Intentional Performers with Brian Levenson
Scott Mordell on Leading with Principles

Scott Mordell on Leading with Principles

September 22, 2021

Scott Mordell most recently served as the CEO of YPO from 2011 through December 2020. His extensive background in varying industries, geographies, types of organizations and business disciplines has helped him develop important leadership lessons and collaboration skills for success. Prior to YPO, Scott’s experience includes Chamberlain Group, Arlington International Racecourse, HeathCo, Duchossois Industries, Deloitte and KPMG. Scott is currently leveraging his experience providing strategic counsel for leaders through Forrader Group LLC.

In this episode, we discuss connecting in real life (6:19), why a lot of people don’t follow through with in-person meetings (7:54), following through and doing what you say you will (10:21), why Scott seeks out connections intentionally (12:31), what he does to manage energy throughout the day (16:22), what he’s noticing with regards to the impact of the pandemic on humans (19:31), happiness (22:39), legacy (25:02), spirituality (26:23), being and becoming (28:37), where his spirituality came from (30:24), Catholicism (32:30), more on religion (36:42), podcasts (37:49), when leadership became a passion of his (38:46), what leadership aspects he didn’t have when he became a CEO at the age of 33 that he does have now (40:57), more on leadership (42:34), what he learned about being young as a CEO (45:18), his introduction to Young President’s Organization (47:32), YPO (50:22), what’s changed at YPO in the last 10 years (51:52), what led him from just being a member to wanting to be a leader of the organization (53:58), where to start out if you’re trying to change the world (56:27), what he did on his sabbatical (58:12), interacting with others (59:21), his principles (1:00:36), why he decided to leave YPO and what he’s up to now (1:02:38), how 9/11 impacted him (1:05:05), and massive changes (1:08:58).

You can check out the Forrader Group website here, as well as follow Scott on LinkedIn and Twitter. Lastly, Scott recommends you check out the websites for Women Leaders in Data and AI and The Knowledge Pledge.

Thank you so much to Scott for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Quin Snyder on Coaching with Joy

Quin Snyder on Coaching with Joy

September 15, 2021

Quin Snyder was a McDonald’s All-American coming out of high school, eventually going on to play basketball at Duke, where he went to 3 Final Fours as a player. Upon graduation, he thought about pursuing a professional career playing basketball, but instead decided to pursue a law degree. While doing that, he fell back in love with the game of basketball. This conversation is going to be about his journey to falling back in love with and enjoying basketball. At the age of 32, Quin became the head coach of the University of Missouri Men’s Basketball Team. It looked as if he was the next bright star in coaching, and then that came crumbling down when he got fired. He then found himself coaching in the D-League with the Austin Toros, who were part of the San Antonio Spurs organization. Quin bounced around quite a bit and learned a ton along the way, and that is where he really fell back in love with the game and with coaching. Today, he’s the head coach of the Utah Jazz, a perennial playoff team in the NBA. Quin has been integral in creating an incredible culture and an incredible core of young players in Utah.

In this episode, we discuss Dr. Jerry’s impact on Quin as a coach (6:31), if Quin’s father coached with joy (10:15), if his mom was someone who cared deeply about joy or if joy was something Quin fell upon later in life (13:42), his perspective as a coach when he was younger (17:28), how he thinks about success and failure (22:28), what he gets from coaching that he wouldn’t get in another profession (25:06), being part of both Duke and the Spurs (27:43), how he thinks about balance between coaching and home life (35:05), values and culture in Utah (41:26), what he’s built and is building in Utah (47:56), and if he has a mission statement or coaching philosophy that guides him as a coach (52:05).

Thank you so much to Quin for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Lars Tiffany on Coaching and Complexity

Lars Tiffany on Coaching and Complexity

September 8, 2021

Lars Tiffany is the Head Coach of the University of Virginia Men’s Lacrosse Program. They have won back-to-back National Championships. Lars has also spent time coaching at his alma mater, Brown University, which is where he played and had a great career. He coached at Brown from 2007-2016 and then took the leap to the University of Virginia, which is a storied lacrosse program, in 2017. He led Brown to 3 Ivy League Championships.

In this episode, we discuss life for Lars as a kid (6:54), where his dad’s desire to be in the restaurant industry came from (7:51), if he was involved in the restaurant himself (11:41), why he became a vegetarian when he was the son of a steak house owner (13:37), his dad’s reaction to saying he would become a vegetarian (14:24), if his family ever served bison (18:01), vegetarians in sports (19:00), protein (21:51), losing his father (25:22), if he’s religious (29:19), his dad’s funeral (30:18), misconceptions about lacrosse (34:21), when lacrosse became a private school thing (39:19), winning his first National Championship (43:34), the differences in leading and creating a strong culture in a pandemic and in normal times (47:11), if his experience in 2019 or 2021 is more reflective of his life and journey (52:28), his pregame routine and if it’s the same as when he was a player (53:53), what book he has his whole team reading for next season (1:00:02), leadership and captainship (1:04:27), if he was a leader as a player (1:05:02), what it means to be a man (1:11:10), how fatherhood has impacted him as a coach (1:13:50), his mission statement (1:17:14), what he does to continue to grow (1:21:14), where he sees himself in the next 10 years (1:24:29).

Thank you so much to Lars for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Joanna Bernabei-McNamee on Building a Program

Joanna Bernabei-McNamee on Building a Program

September 1, 2021

Joanna Bernabei-McNamee, Head Coach - BC Women's Basketball, became the eighth women’s basketball coach in Boston College program history on April 11, 2018.

In 2019-20, her second season at BC, Bernabei-McNamee was named the Coach of the Year in the Atlantic Coast Conference. She led BC to an impressive 20-12 overall record and a fourth place finish in the conference with an 11-7 record.

The 20 victories were the most in program history since the 2010-11 season. The team also set a new program record for the most ACC victories with 11.

With Bernabei-McNamee at the helm, senior forward Emma Guy flourished as she led the ACC in field goal percentage throughout the season and finished 10th in the country (.594%). Guy also earned an All-ACC First Team selection, the first for a BC player since 2011.

Sophomore Taylor Soule was not only named to the All-ACC team but earned the Most Improved Player in the conference. Both Guy and Soule were named to the Blue Ribbon Panel All-ACC Second Team.

In her first season at the Heights, Bernabei-McNamee led the Eagles to a 14-16 record. The 14 wins were the most for the program since the 2015-16 season.

The 2018-19 team opened the season with eight consecutive victories and won the St. Joseph’s Thanksgiving Classic Championship.

BC went 11-3 in non-conference play before taking on the toughest conference in the country – the ACC. After two losses at home BC defeated Wake Forest and Pitt on the road. It was the first time since the 2012 season in which BC had two consecutive ACC road wins. The Eagles third ACC win came in a double-overtime victory against Duke on Jan. 31.

Bernabei-McNamee’s impact was immediate as the Eagles averaged 73.5 points per game, 14.3 more points than the 2018-19 season. BC also averaged 16.1 assists a game and shot 42.6 percent from the floor.

Junior Emma Guy thrived in the new system as she averaged a career-high 14.1 points and 6.7 rebounds a game. She shot 59 percent from the floor for the season, a new career-high.

Guard Makayla Dickens emerged as a scoring threat as a freshman and was named to the All-ACC Freshman team. Dickens averaged 11.8 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.8 assists a game. Fellow freshman Marnelle Garraud was fourth in scoring for BC with an 8.1 average. Garraud was named the St. Joe’s Thanksgiving Tournament MVP after she scored 28 points in the championship game. She was named the ACC Rookie of the Week for her performance.

Sophomore Sydney Lowery improved her numbers as she played in 30 games and averaged 22.9 minutes and 6.7 points a game. Junior Taylor Ortlepp averaged a team-high 30.3 minutes and averaged 10.3 points and 3.3 assists a game.

Bernabei-McNamee arrived at the Heights after two seasons as the head coach at Albany. She led Albany to a 45-20 record over the two seasons. In 2016-17, she guided the Great Danes to the American East Tournament Championship and a spot in the NCAA Tournament. In 2017-18, Bernabei-McNamee led Albany finished 24-8 overall and a WNIT berth.

In addition to leading Albany to consecutive 20-plus win seasons, Bernabei-McNamee was named the 2017 Women’s Division I Coach of the Year by the Basketball Coaches Association of New York.

Bernabei-McNamee, a native of Weirton, West Virginia, was named head coach at Albany in April of 2016 after three seasons as the head coach of the University of Pikeville in Pikeville, Ky. There, Bernabei-McNamee racked up 63 wins and led the program to back-to-back national tournament berths, including a program-record 26 victories and an NAIA Final Four appearance in 2016.

She was named the 2016 Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) NAIA Regional Coach of the Year, and also earned Mid-South Conference Coach of the Year honors in 2015.

Prior to Pikeville, Bernabei-McNamee coached in both the ACC and BIG EAST. She served as assistant coach and recruiting coordinator at Maryland for four years from 2003-07, and was an integral part of the Terrapins’ 2006 National Championship season. Maryland beat Duke 78-75 in overtime for the title at TD Garden in Boston and finished with a record of 34-4. During her tenure, she brought in four straight nationally ranked recruiting classes, including three in the Top 10.

Bernabei-McNamee spent two years at West Virginia as an assistant coach where she was a scout, position coach and recruiting coordinator. Before her time in Morgantown, McNamee had a two-year stint at Eastern Kentucky where she was responsible for scouting and individual player development, as well as serving as the recruiting coordinator.

The West Virginia native began her head coaching career in 1998 at West Virginia Wesleyan where she compiled an 18-9 record and a third-place finish in the West Virginia Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (WVIAC), while also acting as the school's Senior Women's Administrator.

She attended West Liberty State and was named a Division II All-American and a four-time, first-team All-WVIAC selection as a point guard.

 

The 1997 WVIAC Player of the Year, Bernabei-McNamee still holds the NCAA Division II career assists record of 1,107 and the record for assists in a game with 24. She is one of only four players in NCAA history to record more than 1,000 points and 1,000 assists, finishing her stellar career with 1,317 total points.

Bernabei-McNamee holds the NCAA record for average assists per game (9.5), and the school and conference marks for assists in a game, season (294) and career. She led her team to an 80-36 record over four years and is listed on West Liberty's Top 20 all-time Best Athletes list. She was the first woman to be named first-team All-West Virginia Athletic Conference for four years and was inducted into the West Liberty State Athletic Hall of Fame in 2002 and the Ohio Valley Athletic Conference Hall of Fame in 2011.

Bernabei-McNamee earned her bachelor's degree in exercise physiology in 1997 from West Liberty and a master's degree in sports administration from Eastern Kentucky in 1999. Bernabei-McNamee and her husband Joe McNamee have two sons, Luke and Caden. McNamee took a nearly four-year hiatus from coaching (2009-13) to focus on raising her children.

In this episode, we discuss Joanna’s connection with Brenda Frese (6:39), what Brenda does to stay connected to people (7:26), being a stay-at-home mom (9:41), having kids (12:02), working with kids (14:25), her upbringing and her relationship with her mother (16:03), the upsides and downsides of independence as a young child (17:26), being a Tom Boy (19:03), if she got her aggressiveness and intensity more from her mom or her dad (20:14), what she does to put herself first, her marriage second, and her kids third (24:17), how to make sure she’s healthy as she still aspires to do great things in her profession (28:32), if there is anything she doesn’t want to be great at (30:24), what it’s been like for her as a leader during the pandemic (34:06), family (39:42), flipping the switch (43:08), feeling alive in different roles (44:27), if love is a two-way street (47:13), if there was a coach she played for that she modeled her focus on love after (50:07), how she intentionally communicates with her team (51:26), respect, trust, and communication (57:15), handling losses without anger (57:51), if she looks for people that are more even-keeled or more intense like her (1:02:08), who helps her make sure she is developing and growing (1:04:57), if she felt like she was missing a part of herself while she was on sabbatical (1:08:04), what she missed most about basketball when she was being a stay at home mom (1:11:16), what changed for her (1:12:31), and her vision for the BC program (1:15:39).

You can check out the BC website here, as well as follow BC Women’s Basketball on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Thank you so much to Joanna for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Annelie Schmittel on Caring for Others

Annelie Schmittel on Caring for Others

August 25, 2021

Annelie Schmittel serves as Vice President of Player Development for the Philadelphia 76ers. Schmittel is responsible for creating, managing and overseeing the holistic development and implementation of programs that support the professional and personal growth of 76ers players, staff and families.

Prior to joining the 76ers, Schmittel was a member of the Oakland Raiders player engagement staff. While responsible for strategy, planning, oversight and execution of player development, Schmittel successfully implemented and managed various programs such as the Raiders Family Boot Camp and the team’s Rookie Academy. Among her many responsibilities with the Raiders, Schmittel also specialized in innovative programming and the creation of various initiatives for the continued development of both current and former players on the roster, significant others and family members. Prior to joining the Raiders, Schmittel worked as an instructor and researcher at the University of Florida while completing her doctorate degree, earning a PhD in sports communication.

In this episode, we discuss celebrating other people (6:13), if Annelie would rather be in the spotlight or in the shadow (7:47), if she finds that women are more comfortable in the shadows (9:18), how she thinks about shining and sharing herself (11:01), what caused her to say yes to coming on the podcast (11:55), her German upbringing and if that culture comes out in her as she navigates the US (12:51), how being raised in Germany affected how she sees the world from a social justice standpoint (16:52), humanity (24:48), her decision to stay in the US (32:14), if girls were encouraged to play sports in Germany (33:05), soccer and talented athletes (35:20), her mom’s reaction when she said she wanted to come to college in the US (37:10), injuries (38:51), what is key to a good transition (43:31), how mission shows itself in the work she does (48:34), her core values and mission (51:29), how to build great relationships in a transactional environment (53:16), how she makes sure she’s at her best so that she can serve others (58:25), what she’s learned about herself in therapy (1:01:12), blending different aspects of life (1:05:40), being “enough” (1:11:02), happiness (1:17:16), comparisons (1:20:29), her journey (1:22:02), and what her day-to-day looks like (1:28:05).

You can check out Annelie on Twitter and LinkedIn!

Thank you so much to Annelie for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Chris Singleton on Forgiveness and Impact

Chris Singleton on Forgiveness and Impact

August 18, 2021

Chris Singleton is a former professional athlete drafted by the Chicago Cubs in 2017. Following the loss of his mother in a racially motivated mass shooting, Chris has now become an inspirational speaker and best-selling author who has shared his message of unity and racial reconciliation with clients such as: Microsoft, Biogen, Houston Texans, Washington Wizards, etc. He shares with over 50 organizations and over 30,000 students annually and resides with his spouse Mariana, his son CJ and his younger brother who he cares for Caleb in Charleston, SC.

In this episode, we discuss the Nats Park shooting (6:55), PTSD (7:44), what got Chris from being neurotic and anxious at an unhealthy level to a more comfortable place (8:44), faith and being a believer (10:12), what allowed him to go towards faith rather than run away from it after experiencing tragedy (11:40), more on believing (14:49), how he thinks about his purpose (17:35), unity (19:54), peace and sports (22:!7), what he thinks his mom’s murderers punishment should be (23:21), Rais Bhuyan’s story (28:44), if he considers himself a motivational speaker (30:23), experience and perspective (32:49), his mission (34:26), how he thinks about guns (38:03), his mom’s impact on him (39:03), his dad (41:25), what he learned when he transitioned from big brother to parental figure (43:06), who has his back and makes sure he’s good (44:09), the state of our country (46:25), the future of religion in America (55:25), Obama singing (57:55), his mindset when he’s speaking (1:00:14), what his coaching commitment looks like (1:03:20), what he does now (1:04:55), and what he intentionally does to make sure he’s at his best (1:06:29).

You can check out Chris’s website here, as well as follow him on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Thank you so much to Chris for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Joe Ferraro on Leveraging Curiosity

Joe Ferraro on Leveraging Curiosity

August 11, 2021

Joe Ferraro is currently entering his 23rd year as an educator, teaching 12th grade English. Joe also teaches public speaking and creative writing. In addition to his work in the classroom, he is the founder of damngoodconversations.com. Damn Good Conversations is a company whose mission it is to teach you repeatable ways to have the best conversations in your life and work. His flagship service is a weekly personal growth podcast, which is called “One Percent Better.”

In this episode, we discuss being and becoming (8:01), the word “enough” (9:00), if damn good conversations and interviews are separate or the same thing (12:00), if there is a time Joe has to turn off the curious, interviewer mind inside of him (15:59), high velocity questions (18:05), bringing curiosity and questions into the classroom (19:56), fitting in in high school (24:14), why he decided to share his podcast with his students (27:58), if middle schoolers are more curious than high schoolers (30:28), cultivating curiosity in his children (32:24), the distinction between teaching and podcasting (34:50), growth (37:00), if anything in the educational system holds teachers back (40:26), why he teaches (43:52), questions he receives from alumni (45:07), why he podcasts (47:22), communication advice (50:42), why we like to put people into either/or boxes (55:25), what makes a great teacher (59:21), how he makes his classroom different from other classrooms (1:00:21), curious environments (1:01:56), what 17-year-old Joe would say to Joe today (1:05:36), and what his classroom will look like in 5 years (1:06:28).

You can check out the website for Damn Good Conversations here. Also, I highly recommend following Joe on Twitter @FerraroOnAir.

Thank you so much to Joe for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Lindsay Kaplan on Empowering Chiefs

Lindsay Kaplan on Empowering Chiefs

August 4, 2021

Lindsay Kaplan is the co-founder and Chief Brand Officer of Chief, a private network designed specifically for women leaders — rising VP level through CEO — to strengthen their experience in the C-suite, cross-pollinate power across industries, and effect change from the top-down. She is an award-winning marketer and communications strategist who previously served as VP of Communications and Brand at Casper. Lindsay was named a New York Times DealBook Groundbreaker, Brand Innovators 40 Under 40, and Business Insider's Most Innovative CMOs in the World.

In this episode, we discuss landing on the word “chief” (6:59), clients’ and customers’ reactions to hearing the word “chief” (9:24), the word “badass” (10:41), why she is desirous of challenging the status quo (11:43), how her parents nurtured her to make sure her uniqueness wasn’t stifled (15:00), parenting advice for defiant children (17:15), belonging (19:22), why she doesn’t think imposter syndrome is a real thing (22:04), being the “only” (25:13), the journey of “chief” (26:48), entrepreneurship (30:05), how she’s evolving her concept (31:57), balancing keeping true to what her company does while also expanding to reach others in need of her mission (35:58), global domination (38:20), what she does to make sure she’s saying yes and no to the right things (40:30), giving (44:06), the people that support Lindsay (45:06), what men don’t know about being a woman in the workforce (48:18), what Chief does to support parents (51:01), the core values at Chief (52:57), the workweek (54:14), executive coaching at Chief (57:34), and core groups (1:00:50).

You can check out the Chief website here! You can also follow Lindsay on Twitter here. Lastly, if you’d like to reach out to Lindsay, feel free to do so by emailing her at chief@moxiegrouppr.com.

Thank you so much to Lindsay for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Dan Simons on Allocating Time

Dan Simons on Allocating Time

July 28, 2021

Dan Simons is the Co-Owner of the innovative Farmers Restaurant Group — majority owned by American family farmers — with a mission to earn farmers a larger share of the food dollar while delivering thoughtfully-sourced, scratch-made food, and exceptional hospitality. Farmers Restaurant Group operates 7 restaurants and 1 distillery throughout the DC, MD, VA, and PA area, and most recently pivoted their business model to include a Founding Farmers Market + Grocery- selling everything from prepared dinners and hand sanitizer made in their DC distillery, Founding Spirits to homemade chocolates and bottled cocktails. Passionate about the health of the planet, Simons founded the non-profit Our Last Straw, a business-led coalition working to reduce our reliance on single-use plastics, and is on the Advisory Board of Conscious Capitalism DC.

In this episode, we discuss past failures and successes (7:18), more on success (8:53), conscious capitalism (10:54), if he loved wrestling (13:40), what it was like competing in an individual sport that also had a team component, and how that impacted the way he sees the world (15:15), what he thought his future would be while in college (16:68), his family history’s impact on his life (19:56), parallels between wrestling and business (22:25), where he gets peace of mind in his life (24:50), 168 hours in a week (28:12), discipline (31:20), how to say no (32:59), saying yes (41:50), the restaurant industry as a business (45:13), what he loves about the restaurant business (47:17), how the pandemic has affected his business (50:49), company constitutions (54:15), if the pandemic changed the company constitution (56:20), partnership (57:35), if others have replicated his model (1:00:34), mental health in the workplace (1:01:56), getting people back to work from the pandemic (1:06:27), and dining in at restaurants (1:09:18).

You can check out Dan’s website here! You can also follow him on Twitter @DanSimonsSays.

Thank you so much to Dan for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Dr. Kensa Gunter on Psychological Safety

Dr. Kensa Gunter on Psychological Safety

July 21, 2021

Dr. Kensa Gunter is a licensed psychologist & a Certified Mental Performance Consultant based in Atlanta, GA. She provides services to individuals, teams, & organizations and describes her work as being at the intersection of mental health, mental performance, culture and sport. Dr. Gunter also currently serves as the President of the Association for Applied Sport Psychology.

In this episode, we discuss the symbolism in Dr. Gunter’s “tree of life” (6:37), how she uses that metaphor with her clients (9:26), gratitude (10:49), if she makes a distinction between spirituality and religion (12:14), if her connection to Christianity has changed over time (13:11), her favorite quote (15:53), perfectionism (18:57), if there is a dark side to striving for excellence that can bleed over to a client’s overall wellbeing (21:58), what she would tell her 12-year-old self (26:05), how to preach patience in a sports world that is so transactional (32:52), how she’s worked to be patient and present over the past year (35:23), what can get in the way of performers (38:48), growth mindset (42:18), what she’s struggled with over the past year and a half (45:10), psychological safety and security (52:02), navigating her career in the world of sport psychology (58:59), what advice she would give to people looking to break into the field of sport psychology (1:03:59), the gifts that exist alongside being unique (1:08:19), being an entrepreneur (1:12:10), the transition to private practice (1:18:00), the future of sport psychology (1:21:56), where she sees herself in 10 years (1:24:59), what she intentionally does to make sure she’s at her best (1:26:54), and being dauntless (1:29:38).

You can check out Dr Gunter’s website here! You can also follow her on Twitter and LinkedIn by searching for Dr. Kensa Gunter.

Thank you so much to Dr. Gunter for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Steve Mesler on Being Bigger than Sports

Steve Mesler on Being Bigger than Sports

July 14, 2021

Steve Mesler is the Co-Founder and CEO of Classroom Champions, a non-profit that brings together children and the world’s best athletes to mentor and teach kids the skills they need to succeed in and out of the classroom. After winning an Olympic Gold Medal in the 4-man bobsled at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, Steve was inspired to bring the values, lessons, and experiences he and his fellow Olympic and Paralympic athletes had gained through sport into classrooms. Since creating Classroom Champions in 2009, over 200 athletes have taught more than 1 million students about goal setting, perseverance, and teamwork to support their mental health, wellness, and academic achievement.

Steve has written for or been featured in the Washington Post, Sports Illustrated, Inc, NBC’s Today Show, and dozens of other news, sports, and education outlets.

Steve is a member of the Board of Directors of the United States Olympic and Paralympic Committee (USOPC), was a finalist for the International Champion for Peace award, and was named one of Sports Illustrated “Athletes Who Care.” He is a sought-after presenter at education and other conferences around the world, including Dubai, Sochi, Tel Aviv, Guatemala, and across the U.S. and Canada, and has collaborated with the likes of TED, Big Think, and others to increase awareness of the importance of social and emotional learning (SEL) in young students

In this episode, we discuss dual citizenship (6:52), Americans training in Canada (8:26), what it was like flying on an F-16 plane (11:08), a champion or hero Steve looked up to as a kid and why (18:44), the impact his parents had on he and his sister (22:16), how he thinks about education differently than his parents did (26:30), his parents’ reaction to him pursuing bobsledding (31:35), the thinking as he transitioned to bobsled (36:06), the first time he got into a bobsled (37:05), his relationship with fear while bobsledding (41:58), if he loved bobsledding (44:35), if he loved track and field (46:47), loving sports (49:56), the various psychological tolls sports can take on an athlete (53:50), mental health (1:03:47), your profession being a part of who you are (1:08:08), if he still competes (1:11:08), learning how to become a leader in his new role (1:13:10), and Classroom Champions (1:17:21).

Make sure to check out Steve’s website and also to check out his content on Medium, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Additionally, you can check out Steve’s blog here, as well as the Classroom Champions website and the Willie documentary website.

Thanks so much to Steve for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Brant Menswar on Non-Negotiable Values

Brant Menswar on Non-Negotiable Values

July 7, 2021

Brant Menswar is a best-selling author, performance coach, named one of the country’s “Top 10" speakers in motivation and CEO/Founder of bookstarPR. His books and Top 200 podcast (Thoughts That Rock) expand on his ground-breaking work around values-based leadership described as “disarmingly simple and incredibly powerful.”

He has helped to change what’s possible for industry-leading organizations like Netflix, Verizon, Anthem, SunTrust, Microsoft, ESPN, Hilton, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and dozens more.

In this episode, we discuss when Brant first picked up a guitar (6:08), if difficulty can stunt creativity (10:30), his past job and what led to him pursuing his dream of becoming a Rockstar (11:58), when faith came into his life (14:23), baseball (16:11), what he was like academically (20:06), what he struggled with when he was younger (21:18), polarity within himself (25:39), unique contributions (30:25), why he didn’t continue to just play music (31:22), what it was like to first hear his son had cancer and what it’s been like the past few months since his son passed away (33:08), what he learned from his son (35:35), what he’s been doing creativity-wise the last couple months (39:30), his relationship with faith today (42:25), what sparked the importance of values in his life (46:59), living your values (50:27), professional vs. personal values (55:27), black sheep values (1:03:52), security (1:16:00), what he intentionally does every day to ensure his values are actionable (1:24:10),

You can check out Brant on social media platforms @brantmenswar. Also, feel free to visit Brant’s website here!

Thank you so much to Brant for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Julie Lythcott-Haims on Helping Humans

Julie Lythcott-Haims on Helping Humans

June 30, 2021

WRITER. SPEAKER. HUMAN.

Julie Lythcott-Haims believes in humans and is deeply interested in what gets in our way. She is the New York Times bestselling author of the anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult which gave rise to a TED Talk that has more than 5 million views. Her second book is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experience as a Black and biracial person in white spaces. A third book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, is out now.

Julie is a former corporate lawyer and Stanford dean, and she holds a BA from Stanford, a JD from Harvard, and an MFA in Writing from California College of the Arts. She serves on the board of Common Sense Media, and on the advisory board of LeanIn.Org, and she is a former board member at Foundation for a College Education, Global Citizen Year, The Writers Grotto, and Challenge Success. She volunteers with the hospital program No One Dies Alone.

She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her partner of over thirty years, their itinerant young adults, and her mother.

In this episode, we discuss why she got into each of her three careers (7:12), the values her parents taught her as a kid as she felt “otherized” in society (11:35), naming blackness but not whiteness (17:00), the idea of the “other” (24:19), how she figures out when to be curious and when to be convicted (28:10), what changed between her two Ted Talks (31:58), if she’s experienced any imposter syndrome and how she’s handled it (35:27), what she misses about being Dean (39:16), inspiration (42:15), her identity (43:38), writing (47:03), if she prefers writing poetry or not (51:46), where the line is as a parent between commitment and over commitment (54:35), fostering independence in your children (1:01:16), adulting (1:03:44), and what she intentionally does to make sure she feels alive (1:07:00).

You can check out Julie on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Additionally, when posting about her new book, make sure to use the hashtag #YourTurnToAdult. You can visit Julie’s website here and can purchase her new book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, here!

Thank you so much to Julie for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Jay Wright on Leadership and the Unifying Power of Basketball

Jay Wright on Leadership and the Unifying Power of Basketball

June 23, 2021

Jay Wright has become a mainstay in the world of College Basketball. He was recently inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame, he’s won 2 National Championships (one in 2016 and one in 2018), and he took a team to the Final Four in 2009, becoming one of the all-time greats when it comes to college basketball. He’s led Villanova, the team he coaches, to 6 Big East Conference Championships and 14 NCAA Tournaments.

In this episode, we discuss what it has been like for Jay to coach Brandon Slater (7:31), what he looks for in leadership (11:00), dealing with, managing, and developing defiant players (15:31), his experience with PeacePlayers in Israel (19:33), attitude’s impact on Villanova’s culture (23:57), how he thinks about his own identity (27:06), Father Rob and Jim Brennan’s impact (29:18), how he makes sure his emption is helpful and not harmful (33:47), what he does pregame and how he makes sure he’s where he needs to be (37:19), the difference between players and actors (40:53), and how he thinks about legacy and what’s next for him (46:22).

Thank you so much to Jay for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Rebecca Powers on Impact Philanthropy

Rebecca Powers on Impact Philanthropy

June 16, 2021

In 2003, Rebecca Powers lost her brother and, as a result, founded Impact Austin, a collective giving organization that brings women and their financial resources together to make a profound impact in Central Texas. To date, the organization has put $7.4M to work helping the underserved. Rebecca has received multiple awards recognizing her leadership and speaks nationally inspiring women to connect their capacity to give with their confidence to do it well. She also mentors women in cities across the US as they form their own collectives.

In this episode, we discuss when philanthropy came to be something Rebecca wanted to leverage and focus on (6:16), if she was bitter her brother didn’t go to the doctor sooner to prevent his demise (8:21), the polarity between her anger and inspiration (9:58), the role of faith in her life (11:41), the relationship between faith and philanthropy (13:45), the communal aspect of Impact Austin (16:00), how she went about building Impact Austin (17:24), what she had created and done before Impact Austin (20:02), why she distinguishes between giving to church and philanthropy (22:11), contributions (23:28), how to attract young members (26:05), doing well so you can do good (33:09), why Impact Austin is just for women (34:27), if there are ever people who would prefer to give and donate on their own (38:07), what she’s learned about herself and about leadership while leading this organization (39:17), the challenges she faced when taking on a leadership role (42:35), newsletters (45:44), when she decided she may not be the best person to run things from a systems and organizations standpoint (46:55), what gives her joy now (48:21), writing her book (49:56), her book “Trust Your Cape” (51:57), the city of Austin (55:45), and how she influences people across the country (57:24).

I strongly encourage you to check out Rebecca’s content on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, as well as visiting the Impact Austin website here! Additionally, feel free to send her an email: info@impactaustin.org.

Thank you so much to Rebecca for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Becky Burleigh on Developing Sports Coaches

Becky Burleigh on Developing Sports Coaches

June 9, 2021

Becky Burleigh is the soon-to-retire head coach of the University of Florida Women’s Soccer Team. She has been at the University of Florida for 27 years, where she started the program. Before that, Becky was the head coach at Berry College in Rome, Georgia at the age of 21. She was the captain of her soccer team, playing defense and goalie, before going on to coach at the age of 21. By age 26, she was in Florida, heading and starting up the program. In four years, at the age of 30, she helped to lead the University of Florida to a National Championship. Becky is an amazing leader who thinks deeply about character and “what drives winning,” which is a question and a statement. Becky is also obsessed with the idea of how do coaches develop and get better beyond the X’s and O’s?

In this episode, we discuss why Becky is interested in DJing (6:47), her go to song (9:43), why she transitioned from playing defense her first 3 years at college to playing goalie for her senior year (11:51), where her discipline and desire to go toward the grind came from (14:53), her parents and the impact they had on her (15:41), selflessness and service in partnerships (18:16), perspective taking as a coach (20:28), how to mix the desire to win and challenging players with the idea that her players are ultimately still just playing a sport (23:38), what it was like coaching Abby Wambach as a freshman (26:46), if she treated Abby differently (28:50), where Abby’s alpha mentality came from and what it was like coaching an alpha (31:05), influence (33:26), if she considers herself to be an alpha (35:29), curiosity and conviction (39:27), judgment (42:16), paranoia in sports (45:36), lack of boundaries in sports (47:52), what triggered her transition into retirement (51:52), if there are ways to lessen the sacrifices made in sports (54:36), what drives winning (55:54), how to be a great questioner but also provide guidance and answers (57:15), more about what drives winning and where it’s going (58:58), teaching at Florida and what she’s excited about going forward (1:00:47),

You can check out Becky on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook @BeckyBurleigh! Additionally, make sure to check out WhatDrivesWinning.com!

Thank you so much to Becky for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Muffet McGraw on Championing Women

Muffet McGraw on Championing Women

June 2, 2021

Muffet McGraw, previously the head coach of Notre Dame Women’s Basketball, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September 2017. She became just the 32nd women ever to do so, and the 13th female coach. Bringing women out into the spotlight and helping women progress in and beyond sports is a massive mission that Muffet has taken on. As a coach, she’s a 2x National Champion. The first came in 2001, when Notre Dame defeated Purdue. The 2nd came 17 years later in 2018. Coach McGraw was the 6th different Division I coach to win multiple NCAA titles, joining legends like Geno Auriemma, Pat Summit, Linda Sharp, Tara VanDerveer, and Kim Mulkey. She is one of 5 coaches, men’s or women’s, in NCAA Division I history with over 930 wins, 9 final fours, and multiple NCAA Championships. Three times in her career, she was the consensus National Coach of the Year. Seven times she was the Conference Coach of the Year. She’s won 11 Conference Tournament Championships and she’s made 373 appearances in the AP top-25 poll. Muffet is the all-time wins leader among single sport coaches in the history of Notre Dame athletics.

In this episode we discuss what life was like for Muffet as a kid (6:57), how she defines competitiveness (7:56), her family dynamic and where her competitive drive came from (8:56), parenting advice for raising competitive women (11:03), why getting gifts for kids is more based in gender than getting toys for pets (13:26), what allowed her to run with her competitive spirit and embrace sports (15:25), any memories of her dad saying anything to her that let her embrace this side of herself as a woman (16:20), how to teach sportsmanship while also saying winning and losing is part of life (17:57), where she gets her competitive fix from now that she’s not coaching (19:27), if she competes on the golf course (19:57), what golf does for her while she’s playing and why it’s something she enjoys (21:20), how losing a brother impacted her life and helped to shape how she sees the world (22:36), the values she learned from her mother (23:31), managing keeping others safe while also empowering them (25:39), polarity and paradoxes within her identity (28:19), her relationship with Catholicism (30:23), how to blend the best in our traditions with the most progressive ways to make our society better (33:15), when she began championing feminism (36:20), male advocates for feminism (40:17), if women are often more hesitant to share (41:36), what she’ll talk about with regards to unshakeable belief in oneself when she’s coaching (43:33), arrogance (46:34), if she is healthier mentally now that she isn’t coaching and worrying about a bunch of different things (48:11), why so many college coaches are transitioning right now (49:39), what changed for her so that retirement made sense for her at the time that she did it (51:19), the factors she noticed amongst her best teams (53:23), respect (55:45), the quote “what you will allow is what will continue” (58:08), timeouts speaking to a coach’s values (59:37), why she catastrophized on gameday (1:01:12), what advice she would give to coaches about catastrophizing on gameday (1:02:44), satisfaction vs. complacency (1:05:27), the side of her that only appeared off the court (1:06:53), the differences between teaching and coaching (1:07:15), and how important legacy is to her (1:08:44).

You can check out Muffet on social media @muffetmcgraw. Additionally, I strongly encourage you to check out Muffet’s book, Expect More: A Guide for Women on Reaching their Potential.

Thank you so much to Muffet for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Brenda Frese on Family, Ego, and Coaching

Brenda Frese on Family, Ego, and Coaching

May 26, 2021

Brenda Frese has become an absolute legend, as she has built a juggernaut of a program with Women’s Basketball at the University of Maryland. On the court, she is a 2x National Coach of the Year, including this past season. In 2006, Brenda led the team to the National Championship. With Brenda at the helm, Maryland has made 3 NCAA Final Fours, 6 NCAA Elite Eights, 8 Sweet 16 appearances, and has 13 conference titles. Over the last 20+ years, she has helped lead amazing programs. But really, at the University of Maryland she has left her mark and created a legacy that will live on far beyond her time there.

In this episode we discuss Brenda’s upbringing and childhood with her 5 siblings, if faith played a big role in her house growing up (9:18), 6-on-6 basketball (11:39), the benefits of 6-on-6, as well as what that experience was like (13:10), when and why she decided to focus in on basketball (14:16), the values her parents passed down to her (15:30), how she thinks about retirement in her future (17:08), some of the hobbies she’s enjoyed doing over the last year that she doesn’t typically have time for during a “normal” season (19:17), parenting advice, as well as the experience of having her son diagnosed with cancer and what she learned from it (21:59), if there were any actions of friends that really stood out during this difficult time in her life (26:22), what it was like for her playing college basketball at Arizona (29:22), kids (35:18), if her twins are more similar or different (36:41), what it was like coaching while pregnant and after having kids (37:36), when she decided she wanted to pursue coaching (39:25), the core values of her high school coach, her parents, and the University of Maryland Women’s Basketball Team (42:10), what she does to make sure she’s at her best while also carrying the weight of worrying about her players and staff (45:22), how often she thinks a call will be “good” when she receives one from a parent (45:54), how it makes her feel when she hears about all of her accomplishments (48:30), how she thinks about putting her staff together (51:16), what has led to misalignment between Brenda and some of her staff members who haven’t worked out (53:03), how she decouples team success and performance from her own value (58:41), how to not let results dictate who she is (1:01:51), Stu Singer (1:06:10), character (1:09:36), and what she does to make sure she’s in a good place mentally (1:12:44).

You can check out Brenda on Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram @BrendaFrese. Additionally, I strongly encourage you to check out Brenda’s book, Overtime is our Time. Lastly, you can check out the University of Maryland Women’s Basketball Team website here.

Thank you so much to Brenda for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

-Brian

Tamsen Webster on Unlocking Big Ideas

Tamsen Webster on Unlocking Big Ideas

May 19, 2021

Part strategist, part storyteller, part English-to-English translator, Tamsen Webster helps experts drive action with their ideas. Tamsen honed her trademark Red Thread approach in and for major organizations like Johnson & Johnson, Harvard Medical School, and Intel, as well as with hundreds of individual founders, academics, and thought leaders. She's a former TEDx Executive Producer and current Idea Strategist. She's also author of the upcoming book, Find Your Read Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible.

In this episode, we discuss Tamsen’s childhood and upbringing (9:20), why she and her sister are so obsessed with stories and storytelling (10:48), if her partnership is different than that of her parents, as well as more on her life and her sister (14:51), what it was like being her high-achieving sister’s younger sister (22:16), imposter syndrome and her working at Harvard (26:08), hustle (31:04), how she defines success (36:16), being an English-to-English translator (37:28), curiosity, range, innovation, and creativity (42:52), building ideas, as opposed to finding ideas (49:34), why she wrote a book (57:40), the routines and habits she leverages to make sure she’s living the way she wants to live (1:00:56), how others respond to new ideas (1:06:56), and spending valuable time on valuable ideas (1:12:57).

I encourage you to follow Tamsen on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Also, you can learn more about Tamsen’s new book "Find Your Red Thread: Make Your Big Ideas Irresistible" here! Lastly, feel free to send Tamsen an email if you’d like at hello@tamsenwebster.com.

Thanks so much to Tamsen for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

Steve Magness on Peak Performance and Passion

Steve Magness on Peak Performance and Passion

May 12, 2021

Steve Magness has written three books, which have sold more than 200,000 copies and been translated into 15 languages. Also, Steve is a performance coach. He works with athletes, entrepreneurs, and executives, as well as serving as a consultant on mental skills development for professional sports teams. Additionally, he is a running coach, working with professional runners, including Olympians, national champions, and top finishers at major marathons. He’s also the co-creator of The Growth Equation, an online platform dedicated to the understanding and practice of performance and well-being.

In this episode, we discuss Steve’s running journey and how he became interested in running (5:43), his family dynamic at home and their reaction to him seriously pursuing running (9:59), if he fell in love with the cross-country community and was able to make connections with his teammates along the way (13:45), his success in cross-country (15:11), why he feels his cross-country peak was in high school despite training harder afterwards (16:25), how he treated rest (18:38), if he truly loved running (21:25), passion + persistence = excellency (24:52), commencement speakers (26:50), how to create routines and habits without overdosing into addiction (28:29), how he gets people to push through while still being aware (32:56), if he still runs competitively (36:03), if he misses running competitively (36:24), if he’s more like his mom or his dad (39:24), if he ever felt any pressure from his dad to go into orthodontia (40:29), the link between passion and process, as well as the link between passion and suffering (43:36), what he’s most passionate about right now (45:13), balancing talking about what he’s already done with what he’s currently working on (49:05), writing multiple books at the same time (51:23), what he’s working on now (53:36), being and becoming (56:07), the process of writing both solo and with a second author (1:00:39), and nurturing nature, stress + rest = growth, and how those concepts play out in his daily life (1:09:17) and The Growth Equation (1:12:48).

You can check out The Growth Equation website here. Additionally, you can follow Steve on Twitter and Instagram @SteveMagness.

Thanks so much to Steve for coming on the podcast!

I wrote a book called “Shift Your Mind” that was released in October of 2020, and you can order it on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Additionally, I have launched a company called Strong Skills, and I encourage you to check out our new website https://www.strongskills.co/. If you liked this episode and/or any others, please follow me on Twitter: @brianlevenson or Instagram: @Intentional_Performers.

Thanks for listening.

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