November 30

Episode 150: Overcoming Your Inner Critic to Step Into Leadership


In today’s milestone 150th episode, Mike talks with leadership coach Rob Kalwarowsky about getting leaders unstuck from limiting mindsets.

Rob explains common reasons leaders self-sabotage, feel like imposters, or become destructive bosses. He shares his personal journey overcoming depression and burnout to find purpose.

Listeners will learn simple but profound tactics to better understand your core beliefs, release past trauma, and lead from a place of confidence and clarity.

Rob Kalwarowsky’s Bio

I specialize in helping leaders become high-impact individuals who turn their teams into happy, high-performing units that achieve their goals. I believe that traditional leadership coaching methods are not always enough to bring about the change that today’s dynamic work environment demands.

That’s why I’ve taken a unique approach, blending together neuroscience, mindset coaching, high-performance leadership strategies with cutting-edge technology & data to provide a clear path to building a high-performing team.

My goal is to provide leaders with a clear path towards building a successful and high-performing team or turning around an under-performing one. Just like how professional sports teams use a combination of high-performance coaching, technology, and analytics to build championship-winning teams, I use a similar approach to help leaders achieve their goals and lead their teams to success.

In This Episode…

  • Learn the root causes of “imposter syndrome” and how to silence your inner critic
  • Discover tactics to excavate childhood beliefs that may be limiting your leadership potential
  • Understand common reasons managers become destructive bosses
  • Hear Rob’s incredible personal journey overcoming trauma to find purpose
  • Get simple but profound mindset shifts that can transform your ability to lead others

Links & Resources Mentioned

Read The Transcript

Mike O'Neill: Welcome to the 150th episode of Get Unstuck and On Target. I'm Mike O'Neill with Bench Builders and whether we're working with supervisors to improve their people skills, or it's me coaching a CEO one-on-one. Getting leaders and companies unstuck is at the heart of everything that we do, and that's exactly what this podcast is all about.

Each week, we invite great guests who share their hard won experiences of getting themselves or, or others unstuck back on target and moving forward. And I hope it gets you unstuck and on target as well. Joining me. Is Rob Kalwarowsky, Rob is a TEDx speaker, high performance leadership coach and co host of the leadership launchpad project, which is the third highest ranking leadership podcast in Canada.

Welcome, Rob.

Rob Kalwarowsky: Thanks for having me, Mike. Just, uh, listeners out there to do 150 episodes and three years of podcasting is a huge accomplishment. So I just want to say congratulations,

Mike O'Neill: you're kind. And I'm also going to echo that very much. It would not have happened if we didn't have folks listening to these on a sustained basis.

Uh, give me really good feedback and also all the time suggesting great guests. And so I'm confident you're going to fit that same description. Rob, there's a lot we could talk about, but let me give a little more background about you and how you kind of came to your current role. Before coaching, you spent 10 years as an engineer in heavy industry.

You graduated from MIT and let me clarify, that's the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States. You have a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and you, uh, three time academic all American in NCAA water polo. That's a remarkable thing to to claim. How did that engineering degree prepare you to be the coach that you are?

Rob Kalwarowsky: Uh, it didn't. Yeah, I mean, we did. I mean, at MIT, you do just a ton of math and a ton of Heavy duty engineering, but the part that did actually prepare me for this is you're meeting with some of the highest performing smartest genius folks in the world. And since you're in that environment, you sort of learn how, what it takes to be that and also what it takes or what those folks go through to.

And so there's a wild thing at MIT, and I'm sure it happened probably at every school. It's almost nobody believed that they should be there. Almost everyone felt, oh, yeah, well, everyone else is smarter than me. And I'm the imposter. And I don't belong. And it's something like, I know you get from your heavy, like your big leaders, because I get it too.

And it's, it's a common experience that basically everyone has. And then ultimately in, in my coaching now, when we, we do mindset work a lot with leaders, it's getting them unstuck from those types of beliefs. That are preventing them from just stepping into the opportunity and being like, I'm here. Let's go.

Mike O'Neill: You know, we have the option of going several different directions in this conversation. I have, I know that you speak a great deal on, um, destructive leaders, uh, namely bad bosses. And, um, I think we all immediately relate to what that might mean. Um, and I would like to. Not only speak to that, I like to come back to this mindset thing that you just kind of, you may kind of reference to, um, bad bosses.

I don't know if this describes most of our listeners, but I just kind of assume they all fit into one category. And I think in, in your work, you have found that there's really different types of bad boxes, bosses. Can you kind of elaborate on that, please?

Rob Kalwarowsky: Totally. Why don't we start, like, what's the category that you see as a bad boss?

Mike O'Neill: I don't know if this is, fits your. But it would be someone who basically thinks they know it all and it, it's my way or the highway.

Rob Kalwarowsky: Yeah. And that's like a very common type of bad boss, right? And not one we would probably call, or at least from the research perspective, we would call it an abusive narcissistic actually just under 20 percent of the workforce experiences that type of boss.

I see. So it's a lot. Like it's a lot. And they also punish folks. They make threats, they, um, you know, they take credit and avoid blame. They do these types of behavior. Now, if we want to get back to the mindset for folks out there, the reason these folks are abusive narcissists and they do these behaviors is because they have a gap in mindset where you ultimately feel deep inside that they're not good enough or they don't belong or they're not accepted.

And therefore, that's why they over index in this. I'm important. You know, this project, well, Mike's work that was a success, well, it was actually all me. And then, oh, well, when Mike made a mistake, well, it was all Mike, right? That's a very much a protection mechanism because ultimately on the inside, I'm hurt.

And that's what we see generally out in the world. Like everybody has these things. So you're not bad. You're not good. Like we joke about bad bosses. I call them assholes, but ultimately we're all, we all have quote, bad behaviors. We all have good behaviors. And then we also have moments where we show up in a way that we don't like because we were triggered.

That's the first step to learning how not to become a bad boss is just. the self awareness of how do I act in these very different situations, what are my emotional triggers that I have, and then how can I work on my mindset to reduce the potential that these triggers are going to happen as often as they usually do.

Mike O'Neill: Our listeners typically fit into the broad category of these are leaders, they're in roles of responsibility, and therefore I'm making the assumption that if you're watching or listening to this, you're a leader. And you might've first thought of someone who might've been in that 20 percent that you just described.

We're putting emphasis on how not to become such one. But you made a comment a moment ago about it starts with self awareness in your work as a coach. And I know that you put particular emphasis on high performance coaching. Have you found is the best way for us as leaders to become more aware of just that?

Rob Kalwarowsky: So the first thing is having mirrors of truth in your life. And this can be a coach, Mike or me. It could be a therapist, it can be a mentor, it could be your husband or wife or partner. It could be your kids, it could be even a colleague at work or your boss, right? Like what you need, even someone on your team that you really trust, right?

The more mirrors that you have, the closer to the truth you're going to get, right? Because let's say you have a coach, maybe we don't see you, like we don't see you every day. Well, or we only hear about the things you tell us. But if you have your colleague there, they're going to notice things like when you're in a meeting together or when you give work, you know, your, your husband or wife, they're going to give you a different perspective when you're at home or out with the kids or whatever.

Right. So. Piecing together those pieces of truth allow you to see more about who you are. The other advice I'll give for folks for this is to start excavating who you are. And this is what we call it elite. There's horizontal work, which is what everyone's doing right now, listening to a podcast or reading a new book or watching a TED talk or, you know, this kind of learning stuff.

Vertical work is starting to. understand and integrate who we are. And this is, you know, understand, like mapping out, what are your values? Where do you want to go in life? What's your purpose? And then understanding stuff like your mindset, like where are you being blocked? Where are the big emotional triggers for you?

Those pieces and the mirrors of truth. If you have both of those in your life, you're going to be a phenomenal leader. And we didn't even tell, we didn't say anything about how you should be at work or like how you should give feedback. Like we didn't talk anything about that, but that will put you vastly ahead of like 95 percent of leaders out there.

Mike O'Neill: Yeah. I've, I've, when you mentioned MIT and one of the things you noticed is that when the truth be told, everybody was kind of looking over left shoulder and right shoulder. There was a sense of me at MIT. You referred to it as kind of imposter syndrome. I can see it. You describe how that could also, in the workplace, can manifest itself.

But do you find, particularly when people are moving into a leadership role, or they've just given broader responsibilities, is that a very common thing that people might experience? The sense of, wow, I didn't know I'd be Where I'm in and what do I do and how do I figure it out?

Rob Kalwarowsky: So I wouldn't I don't to be honest.

I don't want to call it imposter syndrome. Thank you I use that because it's very much the common phrase for this Ultimately, it's back to the mindset and it's core belief that we have about ourselves that we learn in childhood So when we're Born until about seven or eight years, this is when the mindset, or you can think of it as like your operating system is created for the vast majority of, of beliefs that you have.

Yes. If you have huge traumatic events after that. They will create beliefs as well, but for the most folks who don't have these major traumas, it's like generally like 95 percent of those beliefs are created in child. And so like for me, I didn't have a very like what you would say traumatic childhood.

Like nobody beat me. I wasn't sexually assaulted. Like, my parents were great. Like, they would take care of me, right? But I learned in childhood, like, if I did well in school, my teachers would be, would recognize me. My parents would recognize me. And then that transitioned into... Sports, like if I was good, my teammates would accept me and my coaches would validate me.

And that ultimately led me to doing the hard work in the pool and in the classroom that put me into MIT because I was proving to the world that I was acceptable and I belonged. And I was good enough. And then when I got into the workplace, I was still using that strategy. And the reason I started developing, the reason I became depressed and ultimately had a suicide attempt was that in the workplace, I had a toxic boss that didn't basically validate me for doing work.

He actually pushed back on the work he was doing. So I saved this company like 30 million dollars and I was like, this is the result. Like this is the A on the report card. This is the goal in the pool. Like, this is how it works. This is how the world works. And he was like, no. And the reason... Was he had his own belief that only see today as, as the leadership coach mindset coach now, but I didn't know when I was 23 is like, he would have done anything to please his boss.

And that also meant that he would cover up anything that. His protectors or his beliefs that he wasn't good enough. And so he had all this stuff that was in place that he had worked there for a long time. And he had developed all these things. And basically I came in in a year and said, well, so those things are wrong.

And you'll actually save money if you do this. And that was very disruptive to him. And so he sort of blocked out all that and denied it. So then he could look to his boss. That everything that he had done was good. And so long story short is we all have these protections and defenses that we use. So then we can feel good on the inside and we don't have to face this pain of what we've learned of not being good enough or not being accepted or being, um, you know, belonging.

And so we wear this, Brene Brown calls it armored, armored leadership. Um, I use the IFS framework or internal family systems framework. So I call them defenders or protectors. And so those are the ones that when folks get to these new roles. They're hearing these voices, I'm not good enough, I don't belong, because that's the childhood beliefs.

And then your protector steps in and goes, well, you know what, Mike, if you just really dominate your employees, then you'll feel good enough. And it's not a conscious thing, right? Like you're not thinking of it, it just happens. Or the other side is what you also see, which are the other types of destructive leaders.

Which are the ones that go, well, you know, I don't actually belong because like I'm leading this team and this one guy on my team, he has 25 years of experience in this really specific skill set. And ultimately he's better than me in that skill set. So I'm just going to defer all decisions to him. Or I'm going to say, well, it's.

It's upper management's decision. So I'm just going to short all responsibility and accountability. And so we see it play out in very extreme ways, but ultimately it all comes from here, the mind for folks.

Mike O'Neill: If you had, and I was going to explain that. This mindset that you keep referring back to and how much of that gets established very early in our lives, you said maybe as early as six or seven years old, and, um, and you spend subsequent years reinforcing that until such point, it doesn't actually serve.

Your purposes, um, you shared some, some thoughts about do we learn and grow? You described it both as a horizontal and a vertical process, um, and your work, um, as a, as a leadership coach, a high performance leadership coach, what have you found is most enlightening, um, to those you work with? Is there a pattern that you kind of, you can almost see the light bulb going off because you've seen it go off? In that situation, time and time again.

Rob Kalwarowsky: I would say, I mean, one of my gifts that I didn't know when I was in engineering school, um, is I see people very clearly now and probably within the first 30 minutes that I speak to somebody and assuming they're honest and they'll answer my questions, of course, I can pretty quickly identify some of the beliefs that are really holding and then I start working with them on those beliefs and obviously changes in overnight is not this wave of magic wand as much as we all wish it would be, but we can make great shifts pretty quick.

And so I, I was coaching a leader earlier this year and in about. You know, three months, we were able to make major shifts where they didn't feel anxiety anymore. They felt more confident in their ability to make decisions. They felt more clarity about what those decisions would be in the future that they wanted to build towards.

And then they started doing things in their calendar, which was like, Hey, I'm going to block time so I can do deep work instead of just meeting to meeting to meeting or email to email to email. And so it's, I work with folks both on the mindset, but then also implementing these small shifts that really changes the day, right?

Like, it's not like, I don't want to say to leaders like, Hey, quit your job, move to the beach, become a surfer, right? It's like, how can we make small shifts in your day, whether it's taking breaks. Or that's, you know, scheduling one on ones with your team, small things. That will truly make an impact in the results that you get.

Mike O'Neill: You mentioned the word deep as in deep work, Rob, what, um, what works best for you personally?

Rob Kalwarowsky: Yeah. That's why I use internal family systems. So I, like, as I mentioned, I really struggled with depression and the suicide attempt in 2013. And part of my leadership journey, I actually hired Susan, who's Um, my business partner now at Elite, and she started doing emotional intelligence work with me, which opened up a lot of the stuff that I had locked away.

And that led me into my office. And she does internal family systems and EMDR, which is EMDR is the leading PTSD therapy in the world right now. Um, and so I did. The deeper work with my therapist. Now, this doesn't mean that everyone needs to go to therapy, although I do believe everyone needs to go to therapy.

Um, and also therapy can be proactive and not reactive, but it doesn't mean that you need to do like EMDR work with your therapist for, you know, two years, right? Like I had a lot of trauma. Both around childhood and then also around, you know, all that work stuff. Um, but also like the deeper work is, is sort of uncovering those parts, like which are the ones that play defense, which are the ones that sort of make you feel unseen or unheard or not valued or not good enough and then working with those to sort of release them or allow them to take a break.

So then you can actually show up and lead the system and I can help you do for the most part, as long as you don't have. Huge mental health challenges. I've learned and we've done coaching in IFS. So we know how to apply that framework and help folks to do the deeper work. So then they can become the leaders they want to be.

Mike O'Neill: Rob, I'm hesitant to even go here, but let me just throw out to you what's crossing my mind. Um, uh, as a coach. I try to be mindful that I'm not a trained therapist. I am personally in line with what you just said. I think there is real value, uh, in therapy. In the same way as a coach, I think there's real value in having a coach.

I have a coach. It's that coach that has helped me become a much better, and therefore, I love the expression of having mirrors of truth. I don't know, my coach. That's one of my mirrors of truth. Why? In this case, um, she, she's got my back, but she also is willing, when appropriate, to tell me that which nobody else dares.

She might be that person who has the perception and sees things that I can't see because I've got blinders on. I, I do draw the distinction between those two. And in terms of kind of what you described, you have been incredibly open a little bit about your personal journey. Thank you. And how this journey has, uh, informed you and molded you to be as effective as you are.

You are soft spoken. And I'm just trying to imagine you, I've actually seen this, but for those who are not watching or listening as a TEDx speaker, that has been described to me as kind of the epitome. If you're invited to do just that, how would you describe that experience for yourself?

Rob Kalwarowsky: It was amazing.

And I guess just, I think. Where you were going was, was the delta between coaching and therapy just a bit.

Mike O'Neill: If you'd like to elaborate on that, I would welcome your thoughts on there. Totally.

Rob Kalwarowsky: So I'll just give the, the, the kind of the hard one. Okay. So therapists all about past, they'll dig into your childhood.

They'll do all that stuff. I do not do that. I work with your system today, help you improve today for tomorrow. So if you want someone to excavate your childhood, That ain't me. I don't have the skill set, or, and I know how, like, disruptive and potentially dangerous that can be with somebody who's not fully trained.

So that's where I'm going to set the line, and I'm, like, I'm very passionate about this, because I do, I've, I do have, or I've had coaches that have gone a little bit that way, and it was very hurtful, because I didn't understand. And then also I hear a lot of folks who've had coaches that way. And again, it's very disruptive.

So just want to do that. Yeah. Back to thank you. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I mean, Ted was amazing. So I was invited because basically, because I talk about the mental health struggles and the suicide attempt I had about a bad boss. I was actually invited to speak in Japan and they have a, for folks out there, they have a very strong work culture.

They also have a massive problem with suicides and work related suicides. Even so much, they have a word for work related suicide. And so it was, it was an incredible experience. And, I mean, bad bosses really touch us all. So, like, the destructive boss demo is that 65 percent of the workforce experiences one right now.

I mean, if you've had a few bosses, like most of us have over our career. The stats to kind of say that you, at some point you're going to encounter one, if not most, right? So, it was just an incredible experience and like, I'm excited. It hasn't actually aired yet on YouTube. I'm so excited to share with folks when it comes out because it was, like, I had help.

I had a coach and actually helped me write it and I see it as a piece of art and, and it was also, I had the honor to be able to deliver it on a Traditional Japanese no theater stage and so the venue itself was incredible and like no theater is a very old form of theater and there's actually they make you wear these special socks.

They're, they're more like a booty kind of thing. They have to be brand new. They have to be white. Every time you, if you step off the stage, you have to put on a new pair of socks. Um, because. In their culture, they say a God lives on the stage, and so it was just absolutely incredible and an honor to do it there.

Mike O'Neill: I appreciate you sharing that, and I also particularly appreciate you clarifying the gap, the delta between therapy and coaching. You have helped me better understand how you've begun and have bridged a number of things in your life in a way that continues to inform you. You are also a podcast host and a co host, I think is how that might, would work and here you are as a podcast guest.

Um, we do not prescript these questions as, as you know, cause I just kind of blurt them out as I think about those, but turning the microphone, um, given a choice, given your temperament in a life, would you rather be the host or a guest?

Rob Kalwarowsky: I love both. And I know that's kind of a, not a great answer. Um, I love both, like I love having folks on my podcast and like, just like, you know, Mike is, we have the privilege now, like we're almost hitting 150 episodes with that one.

I did. A bunch more on different podcasts, but we have the privilege now of being pretty selective on her. Yes. And so I always, I always, just like we did, um, together, we did a pre chat and I always love to hear the guest story. How did they get, I love to bring that to the show because we all learn through stories and I think that's really valuable.

Also, I love connecting with folks. On a deeper level than just like, Hey, how are you doing? Whatever. Right. Um, and then coming on other folks shows, I always love the unscripted ones because I, I just, I always love having, maybe having a new question asked me that I didn't think of, or it hadn't answered yet.

And even just discussion, like I have to tailor what I say to what. I, you know, to your audience or to you. And so, like, right before this, I was on a show and, um, the guy was like a computer engineer. So I was talking about coding and like that kind of thing. And so it's always fun to sort of push. And for me, like, I've done a lot of mindset work, obviously.

And so I don't worry about what I need to say or how I need to say it or. You know, defending myself on I have to look like a genius or this or that, right? I just show up and I try to be who I am and that's the best that can be, at least today.

Mike O'Neill: Rob, you may have already answered what you intended to say when I asked the question, can you share an example where either you A client, an organization got stuck and what did it take to get a stuck?

What comes to mind?

Rob Kalwarowsky: Yeah, obviously, I would say the best example for is me. Um, I went from suicidal to a Ted stage and three and also. In that three and a half years, I bought a dog, I got married, and I moved to Costa Rica. To Costa Rica. That's the sexy version of that story. The unstuck part, or becoming unstuck part, took probably 200 deep therapy sessions with a world class therapist, although she wouldn't say that.

She is. Um, it took 40, 45 ketamine treatment sessions with my psychiatrist, as well as probably around 10 to 15 different medications until we found the right mix. It also took like a lot of pain, like excavating hurts. And you have to take off the shield to get to what's under. That's the non sexy version.

But what I want folks to really take away from this is if you feel stuck, if you feel anxious, if you feel stressed out. If you don't know what you want to do in the future, if you feel like you don't have purpose, or you're drifting, or you have a boss, or even if you notice that, like, some of the behaviors we talked about are yours, none of this should come with any shame.

It's just part of what it is. We learn to be bosses through what we see, and then we sort of, like, develop that, and then, You know, same thing with our mindset. Like we experienced life when we were kids and we developed these things. There's no one's fault now that you know, you can change. And the change is often is faster than what I experienced and often is.

If you're willing to do the work in like, you can radically transform your life in a pretty short amount of time. And for some folks, obviously, who maybe didn't have the, you know, the suicidality at the beginning, it's a lot faster than three and a half years.

Mike O'Neill: Yes. Yeah. You're demonstrating something that, um, I think.

Sometimes people don't pick up on, and that is if you're going to be the best coach possible, it strikes me that when you're working with your clients, the degree of openness that you're sharing with me is also shared with your clients, that there's a degree of acknowledgement that life can be hard, and that vulnerability strikes me as it's not You're not there as a coach because you have all the answers, uh, you have experience, like all of us, setbacks.

And if the person you're working with sense that, which I think they probably do almost immediately, just given just how you come across to, to others, um, it, I think would fast track, um, progress because you're willing to be vulnerable. Is vulnerability, in your opinion, important for leaders?

Rob Kalwarowsky: Yes, of course.

Um, now this goes to say that it needs to be real. I don't want to use the word authentic because I feel like that's overused leadership space, but it needs to be real. It can't be this forced thing. Like, it can't be this thing where, you know, You say, Hey, Rob, how you doing? And I go, I was suicidal. Like, yeah, that's true.

Like, it can't be just this thing you jam in there in this way. That's like, I'm going to be vulnerable. So then people like me, or it creates the connection, right? It's. You have to be real. So don't have an agenda with being vulnerable. Be who you are, and you are welcome to open doors, and again, it's, it's not being, not oversharing, right?

So like, let's say I'm hosting a team meeting at my office. I am not talking about, you know, the depression I felt the day before that made me call my therapist. Like, that is not appropriate right now. However, if I go into my therapist's office, it's totally appropriate, right? So the context matters and that's where folks need to be right is like as a leader, be appropriately vulnerable and that will depend on the kind of the context and who you're talking to.

But it does help. Like if you're just this, like if I would've came on here and said, you know, Mike, I'm a genius. I'm a leadership coach. You know, there's so many bad bosses out there. It's all their fault. Um, you know, I went to MIT and then I'm a leadership coach and I was a genius the whole time and I'm super successful.

Like, that's a way different interview than the one we've had.

Mike O'Neill: Yes. You used the term real in contrast with, I think you said authenticity, but be real. And then you said something that I just want to make sure that we put a little emphasis on. I don't know if this is the word choice you used, but Be you.

That's what I think I heard you say. And if you are being you, you're more likely to be perceived as real. Why is it when people go into leadership roles, they have a tendency to mask being themselves?

Rob Kalwarowsky: So this again is, is the mindset stuff. So often the mindset is basically designed to keep you safe and alive.

So it plays defense. What I mean by that is it protects you in various different ways. Can be stuff from people pleasing to overworking to being hyper logical and like shutting emotions to even stuff that everyone does like, Hey, I'm sad. So I ate a pizza and I watched a movie. Right. To even crazy, like not crazy things, but like intense things like suicide.

And addiction right now, as a leader, sometimes it feels very vulnerable, right? Especially when you're new, you're not super comfortable, maybe you're promoted, you know, you're thinking about, well, how's my team going to, or you join a new company, right? You're like, I don't know these people, you know, how am I supposed to fit in?

How does this all work? What are all these new processes? I got to like, I, you know, all this stuff, right? So a lot of the times you enter into this protection mode, you're like. I'm not going to be vulnerable because then people won't actually like, they won't judge me or I'll look good. I'll look perfect.

You know, these things. Or I'm going to over index on, you know, talking about how great I am or how smart I am, or I'm going to under index, like, depending on how that plays out for you is very different on the mindset. The goal of internal family systems is actually to strip, strip away, but allow. All the defense to sort of step aside so you can truly be you without this perception of judgment.

And that's the part where I talk about Ted. When I stepped on that stage, I wasn't worried about how is the audience going to judge me. I wasn't trying to prove with an agenda that I'm smart and they need to listen. Yes, I have data. I have research like Those are parts of how you build a case, right? But I was there because I was trying to demonstrate this is why I'm super passionate about.

We need to help destructive leaders and why. You can do if you have one to put yourself in a better position in life. And then also I struggled with it too. And that's the big thing, right? The reason I get a little bit upset about the word authentic is I see it kicked around by people who haven't done the vertical work, they don't know who they are and what's talking about authenticity.

Is. Basically, their defense, Hey, be authentic. So yeah, say whatever you want. Like you can tell your person that they're stupid, right? That's not you. That's your protection saying that, right? And it's the same thing. Like be authentic, you know, tell people that, you know, you're garbage and you made a bunch of mistakes yesterday.

Like, again, that's forced. And it's not you. And so those are like why I don't like using the word authentic because I feel like a lot of the folks that use it haven't done the vertical work. And they're using it more as like, Hey, it's, it's cool on marketing or SEO. And so I'm going to use it, but they're not actually in tune with what that truly means.

Mike O'Neill: Rob, we've covered quite a bit in our time together. If you reflect on this conversation in light of the topic, what do you want to be the takeaways?

Rob Kalwarowsky: For me, it's. Do the vertical work. There's no so I'm not saying don't listen to podcasts or read books or watch TED talk You absolutely need to do horizontal work as a leader to write you can gain Really practical good strategies from books and podcasts and TEDx, you know all these things, right?

But it doesn't substitute for getting to know yourself and even if folks like that sounds like a huge endeavor, right? But even if you just take let's say you take A minute, and you go outside and you sit down and you just spend a minute, how you feel, why are you feeling that way? That can be a great start, and just start there and just do that every day for the next 30 days.

And if Mike, if folks want to reach out, um, I have a three minute meditation visualization thing. I'll give it to them for free. Just send me an email. I'm an elite high performer. It's three minutes. It's, it's basically a version of with some music, but the ask is really small, right? Like do that. And it will open things that you probably have never realized before.

Mike O'Neill: Rob, there's been a level of intimacy in this conversation that, uh, is different than most that I've had on this. A podcast that would not have happened if you weren't willing to be real with me and real with these listeners and viewers. Thank you for being you and being real today.

Rob Kalwarowsky: Thank you for saying that.

It means a lot.

Mike O'Neill: I want to close by thanking our listeners for joining us today for more insights about how you might get unstuck and moving your business forward, I invite you to subscribe to the bottom line newsletter, and you can just do that by going to bench dash builders.

com. You know, I have found that the clients that we work with. They usually had one of two problems, either they were frustrated because they were losing the employees they wanted to keep, or their leaders, they found themselves stuck in the weeds of the day to day and they're failing to execute on their long term strategy, be it professional or personal.

So if you're listening and you're wrestling with high turnover or poor execution, and if that's slowing your growth. Let's talk. Head over to bench-builders.Com and to schedule a call. So I want to thank you for again for joining us and I hope you have picked up on some quick wins from Rob. They'll help you get unstuck and on target.

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