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LBL Bryan Price | Performing Under Pressure

 

It’s when performing under pressure that true leadership is tested. We learn this from Bryan Price, Ph.D., founder of Top Mental Game LLC, a coaching service for business leaders and elite athletes. Before starting Top Mental Game, Bryan served for 20 years as a U.S. Army officer. He currently serves as a Director and Associate Professor at the Combating Terrorism Center. Joining Ben Baker on the show, Bryan tells us how leaders can stay on top of their mental game so they can perform at their best when it matters the most. He also shares insights on servant leadership, the imposter syndrome, leadership development, and more. Stay tuned and learn how one of the best minds is shaping the new generation of leaders!

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Performing Under Pressure With Bryan Price

[0:01:09] In this episode, I’m talking to another veteran. I love supporting the veteran community. It is one of my honors and privileges to bring these amazing people who have done so much for our country and enabled us to do what we do. I want to bring onboard Bryan Price. Bryan was introduced to me by Michael Norton from XINNIX. He was on the show at the end of 2021. We are going to have an amazing conversation about developing the next generation of leadership and performance under pressure.

[0:01:43] Bryan, welcome to the show.

[0:01:45] I’m happy to be here. Thanks for having me.

[0:02:12] I served from 1998 to 2018 and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel from the Army.

[0:02:18] I’m going to let you tell your story. For me to tell your story, I won’t give it service. Tell me a little bit about your career up to this point and where you are.

[0:02:36] I’m a Jersey Shore kid. For those of you that have ever seen the MTV shows, that is not what the real Jersey Shore is like. I grew up out here in New Jersey. I was a three-sport athlete in high school. I went to West Point for my undergraduate. I played baseball there. I was able to co-captain the team as a senior. If you are familiar with the academies, you have to go for a period of service to the country once you graduate. I thought I was going to serve my initial five years, and then get out and do something else but the joke was on me. I ended up serving for many years. For the first half of my career, I was commissioned as an Aviation Officer.

I flew the Army’s premier attack helicopter, the Apache Longbow. I had some operational experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. You talked about giving back to veterans. When I look at my service in the Army, the Army gave me way more than I was able ever to give it. One of the great things that the Army does is send some of their individuals back to grad school at some of the greatest universities in the country. The Army sent me for three years to go to Stanford University to get a PhD in Political Science. I spent the second half of my career teaching at West Point as a Professor.

I taught in the Department of Social Sciences and talked about International Relations and National Security. I ran a place there called the Combating Terrorism Center for six years until 2018, a unique outfit where we were able to do original research and brief the nation’s senior leaders on counterterrorism issues. We can talk about performing under pressure and in those situations. I had always told my wife that at the twenty-year mark, she would have veto power over, whether I could stay in the military or not. I thought she had forgotten. She did not.

She was out watching the countdown clock there. Even though I love every bit of it, I would have stated she has always been my rock. I have a daughter, too. I was happy to call it quits and started a leadership institute at Seton Hall University called the Buccino Leadership Institute. On the side, I started my business called Top Mental Game, where I work with elite athletes and senior business leaders on mental performance, leadership, and performing at your best when it matters the most. That is a truncated version of my story.

Leadership is a mindset, not a job title. Click To Tweet

[0:05:02] To think that the Military thinks enough of you to send you back to Stanford to get your PhD is incredible on its own. They saw something in you that you were not just this helicopter pilot. They saw that you had that leadership capabilities and that you were able to lead others. It’s amazing the trajectory that one change made in your life. Why don’t you take me through that? That is a real transition from being an active-duty officer in the field in Afghanistan and other places that you were to going back, getting the Academic degree, and then becoming both a teacher within the military and an advisor to National Security.

[0:05:46] Big picture-wise, it’s indicative that many elite organizations may talk about people as our greatest asset but the military and Army specifically preaches that. They are willing to devote the resources, time, and money to pull an active-duty line officer. I was a company commander prior to going to Stanford for 33 months with the same unit. Normally, you get 1 year or 18 months even but it was such a weird situation where the unit that I was in had come back from Iraq and was transitioning from the Alpha model to the Delta model in the Apache, and that was done at Fort Hood in Texas.

The unit was originally from Germany. After an eight-month train up in the States, we moved all the families and helicopters to Germany, and we’ve got orders to go to Afghanistan. It was weird over 3 continents and 33 months with that organization. I went from that environment of leading 106 folks in combat in Afghanistan to be plopped in Palo Alto on Stanford’s campus. It was a culture shock. On my first day of class, the kid sitting next to me is making small talk with me. He asked me where I was from. I said, “I’m military. I came back from Afghanistan and out here on Army’s dime.” He said, “That’s awesome.” I said, “What’s your story?”

He said, “I graduated from UCLA at the age of sixteen. I went to Harvard Law School and graduated there by the time I was twenty. I have been practicing law for a couple of years, and then I came back.” You talk about Imposter syndrome, which is a topic we can get into. I was feeling all of it. Throughout my time in the military and sports, my mindset was to work as hard as I can, outwork everybody, and good things will happen.

[0:07:46] That is an interesting transition, talking about Imposter syndrome and developing the next generation of leaders because there has been that wonderful phrase, “Fake it until you make it,” which in some cases drives me crazy. I would love for you to talk about that because when you are developing the next generation of leaders, they are full of aspiration, self-confidence, and all of the things that they do but they don’t have the experience or true skills to be the leader that they can be. How do we take them out of that Imposter syndrome and get them comfortable in their own pockets so they can be that next generation of great leaders?

LBL Bryan Price | Performing Under Pressure
Performing Under Pressure: Imposter syndrome affects 70% of the population. Even if you’re not suffering from it, it’s a guaranteed that some people that you’re leading are suffering underneath it.

 

[0:08:26] This is an interesting topic. We had some data on this because we have administered an assessment called the EQ-i 2.0 Emotional Intelligence Assessment over the past years, which is also used by corporations. It rates you on these sixteen different competencies related to emotional intelligence. In some of those categories are things like self-regard and self-actualization.

By this point, we have 270 students over the years that have taken it. It’s interesting to see the data. When you talk about fake it until you make it, the students that we are able to work with are competitively selected. They are the cream of the crop, the brightest students that came into Seton Hall University.

When you peel back the onion and look at their EQ-i assessments, their self-actualization is usually very high, meaning going back to that ambition and wanting to do some fantastic things in your life but the self-regard is not there. It’s almost like some of these students have been putting on masks a little bit over time. When you peel the onion back, their self-regard isn’t there.

We talk about the Imposter syndrome at length, and it affects 70% of the population that they think. Even if you are not suffering from it, I guarantee you, the people that are leading underneath you, your family and friends or the people you care about are suffering. I will give you one thing that we do right off the bat.

In our unique program, every one of our students has the opportunity in the four-year program to have a leadership coach assigned to them. We are so close to New York City. Those coaches usually coach CEOs and those folks but they believe in our mission that they come and coach in our program. Another thing that we did in 2022 is interesting. On the first day of class, we put them through a conveyor belt where one of the stations they were in was in front of a video camera. I had them say their first name, hometown and, “I am a leader.” We videotaped that. It was amazing to see some of the students were faking it when they were saying it.

Some of my faculty were like, “Why did we do that?” This is a weird segue. When I was in counterterrorism in the Army, I saw that suicide bombers oftentimes would have a celebration the night before where their handlers would film them saying their goodbyes. It was a costly signal that they were trying to do so that they would follow through on their commitment the next day. I thought like, “Can you put that into the leadership realm, where on day one, if you are on camera, saying that you are a leader, is that going to impact how you carry yourself? Is that going to impact the types of decisions you make in the cafeteria or on campus when you see something wrong?” I wanted that soundtrack in the back of their head of, “I am a leader.” It’s an interesting thing we do.

You can't lead others unless you can lead yourself. Click To Tweet

[0:11:22] One of the phrases I use is, “Leadership is an attitude, not a job title.” We get to a world where everybody has the ability to lead. Not everybody has the skills to lead but everybody has the ability to lead. We need to grow those next generational leaders. I’m not convinced that anybody is born the leader they can be. Everybody is going to lead to their ability. Some people are going to lead a group of five people, themselves or a nation. Every single one of them needs to be taught how to lead. Some of that is the performance under pressure. How do you act and react when you get squeezed? That is an interesting thought process.

[0:12:10] I could not agree more with everything that you said. We tell our students that leadership is a mindset. It’s not a job title. It’s very similar in terms of what you put forth. The other thing is when you talk about performing under pressure. When you have the mindset that you are a leader, you are going to approach things very differently than if you are a follower. In our four-year program, you hit on a couple of points. One of our first years is about leading yourself because I argue that you can’t lead others unless you can lead yourself. In year two, it’s leading others.

In years 3 and 4, we get closer to leading in your discipline and some of those things. You always hear the age-old debate of, “Are leaders born or made?” I’m a big proponent like you that even if you do have those natural leadership skills and talents, leaders are learners. When you stop learning, you stop leading. We tell our students and business leaders is like, “You never make it as a leader. If you feel like you have made it, it’s time to exit stage left.”

[0:13:07] It means that you are probably not in a big enough room.

[0:13:10] I’m a big proponent of relentless improvement. I will give you a very reasonable excuse for learning. When you strip everything down, leadership, in my opinion, is about people. People change. We change over the course of our life. Societies, norms, morals, ethics, and those things change over time. If you are going to be a leader and want to lead multiple generations of people, by definition, you have to change.

There are still some bedrock principles that we can all abide by in terms of things that we believe in the institutes like servant leadership. Nobody wants the toxic, tyrant, authoritarian leadership style. If you look at that perspective, “People are going to change. Therefore, I should keep updating the ways that I can connect the best and most effective with the people I’m leading.”

LBL Bryan Price | Performing Under Pressure
Performing Under Pressure: Leadership about people, and people change. So if you are going to be a leader, by definition, you have to change.

 

[0:14:01] That is interesting because we all need to improve. It’s the reading, questioning, and saying, “How can I be better?” I tell people and say, “Great leader wakes up every single morning and says, how can I make my team better?” It’s not, “How I can make myself better?” That’s a given. It’s, “How can I help them improve?” I want to get back to performance under pressure but this is the thought, and I wanted your thought on this. I had an interesting guy. He leads a fairly large organization.

When he is hiring the next generation of leaders, the first thing he does is look at their LinkedIn profiles. He reads through it. He says, “If they are not leading and presenting online thought leadership, creativity, helping other people out, and instilling confidence in others, they are never going to do that in person.” I would love to know, do you get into that you are one whole person, whether online or offline, in front of somebody or talking on the phone? Is that something that you get into?

[0:15:02] A hundred percent. This is particularly important for this upcoming generation. The Gen Z folks are coming up and growing up in a digital world like you and I did not grow up in. My phrase for this is leadership doesn’t have office hours. You can’t punch the clock and be a leader from 9:00 to 5:00, and then at home, away from either campus or work and online, you can’t be a different person.

One of the things that I talk about with a platform like LinkedIn, you touched on a great point, the algorithm is built that the more you engage there, the more those types of people will be seeing your content. If you are pumping other people up and commenting on other people, even if you don’t post a lot, you are going to see some interesting networking positive effects on that over time. I couldn’t agree more in terms of the leaders don’t have office hours. It’s the whole person.

[0:15:57] It is all about building relationships, whether it’s in person or online because you never know when you can either be valuable to somebody else or yourself. If you have built that trust, you could ask for those favors. If you haven’t, nobody is going to follow you, whether you call yourself a leader or not.

[0:16:17] Gary Vaynerchuk is famous for this component of the jab, right, hook. Meaning, can you provide value on your social media feeds, give people value and pump them up, and then occasionally you can make your ask? It doesn’t work very well when you make asks and don’t give back to the community.

Leaders are learners. When you stop learning, you stop leading. Click To Tweet

[0:17:04] Let’s change gears and talk about the squeeze because I am a big believer that any single person shows their true colors when they are squeezed. Some people rise, and some people fall. I want to know how you help this next generation deal with pressure when a lot of the pressure that they feel is first-world problems. They have never been in combat, somebody shoots at them or in a situation where it’s live or die. It is first-world pressure. How do you get them to understand how to rise above when all they see is this, “I can’t move any further,” but in the grand scheme of things, there is always an option?

[0:17:47] Especially in this world of helicopter parents and how some of these students that I get a chance to work with have been brought up. From a big picture standpoint, it’s important to understand how your body reacts under pressure. This is the cool part where the blending of the mental performance in leadership comes together. I will talk a little bit in sports terms but it’s applicable on the other side. One of the things that I talk to my students about is that we are all familiar with fight, flight, or freeze responses. There is a theorem called the Yerkes-Dodson Theorem. Simpletons like myself call it the inverted U curve.

Think of an upside-down U. That theory says that with increasing amounts of stress or pressure, maybe counter-intuitively, our performance should increase but only up to a certain point. That point is different for everybody. At which time, if you continue to increase that stress or pressure, your performance is going to decline. You are going to be overstimulated. You are not going to be able to function. The sports example here is basketball. You will not perform at your best at your world-record performance in the backyard with your sibling. That pressure gets increased a little bit if you talk about a preseason game.

Everybody has some type of green zone, in the zone, in the flow, whatever you want to refer to it. Beyond that, you are playing in front of a huge crowd against a rival and a critical moment. You are starting to feel that pressure, and you might be in your head. At the extreme, it might be no time on the clock. You are shooting a free throw to win the game by shooting a one-on-one. That is extreme pressure. If you understand how that dynamic is, it’s important for people to have self-awareness of where you are on that chart. For some of us, we might need a little more stress and pressure for us to perform at our peak.

The most challenging that I have with both business leaders and athletes is when they are overstimulated. If you are overstimulated, you feel like the world is on top of you, and you are either in fight or flight mode, you have to have some tools in your toolkit to cope with those things. These are not magical tools. These are things like incorporating mindful breathing when you are in that moment. Self-talk is a huge one. I tell my athletes and business leaders, “If you don’t know, whether your self-talk, generally speaking, is either hurting or helping you, I guarantee you it’s hurting you.”

LBL Bryan Price | Performing Under Pressure
Performing Under Pressure: If you don’t know whether your self-talk is either hurting you or helping you, it’s definitely hurting you.

 

It’s in our DNA to be negative and on the lookout for threats. It is not in our DNA to be confident and motivated. We have to get to that spot. The third skill and drill that I do with my athletes and business leaders involve visualization and imagery exercises. If you have performance anxiety getting a presentation in front of a board of directors, what types of things can you do in the lead up to that to make you feel more comfortable? I tell my athletes and business leaders that our brains often have difficulty differentiating fantasy from reality.

If you have ever woken up from a nightmare in the comfy confines of your bed, sweating, breathing heavy, and your body is reacting, you are in the safest place in your house. With visualization imagery, you can put yourself in those moments and see yourself succeeding or getting through whatever obstacles are in front of you. That can be built into your subconscious so that you are going to be more confident. I will give you one quick anecdote on that. Missy Franklin is one of the greatest swimmers in American history. She had her glory moments in the 2012 Olympics. She won 5 medals, 4 gold in that event.

She was on a great podcast called Finding Mastery, where she discussed her use of digitalization and imagery to prepare her for that competition. Like a lot of athletes, she would use visualization and imagery exercises to almost put her in that scenario of swimming, how many strokes she was taking, what did it feel like, and what did the arena sound like. It incorporates all of your senses. There she was going out for the first time for a gold medal heat in the 200-meter backstroke. She sees all of her competitors, and they look all nervous and tense. She says because of that prework, she felt like it was her 50th time doing this.

She goes out and breaks the world record in that event and wins a gold medal. All those similar tools can be incorporated into business leaders that are either stuck in Imposter syndrome or feel fearful of the consequences of getting a presentation in front of others. The body reacts the same way, whether you are getting ready for a gold metal heat or getting ready to stand up in front of a crowd. How do you deal with Imposter syndrome or these competence issues when doing all the keynotes that you do?

[0:22:37] For me, if I’m not nervous before a keynote, I’m crazy. There is always that level of tension and anticipation, and I thrive on it. When I get out in front of those people and see 1,000 faces, all of a sudden, I watch the lights go down, and there are people. You can feel the crowd. I feel like I’m home but it has taken a while because you started off speaking in front of 50 people, 100 people, 500 people, 1,000, and then a couple of thousand. If you try to speak in front of 2,000 people the first time, you are sitting backstage with that little bit of Imposter syndrome speaking in your right ear going, “Are you worthy?” you have to be able to say, “I’m ready.”

You don't want to get rid of your, your butterflies. The butterflies are your body's way of telling you that you care about what you're going to do. Click To Tweet

I remember as a kid, I was in the theater business, and you would do 3 or 4 dress rehearsals with full orchestra, sets, costumes, everything for 3 or 4 nights in a row before opening night because, by that time, you were ready. You had already been on stage. You knew what the costume felt like and what the lights felt like on you. The only thing you were missing was the audience itself. My question to you is how you simulate those positions where you can put people under pressure and give them the feeling to know ways, “Am I going to break here?”

[0:24:06] This is where, at the elite level, visualization imagery comes into play. Going back to the notion of our brains having a difficult time differentiating fantasy from reality, the more you can visualize and use all of your senses, you are tricking the brain into thinking that what is happening is real. They have found that the same types of brain synapses firing when you are physically doing the movement occur when you are visualizing. You said something very interesting because I had an opportunity to interview Julie Foudy, one of the greatest soccer players of all time, and you see her on ESPN.

Before the World Cup match, one of her teammates went to their sports psychologists and said, “I am freaking out. I need you to get rid of my butterflies,” which everybody has experienced in their lifetime. Colleen Hacker, the great sports psychologist, told the team, “You don’t want to get rid of your butterflies. The butterflies are your body’s way of telling you that you care about what you are about to do. You need to get your butterflies to find formation.” I love that phraseology. To get back to your point, that type of visualization can make you feel as if you are doing it properly like you are in the moment.

It is an underutilized tool in business, particularly for individuals. We talked about presentations. It comes into play in one-on-one interactions where sometimes leaders are terrified to give bad news to one of their employees or have those tough conversations. If you think about it, those same types of reactions in the body take place, whether you are speaking in front of 1,000 people or about to fire an individual you care about. That is why these types of tools can come into play.

There’s another tip for your audience when it comes to self-talk. I’m stealing a little bit from Carol Dweck’s great work in the book Mindset, where she talks about the difference between a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. An individual that has gone up through their corporate career and has said things like, “I have always sucked at public speaking.” Once you have uttered that phrase in that type of manner, your brain is constantly searching for evidence to support that belief that you suck at public speaking. The reason why it does that is that your brain doesn’t want to suffer some cognitive dissonance.

LBL Bryan Price | Performing Under Pressure
Performing Under Pressure: You get better by having at-bats, but then having some type of feedback to accompany those at-bats.

 

It doesn’t want to find evidence contrary to what it’s already believing. Some people think, “Bryan is going to tell us to think of rainbows, unicorns, and lollipops.” The way to get around that is to say, “I struggle with my public speaking and presentation skills but with time, effort, and my work ethic, I can get better.” That subtle change in the language from, “I have always sucked that,” to, “I struggle with,” might be enough for you to give yourself some grace and put more effort into becoming a better public speaker or presenter. The other way around, when you say, “I have always sucked at something,” in the military, we would call it a self-licking ice cream cone. It is always going to be that way.

[0:27:13] Visualization is important. I am never going to take anything away from that. I know in the military, you train, go live-fire exercises, simulations, and training combat. You put yourself physically in the same situation that you would be as if you were in a live situation where somebody was firing back at you. Are you putting your people within this four-year leadership program in physical situations where they test their grit? Are you putting them in a position where they sit there and realize, “That was hard but I made it?”

[0:27:55] We do this in a number of ways, and this is something that every company, no matter how big you are, can do. We utilize a lot of filming students. It cracks me up that you can open up Harvard Business Review, Income Magazine, or whatever business content you are consuming out there and will talk about the importance of body language and non-verbal communication. How many of us have ever seen ourselves on film? I will give you one thing we do with the students. We put them into these interdisciplinary teams of ten students in the springtime. When I say interdisciplinary, purely interdisciplinary. Two Business kids, 2 Arts and Science kids, 1 nurse, 1 teacher, 1 Diplomat and 1 scientist.

We put them in semester-long projects. We use the university’s market research center, which is used for our marketing advertising people. It is a conference room that is outfitted with audio-visual equipment so you can film everything in there. There is a double-pane glass on one end of the room. On the other side of that is a control room where you can observe what is going on in the other room, see everything going on, and hear all the audio piped in. Our marketing advertising people use it for focus groups if you want to put a product in there and see how it goes. We use it as a leadership development tool. We will film the first-ever meeting of the semester of that team where a student is in charge.

There are no professors there. It is the student running a board meeting for the first time. We film them and show that film to every one of those students on the team. We give them feedback as to how did they show up. This is a stressful situation for them, getting back to your point of putting them in that spot. This is the real world. These are not hypothetical scenarios.

Be the leader you want to be led by. Click To Tweet

It also works for students who may not be the leader to see themselves on camera. One of our students is a nursing student. She is now a senior. When she was put through this the first time, she saw the video. I meet with every one of those students one-on-one to go over the film, almost like a football coach like, “What did you see in this play? What would you do differently?”

Many people can probably relate to this, especially when you are on a new team. I had this big, long speech about even if you are introverted, you have to find some strategic ways to engage. She came back to our meeting. She stopped me cold in my tracks. I said, “How did you think you did?” She said, “In my four years in high school, every teacher told me I had to be more engaged. I was too quiet. I looked like I was not participating. I have never put any credence to that until I saw myself on film in that one room. That is not the person who I am or want to be.” At the end of the semester, we have the students rank order, which is also difficult for them, talking about putting themselves in difficult situations.

From 1 to 10, who is the most impactful on that team and the least impactful? At the end of the semester, that young leader who said three words in the first session, who was not the team leader, ranked her as the MVP or number one. I don’t credit our program for doing that. I credit the fact that we put ourselves in a situation where she saw herself on film, and that is how ubiquitous phones are and great the cameras are. That is a completely underutilized tool in the corporate world in terms of leadership development of, “Film your people in those interactions.”

[0:31:26] We have a perception of who we are but how we see ourselves may not be how others see us. I go back to my show, and the show I did years ago is awful. The questions are simplistic, the pace isn’t there, and there isn’t a great flow to the first episodes. It is only by being able to review critically and say, “I could have said that here. I could have done this there,” we get better. I’m sure years from now, my show will even be better than it is. We need to be able to look at ourselves critically and say, “There is room for improvement. I’m good but I could be great.” I love that you are taping these people to give them the ability to see themselves outside of their skin.

[0:32:17] When you look at other professions and how they do things, you get better by having at-bats but then having some feedback to accompany those at-bats. Going back to the basketball example, basketball players with their coaches will watch the film of what happened. That is how they get better. Our students have been able to recognize verbal ticks that they have. They will recognize body language, whether they are closed, open, or how they react.

LBL Bryan Price | Performing Under Pressure

 

It has been able to have us show students examples of things like mansplaining. Not just talk about it but what does it look like in real life when that happens in a room? We can talk about those types of things in an abstract way. The beautiful part of our program is it’s not for academic credit. It’s all about development. That is what differentiates our program from other programs. We are not having students back fighting over getting the A in the room. It’s all about getting better. It is an exciting program. I’m biased.

[0:33:31] First of all, thank you for your service. What is the best way people can get in touch with you?

[0:33:41] I’m active on LinkedIn, @BryanPrice. All of my socials are @TopMentalGame. On Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, if you want to go take a look at Top Mental Game.

[0:33:58] Here is the one question I ask everybody as I close up this interview. When you get out of a meeting, get in your car and drive away, what is the one thing you want people to think about you when you are not in the room?

[0:34:10] Be the leader you want to be led by.

[0:34:13] You have been an incredible guest. Thank you for your wisdom. Michael, thank you for making this introduction because it was well worth it. I appreciate it. I hope the audience enjoyed this as much as I did.

[0:34:27] Thanks, Ben.

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About Bryan Price

LBL Bryan Price | Performing Under PressureBryan founded Top Mental Game LLC to provide business leaders and elite athletes with the mental skills needed to perform at their best when it matters the most. He is also the founding Executive Director of the Buccino Leadership Institute, a comprehensive 4-year leadership program at Seton Hall University.

Before starting Top Mental Game, Bryan served for 20 years as a U.S. Army officer, retiring at the rank of lieutenant colonel in 2018. He was a 3-year starter and captain of the baseball team at the U.S. Military Academy, earning Patriot League All-Decade team in the process. He was commissioned as an aviation officer after graduating from West Point and flew the AH-64D Apache Longbow, the Army’s premier attack helicopter. Bryan served in a variety of command and staff positions in the first half of his 20-year career, including 33 months of company command of the same unit across three continents and a 12-month combat deployment to Afghanistan.

The Army then sent Bryan to Stanford University, where he earned a Ph.D. in political science in three years. He then returned to teach international relations and U.S. national security in the Department of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy.

Following another combat deployment to Iraq, he came back to West Point to serve as an Academy Professor and the Director of the Combating Terrorism Center from 2012-2018. In this capacity, Bryan briefed the nation’s most senior leaders about the Center’s counterterrorism research. This included briefings to the Secretary of Defense, Secretary of the Army, two Directors of the CIA, Director of the National Counterterrorism Center, the commanders of U.S. Special Operations Command and Joint Special Operations Command, and numerous four-star geographic combatant commanders. Bryan’s personal research focused on terrorist group leadership, and his book Targeting Top Terrorists was published by Columbia University Press in 2019.

Through Top Mental Game, Bryan has worked with business leaders and Division-I coaches, athletes, and teams. He’s served as an executive coach and given talks on leadership to JP Morgan Chase, Citi Group, T. Rowe Price, Hancock Whitney Bank, Moog, Infinex, Hilltop Securities, and the Bank Insurance and Securities Association. He is certified to administer the Hogan assessment, Eqi-2.0 Emotional Intelligence assessment, and the DISC Behavioral assessment, and he is an ICF-certified leadership coach (PCC).

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  • Four 30-60 second audiograms designed to enable pecple to have a quick understanding of your value and why they should search you out to find out more through their use on your website and social meda.
  • Six images that you can use through your social media on an on-going basis.
  • Five or Six tweets that can be sent out regularly.
  • An edited transcript of the interview that enable you to ganer even more market materials and have approximately 6500 words on your website that provides SEO benefits.
  • One 25-35-minute podcast episode on the Find Your Pro Show with a marketing that looks like this

GOLD - four episode plan $10998.00

  • One 60-minute recorded interview to understand who you are, what you do, why you do t, who you do it for and why they should care. This interview is designed to show your true value and enable you to shine
  • Three additional 60-minutes recorded interviews that can be testimonials with clients, case studies, best practices or top questions of your clients answered. The goal is to provide value to your audience that creates trust with them and gives them reason to buy from you
  • Sixteen (4 per interview) 2-3-minute videos that come from that interview that help you tell specific parts of your story that you can put on your website and used through social mead and email campaigns regularly,
  • Sixteen (4 per interview) 3060 second audiograms designed to enable people to have a quick understanding of your value and why they should search you out to find out more through their use on your website and social media
  • Twenty-four (6 per interview) images that you can use through your social media on an on-going basis
  • Twenty four (6 per interview) tweets that can be sent out regularly.
  • Four (one per episode) edited transcripts of the interviews that enable you to garner even more market materials and have approximately 6500 words on your website that provides SEO benefits.
  • Four 25-35-minute podcast episode on the Find Your Pro Show with a marketing page that looks like this

PLATINUM- twelve episode plan $27750.00

  • One 60-minute recorded interview to understand who you are, what you do, why you do it, who you do it for and why they should care. This interview is designed to show your true value and enable you to shine.
  • Eleven additional 60-minutes recorded interviews that can be testimonials with clients, case studies, best practices or top questions of your clients answered. The goal is to provide value to your audience that creates trust with them and gives them reason to buy from you.
  • Forty-eight (4 per interview) 2-3-minute videos that come from that interview that help you tell specific parts of your story that you can put on your website and used through social media and email campaigns regularly.
  • Forty-eight (4 per interview) 30-60 second audiograms designed to enable people to have a quick understanding of your value and why they should search you out to find out more through their use on your website and social media.
  • Seventy-two (6 per interview) images that you can use through your social media on an on-going basis.
  • Seventy-two (6 per interview) tweets that can be sent out regularly.
  • Twelve (one per episode) edited transcripts of the interviews that enable you to garner even more market materials and have approximately 6500 words on your website that provides SEO benefits.
  • Twelve 25-35-minute podcast episode on the Find Your Pro Show with a marketing page that looks like this.

The SILVER option is designed for companies on a limited budget or who would like to try the power of the Communicate Your Why program before committing.

It provides you with a reasonable amount of shareable content and access to our network. However, for most companies, this may not provide a full year's worth of marketing materials. If you purchase a SILVER package and decide to upgrade within 30 days of the airing of your episode, we will credit 90% of the SILVER package towards either a GOLD or PLATINUM package.

Our expectation is that we will release your episode within 30 days of the recording date.

The GOLD option is a basic yearly marketing package.

Optimally, you would release an episode quarterly and use the content that accompanies it to update your marketing on a quarterly basis. It is literally four times the amount of marketing materials as the SILVER option and allows you to not only tell your story but create a case studies with clients or talk about specific ways you add value to your clientele in a non-sales way. We would suggest that you have us interview other employees, suppliers, strategic partners and/or clients with additional episodes in order to add additional value and tell a richer and a more robust version of your brand story.

Our expectation is that we will release your episodes quarterly.

The PLATINUM option is designed as a monthly marketing package

It gives you the content you desire to stay top of mind with your clients and prospects, talk about ongoing developments and tell a more robust story. Again, if you purchase a GOLD package and decide to upgrade to a PLATINUM one within 90 days of starting the original GOLD package, we will credit 90% of the original purchase price towards the price of the PLATINUM option. We would suggest that you have us interview other employees, suppliers, strategic partners and/or clients with additional episodes in order to add additional value and tell a richer and more robust version of your brand story.

Our expectation is that we will release your episodes monthly.

Welcome to the communicate your why podcast network
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Welcome to the communicate your why podcast network




By submitting this form, you agree to receive on-going communications from Your Brand Marketing. You can always unsubscribe.

Subscribe to the email below and never miss an episode