Episode Description

Fran Racioppi, Chief People Officer of Analytix Solutions, Former US Army Ranger, Boston College Athlete and Creator of The Jedburgh Podcast Joins DC Local Leaders for our latest episode.

โœฆ๐’๐ฎ๐›๐ฌ๐œ๐ซ๐ข๐›๐ž ๐“๐จ๐๐š๐ฒ ๐“๐จ ๐‡๐ž๐š๐ซ ๐…๐ฎ๐ฅ๐ฅ ๐„๐ฉ๐ข๐ฌ๐จ๐๐ž๐ฌ ๐ฐ๐ข๐ญ๐ก ๐ˆ๐ฆ๐ฉ๐š๐œ๐ญ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐‹๐ž๐š๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Œ๐ข๐ง๐๐ฌ๐ž๐ญ ๐“๐ข๐ฉ๐ฌ ๐–๐ก๐ž๐ซ๐ž๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ ๐˜๐จ๐ฎ ๐„๐ง๐ฃ๐จ๐ฒ ๐๐จ๐๐œ๐š๐ฌ๐ญ ๐š๐ง๐ ๐Ž๐ง ๐ˆ๐ง๐ฌ๐ญ๐š๐ ๐ซ๐š๐ฆ @๐๐œ๐ฅ๐จ๐œ๐š๐ฅ๐ฅ๐ž๐š๐๐ž๐ซ๐ฌ

Links in Comments

Fran talks about #humanperformance and just how much further we can actually go when we #emotionally and, #mentally think we are about to fail.

He shares his #Gratitude, and appreciation for Comradery that his experience as US Army Ranger provided him.

He continued to be of service by sharing the message of #Leadership and #Perspective that he has gained from traveling the world and conducting missions. ย 

His transition out of the army wasnโ€™t easy on him professionally or personally but Fran shares an honest account of some of the challenges he faced and the help he was able to find in resources like The Headstrong Project to help him reconnect with himself and his family. ย #mentalhealth

โ€โ€The DC Local Leaders Podcast sharing the #Mindset, #Motivations & #Habits of Executive #Leaders

๐๐ฎ๐ข๐ฅ๐๐ข๐ง๐  ๐Œ๐ž๐š๐ง๐ข๐ง๐ ๐Ÿ๐ฎ๐ฅ ๐‚๐จ๐ง๐ง๐ž๐œ๐ญ๐ข๐จ๐ง๐ฌ ๐ญ๐จ ๐‡๐ž๐ฅ๐ฉ ๐”๐ฌ ๐†๐ž๐ญ ๐Ÿ% ๐๐ž๐ญ๐ญ๐ž๐ซ ๐„๐ฏ๐ž๐ซ๐ฒ ๐ƒ๐š๐ฒ!

Find a #mentor | Change your #habits | Change your Life!

Spotify

Apple

โ€Instagram

Connect with Me on LinkedIn

Episode Transcript

Fran Racioppi , Former US Army Special Forces

Phillip K. Naithram: Well, yeah, I'm really excited for this one Fran Racioppi. Thank you so much for joining us the Jedburgh podcast. How's it going?

Fran Racioppi: Yeah. Great. Thanks for having me. I really appreciate it. And thanks for, thanks for coming to my house and doing this.

Phillip K. Naithram: This is a fantastic setup that you have here. We're out in your, uh, this, your man cave.

Fran Racioppi: I call it the war barn, the warp, but my wife would call it a, a playroom. My kids would call it a playroom. My daughter would call it the spa where she goes to hide. And then I've toyed between we maybe it's a gym or maybe we can maybe keep this concept. I don't know the war barn where I can come out and hide from everybody else.

Phillip K. Naithram: This is where you can do all your research. You've got a nice, uh, wood burning stove here. Keeping us warm.

Fran Racioppi: Well, no, no installation. So, we had to fire that thing up and see, see how, how we can get it in here on that thing. Yeah. Yeah.

Phillip K. Naithram: Well, look, we met. I don't know, a couple months ago, and we've been planning this I'm really happy that we were able to put this together and get it going.

Fran Racioppi: I've been looking forward to it.

Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah. So, the Jedburgh podcast, let's talk about the name. All right. What is Jedburgh?

Fran Racioppi: So, the Jedburgh was an organization that was created in World War two in 1943, primarily in May, late spring, early summer May, 1943. The war by and large was lost. Uh, the Germans had invaded France.

They had occupied all of France. They were entrenched. They had superior machine guns, they had superior equipment. They were bombing London and the allies came together and I really identified that there are only a couple of ways to defeat the Germans, really the only one of the very few options. And the one that rose to the top was certainly was the invasion of Normandy and operation overlord.

So, operation overlord. Concept. But when the allied commanders looked at actual execution of this, they identified that with the speed of German reinforcements down onto the beaches of Normandy there, the chance of success was little to none. So, they came up with a concept that they were, they needed what they call visionary leaders.

I call it drivers of change. We call it, they also called it transformative leaders and they needed an organization that they could put together who would disrupt by means of some version sabotage or whatever means necessary. Stop the German reinforcements from coming down into Normandy. So, they came up with what they called operation Jedburgh operation Jedburgh was Jedburgh was a place in Northern Scotland.

So, they recruited from each of the armed forces of the us, France and Britain. They recruited every company or every, sorry, country had 100 men. Nick took them from anywhere in the military. How many did they get? Total? 300 total numbers vary depending on who you talk to, but they're somewhere between three and 400 people total.

And they created three-man teams. And on each one of these three-man teams, you had one American, one British one French operator. And., they trained them up and they sent them, uh, starting the night before D-Day they parachuted behind enemy lines into occupied France. Their job was to link up with the French resistance forces that had been developed through the OSS and all, all throughout France.

And then Jedburgh teams would link up with the different OSS operatives and the French resistance elements. They would train them; they would equip them. And then they would conduct these sabotage and subversion operations against German reinforcements as the allies invaded, uh, on D-Day. And then the subsequent several, you know, weeks and months going until they got everybody on onto the, onto the Normandy beach and then pushed into France.

And so that's what these guys did. Uh, they parachuted in, started the night before D-Day they did it for every night, three-man teams parachuted in, and they began to. Blow German supply lines, uh, um, destroy fuel trucks, uh, destroy tanks, hit the camp, the German camps at night, uh, you know, real quick hit him, you know, it caused some casualties, uh, down trees were a big one where, you know, they'd have the Germans would have large tank formations rolling down the German roads, they down a tree in the front one.

And then, you know, the Germans would have to figure out how do we, how do we actually get by this down tree, they'd start clearing that obstacle. And then they drop a tree behind them, uh, or they'd blow bridges. And then they would prevent the Germans from being able to get across the various rivers down in, into there.

And so, there are stories about this operation where normal movements, which would have taken two to three days for the Germans to make on unimpeded were taking anywhere from three to six weeks. And they were getting hit with massive casualties along the way, because as, as. Then stuck in these problem sets, trying to figure out how they're going to solve it.

The Germans then the French resistance and the jet Burks would hit them from behind in-flight casualties, disappear into the woods, uh, and then go off and try to do it again. So, an amazing operation of what we called visionaries, drivers of change, transformative leaders, those dedicated to winning, no matter the challenge.

Uh, when I came up with the Jedburgh podcast about this time last year, I was thinking of a name because I knew what I wanted to do. I knew I wanted to interview people today who are making an impact in their industry, whatever their industry is, whether it's, whether they're an entrepreneur or a founder in business, whether they're an athlete, professional sports, Olympic sports, you know, whatever, uh, or coming out of the military or, you know, social activism, journalism, wherever they came from.

If they're creating an impact in their dedicated to persevering solving challenges and creating impact in their world. I wanted to tell that story. And I thought about my career in special operations, my lineage had studied the Jedburgh knew the lineage of the special forces comes out of the Jedburgh teams.

And I said, this is a perfect name.

Fran Racioppi , Founder FRsix

Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah, I was going to ask, like, where did you learn everything that you learned about the Jedburghโ€™s? It sounds like in the military

Fran Racioppi: the Jedburghโ€™s, so after world war two, at the conclusion of the war, the Jedburgh organization actually then became part, the CIA was stood up and the CIA was stood up as kind of the secondary effort after the, the OSS with office of strategic service and the CIA began, and the Jedburgh organization who was closely aligned with the OSS then became the operations directorate of the CIA, the guy, the paramilitary arm that actually went out and began to, uh, execute operations on the ground and taking the Intel that came from the OSS and then executing it on the ground.

The us special forces. The green Berets started by president Kennedy in 1952. We're an offshoot of the Jedburghโ€™s into the OSS operations directorate. And then the action arm of that, of that world became a special force.

Phillip K. Naithram: How long were you in the, in the military? You were in the United States army?

Fran Racioppi: I was, I was in the army. I was in, uh, I was in 10 special forces group and I served a total of about 12 and a half years. Yeah.

Phillip K. Naithram: What and how old were you when you joined the army?

Fran Racioppi: I joined the army in 2003. I was. 23. Uh, so right out of college, I had gone to Boston university. I studied broadcast journalism. I wanted to be the next Tom Brokaw.

He was my hero. I remember watching him all as a kid and saying why, you know, that's just an amazing career and amazing job. Can you get up there and report the news and talk about what's going on in the world? And there's so many, there's so much impact you have in journalism and being able to tell people's stories and being able to, to present back then much more than today.

Objectively much more objectively than lives today. What's actually going on in the world and then allow people to, to think for themselves and make their own determination. And Tom Brokaw was just so excellent at that. And I went to school, uh, I studied, I said, I'm going to be a journalist. I'm going to be a reporter.

And then nine 11 was my junior year. And nine 11 happened September of my junior year. And I actually looked at that and I said, I got to go be a war correspondent. I mean, I can go there. I, you know, why would I sit in that? I don't want to be Tom Broga sitting in the anchor chair. I can go be one of these guys running around and chasing the war and some, some conflict zone.

And then for the next couple of years, in 2001 into two into three, you saw what unfolded, especially in the early days of Afghanistan in the fall of 2001. Us special forces. The green Berets went in in October of 2001 in Afghanistan. And I watched these guys with beards and long hair, riding horses, saving the world and truly making an impact.

And I started thinking at that point, whoa, those guys are like doing it, you know, and then there's reporters there and they're covering it, but I'm like, whoa, well maybe I could go do that. And then I could be a reporter later. And then in 2003, we went into Iraq. And when we went into Iraq, we created what was called embedded journalism first period of time, where you actually had reporters sitting on tanks sitting during the talking about the initial invasion, sitting with military units where it was real, we had seen in 19 in the Gulf war in 91 was the first they called it CNN war, satellite war, right.

Where you were able to see. Via satellite TV and cable television, this 24 7 news about what was going on. Afghanistan reporters were there, but they weren't with the troops in Iraq. They were there and you saw firsthand what was going on. And so, watching that, I started thinking, man, I need to go do this.

I need to be the other guy. I need to get a guy on the other side is actually creating that impact and making that change right now versus reporting on it. And, uh, Then I watched Geraldo Rivera and I'll say this, and maybe Geraldo one day, we'll listen to this because I want to get Geraldo on my, on my show, but I watched Geraldo Rivera and he was with an infantry squad.

I don't remember if they were Marines or the army. And they got into a firefight and Geraldo pulled out a pistol. And when she wasn't supposed to have, cause reporters, you know, are non-combatants right. Uh, and he ends up falling down. He trips, he fell cause they're running through the street. And then he starts getting yelled at, by all of these infantry guys.

And they're like, what are you doing? You idiot. Why do you have a gun? You know, get up, you're going to get killed. And I saw that and that was like the defining moment where I said that. Not going to be that guy gotta go be the other guy. If I want to be going into journalism. If I want to be a reporter, if I want to be Tom broker, I can do that later.

And I'll take all these experiences that I had. And then I'll wrap that up. It'll set a foundation and then eventually I'll go do that. And that's kind of where we are today. Yeah. Yeah.

Phillip K. Naithram: Why specifically the army though? Like what was it? Was it specifically because it was those special forces, uh, folks that you, you saw our map because there's, there's special operations in each, in each branch? Like what was it about the army that, that call to you?

Fran Racioppi: Yeah, I think it, I think it was the green Berets. Um, it was the mission of the Greenbrae. So, I did, I did my homework. My dad will tell me and you know, probably, you know, I think it doesn't say it anymore. Uh, but certainly would tell me all the time he should have gone into the air force air force guy.

He wasn't. No, but, but you think about the air force in his experience growing up, you know, he. Had seen conflicts where you could go, if you're an air force guy, I mean, this is a good life, but a lot of the times, right, you got crew rest. You got now all the air force, people come after me after I said this, but you had situations in the nineties in like Bosnia where ear an air force pilot, and you're launching out of Italy and you're flying into Bosnia, you know, you're running missions and you're coming home and you're, and you're, you're bringing your kids up at school.

Yeah. Uh, you know, you're having breakfast and dinner at home. And then, uh, and in the day, you're conducting real world combat operations, which was pretty cool. Uh, not that way, so much, you know, being in, being in the army and certainly being as a Greenbrae right, where you're going to deploy and you're going to be there and you're going to be there until someone tells you to come home or the, or the missions accomplish.

Fran Racioppi Host & Creator- The Jedburgh Podcast

There's an element of the myth of the mission of green Berets that I believe is one of the most critical and important missions in national security. And I think a lot of people, when they look at special forces, they think to themselves primarily because my brothers in the seals and I make fun of the steals a lot, but I have a lot of sales ran and look, they're great.

They're a phenomenal organization. Uh, and, and I just was giving a talk, um, two weeks ago and I said, the two greatest organizations in the world, you know, us Navy seals in the us green Berets, um, but people think a lot of times when they think about special forces that you're adoring, you know what we call it door kicker, you know, you're going to go up, you can helicopter in fast rope on this.

Some, some building blows a door with some explosives, go in, you know, shoot everybody in the room and then, you know, get back on the helicopter and leave. And that's not really the case. You know, there's a very small percentage of those operations that actually go like that there's units that are very focused on doing that.

You guys are quiet. Professionals is the, is, is the name. That comes back to the mission set. And the mission set primarily is what we call on conventional warfare. And that's the overthrow of a government or occupying force. And that's really important. And you have an established government, or you have an occupying force occupying forces, something like we saw with the Taliban, not a recognized government.

Well, I say we saw, we see again, uh, you know, not a recognized government, but occupies control of the, of the country. So, the green Berets mission is to conduct through some type of sabotage subversion, you know, going back to the, going back to the dead birds, unconventional warfare, and how do we, you can also be, we'll call it guerrilla warfare.

How do we partner with people who are indigenous to that nation to train them, equip them, and then conduct combat operations with them to? Effect to the change that the U S government wants within that country. Sometimes like we saw in Afghanistan, that's done very kinetically, you know, it meeting with, with use of force, right?

Uh, where if you look at Afghanistan in 2001, the Taliban was defeated in three weeks by about five special forces team and the power of the U S air force. Uh, you know, we can argue all day long what happened from that point forward. But the combat operations in that, in that country against the occupying force were, were affected very, very quickly to a very high degree of success.

That mission is so important with what we do, and then there's some other missions within special forces, golf, foreign, internal defense. So going primarily what we do in Africa, we go to Africa, we train and what I had an opportunity to do for almost two years in Africa, which is to go there and build what we call partner nation or African nations.

Special operations capabilities. Do you have, is there a part of this country, whatever country that may be or wherever it is, where we can train them and we can train them, we can equip them, uh, by sending our teams and our, our operators there and then make them better, uh, so that they can go out and what I call solve their own problems in the future.

And there's something really important about that. There's something really impactful about that. We, our resources, even though we're the United States of America and we can touch you, uh, you know, wherever we want, however we want, you know, our, our political and diplomatic and military resolve sometimes only goes so far and our resources, you know, we, we are still resource constraint and we can't be everywhere in the world.

One of the ways in which we are very successful in effecting change in areas where we can't or don't want to be is we train others. And that is a primary mission of the special forces. And when you combine those things, you look at an organization that is made of people who are dedicated to success.

They're dedicated to winning, you know, I, I talk about it, you know, in every episode they're winning, no matter the challenge. Uh, and that's what really intrigued me about being a, being a Greenberg. Yeah.

Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah. And so how long were you in, you were, how many years did you spend serving in?

Fran Racioppi: So, I got out in January of 2016. Uh, I went in, in October of 2003. So, we'd be over in about almost 12 and a half years.

Fran Racioppi, Founder FRsix - Performance Coach Boston University

Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah. Look, I mean, looking back, I mean, it's, and right now you do a lot of executive coaching. It seems like you do give some talks, like you're utilizing that skill in your everyday life now, but looking back, like, what do you think, let's say top three, top three things that you're most grateful for that, that you don't think that you would have otherwise gotten, had you not made that decision to be. In the army, but in special forces specifically, because you could have done anything

Fran Racioppi: sure. Well, I, in my first couple of years in the army, I was in the infantry. Well, yeah. Uh, and because as an, as an officer, so I went to officer candidate school, um, and as, as an officer, you can't go directly into the special forces.

You go into another branch, you served time and you were a platoon leader, uh, as a Lieutenant. And then once you become a captain, then your window opens up and you go to selection. And if you make it.

Phillip K. Naithram: Can you be enlisted and go into a special force

Fran Racioppi: you, can you go through, what's called the 18-x-ray program. So, there's a direct entry program that exists where you can, uh, you, you can apply through the recruiter and go in and prepare yourself and then get in and, uh, and do that.

Um, I'll give a, I'll give, uh, a plug. I won't call it a shameless plug, but I'll give it a plug for one of our sponsors, 18 alpha fitness, which actually, um, has a fitness program, which is designed for, uh, people who want to go to selection. Whether it be to be a green Barret, a Navy seal, a Marine Raider, you know, air force, uh, um, combat controller, whatever you want to do.

Uh, they actually have the entire fitness programs. You download their app. It's really cool. So, they're preparing you and they're preparing your hands started by a guy who I went to OCS with, uh, who had been enlisted. In the green Berets transitioned to become an officer was in my OCS class and then served with me in 10 special forces group, Kevin Edgerton.

And we're actually going to have him on in a couple of weeks. Um, I think we'll, we'll air his episode, the end of December, but, uh, but yeah, so you can go directly. Yeah. There is an element of preparation though. And the reason why I say all that is because you've got to be ready. Yeah, yeah. This isn't like going in and going to apply for a job at the local pharmacy.

Right. I only say that because that was my first job was in the, in the pharmacy when I w uh, in, in the town I grew up in, but, you know, certainly much different going in and trying to go to selection versus,

Phillip K. Naithram: but what are those things? What are you like looking back? Like, what are you most grateful for out of that experience?

Fran Racioppi: I think the first thing is, is perspective. You were, you were given, and I know you talked to Chris Schmitt and I'm sure he, I'm sure he mentioned perspective a few times in your conversation, but what I do a lot with Chris and him azimuth leadership, and he's just great. He's been a great friend, a great man.

We're in the same unit. We, we served together. And, uh, and Chris has been kind enough to bring me in to his work, uh, at asthma in the traverse. And I'm excited on some great things here. You're going to come. Yeah, you got it. It's

Phillip K. Naithram: already signed up. I'll be there.

Fran Racioppi: All right. Good. Yeah, that's going to be a good time. I told we need to do a winter one to really, really make something, you know, some people, um, but perspective you gain from being number one in the military, but then also have been fortunate enough to make it in serve in special operations. I think it is unlike any other experience that you might have.

A lot of people may have in the world. You see things and you see events. I spoke with gentleman, uh, Stan McChrystal, right? Um, we, we, we released his episode, uh, episode 34 and he wrote a book on risk. It's called risk. A user's guide risk is the defining. I'll call it a van, you know, or that happened that every leader has to deal with the military and special operations teaches you to identify our, what gentlemen, crystal calls, um, detect, assess, respond, and learn from risk in a way that you can't replicate because you're constantly detecting and assessing risk.

And that could be, you know, personal risk could be risk to your team. It could be risks, operational level risks, tactical risk, strategic level risk. You can be a special force, detachment commander, or junior guy on a special forces team and be one of 12 people in a country. And there's stories about this all the time.

The actions you make, as simple as going out to a restaurant where you may argue with a waiter, you may get in a car accident. Something may have in that may not have anything to do with you. You may have been a victim can have strategic. So, you gain a level of perspective that comes from your identification and classification of risk.

Cause you're always looking at these different situations and having to figure out what are my actions going to be? What do I need to do here? What's required of me. And then that allows you, I think, to become so grounded in so many ways that things happen around you. When you get out and you see people, I call you in your hair, on fire and they're running around, it's the end of the world.

And all these things are going wrong and you're like, whoa, hey, stop. What's actually going on here. Okay. And what needs step? What's the, what's the end state that you're looking for? The military is great about identifying the end state. If you can identify the end state, you can figure out how to get there in a logical manner.

What happens so many times when people don't have so many of these different experiences where they're always kind of using the same thought level process to get to the solution is that they just jumped to, I've got to do something. I don't know what to do. So, I just got to do something.

Military teaches you to calm down, assess what's going on, figure out a plan, but always know where you got to get to. If you can do that, gain that perspective, then you are able to operate at a much higher, more effective level with a higher degree of result at the end. Yeah, I'd say that's the first thing.

The second thing is an appreciation. Uh, let me call it gratitude. A gratitude for being an American, um, uh, gratitude for what we have and what we understand, what we understand life is in this country. I got,

Phillip K. Naithram: do you think that came from your ability to travel and see other places to have even more of a reinforced?

Fran Racioppi: I do. I do. I do. Absolutely because we become, we're insulin. In the U S the majority of the population is insular. We, we live in a country that is surrounded by two oceans. Um, you know, I'm sure our Northern and Southern borders are, you know, are, are there, but these are friendly countries to us, but by and large, it's not invading, you know, Canada is not invading us.

You know, we have, I mean, certainly we have border problems and refugee crisis down on the Southern border. And there's, you know, the nacre effect of, of, um, of drugs and the war on drugs that has happened in the Southern border. But these are not at the strategic level. These are not our enemies because we do not.

So, we do not have a threat to our border per se. Right. We can argue, you know, the next generation, the next battlefield of cyber and hybrid warfare, but in a physical threat, we don't. The rest of the world, doesn't operate like that when you're able to travel to the rest of the world and you don't need to be in special operations to travel the rest of the world and gain an appreciation.

And you can go to places in Southeast Asia, you can go to places in the middle east. You can go to places in Africa and nice places in Africa. I mean, I've spent time in Tanzania. I've gone to Zanzibar. Yeah, it's a resort, but you leave the resort and you go into downtown Zanzibar. You still will gain an appreciation of, I mean, that's like who I am, but Zanzibar doesn't look like Hawaii downtown.

Yeah. Does it the beach maybe, but it's a different quality of living. Go to go to India. You don't go. There are so many places where you can go in the world and see that the standard of living that the majority of Americans is, are able and fortunate enough to live in. What this country means in terms of freedom and our ability to speak our mind and our ability to have what I'll call vocal discontent, right.

That we've seen over the last couple of years is unlike any other, our country in the world.

Phillip K. Naithram: And you're not allowed to do that in a lot of other countries.

Fran Racioppi: Absolutely not be that outspoken about the things that you disliked. It's in superpower countries. You're not allowed to do that. Go to China, go to China and, and how, and, and have a protest. You can't,

Phillip K. Naithram: they tried it in Hong Kong

Fran Racioppi: and Hong Kong technically is not part of China cracked down on that. Yeah. And then,

Phillip K. Naithram: right, you got, and ours with Chinese law as a person of Hong Kong, which is not, it wasn't illegal in Hong Kong when you were doing that, you can protest in Hong Kong. Right. Uh, but now you're being charged with yeah.

But even you don't have. I, I want to, I don't want to take us off too much, but like I, I was thinking about some of these places and you look at, they have, I guess, arguably so much less than us, but have you found, what about their happiness level? Are they content and happy without, have you found some people?

I mean, maybe not in the, in the places where there's like an overpowering regime and it's making it a nightmare to live in, but some of these other places, like portions of India, portions of other countries in Asia where they just kind of live simply

Live from the War Barn

Fran Racioppi: well, to some extent, you don't know what you don't know., just like here in the U S where you have a vast majority of the population who doesn't know much else outside of this country, it's the same in other countries. And so, what do you know, you know, what's in front of you, you know what you've been brought up on, you know, what you've been raised on, you know, what you see and what you experience?

And unless you've had the opportunity to go see other things and experience other things, you really don't, you don't really know the true effect. What is so impactful about understanding what the rest of the world looks like? Because you gotta be there. Um, you know, w so, we talk about this thing, you know, now leadership, leadership from a far over the horizon leadership, you know, I, I got a hard time without one what's meant by that leadership over the horizon.

Leadership is what's is, is kind of in the news right now as this concept. It's what they said they wanted to do in the administration. So, they wanted to do in Afghanistan. You know, we saw it, we saw it in 2009, 10 around then too, when we eat with Libya situation, north Africa, uh, which was, you know, we'll, we can overthrow Molar Gadhafi and we can do this kind of lead from behind thing, really difficult conversation.

I think, for me to have, I think a lot of leaders who understand that you gotta be there, uh, you can't lead from behind, uh, it almost, it almost doesn't work. And like the definition of it, uh, you know, the infantry says the infantry in the army, their, their motto is followed me. Uh, you know, jump master gets in an airplane and it gets everyone ready to go.

And if it's a jump master lead jump, right, you know, they'll stand on followed the door, they'll stand at the ramp and now they'll wave their arm and yell, follow me and jump out. And everybody goes, you know, that, that's how we understand leadership very hard to lead when you don't have ground knowledge, similar to.

I interviewed Michael Scott Moore. Um, Michael Scott Moore is a journalist and an author. He was captured by Somali pirates in Somalia on a research trip to write a book about Somali pirates. Uh, and then he subsequently spent two years and eight months as a hostage, um, in Somali itself. And then a good amount of time on a ship off the coast.

I was fortunate when I was, I spent six months in Djibouti, um, and I was fortunate enough to actually work on, we would receive the updates on his, on, on his situation, what we knew the Intel reports. Uh, and then was there a couple of times when there was an opportunity potentially to go get them?

Unfortunately, we were never able to go get them. It just never lined up who got close. Yeah. Got up to the president once or twice, but never able to actually get it done. But Michael Scott Moore. In my conversation with him and in his book, he talks about, you don't know, you can read as much as you want. I think as quotas, you're not an expert because you read about it, right?

You can read about a lot of things. You can see a lot of things on TV. You can see how other people live and you can see famine in Africa. You can see, you know, poverty in, in, in the middle east or other, other areas of the world until you go there and you experience it and you see it. It's not real. Yeah.

It's that appreciation when you come home and you get off the plane and very quickly, we're also how gone, how long you're gone. You'll still come home and get off the plane and hop in the car, go to the store, pick up what you want. Go home, turn the air conditioner or the heat on. Right. And quickly forget, you know, wow.

Where was I? What was I doing? But then you got to allow it to sink. And you've got to begin to appreciate what you have simply by being an American, right. And simply by being fortunate enough to grow up in this country. Um, and, and that is so important and something that, you know, as I'm, I try now to instill, even in my kids to understand that, you know, what you have, this is not the rest of the world.

Uh, and, and, and your ability to be upset is also an earned. Right,

Phillip K. Naithram: So, so what are those three again?

Fran Racioppi: So, we've got two. So, I've got one more so, so perspective, right? Gratitude was the second. Okay. So, you had perspective and gratitude and the third one is, is comradery. Uh, there isn't, there's something that comes from being.

In a group of like-minded people for so long, uh, that is very, very difficult to replicate.

Phillip K. Naithram: You seek that out in your life now,

Fran Racioppi: I think one of the biggest things that you lose that you don't think about when you get out of the military, I know I did is that you all your friends, the people you identify closest with the people that you spend more time with even than your family are, are no longer there.

Phillip K. Naithram: Did you grieve that

Fran Racioppi: you do uh, I think you do. I mean, I remember grieving it the day I got out, you know, I was driving off for Carson and looking in the rear-view mirror saying everything I know is, is there. I know it was behind me. I think. After though over some time where now you have to find new friends, you have to find a new life.

You have to figure out first, you got to figure out what you're going to do and who you're going to be. But then you also got to figure out who those people are. You're going to surround yourself with, but there's a bond. There's a closeness, there's a shared suffering. Uh, almost that comes from it. I taught two Olympic rower, Geoffrey stone, and Geoffrey stone says that, you know, hard things, bond people together more than easy things. I mean, that's true.

Phillip K. Naithram: That's yeah. I mean comradery. I mean, we see that in so many different than like my own experience. I shared a little bit with you about, uh, that I'm sober and, you know, going through that process of getting sober with people that are also new in recovery and just starting to change their life completely around, like, but there's a bond that's created there and it, and it's, I found it in playing football, right.

Training. Yeah. Playing with light in groups of people. There's also just like, that's why those group, um, it's not group therapy. It's just people that understand you point it, you, you brought it up a little while ago is the fact that like, unless you're there, you wouldn't understand. There's no reason for me to write a book on like, pregnancy, because I'll never be able to do that.

Right. But if you've been there and you have a shared experience, you're uniquely qualified to support each other and help each other in a way that no one else is.

Fran Racioppi: Yeah. And we see that now with, with, um, veteran suicide rates. Uh, in fact, you know, we've been talking about it. I work with an organization called sail ahead and I'm the race director for this organization here on long island.

And we teach veterans how to sail as an alternative means to, you know, at first it was about PTSD. Uh, and I think we've evolved in, into. It's it builds camaraderie. It gives you something to rally around. There's a sense of competitiveness in saline. You know, it's, it's not physical. You can sail until you're, you know, old and it's not going to physically affect you, but there's a competitive aspect of it.

Uh, there's a new skill aspect of it. There's you still want to be around people who are competent, you know, technically tactically, um, you know, who are just wanting to be around. And so, if you can create an environment where you can do that, then you can take people who are suffering from these, from these effects, from loss of identity, you call it.

Loss of identity is really what it is. Uh, and then when you lose your own personal identity, because for so long, you identified, you identified as a soldier, a Marine and air man, you know, you name it. And now all of a sudden. You're uh, you were, yeah, I was a soldier. I was an operator. I can wake up every day and think, well, I'm, I'm still that.

And then I can go for a run and realize I'm not, but you gotta, you gotta grieve that. Uh, and then if at the same time you're losing those around you, who are that support network? What we forget is that we were so close when we serve together, how do we then replicate that after? Because just like we needed each other when we were in, we need each other. Now when we're out.

Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah. There's a group called jumper valor that does something similar, especially if like it was started by some guys that were paratroopers and, um, they just, they, yeah, they take people out for jumps, especially like the wounded, uh, like people in wheelchairs and they just strap them to a harness and they're jumping out of the lanes and its a, it's a lot of fun, but again, it's like, you know, it's, it's getting people together probably in a way that they haven't for.

I dunno how long. Uh, if they just recently got out, it probably wasn't that long, but if they've been out for a while and they've just been suffering in silence with this loneliness, because that's really what it is, you can be in a room full of people and still feel lonely. Absolutely.

Fran Racioppi: If you don't identify with them, you don't know, you don't know anything.

Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah. And then we do this otherizing thing and we can like live the entire conversation in our head and find all the ways why, how we're different, you know? And all it takes is one person to kind of bridge that gap to realize that we're a lot more like, well, yeah. But how old were you when you got married?

were you single when you went in, in 2003?

Fran Racioppi: So, we were, um, so my wife and I were going to college together. We met our freshman year at Boston, at Boston university. And we're together through college, you know, like every college couple have had our ups and downs. Did you play sports in college? I did.

I was on the men's rowing team. Okay. Did you, did you do that younger as a younger, I played football and lacrosse in high school. Um, and how many brothers and sisters do you have? I have one brother and one sister. Both of you. All right. So, I'm the old,

Phillip K. Naithram: you're the oldest. You did play sports, uh, when you were younger.

What do you think that, uh, like a lot of what you said, and in, in obviously you were attracted to some other things with special forces and with the United States military, but even doing the leadership work that you do, what do you think playing sports as a younger child is doing for you now in present day?

Fran Racioppi: So, I attribute the majority of what I was able to achieve in the military, by, in becoming a green beret, uh, to being to playing sports. Um, I, I, 100% believe that I would not have been able to become a Greenbrae if I had not been a division one college rower,

Phillip K. Naithram: but why though? What, what was it about it?

Fran Racioppi: Because there was an element of physical and mental toughness that's required to. At that level that I believe is very, very difficult to get. I don't, I don't think that there's any other sports that actually forces you to the level of physical exertion in the, in the short amount of time as rowing. I was, I was a walk-on uh, so I played football.

I played lacrosse in high school. What position is playing? Pretty tall. I played center in defensive end center. Yeah. I was the smallest guy on the line. Uh height-wise no, but by, by size, size wise, yes. So, the ability to go and play college football was if, unless I went to a division three school, maybe I could, maybe I could make it, but it was funny somewhat

Phillip K. Naithram: my, I started playing center. That was my first because I was always, I've always, I haven't always been this size, but I was always the shape if that makes sense. So, uh, that's where I started playing football was in the, like as center and then just kind of went as I, I lost a little bit more weight, got a little bit better at the game, started playing offensive tackle again, lost a little bit more weight, got a little bit better at the game, uh, pulling guard.

Right. And then eventually in high school I played second string full back and second-string linebacker because there were people out there, six, six, and above that they would start. That's just the way that worked. Right?

Fran Racioppi: Yeah. Well, we had a small school, so we were able to, I was able to play, play a lot, but. Uh, but those were, those were formidable times. I mean, we, uh, there's an element of, uh, of toughness that is created by playing sports and, and I wasn't going to play at the collegiate level. And when I was applying to school, I decided that I wanted to go to the school that I got. I knew that had the best academics and the one that, and that was Boston university for me.

So, I chose that. And then I say, well, if I don't play a sport, I'm going to get in trouble. I'm just going to do something stupid and I need to go do something that's going to ground me. And so, I contacted the freshmen coach on the rowing team and I said, all right, they, they allow walk-ons, let me, let me go see what I can do.

And I ended up making the first freshman boat. Um, and, and, uh, and you know, was kind of only up from there. Yeah. Had it been, I had an amazing experience there in that I. I was forced to physically push myself to a point that I really didn't know existed because you work hard in football for 15 to 20 seconds.

I played lacrosse. Uh, and, but I played, I played defense. So again, I mean, you know, there's an element of working of certainly working hard. There's, there's a technical ALS element in stick skills, which I never had. Uh, I was always terrible at ball handling, but I was a big guy could play defense. Well. And when w when people came in to try to score my job was to just hit them and knock them over.

Yeah. Okay. So, I was very good at that, but again, it's, it, it, you're not pushing yourself to rowing where you're in a complete lactic acid. Uh, and your body's going into convulsions because, because so, of the lactic acid build up in your muscles and in your heart, rate is so high that you get to a point where you re you can't breathe anymore because you're breathing so hard.

And so fast rowing does that to you. So, rowing takes, you, forces you to push yourself to the limit, forces you beyond that limit teaches you that the point at which your body will shut down mentally, emotionally, and physically, um, you find that your mental will shut down first. Yeah. Well, probably your Mo your emotional, your emotional side probably will shut down first.

And the like, oh God, I don't want to be here. These hurts. And then mentally, you'll get it in your head. You know, this, I can't do it. I can't do it. And then how are you? Talking to yourself, how are you preparing your mind at this point to push through that? Right? Knowing that my emotions and my mental side are going to quit before my body actually will, even though my body's, I think my body's telling me it's going to quit first.

So, we'll actually go much further than I believe it will. And so having to train those things and in unison and in parallel finding those points at which each one of those components starts to shut down and you fail and you don't achieve a goal you set out to do, but now you've set a new bar and you've set a new limit and you want to understand where you have to get to, uh, that's so important in, in, in setting a foundation for anything you do.

And I know that when I had to then prepare to go into the army to prepare, to go to special forces selection, to go to ranger, that was what was in my mind. Yeah. Number one, nothing is going to be as hard as that was. Absolutely not. Nothing will, will do to me what a race does in rowing. And I now know, how do I physically prepare for something at a, at a, at a, at the highest level?

How do I emotionally prepare, how do I mentally prepare? I work right now with Boston university, men's rowing team, um, as the, as performance development. And so, I speak with the coaches and the athletes weekly, um, and we, and this is what we talked about. We talked about the physical and the emotional aspect of it.

We talk about the, the, you know, things like characteristics that are, we need out of our athletes. We talk about, um, we talk about the values, the vision we talk about, you know, what I call table stakes, you know, things like you operate in and you compete in the top. Collegiate division. Uh, this is going to be hard.

Yeah. So, if you come here every day and you tell me it's hard. Well, it's, it should be hard. So, let's stop talking about the fact that it's hard and there's a ruin.

Phillip K. Naithram: There's a relationship between psychology and physiology. So, like it's the way we're talking to ourselves. The body will respond, right? I mean, you mentioned self-talk.

I mean, are you, are you, are you an, I am statement guy, like I'm a big, I am statement guy. Like I write down, I am statements. Um, because I found that I am as the most powerful sentence that we can say to ourselves right. In the, in the English language. Like, whatever we insert after I am is going to be how we identify ourselves.

And that's going to dictate if I found that addicted. Not just where focus goes energy flows. So that's where I'm going to start paying attention and also my body. So, like when we're, when we're, when I'm working out, I do a lot of CrossFit when I'm running distances. If I'm, I mean, I might be a little bit psycho, but like, you know, like I, I start, I start have that mantra of I am, and I'm putting that in there to just keep going.

Are you big on that? Do you coach that with those guys?

Fran Racioppi: I coached them more, yes. To some extent. Um, I wouldn't put it in those words. Uh, I would say that, you know, my, my theory on this is, um, is the slogan that I have for my business in the podcast. How you prepare today, determines success tomorrow. Uh, I think it's, you, you have to do the work.

No, one's going to do it for you. Yeah. And I think that is real in sports. It's real in life. It's real in work. Uh, we all have greater. Most people have great ideas. And the difference between people who are ultimately successful in life and business in their careers, comes down to the amount of work that they put in.

A lot of people think I'm struggling this with my daughter right now because she's 12 and everything is everything as well that they've been doing that for a long time. Oh, they're a professional athlete. I can't do that. Okay. But they weren't always a professional. Right. They became a professional athlete because they put the time, they put the work in, they put the work ethic in.

Yeah. They dedicated themselves to this. They didn't wake up one day and all of a sudden, they're a professional athlete and now the work went in. Yeah. So, there's a path, there's a road. And when you wake up every day and you can, you know, if that, if, and if it's the, I am that motivates you right. Then use that, you know, it's but what I talk to everybody about is what do you have to do today?

That's going to determine how you start tomorrow. And if each one of those is deliberate, then you're putting yourself on a path to be successful. It's not going to, and it's not going to be up until the right slope. It's not going to be like that every day, every day is not going to be better than the next you're going to have down days.

You're going to have, so you may have significant spikes and you know, and crests and troughs where you wake up and you think all is lost right in the wrong job. You know, my family hates me. I have no friends, you know, my, I mean, there's so many of these things are gonna come up where you going to have these and self-have self-doubt, but how do you stop and just think this is part of the process.

Phillip K. Naithram: Well, you're talking about growth mindset versus fixed mindset, right? If you're, if it's all part of the process, right, then you're still chipping away at it. Even on the down slope day. You know, you're still getting after it one, 1% better. That's kinda like what I talk about on this podcast. It's just 1% better every day.

Fran Racioppi: Yeah. And then, oh right. You have your little pity party for a few minutes and then say, okay, look, everybody doesn't hate me. My family doesn't hate me. You know, I have friends, even if I have one and it's okay. Yeah. Like it, you know, I'm not terrible at my job.

Phillip K. Naithram: We can just get so selfish like that. Like everybody hates me. They're not going to stop thinking about them to think about how much they hate me, but in my mind, it's just like, and it becomes so real and it can take over our thoughts and paralyzes.

Fran Racioppi: Oh yeah. No, it's it is the resilient attitude is the resilient mind mindset. We talk about resilience on, on the podcast a lot.

Uh, and are you able to, the first step in resilience is really an idea is it is, is humility. And the ability to stop understand the situation that you're in. Accept it. Be honest with yourself. No, that you're not where you want to be. Don't frame ideas around the ideal. Um, you got to understand here's honestly where I am.

Here's how I got here now. How am I going to respond and get out?

Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah. It's a result of our actions. Right. And humility is an accurate self-appraisal. So, like me saying I'm the worst person in the world is not as, also not an accurate self-appraisal. Right. Just like I'm the greatest in the world. It's like, you know, so it's, it's funny how pride and ego they're flip sides.

There are two sides to that coin. Right. And, and, and I found that even just in my own experience, that, to be humble for some reason, I, for a very long time, I thought being self-deprecating meant that I was humble now.

Fran Racioppi: Yeah. I was just going to say that, no, you don't, people they'll resort to that. They'll say, oh, well being humble means that like, I'm not that, you know, I, I didn't do, or I didn't create the environment in which I'm in now.

And it's good. You know, like everything is bad, you know, everything. I have to look at myself, always through this critical lens and, and everything is bad. And you know, you said, self-deprecating right. You know that, oh, oh, I need to be better. Here's all the reasons why I'm not good. No, if you did a good job, tell yourself you did a good job.

You gotta, you gotta own that. You gotta accept that. There's the element that humility is understand in real terms, the position you're in. So, if it was good, awesome, own it. Be happy about it. Celebrate it, learn from it. I tell them, I tell the guys on the men's rowing team, you go out there and you kick someone's ass and you win the race.

Hey, let's celebrate. But tomorrow now you better figure out what, what, what went wrong in that race? Yeah, let's learn from the good let's build on it. Identify the opportunities when it's good or bad, unless do better than. Yeah, but you got to embrace the good right.

Phillip K. Naithram: Train the brain to get used to that dopamine effect. And to like, to chase that, I mean, I almost, I was almost like addicted to self-deprecating. I thought, for sure, I can self-deprecate myself into better behavior. It just felt like the right thing to do that. If I was that critical of myself, eventually I'd do better. And I don't know where that came from, but like, yeah, it's never worked and I think the method that you're talking about at least seems to work a little bit better for me. I mean, like, you know,

Fran Racioppi: well, I'd also take, take time for yourself. Yeah. I think there's an importance to that too. Somebody will schedule it. I fall victim all the time where I'll go sit on the couch and it's nine 30 at night.

And for the first 10 minutes, I start thinking, well, I shouldn't be doing these five things. If I was doing these five things, I'd be making progress, you know, forgetting about the fact that since five 30 in the morning, I was doing all of these things and now I'm here. But you gotta be able to disconnect for a little bit, even if it's for a few minutes and you know, what, what am I truly going to achieve tonight that I can't achieve tomorrow.

Right. And am I at a point where whatever I do right now, isn't even going to be that good.

Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah. I want to get back. So, so I, um, we went off on a little bit is my fault, but, um, uh, there we go. So, um, so you met your wife. Was she a rower or was she an athlete?

Fran Racioppi: Oh, she wasn't. Nope. She studied advertising and, um, no, but she came to all the races and she was oftentimes the only one there.

Phillip K. Naithram: And how long have you guys been married yet? Uh,

Fran Racioppi: so, we've been married since 2005. We've had a very, um, interesting, uh, path. Cause we were, we spent a lot of time together. Uh, apart we spent a lot of time together. We spent a lot of time apart. Uh, the majority of my military career, uh, I was gone. I was, you know, we went to college together and like every college couple had our, you know, times apart from each other and, and got back together.

And then when I went in the army, uh, no, we were separated certainly for that. And, and then the majority of my army career, uh, we were separated and, uh, we got married in 2005 after I graduated ranger school before I went to Iraq for the first time. And then I went to Iraq for a year and then went to special forces, went back to Iraq for, you know, two more deployments, about eight months a piece.

And then, then came back from that and, you know, hadn't really been together. Um, and so we actually spent a good amount of time apart after that. Um, we, we separated for a long time. Um, the better part of 70. Uh, and I missed a good portion of my daughter as a young girl, um, and, uh, whether it was being deployed in the first three or four years of her life and, and then not living together and not being together for, until the subsequent, you know, three, four years after that.

Um, and we lived, uh, even when we lived in New York, uh, for the majority of time we lived in New York, we lived and I was in business school. We didn't live together. Uh, and I had my own, my own life and they had their own life and, you know, saw, saw them a couple of days a week and, you know, did what I considered was my, you know, fatherly duties.

And, um, fortunately, uh, we have been able to since kind of rectify that, um, we've gone through, you know, our, our hardships, you know, mostly imposed by me, uh, Mo more than anybody else. Um, but, uh, but we never. We never totally broke. Um, pretty damn close. Yeah. A couple of times and always found a way to think about the bigger picture or think about the importance of raising our daughter.

And now we have a son, um, that's an amazing by-product of, of just never quitting, uh, and coming back. And now, you know, our family is for the first time in a long time is indefinitely is probably stronger than it's ever been. Yeah.

Phillip K. Naithram: What kind of work did you have to do on yourself to be this new person that was able to come back into their lives?

Fran Racioppi: I think I had to lose. it all

Phillip K. Naithram: Did you do therapy? Did you work with someone else?

Fran Racioppi: I work with an organization called headstrong. Yeah. Um, and headstrong is primarily a veteran service organization that works with veterans with, um, with mental health. Uh, you want to have mental health conversations and mental health challenges.

And I was very fortunate, um, to be linked up with them. And in, I believe 2016, I think, um, 2016, 17. Yeah. And I have, uh, been working with them since, and I believe that that's an incredibly valuable organization. We can't solve everything on our own. Um, and S you know, sometimes, you know, I hop on, hop on my calls and, you know, talk about, you know, deep, deep, emotional, you know, ways that I feel.

And other times I just bitch about, uh, you know, scaling the podcast and advertisers and looking for guests and know it gives you an outlet. Um, and so talking to people, I think. Yeah.

Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah. I mean, and, and, you know, yeah, we all need that. We need that separate from the person that we're in a relationship with, right.

Because that person didn't sign up to be our financial advisor, our spiritual guru, our, um, you know, whatever our therapists, they signed up to be us why for our husband, you know, and that's, um, and we need that. We need that community where a way where I can, you know, I think that for me, I get a lot of that, uh, with the people that I, I got sober with and that are still in my life and that are a powerful force.

Cause we all suffer through that. We talked about that earlier. There's something that happens when you suffer with another person that you build a bond that I don't, I haven't found it anywhere else. I'm not saying that it won't exist. I just, I don't know. And, um, but having that thought partner that was Chris, like that was his big thing.

But just having that community of people that I can be open, honest, vulnerable, and they know exactly who I am and all of the things that, not that I would never tell this other person, but just like, they don't need, like, that's not what. They don't need me to be that person with them. Right. They need another version of Philip to show up.

And it's only because I have that community of people that I get to have those conversations, whether it's me just complaining about something or really just talking about something that's going on with me. Like something that like is, you know, a deep fear of mine, like, you know, that I can, I can deal with that there.

And it doesn't land on the other person. Um, and I can show up as the person they really actually need and want me to be so that's, that's huge, man. Um, you know, one thing there's, I mean, I can sit here and talk to you all day. You know, like I feel like in, I hope that we get a chance to really keep doing that, but there's one question that I ask everybody that's been on the podcast.

Um, it's about a jumping off point. It's a moment in time where you can no longer keep doing what you're doing, but you're uncertain of what to do next. You know, some people have described it as a moment in time where at the time it was, it was a horrible experience. It was either emotionally painful, physically painful or both.

And at the time they didn't want it to be happening. But now looking back there, they're just truly grateful that they had that experience. Cause they wouldn't, they wouldn't be who they are. They wouldn't have the people in their lives that they have. They wouldn't have the perspective on something that they have now, whether it's career, it doesn't have to be about your job.

It doesn't have to be anything. Maybe it's, you know, I don't know. Just throw that out there too.

Fran Racioppi: That's a good question. You may have. I'm not used to being the guest and I might, and a lot of times the guests looks at me and they say, that's a really good question. And then I always think, I don't know, are you just saying that? Cause you're stalling for an answer and now I'm giving it to you. Um, so I think I didn't livestream a bunch of chapters.

Um, you know, your life. Yeah. Uh, and, and each part of your life, um, is a different chapter. And so just like you, your, your life has, uh, certainly a beginning and unfortunately an end. Um, and, uh, within, within each one of those chapters, there's a defining moment and there's defining chapters, um, that will open and we'll close.

And as we get older and have more experiences, we write new chapters that, that begin and end, uh, you know, I think it would be easy for me to say that the defining, um, moment, you know, for me, would be, you know, going in the special forces, I think certainly, you know, that's, that's a big one. Um, you know, I would honestly tell you that, you know, I think that there is the defining moment for me was probably.

Uh, losing, losing my job at, at snap, you know, I think was a big one. Um, you know, w very, very unfortunate. I just, I tried to do too much. Um, I tried to push the envelope too hard. I tried to, you know, both professionally and personally, um, I didn't take the, I didn't take the cues, um, that I was seeing about, you know, the organization not ready for change in the way that I was trying to bring change, um, and, uh, started pissing people off.

Um, and you know, I'm like, know, like we talked about the podcast, you know, I'm a, I'm an agent of change. I'm a transformative leader, I'm a visionary, you know, I, I want to win at all costs and I don't do well often when there's roadblocks in the way. And sometimes, especially if you're new to an organization, if you don't understand fully, you know, what we call in special forces, you know, number one, understand your operational environment.

Um, you know, and when you violate that principle, uh, things can go wrong very quickly. And sometimes you might not be mature enough or, or, uh, humble enough to see when that's happening. And I think that, you know, certainly that was an experience in my life where I did that. Um, and you know, that combined with, you know, my personal situation with my, you know, not being together with my family, um, all, all came to one, one end, you know, fairly quickly.

And that, uh, was something that. You took a long time to get over. Um, but I will say that I tell you how you have to hit bottom. And I think you, with your experience in your life and, you know, can attest to that, that, you know, some one point, you know, you look at, you're standing at the bottom of the well, and you're like, well, this is it.

You know, I've lost, I've lost everything I have. Um, who do I want to be? Uh, and, and for me, you know, that was a moment where I looked back on my life. Uh, and I always thought about the people person and the people that I wanted to be. Um, and I had to ask myself the hard question of am I that person right now?

Um, and, and I would be lying if I said, you know, in a day, yeah. You're like, yeah, I am. I'm not, I'm not this person, you know, today I changed. No, that takes time. Um, you know, but if you ask yourself over a period of time, enough, am I who I want to be? Um, am I living the values and the life that I want, am I doing right for me and the people that I love, um, and then take the cues, you know, who's still there?

Um, and, and who are the people that are still looking at you saying, you know, we're still here for you. Uh, if you want us and you want this support, you know, we're still here and we can do this. Um, and I was able to do that and it took a while, certainly. Um, uh, but you know, when eventually it kind of turned around and was like, I'm not who I want to be or not who I always said I was going to be.

Um, and now I have, you know, mistakes and hard lessons learned and battles fought. Uh, and now. Yeah, go be the person you want. Yeah. Know, go do the things you want to do, do it with the people you want to do it. Um, it's not going to be easy. It's not going to be happy someday. It's not going to be as glamorous or glorious as you know, you might, but you squandered that he already lost it in a back.

Phillip K. Naithram: Do you find yourself having a sense of gratitude that you actually went through that and have that because you wouldn't be the person you are now or doing the things you are now had that night? I've been the case.

Fran Racioppi: Yeah, I think in the long run, uh, I, isnโ€™t got to wait to go lost a lot of money, tremendous amount of money that, you know, is it never going to get back and take a long time to recover? Um, but, uh, life's not about money, you know, life's life for me is about impact in life for me, you know, I think at one point probably may have been about that, but I think for me, it's about, you know, who, who do I bring impact to, you know, whose life can, can I make better, even if it's in one, one small way.

Yeah. One, one small piece. Can you take one thing away from talking to me and listen to me interacting with me, um, that makes you your, yourself, your team, your organization better. And can I do that for my family too? Yeah. Then every day I wake up and I say, I've been given a I'd say yeah. And not even a second, probably a third shot, you know, getting this thing.

Right. Um, you know, what choices are you going to make today? And we talked about that. Talk about that with. Guys at BU and Kristen homes from loop at her. And I spoke about it, you know, performance is a choice. Um, and when I, you know, Kristen had a great perspective on performance as a choice that she took with her.

Uh, she built with her field hockey team, um, at Princeton. Uh, but I say that you have a choice to perform, but your choices also affect performance. So, when I wake up every day, I think, okay, today I have to choose how I'm going to perform, whether it's professionally or personally. Um, and now know that every choice I make, what I eat, what I drink, my behavior is going to affect my performance and those around me.

And if I can stay somewhat centered on those things and think big picture, uh, and focus on what I got to do today to be successful tomorrow, then I think.

Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah, no, I love it, man. Well, look, I really appreciate you sitting down and chatting with me and giving me this chance to come by to your house course.

Fran Racioppi: Only had to refill the fire one time.

Phillip K. Naithram: Yeah, I know. And, uh, thanks for having this here and nice and warm and um, well, look, I'm, you know, I'm down in DC and a lot of government contractors, a lot of tech firms, a lot of people that can benefit from having someone like you come in and speak to their teams and, and talk about the stuff that, um, that you talked about with BU and everything else.

What's the best way to get in touch with you? Is it through? Is it through the talent group? Yeah.

Fran Racioppi: Uh, either way. So, um, connect with me on, on LinkedIn, a friend or topi on Instagram, uh, um, uh, rich Hopi friend or Jedburgh podcast or pot, uh, Instagram. Facebook LinkedIn as a page, do we have a YouTube channel YouTube channel for the Jedburgh podcast and FRsix?

Uh, my website dot com F R S I x.com. Um, but yeah, any of those means will find me. Yeah. Yeah.

Phillip K. Naithram: We'll make sure we put links below the show. So, yeah. Well, thanks for, thanks for doing this, man.

Fran Racioppi: All right, well, thanks. Appreciate it.

โ€

Picture of Phillip K. Naithram

Phillip Naithram

Entrepreneur & Podcaster

โ€ขCreator of The DC Local Leaders Podcast
โ€ขEvent MC & Moderator
โ€ขCEO of SHIFT Media Studios