29: Leverage NFL Systems with Shawn Harper

Former NFL lineman Shawn Harper is the owner and operator of American Services and Protection, a security firm based in Columbus, Ohio. He also owns Bridge Builders International, an inter-denominational non-profit helping children in developing countries. We discuss how successful NFL systems can be applied to the business world and how to create a team-based winning culture.

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Leverage NFL Systems with Shawn Harper

Our guest is Shawn Harper with me today. And Shawn is the owner and operator of American Services and Protection, a full-service security firm out of Columbus, Ohio. He is also the owner of Bridge Builders International, a non-profit, interdenominational non-profit helping children in developing countries. He played for seven seasons as an offensive NFL lineman with the Coors, the Oilers, the Rams, and NFL Europe. And he is the author of the Winning Edge, Eight Principles that will bring out the winner in you. Welcome Shawn to the show.

Hey, thank you for having me. Let’s have fun for the time being, and hopefully we can extract some tools, thoughts, and principles to win at this game of life.

That’s awesome, that’s awesome. Well, listen, first of all, I love to have you on the show, and I’m kind of intrigued, how does an NFL linesman becomes an entrepreneur with multiple businesses, how does that work?

Well, you know what, it’s something that I kind of fell into, but it was a blessing as well. And so what I mean by that is my brother owned a security firm and through some unforeseen circumstances, he had turned the control of the operation over to me. And I promise you at that moment, I was a deer in the headlights. I had no business sense. I didn’t understand. And you know what, actually, to be truthful, you know, close to 20 years later, I’m still learning and I’m still growing. I’m still, you know, learning how to win at this game.

But what I did understand is I understand winning. And I was able to grab that not only from sports, but from the challenges that were in my life, as far as the learning disabilities and voted most likely to fail, graduating last in my class in academics, barely starting in high school football, overcoming the adversity and the struggle and to push towards the win.

And I played with and for probably one of the most successful businesses in the world. That’s the National Football League. It is a business. And so the things that I learned from playing in sports, being around amazing players and coaches, styles, techniques, and strategies and methodologies, I begin to infuse them into the business world. And you know what? I started having a lot of wins. Normally I try to stay away from the word success because that to me is a man-made construct. It’s all about winning. And it, well, no, no. I mean, it is.

I mean, the problem with success is that it’s ambiguous, which means, and also it’s not static. I can be in Columbus, Ohio. Thank you so much for the skylight right there. That’s very awesome. I’ve never had this happen before, but I can have $4 million living in Columbus, Ohio. And you know what?I’m doing well.I can have, you know, $4 million living in Manhattan and you know, I’m okay. I can have $4 million in Dubai and I’m like, whoa, you’re struggling here. Trying to live downtown Dubai with only $4 million.

So guess what? It’s not static. And so what I’ve learned is that it is not static by design to always having you push more towards or towards what you probably already are. You’re a winner. And so now infusing those concepts in corporate America, you know, everyone that works with me and work for me, you guys are already successful. The fact that you’re here, you’re successful. Now let’s win. Okay, can you imagine trying to tell Mark Cuban to be successful? Of course he’s already successful.

Well then what’s, okay, so then what’s driving him? What’s driving these billionaires now? Is it success? No, they’re the apex. It’s the win. That’s what I was able to bring to the corporate room. And that’s what they were bringing to the corporate culture. And that has allowed me to be in business for about 20 years now, not bad.

That’s very interesting. So, Shawn, so tell me a little bit about what it means to winning with American Services and Protection. What does it look like?

What was that now?

So, what does it look like winning with American Services and Protection, your business? What does it look like for you guys?

American Services and Protection is a full service security firm based out of Columbus, Ohio. We serve Central Ohio and the great state of Ohio and beyond. And so winning is that I was able to cut out all the gray, cut out all the fluff, and we have firm fixed targets. This is what we’re going towards. Now, you look at the target and you assess the target, sometimes daily. Do you have the tools to achieve this goal? Do you have what it takes? Do you have your mentor? Do you have people driving? Do you have your support system? Do you have what it takes to achieve this goal?

And if so, then I’m gonna let you go. I’m gonna let you win at it. I’m gonna let you do the best you can. And then if and when you come to me or you come to my operations manager, this is what I’m struggling with, okay, this is an obstacle to your win. Then we will attack it like that. Now what that does is that it gives a firm fixed target that every individual knows exactly what he or she, they understand the expectations and they know where they’re going. That’s number one.

Number two, it forces teamwork, okay, because it strips out the ambiguity. Because one person in IT is like, well, I’m successful, the computer didn’t crash. And the other person over here in sales is like, well, I’m not successful, I don’t have any sales. IT, you need to fill it too. So when we played football and we would lose a game, the offensive line may have had a great game, but they’re not walking in the locker room like, yay, all right, well, I did good. That’s so myopic.

No, you feel the loss and the same and vice versa. You may have had a horrible game, but we got the win and we celebrate the win together just now. Promise you. 15 minutes ago, I’m on a conference call with my supervisors. We had a site, no call, no show. That is like the dreaded, when you have a site that’s not covered, that kills contracts. I’m getting on the phone with them and I’m like what happened talk to me about it.

Well, it’s my work you know, this was under my Responsibility and I dropped a ball cheap not normally. It’s like, okay. Yeah, okay great But then I had other supervisors on the phone like no one else is chiming in like you gonna let him burn like that How come you didn’t step in? How come you didn’t step in? How come you didn’t step in? How come you didn’t drive your butt over there? Why because you’re interested in winning the battle and not winning the war. I said, this is all, we’ll pick up the pieces and fix it later. But you get in there because our client is our quarterback and we’re the left tackle. And last night, they got sacked.

Okay. So how do you build that culture, which is focused on winning rather than winning the battle, the war, rather than just the battles?

So one of the things that I do is that I elevate the win that everyone can agree in that they can feel some of the win. So you know how departments have, well, you got your numbers, you got that, that’s fine. You made your sales call, yeah, that’s great. But then there’s a big win. There’s a big win. It’s all the way up there. This is the big win. What are you doing for the big win? What are you doing to pick up so many contract hours a month?

Now, for some people, it’s the big win. We all have a job, we have job security. For certain personalities and temperaments, the big win means X amount of bonus goes to every single person, period. No matter, you contribute this much or you contribute this much to the big win, we all get a party and we get a bonus, things like that. So I kind of, what’s the word? I kind of minimize the individual wins and then I focus on the big win. And then that brings about a culture of agreement.

And when you have a culture of agreement, when people are working not as together, but working as one, boy, you can get a lot done. It also brings a higher level of accountability because that person wants that five, 10, $15,000 bonus, right, but he’s looking over at this other person, this person’s on Facebook, like, hey, what are you doing for the big win? Okay, you’re letting us down. It’s self-policing, kind of like a captain on the football team, right? It’s self-policing and yeah, it’s, that’s just one of the strategies, you just put, yeah.

So how do you identify your big wins and how do you create the buy-in in the team into the big win, what’s your process?

Okay, so the big win is derived from the company goals and visions and strategic plans for the year or maybe a couple of years out. So we’ll pull a piece of that and it has to, and this is how it flows into our overall strategic plan. And that’s very important. That’s a great question, by the way. It’s very important because they have to understand how that piece fits the larger puzzle. That right there is the Achilles heel to some corporations is because you know what, they don’t kind of share what’s behind the veil.

And I’m sure you can’t share everything, but you have to allow them to see how that piece fits the puzzle and then how them, themselves being present in what they do fits into the piece that fits into the puzzle. The next thing that you brought up, which is very interesting is, wow, I mean, you’re asking some amazing questions, by the way, is that everyone is different. Every department is different.

Everyone’s mindset and vision is different, okay? And so you have to be able to sell. And I teach my leaders, all that you do is sales. You’re selling. Right now, I’m selling. I don’t have a sweatsuit on. I don’t have any Annapolis Colts. I got the stadium in the back, but I’m professional, it’s selling. You are always selling the goals and the visions and everyone receives different. Everyone has a different bait, bears like donuts, right?

So it’s like, okay, to a certain person, this will allow this goal sells for you and how you win is that it functions more effectively and efficiently and timely. Okay, that’s you. The next person is, man, we’re gonna have so much fun when this thing is achieved. The next person is, hey, you get the bonus. The next person is that you’re getting, you know, you’re really encouraging and helping everyone. But the real challenge is, is that in the actual weeding out process, if you have a person who’s myopic and selfish, you know what, it might not work.

So what I look for is I look for lions I don’t look for Tigers. Okay, it’s a big difference between a lion and a tiger Okay, a lion is communal. They work well with other people. They work as a tribe. They have a hierarchical structure. They work as a family. Tigers don’t work that way, although they’re extremely effective, they are extremely effective. Tigers are very selfish by nature. Tigers are loners and a tiger will kill you if it’s not hungry, it’ll just kill you, right?

What I look for is I look for lions, I don't look for Tigers. Okay, it's a big difference between a lion and a tiger. A lion is communal. They work well with other people. Share on X

So you, I mean, that type of individual works good independently outside of the system, sort of like a sniper works outside of the regular forces, this guy’s achieving a goal. Tigers make great salesmen, saleswomen outside of the system. But when we talk about a communal system, well, then you need lions. Okay, you need lions. And so that’s what I look for. And I do tons of personality or temperament assessments. I get under the hood because we hire for skill, but we fire for attitude.

Really? Not the other way around?

A lot of times we hire well not me. I’ve learned my lesson A lot of times we hire for the skill set this person’s great Just telling that this person can do the job blah blah blah they seem friendly But then after a while like this person doesn’t work well with others a person has a bad attitude this person this and this and this And this you know it’s not your skill set. It’s just you know your attitude sucks You know we’re just can’t wait to next round of layoffs because you’re going to be on that list.

Because I heard this differently, stated differently that you hire for attitude because the skillset they can learn the skillset if they’ve got the right attitude but if they don’t have the attitude even if they have very skilled, you’re not going to use them but it’s essentially the same thing. What you’re saying is that you want to hire with the both right you want the guy or the person who’s the attitude and the skill set and if they don’t have the attitude, you let go of them and you bring someone else.

What I’m saying is that most people hire off a set and they should hire off of attitude, that winning attitude, that drive. This is why I love to hire former athletes. It’s a no-brainer to hire a former athlete. Number one, he or she understands, or at least understands the concept of discipline. They understand teamwork. They understand sacrificing one’s small goals for the greater good. In fact, it’s in Forbes.

It was Forbes. It said, I believe it was a high number, like over 90% of a ton of female executives, C-level suites were, I believe, either former high school or collegiate athletes because they understand that concept, which is unfortunate because today it’s not taught. We’re taught the opposite with these young kids. We’re taught Facebook, MySpace, it’s all selfie. It’s a very selfish, self-centered culture.

And that is not how you win. You have to be able to build effective and efficient and powerful teams to win. And that, I mean, if you look at some of the wealthiest, most powerful groups and people in the world, they all work as a team. Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Warren Buffett, Charlie, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards. The list goes on. The best had teams.

You have to be able to build effective and efficient and powerful teams to win. Share on X

Venture capitalists are looking for founder partners. They don’t want to invest in an individual person. They want to invest in teams of founders who can work well together and who can support each other. And if you’re just the one person with the idea, then you first have to find your partner, and then you can go to raise the venture capital. That’s it. So what is the big goal? Again, I know I asked this question a couple of times before but what is the big, Jim Collins calls it the big hairy audacious goal. So what’s the big hairy audacious goal for American service and protection? If it’s not confidential. If it’s confidential, we can talk about something else. But what is your like, what’s the NFL’s goal for you?

Yeah, so I’ll tell you, I won’t mention the actual specific goal, but I’ll tell you the purpose of the goal.


Okay. So the purpose of the goal is to leverage the organization to feed orphans and children, to feed the poor and the sick around the world. I want to be a conduit of goodness, a conduit of God. Not only God, but what he represents of love, of charity, of forgiveness, of grace. And there’s no better way, I feel, that it can be done is outside of business. That, if you look at some of the, and whether you believe in the Bible or not, whether, when you look at the characters in the Bible, a large portion of them, they weren’t priests, they were businessmen. You know? And yeah, so it’s not only for them to hear God, but to see God, as I mentioned, and charity and just, you know, clothing and it’s just too much is not happening and we’re depending on the government and it’s our job. The people need to step up and give some of that wealth away.

So would everyone have to be religious in your organization?

Oh no, no. Listen, listen. I have people who are agnostic, I have atheists, I have people who are a part of a, you know, alternative lifestyle, you know, it’s it’s all there I mean in fact If I were to discriminate or say, you know, that is the antithesis or the opposite of God God is love You know, it’s like, you know, it’s I need you to see love through me I need you to see grace through me and that’s for everyone and everything you honor all. Honor is big. I’m a principle guy. I might not, you know, you know, it’s, some people are like, well, you got to have good character.

You know, character’s okay. I mean, it’s cool. But principles, they’re even deeper. And you have to know a person’s core principles to really understand them. And you know, I am big on family. I am big on trust. I am big on respect. I’m big on love. These are some of my core Principles that I you know tick to like a clock I tick off these bad boys And so guess what when you get when you start working with American services, you’re working with my family You work with my family, and I’m not gonna let my family member go without That’s the way I’ve looked at it, and it’s been a blessing. Rough, yes, it’s rough.

It’s going to put a lot of pressure on you if you operate this way. So that’s really fascinating. So Shawn, let me switch gears here. I’d really like to ask you about this idea of bringing principles of business from the NFL over to your private businesses and also your charitable organization. Are there some frameworks that really work well for the NFL, how the NFL as a business operates and how the kind of processes that the NFL uses and NFL teams use that work in a business and you see is transportable to a small to medium.

So let’s just take, which is one of my favorite subjects, let’s just take goal setting. In the NFL, or in sports, it’s really simple. We want to win the championship. That’s it. That’s it. That’s the goal is to win the championship. Now, what’s so amazing is that then, from there, which is really complex, you got the offense and the defense all these different people and all these different sides of the ball, basically what they are is that they’re systems. Okay? You have the offense has a system, the plays that they run, the defense.

There’s a system, and systems have to not only work independently. More importantly, they have to overlap and work together. The trainer is working with a system. And so from that victory all the way down to the ball boy, he or she is operating off of a system. What happens is that we put a lot of emphasis on the getting our goals and having the smart goals and blah, blah. But we don’t put enough emphasis on the system.

And we don’t leave wiggle room to make tweaks in our system. The process is the product. We’re taught, you’re going to make it and achieve your goal, and this is the framework or whatever, and then you go. No, in the NFL, it’s the opposite. We’re going to work hard, and when we work hard, we’re going to achieve. The byproduct of our system is the goal. And then there’s one deeper step, which is not talked about a lot, and that’s your habits. So now you have habits, you have systems, and then you have the goals.

And so your habits breed and generate momentum in your systems, which will allow you to achieve your goals more efficiently. So I’ll give you an example. When I played for the Rams, there was a guy named Jackie Slater. Jackie Slater is probably the best offensive lineman who has ever played a game. He’s played about 20 years of professional football. Jackie Slater was a person that I looked up to when I went to the Rams. Okay. Now, most people don’t know is the system that Jackie played under was under Coach Knox. There was the system. Okay.

But what Jackie would do is 20 minutes before every practice, he would make me grab a bag and I would grab a punching bag and I would go outside with him with a punching bag and he would hold the bag up and I would have to punch this bag. I would have punched this bag. No, I’m sorry. He would punch the bag every single day for 20 minutes before practice. That was a habit. And there was other things that he would do before practice started. And then once practice was over, there was another ritual, another set of habits. And so he had the habits that fed into the system that fed into the goal. And so these are some of the things that I’ve learned. In the NFL, we call it the edge because everyone has a system. Most people in entrepreneurs and corporations, they have a system, but what are your habits?

Your habits breed and generate momentum in your systems, which will allow you to achieve your goals more efficiently. Share on X

Well, not everyone has a system or not everyone has a documented system. It’s one thing to have a system in general in your head. And it’s another thing to have a documented system that you consistently manage to produce the results that you want and your people are following it. That’s a different type of system. You’re right. I stand corrected on that.

You are right. But you know what the amazing thing about having a good system? One of the telltale signs that you have a great system is the ease of scaling. You can scale a system. So, Shawn, give me an example.

So, give me an example, if that exists in your business, of a habit or a set of habits that you are leveraging to improve the system and to achieve the goal.

Right. So, I have this insane habit of driving around and talking to my competitors guards. I just have a conversation. I don’t headhunt, that’s dishonorable. I don’t try to hire them, that’s dishonorable. But I just strike up a conversation. I’m like, hey, what you guys paying over there? How’s it going over there? Are they hiring? Oh yeah, you want a job? Oh wow, this person is excited to talk about their company. All right, must be a pretty good culture. Yeah, well, you know, I don’t like it here much and this, this going on and man, they had a big fire, a big blow.

If they’re going to lose a contract, they’ll just go on and you don’t want to work here. I’m like, okay, I’ll just take notes because of the NFL, we were taught that, you know, we have a whole scouting department. We have a scouting department and their job is they watch every film of every athlete of the opposing team. They probably put, the athletes put in about 25 hours a week just on film study. We study everything. We study the weakness, their strengths.

We study tendencies, who’s injured, who’s not injured. By the end of a season, we know how many times every single play was ran and who was in or the personnel that was in when the play was ran and the success and the failure of that play. That’s how much we understand our competition. Corporate America, we don’t do that. So my habit is I go out and I ask questions and you’d be surprised. Or when I interview and I see that person work for another company, how is it? Oh man, this and that. We had a contract here, contract there. Really? Contract? That’s good. You’re just learning. Or you know what? They got great best practices.

Like one guard said, asked them, are they hiring? She was excited, yes. She pulled out and gave me her business card. And I said, wow. I said, so does every security officer have their own business cards? Oh, yes. And we have incentives to do everything. If we find somebody, if we do this, I’m like, whoa. That’s it? That’s best practices? Oh, man, I can’t wait to implement that one. Mm-hmm. You got a hundred officers working. You got a hundred eyes out. You got 200 eyes out there. Oh Yeah,

200 salespeople Especially if they if they’re inculcated on your culture and they project your culture


And they attract people right like them.

That’s it. That’s exactly right.

So, how do you communicate with your people? What is great communication in your book?

Great communication for me is it’s not only written communication. We talk, you know, as far as meetings and everything like that on the phone, but I love face-to-face. I absolutely love face-to-face communication. And that’s one of our challenges. We get our officers in here. We have to get them in here and we listen to them. We value them and we hear what’s being said and what’s not being said. Because over 80 to 90% of all communication is non-verbal. So you got to get them in the office. You got to sit them down.

You got to talk to them, see where they’re at, see where they’re going, their actual needs. And so I use like a forming technique, and I’ll throw it out there, because people train on it, people use it, it’s form. So, I want to know about your family, your occupation, what you do for recreation, and then my message. Okay, and then I shut up. Tell me about your family, how’s it going? What’s going on? It’s form, okay, great. Occupation as a security officer, how’s it going here at American Services? Any needs, any concerns? Okay, that’s good.

Hey, what do you do for fun? What do you do for fun? It tells me, and then my message, and I speak off of what was just given to me. I think that you’re doing a great job, or you’re not doing such a great job, or this is what needs to happen, and you know what? And how I could tie this into maybe your family or recreation. So it’s form and I learned that, I mean, there are other people who have taught it, but probably the best teacher of that is this lady named Dani Johnson out of Kerrville, Texas. She does a great job teaching that.

Wow, that’s pretty interesting. You know, what I teach to my client is we have a process which we call the 555, and it’s basically somewhat similar. So it’s sitting down with your direct reports every quarter and you talk about the five core values of the organization to make sure that they understand, they live the core values, you give them feedback, they give feedback to you. The second one is their five roles, this is your occupation. So what are their roles? And are they executing on their roles? Are they making the most of their function? Are they expanding their function? Are they the mini CEO of that function? And are they getting the most out of their function, as they should? And the third one is the, we call them rocks, is it’s your goals for the quarter.

So what are your priorities for that quarter? What is holding you back? What is challenging you? Are you making progress? How can I help you with your priorities? So there are three topics. And I guess when you have discussed these three topics and you help the other person with the culture so that they are a good fit for the company with the major objectives of the organization, with their roles, then they’re gonna be receptive to your message. Even if it’s not positive, you can give them some constructive feedback there.

That’s awesome. Five.

What about leadership? What is great leadership in your eyes, Shawn?

Wow. You know, I think that the safe would, you know, phrase would be that leadership is influence and that people talk about leadership being influence. is something that you really can’t describe in words. It’s being able, in my opinion, to extract and to bring the best out of a person while moving them forward. And there isn’t a phrase for that in my vocab. It’s how can I take you to the next level as an individual? Not just as a worker, not just as an employee, but as an individual. How can I increase your influence, take you to the next level, and grow you?

And create a culture that you can grow in and be mindful of that. To me is effective leadership, is growth in a person not just are they producing, but are they reproducing in their life? And that, to me, is one of the most important roles of a leader. And as I’m talking to you, I’m talking to myself right now. I’m kind of giving myself a spanking right now. Is that you are responsible for the growth of the people in your culture or in your immediate area of influence.

Effective leadership, is growth in a person not just are they producing, but are they reproducing in their life? Share on X

What if you can’t help them? What do you do then?

If you can’t help them, then they don’t need to be around you because someone else can. But at the end of the day, that person needs to go and grow to the next level because it’s so much more important than the numbers. It is. It’s so much more important than a paycheck. Although that is the team goal, and that’s where we’re going to, but when I played football, I knew, especially in college, I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, my college coach, Bill Mallory, I knew he loved me as a man.

And that allowed me to play even more, because it’s like, you know what, he loves me. In fact, I remember when I had graduated like 10 years prior, 10 years prior, and out the blue, I see that 812 number. I said, that’s Bloomington. That’s my alma mater, Indiana University. And I’m like, and it’s Coach Mallory. Shawn? Like, yes, Coach. Mallory? Yes, Coach Mallory, how you doing? I’m like, I’m all right. Just thought about you.

Tell me, did you graduate? Yes, coach. You need a job? How’s your family? Everything going all right? You in shape? You got fat? No, coach. I’m OK on fat now. No, coach. All right. Just checking in with you. You and my boys. 10 years later, I can’t do nothing for them. I can’t do nothing for them. I’m done playing football. 10 years out the game. In fact, he’s not even coaching no more, I don’t think. He’s done. But yet, I was one of his boys, and he was gonna look after me till the day he died.

By the way, he passed last year. One of the saddest moments of my life. That was like my daddy died. That, to me, is leadership. And I guarantee you, if he was still alive and I was acting up and he found out about it. Heartbreak god that gone you Harper kick chirp I’m telling you. because you know why? Because I’ve seen him do it.I’ve seen him do it. Guys that you know went on and they you know an article or whatever, like, man, Coach Mallory called me and got me straight. That’s right.

So, you’ve got an organization, you’ve got a great purpose, you have a big goal that you cannot share with me, but that’s okay. I don’t, you know, I don’t expect to. How do you create alignment in your people so that they are all fully focused on the big goal?

Well, it goes back to what I said earlier about sales. You have to sell. But in order to effectively sell, you have to sell yourself. But in order to sell yourself, you have to be in agreement. And this is one of the challenges that I’ve been dealing with personally. I’m not the kind of guy who has all the answers. But it’s like, I see disorganization or disunity in certain areas of my company. Before I got to look out, I got to look in. Where are you disjoined at? Because your message is not coming across 100% authentic. There’s a disconnect somewhere.

So you have to be connected, spirit, soul, and body. And you might be looking for a systematic answer. This is what I do in the four steps that I take. But this is more of an ambiguous answer to where, you know what, you have to be sold 100%. They call it in sports and in poker, you have to be all in. Are you all in? Because if you’re not, people will pick up on that. And leaders, you have any leader, if you’re listening to me right now, before they buy into vision, they buy into you, John Maxwell. Okay, so you have to make sure that you are in agreement. And this is another true case.

It just happened right over the weekend. I’m a motivational speaker, so I travel, I speak, I do a lot of corporate speaking, I love speaking. I speak in youth groups, I speak corporate. The company that I ride under is Bridge Builders International, it’s my company. And I’ve decided to establish a different price point as far as my engagements. And they were suggesting, well, you should have a price point. This should be your price point. But it didn’t feel right to me. But then a number just came out of my soul, like, bam, that’s your number. And that’s my number. That’s where I’m going with. I don’t want to mention all that, but.. So, you have to be in agreement with yourself,is what you’re saying?

You have to be in agreement. So, you’re saying that you have to be, which is basically having a deep conviction, is what it means, or what does it mean?

So, when an athlete steps on the field, and it’s like, I’m gonna win this game. You know, everything in me says that I’m gonna win. Spirit, soul, and body, I’m in agreement. And so, when you see that, then you’re operating and you are congruent. I mentioned body language, right? And so one of the ways that people in law enforcement tell you if you’re lying, they’ll ask you the same question like four or five times. And they’re looking for a break in your body language. So if you say, well, yes, this way, then you have your arms folded.

And you say, yes, you know, again, and you’re doing this. Well, yes, and then you’re looking away. There’s disagreement somewhere in you. There isn’t agreement. Or if you’re saying, I’m so happy to be here, but your foot is facing the door, you’re lying. Or there’s something, there’s an aspect of you that’s not in agreement. Okay? So there’s a disalignment, there’s a disagreement somewhere. And you have to, as a leader, you have to be able to go in and man, you have to break that.

So I saw this interview, this little, like 20 second clip of a guy interviewing Serena Williams, right? And he said, well, Serena, you know, are you, can you beat this guy? And she’s like, yes, I can beat him. And then he says, are you sure? She’s like, yes. And then he says, but are you, and then all of a sudden her dad jumps up and it’s like, what are you doing? Why are you trying to basically put instability in this world champion? Why are you trying to break that in her right now? And he jumped up, man, he almost, you could Google it.

And because once you have that disalignment, that disagreement, it weakens your resolve. So you have to be as a leader, you have to be all in, you have to be focused, you have to be dedicated. And that is a challenge in our current society because we’re not all in as we used to, you know, be. We used to be at the office all day, like doing this and working hard. Now we’re in the office, now we’re on the PlayStation and we’re doing this, Facebook, and this is that, and I got this, it kills your resolve. It kills it, it breaks it down.

So how do you scale that? How do you scale that? You say when you sell your people, in order to get alignment, you sell them individually, they all have different needs and different hot buttons, and you sell them individually, but is this scalable? Can you grow your company based on this personal selling or somehow it can be elevated to a higher level system which works for the bigger, bigger platform?

It’s not 100% science. It’s not, especially for the price point that I’m paying as a security officer, right? It’s not. It isn’t there as much as I would like for it to be, but I’ve learned to look for it. I’ve learned to look for that trait. I’ve learned to look for that person who is dedicated, who is all in. And that’s why I like to hire former athletes. And I like to create an environment. The culture, your culture, people don’t put enough emphasis on that. Your culture is everything.

And so I try to create that culture to where there is internal accountability. There is internal encouragement to actually be the best that you can be in every facet of that. So how do you create that type of a culture? There’s tons of incentives. There’s levels of open communication where people can talk and discuss things. There’s tons of flexibility. As long as we’re moving forward, I take off the pressure of perfection and I pick up the mantle of progression.

Oh, I love that.

Yeah. Are we moving in the right direction? Are we moving in the right direction? You gotta learn how to turn the pressure on. You gotta learn how to take the pressure off. Okay, we’re moving. We’re moving in the right direction. Let’s keep moving. If we get this much better each day, this much like an inch, like a half inch, like that, that very much each day, over the course of a year, as long as we don’t go backwards.

Yeah, 1% a day, that’s huge, that’s huge. Okay, that’s fascinating. Lots of good information, very good energy as well. I think you should, I think many of our listeners are going to reach out to you to hear how you can maybe get booked for a speaker engagement. So, if they’re looking for you, what’s the best way to connect to you?

Yeah, so first and foremost my website is ShawnHarper.org Also, you know, there’s actual ways that you can book, contact information. You had mentioned that I wrote a book, I actually have another book out on the book, that’s my third book out, but I’m just gonna focus on the one that you mentioned. And we are talking about that winning edge and techniques and strategies to bring the winner out in you. Well, guess what? If you go to shawnharper.co, shawnnharper.co, you can download that book for free. It’s, you know, because it doesn’t come to you if it can’t get through you, you know.

So yeah. I’m going to go there right away I’m going to check it out.


So this Shawnharper.com and this show Shawnharper.com

dot org, yes

Okay. All right, great and there’s a new LinkedIn page as well.

Yeah you can look me up at a  Shawn Harper on LinkedIn. My Instagram is Shawn Harper Speaker. I have a ton of content on there. There’s a ton of great content on there. So, yep.

So, who is your ideal audience for your message? What is the ideal audience?

My actual idea audience is I love, I don’t know why. I just love corporations, entrepreneurs with around 75 to 500 employees. I just love that. Or if I’m speaking to, like I’ve spoken for a lot of larger conglomerates, I love to speak to the middle and upper management. I just love it. Coaching wise, I love speaking to entrepreneurs, CEOs, and C-level suites as far as that is concerned. I just love to help people get unstuck, unlock their goals, teams, and dreams. I love it.

Goals, teams, and dreams. Yeah, I love that too. So that’s great. Great having you on the show, Shawn. And for my audience, stay tuned next week for another exciting entrepreneur coming on the show. Thank you, Shawn.


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