Unlock the key to achieving the desired results in your life by delving into the profound concept of integrity and its far-reaching impact. Join Brett Gilliland and John Blumberg in this engaging podcast episode as John sheds light on essential aspects of his book, “The Return on Integrity: How Honesty and Values Create Success from the Ground Up.” Gain insights into the reasons behind silence in the face of workplace misconduct and discover how breaking this silence can bring about positive change, even in uncomfortable situations. Tune in to explore the transformative power of integrity for personal and professional success.


John Blumberg: [00:00:00] The circuit of success podcast, the circuit of success podcast with your host, Brett.

Brett Gilliland: Welcome to the circuit of success. I’m your host, Brett Gilliland. And today we have in the office or the studio, as we like to call it is John Blumberg. John, welcome to the show, Brett. Great to be here with you. It’s exciting. And, uh, really one, I appreciate you even doing this in, uh, in person. I know you, uh, drove down from Chicago to spend some time with us.

Uh, for those of you, uh, my, my good friend over here, you can’t see him on the, on the camera, from KPMG, Andrew Davidson, and, uh, so appreciate the introduction, Andrew, and, uh, we’re gonna have a, a great show, um, today, John is an author, he’s a speaker, he’s a husband, he’s a father, he’s a Christian, he’s, he’s all sorts of stuff, so it’s gonna be fun, so, as we do with everybody, John, why don’t you just take our listeners through a little, a journey of your life, if you will, and, and tell us what’s helped make you the man you are today.

Yeah, I

John Blumberg: think it, [00:01:00] and you, I think you name it well, in that it is a journey, and I think at any moment, uh, that you think you’ve arrived, or that you think, okay, I’ve got this all figured out, that’s where you’re back to, uh, ground zero, uh, and I, uh, I, I just watched the evolution. I spent 18 years at Arthur Anderson, uh, actually started as a CPA in audit.

And, uh, I always say shifted my focus from numbers to people and, uh, spent the bulk of my time, uh, there actually working on, uh, the human development of our professionals and, and, uh, spent a lot of time eventually helping, uh, direct our recruiting worldwide. And through that process, uh, there was a lot. Um, that I learned about myself is that I helped others learn about themselves.

And I think over time, um, I just thought if you could help others be better at what they do. And it really culminated, I was, uh, in a firm wide role and we did these student leadership conferences. And there was a guy Uh, it was a student, uh, that came up to me at the end of the presentation. It was a, [00:02:00] a three day thing.

I had a Saturday night, uh, keynote that I did in my role, and it was called Getting a Vision for Your Life. And, um, people would always come up and say, John, I like your stories. Uh, but this guy, Sam, walked up, and he said, um, and he was the last guy in line, and you always pay attention to the last one, right, because they don’t want anybody behind them, right?

And he said, Mr. Blumberg, uh, what you shared tonight I think will change the direction of my life. And what’s ironic about that is I wish I knew Sam’s last name because I would go find him because a year later him coming up to me that night changed the direction of my life. Um, walking away, uh, from pretty much everything, a firm, a position, everything that was wonderful was a stumbling block that I had to let go of.

And I’ve learned a lot about letting go, uh, in the years to follow, but it began this journey of, um, Eventually leadership and then eventually, uh, uh, core values. And of course, you can’t go out and be speaking on something that you’re not continually growing on. So, and

Brett Gilliland: would you say that was a passion of yours when you [00:03:00] were a child?

I mean, were you pretty focused on people and growing and reading books and doing all those things? Or is it something that as you climbed as you’re in your career that that

John Blumberg: happened? Yeah, I think, um, I think. People that knew me back then would always say that friends, um, relationships were always, uh, critical to me.

It was kind of funny, uh, even though I had majored in accounting. I always had this thing when I went out to do an audit at a client, um, and it was a time where I would say the clients aren’t quite as sophisticated as they are today, and they were a little bit terrified when we came in. And my goal, literally, intentionally, was that when we left, they would be sorry to see us go.

And so I think there’s, uh, elements of, um, you know, relationship there, uh, connection, uh, that was, I think, probably always, uh, important to me. I would have never in my younger years seen it play out the way that it’s played out, but it’s kind of that lamp into your feet thing, right? So let’s talk

Brett Gilliland: about that to, to what Sam said to you is get a vision [00:04:00] for your life.

Why, why do you think that’s so important?

John Blumberg: Well, I think, um, I think first of all, there’s a bit of a paradox at play because I, I think that it’s important to, uh, to look inside and begin to understand who you are, um, and then where do you want that person to go at the same time, the paradox is, I think you also have to hold it lightly is that you yes, have to have that vision and play of what you think you’re trying to either accomplish or who you’re trying to become, but along the way, know that every day if you choose is going to teach you a lesson that may very well change the course and that the original vision may have nothing to do with what the ultimate vision will play out to be.

And that’s

Brett Gilliland: what we talked about on the circuit of success. And you can see it behind this is once you have the attitude and you have those beliefs and you do the actions, you ultimately get results, but that’s going to create a new vision. Yes. Right. That’s exactly, I think that’s, what’s important about that circuit of success is.

As we travel down the [00:05:00] road of success and as we climb the ladder, do whatever we need to do in our lives. I mean, it’s constantly, in my opinion, working on that vision and thinking about that vision because What was a goal and a dream 10 years ago probably isn’t the same goal and dream today.

John Blumberg: Yeah, in fact, you would hope it wouldn’t be, right?

Uh, if you, if it is, then you probably haven’t truly grown, uh, in the process. So let’s talk about

Brett Gilliland: your book, R. O. I. Hmm. Everybody always, everybody knows what R. O. I. is, right? Of course they do. But you decided to change the I, so walk us through that. Why? And I love the name of the book. It was a great book.

For those of you that do or don’t follow me on social media, it’s one of those books that I was highlighting, uh, last month. And it was a phenomenal book and that’s why we’re sitting here today. So talk to us about ROI. Obviously, we think of return on investment, but you

John Blumberg: changed that. Yeah. And first of all, Brett, thanks for diving into it and, uh, and also having me today.

Uh, so I began looking at this whole issue. I had been working for a long time on, uh, the importance. And this was part of my own evolution from leadership to what really [00:06:00] fuels leadership. Um, and my focus became, uh, laser on the idea of core values. And so as I began to understand that I was only on the surface of what this was about, um, I, I started what I thought was going to be a one year journey to write this book.

And it turned out, it turned out to be a four year journey. Uh, and part of it was because I, I, I began to understand as you started digging into this, it’s so much deeper. I was really feeling like if the leader at the top, the, the CEO, or whatever the name of that leader at the top is, if they’re not all bought in, um, this isn’t going to go anywhere.

And I knew that the leader at the top thought about ROI a lot, of return on investment, um, but this is what, this was not what I was focused on. I wanted to literally reframe the first thing they talked about when they talked about ROI, and therefore the name of the book became, uh, Return on Integrity.

And, uh, it has been quite a journey that Absolutely continues. In fact, there’s [00:07:00] been so much that’s come from it of my own growth of being challenged by great questions, great insights, but also understanding this is much harder than I thought it would be for individuals. And I’m talking about good individuals with lots of substance.

And it takes a lot longer, uh, to dig to the level that I’m talking about on what their core values are and that would define that integrity. And I’m excited

Brett Gilliland: too to dig in because I, I came up with my, I did the role play or the exercise, right? And I always hope people do that. When you see an author, when they’re that committed to telling you to put their own book down and do the homework, I’m like.

I got to do the homework, right? Because he’s telling me to put his own book down, but anyway, so I did it and then I doing my research for today. I found that one of the words I use, which will save for later. You say is actually not a core value. So I’m excited to jump into that. So let’s talk about you have.

The other book, Silent Alarm, which I got phenomenal, um, that’s a novel. This one is not [00:08:00] a novel. Right. Why is that?

John Blumberg: Yeah. And it’s, it, I got a lot of push as I was beginning to write it. John, who is the organization that is doing this? And you need to showcase one or two organizations that have done this.

And I said, you know, this is the challenge when you’re trying to chart new ground. Um, I felt like I probably could go out and find some that look like they were doing it, but the truth was, um, I knew they weren’t. Right. And that That somehow did not hold integrity. And so I had to go with this idea that, and I come very directly at it in the beginning of the book, and I said, anybody that’s seen my speaking, anybody that, um, has read Silent Alarm knows my love of story.

But this is not a story book. In fact, it is not for leaders that are looking for those stories. I, I, I say those are followers and leadership positions. What this book is about is equipping a leader to create the story. And my hope was, is that in, in going through, and it was designed to be the scalability of the [00:09:00] message, is that they would be able to take, take it and actually create amazing stories about how they, Also, we’re on the surface of where they thought they were, they thought they were at the bottom of the well, um, that they really had dug as deep as they could and realize there were only 1 percent in and they create an amazing story.

And then we’re beginning to see some organizations make some headway, but this is not a short term thing, right? And, and we’re a short term, um, mindset. Yeah. And I think it’s one of those

Brett Gilliland: books you really need to dive into. So if you’re like me and you have the attention span to maybe read about 10 pages a day, right?

Yeah, which is it’s a good habit to be in. But it also allowed me to slow down enough to really think about it. And we’re going to talk about one of the quotes later that I know Andrew and myself really connected with in the book. But, um, you know, so when you think about that stuff, you talk about the three D’s, right?

You talk about dilemma, you talk about definition and you talk about destiny. Right. So let’s spend some time on, on the dilemma part. You, you had your CEO sampling. Yeah. Tell us about [00:10:00] the CEO sampling and what did you learn from that?

John Blumberg: Yeah. So my publisher was making a big push saying, John, you got to get to a solution.

Uh, you cannot, uh, spend a third of the book, um, on the problem. And so I, my gut said that if you get a top leader starting to think solution, they are going to absolutely blind out what the real problem is and and there no way are they going to be able to dig deep enough unless they Really have investigated the problem.

So I decided to go out and ask leaders at the top Um, I want to I really want to dive into Why is it so hard to know and to live core values in the world that we live in today in the pressures that are on business? Because I didn’t want people to think, well, he’s out kind of in la la land on his no clue what day to day life is.

I clearly understood that, but I was also shooting pretty high to what I thought we could get to or digging pretty deep on what I thought we could get to. And so I said, would you be [00:11:00] able? Would you be willing to sustain a fair amount of time to really understand the issue at hand before you ever got to the solution?

And 100 percent of them said, John, the moment you start talking solution, I quit thinking of the problem. And I need, I think you’re right. I need to understand the context much broader and deeper than I’ve ever given the thought to it. Yeah. And that’s where the evolution of dilemma, um, you know, played

Brett Gilliland: out.

Yes, I think as leaders, right, we’re fixers. And so we don’t want to be on the problem. We want to, even at home, right? You can get into a discussion with your wife and it’s like, here’s how you’re going to fix it. They’re just like, no, be quiet. I want you to listen. Yes. Right. And so that’s what I found in the book is all the time.

You got to slow down to speed up. Yes. Is to really define what those core values are. My business partner, Tim Hammett is phenomenal. He talks about his respect. Trust and humility. Every meeting we’re in, I can see it coming from a mile away. I know what he’s going to talk about, but that’s just to his core, how important it is for all relationships.

So all of us leaders, I think we need [00:12:00] to go through the exercise. And the way I did it was I wrote down as many words as I could think of that were, could be a value. Yeah. And I came up with mine and it was, um, it, I love the word grit. And so mine came out to grit. It was growth. It was respect. I for integrity, which you say is not a core value, right?

We’ll get to that. And trust. Yes. So we’re going to get to that. But for me, then that allowed it to become something that, okay, grit, I got to work hard. I got to be a leader that’s getting up every day and doing my deal. And so, so we’ll get to that stuff, but I think it was important. But what’s that one dilemma that you think stood out the

John Blumberg: most to you?

Yeah. So I, I think one of the critical dilemmas is, um, it’s the assumption that we think we got this. Um, in fact, I think. I actually believed when I started this journey that 95 percent of professionals and I’ll put it in the professionals world Actually knew their core values and I couldn’t have been more wrong.

Actually, the percentage was correct. Unfortunately, it was just the [00:13:00] opposite And and I get a lot of pushback on this Brett because people will say well I’m a values based person and I’ll say that’s great. But some of the worst Uh, most evil leaders in the world were value based. It’s just a matter of which values of specifics matter.

Uh, or people would say, well, John, I got a gut feel or and I got an intuition of what my core is. And I said, that’s awesome too. And I, I don’t have the research to prove this, but I believe that probably 30 years ago that that would have worked and that I think a lot of people operated that way. Um, but today the biggest difference is the speed at which we move and the change at which we face and the disruption that’s at play.

And I, I guess the way I’ve most recently, um, framed this is that the faster we go, the deeper you have to be grounded. And it, I think it’s a critical, not only leadership skill, I think it’s a critical survival skill, whether we’re talking organizations or more importantly, individuals. And I think he

Brett Gilliland: would, uh, agree with this.

And I think Andrew probably would too for what he does every day. I [00:14:00] think in the next 5 or 10 years, it’s going to be the only thing

John Blumberg: that separates businesses. Yes. I think that’s exactly right. In fact, there was a recent survey where integrity for the first time is the number one choice in choosing a professional services firm.

And uh, it was the first time, I don’t know if it’s been on the list before, it might have been lower on the list, but uh, now it’s the number one and, and I think we’re hungry for it. I think we’re in a world where, um, You know, we’ve, I don’t know, there’s been so much on brand and on the veneer, uh, that people begin, I think unknowingly to buy in that that’s enough and it’s never enough for, again, going back to the lifetime

Brett Gilliland: journey.

And that veneer you’re talking about too is, it is, it’s what it looks like on the surface of the table, right? I know you talk about that in your book. Yes. It’s getting deeper and truly understanding what you

John Blumberg: are. Yeah. And I think the, and if you assume you’ve already got this, you’re never going to go below the surface and you’ll never realize that I don’t know what I don’t know.

And so I, when I think of integrity, I think it’s a much, [00:15:00] um, this is. I want people to think about it in a much more challenging way, um, a much deeper way and I think hopefully in a much more adventurous way than they’ve ever come close to giving it credit. So

Brett Gilliland: let’s talk about the destiny part of the book.

I know you almost didn’t include it in the book and you actually call it the destiny roadmap. Yeah.

John Blumberg: Tell us more. I, I just felt, okay, I’ve got to somehow give some direction to this, uh, because we go from dilemma and then we go to the definition of figuring out what this is, the biggest deep dive. Okay, so what do I do with this?

And again, I’m talking to leaders at the top and the, the conventional wisdom was you got to give them some help. My biggest fear was, is that they would say, okay, let’s just cookbook this thing. Uh, there’s gotta be a solution that is universal and it’s just not. Right. And so what I ended up doing is trying to create this roadmap that I trusted that if you had been through the dilemma and the definition part of the book, Your [00:16:00] mindset would be in such a way that you would never read this as a cookbook.

In fact, you would just use it as a framework to stimulate your own creative thinking. And so the risk of what I feared, uh, would go away. Um, I, in fact, so much was afraid of it that at the beginning of the book, I said, You could jump to the third section and have a road map, um, but do it at great risk. Um, because you’re not ready, uh, to do this and you can’t lead it if you haven’t lived it.


Brett Gilliland: Yeah, I think calling us out on that, it made me read the first two parts. I’m like, Oh gosh, he knows my type, right? He knows I’m going to jump to the end and see how to probably didn’t. You know, I knew you right now that you’re reading minds through your book. So, um. Um, so when I did do your homework, I’m, I’m curious to find this out.

So I said mine was grit and the I was integrity, right? Why is that not a core value? Yeah. Why am I wrong?

John Blumberg: Yeah. And I get, I’ve had some people on the surface looking, so are you kidding? It’s like on the list of most, uh, every organization, a good buddy of mine, I said, it’s our [00:17:00] number one value. Um, yeah.

Here’s the thing, and I, I, this, probably the seed was planted a long time ago with Warren Bennis, who I always say is the grandfather of leadership books, was a professor at the University of Southern California, and he said, um, that honesty is when somebody asks you the question, you tell them the truth, and integrity is that you do what you said you’re going to do, and if you really think about that, um, that integrity is not itself a value, it is the fabric of leadership.

of every value. It is literally what makes values, um, valuable. Now, I absolutely have no problem with somebody having integrity on the list because I think it’s a great reminder. Um, and when I frame out, there were probably three words for me, Brett, when, and you can look up a lot of definitions and you go around and ask a lot of people what integrity means.

Um, there are three words that really played out for me and one is, um, whole, um, undiminished, And, um, and the idea that it’s [00:18:00] integrated. And so if you really think about it, um, if we think of our values, the risk can come out to be that we think of them individually. Imagine what your grit is like when they’re playing off of each other, and sometimes may very well be in conflict with each other, or be challenging each other.

So the integrity is not only about, um, this whole idea of, of, of whole and undiminished, But it’s also the idea. Is it all connected? It is. It all worked together. And when it does, then you ultimately have, um, integrity. Yeah,

Brett Gilliland: because yeah, so you could just peel that onion layer back more. So go to my G, which is growth, right?

I believe. To my core that if you’re not growing you’re dying, right? And so if you’re not working on yourself mentally physically spiritually emotionally, you know all things we talked about lunch today Matthew Kelly helped me with yes is if you have those things If you don’t do them with integrity, then it doesn’t matter.

Yes, right That’s great your intentions and your motives as Tim my partner always talks about right if they’re not [00:19:00] In the right intention, the right motive or have integrity than the growth doesn’t matter. That’s correct. In

John Blumberg: fact, it’s a perfect example, Brett, because if you, um, we’ve seen a lot of people grow exponentially, um, but did not have integrity and, and so growth of its own, um, It’s the neutral thing that can be amazing or it can be very dangerous.

But when you combine growth in the context of everything else that you have, you get a different kind of growth.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah, that’s a great perspective because growth for the sake of growth doesn’t matter. Right. Um, so let’s talk about one of my circuits there, um, belief. And I read somewhere that you talked about why it’s so important for your belief.

To be in line with what you do for a living. Hmm. What’d you mean by that when you said that? Yeah. Yeah.

John Blumberg: So, uh, if, well again, it goes back to, um, if, if it’s not, then there’s a, you’re not integrated. Uh, there’s a dis, in fact, you are [00:20:00] disintegrating, in fact, at some point. It’s just a matter, uh, of time. Uh, I do try to distinguish between, uh, what our beliefs are.

Um, and what our values are, uh, because sometimes our beliefs actually can get in the way of our values are discovering our values because we get very black and white sometime and it has a lot more to do with ego, uh, than it does to. And again, I tried to distinguish between, um, this is not about what you value.

It’s about what are your values? Um, and And in the book, you probably saw where I tried to distinguish between behaviors, wants and needs and values, and oftentimes our beliefs are hung up in our wants and needs, and that can cause a lot of division and oftentimes can cause you to go against your core values.

But if you, if you’ve had your values in place and they inform how your beliefs come alive, and then those are in line with what you do and the relationships that [00:21:00] you develop, uh, then that’s where the integration begins to come into play.

Brett Gilliland: And I think too, the, when you think about it from a team standpoint, so let’s look at it from a business, I look at, you know, whether it’s our, all of our advisors, our leadership team, whatever it may be, our clients.

Is you talk about the 3 percent usually becomes the 100 percent and I love that part too, because you’re right. I mean, the littlest argument could be like, you know, you pick that piece of trash up over there and it turns into a fight because it’s not the, the 97%, right? It’s that little. thing that bothers you that turns into the 100%.

So talk about that. Expand on that.

John Blumberg: Yeah. And I think this is why it’s a day to day thing. Uh, it’s, it’s a noticing the 3 percent before it becomes the 100%, right? Right. And, and I think it’s a daily review. Uh, once you define what your values are, and I tried to distinguish between knowing them, meaning, can I list them and that’s true, whether it’s your personal values or organizational values, or do I actually know them?

So when you tell me, for [00:22:00] instance, that growth is one of your values, you so much understand that so much more than I can understand it by knowing the word growth, that that is a label that that is of a great understanding to you, right? So as you get to truly know the value. And, and I would say by the daily reviews, how you get to know it, you have circumstances all of the time that are teaching you what growth means in your world and how it shows up.

And so that’s why I think it’s a day to day practice to every, I call it the PMAM. The PM is your personal values that you every night, as you put your head on your pillow, or if you go to sleep in two seconds, like I do sit on the edge of your bed, but you go down the mental list of your core values and you review your day.

And where did they show up? Where was the piece of paper I either picked up or I didn’t pick up, right? First of all, I would say you celebrate your values. Um, instead of trying to figure out where it didn’t go well, let’s celebrate where they did go well because we learned from that. The second is then to go back and look across your day and, and, and [00:23:00] figure out, if I’d only let that value show up, it would have made a difference.

Not to beat yourself up, just to notice. And then the third is to go back across the video of your day and you, you look at that and say, where did I violate a value today? And we all, we always do it. It’s, it’s hopefully just at a half a percent. But we do it, but we notice it again, not to beat yourself up.

Um, but it, again, it teaches us and it re engages us to be able to be better tomorrow. The AM is the same thing, except it’s forecasting and the A is all, uh, the organizational values. But it’s, I think it’s a daily thing that we get to know this and we become better at it, uh, through that

Brett Gilliland: process. And I’m big on visualization too.

So when, when you said the video of your day that really connected with me, because I mean, I’m picturing myself in my bedroom and I’m thinking about the day. And where could I have done better? Right? That’s all you’re talking about. So how important is visualization that am You know, one of my questions for you today is, you know, what are the habits, what are the rituals of, of the best, [00:24:00] right?

You’ve seen some of the best leaders, you know, really in, in probably in the world, but in America, leading some of these best companies. What are you finding their habits and rituals are that they do every day without miss to make them great?

John Blumberg: Yeah, I think one of the great, um, works that’s been done in the last year, um, she kind of came out of nowhere, uh, to be a rock star in the area of vulnerability.

And that’s, uh, Brene Brown. And, and I think this idea, um, and what Rene so beautifully talks about is vulnerability comes from a place of strength, not a place of weakness. And what I have found is leaders that I’ve seen that are willing to be vulnerable are always strong leaders. And so, I think the best practice on it is, are you willing to be vulnerable with the one that’s hardest to be vulnerable with?

And that’s yourself? Am I willing to see the truth? Because that’s what we’re really after is we’re willing to dig or we’re, we’re, we’re wanting to dig to what is the truth. Ultimately, the truth and to not have [00:25:00] any fear of what that truth is. And in doing so, I think we’ve become better and better at being able to see the truth, um, literally in the smallest.

And I love your analogy of the piece of paper. It’s a great metaphor. I see it in the smallest way because oftentimes it’s the smallest thing that can teach us the biggest lesson.

Brett Gilliland: That’s great. That does. And so vulnerability comes from a place of strength and not weakness. And I love that. Um, because I think as leaders, and women are this way too, I’m sure, but especially for men, right, we don’t want to admit, we don’t want to be vulnerable all the time.


John Blumberg: Right? I think that’s exactly right. Women, I think, um, and I hate to generalize at all on this because there are certainly exceptions to every rule. Um, but. I, I think this process out of the starting gate, um, will be easier for women, uh, than it will be for men because they’re, they just call it for what it is.

Um, and, and men oftentimes, uh, can have that protection mechanism. It’s not intended. It’s, it’s not a, uh, [00:26:00] it’s not a thing. fault. It’s just something they have to work through. In the end, I think men and women are both absolutely capable as human beings to exactly where I think they are able to get to.

Brett Gilliland: So I’m gonna read you my favorite quote from the book.

Okay. You think you know what it is? Without looking. You want me to guess? Yeah, I

John Blumberg: do. Is it about

Brett Gilliland: the drift? It is. Okay, let’s talk about that. All right. So it’s about the drift. So it says in the book, we don’t go running away from our values. We go drifting away. And one day we wake up in a place we never meant to be, drifting in a direction we never would have chosen.

phenomenal, phenomenal. And, uh, so talk to me about

John Blumberg: that. Yeah. Um, uh, you know, it’s interesting. Uh, I was sitting in a Starbucks in Naperville, Illinois. I initially thought authors went to chalets in the mountains, which by the way, I went away to Virginia to write a return on integrity. So I got part there.

Um, But I was sitting there, and I wrote that, and I had no idea, Brett, [00:27:00] that so many people, it is the number one call out of the whole book, uh, I’d say 99 percent of the time, uh, and I should have known, um, because of my own life, because I, I think the reason we relate to it is because we’ve all experienced it, right, and I, I think our willingness to admit that’s the issue, um, um, I was speaking at the University of Alabama and a woman came up to me after a keynote and she said, we’ve been talking about drift and we’ve been talking about core values.

And she said, John, it kind of dawns on me. How do you know that you ever left if you didn’t know where you were to begin with? And it was just like gold, right? Because if you assume, you know, your core values. We’re all going to drift, even if you, with your grit, you’re still going to drift, um, but you’re going to catch it, and that’s the whole thing, is can you catch your drift, or have drift catchers in your life that you give permission to, because [00:28:00] we all are going to do that.

I was speaking to an eighth grade boys class, uh, about three years ago, I was actually doing a favor for a friend, and I, I don’t have stage fright, I, I think it’s a miswiring. Right. Um, but I was terrified talking to these eighth grade boys about you never know what’s coming. You never know what’s coming.

And, and the guy at the end of the session, they were doing a little Q and a, and he said, Mr. Blumberg, do you think other people see you drifting before you do? And I just looked and I said, Joe, I think, you know, the answer to that question. And he said, I know. Yeah. And I said, that’s why you need drift guards.

Um, you’re your own drift guard with the PM and AM, uh, but you’re also sending people on your live to say, if you ever see me drifting, and by the way, they need to be people who love you enough to tell you the truth and you love them enough to accept the truth when you don’t like what they’re saying. Um, but in effect, um, it keeps the drift in, in check.

Yep. And there’s nothing wrong with it. In fact, sometimes a bit of a drift can teach us something very powerful about what we know about our [00:29:00] core values. Um, but they also, uh, unchecked, um, will lead to everything that we see in the news, um, and certainly that we see in our lives of people that, um, unfortunately, and it’s heartbreaking.

It’s absolutely heartbreaking because these are not bad people. These are good people that have drifted. Right.

Brett Gilliland: I get the name of your next book. I’m called the drift, the draft. I like it. Let’s just go with that. Let’s go. Right. The next book is

John Blumberg: I can see it now.

Brett Gilliland: I can see it as well. So, and let’s talk about that for a second.

Cause you talked about the, the drift, uh, would you call them drift catchers or catchers? And so I asked this to people a lot in, when we’re in meetings and you know, I always ask for permission to challenge you or whatever it may be to hold you accountable because we love you, right? We love that person we’re in front of.

And I’ll ask you this, who’s the person in your life that has challenged you the

John Blumberg: most? Yeah, it’s a good buddy of mine. I guess they’re probably, uh, two. Uh, one’s a guy named Al. Uh, he’s in Chicago. And another, um, named [00:30:00] Sean. Uh, he’s in Vegas. And they’re two very different people. Uh, two different, very, uh, different stages of life.

Mm hmm. And they would be the one to call me out. Uh, they’re the ones, we have those conversations that, um, um, Oftentimes, you can only have with a, uh, with a drift catcher or a drift guard. Um, there was, there was something I learned. This is another guy that I would put in that list, a guy named Dave. We were having lunch one day, and we had had a robust conversation, and we were just getting ready to leave, maybe five minutes before leaving, and Dave looked at me and said, Man, we’ve covered a lot of ground today.

What’s the 5 percent that we didn’t talk about? Hmm. And it was a powerful, powerful question, uh, and he wasn’t like, what are you holding back on? He said, what are you not seeing that you need to put on the table? And I think, um, we all need people like that, um, in our lives. And we need to be that for people.

We need to be willing to, um, dive into the kind of relationships that I believe. [00:31:00] Um, that I think we’re called to have, um, and we’re not called to have a bunch of those, uh, but we are called to have, uh, a critical few of those.

Brett Gilliland: So I can’t remember who it was, but somebody I was talking to talked about who’s your 2 a.

m. club that no matter what, right, you could call that person at 2 a. m. without asking questions, right? They’re coming to get you. They’re coming to get you. Right. They’re coming to get you. And there’s not a lot of those friends. That list is small, but I think it’s important. And for our leadership team, we gave each other permission to be that drift catcher.

If you see me as a, the CEO of a company or we, you know, we see our, our COO or whoever it may be, we have to be, you know, love each other enough to be able to, to call you on that and know that it’s out of, out of respect. It’s out of, we care for you. We care for the, for the people at a whole.

John Blumberg: So that’s huge.

And I think it takes courage to be that. you know, for others. Um, it’s, it’s easier to, uh, not call people out. Um, and it, and you always have to respect that when somebody else is calling you out. And, and

Brett Gilliland: I think too, is that they usually will see it before we [00:32:00] see it. Yeah. But they got to have the courage to, to

John Blumberg: bring it up.

Yeah. It’s tough. It gets better if you’re doing your PMA. But, uh, yeah, it’s still, they’re going to have a different viewpoint on it and a different set of, uh, eyes to see it.

Brett Gilliland: And I, and I know Patrick Lencioni who wrote the, uh, he wrote a deal on your book for you is, uh, a friend of yours, but You know, I actually saw a video from him this morning and it was talking about having the people around you that have the courage to give you it, right?

Because as a leader of an organization who you’re writing this book for, sometimes they don’t give that feedback because they, they think, well, my job’s on the line for this, right? Exactly. So I think us leaders and people that are leaders listening to this is be open minded enough. To get the feedback from the people that you, you should be trusting the most in your work environment.

That’s exactly right. So let’s talk about fear. This is that question I told you about that, uh, that I was going to ask you. And, um, fear. How have you put that into your world throughout your Arthur Anderson days to now what you’re doing? Leaving a great career to, to kind of jump all in to go be a writer and a speaker and all that.

That was [00:33:00] scary. What kind of fears did you put in your

John Blumberg: mind? Well, first of all, I think you have to lean into it, uh, not fight it. Uh, I, I was being interviewed by, or not interviewed, a guy was thinking about jumping off and going into speaking. And at the time, gosh, it’s 22 years into it now, but at the time, 13 years.

And he said, John, uh, when does it quit being scary? And I kind of looked and said, uh, never, uh, I’ll let you know. I’ll let you know. Right. Um, I said, what’s amazing though, is you get comfortable being uncomfortable. And so I am not afraid of fear. Um, in fact, it, it inspires me. Uh, uh, and you know, I just, I don’t run from it.

Um, in fact, I think it is the one thing that if you can hold open hands to fear, I think ultimately all the way to fear of death is that. anything is possible. Um, it is amazing when we don’t lean into it, how it will shut you down. It, it is the most [00:34:00] limiting factor, uh, I think of, uh, of anything that we face.

And I guess in some ways, how do you friend fear? Because it is your friend, right? Uh, ultimately, if you don’t let it scare you to death.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. Cause if we don’t have it, then we’re probably not going to drive to be as successful as we want to be. Right. So the question I always ask is how many of the fears you’ve put in your mind.

Have actually come true to the magnitude. You put them in your

John Blumberg: mind to be. No, never. Yeah. And that

Brett Gilliland: was my response. Right. Andrew, everybody, everybody laughs. Right. And everybody says, Oh, no, that just never happened. Right. Um, and it’s true. And I, I think my goal is I want to find the snippets from every one of these interviews and just put that on replay for people because they never come true to the magnitude we put them in our

John Blumberg: minds to be.

And you know what’s amazing is when you’re in the next situation and it’s creeping up on you, you forget that never is the answer and it’s really good to remind yourself. Yeah. You do

Brett Gilliland: forget that never is the answer. Absolutely. So let’s talk [00:35:00] about the, the, the, some more of the circuits here. Attitude.

Okay. When you hear the word attitude, what

John Blumberg: immediately comes to mind? Yeah, it’s critical. Absolutely critical. And I think you have to keep a pulse on that. Um, because I think, um, drift certainly applies to values. It also applies to attitude. I think you also have to be careful, um, on the people you surround yourself with.

And I don’t mean just to pick and choose people that only have good attitudes. Um, I often think sometimes you need to take on the challenge of finding the person that doesn’t have a good one and, and help them along with it. Because as you’re trying to help others have a better attitude, aren’t you going to have a better one because it’s top of mind?

Um, I think it’s a critical factor and I think we’re all vulnerable Uh to letting that slide and and drift away the same way our values and that

Brett Gilliland: attitude as you can see There’s a fence post or the fence line goes across since rejection, right? Because every day we can wake up we can have the greatest attitude in the world when we get up and you’re going to Go conquer the day But you get in and that little light over there is blinking on your phone, right?

Rarely is it somebody [00:36:00] calling to give you all the best news in the world, right? And so there’s that thing called rejection, right? So when you hear that, what I would say, how do you feed the positive dog? What habits are you finding that people do to get you in the best attitude, to stay focused, battle through the rejection?

John Blumberg: I think for me, first of all, don’t take it personally, um, is that, uh, in fact, sometimes the rejection is the right answer. A good friend, uh, was just sharing with me, um, that, um, he said, he put it this way. He said, um, uh, when you think you’re winning, oftentimes you’re losing. And sometimes when you’re losing, you’re winning.

You’re often time winning. And so what I try to look at is to say that just like fear, sometimes rejection can be your friend, your friend is that, in fact, if you don’t take it personally, you don’t absorb it. You just move on. You take the next step forward and you keep going. Or you can choose to move on.

Um, really sit on that. Um, I was talking to another good friend recently and he said he’s talking about in the, in the world of the NFL [00:37:00] and how coaches have to move on to the next game. They, yeah, it’s horrible that we had that terrible loss yesterday on Sunday, but on Monday we got to be getting ready for the next team because it has nothing to do with the loss that we just experienced.

We, yeah, we need to learn, uh, from it, but we can’t stay focused on it. And

Brett Gilliland: I think those tough decisions, I mean, if you, if you watch that Alabama football game the other night to take your guy, what was he 26 and two or something like that? Yeah. And you take him out of the game and you put in a true freshman and then the guy brings your team back and you win, I mean, I mean, he looks like a genius now, but that’s the thing.

Leaders have to make those tough decisions and they got to live with those tough decisions.

John Blumberg: I remember Sean Payton, uh, that, uh, onside kick at the beginning of the second half. Uh, he was brilliant. because it worked, right? If that hadn’t worked, people would have thought, are you kidding? Are you, you should never, which probably takes us to the idea.

Rejection could very well be a matter of perspective. Right. Right.

Brett Gilliland: Well, then you even go a step further with that super bowl game that everybody in the world thought that the Seahawks would run around like the half of the half yard line. Yep. [00:38:00] They throw the pick. They lose the, the Super

John Blumberg: Bowl. Yeah. And if that had been a, uh, a catch?

Unbelievable. Unbelievable. Unpredictable. Unpredictable.

Brett Gilliland: It’s all perspective. So what would you, uh, what would you tell yourself the guy, the John of 15

John Blumberg: years ago? Hmm. Yeah, I think if I’d look back and, um, I would, I would say be yourself, uh, trust, uh, trust, um, uh, first into the path you’ve been called to, and I very much felt it was a calling, uh, and, and to not let the day to day, uh, uh, get you down, that it is all good and everything, whether it is a success or a failure, all is good, just keep taking the next step forward.

That’s good advice.

Brett Gilliland: That’s great advice. What are you finding right now in, uh, Andrew and I are part of a, what we call, executive forum, and, and so, the, the, kind of the deal is all these, these, this happens to be all gentlemen, we’re in a group, we all run, uh, you know, either divisions of a company or run a company, whatever it may be, and we talk about time and time management, right?

[00:39:00] And so, what do, what do you think the best leaders do, and what are they doing with their time? They run these big corporations, what are they doing with their time every day? Yeah.

John Blumberg: I think they take, um, for one thing I would say they’re taking very intentional timeouts. Um, I think they’re, I think we’re past the point, um, that.

Anyone humanly can sustain, uh, the information, the speed, the, the pressures, um, the demands, uh, that come our way. And so I think the leader of the future is going to become very selective. At how they, where they focus their time, that they’re going to be able to be incredible at letting go of the things that don’t matter.

Uh, one of the best books I read in the last three years is called Essentialism. And I think if I don’t misquote it, it says 10 percent of what you do really matters and the other 90 percent is a waste of time. And I think when we’re trying to time manage, you’ve got to be on top of what is the most critical.

And I would suggest, and you’re probably not surprised, is that [00:40:00] your values will help you see that and it’s your needs, your wants, and your behaviors that will help you execute it. So

Brett Gilliland: let’s, let’s go back a little bit, actually, and let’s walk people through. They’re listening to this right now. If they’re driving down the road, whatever they’re doing, walk them through.

How do you find your core values? What do you need to do? What’s

John Blumberg: the exercise? Yeah. And I wish I could tell you it’s the most simple thing in the world. And, uh, I, I would suggest that it’s going to be the biggest wrestling match you will ever have in the most adventurous experience and that you’re never done.

Uh, I compare it to digging a hundred foot water well. And by the way, the water is there, whether you dig it or not, you just don’t get to take advantage of it. Right. And I remember I was talking to an audience of 500 people, and, uh, I was talking about digging your water well, and I said, you know, the sad part is you get, you start digging, you start exploring, and, and I think there’s a lot of ways that you can go after it, I think there are individual journeys, um, there are data points, I mean, there’s all kinds of instrument, instruments on the marketplace that will, um, give you scientific data [00:41:00] points, um, experiences give you data points, relationships and meaningful conversations give you data points.

All of that can feed in, um, to this digging process, which is why I say that, uh, you, you work on it for 15 minutes and you put it away and you work on it for 15 minutes and you put it away. And it’s over a period of time, I think in 30 days, you can come up with a, a pretty good, um, a pretty good starting version 1.

0 list. Um, but I think it’s probably a year. of, of going back and, and really honing it. And then I think it’s probably several years that you go to really, um, understand that. Um, the frustrating part, and this has been my biggest lesson, um, since the book came out, is, again, I go back to what I said earlier, this is harder than you think it is, and it takes longer, and both of those are a really good thing.

Um, it takes soul searching, it takes digging, um, and there’s, in the end, nothing scientific about it. It’s an emotional journey, um, that I think little by little gets [00:42:00] uncovered. So I’m talking to this audience of 500 people and I said, so, you know, the sad part, you get five feet into the well and you know what you’re looking at?

And I, uh, I said, you’re looking at dirt, the same dirt, dirt on the top. You get 25 feet, you’re looking at dirt, you get 50, you’re looking at dirt. That’s okay. I’m, I’m done with this process and you’re only really getting started. And that’s the tenacity. That’s the grit, by the way, Brett, that it takes to be able to get through it.

Um, and I, so I’m now in this rhythm of asking the audience questions and so you get to 75 feet and I’m fully expecting that they’re going to be thinking dirt and somebody from the audience yells out, uh, I said, you get 75 feet. What do you see? And they said, rock. I said, that’s right. I didn’t think of that, but it, but that’s right.

Because it gets harder. Yeah. Um, before, you know, it get easier, it gets harder, it gets easier, it gets harder. The persistence of digging is what gets you, um, to the answer. Now, here’s the thing, and I’ve used this on a slide now, and I said, you know, the sad part is in all your digging, um, the sad part is you will not find your core values.

Of course, a lot of people say, well, what the heck? Why, why bother? Right. And I kind of [00:43:00] pause and say, the truth is they will find you. And I think that’s exactly what the truth happens to be, is that when you dig long enough, um, it eventually reveals itself. That’s how truth works. Um, and it’s, it’s a dawning on you that this is what it is.

And then you label a word to name that dawning.

Brett Gilliland: So, yeah, because you also think, you see the pictures too, where the, the, the people are, they’re digging for gold, what they’re digging for, and then. What they don’t see is it’s just right here on the other side, right? And they give up and they don’t get there because they can’t keep battling through the

John Blumberg: dirt.

That’s exactly it. Now, I don’t know if I’ve ever publicly said this, but, um, and I have to be careful about this. Um, is ultimately the words that you choose are not as near as important as the journey that took you to them. And what I mean by that, and I go back to your grit, um, you understand growth as a value in a way that I will never see it because it, it’s a journey that took you there to find that out.

And so when it reveals [00:44:00] itself to you, and I don’t want to sound too, uh, kind of out there, but it is kind of out there is that your understanding is far more important than the word that you put on it. And you will know what that is by the time you’ve dug to the bottom of the well. Yeah, I

Brett Gilliland: think that’s a good point because if I could put a, if I could write the word and you just showed me and it said growth, there’s a whole meaning and feeling that comes behind it.

I could show the same thing to Andrew and he, Oh yeah, cool. That says growth, right? There’s a lot, there’s a big meaning

John Blumberg: behind that. And he’s thinking that’s

Brett Gilliland: it. Right. That’s all you got? That’s all you got. There’s 17 years of stuff in here, right? And a lot of meaning and feelings that go into that, that word.

John Blumberg: So it’s big. And I will say this, and um, and we just have had the opportunity to meet, and what I would say, Brett, is it doesn’t surprise me that that’s a word that you use because it just exudes out of you. And that’s what you want your values to be. It’s so grounded. That you can’t help but live that value.

And if you’re not, [00:45:00] it goes back to what you’re saying. If you’re not growing, you’re dying. I think the whole, that whole mantra plays, uh, if you’re not living your values, you are dying and you can just see that come out of you. Well, I think it’s to the people

Brett Gilliland: you, you, you surround yourself with, whether it’s socially or professionally for me, it’s like, uh, it’s, it’s not anger, but it’s like, I can’t, I don’t have much time to spend with somebody that they’re not choosing to grow.

Yeah. Right. I just. I can’t do it. Yeah. So I’m not saying that’s right, but that’s just the way I am.

John Blumberg: Well, and I, well, you know, I, I sometimes go to events and my wife kind of calls me out on this, but you know, it’s a surface level conversations. Right. Uh, and that’s just part of my style. If I’m, if I’m at a party, uh, I I’d love to, uh, You know, come up alongside you and we have a 20 minute conversation about something meaningful.

That’s a much more fun party than, you know, we’re just talking surface level. And there’s a time and place for that. Right. Um, but there’s also, um, a time and place where let’s have a meaningful conversation. Yeah.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. I’m terrible at the big parties of. Making small talk with everybody. I’m not good at [00:46:00] that as much as I can do this stuff.

I can’t I’m not I’m not good at it Um, so share one of your core values if you will you mind doing that? Yeah, not

John Blumberg: at all Um, so I I think and i’ve already mentioned it Uh, and that is vulnerability I for me I try to frame out what that means to me, but that’s what opens possibilities for me Uh, that’s what bills.

Um Um, connection for me, uh, and it’s also how I think I, I deal with what we’ve talked about earlier and that is fear is that I’m willing to be vulnerable and find great strength, um, you know, within that, um, the other two are optimism. Um, and there’s a lot that drives me on hope, um, and then the other is relationship.

Um, it, it’s, um, uh, I think we’re wired for relationship, and, and when you put those three together, um, there’s, there’s probably 15 things that underline what I mean by those. Um, but, but it leads with vulnerability.

Brett Gilliland: Well, and I think that’s [00:47:00] huge too, because we, we’ve known each other now for a while, a whopping two hours, two and a half hours, something like that is, there’s that feeling of a deeper connection because of, You know, there was not a lot of surface y discussions downstairs at lunch, right?

And so, I think for those listening, if you struggle with that, that vulnerability, uh, that transparency, it leads to a deeper relationship much, much quicker.

John Blumberg: Much quicker and more meaningful experience, right? Absolutely. Yeah. Yep.

Brett Gilliland: And, uh, so let, let’s talk, did you, let’s talk about your success. I mean, through your Arthur Anderson days to, to now, I mean, did you envision that success or are you more

John Blumberg: shocked by it?

I’m shocked every day at what, um, you know, begins to play out. Um, and I, I’d rather stand in awe, um, than, than all of a sudden think it had anything to do with me. And I will say this, that the success I’ve had, um, has had. Nothing to do with me has had everything to do with people that believed in what I was trying to do and trusted me in that [00:48:00] process.

And I give it all to them. And I mean that sincerely. I don’t mean that just to sound kind of nice. There is, yeah, I don’t know if there’s any other way that I could frame that other than I love to stand in awe continually when things go well. And I’d love to learn deeply when they didn’t go so well and try to stay out of the process of both.

Brett Gilliland: These are tough questions. I know that. So I apologize. But what would you do that? That one CEO, that one leader right now is listening and you could give him or her one. Message,

John Blumberg: what would that be? Yeah, that’s a, uh, it’s a really good question. Um, I mean, of course, part of me wants to say, dig for your core values, go to answer.

Um, um, I, I would say, um, okay, I’m just going to bottom line this love others. Um, I, I was, um, talking to Bade Al Fasad’s, an honorary accounting fraternity, 1, 500 college students and it hit me the night [00:49:00] before, I was actually up at 2 a. m. and I couldn’t sleep and we’re going to be talking about values and, uh, it really hit me that you need to talk to them about love.

We need to be more loving. And so at the end of the presentation, um, I, I just simply said, you know, I hope that you’ll do everything I’ve talked about today, uh, as it relates to digging for your core and, you know, many other things that we’ve talked about. But if you don’t do anything else, I’m going to ask you this, that when you put your head on the pillow tonight and every night to follow, just ask yourself the question, um, how loving was I today?

And if you do that, everything else will fall in place. And what I was amazed at when all the students came out afterwards, probably 90 percent wanted to talk about that. And I, I don’t know, I, I don’t know of a time in our world where maybe it’s every time in this world, but we need to be more loving and less divisive.

Um, and, and I think maybe, um, I don’t. Call it out as a core value, um, because maybe it’s for me like integrity, um, [00:50:00] that hopefully it’s a fabric of every value. Yeah, I think

Brett Gilliland: it’s too, it’s what we’re putting in our minds, right? I mean, I, I literally made a decision back in almost, I guess it was about March.

You know, I’d find myself watching TV at night and I’m like, you know, I’m not, I can’t do this anymore, right? Nothing good is coming out of this. And so I think I, I truly feel maybe I’m being naive, but I truly feel as Americans, we’re doing that right there is starting to feel like there’s more love with all the bad stuff you hear.

Um, but I think if we can. Turn off our televisions and spend more time talking or reading or, uh, loving on others. Um, this, this world’s gonna be a much, much better

John Blumberg: place. It’ll be a much better place. And I’ve always said I hate to talk politics and religion with people that agree with me. Right. I actually like to engage in that as long as it’s not personal.

Right. Um, let’s find a way that we love through that, uh, and we’re gonna learn a lot because of that. Right.

Brett Gilliland: Absolutely. So talk to us, um, you know, last kind of few questions here, but talk to me about the time. Uh, and maybe you’ve had it, maybe you haven’t. Hopefully you haven’t, but, uh, it’s really a [00:51:00] time in your life that took you to your knees and how did you get through that?

How did you dig yourself out of that hole? I’m assuming you’re going to talk about your core values with that, but can you share one of those moments with

John Blumberg: us? Um, probably the darkest, hardest day of my life. Um, I was 13 years old, family vacation, and my father dropped dead of a fatal heart attack. And we were, I grew up in Memphis, we were driving, we were actually over in Hot Springs, Arkansas, and just had gotten there that day.

And, uh, that drive back, um, was one of the darkest, hardest, uh, moments. And you talk about fear, um, um, it, it was a, it was a defining moment, um, and, and maybe, uh, what I’ve just realized really almost more in the last three years is how much I mislearned. through that. Um, because as a 13 year old, my brother, um, my oldest brother got married six weeks later.

Um, they offered to postpone the wedding. My mom said, absolutely not. Uh, and my other brother went off to a Catholic [00:52:00] seminary. And, um, so we went from a family of five to a family of Two in a matter of about 12 months. And what you think of just starting high school. And I had so many people in that high school.

Cause my dad was very involved. I had so many people, uh, come around me and love on me. Um, but what you feel like is I’ve got to get on top of this. I’ve got to control this. And what I realized is that I developed this gotta be in control. Gotta. And ironically, it was totally the opposite of vulnerability.

And. Three years ago, my buddy Al asked me the question, um, so how did you process that? Uh, and I said, oh man, you just gotta move on. It’s kind of that pull yourself up, uh, uh, and, and haven’t really thought a whole lot about it. He said, I would suggest that you do, and it’s pretty amazing, uh, when you look back.

What I never could have learned then, um, is what it revealed for me today. At the same time, it, it, I think. it helped me along the way to a point it was as good as far as it went and then I needed to learn a different lesson. Wow, [00:53:00] well thanks for sharing

Brett Gilliland: that. I cannot imagine 13 years old driving and your, your father passes away.

That’d be the longest drive in the history of drives on the way home. Yeah. And you

John Blumberg: know, I’ve never been back to hot springs. And I probably need to go.

Brett Gilliland: Yeah. He either never want to go again, or you may need to go visit, right? Need to go. Let’s go do some therapy. I hear it’s beautiful. Exactly. Exactly. So what, uh, what are you passionate about today that you wish, you know, if you just had a magic wand, you had more time to go

John Blumberg: do, what would that be?

That’s a really good question. Um, I, I think I live what I’m passionate about and I’m excited, um, uh, with what I do, uh, being able to come alongside, uh, Brett. I don’t know anything, um, more fulfilling to me than when somebody is willing to let you walk alongside them, um, again, in a vulnerable. Uh, kind of way.

Uh, there’s nothing I’m more passionate about than to sit with somebody, uh, and be able to be a, a companion with them along, uh, their journey. So I get to do that. Um, you know, I, [00:54:00] I’m not a person that has a bunch of hobbies of, um, I played golf when I was in, you know, um, grade school and played tournaments.

And I know you, you took that much, much further. Um, uh, but there’s nothing that’s a hobby for me, uh, that I would say this is my, my go to. Uh, it’s much more, I guess, about, uh, relationship and whatever we’re doing. And I get to do that through my work, but I also get to do that through my family. I get to do that with friends, and I get to do it with, you know, executives that I get to come alongside.


Brett Gilliland: you’re just, you have to be, just feel blessed every day, right, to get to do the things you love to do. Every single day. Awesome. So, um, talk to me about the purpose, right? So I, and I just started doing this and your book actually helped with this is I’ve always had, I always know why I get, uh, get up in the morning.

I know why I go do what I do. Um, but I came up with a statement, right? And so my statement now is my. My number one purpose in life is to help people see and achieve a future brighter than their [00:55:00] past, right? So I just, I know that. So help you see and achieve a future brighter than your past. And for me that seeing it as number one, because a lot of people may or may not see it, but achieving it, right?

Because we can, you said it earlier, we can do anything we want to do, anything we put our mind to. Yes. Um, and so I want to help people with that. And so what would you say your

John Blumberg: purpose in life is? Yeah, I, I, I guess, um, uh, and, and I, I have let go of, I guess, putting that in a sentence per se, uh, but I would say, um, help people live with integrity, um, and that’s, it’s what I do, um, there’s nothing that I’m more passionate about, uh, to do that, and if I can, if I can come alongside people and help them see that and willing to see truth for all its ugliness, uh, and all it causes to fear, Um, I, I guess it would be to live a more integrated life, not a more integrated success as much as a more integrated life, and which is the ultimate success.

Uh, what I love about [00:56:00] yours is that it’s, it’s a complete celebration of growth as well. Right. Um, and not only do you help them see it, you help, um, equip them to do that. And, and that’s what a great two sided coin that is. Yeah. Thank you.

Brett Gilliland: Thank you. And, and so I’m not going to give credit to this person, uh, because he may or may not be in the room.

But, um. We talked about a question that he always, he’d said, that’d be a great question. Right. And it’s true. It is a good question, even though I’ll not give him credit. Life is about experiences, right? So what’s that experience, that next experience, that bucket list item for you?

John Blumberg: What’s on there? That’s funny that you ask that question because my wife and I, for the first time ever last year, uh, started creating, uh, a bucket list.

And, uh, we laugh sometimes that, you know, we’re having an experience. We say, we need to put this on our bucket list. Add that right now. Add it right now. Uh, because it’s, this is amazing. Yeah. And I, I, I don’t have this kind of bucket list, uh, that says it’s a grand experience or, you know, going to see this [00:57:00] thing.

It’s much more, um, about simple things. Uh, and there are some, you know, big things I guess that we could add to the list, but ours are much more, um, It could be, um, I, I want to make sure that we go walk in the park, uh, a new park, um, you know, this next month, uh, and it’s, it’s going to be the everyday simple, uh, kind of thing.

So I may need you, Brett, to have a bigger vision, uh, for what that, um, would be, um, but also in my bucket list is traditions. And I think one, I’m just planning this out right now. My, my son in the, um, uh, when we first moved to Chicago, he. People would ask, are you a White Sox fan or a Cubs fan? I said, Oh, I like them both.

And I haven’t grown up in Memphis. I was actually a Cardinals fan. There you go. Now we can keep talking. But, um, I found out that people would realize I wasn’t from Chicago, except I liked both. So actually he started falling in love with the Cubs. So when he was in high school every day, I would, um, I would get up and read the Cubs article because I [00:58:00] knew he would talk about that.

So he already knew, right? He already knew, right? And he would have that conversation as a teenager. And the more I read, the more I fell in love with the Cubs. And, um, actually as a fifth grader, one of our weak parental moments, he actually got online and signed up for season tickets. And three years ago, as a 30 year old now, he actually got season tickets.

So, uh, one of the traditions we started that was a bucket list item to begin with was, uh, to go to Cubs spring training every other year. Father, son, and then we just go. And so this is our year after they won the world series last year, we thought, okay, that’s going to be a kind of a crazy year to go. Um, and this is the year we’re going to go.

So for me, it’s about putting it on the list, but then it’s also about, um, continuing the traditions where they make sense.

Brett Gilliland: That’s, that’s great. Thanks for sharing that last question. I give you 10 million. You can’t invest it. You can’t pay off any debts. What do you do with 10 million bucks?

John Blumberg: What would I do with 10 million dollars?

Um, um, you know what I would love to do is go out and invest it in those that have no [00:59:00] resources. Um, and maybe it goes back to have a great attitude. Um, uh, they, they, they do want to grow. Um, I would love to come alongside and bless them with the resources to go, uh, to go and make their dream come alive.

and would want to do it in small quantities, um, and so that it would affect a lot of people. And I guess that would be my, um, my biggest dream.

Brett Gilliland: I like it. And it does not surprise me that you’re going to invest in others based on, uh, what I’ve gotten to know about you and researching you and now spending time with you today.

It’s been an absolute pleasure. Andrew, thank you for the introduction and, uh, thank you for the time today. It’s been great. Great to be back. And I hope you, our listeners, uh, got as much out of this as, as I got, um, getting to interview John. And, uh, I guess I didn’t ask you this. Where, where can we find more of you?

So social media. Yep. So

John Blumberg: yeah, most probably the best way to start it cause it’ll lead you there. And that is, uh, my website, which is, uh, Uh, Blumberg, B L U M B E R G R O I. com. [01:00:00] So Blumberg, R O I. com. And it’ll, uh, take you to my blog and, um, you know, and connect you to Facebook, Twitter, and such. Great.

Brett Gilliland: We’ll find it there.

And, uh, just again, thank you for being here. And I hope our listeners got a ton out of this. Cause I know I got a ton out of it as well, and lots of notes we’ll be going through here. So thank you for your time. Thanks for having me.