S3E1. Ego is Getting in the Way of Empathy with Brian Comerford & Nick Lozano

Brian Comerford and Nick Lozano are co-hosts of the Lead.exe podcast, which covers topics ranging from leadership, emotional intelligence, design thinking, and many more. Brian is a digital leader and serial entrepreneur, notable as co-founder of Radiovalve.com, an I-radio station among the first generation of web casters. Nick is a technologist and entrepreneur. He has experience in working in technology and leading teams at Accenture, CornerStack, and a major trade association.

Brian and Nick met each other through a CIO Mastermind working group, where Nick worked and Brian was a member of. They kept having these interesting conversations before and after conferences. Eventually it got to a point where they realized, “Hey, we should record these.” Brian had a broadcasting background and Nick had an audio background, so it was a match made in heaven.

One of the topics Nick and Brian would discuss are so-called soft skills. Despite the term, they consider them to be essential leadership skills. Out of those, one of the biggest challenges they have noticed is with emotional intelligence. Technology leaders are always very keen on their technical skills, they keep up with all of their competitors, but they spend very little time looking at research about emotional intelligence, self-awareness, meditation, breath work, or anything that might help with culture and personal health. With their podcast, they can bring these ideas and techniques to a tech-obsessed audience.

What is it that keeps us from tapping into our own emotional intelligence? Often, it’s our ego that gets in the way.

In order to combat both their own ego and set an example for others, Brian and Nick like to point out the mistakes that they make. Letting his peers know that you don’t have to be perfect. If you go in with the perfectionist mentality, it’s impossible to be vulnerable, and you’ll hold back your ideas. Everybody messes up. Emotional intelligence can become so powerful if we can just get rid of the ego, but that’s difficult in corporate America.

Their parting advice is to remain vulnerable. Run towards failure and do things that scare you often. Doing that is the best way to keep your ego in check. And that is so vitally important, because love and empathy are critical to a positive work culture. You need to believe in that and see the value in it to achieve it.



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Nick Lozano: [00:00:00] As soon as you understand as a leader that you work for the people that you’re managing, not the other way around, emotional intelligence comes out so much easier than trying to force it on.

Peter Margaritis: [00:00:20] Welcome to Change Your Mindset podcast, formerly known as Improv Is No Joke, where it’s all about believing that strong communication skills are the best way in delivering your technical accounting knowledge and growing your business. An effective way of building stronger communication skills is by embracing the principles of applied improvisation. Your host is Peter Margaritis, CPA a.k.a. The Accidental Accountant. And he will interview financial professionals and business leaders to find their secret in building stronger relationships with their clients, customers, associates, and peers, all the while growing their businesses. So, let’s start the show.

Peter Margaritis: [00:01:06] How do you attract and retain qualified employees? Are you aware of the importance of emotional intelligence and the effect that it has on your leadership style? What is your core business? And it’s not what you think? Can you explain block chain and artificial intelligence in a simple and understandable way? Well, those questions and more will be answered by my guests, Brian Comerford and Nick Lozano, who are co-host of Lead.exe podcast among other endeavors.

Peter Margaritis: [00:01:40] Lead.exe podcast covers topics from leadership to emotional intelligence to design thinking and many others. I had the honor and pleasure of being on their podcast on January 1, 2020 and these guys are really good and they are a ton of fun. Now, let me tell you a little bit more about Brian and Nick. Brian is a digital leader and serial entrepreneur, notably as co-founder of Radiovalve.com, an I-radio station among the first generation of web casters.

Peter Margaritis: [00:02:16] He served as adjunct professor at the University of Denver, his alma matter in the digital media studies department. He currently serves as co-chair of the CIO Working Group for the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers and as a board member of The Adoption Exchange, as well as the design partner for Foxit Software and Assurex Global, therefor. Now, Nick is a technologist and entrepreneur. Nick has experience in working in technology and leading teams at Accenture, a boutique technology consulting firm, CornerStack, and a major trade association.

Peter Margaritis: [00:02:54] Prior to working in technology, Nick led and managed teams in the hospitality industry. Now, these guys understand the challenges that left-brain linear thinkers deal with in the workplace, which are the same challenges that accounting and financial professionals are faced with as well. This episode has a wide variety of topics that everyone can learn from. Now, let me take care of some housekeeping issues and then, we’ll get to the interview.

Peter Margaritis: [00:03:22] Change Your Mindset is part of the C-Suite Radio family of podcasts. It’s an honor and a privilege to be amongst some of the more prevalent business podcasts, such as The Hero Factor with Jeffrey Hayzlett, Amazing Business Radio with Shep Hyken, and Keep Leading with my friend, Eddie Turner. You can find Change Your Mindset and many other outstanding business podcasts on C-Suite Radio by going to www.c-suiteradio.com.

Announcer: [00:03:51] This podcast is part of the C-Suite Radio Network, turning the volume up on business.

Peter Margaritis: [00:03:57] In January of 2020, I received an e-mail from Feedspot informing me that Change Your Mindset podcast was selected as one of the top 15 communications skills podcast you must follow in 2020. Wow. I admit I was completely caught off guard and extremely honored. Now, I would like to thank every guest that has been on my podcast for the last three-and-a-half years, because you are the ones who make this podcast successful. Thank you. And now, a word from our sponsor.

Sponsor: [00:04:32] This episode is sponsored by Peter A. Margaritis, LLC, a.k.a. The Accidental Accountant. Are you looking for a high content and engaging speaker for your next conference? Do you want to deliver a story to stakeholders that will transform data dumping to engaging business conversations? Do you want to feel that the value a speaker provides your audience far exceeds the dollar value on their invoice? Then, book Peter for your next conference, management retreat, or workshop. Contact Peter at peter@petermargaritis.com and visit his web site at www.petermargaritis.com. By the way, one of his Fortune 50 clients actually made the comment about the value he brings to your audience.

Peter Margaritis: [00:05:21] I have put in the show notes the links to Brian and Nick’s LinkedIn pages, along with links to their podcast on a variety of podcast platforms. Now, let’s get to the interview with Brian and Nick. Hey, welcome back, everybody. Welcome to Season 3. And man, do I have a guest, or let me rephrase that, I have guests for you that are very interesting and very funny. Just from the start of this, I should have started recording this, because this would have made a great blooper reel to show later on. I’d like to, one, first thank my guests, Nick Lozano and Brian Comerford, for taking time out of their busy schedule to spend some time with me. And welcome, gentlemen, to Change Your Mindset podcast.

Nick Lozano: [00:06:16] Thanks for having us on, Peter.

Brian Comerford: [00:06:16] Thank you, Peter.

Peter Margaritis: [00:06:18] I have to admit to the audience, I’m surprised they accepted my invitation, because I was on their podcast and after we were done, I didn’t think they would ever come on my podcast. They were just like, "Oh, who is this crazy guy?"

Brian Comerford: [00:06:34] Anyone who calls himself The Accidental Accountant and has a podcast called Change of Mindset, you’re right up my alley.

Peter Margaritis: [00:06:42] I appreciate that. And with your guys’ background, I love your interview style, you guys did a great job. And once again, I’ll thank Roxanne Kaufman-Elliott for the introduction. Plug, plug. And how did you guys come about? Were you guys sitting around one day—because, Brian, you’re in Colorado and Nick’s in D.C., did you guys come around one day and to find each other and go, "Hey, I got a great idea. Let’s start a podcast."

Nick Lozano: [00:07:11] Well, on the seventh day—no. So, Brian and I met each other through my day job, which I run a CIO Mastermind working group, which Brian is actually a member of. And the podcast kind of started just basically with Brian and I having conversations either before the conference or after the conference. So, just kind of turned into a point, where I was like, "Man, we should probably just record this." Brian has a broadcasting background and I have a broadcast—not broadcasting, jeez, you know, myself, credential I don’t have. I have an audio background. I’ve produced couple of podcasts for my day job and things in the past and done some audio work when I was in high school. So, it’s just kind of a match made in heaven. And Brian and I can talk forever, I guess, you know.

Peter Margaritis: [00:08:03] Is that valid, Brian?

Brian Comerford: [00:08:06] That is valid, yeah. So, you know, Nick and I, I think there was, you know, we’ll call it harmonic resonance from the outset. You know, it’s the kind of thing where he and I, I think, just kind of play off each other very naturally in just an ordinary conversation. But in particular, in the working group that he referred to, you know, just the interaction that we had, the amount of topics that we feel, kind of perspectives that we had, that we felt were both valid, but also, kind of coming from directions that were maybe not as conventional as some of the other members of the working group.

Brian Comerford: [00:08:48] And it felt like something where, you know, there was an opportunity for us to really explore this and kind of open it up into more of a community setting or a public setting. Well, I’ve got to credit, Nick, because he’s really the one that came forward and he said, you know, "I mean, we’re doing a lot of talking here that could be valuable to others, why don’t we just create a podcast? Let’s just do it." And, you know, following his lead, we jumped in and I’m so thankful that we have, because we’ve been doing it for a little over a year now. And it’s been hugely gratifying and it’s just great to get feedback from the audience that we’ve been able to develop over time.

Peter Margaritis: [00:09:28] That’s cool. So, just in case those who are listeners kind of went fast-forwarded through the introduction, give the audience just a little bit of your background. And we’ll start with Nick.

Nick Lozano: [00:09:38] Okay. So, I’d like to say how I got into technology, I walked into a room, and that’s really not a joke. I walked into a room. So, to give you a little bit back on myself, you know, when I first got out of high school, I did paint and body work as an auto mechanic guy. And then, I decided I didn’t want to huff fumes anymore and that was bad for my health. I would have think breathing in dust would be bad for you. So then, I kind of went back to college.

Nick Lozano: [00:10:08] And I was working in restaurants. I was a professional chef for a little while, worked at different hotels and resorts during my time. And, you know, I just decided I had to do something different. And I always had this knack and interest in technology. So, I went to a community college and kind of just got a generally AA, which is how I recommend everyone to go to college, go and get a general AA, get it as cheap as you can and then, go to a state school. So, I did that.

Nick Lozano: [00:10:36] And then, lo and behold, here, I’m at the University of Central Florida and I have to declare a major, because I’m, you know, a rising junior. And they’re like, "Well, you know, you need to decide what you’re going to do." And this one guy walks by, he’s a professor, he’s like, "You don’t know what you want to do?" He’s like, "Just come with me to this room." Lo and behold, I became a management of information systems student, kind of how I got into technology. And then, I’ve worked in roles at consulting firms. I own a small boutique consulting firm. And then, I wound up where I am now. So, I am kind of like you, Peter, I accidentally wound up where I am. I don’t know how I wound up here, but here I am.

Peter Margaritis: [00:11:15] So, where you are now and according to your LinkedIn page, you’re the janitor where?

Nick Lozano: [00:11:21] I’m the janitor, it’s very long. I’m the janitor at the Council of Insurance Agents and Brokers. It’s an insurance trade association in Washington, D.C.

Peter Margaritis: [00:11:32] And just for the record, because I’ve seen it a couple places, so I had to go validate it. And I went out to this website and was snooping around and found out that you’re actually not the janitor, you’re the director of technology with a great sense of humor.

Nick Lozano: [00:11:47] Well, you know, if you look at my LinkedIn profile, it actually says my current job listed as a janitor and it’s even my tag line. I just don’t ever take myself seriously. And the whole janitor thing came up with a conversation I have with people on LinkedIn. I was like, you know, I wonder how many people would actually have conversations with me if they just thought I was a janitor. And the one thing it’s actually done, has driven people to my profile, because I’ll be on LinkedIn talking about leadership or podcasting or something, they’re like, "Wait, this guy’s a janitor?" They’re like, "No way."

Nick Lozano: [00:12:20] And then, lo and behold, I had a conversation with somebody that day and they’re like, "Okay. So, like, why did you make it a janitor?" I was like, "I don’t know. I just want to see if somebody would talk to me. It’s an experiment. I’m a highly curious individual." And they go on and on, they’re like, "Okay. Well, I’m looking at your profile, so what are you trying to sell?" I’m like, "I’m not trying to sell anything. I just want it to be funny", you know.

Peter Margaritis: [00:12:42] "Are you selling cleaning materials? I want to buy some."

Nick Lozano: [00:12:44] Exactly. Well, LinkedIn is still the internet, right? So, I mean-

Peter Margaritis: [00:12:49] Cool. Brian, what about your background?

Brian Comerford: [00:12:53] So, I got into technology from a pretty oblique background myself. I was very interested in electronic music from a young age. I got a synthesizer and a drum machine the same year that MIDI came out. And that was really the beginning of learning how to cobble together technical equipment and pass signal from one thing to another. And pretty soon, I was working in a sequencing emulator in an old Atari personal computer. And, you know, pretty quickly, discovered that of all the kids I knew, I was one of the most technical.

Brian Comerford: [00:13:32] Although I never considered myself a technical person, I’ve always been an artist, honestly. I’m the son of a couple of artist and writer. And, you know, I really thought that I would go off and write screenplays and make movies, do film making. And all through my academic background, initially, that is exactly what I did. I’m on film arts, I’m on screenwriting. I worked more and more with technical equipment. You know, really creating things, using software, and kind of learned, you know, a lot about how you can apply automation principles within sort of an artistic context.

Brian Comerford: [00:14:15] Well, I never thought that that was going to lead into a deeper and deeper technical career. But in the mid-’90s, I got really intrigued—at a time that I was a DJ and a broadcast producer, and I got really intrigued by something called Real Audio. And I started talking to other people about it. And I said, "Hey, this is really cool. You know, there’s this thing now where you can actually stream audio on the web." And no one cared. But I was really fascinated with it. I just happened to be producing a program that a couple of my co-producers and I wrote a grant to get a real producer license and started webcasting our program.

Brian Comerford: [00:14:59] And that really kind of started me, you know, this internet radio thing right at the beginning of kind of the swell of the .com wave. And, you know, how could I possibly have seen that I’d be getting into one of the most volatile industries with everything that happened to the music industry. But I got really deep into everything that was going on with digital distribution in the music industry throughout the remainder of the ’90s, went through my own bouts of litigation, as many, you know, audio companies did, not for doing anything wrong, but just because that became, you know, the main play for the Record Industry Association of America.

Peter Margaritis: [00:15:43] Right.

Brian Comerford: [00:15:44] It was, sue everybody. That will slow this down.

Peter Margaritis: [00:15:47] Yeah, that works.

Brian Comerford: [00:15:50] And about the time that I was bottomed out financially, I thought, you know, it’s probably a good time to go back to grad school and get credentials for all this stuff that I’ve been doing for the last decade. So, I did. And I went and got a master’s degree in digital media and I’ve been doing a lot of independent consulting myself. Around that time, I had a friend who was a law clerk at a commercial insurance brokerage. He said, "Hey, I work for this company I’ve never heard of, in an industry that you didn’t know existed, but they need someone like you to come fix all of this stuff about the technology."

Brian Comerford: [00:16:28] And I thought it would be, you know, something like kind of a cool consulting engagement. And 15 years later, it’s what I’ve been doing for a long damn time now. It’s fortunate and, you know, that is the work that ultimately led me to be a member of the CIO Mastermind group that Nick has been steering for many years now and to be able to collaborate with them and ultimately help him to help produce Lead.exe together.

Peter Margaritis: [00:17:00] That’s cool. So, you’ve mentioned the CIO working group. And it’s a Mastermind group. So, what’s the conversation like when you guys get together and own your masterminding? What topics are discussed? What do you guys talk about?

Nick Lozano: [00:17:22] You would think that getting everybody together would be them talking about what customer relationship management system they’re going to use, right? But it never really gets to that. I think the big topic that we’ve seen the last couple of years is talent acquisition and talent development, right, Brian?

Brian Comerford: [00:17:40] Yeah.

Nick Lozano: [00:17:40] They’re like, "Okay. Well, you know, data science is big. We bought all this, you know, software to do data science. Now, we just need somebody to do it. Where do we find these people who do this?" And that’s been a big trend. And I would say cyber security, you know, and anything related on cyber security lately is a hot topic issue.

Brian Comerford: [00:17:59] So, Nick and I have been really interested in these areas that even though they get qualified as soft skills a lot, we don’t really consider them soft skills. We consider them essential leadership skills. And that ended up being something that pretty quickly, we realized that was really a sort of top agenda item, working group after working group. And for us, it’s been great, because it’s given us opportunities to schedule bringing in facilitators really to help conduct leadership training. And then, you know, we also develop a structured agenda for every working group so that we can do our best to kind of, you know, herd cats and keep everything pretty much, right?

Peter Margaritis: [00:18:45] So, it’s interesting to bring a talent development cyber security, because in the world that I primarily deal in with accounting and finance professionals, talent development, talent retention, talent attraction seems to be either one or two for the past five years and some organizations have figured it out, some are still thinking it’s 1980.

Nick Lozano: [00:19:12] Thinking they’d get the gold watch in every retirement, right?

Peter Margaritis: [00:19:15] Yeah. And it just boggles my mind sometimes that we get a pretty large workforce out there that’s coming and who don’t act like—because I’m a baby boomer, and who don’t operate in the same mindset that we do, but we expect them to morph into our world when really, we should be creating an environment that attracts them to stay in our world versus repel them out. Are you guys seeing the same thing?

Nick Lozano: [00:19:47] We’re seeing the same thing. And I know what word everyone thinks of as soon as they say this is that dreaded M word.

Peter Margaritis: [00:19:57] I hate that word.

Nick Lozano: [00:19:58] I hate it.

Brian Comerford: [00:19:58] That’s one of Nick’s favorite words.

Peter Margaritis: [00:19:59] Yeah.

Nick Lozano: [00:20:00] And no. Yeah. It is my favorite word by far. What I mean, sometimes, I’m in that generation, sometimes, I’m not, being born in ’82. But when I always think of people are always criticizing the millennial generation, they’ve kind of been a punching bag and now, it’s kind of shifting to that Gen Z, right?

Brian Comerford: [00:20:17] Yeah.

Nick Lozano: [00:20:17] Now, they’re starting to be sort of the punching bag. But I always say that, you know, older generations have always criticized younger generations since the beginning of time. You know, I always bring it back to this one quote. It’s, "They think they know everything and they are quite sure about it." You know who said that?

Peter Margaritis: [00:20:34] Who said that?

Nick Lozano: [00:20:38] That was Aristotle in the Rhetoric, in 4th BC. So-

Peter Margaritis: [00:20:43] Wow.

Nick Lozano: [00:20:43] … I mean, we’re talking about since the beginning of time. And what I always tell people is when you hear these things about millennials, take the word millennial off of it and just put people, right?

Peter Margaritis: [00:20:55] Yeah.

Nick Lozano: [00:20:55] People love to work for a purpose. People love to know what they’re working for. People love to know they have a path for career growth. People just love to do that. And I think what we’ve seen is that over time, the internet has just made it easier to find like-minded people, where previous generations didn’t have, you know, instantly, to post something on Reddit and saying how they feel or Twitter and somebody could see it instantly in real time. Now, these younger generations can find those people more easily.

Nick Lozano: [00:21:22] And I think their voice is just being heard. I don’t think we’re seeing anything new, at least in my opinion, that wasn’t there before. It’s just more front and center. And before, you know, leaders were just kind of like, "Well, you know, I hired Johnny over here and we pay him well. So, he’ll just stay here for 20 years and we won’t worry about developing him, you know, talent-wise, turning him into a leader, actually caring about our people. We don’t need to worry about that, because he’ll just stay here for 20 years.

Peter Margaritis: [00:21:49] Brian?

Brian Comerford: [00:21:49] Well, I will chime in and say that I fall squarely in Gen X. And the first time that I remember someone in our organization referring to millennials and they had sort of this list of things that we had to be aware about, because these were the behaviors and expectations, these different things. I looked at it and I thought there’s not a single thing here that doesn’t describe me. But I also, you know, consider myself to be more socially progressive.

Brian Comerford: [00:22:18] I’ve also been very involved in the evolution in technology and have been with the web since its release 1993. So, it’s something that, you know, has just always been part of my own set of behavioral characteristics. So, to then suddenly hear that there’s this demographic ball of fire made me realize that really, we’ve got sort of this segment of the population that just didn’t know what time it is. And, you know, now, they’ve been caught off guard by a whole demographic of, you call them digital natives pretty typically, right?

Brian Comerford: [00:22:59] It’s just people who are really comfortable living in an interconnected world that, you know, we’re linking things to be a hypertext, as, you know, there’s nothing revolutionary about it. I mean, that’s actually a qualifier for how people start to think and interact. And, you know, it’s a social media context becomes part of just your social context. So, all of those things, to me, there was nothing revolutionary going on other than suddenly, a demographic. People suddenly woke up to the fact that, "Well, wait a second, you know, things have changed." And, you know, there’s kind of two impulses. One is, "I’m change-averse by nature. Therefore, I want to try to put a stop to this."

Peter Margaritis: [00:23:40] Right.

Brian Comerford: [00:23:40] Impossible to do, right? And so, if I can’t put a stop to it, I’m going to criticize it or if people are going to take it and try to make it into part of their own personal set of behavioral characteristics, and I think we’ve started to see, you know, more of an awareness that change is just going to continue. Figuring out how we imbue that change in, you know, things that either from a business perspective or from a talent acquisition perspective, right? How do we bring those things and make it part of the collective demographic versus it’s an us and them kind of thing? We’re still sort of in that gray zone navigating through a lot of that, but it feels like it’s improved.

Peter Margaritis: [00:24:27] I think it’s an improvement. If you think about the baby boomer when they entered the workforce, their bosses were the greatest generation, right? The silent generation, how we describe them. And those folks went through the depression. They went through very tough times in this country. And then, here come the baby boomers, let’s see, make love, not war. You know, Haight-Ashbury, the whole drug scene and the Vietnam War and the counter of culture.

Peter Margaritis: [00:24:56] They forget that, because the older generation is looking at them, "What is that music? You know, who’s that Elvis Presley guy", you know, and stuff. And looked at them in the same way that the boomers always kind of look at the younger generation. And I think I realized when I was teaching at Ohio Dominican University, when my group of seniors were going on to the workforce, I’d take them aside and I’d give a little piece of advice. But they were talented.

Peter Margaritis: [00:25:23] I said, "You know stuff that my peers have no clue and they know stuff that you have no clue. Find a way to build the bridge. Don’t look at anybody any differently, but just know that you’ve got talents that they don’t have and they have talents that you don’t have. And if you can align them together, you’ll come out at the end. And just try to take that stereotype out." But I’m like, if I hear another person, "They’re millennials", "Those millennials are multi-billionaires.".

Peter Margaritis: [00:25:54] I don’t know, some guy named Zuckerberg or something like that and who’ve created these organizations to grow and thrive. And by the way, has anybody been to Sears lately?" I mean, so I think that’s kind of how it’s all—but we do need to change that mindset, to be more inclusive and realize that. You know, my son’s a Gen Z and he’s mastering it, because he’s a Gen Zzzz. He’s going to sleep his way to the top.

Nick Lozano: [00:26:30] Yeah.

Peter Margaritis: [00:26:30] So, what challenges do you see in your world out there that people are talking a lot about outside of the talent and development and obviously, cyber security will always be there, but in this leadership soft skill genre?

Nick Lozano: [00:26:46] I would say emotional intelligence just in general, right, Brian?

Brian Comerford: [00:26:50] For sure.

Nick Lozano: [00:26:50] You know, as technology leaders are always very keen on their technical skills, they keep up with what Amazon’s doing, what Microsoft’s doing, what the latest coding language is, but they spend very little time looking at research about, you know, any emotional intelligence, self-awareness, meditation, breath work, like none of that stuff nobody ever looks at. And that’s kind of our thinking with bringing our podcast. Really, our podcast could be just a leadership podcast. But we’re tech guys and we gear it towards tech people, because we know that these issues don’t come forefront to them.

Nick Lozano: [00:27:24] In the easy emotional intelligence world, I think it’s self-awareness, right? We go back to the boomer, millennial thing, Gen Z, it’s just being aware that you possibly have some biases, right? You know, being in this generation, being older, you know, looking down at younger generations or younger generations looking up at older generations saying, "Well, you know, not looking at them for their experience, you know, tapping into their experience to get some advice or some information." I would say for me, self-awareness and caring are two big things I see lacking in leaders, in general.

Peter Margaritis: [00:27:59] Brian?

Brian Comerford: [00:28:00] Well, I think a component of that, you know, we’re kind of having fun at Nick earlier for having janitor as his job title on LinkedIn, but part of that mindset we referred to for years is the custodial mindset. And so, within the business, there tends to be this perception that anyone who’s working in IT, they’re the trolls in the back room. Like we only summon them when we currently need something or something needs to be fixed or cleaned up, right? But in terms of inviting them to have a seat at the table and be thought leaders, not organization, it tends not to be at the forefront of companies that aren’t tech companies to begin with, right?

Peter Margaritis: [00:28:40] Right.

Brian Comerford: [00:28:40] So, you know, part of that self-awareness is the understanding that actually, today in the 21st century, raw tech companies, raw data companies. And actually, having our tech leadership very close to the executive leadership, having that seat at the table, it’s really critical to help ensure that your business is evolving and transforming when it needs to. So, that’s another component that I think it ends up being a topic that we arrive at pretty frequently, whether or not it’s something that, you know, for instance, in our working group, ends up being an overt agenda item. It’s one that just continually comes up.

Peter Margaritis: [00:29:24] When I mentioned emotional intelligence or do social-emotional intelligence to finance and accounting professionals, I get this, "Oh, dear God. I mean, this is going to be a poll. What? This is a touchy, feely stuff?".

Nick Lozano: [00:29:38] Yeah.

Peter Margaritis: [00:29:38] And I watch these for these emotions, this body language and I think I said this on you guys’ podcast, you know, I ask them this question, "By the way, guys, what business are you in?" "You know, we’re in accounting, finance, we’re in auditing, we’re tax." "No, no. That’s not the business that you’re in, that’s a byproduct of what you’re in." I try to get them just a little bit agitated enough, "No, you’re in the people business." And that’s first and foremost in every business that’s out there, I think, people business.

Peter Margaritis: [00:30:02] In order to be better at your business, you have to understand yourself as a person and your organization as people and that brings in the importance of emotional intelligence. And that’s what the big thing is and it’s starting to resonate with them. But I don’t think that Sheldon Cooper-type of character mentality, the way they’ve crafted him in the Big Bang Theory, who’s socially awkward, who, you know, has no filter, and doesn’t care about people’s feelings, it’s harder for that linear left brain person to adapt and want to adapt into that touchy, feely type of stuff. But the more that we can learn about it, the better that we can be in growing our businesses.

Brian Comerford: [00:30:53] You know, even thinking about it from the perspective of not even necessarily the touchy, feely stuff, but, you know, we hear a lot about performance management in organizations, the importance of it. And, you know, you’ve got to have these quarterly check-ins and you’ve got to work with your direct reports to establish goals and all these things. It’s this very structured sort of rote, repetitive kind of behavior. But the emotional intelligence component of it is just interact with them like people and have regular conversations.

Peter Margaritis: [00:31:24] Right.

Brian Comerford: [00:31:24] And disclose your expectations and, you know, make sure that you’re actually communicating in a way so that everyone feels included and up-to-date on things that are going on. And then, all this performance management stuff actually goes out the window. It is just happening, because it’s part of your culture. So, to me, that’s a component of emotional intelligence. When I see someone roll their eyes when I use that phrase, to me, that’s one of those places that I go, because a lot of people are like, "Oh, yeah. Well, performance management, well, that’s obviously critically important.

Nick Lozano: [00:31:58] Yeah.

Brian Comerford: [00:31:58] Emotional intelligence, maybe not", you know.

Nick Lozano: [00:32:00] "What are the KPIs we’re trying to hit here?"

Brian Comerford: [00:32:03] Exactly.

Nick Lozano: [00:32:03] It is on the huhs, knows. So, I think Brian touched on a very good point, and this is the way it was taught to me years ago. It’s like one of my first management roles was working in a restaurant, being assistant kitchen manager, and like working with people who are like 19, 20 years old, who are rough-cut bunch of pirates. If you ever read the Anthony Bourdain book, you know. People who work in kitchens are going to be very interesting individuals.

Nick Lozano: [00:32:34] And I remember the chef coming up to me one time, he’s like, he goes, "All right. You know, Nick, I want you to walk your shift." I was like, "Okay, you just me to walk around and, you know, make sure the floors are clean, you know, like things are labeled today?" He’s like, "No, I want you to walk your shift." I’m like, "Well, Chef, I’m sorry. I don’t really understand what you’re doing. I can physically walk around here. What are you trying to get at?" He’s like, "No, every day when you’re in here", he’s like, "I want you to walk around and talk to everybody and have genuine conversations with them like they’re human beings.".

Nick Lozano: [00:33:03] He’s like, "Have a real quick five-minute conversation. Find out who someone’s kids are. You know, walk over here. Is this person going to school? What are they doing at school? Have a genuine interest in them as individuals and care about them and then, they will care about you. They will do anything they need to do for you if you genuinely care about them." And for me, that’s all emotional intelligence is, it’s just genuinely caring about the people that you work with, right? As soon as you understand as a leader that you work for the people that you’re managing, not the other way around, emotional intelligence comes out so much easier than trying to force it on, just in my opinion.

Peter Margaritis: [00:33:41] So, yes, when we have that servant leadership approach. So, when I think of emotional intelligence and I’m thinking of one word, what is the biggest killer of emotional intelligence or what stops somebody from embracing emotional intelligence? There’s one word I’m thinking, has three letters in it.

Nick Lozano: [00:34:01] That’s going to be the—what do you think there, Brian?

Brian Comerford: [00:34:09] One word, three letters. Okay. Well-

Peter Margaritis: [00:34:11] And we all have it. And we all have it.

Brian Comerford: [00:34:14] … Ego.

Peter Margaritis: [00:34:15] Ego. Ego. Our ego gets in the way. Our ego stops us from really accepting emotional intelligence. I had a guy in one of my classes, sessions in Minnesota and I knew I’d recognized him before and he’s an attorney who’s a CPA, who is this smartest guy in the room, just ask him. And he’ll tell you he’s the smartest guy in the room, "And I think this is worthy of your time." And it was just like he has absolutely no emotional intelligence, because it’s all about him and not about everybody else.

Nick Lozano: [00:34:51] Yeah.

Brian Comerford: [00:34:52] Well, I think they can go back to that same sense of divide when you’re talking about, you know, millennials versus whatever other generational demographic. You know, as long as there’s an us and them mentality instead of a we mentality, then, you know, that part that’s getting fed, right? It’s the ego. It’s the, I’ve got the title, I’ve got these years of experience, these things make me important. You know, from a societal perspective, you know, we’re all act animals, right?

Brian Comerford: [00:35:26] I mean, we thrive on having some kind of gratification with that status. And so, the more emotionally intelligent you become, the more you’re able to check your ego at the door and recognize that there’s probably a lot to be learned. I actually closed my mouth and listen. And I think it cuts both ways. You know, certainly, many younger generational people I met were very cavalier and confident, because they just figured something out, so therefore, they must know everything, right?

Peter Margaritis: [00:36:01] Nick?

Nick Lozano: [00:36:02] Yeah, I think you just described me at 19 years old. "I’ll stay at the back of this truck. We’ll be due at 50? It’s fine." Yeah. And I think I would agree with Brian. You know, that left-brain mentality, when you’re used to being the smartest person in the room, you have to be able to just sit there and let people fully flush out ideas before you say anything." You know, it’s listening to hear what somebody is saying instead of waiting to respond, right?

Nick Lozano: [00:36:36] And thinking about what your next response is. It’s truly being open and understanding that there never is any right or wrong answer, you know, there’s just a different answer. And that’s my opinion. And, you know, I’ll go back to another thing, too and we’re talking about this, it’s, you got to be vulnerable a little bit, right? One thing I always like to tell people who work with me is things that I’ve screwed up. I’ve screwed up a number of things like, "How about the one time I actually tripped over a server room cable off and took the whole office internet down for 25 minutes, for the time I shut a server off and go, ‘This will turn back on’, and it never did?"

Nick Lozano: [00:37:16] So, like I always like to share with people, you know, like I make mistakes, I’m human. Therefore, I’m not expecting you to be perfect in here. And with that mentality is when you have to be right, you have a hard time being vulnerable, because, you know, you have to be right. But I would say, "Let’s just share something that everybody’s kind of messed up. Let’s have a fail fest right now and just go over everything you failed with, kind of open up and get everyone kind of comfortable with each other to get used to the idea that you don’t have to be right and that you can mess things up." And everybody messes everything up. If somebody works in technology and has told you they have never screwed something up, they are lying to you.

Brian Comerford: [00:37:57] That’s an interesting point, Nick, because, you know, I think the key attribute of emotional intelligence to be able to disclose things in that way is having that implicit trust and knowing that it’s okay to be able to disclose those things. Particularly in technology, because, you know, we work in an industry where the expectation is there’s, you know, tool for tolerance, right? I mean, there’s just no margin for error in things. And, you know, to admit that you screwed up can sometimes cost you your job, right?

Nick Lozano: [00:38:36] Yeah.

Brian Comerford: [00:38:36] Or, at least gets you demoted to a desk in the basement. But when you do have a high degree of emotional intelligence and it spans the entire team, that’s when you’re really able to be capable of having those conversations, where you can say something like, you know, "Hey, here’s the mistake I made, I wanted to make sure that you’re aware of it."

Peter Margaritis: [00:38:57] Well, if we had a fail fest, we’ll have enough time on this podcast. Should we even start, this would be like an 18-hour, 14 different segments piece. But, you know, I have to commend you, too. I didn’t realize you are both excellent improvisers, because-

Nick Lozano: [00:39:17] That’s right. I am a janitor, you know.

Peter Margaritis: [00:39:18] And that’s right, but-

Nick Lozano: [00:39:19] A lowly janitor, humble janitor.

Peter Margaritis: [00:39:22] But in improv, I mean, Nick said it and, you know, it’s listening to understand versus listening to respond. In improv, it’s about suspending judgement. Otherwise, leave your ego at the door. In improv, it’s about being vulnerable. In improv, it’s not about me, it’s about the team. And everything that you guys have said up to this point has resonated in my world of improv. And most people don’t realize it, but when I sit there and dissect, they go, "Oh. That’s cool. Well, you want to get up on stage in a theater?" And then, they shut right down. But I’d rather have those folks out there going, "Okay. Now, I’m aware of it. Now, let me use it", versus, "I’m just kind of blindly doing this." And you guys have just demonstrated tremendously.

Brian Comerford: [00:40:14] Wow. That says a lot coming from an improv master like yourself. Well, thank you.

Peter Margaritis: [00:40:21] Oh, well, you know, everybody I meet—let me rephrase that. 93% of the people that I meet are improvisers, they just don’t realize it. Nobody has explained it to them. That remaining percentage will never become improvisers because it’s about them, it’s about their ego, as well as what’s in it for them, not what’s in it for the group. And then, it’s fun to watch when I mentioned it, because it is a leadership tool that really, this environment, this world thrives. It wasn’t going to thrive in the ’70s and ’80s and ’90s. But now that we’ve morphed into this over the last 20 years, it’s become a much more powerful tool in the workplace if we can get past corporate culture and the ego and be vulnerable, which is so extremely difficult in corporate America these days.

Brian Comerford: [00:41:17] I’ll share a little anecdote to your peers.

Peter Margaritis: [00:41:19] Okay.

Brian Comerford: [00:41:20] Since first meeting you-

Peter Margaritis: [00:41:21] Uh-oh.

Brian Comerford: [00:41:21] I’ve been turning my son onto improv. And of course, I have to be cautious about, you know, which content I’ve been exposing him to, since he is eleven.

Peter Margaritis: [00:41:33] Yeah.

Brian Comerford: [00:41:33] But, you know, something that was-

Nick Lozano: [00:41:34] He has the internet, Brian. It’s all over that.

Brian Comerford: [00:41:37] Well, maybe I control his internet. But, you know, my wife is Thai. And Thai people, you know, in Thailand, there’s pretty much one guy who’s a stand up comic, because it’s not really something that is, you know, culturally common, the idea of, you know, exposing yourself in that way in Asian culture, in general.

Peter Margaritis: [00:42:04] Yeah.

Brian Comerford: [00:42:04] It’s more about, you know, you kind of fade into the group, right?

Peter Margaritis: [00:42:07] Right. Right.

Brian Comerford: [00:42:08] So, it was interesting, because we found this Canadian improv troop that does everything, you know, family friend. And we’re watching one of his episodes and me and my son, we’re just having the greatest time. And my wife could not figure out where the joke was. And it was a lot of fun, you know, kind of getting to explain it to her and see her start to open up to it, because the idea from her perspective that, you know, you would just kind of be riffing off on each other and that this thing would constantly be evolving rather than, you know, it’s a joke that is told with a beginning, middle, and end.

Peter Margaritis: [00:42:46] Right.

Brian Comerford: [00:42:46] Right?

Peter Margaritis: [00:42:47] Right.

Brian Comerford: [00:42:48] It was pretty interesting seeing how eye-opening—so I just thought that would be a little fun thing to share.

Peter Margaritis: [00:42:55] I appreciate that. It is. I so love improv, because when you’re doing it for theatrical purposes or onstage and there’s an audience that you want to make them laugh, the word, and, can bring the audience to its knees in how it’s being used. And there is no, per se, script, it’s all, you know—but when you do stand-up comedy, stand-up comedy, it’s the premise and the punchline and the tags. And there is a structure there, where in improv, there is no structure. And when you start studying improv and learning that the principles are really business tools, it makes a corporate workplace a lot more fun, but you have to have everybody that’s buying in on, you just can’t be the only one trying to do it. And then, going, "Who’s this crazy guy?"

Brian Comerford: [00:43:41] That’s right. My wife would be the one that we be off as she’s the one who doesn’t get it.

Peter Margaritis: [00:43:44] Yeah.

Brian Comerford: [00:43:47] Right.

Peter Margaritis: [00:43:47] Right. That we shouldn’t be laughing and having fun at work, this is serious stuff. It is serious, but if we want to get through the day and be sane, we should be able to have some fun. And this is not about, you know, telling jokes like a priest, a rabbi, and Bill Clinton walk into a bar. "I did not walk into that bar. I did not walk into that bar." It’s not about that, because you’ve offended three different groups of people then. It’s about an attitude, it’s about a mindset.

Peter Margaritis: [00:44:19] As Nick said, he didn’t take himself seriously. He’s a janitor. But are you serious about your work? Absolutely. But you don’t take yourself too seriously and you’re vulnerable. And if we could devise a drug or something that people could take or realize—and I think it’s an improv class. My improv coach said a long time ago, "If everybody took one improv class, this world would be a better place." And to get everybody to buy in on that concept. So, I challenge you guys to take an improv class. You can-

Nick Lozano: [00:44:55] Challenged accepted.

Brian Comerford: [00:44:56] Challenge accepted.

Peter Margaritis: [00:44:59] … take your 11-year-old son with you to it. Now that he’s still, you know, kind of, "Oh, dad’s the smartest guy in the world" versus I tried to get my 17-year-old son to go with me and, "Dad, really? Go with you to do what?"

Nick Lozano: [00:45:15] "Doing this thing with my dad?"

Peter Margaritis: [00:45:16] Right. Yeah. So-

Nick Lozano: [00:45:17] And then, you’ll surprise him and pull up TikTok and film the whole thing, right?

Peter Margaritis: [00:45:24] Brian, can you translate that for me? What’s a TikTok? You know, the clock?

Nick Lozano: [00:45:27] No. TikTok is probably the number one growing social media platform there.

Peter Margaritis: [00:45:35] Okay.

Brian Comerford: [00:45:35] And that have been for some time, so that makes it-

Nick Lozano: [00:45:36] Yeah.

Brian Comerford: [00:45:36] … a little extra old

Peter Margaritis: [00:45:38] So, both of you just called me grandpa, I appreciate that. And there are times that I am. There are times that I don’t—I know enough. My wife’s boss, years ago, and she was with Macy’s for 35 years, so later, her boss called her technologically Amish. I’m far beyond that. But probably not up to your guys’ level. Willing to learn.

Nick Lozano: [00:46:18] It’s okay. I had someone who was a recent college graduate who didn’t know how to use Excel at one point in time. So, it just runs the whole gambit. Just because some is an older generation or younger doesn’t mean they don’t know technology or know technology better, just in my experience. I’ve had the phone call where somebody told me they couldn’t get the foot pedal on the computer to work.

Brian Comerford: [00:46:43] My goodness. Wow.

Nick Lozano: [00:46:45] And that would be a computer mouse on the floor. So, you get support tickets, you have to try to not laugh. And for real, it happens.

Peter Margaritis: [00:46:58] Oh, my God, that’s hilarious. I can’t get the foot pole on my computer to work.

Nick Lozano: [00:47:02] Oh, yeah. If you ever want a good laugh, just look at the system madmen sub-Reddit on Reddit. They have some very interesting support calls on there.

Peter Margaritis: [00:47:12] You know, when I think of technology, I think if you’re not used to it, you’re fearful of it. And it’s getting past that fear and wanting to learn and realize it takes time. You’re not going to learn just like that, we don’t learn anything just like that.

Brian Comerford: [00:47:32] Sure.

Peter Margaritis: [00:47:32] But it’s technology and people want—and if they don’t, I don’t want—my IT desk is 19 years old and he’s upstairs and he tried—I don’t know if my wife still listens to this or not, I don’t want to go through hell—he’s, you know, trying to get her to become more technically savvy and she just throws her hands up like, "I don’t want to live with it." It’s like, "Well, you kind of got to." You know, actually, you don’t have to, but the more that you know and the more that you’re on social media, the more you can hear the conversation out there that you should be aware of."

Brian Comerford: [00:48:08] You know, it’s funny, most people are actually far more curious than they may believe themselves to be. And when it comes to technology, it’s almost like that curiosity gets shelved because, you know, it’s a lot more safe. If I don’t go exploring with this thing, you know, what happens if I break it?

Nick Lozano: [00:48:29] Yeah.

Brian Comerford: [00:48:29] You know?

Peter Margaritis: [00:48:30] Right.

Brian Comerford: [00:48:31] But the funny thing is, we’re all inherently curious. We’re all moving towards wanting to gather more information about things. And, you know, I try to use that as one of those perception breakers, you know, for folks who find themselves really hung up about playing around with technology, it’s, use the same curiosity that you would have in just having a conversation with someone you just met, right?

Peter Margaritis: [00:48:58] Right.

Brian Comerford: [00:48:58] It’s exploring in that exact same way.

Nick Lozano: [00:49:01] Yeah.

Peter Margaritis: [00:49:01] That comes in with the vulnerability, because when most people want to ask about it, they don’t want to seem like they’re just stupid, the reason why they don’t ask a lot of questions.

Brian Comerford: [00:49:10] Yeah.

Peter Margaritis: [00:49:10] I still remember I interviewed this woman, her name is Jody Padar. She’s a CPA in Chicago, but she’s very technically savvy and she was talking about bots a couple years ago, we go—bots can be the—I said, "Jodi, what the hell is a bot?" And she laughed. And she was, "I thought I told you that on the last time you interviewed me" And then, she goes, I think, "Do you know what block chain is?" I said, "Yeah, it’s an intestinal disorder. What is it?" But as I’ve said it and I’ve gone, "Okay, you know what, I need to understand this stuff", so I’ve tried to learn more about it all over the years.

Peter Margaritis: [00:49:47] But I see a lot—I mean, you guys are up to speed with this, but I see a lot of people in the accounting world particularly go, "This is a fad. We’ll never going to-" And I’m like, "Guys. You know, it’s here. Artificial intelligence in the workplace is here. Artificial intelligence, I’ve got one here. I have one back there. I’ve got-" I’m not going to say her name because she always answers me, it starts with an A. And then, I got some hobo over here that, you know, kind of bounce them off each other, give them equal time. But, you know, I think the more that we embrace technology, the more productive and curious we become.

Nick Lozano: [00:50:24] I mean, you know, artificial intelligence, which is a whole thing within itself, I always tell people, you know, when—AI is the big buzzword now, right? But I equate the word AI to like, say, in a car, right? There are parts in a car that are separate all on its own. There’s a transmission. There’s a gear shifter. There’s all this. But you don’t refer to each part component itself, right? You just refer to the whole device as a car.

Nick Lozano: [00:50:50] Well, AI is kind of like that. There are components of it. There’s computer vision, there’s geographic information systems, there’s machine learning. So, AI is kind of like this big term that the media likes to use, but it’s kind of like saying, you know, you went to college at the University of Kentucky, but, you know, there’s all these different minors and majors you can do. There’s more to it than just going to that school.

Peter Margaritis: [00:51:16] Yes, there was. But Nick, I mean, you did a very good job of creating that analogy, telling a story about something that’s more complicated. And a lot of folks who—one thing a lot of folks have a hard time, especially when they understand a complex language, to put it in a context that someone who doesn’t have that language can understand. Now, I’ve always thought of AI—so, my first interaction with AI was Allen Iverson, during watching him on a press conference about practice, but outside of—

Nick Lozano: [00:51:50] About practice?

Peter Margaritis: [00:51:51] Yeah, talking about practice. But then, when I think of AI, I think it in totality like I think of a car.

Nick Lozano: [00:51:56] Yeah.

Peter Margaritis: [00:51:57] But this is the first time somebody’s ever explained it to me like, "Oh, there’s more than that."

Nick Lozano: [00:52:01] Yeah. Because, you know, like your assistant you got there back on your desk, I’m not going to say it in case anyone is listening in their car or something or on their phone, you know, that has natural language processing in it, which takes the context of what you’re saying to try to figure out what you’re requesting, which is a part of artificial intelligence. And, you know, I can explain block chain to you real quick, too. You want to know what blockchain is in a nutshell?

Peter Margaritis: [00:52:25] Sure.

Nick Lozano: [00:52:25] I have a piece of paper, you have a piece of paper, Brian has a piece of paper. All right? And now, we can each write Change Your Mindset podcast on it, right? I write that, you write that, Brian writes that. Now, let’s check and verify that. Did you write that on your piece of paper?

Peter Margaritis: [00:52:41] Yes.

Nick Lozano: [00:52:41] Did Brian write that on a piece of paper? Did I write that on a piece of paper? Boom. That’s block chain. We just verified everything. We wrote everything on a ledger. We wrote it down. And then, we all agreed that that’s what we wrote. And it’s exactly the same. That’s block chain.

Peter Margaritis: [00:52:56] I got to go back and listen to this episode again. I mean, I kid you not, that is probably the simplest way—and I don’t mean there’s a bad way.

Nick Lozano: [00:53:08] Yeah. I mean, it’s definitely a lot more complicated than that.

Peter Margaritis: [00:53:11] Right.

Nick Lozano: [00:53:11] But in a nutshell, basically, it’s a distributed ledger where we go back and verify that each node, which is, you’re a node, I’m a node, Brian’s a node. Writing this information, we verify that what was written is correct. And if anyone comes back to us to verify that information, we go, "Hey, Nick, what did you write? Is that what you wrote? Hey, Peter, what did you write? Is that what’s there? Hey, Brian, would did you write? Is that there?" And if one of them is wrong, then something’s wrong with the system. So, block chain won’t let that happen, because it has all the checks and balances. But that’s it in a nutshell. So, you don’t have to worry anymore.

Peter Margaritis: [00:53:47] Okay. So, just on a side note, you need to write an article on explaining block chain. And I’m saying, writing about explaining block chain just the way you did and submit it to an accounting and finance organization or a national accounting and finance organization, because most people out there don’t have a clue. And-

Brian Comerford: [00:54:10] Which is funny, because block chain is probably more analogous to accounting systems than anything else.

Peter Margaritis: [00:54:16] Right. Exactly. And I mean, the way I kind of got understanding is if we look at block chain from a supply chain issue. So, you know, some said, you catch a tuna out Indian Ocean, you geo-tag it, and you bring in your geo-tag and you follow that trail all the way back, so when I’m sitting there eating my sushi, "Well, where did this come from?" Literally, I probably could figure out where that fish—how did it get from there to here and make sure it’s verified. And I know that Walmart just recently said that they’re mandating that their leafy supply chain, as in romaine lettuce, that they’ve mandated block chain to be part of the process.

Nick Lozano: [00:55:00] Yeah. And that-

Peter Margaritis: [00:55:01] I know a little bit more than I thought.

Nick Lozano: [00:55:03] You know a lot. And that the thing-

Brian Comerford: [00:55:03] You know, just don’t-

Nick Lozano: [00:55:04] The big got you-

Brian Comerford: [00:55:04] … wrap your ego up around being a node.

Nick Lozano: [00:55:10] There you go. So, the biggest thing of block chain is trust, right? You have to trust each of the nodes, right? That way, you’re writing this information. And that’s one of the big sticking points, is where these consortiums and things have broken off. It’s like, "Okay, well, can we trust this over here? We’re going to set these things of trust, you know, a theory and we’re going to put contracts on that." So, it just has grown from there. But, you know, like it’s just—basically in a nutshell, you know, almost like dual-entry accounting. That’s like-.

Peter Margaritis: [00:55:37] This is triple-entry accounting.

Nick Lozano: [00:55:39] Yeah, triple.

Peter Margaritis: [00:55:40] But you said the word, it’s trust.

Nick Lozano: [00:55:44] Yeah.

Peter Margaritis: [00:55:44] Because we’ve lost trust in the banking system, this cryptocurrency was born. And because I read a few things along those lines and listened to some stuff about how that came about and Target and Home Depot, why they got hacked and all that information went away, because there’s a one central server or in a block chain community, nobody owns it. It’s spread around and it’s much harder to hack when it’s not all in one central location. Nick’s looking at me-

Nick Lozano: [00:56:16] Brian looked like he was going to reply. So-

Peter Margaritis: [00:56:20] Well, no, Nick was looking at me going, "I’m not—I don’t—what? Let’s defer to Brian then."

Brian Comerford: [00:56:30] I’ve got my bitcoin and pinging me over here on Messenger.

Nick Lozano: [00:56:37] Odd fact, I lost, you know, maybe 20 bitcoins on a hard drive somewhere. When it first came out, they published it on Github, I put it up on a PC and run it overnight, wind up with 20 bitcoins and I don’t know, maybe my mom sent that hard drive to the Goodwill or something like that, you know. This would have been forever ago, Brian, when they first published it, you know, on Github.

Brian Comerford: [00:57:00] Oh, man.

Nick Lozano: [00:57:00] And I just messed with it. And now, like you’d had to spend so much money and power, it’s not even worth your time to mine it, right?

Brian Comerford: [00:57:08] That’s true. That must’ve been a pretty valuable hard drive.

Nick Lozano: [00:57:12] I don’t even know where it is, Brian.

Peter Margaritis: [00:57:16] Yeah, Bill Gates has it somewhere. He found it.

Nick Lozano: [00:57:19] Yeah. I don’t know, somebody probably shot it with a gun or something. You know, picked up at the thrift store, burned it. Who knows?

Peter Margaritis: [00:57:27] So, as we begin to wrap up, guys, the co-host of Lead.exe, what final words do you have for my audience?

Nick Lozano: [00:57:37] I would say just be vulnerable. You know, run towards failure and do things that scare you and do them often.

Peter Margaritis: [00:57:45] I like that. Brian?

Brian Comerford: [00:57:48] Love and laughter. They are words to live by.

Peter Margaritis: [00:57:52] So, how do we love and laugh in a workplace who may not see the value of that?

Brian Comerford: [00:58:01] You know, it’s more about you seeing the value of it, I think, because you can work with a lot of jerks. And the fact is, the only way it’s going to upset you is if you allow it to. So, love and laughter. You know, recognize them for where they’re at, be thankful that that’s not you, and make sure that you get a good giggle out of it every once in a while. When you think about it, man, that guy has got some bad karma coming his way.

Peter Margaritis: [00:58:29] So, where can everybody get in contact with you guys and find your podcast?

Nick Lozano: [00:58:36] Sure. So, you can find me on LinkedIn. I accept pretty much every, you know, connection request. Oddly enough, somebody asked me to buying bitcoin today. So, you know, I’m going to just go ahead and unconnect with him. So, I’m on LinkedIn. But if you send me one, you know, connection request, as long as you’re not trying to get me to buy a cryptocurrency, you know, I will accept. You can visit leadexe.com and we’ll shoot you, you know, all the information for that. And you can find our podcast on all the podcasting platforms, Apple, Spotify, Google Play, Stitcher. We also publish on YouTube as well, too.

Peter Margaritis: [00:59:12] Cool. How can people find you, Brian?

Brian Comerford: [00:59:15] Yeah, same, LinkedIn. It’s really the go-to spot. And all the other places that Nick just read along with the podcast, freebie.

Nick Lozano: [00:59:26] Ditto.

Peter Margaritis: [00:59:29] Yeah, exactly. Just ditto. Well, guys, I appreciate you taking the time. It’s been a blast. I had a blast on your podcast. I wish you guys great success in the podcast and what you do. And I can’t wait until our paths actually cross and we’re physically across from each other. That will be a hoot.

Nick Lozano: [00:59:49] Yeah, I know.

Brian Comerford: [00:59:49] It’s going to be a block chain kind of improv. I can feel it.

Nick Lozano: [00:59:53] Hey, you know, we should actually do a live stream and call it that and see if anybody joins, right?

Peter Margaritis: [00:59:59] A block chain improv. All right.

Nick Lozano: [01:00:04] Block chain improv.

Brian Comerford: [01:00:06] That’s right.

Nick Lozano: [01:00:06] Hosted by a janitor, the accidental accountant.

Peter Margaritis: [01:00:14] And musician.

Brian Comerford: [01:00:14] Yeah, that’s right.

Nick Lozano: [01:00:14] Like, what the hell is this thing?

Peter Margaritis: [01:00:18] You guys are great. Thank you for your time. I appreciate it. And I look forward to our paths crossing soon.

Nick Lozano: [01:00:27] Alright. Thanks, Peter.

Brian Comerford: [01:00:27] Thanks, Peter. Thank you.

Peter Margaritis: [01:00:29] I would like to thank Brian and Nick for their time, their perspective, and their humor in sharing their leadership knowledge with you. How do you begin to change your mindset as relates to your leadership style? Think about this, really think about this and remember that you have to work on it every single day. Thank you for listening. And if you enjoyed this podcast, please take a moment and leave a review on iTunes or whatever platform you download your podcast from. Also, please subscribe and share this episode with a friend. Make today and every day your best day.

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