Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. On the podcast today, we have James Rosseau, Sr. James, welcome.
Thank you, Thomas, for having me. I appreciate it.
It is my pleasure. Would you like to take a moment and tell the audience a little bit about yourself and what you do?
Sure, sure. I’m the CEO of our organisation called the Cooling Solution. We focus on empowering people to reach their potential through learning and cultural development. Well, the conversation today is going to be around the power of purpose. You have to talk about that. Yeah, absolutely. What does it mean to you? The power of purpose? Well, I think, you know, I really believe we’re all purposed to do something, right? I think we’re all given unique gifts and talents and those things are like super powers and I always liken it to the superhero story, particularly when I’m talking to youth. You know, when you talk to youth, particularly youth that are not necessarily encouraged and struggling to figure out where they are. I start with the superhero story and you ask them, you go, you know, you ever know the superheroes have a similar story and they go, what do you mean?
I said, well tell me who your superhero is, you know the name off batman, Superman et cetera. Go, well let’s walk through what happens, They typically stumble onto their superpower. Right? So they figure out they can punch through a wall, they can kick down, you know, doors and things like that. They can maybe fly and then they goof around with those super powers and then they go, wow, this is interesting. they have a friend who they play around with, but then they find out that super powers are given to them for a purpose, right to solve a huge macro issue, right? So cure the world’s ills if you will, but then they didn’t have to hone those superpowers, right? and then the adversary shows up and they and their coach, if you want to call them or their guide or their Yoda work through honing those gifts and talents in order to overcome the adversary and cure the world’s ills, right? And that’s the superhero story over and over and over again. But it starts with the unique gifts and talents. So the recognition of those starts there with the recognition of those and that comes back to your purpose.
So do you encourage people to think of their story in that format? I do, I honestly do, because I think particularly now with the advent of social media, which is by the way, a good thing used in the right, you know, as all tools are used appropriately. it’s so easy to look to the left and right and what’s happening in other spaces and feel that you are not those things that you may not measure up, but those are not necessarily the utilisation of the superpowers that you have and so you can do by comparison, you can do a disservice to yourself and not focus on what your purpose to do you like? And have you heard of be the hero in your own movie? I have not heard that, but that totally makes sense. I’ve not heard that. Yeah, it’s one of those sort of throwaway lines that you know, you should try and engineer your life so that you kind of feel that way and your life’s a movie and you’re trying to make it an interesting story and be the hero in it. It makes total sense. Absolutely. So how did you I’ve like I said to you before, I’ve done a little bit of prep in about what you do and I kind of like to whether right or wrong, I kind of like to categorise people in my mind and you strike me as like a business guy, you’re a way to improve businesses.
I’m interested to know how you got into the industry you’re in now, what that story was. Well, you know, it’s interesting I guess the understanding now is non-profit, but I spend half my time running on our profit and spend the other half of my time doing executive coaching and consulting and some board directorships and the long and short of it is I spent no over 20 years in a professional career in corporations namely JPMorgan Chase, Allstate Insurance Company and the legal shield and progressive series of rolls right? Running starting on the HR side of the house. So you know, more of the staff roles, financing HR and then into the revenue side of the house and line rolls and the credit card business, insurance business and then the legal services and doing those progressions. I think what hit me early on is this idea of, you know, people, people believing that you’re special, like some people say you’re special. I remember I was young and JPMorgan Chase and I got promoted to senior vice president. I was one of the younger, it’s not one of the young guests, Senior vice president at that time and people just felt like you’re special and it never left me coming from a neighbourhood I came from in Philadelphia, North Philadelphia more specifically Germantown area where there still today is a major disparity in terms of the education system relative to what we would expect, right and special is not scalable in my mind.
So as I kept progressing my career. One of the things that dawn on me was I wanted to one try to get to the right place and organisations where I could make a systemic change and really try to change policies, procedures and systems to benefit more folks. So I got more involved in diversity councils and mentorship and sponsorship programs and things such as that. But then you get to the point you go, you know, that’s great here and it even is some external work happening because of that with organisations to make partnership with, but I believe I need to take that work external right to, to really do a more good if you will. And that’s what led me to really want to step out and run our non-profit, which we had started in early 2000 and so I exited the corporate world in 2018 to do just that. And what’s your charity it’s called? The cooling solution. Okay. And what’s the cause? Education really focus on education Again, learning and I say learning and cultural development. So we do learning programs focused on just that helping people find their passion and purpose and then giving them a program To, to reach that through six steps as well as then that 6th and final step is the power of retention by teaching someone else to do the exact same thing.
That participant does that. And if there is a program for adults and a program for youth and right now we’re taking that program out to youth organisation to be at school, civic organisations, etcetera. And what’s your, what would be like the best outcome for you if you could like magic wand. And sort of get your charity out to as many people as you wanted, what would it look like? Well, I think it would look like something that’s deployed in and uh, schools, right? So schools have had a tremendous drop in after school programs, but when they’ve tested, um, the economics and the outcomes? Right. So if you look at the logic model and think of things that start as early as better attendance, better study hours for, for youth. And then you look at the opposite the long range end of high school graduation rates, competency scores in math, reading and science. When you add after-school programs, you see those things have a tremendous lift. However, there’s not enough money for after-school programs at scale. So one, this, to be used as a program that helps fill that gap right now. We offer it without charge.
But I think we could do it in such a way with organisations that they will find this tremendously tremendous value. When we add on fees associated with it, I think secondarily, um, to be used, um, at churches and other local organisations, right? I think churches and uh, whatever the faith is, are the cornerstones and communities. They’re places where people huddle, they gather as a community they learned together. Uh, and then, thirdly, that we get further down in the pipeline to our youth and that we help organisations see that connective tissue. If you look at most businesses today, um, they would tell you they’re tapped out in terms of college talent in terms of reaching into colleges and universities and they’re starting to think about how they reach further down in the high school talent, right? I personally believe and have seen through conversations with others that, that talent pipeline is truly becoming thinner as you go further down. So how do we connect that right, by developing talent further down the pipeline? How do we take? Organisations desire to make social impact and beyond writing a check and beyond habitat for humanity and other popular charities do things where we help bring folks together.
So you take a cf over organisation and he thinks about his generational successor, right? One generation two generations behind. How do you create that connection now and use a program like this, right, as an accelerant to that relationship? So is it, um, what would be the before and after for someone who, let’s say they didn’t have much education, they took your course, what would it look like after they finished? Well, one, they would have a road map in front of them, that one, they would be having articulation of their purpose, right? So they have written words on the page that starts with, wow, I’ve, I’ve got my talent and my gifts here, things that I didn’t realise before that naturally do easily and they’re here and if I’m, wow, if I do them easily without much effort and I started to put effort into him, here’s what that could look like. Uh, two, here’s what I want to see, right? Here is my vision for my life, three here, the goals, right? So I always think of goals as the stepping stones across the river to get into your vision. And then four, here’s my roadmap and planning how I’m gonna do it.
My learning plan, my people plan, including mentors and sponsors. I may want to help me. Uh, and then last, but not least here’s how I’m gonna keep this in action going forward. Here’s how I’m gonna be accountable in onus for myself, not, not just by myself, right? But with the tribe of people, how I’m going to create a tribe that I co labour with if you will. Yeah, I sort of um, I understand why I think I understand what you’re going for because a lot of problems maybe come from people having no purpose. So you’re sort of helping them have that purpose of life. Is that about right? Absolutely. And I think the biggest thing Thomas, if you ask me to boil it down to one word, I’d say self-efficacy, right? When, when a person believes that they can achieve something and they see what that something is. The tenaciousness they have, right? The ability to go, I called the Charles Barkley attitude east to have when he said, I’ll go over you under, you threw you around you, but I’m going to get to the basket when that attitude comes into play because you see what’s possible and you believe it’s doable.
Uh, it’s hard to stop somebody from getting to their potential at that point. Mm Well, congratulations on putting that together. Thank you. You did mention something that I did want to touch upon which is um, the JP Morgan special comment. Um, do you think what, what’s your analysis of that particular scenario? Because part of me thinks um, you know, maybe you did have a talent for it, which would have been recognised regardless. Or perhaps it was just good people around you that we’re willing to offer you the help. What what’s your take on it? Well, it wasn’t just there. I mentioned that there is a part of that particular moment, right? I mean promoted. But I think uh, wow, what’s the analysis of that one? You know, I was hard working and I’ve had great mentors almost all my life because I think two reasons one, I was willing to work hard in 2000 willing to ask for help. So, you know, my earliest job was 14 years old at a hardware store around the corner from me. I trust me, I didn’t want the job.
It was, my mother got tired of funding my, what she would call my hobbies that I was starting stopped without a lot of get a lot of commitment. So you know, I had this hobby, I wanted to be a DJ. I wanted some turntables. She said, I absolutely not. I am not funding that hobby. Go figure it out, go get a job, do something. And I went to the girls and boys club and they signed me to this summer job at the hardware store And this guy named joe Jankowski took me under his wing. And Thomas what should have been just a summer job where I learn maybe how to cut some keys and you know Phyllis stock the shelves. He taught me how to run the store. I mean I would ask him questions, joe how do you do this? How do you take inventory? How do you go refill the inventory? How do you fix window screens? Anything? I asked him he would just teach me and just start taking me around with him when I finished the summer job, went back to high school. He said you want to work after school? Absolutely right. And then I think a year lady, he made me the system manager gave me keys to the store, let me open up the store by myself on Saturdays and it just continued that kind of relationship And so progressing from there.
I think I I got very used to asking for help part one and mentorship and then asking can I do more if I get the regular part of the job done? I thrive on a learning curve. I want to learn what’s next. How can I take on more? So you’re naturally inquisitive would you say? I think so. Absolutely. And you your first job was there was actually someone who was willing to reward that. Absolutely, absolutely interesting that the how did you go from the hardware store to what was your next kind of opportunity after that? You know my next opportunity after that. Unfortunately a bad episode. My father, he succumbed to drugs. He passed away. We had a real bad episode there. But I went to Temple University that lasted about 23 days because financially he fell through and then I went to computer school to be a program I would decide not to. And during that time I worked that a couple of places in the mall in downtown Philadelphia and then worked at a company called Today’s Man, which is a clothing store is no longer in business.
I think most of the locations that turned into like a men’s warehouse or K and G. And things like that. But at the time today’s Man was a very large men’s retailer on the east coast Pennsylvania, New Jersey Delaware Maryland. And in New York. And I was working in the store security And same thing. I’m walking the store, I’m figuring out different things. And as the head of security for all the stores there’s probably 20 stories at the time came through. He’s just noticed I didn’t just stand at the stand all day. I would walk the stories like what are you doing? I’m like I’m walking the store. So I think I think certain areas are probably little more higher risk because they tell a clothing and suits. He’s like, that’s interesting. He says, So you’re analysing the security is a story. So yeah, I just think standing at the stand all day is one thing. It’s another thing to kind of walk around and see what’s taking place. So he got me into helping open the stores and teaching cashiers have to think about security in the stores. And then one day the head of all stores came in the store, Don Fleming and Don and I met and he said, Herb told me about you walk me around and tell me what you do.
And I’m just walking around. He said, you know, you should be in corporate. And he moved me to corporate and in about two weeks and moved me, I got in I think in accounts payable first. So I learned accounts payable and accounts receivable uh, and then moved into payroll and that’s how my whole, that was my entree into human resources. I once I moved into payroll, I then got interested in human resources and arrested kind of history from there because I moved from there to a company called Wilmington Savings on Society Wilmington Delaware. And then from there to um, I did some consulting for a little while. Peoplesoft consulting and then I moved to chase after that. Another example of you being naturally inquisitive or maybe not naturally, but just looking to solve problems I suppose and then someone noticing it and perhaps rewarding you for it. Yeah, absolutely. And standing in front of the store all day, even with Rockport shoes on, it’s just hard. You gotta move about. You mean you got to move a ballot. So tell me about the JP Morgan interview. How did that go? Are you nervous? Oh absolutely, absolutely.
You know, it’s interesting. I had accepted a job at a T. P. At the time I was again, I was doing some people soft consulting for a company in New York. I was working with the client. Um, I think the more systems at the time, the more security is rather, and 80 P was looking to launch a people soft like system. And so they needed a person that had a product that had had gone down those interviews, accepted the job and a woman named Lisa Neil Graves called and said, hey, you know, we’re doing this conversion from genesis to people soft. Don’t you come talk to me? And I said, no, I just accepted this job at ADP. She said, well burning hand, you know, handing the bush, why don’t you take a train ride and come talk to me? You know, you’re in Philly, we’re in New York, take a train ride up, You know, we’ll cover the train ride whatever. I don’t know if I should do that. She’s got, come on, talk to me. So I went up and talked to her brilliant conversation. Really enjoyed it. And next thing you know, you know, I meet several other people and I take the job to run payroll for Chase. It was JP Morgan merger. This was January of 2000 or December 2000 cause I started January I guess first or second of 2000.
And uh, yeah, that was just unbelievable ride because uh, it was a interesting, they were in an interesting transition. It was a team who had been, uh, probably in the throes of a bunch of different transitions quite frankly. Uh, and then the merger started probably six months after that with Morgan. I had never been through a merger before. And so just tons of learning tons of money would you say you’re taking big leaps from one thing to the next. Absolutely. Again, I, I thrive on a learning curve. I love to learn. So, absolutely. And how does that, I suppose, how does that end for you? The JP Morgan Chase, Well I did, I did five years and which couple was called their HR service delivery And so I was, I, I grew from payroll after the Morgan merger move my group from New York to Delaware. Uh, my group expanded. I mean, you can imagine what the perils like for, you know, a couple 100,000 people. Uh, my responsibilities grew as my immediate boss resigned, Jennifer Kazini and so she had HR operations and I always said she owned all the pieces from Immigration Forward through HR records and all those things probably having different functions.
And so I grew, I got that team and I had responsibility for about 100 and 10 people at that point. And then I got promoted a few times and senior vice president and I also took over our contact centres. So now I owned most of the operational things from immigration through termination in about four different locations from New York Delaware, Jersey city in Texas and then some global responsibility as well. We have a global site in India and we’re doing some things in the UK. And I wanted I rose my hand again and said, hey, can I help with global data management? Like I have free time but my team was doing well and then the Bank one merger happened, which was just a a massive merger. and so we got that done, my team grew to 400 folks, but then we had to take it back down and so then I really wanted to learn how to get on the other side of the ledger. I wanted to learn how to produce revenue. And so I moved over into our card business in 2000 and five, early 2006 it was and started managing credit card portfolios of all the sports and college teams there and AARP and some other big partners and probably it was, I guess 10 4011 I got the itch to say it’s great to be a part of a team running a business and portfolio, but maybe I’m ready to now really, only a whole business unit if you will.
Um and all state called and said, you know, we need, we need to think differently about how we manage our products. We have about 100 products are agents to sell three, we’re thinking about how do we sell the other 90 plus products and how do we sell them differently? And maybe somebody like you can help us do that as president of the affinity business. And brilliant guy named Don belly was the hiring manager and Don and I headed off and I went to all state. So is that like a consulting position or is that another move and employment move? Another employment move, totally different move. First time we had left Philadelphia and my wife and I both born bred Philadelphia, we never saw ourselves moving. So we moved to Chicago and or Northbrook Illinois if you will. And yeah, it was just yeah, totally unexpected. But you’ve thought about starting your own business before that then not, you know, we, we, we had started the non-profit, which I always seen as a after work weekend type thing, right. You know, maybe one day we’ll be able to do it, but wasn’t, we weren’t really sure how and the Allstate opportunity came and I think it got me thinking about maybe this starts the road to a, to a smart exit, if you will.
I’m fiscally conservative, probably more than you could ever imagine. and so, you know, this started me thinking about, well, it’s one good to try another business and see if I can learn the insurance business to it’s good to be the president of that business and learn how to be a general manager at that level, right to think differently about policies and starting something three. It’s good to be and we weren’t using this term then I don’t believe, but an entrepreneur, right? So if I have entrepreneur itchings even in the non-profit world or otherwise not bad to start a business inside of a $30 billion company, right, It doesn’t exist. I think actually sometimes it’s harder because the company has its own habits and such, right? And it’s so successful already. Now you’re saying, well let me direct this new business inside this company. People going well, do we really, you know, I understand that tom and executive team, think we need that, but you have a, you know, 60,000 other employees going, do we really need that? Like, you know, what does that mean to us? And now you’re, you’re also, you know, competing for resources on and so forth.
So yeah, that was, that was a good, good opportunity as well. So you started a new business within you say it was all star Allstate, how did it go? It went well, you know what? it went well, I would say it was, it was it was a learning opportunity, right? I didn’t know some of the things I didn’t know. So one I would say one of the biggest lessons learned is understanding alignment throughout the organisation for a new initiatives such as that. So when you’re going through the interview process, You know, you talk to all the people who you start with at least the people who are really interested in seeing this happen. So you want to start a new billion dollar target business inside a $30 billion dollar company and you’re talking to and my God, you talk about a thick interview process, you know, I think the first light out, you meet with six people, the second one out, you meet with six people I met with Don in Jersey one time before they met with him again, then you go out for a psychological evaluation with the host of actors. That’s about a four hour ordeal where they put you in a room and then you know you have these actors come in and out and they want to see how you act in different situations and such.
But you don’t appreciate the fact that behind that curtain is as a whole cadre of people who may or may not be as warm to the idea quite honestly, right? So as you go to start this journey, you are full on, this is how this will play, right? So there’s a naivete I probably had going into some of it up, okay, I can do this and go full steam ahead. too though I would say man, it really helped me build some muscles around, I think resilience around understanding a different industry. I mean, the insurance industry is, is very highly regulated and very what’s the word I would use set in its ways, right? There are things I was so used to doing in the infinity business and credit card business, such as giving people airline models or points for buying a product, right? Or using the product and insurance, they called that they say, well that’s inducement, You can’t do that. And I go, well, okay, I just want to give people value for using the product or buying the product.
You know, it’s illegal. And so spending time learning how to make it not illegal, turn it the other way, but that’s, you know, 66 to 9 months working with our legal team and a host of lawyers going around to all the insurance commissioners. So I think it was good for me and those regards, in terms of learning some new things relative again to governance, instituting new processes, casting vision, but then also, you know, some of the things necessary to really execute that vision. I learned a lot during that process. I can see how you’re getting experience from all different sizes of businesses. And I saw I think is one of your talks where you’re dealing with the different types of numbers. So I think you’re referring to like how do we get, I think you say billion dollar growth, a million dollar companies, I think that’s the term you and I can see each step, you’re getting a little bit of experience from, from each type of business.
When do you become speaker? You know, after the book was done. So the book was published in 2014. And as a part of publishing a book, you know, your, your publisher tells you, hey, you need to get on the speaking circuit. So, you know, if you ever go through a book process, you think the publishing company is going to do most of the marketing and you quickly learn as you do the contract and not so much, you need to do a lot of it yourself. And so that’s what happened with speaking definitely, definitely. Yeah, how was that process of writing? It was good, It was good, you know, and actually it was probably a very what I’m looking for a complimentary transition. So as I moved to legal shield in 2014, so I did, I was at all state from 2011 to the end of 2013. Once again, I get a call from legal shield saying, uh, we have a great product, We’ve got independent sales associates to sell our product, but we also think we can do more from a B two B perspective. We think someone, someone like you can help us again, uh, launched, launched this business in a different way or at least pull it together in a different way.
They have parts of the business already, but we need a president to run this broker business was the initial pitch. And as I came and looked at and said, well, you, You know, during the conversations, um, well I think there’s a couple parts, you could actually pull together to make this a lot more complementary and actually say to the marketplace that you want to truly be B2B in all respects. And so, uh, and it was private equity. I had never worked with a private equity company before. And I think the other biggest change for me Thomas was, you know, had gone from, you know, a trillion dollar company, JP Morgan Chase to a $30 billion plus company at all state. And that, this was, you know, just under $500 million company, right? So, you know, some of my friends are going, what, what, what are you doing? Wait, stop the pump, the brakes, what is happening here? Why would you, why would you do this? And what I saw was a couple of things. One to try to bring the corporate, uh, what I’m looking for the corporate navigation skills and some of that power of resources to bear in a smaller environment.
Right? So could I take what I learned in the ocean if you will and bring it to the, to the lake? Right. I don’t mean that in just, you know, uh, condescending way at all. I mean that in a very powerful way because I think the company had a lot of tools in terms of product sales, people so on and so forth. But it was still growing from being found their own and run turned over to a private equity company probably four years prior to that I’m talking to me and now figure out how they reach the next Inflection point. I think part two was, I saw the opportunity to, you know, could I come into a private equity situation and create not only value, they’re right for the organisation. All of us holistically, but also quite frankly an opportunity for myself, some years out. I don’t know how many years that might be that helps me live into my purpose as I saw it, right. And I think in terms of purpose, I underestimated how much of that I would feel inside the company as I was learning the product and what the organisation stood for philosophically. I found a lot of value and fun, uh, and working with people there and, and how they, how they treat people in the market relative to, um, selling the product.
Well. It’s really interesting to go back over your story. So thank you for for that. Do you have, do you look back on any particular moment and think like connecting the dots? You know, this wouldn’t have happened if, if this particular thing didn’t happen and that was important then, but I didn’t think it was important at the time. That kind of thing. Mm Yeah. You know, it was funny. I was, I was, I do palette on this morning and I was thinking this morning, I don’t know why I was a song that was playing or something. And I was thinking about that, you know, trying to think about leader lessons because I sent out a third of the day every, each morning. And one of the things I was thinking about is as leaders, we have the gift of people that we work with, right? And sometimes we can get, um, we can get our in our own heads and believe we have to have the answer come up with the answer or be wed to our answer. Right? And I think, you know, in all state, I didn’t re pivot as quickly as I could have if I had listened to my folks more right?
There were some folks on my team who, uh, were saying to me, you know, maybe you should approach this a little bit differently. For example, we, we, you know, the, the typical affinity model is, you’re working, you know, with businesses such as, you know, we had a partnership with United Airlines. The idea was to take that product, uh, insurance product to the market and if you, you know, by the product, your policies, auto, home life, etcetera, you get United airline miles, which are one of the most coveted value propositions in the market. And uh, but the idea the design was not necessarily to include insurance agents, right? The idea was to go direct to consumer. And I had a couple of my team saying, you know, you might want to think that through differently. So, no, no, no, no, that’s the model. That’s the way the model works. And that’s what I agreed to with the executive team. That like that is the model. And you know, you look back sometimes ago, why wasn’t I a little bit more receptive, right? And slowed down to think through that and going to test those waters a little bit differently.
Had I done some of those things sooner, could we have gotten traction sooner and have more benefits? So I think that was one of my lessons learned there, right? Listen to the team and, you know, work through those things, joust through those things right? In a in a loving way to understand you know where we have opportunities, right? And you know, take all that into consideration. It’s tricky, isn’t it? Because you don’t want to be swayed to easily by other people’s opinions, but at the same time, you don’t want to shut off people’s opinions either. So any processes or thoughts around do striking the right balance there. Yeah. Well, you know, all verse all voices should be heard, right? I think, you know, just surveyed some people last week on my email list and always say I want to hear all voices. It doesn’t necessarily mean they make it into the final mixer output, right? But I want to hear the voices and give things due consideration. I don’t want to over think about it either, right? I wanna overthink it, right? But I just want to hear voices and perspectives to make sure I didn’t miss the opportunity of what those perspectives could bring to the table.
So, to your very good point. I don’t think you have to belabour them. You just want to make sure you get them on the table and give them a chance to come to light and Sorry, I want to add one more thing to that I think that the benefit of when you do that is those people feeling hurt as well and that they actively feel hurt right there. Active part of the conversation that you say to them, tell me more about that. Let me play that back and make sure I understand it. And even when you don’t do necessarily what they are advocating for your expressing to them why you’re moving in another direction, despite what you heard from them, Right? And why you’re not going with that, that buys a lot right? People, when you want buying from folks, they need to be heard if you want folks, if you have the rule of you know, what’s said here stays here is one rule, right? but the other rule is we will work, we will argue all these things out, but we leave the room with one decision and we all have to line up behind that decision. If you really want that to be true, you have to have the voices be heard.
Mm. Is that part of your because you do, do you do a little bit of leadership training as well? I want more executive coaching and consulting every now and then. I will do some training. But absolutely, that is something I will talk about with the Net. I watched an interview with you football guy, I forget his name. Yeah, we’re gonna bring out of James Rosseau his great knowledge and experience. And James, thanks for joining us buddy. Good to be here. Thank you. And it struck me as like a bit of perhaps it would be executive approaching to people management in a way. I guess that that comes in there a little bit but I do want to get your thoughts on perhaps what you’re because you mentioned your course, obviously we don’t want to pull too much out because people should take it at the same time. What would be some nuggets from that that you would want to share with people from the course? Yeah. Yeah well again one starting with your natural gifts and talents, we can tend to overlook those but we I I do several things within that course to probe, you know, particularly younger professionals are trying to figure it out, it’s amazing how many folks come out of college and do a couple years of work and go this is not what I thought it would be.
Um I’m not sure I’m at where I need to be and I can’t figure this out right and kind of going through this exploratory processes to figure out what’s natural for them, what they’ve been given as gifts and talents and get those on the table. Part one is one thing I would point out, Part two is overlaying those with their values, right, spending time to step back and all of this Thomas I would say is under a framework and a discussion of, can we go internal for a while, can we shut down social tv cable email and go internal go inside like all you for a little while. And that’s so important and that’s a big conversation as well. Like the intrinsic piece uh, the intrinsic motivation, et cetera. Um, I would say the third thing is the conversation about relationships in building a network a lot of times when we think network, I think it’s natural to think with and nothing death and you know, spending time thinking about the people uh, in your network and the death of those relationships and how you want to take them deeper and have a value exchange right with those folks and have them again, I use the term co labour or you may want to say coach journey, but do life with you as you’re going on this journey because this is not a lap or two.
This is, this is a journey, right? The marathon, the last thing I guess I would say is how you turn this into a lifelong plan, a lifelong learning plan and action plan. What are the things you’re gonna do? I adopt the 12 week planning principle in this. I can’t think of his name right now, the author, I’d love to give him credit, but his book, 12 week plan was very powerful for me and I’ve used it because it’s great to put thing and put things take big boulders if you will of actions or vision points and put them into a 12 week sprints. So how do you put these things into these 12 weeks cycles, you can look for 12 weeks across and say these are the definitive things I’m gonna do right to make sure I get to these goal goals as a part of this vision. Well, thanks for that, that answer. It does make me think about with your example when you, it seemed to me like you’re almost testing things that you were and weren’t interested in, like for example, going to college and then you know, I want maybe that engaged with that and then you went on to the next thing and you kind of explored and do you think that that’s a way of finding your passion or your purpose?
Absolutely, no doubt about it. You know, I wanted to go to college for communications, I want to be a communications major at the time in Philadelphia, my favourite, at least one of my favourite DJs with Duck Henderson and W. D. S. Remember Left 11th grade to 12th grade, our English teacher said, you need to write this paper about, you know what you want to do with your life. Go try to meet somebody who doesn’t and I went down to go see Doug Henderson at the radio station, he couldn’t have been cooler. I mean, he invited like set the appointment, let me in when I came into the studio, he was, he was on there, he’s like this, he’s like sit over there, you know? And then he spun a record and then talk to me for a second and then when it record played, he got back on, this is Doug innocent late afternoon, you know, then he talked to me. I mean he was just so good. Right? that sealed the deal. I wanted to go to college for that here I am. And like I say how many years later, but let’s just say a couple of decades later, I am still desirous of doing some of that work and do it as a part of what we do with the cooling solution, radio communications and things such as that.
But in between there a lot of the things I did I found to be highly desirable in terms of liking those things, you know, finance, I enjoyed it. Hr I enjoyed it, sales, marketing, product development. and I think and everyone is different, right? I think some people go hard and deep in one thing, some people are general managers that go, you know, so some people go 12 ft deep. Some people go three or six ft deep but go across more. Right? And then there’s a variance in between. I’m in the interdisciplinary person. I would category writers myself in terms of my skill set II enjoy doing a lot of different things. So it’s been very good for me in that regard. It’s interesting. I’ve also seen that you’ve done a lot of goal related topics? So, um, you know, perhaps setting and achieving goals? You share some thoughts on that. Yeah, I guess, you know, I try to keep it simple and goals.
I’m a fan of using smart goals specific, measurable achievable, realistic and time bound. I’m a fan of just out of reach, but not out of sight when you’re setting them and so you have something you should be reaching for that makes you stretch a little bit. always say if you’re a runner, it should make you breathe hard if you’re lifting weights, it should make you strain a little bit in the last couple of reps. Um, that presses yourself, but absent of goal, the mind doesn’t focus as much, right? Goals. Help focus the mind. So, I’m just I’m just a huge advocate of when people say they want to do something, I have a tendency to turn and say to them. So, let’s get specific, what does it look like? And by when do you want to achieve it? And that usually starts a good conversation because people go, that’s a good point. That’s a good question. Let me think about that, right? And then let’s just, it’s helpful time is it just helps the mind focus on. Okay, great. So, by July one, I want to have written the first draft of my book.
Okay, excellent. What kind of book is it? Okay. What typically is the norm, you know, what’s the norms for that kind of book? You know, how many words is it? Is that is that what you want to go to? Okay, great. So then what kind of rhythm would you need to have if it’s now April 5th, April 6th and you’ve got eight weeks? How many words do you need to write a week? Okay. How do you want to do that? I’m gonna write every Saturday. You’re gonna give you two days, right? So you know what I mean? By setting the, the goal and the measurement and when you want to achieve it. then you come back into some actions. Well, uh, there’s one thing which I spoke about, the guy named Harrison Tash and he also likes smart goals. But one of the criticisms of smart goals is the whole achievable realistic thing. And his or our conversation was that potentially smart goals could be good for a team. So your team members aren’t kind of getting disheartened about the fact that they’re not realistic goals.
But then the other side of that is because some people like to set goals that are lofty goals that are difficult to achieve what your thoughts on that part of smart goals, meaning that You may have a risk of achieving one about the fact that if you set them as realistic. So the specific criticism is like we don’t want to set people up to be average. Got it. What are your thoughts on that? Yeah, well, my just like I said, they should be just out of reaching out of sight, right? So last year, you know, we would do this goal setting conversation with my team and then I would do it a lot of times with large sales teams, right? That didn’t report to me, but I was responsible for helping them drive their efforts. I would say, well look, if you if you did 100 sales last year To say this year, you’re gonna do 101 is not much of a stretch. you probably could do that doing what you did last year and maybe, you know, you could just look up into that, right? What does a real stretch look like for you?
How will you measurably work harder. Let’s take, for example, you know, inflation is going to happen economically for talking about economic goals, right? So you have to at least beat inflation, Right? So if inflation, so think of it the same way, so is it 10 Is a 5%, but think of something that feels like I’m going to have to work for that, but again, it’s not out of sight, 200% going from 100 to 200 feels like I’m not sure I can even see that, I’m not sure I can even see how that would happen based on the way we’ve been operating, I would have to, you know, change something systemically about the way we even do business to simply double that. And that’s what I mean about the balance in between, just out of reach, but not out of sight. huh. Would you mind sharing your goals? Sure. One of our goal, let me think about that. Which ones I want to share publicly? Well, one of our goals this year is to reach 500 plus youth with our youth program this year, which is a pretty big goal because we last year were doing mostly testing this year deployment of the program.
And so we’re going to do that in a number of different ways, but that’s when our major goals this year. Our second goal is for thinking, I can’t wait to share this one is for a digital radio platform to reach a certain level of listenership we have on our culture development side, a digital radio platform with the mobile app in 24 hour radio and to reach a certain level of listenership. Those are the two goals are most focused on right now Any, any time frame on that one. Yeah, both of those about every year. It was just a joke. Okay, gotcha. I can even help myself like Yeah, absolutely. So if you got something that you might like to share with the audience today, that’s a value that perhaps we haven’t spoken about. Um, I don’t know, I think we’ve covered a lot. The, I guess the only thing I would say is uh, start every day fresh with the ideal in your mind that you can achieve what you set out to achieve, But you have to set a direction, you have to set the compass if you will.
One of the reasons I do the success thought of the day is that um, it’s been said that uh, you know, our thoughts are more powerful than, you know, I thought at the top of the day and more powerful I think than 15 cups of coffee right where we start. And so for me, I always think about always get this. I’m a visual person, highly visual, always think about, you know, a major warship or you know when we watched those ships that have airplanes taking off from them, I forget the proper name of those ships. But I mean it’s just massive. But think about the fact that at the end of the day there is a rudder controlling that ship, right? Or a few runners, right? And so think about the size of those rudders relative to the massive ship in the airplanes and people on that ship. And that’s why I think you have to think about your thoughts, your thoughts are the rudder. And if you get your thoughts right at the top of the day, then uh, you have a much higher probability of achieving the things you want to achieve. And so if I leave you with anything, plan your day, playing your day, playing your day, playing your day intently, was starting your day with filling your mind with the right things, right?
So let me give an example of what I mean by that. everyone has a routine and so whether it’s, you know, for me, it’s up in the morning, devotionals, bible study, work out, cup of coffee, You know, shower up and then get to my desk for work. And I usually can get to my desk to work after all that by 7:00 and used up between 4430. but then nothing, I let nothing in before that time, no emails, no social nothing because they will disrupt that morning routine of trying to get my thoughts in the right place, right? It’s almost like into a catwalk. Have you ever seen a catwalk on narrow catwalk is when a catwalk? And how easily can be pushed off that catwalk. And so I think you have to do the same in terms of planning your calendar. So whether it’s the top of the day for you, midday, if you need a midday meditation or prayer in today, whatever it is, calendar it and hold on to a space that you create for yourself too fresh in your mind, released out the things that shouldn’t be there, putting the things that should be there so you can achieve the things you want to achieve The great answer.
I like the fact that you just drop into the conversation that you’re up at 4430. Yeah. Yeah. Is there any jocko influence there or not? No. No I didn’t know that. Is that his thing to? Yeah. Jacko willing I’ll put 4:30 I think every morning and he does his Instagram shot of him working out. But what is that from that? Is that just a self-development thing or did you learn that from somewhere? No I just started you know what when I changed jobs in 2006 to go into the no. Yeah when I yeah I think when I started working in Delaware I wanted to go to a new gym. It’s so funny how it happened. And the gym opened at five so L. A. Fitness and if you wanted to be on the machines man you had to be there one of the open door you’d be waiting in line. So it was just fine. I’ll do what I have and then I just got used to it right, it’s probably 3 4004 or something like that. And I’ve done it ever since. And you know what I found Thomas is I enjoy that morning time before a lot of activities happening.
I enjoyed getting to my office in Delaware at seven before the phones and all the ringing and stuff started at eight. And when you manage a team of, you know, a couple 100 people, you need to be available to people. and so and so now even that I don’t have quite as big a team is still a part of my day is something when I wake, if I, if I sleep in and get up at 6:30, I feel like The day has like, I feel like 50% 50% of days gone already. Like I’m catching up, it’s 7:00, I’m catching up my guy, what’s happened? Your competition has got a two-hour style on you. Exactly. Well, I found it really interesting and fun conversation, so thank you very much for all the value. Same here. Same here, thank you so much for having me. And would you like to let the audience know where the best place to find you is? Absolutely. You can go to the core link solution dot com and all are all my contact information is there, or you can follow me anywhere at James Russo Senior. So that’s James Rosseau, S-R on the end on all platforms, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, et cetera.
All right, well thank you again and I wish you all the luck with your charity. I think it’s a great thing that you’re doing. Thank you so much time. So I appreciate it. I’ll speak to you soon, James.