From Platoon Leader To Leadership Guru With Dr. Gary McGrath

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That taking a leaders’ role can be difficult is an understatement. You need to be ready for the tough challenges that lie ahead because being a leader is not just about status and power but also compassion and accountability. Anyone can become a leader but some are just born leaders, destined to take the lead right off the bat. One such person is Tony Martignetti’s guest, Dr. Gary McGrath, the founder and CEO of Statarius. In this conversation, Gary gets into detail about his life from training in the military to getting a degree in mechanical engineering and onto becoming the leadership guru that he is now. With each of these flashpoints that cultivated the natural-born leader in him, you will get a ton of valuable life and career lessons that you can apply in your own leadership journey. Don’t miss them!

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From Platoon Leader To Leadership Guru With Dr. Gary McGrath

It is my honor to introduce you to my guest, Dr. Gary McGrath. Gary has been labeled a unicorn in leadership development. His undeniable passion for leadership started when he was an Eagle in the Boy Scouts. After graduating with a dual degree in Mechanical Engineering, he entered the US Army where he commanded 120 soldiers at the age of 25. He went on to work at several Fortune 500 companies and startup technology companies. He completed his formal education, earning a Doctor of Business Administration in Marketing, a DBA as they call it. Dr. Gary is the Founder and CEO of , which is Latin for “To stand firm.” He's the author of two books, and

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Dr. Gary believes in paying it forward. He's working with Habitat for Humanity in Broward County, Florida. It is my honor and pleasure to welcome you to the Virtual Campfire.

Thanks, Tony. It’s good to be here.

It's going to be exciting to uncover all the different pieces of who you are and the story that brought you to where you are in this place, making such an impact in the world.

For a lot of people that are searching for their real way of expressing and manifesting their passion is not a path that I would recommend to anybody but it got me where I am now and I'm grateful for that.

I love the way you said it because it's funny how you wouldn't change it. I'm sure you wouldn't change the path that got you here because it made you every bit of the person you are now. Ultimately, there are certain wounds and scars along the way that you've earned.

We all learned that in some way, shape or form. We all struggle with trying to figure out our purpose, with health, our spiritual inadequacies or our family. It's not the struggle that's the problem. It's trying to ignore the struggle and what you learn from it. As I always say, “In leadership, our job with the employees, the people around us and our family is to help those that might be suffering but support those that are struggling and let the struggle build the person.”

That's a great differentiation. That's suffering versus struggling. Sometimes, people think of it as almost synonymous but it's not.

If you have children, you don't want to prevent your children from struggling. I really question parents that say, “I want to make it easy for my children.” I'm like, “No.” Making it easy doesn't build calluses, resilience to mistakes and the things that we need as adults. We don't want our children to suffer. We don't want them in a situation that they don't have control over. One of the things I wanted to make sure as a parent that I did for my sons was to let them know that I would always be there for them when they needed it. If there was an adult that was not being fair to them then I would, in some cases, protect them from that or teach them how to handle it.

I would always say to them, “You will not be disrespectful to that adult. If they're disrespectful to you and anybody needs to be disrespectful to their face, let that be me.” Not that I was that way but if I needed to get in a parent's face that was disrespectful to my sons, I would. I'm not going to let that happen. We make those tough decisions but don't let ourselves think that in any way, shape or form that people need to be protected from the struggle.

That's definitely a great insight. We're off to the races already. We're already digging into some amazing lessons for people to know. Let's start digging into the story that made you who you are.

Do you want to go back to the beginning?

Leadership is doing the right thing. Management is doing things right.

We're going to go to the very beginning. Oftentimes people do but you don't have to. You can start wherever you like. The way we work in the show, for the people who are reading, is we talk about what's called flashpoints. These are moments in your story that ignite your gifts into the world. You can share what you're called to share. We'll stop along the way and see what shows up. With that, Gary, what do you see as your flashpoints in your life?

In a joking way, I always tell people I'm the 4th of 5 boys and my younger brother came along ten years after me so I had the opportunity to be the baby for ten years. I was very upset when I had to give that up. I always had a special and different relationship with my parents. I will share with you that the endpoint is my dad passed away. I said that I was sad and grateful at the same time because he had his first heart attack when he was 53. It completely changed his life. He lost 50 lbs, stopped smoking his pipe, did all the things necessary and lived another 37 years. When he passed, I said, “I'm sad that he's gone but I'm grateful that he took the responsibility to change his life and be here for another 37 years. If others could be that responsible.”

He taught us these things by the way he lived and I'm very grateful for that. He taught us resilience and responsibility. He was a former military naval officer. When you talk about some of the things that form us, those flashpoints, there's a lot of slow-burning points for me and not necessarily flashpoints. One of those is my military family. My dad was in the military, my four brothers, myself, my son. We have 108 years of military service. I take it very seriously when we talk about things like the Constitution of the United States that we raised our hand to protect and defend the constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. That's about leadership. It didn't matter what position I was in. Everybody in the military takes the same oath to protect and defend the constitution. That's leadership as we say. Leadership is a responsibility, not a position. How did all that start?

There was a moment when I was younger and I don't remember when it was 7, 10 years old when something hit me that I just knew I was going to do something significant. I had no idea what that was but there was this feeling of joy, elation and pressure all at the same time. It said, “Gary, you're going to do something significant. Get to work.” I was like, “What am I going to start working on?” I don’t know what it was so I start to keep my eyes open. When I was sixteen, I was an Eagle Boy Scout. The troop leader stood in front of us and transformed the troop literally in three minutes. Not by setting a goal, we're going to do this, we're going to do that. I felt this energy. I walked up to the troop leader and I said, “What was that?” I’ll never forget it. He put his hand right on my shoulder, looked me right in the eye and he said, “Gary, that's leadership.” He walked away and started getting to work. I was like, “Leadership. That’s good stuff.” I wonder what the hell that is.

I started studying, reading books and biographies. My favorite was reading Abraham Lincoln and what he was able to achieve without a formal education. All the things to all these stories and I started to realize the power of stories. All these little pieces started to come together. From that point on I said, “Any opportunity that I could get to be in a leadership position, I was going to take it.” I worked in a restaurant. I was a shift supervisor. When I was in college, I was a dorm president. Taking these voluntary and involuntary opportunities to be in leadership. I got an Army ROTC scholarship, was in charge of a platoon at 22 years old and I was in command at 25. With three older brothers in the Navy as enlisted men, their advice coming out of college, I can remember. Here I am, I got my commission.

There's a tradition in the military that the first enlisted person that you salute, you give them a silver dollar. My three brothers were at my commissioning in uniform, standing outside the building when I walked out so it costs me $3 but we kept the money in the family. When my son graduated from the Naval Academy, his uncle, my younger brother, was a Chief in the Navy, standing outside the door in uniform. He saluted his uncle and gave him a silver dollar. We kept all the money in the family. It was awesome. Those are the traditions and the flashpoints that you’re talking about. You don't forget the responsibility and advice. My three brothers, when I saluted them, they said, “Remember, when you go in there, Lieutenant Barabar, listen to your Sergeant.” I did and it made me very successful in the military because I knew who ran the Army at the level that I was at and that was the Sergeants.

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I saw that leadership and I recognized how I was “the boss” but I had to take a step back and let the people who knew what they were doing do the job. I often would walk into my First Sergeant's office or my Platoon Sergeant and say, “Sergeant, what are we going to do today?” They would tell me, “Is there anything I need to do? Do I need to tell anybody to do anything?” They were telling me how to do my job because I was the officer. I was in charge. With great confidence, I would step out there and tell the troops what we're going to do. The Sergeant would just wink at me and on we would go. I learned a lot about respecting people that have been doing the job for a long time. That served me really well through ten years in manufacturing, doing the same thing with people that had worked on these paper machines for 40 years. Who was I to tell them how to do the job?

I learned the difference between leadership and management through that process. I could lead without knowing how to manage, how to know the exact things that needed to get done because leadership is doing the right things and management is doing things right. I got that from Warren Bennis. I'm not going to steal his quotes. I think a real flashpoint was in 1988. I was out in California and I was taking Situational Leadership training with Ken Blanchard. Most people know Ken Blanchard’s . He's written 100 books. Ken walks in about an hour into the one-week leadership program on Situational Leadership. I love this stuff. The first time I had learned something formal in leadership. Ken walks in. “Let me talk to you a little bit about situational leadership.” He spends about an hour and a half with us and he says, “Enjoy your week,” and he walks out. He lets his staff take all this. On Friday, about 2:00, he says, “How was your week?” He talks about situational leadership for another hour and a half and he walks out. Tony, I had this thought on that Friday. “I want to have his job someday.”

That was an important point for me because, in 2020, I was running a leadership program with my team with Statarians, I call them. My company is the Statarius. , one of my Statarians, turns to me. We're at a three and a half day boot camp. This is the beginning of this nine-month very intense leadership program. He turns to me and he says, “Gary, what are you doing here?” I'm like, “I'm having fun, Bill. That's what I'm doing. He says, “We really don't need you.” I'm like, “I know but I like being here.” That’s something I'd been working on for a few years, to get my team up to speed where I wasn't doing the training. I wasn't doing the coaching. They were doing all of it. It hit me. Ken Blanchard, 1988. I am here. I've had a lot of flashpoints like that. One of the biggest ones was in the ‘90s. I had my first business.

I want to pause for a moment before we go to the next one. We got to take a moment and take that all in. There's a lot there to unpack for a moment. First of all, it's amazing to have a Ken Blanchard moment. I think I need to have one of those. When your near presence is enough and that's a goal to work towards. What I want to go back to is your psychological experience of being in the lineage of your family. Were there moments when you're like, “What if I don't measure up? What if I don't make the cut? I have a lot of people who are counting on me and came before me.” Was there ever a moment for you where you're like, “What if I fail?”

It was never a pressure that I felt from anybody in my family or anybody external to me. It was a pressure that I felt inside. Even to this day, although I've come to a grip with this, the judgment or concern of not living up to my full potential was my greatest fear. Think about this. I had this feeling that I believe was divine intervention. I believe that God put this in me and said, “Gary, I'm expecting a lot out of you, now go do it.” I've had this feeling my whole life. I kept striving. I did the best I could in the military where I was in command at a young age. I jumped people that were five years older than me. They were not really happy. There were captains out there that were not happy that this First Lieutenant was in command of a unit that they wanted to be in command of. I took a command slot away from them.

There's a lot behind that in manufacturing and searching. I'm like, “What am I supposed to be doing with my life?” Every job I was in, I knew it wasn't the job but I also knew that I needed to do the absolute best. That's what my dad taught us. I can remember his words. “I don't care if you're a ditch digger, be the best damn ditch digger. Whatever it is. You do your best at anything.” I'm providing for my family, I'm making good money and I'm taking care of this. I have to tell you, I was having fun. I loved what I was doing. I knew it wasn't the endpoint but I was learning. I'm a lifelong learner. I'm learning how to do things, how to lead, how to educate myself, how to make mistakes, how to screw things up, how to make commitments and then miss them.

I did this for the whole department. I made this commitment. We're going to fix this safety problem. We’ve been having this for years. We're going to get this done in three months. That's the problem. When you have to have equipment that's redesigned engineered, you got to go through a capital approval program. You got to get $100,000 to get it done and that three months turned into a year. I felt like I missed the commitments over and over again. I would go after three months and I go, “Here's the deal. This is what happened. I'm sorry I didn't know that I needed $100,000 to fix this problem.” I would stand in front of everybody and say, “I screwed up. I made a mistake,” but we're going to get this done in three months. It took a year so I made another mistake.

You learn along the way but I always felt this pressure to learn into the best possible leader I could be. If I could do that, maybe I could draw out of myself what I needed to help others be leaders. There was this constant internal pressure that I wasn't living up to God's expectation for Gary. That’s what's pushed me and driven me in a positive way. My mother keeps telling me I need to slow down. At my age, a lot of people are retired. I feel like I'm just getting started. I still feel some of that because now I'm where I need to be with what I do and I get to share this gift.

I feel that. It’s visceral. The energy that you give off that there's so much more to give and there's so much that you have to offer. When you were talking about this, I started thinking about Don Miguel Ruiz’s Always Do Your Best. In some ways, that should be a credo for many of the leaders. Going into the unknown with the reality that you don't know where you're going but you're going to do your best and own up to those mistakes when they do happen and then course-correct as needed to make sure that you're continuing to lead forward. That's why I like the distinction you made around the manager and the leader, which many people mixed up. Even though they may think it through in their head, they say this is what it means to be a leader versus this is what it means to be a manager. When it comes to execution, those two pieces of the manager versus the leader don't often get it right.

They don't. It’s separate. Management is about the staff. Leadership is about people. That's it. You've got to get stuff done through people so that's where they get combined and get mixed up. I'll just back up because I had a definition before. The ability to influence people towards a goal and objective with voluntary support. If you even want to add to that, trying to manage the gray, the vague. The ability to influence people towards a goal and objective. They would say, “It makes sense. Influence. That's what leadership is.” For years, that was my definition. I had a friend of mine and she kept telling me, “What’s the problem with that word influence?” I could never come up with a better word. It hit me. Flashpoint, as you say. Tell me how you feel about this definition versus the first. The ability to build relationships so we can achieve our goals together with compassionate accountability.

Struggle is where the gold comes. You become who you are through that struggle.

It feels as though it's going together. It's like going side-by-side and it has an emotional connection. It's connecting with the heart as opposed to the mind.

It’s both because there's accountability. I'm not letting you off the hook. There's the accountability of the goal then there’s compassion to the person. On this path, it's taken me years to hone, get this and listening to others. For years, that voice was in my head of this person that told me that word influence. I've respected this person so much and I will find a way to connect with more people if that bothers you. That's the respect that I had.

I've never told anybody this but that person was my first wife. She’s a very smart woman, counselor, the mother to my children and the grandmother to my grandchildren. We’re no longer together but I have a tremendous amount of respect for her. She was adamant about that. I said I got to listen to her. There's got to be something to this but I was the expert. Influence. That's what it is. Finally, a better definition. The key to this is to always be getting better. That's what we do in our leadership program. We're always getting better.

I want to get back to some more flashpoints because I know there's more. The one last thought on this is these words create worlds. When you use that finer point about inserting that language around compassion, that just changes the dynamics so kudos to her for pushing you. I think it's a great definition and it's a great way to put it in that frame.

The other flashpoint that happened to me was I had my first business in the ‘90s and this is shortly after I had the flashpoint with Ken Blanchard. I was doing some consulting, training and struggling. It was just barely getting by my first entrepreneurial venture, which pretty much failed. I had to go back into the business world. What I learned in doing that was teaching Situational Leadership for Blanchard Training and Development. I was also teaching the for Stephen Covey. I looked at that and went, “These guys are both doctors. They have all these books, they have these programs and organizations. If I'm ever going to do this right, I need to get a terminal degree, write a book and I have to get a program.”

Here we are, I have a leadership program. I have two books, I have a terminal degree. I did that from 1996 to 2009 where I finished my education. I went back to work full-time and I finished my MBA. I finished my doctorate while working full-time in five and a half years. I set that goal and made that happen. To me, there were a lot of slow-burning points. All of a sudden, you hit a tipping point and you're like, “This is what I need.” It still took me thirteen years from 1996 to 2009 in order to complete that path so that I could set this up in the company that I have now.

It's like being in overnight success in thirteen years but the reality is you had to set those wheels in motion by having a vision and saying, “This is what I want for me. If I don't start putting wheels in motion then I can't make it happen.”

I can remember the day I went online and signed up to restart my MBA. I started in the ‘90s. It was that part I'm like, “Enough is enough. If I'm going to do this, I need to do it. My best friend was the Associate Dean of Nova Southeastern University down in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. He basically had been talking to me for years going, “When are you going to do this?” He had got his doctorate. I'm like, “Okay, fine.” I signed up. I got started five and a half years later. It’s another overnight success, Tony.

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It's funny because so many people see this like, “I'll go work for myself. I'll go do my thing.” It sounds great on paper. There's a lot of hard work in that. Is it worth it? Absolutely but you have to be committed to the path and you have to have passion behind it.

It goes beyond hard work. What I learned in my own business, people say, “I work hard.” It says, “It's more than that.” I go, “What's more than hard work?” I said, “Doing whatever it takes.” My son is an entrepreneur and he wrote an email to the family years ago. He said in the email, “Now I send Borderline ADD. I struggled in school.” He didn't really like school but he completed his History degree in five years and got through it, which is was great because he struggled with a lot of things in his brain like a lot of people with ADD. It takes you into your 30s or 40s to figure it out.

I'm proud of him for that. He now had a family and he has a wife. He's an entrepreneur. He wants to work for himself. He writes this email and he says, “I want to thank the family. I'm so grateful to the family for all the support I've got over the years.“ As you can see, this email was written at 1:26 AM. “I have been working all day. I don't mean any given day in college all five years. I've worked harder now than I did in five years of college.” Jokingly he says, “I'm learning what it means to be committed and to put in the hard work that's necessary to succeed. I've appreciated the family waiting for me to learn that.” Those are the kinds of things in life that you try to demonstrate to your children. He saw that in his parents. He saw in his brother who went to the Naval Academy. He learned that he's a hard worker now and a very successful businessman.

Parents want the best for their children. My parents, they're immigrants from another country. They came here and wanted to make it easier than they had it. One thing that I learned for sure is that they wanted us to work hard and learn that there is an element of that struggle. As we started this show, it was not to suffer but to struggle enough to learn that in that struggle is where the goal comes. You become who you are through that struggle, not through suffering but through struggling.

Some of the great stories are about people that overcome suffering. We don't want that to be a goal in life. What we should accept in life is that we all struggle. It's not about whether you do or you don't. It's about whether you had the resilience to stand up again. If you're struggling with something and you're having a problem, stand up. Ask for help. Have those people around you that you know you can depend on.

My brother John, 28 years Naval Officer, was a Navy Diver back in the late ‘60s. Two tours in Vietnam, he was missing in action for a month. We thought we lost him. We thought he might be dead and he survived that, a lot of other things over the 28 years. He works with me now. He's one of the people that work with me. I'll ask him to get something done for me and he just sends back “IGYB,” I Got Your Back. That's it. One of the things we're trying to bring into organizations is more of that attitude of IGYB. That somebody making a mistake is an opportunity for somebody else to pick up the ball and take care of it. If it happens over and over again then it's an opportunity. They train the person, find out what their skills are and have a move on to do things that they do well.

The other part of it was by going inside and recognizing where my strengths were and not being focused on where my limitations were. I had these wow moments where I go, “Wow, I'm good at this. I need to do more of this.” I was able to turn a bunch of departments around when I was in manufacturing. I’m good at it. I think I did it in three words. People would come to me and say, “Gary, what are we going to do about this?” I said, “I don't know. What did you do before? I'm the newest guy here.” They go, “If you don't tell me what to do, we're screwed.” They go, “I think we should do that.” I said, “Will it work?” They said, “I think so. Let's do it.”

I would look at systemic things that I could look at because that's a big picture view and that would help the systemic and the process in systems to make things better. Before you know it, within 3 to 6 months, things will be turning around. In ten years in manufacturing, seven different jobs, I never fired a single person. I never even tried to fire a single person. I worked with what I had, lifted them up, created opportunities for them and an environment for them to succeed. Quite often, help them recognize their strengths, their wow by simply saying, “I don't know, Tony. What can you do? If you can't do it, we're in trouble.”

There's something about what you said earlier that I wanted to also key in on which is about not finger-pointing. When something fails, it's not about it's their fault or it’s because of that. Instead of taking that and pointing, you band together and you find a solution. You find ways to get past that issue because you have to do it together. You can't do it alone.

I call it the great American place to blame game. Let's see where we place the blame on. I was the Safety Manager at Scott Paper Company, the largest tissue-producing plant in the world in Chester, Pennsylvania. When I took over, they were the 13th worst safety record in Scott Paper out of 13 plants. That would be the last place. We were the worst and I took over. One of the first things I did was I sat in a whole bunch of accident investigations. We're very reactive with a lot of the things that we did. Those accident investigations rather than spending time problem solving and getting to a root cause, I spent a lot of time in this very large union plant with people trying to blame management, the equipment, the employee, supervision, weather and something. Whatever it was, they had to blame somebody.

We all have an inner genius. It's just waiting to come out and be revealed.

That was the whole culture. I had the accident investigation forms. There were real triple pieces of paper forms back then and had them reprinted. At the very top of it, it said, “Welcome to this Accident Investigation. Gary McGrath is the Safety Manager of Chester Scott Paper Plant. Blame him for all safety problems. He is responsible. Now, go solve the problem.” I would open it up to these accident investigators. “I'm responsible. I'm to blame. Throw it at me. Let's talk about what happened. What was the situation? Where are we going to go with this? How can we improve safety, not blaming? People are getting hurt on purpose. We got to stop that.” To your point, I call it the great American place to blame game. We're not playing that game here.

I want to shift gears a little bit because we've come a long way in this conversation and covered so much ground. What are the 2 to 3 things that you feel have been the biggest lessons in your journey that you want to make sure that people who are reading will walk away with?

The biggest thing is to listen for the wow because that's an insight into your strengths. That's an insight into your gift that sometimes we're not aware of. We don't pay attention to it because there's so much noise in our lives. In order to be able to do that, I will say that years ago I went through some real challenges in my life that required me to make some significant shifts. One of those shifts was I started meditating every day. Meditation is a way for us to reconnect with the divine but it’s also to shut down the ego and the chatter in our head. I always say your brain is rumbling and I can't stop it. Who in there is starting it? Who in there is causing that?

Meditation is a way to change our physiology and the way our brain works. To quiet down so that at the moment, we can be aware of what's going on. That we don't miss those joyous opportunities with our children, with our spouse or the opportunity to demonstrate an act of kindness whether it's holding a door open for somebody and being aware of that or rushing forward to open a door for somebody that's struggling. It’s the little tiny things. It’s to be aware. In that, meditation helped me. It also helps you be aware when people go, “Tony, what you just said is amazing. How did you come up with that?” “You played a piece of music that I've never heard it played like that before. That's incredible.” It's the way you did that or drew something. The way you wrote something or did something.

People see talent in you. We undermine the talent because it's easy and we're told that everything that we do when we do well is hard. That's not true. It's hard to turn a talent into strength because you have to get educated, trained, apply it, work at it, spend time honing it and getting it better. That path is hard but we don't often take the path because we don't even recognize the strength in the first place. We don't listen to somebody for the wow. “How did you come up with that? How did you think of that?” Pay attention because that's an insight into a gift that you have that other people see that you don't see in yourself.

That inner genius. I wanted to say it. For me, there's an element of everyone has an inner genius and it's waiting to come out. There's no genius that's unique to everyone. You can't look at someone and say that they're a genius. We all have inner genius and it's waiting to come out and be revealed. You just have to get quiet.

I got a degree in Engineering. I was scared to death to go into engineering thinking that I have to invent stuff. I got to figure out a way to do something new. I said, “I'm not creative.” I had this mantra mindset of I'm not creative. That held me back for a long time. Now, I'm very creative when it comes to connecting things. I have a talent where I can take two books and I can tell you what the parallel of a book is. I can tell you a story in a comic book that will parallel the Bible in half a second. It just connected.

What I do now is I take all these disparate management and leadership tactics and topics whether it's emotional intelligence, strengths or meeting management. That's what are. It's a foundation of leadership development that's based on 40 years of research that I've done that says, “These are the things that you need to work on. The basics that you need to work on to be a more effective leader.” You could do a little assessment and say, “How am I doing?” The real quick one is I always say quick aside, what's the first thing you need to do as a leader? “Go inside,” but what do you need to do? You need to write a personal mission statement. That's what you need to do. If you know what you stand for and what's most important to you and your values, you'll be honest, authentic, you'll have integrity and you'll come across that way people can trust you. With that credibility and trust, now I can lead and not before.

VCP 97 | Leadership BuildingI feel like there's so much ground right there. My head wants to explode with so many insights. I have one last question for you. This is going to be a good one, I'm sure. I can't wait to hear what you say. What is one book that has had an impact on you and why?

I'm going to break the rule because there are three. I'm always reading a book for fun. A book in business and a book for spiritual development. I have a reading comprehension disability. It takes me a long time to read a book but when I read it, I absorb it. I devour. It was by James Clavell. It's a 1,500-page book that took me six months to read. It was a book about a Portuguese captain that gets shipwrecked in Japan and talking about the samurai culture and loyalty. That fascinated me. The thing about the central character in it, who was this guy, Blackthorne. He was the narrator but he wasn't the central character. It was Tornado. What I learned in that was patience. It’s when things aren't going your way, find a way to buy time. Be patient. I knew when I was younger, I was impatient. That had an impact on me to be patient.

The second book in leadership. There are many, , some of that but by the Arbinger group. The reason I love that book is because of self-deception. It's a statement of we deceive ourselves and who we think we are. If we don't go inside and recognize who we are, what we stand for and the way we are treating others is impacting our relationship in a negative way. We see somebody as an object to get things done, not a human being that we have a relationship with. If we don't change that mindset, you're not going to be an effective leader.

The last one is spiritual. This goes back quite a few years. I read a book by Deepak Chopra, It’s funny because I read it many years ago. A few years ago, I became a Chopra Global Certified Meditation Instructor. Meditation is brought into all of our programs. We bring meditation into our leadership programs. When I think about the first one which is Pure Potentiality, there are three things you got to do with Pure Potentiality. Be silent, which is meditation, get in touch with nature and practice non-judgment. That's been a real challenge for me because I judge myself, I judge others and I have been able to go into this space of non-judgment for several seconds now, maybe five seconds, I cannot judge. I say, “What's taking you so long?” I started to judge.

It's a muscle you have to build.

A non-judgment is something that creates blame, challenge, leadership, all kinds of things where judgment gets in our way of being effective. Those are three that pop into my head and that's my life's path of learning of looking at things that are business, spiritual and personal.

I love the way you chose those three categories and amazing choices. I have to admit sounds like an interesting book to me. I'm going to have to check it out. I would take as long, maybe twice as long to read that.

If you want to get the short version of it, Richard Chamberlain did one of those mini-series on years ago. You could probably find it on .

That's what I'm going to have to try and do. It's not cheating. It’s just getting a fast pass.

It’s 12 to 15 hours. It's a long mini-series but it's quite good. Not nearly as good as the book but it's still very good.

I don't even know where to begin but I'll just start by saying I'm so eternally grateful for having you on the show. This was like a masterclass in Leadership Education but also the insights about your journey have been powerful. I'm grateful. Thank you for coming here to the show.

I appreciate it.

I want to make sure people who are reading know where to find out more about you. Personally, as well as in the company. If you want to share some places where they can find you, that would be great.

The fastest way is on LinkedIn. If you are reading and you want to connect with me on LinkedIn, that's fine. is our website. There are videos if you're interested in writing a personal mission statement. My book, you can download them for free from my homepage.

Thank you. It’s such a pleasure. I want to thank the readers for going on the journey with us. I can't do it without you.

Thanks, Tony.

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About Gary McGrath

VCP 97 | Leadership BuildingDr. Gary founded Statarius, a leadership development firm, in 2009. With a mission to make Good Bosses into Great Leaders with Compassionate Accountability, Dr. Gary and his team at Statarius have developed, coached, trained, and influenced THOUSANDS of business and nonprofit leaders across multiple industries.

Dr. Gary's 40-year business career began in manufacturing, information technology, and marketing with Fortune 500 companies and technology start-ups. In the early 1990's, he began his business consulting career as an associate with the Covey Leadership Center providing consulting services and training in The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and as an instructor with Blanchard Training and Development teaching Situational Leadership.

Today, Dr. Gary guides his team of 'Statarians' in DEVELOPING leaders at all levels of an organization through his LeaderStep7 Leadership Development Program, which takes a holistic approach and incorporates seven integrated stages including: Selection, Assessments, Training, Coaching, Mentoring, Application and Team Building. He created this program after decades of study and years of development. It was designed to overcome ALL the reasons that leadership programs fail.

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