#19 - Leading when you're not in charge with Clay Scroggins

June 27, 2023

Episode Summary

Join us on this week's episode of The Aro Podcast as we welcome special guest Clay Scroggins, a highly regarded pastor, keynote speaker, and author of three impactful leadership books. In this insightful conversation, Clay and Joey dive into the common struggle of feeling inadequate and disqualified to lead, offering valuable insights to overcome these challenges. Through Clay's wealth of knowledge and wisdom in the realm of leadership, you'll gain a fresh perspective on your own abilities and potential and will leave this podcast feeling empowered and equipped to lead with confidence.

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Episode Transcript

Clay Scroggins (00:00):
The power of sitting down with someone for the sole purpose of fleshing out, talking out, verbalizing what it is that you're wrestling through, struggling with the things that are in your way. And then great coaches are masters at saying, I'm not here to give you advice. I'm here to solve your problems. I'm here to through curious questions, genuine learning gently, but tactfully and wisely move you to do what it is that you know you need to do.

Joey Odom (00:40):
Welcome back to The Aro Podcast. It's your good friend. No, it's your best friend, Joey Odom, co-founder of Aro. I had a conversation with Clay Scroggins today, and I gotta warn you, if you don't like my giggle voice, you're not gonna like this episode cuz I giggled a bunch. Clay is hilarious. But if you do like leadership tips, if you like wisdom, then you may just love this episode. Clay talks a lot about all of those things. He's an author, he's a leadership coach, he talks about how to lead when you're not in charge. He talks about the Aspiring Leader's guide to the future. He talks about things like emotional health as a leader, talks about stuff as a dad. He's got a great movie recommendation, a little off the beaten path. You might like that one. So sit back and relax. Enjoy a fun, deep, awesome conversation with my friend, clay Scroggins.

Um, man, you and I have known each other and I wanna dive into something, a question that I have. Cuz as, as you say on your website, you talk about what you do, you help emerging leaders become better people and better employees. And I'm curious about this, and even Goman, we're gonna talk about your first book here in a minute, how to lead when you aren't in charge. But how did you get to the point of say, I, of identifying I wanna focus on emerging leaders? Like that's your, that's your thing. So that's the first one. I got a bunch of follow-ups, I've been Yeah. Told by my brother, who's one of our listeners to not ask four questions in one. So I'm gonna hold my other three. So, <laugh>, how did <laugh>, how did

Clay Scroggins (02:10):
Your, and also while you're answering that,

Joey Odom (02:14):
It's like listening to Smartless, like Jason Bateman will ask like a series of questions in one. Um, so yeah, so emerging leaders, I'm curious, like what, what's, how did that, how did that's come about?

Clay Scroggins (02:23):
You know, when you're, um, it, it's you, you're trying to figure, obviously everybody's trying to figure out who can I serve best. You know, we're all, you know, I think most people want to make a difference, wanna serve other people. And so we've all, from time to time gone, who, who's my audience? Who am I trying to serve? Sure. Originally I was writing to the 28 year old pastor that felt stuck in the middle of his church. Yeah. And so I kind of had a emerging leader in my mind from that point. But, um,

Joey Odom (02:50):
Did you find yourself as, you know, this is the 28 year old pastor who's, who feels stuck. Is that, did when you maybe jumping into having to lead when you're not in charge, did you write that from that place where it was just like, that was, I mean, most, what did they say? Like, you know, what a pastor's struggling with if you listen to their sermons, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I mean, is that, did that come out of your own Yeah, for sure. That you can really identify, because you were in that, you were in an amazing organization and, and, um, with NorthPoint, and is that what it came from? I'd love to hear the story of how all that came about.

Clay Scroggins (03:18):
Yeah. And I, I would say, I, I even hesitate, even when you said that feeling stuck feels, um, there's a, there's a bit of an accusation in there, you know? Huh? The accusation that someone has is making me stuck. Someone's not do it. Right? Yeah. And so, but, but yeah, certainly that is how I felt. I felt like I like to use the, uh, I use this illustration, you know, the grocery store has those, um, carts that are shaped in a race car Yeah. Uh, for toddlers. And so when our kids were little, I'd put 'em in there and, you know, they'd turn the steering when I'm trying to be the fun dad, you know, they'd turn the wheel left, I'd turn the cart left, turn the wheel right, I'd turn the cart to the right. But then eventually we'd have to start shopping. And so we'd be headed over to the produce and they would see the candy aisle and they'd start frantically turning it to go down the candy aisle, <laugh>.

And the cart would just keep going straight, you know? And obviously that wheel, that particular wheel doesn't work. But what I, what I found is that a lot of people feel like that at work. A lot of people feel in, in ministry or in any job, honestly. Yeah. This is what I found is that the, the, some of these principles are just true. They're not, uh, relegated necessarily to the ministry world or to the business world, or healthcare education or wherever. A lot of people feel like, gosh, I've been given this job. They gave me a steering wheel, but the steering wheel doesn't work and therefore I feel stuck. Yeah. But what I've tried to convince people, and yeah, my own story was this, that I wasn't actually stuck. I thought I was stuck. The truth is, the steering wheel doesn't work if you're relying on a, a position.

And so I kept thinking if I could just get promoted, if I could just get my boss's job, then I'll be able to get everybody in line to do what I think everybody needs to do to accomplish what it is that I think we all need to be accomplishing. And for the most part, one I accomplish, and the truth is the wheel. It doesn't work through position or power or authority. The, the steering wheel in, in any job, it works through influence that when you learn how to cultivate influence, you can actually turn the steering wheel left and the organization actually can start moving left. That there is a great potential to lead from any position, to create momentum, to create change, to move an idea forward from any spot in the organization. And so that's what I was, yes, it was a book I was really, uh, learning myself and was, you know, writing to somebody who was, you know, just a couple years, uh, maybe behind me on that same journey of learning. That also important lesson

Joey Odom (05:41):
Is that also I I, I have noticed like Carrie New's book, he talks about the, um, you know, didn't see it coming. And he talks about, as people get older, they, they kind of find themselves in an irrelevant spot. And, and that probably happens as people get into their, probably in the, the later end of their careers. Do you think those, some of those same principles apply when someone's young in their career and the then in kind of feeling like, I can't lead? Do you think there's some similarities also when people get kind of on the, the tail end of their careers and maybe, maybe with respect to cultivating that influence?

Clay Scroggins (06:12):
Yeah, I have not thought about that, but I think you're for sure. Um, I mean, when I think about some of the older men and women that I've worked with, yeah, you do get to that point in your career where you're like, you know, ah, it's a young man's game, or it's a young woman's game. They don't care about me anymore. They're putting me out to pasture. There's no space for me. But the truth is, there's a remarkable opportunity for you, but you have to change the way you're thinking. That I think in the, my hope, you know, for me and you, that when we, you know, when we get into that, that spot in life that we'll go, oh, I'm, I'm, I can move into this consulting and advising role, um, where I don't have to sit around and wait for people to come to me and ask me, but I'm really looking for people who I can build into and pour out and help out with.

Whereas when you're younger, yeah. It, it's probably you end up in maybe the same spot where you feel like, gosh, I don't have any opportunity or power. I can't really do anything because I'm too young. So it's a little bit of a, it's a different problem or maybe a different symptom that leads you to the same place where you end up going, uh, I can't do anything because I don't have, I'm not, they're not, they don't see me as a leader, or they don't, you know, whereas the, maybe the older generation, I can't really do anything because they don't see me as a leader because I'm too old. So, yeah. And you know, the other thing, Joey, you, you've, I'm sure you do this every, it, it's remarkable how much we criticize ourself. I mean, we all have found every reason in the world why, um, I'm disqualified from being able to make a difference in this world because I'm too young or too old or not smart enough or don't have enough money or whatever it may be. Uh, we've all certainly done that. That's probably the common characteristic between every age group.

Joey Odom (08:02):
It is funny when you see somebody who can really, uh, own it, be comfortable in their own skin, kind of own who they are. And especially, I'm thinking guys at the who do act as those sages, those people who, there's a quote from my book that my brother references. It says, the greatest gift that the older generation can do for the, for the generation following them is just convey a sense of hope and optimism. And when you see somebody doing that as opposed to getting caught up in, you know, b, c or Fox News or whatever it is, when they can convey a, a hope to the next generation that hey, things are good. And I think you, and I know this gentleman, um, but I think of a guy like Steve Franklin at North Point, who just, he just conveys hope and optimism and he's so magnetic. And he's, um, hes, you know, in his probably sixties and he's just, he's just someone that people want to be around and feels youthful. And it's because he's kind of owned that he's not, he's not striving for relevance. He's just kind of owning who he is, where he is and what he can offer. And that usually is just hope and optimism.

Clay Scroggins (08:58):
And I, I totally agree. I would also say he approaches, I mean, he's, I think he's in his early seventies and he just, he is convinced it's obvious in the way he lives that you don't ever stop learning. Yeah. He is this lifelong learner. You know, I was, I was talking to somebody about him yesterday because they had an event that they were coming in town for, and I was like, man, you need to get with Steve and let him, he's a, he's a barbecue judge, you know, he's the kind of person that got grabbed the list of the top 100 barbecue places in America and was like, I'm gonna go to all of them <laugh>. He was like, I wanna write a book on centenarians. Interviewed a hundred centenarians and wrote about what does he learn? What can we learn from people who have turned 100?

He's just constantly learning. And the thing he's always, he's investing in the next generation. He's always got some young people that he's surrounding himself with, but he's not doing it as like, Hey, y'all get around me and learn all that. I have to say, yeah. I find him to be just very cur. He's a very curious person. So true. He sees it as, I've got something to learn from you, which is that, um, that I've heard people call that reverse mentoring, right? Where someone over, you know, over 40 gets somebody who's in their twenties to go, Hey, I need to learn from you. The world is changing. It's a different place. Um, come translate, culture, translate what's happening in the world. Help me understand the things that I don't know. I think that's a remarkable, um, that that is a way to have influence is by deciding to say, Hey, I'm gonna be constantly learning.

Joey Odom (10:25):
Isn't that so interesting? It's so counterintuitive. And I think that's when people maybe begin to start feeling irrelevant is when they're just trying so hard and nothing's landing and it's just, when you release, that's when you, that's when you really start cultivating influence. To your point, what, what are some other things as you, as you're writing that book, you talk about cultivating influence. What are a couple other ways you found people who may not have the position of authority but can cultivate influence whether other ways you found that people can cultivate influence?

Clay Scroggins (10:51):
Well, the, the book, um, just so if anybody's listening to this and they're going, oh, I'm kind of interested in what that book has to say, I'll give it to you very quickly. And then you don't have to be curious anymore of what it has to say. <laugh>. Um, that I, I really, I I I built the whole book around these four big ideas that if you want to cultivate influence when you're not in charge, you've gotta lead yourself. Well, you have to choose positivity. You have to think critically, and you have to reject passivity. And the passivity one is the one that I always, uh, it's the one that I talk about the least, because I usually run out of time when I'm giving a keynote on this. And so I'll say, Hey, you have to go read the chapter on that one. But the, um, just a month ago I was speaking to the University of Texas, uh, the faculty at the University of Texas Medical School, and I get done talking about rejecting passivity.

I send them to some table talk. And I felt like such a big fat failure because after I'm sitting there talking about how easy it is to become passive when we're not in charge, I think it's most easy because the, the power of being in charge is that you, you shouldn't make all the decisions, but you can. So you have that spirit of agency, that sense of purpose, and you, you have a, you don't have more control, but you feel like you have more control. Yep. And I, I get done talking about how easy it is to just go, you know what, I'm just passive. They don't care, they're not listening, whatever, whatever. And I sit down at this table and this gentleman who's been a professor there for 30 years, um, I only know that cuz he told me, I was like, Hey, so where does all that land with you all?

And he goes, that passivity thing. I just, I was so, I am so worked up about it, even as I'm sitting here thinking about it now, because the administration here, I feel like they have been so passive around this one particular area that I have brought up for 30 years. I started my job 30 years ago. I didn't know how to do this job. No one taught me how to do it. I had to teach myself. And I have told them for years that they need a mentoring program. We need a mentoring program where when someone starts, comes on faculty here, that they get assigned a mentor and that mentor can help them to avoid some of the potholes that I stepped in because I didn't have anyone who was mentoring me. I had to learn myself. And I'm sitting there listening to this guy being like, oh my gosh, I have failed in communicating this Well, because you are embodying exactly what I am encouraging people to reject, because that's what happens.

You're not in charge. And so you think, I don't have any control. I can't create a mentoring program. But what that man can do that no one else can do, is he could go mentor someone, mentor, mentor someone. Exactly. <laugh>. And that's the, that's the, when I, I have had moments that haven't been so, um, riddled with failure where I have seen the light bulb come on for people where they go, oh, I am frustrated at all that I can't do because I'm not the boss. All that I'm frustrated about because the other department won't do what I want them to do. All that I wish would move forward, but I can't get it to move forward because, but what I'm failing to focus on are the things that I do have control over. I like to the term that is the, uh, the, the best opportunity you have is to create an oasis of excellence to go, all right, I'm this, if I, if I just think of myself as this little oasis right here, I might not be in charge of everything, but I'm in charge of some things.

And what I am in most, most in charge of is first me, and then secondly the team that I'm getting the opportunity to lead and I'm gonna create this oasis of excellence where they might be able to say whatever they wanna say about our organization, but with our team, we're gonna be well run, we're gonna have a mentoring. We don't even have to have a mentoring program. Yeah. But we're gonna have a culture where people are pouring out what they know to other people around them. And then, you know, what would happen is if that guy would go and just the next person that starts on staff there, just go say, Hey, I can't give, tell you everything, but would you mind if I just tell you the things I've learned over the last 30 years that might help you avoid some pain and help you be more successful?

People would typically say yes to that. Yeah. And then what would happen is, you know, somebody down the hall would go, Hey, that's really cool you're doing that. Tell me more about it. Oh, I just, you know, I'm meeting with that person telling 'em all that. I know I should do that as well. Yeah. And Jesus himself said, where two or more are gathered, you have a mentor program. So that's actually the way, that's actually the way things get done, is when somebody goes, I'm, I'm not gonna be passive. I'm gonna be active, I'm gonna be intentional, I'm gonna be assertive and I'm going to, they're gonna have to slow me down. They're not gonna have to speed me up. They're, they, I'm gonna let them steer me, but they're not gonna have to pick me up and carry me.

Joey Odom (15:29):
Was that two or more, was that, was that off the cuff or was that, I mean, that was <laugh> Your timing was great there.

Clay Scroggins (15:33):
Very good. It just hit me when I was like, oh, two people are doing it. That's what Jesus said. That verse honestly has tripped me up quite a bit, where two or more are gathered. There I am with them. I am there as well. What does that even mean? It's tough to know what that means. Cause you know, anyway, that's not for today.

Joey Odom (15:52):
We started Aro with the hope that we would hear stories of real connection from families all across the country. And I got one the other day from Mike in California of just that. Mike said, Aro is a game changer watching a movie last night with my eight-year-old daughter. She said, dad, you never have your phone anymore. I like when you actually watch the movie, what a great thing to hear from your eight-year-old. Because our kids notice, they notice when we're there and when we're not there. If you're interested in creating moments like this, just go to goaro.com for more information or to join.

Joey Odom (16:25):
I I do remember early in my career when I was in commercial real estate, early in my career, uh, I was having dinner with our, um, managing director guy by the name of Per Briggs, who's a mentor to me. And I was an analyst at the time. I was a terrible analyst by the way. Uh, but I wanted to be a broker. And so I was talking, Hey, what do I need to do? Be a bro. He goes, if you want to be a broker, just do the things that a broker would do. And that was it. Like, don't worry about the title. And so you, there you go, start doing those things and then you start becoming that. And so maybe the the difficult part, you know, with his, also, without neglecting the things you're supposed to do with the core piece of your job, but then begin, start, begin to do those things, it's, it's, it is amazing what can happen. You just take on that on yourself. And then, um,

Clay Scroggins (17:05):
The, uh, can I just real quick respond to that? That is fantastic. I mean, it's great if you just, if you wanna be a broker before they give you the title, go be the best broker you can be. Yeah. And then when they come to give you the title, everybody's gonna be like, what took you so long? <laugh>, this guy's been crushing it. Versus what you don't want to happen is when they come and make you a broker and everybody's going, are you serious? This guy? Right. I mean, that's, that's, uh, much worse, uh, outcome for sure. But I, I love that concept. Go be the best broker you can be before they even name you one. Just

Joey Odom (17:39):
Go do those things without, again, without neglecting those small things Sure. In the process. Um, okay. So your, your most recent book is the, the Aspiring Leaders Guide to the Future. I, I had a, your Goodreads ratings, they're off the charts. You're at 4 21. That's very good. Anything over four is very good. There are a couple concepts in there I'd love for you to touch on. One of them is there are two, even the goats will have a coach. And I have a question about that. And then the other one I wanna hear about some of your expensive learnings you talk about, but even the goats have a coach. I'm curious right now, I'm sure you go through different evolutions of having coaches in your life. So you are a leadership coach now, who right now are your coaches? And have you had to have a rotating, kind of a revolving door of, okay, this is a coach for this season of life and yeah. Move on. How, how do you manage that within your life? And do you, how, how much do you formalize bringing in those coaches to your life?

Clay Scroggins (18:30):
Well, getting a coach was a massive, I mean, one of the best decisions that I ever made, and I was fortunate to work for a larger organization that, um, valued me to the point where they paid for me to have a coach. They either valued me or realized that I really needed it. So it was one of the, one of the two, and maybe both. So, um, I had a guy I worked with a guy named Dean Har for about four years. And that decision to get a coach, I mean, I would've said before I got a coach, I would've been like that. Uh, not interested. I don't know. That feels like, I mean, one, I was like, I'm not a big enough deal to get a coach. Like, cuz people would be like, well, LeBron has a coach or better has a coach. And I'm like, gr one of the greatest basketball players, greatest tennis player.

Like, I mean, okay. I mean, we have, uh, not any similarities. So, um, not a great example, but, so I didn't feel like I'm not a big enough deal to have one, but I also just felt, I mean, truthfully, I was like, I'm getting along fine. Like I'm not, yeah, I don't, there's nothing on fire. I'm not, you know, trying to take over the world and so I don't really need, but, uh, I, I never realized the power of a regular, I mean, same thing with counseling. Going to counseling is the same thing. You hear from people, the power of sitting down with someone for the sole purpose of fleshing out, talking out, verbalizing what it is that you're wrestling through, struggling with the things that are in your way. And then great coaches are masters at saying, I'm not here to give you advice.

I'm not here to solve your problems. I am here to, through curious questions, genuine learning gently, but tactfully and wisely move you to do what it is that you know you need to do. Yeah. And so that, I mean, so powerful in my life. I have a couple of stories that, of my own career of just how this coach, uh, I mean, my life would not have been the same if it were not for him for sure. Wow. So n now though, I don't, I don't currently pay for one because I am working for myself. Yeah. Right. Yeah. And so I I, you know, I'm only 18 months into this and I would love to get to the point where I'm like, I've got the ability to do that now. But I mean now, um, you know, there's a couple of people that are ahead of me.

I mean, I met with one this morning who he's about year five and owning his own thing. So it's the, the people that have been great coaches for me in this season are people that are, you know, the solopreneur Yeah. Uh, working for themself, kind of people that have been immensely helpful. But the whole point of it is just you can't see what you can't see. You, you, yeah. You don't know what you don't know. That stupid statement, what you don't know won't hurt you is of course not true. Right. What you don't know has hurt you, will hurt you and is currently hurting you <laugh>. And you don't have to be hurt by it. You can get somebody who's been down the road who can help you see the things that you can't see that are around the corner. And you need every single one of us needs somebody, uh, in that coaching role in our life. Yeah. Um, and we certainly need it as the world's getting more complex as well. So that, that was kinda the gist of it.

Joey Odom (21:34):
Well, and I, I know you well enough to know that you're, I think you maybe better than anybody I've ever known you, you are always seeking wisdom. So I've, you know, when you used to do a lot of the, the, um, the series during Covid when you were interviewing leaders, you're so good about, but getting advice and being curious from other leaders, and I know you have a good, you know, network of people who are contemporaries of yours. So whether it's not a formal coach, I do know you, you well enough to know that's you just have surrounded yourself from kind of top to bottom and people you are mentored by, you are kind of doing life with and people you're mentoring, you're, you're a master at that. Um,

Clay Scroggins (22:08):
That's kind. Thank you.

Joey Odom (22:10):
You, I hope so. Um, one of your, your chapterized leaders never fail. They just have loads of expensive learnings. Um, I wanna hear some clatonia scroggins expensive learnings or two.

Clay Scroggins (22:21):
Yeah, I mean, the two big ones for me in my previous role, uh, I spent, I I, I was working at a church. I was working at a church under Andy Stanley. I was, I mean, I had a boss and then my boss worked for Andy Stanley. I was one of the campus pastors. I was a campus pastor for about 10 years. And so, uh, he and I, uh, you know, once a year or so would go to lunch and we're at lunch one day. And the, the gal that was waiting on us at this, you know, one of those downtown Alpharetta has got some new, new spots and it was one of those new restaurants, and she was about 24. And, uh, she at some point said something, you know, we were, I, I was probably trying to impress my boss and trying to invite her to church, you know, since I felt like I had to, I'm like sitting there with my boss, like, I shouldn't invite her, you know, or so, I don't know, not, not really, but yeah, maybe sort of.

And, uh, she said something about, what, what's the church again? I was like, it's called North Point, it's just down the street here a couple miles away. And she was like, oh yeah, I think my parents and some of their friends go to that church. And Andy and I are sitting there as soon as she leaves. We're like, oh, crap. Like, nobody wants to be known as the church where the 24 year old's parents go. You know? I mean, that's like a death nail, honestly, in a, in the church world for a 24 year old to go, I've heard of that church. Would I go there? Oh, no, no, no. That's for my parents and their friends, right? And so he and I are sitting there and we're like, we gotta do something about that. So we started this, you know, we started a young adult service, which it was, you know, there's plenty of people that have done that.

But I mean, we put, I met with so many people in the Atlanta area, work at Coca-Cola and, uh, chick-fil-A and Delta, some of these Atlanta owned companies, just to talk about innovation and how do you innovate inside of large organization. Um, there was really nothing that was wrong. And so we didn't really need to fix anything except for the fact we needed to find the future of the church. And so I put two years of energy and effort into it and, uh, we, you know, built a really small team and we moved some resources and put some, invested some dollars into it, and, um, it just didn't take off like we wanted it to. And honestly, I think the, one of the, the one of the dangers of innovating inside of an organization that has experienced a lot of success is if something doesn't experience a lot of success immediately, it's really easy to kill it because not kill it like, in a good way, but like, actually take it out back and shoot it <laugh> because you think w you know, like North Point's story of a church is week one.

There were like a thousand people there, you know? Yeah. I mean, it, it, it became a megachurch like within the first year. I mean, that's just unheard of. And so everything that gets started after that is kind of measured to that level of instant success. And that was in 1995, you know, when we were doing this, this was like in 2018. So the world was drastically different. Yeah. But we were still held to that same expectation. And honestly, I think my own fear of looking like a failure is what, you know, I probably didn't accept the fact that we only had a couple of hundred people coming. And it wasn't this, you know, inside of a 2000 person auditorium. It felt like, you know, that we, we used to, at North Point, they had seasons where there were so many people that people lining the walls.

I mean, I, I went to North Point while all through college I sat on the floor my, the entire time I went to North Point <laugh>, I mean, if I ever sat in a seat, I was riddled with guilt and I would quickly like, let somebody have my seat because there were not, there were not more people in the room than seats in the room. It was just always that way. And, you know, then here I am leading the service with like 200 people in this 2000 seat auditorium, being like, not only can you have a seat, you could have a whole row if you would like, if you want a section, if you need some space.

Joey Odom (26:00):
What's funny about that is that, yeah, you look at in relative terms, but you have a, a crowd of people that are larger than most congregations, and it still feels, it doesn't feel

Clay Scroggins (26:09):
That good. Yeah. It felt like a big failure for sure. Gosh, the second, well, I mean, I, I spent a lot of energy the next couple of years working on a, a plant North Point's. Got so many people that watch SS online and watch online or, you know, di digest the content. But we just didn't have a great pathway on how to help those people grow and how to help those people feel a part of the local church. Is, is that even possible? And I, I happened to write my, uh, I wrote a, a doctoral dissertation on helping people grow spiritually in online communities. And so I've always had a real strong affinity for is it possible to create, um, obviously I don't think it's the end all, all, but the internet has been given to us as a massive gift and a tool, and I think we should be, it should be a tool that we leverage to help plant churches and connect people and create community.

And so we were really trying to figure out could we do that not to replace in person, but to enhance in person. Yeah. And same kind of deal. It just, um, it was about two years of a lot of energy and a lot of effort. And then ultimately the scrutiny of why is this not taken off faster than it is? I think honestly, I buckled under the scrutiny of it. And so that, that's really, I think where that chapter's written out of is, yeah, back to your, if you wanna hear what a preacher's struggling with, go listen to what he's preaching about or writing about. I mean, it was me going, why wasn't I a stronger leader? Why did I let what felt like failure, um, convince me that I didn't have what it took or that I had missed it or, uh, whatever. And so that, that's really what the chapter was trying to address is success going forward in the futures.

There just are not, I don't think, I think there's gonna be less, you know, microwave instant successes. Yeah. Even though we get, we get like, you know, well, Bieber got found on YouTube when he was 14. So if you don't have a million followers, then like you whatever, for every one of those stories, there's a hundred stories of the person that put out seven albums or wrote 10 books or, you know, preach passionately and diligently at a local church or started business after business, or, you know, all the shots that MJ missed before he made whatever. Um, those are the better, those are the more true stories of the way growth is gonna happen in the future. Learning how to take that success and yeah. Learn from it.

Joey Odom (28:22):

Clay Scroggins (28:23):
Have you ever failed, Joey? What

Joey Odom (28:24):
About you? Um, my mom told me when I was young. I did. I did.

Clay Scroggins (28:29):
And it was, um, at some point,

Joey Odom (28:30):
Yeah, she said I didn't quite affix my diaper correctly when I was like nine months, but

Clay Scroggins (28:35):
That was, but since

Joey Odom (28:35):
Then, yeah. But then everything's been pretty good

Clay Scroggins (28:37):
Since, since up to then, honestly. Yeah. Up and to the right <laugh>.

Joey Odom (28:39):
I mean, it is, it's so funny. I think about, you know, even memories you have of something dumb. I've said, you know, from going back 30 some years. I mean, just, it's, it's funny how all those

Clay Scroggins (28:49):
Things that hang with you

Joey Odom (28:50):
Yeah. They just hang with me. And I think, you know, so it's, it's, and then you're, you're so grateful for, you just become grateful for Faires. And, and if I were, if I were really wise, I would welcome those things more and more and more. That's right. Because I, because you look back on like how pivotal those were and just how great they were. And it is, it's a necessity. And you, you have to have them. And so again, if I were wise, I would welcome them on. It's, uh, I think I referenced this on an interview with somebody a couple times ago, but have you ever seen the video of Jocko Willink the good where it's, where it's him saying like, when, when things bad happen, you just say, good, because that's your moment. That's when you grow. So it's, it's, um, but it sucks, right? I mean, it's just, it's just not fun at all when those things happen. But we should welcome them cuz just how great it is for us.

Clay Scroggins (29:34):
I, I remember in the middle of that one of those seasons, I can't remember which one it was, and it might have been a different failure because there have been some that I have out and can't remember, but <laugh>, um, I remember sitting down with this same co this coach and I'm just kind of spent the first 10 minutes just being like, you know, woe is me. I suck. This is terrible. I don't know how, like, I don't know how this is gonna work out, and I thought it was gonna work and I didn't know I feel dumb and whatever, whatever. And he's just kind of laughing and smile, like sna kind of chuckling a little bit, you know? And it was kind of offensive because I'm like, I'm like, shit, bearing my soul and you're laughing. But he's, he finally, I finally say, can I, what your response doesn't seem to match the emotion that I'm feeling. Can you help me understand what, what's going through your mind? And he goes, I just can't wait to see how you grow through all this. Wow. Because you are absolutely going to, these are the, because they are, these are the seasons that we, that we grow the most. So I I love that simple little, you know, when something bad happens to be like, okay, good. I mean, that's not an obviously counterintuitive for sure Yeah. To do that, but yeah, that's, that's a, a better way to look at it.

Joey Odom (30:44):
Tease out for me, and I know you're launching this, um, you, you did an online poll not long ago and you asked, you had a few different topics that you're about to speak on and, um, one of them was how to be an emotionally healthy leader. And of the three, I mean, by far that was, that was the highest voted. Yeah. Which was, I mean, to look, you could see now on the poll just how much it was of the three, it was, you know, over 50%. It was, it was huge. I want you to, I want you to tease it out and want people listening to go to go check that out. But why do you think that emotional health of a leader was such a, such a leader of those three options?

Clay Scroggins (31:21):
Yeah. I, I, um, I've created a couple of online courses, one of them called the Influence Sprint, that's about leading when you're not in charge and how do you, how can you grow your influence from the seat that you're in? And I was trying to figure out what this next course was gonna be. I had a couple different options and that one got, you know, I thought, ah, I should outsource, crowdsource this. And I think I, I mean, I had the same thoughts. So I mean, I'm, these are just my high my opinions, but I, I do think some of it's the last couple of years what we've been through Yeah. Uh, as a society, you know, so I think there is kind of a general depletion in our society. And I hope, I mean, on the positive side, what I hope is that people are realizing things that the previous generation didn't realize. Because when I talked to my parents about being emotionally healthy, they're like, whoa, why? What do say more like, what are you,

Joey Odom (32:15):
Yeah. What was that e word? What is the emotion? Exactly, yeah.

Clay Scroggins (32:18):
Because they, they, you know, both my parents worked in the same job for 35, 40 years and it's like, you know, if somebody came to them and was like, you know, this job, I don't know, it's just, it's not, it's not, it's not what's best for me emotionally. They would be like, why does that matter? Does it pay you? It does. Okay, well then go back to work. You know? Um, I I think we're realizing, oh, we are. That is such an integral part of becoming a better leader is being an emotionally healthy human. Yeah. And that's the, that's the angle that I really enjoy talking about it with organizations is if you want to be a better leader, which most people do, the answer is not learn some tips and some tricks and some the latest, greatest thing on how to be a better leader. The answer is be a more emotionally healthy human. Yeah. Because the best leaders are the most emotionally healthy humans. I mean, that is, there's so much data that shows that proves that. And I was excited to see the results of that because I, um, I would like to talk about that topic more. And I think it's a really healthy thing for our culture and our society to talk about that more. That's

Joey Odom (33:30):
Topical for everyone. It really is. And, and I hope so. I'm excited for people to, to get, get on that. That is important. For sure. Um, I have two questions before we leave. One of them three. You have five kids, which is your favorite

Clay Scroggins (33:47):

Joey Odom (33:49):
No. What is it? The

Clay Scroggins (33:50):
Good news is they'll never hear this. So,

Joey Odom (33:53):
Wow. That's, that's offensive. Um, <laugh>, what is the,

Clay Scroggins (33:58):
Uh, not, it's, it's not because of you, it's cause of here's the guest you've chosen so

Joey Odom (34:03):
Clearly bad judgment. What, what is a favorite? Uh, you know, when people put down we, you know, at r we're, we're about intentionality, putting down our devices, being present. Sometimes that's, uh, a family movie without a second screen. What's a, what's maybe an obscure, maybe not one of your like, mainstream, but is there a favorite Scroggins family movie? Like one that may be off a little bit off the beaten path?

Clay Scroggins (34:25):
I would

Joey Odom (34:25):
Say it could be on the beaten path too.

Clay Scroggins (34:26):
Yeah. Okay. This, this is not this, this would not be for our family, I would say for Jenny and I. Yeah. Um, we watch while we're young with, uh, Adam Driver, and it is a really interesting movie that you ought to, you ought to check it out. Yeah. It's probably five years old. But, um, it has a lot, there's a lot of intersection between this movie and what you guys are doing. Interesting. Trying to encourage people to steward their technology well.

Joey Odom (34:53):
Oh, I like that. That was unprepared too. I didn't prep you for that question. Um, then, um, we're all, here's the, here's our, our open-ended, ambiguous, vague question, but we're all about living intentionally. What is, what does intentionality mean to, to you?

Clay Scroggins (35:10):
I, I, when I think of intentionality, I think of the word pause. Um, life comes out as fast. We've, you know, I mean, even right now I'm getting like a little bit of like a, I gotta go because I got this noon meeting, I gotta, I gotta be at, and it's probably gonna take more than five minutes to get there. And so you just can't be as present as you might want to be in all things. And if we were to just pause and think, what would be best for me? What would be best for the people I love in this moment? I think it would help us be more intentional. I mean, your, your story about missing the goal in soccer is just a good example of that where you weren't, it's not that you were willfully trying to miss the goal. Yeah. You were just living your life, which meant your phone, your face is buried in the device. Yeah. But if you just could pause and go, what does this kid need right now? Where am I? What I mean, it's about being mindful. I think that's, when I think about intentionality, I just think about that because usually, you know, yeah. It's not like this code we gotta crack so that we can learn it. You probably know it. It's just a matter of can you slow down enough pause and go.

All right, let me think through that. Yeah. For this moment, that's what I think of.

Joey Odom (36:27):
I love that. Even when you said that, I, it, it, I felt calmer. Just thinking through that concept of pause, I love that. Um, you need to go with apologies to your noon meeting. Um, where can, we'll put this in the show notes. Where can people find you? I, I would encourage everybody truly to go check out the books that, that clay's written. They really are great. They're very additive, they're very practical. Um, check out his courses, the influence sprint and the, uh, have become an emotionally healthy leader. It's really good stuff. But where, where can people go to, to connect more with you?

Clay Scroggins (36:57):
Well, lemme just back up for one second and say that, that question gets asked a lot on podcasts. Right. You know, where can people find you? And I do enjoy some true crime. And so whenever I hear it, I'm like, for what reason are they,

Uh, what are they gonna do if they find me? What for? It's such a like creepy, like a kinda lowkey creepy question. Where can people find you? <laugh> <laugh> clay scroggins com. I'm on social media. It is, I'm not hard to find. I put my web, I put my phone or my website. My email is do scroggins gmail com. I'm grateful to get to be a part of this. I believe in what you all are doing. I care deeply about you as a friend. And if any of your listeners, you know, if the, if they wanted to reach out to me, that would be a total honor. And I would love to connect with you, LinkedIn, uh, Twitter, Instagram, whatever. Um, or just email me and would love to connect.

Joey Odom (37:49):
And your cell phone number is on your website. I mean,

Clay Scroggins (37:51):
So Dang right. It is. People

Joey Odom (37:52):
Should know that I, I had to compare and I saw that was that one thing I'll say before you go, you said there's so much discouragement in culture right now. One thing I love about you, from, you from stage or in your courses or you just one-on-one, you inspire courage. We're feeling as a culture discouraged. You're providing courage and inspiring courage. Thank you. Thank you for the work you're doing. It really is amazing. I know it's easy to grow, weary and well doing, but dude, you're crushing it. Thank you for, for bringing courage. You

Clay Scroggins (38:20):
Too. You too. Thank you. Thank you

Joey Odom (38:23):
Dr. Claytonius Scroggins, everybody. How great was Clay? I really did mean what I said at the end with, with so much discouragement in culture, clay really does inspire courage. He's an awesome,

Joey Odom (38:35):
He has great resources. You can tell he's hilarious. I'd so much fun talking to him. Uh, so please do go connect with him, shoot him a text, even tell him you heard him on The Aro Podcast. Thank you so much for joining us for this edition of The Aro Podcast. We can't wait to see you next time. The Aro Podcast is produced and edited by the team at Palm Tree Pod Co. Special thanks to Emily Miles for video and digital support and to our executive producer Aro's own, Katelyn Farley.