In Art Of Coaching Podcast, Podcasts


The most dangerous phrase in any organization is “because that’s how we’ve always done it”.  It’s the utterance of those scared of change, unwilling to think laterally, and clinging desperately to their comfort zone. Any true leader knows that in today’s rapidly evolving world, those who last will be those who adapt- plain and simple. 

As hard as change may be, imagine trying to implement it at the ground level of an organization steeped in tradition and hierarchy like the Army. That’s what today’s guest Captain Anna Zamora is trying to do; Not only has she been tasked with implementing a new culture surrounding soldier health and wellness, she has had to prove the viability of the program to those around her and above her. 

Captain Anna Zamora was a D1 strength coach from 2010-2020 with stops at Duke, Yale, UConn, Penn State, and DePaul. She’s been a member of the Army National Guard since 2010 and is currently a CPT of medical services and National Guard Director H2F at the National Guard Bureau in Arlington, VA. *You can find the rest of her bio below*

We cover:

  • Navigating micropolitics, power dynamics and stakeholders at work
  • How to promote change & influence senior leadership in your organization
  • A breakdown of how to design and use role-playing drills (and a live example!)
  • Strategies to make your first 100 days at a new job more successful

Connect with Captain Zamora:

Via Instagram: @aaliciaz

Also check out:

Quick shout-out to our podcast partners: LMNT, Momentous, VersaClimber, and SAGA. Supporting them supports us and allows us to continue bringing you this content for FREE!

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Captain Zamora has also formerly been:

  • Enlisted 371st Sustainment Brigade- Ohio NG
  • Ground Ambulance Platoon Leader 141st Medical Company- CT NG.
  • Battalion Medical Officer & Medical Platoon Leader, 2-112th Infantry Battalion (Stryker) PA NG
  • Medical Operations Officer 108th MMB
  • Medical Logistics Officer 6-54th SFAB, IL NG
  • Illinois Project Officer H2F

Check her out!


Brett Bartholomew  0:11  

Today’s episode is brought to you by a sense of urgency. Now, tongue in cheek there, but I’m being real, because it is the literal last day that you guys can get 30% off of all of our online courses, it’s the only time of year, you’re gonna hear me be repetitive about this, you’re gonna hear the hard sell. But guess what, don’t care, because we put over 1000 hours of free content out a year. And we put a lot of time into our paid content as well. And this stuff is good guys. So once again, if you are somebody that wants to get better at dealing with people, wants to figure out how to get out of your own way. Maybe you feel burnout, maybe you’re trying to figure out how to better manage your career, go to And check these out, you can use the code blackFriday 30, that’s three zero at checkout to get 30% off. And as you heard in the last episode, even if you have a bunch of courses you haven’t finished, even if you have a bunch of books that you haven’t read it at least take advantage of the savings and know that you can do these courses at anytime, anywhere, because you will have lifetime access. 


If you’re new to the art of coaching family, no, it does not matter that I use athletes or the word coach, just like can we say this all the time, you can read a book by a Navy Seal, or somebody that works in the tech setting or a doctor. And you don’t have to be any of those things you can learn from these same pieces. Every industry has similar struggles. Every industry has people that have felt burnout, undervalue, trying to figure out how to navigate people that don’t want to change and they want to be stubborn. So if you’ve never worked with athletes ignore that term. But all these things are still backed by over 170 Different studies, and a lot of real world experience. So, Black Friday 30 will get you that discount. 


Okay. Aside from that, I have to thank everybody else that makes this possible. Of course, our OG sponsor people that have been with us from the very beginning, Momentous, Momentous. If you are somebody that travels, you’re health conscious, or you’re somebody that’s just moderately active, or you’re somebody that just knows you need to eat better. The point is, you can either be a zealot, or you can just be like any of us that want to be a little bit healthier. Momentous makes products for you. These are not the people that put a bunch of heavily caffeinated stuff into pre workout that are made gonna make your eyes bulge out. It’s not people that just take this stuff that bros at the gym, this is stuff that I recommend to my parents, I give my friends and the only thing that I recommend to my athletes, and they make everything from fish oil to protein to a wide variety of products. So just go to And you can use code Brett 25 to save 25%. So check them out and support them. 


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Welcome to the Art of coaching podcast, a show aimed at getting to the core of what it takes to change attitudes, behaviors and outcomes in the weight room, boardroom classroom and everywhere in between. I’m your host, Brett Bartholomew, I’m a performance coach, keynote speaker and the author of the book conscious coaching. But most importantly, I’m a lifelong student interested in all aspects of human behavior and communication. I want to thank you for joining me and now let’s dive into today’s Episode


Okay, today, many of you have been a part of organizations that, you know, you want some change to take place, you’re trying to change some kind of initiative, you want to make some kind of positive change. But the hierarchical structure or the old guard or the person standing behind the curtain, whoever it is loves to just tell, you know, we always say the most dangerous phrase is, you know, this is the way we’ve always done it around here. And it can leave you feeling like you want to hit your head against a wall. Because you’re you are trying to do something very positive. Something great, even if you’re somebody that is, you know, very much down the excessive humility spectrum, and you’re like, Oh, nothing I do is that great, I just, I want to help fine whatever. But you go and you give your work and your people your best effort, yet, sometimes people don’t want to change. And we’ve got to figure out how to navigate that. It’s one thing to read books on that. It’s another thing to actually hear from somebody that has to do it in a very unique setting and a very unique level, and ultimately, be asked to use a wide variety of tactics. And that is what today’s guest does. Her name is Captain Anna Zamora. 


Now, this is very unique. Anna Zamora is in charge of holistic health and fitness program. And she is the manager for the Army National Guard. And she’s going to talk a lot about how they had to change the fitness tests for the military and all the obstacles they ran up against. When that occurred. We also do something that we don’t do on a lot of different podcasts. We’re doing something here where we’re gonna roleplay this out. So if you’ve ever wanted to be a fly on the wall, and say great Brett, I love the tactics. But I want to hear how this actually goes on it was such a great sport that we did this towards the end of it. So if you want to hear from somebody that has worked in a wide variety of settings, from college athletics, to the Army National Guard, right, she’s worked in medical services, she’s done some amazing things. And now she joined us from nearby the Pentagon, she has to deal with politics at many different levels. Please listen up. Because even if you’re at a point in your career right now, where it’s smooth sailing, you haven’t had that many types of political battles in your organization, you’re going to every single one of us has to deal with what we call micro politics. And Captain Zamora is going to help you understand how to navigate those. So enjoy this. She goes deep, she’s transparent, she is truthful. And most importantly, she is magical. Without further ado, Captain Anna Zamora.


Everybody Nice to have you back for another episode of the podcast. I’m here with Captain Anna Zamora or coach Z, or Z. All of those Anna, how are you?


CPT. Anna Zamora  8:04  

I’m doing well. Thanks for having me. I’m super excited to be on the show.


Brett Bartholomew  8:08  

Hey, we’re excited to have you now you have to tell our listeners we were chatting before the show. Tell them exactly where you are. Because this is not uncommon. That usually we get some living rooms, some offices, some ballrooms, maybe some bedrooms, but where are you?


CPT. Anna Zamora  8:23  

So I’m geographically in Arlington, Virginia, right across the street from the Pentagon right now.


Brett Bartholomew  8:28  

So what you guys if you’re just listening, what you can’t see is behind her. She’s got you know, two secret service agents, people sweeping the room for bugs. I’m getting little signs that says what I can and cannot ask her and talk about. And there’s some of that looks like a men in black with something that’s going to just flash my memory. So it’s very intimidating setup, you have their Z.


CPT. Anna Zamora  8:48  

Great. I’m glad it’s doing its part. So well done. Gentlemen.


Brett Bartholomew  8:53  

Listen, so you have a incredibly diverse background, you have an even more interesting kind of day to day and profession. We’re going to talk to you about a lot of things, how you cut through red tape, how you’re navigating your current role and responsibilities, how you build buy in, but I mean, you’ve done a lot you grew up and went to school in Dayton, Ohio, you worked at US Bank for your first job. You joined the military, you’ve been a part of active duty again. You’re captain on a Zamora, you’ve spent a year at Yale. You were a GA Yukon. What, like what is the impetus of this? Like what was the inciting incident that started this entire journey of you doing what you do now help us make sense of you for lack of a better question.


CPT. Anna Zamora  9:36  

Yeah, for sure. I actually I love the way you phrase that because man, if I could make sense of myself, that would be that would be even better. So let’s talk this through. It’s wild when I hear those, like when I hear everything kind of put together sometimes. I still forget or have to realize, yeah, everything I’ve done. I mean, honestly, it’s kind of a unique story and sense that you know, like you said, I come from a small area in Ohio. My parents are, you know, first generation Latinos. So I think that played a big role in kind of where I came from and how I got into this space. 


Like you said, Yeah, I worked in a bank for almost six years, I speak Spanish. So I was able to kind of put myself in that market. I didn’t go to college right out of high school. And you know, at that point in time, like I could afford to live on my own with what a bank was paying me, I actually worked my way up from a teller to a branch manager before I was even old enough to drink. So I was the only person at the Christmas parties with like a seltzer. Because I wasn’t even old enough to have a cocktail. But, yeah, I mean, honestly, it’s one of those kind of like, right time, right places situation that that kind of picked up after the bank, I was fortunate enough to kind of cross paths with some individuals that worked in college athletics, and through getting to know them. And then my best friend, Ashley Beaver, who’s also a strength coach, caveat, we’ve been best friends since we were 10 years old. And we both went into the same industry. So she’s currently the women’s basketball string coach at Alabama. Anyway, yeah, I have a ton to offer, you know, an anchor for 


but essentially, just crossing paths with those individuals and finding out what strength and conditioning was. And I had no idea that that world even existed until I was like, in my early 20s, you know, and then some things life events took place. And I was sitting at my desk at the bank, and I’m like, What am I doing, honestly, like, not that I wasn’t happy, but I was like, Is this really what I want the rest of my life to be? And my dad was in the military. So you know, I sat down and did a little bit of research. And I was like, I want to go to school. And I need money to do that. So you know, honestly, my journey into the military started with education. I needed a way to pay for college, and I wanted to go back to school and be the first in my family to do that. So I put together all of the research that I could and realize that the Army National Guard had the best benefits for education, and that I could still have a civilian job in a career. So that was like what was most captivating for me. Because if I tried to go active duty at that point, my life, I would be doing the same old like, you know, full time gig trying to go to school type of situation. But anyway, yeah. So at that moment, I put in my 30 day notice at the bank, I cashed out, I think I had $4,000 in my 401k and shipped off to basic training 30 days later.


Brett Bartholomew  12:38  

That is when you think of this, and the reason I love this, and I don’t mean to interrupt so far, but like, everybody listening can relate to this more like a multifaceted journey of some respect, right? Maybe not as many moves and shifts as you but in their own right, right. Everybody’s life changes themes, and the story changes a little bit. And sometimes we don’t always recognize what those themes are. We don’t realize like, Okay, well honor. What made you do this, and then seek that out. And now when you look back at it, like, you know, does do the shifts and decisions you made, make more sense to you now that you know yourself a little bit more like who just all of a sudden decides to be able to do what you did. And then yeah, I’m gonna ship out 30 days later. I mean, Are you a fairly risk averse person? Are you somebody that just likes throwing yourself into unique situations?


CPT. Anna Zamora  13:30  

I mean, I am. And I think that, like, you’ve like  you literally hit it on the head. At that moment, during that time in my life, I don’t think I was conscious of it. I’m definitely looking back right and telling these stories and realize that yes, that is a huge part of my personality, and even just having like conversations with people. Again, it’s something I take for granted. Sometimes I think not everyone is like that. But I think that if I wasn’t like that, I don’t think I would 100% not be you know where I’m at today? Because there were plenty of times where they were like, Hey, do you want to take this job? Hey, do you want to move here and you know, even with that, that 30 day window up until this job I took now was the most time I actually had to process a life changing decision in regards to a career and you know, life move, you know, especially like, you know, in the college athletic world, they’re like, Hey, can you start in three days? Sure.


Brett Bartholomew  14:26  

and we’re not going to pay for your move. And you know, 


CPT. Anna Zamora  14:29  

no doubt Yeah, that’s I was actually gonna say that next, you know, I packed up whatever I could in the Camry, and we’re on our way to like, yeah, you know, Connecticut or North Carolina or whatever. So I know it’s wild to think about but a huge part of what I attribute my success to in my career and being so diverse is because sometimes you just say screw it, you know, and you’re like, here we go.


Brett Bartholomew  14:50  

Yeah, no, without question and, you know, leading into that there’s a lot I want to ask you about your current role and everything that you’ve done, and continue to do with the military and being a project officer. For the state of Illinois, but I want to ask something a little bit more basic than that at first. And it ties into what we just talked about with you taking a leap and being fairly risk averse and wanting to learn more about yourself. And feel free to take a moment because I know that this is a question that probably isn’t commonly asked. You know, you’re in a role, where you have to convince people that there’s a better way, or at least an alternative way. And we’re gonna get into this in this episode, how do you do that when people are really stingy and stodgy. 


But what I want to know is, when you need to be convinced of something when Anna does right captains, and more needs to be convinced of something, what are some things that work with you? And to help that make sense, right? Like, we teach a lot of things that are of coaching different influence tactics, ethical influence tactics, right? We all know that there’s some people that they’re more moved by data and logic, there are other people that it’s more kind of a coalition tactic, you know, they’re gonna follow kind of social proof. Who else is doing it? If a group of people come to them and convince them, they’re more likely to do it? There’s other people that needle can be moved by guilt, you know, guilt, or just kind of like, Please, can you help me some kind of personal appeal? What moves the needle, if I need to convince you of something for you?


CPT. Anna Zamora  16:16  

Wow, yeah, that’s a great question. And I don’t think I’ve, you know, you get asked that question, maybe in different ways, like, what motivates you, but like, I really do like this question. And it’s interesting, because I’m definitely not a data person, I can tell you that right now. And like you said, as, you know, progressing the conversation, I’ve had to work on that, because that’s a huge part of who my audience is. But honestly, like, when it comes to what I need, personally, I rely heavily on my support system. So like, verbal confirmation, and honestly, challenge if, you know, just being completely honest, like, if I see something in front of me, you know, typically, I’m going to talk it through, like I said, you know, Ashley is my best friend. And, you know, I have a pretty solid, small group of individuals, I really trust and lean on to give me that, like, sometimes harsh, but you know, true feedback. And I’ll talk it through. And if I see that there’s a challenge in front of me. And I start to get this kind of internal wave of emotion and innovation. And I start to see, okay, you know what, this sounds crazy right now. And maybe it can’t be done. But I have this kind of inkling that it could happen, I can make this happen. So I don’t really know how to, you know, encapsulate that,


Brett Bartholomew  17:44  

okay, let’s, roleplay this out a little bit. So let’s imagine I was recruiting you to work with us, or let’s imagine that I’m one of the stakeholders in the organization that you’re a part of now. If I want to really kind of engage you or stoke a drive or tap into what makes you tick, Is it as simple as presenting an opportunity as a significant challenge as something that requires a resilient, persistent, creative individual who can think laterally? If, I actually sell that up to you? Does that make you more likely to kind of bite the lower for lack of a better word?


CPT. Anna Zamora  18:23  

Yeah, I mean, honestly. And, you know, like, like, what I was talking about in the beginning, if even if I just go through that checklist, right, of all of those places I’ve been and things that I’ve done  like that was, probably the main conversation that I had with myself and with, you know, wherever I was going, you know, and honestly, too, it’s like, what can I bring to the table that isn’t already there? So if I were to get like you said, in that situation, get offered a job or whatever, and I don’t really see where I can leave it better than I found it right, then it probably isn’t going to interest me if it’s just, but if I can go in and know that, like, there’s an opportunity for change, and there’s an opportunity for influence, paired with challenge can be exhausting. But honestly, that’s that’s kind of what that’s what pushes me to do.


Brett Bartholomew  19:10  

Yeah, no, I mean, it makes sense specifically with what I understand a little bit and what I’m excited for our audience to learn more about, you’re taking on something that is not an easy challenge in your role, you’re helping oversee changes in the Army’s physical fitness test right now, 


first of all, for anybody not familiar, because we always like to assume you know, our audience is always very intelligent, but you never want to make the assumption that everybody knows about this stuff. Because everybody’s busy, right? We have our own things going on in our life. First talk to us a little bit a bit so like, why did the fitness tests even need to be changed? What was it before? What are you doing now? And why is there so much? You know, why was this a hard thing to kind of get people to do for so long? If you don’t I know that’s broad. So take your time and jump in wherever you like.


CPT. Anna Zamora  19:56  

No, I mean, it’s  interesting to learn because like to individuals like us having this conversation or like, you know, like I was talking earlier, even like Ali, right? We’re just like, Duh, like, you know? Yeah, this makes sense. But it’s really interesting. So I mean, essentially, the prior physical fitness test was two minutes of push ups, two minutes of sit ups and a two mile run. And it was a gender and age based scaling and scoring system. So depending on how old you are, and if you’re male or female, that was what gave you your score. And that test was essentially what’s crazy. And I’ve learned this over just my time in this position is that that test came from more of just like a congressional shift in focus of what the military was doing. And then additionally, the fitness test prior to that was very aggressive. So there was like a grenade throw and there was scaling a wall and there was, you know, walking on a small beam lifting a rucksack.


Brett Bartholomew  20:59  

Grenade throw, what was it? How far you can launch a grenade? 


CPT. Anna Zamora  21:03  

Yeah, it was yes. Yeah. 


Brett Bartholomew  21:04  

Like it should be in the precision of a grenade. What if I don’t need to launch it far? I’m not like go deep. What if I need to just lob it? What if I need a soft lob, while running at a 45 degree angle in a bunker?


CPT. Anna Zamora  21:15  

Right, exactly. You know, and it’s so funny, because random side note, I remember the first time I held a grenade and basic training, and I was literally petrified. And I’m like, nothing happens. Like you have to pull the pin, which is a metaphor itself. But I’m like, sitting there in this building. And I’m like, literally shaking and petrified. But anyway, yeah, they test you on a fake one, obviously, to make sure you can even throw the damn thing and then some live ones. And they’re like, pull the pin


Brett Bartholomew  21:45  

molotov at this place called the floor. But you and I used to live in Pensacola. And you would go and I heard these people keep their Hey, we’re going to do the molotov. I’m like, What are you talking about? Because I had never, you know, I’m thinking of a mullet. And they’re like, No, it’s a kind of fish. And you see how far you can throw it? I’m like, why not? So that grenade throws sorry, I don’t mean to interrupt, but I just feel like


CPT. Anna Zamora  22:04  

yeah, it’s again, just It’s wild. I was actually talking about that the other day. But yeah, so right. So that the fitness test was the change kind of went backwards. And now it was this two mile run two minutes of push ups, two minutes of sit ups on a varied scale. About five years ago, there was a slow introduction to what it’s been referred to now as the Army combat fitness test. So the ACF T, and it’s a battery of six events. And again, right sport individuals, so probably make a lot of sense of like, yeah, this this is good, right. So there’s a three repetition Max hex bar deadlift, there’s a standing power throw. So a medicine overhead backwards toss, there’s a sprint drag carry, which is actually a sprint, drag, lateral sprint carry. So it’s an event where you drag a 90 pound sled. Down 25 meters down and back, you pick up 40 pound kettlebells, you run those down and back, you do a lateral and then you finish. And then with a sprint, there’s a hand release, push up, which is you know, close arm to the ground, hit the T motion, bring the elbows back and push up, there’s a leg tuck, which is kind of like a toes to bar ish, you know, knees come to elbows with a bit of flexion. And then you finish with a two mile run.


So if you can imagine, right, someone who’s been in the army who move which this is, you know, their livelihood, and how they pay their bills, and where they’ve spent, you know, their entire career, and you tell them, hey, you’re gonna go from two, two and two on a very scale by age and gender to a six event battery with very dynamic and athletic movements. Oh, and by the way, it’s going to be scaled the same across the board. And you may have never been educated in any of these areas. But also your career growth and progression is all is going to rely on how well you do in this new test. So that’s where the transition is, as far as why it changed again, right. So the one answer is money.


Brett Bartholomew  24:04  

That’s always a huge piece of it. Right? 


CPT. Anna Zamora  24:06  

Yeah. vRight. So the army started realizing how many soldiers they were discharging and or retiring, that were, you know, musculoskeletal injuries, you know, long term injuries, chronic injuries that were still having to be paid for, which I know that sounds kind of harsh, but it’s the reality of where all this research started. Like, why are we spending so much money on soldiers when they’re not even in the military,


Brett Bartholomew  24:31  

human capital, though, I mean, you’re losing one of your most valuable assets because of a lack of specificity and readiness, you know, like you and think of how much we invest in this and how much it impacts our world. And we’re gauging it up push ups, you know, sit ups and a two mile run, you know,  it makes complete Asset Management. 101 you were in the banking industry.


CPT. Anna Zamora  24:53  

Right? No, exactly. And that’s what I’m saying. So right you, you have even like an individual like yourself, who’s not in the military or whatever. Right, but you have these conversations and you’re like, Yeah, this, this makes sense, right? And to take it one step further my job also include so the army did an entire shift of how it approaches soldier care. So they developed this system called H2 F, which is holistic health and fitness, which the ACF T falls under, I’m gonna get Yeah, the acronyms run wild in the army. So, but So essentially, the H2F model that the analogy I always make is, you know, I came from the college setting, the college athletic setting is right, like back in the day you would pick, you know, the former football player, or the gym bro, and you’re like, hey, you’re a strength coach, go work out these, you know, fencers or dancers. And they’d be like, cool. onfarm every day, which no, you know, nothing wrong. It that probably wasn’t the best approach. But it was the same in the army. They’re like, Hey, you, look fit, go run fitness. 


But as the collegiate setting, right, in the professional setting started to recognize is like a student athlete, or professional athlete is more than just fitness, right? Where’s their mental health? Like, how are they doing in classes? Like, what is their family life look like? Like, what are they eating? Right? So then we started building these high performance models where it’s no longer strength and conditioning, you know, type performance, or it’s human performance optimization, or whatever. And now we got, you know, rds, and PTs and sports psychologists and tutors and whatnot. So I say all that to say that, that the army is attempting to embrace that model. And so H2F is the system that they’re doing that under and it’s five pillars, it’s, you know, mental wellness, its sleep readiness, its nutrition, its physical fitness, and its spiritual. So, I think that the army was recognizing that we came out of, you know, what, are coming out of this long, like the longest war in history, right, with a huge change in just general population culture, right, and, and huge innovations in so many parts of what we do as humans and people. And the army was starting to reflect that, but the army wasn’t changing. 


Brett Bartholomew  27:06  

Well, on one, thing I can relate to, and I appreciate your depth of this. And there’s definitely a follow up question. But it reminds me of, you know, I worked for an organization at one point in time, before the UFC had put together their whole institute. And there’s some great people running that now that have absolutely blown what I’m about to tell you out of the water. But at one point in time before that the UFC was having a real big issue with injuries. And so they had contracted the organization that I’d worked for. And we were trying to come up with something a little bit more holistic to say, hey, like a lot of these fighters, and you have a fighting background, which we’re going to nerd out about, for sure. Especially because this weekend, there’s a big fight, and I never get to talk boxing with people. So I appreciate that about you. But you know, fighters of all kinds, whether we went to combat sports, they kind of trained in an archaic manner. 


So long story short, you know, I was tasked with like, Well, hey, what’s a profile we could figure out here? There wasn’t a ton of research on it, like there is now. And we too, we looked at, okay, what’s mindset, we didn’t want that to be an ambiguous term. So we had different tests for coping and focus and resilience and driver motivation. Then we had a nutrition category that’s like, how well do they handle hydration performance fueling, fuel timing, fuel quality, and I won’t nerd out about what comprise these things that can be another episode. And then movement was like movement, efficiency, your strength, your total body power, your fitness, recovery, so on and so forth. So I remember even just putting together you know, kind of this strength eval based on what we had, and we had to keep it simple and had a lot of constraints. And, you know, there were all these suggestions coming out of left field, oh, we’ll do a bench press. I’ll do this. And I’m like, no timeout, we have to look at even how they express power. And you talked about with militaries are the Army’s new tests, right? You have the the med ball throw in different derivations, but we looked at okay, a rotational kind of med ball shotput. We looked into counter movement, jump, a non counter movement, jump, lateral hops, right lateral hops left, then yeah, trap bar deadlift, we couldn’t do squat, because there were so many fighters that I’d messed up, it’s messed up ankles, you know, you’re gonna get skewed data benchpress push ups, pull ups. But there’s so much to this, right? Because even though those things don’t matter that much, unless you have some kind of movement, efficiency, and every industry every field, everything’s gonna be different. 


But the point that you’re making is, is Sally and that both the UFC learned that they were losing money because fights had to get canceled because people were doing stuff that they shouldn’t. The military loses that. I mean, we even think about, you know, the the injuries that occur as part of rucking and a part of load carriage and all these pieces. So it makes sense, I think, you know, for anybody listening, there’s a lot of folks that are in positions where they want to do something better on a, but there’s a stakeholder, you know, and I always imagine this silhouette puffing on a cigar the person that we don’t know a man or woman that’s a UFC, hey, we’re not going to do this. See how,  muddy is this process? And even if you had a question or a suggestion, or you have to get it through how many different levels of Bs were there that you even had to climb through?


CPT. Anna Zamora  29:59  

Oh my gosh, I mean I’m curtain to be again, brash, I’m still climbing through them. And it’s  so funny that like you explain your silhouette person because for me, it’s always like the guy behind the curtain right or likeLike, who’s the wizard who’s running this? You know What I mean? I’m still fighting those fights, because so get the thing about the guard. Right. So we are all the army, but the army is comprised of active duty National Guard and Reserve. The interesting thing about the National Guard is we are broken up by state. And so we have this additional middle ground of authority that each state reports you which is the adjutant general. And then the Adjutant General’s and all of those high individuals within the states then report up to like, I always call it like big army, right, which is then like the guy behind the curtain. So not only are we trying to get 54, because there’s 54 states and territories of a magnitude of army senior leaders, but then we have to get the buy in from them. And then they have to provide additional buy in and support to take it to the next level of what I call big army. 


So you know, and I say that to say that I’m still fighting that fight right now. Because what’s happening is active duty component is a very cookie cutter, you know, it’s like what H2F and ACF t look like at Fort Jackson is what it has to look like at Fort Eustis at Fort Hood. So they’re like here, this is what you get, this is how you’re going to roll this program out. For the guard. It’s not like that we have 54 different problem sets, we have 54 different geographical setups, and, you know, military sizes. And like you said, stakeholders and individuals involved, you know, Alaska, I was on a call with them, you know, they’re trying to figure out how they’re going to move equipment, because they have certain training installations that can only be accessed via black cop. they’re like, so how am I going to get my training equipment out there when I have to put everything either on a boat or helicopter to get it where it needs to go. So anyway, the Army is recognizing like, we’re gonna have to give the guard some leeway. So right now we’re honestly the National Guard is serving, in my opinion as the Innovation Hub for creating the change that needs to happen within health and wellness. Because we have, like I said, 54 different problem sets and a ton of individuals with so many different skill sets to bring to the table. And it’s been wild, it’s been such a great progress. But yeah, to say the least, we’re still going, we’re still trying to find that man and the curtain and get some buy in because we’re also we’re not getting the financial support. Like,


Brett Bartholomew  32:38  

that’s what I’m trying to say like you’re trying to build your I mean, you’re essentially building a new program from scratch, with end users who are motivated, who are driven. But you are always going to have to find a culture of quote unquote, higher authority, or stakeholders or power brokers that aren’t going to have that willingness to change or even maybe financially support. And I think that I mean, am I accurately describing that? 


CPT. Anna Zamora  33:00  

Yeah, absolutely. And then I was actually thinking about this before we got on the call, you throw in the additional, like, hierarchy of link. Right. So that to me, in my opinion, that adds a whole nother dynamic to how you have to approach problems and how you have to approach critical thinking, because in a corporate setting, right, you have a boss and you have a president, but you know, in the army and in the military, certain individuals get certain titles, certain greetings, certain, you know, language just because of the rank on their chests. And they’ve earned it right. So, but when you’re trying to fight an uphill battle, and you’re echelons below the individual that you’re trying to get by, and it creates, a whole another, you know, set of adversity. It’s, wild.


Brett Bartholomew  33:46  

So talk to me about this, because you’ll be helping our audience, like, I want to know a little bit about like, how you’ve approached that even the failures, right? I think people always feel so much stress to give like somebody an example of like, well, this is how I’ve succeeded. I think people learn just as much if not more as to like what not to do. You know, for example, you know, one thing that we teach is power dynamics, and we try to help people understand that everybody in you alluded to this so well on there, it’s hierarchical, right? And rank affords you different aspects of power. That’s what’s called legitimate power. What is your title, but there are certain people that are able to kind of get things moved, and maneuver because they have high referent power. They’re very likeable people. And we always try to say, well, different kinds of power allow you to use different kinds of tactics. 


So let’s say for example, I’m a boss in a company, and  okay, so I have what’s called reward power. I can, use certain tactics like incentives to exchange say, hey, Anna, if you want this great, I can give you that in return. And that works because if I’m in this position, I have reward power, or it could be if there’s rules, policies and procedures and You follow those? Okay, here’s a reward. If you don’t you, right? There’s a lack of that. Reward power can also be pressure, I think about a friend of mine who’s a lawyer, and they’ve got to be able to get a certain amount of billable hours for their firm. If they don’t, there’s a consequence. And if they do, there’s a reward. And so, you know, just we always try to help our audience because sometimes they can feel helpless or like, there’s just no point I’m beat down. I don’t have the title. I don’t have the authority. I don’t have the and we’re like, No, it’s not bad. It’s, there’s this roadmap of understanding. And so I guess, to consolidate that question of me asking what works and what hasn’t worked? is, you know, anything you can share in that regard of being like, Alright, here’s how I approach this stuff at first. And then here’s ultimately kind of what I realize it right now. Is there anything that you could kind of share to that point of just personal stories or anything?


CPT. Anna Zamora  35:50  

Yeah, absolutely. So honestly, I would say that’s probably one of the biggest areas I’ve had to personally grow, and sit down and be like alright Anna, get yourself together. Because for me, like, this is a huge passion project for me, right? And I’m a very emotional person. And I carry that and everything I do work included, and the military isn’t exactly the right setting for that. You know, we military bearing for a reason. So I’ll definitely say like, when I first came into this position, it was like, you know, guns ablaze and knocking down doors, you know, slinging, whatever I can. 


Brett Bartholomew  36:13  

Culture Change


CPT. Anna Zamora  36:15  

Exactly 100%. And I’m like, why don’t you want to do this, you don’t care? You don’t care about soldiers? Is that what you’re telling me? And I was very abrasive and aggressive, to say the least. And I think what I learned through the process is, like you said, you have to understand, fortunately, and unfortunately, right? What’s in it for the stakeholders? And what language do they speak? You know, I was having this conversation with one of the project officers, I look up to so much, he’s a out of Wisconsin, and he does a lot of work and motivational interviewing, and professional development. And he was like, Z, you got to figure out their language, right? And then you got to be able to hone in all that emotion and all that passion, and make it work for them, you have to understand what is important to them what they want out of this, and then how can you depict that. So kind of what I said in the beginning, right was trying to wrap my head around data. The senior leaders in the army want to see data, they want to see return on investment, and they want to know that their money is not going to be quote, unquote, wasted. And that’s still a struggle for me, because every time I hear senior leaders say that I’m like, okay, so we invest in human projects, right? We provide soldiers with care and behavioral health. And then, like, I don’t understand how that’s not enough for you. So I’ve had to sit myself down and really get into the like, the science right into the nitty gritty in the analytics of like, How can I prove human and soldier growth right outside of physical fitness? To me, that’s the low hanging fruit. That’s, that’s very, you know, quantifiable, it’s easy to measure. So how can I cultivate, you know, specific data that’s going to engage conversation and get that light bulb to click for senior leaders like, Oh, hey, there’s something here. And like I said, the biggest part for me was just kind of understanding my audience, making concise decisions based off of their language, regardless to if it was my language that I speak. And I think that’s something that I’m still trying to work on.


Brett Bartholomew  38:40  

Yeah, well, it’s really well laid out. I mean, I think you are out of all of our guests or somebody that is perhaps most attuned to that. And that’s something we talked about of course, we’re bias like, we talked about it art of coaching and approach being to building buying is research relate, reframe research, being, learn their language, understand what makes them tick, all these things. Relate is okay, now, I’ve got to be able to meet them where they’re at, I’ve got to disclose some things. I’ve got to be able to speak that language. I’ve got to adopt that. To meet that use case, and then reframe now you can paint that whole picture of the future. Because like, it’s funny, people don’t change for a wide variety of reasons. You think of the military, there’s tradition, right? Like that’s, a home and hearth, then there’s what we talked about like is suppression, they can feel threatened. People that are traditionalist can feel threatened by a lot of things. 


And that’s why they love data to a degree is, let’s say, you provide that data and that data gives them a security blanket, but things don’t go right. Well, there’s so many different levels hierarchically to that military, and even in the government structure, like, they just want to be able to show well, hey, we have the data. So you can’t just burn me for this because the data showed that. And that’s what’s funny enough, sometimes they won’t even analyze the data closely. It’s like, do we just have numbers so why don’t become a scapegoat? We can actually say if I’m in front of


CPT. Anna Zamora  39:56  

Absolutely, yes. And have you been in my navy?


Brett Bartholomew  40:00  

I’ve been in life I’ve been in life. And I think there are always some things that you and I can both share on air and off air. There’s some things I’ll never be able to share. That gave me a doctorate in power dynamics 101. Right. And I think we all have that in our life. I just think that it’s not conversations we have enough. But no, I mean, we, my wife and I met when I was working with the military a lot. And we’re trying to we’re part of another organization working on us at acronyms, right. postive preservation of the forest and family. And there’s always these initiatives coming through just like there is at any macro, governmental level. And I just think it’s fascinating, because like you, I always wonder, like, what’s the obsession with data? What’s the obsession with this? Beyond the obvious? Yeah, we know numbers are important. And then there is, oh, this is so that if a higher up gets burned, there’s something that they can point to. And in a way, it’s kind of like boxing, right, just to like, not completely shift gears, but to bring that in learning their language is kind of like why we faint and why we throw certain jet like, alright, what are you doing, you know, you take some shots, everybody thinks the beginning of a boxing match is really boring, or boxing is not as cool as MMA, as just people that don’t understand it. But boxing is a perfect analogy. For power dynamics know the first few rounds, they’re gonna dance, they’re gonna faint, I’m seeing what Anna does. Alright, Anna you drop that right hand, alright, I’m telling you this. And vice versa, if you hit me up top, do I leave my body exposed? And we always try to cover those bases and read the room or read the ring and have some kind of general midship. 


And so I think it’s interesting when you say these things, what kind of, you know what, what else do you see? Aside from their desire of data, and this hierarchical recognition, what is something maybe that wasn’t as obvious or that you were surprised by that helps you, for example, we helped one woman that was in the Navy or worked in a naval base. She had trouble getting buy in from a data standpoint, or what she realizes she had somebody lateral to her that had a very good relationship with a superior. So she could use kind of referent power, like likability with that person to indirectly influence. Have you found anything like that to be helpful at times? 


CPT. Anna Zamora  42:13  

Yes, absolutely. So one of the initiatives that I’ve started when I moved into this new position, so I was the project officer for Illinois. And now I’m the program director. So just kind of putting some context there is, so are the country. They work in regions. And so what I’ve done is I’ve created regional leads, so that we would do medians as regions, right? But it would be like all seven states, all 12 states, but I was like throughout an email. Yes, actually, this just happened last week. And I’m like, hey, we’ll pull in the volunteer not gonna tell anyone. Right? Who, wants to step up. But anyway, yeah, so we developed some regional leads. And when I was at the state level, that’s it. That’s 100%. What I did is I, like I said, I spoke to the individual in Wisconsin, and he has a program and he has a relationship with his state leadership, and he has a relationship with his governor. And then when I moved into this position, I was like, we are getting you and we are taking you everywhere. So we’ve been able to move him just from his school house in Wisconsin. So we brought him here to the national, like the National Guard headquarters, where he put on a senior leaders course around behavior change, it’s motivational interviewing and behavioral model change. But, and then I took those individuals, those those, they’re like middle grade decisionmakers, right, and put them in that course. And I was like, it was a little bit of like, the aggressive shock and all but with a purpose, right? Because the army is really good at giving the lowest individual like the Joe, the soldier, all the training all the information, push, push, push, right. And then you have like the very, very top which by default, they’re in charge of they make all the decisions. And then there’s this cloudy middle space of like, middle management, I guess, is the best way to describe it, I don’t know. 


And I grabbed those individuals, and we had 14 states represented in that course, to take it in firsthand and understand and like a lot of what you say and what you teach, right, they had to sit down with themselves and they’re, again, they’re on the rank and the power and they journaled every day and they had to do like motivational interviewing with each other and they had to share some adverse childhood experiences and you know, You’d be crazy to say that someone can’t walk away from that and not have some sort of change or influence.


Brett Bartholomew  44:46  

Hey, guys, quick break in the action here. If you are setting your calendars for your professional development of next year, then make sure to go to We have apprenticeship date set, we’re going to be in Austin, Texas. We’re going to be a new year. work, we’re gonna be in a wide variety of different places. And yes, if you’re an international listener, we go all over the world. But make sure you guys, again are signed up for our newsletter, who’s just in the UK last year? And people said, when you when you go into the UK, well, I was just there. Ah, why don’t you post it on your Instagram? We do. Guys, the best way to stay up to date is to get on our newsletter That’ll let you know when if you’re in Zimbabwe, when we’re going to be there. If you’re in the UK when we’re going to be there. Obviously, we can’t DM everybody, I can’t post it on Instagram. If I do, they’re not always going to show it to you. So hedge your bet get on the newsletter will always tell you where everything is upcoming. For those of you that are strength coaches, it’s 1.8 CPUs, it’s a way to get massive amount of CPUs and get better for those that are not strength coaches, this is a great way to get around people have a wide variety of professions. We’ve had doctors, lawyers, folks in the military, firefighters, anybody you can imagine anybody that deals with interpersonal struggles and wants to improve their ability to navigate those things. It is for you. So the best thing to do get on Get on the newsletter tell a friend to tell a friend All right, back to Captain Zamora.


CPT. Anna Zamora  46:21  

You know, You’d be crazy to say that someone can’t walk away from that and not have some sort of change? Or influence? 


Brett Bartholomew  46:30  

Yeah, I’m sorry. Yeah, keep going? 


CPT. Anna Zamora  46:32  

No, no. The last thing I was just gonna say is like to what you were saying is, yeah, like, so when something works, or when someone has all those components, I kind of put them on blast. I’m like, Hey, man, I said, he’s going out to three different states now. And I just try to like, keep it positive, because I feel like to not to rant but 


Brett Bartholomew  46:50  

no, you’re fine. 


CPT. Anna Zamora  46:51  

So, so many people want to take the negative route, right? Like I could sit here and bash those senior leaders. And I could sit here and, you know, shun the states that aren’t like stepping up their game. But I’m like, why would I do that when we have, you know, so many others that are doing great things. And I’ve found a lot of success in that in putting those people on pedestals. And that’s a bad term. I get it. Yeah, just bringing spotlight like, Hey, you guys are doing great things. And it’s working. And just kind of putting it in people’s faces. 


Brett Bartholomew  47:21  

Yeah, well,sometimes you have to do that. It’s funny that I thought I had when you were talking right there. And it ties into what we mentioned with influence statics. And what you seem to be very astute at is, it’s funny, most people like you said, We’ll take the negative route, or I find and there’s some congruence here. Sometimes when people are trying to create change, it’s the direct route to so people always think, Well, why is this not working? And the answer is, oh, it’s always the other person? Well, yeah, it could be. But you have to also ask yourself, Where am I the issue? And if you’re somebody that does tend to take the negative route, or even the direct route of things, like you and I said, or like you said, you burst down the door. Yeah, culture change. Well, I thought that too. Like when I was in collegiate training conditioning, I would always say that if I took over this program, I’d kick down the doors and fuse it with energy and enthusiasm and do this. And then you realize, no, what you do is you shut up you listen, you see what is working, because not everything needs to be overhauled. But there is this tendency for people to try to beat down things with a direct route. If that doesn’t work, they take the negative route. They never think laterally. They never think about what are all these other, you know, behind me, I think it’s out of frame or you can see that chessboard and that chess board is in my office to remind me, there’s always some other moves to be made. There’s always some other moves to be made. 


But People are so impatient, especially, admittedly, people like us, people that are coaches and givers and driven by adversity, because there’s this ever ticking clock, you want to be useful. You want to make sure you create a change, but sometimes that blocks us from being able to see, yeah, I could maybe move that piece. Any examples in your life, have tendencies were you’ll do that if somebody gets you off their game. You know, like, what, is that bad habit that you have as a leader? Does that make sense? Or I can ask that more clearly.


CPT. Anna Zamora  49:11  

Yeah, no, it does. And gosh, it’s, you know, I remember who I was talking to you recently, but I have just evolved as a coach and a leader so much. And a big part of that was having the ability to sit down with myself and it’s so easy to blame everyone else. It’s so easy to project that. Right. Like you said, I did that all the time. As a coach. I’m like, it’s the athletes. It’s the environment. It’s the schedule. It’s the coach like no, like, what am I doing? You know, sometimes I think, you know, as a leader. I have, I get really grandiose ideas. And sometimes I need a little reeling in and I try to by myself of, you know, everything that I do, or everything that I say, or project then falls on the plate of other people. And especially being in this position that I’m in now where I have, you know, so many individuals underneath me, when I make a decision, or when I decide to pursue something, I try to take a step back, which is something I’ve never done in my younger years, right. Like I said, you know, there’s a theme here, 


trying to take that step back time trying to take a breath, and then map it out. Right. So if I make this decision, what does this look like? You know, what’s the first the second third order effects? What are the people down underneath me? And what are the people that are going to have to help push this through? What’s going to fall on their plate? And is this really, like you said, the best route? And I think sometimes I need to get out of my own head, even though being an innovator, right? And being open minded, I can very much so come back to bad habits and be like, Look, this is the way and this is what we’re doing. So I try to, you know, surround myself with diverse people are the staff that we’ve been able to put together this program went from two individuals to 11 in the last like 15 months. 


Yeah. So I think just keeping diverse individuals in all areas, right, and background in gender and race is so important, so that you can have those sounding boards, and people can come back into the hey Z did you think about this? Well, no, actually, I didn’t. But yeah, I mean, just try not to fall back into that bad habit of just my way is the right way. 


Brett Bartholomew  51:29  

Yeah. Well, I mean, even within that, you talked about having a diverse sounding board. you can have the diverse sound board, I love that you guys utilize motivational interviewing. But the question that I have next, then is how much do you use, if at all, things like role playing? And the reason I asked that is, you know, we get asked a lot about motivational interviewing. And I try to tell people like, yes, it’s great for learning how to ask deeper questions, more insightful questions. But obviously, leadership is more than that. And sometimes people won’t give you deeper answers, there’s self reflection, you find is increasingly hard for a lot of people, right. And there’s all sorts of time when people might give you advice, but you’ve got to model it up, you’ve got to model it up. Like for example, you and I might roleplay a scenario. And I might be the stubborn stakeholder the person right behind the curtain. And we might see, okay, this could go one of four ways. Let’s say we did some scenario planning, you try this approach, it goes poorly, I get pissed, you try that approach. I’m intrigued. Tell me more. You try that approach. It was almost too easy. Do I trust it, you try this approach something else. So we learned something from that. Now, let’s say we’ve done that we also do some in our workshops where we flip it. So even though you’re the person trying to, you know, talk to the the individual behind the curtain and get better at that, or the main obstacle, right? 


For anybody listening, whatever that obstacle is in your life. But then all of a sudden, you play that role. You don’t let me try to convince you, you know, and we did this recently in Boston, somebody was like, you know, I really struggle asking for a raise. And so we roleplay that out. And I said, Well, why don’t you become the person who’s getting asked for the race? You know, what would you say? And he goes, Well, I’ve never been asked for that. I’ve never been in that situation. I said, Great. Then there’s utility. There’s that naivete there. Let’s see what you come out with. And I mean, after that, he was like, Oh, my God. Like, I never sat in that chair. And it seems so basic as human beings like, yeah, role playing. I mean, every day, we play a role anyway, right? Like, you’re a babysitter, you’re a councelor, you’re a leader, you’re a coach, or what you’re whatever. But I’m interested, Do you guys ever utilize that? Is that something that you see as valuable in? Like, what would intimidate you about it? Just sound off on that a little bit?


CPT. Anna Zamora  53:40  

Yeah, it’s interesting, because like, you know, like I said, I follow your account, and you know, everything that y’all did with the art of coaching, and I’ve seen a lot of your, like clips and videos on that. And I actually thought about this when I was watching one of your, you know, just reels or whatever from one of the workshops you’re doing. And the Army is huge on we call them rehearsals, right? So you’re never going to do even like a briefing, right? Or, you know, a conversation, you’re going to rehearse that, you’re going to go through the steps. And you’re going to talk about like you just said, like, well, what if this happens, and what if this happens, but it’s interesting, and this just might be anecdotal. It might just be my experiences, but we use the rehearsals in very strict professional fashions, and very tactical, but outside of that, I don’t in my opinion, we don’t we don’t use that enough. And it’s so interesting, because, like you were saying there’s so many parallels, but I just think it’s you know, exposure that a lot of the Army leaders just they don’t think about it that way, like, hey, we do rehearsals every day, we do rehearsals for shoot, like we got to be somewhere in the morning. We’re gonna walk through it, we’re going to rehearse it. So why don’t we incorporate more of like the role playing when it comes to these other areas? And I’m not really I couldn’t come up with an answer for that. Honestly. And I think that they would, you know, we could benefit as an organization if we did implement that. Well, and as an organization,


Brett Bartholomew  55:09  

like one thing I’ve seen from it, and I appreciate the honesty of that is, I remember the first time and I’ve talked about this on the podcast before I was telling a friend about this. And he was like, Yeah, I’m not gonna play make believe. And I go, Oh, that’s interesting. You know, because he works in the collegiate environment, I go, your athletes go scrimmage every day they do walkthroughs every day, boxers shadow box every day, they do rehearse sparring every day, you know, role playing is essentially just interacting with, you know what the world is really like outside your window, you know, and I find that one thing is, it’s very uncomfortable for people. Another thing is, but once they do it, they definitely get addicted to it. We’ve seen that because they realize like, oh, this is real life. This is how this goes. One thing I think, too, is it can be challenging for people to understand what it is. I mean, we never really show much of our role playing in our workshops on our social media, because it’s a tough medium to do that. Right? Like, yeah, that’s something where you’ve got to be in the room where it happens. And you’ve got to be directly engaged, like we’ve had people say, Hey, are you ever going to stream some of your improv workshops? Well, no, because it’s really easy for people to watch two people playing out a role and think that they get it and I’ll be like go it’s not a big deal. It’s another thing when you’re in that situation, where you are in there, and you look at research and I remember reading this article, I think it came out of like, Georgia Tech, but they were talking about the implications of like, improv acting and role playing on design. And they think about like, Alright, how do people interact with this environment? A lot of this is going on technology, and even choice architecture. 


Role playing and improv is just it’s like flexible, unique method, where people can break themselves out of their normal or common ways of thinking, it’s divergent thinking. It’s saying, how could this go? And what are we? So we videotape it. And that all brings it back to something that you’ve talked about so wonderfully, of, oh, my god, that was my approach, or even if somebody is doing motivational interviewing on and they’re doing it really well, right, they’re checking the box or asking great questions or getting deeper. But what if their tone and their body language is a bit off? You know, now this person thinks that their motivational interviewing technique didn’t play? But it No, it wasn’t that I mean, as much as 80%. That was somebody’s first impression of us is how they look and how they move. Yet, if we don’t assess that in real time, other than, you know, just saying, Hey, these are the words I use in the influence tactics I use. All right, well, that’s part of it. So I think it’s painful. I think it’s scary. I think it’s not well understood. And we juggle that a lot of saying, How can we show the world more of that behind the curtain without giving them a false interpretation of like, a 60 second reel like, watch me and Anna or, you know, Captain Z do role playing, that’s not going to fit, right. 


But yeah, it’s just it’s an interesting piece there. I mean, how do you feel like if you had a role play today, like you and me are in a room, and one of your biggest obstacles, or one of your biggest weaknesses, and don’t feel like this isn’t like your favorite movie of all time? Just something that you know, you struggle with? What would you want to roleplay out? Like, right now live on the air? What would you want to roleplay? 


CPT. Anna Zamora  58:09  

Man so that’s a good question. I don’t know. Yeah. I mean, I’m a huge, I think I’ve, you know, I’m a big fan of role playing. And like, you know, everything you said, so much can come out of it.


Brett Bartholomew  58:31  

It’s hard, and it’s hard to think about. And I want to also respect your privacy. So if you just want to come up with an everyday example, we can do that, too.


CPT. Anna Zamora  58:39  

Yeah, no, I think so for me, man. Okay, so you can put a little out there. And for the individuals that do know, me, they’re probably get a big laugh out of this, but I have a huge chip on my shoulder. I am, you know, whatever tackling every day. And so, like, you know, again, the theme, right, I think I would really like to roleplay. Again, like so I’ve worked with the mid grade leaders, I haven’t really had a genuine like professional business meeting with like a true decision maker at the top, like the sargent major of  the army or you know, the director of the National Guard, per se, I think I would honestly like to roleplay that out to succinctly and professionally Express, like, what projects I’m working on and how we need their support. Because like I was saying, you know, my passion can get the best of me, my military bearing can go a little off course. But I think like what you and I were talking about, right? Like, how can I speak how can I be in their space? How can I use their language? And you know, there’s tons of differences between myself and those two individuals that I just named. So how can I incorporate who I am personally, to make it like this right like a genuine conversation? But at the end of this, I want a result I want their support and I want their buy in. Right? I think that would probably be something that I could benefit from. Just because I haven’t had that opportunity to have those meetings yet.


Brett Bartholomew  1:00:13  

Good. Well, we’re gonna do it. So, yeah. Here’s the good news, right? The good news is light hearted. And the nature of role playing is you’re going to make mistakes, I’m going to make mistakes, right? I’m not going to use all the same acronyms this person would use or anything like that. But what we do in real time at these workshops, right, we set the context, right, so what do I need to know about this situation? What’s the goal? And you mentioned that buy in and I want them to understand the different projects I’m working on? When you say, who are the agents or the characters involved? Right? It could use people involved, we got that in this case, it’s going to be you and you’re going to present something to me in a professional business meeting type scenario. And then you think, what are the constraints, right? And we know that you have a chip on your shoulder. So in this case, let’s say and this can be a million different ways, a lot of different degrees of freedom. But what do you say we commit to this scene being like, I’m not taking you seriously, as a matter of fact, I’m not giving you much of the time of day, and pressing you I’m telling you to convince me. And this leads right into strength and conditioning, because all I’m trying to do on is give you overload, right? Even if I shut you down to a point that wouldn’t be indicative of what this person would do. Great. Let’s make it harder here than it is in real life. And it can just be one way we spent it. 


Now. I’m going to play by your rules, you use the box. So we’re going to do a three minute round, especially B and then the good news is after this, the last remaining few minutes we have the podcast is a cakewalk. I’m going to ask you a couple hotseat questions, we’re going to talk about where everybody can support you. And so after this, you’re good, okay, but three minutes, and you’re going to be able to come back and listen to this and be like, Ah, I would have done this. And I would have done that. And me too. And that’s the value of it. And this is what we do all the time. We video this we break it down. So we’ll both struggle, but let’s at least let’s give it a go. Okay.


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:02:01  

Yeah, and for reference, a three minute round is long. We’re in the ring. That’s like the longest three minutes of your life. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:02:07  

No question. 


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:02:09  

But at least my face isn’t on the line here. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:02:12  

So yeah,there you go. And we may not even finished the scene. But that’s fine. Let’s just take it for where it’s at. Right. So I’ll start Captain Zamora. Nice to see you. I hear you have an initiative you want to pitch to me? Go ahead and dive right in. I know, time is of the essence.


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:02:28  

Good afternoon, sir. Thank you for having me. I appreciate your time. Yeah, so I’ll get right to it. I came to you for some guidance and support regarding the H2F projects that we’re pushing out through the National Guard, there’s been a little bit of confusion at the lowest level as to if we’re going to be supported and how. So I was hoping that I could present you what we’re working on right now. And where we’ve seen successes to essentially get overhead buy in and see where the guard sits from a support perspective in this initiative.


Brett Bartholomew  1:02:59  

Yeah, of course. I mean, this is the first I’ve ever heard of confusion at that level, that alone, kind of I’ll admit, I don’t like when I hear that. I want to know a little bit more about that, I’d love to see some of the data, you have to support either that claim or and everything else you’re doing. I mean, you know, me, we we have to make decisions off a lot of KPIs. And we need to know where we’re at with everything, and have as much information as possible. So I’ll let you take it over. And I’m looking forward to kind of hearing what you present.


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:03:27  

No, absolutely, sir. And I’m glad that you brought that up. So to just be completely honest, that confusion is that the states don’t feel supported because of certain lack of funding and conversations that have taken place at conferences over the last six months or so. So that’s where the states are feeling. But to jump to your point of, you know, information and data, we have 21 states of 54 right now that have projects in motion, that are seeing a significant return on investment. And by that I mean they are internally funding them through their own state resources, and seeing some positive impact in their, amongst their ranks. 


With that being said, we’ve also been able to expand our HTF branch from two individuals to 11 over five different installations, which now gives the National Guard a footprint. And we are working with the trade doc and individuals who work at the HQ da sector to for decision making. So the National Guard now has a seat at that table to discuss card equities, which wasn’t happening before. And like I said, the 21 states are currently holding these programs that fit the mold for H2F but they’re doing it on their own. So they’re feeling like they’re not being supported because the National Guard hasn’t been willing to set any limitations or guidance and provide any funding or resources so they can sustain these programs. Because right now they’re doing it on their own. And they don’t have the ability to maintain these over time if we can’t give them the resources that they need.


Brett Bartholomew  1:04:57  

So just so I’m clear on some things and I appreciate you Given such a detail when you say they’re doing it on their own, model that up for me,  I understand, you’re saying they don’t have the funding they want. But how many people are involved at the level of these 21 states? How many people are typically overseeing this program? And other than funding? What are some of the challenges because, if you’re saying money is just the issue, I have a hard time believing that because we’ve thrown money at a lot of things in this organization, and it doesn’t necessarily fix it. So trying to get a better understanding of the day to day operations and how this is organized.


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:05:28  

Sure. So this so to start personnel, I don’t know if that would fall under money, but like you said, the programs that are running, they’re running mental demand. And we’re kind of robbing Peter to pay Paul. So if we need the individuals to run these programs, there have to sacrifice their time and money from somewhere else. So we have to pull them off annual training, we have to pull them from their monthly drilling to provide them the funds to execute the courses that they’re running right now. Additionally, we need more space. So we are looking to develop facilities across the country to keep up with active duty. And I say that to say that, you know, if we’re going to function as an organization compromised of three components, and active duty is going to have a revamp of all of their facilities to assist in ACFT, then the guards who have that as well. So I think those are the two priorities that I can speak to is additional personnel and facilities at the moment.


Brett Bartholomew  1:06:21  

So let’s say all of a sudden you have this funding that you’re looking for, and we’ve dealt with the personnel issue, the space issue, the financial issue, what’s the end result? What does this end result look like? And how can we be guaranteed that that’s going to be used? efficiently? appropriately? Right, like because I don’t want to just start throwing resources at things I need. I mean, I assume you guys have a deck put together you have some kind of visual you have evidence to show what happens when these people are funded the right way.  What’s the guarantee on our end, because there’s a million different initiatives that are kicking off at any point in time and another two years, we have another president and office, and there’s going to be other changes there. And we’re going to be strapped for funding. So as you know, we have people to answer to to this isn’t as clean and clear as let me just give you the money and magics gonna happen.


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:07:04  

That is a great point, sir, I will revert to the policy changes that the Army has gone through. So we currently have seven dash 22, which is new doctrine, which supports the H two F system. So my opinions are the system in this program isn’t going anywhere. And we can check. We can I struggle with this one. 


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:31  

Ah, that’s okay. Well, no, it’s a timeout, right? And like,


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:07:33  

Yeah, this is where I get caught up. This is this is yeah, I struggle with this a lot.


Brett Bartholomew  1:07:39  

So what’s cool about that is well tell me what like, how do you define this? Like, this is where I get caught? And then we’ll talk about why that’s a good thing.


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:07:46  

Well, I mean, you’re actually like, again, I’m starting to wonder if you follow me around at work. But, you’re saying a lot of the things that we consistently hear, right? Like, yeah, no, this is the army. Like we throw money at things all the time. And exactly like you said, like, how do I know this just isn’t going to turn into something else? And then additionally, like, what can you guarantee me and I don’t have that right now. And again, like, my response is always like, okay, cool. So this is where I get all worked up. You know, we’re trying to help soldiers at the end of the day, if this fails. So what we started a resiliency program, we provided access to mental health care, we give them nutritional advice. So again, even if this fails, all we’ve done now is create a support system for soldiers. Yeah, how is that bad?


Brett Bartholomew  1:08:34  

Right. But like, it’s like, the mistake we always make is assuming the other person cares. And they listen. And that’s what’s so pricey, right? And so yeah, one, you did an awesome job, you know, and I like you’re the first person to really like, engage at that level. We don’t, do that with every guest. And so like, kudos to you for that. And the nice thing is, you know what, we’ll do these workshops, or like even now, right, you listen back to that, or you watch it, you see your body language. And on my end, there’s so many ways I can play it, right? I could sit there and I tried nodding my head, right? You see me and I’m nodding my head, but you might have some people that just they don’t give you anything, they don’t smile, they don’t nod their head, they’re frozen. And that can change it or, you know, so what we’ll do is we’ll say, Okay, let’s try to do that scene, again, let’s do it a different way, or what we call drop zone, the part where you’re like, Ah, this is where I get stuck. Cool, we think of four alternatives. You and I sit there and we talk about, alright, what are different ways we could strategize around that. And then we drop right back into that and we play those out, you know, because the only way you know how to get through that sticking point again, just like strength and conditioning. 


If I’m weak at a certain point in the lift, we know that there’s different kinds of functional isometrics that we can do to get through that we know that there’s ways to overload that. So we say let’s work on that. But you have my mind spinning. These are problems we love to solve. We’re gonna have to nerd out more on this, but I just appreciate you playing the game a little bit and I’m anxious to hear What you think you would do differently when you listen back to this? Or when you watch that video? Or if any of you took our evaluation, right? And you’re like, oh my god, what would I rank myself in this part of body language, this part of clarity? conciseness use of metaphors, analogies. I want to hear you do this breakdown. So we need to keep in touch about this.


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:10:18  

Yeah. So I mean, my head’s already going. I’m like, I’m too wordy. I can’t ever get to the point fast enough. I talk with my hands. Yeah, so I’m already beating that I don’t wanna say beating myself up. And I’m already running through my head


Brett Bartholomew  1:10:33  

But that’s leadership, right. And the thing I tell you like, and I’d love for you to come as our guests anytime, like, that’s what we welcome at these clinics is we welcome the opportunity. Like, we want people to be like, Oh my God, there’s so many things I did differently. I mean, I teach it and I look at myself and think of abhorrent things that I could do differently. And the point is not to make anybody a perfect communicator. The point is to make everybody more so like self aware and adaptive, and understanding, hey, I’ve got to bake with a flower I have, there are certain tendencies you’re gonna have, there are certain tendencies I’m gonna have great, let’s figure out how to leverage them be more aware of them. 


So now that you’ve did that, I just have like three soft toss questions for you, because you’ve knocked them all out of the park. 


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:11:15  



Brett Bartholomew  1:11:16  

okay. Soft toss questions. In our profession, we can have a hard time just being worthless, winding down doing something that we can’t turn into work, something that we can’t turn into productivity. Tell me about something, if anything that you’ve learned really helps you turn your brain off that might be seen as unproductive to somebody else, but is massively restorative to you.


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:11:42  

And that, yeah, I’m actually I’m still working on that. So I picked up snowboarding last year, so a little later in life. But what I found about which, you know, I don’t know if anybody would see that as but what the part that I’ve enjoyed outside of just being active and learning something new was the serenity of the places you get to go when you snowboard. And I’ve never been to some of the places because I didn’t do winter sports. So for example, like Vail I have just found this unrealistic attachment to like, the outdoors. And like I was in Fort Polk Louisiana, for training in September, and I would go out side at night, and I would literally just lay and I would just stare at the sky at the stars. I’ve become obsessed with like, just the outdoors and like all of those beautiful things that we always say are pretty, but we never really take the time to like, truly like holy shit. That’s enough. like that is a bit like those are stars. I know I sound like a psycho. But honestly, I’ve just been trying to get outside and embrace like the little things that are just beyond like sometimes what we even are willing to, to understand or or think about.


Brett Bartholomew  1:13:08  

No, I think that’s a very clear answer. And I appreciate that. I’m glad that it’s not something that’s I don’t think that’s something that you would get all the time at all. This next one is a little bit abstract. And again, have fun with it if you need a moment to think that’s totally acceptable. We all get a lot of emails every day some that we’re we tear open some that we like put off for two to three days or maybe forever. What is an example of an email subject line that you are absolutely going to open? So for some people it could be don’t make this mistake or another person it could be three tips to help you quit overthinking right now. What is a style or a subject line that you’re like Oh, hell yeah, I don’t want to open this but I have to


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:13:50  

and I’m gonna assume like 80% off of my favorite like you know store doesn’t count


Brett Bartholomew  1:13:55  

Well, you know, that’s okay if it is like that where you’re like anything that saves me promises to save me time or money. That’s fine because it’s kind of ties into knowing what drives us for some people. It’s they’re so scared of failure. So it could be like hey, the worst coaches do this don’t make this mistake, right some people are oh my god, I you know, their security drives they want to make sure they’re not falling into that category. What is something that is gonna get you


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:14:25  

and it’s, it’s probably again, coming from the strength and conditioning industry and I kind of said this early, like physical fitness at this point where I’m at is kind of like my low hanging fruit. And not that I think I know it all but I want to expand in other areas. And I think anything to do any kind of catchy phrase when like you said like when it comes to human dynamic, right, like understanding people or how to end Anything that’s got that human psychology components are


Brett Bartholomew  1:15:01  

like, ways to know when you’re the problem how to move the needle when somebody else doesn’t agree. Yeah, yeah, things that are strategic things that are strategic and give you insight into somebody else’s mind. perfect. No, that’s a great answer. All right. Last one. And this is one that we retired for a while. And I have to bring it back. And I have to remember how I phrased it in the past. But I always say, you know, we all talk about things that we aspire to be like, or who we view as role models. Sometimes we don’t always look at people like the antihero or the misunderstood villain. So who do you think is one of the most underrated or you can think of it this way? Who’s your favorite villain or bad guy or girl in a movie because you think they’re more of a complex character than people understand? You know, the uneasy one is always Heath Ledger’s Joker and The Dark Knight, right? Because there’s so many layers to mn. He claims to not have a plan when everything’s well laid out. We had one woman a fascinating answer. I think she said she chose Willy Wonka. And I go as Willy Wonka villain. She goes, how was he not? That it was just it was a wonderfully like goofy answer. But everybody, like our audience so much identifies with the antihero. None of us are perfect. We all have scars, and we’re all tired of being told who we shouldn’t be like, so who’s just a villain or an antihero you really you like and you hate to admit you like. 


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:16:24  

So Iactually just like experienced this this summer. And we went down the rabbit hole. We had such a good conversation. And it happened when the Cruella movie came out from 101 Dalmatians. And I was on the CADRE staff for one of our behavior change courses. And we had just finished talking about adverse childhood experiences. And I was like, Yo, we have to find a way to get parts of this movie into that course. Because like I said, Me and a girlfriend who sat down and talked about it, like that movie was like, like, I was like, Oh, hell yeah. Like, I get it. Like, I get it. And like she had such a bad rap. And she was such a villain, especially like in the cartoon character, but they like, exposed her and like, talked about her childhood. Right, and where she kind of came across, like all these fixations, with, you know, her fashion career, and you know, her, what happened to her mother, and then her dynamic with her real mom, it’s so not to spoil it for anybody when Well, I mean, yeah, so I fell in love with her after that.


Brett Bartholomew  1:17:32  

And it is fascinating, right? Because we grew up and we’re told, just like villains are what they are. It’s always some alien bent on world domination, it’s always some massive thing with a world destroyer in reality, you know, nothing in life is that simple. It’s the same thing. We’ve talked about this whole episode. Everybody’s got agendas, everybody’s got their own thing that doesn’t make them bad or good. You just have to understand what makes them tick. What your tendencies are, how do you navigate it, and you got to keep playing the game. Because nobody can be put into these categories. I mean, there’s, things that I have no doubt Z that you do that are absolutely wonderful and altruistic and amazing. And there’s things that we all do that sometimes we’re not proud of, and nobody should be put in a box for one or two of those things. Collectively, we’ve always got to look at the context. 


And I just, I want to thank you for coming on here and exploring that with us. Because I did not give you easy questions. If you guys are listening for the first time, we do not give them questions in advance. We do not tell them they’re role playing. So you know, Anna trusted me enough and trusted you guys enough to kind of listen in and see that because you’re gonna see these things play out in your own life. And I just want to thank you for the bottom of my heart and Aliand everybody at art of coaching for being such a good sport, and being so open and giving true tactical breakdowns of, what some of the challenges that you’re facing are really like.


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:18:47  

Yeah, I this was a blast. And I’m so glad I got the opportunity to talk with you. And you know, and you got ally to think as well. And so thank you so much for having me this,  is a lot of fun.


Brett Bartholomew  1:18:58  

No question. If people want to support you, they want to get in touch with you anything like that, where’s the best place for them to go and we’ll link this in the show notes as well. So don’t feel pressure to like, spell anything out. It’ll all be linked and easily accessible from the website.


CPT. Anna Zamora  1:19:11  

Yeah, so honestly, old school, but the easiest way just like, you know, my military email is probably the best way and then, you know, my IG, I’m on there pretty frequently. So I’m trying to transition that to more of like a hub for information. So yeah, just old school email and Instagram.


Brett Bartholomew  1:19:29  

Cool. We will have that link. Well, thank you again. We’re definitely going to touch base offline. I’ll make sure and follow you and we’ve got to get you to an event next year. So once again from me and everybody else at art of coaching. Thank you Captain Zamora. 


Alright guys, next time we will see you make sure that you download the podcast reflection sheet there’s going to be a lot of things that you can take from this episode. Lock it in. Remember, no passive learning, apply, apply apply. We’ll talk to you soon.

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