[00:00:00] Jon Rom: Character coaching is an exploration coaching principles applied to fictional characters by the host. Any likeness to real people or situations is coincidental. And none of the advice given is intended to take the place of real coaching. Learn more about getting accessible coaching at thejournalthattalksback.com.
[00:00:21] Jonathan Friedman: I'm Jonathan
[00:00:22] Jon Rom: and I'm John
and this is Character Coaching, coaching character, ching ching ching ching ching
Jonathan. I have a question for you.
[00:00:38] Jonathan Friedman: Hello, Jonathan. I'm obliged to answer.
[00:00:40] Jon Rom: By law.
[00:00:41] Jonathan Friedman: Yes, by law.
[00:00:42] Jon Rom: So actually by law, because we are Canadian as avid listeners of the show will know, uh, we also have to have a French version of this podcast and I was wondering, uh, how does the French version of me sound take your time?
[00:01:04] Jonathan Friedman: Oh, here's what it would be. It would be the most American.
[00:01:07] Jon Rom: French sounding.
[00:01:08] Jonathan Friedman: It would be like an American accent, really thick, big words, but saying French,
[00:01:16] Jon Rom: like bonjour.
[00:01:18] Jonathan Friedman: Bonjour, je suis Jonathan.
[00:01:21] Jon Rom: Oh man. And then cómo se llama? Because now you're saying,
oh man, do they, do you think, do you think, is there is the advice as cogent and Germaine and aerodyne in the French version as, as ours is?
[00:01:39] Jonathan Friedman: Well, all you have to do now is say c’est cogent, and now it's French.
[00:01:45] Jon Rom: That's the best part of French. Isn't it? That it's the same language as English.
You just have to preface everything with le and la
[00:01:52] Jonathan Friedman: la cogent, uh, sains l'eau, la parabola.
[00:01:58] Jon Rom: This is only, this is only funny for people who took French. I just realized.
And we know, sorry, not people who took French, only people who took French in Canadian schools and didn't have it stick at all.
[00:02:09] Jonathan Friedman: Hey, that's not a bad thing.
We know our niche. That's, you know, our audience listeners out there. We see you. We hear you. We've received requests to do more bits on a being French, talking about beaver tails. Uh, they are very, very yummy and use more French language in our show. So, I know a podcast can see one-sided but we see you.
[00:02:33] Jon Rom: We had, we had, uh, uh, all of our instructors, um, introduce themselves as Madame, Mademoiselle Monsieur.
But, um, do you think they did that, like when they were going to, uh, the grocery store, like, are they hitting up stovies and being like, all right, ma'am that'll be, uh, pardon? Madame.
[00:02:54] Jonathan Friedman: I think they'd have to. You know, imagine going now, you know, now things are opening up a bit. You go to a bar, you they're like sir ID Madam ID.
And it's like, no, no, no, Madame, Madame
[00:03:08] Jon Rom: that's so much of the magic gone If the moment you leave the building of a school, you instantly become, um, like Mr. White, when you spent the whole day as being Monsieur Blanc.
[00:03:22] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, it's, it's one of the things we talk a lot about on the show really, right?
Is who are these people who are these characters? Where are they coming from? And, you know, are they like that all the time? You know, the kayfabe of French people of French speakers, the kayfabe of French speakers.
[00:03:40] Jon Rom: The secret lives of French teachers. I believe that, bud.
[00:03:43] Jonathan Friedman: I think it's good. And it's exactly that, you know, you spend that entire day
5 6, 7 French classes that you're teaching a day. You go for lunch, you have your Croque madame of course. What else would you have lunch with?
[00:03:55] Jon Rom: You have a croque-monsieur some days just to be a follow crazy.
[00:03:58] Jonathan Friedman: You end off the day at a bar and they're like another, sir? And you're like, please, you know, you don't correct them.
There's no more monsieur it just is what it is. It is what it is.
[00:04:08] Jon Rom: Uh, a Monsieur in the streets. I don't know how to finish that joke. I don't think that joke has an end.
[00:04:14] Jonathan Friedman: Monsieur in the streets. It just sounds like the beginning of a Robert Frost poem.
[00:04:20] Jon Rom: I, I thought Robert, no, not Robert Frost. Who's that?
Who's that cat that we always read his books in, who wrote 50 below. Cause I was a hundred percent sure that, that, that guy who wrote, um, all those kids books uh, Robert Munsch?
[00:04:35] Jonathan Friedman: Robert Munsch yeah.
[00:04:37] Jon Rom: I thought he only wrote in French because those books never came out, came up organically in any sort of class, other than French class.
[00:04:46] Jonathan Friedman: Robert Munch was the man. I remember being in grade one and Mrs. Leibovich's English class. And he's like, oh yeah, guys, today, there's a very special author coming to the school. His name is Robert Munch. And my grade 1, 5, and 6-year-old head was like Munch. That means the food's coming. But no, it was like a real human being who writes books.
And this was at the time, I don't even think my household had dial-up internet yet. And just the fact that this author was coming to the school, our little Jewish school in Toronto to, you know, read us a book and give us what was it, Laffy Taffys. And we all got to read the jokes to each other. Those were the days.
[00:05:28] Jon Rom: That's a missed opportunity to call that activity Lunch with Munsch.
[00:05:32] Jonathan Friedman: Lunch with Munsch
yeah, that, that wasn't it. That was not what they called it, but that's a, he should've done a book tour and gone to every single Chapter Indigo, and Kohl's in each jurisdiction, each urban center of Canada, and there's like six of them. So that's a big tour.
[00:05:49] Jon Rom: Yeah.
[00:05:49] Jonathan Friedman: Lunch with Munsch.
[00:05:52] Jon Rom: Lunch with Munsch coming to a Jewish day school near you.
[00:05:56] Jonathan Friedman: And there's like three of those.
So yeah, a good tour. And it's like, he writes his copy for, um, you know, the newspaper because newspapers are a huge endeavor at that time. And he would, you know, it would say something like, do you have a hunch that there's a lunch with Munsch? It would catch on fast. That's a lot.
[00:06:14] Jon Rom: I would, I would go to that today.
There was a function with Robert Munsch is Robert Munsch. I'm almost afraid to ask. Is Robert Munsch still with us?
[00:06:23] Jonathan Friedman: Hold up, Monsieur Munsch?
[00:06:25] Jon Rom: Monsieur? Yeah. Sorry. Monsieur Munsch um, I mean he has the right to correct people. I feel like he can stop people in the street. Uh, and, and even if they weren't talking to him, it'd be like, no, no, no.
[00:06:41] Jonathan Friedman: Uh, Robert Munsch is still around and you know, he's a bestseller. He has his official website, a paper bag princess, love you forever. Um, I was so mad, the little critter story, some big, big hits for all our listeners.
[00:06:56] Jon Rom: It's dawning on me that I only knew one Robert Munsch book going into this conversation because none of those sound familiar to me, maybe I would recognize them if you read their French titles.
[00:07:05] Jonathan Friedman: Let's see what I can find.
[00:07:07] Jon Rom: Yeah. Find me, find me a little bit, break me off a piece of that much help. Help me become part of the Munsch squad, the Munsch bunch, uh, the Munsch bunch, a bunch.
[00:07:20] Jonathan Friedman: Oh man. Uh, let me see. I can't find the French ones. Oh, here we go. Je t'aimerai Toujours.
Le Mondi de Munsch, le bébé .If any of our listeners who we, you know, hyped up before talking about how much we care about, uh, you know, friends and just hearing me say any of these names, I'm very, very sorry.
[00:07:43] Jon Rom: Mon Dieu they are butchering my language sexy. They're there. Yeah, exactly. There, I went more offensive than you did, so you're, you're good.
[00:07:52] Jonathan Friedman: It's crazy that we spend so much time in school, literally, at least 10 years of school. Learning a language and most of us just didn't get it.
[00:08:03] Jon Rom: You know what I didn't learn in school?
[00:08:05] Jonathan Friedman: Is it French?
[00:08:07] Jon Rom: That too, but also had to make a transition seamless into reading a journal entry. And so that's why I'm just going to go right into it.
I got one here, I got on here. It's a, it's a, it's a spicy one. I'm excited, to share it with you. Are you ready?
[00:08:26] Jonathan Friedman: I see it as among my favorite flavor notes, so I can't wait to hear this one.
[00:08:31] Jon Rom: We're talking spicy. We're talking zesty. We're talking, uh, French umami, umami. Oh, you got it. Oh, crush. Well, umami and unagi
All right. So this one, this journal post is called teenagers with attitude and it was written to us by Zordon then leave the last name and Zordon writes to us.
Leading a team of Rangers seems like a straightforward job most of the time, I keep my ears to the ground for trouble. Give them their orders and provide them with technical support.
Easy. There's just one problem. I work almost exclusively with teenagers. It's essentially a bonafide requirement for the job. Their youthful energy and uncorrupted minds are necessary for this whole system to work. I even go so far as to say that I found the best my local community has to offer. They volunteer, do well in school are athletic, and have tons of potential.
But at the end of the day, they're still teenagers. Moody, whiny, emotional, confused, indecisive gullible,u uncooperative,e and above all needy. So, so needy, I even went so far as to build alpha five and AI specifically designed to help me deal with their problems and address their needs as my employees.
Despite this, they still treat me like I'm supposed to magically solve all their problems. Zordon where do we find power crystals? Zordon when are we getting new Zords? Zordon can you be my real dad? It gets worse . Since it has to be teenagers for the position, there's a revolving door of employees.
I put so much time, effort, and energy into training and nurturing these kids. And then I have to replace them within a couple of seasons. I don't know if I can keep doing this. I feel burned out and yet the fight continues and that's a post called teenagers with attitude by Zordon and Johnny Hachi Machi, can you relieve the spicy? The zestiness?
[00:10:45] Jonathan Friedman: I don't even know where to start like there's so much going on here. It's it sounds like Zordon is spicy. It sounds like those teenagers are spicy.
Um, you know, Zordon it's going to be daddy, but who's who mommy. Uh, there are a lot of flavors that I don't yet understand.
[00:11:09] Jon Rom: Jonathan. Have you ever worked with teenagers? When was the last time you were working with teenagers, uh, uh, with attitude?
[00:11:17] Jonathan Friedman: Well, I mean, I spend a lot of time with myself.
[00:11:24] Jon Rom: Are you a, are you a teenager?
[00:11:25] Jonathan Friedman: I am a mean teen I, I would say that, uh, I agree with Zordon over here. The fight continues. So I'm, I'm w how many seasons. Okay. A few questions before we even get into any of the real business here, how come it has to be teenagers? Like there's a whole world of people who are probably, you know, athletic.
Why, why not? Why not a pull from the Olympics? Why not do any of that? Why does it have to be teenagers?
[00:11:58] Jon Rom: So I think, I think this, this is a very valuable lesson when coaching, because you really, you got to assume not just positive intent, but that the person who claims to have a level of expertise about their job, which I assume this person does is, uh, is telling the truth.
You know, like if it was as simple as replacing them with, with non-teenagers, I'm sure that would be in the, in the realm of possibility. So, let's just say, Zordon doesn't make it super clear why it has to be teenagers, but he does, he does go, or they go as far as to say that it is a bonafide requirement for the job and then goes to explain what their, uh, What they, what they need to be in terms of where their personality needs to be like.
So we know, we know that you need young, enthusiastic, athletic, um, uh, spry and, and, and excited exuberant young folk to do this job. And, unfortunately, Zordon seems to be getting the short end of the stick when it comes to the trade-off of that, which is that being young comes with a whole lot of baggage.
[00:13:14] Jonathan Friedman: So basically I'm being judgmental. I'm still a mean teen.
[00:13:17] Jon Rom: I mean, you are the mean teen of this podcast. I think we've, uh, we have established that, uh, well, well, well, into the, into the, uh, catalog, you can, you can pick up on hints of you being the extreme mean teen, uh, that we see today.
[00:13:34] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, you're always trying to bring up good coaching advice that I'm like shut, shut up, Jon.
Like, nobody wants to hear that.
[00:13:39] Jon Rom: "you're not my real cohost" is this also reminds me of how, um, how easy it is to forget like what it's like to be, uh, on the other end of this, uh, problem where you are working, maybe your first job ever. And you're still, you know, you're, you're still developing into who you're going to be.
And yet you're expected to have like a fair bit of responsibility and some, you know, some people are happy to help you out and answer your questions, but some people have their f going on. And then you go to these managers that just don't feel like they're up to the task, of being a guiding force.
[00:14:22] Jonathan Friedman: What was your first, you know, a real job?
[00:14:26] Jon Rom: Oh, gosh, my first?
[00:14:28] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, we're bringing it up.
[00:14:29] Jon Rom: My first real job. I think if we don't count that time, I, I, I, uh, renovated houses with my dad then it's probably going to be, um, working for our friend's dad at a guitar shop or working at, um, Green Acre is what you also worked at.
[00:14:54] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. It's funny how we keep circling into each other's lives.
[00:14:58] Jon Rom: It's almost like we've known each other for many, many years.
Man. That's, it's incredible.
[00:15:04] Jonathan Friedman: We get these journals and part of coaching is we're behind our clients 100 bazillion percent, but I like your idea of people don't live in vacuums.
[00:15:21] Jon Rom: I read that name and I assumed it was the Zordon.
[00:15:26] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, it could be. I started, I was taken from the french.
[00:15:30] Jon Rom: Le, le Zordon.
[00:15:33] Jonathan Friedman: Monsieur Zordon.
Um, one of the things is, yeah, the, we don't know how these teenagers feel. Maybe there's like a weird, strange relationship. We don't know what their job is like. Sure, Zordon is barking orders. It sounds like, but we don't know what these teens are going through a day today.
Do they like receiving orders? Have we ever met a teenager who was like, oh yeah, sure? Give me more instructions. I love that.
[00:16:03] Jon Rom: Well, the funny thing is, is that based on how he is presenting his, uh, employees, they seem very fond of, uh, absorbed on they fit. They seem very fond of his, uh, of his guidance.
They're always asking him questions. Uh, maybe he was kidding, but can you be my real dad? Like, he's probably, he's probably at least a little bit of a father figure here where they, uh, they trust his guidance. And that's a big responsibility. It's an exhausting responsibility because you don't want to mess that up.
You know, he may take this job incredibly seriously. That's why he's, he's kind of, he's kind of venting to us a little bit.
[00:16:45] Jonathan Friedman: So even though, it seems like there's been a lot of time that Zordon has spent building up this relationship with these teenagers, they have a good working relationship.
A bit, but because of, you know, the strain because of overtime, you know, that there's that slow-wave that slowly chiseling and chiseling that sand away, it sounds like Zordon is a bit, you know, it has a very negative perception of almost about his employees. They're moody, they're whiny, they're emotional, they're confused.
They're indecisive or gullible. It sounds like the same traits that he wants in a way from those teens he's, uh, he's bitter about.
[00:17:30] Jon Rom: Yeah. Yeah. I I'm, I'm inclined to agree with you. It is a conundrum, but you know, and, but we're also, we're also, again, we're assuming a lot, we're assuming a lot, we can't help it because there's the, he, it's such a rich, it's such a rich vein that your, your, your mind goes wild.
And also we have our own experiences. Like you asked me what my first job was. What was your first, uh, job as a teen?
[00:17:55] Jonathan Friedman: Um, worked at a couple of summer camps. And then I worked at Canada's wonderland.
[00:18:00] Jon Rom: Gosh, I also worked there. I worked there too no, that was a bad job. I got chewed out a lot. I was, I refused to stand all day.
They were, you weren't allowed to say it at all. That was rough.
[00:18:18] Jonathan Friedman: So we worked there about 12 years ago since then there's like new ownership. They changed things a lot. I go to Canada's Wonderland all the time, but man, that job then it all, it was, it was ng else I had, I remember I had a 12-hour workday once where I had a half an hour or sorry, it was an 11 hour and 45-minute Workday so that they only had to give me one half-hour break.
I remember running from the drop zone, all the way to the staff hut, where I could buy my one cold slice of pizza to then run back in the pouring rain and thunder to be strapping people into this ride and it was a man. I was at that time, the mean teen I remember I've, I've had a beard since I was 17, but I would have had a beard from when I was 16 if it weren't for Wonderland.
Because every time I would come in with even the slightest stubble, the slightest stubble, they would send me to the washroom with the dollar store razor and dollar store shaving cream to shave. Man. I just want to, I want to look rugged you know?
[00:19:33] Jon Rom: I got to, I'm going to, I'm going to reveal something to you, Jonathan.
[00:19:37] Jonathan Friedman: Please.
[00:19:37] Jon Rom: You were, you were 16.
You would not have looked rugged either way.
[00:19:42] Jonathan Friedman: You're right. I think I was still rocking urban planet graphic tees that that time.
[00:19:47] Jon Rom: I, I, I'm almost certain you were if memory serves, but the here now here's my question to you. Have you, um, since had the flip side occurred to you, and have you had to manage a team?
[00:20:01] Jonathan Friedman: Uh, yeah. Well, I've, I've done that actually for a bit. I've done that when I was a child youth worker. Um, I'm doing that now with The Journal that Talks Back in a few ways, but the interesting thing is I think. And I think this is an important concept and it's called contrast, it's when you experience something that you don't like those experiences are often like extra sketched into your mind.
Again, diving back to millennials when they were three playing with extra sketches, other people might not know what the heck that is. But it's a drawing board where it's like, you, you draw with these like nods and then you can like shake it and it goes away, but still, there's always kind of a Merck there.
It doesn't perfectly erase and it becomes extra in your mind, these negative experiences, at least behind that little trail. And it kind of sticks with you in that way and a lot of us take those negative experiences to heart, but one of the things that I've learned through coaching and therapy is that looking at those experiences and contrasting them and saying, but what do I want in my experience as a leader? What are the things that I didn't like that I can do a better job at? And for me, the barking orders and the looking at my team is like, you know, subordinates in a way isn't, that is not my style.
I like having uh, an ice-cold beer with my, with my teammates and talking about the stuff that's, that's going on. I like being personal. I like hearing what's going on and that's kind of been, you know, Jon, I'm not sure if anybody agrees, but that's kind of been my leadership style. It's chilled.
[00:21:43] Jon Rom: You are, you are the slow bass guitar, uh, in the restaurant of, of, of bosses.
[00:21:53] Jonathan Friedman: How many bass guitars are in restaurants? Who's just playing solo bass guitar in a restaurant?
[00:21:59] Jon Rom: Are they just hiring a bass player to go, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom, boom. And it's and it's so slow and rhythmic that you just stopped noticing that it's there, but you know that if you needed a, uh, something to carry the silence, they would be there for you.
Just boom, dome, dome, Dum bom dum.
[00:22:16] Jonathan Friedman: I'm down with that. Yeah. I've never seen it before, but I'm down to be that.
[00:22:21] Jon Rom: Well, you're not going clearly. You're not going to cool enough restaurants
[00:22:24] Jonathan Friedman: Damn ice-cold gram gram.
[00:22:28] Jon Rom: I think you, um, I think you've brought up something very important where it's, uh, you know, one has the opportunity to look back at their experiences.
And now that they're in a position of power, to be the kind of boss that they would have wanted. And it makes me wonder, and I think it's, I think it's, uh, one of the questions I want to ask, uh Zordon is. Why did he take this job originally? Like what was the, what was the impetus? What, brought him into this line of work?
Because, you know, it's, it's not going to be for everyone, but, um, maybe when he first started, it was a very exciting prospect and something has changed.
[00:23:13] Jonathan Friedman: That's uh, that's interesting. And I think it's really important to note that as coaches, it's not our job to sit in the past forever. We're not saying why, why did you take the job?
You know, we're going to spend the next thousand years' worth of journals, just hanging around that. We're looking at the past to get a bit of data, to understand, you know, a bit of that decision-making process. Because as we know, a lot of that kind of stuff sits in our minds and it affects a lot of the way we fill and do things in the present.
So, we want to look at that data and then kind of look at it now to say, okay, where's this happening? How can we shift it up a bit? How can we leverage contrast? How can we leverage, you know, maybe other external resources to make Zordon the, the leader that he needs to be, how he needs to be because no leader can do everything by themselves.
That is a recipe for burnout. That's like throwing a thousand different ingredients. You're putting rice, you're putting the cheese whiz, you're putting spicy chicken nuggets. You're putting the Schezwan sauce. You're putting tofu.
[00:24:27] Jon Rom: God, you're making me hungry. Stop I'm salivating.
[00:24:31] Jonathan Friedman: But, um, you know, it's taking all of those things and putting in a, in a, in a, in a wok and an expecting it to taste like a really, really, really good meal instead often a good meal, especially if we're unsafe, you know, like we're learning to be a chef is really about getting close to, you know, just a steak, adding a little bit of seasoning and letting it just sit in the pan and letting it do its thing and making a steak is probably a pretty good recipe style for looking at leadership.
You want to look at who you are as an ingredient in your team. And in Zordon's case, it sounds like he's a super-powerful resource to fall back on. And it's just about, you know, adding a little bit of spice and letting his team cook, letting them do their thing. Well, he kind of just does what he needs to do.
And maybe, and I, I have a hunch. This is one of your other questions, not because I have a script in front of me, but because I have a hunch and that is that, um, a hunch about the Munsch lunch, which is that what other external resources, can Zordon, Zordan, Monsieur Zordon bring into his team other than alpha five to, you know, help make this vision of the better world better for him.
[00:25:58] Jon Rom: Yeah. Yeah. That's a good question. You know, ay ay ay a that's a good question. Cause, cause you know, the obvious answer does appear to hire another manager, get some help. Um, and, and we should be asking why hasn't, why hasn't Zordon done that, you know, or maybe he has that's the, uh, that's the next part of the story here?
Uh, I think, I think that there's so much we could talk about here, but I do want to know, I want to know a little bit more about the story, so I'm gonna, I'm gonna, uh, cap it for now. I'm going to say I'm going to reply to the post and then hopefully we're going to get a nice answer that kind of clarifies and gives us context and, and seasons of the state.
[00:26:45] Jonathan Friedman: Context. Hey, that sounds pretty delicious.
[00:26:52] Jon Rom: q q power, power rock valid.
so, uh, we did get a response from Zordon to let's settle with Zordon. Zordon did send a response and it's, and it's pretty zesty too. Um, and it reads:
It feels like thousands of years ago, but I used to work this job with a bunch of my friends. As I grew older, my former colleagues moved on and I stuck around because I couldn't stand by and let the responsibility of fighting evil fall to whoever just happened to be around. Since then, I have tried giving the job away countless times, but somehow it always comes back to me.
Everyone comes in thinking they're a gift to humanity and then quits once they've done one season's worth of work. Someday, I will have to move on as well. And I think that thought fills me with the most dread. These kids need someone who can give them advice, show them the ropes and put up with their nonsense.
And Jonathan it's dawning on me. Uh, I thought he was talking about being a forest ranger this entire time-fighting evil. Well, it could still be a forest ranger. Is, would you call fires, evil? Fighting fires, preventing fires, doing the work of good.
[00:28:15] Jonathan Friedman: I would say it is Smokey. The bear has been saying that for eons, but, my concern is that Smokey's gone rogue.
We've been hearing reports here in Canada from the forested areas in British Columbia and Ontario, the great Canadian shields that Smokey the bear has been lighting his fires. And it sounds like Zordon you know, that's, that's Zordon's arch-nemesis.
[00:28:41] Jon Rom: Well, he does have that hot temper,
[00:28:44] Jonathan Friedman: Smokey the bear who you see him from a mile, you can hear him, you can see him from a mile away that not up, not a pleasant figure.
You know, it was, it was one thing when he used to be the voice on television saying, yeah, we had cable back then friends where Smokey came on and said, "don't do forest fires, don't put don't, don't create forest fires. Nobody likes them." Uh, 'cause he's a bear and that's how bears talk but.
[00:29:11] Jon Rom: Is that, was that a direct quote from the commercial?
[00:29:14] Jonathan Friedman: This was a direct quote. I, you think I'm making this stuff up? I'm, Jon, I
[00:29:19] Jon Rom: You never made it here, right? Of course.
[00:29:20] Jonathan Friedman: You know what? I’m, I'm going rogue. I'm going to find a new podcast host. I'm... enough of this. Smacktalk.
[00:29:26] Jon Rom: I forgot. We took, I forgot. We took that improv class together and you kept on looking after the stage and yelling line.
[00:29:34] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. Improv is hard. Improv is. But what's not hard is remembering the wise words of smokey, the bear and
[00:29:44] Jon Rom: which are, which are?
[00:29:46] Jonathan Friedman: Again.
[00:29:47] Jon Rom: Yeah. Gimme, gimme, gimme, gimme it again because of course here, cause, of course, you remembering the commercials. You're not making it up.
[00:29:54] Jonathan Friedman: No, no, not making up the wise words of Smokey the bear is: " stop creating forest fires, forest fires are bad. Uh, I'm smokey the bear"
[00:30:04] Jon Rom: that is exactly what you said the first time. So, uh, congratulations. Uh, I stand corrected. You're right. So we have, we have more, we have more context now. Um, and it echoes what we were saying earlier.
Uh, uh, our guy Zordon work this job back in the day.
[00:30:23] Jonathan Friedman: Sometimes managers or leaders are hired externally, right? That's pretty common. But another really common story is, you know, the person who started as a bag boy at the front of the grocery store to become grocery manager, to become CEO of Jamie Oliver Sobey's, Jamie Oliver himself.
And in this case, it sounds like that's Zordon's story. He started in this ranger capacity fighting the Smokey bears of the universe. And, and now, he's trying to recruit, retain young talent, which we know, and this economy brutal, man.
[00:31:02] Jon Rom: Brutal, brutal.
[00:31:04] Jonathan Friedman: And then train them. And then some of these young folks are just saying: not me. I'm good. Enough of Smokey the Bear, enough of this. I am going to work at an HMV.
[00:31:21] Jon Rom: Yeah. And who can blame them for having such high turnover at the job? If they're constantly hiring new managers to kind of transition. Uh, Zordon away from his main role, of course, it's, you know, it's, it's hard enough having new people settle into their role, but when the manager, the new manager or the assistant manager is trying to settle into their role at the same time, uh, it's a difficult position and all, all the wilds or it on is just like holding his breath, crossing his fingers, hoping this is the one that sticks.
And I think may, I wonder if, in this situation, it isn't, uh, kind of this, uh, Uh, blinders myopic view of how he's going to find his replacement. That's, uh, uh, that's limiting him because the, you know, what's, what's to say that another up and coming couldn't go the same route as Zordon's why can't one of the current trainees one of the current Rangers become the next Zordon?
[00:32:23] Jonathan Friedman: I think that's a great question. And I think. That, that question is interesting because what investment either internally or externally did Zordon have on, have to want to become the leader one day. And my hunch is that that's a missing piece for the current Rangers.
You know, the turnover's happening every single season and Smokey the bear keeps coming back, uh, says, Smokey the bear, then how do you further invest in the rangers so that they say, is it, you know, a better insurance benefit, more massage, more, you know, you were talking about a myopic view, maybe better eye protection, need prescription goggles, or maybe it's the leadership?
Hey, one of the Rangers who has maybe the more the Rouges of the suits. I don't know. I'm guessing one of them wears red to show their dominance or something crazy.
[00:33:23] Jon Rom: Like, Hold on hold up. Do you think that the Rangers who work in the forest presumably wear red?
[00:33:31] Jonathan Friedman: Well, bears don't like red. They run away when they see red.
[00:33:34] Jon Rom: Is that true?
[00:33:35] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah, you don't want to be like.
Like looking at ducks and feeding ducks grapes. Cause you shouldn't feed them bread. You're feeding ducks and grapes. And then out of nowhere, the bear comes to get you when the bear sees red, nobody dead. That's like the age-old. That's the age-old saying.
[00:33:53] Jon Rom: Well, you're a boy scout. So, you know, I trust you for many, many years.
For many years still are always. Boy Scouts forever. He never, he grew out of it.
[00:34:04] Jonathan Friedman: That's all we say. You stare at a tree once you are, you know, the ceremony of becoming a boy scout and you just look at each other, you link hands and you say, Boy Scouts forever.
[00:34:15] Jon Rom: I would ask, I want to ask Zordon a question.
I wonder if there's anyone at his job who he thinks would have a better, and easier time filling his shoes if he, if he trained them up a little bit more, um, you know, powered them up for more responsibility, there'll be stronger than before. Uh, there'll be, there'll be more suited for the role and, you know, cause he's, he's mentoring a lot in this job and, and these teens are coming with him, to him for advice.
Maybe some of that advice can be geared towards like how to be an effective leader. Then, the lessons that he's learned over the years from doing this job.?
[00:34:59] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. And actually, I'd like, Jon, I know I shouldn't do this, but I'd like to add. Uh, the second piece of your question,
[00:35:07] Jon Rom: oh, please do that. You know what? Add as many pieces as you want.
This is the Lego baby.
[00:35:12] Jonathan Friedman: So for me, there are two pieces to this one is as to your point, like original Jon to your point is what can you put into place to sort of, you know, bring in the next Zordon you know? That's a lot of skill. That's many, many years, many eons of dealing with Smoky, the bear. What skills can you, you know, teach and train and all of that, what incentives can you put in place to sort of support that growth?
The second thing I want to do, because I'm worried about Zordon's burnout now is who can we bring into place to sort of taking on, you know, other roles in the organization? So for example, if, while we're training and mentoring and being a resource, which sounds like that sort of sweet spot, I want to be hiring someone who's doing bookkeeping.
Who's making sure that new trees are planted, who is, you know, sourcing seeds who sourcing auntie bear propaganda for the forest to make sure that everybody knows, you know, Smokey, Smokey, bad. Who is sourcing all of that? That's a lot of extra detail for Zordon to,
[00:36:23] Jon Rom: oh, do you think that Smokey was the villain
and you think that Rangers are basically out to this, like Smokey the bear?
[00:36:34] Jonathan Friedman: I, I believe that Smokey, I feel like Smokey has everything that Zordon doesn't want to become, I feel like Smokey had a really good vision for what the forest could be and nobody was listening. Everyone's littering, everybody's starting forest fires and then Smokey couldn't take it anymore and went rogue and became the forest fire machine that was in him all along.
[00:36:55] Jon Rom: Yeah. I mean, you either die the ranger, or you live long enough to see yourself become Smokey, the bear.
[00:37:01] Jonathan Friedman: That is what they say. And I think that's what Zordon's fear is. And I want to make sure that, you know, beings Zordon's coach and making sure and wanting sort on to have the best things in place. I want to make sure Zordon has a resource to do all of the extra stuff while he's, you know, being the mentor, the resource, the trainer.
And I also want to make sure to your point that he is incentivizing and he is training, you know, the futures Zordon's or maybe, you know, Zordon 2.0, and those are both the things I want to put in place. So, when I'm reading this journal like I'm a bit worried because I, I, I see the villainous future that could be, I want to make sure that the um, you know, beyond just asking a question, I want to say Zordon we’re here for you. We see the struggle. We see the burnout, but, uh, let's work through this together, buddy. boy.
[00:38:02] Jon Rom: Oh, gosh. Okay. Well, I'll tell you what, I'm going to share your concerns with Zordon and send along some of the questions and we'll see, we'll see how your respond, because first of all, I got capsulate because we've gotten a lot of the story and hopefully we've understood correctly so he can confirm, uh, how much of the story we got right. And then, and then we can, you know, we can try to try to hit this home. He is not, he's not completely on his own and maybe hiring externally isn't solving, gonna solve the issue for him.
[00:38:37] Jonathan Friedman: And Smokey. If you're out there, if you're you're causing a ruckus, it's enough. It's enough. I wonder if it's related to the Sasquatch
[00:38:46] Jon Rom: I was going to say you're making enemies.
A lot of people tend to be in and around us.
[00:38:53] Jonathan Friedman: Um, it's the furry foes. They're gonna get ya. I don't want to be any part of that.
[00:39:00] Jon Rom: ‘Furry foes’ is a different podcast. That's uh, that's where we dress up and we just have, actually, I probably shouldn't say what we do about podcasts, because it's not safe for life.
[00:39:11] Jonathan Friedman: You just, you say that for yourself.
[00:39:13] Jon Rom: Yeah. Fair enough. All right. broom broom broom, that's what we don't even, we don't even find a real good arson.
They have got a journal that you've never heard of before. Red stop. Uh, we did get it. We did get a journal back. Um, it was a pretty quick turnaround.
[00:39:39] Jonathan Friedman: Um, it has got AI-powered things moving around. He probably gets an instant notification.
[00:39:45] Jon Rom: Yeah, well, I mean, I'm sorry, alpha five helps them sort through his, uh, his mail and his notifications, but I think sometimes when you write stuff down and then, and then you present the ideas externally and, uh, have, uh, have, you know, find coaches like us, both summarize what you've been saying and also provide some ideas.
It does get the. The wheels are turning, and the thoughts start coming. So, uh, here's, here's what is Zordon writes.
I've thought it over some more since we've been talking. And I think my time might be coming to an end. This kid at work has stuck around for a few seasons. His name is Tommy, and he shows so much leadership potential and passion for his work.
I've been thinking one day he would do well as a mentor figure to a future group of kids. He was a rowdy rough around the edges kid when he started, but I've seen him grow into a truly exceptional ranger. I would feel a lot better knowing I trained a successor who had such a capacity for growth and patients.
Hopefully, he'll remember what it's like to be a teenager better than I do, and find it easier to emphasize with a new group of Rangers. Until he's ready, I'll stick it out with these kids so we can keep up the good fight. And I assume that a good fight is going to be with Smokey, the bear. I don't want to editorialize, uh, what our, what our client here is posting, but, um, it only makes sense to me that it is the fight against the, uh, the monster that is Smokey, the bear.
[00:41:16] Jonathan Friedman: We all have our Smokies in the closet and it could be that too. We don't know if it's the Smokey in the forest, the Smokey in the closet, or the cheddar Smokey from the hot dog aisle at your favorite Sobey's.
[00:41:30] Jon Rom: When you see, when you see liquid Smoke, have you ever had the thought to pour that in the forest and see if it would a fluid ignite spontaneously?
Oh, is that just me? Is that just, is that a, just a John pot?
[00:41:44] Jonathan Friedman: Well, we know that John's thoughts transfer from one John to another, we have four Jonathans right here and we know we all think the same thing all the time. It's not like it's not quite like a, like a twin, but it's not so different either.
I think I think it's a universal thought for all Jonathans to think about liquids and smoke. And to see if it would create a fire, but I have researched because I'm a bit more anxious than you are. And it's just, it's an essential oil, so it would burn quickly and it wouldn't necessarily spark a whole fire.
So take that, Smokey. Uh, but also liquid.
[00:42:26] Jon Rom: Smell incredible though. Holy holy moly.
[00:42:28] Jonathan Friedman: Smells good, but too many people are cooking with it and it doesn't taste good. Like if you're going to smoke, put something in a smoker-controlled environment, add your Cherrywood donut, or pecan wood because I'm not allergic.
Let's all eat something here. Do you know what I need?
[00:42:47] Jon Rom: Uh, one day we're going to have to have an entire episode dedicated to your allergies and coaching, coaching, someone with similar issues.
[00:42:55] Jonathan Friedman: Oh, we're not going there today. This isn't about me. This is about Zordon.
[00:43:01] Jon Rom: Yeah. What do you think, what do you think about, uh, uh, Zordon's um, the conclusion here?
Because I think it makes a lot of sense, you know, he wasn't, he wasn't real, it's not that he didn't know about Tommy when he started it just, I guess he wasn't looking, um, inwards at the company to try to find who would replace him, uh, because it just didn't seem, um, It didn't seem to be in his mindset to, to look at these teenagers is more than just teenagers, but, but also future adults.
[00:43:37] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. I think it's really interesting. And I think during this, uh, the entirety of this episode, we've identified two needs that Zordon has and one is the, you know, having another manager around what helped to lighten the load in the fight for Smokey and the second piece. And I think this is the more important piece here Zordon was concerned about the future of his work. We noticed early on that Zordon was, he was a, he was a ranger himself. He was fighting the good fight. And then he became a trainer. He's a manager he's leading, he's a resource he's he's daddy. He's all of those things.
And now he didn't know that there was a future and that's a scary, scary thought when you've invested thought. I guess it felt like thousands of years, thousand years is a long time. But investing that time into the, into the growth of this organization and suddenly Rangers are flipping every season. I love the idea of, you know, he, he noticed the diamond in the rough that is Tommy and, you know, been around for a few seasons, keeps coming back to fight the good fight, take that Smokey.
We see you out there and noticing that that, that ability to come back that investment is not so different from Zordon himself. But having that, you know, younger, more energetic personality might be able to relate more with the Rangers of today, and having that, that it could be beneficial, not only for Zordon to have that future but also for the organization as a whole to, uh, to have, you know, that succession to have that next person to have a legacy,
[00:45:32] Jon Rom: uh, legacy.
I do. I do. I'm sorry. I felt like I interrupted you, um, uh, saying legacy in a raspy voice.
[00:45:44] Jonathan Friedman: Sorry, let me say it one more time. Just so Jonathan over here connected it. Legacy.
[00:45:49] Jon Rom: That was good. That was good. I felt that, uh, you know, and it's funny, cause I, I was just thinking about how, um, we, we were talking about how you can be very disconnected from, from teens, but, uh, what is, what is an adult but a teenager, 10 years down the line transformed by the weight of the world and responsibility, you know? And it is, it is a real burden to have a mentor to give the team responsibility to age, age them and give them wisdom. But it's, it's hard. It's hard to, it's hard once you've been through that process to look back and understand what your past self was going through and what your current, uh, Uh, subordinates are going through what that way your current staff is going through.
And I like that he found this bridge through Tommy who, you know, we know is probably a little bit older, cause he's, he's been around for a few seasons and might be a much more suitable. Um, A suitable bridge, not just because he always was a red ranger, but he just experienced it more recently. He experienced what it was like to be in these positions and going and going through these problems.
I love that. I love, I love that, he found a solution that kind of meets his needs to pass on his legacy. But, but you know, he, he's still involved. He's still going to be involved in training Tommy and getting, uh, getting him ready for that role.
[00:47:25] Jonathan Friedman: Uh, and there's a book written about that exact process.
[00:47:29] Jon Rom: Tell me
[00:47:30] Jonathan Friedman: it's called the bridge to talk with you it's by Katherine Patterson. That's a four out of five good reads and a five, five on top.
[00:47:38] Jon Rom: are you sure it's not by Robert Munsch?
[00:47:41] Jonathan Friedman: I promise me, I Googled it while you were talking. I wasn't even listening to you. I was Googling or you were going on your pants over there. I was looking out my window to make sure Smokies were running the track, getting stronger, getting bigger, getting faster.
And at the same time, I wanted to, I remembered, I recalled there was a book, a great six, uh, or I think her name was Ms. Shapiro in that class. And, uh, we, we read that book. We watched the movie. Uh, somebody yelled out, "you lie". And that stuck with me for a very, very long time. So I just wanted to make sure that, uh, all of our listeners out there, um, what I believe the book has translated to French as well.
Uh, if you have a chance pick up the bridge to Terabithia, it's, it's a special read. And, uh, there is a movie, uh, 2007 and won a few Oscars. Um, I think of one or eight Oscars.
[00:48:39] Jon Rom: Tell you what, tell you what I'm going to do for you, Jonathan. I'm gonna, I'm gonna, I'm gonna put. Uh, Smokey the bear is back in his space dumpster on the moon. And that'll allow you to, uh, find a listener question for us to answer.
[00:48:56] Jonathan Friedman: Do we still do those?
[00:48:58] Jon Rom: Oh, come on. We will never stop. Can't stop. Won't stop.
[00:49:02] Jonathan Friedman: Can't stop. Won't stop. So actually I have a, we're going to shift it up a bit. Because I've gotten this question a lot from actually a lot of different people. So I'm not going to give you all of their names. We'll just say Smokey had this question.
Cause maybe Smokey's looking for a new beginning and a way to go Smokey.
It could be. I think it's a very universal question. And one of the things that have come up the question of how long does it take to be to get better in therapy, coaching, or counseling?
[00:49:35] Jon Rom: Well, it's funny cause I remember when I, um, when I was, uh, uh, in medical school and, and tasked with, uh, uh, providing therapy to my patients and they would ask me, how long do I need to be in therapy for?
Uh, and how long will it take me to get better? And, um, I used to tell them to get better, you're getting better all the time to get him best that that's an that's never, you're never going to get there because that best, that, that complete feeling where you feel like I'm done therapy. I have completed therapy.
I have conquered therapy. It doesn't happen. It doesn't happen with coaching because there's always stuff to improve on and there are always places to go. But, uh, the beauty of it is that you never feel like you're on a treadmill. Instead, you just feel like you're on this endless path, walking, walking down a road that doesn't end, but you can see all the things you've passed along the way and how much you've grown, and how much you've changed.
And so of course, at any point, you can just say, uh, later I'm out and decide to take a rest and stay where you are, maybe backtrack a little, but in reality, you never really finished. You just get better and better, uh, and moving along the road, that, that analogy got away from me, but you're picking up what I'm putting down.
Right? John Johnny, John, am I going to Jonathon's Jonathan? You bet. You're picking up what I'm putting the biggest question. The biggest question we have to answer is to answer and coach. Who am I indeed? Okay. Jonathan, you were picking up what I'm putting down, right?
[00:51:21] Jonathan Friedman: Sorry. Let me just make sure I'm still in the right skin and that we're not like some freaky Friday sort of.
No, I'm still me, so that's good. That's a win.
[00:51:29] Jon Rom: Take care, take care, take your hourly blood sample to check with.
[00:51:33] Jonathan Friedman: All you gotta do to make sure like that your me is looked down. And if you're wearing like a slightly fitted black v-neck, then you know, you're the right, Jonathan. I think I'm the, I'm the only one who's been doing it for years.
I'm, I opened, my closet door every morning and I have that Homer Simpson. I just have either black or dark jeans and a black t-shirt and that's my entire wardrobe. I have one for at least every single day.
[00:52:01] Jon Rom: It's very punk. They're very punk. So what do you think the, did my answer gel with you?
Did you stop listening partway through? I stopped listening partway through.
[00:52:11] Jonathan Friedman: Unsurprised. No, I thought it's a, I thought it's a good answer. And one of the things that, um, a lot of, cause I've actually, normally when we do these listener questions, it's kind of. We get asked the question and we sort of tackle it, but here I've had some conversations with people about this.
And one of the confusions they bring up is lots of coaching has, you know, a five or 10-week program, cognitive behavioral therapy. There is a brief therapy component to cognitive behavioral therapy, and those programs are typically outlined. Underneath 16 weeks. So let's say, you know, you've been going to a session or you've been, you know, journaling with a coach for a few months or going to therapy for, you know, 16 weeks.
Does it mean that the work is finished? And another analogy that kind of came to my mind is you can go to the gym every single day, you know, Good at running, get good at lifting weights. You know, you progressively get stronger and stronger. You're eating well. You can stop for a week and, you know, take a rest, let your body kind of catch up, focus on your sleep.
But if you let it go for a year and come back to the gym, like lifting that like a 700-pound squat is actually like, that's a big, big move. It, you know, the skill of how to squat. But now you don't have the support of all of your muscles to sort of support that squad. So you got to kind of start again, which is a process we all go through and that's, you know, it's important.
We go through the process again and again, but for me, one of the things that I wanted to highlight is that it's good to try different things. It's good to take breaks, but to your point, John, this is like a this is ongoing, you know, pursuit you want to get mentally buffed over time, right?.
[00:54:08] Jon Rom: Absolutely. And, and, you know, the funny thing is, is that this, this kind of also reflects why you started The Journal that Talks Back is that, you know, people are going to be, uh, going down this journey and it's, and for quite a few people, it's going to take a long time and that they might need to stop and come back to it.
And, and part of the affordability of The Journal that Talks Back. Allows people to say, all right, you know, I am going to take a little bit of time off. I'm going to reflect on what I've learned and try to apply it in my life. And then I'm going to come back to it and I'm going to, I'm going to bring what I've, what I've experienced back into my coaching and try to go from there.
And it, and what I love about the journals that are allows that.
[00:54:53] Jonathan Friedman: An interesting thing about like mentally working out and going to therapy or coaching compared to physically working out is you're building muscles like your mental muscle to like bounce back more quickly and deal with stress over time.
But part of the muscle too, is the support structures you're bringing in, right? Like squatting without a Smith machine. You know, that machine that holds the bar and helps you go down and up versus not. That's basically what, therapy, coaching, and counseling in a variety of environments are it's that extra support to get to where you need to go.
So there's no real, you know, even though there are programs that are outlined for a certain time, maybe they focus on a specific skill for that time, but it's a, it's a lifelong pursuit to become, you know, either, uh, physically healthy or mentally healthy. And it's a, it's, it's a journey. So, uh, If you're going through something and you want to just, you know, talk about, you know, how to bring those structures in.
We're not a team who's like, we always coach first. Second, we'll make sure you get to the right resource. In some cases that might be The Journal that Talks Back. In some cases, we might refer you to, you know, different therapists or different counselors who might be able to address a certain situation more specifically. And it's going to be a, it's going to be a report and good time.
Uh, Smokey. If you're out there, we see you. Um, we know you're listening. Um, you know, don't be afraid to reach out if you need something.
[00:56:24] Jon Rom: Yeah. I have nothing to add to that because I feel like, I feel like the olive branch to Smokey is the, uh, is the perfect way to cap off this episode.
[00:56:32] Jonathan Friedman: But I imagine like reaching out on my balcony with a, with a dove and the olive branch and being like, go be free, go to Smokey. And smoky receives the olive branch and knows exactly who it came from, but still needs time to figure out if they're ready to come back from the dark side yet.
[00:56:52] Jon Rom: And trying his best, not to burn the set branch.
[00:56:55] Jonathan Friedman: Yeah. It's, there's a branch, there's a twig, Smokey is going to get it. Isn't that a song by DMX?
[00:57:02] Jon Rom: He's going to go Smokey he's going to give it to you in a certain and, and speaking of giving, it's giving it to us today. If people want to reach out and contact us, they're sending their questions or, or their journals, uh, how can they get ahold of us?
[00:57:22] Jonathan Friedman: Well, John, they can reach out to us at Jonathan's with a z at thejournalthattalksback.com. You can also find us on My Space, Twitter, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, LinkedIn, and a bunch of other French social media platforms. Isn't that right, John?
[00:57:41] Jon Rom: Oh yeah, you got 'em. Uh, you got ex-ante goo.
We're changing the rebrand rebranding.
[00:57:58] Jonathan Friedman: Uh, I can imagine, like, I'm going to one day I'm going to be at a podium with a ribbon and alike announcing the big rebrand there. Like before we were the journal that talks back, we are now ex-ante.
[00:58:18] Jon Rom: Yeah, so it hit us up on next Sunday. Do and, uh, and its sister website, Exxon
Character Coaching is a production of The Journal that Talks Back a product at Frame of Mind Coaching. To get accessible coaching for just $200 a month, book a free intake call at thejournalthattalksback.com. Our music is The Swindler by The Original Orchestra featuring Ian Post.
Our editing is done by one of the Jonathans on the show, which one? We'll never tell.