Intentional Performers with Brian Levenson
Matthew Del Negro on How to Overcome Adversity

Matthew Del Negro on How to Overcome Adversity

October 9, 2019

Matthew Del Negro joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Matthew is an actor that has played a wide range of roles in features both on tv and in theater. He has worked on tv shows such as Scandal, Sopranos, West Wing, Showtimes United States of Tara, MTV’s Teen Wolf, and now he’s on a show called Goliath on Amazon Prime. He is a philosopher at heart, a deep thinker, and he will talk about how he’s been reflective throughout his life and how that’s led him to this journey of acting. He’s also a podcast host, and his podcast 10,000 No’s has all kinds of incredible guests. Matthew is on a journey and he’s trying to find out how he can be a great actor and great at other parts of his life. He is obsessed with adversity and hearing no, and how others have developed a relationship with adversity and how to turn failures or no’s into opportunities.

In this episode, they discuss what he was doing in San Diego (5:00), what life was like growing up (8:20), the lessons he learned from sports (12:30), where turning no’s into yes’s came from for him (14:20), when lacrosse came into his life (16:40), what it was like playing lacrosse at BC (18:20), how he got into acting (23:00), the moment he decided he wanted to be an actor (25:50), how his parents reacted to him saying he’d be an actor (27:30), what his vision was like in his 20’s (29:00), how he’s changed as an actor (30:40), his religious framework (33:20), the similarities and differences between lacrosse and being an actor (38:20), the systems or processes he’s put in place to handle rejection (41:00), the priming he does before he performs (43:15), questioning of his identity (47:30), how he defines success (51:20), what makes a great story (55:10), how to cultivate connection (56:00), his mindfulness techniques (58:40), and what has most helped shape him (1:01:00)

Thank you to Matthew for coming on the podcast. We encourage you to check out his podcast, “10,000 No’s” at https://www.10000nos.com/. You can find him on Instagram @mattydel, Twitter @MatthewDelNegro, Facebook @delnegrofansite, and you can email him at info@10000nos.com.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Motivational Interviewing and Mental Performance with Dr. Jonathan Fader

Motivational Interviewing and Mental Performance with Dr. Jonathan Fader

October 2, 2019

Dr. Jonathan Fader joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. He is a licensed clinical and performance psychologist that is best known for working with professional athletes in the MLB and the NFL. He has worked with the New York Mets and the New York Giants. He is also the co-founder of Union Square Practice which is a mental health center. He will talk today about Sports Strata which he has helped build and they are a performance coaching group. He is regularly working with athletes, entrepreneurs, businesspeople, schools, physicians, and first responder groups such as the NYC Fire Department. He also does a lot of public speaking on topics such as mindfulness, motivation, motivational interviewing, improving performance, stress reduction, and team building.

In this episode, they discuss when he realized his work could be used outside of sports (7:40), how he got into psychology (9:30), why he got into theater and how he was interested in psychology at 16 (11:20), what his dad did (15:15), his exposure to sports psychology (17:00), what makes him feel most alive with clients (20:10), transformational vs. transactional leadership (24:40), the one speed model of coaching (28:20), where he spends the majority of his time (33:40), what he’s doing when he spends a day with a company (35:30), what it’s been like to build an organization (40:30), what they do to make sure their culture is where they want it to be (45:20), what his initial vision for the company was (48:20), what he thinks his organization will look like in the future (51:00), his experiences with awe (53:20), and the preparation of the Flying Wallendas (57:30)

Thank you to Fader for coming on the podcast. He encourages you to look at motivational interviewing if you are interested in communicating better. There is a book coming out in November with Fader and Steve Rollnick called “Coaching Athletes to Be Their Best – Motivational Interviewing in Sport.” You can find him on Instagram @Jonathan_Fader and Twitter @drfader.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Servant Leadership with Ken Tyler

Servant Leadership with Ken Tyler

September 25, 2019

Ken Tyler joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Today, Ken works as the Director of Advancement at the St. James and he came on as the Athletic Director to run that facility. Before working at the St. James, he was the Director of Athletics at Mary Washington University in Virginia. Ken has really spent his career working in sports; he has spent time as a basketball coach, athletic director, and at his core, he is a servant leader that is trying to put others in position to be successful. He is a coach, athletic director, and somebody who cares deeply about his mindset and the mindset of the people he serves.

In this episode, they discuss what the St. James facility is (4:30), why the St. James was started (11:20), what life was like for him as a kid (15:40), his experience at Episcopal High School (19:40), what his parents did (21:10), how his perspective on divorce has changed (25:40), what’s changed inside of him over the last 20 years (30:00), his experience with 9/11 (33:10), playing basketball at William & Mary (42:10), his experience playing basketball after his freshmen year (45:30), the competition he faced at William & Mary (52:00), when he became interested in theater (55:30), his experience as a high school basketball coach (1:01:00), his career after coaching in high school (1:02:10), his experience at Albright College (1:07:40), what he liked about being an assistant athletic director (1:11:00), what he misses and doesn’t miss about coaching (1:14:00), why he decided to become an athletic director (1:15:10), the words that have unlocked his potential (1:19:30), the habits/routines he has that allow him to be his best self (1:23:10), and how faith plays a role in his life (1:27:10)

Thank you to Ken for coming on the podcast. We encourage you to check out https://www.thestjames.com/ and you find Ken on Twitter @TheStJames_AD.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

How to Build Confidence and Empower Underdogs with Susannah Wellford

How to Build Confidence and Empower Underdogs with Susannah Wellford

September 18, 2019

Susannah Wellford joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Over the last two decades, Susannah has founded two organizations designed to raise the political voice of young women in America. The one that she will really talk about today is “Running Start” which she started to encourage young woman and girls to pursue political leadership. Susannah will talk about her relationship with politics starting from a young age, and how she came up with this idea of “Running Start” which to date has trained over 15,000 young women to run for elected office.  Susannah is a big believer in underdogs, she wants to empower underdogs, and she’ll explain why that is so important to her.

In this episode, they discuss what her childhood was like (4:20), what her family dynamics were like (7:00), her experience being bullied in 7th grade (11:10), being laid off in her 30’s (13:00), the vision she had for herself from a career standpoint (15:00), how to improve women’s lives in the workforce (19:40), why she was interested in politics (24:10), who saw the potential in her (28:00), the differences often found in men and women leaders (30:00), how she started Running Start (35:30), how you build confidence (36:40), self-talk and confidence (40:00), how to cultivate better self-talk (46:00, the difference in men and women wanting to be the #1 vs. #2 (50:30), what success looks like with Running Start (54:00), her vision for Running Start 10 years from now (59:20), the diversity on her team (1:00:00), how to get young women to step into power and be leaders (1:04:40), and her perspective on all women schools (1:05:40)

Thank you to Susannah for coming on the podcast.  We encourage you to check out https://runningstart.org/ and they have programs for high school students, college students, and young professionals. You can also find Susannah on Twitter @SusannahWDC.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

How To Train Leadership with Seb Little

How To Train Leadership with Seb Little

September 11, 2019

Seb Little joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Seb currently works at the McChrystal Group, and before that he was a football player at Yale University. Seb is somebody that is obsessed with humans and elite performance. As mentioned, Seb is currently with the McChrystal Group which is a firm that takes military strategy and philosophy and applies that to the corporate world. Seb is at the forefront of human development and teaches, trains, and coaches’ elite athletes and elite performers.

In this episode, they discuss what life was like for him as a kid (5:00), what his mom and grandma taught him (7:30), what his other families do for him (10:35), how seeing his dad go through his challenges impacted him (11:30), how he makes sense of addiction (12:45), how he thinks about belonging (15:40), how academics came into his life (18:15), when sports came into his life (20:40), his mindset when playing football (23:30), what he loved about football (27:00), what got in the way of him being successful in a game (29:00), the position he played and how that impacted how he sees the world (30:40), why he decided to go to Yale (31:40), what it was like going through injuries (33:30), when working for a company like the McChrystal Group started to form for him (36:30), what the McChrystal group does (38:40), what it was like transitioning from college to the corporate world (41:00), his desire to be a captain at Yale (45:00), what makes a great leader (47:10), what he does to make sure he is at his best (49:05), the similarities between business, sports, and military (52:10), how love relates to teams (54:30), the differences between business, sports, and military (56:05), how he thinks about his interactions with the world (1:00:20), emotional intelligence (1:02:20), what the world will look like in terms of leadership 10 years from now (1:04:30), and what excites him about the work the McChrystal Group does (1:09:00).

Thank you to Seb for coming on the podcast. We encourage you to check out @SebLittle_ on Twitter and @seblittle_ on Instagram. Also, please check out College Next Door which pairs high school students with college mentors to go through the process of mentoring.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Basketball Coach Brandon Chambers

Basketball Coach Brandon Chambers

September 4, 2019

Brandon Chambers joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Brandon is an Assistant Coach with the Men’s Basketball Team at Texas Southern University. Previously to Texas Southern, Brandon was at the University of Nevada where he helped them succeed in the NCAA basketball tournament and before that, he was at Paul VI, and VCU. Brandon has played in a lot of different sandboxes in the coaching world over the last 10 years or so, and he is someone that is a sponge, a lifelong learner, and always trying to become more. At Brandon’s core he is just trying to share knowledge and wisdom and build relationships with people.

In this episode, they discuss what childhood was like for him (6:00), his experience with his brothers (9:30), what he learned from moving around (11:30), what his parents are like (13:20), the values his parents passed down to him (15:50), what he learned about his dad after he passed (19:00), how he saw his dad as a ten-year-old and how he sees him now (22:10), what he does to be his best self (26:30), how faith plays a role in his life (30:00), his thoughts on dealing with difficult situations (36:00), his thoughts on being and becoming (46:00), his experience as a student manager at VCU (52:30), what made the VCU program so successful (57:10), and what he’s doing at Texas Southern now (59:10)

Thank you to Brandon for coming on the podcast. You can find him on twitter @chambershoops and Chambersbm on Instagram. We encourage you to check out the Texas Southern Men’s Basketball team on twitter and Instagram as well.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Sefu Bernard on Developing Basketball Players

Sefu Bernard on Developing Basketball Players

August 28, 2019

Sefu Bernard joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Sefu is in charge of player development for the Washington Mystics where he works with them on their skill development and pretty much everything involved in basketball. Sefu really values people, he really looks at players from a holistic level, and is obsessed with trying to get them to a whole new level. Sefu will share his journey and will be vulnerable sharing things that he often doesn’t talk about with people.

In this episode, they discuss what life was like for him as a child (3:40), his experience moving (7:50), the difference in him and his brother (11:00), his experience moving to Toronto (13:50), how he thinks his son would feel in a similar situation to the one he went through (19:40), how his mom responded when she moved to Toronto (21:00), the values his parents passed down to him (22:30), what it felt like to be obese as a kid (25:30), when basketball came into his life (28:00), his experience with education (31:30), what he was like as a basketball player (34:30), how he instills a competitive spirit in those he works with (38:30), what’s gotten him to where he is today (41:00), why he knew he had to make a career move (44:05), what his day to day was like in player development in 2007 (48:20), what his day to day looks like today (53:20), what would get in the way of him being world class at his craft (55:30), complacency vs. being content and gratitude (1:02:30), and what he does to make sure he’s his best self (1:05:10)

Thank you to Sefu for coming on the podcast. We encourage you to check him out on twitter @SefuBernard and his website https://sefubernard.com/. For any coaches, teachers, and even parents interested in sport specific stuff go to @theLLaBB where he shares ideas where he frames the art and science of player development. He also recently launched a new initiative geared towards people who are working in the youth sport experience that can be found @ACXBasketball.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Selam Bekele On Finding Her Voice

Selam Bekele On Finding Her Voice

August 21, 2019

This week on the podcast we are joined by Selam Bekele. Selam, who hails from Ethiopia, currently works as a development practitioner with more than 10 years of experience addressing critical social issues on the grassroots level and international development platforms. She now resides in Washington DC where she serves as a senior associate at Results Educational Fund. Additionally, Selam is the founder of Umoja, a non-profit organization that coaches and empowers young Africans to be positive change agents in their communities.

She also holds an MA in Economic Development from the Catholic University of America, as well as a Masters in Gender Studies from Addis Ababa University. At her core, Selam is an activist who deeply cares about those who are underserved and underprivileged. Education is at the core of everything she has done, and she has leveraged that education to try and make a meaningful impact. Throughout the episode, Selam discusses her upbringing as a woman in Ethiopia, the oppression she has faced, her life journey, and how all of those things have shaped who she is and the work she does as an activist and advocate for education. Additionally, make sure to give Selam a follow on twitter @selseladu!

Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman on Lifelong Learning

Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman on Lifelong Learning

August 14, 2019

Charlie “The Spaniard” Brenneman joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Charlie was a fighter in mixed martial arts MMA where he got up to the #7 ranked fighter in his weight class. He also won a contest in the reality TV show, “Pros vs. Joes.” Charlie has become obsessed with this idea of being a lifelong learner and learning how he can show up in his career, for his family, and what his mindsets should be for those scenarios. Today, Charlie is a thought-leader who focuses on giving talks, workshops, he has a podcast, he has written a book and is writing another book, and he’s really trying to help people learn how to be bold. He has developed a systematic approach to learning and teaching that is easy to consume and built upon the five elements of excellence – vision, values, success, accountability, and surroundings.

In this episode, they discuss where he got the nickname “The Spaniard,” (5:00), when wrestling came into his life (7:50), what his childhood was like (9:50), his mom (11:00), the values his parents gave to him (12:30), if he’s more like mom or dad (13:45), how he’s an emotional person (14:30), how he thinks about judgment and following what others do (18:30), his experience as a wrestler (22:00), if he liked wrestling (25:00), where the idea of sacrificing something now for something later came from (28:30), when he started to gain awareness (30:15), what triggered exploration into self-awareness (32:30), his thoughts on lifelong learning (35:30), how he sets his mind in different areas of his life (38:50), shifting from the preparation to performance mindset (43:30), why he went into teaching (44:30), what allowed him to change his mindset when performing (48:20), why he doesn’t still fight (50:50), how he leverages his warrior mentality (52:20), his lowest point and what he learned from being there (53:30), the brightest moment (56:40), his perspective on if his kids wanted to be MMA fighters (1:00:00), and his current business (1:02:20)

Thank you to Charlie for coming on the podcast. We encourage you to check out his book, “Driven: My Unlikely Journey from Classroom to Cage,” and also be on the lookout for his next book, “Becoming the World’s Toughest Lifelong Learner.” He also does speaking engagements for youth and for corporations. He has a show called the Spaniard Show and you can check out everything he does on his website at https://charliespaniard.com/ and charliespaniard.com/email is a great way to get signed up to receive his content.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Jamion Christian on Love, Connection, and Competition

Jamion Christian on Love, Connection, and Competition

August 7, 2019

Jamion Christian joins us on this week’s episode of the podcast. Jamion is the Head Men’s Basketball Coach at George Washington University.  He coached last year at Siena and then the year before that he was at Mount St. Mary’s. At the age of 29, he was a Division 1 Men’s Head Basketball Coach. From an early age, Jamion was looked at as somebody who could lead men, and this also was the case when he was a 3-year captain at Mount St. Mary’s. He is somebody who has always been curious and is always learning. Today he will share the knowledge that he has learned in what makes a great team, what makes people perform at their best, and how he can lead those people to achieve whatever it is that they want to achieve.

In this episode, they discuss when he got introduced to the psychology of basketball (5:00), what led him to basketball (8:10), the conversations he has with his brother (10:10), what has led to him and his brother’s early coaching opportunities (12:30), his and his brother’s dreams at 14 and 18 (14:05), what it was like loving practice (16:00), what makes a great leader (17:40), how you build love and awareness in a team (19:00), how he makes players aware of their emotions but not let it hijack them (21:30), how he motivates his players (27:40), the thing holding him back from being his best basketball self (29:30), what gets in the way of him being at his best (36:20), his mindset as a coach (38:20), how he thinks about filling out a staff (40:10), what he looks for in players (42:30), how he cultivates culture/systems on his teams (49:30), how he cultivates connectedness on his team (52:40), the necessary parts of the fabric for a team (57:40), what he does to celebrate learning (59:00), what he is excited about for the next 10 years from a team perspective (1:00:30), and if he wasn’t coaching, what he’d be doing (1:02:30)

Thank you to Jamion for coming on the podcast. You can find Jamion on twitter @JamionChristian and Instagram @jamion_christian.

Lastly, if you liked this episode and/or any others, please support us at Patreon or follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian