Digital Agency Leadership Lessons from a Former Navy SEAL
Nick Norris is a former United States Navy SEAL, now the CEO and co-founder of Protekt Products. He is a graduate of both the United States Naval Academy and Basic Underwater Demolition / SEAL (BUD/S) Class 247. Upon completion of SEAL training in 2004, Nick assumed progressively higher positions of leadership within Naval Special Warfare. Nick is sharing how his leadership training in the SEALs can help entrepreneurs excel in business.
3 Golden Nuggets
We are only limited by our minds. Most of what stands in our way is head trash and it just takes a shift in mindset in order to push yourself and succeed.
- Have humility and be humble enough to know you’re not the expert in all things. This gives you the insight necessary to put the right people in the right seats and trust them to do their job effectively in order to grow your business.
- Preparedness is the key to conquering stress. Training scenarios and mission planning are at the core of what Navy SEALs do so they aren’t caught off-guard by any situation thrown at them. Entrepreneurs should tackle business the same way in order to be successful.
Sponsors and Resources
Verblio: Today’s episode of the Smart Agency Masterclass is sponsored by Verblio. Check out Verblio.com/smartagency and get 50% off your first month of content creation. Our team loves using Verblio because of the ease in their process and their large pool of crowd-sourced writers.
Apple | Spotify | iHeart Radio | Stitcher | Radio FM
Leadership Lessons from a Former Navy SEAL
Jason: [00:00:00] On this episode, I talk with him former Navy SEAL, Nick, who goes through how they would make decisions, how they apply that to the civilian world, how you can be a better leader and get out of stressful situations. It’s a really amazing episode. I’m so honored to have Nick on the show and you guys are going to really love it.
Hey Nick, welcome to the show.
NIck: [00:00:29] Well, thank you for having me, Jason.
Jason: [00:00:31] Yeah, I’m excited to have you on, so tell us who you are and what do you do?
NIck: [00:00:35] Oh, my name is Nick Norris, I guess I would be known as a former SEAL by a lot of people, right? That’s why I’ve connected with people, but I currently am an entrepreneur.
Uh, I have a company called Protekt Products and, and we are in the wellness space, producing supplements and sun care products. And our supplements are geared toward improving people’s hydration and helping them sleep better.
Jason: [00:01:04] Awesome. Fantastic. Well, first off, thanks for your service, especially for all the people that I’ve ever served.
So thank you very much, but what made you decide to be a Navy SEAL?
NIck: [00:01:15] Uh, so I wanted to do something difficult, you know, when people ask me that question and I’ve thought a little bit about it now because the question comes up often, I always was looking for something that was personally challenging. I wasn’t the most naturally talented person athletically growing up, I had to really work hard and I wanted to find something that I could apply myself to that required a tremendous amount of personal discipline and that commitment and personal discipline would be.
The thing that would drive success, not necessarily innate athletic ability or just innate talent. So I gravitated towards the SEAL teams because it was really difficult. I knew I could apply myself diligently in a disciplined way and get results. And that happened, I kind of fixated on it early in life or right around seventh grade.
When a friend of mine had told me about the community and how difficult it was to enter that community specifically. Did someone tell you if you can never do it, is that what pushed you to do it? So my, the initial friend, a guy named Mike Hurley, who’s a police officer in Chicago. He’s the one that brought it up to me.
He was a big fan of the Marine Corps. He wanted to be in the military and he mentioned the Seal teams and he was always super positive. But the second that I latched onto that concept and I was actually pretty vocal about it, you know, growing up seventh, eighth-grade high school. But I, I definitely had people close to me that told me.
Dude, you’re crazy. There’s no way you’re going to do that. And if it added fuel to the fire, right, that’s typically what happens, right. People that are very driven get told that they can’t do something and then you want to prove them wrong and improve that you’re capable of controlling your own destiny.
Jason: [00:03:02] Yeah. I remember, uh, I came back from college one time and my dad used to run all the time and we used to run this like one and a half-mile loop. And he was like, Hey, can you with me? I was like, yeah, I’ll run with you. And literally, we passed right in the very beginning, we pass this old guy just walking.
And when we got back around this loop, my dad was way ahead of me. And I was so embarrassed. I remember walking by the old guy and the old guy was like, well, you better get them next time or something. And then. I saw something where people were doing this triathlon. And I told my dad, I said, I’m going to do a triathlon.
Or maybe I told him I was going to do an iron man or something. And, uh, and he was like, Oh, you can’t do that. And literally it fueled me and I was like, I just finished under the cut.
NIck: [00:03:49] Yeah. Yeah, it’s good. Right? That, that external motivation is, is motivation and powerful motivation on the left. Yeah.
Jason: [00:03:57] So I heard something, I guess you guys have, or maybe it’s a rule it’s like a 70/30 or something where you feel like your body’s like completely shot, but you still have a ton to go. Is that true? Or is it there’s a 70/30 rule?
NIck: [00:04:13] So I, I haven’t heard of it specifically like that, but it definitely makes sense. I mean, generally speaking, we’re limited by our mind, not by our body and you know, I, I’ve gone through a bunch of stuff in my personal life that has shown me that, I mean, growing up as an athlete and not being as talented as everybody else and knowing that I could dig deep and that my, you know, my mind wanted to tell me to stop.
And, and to keep going and then going into buds was another very pointed example of that, that whole program, you know, the SEALs, selection and training program, which is called BUD/S., Basic Underwater Demolition SEAL training is structured to break every single person down to a point where you are not physically capable of doing it on your own, and you’re not physically capable of just crushing it the entire time.
It gets you to a point where you have to dig deeper, you have to face kind of those mental barriers and then draw, I passed them. And in doing so you find out that. You are capable of doing so much more than your mind is telling you you’re capable or your body’s capable of, uh, so much more than your mind thinks it is.
Jason: [00:05:32] I can only imagine that’s gotta be a humbling experience because I would think obviously I was not in the military and it’s a regret I’ve had, but I can only imagine. The people that go through BUD/S, they’re probably at the top of their game, on the physical ability. And then just to be broken down and to have to depend on other people, I guess that’s the whole design of it.
So that’s, um, it’s really pretty cool.
We had to, I mean, a huge amount of people that were tremendous athletes, I mean, very talented, like Olympic caliber athletes that faltered, when things got really tough. You know, and, and not necessarily the, on the physical side of things, but immersion in cold water is something that’s a big part of our pipeline, our selection pipeline.
And, you know, there’s really nothing you can do. It’s like physically, yeah, you might be a bigger guy and you might be more insulated than, than the guy that’s, you know, 130 pounds next to you. But both of you will get to a point where you’re going to get cold. And that’s where like you really have to dig deep.
I mean, that’s where kind of that mental toughness and kind of that ability to kind of drive past discomfort and push yourself beyond where you think you can go, uh, comes in. So I saw guys that were tremendous athletes, you know, falter in that regard. And then I, you know, the counterpoint to that is I saw guys that you would have bet everything they would have failed because they just were not.
You know the most impressive physical specimens and they were the toughest guys that I went through training with and the polar opposite of what you would imagine a SEAL candidate to look like. You know, they were maybe 15, 20 pounds overweight, not athletic, you know, struggled in most of the physical evolutions, but could just crush it when things got extremely tough.
That’s awesome. So let’s talk about high pressure situations because obviously, running an agency is very different than being in the military and you guys have gone through a lot of high pressure situations, being a SEAL and a lot of agency and entrepreneurs that think they’re in high pressure situations for their business.
And I’ve always found when there’s emotion or a lot of stress, or I guess stress creates emotion, which emotion creates bad decisions. How did you guys learn how to deal with that and to get that under control in order to make the right decision?
NIck: [00:07:56] Yeah. I mean, so just dealing with stress, right? I mean, stress is stress regardless of where the origin of that stress is coming from, you know, whether it be high-risk financial decisions as an agency owner or an element leader in a SEAL platoon in combat.
I mean, you’re still going to be exposed to stress and in our community, you know, we, we train a lot. We train significantly more than the time that we actually spend in direct combat operations. Um, I mean there’s guys pre 9/11 that didn’t really get to see any combat and spent 20, 30 years in training, basically preparing for that opportunity to excel in kind of the high-stress kind of game-day scenario.
And I would say that that extreme level of preparation or commitment to preparation, uh, becomes a stress inoculator. The training that I went through and I’ve referred to this example several times and it, and I will continue to refer to it. Jocko Willink, who is a very well-known SEAL owns Echelon Front, which is a consultancy here in the States.
Jocko was my sister troop commander. He also put me through training when I was a platoon commander and he was running our training detachment on the West coast. And I specifically remember multiple times during my training where I felt significantly more stress because I knew I was being critiqued by someone that I respect.
And I was being critiqued by my peers in that kind of a high-performance training scenario. I felt more stressed there than I did an actual combat operations. And I have memories of being in uh, direct engagement with the enemy, you know, receiving incoming enemy fire and making calls and making decisions on the battlefield and feeling more comfortable and more confident because of the training that high stakes, high level, high stress training that I went through.
So, you know, it’s a testament to the fact that you know, preparation breeds inoculation distress. And will allow you to control those emotions that seem to overwhelm people that are ill-prepared.
Jason: [00:10:16] Yeah. Whenever I think about the points in my life, when was the most stressful, it was really, it came down to being prepared or not being prepared.
Like I just was like, ah, kind of wing it. I’ll be good at that pitch. And then I would go in and be like, Holy cow, but then if I look at situations where I felt totally relaxed, it was, I’ve done this a thousand times. Like you were saying that repetition and I was just prepared and I was just like, No.
Now I can get on, like, I look at getting on stage because a lot of people fear getting on stage. And I remember when I ran the agency, I would get on stage and I would talk about stuff I really didn’t know about just to get on stage. But then now I get on stage and talking about, you know, running an agency I’m like, ask me anything.
Like, I feel totally prepared. Like there you can’t throw me any curveballs. That is so true.
NIck: [00:11:09] There is no easy solution. Right? You got to put the work in, you have to be well-prepared and it was evident in every single thing that we did in the SEAL teams. You know, whether it was the training scenarios, uh, whether it was our mission planning and kind of the preparation prior to going out on an actual real-world operation, you know, we prepared diligently.
Uh, we exhausted every scenario that we possibly could think through in order to contingency plan, plan, and really try to have, have the answers before the tests. You know, we, we tried to go through everything and come up with theoretical problems and solutions and did it in a manner where everybody on the team understood what those scenarios could be and how we would potentially address them.
And 99% of the time, we never even had to address those contingencies on the actual operation. The operation, typically it would just be easy, right. But it’s that 1% opportunity where something bad goes wrong and you have to deal with it. And if you know what you are going to do ahead of time, because you’ve already talked through it with your team.
Emotion doesn’t even play into it. You go into autopilot and you just start addressing the issues and taking care of business.
Jason: [00:12:35] Other than just putting your team through repetition, repetition, and let’s think about it on, on a business front, right? Because a lot of entrepreneurs, a lot of leaders, you know, they hear that, you know, they hear you talking about them and they’re like, well, it’s a life-death situation.
Like they have to do it all. But a lot of business leaders and including me sometimes, and I’m actually going to think about the way I do it is like, we don’t have time to plan for every single result. We’ll just go. We’ll react and then we’ll react to however happens, which is probably the wrong way.
Cause if you told people like, Hey, your life depends on this. Don’t you want to think of every result? Like what do you say to those people?
NIck: [00:13:17] Yeah, I mean, but I mean, even as a, as a business leader, you have the opportunity to put systems in place, right? I mean, you know, let’s say on the sales front, you know, you can put together your targets, you can talk about how you approach those targets, the way that you’re going to pitch certain people.
Cause it’s different. Every single time you’re going to bring different people on your team to certain pitches because they’re going to be received better by certain demographics that you’re pitching to. And. You can plan all of that stuff. And it’s not a waste of time and energy to do that. I mean, you’re going to know your team better by doing that by digging in and understanding what strengths each and every person on your team has.
You’re going to be able to tap into those strengths easier. Uh, more fluidly and be able to apply those strengths from your team appropriately in the right pitches. And then, you know, the, the actual pitch itself, it becomes pretty robotic and pretty structured. You know, it’s not like there’s a tremendous amount of variance in kind of pitching to a new client.
You can really lay that stuff out well, and, and even, you know, you should be practicing that you should huddle as a team. You should have people practicing their pitch, the way that they converse with you as the way they converse with the client. So, you know, I know people may say, yeah, you know, we, we just read and react and, uh, and we don’t have the time to do this, but I don’t think you have time not to do that because if you get in front of somebody, That’s a decision-maker.
I mean, that’s life and death, financially. I mean, people will downplay it and say, Oh yeah, well you’re in combat. Yeah. It is life and death. Yeah. True. You know, you’re not going to die in a pitch if you lose, but you know, if you lose a big pitch and you’re in financial dire straits, I can say this. I said this before we started our call, I would be more stressed.
And I probably would allow that to impact me more emotionally if I was in a situation where I, I felt out of control and I lost my financial security and I couldn’t take care of my family. That still produces an extremely high level of stress. So I think it all, it’s all relative.
Jason: [00:15:29] Yeah, I totally agree.
And I remember one time we, we over-prepared for this one pitch going in and I remember just going in there, like yeah, we’ll decide with you. I’m like, but I was thinking in my mind, we were so prepared. You need to ask us this question so we can like it. Wasn’t waiting for time. It wasn’t wasted. We made us that much better for the next pitch, the next campaign, the next, you know, initiative that we needed to do.
Let’s change, focus a little bit around building your team and being a good leader. How did you guys select who you wanted on your team and really kind of get them to the next level where everybody was in sync, because it’s the same within business. Like you have to get the right people in the right seat, all that believe in that certain vision or mission ahead of you.
NIck: [00:16:17] Well, so in the SEAL team, it’s actually easier because we all go through the same selection process. For the most part, you get a tremendous product. On the backend of that selection process, and you get sent to a SEAL team and you get put into a platoon and there’s really, you don’t want people in the, in the background picking these people out, like handpicking them, you just get a bunch of SEALs.
You get like you get a rough cut SEAL that has made it through the same selection process that every other SEAL has made it through. So you know what you have to start with. So as a leader, you know, that’s easier for me, you know, I think it’s actually the leadership in the SEAL teams was easy because of that, you know, as opposed to being in the civilian world where you don’t necessarily get that high-level selection process, you know, you get to interview somebody, maybe put them on as an intern and get to see them perform for a period of time, but you don’t get to vet them for a year, a year and a half.
And, uh, for us, the leadership really. I mean, leadership is always important, but it became critically important in the way that you grew your people, you leverage their strengths and their weaknesses, and you slotted them into the right role with the right responsibilities as part of that team. So. I didn’t have a choice as to who I got, but I did have a choice as to where I put those people on my team.
Jason: [00:17:48] Man, maybe I need to create BUD/S for agency employees.
NIck: [00:17:54] Put them through like a six-month just grinder and just like every like high stress all day. But, but you know what, from a leadership standpoint, to give you more of a granular answer, you know, we trust and respect are two big things. As far as leadership is concerned, successful leadership in the, in any team and also humility as a leader. So being humble enough to know that you don’t have all the answers. And even if you’re in a position of leadership where you are accountable, you still. Should never say I need to be the end all be all.
I need to know everything. I mean, it’s great. You should tap in and try to learn as much as you can, but be humble enough to know that you’re not the expert. You got people on your team that are absolute experts in the role that they’re there to execute. And in the SEAL teams, you know, we had people that breached doors, we had people that were snipers.
We had people that were communicators. We had people that conducted all of our medical training and, and cared for our unit from a medical standpoint. And, you know, as a leader, I wanted to know the capabilities that each of those people brought to the team, but they were the expert and I needed to be trusting enough.
And confident enough in their ability to perform and to be experts in their field to allow them to do their job effectively, let them lead in their own right in their lane. And then be able to apply those strengths at the appropriate times in order to put together a successful operation.
Jason: [00:19:31] Yeah. I think the perception too, and I learned this the hard way, and I guess a lot of people listening, you know, they think of Navy SEALs, all alphas, right.
And you probably alphas in your own realm, but I think you mentioned the keyword humility and being humble to know that they don’t know everything because I remember. I was looking for this graphic designer many years ago. And I remember coming across, they were the most amazing designer I’ve ever, ever seen on this one particular thing, but they were the cockiest son of a bitch I’ve ever met.
And I was like, I cannot put this poison in this company, even though they’re the best. They’re not the best for the team, you know, going forward. Now I heard a story. Now this is not around me, but I want to understand how you guys make decisions as a team. As well, as, as a leader, I was listening to a podcast and Scott Kelly on the, you know, the astronauts lived in space for a year.
And I think they had some problems with the heat shield and NASA was like, Hey, you know, it’s your decision. And he said, I could have asked everyone in a group setting, you know, what do you guys think we should do? Should we go out and do a spacewalk fix it? Or should we just, which could actually damage it more?
Or should we just come down? And he said, he goes, we actually, um, I went to everyone individually and asked them rather than having committee make the decision. What were kind of like your decision process when you were leading your team?
NIck: [00:20:58] So I’ll refer back to kinda my Afghan deployment, my last active duty deployment as a SEAL, you know, I went into a platoon that had some leadership issues.
And I was replacing a, another officer that had been removed from the platoon. So kind of a broken scenario, a lot of distrust, a lot of, uh, internal conflict. And I was showing up from a different theater. I came from Iraq and I was going into Afghanistan and. What I did initially just sit back and listen.
I mean, I think it’s important when you have the time when you’re not in the high-stress scenario is get to know the people that are in your team. Listen to them. Don’t just talk, right? The more you can shut your mouth and listen, you learn a tremendous amount. And what I learned in listening is who are the trusted experts, who are the people that really have a finger on the pulse and know how other people in the team are feeling.
And, you know, I, I was able to gauge the level of credibility of each individual that I listened to. And by doing that, I basically formed. This, uh, abstract advisory board within my team where when things were, I guess, getting more high pressure and we needed to make some serious decisions and decisions that were going to be high stakes, you know, we’re going into a dangerous area, or we were going to do a certain type of operation.
I could always go back and I could talk to some of these critical leaders within my element. Because I’ve already vetted them. And I knew who I could go to, uh, who was credible and who was capable of giving me sound advice. And I think in doing that, I was able to confidently make decisions because ultimately as the leader, the top person in a unit, I’m accountable for the decision.
So as much as I want to take the advice of everybody else and the council. When it comes down to it, I need to be confident in making the decision. And I gotta be the one that falls on the sword, if things go wrong, uh, because I’m definitely the one that’s getting the credit when things go right. You know, so I need to be willing to accept that level of accountability and stand on my own two feet.
Jason: [00:23:17] What were some of the questions that you would ask when you were coming in in order to get them? Just because a lot of times I would think, you know, as a leader comes into an organization that has a little, little fun going on, some people are going to be a little standoffish or be like, what are you going to do for me? What were some of the questions that kind of disarmed that?
NIck: [00:23:38] Well, I think empowering people, right? So like giving people the opportunity to say, Hey, like what have you seen go, right? What have you seen go wrong? What are things that you would change or what changes would you enact? Uh, if you were given the opportunity to do that, and then not just kind of hypothetically talking about it, but actually empowering people and letting them make decisions. As the leader, you don’t always have to be the one that’s making kind of you’re accountable for the final call, but you don’t have to be the one that makes that final call.
There was a lot of the times that I mean, I say typically our mission planning process was allowing each individual kind of unit or element within the bigger element to actually run the planning process and make decisions as to where they’re going to place themselves, how they’re going to execute a micro portion of the plan.
And they actually go through brief that. And they would brief all the contingencies associated with that micro portion of the bigger plan. So in essence, I’m allowing them, I’m empowering them as leaders in their own right. To make decisions, to build confidence. So they already are like, Hey, you know what?
I’m not only the leader. Isn’t, uh, you know, the, the high-level leader, isn’t just asking me for my opinion, that leader is actually allowing me to make decisions and trust me to make decisions that he’s cool with, he’s ready to execute on. So I think that’s important. It’s like, don’t just be talk, don’t just be kind of, don’t give people the warm and fuzzy actually trust people, show that you are confident in their ability to make decisions and execute on things.
Jason: [00:25:17] Yeah. I love that. What was the major decision for really kind of leaving the SEALs and going kind of the corporate, the civilian route.
NIck: [00:25:29] Uh, so, so I have a bit of an unconventional transition, I guess I came off my last deployment and I think two things for me happened that really changed the dynamic as a SEAL officer.
I knew that I was 100% committed to my job to be in a combat leader, leading men well in combat and making sure that I make sound decisions that are going to put them first and bring them home safe. And. My wife got pregnant with our first child, our daughter. And that was, it was a big deal. And not necessarily the.
The linchpin catalyst that led to my decision to leave, but it definitely weighed in. And the second major event in my life was my younger brother. My middle brother, Chris was killed in an inbounds avalanche in Winter Park, Colorado. So my little brother left behind a wife and two young kids. And, you know, they were the first ones to know that my wife was pregnant with our first.
And it really was a perspective shift for me. You know, I got to see what my brother’s family went through in losing him and knowing that I was about to become a father, you know, it was much easier for me to visualize the very real possibility of, of me. You know, being killed or just frankly being taken from my family for long periods of time and training, um, with the, the level of commitment that I owed to the SEAL team.
So it was a perspective shift there that led to me saying, okay, I’m going to get out. I want to focus on my family. I want to be there for my family and other loved ones in my life. And at that point I said, I, you know, I wanted to reinvent myself. I wanted to prove people wrong. I wanted to prove that I could do something besides being a combat leader.
I wanted to prove that I could actually be successful in a career outside of the military with direct kind of gun toting skills that I was coming to the table with.
Jason: [00:27:39] I totally get that. You know, I, I used to race cars and, you know, I started seeing some of our, our friends that I would know would get injured.
And I was just, you know, right when I had my second son, I was like, I was like you, I was like, if I get hurt, I get hurt, but it’s going to affect my family going forward. And so that’s kind of why I kind of hung up the race suit.
NIck: [00:28:01] It’s always a good exercise to step back and kind of evaluate your priorities at any point in life.
And I think the more frequent you can do that exercise the better off you are, because it makes sure that you’re staying on track. Right? I mean, if you don’t do that exercise. From time to time, you’re going to slowly but surely deviate from course to a point where if too much time elapses, you know, you may find yourself in a pretty bad place.
And, uh, You know, and I, I wouldn’t say I am immune to that because I have, I have spoke very openly and very freely about my own personal struggles and kind of losing course post-transition and it kind of losing focus on the priorities that led me to transitioning from the SEAL teams in the first.
Jason: [00:28:51] No, that’s great. Last question I forgot to ask was around, have you ever had to replace a teammate?
NIck: [00:28:58] Well, so yeah, I mean, in my, on that last. Deployment to Afghanistan. I replaced a teammate that was removed relinquished from a leadership role over in Afghanistan. And that was the biggest learning experience for me as a leader, to be able to step into a broken scenario and have to figure it out, right.
Have to win people over that don’t necessarily know you very well. And, and kind of when that confidence and that trust, you know, in a short period of time. Well, when you came into that environment though, was there anybody that you had to replace, you know, going in or make that hard decision to be like that person on the team is not the right fit?
Yeah. So let me think about it. I, so in that scenario, I was not the one that had to pull the trigger and, and replace that person. We did replace, uh, people in previous platoons and it’s never easy. Right? I mean, it’s you know, I think the things that we did, right, and we often did this because it was protocol in the SEAL teams is we brought the issue up early and often it was never a surprise for the person.
If it was a surprise, it actually tied our hands in our ability to remove that individual from a position, regardless of whether it’s a leadership position, a high level leadership position, or just a, a position within a, uh, a SEAL platoon, you know, we, we executed counseling multiple times and everything was recorded.
And the person was very clear as to what our expectations were, where they were falling short, because if you don’t give people clear expectations and you don’t give them defined objectives for them to hit that, our metrics of their performance, how can you hold them accountable? How can you — I think you are failing as a leader if you’re not clear and you’re not giving them those well-defined objectives.
You know, you should be looking at replacing yourself or counseling yourself if you’re not doing that. So if ever if you’re pulling somebody into your, office to tell them that you’re going to let them go, and that person is surprised or has his hearing those things for the first time, it’s absolutely the wrong way to approach that scenario.
Jason: [00:31:11] Yeah, looking back, I’ve done that so many times in the very early years and I’m like, man, why did I have to surprise them? Like if I just kind of let them know my expectation, the whole way and kind of just seed it the right way, it could have turned out totally different.
NIck: [00:31:27] Yeah. It’s always tough. Right? To be direct.
Communication is scary for a lot of people. People don’t like confrontation in the outside world. It’s difficult to sit face to face with somebody. And tell somebody that they’re failing at something, you know, or that, you know, you’re disappointed in them. It’s easy to tell them when they’re, you know, they’re… hey there, you’re doing a great job and you’re exceeded expectations, but people just, they shy away from confrontation and conflict.
And, you know, I’ve noticed, and I’ve learned this myself because it’s tougher on the outside because I, I am dealing with people that I did not. Have go through a selection process, right? So, you know, sometimes I’m bringing people in and I think they’re going to be the best person ever to fill that role.
And three months later, I’m finding out that they are inadequate, you know, might not have had the skillset that they, they came into it saying they did. And they might even have personality traits that are cancerous within the unit. And, direct communication. The times that I’ve been direct and very clear with my expectations and kind of clear in their critique of their execution in their role, it’s been so much easier than those times where I’ve shied away from it and they don’t know, they can’t read your mind.
They don’t hear the conversations that you’re having with your business partners about how you’re disappointed in somebody. And it’s like, you got to tell people, or they’re never going to be able to fix it.
Jason: [00:32:57] Well, I think as, as leaders, if I think back at kind of the early years, I think it was, comes down to a couple, I think two things it’s comes down to, you don’t know the solution that they actually need to go do to fix it.
Or you feel like a, a bad leader because you don’t know the solution for them. And then just this resentment builds up and then it just pops one day and then you surprise them and then it’s just, it’s not good for anyone. So it’s yeah. It’s crazy. Well, this has all been amazing. Is there anything I didn’t ask you that you think would benefit the listeners?
Oh, I mean, I, it’s tough. There’s so much to talk about. I mean, we could, we could talk leadership and, uh, in various scenarios all day long, so I’m happy to do it anytime, brother.
Awesome. I appreciate it. If anybody ever wants to reach out to you or go to your business or charity, where can they go?
NIck: [00:33:51] Yeah. I mean, so for me personally, I’m on Instagram, pretty easy to find there.
I think I’m @Nick_Norris1981, and my business is protekt.com protect with a K. And we’re @protektlife on Instagram. And then for the charity, I would say the C4 Foundation. It’s a charity that I am intimately involved with. I am currently filling the executive director role in combination with my, my efforts as an entrepreneur.
And, uh, so I have a little bit going on, but a C4 foundation was named after Charles Humphrey Keating IV. Who was a friend of mine that was killed in combat in the SEAL teams, uh, about four years ago in Northern Iraq. And, the foundation is building a 560-acre ranch about an hour and a half outside of San Diego in order to be a sanctuary for Navy SEAL families to kind of grow connection within their individual family unit.
And grow connection amongst kind of other families to kind of build that organic support mechanism for guys and, and their families as they go through their deployments on active duty. And then when they finally leave active duty, they have people that they can lean on. So C4foundation.org is a phenomenal organization that I’m involved with.
And, uh, if you want to check it out, there’s some really cool videos on the website.
Jason: [00:35:19] Awesome. Well, everybody go there. If you guys enjoyed this episode and you want to support the great cause that they do, please go there. That’d be great. Thanks Nick. For everything that you’ve done and you’re doing currently and giving us your most valuable asset your time. And if you guys liked this episode, make sure you guys subscribe.
Make sure you guys give it a good rating. And until next time have a Swenk day.