Brad Kullman: Losing His MLB Dream Job Birthed His Vision to Help People Understand How They’re Wired #16

Warwick Fairfax

April 8, 2020

As general manager of Major League Baseball’s Cincinnati Reds, Brad Kullman was living his childhood dream of making a living, and a life, in the game he loved. But after being passed over for permanent promotions and finally being let go, he moved past the devastation to realize he was free to pursue a passion that had become even more important to him: using the analytical tools he had pioneered as a pro sports scout and executive to help everyday men and women unlock the insights of their hardwired makeup. In this interview with Crucible Leadership founder and BEYOND THE CRUCIBLE host Warwick Fairfax, Kullman explains how standard personality tests offer insufficient help  in charting a course to a life of significance for those who experience crucibles, and offers insights and resources to help listeners understand and apply the realities of how they’re wired. 

To learn more about Brad Kullman and Hardwired Makeup, visit www.maxqperformance.com

Highlights

 

  • How the world of pro sports is rife with crucible moments (4:09)
  • The value of understanding hardwired makeup in sports … and life (6:54)
  • The dangers of letting your career, even your dream career, define you (9:00)
  • Crucibles can bring relief as well as pain (13:07)
  • Why you can’t be whatever you want to be … and why it’s a good thing (19:35)
  • The importance of having someone close to help you on your path to significance (22:12)
  • How do you understand how you’re wired? (23:29)
  • The critical value of passion in crafting a vision (26:14)
  • What makes Hardwired Makeup unique among behavior assessments … and why that’s a benefit (28:28)
  • Why it’s good we’re not all equal (29:49)

Transcript

Gary S:
Hi everybody, I’m Gary Schneeberger, the cohost of Beyond the Crucible and I’m welcoming you here to our podcast today. I’m the Communications Director for Crucible Leadership and just want to tell you a little bit about the podcast that you dropped in on. We talk here about crucible experiences, those moments in life that can feel, well, they can feel like life maybe over. It can feel like life has stopped. It can feel like life has changed course like a river changes course in a natural disaster. But the reason that we talk about these crucible experiences, these failures, these setbacks, these traumas and these tragedies is not to dwell on the negative, is not to live in the past, is not to wallow in things that have happened to us that have been painful. We talk about these experiences because we want to offer hope and healing to people who’ve experienced them so that you can begin to move beyond it, as the title of the podcast says, and you can embrace the lessons of your crucible and you can chart a course for a life of significance.

Gary S:
All of this discussion, this whole plan for how you face a crucible experience head on and move beyond it, came from our founder Warwick Fairfax, who has experienced some of these moments himself and who is living a life of significance now beyond his crucible, and Warwick, thank you for being here today. This is going to be a very interesting episode I think.

Warwick F:
Well thanks, Gary, for introducing us and thanks so much, Brad, for being here. I look forward to a great discussion.

Gary S:
Brad is our guest. That is Brad Kullman. Brad is the founder and president of Max Q Performance, and I’m just going to give you a little bit about who Brad is. This is Brad’s bio. Extremely impressive. Brad’s a human performance specialist who has studied the brain and biomechanics for more than 25 years. In a three decade major league baseball career, he served as a high ranking executive and scout, including appointments as the interim general manager for the Cincinnati Reds on two separate occasions. As assistant general manager for the Reds, he directed the first formal R&D department, that’s research and development, in major league baseball, focusing on advances in assessing athletic potential and related development. All of that experience led him to his current career as founder and president of Max Q Performance.

Gary S:
Max Q Performance is the culmination of more than a decade of intense study and research and understanding the innate hardwired designs of people. The Max Q process delves deeply beneath the surface level symptoms of persona in order to analyze root causation, thereby creating a framework for a meaningful and substantive solution based on a person’s true indelible makeup. Brad, welcome to Beyond the Crucible.

Brad K:
Thank you for having me guys.

Warwick F:
Well, Brad again, thanks again. So a good place to start is really Beyond the Crucible. We love to hear your story and in particular your crucible moment. Could be a failure, setback. It’s typically a searing experience, and then we get onto how you got beyond that to live a life of significance, a life on purpose, serving others. But just kind of start us out with your story and your crucible moment and yeah.

Brad K:
Well, it’s a long story, but I’ll give you the Reader’s Digest version. I loved baseball. I wanted to be a baseball player when I was young, and as I got into high school I realized that if I was going to make it to the major leagues, it was probably going to be on the front office side rather than the field. So I started exploring avenues and as I got into it, I went to Ohio State, got my master’s in sports management and ended up working in the minor leagues for a few years. That was right around the time when statistics were starting to be more and more involved, and I ended up getting hired by the Cincinnati Reds and I was at the forefront of the statistical revolution, as in the late nineties increased computing power allowed us to assess performance at a much deeper level, what we call today is being routinely called analytics.

Brad K:
And so I was at the forefront of that and I worked my way up, worked hard. 12 years with the organization, never received a review from my superiors below excellent. Always got the highest grades in everything I did. They fired my boss at one point, named me interim GM and I was told I was going to be interviewed as part of the possible replacements full time, and as it came about, that was not accurate. They brought in somebody from outside the organization, didn’t even give me a chance, but I stuck with it and a couple years later they fired that guy. Made me interim GM a second time and told me once again, “You’re going to be interviewed and have a chance at this.” So I prepared all this stuff for my interview and it was a new owner that had bought the team and that’s the way things go in sports. Whoever owns the team makes the decisions. And even though as we get into detailed analysis performance with analytics for players at the highest levels of management it’s still very subjective exercise.

Brad K:
Once again, I was given a courtesy interview that was really a sham. I didn’t think, they didn’t really give me a chance to sell myself and obviously my performance had shown enough that they had me take over the organization twice during the interim and I was not real happy about that. But they went outside the organization, brought in another guy and he basically wanted to bring in some of his own people and so I was let go unceremoniously with a few other people and my lifelong … it’d been my lifelong dream. It’s what I’ve worked for for years, had done a good job and then to just be let go like that was difficult but you know, it wasn’t really probably a surprise. In some ways it was a relief, I think, because I’m not a quitter. I wouldn’t have quit because of that. I would have stuck it out, I’m sure, and been unhappy, but it allowed me to really take a step back.

Brad K:
And the interesting thing, Warwick, is what I was prepared to do was I was prepared to sell my family for this job as general manager of the Cincinnati Reds. I was going to give it everything I had, 24/7. I was willing to devote my life to this organization and my wife who stood by me so much, had three beautiful young children that she had done a great job of raising. I had already been gone a lot, but I was really ready to say, “I’m going to be gone even more because I’m giving it … this is what I work to do and it’s my dream and I’m going to give it everything I’ve got.”

Brad K:
And so as I stepped back following that, I kind of thought, “You know, is this really what God has planned for me? Is this what He wants for me?” And the interesting thing is as we were doing the statistical analysis, there was one area of player performance that we had not been able to gain any more insight with, with analytics. And that’s what we call in baseball, we call it makeup. Makeup is kind of what makes a person tick. The intangibles that make a player … two players can run the same speed, can hit with the same power, but one ends up becoming a superstar, another one flames out. What is it that is inside of them? And we tried all kinds of different personality tests and everything, and honestly the different personality tests, not one gave us any actionable, meaningful information that we could use to help develop a player, make them better, or even evaluate him to know how good he could possibly be.

Brad K:
That’s why when I was introduced to this concept of hardwired makeup, discoveries that were based on the latest advances in the hard sciences, I was blown away because it finally gave us something substantive and actionable that we could use to evaluate and develop these players. The interesting thing was even as I started using it and found it helpful from baseball executive and scouting standpoint, I find it also made a difference to me at home. I could better appreciate and understand my wife. I could better understand my kids. I saw the benefits go far beyond the playing field.

Brad K:
So as I stepped back and said, “What am I going to do with my life?” I had some other chances to get back with another team scouting, doing some things which would involve a lot of time away from home and I just decided that maybe God had me go down this path to be exposed to this and it’s my job to help take this to the world because it could help many people beyond just sports scouts. So I tried to use that as an opportunity to learn more about this and now I’ve taken it myself to share it with as many people as I can.

Warwick F:
Well, I mean that’s an amazing story, Brad. I mean, you spent your whole life since Ohio State and maybe beyond focusing on baseball. Did it feel like it was almost your life? For a person of faith, we always read in scripture about idols and I mean certainly for me growing up in a big family newspaper business, I’ll speak for myself. Yeah, I had definitely my faith in God was the cornerstone of my life, but yet Fairfax Media, the history, the dynasty, my dad, the founder who was a believer, it felt like nothing else mattered and if the company hadn’t gone under my watch, I never would have left. It would have felt betrayal. Was it an idol? In some sense, but I know that’s a weird term, maybe for some, but you know what I’m getting at. How did it feel to you, baseball, and you loved it. It was your life.

Brad K:
I still do love it, but what’s funny is before I went down, and I knew they were going to tell me in this interview and the way it went about, I knew they were going to tell me I wasn’t a finalist. I mean, I was a finalist, but I was going to be one of the final finalists and before I left, one of my friends, a coworker, he said, “Brad, calm down. You’re real upset.” I said, “You know what?” I remember specifically saying this. “Baseball does not define me.” And so I was really saying there, out loud, that if they’re going to fire me because I’m upset because of the way they treated me, then that’s the way it goes.

Brad K:
But when reality hits, I remember … what’s amazing, too, we were going to spring training a week later. My kids, we always pulled them out of school and take them down to Florida with us, and we already had our bags packed. We had shipped a bunch of equipment already on the team truck. It was already in Florida, and so I had to go home and explain to my wife, but really my small children, I had to explain to them that we’re not going to Florida, what does that all mean and it was very emotional for them.

Warwick F:
I mean, it’s kind of ironic that you mentioned analytics is something that baseball’s all into these days and you analyze player performance, you were a scout for many years, and yet when it comes time to one of the most important decisions, I would assume, a baseball team can make, which is to pick a general manager, there was precious few analytics. There was no who’s got the numbers, who has a record of performance, who has the best skills. It was just seem a personality contest rather than … I know you’re not big on personality assessments, but it almost felt like they used a personality assessment. “Oh gee, you know, it’s Monday. I don’t really feel like Brad.”

Brad K:
But they didn’t even try to use an objective personality assessment. It was a very subjective, “I like this guy. This guy’s my godson.” The decisions that are made, I was recommended to me by my buddy. So it’s just … but see, the same thing happens in business. Sometimes the top salesman, “Well, let’s make him the manager.” Well you know what? Maybe he’s great at sales and he’s not great at management and some guy that might be a great manager is doing terrible sales so he never gets considered.

Warwick F:
Right. And that is so true. So when that happened and it’s amazing you were interviewed twice and then kind of passed over and then finally let go. And it’s interesting you say that you were putting maybe baseball before family and that even though you weren’t a happy camper, that you feel like you couldn’t have got out unless you were let go… I mean you knew this really is not making sense. I mean, did you think analytically, “Why am I here?”

Brad K:
I don’t know if it didn’t make sense. It’s fun going to the ballpark every day. There’s a lot of joy in my job. I was getting paid to watch baseball games. No matter what my job was, there’s still something to be said for that. Now there’s a lot of other tasks that go into that. Everyone thinks, “Oh, you just watch baseball.” No, there’s a lot of contract negotiation things that are in any business and there’s some things that are not so much fun, but it wasn’t all bad, believe me, but it was just a lot of time and really you get to a point where what is life about? Do I want to spend my whole life … is it fair to my wife, is it fair to my family for me to be … and I know there’s a lot of, not absentee fathers, but that parents, men or women, especially men though, I think that pour themselves into their career, and they’re not at home. So what has happened is I really have found that our marriage has been strengthened through this. I mean, I’ve been able to see a lot of things with my children that I was missing out on and so it’s been a blessing in ways, but it’s easy to … I mean when you’ve wanted something since you were a kid you know and worked your butt off to do, it’s tough to-

Warwick F:
So when that all ended, maybe part of your family is thinking, “Well at least maybe we’ll be able to see more of dad,” and they probably weren’t even thinking that at the time or hopefully just feeling terrible for you, I would imagine. But what were those first few months like when it was over? Because you know you probably didn’t launch into Max Q Performance overnight. For most of us, it’s a journey. But what were those first few months like when your dream was over?

Brad K:
Well I didn’t figure it was over. I’m still not sure it’s over, that aspect. I feel I still have something to give back to baseball. I’ve been working on some stuff having to do with the hardwired makeup and baseball athletes specifically, but I assumed I would be getting back in at some point, it was just a matter of time. Actually I thought it would be time to take a step back and refresh a little bit, and I think the kids all thought it was great. “Hey, dad’s home, let’s play.” Because I was home so infrequently, whenever I was home, it’s “Play time with dad, let’s go in the back and play whiffle ball. Let’s play.” And so now it was “Let’s play every day,” and they thought that, “Gee, dad’s so much fun all of a sudden.”

Gary S:
it’s an interesting thing to hear you both talk about the aftermath of the crucible because Warwick, you’ve said in other conversations that we’ve had on this podcast that there was no way in your situation as the heir to Fairfax Media that there was no way really since the moment you were born that you were going to get out of taking over the company unless what happened happened when the company was passed from family control in the failed takeover bid that you launched. So in some sense, I’ve heard you talk about there was some relief once you’ve had a chance to process it, that that was no longer the situation you had to deal with.

Gary S:
Brad, to hear you talk about it again, not immediately afterward, but there was some sense of relief that you were able to put your attentions, your skills, your energies, your effort to something that was more fulfilling to the family, more fulfilling in some ways to being able to help others. Is that accurate from both of your perspectives?

Warwick F:
Yeah, I mean, to me, I do hear some commonalities in the story in that obviously Brad has loved baseball his whole life and still does, which is great. For me, I don’t know that I’d say I love Fairfax Media, but it was more just a sense of duty, founded by a strong believer who was a great husband, great dad, elder in his church, employees loved him, and he ran a great business. I mean, every area of life he was a businessmen for Christ, if you will. It was pretty much as good as it gets. So yeah, it was everything I did from Oxford to Wall Street to Harvard Business School was all about, “There’s a role I want to fulfill in life.” It had nothing to do with how am I designed, how am I wired? That was an irrelevant question to me. It was why take an assessment? It’s useless information because my path in life has been laid out.

Warwick F:
But then once I was in it and then once it was over, yes, I think you make an astute point, Gary. There was a sense of relief because I realized if you did a job requirements analysis for head of the million dollar company, it would have been a Rupert Murdoch, take charge kind of leader. And I’m more of a quiet reflective advisor. That’s kind of who I am, so my wiring couldn’t be more different than what was needed. It was an incredibly terrible match. And so afterwards, yes, it was searing, felt like I let God down, family, parents. But there was a sense that, well, who am I? It took me years to figure that out, which would be an interesting discussion about even when I took assessments, it was a bit, what do I do with all that? But it gave me the freedom to be who I was, but it wouldn’t have happened voluntarily. So that whole wiring thing, I completely resonate with, Brad, with where you’re coming from.

Gary S:
Is it true, Brad, would you say that eventually you came to a point that even though you still love baseball, you felt like you were released to go do something else that you also have great passion for?

Brad K:
Well, the thing is, and maybe this is a credit to my parents, maybe it’s a detriment. Since I was real little, I always felt I was destined for greatness. And so I thought I was going to be general manager and bring a World Series championship to the team and I’d be the toast of the town in the parade. But then as I had this kind of mid life … I wouldn’t say crisis, but this crucible moment, that it allowed me to step back and think and I thought, “What is being great in God’s world, really, about? Being general management for a baseball team, or if I could really share this insight that I believe is a window into how God truly created each of us, designing us with special talents and limitations, each person.” And so basically, I had to beg the guy that … he’d been a consultant with us that discovered this stuff, and so I said, “Look, I want to come and work with you. I want to learn all I can about this. I want to help you. The world needs to know about this.”

Brad K:
And so he almost very apprehensively said, “Okay, I guess you can come and help me.” And so I started trying to learn everything I could and shadow him around and spend as much time talking to him about it and learning all I can. And so it kind of evolved that I felt I would take this back to baseball because I knew the applications it had in baseball, but I also felt that I wanted to share it with the world. I felt that it was a more meaningful use of the rest of my days, however many God may bless me with, and that’s why I really wanted to do this.

Warwick F:
So this feels like understanding how we are wired, and I love the term you use, hardwired. It’s your mission, your purpose in life and you’ve talked a bit about it, but help us understand why is this at a very deep level, your passion, maybe even your God given passion, if you will?

Brad K:
I don’t know if that it’s my passion, but I feel like it’s my mission. It’s funny, I went to the dentist the other day and he was saying some stuff about my teeth are too tight, what they did with my orthodontia and stuff and he said my mouth is small. And I said, “Well, everyone tells me I’ve got a big mouth, so I don’t understand that.” But I am a talker. I’ve always been a talker, and the guy that made this discovery actually is not very high energy. He’s more of a reflective, very deep reflective thinker. And I think that maybe, and now as he fell ill and is not able to really share this with the world like I thought I was going to help him do, and I wonder if that maybe God has directed me down this path through sports to find out about this and then learn more of all I could and now it’s my duty to share it, to be the mouthpiece, the spokesperson to tell people because I think there’s a lot of liberation with understanding.

Brad K:
I think a lot of us think, “Why do I think this way? Why do I feel this way sometimes? Why do I act this way? Why do I perform this way?” And really, this explains the way that you’re hardwired in your brain, your motor cortex. There’s so many aspects of it that have to do with behavior and performance that totally makes sense.

Warwick F:
So talk about hardwired, and in particular Max Q Performance, and why that’s different. I’ve heard … I think you mentioned personality assessments may not be quite objective, but some people in the age we live in believe you can be whoever you want to be. There are no Limits. Just a throw off the shackles. Self-actualize. It sounds so good in so many words, but while we can grow and develop, people hate the L word. Limits. We try to know that understanding your wiring is limiting. I think we both agree it’s the reverse. But talk about your philosophy versus personality and the whole you can be whoever you want to be mantra that we hear in our culture.

Brad K:
Well that’s silly. Shaquille O’Neal can want to be a jockey at the Kentucky Derby all he wants, but it’s not going to work, the same way Willie Shoemaker could want to be an NBA center. It’s not going to work. We all have limitations. If we understand that, then we can really … I think as a parent, you know, as a parent, you don’t want your kid to be, “I was a football player and my dad was a football player, my dad’s dad was a football player. We play football and I want to play a piano.” And maybe he’s a great … got the ability to be a great concert pianist. So am I doing my duty as a father to make him play football and not let him do the piano because he can be what I want him to be or maybe he even thinks that’s what he should be. Getting a little bit to your point, Warwick, is that you thought that what you should be and you went into something that wasn’t maybe what you really wanted to be.

Brad K:
So I think if you understand that kind of stuff, it’s all about … I think about it so much as being a parent. And I feel my job as a parent is put my children in position to succeed, encourage them, help provide them the tools they need, but help guide them down a path, because really I think what’s life about? What is the meaning of life? And I think it when you get to your final days and you look back and you can say, “You know what? I used what God gave me to the best of my ability and I lived the best life I could,” and we all have our own life. I’m not trying to live your life or Gary’s life. I’m trying to live my life the best that I can, and that’s all I can do really.

Warwick F:
Yeah. I mean, that’s really a profound point. From my perspective, and I would have assume yours, God designed us a certain way. My belief is God doesn’t make mistakes, so if He designed us a certain way, why shouldn’t we live in light of who the Designer made us to be, right? I mean, it’s just stupid otherwise. You know, one of the things I often say is anybody that’s had kids or been a kid and I have three kids in their twenties, they all come out of the box a certain way. They could be artistic, they could be athletic, they could be reflective, they could be outgoing.

Warwick F:
I have two sons and a daughter and they’re very different. I have two that are writers. I have a daughter who’s very missional, just come back from working for a faith based nonprofit in Australia. And yeah, they’re all very different. And so like you with your kids, I try to encourage them, help them understand how they’re wired, which they do, and then just show options, encourage, but just I want them to be whoever they want to be but obviously in light of who they’re designed to be. And I’m sure with your kids you have the same philosophy, right? Help them understand who they are, give them options. It’s their choice, but help them realize you may not want to spend hours, months, years on a path that has nothing to do with who you are.

Brad K:
And maybe if they do choose a path that I think is going to be more difficult for them, it’s your life, you can do that but I’m going to tell you, here’s where you may encounter some hurdles and you need to be prepared for that. Because one thing, too, where we do have limitations, it’s best to find someone that can help shore up our weaknesses and help us like an assistant, a spouse, whoever it is in our life that can help balance us and help us be the best. That’s why teams are so important. I think that the more I can share the word about hardwired makeup, the more people will understand true diversity is really diverse minds and people that have different ways of processing information and different strengths and weaknesses from an…

Gary S:
I want to-

Warwick F:
Please, go ahead, Gary.

Gary S:
I want to step in, for the listeners, and point out something that’s really interesting about Crucible Leadership and Max Q Performance. It’s fascinating to me that Crucible Leadership posits that we have to understand, we must understand, how we’re designed to live a life of significance. That’s the gateway in the refining cycle to get to the life of significance. Max Q Performance posits that by delving beyond root level persona, we create a meaningful and substantive solution to moving beyond the crises that we face. You guys are both talking about the same kinds of things.

Gary S:
For folks who hear the words, “I need to understand how I’m wired. I need to understand how I’m designed,” Brad, how does hardwired makeup help people understand that?

Brad K:
Actually, I like crucible moments too. Not because of what it puts people through, but because that’s when we really see how a person truly is wired and the flaw, Warwick, with all conventional personality tests is they’re all self reporting mechanisms. So you can really be who you want to be, oh yeah. And a lot of times, based on the way we’re raised, based on the values that we’re taught, you should be nice to people, you should be outgoing, whatever it is we’re taught, we tend to develop that persona. We’ve all done it. Okay, I’m going to this situation. I’m going to a meeting, I’m going to a social function. I’m going to deal with something with my children where I need to, okay, let me put on this face. I need to be tough in this situation. I need to be nice in this situation. I need to be outgoing. And so we wear these masks and the same way when we take a personality test, many times people think, well, in this situation I’m like this, when I’m in the other situation, I’m like that.

Brad K:
And so we answer these based on a combination of nature and nurture and we get them confused and so hardwired makeup … and the reason I chose Max Q Performance, it’s a physics term. When a rocket ship is about to escape the Earth’s atmosphere, there’s a point of maximum pressure that the point of the rocket has to be able to withstand or the rocket will implode. And so under pressure, when we’re all under pressure, that’s when … I can say I’m lefthanded all day long, but when pressure hits and the ceiling’s caving in, I’m going to use my dominant right hand to save my life, you know? So at these points, that’s when we find out aspects about how a person is truly hardwired to think, feel, behave and perform.

Warwick F:
And that makes so much … I mean, I agree with you so much about just understanding how we’re wired and hard-wiring. I guess one question I have is I’ve done a lot of executive coaching and taken a bunch of assessments, some better than others, but I know for me, I took an assessment back in the mid nineties and it said I was … it was reasonably accurate. I was sort of reflective, analytical, liked gathering a team of likeminded people, all of which I think is reasonably true. I guess you’d call it in the motivated abilities space, I suppose you’d say that’s where it was, but I remember looking at it and saying, “Okay, well what do I do with this thing?”

Warwick F:
So even if you have the best assessment, somebody might say, “Okay, I think this is me.” But especially for younger folks, twenties, thirties, how do you both help them understand their wiring and maybe a bit like a baseball scout just help them grow and develop into that. How do you combine that?

Brad K:
What do you mean develop into that?

Warwick F:
Well, I’m sorry. Maybe I misspoke. That was the wrong way of putting it, but I mean they understand their wiring, but how do I apply it in a career. How do I decide what positions to take? What does this mean for my next step of my career? Putting it into practice, basically.

Brad K:
Well, I think a little depends on what you really want to do, finding something … obviously you need to enjoy, I always said find me someone with passion and I’ll show you a success. If you find what you’re passionate about and if you’re willing to work hard and study and learn it and put the time into it, like my goal when I got into baseball, I said, “I don’t know if I have some innate scouting sense that these scouts have, maybe I don’t,” but I said, “My goal is going to be when my boss gets into work in the morning, he’s going to see my car in the parking lot. And when he leaves at night, he’s going to see my car still in the parking lot,” and I wanted to be there whenever he needs something. I wanted to be there for him and be able to get the job done to the point I started to anticipate what he needed before he asked for it. And so I developed a reputation as someone who got things done. Not that I was some super smart guy, but I know how to get things done.

Brad K:
And because I love doing it, I loved being at that ballpark in my office and so having a passion about that enabled me to find success. And I think that understanding, then, how they are and really Warwick, I don’t know a whole lot about your background, but I get the feeling that you were a little bit … maybe you beat yourself up some, but I think you got caught in the midst of difficult economic times globally that maybe in a different time, and I think you had to know you were taking a calculated risk when you tried to do what you did, and so then I think that maybe at another time things might’ve worked out differently.

Brad K:
There’s a lot of people that try what Warren Buffett did, buying down and out companies and some of them stayed down and out and they never become Warren Buffett. So you need to take risks, and we only hear about the success story sometimes.

Warwick F:
No, you’re right, but I think you made a very astute point, is it’s understanding your your wiring, your hardwiring, but also combining that with what are you passionate about? You’re passionate about baseball, you understood analytics and it was just a great combination. So if people understand their wiring and then understand what they’re passionate about, you’re right. Then they’re kind of, they’re on a great path. So that makes so much sense.

Gary S:
I want to jump in and say something. You talked a few minutes ago, Brad, about you weren’t sure whether you had the scouting ability. I know for a fact you have the scouting ability, cause I’m a Chicago Cubs fan and you were one of the scouts who scouted Jake Arietta when he was with the Baltimore Orioles and no good and he got to the Cubs, won a Cy Young, pitched a no hitter. I happened to see it Dodger stadium and help them win the World Series. So bravo. You are a good scout.

Gary S:
The second thing that I wanted to say is as we’re talking about assessments and doing things, one of the things that people want to discover how they’re hardwired through what Max Q offers, is you have an assessment, correct, at your website that people can take. What’s that like and what kind of outputs do people get that are helpful to them, to Warwick’s point, applying what they learn about themselves?

Brad K:
Well, one thing that sets this apart is, like I said, all conventional commercial personality inventories are all self-assessment, self-reporting mechanisms. Ours is the only one that has a third person perspective. We ask you to have somebody else that knows you very well also take the assessment of you, because the fact is the way we see ourselves is often very different than the way others see us and they can often observe behaviors in us, the way we handle situations, that we may think we do it one way just because partly the way we’ve been raised and trained to believe that we are and other people can often see us in a different light. So combining those, we’re able to get a bit more of a full picture.

Brad K:
And the other aspect of hardwired makeup is even our motor skills, even our visual acuity, is impacted by the way we’re hardwired. So there’s clues, each person gives off clues and even some people are easier reads than other. But even with enough clues, I can tell people’s hardwire design without even having a questionnaire, by observing them enough. So you can find out why you take in matters the way you do and why you process them the way you do. And so whatever aspect of life you’re trying to apply that in, you can utilize that to know how you are prone to behave and perform.

Warwick F:
Wow, that’s amazing. So one question I had, just a little bit off topic, but we live near Washington D.C., in Annapolis and obviously these are happy days for Washingtonians, with the World Series. I grew up in Australia, which is kind of the land of cricket. I’ve lived here a long time so I know a little bit about baseball, but obviously not as much as you guys, but one of the things you heard talk was the Astros were all about analytics and the Nationals supposedly, yeah, they’re into analytics, but there was some gut feel and I sometimes think when people say gut feel, like you’ve got, again this is your area, not mine. We’ve got somebody like Dave Martinez has been in baseball for decades. Gut feel can be another word for years of experience that the brain like a cray computer kind of links up so that it’s not just so much, “Hey, I don’t know what I’m doing,” but there’s a lot of subconscious analysis there. But any thoughts about that whole like you know, one team was supposedly all about analytics and the other team not as much or is that a bit of a misnomer?

Brad K:
Well, I think analytics is used … probably, and analytics just means a deeper understanding, thoughtful analysis and obviously data gives us ability to quantify what we’re talking about. Gives us firm points and analytics is just additional information. I think scouts, when they talk about gut feel it, like you said, it’s just the years of experience and I’ve seen many guys like this and so this is how I see this playing out. And so analytics can be a good compliment to that. But the thing is the Astros upset a lot of people, a lot of the old time people in baseball, because they’ve got rid of a lot of their experienced scouts and just relied more on analyzing video in the office and statistics.

Brad K:
And you know, it’s interesting in that game, game seven, Greinke was pitching a great game and it’s almost like they couldn’t wait to get him out of there because they wanted to get them out after six innings. He was pitching so well they left him in, but as soon as he had weakness, in their view, they got him out and then the bullpen gave it up. So the Nationals have done a little bit more keeping some of the longtime scouts employed and so I think a lot of “baseball people” view them as the more traditional baseball organization so I think a lot of baseball people were pulling for the Nationals.

Warwick F:
Interesting. So analysis is good, but some of that subconscious, or you don’t want to dismiss somebody that’s had decades of scouting experience and probably is all analytics but maybe in a broader sense. So just as you think about what you’re doing, what’s your kind of dream or vision for hardwired and maybe even beyond hardwired? What’s your dream about humanity, or people, really understanding how they’re wired? What could this mean if people truly understood that?

Brad K:
Well, for one thing we’re not all equal and it’s okay. That’s okay. Men and women are different and we’re all different in ways, even among men and among women, and I think everyone is valued. If everyone understood they will be valued for what they bring to the table. And everyone’s afraid, “Well, one design is all good and one design is bad, so we should get rid of them.” And actually I’m concerned there are a few hardwired designs that are very hard to find, especially here in the United States where it’s a total immigrant population going back to our forefathers. I consider them almost to be endangered species because it’s almost like there’s genetic factors and so there’s one design that’s really like brown hair, brown eyes. It’s very dominant and even when you get them together, mating with a less common design, the more common one, the dominant one, tends to come out. So I see certain designs really overpopulating our population and I’m worried that other ones … because everyone has something to offer and I think people will be appreciated much more if we understood that .

Gary S:
So, you both have worked with me long enough to recognize the phrase I’m about to use. Land the plane. We’re coming up on when we want to kind of conclude this, wrap things up for listeners. Crucible Leadership is all about helping people live lives of significance out of their crucibles. As we said at the outset, a key component of that is embracing their crucible moment, learning from it, living with it, and understanding step one, how they were designed as a process of moving to a life of significance.

Gary S:
So people who are listening to this podcast understand that they’re here to get some hope and some inputs and insights and how to do that. Brad, you, through Max Q Performance, do have an assessment that will tell people how they’re wired. How can they find that and what will they learn about their wiring? What kinds of different types are there? You mentioned some types in your last comment. What kind of types will they find if they go to maxqperformance.com, take your assessment, lay that over what they’re learning in Crucible Leadership, how will that help them?

Brad K:
I think the easier question might be how would that not help. That’s a much shorter answer.

Gary S:
Good on you.

Warwick F:
Great point.

Brad K:
At maxqperformance.com they can find the assessments along with some more information about it, but we can tell you substantively if you’re left brain dominant or right brain dominant, much of the way you’re left handed or right handed, and even left brain right brain has some misunderstandings out in the public realm. We can tell you if you’re hardwired more in the front of the brain or the back of the brain and actually Warwick, you’re interesting in that I think you’re a reflective person, there is no question, but it’s because you like to … I think your mind is always going, too, though. You’re very much … all the strategizing, thinking about how things can be done better and-

Warwick F:
Absolutely.

Brad K:
And the thing is that when Carl Jung coined these terms of extroversion and introversion, he was talking about the way you get your energy also, and so I think even that’s misunderstood in some ways. We can also tell you if your dominant, empathetic or analytic person and giving you those aspects, we can also tell you if you’re a conceptual or a sensate, one that uses more your five senses, or one that uses more your sixth sense of creativity and intuition.

Brad K:
So you can find out a lot of people. And to me really it’s funny because I always thought I was left brained. I like to be organized. Anybody in business feels that being organized is important but then as I found out more, I was more right brain, that explains why I’ve got … my office is a mess. I got files of stuff, projects I’m working on and everything and so why different ideas keep coming to my mind all the time.

Brad K:
So I find out things even about … I felt pretty good about myself, but I found out more about why I was the way I was and I can understand why I did some things that I wasn’t always proud of or some things I was really proud of, but just a lot of things made a lot of sense. And like said I, it even made me appreciate and understand my wife more and helped our relationship in many ways.

Warwick F:
Absolutely. Well in conclusion, I’d like all the listeners to go to maxqperformance.com, take the assessment. I think the advice Brad says of having somebody else take it is great counsel because in the Crucible Leadership world, the foundation for leading a life of significance, a life on purpose and helping others is understanding your design, understanding your hardwired design, to use Brad’s term. If you don’t understand your design, then it’s really extremely difficult, if not impossible, to lead a fulfilling life, a life on purpose, a life of significance.

Warwick F:
So it’s incredibly important and so what Brad is doing is providing a tremendous service to people so it’s not limiting. I believe that if you understand how you’re wired, yes, maybe there are some things you weren’t designed to do, but it frees you up to do things maybe you never thought possible. So I feel it’s actually opens a whole huge window into the world so I’d encourage everybody to go to maxqperformance.com and understand how they’re hardwired.

Gary S:
Brad, thanks for spending time with us and a spirited, insightful conversation. Much appreciated. And listeners, hopefully you’ve learned some things here today about not just a crucible moment, but how you in coming back from that crucible moment and understanding how you’re wired, understanding how you’re designed, that is the trip wire for launching yourself in to that life of significance.

Gary S:
We love to hear your feedback here at Crucible Leadership. Please go to crucibleleadership.com. There’s a contact form there. You can let us know what you thought of this conversation. You can tell us your own crucible stories so that we can begin a dialogue, so that we can continue to help you along the path of you coming back, moving beyond your crucible.

Gary S:
If you’d like to engage with us on social media, you can come to Facebook and you can find us at Crucible Leadership. You can also find Warwick on LinkedIn at Warwick Fairfax. That’s with the silent W in the middle. W-A-R-W-I-C-K Fairfax, and until the next time we’re here together, thank you for listening to Beyond the Crucible.

Gary S:
If you like what you hear, you can click subscribe on whatever app you’re doing right now. You’ll never miss an episode. If you really like what you hear, share it on social media. Share it with your friends. Let other people what’s going on. These kinds of conversations like we had today between Warwick and Brad are the kinds of conversations we want to bring every week because our goal is to, yes, focus on crucible experiences. Focus on those painful moments, but not as an end in and of itself. We want to focus on those moments to help you realize, to help your friends realize, that crucible moments are painful. They are difficult. They can stop you, but it’s not the end of your story. It is in fact, if you embrace them and learn from them, the beginning of your story, because it’s a new chapter in your life that can be the best chapter yet because it leads in the end to a life of significance. Thanks again for spending time with us today.

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