In this installment of True Grit and Grace, Amberly engages in a compelling conversation with the extraordinary Jason Redman. Jason, a veteran with a remarkable journey, is not only a severely wounded warrior but also an acclaimed, best-selling author, a voice for veterans, a successful business leader, and an inspirational speaker on leadership and resilience. His story unfolds from facing a potentially career-ending leadership failure to battling back to redemption and respect, only to endure being shot eight times, including a round to the face, in a fierce firefight in Iraq.
Jason embodies the essence of the Overcome Mindset.
Today, he travels the country, motivating and inspiring audiences with his profound experiences in leadership, redemption, and the cultivation of an unwavering Overcome Mindset. Jason has distilled his hard-earned lessons into relatable content, providing invaluable insights on self-leadership, stepping off the X, and conquering all obstacles.
During this episode, Amberly and Jason delve into his diverse programs and the anticipation surrounding his upcoming book, sharing valuable lessons for the listeners. Join us to gain insights from this incredible individual, a recipient of numerous awards for his exemplary service.
– Rebuilding after life-altering injuries: [7:42]
– Overcoming rejection and pursuing dreams: [14:49]
– Becoming a SEAL and overcoming challenges: [21:14]
– Navigating through partying and self-medication: [31:35]
– Embracing humility and accepting failure: [40:47]
– Coping with life ambushes: [47:52]
– Mastering self-leadership and fostering personal growth: [54:29]
Don’t miss out on the inspiring journey of Jason Redman, a testament to the indomitable human spirit.
Links mentioned in this episode:
If you are ready to leave your mark by discovering your message and sharing it with the world, you’ve come to the right place!! Let’s work together to build your influence, your impact, and your income! Join the tribe you have been waiting for to activate your highest potential and live the life you deserve! Join the “Unstoppable Life Mastermind!” and let us know you are ready for greatness! Read the “True Grit and Grace” book here and learn how you can turn tragedy into triumph! Thank you for joining us on the True, Grit, & Grace Podcast! If you find value in today’s episode, don’t forget to share the show with your friends and tap that subscribe button so you don’t miss an episode! You can also head over to amberlylago.com to join my newsletter and access free downloadable resources that can help you elevate your life, business, and relationships! Want to see the behind-the-scenes and keep the conversation going? Head over to Instagram @amberlylagomotivation! Audible @True-Grit-and-Grace-Audiobook Website @amberlylago.com Instagram @amberlylagomotivation Facebook @AmberlyLagoSpeaker
(00:00 – 03:18) Amberly Lago: Hey y’all, I am so fired up because the Unstoppable Success Summit is in my hometown, Dallas, Texas this year. We are going to be coming to Dallas April 19th and 20th, 2024. So come join us. Look, success is built on relationships and this is not some big, huge conference with thousands of people. This is an intimate, a very exclusive experience on purpose so you can build those meaningful connections So you can rub shoulders with people like, oh my goodness, I’ve got John Gordon, Ben Newman, Rachel Luna, Rudy Ricksteins, Henry Amar. I’m speaking. There are mastermind members taking the stage. And so getting in the room is key and getting in the right room. can help you achieve unstoppable success. So if you spend your time with people who see your potential, you’re more than likely to reach it. So make this year, make 2024 the most unstoppable, most successful year possible. Level up your business, level up your life, get the clarity, gain the confidence, get the real tools taught by people who have already paved the way for you. and I can’t wait to see you there. So get ready to ditch your limiting beliefs and stop listening to fear and go after your dreams. Go to unstoppablesuccesssummit.com and I can’t wait to see you in Dallas. Okay, see you there. Thank you for tuning in to the True Grit and Grace podcast. I’m Amberly Lago and I’ll be sharing inspirational stories of resilience and empowering ideas to elevate your business and your life, ignite your passion and fuel your purpose. Hey, it’s Amberly. Thank you so much for tuning in to True Grit and Grace. I have someone that I have been so, so excited and if I can be completely transparent, a little bit nervous about having on the show to interview because I have so much respect and I am just like, humbled by all he has done. I’ve got Jason Redman here, y’all. He is a two times bestselling author, not just any bestselling author, New York Times bestselling author. I’ve got his books right here. I’ll hold them up in just a minute. He’s a former Lieutenant who spent 11 years on the list of Navy SEAL and almost 10 years as a SEAL officer. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal with Valor, the Purple Heart, the Defense Meritorious Service Medal. He’s been awarded so many like different awards. Like that’s why I think I’m sweating and I’m a little bit nervous to interview him, but he’s an incredible, incredible guy who has so many different programs out there to teach people about leadership and how to get off the X. And we’ll go into that. He’s got so many programs now and he’s got a new book coming out that we’ll talk about too. So Jason, thank you so much for being here. Can you tell him a little bit nervous?
(03:18 – 03:23) Jason Redman: That’s OK, Amberly. Hey, you know what I am? I’m human.
(03:23 – 05:21) Amberly Lago: Yeah. You know, I was talking to my husband because he was in the Navy. My husband is retired lieutenant commander with a CHP after he got out of the Navy. And I was like, oh, my gosh. So I have both of your books here. Let me just hold them up. For those of you who are on YouTube, the Trident and Overcome are your books. I’ve got highlighted things. pages flipped down, but I was telling my husband, I was actually like, really like I’ve been so, and I told your assistant this too. I was like, I think I’ve been more excited to have you on the show than any other guest. And sorry for those who’ve been a guest that are hearing that right now, but I really have because I started my podcast. to talk about stories of resilience and man you your story of resilience and all you have overcome I didn’t want to tell your story about what happened to you because I’d love if you shared a little bit of that and how you’ve rebuilt not just your, your mindset, your body, like your, I don’t know how long you were in the hospital, but your whole life. And now what you do for others to inspire them to be great leaders is just, it’s mind blowing. It’s amazing what you do alongside with your, you know, your wife, Erica, who you’re going to be writing your new book with that. I think it’s so important right now, but would you mind, I know you shared your story a lot, but I just want the listeners to understand a little bit about who you are and what you went through. But before we get into the details of the, the, when you got shot and all that, do you think that growing up the way that you did being involved in athletics and on the wrestling team and stuff like that? Do you think that that helped you or prepared you to be a SEAL or to be on a great team?
(05:22 – 06:02) Jason Redman: Yeah, 100%. I mean, I think athletics, for any kids, athletics is such a great thing. You learn adversity. You learn how to work with different people. You learn how to work with different people towards a common goal. You learn how to work with people you don’t always like. You learn how to deal with loss. So I am a huge fan of athletics. We made all our kids be involved in athletics as they grew up. And I just think it’s a great thing. It helped me. I was not a kid that was big into athletics until around the time I said, Hey, I want to go in the military. I want to be a SEAL. And, um, I was like, man, I gotta, I gotta get tougher.
(06:02 – 06:31) Amberly Lago: Well, I mean, I heard like, I think it was an interview that I heard you speaking on that. Um, when you first got into athletics, like you weren’t necessarily like the toughest guy when you were there and you took quite a beating and it’s like, to look at you now, you’re like, I think one of the toughest guys in the world. So do you think like getting in athletics and taking those beatings that help develop your grit.
(06:31 – 07:54) Jason Redman: Yeah, 100%. I mean, I think for anybody out there. doing hard things and doing things that you may not like. I mean, I was a runt. I was definitely probably one of the smaller guys on the football team. I got my ass kicked on a regular basis. And when I went to wrestle, we had a state champion who wrestled pretty much in the same weight class that I did. And boy, he used to just mop the floor with me. But I learned a lot. And when you get beat, it teaches you a lot about yourself and to continue to show up. A lot of people, when we lose, it’s not a good feeling to lose. Nobody likes to lose. But you learn a lot about people from loss and from failure. And I talk a lot about that. And if you can learn to overcome those things and keep striving forward and keep your goal and also understand all the intangible lessons that come from it. I didn’t play football thinking I was going to go on and play football in college or ever play in the NFL. There was never any dreams like that. I played football for one reason. I liked it. I love football. And number two, I knew there was a lot of lessons I was learning from it, how to be part of a team, how to overcome, how to be mentally and physically harder. So those were all the things that it taught me. So there was a purpose for me. I wanted to become a SEAL. And these were things that I knew would help me.
(07:55 – 08:42) Amberly Lago: Well, you knew from a very young age that you were like, I want to be a seal. So can we talk about that? Like, cause for me, I also knew, I think from the time I was like eight years old, that I was going to be a professional dancer and I was going to move to Los Angeles and pursue that career. I don’t know how I exactly, I knew that, but I knew it. And you knew from a very young age, you were like, I want to be a seal and you went and got rejected. Like pretty harshly, but that didn’t, you were like, nope, I’m doing this. What do you think it was in you that was like, I’m going to do this and I’m going to keep going back until I achieve it. What do you think, where do you think that drive comes from?
(08:44 – 10:45) Jason Redman: You know, some of it, I think, just lies within me. And that’s something that we all know there are certain genetic makeups and personality traits. And some of that, I think, just lies in me. I think on our family side, we’re pretty stubborn and tenacious. So some of that is genetic. Some of it is learned over time. Some of us had a commitment to learn. And I try to tell people that, like, You know, you may not consider yourself that tough of an individual, but we’ve all seen someone that gets pushed into the fire. Something happens to them. You know, the mom that somebody attacks them and tries to take her baby, and suddenly she is a saber to tiger and attacks like two grown men or something and beats them off to to save her baby. I mean, it’s amazing what people can do when they’re putting what I like to call these overcome moments. But, um. You know, I think it just one of the traits for me, if you tell me I can’t do something, it fires me up even to this day. And I don’t typically get angry about it. You know, we all get frustrated. We all get, oh, I can’t believe that I got told no. Yeah. But I always I never accept no as just no, ever. And I’ve told my kids that, and I tell other people that, you know, hey, make them tell you no, and then find out why. Because is it a legitimate no? Or is it a no that you can work around? You know, or is there latitude in this no that I can go in different directions? Yeah. No, and I’ve always viewed my life that way. So when that guy was a jerk to me, you know, the recruiter who was a jerk to me and basically chased me out of the office because I wasn’t what he had in his mind as a Navy SEAL, you know, this, you know, four foot eleven ninety five pound run that walked in there and was like, I want to be a SEAL. You know, he was like, get the hell out of here. And so, yeah, pretty, pretty funny that that’s what I love that story.
(10:45 – 12:09) Amberly Lago: I love that so much. And, you know, in fact, just yesterday I was in the car and I love being in the car with my daughter. That’s when we have our best talks, just her and I in the car. And she was like, yeah, I told daddy about that. I needed to do this to the she was going to be driving soon. And she’s like, I want to put racing stripes on my car and this and that. She’s a car fanatic. And he said, well, you can’t do that. That takes too long. There’s no way that’s possible. You can’t do it. And I looked at her and I said, Ruby, I said, doesn’t he know by now that if he tells us we can’t do something, then that’s exactly what we are going to do. I was like, for sure, you’re getting racing stripes on your car. Because it’s motivation to me for that. So I love that you explain how, how you grew up and how sports helped you, because I think that’s really important. I’m so glad that my daughter has, she’s a horseback rider and she has that to, to get into. Um, and she’s also been in track and I think that really helps kids to have an outlet. So when you finally did, how old were you when you finally went in to a recruiter and they were like, okay, Let’s do this. We’ll try. I’ll let you try to be a Navy SEAL and let’s see what happens. How tall were you? How much did you weigh in? How old were you?
(12:09 – 14:17) Jason Redman: So I was probably, I mean, I probably walked into the recruiting office first time when I was maybe 15 and they chased me out of there. And then I came back. Yeah. Wow. I came back and, um, I think maybe that recruiter was still there, chased me out of there again. And then I almost joined the Army. I talk about this in my book. I almost joined the Army because the Navy recruiter was just such a jerk to me. But, you know, it’s always funny how life happens. So, another instance of technically being rejected I went to the military processing center to do my physical that I needed to do. I think I was 17 at this point so I was going to do a program called delayed entry program to join the army. I was going to become an army Ranger. And and they disqualified me on the physical. They said I had ruptured my eardrum as a kid. I had to have my eardrum reconstructed. So when the doctor looked in there, he saw scar tissue and was like, oh, you’ll never be able to equalize. You won’t be able to jump out of airplanes. And I said, true, because I had lived in the Virgin Islands, I had dove, I knew I could equalize. But unfortunately, you know, oftentimes with the military, and any bureaucracy, they don’t have time for you to tell your story. They’re just like, either you’re qualified or you’re not. And then it’s on you to fight the system and figure out how much room do I have latitude in the right and left limits. So when that occurred, I left. The Army tried to get me to sign up. They were like, we’ll sign you. You can do something else. And they they did this song and dance. And I was like, no, I can’t be an Army Ranger. I’m not coming in. So I came back, I got paperwork, I had an ENT look at my ears and prove that I could equalize. And by the time I had that done and I was coming back to the Army, there was a new Navy recruiter. And he said, hey man, the guys told me about you. I know who you are. His name was Henry Horn. Amazing guy, great recruiter, lives in North Carolina now. Henry and I reconnected about a year ago.
(14:17 – 14:20) Amberly Lago: Oh, that’s so awesome that you reconnected.
(14:20 – 14:39) Jason Redman: Yeah, to thank him. I wouldn’t be a SEAL if it wasn’t for Henry. So, uh, so he said, yeah, come on in. He said, let’s get you signed up. And, uh, and he helped me down that path. So back then, I mean, I dunno, probably five, six and 130 pounds.
(14:39 – 14:41) Amberly Lago: Wow. So how tall are you now?
(14:41 – 14:43) Jason Redman: Uh, five, seven.
(14:44 – 16:33) Amberly Lago: five, seven, I don’t know, like, I see you on stage. Yeah, I see you on stages. And I don’t it’s hard to tell. But you look like so huge. You know, like, I can’t you look like you’re like, six, four. Not you know, it’s so I that’s why I was I’m seven foot three in here. Yeah, yeah, it shows you know what, though? It my husband talks about something called command presence. And you have that. And so when you walk on stage, it’s like, wow, you’re just your energy and your confidence. And so I can understand why so many people want you to speak at their event. It’s because of not only the story that you share, but the energy that you bring to the event. It’s amazing. So I was just curious about that. So if we could skip into becoming a SEAL, because that is freaking hardcore. And there are a lot of people out there that try to put on things like, oh, let’s do SEAL training. And I’m like, they’ve never even been a SEAL. What do they do? Who do they think they are? I’m like, no, you’re the real deal. You’re legitness, as my daughter would say, you’re total legitness. I like this word. Oh, yeah. You’re total legitness going through buds like. I know there was one point where you almost gave up, like you were thinking about giving up. Can you tell us a little bit about that before you got sent out to your your, you know, your first, I guess. I don’t know if it was your first time that you got sent out where you got shot or the second, I’m not sure, but tell us a little bit about the buds because I don’t know if people really understand how intense that is.
(16:33 – 17:17) Jason Redman: Yeah, shield training is very hard. I mean, it’s definitely regarded as the hardest training in the U.S. military. There are a lot of people who think it’s to virtuous. Yes, torturous. And people who don’t understand bedros runs a program called the project because there’s a lot of men out there who have never been pushed outside of their comfort zone. So they don’t know how to find that inner grit and resilience that unfortunately, you have to get outside of your comfort zone. They call it flipping the switch to be able to push through that adversity. And there are a lot of people that don’t I mean, a lot of people will think they’re really tough and they’re hard and they speak a big game. But then when things really start to happen, they fold like lawn chairs.
(17:17 – 17:35) Amberly Lago: Yeah. And you saw that. I saw that happen when COVID happened in 2020. I saw a lot of people, the ones that really had that grit and resilience were thriving. Other ones, I couldn’t believe they like lost it, completely lost it.
(17:35 – 18:41) Jason Redman: Yeah. That’s what training teaches. If any of you out there think you’re, you know, there’s a lot of special operations wannabes that are out there. If you think you’re truly that tough, go do the project with Bedros Koulian. I was a guest instructor. That program’s legit. As for SEAL training, it is, you know, We started with 148 and we graduated 19. I mean, we, wow. That’s the standard attrition rate. We have about a 75 to 80% attrition rate per class. Wow. And it’s designed to be that way. We want to weed out anyone who does not have the mental fortitude to go at least 10 times further. Um, There were parts of training that enabled me to survive. I don’t think that I would be here today. I easily could have given up that night on the battlefield and just given it and accepted that I wasn’t going to make it. But I didn’t. I mentally there is no doubt that’s what kept me stay awake to stay alive. I talk about in the book.
(18:42 – 19:27) Amberly Lago: Yeah, there’s one quote that I want to read from your book that I love and it says even more important on the battlefield or self-discipline character and the ability to earn trust and confidence of one’s comrades, superiors and subordinates and embracing personal accountability and responsibility for one’s actions. That’s in And it’s so much about, and on the next page, it’s so much about, yeah, about mental toughness. And yes, physical is important, but it’s so much about mental toughness. So do you feel like that’s what BUDS teaches you, like the mental toughness of it?
(19:27 – 20:54) Jason Redman: 100% so many people think that SEAL training special operations training is about this, but and I talk about this and talks it’s about this and this makes the difference. you don’t have to be the best physically. You don’t have to be the best runner, swimmer, and you may be horrible at those things. Obviously, we have a minimum standard you have to meet. But frequently, we would see it we would see I’ll never forget we had a um, on Navy world champion triathlete, you know, he was on all the triathlete teams and he was coming to buds and the, the instructors were talking a lot about this guy coming, you know, this triathlete, the stud of studs. And yeah, he didn’t last more than a week before he quit. And that happens to these guys who were star athletes. They don’t make it because I think genetically, It had been easy for them up to that point in their life. They were just genetically gifted enough to excel in whatever sport they played or whatever they had done. And SEAL training, it will break everyone. It is designed to do it. I don’t care where you are. You know, for some people, you know, you’ll break sooner than others, but they will break you. And you have to learn how to navigate through when you break and whether you go ring that bell and quit or whether you stay and learn more about who you truly are.
(20:55 – 21:00) Amberly Lago: Well, when was there a time that you thought about ringing the bell?
(21:00 – 21:58) Jason Redman: Thursday night at Hell Week. Hell Week is the hardest block of training during SEAL training. It’s in the beginning, so it’s designed, it’s in the beginning and it is the true biggest crucible that every young SEAL has to go through. And it starts on Sunday and it goes till typically Friday, midday, late afternoon. but you’re awake almost the entire week. You might get an hour or two hours of sleep during that week. You’re constantly moving, you’re constantly wet, coated in sand. Oh, my God. Everywhere you go, you’re carrying you and your boat crew, six other individuals, seven-man boat crew are carrying around a 300-pound boat on top of your head everywhere you go. You’re either carrying it around on top of your head or you’re rowing in it out in the ocean or you’re doing exercises with it. It is brutally hard. It’s not uncommon to chafe holes in your body by the end of the week. It’s not uncommon.
(21:58 – 22:04) Amberly Lago: Well, you lost a lot of weight during that whole week too. How much weight did you lose during that time?
(22:04 – 22:14) Jason Redman: Almost 20 pounds, yeah. I think I was 117 pounds and that picture is in my book. I call it my I call it my off switch picture. No, no offense to any of our.
(22:14 – 22:22) Amberly Lago: I know, but I love honestly, I love that you have pictures in your book, by the way. Yeah, I love that. I love it.
(22:22 – 22:28) Jason Redman: I had to put them in there for the Marines. I much love my crayon eating friends.
(22:30 – 22:44) Amberly Lago: I love it. I love it. I also love that you have your, um, if y’all are listening to this and you’re not watching it on YouTube, that you have the, all your medals that are behind you in that frame.
(22:44 – 22:47) Jason Redman: Yeah. My shadow box. So I love that.
(22:47 – 23:00) Amberly Lago: My husband has a shadow box. He got a medal of valor. And so he’s got a shadow box that I’m very proud of. I’m like, we’re going to hang that in the house. He’s like, no, no, no, no. But yeah. Yeah. I can’t wait for him.
(23:00 – 23:07) Jason Redman: Right now, we’re kind of we’re in disarray because we’re hopefully we’re starting to get ready for the transition to the new building.
(23:07 – 23:53) Amberly Lago: So, yeah. And we’re going to talk about that, too. But let’s go in quick about. You get through the training, you make it, you’re one of the few that actually do, you’ve got the mental toughness, you’ve got that grit and resilience, and then you’re sent out and on a very, very, very important confidential really secretive. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like to go out. And this is before you get shot. Can you tell us? I know you’ve told this story a lot, but can you just tell us briefly, like a little bit about what happened so people get an idea of what hell you have been through and what you have overcome?
(23:53 – 24:17) Jason Redman: Yeah, but I think we skip a huge part of the story here, and I will condense it into a very Reader’s Digest version. Made it through training, excelled, did really well. As often happens with immature individuals who find success early, it sometimes can go to your head. That’s what happened to me.
(24:17 – 24:38) Amberly Lago: I do have that written down about you being quite the partier and playboy. I mean, quite the partier. And honestly, I don’t know how you partied so much and got through what you did. Do you drink now? Are you like a little bit? I know. Okay.
(24:38 – 24:45) Jason Redman: Yeah. Okay. I just wondered for months at a time, especially when I’m focusing on a fitness school or training for something.
(24:45 – 24:46) Amberly Lago: And yeah,
(24:47 – 24:54) Jason Redman: But yeah, nowhere near what I used to, because it doesn’t do really anything for you. I mean, it’s, it’s nice.
(24:54 – 25:12) Amberly Lago: That was kind of part of it, right? Like that was like, that was what was accepted. And if you didn’t drink when you were hanging out with everybody there, then they’d be like, what’s wrong with you, which is so bizarre, you know, isn’t it bizarre that that’s.
(25:13 – 25:51) Jason Redman: Well, I think it’s just part of the protector community, you know, military law enforcement fire. I mean, it’s just part of the community, right or wrong. I will right or wrong. I’m not here to judge. I will say, unfortunately, well, I will judge a little because unfortunately, It’s these jobs, the protector community, there’s a lot of trauma, military law enforcement, fire. I’ll put our medical first responders in there, our trauma medical personnel, high stress, a lot of trauma. So, when you already have a community where we drink a lot, now it starts to become self-medication drinking. Yeah, yeah.
(25:51 – 28:15) Amberly Lago: That’s what it became for me. I mean, I was never a drinker until I was diagnosed with this nerve disease and that left me in a lot of pain. And it was self-medication for me. It wasn’t like I was a party or it was self-medication, but yeah, there are like being married to a former Lieutenant commander. There were stories of, you know, cops that just needed to like zone out, numb out, stuff it down, like get away from it. Luckily, my husband was able to really separate from all the crap that he would see throughout the day, which I could never imagine. But I mean, there’d be so many times where we’d be driving down the road and he would be like, don’t look now, but I just arrested that guy last week and he’s already out of jail. And I’d be like, who, where, where he’s like, I told you not to look, you know, but shootings stuff that he saw, like the train crash stuff. And so I can understand, like, we need some support and help around our first responders. that have to be so tough. Actually, Jason, I should refer you to this California group. Every two years, they have a speaker that is for the California Firefighters Association, so it’s all the lieutenants and everything. And they hired me to be their keynote speaker and they wanted me to speak on like emotional resilience. Well, can you imagine me speaking to 350 firefighters? They all had like mullets and big mustaches and tatted up and they all sat with their arms crossed and I’m trying to talk them to them about being emotionally resilient. It was the hardest crowd I’d ever spoken to. And I remember going in, I said, Oh, honey, these are my people. I wanted to be a firefighter at one time. This is going to be awesome. He goes, those aren’t your people, Amberlee. They’re not going to like you. And I was like, what do you mean? They’re not going to like me. Like they’re my people. And I was like, I called him after I was like, you were right. That was a tough crowd. But Jason, if they saw you like all, you know, ripped up and tatted out, they’d be like, OK, we’re going to listen to him like he.
(28:15 – 28:23) Jason Redman: I speak for a lot of fire and law enforcement and the fire associations, the leadership associations. So, yeah.
(28:23 – 28:26) Amberly Lago: I can imagine you do. I can imagine you do.
(28:26 – 29:49) Jason Redman: But my story is unique. I mean, with that leadership failure, I mean, I failed as a young leader. I mean, that is the big part of my story that a lot of people, if they haven’t read my books, they don’t know that. They just think, oh, you know, this seal who got all shot up, he’s pretty tough. What they don’t realize is the toughest thing I ever went through was failing as a leader. I mean, when you’re part of a community like this to fail and be told you don’t measure up, I mean, I was rock bottom. I mean, I sat in a chair in Afghanistan and almost blew my brains out. And that’s the hardest road I’ve ever walked. The plus side of that, this is where I talk, you know, when you hit the end moments in your life, and you’re willing to get up and drive forward and figure out what that new beginning is, That’s where you truly start to grow. And that’s where you truly start to flex these muscles and these muscles and grow those muscles. Because it was the hardest thing. I had guys who were not happy that my leadership decided to keep me and give me a second chance. But I had to earn it. One of the great things about special operations, if you are a poor leader, you only get a little bit of time to fix yourself. Because if the guys say, we are not going to work with that guy, they will put you into a position to pretty much end your career. You won’t be checking the boxes you need to continue to move up.
(29:49 – 29:51) Amberly Lago: Well, why do you think they gave you a second chance?
(29:53 – 30:10) Jason Redman: My commanding officer said, hey, I was a good SEAL. I had excelled. I just was arrogant and had lost my way. I’d lost sight of what it is to be a leader, especially a leader of combat personnel.
(30:10 – 30:12) Amberly Lago: What do you think it takes to be a good leader?
(30:13 – 31:24) Jason Redman: Understanding what the end state is and finding a balance between where you need to go and how you motivate the your people to get there. Some will. There’s a balance there, though. I mean, some people will say the mission is everything. So now we start to get into the balance of people who are task minded versus people minded, you know, or task oriented versus people oriented. So I know some leaders who you know, they would kill all their own people to accomplish the mission. That’s a little extreme and it would be pretty rare that there’d be any way that that’s justified. Yet there are others who will never accomplish the mission because every little problem their people have, they’re more focused on that. A good leader has to navigate through those things, give their people the resources, and then hold them accountable to move down that road. If they’re not moving you towards that end state of where you need to go, then you either need to figure out how to help them fit into the machine and be an effective part of that machine, or they should not be in your machine.
(31:24 – 32:16) Amberly Lago: That’s so good, Jason. That is so good. No matter what you’re doing. Um, no matter, even if you’re like, I think of that, honestly, when you’re saying that I think of that with my mastermind, the people that I want in my mastermind, how I can be a good leader for them. And if they’re going to be able to fit in the machine and move forward. And if they’re not, then they’re not a part that I got it. It’s hard. It’s a hard decision. And I’ve actually had to let a couple of people go that, and it was hard to say, sorry, you can’t. join the machine, you can’t join it. But that is such a great way of describing it, how you just described it with the leadership. How do you think that you learned to get out of your ego more, stop the drinking as much and become a better leader? What really led you to that?
(32:16 – 32:24) Jason Redman: Failure is a great tool to humble you. Okay. So, and I have humility.
(32:24 – 32:59) Amberly Lago: You talk a lot about humility and you talk a lot about love. And I love that you talk about that because I think a lot of people that see you as this big tongue, strong, tough guy, Navy SEAL, like talking about love and humility. I think that’s really important. And so I really respect that you talk a lot about how the importance of humility and love. Why do you think as a leader, it’s important to have both humility and love?
(32:59 – 36:33) Jason Redman: Humility. I mean, ego is a dangerous thing. Uh, it drives you to make decisions based on your passions and beliefs and what furthers your agenda. And, you know, there’s a balance there. We need to be a little ambitious. We need to be able to take care of ourselves, but there’s confidence. I believe in myself and my ability to get things done before it gets into, I’m the best and you should bow down to me because I’m so good. And plan is the only plan. And then this gets into like, if you’re not, you know, diehard loyal to me, you know, how dare you question my plan? You know, that’s all ego. You know, humility gives you the ability to say, you know what, Amberlee, you’re a member of my team. You just brought forth this idea. And guess what? Your idea is better than my idea. So I’m humble enough to say, we’re going to go with Amberlee’s idea because it’s better. And there are a lot of leaders that can’t do that. A lot of leaders that can’t say, I’m sorry. A lot of leaders that can’t swallow their pride. And usually that ends up creating a poor culture. with a team or organization so I had to humble myself and come to realize I wasn’t as great as I thought I was. I still try to live that way today I recognize at any moment. You know, I love all these people, you know, that all that say failure is not an option. That’s great. But guess what? Things happen that are outside of your control. I don’t care how great you think you are, how perfect your plan is. They can go trade wreck, wrong and sideways in a moment. And guess what? You may find yourself on the receiving end of failure. And knowing that and accepting that and understanding that’s just part of the walk of this life. You know, I’m going to do everything in my power not to fail. But I also accept that, hey, it could happen. And I’ve been through it before. So guess what? I’ll pick myself up. I’ll get off that X and I’ll drive forward again. And then the other thing is love. It’s all you’re going to at the end of your life. I mean, for all this stuff we have, none of it really matters. Don’t get me wrong. I like stuff. You know, I’m it’s I was a I grew up pretty poor. And it’s exciting that I’ve reached a point in my life where I’m pretty Successful. I mean, I’m getting ready to buy a multi-million dollar building, which is insane. The amount of money I’m having to bring to the table is almost as much as the house I bought and more than many houses I bought years ago. But at the end of the day, if all that was gone, it doesn’t matter. Like as long as I have my friends and my family around me, that’s all I really care about. I mean, I I like being able to do stuff. I mean, trust me, I’ve reached a point in my life. I’ve I’ve I’ve slept on a rock wall in Afghanistan, freezing my ass off. I’ve slept in the swamps of I’ve slept in the basin of the jungles and Peru and Columbia. And I could do all that again if I had to. But I like a five-star hotel, you know? But it could be one in the blink of an eye. And if I don’t have my friends and family to share it with, then none of that really matters. And let me tell you, when I lay there bleeding out, dying, it’s all I thought about in the end. All I thought about. I sure didn’t think about any of this stuff I had. Well, let’s talk about that. I mean.
(36:34 – 36:56) Amberly Lago: I want to talk about that, like you’re you’re lying there bleeding out, dying. Not thinking about all the stuff, but thinking about your loved ones. Yeah. And I think a lot of people thought, oh, he’s dead. He’s he’s dead. You were shot eight times.
(36:56 – 37:42) Jason Redman: Yeah. putting around in the face and which knocked me out. So my teammates saw me get hit and they thought you were dead and thought, yeah, I thought I was dead. So and I was unconscious. We don’t know. Firefight lasted about 40 minutes. Very intense firefight. Many guys. who went on to many, many more combat operations. D.J. Shipley is a teammate of mine that was in that gunfight, went on to serve at the highest levels, and now runs a great company called GBRS. And D.J. said it was the most intense gunfight he was ever in. Um, and, and I was out for probably five, 10 minutes. Uh, so another, you know, good 30 minutes before we finally were able to get out of it.
(37:42 – 37:54) Amberly Lago: But, uh, how did you not bleed out? Like that’s a miracle in itself that you didn’t bleed out. It’s unbelievable.
(37:55 – 38:19) Jason Redman: Well, halfway through a gunfight, my team leader managed to run forward. They called in a fire mission, the closest fire mission ever executed in the Iraq War. We brought rounds in directly on our position from an AC-130 gunship. And my team leader ran forward, got me back to cover, and he got a tourniquet on my arm. So I mean, I credit him to saving my life.
(38:20 – 38:42) Amberly Lago: And saving your arm because you, I mean, your arm, I feel like your arm is kind of like my leg, basically, like they were going to amputate my leg and they were going to amputate your arm. And somebody put a tourniquet around my leg and saved my leg, basically. So somebody put a tourniquet around your arm right away and saved your arm. Yeah.
(38:42 – 39:00) Jason Redman: My team leader. So. So, yeah, that’s probably saved my life, but I’ve lost almost half my blood supply by the time they got me to Baghdad, where they medevaced me to. I needed eight blood transfusions over the next 96 hours.
(39:04 – 42:01) Amberly Lago: Wow. And to see pictures, y’all got to check out his book was first book, the trident, but also his other book overcome. I mean, they’re, they’re both amazing. You can see where I’ve highlighted stuff in your book. Um, they’re both amazing, but like I said, I love that you show the pictures, but better yet, you guys have to follow Jason on social media and I’ll have all the links to that in the show notes. So you can see how amazing. He is you’re gonna be so inspired by him and all he does and other thing Jason that I love that you do that you Shows what an incredible leader that you are is that you actually really always highlight other people in the best way like What kind of dog you have he’s a long-haired German Shepherd I oh so sweet i don’t i have a two pound little yorkie poo that’s not a real dog Yours is a real dog. Oh, gorgeous. But I love that you highlight people like in the best way, like when you’re talking about your teammates or you were talking about Bedros or talking about other people. So I love that. And I know we are running out of time. And so I want to get right into some of the things that you’re doing because through you, you know, you surviving this accident. And I don’t want to even for a moment, like, go short on how that journey must have been in the hospital. I, you have had how many surgeries? Almost 40. 40. That’s what I thought you had beat me by a few. I’ve had 34. You’ve had like 40 to put your body back together and you have a before and after picture on your social media. And y’all have to check that out because it took years to get back to the physique and the strength. and everything after all of these surgeries, but they saved your arm. Um, you survived, you got through the hospital. And the reason I’m going through this so quick is because you have so, so much to offer. And I know we have so little time and I want to tell people about what you’re doing to help them now. So first of all, your Ted talk is freaking amazing. You’re amazing. You like talk about a serious subject and make people laugh throughout your talk. I wanted to cry throughout your talk. Like you did it all. So y’all have to check out his Ted talk. It was so good. And I love your acronym for react. Yes. Could you just give us real quick, like react, what does that stand for? So it can help us get through some tough times. Yeah. React is.
(42:02 – 42:56) Jason Redman: I survived an enemy ambush. Everybody gets ambushed on life. Everybody will find themselves on the X is the vernacular that we use in special operations. And in order to survive, we had to get off the X. So REACT is an acronym for anyone to use to deal with a life ambush. And that’s what Overcome is all about. It’s about how we deal with life ambushes. So REACT, the R stands for recognize you’re in a crisis. E stands for evaluate your assets. A stands for assess your options and outcomes. C stands for choose a direction and communicate it. And A stands for action, you got to take action, you know, we’ve got to implement this plan. So we get deeper into that in the book. There’s a lot of nuances and sticking points. And oftentimes, I talk about React at speaking events, depending on what companies or teams or organizations are looking for.
(42:57 – 45:03) Amberly Lago: Yeah. I love that you talk about it and you explain it. If y’all want to learn even more about that, go, go check out his book, overcome or, and also watch his Ted talk about it. But I love that you say it’s so much, it’s so important to know, like, take a good, honest look at what’s going on in your life and go, okay. This is what’s going on. Let me see what I can do about it before I can take action. So I love that you do that. And also one thing that I love that you say, Jason, is that, you know, a lot you in a lot of your talks, you say, you know, a lot of people you think, oh, I can’t relate to being in an ambush and being shot eight times. But you’re like, no, we get ambushed in life all the time, whether it’s you’re going through a divorce or you, you’re, you know, you lost your job or whatever life ambushes you with. And I think right now people are going through a lot of hard times and there’s a lot of fear and there’s a lot of scarcity. There’s a lot of scarcity mindset out there. And you really help people get through those moments by what you share, um, through your experience. And you also have something that’s really important, I think, for people to know about, and it’s called overcome and survive class. And, you know, I grew up, I feel like having to become a survivor. I didn’t have much money. Uh, there was abuse in the household. I started working when I was like eight years old and had four jobs by the time I was in high school. So it was like, I think I was telling you before we even started recording, like my husband went on a second date with me because he knew I had a gun. I’m like, it’s because I’m from Texas. Of course I have a gun. One year I got a cross, but like a bow and a rifle for Christmas. And I’m like, who do y’all think I am Rambo? Like what’s going on? Seriously.
(45:03 – 45:05) Jason Redman: I’d like those gifts for Christmas.
(45:05 – 46:07) Amberly Lago: Yeah. I mean, yeah, you should, you, you and my husband would so get along. He would love to show you his like gun collection. He’s so excited about, but I love that you teach people how to survive and it’s not just about guns. So I know there might be some people that are like unsubscribe right now because she is into guns. You know what I mean? Yeah. But I think it’s very important for people to know how to use a gun, how to shoot a gun, how to protect themselves, how to survive. And so you teach all these skills in your courses. And it’s not just about guns, but it’s like basic necessities that sometimes people miss that you’re, you’re like, dude, these are the basic necessities you need. Like you need to have a supply of water. You need to have some dried food, like you have all of that. So what are some of the things that you teach in, in, in this course and how can people find out about it? Yeah.
(46:08 – 46:38) Jason Redman: And I mean, so I teach three things. I mean, we’ll come back to the course in a second. I teach people how to be leaders, warriors and providers. I often talk about it. You can substitute entrepreneur. But at the end of the day, those are the three things that are going to make you feel good about yourself. most people are good in one area naturally, or, or maybe not good in any areas, but you are going to feel amazingly confident if you have some level of ability in all three of those areas.
(46:38 – 46:52) Amberly Lago: So leaders, warriors, provider, provider. Okay. Oh, gosh. Well, I’m doing those things. I’m learning from you to be better at it, but I’m doing it.
(46:52 – 49:18) Jason Redman: And that’s what I want to teach. I want to teach everybody because, you know, we live in a day and age. The number one thing I teach is self-leadership. Like, you know, it’s great. We all need teams and we need people to rely on. But at the end of the day, if you’re not effectively leading yourself, you’re never going to lead anybody else. And if you’re struggling or if you are trying to overcome something, no one is going to help you if you’re not willing to help yourself. So the base level we got to start with is you. And that goes from everything from providing for your family and having a good job and negotiated salary or being an entrepreneur and providing something of value to leading yourself, leading your family, leading other people in your community, most importantly, leading yourself. And then the last one is the warrior side. And it doesn’t mean I expect you to throw on some body armor and run off to Ukraine or Israel. But what it does mean is, God forbid, somebody kicked in your door or tried to carjack your car, you have a warriors and an overcome mindset. Or even at a different level, man, look at the weather patterns that have been happening lately. Our weather is doing insane things. So how many of you are actually prepared if you suddenly had a major storm hit your community, where you’re now without power for months. Or God forbid, there was such catastrophic weather event that occurred that first responders couldn’t get to you for a week. So now what happens if a board flies through your house and impales somebody in your house? Who’s going to do something? Well, if you don’t have at least a basic level of training, your loved ones just going to bleed it out. These are all the things we teach in our Overcome and Survive course. I want to take the average everyday American citizen, and teach them how to know basic trauma first aid, how to put a tourniquet on, how to pack a wound, how to deal with if somebody stops breathing, how to do basic CPR, all these things, how to how to survive, if the worst happened. And we also teach you how to use weapons and how to handle dangerous situations or dangerous people. Our number one goal, I’m not going to make you John Wick. There are people that show up that think that’s going to happen. I’m not John Wick. But what I am going to do is teach you how to evaluate a situation and hopefully get out of that situation without any violence. But God forbid it goes to that level. I will have you confident in your abilities to deal with it.
(49:18 – 50:48) Amberly Lago: So that’s so good, Jason, that what you just said, confident in your abilities, because I think that carries over so much. Let me tell you, because. So I have a belt in Krav Maga, I did Muay Thai kickboxing and regular boxing. And I did it, I think, because I had people beat the crap out of me and I was like, I’m going to be strong. So I’m going to learn how to fight for myself. Right before I moved back to Texas, I was in L.A. and my daughter and I were riding our bikes and I had a homeless person jump me. And I told, I yelled at my daughter, I was like, keep going, keep going, keep riding, Ruby. So she kept riding, the homeless person jumped me. As soon as I got up, after I’d fallen off the bike, got up and I stood up to her, there was no fight. But it was the confidence I had in myself that I was ready. I was like, bring it. That homeless person looked at me like, oh shit, I just messed with the wrong person. She’s ready to take me down. And that is what a course like this gives you. because it gives you the confidence that you can protect yourself, that you can get through hard things. So I love, love, love that you are doing this. I think it’s so needed, especially now in the world with what’s going on. How can people find out about that and get involved with that?
(50:49 – 51:43) Jason Redman: On our website, overcomeandsurvive.com. So we’re running two classes next year. We may run an advanced course in the summer, but right now we have a course in October, or I’m sorry, a course in April and a course in November. So you would fly here to the Virginia Beach area. We run the course down in Moyoc, North Carolina, but everything’s included. And I’ve had some people say- And how long is the course? It’s two and a half days, but we have days because I have some people say, man, this seems expensive, but everything’s provided your ammo, your weapon, your lodging, your food. We cover everything. All you need to do is show up and we will train you. You will walk away a better. I teach you how to build a go bag. I even provide you with the starter go bag and a go bag is it’s an emergency bag that God forbid something happened. You can grab this bag and you can survive for a period of time with the things that are in there.
(51:44 – 53:31) Amberly Lago: And you know what, I think that people don’t realize how expensive ammo is. It’s very, very expensive. So we’ll definitely have the link for that in the show notes. And oh my gosh, Jason, you’re freaking amazing. I feel like I just want to like talk to you all day. And I know we have like three minutes left. And so I do a part two. I know you’re so amazing. I actually want to have you and Erica back on the show when your book comes out. So you’re doing your new, doing a new book with your wife, which I am so excited for. It’s all about relationships. And my goodness, when you’ve been through hard times together and you can give some people some advice on, cause nowadays I feel like people just give up. You know what I mean? And my husband and I have been together for almost 18 years. And he has been with me by my side through 34 surgeries. And believe me, I’m crazy. I kind of put him through hell and He’s still with me. Maybe we need to write a book too. I want you to share a little bit about your book that’s coming out and I will, I would love to have you and Erica on the show when that comes out and just have you on again, like for a part two, because there’s so much that you offer just besides, I mean, you’ve got your legacy tried coaching program. You’re speaking that you do all over the world. Y’all have to check him out. Check out his website. And I promise I’ll have him back on because seriously, this is like I’m fanning. I’m fangirling you right now because I’m just so amazed by all you do. But tell us a little bit about your your book with your wife.
(53:31 – 53:53) Jason Redman: Yeah. So the book came about because in the Trident, I tell Erica’s story and I really wanted the American people to see what our military spouses and specifically our special operations spouses go through. So a lot of people knew who she was because of that. And then she helps me run my business. So they are our business. Let me rephrase that. She helps our business.
(53:53 – 53:57) Amberly Lago: She’s got you good there. She’s like, oh, no, our business.
(53:57 – 55:33) Jason Redman: Well, always. And it’s my team, you know, it’s not these aren’t my employees. These are my team members. So, I mean, that’s a mindset of how you build a good culture and a team. And I think we’ve run our family that way, our relationship that way. And I think a lot of people saw it. So they said, how have you guys done it? SEAL teams have a 90% divorce rate. Wounded warriors have almost the same. Is that right? Couples that run businesses don’t often have a good track record that creates a lot of stress and friction. And we have done it at a very high level. And she is what I like to call my most important teammate. But that takes You have to be intentional and there’s a lot that goes into it. So the book is kind of broken into multiple parts. Number one is choose wisely. So we’re kind of hoping individuals and maybe you’re in the beginning of a relationship really dig deep into who that person you’re marrying is and you really know who they are and that your goals and dreams are aligned and you dig in and understand where this person wants to go. Does it align with where you want to go? Because if not, You’re setting yourself up for a lot of problems and a hard road. So true, so true. And it becomes, yeah, shared goals and dreams, communication, and then navigating through our problems. So it’s called Invincible Marriage. It will come out February 25, but we’ll be doing stuff. Everything’s on track for us to launch a new podcast next year. The two of us are going to be running a podcast called The Most Important Teammate. And it’s going to be about couples and relationships and overcoming adversity and all that.
(55:33 – 55:35) Amberly Lago: Oh, my God. Are you serious?
(55:35 – 55:41) Jason Redman: Yeah. I don’t know when it’ll come out. Probably the beginning of the year, first quarter, or maybe the start of the second quarter. We got to get.
(55:41 – 56:56) Amberly Lago: That is so awesome. You know what, Jason? It is so needed. Yeah. Oh, I would love that. And can I tell you something? So when I first started my podcast, I begged my husband, I wanted him to be my first guest. And he was like, no, no, no, no. So it took a hundred episodes for the hundredth episode. I was like, will you please be my guest for the hundredth episode? And he said, yes, because he’s a little more private. He’s the best guy. He would give you the shirt off his back. He’s so amazing. He was my hundredth episode. That episode has more downloads than any other episode that I’ve done. And I think it’s because people really want to. know, like they want to know from Erica, they wanted to know from Johnny behind the scenes, I mean, behind the scenes, how do you really do it? No. Yeah. So I think that is a great idea. You let me know when that’s out. And I’m happy to promote that for you as well. Jason, thank you. I want to have you back. I want to get back on the show. Because there’s so many other questions I wanted to ask you in the middle of the year. And and look, y’all, if you’re looking, these are his his books right here.
(56:56 – 57:10) Jason Redman: They’re beautiful. All the major platforms or if you want signed copies, you can go to Jason Redmond dot com and I and I’ll personalize it. There’s a little box that you can fill out and say, hey, please make this out to me or my son or daughter or whoever.
(57:10 – 57:30) Amberly Lago: But these are beautiful, like legitness books like. Thank you. Amazing. Amazing. So I’m just so grateful to have you on the show. Tell people the best way again, tell them the best way to find you. And I’ll have all your links in the in the show notes.
(57:30 – 57:56) Jason Redman: Jason Redman.com. And from there, you can find me on all the socials. I’m most active on Instagram. But I put out at least a video, if not two, a week on YouTube. My Monday musters is this motivational content I put out every week about how to be a better leader, team member, better version of you. And so, yeah, you can find me on all those things. And I’m just trying to, as I like to say, I have a shirt trying to be the light.
(57:56 – 58:27) Amberly Lago: And the world for you are, you are amazing. You are such a light. You’re such a bright light. And I so appreciate you being on the show. I’ve been so excited about this. So thank you. Thank you for your service. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for inspiring me in the world. And I look forward to talking to you again. And thank y’all for tuning in to the true grit and grace podcast and being here and Jason, thank you again. I appreciate you. We’ll see you next week.
(58:27 – 58:28) Jason Redman: Yeah, thank you.