Episode 120 – Daniel Savage

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Dan Savage is the Head of Military and Veterans Programs at LinkedIn.  He’s also an Army veteran and a West Point/Harvard Grad. He’s dedicated his post-military life to achieving real social change for veterans, and is an expert on what effective veteran support looks like.  

In this week’s podcast, we discuss:

  • His military experience, and coming to grips with some tough experiences
  • Effective support for veterans
  • His favorite poem: If by Rudyard Kipling and why it’s so meaningful to him.


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Intro: 00:00:01 This is the Eagle Nation podcast where we talk about building richer lives and stronger communities. We have inspiring guests to have real conversations about things that you care about.

JJ: 00:00:13 All right everyone. Welcome back to the Eagle Nation podcast. This is Jj pinner. I am your host today for the first podcast I’ve ever done in my new office, and what’s special about that is that very rarely are they in person and this one is in person with someone I’ve known for a long time and he was gracious enough to come visit me up in new Albany, Indiana. So I have a Dan savage sitting across the table from me, so Dan, welcome.

Dan: 00:00:37 Hey, thank you very much. It’s great to be here. I’ve been a listener of the podcast for awhile. I’m glad that my travel schedule aligned. Somebody can do this in person because it’s always good to see you in person as well.

JJ: 00:00:47 Yeah. Let’s talk about why you’re here. You’re here because you’re a good dude. Thank you. But you happen to be in town because you in your professional capacity right now, tell us what you do.

Dan: 00:00:58 Yeah, so I run all of the military and veteran focused programs at Linkedin, so what that means really broadly as essentially it’s my job to figure out all the ways we can leverage the company’s resources and our network and our membership and pretty much anything that we do to support the military community, whether it’d be better military spouses getting connected opportunity. So we, we’re here today at Fort Knox talking to the folks at the soldier for life program about essentially how to get, you know, everyone else. Everyone is transitioning out to be really trained up on how to use our stuff and make the most of it and find the right opportunity when they’re done with their service.

JJ: 00:01:31 And we’ll talk more about linkedin later. Obviously everybody knows like 10. Let’s talk about. You haven’t been there forever. It’s talk about how you and I first met. Yeah, let’s go back. It’s been a while now and let’s even go back farther than that. So Dan has been around team be since at least tangentially since the very beginning. Tell me how you first came in contact with you.

Dan: 00:01:51 Yeah, so I’ll go further back just to start that step. When I got out of the military, I really had no idea what I was going to do next and so I went to graduate school for two years and through that process that’s kind of how I got involved in the veteran’s services space and had done a bunch of research and one of my professors introduced me to a guy named Mike Haney who’s the executive director of long name, but the Institute for veterans and military families at Syracuse University and frankly when I was leaving I was ready to graduate. I had this convoluted plan to go up to go back to Chicago where I grew up and start my own nonprofit and I quickly realized that at 27 having only been in the military, I had no idea what I was doing and wanting to explore other career options.

Dan: 00:02:34 I reached back out to Mike who was part of my research and I said, Hey Mike, like honestly, what do I do with my life? I sent them my resume, not even looking for a job. I just needed some advice and he said I need a chief of staff wanting to move to syracuse. So with never having seen Syracuse mean I flew out there for an interview, right, for like 24 hours. But I just kind of took the leap and I thought this is a [inaudible] right? That, I mean you guys were founded almost at the same time as Ivmf was this very early in both organization’s evolution. And so I, I went out there and not knowing a soul, I took the job. I realized I thought to myself like they’re doing really cool stuff. It seems like it’s a rapidly growing organization. It seems like it would be a really fun challenge to take on.

Dan: 00:03:14 And so when I got to Syracuse I knew no one except for one of my classmates from West Point I was marker when Mike’s Brother Mike, the founder of web. So mark was graduating from Syracuse, so we overlapped by just a couple of weeks and I was looking for people I knew in the area and Mike Haney connected me to mark Erwin and said, you guys should hang out. And naturally as any good rdb or would when I said, hey, let’s get coffee. He said, how about we go for a run? So I woke up one morning, I was in a hotel, still went for a run with marker when he gave me a red tee shirt and he introduced me to the local chapter and that basically became my social life when I was in Syracuse. If all else failed, I knew on Wednesday get to, I forget the name, it was like Onondaga Lake Park or whatever it was called, you know? And, and those guys were always there and it was just, it, it really is a brand new member of a community became the one sense of stability that I had in the one sort of rock around which my week started to revolve. I mean, that’s the goal, right? Yeah.

JJ: 00:04:13 So just to define terms a little bit here, so Ivmf is, correct me if I’m wrong, here’s the way I would describe it. We’ve worked with them for years. I’d say they’re like the, they’re housed out of Syracuse University, but they’re kind of the foremost think slash do tank, kind of like kind of foremost authority on one of the that does kind of academic research and programming now valuation on like military related stuff like in its simplest terms and they were one of the first and have grown to be the best in one of the. I guess that that would be the. The way I would describe Ivmf

Dan: 00:04:48 yeah, there are some like within rand or within CNS, the center for new American security or like at purdue there are little things here and there that are partially focused on it or I think purdue is there. They’re within the school of social work, so they’re very specifically focused on the vet social work component. Ivms really the only think tank that’s specifically dedicated to the concerns of veterans and military families, but think tank doesn’t even really begin to describe it because they put like 30,000 people through their education and entrepreneurship programs every year and they do community engagement work where they help stitch together resources and communities around the country. With a program called America serves and there’s quite a lot to it, but yeah, they’re, they’re really sort of. When I think of who to look to for research on our community, they’re the place to start.

JJ: 00:05:36 So just for edification, so you, you’ve alluded to Grad school goal times. Where’d you go to Grad School

Dan: 00:05:41 and Harvard? There was a school called the Kennedy School of Government, which is basically Harvard School of public policy. And it’s funny. I, yeah, one of the big themes of my sort of post service life has been other people giving me advice and me following it simply because I didn’t know what else to do and when I was at west point or. Yeah. And well as the West Point Cadet as you know, is this fellow West Point or we get assigned a mentor that they call our sponsor and my mentor had a masters in public policy from the Kennedy School and so in my mind I was like, well that’s, that was his next step. And he stated obviously, and became a professor at West Point, but for me it was just sort of like I had always figured I was going to stay in the army, go get an MPP and then go back to west point and teach the whole rest of that plan got jettisoned. But in the absence of any other plant I was like, I guess I’ll go to get a graduate degree in public policy and figure it out from there because I just really think notion of like I want to do good in the world, but I didn’t know what that meant or how, or like what career paths might be for me or anything, you know.

JJ: 00:06:43 So like any good podcast host, I knew the answer to that question before I asked it, but I wanted to illustrate the fact that Dan is a super smart guy and so we’re going to ask him some good questions and have some intelligent conversation. So the plan got jettisoned. If you don’t mind, I’d love to maybe talk about how, how and why the plan Guy Jettison. Yeah, right. So you were an infantry officer, right? I recall, so, so Dan was an infantry officer and was was in kind of in the thick of the war like a lot of us were. And if you’re comfortable sharing some of the story about why you ended up, what happened when you were in the army and why you ended up getting out. I think it would be good to put some kind of corners or under conversation. Yeah,

Dan: 00:07:20 of course. So I think, I think one part of your question was how I ended up in the first place and so I was an incredibly idealistic teenager. I was, it’s funny, there was a newspaper article written when I was graduating high school. I was like a local, you know, like the homewood star, whatever, and they had interviewed like five or six people that were going into the military and we’re asking people why are you doing this? Right. And it actually says it’s like a direct quote in your article. I’ve, everyone we interviewed, Dan was the only person that cited pure patriotism. The reason he was doing it because everyone else was like, oh know this is before nine slash 11.

JJ: 00:07:57 Yeah. And it’s like, I need money for college or whatever. Yeah.

Dan: 00:08:00 So that’s an important part of the story, right? Because I started two months. I started at west point two months before nine slash 11. So I thought I’m going to go to Kosovo and do peace keeping missions or something like that. But I was just, you know, Star spangled kid, I, you, my parents took me to Washington dc when I was seven. And I guess I just got the bug. We went to the tomb of the unknown soldier and I just thought that the soldiers were amazing. And so I went to West Point with this very idealistic, very patriotic, I want to serve my country. And then obviously nine slash 11 happened and we spent four years at west United, sort of this unique class that we came in expecting one thing and then our entire four years was actually preparing for war. And we saw, we saw you guys go off and invade Iraq. We saw obviously the people that had already been out there before we got there were fighting the war in Afghanistan, but people we knew were out there fighting and dying and that was a really heavy time.

JJ: 00:08:52 I can’t, I can’t imagine what that would be like. One of the things they do at west point is when I was a cadet, you know, I think one person died during the four years, like one cadet and it was a car accident I think. Oh No, no, no. I think I think someone got hit by a train. Maybe one person I found that. Yeah. And so they was kind of somber, you know, they announced it during a meal and I can’t even imagine what it would have been like to be there and when the war was going on and they’re announcing graduates that were sitting at the table, you know, a year ago who are, who has been killed in action. I mean I couldn’t even imagine the pressure that, that would put on it.

Dan: 00:09:32 Yeah, it was a. So I graduated in 2005, so the invasion happened spring break of my sophomore year and the insurgency really sort of kicked out fall of my junior year and so those last two years were really kind of heavy and I remember as you mentioned, you know when, when a graduate dies they stop everybody in the middle of lunch or whatever to make the announcement. And that was happening with some disturbing frequency I can imagine. And then on top of that, there was the battle in Fallujah, if you remember, there was that scene where there were several contractors, I think it was three guys that were captured.

JJ: 00:10:07 Yeah. They were hung from the bridge. And the bridge was in Iraq when it happened. Yeah. Yeah. And

Dan: 00:10:11 so it was like these, like idealistic, you know, they’ll say serve my country, this can be amazing. Really got gritty real quick. And I remember when I was making my choice, as you know from, from your experience, your senior year, they rank order of the class, you get to choose, you know, what your branches. And I had always liked flying and so I was really like I did my, my ctlt cadet trip leader training for those. Not Familiar. It’s essentially as a, as a cadet. You spent a summer shadowing a lieutenant in the real army for a couple of weeks. I did mine with an aviation unit. It was a black cop pilot, uh, in, in Germany. And I just kind of had this thing in my head that I was like, man, that seems like it would be a lot of fun and like know all respect to aviators.

Dan: 00:10:55 But I was kind of going back and forth between like, that sounds like a really cool way to serve. Versus there was a fixed body of people. Like there was literally the math was let’s say, yeah, we graduated with 911, ironically enough. But let’s say there’s a thousand people in the class. The army comes to that class and says we need 130 infantry officers and 70 artillery officers and whatever. I really felt like this really immense pressure and west point does a great job of, I say great sort of tongue and cheek, but a great job of really convincing you that real officers are infantry men and so I really felt this like, how can I look at my classmates and say, I know 130 of us or whatever the number is, have to be infantry. Could someone else go do that? You know? And so I took it on, you know, when I made that decision, it felt like a very heavy decision and I was so long story, but one of my semesters I was, I had a roommate who was a year ahead of us and so he was the class in the class of o four and if you recall the class of 2004 specifically, the guys in the first airborne and the class of o four were just decimated.

Dan: 00:11:56 I mean, so many of them got killed. And so while I was like right after I graduated from the officer basic course, my roommate was killed and it just got again, it got headed quick. Right? All of a sudden this was very real and I didn’t end up deploying until a couple of years later, uh, as a part of the surge and my battalion was really focused on solder city, which was the last sort of stronghold during the surge. And there was, I don’t know if you recall, there was like this big major uprising in 2008. We were a part of that. I lost two of my own soldiers and not to go, not to detour too much, but this is actually, I think probably an influential to get back to your actual question. Fairly influential moment in my decision to stay or leave because if you sort of look at this pattern of really strong idealism, my two soldiers were killed by one of their own hand grenades.

Dan: 00:12:43 It just went off and there were investigations like we initially thought maybe we got one mortar round or something like that because we were actually inside of a school. You know, the schools that like on a satellite imagery, it looks kinda like a figure eight. The two atriums in the school. We thought a mortar round had come in and, and got my guys and it just so happens that one of their hand grenades went off and so they brought in the CSI team or whatever it is, you know, to dig the shrapnel out of the walls and run chemical analysis on their body armor. But we kind of figured it out pretty quick and that really threw my sense of order in the universe, you know, like I wasn’t very religious person and in college I was like a member of United Catholic fellowship and all that stuff and it really, really hit me and it was Kinda like this is meaningless.

Dan: 00:13:30 Like these guys died for nothing and you know, obviously that serving their country, but it just felt very. It was a really rough time and that I think cast this shadow of darkness over the next really honestly several years of my life. And I think that that weighed pretty heavily on. It was the shroud of idealism with which I looked at. My service really was ripped away and I started to look much more harshly at when I was getting out. So I, I, I got home from my deployment October of [inaudible] eight and then like a month later, Obama was elected pretty much on a promise to drive down the war in Iraq and draw up the war in Afghanistan and I kinda just looked at the war in Afghanistan and was like, you know, I felt honestly and, and many people listening may disagree with me, but I really struggled with that meaning.

Dan: 00:14:16 Right? And it was like we’d been there for God at that point. It was eight or nine years and it was like, you know, the invasion in the first place to knock off the Taliban. And it all kind of seemed like it made a lot of sense. But kind of asking myself the question is like, what are we fighting for? And my next job in the army would have been to be a company commander. And I honestly couldn’t. I didn’t feel the integrity in me didn’t feel right about looking at a hundred 60 soldiers and saying, we’re going to go down. I’m going to take you all of the Afghanistan. This is really worth your sacrifice floor. And that’s just been something that I’ve really struggled with. It is, you know, kind of those questions of was it worth it and what was this for and why my soldiers die and everything else.

Dan: 00:14:52 And I think that was a big one, but honestly I was also pretty lonely. I’m, I’m, you know, I was single, I, you know, there wasn’t much dating life to be had in ranger school or in rural Germany and I just kind of had this sense that I was ready to move on with my life and, and kind of start to build something new. And you also had some physical injuries that occurred that have kind of been something you’ve had to manage. Yeah, actually. So this is something most people don’t know about me. Yeah. I, I like to think that I hide it well. But ever since my deployment I’ve had headaches every day. And so, you know, I’ve done a bunch of Mris and ct scans and all sorts of things to look for evidence of the Tbi and it’s kind of confounded a lot of doctors.

Dan: 00:15:32 I recently went to a treatment that was actually a pretty, pretty helpful, but it’s been 10 years and I actually as a cautionary tale to those out there who were just swallowing painkillers by the handful I was taking. So the one pill that works for me or has worked for me in the past is etc. And which is aspirin and tylenol and caffeine and I was, yeah, I was up to eight, 10 a day. And so actually while I worked for syracuse, I don’t think you know this story actually. I think I know part of it. I was in chicago for, I think we’ve talked about this before, but go ahead. Yeah. So I was in chicago for a conference and I collapsed at work. I had been throwing up blood that day and I didn’t know what it was and I collapsed at work and they’ve, they rushed me to the emergency room and I had this like epic bleeding ulcer that was caused by all these pills I was taking.

Dan: 00:16:21 And so they like, I mean this sounds overdramatic but I’m not exaggerating at all. They had. They said that I had lost half of my blood, like my hemoglobin count was half of what a normal person should be and so my blood just kept droppIng and they were like, they would take samples every half hour or whatever and they came in at like 3:00 AM and they said we need to do transfusions. And I was really kind of uncomfortable. Yeah, I’m a little squeamish when it comes to needles and surgeries and I was like, the idea of you pumping someone else’s blood in my veins just kind of creeped me out and I pushed back a little bit in the doctor’s like, hey, Is there any other option for this? And she looked at me, stone faced and she said, if you don’t do this, you’re going to die.

Dan: 00:16:58 And so I was like, okay, let’s do it. Right. And so it saved my life and from then on out it was like I gotta stay away from, you know. And that’s when I actually took this whole process seriously and amped up. to be honest, I’m not even a plug for our tv, but like really started to get back into going to rdv all the time and that’s when I tried, when I started crossfit and that’s when I changed my diet because I was just like, I need to do whatever I can to stay healthy. And that’s really an important thing for me, which is tough with the travel schedule that we have. But to focus on that, and I were just talking about this off the air. I guess it’s kind of on the eric [inaudible] we’re good now, but then we’re talking about this before. I was saying that my, I’m not a big like resolution guy, but I try to use the new year’s, uh, as an opportunity to kind of reflect and set some new goals for myself based off, you know, how lIfe has changed, but I don’t like, I’m like an outcomes guy. So instead

JJ: 00:17:50 of just saying these are the things I want to do, I kind of said, okay, well what are the changes I want to make in my life? And then how do I get there? And where I landed was actually I need to sleep more, right. And I wouldn’t have thought that like a goal for the year would be to Sleep an extra hour a night, but it’s just at this point in my life I have a different. I have young children that I want to like stay really healthy for, for a long time. And so I’m very mindful of like what I eat and I’m watching because that that’s important to me. But it takes time to do those things, you know?

Dan: 00:18:19 Yeah. It really requires deliberate effort and honestly it’s like a financial investment. When I started to buy better food. Yeah. Someone told me like the most basic nutrition advice. It’s just to stay on the periphery of the grocery stores. Yeah. It’s like when you just start buying fruits and vegetables and meat, like all fresh, nothing frozen, no pita pockets or whatever. Like the bill starts to go up, but it’s worth it. you know, I, I definitely feel better when I’m cooking while I’m cooking for myself and really deliberately focusing on fitness.

JJ: 00:18:48 Yeah. And have you found that that’s the kind of healthy living has helped you manage the headaches?

Dan: 00:18:53 Yeah, to an extent. I think that lIke the, we were talking about sleep earlier and I think that this tool that I use called the woop that sort of helps me manage my sleep better sleep, better nutrition and fitness definitely helps the headaches stay down. I’ve recently had like a treatment where they put me on an I, like I was in the hospital for five days in oCtober or november, something like that. And they put me on an ivy, have a different headache med to try to break this cycle because that was sort of back on this vicious cycle with the etc. And so they actually, it was almost like detox where they put me on a different medicine for five days and I went cold Turkey with no excedrin. And so it really like if I can one, one word of caution, anybody out there painkillers or not a good thing. It wasn’t even opiates or anything crazy like that, you know, it’s just off the shelf, etc. And, but you can get dependent on those things and they’re not good for your body. So yeah,

JJ: 00:19:44 no, no, there’s caffeIne and et cetera. And yeah, I had no idea. So dan, I want to talk about how I first met dan. So dan was working in ivmf and this is in the early 2014 maybe? I think so, yeah. I wouldn’t say it was the summer of 2014. Summer of 2014. The, the George Bush institute, which sits at the George Bush presidential library at smu in dallas. I don’t remember the exact details, but they have at the institute, they had six different pillars of things that they cared about. It was like economic empowerment, women’s issues, voting rights. There was, I don’t remember what they were and the newest one, the sixth one at the time was what they called the military services initiative, which was president bushes basically the veterans initiative. And so they hired a couple of people there and we’re really trying to figure out how they could influence and help in the veterans space.

JJ: 00:20:36 The goal is not to have a political conversation here, but I think president bush I think really wants to help veterans and I think he’s. He feels a tremendous sense of responsibility. I’ve had a chance to meet him a few times and talk about this. He feels a tremendous sense of responsibility for, for what he asked them to do and it really does truly try to help. So this was the effort at the time and also just kind of there was a lot going on. Like there was. There was a time when public sentiment and support for the military, which just like off the charts high. There was tons and tons of nonprofits, just just gobs of nonprofits and it was a really, really crowded space. And so the, the George Bush institute decided to embark on a project which I’ll let dan described to really I think to deep dive and try to understand some organizations to try to do some case studies on some organizations and we were lucky enough to be picked to be one. And so there was. Dan was the investigator and came down to I would call investigator maYbe, but he was an author, one of the authors and he came down to tampa and we sat down and talked and yeah, I mean I want him to describe the project, but that was where he and I first met because we flew a bunch of people down to tampa and it was a big deal at the time. It waS a very big deal for us.

Dan: 00:21:53 Yeah. As one would expect It to be a former president calls and says, I’d like to send a team to write a case study by you guys. Obviously it’s going to be a big a big thing. But yeah, they Came to us actually. So the project that you saw was the second half. So the first half was basically this massive literature review and data review of like just painting a picture of the population of post 9:11 veterans. They wanted to know everything about the nuances of employment and health and you know, it’s like a meta analysis of the state. What was the state of philanthropy and the veteran community and there were four or five different papers that were written to kind of analyze all the dImensions and so one of those that that came out was that there, I want to say the number is either 42 or 46,000 veterans serving nonprofits.

Dan: 00:22:37 Many, many listening might be familiar with the term, the sea of goodwill. There was this massive outpouring of support that you just described and it wasn’t politically tenable for either the bush institute or the va or really almost any other key figure to pick winners and losers per se, to say these are the people you should donate your money to. These are the people who you shouldn’t, but It was clear that there were people in the space. Interesting. Cooper did a series about this where he was, you know, doing stings on organizations calling themselves a veteran nonprofit because it was a time in our nation’s history where you could slap the word post 9:11 veteran on something and raise money like that, but there was no accountability.

JJ: 00:23:14 Yeah, there was a time that you could like kind of wrap yourself in the flag and like pray to a wounded veteran across the stage and like easily raise all the money that you want it. That is not

Dan: 00:23:26 not like that anymore. It’s the guy who is in charge of raising money for our web. It is not like that anymore.

JJ: 00:23:31 Not at the time it was like that. Yeah. There’s lots of other things were more separated from the wars now. It’s completely different now, but

Dan: 00:23:39 at the time they came to us and they saId, we want to ask the question, what does good look like and if we can at least build a framework of what does good look like, we can then create tools for veterans that want to seek services so they can say these are the organizations I should be working with versus these are the ones I should avoid for the nonprofits themselves to sort of assess, hey, where are we in the continuum of success here? And then for philanthropy to identify, okay, these are the good organizations or this. These are the questions I should be asking of organizations to figure out whether I should really be invested in them or not. So we started with this list of 46,000 in charity navigator or whatever tool we use the time in several years back now and really like did this kind of multidimensional okay, and we want this to be diverse by region.

Dan: 00:24:26 We want some to be healthcare so I’m going to be financial services and legal and you know, a broad category. we wanted some to be like hyperlocal, some to be national so that we could really identify are there any commonalities across all these organizations. And so we selected 20 fIve nonprofits and we racked up a lot of airline miles, flying all over the country interviewing and we sat down with two microphones just like this and interviewed everyone from the ceo down to the folks that are filling out the paperwork with the vets as they come in off the, you know, for some homeless organizations here. These are the folks that literally go under overpasses and find homeless vets and fill out their paperwork with them. And it was really interesting, we ended up writing 25 case studies and then we did this, we wrote this like hundred page cross case analysis to identify what some of the common themes were and it was.

Dan: 00:25:13 It really kind of boil it down to this like what is excellence as a nonprofit versus what is excellence as a veteran serving nonprofit. And we actually found that there were like when you’re dealing with specific types of veterans, because obviously we know that this community is not monolithic, that there were even individual things about those categories that you should really focus on. So some of the things we learned for example, was with women vets that a lot of women vets won’t self identify. They’re more likely to pursue services with a women focused nonprofit as opposed to a veteran filters nonprofit. And when they are seeking services with the veteran focused nonprofit, often they don’t feel safe because a lot of the like the statistics around military sexual trauma or just devastating and even if not actual assault, sexual harassment and thIngs of that nature.

Dan: 00:25:58 And so some of these organizations realized we need to cut a separate entrance into the building and just completely have a women’s area to treat the women that are getting services or just acknowledging that a veteran, typically this generation of veterans is far more likely to be married, far more likely to have children. And so the best nonprofits were the ones that really approached this as a whole family issue to make sure that the whole family was going through transition successfully or this idea that honestly at the end of the day, we found that education and employment are really deeply tied to all the other sort of posts, service outcomes. and you guys see the importance of having purpose in your life every day and purpose. Obviously it’s more than just work, but having a job to go to that you believe in everyday or being in a, you know, in a degree program. Getting ready to have a job that you believe in is really important. And that actually helps people’s physical health and their mental health and a family life, which then leads to better financial outcomes. So we learned quite a lot about sort of how this is, you know, none of these issues were actually individually no siloed, that they were all connected.

JJ: 00:27:00 What was your biggest thing? Not like, I’m not looking for like the ivmf kind of findings. I like dan savage guy who was the, what was the biggest, because here’s the thing, like you were in the army, you were an infantry man. God I went to grad school. This is your first job, right? And so you don’t have any nonprofit experience, right? But you’re evaluating nonprofits. So I’m part of, I’m just wondering like is there anythIng that stands out to you that was like, oh man, like I had no idea that was the case or the. So let me give you a terrible example, but I’ll give you an example. When I first came to be, we had a, uh, there was a company called universal across that ran our gear store and it was old and clunky and like people just really complained about it and having never done ecommerce or gear before.

JJ: 00:27:50 I wAs like, I’ll fix this in two weeks. Like easy. I can come in to fix this. Well, ecommerce and selling gear is incredibly difficult and I had no idea how difficult it was. It was really an eye opening experience for me, but I could just never from the outside looking in, it seemed to be very straightforward. You buy some stuff, you sell it over time, you get a better size profile. Like it’s not, It’s, it’s way, way harder than that. That’s not a good example, but I’m hoping that maybe that’s like a metaphor. Is there anything like that for you where it was like, okay, I don’t know anything about nonprofits or veteran serving nonprofit, so I’m like learning at the same time. It might’ve actually been good because maybe you don’t have any bias coming in, but like what did you. Was there anything that you were like, wow. Well

Dan: 00:28:33 I think so. Two things. One is more organizational focus, one is the individual focus, right? So the organizational lesson I think was the people seeking services with these organizations tend not to, you know, and when I say seeking services mean coming to an artist artifact be anything, right? Engaging with these nonprofits tend to underestImate the challenges of raising money and keeping them alive, but then also that like the complexity of managing all of your donor relationships in the sense that, you know, there were people that would come and be upset about a program because it wasn’t. They were pre nine slash 11 veterans and this was a post nine slash 11 program. Right? Yeah. And so why are you so focused on post 9:11 veterans or even the bush institute specifically that project was focused on posting 9:11 events and someone might write you a check for $100,000 and say I want to go to a post nine, 11 veterans and like you’re stewards of the donor dollar, like your.

Dan: 00:29:28 You have your own priorities as an organization, but you’re also responsible morally and legally responsible to do. You have to help live out the mission that that donor wanted to support. Obviously you’re the conduit for their generosity and so sometimes organizations have to turn money down because they just don’t align with the, like the priorities of the donor or sometimes they’ll have to define a population slightly more narrowly than they would have otherwise wanted to and so, you know, of course the vets out there that have issues that they want to push and things that they want to seek support for and whatnot. Like of course continuing to push organizations to develop the programs that are going to be most effective, but sort of seeing behind the curtain and seeing the complexity of managing all those relationships and really doing the best you can. Right.

Dan: 00:30:16 Everyone in this is either the donor or the the nonprofit leader, everyone in this as well intentioned and doing their best to do and you know, as good for the community as much good for the community they can, but typically a lot more complicated than that. RighT? Yeah. And then number two is whether they’re living in myself. So I always thought it was interesting in ivmf that I was studying this, but I was also kind of to some extent study myself because I was still like a veteran in transition and I was like, oh, everyone else feels that way too. I didn’T realize this was a thing across the community. Really. The importance of sense of purpose and community. Right? And I think that even If you’re not like even if you don’t enjoy your job, if you’re doing it in a place where you feel like you belong and a place where you feel you’re valued, right, the day to day functions of that job are a lot less important than your psychological health and feeling of belonging.

Dan: 00:31:09 Right? And that’s where honestly where you guys come in, but where it’s really important when you’re looking for work that you’ve figured out what the corporate culture is and that you’re actually going to feel like you’re a fit. You know you’re a good fit there and everything else that like. It’s hard to have that sense of purpose if you don’t feel like you belong. If you’re just one person on an island doing work you really care about, but no one else around you cares or cares about you. That’s a much harder thing to do and I think that like. I mean I always tell, tell vets, when you think about what you did in the military, you probably didn’t like every job he had, but you believed in the organization and then you believed in the team that you were with. You would probably do a lot of powerpoint when you were a staff officer in the army while doing powerpoint for accenture or deloitte or whoever else is no less sexy than doing powerpoint for the military.

Dan: 00:31:54 It’s just that there’s like a different alignment of how you believe in the broader mission and so to some extent almost reeling people’s like expectations back. Like my job is going to be the thing that makes me. It gives me as much purpose as the military. I think he got to look through through a different lens. That purpose can come in all shapes and forms and maybe the job itself wasn’t what you liked about the military. Maybe it was the community and if you can find a community that resonates with you similarly, that’s probably more than half the battle.

JJ: 00:32:24 Yeah, I mean, so that’s what we obviously like to try to do a team red, white, and blue. I saw somewhere I think does this really well and I guess you’re a testament of this crossfit, right? yeah. Uh, I’ve said this a million times. The, my high school football coach had us doing crossfit. It was crossfit that the exercises are not new, but crossfit has found a way people were playing with medicine balls and it’s not anything. All of the core components of like crossfit, like we literally were doing. My high school football coach had us doing like cross training was what we called it back then, like it was, it was. The principles were the same, but the crossfit has packaged up community in a way that works really well. And the good boxes, they’re not like this, but the good boxes you’ve, you, that like that’s your tribe, right?

JJ: 00:33:10 Like those are the people you spend your time with and you develop relationships that extend far beyond just, you know, sling and barbells and they’ve done a really nice job at that. They’re really, really nice job. So speaking of transition, so dan made about the biggest probably changed in your life that you. I mean if you think about a person whose perspective moving from east coast to west coast, we prudy french can’t move because he’s in the bay area now. Moving from working for an academic I guess a college basically, right? The abmf to a tech company, a huge tech company is a huge, is a, is a massive change. And this happened fairly recently. So I want to talk a little bit about kind of like why this was of interest to you and like what is life is like? I’m kind of post post transition here. Yeah. Yeah.

Dan: 00:34:01 So I’ve been at it for mes gone really quickly. So it’s been about two and half years. It’ll be three years and yeah, I was going to get. So it’s been a year. I did not realize it was that low and I was living in Washington, d, c working remotely for ivmf and I think, I mean it’s certainly nothing against ivmf any organization you worked there for several years. I think it’s natural to a lot of folks in the military to kind of get an net chapter a couple of years because we’re used to pcs to a new base, you know, or just getting reassigned to a new job. And so we did, you know, I had really kind of three separate jobs when I was at ivmf and just kind of started to get the itch to look for some new things and I’ve been in search of a home for a long time and I thought that a lot of my classmates from both undergrad and graduate school, we’re in dc and I thought I was going to stay in dc, you know, I was looking at jobs in dc and without going into all the details of the story, the job posting came my way through to different avenues and serendipity happens.

Dan: 00:35:00 Yeah. When I looked at it, I was like, the first time I came across as like, yeah, I don’t live in California. Like I’m not good. I’m good. I grew up in chicago basically my whole life outside of my, you know, my army time in Germany and being deployed was east coast. So I was just kinda like, yeah, whatever. I just dismissed it and the second time it came across my radar I was like, I should look at this. And I started to look into it more. I had a 30 minute phone screen with the first, you know, with my recruiter who I now refer to as my linkedin fairy godmother because she, she saw something in me and so she really kept pushing. At the time I was running a program called onward to opportunity, which is funded by the shelter foundation and run out of ivmf.

Dan: 00:35:39 And we had maybe four sites around the country and so we were doing training programs, putting people through every quarter or something like that. Right. Like it was very slow going and the notion of there’s two point $5 million veterans on like den right? And I’m like responsible for figuring out how to make our platform work for him and it was just a whole new way of looking at our community and the idea of having the ability to kind of influence the best product and this platform and, and for me it was a significant professional leap forward to kind of be the mouthpiece of this huge tech company as opposed to, you know, gmf I was a leader but I was not the executive director or anything like that. So it was a big leap and responsibility and I’ve for better or worse when a career opportunity comes my way.

Dan: 00:36:23 That’s why I moved to syracuse. I was, my recruiter actually was like, dan, are you married? Do you have a girlfriend? You have any friends that are going to like tear you apart? I was like, I’ve got friends here, but like I’ll keep in touch with them and I can make new friends, whatever. Let’s just like get the hell out here. And I just took the leap and it all transpired fairly quickly. And I think honestly, one, the, the bay area, like when you’re talking about health and fitness and ron like it’s 60 degrees at home right now. Like it’s, it’s, you know, everyone’s outside all the time. Everything’s gluten free, everyone’s, everyone’s very healthy

JJ: 00:36:55 and I think it’s easier to be healthy than it is a place. So right now it’s been. Dan is, I was, I was hoping to be able to like show him a beautiful kind of winter day here in louisville and it’s like the worst possible thing you could have. It’s like drippy, nasty, rainy kind of

Dan: 00:37:13 it. It’s terrible. Anyway, well it’s a, I think one, just for my personal health, it’s defInitely been a positive. The impact of sunshine most of the time. Uh, is it like for mental health it’s like amazing, but the job has just been incredible, you know, the ability to work in this company. Our culture is I think unsurpassed and, and even the tech industry that from day one, you know, our company’s all about connecting people to opportunity. From day one, my boss sat me down and was like, okay, well I want to, we have this sort of what we call our cultural transformation, meaning you know, we want to help you transform your career into whatever it’s going to be. And so from day one, my boss sat me down and said, I want you to be thinking already about what’s next for you and how do we make sure that the time that you’re spending with me as as best preparing you for that.

Dan: 00:38:00 Right. But because I’m kind of like the sole lead of the program, it’s also been amazing to sort of have the leeway to build partnerships where I see fit and work with the government where I know where I see fed and he obviously I seek advice from many people across the space to do this. But just to have the resources of a tech companY to throw behind doing good for my community has been honestly I think kind of a once in a career kind of opportunity. And it’s been. There’s this weird interaction where like to some extent you’re like your one employee out of 13,000 at this big company, but to our communIty, I’m the guy that people see out speaking at events and everything and so I get a lot of inbound, you know, inmails from people looking for help with their, their linkedin profile or looking for help getting a job or often. I mean honestly, it really. This is cheesy to say, but it warms my heart that every, probably every day, if not every week I get an email from somebody saying, hey, I use linkedin to get my job. Thanks for what you guys do. And so it’s just been a really professionally rewarding job as well. It’s been very challenging, but definitely worth like I get a lot of reminders that it’s worth the effort, which I’m really grateful for.

JJ: 00:39:10 So just because I’m a big fan of defining terms, if you’re listening to, if somehow there’s a person listening to this that doesn’t know what linkedin is, describe it to me, but don’t use any of the official linkedin jargon.

Dan: 00:39:23 Oh man. You know, it’s essentially most people think it’s a place to put your resume online. It’s a really broad suite of tools that once you’ve got a profile on line, you can use all these tools to find people to connect with, to ask for advice. You can use them to figure out, you know, when you’re applying for a job, we can actually tell you what your skill set is now based on what you’ve reported on your profile compared to this skillset of all the other people applying. So you can get like really pretty advanced intel on whether you’re a good fit for job opportunities. We can tell you what salary to expect if you’re going to be in a specific role. This, this whole learning platform that we have 13,000 courses. So if you’re looking at a job and we say here’s the top 10 skills and you’ve only got five, you can go actually train yourself on those courses.

Dan: 00:40:07 And so it’s, you know, this is the linkedin jargon is the world professional network. We had $590, million people growing every day, two and a half million veterans and it’s really the place to, you know, to go seek advice and to figure out what your next step is because none of us got. I’m still learning about new industries and new roles and new categories of work and everything and to go from being in the military to being happily employed requires quite a lot of learning and so it’s essentially a big huge network where you can find the people and the exact jobs that you would like sunday who also used to be in the army or the navy or the marine corps, whatever, and ask them for advice. And so hopefully that’s a good summary of it.

JJ: 00:40:49 Yeah. Is I got a bunch of stuff I want to talk about here. So at face value, two and a half million veterans on it sounds like a huge number. There’s way more veterans in that in America. It proportionally. Do veterans use linkedin at about the rate that you would expect?

Dan: 00:41:04 Yeah. So yes and no. Two years. Your previous statement. so there’s 22 million veterans in America, about 10 point 6 million of them are under the age of 64. If you look at labor force participation rates are actually looking at about half of that. So now you’re under about 5 million. We’ve got about half of them explicitly represented on linkedin. What I mean by that is on their profile, they list the us army or the navy or whatever in their background. We think that there may actually be another million that we are not identifying through some partnerships with some marketing companies that went out that we work with, they they can advertIse to veterans on linkedin versus how we advertise to veterans. I’m like. Then they say there’s three point five. We say there’s two point five. So we’re doing pretty well, right? I think we don’t. There’s certain industries that if you want to be a police officer in your local town, right.

Dan: 00:41:52 There is a pretty specific talent acquisition process that they go through. If you want to be a college professor, there’s a very specific annual cycle of applying for those types of jobs. So there’s certain roles that you know and industries that just are not necessarily, they just have their own unique process for hiring people. Why don’t we have room to grow? So every year 200,000 people are getting out of the military. Every year we add about 200,000 veterans on the platform, but I don’t think it’s a one to one. I think some are vets and some are transitioning service members. And actually we’re working now to make the platform much more broadly useful. I think across the broader economy. So our goal, our company’s vision is to connect every member of the global workforce and economic opportunity, not just white collar professionals with bachelor’s degrees or master’s degrees or whatever the case may be.

Dan: 00:42:41 And so there are some serious efforts underway that are being invested in to make sure that if you want to an hourly job as a food service worker, as a retail worker, whatever the case may be, most people don’t realize you can actually find those things already on linkedin. But to make those a little more prominent and more useful for you, if that’s kinda what we’re. What we’re learning about you from your profile indicates to us that you might be a better fit for those. Our platform right now doesn’t do an amazing job of surfacing those opportunities. We’re working on that, but you can go find them if you’re. If you go look for it. Right.

JJ: 00:43:13 So one of the things I was going to do Is to go make sure my linkedin profile was looking at looking sharp before I had this conversation. I did not get a chance to do that, but I’m sitting here thinking I don’t know that there’s. I have my military experience listed on there, but I don’t know that I’ve done anything. I don’t know that, that, that. Because I’m a veteran that’s changed the way that I’ve interacted with the, with the platform at all. Which leads me to ask like what are the things that veterans don’t know about linkedin? Right?

Dan: 00:43:40 Yeah. So I think a couple of couple of things here, like big things you should know if you’re on one, your photo. Right? A lot of folks, if they’re still in, they leave their military profile or their military uniform on and their profile picture. Your photos should be geared towards the industry you want to go to, so if it’s in tech, more casual. if you want to be in banking suit guy, right? People often think either one, tHey leave their military photo on there or to everybody thinks it’s a professional website. I need a suit and tie. You need to kind of figure out what the industry that you’re going into is to the summary section. Most people don’t like put a whole lot of thought into that. That’s specifically for our community is really important because if everything below that doesn’t quite look like the opportunity or trying to pursue.

Dan: 00:44:20 So if everything below that says infantry and you want to go be a consultant or you know, whatever the supply chain manager or whatever your summer is really where you can like write out this is what, this is why this transition makes sense to me. This is what I’m passionate about. These are my skills in this, what I’m doing to grow my skillset. Three though is your skill section of your profile, so you probably have people endorsing you all the time and you’re, you know, some of those are people you actually know, some of those people you know, and so I think a lot of people kind of write that section off because it feels somewhat frivolous but that actually dry out. So I like to say algorithmically that actually drives a lot of what our system does in terms of recommending to you jobs and linkedin learning courses and other connections and content that you might be interested in or hashtags to follow or things like that.

Dan: 00:45:06 So you have an opportunity to put 50 skills on your profile and a lot of people are leaving value on the table. If you think about it, like if you’ve ever sold a used car, you wouldn’t put honda on a website. Right now I’m driving a 2012 honda accord v six coupe with leather seats and you know, this stereo package and blah blah blah. It’s exact same thing a recruiter like, again, most people don’t realize that our business model is helping recruiters find talent. And so the more detail you put on your profile and the more thorough you are about listing out your skills, recruiters are literally doing searches searches for people based on those skills. The vet thing specifically though is we’ve got a filter in our product called linkedin recruiter that says military veterans. And so if you put uss roosevelt on your profile, our algorithm doesn’t know what that is or algorithm knows with the us navy is. So if that recruiter is out there looking for you, they’re not going to find you based on the fact that you wrote 75th ranger regiment.

JJ: 00:46:02 Well we’re. Well we’re talking to dan. We’re going to go check. I am bringing up my linkedin profile realtime here. So have you ever interviewed as well

Dan: 00:46:10 curiosity for the podcast? HAve you ever interviewed stan mcchrystal?

JJ: 00:46:13 I tried to interview stan mcchrystal. I actually have. You can’t see it. I have his new book right there. I don’t know how it happened, but I got sent an advanced copy of it. So. Well, I mean obviously you’re a big deal. So it’s never happened any other time. But his. Jeff eggers. Do you know he is, I know that name. so he is the executive director of the mcchrystal group, former seal, his like his coauthor. I ended up talking to jeff acres about the book. So we, we, we went for stan mcchrystal. It didn’t happen that jeff was so fantastic. Yeah. Well, so the reason I asked,

Dan: 00:46:47 I have a standard slide deck that I use around the country and show people. If you go to stan mcchrystal’s linkedin profile, it says commander, commander, 75th ranger regiment commander, whatever. And I always tell people I pull up his profile and I was telling people according to our algorithm, stanley mcchrystal’s not a veteran. And then I actually show, I have like a dummy profile that I can use to show people how to do that, you know, to change things. And so I pull up an example of what his profile should look like. I would say employer us army in all three of those things and now our algorithm, we would find it and I’m, I’m certain that some day he will attend something or see, you know, if he’s listening to this, I apologize, but I’m always thinking that like sunday stan mcchrystal is going to like chase me down and kick my aspect, showing his profile as what not to do to every veteran in America.

JJ: 00:47:35 Good. Well I will. His son lived right next door to me At west point so we have a bit of a connection there. Like I said, I, I his coauthor, so maybe thIs will make it to. I get a phone call from jim or crystal. it’s going to be your fault. So I’m looking through this right now. My skill section is terrible. I need to, I need to step my game up here. That’s the thing that every time you get, I’m not looking for a job, I should say that upfront, but my skill section is terrible.

Dan: 00:48:02 I know that like I updated all the time, you know, because my vision of what’s next for me is always shifting. Right. So I’m always like, ah, I don’t really, you know, I took the like anything that’s specific to the military that I’m never going to need anymore. I took that stuff off and add in moRe business focused terms and things like that.

JJ: 00:48:20 You don’t, you don’t hAve load planner course and all the snow

Dan: 00:48:24 your school or not. I’m not on there, but I guess the other, the last thing I would point out that most people don’t think about is if you click at the top there, you’ll see that that little briefcase that says jobs. Yep.

JJ: 00:48:35 I think doing all of this stuff as we speak.

Dan: 00:48:36 Here’s a thing that says career preferences and that. So like basically the job recommendations engine, which I call it, that’s what I call it, but it’s obviously something more technical than that. It’s basically looking at what you’ve listed in your career preferences and what you’ve listed in your profile and where those two intersect. We recommend jobs to you and if you have linkedin premium, which every vet gets for free for one year. Every military spouse now to you actually in your jobs tab, it’ll show you your in the top 10 percent for the following job, top 10 percent of applicants for the following jobs. So it really doesn’t matter that your profile is really thoroughly filled out and your pr, your preferences are really filled out because that’s like that’s how we can be the most value to you is to say, hey, these are jobs are probably interested in and oh by the way, your super qualified and they’re hiring right now so you can pretty much get yourself to the front of the line.

JJ: 00:49:22 Yeah. It’s interesting because the linkedin full disclosure has helped us in in advertising and filling some jobs loader b over the years and I remember very distinctly talking with some of the folks there. I don’t remember the actual recruiters or wherever they were in them and just them being very adamant about saying like the be the best tIme to find a good candidate is when they’re not looking for a job or the best time to get like the next great job is when you’re not looking for a job. So it’s really important to keep that stuff up to date all the time because you never know. Right? Sometimes people say that the the

Dan: 00:49:54 best candidates are the ones that aren’t looking for jobs because they’re succeeding and the job that they’re in and you want to go out there and find them. So our jargon for this would be pass at talent, but essentially we’ve got tools so that recruiters can go figure out. You know who’s doing what and we know who’s actively looking for work because there’s a button you can check that says I’m actively looking for work and recruiters know if you’re like, if they’re using our software linkedin recruiter, they can tell whether you followed their company or not. And so that just bumps you up in their search because they’re like, well, if I’m looking for someone got the skill set that I want to hire naturally, I’m going to look at the ones who followed my company because you kind of implicitly stated by doing so, like I’m interested in working at that company. So there’s a lot of sort of tips and tricks and my only plug was uh, you know, if you go to veterans.linkedin.com, all this stuff is there. There’s a blog post in there that says, you know, basically all my top tips, there’s a webinar that’s embedded in that blog post. So there’s a ton of value for our community, but it’s not too hard to navigate once you actually kind of sit down and actually do the work.

JJ: 00:50:55 So we’ll make sure that we put the link to in the show notes, there’ll be a link so you can get to it super easily. So let me tell you the, the word on the street that I’ve been hearing about linkedin. Okay? Okay. And this is pertinent, the team out ruby. So [inaudible] be grew up on facebook. I really firmly think that we would not be where we are today had it not been for facebook, but honestly we hit it at the right time because if we were to start today, if everything else was the same in the world as it was in 2010 when we started, but we had facebook of of 2019, we would not be where we are today and I stay and here’s why I say that the our chapters or chapter based organization all had facebook pages and facebook groups and that was the way that they communicated and the ability for people who followed the group to see what was going on in the group.

JJ: 00:51:50 The native content I guess you would call it was really good so people would actually know what was going on in their local chapters. Now without going into a ton of detail, like now, unless you. Unless you buy it, people don’t see it anymore. It does not show up and so it’s not. Went from a way. It was never a good way to manage a business, but It was a. It was a good way to communicate with members at one point. Yeah, it’s, it’s changing dramatically. You know who’s on it is changing, but it’s utility in terms of if you’re at a local chapter, if you are, have something cool going on and you’re trying to post about it. People just don’t see it. They just physically don’t see it anymore and that, you know, as an organization who like communicates with our members in that way.

JJ: 00:52:33 Partially, you know, we’re, we’re trying to wean ourselves so hopefully we will from a facebook is listening. We’re trying to wean ourselves off not because we want to, but because we have to now. There’s all sorts of different social media platforms right now, but everything that I have been hearing is that linkedin, linkedin now is like facebook of 2008. I in that, if you’re looking for native reach and to be able to actually communicate with people and to actually see stuff that people you follow are posting, linkedin is the only place you can go and still do that. Now. You know, hopefully like marketers don’t find that out and ruin it, but, but right now everything I hear is that like if you’re trying to put out good content, you should be doing it on linkedin because people will actually get to see it without. And it’s not just completely owned by my paid advertising. So as, as someone who knows about social media, that’s like what I hear the word on the street. I’d love to hear if that’s from the other, from the other direction, which you would like your, your reactions to hearing me say that?

Dan: 00:53:37 Well, why no comment on facebook? Yeah, of course. I would say the one thing that facebook has that I would love for our news newsfeed to have the ability to do is that you can select like certain pages that you follow. You can select to have them show up first in your feet so you have a few if they post something you can and I think that would be something that would be beneficial for us to have and I certainly can’t speak to startup the algorithms now our feed is generated and everything else that’s like three levels past my technIcal knowledge. But I will say that the one of the eye, there’s a couple of really cool things about the way that our news newsfeed works. One is this kind of this by reality effects that you don’t get with facebook. So if I post something and you like it, it’s going to end up in the feet of all of your connections that aren’t connected to me.

Dan: 00:54:21 And it’ll say jj liked this post, right? Yup. And then someone in there, you know, like two degrees away from me now, like I said, it’s going to keep ending up in the feet and keep goIng and going and going. And so I find that, you know, with things that I post, there’s often the ones that are like really popular. I can see almost a one to two months, taylor, where like I’m still getting notification saying so and so like this post or so and so commented on this post, whatever the case may be. So in terms of like the long lasting effect of creating something, I think that virality effect is really cool that we have. The other thing that we have that I really enjoy is our own publishing platform, so I write long form articles on linkedin and some of them are like that blog post I told you about.

Dan: 00:55:05 It was just from my profile. I just wrote an article about how veterans can make the most out of linkedin and one of the things that I find really, you know I talked about a little bit earlier in my own transition, but in watching many members of our community transition is this notion of purpose. And so I wrote a blog post about it’s called the greatest thing you’ll ever do and about how I used to think that my military service was the greatest thing I would ever do. Right. And now my perspective has shifted. It’s pretty. I can use that as a, as a publishing platform and get out sort of long form content right there on, on like day.

JJ: 00:55:35 Sorry, I was just going to say something that I say to people all the time. Not that I, I believe really firmly is that, you know, I don’t know what life expectancy is right now. It’s like 89 or 90 years, something like that. It’s gonna, you know, as we continue to do come, you know, advancements and we turned into cyborgs or whatever. Who knows, who knows what it’ll be in 20 years, but I tell you this to people all the time, it’s like you cannot let the five years that you were in the army in your early twenties would be the best thIng that you do in your life, right? You have a whole two thirds of your life is ahead of you and you should use them. Yeah. You should use those experiences to, to do what you could do so much more. And I just tell people all this, you cannot hang onto that. That should be part of your story, but that that’s not your story. Right? Like those four years can’t the best thing that you do in your life.

Dan: 00:56:25 Have you ever. So I get the sense that you’re a geek in the same way I am in terms of the things that you’d like to read and a very nerdy. Have you heard of? Wait, but why? No, so It’s just wait, but why? And it’s this guy who’s like, I think his name is tim ferriss. No, that’s a different guy. Tim urban. Maybe it’s his name. Hold on. He’s like a modern day philosopher. Right. So he writes all of these really. I mean it’s gotten a little bit excessive. Some of his posts are lIke 20,000 words long and it’s like, okay, did I need to print this out now and read it over a couple of days, but he, he has this really interesting perspective on all kinds of things. Like he’s got. He draws his little cartoons and stuff to illustrate as I’m looking at right now. One of them that I love is actually called how to choose your life partner. It’s a two step process or to two blog posts a series. he writes a lot about like elan musk.

JJ: 00:57:16 Well, so it’s interesting that the latest post is neurolink and the brain’s magical future. I was just had a long conversation with someone yesterday about neuro link, which is elon musk’s, dino neurolink.

Dan: 00:57:26 I’m A big elon musk geek, but I don’t know any of the details.

JJ: 00:57:30 So essentially this is where I love these podcasts when they go off the rails a little bit because. So here’s the basic premise behind it. Like a cyborg is essentially a park, a person who is part human with like, you know, robot parts. And so elan musk essentially he said, okay, well we already have every single person carries around the world’s most powerful super computer in your pocket and we have a brain that is relatively untapped for most people and the limiting factor is our thumb speed, right? Like the connection between those two things is, is how fast we can type in with our thumb. And so neuro link, I don’t even know, I don’t completely understand it but. But they are trying to go directly from the brain to the phone somehow and like cut the middleman out and so access to information will be, will be just incredibly different. There’s

Dan: 00:58:18 a reason I brought it up. Yeah. So he has a post, I want to say it’s called like your life in weeks or something and he tackles this exact thing. So he actually creates a grid and he’s like, if your life was 90 years long, instead of each grid being a month or like he’s square being a month, three square being a year east square’s a week and he plots out like a bunch of famous people’s lives on the. like this week einstein discovered relativity and this way. And some of it’s like super depressing because you’re like, oh my god, isaac newton did like everything before he was my age. Right. But it actually shows you like where you are in your life now and we’re like, how much you have left in terms of weeks and you can buy. I’m a, like I said, I’m a geek, so I Bought learning days.

Dan: 00:59:02 You can buy these huge posters. That’s just the grit and you start to write out your birthday week one, right? And then you figure out like where all the big things happened in your life. And so I printed the, I bought this print out and I didn’t fill out my whole life, but I was like, okay, like here’s 18 years, you know, here’s what I started at west point, here’s when I graduated. And like, obviously, you know, not everybody’s full for us it was five years, but you know, the term of service is the most impactful thing. And so I’m like, I was deployed for about 15 months. The first thing I found on this calendar was those 15 months and I looked at that and it was like one line on this huge white sheet of paper and it was like this mindblowing, like, oh my god, why would I let this one line defined the whole rest of all of this?

Dan: 00:59:50 Right. And obvIously there’s so much more service that we draw upon and we build upon that makes us great civic assets and great employees and everything else. I don’t mean to discredit that at all, but I get so sad when I see some of my soldiers on facebook posting combat infantry badge is still and they’ve been out for just as long as I have and it’s like guys that was 10 years ago, you know, like, yes, be proud of that, but like it’s so much more. You guys talk about, you’re enriching, like you can have so a much richer life if you say, okay, that was part of my life and I’m going to really invest in the future and make sure that everything that I do, like I always like to say that you know, the greatest thing you’ll ever do should be the next step or the next step after that.

Dan: 01:00:31 Not what you did in the past and we’ve actually done a couple of like they were, I wouldn’t call it marketing campaigns because we were trying to sell anything, but I don’t know if you remember a couple of years ago we did this huge messaging campaign called honor our future, which is all about don’t just focus on my past. Let’s focus on all I have yet to do. Right. And so that one little line and a huge poster and I would encourage you to buy one of those posters because they’re not that expensive, but they were like super cool and like mind blowing when you actually print the thing out and you’re like, my god, why would I let such a small sliver of my life define everything after that? Right.

JJ: 01:01:04 Yeah. So it’s, it’s so funny. A, we’ll also link to this in the show notes. I hated philosophy. My most hated class that I took as an undergrad was philosophy and I, and I just feel like because they did a terrible job in presenting it, it was like, you know, you would get thesE scenarios. It’s like, okay, is it a trolley, the trolley problem, is it better to kill three old people or one babies? And you’re like, what? What? You know, but what I thought

Dan: 01:01:34 sending out a ledge over, uh, over like a waterfall and you had to push someone off the bridge. Who would it be? What am I ever gonna need this in my life?

JJ: 01:01:42 Yeah. And use, you know, use utility theory or greater good theory that they are. But what I found later life is that dan and I were talking about this earlier, there’s this guy named ryan holiday who’s a former kind of digital marketer and he has started writing kind of modern versions of, of, of stoic philosophy which has been made famous by marcus aurelius and seneca and some of these, some of these guys. And what I found is that I really like it and for some reason it just really appeals to me and some of the core tenants of this or like, hey, like you can’t control what happens to you, you can only control how you react to it. Right. It’s like kind of the core tenant of it. And I just something about that really resonates with me and I really like it. And so I started reading ryan holiday and it’s like, then I read this book called the obstacle is the way and something.

JJ: 01:02:26 As soon as I heard the title, I was like, I don’t really know exactly what that means, but something about that appeals to me. And then you get into the book and you’re like, you know, most in the messages like, hey, most people like steer away from the hard stuff in their life. Right. And you should take the exact opposite, like the hard things make you who you are. Like lean into him, like don’t steer away from them and lean into the hard stuff. And something about that really appealed to me. So anyways, I’ve started reading, I went the kind of beginner intro, dip your toe in the water too, stoic philosophy is like ryan holiday and then you start reading the source text, right? And you read like probably the most famous one and I’m sure if someone who’s listening to this as actually has studied philosophy on like me, but it’s this book called meditations by marcus aurelius, right? So then you start reading like the source material, like hey, this stuff is kind of hard to read, but it’s pretty stinking good. And I just, I don’t know why I like it, but it’s just something about it. Has it really appeals to me.

Dan: 01:03:20 Have you ever read the poem if by richard kipling? Probably, but I don’t remember. If you don’t mind if you could link to that in this as well. Look it up if it’s too long to read out loud on this. Right. I mean that we could if you really want it to, but it’s probably a page long and this. My dad gave me this poem when I was. I don’t even remember when, when he was young. My dad’s not the kinda guy that gives his son poems like paid attention to this. Right? And it’s by rudyard kipling and it’s very much follow sort of this stoic philosophy, which obviously it was like in vogue at the time of like reginald kipling and teddy roosevelt and all those guys thought in the same way. And it’s really all about dealing with life’s trials and tribulations and successes and not getting too overwhelmed with either.

Dan: 01:04:05 Right. And realizing that like life’s victories are fleeting. Victories are fleeting, but also life’s defeats. And there’s a thing, one of the stances in the poem or it says if you can risk, if you can make one heap of all your belongings and risk it all and one turn of pitch and toss this old game and lose and start again at the beginning and never breathe a word about your loss. Right? Like this notion that like you could be devastated and like pick yourself up and keep going. Right. That was the biggest lesson for me in the army was like, no matter what’s happening, just keep walking, just keep going. And at the end you may recognize this as a book title from another west point guy. I forget his name, craig malania or something like that called the unforgiving minute. But at the end of the, that’s where this comes from.

Dan: 01:04:48 He says, if you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run than yours or the earth and everything that’s in it and what’s more, you’ll be a man. My son. And I think about that and I think like if there’s any guiding principle that I live by, it’s one that both victory and defeat are fleeting and like appreciate both, right? Don’t just like don’t save her good things and don’t, you know, shut off your emotions and ignore bad things, but realize that if you’re low you’re going to be high again. And if you’re high, have some humility and realize that you’re going to get ready. But at the same time, this, if you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds where the distance run, it’s like I want to make sure that whatever I’m doing, it matters. I feel like accounts, it goes back to my soldiers and this like loss of sense of idealism is like I want to know that whatever I’m doing is really worth my effort. Right? And that if I’ve lived a life that was full of honest intentions and hard work, at the end of the day, whether it’s, you know, I get hit by a bus tomorrow, whether it’s 60 years from now, I kind of will feel like I did my best. You know? And that’s really all we can ask for a. So that’s like that poem is my favorite poem because it really encapsulates kind of like my vision of how one should approach life.

JJ: 01:06:03 I’m going to read it. So poetry is another thing that west point and like ruined for me.

Dan: 01:06:06 Same. Same. Yeah. Well I, it ruins many, many things

JJ: 01:06:10 well because they do that when you’re a, when you’re a freshman you have to do this thing where you get graded on reciting a poem in front of the class. So you, you, you get assigned a poem. So some romantic poem. Obviously you have to stand in front of a class of century french thing and you’re reading, you’re reciting romeo and juliet, you’re memorizing it and it’s just a huge hayes and you have to stand in front like state street face in front of your class and memorize a poem and recite it. And it’s just, it just crushes your love for poetry. And then you realize later on that there’s some pretty good stuff in and it’s like really hard to, to, to write well and I need to get into it a little bit more. I don’t, I don’t really know too much, but I’m definitely gonna go read this right? Rudyard kipling poem.

Dan: 01:06:56 Yeah. A friend of mine gave me a book of world war one poems and it was really, it was all written by soldiers in the war. It was really fascinating. So yeah, don’t. I did not expect today to be plugging poetry, but hey, it’s definitely worth taking a look. There’s some good stuff out there.

JJ: 01:07:14 So this is my favorite part of podcasts. Where were you just like, we get on a subject and keep going on. It was. What’s crazy is that we’ve been talking for an hour and 20 minutes already and we should probably wrap it up here. Probably lost half of our listeners at this point. Oh no, no, no. We’re actually going to go have some dinner after this. So we gotta wrap it up. Here’s the question I wanted to ask you. So linkedin is a digital platform, right? We’re surrounded by all these digital platforms and what we know I think I feel pretty comfortable saying this is that, you know, we as humans are humans are pack animals and we need like interpersonal connection, right? You get connection in, in one form online, but probably the most important form is offline connection. So as someone who lives in this world of digital connection and technology, how do you stay connected to other people personally and had. And have you had to like be mindful about.

Dan: 01:08:11 Yes, doing that. So one quick thing before I answer that question because I will say that more so than the other social platforms. I think on instagram it’s easy to just like somebodies photo on facebook, it’s easy to, you know, you get reminded when it’s their birthday and you get this flood of birthday messages from people you’ve never heard from him since high school. Got it right. Thanks. That’s very meaningful. I think linkedin actually breeds more true interpersonal connections because the things that people are coming to talk about and like it’s really becoming a place where people give and get help and so you’ll see in our news feed people all the time I’m seeing veterans, whether it’s in our newsfeed or there’s this group called the veteran mentor network, which is like kind of our primary veterans support group if you will. I’m like dead where people are just saying, hey, I’m struggling with this connection or are we with this transition?

Dan: 01:09:02 Excuse me, or I don’t know how to get into the tech industry. I don’t know how to get into, you know, I really want to work at a wells fargo wherever. Right? Like, does it, can anybody give me any advice? Or people just coming in and saying, hey, I’m new to this. Can anybody take a look at my linkedin profile? And I think a lot of those connections turn into actual meaningful relationships in a way that you don’t see on the other platforms. Because not too many people go. I mean now they’ve got like their fundraiser tool and things like that, but not too many people go to facebook saying, can someone help me with x? You don’t go to instagram to ask the same. And so I think that one I’ll push back to say simply that there’s considerably more meaningful connections on linkedin then then elsewhere and I’d say that if I didn’t work there because I’ve actually really been moved by some of the things that I’ve seen transpire to though absolutely.

Dan: 01:09:47 Like it requires deliberate focus. I think the modern professional as we were talking about this earlier, just so hyper overscheduled that sometimes it really requires you setting aside deliberate time on your calendar to see old friends or to reach out to people or to make sure that their birthdays are on your calendar so that you’re calling them or I don’t know if you know liz. Oh, from pat tillman foundation. She just moved to denver and started a new job with the tech company and she was asking me for some advice when she was going through the process and she accepted the job offer and she told me what her first day was and she’s a wonderful person. She’s one of those really phenomenal humans that you just want to like invest in. Right. And I was like, in that moment, I thought to myself, right that first day on your calendar and that morning I saw a thing that said lizzo herons first day and I sent her a text message saying, hey liz, I know you’re going to kill it today.

Dan: 01:10:43 Good luck. And she’s like, wow, that was so nice of you. That’s so meaningful. And I don’t say it to say like, oh look at me. I’m a good guy. But like when you can catch yourself and remind yourself like maintaining relationships requires effort. That effort sometimes requires I am addicted to my calendar. Like everything I do. I figured out how many, like how many minutes it was going to take me to drive from one of my last meeting was to hear and that was blocked on my calendar so I made sure that it was managed. So for me it very much. It’s put stuff on my calendar, but sometimes this sounds super cheesy. There are people that I met, maybe I don’t have that much time to like catch up with people or whatever during the day. Some days I’ll wake up and I’ll just be like, you know what?

Dan: 01:11:22 I haven’t talked to chris in a while and I’ll just send them a note saying, hey buddy, just saying hi. I hope you have a great day. Right. It’s those little things that like I think a text message is doing that is a little more meaningful than the happy birthday once in high school. But like it, it really does just require, you know, deliberate effort to keep in touch with people because I think for us, we’ve moved around so much, like my college friends are all over the world and I got friends that are still in the army there in europe and in africa and the middle east and everywhere. It’s like it means a lot to people sometimes just to say hi and check in on them.

JJ: 01:11:56 Say something I do. I try to do it every day. It doesn’t always happen every day is I try to. The first thing that I do when I come in and sit down at the office is I wrote a thank you note to someone. Oh wow. Just to takes five minutes that they very long

Dan: 01:12:09 jimmy found music playing in the background.

JJ: 01:12:11 No, I don’t. And honestly at this point it makes me honestly, it’s self serving because it makes me feel good. But I should have started keeping track of who I sent them to because now I’ll kind of keep a list. Name will come to me and I’ll write it down on this. I usually use google. Keep and I just will kind of pull names off it, but now I’m like, did I write that person a note before? I don’t remember. You know, I get into that kind of thing, but it’s something that makes me, I don’t know, I just did something that I try to do it because I know that I appreciate it when someone does something thoughtful for me and so I try to

Dan: 01:12:45 what I mean this, this sounds dumb, but like the simple thing, like we’re so used to texting as a communications platform now that like when your friend is struggling and they’re texting you just call right? And what I actually been learned ironically from you guys because whenever I do, do you mean with you guys? It was always via google hangout when everyone else. This was what I was at ivmf every other organization that was always conference calls and I realized how easy it is to disengage on a phone call. And so my thing, my parents still live in chicago, I routine is every sunday we talk it’s probably for about an hour or so. That’s just how we keep in touch. We don’t really text during the week every now and then here and there, like there, she still wants to it. My mom still wants to know when I landed back in san francisco for my trip to Kentucky, she knows I’m still alive, but for the most part once a week we talk and I noticed, I think it was when I moved to san francisco, something about the time shift, like this was in my afternoon and it was their evening and something about that.

Dan: 01:13:44 Like it just changed the dynamic of the call and I was like, you know, we’re going to switch to facetime and now my parents and I sit in front of a screen and look at each other and it’s like you can’t fake that conversation. Right? Like my dad goes on and on about the weather. Like I can’t go start doing laundry while he’s talking and you know, basically put them on mute. So he hasn’t heard the dryer can. Right. Like your. I’ll tell them, hey, I got to go switch loads of laundry. I walk out

JJ: 01:14:12 of the room and I come back, you know, some more meaningful thing. I was telling someone this story yesterday. Do you know the podcast serial? Everybody knows that. So the boat bergdahl. Yeah. So the guy who was the Afghanistan expert in there, his name is jason dempsey. Do you know jason? I know that name. Yeah. So he, uh, he’s one of these like 10 pound brain guys, super smart, former infantry officer, columbia and cns and bunch of other places. So there’s, one of my favorite things that ever happened is, is there’s this part of the podcast where the host is asking him these real, like detailed questions about Afghanistan at that. And uh, and she, she stopped me. She said this is like on the air on npr. And she says, are you doing dishes? Right? Yes. Yes. You get a silence that he says a yes. And even like he’s live on the air and like the biggest podcast in the history of podcasts. Right. And like he’s doing dishes, right? He’s multitasking.

Dan: 01:15:11 Well, I know we’re probably far overtime here. Tip for a veteran job seekers. If you’re doing a phone screen with somebody, do not be doing this. Happened to us where we were trying to, like we’re recruiting people and we were on the phone with these people doing phone screens and you could hear like multiple people doing dishes in the back and you’re like, well this person doesn’t want the job. Right. So sit down and do the focused. I mean, I’m at a tangent here, but like focused deliberate effort, not just on getting a job, but obviously like actual relationships is how you keep these things up.

JJ: 01:15:40 We do video, we do video for everything we still do. It’s part of our culture to include hiring. Right? So it’s no phone screens. It’s like a video screen. Yeah. Um, we, we, we have outgrown google hangouts or on zoom now just because we have too many people. You’ll do. It’s crazy to me. You will. I, we, we did a video, the world’s shortest screen. I promise you a person was holding their phone up while they were driving down the road. And if first. No they were. I wouldn’t have done it if they were driving. It was they were in the passenger seat and going, going down the road and it was like, this is clear, this, this clearly is not important enough for you to take this, this, this serious. So I don’t know. It’s just crazy. To me it’s like you think take a, doing a job interview by holding your phone, going down the road in the car and allowed car is like, I don’t know what message you’re trying to send, but the one I received was that you don’t really care about this job. Yeah,

Dan: 01:16:38 yeah. Well the end, to go back to your question, the message you send is you don’t really care about this relationship either, if that’s what, if that’s how you trade. Keeping in touch with people, whether it’s your family or your significant other or anything. It requires effort and I think to be honest, I’ve. That’s something I’ve struggled with because I, I’ve in my posts, service life, I’ve put a whole lot more focus on building out my work life than my personal life. And so I think sometimes it’s like you get a gut check moments where it’s like, yeah, that’s more important right now, like you need focus on, on, you know, the people in your life and not hitting the next rung or you know, reaching the brass ring or whatever analogy you want to want to go with. So, um,

JJ: 01:17:19 yeah, so self leading, right? But people aren’t. Hopefully that’s the goal

Dan: 01:17:25 way to wrap up for an rsvp packet.

JJ: 01:17:28 That’s a perfect way to route people matter. So I have a question I feel obligated to ask because I ask everyone is the last question on the podcast. So, and I’d love to get your perspective. So it’s a leadership question. Yep. So the question is, what is the most important that a lesson that a leader has ever taught you in your life? Now I’m going to talk a little bit and let you think about it. So some people will have a moment, like a crucible moment. Like this thing happened to me and I learned this thing and some people wouldn’t be like, oh hey, I’ve, I’ve, I’ve had good and bad leaders and I’ve learned this, this dramatic thing over the course of my life. But you know, you’ve had a chance to, to do different things in different industries. So I’d love to hear if you had something that stands out to you. So that’s the question. The most important lesson.

Dan: 01:18:10 The reason we’re at an hour and a half, it’s probably because I said can I have to. Whenever we’ve asked me these things is there’s yes. One was an army one, right? Very straightforward. The last training exercise before deployment, battalion level operation, my platoon was the first into the, you know, and we were at the training area in Germany. These guys like the app for the opposing forces like professional bad guys, right? Like they know the place in and out. They know exactly how to destroy you. My platoon was the first one in for the entire battalion and like they just sucked us into this engagement area and like split us up and just decimate the port. You know, we’re doing like with miles gear, right? So for those who don’t know, miles garrett’s basically army laser tag, like the world’s worst laser tag and get this beeper on your shoulder that like when you’re dead, it just beeps until someone, like, one of the referees comes over and goes, okay, just lay there.

Dan: 01:19:01 You’re dead. Right? It was like, this chorus of my platoon was just destroyed and I took it so hard, like it was so personal to me that I had let this happen. I was beating myself up and I was like, how are these guys going to trust me in two months to take them into actual combat when this is like, this is what I, you know, and obviously like it was a multipronged like how this happened. But to me at the time was like, when this is what I have done, right. And the most important thing in the last, you know, last day, last exercise and afterwards, like the battle goes on and we met evaced everybody out or whatever. More like the casualty control point or whatever. Um, I’ve forgotten my army terms. I think that’s the ccp. Yeah, and there was like seven guys left.

Dan: 01:19:46 That alone puts you into like 46. Right. And so my boss pulls me over my company commander and he was not the most. He did not have what we would say is like bedside manner, right. He was not the softest. He pulled me aside and he’s like, what happened? Right. And I told them and I was like very much beating myself up when I was describing this and he stopped me and he said, damn, in this profession we can’t afford to have bad days. No one’s going to lead them but us. And it was like, I don’t know if you’re in zero dark 30. There’s that scene in the movie where there’s like the suicide bomber at the checkpoints and the guys, there is no other work in group. There is no secret cell at langley that’s going to come save us. That was the first like gut check, like your back is against the wall and you have no choice but to pick your ass up and lead. And it was like, I think about that all the time in a job like that I have now. It’s always like, man, I don’t want to have to get on that plane and fly to wherever or I don’t want to have to do x, y, z. And it’s like, if you don’t, no one will. And that just like really imbued me with this. I don’t know if that’s the right word, but with this sense of ownership of the work I do,

JJ: 01:20:57 I think about that as a parent with all the time. I can’t imagine similarly it, it’s just kind of like, especially when you have these little tiny babies and it’s like I, you know, my wife obviously we’re, we’re as a team, but like I just think like it’s just like you will protect you, you’ll do whatever you can to make sure that these kids have what they need. Right. Yeah.

Dan: 01:21:16 The other one is a, is a more interpersonal.

JJ: 01:21:20 Before we go to the next one, I’ve seen like you’ve ever listened to the ted talks radio hour. No. So you for a ted talks though, right? Yeah. So npr does a podcast called the ted talks radio hour where they take, they’ll pick a theme like say space and they’ll grab like highlights from maybe four or five ted talks. They’ll interview the authors and kind of weave it all together. So there’s one on leadership and so there’s a, there’s a ted mcchrystal that is part of the one on leadership and he tells a story that happened at ntc that’s identical to the last.

Dan: 01:21:49 It was company accidentally gotten their units decimated,

JJ: 01:21:53 but it was just kinda, he tells her this at like he could have been just like crushed by, by the leader and that that person who is also hard ass took that moment to kind of give him some tough love, but also to build him back up because he was, had, was being really hard on himself. Like the stories almost identical. So you and mcchrystal, you and stan,

Dan: 01:22:14 we’ve got a lot of common. Yeah. Now the other one is basically just when I was at ivmf leadership and civilian life is very different as you know. And I had to learn that over it. It takes a couple of years to really kind of hone my, my civilian leadership style and there was a like one employee who is just incredibly frustrating to me and like I was building this program and had a couple of partners that want to kind of the leadership team and one of these guys took me aside and he said, you know, dan, like when I, whenever I see someone, you know, a team member of mine, like behaving in a way that I don’t find productive or whatever, he always reminds himself. Someone made them that way. And what he meant by that was someone taught them that habit. Someone taught them that behavior and it’s on us to teach them a different behavior.

Dan: 01:23:00 Right? And so you can be frustrated with them or you can say, I don’t want this person on my team anymore or wherever the case may be, but like, because of the way other people have treated this person, they’re behaving that way. And I think that goes back to kids and that goes to employees and teammates and everything else. But it really gave me a greater sense of it. But the to some extent, and like certainly there are times when people just aren’t cutting it and it’s like this isn’t gonna work out whatever the case may be, but to try to like take a step back and say, all right, do we within the objective that we’re trying to achieve, do we have the flexibility to make this a teaching moment and make this a kelp realign this person’s approach to their job or this project or whatever the case may be. And so yeah, no one’s going, but us and someone made them that way were the two biggest ones I picked up also men. Well dan, it’s been awesome. Of course. Yes, I agree. There’s been a lot of fun.

JJ: 01:23:53 Yeah, I truly appreciate it. Thanks so much for all you do. Yeah, go check him out on linkedin and if you’re a veteran, if you’re not a veteran, go get on linkedin. There’s tremendous amount of great potential for you out there. So. And we have awesome leaders like dan. They’re helping make it better. So we’re going to shake hands across the table. You can’t hear it. Thanks buddy. Thank you.