Aug 1, 2018
In this episode, Mike Erwin,
Founder of Team Red White & Blue (RWB), talks with Jim and Jan
about how positive psychology and character affect leadership
development. Whether it’s through his work at the Positivity
Project, Team RWB, or teaching at West Point, Mike is clear on his
purpose and serving others. He believes both that in relationship
building and community, and the great power of solitude. Mike
discusses the principles by which he organizes his life, and
tactical and time management methods he uses to bring value,
priority, and consistency into all of his projects.
[1:26] As the Founder and Board
Member, of Team Red, White & Blue, Mike and his team created
the standard to organize a non-profit, and to help veterans
transition from active duty to civilian life. Mike’s original
mission was to help veterans better understand their potential, and
to build a team that is responsive and engaged. At its core, the
organization is about helping veterans connect with other
[6:18] The average person in a
day sees 30,000 brand impressions. Mike takes this information for
Team RWB and uses it to set his mission apart, by developing a
strategy that creates sustainable revenue. Team RWB encourages the
members to share the story to create social agency, and reaches big
corporations and foundations through brand strength and what every
member associated with the organization represents.
[10:35] Mike founded Team RWB in
2010, and was the Chairman until March 2017 and Volunteer Executive
Director for the first two years.
[14:51] Solitude gives us the
clarity, creativity, emotional balance and moral courage that is
necessary for strong and powerful leadership.
[19:02] Psychology has only been
around for 150 years, and gained traction on the heels of World War
II. Studying positive psychology lets us in to a world of knowledge
in what makes life more meaningful and purposeful.
[22:19] Give yourself a good
four days to fully reap the benefit of solitude.
[30:18] Mike sums up his two day
seminars with Day 1: Lead Yourself First and Day 2: Leadership as a
Relationship. There is not a one-size fits all framework or perfect
sound-bite for leadership, and Mike believes it is crucial to step
back and invest in a leadership development program that moves the
[37:44] Mike shares how he
organizes his time and output of energy. Whether he is serving in
the army reserves, nonprofit, education and business, he makes sure
that everything he accepts and takes on mutually reinforces his
core values and mission.
[43:12] If you want to do more
and posses more focus while you are doing it, a tactical first step
is to cut out the extras in your life that don’t serve a purpose.
Replace 30 minutes a day of social media scrolling, or
passive TV watching, with an activity that breeds passion and
[51:50] Mike is committed to
finding 30 minutes a day of uninterrupted time to read and spend
time thinking big picture and analytically.
are hungry to reach more, to do more, to become
you develop a strategy that creates earned revenue?”
solitude you gain clarity and moral courage that is necessary to
- Relationships are the number one driver of life
- Before you can lead other people, you need to
be able to lead yourself.
is too complicated and complex for everyone to be understood under
must invest time and energy in the process of leadership
yourself: “Am I adding significant value back to other people, and
am I developing value within people?”
long term success of our entire society is at stake. We must think
less about ourselves and more about our community, team,
organization and family.
have to cut the noise out of your life.
number one driver of a meaningful life is having a positive impact
on other people’s lives.
time every day to read books that challenge you.
Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through
Team Red, White & Blue
Character and Leadership Center
The Positivity Project
Run as One Seattle
MIKE ERWIN is
the CEO of the Character & Leadership Center, whose mission is
to produce better leaders through a deeper understanding of
positive psychology and character. He also serves as the
co-founder & president of the Positivity Project, a non-profit
organization with the mission to empower America’s youth build
strong relationships. In 2010, Mike founded the
veteran-support non-profit, Team Red, White & Blue (Team RWB)
where he still serves on the Board of Directors. He is the
co-author of Lead
Yourself First – Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude
from Bloomsbury Press.
Mike deployed to Iraq once and Afghanistan
twice, and still serves as a
Lieutenant Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves---assigned to the
United States Military Academy at West Point as an Assistant
Professor in Psychology & Leadership. He currently lives
in Pinehurst, NC, with his wife and their four young