April 6

Episode 117: It’s Who You’re BEING, Not Just What You’re Doing


In today’s episode, Mike talks with Eric Rogell. Eric is the founder of Mentors on a Mission. He’s passionate about helping fathers raise strong sons. Eric works with men who want to be extraordinary leaders and also want to influence, inspire, and leave a lasting impact on the next generation.

Eric Rogell’s Bio

It’s deceptively simple, but when you answer these 4 questions as honestly—and I mean as ruthlessly honestly—as you can, (especially Question 4) the roadmap to growth and success in every area of your life will unfold. The actions to take become clear.


Those BOLD, audacious actions that bring courage in the face of fear, shake you out of your Comfort Zone, reignite your passion. And get you everything you want. I know because I’ve lived it. Gone from hesitant, shy, comfortable and complacent, watching other guys get what I wanted… to bold, confident, audacious, and fulfilled. I’ve also seen it happen over and over again with my clients and audiences.

Questions in This Episode
  • “What is it about men that tends to put more emphasis on what we’re doing?”
  • “Do you spend much time on that notion of first be a good husband?”
  • “For those men who hear that word king and they seem to squirm a little bit, how do you help them better embrace, what is it you’re trying to say when you use the word king?”
  • “In your work with men, which ones seem to be the most difficult for men?”
  • “How have you worked commitment into your work with men and women?”
  • “Would you mind sharing an example where perhaps you got stuck and what did it take to get unstuck? Or a client example that would help illustrate that point?”
  • “Can you walk us through what that might look like? What are the options people have if they work with you and your organization?”
  • “As you kind of reflect on this conversation what do you want our viewers, the listeners of this podcast to have as their takeaways?”

Links & Resources Mentioned…


Read The Transcript

Mike O'Neill: Welcome back to the Get Unstuck and On-Target podcast. I'm Mike O'Neill with Bench Builders and with leadership coaching and supervisory training, we help companies solve the people problems that are hurting their profit and slowing their growth. Today we're gonna shift gears a bit. You may not know that I'm the father of three sons.

Joining me today is Eric Rogell. Eric is the founder of Mentors on a Mission. He's passionate about helping fathers raise strong sons. Eric works with men who want to be extraordinary leaders and also want to influence, inspire, and leave a lasting impact on the next generation. Eric, I'm looking forward to this conversation, welcome.

Eric Rogell: Thanks, Mike. I appreciate it. It's honor to be here and I'm real excited to just kind of dig into this with you.

Mike O'Neill: This is not gonna be a topic that is only limited to men, but women listening hopefully will pick up on some things and hopefully if you hear it and you're a woman and you say, I have somebody in my life I want to listen to it, that this would be hopefully something that they would benefit from.

We decided to kind of title this episode, it's who you're being, not just what you're doing. That I would like to kind of use that as a kind of kicking off point. It's all in the emphasis on which word you're saying.

It's who you're being, not what you're doing. What is about men that tends to put more emphasis on what we're doing?

Eric Rogell: Yeah, that's a great question, Mike. And from my experience, what I find is that, especially in a lot of men, we are looking at what do we need to do to provide for our families?

So we're out there working, we're making money, we may start a business. It's doing, doing, doing, doing, doing. We're on that hamster wheel every day, just getting it going. And the thing that I found and in working with, both men and women over the years, is and this is something that was taught to me by my mentor, and now I'm very big on not only having mentors, being a mentor, right?

Both sides. And that goes into part of who you're being. And for me, it's, I have learned that who it is you are being every day has the most impact on the people around you. So looking at it is being, are you confident? Are you courageous? Are you emotionally connected? Are you being a fantastic role model?

Are you modeling excellence in everything that you do? Are you being that leader that people in your business and in your family are looking up to? And what we don't realize is, especially with kids, Is they're looking at us and they're modeling everything we do all the time, right? They're watching us like hawks, they're learning from us.

They're becoming us. And so who you are being is far, far more important than the things that you do. So that's why I always say it's who you're being, not what you're doing.

Mike O'Neill: When I learned that I was gonna be a dad, and I learned, I just realized that it's right over my shoulder. I dunno if I can pull back here.

There's a rocking chair. You can barely make it out. I'm wanna lower the camera.

Eric Rogell: Oh, sure. Yeah. The top rocking there. It's, yes. Absolutely.

Mike O'Neill: That rocking chair is from LL Bean and my wife and I basically had a kind of a, an understanding at the point that she learns that she is pregnant with our first child.

I will come home from work and she'll be rocking in that rocking chair. I don't know if I've shared that with anybody. Much less put it on a podcast that rocking chair's right behind me. That serves as a constant reminder of life changed when I learned I was gonna be a dad, and I learned I was gonna be a dad of a son, and those things raced through my mind, ah, what do I do?

How do I do it? If I don't have the role model, how in a world do I go about doing that? I imagine you see that a lot. Do you not?

Eric Rogell: I do. I was just gonna, yeah, I'm glad you brought that up cause that's a lot of things when I talk to a lot of men, especially first time fathers, is I don't, what do I do? And when, and really when they say what do I do? There's not much to do, right? I mean, you just get out of the way. Let them grow up. But, and that's really what it is. It's who you are being. And when you just said, I didn't have the role model, am I going to be a good role model myself? And that's really what I find when I talk to a lot of these men, is and it was the way I was in my life.

I had, my dad was awesome. I loved him. He was fantastic. But my parents divorced when I was 12, so he wasn't around a whole lot. Right after that, we got him, every other weekend and whatever the custody situation was. So we didn't see him that often. I didn't have him in my life that much.

And my thing as I got older was, who am I modeling? Where are my role models that I can look to? And so I do, I hear that from a lot of men where that, you go from being a young man, or an entrepreneur, or a sales team leader, or a vice president, or whatever it is, to all of a sudden you're a dad.

And now who am I being as dad? Who do I need to be? And that really is what hits a lot of men. And a lot of 'em don't have that role model and they don't know where to turn to find out what they need to be doing. I mean, sorry, being more than doing. And again, it also comes down to like, I know we have a lot of business people out in the podcast listening.

It's also who you are being in your business right home and work, who are you being as this role model that people are gonna look up to respect and feel safe and secure around? Those are the biggest things that I hear from a lot of the men that I work with.

Mike O'Neill: You mentioned roles at work versus roles at home. If a, if we're talking dad's here.

Eric Rogell: Sure.

Mike O'Neill: If you are a successful business person, and you're starting to figure that out. It doesn't necessarily mean you're gonna be a successful dad and or husband. Do you spend much time on that notion of first be a good husband?

Eric Rogell: Well, excellent question and this is really where a lot of my clients come from, is they are very, very successful in business and then things are kind of not ideal.

And in some cases actually crumbling and falling apart at home. And so for me, what I tell them is it's again, who you're being, I had an interesting conversation with someone recently and I'll bring this up cause it may illustrate the story. And she was saying she works to get fathers who are entrepreneurs, more time to be at home with their family.

She said to me, I mean, listen Eric what man wouldn't want to be home with his family more? and I said, wow, you know what? I speak to hundreds of men all the time, and I would say the majority of them. And the reason why is not that they don't want to be there.

They love their wife, they love their family, but they're so busy and so tied into business and working that to provide and bring home money and make sure the family's financially secure, they're not home as much as they'd like to be, and they start to kind of drift and disconnect. So now they really have no idea who am I supposed to be at home? Who am I at home? Am I gonna walk in and be the disciplinarian even though I haven't been there all day? Am I gonna be the fun dad who's just there to play games?

Which usually upsets mom. Cause she's had to be disciplinarian all day. Am I gonna be, who am I being when I'm home? So for me, what I work with them on is it's not about, well, it is about, so I'm gonna back up. You have, business dad and you have dad, dad, right? So you're the business guy at home, at work, and you are the dad guy at home.

How do you differentiate? Because what you're doing in business doesn't work at the house? I tell guys all the time, your wife is not your vice president and your kids are not your employees, right? This is not a business. What works there may not work here. So we've got to be deliberately business guy, be deliberately dad guy.

And the way to do that in my work is I show men how to be the king archetype. So the king archetype, and what that really is, is we have our warrior archetype, which is all those great things that move us forward. So courage and boldness and leadership and being a great mentor and guardian and guide and being adventurous and risk taker, and all of these things motivate and drive ambition.

All that drives us forward. That's our warrior side. Most of us are tapped into that, especially if you're successful in business, you've got that warrior on, right? Then we have our lover side, our heart side, and these are things where, yeah, I used to think this was the weaker side. It's not in any way. And when you feel into the different characteristics of this archetype, the lover archetype, it's wisdom, creativity, playfulness, generosity, empathy, compassion, generosity, abundance, all the things that make life so juicy and fun, right?

So we have our warrior side, we have our lover side, and as if we can integrate the two of those and come, leading with our warrior, supporting with our lover, both sides in every situation that's operating from the king archetype. So when I tell men, this is your king archetype, they get it.

They go, all right, I got these qualities and these qualities. I need to show up for my wife in both, for my kids, in both, for my team at work, in both King at all times. Now, the king at work may be more skewed towards the warrior, then it, then the lover side because he is gotta get things done and at home, the king still leads with the warrior, but may show a lot more of the lover side because he wants that love and playfulness and creativity and compassion at home, but still has to be the king and come as the leader, the guardian, but one who has a heart with a lot of love.

Does that make sense? Does that kind of explain how we can kind of get into both and not lose either.

Mike O'Neill: It does make sense that term King could have some connotations that are not really intended. Elaborate. For those men who hear that word king and they seem to squirm a little bit, how do you help them better embrace, what is it you're trying to say when you use the word king?

Eric Rogell: Yeah. Well, I would love to hear what might make them squirm, because that might help me answer it a little better.

Mike O'Neill: Well, I think what crosses my mind, I come outta a corporate HR background and we've gotten so politically correct. Is that when you put a label on something, it, you almost have to make it so generic it doesn't mean anything anymore.

Eric Rogell: Got it.

Mike O'Neill: I am reading, and cause you sent this to me, I think you had something you had just finished, something that you refer to as the manual and you're, I'm holding it up for those who might be watching, but manual, M A N, is in bold, and then the rest of it, U A L and it kind of crosses my mind in the delivery room.

They don't hand you a manual, do they?

Eric Rogell: Right? Yeah, they do not.

Mike O'Neill: But what you've done here is you've tried to kind of pull together the highlights of some of those things. You mention ...

Eric Rogell: Some of this timeless wisdom that we've gotten over centuries really, of yeah.

Mike O'Neill: You called those core values. I think you even called them the Sacred Seven.

Eric Rogell: The Sacred seven Core Values. Yes, let's ...

Mike O'Neill: Let me read those off if you don't mind. Courage, honesty, integrity, commitment, duty, honor, and love. In your work with men, which ones seem to be the most difficult for men?

Eric Rogell: Love that question. It's interesting, we focus on the first three with a lot of men when they first come into my work.

Courage, honesty, and integrity. Right, which is, courage is first and foremost. It's not the absence of fear, it's doing what needs to be done in the face of fear. It's true courage. So the courage to, is what gets us moving forward. If you don't have the courage, you're gonna stay stuck.

Mike O'Neill: Yeah.

Eric Rogell: Right. You're not gonna move forward. So the courage to be ruthlessly, brutally honest with yourself first, is important. When you can be really honest with yourself, and this is difficult for a lot of us. I know it was difficult for me, really looking at the hard truths, being honest with yourself. That's what leads you to be a man of integrity, right?

Integrity being you are the same man in public or person. I'm just gonna, take the men out of it. The person you are in public as you are in private, right? You are that same person you are integrity. You are a person of your word. So those first three we really focus on because those can be very difficult for a lot of people, especially starting out.

I will find also that I, I do have had a conversation with a Navy seal, former Navy Seal Commander, and he has found that commitment is the most difficult for all of us. And he actually does a challenge, he was, I don't know how many years as a Navy SEAL Commander and he said he learned upon receiving his Trident, which is the pin that signifies a Navy seal, only like 8, 9, 10, 11%.

I forget the actual number, but it's somewhere in there of the men who go through that training, actually make it and become a seal. He was told when he got his trident, and it's not because you're the best swimmer, the best marksman, the best soldier, or the best leader, it's because you are the most committed. You are the ones who gave your word, said you were gonna make it through this training and you did. That we can't teach.

That has to be innate in you. You have to be able to keep your commitment to the person on the right of you and the left of you when you're in battle. And that struck me. And so he actually has a challenge. He gives leaders where he says, make a commitment and keep it for five days. And he has found the vast majority cannot keep a commitment for five days.

Mike O'Neill: Really?

Eric Rogell: Well, I would say, oh, absolutely. And I've done it with some of the men that I've worked with, and they're like, yeah. And typically it's the commitments we make to ourselves that we go back on, like, I'm gonna commit to going to the gym three days a week. And then, you're there, you're busy, and you're like, all right, I'll just skip today.

We tend to do that. A lot of times we don't keep commitments to our family cuz we figure they'll understand. So we may have something that comes up at work and we break a commitment to our family. So we take those first four, courage, honesty, integrity. We have the courage to be brutally honest with ourselves and then be a person of integrity.

Keep our word. That means we're keeping our commitments. And I find that when we do this with business people in general, moms and dads that are working, you get them through those first four that can really make that difference at home, right? Because they are being that person you can trust and rely on and count on and know will be there.

And that delivers that safety and security that we're looking for in our relationships, in our families, all of those kind of things. So hopefully that answers the original question. Being king. When I work with women, it's queen, and when I work in corporations, when I do these talks for companies, for teams, it's king and queen.

Mike O'Neill: Yeah.

Eric Rogell: We take the gender out of it and it's just whoever you are, it's who you are being.

Mike O'Neill: You started, when you went through those core values, started with courage and you said is that when people get stuck it's oftentimes because they lack courage.

Eric Rogell: Correct. Yeah.

Mike O'Neill: This podcast being get unstuck and on target. And we started this podcast at on the front end of covid, where we all felt stuck. Personally, professionally, the world was, this kind of had grinded to a halt. I'm a little bit intrigued by this commitment reference that the Navy SEAL shared with you. If that is the big differentiator for those, if only eight, 9% of those who enter SEALs training finish and the differentiator is commitment.

How have you worked commitment into your work with men and women? What have you found are themes that help them with those commitments. Any practical guidance?

Eric Rogell: Yeah. I have actually, and I just did something recently with someone, we were talking about how do you keep oh, it was, this is how they worded it, how do you keep your family a priority? How do you make your family a priority in your life? And because so many of us, and listen, I've been guilty of this. My father was guilty of this. Many of us and our fathers are guilty of this, is something will come up at work and we'll go, all right, well, I can't make the baseball game tonight or the soccer game tonight.

I can't make the dinner that I promised because this, and what I really said was really all you're doing in that instance is you're making the decision that one is more important than the other. Now you can use the excuse of, well, the work thing, and I had a you quite at the bottom base of it, you just made a decision and the decision was this thing was more important than this thing.

So I had a commitment here, but at this point in time, I felt I needed to break this commitment because of this. And when you really look at it, is this really that much more important than the original commitment that you made? And that's what I really tell people to look at. What is really more important, because you can move business things around.

You may never see that game again. Or the play that your kids are in, or the dinner that you want to go to. If you want it bad enough, and this is really where I kind of hammer it some of the, especially the men that I work with, look, all kidding aside, if you want it bad enough, if it's that important to you, you're gonna be there.

I don't care what's going on at work. I don't care what emergencies there are. It'll get handled. If this is what's important to you, and this is what you're committed to, and this is what you gave your word on, then you've gotta have the courage and the honesty to stay in integrity and say, this is the commitment that I am keeping, that will have to take care of itself.

So does that kind of help an answer?

Mike O'Neill: It helps tremendously. You know Eric, I trust you know this question's about to come, but would you mind sharing an example where perhaps you got stuck and what did it take to get unstuck? Or a client example that would help illustrate that point.

Eric Rogell: Yeah. For me it, it's a very, very easy on where I got stuck, I was obviously, you know what I do now.

I wor I work with, people moving them forward, helping them become the man that they really want to be and need to be for their family, for their business. But it wasn't always like that. I worked, I had a job where I was high up and basically ran a financial publishing company. Had a great salary, great benefits.

I didn't have to work very hard. I had really good people around me. I loved the team that I worked with. And for me it was almost, I was, towards the end, I was getting more and more frustrated, more and more anxiety ridden. It was more and more stressful, and when I looked at it, it wasn't anything to do with the job.

It had to do everything with me, right? Cause everything starts with me. And I wasn't, the bottom line was I wasn't being who I really knew I was meant to be. This is what I was meant to be doing. This I love, I do this all day, every day. That was starting to wear down on me and I was starting to feel stuck there.

I felt like I wasn't moving forward, I wasn't growing, I wasn't, and listen, and to be very fair, I wasn't contributing to them as much as I could have been contributing. I mean, like I said, I love my team. I love mentoring my team, helping them grow. But the business as a whole, I wasn't in integrity with myself.

I was collecting that paycheck because it was comfortable, and that's when I really took a look and said, yeah, I'm just kind of stuck here, right. I just, I'm comfortable, I'm not moving forward. And it really wasn't fair to me, it wasn't fair to the company, it wasn't fair to the people that I was working with.

And so that's when I made the decision, I've gotta just end this and move forward. And that's when I got unstuck. And it was just a decision, right? And that's the warrior side of it, was making that decision and having the courage to do it and move forward.

Mike O'Neill: Thank you for sharing that.

Eric Rogell: Yeah.

Mike O'Neill: Eric, we just jump right into this conversation, but I didn't do a good job of explaining in what ways do you help your clients?

Can you walk us through what that might look like? What are the options people have if they work with you and your organization?

Eric Rogell: Yeah, great question and I appreciate that a lot. There, there's a number of ways people can work with me. The most related to what we just spoke about would be one-on-one.

They can come in and I do one-on-one. I really don't like the term coaching cause everybody, Mike, you know this now, everybody's a coach right now.

Mike O'Neill: Yes.

Eric Rogell: I think Covid created a whole lot of them, so, but I do look one-on-one mentoring. And I have a three month program that I do with men, and it really is about getting them to who they need to be, who they really want to be, who they've just kind of, are aching to be for their family, for their wives, for their kids, and for their business, for the teams, for the people that are around them everywhere in their life.

And do that one-on-one. And I have a group mentoring. It's a peer-to-peer mentoring group. This one is for men only.

Mike O'Neill: Okay.

Eric Rogell: It's called the Bold Men Brotherhood, and we meet once a week on a Thursday night at 6:00 PM Eastern on Zoom. The men are all over the country. Got some overseas that join us as well.

And it's about just men being there for other men, like we used to do in ancient times, it was iron, forging iron. It was men guiding men and being guided by men. So we have that and that's a great, great way to kinda, really feel the brotherhood of men around you. So we have that as well. And I do bald men adventures, which is we take men out into nature, get outta the house, get outta the office, get outta your head, get outside.

And I do workshops out in nature and we challenge them physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, everything. And you will get amazing strategies to bring back home and take this experience with you. That's on the personal side. And then on the corporate side, I do a lot of these for leadership. Who do you need to be this leader of your teams, of your company, of your business interact with clients, and it's about leadership, communication, relationship building, all of that.

And I relate everything pretty much the same. But we do it, like I said, it's not gender specific for men or fathers. It is for leaders. And so those are the ways that people can work with me. And I love the corporate stuff because the change and the moving forward that I see in these organizations is dramatic.

Mike O'Neill: Eric, that's one reason I wanted to bring you on the podcast because I saw what you do as helping men individually and collectively. But when I read, and you shared with me before we recorded this podcast a little bit about those core it applies in organizations as well. Eric, we've covered a pretty wide range of topics here, but as you kind of reflect on this conversation what do you want our viewers, the listeners of this podcast to have as their takeaways?

Eric Rogell: Yeah, I think the big one is what we talked about making the title of this because it is so important. It's anytime something happens or there's a, I have to move forward, make a decision, or take care of something for my business or my family, it's my first question is who am I being and who am I being right now.

Right. Well, am I being someone who is scared and stuck and confused or adamant, unwilling, self-righteous or who am I being right now? And then I look at, well, who do I need to be for this to be successful? What are the qualities I need to bring to my company, my team, my family, my kids, my project, my clients?

Who do I need to be? Who do I need to show up as? And then I find from that space everything else can flow. The doing then takes care of it. Cause once I know who I need to be , then it's the actions that I can take to make that happen, flow from that. So I think the one biggest takeaway is ask stop and ask yourself, who do I need to be in this situation right now?

Mike O'Neill: Eric, if folks want to learn more and reach out to you, what's the best way for them to do that?

Eric Rogell: Yeah, well, it's, I always say LinkedIn because it's, a lot of business people are on LinkedIn. You and I met on LinkedIn. It's a great place to connect and meet. And I tell people, just go on there, find me do a direct message me, DM me, reach out, be courageous, reach out, be bold. That's a great way.

And then right now, and I don't know when this is gonna air, but my site, my new site is being finished and that'll be ericrogell.com and you can learn about all this stuff and jump on and get some of the things like the manual, like you mentioned, that you can download for free and all that. We'll be on ericrogell.com.

Mike O'Neill: So let me spell that for those, and it's Eric, E R I C. And Rogell is R O G E L L. So, probably by the time that this is published your website will be up and running and helping a lot of people coming to it. Eric, as expected, this was a real treat.

Thank you for sharing not only your expertise, but perhaps more importantly, your passion. It comes through loud and clear.

Eric Rogell: Oh, thanks. I appreciate that, Mike. And really it was an honor to be here and I just love the, any opportunity to just bring value and talk to people and kind of get to know what they're doing and I love what you're doing.

So, it was an honor to be here.

Mike O'Neill: Thank you. You have brought a lot of value to our listeners. I want to thank those listeners for joining us today. If you'd like to subscribe to this podcast, you can just go to your browser and type unstuck.show, but this will give you access to all the episodes and all these are uploaded also to Apple, Google, and Spotify.

But if you do go type in unstuck.show, you could also subscribe to our weekly management blog called The Bottom Line. So I'm gonna invite our listeners if you're trying to grow your business, but people problems have slowed you down, let's talk. Head over to bench-builders.com to schedule a call.

So I want to thank you for joining us, and I hope you've picked up on some tips from Eric. They'll help you get unstuck and on target. Until next time.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}