If you’re like me, you often reflect on the things your parents, grandparents, or mentors have taught you.
But have you ever asked them what they’ve learned from you?
The answer may surprise you.
The life of Marsha Bartholomew has been no cakewalk. From the challenges she faced growing up with a no-nonsense family, to a young female professional in a male dominated work-force, to motherhood, and beyond – the lessons she’s learned along the way provide insight and value to people in every walk of life.
In today’s episode, my mom expands on her life experiences, including a 38 year career with the Social Security Administration. She speaks about:
- The leadership secret that AI will never be able to replace (27:00)
- How she overcame challenges she faced as a woman in the workforce in the ‘70s (35:00)
- The tactics she used to create an achievement driven culture in an extremely diverse department (49:00)
- The best and worst advice she’s ever received (1:18:45)
- Simple Yet Challenging Advice from Father to Son
- Art of Coaching Podcast E100: Working With Your Spouse and Betting on The Future
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Brett Bartholomew 00:01
Welcome back, everybody, and you are with me on a very special episode of The Art Of Coaching podcast. I am joined today by my mother, Marsha Bartholomew. Mom, welcome to the show.
Marsha Bartholomew 00:13
Thank you for having me. This is such an honor. There’s been so many great podcasts, I can’t believe you invited me to be on.
Brett Bartholomew 00:20
Mom, you got to do the non scripted thing while you’re on here, you know. This conversation harkens back to the time that you and I would watch David Letterman, when I was a kid, basically, because I just didn’t want to go to bed and he would have his mom on. And you know, we liked it because she just loose, talking it up, chat it up. So that scripted stuffs not going to fly this episode.
Marsha Bartholomew 00:42
Except she was usually making pies. So she had something to focus on besides the questions that Dave was asking or
Brett Bartholomew 00:50
Yeah, that’s valid. I mean, we are going to put you through the wringer in terms of, you know, leadership questions, personal questions, all these things. You know, you’ve accomplished a lot throughout your career, there’s a lot of things that I’m excited to talk to you about, as my mom in our audience is probably looking forward to you embarrassing me. But you know, just to give some context, what did you do for a living, give our listeners a little taste of what you did for a living prior to retirement aside from trying to wrangle, Nick and I?
Marsha Bartholomew 01:19
Well, I worked for the Social Security Administration, which I’m sure everybody knows, as part of the federal government. And I had that, well, not the same job. But I worked at that agency for 38 years.
Brett Bartholomew 01:32
So there’s gonna be some people that hear when you worked for the United States federal government for 38 years, they might think there’s, you know, a clandestine mission that you know, you did a lot of secret type stuff, but really what is social security? Like? How did you have to manage? You know, there are a lot of social, I went to take your kid to work day with you numerous times. And there were a lot of things that were employee facing. But you also had a lot of unique personalities, and a lot of unique people walk in those doors. So give somebody else give our listeners a little bit more behind the scenes look of what Social Security is, why it was created and what your role was there?
Marsha Bartholomew 02:11
Well, Social Security was created, mainly because people, it was created by President Roosevelt because people were not saving money to retire. So Roosevelt back in the 30s, decided that we’re going to have to force people to save money and we’re going to do that by taking money out of their paychecks. So Social Security administers that money that is taken out of most people’s paychecks every week, every two weeks, every month. And everybody always wonders what it’s for. But once they get to be 62, or 63, or 67, they will know what it’s for, it’s there to make sure you have money that you can use in retirement, and lots of people. In fact, I think well over 80% of the people in the United States don’t save any money. And so this was a way that the government forced people to save money, and it’s their own money. It’s just and it becomes available to them as early as 62.
Brett Bartholomew 03:13
There you see, that’s a great description. And you see it’s an example of, you know, behavioral economists look at just defaults. And we all have default settings on our phone, our TVs, our electronics, there’s default settings, in terms of, you know, all kinds of processes. And it’s for that reason, a lot of times people don’t act in their best interest. And so you have to have safeguards and policies and systems in place that kind of automate that so that people you know, can be saved from their own poor decision making. Am I right? I mean, have you did you see some people even if they got Social Security, I imagine there’s some people that just really struggled to use those things for the right reasons. And you know, that process had to be pretty intricate. Yeah.
Marsha Bartholomew 03:56
Exactly. It was. In fact, most of the people that work for Social Security, except for some a few entry level positions, are college have college degrees. And the reason that agency looks for people that are degreed is because that shows that they’re able to learn a lot of information and retain the information and then apply it supposedly, that’s what you should be able to do if you have a degree. And there’s a lot of information and laws that you have to learn about. When I started all that information was not online, obviously, because I started in the 70s. And it was in binders. And when I first started, those binders took up. There were 30 binders that contain everything you had to know just to process an application. I also want to mention that the Social Security Administration has grown and we don’t only administer Social Security benefits, we administer a program called supplemental security income, which is for people that are disabled or aged that are poor that they have no money, and they have probably not paid very much into Social Security. So that’s another program that’s administered by the Social Security Administration.
Brett Bartholomew 05:12
Now with that information, you know what put this on your radar and to contextualize the question a little bit. You know, there are so many listeners that, you know, they’re going to change careers in their life. I mean, obviously, you know, that I did, right streaming conditioning trained athletes for 15 years. I still do that in some circumstances. But now we focus a lot more on leadership development, psychology, behavior change, and we work with a lot of organizations. But there are some people out there that you know, they expect certain jobs to find them, or they always think it’s some serendipitous circumstance. But if I remember correctly, you know, you taught history, you were going to be a lawyer at one point in time. So how the heck did you fall into working for the United States government?
Marsha Bartholomew 05:56
Well, it actually was serendipity. So I hate to disappoint.
Brett Bartholomew 05:59
No, it’s good.
Marsha Bartholomew 06:01
What happened was that, yes, I went to college, and my undergraduate work was all in teaching in psychology. And I fully expected that I was going to teach secondary education. Once I got to my junior year, then I started to focus on Well, this is a good way into the law. There were very few women lawyers at the time. So at the University of Iowa, where I attended, they were looking for women to get into the law degree into the program. But then along the way, I met your Dad, and that all took a different turn. So instead of going to law school, I made the decision to get married, and we moved to a small town in Iowa that your dad was from, and I started to. My first year out of college, I started to apply for jobs around that small town. And a year later got a job offer as a teacher. While I was waiting to get a job offer as a teacher, I took a lot of small jobs like I student taught in that local high school. And I also got a job at a card shop.
Brett Bartholomew 07:15
Wait, wait. A card shop? What do you like?
Marsha Bartholomew 07:18
Yeah, a Hallmark, but not a Hallmark, just a small town, card shop shop that somebody owned. And when I was working in the card shop, I met a lady who worked at Offutt Air Force Base. And we had a lot of fun working in that card shop. And one of the things she told me about was, you know, she found out about my college experience followed at filing that I graduated in the top 10% of my college class. And she said, I have a job for you. She said you gotta go work for the federal government, because the federal government is hiring people that graduated in the top 10% of their college class. So she brought all this paperwork to me, I filled out the paperwork. And the first job interview that I got was with the Social Security Administration, I had no idea what the Social Security Administration was. No idea.
Brett Bartholomew 08:18
You had no idea. This wasn’t your first choice of a career. You usually by the way, and I’m saying this tongue in cheek, don’t associate people in the top 10% of their class going to work for the government based on how the government operates. Not a lot of expediency and forethought sometimes, like but I mean, was there any and I’m playing devil’s advocate here, like, was there any resentment at like, Dad, you know, like, you wanted to be a lawyer, you know, you wanted to go? You want to do that stuff. Now you’re working for the Social Security Administration, you’re going into territory you’re not really familiar with, like, what were the emotions you were feeling at the time?
Marsha Bartholomew 08:51
No resentment. I mean, that was my decision. That was my free will choice. So no, I mean, a little bit of resentment came later. And I’ll tell you about that later. But not at that time. Now. We just got married. We’re having fun. Weren’t you know, we neither one of us were doing any serious jobs. We were looking for our you know, what our career path was going to be. And what happened then is that I went interviewed at the Social Security Administration, and literally in the same week, I got two job offers. One job offer at the high school in the small town we were in and a job teaching social studies in high school, and another job offer from the Social Security Administration. So the decision was up. It was a really detailed process.
This is how detailed it was. It was like, Okay, well, if I take the teaching job, I’ll have summers off, so maybe I should take the teaching job off so that we could go out and do things in Okoboji, which is a lake that we enjoyed going to but if I take The government job, there’s all kinds of advancement potential that is it there with the teaching job. Plus, when I had done substitute teaching, I had done it in the high school that we in the town that we lived in. And you know, I was 21 years old, and teaching high school people that were 17, 18 years old, and they were inviting me to their beer parties. And that was like, Maybe this isn’t the right time for me, you know, they’re not taking me seriously when I’m substitute teaching, which I got. But maybe that isn’t my right career choice. So I think I’ll try the federal government. So that’s how I made the choice to go to the federal government was mainly I didn’t want to be hit on by a bunch of high school kids. Yeah,
Brett Bartholomew 10:47
I mean, that makes sense. But you’re in an interesting position there. Now, brief aside, before we continue, guys, for those of you listening closely, you know, she talked about a lot of different things that weighed in on those decisions. And if you haven’t seen it yet, we have a tool, it’s a completely free download, if you just go to artofcoaching.com/decision, we have provided a PDF that allows you to kind of weigh out possibilities, consequences, pros, cons of things that align with your values, so that whether you’re looking at taking a different job, moving to a different city or anything like that, this can help you it’s super simple, just go to artofcoaching.com/decision.
Now, I’m continuing on that, you know, I wonder, with everything that you consider the things that you were interested in, what was the through line. And just to contextualize that a little bit, the things that I’ve started wondering, in terms of when I analyze myself, and what I do, and the things that I gravitate towards, I’ve always liked solving complex problems. And to me, people are incredibly complex in some ways. Communication is complex. So whether it was teaching law school working for the federal government, what has been a common through line or theme of those interests, that kind of led you down that path those paths?
Marsha Bartholomew 12:02
Well, one thing that appealed to me when I started to find out more about the Social Security Administration is that you couldn’t even begin to do the job until you went through some rigorous training. And when I started, I found that a lot of recently, a lot of recent college graduates were joining the agency. So there was a whole group of us that started at the same time, my particular group went to St. Louis to be trained. And there was so much information to be learned, you had to leave your home space, stay in a hotel, so that you focused on learning the laws and regulations that you had to apply to your work.
So I went to a hotel, which pretty it was pretty exciting at 21 years old theory and with a bunch of people, just like me from all over the Midwest, going to learn this. And it involved, I guess the thing that’s relevant to each of that teaching the law in Social Security is you have to learn a broad scope of information. And you have to then apply it. It also at that time, we were also doing mathematical things, which I found the most difficult, because you had to actually figure out what somebody’s benefit would be, as we went along, that all became computerized, so you didn’t have to worry about it.
But at the time, we also had to learn that. So what I found interesting is that there was just a lot to learn, and you had to then apply it. And the other thing that they kept stressing is because once we mastered this job, really the jobs that were out there in that agency were just endless. Yeah, you know, it was like you could get promoted to the next job and the next job and the next job. And that also really appealed to me.
Brett Bartholomew 13:54
Yeah, well, I mean, yeah, just being able to get your hands dirty, apply things and the challenge of it and the sense of adventure, because I’d have to imagine you and dad at the time, you know, had a pretty healthy risk appetite, given that he took a job as a financial advisor, that if I remember correctly, I mean, that was like 100% commission the way he tells it. So I mean, in a way, this is like, he kept what he killed, like, you know, kept what he killed, but you had to provide some of that stable income. And, you know, so did you guys even think of that risk? I mean, did you have us then? How old were you at the time now when once you got settled into the role of social security? Dad kind of. How old were you both?
Marsha Bartholomew 14:34
I was 23. And your dad was 21. Okay, so and you know, the factor that that I also didn’t mention that was very interesting was that you were going to talk to people every day you were going to talk to different people every day was going to be different just because you were talking to a different person, a different group of people every day that you worked. So that also brought in an element where Oh, Great, you know, I’m not just sitting at a desk, I’m actually interacting not only with coworkers, but customers every day. And I like that idea.
Brett Bartholomew 15:08
Yeah, I think you know, that lens is something that I put on Twitter today, just because as you know, and we’ve talked about this in terms of our mutual affinity for just understanding how to manage people, you know, there are so many strength coaches, folks in my old profession that were obsessed about X’s and O’s sets and reps, yeah, we live in an age where, like, this emergence of artificial intelligence is becoming more and more prominent, and I put something out today and said, Hey, consider what parts of your job are going to be most easily reproduced by artificial intelligence.
You know, there’s so many jobs out there that you’ve got to learn the technicalities of you know, and writing programs for athletes was one part of that, but AI can eventually is going to be able to do that pretty well. But dealing with people, managing complex personalities ,finding common ground, that is something that you know, technology is not going to be able to replace as easily those relationships, you know, aren’t going to be able to be manufactured like that.
And I had a question from somebody that worked at Facebook that they wanted me to ask you, because they asked at one point in time, what you did, and I talked about how you know, you were a manager, and I’m not gonna ask you to go too deep down the road or down the realm of artificial intelligence. But why do you think just hypothetically, and with your knowledge, why do you think you know, AI could never fully replace a role like you add in Social Security, where you’re managing and guiding and leading people, even if it allowed an organization to be leaner? Like what would it, what would you not get? What would you lose? If a person like you wasn’t there interacting in real time?
Marsha Bartholomew 16:41
Well, of course, the obvious answer is compassion. You’d miss the compassion. When I became a manager, one of the things that when you are hiring young people that are just freshly out of college, because by the time I was in management, I was about 10 years older than when I started. One thing you always have to focus on when you’re training people on how to do the job is that people that you talk to every day can be frustrating. They don’t know what you know. And if you go into the job, assuming that they should know all about Social Security, you’re going to find out early on that you’re wrong. Right.
So the way we tried to humanize that when we were training young people is act like these are your grandparents, because your grandparents went into a social security office and somebody like you help them, and how would you want your grandparents to be treated? So that was a way that we could humanize it with them and say, you know, even though they’re frustrating, and they’re asking you the same question over and over again, and you know, that so well, act like they’re your grandparents and have some compassion and understanding. And you’re never going to get that from AI. And you’re talking about an age group.
And also, when I was talking about those people that receive Supplemental Security Income, you’re talking to people that are in a very big change at a time that their life is changing. They’re either disabled, because Social Security also handles, you know, applications for people with disabilities, that, you know, need to draw on their social security now, and that you’re never going to get that compassion from a computer. Yeah. They also have stories to tell that they want you to hear, life stories.
Brett Bartholomew 18:24
I think that’s a great point. And like even though AI can learn various forms of compassion, the person on the other end will still know they’re talking to artificial intelligence. And there’s that inherent, I want to feel like another person’s hearing me, I want to connect with another person, that’s flesh and blood right across me. So I appreciate I threw a curveball at you with that one.
But you did wonderful in terms of, you know, the curse of knowledge, there’s always that element of people wanting to be around other folks. And, you know, there’s just that inherent knowledge of, even if AI can do some amazing things in the future, which it can at the end of the day, you’re just going to know that’s not a human. And so there’s going to be some limitations in that. Now, there’s a question that I have, that’s going to lead to another line of questioning here, that is going to speak more to your differentiators how you handled leadership positions and conflict being a woman in the workforce, something that’s often talked about in the news.
But first and foremost, just going back to that intersection of the through line and why you found these things fascinating. You know, I wonder. Would you describe yourself as somebody that has a chip on their shoulder, somebody that you actively sought out or still seek out doing hard things? Do you like proving people wrong or like. Because you’ve always been that person that just wants to have their hands in the dirt that wants to apply that doesn’t take kindly to excuses. Where did that come from?
Marsha Bartholomew 19:47
My upbringing that came from, I think it started with my grandparents. You know, I thought a little bit about you know, like, one conversation we had before this was role models. And I had role models. Starting out my role models were mainly in my family and my grandparents were great role models, it was just always. They were, my grandfather farmed, my grandmother handled everything else.
She didn’t work outside the home, but they, and one of the things that was most important to them was family. So for example, my grandfather would make sure that everybody was sitting at the Sunday dinner table, because we all lived within close proximity of each other. They had four kids, and those kids all had families. And he was determined that the family all to be together on Sunday. So it was even to the point I was thinking of a story that my youngest uncle was a big partier.
And every Saturday night, he and his wife would go out dancing, and partying and he lived very close to our family church. And there was one Sunday, when all of us grandchildren were old enough to notice that my grandfather left the church and came back. And within five minutes, so did my uncle and my aunt. So he’d go get them for church, and then we’d all go to have a family dinner. So but what they passed on to us, besides the importance of family and staying together as much as family possible, like now, that’s not possible.
Not everybody lives in the same area. But you can still make a call on Sunday, and have that closeness. And what he taught us is, there’s no excuses, there’s no excuse for you not to be at the dinner table, there is no excuse to make the most out of your life, and go out there and do it go out there and I’m not going to accept any excuse, and my mom had that same background. And as I went through high school, and then to college, same thing, you better be the best, you better figure out how to be the best, you better get the best grades you can you better do everything to the best of your ability. That’s where it came from.
Brett Bartholomew 22:11
Oh, that’s a great answer and it lends a lot of insight into things that I experienced growing up, and, you know, just finding this intersection of you know, you’re not going to be able to be the best or be perfect at everything. But make sure that the things that you do take on that matter to you, you’re not, you’re not doing poorly because of a lack of effort. You know, and I think you and I both talked about how annoying we find that phrase, how you do anything, is how you do everything. I mean, you shouldn’t do everything with this same level of gusto and commitment, otherwise, you wouldn’t be able to prioritize.
But you know, you do need to remember that character is embedded in the way that you undertake, you know, certain tasks and your sense of commitment and consistency. So I think that made a lot of sense. You know, how has that played any role in terms of and I guess there’s just a lot I don’t know, here in general, you obviously have a lot of things that differentiate you, the way that you apply, the way that you speak, the way that you manage and kind of find a way to to keep people accountable while still having fun with them.
But that said, I mean, the fact is, in fact, you’re a woman in the workplace, and you were thrust into a leadership position. And things have changed a lot in the past few decades. But also the more things change, the more they stay the same. What is any challenges did you deal with when trying to break through as a woman in a leadership position? Or even once you broke through being a woman in a leadership position? Is there anything that you can share from that aspect?
Marsha Bartholomew 23:40
Yeah, I’ll start by saying that I always find it mystifying when I hear different generations say they’ve gone through something that was so different than prior generations. It’s you know, I was from a generation in the 70s, or when burn their bras yet women now are saying, you know, in the me to movement, you know, everything they’re doing is a first.
So I know this is gonna sound kind of curmudgeonly, but it’s not a first, you know, we went through that in the 70s. And, you know, women, I guess, think they’re still going through it today. But what I will say is my first time when I noticed that women were treated differently in the workplace in the 70s, was that, like I mentioned, I started working for social security in the 70s, within five years, I got promoted to a supervisory position.
And what happened then is there were a lot of meetings and one that was a really good thing because it meant that people that were in the same positions within the Midwest, were going to a meeting and talking to each other. And what I noticed in my meetings, but these were always in small towns in the Midwest. So that’s where you went to a meeting. Very rarely did you go to Kansas City, for example, later that we went to big cities, but in the beginning, it was cheaper to send us to motels in the mid in small towns,
Brett Bartholomew 25:13
Marsha Bartholomew 25:14
Yeah. Or no, even worse than that. Lawrence, Kansas, you know, not anything against Lawrence, Kansas Salida. You know, we’d be in really small rural towns. And I think they did that, because there was nothing for us to do at night, except talk to each other. Because there’s nothing going on in those small towns that we knew about anyway. Yeah. So anyway, what I learned early on is that most of the people in those positions were white men and not only were they white men, but they were white men, my dad’s age.
Brett Bartholomew 25:50
So it was what at the time just to contextualize it for the listeners.
Marsha Bartholomew 25:53
He would have been 55 at the time. So these men weren’t used to seeing, you know, a 20 something sitting in their group. So when you went to these group meetings, you also usually had to present some, you know, you had to get up and talk about something that was going on in your office, or something that you might be an expert in.
And it wasn’t unusual for me to like, go up and get behind a podium and get cat calls as I went up there, which just was to me shocking at first. And then really, when I go to my motel room and think about it, I think, well, you know, these guys are now going to go out to dinner, they’re going to go out and have a few drinks, probably best that I don’t put myself in that situation, probably best that I just go to McDonald’s or some local place, get myself a hamburger and stay in my room and not subject myself to that.
So I learned that early on, and that really served me well through the years is that, you know, it was fine to go out and talk to about work and get involved in work conversations. But women can make a choice, they know when they’re going to be put into an uncomfortable situation. Don’t put yourself there. So as I became more experienced at that, and we moved our meetings to places like Kansas City, what I’ve learned is after work, go have one drink. And then you know, excuse yourself to the rest, go to the restroom and never come back. Just go back to your room, or just go out with other women and socialize, don’t socialize with a group of men, you know, that you don’t want to be put in an uncomfortable situation with?
Brett Bartholomew 27:33
Well, I’m so real quick, just because I’m glad you shared that because it’s good. You know, I know, sometimes I take a devil’s advocate take on behalf of, you know, just because we have so many different listeners, and I think you’ll have good insight around this. I know that there’s some people that would think well, that’s just not how it should be, you know, a woman should be able to do that. And by the way, we could just also extrapolate that into minority, like, in any country, a minority should be able to do this, a kid should be able to do that, everybody. And it’s tricky. Because then everybody can be like, Well, no, you can’t. That’s not the same. Everybody gets so worked up, they forget to find common ground.
And remember, just because somebody will say that, they’ll say, well, I hear you and I respect that. But at the same time a woman shouldn’t have, they should be able to do this, they should be. And it’s like, Yeah, nobody’s disagreeing with that. But sometimes, no matter which way we look at it, that’s not how things always are. And so you have to think strategically. You know, like, there’s times where I’ve traveled to different countries, and I could get cancelled for this because somebody’s gonna say, Well wait and make it about you. We’re just trying to make it about more people.
And I think, Man, I’d like to walk around at night, but I don’t know if it’s safe for me, and I’m a white male, you know, so then I think, well, you know, people get harassed, and put in crap situations all the time. Like, we all have to make choices of like, here’s how I’d like it to be, here’s how it might be, what’s the best way I can make this decision? And I know, I’m gonna get a lot of heat from that, because it is a world where people just want to be like, you’re a white man, you shouldn’t have to deal with this. But what is your, I mean, you are a female, you did deal with it. So what’s your take on people that take that kind of stance of how the world should be? And they say, No, I don’t accept that Marsha. I don’t think that’s right.
Marsha Bartholomew 29:17
Well, of course, the main word there is should be that’s how it should be. You know, there’s lots of ways things should be and, you know, it’s great that we have people out there that march against certain things that aren’t right. But that wasn’t the position I was in in the 1970s. I was in a job. I was a young person. I wanted to make that my career. So I was strategic. Now, if somebody wants to march about that, or you know, do all that I think that’s fine, but you’re also talking about I had a job. I wanted to keep my job and I certainly wasn’t going to go take on a bunch of my superiors about how they should and shouldn’t act.
Brett Bartholomew 30:04
So then on that end, would it be fair for you to be criticized that you just emboldened the quote unquote, “system” that you just fell in line and that you’re part of the problem?
Marsha Bartholomew 30:14
Nope, I think I beat it.
Brett Bartholomew 30:16
Marsha Bartholomew 30:16
I beat it by being smarter than them.
Brett Bartholomew 30:19
You played the game. That’s what you’re saying?
Marsha Bartholomew 30:22
Yeah, it was that what I found out is through all those things is, I, you know, we go back to what my family had taught me is, if we’re going to take on a job, then be the best you can be at it. And so that’s what I set out to do. Because it wasn’t just that it was that, you know, because I wanted to get promoted to the next job. You know, anybody will tell you that the best way to get promoted in the next job in the same organization is to be the best in the job you’re in. Yeah, don’t keep looking to the next job, you know, be the best at what you’re doing right now. So that’s what I focused on.
And I took jobs, you know, the other thing that was going on at the time, and I’m still as sure prep is still prevalent, as I got older and had children and was now in not just supervisory positions, but management positions, which was the next level, I didn’t want to move. And then what was common is, if you wanted to move to the next job, a higher management job, you had to start putting in for jobs in other cities in the Midwest, and be willing to move and I wasn’t willing to move. So again, the people that were my bosses didn’t like that, they didn’t like that I thought that I could get ahead by just staying in the same area. And my area was always in Omaha, Nebraska. And at the time, there were two smaller offices in smaller towns around Omaha. And they were one of them was in a town called Fremont, Nebraska. And they wanted somebody to go to that small office, I think there were seven people at the time, and close that office down and move all of those seven people into a small satellite office in a suburban Omaha.
Well, nobody wanted that job, they were gonna go into a job of seven people that were ticked off, because they not, you know, in their current situation, they were walking to work, they were some of the highest paid people in that small town. So they had a very good lifestyle. And they didn’t want to be told they were now going to have to drive 35 minutes to go make the same salary that they were making in the small town that they were comfortable in. So at that time, I thought I’m putting in for that job, you know, it’s the next level, I don’t care if I have to go in and tell him that they’ve got to move, I’ll just do the best be as compassionate as I can with telling them that. And, you know, I’m going to do that job, because nobody else wants it. So I put in for that promotion, and got it. And by the time I got it, I was seven months pregnant with you. So.
Brett Bartholomew 33:04
Marsha Bartholomew 33:05
Go ahead. No. That’s fine.
Brett Bartholomew 33:05
I was gonna say, you know, do you think that’s what was? Would you describe that as a differentiator in terms of, you know, you’ve mentioned compassion a couple of times, but there’s also an argument to be made that you could just say, you weren’t scared of conflict, because conflict is a part of everyday life. You know, I wonder if that was a differentiator for you. And if you see an intersection between not being scared of conflict, and having compassion, and if conflict in general, can be compassionate sometimes.
Marsha Bartholomew 33:34
I think the latter, I think, first of all, there’s no avoiding conflict, right? If you avoid conflict, you’re not a good leader. I mean, there’s conflict is part of leadership. If you have people working with you or for you, there’s always going to be conflict. And if you spend your time avoiding it, then you’re not a good leader. So right, I wasn’t, I wasn’t afraid of it. I didn’t enjoy it. But I wasn’t afraid of it. And I spent a lot of time trying to, once I got to know the people that worked in that office, I spent a lot of time and that’s I think the key, whatever new job you go into, you have to spend time getting to know people as people.
Brett Bartholomew 34:21
Marsha Bartholomew 34:22
Yes, all the time. And so by the time we were getting ready to you know, they knew the office was going to move, it wasn’t my decision to move it. So then all we could talk about is how can you best handle this, you know, the agency’s going to pay you to move to a new location. Is that what you want to do? We talked about that. And or do you want to stay here and venue? Yes, are going to have to deal with the class to the commute, or if they were retirement age, or they could retire? Is that what you want to do? So I spent a lot of time doing that.
I had a lot of pushback. I mean, first of all, I was again younger than most of them. And here I am coming into their office, I didn’t know them initially. And now I’m going to give them you know, some bad news and tell them that this is what’s going to happen. And I was pregnant with you. And I was driving 45 minutes a day, before there were cell phones, pregnant with you. And in fact, one night I was leaving the office, and it was obvious I was going into labor.
So I had to call your dad and say, because I worked up right till the time, that was another thing I did, because I thought, well, here, they hired a pregnant woman to do this job, I’m going to work up right up to the time that I’m having this baby, I’m not going to leave work early, right. And so literally, I didn’t really plan it that way. But that’s what I did. So I had to call your dad from the office and say, I might be having this baby on the road. So if I’m not home, come looking for me. So that’s, that was another thing that I did as a woman to get to the next job.
Brett Bartholomew 36:02
Now we’re gonna, we’ll shift gears here in a moment. But you know, you mentioned that office had seven people before you retired, how many people were in the office that you manage? in Council Bluffs? Well, how many people did you manage?
Marsha Bartholomew 36:17
In Council Bluffs, there were 16 people. But when I retired, I retired from the manager job in Omaha. And there were 70 people. So I worked with 70 people in the Omaha office, and I was also the manager, over the manager of the Council Bluffs office, which had another 17 people there.
Brett Bartholomew 36:39
Okay. And this was, you know, a multicultural staff, you also had people that, by today’s definitions, I don’t know, if they use the terminology, then, you know, dealt with various forms of accessibility related issues, right, because you had employees that were deaf, or maybe blind, you know, talk to me about some of the nuances of managing such a diverse office and maybe how you had to alter whether you want to call it management tactics or communication styles when dealing in those contexts.
Marsha Bartholomew 37:05
Yeah, it was is a very diverse office. You know, the federal government. I know, people look at that as someplace where, you know, who’d ever want to work there. But the Social Security Administration was actually a fantastic place to work. We had people when I retired, that were from 14 different countries. And when I say from different countries, I don’t mean that they were born in the United States, and their parents immigrated I meant, they immigrated from different countries, and we had two blind, visually impaired people. And also, just a very, you know, we had people as
Brett Bartholomew 37:50
Is hearing impaired people as young as 18, as old as what, what was the oldest?
Marsha Bartholomew 37:54
73 at the time. 73.
Brett Bartholomew 37:56
You had to manage cross bearing generations? And, you know, just various forms of, you know, just inclusiveness in many different respects of the term.
Marsha Bartholomew 38:07
Yeah. Which is the great thing about the Social Security Administration is that, you know, it gets a broad group of people and cultures together, working to a common goal. And you know, what’s better than that?
Brett Bartholomew 38:20
But how did you I mean, you still, I mean, there are so many different offices, I think some people listening would say, Okay, but how did you get them to, that’s a lot of people to manage across a lot of different generations. And even though you know, Social Security had its own goal, you had to set the tone for that office, you had to so where was this balance of like, just give me an example of some of the tactics you use to create the kind of culture there that you want it and whether you want to try to define that culture what that was, or just explained, but how did you do that?
Because some folks listening might say, I have a team of five people, and it’s hard to create the culture that I want, or I have a staff of three people, and I have some that just want a mouth breathing come to work, or conversely, you know, 100 people, and I can’t get them rolling in the same direction. What worked for you and what were some tactics you used?
Marsha Bartholomew 39:11
I use all kinds of tactics. And the tactics usually came to me in the shower, you know, like we had a problem, we had a goal we had to reach, how am I going to get everybody together to reach that common goal? So I think the tactic that worked for me the best is I’m trying to think how to start out, how this started.
The tactic that worked for me the best was getting everybody together in a staff meeting. And those staff meetings started out as once a month, and then became every week. And how those staff meetings worked is we got together with the group. And first of all, what I found was, if you can have fun together, even in a good Government office that can bring you together. So we’d start out with fun, we’d start out with, I would go in at night. And I’d have some theme that I was going to decorate the office in that day, and some treats, some food that I was going to bring in, or the other management people were going to bring in.
And so they’d come in and it wasn’t always on a Friday, but oftentimes it was on a Friday just to get we got through the week. So they’d come in to different decorations, different food, and it was management’s job to not only get up there and talk about the goals, because the goals were ever changing, new rules would come out, new regulations would come out. And we’d talk about that. And then we’d entertain them. And it might be a jib jab that we put together. That was ridiculous. Or one day, it was a, I had a bet with my assistant manager, that we would meet a certain goal. And she said, We’re never going to meet the goal. And I said, Well, if we meet the goal, then you’re going to have to do the chicken dance in front. I don’t know if anybody knows the chicken dance.
But you’re gonna have to do the chicken dance in front of the group. And my assistant manager really wasn’t used to that kind of thing. You know, she was pretty. She was a fantastic manager, but she was more let’s follow the rules. We’re going to do it this way. It was more that I mean, she had fun on her own time, but not so much, you know, at work, was she wasn’t used to that. Sure. So anyway, I let the staff know that this was you know, she was betting against them. I’m getting betting forum. And PS, one of us is going to be doing the chicken dance next week. And I hope it’s not me. So that was an example. And it was her by the way. And she came in full costume to do the dance
Brett Bartholomew 41:51
She committed. Yeah, well, I mean, like, Yeah, just to codify that a little bit. You know, it makes sense. Because humor, fun, that’s the shortest distance between two people. And you know, there’s a lot of folks that listen, and they think about, you know, making their meetings better by, you know, it’s got to be this kind of structure, you’ve got to do this, and yes to all those things.
But you also have to remember things have to be fun and engaging, because you’re not an expert until somebody invites you into their life as one. And, you know, just by them, I’m sure walking into the office, even if somebody just really didn’t like you. They thought Who is this woman? No, no, we got streamers. What is the play place? At some point? I imagine if you do that consistently enough, they have to be like, okay, you know, it’s like in the movies, they start to when the new coach comes in, they’re like, alright, you can’t deny the effort here.
And then by the way, when they see everybody else, having fun, you create this social group, like a coalition tactic. And eventually the people that aren’t meant to be there, you know, they make themselves outsiders just because they show they’re not going to assimilate into that group. And so sometimes the environment you create, I would have to imagine police’s itself does not.
Marsha Bartholomew 42:55
Yeah, and it was, you know, one day, I knew that that tactic had worked, because the man that was 73 years old at the time, who was kind of curmudgeonly, and did an excellent job at what he did, but oftentimes just stayed in his cubicle, and didn’t interact with people a lot came up to me and he goes, you know, that’s the most fun I have in the week, I’m so glad you do that. He said, besides the six pack of beer I drink every Saturday night, that’s the most fun I have.
So it was like, great, you know, and he told that to the whole management staff. And they all said, oh, yeah, this is why we do this, you know. So, yeah, no matter what you think the other thing that we would do is, and I was talking about this with your brother, because he’s in a new position. We’d have a lot of trouble like when it snowed, just like even though most of the staff was college educated. When it snowed, they were a bunch of Kinder gardeners, it was like they didn’t want to come to work.
So what I did was when it snowed, I stopped at Krispy Kreme and got warm doughnuts. So if you came to work on a snow day, you knew you had doughnuts waiting for you when you came in. And again, you think that was really simplistic, but that got those people in the door before nine o’clock in the morning, because they knew if they flexed and later there wouldn’t be any doughnuts. So just and I’m not saying that’s the be all and then all and that’s going to work for you and your workplace. But something like that will work, something like that will bring them in and get them to say, yep, not a bad place to come to every day.
Brett Bartholomew 44:28
Yeah, no question. I mean, you hit the nail on the head. If you’re taking a new role and a new position. You’ve got to establish clear communication with your team members and that’s hard to do if you don’t listen to them. That’s hard to do if you don’t find ways to try to endear yourself to them, you know, and that doesn’t matter if you know some people they get so high and mighty because they might feel like they were hired as a subject matter expert to go fix something. Even if that’s the case.
There’s so much to learn if you just listen because the people that are there know where the bodies are buried. You know they can make your experience coming to improve things way easier, you know, if you can just, like reduce your power a little bit and your ego a little bit, or they can make it harder on you, you know, and so even being able to say, Hey, I’m here to learn from you guys, and not making that performative, you know, and finding ways to kind of keep them engaged. And I think you hit on another piece there too, because there’s so many times people will say, I just, I work with this person, and they’ve got a bad attitude, and they’ve got this and they forget, there are, there are some things that come down to characteristics of an individual.
But then there are other situational causes. And then there are interactions between those things. There are some people that you might think they’re in a bad mood, or that they’re a negative person. But really, they’re just going through a lot of stuff in life, you know, they’re not enough fun. And so, you know, that individual sounds like a perfect example of that you can’t be so quick to label people in situations. Give it time, give it time.
Marsha Bartholomew 45:55
Yep. And that was one of the other things that not everybody agreed with. But what I decided was that as I was getting to know, people, and when I was new to the position was that come on into my office, if you’re having a problem, whether it’s work related, or you’re going through something, you know, that you just want me to know about, you know, you’re invited to come into my office.
And when I found some people would do that, and some people wouldn’t, what I would do is talk to the person that wasn’t coming in to talk to me, and I’m not talking about every day, I’m talking about maybe come in and talk to me every few weeks or a couple of months come in and have a talk if you want to, then I would call them up and say, you know, I had something I want to talk to you about and we have a problem and your unit, I want to talk to you about it, would you mind coming and spending a half an hour in talking to me, and during that half an hour when you were supposedly talking to him about a problem, a work related problem?
You’d ask him how things are gone, you know, what have you been doing lately? Have you gone, you know, to any new restaurants, or whatever you can work that in, and all that’s not trying to interfere with them personally, but just trying to get to know what that person likes about their job, what they don’t like about their job, and how you can make their job better for them.
Brett Bartholomew 47:11
It reminds me of it interaction I had, you know, I was brought in to do an in service for a strength and conditioning coach one time at a major university. And it was actually their athletic director that had brought us in. And I remember talking to them about, you know, just they’re having trouble kind of getting some cohesion in the locker room, you know, is relatively new coach in terms of he had gotten brought in, he was very experienced, but he was very, he was just not very audience centric, right coach was more of a drill sergeant mentality.
So anyway, the moment I sat down with him, just to learn about him, he said, Let me guess you’re gonna tell me that I have to do some wishy washy communication stuff to get the trust of these people, and looks me dead in the eye and says, Listen, I got 130 kids on staff, I don’t have time to have some kind of in depth conversation when I’m on the floor with them. And I got 60 minutes. And I said, All right, well, you know, thanks for that. Let’s talk about what you can do when you’re not in that on the floor.
Because you have more than 60 minutes with them. You know, you can have all kinds of interactions with them ad hoc, whether it’s individual in your office or between sessions or casually and, you know, but you could just tell us like, people can get so close down to the obvious. Yeah, most of our biggest problems come down to the obvious and come down to just taking the time to prioritize people. But that’s a differentiator. You know, I have to ask, and this will bridge into the next segmentation of questions as we go into more of the personal side of things. Just to close some of the leadership pieces out there. How would you define your leadership style? You know, it’s multivariate for sure. But if you had to use descriptive terms, you know, and somebody asks you that, like, how would you define your leadership style? Okay, compassionate, convicting, you know.
Marsha Bartholomew 49:00
It’s definitely achievement driven, you know, because what, you know, I didn’t mention is that, you know, once this all got going that office, our office in Omaha, became a premier office where other managers came to visit, to see how we were making goals and goals for Social Security included. You know, you wanted to process somebody’s application quickly, because you’re talking about somebody that’s retiring, and all of a sudden, they’re not getting a paycheck. So they need their social security check to get there on time.
So a way, you know, that was one way, you know, you judge the success of an office was time from application when somebody came in and filed an application to the time they got their first social security check. Another thing that we they looked at was customer service. All kinds of customer service emails went out and said, How is the customer service at your local office? You know, how long did you have to wait before you spoke to someone? What was the demeanor of the person you spoke to?
All kinds of questions and those then were tabulated in our regional office in Kansas City, and they came out. And if you got, what I would do is if and then they came to me, so I could see if we got a bad review. And you had to, you know, look at those bad reviews, and hopefully learn from them, and then do better in customer service at after that. So that’s something we were working on all the time, too. And so we got really good at that. And so other managers wanted to visit to see how we did these things. And so achievement was really important to me too.
Brett Bartholomew 50:47
I’m glad that you brought that I mean, and obviously I’m a bit fixated on this, because and some of you listening might know this, I’m working on a new book. And, you know, part of the book talks about why so many leaders can often feel like they’re failing, even when they’re trying to do quote, unquote, the “right thing”, and the right thing and good decisions and all those pieces are contextual. But you know, a lot of people just classically, you look at what the research says about certain leadership styles. And they use words like servant leader, transformational leader, or sometimes there’s transactional leaders. And there’s a lot of these have, like, very positivistic vibes, as if you have to be a mother Teresa style. That’s how you just have to be supplicating. And in reality, sometimes you just got to crack the whip and get shit done.
Marsha Bartholomew 51:36
And there was that too. I mean, you have to fire people. Yeah, there’s nothing higher, harder, more difficult than firing someone. I remember having to do that and thinking, okay, so today, I’m going to or tomorrow, I’m going to have to fire someone, and she has children and her husband doesn’t have a job right now. Yeah. And what’s going to happen the next day to her but, you know, you just, again, that’s part of leadership. And, you know, I was last night I was getting ready for this. And I went back to, you know, some of my training with Daniel Gallup. And so I thought, you know, I gotta go look back at those old StrengthsFinders and see, you know, because you know, what kind of leader was I and when I looked at those Gallup StrengthsFinders, what I was, was in the category of achiever, relator, and developer. And that was really important to me to develop people to get to the right job, because there were all types of jobs they could do in different parts of the agency. But behind all that you do, you, you got to reach goals, you’ve got to, you know, accomplish the work. So you can be all those things, but the work still has to get done.
Brett Bartholomew 52:51
Yep. No, I think that’s a great piece there. And, you know, for anybody interested in learning more about Strengthsfinders and things like that, we have a whole chapter that dissects a lot of those in Conscious Coaching, which we’ll have links to, but we talked about whether it’s the DISC assessment, Myers-Briggs, Strengthsfinders, we do a breakdown of those pieces in Conscious Coaching now, and you reminded me, I’m gonna look up my StrengthsFinders, why we transition here.
We’re gonna start talking about some personal things. But before we do, I have to ask this because I know there’s listeners that are going to relate to this. How did you balance the demands of your job with your personal life, you know, including family commitments and things like that. And, you know, I’ll give you a little bit of leeway here. We know that there’s no such thing as true balance, but just in terms of the colloquial use of that, and you get what that’s getting at. You are hard driving, you were very career oriented.
That said, I always remember you as this very compassionate and I’m like, one thing that I’ll never forget, is, you know, and I was having this conversation with a buddy the other day, and sorry if this makes some of you uncomfortable, but you know, he was talking about how, oh, well skip this. But point being is, you went to work, you were hard charging, but you also had no trouble coming home and being you know, a homemaker in many respects. And that wasn’t like dad and dad worked his butt off and dad did things at home as well.
But there just wasn’t this tit for tat. What should a man do? What should a woman do? What should this and and I don’t? You know, I think, correct me if I’m wrong. I told Liz this the other day I go, you know, I remember my parents had to go to work super early and then they typically had to work super late like, weren’t you gone from like 6:00 to 5:00?
Marsha Bartholomew 54:37
Was gone from 6:30 to 5:00. Yeah.
Brett Bartholomew 54:42
And then when did, how long were dad’s hours? I know they change but like generally what we’re dad’s hours?
Marsha Bartholomew 54:48
You didn’t have to be at work that early. Because markets opened at nine. So I think typically he would be at work between 8:00 and 8:30 but he worked out later at night than I did. Yeah, especially several nights a week. He had to work later at night. Because at that point in his career, he was doing what they call cold calling. So you could reach people on the phone after five o’clock. So he’d stay at work to do that.
Brett Bartholomew 55:16
Yeah. But and I just bring that up to contextualize and then I’ll let you answer the question. I’ll restate it in case but I don’t know how Nick feels about this. But like, despite that, I never felt like well, where my parents, you know, where are they? Like, I don’t remember. And I’m pretty you know, I’m hard on you. I’d tell you if I remember it. Like, I don’t remember any of that, you know, and I got brought up, because I was speaking at a conference last February.
And somebody I don’t think they knew how it came across or maybe they did, but they were complimenting us in terms of Art Of Coaching growing, and they said, Hey, I respect that and I love what you’re doing. And I thought about, you know, speaking more myself, but I could never do that to my family. And I remember saying, well, like, how do you mean? And he’s like, Well, you got a young kid, right?
And I’m like, yeah, and he goes, well, how much you travel? I go 65,000 to 80,000 miles a year. And he’s like, well, that’s what I mean. I go, yeah, but that’s also seasonal. You know, I’m here on the weekends. Like, you know, there’s a lot of context around that, you know, and I just remember, like, how odd that was to hear that. And I thought about what did I experienced as a kid? So that said, how did you balance those things? Because you still achieved a lot, even though you were a mother of two boys?
Marsha Bartholomew 56:26
Well, as you alluded to, you never really achieved balance. The balance is every day, you know, you’re lucky if on a day, everything goes as planned and your childcare situation works out. And everybody’s feels healthy, and you get to work. I think one of the things that helped me balance is by the time and this was a planned thing, you know, your dad and I planned what we wanted to do in our lives before we started to have children.
And that was one of the things that we had talked about and agreed on early on. So anyway, the way we did that was we talked about what was good childcare, like childcare started out when your brother Nick, who’s, as you know, four years older than you are, we started out by taking him to a lady in the neighborhood and she watched him. That didn’t go very well.
Brett Bartholomew 57:27
Why not? Because I know Nick is gonna, at some point, Nick’s gonna listen to this, why didn’t that go very well?
Marsha Bartholomew 57:32
Well, because somebody that’s doing it in their own home, is not policed by anybody. So you don’t really know what she’s doing as far as watching your child. And at some point, it became evident that she wasn’t doing a very good job of watching my child.
Brett Bartholomew 57:55
That’s a Thanksgiving Day conversation, I gotta find out more detail, but I won’t put you on the spot on the air.
Marsha Bartholomew 58:01
Thank you. So then we decided, well, we probably need to go to a daycare situation, because then at the very least, there’s other people around, there’s something structured, you know, if something’s not right, somebody’s going to tell. But the problem with that is, Nick would get sick a lot, which I know you can relate to. And he started to get really bad ear infections. So then your dad and I talked about it the last time I had to pick him up and take him to the pediatrician, I decided there must be something better.
So at the time, a local place, while local to the state of Nebraska anyway, was advertising that they had nannies available. So we thought, well, let’s look into that. So I started to interview nannies and these were nannies that were from someplace in Nebraska, oftentimes small towns, and they wanted to come to the big town of Omaha, and watch some of these children’s so we decided, well, let’s give that a try. So, I rarely told people at work that that’s what was going on that I had a nanny, because that sounded so presumptuous. And so, you know, you just, you know, normal people don’t have nannies,
Brett Bartholomew 59:22
you know, and people just jumped to conclusions. I mean, like.
Marsha Bartholomew 59:27
Bcause once we got into that situation the horror stories that I would tell about nannies it made it very clear that you know, that is not the perfect solution to childcare. So anyway.
Brett Bartholomew 59:39
One real quick at that point in time, would you have classified you know, the household income as middle class?
Marsha Bartholomew 59:45
Brett Bartholomew 59:46
Okay. just giving people insight in terms of these. So like,
Marsha Bartholomew 59:49
This was because they lived in that meant that, you know, you didn’t have to pay him as much as if they came and went, you know, they lived in the house with you Yeah. So that you provided room and board. So the cash outflow wasn’t as much as it would have been, if you were paying somebody to come into your house, and then they went home, and then they came back. But it also meant that you had very young women come in, and they didn’t necessarily have a great work ethic.
And the balance part was one night, when I woke up to the bathroom across from our bedroom, the nanny was throwing up, and I thought, Oh, great, she’s sick, she’s drunk, I’m not gonna be able to go to work tomorrow. So again, it’s not perfect. I think the way we could achieve balance is your dad helped. We took turns taking time off, if the childcare situation wasn’t working out. And but mostly it was me because your dad was starting out and by then I was already in management. So I had a lot more freedom of taking time off plus, in the federal government, you earn time off, so it just meant I used a vacation day.
Yeah. So that’s how we balanced it. And where we didn’t balance it so well is when you had to let a nanny go, because it’s just like any other person that may or may not any other person that works for you is and may or may not work out, and if you fire that person, which you know, all the stories when that came up, the next day, you can’t go to work, because you got to watch your kids. So that’s my long answer to that. Well, and sometimes we balance better than others.
Brett Bartholomew 1:01:30
I’m not gonna let you get by that easy as well, either, because the answer is longer than more nuanced, and just childcare because on the other end, you have to balance like, there’s some things that you just can’t do, you know, like, I’m a parent of one right now, you know, and there are some things that I can’t take on that I want to do.
There’s something and that’s, that’s where we’re going to come full circle back to you know, what you said about, I still want to unpack that resent, please, because there had to have been some professional like, you know, professional oriented things that you would have had to have just put on the sidelines or press pause on at the moment.
And just before we do that, there were some benefits of the nannies like I had my if anybody’s seen The Sandlot squints and windy peppercorn moment, I’m pretty sure I fell in love with a nanny of mine named Mikayla Fred’s back in the day. Which Mikayla, you’re still around, where are you? I’m happily married. But I just like to say thank you, for all the positive influence you put in my life. That’s a whole another story, Liz is rolling her eyes. And also, she was hugely influential in my love for hip hop, but from a professional side of things, because I think that’s what our audience is gonna want to know as well.
There’s people listening that think, okay, yeah, I get it. And thank you for that, like, I’ll look into daycare, but they’re having feelings about like, what does this mean for my career? Like, how can I keep moving forward? You know, despite making these light, and it might not even be, by the way, being kids, like, I’m gonna have you unpack that. But there’s some people in our audience that have to take care of sick loved ones, anything that represents a constraint, you know, like, what’s your views on that?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:03:04
My views are, if you want to work and get ahead at your workplace, you have to figure that out. You have to figure just like what we had to do, we had to figure out well, in home, you know, one person watching our child didn’t work out, daycare wasn’t working out, what do we do next. And then, if that’s the case, you have to have a backup, there’s always got to be a backup.
So both the grandmothers in my situation lived in small towns, but they were small towns an hour or more away. So it wasn’t like they could drive to us the next day. And they were both working at the time, both grandmothers were working. So that would have meant that they also had to leave their jobs. So grandmothers sometimes worked out but not always.
Brett Bartholomew 1:03:52
But besides from childcare, I’m talking about what did you have to eat professionally, just because, you know, you weren’t like some people are gonna have to say, Hey, does it mean like, if I have kids, does that mean that I’m not going to be able to dedicate a certain amount of time to this and like, in my mind, it helped me just whittle some things away, like there yes. Are some things that you get salty about because you’re like, you want to take on so much. But you also just have to realize like, hey, on the flip side, maybe this helps me get a lot more clear about one thing or two. I just got to plan it out a little bit more. It helps you say no to more things and prioritize more deeply. Yeah.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:04:29
Right. Well, that’s the resentment piece was twofold. One when you started kindergarten, I wanted to go to go back to law school. I wanted to go to law school because then both my kids were in school. And so I it was more complicated than this, but the answer from your dad is that’s just not possible.
Brett Bartholomew 1:04:52
We need get dad on the podcast now. He’s gonna have to.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:04:56
it’s not possible because your income, you know, he was working on commission. And my income meant that we could pay the bills every month without having to worry what he made in commission from month to month. And my benefit package was so much better than his, that, you know, we relied on that. So that was certainly not his fault. That was just the way it was. That was, you know, where we were in life. So then, the other part that I had alluded to before, is, if I didn’t stay in Omaha, if I was willing to go to other places, like say, there was a job opening in Des Moines, or a job opening in Kansas City, and I put in for that opening, I could have gotten promoted a lot faster.
But I chose not to do that, because your dad wasn’t going to move for my job. Yeah. And so that also was confining, you know, it would have been like the whole family would have had to move, and your dad wasn’t going to give his job up for mine. So that meant that, you know, I had to do the best I could with getting promoted. And it took me a lot longer to work my way up to that Omaha management job than it would have if I would have been able to move from town to town to get promotions. Yeah.
Brett Bartholomew 1:06:18
That makes sense. All right. Well, let’s shift into some of the personal side of things. And I’ll limit those.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:06:22
That was personal.
Brett Bartholomew 1:06:23
Yeah, well, now it’s going to be completely personal. You know, and I know you have some little touch points that you want to hit on here. Could you prep so arduously for it? So 30 minutes max, in terms of the torture that’s still a calm? Are you game for it? You thought you were done? No, now is where we get into like, the emotional, you know, these kinds of things.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:06:46
So you’re gonna make me cry?
Brett Bartholomew 1:06:47
No, I’m not gonna make you cry. You know, it’s common, because you’re the only guest in history we’ve ever provided sample questions for, except maybe for a few at the beginning, before I knew better and subjected them to improv. You know, there’s always people we live in an age, especially now where everybody just wants to pick the brain of others. Oh, can I pick your brain to what’s uh, what’s this advice? What’s that advice? And of course, there’s no one size fits all answers. But I’d love to know, just what is some of the best and worst, it doesn’t need to be the number one best, the number one worst. But what is some of the best and worst advice that you’ve ever been given? Either just personally or professionally, anything like that? Because that was on something on the list of the personal questions that I have for you.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:07:32
It was, and this is going to be a lot simpler answer than I’m sure you’re hoping for. My best and worst advice came from the same person. And that was my grandfather. It was at a time and I’ll tell you before I can tell you why I got the best and worst advice from him. I’ve got to contextualize what, who he was. I mentioned before that he had four children and nine grandchildren. And he was the leader of the family and every sense, you know, he was used to putting the hammer down, telling his children, their spouses, the grandchildren, you know, what was expected of him. And that makes it sound like he was.
But he was also very compassionate. Like I learned so much from him. I probably that’s where I got my management style. And I’m just thinking of this. He was like a straightforward get it done person. But at the same time, you knew he loved you. So anyway and he was a farmer and he was a very successful farmer. In fact, I know this is now kind of the norm. I know there are a lot of very wealthy farmers that stayed on the family farm because farm ground it’s worth so much right now. But when my grandfather died, my grandparents were worth $3 million. Wow. So that’s how well he farmed.
Brett Bartholomew 1:09:02
Why didn’t we get any of that legacy money? You know, there’s Liz and I are both working for a company that’s Bootstrap. Where’s this at? Is this in the Maserati hat you drive? I’m joking.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:09:12
No, you know, my grandfather lived a long life and so my grandma.
Brett Bartholomew 1:09:18
Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves and three generations right there.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:09:21
And a lot went to church, you know, they believed in giving it to the church. So anyway. He was, what happened was family units in his time stayed together. My parents got divorced. And that
Brett Bartholomew 1:09:39
And you and dad were divorced?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:09:41
Yeah. But he didn’t live to know that, he did, you know, my parents were divorced and he didn’t understand that. He didn’t understand how that could happen. Literally, he did. You know, if you made a commitment, your commitment was for life. It was lifelong. You don’t get divorced. And really that divorce, blindsided my mom, his daughter, so it shouldn’t have. But yet he blamed her, you know, somehow, in some part of him, he blamed her for that. And so my mom at the time was didn’t work outside the home.
But after high school before she got married to my dad, she had gone to secretarial school. So once they got divorced, she was able to support herself with those skills. And her relationship with her parents became so you know, so difficult for that she moved away. And so not only did she get divorced, but she moved us to another small town in Iowa, which was three hours away from my grandparents. So that also was something he was having trouble dealing with. Well, along the way, just to move this along, along the way, she obviously would come into some financial difficulty. And he would help her, it was not that, you know, he certainly, he may not have liked the situation, but he helped her whenever he could. So one day, I decided I’m going to college, I’m about to get out of high school, I’m going to college.
Well, I was the second oldest cousin. And nobody else had gone to college yet. So again, here we come something new. So my grandparents one day came to visit. And I remember being in my bedroom looking over all my paperwork that I needed to do for my guidance counselor to go to college. And my grandfather came into my bedroom and said, Well, I hear you decided to go to college. How do you plan to do that? You don’t have any money. Your mom doesn’t have any money. I suppose that’s another thing that I’m gonna have to pay for.
Brett Bartholomew 1:11:53
He said that to you. Yeah. And is this leading to your best and worst advice he gave you?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:11:59
That’s it, right there.
Brett Bartholomew 1:12:00
Marsha Bartholomew 1:12:01
You can’t do it.
Brett Bartholomew 1:12:03
That’s not that’s not advice. That’s a statement.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:12:06
Yeah, well, it became the best advice and that was the impetus that got me to college. Got me to put in for scholarships, got me to put in for loans.
Brett Bartholomew 1:12:19
Yeah, you had a chip on your shoulder.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:12:21
And never take a penny from him. Yeah,
Brett Bartholomew 1:12:23
You had a chip on your, here what we’d call if anybody listening, you haven’t done the drives quiz three, go to artofcoaching.com/whatdrivesyou. No question, you are an adversity drive, and you wonder where I get it, by the way.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:12:37
It was like, that’s it. And again, you know, like everybody says, God rest his soul. He was a very compassionate man. Because you notice I said in there, he helped my mom financially whenever she needed her. Right. Yeah, I’m sure if I wouldn’t have taken it that way. He also would have helped me through college, but I wasn’t going to take it at that point. There
Brett Bartholomew 1:12:59
That’s a generation that really wasn’t going to put up with quiet quitting. And, you know, all this other shit that people are doing now. And that is what it is in the historical context. You know, and I don’t know if people’s souls like that ever really rest, by the way, you know, like, that’s the irony there. Because just hard driving family, hard driving person. You know, I am a little disappointed that you didn’t say the best advice was from Grandpa, who I think he told you, it wasn’t a rule number one, most people are idiots. I think that, you know, that was what he said?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:13:28
That was from my dad. Right. But what my dad said is that one time we were standing in line at a pharmacy, and people kept cutting in front of us and my dad had retired to Sarasota and a lot of very wealthy people from the north, both Midwestern and East Coast, retired in Sarasota. And his explanation is, you know, they’re used to getting their way and, you know, going to the front of the line. So that’s what they would do even at the pharmacy, you know, there was a line of maybe five or six of us, and these people kept cutting in front. Oh, man, that’s when my dad said, you know, there’s a lot of stupid people in the world and that’s true. There are a lot of.
Brett Bartholomew 1:14:16
Yeah. Alright, so what’s something that Nick or I, your children have taught you?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:14:25
Okay, what you have taught me is to be more fearless. To not approach things from fear, or at least try not to approach people from being afraid of a situation. That’s hard for me sometimes. But I’ve watched both of you do that. I’ve watched you build a company from nothing. And it hasn’t been easy.
I’ve watched Nick try to support his family through restaurants and if people own restaurants they know that’s not easy. And I’ve watched you do your professional jobs without fear. Most of the time, I’m not saying you never have fear, but you have a lot less fear than I’d have. And you’ve taught me that you both taught me that in different ways that, you know, people need to approach their life being more fearless.
Brett Bartholomew 1:15:22
Now, I appreciate that. That said, I don’t think anybody that goes back and listen to this episode would say that you sounded like you were scared, it actually sounded like the opposite. They just heard you say that, you know, because of some stuff that your great grandpa, your grandfather, a great grandfather told you and several other things at you. You weren’t scared to take that job in Omaha, you weren’t scared to go your own way. You weren’t scared to do that. So? Are you sure?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:15:46
Yeah, I’m sure you’ve taught me that. And I think just being around both you and now your children has taught me to enjoy the moment that things go by now. See, this is where I’m gonna start to cry. So, you know, it’s taught me that, you know, you got to be in the moment. Because, you know, like this Christmas, when we saw little kids on bumper cars and a fairy fly across the room, I wouldn’t miss those moments for anything. And the poor I go to sleep at night, those are the moments I think about.
Brett Bartholomew 1:16:19
Yeah, no, that’s great. That’s a great answer. And you know, it leads to you know, at the time of this recording, you know, my son, Bronson is three your grandson. And you know, my nieces and Nick’s kids are what, four and 12. Oh, should bring us three? Yeah, a little closer to four than three. And then how?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:16:39
Yeah, she’s three and a half. Yeah. And daily is 15 months, right?
Brett Bartholomew 1:16:44
So how do you hope they remember you?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:16:48
I hope them remember that I was fun. That through, for the most part, they had a good time with me. And I hope they learned some life skills along the way too, as they get older.
Brett Bartholomew 1:17:01
Yeah, that’s good. When You and dad were struggling together, and even just you know, because even when you got divorced, after the messy period that is inherent every divorce, right, you’re able to keep a collaborative, you know, relationship, a good friendship, all those things, there’s not many couples that, you know, find ways in some way, shape or form, to be able to stick with it through thick and thin.
And, you know, it’s very easy to kind of just start hating that other person. And, you know, there’s some couples, by the way that are better off just like, completely, you know, that person is not in their life. Right. So I know, that’s not for everybody, but I’m talking about you here, you know, what is some stuff that was strengthened in your relationship or your friendship? You know, because of the nasty hard things that if everything had been perfect, do you don’t think ever would have been forged, and I’m throwing a curveball, you know, I didn’t ask you this one directly.
But I just, it comes from a place where I think that people so often vilify the bad times, and the negative, and they don’t realize that as awful as those things can be, it helps create relationships that are, you know, forged, and just something different, right? Like, there’s primordial, like metal that like, you know, you have to lean on, sometimes per string. So what are some stuff that you’re actually like, thankful for? Or that weight improved? Because of the bad times? Not just the good times?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:18:26
Yeah. Um, well, you know, it didn’t happen right away. Sure. I mean, you know, once when that divorce was fresh, that wasn’t, you know, it didn’t, what was always true, is that we were parents, and we were parents of the same two sons. And we had to make sure that we had our son’s best interest at heart. So, really, besides our person, you know, who was going through, you and Nick were going through some really tough times at the same time, because you had to go from place to place. And you were also you were in middle school and then it became high school. And, you know, what you’ll learn as a parent is those aren’t easy years, no matter what, no matter
Brett Bartholomew 1:19:25
I lived, I wrote that, you know, talked about that in my book, and all those pieces so
Marsha Bartholomew 1:19:29
And so what we learned is that whatever our feelings were about the divorce is we had to parent together. Because if we didn’t parent together, what would become of you two, you know, it would be like, you had to have rules. You know, you had to have curfews, and if you were in my house, the curfew had to be the same as if you were at your dad, and we had to make sure that happened. So I think you know, the thing that you know, one of the things that kept you at it, your dad and I together initially was that we both had a lot of drive initiative, stick to itiveness. And we had same goals, we had the same goals.
And we sure were going to be the best divorced parents we could be. And that meant we had to communicate. So we had to get past whatever our feelings were about the divorce, and still communicate and be the best parents we could. And corralling you guys was kind of hard. Yeah, it was hard. You know, it’s harder corralling your brother than you, but it was hard.
Brett Bartholomew 1:20:34
Well, I think that’s what I was gonna say, I’m glad to get to that piece at the end, not about Nick. But about communicating because, you know, something we talk a lot about at our workshops is, the only way for communication to fail is if it stops. And what I remember is, you know, just the fact that, you know, you guys always communicated now, just like any married couple or divorced couple, or a couple in general, or person in any other context, whether you always communicated well or not, you know, that’s we’re not getting into that it’s just a matter of, but you communicated, especially as it pertained to being parents, and you can’t just shut down when you have kids, you know, and you can’t shut down.
And, you know, Liz, and I talked about this, if anybody’s interested, Episode 100.I did an episode with my wife, and we’ll do another one. But you know, we experienced plenty of fights and things like that. And, you know, that you deal with a lot when you run a business together. And, you know, we’ve had to face those same challenges, you know, Liz, would tell you that she tends to shut down and, you know, I can be a little bit more, you know, she would tell you that I seek out conflict, and we’ve had to manage those communication styles and misperceptions and just say, hey, like, you can’t shut down, you know, like, she can’t shut down. You can’t, like, there’s gonna be a lot of things both sides can do.
But you’ve got to keep the ball in the air, so to speak, especially when you have kids and all those things. And what’s your alternative? I think just like, people quit so easily. And people, you know, idealize things. So, you know, I appreciated that, for sure. What are you now at this point in your life? And we’ll go beyond just, you know, obviously, you want your family to be healthy, grandkids, all those things. Let’s try to get a little deeper than that. What are you Marsha Bartholomew, at this age, at this point in your life need to be truly happy and fulfilled?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:22:22
This is a tough one. Um, so, here’s truly and I know you’re gonna think this sounds you know.
Brett Bartholomew 1:22:33
You’re putting, you’re putting a lot of like presuppositions on me and all that just say what you’re gonna say.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:22:40
Having a close relationship with both my son’s is the most important thing to me. It’s always has been. Sorry.
Brett Bartholomew 1:22:52
You’re fine. This happens plenty on the podcast.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:22:55
So that’s the most important thing to me, it’s also important to be to have a close relationship with my brother. Um, so that’s the most important thing, um, retired or not, you know, both those things were important whether, even before I retired. The other thing is that, um, now I forgot my train of thought, because I got upset.
Brett Bartholomew 1:23:23
You’re fine. Do you want me to go to another question, then we can come back to it?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:23:26
Yeah, let’s come back to that.
Brett Bartholomew 1:23:27
Okay. So there’s plenty of things that as we you know, transition to different parts of our life, that we you know, we acquire, and we gather, but you also get a lot of happiness and fulfillment from giving up some things and, and getting, you know, realizing that some, whether you want to call them personality traits, or behaviors or biases, whatever, certain things just don’t suit you anymore. What is something that you think, you know, Marsha and her 30s, or 40s, and really pick your decade would have been an ardent or staunch believer in that you needed to be happy or whatever, that really, you now have learned? Alright, that wasn’t that big of a deal. I mean, it was then. So you’re not you know, I’m not saying that it didn’t serve you then. But you just, you know, as you transition to different parts of your life, you’re like, I learned either better manage that or steer that. And I’ll give an example of my own if that helps. But I’d love to get your take on that.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:24:21
Okay, what I would say is, I’m gonna go back to my job. Sure. Um, when I became a supervisor, for the first time, I didn’t have any children. So it was just your dad and I pretty much you know, and our theory was, we had three goals. Before we had kids, we wanted to travel some, we wanted to own a house, buy a house, and your dad wanted a quarterback.
So those were our three goals before we had kids, but we knew that we wanted to have kids by the time I turned 30. So for the first part of my life, work life, I had no kids. And people would tell me that, you know, you’re really, you really are too driven, you have too many expectations of the people that work for you. You’re too concerned about people following the rules, because, you know, there were a lot of rules in the federal government. And the mid Evidently, the minute I came back from maternity leave with Nick, I became more compassionate, and according to the people that worked with me, and I really think that’s what having children gave to me was, I became more compassionate, you know, it’s like, my life, something besides work became important to me.
And I think that gives you more compassion. And, you know, like what we talked about when we were talking about the leadership thing that you have to be compassionate, you have to be because people that are working with you and for you are going through various things in life. So compassion was something I gained. And I would never give back, you know, because that became a very important part of my leadership.
Brett Bartholomew 1:26:13
Yeah, that’s a good answer. One of my favorite toasts goes something like may you get everything you wish for in life, except for one thing. So you always have something to strive for. You’ve obviously accomplished a lot. In many respects, I think you’d classify yourself as blessed. But what is something yet that you still want to accomplish? And it doesn’t need to be like, Oh, writing a memoir, The Great American Novel, it can be travel related, it can be simulated.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:26:39
It’s travel related, you can stop right there. It’s travel related. I want to travel, I don’t want to travel extensively, because for me, travel, I don’t know, travels difficult, not difficult physically. But it’s difficult for me to leave my home base for long periods of time.
Brett Bartholomew 1:27:01
Marsha Bartholomew 1:27:03
Because I have some OCD, and everything in my home places a certain way. And I have order here. And even though my kids are grown, I don’t want to be away from my children for long periods of time. But there’s you know.
Brett Bartholomew 1:27:21
Timeout, timeout, we’ve invited you to go, you know, by the time this drops, and were going to Australia to run a workshop at the end of February. But you’ve been invited to go to some of these places, I’m pulling your leg. But you know, I know one piece of advice that always stuck with me is travel is the best education.
And so I can definitely relate. I mean, if you remember when I was little, like it would drive me nuts, if we traveled beyond a point because at that point, I didn’t want to miss a workout. I didn’t want to do this. Now I travel an absurd amount. And I’m grateful for that. Because I think that being away from some things that made me OCD or certain like I had to let go of certain things that I thought served me that didn’t, because you just had to, you know, that wasn’t available.
It was a new constraint, it was a new culture, you didn’t have easy access to things. And I would say something that helped me grow a lot is just having to travel so much in my life at a relatively young age. And you know, also having to do that alone. You know, and so that is something that I wish I could have shared with you more often. So we got to find a way to do that because I would like to find a way for you to get to and you know, obviously anybody listening, it’s not like oh, you can just take time and you don’t get paid PTO when you’re running your own business. So I’m more you punk need to buy books and things like that.
So my mom can go on and Eat, Pray, Love trip to Guadalajara and anywhere else, but I do want to, you know, we got to try it. You’re gonna have to get rid of that OCD. Now I’m gonna take you someplace where you’re like, you know, really out of your wits. You know, we’re gonna go to like Nairobi. We’re gonna do like Adam Sandler style like in the movie blended. This in Africa is beautiful or going somewhere we’re gonna figure this out because.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:29:05
Yeah, I think that’s a good idea.
Brett Bartholomew 1:29:06
You’re gonna have to figure out at least two places. And you can’t overpack, Mom. You can’t, overpack.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:29:11
That’s my other problem is I won’t have all my stuff I might need, you know.
Brett Bartholomew 1:29:17
You don’t need half of it.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:29:18
I might not have my lip balm or something that I need and you know, will I be able to get that?
Brett Bartholomew 1:29:24
Alright, you’ve done a good sport. I’m gonna leave this last bit up to you. Anything else that I didn’t ask you? I know we had a huge laundry list of questions but we also the conversation went in a lot of really good organic places which it should you know, any last thing you want to talk about? Anything you want to ask me any final word? Anything like that? I’ll put the power in your hands.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:29:47
Wow. That is kinda quiet any question that you one last thing I wanted to say that my children, specifically, something you and I have talked about is that I need to do better or at reading more, learning more. Because as I was prepping for this, I started to think, wow, you know, some of these, some of these things are really something I should read more and learn about more. So, you know,
Brett Bartholomew 1:30:18
Which I omitted some of them. I omitted some of them like you asked.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:30:19
Yep. You have constantly, you know, urge me to read more, exercise more, and whether you believe it or not that makes a difference. I was actually was into that, so I appreciate that so much. And that’s another thing that my children have given to me.
Brett Bartholomew 1:30:38
Yeah, well I appreciate that. I do get asked I guess one more thing now that I look at it. This is just because this is gonna serve as a pretty cool time capsule for our family as well, as you know just general benefit for the audience, you know. Understanding that you and dad had your differences. But he’ll listen to this, and my kids will listen to this. And that’s not invitation for you to bullshit it. But despite your differences in all that over the years. What drew you to dad? What do you still to this day very much appreciate about him?
Marsha Bartholomew 1:31:10
Well to this day as a friend. You know, he is as you start to lose different family members in your life you realize that, really, it’s hard to maintain friends, that people, you know your family is your family. And like I said being close to certain family members is very important to me, and something I try to work on all the time. But as friends go by the wayside, like when you’re working, you have work friends but what you don’t realize at the time is they’re work friends. They’re really not gonna probably make it through the long run. So your dad and I have been friends since he was 19 and I was 21, and we remain friends now because we have similar goals in life. And I know one of the things you asked me is what drew me to him initially, he’s fun. We had a lot of fun, that’s changed.
Brett Bartholomew 1:32:11
Oh! He’s still fun!
Marsha Bartholomew 1:32:14
He was fun. That’s what drew him to me, drew him to me. Which is like I said, and hopefully my grandkids will remember me that I was fun, they had fun.
Brett Bartholomew 1:32:34
Well I know. You know listen. I’m so grateful to be able to have had this opportunity to spend this time with you. You have avoided it, and evaded it a long time. I remember you know the first time for Christmas I gave you one of those books that was like “Conversations with my mom” you were like, this is what you do before someone dies, and all this. So it’s hard corralling you but you know your wisdom and to use the word that you utilize so often throughout this conversation.
Your compassion and your strength really continue to inspire me, and you’ve always made me proud to be your child. As your cards and everything continue to remind me, even though I’m a grown ass man I’m still your child. And I wanted to thank you for, 1. Learning zoom, 2. For sharing your stories and your heart, most importantly, transparently with me and all of our listeners. It means so much for me to be able to connect with you in this way, and to learn from you. You’re an absolute incredible mother and person and just think this is gonna be out there digitally forever.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:33:37
I don’t know if the world could handle it.
Brett Bartholomew 1:33:39
My goal is that 3-4 generations from now. You know hopefully, our family line isn’t extinct then. People are able to listen to that, and they’re gonna be able to interact with ancestors. So I just want to tell any of you listening if you haven’t had the chance to do this already. Even if you have the foursome pam under the table, have this conversation with a family member.
Mother or father if you have them, if not, whoever you, there’s a family you’re born with and the family you choose. Find people you love, have conversations that last, record them. You don’t have to make them a podcast. Put them in a dropbox, put them in a google drive. My neighbor Matt has explicit instructions cause I did, I put something on Youtube it’s available to the public we’ll put a link if anybody wants to know. But I was super emotional when we had Bronson, one day I took a walk, and I’m like if anything ever happens to me. I
want to have a video that tells my son, some things. And yeah I could get laughed at because I made this public. But if something happens, and somebody didn’t have the password to this and then I just. So that’s what I did. My neighbor knows, if anything happens to me, and hopefully nothing does. But that video’s out there and my son can see that. These things have just wide ranging implications and are the kind of things that people would pull out during rainy days even if you don’t think so. I just want to tell you mom how much once again, I respect you, I admire you, I love you, and I appreciate you.
Marsha Bartholomew 1:35:04
Alright, back at you son. You know like I told you many times, both in writing and in person, you and your brother are my greatest achievements. I love ya!
Brett Bartholomew 1:35:12
Alright guys, for myself and my mom, and all of us at the Art of Coaching this has been another episode of the Art of Coaching podcast. Please leave a review, please send this to your family members, you know maybe it’ll inspire them to have those discussions. And give it up, a round of applause for Marsha Bartholomew, and her first podcast ever.
Until next time, we’ll talk to you soon.
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