59. Be the Upgrade + The Power of Showing Up

Episode 59: Be the Upgrade + The Power of Showing Up (Summary)

Everyone is quitting…kind of. I’ll tell you why “The Great Resignation” is the wrong label for what’s happening and why quitting is only half the story. Plus, a little pick-me-up for you as I share the most inspiring story I’ve been telling audiences these last 2 years. I’m giving you notice now, on Boss Better Now.

Links:
To learn more about Joe Mull, visit his website ​Joemull.com​.
To hear more from Joe Mull visit his YouTube channel​.
To learn how to invite Joe to speak at an event, visit ​Joemull.com/speaking​.
To check date availability or to get a quote for an event, email ​hello@joemull.com​.
To explore options for coaching from Alyssa Mullet, visit ​Joemull.com/coaching​.
For more information on the BossBetter Leadership Academy, visit Joemull.com/academy.
Email the show at bossbetternow@gmail.com.
To leave comments, ask questions, or to message us visit our Boss Better Now Podcast Facebook Page.
Connect with Joe on Instagram.
Connect with Joe on Twitter.
Connect with Joe on LinkedIn.

*Full transcript under the comments below.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Transcript – Episode 59: Be the Upgrade + The Power of Showing Up

 

Joe:

Hey BossHeroes. Good news. You can now sign up for my BossBetter email newsletter with a single text. Twice a month I’ll send advice, resources, and words of encouragement straight to your inbox. And this is the only way to make sure you get everything we share and never miss a thing. Just text the word BossHero to 66866 to get signed up. That’s BossHero, all one word to 66866, or you can visit BossBetterNow.com to subscribe. And now let’s get to our episode.

Joe:

Everyone is quitting. Kind of. I’ll tell you why the great resignation is the wrong label for what’s happening and why quitting is only half the story. Plus a little pick me up for you. As I share the most inspiring story, I’ve been telling audiences these last two years, I’m giving you notice now on Boss Better Now.

Alyssa:

You’re listening to Boss Better Now, please. Welcome speaker, author, and electric stove hater, Joe Mull.

Joe:

Welcome. Welcome. Welcome. Once again to our weekly show friends, you call it Boss Better Now. We call it food for the boss’s soul. I, I mean, we also call it Boss Better Now because that’s the name. Well please welcome my co-host professional coach, Alyssa Mullet. Hello, my friend.

Alyssa:

Hello. I’m sad that you, you don’t like the electric stove. I mean, I, I have done both and I see the benefits of both. They each have their pros and cons. Are you your full-fledged hatred of the electric stove?

Joe:

I mean, hate is probably a strong word, but when you’ve recorded 60 episodes of a podcast and you need to come up with a third thing at the end of that little list at the beginning of every episode, and everyone has to be different. There comes a point where you’re starting to reach a little bit. And so I, as we were prepping this one, I was like, I don’t know why I thought of the stove, but we did move a couple of years ago from a house with a gas stove, into a house with an electric stove. And I do a lot of the cooking and I just feel like I have more control over temperature and whatnot on the gas because you turn the gas off and it’s not hot anymore. Whereas you’ve you turn the electric burner off and it’s still hot for a long time. And so you can’t make temperature changes as quickly. And so I’m, I’m a gas stove, man.

Alyssa:

Yeah. I full-fledged agree with all of those points. The, you cannot simply turn it down and walk away, right? It requires a constant hovering of said device. Yes. And so that is something that definitely impacts how I prepare to cook because you gots to have it all laid out. You can’t be chopping stuff and have it even on number four on my stove because yes, four will burn the hell outta your chicken. You gotta move it down to like a two. And once you get a two, then be prepared that it’s, it’s gonna stay at a, at a 12 for a good long time.

Joe:

Oh, isn’t that? The like how, how is it so long to turn off? It just stays hot, but here’s, there’s one thing that the electric cooktop has going for it though. Way easier to clean than the gas stove.

Alyssa:

Oh for sure. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, no doubt. I don’t, I don’t miss like ramming my knuckles into the little grates and like all of that stuff. I just like to like put a little scouring powder over top and all done.

Joe:

Done and smooth

Alyssa:

They’re coming. They’re literally coming for, for your stove hatred.

Joe:

I heard the siren. The electric stove industry is complaining.

Alyssa:

It’s a crime!

Joe:

Well, friends. We are so glad that you’re with us this week, whether you’re listening on one of the many platforms where you can find our show on Apple, on Google or you’re streaming us from the BossBetterNowpodcast.com website. We are so glad that you are here. And there’s a conversation Alyssa that I’ve been having from the stage a lot lately that I thought made sense to bring to our show. We’ve been talking a lot in recent episodes about The Great Resignation and about this kind of wave of quitting and all of the many staffing challenges that folks in a variety of industries are having. And just to catch people up, if they’ve been under a rock and not paying attention we have had more than 4 million Americans quit their jobs every month, since April of last year, it is, a trend that is truly a pattern. And so now we’re in the tens of millions of people who have left. And what I think is really important for people to be thinking about is that the quote-unquote great resignation is a mislabel because it doesn’t tell the whole story. In short, it’s like this; people aren’t quitting their jobs. When you look at the data, what we see is that they’re switching,

Alyssa:

Okay,

Joe:

They are, they are upgrading and they’re not necessarily just upgrading their job. They’re upgrading their quality of life. So when you look at the data, what you see is that people are leaving a position to go do something that provides a better circumstance for them in some way, yes. Some people are not returning to the workforce. That is true, but they’re still upgrading. They’re starting their own business, or they’re doing a, part-time side hustle or they’re volunteering, or they’ve figured out how to make it work financially, where they have more time home, but that’s still an upgrade for them. However, the majority of people who are resigning are moving to new jobs, they are upgrading to better jobs and better for them, depends on them. Some people are upgrading for better pay. Some people are upgrading for a better commute. Some people are upgrading because the work they were doing before didn’t have as much meaning they want to go do something that has more of an impact. Some people are upgrading because they were just exhausted and burned out at a job. And some people are upgrading because they cannot for another day work for a bad boss. And so really it’s not the Great Resignation. It’s the Great Upgrade. And what I think is interesting about this is we kind of have to flip the narrative as team leaders and, and executives and business owners, that this is a challenge because it’s actually a tremendous opportunity. This is the biggest period of worker free agency ever. Are you familiar with the term free agency? You tell me all the time, you’re not a sportsperson. Do I, I, I use that analogy free agency. Does that land for you?

Alyssa:

You know what, pathetic or not Jerry McGuire flashed in my brain. So I was, was like, okay, some semblance of, of frame of reference. Yes, I got it. Well,

Joe:

It’s not, it’s not pathetic at all if you’re not plugged into that world. No, no, no. If it’s so free agency is a period when a worker’s contract has expired and now, they can go to the highest bidder or the team that they think is in the city they wanna play for, or the team they think has the best chance to win a championship. They get to pick the teams, then court them, right. Instead of them being beholden to, the team. So that’s what that term kind of free agency means. But it’s, it’s not a, I mean, it’s, it’s a challenging period for a lot of obvious reasons, but I think if we take a minute back and we reframe this and understand this in a different way, we will recognize that it’s actually a tremendous opportunity because here’s what it means. If really talented workers out there are looking for an upgrade, it means you can upgrade to, Hmm. It means you can upgrade at the positions where you struggle to fill or where you need better talent. If you are willing to do the work, to become the place that people wanna upgrade to. And so that’s what I wanted to talk about today is if you wanted to ensure that you are the destination, not the departure, what would need to change? What are all of the conversations and the examinations that you would need to have maybe at, as an organization, or maybe it’s just for the folks listening as a leader? If, if you wanted to be the boss that people upgraded to, how would it change? How you show up, what would you need to do differently? And so that, that was the kind of big idea here that we’re talking about a lot with a lot of our clients and in some of the keynotes that I’m doing, that, that if we are in the middle of a kind of reckoning for how work fits into people’s lives and what they are looking for, isn’t to quit, they’re not looking to leave, they’re looking to upgrade. How do you become the destination? #betheupgrade

Alyssa:

That was quite spot on. I, I like this concept a whole, whole lot in terms of how we’re reframing this and what it’s driving us to understand about the work environment that we contribute to, but also the work environments and professional space that we ourselves, as bosses as humans want to be in. Yes. Right. I think one of the main things that I know that a lot of folks are struggling with is in a time, whenever there has just been nothing but constant change, right? That this, they may have the internal desire to upgrade. But that work that you talked about being the destination or looking for the destination or being the kind of boss that is the destination that, that feels so big, that feels like a mountain in the distance. And so I wonder if you can explain maybe in a, in more bite-size chunks, what you think some of that work entails and how we might make it a little bit more digestible. Yeah. For ourselves in a time when a lot of us are struggling to figure out how to just put the next foot forward on the next day,

Joe:

Boy, I feel like I should pay you like $5 later because you, you just teed me up in a way that feels planned and it completely wasn’t. Cool. So well done. I, I, I’ve been working on this, you know, I’ve, I’ve made illusions in the previous episodes of the book that I’m working on. The book that at times is really exciting and inspiring to work on. And at times is absolutely painful because birthing a book is a painful process. But it’s taken me a while to distill all of this down into its simplest form, but I think I got it. And so I, I, I’m gonna explain the way that I am thinking about this right now. When we think about the upgrade that people are looking, they’re looking for, the kind of environment where everything about that job and that employee experience fits into their lives in the right way. It fits into their lives in terms of the pay and the schedule and the, where I work and the, when I work and it fits into their lives in terms of I get to do what I do best and use my strengths. And I love the community and I love the mission. And I feel like I matter, and it fits into my life in terms of, I have a, a, a boss, a person that directs my day to day work, who I, I connect with. And I feel like respects me and trusts me, and values me as a member of the team and is invested in me and advocates for me, and coaches me. So, and we put all those things in a bucket. How can we in a really succinct way capture that? And so here’s what I’ve come up with. Commitment appears when people are in their ideal job, doing meaningful work for a great boss. I think these are the three big components, ideal job doing meaningful work for a great boss. So ideal job is I’m getting pay that doesn’t leave me experiencing a whole lot of financial stress. I’m enjoying contemporary benefits that I can actually use that that are, you know, in terms of the kind of vacation and time off and care. And, you know, things of that nature. I am I’m enjoying flexibility around when, where, and how I get to work. It fits into my life. So that’s the ideal job, meaningful work is the work experience. What I spend my time doing every day. And in, in this bucket, we, we see things like my, my strengths and my talents, and my gifts are something I get to use constantly in the work that I do. We see that people feel like their work matters that they buy into the mission of the company. They feel a sense of belonging and community as a part of the organization, as a part of the team. So that’s the meaningful work piece. And then great boss is Hey, I think we know a podcast about that, about what leads to better bosses. We know bosses are the single most influential factor in an employee’s work experience and on their commitment. And so when a boss shows up as a coach, as an advocate when a boss shows up and, and grants trust and earns the trust of their direct reports these are the things that, that matter and that spark commitment. So I don’t know if that’s a helpful nugget, Alyssa, in terms of guidance to do that work. But what people are looking for is their ideal job, doing meaningful work for a great boss.

Alyssa:

So I, to me, where then I start is it’s a me-centered universe, right? Is we start with ourselves. Can we answer those questions for ourselves as leaders authentically honestly, is the work that you’re doing fit into your life, are you in your ideal job, are you able to do meaningful work? And do you feel like you’re making the kind of impact that you want to as a leader? I think, you know, it’s a, it’s a not always going to be, I don’t know that it’s ever been for me, this kind of cut and dry. Oh, yes. You know, all the boxes are checked. Right, right. If it is for you, fan-freaking-tastic, awesome. Yay. High five yourself. Right. But if it’s not, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be, it just means that’s where you have more work to do. And some of that work is considering what you need to either self-advocate for, in order to change that ideal fit for yourself. Or if you’re, you don’t have the greatest boss, right. You know, maybe the leadership above you is not something that is meaningful and supportive of who you can be in that workplace. Right. So we have to start there. And then from there, it’s not, once you get all those things in a, in a row and that’s perfection, cuz that’s not how real life works. Right. Right. You’re in the midst of this being uncomfortable. And, you know, having this kind of dissent in your own experience as an employee and trying to evaluate with your employees, their experiences of their ideal jobs, meaningful work and their experience of you as a boss, right.

Joe:

It’s a feeling. I mean, and, and, and you know, sometimes that can be quantifiable. Sometimes we can look at the boxes we need to check because we know the things that tend to matter most. But, but most people, they don’t think about it just as you described, they don’t think about it as a checklist. They think about it as a feeling and that feeling is fit. Does this fit my life? And you know, am, am I do I feel good about my pay? Do I feel good about how I’m treated? Do I feel good about what I’m doing? So much of what’s happening right now around the great resignation or the great upgrade is people are just tired of it being so hard all the time. They’re not tired of it being hard. Everybody expects that work is hard every once in a while. And that they’re gonna be asked to do hard things. What people are exhausted from is that it is hard all the time. And that there is this constant encroachment of work into our day-to-day lives. And that we challenged, we are challenged at times, to separate that and to be able to have space between the hard that work asks us to tackle and the hard that everything else in our life sometimes asks us to tackle. And I think your other point is really well taken Alyssa, which is that fit is also fluid, right? What, is fit for me right now at 45 may not be fit for me at 49 because certain things in my life will change. And that, that if it’s no longer a fit for me to work for you, that’s not necessarily an indictment of you. It just might mean that there are certain, to go back to the idea, boxes that I can’t check anymore by staying where I am or working for you. That said, what I think is really interesting for organizations and leaders to do right now is to say, yes, this is not a check, all the boxes kind of thing for every person, but if it were, what would the boxes be? Hmm. If we wanted to appeal to the most talented, devoted, available workers out there, and we did not wanna have the same kinds of staffing challenges that others did, if we wanted to make, we used the phrase on the show a while back a destination workplace, if we wanted to be the upgrade, if we wanted to be the place that we’re going to, what, what is that long list of things that most people care about look like? And I think that’s where we go back to the some of this idea around ideal job and meaningful work and a great boss. And you could make a list of a dozen or so things that if we’re really listening if we’re really paying attention, both to what people who are switching are telling us, they’re looking for, and we’re listening to the people who work for us are telling us why they would leave. It shines a light a little bit on what we’re doing well and where we’re falling short. So if we end up having this list of say a dozen sort of components of the ideal destination, we can then look at that list and say, you know, on these seven or eight, we do pretty well. We’re really competitive. Or we stand out, maybe we’re exceptional, but on these three or four other things we’re actually behind and these are, and that makes them a threat, right. That makes them a threat to our organization. If you do an old-fashioned SWOT analysis. Yeah, yeah. We put those three or four things, the threat box, and for some organizations that’s pay and for some organizations that’s work hours or for some organizations that’s, Hey we don’t train our bosses. Right? Like we see this a lot in restaurants, leaders, you know, employees are working for bad bosses in restaurants because Scooter’s Roadside Diner probably doesn’t have a leadership development program. Right. You know, we’re not devoting time and resources to developing bosses. And so I, I think that’s a part of this conversation is, is if we’re gonna be the upgrade, what goes on the list and where are we falling short?

Alyssa:

Hmm. And, and I think one of the other concepts that we’ve touched on in prior episodes, you had this thought pattern around your hiring the person. Yeah. Not that you’re not hiring for the job. You know, like we have this really ingrained process that we’re all really comfortable and accustomed to that we have this job and here’s the job description and here’s what I need someone to do. And then that person fits into this job, right. Rather than we have these awesome people and this might have fit them at some point in their career. And now it doesn’t yeah. Either different responsibilities at a different level or a different level of commitment that they’re now willing to make into the workplace to try to rebalance, to try to make it fit in their lives. And so this is that call to action to say, we have to put that old mindset of we’re hiring for only this set of jobs and that’s it. Out. And say, we love the kind of energy, the kind of talent, the commitment that you bring to our workplace, how can we retain you? And what can we do to ensure that we continue to have that level of commitment from you?

Joe:

Yeah, the idea, I think that I shared earlier is that if we’re trying to hire the best person for the job, it’s an outdated strategy. What we need to do is create the best job for the person, right. We’ve flipped that on its inverse. And your point is so well taken too Alyssa in that this is really at two levels. It is at the individual level. If, if, if we have a talented available professional that we are interested in bringing onto our team, we need to be thinking about it through the lens of what kind of upgrade are they looking for? And how do we make sure we are able to create and deliver that kind of experience for that person and that their employee experience with us fits into their life in the way that people are looking for, where it really is about quality of life. And then at the macro level, it’s as we do that over and over and over again, and we wanna make that our philosophy in our approach to become a kind of destination for people we’re then looking at themes and patterns, what are the things that most people are looking for that kind of quality-of-life upgrade? And then we make those most common parameters, a part of our employee experience so that we then can attract and retain the best talent.

Alyssa:

Yeah. The only other thing that I wanna add to this conversation, as I’m thinking about it is what I’ve experienced. When I was leading teams for over a decade, there are always going to be these multilevel the dimensions of folks that are able to self-advocate and able to feel like they can tell you what they need. They can tell you that, Hey, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I need to work from home because my kid has blah, blah, blah. Yes. Or okay. There are always gonna be folks that feel that’s not their, they’re not allowed to do that. Yes. That they’re risking. That the risk to them still having a job is too great for them to be honest with you about how they could actually fit their work better into their life. Right. And so for those folks, I want to ask us as leaders to have a conversation, to build that trust so that you can make sure that where folks do not feel that they can self-advocate, that you can be a voice, that you can be the safe space for them to truly feel like their needs matter and that you’re on their team.

Joe:

And, and so much of, that’s such a great point. I’m so glad you brought that up because some people are coming from places or have had experiences where they believe if I give voice to wanting something different, it’s gonna be a perception of less dedication. It’s gonna jeopardize my status here or what is perceived as my investment. And so I think that’s where we as leaders, instead of waiting for people to tell us what they want, we are in some cases, trying to draw it out with open-ended questions, but in other cases, maybe it’s actually multiple choice, right? Maybe it’s saying, Hey, you know, we’ve made some adjustments to other people’s work schedules or calendars or benefits packages, or duties, you know? And I wanna make sure that you have the same opportunity to tweak some things around the edges to fit your needs as everyone else here is. So for example, you know, we have one person who has made this kind of change, and we have another person who has made this kind of change. When you think about your circumstances with your schedule, your family, your commute, whatever, is there one of those kinds of arrangements that appeal to you? Or is no change appealing to you because it’s working? Yeah. Right. You may need to give them the words and give them the options to have them repeat them back to you. Or to point in a multiple-choice kind of way, rather than ask them to just advocate and have an opinion unprompted.

Alyssa:

Yeah, absolutely.

Joe:

Well, friends. We would love to hear from you as always, you can always submit a question to us. You can share your feedback. You can react to what you just heard online in the comments box, underneath our videos and episodes here. And of course, you can email the show at BossBetterNow@gmail.com. If you are struggling to implement and act on some of what we’ve been talking about here lately, especially around the great resignation and staffing and creating an environment where people thrive, tell us about those struggles. Ask us a question. We would love to address some of what is on your plate here on the show. That’s BossBetterNow@gmail.com.

Joe:

And that brings us again to our Camaraderie Question of the Week. We know that bosses build camaraderie on teams by making it easier for people to find things in common with each other. That’s why every week on our show, we give you a question you can use at meetings in huddles to facilitate connection and build camaraderie. Our question this week, Alyssa, this feels like a warm and fuzzy question who inspires you to be a better person and how do they do that?

Alyssa:

So I, I was trying to figure out like, I, that feels like a big,

Joe:

That’s a big one, right?

Alyssa:

A big thing to level upon someone because I feel like it puts a lot of pressure. And none of us is perfect. Of course, when we want someone, you know, to idolize us and, to think that we, you know, there’s someone that inspires us. And so my answer is I have a, I have a lot of people I think in my life that do that, but in different ways, like, you know, I, I don’t try to idealize, you know, everyone has a hole cause nobody’s perfect. And so I feel like there are certain folks that I really respect and cherish their way of bringing my own self-awareness to light. Right. And other folks that I really respect for challenging my belief structures and making me question what I think I know, and there are other folks that have this kind of curiosity and intellect that just makes me go wow. And so I, I like to just pick and choose what I, I think makes the best of all of that. And so I surround myself with a lot of different people from different walks of life and that kind of thing in order to make all of the boxes light up for me.

Joe:

You remind me of the expression never meet your heroes. Have you heard that expression? Yeah. You know that yeah. That, you know, from afar, there are people that inspire us, but then if you actually get to know them, we would inevitably be disappointed. And I don’t think that that’s always true, but then, you know, the inherent lesson thereof, you know, don’t expect a single person to be everything, but take the best of people and allow that to inspire you. I think that’s really valid. And I think that’s, that’s kind of ingrained in some of what you just shared. And that’s kind of how I was thinking about this question too. Yeah. At a professional level, I have a couple of colleagues and I don’t even know that they know this, but I, I kind of see them as mentors and role models for some different ways.

Joe:

I have a colleague who has been in this business a long time. His name is Barry. And when I think of Barry, I just think of grace. He’s just a really diplomatic, even-keeled, lovely person. And even in the stressful kinds of situations, he always kind of shows up with this kind of grace. And I have a, a colleague named Crystal who just is every time she has something to say, I listen, because she’s so smart. And she has such an, a kind of objective, compassionate, interesting way of looking at the world where I always think, boy, I never thought of it that way. Every, every time she says something. And, and I, I take a lot of that from her. I have another colleague in this business whose name is Brian, who is proof positive, that you can be silly and, and entertaining and have a ton of personality and still also be thought of as brilliant. And I think that’s a really hard high wire act to pull off. And he does it with a plum. And I, I see him as a role model my answer to this question, though, in terms of who inspires me to be a better person, it’s all those people, but more than anyone, it’s my wife, it’s Jess. She is the most compassionate person I’ve ever met. I have often said that I married the finest human being I ever met. And it’s because of just how she moves through the world. I think I could have turned into a really cynical bastard by the time I got to my mid-forties just because of my upbringing and you know, how hard it is to, to run a business and serve customers and travel and, you know, but she is sort of the antidote to that cynicism because of her compassion and her way of looking at the world. And so I think she does a really good job, at least with me of doing many of the things that I talk about here on the show of kind of saying, well, that’s one way to look at it, but what if we look at it a different way? And you know, and so I’m, I am inspired by her. She’s kind of a regulator for my cynicism because of who she is.

Alyssa:

How lovely. That’s lovely.

Joe:

I think this is an interesting question to ask teams. This doesn’t feel like one to ask like as a quick hitter in the hallway.

Alyssa:

Yeah, not all. I don’t think so.

Joe:

So who inspires you to be a better person by the way, hard stop in four minutes go!

Alyssa:

Right. We have one minute left in…

Joe:

But if you’re trying to do some of the more macro kind of conversational stuff that we talk about in team retreats, and maybe you’ve got a little bit more time and you know, or maybe if you’re doing a longer form meeting and you wanna save this to the end, and maybe you, maybe you, you narrow it down a little bit. You don’t make it. Who inspires you to be a better person in your life. It’s just, you know, who, who inspired you on our team in the past month, to be a better person or do a better job or tell us a story about something you saw here at work that inspired you to be a better person. You know, you can tweak this a little bit to try to draw out stories, but you gotta make sure there’s time.

Alyssa:

Yeah.

Joe:

And that’s the Camaraderie Question of the Week.

Joe:

All right. Friends, we’re gonna get to our story here in just a minute, but really quickly, I wanted to remind folks that I announced right here on this show just a few weeks back, that I have a new keynote called Help Wanted: What You Must Do and Never Do Again to Find and Keep Devoted Employees. And in it, I talk about what’s happening. I talk about that upgrading that we just talked about, and I actually take the audience through nine elements of employee experience that we must attend to if we wanna have any hope of finding and keeping great people. So, if you’re planning a meeting or an event in the weeks ahead, and you’re in need of a keynote speaker, you can just shoot us an email at hello@JoeMull.com. And we can get you more info about using me and that program if you are interested. And with that, I’m excited to share a story that has been a part of several keynotes over the past few months. I asked you if, I had ever shared the Chad story with you, Alyssa. I don’t think we shared it. I know we haven’t shared it on the podcast before, but you’ve heard the Chad story, right?

Alyssa:

I have I’ve had the privilege. Yes.

Joe:

So, when 2020 crash landed on us I was still writing and speaking and doing a lot of it virtually. And I found myself reaching for more content that was just designed to lift people up and reenergize them. And I ended up telling this story of this experience. I had a couple of years ago with my son’s little league team. And I’ve told this story a lot in the last two years, I’ve told it from live stages. I’ve told it a lot virtually and probably more than any other story that I’ve ever told as part of keynotes. I have had people ask to hear it again. I got an email last week from somebody saying Hey, I, I keep thinking about that story that you told, and I’d love to hear it again. Is there a place that I can hear it? And I thought, okay, it’s probably time to share it on the podcast. And so this is behind the scenes I affectionately refer to this as the Chad story.

Joe:

A while back, my son Miles graduated from T-ball to 8U baseball. Joining an 8U team means that you are now playing with kids between the ages of six and eight years old. These are, are kids in kindergarten, first, and second grade. Now you might think that kids that age aren’t very good at baseball, but that is not true. Some of these second graders were practically men. They were like tiny little ball pros who all hit harder than you. And I I’m telling you a few of these kids had beards and abs. Now, when Miles made the jump, he was assigned to the Astros. And when he got there, he was excited to find that one of his little buddies from preschool and kindergarten was also on his team. It was a little boy named Chad. Now baseball was all-new for Chad. Chad didn’t play T-ball. In fact, Chad had, had not been in any organized activities before joining the Astros. So his learning curve was pretty steep. Chad had a hard time swinging the bat, had a hard time with catching, had a hard time with throwing. I mean, organized baseball was a lot to ask for a kid who has never done it before. So all season long, Chad played deep in the outfield and batted last in the order. And of course, this also meant that Chad struck out every time he came to bat without fail. Chad was what the other kids might describe as an automatic out. But Chad is also a sweetheart of a kid. Chad was happy all the time. He was full of energy, and it never seemed to faze him to strikeout. He would get up to bat swing three times and then the coach would say, okay, Chad, you’re out. And he’d just smile and say, okay. And run back to the dugout with the same pep in his step as when he arrived. Well, as this season went on, the Astros were pretty good. In fact, by the end of the season, they had only lost one game. And then they sailed through two rounds of playoffs. And that is how we found ourselves on a warm Saturday evening in June playing another really good team for the 8U championship. Now the game was close and was very exciting. Each team put up a couple of runs in the first inning after the best hitters in each lineup came up to bat late in the second inning, the Astros put a couple of guys on base and with the score tied and with two outs, it was Chad’s turn to bat. And unfortunately, as he had every single time before Chad came up to the plate, swung at the first pitch and missed, swung at the second pitch, and missed, and swung at the third pitch, which connected with the ball and squirted like a dart down the first baseline. Everybody froze. And then an instantaneous chorus of parent and coach voices all screamed a single word at once. You know what it is: RUN! And then all of a sudden, Chad is hustling his tiny 37-pound frame down to first base as fast as he can. And he arrives there just before the ball, as the umpire shouts safe. Well, the collective joy and delight of all the parents and coaches, and teammates just erupted all at once as everybody shrieked and hollered and celebrated. Chad who had finally, just gotten his first hit and knocked in two runs. And because we were back to the top of the order with the Astro’s best hitters up to bat, again, a few minutes later, Chad got to round the bases and score his first run of the season. Now the game continued like this back and forth with one team putting up a couple of runs to take the lead only to have the other team score a bunch of runs and take the lead away. And in the fourth inning, Chad found himself in almost the exact same situation he had earlier coming to the plate with two outs and a runner on, in a close game. And just like before Chad swung and missed, swung and missed again, and then on the third swing, smacked a grounder toward third, which he beat down the line for his second base hit of the game. And of course, everyone went bananas. The coaches were looking at each other with a combination of pride and disbelief. And we’re all swarming his mom and his grandma in the stands because now Chad has two hits and moments later got to score his second run of the game. Okay. Fast forward to the end of the game. By the time we got to the last inning, the Astros had mounted yet another comeback to take a one-run lead in the top of the inning, but the way things had been going and with the hated Twins, having one more chance to bat, we knew that our team needed to score a couple more runs to have a chance to hold on for victory. And it was in this situation that once again, Chad came to the plate with two runners on. Now I know you probably think, you know what happened next, but you’re wrong. Chad did not swing twice and then squeak out a hit on the third pitch. I’m sorry, but that synergy isn’t there. That symmetry, that exact circumstance was not meant to be on this particular day. You see in his last bat at-bat of the game, Chad swung hard at the first pitch and connected, and he drove a line drive over the entire infield that left every person there that day with their mouth hanging open. Flying down the baseline he rounded first with the determination of a grizzled vet and he arrived standing up to second base for the first double of his young baseball career. And as you can imagine, parents and the coaches were delirious. I will never forget seeing the reaction of his head coach. This is when the coaches are still pitching.

Joe:

As that hit zoomed over his head, his mouth just hung open. As Chad arrived at second base with a face showing nothing but pure unadulterated joy. A short time later, the defense held up and the 8U Astros got to celebrate in the middle of the field, throwing their hats in the air, winning the championship, collecting their trophies with every kid on the team, grinning from ear to ear. And as you can probably guess the game ball that day went to the kid who went three for three, with five runs, batted in and three runs scored the kid who had before that day, been an automatic out a sweet little boy named Chad.

Joe:

And I’m telling you this story to make a point that is something I think we all need to hear from time to time. We all have been going through a lot these last two years. And at times it’s been really hard. And I’m sure that more than once you have felt like you were failing, but what if you’re not? What if during all of those times you were actually just putting in the reps it takes to be great later when it matters most? Think about it. Chad played in 11 games before that day and he struck out three times in every game. That means he struck out 33 times until he didn’t. I mean, that doesn’t even count all the time that he struck out in practice, Chad failed over and over and over again until he didn’t. He kept showing up though. And he kept the right attitude about him and he kept trying. So when things get hard, when you get down on yourself, or when things feel unbearable, I want you to remember Chad and I want you to remember that. There’s a pretty good chance. No matter how things seem that you’re not actually failing. Maybe you’re just getting one step closer each day to being great when it counts. So no matter what, please keep showing up and please swinging.

Joe:

That’s the Chad story, Alyssa. It’s a favorite.

Alyssa:

Gets me every time, man, every time right in the feels.

Joe:

My favorite part, of being able to tell that story is when I’m able to do it with a live audience I have pictures that go with it. I actually have pictures of like Miles in Astro’s uniform. And I have a picture of the team celebrating and throwing their hats up in the air. And then I end with this beautiful shot of Miles and Chad standing together and Miles and, and Chad just has this 30,000 volts smile on his face as this whole, the trophy. This is my as someone who is and who is a sports junkie who has seen Stanley Cup championships and Super Bowl championships. This is my favorite sports memory because you’re sitting there and you’re thinking to yourself, this is a movie that no one would believe

Alyssa:

Indeed.

Joe:

So hopefully people can find some inspiration in the Chad story. All right, friends, that’s our show. If you liked this episode, please share it. We love it. When you do that. Thanks for listening. And thanks for all that you do to take care of so many.

Alyssa:

This show is sponsored by Joe Mull and Associates. Remember commitment comes from better bosses. Visit JoeMull.com.

 

Related Posts

Previous
Next