Episode 295 – Max Eckstein

Max is a COO & Aussie Rules Football Player

Max Eckstein talks about how he discovered Aussie Rules Football and how his experiences in playing have helped him become more resilient to challenges and a better leader both on the field and in the office!

Episode Highlights

Getting into Aussie Rules Football
How his injuries started conversations at work
People need to know what drives you
Individuals can drive culture, but the organization should foster culture in the workplace


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USAFL Nationals 2011

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    Welcome to Episode 295 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett, and each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion or an interest outside of work. To put it in another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “And”, those things above and beyond your technical skills, the things that actually differentiates you when you’re in the office.

    I’m so excited to let everyone know that my book’s being published very soon. It’ll be available on Amazon and a few other websites, so check out whatsyourand.com for all the details. I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s listening to the show and changing the cultures where they work because of it, and the book will really help to spread this message.

    Please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast, so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week, and this week is no different with my guest and friend, Max Eckstein. He’s the Chief Operating Officer at Ciancio Ciancio Brown in Denver, Colorado, and now he’s with me here today. Max, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your” And”?

    Max: Thank you, appreciate it. It’s awesome.

    John: Yeah, this is going to be so much fun, man. I’ve got 17 rapid fire questions that I probably should have asked you before we hung out several times.

    Max: Details, details. I’ll answer 16 of them truthfully.

    John: All right, very good, very good. Then we get to guess which one was the lie. Here were go. How about a favorite color?

    Max: Orange.

    John: Orange, interesting. All right, how about a least favorite color?

    Max: Blue.

    John: Oh, interest — okay, all right. How about a suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt?

    Max: Depends where I’m at. Suit and tie pretty much Monday through Friday, minus the tie because no one likes the man scarf. Then when we come to Friday and go to the weekends, let’s go with a pair of jeans, t-shirt and some flip flops.

    John: Oh, okay, super casual, super casual. There you go. How about a favorite actor or actress?

    Max: Man, actor, how about Will Smith?

    John: Oh, yeah, solid answer, funny but serious. Yeah, he’s good. He’s got skills. Yeah. How about more early bird or night owl?

    Max: Early bird.

    John: Okay, all right. More pens or pencils.

    Max: Definitely a pen guy.

    John: Wow, no mistakes.

    Max: Yeah, no mistakes, blue and fine tip.

    John: Okay, blue pen, fine tip, but least favorite color also blue, all right.

    Max: Because everything legal so you’ve got to sign, right?

    John: There you go.

    Max: And you don’t want to be a copy so you do it in blue.

    John: Oh, you’ve been thinking ahead on this. All right, all right. When it comes to puzzles, more Sudoku or crossword.

    Max: Crossword.

    John: Oh, okay, all right. How about, since you’re the law firm guy, Suits or Law and Order?

    Max: Ooh, Suits, definitely, love Suits, well, except for the last year. Last year was terrible.

    John: Yeah, it was a little wonky, yeah, somebody was all getting married to royal but not royal anymore or whatever.

    Max: Way to kill a show, right? Put a love interest story in it.

    John: Right. How about computers, PC or Mac?

    Max: Definitely PC guy. I’m not a fruit dude.

    John: Right. On your mouse, right click or left click.

    Max: I am a right clicker. Oh, sorry, no, sorry. Look at the mouse, left click, excuse me.

    John: Left click, making decisions, okay, all right. Do you have a favorite movie of all time?

    Max: Favorite movie of all time would have to be Top Gun.

    John: Oh, okay, all right, and they’re coming back.

    Max: Coming back, going retro, so that must mean I’m getting old. If I’m going to go old school in general, Steve McQueen in Le Mans.

    John: Oh, okay. Yeah, another really good movie. Okay, how about when it comes to law, criminal or civil?

    Max: Criminal probably, just of the interest side of it, yeah, interesting and we practice —

    John: There are few civil law TV shows.

    Max: Which is true, but we practice both, so I’ve got an interest in both. You can’t be partial one way or the other, right?

    John: Right, right, all right. How about a favorite Disney character?

    Max: Favorite Disney character, Donald Duck?

    John: Solid, solid answer. No pants, he’s just out there.

    Max: Business up top and a little too relaxed down below.

    John: Doesn’t even have the flip flops. He’s like, damn it, what does he even care? We’ve got four more, four more. Cats or dogs.

    Max: Man, I would love to have a dog, but I’ve had cats all my life. I’ve got a cat now, Stu or Stuttgart. That’s to show my affinity for cars and Porsche.

    John: Right, right, okay. How about a favorite number?

    Max: 16.

    John: Oh, okay, and why is that?

    Max: Yeah, football number, probably threw a little bit of love of Joe Montana, growing up, but was my college football number, so, yeah.

    John: Yeah, yeah. Okay. How about a favorite activity in gym class when you were a kid?

    Max: In gym class, sprints, I was fast, has grown up.

    John: Okay, you were that kid, all right.

    Max: Well, I had three knee surgeries, so that speed has gone away from me, for sure.

    John: Right, exactly. All right. The last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.

    Max: Man, so I thought hard about this, and this is one you kind of teed up a little bit for me, great grandfather’s ring, which has been an heirloom, has been passed down to me. It’s got a sentimental tradition, value to it. Otherwise, would be a pair of 10th Mountain Division old school wood skis that were a gift. Those are pretty unique and my passion for skiing.

    John: That’s awesome, man. That’s very cool, both very cool things. Yeah, and so let’s talk Aussie rules football. How did you get started playing?

    Max: Yeah, long story short, my wife worked with a woman way back in the day when we were still in law school. She came out here during the summer and worked on adoption agency. She was working in this adoption agency, met this other woman who’s become a great friend of ours. A couple years later, when we move back to Denver, she knew my college football background and said, “You need to meet this guy I’ve been hanging out with and this place I’m working. They’ve got this Australian rules football team. You should come out and have a kick.” Being a guy, that’s kind of tough, right? Team sports, guys, everybody’s like, oh, sure come out and hang out. You’re like, yeah, it doesn’t exactly work that way.

    John: Right.

    Max: They’re a pretty tight group, whatever. So, I punted on that idea for like two years, and the national tournament was going to be held in Colorado Springs that year. So, I finally submitted. I was going to go down and watch the games. So, I was there in October, and October is usually beautiful time if you’re in the Midwest or in the south. In Colorado, that can be variable sometimes.

    John: Exactly. In the day, it’ll be variable.

    Max: That proved to the point. Friday, they set up. Everything was beautiful, I think 60s, 70s, perfect fall weather. Saturday, first day of the tournament, it snowed, and it snowed hard. So, I didn’t go down. So, that put it off for another year, and then I had knee surgery, one of my first knee surgeries, met her then-boyfriend, now husband. He basically said, “Hey, why don’t you come out and have a kick some time?” I was like, yeah, girlfriend, at this point, has been trying to get me off for a long time, and that’s joy.

    I just had gotten out of my cast. My mother-in-law is a PE teacher. She wanted to learn how to play. We walked over to Wash Park, and I couldn’t run maybe more than 10 feet. I was embarrassed about this, and he’s like, “You should really come out.” I said, “I will come out.” So that was my goal in PT over the next three months, in good shape, to just be able to have enough, I guess, wind and legs to keep up and run, and I sucked. I was terrible, and I loved the hell out of it, so that got me into it.

    John: Yeah, and clearly they were also very competitive Type A athletes that were not just — it’s not like a softball league where it’s more drinking beer than it is playing. It’s both, I would imagine, but it’s also good athletes that are playing for real.

    Max: Yeah, so it was a bunch of guys, so most Americans were guys that played a variety of different collegiate sports, soccer, football, whatever it might be, and then all of our Aussies typically grown up playing Aussie rules football. It was second nature to them. It would be our baseball, basketball, football, that type of thing, to them. They actually all had skills. None of us, when you think about American sports and kicking sports, but for soccer, really, which has been new in the last couple of years; we suck at the kicking sports.

    John: Pretty much.

    Max: We’re not great with our feet, and there’s an awful lot of kicking in Aussie rules. So, yeah, you’ve got to learn by trial by fire quickly.

    John: That’s awesome, man. That’s so cool. That’s so cool. Then since then — I mean, so you joined the team, and then there are tournaments and games all over the country?

    Max: Yeah. To answer your first part of the question, yeah, joined the team, and we had great success in the club prior to me being there and continued that. There are a variety of different tournaments about every two to three weeks, either someone’s traveling to us or we’re traveling somewhere in the country. A full side is 24, 18 to play in the field per time, and so it’s a big field and a lot of running per game. You get to see a bunch of different cities and spend some time traveling to places like Dallas, Chicago, Des Moines, San Diego, LA, New York; and then, likewise, people come here to Denver. Denver, traditionally, has been a very good team. The men actually have won, make sure I get this right, we’ve won eight national championships in 20 years.

    John: That’s awesome.

    Max: Yeah, and the women have won six. So, about the time I came on, we started a women’s team through counsel here, James Waddell, and he really helped kick-start that. He was the president before I was president of club, and kick-started the women’s team, and they quickly made the men very nervous that they were going to take us just to the championship wins, which would have been pretty awesome. They did do six of those, consecutively, by the way.

    John: That’s unbelievable.

    Max: Yeah, super unbelievable.

    John: That’s so cool. Are there any of the matches — I assume, are they matches, or are they games, or are they…

    Max: Games.

    John: Games? Okay.

    Max: So typical Aussie rules game would be 20 minute-quarters, obviously four quarters. In the US NFL, we play a slightly modified version because we go do a tournament. You want to get lots of games and so if there are two or three teams that show up for that tournament or the Nationals when there is Division One through Four, then you want to have all these games happen in kind of a weekend time.

    So, for Division One, which Denver’s always been in since day one once the league started, there are four games to win the championship. Four games is a lot and so you take some pretty good bruises during that time and so a little bit short. There’s just two halves, and they’re 20 minutes.

    John: Okay, all right, all right. That’s awesome, man. That’s so cool. Are there any other games that come to mind that are some of your favorites or most memorable?

    Max: Well, so probably Season One and Two are probably highs and lows a little bit for me. Season One, I came in, and as I said, I, to put it politely, sucked, but I had enough wind underneath me and desire, I guess, that somehow or other, I was able to make the first team and play in the first team. My role was — first of all, you can’t coach height, so that helps out. I’m tall, lanky, and that doesn’t hurt me, by any stretch of the imagination. I also had a little bit more youth in that time, though I was fooled by those standards already. I’m definitely old by Aussie rules standards already, having taken up at age 33, I guess, in my first year I played. So, yeah, didn’t exactly have youth but had desire on my side, and a competitive nature.

    Anyway, that year, we went all the way through. We won the year before, had won the championship, and we went through the entire year and went undefeated. So, we made it all the way to the finals. We played New York, and I was assigned a tagging role, basically, meaning that I was giving up in the offensive side, and I was just going to play defensive on the captain. So, I play defensively on the captain of the team and probably within ten minutes, ended up breaking his nose. He went out of the game and came back in probably another five to ten minutes later, showing his toughness with a full bandage on his entire face or his nose, which also made him extremely easy to find.

    John: Right.

    Max: Anyway, we went through the rest of that game, and we ended up losing a very close game. That was my first loss my very first year, and I was torn up. It was terrible. Go undefeated first year, we won the year before, and then we lose in the final, terrible, but it was great motivation. I got a second place medal on my desk for the entire year. I think it was first day of practice, and I literally nailed it on the tree at our practice field. I said, “This is what it means to me, hopefully means the same thing to you guys.” I knew that we had great leadership that did. Yeah, the next year, we went through. We won the national championship, and that was my first national championship in Austin. So, those two years, that’s probably my high and my low.

    John: Yeah, that’s so cool, man. Yeah, it’s like how many more bones do I’ve got to break in this guy’s face for us to win this game? Come on, everybody.

    Max: That also tells you about the toughness of Aussies and of those players. In general, American football, which I played for all through high school and college, you’re all padded up and whatever. You get knocked down, and you’ve got some good hard hits, and there’s no joke about that. When you don’t have any pads on and you do the same hits and then the guy just gets right back up; or you break his nose, he comes right back in; I think that tells you a lot about the sports.

    John: Yeah, because it’s no pads at all, like a kid playing football in elementary school on the playground. It’s just like we’re just out there and — but it’s not two-hand touch. It’s all out hit.

    Max: Yeah, you get a nice pair of short shorts, which make you feel pretty good about yourself, and you get some sleeveless jersey which is nice and tight, so you want to make sure that you’ve done some running so you don’t have any beer bellies going on.

    John: Right.

    Max: You get a mouthguard, and mouthguards are not my favorite because I’ve broken my nose, what, three times that I had to reset — so, yeah, breathing isn’t so good.

    John: Breathing is a little hard, yeah.

    Max: Yeah. So, I usually take out my mouthguard which is not the smartest thing in the world to do either.

    John: Right.

    Max: Then you go out and play, so, yeah, good times.

    John: That’s so impressive. I’m sure a lot of people mix it up with rugby. What’s the difference? I assume there is a huge difference.

    Max: Yes. If you take the diagram of playing sports and you take American football on the right hand side and then you put rugby next to it, then next to it, going left, you put Aussie rules football, and then next to Aussie rules football, you put soccer; if you think of soccer and rugby, you can have Aussie rule there.

    So it flows more like soccer, the ball is always in play. If there’s a turnover, you play on. There’s out of bounds obviously but, otherwise, play on. Closer to rugby in that you’d have a ball that is kicked and/or can be hand-passed, which you do with a punch, so you use it almost like a volleyball. Hold it and then you’ve got to punch the ball to somebody. There’s no throwing of the ball like rugby, but rugby is a little bit closer to the right of football where there are more set-downs in that regard, and you’ve got a certain amount of you “plays” that you do before you have to turn over the ball.

    So there’s kind of the difference between rugby and Aussie rules. We would say that also, the rugby guys are probably crazier, and then rugby guys would probably say that we’re kind of crazier. Definitely a lot more running in Aussie rules. That’s why you see some of the bigger dudes that will eat guys like you and I for breakfast.

    John: Right, pretty much, pretty much, because it’s like, yeah, you know what, I’m going to be over here? Who needs water? I’ve got water. Who needs water? That’s impressive, man. That’s so cool and so exciting. To play on that level and to win championships, that’s super exciting. It’s not just your neighborhood little get-together. It’s like, no, no, this is legit.

    Max: It’s the nicest thing, and I guess to go back to my earlier comment about a colleague got involved, come out and have a kick; it was the one thing that I must say that after day one, coming there and showing a desire that you really cared, the club is is the easiest way to meet 40 or 60 new friends. It’s one thing the Aussies do a great job of, and our club has just built this culture for Americans as well, is anybody that wants to come out and have a kick, come out and have a kick, and very welcoming.

    We’ve got, depending on the year and numbers, we, at least, have three different teams. We’ve got a Division One team which is the top men’s team. We’ve got a Division 14 which is kind of our second team. If you’re either an old guy like I am now or a young player coming in, wants to learn, you can play in that second team and get some chance to learn the game and then move up to the One eventually. Then we’ve got a women’s team. I know two years ago, I think the women actually had so many players that they fielded a second team as well, the nationals. So, very, very cool, great club, neat people, a lot of other social events that happen around that as well, so, a huge cluster.

    John: Yeah, and is this something that you shared with people throughout your career while you were playing? I imagine you’d come in with a shiner or something every once in a while, or why you’re limping.

    Max: There was a lot of explanations. Sometimes when you go into a business meeting or doing business development one way or another, and people like, “What went on this weekend?”

    John: What’s with your face?

    Max: I wasn’t in a bar fight, but I know it looks like I was. This was actually a week ago.

    John: The last deal didn’t quite go through, so let’s hope this one goes better.

    Max: So, you want me to do some sales today? What’s up?

    John: Right, right.

    Max: Yeah, I always shared it. It was something that was a little bit different. It was also because I was brought into a good group of people and something that, if people are looking to meet a lot of other good folks, I think it’s a great, great place for people to do that. So, for sure, definitely shared it. It’s also something that’s memorable and unique. That’s how you and I first chatted about this. It stands out. There’s not a lot of people you know that play Australian rules football.

    John: Yeah, yeah. A lot of people that I’ve talked with, both, after I speak at conferences, as well as on the podcast, and just in regular life, that there’s quite a few people that just it crosses their mind that people are going to judge me, or this has nothing to do with my career. Did that ever cross your mind? Or was pretty it much the opposite? It’s like, that’s why I’m sharing.

    Max: Yeah, I think that’s definitely why you share. I mean, as you know, you’ve got multiple lives. You’ve got maybe your family life. You’ve got family and kids, and you know that takes a lot of time. You’ve got your career and everything you’re trying to do there. Then you also have other interests that you do outside. That’s what makes you you, and that’s important to share because that helps build teamwork and cooperation and also makes you unique. We’re all humans, and that bleeds into what we do.

    Honestly, I think that’s super important in work culture. People need to know what drives you because it’s not always about money or about success or whatever. There are other things that really drive people, and that’s going to help you relate to those folks, be able to speak to their language, and frankly, let’s call a spade a spade, just care about people and what’s really important. That’s what really builds a family or a team or a culture in business.

    John: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more, man. Because if people were to ask you in the office, “Hey, how was that rugby game in Austin, or the championships, how did that go,” that’s showing you that, wow, they really care about me, not just my work output, but they care about me as a person, and it just goes so much further.

    Max: Yup, totally agree. By the way you called it rugby, so I’m just going to give you a hard time. I was just waiting for it.

    John: I was testing you. I was like, let me see what happens if — I’m sure that that’s what was said to you. I was just replaying the dialogue that actually happened. I was just trying to be true to the script. No, no, I had no clue what I was saying.

    Max: Our early years of practice were held at Wash Park, and anybody from Denver knows Wash Park, one of the biggest, most frequented parks in Denver. It was a great recruiting tool for us. There was not a person that didn’t stop by and to, like, so, are you guy the Glendale Raptors, or you guys out here playing rugby? We’d go through the differences, like I just went through, of Aussie rules and what that all is. They’d be, ”Yeah, great. So, when’s you guys next rugby match?” Anyway, moving on, so, defense

    John: Exactly, yeah, but that’s so great to hear that just people care that much and that you feel like that’s the differentiator. That’s how people remembered you. Because we’re all good at our jobs, plus or minus, we’re all pretty good at our jobs, being good at your job isn’t going to make you memorable. It’s going to be something else.

    Max: Life is about experiences. Hopefully those experiences also help you to become better at your job. There’s a lot to be learned from playing on a team or visiting a country or reading a book or listening to a podcast like yours; and taking those experiences and using those to help educate yourself or open up doors or think about things that you hadn’t thought about before. Especially attorneys, it’s hard for us to keep our mouth shut and listen, but good attorneys and good leaders, I think, do do that very well. They know when to listen, and they also know, really, when to give good sage advice or ask permission to give advice.

    John: I love that. Because it’s just having normal conversations, and it doesn’t have to be all billable hour charge code, whatever. It’s just, who are you as a person, and that’s so great. How much do you feel like it’s on the organization to create that culture top down, and how much is it on the individual to maybe just create it in their little circle or to jump in and be a part of it?

    Max: I think individuals can drive it, for sure, but I think that it is on the organization to foster it. What I mean by that is, if you hire good folks and then give them space and opportunity to give good feedback and communicate and then, likewise, open communication, then that builds that rapport within an organization for them to feel that safe space so they can say that. Also, I love reading love, I love listening to other podcasts, and I think there’s a lot to learn.

    Brene Brown talks a lot about shame. It’s shame if you just hold onto that and hide underneath the rock. If you can open up and say, “Hey, I screwed up, and here’s the reason why I screwed up,” and everybody can learn from that, then all sudden, that creates a culture where folks can say, “Well, I screwed up too.” So, let’s all learn from that and let’s build. That then provides those opportunities where you hear about tech firms or the Googles of the world that then really utilized that.

    John: That takes time though.

    Max: It’s hard. So, that has to come from leaders on up because it’s very hard if you’re two years into your profession at Accounting or in Wealth Management or in Legal, say, “Hey, I really screwed up,” and not get fired or feel like you’re not going to get fired. So, that has to come from leaders, in that regard.

    John: And leaders feeling like it’s okay to look vulnerable sometimes, that it’s okay to be human, for them to admit that they messed up. Because then it shows, it’s not like everyone, chopping block immediately. Small mistake, who cares, whatever. That’s why we have layers of review. That’s why it’s coaching moment. Don’t let it happen again, we’re all good type of thing. But for people to be scared of where they are or of who they’re working with, that’s the exact opposite of what you’ve created and what needs to happen.

    Max: And culture takes a long time to build. It doesn’t happen overnight, right? It’s a process, but I think if you can, again, communicate with folks, give them the space to communicate back with you, be honest with them and say, like, “You’re going to be heard, but we might not always be able to act on exactly what you want because there’s one or 50 or 500 other folks here, we’ve got to think about too,” that then you can at least open up that atmosphere and let people know they’re heard. Then you’re going to act on that or at least — it just builds buy-in, and I think that’s really super important, yeah, makes it’s more fulfilling.

    John: That’s awesome. Before I wrap this up, do you have any words of encouragement for anyone listening that thinks that they have a hobby or a passion that has nothing to do with their career?

    Max: Yeah, go for it. I think that stay curious would be something that I’ve always tried to live by, and that’s curious about others. That’s curious about something seems interesting to you, if that’s reading a book or trying something new. Put yourself out there. Be willing to fail and move on from that. Again, some of the other authors and people, there are great statements out there from the rich rolls, Kennedys, Churchill, John Joseph, David Goggins, that just have all this good, positive mental attitude on work. The future is unwritten. What we do today, determines our own future. So, go out there, have a positive attitude, stay curious, and you can do anything you really apply yourself to.

    John: Yeah, have a kick, right?

    Max: Have a kick. I love that kick.

    John: There you go. See, I knew what’s up. I’m learning. I’m learning. No, this has been so much fun, Max. Before I wrap it up, it’s only fair that I allow you to be the host of the show now and rapid fire question me now. So, I’m in the hot seat. I’m ready.

    Max: I’m going to give you some softballs, and we’ll move into some hard ones. Sound good?

    John: Okay, okay.

    Max: All right, go-to or favorite outfit.

    John: Go-to or favorite outfit, wow.

    Max: This is a softball one.

    John: That’s the softball one, okay. Well, if I’m onstage, I have a dark teal suit that’s a little bit different. It’s not too weird, but it’s different, especially when the room is full of blue and black suits are like, well, what is that? Yeah, so that’s a fun suit to wear with a shirt and a tie that matches. Yeah, it’s pretty sharp.

    Max: Weekend wear?

    John: Weekend wear, yeah, that’s just going to be probably a Notre Dame t-shirt and a pair of khaki shorts, like just the old school like that. It’s probably a Notre Dame shirt that I might have had when I was there.

    Max: It’s become wick away because it’s so thin that it’s ventilating now?

    John: Pretty much, pretty much. It’s wicking now.

    Max: Yeah, fair enough. All right, wine or whiskey.

    John: Wine.

    Max: Flip flops or snow boots.

    John: Oh, wow, that’s a trick one. I guess I’d go flip flops because that probably means I’m on a beach.

    Max: Fair enough.

    John: Probably. Although, snow boots could mean I’m shoveling snow. It doesn’t always mean that I’m snowboarding.

    Max: Totally fair. I love flip flops even in winter, so I hear you. All right, a person or thing that changed your life. Let’s go with some hard ones.

    John: Okay, yeah. Wow, changed my life, well, I guess my grandfather. He was like D-Day plus 12 and never bragged about any of it, never really talked about any of it. He passed away, he was six weeks shy of his 100th birthday, and just taught me so many things in life without telling me, just by showing.

    You stand up and you take your hat off for the Star-Spangled Banner, hand over your heart, just respect for things. If you see trash on the ground, you just pick it and put it in the trash can, just little things that you would just see him do that he never told you to do any of these things, but you just observed it; and just taught me, not only how to live, but in the end, how to how to die really.

    It was really awesome to see his positive attitude and just gratefulness for all the caregivers and just everything and just all the way till the end. He was never really grumpy or bitter. He would have some days where he’s down but for the most part, he was always just grateful and positive and upbeat, have a joke or funny line or things like that. So, he’s definitely had a big impact.

    Max: Yeah, sounds like he was humble guy, a gentleman, taught you how to be a gentleman, and also somebody that really served as a mentor. That’s pretty cool. Great answer.

    John: And he was hilarious. He was really funny. He always said joke jokes and stories. Yeah, he was pretty funny.

    Max: Good stuff for your bits later on, right?

    John: Right, oh, totally, totally.

    Max: So, you asked for my parting words. What’s one lesson you wish you could leave with the world, if there’s one thing.

    John: That’s deep, man. That’s deep. I guess just that there’s more to people than what you see. There’s so much depth and other dimensions to each of us. There’s cool people around us all the time. Just ask and find out. If there isn’t a charge code for it, maybe there should be because that’s way better than anything else. It’s just so cool and rewarding to hear people’s stories and where they’ve been and what they’ve done. Unfortunately, we all think that our stories aren’t cool because they’re ours, but they’re cool to somebody. Everyone I’ve had on this podcast has been so interesting and fun to hear what it is that really lights them up and then also how that impacts so many other areas of their life, not just their work. So, yeah, just, you’re more than who you think you are type of thing, so is everyone else around you.

    Max: Yeah, and I think you can learn so much from folks when you ask those questions. Then that really starts to resonate and builds that rapport with them as well, and nothing is more important to those folks. That’s super cool.

    John: Totally.

    Max: All right, this is the last one, promise. You’re like, did Max just totally take over the show? Yes. Yes, I did. Do you have one big regret in your life? If there is something then if you could have that opportunity, what would you do to change it?

    John: Yeah, my biggest regret is turning the show over to you to do the questions at the end of the podcast.

    Max: Fair enough, and never ask to put me back on again, the missing episode, 295.

    John: Right, right. The biggest regret, probably, besides, yeah, having you on the show is — no, no — is just doubting myself and not just letting it rip, always checking myself and that accountant in me, that risk-averseness. It’s not like I’m going to be injured. I’m not a daredevil that’s doing crazy jumps. I’m just writing a book or doing a podcast or speaking onstage and having ideas to help businesses run better and consulting with them. So, just let it rip.

    I have had so much more that I could have contributed in the past that I didn’t just because of self-doubt and self-criticism, but now the gloves are off, man. It’s on. I’m taking the mouthpiece out, yeah, so when the book comes out, it will be cool.

    Max: Yeah, we’ll tap the “Play like a champion today” sign, every morning then, and I would disagree with you that you haven’t gone out there. I think this podcast is part of it. I know your speaking is part of it. Your book is part of it. You probably don’t give yourself enough credit for some of the great things you have done and continue to do and inspiration you provide other folks and help them to find their own inspiration or to tell their story. So, kudos to you and continue to —

    John: Oh, thanks so much, Max. I appreciate it, man. Thank you. Yeah, well, I just appreciate you taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”? This has been so much fun.

    Max: I really enjoyed it as well, and sorry for taking over the show there for the last little bit.

    John: No worries, man. It’s what happens when you give a lawyer the stand.

    Max: That’s right.

    John: It’s what happens. Everyone listening, if you want to see some pictures of Max in action or maybe connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there, and while you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture.

    Thanks again for subscribing on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.


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