Ep. 66: Ross Bernstein on How Great Teams Create And Sustain Momentum
In this episode, David sits down with Ross Bernstein, Best-Selling Author and Hall of Fame Keynote Speaker, to discuss The Champion’s Code and how great athletes and teams create and sustain momentum.
Buy David’s NEWEST Book “Trusted Leader”: https://amzn.to/3luyqf1
The best-selling author of nearly 50 sports books, Ross Bernstein is an award-winning peak performance hall of fame business speaker who’s keynoted conferences on all seven continents and has been featured on thousands of television and radio programs including: CNN, “CBS This Morning,” ESPN, and Fox News, as well as in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times and USA Today.
“America’s Coach” by Ross Bernstein: https://amzn.to/356uITf
1. “The Champion’s Code is about winning with integrity.”
2. “If you break the rules, there’s consequences.”
3. “Win the right way.”
4. “A goal made one guy happy. But an assist made two guys happy.” – Wayne Gretzky
5. “Sports are a universal language.”
6. “It’s easy to get to the top but it’s really hard to stay at the top.”
7. “Consistency is really the price of admission for top producers.”
8. “Innovation really is the key.”
Links Mentioned In The Episode:
“Gopher Hockey by the Hockey Gopher” by Ross Bernstein: https://amzn.to/3tPr4aD
“The Code” by Ross Bernstein: https://amzn.to/33XIaIw
“America’s Coach” by Ross Bernstein: https://amzn.to/356uITf
Buy David’s NEWEST Book “Trusted Leader”: https://amzn.to/3luyqf1
Subscribe on Apple Podcasts: https://apple.co/36AXtp9
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david_horsager: Welcome to the Trusted Leader Show it’s David Horsager, I have one of my
david_horsager: dearest friends on today, so there’s a lot we could say about you. but
david_horsager: first, please welcome Ross Bernstein.
ross_bernstein: Or see how are you? My friend Could to see her.
david_horsager: I’m doing great. great to see you. Virtually. we’re going to see each other
david_horsager: face to face again before long. but uh, just everybody knows.
david_horsager: Ross Bernstein is the best selling author of almost fifty to get the other
david_horsager: one written with you, So it’s fifty sports books including. I’ve got a few
david_horsager: them here if if you’re watching the video The Champions Code, raising
david_horsager: Stanley, her, Brooks, uh, America’s coach, and a whole lot more. I love Brett
david_horsager: Favre. I hate Brett Favre. Remember that, uh, anyway, we got some. We got some
david_horsager: good ones That got a a lot more of them on on my home library. But Um, he
david_horsager: has Keynodd, He’s a hall of fame speaker and has Keno conferences on seven
david_horsager: contents, Even an arttica, not many people have done that, and uh, you know,
david_horsager: he’s been interviewed all over the world. He’s been a part of the press.
david_horsager: He’s interviewed so many athletes were going to talk about. A few of those
david_horsager: from you know, Pat Summit to Gretsky to Tom, Rated today, and and others
david_horsager: you’ve interviewed. How many. How many pro athletes? I mean, How many people
david_horsager: have you interviewed and all this writing a books, and being a part of the
david_horsager: press and all that you’ve done studying champions
ross_bernstein: It’s thousands. I’ve been doing
ross_bernstein: this since I was twenty one years old.
david_horsager: Unbelievable and back then back when back just after you were the Uh, didn’t
david_horsager: quite make the the U M hockey team and became the Gofer.
ross_bernstein: That’s right. a giant smelly rodent to gold to the golfer.
david_horsager: All right.
david_horsager: Well, it’s great to have you on. Tell a couple more things about Ross
david_horsager: Bernstein and they, we’re going to dive in because you’ve got some great
david_horsager: things to share. But what? what are some things we should know about Ross?
ross_bernstein: Well, I’m a huge fan of Da for Dave Horsager. That that’s what else you
ross_bernstein: want to know. Like right there. That pretty much says everything right
david_horsager: Oh, my goodness.
ross_bernstein: you know, like you said I, the crazy story. My, my dream is by hockey at the
ross_bernstein: University of Minnesota
ross_bernstein: got got cut from the team. Became the mascot, Wrote a book about it called
ross_bernstein: Gopher Hockey by the Hockey Gofer and launched my career. I had two two big
ross_bernstein: brothers that had Ivy league, M B, A And and I aspired to be a a giant
ross_bernstein: rodent. So uh, mom and dad were so proud, but you know, I, I just uh, like
ross_bernstein: you, David. I, just, I kind of found my way doing something I love. We all
ross_bernstein: before we become become professional speakers. We all have a previous life,
ross_bernstein: and my previous life was writing and publishing books. and and uh, and now
ross_bernstein: like you, I just get to speak all over the place and and try and help
ross_bernstein: people. so I’m just I’m everyday sort of a new adventure. And and uh, I’m
ross_bernstein: just grateful for our friendship and I’m happy to be on visiting with you
ross_bernstein: and hopefully entertaining your, your legion of listeners and fans all over
ross_bernstein: the world.
david_horsager: well, I, I’m I’m grateful to have yon. you’ve written a load of books.
david_horsager: You’ve interviewed a load of champions. I, If I was going to say something
david_horsager: that I think is really interesting about what you’ve done is you’ve you
david_horsager: know? you built an amazing business yourself and and your family is, just
david_horsager: uh. It’s just so fun to see your marriage and your family, and just the way
david_horsager: you intentionally run life. and
david_horsager: um, that’s it’s
david_horsager: just such a cool thing, but uh, but what? I? uh, I? I think something you
ross_bernstein: thank you, you, too.
david_horsager: share and I think you live it out is just all this wisdom of that you’ve
david_horsager: learned from interviewing champions and I think it’d be fun to jump right
david_horsager: in. I think you know some of the books you can see here. We’re going to put
david_horsager: them in the show. Now’s trust the Leader show Dot com. So you see at least
david_horsager: several of our favorites of Ross Bernstein’s books, But the code you wrote
david_horsager: this series called series called the Champions Code, And you talk about a
david_horsager: lot. I’ve seen you speak, and we’ve been on some of the same stages, But Um,
david_horsager: if you were going to take some of the takeaways, I’m going to talk about
david_horsager: some specific people in all, but just some key takeaways that jump to mind.
david_horsager: Uh, as far as the champions you’ve interviewed, where would you start
ross_bernstein: Hm. Well, my program that the Champions code. it’s really. It’s really about
ross_bernstein: winning with integrity. So I, I wrote this series of books. as you
ross_bernstein: mentioned. Uh, these books called the Code About the. Really. They’re about
ross_bernstein: the unwritten Unspoken rules and sports. So, in sports, as as you know,
ross_bernstein: because you were an all state wide receiver from Verndale high school,
ross_bernstein: Minnesota, and then you played at
david_horsager: nine man football?
ross_bernstein: Bethel Card. I’m just saying I’m just, and man, I’m just saying
david_horsager: Y. Yeah,
ross_bernstein: okay, Uh,
ross_bernstein: you know
david_horsager: I was all safe for linebacker, By the way, Don’t want to get too much
david_horsager: credit because somebody will think I’m fast of you, Saal, statewide
ross_bernstein: well you, you know as an athlete that that, if you, if you break the rules,
ross_bernstein: there’s consequences. So I wrote the series of books about You know what
ross_bernstein: happens if you cheat or take short cuts, like in in hockey. If you you
ross_bernstein: cheat, it leads to fighting and in baseball, If you cheat, it leads to to
ross_bernstein: get drilled right. So so the program is really about winning the right way,
ross_bernstein: and I try and translate that to business. As as a journalist, I love
ross_bernstein: studying, you know what makes the great ones right, and then translating
ross_bernstein: that to great leadership and and customer experience,
ross_bernstein: and and dealing with with adversity, So for me that’s just kind of the angle
ross_bernstein: that I do, but I I love. I love studying all all kinds of different athletes
ross_bernstein: and coaches, then just figure out what’s unique about them.
david_horsager: Let’s take that. let’s what. Let’s talk about. a couple great ones and we
david_horsager: can go anywhere from here. But you did study the great one. He become a
david_horsager: friend of yours. He’s written forwards in your books, but the great one
david_horsager: Gretsky, The, you know, famous for
david_horsager: where where the puck’s going to be instead of where it is right now. But um,
david_horsager: you. you got to. you know. you’ve connected them intimately in some of this
david_horsager: work. What’s something you learned from Wayne Gretsky?
ross_bernstein: Well, I, I had a a full blown stage five man crush on him as a kid. I’m not
ross_bernstein: going to lie, you. I had posters of wane all of my bedroom walls, and as a
ross_bernstein: little kid I was, he was one of my heroes, and to get to know him later in
ross_bernstein: life was pretty cool. Um, you know, when I talk about Wayne in my program, I
ross_bernstein: don’t. I don’t talk about the obvious stuff, but I talk about how you know.
ross_bernstein: Wh, Wayne told me a great line one time about how you he. He’s the n h, ▁ls
ross_bernstein: all time leader in goals, and he’s the all time leader in assists, but he
ross_bernstein: had twice as many assistant goals, and when
ross_bernstein: asked about that, he said that a goal made one guy happy, but an assist made
ross_bernstein: two guys happy. And I just love that and I love how it’s just in his d n a
ross_bernstein: to give and to serve. And you know whenne when wore the scene it, it was.
ross_bernstein: Uh. It was the the subject of one of my books about wearing this scene and
ross_bernstein: about what that means to be the captain about how to lead and to lead by
ross_bernstein: example. And that was really what what his emmo was all about, and I, so I,
ross_bernstein: I love you know, kind of studying. Um, the weird little idiosyncrasies about
ross_bernstein: about champions and about what makes you know being a champion isn’t
ross_bernstein: necessarily by winning championships, it’s just about the way you conduct
ross_bernstein: yourself, the way you, the way you do business, the way you treat people.
ross_bernstein: It’s about relationship building, so he’s just you know, he’s an amazing
ross_bernstein: human being and uh, you know he was an amazing hockey player, but he’s he’s
ross_bernstein: had equal success, you know, off the isolater in life as well, So it’s
ross_bernstein: someone I’ve been very proud to sort of get to know and I’ I’m still still
ross_bernstein: in awe of him.
david_horsager: I think you knowm. not trying to you know, Blow your horn so much, but it’s
david_horsager: just this is something. if people don’t know what. That everybody that knows
david_horsager: Ross Bernstein, he lives. generosity,
ross_bernstein: Hm. thank you.
david_horsager: I was yesterday. I took a look at the one of the B. One of the gifts you’ve
david_horsager: given us this massive, the biggest I’ve ever seen Scrabbleboard that we, we
david_horsager: had out and like, or the time you know, are invited to the Uh. you know,
david_horsager: many pe. you have c, e Os, and Steve wasnac your friend, and and many knows,
david_horsager: the Uh, one of the Um. Founders of Apple, and And, and you invite us to this
david_horsager: uh, amazing, sweet, uh event at the uh, um, I don’t even remember the game
david_horsager: be cause. I was so into being together
ross_bernstein: the W. A wild hockey game.
david_horsager: right. Oh yeah, wild hockey game.
ross_bernstein: Yeah, that was fun.
david_horsager: Okay, but I just I. I. There’s so many ways you live that out. This. That’s
david_horsager: what I love about it is not just learning and writing about it, but you, Uh,
david_horsager: where you didn’t quite make the U. You live out all you’ve learned and all
david_horsager: this stuff I’m proud of that. I want to jump to somebody.
david_horsager: Youre one before she passed away. That got to interview at the time who was
david_horsager: the winningest
david_horsager: basketball coach
david_horsager: in the country and C.
david_horsager: Ncle a university, Tennessee Women’s Couch, Pat, Pat, Summ, What what? What
david_horsager: was that like? As you think back on that interview connecting with her were
david_horsager: she team you? We talk a lot as you know all about trust. How did she so
david_horsager: consistently build these high trust high performing teams?
ross_bernstein: Yeah, she was really an an amazing coach When I talk about Pat. I. I,
ross_bernstein: really, Um, it’s It’s a pretty cool vinet, But you know, when asked Pa about
ross_bernstein: her legacy she said she didn’t want to be remembered so much being a great
ross_bernstein: coach, but rather for being a great teacher and there’s a big difference.
ross_bernstein: You know. That’s how she was able to connect and really build trust with
ross_bernstein: with her with her students. Student athletes was by not necessarily Um.
ross_bernstein: Teaching you know, coaching them how to be better basket players, but have
ross_bernstein: you be better human beings, and as a result they were able to foster trust,
ross_bernstein: and you know for Pat, too, it wasn’t about recruiting the best players, is
ross_bernstein: about recruiting the right players and they really try and translate that to
ross_bernstein: business. As people think about their book of business as their clientele,
ross_bernstein: as they think about hiring and keeping young Gen, ▁ze, and millenniials to
ross_bernstein: to to create by, and you know old Pat was was um,
ross_bernstein: fire and brimstone likevince, Lombardy, she’d yell at youa screaming. Yeah,
ross_bernstein: but you know, as Pat got older and the kids got younger, she had to really
ross_bernstein: change her tune and and speak a new language. you know, social media texting
ross_bernstein: young people that A’s not about Um,
ross_bernstein: it’s not about the money, I, it. It’s more about culture and chemistry and
ross_bernstein: being a part of an organization where they feel valued and respected. So so
ross_bernstein: you know you’d still get that mile long stair if you screwed up, but then
ross_bernstein: always a big hug in praise like ham proudy you’ doing a great job and I’m
ross_bernstein: going to text you some Youtube videos and things you could work on so
ross_bernstein: constantly changing evolving as a leader. Um, but really you know it. it’
ross_bernstein: stuck with me, you know, and Pat said it wasn’t about the best players, but
ross_bernstein: the wreler. She said, You know, it’s if it was the best players, then the
ross_bernstein: Yankees would would win it every year, right be cause they
ross_bernstein: have the best players they can afford. The Um, the top talent, and and and
ross_bernstein: uh, but it really comes down to chemistry and coaching, and these these
ross_bernstein: intangible qualities that were you know so important to Pat, so for her it
ross_bernstein: really came down to these other things, And that’s how she was really able
ross_bernstein: to Uh, recruit the right kids for her system and that you know she’d study
ross_bernstein: him, She, she, she studied, she recruited kids as freshmen, sophomore, not
ross_bernstein: juniors and seniors, And she’d you know she’d go to their. She recruited,
ross_bernstein: you know, coaches, kids. You know, coaches kids have a totally different Da.
ross_bernstein: She recruited farm kids like you, David, because they have incredible work
ross_bernstein: ethic, you know, Uh, dairy farm kids. you know they disciplined. you know,
ross_bernstein: cows don’t take days off as you know, And she loved recruiting those kids
ross_bernstein: and and uh, she studied them and she’d get to other parents and grandparents
ross_bernstein: and teachers and and their friends. You know, people say, people judge you
ross_bernstein: by the friends you keep. So she wanted get to know all these things, and you
ross_bernstein: know, over a lifetime of work she was able to achieve amazing success
ross_bernstein: through not a bunch of big things, but a bunch of little things.
david_horsager: I wonder what’s translable there to hiring? Because you know when we we
david_horsager: think of one of the biggest problems people have. it’s hiring right. and in
david_horsager: fact, a friend of mine, that’s a Ceo, said With all these assessments When
david_horsager: I’m hiring a senior leader for my company, I get it with everything we got
david_horsager: today. I get it right about fifty one percent of the time. It’s like when
david_horsager: you think about what, Because somehow she she hired right. In essence, you
david_horsager: know people that didn’t even get to get paid right, They just got to be a
david_horsager: part of the team, and from there she built a culture. You know what? else?
david_horsager: Is there anything we can take away? as far as
david_horsager: from how she in essence, courted or hired people into the team.
ross_bernstein: Well, it interestingly one of the things that I talk about Pat, is I talk
ross_bernstein: about how you know at this senior ceremony when these kids graduated and
ross_bernstein: they did by the way, ’cause Pat promised their parents that a lot of the
ross_bernstein: kids would get the Lady Val’s tattoo on their body at the senior ceremony
ross_bernstein: And then I equate that to a friend of ours, Chuck Runyon, the founder of
ross_bernstein: Anyim Fitness, Uh, who we’ve we’ve both worked at and I talk about how you
ross_bernstein: know any timee fitness that you know the largest fitness chain in the. World
ross_bernstein: now approaching five thousand franchise locations. How more than a third of
ross_bernstein: their franchisee Onerpters have the Antime Fitness Running Bandu logo
ross_bernstein: tattooed on their bicep or or calf? And you know just what? What are it? You
ross_bernstein: know? How many? How many C e Os. How many people have their corporate logo
ross_bernstein: tattooed in their body, And what that means? We talk about Rabbid fans. I
ross_bernstein: mean, you know we both love the Minnesota Vikings. I mean there, there are
ross_bernstein: Vikings fans who have Vikings tattoos right. But how many people would love
ross_bernstein: their company or love what they do so much to put it on their body forever.
ross_bernstein: So talk about you know, building trust, building relationships doing the
ross_bernstein: right things. It’s it’s those series of little things that I think, and you
ross_bernstein: know that’s that’s what I love to do is. I love to you know, translate
ross_bernstein: things we can learn from sports. Which is is, which is my passion to
ross_bernstein: business, And I, because
ross_bernstein: I think it’s a universal language. Whether I’m talking, you know rugby and
ross_bernstein: new ▁zealand or cricket in South Africa. Uh people speak that language A, as
ross_bernstein: you know, because you go all over the world, So for me, I think it’s just
ross_bernstein: about connecting those dots. It’s it’s it’s really fascinating.
david_horsager: Well, let’s talk about another one that’s real big today,
david_horsager: Tom Brady is. Uh, you know, big deal
david_horsager: and he’s back to winning again And you know he. this. I mean old, many, you
david_horsager: say, and still performing what you know. What do you learn from how does he
david_horsager: keep performing? Bring at such a high level. I guess from what you know,
ross_bernstein: Well, ill tell you, I, I’ve never met a more competitive human being in my
ross_bernstein: entire life than Tom Brady. I mean that guy hates losing more than he loves
ross_bernstein: winning, and at forty four, which is pretty insane because these are like
ross_bernstein: dog years in in professional sports. the average professional athlete hass
ross_bernstein: less than two seasons. What he’s doing is is is incredible. But I’ll tell
ross_bernstein: you, the thing that’s interesting about Tom when I talk about Tom, is I talk
ross_bernstein: about consistency. I think Tom’s greatest asset might be his short term
ross_bernstein: memory. You know you throw an interception. Forget about it. have a bad
ross_bernstein: play. have a bad series, have a bad game. have a bad week. Forget about it.
ross_bernstein: That’s what separates the veterans from the rookies. Rookies obsess about
ross_bernstein: failing and they can’t get over and they keep thinking about it. The great
ross_bernstein: ones are able to process it. Learn from it. Move aside, and you know the
ross_bernstein: thing that I’ve learned about Tom. You know seven super bowls. He’s the
ross_bernstein: goat. No one else
ross_bernstein: has come close. Eleven conference championships. Here’s a guy who got bored
ross_bernstein: in New England took a new challenge because he needed needed another
ross_bernstein: challenge and went to Tampa Bay. a team that had made the playoffs in two
ross_bernstein: decades, changed the culture overnight, took less money in his own contract
ross_bernstein: to be able to afford some of his buddies, and they want a Super bowl And
ross_bernstein: it’s it’s unheard of. in a salary cap era. it will never happen again. He
ross_bernstein: may repeat this year because he’s just so committed. But what I’ve learned
ross_bernstein: about Tom and I’ve learned about sports in general
ross_bernstein: is that it’s easy to get to the top, but it’s really hard to stay at the
ross_bernstein: top. But that’s the essence of the dynasty mentality and that’s what Tom has
ross_bernstein: and that’s what great companies have. So you and I get to work for some of
ross_bernstein: the greatest brands in the world, and that’s what you see, These companies’s
ross_bernstein: iconic companies that have around for fifty years, a hundred years, a
ross_bernstein: hundred and fifty years. And you look at how consistency right
ross_bernstein: that? That’s what.
david_horsager: how did they stay consistent and be innovative? Because as
david_horsager: you know, a lot of big ones died last year, right.
david_horsager: So how? how do we?
david_horsager: So how? how do we?
david_horsager: in? In essence, how do they stay in? Um, Consistently innovative like an
david_horsager: Ibm. That’s been around ever. I think when I wrote about them was like seven
david_horsager: times, but now I think it’s like eleven major shifts that Ib. You know, but
david_horsager: most companies, I think all the companies written about in the you know good
david_horsager: Dege aren’t even around anymore performing very well. So how? what about
david_horsager: these? that Ha? what it take like to be both consistent and innovative
ross_bernstein: yeah, yeah, I mean, I think consistency is really the price of admission for
ross_bernstein: top producers Like we all work hard. We all smile in dial, and get in our
ross_bernstein: cars and solve other people’s problems to to be successful. But I think
ross_bernstein: innovation is really the key. and when I, when I talk about consistency, one
ross_bernstein: of the companies I love talking about is Levi Strauss, who haveve done a lot
ross_bernstein: of work with. You know they are. There’re a hundred and sixty year old
ross_bernstein: company that that literally invented blue jeans. They invented Denm because
ross_bernstein: the gold miners were ripping their pants, and to see how they’ve reinvented
ross_bernstein: themselves year after year and even the last couple of years with with with
ross_bernstein: global retail sales in the tank, they were up ten percent. It’s an iconic
ross_bernstein: brand that didn’t have the hubreist to say. Well, we’ve always done things
ross_bernstein: that way we invented jeanes. They just keep reinventing themselves and they
ross_bernstein: keep you know, they keep. uh, Just you know, whether it’s a a
ross_bernstein: women’s uh, Al line, or accessories or children’s or an online strategy.
ross_bernstein: Really, they, They even changed their whole brand to living, leave eyes
ross_bernstein: right. It’s and, and and getting influencers like Taylor Swift and Biancee
ross_bernstein: to to brag about them and creating these new mediums. So um, they’ve just,
ross_bernstein: they’ve just done things very differently and I I love studying great
ross_bernstein: companies that that are willing to to change things up and to really change.
ross_bernstein: And you know, I, I think for you and I, David. I mean it’s it’s always been
ross_bernstein: about change right, I mean,
ross_bernstein: when when you know people think of me in, you know my college buddies and
ross_bernstein: high school buddies think. Oh, when I see and they go, Ross. what are you
ross_bernstein: working on? What work you working on? That’s not my. That’s not my ideaal
ross_bernstein: anymore. Like that was my previous life, books. books, died, Borders is
ross_bernstein: gone, Beat Allton is gone. Walden Books is gone. Crown Books is gone, Barnes
ross_bernstein: Noble, recently acquired by a private equity group, whatever that means, but
ross_bernstein: I can assure you they’re selling more Carmel Mackados board games, Chat,
ross_bernstein: cheese, greeting cards and music than they do books. And now they’ve got
ross_bernstein: these hideous things called ebooks, Kendales, Nooks, They’re killing me. I
ross_bernstein: write twenty five dollar books, but the E version is seven bucks. I can’t
ross_bernstein: compete with that. I got to the same amount of work. I got a write and
ross_bernstein: edited market to publish it, promote it, but only make a fraction of the
ross_bernstein: profit. Is that fair? No, but that’s my reality, so I change. So books
ross_bernstein: became speeches. I’ve monetized my content Differently books became became
ross_bernstein: movies, done, some documentary projects. My hockey fighting book was turned
ross_bernstein: into a movie with an academy, a warwarding director, who to thunk books
ross_bernstein: became speeches. So now my book, wearing the C. If a client likes me, they
ross_bernstein: can bring it back for something else. So I’ve just cauht, you know, and and
ross_bernstein: for you and I, when covet hit weeat, we discovered this thing called ▁zoom.
ross_bernstein: Right. So it’s constantly the change, the evolution, So companies that
ross_bernstein: aren’t willing to do that Companies with huborist, To say Well, we own this
ross_bernstein: category As soon as something bad happens, they’re gone. So it it, it’s It’s
ross_bernstein: a fascinating concept to see who’s who’s the quickest to adapt early write a
ross_bernstein: lot of our colleagues as professional speakers. Um, didn’t want to adapt.
ross_bernstein: And and
ross_bernstein: they’re struggling. They’re suffering. They’re getting day jobs. So you know
ross_bernstein: that’s what I love about you horses that you’ve you know, you’ve you’ve
ross_bernstein: built this amazing brand. you’re constantly changing and adapting. I, you
ross_bernstein: know, Dave. For your listeners, David, that we, we’ve been friends for a
ross_bernstein: long time, and and I, you know you’re one of the guys that I, just we’ve.
ross_bernstein: You know, we were in a mastermind fifteen years ago and we were. You know,
ross_bernstein: we both started out near the bottom to see your medoric rise to how you’ve
ross_bernstein: built an incredible business. you know, ten, twelve, fifteen employees. at
ross_bernstein: your I bend your offices. They’re beautiful and the fact that you’ve built
ross_bernstein: this multi millionion dollar juggern
ross_bernstein: and you’ve got four beautiful kids and an amazing wife, and you’ve really
ross_bernstein: built a brand that’s true to your ideals and ideologies that are very
ross_bernstein: important to you. Your faith, your family, Um, you’ve just had incredible
ross_bernstein: success, David, and I’m so proud of you and I’m so proud to be your friend,
ross_bernstein: and you’re so generous. You’ve You’ve given so much to me so many referrals
ross_bernstein: and so much wisdom. And and uh, you’re just, you’re one of the guys who’s so
ross_bernstein: respected in our business. and youj I mean, fear listeners who don’t who
ross_bernstein: don’t know that about David. He’s just in a. A. He’s just an awesome human.
ross_bernstein: and uh you, you know you’re constantly changing and adapting and you know
ross_bernstein: whenever we talk it’s always. What are you doing what you know for? I?
david_horsager: We better cut this off where people are going to think I paid yourrself.
ross_bernstein: nah, well, it’s funny you. you know you’ve built this big big brand and
david_horsager: That’s up.
ross_bernstein: whenever we talk you always say man, I wish I was like you with nothing. you
ross_bernstein: know, I don’t have any employee.
david_horsager: No, I, I don’t say nothing.
ross_bernstein: I. this. this is my worldwide headquarters. There is my mom. Like to say, my
ross_bernstein: basement, right, this is. you’ve got this incr. You know you’re like. I wish
ross_bernstein: it was easy like you do, and I look at you and I go, man. I wish I had all
ross_bernstein: these fancy toys and all this stuff, but we’re both
david_horsager: Oh man.
ross_bernstein: doing it. It’s fun but that that’s the beauty business right.
ross_bernstein: There’s no one right way to do it.
david_horsager: what? what do you? What do you learn in these days? How are you staying? You
david_horsager: know you’re not when you’re writing books. You. I mean, it just makes you
david_horsager: stay fresh relevant Capable you? you’re You’re studying new people, your,
david_horsager: your um, interviewing people. you’re doing research. I mean I, and you know
david_horsager: that we’re into research here and do putting out this study every year. the
david_horsager: trust outlook, and you know, staying fresh. Always. What do you do yourself
david_horsager: to stay fresh these days? I? I, I mean, I know one of them is, you’re in a
david_horsager: lot of companies, so you just learned from that C. e. O. In that leader, Uh,
david_horsager: you travel a ton, boy, people could just travel. Uh, they learn a whole lot
david_horsager: as far as opening their eyes and minds, but there’ anything you’re doing
david_horsager: intentionally kind of stay kind of fresh and
ross_bernstein: well, I, I tell you, The the, The beauty for me with research is is that I
ross_bernstein: love it. I
ross_bernstein: watch games every day every day, get to watch and read and study all the
ross_bernstein: websites and watch all the games and obscure
ross_bernstein: things and coaches. and you go on, you know, and you hear their interviews
ross_bernstein: and you’re constantly learning. How did that coach make adjustments? Why did
ross_bernstein: that team win? What? What was the back story? You know, why? what was the
ross_bernstein: motivation? What? Oh, it came from a year ago when they disrespected them
ross_bernstein: and did that. And I loved studying the game within the game at at a higher
ross_bernstein: level. Right that? that’s what I love is when you? really, it’s like when
ross_bernstein: you watch a game with a broadcaster like a famous B. they’re They’re not
ross_bernstein: watching the game. They’re sing at a higher level. When I watch games with
ross_bernstein: professional athletes, you know and we’re I, I’m friends with lot of them.
ross_bernstein: Um to watch them watch the game. It’s just an experience in itself because
ross_bernstein: they see such different things.
ross_bernstein: So you know, I’m always trying to add new content. new material trying to.
ross_bernstein: and, but you know, big thing from my, my brand in my business is I try and
ross_bernstein: take things that aren’t your business and making their business. So one of
ross_bernstein: the new things for research that I’ve been doing, Um, that I’m sharing with
ross_bernstein: my clients Now when I’m speaking is, Um, I’m doing a whole vnette on hotels.
ross_bernstein: I work a lot in the hotel hospitality industry like you do. but I’m talking
ross_bernstein: about the whole new category of millenniial hotels. You know, Hotels looked
ross_bernstein: into their crystal ball and they said you know ten years ago. Like whoa, you
ross_bernstein: know, for our future customers, these Genzze Millennials, they like air, B
ross_bernstein: and B, So there’s a whole new category Big brands, Mariott, Moxy, Radison,
ross_bernstein: Red Hilton, True, Hyac, Centr, Kurio, The Graduate and I take people inside
ross_bernstein: and I talk about the buildings. It’s all about sustainability. recycled
ross_bernstein: building materials. Um, I talk about. you know, the, the, the geothermal
ross_bernstein: heat pumps and the solar and the wind power, and the ▁l g B Tq, hiring
ross_bernstein: component, and the water catchment programs. Things very important to young
ross_bernstein: people that they listen to and I walk them through every piece you know from
ross_bernstein: the you know. When you check in, there’s an I paad. there’s you know. And
ross_bernstein: and they send you room Ke, to your phone, and then about the techn logy, and
ross_bernstein: and how these places are wired up. And then you come into the lobby and it’s
ross_bernstein: about this shared experience. Right, one side is old school Seggeesis, Atari
ross_bernstein: ping pong Fos, ball, but the other side’s new school drone racing eports
ross_bernstein: social media and talk about the food. It’s all locally sourced organically
ross_bernstein: grown. The cows and pigs are treated very humanely. the uh, um, non deirary
ross_bernstein: vegan non g, m o meetless mate. Of course, you know it’s all part of what
ross_bernstein: young people want, but young people don’t have a lot of money, so there’s a
ross_bernstein: A. a grab and go section. Everything’s maybe a dollar. But then if you get
ross_bernstein: hungry later, you can text the robo butler. She’ll drive it up to your room.
ross_bernstein: It’s very, very instigramable. You can have to the roof where they’ve got.
ross_bernstein: You know an api further for honey, and they’ve got you know, Uh, young
ross_bernstein: people like food trucks, so they put a food truck on the roof. A. and then
ross_bernstein: I’m sure you brought your dog as young people and have children. They have
ross_bernstein: animals. They have a full service dog room service menu. So I talk about all
ross_bernstein: these things right, and the local music and and the spin and vinyl and the
ross_bernstein: artwork. It’s all local, but it’s about how they’re reinventing themselves,
ross_bernstein: And then I ask people, the hotel industry answered the bell. This isn’t the
ross_bernstein: future. They’ve looked into the crystal ball, and this is how they’re
ross_bernstein: dealing with it. But what are you doing? How is your business? How are your
ross_bernstein: listeners saying? How are people going to be buying mortgages and and
ross_bernstein: insurance, and and whatever wdget or gadget that you’re selling in five
ross_bernstein: years and ten years as these Genz progress and there become the into into
ross_bernstein: the middle management right, so,
ross_bernstein: I think we’re always researching and and doing things so. even though I’m in
ross_bernstein: sports, I’m always studying other industries and trying to relate that back.
david_horsager: And I’ve seen that in that you’ve always that every client you work for you
david_horsager: really research them to customize two them. right. So what about your?
ross_bernstein: I try. I, I like you. I try. it’s hard, but I try.
david_horsager: Yeah, what’s your business? Like, what about you? What about your? You know
david_horsager: you’, you’re doing a lot of speaking. We do. I, I tend to speak a lot out of
david_horsager: the institute. We do you all these other things, consulting and measuring,
david_horsager: but we made a major piff pivot in the bigger part of the company for us. as
david_horsager: far as the tech platform we built, and all that kind of stuff to serve
david_horsager: people. Well, what? what do you think? The future for you? You know, even
david_horsager: just like whether speaking or sharing your content, Anything different you
david_horsager: are going to be doing in five years.
ross_bernstein: well y well, you know it’s interesting because you know Um,
ross_bernstein: Dave and I in a in a, in a group of a organization we belong to called the
ross_bernstein: National speakers Association And we’re a. We’re a top producer group. And
ross_bernstein: and it’s interesting, ’cause this year in Las Vegas, I was asked to be a
ross_bernstein: presenter to talk about my business model because it’s so weird and you know
ross_bernstein: one thing I’m doing is I’m not doing a lot of the things like I’m
ross_bernstein: blazed or focused. I’ I’m a Knote speaker, So I do about a hundred and
ross_bernstein: twenty events per year, But like it’s funny, the guy who contrasted me, our
ross_bernstein: friend, Rural Workmanen, who
ross_bernstein: we both love. Um, I took, he took a picture of one of my slides and I said,
ross_bernstein: these are all the things I don’t do like I don’t consult. I don’t coach. I
ross_bernstein: don’t train the trainer. I don’t have an ▁l s learning management system. I
ross_bernstein: don’t I don’t have a list. I don’t do social media, I don’t have a weekly
ross_bernstein: video series. I don’t blog, I don’t loog, I don’t podcast, I don’t. I don’t
ross_bernstein: do any of that stuff, And Vrl took a picture and said and put it in his
ross_bernstein: program. He said these are all the things I do. so so you know there’s
ross_bernstein: there’s so many bright sparkling squirrel things we want to do, and
ross_bernstein: sometimes I think saying no to things and just focusing on what you’re
ross_bernstein: really good at is Uh, for me,
ross_bernstein: I guess that’s worked. I mean, certainly I pivoted to the point where I’ve I
ross_bernstein: created a an in home studio which I had to do during coved. but other than
ross_bernstein: that man, I’m just I’m grinding. I’m going and I’m I’m investing in in me
ross_bernstein: where I’m you know, going to N. S a events to learn and network? I, I have
ross_bernstein: mastermind groups. You know, my, my greatest mastermind might be with you
ross_bernstein: ’cause we don’t really have mass. I, We just call each other all the time
ross_bernstein: and we’re in our cars and we say. What do you do, a man? How’s it going?
ross_bernstein: What? how can I help you? What? what? What’s going on in your world? How’s
ross_bernstein: your family? And that’s what I love. Just kind of old school right, picking
ross_bernstein: up the phone and and just learning. And and I? So sometimes it’s just not
ross_bernstein: any huge thing. It’s just a bunch of little things.
david_horsager: well, let’s let’s take a quick pivot here to you. You know a lot of the
david_horsager: leaders, especially those that I respect on the platform are leading
david_horsager: themselves well in some way, none ofectly, but we actually care about
david_horsager: whether it’s faith, family or fitness. What are some things you’ doing to
david_horsager: lead yourself? While I know you just ran another marathon. How many
david_horsager: marathons is that?
ross_bernstein: and I haven’t
ross_bernstein: won any of them. I’ve come
david_horsager: you’re a loser.
ross_bernstein: right. I got the Te shirt.
david_horsager: you. you’re a loser of marathons.
ross_bernstein: I know.
david_horsager: So what? what? Uh? what? What do you do in daily? What kind of routines do
david_horsager: you have, whether it’s doing this research or health wise? I know your
david_horsager: marriage is important. To what? What are you doing? As Far as some
ross_bernstein: Yeah, thanks. no. I. I appreciate you reaching out. Um, you know, obviously
david_horsager: consistent things
ross_bernstein: running exercising trying to eat right, I know you, you know, got healthy,
ross_bernstein: really healthy several years ago and you’ve kept that weight off and you’ve
ross_bernstein: really made a commitment to yourself. And and it’s hard because you make
ross_bernstein: sacrifices right. and it’s hard because we’re on the road all the time and
ross_bernstein: we people aren’t going to pity us for our first world problems, as they say,
ross_bernstein: But it is hard you go from airplanes to hotels to conference rooms and it’s
ross_bernstein: just a. A. A. A
ross_bernstein: craziness of food and drinks and things, so you have to make a lot of tough
ross_bernstein: choices, So that’s nice. One thing is nice is you know, Sarah, my wife. Uh,
ross_bernstein: we travel together, so we’re on the road together, so we live on the road
ross_bernstein: two three weeks at a time and we love it. But so we try and hike and bike
ross_bernstein: and run and make conscious decisions to eat healthier, and we try and look
ross_bernstein: at stuff. Look, hey, what are we going to do? What’s our game plan right? So
ross_bernstein: you just doing that I think is important, but you know, like like
ross_bernstein: accountability. Just you’re making calls. You’re you’re trying to plan.
ross_bernstein: You’re trying to prepare. and Y, you’re not perfect. but you know it’s just
ross_bernstein: we’ve all got challenges. but I, I just try and grind away like you do. And
ross_bernstein: it’s hard we live in Minnesota, where you know we’re entering a really
ross_bernstein: difficult phase like it’s it come January, February, it’s hard to live in
ross_bernstein: Minnesota and be healthy. You’re on the treadmill. You’ not outside, you’re
ross_bernstein: It’s dark at four o’clock Y. you know you. it’s just it’s not
david_horsager: What do you?
ross_bernstein: an excuse. It’s just hard so you just got to make better choices.
ross_bernstein: an excuse. It’s just hard so you just got to make better choices.
david_horsager: How long have you been like? I remember when we ran together in San Diego
david_horsager: years ago, and and with in the same day you ran, we ran along the water. You
david_horsager: you you brought to your hotel room? I think a twelve pack of diet, uh,
david_horsager: Doctor pepper. You know to go with your run right so, but now you haven’t
david_horsager: had a diet Doctor pepper for three years. What do you? What do you?
ross_bernstein: Yeah, this is my new addiction. I, I
david_horsager: There? You go?
ross_bernstein: drink sparkling water right.
david_horsager: sparkling water with nothing in it. Any other habits like that that you’ve
david_horsager: broken or kept new. like I do this. I don’t drink a Doctor pepper. I do. I
david_horsager: say yes to this, and I say no to that. Anything kind of daily, especially on
david_horsager: you know, flights and traveling and you know,
ross_bernstein: It’s hard like you on flights. I’m I’m not a real big drinker, so that’s not
ross_bernstein: a real big issue for me, but I try. like my. My. My drink of choice on
ross_bernstein: flights is um,
ross_bernstein: sparkling water with some cranberry juice and a line, So that’s what I’ll
ross_bernstein: get like on at Sky lounges and and stuff. And what? In another thing you
ross_bernstein: know, when I get when I fly and I get to my destination. I’ll have the Uber
ross_bernstein: driver or whoever stop at a convenience store. I try to map it out so that I
ross_bernstein: can run in and grab some bananas or a twelve pack of sparkling water, so
ross_bernstein: that I’m not making poor choices. You know what I mean. It’s just it’s hard.
ross_bernstein: like all these trade shows. it’s like halleen, you walk. They got candy all
ross_bernstein: over and you know you just you want to just grab stuff. So it it’s hard and
ross_bernstein: I try and make. I try and schedule times to go run,
ross_bernstein: or, or you know, or go hiking or playing hockey and or or golfing. I mean,
ross_bernstein: I, I just try and do stuff, but it, I don’t know. how about you, Have you?
ross_bernstein: have you? have you made other
david_horsager: you know,
ross_bernstein: things like that?
david_horsager: I. I. I, you know, as you know, I never. I. I almost never didn drink a
david_horsager: clorie. I for six months I didn’t
david_horsager: drink a clorie. I never drink a clorie on the plane, Um, I, but I do you
david_horsager: know I, I’ll have a uh, some people might say that’s bad for you. It’s got a
david_horsager: spartan or aspirtin or whatever. In in fresco, I’ll have a fresco because it
david_horsager: does do my sweitet like my sweet tooth, but it has no calories so
david_horsager: but that was a big jump from Coke right back when I had would drink a a Coke
david_horsager: or die cookke.
ross_bernstein: I see, I don’t see you drink coffee. I don’t get any caffeine. People think
david_horsager: Yeah, it’s good. good Nu.
ross_bernstein: wired on caffeine, but the reality is I don’t get any caffeine at all, so
ross_bernstein: it’s it’s hard to sort of you know, but your body chemry.
david_horsager: I just read an actor. A. He was in the uh, Oh, who is it? Wall Street
david_horsager: Journal? Um, Last week, this actor had stopped caffeine seven years ago and
david_horsager: he just doesn’t regret it at all and it’s just a. It was a
david_horsager: a cool sort. Oh, everybody would know his name. but anyway, Um,
ross_bernstein: I mean my, my, too. my, too.
david_horsager: so there there there. I also work out. I work out better on the road than I
david_horsager: do at home,
ross_bernstein: Oh, that’s good.
david_horsager: so I do not by habit. One thing I’d really try to do. I, I’m not in my hotel
david_horsager: room. I, I use it as a place to sleep so I’m either working with clients,
ross_bernstein: Yeah, that’smart
david_horsager: orcause. I think you just got a bed. That. what do you get? You know? You
david_horsager: Kind of so and I don’t watch T. V as a habit. I don’t you know C. Somebody
david_horsager: sing. So I, basically, if I, i, um, uh, you know, not watching T. V and
david_horsager: napping the hotel room that that ups. So I’m either doing a client thing or
david_horsager: working out.
ross_bernstein: Yeah, that’s great.
david_horsager: so I’ll do. I’ll go work. I’ll have some of my longest workouts now. Usually
david_horsager: like you, I’m in and out in and out. Sometimes I might be in the library or
david_horsager: a library, just with Phil Jones out in New York and the hotel at an amazing
david_horsager: library. I just love that so inspiring, so I stopp. I worked there for a few
ross_bernstein: I. I saw Phil was going to be speaking at your big, uh, trust
ross_bernstein: Edge Leadership conference, and uh, I was out a couple months ago And and
ross_bernstein: Sara and I took Phil and his wife out to lunch. We had a picnic in Central
ross_bernstein: Park and
david_horsager: Yeah, oh, wow.
ross_bernstein: uh, she said, So he’s a. He’s a rocker and that guy’s like twelve years old.
ross_bernstein: It’s unbelievable what that guy’s doing.
david_horsager: I. I. we’re going to give him this episode to put. Tell it show his kids
david_horsager: right, Uh, no, he’s he. He’s great. so he’s a M. One of my international
david_horsager: contingencies being from the U. K. right, so
david_horsager: um, anyway, No, it’s pretty fun. We get the Sen sent, a majority leader from
david_horsager: the Republic of Kenya, come and, and we got some really really great folks
ross_bernstein: Wow, that’s cool. Youus to seeing out that’s grown is mind bodling Kudo’s
david_horsager: coming to the trusted leader’s summit.
ross_bernstein: brother. That’s amazing.
david_horsager: Y, let everybody know I’m going to put a plug right now. Trust the Leaders
david_horsager: summit Dot Com. It’s
david_horsager: going to be an amazing leadership summit if you care about driving high
david_horsager: performance with trust,
david_horsager: Be there anyway. So
ross_bernstein: and I’m going to throw this in. I believe Dave. you’ll be giving everyone
ross_bernstein: who attends a cannedhm or an assortment of candhms, as as an added bonus
ross_bernstein: gift. Just sit it right now. Make it real.
david_horsager: right there, along with their test, my team months that said, Let’s give
david_horsager: away a test, love or something, but I don’t know. anyway. Uh, just because
david_horsager: it starts with tea like trust, but let’s boy. this is this. This one has
david_horsager: gone all over the grid, so
david_horsager: let’s uh. Any favorite advice you would give before I? I leave with the with
david_horsager: my favorite question of all
ross_bernstein: you know I, I’m not a big wisdom guy. Just you know, work hard, treat people
ross_bernstein: right and good things happen. I’m a believer in karma right. Just
ross_bernstein: don’t charge for stuff. Give it away, and I believe if if you do good in the
ross_bernstein: world, it’s going to come back to you. I really believe in that
david_horsager: On that note, Have Ross, He’ll do it all for free. free, free free. He just
david_horsager: set it here.
david_horsager: Hey, uh, where can we find out about Ross Bernstein Ross Bernstein Dot com.
david_horsager: Where’s the number one place to find out about you?
ross_bernstein: you just said it. I’m not shilling anything. I’m not hawking anything. I’m
ross_bernstein: not a social media guy. I just hey, I’m I’m un linkn, So if you want a
ross_bernstein: Linkol Linkol, and let’s linol linoln, that’s good.
david_horsager: Okay and Ross Bernstein Dot com, And you’ll find out about his speaking in
david_horsager: books and and all the other things he does?
david_horsager: Hey, this is better treat Ross. Thanks so much for being out here. It’s the
david_horsager: trust the Leader show. As you know, Last question, Who is a leader you trust
david_horsager: And why?
ross_bernstein: Uh, well, I’m going to go back to Uh, one of my heroes, her, Brooks, Uh,
ross_bernstein: I’m the president of the Herboks foundation. Yeah, I’ve written a couple of
ross_bernstein: books about Herbiy and he was just a real hero. mentor, min. I him as a ten
ross_bernstein: year old kidid his hockey camp in nineteen eighty, after watching the
ross_bernstein: Miracle Ice, where I won the most improved award for the guy who sucks the
ross_bernstein: but we became friends later in life and he asked me to write his book and I
ross_bernstein: got to work on it with him and was golfing within the morning. He was killed
ross_bernstein: in the car accident, so it’s a big honor for me to be able to uh, keep his
ross_bernstein: legacy alive and share his story, But uh, I really trusted her Be he was a a
ross_bernstein: hero, a mentor. Um, and I think you know her her. It’s interesting her. Herb
ross_bernstein: surrounded himself with people that he felt were smarter than him, and uh,
ross_bernstein: he, he, he, uh, he. just, really, If if he wanted to learn something, he
ross_bernstein: would just surround himself the people that he had admired and respected and
ross_bernstein: he would learn. And as famous as a guy he was, he just was constantly
ross_bernstein: learning and and changing and adapting, And and I could go on and on about
ross_bernstein: herbiy, But he was the guy I really looked up to and I’m feeling very proud
ross_bernstein: to keep his legacy alive through our charitable foundation where we’ve
ross_bernstein: raised millions to help kids. and and uh, that’s that’s uh, something I’m
ross_bernstein: very proud of,
david_horsager: awesome Her Brooks. One of his books right here that Ross wrote, America’s
david_horsager: Coach has showed it in the camera, But if you’re just listening, it’s called
david_horsager: America’s Coach by Ross Bernstein, and forwards from some of the folks on
david_horsager: the Miracle Miranized team Nineteen Eighty Gold medal team, So Ross, it has
david_horsager: been a treat. This has been the trust leaders Show everybody until next
david_horsager: time. Stay trusted.