Mindset is Everything, with Tom ShortSep 20, 2021
Ray is joined by Chief Growth Officer Tom Short to discuss why MINDSET IS EVERYTHING in sales, leadership, and in life. Tom breaks down for us the difference between top performers and elite performers, why gratitude is the key to mindset, how to avoid common mindset mistakes, tools for navigating self-doubt, and much more.
Why mindset is everything
The difference between top performers and elite performers
How to stay active and hungry without burning out
Complacency vs contentment
Why gratitude is the key to mindset
Simple habits for improved focus
Ingesting vs digesting information
Where to start with mindset work
Anticipating self-doubt, and tools for navigating it
Deliberate practice–how elite performers become elite
Exploring why executives fail to invest in mindset training for their team
Learning from the best of the best–excellence leaves clues
The "have to vs get to" mindset shift
And other topics...
It Takes What It Takes by Trevor Moaward
Atomic Habits by James Clear
Peak: Secrets From the New Science of Expertise by Anders Ericsson
Love and Logic: Practical Parenting by Jim Fay & Charles Fay
Kevin “KD” Dorsey’s Podcast
The Social Dilemma Documentary
Lennox Hill Documentary
Justin Welsh on LinkedIn
Marcus Chan on LinkedIn
RJG: Welcome to the show, Tom.
Tom Short: Thank you for having me, right.
RJG: They act glad to have you. I'm really excited about this show, you know this, but for the listeners, I first heard you on Katie's podcast, and I thought it was a phenomenal podcast, it was, one of my favorite episodes of his, and I said, man, I've got to get him on the show, even selfishly, just to pick your brain and listened to you talk.
Tom Short: Yeah, I appreciate it. Happy to be here. That was a fun episode, and I have no doubt. We'll have a great combo today.
RJG: Yeah, I sure hope so. Your specialty, your focus is mindset. I mean you have a lot of talents, but you, even on your LinkedIn, it's mindset is everything and that's kind of the place that I want to start on mindset, and maybe just set like a little foundation for the listeners.
When you talk about mindset or what is that? What's included in that from your perspective?
Tom Short: Yeah for me, right. Mindset is everything because how we think determines everything a lot of times, people will look at the consequences or the results of something, and then they just tie it back to, well, my behaviors were this, or my actions were this, but you got to go even a step behind that.
Everything starts with your thoughts and one of the greatest things I've heard about it, really starts with the voice to Trevor Moab, he had a book that came out last year, it takes what it takes and he leads a lot of the sessions often. He says, Raise your hand if you talk to yourself and usually, 30% of the room raises the head and he's well, the other 70% of you just said to yourself, I don't talk to myself.
So mindset to me is really understanding, that our thoughts and they can't be changed, will determine everything good and bad. What we focus on those are the things that will materialize in our lives.
RJG: I love that, and so when we're talking about mindset, I think you already said this, so you can change your thoughts.
You can change the way that you think and, this may push us into the growth mindset and fixed mindset, but how much can you change? What you think or what is that? How does that play into the to the growth mindset to you?
Tom Short: So to me, the short answer is everything to your question of how much can you change?
Because when we're born, we don't have any beliefs, right? Like we don't have any beliefs were just born and we've got either parents or authority figures in our lives and so as we get older because there, we were talking earlier, we have our kids like, we're telling them and kind of molding them off we're putting our beliefs on them.
And so we started kind of pick up there with like our parents and our authority figures in our lives, maybe it's a coach, maybe it's a teacher, whoever that may be and so that kind of starts our foundational belief and then our environment, we just kind of adapt to what our environment is. But at any given time you can change how you think we're not born with any belief.
And because we're not born with any beliefs, we can change any belief that we have because we are encountering those as we get older and encounter new experiences.
RJG: Huh. That's really interesting, does that mean, I guess in some ways, if does it get harder, the older you get, because of the biases, like the over time, you kind of reinforced this thing and you do talk to yourself and you have these beliefs.
So does that mean as a kid? You're, it's a blank slate, but I'm 40 now. Is it just way harder for me with the biases that I have in place?
Tom Short: So most of the signs I've seen says that by age 35, like 95% of our brain is formed as wired, but it just means it's going to take a little extra work to change that because our brain is very, there's a term neuro-plasticity like our brains can be changed.
There's a lot of books and research out there it's still in its infancy, not to go down the science hole, but, yeah, our brains can certainly, change. It's certainly harder as we get older because we kept, we become stuck in our ways or, Hey, that's the way I've always done it. Right, so it does take some conscious thinking of, okay, I want to get better.
It starts first with the decision, and then there are ways that we can change it by changing our thoughts.
RJG: Hmm. One of the things that's fascinated with mindset is, so you have the potential to change things, but the hard part sometimes is getting an objective. But assessment, like objective starting point on what needs to change.
And I guess maybe this is kind of going back to the biases part, but if I'm, how do you start? How do you get the baseline? How do you get the foundation to know where you're starting and what to change? Or how much potential you have and good stuff?
Tom Short: Kind of back to the belief, right?
If we decide, I think any change just starts with a decision, right? So if you and I are talking about something and I say, Ray, I'm going to decide that I'm going to do X, that's the starting point, that's all you need, is that starting point the catalyst?
RJG: So the thing about mindset and changing things, and we find this in work, right? Like you go into organizations and one of the hard parts and knowing as an organization, what needs to change is the fact that you're kind of in the weeds.
So you're seeing the forest through the trees. So we have some biases about ourselves, how do you get a baseline or starting point on the areas of most impact on what to change in your own mind or your own mindset?
Tom Short: I think back to it. Ways that I've done it in sometimes it might be from [00:05:00] pain, right? Cause pain sometimes is the reason that we change something. So maybe we're experiencing some sort of pain, doesn't have to be a traumatic experience, maybe it is. Sometimes you've heard, probably heard the saying, I just got tired of being tired.
I just wanted something different, sometimes you might not be ready as an individual because you had mentioned like being objective with ourselves. I think it's really hard as humans to be objective with ourselves. I can give you the best advice in the world, Ray, and then turn around and I'm like, no, I'm not going to do that.
Or I'm going to make excuses for this. So it's just understanding first, like making that decision. It just starts with a decision. I think sometimes, especially with mindset, people try to over-complicate it and, it's not the best definition I heard it's not a defensive, like, Hey yeah, have this mindset to use as like a defensive mechanism as a barrier, use your mindset as a weapon.
It can be an offensive weapon that you can use in anything, whether it's business, whether I saw it firsthand, in sports and officiating but, it can totally be that differentiator from you. I don't know if you're familiar with Dr. Michaels or bay, he has said, if you take three things and he's kind of related with athletes, there's the body, the craft, and the mind, right?
So if I worked with the officiated, the men's Olympic team in 2012, 2016, and so you take those athletes. The 2012 team was phenomenal, you look at their bodies and, Ray, they're all built like you and I. They're like Greek gods, right. And then you take their craft and that's where you start to see a little separation, right?
Kobe was the one that just took it to the nth degree every time. So you start to see some separation in craft, but then the third piece, and this was really kind of like the light bulb for me is like, your mindset is the one thing that is the most untapped, but can also provide the biggest separation, not only from your competition but your old self.
And so to me, it's understanding that and just having that awareness and then tapping into that, it's like, anything else, right. You start with, okay. I remember my mindset journey and, it's like, okay, I gotta tap into this and, you just start reading and, you find out, who's been there, who's done it.
And then you just start getting better and, you find things to tweak it. We can certainly go into some of those, but, things like meditation to help with focus and then visualization and the self-awareness and clarity around being present in the moment can certainly help in all aspects of not only sports, but obviously business as well.
RJG: Right, and how so when you're working with Olympic level, I mean, this is the best of the absolute best in the world. How big is the Delta? So say there's, like say Kobe's out on one, one end as like all-star in terms of mindset and athleticism and then, but they're all Olympic-level athletes.
Is there still a pretty big gap on the people that are practicing actively practicing mindset routines or evolving, or is everybody on the team at that point, basically in the game?
Tom Short: Oh, so two things, one at that level, that was my first experience that even at that top level, there's another level, right?
Like there's even when you get to the Olympic team, there's still another level that I had no idea. I just figured, okay. These 12 guys are on the Olympic team, those are the best of the best. I think that's what makes elite performers elite is because they will never consider themselves elite because that they were an expert because they know that there's never really a true expert because they're always back to that growth mindset.
They're always looking for that next level, and it's a competition internally, not competing with the guys around you sure, they use that because of, maybe ego or whatever, but it's that internal competition of getting better from the day before. And then the second point there is, it's always harder to stay there than it is to get there.
And I can attest to that, from officiating as well as there's a lot of guys that get into division one, it's a lot harder to stay there for years and years and, think about sales too, like everybody, could have a good year, but are you being consistent? Are you there constantly having those whatever.
Good is in your definition or success, but are you consistently doing it? That's the separation. So the Delta is really big, especially at the olympic level.
RJG: That's fascinating to think about when you say the it's a harder to stay there. There it is to get there reminds me of a quote we used to use on with one of the sales teams, it was an Andy Grove quote, success leads to complacency, complacency leads to failure, only the paranoid survive.
And when you hear it, you think, oh gosh, I don't know if I want to be in that state of mind all the time, like an absolute paranoia, but it does kind of speak to what you're saying, the effort to get there, but then that success can kind of plateau, right. How do you balance finding some level of being content with an obsession to always get better?
Tom Short: That's a great question, to me it's having this gratitude for what you've accomplished in gratitude for what can come, but also back to the point of the success that you've reached, knowing that if you are true, James clear talks about this in atomic habits, if you're truly only competing against yourself yesterday, there's never going to be a bar.
And I'm not going to be very clear, I'm not advocating like grinding it all out and running yourself into the ground because that's another thing I realized with elite performers is rest and recovery is a big part of it, sleep is a big part of it, it's not about, stayed up 20 hours a day and red bull at everything.
Like that's a thing of the past now there's things like whoop and everything else that helps in the rest and recovery, but it's being, happy and grateful for what you've achieved, but knowing that complacency's not there, because if you're always trying to get better than you were yesterday, then there's never going to be a ceiling to where you can go.
RJG: Yeah. I've had some discussions with people recently about complacency versus content, complacencies, that ought to be doing something you know, better and then content is finding a place to be satisfied with what you have, I guess it speaks a little bit to the gratitude practice that you mentioned, is gratitude a part of, do you consider that? Is that a part of mindset?
Tom Short: Absolutely. Science has proven that we can't physically, there's no such thing as multitasking, right? This is like a top short belief. Our minds can't think about, two things at once, I don't know if you play golfer or you're a golfer, but if you walk up to the tee and you've got water on the right and woods on the left and, I'm like, don't hit it in the water during the water.
That's all I'm thinking about, right. And the same goes, if I'm starting my day from a place of gratitude, I can't help, but be in that sense of I'm grateful for every, and you can find gratitude in everything, right? Like we've got a roof over our head, we've got opportunity.
You can find gratitude in anything. And so incorporating that routine into my, that practice into my morning routine, I think is really what took it to the next level.
RJG: It's funny, you mentioned it's the gratitude. It really is a choice and I think it was actually in a podcast, I heard you on, you mentioned the Tony Robbins, like the hour of power walk, I think.
Like intentionally cultivating some gratitude and it's a habit, it's a practice to a degree. And I know that I'm literally looking at an ocean and, there are so many things that I can be grateful for. But sometimes I find myself in a slump and, I'm pissy and, I have to remind myself, wait a second, Like, this is a choice, to be grateful, you can find it in anything and, you can also be anywhere and forget about it too, to a degree I imagine, right?
Tom Short: Absolutely. You hit the nail on the head, it's that conscious decision of looking at a situation, and do you see it as an obstacle or did you see this as a lesson of like, okay, I'm going to use this to be grateful that I have the opportunity to learn and get better and it goes back to the growth mindset.
Like you could see something as a problem and say, okay, that's it, I'm done, or you can say, you know what, there might be a better way to do this, I don't know if there is, but I'm going to express gratitude, make that a daily habit and it takes time to build up the habit. I know I've mentioned before, it's anywhere from, I think 56, 57 days all the way up to like 250.
So it's not going to happen overnight, but it does take little reminders for me. It's sitting my journal out on the desk before, then at night, before the morning. So I don't have to consciously think about, oh, I need to go get my journal. I know what's right there, and everyone has five minutes to write down some things that you're grateful for.
So just having, building up those cues, right? So that when you walk into your office for your morning routine or whatever it is, you just get in that mindset of, okay, today, I'm going to be grateful for something.
RJG: So you said something earlier and I really want to hit on this because you talked about the multitasking and I'm a hundred percent behind you.
And I know the science validates that, but I will tell you, like, I'll be honest, I still have a bad habit of, well, I could probably multitask this one thing and, it leads to a, like I'll be doing something and, I'll be on a call and here, let me check my LinkedIn messenger real quick.
Well, that turns into seeing the notification and, that turns into like the vortex that ensues. But I do it, I do it often enough that it can actually get frustrating and, so I've said in 2021, I want to improve focus, I want to get better at being focused. Cause I think it's to some degrees. It's a bad habit of trying to multitask.
So, if you were me and you want to do improve that part of your mindset, I want to get better at focus over time, are there some resources or some routines or some practices that someone can go through to try to improve in that space?
Tom Short: Yeah, so I'll go a couple of different ways, but that one thing that I started doing and it was influenced by the documentary on Netflix, social dilemma.
So I have now outside of my alarm system at my house, I have all notifications turned off on my phone, text messages, email. I know that's probably like people you're in sales, how do you have email notification? Have it turned off? I'm not a fireman, I'm not putting out fires or saving anyone's life, nothing is that urgent that needs to be solved right away. And a big part of it, yeah. I think it sounds so simple race, people are like, no, that there's no way that can help. I can say unequivocally, spending the first two hours without looking at a screen in the morning has helped my focus more than anything else.
And I'll repeat that spending the first two hours without looking at a screen has helped my focus because what is that doing? That's setting me up that any interaction, I have throughout the day, I will respond, not react, right? Cause what happens? We pick up our phone in the morning to your point, we look at NEF, LinkedIn, we look at an email, maybe it's from a client or a colleague and something happened and now like the world's on fire, is that really going to get solved at six or seven 15?
Like it, can wait, and so those two things, and then I would say the third thing that has really helped is installing a meditation practice. I've now do it two times a day. But just letting that become part of my routine and that just really helps in getting grounded in the clarity and focus in and look we're human beings.
Right? There's gotta be times when I lose focus. I find myself because I've started to make small incremental changes. I'm able to have the self-awareness to understand when I'm starting to go down a rabbit hole. So maybe it's set up a 30 or 40 minute rabbit hole maybe, it's a three or four minute rabbit hole.
RJG: Yeah, it's a year, right? It's cause when you're aware of it, you can catch yourself and, you thump yourself on the hand and go okay, back to it, which is, I guess in many respects, or at least that's how meditation works for me too. I use like calm and, I've used Headspace in the past and, they remind you, if you're your brains it's going to start floating away, it's natural. Just catch yourself, come back, and don't beat yourself up, kind of move on. Do you use an app or, what's your meditation of choice?
Tom Short: Yeah. So I used calm and Headspace a couple of years ago when I was traveling and, then I got introduced to a technique called Ziva meditation, Z I V A.
So it's a 15-day it's online. It's a 15-day course and she gradually leads you up to the full, 20, 25-minute meditation, and the whole thought is that she's leading you on this journey so that you don't need anything. So that's my morning meditation and, then in the afternoon, I'll do 10 minutes of box breathing or just 15 minutes, maybe of like condensed.
Ziva meditation or, I still do use, I love to call them sleep stories at night. I don't know if you've checked any of those out. I love those at night, but then also, I'll do like the daily calm may be in the afternoon if I just want like a guided one, I really liked the, I don't know if you've ever done the walking meditation on-call map.
That's really good. Cool.
Really, really cool.
RJG: It's cool that you mentioned that. Cause I just started it, not two weeks ago and, I was actually gonna say this because it's been part of one thing I have found that helps is. Not so it's not necessarily putting down my phone for the two hours. And I do want to ask you about that though, but it's not picking up my phone before I determine what I want to do that day or what I need to get done that day.
And so, cause if I have found, if I pick up my phone, if I look at a sauna or if I look at my inbox or if I look at, if there are 14 million things that other people need me to do today, and what happens is I start checking those boxes off. I feel very active, but you get to the end of the day and, you're like, what didn't do shit.
So I've, I've started going for an hour walk in the morning and I used to bike, but go going for an hour walk during the first 10 minutes with calm and thinking on the rest of the world. Okay, what do I actually need to do today? What needs to get done? And I always come back with two or three or four really important things and, everything else is just let it burn.
If I don't get to some of the activity driving, sorry, but I, these were the important things that I determined with kind of clear Headspace and, that's been really important for me at least. So you don't pick up your phone for a couple of hours. What are you doing during that?
Is there something else that you replace it within terms of practice or routine?
Tom Short: Just play an Xbox.
So, it's gotten to the point now where I don't even. I need an alarm clock. I don't know if that's good or bad. It's just like my body knows, like regardless of, and I go to bed fairly early, probably a little earlier than my wife would like, so first 20, 25 minutes is meditation. Then it's, I like to spend an hour and just personal reading.
So whatever, grab a cup of coffee and just get in a book that I am going to enjoy, whatever, that book is that week. Then it's an exercise for 30, 45 minutes. And then by that time, I've usually in the journaling, it's about five minutes in there too.
And that usually gets you to about two hours. Now there's some mornings I'll stretch out the reading or maybe the exercise we'll go a little bit longer, but that's a pretty consistent, and I say that with a cat, like. Two or three years in the making this wasn't. Hey, I'm going to do a morning routine tomorrow and let's do it for two hours.
You won't make it because you'll get frustrated cause you can't get through, 10 minutes.
RJG: Right? You mentioned the box breathing too. And in the book, do you have a on your book routine? Is that usually a learning book? Is it just enjoyable stuff or, is it deliberate?
Is it so is this, what do you go to?
Tom Short: Yeah, so great question because before it really wasn't intentional and this year I've made a point. My goal is a book a week and, I've maintaining that, but it's two things with that I'm incorporating. So the first three weeks of the month, The book is going to be on the topic of either psychology, neuroscience, something in that realm of just how the brain works and all that kind of stuff.
And then the last week I'm rotating between a fiction and a biography, either autobiography or biography on a leader, someone like that. But I've actually mapped out all 52 weeks of books for this upcoming year. Nice.
RJG: Yeah. Actually, book a week has been my routine and I've for some number of months, I've cut back a little bit and it's actually, there were a couple of posts, on LinkedIn one was from Justin Welsh. One was from Marcus channel within like a week that highlighted the difference between ingesting information and digesting it. And I think I was jamming so much into my mind at a time that I wasn't necessarily given myself the time to really digest it and let it sit.
Do you run the risk of that if you try to get too aggressive either with practicing mindset or just, books, reading, learning, any of that?
Tom Short: So I was in that camp of before, I would say probably six months ago of like, I'm just going to read as many books as I can, because it's like a badge of honor.
And then I was like, am I really any better? If I'm just reading than someone that doesn't read, like if I'm not applying it, so I've now I've got a conscious journal of just the books I read and I'm taking roughly a page of notes, but what's one thing I can apply in my life from each book.
Right? Like, what's one thing I can move forward, and so that's a task. I'm not picking up another book, until I do that one-page kind of summary or just what spoke to me, what resonated, but also what's the applicable thing so that I can go out and do something with it to your point of, are you ingesting it?
Are you digesting it? So that's a big thing that I challenged myself, so what you're reading book a book a week, that doesn't mean anything. What are you doing with that information? How is it going to help you when you interact with somebody else or, you're in a conversation or you're in a situation?
Are you putting that to work? Are you just reading books to put up on the shelf?
RJG: Hey, but I got a real lot of really cool badges from audible.
Tom Short: Yeah, burn harder.
RJG: You mentioned it's taken two or three years to build up this routine and that's where you're practicing your craft of mindset, right? So you're kind of like compounding results at this point. And in recent, I was introduced to something called gates is law.
Like bill gates is law where you, people tend to overestimate what they can accomplish in one year and dramatically underestimate what they can accomplish in five or 10 years.
So it kind of explains why it's easy to get started on with these really aggressive goals. But like you said if you try to go from seven 30 in the morning to four and completely change it, so where did you start or where do you recommend somebody start?
If they want to, whether it's a morning routine, and evening routine or just improving mindset in general, where would they start?
Tom Short: So maybe I'll start with the routine part first, whatever you think should you should start with decrease that by probably 50% to 75% and start there, I mean, Ray, if you've never had a morning routine, my suggestion is don't pick up your phone, go do like a LA, I don't know how big people's like neighborhoods are, but go do a lap or just go walk for 10 minutes without your phone.
Just do that, do that for a week and look, here's the thing too. If you miss, we both have young kids, sometimes mornings are hectic. It's okay, just think about Seinfeld's rules of success, like print out a wall calendar, if you complete your task, you write a red X and the goal is not to have more than two days without a red X.
Right, so just start super small. Just do a week of 10 minutes of walking, and then you've done that or maybe do that for two weeks then it's like, okay, well, I'm going to read five pages or whatever it is, start with something like the call nap, they have curated meditations for beginner and it's like a 10 minute and they're walking you through that.
And they're saying, Hey, no matter how long you do this, you're going to have random thoughts that pop in your head. That's not the point is not to have a clear mind is just to be able to tap into that. When you're in the meditation, knowing that how that whole process works, and so start so small that you almost think it's like laughable, right.
But that's going to compound and build. I had not heard that the gates law, but now I'll probably be in a rabbit hole, the rest of it afternoon,
uh, gates laws. And then I think your second question was how to build up a mindfulness routine. Meditation is certainly a part of it. The self-awareness be aware of how you talk to yourself, be aware of the thoughts you have. Meditation is certainly gonna help with that.
For me, being able to respond to situations and not react is a huge part of that. I feel like I sort of have an unfair advantage from officiating because I was kind of doing all this stuff so that when we threw the ball up for two hours, I needed to have a clear mind as clear as possible so that, you've got 10 or 15,000.
Idiot screaming at you, you've got two coaches over there that are screaming at you and you've got your own team to work in this dynamic environment. So I knew I had to figure it out or else I wasn't going to last very long because you've got to have that mental clarity and that strong mindset to be able to succeed and not just get there, but stay there.
RJG: I love that. And going back to the routine piece, I've heard you say in the past, don't let routines become a rut and sometimes maybe also hitting on the objectivity piece, it can be hard to differentiate between the two, when your routine starts to become a rut.
And I am a big believer in, I have a morning routine. But then, when I've heard you say that I've said, well, is that a rut, or is that a routine? Like, how do you differentiate? Or how do you recommend people assess that for themselves?
Tom Short: If you start, maybe I think a good signal or a great kind of catalyst is if you start having those conversations with yourself, maybe you don't feel like maybe you don't feel like you're growing. And I don't know if there's a set answer and not that I'm trying to escape, I don't know if you can say like, Hey, when you get to this point, it becomes a rut.
I think it goes back to the growth mindset. Understanding, for me it was okay, it was an hour of no phone and it was, I was getting pretty good at that, I'm like, okay, why can't I do 90 minutes? Or why can't I move this to two? So it's understanding where are there opportunities throughout your day, where you can change those things up.
And I think the biggest thing for me, I was just revisiting a book, Kobe's mama mentality book, and he was talking about, self-doubtand it never goes away, right? Regardless when you, whatever level you get to, and this kind of helped me with like routines too is like self-doubt.
Doesn't go away and, getting in ruts, doesn't go away. It's having the awareness to say, to have that internal dialogue and say, okay, maybe I do need to switch things up, not a big change, but maybe how can I get better? And it all goes back to, you're only gonna know how good Ray is. Like, I'm only gonna know how good Tom is.
Like, you're the only one that can answer. Are you performing? Are you hitting on all cylinders? And if not, what are some small tweaks that we can do? Not big things back to your comment about gates laws, you can do a lot in a year, right? There's a lot of progress that can be made in a year, caught up in these grand, gestures and, it's like, no, just start so, so small that it's almost laughable that you'll look back and you'd be like, gosh, I was walking around the block for five minutes. That's how this whole thing started.
RJG: Right, either in your working with app athletes or sales teams or just in life, when you've seen somebody kind of get into that rut or that slump, or when you get into that slump, what are some good habits or practices that you've seen?
People just kind of break out? Like they acknowledge it. I know I'm in a slump. Let me shake it off, but that's, it's always easier, to say it than it is to actually do it. What are some of the ways that you've seen people done it or do it effectively, or that you've done it?
Tom Short: Well, first of all, we can't, whether it's a sales team or officiating, when you're dealing with a coach, we can't want something for someone more than they want it for themselves.
Like, I can't want you to get better and do something more ever, Ray doesn't want that for himself. So I think that's the first thing if we're a coach or whoever, leading a sales team, or even the CEO. You can motivate and you can inspire your team, but if they ultimately don't want it, like there's no motivation that like, that's why the motivation industry is so popular because they give you just a little hit of dopamine and then that wears off and then you come back, right.
You've got to want it for yourself. So that's the first thing. And then the second thing I would say is like coming up with those small cues that make the habit easier. So for me, with the journal, laying the journal out at night and Rob Charles Duhigg's book, power of habit talks about, if you're setting up a workout routine, like layout all your clothes the night before.
So that really, the only thing you have to do in the morning is just put the shoes on, and you'll put the workout clothes on. So just start really small to create those habits so that they can compound on each other because a lot of people think, well, I can't be that easy. That's what it really is just creating those really small cues and really small things that we can do because then they.
Just compounding on each other from there.
RJG: And you've said, in a way that I think that speaks to practicing mindset, I mean, just working with yourself and finding the best way to break out of a slump is as a matter of practice and you've said before, I love the deliberate practice.
Can you hit on this, the example of driving every day? What is deliberate practice and, can you go into that just for a second?
Tom Short: Yeah. So I originally came across this idea from Dr. Erickson, who was a psycho, cognitive psychologist down at Florida state.
And he wrote the book peak, and it's the science of expertise, and he talks about early on in the book, a lot of people say that the way to get better is just practice. His example is, if we're driving a car every day, that's something that we're doing everyday, but I'm not trying to get better at left-hand terms, or I'm not trying to get better at, accelerating from the stop sign.
His point is deliberate practice is taking something and one specific thing and saying, okay, I'm going to fail at this. I'm going to fix it, and then I'm going to figure out like how to improve it, and that's what it is, and he and his book, he essentially came up with two things of how elite performers, how they separate themselves.
And the first one, which I thought was fascinating. He said that recovery is paramount in anything that they do, and I think that's the one thing that the business world that we kind of just brush aside that that's like, I don't know if we're too good for it, or if it's just, we've never done it, but that's something that we just kind of brushed aside.
And he said, the second thing is they take hour long practice sessions and they're hyper-focused, but they never last more than an hour. Like they physically take a break, get away, now they might do a couple of those a day, and it, Kobe was notorious about having these. Two hour practice sessions, three or four times throughout the day.
So it's an hour focus and then implementing recovery. That's what deliberate practices. It's not just, Hey, I'm going to do this today, right? If you're in sales and you're just making calls, like that's not practice, you're not deliberately trying to get better at something you're taking, I always go back to the officiating world.
There was always something new or different in sales, but there's always something you can get better at. But if I was trying to get better at three or four things, you know, back to the multitasking, I wasn't getting better at anything. So what I would do for like a week of games now, no one else would know this unless you were an official, but I would hone in on one specific thing.
Maybe I'll give you an example. When I was the lead of the official on the baseline, I'm not gonna miss a travel in the post. Now the guy might get elbowed in the face and, I might miss that, but by gosh, I'm not gonna miss the travel, but that's the whole point of you're going to hone in on that one thing deliberately.
And then once I get that, okay, now I've got that, now that's an innate habit. Now let's find something else specific that I'm deliberately going to work on, and then just keep adding that in,
RJG: Using sticking with the sports. I mean some of this. So take Kobe, since we're talking about Kobe in the intentional deliberate practice and you know, the Netflix, I forgot the name of it, but with Michael Jordan too, you can see the fire, you can see the competitiveness, you can see the drive.
But some of that is guided by coaching too, and I just, I'm wondering, as you're talking about some of this, how what's the impact of a mind, you know, a mindset coach or having somebody help you through a deliberate plan? So you don't kind of fall into this trial and error, trial and error.
Is this the right thing? Am I doing it right? Am I measuring it right? What's the, are there some good tools or resources or coaches, like, how does that play into development?
Tom Short: Yeah, Dr. Erickson actually talked about that in his book as well, that elite performers realize they can't do it on their own, right?
You look at any professional musician or athlete like they all have at least two or three coaches, then you look at CEOs and, I think that's starting to become more prevalent in today's day and age where, whether it's sales coach or it's a business coach or a life coach, but Dr. Erickson was talking about in the book that, there's going to be a certain coach that can only take you so far.
And then you're just going to outgrow kind of their expertise, then you'll need another coach-specific for this. But I think also Tom Landry has got a great quote that, and I'm going to butcher it, right? But it's coaches help you see what you can't see to help you become what you have known.
You always can become it. And that's what I think coaches do because. We're not objective with ourselves right back to my earlier comment as humans. And so if a coach is invested in you, like there'll be able to be objective with you because they want you to become the best version of yourself, right?
So they're going to help you. They're not going to give you the answers. I think that's what a really good coach does is they're going to let you struggle. They're going to let you fail because that's going to teach you lessons, but they're going to, they're going to help in maybe inspire a little bit, but they're gonna say, Hey, look, here's the way now, how do we get there together?
Right? I'm only gonna guide you along this journey. You're gonna have to do the hard work. Let's be very clear about that. Coaches are not there to just take the reins and say, Hey Ray, we'll lay it up. You just kind of show up. No, no, no, no, no. I would say even more so with a coach, like that's when it's time to like, okay, The reason you have a coach is because they're helping guide you, but you still have to do all the hard work.
RJG: I read or, I heard recently that the head coach and his name's not coming to me of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made a comment about, well I'm basically just letting some Brady coach the team surely there's some truth to that. You know that I'm taking a back seat I'm checking my ego at the same time.
They're not paying you what they're paying you to watch Tom Rainey do it, right. But it has to be holistically and, that's the best coaching style that's going to maximize the result of that particular team and still guiding with wisdom and some, you know, mentorship, surely that's there. But probably a good example of, you know, the importance of checking your ego and coaching, right.
Tom Short: Yeah, I think it was Bruce Ariens that said that, right. It was this year. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, I think that just goes to the fact, it's not a one size fits all, if we're on the same team, like there's gonna be different expertise among us. So, you're going to treat everyone equal, but you might not treat everyone fair, right?
Or is it the other way round? You treat everyone fair but not equal. I think it's you treat everyone fair but not equal. So like, Tom's probably got a little longer rope just because of his experience and what he's done. And I think that comes to like, when you've got the results in, like your rope might be a little bit longer.
So it's really adapting and knowing that there's not a one size fits all approach with coaching and you've got to be, I think that would, that makes a good coach too, of like, okay, I can take the reins off a little bit, but hopefully he still has. I'm sure he does the respect within the locker room of like, okay.
At the end of the day, it's kind of like the parent child relationship, first and foremost the parent before I'm your friend. I can be your friend, but I'm going to be the parent first.
Tom Short: So, yeah, that's interesting for sure.
RJG: I'm on this, on the mindset. Just, generally speaking, you know, I think of things like gratitude and things like focus and concentration and deliberate practice and all the things that come with that, and it results in better performance. I mean, it's at least, I can speak to it from experience, I can speak to it from my teams, I'm sure you can quite a bit, but it still shocks me how few companies are invested in this or providing any resources or any guidance when it comes to their team.
Like they'll bring in coaches per se, but like your coaching specifically to the tactics and into the techniques, sometimes the strategy, but very rarely do you see organizations making substantial investments in improving the mindset of our employees and our team? I guess I would say, do you agree with that? And if so, why is that? Why is it not more.
Tom Short: Yeah, that's a great question, cause I was gonna ask you too, why do you think, let me first start off by saying, I don't know. I don't have the answer to that. It's mind-boggling to me once you understand the impact and implications it has, but why do you think that in the business world, it's not frowned upon.
It's still pretty look if you and I went out today and we asked 10, 10 people in business, like, Hey, I think the first question you had to be like, what is mindset or what is, when you hear the word mindset, what do you think? I'd probably say eight out of 10, maybe seven would be like something about yoga or like, they would probably just like go there like mindset or I've heard about that.
Or, I think there's some apps out there, you know what I mean? Like why do you think it is? So like the business world is definitely lagging the sports and the performers, like whether it's an artist or, musical performer or anything like why do you think it's so like, why is the business world lagging?
RJG: I think it's how I was hoping you'd have the silver bullet. I don't know. I think maybe some portion of that it's not tangible. It's hard to quantify. It's not, I think there actually are some immediate results, but the instant gratification nature of a lot of organizations oftentimes lends itself to making decisions and investments on things that are going to have a clear ROI by the end of the month or the end of the quarter, or are going to affect my annual bonus.
And so these things that most, most certainly do affect performance of teams. But it's hard to put that on a P and L. It's hard to make that a bonus of bowl type of deal. Yeah. And I think what surprises me is when you evaluate the top performers in the world at anything like I'm a big fan of Tim Ferris and I am blown away at how many people consistently, whether it's meditation or just general mindset, or, I mean, a lot of the themes that we're talking about today are incredibly common with the best of the best in virtually everything.
And because of that, it's still kind of surprises me, but I don't know the answer other than perhaps, tough to quantify the results and maybe some shortsightedness and maybe a stigma. Maybe when you say mindset, maybe that stigma of, oh, no, not meditation, but meditation it has a huge impact on somebody's performance and how they do their job. And in the state of mind that they're in. And I know a lot of our audience is sales, I mean, think about how much of sales is psychology. I don't know, what do you think?
Tom Short: Yeah, I think there's a couple of points that you mentioned that are very valid, but I would probably come back at somebody.
So the one is the short side of this, right. Is this going to give me something tomorrow or next week? And then I always say, okay, but what are you losing out on? Right? Like, there's this you're familiar with the term loss aversion. People would rather not lose $5 than make $5, right? Like that's just a human condition of loss aversion.
We'd rather hold onto our stuff and not lose something than gain something. So then, I always say, okay, I hear you. Maybe there's nothing that can come tomorrow, but how many deals are you losing out on? Or how many calls are not going the way that they should? Because you're not in the right mindset.
You're just picking up the phone or you're just walking in, It's a mate to your point, there was this documentary on Netflix, Lennox hill. If you're at a doctors, you might enjoy it. But the one thing that stood out to me was you've got these neurosurgeons that are going to perform these hour-long surgeries.
You know what they did with the whole staff in the operating room before they started, one of the doctors is spinning the chair and, he goes, all right, everyone closed, or he made everyone look at the chair, he said, we're going to look at this chair that's spinning. We're going to be right where our feet are.
And he's like, now we're going to close our eyes for 10 seconds or we're to think about this person and why we're here and what we're doing. And nothing else matters right now, and I'm like, just something as simple as that, but how cool is that, that he's bringing that practice, and look, they're doing way more important stuff than you and I are.
Let's be very clear about that. So yeah, I think the first part is the short side, and so the second part, you know, I go back to you're pointing, it's a very common thing that I hear. You can't measure it and I'm like, okay. Yeah, if you don't go in and lift a weight, you can't measure that either.
But by doing meditation and by being mindful of how you think before you do anything, how do you know you're not going to lose more? Why don't you measure that? Why don't you start a routine and measure that against what you were doing before? There's going to be your quantifiable results.
But I think a lot of it too, is the stigma and people are, I think human nature, our brains, Ray, we're always looking for the path of least resistance, right. So is there something I can bring in? Cause I think, I saw like the training industry is like a $20 billion industry. I'd almost venture to say like 19 of that is on BI tactics or scripts or motivational, like, Hey, what's something we can, rah for the team.
Right, but it's not really getting into like. Do you understand how the other person is thinking? Do you even understand how you're thinking? Right, do you understand that how you talk to yourself and why people do what they do? The last kind of comment I would make there somebody asked me a couple of months ago, they were like, Hey, what sales book would you recommend?
And I was like, I appreciate that question. Are you asking? I just wanted to know like, why are you asking that question? Well, I want to get better at sales, got it. I would never read another sales book with what, like go read about psychology, go read about neuroscience, go read about why humans make decision, understand the difference between emotion and logic, right?
There's no logical reason that anyone should go buy a Ferrari this afternoon and spend $250,000. But guess what? They're going to go buy one because it's an emotional experience, and then they're going to logically rationalize why they did it. It gets great gas mileage. It's really safe.
That's not why you're buying it, right. So how do you understand? That separating factor of like how people think and why they make decisions, go read about that stuff. We don't need the next like tactic and script if it races this, I'm going to say this.
RJG: Gosh, man, you hit on a lot there.
I think, one of the things that you said was, it reminded me of the we're getting to the root of the problem. I think as you were talking, I thought maybe another reason is most companies are trying to solve the fire they can see in the feel, and not necessarily looking for the arsonist or the root of the actual problem.
And so, you ended up firefighting all day or, you're chasing the symptoms, sales are down. Okay, well, let's bring in a sales trainer, let's get better tactics and techniques, and we might get a short-term bump, but what's going to keep that from sticking. Is going to be leadership, culture mindset, like the things that are below, below that, that fire.
And so I think that was one part of it and then the other thing that you said about the sales books and it might actually go back to our earlier conversation about the books and the challenge that I was having with ingesting so much information was that so much of it was tactical, and so a new book every week when you're in a leadership role, that can be dangerous, cause you're new tactics this time, new tactics this time.
And when you bought the book, the books that you choose to read if you're looking at psychology, you're talking about how to think, not necessarily what to do. So it allows you to be a little bit more consistent and, I think deeper to a certain degree.
Tom Short: Yeah. And I want to read about leaders that have done it, right?
Like success leaves clues. To your point, I love reading anything about someone who's an expert in their field. I don't care if you're the best violinist, the best pianist, the best lacrosse player, whatever I can take something. My favorite example of this and I'll ask you, we didn't talk about this.
If I said the name Anson Dorrance, do you know? And I might be butchering his last name. I think he still is the women's soccer coach at North Carolina. Go deep on this guy. He has one in his career, like 28 out of 36 national championships. So I heard about him and, Shit. If I can't learn something from that guy, like shame on me.
And so I went out and bought a couple of his books and one book was like half the book was like soccer tactics. And I just skimmed over that part. But the other part, the two things that stood out was he talks about the standard. He says, and if you have kids, this'll not to your audience.
If you have kids, this will make sense, and he said the biggest thing I see with coaches is that, they lower the standard and he said, here's an example. I don't know if it was a son or daughter, but if you tell them the standard is when you're done with dinner, the dish goes in the dishwasher.
If that's the standard and then one night you let the kid just get up from the table and go upstairs and you don't make him or her come down and put that back, you've immediately without saying anything have lowered the standard and they don't look at you in the same role. He says I never lower the standard. My practices are always going to be more intense and harder than any game you get into, then the second part was he talked about, I can never understand that I appreciated this when I was officiating, he could never understand why coaches during games yell. How many times do I have to tell you to do that?
And he's like that's on you, that's a practice thing if you have to say that during a game and it's yeah, three out of four days, I would hear a coach, like prominent coaches that you would know I'm not going to call any of them out here. Not that they're probably going to listen to this podcast, but would scream.
Like how many times have I told you? It's like, that's on you, that's a coaching, that's a leadership thing, that's not on your player. So back to my original point, like you can always learn if you're great or elite at what you do, I'm going to learn something from you.
RJG: When you talk about the standard, the common theme that I also see with coaches that are consistent with that is the gratitude that their best players have for them later.
Just like we do teachers, just like we do. I mean, the people that were kind of hard on us and pushed us a little bit more and helped us grow and helped us develop, you look back and go, gosh, thanks. And whether you're looking at it from a parenting standpoint or an employment standpoint, and it was funny when we, before we had our first kiddo, like a book nerd I dove into like, give me 20 different parenting books.
And there was one that stuck out to me. I don't even know if it was a book. It was like, love and logic or something. But the gist of it was that when you find yourself saying like, how many times do I have to say this? You have to remind yourself your kids don't care about your work they care about your actions.
You can manage a child. I think the applicability to any leadership role, for that matter and it speaks exactly to what you're saying. People are going to respond to the actions. Not, no matter how many times you say it till you're blue in the face, as we know as parents, like it's, that's not going to get at least not consistently not going to get you the results.
So I have one more thing that I definitely wanted you to hit on, and it's because it's had a huge effect on me and, I use it at least once a day from the first time that I heard you have to and get to. I have been able to turn, things that I was stressed out about and worried about or anxious about, like flip it.
And can you speak to that and just give a little bit of background for listeners too.
Tom Short: Yeah. So that was a big Schiffy. Take anything, if you're in sales, making calls, whatever it is, right. If you're a leader, if you have to have one-on-ones, it's going from, I have to do X in switching to, I get to do Y and, it might not sound like a big shift, but, I'll use making calls for an example, right?
The reality is you don't have to make calls. Now there might be repercussions a week, two weeks, three, couple months down the line, or whatever it is that you have to do. But when you switch to, I get to I'll use the calls, I get to start conversations because the reality is, that's what you're doing in sales, you're starting a conversation.
Everything is a conversation you're starting conversations, and so when you switch, I have to have to there's like this dread there's this. Like someone's forcing you to do it. Right, and I get to is a state of mind. It's a conscious decision that I don't have to do anything.
And that's the reality outside of taxes and dying. You don't have to do anything, but you get to do this, and when you can make that shift from, I have to do this too, I get to it completely changes your perspective, and to your point, you can do it with anything, right. I used to look at like, I have to do bedtime with my daughter.
And I was like, are you freaking kidding me? I get to spend 45 on interrupted minutes with her every single night outside of the normal playtime and, do you know many people. Who either can't have kids or whatever would love that option. I'm like shame on you, right. Like shame on you.
So everything, whether it's parenting, whether it's there's no more half too, I don't have to do anything. Cause that's the reality don't have to do anything. But when you start to switch your mindset to, I get to do this and insert whatever it is, you'll show up a little bit different.
RJG: You will.
And if anybody's doubting it, just try it. Like it works with anything, give it a shot. It's the self-talk and it really, it changes your perspective. Yeah, so I feel like I could certainly talk to you for hours about this. We may and have you back.
Tom Short: I will go down to Baja.
RJG: There you go. We'll do it in person. I tell people, that's why I come here, like clients. I say, well, I came here so you could do off-sites. That's, I'm doing it for you, you're welcome. But we're in the meantime, where can people find you?
Tom Short: Yeah. So you'd mentioned on LinkedIn, Tom short mindset is everything and then our website lap one eighty.com.
Come over there and check us out there.
RJG: Okay. Well, I'm really glad to have you on I'm looking forward to our next chat and, until then I'll let you run.
Tom Short: Thanks for, I appreciate it.
RJG: Thanks so much.
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