page title icon 305: Tom Connally – Coaching Leaders to Improve Their Performance

Tom Connally Show Notes Page

Tom Connally was struggling with his work and he realized that he needed to change and bring his performance with his values. In order to do that, Tom started writing and journaling and doing small, incremental changes that eventually led to where he is now and made him a better person.

Tom Connally grew up in San Diego, California. Tom’s Mom and Dad were both children of the depression and veterans of World War II, so all six kids grew up understanding hard-work.

His Dad, was a Master Chief Hospital Corpsman, medic, who started with the Marines on Peleliu, took the four boys aside around the 7th grade and told them, “I will support you while you are home, but with six kids, if you want to go to college it will be on you to get a scholarship. Your job is doing well in school, sports, and Scouts.”

By the time Tom was in the 7th grade, he had heard his brothers echo 1,000 times their Dad’s admonition to “Give everything you do 110%.” That took seed early, and with his Dad deployed and his Mom frequently hospitalized as chronically ill, the oldest brothers ran the house, and they all learned to pull their weight.

Tom’s Mom died, he was 12 years old, and she had made sure he could cook, iron clothes, sew on a sewing machine, read a map, tie knots, do laundry, call a baseball game, and execute the rifle manual of arms. His Dad was the icon, and his brothers and older sister were his coaches. Tom was pretty good at many things, and he had learned that hustle and hard work, the 110% made a difference.

Growing up, you would have found Tom not far behind his brothers playing baseball, scouting, researching military subjects, and as an altar boy in church. Being the youngest boy, Tom learned to play with the big boys by the big boy rules, as his Dad would say. He was the apprentice in everything, and he was seeing what right looked like in what his brothers’ did. Their family was a team, so when the older brothers and sister had left home, and his Mom passed, Tom knew how to take care of his little sister and his Dad. He also had seen the paths his brothers had taken to college, the Naval Academy, the Marine Corps, and the Navy. He knew he wanted to be like them, and as the apprentice, he knew the path.

When he got to the Naval Academy, he discovered that hard work wasn’t enough, and that would be a recurring cycle of learning. Tom served 30 years in the Marines. He led organizations from 5 to 5000, in the artillery during combat, overseas, in three Marine Divisions and various staff and supporting commands, up to the highest level staff. Over the years, he developed the philosophy that leading is a 110% effort to commit to a life-long endeavor of study, action, reflection, and refinement. When Tom transitioned from the Marines in 2013, he worked for five years for two different companies before deciding to start his own endeavor helping leaders and organizations to improve their performance and success personally, professionally, spiritually, and physically.

Tom is the author of Becoming a Leader: A Roadmap for My Daughter and the Aspiring Leader.

Tom currently lives in Waxahachie, Texas and is married to the beautiful, smart, and strong Annie, the girl of his dreams. They have two children, Michaela Ann, a Marine Captain, and Jack, a Cadet at Texas A&M.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to Tom Connally get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShowClick to Tweet

“Whatever you do, give it 110%.” – Click to Tweet

“Better put up or shut up.” – Click to Tweet

“All things in life are possible with prayer and heavy deadlifts.” – Click to Tweet

“Between faith and doing the work, you can make anything happen.” – Click to Tweet

“Embrace the suck.” – Click to Tweet

Hump to Get Over

Tom Connally was struggling with his work and he realized that he needed to change and bring his performance with his values. In order to do that, Tom started writing and journaling and doing small, incremental changes that eventually led to where he is now and made him a better person..

Advice for others

Instead of following your passion, put your passion into what you think is what is most important, and develop your abilities from there.

Holding him back from being an even better leader


Best Leadership Advice

Learn something new every day.

Secret to Success

Having faith.

Best tools in business or life


Recommended Reading

Becoming a Leader: A Roadmap for My Daughter and the Aspiring Leader

Discovering the Laws of Life

Links and Resources

Tom’s website:

Tom’s LinkedIn:

Fast Leader Show on YouTube:

Fast Leader Show on Apple Podcast:

Fast Leader Show on Facebook:

Fast Leader Show on Twitter:

Fast Leader Show on LinkedIn:

Show Transcript

Click to access unedited transcript

Unedited Transcript
Jim Rembach (00:00):
Okay, fast leader Legion today. I’m excited because we’re going to get some perspectives of that. Oftentimes is not really leveraged, nor understood in the story
Jim Rembach (00:11):
Billion world. Tom Connolly grew up in San Diego, California, Tom’s mom and dad were both children of the depression and veterans of world war II. So all his six, all their six kids grew up understanding hard work. His dad was a master chief corpsman medic who started with the Marines on tele Lu and took four boys aside around the seventh grade and told them I will support you while you’re at home. But with six kids, if you want to go to college, it’ll be on you to get a scholarship. Your job is doing well in school, sports and Scouts. By the time Tom was in the seventh grade, he had heard his brothers echo a thousand times their dad’s admonition to give you give everything that you do. 110% that took seed early with his dad deployed. And his mom frequently hospitalized as chronically ill.
Jim Rembach (01:05):
The oldest brothers ran the house and they all learn to pull their weight. Tom’s mom passed away when he was 12 years old and she had made sure that he could cook iron clothes. So on the sewing machine, read a map, do nots, do laundry and call a baseball game and execute the rifle manual of arms. His dad and his brothers and older sister were his coaches, um, was pretty good at many things. And he had learned that hustle and hard work and that hundred and 10% made a significant difference. Growing up, you would have found Tom not far from his brothers, playing baseball scouting, researching military subjects, and as an alter boy in church being the youngest boy, Tom learned to play with the big boys by the big boy rules as his dad would say, he was the apprentice in everything. And he was seeing what right looked like in what his brothers did.
Jim Rembach (02:06):
Their family was a team. And so when the older brothers and sisters left home and his mom passed away, Tom knew how to take care of his little sister and his dad. He also had seen the path, his brothers had taken to college, the Naval Academy, the Marine Corps and the Navy. He knew what he wanted and he wanted to be like them. And as the apprentice, he knew the path when he got to the Naval Academy, he discovered that hard work wasn’t enough. And that would be a reoccurring cycle of learning. Tom served 30 years in the Marine Corps and he led organizations from five to 5,000 in the artillery during combat overseas in three Marine divisions and various staff and supporting commands up to the highest level staff over the years, he developed the philosophy that learning is a hundred percent effort and to commit to lifelong endeavors of study action,
Jim Rembach (03:00):
Reflection and refinement. And when Tom transitioned from the Marines in 2013, he worked for five years for two companies before deciding to start his own endeavor, helping leaders and organizations to improve their performance and success personally, professionally, spiritually, and physically. Tom is the author of becoming a leader, a roadmap for my daughter and the assuming leader, Tom currently lives in Watsahachee Texas and is married to the beautiful, smart, and strong Annie, the girl of his dreams. And they have two children McKayla, an aunt. Who’s a Marine captain and Jack a cadet at Texas a and M Tom Connolly. Are you ready to help us get over the hump? Yeah, let’s do it now. I’ve given my Legion a little bit about you and I decided to read no, your whole bio, because I think it’s critically important here. We’re going to get into that in a second, but for right now, if you could give our Legion a little bit about your current passion.
Tom Connally (03:54):
Oh, I’m a, I’m a coach. I want to coach and help leaders and organizations to improve their performance. I want them, uh, and so that’s taken me several places besides moving to walks to Hatchi. Um, it’s, uh, it’s taken me down the path of beginning another book, um, and, uh, of course, trying to get where I can, uh, present these ideas of apprentice leadership, uh, at the apprentice vocation. Um, and, uh, in some of these other things that I allude to in the F in that first book, um, understanding that first book is an outline. It’s a roadmap. When I started to write that thing, I said, this is going to be 5,000 pages long. I can’t do that. How do I do this? So that a young leader, my daughter, my son, would be able to put this in their pocket and, and use it to, to, to, uh, optimize their apprenticeship. And so my latest passion is the same passion, help people be better leaders.
Jim Rembach (05:07):
Well, and, you know, talking with you and reading the book, I mean, you use certain words very intentionally and they have significantly deeper meaning. And one of the things that you talk about is compassionate discipline. If you could really elaborate on deep meaning on that.
Tom Connally (05:24):
Well, you know, um, especially you read, if you, if you just read the book or you just read my bio, the first thing you think is Marine Colonel, 30 years of experience, you know, he must have cracked the whip a lot. Um, and that’s kind of, uh, the sense, but, um, but that’s not, that’s not how you move forward. And compassionate discipline is the idea that, uh, all discipline isn’t about punishment. In fact, most discipline is not about punishment. It’s about helping people to identify what needs to be done and how they can get there and what the outcomes will be for them. Um, so that discipline doesn’t just start with correcting a wrong, it starts with identifying an state and saying, here’s where we’re going to go. Discipline is, is about being a disciple. It’s about being committed to something. So, uh, when you say that in the Marine Corps, there is, there is a legal definition of discipline.
Tom Connally (06:26):
And, you know, when it says that you take money away, you put people in and you do all that stings if you have to, but it’s not the first thing you do. It’s just like the first thing you do is you don’t raise your voice. Um, you have the first thing you do is you say, do you understand the mission? Do you understand what I told you? Do you understand? Okay, do you know how to get there? All right. You understand all those things. Did you just ignore me what let’s solve the problem? So compassionate discipline is the idea that, uh, you you’re trying to solve the problem. You’re not trying to punish the person. So, um, so that’s where I’m, that’s where I’m going with that. And I think most, most Marine leaders after a little while, understand that everybody in the civilian world doesn’t and, um, and that’s another reason to do this is open that door. Let let’s understand. There’s, there’s some things we can learn from our veterans, especially
Jim Rembach (07:27):
Well, and as you’re talking, I start thinking about a really good friend of mine who spent, you know, a career in the Marine Corps. And he had shared with me when he, uh, you know, had, had retired from the Marine Corps that when he started working in the, in the, in the civilian world, cause he was, he was a young man. He was a 20 year veteran and he talked about his struggles associated with not feeling like he had people had his back, you know, in the civilian world. And that, that was a really, really tough thing for him. And so if you could, I think it’s important for us to talk about that end outcome, which is really when you start talking about this roadmap and being a leader, it’s getting to that point where I know every single person has got my back. Right. And that trust just emulates and it enables things to occur that otherwise just would not
Tom Connally (08:23):
Absolutely trust. I mean, that’s great.
Jim Rembach (08:26):
Tell us a little bit about, you know, that differentiation between, you know, getting to that point and then what it is like in the civilian world.
Tom Connally (08:36):
Wow. Um, getting to that point. So in the Marine Corps, you have a common ethos, you know, in the, in the military, but, but it’s even more common in, in your unit and depending on the size of your unit, the smaller the unit, the tighter the group, the more, uh, because if you’re in a combat unit then obviously because everybody’s got to have everybody’s back. Um, and in a very real sense, uh, if you’re, if you’re removed from the battlefield a little bit, um, you still have that because you have life, uh, you have life-threatening or life changing. Um, it means that you’re performing whether that’s logistics or whatever it is, but you still in every organ. Yeah. Um, somebody has right flank in the left flank. Somebody’s supporting the other guy. Everybody’s not the main effort all the time. So somebody is the support effort and whether that’s on the ballot field or in, uh, in the board room, somebody, the supporting effort, you’re not always the main character in everything that happens in a corporation or whatever it is.
Tom Connally (09:47):
Everybody doesn’t understand that in the civilian world. Um, because they haven’t experienced that in that, in the battlefield context, in the, in the, uh, critical mission context, uh, some truly there are first responders and other people who absolutely get that, um, because they have to live that way every day. Uh, but there are other people in the civilian world who don’t, um, trust now building trust is, um, is a matter of time, uh, an attitude, um, you know, the longer you’re with somebody, the more you’re going to trust them because the more you understand how they do business. Um, but that’s the part of the thing talk about in the, in the book is I talk about organizing, communicating and, uh, uh, in planning, uh, yeah. In the sense that you identify the end state and you communicate in a, in a common way so that your people understand what it is you’re trying to do.
Tom Connally (10:47):
Where are you trying to go? What’s the objective? How are we going to get there? I use the old Marine Corps acronym, smack situation, mission execution, admin logistics, command, and signal. And I define that a little bit in the book, but, um, so that people understand that, but in a general sense, it’s an easy way to say he pointed here’s, here’s what the situation looks like. Whether that’s in the boardroom, how much money we have, what has to happen today, whatever it is. And then there’s the mission. What is it specifically that we’re trying to do the, who, what, where when and how, um, and then you’re going to talk about how we’re going to do that. That’s the execution and then, uh, admin and logistics, what’s all the supporting pieces, you know, and then command and signal. How are we going to communicate, how are we going to respond back?
Tom Connally (11:33):
And are you going to text me a thousand times today? Or are you going to send me one report at the end of the day? Uh, are we going to do it by telephone or are we going to send messages, um, smoke signals for goodness sake, whatever it takes, but those things are the discussions, but those commonalities help you develop trust when you set some SLPs and some standards amongst each other, and then you support those, then you develop trust. People begin to believe that you will do what you said you would do. Um, and that’s really, uh, where trust comes from, you know, um, trust is the idea that I can, uh, that whatever you said is what you’re going to do. And so, uh, so that, of how you build that is first off as a leader, you walk into the room and you assume you have to trust everyone until they prove to you that they’re not trustworthy. That’s really hard for leaders to get, but you have to do it because if you don’t trust them, your people won’t trust you.
Jim Rembach (12:41):
Original wisdom in the civilian world is I don’t trust. You have to earn it where and where you were coming from. And what you’re talking about is it is easy to, because I’m part of this brotherhood and sisterhood, you know, and, you know, I have this culture and, and all of the, you know, the conditioning and building of, of important competencies, you know, to, for that to occur. So I think it’s easier for people to, you know, really move forward with that particular mindset. And I want to dig a little bit deeper into this whole competency thing, because as I’ve been podcasting for five years, getting an understanding of the different competencies that are involved, become critical in regards to us being able to make a difference and impact. And you talk about competencies or what type of competencies are important, uh, in this context, in this roadmap, in this development, in that outcome.
Tom Connally (13:30):
Well, I think that, that, um, w we tend, we tend to think about, um, leadership as a adjunct in many, in many cases leader. So fundamentally in the book on talking about two primary competencies, your technical competency, whatever your job, your, your corporation, your, uh, industry, understanding that, being good at that. And then that’s your technical competency. And then you have a leadership competency is if you’ve committed to the idea that you’re going to lead, right, you’re a manager or, or, uh, or you just decided I’m want to be a leader. And you have to, at some point, if you want to lead, you got to commit to the idea that I’m a leader. Um, so those are the two primary things that I’m talking about in G in general context. Now, there are all kinds of sub-competencies that go underneath that. And in the military, uh, you tend to get those things, um, as qualifications.
Tom Connally (14:32):
So they become subsets of, whereas in the civilian world, we almost give badges for those particular areas. If you understand where I’m coming from, um, in the military, oftentimes you step up to it. Okay. I was a platoon commander. That’s a set of competencies then. And then I a, a company, our company, XO executive officer, that’s a set of competencies. Then you become a company commander, that’s a set of competencies. And all of these things build on each other. So you tend not to see them the same way as a platoon commander. You’ve got your 30 guys, you have to do certain things. You have to be tactically competent to be technically competent. Now there’s two things in addition to leadership competence. So the key point here is that whatever it is that you need to be continent at the moment. And I talked to this in the sense that start at your desk, start at where you’re at and say, what do I have to know?
Tom Connally (15:31):
What do I need to be competent at what standard operating procedures, what rules, what laws, what, what organizational policies, what are the things do I need to know what machines, weapons, vehicles, what things do we have that we do in this job that I need to know, I need to know about every truck, every gun, every, every communication device, whatever it is. And so if so, whatever you are, what are we, we are start right here and expand and say, okay, am I competent at the very basics? Can I get to work on time? Can I do, can I do those things now? Can I do, what are the fundamentals? Who do I owe reports to do I know how to do those reports, then, you know, how can I educate my people? Can I make sure that they are developing and that they know their jobs?
Tom Connally (16:22):
I, I need to be competent at that. And so, along the way, there’s, there’s levels of competency that you have to develop. And now I would put them in a big category in the Marine Corps of leadership and, and technical, um, or occupational, okay. In the, uh, but within that, understand that those, those are all those smaller things. Um, so talking to a beginning leader, you start with your competencies right here at your desk. What did you get hired for? What does your job description say? You do. That’s what you need to be competent at first, next, you need to make sure that you can do that with all the people around you next, eventually you want to learn and be competent at what your boss does someday. You’ll be the boss on the battlefield. That might be a 90 seconds, you know, uh, someday you’ll be the boss learn that.
Tom Connally (17:19):
Um, you also need to know what the people on the right dip, who, what does the mail room do? Does that matter to you? What, what do the people in, in graphic arts do, do they support you? What do the people, you know, in the Marine Corps, you would say, who are the guys on my right, who are the guys on my left? We have different missions. They’re supporting one, we’re all supporting the one overall mission, but I need to know what he’s doing, and I need to know how he’s doing it. And so you build on those things and you build on those competencies. And, but primarily you have the I’m leading people competency and the technical, uh, technical, uh, occupational competency. Does that make sense?
Jim Rembach (18:02):
It does make sense. And as you’re talking, I’m starting to get this understanding of one of the things that well, two things actually, that people struggle with, um, you know, in organizations. And that is when you start thinking about the customer experience, you know, oftentimes what we’ll do is we’ll try to get insight about the frontline person who interacted with that customer and where a particular, uh, situation had had gone awry. However, if you do the analytics and study, you know, those failures that occur within the customer experience, 80% plus of them are actually systemic in nature. It is not that person who is interacting with that customer who could have influenced the outcome, you know, whether, you know, whether it was positive and whether it was negative and sometimes even positive. I mean, it just happens by default because of the system. And as you’re going through and talking about all these building competencies, you’re talking about this trust, you’re talking about, I’m starting to think about the difference between, you know, military and the civilian world and in the civilian world being, I’ve got to be more customer focused and customer centric and get things done, and we have to be able to retain more customers and do all that is that is being able to take all of your experiences and the spoken one of the areas that you’re primarily focusing in on when you’re working with these organizations, or is it something else
Tom Connally (19:25):
Primarily? Um, I think that the, I want to help the organization and the, and the person, the leader, uh, to solve the problem that they have now. So if their problem is, is customer base, I understand customer base. Um, I, I spent three years on recruiting duty, um, where you dealt with everybody more than the Marines, um, and, uh, whether it was schools or, or, uh, communities or, uh, leaders, uh, in, in, uh, in different organizations. And then there were the applicants, the people that might think that they, they wanted to do that, but, but you went through the same processes of having a system. And how do you, how do you use the system to create the outcome? And, uh, but the, uh, oftentimes there’s, there’s nuance in that, that people don’t look to and they don’t try and solve. But what I would say is that the, the, uh, customer, the customer, uh, approach is the ultimate, um, challenge.
Tom Connally (20:43):
Since that you are one, if you’re in sales, you’re trying to, you’re trying to convert a non, to a believer. You’re trying to help someone understand why the product or your system or your service is going to help them. And, uh, and so that has great, great challenges, um, always does, but it always starts with, you know, do you want to buy this product? Um, and then when they say, no, you start the sale. Um, because then you can start identifying what they don’t know how you get at it. Um, teaching teaching people to sell is, is, uh, is a piece of that, um, engagement with a customer is something that, um, I think that, that is so nuanced in so many ways, depending on what you sell and what, or what product you produce, if somebody wants to buy my product, my, my coaching, all right.
Tom Connally (21:49):
And, uh, that’s all about them understanding what they, what the outcome will be and how they can improve who they are and them being in the right position to accept that I can’t sell somebody a desire to be better, but I can, yeah. If they have a desire to be better, I can show them how I can help them get there, there. And so it’s, it’s all a problem solving situation, but I think it comes back to the fundamental belief that, um, that it’s an interaction. It’s two people, well, in an interaction, whether you’re leading Marines or you’re trying to, to, uh, help somebody, uh, improve their performance, uh, you spend a lot of time helping Marines, trying to improve their performance. Um, but, or you’re trying to help sell somebody, something you are having an interpersonal reaction there, your TA or interaction, talking to them about how do they get better?
Tom Connally (22:49):
How do they improve? And here’s, here’s the tool. Here’s the, whatever it is I can do to help you do that. How you build an organization off that is, is for everyone into the org in the organization, to understand that every day we’re helping each other get better. This is a culture of performance. This is what I, I alluded to speak of a little bit in this book. It will be the next book. How do you build an organization where everybody in the organization believes and wants to get better, and they want it to make the organization better and they want to help everybody interacts with get better. And that’s fundamentally, I think if you, if you don’t approach, if you don’t approach people that way, that they all have value, I call it the prime imperative, uh, in the book or the one thing, right? The leaders, one thing, if you don’t believe that they all have that, then you’ll never get that.
Jim Rembach (23:46):
Well, I’m part of that. You know, you talk about the, making the decision to be a leader. It’s a very, very tough thing to do, and you have to commit, um, you talk about, um, how, you know, developing people and that being a primary focus, and you’d have to do that all the time. And you talk about, you have to be firm fair. And then what do you mean by that?
Tom Connally (24:07):
Oh, well, I laugh because my, my older brother, a great leader, the guy I always wanted to be like, uh, still did still, still working on that one. Uh, fantastic father, Patriot Christian, all things, um, and a great Marine officer. Um, he, he used that term. I heard him use that term when he was a young Lieutenant and, and firm fair and friendly as optional. And the, the, the point of that is that as a leader, you, you’re not worried about being popular. If you’re worried about being popular, you’re worried about the wrong things. So you, you worry about being firm and fair. That is, you know, what you believe in, you know, what your organization believes in, and you are always looking for the, the fair, the, the just, and the right approach in whatever the situation is, so that your people always know where you’re coming from.
Tom Connally (25:14):
They know they can believe in you. They know they can bring you the worst thing that could ever happen and put it on your table. And your reaction will not be how terrible you are. You dumb now your reaction will be okay, let’s take this apart. How did this, and where are we and what do we do about it? And, and you are going to raise them up and you’re going to raise the organization up, but you’re not going to worry about how popular you are, because if you’re worried about how popular you are, then you’re ignoring all those other things. Um, does it, is it nice to be popular with your people? Sure. It is. But if you find yourself going down that road, then you’re ignoring a whole lot of important things and you will eventually fall
Jim Rembach (26:07):
Well. And one important thing you talk about as a leader is embracing the suck. What does that mean?
Tom Connally (26:13):
Well, that’s it, so the basic school at the Marine Corps basic school, which is all officers go through for six months. And, uh, and the, uh, and so some, some people begin to call it the big suck. Um, and, uh, but it’s, but it’s also the idea that whether you’re in the field or your, what you ha you have to confront things that you don’t, you have to, you know, in, at the basic school, we used to joke that whenever we went to the field, it was going to rain or snow, and it was true. And so, you know, and rather than complain about it, and rather than whine about it, you embrace it. And, and you just say, you know what? It’s not so bad. It’s not so bad. We could be getting shot at. I mean, we could all have broken legs. I mean, what, what, it could be worse, but it translates into, uh, into the rest of life into any time, especially as a leader, things are not going to be rosy every day.
Tom Connally (27:21):
In fact, much of what leaders do is ugly and painful. You have to fire people, you have to hire people, you have to fix things. You gotta, you’ve gotta do things. And in the military, you’re personally involved with people’s lodge and you’d have some very ugly stuff that you have to deal with. And, uh, and when you do, uh, you just have to understand that that, that you’ll get through it. And, and rather than complain about it, put your head down, focus on resolving the issue, moving on, embrace that ugliness and get on with it.
Jim Rembach (27:56):
Well, and one of the things that we do in order to help us embrace that because right, we have to change our mindset and we have to focus and pivot and do all that is we look at quotes on the show. Is there a quote or two that you liked and you can share,
Tom Connally (28:08):
Well, um, boy, there’s all kinds of quotes. The, you know, my dad was famous for all kinds of quotes, his, uh, you know, he’s the one that said, you know, give it whatever you do, give it 110%. Right. And, uh, and so that, that’s the one that I probably built my life on. Um, but, uh, you know, there’s, that, that book is full of a whole bunch of them, you know, don’t let your alligator mouth overload your hummingbird , that kind of thing. Um, you know, which machines, you know, better put up or shut up. Right. And, uh, but my, you know, I came up with my own the other day, um, a few years ago, uh, being a former power lifter. And I said, uh, all things in life are possible with prayer and heavy deadlifts. And, uh, so between, between, between faith and doing the work, you can make anything happen. Uh, so, but yeah, there’s, there’s a bazillion quotes out there. Um, and I, uh, but I think that the, that just embracing the sock is probably about the best one that I ever heard. And it wasn’t me that made it up.
Jim Rembach (29:28):
Thank you, brother. Okay. So there’s times where we didn’t do that and we didn’t embrace it. Um, we, you know, had situations where we did break a leg. Um, my good thing. Let me talk about getting over hump on the show.
Speaker 5 (29:42):
Is there a time where you’ve gotten over the hump that you can share? Well, yeah,
Tom Connally (29:47):
Yeah, absolutely more than once, but I’ll just deal with this one. And that’s, uh, when I was on recruiting duty and, uh, I’d come from the fleet been successful or come from the operational forces. I’m now in, you know, in a community in, in Iowa. Um, I’d been on the enlisted side of recruiting and the operations and management side, and we had been doing great. And then they shifted me over to the officer side and put me in a more on the street. And so I’m now a salesman, right? I’m now I’m a recruiter and I was getting my tail kicked boy. I was telling you, I’m telling you, I was, people were calling me like every month and telling me you’re going to get fired. Life is terrible. And, uh, um, and I sat and then I ordered, uh, a guy, a friend of mine walked in who’s my financial guy walked in with, uh, with, uh, a planner a day planner on a particular type that I, I said, Hey, that looks pretty good.
Tom Connally (30:47):
And in the back of it, there was a thing on time management. And, uh, and I said, I’m going to order those. And I’ve ordered those tapes. And I sat down and I spent two days sprint eight, eight hours the first day and eight hours, the second day, listening to these things. And I realized that my, that there were all these things I believed in and who it was more about values. What’s important. That’s important to you. How do you prioritize these things? Where do these things lay out? It was. And so I listened to this and I had a big, I listened to it the first time. And the second time I had a big sheet of pitch stack of paper like this, I started writing scribbling like crazy because when I got done with it, I said, there are all these things that I believe are important, and I’m not doing anything to move that boy, you know, you want to get married.
Tom Connally (31:34):
I was single, I’m in a terrible relationship. It didn’t go in there. You know? So what do I do about that? I will, I want to be a good Christian, you know, but my performance is not in line with that. I’m not praying, I’m not going to church. How could I be living up to that? And various things. I looked at my work. I said, you know what, I want to do this. Right. And, and, and I said, you know what I have to, and the aha moment. Right? Uh, or at least one of them in my life was I have to bring my performance in line with my values.
Tom Connally (32:07):
You know, I went, Holy cow and I just started and I started going, Hmm, okay. How do I do that? You know, I can, I can do this. You know, I can move this a little bit, this way I can move. You know, I’ve heard, I think it was one of your guests talk about, uh, uh, movement by degrees. Um, and, uh, and I said, you know, and some of these, I got to make a big move. I went, I’ve got to do something big, but here’s, but that was 19 eight. And I started using that day planner. And right now on my goals, I have every goal I’ve written since 1988 in a binder. And, uh, and I started teaching this to my people and to every organization that I ran. And this is where I started developing these ideas of leadership from a value centered standpoint, as opposed to, uh, what do you want to call it? A list of attributes? Um, so anyway, but, uh, made a difference and it changed the way I did everything from that point on. And, uh,
Jim Rembach (33:15):
Thanks for sharing that. I mean, so for me, uh, um, that’s a, that’s a good lesson. I also, um, was chatting with somebody and they talked about the importance of, uh, journaling, you know, just, you know, if it’s just two minutes, um, which helps with that whole alignment piece. And then I think it seems like talking about, you know, again, the system is, you know, overall your, your system of fish efficiency and effectiveness, and being able to obtain your goals starts, you know, by small degrees starts going in the direction you want it to go. So thanks for sharing. Now, when I look at, you talked about, you know, this book, you talked about another book, uh, you know, and I, and I think about, you know, your career and the things that you want to accomplish yet. Um, if you could, do you have a goal, um, that you could share with us?
Tom Connally (34:06):
I told a friend of mine about two years ago when I started this, I says, I’m going to be the world’s best leadership, uh, parcel. And he was like, [inaudible], that’s pretty big. I said, yeah, but the it’s so big that every, that I can get there and everybody can still come with me. I don’t have to defeat anyone. Um, I don’t, I don’t have to compete with anyone. Um, you know, because it, it, it will be an evaluation. My goal is to, uh, touch as many people as I can with these ideas, with the ideas of leadership and help them to improve their performance. Um, right now I’m working on a book, uh, I just started working on second book, uh, and, uh, about, uh, how you develop a culture of performance and, uh, to, to, uh, take examples from my past, uh, and in use them from the, from one organization to show how they were applied in a second organization to change that culture and how that, uh, carries on and moves forward. So, and hopefully that’s, that’s instructive and useful, uh, for people. But, um, yeah, my objective is, is to never stop, uh,
Jim Rembach (35:39):
The very best. Now, before we move on, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor. And even better place to work is an easy to use solution that gives you a continuous diagnostic on employee engagement, along with integrated activities that will improve employee engagement and leadership skills in everyone using this award-winning solutions guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers to learn more about an even better place to work, visit [inaudible] dot com slash better for winning solutions, guaranteed to create motivated, productive, and loyal employees who have great work relationships with our colleagues and your customers to learn more about an even better place to work visit [inaudible] dot com forward slash better. All right, here we go. Fast leader Legion. It’s Tom. Okay, Tom. We’ll hope they hold on as a part of our show where you give us good insights. So I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us robust. Yet. Rapid responses are gonna help us onward and upward faster. Tom, Tom, are you ready to go down? So what is holding you back from being an even better leader?
Tom Connally (36:40):
Nothing, because there’s nothing that should hold us back. It’s a continual effort, right? A lifelong endeavor of action or study action, uh, reaction and refine.
Jim Rembach (36:52):
And what is the best leadership advice you’ve ever received?
Tom Connally (36:56):
Wow. The best leadership advice I ever received, that’s a hard one. Um, I think I even thought of it learns something every day. My dad used to say, learn something every day. And I took that and put it in the book to learn something every day, teach something every day. If you do that, you’re always moving forward. You’re never falling back.
Jim Rembach (37:18):
And what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Tom Connally (37:22):
I’m an Orthodox Christian and, uh, my faith, having faith. Remember that thing about right. Prayer and heavy deadlift? Yeah. I think, uh, having faith is, is key.
Jim Rembach (37:36):
And what is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life
Tom Connally (37:40):
Optimism? Um, if you have faith, I think optimism, you know, shoots off from that. But I have been accused throughout my life of being a hopeless optimist. And I said, no, I’m a hopeful optimist. And, uh, because if you can’t trust people, you can’t build trust. If you’re not hopeful, if you’re not optimistic that you will get a good outcome, obviously there’s competency associated with that.
Jim Rembach (38:11):
What would be one book you’d recommend to our leads? And it could be from any genre, of course, we’re going to put a link to becoming a leader on your show notes page as well.
Tom Connally (38:20):
Well, I appreciate that. Um, and I would not put that book, my book in the category, but, um, one of the first books I read after I started this process in 1988 was a book called discovering the laws of life by sir John Marks, Templeton. And, uh, and I had, I don’t know if you can get it easily, but you can get it as I just got a copy, not too long ago for both my kids. Um, and a great, great book. And if you don’t know about Templeton study a little bit became a financial giant, but more than that, uh, he was, uh, he was a man that was, that came from nothing and built his life on faith and hard work. Um, so yeah, it’s a great book discovering the loss of life.
Jim Rembach (39:13):
Okay. Fast leader Legion. You can find links to that. And other bonus information from today’s show by going to fast coddling and Connelly is spelled C O N N a L L Y. Okay, Tom, this is my last company. Hold on question. Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you can take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you, but you can’t take it all. You can only take one. So what skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why,
Tom Connally (39:40):
Instead of following your, or, or trying to follow your passion, put your passion into what you think is most important and develop your abilities from there. And don’t be afraid of how much money you make along the way, because you can make that wealth in tangent and in time and in time. Yes.
Jim Rembach (40:14):
Okay. So Tom, I had fun with you today. Can you please share with the fast leader Legion, how they can connect with you?
Tom Connally (40:20):
Um, my website is the primary place to go Connolly, C O double N a double L Y. Uh, and, uh, my book is there and my videos are there and they, they should be able to get in touch with me there as well. Tom.
Jim Rembach (40:42):
Totally thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. Fastly leads them, honors you, and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.