Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk

Jeff Newkirk

We hear the term “game changer” often, but what does it mean? According to Merriam-Webster, a game changer is a newly introduced element of or factor that changes an existing situation or activity in a significant way. In other words, it is someone or something that has changed their environment, and potentially our world. It’s a big deal. They are a big deal. Jeff Newkirk talks to people who have done something to make this world a better place. They are working to make a significant and profound change. They are game changers. Check out Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk on any podcast platform with a new episode available every two weeks. It could change your world!Note Game Changers was formerly Understandable Solutions Podcast

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Episodes

Attitude of a Champion - Laura Wilkinson
Apr 12 2024
Attitude of a Champion - Laura Wilkinson
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate, and let’s go change this world! On today’s episode, Jeff welcomes guest Laura Wilkinson, a three-time Olympian and Olympic gold medalist. She started diving in her freshman year of high school and was told she was too old to start a new sport. She won the US's first national title in diving and overcame great obstacles in 1998 to win the Goodwill Games as the only US diver to ever achieve this. Laura shattered her right foot in three places and only had 3 weeks back in the water before she tried out and made her first Olympic team. She beat impossible odds by starting in 8th place and then ending up winning in first place. She won the 2004 World Cup, 19 US National trials, and won the Olympic Spirit Award. She had been inducted into five different Hall of Fames and qualified for the 2021 Olympic Trials with her four children and husband cheering her on. Laura now has a podcast called Pursuit Gold, and she helps coach athletes to overcome roadblocks, compete confidently, and fall back in love with their passion.  First, Laura talks about how she wanted to compete in the Olympics as a little kid in 1994 and wanted to be a gymnast. She realized at 13 that she was not at the right level to go to the Olympics for gymnastics, so she searched for another sport. She had coaches tell her she was too old to switch and that she was a waste of space. Authority figures are people you are supposed to look up to and trust. You can either believe them and cave in on yourself or defy them.  She realized it was their issue and not hers, so it lit a fire inside her. She now has caution with the words she says and the impact they carry. She has had amazing coaches, but the best ones are when they create an atmosphere where you can do the very best that you can and achieve your dreams. They make it fun and know their athletes with how they think and how to mold them.  After Laura shattered her foot, she went through mental training and preparation for the Olympic trials. She did that through visualization where she started imagining the actions and steps to go through for a dive. Her coach, Kenny, said she couldn’t look back and think about the what-ifs, but she had to look forward and make a new plan. She studied video, visualized the actions of her dive, hobbled up to the diving board on one leg, and imagined every scenario with made-up competitions and her competitors.  She was prepared for any given situation and was more prepared than she ever could have been without training physically. When she started to doubt, her teammates cheered her on, wouldn’t let her quit, and believed in her too. We are sometimes so close to success when we are about to give up. After talking to so many athletes who have overcome incredible odds, she says the one thing they all have in common is a belief that it is going to work. Everyone believed in what they were doing and thought it was going to be successful.  Next, they discuss faith in God and how God can use anything for His purpose and His good. Sometimes we have to go through the fire to refine us and make us better than before. She grew up in the church, left it, and came back to church during her sophomore year in college. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Our Mental Health Crisis with Judge Echo Hutson
Apr 1 2024
Our Mental Health Crisis with Judge Echo Hutson
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate, and let’s go change this world!  On today’s episode, Jeff welcomes guest, Judge Echo Hutson, who serves in Montgomery County in Texas in Law 4. Echo has experience in misdemeanor criminal cases, along with domestic violence and mental health court. She has a strong passion for these fields and loves to speak on domestic violence and mental health. One event she helps lead is called, “Flowers on the Lake.” Every October at sunset, they lay down carnations on the lake for the number of the year (so this year will be 2,024). They partner with multiple centers and these flowers represent the number of victims and survivors of domestic violence in their community. 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men will be affected by domestic violence in their lifetimes. Echo lives in the Montgomery area with her husband and youngest son, and her oldest son, Austin, is a cyber-security engineer in the army. For fun, she likes to sing and play in a band called, “Benny and the Montague!” First, Echo shares how she started in the district attorney’s office and had to learn about victims of domestic violence and co-occurring mental health issues. The goal is to find the correct punishment, to see that justice is done, and to find the right thing for these individuals. The first hearing for individuals is at 9 AM every day and they look for evidence or flags of a mental health disorder. The state of Texas is present along with a probation officer. She is not a licensed mental health professional, but she has learned many facts about mental health on the job. The worst thing that could happen is they incarcerate someone with a serious condition or do the opposite. She has had major disagreements, but they always involve a licensed mental health professional for their professional opinions.  According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness and a recent presentation from Echo, 1 in 5 Americans live with a mental health condition. 21.1% of people experiencing homelessness have a serious mental health condition. 33.5% of US adults with mental illness also experience a substance abuse disorder. 8.3% of adults have a major depressive episode and 19% of US adults have an anxiety disorder. Suicide is the 12th leading cause of death in the US, and 90% of people who die by suicide may have had a mental health condition. 79% of suicides are males and suicide is the 2nd leading cause of death in 10-14 year olds. Suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death in 15-24-year-olds. 2 in 5 people who are incarcerated have a history of mental health issues and out of 50,000 veterans in local jails, 55% have a mental health disorder.  Mental illness is a wide range of things that can affect mood or behavior, but mental disorders are more severe conditions. There is an overrepresentation of mental disorders in the criminal justice system among those in the general population. For example, schizophrenia is an overrepresentation in the criminal justice system but is present in less than 1% of the general population. 2.8% of the population has bipolar disorder and 3.6% has PTSD. People come from traumatic situations and iLearn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Leadership Philosophies from a Two Star General with Darrell Guthrie
Mar 25 2024
Leadership Philosophies from a Two Star General with Darrell Guthrie
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate, and let’s go change this world! On today’s episode, Jeff continues his conversation with guest Mr. Darrell Guthrie. Mr. Guthrie is a retired U.S. Army Major General and is now a Senior Peace Fellow with the Public International Law and Policy Group. He is also an attorney and co-founder of the Advanced Dynamic Defense Directorate, a national security think tank and business incubator. He is a proud father of four and grandfather of six.  Today, Mr. Guthrie shares about leadership philosophy. To begin, he outlines the 5 key points of his leadership philosophy: be optimistic and proactive, address challenges at the lowest level possible, take administrative and logistic functions seriously, be willing to think and look at things differently, and be okay with imperfection.  The greatest reward as a leader, he and Jeff agree, is to see those you are responsible for move on and up in their careers. The power of thanking people who have done a job well should never be underestimated. Having a well-rounded perspective often leads to making better decisions overall. Mr. Guthrie’s favorite point is recognizing that he is not perfect, and neither are other people. Humility is key to being a strong and effective leader. He also explains the difference between chasing perfection vs. chasing excellence.  These 5 points for leadership began to take shape in Mr. Guthrie’s mind as he continued to gain more and more experience in leadership. As a lieutenant, which he claims he wasn’t great at, he was able to step outside of himself and find his strengths and weaknesses.  The Army is a great place for developing leadership skills because it introduces you to so many different roles and challenges. An important lesson Mr. Guthrie learned in the military is the importance of letting other people do their jobs on their own. If it’s not up to standard, then you may have a conversation with them about how they may do better. As a commander, he actively maintained a calm and focused persona who was ready to help soldiers work through problems. But he wasn’t always perfect, and shares about the time he let go of his ego and apologized for his previous words and actions. Today, it’s rare to see leaders and politicians publicly apologize, because apologizing is often equated with weakness. However, there is a huge difference between being weak and being humble.  Then, Mr. Guthrie shares his view that many corporations and the military are still following these 5 points, though their demands and expectations continue to evolve. He would like to see business leaders and CEOs embrace humility by making profits and benefits more equal for their employees. Treating people nicely and being positive and proactive about the future is the best way to bring up the organization and the people around you. Before cloning out, he discusses the differences between being proactive vs. reactive, especially in leadership roles. Interacting with other people from a place of humility and sincerity goes a very, very long way. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Our National Security Earns a Grade of C with Darrell Guthrie
Mar 19 2024
Our National Security Earns a Grade of C with Darrell Guthrie
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It's simple: inspire, educate, and let's go change this world!  On today’s episode, Jeff welcomes guest Mr. Darrell Guthrie to discuss national security. Mr. Guthrie is a retired U.S. Army Major General and a Senior Peace Fellow with the Public International Law and Policy Group. He is also an attorney and co-founder of the Advanced Dynamic Defense Directorate, a national security think tank and business incubator. He is a proud father of four and grandfather of six.  To begin, Mr. Guthrie shares that he received an ROTC scholarship during the Raegan buildup in the mid-80s. His first deployment was to the first Gulf War. After nine and a half years in active duty, he served 28 years as Commander in the Army Reserve. He explains that being in the military is a lesson on how to be a good leader. Oftentimes, people will follow the movement and actions of a quality leader without even having to hear their commands. After finishing his time on active duty, Darrell decided he wanted to get a law degree.  Then, the conversation shifts to discussing national security and how Darrell found success with his startup. He gives the U.S. a "C" grade for its national security. This grade is made up of several components, including our safety from external threats as Americans. The last significant security threat the U.S. experienced was on 9/11. While we have been safe from threats of this magnitude since then, other factors have not been as positive.  The Army, Navy, and Air Force are facing crisis-level challenges in recruiting enough young people to join. The way to address this problem is by communicating an optimistic method about why it's important to serve our nation. Darrell also explains that our military is not paying significant attention to terrorist groups in Africa, the impact of the cartels in Mexico, and the gangs in Central and South America. Although the world still follows the United States as a world leader, that perspective is becoming more unstable. We must work together to set a positive example and strengthen the reputation of the United States in the eyes of the world. This could be as simple as an American company conducting good business in a foreign country, a soldier who behaves properly in a foreign city, or not letting bad players get away with evil actions. Since the U.S. is a superpower, we must be sure that we are doing this responsibly.   Before wrapping up, Darrell discusses the U.S.’s decision to leave Afghanistan and the problems at the Mexican border, both of which set poor examples of America. The key to restoring our reputation is through quality leadership and keeping our word.Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Has Faith Increased, Decreased In Our Society, And Should We Care? with Dr. Amber Mattingly
Mar 11 2024
Has Faith Increased, Decreased In Our Society, And Should We Care? with Dr. Amber Mattingly
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate, and let’s go change this world! On today’s episode, Jeff welcomes guest Dr. Reverend Amber Mattingly to discuss her background, journey, and faith in our society today. Amber starts by discussing how our society needs to see and hear each other. She received a doctorate in compassionate leadership studies and emphasized the power of pausing when we have certain emotions or resistance to things. Instead of meeting that emotion or rising to it, we can ask good questions and be a better listener for each other.  Next, one of her favorite stories in the Bible is of Hagar and she names God “the God who sees.” This story reminds Amber that no one is outside the power of God’s love. She received her Master of Divinity degree in 2002 from George W. Truett Theological Seminary and completed her Doctor of Ministry degree at Claremont School of Theology in California. She wants to provide that safe space to engage in spiritual dialogue. She is reverend at Woodlands Christian Church in Texas and has two children with her husband, who is also a reverend doctor. Amber shares her background that led to ministry. She experienced many different Christian denominations which gave her more respect for different denominations. She felt a call to ministry senior year at Baylor and was recruited by her future husband for seminary school in Texas!  In addition, Amber discusses how Jesus never said to go to a specific denomination and that there is no right church, but we are all a part of the body of Christ. She wrote a book called, “A Leap of (Inter)Faith” which was started in her doctoral program at Claremont. She met a Tibetan Buddhist monk in class and they chose each other for a project to learn about different faith traditions. They interviewed each other and did a project with a group of Buddhists and Christians together, and gave them a Christian meditation. They measured their spiritual growth at the end of the practice through a compassion-based scale and they found a rise in self-compassion and for others. Amber also references Richard Rohr and the Center for Action & Contemplation as having a positive impact on her life.  Also, they discuss faith now in our society and she apologizes for church hurt when she meets people, asks questions, and listens to their life experiences. She shares the importance of pausing and taking the time to figure out our uncomfortable feelings and reactions to things. There is power in breath work and even the name Yahweh is the sound of our breath. She thinks our society is less religious and now more spiritual because of being hurt in the church. However, God is working in this world but we have to have eyes to see it and ears to hear it.  When someone says they don’t believe in God and they have complete resistance, then it’s not the right time to say anything because they won’t interpret anything you say as loving and kind. She honors their experience by asking questions and talking about community. She suggests people read the gospels when first reading the Bible and the Psalms if they want the human experience of God.  Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Appreciate, Attack, Add, Achieve - A Simple Success Formula with Jeff Newkirk
Mar 4 2024
Appreciate, Attack, Add, Achieve - A Simple Success Formula with Jeff Newkirk
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It's simple: inspire, educate, and let's go change this world! On today's episode, Jeff discusses goal setting, tracking goals, and the four A's to achieve those goals. He recommends having an accountability partner, someone who will redirect and help us stay focused on those goals. Accountability partners need to ask where you are falling short and why. This should be someone in your inner circle, someone that you know, like, and trust. This person needs to be someone you can go to about anything and tell you what you need to hear, not what you want to hear. Life happens and we can fall short, but we need people in our lives to redirect, encourage, and challenge us to meet the goals that we set.  Next, Jeff talks about the four A's which include: Appreciate, Attack, Add Value, and Achieve. The first one is Appreciate, which is reminding ourselves of what's important. If we have food to eat, a roof over our heads, a shirt on our back, and a job to pay bills, then we are ahead of the game. Sometimes we lose perspective, but it all goes back to that positive mental mindset. Jeff recommends reading the book, "The Energy Bus" by Jon Gordon. We need to lead from the heart and our thought process should be to serve and help others. It is hard to go wrong when we lead that way. To keep a grateful heart and stay positive, he suggests writing in a gratitude journal or using the Grateful app. He writes down three things a day that is thankful for to document and remind you of what you have.  The second A is "Attack," which is having the mindset to attack the day or it will attack you back. You need to be ready to go with the flow and be prepared because things will happen. No matter what happens, we need to keep moving forward. He recommends the book, "Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" by Carol Dweck. We need to have a growth mindset– not a limiting one. We need to remove words like "try" or "can't" from our vocabulary because these will limit us. Who knows where the world will take you if you have a growth mindset? Jeff recently talked to his son, who is a coach, about changing his team's mindset from one that thought they were failures and losers to a team that thinks they will win and achieve. They believed in themselves and were told that to succeed.  In addition, the third A is "Add Value," which is adding value in every situation and to every person. Jeff references John Maxwell's book called, "The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth" and the law of contribution, which is putting others first. When you lead, you lead because you are serving others. You are not a leader if you expect others to serve you. You need to provide examples and serve others with humility. He also states that we are in control of our own decisions and lives. He talks about the movie Rocky Balboa and how the son is complaining about where he is at in life because of other people. Jeff says not to let others dictate how far you go in life– you only have yourself to blame. Change your environment and start making the world a better place. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Leadership on (and off) the Football Field with Payton Newkirk
Feb 8 2024
Leadership on (and off) the Football Field with Payton Newkirk
This is the second annual Super Bowl episode! To lead the conversation, Jeff brings in his all-time favorite football coach, Payton Newkirk (plenty of favoritism in that statement!). Payton coached high school football this past season and is moving on to the college ranks. His experience has been invaluable and has helped him understand the importance of culture and leadership, both on and off the field. He drops several nuggets of meaningful insight.A positive and productive culture is critical for organizational development and growth. There is no debate there. And, also not up for dispute is the need for strong and effective leadership to build that culture. But what attributes of a leader are important to make this happen, especially in football? Hard work, accountability, perseverance, and courage are all critical, just to name a few. There are plenty of incredible football coaches at all levels of football: grade school, high school, college, and professional. But what is the common denominator present in the most successful programs? And, conversely, what is lacking in the programs that are struggling? Jeff and Payton discuss their observations and insights.Finally, who is your pick to win Super Bowl LVIII? We have our picks, and they probably don’t align with yours.Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Connection, Trust, and Humility - Critical Qualities of a Good Leader with Larry Vaughn
Jan 31 2024
Connection, Trust, and Humility - Critical Qualities of a Good Leader with Larry Vaughn
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate and let’s go change this world!  On today’s episode, Jeff welcomes returning guest Mr. Larry Vaughn to discuss all things leadership. This is the very first episode of a series of 3 episodes that will feature conversations with Larry about topics such as collaboration, mentoring and more. Larry has been in the printing business for over 48 years, owned and operated a successful print company for 30 years, and helped found two premier international business cooperatives. He recently wrote and published his own personal memoir Business Cards and Shoe Leather.  To begin, Larry shares about his struggles with dyslexia growing up during a time when most people didn’t understand the condition. He was able to leverage technologies such as spell check and talk to text to write his book. Now, he has travelled the world giving talks about all of his accomplishments within the printing business. Larry details the vast amount of change the printing industry experienced over the course of his career thus far. His company was the first commercial printer in the state of Texas to purchase a digital printing press. First, Larry was invited to be part of HP’s Digital Council Group. Then, HP invited him to help them spread the word about the new printing press and equipment.  At the age of 22, Larry took his very first sales job, which helped prepare him for a life of future speaking. He quickly found that being kind, personable and helpful to potential customers would inevitably lead to success. He applied this philosophy to the way he treated his employees over the years. Jeff prides his company on their high retention rate among employees, something that is increasingly rare today. Your employees want to know that you care about them and about their lives. When they do feel cared for, they take pride and care in their work. Most importantly, this kindness and care has to come from a genuine place.  Next, Larry offers his best advice for young people who want to be strong and effective leaders themselves. First, clearly communicate and articulate your expectations. It’s also important to build trust among your team by delivering on the promises you make. Then, Larry identifies the leadership qualities that he believes are missing in today’s environment. Leaders are not acknowledging that their hard working employees are the ones making their business possible. The most important thing we can do is educate young people to ensure that they are prepared to navigate the world professionally, socially, spiritually and financially. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Mediation - An Important Life Skill, An Interview with Elaine Roberts
Jan 23 2024
Mediation - An Important Life Skill, An Interview with Elaine Roberts
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It's simple: inspire, educate, and let's go change this world!  On today's episode, Jeff welcomes guest Elaine Roberts, Attorney and Executive Director of the Dispute Resolution Center in Montgomery County, Texas. She is a graduate of the University of Houston Law Center and has extensive experience as a civil rights attorney and mediator in both the public and private sectors. Before joining the DRC of Montgomery County, she served as Director of the Houston Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, Legal Director of a statewide disability rights organization, and was a volunteer mediator, trainer, and board member for the DRC of Harris County. To begin, Elaine shares that she was the recipient of the prestigious 2020 Justice Frank Evans Award. Each year, the state board recognizes an individual who has contributed to the field of alternative dispute resolution. Since she was a young girl, Elaine knew that she wanted to pursue a career that would allow her to make a positive impact in the world. She studied history and sociology during undergrad, subjects which both apply to law. When discovered the field of disability law, she fell in love with the subject and saw it as an opportunity to make a difference in the world. She began to learn about the discrimination faced by people with disabilities. From there, she focused on her mediation practice, which sought to give people alternative methods to litigation law.  The Dispute Resolution Center, Elaine explains, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that was founded in 1988 by the Commissioners Court and Board Association. From the beginning, the DRC allowed counties to establish alternative dispute resolution centers for their citizens. There are now 17 of these centers across the state. Their core mission is to provide high-quality service and training for people to become mediators. The program actively works with students in their community to instill alternative conflict resolution skills in young people. Over 11,000 children have been through the program at the DRC. They also host an annual bookmark art contest to promote the center and its teachings. Before wrapping up, Elaine gives listeners a look into the DRC's plans for 2024. They will be expanding their juvenile justice programs. They will also be doing a 40-hour general mediation training course in June, during which volunteers will act as experienced mediator mentors. Reflecting on the course of her career, Elaine ends the episode by identifying her own personal and professional game changers. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Taking a Stand Against Domestic Violence: Judge Echo Hutson
Jan 16 2024
Taking a Stand Against Domestic Violence: Judge Echo Hutson
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate and let’s go change this world!On today’s episode, Jeff welcomes guest Judge Echo Hutson, the elected judge of Montgomery County Court at Law #4, which oversees misdemeanor criminal cases, domestic violence court and mental health treatment court. She has dedicated her personal and professional career to protecting Montgomery County’s citizens and victims of violent crime, first as a prosecuting attorney and now in her role as Judge. She was instrumental in starting the first domestic violence division in the county in 2011 and became the county’s first domestic violence specialized prosecutor. She loves to speak and educate others on matters involving domestic violence and mental health treatment. She is also the founder and host of the annual Flowers on the Lake Domestic Violence Awareness event.To begin, Judge Echo Huston shares that she earned her undergraduate degree in Alaska with the intention of attending law school. When one of her fellow students, a young woman, went missing in their small town, Judge Hutson had the opportunity to work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office on the missing case as an intern. Working on this case changed Judge Hutson’s career trajectory. From that moment on, she saw the practice of law as an opportunity to be an advocate for victims and to never give up on someone who no longer has their voice. Right after she finished law school, Judge Hutson moved to El Paso, TX, where there was a special division for domestic violence and began prosecuting. Judge Hutson began and organically grew the domestic violence division at the DA’s office. A study done between 2021-2022 concluded that Montgomery County’s specialty court is one of the highest national performers. This is based on conviction rates, the time from cases being filed to disposed, their trauma informed treatment for victims and more.Then, Judge Hutson shares some of the key statistics regarding domestic violence based on U.S. studies. First, 1 in 3 women in their lifetime will experience domestic violence. Those who attempt to leave the relationship, there is a 75% increased likelihood that they will be killed during that time. The average victim makes 7-8 attempts to leave domestic violent relationships before they finally leave for good. Judge Hutson shares that the biggest mistake people often make is to push victims to leave a relationship before they are ready to do it themselves. We also know that victims of domestic violence who have help from resources tend to remain alive. Before wrapping up, Judge Hutson highlights success stories and highlights her goals for the future. Finally, she identifies her own personal game changers.Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Self-Reliant Leadership with Jan Rutherford
Jan 8 2024
Self-Reliant Leadership with Jan Rutherford
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It's simple: inspire, educate, and let's go change this world! On today’s episode, Jeff welcomes guest Jan Rutherford. Jan is an Executive Coach, a keynote speaker with numerous online courses, a former Green Beret, and the founder of Self Reliant Leadership, in which he leads wilderness expeditions with executives and veterans. Jan is also a podcast host and author of The Littlest Green Beret. His next book, Becoming A Self-Reliant Leader, will be released in summer 2024. To begin, Jan shares that his journey as a business owner began after he read the book Perfect Business by Michael LeBoeuf. At age 19, Jan was the medical instructor for the thousands of students going through the Green Beret course. Over the entire course of his career, he has maintained the goal of helping other people learn. As soon as he entered the corporate world, he knew he wanted to be an entrepreneur. Jan shares that to be a good leader, you must prioritize taking care of others above yourself. Then, he shares his principles which guide his leadership process and business ownership. The core pillars of Self-Reliant Leadership include leading oneself, leading others, and leading the organization. He looks for 3 key things when finding people to get involved: selflessness, heroic aspirations, and willingness to take risks and be adventurous. The first thing he tends to ask clients is to identify what they want in life. The most common challenges he finds leaders facing today are managing their time and their effectiveness with people. Another challenge leaders face is how to personalize leadership, yet show fairness to the entire team. Because every person has different needs, personalities, and circumstances, it is impossible to treat everyone the same. Thus, it's important to take the time to understand what each person's motivations are and be sensitive to them. Jan identifies the most critical attributes of successful leaders. He believes that the best companies are great at selecting the right people for their company and investing time into their success. Reflecting on the course of his career, Jan identified critical moments that have shaped him into the person he is today. Working with great bosses had a major influence on his outlook. Similarly, working with bad bosses also led to a handful of useful learning experiences. He stresses the importance of always being willing to learn and have the maturity to understand that we are not always going to be right. In closing, he urges listeners to keep a journal to keep track of the day-to-day, learning experience, gratitude, and priorities. A good life is not something that is in the future, and we should figure out how to live a good life today. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
2024 - Prep for Your Best Year Ever
Jan 5 2024
2024 - Prep for Your Best Year Ever
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It's simple: inspire, educate, and let's go change this world!  On today’s episode, Jeff talks about how to prep for making 2024 the best year ever. 2024 can be the best year yet, but it's important to remember that it's on us to make that happen. Jeff hopes to encourage listeners to have a plan in place to make this upcoming year great. He begins the conversation by outlining the "Four A's" to live by as we plan for the new year: appreciate, attract, add, and achieve. The first step to prep is to review where we currently are and what happened in the last year. He shares that we should always learn from the past, live in the present, and plan for the future. Jeff reflects on his accomplishments and the areas where he fell short in 2023.  To plan goals for the upcoming year, we should begin by thinking about where we want to be. Once you determine what you want to accomplish, you can begin to develop goals aligned with your values and personal mission. Jeff sets both personal and professional goals for himself and understands that these two areas of life often overlap. In terms of his goals for the podcast, he wants to record 40 episodes in 2024. Some examples of his personal goals include strengthening his faith by reading the Bible, reducing his body fat percentage, and logging his exercises. Professional goals of his include reading a certain number of career-related books read in the year. He also encourages listeners to find a way to be philanthropic in their communities. Jeff suggests that we track our goals every month, so we know exactly where we are in achieving our goals, and reward ourselves when we meet small intervals. Before wrapping up, Jeff explains his "Four A's." First, appreciate everything you have every single day. Second, be ready to attack those obstacles and challenges that will inevitably present themselves. Add value to every situation and conversation you find yourself in. Finally, achieve the goals you are setting for yourself in 2024. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Pride in Self, Pride in Military, Pride in Country - Grunt Style's Tim Jensen
Dec 28 2023
Pride in Self, Pride in Military, Pride in Country - Grunt Style's Tim Jensen
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate and let’s go change this world!  On today’s episode, Jeff welcomes guest Tim Jensen of Grunt Style. Tim is a Marine Corps veteran and leader in the business and advocacy veteran community. Born in Chicago, he is currently the Co-Owner and Chief Brand Officer for Grunt Style and lives in San Antonio. Grunt Style is one of the fastest growing retail and e-commerce brands in the country. In the Marine Corps, Tim served as an amtracker gone infantry man and was deployed to Iraq in September of 2004.  To begin, Tim explains his transition from amtracs to infantry, which most officers actually do the other way around. He participated in over 200 combat patrols in the extremely violent Northern Iraq, for which he was awarded Combat Action Ribbon and Navy Achievement Medal. He finds it immensely important that we celebrate the men and women who put their lives on the line to protect our country from danger. By working alongside Grunt Style’s CEO to align the brand’s vision with its values, Tim’s goal is to help grow the brand and ensure that their products meet the highest expectation of demand. Although the brand doesn’t directly take any political side, they do recognize that the United States Constitution is something that should be known, celebrated and defended. Grunt Style also strives to be a leader in pride of the self, our military and our country.  Then, Tim shares about his journey from the military to Grunt Style. After returning to Chicago from the military, Tim found his life in a state that he was not proud of. Understanding that he was in need of making a major change, he quit his job and enrolled in college thanks to the GI Bill. He graduated in 3 years at the top of his class with a degree in video game design. He interviewed with Grunt Style and accepted a position working with the company’s inventory. 11 years later, he is Co-Owner and Chief Executive of the business. He is also the Chairman of the Grunt Style Foundation, a nonprofit committed to serving veterans and their families. What Tim enjoyed most about his time in Iraq, he shares, is that he was able to see a group of people get the ability to vote for their own government for the first time in their lives. He als sheds light on the freedoms we have as Americans that we often take for granted. Finally, he shares that Grunt Style’s goal is to continue sharing their love of freedom, our country and the self with people every day. They also plan to help people understand that patriotism is not a bad word. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Make Your Life Truly Yours, with Stacey Abella
Dec 14 2023
Make Your Life Truly Yours, with Stacey Abella
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It's simple: inspire, educate, and let's go change this world!  On today’s episode, Jeff welcomes guest Stacey Abella, an author and clarity coach. To begin, Stacey shares that her new book Secrets from My Travel Diaries: How One Burned Out Executive Reignited the Adventurer Within tells the stories of the two personal journeys she took to discover her true life purpose. As a young person, Stacey was fascinated by the idea of international travel and meeting people from all over the world. She went to Europe at 21 and had a multitude of revelatory experiences during the trip. Stacey's biggest goal in writing her new book was to help others realize that they can fulfill their dreams too.  Before becoming a clarity coach, Stacey had a corporate career. Over time, however, she began to realize that the life she once wanted for herself was not quite the life she wanted anymore. She then stepped into her "second life's journey" by developing the clarity method she uses with her clients today to help them construct a vision for their ideal life and how to get there. Her business is called Wind In Your Sails Consulting and offers clients a practical approach to embarking on their new life journey. Stacey explains that many of us are often too busy to recognize how to embark on a new path on our own. Each week, her clients are given personalized steps to approaching their goals and encouraged to have moments of calm reflection. Her favorite way to do this is by waking up at 5:00 every morning, a time she has set aside and dedicated to herself.  Next, Stacey shares specific travel stories she recounts in the book, including her visit to the Anne Frank house during her travels in Europe. As a writer, she found a lot of inspiration in the young girl's diaries. As a reminder that traveling is not always positive and uplifting, she also shares about the scary situation she and her friend experienced in Budapest. Meeting her husband, one of the happiest moments of Stacey's life is another story told in the book. Before wrapping up, Stacey shares the key takeaways she hopes readers will get from the book. She hopes that by sharing these stories with her, readers will emerge feeling changed. Finally, she identifies her game-changers in life.  Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Skies The Limit for this Rising Superstar
Dec 1 2023
Skies The Limit for this Rising Superstar
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate, and let’s change this world!  On today’s episode, Jeff welcomes guest Payton Riley, the fifteen-year-old singer-songwriter from Conroe, Texas. To begin, Payton explains that she began taking vocal lessons at age 7 and started her career two years later by singing the Star-Spangled Banner around town. She shares what initially captured her interest in singing and hopes to be a performer like Miranda Lambert one day. Payton was among the top 10 finalists in the 2023 TCMA Songwriter Contest. She also attended a songwriter retreat in Memphis with Grace Askew, where she learned skills and techniques she continues to use today. She also shares about the most inspirational people she has met in the music business thus far.  Payton grew up singing Christian music in school and always listened to country music at home with her mom. She prefers to write songs naturally without feeling pressured to do so. Payton also explains when she finds the time to be a kid while balancing school, sports, church, and her music career. She shares that her Christian school is small and close-knit and understands Payton’s desire to follow her dreams. Her goal is to attend Belmont College for a degree in songwriting and continue playing as many shows as possible to get her name out there. She hopes to be a light for listeners and let them know they can always chase their dreams. In closing, she offers her best advice for people just starting in their passion: surround yourself with positive people who can always lift you. Finally, she highlights her upcoming releases and the formation of her new band. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Finding Your True Strength with Andrew Anderson
Nov 23 2023
Finding Your True Strength with Andrew Anderson
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate, and let’s change this world! In today’s episode, Jeff welcomes guest Andrew Anderson, an executive coach who works with his clients to determine why they struggle in their personal or professional lives. Over the 9 years and 700 clients Andrew has coached, he has found that a business will only grow to the extent the business owner does. This is why it’s so essential for people to get to the roots of transformation in their lives to embrace change and progress. As a coach, Andrew takes a holistic approach when speaking with individual clients to uncover how fulfilled they are in each facet of their lives.  Andrew shares that his coaching business began 10 years ago in his parent’s basement. He was at the height of his career as a high school teacher and a father of two beautiful daughters when his wife decided to separate. At this point, Andrew felt that he had failed and could not be redeemed. What was the end of his teaching career was also the beginning of his career as an author, speaker, and coach. Andrew takes pride in helping pull others out of the dark place he once found himself in. Despite the challenging world we are living in, Andrew notes that he and his client are playing to win and be proactive.  Next, Andrew shares the pivotal moment when he realized he wanted to write a book after he had sworn off writing forever. The book is entitled Strength of the Oak, Strength of the Willow, a metaphor for the oak-like strengths of courage we all possess. His book teaches readers how to find their life’s mission that will drive them forward to live a life of longevity like an oak. The willow is a complementary force that can bend in a storm without breaking. This metaphor teaches us compassion, humility, and grace for ourselves and others when we fall short. In closing, Andrew identifies a few game changers that have helped him immensely along his journey. Finally, he shares that being a game changer means owning the game. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Texas Has Values, Just Ask
Nov 16 2023
Texas Has Values, Just Ask
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate and let’s go change this world!  On today’s episode, Jeff welcomes special guest Mary Elizabeth Castle, Director of Government Relations for Texas Values and Texas Values Action. In her role, Mary works with legislatures and their staff at the state capital to ensure pro-family values. Pro-family values represent the traditional value of what a family stands for by God's Word. This means providing a mother and father are in a home and doing everything possible to support traditional marriage, the upbringing of children, and parental rights.  Before joining Family Values, Mary worked under the general console at Midwestern State University, focusing on education policy. She also worked with First Liberty, researching and performing outreach for attorneys. This opportunity is what ultimately set the tone for her career path. She shares her appreciation for the First Liberty organization, which advocates for people to express their faith freely in professional and academic settings. After attending law school, Mary felt called to return to this field of work and was connected with Texas Values through the connections she made while working with First Liberty. Texas Values started in 2012, and Texas Values Action in 2014. Mary explains that Texas Values is a 501(c) that educates people and conducts research. Texas Values Action is a 501(c)(4) that endorses candidates and handles most of the organization’s lobbying and action work. Then, Mary explains how and when the organization will begin to support candidates as we approach election season. Hear how Texas Values stood alongside a protest held by women athletes protesting the NCAA in San Antonio. Even though Mary knew that God was calling her down this path, she shared that she initially hesitated to take on the work because she didn’t have prior legislative experience. However, she discovered that people within the legislation were welcoming and easy to talk to about subjects she had prior knowledge in. Reflecting on Texas Values’ most recent successful session, Mary reveals that the work never stops when fighting new policies that harm our children and rob us of our liberties. There is still work to be done to protect children from things like inappropriate curriculum content, library books, and premature sex education. In closing, Mary shares what she hopes is in store for her future (including possibly running for office) and who in history she would most like to speak with. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Inspiring Leaders with Leo Simpson
Nov 8 2023
Inspiring Leaders with Leo Simpson
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate, and let’s change this world!  In today’s episode, Jeff welcomes guest Leo Simpson to discuss leadership and what we must do to make a difference in the world. Leo is a Professor at Lone Star Community College, a five-star wedding officiant, has published seven books, and has been on platforms with over 130 million people. Leo’s book, the main topic of today’s conversation, is a comprehensive approach to life, including business, leadership, teamwork, heartbreak, disruptions in family life, marriage, prayer, and more. It is designed to give people the inspirational experience of receiving what they need to do what they need to do in every area of their life.  To begin, Leo discusses his idea of the “family, business, life mastery.” He started in 2012 as a certified leadership coach with the John Maxwell Team, emphasizing the importance of finding your niche. Leo discovered that his umbrella niche is in the area of professionals with families. More specifically, his calling is to help CEOs, business owners, and executives bridge the gap between their family and business lives. Leo explains that family life requires more quality time, and business life requires more time. Among the chief messages of Leo’s teachings is that family life and business life are meant to be teammates, not opponents. To achieve flow in these areas is far better than achieving balance because putting the two in a continuity structure creates fuel to encourage a better performance in both.   Next, Leo explains that adversities are reminders that there is an absence of something we need to leverage to have the predictable productivity we want. Leo teaches his executive and professional clients alike that we should look at ourselves and others at the level of our potential. While there are only two types of potential, fulfilled and unfulfilled, Leo shares the 15 laws to help you tap into your potential. We collaborate and connect as people by becoming masters of life. Leo explains that good leaders must maintain credibility in their private lives. They also must be comfortable with being less to lead. Leaders’ work is never actually about them as they are there to serve and add value for others. Knowing what problem you are meant to solve is the most significant thing a leader needs to know to lead best. In closing, Leo shares that the people who sit in the seats of government all come from families. Thus, he urges listeners to consider how our public environment is born in our private environments and how we could leverage these environments to inspire change. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Stacy Harris Unwraps the Person Behind "Game Changers"
Oct 31 2023
Stacy Harris Unwraps the Person Behind "Game Changers"
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It’s simple: inspire, educate, and let’s go change this world!  In today’s episode, listeners better understand Game Changers’ host, Jeff Newkirk, who is interviewed by returning guest Stacy Harris. Jeff shares that he is celebrating 35 years with his wife, Diane, and has three children. Stacy finds that Jeff is good at celebrating the success of others, which means he is not often talking about his success. He began his business in 2019 after many years in the corporate world. He was the CFO of financial management and the primary caregiver for his aging father. After Jeff’s father passed away, he and his family moved from Illinois to Texas, and he started his business. He shares his continuous love of working with people, helping them grow their businesses, and watching their communication and leadership skills evolve.  Then, Jeff shares the three elements that make up his favorite client-consultant relationship. This client must seek assistance, be receptive to ideas, and display an alignment of values and beliefs. This client could be a new business or someone who has been in business for a long time but is ready to reach the next level in their career. As a Don Maxwell Certified Coach and Consultant, what makes Jeff so passionate about leadership is the lack of leadership displayed in our country. Many factors and characteristics come into play in a strong leader. Jeff explains that being a good, strong, and effective leader begins with having a good value structure, knowing the difference between right and wrong, and prioritizing serving over being served. Jeff’s advice for listeners is to surround yourself with people who make you feel better and challenge you to be the best possible version of yourself.  Jeff shares that when he closes each podcast with “Today was a great day, and tomorrow will be even better”, he truly believes it, but it is up to us to make that happen. His professional goals for the coming years include continuing his business and helping people. Jeff lights up at the idea of being able to help others realize their full potential. Jeff is involved with several local non-profits outside his clientele, including Hands of Justice, the Dispute Resolution Center, and the Kiwanis Club. Before wrapping up, Jeff identifies faith's role in his life. Every morning, he starts his day off on the right foot by writing down the top three things he is grateful for. He also pays special attention to making sure his daily decisions are based on his core values, of which faith is one. Finally, he shares what he hopes his legacy will be and the overall impact he hopes the podcast has on the world.  Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast
Entrepreneurs, You Have a System for Excellence!
Oct 26 2023
Entrepreneurs, You Have a System for Excellence!
Welcome to Game Changers with Jeff Newkirk, where we speak with people who have done something to make this world a better place. It's simple: inspire, educate, and let's go change this world!  On today's episode, Jeff welcomes Jody Skogen, an expert coach in the EOS world, to talk about a topic that every business owner should be aware of. To begin, Jody shares that she is an Iowa girl through and through. In her home state, she coaches businesses through a system called EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System). EOS is an excellent set of tools and practical concepts to help organizations and leaders clarify, simplify, and understand where they're headed and how they will get there. About three years ago, Jody became a Director of Organizational Health for a construction business considering implementing EOS. This was Jody's introduction to the process, and she was lucky enough to have a front-row seat to watch a strong organization grow even stronger with the help of EOS. Eventually, she and her husband purchased their own EOS franchise, and Jody became a professional EOS implementer.  Jody defines an Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) as a simple, proven business operating system that can help an entrepreneurial organization clarify, simplify, and achieve its vision. As an EOS implementer, Jody helps to put decisions, plans, and agreements into effect using those tools. Simply put, she is a teacher, facilitator, and coach for clients around simple tools that make up EOS. Listen as she explains her typical process for approaching a team that needs to be completely aligned with its goals. When an organization decides to work with an EOS implementer, the leadership team is urged to step back from the day-to-day operations and clarify the organization's long-term vision. They are asked questions to define their core values, core focus, 10-year target, marketing strategy, what that data will look like three years from now and more.  What Jody loves most about EOS is that the system applies to every industry. Listen as she shares her personal favorite EOS success story. Then, she explains that there are about 20 tools she teaches clients over their 2-year EOS journey. The EOS accountability chart is one of her favorite tools because it clarifies everybody's role, encourages accountability, and eliminates confusion. Although accountability is seen as a negative term in some workplaces, listeners are reminded that accountability is a positive thing when a team is working together and helping each other out. In closing, Jody shares how listeners can get in touch with her. Learn more about Jeff Newkirk. Do you have any game-changers in your life? Be sure to let me know so we can celebrate their story and contribution to our world. Go to https://gamechangerswithjeff.com to enter your name to be on the podcast