Catch Randy McNeely on the #PirateBroadcast™ - russjohns

Catch Randy McNeely on the #PirateBroadcast™

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Introduction: [00:00:00] Welcome to the #PirateBroadcast™, where we interview #interestingpeople doing #interestingthings. Where you can expand your connections, your community, #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Let’s get this party started.

Russ Johns: [00:00:10] We're going to have a great time today because we have Randy McNeely in the house. And we're going to be talking about this thing called kindness, and maybe even helping each other be civil today. Randy, good morning. How are you doing? Good afternoon, whenever you watch this, wherever you watch this.

Randy McNeely: [00:00:27] I'm doing great Russ. Even better cause you know, I have the chance to be on the #PirateBroadcast again. I am with a great man named Russ Johns. What else could I ask for this this morning?

Russ Johns: [00:00:36] I really appreciate that. And also for everyone that joins in and jumps on or listens to this broadcast, Randy has been kind enough to contribute a book to the giveaway. We do a giveaway every day on the #PirateBroadcast. And so if you're watching, you're onboard, you're listening to this, just jump in the comments and type in hashtag #piratenation and let's get some books out the door today. All right. So Randy since our last chapter, tell people that haven't met you or new pirates or new to the community a little bit about what you're doing and what your focus is.

Randy McNeely: [00:01:15] Of course. You've got the title up there, the Chief Kindness Officer, I'm the Chief Kindness Officer for the Pepok Institute. My focus is to inspire individuals and organizations to embrace a positive culture and kindness, to be able to unleash creativity and innovation and productivity in their lives and in their organizations. It's interesting. I've had a little bit of a, not a shift of focus, but just a different direction in some things I'm doing. I'm working really hard with an organization called the National Civility Association, too. Help them to bring their civility summits to high schools around the country. Basically, what they do is they come into communities and they work with community leaders and first responders and business owners to bring together a summit for high school students to help them create what they call the find the kind challenge, and an opportunity to find ways to bring kindness and civility back into high schools. What a concept, right? We were talking about this prior to coming on, how everything I needed to know about life I learned in kindergarten. The National Civility Association did some amazing work prior to COVID. Right before COVID hit, they had an amazing summit with these high schools in Minnesota. They were part of the Minnesota Twins Fest up there. Inspired a lot of young people to go and say, hey, we're going to find ways to be kind and do all these things. And they went back into their schools and started kindness clubs. They started various activities and one testimonial, I can't honestly, I don't remember where this was from this, he said basically since doing the civility summit, they've seen violence in their schools go down, bullying in the school has gone down, the number of drug use in the school has gone down, all these different things, direct result of the civility summits and the whole goal behind them is to not do a one and done event. You have a session and everybody 10 minutes after they leave, what was that guy's name? What did he say? What were those takeaways we were supposed to do? What are we doing here? Yeah, it's not a one and done event. you create the plan at the summit and you go back and there's follow up. You go back into the school and put that plan into action. And  they're gonna have a YouTube channel and things and all kinds of resources that those young people can use in order to be able to create and maintain and sustain, kindness within the schools over time. And you think about the impact that can have. A lot of these young people, they get access to those kinds of things at school, they live in homes where kindness isn't necessarily prevalent. And if you get the parents involved in the some of the testimonials,  the parents had noticed a change in their kids and it's having a direct impact at home. And there's all kinds of great things that can come from this and I'm working really hard to be able to promote it.

Russ Johns: [00:04:12] What's an example, Randy, of the actual takeaways that they would receive from one of these events. What practices can we express today with the pirate community that you're sharing in these events, in these activities, because one of them is just talking about kindness is one thing, but actually taking some action items and putting it out there is another thing. So walk us through how that manifests.

Randy McNeely: [00:04:37] Dr. Mike Thompson is a facilitator and he's amazing guy. And one of the things he talks about is better me, better you, better us. As we strive to become better people ourselves and adopt behaviors that are kindness behaviors that are conducive to building strong relationships and being able to interact collaboratively. Yes. I can say that word, interact collaboratively with each other. Then that leads to the second thing. Better me, better you. We can help other people to become better. And as I become better, as you become better, we become better. Communities become better. The school becomes better. It makes a big difference. And the other thing he talks about and I'm not sure I can remember the third part of this. I hope I remember  stand up, speak out, make a difference or  something like that. I have the courage to stand up and have the courageous to speak up, speak out and stand up. Something like that. You have the courage to speak out for the things that are right without fearing and without being concerned about what other people might think.  If we want to make a difference, if we want to have an impact on this life, we can't just sit there and do what I call a bunch of naval gazing and looking at people's belly buttons and thinking, okay. I hope somebody does something.

Russ Johns: [00:05:55] Yeah. We need to do something about this.

Randy McNeely: [00:05:58] Yeah. So do something about this.  If you see something that can be improved and have a suggestion for how to make things better, stand up and speak out about it. And, have the courage if you know something's going on too. So many youth suicides could have been prevented  if people who knew what was going on, and a lot of times people know what's going on and they just don't say anything.  If people knew what was going on, stood up and spoke out and said, hey, no, we can't let this happen. Find a way to encircle him .Encircle these people about let them know that they're loved and they're cared for. I can't help but think of a story told by Hiram Smith, who was the founder of one of the originating founders of Franklin Planners for the Franklin company who is now, Franklin Covey. It tells a story of going into a bunch of high schools in Utah and one particular high school they asked him to come in and talk to the druggies in the high school. He was going around doing assemblies for all these high schools to encourage, kids to take responsibility for their lives and not use drugs. And he was working with the Utah Jazz at the time. It was a combination thing. On this one particular high school, the principal asked him to come in and he said, I don't want you to speak to the entire high school. The entire high school doesn't have the drug problem. I want you to speak to the kids who are the druggies, with that label, where are the ones that are having challenges with that? And he said, okay, I'll take them, I'll do that. And he introduced what he called the Belief Model or what he later called the Reality Model. And I don't remember the entire model, I just remember, basically we all have beliefs on our belief window. This is the way we see life. I believe this is this way. I believe this is this way. If I believe that dogs are scary, every time I see a dog I'm going to run and he talks about how our beliefs drive our behaviors and how behaviors produce results. And if we want to change the results we get, we need to change the beliefs on our belief windows so that we change our desire, our behaviors, and get different results. The whole reason I brought that up is because one of the kids in there gave him a really hard time and he says, okay, let's take your stuff through the model and they did that and he was talking about you said, if I do drugs, I could end up having issues and challenges and stuff and and I won't be happy. I'm happy as a clam taking drugs. I do it all the time. He said, okay, let's take that through the model. And he took it through the model and he finally said,  it's okay. So tell me someone who you can either learn by doing or learn from somebody else's example. So tell me someone who took drugs all their life and ended up really happy. First they mentioned Elvis Presley. Okay. Elvis Presley, now he's dead. And then he named someone else. Janice Joplin. Okay, where's Janice Joplin now. Yeah, she's dead. He  just spoke up, is anybody else seeing a pattern here? And long story short, he had that same kid that had been giving him a hard time. he got it. He understood the model later. He came back. He says, I have a friend. She's not my girlfriend, but I have a friend that's having a really hard time and I want to walk her through the model. And she's struggling and she's thinking about committing suicide. And he says, okay, what do you think might be on her belief window? She doesn't believe that she's worth anything.  So if she doesn't believe she's worth anything, what are you going to do over here in the behavior section? What's she going to do? And he says she'll lash out at people and shit, and she might end up killing herself because she doesn't feel like she's got any value in this life. And he just says bluntly, is that the result that you guys wanted to see her have. How many of you are friends with her and a bunch of the kids raised their hands and he says, is that the result you want to see? And they're like no, we don't want that. He says what do you think we'd better do? And the kid that had been giving the hardest times immediately stands up and says, we need to love her. We need to love her.

Russ Johns: [00:10:08] Yeah.

Randy McNeely: [00:10:11] That's what needs to happen now. There's kids out there, there's young people out there who are, and it's not just young people, our communities, adults, everybody right there that are out there yearning for someone to just love them. We all have basic needs. We all need to  love and be loved. We all need to eat. We all need to sleep. We all need those things. But of all those things, the most powerful things we need is to feel loved. We need to feel like we have value, need to feel like we're important. And that's why I'm so excited about these National Civility summits. Because if we can get in front of these young people and help them to realize and recognize the importance, the vital importance of understanding that they can look themselves in the mirror every day and say, I am good. I have value and I can make a difference. They can look in the mirror and believe that about themselves because they're priceless. Every one of us is priceless. You think about it. Why do some cars or bikes or instruments or other things like that at auction go for such tremendously high values? It's because they're one of a kind.

Russ Johns: [00:11:21] They're unique.

Randy McNeely: [00:11:23] Every single person on this planet is one of a kind and therefore priceless. So if we can inspire young people to feel that. If you inspire these young people to adopt behaviors, what I call kindness behaviors, encompassed by the circle of kindness, honesty, integrity, respect, setting expectations, clear expectations, listening and the list can go on and on. If they're learning to adopt and ingrained those kinds of behaviors in high school or younger, in elementary school, whenever it is you establish habits and rituals that help them to engrain those behaviors, then think about the kind of workforce is going to come in. Think about the kind of students they'll be. Universities, oh my gosh, you've got these kids that are disciplined,  that work hard, that understand these behaviors, think about the influence, the power that could have. The impact on the future.

Russ Johns: [00:12:23] It's part of the process is healing some of the things that have we've been involved in the last couple of years, especially there are a lot of challenges out there. And I think I want to go back to something you said, though, is  going through this process and understanding what the actions are that we can take because sometimes if you take action and start producing kindness, a change takes place in your life and you would see how it impacts other people like opening a door, simple activities, like smiling, just turning in a shopping cart, picking up some trash, all of these things, just little subtle things to just make a difference. Instead of saying, that's not my job or that's not my responsibility, like you said, we all have the opportunity to do something powerful to help someone around us.

Randy McNeely: [00:13:15] We do. And you think about this when that's the beautiful thing about my book, The Kindness Givers Formula, the formula is so easy and yet it is powerfully effective. And I'm going to say it again every day. I can determine to be a kindness giver everyday. I wake up, I determine to be a kindness giver.  I'm going to be kind today. That puts it top of mind for me. And then the next thing everyday, think about and plan simple ways that you can be kind, potential opportunities to be kind, think about who you're going to be with, where you're going to be, what you're going to be doing and think of ways to be kind in those opportunities and then go forward and look for it and act on those opportunities. Any opportunities that present themselves. Don't be complacent. Don't just hope that some random opportunity is going to come up, be actively looking for those opportunities.

Russ Johns: [00:14:05] It's like waking up every day with #gratitude and saying, look at all of the wonderful things I have. I have the sun, the sky is blue. The sun is shining or wherever it happens to be. Just have #gratitude for some of the smallest things, the things that you don't always notice. It's really important. Jenny Gold is in the house, hi pirates. We all need to hear about kindness. Thank you so much. And #piratenation, Randy's giving away a book at the end of the show, so if you want to participate and have him ship out a book to you, just type in hashtag #piratenation and we're going to be doing a giveaway for this. Tracie's in the house. Tracie, love the producer. She's always here. She's always awesome. And she's typing in #piratenation as well. Amit, thank you so much. Best wishes to both in every one from India. I hope you guys are staying safe Amit I really keep going, keep rocking, sending out blessings for you. Marcia Reece, who's an amazing individual that everyone should meet. #piratenation good morning to everyone. How cool to see two men who focus on kindness. So needed. Thank you, Marcia. Appreciate it. Wendy's in the house. Welcome to the pirate posse, Randy. We have an awesome crew and we're led by a beneficient Admiral who rarely makes us swab the decks or walk the plank. Kindness is the most beautiful language in the world. Thank you, Wendy. I appreciate you.

Randy McNeely: [00:15:37] Thank you, Wendy. 

Russ Johns: [00:15:39] Amit says, it always awesome to listen to like-minded people across the globe. Absolutely. Thank you so much. Neena Perez, what a deep conversation. Wow. Neena, thank you so much for being here. I love what you're doing over on WinJect studios and the crew over there. Amit says our young youth are like plants. Should be supported and nurtured in the best possible way so that we can support our existence for the future.

Randy McNeely: [00:16:10] So spot on.

Russ Johns: [00:16:11] So spot on. Jenny Gold says, I book both of you together on my show. I think I'm going to be on Jenny's show next Friday, June 4th.

Randy McNeely: [00:16:21] I'd love to be on your show at Jenny.  Anybody who'd like to connect with me can reach out and connect me on LinkedIn and I'm also on Facebook, but I'm not I'm on there. Very rarely.

Russ Johns: [00:16:30] Yeah. Likewise. And that's the whole point of the #PirateBroadcast™ to the pirate community is making sure that we have an opportunity to collaborate, have conversations just like this. Incredibly powerful stuff. And I know we were doing the random act together and putting some great work out there and doing some things like that, Randy and I know that going forward, you're getting ready to launch a second book. Version 2.0. That's going to be on the horizon as well. Do you want to talk about the book and what people can look forward to in the book?

Randy McNeely: [00:17:04] Yeah I'm rewriting Kindness Givers Formula... I'm not rewriting it, but I'm just updating it and making a 2.0. There's going to be a little bit more of a workbook like section at the end of each chapter. And then I'm also adding in there's one more step,  I talked about the three steps, determine, think, and plan. Look for and act on opportunities to be kind. The fourth step is invite and encourage other people to do the same. And then there's one more step that is really vital. And that's at the end of the day, take a few minutes and reflect on your experience as being kind, just a few minutes and then write them down. Record them. I find that writing has a tendency to engrave things on our hearts. And you talk about the reason I started talking about the Kindness Givers Formula, because it's interesting. There's things all around us that we don't notice unless we're specifically looking for them. It's amazing people who are kind, who I've talked about, who have gotten a copy of my book. They said what do I need this formula for? They basically implied, what do I need this formula for? I'm already kind. And I said just go and use this formula for a week. And they come back and they say, all of a sudden I noticed all these things that were around me that weren't there before, that I wasn't noticing, because I wasn't paying attention.  I wasn't paying attention. That same thing happened to me. I'm the author of the book. I'm the Kindness Giver. And when I really focus on, okay, I've got to follow this formula. If I'm going to preach it, I got to follow it. I got to walk the walk, not just talk the talk. I start noticing all these things around me and all these different ways that I can show kindness and there's dozens and dozens of different ways. And they don't have to be anything big or grandiose, they can be just simple things. When you think about students in school, one school, they just started putting notes of appreciation on a board. They put post-it notes all over the place, say, hey Russ, I appreciate you. Thanks for being the good man you are. Randy, thanks for listening to me today. Thanks for taking the time to let me talk with you and any number of things or writing kind things about other students, and it made a huge difference. That's just one simple thing. It's like you were saying earlier, you can open a door, you can get  a cart back for somebody, or you can offer to, there's these stores around here, you have to put a quarter in to get the cart to go in and get your groceries. Okay. Just give someone your cart and don't have to put a quarter in, whatever it might be.

Russ Johns: [00:19:30] Buy somebody's coffee in line.

Randy McNeely: [00:19:33] Yeah,and the key thing is...

Russ Johns: [00:19:37] I just  had to pause you there, Randy, because yesterday  I went to the grocery store and I was thinking, what would the world be like if everybody returned their cart? Or if you just took a cart back, like you're picking up a cart, just pick one out from the parking lot and just use that cart. Just take it to the store with you. You're going that way anyway.

Randy McNeely: [00:20:03] It would be an amazing, simple little thing. And save the guy that has to go around gathering all those carts 50 timesand gets a headache. I was just going to say one of the  greatest things we can do for people around us, and another reason I love these Civility Summits is because basically we're striving to inspire them, to fill them with what I call the, pay it forward feeling.  And that's the feeling of happiness we get when we help somebody else. And then we can't help but want to do something else. Somebody does something kind for us, we can't help but want to go out and do something for somebody else. And then they do it for somebody else and then they do it. If we can create that pay it forward feeling, that ripple I think about that. It's a powerful thing.

Russ Johns: [00:20:50] Yeah.  I don't think people realize how simple it can be and what change it takes just in your day-to-day activities. How you feel about yourself, how you feel about those around you, how you see and perceive different things as you go through your day. And like you say, you start to notice things, you start to notice things that you can actually make an impact on and make a difference with. I think it's important for people to understand that we all matter, just go out there and #makeitmatter.

Randy McNeely: [00:21:22] And I love that. I just noticing what Wendy wrote in the comments, she says big acts of kindness usually happen in very small ways. And that's so true. The receiver decides how big, I'm a believer in the  repay it forward feeling. It's amazing. I love the way she says kindness usually happens in very small ways.  I'm going to share just one story. I've shared it before on your broadcast. I'll share one more. I had an amazing friend when I was in junior high school. At that time in my life, my self-esteem just was not good. A lot of different things, some really challenging things going on in my family, et cetera. And so my self esteem was just terrible. I got asked to type up an agenda for a student council meeting and so I get the agenda all typed up and I got to the classroom early, so I could spread them out on the  tables where the students on the council were going to be coming in. And a good friend of mine comes walking in. She was this beautiful girl,  cheerleader,, sweet, vivacious, tearful all the time. I'll call her Michelle. And Michelle comes walking in and she's the kind of girl that most guys wanted to talk to, but every time they tried, it's like their tongue swelled three times the size and can't get anything out. She just had that effect.  She was amazing. And she comes in and she picks up an agenda and she looks at it and she says, and not in an unkind way, but she just says, matter of factly, you misspelled the word miscellaneous. And I picked one up and I looked at it and I was like dying inside. And my response to her reflected exactly how I felt about me at the time. I said, oh no,  I didn't. I guess you think I'm pretty stupid, huh? I guess you think I'm pretty stupid, huh? She did not miss a beat in her response and she said to me, nine words that I have never forgotten and I will not forget them for as long as I live. To the day I die, if I get Alzheimer's, I will never forget this phrase. She said, oh no, I don't. I think you're pretty neat. And without missing a beat, she said that to me. And I'll tell you, Russ, that touched my heart so deeply. I had no idea at the time, how badly I needed to hear someone tell me that they thought I was neat.  I needed that love.  It touched me so deeply that  I started to tear up at the time and I had to hurry,  manly teenager, I couldn't let her see me cry. So I had to go.  I just said, I need to go. I made an excuse. I need to go to the bathroom. I got out in the hall. There were no other students in the hallway. At that time I ran to the boys bathroom, I locked myself in a stall and I sat down cried. I couldn't believe somebody thought I was neat. For me, it was like I heard this voice in my head from heaven saying, I've been trying to tell you that, so I used Michelle to tell you.  I have been trying to tell you that and I couldn't get through. So I used Michelle to tell you.

Russ Johns: [00:24:08] We are here, you are neat. You're very awesome. And I'm glad that you're here and we're lucky to have you around.

Randy McNeely: [00:24:15] I'm so blessed to be around. I'm so grateful. Michelle was a godsend in my life at that time and part of the reason I am who I am is because there were things going on where I needed to have my friends circle around me.

Russ Johns: [00:24:31] Yeah. You needed the opportunity.

Randy McNeely: [00:24:32] I'll tell you if they hadn't at that time, I contemplated it more than once at that time in my life, ending at all. And if it wasn't for my friends, how I thank God, to this day for friends and for parents of friends, people who reached out and put their arms around me and love and helped me to realize that I am good, I have value and I can make a difference. And those things, those thoughts, thinking about those times is what propels me to do what I'm doing now. If they want to make a difference, have an impact. And people's lives today is particularly in young people's lives to give back the gift that I received back then.

Russ Johns: [00:25:13] Randy, let me ask you this before we wrap up today. If someone's listening to this or just scrolling through and happens to see this, why would somebody want to listen to this episode today? What would they want to take away from it?

Randy McNeely: [00:25:29] I can take away that there's an opportunity to bring a powerful tool into your community, into the schools in your community. The National Civility Summits. And I want your international audience  to keep in mind, we're working hard to get this going in the United States, but that's just a step. Time's going to come when we're going to go international, we'll be the International Civility Association or the World Civility Association, something like that, and bring it to young people all across the world. Because if there's ever a time in our planet's history, when people need a message of civility and kindness and need to know and understand how they can adopt and engrain behaviors that are conducive to those things, which overall lead to the happiness we all desire, then they need to be aware of it and we're going to bring it to you.

Russ Johns: [00:26:19] So we're going to give away a book Randy's book... is it The Kindness Formula?

Randy McNeely: [00:26:24] The Kindness Givers Formula.

Russ Johns: [00:26:26] Kindness Givers Formula. So if you haven't typed in hashtag #piratenation in the comments, go ahead and type hashtag #piratenation in the comments and put it up here on the screen. Let's see if I can do this, enter the giveaway and we're giving this away before we wrap up. Randy. I just want to thank you so much for being here. Thank you so much for being part of the pirate community. The pirates are out there. We're doing really great work Russ Hedge, who's a pirate, I love it. Randy, Chief Kindness Officer's awesome. #kindnessiscool and #smilesarefree. Absolutely positively. Mud modular, a simple smile can change someone's life.

Randy McNeely: [00:27:09] Okay. Could I throw one more thing out there, Russ?

Russ Johns: [00:27:12] Absolutely.

Randy McNeely: [00:27:13] One of the big things that it takes in order to be able to run summits like this, of course it comes down to being able to have the money to do it.  If you know of anyone who'd be interested in sponsoring, who wants to be able to reach an audience of young people, any organizations that want to be able to reach an audience of young people, of their parents, et cetera, which by the way, is a $1.4 trillion market. Anybody that would be interested in sponsoring those summits to come into your town, please connect with me. Reach out to me via LinkedIn and let me know, and we'll be happy to connect with them and talk to them a little bit more. If you, yourself, want to learn more about the National Civility Association, you can go to

Russ Johns: [00:28:02] Tracie will be putting all of these links in the transcription.

Randy McNeely: [00:28:07] I was going to say one more thing. If you want to learn more about me, you can visit

Russ Johns: [00:28:11] Yes, Randy, Thank you, Randy. So let's do this drawing for a book. Randy will send you a book.

Randy McNeely: [00:28:19] How do you do this? How does this work?

Russ Johns: [00:28:21] Let me show you here. Let's let's do this thing. Awesome. All right, I'm going to share this out. I'm going to share the screen, run this program here and allow things to run. So we're going to do the drawing. Russ Hedge.

Randy McNeely: [00:28:39] Awesome.

Russ Johns: [00:28:40] So  Russ Hedge is the winner today.  If you stop by today in the pirate community and the #PirateBroadcast™, share this out because we're doing the giveaways. We're having amazing guests and amazing pirates in the community. Share some of this information and provide a little bit of guidance and care in a community. So I just love that you're here. Thank you so much. And Randy, thank you so much for being here.

Randy McNeely: [00:29:09] I appreciate it. It's a total blessing and honor for me to be on with you every time, Russ.

Russ Johns: [00:29:13] I just really think that it's an opportunity to share a little bit of kindness and anything we can do to lift people up right now is I think the most important thing to do.

Randy McNeely: [00:29:23] Well, thank you, my friend. I appreciate it. And just look forward to the next time.

Russ Johns: [00:29:27] Yeah. So  subscribe and all the social things that we need to do. We're on YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn. Somewhere else. Find us, track us down. All right.

Randy McNeely: [00:29:36] You too.

Russ Johns: [00:29:37] Thank you, everyone.

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