Oct. 28, 2021

Identity Formation and Mindset with Jesse Bradley, Pastor of Seattle Grace Community Church and Former Pro

Identity Formation and Mindset with Jesse Bradley, Pastor of Seattle Grace Community Church and Former Pro

In Episode 53, Jesse Bradley, Pastor of Seattle Grace Community Church, Dartmouth College Men’s Soccer Alum, and Former Professional in Scotland and Zimbabwe, talks with Phil about developing healthy mindset and habits, finding our purpose,...

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In Episode 53, Jesse Bradley, Pastor of Seattle Grace Community Church, Dartmouth College Men’s Soccer Alum, and Former Professional in Scotland and Zimbabwe, talks with Phil about developing healthy mindset and habits, finding our purpose, developing muscle memory in our decision-making, collaboration in leadership, healthy and toxic teams, leading with confidence and clarity, identity formation, servant leadership, leaders as followers, and parenting and marriage advice. Specifically, Jesse discusses:

  • His story, how he developed his passion for soccer, leadership, and ministry, and how a reaction to prescribed medication drastically changed his life (2:47)
  • Mindset and how we can develop positive habits and purpose (8:21)
  • Developing muscle memory in our decision making and living out our values, on and off the field (15:55)
  • The importance of collaboration in leadership, and how we can do it well (18:13)
  • Developing healthy cultures and dealing with toxic team members (25:24)
  • Leading with confidence and faith, not in fear (35:10)
  • Transformational Leadership and the importance of clarity in healthy organizations (39:14)
  • Shaping identity of our ourselves and our teams, well beyond performance (44:10)
  • Servant leadership and the concept that great leaders need to be great followers (48:52)
  • His personal why and how he lives it out every day (55:24)
  • His programs to help people in their parenting, marriages, and shaping identity (57:00)
  • What he has learned from the game that he has used in his marriage and parenting (58:58)
  • What resources he has learned from over the years (1:02:52)

Resources and Links from this Episode


Phil: Welcome back to How Soccer Explains Leadership. Thanks a lot again, for your download for being a part of this show. I am Phil Darke, your host, and I get to do this every week and I absolutely love doing what I get to do. And so today is no exception. I have a great interview with my friend Jesse Bradley.

He is a man that has many hats that he wears and doing some amazing things. Around the world. He is a pastor up in Seattle Grace Community Church, as well as an author, a former professional athlete. He played a lot of soccer and his. He's a leader of many things and adoption advocate I could go on and on.

I'm not going to, I'm going to let him share a little bit about his life and what he's doing, what God's doing through him. But right now, I also want to just remind you to go and join the Facebook group if you haven't done so already, that's a great place. If you want to continue this conversation with me with some others who are talking about these themes, it would be [00:01:00] fantastic for you to join there and just connect with me and connect with others there.

Also, if you have any questions for me or Paul, if you have questions for Jesse after this interview, just shoot me an email, fill out how soccer explains leadership.com and we can go from there. So without more on that, I just want to start this conversation that we get to have today with Jesse, Jesse, how you doing, man?

[00:01:22] Jesse: Well, and great memories. The first meeting you back at Mount Hermon camp. And I know we both love that camp. Hopefully we'll get back there again soon. I know you're still doing. But it was great to be serving there that week, meet you. And then just start, really started the conversation on, you know, orphans, soccer, of course leadership lots of great topics.

And I just love how you continue to serve orphans around the world. And also just that connection between athletes, orphans, and just, yeah, glad to be here today. Welcome everyone. Who's a code to player, a parent, a kid, someone in the marketplace leaders just love this podcast and the.

[00:01:58] Phil: Yeah. Well, thanks again for joy, [00:02:00] like you said, I mean, we got to connect at Mount Hermon several years ago.

Just probably I think it was in the coffee shop just in the morning, just having some coffee and had some great conversations there. And I've no doubt we'll have another great one today. As I always get to do one of the things I absolutely love about my interviews I get to do are just hearing stories.

And, you know, I know you have a very long story that we're not going to get into every little nook and cranny, but I do would love to just hear, you know, just briefly share your story and how you got to be where you are today. Just how soccer has been a big part of that journey. And and then, you know, and then we can just kind of chat about some of those things after after you tell your, you know, bring us up to date.

[00:02:37] Jesse: Sounds great.

Phil, You know, I grew up in Minnesota and the first place I lived, it was an apartment in the parking lot of the football stadium. So golden gophers, big. And I saw sports being played at age three. I told my parents, that's what I want to do when I'm, when I'm an adult, I want to play sports. So I had that dream of playing professional sports.

Basketball is my [00:03:00] primary passion. But sometimes in life, your gifts lie in a different area. And I didn't discover that until a little later on when the soccer coach saw me playing basketball and thought like this is a goalkeeper and I'm grateful for him. He's a phenomenal coach. He's really a legend. Minnesota United right now in the MLS, his son, Manny Lagos' runs it.

His name was Buzz Lagos and he started training me to be a goalkeeper. And we did well. We won the state title in the Metrodome, you know, 6,000 fans, a couple of times in high school, I played three sports in high school and also just playing on Olympic Development teams with them. And then I played at Dartmouth College on the East Coast, had another great coach.

And one of the lessons, I think when you're, when you're finding soccer teams is just find the best coach because that coach is going to develop you. That coach is going to see your talent. That coach is going to set the right culture. And Bobby Clark at Dartmouth College is another legend. I mean, he's coached in many countries.

He was a goalkeeper in Scotland. He won a national title at Notre Dame [00:04:00] and to be with him and around him for four years. I mean, that's a dream come true seriously. That continues to have impact in my life. And we won the Ivy league twice. We made it to the final eight. We lost to Rutgers Alexi Lalas was on that team.

I feel like it's a game. Maybe we should have won, but we'll let that go. And, and moving on, you know, I, I was able to play after college as well, played overseas Scotland Zimbabwe for a team there in Bulawayo the Highlanders. And I thought I'd probably play till I was 35 or 40 because goalkeepers, they have longevity.

I mean, physically they can, continue along past when a midfielder usually retires. And so that was my plan. You know, maybe I'm going to coaching after that, or we'll see sports psychology, but goalkeeping, it's all I wanted to do. And sometimes in life, you know, it's going one direction and then things shift and it's out of your control and life isn't going that direction anymore. And that's what happened to me. My career tragically [00:05:00] ended. I took a prescribed medication to prevent malaria and I took it for a season. It built up toxic levels of my system and major side effects physically the most serious. Those with my heart as tachycardia, which is a racing heartbeat, 160 beats a minute sitting still atrial flutter, skipping beats, heart murmur.

I mean, I was in pain and left side of my chest, day and night. And didn't know if I was going to live. I was fighting for my life for a year to 10 years to fully recover. And there were also side effects of anxiety, depression, things I had never experienced before and were really intense. And all of that ended my career.

It was, I believe that sometimes the greatest things in life happen in the worst circumstances. And that was one of the most brutal times in my life, but it's also where so much transformation happened. And we, we can circle back into some of that, but I'll just say this, you know, being able to play is a gift.

Having physical health or energy is a gift. And I thoroughly enjoyed really at [00:06:00] all levels. And it's the relationships that I look back. It's the relationships more than the wins or the losses and the character that you develop as you play sports. And you know, I'm, I'm grateful for the people I played with the lessons of.

It does tie into how I lead today. And it was always a joy. You know, my parents got divorced when I was seven. And at that time, you know, probably the other biggest challenge of my life was, was that time. And then how that affected me. And the many years after that, and I really turned to academics and athletics and sports was one of those really outlets, whether it was such a pure joy.

And when I got on the field, it was like, Kind of a relief and just so much fun. And I've always found that in playing, I still play today in a men's league, I work with the Sounders, faith and family nights, Seattle Sounders here at both Sounders shameless plug. Team's doing well. And you know, my, my coach, Bobby Clark in college, his son now, you know, who I knew then [00:07:00] was probably in middle school at that point.

He's the coach for the Huskies now. So, just love, you know, bringing our kids to those games, talking to Jamie and connecting there. And there's a guy from Bellevue college soccer coach that comes to our church. There's another professional player, Tacoma stars. You know, is, is that our church? And I just love that intersection, you know, faith, leadership, sports, soccer, goalkeeping, like we could talk for a while.


[00:07:30] Phil: we absolutely could, you know, we have what maybe we'll get done with this one and we'll do another one someday too, but you know, do the part two, but I'd love to hear, as you just talked about there, you're still using a lot of these lessons, right. That you learned. You know, and I know that there are also, I'd like to tie it into some of the things you're doing now, too.

There are some different ways, you know, you speak, you do different things, but one of the things that I know you talk on is the idea of, you know, mindset and developing happy habits and purpose. And, and really that, [00:08:00] that is something I know you learned through soccer and through the, some of the trials that you faced.

Right. So can you just talk about that? Just those things did, I just.

[00:08:11] Jesse: Right on, you know, mindset for a goalkeeper, that's at least half the battle and it's what's going on in between your ears. And that's true if you're in any position leadership, that's true in life and in your relationships with family what are you really thinking about and what are you focusing on?

And a couple things that stood out to me in terms of mindset over the years, one is that the platform continued to get bigger, you know, from high school to college, to professional. And what I learned early on some of those initial games where there's thousands of people there, I found myself kind of on my heels a little bit intimidated, a little scared at times, almost hoping the ball wouldn't come to me or.

Just dealing unsure. And we all feel insecure. We all have those feelings of being scared, but I found that if [00:09:00] I gave into those, like it really affected my play. And so I had to intentionally have a different mindset where I wasn't going to let fear prevail and I was gonna go all out. I wasn't gonna overthink it.

That was something that I, I kinda have a tendency to easily do is overthink it. And it's like, I had to turn some of that off. And as a goalkeeper, if you make a mistake, you can't dwell on it. You got to delete that. You got to almost hope for the same situation to happen again so that you can, you know, the next time do it.

Right. And, you know, I remember the first time that I mentioned him, I was terrified in the second time we got there, I was like, I'm just not going to let fear win because we won the game the first time, but fear won against me. And the second time it's like fierce not gonna win. And I believe like we don't have the spirit of timidity, but power and love.

It's like let's overcome this. And so that was a lot of development for me is that area of mindset. Another one is how much pressure I put on myself. And what's interesting is that that continued to [00:10:00] grow. Now, I'm just going to take a brief tangent here, faith wise, but it's linked and everyone was watching.

Maybe there's many different, you know, beliefs that I respect, you know, an honor each person for me, I didn't grow up with faith then grew up believing in God. And I came to know Jesus at Dartmouth college. It wasn't even looking for God. I took a class introduction to world religions. The professors started teaching the Bible.

I started reading it, asking a hundred questions, kicking the tires. And eventually I'm like, there's so much historical evidence here. I don't think I could ignore it. And I ended up taking that step in some things shifted and on the field things shifted and the pressure came off me. I started to enjoy the game.

You know, I did an independent research project at Dartmouth and worked with athletes to see, you know, how much pressure is the right amount of pressure measured in practice games. You know, self-reporting and it's interesting cause there's like a bell-shaped curve where if you're not focused enough, then you know, your performance is gonna struggle.

But if you're too intense and you're, [00:11:00] you're focused you know, on the result in a way that's, you know, kind of paralysis by analysis, are you white knuckle or are you just, this is the biggest game ever again, your performance declines. So you want to stay in that stone where you're kind of light, you're quick, you're enjoying it.

You know, you're relaxed, but you're again, you're, you're anticipating stuff. And I think that's when you play at your best. And what I noticed for me in terms of mindset is that when I started to pray with other athletes for the games, like it just changed the way I, I approached the game also in soccer did mean everything is important.

But it was like, I could just play in a different level. And so that was a mindset thing for me, is learning how to land it in that zone. One other mindset piece that I'll mention is, you know, what do you do with the thoughts that come into your, really your thinking during the day they're coming in all the time for all of us, that first thought comes up.

It might be a thought that's destructive. It might be a thought that's not true. It might be a thought that selfish, it might be a thought [00:12:00] that's impure. You know, whatever those thoughts are, they come into our minds and what are you going to do with that thought? And you don't have to Harbor it or entertain it.

You don't have to welcome it well, on it. In fact, you can reject it if it's not good and then intentionally to something else. And that's what I had to do in the nets. Like, you know, if I made a terrible play, I can't dwell on that. That can't stay in there. Like I got to reject that and then come back to that readiness where the next play comes and I'm not hanging my head.

I'm not sitting there and shame. It's like game on, let's go. And to be able to do that quickly on the field, it was almost like a discipline that translated well off the field. And when I was sick in recovering, you know, I had all kinds of thoughts that would come in and would depressing discouraging, no hope, anxiety.

And I had to just say no, that doesn't belong here. So my mind doesn't go in the ditch and I'm going to intentionally to something that's true. That's right. It's good. It's encouraging. And then that's the thought I'm going to land on. And just like a goalkeeper [00:13:00] keeps the ball out of the net. You know, I had to keep those thoughts out of my, out of my zone because thoughts are powerful and, and renewing the mind.

That is what brings life into our relationships, our attitude. And, and I believe that greatest battle is so often between the ears. So those are some mindset, things that leadership and sports, faith, you know, every day as I think through things it's amazing when you stop and pay attention to your thoughts.

How many dozens of thoughts we have every day that just aren't right. And again, no guilt in that, but we just have to be actively leading our mind so that we don't end up, you know, in a dark place because it's easy to go there. And, and I've just seen so much fruit from that, that one discipline.

[00:13:49] Phil: Absolutely. I mean, you just think about our parenting, right? I mean, how many lies are our kids listening to that just simply are not true, whether it's at school because they're projecting [00:14:00] what others are thinking about them. Or, you know, as we talk about, as Christians lies from the enemy about who we are.

Right. And, and, you know, and just understanding what that looks like, you know, you talked about in the goalie just yesterday, I was coaching a university and the keeper and I was warming her up at halftime and she just looked at me. She goes, I'm really nervous. And I said, have you played this before? She goes, what do you mean?

I go, have you played keeper before she goes? Yeah. I said, did you play in a game before she says, yeah, I said, just go do that. Right. So what you're talking about, right? This idea of, to remind ourselves that we have the knowledge we have, the ability we have, if or else we wouldn't be there, right? You wouldn't be in college playing.

If you didn't have that somewhere in you right now, you might not be the best in the world. You might not be whatever, but to go out and if you play tight, if you play worried, if you play in fear, you will be playing worse. And she went out there and had a great hat. [00:15:00] Yeah, but if she would've gone out, like thinking, I go, you're thinking way too much, you know, there is that, that sweet spot of you got to think, but not be thinking about each move and what you're going to do, be thinking about, okay.

Where is this ball going to go before you get it? But as you get that ball, you just play. Yeah. What does that look like? And I think there's so many, be curious to hear thoughts on that as far as in your current role, as a pastor, as a leader, and to have a lot of different things. How does that play out there?

As far as that, you know, even talking about developing habits and muscle memory, and if we do things enough, they will become part of just who we are. And when we're making decisions, if we make decisions enough with our values and our core beliefs, they will. Those those decisions will be made. Right? You know, what, what do you

[00:15:45] Jesse: that's right.

I love how you coached her. I mean, that's what a good coach does. You bring out the best in your players and you know who you need to calm down, you know, who you need to kind of get cranked up for the games and you know, who needs to be held accountable and you know, who needs to be encouraged? [00:16:00] And I remember that as a goalkeeper, there was 10 different personalities.

I'm talking to them the whole game and I've got to know them and know what makes them tick and bring up the best. And that's true in parenting. It's like, how do you bring out the best in your kids? And the timely word can make all the difference. I remember when my coach pulled me aside and say something.

I remember before Yale, he knew like this was a game Ivy league titles on the line. He knew we were going to be visitors. He knew we were going to be facing. Just really an onslaught all game. And he was just like, this is your game. This is your game right here. And he just tell you a confidence in me. You knew the moment and that affirmation right there.

I mean, we ended up winning one, nothing. We kind of stole the game and we got the ugly title, you know, and just calling someone aside, recognizing what they. That's powerful. And I think that, you know, we don't want to end up in places where we either have inflated views of ourselves or deflated, and it's so easy to be deflated, kind of be down on, or maybe I'm not that good.

Maybe I can't come through today. Maybe I'm just off. I'm probably gonna let [00:17:00] the team down and made this mistake before, or you can get inflated and think like, yeah, I'm the best team revolves around me. Like, watch me go. And sometimes when you win a championship what I saw in my experience as the toughest year was the year after that, because the teams kind of inflated and it's easy to get complacent and you lose some of that hunger and you kind of have blind spots on some of the weaknesses of the team.

Cause you think, yeah, we just won the ring you know, and the year after the championship, it was often a let down. So, you know, trying to balance that out in this stay healthy view of self healthy view of team and that's one that's I think humble, hungry, realistic, and a lot of collaboration really working well.

[00:17:40] Phil: Yeah. And how does that play out in, you know, in the real world, so to speak outside, outside the lines, right. As you're, whether you're, you know, leading a staff right. In, in, as you have people in your, in your, on your team now, right. At the church or in other areas how does, how [00:18:00] what's the analogy we have for as we're living in.

[00:18:03] Jesse: Yeah. You know, soccer's all about collaboration and that's the one thing that carries over and the longer I'm doing leadership, the more I see it's about collaboration and I mean, preschool, you say, does the person play well with others, but man, that's true. Your entire life, you know, how do you really. As a team player in the different settings.

And so in Seattle, for example, when I got here, we started something where we gathered together churches and ministries. Now there's about a hundred churches and ministries, and it's just so exciting to do stuff together. You kind of break the norm if the norm is, you know, sadly sometimes in the, in the Christian world it's competition or isolation, it's like, no, we just had an event called serve our city.

And we brought together many different churches to clean up the neighborhoods and to do some work, some landscaping, some painting, you know, it was, it was a lot of different projects and a lot different people coming together. I think it's so sweet when you get [00:19:00] people coming together from different nations and ethnicities.

That's one thing I love about playing right now. Like I played pick-up games Saturday mornings and I just see people gather from all different countries. And there's this bond that happens when you're on the field together. And you know, our church when I first got there was, was predominantly white and now.

It's so, you look around, it looks more like a neighborhood. It looks like heaven. It just feels so much better, you know, to have that collaboration collaboration happens. Multi-generationally I think too, and there's so much to learn from each other and inspiring examples. So for that to carry out you know, in a soccer team, when people know that.

And you, and, and, you know, they have responsibilities and they work hard on those and in everyone's, you know, honing in on their craft and their role you're talking before about development and, and I'd say it's true in soccer. It's true in a lot of things that we're doing. There's first that, you know, unconscious incompetence.

I mean, [00:20:00] like, I don't even know what I don't know. And then it's like conscious in competence. Okay. Now I'm becoming aware of what I need to learn and I'm starting to get motivated. And then it's conscious competence, which I have to focus on it. Like I'm trying to put the pieces together. It's not going quick.

I'm thinking about it, but it's working, it's happening. And then you get to that level where it's unconscious competence. And, and you think about that, let's say tying your shoe, you know, a kid and my kids first, I didn't know how to. And then they start to realize, oh, I need to learn how to do this. And then they focused hard and they can tie their shoe.

And now it's like, they just put their shoe on, they tie it and I'm thinking about it. And that's true for me with distribution as a goalkeeper, you know, punting, kicking, throwing the ball that that's true in my diving and breakaways. It's like, you break it down, you learn it, you grow in it, you practice it and you become familiar.

And when you're on a team where everyone's kind of spurn one another on and you know, your roles and, you know, kind of where someone likes the [00:21:00] past, you know, what run they like to make, you know, when you cross it, who's going to be there. And you get to know each other. So. It's like the, the experience grows and the joy grows and it's exponential.

And you know, the old proverb, you go faster alone. You go further together. And I see this in, in every realm. And collaboration is something that I feel like United States of America, but sometimes we're not as United as we want to be or should be. And I think collaboration is, is what's going to help us change the culture and we're going to, we need each other don't you just can't, you can't describe it any other way.

Then bottom line, we need each other. And so, let's bring out the best in each other and that's to on the field, when you're in an environment, you say, well, how do you know it's healthy, like at a workplace? There's different markers for health, but everyone in the room knows like when it's healthy, when it's toxic and you've gotta be someone I think who can change the culture, who can step into a mass change, a locker room, change [00:22:00] a culture that's leaders.

Find people are, like-minded share the same values, the same dream, get the right people around you, you know, staff, according to your weaknesses and go with the best idea empower people two way communication, safety trust that the core of relationships is trust. All these. You know, there are true in, in the office or to in the church that are true on the team as well.

[00:22:23] Phil: Yeah. You, you just said like a mini book right there. That last answer. So, I will tell you like folks go back and listen to that. There's so much in there. I'm gonna, I'm gonna mine in a little bit here. One of the things you talked about as you talked about that idea of from unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence, I mean, really what you described there is why we practice.

Right. I mean, if, if you are on a game and you're, you're either incompetent and not knowing and understanding, or you're having to think about it the whole game, it's too late. If you have to think about it in a game, right. Maybe when you're like seven, you can get away with that. But as you go, when you're in college, when you're [00:23:00] playing for Dartmouth, if you're thinking every time you get the ball, okay.

Now I need to remember how to throw the ball. And now I got to go, okay, I'm going to, it would be too late. The defender would be there. Right? You have to boom, you get that ball, you see it. counter attack, you're getting the, you're leading that player and they're going, right. You can't think right. And if you're thinking it's too late and that's the reality of the soccer field as you, but also as you talked about in the, in the workplace, in your, marriage, in your parenting, right?

I mean, if you're having to, to think, you know, about different things in the middle of that moment, oftentimes, you know, if you haven't already decided, okay, I'm gonna count to five before I yell. Right? Yeah. If you go on what your instinct is in that moment, chances are at, won't be the learned behavior that you want to do.

Right? You talked about that too, knowing all your players, knowing everyone in your organization. So why we do the DISC training. That's why I've just spent, you know, four or five days away from home training, different universities and their soccer teams and the volleyball team that I did [00:24:00] like able to understand.

You need to study your people. Yes. You need to study them and understand who they are, how they're wired or else you'll make assumptions about them. That aren't right. You know, and you also need to know as a, as a keeper, what is the skillset of your outside back? Right? If they aren't at the Le, hopefully at college, they're going to be able to handle that ball.

But if you give it to them and they don't have good foot skills, you're going to see that ball right back at you down your throat. Right. You don't want that. So these are things that we need to understand, and it does need to be a unconscious competence or else again, we're not going to be able to do that.

But one of the things I do want to camp out on a little bit, you talked about it right there at the end. It's the idea of culture. It's the idea of you, you look around the room and everyone knows it's healthy or toxic. Right? What I want to spend a little bit of time on is how, when you have that talk.

Setting when you have that toxic culture, there are, you know, maybe a few, maybe it's a group of people, maybe it's [00:25:00] one of virus. How do you work with that virus? How do you, what if it gets to the point where it's, you know, you got to cut that virus out. What does that look like in reality on a team and in any team, really in the field or off the field?

[00:25:14] Jesse: Yeah, that's a great question. I mean, culture is almost more important than skill and strategy in a lot of workplaces and culture is one of those things that, so real effects. It's great. If you're in an environment where there's clear values, you know, in our team right now, we identified some clear values and that's going to be, you know, collaboration, common goals.

We're going to celebrate victories together. And when you have some of those goals in place, you know, not just on a wall, but then you start to implement, live them out. And it, it does affect everything. Affects your, your priorities affects your decision-making, you know, going back to soccer, it's like each level you climb, the decision making is quicker.

You've got less space and less time. So you got to make good decisions and leadership is making good decisions and the good [00:26:00] decisions aren't just numerical they're relational. And to be able to do both is, is so important. When a culture's toxic for things are. It depends for how long and how many people are involved.

There are times when you need a whole new staff. You know, there are times where you switch clubs. There, there are some systemic things that you don't necessarily are going to just overcome those quickly. And, and the more prolonged it's been, the more deep it is, the more drastic the change has to be.

Now, if it's, let's say one or two people. You know, I remember reading a Bible verse, you said, drive out the mocker and now it goes to strife. And I was like, drive with the mocking that doesn't sound Christian. I'll tell you, you remove one or two people that gossip and slander and like undermine. It's like, it's amazing how that culture can change, you know?

And when that happens and sometimes it's, you know, one or two people on a team and they might be the most talented cause usually the most talented get away with the most. But all of a sudden when there's accountability, when there's a standard there, it's like everybody [00:27:00] rises. And, and so even though you lose one talented player or maybe two, when you get the culture healthy again, the collective gain from everyone, you know, relief, you know, there's no double standards.

There was no awkwardness and now we can just be ourselves and laugh and play. And I mean, it just gets fun again. And so it's going to be worth it. Those are the hard decisions. And if you're, you know, staff. It's so important to really hire carefully. And, you know, what's the scorecard when you hire, what are you really looking for?

And to identify that because one. Wrong hire can affect an organization in massive ways. So it's, it's worth, I think, waiting for the person, taking your time and do it right when, when you make the hire. So there's a lot of levels there to culture, but I think it's great. If it's clear, you know, we say clear communication, it's great.

If it's written down agreed upon, and then it's [00:28:00] great if it's lived out. And those are some initial steps that you can really think through as you're setting the culture. If you're a leader, you know, I've been in a situation where the culture wasn't good before, and I thought I've got three options and this was a prayerful decision for me, but do I go after the couple people who are causing the problems, you know, I'm underneath them and challenge them and maybe it'll lead to some division or, you know, it's like, it's going to get messy.

And I just didn't feel like that was the right thing. And then I thought, well, can I just totally leave and just start over somewhere? And I didn't see. That kind of releasing and leaving was the right solution. So I had to learn how to just work as well as I could with them and try to bring slow change to the culture.

But I was in there for several years and it's different. That's why I say it's not a formula. It takes wisdom. I like to pray for wisdom. You know, I just simple paradigm, please give me wisdom on facing this mask. I don't know how to walk through that. And it's [00:29:00] amazing how many times clarity comes after that prayer.

But but, but yeah, a lot of different situations and so many different dynamics of where you are in the team. Are you on the bench? Are you a starter or are you a captain or are you the coach? Are you assistant coach, you know, and you don't have to have an official position to be a leader.

Leaders influence, use your influence as well as you can. To influence those people around you build on islands of strength, start to find some people who are like-minded and then run with it. Sometimes you're going to be parallel to the mess, but more people are going to see the Hills and they're going to start to move over there.

And people are going to see the contrast. The contrast is going to grow. So don't lower your standard. don't be influenced by the, the junk around you don't give into it. It's so easy to just repeat it and imitate it. And then just you're doing the very thing, you know, like, and so don't fall into that trap.

Just take that high road and you'll be surprised how many people are noticing what you're doing lead by [00:30:00] example. It's going to be more, even more powerful than your words. People do notice, and they respect you for it. They might not thank you right away, but down the road your plant pictures and people's minds, you're giving them hope and that, so.

[00:30:12] Phil: Definitely. I mean, it's something I've seen in so many teams, you know, you have the one or two players and if the coach lets them get away with it, there's, you know, carnage and there's this there's, there is that wake of destruction behind it. Right. You know, there's bodies behind it that are just suffering and struggling a level.

You said there too, you know? And I talk to people all the time about this, everyone on the team as a leader. Yeah. Right. I don't care if you're the freshmen on that high school team or on the college team, you are at your leading someone and you can be that leader. If you see that toxicity, you can come into that.

And like you said, find those people, most people will want the healthy culture, you know, if they knew about it, right. So lead them to say not, not create more strife, but to come in and say, this is a [00:31:00] better option, right? If you, if, rather than just saying, this is a problem, you guys are terrible. I can't believe you're doing this offer a better solution.

Offer a better. Yeah, that, that they would want to do, right. That the coach can see if the coach isn't seeing it. Now, if the coach has seen it, how can you help the coach in bringing that health? You know, I can think on the top of my head, several situations I've talked with just in the last six months with different people and unhealthy situations.

And, you know, cause there is that challenge and, and Paul Jobson, who is the cohost of the show at Baylor, we talked about this very thing and, and he says, you know, he self-admittedly is saying you know, I sometimes keep people too long cause I want to, I think the best of them, which I, I totally understand.

I, I hate firing people, but if, if it gets to that point where, as you said that mocker to, you know, To say, okay, there's the door. Yeah. what do you think? As far as I know, there's no formula, there's no one right. Answer. Right. But at what point is that the answer rather than, especially as a coach, [00:32:00] because we, as coaches know that part of our role as a coach is to help our players to flourish, not just on the field, but off the field.

Right. So there's that balance too. Right? So what, how do you know that even in your job now, as the pastor, obviously, if there's people that's part of your job, it obviously is to help be able to flourish. So what does that look like? It's that

[00:32:18] Jesse: balance. Yeah. Hopefully I'm not as surprised for that player or that teammate, that employee, I mean, it should be a situation where.

It's maybe a first time, the second time. And in all along, you're giving them every chance, you know, Hey, what do you need? You're doing it in a way that's humble. Hopefully asking them questions. Do they understand? You know, it's Hey, and you're giving them feedback to direct feedback. That's pretty accountability.

Hey, when you say. I feel this, when you say this, it affects that person. That way, when you don't do this, like, this is how it hurts the team, you know, when you do that, that's how it undermines us. And, and it happens quite often, you know, on teams. And I think, you know, what's [00:33:00] ideal and start there, what are we going for?

What's ideal. Okay. How do we get there? You try to get people's input. You try to hear their ideas and they get ownership that way when they have input. And it's not just like heavy handed, but it's, we're all committed to this team being as good as it can be. Right. And you find that common ground and it's like, well, what's that going to look like on the field and off the field?

And like, how do we get there and try to help people be part of the solution. What I've seen is that sometimes when there's a complaint it's linked to someone's passion. So someone might come up now and say, I don't think we're doing enough around the community. You know? And I meant to say, What do you think we should do?

And well, I think we should hand up work free food. I think there's a lot of people starving. How would we do that? Well, I think we could partner with these groups. Well, are you willing to lead some of that? Yeah, actually I am. I can put that together on Saturday mornings. We got something, you know, so instead of this person complaining to three friends, now they're coming directly.

If [00:34:00] something's off, come to the leader and just share your heart, say this is what I'd love to see. And in some of those, you can turn on. Sometimes you want to take that person out to lunch early on when, when someone's not quite buying in or doesn't understand, or it seems like they're going sideways.

Spend more time with that person, ask them some questions. Questions are disarming and ask them, Hey, what are your thoughts? What are your feelings? Y you know, you often asked to ask people three times to really find out how they're doing, you know, how are you doing fine? How are you really doing well, actually it's this and how you feel about that.

And then that third time they asked you what's going on. So, you don't want to, if, if now you have, people are taking sides. Now there's cliques. Now there's it's trouble. So try to catch it. And there are going to be times where you need to make changes. You try to transition it. Well, hopefully there's clear standards.

Hopefully you're communicating with that person several times, but there's just some people that don't have the desire to change. Don't have the ability to change [00:35:00] their feet are dug in, and those are times where, where you have to make those difficult calls. As a leader. You can't operate in fear as a parent.

You can't operate in fear and you can't be afraid of certain people. I remember when a coach was afraid of a player. It's like the whole team hit turmoil because the coach was afraid of the player. You can't be afraid of ultimately the consequences, you know, you can't be afraid of, well, if I do the right thing here, what if three people don't like, you know, if you live in that, you're not going to be effective as a leader in, I can go to create that culture.

So it's really a freedom from what people think about you sometimes. And it's just a commitment to doing the right thing and the right way and the right timing too. And leadership I'll tell you, this has been true during COVID, you know, before COVID there was a lot more 90 10, you know, 99, 1 80 20 decisions where I knew 80, 90, 90 9% people are going to be happy and like five, 10, 20% might not like it.

I'll tell you COVID just leaves us in this pandemic. I mean, people are gonna leave if we don't reopen. [00:36:00] And then we reopen the people leave because. And then we say put on mass and people leave because we put on mass, they say, okay, now we can take off mask. If you believe to take off masks, then, I mean, you just go down the line.

It's like anxieties, amped up. People are you know, very opinionated and, and sometimes we just lose our patients and perspective and leading through those times as a challenge. And, and so how can you be a non-anxious presence? How can you try to just calmly explain what we're doing, why we're doing it, the why is so important.

And then ultimately I've got to release the results. You know, I'm going to do the right thing as best as I can. If I make a mistake, I've got to own it because if a leader makes mistake, don't just tuck it under act like, everything's fine. Just say, you know, I blew that could have done that better. So I've got to own that, but ultimately I'm going to try to do the right things, communicate it well, and then the results you know, those, I can't control all the time and I just can't operate in fear.


[00:36:54] Phil: And I just thought about a lot of stuff as you were talking there and, you know, I, I, I think that the, [00:37:00] the idea of just as you said, owning the, you know, just doing, owning your behavior, owning it, you can't, you can't understand, or you can't know what that result is going to be. You you're there's you don't know giving them the opportunity to catching it early.

Yes. And I think that there are just times where the people are. So, they're in, they're really into what they want. It's an individualism, right? It's it's just a self-focus. And I think sometimes to be able to come in and understand where that unhealth comes from, And one of my pastors, one of the things I love what he said, he said, what is the lie that you're believing that makes your behavior okay.

And it was a very powerful question, right? Because I think that's, what's going on in a lot of these instances is that there is a lie that they're believing. The other thing that you talked about there is the idea that helps everything and it not only helps. it's critical in order to have a healthy [00:38:00]organization, a healthy team at any level.

And I've talked about this before Patrick Lencioni in the book, The Advantage talks about healthy teams and he has the healthy leadership team is the first thing to have, right. Where we know each other, we trust each other, we have the vulnerability so on and so forth, but then it's create clear.

Communicate clarity, reinforce clarity, right? These idea, as you just talked about to have the clear rules, to have the clear values, to have the clear goals and when then when people are not living up to those values that you know, you, as a team have agreed on together, then it's really an easy decision if they refuse to live up to those values.

And so that's something that I think you said in there, I mean, correct me if I'm wrong there, but that's what I heard you saying there in there is to have those clear values, live them out. And then at the end of the day, if someone self-selects out, that's effectively, what they're doing. There are select self-selecting out of that.

They don't want to be in that culture. And you know, what that's their prerogative chances are it's because they're unhealthy. If it's a healthy culture, [00:39:00] which is then the right decision for everybody. So, what do you think, does you agree with all that?

[00:39:04] Jesse: Yeah. Don't water down the vision, you know, don't, don't give up or compromise the potential.

Don't bring that down to just fit in and what the current status is. And I believe we're all influencers, you're a culture changer. Like, you know, it's the old metaphor, but. The thermostat than a thermometer, the thermometer just reflects what's in the room. That thermostat it's all about the change.

And that is a difficult road sometimes to that transformational leadership step into teams to step into environments, workplaces and, and be the one who's gonna initiate that change. But that's where, you know, we needed and so many levels we really do right now. And and I think that, you know, sports, ultimately soccer is just a platform for real.

And, you know, I've been in the locker rooms, first place team, Been in locker rooms, the last place team and the attitudes, the relationships it's so different. And we really do need that clarity from job descriptions, role descriptions what's expected [00:40:00] here as well. And then finding the right people is going to be huge.

Relationships are ultimately what life is about. Quality of relationships determine the quality of your life and those relationships building in that trust shared experiences, empowering people, giving them on the job training that all that is is extremely significant. When I think about, you know, some of the changes in soccer in America, what I'm seeing that I think is encouraging on the soccer culture is, you know, MLS is improving.

That's an important piece because kids need that picture. Coaching is improving those mentors, you know, the, the principles, the concepts, the things, the kids practice early. It's huge. We need to see kids playing. Now. We were talking before about, you know, skills mean to see kids playing in the backyard, in the streets, in the garage, in the playgrounds, far beyond practice.

It can't just be, you know, during practice and we need to see some of our best athletes choosing soccer is it can't be the fourth or fifth option. And so these [00:41:00] elements, all of this is changing, you know, soccer, and you've got to identify those key drivers. What's really going to move us forward because we've been talking about men's soccer, you know, moving up for the women have dominated.

The women have been excellent that we've been talking about the man, you know, going to the next level. We kind of been stuck for awhile. And, and, and so you got to identify, what's really going to change it in America and then invest in those key things. Whether they've got, great Nike or Adidas clothes, that's not going to make the difference.

th there's a lot of things that won't make the difference in being able to identify those helps you kind of eliminate the sideways energy and you've got to hone in on a couple of things cause you can't do everything well, so really clear what are we all. How do we get there? Here's the key drivers.

Does everyone know the strategy? Let's get everyone's ideas. Cause there's going to be people who have much better ideas than you and listening to them and going with those ideas is going to be important. Part of the process let's shape it together, plan in pencil, but we're committed to moving forward.

[00:42:00] And that's what I hope for American soccer. And then, you know, for the places where you serve live, work, learn, and play, you know, bringing that to the table. That's tremendous. That's tremendous. It's it's when you know, it's not just going to be a couple of, you know, top executives, American soccer, figure a few things out, although you need that, but it's when the people run with it and the same is true in the church.

And the same is true in the marketplace. It's like when you get that high level of ownership and you get that passion, you connect passion and purpose. I mean, that's when that's when the exciting stuff has.

[00:42:32] Phil: Yeah, definitely. And something that you just made me think of there, as you talked about us soccer and the men's and it made me think about identity, right.

And, winning teams find ways to win. Losing teams tend to find ways to lose. And unfortunately, that's the reality, but I want to talk a little bit about identity, not, not of a, of a team per se, but of us as human beings. And I know you talked about earlier on, as you were telling your story about the time where, you know, [00:43:00] you took the malaria medication and, and all of a sudden you couldn't.

And, and that goes to the core of identity. When we, as athletes and you hear this all the time, somebody gets hurt. And then all they knew was that they were a soccer player or football player or baseball about whatever the sport you name the sport. It's the same story. Right? I know my wife, she had four knee surgeries in college and she had to stop playing soccer.

And then she went through a minor depression. It's another friend of mine stopped playing soccer, went through a minor depression. I mean, it happens sometimes major depressions, right? Because it's who you are. And so I really love for you to talk about right now that idea of identity and forming identity and shaping identity in the context of, you know, you're, you have a a program online.

On finding and spreading hope. And this is a big part of is knowing who you are knowing your identity, but how did that help shape your identity back then that experience and how can you encourage others? Understand and know their identity and why it's actually important.[00:44:00]

[00:44:00] Jesse: I think it's so important for athletes to know that who you are is more important than what you do and in sports. So often you're graded even the social approval, you know, the likes, it all comes in based on how well did you play. And what position do you have on the team? How many points your stats and even self worth can be tied to that.

And self-worth tied to performance is a trap. It's a performance trap because if you play well, it can lead to pride. If you don't play well, it can lead to shame. Neither are a good spot to end up in where human beings, we're not human doings. And you know, that was a major shift for me. It might sound really basic and you kind of summarize it.

You know quickly, but I'll tell you for me, when my career ended, I was wrestling with who am I and, and for a lot of people, their sense of worth and peace are linked to what they're doing and how well they're doing it. And it's good to be motivated. It's good to use your gifts. I don't want to diminish that, but I had to make a shift at that point because I realized I had lost [00:45:00] so much.

My identity can't be in school and getting better grades or just doing better on the athletic field like it, or even having friends around. Because at that time I didn't have any of that. I was just fighting for my life and thinking, well, who am I without these things? And so I made a shift. I think your identity is a choice.

It's kind of like dropping an anchor. It's like, where are you going to drop that anchor? And, and for me, it was a shift and I realized the identity needed to be landing somewhere. That's not going to change. I can't lose going away. And for me personally, God's presence and love and it's like, that's the one thing I still have.

I felt like, and it's more important, anything else? And so I'm gonna shift my identity there. And when I did that, it was so freeing because there's already this acceptance of security and then operating out of that. I think that's powerful for kids too. And they know they're loved by God that, you know, cause it's important to love yourself and love your neighbor as you love yourself.

And those are good things, but there's another source of love from above. And when I discovered that, you know, later in life and then [00:46:00] found my identity there so many things came out of that that were positive, you know, Forgive people I couldn't forgive before, because again, I was secure. I was forgiven.

I was loved. I was able to have this relationship with God and other people where I let them in. Before that I would just try to do better perform better. I knew they were interested in the part of my life that was going well, but I thought no one really wanted to come in to the pain and the ugliness since no one was really interested in that.

And certainly God wouldn't be, you know, Me to just be intellectually impressive or theologically pray grades or you know that, but, you know, that was so freeing to realize no I'm fully loved. And to let people in to that part of me, that vulnerable part, you know, that's where connection happens and that's where relationships get real and go deep.

And those were new things to me. I just started becoming more grateful. I was literally writing down 10 things. I was thankful for every day, instead of focusing on what I lost, you know, what I still have. And some of these shifts happened out of that identity shift. And that is one of those foundational shifts.

And we have a lot of [00:47:00] levels to our identity. You know, we have a family, we have a place origins. Now we have a job and we linked those. But I'll tell you those, aren't the deepest places to land your identity. And and so I'm just encouraging anyone that's watching because performance is a roller coaster that goes up and down, and it's a cruel place to try to land your identity.

It's just so freeing when you'd get off that thing and you just have peace. And so, that's something that, you know, they're not gonna necessarily teach you in school, but I don't think there's many things that are more important in life than that as well.

[00:47:31] Phil: Yeah. I mean, absolutely. You, you hit it on the head there as far as it's not your performance.

It's not what you do, because if that's it, then. That's going to fail you. That's going to fail, right? I mean, anything that, that is based on our performance, it's not going to be perfect. It's not going to be lasting. Right. Cause our bodies will get old. Our bodies will age and we're not going to be able to play a game.

Our whole life. There will be something after. So what is that identity grounded in? [00:48:00]Hopefully you're able to figure that out while you're playing and not just after, after you've crashed hard somewhere and hit bottom, you know, there is a way to do it before you hit there. Right. And that's the hope and prayers that you're able to do that.

So that's, that's one area that I wanted to touch on too. But the other is as, as you were playing, as you're leading, as you're seeing and then going into today and all the way through the idea of servant leader, And the idea of, you know, going back to healthy cultures, you know, healthy cultures have a lot of servant leaders.

I mean, just, it just is leaders, greatest leaders need to be great followers to right. And know how to do that well, but what does that look like? What did that look like playing. And how does it look like today in your life? Yeah.

[00:48:42] Jesse: You were touching on it earlier where it's so easy to be. Self-consumed, it's so easy to be me centered or me first and ultimately us destructive.

It's kind of misleading because at first it feels good. It's like, yeah. All about me. What do I want? Ooh. But then you kind of realize like, oh, generosity [00:49:00] is better than hoarding. You know, you start to realize like later on, like, eh, this isn't as good as it first appeared. And we live in a culture where sociologists say, you know, they just don't see many cultures that there's so much isolation, so much loneliness and then so much self promotion.

And you see it in so many different areas now you know, I'm not saying it's wrong to have social media accounts or personal branding. You know, you can use that for good. I'm not saying it's wrong, get money. You can use the Africa. It's tremendous blessing. So, there's a lot of things that if we understand that we steward them, but don't own them.

I'm taking care of this for a time. So I'm going to steward this as well as I can, basically. I didn't come into the world with anything and I'm not going to leave with anything. You know, there's, there's not a big U-Haul on your way out of this earth. Like, so I've got this limited amount of time. And so how am I going to invest my time?

My talents, my treasure. What are the relationships are most important and how can I serve when you take an approach? And instead of saying, [00:50:00] thinking, what could you give me? But instead, how could I serve you? Like when, when a group of people have that mentality, there's no limits to what can be done to transform communities, neighborhoods, teams different marketplace settings when it's contagious, it's taught and it's caught when you see it lived out, that's what you want to do.

You know, when I had a coach who his whole life was that it wasn't just in one arena, but his whole life was lived that way. And then he would say, it's the wee things. It's how you do the little things. And we'd watch him do the little things, right. And it was almost like, how do we not follow that example?

You know, how do we not do that? And it's countercultural what is more common is, you know, how can I get mine? How can I get more? How can I ultimately make it about me and check all my boxes to make me happy? And it's a shift in America so often to go from me to we, when I lived in Africa and Zimbabwe, there was so much generosity.

There was so much community, there's [00:51:00] so much kindness, and the people didn't have much money. There was drought, there was aids, there was famine, there was corruption, and yet they rose above it. And I thought, you know, hospitality is not about how much you have in your home. It's about what you have in your heart.

And if you truly care for people and have compassion, it doesn't matter. What's in your bank account. It doesn't matter what kind of clothes you wear. You know, when you have that mentality to serve, this is what's going to happen. Is you help other people experience, you know, the best things in life. I often say I'm the thirsty.

Who discovered some living water and want to help other guys and ladies by living water, w when you start to set people up for success, if you want to serve people, when you help them to realize their potential you're going to end up kind of discovering your purpose along the way. And when you give it just so often, you're the one who ends up receiving, you know, you teach you end up being the one who learns and when your mindset is to help and serve other people, then people want to rally around that and be a part of [00:52:00] that.

So, you know, don't, don't ignore your own needs, you know, set boundaries, all of those healthy practices, all those best practices, but in sometimes people might misunderstand your motive to, or might be harsh towards you throw shade, and it's not accurate. You know, sometimes you do need to build up your resume to get into, or GPA to get into a college, or, you know, and so it's not.

You, you, you just ignore yourself, but instead of just focusing on yourself, you're focusing on other people and you're serving them well. And, and when you do that, that's when you really come alive, that's what you actually made to do is to serve other people. And you might just think through, if you're listening today, like who do you want to help?

What solutions do you bring? What talents do you have? What, what good dos do you have in the morning and at night, you know, kind of those good birds where you just feel like maybe it's an individual or a group of people where, you know, you can make a difference. Maybe it's overseas. Maybe it's clean water.

We're on a path right now. You know, in our church, we [00:53:00] ran half marathon and we're in a path right now, world vision is doing a tremendous job of providing clean water for everyone by 2030. I mean, it's improved about 50% over the last 20 years. So there are so many things. I'm so grateful to be alive in 2021.

You know, I almost died a long time ago, but I'm still grateful to be alive because I feel like never had more resources. I mean, from podcasts like this to videos that we make to social media, to connecting with people, I mean, I'm just amazed that like, I'll follow someone that follow back now we're having a conversation now it's collaboration now we're making a difference together.

And it just all happens. Like, you know, bang, bang, bang, and now lives are changed. And I just love that. I love being alive in that environment. And so, yeah, just think clearly, as you can, about who you can serve at the end of your life, what do you want to be said? True about how you live, you know, and that's going to be served and or if money was no factor, who would you serve?

What would that look like? And those are ways to help [00:54:00] identify some of that passion that you have. And, and some of that purpose that can surface and that you can start to run with now and just start small, don't despise small beginnings and watch what it can grow with.

[00:54:11] Phil: Yep. And I will say what you alluded to and said there you'll find your greatest joy when you're figuring out how you can serve and help others to flourish.

You've heard on this show, if you've listened to more than a few episodes, that my purpose, my why is to help others to flourish and make good things better. Right. And that's when I learned that I could actually do what I love to do and help others. And that's when I just really felt like, okay, there, there is a joy there that is so far and above just seeking, you know, whether it's money, whether it's your own a claim, whether it's whatever it is.

You know, there was a time where I wanted to be up on stage all the time and be, you know, that guy that's traveling and doing this and that. And the other thing. And, and I realized, you know, That's not nearly as [00:55:00] fulfilling as being able to really dive into lives and be able to help people, you know, as a coach and as a, as a dad.

Right. As you know, to be able to know that those platforms. So on that note what is your personal, why your purpose and how you live in that out every day?

[00:55:14] Jesse: Yeah. And Phil, I think this podcast is just what you're talking about, where you start it because you enjoy sports. You want to create. With different coaches, athletes, parents, and then out of that, you know, you're already serving orphans so well around the world.

And then now it starts to combine and you see the potential with athletes and orphans. It just starts to grow. And I believe some of the greatest things in life are not planned, but you just start serving people and making a difference. And then look what you step into. I know a guy that during COVID just wanted to start giving people food who needed food simply that was his desire.

He works full time. He's got, you know, kids, a family. And now he's given up almost 20 million pounds of food and he's built teams, you know, during the pandemic. So there there's just no limits when, when you go down that road. And I think faith is [00:56:00] part of it too. You know, I love to spread hope and I love to spread.

The hope of Jesus is what changed my life. I don't know anyone that brings more folk than Jesus and that relationship, you know, it's based on grace, it's not earned, it's not rules, religion, and rituals. This is a relationship grace an undeserved gift. And just enjoying that relationship has brought me so much hope.

And I think there's a hope and I just living like Jesus. And I think hope is something that you know, is gritty. It's not just wimpy. I think there's a foundation for our lives with hope. It's not just you know, kind of comes and goes randomly. But I think. It's attached to this foundation, a house on a rock, not a host in the sand.

And I love it when people experience hope. I think you can have hope and grief at the same time. It doesn't mean that you don't feel pain, but we need more hope. The census bureau said that during the pandemic, 48% of Americans feel hopeless. And this is a time where I think that finding and spreading hope is significant.

And, and I love to do that. You know, [00:57:00] even just whether it's local and meeting needs we've got an event at our church this Friday. This weekend, actually Saturday morning, we're putting things together Friday, and then it's Saturday where a hundreds of families will come to the church and just build relationships.

They'll get to take anything they want. And we just have massive amounts of supplies and resources. And I just love to see, you know, the faces, the hope just through an event like that digitally, you know, different opportunities. We built a website, Jesse bradley.org. If you want to go there love to connect with anyone, social media as well, but we just put up free resources.

We've got videos on marriage because you know, half the marriages in our country are ending in divorce. We need hope for marriage. And so we put together a video course for that. And then there's lots of different topics, hope the future habits that lead to hope foundation of hope, practical roadmap for hope, but you can discover it on the website.

And again, just love to connect with anyone that's listening.

[00:57:52] Phil: Yeah, those are some great great resources. I've I haven't gone through all of them in preparation for this, but but quite a few of them, quite a few [00:58:00] of them, and they are, they are solid, solid stuff. So I, we will have that on the show notes as well, but it's Jesse bradley.org is pretty, pretty easy to remember.

Now we have our last couple of questions that we ask everybody. So I'd love to hear your, responses to this as I'm sure some people listen to the show, look forward to these questions every time too. But the first one is, what did you learn? What have you learned directly from the game of soccer, that you use in your marriage and parenting.

And the example that I always use is retaliate or gets the red, right? Like the, that idea of, you know, with my kids that, Hey, if you're fighting and they say, well, he started, well, you know what the retaliate or gets the red, right. So don't, don't escalate, right? Not necessarily fair now with VAR, of course that's not as accurate.

They always call me on that now, but we don't have VAR in our life. But anyway, so what, what is something that you've taken directly from the game that you use in your marriage parenting?

[00:58:48] Jesse: You know, in the game, I was very competitive and wanted to win, and I think it's important to recognize. What is winning in different settings and that you're [00:59:00] really chasing the right goal.

And, and that's so important. And I think winning, let's say there's conflict in the marriage. Winning isn't tying to prove you're right. And the other person wrong and take them down. You prevail. So that's where it could really go sideways. But winning is actually connecting it, staying United in marriage.

That's the wing. So what's it going to take to win? I think for me some of that competitive drive and in my wife and I have different strengths and I'm so grateful for her, she is so honed into the details and sometimes I'm big picture, you know, it can help, but sometimes like I gotta get my act together and like get in there and figure out like this assignment or this teacher, or get a ride to this game or practice.

And so like, I get to keep entering into details and I'm so grateful. She's so strong at that. Just like a team, you know, different strengths and compliment each other. But but I was thinking that I think there's a competitive drive in me to have a healthy. And I think that's the win. [01:00:00] And, you know, I mentioned my parents got divorced when I was growing up, you know, and it's like, okay, how could I have, you know, by God's grace, a healthy marriage, or how could my kids have things that I didn't have?

And I think it's shifting my drive. Is there, I mean, it's just strong. That's who I am. It's not going to go away. I'm just not a passive guy. I'm just not a yeah, let's just see what happens. A guy like I I'm intentional. No, you know, I'm going for it. That's how I'm wired. But I've got to identify the right win and then figure out what it's going to look like to get there.

And part of that is guarding that healthy culture in the family. I think that's, what's, what's been clear.

[01:00:37] Phil: Yeah, that's great. I I've talked a lot about that recently is especially with very task-focused driven, outgoing people. They need results, they need wins. They're super competitive. And sometimes we need to redefine that win we need to redefine that result that we're getting otherwise we'll be discontent all the time and unhealthy all the time.

And so totally get that. And that's something that [01:01:00] I've, again, even going back to that why and know your why that's really what is your goal? That's what really? What are you, you know, and we talked about writing your eulogy to understand, as you talked about what is that at the end of your life, you want people to say about you and that idea that's really your win.

If you hit that, that's your win. So he to know that is, is absolutely critical. Otherwise, you'll just be now, as they say that old, that old adage of don't, you know, make sure your ladders on the right building, right? So if you don't know what building you're even trying to climb, then it's really hard to know whether it's a win.

You're going to let the world define what a win is. And that's never a good thing.

[01:01:36] Jesse: And what a hollow feeling to spend your whole life climbing the ladder, and then near the end, realize it was the wrong ladder, you know, and I'll tell you, there's a lot of pastors. There's a lot of driven people. There's a lot of business leads.

Who just want to take the next mountain. And I rarely hear at the end of life, and I've been around a lot of people at the end of their lives. I I've rarely heard someone say, oh, I wish I would have [01:02:00]worked a little more, but there's a whole lot of people that say investing in the family and having better family relationships that's, that's where they would have adjusted.

So, yeah. Cool. Hopefully that helps me, helps us. We're lifelong learners, parents parenting stretches all of us, you know? And and, and it's an opportunity to grow. There's no greater opportunity to grow. I mean, the person who's going to help you grow the most is the person you're married to. They know you the best that you know, those, those differences, but I'll let you go back to your question.

[01:02:28] Phil: We can, like we said, we can talk for days on all these things, but the last question we got and we'll wrap it up here. What have you read listened to or watched that has most impacted your thinking on how soccer explains life and leadership?

[01:02:42] Jesse: Yeah. You know, I'm someone who's always been relational, intuitive learned by experience.

And so, you know, I feel like I don't have, I haven't picked up something better than the coach I had in college, you know? And I felt like anything [01:03:00] was safe to talk about. And I felt like you could go into his office, talk about life, talk about soccer, talk about your playing time. And it'd be a great conversation.

And, and also he had a way of creating this family feel. And, you know, sometimes we throw that around like, oh, this church is a family, it was business as a family or, you know, whatever team it is you know, pick your favorite team, the Sounders family. And sometimes we throw that around kind of loosely and it's, it's not really the case, you know, it's really not family.

And, and when you actually get an experience that is family. You know, I'm still emailing, zoom, getting together with, you know, I've got an opportunity to talk to the Dartmouth men's soccer teams going to play the Huskies university of Washington. And I get a chance to talk to the team here in another week or so.

And I mean, that's just, what stands out to me is, is that family that's created. And when you [01:04:00]get a taste for that, you don't want to settle for less, you know, and when you get a taste of that on the field, like you want to experience that and create that in other settings. And and sometimes, honestly that was hard for me in the church.

Cause I thought, man, on the soccer team, like we got along, well, we went all out and it was just for some rings, you know, that was the goal. And I thought that in the Church, We're actually seeing lives changed. Why would we kind of go half way? Or why would we have petty conflict? Like let's, if we could figure it out in the soccer locker room, like let's do this and other arenas too.

So, yeah, trying to carry that over, but, but I think that's, that's probably what stood out to me the most, but then I see it in different teams, you know, it's like when Liverpool just had their great run, you know, and, and you listen to the players, listen to the coach. I know I watched you know, Allison, anytime there's another goalkeeper, it loves Jesus.

You know, it's like, okay, you got, you got my attention. And I'm watching Firmino get baptized on a road trip. You know, I was thinking like, it just looks like family to me, you know, they score a goal, it looks like family. It doesn't look [01:05:00] professional. It's got all those elements, but it's like it transcends in.

And honestly, it's almost harder to professional level to create that family feel than the college. And you know, high school I think is even easier in some ways, but the more you go up to create that family. There's just a joy and a connection and a trust and a closeness. And to me, that's where life's at its best. You're not gonna find anything greater than love. And when, when a coach can bring that in and lead the team into that, man, that's that's top notch stuff.

[01:05:32] Phil: You know, I totally agree. And it, it, it pains me to say how much I enjoyed watching that with Allison and Firmino and even Alison scoring the goal last season, you know, whatever that was just phenomenal as a Manchester United supporter, it's really hard for you.

Like anything that ever happens at Liverpool. But, you know, I, I have, I have made an exception for that. That's okay. And I can say it actually in public and not feel like I've, I've [01:06:00] completely ruined my credibility as a United supporter. So, some things transcends sport, right? So that's, that's absolutely. Or affinities maybe, maybe not sport, but of affinity.

So anyway, well, thank you so much, Jesse. Thank you for your friendship. Thank you for this time together today. I very much appreciate you. And, and what you shared. Enjoyed

[01:06:19] Jesse: it feel a little jab at the red devils, but you know, I just have to say, I appreciate what you're doing with orphans is far more significant than soccer.

You know, our family, we adopted a child it just means the world to me, anytime someone's working with orphans. And so just keep up the good work and I'm so thankful anyone who made it to the end of this podcast, we went along, but thanks for sticking with us and look forward to connecting. So thanks so much.

[01:06:44] Phil: Yeah, thank you. And then thank you everyone out there for, as you said, you know, this download for listening to this, and I just hope that you are learning right alongside me. And and, and just really learning from these great people that we get to talk with. So with that, I [01:07:00] just, again, want to encourage you if you haven't done so already go ahead and rate and review this show.

Apple podcasts, wherever else, you're listening. And go ahead and do that. Join us on Facebook at the house. Soccer explains leadership Facebook group. You can also follow us on Twitter and Instagram and whatever else you do, your social media. But most importantly, I do hope that you're taking what you're learning here and you're using it to help you be a better leader.

You're using it to continually remind you that soccer does explain life and leadership. Thanks a lot. Have a great week.