How can I make an impact without burning out? It's not by doing the same things over and over again and expecting that it's going to eventually change the output. It's about thinking differently. It's about changing the way I look at the things I do.

In this episode

Imagine the remarkable success of a team that has been together for years. They know each other inside out, work seamlessly and achieve incredible results.

But what if you don’t have that luxury?

There’s a hidden shortcut to cultivating team bonding and mimicking the dynamics of long-standing teams in record time. Tony Martignetti explains that it’s all about building genuine connections. 

Tony Martignetti is a trusted advisor, leadership coach, author, podcast host, and TEDx speaker. As the Chief Inspiration Officer at Inspired Purpose Partners, Tony draws on over 25 years of experience in leadership roles and coaching global leaders. He is the author of two insightful books, ‘Campfire Lessons for Leaders’ and ‘Climbing The Right Mountain,’ and is passionately dedicated to empowering leaders to unearth their true potential and navigate change with confidence.

In episode 187, Tony reveals practical tactics for building deeper connections with your team, unlocking high performance, and finding leverage in your work to maximize impact and avoid burnout. He also introduces his CORE methodology, a powerful framework designed to help both employees and leaders embrace their individuality, express their true selves in the workplace, and cultivate deeper, more genuine connections. By making intentional efforts to build team bonding, leaders can foster trust, feedback exchange, and the identification of blind spots. 

Tune in to gain Tony’s invaluable insights on reigniting connection and meaning in your workplace!

Like this episode? Be sure to leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ review and share the podcast with your colleagues.


Learning from early missteps


Reigniting spark with ‘Campfire Lessons for Leaders’


Building deeper connections


The CORE framework


Leveraging collective strengths


Defining success and ‘Climbing The Right Mountain’

Resources mentioned in this episode:


Tony, welcome to the show.

Tony Martignetti  03:50

Thank you so much. I’m thrilled to be here.

Aydin Mirzaee  03:52

Yeah, very excited to do this. You have had an extensive leadership career, worked at a bunch of different companies, LifesSci Financial, Momenta, Sarepta Therapeutics. And today, you’re the Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Inspired Purpose Partners, where you coach and work with a ton of leaders from a ton of different companies produce a lot of content, written a bunch of books that we’re going to talk about today. So, lots of really, really cool things. And the question that we typically like to start with Tony is just to ask about mistakes, and what were some of the early ones. But recently, the cast and crew here at the podcast, we’ve been talking about how it would be cool to ask some of our guests about recent mistakes, too. So now I’ll give you the choice. Either we can talk about a very early mistake or a recent mistake or learning that you’ve had. And I’ll give you the choice of which one you want to dive into. But tell us about your mistakes.

Tony Martignetti  04:49

Oh, how many mistakes can I get through? Let’s see, I will make it a more recent mistake. And it has to do with a mistake. We’re judging other people, which is really tough because I thought I was really good at judging character, right? And oftentimes we bring people on board, we bring them into our teams. And we feel like we’ve got the right person to work with. And then you realize that it’s not the right fit. And they’re not the right people to take on the journey. And you’ve invested a lot of time and effort into it, too, which is really unfortunate. So the early days of my business, I realized that I couldn’t do it all alone, I knew that if I wanted to have a business that was gonna be successful, I need to ensure that I brought people on board and created a more substantial business besides just a one person working alone. And so I hired somebody to work with me. And what I realized is that that person wasn’t really quite fit for an entrepreneurial journey, they’re more of a person who was who was meant for a bigger company, and couldn’t deal with the early day roots of starting a company. And through those early days, I spent a lot of time and energy trying to help that person to become the early founders at the person, but they didn’t fit. And after spending a lot of time with that person to try and get them up to speed, I had to cut ties. And I felt really bad, because I felt like it was a failure on my part. But I had to let go of all that anxiety and say, You know what, I think it’s just time, this person who will find out what’s gonna work best for them. And I had to let go of all that time and energy spending on trying to get someone off the board. So I just went back and built a business based on who I was at the time, and then slowly rebuilt the business from there.

Aydin Mirzaee  06:40

Yeah, thank you for sharing that. It’s a very sort of, I mean, there’s a lot of points in what you just mentioned. So one is this idea of, you’ve invested a lot of time, you’ve done a lot of effort. And part of it is just the sunk cost. And you’re kind of worried about that getting away from you. But yeah, this idea of finding the right person for the right stage of the company is really important. When I imagine that’s a topic that comes up all the time, within your coaching, it is really hard. So how do you determine this? Because one way to look at it is to say, well, this person has worked at an early stage company before, so they’re probably going to be able to do it. But what I’ve also found, for example, is that that just because someone used to be a startup person, for example, doesn’t mean that they’re still a startup person. So I’m curious, having gone through this experience, how might you vet the next person to make sure that they’re stage appropriate?

Tony Martignetti  07:34

Yeah, I mean, two things that come to mind. Number one, is paint them a picture, paint a picture of where we’re headed, and see if they see themselves inside of that picture. If there’s someone who says like, yeah, I understand where we’re headed, and I know what it’s going to take to get there. And I’m willing to spend the time and the energy, getting through all the pits and valleys to get there, then hearing how will they react to the picture you’re painting, then that is hugely beneficial. I think the problem is, I didn’t really set the picture out very well, at the beginning, because I was just kind of didn’t have any ideas where I was headed, I just kind of started and left before I was I was ready. And that’s okay, it happens. But now I have got that foresight to say, I’m going to paint a picture that is a little more clear, but also descriptive enough for the person to be able to get engaged. And the other thing is to ask questions about what it is about the things they’ve done in the past, that have really allowed them to demonstrate their attitude towards setbacks and towards challenges, how they turned obstacles into opportunities. Because that’s what we do in early stage companies, we’re turning obstacles into opportunities on a daily basis. And that is important quality of people who are working in small companies. 

Aydin Mirzaee  08:56

Yeah, and so it’s interesting how you talk about painting the picture, I’d love for you to maybe just give us like a tactical example, like, what does it look to paint that picture? I’ve often heard for example, some people do a bunch of work, maybe selling the candidate, but then before they actually sign up, it’s the anti selling, here’s why you shouldn’t join. And so yeah, I’m just curious how the painting of the picture works, just so that our audience can adopt that.

Tony Martignetti  09:22

You can’t have a rosy picture. It can’t be like, super, it’s going to be so great. Everything’s going to be perfect. You have to have some realism, in their mind like to call myself a grounded optimist, because there’s a sense of realism that goes into the picture that we paint in saying that, okay, here’s where I’m headed, let’s say two to three years from now. This is how many people I want to be able to be working with who I want to be working with, how we want to be working together. This is the relationship I’m looking for having with other people in the organization. And this is the kind of working relationship and culture that I’m fostering along with the people who are In this organization, so if that’s something that you can get on board with, if it’s something that you feel like you enjoy being part of, then maybe this is the right environment for you. Some people like the fast paced nature, some people like consistency, slow pace, more measured and understanding of the safety of knowing what they’re going to do the next day. But others love the breakneck speed of who knows where we’re going to go, we’re going to embrace the chaos and see what happens.

Aydin Mirzaee  10:32

Yeah, so I think that explains it really well. I wanted to also spend some time talking about your new books. This is your second book. And this one is called ‘Campfire Lessons for Leaders: How Uncovering Our Past Can Propel Us Forward.’ And so this is based on conversations that you’ve had with your podcast, right? Like maybe tell us a little bit about the podcast and what that’s all about and how it led to the book.

Tony Martignetti  10:57

Yeah, so the first of all, the podcast is called ‘The Virtual Campfire.’ And I’ve had over 230 or so episodes now. So it’s been a great journey so far. And the podcast premise was, well, it is about sharing people’s journeys to getting to where they are making such an impact in the world. But knowing that it wasn’t just didn’t happen overnight, that there’s moments that have defined who they are. And so those moments are what I wanted to uncover, I wanted to understand what I call it flash points, the point in the journey that have ignited their gifts into the world. And so that’s what I started to create in that podcast. And then, as I realized through the journey of doing the podcast is that these stories were amazing. And there were a lot of common themes. And so I wanted to take those themes, and codify them into lessons that I could share with others, who may be on a journey themselves, and trying to figure out what to do with for my own story and how to understand my journey. And so at the core of the book, it’s really about how to connect with your story, how to tell your story, connect with yourself, and then ultimately connect with others through the power of your own understanding of yourself. And then through that storytelling, we’re allowing ourselves to really go forward with more power and energy towards what we really want. Sometimes looking back is what we need, because we need to understand what is it about me, that makes me who I am? Which sounds weird, but it’s true.

Aydin Mirzaee  12:35

Yeah, this idea of really deeply understanding why you do the things that you do is tremendously helpful, and figuring out how to drive change, like you said, and so 230 episodes, many campfire discussions, is there one or two that are very memorable that we could talk about today?

Tony Martignetti  12:55

Of course, I mean, there’s so many. And honestly, even when I was trying to put the book together, it was hard to choose which ones to include which ones not to include, maybe I’ll share one from a person who I’ve been featured in the book that happens to have a book out this week. And her name is Lane Gardner. And Lane is someone who created an organization that helps people to deal with trauma, using music and art. In fact, she did some work with the Parkland School shooting victims in Florida. And she basically helped them to write a story write music, to help them deal with all of the the trauma of the school shooting, but particularly our interview, and what her story is about is, is how like, sometimes the darkest moments of our journey can reveal who we really are. I mean, she had a traumatic childhood. And the only thing that really kept her together and kept her thinking about who he she could be and what she wouldn’t be able to potentially become is this connection to music, and the ability to use music as a tool to soothe her. And that eventually became what her gift was to the world. So what I often found throughout a lot of my stories is that the people who have come on the show is that sometimes a little things we have as child that go away for a while, they eventually rise back, they come back to us. For me, I was an artist as a child, who for most of my life, spent time dealing with numbers, and then realized that I’m an artist, still, I’m still an artist deep down my identity is still tied to the artistic side of who I am. And when I came back into the world of coaching and helping people to find their path, I’m using the tools of an artist to do so to unearth their masterpiece and find a way to connect to the brilliant masterpiece inside of them. So it’s just an interesting insight. A lot of the podcast guests I’ve had have connected to this childhood part of them. So that’s Lane.

Aydin Mirzaee  15:04

So yeah, it’s a great story. And it is very interesting to go back because sometimes you forget those things. And it’s almost like you relearn something that you used to enjoy or something that used to be a core part of you. And I feel like when you lose some of these sorts of things, you don’t know why. But somehow, you don’t feel as fulfilled as you used to, or something’s different. Not that you don’t enjoy what you do, but you’re not maybe bouncing off the walls, either. And, you know, sometimes it just takes figuring out what that thing is to bring back the level of joy that you could aspire to.

Tony Martignetti  15:39

Yeah, I mean, to use the analogy of the fire, again, which is kind of everywhere for me, is to reignite the spark, right? It’s sometimes we lose our spark. And along the way, we have to figure out how to get that fire blazing again. And it’s sometimes just hiding just under the surface, and is waiting for someone to come into our lives or something to come into our lives, to make us realize, hey, you’ve got it, you just need to spend some time looking a little deeper inside of who you are. And then using that tool as a way to move forward.

Aydin Mirzaee  16:12

I love it. So is there another story that we could also share with the audience today?

Tony Martignetti  16:17

Sure, there’s a million. I mean, one of them that I really enjoyed too is this person who just was talking about is Effie Parks. Effie Parks is a woman who has a child who’s born rare diseases, a rare disease, a very rare disease is called CTNNB1, which is a genetic defect, that doesn’t affect defects, a very small population. That’s the very definition of rare disease. And so when she worked, found out her son had this, she didn’t know what to do, she felt lost, she felt like she was the only one in her life, and in her world, who understood what she was going through. So all her friends had healthy children, they were going about their lives, and she felt lost. So as she was continuing to figure out what to do, and how to deal with a child with different challenges, she started to reach out to places like Facebook and different places where she could find information, when she realized that there was always something missing. So instead, what she did, she started to create some a place for other people to be heard, and to be able to connect with other rare disease patients, not just the same disease area, but with other people have the same challenges. So she created a podcast called the ‘Once Upon a Gene.’ And she made it so that people who are caregivers and parents of rare disease patients had a place to feel like they could belong and connect. And now her podcast is gotta met amazing reach. And she’s able to connect with people all around the world. And in fact, it was just talking to somebody else about her podcasts, which was just amazing. So I think this is an example of a story that allows you to say, if it doesn’t exist already, you can create what you need in the world. But you first have to have the courage to say what’s missing in my world to say, what do I need to create?

Aydin Mirzaee  18:16

Yeah, got it. It’s very interesting that in cases where like you said, if something doesn’t exist, but you can create it and get the same level of joy. And I think like, ultimately doing all of these things, is going to bring back the life into just the way that you approach every single day. And I think that what a great time for the book to come out. I know it came out last week of December, great time for people to get us kickstart in January, read some of this inspiring stuff and make changes in their own lives and work lives.

Tony Martignetti  18:46

Absolutely, I think we talked a little bit about this briefly before the coming on about connection and how the books about connection. And I think people are craving more connection these days. Right?

Aydin Mirzaee  18:56

Yeah, let’s talk about that. Yeah, we were chatting and you were saying if I had to choose a word of the year, it would be connection. And then if I had to choose a second word, it would be leverage. And we’ll get to leverage too. But let’s start with connection. What do you mean by people are looking to gain more connection? What does that mean practically speaking?

Tony Martignetti  19:13

Yeah, I mean, on the surface, people might be thinking like, oh, connection, I get enough people around me, I can talk to them. But yeah, talking to people and having connection can have a lot of different meanings. For me. When I think of connection, it’s like really deeply seeing people and deeply having conversations with people that have meaning beyond just the surface, meaning, if you’re at work, and you’re spending a lot of time in the workplace, you want to make sure that it’s not just about, okay, when’s the report can be done and how’s your day and that kind of stuff that’s like, well, what’s important to you? What are the things that are meaningful and what are you looking forward to as you look ahead to the next year or the next few months? It’s trying to understand people on a level that is beyond And just the surface. And so that’s why I think connection is so important nowadays, we just went through the one of those challenging periods of our lifetime, our collective lifetime with the pandemic. And now, I think people have questioned a lot about who we are and what we want. So now that we’re all coming together a lot more, it’s time for us to really say, what’s important. Now? What do we want to see in each other now? And how can we create connection with each other, so that we can do more together and feel like we’re part of something. And so connection is a big part of that. And so for me personally, it’s about reconnecting with people who I haven’t talked to in a while, and asking them what’s real for you? What’s new? How can I support you to create what you want? And it’s not coming from a place of how can I make money off of you, it’s more coming from a place of when we get to know how we support each other, we all build a better world. Yeah. So that’s where connection comes from. And for me, I think it’s what we want to create more of, and I have this idea of campfires of connections, being a way to get into organizations help them find ways to connect better together.

Aydin Mirzaee  21:12

Hey, everyone, just a quick pause on today’s episode to tell you about something that we’ve been working on that we’re super excited about. It’s no secret that, you know, meetings have been on the rise since the pandemic, there’s studies that showed that in some organizations, people are spending as much as 250% more time in meetings. And there hasn’t been a solution out there to really tackle this problem. At its heart, some companies are doing interesting things. Shopify, for example, is now incorporating a meeting cost calculator into all of the meetings that are booked. And so whenever someone’s trying to book a meeting, they get to see the cost of that meeting. And what we’ve decided to do at fellow is take this idea of a meeting cost calculator, and make it available for everyone for free. And we’re calling it our Meeting Cost Calculator, it integrates with your Google Calendar. So if you’re on a Google Calendar, what you can do is go to And what it’s going to do is it’s this extension, you install it super easy. And when you do, you’ll be able to see the cost of every meeting that you’re attending. And so what this does at an organizational level, and it’s very easy to install organization wide, your IT administrator can very easily do this. And when you do this, every person in your company, when they’re about to book a meeting, they’ll be able to see the cost of that particular meeting. And really, the intention here is to make it easy for people to really think carefully about the people that the invite to the meeting how large the meeting is going to be. And really the purpose and make sure that time that is organized through this meeting is actually going to be time well spent. And so we’re very excited to announce this, it’s easy to get, you can go to, get the extension and get it for your team, it’s free to use. And if you like what you see there, we have a series of other things that we’ve built along these lines with that extension. We’re calling the Meeting Guidelines. And it’s a series of other things that help change organizational behavior around meetings in your company. But start with a calculator. It’s really cool. And when you try it, let us know what you think. And with that said, let’s go back to the episode. 

What a great time again, beginning of the year to start something like this. Why don’t we talk about just some tactical ways. So if someone’s listening, and they’re saying, I do miss some connection, in my life, in my work, what are some tactical things that you can do? Do you just take out your phone and start texting people? Do you host events? Do you skip level meetings with people on your team? What are some ways that people can get started this week and build some stronger, deeper, more meaningful connections?

Tony Martignetti  24:06

Yeah, it’s a great question. And so if you want to do it on a just a one on one basis that you can do that. But you can also do it in a more collective way. Like if you’re a leader of an organization, you can do a more collective format. And I think a way to start is have a framework called the core framework, which I talked about in my TED Talk. The core framework is really it’s an acronym stands for, get curious. So C stands for curious. Get curious about some things that you might want to share. Maybe some things that you haven’t shared in the past that you’ve been holding back, because you’re afraid of like No, no big deal. It’s not something that’s important. And maybe if people heard they’d be like, Yeah, okay, no big deal. But even the weirdest things about us are interesting to other people. And they’re weird for a reason. I mean, weird things like maybe their hobbies or some things that you’ve been doing meaning that you’ve kind of tapped into and they’ve lighting you up, they’re a spark. So getting curious is the first part. And then O is about opening, opening yourself up to sharing some of those things with other people, with others. So once you got curious and get clear for yourself, then open it up to other people saying, hey, let’s have a conversation, let’s talk about some things that are going on with you. And if that’s a one on one, great, or if it’s a bigger group, fantastic. Opening up is takes a moment of courage. But the reality is, once you do that, it starts to become easier, especially for introverts, it can be challenging for that moment of opening. But I think the reality is you go at your own pace, and you do what you can, and then release, the R stands for release, meaning that you just want to let go of any tension or potential reservations or fear that you might be rejected for what you say. Or that it might be weird that you sharing this. But I think that release is an important part of this, which is to say, I’m okay with sharing this part of me through maybe I’ve been hiding for a period of time. And then E is expand, expand the circle, bring other people in, hey, I realized when you shared this idea that you had, and love to share with someone else. Is that cool? How can we talk about bringing other people into the conversation? So expand? The CORE methodology is the last, the four parts of it is CORE and expand is the last part.

Aydin Mirzaee  26:32

Yeah, I love it. And this is the TED Talk. It has like 2 million views, right? Yes, that’s awesome. I love the concept of the the R for release, because I think about the reasons why people don’t go about building more connections. I mean, a lot of it must be that right? That’s one of the friction points that holds people back.

Tony Martignetti  26:53

Yeah, I mean, there’s a sense of like, if I share, will people hold it against me, if I share what other people think there’s a lot of judgment that goes along with that. And so we have to kind of get over that and say, if they really judged me for what I share, maybe this is these aren’t the people. They’re not my people if you will.

Aydin Mirzaee  27:13

Got it. So let’s say that you’re a CEO, founder, your VP, leader of an organization, and so you want to use this framework, and you want to build deeper connections with people in your company? Like, what’s a practical way to do that? You host a happy hour? Do you do a virtual thing where you go around and share some personal information? What’s a way that people can actually implement the CORE framework?

Tony Martignetti  27:38

Yeah, I mean, I think it’s always better to do it in person. And I’m not trying to like be like, everyone get in the office, because I know, there’s always a need for the hybrid environment and what have you, but in person is always better, because there’s something about the personal connection of being in person, that makes a big difference. But you can start with just getting people together. So hey, we’re gonna have a conversation, just wanted to get everyone together, just check in and see how everyone’s doing, let’s have a conversation. You don’t have to make it some grandiose off site, it can be just one hour or two hours long, depending on how big your team is, it’s about really coming together and checking in and showing them that you care, they want to know who they are how they’re doing. You can call it a connection call if you want or connection meeting. And that way, it’s not necessarily about business, it’s about people. And ultimately, it is about business. Because when you know your people are connected, they’re going to do better work. So that’s how you can sell the case, if you will, for making the time to do this. Because the more they know each other, the more they’re willing to do more together. That’s part of why we’re doing this, this is not just a nice to have connection in the workplace is a must have. Because we’re spending a lot of time in our work, we might as well make it enjoyable, we might as well make it fulfilling, and all the things that come along with that. So I think to me, that’s why I’m such a champion for doing this work.

Aydin Mirzaee  29:15

I think the other reason why it’s super critical to build connections is you often talk about teams that have worked together over a long period of time, they just know each other better, they work better together, they produce more output, they’re just more successful together. And part of that is that they’ve just had the time to build a lot of these connections. And so for everybody else, but most of us are not necessarily in a privileged place to be able to work with the same team for a long period of time. So this is one way to short circuit that and build build that team bonding that will mimic a team that’s worked together for a long time but just make it happen sooner. But you just have to work at it. Yeah, versus just like let it happen when it does.

Tony Martignetti  29:56

I love that, you’re absolutely right. I mean I think that’s so spot on. Because when you feel connected to somebody else your apt to give them the feedback that they need to hear, identify, help them to see the blind spots that they might not see. And give them the radical candor that is important to grow. All the things that workplaces can do to make sure people are moving in the right direction. If you’re not feeling connected, feeling the trust that goes along with that, then it’s hard for any of that to happen. So if you can move in this direction of really getting to know the people around you, flaws, and all, that’s great, because ultimately, that will start moving you towards elevating the whole team together.

Aydin Mirzaee  30:39

What’s interesting is a lot of time organizations will like this idea of increasing the velocity of feedback, making sure that people are constantly communicating feedback. But the way that they might do that is they might put up a presentation or slide and say feedback is really important. feedback is a gift, you should give feedback. Yeah. Yeah. But how do you actually make that happen? Is you’ve got increased trust, and how do you increase trust is by doing all these connection rituals that you talked about? Yes. So I think would be prudent is for people to almost have like a connection strategy within the organizations, it’s good for you to do as a leader, for sure. But when you architect the system of how is your company going to run better? You have to think about, well, how are people building connections and sort of facilitate that type of structure?

Tony Martignetti  31:26

Yeah, with intention, right. Like there’s a sense of intentionality that goes along with this not, don’t make it just serendipitous, if that’s the right word. People used to meet at the coffee at the watercooler, which is all finding great, but we’re not doing that as much as we used to, because of the change in the dynamics of the work environment. And so we have to be more intentional nowadays. So let’s make sure that intentionality is architected in a way that works and not just forced, in a way that people are like, Yeah, this doesn’t feel right. So make sure you do it in a way that is really means well, and gets people feeling like this is a good way to connect, not just artificial.

Aydin Mirzaee  32:10

Yeah, I love it. And again, it just goes back to everybody here wants to build a high performance team, you don’t want to leave that to chance, there are things that you can do to create that high performance. This is one of them. So, Tony, I did also want to talk about your second word of the year, which is leverage. So especially beginning of the year, it’s all about productivity. It’s all about reinventing how you work. So leverage definitely fits into that. Tell us what does leverage mean to you?

Tony Martignetti  32:39

Yeah, so I will say, for starters, there’s a connection to connection and leverage. And when you feel like your team is really well connected, and you get to know the strengths of all the people in your team, you can start to leverage the collective strengths and resources much better than without. So that’s, there’s something about that, which I really love. But when I think of leverage, it’s we’re trying to get more done with less, right. And the more is not just because it’s great to have more, but it’s more about it’s more impactful. When we do the effort that is getting the impact, right, the impact we’re doing is getting the job done. And so the key thing for me around leverage is thinking, how am I in tune with the things that I do that are meant for me to do and not do it all, which can happen a lot in small companies, if you say like, oh, this is the nature of small companies, we got to do everything because we don’t have enough people. But we have to sometimes challenge that mentality and say, Gosh, what are some models that we can explore that might have other organizations or outsource models that have us taking parts of what we do and not doing it and having them do it? Sometimes, paying a little bit makes a world of difference as to how we can navigate the work in general. With AI, we have a great opportunity to be able to create leverage, we’re able to get a lot of leverage there. But we have to make sure that we do it with intention and using that word again. But that’s the goal is to try and find ways in your business to get clear about what am I doing that makes an impact and do less of the things that are not really meant for you need to do. And that’s what I’m leading into myself. But it’s also what I’m helping other people to think about is to think well, what are the things that I do to make the biggest impact? And what are the things that I’m doing that are not really value add?

Aydin Mirzaee  34:44

I really like this and it’s a great time to I mean, it’s always a great time to do this, but especially in the beginning of the year. We’ve talked about on the podcast, things like an energy audit, and I think everybody intellectually knows what this is good for your account. under color coded green gives you energy red takes it away. No in betweens, sorry, you have to choose. But it’s just kind of mapping out what are the things that give you energy and take away? So you can do this figure out where you should get leverage, but I love your additional take on it, which is, what are the areas that are, okay, cool, that gives you energy, but it doesn’t actually drive a lot of impact. So this adds another dimension that I think can be really, really helpful.

Tony Martignetti  35:28

A hundred percent. I mean, when I think about the things that people come to me for, is they want to make an impact. They want to make a meaningful impact, but they want to do it without burning out. And I think that’s a great way to think about this is to say, how can I make an impact without burning out? It’s not by doing the same things over and over again, and expecting that it’s going to eventually change the output? No, it’s about thinking differently. It’s about changing the way I look at the things I do, and saying, Gosh, what I found is that when I just the 10% of the top is what’s making the biggest difference, not the 80% or the you know, 100% of my effort, it’s really understanding and identifying after doing some of the work for a period of time, that not all of its paying off. And I’ll just lean into one of the thing, which I’ve I love doing is we have to take some pauses along the way and saying, Okay, it’s time for me to reframe the work a little bit. I’ve taken breaks from my work, from my business from time to time, just to kind of like taking inventory and look at things from a different perspective, literally have gone on mountains climbing, and said, Okay, this is my break, I’m taking a look and saying what’s working what’s not? What don’t want to come back to?

Aydin Mirzaee  36:43

Yeah, this is so important when you’re doing it’s almost like a pattern interrupt. It’s really, really hard when you’re in the tunnel. And you have this tunnel vision to be able to come to those realizations. So whether it’s climbing on the mountain, like you said, or an extended vacation. And I think like this also applies to a lot of things at work, too. So if you’re doing the same sort of repetitive tasks, let’s say you publish a newsletter and you publish it every single week, and you’ve been doing it, it’s really hard once you’re in that modality, that tunnel vision to take step back and say, Hey, how do I make this better? How do I improve this team? I feel like the longer you’ve been doing something, the harder it is for you to get that kind of broad perspective, the balcony moment, if you will. So yeah, I think this stuff’s super important.

Tony Martignetti  37:34

It’s one of those annoying questions that sometimes coaches ask, how is that serving you? How is that serving you that thing that you do like the newsletter, for example, I’ll just use that as an as a great example. And if you get asked that question from someone else, it kind of burns you up, because you’re thinking to yourself, like, you know what? I hate that you asked that. Because you’re right, maybe it isn’t serving me the way I thought it was. But because you’ve been kind of like you almost fell in love with it, or you feel like you’re in a pattern with it. That you you’ve like, oh, well, this person is challenging me or challenging the notion that this isn’t serving me, when in reality, maybe it isn’t.

Aydin Mirzaee  38:12

Yeah, I think like these sorts of retrospective questions make all the sense in the world. And I think in this in the world of software development, for example, some of these sorts of working patterns are built in there’s retrospectives. And these are worked into the cycle. And I think like you said, we can incorporate into other areas of our work, but also our lives. When was the last time you did a retrospective on your life. And these can be done in a very structured way to write with the help of a coach. You do it individually, but it just does need to happen.

Tony Martignetti  38:45

Yes, I agree. Right. I hundred percent agree.

Aydin Mirzaee  38:48

So Tony, I think before we close here, I just want to also ask about your other book, because I find the title so compelling. It’s called ‘Climbing The Right Mountain.’ And I just love that title. So just to give people a sense of what it’s about and what they can learn from the book. Maybe you can give us a short synopsis?

Tony Martignetti  39:09

Absolutely. So it was a book that I felt like the need to write for many reasons, because I heard a lot of the same stories from people I was working with. But also I felt a reflection back to my own journey, where you’re climbing this corporate ladder, that mountain of your journey into growth. And then you realize sometimes when you get to the top that you’re like, Oh, this is not who I am. This is not who I want to be. And I don’t really love the view. And also think about all the sacrifices I had to go through to get to where I was. And that felt really disheartening. And so at the heart of it all this book is about how you defining success in your life. And we have to make sure we define her on our own terms, because oftentimes we fall victim to societal definitions of success. And also some of the people in our lives who say like, Hey, this is what you You need to do and this is how you should do it. And this is what success looks like. In reality, that’s not going to serve us, we need to be able to have our own internal compass that says this is what it looks like for us. And along the journey, we got to stop along the way and say, Hey, how do I feel about this? Is this the right path I’m on? And do I need to start questioning things along the way. And so that’s really what the book is about. And there’s a guideposts in there for people to take to start to look at their own journey, but also to us as they start to reflect along the way.

Aydin Mirzaee  40:35

I love it. This has been an awesome conversation, we’ve talked about your two words of the year connection and leverage, we’ve talked about Campfire Lessons and finding something that you can go back to that used to really bring you energy and bring that back into your life. And if it doesn’t exist, you can actually create it. So lots of inspiring stories from this conversation, lots of learnings. The question that we always like to end on is for all the managers and leaders constantly looking to get better at their craft. Are there any final tips, tricks or words of wisdom that you would leave them with?

Tony Martignetti  41:12

I love this model. This is something I’ve come up with along the journey. It’s called expand your vision, narrow your focus. And it is a way to look at challenges when you’re feeling stuck, expand your vision look deep look broader. Look at what other possibilities are available to you. And so identifying different paths that might be available not leaving your job. But maybe it’s a different way to solve the problem you’re facing, right. But once you figure out some options, then it’s time to narrow your focus, which means really picking one and choosing to go in that direction, in a very clear and thoughtful way. Yeah. And then if it doesn’t work out, then you can try other paths. But you want to make sure that you don’t try to do too much. Just expand and stay out there. You can’t do that. You have to focus.

Aydin Mirzaee  42:00

I love that phrase. And I think that one’s gonna stick with me for a long time. Tony, thank you so much for doing this.

Tony Martignetti  42:08

Thank you so much. It’s been a lot of fun.

Aydin Mirzaee  42:10

And that’s it for today. Thank you so much for tuning into this episode of the Supermanagers podcast. You can find the show notes and transcript at If you liked the content, be sure to rate review and subscribe so you can get notified when we post the next episode. And please tell your friends and fellow managers about it. It’d be awesome if you can help us spread the word about the show. See you next time.

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