Today is a special episode where I turn the reigns over to Drew Williams as he hosts a conversation between Dan Luna and I as we look at the ninja skills necessary to lead in volatile times. Dan shares he approach and secrets behind his long operational history and what’s he’s learned from operating with one of the most elite units.
ABOUT DAN LUNA
Daniel Luna was born in Los Angeles, California on October 14th, 1977. After high school he spent two years working for the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department prior to enlisting in January 1999.
His initial sea tours were in Great Lakes where he conducted Boot Camp and QM A School. He classed up and graduated with BUDS class 228. He was assigned to San Diego, California at SEAL Team One where he served ten years and completed five deployments. These deployments included two tours in Iraq, two tours in Afghanistan, one tour in PACOM and additional stints across various other countries for joint training.
In 2010, Daniel Luna screened positive for Naval Special Warfare Development Group and continued various training and deployments while at that Command.
His qualifications include Naval Special Warfare Instructor, Joint Terminal Air Controller, Breacher, Sniper, EMT, ASOT Level 2, AFO Operator, Static Line and Free Fall Jump Master, Range Safety Officer, and various other qualifications. His decorations include two Bronze Star Medals with Valor, Purple Heart, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Joint Commendation Medal, four Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medals with Valor, and other various unit and service awards.
Daniel Luna has an Associate Degree in Oceanography Technology from Coastline Community College, a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from the University of Charleston, a Master’s in Leadership and Graduate Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown University.
Having retired from the Navy in January 2019, Daniel Luna became a Managing Director of Strategic Solutions at The MFA Companies. He and his team of business advisors worked collaboratively across the Firm to create strategic out-of-the-box solutions designed to address complex problems facing enterprise customers and their leaders. Recently, he has started his own Company, 3LX LLC, where he continues to serve as a leadership consultant and coach and developing leadership products.
All right. Welcome back to mindset radio. I’m well maybe not even your host today, Jeff Banman here. Today on this show with me I’ve got drew Williams out of a major Metro law enforcement agency here in the Denver area and a former team guy, former seal Dan Luna. Now, you know, today I get to hang out with a cop and a former seal, which will be pretty interesting and I’m sure some awesome things will come up, but we were just talking before the show and I think we’re going to change some things up today in a few minutes here. I’m actually gonna turn the reigns over to drew Williams and he’s gonna host today, which I think is going to be a lot of fun. But before we begin, you know, Dan has just a, a radical Lee amazing history and you can read it in the show notes through his time in the teams. And then really more importantly, what the work Dan’s doing today and kind of leading us in to today’s conversation. What we kind of want to maybe hit on or, or focal point first is this idea of how do I lead in crisis. And so drew Dan, thanks for joining me today. I really appreciate it. I think just in the pre-conversation this is going to be a lot of fun. Jeff. Thank you. Appreciate being on. Damn good schedule.
Dan Luna (00:01:20):
Yeah. Drew, thanks for setting this up and Jeff, thanks for having me on. I appreciate it.
Yeah, man. No, I really appreciate it. I really do. I really enjoyed kind of learning some of your background, learning the work, learning the conversations, your creating. And I know you’re taking some different approaches to some things. So before we really dive in, why don’t you just share with us a little bit about, you know, your new mission, your focal point where your coming from.
Dan Luna (00:01:47):
Yeah, so it’s been a real interesting journey and almost just to dive right in, if you’re okay with it, let’s, let’s hit it. So to have 15 years of combat deploying every other year, I’m really at the Heights of, of the, the conflict, if you will, both in Iraq and in Afghanistan. Coming out of that, having a lot of issues that we’re seeing with a lot of veterans and then with the transition. So just going through that phase and also being at the Naval Academy and what was, what was real impactful for that was I was able to finish up my, my undergrad, get a get a master’s at Georgetown. And then I also stayed at Georgetown and did a their grad cert in leadership coaching. So as I’m in this academic arena going through academics and then also as an instructor at the Naval Academy, just these, and with my past experience, it was like all these worlds coming together.
Dan Luna (00:02:55):
And what I started to notice was a huge gap in training. And it was really the preparation for kind of like, for pre combat or, or, or prior to stepping into, instead of a, I use a word volatility, right? So volatility is, you know, rapidly, unpredictably, you know, change. Especially for the worse. So as you’re stepping into a situation, either as a cop or in the military or as a firefighter or you know, what we’re seeing today with with doctors and first responders, what does that pre-phase look like? And not just on the ACA, not on the technical skills, but both, you know, mind, body, spirit and emotion. So, Hey, what can we do to better prep that? And so that’s really the space than pre space. And I, and, and I’m starting to work with this and I’m working with a psychologist right now who’s been in this field a lot longer than I have. And he brings the scientific approach and I call it pre traumatic coaching. So how can we coach somebody up before stepping into a volatile environment? And I think there’s a lot of gaps that we’re missing. And that’s why we’re seeing a lot of issues that we’re seeing today.
Well, you’re not going to get one ounce of argument out of me around that. I mean, that’s the entire premise for really my life, right? Is, how do we mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, prepare those who step into harm’s way? How do we break down the barriers to, to the experiences of trauma the experience of stress, the experience of chronic stress, all these things that weigh on us and then getting into issues of tribe and all kinds of stuff. So I’m sure it’s going to go in a million different directions today, which I’m pretty stoked about. So what’s that noise? Chaos right now. You see, why don’t you two together, right? Hey Matt,
I, I’m blessed and so to have both of you as mentors and in my hip pocket. And for those of you that are listening, these are two amazing men that pay attention. Listen, I’m going to kind kinda ask them questions here and tell you kinda what I did and how I came apart. These two, two guys we’re here with. So both of you, ironically, I’ve had the opportunity to teach with or instruct with. And so I’m going to kind of bring up two of those. So one for each of you. Dan, I got, can I start with you just a little bit? So as a team commander, you know, I’m always looking and learning as best we can as leaders, as many of you are that are out there. If you’re not leading, we’re failing, right? So we’re trying to look at how we can progress ourselves, but also how we can progress our teammates, our shifts, our operators over we’re looking at, and so, Dan, I happened to come across you and very fortunate and brought you out to do some team training with my team.
You kinda touched on it a little bit here, this pre event trauma leading through volatility, leading through chaos, crazy times that were there. And I kinda wanted you to just to touch on a little bit of those key facets that you talked to with my team about. So we’re talking about kind of well as we go on about it, I actually headed with a fire hose and I’ll let you kind of take off. How did you hit my guys?
Dan Luna (00:06:15):
So I typically don’t start out a keynote. How I started it with Drew’s T I actually, I’ve never done that again because the audience is is, it’s a larger audience and it was mixed with, with Drew’s group. It was a, it was just a SWAT team. So all shooters everyone had a gun strapped to them in the room. So it was a, it was a very small setting. So drew introduces me and I’m looking around the room and there’s, you know, I’m, I’m reading the audience and so I’m like, Oh, I really need to kick this thing off with a power to, to get their attention. Cause there was a little bit like, Oh, it’s cool we have this guy, but like he’s going to say some stuff I could tell they were anxious. They were going to do some offsite training. And so I kicked it off with asking any w I asked the question why K who’s killed somebody in here? And that was my, that’s not, that’s how I kicked off this keynote.
Dan Luna (00:07:28):
And that was an, everyone in the room was in the, the emotional, a reaction. It the whole energy in the like I actually have goosebumps right now just just going back to that moment in time, the whole like everything changed in the, there was open gasps, people were like people, some people were appalled and, and then like I said, I was like, Hey, raise your hand. And so like even the body language of how the hands, some were raised that pie, some were like barely right. It was almost like I moved my hand from being flat on the desk to the hand still touching the desk but the hands up so, so it was such a punch in the face to everyone in the room. And then to add injury to insult, I laughed at everyone in the room. They were just like, is this like the Adacel and this guy? And I started laughing at him and I was like, Hey listen, you all have, everyone in here has a gun strapped to them. And that question, I just dropped a bomb in the room. I was like, that’s why I’m here. And that’s why I’m here to talk about the things that we’re going to talk about. And then after that it was, we, we went a million miles a minute. That’s an important,
Important question, but I’m sure you experienced that too a little bit when you’re teaching and the, you know, you and I had the opportunity to teach here at the Pepsi center. We taught, you know, police, fire, EMS, and, and you start off very strong too. I mean, you, you, you started off very, very strong with quality. Talk about a little bit of that intro kind of video you showed and why you show that and what it does. The people and what are we after with our mindset?
Yeah. I dad, that’s phenomenal. I got a van, I can see that unfolding and wow. The, the human behavior shame, guilt, fear, self judgment, self doubt. The, the, the old, the language that filled that room, I have to say, Dan, that’s, that’s phenomenal man. That was, that’s, I got that. Wow. Okay. Yeah, drew. I mean, generally speaking, you know, I start off with a couple of key videos in, in kind of the operation mindset format. And they’re interesting because for me, what I want to do in, in really diving into people is I want to get them emotionally triggered, right? Emotionally engaged in the conversation we’re about to have. And I have found that the videos that I use are extremely helpful because, you know, I asked the audience to set aside their, their judgment. And you know this true, if you walk in and Dan, you get this right nowhere.
And I start off every conversation that I have out there, whether it’s fire service, law enforcement, military, that, you know, the room we’re in is like oozing judgment, right? Out of the scenes. There’s just, you know, what are you doing here? Where are you going to say who’s this guy? You know, blah, blah, blah. All that’s there. And it’s like, okay, if you can’t set that aside to be with me for however long we’re together, then you know, it’s just not going to work. So might as well leave. But the videos create an interesting barrier that I think most people don’t. The leak they don’t make, right? And so I asked them to look at the video newly, whether they’ve seen it before or not. You know, we use the deputy Dean Keller video as our primary source and I’ve used it and you know, thousands of times now.
But it’s pretty profound because it’s drew and you’ll get this, especially from the law enforcement side, it’s used widely, but it’s used very much in a tactical model. What did I do wrong? What were the tactics that went wrong? Where did communication breakdown, right? Kind of in the standard stuff. And I don’t give a shit about any of that. What I care about is the behavior that’s taking place, right? The impact on Dean Keller, the things that that happen. Like you talk about Dan, the, the preconditioning that occurred for that guy weeks before days before all leading up to this incident. The scar training scars that occur now from that decades, from those decades of training and dealing with volatile use, volatile people people that may be mentally unstable. And you know, the biggest question, the biggest ass there is to set aside the tactical judgment and be with him in that moment. Experience the fear, experience, that moment, experienced this heaviness, you know, this self doubt, this constant judgment, this critical decision making that’s happening, you know, millisecond, millisecond, millisecond and you know, and then I lead in with my, you know, my openers on things and I use it as the tool to kind of get them where I want them. So then we can go for it. Drew, does that, does that a summary?
Absolutely. I mean it’s a, a [inaudible] and Dan has an interesting take on a couple of concepts. There are two that I’m sure he’ll hit on that I really took out of his presentation that kind of tie that mindset together. And I think the struggle for law enforcement, right? And I’m sure it’s in the fire service and other places, but particularly in law enforcement, military is what Dan was speaking to. The mindset you’re speaking to is that I have to train to the level of killing, but that’s not our primary objective. And then what is our command staff’s perspective on those angles? I know it’s a, you know, one of the most stressful things we go through as an officer involved shooting and the critiques that go four months or if not years on end and these things. And it’s interesting, it’s an interesting dichotomy because you’re expected to when that moment comes deal with it.
But we don’t want to kind of speak about it. Right. And the command staff or even in some organizations, we kind of push that down a little bit is that kinda taboo feature that we offer. But yet I expect every person, like Dan just said, they shouldn’t have took the air out of the room the way it did. That is the expectation of every police officers areas. You should be able to operate to that level all the way down to your routine response. And so, yes, this pragmatic issue that kind of goes back and forth and, and Dan, you spoke a little bit about the, some of the takeaways my guys took away was that pre event preparation. How do I get ready for this thing? What is my mind going through? And ironically you know, Dan happened to speak to us and at that time we had a few raise our hands and then had he been, or if you, when he returns, there’ll be unfortunately several more hands that have a need to now raise as we’ve had some other critical issues that have come up.
But in the post interviews and in the post stress decompression of these guys actually referenced this pre mindset training that Dan spoke about.
Dan Luna (00:14:22):
Yeah. You guys. Yeah, super. Jeff. I love what you’re doing. So with the, with the videos and you’re, what it sounds like, what I’m hearing is like a visualization drill afterwards and the visualization drill is not just the thought process, right? So when we say mindset, I guess how I break down mindset is, is essentially how you think about something. Like what’s that pattern of thought for a, so there’s also body sets and now bodies. And this is where I’ve really been able to bring in a lot of my leadership coaching. So the body set is how we hold and how we move towards something, right? So in the body it’s not just this anatomy, right? Like, Hey, I have my arms, my legs will also in our body, we carry our past, we have our character, we have our intuition, we have our, our sense, our feelings, like we have all these things in our bodies.
Dan Luna (00:15:21):
So that deeper connection with ourselves and even how we position ourselves. So if I want to, so even right now for example, I really want to make sure that I’m present for this call. So part of the habits that I’ve created is my tr, my chair tilts. So I make sure I put my chair upright, I lock into position, my feet are firmly planted in the ground. So now I reinforce the internal with the external. So I re like nothing is crossed, my legs aren’t crossed, my arms aren’t cross, I’m completely open. So I’m reinforcing openness with my body so I can take external and reinforce the internal. And then the opposite is also true. What is happening on the internal shows up on the external. So if I’m struggling with something, if I’m trying to process it, if they’re, if home life is a mess, it will show up externally at work.
Dan Luna (00:16:22):
So this idea of like, Hey, leave your problems at home. Do, that’s like asking yourself, remove your arm. Like remove a body. Like it’s impossible because you literally carry it with you everywhere you go. So it’s a deeper understanding of yourself. So that’s part of body set and there’s a whole like that’s a whole EBIS that we can dive into spirits set. So our beliefs, and I love talking about these taboo things because one, because they’re not talked about. So what’s great for me is I’m able to use my past as that kind of authority or that position to talk about these things. Because could you imagine somebody from academia step into a room and say, Hey, is anyone killed it? Like you’d be like, what are you academic like one that that individuals most likely will never say that in two. Like they won’t feel comfortable the respect in there.
Dan Luna (00:17:32):
So it’s great that I’m now able to use my past to just add credibility to the conversation. And at the end of the day, it’s not, these questions are not for me to answer. It’s really for the operator or for those in the field to answer themselves with better questions. You can now have better answers. So what I try and do is just show up and help them navigate it without, without shooting on them, without telling somebody what they should or shouldn’t do. I don’t have their job, I don’t have the environment that they’re in. I don’t have their past, I don’t have their experience. So who am I to tell somebody what they should be doing and I won’t. What I’ll do is just help them navigate that space.
Dude, I like you. I told you man, okay, that’s a, I’m over here giggling, right? This is a dire DOB. I’m like, well cause Dan, I, you know, I’ve taken the same approach, right? And that’s where it’s, it’s like one, you’ve got to have the credit goalie. Like, I want to be able to step into a room and say, listen, this is, this is what matters because I know I’ve lived it, you know, I’ve navigated these roads and grown through a lot of it. And Dan, I, I’m a big believer in the growth. Like the Ninja stuff is when you can get out of your mind and into your body, right when you can to understand the, the transaction if you will. Andrew, sorry, if you’ve got, I had a question, I’m jumping in, I’m digging, digging writings back here. No, go for it.
Right. So, so if you look at, if you look at, if you look at our, our characteristics kind of like transactional. So you know, the earlier we can get in the transaction, the better. And what I mean by that is, so we start, you know, with, we’ve got all our senses right? Things are going on, something happens in the environment and we experienced sensation in the body first, you know, scientifically evident, you know, sensation occurs. So when that sensation occurs, it goes through the chain of events that will lead it then to, when I label it, I call it then an emotion, you know, or a feeling. Then I have a narrative or a thought about that emotion or feeling right. And then I’m going through this decision making cycle around it. So to me the Ninja work is how do I catch early sensation and be able to go, Oh, that that’s anxiety or Oh that’s, you know, me forecasting.
So it’s fear or that’s you know, an uncomfortable sense or feeling and I can actually be present enough to anchor in the conditions as they are to say, does my internal sensation match my external world right now? And then I can begin to navigate those roads with ease at a whole new level versus just as, you know, I’m not strong enough the narrative that runs in our head. Right. I love the kind of, you know, the breakdown three brain model, right? Cause trauma lives in the body, you know, the Olympic cluster, their real time operating system, right? Invisible radar out, pinging, looking constantly
Observing. You know, and then we have our neocortex, which is really nothing more than the time machine giving us the opportunity to think about the past or the future. And so really leveraging the body as a whole is really the mindset. You know, cause I believe kind of model the body is the mind in a lot of ways that I, you know, take guys the road I take guys down. So drew ordeal. So, wow. I mean this is, I’m taking in from multiple angles here cause I’m, I’m going to make the leap cause I’m not nearly as a student is just as both of you are. These are, these are their individual attributes as you’re speaking about. But I’m also as leaders trying to see how, how you two would tie this concept into building your ideal team, leaving your ideal a police force fire.
I don’t know what they call him anymore, Jeff. The trucks, their squads or whatever. I’m trying to leave. I mean, I’m a, I’m assuming what you’re talking about is Madison’s manifestations here of what people’s behaviors are, what they’re trying to do, and it’s critical as a leader of me, right, to make sure that I’m astute to see not only what I’m feeling as the individual kind of stepping back and detaching and being able to have a three 60 view of what’s occurring around me, but also looking for these key signals and individuals. Does that make sense? Like how we kind of correlate in relationships and we work to achieve a common goal. Yeah. Yeah.
Dan Luna (00:22:13):
Dan, you want to take that first? You want me to go, man, there’s so much good stuff. We only have an hour. We’ll do, we’ll totally blow it. We do it or we’ll go, we’ll come back again. This is too much fun.
Well, I guess Dan, kind of what I was thinking is, you know, we talked about the roles, you know, the three, I’ll let you talk about the three factors there, but it also kind of correlates to, I guess a lot of people that were, were speaking to draft, and correct me if I’m wrong here, right? But as leadership or what we’re looking for in these, especially times we’re seeing right now with COBIT and with uncertainty and fear. And so we also need to be aware of signals that our people are giving off as well as what we’re interacting with.
Dan Luna (00:22:55):
So, so if I may, I like to answer this in a very roundabout way. And so we don’t want to be in the boxing ring talking about boxing. Yeah. Right? Like if it, if it’s go time, it’s just, it’s, it’s go time, right? It’s that action phase. So all the work and if you’re trying to do training when you’re in that action phase, right, you’re already behind. So I think there’s a, there’s Emily Sashi quote, you know the battles one before, before the fight even takes place. So sent the Bay, it’s all the preparation. So the space had, I’m really trying to focus on is is the Academy space is the pre trauma, which, which now you’re looking, if you really dive into trauma, there’s generational trauma, there’s childhood trauma. So now you have more susceptibility to PTSD because you know, depending on the history of the individual.
Dan Luna (00:23:57):
So the preparation phase is even more important, especially if these individuals are stepping into roles that are in and around violence or in and around volatility. I use volatility because I’ve been talking about this for a few years now and I’ve had emotional reactions negatively and I’ve actually certainly seen people just turn off when I do use violence. So even just using the word and using the language has turned off people in the audience. So just to try and reach more people in the audience. I’ve, I’ve changed my language and I’ve even softened it depending on the audience, just to really meet them where they’re at and then bring them up. Cause it’s for their benefit. It’s not for mine. And so part of it is this, this pre trauma in talking about it, this preparation phase. So to go to the team, it’s having that conversation upfront. It’s having the conversation prior to the shooting. It’s having all the income, all the uncomfortable stuff or as, as much as you can beforehand before the shooting, before the fire, before the emergency, before you go to the car accident, you know, before somebody dies on the hospital bed. It’s, it’s having the answers beforehand so then you can process it better.
Speaker 5 (00:25:25):
Dan Luna (00:25:27):
Ideally process it better, every act better, right? More professional move from react to respond. So for the distinction it react is an untrained and then respond is that trained. So I don’t want to react. And this kind of goes into, you know, I think what you, what you want me to touch on drew is a little bit of this feeder of mindset. And this comes from some a martial art group that I’ve spent some time with say our Kali and what they describe as a feeder mindset. And part of this feeder mindset is, is having, is being ready prior to, so having that full, having as much awareness, having that preparation and then also having that willingness addressed all prior to the incident and not during the actual action phase. So it’s already having a preprogram their sponsors are, you’re saying essentially like
Speaker 5 (00:26:25):
I’m going to add,
Dan Luna (00:26:27):
I anticipate this red, I see this, right, I’m going to move and I’m going to add flicker.
Speaker 5 (00:26:32):
Dan Luna (00:26:33):
That reaction like you said, but more preparatory and I have a true and I have a response that’s already preplanned and built in. Yeah. In closer to a correct. Maybe then than something that’s been conditioned that may not be the correct response. Right. So even language. So here’s an easy one. Is violence bad or is violence good? How, however you want to frame it. And when I was working at the Naval Academy, I would ask the midshipman this. So I’m standing there in uniform with, you know, all my, with my stuff on my, on my chest, and I would ask him and then the class would raise their hand. And a lot of times, and I played with the phrasing of it and they’re like, yes, violence is bad. I was like, okay, now let’s just pause on that language if that exists, what must also exists?
Dan Luna (00:27:19):
And they’re like, well good. And then I would also ask them like, Hey, in the military, if you support or participate in acts of violence and violence is bad, are you bad? And so just really some simple questions, not giving answers, like I’m not giving it, I’m just asking questions. And just with real simple level surface questions, it threw them for a loop. And they were like, Oh wow, I’ve never thought of it that way. And it was just like, yeah, you’re, you’re at a military Academy and you’re all going to be commissioned officers in the Navy or Marine Corps. And just this question of violence is bad. They’re like, yes, violence is bad. And we wonder why veterans and people still active duty are struggling with so much. Because there’s, what I’ve noticed is that there is this contradiction and there’s this contradiction of how society speaks about something.
Dan Luna (00:28:20):
And I’ll just stick with the language component, how society has a language around something. And then there’s a shift. There’s a shift to the fire department to being a, a, a doctor, to being a first responder, to going into the military, to going into some other career that’s in and around volatility. And then that culture is very different than what the culture is in society. And now they’re trying to process it, but we don’t talk about it. So now there’s this internal conflict because they’re almost split. They’re like, Oh, I was told this is bad, but I’m in this culture and it’s good and we honor it and we don’t talk about it. So they don’t know how to process it. So what I’m trying to do is like bring, bring the conversation up in a way and dissect it for people to better process it, where they come up with their answers. Like, I’m not going to tell somebody what’s a belief, but we should just talk about religious beliefs, spirituality, whether it’s atheism, Christianity, Judaism, whatever it is to have the conversation. And Hey, if you, if you’re a Christian and you’re a cop and you take a life, how are you going to process that? Because you should address that prior to taking a life long prior to it. Yeah, that’s interesting concept like having to, so kind of using that dr
Dan and then a correlation to a law enforcement or whatever. I mean a doctor at times has to cause harm to do good. Right. And so Jeff, what do you think about, I mean they kind of what Dan was saying there, that pragmatic approach around maybe that guilt around I have to do evil. Does that make me,
Yeah, I mean Dan, you’re spot on with, I mean totally spot on here and so I’m going to echo something a point Dan made early just to frame it for the audience so they understand because I think sometimes we get in these conversations and be in the people that we are in the community or we can collapse some stuff. So Dan made a great point. I just want to echo it. You know, the difference between a moment where I am in action and a moment where I am not right. And so you know, this is again, we’re talking the bulk of this conversation. We’re talking all, you know, pre-development predeployment early stage, as early as possible. You know, early development around the languages and the things that we, that exist for us that it got created for us through our upbringing, through the cultures that we experienced and then how that shapes us forward.
And Dan, you’re exactly right. This is where, I mean, just that one point, just that one question is violence bad will absolutely draw down the moral injury later, right? The guilt, the shame, the, you know, doubt the worry, did I do a good job or not? I executed my mission well, but you know, and then you’ve got that big, but in there I feel like this versus yes, I executed, I executed my mission well. And you know, this is something I’m dealing with in terms of the challenge around of it, around it. But yeah, I mean I think that that is, that is a, a massive issue that we deal with on a regular basis. And, and Dan I’m a, I’m a firm believer, right? I mean 95% of our trauma experiences early childhood and then we carry it with us and all of that shows up.
And so Drood kinda jumped back to your question about the leadership aspect of it. One, I like to always kind of tell people it’s like, okay, if you’re in a leadership role and we’re talking not necessarily inaction, right? Leadership role and action is you do what you need to do. You know, you respond to the conditions as they exist. Okay. So we’re going to set that aside for a minute. But you know, I look at my leadership trait in the firehouse or in the military or at the agency, you know, for drew, when you’re out training, when you’re out working with your guys, not in those moments. How do I as a leader be in tune enough with my people as to help them navigate something or help me navigate something? And so the first question is always is I like to say is that their shit or is that my shit coming up?
You know, if I’m frustrated, if I’m irritated, if I’m, you know, maybe I’m anxious, maybe I just walked out of the house. I had a morning, you know, the little man was a nightmare this morning. Maybe you know, or I get yelled at or I’ve misplaced my car keys or I had an issue. It could be a whole host of things that I’m carrying into my day and then into my communication and then into my leadership style and then it all these things. And so, you know, to keep it simple is that your shit or my shit, wait a minute. If is my shit that I’m going to go deal with it and I’ll be back and I’m going to own it. If it’s your shit, cool, let’s deal with it. How can I help guide you or navigate through? And I think though thing we often fail at pretty consistently as leaders is when it is their stuff.
When, when somebody is dealing with something, we don’t ever look to get to the heart of what they’re dealing with, you know what I mean? We don’t say, Hey dude, I got an anxious morning. You know, could take five minutes. Right? Go [inaudible] then all the tools to be like, Hey, well you know, I had an anxious morning and before I got in the car I did a three minute drop in meditation and I’m good. I was able to kind of transition myself and get myself here. Right. And clean that up and, and move forward. We’re not really designed and we haven’t instituted the tools. It’s like go back to what Dan said, right? It’s leave it at all. You need to leave that shit at home. You need to set that stuff aside. You need to suck it up. You know what I mean? There’s no place for that out here in range or whatever we say.
Right. To be more, whatever, you know, we need to be in that minute. And that’s where then if that’s me as a leader, what’s actually happening there is there shit is now triggering my shit and now it’s our shit up against each other versus right. Actually given, actually cared about each other and saying, Hey dude, what actually happened? And giving this face to be like, dude, I had a crap morning, you know? Oh, okay, cool. I get that. Like, that’s easy. We can, we can navigate that. Or my wife’s leaving me or my husband’s leaving me or you know, I’m still really bothered by the call we ran the other day, like, like to, to give this freedom, this space and you know, and that, that’s a, that’s a leap. I don’t think we’ve made yet. You know, as a community it’s, it may be in pockets, but that’s not a leap we’ve made yet.
I guess as I hear that, a lot of what you’re talking about is being self aware, but self-awareness function of knowing where you said, truly being honest with yourself and where where my issues lying with. And I think that’s where that is probably why I think we always have a solution, good or bad to somebody else’s problems. Sure. When it comes to your own, I think that is the inner challenge that we gotta be faced with. And as, especially as leaders is to know what am I bringing to the solution or problem, which is either drawing too or pulling apart from yeah. They could say a very interesting, Oh yeah. You see it in the sense that, you know, Dan brought up the Academy and even generationally speaking, I mean the times when you and I, you and I all of went through the Academy are way
Different 20 plus years ago and what these kids are going through today, right. And just the ownership or just a disciplinary level and you can see where we can get out of whack at times. And so that kind of tough guy mentality of leave it at home. I think we’re now on the cusp of trying to see the importance of that mental health and that background and trying to support people. And, you know, there’s no way I could have brought either one of you guys in, you know, back up, even just five, six, seven years ago talking about pre event stuff, right. Maybe on the early onset of maybe some of the SWAT operation level kind of stuff were officer involved shooting kind of level. Now it’s starting to slow give us a least a trend in that direction to then bring people in that are experts in this that have lived it, that are experienced in it and how to set people up for success. And I think that’s what we’re all striving to do in this arena.
Yeah. 100%. You know, I think that’s, it is, and you know, and then the caveat to everything a PS is nine times out of a hundred digits your shit, you know, you’re bringing to the table. But yeah, I mean it’s, Dan, what are your thoughts on this?
Dan Luna (00:36:43):
Yeah, if I may, just on the, on the leadership part. So the hardest work is the work that we do on ourselves. Like, we’re so like the three of us could sit down in a room and probably just go through and tear up everyone around it and talk smack and solve the world’s problems. And then as soon as I looked at you, it’d be like, Hey, what do you have going on? You’re like, Oh, I don’t want to talk about it. Or Oh yeah, yeah. Hey Dan, would you have gone on? Like everything’s great, right? Yeah, exactly. So often like we are the problem. Like if everyone just worked on themselves and focused on themselves, things would be so much better. However, that’s not the case. So the hardest work, and drew said it is self awareness. And I’m not saying this is a plug for my journal, but one reason, and I’m working on it, it’s not out yet.
Dan Luna (00:37:38):
It should be out in the next few months. I designed this leadership, this guided leadership journal. And so once again, it’s not a book shitting on people. And this isn’t to put down books in or out there cause there’s so many great leadership books and now it’s, Hey, how do you help somebody navigate? What they do with the information. It’s like, Oh, I’m reading a book a week or I’m reading a book a month. Like okay, that’s great. That’s great. Knowing how is that knowing, transferring into the doing and not somebody else’s doing your doing. That’s not you showing up to work on like, Hey guys, I just read this book and this is what you all need to do. You know, and it’s, it’s creating self awareness and it says idea. So when I say leadership, when I break it down into one word over simplify it.
Dan Luna (00:38:29):
I like using the word guidance and I like that the word influence is out there and that’s so many people use that. And I think that’s great because it plays into Western culture. This, this idea of something outside, Oh leadership is influencing those around you or this thing outside of yourself. And it’s great cause I’m totally against that. Nope. Leadership starts with you and it starts inside of you and it starts with your own self awareness. And it really, it starts on the work that you’re doing on yourself. So how do you guide yourself and how do you guide those around you? And so it doesn’t necessarily rest on a position. There is positional leadership, however you can guide and influence and motivate and do all these other things to those around you without having that position. So in this journal, it’s to help create, and I, I, I added consulting aspects.
Dan Luna (00:39:30):
I have academics in there and then I have mini coaching arts. So what I tried to do is scale, leadership, coaching and bracketed and do these different things to create a unique experience for somebody to go through just to either go internal and, and that’s hard to do. So sometimes we’re a good place to start for self awareness is just noticing. And that noticing instead of those sensations within the individual, because depending on where they’re at in their, in their adult development stage, they may have to just start noticing the world around them and the emotions and the sensations and the patterns. So if you start external, that external noticing can start to move internal. And I bracketed out the, the the journal and a 12 different sections just to help people really start noticing themselves and the world around them. My dad,
Well dad and yeah man. And I’m going to say when I get that thing up, please let me know. I’d love to put it out through the podcast. We’ll get back on to talk about it. Cause that’s, you know, when we do those meditation shoot programs, that’s, that’s it, right? That’s, that is the, which is, you know, very awkward, right? How do you combine a distinct practice of meditation and then moving to the pistol or the long gone you know, putting rounds out at distance and that Dan. Dot. I want to acknowledge you for that point, right? It is, that’s the entry point. It is just simply being present enough to notice the conditions around you, the world around you though, people around you, you know, and then building upon that, right. And working through those skills to where eventually you can notice, wait a minute, you know, something just triggered me or I got a sensation off of something.
What was that and you know, and then meeting that with an, I always, I love your approach, Dan. To me, my approach is always, you know, life is the most exceptional operators I’ve had the chance to interview and dissect when I was doing my work at the agency and looking at human performance and looking at all this stuff. You know, that’s where the kind of the math problem for an operational mindset came about. And you know what I, one of the key traits on the key attributes that consistently came up was these guys really lived a life of curiosity. I mean, they met virtually everything. And I think, you know, given the the world, you know, the guys I’ve interviewed out of your previous world you know, when you, when I looked at somebody who said, yeah, that guy’s definitely yet, right? He’s definitely at one of the top one percenters distinctly lived a life of curiosity, which just curious, was always curious.
Like, how can I do this better? Or what’s going on? Or what about the people around me or how do I solve this problem or whatever it was. There was just a, the first step was this first step of curiosity and then they were able to move through right into action and places. And I think that’s huge. I mean, I think that’s a, we don’t do that enough. We don’t get curious about our people, you know, to go back to your point, drew as a leader, like really curious, we don’t get curious about, even though people were as a law enforcement officer, you’re challenged to deal with, right? What’s going on for you right now? Why are we even here? You know, on the,
Oh, right. I think it’s that, I think it’s that challenge. I mean, your roles and leadership roles in mine as well as the that takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of commitment, takes a lot of vulnerability, takes a lot of setting aside other projects. And I think that’s where what’s interesting was happening right now around us is that we now have a truly a dynamic event that is occurring that’s causing everything to shift and to focus in this arena. And so things that were important two weeks ago, nothing. Now, you know what I mean? It doesn’t matter how many dollars are behind that or how many, how many hours were behind that thing, what matters, what matters now. And I think that’s when we can finally make that shift, at least in my perspective, in law enforcement, we truly get away from those project type things. We’ll focus in on this concept of, I love Dan’s word, his guidance and leadership in that bottle to see how it expands and grows. I think that is where a lot of this stuff,
The challenge you drew, you know, to, to just sit back. I mean, you said it takes a lot of work or it takes, you know, it takes away from something else. And I’m sure, and Dan, you’ve jumped in on this, and if I’m wrong, please, like, you know, pointed this way for a minute. It actually doesn’t, it’s actually some of this, the easiest work you can do because it doesn’t, doesn’t cost you anything and it really doesn’t take that much effort. What it takes is a, just a willingness to be curious today.
That’s it. That’s it. That’s
It. And notice, right. Curiosity and noticing, that’s all you got to do today. Like, like you know, and the amount of training, the amount of exercises you could build around that with your team, with your guys. Hey, we’re going to get in the car, drive around. I want you to be curious about everything you see today. Okay, cool. And let’s talk about it. When you see something sparked your attention, like allowing your attention to be drawn to it things and then being curious about it and then saying, Hey wonder would that guys do it right. Just be curious. So I would, I would challenge that a little bit because I think that’s a, that’s a, that’s a trap that we can fall into for ourselves to say it takes a lot or man really, you know, doing all that work takes a lot. There’s a lot of development time there. And so when we do that, the framing around that then sets it on the bookshelf rather than being in front of you. And I would say after doing this, it actually, it’s, it’s, it’s simple and it’s in its process very well. Dan, I dunno, or drew pushed back at me. You can, I’ll stop. I’ll sit down now.
Dan Luna (00:45:39):
Right. I love it. I have a, I have a pad of paper in front of me for notes. So I’m just trying to like sort through which, which thing that say out of the chaos that I put on paper, so 100% everything that you’re saying, you know, we’re talking about a shift, right? So either an emotional Geoff to a refrain like Hey, how, how are we, how do we look at this? So even in the journal there’s this upfront work and one of the lines that I have in there is like, Hey, come from a place of curiosity. And when I work with clients it’s the same thing. So typically we come from that place of judgment. So earlier you were talking about like, Hey, just set your judgment aside and it’s really what we’re trying to do is shift or reframe. Like, Hey, we want to move from a place of judgment to a place of curiosity.
Dan Luna (00:46:31):
And when you, when you move to that place of, of curiosity, now there’s room for growth. Because you can really hinder yourself if you’re like, Oh man, I, you know, I’m, I’m starting to put on put on weight or I’m not losing weight fast enough. And you judge yourself and you’re like, Oh wow, I might as well just eat this food and like get fat again or whatever, whatever it is. And you’re like, Hey, move to a place of curiosity. Hey, I noticed that night I get the munchies. Like, wow, that’s really interesting. Okay. Instead of judging myself because that’s not servicing me. So that’s also a great question that I actually had with my son today. I was like, he’s doing homework, you know, everyone’s stuck at home and he was doing some stuff and I was like, Hey pal, how is that servicing you? And he was just like it’s not dad.
Dan Luna (00:47:26):
I was like, Hey man, like how is that servicing you? He’s like, well, it’s not. I was like, okay, so do you think that that’s helping you? And I just like walked him through it and he’s like, no, it’s not helping you. So how, what’s a better way to answer that question? He’s like, well, probably me not face damning my friends while I’m trying to do my score. Well, I go, well, you know, instead of me just rolling up Sam, I hang up his phone for him. I help him navigate it. So now it’s the same thing with, with our trainees or those that we’re mentoring. It’s really just walking them through the process to then create the greater awareness inside of them because when they say it or when they walk the path, now it’s not being forced on them and now they’re able to notice and shift perspective.
Dan Luna (00:48:12):
So really that’s part of that guide. Like, Hey, I’m going to grab your hand, or Hey, you’re, I’m going to walk next to you and we’re just going to go on this journey together. I’ve had a little bit more time on this path, so I’m just going to point out things to you and then also ask you to see what you notice. And it can be anything. Hey, what do you notice? Hey, I’m noticing this about myself or others. Awesome. And now just reinforcing it, you know, verbally and being that being a positive reinforcement and continue to ask questions are things that I’ve seen have been huge. And if I will drew, I will beat you up a little bit just cause I can’t announce without beating you up a little bit because in real life you’ll beat me up physically. So I got to get my abs in on a podcast.
Dan Luna (00:49:06):
So the F word. So I’m a big anti F-word guy and the effort is failure. Like that is such a strong word and it’s like don’t be afraid to fail or fail this or like, no, no, no, no. Like we don’t want to fail. Fails bad. Let’s make it okay to make mistakes, right? Like, Hey, if you make a mistake, it’s all right, let’s come back from it. But like I’m, I am more okay with making mistakes. A mistake than like, Hey Dan, you failed today. Like, Holy smokes, that is a blow. Hey Dan, you made a mistake on communications today. Like a, my bad, Hey, we can learn from mistakes, failure or the effort is really bad. So just write language still has power. So we want to shift from failure to like, Hey, we make mistakes, we learn and we move forward. We don’t want to fail like fails. Like Hey, my partner got shot. Yeah. Like it is final. So yeah, we want to avoid that. Yeah.
So I must not fail somewhere in there. Interesting. So what, here’s the, here’s the a billion dollar question for the both of you. Cause we’re getting close. Is the a guy or I shouldn’t say even a guy leaders like me or current people practicing in the field or medical professionals. What you’re seeing out there, what would you to say as critical to start
Like we talked about a lot of things like shifting a leadership
Changing verbiage. W what resonating with me right now is the shifting and terminology and what you guys are speaking about is
Opening the spectrum, I guess I would say. So what would you say are the biggest takeaways? Things we could start doing right now for those that are listening to you in the field right now, grasping for this. And you want to take that one first?
Speaker 6 (00:50:57):
No longer. He was taking notes number. He’s [inaudible]. I told her drop the audience. I mean if I’m listening to you guys, you want to know like I want to start now, right? I want to do this now. Here’s, I’m going to keep mine fairly simple drew. Cause I say it all the time. I’m going to go back to it
And this is I and I believe this goes for leadership today. Leadership next month, leadership in five years. There’s, there is nothing to do about it right this second. Okay. So the, we talked to you and I talked about this on their show a little bit ago, right? When we kind of talked about covet and what was going on in the crisis happening. If all of us, it’s incumbent upon all of us in this world to do this, but especially as the leader and if I’m, if I’m looking at what I can do, how I lead by example, how I really cultivate my people, how I do everything else. It is the essence of bringing that calm to the chaos. It is just an I, and I know I say that and probably listeners are like other NGOs, Jeff again, with his rhythm, bring calm to chaos yet.
But to me it is, it is the absolute truth. And what that means is taking care of myself, actually making myself as the leader a priority because how I show up will impact everyone else around me. If I don’t take two minutes in the car, if I don’t find moments of recovery, if I don’t do, you know, some kind of self-practice, calming regulator breathwork, you know, any of the tools and crap we talk about on the show all the time. If I’m not in action around putting myself in the condition I need to be in, then I will be causing chaos amongst my people, then they will be causing chaos amongst the community. So it is my job to be the anchor of calm as the leader amongst my people. So that means I take time. If I need, if I need a minute, I go pause.
I need a minute. You know, I’m going to, I’ll digress here for a minute, but a hundred years ago we ran this fire in a business and it was like I don’t know, some kind of farming business or something out in the middle of nowhere. So one story, single story, you know, kind of metal roof building. And we get in, we were like, I dunno, first on the second alarm, so it’d been going on a little bit. The crews were coming out, they’re like, Oh, it’s good. You know, we got it out there finishing up right now. And a couple of us were looking at this building going, that’s still pretty dark smoke coming out of the eaves right there. And so we go in, we’re gonna checking some stuff out and I see a door down a hallway and I’m like, go, go check that.
Then, you know, as we’re, I’m talking to the captain or whatever and all my, you know, I hear my guy yell back, right? They pop the door, black smoke rolls in. It had actually bled through. So it’s in the office area, we start getting in. There’s fire rolling across the ceiling. My guys are popping tiles, heat levels are rising quickly. I look and I’m kinda can feel around and start to see that this is a bunch of cubicle walls in there. So I know we have massive conditions for like flashover right now. Yeah, right. And, and I could feel myself anxiety building and you can’t see shit completely dark. We ended up shoved into this room and I got five other knuckleheads like all piling up on me. I turned around and I’m like backed off. Fuck up. Ever going to go find a corner right now.
Get the fuck down as best you know. And I just launch off it. Everybody break out a window, stick my head out, I’m calling command. I’m like, you know, we need hose lines. We need all this stuff. Did I handle that? Well? Probably not because I allowed the conditions to kind of overwhelm me as the leader dry my anxiety up. And then in communication out, what do I create when I communicate with a level of anxiety out, what I create is fear. Yeah. I start, I lay the groundwork for fear. Cause then why is Jeff freaking out? Why is this going to be something must be going bad here, right? I created that. No one else that’s on me. That doesn’t mean I can’t tell everybody to go to their corners, do this, do that. Doesn’t mean I can’t issue commands and be an action in that moment.
But it’s my responsibility to put myself in the condition I need to be in. And when I’m the leader that is called, right? That is steady. That is the anchor. And so that’s my, what are you? What do you do today? You go take two minutes for yourself, three minutes for yourself, five minutes for yourself when you need it. If anxiety is creeping in, your stress is creeping in. If you’re not, if you’re, you are not the anchor, then you need to figure out a way, regulate your breathing, start your box. Breathing drills, start to rhythmic breathing drills, right? You have to, that self care is so critical. So that’s where I’ll leave it. And Dan, you can argue against that if you want. I’m good. But that’s why, that’s why, that’s my thought. He’s been in the mix. Let’s see what he’s got now. I was so good. I’m so much, I want to say I think what I’ll do is I’ll just stick
Dan Luna (00:56:24):
With kind of what we’ve said already and not go into any more rabbit holes. So to go with what you just said is maybe just pause, ask yourself that question. Like how is this servicing me right now? Like, Oh, I’m anxious, you know, meaning, Hey, I’m thinking about the future. Your mind is in the future. It’s not present. So how was that servicing you run out? Oh, I’m freaking out emotionally, emotionally, I have this, this thing or I’m pissed. I’m pissed off at so-and-so. Okay, how is that servicing you? And then the other question is how is that servicing others? So once again, it’s not about you, it’s not even about you, it’s about your team. So now you have to like, Hey, how was this servicing me? Take that self care component to it. Like, Hey, this isn’t doing anything for me right now.
Dan Luna (00:57:15):
I’ll deal with it later. Or, Hey, I’ll process it, or breathe or calm down or whatever it is you need to do. And now how is this servicing my team? Like drew, I’m pissed at you. You’re on my team and I’m gonna yell and scream. Okay. Is that, is that the correct answer? Is that the best answer to that is that is what? Is that the answer that will service you? Or actually do I need to show up differently because now I don’t want to see that behavior or I need to correct that behavior or we need to address something. So maybe sitting down drinking a cup of coffee together, having an adult conversation, walking through it, and maybe even asking you like, Hey, what were your thoughts? What led you to this decision? Maybe that’s services you better, which in the long road right creates a better instead of just me venting my own emotions.
Dan Luna (00:58:07):
So now to sit there and just ask that question, Hey, how is this servicing me? How is this servicing others? And then to also hit on, we talked about noticing and to just use this phrase, start noticing from a place of curiosity. So now just to like, Hey, start noticing from a place of curiosity, start noting what do I know? What do I notice when I drive? I notice I get pissed off. Like, okay, well what’s that doing for me? Nothing. You know? So these two kind of like this back and forth exchange, Hey, I’m in whatever situation it is. Hey, start noticing from a place of curiosity, Oh, that’s interesting that so-and-so is doing this. Oh, that’s interesting. Oh that’s it. Wow. What emotion is that? And now start labeling things. And I know we didn’t really, I kind of skipped emotion set when I was talking about the different sets.
Dan Luna (00:59:01):
What are those patterns emotionally that, that we’ve established that have been conditioned, which may not be the correct answer or the best answer to that, to that question. And I use that in a very general, like we’re posed with questions is how I use this, this, this language. We’re posed with questions throughout the day. Somebody cut me off. I, I just, I have a question. Hey, somebody cut you off. How are you going to respond to react to that? So that was the question. How I answer it. I have a thousand different ways and this goes into once again like we could keep going down rabbit holes that we don’t have time for, but now start noticing from a place of curiosity and how does it service you and how does it service others.
I love that. Excellent. Wow. Good. Well, I hope that, Oh, I’m just going to say, I mean that’s a, that’s what starving minds like myself are looking for is just guidance and ideas and suggestions from experts. It’s like YouTube, I’m blown away. I have no pencil on those two as well and I’m trying to write down everything that’s, yeah, this is, this is one, Dan. I thanks. Thanks for taking the time and coming on. I mean, I think it’s I think it’d be great to have you back on. This was, this was a lot of fun for me. Clearly a little bit unusual. And I loved it. I loved it. Dan, I, you know, I really wanna acknowledge you for the work you’re doing. I’m really looking forward to your journal. I’m a big believer in a lot of that. And I’ll make sure that, you know, I’ve got all the links up to you know, your stuff within the show notes. We’ll make sure all that’s published out there. Drew, I’ve rather thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule and amongst all the chaos going on for you right now to do this and bring Dan on. This was this is pretty cool. I’m kinda, I’m kinda speechless on this one. This was an hour of like goodness music everywhere.
Yeah. I mean, I feel like we can keep going. [inaudible] The conversation. That’s good stuff. I mean, this may, we may have to turn this, we may have to like turn this into the Joe Rogan episode and like go for, you know, three or four hours in here, but we’ll, we’ll definitely schedule some time. We’ll schedule a couple things cause Dan, I think there’s a lot more I’d love to explore with you. You know, you’re right on the track as far as I’m concerned. You know, these are the important issues. I feel like, you know, we need more people like you who have the credibility to stand up, you know, and communicate and share from a level of experience, you know, that few have achieved. And so one, thank you for that and I really appreciate your, your dedication to that drew. I know where your heart is around leading your people and how effective you want your people to be, the people around you and you know, people pretty much across the nation, around the world.
I know that you really care. I just wanna acknowledge both you guys for your work and commitment. And so we’re going to wrap up today’s episode. This has been rad. And we’ll, we’ll, we’ll reschedule. Maybe this should be a once a month thing with the good, you know, there’ll be the conversation of us hanging out and you know, we’ll schedule a little bit later next time and I’ll get a cocktail and we’ll sit down and, you know, have some, yeah, I mean I totally, dude, you did a great job to be getting no quite in and like, Hey, can you turn that show over to drew now?
Speaker 7 (01:02:42):
I don’t know. I don’t think so. Thanks drew. Thanks again. Anything you want to leave us with Dan before we get going? I’ll make sure all your links to all your social media stuff. The website’s up and when you’ll watch the journal, please let me know. We’ll make sure we get on another episode and talk about it. And you know, go through it. But Dan, anything final before we totally close to show out?
Dan Luna (01:03:08):
Yeah, this was great. I guess for my stuff online, I’m working on a bunch of stuff, so when you show up it’s like, Oh, okay. I’m, I’m trying to get content and figure out how to better share content and create content and I’ve like four different jobs right now. So just with everything else that lives thrown, you know, trying to get more stuff online. Mainly just to help communicate some of these these ideas and just for me personally to continue service it just showing up differently now that I’m retired. So, so if you show up and you’re like, Hey, this isn’t this great, this year is like my big focus to to make those things better.
Yeah. As always. I mean, I think the right thing, Dan, I’ll validate it cause I, you know, I’ve been busting my butt in this all the time and I have a whole thing. I had a whole thing about looking good and make sure everything looks pretty and all that other stuff. I think the listeners, they get it right. This is, they, I know the value that’s here and behind it and so it’ll be great. All right, we’re going to wrap up the show today. Thanks for listening to mindset radio or can’t wait till the next time around and until then be safe, right. Take care of yourself tune back in and really looking forward to spending some more time with you.