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CUC RS | Leading A Team

 

How has social media and technology improved your life? Being a leader or a game changer of your chosen niche, how have you been using new tools and concepts in helping others find their purpose, leading a team to be more connected with each other, and helping people improve their self-perception? Today’s guest, licensed Clinical Psychologist and host of The Daily Helping, Dr. Richard Shuster, reintroduces the true purpose of social media and uses this to make teams more cohesive instead of members being more individualistic. Dr. Shuster also tackles helping people at a larger scale identify their strengths and weaknesses through several platforms, and shares how he and his wife go about founding and growing their organization called Every Kid Rocks.

Listen to the podcast here:

Leading A Team: How To Establish Connection Among Your Team Members with Dr. Richard Shuster

We’re visiting with Dr. Richard Shuster, who’s a licensed clinical psychologist and the host of his podcast, The Daily Helping with Dr. Shuster. Food for the Brain, Knowledge from the Experts, Tools to Win at Life. He’s featured in such publications as the Huffington Post, Men’s Health, Real Simple, Inc., Cosmopolitan and more. Richard, welcome to the show.

Bill, it is great to be here. Thanks for having me on your show.

It’s pretty cool that you drove over here from Atlanta so that we could get together in person.

That’s one of the things about podcasting. It’s an isolated industry and even when you’re connecting with people over Zoom, it’s fun to be able to do these, sitting side by side with somebody. This is fun.

I was reading a little bit about you. I was wondering how you moved from graduating from college, becoming an IT professional to start in your own business and becoming a neuropsychologist. I’m an Airborne Ranger and that seems like a big jump even to me.

It’s funny. I remember it on my last day at undergrad. With a beer in my hand, I swore up and down to all of my friends that I would never spend another day in a classroom for the rest of my life. Two Master’s and a doctorate later, I clearly couldn’t have been more wrong. I finished school in the late ‘90s where you could chew gum and type on a keyboard at the same time. You could get a pretty good job in the IT world. I was able to get this job because when in college, I had created a fictitious endangered species and taught myself how to code HTML and make a website. As a psychology major, which is essentially useless without a postgraduate degree, I had some tangible skills that were translatable into the real world. I was thrown into corporate sales for an IT firm. That’s what started my career.

You had a life-changing experience. Could you tell us about that?

Going down new roads means experiencing a spiral of new events. Click To Tweet

It was interesting. I worked in the IT space and then I had bid on a government contract around the age of 24 for the DOD, not weapons, it was software development. I bid on this with two friends of mine and we won. It was one of these things where we were excited for the first twenty seconds or so and then it terrified us. All of a sudden, I’m building this IT consulting company. As I was doing that on what was otherwise an ordinary Saturday for me, I was out driving. I was in a near-fatal car accident in which I broke my spine. I suffered some pretty severe internal injuries. I nearly tore every ligament in my neck and by all rights, I should have died.

It’s interesting some of the research that’s been done on the brain in terms of what happens to people when they’re in a near-death experience. A lot of people, you hear the cliché and we’ve seen it in movies, “I saw my life.” It wasn’t quite that. My life didn’t flash before my eyes, but what was happening at that moment and there is some good neuroscience research around this, is that the brain oftentimes will try and slow us down. It’s like Neo in The Matrix, to make a movie reference, where the bullets are going by him in slow motion. That’s what was happening to me where in the span of maybe three seconds from when that first car hits me and slams into my side. I was sent spiraling into oncoming traffic after my airbag goes off. The second car hits me and then ultimately sends me the other way where a telephone pole would stop my momentum at maybe three seconds.

I’m seeing it all and I’m having this full conversation with myself. The first thought that I had is, “I’m about to die.” It wasn’t, “Dear God, let me live and I promise I’m going to turn over a new leaf and start giving presents to orphan boys or girls.” I was dead and then I immediately became overwhelmed with guilt and shame knowing that my parents were going to get this call that I was dead. They’re out with friends that evening. I happened to know they were having dinner and a movie with friends. I’m thinking about the life that I had lived in. While all of this is happening in these three seconds, I’m watching my center console crush into my spine like somebody is crushing an empty can of Coke. I’m seeing little shards of my windshield, which is already shattered, floating in the air and spinning in the light of the sun bouncing up.

It was very slow. It was wild how much time had slowed down for me. I’m having this conversation about how I hadn’t done anything to be proud of. I was very focused on obtaining material things for the sake of having material things. I believed that I was empire-building but I was doing it all for the wrong reasons. That was a transformative moment for me because as a result of that, even though I returned to the work that I was doing for a time, it ultimately started me down a different journey and the one that led me to what I’m doing now.

That’s pretty crazy. I can almost imagine all of this happening to you, but to have that many thoughts in that short amount of time. It seems to me part of what’s happening, I use a term called other-oriented. I always want people to be other-oriented and try and make that other person a hero. It will be good for them and improve their lives and it always reflected back on you. It sounds like that’s the direction you started wanting to go.

It was very interesting. I stuck it out in that IT consulting role for admittedly longer than I should have because of fear. I didn’t know what I would be doing with the rest of my life. I was afraid of letting people down who were believing in me. Ultimately, I made that jump. I went from that 80-hour week world to zero and spent a lot of time sitting alone in my place thinking about the decisions I had made.

CUC RS | Leading A Team

Leading A Team: We are in an era where we can hook up the technology to people’s heads and see what’s happening in real-time.

 

Was that while you’re recovering?

This was after the recovery. I got to a point where the pain was enough emotionally and I was so miserable that I had to roll out of bed. I joke about this. I tell people that if Instacart had existed back then, I don’t know what I would be doing now, which was that first thing that shifted for me was I went out to get groceries. I was living in Texas at the time and I went to H-E-B and I was going to get groceries because I couldn’t get them any other way. I heard these two women talking about their teenage daughters on social media and how their daughters were posting bikini pictures and that’s not appropriate. I interjected and I don’t usually interrupt people’s conversations. I said, “I’ve got a background in technology and network security. Here are some things that you need to think about to keep your kids safe on the internet.” I didn’t mean to terrify them, but their eyes got big like silver dollar pancakes. One of them said, “You need to come to talk to our PTA. I’m on the board of our PTA. Will you come to speak at our school?”

That was that first glimpse where I was able to reframe the knowledge and skills that I had accumulated in the IT world and see a different way to leverage that to do some good and help some people. I wind up speaking to them and somebody in the audience who was on the city cybercrime unit of the police department, why they asked that guy to give this talk, I’ll never know. He came up to me after and he said, “Richard, you are very good in front of an audience and you can say things as a civilian that I can’t in law enforcement.” Now, I’m on a speaking tour. One thing led to another. We always have these spiral of events when we go down these new roads. I found myself very quickly back in graduate school and was getting my Master’s and I work with victims who went through Hurricane Katrina. That was very powerful for me. I wanted to go beyond that and I got my doctorate in clinical psych and sub-specialties in forensic and neuropsychology where I received that advanced training. It was an opportunity to go beyond that, which is why I started my podcast and some of these other things I’m doing. It was all because of that accident. It was the catalyst for all of that.

Starting the podcasting, The Daily Helping, was part of you wanting to give back to others. What are some of the things that you learned from brain research in those studies that you were going through?

There have been a lot of research by a lot of different people in terms of the brain and in particular as it relates to altruism. It’s very interesting. We’re in an era where we can hook up the technology to people’s heads and see what’s happening in real-time. There are different ways that they do it. The term is real-time diagnostic imaging where you can see what’s happening with people. What’s interesting is that we know from a neurobiological standpoint that whether we help people or whether we receive assistance ourselves, the same structures are enacted in the brain. The same mechanisms, the same neurotransmitters are released.

We were talking about this as an example a little bit before. If I took any two people in the world and I handed person A $1,000 and person B handed somebody randomly $1,000. When we took a look at what was happening in their brains, the same stuff is happening. There’s a part of our brain that lights up called the mesolimbic pathway. It’s an ancient mammalian rewards system. Where we are as a society is problematic because of social media, cell phones and the selfies that we believe that we’re supposed to be out there self-promoting, has taken us away from the fact that it feels good to help other people. That’s why my podcast has our #MyDailyHelping movement where my call to action every episode is to encourage our audience to commit a random act of kindness. Particularly, if you don’t know who the person is you’re helping and then post it in your social media feeds using the #MyDailyHelping because scientifically you’re happier when you help other people.

One of the things that you are saying is that social media when you look at how it started, it looked like it was trying to connect people tighter through they know more about each other. In some cases, it almost flipped a little bit to where it’s more isolating the person more to themselves. Could you talk a little bit about that?

The initial incarnation of social media was about connectivity. Click To Tweet

My doctoral dissertation was on the impact that technology has on personality functioning, in particular, social media. This is an area that I’ve done a good amount of research and it’s very interesting. You’re right on, the original social media platform was MySpace.com. That was the first one and then Facebook came around, but a lot of people don’t realize Facebook was invented for the sole purpose of allowing college students to connect to each other. You couldn’t join Facebook unless you were a college student. At some point, Zuckerberg and his pals figured out, “We could monetize this.” They opened it up to everybody. The initial incarnation of social media was about connectivity. What we started seeing are these trends and as the internet evolves. The internet came around and in the late 1990s, you started seeing for the first time a consumer who was able to start making their own web content.

Before that, it was corporations I think. The first iteration of ESPN.com was something like 1996 if I recall. Once it started moving into the consumer space, what you started seeing happening was people would start creating these personalized websites. It was almost like personal branding, “This is who I am,” except it wasn’t who they are. What science deemed this was known as the trophy case presentation, in which you’re presenting this alter ego to the world to say, “Look at how fantastic I am.” The accolades and the things that people were posting didn’t necessarily line up with how they felt inside. Push that forward into the era of social media. What started happening was you were seeing people who would very much self-aggrandized on social media and say, “Look at me. Look how wonderful I am.”

When you think about this because I’m going to talk about this from a clinical standpoint and I’m going to talk about this in terms of a general population standpoint. From a clinical standpoint, take the narcissist, take the C-Suite level person who is incredibly successful financially, however, has poor interpersonal relationships. Historically, before the internet, that person wouldn’t present in a clinical setting until they suffered what we would refer to in the profession as a narcissistic injury. Your spouse leaves you, the board kicks you out of the company. Something so substantially devastating that you have no choice but to address it. Historically, that’s what it would take.

What we’re starting to see is now because of social media, those with tendencies like narcissism, they are showing up less and less for treatment because all you have to do is say, “Bill doesn’t agree with me,” unfriend. You find ten other people who will like your post and support your post. You can stay the way you want to be because the internet has created the ability for us to have what’s called confirmation bias. When we take information in from our environment and we’re able to use that to support a series of beliefs that we have. We saw this prevalently in the last election cycles that you had people who literally were unfriending people that they have had relationships online with because they supported one particular political candidate or the other. That’s one of the issues.

In terms of what social media has done to society in a more general sense is you’re seeing increased numbers of people who find themselves feeling as though they have to compete with their neighbors. It’s interesting. What the research tends to bear out is that those people who tend to be more aggrandizing on Facebook, who tend to either have more flamboyant language in their posts, post in a voluminous amount and/or have self-promoting pictures, there’s an inverse correlation upon which those people are less happy oftentimes than people who don’t. However, the average person on Facebook doesn’t know that. All they see is, “Look how incredible, my neighbor is always taking these vacations,” or “He’s on all these great dates with his spouse.” Whereas before, the bar was basically where we’re using our internal metric stick for happiness or rather pulling that data from our immediate circle. We are now in a place where we are judging our own success based on the information of other people. The best of somebody else or the worst depending on how you look at it. It has a large impact.

I’m all about building a culture within teams, companies and organizations. If you’re trying to build a team and all of these people are very individualistic within their social media, how do you break those walls down to where they would become part of a team and get that cohesion and taking care of each other that you want or is that tougher to do now?

CUC RS | Leading A Team

Leading A Team: From a neurodevelopmental standpoint, everything is connected. The ability to crawl helps promote the development of all these other skills.

 

The former IT guy in me, my immediate thought is to have people blocked Facebook through your firewall, but probably the more intelligent answer is it’s particularly as the workplace is changing. We know now that Millennials are making up a large percent of the workplace and the Boomers are starting to phase out. What’s important in the workplace is that you’re a big culture guy. Millennials, in particular, are very passionate about knowing that the organization they’re working for is doing something mission-centric. That is the work that the company is doing in some way is benefiting the better good of the world. I am a big fan of Bob Burg and his book The Go-Giver because he talks about this and that an organization should be mission and value-driven first and then the revenue follows.

To build a culture in the workplace, you need to address that head-on. It can be done a lot of ways. I am in no way saying that revenue isn’t part of the equation. Driving profit and growing your bottom line is part of it. When your employees feel engaged that the work that they’re doing is contributing significantly, that’s when you’re going to be able to bridge that gap between the C-Suite who are coming up with the ideas down through to the employee level where you’re constructing these teams. Everybody feels that they’re banding together to do something phenomenal.

My daughter is a Millennial and when I talked to her, she says that people in her generation and generations coming after her expect everything in their life to be tailored to the way they like things. Other older generations are used to bending themselves to what’s provided. It’s a big flip flop and change in what’s happening out there. For the C-Suite to engage with the Millennials, one of the things is to show how their mission and values are going to help change the world. The other way is to help get them to connect internally to where that team becomes a part of their social media and that on their social media, things that they’re doing at work make them look good in their peers’ eyes to where now they’re building up that company that they’re part of. You can start to build that culture around it a little bit. One of the big steps that we have in culture building, my last step is to give back. What you’ve been big and trying to do, especially after your accident, going into psychology and work in this podcast at The Daily Helping. I’m a big-time Boy Scout and it feels like their motto of doing a good turn daily is very similar to what you’re doing. Additionally, you’ve started Every Kid Rocks. What’s the vision and mission for that undertaking?

My mission as a whole every day is to help people become the best versions of themselves, even if it’s of no direct benefit to myself. The podcast and my charity are a number of vehicles that I use to accomplish that. With Every Kid Rocks, our goal is to help children everywhere reach their true potential. The story behind this is it came out of a podcast, but the bigger story came back in 2012. My wife was 31 weeks pregnant. She collapsed at her place of work. I was in my residency at the time and I get a call that my wife had collapsed and off to the hospital she went. By the time I was able to get over there, they had already done all the routine tests that they do for women who are pregnant and collapse and go to the hospital.

The doctor comes out white as a ghost. I could read in his face and then he says, “I have good news and bad news,” which is the worst because I would say that to my patients. I know when you have good news and bad news is you’re setting somebody up for bad news. The good news was the reason why my wife is in so much pain was that my son was kicking her sciatic nerve repeatedly, which is tremendously painful but not dangerous to a mother or her unborn child. The thing was and this is why the doctor looks the way that he did. He said, “We discovered in doing routine tests that there was a pin size hole in your wife’s cervix.” We would have never seen it, but she had been leaking amniotic fluid throughout the duration of the pregnancy and an imperceptible level. Had we not come in that day, my son would have suffocated to death in the utero within the next twelve hours.

I believe my son saved his own life. I don’t know what his purpose is. They said that they were going to stick her with an IV full of fluids and that they were going to give it twelve hours because if they couldn’t raise the levels to a certain degree, they had to cut them out right then. In my residency, I’m working with kids a lot. I’m seeing the worst of the worst every day. I know what the outcome measures look like for a kid born at 31 weeks and they’re not great. To complicate matters, I’m sent home to build a crib and that’s not within my skillsets. I’m sitting there and it’s like this comedy where this box that clearly has the cartoon image that says two people should be lifting it, two people should be assembling it and it’s just me. I’m up all night and the thing is falling on me 50 times. I finally get it built in about 6:00 in the morning. I head back to the hospital and I was new at attending at the time.

Millennials are very passionate about knowing that the organization they're working for is doing something mission-centric. Click To Tweet

You must be an optimist if you’re building the crib. It’s like, “We’re going to survive this.”

I’m building the crib because I was told to build the crib, but it was a scary and stressful night for us. The levels went up enough to where they’re going to give it twelve more hours. The level is just enough and 36 hours becomes 72 hours, becomes six weeks. She was on bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy. My job essentially was a courier between the hospital and Costco, bringing her cases of Gatorade nonstop. It was wild. We were able to keep them in there until 37 weeks, which is great. He had enough fluid to live, but what happened was he was upside down. He was breached. His head was wedged underneath my wife’s rib cage for the whole rest of the pregnancy. Imagine if you turned your head all the way to the left to the point where it hurts. Imagine staying that way for six weeks. Because the kids can’t move around, his skull is pretty malleable. He comes out and his head is misshapen. He doesn’t know he has the right side of his body for the first eight months of his life. He has all of these developmental delays. What a lot of people don’t realize is from a neurodevelopmental standpoint, everything is connected. The ability to crawl helps promote the development of all these other skills. My son can’t do any of this stuff.

Your education probably helped you understand that better than most people.

My wife is a pediatric OT. We were in that space, but knowledge is also a burden. We know too much. It’s scary at times. At the time, I’m working 80 hours a week in my residency. I’m making a big fat $36,000 a year, $1.75 an hour. It’s unbelievable. I could have bagged groceries and made more. My son needed all these things that we weren’t able to provide him and the insurance wouldn’t necessarily pay for and our deductible was crazy. Getting him a helmet to fix his misshapen head, we use credit cards. We started racking up this tremendous debt.

They have these programs in different states for kids under two that the state will provide some degree of assistance. What they do is they send somebody to your house and they test the child in a number of domains: speech, motor skills, cognitive skills and all of these different things. Because my son gets his brains from his mother who is sharp, his aggregate cognitive scores were too high. They brought up his scores overall and he wasn’t able to get all of the help that we needed. There’s a threshold. If you’re beyond that threshold, they don’t help you. You’re on your own. We kept racking up this debt to get our son to speech therapy, the physical therapy, the occupational therapy.

When he turned one and we wanted to shift him out of a daycare into a preschool environment with an educational curriculum and start fostering his development, school after school, turned us away. The reason they did was from a liability standpoint. They were fearful that if my son got stepped on because he couldn’t walk like all the other one-year-olds, we would sue them. It got to a point where I went to one school and said, “I will, at my own expense, hire a lawyer to draft a waiver of liability that if my son is injured while stepped on, I’ll not sue you.” They said no. Finally, after about the twentieth school, there’s one school that said, “We’ll take him. We’ll put him with one-year-olds and these kids weigh like fifteen pounds. It’s probably going to be okay if someone steps on him. The teacher was amazing and went above and beyond. When my kid’s occupational therapists would say he needed more sensory input, she would be texting pictures to my wife that day of them putting shaving cream on his feet and havering at a sensory lab and all of these things.

I’m grateful to say all these years later, my son is perfect. I’m not saying that as a biased dad. If you look at my kid, you would never have a clue. He swings on monkey bars and he can do anything that any kid can do. I’m so grateful for that. As it relates to The Daily Helping, early on in my podcast, I was self-conscious about this. Podcasting is like karaoke for the whole world. If you’re bad, the whole world is going to hear how bad you are, but you never really get it right. You don’t get the boos. You don’t get the direct feedback. I mentioned Bob Burg. He was my first big guest and my first internationally known guest. I asked him after, “How do you think that went, Bob?” He said to me, “I do this every day and you’re very gifted at what you do. I’m telling you, if you keep with this, you’re going to help a lot of people.”

CUC RS | Leading A Team

Leading A Team: If everybody is doing what they love, they’re going to be more willing to help other people, and that’s going to make the world a better place.

 

At that time I would record whenever anybody would record. I would record it at night. I did one with somebody at 2:00 in the morning that was in the UK. I just run upstairs and I’m so excited. I charge into the bedroom. My wife is on her Kindle and I burst down the door like a maniac. I’m like, “Bob Burg thinks I’m great.” In the stream of consciousness, I’m like “Wouldn’t it be amazing when the podcast is successful if I can earmark money and give it back to Ryan’s old preschool so kids who needed a push like him.” I couldn’t even finish the sentence like the little cartoon light bulb is going off over my head. I run downstairs and get on my laptop and go to GoDaddy and typed in EveryKidRocks.org and the domain is available to my shock. I bought it and then my next action was to immediately send an email to my lawyer. I said, “We’re going to start a 501(c)(3) and this is what it’s going to do.”

What Every Kid Rocks is and does is we are a nationwide charity upon which we raise funds and distribute funds to participating schools so that they can use providers in their own communities for kids that just need a push, not the kids that have the severe issues. There are a lot of charities that help those kids and God bless them. I wish there were more, but there was nobody in this space before us for that kid like my son whose scores weren’t bad enough. Those kids who are skating under the radar because either they’re not problem kids in school or because the schools aren’t federally or state-mandated to help them because of the threshold scoring, those kids that need five to ten sessions of speech, physical, occupational therapy to ride their ship. That’s what Every Kid Rocks does. I’ve been grateful for all of the people that have helped us spread that mission and help us continue to try and make a difference in the lives of kids everywhere.

What’s your goal each year that you’re trying to raise?

Our goal is $2 million.

What’s MARS Industries?

That was another vehicle that I’ve created. As a psychologist, MARS is another one of these things that lets me help people on a much larger scale. My background was unique in that I played the corporate game and did all that stuff before I became a clinician and not the other way around. One of the things that always frustrated me was the nature of the psychological assessment industry, for a variety of reasons. One, it’s about the least inclusive industry that you can ever imagine. Many people who need access to the help that they could get from these companies aren’t able to get it. That was one thing. The gatekeepers were making sure that that’s the way it was set up.

Number two, it’s an incredibly greedy industry. Number three, it’s an industry largely predicated, if not completely predicated on finding things that are wrong with people. A lot of these assessments, particularly the more clinical, the diagnostic ones, it’s all predicated on the insurance industry. We even learned in graduate school there are certain diagnoses which are less pejorative than others, but they told us without telling us, “You should never assign those because you’ll never get reimbursement for those.” What I wanted to be disruptive in that space was, “How can I do to the assessment industry what Michael Dell did to the PC industry in the late ‘90s? How can I be a disruptive force for good?” I did a number of things. One is I created tools that are accessible to everybody. Number two, I made tools which show people what’s great about them, as well as things that they can build upon to improve. Three, I built it using a business model that nobody in that industry had done before, upon which I pay people as affiliates to help us help other people.

Podcasting is like karaoke for the whole world. If you're bad, the whole world is going to hear how bad you are. Click To Tweet

It’s multiple levels of helping. It’s multiple levels of giving back. It’s tailored to the individual. We built the entire platform on Salesforce. It was built to scale. We built it the right way. It’s funny, twenty years later I’m back developing software again. It all comes full circle. We’re primarily in three spaces. We’re in human performance. We’re in addiction and recovery and we’re in trauma, specifically trauma for veterans with PTSD. In the human performance space, we’re helping individuals and we’re helping corporations. In the addiction recovery space, we’re helping individuals and we’ve seen growth from companies that like what we’ve created and are using it in their EAP programs. We have these tools and algorithmically, they are going to determine things that you can use in your life to help you.

For example, our instrument POWERS, which stands for Predictor of World-class Excellence Rating Scales. This takes a look at 21 dimensions empirically associated with success in life. Notice I didn’t just say success in business, but success in life. I was at an event where I heard Garrett Gunderson speak about a study that was done in Forbes and I don’t remember when the study was done, but what they did was they took a look at a large number of C-Suite people in Fortune 1000 companies and qualitatively ask them information about their life outside of the business. Certainly, anybody reading this would probably agree or it wouldn’t take much to convince you that in America, a C-Suite position in a Fortune 1000 companies is about the tops like in terms of what we would respect and what we would determine as successful in business. What was overwhelmingly the case for these individuals was that they had failed marriages. They regretted that their kids had grown and they had no relationship with them. Many of them had failed health. You would presume that C-Suite people are in tune with what their strengths and weaknesses are in terms of their abilities.

They have a more balanced life in all those areas.

They don’t and that has extended to all of us. We created POWERS to help people identify where they fall in terms of what are the things that you’re doing great in your life and what are these areas where you can be improved. We have content partners and people that are helping us once we’ve identified what those issues are. We make transformative changes either in an individual or within that corporation. That was one of the things that we created. We’re very proud of that. The feedback has been phenomenal.

Another one that I’m extraordinarily proud of is called PLSAR which stands for the Predictor of Long-term Success in Addiction Recovery. What we’ve created is an algorithm that helps people who are having issues with addiction, whether it’s opiates, whether it’s alcohol, whether it’s any number of about 30 substances determine based on personality characteristics in addition to external factors in their environment. What are three things that are likely to help them maintain their sobriety and what are three things that are likely to derail their abstinence? When you can help somebody in that regard. I think this drills back to your original question asking me about MARS Industries. That’s the name of the company that we sell these tools through. As a psychologist, I was also frustrated that the gold standard instruments were horrible in some regards. “Here’s a rubber stamp. You’re an addict.”

“I think I knew that.”

It’s like, “I’m doing heroin, I’m pretty sure I know I’m an addict.” How does a person take that? We’ve created these things to take that to a whole different direction. The other thing we’ve done with PLSAR that we’re very proud of is we have this 120-page guide for families that helps relatives of people battling an addiction to go through that. We give that away completely for free to everybody who takes it. How they can be supportive based on their loved one’s results. In addition to the fact that when somebody in recovery has taken PLSAR once, we let them take it again for free over the course of their life because we know that as one’s recovery changes, so too the variables that impact where they’re at in that particular stage.

We are now in a place where we are judging our own success based on the information of other people. Click To Tweet

We were told that that was a very poor business decision, but that’s what the existing assessment industry would do. They charge you every time you take the assessment. It wasn’t about the money for us in that regard. It was about having an impact. Those are the tools we’re doing. We’re also doing things in the sports world. We have performance tools for professional athletes all the way down to kids in the sixth grade. Creating MARS Industries was another opportunity for me to leverage this international platform that I was grateful enough to have happened through the podcast.

That’s a broad spectrum. That’s a lot of work in MARS.

We’ve got some smart people working with us. The people that we’re working with have backgrounds in neuroscience and Fortune 500 consulting and leadership. We’ve brought these people in and then ripped apart all of the gold star tasks, the DiSC, the Big Fives, the NEO PIs and all of these things. What do we like about them? What can we do differently? That’s how we created that.

On Every Kid Rocks, how can people help either monetarily or through time? What are the best ways that people can help them?

I love that question. Thank you so much for asking that. People can find out more about that at EveryKidRocks.org and there’s an opportunity where you can donate, which we certainly appreciate that. There’s also an opportunity where you can sign up and volunteer. We get in touch with you about that because what we’re organizing are Every Kid Rocks ambassadors, city by city to where people can get involved and go to your school and say, “Here’s something we want to get involved in,” and ask your school to donate.

It’s self-generating locally everywhere around the country. You get the ball rolling and then it can take care of itself. I’ve had a good time talking. This is Dr. Richard Shuster. What are the best ways for people to contact you?

The mother ship for me and everything that I’ve talked about is at DrRichardShuster.com. You can also check out MARS Industries and the POWERS that I spoke of particularly at SeekYourPowers.com. It’s been great being here, Bill. I’ve enjoyed it.

It’s been fun. One of the things that I’d like to do is to put you at what we called the Culture Code Champions Hall of Fame for the contribution you’re giving a lot to the world. What would you like most to be remembered for?

I think about legacy a lot and that I had kids a little bit later in life. I want my contribution to be that all over the world, the things that I created help people take the steps to live their best life and whatever that is to them. Because each and every one of us, our passions are different. What fires us is different. At the end of the day, if everybody is doing what they love, they’re going to be more apt and willing to help other people and that’s going to make the world a better place.

You want to help them figure out what that best life is for them and then live that life. It’s been fantastic talking to you. Until our next episode, I want everybody to make heroes of everybody that they contact and to get out there and make your culture count.

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