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Episode 10: Accountability

by Shaun Kober
June 2nd 2020

Welcome to the Launch series of the Live Train Perform podcast.

Accountability is a dying art. People are quick to point the finger and make excuses when things aren't going their way... More

What's up guys? Sean Cobra here of the live transform podcast Over the next two weeks while I launched this podcast, I'm going to be dropping one episode per day, then I'm going to drop back to one episode per week. The first episode is an introductory episode explaining who I am, my background, my knowledge, my experience. The second episode is all about goal setting, that's going to be followed up by progress tracking, then building habits, doing the things that you enjoy doing consistency, restricting, temptation, meal preparation, accountability, crap foods, getting started and building momentum along with hierarchy of value, motivation, direction, and your environment. Now, if you go back and listen to each one of those topics again, they are all relevant or optimizing your performance and your everyday life. It's not just to do with health and fitness. Yes, I am a strengthening conditioning coach that is my background, that is my specialization. However, I'm a coach first and foremost and I need to optimize the other 23 hours of the day so that I can get the most out of my clients for that one hour that I'm with them.

I'll also be answering some of my followers questions that have posted questions on my Q and A memes and I'm going to incorporate those answers into the pertinent episodes. You're, what is up guys welcome to today's episode, which is all about accountability, accountability is a dying art these days. People are very fucking quick to push the blame onto other people and to start pointing the finger when shit's going wrong, right accountability is one of those things that makes a huge difference to your life. And this is something that I've seen through my transition from military to civilian. Um you know, I'm not saying that all civilians are like this, but what I have found is that people just can't fucking take any responsibility for their own actions and always have something to say and always have someone else to blame. So this was a game changer for me, and this is something that I've been working on for many, many years and that is being accountable for my own shit. You know, I've got no one else to look at, I've got no one else to blame. I've got no one else to point the finger at for my own shit, okay?

If something's not going right in my life that's on fucking me, That's on the Men in the mirror, and this is what I'm going to talk about to start the episode is the man in the Mirror. The man in The Mirror is the most important person in your life, okay? You can't cheat that person. You need to be at your best for yourself before you can beat your best for other people. My ex girlfriend, I used to run health retreats and we're quite quite often, you know, ask these people that were on the retreats, what who the most important person in their life was and for the most part, you know, most of these, most of these people were mothers and things like that, and they would always say my husband, my Children etcetera etcetera was like, no you're wrong, it's you you're the most important person in your life. If you're not fucking at your best, how can you be at your best for other people? You can't pour from an empty cup, so you need to take responsibility, be accountable for your own shit, not use other people as excuses so that you can build yourself up, make yourself put these processes in place that allow you to be your best so that you can beat your best for other people and that can be hard man.

A lot of people aren't aware of where they're at and where they're falling down and they don't want to take responsibility that, you know what, maybe I'm a little bit overweight, or maybe I'm not in a good financial position, or maybe I'm not in a great place in my relationship because this fucking shit that I'm not doing right, you know? So it does take some balls to have a look in the mirror and have that conversation with yourself and say, OK, my last relationship failed because there was stuff that I wasn't doing, you know, I can't put all the blame on the other person, there was shit that I was doing, that was, you know compromising the relationship as well and you know, this is a hard thing to do, but trust me, once you start putting these processes in place and you start having these fucking harsh conversations, these real conversations with yourself, that's where change occurs, okay, Change or growth only happens through these circumstances. It's only when you can have these hard, honest, real conversations with yourself to actually bring awareness around yourself and what you might potentially need to change insanity is doing the same thing over and over and over again and expecting different results.

You'll see people that go from relationship to relationship to relationship and they always have the same problems. Well, guess what? What's the fucking common denominator there? It's you, it's not the other person. So yes, maybe you're drawing these type of people into your life because of your vibes that you're giving off the personality that you've created, right? But at the end of the day, if you're having the same fucking issues from relationship to relationship and in your friendship circles, and you know, through financial hardship and pretty much everything that comes into your life, what's the fucking common denominator? It's you take a good hard look at yourself in the mirror, have that conversation say, right, there's some things that I'm doing that aren't quite fucking serving me, I need to sort them out, It's up to me to step up and get this shit done because no one's going to come and fucking do it for me, and the sooner we realize that the better, the quicker we can start turning things around, okay, it's a hard pill to swallow to think that every action that you've taken in every decision that you've made is what's brought you up to this point now in your life, okay?

Yes, there's going to be some extenuating circumstances that have, kind of shape the direction that you've gone, but at the end of the day, you're the one that's making the decisions. You're the one that's making the choices right? And making no choice is also a choice. Making no decision is also a choice. You know, an example of this is, I see a lot of people that stay in relationships that are not happy with, um, and this is because they're afraid of change. They're afraid of the unknown. So rather than speaking up and making a decision and voicing their opinion, they want to avoid confrontation and they want to keep things easy. Now that only brings resentment in the relationship. And I've experienced this, I'm sure we've all experienced this before, where, uh, you know, not making a decision and speaking about the things that are causing issues in the relationship. The things that you're both compromising on leads to resentment, right?

So speaking up being honest about this stuff is super important for communications fucking everything in relationships, All relationships in your life require good quality communication and your ability to communicate is going to determine, you know, how good those relationships are with the people around you. I'm one of those people. Some people say that I'm an asshole for this, but you know, people know that when I say something like it's my honest fucking opinion, I'm not going to sugarcoat shit. And that's because I'd much prefer to tell the naked truth rather than a fucking dressed up lie. Right? That way. I'm giving people the facts, that information for them to then make an educated decision. And I'd much prefer to do this as well. I'd much prefer to have the information rather than people withholding information and me are making up my mind and having a certain perception on the circumstances. I'd much rather hear the truth. So then I've got all of the information, all of the facts. So now I can make a more educated decision and again, this is a really hard thing to do.

But if you want to, if you want to avoid all the pitfalls, then you absolutely need to be honest. You need to be truthful within reason, okay, you don't wanna be fucking deliberately hurting people's feelings and things like that. But if you're making a lot of compromise in the relationship that needs to be brought up because, you know, you're only going to end up resenting that person if you feel like you're not being trusted or respected or your opinions not being heard and you're not being taken seriously. So there's two parts of this. You need to be accountable to yourself, but you also need to be accountable to the people around you? I'm going to tell a story here from many, many years ago, I was dating a girl for a couple of years and uh you know, it was a toxic relationship, It wasn't great, I look back on that and at the time, you know, I didn't take responsibility for the shit that I was doing wrong, but I look back on that time now, and yes, she did a lot of things that I didn't agree with, but my reactions to those things were not part of my character, I didn't like how it was affecting me.

So I need to step up and I need to say, look, this is this is done, this is toxic, I can't do this anymore. Um because that was more important to me, you know, your partner should be, or your relationships with the people around, you should be bringing out the best in you, not fucking bringing you down, right? So when you start seeing things that um you know in your life that you don't want to be part of your life, you don't want these traits to start coming out, then you need to take a hard look at yourself and have that tough conversation. Once I got out of that relationship, all my mates were like, dude, we're so glad you're not with her anymore, she was such a pain in the arse, and I was like, why the fuck did you guys? I was not tell me that. You know, I was so close to the subject, I was I was in it, right, so I couldn't take this objective view, whereas they were seeing things on the outside that, you know, they didn't like, but they didn't share that with me. That is also accountability, right? Like, I've had these conversations with some of my mates when they've been in poor relationships, I'm like, well maybe something needs to change. Are you happy where you are? If you're not, then let's look at why you're not happy then you need to discuss and you need to have that conversation with yourself about what you've been doing that might be contributing to this poor relationship.

Maybe you're not speaking up, maybe you're not being honest enough, maybe you're uh you know, maybe you're not being a good partner, okay, maybe you're causing fucking issues in the relationship and this is a thing, this doesn't matter what area of your life we're talking about. If you're overweight, that's on you. If you're under financial hardship, that's on you, nobody asked you to take out a fucking loan. Nobody asked you to buy a house, that's on you. If you're having problems with your relationship that's on you. If you have any fucking issues in your life for the most part that's on you, okay? We need to first work on ourselves, get ourselves in a good space so then we can be at our best to resolve any issues that come up? How we perceive the world directly impacts our emotions, decisions, mental, spiritual and physical health and well being. There are two types of people in the world. All viewing the world through a window or by the reflection in the mirror. The first person looks in the mirror when things are going well and they give themselves a pat on the back for all of their successes. These same people look out the window when things are not going so well, pointing the finger at those around them for not showing the necessary support or the bad luck that has come their way.

The second person, however, looks in the mirror when things are not going to plan. They ask what they have done to put themselves in their current situation and what they can do to progress in a positive manner. These people look out the window when things are going well and attribute their progress and their success to those around them and the fortunate circumstances that have aided in their success. How do you perceive the window and the mirror? I can't recall where I first heard the story about the windows and the mirrors, but the first time I heard that I was like, that's really fucking powerful and every time, you know, I get to a tough time in my life or I need to self reflect and I need to make an important decision, then I always go back to the window and the mirror, okay, how am I perceiving this? Am I looking for someone to blame or am I going to take responsibility for what's put me in these circumstances? Okay? Is it just my hard work and dedication that's got me to this point or have other people help me get along to this point through the support through the network and of course maybe lux played a part as well, but luck can only happen for the most part when you put yourself in a position to take any opportunities, okay, that's what luck is all about.

Okay, sometimes when you have bad luck, it's because you put yourself in bad situations, all the decisions that are leading up to, that might have been for a couple of months to a couple of years, but all of those decisions have gotten to that point where all of a sudden now you have bad luck, alright, bad luck might be a fucking heart attack or something like that, right? But there's a lot of health implications as a lot of lifestyle factors that have come into play long, long, long, long, long before that event actually happened. Okay, It's the same thing with good luck, you need to sacrifice, You need to put yourself into um any position to take advantage of any opportunities that come up, I quite often get people say, man, you really fell on your feet, you're working at Tiger muay thai working with professional athletes, you know, you got guys in the UFC fucking highly ranked, you know, you're killing it man, like it's so good to see you do so well and yes, I am doing well, but I've also, people don't see the sacrifice that went into putting myself in this position, you know, I left a girl that I've been with for five years that I loved and cared about because I wasn't getting the opportunities that I wanted, where I was living in Tasmania, so I had to get out there, had to put myself in this position to be at Tiger to be in Thailand because this is where I wanted to be, I want to live here, you know, I was here many, many years earlier and I got a taste for the place and you know, it was, it was something that I aspire to do, I want to live in Thailand, I want to coach over here, I wanted to train over here, I want to spend a significant part of, You know, six months to a year in this location doing what I was doing, but I had to sacrifice that relationship and that sounds really unfortunate, Sounds really fucking harsh, but I mean at the end of the day that is being accountable, being accountable, is making fucking tough decisions that ultimately align with your values and if you don't know what your values are, you don't know what's important to you, then it's really fucking hard to make these decisions.

So I'm going to talk about the hierarchy of value in one of the upcoming episodes, I think it's one of the next one or two episodes. Um but essentially your values are literally what drives your actions, okay? And if you if you're not clear, you don't have clarity on what your values are. It's very difficult to put those processes in place and align your actions and your behaviors with, you know, your purpose. And what you're trying to achieve accountability is all about putting your hand up and saying I fucked up, I take ownership, I'm responsible for this mistake and I'm going to learn from it and that's the thing. Once you become accountable for certain things in your life, then you are aware of it and you understand that you played a part and your decisions have shape the outcome of those circumstances and then you fucking learn from it. You don't do it again. An example of this was um a story I tell my on my social media platforms about being in Afghanistan. So we were tasked with establishing an over watch position to target taliban forces in the area and mitigate the threat of an ambush or the placement of an improvised explosive device that was targeting the mentoring, mentoring and liaison team and the Afghani counterparts who were going to be conducting a search in the area later that day, So we were tasked to go out as a sniper team and provide Overwatch to basically protect the Aussies who were mentoring the Afghan National Army.

Right? So I was tired. It was fucking freezing cold in the middle of winter. Snipers were always the first ones out in the last ones back. It was the early hours of the day. The sun hadn't come up yet. You know, we wanted to get in position before the sun came up, the operational tempo had been high and we've already sustained a number of casualties. Um so as we stepped off, I assume my position at the front of the patrol as the lead scout for my sniper team, The point man responsible for choosing an appropriate route and keeping my eyes and ears peeled for any threat that we might encounter along the way. Now I was also the Combat First Data and it was my role, my responsibility to carry the first aid kit, which included tourniquets, I. V fluids, morphine and other drugs and stores, which would allow me to provide immediate first aid to any of my teammates or civilians as needed. Well, on that patrol, I fucking left it there okay. Before we stepped off, we've been kind of hanging out in position Awaiting clearance to leave the base. So I take my bag off so I could give my shoulders and my back a little bit of a rest before you know the big day ahead.

About 20 minutes into our patrol. Once we stepped off, I realized I hadn't put my fucking bag back on and I sat with it for about 10 seconds. I'm going, fuck! What am I gonna do here? Do I tell tamps who was the team leader at the time? Or do I just pay it off and just keep my mouth fucking shut because I don't want to look like a dickhead. It was never in doubt over my radio. I raised tamps. I'm like, man, I'm fucking sorry bro. I fucked up. I left the first aid kit on base and he was like, what? Are you fucking serious? You're a fucking idiot. You know, I was embarrassed, I was ashamed I'd let myself down. I let my teammates down. But I had to own and I had to step up and I had to admit fault. Like only then when my team leader had that information, could he then make an informed decision about what our next movements would be. And that was, it was to continue our mission knowing that we didn't have the necessary stores to deal with the casualty. If the shit hit the fan. And that's the thing like, you know, I could have fucking kept my mouth shut and saved myself that embarrassment and that shame. But if someone had been hit then because I hadn't fucking told my team leader that I didn't have that first aid kit and we've gone with the initial plan, someone had been hit, then I would have, you know, potentially had someone's fucking life on my conscience for the, for the rest of my life.

But because I owned it, I stepped up, I told my team leader what had happened. You know, he made some adjustments and considered that as part of the plan and luckily enough nothing happened. But um, you know, it's, I had to take that responsibility. You know, I look like a fucking idiot, but I never learned, I never did it again. So, you know, there's a lesson in this, make mistakes, old O. L. D. Own it, learn from it. Then don't fucking let it happen again. One of the best books I've ever read is called extreme ownership by jocko willing and Leif Babin. And these guys are former navy seals who deployed to Iraq primarily. They now own a company called Echelon Front and they basically, they're consultants for um, like massive businesses and what they do is they go in and they talked to the leadership teams and they take these lessons that they've learned from the battlefield and they apply them to um, you know, a corporate environment and at the end of the day, like extreme ownership is essential for quality teamwork.

Everyone coming together to focus on a specific mission and then aligning their actions and their values to achieve that mission in their own independent state. So, um, an amazing book and one of the, one of the primary lessons that I talk out of that is that you as a leader need to lead. That means that you're responsible for your team. If someone's fucking up, they're not doing the job. If there are incompetent, then maybe you haven't explained the task well enough, you haven't defined those roles. You haven't defined those responsibilities as good as you could have. So it's essentially taking ownership of not just your actions, but for the actions of your team. And this is, this can be really difficult because as a leader, it's up to you to hire and fire, it's up to you to have the right people and create the right environment and the right culture to achieve your task as it doesn't matter if you're in the military, it doesn't matter if you're running your own business or you're part of a massive corporation, you need to make sure that everyone within your team is working with each other towards the same task towards the same mission rather than against each other.

So I've worked with people who are like a cancer that just talk shit and fucking talk rubbish behind people's back and spread rumors and things like that. And those people are a cancer like that shit spread. So you've got to create the right environment, You've got to have the right people there and um for me, one of those things is it doesn't matter if it doesn't matter if you have people that are really fucking good at their job, if they don't fit the team, they don't fit the team. So that team dynamic is ridiculously important. I would much prefer to have someone who has a really good attitude and fits the team and might not be quite as competent at the job, but is a sponge and willing to learn and has the proficiency and the competency and the clout to be able to take on those, take on those lessons and learn from the people around them and then start applying those principles on the flip side of being part of team sports teams and military teams that I might not necessarily get along with everyone, but I can trust the people in the team, I know who they are, I know what they bring to the table, we might not be best mates off the field or off the off deployment or whatever, but I know what they bring to the table, I know that I can rely on them when the shit hits the fan.

Um I did a road trip from Sydney up to Brisbane a couple of years ago for ANZAC Day in Australia and one of my mates was in the car with me now. Really fucking good dude, but had a little bit of a reputation of being a shit fight, so we were laughing along the way and having a good conversation and I turned around to him and I said, man, like I'm actually really glad that we never worked together because we probably wouldn't be made. And he had a little bit of a chuckle and he turned around he said, no, you're probably right, I'm going to discuss the environment and the impact that it has on you in a couple of episodes time. But before I round out the episode, I did read a book recently called Legacy by James Kerr and this book is all about the culture that the All Blacks have created. Now the All Blacks are one of the most, if not the most successful sporting team in history. So for those that don't know, the All Blacks are the new Zealand Rugby team and the principles and the culture that the team is founded upon is what's given them so much success right from the top, right down to the bottom.

So one of the things that made them so successful was that the management ended up putting the accountability onto the players. Now in new Zealand rugby is like a religion, so when the team is not doing very well, you know, the public wants heads to roll and once they put the accountability back on the players, the players rallied and they came up with a plan there, like right, they basically implemented this no dickhead rule where essentially it didn't matter how good of a player you were, if you didn't fit the team, you didn't fit the culture. If you weren't accountable to your teammates, then you didn't fit the team. So the whole concept of that was that everyone needs to be accountable, Everyone needs to be responsible for their own shit. So then they can contribute to the team and the organization as a whole. And of course there's a lot of uproar in the public when, you know, some of the best players to potentially play the game, you know, didn't win themselves an All Blacks cap or didn't get put on that revered black Jersey. And that's because everybody that was a part of that organization agreed that the team came first and no individual person, player manager etcetera was bigger than the team.

There was an understanding between the players that if they potentially didn't get picked for a game, it wasn't that they weren't good enough. It might have simply been that the opponents that they were playing against or the game plan that the coach had been going for might have best suited other players. Now this is an important part humility is a massive part of this accountability process and Richie McCaw is well regarded as one of the best rugby players in history and he's rightly so earned himself a massive amount of accolades in world rugby and you know, he led the new Zealand All Blacks to numerous World cups and you know, he's regarded as a legend in New Zealand, but he was also the captain of the All Blacks and he was the first person to pick up a broom and clean the dressing room after a game. You know, one of the philosophies in the book legacy talks about humility and leaving the jersey or leaving the space in a better place than how you found it. So that was a big thing for them. That was a massive part of their success. It didn't matter who you were, everyone contributed, no matter how big or small towards the goals of the organization, as long as everybody took responsibility for their own actions, their own roles, their own task, their own responsibilities and then contributed to the team.

That's what matters the most. And this is why the All Blacks will go down as one of the most successful sports teams in history. A few years ago, one of my really good mates gifted me with the book. Um, We're both broncos fans and Wayne Bennett was the coach of the Brisbane broncos for a long, long time one, a heap of premierships with them and regarded as one of the best coaches in the NRL. Um, but my mate food presented me with this book and in the front of the book is a poem called The Man In the Mirror. Now he wrote me a little note and it says the only person who's judgment counts is the man in the mirror. It doesn't mean you need to look at him as much as you do. Thanks for. Um but when he gave me the book, he said to me, if there's one person I know that can look the man in the mirror in the eye, it's you, I didn't really know what he meant at the time until I read the poem. Now, The Man in the Glass or The Man in the Mirror. This has now become one of my favorite poems. So thanks food for introducing it to me. This is something that I've pushed onto a lot, a lot of other people and in fact it's had such a significant impact on my life through some of the trying times and you know, some of those times when I kind of lost my way and uh you know, I went back to this poem and read through the words and it really resonated with me and you know, sometimes that's all I need to do is go, go and have a look in the mirror and ask myself those fucking hard questions.

So it had such a significant impact on me that I've got a big back piece, done a big tattoo. I flew back to Australia for in august last year and a component of that is a tribute to the man in the mirror, when you get what you want in your struggle for self and the world makes you king for a day, then go to the mirror and look at yourself and see what that man has to say for. It isn't your father, your mother or wife whose judgment upon you must pass. The fellow who's verdict counts most in your life is the one staring back from the glass. He's the man you must please never mind all the rest for his with you. Clear up to the end and you've passed your most dangerous, difficult test. When the man in the glasses, your friend, you maybe like another and chisel a plum and think you're a wonderful guy. But the man in the glasses, you're only a bum. If you can't look him straight in the eye, you can fool the whole world down the pathway of years and get pats on the back as you pass. But the final reward will be heartache and tears. If you've cheated the man in the glass, If you enjoy the content that I'm bringing to you guys, please help me spread the message and life save, share and subscribe and pass this off to your friends, your family, anyone that's relevant in your life that it could potentially help and please make sure you leave a five star rating and review much Love guys, please

Episode 10: Accountability
Episode 10: Accountability
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