnold 1:03:10

When people think of protein powders. They think, well, I don't want to get big and bulky. And that's not what this is about. to me. This is about repair.

Kit Perkins 1:03:17

So a big part of what we're talking about here is you are what you eat, your body's constantly repairing and rebuilding and the only stuff it can use to repair and rebuild is what you've been eating. Unfortunately, as the years have gone by everyday getting out of bed, it's like you know, two or three creeks and pops in the first couple steps and that I thought you just sort of live with now. But yeah, when starting the collagen daily or near daily, it's just gone. So for us job 1 A here was make sure it's high quality, and that's grass fed 100% pasture raised cows. And then the second thing if you're actually going to do it every day, it needs to be simple, it needs to taste good.

Zack Arnold 1:03:50

What my goal is that for anybody that is a creative professional like myself that's stuck in front of a computer. Number one, they're doing it standing on a topomat. Number two, they've got a glass of new standard protein next to them so they can just fuel their body fuel their brain. So you and I, my friend, one edit station at a time are going to change the world

Kit Perkins 1:04:08

And even better for your listeners with code optimize on either a one time purchase for that first, Subscribe and Save order 50% off. So if you do that, Subscribe and Save that's 20% off and 50% off with code optimize that's a fantastic deal.

Zack Arnold 1:04:23

If you're looking for a simple and affordable way to stay energetic focused and alleviate the chronic aches and pains that come from living at your computer. I recommend new standard whole protein because it's sourced from high quality ingredients that I trust and it tastes great. To place your first order visit optimizeyourself.me/newstandard and use the code optimize for 50% off your first order.

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Optimize Yourself Podcast to access the shownotes for this and all previous episodes as well as to subscribe so you don't miss future interviews just like this one. Please visit optimizeyourself.me/podcast. And as a quick reminder, you can download my Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity. So you can not only survive, but thrive during the long hours stuck behind your workstation. To do so, visit optimizeyourself.me/UltimateGuide, because frankly, creative burnout does not have to be inevitable. And a special thanks to our sponsors Evercast and Ergodriven for making today's interview possible to learn more about how to collaborate remotely without missing a frame. And to get your real time demo of Evercast and action visit optimizeyourself.me/evercast and to learn more about Ergodriven and my favorite product for standing workstations the topomat visit optimizeyourself.me/topo that's t o p o and to learn more about Ergodriven and their brand new product that I am super excited about new standard whole protein visit optimizeyourself.me/newstandard. Thank you for listening, stay safe, healthy and sane and be well.

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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This episode was brought to you by Ergodriven, the makers of the Topo Mat (my #1 recommendation for anyone who stands at their workstation) and now their latest product. New Standard Whole Protein is a blend of both whey and collagen, sourced from the highest quality ingredients without any of the unnecessary filler or garbage. Not only will you get more energy and focus from this protein powder, you will notice improvements in your skin, hair, nails, joints and muscles. And because they don’t spend a lot on excessive marketing and advertising expenses, the savings gets passed on to you.

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Guest Bio:


Jason Barger

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Jason Barger is committed to engaging the minds and hearts of people in order to strengthen leadership, culture, and clarity of mission, vision and values.

He is a globally celebrated Author/Speaker/Consultant and creator of the “Step Back from the Baggage Claim” Movement – featured in the New York Times, National Geographic Traveler, Kiplinger, Book TV, and many other spots worldwide. His most recent books “Remember” and “Thermostat Cultures” have been widely-celebrated around the globe and he’s the host of “The Thermostat” podcast.

Prior to sleeping in airports and observing human behavior, Barger led over 1700 people to construct 125 houses internationally for families living in poverty as well as implemented the Streets Mission Project to serve the homeless on the streets of Columbus, Ohio. As the former Director of First Community Church’s Camp Akita, he designed programming focused on living with joy, love, compassion, faith, and service for over 1900 campers a summer.

Jason is a graduate of Denison University, where he served as Captain of the men’s basketball team, and also received certification from Georgetown University in Nonprofit Executive Management. In 2004, he was one of five people in Columbus, Ohio to receive a Jefferson Award, a national award given to “Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things”. In 2014, he was selected as a 40 Under 40 award winner by Business First.

Jason is a sought-after Keynote Speaker, visionary, and consultant. As founder of Step Back Leadership Consulting LLC, he works with organizations that are passionate about Culture Change, Leadership Development, Innovation, Service, and bringing their Mission to life everyday.

Jason is passionate about his family and travels from Columbus, Ohio all around the world to engage the minds and hearts of people. Follow on social media @JasonVBarger and dive into his podcast “The Thermostat” where podcasts are found.

Show Credits:

This episode was edited by Curtis Fritsch, and the show notes were prepared by Debby Germino and published by Glen McNiel.

The original music in the opening and closing of the show is courtesy of Joe Trapanese (who is quite possibly one of the most talented composers on the face of the planet).

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Note: I believe in 100% transparency, so please note that I receive a small commission if you purchase products from some of the links on this page (at no additional cost to you). Your support is what helps keep this program alive. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Zack Arnold (ACE) is an award-winning Hollywood film editor & producer (Cobra Kai, Empire, Burn Notice, Unsolved, Glee), a documentary director, father of 2, an American Ninja Warrior, and the creator of Optimize Yourself. He believes we all deserve to love what we do for a living...but not at the expense of our health, our relationships, or our sanity. He provides the education, motivation, and inspiration to help ambitious creative professionals DO better and BE better. “Doing” better means learning how to more effectively manage your time and creative energy so you can produce higher quality work in less time. “Being” better means doing all of the above while still prioritizing the most important people and passions in your life…all without burning out in the process. Click to download Zack’s “Ultimate Guide to Optimizing Your Creativity (And Avoiding Burnout).”