#22 - How to navigate being in the valley of an organization with Adam Tarnow

July 18, 2023
Adam Tarnow

Episode Summary

On this week’s episode of the Aro Podcast, we welcome Adam Tarnow, a respected leadership and professional development consultant, podcast host, and author. In this conversation, Adam shares valuable insights on how to shift your mindset while working in the middle management of an organization, which he refers to as “the valley.” Adam provides practical strategies to navigate the complex dynamics of reporting to both superiors and subordinates. He emphasizes the importance of a mindset shift, which includes viewing oneself as a leader rather than just a manager, embracing personal agency, and recognizing that key skills are rooted in relationships, not transactions. Prepare to be inspired by Adam’s wealth of knowledge derived from his leadership consulting, personal experiences, and his book, "The Edge."

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Episode Transcript

Joey Odom (00:00):
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Adam Tarnow (00:50):
Now I'm trying to get that through to my sons right now. A 14 year old. 12 year old. Yeah. Because they'll watch Mr. Beast and they'll go, man, we probably even need to start a YouTube channel. I bet we get like a hundred million views tomorrow, <laugh>, why would we not do that? And I'm like, guys, that's not the way it works. Yeah. What we don't know is all the years of somewhat average videos that he made and he kept at it. It is, yeah. All of this success or, or any achievement that you want. I don't know if you feel this and you and Heath, as you probably have felt this at times with, with uh, ro and that is, it just feels like you're surrounded by dead weight. Yeah. And you are the only one who can move it. And nobody is sitting there going, can I carry some dead weight for you, <laugh>? You know, you've got to do it. You've just gotta do it every day.
Joey Odom (01:39):
Welcome back to The Aro Podcast. It is your friend Joey Odom, co-founder of Aro. And I want you to notice something I said, it's your friend, not your buddy. Cuz when we were in elementary school, we learned that buddies like you for what you do, but friends like you for who you are. So I like it for who you are. I'm not a buddy, I'm a friend. Today we have Adam Tarnow with us. Adam Tarnow is a leadership coach. He's an author, he's a brilliant guy. He's so much fun. We talk about a lot of things. We talk about the term epiphany, which he gives a really great explanation for, for epiphany. Talk about the TV show Severance, which we share a love for that I hope you love as well. If you watch it, talk about some movies. We talked about his experience working at Disney, getting his doctorate degree from Disney University. And then we also talk about some really transformational concepts that are in his book, the Edge, having energy, diligence, growth, endurance, and a lot of stuff in between. You're gonna love it. So sit back, relax, and enjoy my conversation with Adam Tarnow.
I, I, I went, I went in and Adam Tarnow wore, uh, wormhole and just uhoh, you know, went, went back into, so I mean, I, I got into the, you know, to the doctorate degree, doctorate degree from Disney, which we're gonna get into. That's a thing. But what is, so all of this, I mean, you've had so many experiences and so you're, you're developing leaders now and that's your, that is, that's what you're doing. How did, how did it, I'm, I'm always interested when someone says, okay, I have all this experience and now I'm gonna take this risk of just doing it out on my own. So you had so much organizational experience. What was, yeah, I want to hear, maybe first I want to hear about that jumping off point, and then we can go back to what, what brought you there. But what was that jumping off point like in the risk of saying, I'm gonna go do this? Yeah. On my own. I
Adam Tarnow (03:27):
Was close to leaving, leaving the Watermark staff at the end of 2018. Okay. Then our buddy Jonathan Bluda made his transition down to Waco. So I decided, all right, I'm, I'm not gonna make my transition right now. Yeah. There was another organization that I was interviewing with and, and all that stuff all worked out. It was a, it was a better decision for them and for me, for me to just go ahead and stay. So I, I, the seeds were planted around 2018 that I, I just felt like my time on staff at Watermark was up. And I, I don't know how else to describe it. And it was, I was ready for another chapter and then by the end of 2019, my wife and I had decided that 2020 was gonna be the last year that I'd be on staff. So I was gonna be making some transition. We had just circled probably by the end of the year, by the end of 2020. Yeah. Nobody knew anything about anything at,
Joey Odom (04:17):
At that point. That's funny to think back on, like at the end of 20, like making plans for 2020 just is how hilarious. Oh,
Adam Tarnow (04:22):
We just booked this great spring break and it was gonna be amazing. Like we, we, we had the best march ever all planned out
Joey Odom (04:28):
<laugh>. Exactly right.
Adam Tarnow (04:29):
And, uh, you plan, but man, uh, your steps are directed otherwise sometimes. Yeah. But so then probably end of January, 2020, I get approached, and this is, you know, a little weird to say, but it was approached with kind of a promotion, which is always weird on a church staff to think about promotions. Yeah. But there was basically more responsibility, like, like what you've been doing, we want to give you some more responsibility. Take a couple of weeks to think about it and let us know if this is something you want to do. And that really forced my hand. So we had, we had gone into that year knowing that was probably gonna be the last year. And now I've got my bosses going, we wanna give you more responsibility. What do you think? And because these are also my friends, I couldn't just be like, sure, I'll take the job and then in six months or three months, turn around and quit.
So I told him, I just said, I don't think I can take this role and here's why. Because I think my next career step is actually not here. It's gonna be doing something else. I've had this dream of going to do what I'm doing now. It's only getting stronger. And I, I feel like it's gotten to the point now where I, it'll feel disobedient if I don't do it. And it'll, I'll regret it if I don't do it. So I just need to take this risk right now. And, uh, and then we worked on a timeline. They just said, okay, well when, when do you want to go? And we agreed. And again, this is January, early February, we agreed that it, I would leave in May. Okay. At the end of May. And so we told the staff, um, I started to make some progress on getting Adam tono.com set up, started to put a business plan together. And I'll never forget, it was probably end of February now and we're starting to hear about this virus. Yeah. And it's starting to come. You just watched this wave coming. And I remember I recorded a video that I was gonna use on my website. And the basic message was something like, you know, online training and virtual training is okay, but nothing beat. Getting in a room with a group of people and having a shared learning experience with your peers.
Joey Odom (06:30):
Everybody's sneezing on each other. There's nothing That's right. Yeah. Exactly. The
Adam Tarnow (06:33):
Buffet at lunch where nobody washes their hand before. That's, that's a learning experience. That's a team building experience. So, oh my gosh. Um, I remember then, you know, mid-March hits and I call that my video editor. I was like, I'm gonna pay you, whatever you quoted me, but delete all of that, that message is not going out. And then it was just nuts. I mean, I, my job got as busy as it ever did at church because now I still was full-time employed. I still love the mission. And we were now transitioning from being a church to essentially becoming a television station. And I was, that was the team I was guiding in leading at the time was, was we were, we were the ones executing on all of that. And so, long story short, it ended up being about June. I, I ended up extending two weeks and I left June 15th. And, um, so we're closing in on, you know, three years.
Joey Odom (07:25):
Did did you have any epiphanies about yourself as a leader during that time? Was there anything that stood out to you that, that, that, um, that I'm sure you stepped into a lot of that, cuz that's when, when the situation arises, you were there. Did you learn anything, you know, personally about yourself as a leader during that time?
Adam Tarnow (07:42):
Yeah, and I've, I, you know, it's interesting you say the word epiphany. Uh, I was actually journaling on that word today. And so I've, I have been very impacted. I first learned of this idea of how to talk about an epiphany from AJ Harper's book Write a Must Read. And she was very much influenced by Stephen Pressfield. So I was reading Stephen Pressfield's book Turning Pro or going back through it this morning to find some things. Just, there's so many great journal writing prompts in that book. And so that's some of what I do in the morning. I'll just go back and read a couple pages. And his definition of an epiphany is not when you realize something amazing about yourself, it's when you realize you're at the end of yourself. And so an epiphany in, in the way he would describe it is it's, it is a gut wrenching process for a leader or a person to go through because you realize I'm not all that.
Wow. Uh, and that when you get to the end of yourself is when you see this other path to go walk on. And so, yes, there were, there were epiphanies, um, Joey, but they were not like, I realized I had this amazing teaching gift and I was great talking about leadership <laugh>. And so I just realized I gotta go be me. Right. It, it really wasn't that in some ways, if we, if you really wanna get into it, I, I realized, uh, I wasn't cut out to be a pastor. Mm-hmm. Uh, I was kind of at the end of myself from that cuz I was on staff at a church. And so there were some gut-wrenching aspects of this that I had to come to grips with. I don't think this is where I want to spend my, my professional life anymore. Yeah. I don't think I'm cut out for this.
I don't think I've got the, the makeup and the personality to do this. And so, you know, there's a lot more there that I could explain this probably beyond the scope of this podcast. But yeah, there were, so there were, there were definitely some of those things. And then obviously, uh, if we do talk about the, the, the natural epiphany and where things go and you, you do see some good things too. And it was, I like to write, I like to research, I like to teach. Um, and, and I had been doing some of this leadership development on the side when I was on staff. And I candidly felt like there was a market. Cause obviously, uh, it's gotta be a market to be a business, otherwise just, just a hobby. And I didn't want it just to be a hobby. I needed to make some money.
Joey Odom (09:52):
The con that concept of epiphany is interesting because as you, as you're describing, you get to the end of yourself, you realize you're not all that. But what that seems to do is it opens up, it expands your mind Yeah. To where you realize that there's more than just your current context. So I remember my, I was in a pivotal decision probably 10 years ago in my career. And I, I called my dad and I was asking him, I was talking through, here's my option A, here's my option B. And he said, he said basically he's like, what if he goes, just consider for a second if there is an option C. And I thought it was those two things. And it's an interesting thing when you expand out of your mind to where you just have to, you realize, okay, my back's up against the wall. I have to do something different than I in my current contexts. That seems like an epiphany could land at it. It's a painful ex in a painful, expansive way.
Adam Tarnow (10:39):
Right? Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. And it's really interesting as we think about, you know, different relationships that we're in right now with people who are going through hard times. There is something very interesting. They, one way to look at that hard time or that difficult decision or that stressful decision is you're in the midst of an epiphany and epiphanies can be messy and they're, they're not very clean. Uh, oftentimes and there's some, uh, but, but I like what Pressfield goes on to say where it produces, uh, very interesting. He says it produces shame, but he doesn't talk about shame as like shoe get that away. He says, shame if it runs its course will produce will like willpower where you finally get sick and tired of being sick and tired and you say, I now have the will to start moving in this direction. And that's where you can get your courage and your resolve to continue moving forward.
Which you had alluded to that of when you go out and take a risk, like what I did, leaving this very comfortable 10, 20 year career of being a C p A, it was very risky to, to leave being a CPA to go on staff at a church. And then I was very comfortable there to take that risk in the middle of a pandemic to go out and start a business that my buddy bought me a, uh, bought me a gift right when, uh, the first day of my business. And in the card he said, I don't know if you're the dumbest guy I've ever met, or one of the smartest <laugh>.
Joey Odom (12:02):
I like how he, I like how he said, he said, you're either the dumbest or one of the smartest one the smartest. You're definitely not the smartest, but you may be one of the, but you're definitely, you're very possibly the dumbest. Yeah. Not, not one of the dumbest but the dumbest <laugh>
Adam Tarnow (12:14):
You're in the conversation. So, uh, that, uh, that's, you know, that I, I think if I can look back on it now, I would've never been able to use that language in the beginning when I was going through it. Yeah. But now I got a little bit of separation from it. And I think there is some of that epiphany cycle. If, if pressfield's right. Let's just, yeah. We're just using his model for this. Right. That there was kind of a coming to the end of yourself, a little bit of shame and embarrassment and, and fear. But then if you let that run its course there can be a resolve and a will where you go, but I'm moving forward. And that, that was kind of, that's a little bit of my story.
Joey Odom (12:49):
I lo I love that thought because the, I, when I think of of shame, I also think of you being exposed mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And so, which, which is, you know, you start getting into vulnerability there just exposing, exposing the, you know, your own weaknesses. And so in doing that, that has to be, that has to go say something like, I am, I develop leaders. That's a big statement. I mean, you hear leadership development, that's a big statement. Like, okay, well, okay, well, I mean the immediate question is why are you qualified to do that <laugh>? So, you know. Right. And not you, not you Adam, but like anybody who says something like that, that's a pretty, that's a pretty bold thing. Like you're saying, you're making a statement about yourself. Yeah. Now one, the good thing about that is that influences people's opinion. Just hearing that to be like, oh, this guy must be a good leader. Um, how did you fall into, in leadership development, which is a broad category, what is your, I know you talk a lot about emerging leaders too. Yeah. And then, so what is it that you, where have you focused your efforts in terms of developing leaders? And I will ask you the question, but what, what makes you qualified to do that?
Adam Tarnow (13:51):
Yeah. Well, um, do you remember there was an old Super Bowl commercial years ago. I think you can go find it on YouTube. It was monster.com. monster.com. And it had a bunch of kids, maybe elementary school aged kids, sarcastically talking about what they wanted to be when they Yeah. Uh, grew up. And the basic message behind that, that commercial was, Hey, little you, uh, little kid, you never said you wanted to be where you are now. I just remember there was one kid that just said, uh, I can't wait to work my way up to middle management.
Joey Odom (14:23):
Middle management. I remember the commercial <laugh>.
Adam Tarnow (14:28):
And um, and it's really funny. So that, that is what my entire professional career has been. I have spent 25 years in middle management <laugh>.
That's just true. Okay. Yeah. I've led teams, but that teams have been in a larger organization where I have always had, except for the first couple years right. Outta college where it was just man, uh, on the org chart, low person on the org chart. The rest of my time I've had teams that I've led and I've had a boss and I've had bosses. Bosses and I've had Yeah. This whole thing. And I, I, I go around and I teach now this thing called the Valley that that's really what it is. It's, it's this valley where you've got the hill of ignorance on one side and mount authority on the other side. And you're, you start on the hill of ignorance. And then when you get your first promotion, you actually don't get, you go up the org chart, but you go down into a valley, huh.
And you stay in that valley for a long period of time, a lot longer than you want to. And then you may be able to make it over to Mount Mount Authority. But in the valley is one of the hardest seasons of anybody's career cuz you've got pressure from above from your boss and your boss's bosses and you know, boards and all that kind of stuff that you have to report to. And then you got pressure from below coming from your team who needs your help and they need your guidance. You have to deal with everybody in the organization. You have to, you have to navigate relationships with senior leaders, with peers, with with your team, vendors, customers. And you just get thrown into this. And I had to figure out so many things the hard way because there was such a lack of training at times on how to navigate the valley. And, and somebody's survey that I just recently read on this said they, they had surveyed 17,000 leaders as a part of their leadership development consulting firm. And of the 17,000, they found that the average age of the person going through and receiving their first round of leadership training, their average age was 42
Joey Odom (16:20):
<laugh>. Oh my
Adam Tarnow (16:20):
Gosh. But the average age when they, when they first became a supervisor was age 30. Wow. And so you've got this gap. You've got, you've got these middle managers that are navigating this valley and have this 12 year gap of receiving almost no training. And there's a, there's just the way my brain works, I, I was just going out and trying to figure out how to navigate the valley on my own. And I developed some content and some models and some ways to think through it that now I get the opportunity to go and work with, with middle managers almost every day. And so that's really the core demographic that I'm working with are these middle managers who, who feel like they're in the valley, they feel overwhelmed, they feel, uh, hopeless. I mean that. And then if you're in the valley for a long time and you have no training and you're navigating all this and all these problems roll downhill and they all collect in the valley, this is where you get burnout and frustration and cynicism and people give up and quiet quitters and all that kind of stuff.
So, uh, so I, I think what qualifies me to do it is I've been there for 25 years. Yeah. I've never been on mount authority. Never. Yeah. And so I'm not saying, uh, but I've had some success while navigating the valley. Yeah. And now I'm, I'm getting to work with others and I'm getting to see other success full, you know, leaders that are navigating the valley. And so I think that's what gives me some moral authority in some ways, if that sounds weird. And, and then just, uh, I've seen some things and can help people navigate that, that really difficult season of their career.
Joey Odom (17:46):
It seems like an equally good opportunity to, I mean, that, that seems like that's an organiz organizational breakdown if that age 30 is when people become supervisors and they don't get training until 12 years later on average. That seems like that's a huge opportunity. So are you also educating organizations on, hey, you have to develop your leaders?
Adam Tarnow (18:03):
Yes. But it's a's the important not urgent. So I can understand the pressure they feel because leadership development is a really difficult thing to show or return on that investment. So in some ways, and this is, this is really interesting, a lot of times if an organization will hire me to come in and train their leaders, really it's because there's, there's so many murmurings from below of going, we wanna be developed, develop us, develop us, develop us. So the 30 to 42 year olds are going, how do I, how do I navigate this valley? You've gotta do something to help me. And so sometimes it's like, well, something's better than nothing, so come in and just spend some time with them. And I'm, you know, grossly under, you know, overstating all of that. But there is some of that where it's important. It's not urgent.
Sometimes they're, they're hiring me to come in because it's just, just, let's do something. Let's just pour into 'em. Yeah. Uh, that's gonna be better than nothing. But I get, I understand why it's a, it is a difficult thing to spend money on. It's in theory we know we need more training. I, I have been in those rooms where leaders are talking about their team and it's like, God, if they were just trained better, if they were just trained better. But then when you, when it actually gets down to it on, are you gonna do the training? What training, how much time, how much money it, it's a hard decision to make. So I I can empathize with that. And yes, you're right. It is a breakdown. It is a breakdown for sure. Yeah. And I think it's a huge risk for a, a lot of organizations as well.
Joey Odom (19:25):
It's funny because that it, it is, I was thinking about it, I was thinking it's a, it's a bet that the company's placing. I'm betting that this investment we're putting into somebody is going to do well. But, but you, but that almost looks at it on an individual basis versus you look at it culturally and holistically, it's a bigger gamble. It's a bigger bet to not invest in that sort of program. Even if, even if that means that not all those people make it, you know, 10 more years in the organization, it's still what a, what a huge bet that you're placing that that um, that not investing in it is, is better than investing in it.
Adam Tarnow (19:56):
Yeah. Yeah. I think what you're seeing, uh, I, I don't, maybe about a year ago, Amazon threw a commercial up there that was talking about an ex-employee. And so it was somebody that started with Amazon and then they really, they wanted to become a medical technician and Amazon paid for them to go to that school so they be, could become a medical technician. And that was the whole 32nd commercial telling that person's story. And I remember looking at my wife going, did you see what they just did? Uh, that, that's pretty amazing. Yeah. So yes, they reminded us that Amazon exists. And so we pull out our app and maybe, you know, we buy something. But, uh, they also, we know they had, uh, they had some employment brand issues that they needed to try to clean up a little bit. But that employment brand really is a thing that more and more organizations are starting to wise up to of going not just a, a market brand on how we can attract clients, uh, but we've got this employment, how can we continue to attract talent?
And, and I, like, I don't, you know, obviously I'm not in Amazon, I don't know any senior leaders over there. I don't know what the heart behind it all was. But I think for our conversation today, and probably the people that listen to this podcast, I, regardless if somebody stays or goes after you train them, I, I think that's just the right thing to do, is to develop the whole person while they're there. And so, if you can see, I think it's pretty powerful. Casey Graham was probably the first one that shared this idea with me where, you know, he had this, this basic thought of, I want to be the best stepping stone in somebody's career that I possibly can be. Which I felt was a really healthy attitude. And it would be interesting to look at the longevity on what his turnover is like at his company and things like that to know, are people staying because they're so cared for and they feel so poured into, but even if they go, I think that's, that's still a noble effort to know that you poured into somebody and you made 'em better. So when they look back at their time with you, they said, that's one of the best jobs I ever had.
Joey Odom (21:49):
Well, and think about a guy like that who, who said, who makes that statement, he probably enjoys his life a lot more. He just, sure. Just knowing you have a lot of people who are grateful for you to, cause you're looking out for their future. There's nothing better than that. I mean, I'm sure you've had this over the years where someone has called you and maybe even a memory, you don't have yourself that they say, a decade ago you gave me this piece of advice, or you looked out for me, or I was going through this. That's a very gratifying thing. It just makes you enjoy your own life better by Yeah. By doing that. It's, it's, it, you know, it's, it's a little, uh, again, it's back to a risk. It's a risk that you're, you're doing something risking losing somebody, but it comes back to you and you just enjoy your life better. If that's the only benefit, it's probably worth it.
Adam Tarnow (22:27):
Absolutely. I think we can learn something from colleges and universities if you really think about it. Right. They have a recruiting process to get new students, then they, you stick around about four years, maybe five <laugh>, and then, then you leave. But, but the relationship doesn't end. Yeah. And so it's not like, well good, get outta here. Right. Go on out there to life, whatever it is. But no, they, they stay in touch with you because you never know what that relationship, what kind of fruit will come from that relationship down the road. So it's not just then your alumni start having kids and they come back, or there's just donations or it's just you're bragging on the school. And that word of mouth, as we talked about earlier, that that leads other people there. There's something with that alumni network Yeah. That I think we could all learn from on that. So they gave us their best Right. As as we were, as we were being trained while there. And then they, they expect us to leave, but they wanna keep a relationship with us. That's, there's something we can maybe learn from that.
Joey Odom (23:18):
I like that. And then it's only, and it's, people accept that cuz it's, it's designed to be temporary. You just know. And so if you were to look at, if you were to look at that, I mean, I think, but even us and his organization, what if we just looked at, hey, this person's gonna leave at some point, so how can we help set them up best where they can come back to us and great organization, my brother Jacob works, he's a partner at Ernst and Young and they're very good about helping place because those people who leave become clients and they do, you could either fight the attrition or you could embrace the attrition and help your, to your, to Casey's point be, be a good stepping stone for them. Um, what, what, what's some of the stuff you talk with those people about the, the people who may be in the valley? What are some of those things? How do you guide them? What are some of the maybe the common themes you see from them? Yeah. And then how do you help coach them along? And what's your, maybe your long term objective with those people?
Adam Tarnow (24:04):
Yeah. Uh, and, and this is some stuff that I've, I've been working on recently with a new book or what what I hope will be a new book with all of this, uh, Joey, because I, I do, I believe in this so much and I, I really do think that it is possible to thrive in the valley. That it doesn't all have to be gloom and doom and darkness and cynicism. I, I do believe it is possible to thrive, but I, I think there's, there's really Simon sin calls it a transition. I like to think about it as a mindset shift. So there's gotta be a shift and you've gotta start thinking about your job and your self a different way. And so I see three sh three basic shifts that need to happen. And the first one is a shift in identity that you need to view yourself, not just as a manager, but as a leader.
Uh, the second one is a shift in control that you've got to really believe that you're not a victim to circumstances, but you have a sense of personal agency. There's, there's always something you can do. There's always something you can control. And then the last one would be, uh, this shift and what are your key skills right now that are gonna lead you to success? And it's gotta shift from technical to relational. And so I think if you can think about yourself as a, I'm a leader, uh, and I have a, a sense of personal agency and my number one skill that I need to develop while navigating here in the valley is my relational savvy. Those are the three basic mindset shifts that need to happen. Where I think that's where the, if if you don't make those shifts, then I think the valley stays dark. Yeah. If you can make those shifts, I think the sun can start to come in. Hope can start to arise and you can start to realize, okay, it's possible to thrive here. Yeah. And, and it doesn't, it doesn't all have to be doom and gloom.
Joey Odom (25:48):
Hey gang, I got a short and sweet email from Nick in Pennsylvania that I wanted to share with you. Nick said, we just received RO three days ago and it has already added much value to our home and family time. Thank you. This is what my family needed. If Ro could be what your family needs, just check out go ro.com to get more information and join today. I'm sure it changes for every client of yours, but what's the win? Is it is for them? Cuz that's, some of that could be quantitative, but I would assume that a lot of that becomes qualitative just for, for them to feel hopeful. I mean, what's, what is the, what is, what is the win there generally?
Adam Tarnow (26:25):
Well, I if they're gonna feel that hopefulness, then I think they're gonna be more engaged. Yeah. That, that i, I do like, I believe, oh, I'm skipping the, or the, the, the name is losing me right now who does all the engagement studies. Um, yeah. Oh gosh, we'll come to that name here in a moment. But they're the ones that are doing like putting out all of the, all the studies on this. And I love their definition of what employee engagement means. And it really is trying to measure a person's emotional commitment to the organization and its goals. Huh. And so when people are all in right to Yeah. To Rob, uh, Dabo Sweeney's famous, famous phrase from my Clemson Tigers, thank you very much. That's right. But, uh, when people are all in, that's, that's when teams are really performing at their best. So I think effectiveness and results are really the win with all of this because most organizations don't need people that are just punching the clock and doing the bare minimum.
They want people to be all in. That's where, that's where creative ideas are gonna come from. That's where deadlines are gonna be met, products gonna be shipped, and the new, we're gonna be able to be resilient and pivot and figure out all the new stuff that we need to do based on the changing circum circumstances that are always heading our way. So I, I would think the biggest win is, is just an engaged leader. Yeah. And, and I do really, I mean those, those that research on how much of engagement really falls on the, the team leaders shoulders Yeah. Is, I mean it's, it's pretty convincing to me. Yeah. And so you get a team leader that feels hope, and then I think there's gonna be more engagement
Joey Odom (28:01):
And then engagement, and then it's purposeful. Then you feel a sense of purpose. People go and feel a sense of purpose. And then it, it's, it's just so funny how all of those things connect there and that sense of purpose is, is very powerful. Yeah. Right. Yeah.
Adam Tarnow (28:14):
Yep. It's Barna Barna did all the research.
Joey Odom (28:16):
Barna. Yeah, sure. Yeah.
Adam Tarnow (28:17):
Yeah. That's it. So yeah.
Joey Odom (28:19):
Um, I do want to hear about the doctorate degree from Disney University. Let's,
Adam Tarnow (28:23):
I'm, I'm surprised that we're, what, 10, 15 minutes into this and you haven't really brought it up. I mean, usually that's where people wanna start, but whatever, Joe, you can hear it. You run your own podcast your
Joey Odom (28:32):
Way. That's right. I like, I like make people wait for it just a little bit. You know what I mean? They wanna hear it. I know they do. Yes. We gotta keep 'em around. Okay.
Adam Tarnow (28:38):
So, Walt Disney World, I went for the very first time to Walt Disney World when I was, I think 17 years old with my family. We went down there and spent a Christmas, and man, it was life changing. I, I'm, I'm, I've very secure in my 47 year old self to say that <laugh>, that I, it was a life-changing experience and I walked away from there going, I don't know if I've ever felt as, you know, happiest place on earth. Like I felt those few days when we were on that, that property. And then there was just this thing in me saying, I wanna go work there. I wanna be a part of creating that magic and that happiness. And so that was just one of these dreams in the back of my mind that a 17 year old says after they're, you know, they're driving home on I 95 up to DC and they're just bored.
And so I get to Clemson and this was, uh, walking through the post office and there's all these flyers sitting up there at the post office talking about the Walt Disney World College program, and they're gonna show up for interviews. And I was like, what is this? And do a little bit of research and come to find out they hire college students all the time. They've got this, this program. And so I think it was, uh, right after my, no, it was the first semester of my sophomore year. I applied, I, I got an offer, but I turned it down. I wasn't ready to take a semester off of school yet. And, um, did it again after the spring semester of my sophomore year and got another offer to do it. And so I said yes. And so I went down there for seven months. Wow. And, uh, had, I was an accounting major, and so they had these specialty accounting internships. And, uh, when I think about what creates the magic at Disney World, I automatically think accounting. Like accounting. Sure. Yeah. That's, that's where all the magic starts, <laugh>. And so yeah,
Joey Odom (30:19):
Just, just the debits, the credits. Sure. Yeah. Yeah. And
Adam Tarnow (30:23):
Especially entering non-cash transactions into the general ledger every day like I did. So, oh boy. So that's what I got to go down there and do. And it was, it was amazing. So I got to spend seven months and while we were down there as part of the college program, you get to go through Disney University and you get to do all this training. And there were these 10 classes in Disney management, and if you went to all 10 classes and did not miss one, they gave you a doctorate. So it's essentially a perfect attendance, <laugh> record. <laugh>.
Joey Odom (30:52):
Alright. To give, give us a, what, what are a couple things that people may not know about Disney? Like, I mean, the tunnel, I hear the tunnel system and all Oh, tunnels that. Yeah. Is it the tunnels?
Adam Tarnow (31:00):
Yeah. So, um, yeah, the tunnel system. So he, it was on swamp land, and so Disney really had so much foresight that what they did is they realized they couldn't build the magic kingdom at, at ground level. And so they needed to fill up the ground. Right. They needed to create more ground. So they dug, if you've been to Walt Disney World right there in front of the Magic Kingdom mm-hmm. <affirmative> and all the, all the hotels are around it. There's, uh, I think it's called Seven Seas Lagoon or something like that. There's a big body of water right there. Yeah. That is a hole that they dug. And then where the Magic Kingdom is, they put all the dirt over there and they created the tunnel system. Then they put the dirt on top of that when they dug the hole, put it there.
Wow. And then they built the Magic Kingdom on top of that. So the Magic Kingdom is not at ground level. The tunnel system is a little bit above ground level. And that was, that was the foresight that they had. Amazing. And so it was all because of excellence, right. His his, yeah. His achieving, being intentional with his excellence and going, I don't want somebody in a costume from Tomorrow land to ever show up in, uh, you know, over here in the, the frontier world. And so they're gonna walk underground. I don't want people, the, the way they move the trash around all the wires and the plumbing, if a, if a pipe ever bursted, they, they didn't want to dig up the asphalt. So that's why you can go underneath. It's, it's genius when you really think about it. It's so efficient.
Joey Odom (32:23):
It is amazing. It, it's, um, I had an epiphany, well, maybe I didn't have an epiphany. Maybe
Adam Tarnow (32:28):
It wasn't,
Joey Odom (32:29):
I had a realization.
Adam Tarnow (32:29):
See now, now it messes
Joey Odom (32:30):
With your head. I know. <laugh>, I had a realization whenever I was at Disney World a few years ago with my kids. My kids were young. Um, the, we were the fireworks at Magic Kingdom at night, and it was this amazing display, right. I mean, it's, it's a world-class fireworks show. And I had this realization, they do this every night,
Adam Tarnow (32:50):
Every night this,
Joey Odom (32:50):
This fireworks show every night. And what it told me was they treat, it seems to me, they treat, they treat every day as if it's the only day that someone will ever be there. It's well said. Yeah. It, it's, it's an amazing thought. And you just think, okay, this is their one chance. We have one shot with this person for their entire life, that they're gonna be at Disney World once, so let's make it, let's make it the most unique experience for sure. What an amazing thing they do.
Adam Tarnow (33:14):
It really, it really is. When was the last time you were there?
Joey Odom (33:17):
It's been probably over five years ago. Okay. So I I haven't seen any of the Avatar Land or the Star Wars or anything like that, so I know amazing.
Adam Tarnow (33:24):
Amazing. Yeah, it's amazing. We went down, it was the third time the government gave us money that, that last stimulus check <laugh>,
Joey Odom (33:31):
Adam Tarnow (33:32):
We and a couple friends, uh, a couple families. I called them up and said, you guys wanna go be good Americans and put this money back in the economy down there in Orlando? And so we went down there in 21 February of 21 and just had a black, I mean, we even had to wear masks and not everything was open. And we still Yeah. Just had so much fun. But we got to do the, the Star Wars stuff and see Avatar Land, and, uh, also went over to Universal and saw the Harry Potter stuff. Yeah. There was a lot of fun. Oh yeah. They, they just, they just do such a great
Joey Odom (33:58):
Job. It's amazing. It's, it really is incredible. Yeah. I wanna talk, you mentioned being all in earlier. Yeah. Um, you, you, I wanna talk about the edge, the, the book you wrote, the Edge, how to Stand Out by Showing Your All-In, which is a great book of an autograph copy of my office, <laugh>. Um, and it's, I love it. I mean, I, I love, I want, and, and we'll get into the acronym and I, I ask authors this a bunch, this vulnerability of writing a book. We talked, we alluded to it a little bit earlier. Yeah. What is that process like? One, the discipline of writing a it, but then, Hey, world, here you go, review it and comment all you
Adam Tarnow (34:31):
Want. No. Yeah. Nobody prepared me for that. I mean, I, I really, I, I thought when the day the book released on September 13th of 22, that that was the finish line. And imagine, imagine if you're out running and you realize I'm just running a half marathon and you get to 13.2 and you realize you accidentally signed up for a full marathon <laugh>, like all, what would you feel in that moment? That's pretty much what I felt is I realized, oh, this was just the beginning. This was just the beginning. And so it was really hard. I mean, emotionally, some, some things that I felt in those first few weeks afterwards were, were very surprising. It was, uh, I felt embarrassed a little bit. Huh. Very vulnerable. And I, it was very surprising to me. It, it was so, I mean, I, I have, I was used to taking content and putting it out there to the world with blogs and podcasts, or if I go teach somewhere or over at the church, preach a sermon. I was used to that stuff being out there. But those were a little bit more flash in the pan. You just kind of do it and then by tomorrow everybody forgets it. Yeah. The book felt very permanent. It, it's always out there on Amazon. There's always a sales ranking associated with it. There's always those reviews that are out there. And so it was, it was, uh, it was, it was difficult.
Joey Odom (35:53):
Which is funny because it's the, the book is about the emotional commitment of being all in. I mean, so you're, I'm sure you were challenged in one one way, just the, the, the emotional battle of, of doing that. Um, are there, you talked about writing a second book, so clearly you're insane, um, to, to want to wanna subject yourself that to it again. But what are, what are some of the things that, I mean, I'm sure just that awareness is one thing that's helped, but Yeah. But, uh, how would you, what would, what would be the advice you'd give yourself on September 12th, 2022, the day before it came out?
Adam Tarnow (36:26):
Uh, that's a good question. That really is. I, I think it would just be, this is a, this is a long process. So tomorrow and the first month in sales, you, you really, that old advice that we get sometimes if you buy a stock, like, don't look at the stock market every day. Yeah. Right. You don't need to see those ups and downs every day. Just look at it once a month or, or once a quarter. I probably would give myself that advice, just the success of this, whatever that is in quotes, the success of this is not gonna be determined in the first 30 days. And so, you know, in the first 30 days, the sales, though, that still was our best 30 days of sales. But there was, um, the, it was, it was a little bit lower than we expected. And I don't know why, I don't know why we thought two guys that have never written a book that don't have the massive platform that suddenly Lencioni was gonna be inviting us on their podcast.
I don't know where that came from. Right. But, but that's just, but there was, there was these like, maybe I wonder it's, yeah, it's so much to talk about with all this, but there's Jerry Seinfeld and Alec Baldwin on one of their comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. And I write about it in the book, talk about this thing called the Show Business Commission, which is basically this mythical group of people out there that just search and scour the world for all the unfound talent. And they come and they carry you to the land of success. <laugh>, and I put it in the book of going reject the notion of the show business commission feel, your sense of personal agency. You've got to work at it to, to be able to achieve any success. But for crying out loud, I still was believing that the, that the, you build it, they will come and the, the show business agency would show up and or the show business commission would show up and, and carry you to success. And it's, um, it's depressing when it doesn't <laugh>. So you just gotta be ready for the long haul.
Joey Odom (38:09):
What's funny about when, whenever you, I think for me personally, whenever I think about difficulty and overcoming difficulty, I think about it in almost romantic terms. Like it's gonna be this heroic moment where I overcome that, that, you know, oh, I don't need the, you know, like the, like, I'm gonna overcome it, but then when you get in it, sometimes it just sucks. Like it's just like, it does, or it's, or it's even like, sometimes it's just boring or it's tedious and you're just like, that's not, I'm, you're not prepared for the tedium. You are, you're ready to like, you know, suit up and get your sword and go out and fight. Yeah. But it's not like that at all. No. It's just like sitting in a, you know, sitting in a dimly lit room just figuring out what do I do now except for like, refresh to see if we've sold some more. Right.
Adam Tarnow (38:51):
Yeah. Which is, I mean, I'm trying to get that through to my sons right now. A 14 year old. 12 year old. Yeah. Because they'll watch Mr. Beast and they'll go, man, we probably even need to start a YouTube channel. I bet we get like a hundred million views tomorrow. Why would we not do that? And I'm like, guys, that's not the way it works. What we don't know is all the years of somewhat average videos that he made, and he kept at it. Yeah. It is all of this success or, or any achievement that you want. I don't know if you feel this, and you and Heath, as you probably have felt this at times with, with uh, RO and that is, it just feels like you're surrounded by dead weight. Yeah. And you are the only one who can move it. And nobody is sitting there going, can I carry some dead weight for you?
<laugh>? You know, you've got to do it. You've just gotta do it every day. There is something, some, if it's, if you want to achieve something or just even get a project done, yeah. Somebody has got to carry that dead weight. There's just nobody around who does it for you. And so that, that, I think, uh, that's what we, when we see all the success that's out there, yeah. That's a good reminder for us of like, we didn't, we didn't see all the dead weight they carried to get that YouTube video or get that book out there.
Joey Odom (39:59):
It feels often like I'm the dead weights and that the, that the rest of the team, Heath and Clay and Rich and Caitlin and Brandon there, they had
Adam Tarnow (40:07):
Just texted me and said, Hey, use that dead weight analogy. And so I got it. Just let 'em know I got it. <laugh>.
Joey Odom (40:12):
Yeah. I hear, I hear you're talking with dead weight today. That's just what they call me is Dead Weight <laugh>. Um, so the, the, the thing I love about the Edge is it's, it hits on a concept that is very, very important, but then it gives you the breakdown, it gives you the form, the, the edges, the acronym. Can you, can you talk this, can you walk us through the, the acronym there?
Adam Tarnow (40:31):
Yeah. It's an acronym. So how do you get an edge in your career? Well, uh, energy, diligence, growth, endurance. So the positive energy that you bring as many days a week as you possibly can. Uh, the diligence that you show, which is that care and persistence towards your work, the growth, so the hunger for progress and development that you embody. And then endurance is just the ability to bounce back from adversity, setbacks, hardships as any anybody in any career ever knows. It just, it's never just up until the right on a constant Yeah. Upswing. They're always ups and downs. And so, uh, you can start to do those four things. You're gonna really develop a very strong personal brand, which is incredibly important. Yeah. And so you wanna be known as somebody who is energetic, very diligent, always willing to grow and, uh, both personally and wanna see the organization grow. And then you, you have endurance. You don't give up when things get hard and, and you don't get, you don't wallow and pity if you swing and miss you just going, yeah. Those, those are some, those are some great characteristics that will really set you apart. That that is the, that is the upside of these bad employee engagement statistics. Yeah. Is the bar's really low <laugh> right now for a young professional? And so here's, here's four simple things you can do to start standing out. That's true.
Joey Odom (41:53):
Yeah. Of those four, which one of those did you struggle with most after you launched the book?
Adam Tarnow (41:59):
Talking about, or just living,
Joey Odom (42:01):
Maybe living in, in going through what you just described, which of those four became most challenging? Uh, the,
Adam Tarnow (42:06):
The chapter on optimism. So that's in the energy section. Yeah. That, that for me is definitely the one that was most challenging to write. Still continues to be one that I think about because I, even, even this morning, as I mentioned when I was journaling even this morning, there was, there was such a tendency in me to want to go to this negative doom and gloom, look at all the bad things. And, and I wasn't even reading headlines, right. Like, this is just things I'm making up in my mind about the business and where my website is and what that one page looks like. I mean, it was just like, pessimism is so easy and negativity is so easy. Yeah. So that one continues to be a challenge in my personal life, and one that I've gotta constantly remind myself of that optimism is a choice.
It's not a feeling. And when you can, you know, back to a little bit of what I was talking about in the Valley, if you can remember your personal sense of agency Yeah. That you do have some control, and really just focus on making the best next step you possibly can that will help you maintain a, an optimistic attitude or Yeah. Or you're living as if you believe tomorrow is gonna be better. Yeah. Which the thing about tomorrow is absolutely nobody knows. Yeah. So the pessimist and the optimist are really both the same. Yeah. They don't know. They're guessing. Oh, that's so interesting. But I think the optimist and the decisions they make at times, and there is a, I know a movement out there of toxic optimism Sure. Where it can go too far. And I'm not talking about that. But I, I do think when I, when I choose to make decisions believing in, uh, what I would characterize as optimistic life, uh, not only are they better decisions, like they work out, but Yeah. I, I think I'm a little easier to be around too. Yeah.
Joey Odom (43:42):
It's, it's so true. Yeah. And, uh, Jeanie Stevens, um, talks about living in a says, don't live in a not yet, because that not yet is usually worse than your now. So we're living a future, we're living a fully formed story that's, that's worse. And you just Yeah. Even if it doesn't turn out as, even if you're optimistic and it doesn't turn out as good as you think it might, at least you weren't miserable waiting until that thing happened. Right? Yeah. Yeah. And it does go back to, I know you, you right after the chapter on optimism is the attitude on, or the attitude, the chapter on, on gratitude and being grateful, those two are so tied together. Yeah. I feel like again, and again and again, getting reminded of how important gratitude is.
Adam Tarnow (44:23):
Yes. Yes. And, and that is, I mean, listen, if there's a young leader or somebody in the first two years of their career right now that's listening, you just want a very, very fast thing to do. You don't even have to go by the book, just start telling people around you. Thank you. Right. And, and be, be specific, like, thanks for teaching me that thing the other day, or Thanks for being gracious with me when I messed up on that thing. Or, uh, thanks for having drinks in the break room. Well, whatever it is, just starting to communicate some level of gratitude, uh, that is gonna, it, it's gonna feel weird to people. They're gonna go, what, what's wrong? Yeah. Like, what, what's wrong? Because just nobody does it. Or very few, I shouldn't say nobody. Yeah. It just seems, it, it's such an easy way to stand out.
Joey Odom (45:01):
It's, it's such an easy way to stand out. It makes that person feel good about themselves, which then when someone feels good about themselves around you, they feel good about you. So they have positive associations with you, so continue to come back to you. Um, and then if you do that in your marriage too, or you do that with your kids, if you find those areas to be grateful for Yep. That's a freaking power tool right there. That that's something that will transform your relationships. Yep. Um, it's an amazing thing. Um, you're, you're a fan of Severance. That was your favorite show of 2022, the show, the TV show
Adam Tarnow (45:36):
Severance. It was, have you watched it?
Joey Odom (45:38):
Oh, bro. That's, that show is so good. So I Good thought that the humor is weird and dark and spot on Quirky. Yeah. It's, they like, they're, you know, they're like, was it a waffle Celebrations or whatever. Yeah. They're, it's so good. That show. I love that show. It, it's, um, I saw that was on your favorite things of 2022 and, um, yes.
Adam Tarnow (45:58):
What I, I mean, I was, I, I don't know who told me about it, but then you watch one episode and it was, uh, okay, I'm in. Yeah. Could not wait to watch the next episodes. I say it's a mix between Lost Meets the Office. Maybe that's good. I don't know if that makes sense, but it's got a little bit of that spooky what's going on. Yeah. But then there's, but it's at work and just the premise. I know. And especially with what I do in leadership development, that premise lends a lot of great conversations. Yeah. On a long training day. If you just want a little break, like, okay, what would you get this procedure if you could? Where <laugh>, the work self didn't remember the home self and the home self didn't remember the work self. And it's, it's a fun conversation. That's
Joey Odom (46:40):
So funny. How do you think your boy in, in your transition over the last couple years, so your sons are 14 and 12, and so it's been three years, about two and a half years since you've made the transition. How do you think they're gonna look back and describe this time in their lives growing up? Gosh,
Adam Tarnow (46:55):
What a great question Joey. Um, I, I mean, we try to talk about it a little bit now and again, they're boys, number one, and they're 12 and 14, number two, so believe it. There's the words we get out of 'em. I think, I think they're encouraged by it and they would say, dad seems different and they don't mean that in a bad way. Yeah. I, that first, probably about the middle of 21, there were quite a few people that knew me well that were like, something different about you. Like, what is it? And I'm like, I don't, is it, I'm smiling. I think I'm smiling.
Joey Odom (47:28):
That's, it's, that's what this is. What is it? What is it called when you're, yeah. Your, this goes up cords your lips go up. Yeah.
Adam Tarnow (47:33):
Uh, yeah. So I think it's that. So I, I think there's that. I mean, obviously, uh, and it's just not fair to compare what I'm doing now to, I, I chose, yeah, I chose a financial, I knew that there was a financial decision to be on staff at a church. So obviously there's a little bit more breathing room that, that they can feel from that perspective that I know at 12 and 14 they like that. But yeah, what I, what I really want them to know if we, if we were to jump forward there, is I, I, I hope it's an example of courage for them because I'm limited in my ability to show courage to them because I hate being outside <laugh>. And so I never hunt. I, um,
Joey Odom (48:13):
God, you were, you were talking to a kindred spirit right now. Go
Adam Tarnow (48:16):
On. So it's like I, uh, I don't lift a lot of weights. I don't go out and hunt. I'm probably never gonna buy a Jeep. I don't want to camp. I don't know how to whittle anything <laugh>. So how can I show them any ability to be courageous? And so hopefully this, this mental courage or some of this financial courage, I guess the financial risk that we took, uh, hopefully it's just an example for them to go Okay, that that's a, that's a way to live. That, that I hope, I hope they're seeing that
Joey Odom (48:45):
It's such a, what, what an amazing thing to teach them is that people get stuck in this. Like, oh no, this is what I, well, I'm, you know, so you said you're 47, so you're about 44 at the time. Like, well, that's, you know, we're here we are. But no saying like, no, you can pivot. Did that pivot? What a great thing for them to see. I'm, I'm excited for them as they continue to just see what is possible. Yeah. And, um, that's neat. I think that's, I
Adam Tarnow (49:06):
Think that's cool. It's fun. That's fun. I appreciate you asking that. That's a good question. Yeah. And it'll be fun tonight, uh, when I have dinner with them. Yeah. Just even at go, Hey, I was asked this today. What do you guys think? Yeah. So that's a, that's a really great question. I appreciate that.
Joey Odom (49:17):
Um, what is, what are some ways in, in the last couple of years, just from, from a marriage perspective, what are some things you and your wife have done to, to make sure you, you stay on the same page, that you are aligned, that you, um, stay current with each other and you're not kind of two ships passing in the night?
Adam Tarnow (49:34):
Yeah. Uh, really, I, it is the face-to-face conversation, um, that it's just, that has to happen for us. If it doesn't, then that's when we do start to get a little cranky. And so, I mean, it, there's nothing magical about it. I mean, a lot of times, especially when the kids, well, the, the strangest thing for me about having or not the strangers, one of the strangest things about having older kids is, is the night is gone. That cuz the kids are up. Yeah, totally. I mean, there's many times I'm going to bed before them, so that's strange because now it's all family time at night, where before you get 'em down at seven 30 and then Jackie and I could hang out and talk and, and then we could kind of have another little, another night, you know, right after they would go to bed.
So now a lot of the face-to-face conversations can happen during the day. And it may be just a phone call where we're talking for 30 minutes during the day and that kind of stuff, but we've just gotta be talking. Yeah. I, I don't know how else to say it. What's going on? What are some things you were thinking about, all that kind of stuff. We've never been, what are you learning in God's word, right? <laugh>? What what are you teaching? I mean, we ask that sometimes, but I'm, I'm telling you it, it's, I'm almost embarrassed how little we talk about that. Obviously if one of us is going through an emotional season or situation, we certainly go deep and talk about that stuff. Yeah. But, but I would say, you know, Andy Stanley said years ago about the, uh, the small consistent deposits of time. Yeah. And I would say if that was, if there was a quick way to say the strategy that I feel like Jackie and I try to implement in our marriage, it's small, consistent deposits of time and, uh, that seemed to have worked really well for us.
Joey Odom (51:09):
I love that. That's really, really good. Yeah, it is. It's, it's a volume game and it's a compounded game. Yeah. Just enough over time. Um, you host two podcasts, um, Betterman and How to Lead. Uh, we tell us a little bit about both of those.
Adam Tarnow (51:21):
Yeah. Betterman's a, uh, a ministry that was started by Robert Lewis a few years ago, they are creating some phenomenal curriculum for men and, uh, men that are considering faith or men that are following Jesus. Uh, regardless of where you are in the faith, the faith journey, uh, you'll find a lot out of that. Robert Lewis started that ministry really decades ago that, that's kind of his mark is the way he was pouring in to men. So they've got a curriculum that they run through local churches. So the curriculum and all that stuff is essentially free to churches to bring it into their churches, to gather men. So, uh, this, they probably wouldn't like me saying it this way, but if you think about it as a men's ministry in a box almost. Yeah. And, and again, that's a very oversimplified way of saying it, but if you're at a local church and the thought of starting a a men's ministry feels a little daunting, well, better man.
It's kind of all right there for you. And all you gotta do is just gather some guys, and there's some videos you can watch and, um, things, little books that you can download and notes that you can take and all that kinda stuff. They're just facilitating conversations on really important things about manhood. So, uh, so their podcast, we do things like this. You've been on the podcast, right? Yeah. You and Heath were on the podcast. We just talk about, uh, issues that are, that hopefully are relevant to men and then how to lead is with, uh, again, one of our friends, uh, clay Scroggins. Yeah. We, um, we just get together and riff on some different things that we're thinking about and seeing out there on the leadership journey. We try to do that really, really short. We try to do, you know, 15 to 20 minute episodes. Yeah. And, um, and so those
Joey Odom (52:51):
Are fun. A of fun, fun. I mean, that that's, yeah. That's, that's, those are a lot of fun for sure.
Adam Tarnow (52:56):
He's a character and is worth listening to. Uh, you'll tolerate me just listening to his little quips and the way he talks and all that he does and his insights. It's just like, I don't know how a guy can be so funny and goofy and so insightful at the same time, so I know it,
Joey Odom (53:11):
It's amazing. That's great. Yep. Um, so we, I I actually have two questions. One, I prepped you for one, I didn't. Yeah. Here's the one I didn't prep you for. What are, what are with your boys, what's a, what's a movie you guys, what's a, a movie maybe you've introduced them to now that getting a little bit into adolescence, um, a little bit more, a little bit more mature. What's a, uh, what's a movie you guys have watched recently or in the last year or so that that's been fun?
Adam Tarnow (53:33):
Yeah, that's a great question. So the movies that, like one that we talk about a lot, and man, this isn't recent though, so I feel like I'm cheating would be Hoosiers. We talk about Hoosiers a lot. So good. That movie and it still works, man, that movie still works. So we talk about that. We all as a family, really like the Top Gun maverick this summer. Yeah. So that's one that we've talked about. Maybe one of my proudest moments as a dad though is my 12 year old and my 14 year old starting to get into it, but my 12 year old would watch Seinfeld every single day and, and Joey, and you'll appreciate this, he doesn't just laugh, he, he, he is learning how to bring those jokes into his real life. Oh man. And that blesses me to watch, to watch him do that.
Joey Odom (54:13):
Oh boy. So he's one to watch that he's one to keep an eye up. He can appreciate that. That's so good.
Adam Tarnow (54:17):
Yeah. So we, we watch a lot of Seinfeld. Uh, you we skip around. Yeah. Obviously it's great on Netflix, you just skip around. Yeah. Uh, I'll think of an episode and be like, oh, we need to watch the one about the bike. When Newman said to cut it in half, that was great cuz he is got this poster of butter. We stopped, we stopped it on in Newman's apartment for about three minutes and we're just like, Josh, just look at all that stuff and all the ridiculous stuff in Newman's apartment. He was rolling. It was so
Joey Odom (54:42):
Good. Oh my gosh. So good. And great call on Hoosiers by the way. That's, that's a top fiber for me. It's a great
Adam Tarnow (54:47):
One for sure. Which one for your family do you all have seen recently?
Joey Odom (54:50):
Oh gosh, there's, man, I didn't expect the, uh, the turnaround. My son and I have his love language is watching movies. I know they say there are five, there's a sixth one, which is watching movies. And we we're going through, we put, we put a list of like 300 movies together and it spans, you know, it spans of ones that we wanna watch together. We watched one one that just comes to mind. I love the movie Spy Game. I don't know if you remember that. Oh yeah. Robert Redford and Brad Pitt. We watched that one the other day. That's a great one. Um, and there, there's some more we gotta, we're gonna keep working through. I haven't gotten them to, there's still some that are a little bit off in the distance. Yeah. That probably, you know, 18 plus a little more the, uh, more the the lowbrow comedies. But um, but that's been super fun to do that. Yes.
Adam Tarnow (55:33):
He was at a buddy's house recently and they went a sleepover and they texted and they were like, can the boys watch Dumb and Dumber the 14 year old? Can they watch Dumb and Dumber? And I was like, I mean, I wanna be there for that first experience, but of course he can watch Dumb and Dumber <laugh>. That's a good one. There's yeah, some of those low brow comedies. Yeah, there's a few of those that are coming up. Yeah. Probably not the 14 year old. We're not watching Apocalypse Now. Yeah. Not quite ready get anything like that. We're not ready for that one yet. <laugh>
Joey Odom (56:01):
Uh, so we, we hear the ARO podcast is all about, um, conversations with people who strive to live intentionally. So what, what is the, what does that word, what does intentionality mean to you?
Adam Tarnow (56:11):
That was, and I'm glad you gave me a heads up on that because
Joey Odom (56:14):
Yeah, no, we'd have been in trouble.
Adam Tarnow (56:15):
I, it's like, I, so basically I started trying to answer that and I felt like I was in a journal. It was, I don't know how to answer this. So I'm gonna write down a bunch of things and hopefully I'll just find a point, uh, in all of this. But it's gotta be, my answer has to be somewhere in some of the stuff that we've been talking about. Yeah. And maybe that second point that I referenced on what it takes in the valley that, that I of control, uh, shifting from that victim mentality to that sense of personal agency and taking responsibility there. If I think about where I've seasons of my life, where I've lived intentionally and then seasons of my life where I wasn't, yeah. I really think those seasons where I wasn't, I had just given up. There was a sense of I'm a victim, I've got all this stuff around me.
Oh Lord, come help me because I can't do anything. You know, and, and yeah, reading the psalms all good, like all good. Sure. Great stuff. Incredibly important. But there was always something that I could be doing. Yeah. There, there was always something. And, uh, and if, if I, if I was gonna mar say if, if I've been living a season of intentionality, I think it's really just searching for those things that are within my control. Yeah. And just staying focused on those and not worrying too much about the things I don't control. And just keep that list laser focused on, okay, what do I control right now? Yeah. And that's everything from, you know, so what do I control with my, with my wife? I want a great marriage. That's a, that's a strong desire. I want a great marriage, but I don't control her.
Yeah. And so what can I do? I can initiate, I can share, I can be vulnerable, I can confess when I have wronged her. Those are, those are things 100% in my control. And so I need to do those things. I want a great relationship with my kids. I don't control them. What can I do? I can initiate, I can ask them to go play golf. I can go play sports with them. I can go watch 'em, I can try to engage in conversations. That's all I can do. Yeah. And, and that, that to me, I think right now would be my answer on what it means to live intentionally would be just staying laser focused on what I control.
Joey Odom (58:14):
That would be a game changer for all of us. If we just, it would just focus on that. Don't worry about the other stuff. Just what we can control. And then I bet you a lot of things that we couldn't control previously would then become then come in within our control. That's
Adam Tarnow (58:27):
That's a, yeah. It starts coming over over and you're going, all right. Yeah. That's what I was looking for. Yeah. And, uh, yeah.
Joey Odom (58:32):
Um, Adam, people will wanna go to your website. I, you said earlier you don't need to buy the edge. I would, I actually, um, I'm gonna disagree with you there and say people do need to go buy the edge. It really is good. It's very, very practical. It's um, it's probably an annual read. It's one of those where you, it's just good reminders you need to have. So please do people listening, go by the edge. How else can people go connect with you? Um, the work they find
Adam Tarnow (58:58):
You? Yeah, yeah. Adam tarno.com. T A R N O w. Um, but I did buy t a r nno.com as well, cuz it's often dispelled. So, uh, it'll still get you there smart. But, uh, yeah, adam tarno.com and you'll see things there where you can sign up for an email newsletter, connect on LinkedIn by the book, all that kind of stuff. But, uh, or you can just reach out to me straight through the website. But, uh, this has been awesome. You have been so kind, phenomenal questions. And maybe it's just because I know how hard it is to host, but Joey, you're phenomenal at this. Oh, you're
Joey Odom (59:25):
Adam Tarnow (59:25):
Too. Nice. And so this was a great conversation. Our hour flew by. So, uh, thanks for inviting me on. This was really
Joey Odom (59:31):
Fun. Yeah, man, thank you very, very much. Thank you for being generous with your time, your wisdom. Um, had a ton of fun. So thank you Adam. You too. Everybody go check out adam tarno.com. I wanna leave you with one thing that Adam Tarnow said, which by the way, isn't that guy great? He's just, he's a good mix of everything. He's funny, he is insightful, he's lighthearted, he's real, he's vulnerable. Love talking with Adam Tarnow. But he said one thing that I love and he said, it is possible to thrive in the Valley. So if any of us feel like you're in the valley, it's actually possible to thrive in the Valley. I'd encourage you to go check out more from Adam Tarnow, adamtarnow.com. Go by the edge. It's so good, so practical. And I wanna thank Adam again for joining us today on The Aro Podcast. Thank you for joining us. 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.