Banking on Digital Growth
Banking on Digital Growth

Episode · 7 months ago

188) #ExponentialInsights - The Rookie: A Hero’s Journey


Life has a way of throwing an unexpected curveball now and then.

Perhaps an illness or professional miscue sets you up for a downward spiral.

Adversity doesn’t define us.

How we choose to face it does.

Failure is just a stepping stone to success when we surround ourselves with good people we trust.

I had the pleasure of talking about fighting through hardship with Jim Morris, whom many of you may recognize as the subject of the Disney movie “The Rookie.”

These days, Jim is an active motivational/inspirational speaker, teacher, coach, and author of his latest book, Dream Makers: Surround Yourself with the Best to Be Your Best.

In this episode, we talk about the power of overcoming excuses by listening, learning, and forging relationships.

Join us as we discuss:

- Jim’s journey from baseball to motivational speaker

- Finding success from pain and failure

- Overcoming complacency through courage

Check out these resources we mentioned during the podcast:

- Jim Morris


You can find this interview and many more by subscribing to Banking on Digital Growth on Apple Podcasts, on Spotify, or here.

Listening on a desktop & can’t see the links? Just search for Banking on Digital Growth in your favorite podcast player.

If we're not in motion and we're not moving, then we're sitting still. And if people go I'm doing this and I'm not going to make a mistake, well, if you're not make mistakes, you're not trying it. You're listening to banking on digital growth with James Robert Leigh, a podcast that empowers financial brand marketing, sales and leadership teams to maximize their digital growth potential by generating ten times more loans and deposits. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series, where James Robert Lay interviews the industry's top marketing, sales and FINTECH leaders, sharing practical wisdom to exponentially elevate you and your team. Let's get into the show. Greetings and hello. I am James Robert Lay and welcome to the one hundred and eighty eight episode of the banking on digital growth podcast. Today's episode is part of the exponential insight series and I'm excited to welcome Jim, the Rookie Morris, to the show. Jim is a testament to the power of dreams and the capacity of aspirational vision to inspire and to Transform, and I look forward to sharing some of his story and the lessons he's learned along the way, from transforming as a thirty five year old high school teacher and coach in Big Lake Texas to be the flame throwing relief pitture for the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Los Angeles dodgers. Now Jim Story has been captured and wonderfully shared, wonderfully told in the two thousand and two critically acclaimed box office smash hit the rookie that start Dinnis Quaid. But today we're going to dive deeper. We're going to dive deeper into the lessons he's learned along the way, the lessons of transformative growth and how these lessons can be applied to financial brands and Finntech marketing cells and leadership teams who are all working to maximize their future digital growth potential. Welcome to the show, Jim.

It is so good to share timing you today. Thanks, James. Glad to be here. For those that don't know your story, and we're going to get into this and just a little bit, but I always like to start off on a positive note. So what is good for you right now, personally or professionally? It is always your pick to get started on the show. Face good right now, families great right now and we're getting back on the road, so starting to see small wimmers of happiness start to return to people. It's been a long time, it has been and, just like you, I'm getting back on the road again as well, and it is good to get back in person. Is Good to see people in real life, but it is also good to take some of what we've learned from this covid experience and be able to apply those lessons going forward so that we can be even better. We could be even better individuals, we can be better as families, we can be better as teams, we can be better as organizations and, ultimately, as financial brands, which is what we're doing here and why we do this podcast here to really educate in a power financial brand leaders to help guide others in their community beyond financial stress towards a bigger, better, brighter futures. For those that don't know your story, and I highly recommend they read it, they read the oldest rookie or if they're not into reading, they can watch the movie. But for some just brief context today, can we hop in the time delorean of your mind go back in time a little bit. Set the stage. Just give us the high level summary of the journey that you have been on, that you have taken over the years, because it is the heroes journey, I think. If you will, what has that been at a high level? When I was born, I was never supposed to play on grass or play outdoors, and because of my father's military career, we moved a lot and moving and one way I found I could make friends was by being an athlete. Party is throw the more friends you have, you don't have to say anything. And so, introverted kid, we moved everywhere, father physically and verbally abusive,...

...and sports kind of became me. In between those white lines I could be the kid I was supposed to be, and so I gravitated towards every sport I possibly could, and the baseball came out on top, and there are a lot of reasons why, and I just love the team aspect of it. Everybody's got to be a master of their own position and yet be able to work workmanship in with everybody else to form a great team, and I think it's awesome. And so when I tried to make it early in my life and I never made out of Class A ball. I was my own worst enemy at that time. You know, when you're eighteen, nineteen, you know everything and yet you know nothing at all. That was me, and I toll my friends I'll be in the big leagues and six months, Watch out. Well, five and a half year, six surgeries later, I'm back in a college classroom and I thought if I can't play the game I love, maybe I can teach it, and so I worked towards getting my teaching degree, eventually finding myself out in West Texas coach and Reaygan County High School in Big Lake, and just for everybody's information, no lake and big lake, and I inherited a team of kid. Eight kids showed up and for people that are listening who know nothing about baseball, eight is not enough, and so I had offer a free a in my science class to anybody to come out. And you know, two takers. They made straight days and they couldn't play baseball, but that gave us ten kids. And one of the things I like to stress to your audience. Baseball means a lot to me and when you find something that you're really good at, like you, James, we want to gravitate towards that and teach other people as much as we can about what we think we know. And when you do that you always come against other people who are smart and then return they'll help you. And then we grow. And I had no idea that it would take a group of sixteen seventeen year old kids to give me back on a ballfield. Twenty eight years old, surgery and where's the doctor said you'll never ever pitch again, so move up. Seven years later these kids go,...

Hey, if we win, you try out. Well, they won and I went to a tryout and nobody would even play catch with me. I was a crazy old dude with a three kids. And so everybody signs up. I go up when my sign up and he goes you're gonna throw a last everybody's here for serious business. Before I get done there are people he's telling to get a bat and get in the back box against me and hit and nobody wants to get in. And I find out I'm throwing ninety eight. And when I was young and supposed to be talented, I three eighty eight. And then six surgeries later you're out of baseball and everything else. You're not in baseball shape come back throwing ninety eight to a hundred and two. I mean just mindboggling. If people will sit and think about that, because I've had so many people go, well, what did you do to get back in shape? I ate the homemade tortia as a month or making rate bus. I wasn't trying to get in baseball shape. It was just a bet. I will go embarrass myself if it helps these kids play better. Yes, and we challenged each other and we, all of us, came out better on the other side. Three months after the Bat I try out. Three months after that try out, I'm in the big leagues, all because of a group of teenagers. You know, I think there's so many lessons to unpack here, and one that's just bubbling up to the to the top of my mind is in life I often say that sometimes you're the student, other times you're the teacher, and in your case, sometimes you're the player, other times you're the teacher, other times you're the coach, but either way there are always a lessons to be learned from every single one of these experiences. And if we think about story and narrative, this story is almost like the arch type of voyage and return and thinking about your own journey of growth in this idea of sometimes being the student, the player or...

...the coach or the teacher. There's always lessons to be learned. What maybe is one of the greatest lessons that you have learned along the way that has inspired you to continue forward even in some of the most challenging and hardest times of your journey? The realizing that hard times are going to come and go. Life is not all easy and it's not all hard. So we make out of it. MMM, I've learned about perseverance and I've learned about overcoming because, you know, there are a lot of things. You know because you've read most of the book. There are a lot of things that happen me and nobody has an idea about except for my wife and my kids. Yeah, and then a few close friends. And then to find out what I have been through, everybody's like, you're kidding me. Yeah, and to the point, you know, chronic illness, I think, affects everybody. Yes, every family is affected by chronic illness. Somewhere every family is battling someone's addiction and just complete medical problems and relying on alcohol and and the pharmaceutical company to keep you in business. M We find out what we're made of when we get ground up, and I've had a lot of lessons in my life that have taught me this is just one more thing. Let's just get up, get busy again and get after it. My grandfather said, he goes if you dig ditches either. President, if you're going to do something, number one, enjoy it, he said. If you're not enjoying it, find something else to do. And number two, do it the very best you can, every single opportunity you can, because it's not what you say, it's what you do that people are going to listen to. Yes, yeah, do it the best, be the best. You know, one of my coach is coach Carlisle, who passed away way too young. He really left in part of the wisdom of my life and it was for simple words, do the right thing. And you know, when it...

...comes to doing the right thing, sometimes that as much ease, this much harder. It's not always easy to do the right thing. And I know when it comes to what we're experiencing right now and a lot of different areas, particularly in banking, there's a lot of chains that's going on and I do hear there are leaders out there who are like, I'm going to put off making some of these changes because I don't want to make a commitment. I don't rock the boat. But what I'm really hearing them say, and they're not saying this, but what I see in their eyes is hopelessness. And when you entered into the major leagues and in the in your story, what role does hope play in really journeying towards a bigger future than where we're at here in the present moment? A lot of people say hope and you know, and if secular world, that's great for me and mine. I don't try to talk anybody into my faith, but because of my grandparents, I've got great faith and I've had to draw on that because it's about things. We don't see it, because we don't know. HMM. And so you have to have faith and we're going to be okay, we're going to make the best plan, we're going to surround ourselves the best people and we're going to go from point eight to point Z. we're going to do it. We have to to overcome all this and just there a lot of people who just want to be angry and upset right now and that's not going to get the job done. Yes, and it's that anger, it's those negative emotions that often can be the anchor that holds us down to where we're at. And you talked about surrounding yourself with the best people. Jim He often spoke about you're the average of the five people you associate with most. and Dr Benjamin Hardy, who's come on the podcast, wrote a what a really great book called will power doesn't work, and he spoke about how environment shapes...

...kind of where we're at and really, you know, for wanting to make a change or for wanting to transform, sometimes we have to transform our environment. And your book you wrote to attract dream makers, you have to be a dream maker. What do you mean by this? Because this is, I think, a really key lesson here when we're thinking about guiding people towards something beyond where they're at today. My definition of dreammakers is people who want to see you succeed. For northern reason, they want to see you succeed. And so if you surround yourself with people as smarter, smarter than you, because we all have different talents, nobody. Not Everybody can be a singer and not everybody can be an orator, but together we can make beautiful music. We just have to know where we fit in. And that dream is what it is. If I had not been fortunate enough to be born in this country, I don't know what my dream would have been, but from the age of five in this country I want to be a baseball player and doing it the very best you can with the very best people around you. And I tell audiences everywhere that dream killers come in all shapes and forms, even those people who are supposed to be on your side, family member, person in office or assistance. They're there to help you, like my guidance counselor in h school. You're too stupid to go to college, you can't do this, you're not smart enough, you're not good enough. Why do you even try? All those things are dream killer tactics because they either failed it doing something or they're too afraid to try. And for those people you need to get them far away from you, because there is no try to do. We're going to do yes, and a lot of times we give up when the finish line is around a little bit e corner. That we didn't even know as a corner, but we were closer and we thought and we just walked away. We can't give up. Digital growth is a...

...journey from good to great, but sometimes this journey can feel confusing, frustrating and overwhelming. The good news is you don't have to take this journey alone, because now you can join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and Finn text who are all learning, collaborating and growing together. Visit Digital growthcom slash insider to learn more about how you can join the digital growth insider community to maximize your future digital growth potential. Now back to the show. I like what you said about wanting other people to succeed for no other reason than just wanting them to succeed. We talked about hope and then you talked about faith, and this is whre kind of faith. Hope and love all connect and play together, because love, you know, looking at that, it's not just a feeling or an emotion. I mean, you know, we can look at some of the the ancient writing St Thomas Aquinas, for example, love is to will the good of another person. We want them to succeed for no other reason than just wanting them to succeed. And sometimes that requires change, that requires transformation, trying something new that we haven't done before, and many times we're going to fail along the way. And I know within banking, within financial services, failure is often viewed as a negative thing and negative consequences are often tied and associated with failure. But, fellow your kin, back to the you know the start of our conversation, really be one of life's greatest teachers, if we allow for it. Thinking about your own journey, what has been a failure that was tough to accept at the time, but then was really a transformative experience that became a teacher. The biggest lesson in my life was one thousand nine hundred and ninety three and led the country and punning for two years. Well, eighty...

...five percent of my kickoffs forard through the back of the end zone, no returns, and every team came through town going great punt, great punt, right punt. We're going to be talking about you, we're going to we want you. And then the draft in ninety three comes and goes and I don't get drafted and I'm absolutely crushed. I'm, like they told me. It didn't matter how that I was. I was twenty eight when I led the country in the nation. Twenty eight years old. Man George Bunny to kick till he was a hundred and fifty Ian. I could have kicked forever. And what it came down to was that was ninety three and two thousand and three. Twenty years later I go to Corpus do a speech and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. There's read Ryan, who's there to tell everybody I'm bringing a minor league team to Corpus Christie, and there's me and there's one other Caucasian guy in the room. It's a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. And so after the speech, that third person comes up to me. He goes, do you remember me? I said Sarah met a lot of people goes, I was your football agent when you're at Angelo state and I said Yeah, I said man, you look great. He lost like a hundred and fifty pounds and I thought you look fantastic. I said still work with your daughter? He goes, I sure do. And when we heard you were coming to town we came here to ask you one question. We got your game films out and watched all of them again. And what I'm here to ask you, as in one thousand nine hundred and ninety three, when the steelers going to draft you in a second round? Why did you not call back? And I was devastated again, I was furious and I said, yeah, we called. The only off number we had was my now ex wife at work, and you had twenty minutes to call back and you didn't. And so forever, for those twenty years, man, there was a hole of me going. I could have been I could everybody wanted me. We punters don't have rich five three hang time. It's that, it's that pain.

It's that pain right that it's just it's hard to process, but it's through that that sometimes it opens up new possibilities that we just weren't aware of. We just didn't have that awareness or that clarity at the time, but then, looking back, it's like, ah, I get it. And you mentioned you mentioned physical pain and addiction. It's something that you know, physical pain, you'd mentioned. The age of twenty eight, I was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease called anklosing spond Alitis and that sent me down, and I was right at the time. My business was turning ten years old. I started my business whenever I was a freshman sophomore in college and we were growing. I had been married for years, we had just gotten pregnant, but I was an extreme amounts of pain and I didn't know why. And it's almost like the pain kind of crept in slowly over time to where you learn to live with it. But I reached the point my wife was like you need to go to the doctor and get this checked out. So I went. I was driving across the Texas Louisiana border to go visit a credit and in Louisiana and it was early January and the Dr Call. He said you have anklosing spond Alitis. Said what's that? Son, aut immune disease, you know attacks your joints in your spine, and I said well, what do we do? Said we'll get you, get you in touch with the rheumatologists and you know, it was almost like I didn't want to believe of it at the time and so I started to push it off in my mind. I didn't accept it because I'm like, I'm twenty eight, I'm just hit my prime, like like life's about to get really good. The business is growing, families growing and then depression just came in and it just sunk me. Four Years Depression, addiction, struggles, man, and it was tough. And you flip that around, because there is the pain of change. And in chapter you have a chapter titled Journey through pain and I... how you opened up this chapter because you addressed purpose, because I believe it is through purpose that we can start to see beyond the present moment, to see beyond the pain, to see beyond the struggle, and I'm curious to get your take on this. What role has purpose played in your own journey here, to journey beyond the pain sometimes that we do feel in the president, we have to admit that pain sometimes. For me, that journey started with me in two thousand and one with the dodgers. I'm out at Chavez Ravine in La pitching during the way, lifting or running, hitting, and five days, literally five days, I drive across the country see my kids go to Florida where they still had spring training, and all of a sudd I'm afraid to play catch and I'm afraid the ball is going to hit me in the mouth. If I throw a ball ups are who's going to hit it? Like standing and back at me a hundred and twenty. I can't get out of the way. Right, I couldn't. But I mean I taught my high school kids that their entire time there. This is how we catch the ball with the bat, and all of a sudden I couldn't do any of it in five days, and so I blame my arm, but basically I quit and I went home and we're filming the movie and so I kind of put it the back of my mind. But over the next ten years I had like forty surgeries and you keep having all these nerve problem on nerve issues. Well, it took US another three years to get the Parkinson's diagnosis and then when we got it we were like, well, that makes sense, because by now I can't even travel by myself. I can't button my dress shirts, I can't time I going up or downstairs, as Herndus, because my leg shakes so bad I'm afraid I'm just going to fall down through that journey. And so it like pain, but for me it's always been one more thing to overcome. If I overcame my father and I...

...overcame my high school football coach trying to kill my baseball dream and I overcame some of the people along the way who try to trip me up or stop me I don't get up and keep fighting through this. Yeah, thank everything that we go through in our lives build us up for a moment. We're going to have to do something to not even we thought we could do, and when that happens we can look back and go I was capable a lot more than what I was given. Yes, we just have to take advantage of the time. We've been given nothing. Nobody's guaranteed anything, so why not to be the very best you can all the time? If I want someone to be nice to me or be nice to my wife, I'm going to be nice to them to give them an example of how to be. Yes, just like my grandfather do, who had a men's worst storm Brown would. I live with him for three years in high school and I learned more from him, watching him, than I did from listening to me. He taught me great lessons taggin killing, but the way he talked to every single person, whether you are in a straw hat and jeans or you and the a thousand dollar suit at the time, he you had his hundred percent. Attention. He goes the most important person at any given times, that person standing in front of me right now, because they want my attention, and that's how he treated everybody. Mentioning your grandfather, you wrote in the book I mentioned those four words from my coach. Do the right thing. And it's funny because you talk about overcoming struggles and rising to you know, go beyond even what you think that you're capable of. I remember my eighth grade basketball coach. He said you're never going to play, you know, Varsity Ball, and I said watch this. In my mind like that day I knew it became varsity captain. Got Recruited by a couple of dthree schools, D two schools, but I was like, you know what, at that point I'd achieve eve what I wanted to achieve and then it was on... the next thing and then I started the business. But it's that same drive that you know, you start back then and you bring that Ford into today. And mentioning your grandfather, because I remember you wrote it was the time that, you know, people had the three button up vests under the jacket of the Blazer and your grandfather would say these four simple words to you remember who you are. Why are these words so important for each one of us to remember? Because, like you said, life is that guaranteed Memento Mori is one of my models for myself. Remember your death. But why is it important to remember who we are? The best thing I can explain it was how I taught my high school kids later on. You have that Jersey on your back. It has a school color. So and you represent yourself, but you also represent this team, yes, and you represent this school and you're a representative of your parents and you're representative of a state and you're a representative of a baseball even because baseball has had a long history in this country. You represent a whole lot more than what you think you do. And remember this. There's always somebody watching. And he taught me that and I was able to teach kids that for several years and I appreciate that because it's a message that our kids definitely need right now, not only then. Think adult needed to. I agree, and in this one of the things that I teach financial brands when it comes to marketing and cells, one of the greatest marketing assets at their disposal is their employees. Right it's the we're individuals, but we're a part of a bigger team than ourselves and people are watching, and that's why it's so important that we take this idea, we take this mindset into our everyday lives, personally and professionally. That's what...

I call exponential growth. Exponential growth is when you're growing personally and you're growing professionally at the same exact time. But sometimes you know to take this full circle. And as we start to wrap up, Jim, you know we do get stuck. We get stuck by limiting, limiting beliefs, but we're not defined by our past. It's clear in your own story and the journey that you've taken along the way. What would you recommend to the dear listener who is like I want to do something more than what I'm due to doing today. I'm driven by a purpose, but there's something holding me back. How do we break free from the past to write a new chapter, to write a new story that's even bigger than today? I think everything comes in time, and you got to remember this, James. If you have this great idea and this great concept and this great dream that Oh, I've just given up because I've made an excuse here. I got married, I had kids, I have a job. Now I've got to feed my dog at four o'clock. All these excuses are just ways to keep you from going after what you want and we've got to be able. I never will count myself short again in my life because of those kids. And so in my agent goes, okay, now you played Major League Baseball, now you're going to be a motivational speaker. All right, and then I did and I found out I loved it. I never would have known that. Teaching a group of kids in West Texas, thirty kids at a time, and coaching baseball. I never would have found that out. But because I didn't get that call for football, I'm married to who I'm married to and my kids got to grow up in a loving home because of those kids in West Texas. They pushed me into an area where I was highly uncomfortable. And if we're...

...not in motion and we're not moving, then we're sitting still. And if people go I'm doing this and I'm not going to make a mistake, well, if you're not make mistakes, you're not trying right, because you only have to succeed one time. But there's going to be failures and I just kept telling those kids that and then the more I told them how good they were, they told me how good I was. And those kids are not older than when I was when I made the bed, and so it's great to watch them grow up with their families and they're still a are in my life that I learned that from teenagers at the age of thirty five, not to ever give up. Yes, yes, and it's so easy to give up, to go off course, to get stuck in what I called a cave of complacency. But it takes courage, it takes commitment to keep coming out of that Cave Day in and day out. And I want to get real practical as we wrap up, because there's so much change, there's so much transformation happening in banking that it is easy to want to go into the cave. What can the dear listener do? They're they're a leader there in marketing. There's in cells to keep coming out of that cave every single day with courage, with confidence. What's one small practical step, because all transformation that leads the future growth begins with a simple step. Maybe it's even a bet that can open up a future of possibilities that we never knew before. But what is something small that they can commit to take on their own journey of growth? Any one of the biggest lessons I've learned is always forging relationships and nurturing them. Because, you know, back to an example, my grandfather, and what he didn't say, but what I watched was I watched him wait on this lady and overalls and a Straw had and boots and she had poop on her boots, just be honest, and nobody else in his store wanted to wait on this lady. She a farmer, she didn't have...

...any money and he saw this and he went up and he treat her like she should be treated. Before she left that store she bought fifteen suits for every male and her family. Wow, all because of how she was treated. He goes, I'm not trying to sell clothes here, I'm trying to sell myself and if I can sell myself to somebody, then they're going to trust me and they're going to keep coming back. I think that idea of trust is so key. It's so critical now more than ever before, and even in banking on digital growth. I write that trust bridges the gap in the Pyramid of human relationships. It's at the foundation of every relationship is rep help me when I have a need, not when you bank or crediting in you have a need, but when I have a need, and your grandfather's story right here is a great example of that. At the Pinnacle of the Pyramid of human relationships, and this is something, this was a model my wife and I developed through marriage preparation that we do. At the pinnacle is love, and there are different levels of love, but in the context of marketing and cells, we look at love as just making a commitment. In the case of your grandfather, she committed to purchase these fifteen suits, but to bridge the gap between respect and love. It's the word that you said. It's trust, and trust is built on two things. It's what you say and it's what you do. Trust is the currency that we trade on and it can take weeks, it can take months, it can take years to make enough deposits for someone to make a decision, to make that commitment, and then it can take minutes to deplete that that Trust Fund, if you will, quote unquote, and we lose it also, Jim, thank you this has been a fantastic it's been a wonderful conversation for the dear listener wanting to dive a little bit deeper into your story. I mentioned your first book to open up, the oldest rookie, but then you also have dreammakers. Surround yourself with the best to be your best. Where could the dear...

...listener find this book and continue to learn from you? Oh, from our website and the rookie Morriscom or Amazoncom. They've got it too, and I probably get it there a little quicker. Get they don't sign it. Yeah, get the book, learn from Jim and surround yourself to be the very best. Jim. Thank you so much for joining me on another episode of banking on digital growth. This has been wonderful exchange as always, and until next time, be well, do good and make your bed. Thank you for listening to another episode of banking on Digital Growth with James Robert Leigh. To get even more practical and proven insights, along with coaching and guidance, visit digital growthcom slash insider to join a community of growth minded marketing and sales leaders from financial brands and Ben Tax. Until next time, be well and do okay,.

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