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Hey there listeners. This week we’re serving up another light roast.While no one from The Ivy Leagues reached out for me to speak to this years graduates, I figured I’d give it the old “college try”. And yes, you can expect that level of Dad-joke to appear at least once.What follows is a mediation on a phrase you hear me say often. “Be easy.”I hope it can be a sliver of light in the darkness. Congrats to the graduates of 2022 and enjoy the show! 
I usually don’t ask questions to start off these episode descriptions, mostly because I don’t know how you, the listener, will answer. But here we go:Do you think you could give up eating meat? If you’re like me, the gut reaction is probably heck no! But then maybe you start to think about your health… or maybe you start to think about the health of the planet… or the plight of animals on factory farms… I get it. These aren’t always enjoyable things to think about, but I also think it’s necessary for us to constantly challenge our previously held beliefs. And boy did this conversation do that in spades. Paul Shapiro is the CEO of The Better Meat Company. Founded in 2018, their process for turning potatoes into a porter-house is one of the coolest scientific things I’ve gotten to learn about in a while. Paul got his start as an activist, founding the organization Compassion of Killing and then went on to multiple leadership positions at the Humane Society of the United States.Paul is a four-time TEDx speaker, and is also the author of the bestselling book, Clean Meat: How Growing Meat Without Animals will Revolutionize Dinner and the World. He has been interviewed by outlets like CNN and luminaries such as Neil DeGras Tyson, and his writing has been featured everywhere from Scientific American to The Washington Post. We talk about the impact of our meat-driven society on our planet and the animals we share it with, and let’s just say while I might not go vegan, I’m definitely eating a little less meat. And I gotta tell you, I feel a little bit better. Enjoy the show! 
One thing I think we often forget about leadership is that it's not a solo mission. Leaders build leaders; full stop. I've had a lot of fun with this podcast and gotten to know and chat with a lot of interesting & influential people. But this week's conversation was a much-needed reminder that leadership is a communal AND active endeavor. My guests this week are both co-hosts of the amazing podcast, The Llama Lounge. Consisting of a cohort of current and retired U.S. Air Force service members, Joe Bogdan (a former solo guest) and Nina Choy are part of a larger group of leaders whose goal is to transfer their skills to those who are following in this footsteps. Our conversation revolves around the three core tenants of Servant Leadership: Resiliency, Emotionally Intelligence, and Team Engagement. There's plenty of twists and turns, but that's what makes this one of my favorite episode we've done thus far. No matter what field you're in, there is solid  advice for every aspiring or current leader. Enjoy the show! 
I knew that I wanted to record an Easter episode of the podcast, but it wasn't until I I sat down to write that I discovered that it was the first time in a long time that Easter, Passover, and Ramadan were all happening concurrently. Most people know that there is overlap in the three Abrahamic religions, but this is literal overlap. In this episode, I explore how each of these celebrations share the theme of "another chance", and how even if you don't subscribe to any one faith, there is a lot to be learned from these holidays. So whatever you celebrated this past Sunday, I hope it filled your cup. Enjoy the Show! 
I’ve been in a lot of rooms full of smart people. But very rarely do I think I’ve found myself in a room full of wise people. Of course, this isn’t a dig against my peers in any way. I think all of us possess unique bits of wisdom we’ve picked up on our journeys, but to become a “wise person” is a task that often seems to border on Sisyphean.So when I was thinking about my conversation this week, I was reminded of a quote from the Chinese philosopher, Lao-Tze: “To attain knowledge, add things everyday. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”Charles Hamm is an Author, LinkedIn Influencer, and after 76 years on this earth, a pretty wise guy. And in my opinion, one of the reasons for this lies in his ability to strip lessons down to their core components, to remove the excess. His just released book is titled, “Ponder on it, Pilgrim: The Bucolic Mark Twain on Critter Councils, Cookie Bandits, and Texas Grit,” and aims to show readers why wisdom is the key to living in a chaotic world. This conversation is both light-hearted and heavy, and I hope it’s as fun to listen to as it was to record. Enjoy the show! 
Anyone who has watched an 80’s college-comedy knows that one of the things you never want to have happen is to be called into “The Dean’s Office”...Now of course, there is PLENTY in those comedies that absolutely DO NOT fly in our world today. But past the obvious misogyny, racism, ect., my conversation this week made me realize the humor of the uptight, ivory-tower-dwelling academic might be aging poorly, too. When I was in law school at St. Mary’s, I knew of the Dean, which is to say I knew his name and I knew what he looked like. But I was intimidated by him. Why?I honestly don’t know, but I suspect a healthy amount of imposter-syndrome on my part, and a lot of negative-reinforcement on the “barrier” that - back then - was supposed to exist between ‘the academy’ and those who attended it. Thankfully, that wall is coming down. And thanks to this week’s guest, I’m happy to report that my alma mater is at the fore of this endeavor. Since 2020, Patricia E. Roberts has been the Dean of St. Mary’s Law School in San Antonio. Prior to this, she was the Vice Dean, Roberts was William & Mary Law’s were she oversaw multiple legal clinics that provided pro bono representation to underserved clients in Virginia’s Hampton Roads area. The school’s first in-house clinics, including those specializing in veterans’ benefits, elder law, special education, appellate and Supreme Court litigation, and coastal policy, were created during Dean Robert’s tenure as director.Her dedication to providing legal resources to underserved communities, as well as her passion for the advancement of legal education, have made Patricia one of the leading voices in legal education. Along with multiple other duties, she is also the host of the EdUp networks Legal Education podcast where she discusses innovations in legal education and predictions for its future in conversations with thought leaders and law school deans from across the country.  Patrica and I talk about the future of legal education, our own law school experiences, the struggles (and victories!) of the pandemic, and why everyone deserves representation. Enjoy the show!  
In the history of The Bassett Firm, we have only ever run one advertisement. It was in the bulletin of the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church of Waxahachie, and I don’t even think it counts as a proper “ad”. It was a simple notice that - if someone was in a legal bind - our firm would be happy to listen to their issue and point them in the right direction, or, if it was in our wheel-house, do what we could to get their matter resolved. Our firm still takes this kind of pro-bono work seriously, and it’s one of the things I’m proud of my team for participating in. After all, you can’t have a mission-statement based on the Good Samaritan if you don’t watch others actively live it.That’s just one of the nuggets of insight I walked away with after my conversation with this week’s guest, Josh Miles. Josh Miles is a brand-obsessed Chief Marketing Officer, keynote speaker, photographer, artist, and podcast host who, after co-founding his own firm, MilesHerdon, pivoted towards a career helping others make their creative obsessions their profession.Josh was the CMO for SMPS, the only North American organization for marketing and business development professionals in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction industries, and currently serves as the CMO for Codelicious, a startup delivering a comprehensive, full-semester computer science curriculum for grades K-12As a TEDx presenter, Josh speaks coast-to-coast, including hosting the podcasts Obsessed Show and PSM Show.  He is also the author of Bold Brand 2.0 - How to Leverage Brand Strategy to Reposition, Differentiate and Market your Professional Services Firm, all while sitting on the advisory board of the Purdue University Lamb School of Communication.  Enjoy the show! 
There’s a pretty weird statistic out there that my guest this week brought to my attention. In a recent Gallup Poll, 86% - so more than 3/4th’s - of folks reported being disengaged from the task they call their “career”. That’s why when he started introducing himself, my guest decided to start asking people, “what do you love doing?” instead of “what do you do?”It’s the deeper questions like this which served David Mykel during his time as a litigation consultant, then a non-profit leader…then the head of his own consulting firm…and ultimately as the founder of his own coaching organization, PSYFI - short for Psychological Fitness. His journey has been anything but smooth, which is exactly why it’s extraordinary. From being at the top of his field to walking away from it all, David has taken his skills of psychology and his passion for fitness and turned them into an organization that has helped over 4,000 high-performing individuals with a 98% advocacy-rate. We discuss everything from the need for empathy and the ways in which we can all add 1% to our day, to how breathing can reset our brain and why we all were built to move. Enjoy the show.
While I am far from being a luddite, I also wouldn't claim to be the most savvy guy when it comes to technology.  I mean, you're talking to someone who was stoked to beat his son to the punch on buying a iPad Pencil cap holder.And while my time in the world of business has essentially forced me to keep up with at least the big changes in tech, I can't say I've spent a lot of energy thinking about how much time has gone in to adapting to new systems. Of course, the pandemic forced all of us to pivot harder into a digital future. But just like most great leaps forward, there are often too many either forgotten or intentionally left behind. Thankfully, there are folks like my guest today, Lukas Simianer, who are working to bridge the digital-gaps.In 2020, Lukas founded Clusiv, the world’s first e-learning platform built for and by the blind and visually impaired. Founded with the mission of reducing the net amount of suffering in the world, Clusiv has established itself as the leader in accessible upskilling and vocational training. And Lukas’s path to becoming a leader in this has been anything but ordinary. At the age of 17, he became one of the youngest service members to be awarded his jump-wings, earning a coveted assignment to the historic 82nd Airborne. He received a Purple Heart after being wounded in Afghanistan at the age of 19. Lukas would eventually discharge from the service and so began the hunt for what he terms “a calling”We discuss that journey, the leadership lessons - both good and bad - he learned during his time in the service, and why brokennesses isn't just inevitable, it's a strength. Enjoy the show!
This week’s episode feels like a throwback to the early days of Legal Grounds when it was just two lawyers talking shop. Now don’t get me wrong, I love getting to talk with folks about pretty much anything and I’m always thrilled by how diverse my pool of guests continues to be. But something about getting into the nitty-gritty practice of trial law with someone who shares the same passion for the craft just hits different. My guest this week is Frank Ramos, a partner at Clarke Silverglate, where he practices in the areas of commercial litigation, drug & medical devices, products, and catastrophic personal injury. But his talents don’t stop there. Frank has written and edited over two dozen books, serves on multiple boards, runs his own consulting and resources firm (The Miami Mentor), and still finds time to host the DRI Podcast, “In Conversation With…” Frank and I discuss the difficulties of transitioning from law school to actual practice, the need for a more apprenticeship-based approach to training and learning, and why getting to know other’s stories is the corner-stone of leadership. Enjoy the show! 
Growing up in the desert, you get used to wild swings in temperature. But if you've kept up with the Texas forecast recently, then you'll know what I mean when I say things don't even make sense anymore. Or as one solid meme I saw simply put it: Go Home Weather - You're Drunk.But if there's a silver-lining, it's that I'm reminded of the little things - I have a roof over my head, warm food on the table, and when it really comes down to it, I'm blessed to be as comfortable as I am in the times we live in.  This week's episode, however, is all about getting comfortable being uncomfortable.My guest this week is CMSgt Joe Bogdan, Chief Enlisted Manager for almost 600 military and civilian engineers at Osan Air Base in the Republic of Korea.  Joe has earned degrees in Social Sciences and Homeland Security during his time in the Air Force. Then, in 2017, he earned a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Brandman University and currently as an adjunct professor at both his alma mater and The University of Massachusetts. And if all of this wasn’t enough, Joe is a Co-Founder of Llama Leadership, a consulting, educational, and mentoring service which also produces the fantastic podcast, The Llama Lounge. Joe and I discuss the necessity of failure, why 'doing what you love' doesn't mean you won't have hard days, and the importance of emotional intelligence in a chaotic world. Enjoy the show! 
Considering the timing of Justice Breyer’s retirement announcement, coupled with the Biden Administrations promise to nominate a Black Woman to the Supreme Court,  I couldn’t have asked for a better guest this month. Returning to the podcast is one of the top appellate attorneys in the country, who has contributed to cases that have reached from the Supreme Court to the International Human-Rights Courts, M.C. Sungaila. A strong advocate for women and under-represented groups at large, M.C .is a recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, and has sat on boards as distinguished as The Rand Corporation and as creative as Red Hen Press. And it just so happens that she’s started a new podcast - The Portia Project - which seeks to inspire the next generation of women lawyers and law students by sharing the stories of high achieving women in the law – their paths to the bench, the bar, and beyond. We discuss her journey towards starting her podcast, the surprising and encouraging willingness for female justices to contribute to a larger dialogue of representation, a fascinating case about Holocaust Art Recovery, and so much more. Enjoy the Show!
There have been a lot of things I've turned to over the past 2 years to help "take the edge off" of what seems like an increasingly chaotic world. Now, not all of them have been healthy - like working 14 hour days because you now live where you work - but some have been a godsend. And one of the biggest has been Comedy. Movies, T.V. Shows, Standup, hell, I even know how to watch TikTok videos now...as long as my sons send me the link. And while I'm always thankful for the end product, like a lot of things in our fast-paced culture, I don't often stop to think about 'how the sausage gets made'. That's why I was beyond excited to welcome the amazingly talented James Perry to the show this week. James graduated with a mechanical engineering degree from BYU nearly a decade ago, but perhaps his most notable contribution to his alma-mater was as an actor and writer for the sketch comedy series Studio C.In 2017 he returned to Brigham Young to deliver a phenomenal TedTalk about how we all need to get a little more comfortable stumbling into our purpose. He went on to write the book, I Still Want To Be An Astronaut: Living Your Dream When You Dream Too Much.Over the years, James has been a software engineer, author, actor, producer, and as of 2019, one of the cofounders of J/K studios which produces some of the best original comedy I’ve seen in a while, including the series The Freelancers, which is now entering its Second season. We discussed how comedy informs and enriches our lives in ways you might not imagine, the importance of saying, "Yes, and..." when collaborating with others, and the perks and pitfalls of being a middle-child. It was a perfect mix of laughter and reflection. Enjoy the show! SHOWNOTES: Connect with James on LinkedInJames' recommended book Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
What do you do when you realize the deck is stacked against you? Oftentimes - and I’m guilty of this - it’s easier to cash in your chips and move on to the next thing. After all, if the ‘house’ always has the advantage, then what’s the point? Thankfully, life isn’t a casino. And those people who are willing to take risks, who are willing to shock the system, well, most times they at least walk away with a much better sense of the bigger picture than those folks who had their nose buried in ‘the game’. Eileen Scully is one of those people, and she also happens to be my guest for this week’s episode. Eileen is the founder of The Rising Tides, a global consulting and advisory firm that helps organizations hold themselves accountable to equal representation in the workplace - be that gender, color, or orientation.  After decades of grinding it out in the corporate world, Elieen came to a harsh - and I believe, very true - realization: the private sector had mistaken consistency with complacency when it comes to people who don’t act or look like them. And by them, I mean straight, white, men. -Like I said, this is a system-shocker of an episode. After speaking at TedX Tunisia in 2018, Eileen went on to write “In the Company of Men: How Women Can Succeed in a World Built Without Them” and continues to shape the corporate landscape, serving for multiple boards & committees that empower women. There is so much we discuss in this episode that feels both urgent and somehow timeless. Enjoy the show. SHOWNOTES: Adam Sandler "I Was Fired" VideoEileens "53 Free Tips" & Chance to win a signed copy of her book! Scroll down to "The Tip List" to link to the form
I was tempted to release this week's episode as my New Year's podcast, but I think it’s still early enough in the year that the sentiment is still there. As we enter year three of an ever-changing pandemic, it might seem like there’s just nothing left to laugh about anymore. Much less, things that leave us in ‘awe’!That’s why I thought it might be a good idea to find someone who not only sees the world as an actively awe-inspiring place but has made a living spreading that message and helping others to see it, too. Allen Klein is an author, internationally sought-after speaker, and the world’s one and only “Jollytologist”. And he’s got the credentials to boot. He followed his dream of becoming a set designer and eventually found himself working for one of the longest running children's shows - Captain Kangaroo. In 1982 Allen returned to academia, earning his Masters in Therapeutic Humor from St. Mary University of Minnesota.What would follow is a writing and speaking career that is now entering its 4th decade.Allen has written over 15 books, including the international best-seller, “The Healing Power of Humor” which has been reprinted over 30 times in more than 10 different languages, as well as his latest work, “The Awe Factor: How A Little Bit of Wonder Can Make A Big Difference in Your Life”.It was a wonderful, lighthearted conversation that I hope can lift your spirits & help finish out the week with a little bit of awe. Enjoy the show.
Hot Sports Opinion: Radical honesty is the coin of the realm when it comes to growing any relationship - business or otherwise. I’ve learned that when you screw up - and trust me, I’ve done it plenty - the best thing to do is just come out and say it. Next, have a plan for how you want to fix it. And finally move forward with the experience gained. But now imagine not just doing this work internally, but sharing it with the world in damn-near real time. That’s what my guest this week, Steven English, has chosen to do. A  20 year veteran of the semiconductor industry, Steven earned his degree in Physics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Master’s in Material Sciences & Engineering from North Carolina State. Steven has worked for major corporations you’ve probably heard of or interact with everyday including Honeywell and Samsung. And on paper, his life has been a never ending series of opportunities and advancement. In reality, Steven - like so many of us - has been to hell and back and lived to tell the tale. A TedX speaker and certified life coach, he founded Steven English Coaching in 2018 and specializes in helping people on every rung of the corporate ladder communicate their ideas with competency and confidence. It was a fantastic conversation on vulnerability, loss of friendships, the need to admit when we need help, and so much more. Enjoy the show. 
Well listeners, we’re back with full length interviews this week and I’m pretty dang excited to start sharing these conversations we’ve built up over the winter break. This week’s episode felt like the perfect way to start off a new year and a new season because at its core, it's a conversation about fresh starts and redemption. Lida Citroën is an award winning personal branding and reputation management leader who more than a decade ago founded her own consulting agency, LIDA360, in the midst of a recession.Not only has she succeeded, she has thrived. And Lida’s story doesn’t stop there.Shortly after starting her business, she began dedicating her time to helping veterans make the transition from military into the civilian and corporate world. This has culminated in authoring multiple best-selling books and a phenomenal TedTalk. We discuss her early life as the daughter of first generation immigrants, her journey to working with service members, and the complexities of reputation management. Enjoy the show
I'm excited for this upcoming season of Legal Grounds. The interviews we have on-deck are some of the best yet, and I feel beyond fortunate to watch us go into our third year of the show. This week, however, I wanted to share some of the tougher New Year's thoughts I've been wrestling with - becauseI think they're far from unique to me. So as this fresh year begins, here's a couple of the lessons I've learned and the things I want to take forward into 2022. It ain't much, but it's honest work. Enjoy the show. 
Hey y’all,This episode feels a little simpler than most, but it’s from the heart.I’m fortunate enough to remember the KCSC (a local country station) ‘Santa Tracker’.I’ve learned the hard way what it’s like to not be able to decorate for the holidays.Nothing about this holiday season feels normal - but maybe that’s a good thing,Even if it’s a rough four minutes, hopefully it expands your horizons.Merry Christmas Y’all & Happy Holidays.sBe Easy - Mike Bassett 
It’s crazy to think that the holidays are right around the corner. It feels like it was only last week I was thankful to have made it through 2020 and ready to start a new year. Now I’m planning to spend the weekend wrestling Christmas decorations down from the attic.And I’m not saying that in my best “Grinch” voice! I’m saying it as someone who is genuinely a little freaked out by how fast time seems to keep moving. And in a way, I’m thankful the holidays are here because they give so many of us a chance to finally slow down, at least on the work-front…That’s why I was so thankful to get to have a conversation with someone who specializes in making the most of downtime. Dennis Buttimer is a stress and mindfulness expert, executive coach, TEDx speaker, corporate trainer and the author of two books, “CALM: Choosing To Live Mindfully”, and his most recent work “Inspired: 365 Days of Mindful Mojo.” He also is a regular contributor to The Huffington PostHe served nearly three decades as the manager of the Employee Assistance Program for the city of Atlanta’s rapid transit authority before becoming a corporate consultant and life-coach. In 2007 he began working side by side with Cancer patients at the Chapman Cancer Wellness center, and now, with his partner, Angela, Dennis runs the Atlanta Center for Mindfulness and Well-Being, which is a resource and retreat center for those looking to embrace the silence and discover themselves.Dennis and I discuss ways to practice mindfulness, the need for leaders to need to address their own issues before being able to help others, and how we can move more gracefully through loss. It was a wonderful conversation that I think is perfect as we enter this season of reflection. Enjoy the show.SHOWNOTES:The Good News Network
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