E15 Leading by Example: How to Be & Raise a Leader in Today’s World with Dean Katris

Episode Description
“The stronger the winds, the deeper the roots and the more beautiful the tree. Don’t take away their wind.” -Dean Katris

A trainer of 22 years, Dean Katris is an expert in not only teaching leadership, but living it out himself everyday. In this episode, we chat with Dean about his passion for leadership, his involvement in the leadership program, U & Improved, and how you can raise your kids/students to be leaders in today’s world! Tune in to hear more from Dean and see below for a full list of topics covered.

Key Topics Covered in This Episode:

  • A little background on Dean and his title of “Master Trainer”
  • What “U & Improved” is and how to get involved
  • How Dean got on the path of leadership
  • His typical client
  • Dean’s advice for how to handle the negative implications of social media
  • Why it’s GOOD for your kids to feel pressure
  • His advice & resources for parents
  • The issue of generational labeling (millennials, boomers, etc.)

Resources Mentioned:

“Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid without Losing Your Mind”

by Michael J. Bradley

“Parenting with Love and Logic: Teaching Children Responsibility”

by Foster Cline and Jim Fay

“Permission to Screw Up: How I Learned to Lead by Doing (Almost) Everything Wrong”

by Kristen Hadeed and Simon Sinek

Connect with the hosts:



lr transcripts


Allison: Hello and welcome to another episode of Learning Reimagined. I’m Alison Danpier and with me is Sandy Gamba. Good afternoon, Sandy. 

Sandy: Hi Alison. 

Allison: I am very interested in today’s expert that we have.

We have with us Dean Katrice. He is an expert in leadership, and leadership has always been a passion of. All the way back to middle school, I believe is when I first started getting involved in leadership and it was a, a core part of my high school experience, my college experience, and then moving into the professional world.

Sandy and I have done quite a few conferences in leadership. We attend a lot of different workshops and. I mean, we started our own company, so we are leaders, , and it’s just, it’s such a fascinating topic . To me and it’s something that really feeds, feeds who I am. 

Sandy: I, I absolutely agree. And what’s most fascinating about our guests today is he engages this.

Philosophy in [00:01:00] life and in, in a day to day. But more interesting than that is that he has dedicated himself to also engaging our youth. So there’s a, there’s a teenage aspect of this, which I found so intriguing, and as we are navigating with covid and all of these things that are affecting our teenagers, I was so.

Interested in, in just picking his brain and finding out what he would recommend. So I’m looking forward to today’s recording and, and just learning more about what he has to share and his specifics. 

Allison: Dean, welcome to Learning Reimagined. We are very excited to get to know 


Dean Katris: Thank you. I’m excited. Thank you.

Why don’t you start 

us off with telling us a little bit about your experience with UN Un Improved and your title of Master Trainer . 

That’s a big title. It is I’ve been training for about 22 years and You had Improved is [00:02:00] an amazing organization. It people fly in from all over the country on.

It started as an adult program. It’s an emergent style training experiential based training. Do you, are you familiar with that? What does that mean? So we do a series of challenging processes that you allowed it so you get a practice leadership qualities, not just talk about them, it’s not a lecture base.

You get to practice these leadership qualities, these qualities through experiential processes, and take the metaphors from those processes and what you learn and in class, figure out directly how you get to apply that experience to your business and personal. and there’s a lot of benefits of doing it that way versus lecture based, so, mm-hmm.

And the reason why the foundation of that is people only retain 10% of what they hear, 25% of what they see, but 90% of what they experience and how they felt as a result, those experiences. So sustainability [00:03:00] is far greater. In experiential based training versus going to a seminar and going, That was awesome.

Now what? ? Mm-hmm. . 

Sandy: We’ve been there. . Yeah. 

Allison: been there. Absolutely. So you, And improved. So it’s Capital U and improved. And we will add the link to our social media. It is a heart based leadership development. That is what the tagline is. So, As a parent, if I were going to send my student to you, what would that look like?

What would it, what would the experience be like for my daughter? 

Dean Katris: Awesome. Awesome, awesome. . There’s a lot of challenges going on in the world today with teens. I don’t even think people realize until they get into class. And you hear the teens with no filter coming from the heart, and that’s what heart based leadership is.

Get them outta your comfort zone so they stop thinking and start coming from the heart. Then you get to really understand what they’re feeling, what they’re experiencing. They get to [00:04:00] connect with their heart, and it’s that connection that changes the world, you know? So changes their. More importantly. So when they get to do that, then they get to figure out what they’re gonna do to take that back and be the man or woman that they want to be in their life moving forward.

So the impact is huge. If you ever get a chance to go to a graduation and now it’s formed it was an adult program, brought it into the teens cuz so many adults were saying, I wish I would’ve done this class when I was 14, 15, 16. My director of my life would’ve done, you know, could’ve gone a lot different.

So Jody Lowe, who’s a founder of UN Improve, decided to make it a nonprofit former foundation. So most of the kids that are coming in, there was just a class August, August 6th are on scholarship. So if you know anyone that wants to attend the class the adult class is, it’s not cheap cuz it’s [00:05:00] immersion style.

You’re there, they’re staying in a hotel room. We have chaperones to make sure no one leaves the room. Safety, make sure no one comes into the rooms that aren’t supposed to be. So it’s you know, it’s important. All their meals, everything. So they can go on scholarship and so they come from all over the country.

Even some things are partnered with Southwest Airlines to help pay for some of their flights to come in, besides just the foundation paying for the training itself. So there’s opportunities. So they come in they get put outta their comfort zone. They, we give all the electronics back to their parents, and not just, not for the sake of just pulling outta their comfort zone, cuz we want them to focus on each other.

And learn also that they can build teams with people in their community outside their family. So it happens every single class without exception, they come in, there’s usually only 22 people in the class, no more. So it’s very intimate and they’re gonna bond and [00:06:00] form an amazing team. So strangers on Friday night and come Sunday afternoon at graduation, you will see kids that get to experience their own potential, get to stand up in front of a group of people at graduation and share from the heart what they’re feeling talking to each one of.

Parents from the heart siblings maybe stepparents and and then to each other, and it, it’s truly amazing. now, 

Sandy: Dean, you’ve been so successful in your, in your life with being an entrepreneur and in different industries. How do you feel that has helped you have your current mindset so that you can then help these young 

Dean Katris: folks?

Well, I started, before I was a trainer, I was a student. And before that I have another business. It was a smaller business, and I thought my customers wanted to talk to me and only me. Well then as soon as I went through the training, so I was working, you know, 70, 80 hours a week, and [00:07:00] as soon as I went through the training, I realized that I could empower the people on the team to talk to my customers to be an extension of me.

And then I started working, you know, 50 hours a. And my sales went up in that first year by 40%. So, Wow. How can you get people involved on your team? Because again, in the training, one thing we, we train is if you want to go someplace fast, go alone. If you want to go someplace far, bring others. So just like these teens, who in their life do they get to realize that they get to bring with them to go farther?

The one thing the training does is we’re gonna teach you how to go farther faster. 

Allison: So middle for 

Sandy: these young kids to hear that message, right? To grab onto that in such formative years. 

Dean Katris: Yes, absolutely. 

Allison: The biggest. What is, what is your, 

Dean Katris: Oh, go ahead. I’m sorry. No, I think the biggest thing, you know, our ti our kids were, were, have been trained to just say no.

[00:08:00] Well, that’s to drugs and to bad choices, right? But they don’t always see the difference of when it comes to good opportunities. And they just say no, cuz it’s not worth the effort. Mm-hmm. , you know, like Sandy, I know your son. He could have said no to not go across the country and stay with his friends in Las Vegas, not go to high school out of the country.

Right. But with your leadership and the support of his family, he said yes. Some kids never get the courage to say yes to the good things. Because it’s just too hard or it’s just too scary, or there’s just too much unknown. And that’s the one thing in, in the training is look, we’re going to give them the ability to be able to just say yes to some things in life.

And that takes confidence, That takes support, that takes the team around you, just like Zach had. That takes the team that you have with your friends. Are you, is the right team, You have the right team around you with your friends to be able [00:09:00] to say yes to opportunities or man, don’t do that. That’s stupid that, you know how kids talk.

Mm-hmm. , and come on, we’re, let’s just go to the movies. You’re like, No man, I gotta put in some work. I got SATs tomorrow, Man. That’s stupid. You don’t need that. Okay. Where you could say yes to yourself. 

Allison: No. And what does your Sandy.

Like, I, I mean, do you guys, do you advertise toward or cater toward like kids who are, have had troubles in school or troubles with drugs, or do you meet, do you attract students who are on the track to go on to like say med school or some sort of graduate degree? Like what is your typical. Client, 

Dean Katris: the same thing that shows up in the adult class, shows up in the teen class, just a different age.

People ask me, Why don’t you ever train an adult class that’s just [00:10:00] directors and above, or VPs and above? Cause we don’t go through life just talking to directors and above. Oh, what’s your title? I’m sorry. Okay, so that’s the same thing with the teens. We don’t know on the scholarship they’re gonna fill out, so they’re gonna fill out why they want to be there or what they deserve and some questions.

And then we’ll, you know, get, reward them a scholarship that way. And I’m not on the board, so I have nothing to do with it, but the board will decide, but there’s all different types. People from different walks of life, and that’s the importance of someone if you were judging like or not, people, judge, teens, judge walking in, going, I’m not gonna talk to him.

I’m not gonna talk to her. Most of ’em have their face down like this, looking in their phone until we take it away and then they sell their face down and Hi, hi, and they don’t wanna make eye contact. Well, when we can change that and change a perspective, then all of a sudden they realize that person that I [00:11:00] thought was one.

Or the person that I thought was really cool and confident and, you know beautiful physically still has the confidence issues that I do. And I’m not what I, I don’t look at myself the way that I look at that person. You know? Now we can connect and go, man, how do I outside in school, the person that I think is the cool person.

Has the same issues going on that I do now. There’s a connection that’s heart based leadership. We’re connecting from the heart, not from the surface. And that, cuz that shows up in business. You think the CEO has it all together and they’re really sometimes just pulling together themselves. They’re struggling with their kids, are struggling with their marriage, or struggling with finances just at a different level.

Maybe add zero to the end of it. But they got the same pressures sometimes. 

Mm-hmm. . 

Allison: So that’s why. So it seems like you, you really teach compassion. It seems like there’s a lot of compassion along with this 

Dean Katris: compassion, [00:12:00] empathy. They can’t get through the class without supporting each other at a different level where you’re so intertwined in that person’s success that it means as much to you as your own.

So yeah, all that. And again, those are tools for life cuz the more you give, the more you get back and that’s what we’re gonna teach ’em. Sometimes the biggest thing you have to do throughout the day is just support someone, encourage someone and you’re gonna get it back later. Not that day. Doesn’t worry about you’re gonna get it back.

Trust me, it. 

Sandy: It’s so incredible to hear you say these words because as as parents and you’re an incredible dad to four beautiful teenagers that are growing and, and you’ve raised them with this incredible mindset, what a gift that you’ve been able to share with them. And I know each one of them is so different as just all of our children are so different.

But how would you. What, what tools would you recommend to our parents that are listening and how can we [00:13:00] help empower our students on a day to day? Obviously, sending ’em to the workshop is ideal, but how do we, What kind of suggestions do you have? 

Dean Katris: You know, one thing coming outta the training, we also talk to the parents before they get the kids back on Sunday.

Because the parents aren’t there. They drop ’em off Sun Friday, they pick ’em up Sunday, they have to be at graduation. There’s things that the parents have to do for your kid to participate cuz you’re getting back. A new version of your son or daughter. So, and one thing is, the worst thing they can do is go as soon as they come back, kids are gonna make mistakes.

Heck, adults make mistakes. That training was a waste. Okay. No, that’s the worst. So the same thing happens, but that same thing when you go to school, Oh, I’m sending you this school. Are you learning anything, ? I mean, are you studying at all? Are you doing anything? Doesn’t matter. You send them to soccer camp, like, I spent this money on soccer camp and I don’t see any [00:14:00] difference on the field.

Are you even doing anything or ask questions? Hey, what you know, What can I do to support you? How was school today? What’d you learn? How can I how can we apply what we’re learning? What’d you learn in the training that’ll help you deal with this situation that just showed up in school? You just got a lot of tools that maybe I don’t even know about.

Tell me about them and how can we work through what you’re doing and what you’re experiencing using the tools together. You know, if you want, again, the best way to get someone on your team and get on their team. Mm-hmm. . And so as a parent, what are we doing to get on our kids’ team and how do we do that?

Not saying, If you don’t do this, you’re in trouble. You’re not getting on their team. You’re expecting them to get on their team. On your team, and that doesn’t work. So, What can I do to support? You have empathy? Oh my gosh, I understand what you’re feeling. Okay, what do you need [00:15:00] from me? There’s a different mindset, same outcome, different approach.

Allison: No, 

Sandy: it’s definitely valuable. 

Allison: It’s very positive. It’s very positive. One thing. A lot of our listeners and a lot of my friends who are parents and whatnot, struggle with is the negative implications of social media. What advice would you have for parents in dealing with that? 

Dean Katris: Man, If I have that answer I’d probably be

Allison: Yeah, it’s a tough one. 

Dean Katris: I’d be, I wouldn’t be on the, I’d be on podcast, I’d be on NBC News right now. telling about a billion books. Right, right. Look, it just goes back to that team building. What they’re doing that cuz they want a team. Mm-hmm. If you’re not providing that team, they’re gonna find that team.[00:16:00] 

Yeah. That listens to them. Okay. They’re gonna find that team as adults. Half the reason people post on social media, cuz someone’s gonna click like, and then they get mad. Well, I posted this and you didn’t even like it. Okay, so what? And if I did, what does that mean? You know, Right. So the, the kids are doing the same thing.

They just wanna know how many likes. I remember my first kids, my kids first, and then most of ’em, my kids don’t even post anymore cuz they’re like, I don’t like it. And they get mad if I post something about ’em, so I don’t post . So, but when they did, it was like, Oh, I got 57 likes, 10 minutes. All I was saying is they want someone to, they want a.

They want. They just need that. They wanna be heard. Mm-hmm. . So be the ear and be the team. And then teach ’em when And reward good behavior when they see you see a friend. That’s good. Hey, I really like that boy, that girl. I like their energy. I like their attitude. I like the way they come in and [00:17:00] they say hello.

They’re very respectful. You know, and they sit down at dinner with us if we invite ’em for dinner. And they’re pretty real, like, I like that that’re just real. And tell us, Hey, my day wasn’t that good today. I made a, Or how was soccer not that good? I made some mistakes and I got scored on, or I missed a goal.

Okay, so you teach ’em that it’s okay to do that, It’s okay to be real. It’s okay to miss a play, to get scored on, to get hurt, to be upset, and then they, they get used to sharing with you versus social media. Because someone that, 

Allison: That’s great. Yeah. Yeah, I, I love that perspective of, of being a team. I used to teach elementary school.

I was teaching fifth and sixth grade, and my parents were always very nervous of sending their kid onto the next level to the big middle school where they were just gonna, you know, be one of, you know, 2000 kids and I always recommended this book to them. And it’s called, Yes, My Teenager is Crazy. And listeners will put the link out there on [00:18:00] social media as well.

I cannot remember the author, but you just hit the nail on the head. They talk about the importance of belonging. And kids will go wherever they belong, you know, wherever, whoever pools the hardest. You know, when you’re in elementary school, you’re in room 12, you’re in, you know, Miss Connor’s room or whoever it happens to be in middle school.

You go from being a part of that home room to being basically a number. You know, a lot of teachers don’t even have, you know, they have kids numbered on their roster or they don’t even go by their names. You have to put your number next to it. . And so kids will go to the group that pulls them the hardest because they need, have such an innate need to belong to a community.

And it might be the drug dealers that pull ’em the hardest. It might be the cheerleaders you don’t know. But as a parent, that’s, that’s one thing that you have to be very aware of is making them feel a part of a community within your own home. And I love your reference to creating a team atmosphere, you know, with, you know, being a part of your kids’ team, having them share with you rather than, you know, on the social media or.[00:19:00] 

It’s a really good, good perspective. I really. 

Dean Katris: I never make mistakes. I mean, the reality is they’re gonna make mistakes and for, for a certain perspective. That’s good. That’s good. The ones that were too sheltered, as soon as they go to college, they struggle. Right. You know, like I, I was reading this analogy and there’s a, the biosphere in Arizona, Have you heard of it like that?

The bio do where they, it was a cell sustained. They have sun, they have rain, They have all to grow, you know, in this biosphere. Well, the one thing they first started building it that they didn’t have in there was wind. Wind. So when the trees started going taller, they didn’t they started to fall over.

Allison: Oh, that’s so fascinating. Oh, I just got goosebumps from this analogy. This is fabulous. Dean, I love you. Keep going. . 

Dean Katris: So, so many [00:20:00] parents want to take away the wind. Mm-hmm. . I mean, the reality is, unless it’s really bad, it’s okay for my kids to get a little pressure from a coach. You work it. Talk to your coach.

Life isn’t fair. It’s okay to have your coach. Some coaches are gonna like you, some aren’t. Some bosses are gonna like you, some aren’t. Some girls or some boys are gonna like you, some aren’t. Okay. Now what? What do you have control of you and your actions. So figure out how you’re going to control what you control, and then adapt to what you can’t.

That’s the win you gotta get 

Sandy: pressure. I love it. I love it. And you create this safe zone at home to have these discussions. Yeah, 

Dean Katris: and sometimes I’m the win. We’re not gonna see eye to eye every time we’re, I mean, I’m not here to say we’re gonna see eye to eye. I’m gonna love you no matter what. I can’t love you any mo more or any less than I do.

It doesn’t mean that we’re gonna see eye to eye on everything, and sometimes I’m [00:21:00] the win. I’m gonna put more pressure. You can do better. Is wind. You can do better than what’s showing up right now. 

Allison: Do you think our society has gotten soft on our kids? You know, with the participation trophies and the everybody gets an A and all, all of that.

Do you, do you feel that there’s. We, we’ve gotten soft. 

Dean Katris: I don’t know that it’s soft or it’s just let kids have their own experience and not live through yours. I mean, I, I know Sandy from soccer and there’s so many times that parents are putting so much pressure on the kid, on the coach and, Oh, my kid, I, my kid’s going to go pro.

I was man at 13, 14. If you’re the only one videotaping your kid, he’s not messy. Relax, let him play , okay? Mm-hmm. , he’s not messy. He’s not namar. Let him play. Now if he becomes those [00:22:00] great for him. Not for you. You were already that age. Let him do what he’s gonna do, you know, and work it out. And if they’re mad, Oh, this one said this.

Okay, how’d it make you feel? Great. Okay, so what are the choices? A play harder practice or ignore it. You got choices. Pick one. You know, getting angry. You give them all the power. That’s not a choice that you want. That is a choice. Is that the choice you want? So that definitely is a choice. Get angry and blame someone else is a choice.

Or we have these other choices that are really good solutions. Pick one. You have to pick a choice. Going, not picking a choice is not feasible. There. There is a choice that has to be made. 

Allison: You’re doing something. Exactly, 

Sandy: and that truly can be so pivotal in their next step in life, whether that be college, whether that be getting a first job, whether that be.

you know, young adults. It [00:23:00] really helps them to navigate relationships in the workforce and even with each other. So that’s so, so 

Dean Katris: imperative. Well, I am personal choices. I mean, they’re gonna have a relationship of whatever that relationship looks like, and I don’t care whether it, whatever it is, you know boy, boy, girl, girl, boy, girl.

They’re gonna have the same ones. You’re gonna have choices. You’re gonna get mad at your. . Mm-hmm. , how do you respond? Pick one. Cause , you know? Right. 

Allison: That, that reminds me of another book, and I’ll put this in our notes as well. And it’s called Love Logic. Are you familiar with that? That author and that frame of mind and it talks all about, it got me through.

Early years with my kids. My, my youngest one in particular is challenging when she was younger, she was very stubborn and had a lot of she was just a challenge. And I leaned so heavily on love and logic, and it was, it’s a fascinating book and it talks about the [00:24:00] natural consequences. And you have choice A, you have choice B, the choice is yours, but you have to live with the consequences.

And it goes a lot. You know, the personal responsibility and it’s, it’s really changed how I parent and how, you know, my kids approach sports and school and just the natural consequences of their, their choices. Yes, the choice is yours, but so are the consequences. Absolutely. That kind of goes along with what you’re talking and it just, it’s it’s empowering.

Sometimes it’s very frustrating for them, but it’s empowering for them as. Let them fail and learn, you know, live their consequences while they still have that safety net, you 

Dean Katris: know? Absolutely. That’s the hardest part about delegation and business and delegation and we, we talk about this in the training and delegation in, in your personal life, we wanna delegate and say, Okay, you do this and you handle this, whether it’s a chore at home or homework or a task at work.

And then as soon as they start to do it different [00:25:00] than we. . Well, I never wait till last minute to study, or I wouldn’t have done it this way, or I like to prepare like this. Then we yank the leash back in and sometimes you have to let them fail and then be there to love ’em, support them, nurture ’em, pick ’em back up.

Okay. What’d you learn? and how can we avoid this in the future, But if that’s how we all learned is failing, make a mistake. Mm-hmm. , but we’re afraid to let kids sometimes fail. Mm-hmm. . Now, I’m not saying go off and do drugs. Okay, you’re, you stopped before that, but fail of hey, you know, make a mistake or the consequences.

You came home late, I found an. You know, or you did this, that’s not an option. And, and, and creating the, When we create boundaries, we teach them that it’s okay for them to create boundaries in their personal life with their friends, but when they walk over us and we don’t create boundaries, then they learn that it’s okay to get walked on and they [00:26:00] don’t create boundaries.

So they want structure, they want the rules. 

Sandy: Yeah. There’s definitely a 

Dean Katris: ripple. Absolutely. They, they’re gonna mirror what we’re doing. 

Sandy: Mm-hmm. . But that’s a great way to put it and a great way for us to listen to it. Because I think oftentimes as parents and myself included, sometimes we’re so close to the situation that just taking a pause moment and stepping back allows us to reassess how we can help them grow.

Not not from us, because we’ve already gone through those experiences. Got. 

Dean Katris: Well that’s what the training is really good at. So if we tie that back to the classroom, the training is intense. It’s last names only sign of respect. You’re gonna get pushed hard. And not for the sake of pushing, cuz we have a lot to do in a little amount of time You.

And realize that man, this trainer is intense. This trainer is holding me accountable on every detail he or she puts out in each [00:27:00] process. And if you don’t follow the details, you’re gonna be told, No, you didn’t do this, this, and this. Yeah. At the end of all that, they learn that the trainer can still be tough and love them and respect them and care about them, and have empathy.

And as a trainer, we fall in love with each kid individually for what they bring to life and, and for their uniqueness. And realize, even if they’re tough on me, Oh, I can do that. And they, and you hear that at graduation. Now I realize, Mom, Dad, why you’re so tough on me. They don’t even realize or realize it, realize cuz I have a trainer over here holding me accountable that still cares about me and is giving a hundred percent of their energy all weekend long to make sure I get the most outta the training.

Just like my parents that are tough on me and giving a hundred percent of their energy all lifelong to make sure I get the most outta life. And the two being tough doesn’t mean that you don’t love me, [00:28:00] right? It means you love me. Otherwise you would just let me go. Come out whenever you want. That’s not love.

That’s a parent afraid to be a parent. You know? 

Sandy: No, I, I 

Dean Katris: love that. This is, in my opinion, not just my opinion, that’s on the training. That’s my opinion. , you know, Cause after 18 I tell my kids, You have choices too. . I want you to be here cuz you wanna be here. If you don’t wanna be here. I’ll see you in a few years when you figured out why I wanted you here, , you know?

Allison: Right. Yeah. What tools would you suggest for our parents to. Instilling this in their young, their, their kids at home. Is, is there anything, Not everybody can go to the training in Arizona, so is there any hands on things that you can share with them that they can start now in their day to day with their kids?

Dean Katris: The biggest thing is not what you tell your kids, it’s how you show up. [00:29:00] Okay. Are you taking the time to invest in yourself? Are you taking the time to live? What, how you want your kids to live? You know, if you’re. And I’m not a tea toller, I whatever I like to, but if you’re home drinking every night and coming home late and coming home drunk, what are you showing your kids?

So you, at some point, you gotta be responsible for yourself as a role model and train yourself. Train yourself mentally and physically. If you want your kids to work out every day, then have a little discipline in your life to show ’em that you can balance it all. And not focus on all the things you can’t do, but focus on what you can do.

Here’s what I can do today. I can, I’m only gonna go for a 15 minute walk on the treadmill and then I’m gonna do this cuz I have a lot going on, but I still got in all the things that I needed to get in. So train your mind and your body so that you have the confidence that you could say this to your kids of, I’m gonna [00:30:00] hold you accountable cuz I’m holding myself accountable.

Okay. And I’m not saying I’m perfect. Trust me, I’m my days. But this is what, as a train your mind and put the time into yourself to be the best version of you for your kids. And I think a lot of times people are afraid to look at the mirror. It’s a lot easier to blame the coach or the teacher. . Oh yeah, that teacher is rude.

No, she’s holding your kid accountable. Okay. And I’m sorry you don’t like the way it sounds. That’s the wind. And I’m okay with the classroom and get really windy. Really windy, cuz I’m gonna tell him. Good. Good. Now, what’d you learn? Okay. What’d you learn? She didn’t. Oh my God. It was only two minutes late and she didn’t let me turn it in and I was in the classroom and it was done.

Okay, you were there. Why did you wait two minutes? ? Right. I mean, especially in a [00:31:00] world that is going to zoom like we’re on or online training. When the bid line, the deadline, it’s closes it for a bid, request for business closes at noon. At noon, you can’t submit. So thank goodness our teachers are teaching ’em that it can’t be late.

I hate what’s going on. Right. I let where they let ’em turn in late now, you know, and in, in the school district here, they’ll let ’em turning in late. That’s a whole nother, that’s my, So 

Allison: that’s a whole nother problem. But what 

Dean Katris: are we teaching them? 

Allison: That is, and I find I had, I had a teacher. I had a teacher once with my daughter.

She missed, she had the date wrong and she showed up to school and this big, big project was due, and she had a complete nutter meltdown because she hadn’t done it. She hadn’t, she wasn’t prepared and she’s like, Can I come home? I have to do this call in sick. Anything? I said, Absolutely not. You know, this is your responsibility.

I’m sure your teacher will let you turn it in late for a reduced. That’s just, that’s [00:32:00] a life lesson. The teacher called me and said, Oh, she’s such a good kid. I’m gonna let her turn it in tomorrow for full credit. And I said, Please don’t, You’re not teaching her a lesson if you like, she’ll do it again because the teachers like her and she like, Please don’t do that.

But I think they’re, So our teachers get sometimes into a a, like, well, we wanna, you know, reward the, the good kids, you know, and the kids who aren’t, you know, aren’t used to turning in late work. I’m gonna just give her a free pass and I’m like, No, please don’t. There’s no free passes, . It is tough. 

Dean Katris: There is a lesson.

Allison, to me learned too that if you do the right things all the time, you do get some special treatment in life. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . You have a bank that you get to make deposits when with good behavior all the time. The people are constantly making withdrawals. They don’t have any bank savings left up.

Right. She, your daughter was showing up so much that she had a lot of savings in that [00:33:00] bank account that when Mandy, 

Allison: you’re making me look bad now you have way more compassion. 

Dean Katris: No, I’m not saying I do, but that’s a good lesson. Either way. It turned out either way it was. 

Allison: Right. No, that you’re right. That’s a different way to have approached it.

You’re right. Because she did earn that grace from her teacher. She did. 

Dean Katris: Right. Good. I mean, it’s just like a good grade. If you’re, if you do all your homework, then you have less, you have a lot of savings that if you mess up on a te, a quiz or a test, you could still get an A. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. and mess up doesn’t mean you got a zero, but I mean, if you got 87 or 85, you could still get Nate cuz you had the savings.

That’s the same thing with. You know, in, in our personal relationship shows, shows up all the time with your spouse. If you’re coming home late every day and you’re like, Man, you don’t respect me, but then you come home late one day cuz of this, not like, they’re not mad like, oh my God, here we go again. We, we have, we gotta make deposits every day.[00:34:00] 

Sandy: Yeah, no, absolutely. And I think that all of these steps do help in our careers as well. So right now the workforce is really struggling on hiring. Solid, solid employees, right? And so we all say, Well, it’s the millenniums, or we, you know, we could fill in the blank with whatever it is, but at the end of the day, we need those folks to show up.

And so dealing with the wind and how we’re gonna train this next generation, it is very imperative that we, we do this. And it all starts from the parents. It starts. From our perspective, you know, just how can we help them? And we really appreciate you today, Dean. You’ve been so insightful and I just appreciate your time.


Dean Katris: been wonderful. No problem. Can I say something about that last thing in the millennium? Yeah, please. In the adult class, we have the millenniums, we have CEOs, [00:35:00] We have all levels of people in the adult class so many times. That we have a 20 something in there and the CEO or the director, or it doesn’t even matter.

An older person saying, Well, the millennium. The millennium, millennium, we’re putting the label on. If you’re a millennium going in a company and you know that they’re expecting you to behave a certain way, how are you gonna behave? Right? Mm-hmm. , take the label off the millennium. You’re now part of this team.

You’re not a millennium, you’re not a baby boomer, you’re not of this, you’re on this team. This is how this team behaves. I’m not gonna make any excuses for you cuz you’re a millennium. I guarantee there’s millennials out there. Zach is a good example that is gonna show up. Grant, my son is a good example.

Blank. My son, when they say they’re gonna do it and they’re only teenagers. Mm-hmm. . So take, You’re giving them, you’re creating the label that you want them not to be right. By [00:36:00] telling ’em you’re a millennium, this is how they act. Mm-hmm. . So it shows up in the classroom. Stop putting the label on ’em and they’ll stop acting in them There.

You’re telling ’em what you want. How do you want ’em to show up? I wish I could get rid of the label millennia. No. How about this? You bring a new perspective to the business that I don’t see, cuz I’ve been in here for a long time. Mm-hmm. . So I need your new insight. I need your energy to show me what is out there, what people are doing, What’s the new technology?

I don’t know how social media works. Tell me the impact of it that I don’t see. Okay. And then I want your new energy and watch how they show up. Oh my gosh. I could share my ideas. Oh my gosh. Gonna 

Allison: listen to me. Yes. 

Dean Katris: You want my insight, even though it’s different than yours and forget this is the way we do things around here.

No, that’s the way we’ve done things. The way we do things around here is we accept new ideas. Mm-hmm. . 

Allison: So anyway, that’s, You always need the fresh eyes. You do. You need the 

Dean Katris: fresh eyes. Anyway, sorry Sandy, I know you gotta go. No, [00:37:00] 


Sandy: so glad you mentioned that because we do, That does happen and we’ve witnessed it.

Dean Katris: Yeah. Right. Or oh my gosh. Terrible teens stop. They’re gonna be teenagers. They’re not terrible teens. That’s how teenagers act, right? It’s just teenagers. They’re gonna have their ups and downs. Yeah. We were like, Kinda 

Allison: like us. We were like that, right? People are like that. Yeah, exactly. They were 

Dean Katris: talking about all these things that are supposed to be brilliant now.

They were only brilliant cuz we made big mistakes. And our parents still supported us. 

Allison: Right. That, that, that’s gonna bring me to yet another book. And this is more for our adults. It’s a book that I have Every new person that joins our company, I give them this book and it’s called Permission to Screw Up a Good One.

And it’s, it’s a fantastic book. And it, it, it gives people that liberty, that just that freedom. Not to be afraid to make a mistake. Mm-hmm. . Yeah. And it just a fun little story. My daughter’s competitive player, soccer player, [00:38:00] just like your kids and I, she was on this really intense soccer team and every time they would make a mistake at practice, they would have to do knee to chest.

And so every time you made a bad pass or you know, anything negative, Anytime you screwed up at practice, you would have to do knee to chest. That, that, that pressure of that team got to be. At the end of the season, we changed clubs and she went to a different, different coach with a different perspective.

First day of practice, I kind of hung out to watch because I wanted to see what this new club was all about and my daughter made a bad pass. Instinctively she did knee to chest and the coach blew the whistle and he said, Stop practice right now. What are you doing? And she goes, I screwed up. I, I was doing my knee to chest.

And he looked at her and he’s like, This is practice. You’re supposed to make mistakes. That’s what you’re supposed to be doing out here. I don’t want you ever punishing yourself for trying something new. Let’s not ever do that again. And I swear my daughter lost like all of this. [00:39:00] Pressure that was on her.

She was like, she just, Oh my God. It was like she took a deep breath for the first time. That permission to screw up was just so liberating for her. And, and we, we talk, we talk about it. She wrote her like a college essay on that experience because it was so impactful for her. Just that. Freedom to make a mistake.

It’s, you know, we put so much pressure on these kids that it, it just, it is, it’s really, it’s a lot for them to deal with. So it carries on into our adulthood, and that’s why I came across this good. 

Dean Katris: Mm-hmm. , because in reality in the games, you’re gonna make mistakes. One of the things like when, when Tiger Woods was at his heights, was his ability to recover.

So even in a game, if you make a mistake, you hit a bad shot, what can you do to get your focus back? To get back on track? To get back in the game, to get the ball back, to recover the past, to stay focused. I mean, you know, how many passes does Tom Brady miss? And then the next one, Comes back and leads them down [00:40:00] the field, Right?

Okay. So they have to be able to train their mind to, you’re gonna make a mistake in the game, in practice, in life. Now, how do you get reengaged so you don’t beat yourself up and go, Okay, that, not gonna do that again. And get back in the game. Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm. . 

Allison: That’s how you recover. That’s how you pick yourself back up.

That’s it. That’s it. Yeah. Dean, I swear I could talk to you all day. You are wonderful. 

Dean Katris: Thank you. You truly wish I had it all figured out, but I don’t , 

Allison: but, but your energy and your, your, your, your just your brain. I just love how you think. It’s just, it’s really. I think you have so much to offer the world.

You really should be on NBC and and writing books. . I don’t want that. Now. He leads 

Sandy: his life. 

Allison: I’m here 

Dean Katris: because Sandy, otherwise I wouldn’t even know . 

Allison: No, you’re, 

Sandy: and thank you so much for your time. It’s just been so insightful and thank you for your tidbit. 

Allison: Thank you so much. Just great meeting you. 

Dean Katris: Thank you.


Allison: Thank you so much for [00:41:00] listening to Learning Reimagined. If you are enjoying this podcast, please help us spread the word by clicking the subscribe. Or share your favorite episodes with families and friends, and leave us a five star review wherever you get your podcast.