Brian is an Attorney & Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Purple Belt
Brian Beckcom, an attorney based out of Houston, Texas, talks about his passion for practicing Jiu-Jitsu, how it has improved his personal and professional life, making connections at the workplace through hobbies, and much more!
• Getting into Jiu-Jitsu
• Making connections with associates
• Showing extra curriculars in your resume
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Welcome to Episode 575 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garret. And each Wednesday, I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby, or a passion, or an interest outside of work. And to put it another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “and,” those things above and beyond your technical skills, the things that actually differentiate you at work. It’s the answer to the question of who else are you besides the job title.
And if you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the award-winning book. It’s on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. The book goes more in-depth with the research behind why these outside of work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. And I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it and writing such nice reviews on Amazon and, more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it.
And if you want me to read it to you, that’s right, this voice reading the book, look for What’s Your “And”? on Audible or wherever you get your audiobooks. And please don’t forget to hit subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. And this week is no different with my guest, Brian Beckcom. He’s the owner and trial lawyer at VB Attorneys in Houston, Texas, and the host of the Lessons from Leaders podcast. And now, he’s with me here today. Brian, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?
Brian: John, I absolutely consider it an honor to be on your show. I think what you’re doing is fantastic. I think sometimes we have a tendency as we get into the professional world or the working world, our identity becomes what we do for a living. So, for example, I’m a lawyer. And some people say, “Well, who are you?” “I’m a lawyer.” “Who are you?” “Oh, I’m a dentist.” “Who are you?” “I’m a basketball coach.” Literally, the language you use, you start self-identifying with your profession. And I think it’s really, really cool what you’re doing to basically humanize people and talk about, hey, everybody knows what a lawyer does, everybody knows what a dentist does, what do you do? You know what I mean? So anyway, I really appreciate the invite, and I’m really looking forward to this.
John: No, I appreciate it, man. Yeah. ‘Cause, I mean, you’re an attorney and a jujitsu, martial artist, purple belt, like whatever. And like who else are you type of thing and what lights you up? Like we all have jobs where we make money, but what do you use that money to do? Like what are those cool things that you’re going and doing? You know, I wanna know what those are ’cause that’s how you get to know people. So I’m excited to have you be a part of this. I have 17 rapid-fire questions right out of the gate here. Get to know Brian. We’ll start with maybe an easy one. I don’t know. Favorite season. Summer, winter, spring, or fall?
Brian: Fall. No doubt about it. Ask me why.
John: Why is that?
Brian: College football season.
John: Yes! We might be brothers from a different mother, man. Like it’s the same reason. The weather gets a little bit cooler. College football. Amen, man. Amen.
Brian: That smell in the air. It’s like crispy smell. And if you can kind of smell some people cooking on the grill and doing some tailgating, and—
John: There you go.
Brian: …I’m with all my friends and family.
John: You could drink hot chocolate and people don’t look at you weird.
Brian: Hot chocolate. Yeah, yeah, definitely fall. Definitely fall.
John: No, I love it. Same. How about puzzle? Sudoku, crossword, or a jigsaw puzzle?
Brian: Boy, that’s a good question. I would probably say, man, I love crosswords. My grandmother grew up doing crosswords with me, but I’m kind of a numbers guy too, so Sudoku. I like Sudoku a lot. I like puzzles in general. So I’m not sure I could limit it to just one.
John: Okay. No, fair enough. We’ll take all of them. We’ll take all of them. How about a favorite color?
Brian: Blue. A lighter blue. Not like a royal blue, but a lighter blue. And it’s interesting because the reason for that is because— and there’s a ton of studies. Colors cause people to have emotions. And like red is a hotter color and green is a cooler color. Yellow’s a cooler color. And blue is a mix of all of that stuff. I think blue has a cooling effect, but blue is generally considered the color of royalty, either blue or purple and stuff like that. So I would say blue. Yeah.
John: Oh, fair. Same. I love blue too. Same thing. How about a least favorite color?
Brian: Red. Because like we were just talking about, red is harsh. I think it’s overused. I think red can be used very sparingly. If it’s used sparingly, it can be used very effectively. But I think people use it too much.
John: As a pop, yeah.
John: For sure. How about a favorite sports team? Any sport.
Brian: Texas Aggies. And it’s not even close. Fighting Texas Aggies. I’m a graduate of Texas A&M University. And I played basketball there too
John: Yeah. That’s awesome.
Brian: So, Texas A&M, specifically the football team. That’s my team.
John: There you go. I figured your least favorite color would be burnt orange, but we’ll take red.
Brian: That’s UT. No. Yeah, yeah, yeah, my least favorite color.
John: Oh, your least favorite color. Yeah, your least favorite.
Brian: That’s my second least favorite.
John: There you go. All right. You were like I’m not even acknowledging them as a— Like they don’t even exist. That’s why.
John: That’s awesome. Solid. How about a favorite actor or an actress?
Brian: Boy, that’s a great question. I think probably the best actor the last 40 or 50 years in my mind is Daniel Day-Lewis. I love him as an actor.
John: Oh, yeah. So good. Yeah.
Brian: He just becomes the character. And man, there’s a lot of actresses that I like a lot. In addition to Daniel Day-Lewis, I would probably also throw De Niro in there ’cause I’m a huge fan of mafia movies.
John: Okay. Okay. There you go. That’s fair. This is an important one. Toilet paper roll, over or under?
John: Over. Yeah. No, I agree. Yeah, yeah, totally. For sure.
Brian: Because you can swat it and make it come out instead of having to give it an upper cut. You can just kind of swat it from the top.
John: There you go. Little jujitsu kind of reference.
Brian: Exactly. That’s what I was gonna say. So, as a jujitsu person, I like to use leverage and not muscular strength. And so, if it’s on the top, you’re using gravity to help you. If it’s on the bottom, gravity’s working against you.
John: Right. Someone told me that actually, for that reason, you use more. And so, that’s why the toilet paper industry made it that way so then you end up using more. So, it all goes back to they sell more and make more money. And I’m like at a dollar a roll, I think we’re good. Like I’m fine.
Brian: Yeah. Those guys think about everything.
John: Yeah. Right? They really do. They really do. How about your computer? More of a PC or a Mac?
Brian: So I have a degree in computer science from the early 1990s. And I was around computers before Microsoft existed. Apple had just started. I have very strong feelings about this. You are not allowed at my law firm— Seriously, you are not allowed to own a PC, to use an Android phone. We use all Apple, period. If you work for me and you have an Android phone, you’re either gonna get an iPhone, which I will pay for, or you’re going somewhere else. Seriously, like I have super, super strong feelings. I’m an Apple guy. You know, there’s, there’s a bunch of reasons for that. But professionally, there’s a real specific reason for that. And that’s that their security is by far the best. It’s not even close. Android and Microsoft security is not that good.
And as a lawyer, I have a lot of confidential information that I gotta keep track of. And Apple just does a better job at that. They do a better job. They’ve done a better job historically, and they’ve done a better job technically. And Android, the problem with Android and Google is there’s a saying in computer science, if the product’s free, you’re the product. And that’s what Google sells. Google sells your data. At the end of the day, Google’s product is your data. And Apple’s product is hardware, so they don’t have to do some of the things that companies like Google do. And I’m not criticizing Google and Microsoft as companies. I’m just saying their security compared to Apple is dog shit. So, pardon my language.
John: Right. There you go. There you go. Yeah. So you show up with a PC laptop and a Longhorns wallpaper, like here’s the door. Like see you later. Like it’s all good.
Brian: Yeah. You’re, you’re gonna have to change some things to remain at this place.
John: There you go. I’m a huge ice cream junkie. So, ice cream in a cup or in a cone?
Brian: Cone. And the reason for that is I like the last bite at the very bottom of the cone. That’s my favorite.
John: Oh, yeah. So good. Yeah. Amen. Yeah, totally. How about a favorite animal? Any animal at all.
Brian: Dogs. My grandfather, after he got out of the military, ran the Dallas SPCA for 20 years. And so, I’ve been around dogs, particularly rescue dogs, my entire life. And I know that’s an easy answer to say. Dog. Everybody loves dogs. But that’s my favorite. But non-domestic animals, I would say cheetah ’cause that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up ’cause they’re so fast.
John: Yeah, totally, man. Totally. You are like hoping for chickenpox so you can get some spots and be like I’m just like a cheetah. Like it’s awesome. Oh, this is a good one since you are the attorney. Criminal or civil law?
Brian: Good question. Civil law for me. That’s what I practice. Although the real lawyers, they ain’t the prosecutors, they ain’t the commercial lawyers. The real lawyers are the criminal defense lawyers. Those are the best of the best. Those are the people that have the toughest job. And I respect the hell out of criminal defense lawyers.
John: Yeah. All right. All right. How about a favorite number?
John: Okay. Is there a reason?
Brian: Yeah, there is. So my grandfather, my father, me, my brother, and now my oldest son all went through the Corps of Cadets at Texas A&M, which is like going to West Point, only inside of a major university.
It’s 24-hour military. You wear a uniform all the time. There’s different outfits. And ours was Squadron 17. So, that’s where that comes from. Very specific reason. Yeah.
John: All through all of you. Wow. That’s very cool. All right. How about prefer more hot or cold?
Brian: Oh, man. Definitely, definitely hot. I mean, it used to be, man, I was the biggest wimp in the world when it came to cold. But when I started training in jujitsu a number of years back, I started doing cold baths and cold plunges, and like hot and cold therapy. And I’ve kind of gotten to where I kind of like the cold more than I used to. But man, I live in Houston, Texas. I like to golf, and fly fish, and do things like that. So I’m a warm weather guy for sure.
John: There you go. All right. We got three more. How about when it comes to books, audio version, e-Book, or real book?
Brian: Real book. Not only real book, but hard copy of real book. I read 150 books a year. Got about 100 books down in my living room underneath my coffee table so I can sit there and pick ’em up. I still read books on Kindle, especially when I’m trying to fall asleep. And I’ll buy a paperbook if I have to. But I finally said, you know, if I wanna read these books, I’m gonna buy a real book. I’m buy a hardback book, and I’m gonna put my phone in the other room. I’m gonna read like you’re supposed to. So, hardback, real books, that’s my thing.
John: I love it. Okay. All right. How about a favorite day of the week?
Brian: Ooh. I kind of wanna say Sunday because Sunday’s my rest day, and my recuperation, and my get ready for the weekday. I try to do as little as I can on Sunday that doesn’t involve preparing for my upcoming week. So I don’t exercise. I might go for a walk or something. I don’t do jujitsu. I try not to work too much. Sunday’s kind of my rest and recuperation day.
John: Okay. Yeah. Fair. And the last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own?
Brian: There’s a pair of boots behind me. Those are my senior boots from the corps of cadets. That’s probably one of the things I’m most proud of. And if you look to the other side, you can see a saber on my desk. And that’s also from the corps of cadets. So I would say the things that I earned in the corps of cadets, my boots, my saber, my ring, those are probably the things I’m most proud of. Yeah.
John: Yeah. That’s awesome.
Brian: Either that or my purple belt in Brazilian jujitsu.
John: Right. That’s pretty sweet too. Yeah. Yeah. But yeah, that’s awesome, man. I love it. And so, let’s talk jujitsu. Like how did you get started with that? Is it something that you did as a kid or you got into later?
Brian: So I’ll try to tell this as briefly as I can. My dad played football in college at A&M. I played basketball at A&M. I’ve been an athlete my whole life. I grew up around athletes. So I was getting a little bit older. My sport from about 40 to about 47, maybe 35 to 45 was golf. And before that, it was basketball, and running, and lifting, and stuff like that. But then I picked up golf and became fairly good at it. Got down to about a 4 or 5 handicap. Actually, I remember exactly how old I was. I was 47 years old. I’m 50 now. And I started thinking, “Man, I’ve got a beautiful house, beautiful family, beautiful kids, great car, got everything I want. And I’m getting out of shape and lazy. And I don’t feel that good. And I need to figure out how to challenge myself again.”
So through a series of very fortunate coincidences, I ended up at a jujitsu studio. And man, it’s changed my life in so many ways. All for the positive. It’s made me a better person in so many ways. I’m totally addicted to it. And I really truly wish that everybody would give it a shot because it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. So I did not grow up doing jujitsu. I did a little Taekwondo when my dad was in the military and I was on military bases. A little bit of that. I have a young brother and we fought all the time. And I’m Irish. My grandfather was a bare-fisted professional boxer back in the ’20s and ’30s.
John: Holy cow.
Brian: Yeah. So I’ve got a little bit of that fighting spirit in me, but it was just something that I’d been thinking about it for quite some time and just never really had the courage to do it to be totally honest with you. I hired a lawyer, a younger kid, who was a purple belt in jujitsu. I started talking to him about it, and that kind of was the thing that pushed me over the top. And so, 47 years old, slightly out of shape, former athlete, I show up at this jujitsu studio about 10 minutes from my house. I had Googled jujitsu near me, so just went to the closest one. Walk into this gym, feel like a complete idiot, don’t know a single person, don’t even know how to put on a uniform or tie the belt. I see all these Brazilian guys that look like they could kill me by just looking at me the right way or the wrong way.
Totally intimidated, felt like a complete fool when I’m there. Got my first class. I had a little match with a 45-year-old, bald, Jewish computer scientist who is 5 inches shorter and 50 pounds lighter. And he completely annihilated me. And I was like “Man…” His name’s Jake. He’s a black belt now. We’re good friends. And I said, “Man, I gotta learn how to do this.” And this is like black magic. And it’s literally like having magical powers when you get good at it. Like like being able to manipulate somebody else’s body without them being able to do anything about it is just super cool. So, that’s a very, very long way of saying I ddin’t grow up doing it, but jumped into it.
John: Yeah. No, I love that though. But I mean, such great stories of like, you know, cool memories and what it felt like that first time. And so, jujitsu, I guess just so I understand and most of the people listening, what form of— because, I mean, there’s Karate Kid and all that stuff, it’s different than that.
Brian: Really good question. Jujitsu, if you trace it all the way back to its origins, started as kind of an offshoot of Japanese judo. Judo is a martial art that focuses on how to take people from a standing position and put them on the ground. Jujitsu is kind of a mix of taking people and putting them to the ground, but then what do you do with them when they’re on the ground? And so, anyway, these Japanese judokas come over to Brazil and meet a family called the Gracies in Brazil. And then the Gracies, this Brazilian family of Scottish origin, develops Brazilian jujitsu originally for smaller people to be able to defend themselves from the violence of the streets in Brazil. Brazil at least was, still is, and can be very violent in certain places.
John: That’s for sure. Yeah. Yeah.
Brian: It was a way to teach people self-defense. So in jujitsu, and we’re not talking about street fighting jujitsu, but there’s no punching. Like you’re not hitting somebody in the face. It’s more a combination of like wrestling and judo. And so, like if you and I were to have a roll— We call it rolling instead of fighting. If you and I were to have a roll, within about seconds to a minute, I would be on your back with my arm around your neck, and you would fall asleep in about 6 seconds if you didn’t tap, and then I would let you go.
John: Right. Right.
Brian: And so, it’s also a way— And by the way, you would wake up about 5 seconds later and be completely fine. You’d be a little disoriented.
John: That’s amazing’s.
John: Yeah. It’s a way to subdue people without injuring them severely. So I think every single police officer, and there’s a lot of us that believe this, should be at least a blue belt in jujitsu. New York City banned choke holds for police officers, which is fucking idiotic because what are you gonna do now? You’re gonna hit somebody with a baton, which can cause way more?
John: You’re just gonna say please. You’re just gonna say please.
Brian: Yeah. Yeah. But if you know basic chokes and basic ways to like hold people down—
John: No, totally.
Brian: Yeah. And hold people down without hurting ’em. So I can hold people, I can hold somebody down for as long as I want to and cause them no injury. They call it a gentle art. It’s nonsense. It’s not that gentle.
John: Right. That’s nonsense.
Brian: The other neat thing about it is, so one of the objectives of jujitsu is to get the fight to the ground. Why is that so important? Because if you’re standing up, the source of your explosive power is your legs and your hips. So if you’re going against a bigger person and they can use their legs and hips to generate power, you’re gonna be in trouble. But if they’re lying on their back on the ground, they can’t use their legs and hips. And so, all their explosive power goes away. And so, a smaller person truly can— I weigh about 215 pounds. I’m 6’2″, 215. I go against guys who are 250, 260 all the time and whip their butts if they’re less experienced. If they’re more experienced, they whip my butt. But the point is that a smaller person who knows what’s it then can beat—
John: Evens it out a little bit.
Brian: Yeah, it even it out. It evens it out.
John: That’s awesome.
Brian: Takes away their power.
John: No, that’s great. That’s so great. And it’s like playing on 8-foot rims in basketball. It’s like “All right, I can do this.”
Brian: Good analogy. Good analogy.
John: I can dunk now. All right.
John: No, that’s awesome. And I love too the story how you were talking to a lawyer who was a purple belt as well. So, was that someone at your firm or just someone that you knew?
Brian: Yeah, it was an associate that I hired 3 years ago. And I was looking at his resume and basketball player, University of Texas Law School, which is where I went to law school, jujitsu. I was like “Oh, jujitsu.” And you know, the interesting thing now, I mean, I have an associate, a colleague, a lawyer, and we fight all the time on the jujitsu mats.
John: Yeah. But you have a connection that’s different than just other people in the office, you know, type of thing.
Brian: I think kudos to him for having it on his resume. That’s awesome because that’s a way to stand out from just another person that went to law school. Great. It’s like “Oh, well, you know, college athlete, jujitsu.” Like whatever it is, you’re outside of work, your “ands,” those are things that that’s great. And it’s cool that you latched onto that even accidentally. That’s pretty awesome. And so, is that something at your firm that you encourage? What are ways that you get people to share some of those sides of themselves?
Brian: We don’t encourage jujitsu per se, but we do encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle. And it’s something that I’m actually fairly proud of. It’s something that the legal community should be fairly not proud of, is— And this is changing a little bit, but it used to be when I started out that if you didn’t work 16-hour days 6 days a week, everybody said you were lazy. So what happens? You end up sitting on a chair behind a computer 16 hours a day. Your butt starts spreading out. Your belly starts getting bigger. You’re eating these big lunches every day. And you kind of get this look about you that like— I mean, I found myself going “These people don’t look very healthy to me.”
John: No. They’re like “Great.” It’s like “What’s happening?”
Brian: They’re like pale-colored skin and like what? I don’t wanna look like that. Right? So we’ve made a big deal at our firm that— I mean, my law partner is a golfer who walks and carries his bag every time he plays. That’s really solid workout. My paralegal went from being 30 pounds overweight to being in fantastic shape doing all sorts of different competitions and stuff. Like I said, I got another paralegal who’s a jujitsu guy. So we really, really do encourage people to live a healthy lifestyle at our firm. And you know, I think it’s the right thing to do ethically, but I think it’s good for business for people to be healthy ’cause they’re gonna be happy and they’re gonna do a better job.
John: No, absolutely. And I love it because you’re showing a genuine interest in the person ’cause you hired the whole person. You didn’t hire just the law part of them. You hired all of them. And so, And so it’s like “Hey, we care about all of you. Not just the technical skills. I mean, we care about that too, of course.” But we all know that that’s why we have a job. But I love it, man. I think that’s such a great example of just a way to show like I care about you and that’s awesome, man. That’s such a great example. And also too, just the ramifications of it all, what you’re saying, people are happier, they’re more productive, they’re more engaged, like you have something to actually ask someone about other than how many hours did you work last week, you know?
John: It’s like “Hey, how was the golf game? How was the competition that you just did? How’s whatever?” And it’s gotta be a cooler place to work.
Brian: No doubt.
John: I love that, man. That’s so awesome. And so, do you have any words of encouragement to anyone listening that maybe they have an “and” that, well, no one’s gonna care, like why should I put it on my resume, or why should I even share it with anyone at work because that’s not what we do here?
Brian: So I’ll say two things. And one will be a direct answer to the question and one will be a little bit less direct answer to the question, is absolutely you should put that on your resume. I make hiring and firing decisions and have for 20 years at my firm. And I look at that stuff like that’s a big deal. And I’m not the only one. Like how many times can— Okay, you went to this law school, have this GPA. You were on this mock court competition and five people that you’ve hand selected say you’re awesome. Like how many times are you gonna read it? Right?
But if I read something that says, okay, I went to this law school, I’ve chosen five references, handpicked, they’re gonna say great things about me, my PGA was this, this, and this, and I’m an Eagle Scout. Well, now you got my attention. Or and I make clay pottery or and I’m a marathoner. It doesn’t matter what it is. The point is that you’re showing that you got a little bit of juice. Like your life doesn’t revolve around your work. And for what I do, and I think it’s not just trial lawyers, it’s a lot of different professions, I’m a better trial lawyer the more I am out in the world as opposed to sitting behind my desk reading case law.
Like my job is to connect with people. At the end of the day, my job is to persuade people to do what I want them to do for my client. And the only way to do that, the only way to connect with people is to have genuine relationships outside of work. And so, the direct answer to the question is you absolutely should put your “and.” The less direct answer is if you’re sitting there going I don’t have an “and” or what is my “and,” go get one. And by the way, if you’re my age— So one of my missions, John, at 50 now is to encourage my contemporaries not to hang it up. I see too many people just like “I don’t wanna exercise anymore. I don’t wanna get better at my job. I don’t wanna improve my own personal ethics and morals.”
And what I’m saying is that 50 years old is not the finish line. I don’t wanna say it’s the starting line. It’s not the starting line. But at 50, you should have enough intelligence, maturity, experience, drive to really give back. Like to me, 50 is at the age in which you stop going “It’s all about me” and you start going “How can I make the world a better place?” That’s what you should start doing. And that’s your “and.” Your “and” is how you’re making the world a better place.
John: Definitely. And leaving that legacy. And yeah. And jujitsu’s a great place to start. Just Google jujitsu near me and then some IT guys throwing you around before you know it. That’s awesome, man. No, it’s such great advice, and I love that so much. It helps you stand out, and it makes you a better professional. It does. The old school mentality of, like you were saying, the 16-hour days for 6 days a week, well, if you had anything outside of work, God forbid, what are you doing, you should be working more, and if you do have something, don’t share it, like shut your mouth, and now it’s the opposite. That mentality is so wrong. It literally makes you better at your job. It makes you a better professional. There’s been studies on it as well, and you’re anecdotally able to prove it. It’s so great to hear that. So, that’s awesome.
I appreciate you being a part of this, Brian. And I feel like it’s only fair though that I turn the tables and let you be the host now so you can ask me whatever you want since I peppered you with questions at the beginning. And you can put on your attorney hat again, and I’m on the stand, so like here we go. Like this is gonna be fun.
Brian: What’s the meaning of life?
John: Oh, there we go. There it is. All right. Well, it depends. Like it depends. I think you answered it though. I mean, I think it’s just leaving the world a better place than when you came in. Just continuing to grow, and learn, and become a better version of yourself, I guess.
Brian: I love that answer, John. I’ve been thinking about that question a lot lately. And, well, here’s how I answer that question. I tell people I’m not sure what the purpose of life is, but getting the most out whatever talents and abilities you’ve been given, like maximizing your potential and doing things for other people. I’m not sure if that’s the meaning of life, but that’s a pretty good way to live your life, I think.
John: That’s a good start. Yeah, absolutely.
Brian: That’s a good start.
Brian: That’s a good start. I love that answer. I love your answer. Yeah.
John: Awesome. Well, I definitely attornied that one by making it up, so I like what you said. No, but I honestly believe it. I was like “Yeah, this.” And then after I answered, I was like “Well, that was actually a good one.”
Brian: Pretty good. Yeah. Pretty good.
John: That was very good. All right. Yeah. You got anything else?
Brian: Yeah. So what are you most curious about? Like what are you fascinated about? What do you wanna learn more about?
John: Oh, wow. Okay. So I’m actually truly fascinated why we, as humans, will break off parts of ourselves and bury it because it’s not accepted or we don’t think it’s how we’re supposed to be. So we actually take a part of ourselves and bury it. Like we don’t hide it. We bury it and then we somehow rope-a-dope our brains to forget that we even had that thing that we buried, whether it’s through growing up or going to school and going to university. But then when you start work, if you compare who you were your last day of senior year and your first day walking into a law firm, there are different people. We act because I think I have to act a certain way. I have to dress a certain way. I have to be a certain thing.
John: And you’re trying to fit into this odd shaped box that literally no one fits in. No one. And yet we’re all trying to fit into this dumb box. And it’s like “No, no, cut your own box your size and then fit into it comfortably and with all of you in it.” And it just makes you better at who you are. I mean, asking you to go to work and not bring any skills from jujitsu or talk about jujitsu, or fishing, or basketball, or A&M sports, or any of that, like you can’t do any of that. That’s asinine and yet that’s what people do every single day with parts of themselves that they just bury. And I’m fascinated by that, I mean, not only personally, but also just everyone does that. And that’s been the seed of What’s Your “And”?, of I don’t care about the job part. I wanna know those parts that you buried. Go back and pick ’em up type of thing. And the first one is literally just what do you love to do outside of work? That. So let’s pick that one up first because that’s probably the most recent one.
Brian: And that’s what’s so cool about your podcast, John, is you’re fascinated about the subject of your podcast.
So, my podcast is about leadership and positive leadership specifically. And I tell people like one of the big reasons I do it is because I wanna learn something. Like I’m curious about how good leaders become good leaders. And so, it like scratches my own itch. And so, you just said you’re curious about people’s “ands.” So the reason you can do this over time and keep doing it is because you’re truly curious and it’s not just something you’re saying. Like you really wanna know what people do.
John: Oh, I really do.
Brian: Yeah. And that’s what gives you energy and that’s what allows you to do things kind of longer term. My podcast is totally focused on positive leadership, how to be better at leading in a positive way. And I’m fascinated about that topic. So every time I have a good guest on, I mean, I’m riveted by what they have to say. And I tell you what, I have learned so much doing my podcast, talking to all these different people. Because if you pay attention to what people kind of say, kind of the patterns start to emerge and you start seeing what successful leaders do. And it’s just really neat. So I love that you’re scratching your own itch. That’s awesome.
John: No, thanks, man. And no, it’s just great to have you be a part of this. And I mean, you’re living and breathing it already anyway. It’s just cool to have another example of this is what a stereotypical professional is actually. It’s somebody that has “ands” and other dimensions to them. That’s the real stereotype. So yeah, Brian, this has been so awesome. Thanks a lot for being a part of What’s Your “And”?
Brian: It’s been a real pleasure, I gotta tell you. Like I said, I love your show and it’s been a great pleasure, John. Like I said, everybody’s got a story. Nobody is just limited to what they are professionally, and it’s nice that you’re drawn this out of people. So, thanks for having me on. It’s been really fun.
John: Absolutely. Everyone listening, if you wanna see some pictures of Brian in action or maybe connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. And while you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture. And don’t forget to check out the book. Thanks again for subscribing on Apple Podcasts or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.