Robert “Cujo” Teschner, A Fighter Pilot’s Mission Toward Absolute Ownership (#224)

Share this blog:

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Robert “Cujo” Teschner, A Fighter Pilot's Mission Toward Absolute Ownership (#224)

Robert “Cujo” Teschner is the CEO and Founder of VMax Group, a business training and consulting firm specializing in helping organizations build high-performing teams using the same principles and methodologies that fighter pilot teams implement to succeed. Robert didn’t simply study these methods, but he lived & breathed them during his brilliant military career.

Before founding VMax Group in 2016, Robert was an F-15 / F-22 fighter pilot, F-15 Weapons School Instructor (the US Air Force’s “Top Gun” school), F-22 Fighter Squadron Commander, and senior Joint Staff officer. From 2004 to mid-2006, he was a US Air Force expert on post-mission debriefing, the method used by high-performance military teams for self-correction and continuous improvement.

The Cancer Diagnosis that Changed Everything

Robert “Cujo” Teschner’s military career was rising. He was about to become a Full Bird Colonel when he got the colon cancer diagnosis. He was, fortunately, able to catch it in time also thanks to his wife’s intuition, but he had to retire immediately after pinning-on full Colonel because he would not have been able to fly fighter jets anymore due to complications from colon cancer-related care.

That was the toughest moment in Robert’s life. He had to face cancer, and he had lost his military career, something that he had invested all his life into. Still, his mindset, shaped by countless missions and training, together with the support of his family, helped him push through adversity. This ultimately led to the creation of his leadership and teamwork training company, VMax Group, which has the purpose to teach and inspire real teamwork so that teams can thrive in disruption and keep America’s economy strong. On top of that, Robert became a Keynote Speaker and a Bestselling Author of the book Debrief to Win: How America’s Top Guns Practice Accountable Leadership…and How You Can, Too!.

And now here’s Robert “Cujo” Teschner.

Show Notes

[4:13] How’d it happen for Robert “Cujo” Teschner?
[11:35] The story about Cujo’s tribal ritual
[13:11] His attitude when he learned about his tumor
[17:45] How is Cujo’s now in terms of health?
[19:57] On how he introduces himself
[26:29] On constantly pursuing excellence
[31:05] Cujo’s thoughts on meritocracy
[39:41] The difference between F15 and F22 planes
[45:00] Diving deeper in Cujo’s book: Debrief To Win
[50:55] On the topic of accountability
[56:37] “As good as we are, we could be better.”
[1:03:18] Outro

Full transcript below

Video on A Fighter Pilot’s Mission Toward Absolute Ownership

Robert “Cujo” Teschner on Debrief to Win

Visit VMaxGroupLLC.com to Learn More on Leadership Training

Book a Free Consultation with VMax Group

Get Robert “Cujo” Teschner’s Book. Debrief to Win: How America’s Top Guns Practice Accountable Leadership…and How You Can, Too!

Connect with Robert “Cujo” Teschner on LinkedIn

Get Motivation, Inspiration, and Ideas to Level Up Your Life.

Subscribe to the How’d It Happen Podcast

Want to be the first to know when new episodes are released?  Click here to subscribe

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Howd-It-Happen-Podcast-Listen-on-Apple-Podcasts.jpg
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Howd-It-happen-Podcast-List-on-Google-Podcasts.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Howd-It-Happen-Podcast-Listen-on-Stitcher.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Howd-It-Happen-Podcast-Listen-on-Spotify.png

Thank you for being a How’d it Happen listener. Please enter your email address below to subscribe, or subscribe on Apple Podcast, Stitcher, or wherever you like to listen.

Subscribe to My Newsletter

.

Write a Podcast Review

Also, podcast reviews are important to iTunes and the more reviews we receive, the more likely we’ll be able to get this podcast and message in front of more people (something about iTunes algorithms?).  I’d be extremely grateful if you took less than 30 seconds and 5 clicks to rate the podcast and leave a quick review.  Here’s how to do it in less than 30 seconds:

Click on This Link – https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/howd-it-happen-podcast/id1441722417

Click on the “Listen on Apple Podcast” Box

Click on “Open iTunes” – You will go directly to the iTunes page for the Podcast

Click on “Ratings and Reviews”

Click on the 5thStar (or whatever one makes the most sense to you 🙂

Podcast with Robert “Cujo” Teschner. A Fighter Pilot’s Mission Toward Absolute Ownership.

00:00:06.810 –> 00:00:27.900

Mike Malatesta: hey everybody, welcome back to the How’d It Happen Podcast. I am grateful to have you here for this episode, as I am for everyone and today I’m fulfilling my promise to you with another amazing success story, and I actually have personal engagement with our guest today, Robert “Cujo” Teschner because.

3

00:00:34.770 –> 00:00:56.340

Mike Malatesta: Cujo presented to my tech group in July, and you’re in for a big treat it was the kind of phenomenal presentation that you get every so often and this guy is just so amazingly accomplished, but also amazingly.

4

00:00:57.810 –> 00:01:07.860

Mike Malatesta: Engaging and humble and helpful like a guy who’s willing to just his whole goal in life, it seems like is to help people and people like that always get me really.

5

00:01:08.820 –> 00:01:20.190

Mike Malatesta: excited so enough of my sort of man love here, I am going to tell you a little bit about Cujo as he likes to be called and then we’re going to get into it so.

6

00:01:21.030 –> 00:01:32.400

Mike Malatesta: Robert Cujo test runner is a retired F 15 and F 22 fighter pilot he is also a former weapons school instructor, which is the US air force’s top gun school.

7

00:01:33.030 –> 00:01:51.360

Mike Malatesta: An F 22 fighter Squadron Squadron commander senior joint staff officer and combat veteran he holds advanced degrees and operational art and science and national security strategy and has extensive experience in operational and tactical planning, as well as an organizational leadership.

8

00:01:52.680 –> 00:02:06.780

Mike Malatesta: From 2004 through mid 2006 Cujo served as the US air force’s expert in post mission debriefing the methodology used by high performing military teams to self correct and improve continuously.

9

00:02:08.310 –> 00:02:14.850

Mike Malatesta: He retired after becoming a full Colonel due to complications from color colon cancer related care.

10

00:02:16.080 –> 00:02:22.890

Mike Malatesta: Cujo started V Max group a leadership and teamwork training company based in St Louis Missouri.

11

00:02:24.360 –> 00:02:35.490

Mike Malatesta: V Max is purpose and I love this is to teach and inspire real teamwork, so that teams can thrive in disruption and keep america’s economy strong, well done with that kojo.

12

00:02:36.960 –> 00:02:45.600

Mike Malatesta: Cujo is a multi award winning fighter aviator and leader and award winning writer and author of the national best selling book debrief to win.

13

00:02:46.620 –> 00:02:52.140

Mike Malatesta: which he was kind enough to give me an autographed copy of to write well, I actually won this tonight Cujo I was.

14

00:02:52.200 –> 00:02:58.920

Mike Malatesta: Reading something I can’t remember what so phenomenal book and we’ll talk a lot about the book today and and.

15

00:02:59.430 –> 00:03:06.300

Mike Malatesta: for whatever reason I don’t know why writing a book is not hard enough for him, I guess, he is simultaneously working on two new books on leadership.

16

00:03:06.720 –> 00:03:20.730

Mike Malatesta: The first of which is titled an American fighter pilot lessons learned beyond mach one so cool title that is slated for release in the spring of 2022 and the other book Cujo what is that one called that you’re working on.

17

00:03:21.150 –> 00:03:31.200

Cujo: we’re still working on the title and we’re kind of keeping things close hold so it’s a it’s a group project that will come out around the same time summer spring the summer of next year okay cool.

18

00:03:31.260 –> 00:03:32.610

Mike Malatesta: So with that.

19

00:03:34.530 –> 00:03:41.400

Mike Malatesta: introduction I am getting ready to get started and Cujo I start every episode, with the same simple question how did it happen for you.

20

00:03:42.900 –> 00:03:52.470

Cujo: Great question brilliant introduction very, very glad to be here with you today Mike and thanks for thanks for the invitation, it was so nice meeting you at the tech meeting.

21

00:03:53.940 –> 00:04:01.410

Cujo: can answer that a number of ways, how about today we answer it with started with the cancer diagnosis It started with.

22

00:04:01.890 –> 00:04:16.350

Cujo: A day when my wife was let’s say five months pregnant with our fourth child, it was a beautiful day a sunny day a typical day for that time of year in Stuttgart, Germany and when I woke from my.

23

00:04:17.670 –> 00:04:28.980

Cujo: From my colonoscopy I was getting ready to give both the doctor and my wife some grief for me having had to go through that experience for not what I thought was going to be for no reason.

24

00:04:29.490 –> 00:04:45.030

Cujo: And instead I woke up to the news that the doctor had horrible news for me the tumor he thought was probably 10 years old and we didn’t know if we were you know days, weeks or months away from from the end of it all, so I think I think it all started right there Mike.

25

00:04:46.290 –> 00:04:47.880

Mike Malatesta: And was that your first colonoscopy.

26

00:04:48.540 –> 00:04:52.740

Cujo: That was my first colonoscopy I was 40 years old, when I had that okay.

27

00:04:52.830 –> 00:05:03.150

Mike Malatesta: yeah and everything right sort of waiting till you’re 40 that’s when they tell you to have your first call you you’re like me, you did you’re like why don’t Why do I need to go through this I don’t need this right.

28

00:05:03.630 –> 00:05:07.080

Cujo: yeah ish I wish it was I wish it was that pure Mike.

29

00:05:07.260 –> 00:05:08.250

Cujo: Okay um.

30

00:05:08.340 –> 00:05:19.620

Cujo: What is the first time that I had any symptoms worth talking about was when I was 31st time that my body gave me indications that things were not exactly right was back when I was.

31

00:05:19.890 –> 00:05:28.470

Cujo: A brand new instructor just going back through the instructor qualification course at the fighter weapon school and I didn’t have time to be sick I didn’t have.

32

00:05:28.950 –> 00:05:35.580

Cujo: Interest in hearing that there was anything that right with me, so I chose not to speak about it to anybody not investigate anything.

33

00:05:36.300 –> 00:05:40.860

Cujo: And just kind of will myself well and a few months later, things were back to normal.

34

00:05:41.850 –> 00:05:51.270

Cujo: And then, a decade later it’s actually the second time that I have symptoms that causes me to have a conversation with my wife, which then leads to a let’s go talk to the Doc.

35

00:05:52.080 –> 00:05:57.420

Cujo: Multiple doctors saying you’re young you’re fit you’re fine my wife, saying that doesn’t pass muster for me.

36

00:05:57.930 –> 00:06:06.450

Cujo: And ultimately, with a with a friend of mine, who was a doctor my wife conspired with WHO recommended that I go in and get this thing checked out.

37

00:06:07.170 –> 00:06:18.270

Cujo: turns out that my wife was right my doctor friend that she conspired with was right and I was almost almost horribly wrong so i’d start there Mike i’d say that’s that’s where it all began.

38

00:06:18.840 –> 00:06:20.670

Mike Malatesta: Okay, so if that’s how it happened.

39

00:06:22.770 –> 00:06:23.730

Mike Malatesta: What happened and.

40

00:06:24.030 –> 00:06:25.110

Cujo: Then the question is what.

41

00:06:25.410 –> 00:06:37.890

Cujo: What are we talking about yeah you know before that I used to fancy myself as a fighter pilot I really thought I existed to fly fighters to defend our nation, I thought that was my whole reason for being.

42

00:06:39.240 –> 00:06:47.130

Cujo: And I was pretty good at what I did I really enjoyed the flying part of what I did, especially as a younger guy I thought that was just the best.

43

00:06:48.360 –> 00:06:54.720

Cujo: answer was the biggest disruption that I had been through in my life and for sure, for my family, it was a tremendous disruption.

44

00:06:55.230 –> 00:07:13.260

Cujo: And we went from and i’m looking over here in the corner of my office we just moved and we’re setting things up over here i’ve got my congratulations promotion placard that was put up for all six of us that were promoted to bird colonel, at the same time in instacart.

45

00:07:14.640 –> 00:07:23.580

Cujo: You know that happens, right after the diagnosis, I get invited to go back into fly F 22 is again this time to eventually become a senior leader.

46

00:07:24.330 –> 00:07:36.000

Cujo: The career is going exactly on the right trajectory the families well everything’s rockin and rollin and then we get this news and it collapses, the entire thing can’t take the new job can’t fly.

47

00:07:36.300 –> 00:07:44.910

Cujo: The surgeon is convinced, because we have to remove my lower colon that if I try to pull nine times the force of gravity i’m going to rip apart from the inside, that doesn’t sound too sexy to me.

48

00:07:46.290 –> 00:07:56.490

Cujo: If I can’t do what it is that i’m trying to do, and if there’s potential to be getting sick again what we do, do we stay in the air force do we retire with chose to retire early I took a demotion I went from being a.

49

00:07:57.000 –> 00:08:07.800

Cujo: Full bird colonel, as we call them to a lieutenant Colonel and retirement became to St Louis, which is where I have family to have some support structure in case I get sick.

50

00:08:09.120 –> 00:08:16.290

Cujo: And didn’t know what to do, I mean really like it was one of these things where you’re comfortably in the midst of your zone.

51

00:08:17.460 –> 00:08:26.790

Cujo: And then something comes in, from left field, arguably, you know could have been caught earlier but nonetheless wasn’t expecting to get this kind of a diagnosis.

52

00:08:27.120 –> 00:08:37.140

Cujo: You go immediately into surgery immediately into your body does not function, the way that it’s designed to you’re stuck you’ve got to be close to a bathroom at all times and we’ll leave it at that.

53

00:08:37.650 –> 00:08:44.400

Cujo: Now, what do you do, how do you how do you provide, how do you take care of of your family, how do you find joy in life.

54

00:08:44.880 –> 00:09:04.470

Cujo: All of those were the challenges that we had, and this was in the 2016 time from 2015 2016 when I retired and we, we have to search for our core why and figure out in my case, who am I in our case, as a family who are we, and how are we going to go out there and win, and I remember.

55

00:09:05.760 –> 00:09:15.210

Cujo: When my wife and I walked out of the doctor’s office that that late morning, and she took garg I remember being just just famished I was starving.

56

00:09:15.720 –> 00:09:24.750

Cujo: You know, because of all the prep for the cooler mascot be you know I haven’t eaten in a little while my wife was pregnant, she was hungry, the first thing we did on the heels of.

57

00:09:26.280 –> 00:09:32.100

Cujo: Of this terrific diagnosis was we went to the to the bottom floor of the building in which the.

58

00:09:34.380 –> 00:09:41.280

Cujo: The investigation whatever you wanna call the call and asked me to place in an ordered lunch alright, so we had a late breakfast or lunch and.

59

00:09:41.940 –> 00:09:48.240

Cujo: And then we started talking and again it was a beautiful day I mean this, I think it was like October, no way to say it was more whatever.

60

00:09:48.660 –> 00:10:02.850

Cujo: It was march of 2014 and it should have been just Gray and nasty was sunny and beautiful and I remember, we had a very matter of fact, talked my wife and I did, and I distinctly recall saying to her the story just got better.

61

00:10:04.830 –> 00:10:11.190

Cujo: And she’s like excuse me, and like another story just got better like you know it’s easy when everything’s going smooth like that.

62

00:10:11.760 –> 00:10:17.100

Cujo: It doesn’t take much to be able to move out with that, but when when everything falls apart.

63

00:10:17.820 –> 00:10:30.210

Cujo: You know it’s your choice as to whether it’s you’re going to allow it to collapse you or whether you’re going to try and find some way to to make it through and in the fighter domain, you see pictures behind me of a 15th and maybe an F 22 I can’t remember.

64

00:10:32.730 –> 00:10:39.720

Cujo: we’re used to disruption we’re very much expecting on any mission, the mission and not to go as the way we we had it planned.

65

00:10:40.290 –> 00:10:46.500

Cujo: And so, our kind of core ethic is the story get better that we’re going to be able to tell on Friday night at the at the bar and it’s just up to us.

66

00:10:47.010 –> 00:11:01.920

Cujo: To to kind of guide this new version of the story to a successful outcome and that was our That was our ethic and i’ll stop there, because that’s a lot Mike that’s a lot but provide some context, for you know why I chose to start today’s conversation there.

67

00:11:02.520 –> 00:11:03.540

Mike Malatesta: Okay, and I had some.

68

00:11:04.890 –> 00:11:16.140

Mike Malatesta: Questions off of that, but the thing that you called me with at the end there, that I couldn’t forget, is the bar thing because, if I remember from your talk, you talked about the bar.

69

00:11:17.250 –> 00:11:18.870

Mike Malatesta: thing in the air force where.

70

00:11:20.040 –> 00:11:25.680

Mike Malatesta: I think he said the rule in the bar was that it had to be whatever you said had to be at least 10% true.

71

00:11:26.010 –> 00:11:26.460

Cujo: that’s right.

72

00:11:27.480 –> 00:11:28.020

Cujo: that’s right.

73

00:11:28.800 –> 00:11:34.260

Mike Malatesta: So now you’ve got something that’s 100% true that people are going to hear and wish it was only 10% true.

74

00:11:34.350 –> 00:11:36.510

Cujo: yeah that’s that’s right.

75

00:11:37.680 –> 00:11:44.460

Cujo: that’s exactly right, so what you’re referencing Mike is is our is our tribal ritual of roll calls, we have roll calls every Friday night.

76

00:11:45.030 –> 00:11:50.340

Cujo: And we get together as a tribe fighter pilot tribe, and we tell stories from the week in the in the ethic, is one of.

77

00:11:50.640 –> 00:11:55.680

Cujo: joy and celebration, I mean we’re we’re fired up to have made it to the end of another successful week of flying.

78

00:11:55.950 –> 00:12:04.590

Cujo: we’re there to have a good time into into enjoy each other’s company to let the stress kind of wash away from the week and to and to celebrate and also learn.

79

00:12:04.920 –> 00:12:15.600

Cujo: And the stories that we tell it to be at least 10% true so they’re hilarious until you get to a story that needs to be 100% true because we’re all going to learn from it every kind of understands hey, this is one of those kinds of stories.

80

00:12:16.050 –> 00:12:26.430

Cujo: And what can we learn from it, and I think, in fact, I would say that the roll call story tied to this one is a necessary one for everybody to learn, because we’re not indestructible.

81

00:12:26.820 –> 00:12:35.760

Cujo: And we can’t will ourselves to health, we do have to pay attention to everybody’s telling us there’s a component there of learning that That certainly applies to all of us yeah.

82

00:12:35.970 –> 00:12:36.330

Nice.

83

00:12:38.580 –> 00:12:44.400

Mike Malatesta: So the doctor then finds this tumor gives you the prognosis did you.

84

00:12:45.600 –> 00:12:58.320

Mike Malatesta: I mean you said you went down, you had you had this breakfast lunch brunch whatever and then you said to your wife, that the story just got better and I was thinking to myself man, if I were you I might still be thinking at that early stage.

85

00:12:59.640 –> 00:13:03.390

Mike Malatesta: This is just the thing, no, you know they’ll take it out and i’ll be.

86

00:13:04.560 –> 00:13:16.470

Mike Malatesta: i’ll be fine and not just go back you know i’ll be off for a little bit and then i’ll be back in the i’ll be back teaching i’ll be back flying i’ll be back doing all the things that I was built to do, but it seems like you might have.

87

00:13:17.610 –> 00:13:24.210

Mike Malatesta: All you know already seen recognize that that might not be a possibility or wouldn’t be.

88

00:13:25.410 –> 00:13:26.400

Cujo: Not quite there.

89

00:13:26.580 –> 00:13:30.600

Cujo: In fact, I had exactly that attitude that you just described, like okay fine.

90

00:13:30.750 –> 00:13:36.840

Cujo: Whatever we need to do we’re going to we’re going to rip this out we’re going to clean things up and i’m going to get right back into it, because i’m not.

91

00:13:37.350 –> 00:13:47.160

Cujo: i’m not stopping what it is that I like doing and we went through the next four days was like a big sine wave of emotions for both my wife and I there was time to Malaysian like hey we got this thing.

92

00:13:47.460 –> 00:13:55.260

Cujo: There was times of Oh, you know this thing has gotten me and we kind of went went back and forth a little bit, but I distinctly remember.

93

00:13:56.430 –> 00:13:59.670

Cujo: On day four post diagnosis.

94

00:14:01.290 –> 00:14:05.520

Cujo: Just being overwhelmed with the with the notion, this might be it like you know this.

95

00:14:06.630 –> 00:14:21.090

Cujo: week we may we may have we may be coming to the end and landing from our last mission, as it were, and that was a bit overwhelming that that that did that sucked all the the air from from my lungs for sure.

96

00:14:22.260 –> 00:14:32.310

Cujo: And then another point that stands out in my mind, because I mean that just notify analogy like there’s nothing else you can do and you’re totally at the mercy of others that’s it that’s a tough one, to come to grips with.

97

00:14:33.120 –> 00:14:44.310

Cujo: The other one that really stands out in my mind was the day after my first surgery and i’m lying there and i’ve got you know i’m totally dependent upon others for help and I can’t do anything.

98

00:14:45.540 –> 00:14:54.300

Cujo: i’m subject to the will and the whims of the doctors and the nurses and I was overcome with emotion there and it was a really positive emotion like it was one of.

99

00:14:55.500 –> 00:15:02.010

Cujo: Of like relief is the best way to describe it, and I was, I was relieved that I finally had empathy for those that were suffering.

100

00:15:02.940 –> 00:15:14.370

Cujo: Specifically physically like up until that point i’d always aced all of my medical checkups I was always you know perfect vision perfect is everything is good checkouts fine fit trim healthy.

101

00:15:15.150 –> 00:15:25.620

Cujo: And maybe not so trim at times the fit and healthy when good enough for government work and all of a sudden, I thought back to a dinner that my wife and I had been at an inn in Washington DC.

102

00:15:26.400 –> 00:15:33.570

Cujo: When I was at the national war college, we were guests, have a former chairman of the Joint chiefs was one of my instructors and he invited us to come in.

103

00:15:35.010 –> 00:15:47.040

Cujo: And to to celebrate I think they were honoring Admiral Mike Raven for something and so we’re in this really sophisticated joint like the Reagan Center downtown DC and he’s dressed all nicely and at our table, we had a.

104

00:15:47.670 –> 00:15:53.730

Cujo: We had a sergeant that was missing both legs remove due to a an attack in Iraq.

105

00:15:54.540 –> 00:16:09.210

Cujo: I remember just sitting there with him, and you know shaking hands and thanking him for what he had sacrificed and not having any understanding of what that meant is saying the words but not me having no concept of what it would be like to go through.

106

00:16:09.570 –> 00:16:13.620

Mike Malatesta: sort of like the words you’ve been trained to say to somebody that you encounter who’s been through something.

107

00:16:13.680 –> 00:16:20.250

Cujo: right and it felt fraudulent to say that, because there is no way to connect unless you’ve been there.

108

00:16:20.670 –> 00:16:27.480

Cujo: And for sure, and every I mean and all these generals kept on coming by and shaking hands with him and he had he had nothing but disdain for them is like.

109

00:16:27.810 –> 00:16:39.270

Cujo: You don’t get it you’re not here, life is good for you, you know it’s totally that day and ship guard, I had a small glimpse tiny micro glimpse of what it was that he had lost.

110

00:16:39.630 –> 00:16:45.060

Cujo: And I was so grateful for that, because living a life absent that you really can’t connect with others and.

111

00:16:45.420 –> 00:16:55.710

Cujo: I felt that that was a big a big step forward in my evolution as a human being, for which i’m forever grateful and that would not have happened, had we not excited most of my lower colon because of cancer so.

112

00:16:56.280 –> 00:17:01.080

Cujo: there’s so much good that comes from this, we had to get through those early days.

113

00:17:02.700 –> 00:17:10.740

Cujo: But, but you know, so we did, and here we are, and and I think that that most everything that has come from, it has been a huge positive.

114

00:17:12.570 –> 00:17:19.920

Mike Malatesta: So, before I dig into more there, I guess, I need to ask you, you know how is your health now i’m sure people are thinking this guy okay.

115

00:17:21.330 –> 00:17:23.190

Cujo: it’s it’s still good enough for government work.

116

00:17:26.070 –> 00:17:32.400

Cujo: keeping things at a relatively low standard it’s you know it’s not as good as it once was, but it’s good enough and.

117

00:17:33.180 –> 00:17:38.640

Cujo: We you know, have to go in for constant scans and tests and the heart rate goes up in the pucker factor goes higher and.

118

00:17:39.150 –> 00:17:47.040

Cujo: You know you have enough, Mr eyes and you just learn to deal with it and we’re blessed seven years cancer free this this past March.

119

00:17:47.790 –> 00:17:54.720

Cujo: went in for some more checkups here recently and they came back good so you know that’s going to always be there we’re always going to be thinking about it.

120

00:17:56.280 –> 00:18:03.420

Cujo: But it’s also a reminder constantly publicist we are and how fortunate, we are to have made it through the worst of those times at that stage and.

121

00:18:03.720 –> 00:18:14.340

Cujo: We pray constantly for all of those who are in the same in the same circumstances, because we get it, we know what it’s like as a family, by the way, because it’s a family affair sure.

122

00:18:15.390 –> 00:18:17.550

Mike Malatesta: Well, glad to hear that good for you, I mean.

123

00:18:17.790 –> 00:18:19.260

Mike Malatesta: Thank you keep that up okay.

124

00:18:19.530 –> 00:18:20.730

Cujo: Yes, this is yeah.

125

00:18:20.790 –> 00:18:22.710

Mike Malatesta: This is your this is your takeaway keep.

126

00:18:23.460 –> 00:18:23.790

Cujo: Okay.

127

00:18:24.660 –> 00:18:28.650

Mike Malatesta: that’s right when you were in the in the bio we mentioned.

128

00:18:29.700 –> 00:18:31.380

Mike Malatesta: You know the air force’s sort of.

129

00:18:33.570 –> 00:18:44.400

Mike Malatesta: Top gun, which is what you were in and most people listening to this or i’m sure familiar with the top gun movie and Tom cruise and what that was all about and I think most people.

130

00:18:44.850 –> 00:18:55.530

Mike Malatesta: Probably don’t have much they have someone in their family, who is a fire fighter pilot probably don’t have much of a reference point or Frame of Reference outside of that, and one of the things that.

131

00:18:56.070 –> 00:19:03.360

Mike Malatesta: And I want to, I want to get into that with you, but I remember when you started talking to us at the tech meeting you.

132

00:19:04.470 –> 00:19:12.900

Mike Malatesta: You know, because when you get introduced as a fighter pilot and military guy, and all this stuff that comes with certain perceptions, you know whether it was Tom cruise movie or whether it was.

133

00:19:14.460 –> 00:19:17.940

Mike Malatesta: You many others jack Nicholson comes to mind I can’t.

134

00:19:17.940 –> 00:19:19.230

Mike Malatesta: remember his name of the movie but.

135

00:19:19.830 –> 00:19:20.910

Cujo: A few good men.

136

00:19:21.000 –> 00:19:22.800

Mike Malatesta: You good man, thank you, yes it’s.

137

00:19:24.810 –> 00:19:33.330

Mike Malatesta: yeah there’s a certain sort of perception that proceeds or accompanies that kind of introduction and you did something very different when you.

138

00:19:33.750 –> 00:19:50.430

Mike Malatesta: After a similar introduction you came out and in a in a in an attempt, I think, to humanize yourself and disarm us, you asked us right off the top to go around the room and say what is your perception of me or something like that, so what what makes you do that what’s The reason for that.

139

00:19:50.910 –> 00:19:55.740

Cujo: Well, you know I think we’re we’re pretty good as human beings at.

140

00:19:56.940 –> 00:20:03.900

Cujo: kind of packaging people putting them in bins categorizing folks creating boundaries and separation points.

141

00:20:04.320 –> 00:20:13.470

Cujo: Finding reasons to not be able to connect with one another, you know you come from wherever and so, therefore, you must think like this, and so therefore we’re never going to be able to be fully my.

142

00:20:14.430 –> 00:20:20.310

Cujo: And I sometimes I listened to the things that people say about me and I wonder if I were to meet myself.

143

00:20:20.820 –> 00:20:31.080

Cujo: Based upon this introduction, for the first time, what I like me or not what I judged me or not what you know how How does this, how does this factor, and I think on your day I was having one of those moments of reflection.

144

00:20:31.650 –> 00:20:39.090

Cujo: And it occurred to me why don’t we just talk about this when that’d be just going to need i’ll be curious to know what you what you think about me before I even start talking.

145

00:20:39.630 –> 00:20:46.950

Cujo: And then, if there are some negative stereotypes, perhaps there’s some if there’s some categorizing that we can together work on.

146

00:20:47.430 –> 00:20:57.180

Cujo: disbanding I think we can we can create this connection in a in a tech meeting scenario what I really want is is for you as one of one of my attendees.

147

00:20:57.900 –> 00:21:04.320

Cujo: to buy into the notion that my team can become a high performance team, we can learn to practice accountability, the way that these.

148

00:21:04.680 –> 00:21:10.920

Cujo: You know these jet pilots do we can we can achieve more than we already do we’re already outstanding we can we can be that much better.

149

00:21:11.280 –> 00:21:28.110

Cujo: And I think one of the techniques to do that is to connect on a very human level, and that was that was that was part of the effort there and say your your group is very good at accommodating and answering and helping helping us to grow yeah the approach work.

150

00:21:28.140 –> 00:21:29.760

Mike Malatesta: It was really because I was sort of.

151

00:21:31.140 –> 00:21:33.840

Mike Malatesta: You know it’s kind of intimidating when you when you.

152

00:21:35.040 –> 00:21:48.210

Mike Malatesta: know that you’re going to be in the company, if someone with your kind of credentials right it’s like we all have our own credentials and those are pretty significant for most people doesn’t matter who you are you’ve done some great stuff in your life.

153

00:21:51.030 –> 00:22:01.020

Mike Malatesta: But it’s all it’s just for me it’s like a little different level, you know it’s sort of it my perception was that it was a little different level, and I was really glad you did that, because it was.

154

00:22:01.830 –> 00:22:10.560

Mike Malatesta: Because i’ve seen people do the other thing you know where they they their posture is always perfect and you know the uniform is or the whatever they were is just.

155

00:22:11.550 –> 00:22:26.100

Mike Malatesta: exactly the way it would be if it were a military uniform because their ex military and it, you know there it just comes off they use it different they use what they have differently than you use what you have and I thought that was for me, it was a welcome approach.

156

00:22:29.130 –> 00:22:33.210

Mike Malatesta: So I mentioned Tom cruise we have seen that movie i’m wondering, you know.

157

00:22:34.620 –> 00:22:43.410

Mike Malatesta: what’s oh and, by the way, i’ve called i’m calling him Cujo which is, which is the name that he was given by his.

158

00:22:44.550 –> 00:22:48.990

Mike Malatesta: classmates I guess right are they the squad or whatever it was that you were in is that.

159

00:22:49.500 –> 00:23:03.390

Cujo: that’s right the 58th fighter Squadron at eglin air force base in Fort walton beach Florida my teammates when I was a brand new guy they named me Cujo as a result of stories that were told about me at my naming ceremony okay.

160

00:23:03.810 –> 00:23:09.360

Mike Malatesta: So, think of animal house where john belushi goes around and he gives each of the pledges.

161

00:23:09.450 –> 00:23:10.440

Cujo: that’s for me.

162

00:23:11.610 –> 00:23:15.540

Mike Malatesta: it’s probably sort of like that, but a little bit maybe a little bit different.

163

00:23:15.930 –> 00:23:16.890

Cujo: of a more structured.

164

00:23:17.010 –> 00:23:24.870

Mike Malatesta: yeah but so i’m good at so he’s not allowed to write you’re not allowed to it’s sort of a secret what that actually means for you.

165

00:23:26.790 –> 00:23:33.660

Mike Malatesta: But I know you told us, you know look up the movie and you can make draw your own circle that’s where we should leave it with people.

166

00:23:33.870 –> 00:23:41.310

Cujo: that’s right it’s it’s a honor the process I can’t tell the stories but yeah you can draw draw your own conclusions kind of a thing.

167

00:23:41.760 –> 00:23:49.710

Mike Malatesta: Well, maybe we can tell the story, though, about the first name that you were actually given there, which was, I believe it was an F and G three.

168

00:23:50.130 –> 00:23:52.680

Mike Malatesta: that’s right frickin new guy three.

169

00:23:54.300 –> 00:24:05.370

Cujo: that’s exactly right nicely done yeah there were two there were two F and G is ahead of me, and so I became F and G three on day number one in my very first fighter assignment.

170

00:24:05.850 –> 00:24:09.450

Mike Malatesta: So that’s the respect that you garner having come out of flight school.

171

00:24:10.920 –> 00:24:14.310

Mike Malatesta: But not been in fighter school yeah right.

172

00:24:14.550 –> 00:24:24.330

Cujo: yeah so technically you’re qualified in the airplane you have been through 15 training, but the tribe hasn’t fully embraced you as as as a lifetime Member yet and so.

173

00:24:24.660 –> 00:24:28.170

Cujo: there’s a vetting period, you know and it’s a it’s an opportunity for them to.

174

00:24:28.440 –> 00:24:41.610

Cujo: evaluate you it’s an opportunity for you to come in and demonstrate who you really are it’s one thing to have a curriculum vj it’s another thing to behave in accordance with what what you say that you are and so we’re we’re somewhat.

175

00:24:42.870 –> 00:24:59.040

Cujo: we’re patient or a patient to allow folks to demonstrate their true ethic, and then based upon what they demonstrate over many months we decided yep good fit or not, and if so let’s give them a lifelong call, so I was named back in.

176

00:25:00.060 –> 00:25:10.020

Cujo: 1998 and you know here it is 2021 and i’m still referring to myself as coo Joe and I hope to do so until the day that I die i’m wedded do it.

177

00:25:10.890 –> 00:25:14.280

Mike Malatesta: Well i’m glad you’re calling yourself Cujo and not fnc three.

178

00:25:16.530 –> 00:25:17.580

Mike Malatesta: Tough to walk around with.

179

00:25:17.880 –> 00:25:18.330

Cujo: that’s right.

180

00:25:19.380 –> 00:25:20.070

Cujo: that’s right.

181

00:25:20.160 –> 00:25:27.720

Mike Malatesta: But I think there’s a great takeaway there in that you know at this point in your career, you.

182

00:25:28.350 –> 00:25:48.810

Mike Malatesta: go on to the naval academy you’ve gone to flight school, you know you’re you’re now you’ve been elevated into this elite fighter pilot school and you come in and the people who have already been there aren’t willing to just give you immediate respect and recognition or positive recognition.

183

00:25:50.070 –> 00:25:55.920

Mike Malatesta: Because to them, you are just the frickin new guy one of the frickin new guys.

184

00:25:56.850 –> 00:26:06.990

Mike Malatesta: I think there’s a great takeaway there for a lot of us, because we expect that once we reach a certain point which you had certainly reached by that time and you walk into a room and everybody should be.

185

00:26:07.920 –> 00:26:15.360

Mike Malatesta: sure to you know know who you are and know what you’ve done and be impressed, and these.

186

00:26:16.680 –> 00:26:19.980

Mike Malatesta: You still have to earn that there’s something you keep having to earn right.

187

00:26:20.100 –> 00:26:23.310

Mike Malatesta: Yes, throughout your whole career as soon as you’re in a new audience.

188

00:26:24.510 –> 00:26:33.300

Mike Malatesta: You know you you’ve got a bio sure, but you’re the frickin new guy or the frickin new Gal right that’s who you are So what do you got for me how he prove your worth.

189

00:26:35.010 –> 00:26:40.410

Cujo: And that’s the beauty of this is that you’re you know you’re constantly pursuing couple of things.

190

00:26:40.860 –> 00:26:48.540

Cujo: At the fighter Squadron level we’re constantly pursuing perfection like we want to fly the perfect mission, we want everything to go exactly.

191

00:26:49.470 –> 00:26:59.370

Cujo: As you didn’t vision and never does never flew perfect much never in a in all of my time ever hit the benchmark but we’re striving for it and so it’s that constant pursuit of excellence that.

192

00:27:00.030 –> 00:27:07.200

Cujo: kind of motivates you, day in and day out when things are tough when circumstances are challenging you’re you’re always seeking.

193

00:27:08.250 –> 00:27:16.590

Cujo: And that’s a really good warrior spirit that I think applies anywhere and then tied to, that is, how are you coming prepared every day to be excellent.

194

00:27:17.550 –> 00:27:25.380

Cujo: And some people talk a good game, but it’s really performance driven we track performance we’ve got kpis as well and fighter Squadron.

195

00:27:25.770 –> 00:27:29.910

Cujo: And what we’re always looking to see is you know who’s the top gun every fighter squadrons got one.

196

00:27:30.270 –> 00:27:39.090

Cujo: Who is it that can go out there and perform the best who who out who outperforms everyone when it comes to weapons employment who’s the person is hardest to.

197

00:27:39.360 –> 00:27:46.020

Cujo: to shoot down when your dog fighting them who’s the person who you don’t want to get go up against because they’re going to shoot you down your dog fight, I mean we.

198

00:27:46.440 –> 00:27:57.420

Cujo: were always and we got a board we track those things, we can see who’s actually doing it and and the performance speaks for itself, and one of the things that I enjoyed about that particular life is that it was a meritocracy.

199

00:27:58.110 –> 00:28:09.840

Cujo: And so, if you if you demonstrated performance, then you were rewarded for it in not you know with with monetary compensation, but with the opportunity to learn how to be even better.

200

00:28:10.470 –> 00:28:20.880

Cujo: And that was the whole That was the whole principle of the weapon school, it still is, you take the best that you have, and you use you put them through the most grueling six month course that the air force has.

201

00:28:21.150 –> 00:28:29.820

Cujo: And you make them better that’s the idea of the weapons instructor course formally to fight a weapon school, and that was air force base and to go through that.

202

00:28:30.930 –> 00:28:45.300

Cujo: To make it to graduation to walk across the stage and to be recognized as a graduate was like by far the highlight of my professional career to be invited to come back as an instructor was even even fourth stunning, you know because.

203

00:28:46.410 –> 00:28:52.350

Cujo: In my mind i’m thinking I don’t deserve to be here, even be invited to come back and teach.

204

00:28:52.770 –> 00:29:00.270

Cujo: And it can those kinds of accolades can distance you from others, it can cause you to think that you’re somebody special and that you’ve.

205

00:29:00.870 –> 00:29:07.140

Cujo: You know that you deserve a level of respect that others don’t have again I come back to cancer, if I have ever had any.

206

00:29:07.950 –> 00:29:14.820

Cujo: Any notions of pride and ego is getting the better of me cancer divorced me of all of those afflictions in an instant.

207

00:29:15.570 –> 00:29:25.140

Cujo: Because no longer was it about what the curriculum vj said no, no longer was it about how cool patch I was wearing or whatever it was it was now about.

208

00:29:25.650 –> 00:29:41.880

Cujo: You know, can I survive this thing can we can we find a way to to live through this provide for the family and what am I really on earth to do like like what is my true purpose, we spent a lot of time digging into that and what was neat was is that in Phase one of life.

209

00:29:43.140 –> 00:29:52.620

Cujo: You know, coming in, as a brand new frickin new guy eventually Cujo eventually going through my evolution, eventually, making it to the level of a Squadron commander, I thought I exist to fly airplanes.

210

00:29:53.670 –> 00:30:03.030

Cujo: What I think answer taught me was was that I had a fantastic background, which sets me up then to teach which fighter pilots a teacher first and always, by the way.

211

00:30:03.540 –> 00:30:07.470

Cujo: to teach things that make an impact, to make the world a little bit better.

212

00:30:07.920 –> 00:30:15.510

Cujo: And some of those things title leadership, some of those things tied to just general humaneness some of those things are on a spiritual domain, but there’s such.

213

00:30:15.930 –> 00:30:29.700

Cujo: there’s so much more on this side of the divide than when I was when I was thinking that I was going to devote myself to and that’s one of the many good outcomes of bad news instacart, which is why I say that’s where it all got going.

214

00:30:31.140 –> 00:30:31.680

Mike Malatesta: And what.

215

00:30:32.820 –> 00:30:39.240

Mike Malatesta: You mentioned meritocracy and It made me think i’d love to get your opinion on why you think a meritocracy is.

216

00:30:41.340 –> 00:30:49.470

Mike Malatesta: So great because, and the reason i’m asking is because and it’s probably I you know, I was, I was almost about the same nowadays people.

217

00:30:50.010 –> 00:30:58.170

Mike Malatesta: I sound so old when you say, nowadays, so I don’t want to say, nowadays, but it does seem like there’s a lot of more there’s a lot more attention being paid to.

218

00:31:01.410 –> 00:31:02.580

Mike Malatesta: sameness.

219

00:31:03.690 –> 00:31:06.630

Mike Malatesta: Then there is to meritocracy and.

220

00:31:11.760 –> 00:31:20.100

Mike Malatesta: And I it’s almost like if you say now, if you say you’re you are a believer in meritocracy Cujo that.

221

00:31:21.120 –> 00:31:31.320

Mike Malatesta: People might accuse you are not accused, but just say well it’s great to have the privilege to be in a place where you could you know thrive in a meritocracy or something along those lines, and I just want to.

222

00:31:31.920 –> 00:31:37.650

Mike Malatesta: You know, get your sense about what why it’s why you are a believer in our toxicity.

223

00:31:38.610 –> 00:31:39.390

Cujo: yeah I think.

224

00:31:41.280 –> 00:31:45.210

Cujo: I think meritocracy ties to integrity, I think.

225

00:31:46.470 –> 00:31:53.490

Cujo: You want to have an organization that that lives, the core value of integrity and all that it does.

226

00:31:53.940 –> 00:32:00.630

Cujo: One of the things that I really appreciated about the air force was was that, regardless of anybody’s background, if you went out there and perform if you.

227

00:32:00.990 –> 00:32:08.940

Cujo: If you achieve mission success consistently it didn’t matter where you came from all that mattered was you got this thing done and.

228

00:32:09.420 –> 00:32:15.180

Cujo: And we asked you to stick around we asked you to evolve and to and to grow as a leader, we asked you to.

229

00:32:15.750 –> 00:32:21.390

Cujo: To be a commander eventually we asked you to take on more responsibilities, because we could trust you with it, it was it was a.

230

00:32:21.750 –> 00:32:31.110

Cujo: Relatively pure place to do work it’s flawed, I mean anything that has humans involved in it there’s going to be there’s going to be issues nothing’s perfect and not i’m not trying to suggest that it is, but.

231

00:32:31.590 –> 00:32:38.310

Cujo: I felt like anybody had a chance in that environment to to meet their potential and maybe even exceed it.

232

00:32:39.060 –> 00:32:44.490

Cujo: And we were really focused in that world on growing people to be their very best and we spent so much time.

233

00:32:45.150 –> 00:32:51.240

Cujo: coaching people up and helping them to overcome their own inhibitions and limitations to performance because.

234

00:32:51.840 –> 00:33:01.860

Cujo: Our goal was to help everybody to be their very best and going back to my formative years at the air force Academy in Colorado springs.

235

00:33:02.730 –> 00:33:06.840

Cujo: If you think about it, in order to get accepted to college university.

236

00:33:07.110 –> 00:33:15.510

Cujo: You have to be an outstanding individual achiever right you’ve got to get good grades you’ve got to be the President of this and that you got to have outstanding s ETA CT scores you got to have this.

237

00:33:15.750 –> 00:33:26.370

Cujo: Again, it comes down to look at my list of accomplishments and how awesome I am and you put that front and Center and you know review boards look at it and, eventually, you get accepted or denied if you get accepted to prove that your outstanding.

238

00:33:27.330 –> 00:33:34.350

Cujo: And you can really get into yourself at the air force Academy, is where they changed the the change the evaluation dynamics.

239

00:33:34.860 –> 00:33:41.970

Cujo: For a bunch of teenagers, when I was 17 years old, when I started basically that training and if I came out of my dorm room.

240

00:33:42.720 –> 00:33:49.260

Cujo: wearing my uniform perfectly and you mentioned, you know folks coming from my background and everything’s creased and it’s tight it’s perfect and.

241

00:33:49.860 –> 00:33:59.160

Cujo: If I look perfect and my roommate didn’t I was punished because our standard wasn’t how awesome Are you the standard was how awesome are you as a team.

242

00:33:59.400 –> 00:34:06.900

Cujo: And you are judged against the lowest performer, and so our goal was our ambition was to raise the lowest performers level of achievement and.

243

00:34:07.140 –> 00:34:12.300

Cujo: There were things that I might be really good at there might be things that i’m not so good at we figured out who the.

244

00:34:12.570 –> 00:34:21.870

Cujo: Experts were and all the different fields that we were being evaluated on whether it was knowledge, whether it was uniform prep whether it was physical conditioning whatever and.

245

00:34:22.710 –> 00:34:32.430

Cujo: We would work together so that we, as a team got through the challenge and we were rewarded as a team when everybody passed, and that was a really wonderful dynamic and.

246

00:34:33.120 –> 00:34:40.260

Cujo: You know, and so, so that was part of the equation over here, and it was It was in that spirit than that we entered into the fighter pilot domain.

247

00:34:41.100 –> 00:34:48.300

Cujo: we’re now some people, some people are going to be able to get it better than others there’s too much going on for everybody to be.

248

00:34:48.690 –> 00:34:53.400

Cujo: You know number one so we’re going to track, who number one is going to track number two is number three is.

249

00:34:53.700 –> 00:34:58.980

Cujo: And we know that most of the folks are going to be able to to hang out sort of in the average and that’s okay.

250

00:34:59.340 –> 00:35:13.620

Cujo: we’re really want to help those that aren’t quite there to elevate their game we’re going to make a decision early on, as to whether or not they’re going to be a long term fit and move them elsewhere, but it was in that environment that I thought we had a really, really good team dynamic.

251

00:35:14.850 –> 00:35:19.830

Cujo: We enjoyed being in each other’s company we love going on the road together.

252

00:35:20.430 –> 00:35:33.090

Cujo: And what we find is is that people miss being involved in that, like all of my friends who have retired we all think back fondly on those days and look on them as being kind of the best days and wish that there were more organizations on.

253

00:35:33.570 –> 00:35:38.550

Cujo: You know out in the world that that had that kind of that kind of a vibrancy to them even my wife would tell you.

254

00:35:39.000 –> 00:35:48.240

Cujo: She misses me going to roll call she misses us being involved in the family dynamics of an air force fighter Squadron she loved it i’m sorry for getting a little bit long winded there.

255

00:35:48.300 –> 00:35:50.280

Mike Malatesta: No that’s Okay, I, like the way that you.

256

00:35:51.570 –> 00:35:51.930

You.

257

00:35:53.610 –> 00:36:00.780

Mike Malatesta: tied meritocracy to a group, because when I asked you the question I was not thinking about it in a group way and I think.

258

00:36:01.710 –> 00:36:10.350

Mike Malatesta: I feel like a lot of people might not think of it in a group way, but when you it makes it way more powerful when you describe a meritocracy.

259

00:36:10.950 –> 00:36:22.320

Mike Malatesta: As the contribution of the entire group to achieving you know, a particular goal, or how they achieve the goal or at what level they’re able to achieve the goal, so I thank you for that I wasn’t.

260

00:36:23.010 –> 00:36:33.630

Mike Malatesta: yeah that’s really see that changes the whole dynamic of meritocracy versus you know sameness because it is sameness same has to be great right same this as a group, to be the best you can possibly be.

261

00:36:33.990 –> 00:36:44.010

Cujo: And that’s our aspiration is to be the best that we can be because we’re so wedded to our purpose in a fighter squad and we’re so connected to it that it drives us each and every day.

262

00:36:44.490 –> 00:36:54.990

Cujo: You know it’s not money that we’re out there to get not fame certainly not fortune it’s all about it’s all about contributing to our national Defense and being as prepared, as we can be.

263

00:36:55.560 –> 00:37:11.400

Cujo: So that when we’re called on, we do the job, the right way, as expected to keep our country free and With that purpose in mind, you know folks are willing to go into harm’s way and give everything that’s a powerful concept, I think, Simon cynic did a very good job articulating.

264

00:37:13.230 –> 00:37:15.300

Cujo: What would Viktor frankl wrote about.

265

00:37:16.320 –> 00:37:26.610

Cujo: You know from experiences in a concentration camp, the core of that Why is enough to get us through the darkest moments, and to cause us to be able to stay focused on that which is going to allow us to.

266

00:37:27.210 –> 00:37:29.820

Cujo: To make it through those tough times and come out on the other side.

267

00:37:30.660 –> 00:37:37.110

Cujo: That much better and then, if we understand why it is we do what we do, we care to learn how to do it better all of its interconnected.

268

00:37:37.500 –> 00:37:41.730

Cujo: You know, and I trace it back to Franklin certainly goes back much farther than him but.

269

00:37:42.690 –> 00:37:47.550

Cujo: Two books that people have probably read probably picked up frankel’s book hopefully somewhere along the way into.

270

00:37:47.970 –> 00:37:59.040

Cujo: Things that you know made people multimillionaires cynic did a great job with start with why and all of that’s connected to this thread of you know, helping us to become our best helping us to be the best team that we can be.

271

00:38:00.000 –> 00:38:08.700

Mike Malatesta: yeah, I imagine, some people listening would go back to the Bible on that, but I Victor frankel’s book man’s search for meaning, I think, is the book you’re referring to and.

272

00:38:08.730 –> 00:38:10.050

Cujo: that’s right it’s.

273

00:38:10.140 –> 00:38:14.670

Mike Malatesta: It is amazing how, when you have a why a powerful why you can put a lot of crap to the side.

274

00:38:15.600 –> 00:38:16.560

Cujo: Exactly.

275

00:38:16.590 –> 00:38:18.630

Mike Malatesta: d rails other people’s stuff that is.

276

00:38:19.860 –> 00:38:22.680

Mike Malatesta: You know, ultimately distraction.

277

00:38:24.240 –> 00:38:27.960

Mike Malatesta: But can easily be come front page news for you right.

278

00:38:28.470 –> 00:38:32.280

Mike Malatesta: But if you know your why you can just put it to the side and keep.

279

00:38:33.810 –> 00:38:36.330

Mike Malatesta: You know, keep moving forward, so thank you for sharing that.

280

00:38:36.690 –> 00:38:46.200

Mike Malatesta: I want to ask in the weeds question before I start to tie together are we start to tie together, you know what you learned in the.

281

00:38:47.220 –> 00:38:52.380

Mike Malatesta: In the air force with the work that you do now, and I think, so the in the weeds question I want to ask you is.

282

00:38:53.670 –> 00:39:15.990

Mike Malatesta: F 15 F 22 most people have no idea listening I imagined have no idea what those planes are so I would like from someone who’s you know, been in for flown trained taught what it, what is the difference between those two planes and what is it like to to be inside of one of those.

283

00:39:17.700 –> 00:39:18.960

Mike Malatesta: or operate one of those.

284

00:39:19.320 –> 00:39:26.790

Cujo: yeah yeah wow Okay, so the is the world’s greatest air superiority fighter it’s designed to go out.

285

00:39:27.030 –> 00:39:35.670

Cujo: and clear the skies of enemy aircraft, so that we can either you know go deep into bad guy land and do what we need to do or protect ourselves from anybody who’s trying to attack us.

286

00:39:36.210 –> 00:39:46.710

Cujo: it’s a it’s a magnificent airplane it was it was designed with slide rules in the 1960s, it was first flown in California 1972 became operational in the 1970s.

287

00:39:47.610 –> 00:39:55.260

Cujo: We bought maybe 750 of them, it was it was the backbone of our air superiority fleet and just from a from a context standpoint.

288

00:39:56.010 –> 00:40:07.800

Cujo: American troops have not been attacked from for enemy airpower since 1953 so since the end of the Korean War which which any air superiority I would tell you, you know it’s a badge of honor for us.

289

00:40:09.060 –> 00:40:10.740

Mike Malatesta: The word clear Cujo you mean.

290

00:40:13.560 –> 00:40:26.910

Cujo: Yes, so will eliminate will take out any airplanes that are in our way and we were designed the airplane is is designed around a gigantic radar system that can detect enemy aircraft and we’ve we’ve got eight air to air missiles on the version that I flew there’s 12 and the new.

291

00:40:28.170 –> 00:40:39.930

Cujo: That the Boeing just released and those things are designed to eliminate the airplane that might be in our way so that’s that’s core mission set for the air superiority side of things, the.

292

00:40:40.650 –> 00:40:55.260

Cujo: Is a fourth generation airplanes tracing back to you know the Wright brothers in the first powered flight we’ve evolved in generations and the 15 is considered to be a fourth generation of aircraft development, the fifth generation of aircraft development is.

293

00:40:57.360 –> 00:41:02.280

Cujo: is to provide by the F 22 and the F 35 so the F 22 is an evolution on the.

294

00:41:03.210 –> 00:41:11.310

Cujo: it’s designed for air supremacy, it also has a primary mission of wiping out any enemy air threats, but it also can can go in and drop.

295

00:41:11.790 –> 00:41:22.710

Cujo: And drop munitions drop bombs on targets and the F 22 it’s low observable so it can get deep into enemy or space, you know, theoretically, without them, knowing that we’re there.

296

00:41:23.340 –> 00:41:39.180

Cujo: It can do things like fly faster than the speed of sound without use of afterburners so it’s more fuel conservative it’s got some really fantastic features that make the workload for the pilot go down and it’s a market improvement on the core of of what it is the.

297

00:41:40.200 –> 00:41:48.840

Cujo: Does this we have to have been able to fly both of those was such an incredible blessing in my world now what does it feel like to fly these things, imagine.

298

00:41:49.320 –> 00:41:55.020

Cujo: Imagine being absolutely at your most exhaustive ever like you’re up all night kids are sick.

299

00:41:55.410 –> 00:42:07.200

Cujo: You know you’re writing another chapter to your book you’re stressed about finance you get any number of things on your mind you didn’t sleep a wink and now you’re dragging a shave and coming in, when ready to go to work like I only know if i’m safe to drive.

300

00:42:08.910 –> 00:42:12.690

Cujo: picture yourself a strapping into an F 22 or.

301

00:42:14.100 –> 00:42:22.560

Cujo: And plugging in the afterburners and getting a charge of adrenaline that wakes you up and it’s going to keep you awake for the next however many hours that you’re out there, it is a rush.

302

00:42:23.070 –> 00:42:29.220

Cujo: I mean the thrill of feeling the afterburners kicking in behind you and just roaring down the runway.

303

00:42:29.490 –> 00:42:36.750

Cujo: and accelerating in no time and lifting off and raising the landing gear and zip it on and maybe you’re flying and close formation to another airplane.

304

00:42:37.080 –> 00:42:42.480

Cujo: And you’re going out there to to accomplish a mission and we never just fly, for the sake of why we were out there do it.

305

00:42:42.960 –> 00:42:49.140

Cujo: To achieve some objectives on a given mission and now you’re putting all of your training all your knowledge to the test.

306

00:42:49.500 –> 00:42:56.370

Cujo: In terms of your physical and your mental execution you’re out there it’s a full contact sport you’re doing things that the body is not accustomed to doing.

307

00:42:56.730 –> 00:43:03.780

Cujo: In the in the raptor when you when you pull back on a stick, which is like a very, very slight movement on the control stick on the right side of the airplane.

308

00:43:04.140 –> 00:43:11.640

Cujo: you’re almost instantaneously at nine times the force of gravity the blood rushes out of your brain into your hands into your feet, you have to fight to stay awake.

309

00:43:11.940 –> 00:43:19.740

Cujo: you’re making decisions based off of a dot you see on the horizon, as to whether this is a good guy or bad guy whether or not you’re going to use a weapon you’re merging.

310

00:43:20.010 –> 00:43:27.540

Cujo: You know it hundreds of miles an hour with a with a threat you’re transitioning from high speed slow speed flight and just doing all this stuff and then you come back down.

311

00:43:28.560 –> 00:43:36.990

Cujo: an hour later, you know, and you and you realize what you’ve just accomplished and it’s it can’t duplicate it i’ve tried it i’ve jumped out of airplanes have.

312

00:43:37.770 –> 00:43:46.920

Cujo: ridden motorcycles round whatever done i’ve been fun things, but nothing comes close to the rush of being out there and testing yourself always.

313

00:43:47.460 –> 00:43:55.620

Cujo: experiencing those forces it’s it is it’s a phenomenal way of life, it leads to degradation of the spinal column and.

314

00:43:56.160 –> 00:44:07.440

Cujo: all kinds of other issues, maybe even a little bit of colorectal cancer if none of time, but I wouldn’t trade it I wouldn’t trade it for anything Mike and I i’m eternally blessed for having had that background okay.

315

00:44:07.470 –> 00:44:14.760

Mike Malatesta: Well, I appreciate you sharing that because, as you were talking it through, I was thinking Okay, so they say the hardest thing to do in sports has to hit a baseball.

316

00:44:15.240 –> 00:44:21.030

Mike Malatesta: And i’m thinking to myself well she’s if that was the hardest thing to do, as a fighter pilot you’d have had a lot of fighter pilots, but.

317

00:44:21.840 –> 00:44:26.880

Mike Malatesta: You just described, there seems a hell of a lot harder than then hitting a baseball and I guess.

318

00:44:29.160 –> 00:44:40.440

Mike Malatesta: The book debrief to when you basically take us through in in tremendous detail which, thank you for that I was mentioning that before we went on, I mean this book debrief to win.

319

00:44:41.010 –> 00:44:46.500

Mike Malatesta: really takes you through how to do an effective debrief how to build good accountability into.

320

00:44:46.920 –> 00:44:55.170

Mike Malatesta: Your organization accountability at a level that I don’t think any most people listening, who will define accountability in a workplace would come even close.

321

00:44:55.830 –> 00:45:06.330

Mike Malatesta: To being what you what you’re trying what the what the what the air force and then what what you are doing with the Max group are trying to build into companies and I guess, I want to start with the.

322

00:45:07.590 –> 00:45:19.170

Mike Malatesta: debrief in the in the in the air force so the, which is the basis for what you what you are now doing right, so you just described, you know speed of sound or faster.

323

00:45:20.580 –> 00:45:22.350

Mike Malatesta: Blood leaving your brain.

324

00:45:24.300 –> 00:45:35.040

Mike Malatesta: You know, able to clear, you know the skies, and you know all of this being done in I don’t know how much space, you can travel in a second or.

325

00:45:35.250 –> 00:45:41.010

Cujo: Meeting go 10 miles a minute at at mach one you’re going 10 miles a minute Mark two is 20 miles a minute okay.

326

00:45:41.130 –> 00:45:53.460

Mike Malatesta: So phenomenally fast right, and then you guys do this, which is amazing, and I was in and of itself, you land you, you know, and you almost immediately.

327

00:45:54.450 –> 00:46:02.040

Mike Malatesta: get into a room and start talking about what went right with the mission what went wrong with the mission, and not only that it’s not.

328

00:46:02.820 –> 00:46:21.030

Mike Malatesta: it’s not there’s no class in in these debriefs right, so you could be that you know the FN G three or you can be the commander, and if the commander, and if the commander was flying or teaching right same thing and you’re in this room, so to.

329

00:46:22.200 –> 00:46:24.660

Mike Malatesta: give everybody in and give everybody.

330

00:46:26.280 –> 00:46:34.830

Mike Malatesta: An understanding of what that processes is actually like because most people I think like holy crap I landed the plane enough okay.

331

00:46:34.920 –> 00:46:37.800

Mike Malatesta: yeah that’s a success, I got back.

332

00:46:38.010 –> 00:46:38.610

Cujo: that’s right.

333

00:46:38.670 –> 00:46:39.780

Mike Malatesta: that’s just the start.

334

00:46:40.410 –> 00:46:47.550

Cujo: That is just the start, in fact, we would tell you if you go do a Google search for fighter pilot debrief chances are you’re going to find.

335

00:46:48.420 –> 00:46:57.360

Cujo: Multiple articles written by former fighter pilots who tell you the that’s, the most important part of the mission it’s not actually flying the mission it’s the debrief of the mission because that’s where we learn.

336

00:46:58.110 –> 00:47:13.230

Cujo: And we know that we’re limited, you know there’s not enough gas for you to fly in definitely there’s not enough sorties as we call the missions available to be able to fly every day so maybe a fly depending on where you are in the evolution eight to 10 times a month.

337

00:47:15.120 –> 00:47:19.320

Cujo: And so, how do you get as much bang for the buck and how do you keep everybody on point with.

338

00:47:19.800 –> 00:47:28.440

Cujo: doing what it is that we’re the country’s asking of us, given some of those limitations and the simple answer is you’re going to dissect every mission that you flew for everything that you can learn from it.

339

00:47:28.830 –> 00:47:34.380

Cujo: So that the next time out here that much better, and you know we’re human so there’s going to be days when you.

340

00:47:34.590 –> 00:47:43.140

Cujo: Allegedly learn something yesterday and today go out there and you do, even worse, but that’s just part of the human condition you’re gonna learn from that again and, hopefully, the next time get it right.

341

00:47:43.770 –> 00:47:47.670

Cujo: or really trying to do is we’re trying to make sure that we don’t ever get complacent.

342

00:47:48.120 –> 00:47:52.140

Cujo: Because complacency kills and we’re really kills us is if we think that.

343

00:47:52.410 –> 00:48:01.200

Cujo: The solution to today’s problem, the one that we applied in yesterday’s plan is going to solve tomorrow’s problem as well, because it won’t always mean the world’s changing around us and such a fast clip so we’re.

344

00:48:01.530 –> 00:48:08.340

Cujo: Conscientious of that we’re trying to avoid complacency we’re also trying to avoid the arrogance says don’t you know who we are, we always win.

345

00:48:09.030 –> 00:48:20.310

Cujo: And if we don’t take the time to assess how we’re doing that arrogance is going to hurt us, and so we can’t allow either those afflictions to take root and then there’s this this idea that.

346

00:48:21.420 –> 00:48:24.990

Cujo: it’s such a volatile such an uncertain such a complex session ambiguous.

347

00:48:25.500 –> 00:48:32.670

Cujo: arena in which we operate the US army war college coined the term Luca volatile uncertain complex and ambiguous that’s fighter aviation.

348

00:48:32.970 –> 00:48:39.000

Cujo: In order to day consistently pursue excellence we’ve got to learn, each time we go out there and so we do we’re very disciplined in it.

349

00:48:39.390 –> 00:48:44.850

Cujo: You talk about the amount of time that we spend we might you know at the weapons instructor course Mike.

350

00:48:45.450 –> 00:48:52.650

Cujo: We would fly missions that lasted an hour of which maybe 35 minutes was actual tactical execution.

351

00:48:53.190 –> 00:49:04.200

Cujo: You know you have to fly to the place that you’re going to go fight, you have to fly back from so that takes a huge chunk of time I will be brief, that thing for 19 solid hours, and I would never encourage anybody in business.

352

00:49:05.310 –> 00:49:12.990

Cujo: To go through that pain there’s no need to but in our world will do that to maximize our time to make sure that we’re on point.

353

00:49:13.590 –> 00:49:18.840

Cujo: And what we found is the most effective mechanism to ensure that we meet the nation’s call always.

354

00:49:19.470 –> 00:49:33.570

Cujo: And those you know the notion that you wouldn’t do this everywhere is anathema to us, we can’t comprehend that the rest of the world doesn’t debrief the way that we do, because that is the most effective tool that we have to guarantee performance always.

355

00:49:34.890 –> 00:49:36.240

Cujo: And we have a strip.

356

00:49:37.290 –> 00:49:48.150

Cujo: know we have a we have a structure for it, so it always looks the same like we know you know i’m I haven’t been in a fighter Squadron and years, so you know, the last time I flew was in in 2012.

357

00:49:48.840 –> 00:49:53.370

Cujo: But if I were to jump into a fighter Squadron tomorrow I guarantee you the structures, the exact same as what I used to teach.

358

00:49:53.850 –> 00:50:04.200

Cujo: The structure doesn’t need to change the principles remain constant how it is we learn remains constant what we learn that’s the part that changes so there’s comfort and familiarity and that when everybody’s used to it.

359

00:50:04.620 –> 00:50:12.990

Cujo: When they recognize the value of it it’s not something that’s off putting it’s something that you gravitate towards it’s not that it’s easy it’s it can be, it can be difficult to become.

360

00:50:13.440 –> 00:50:19.500

Cujo: really well versed at it, but it’s such a useful tool that will never not do it will always end a mission with a debrief.

361

00:50:20.610 –> 00:50:21.480

Cujo: And I think I.

362

00:50:22.140 –> 00:50:35.970

Mike Malatesta: I watched one or two debrief videos you mentioned the videos and what struck me well, a couple things one when people when most people think about accountability with leaders are told, all the time because.

363

00:50:37.230 –> 00:50:45.090

Mike Malatesta: You know you got to hold you got to keep your team accountable right and it’s it’s an easy thing to say, and a difficult thing to do, and I think it’s.

364

00:50:45.630 –> 00:50:58.050

Mike Malatesta: I think what’s happened and tell me if you think this this is true, I think what’s happened is a lot of people who are on the receiving end of being accountable feel they hear being punished, rather than being accountable right.

365

00:50:58.110 –> 00:51:02.340

Cujo: Yes, um, do you agree with that okay hundred percent yes, which.

366

00:51:02.370 –> 00:51:24.120

Mike Malatesta: which obviously you can’t get anywhere with us with with a system that people think is punishing them as opposed to you know, helping them, but when I when I watch these videos and read your book, because he has an actual text of debriefs in the book and what struck me was that.

367

00:51:25.140 –> 00:51:28.140

Mike Malatesta: There was no, you should have.

368

00:51:29.910 –> 00:51:46.620

Mike Malatesta: In a debrief so there was no person saying to another, you should have it was, I think it was a question about you know, did you consider or something along those lines, and everyone else as they go around the table, even if they had a perfect mission.

369

00:51:47.940 –> 00:52:00.660

Mike Malatesta: Like they’re getting congratulated on the mission says, you know, thank you, but as i’m reflecting here, I could have, and then they say something that they could have done that may have improved.

370

00:52:01.440 –> 00:52:07.380

Mike Malatesta: The mission and do I have that right is that the sort of the the approach and the cadence and these things.

371

00:52:07.650 –> 00:52:12.930

Cujo: You do, and I would say that there’s you know there’s always going to be a spectrum, I mean there’s you know.

372

00:52:14.550 –> 00:52:22.110

Cujo: there’s not one size fits all there’s times when you’re going to be prescriptive there might be a time when I say look my got it there’s all kinds of the next time never do that again.

373

00:52:22.200 –> 00:52:23.640

Mike Malatesta: Right you never exchanger right.

374

00:52:23.850 –> 00:52:27.300

Cujo: Right that’s it is dangerous kind of a thing if it’s odd you know time.

375

00:52:27.960 –> 00:52:36.210

Cujo: But we really want these debriefs sessions to be learning sessions, the best way to learn something is to help coach somebody through to an answer, they arrive at the conclusion themselves, and if.

376

00:52:36.480 –> 00:52:44.070

Cujo: If you can get them to come to that self realization and if if we can create an environment where people can be vulnerable and take ownership.

377

00:52:44.880 –> 00:52:58.140

Cujo: Then we really equipped ourselves to be excellent vulnerable being able to admit to mistakes and weaknesses in front of each other that’s a hard thing to do it just so happens that in a fighter Squadron that is this the constant state.

378

00:53:00.330 –> 00:53:07.650

Cujo: of affairs it’s just just how it is we’re able to be vulnerable, we have a thing called psychological safety we reward people for being vulnerable.

379

00:53:08.130 –> 00:53:15.060

Cujo: And if we can, if we can admit to mistakes weaknesses, we can take that one evolution further we can take ownership of the outcomes and what’s really.

380

00:53:15.270 –> 00:53:22.260

Cujo: fascinating to see is on the heels of a failure it’s not uncommon for everybody to offer that they’re the reason why the mission wasn’t a success.

381

00:53:23.700 –> 00:53:30.270

Cujo: And when you get to the sort of elevated state of teamwork where everybody is fighting somebody else say no actually this you know.

382

00:53:30.720 –> 00:53:37.260

Cujo: You can pin this on me, because what happened was I didn’t do this thing and then the other person says well yeah that’s fine, but that wasn’t as big of a deal is mine not having done, the thing.

383

00:53:37.530 –> 00:53:39.900

Cujo: And the Leader stuffing and saying yeah and i’m the one.

384

00:53:40.110 –> 00:53:47.850

Cujo: who manage this whole thing all the way through, and I allowed you to do this and I allowed you to do this and I didn’t give you guys any additional guys actually on me i’ll give you 10% and 10%.

385

00:53:48.060 –> 00:53:56.550

Cujo: But 80% of this is me that’s an environment where you really start to elevate and by elevate i’m talking we start to perform and.

386

00:53:57.330 –> 00:54:09.720

Cujo: If you go back to if we go back to that first question, he asked me and the kind of odd entry that I gave you in response you know cancer is where it all kind of took a turn the reason why I say, that is, is that we took.

387

00:54:10.530 –> 00:54:15.810

Cujo: The time my wife and I did to debrief how it is, we got into the cancer journey, because it was avoidable.

388

00:54:16.470 –> 00:54:23.460

Cujo: And we we follow the same rigor that I taught in the air force that I used on every mission that I flew.

389

00:54:24.090 –> 00:54:31.410

Cujo: We applied it to ourselves and what we found was is that you know being vulnerable and really was being vulnerable.

390

00:54:32.160 –> 00:54:34.680

Cujo: In front of my wife, I take ownership of the fact that.

391

00:54:35.250 –> 00:54:46.320

Cujo: I completely flubbed the opportunity to investigate at a time when we could have literally nip this thing in the in the in the button, all of us suffered for the kids did my wife did.

392

00:54:46.770 –> 00:54:50.970

Cujo: I physically did, but I feel bad for what it is that I expose them to and all of this, and yet.

393

00:54:51.300 –> 00:54:59.070

Cujo: The outcome is so much better than if we had never gone through this because it’s through our greatest failures that we accomplish hopefully our biggest.

394

00:54:59.640 –> 00:55:03.030

Cujo: steps forward we learn the most and we evolve fastest.

395

00:55:03.390 –> 00:55:12.090

Cujo: it’s our ambition as a family to be a high performance team and cancer was the tipping point in that direction if i’m teaching teamwork principles to business leaders or if i’m doing this in the finest.

396

00:55:12.480 –> 00:55:21.570

Cujo: Why aren’t we doing this at home huge takeaway for me is that a team is a team as a team and the most important team that some of us are privileged to be on is on the family team.

397

00:55:21.960 –> 00:55:29.190

Cujo: And if we’re not concentrated there, and if we’re not working, every day to be our best in the family domain and what does the other stuff even matter.

398

00:55:29.820 –> 00:55:36.450

Cujo: If you go back beyond Viktor frankl and take it back to the Bible there’s a spiritual independent to all of this, and I believe it’s my obligation.

399

00:55:37.260 –> 00:55:47.280

Cujo: To be here for my family and part of that obligation means talking about things and being open about experiences and keeping those secrets from the people that I love and so.

400

00:55:47.550 –> 00:55:56.340

Cujo: we’re working every day to be the best family team that we can be, and that would not have happened, had we not gone through the debrief of the cancer journey Nice.

401

00:55:57.720 –> 00:55:59.580

Mike Malatesta: So thanks for sharing that, by the way.

402

00:55:59.670 –> 00:56:01.770

Mike Malatesta: Of course, the.

403

00:56:03.570 –> 00:56:10.530

Mike Malatesta: I guess what I want to try to end with here’s what has to be true, about a company or a leadership team.

404

00:56:12.000 –> 00:56:16.890

Mike Malatesta: In order for you the work that you’re doing now at V Max group to be.

405

00:56:19.530 –> 00:56:19.920

helpful.

406

00:56:21.030 –> 00:56:33.870

Mike Malatesta: And in and I went to prep I just want to because there’s there’s probably very few companies out there who have a mission, like the missions, you were describing right with all of those high intensity things happening all the time.

407

00:56:35.250 –> 00:56:37.770

Mike Malatesta: So there’s not that and they didn’t all come out of.

408

00:56:39.300 –> 00:56:45.930

Mike Malatesta: You know the air force academy or the naval academy or that you know these you know super high Echelon places.

409

00:56:47.790 –> 00:56:51.030

Mike Malatesta: In and they aren’t doing work that’s important for the.

410

00:56:51.240 –> 00:56:52.710

Mike Malatesta: National Security of our.

411

00:56:53.370 –> 00:56:56.430

Mike Malatesta: country, for example, and all these things, so what has to be true.

412

00:56:58.800 –> 00:56:59.340

Mike Malatesta: To.

413

00:57:00.900 –> 00:57:05.490

Mike Malatesta: yeah what has to be true for you to work be able to work and help and help them.

414

00:57:07.170 –> 00:57:07.560

Cujo: I think.

415

00:57:08.670 –> 00:57:22.410

Cujo: I think at a very basic level, they have to recognize that as good as they are, at whatever it is that they do the big be better nobody has ever flown the perfect mission I would argue in any domain like we maybe we think we’re close but.

416

00:57:23.490 –> 00:57:31.950

Cujo: But if that’s the case then that’s really almost unfortunate because what kind of a future is there, like you know if you’re if you’re already maxed out and perfect then.

417

00:57:33.360 –> 00:57:36.420

Cujo: I mean, I guess you start to die at that point, I really don’t know.

418

00:57:36.450 –> 00:57:40.920

Mike Malatesta: You know, and so I think in right yeah you’ve written a story that’s not true, how about that we just.

419

00:57:40.950 –> 00:57:52.890

Cujo: I would agree with you, and so, if you’re if the fundamental premise is as good as we are, we can be better than that’s that’s the place that that that we want to have a conversation, and remember this.

420

00:57:53.970 –> 00:57:56.250

Cujo: All of us are doing something that’s making an impact.

421

00:57:57.270 –> 00:58:11.850

Cujo: And one of my one of my biggest challenges is listening to a chief executive officer undersell what it is that our company does all we do here Cujo is we make a screw and so therefore were unimportant haha.

422

00:58:13.470 –> 00:58:20.610

Cujo: What I would say is if that’s your view is the chief executive is the person leading this organization you’re not the right person for that organization or.

423

00:58:21.120 –> 00:58:29.430

Cujo: i’ll give you some give you some grace here and see maybe spend some time on earth thing why it is that you work in this company and find your core why.

424

00:58:30.210 –> 00:58:33.990

Cujo: And that exploration can be a deeply meaningful effort.

425

00:58:34.080 –> 00:58:42.720

Cujo: That leads us to recognize the impact that we’re truly making by virtue of the screw that we manufacture, where the rubber piece that we’ve created whatever it is that we do around here.

426

00:58:43.140 –> 00:58:47.130

Cujo: And that’s necessary and, by the way, every company employs somebody.

427

00:58:47.610 –> 00:58:55.050

Cujo: Who is able to live their life because of the compensation they get from this company so there’s additional meaning and that we got to keep these doors open.

428

00:58:55.410 –> 00:59:04.950

Cujo: And then, on a strategic level all these small businesses got to succeed if we want to have an economy that’s strong enough to afford the Defense that we need in a really disruptive world so it’s all tied together.

429

00:59:05.220 –> 00:59:16.950

Cujo: And if the ambition is hey we’re really good that we can be better, why not learn from an organization that takes the best of the best and makes them that much better to go back and teach so that we’re constantly learning and growing.

430

00:59:17.760 –> 00:59:26.430

Cujo: That I think is the essence of business, we ought to be constantly learning constantly growing in order to be able to make the impact that we have that’s the entry point.

431

00:59:28.080 –> 00:59:44.490

Mike Malatesta: Well, that sure seems like an entry point that almost anybody can walk into then because I don’t know that there’s a company out there, or a person out there, or any organization out there that can say that they’re at a point where their ability to to to improve.

432

00:59:45.990 –> 00:59:48.660

Mike Malatesta: For their ability to increase their capability to improve.

433

00:59:50.100 –> 00:59:53.490

Mike Malatesta: You know it’s just it’s just maxed out, I mean there’s just no more willing to go.

434

00:59:55.320 –> 01:00:00.240

Cujo: Even Toyota production system which really you know popularized the concept of continuous improvement.

435

01:00:01.320 –> 01:00:10.860

Cujo: For as long as they’ve been doing it i’ve been consistently continuing to try to get better and maybe taking some steps backwards right the break issue a couple of years ago and whatnot I.

436

01:00:10.860 –> 01:00:12.930

Cujo: mean human James dealing with you and things.

437

01:00:13.290 –> 01:00:15.750

Mike Malatesta: like this acceleration.

438

01:00:15.780 –> 01:00:29.940

Cujo: that’s right that’s right so there’s always opportunities to learn we’re never going to be consistently perfect that’s part of the human condition, and so we have to aspire to to learn how to be better.

439

01:00:30.660 –> 01:00:35.670

Cujo: As things change around us and change within us and that’s what’s exciting so.

440

01:00:36.180 –> 01:00:46.680

Cujo: tying it all back I used to think that I existed, be a fighter pilot now, I think I was a fighter pilot to assist in my true life’s work of helping organizations and people improve.

441

01:00:47.220 –> 01:00:53.190

Cujo: Whatever it is that they do, because it most all of it is incredibly meaningful, sometimes we just have to figure out how.

442

01:00:54.870 –> 01:00:55.470

nicely done.

443

01:00:57.030 –> 01:01:04.350

Mike Malatesta: Well, Robert Cujo tester Thank you so much for being on the show today I, this has been a real gift i’m glad you came on.

444

01:01:05.820 –> 01:01:11.220

Mike Malatesta: i’m glad I met you in the first place i’m glad that you were up in the skies, you know, protecting us i’m glad that.

445

01:01:11.880 –> 01:01:24.030

Mike Malatesta: Not glad that you got cancer, but i’m glad that that having gone through the cancer process has been the new story, you know, or it has actually improved the story of your life that was this fabulous way to look at it and it made you.

446

01:01:25.380 –> 01:01:43.020

Mike Malatesta: You know, really relatable to the you know average person right, I mean all of a sudden you’re lumped in with a lot of other people have similar problem that’s that’s that’s connected to being a human it’s just a human problem.

447

01:01:44.280 –> 01:01:55.020

Mike Malatesta: and congratulations for for getting past it and seven years of of good cancer free life that will, I hope, be seven more in seven more in seven more in seven more.

448

01:01:55.050 –> 01:02:00.630

Mike Malatesta: Yes, how do you want people to contact you what’s the best way for people to reach out.

449

01:02:01.230 –> 01:02:10.980

Cujo: The easiest way is through the website V Max group llc COM there’s a there’s a button says request an appointment or schedule an appointment that’s the easiest thing it brings up my calendar.

450

01:02:11.490 –> 01:02:18.660

Cujo: And we’ll take it from there and i’ve had all kinds of different conversations with folks not just tied to hey can you come work with us, but.

451

01:02:19.140 –> 01:02:30.420

Cujo: i’ve got some questions, but something that you said in the podcast and always happy to accommodate that so vm X GR oh up llc COM that’s the way to get in touch with me.

452

01:02:30.960 –> 01:02:35.130

Mike Malatesta: All right, super cool Joe Thank you so much for being on the show it’s been it’s been a great honor.

453

01:02:35.400 –> 01:02:45.330

Cujo: Mike thanks for having me, it was a joy to meet you in person, and I was looking forward to today, ever since you invited me, initially, so thank you, thank you, thank you doing great work in the world.

Mike Malatesta

Mike Malatesta

Leave a Replay

About Me

I help entrepreneurs get unstuck, take back their power, achieve their life objectives, and create the futures they want.

Listen to the Podcast

Get My Weekly Newsletter

Recent Posts

Sign up for My Newsletter

By signing up you will get the weekly “Inspire & Activate Greatness Blog” every Thursday.

%d bloggers like this: