Speaker 1: Welcome to Purpose City, stories of humanity in action, sponsored by Executive Wealth Management. Guests [00:00:30] on Purpose City do not necessarily reflect an endorsement of Executive Wealth Management.
Ken- Host: Welcome to Purpose City. I'm Ken McMullen with Executive Wealth Management. And we do stories of humanity in action. And we actually have as a guest today the person you just heard on that disclaimer. It was such a good disclaimer. The letters have been rolling in, and they wanted to meet the person behind that disclaimer.
Tom- Guest: There's a whole story [00:01:00] to how that came ab. It started back in 1972 when laws were enacted in the financial world. And I started writing this down. I dreamt about this and decided to put it in action itself.
Ken- Host: So we have Tom Jordan. And Tom Jordan recently has been a news anchor in local Detroit radio, news radio, for several years. And he has a pretty big shindig coming up we'll talk about. And well, I was going to say we'll talk about it [00:01:30] in September. We're actually going to talk about it now. But your shindig's coming up in September.
Tom- Guest: Yeah. It's coming up in September.
Ken- Host: Yeah, that'd be quite a teaser.
Tom- Guest: Yeah. We'll talk about that. Want to talk about it now? Want to talk about it in a moment?
Ken- Host: September's good.
Tom- Guest: Okay. September. Let's talk about it then.
Ken- Host: And, well, tell us a little about yourself.
Tom- Guest: I am, as you mentioned, I worked in the news industry for ... It's been about 23 years, mostly television news out in California. About 15 years [00:02:00] doing that, news anchor reporter and what not. And then came out to Detroit in 2013 and did radio news. And I just love ... I loved the news industry. And when I was a kid I was always curious about what was going on in the community. And I had this desire to really kind of jump in the middle of things. I wanted to be there, I guess where the action was. I kind of had this, I don't know if it was a fear of mission out type of syndrome, [00:02:30] but I just was curious and wanted to be on the scene.
So I would watch the news and wanting to be there. I wanted to be in the studio to see what they were doing in studio. I wanted to be on the streets when these things would happen. So I can remember when I became old enough to drive, I would go to this different locations where I would see these common backdrops where those reporters would stand out, or they'd be on the scene of whatever it was, a fire, or in front of the San [00:03:00] Diego Police Department. I remember saying, "That's what they showed on the news." And just wanted to be there, but I had, I think, a early understanding of how, in those days at least, a daily newscast would put pretty much everybody on the same page in a community. And I liken it to having a sports team in a city where we have, say, the Detroit Lions. Everyone knows the Lions are horrible, but we all love them anyway. And it's kind of something we can all rally around, or the Detroit [00:03:30] Tigers.
I think newscast, to me at least, they were kind of the same thing, where it was a tool to bring everyone together. Let's kind of have this little town square kind of meeting, and the whole community comes together. They didn't agree on everything, but we figured out what was going then we went back to our respective homes and lived our lives. But it was a really unique and, I think, a needed tool back the way I think it used to ... Now it's so overblown, [00:04:00] I think the industry is, but it's everywhere now.
Ken- Host: Yeah. So is it true, I read somewhere that Anchorman's based on your life.
Tom- Guest: Yeah. Ron Burgundy, he and I were somewhat synonymous. No, it was a San Diego news anchor. He was beloved by everybody in San Diego, as he proclaimed. But yeah, I knew a guy that claimed that he was the inspiration for Ron Burgundy. I said, "You don't want that as your-"
Ken- Host: [00:04:30] You don't want that title.
Tom- Guest: You don't want that at all. But he seemed to want it. I think, "You know they're kind of making a mockery of you."
Ken- Host: I don't know. I mean, I started out in broadcasting. I just didn't have a lean towards the journalistic part. I don't know why. Maybe it was like I was too rock and roll.
Tom- Guest: Yeah, you were.
Ken- Host: A little bit.
Tom- Guest: You had that background. So you were very much involved in the music scene?
Ken- Host: Yeah, you like how I did that?
Tom- Guest: Yeah.
Ken- Host: [00:05:00] I just pivoted the whole conversation.
Tom- Guest: It's all about you.
Ken- Host: Back to me, somehow.
Tom- Guest: But it's related. I think music does the same thing. It's something that it communicates emotion. It communicates, it brings people, it rallies them around a certain cause. I mean, some music is very politically minded, and it has been. You think about the 60s and 70s. But you were that side of broadcasting. And I had an interest in that as well. I considered going down that path. But I went back to what I [00:05:30] felt most comfortable with, which is journalism news.
Ken- Host: So this would be the first time you talk about your September venture publicly.
Tom- Guest: Yes. On this podcast.
Ken- Host: On this public podcast.
Tom- Guest: Yes.
Ken- Host: Tell us what you can about it.
Tom- Guest: Well, okay, so for about eight years, I worked at a local station here in Detroit. And I have decided to move on over to a [00:06:00] talk station in town, WJR. And we were in discussions for a little bit here. And I thought, "Yeah, I think I would like to that." And I feel like talk radio is, in the same way that the news industry is, it's a rallying point. To me, it's still information. And while this is more of an opinion-based type of program, I am of the belief that people have opinions. To me, [00:06:30] the word opinion is too soft of a word. I think the word conviction carries with it a little more gravitas, a little more weight in terms of what you believe and why you believe it's true.
And I think that most convictions are based on some premise that somebody has built up over their lifetime of observation, and their senses, and what they've observed and what they've seen in society, and what they've studied. And hopefully, a lot of it points back to within the premise, or your axiom. [00:07:00] There's a set of facts that build this foundation.
Ken- Host: Hold on, hold on.
Tom- Guest: Yes.
Ken- Host: I'm still looking up axiom.
Tom- Guest: Axiom. It's a band in the 1970s.
Ken- Host: Yeah.
Tom- Guest: Basically, a premise might be a better word, just to say a foundation to where you can logically conclude certain things as being true. And so I look at this talk show we're going to do as being based more on that, more on convictions that people [00:07:30] have. And we're going to open it up to people of all sorts of opinions, all sorts of beliefs, all sorts of logical conclusions that they've come to. And we're going to discuss it. And it's not going to be ... I have found, I'll be honest, I have found that the news industry in general, over the past 10 years, has shifted so dramatically. It's splintered in such a way that it doesn't seem, it doesn't feel like you can get the whole story if you're just watching, or listening, or reading [00:08:00] from one particular outlet or platform. So whether it's a newspaper, a radio broadcast, or a television broadcast, cable, social media, you're going to get different opinions and different takes on the facts that are out there.
And there's just been too many times where I have observed a full-length press conference and the highlight of these press conference were little words here and there that could be misconstrued based on someone's [00:08:30] own idea of a narrative that they want to, I guess, propagate. And it's been really frustrating for me because that's not how it used to be. It used to be we objectively watch a news conference, we ask the right questions, and then we explain to our audiences the hopefully objective results of those interviews that we've done, the press conferences that were given. And then you can stack up some [00:09:00] facts to either contradict or confirm the claims from these various people.
But nowadays, it seems to have shifted to the point ... And I think a lot of journalists nowadays in schools are being taught that they're more activists. And there are some settled facts that we no longer have to question. And I still believe you always have to question the premise. If somebody's building an argument based on a premise, question the premise as well. [00:09:30] That's okay. That doesn't meant you're a bad person. I think it's okay to do that. And in fact, I think it's necessary. But that's being kind of lost.
So we're, in my view, going to talk radio, WJR, is going to bring at least me and people on our team back to that whole idea of let's question things. Let's not demonize people that want to question a particular topic, and let's look at things objectively and not be afraid to ask questions.
Ken- Host: Yeah, so in journalism, if it's [00:10:00] leaned one side, there's kind of a thinking that the ends justifies the means. So they're doing good, or being, today's word is compassion.
Tom- Guest: Yeah, exactly.
Ken- Host: So if they're actually being compassionate by being trustworthy to the community, but in a way that is not allowing you to make decisions for yourself. We'll make them for you because ultimately, it's going to be better for society, [00:10:30] you, your family and community, because we know better. Where the approach you're talking about is, I think, is more compassionate. You're trusting people. You care enough to give the facts, the truth, and that if you're ... I don't know if there's a right or wrong side, but the facts itself will lean to what is right. People will make the right decisions if they hear the right information.
Tom- Guest: To me, it's even beyond that. It's beyond [00:11:00] what's right and wrong. It's truth. So if it's true that there is a particular politician who told a lie, we have to truthfully come to that conclusion if it's true. Now, we don't know if it's true. But we can test it to find out if it's true, or if there's some realm of truth to that. I think the right and wrong is where I think a lot of journalists have gotten mixed up. I don't think that's our job. [00:11:30] I don't think it's our job as a journalist.
Now, as a human being, once you get all the facts out there, that's our job as journalists is to get the facts. What's true? And then we bring that to the audience. And they, based on their own premises, or their foundations of logical foundations, or whatever they believe, they can assess for themselves what's right and what's wrong. Where we've gone wrong, in my [00:12:00] opinion, is journalists have decided that they are the experts, and they are the arbiters of what's right and wrong, and deciphering that ahead of time, and then giving what they believe to be right based on their subjective opinions.
And the problem is journalists disagree one with another. So that's not our job. We all have different backgrounds. We all have different, I guess, belief systems or worldviews that [00:12:30] would maybe determine our view of what is right and wrong. But that's not our job, again. We have to just explain the truth.
Ken- Host: You ultimately lose the trust of people.
Tom- Guest: Absolutely.
Ken- Host: Because once they find out they're not getting all the facts, then their trust is gone.
Tom- Guest: Right. I had an example. Here's an example of ... Donald Trump. He was very bombastic. People didn't like him, particularly journalists. So because they didn't like him, they decided [00:13:00] that everything he said was a lie. And he needed to be fact checked. So as it relates to Michigan, Governor Whitmer got a little bit of trouble for her husband going out and saying that he wanted to get his boat out in the water, and he tried to use his wife's name to kind of get ahead of the line to get the boat out in the water. So Donald Trump used that hyperbole in describing the state of Michigan, saying, "Yeah, no one can go on the water except the governor and her husband." Well, that wasn't true. He was kind of making a [00:13:30] joke and he was speaking hyperbolically, with exaggeration.
But our reporters were so furious. He needs to be fact checked. That wasn't true. And I said, "Okay, that's not your job in the sense of deciding what's right and wrong. But if you're going to fact check him, let's do it on both sides. Yeah, let's fact check him on that. Let's correct the record, set the record straight. But let's also set the record straight when, say, the governor comes out and claims that the president was [00:14:00] the instigator of a plot to kidnap and kill her." That is a huge allegation that was not based on any sense of an investigation. The FBI would contradict what she had said. But that's what she said publicly. So if you, reporter, are willing to fact check the president on the boat issue, you should fact check the governor on that claim that he's responsible for an attempt to kill her.
There [00:14:30] are serious allegations, and there are other allegations that are just silly. If you want to fact check them, that's good. We should. But let's do it on both sides. And we have decided as journalists what we want to choose to fact check based on our own idea of what's right and what's wrong.
Ken- Host: Yeah.
Tom- Guest: So yeah, so that's what kind of concerned me. So I want to get back to just allowing both sides to talk, all sides. I mean, I will interview, [00:15:00] it doesn't matter what party you're from, what political background. I want to hear from you. And I always tell people, you as an individual, this is compassion, this is, I think, humanity. You are so much more valuable than your political position, our disagreement. To me, you mean so much more. This disagreement, if we have one, doesn't even come close to interfering with our relationship. In my view, because human beings [00:15:30] are much more valuable than a simple disagreement on politics.
Ken- Host: So we talked about it in a broadcast form. I think it's compassionate to build trust in people. It's compassionate to give people the truth. It's compassionate to let people decide for themselves, and in my view, more positive, productive outcome. But on a more personal level, what would you say, [00:16:00] outside the broadcast realm, but personally as a human being, how would you define ... Compassion's used in a lot of ways. But how would you verbalize what compassion is? I mean it's not a thing. Do you think it's a state of mind? Is it just an emotion? Is it a verb? Is it a description of something we do or feel? What is it?
Tom- Guest: I think that's a [00:16:30] great question because a thing about compassion we can say about love. What is love? Is it a verb? Is it a noun? Compassion, what is compassion? And I think it's many things, but I think it's something that is somewhat innate in human nature. We know it's good to be compassionate, but I also think it's a learned trait. And how do you learn to be compassionate? But first, what is compassion? I think compassion is caring about others in the same [00:17:00] way, or even more so, than the way you want to treat yourself. It's caring about other's needs, at least as equally as your own needs. That's a very difficult thing to do. I don't think it comes naturally. We want to that. We like the idea of compassion, but how do you learn to be compassionate? How do you learn to really, truly care as much for someone who maybe is addicted to something? Drugs, or alcohol? Or someone [00:17:30] who has fallen on very difficult times? It may be their fault, it may not be their fault, may be a result of circumstances.
How do you learn to really care about that person to the degree that you will offer them tangible relief, tangible help? Other than, "Hey, God bless you. I'll be praying for you." But how do you come around aside them and put your arm around them? I truly believe, and I think the evidence bears it out, that compassion is learned within the family, [00:18:00] the family structure. And the family structure is where we learn, I think, the most important lessons of life. We can talk about finances. In the family, in the home, there is a very demonstrable and real-felt need to handle your finances well.
So why is that? Because if you don't, let's say you're addicted to gambling. You're going to affect your spouse. You're going to affect your kids. [00:18:30] All of them are going to suffer unless you deal with that issue that is affecting your finances. And that would be a form of compassion, making sure that what you've been giving is being used for the benefit of not just yourself, but for those under your direct care, as your responsibility. It's caring for other people. So compassion would include the word care.
So how do we do that? So within in the family, I mean, just think about the basic lessons of family life. You get [00:19:00] up, you have do your chores. You got to do dishes. It's not just for your benefit. Most people, my kids hate doing dishes. I hate doing dishes. I always have, but if I don't do it, they're going to pile up in the sink, and then someone in my family needs a plate, they're going to be, "Well, they're dirty." That's because the person who was supposed to clean them didn't do it and it affects somebody else. That's a real simple example. Learning just to take care of yourself is actually compassionate for others. And we're training our kids to care themselves. Why? Because once [00:19:30] they learn to take care of themselves, they'll also learn to take care of other people as well. So there's this whole idea of training within the home that I believe teaches us to be compassionate. So that's within the home.
And then what do you do as a family? Once you're healthy inside the home, how can you learn to be compassionate for other people? So we go out and we try to give, maybe some finances, or if you have a neighbor who needs ... Your neighbor comes knocking on the door. "Hey, I ran out of butter." There's a real simple example. "Do you have any butter?" "Yeah, [00:20:00] take my butter." That's a real simple example of that. But it extends much more beyond that. Maybe your neighbor just lost a child in a car accident. That's when things get serious. What are you going to do? Are you going to just sit there and say wish them well? Or are you going to go over and do whatever you can to help that person who's hurting.
Ken- Host: And that's the key difference isn't it? When it goes from feeling to action so you can ... [00:20:30] You mentioned it before neatly, that there's a kindness in all of us, but selfishness kind of takes over. But I think we all feel compassion, but it's not just feeling sorry for. Like you can see on the news something bad happens and you feel sorry for it. Or, you can feel like you're working in journalism, and you're not giving people the whole truth to make their decisions. I think that would bother you personally because you have [00:21:00] compassion. People need to know the truth, but the action is I'm going to work some place where I can give people the truth. Then you feel better as a human being, where you could still, in a philanthropy way, write a check and kind of get rid of that ... Like I should do something, and that is an action.
But I think there's a part where the difference between where you roll up your sleeves. And organizations need checks, but say you go to food [00:21:30] kitchen. You actually cook and serve the food. Where you're motivated to roll up your sleeves and get your hands in humanity, where you're touching another person. I think that's the ultimate of compassion that the other one, even if it's check writing, you need it, or you feel sorry. But that kind of makes you feel good as a human being. Everybody wants to have empathy for other people. But I think, personally, we have a need [00:22:00] to be compassionate. And you only fulfill your own need, which sounds selfish, by not being selfish.
Tom- Guest: Right.
Ken- Host: The moment you're not selfish, and you do something, and you can't find one area in it where it benefits you, and you do it anyway. No one will ever know I did this. It doesn't help me in any way. It doesn't get me a new client. It doesn't whatever, no one's going to congratulate me. And you help somebody, I [00:22:30] think that's when you fulfill that need you have inside that every human being has, that you're letting that kindness out. Otherwise, I think it's kind of sugar coating. You need to be kind so ... Like I said, check writing's important, because organizations need the money. But when you don't actively engage with humanity, when you're not actually engaged in your community, you're still separating yourselves from the pain of people.
Tom- Guest: When you can look at somebody in their eyes when they're hurting, [00:23:00] and you can see somebody collapse from grief, and you're holding them as they're shaking, that's when everything else gets stripped away. All your ideas of, "What am I going to get out of this?" It doesn't even matter because you're connecting with another human being, soul to soul. And you can feel the grief that that other person has. I'll give you an example of a person I witnessed do this in a remarkable way. He's a good friend of mine. He was in my wedding [00:23:30] 26 years ago. His name is Steve, Steve Boffman. He was living in the Bay Area of California. He saw on the news that babies Tijuana, Mexico were so cold they were freezing to death.
They were living in these shanties, really a dump. That's where they would lie to you. I've seen these. You go down there, the people are living in a dump. And there's no heat, obviously. So he had [00:24:00] a wife, he had three kids. He looked at his wife, looked at his kids, say, "I'm going to quit my job. We're moving to that dump in Mexico." And they did. They moved down there, they got rid of everything. They lived in deep, deep poverty. This is a guy that lived in the San Francisco Bay Area, gave up his job, went down there, and they ingrained themselves in the community to minister, to serve people who are hurting, in a real, tangible way.
That was more than writing a check. He [00:24:30] gave up his livelihood. He was there to hold them, to help them, to teach them, to be part of the community, not as if he's some savior, but as he's one of them. And what I saw happen, I mean, that's the whole idea. It's more blessed to give than it is to receive. His family, we would think logically that that wouldn't be the best thing for your kids. They're young, that might be dangerous. What about their education? Well, the way it all worked out, I mean, they were educated in the same schools, in [00:25:00] the public schools in Mexico. And they went in there, they learned Spanish. They grew up with these other kids in poverty.
Well, these kids grew up to be scholars. They got these amazing scholarships to these phenomenal colleges and universities in the United States. And it not only didn't negatively affect them, it benefited them in such a positive way that they went out now, and now they're adults, impacting the world in a much [00:25:30] greater way, with a much deeper perspective of humanity because they died to themselves in such a way that they would benefit others. And it did come around ... It's not why they did it, but it came around to benefit them.
And that was the news item. See, that's the thing. Nowadays, if we saw that, we saw babies are dying, we would find a way to blame some sort of politician for the fact that that baby died. When in fact, it was [00:26:00] poverty, it was the natural consequences of being poor in a very difficult situation where it allowed people, just giving them the facts, it allowed other humans to go down there and help. And that was an example of just given the facts of what's going on, let people do what they want to do. And compassion came in. And they helped these people. They befriended people. They have friendships for life. And they've been transformed for life [00:26:30] on both sides of that particular situation.
Ken- Host: Yeah, I mean, we, you may recall, went on a mission trip at one time.
Tom- Guest: Yeah. Where was that? Budapest was that?
Ken- Host: So Habitat for Humanity, just a brief, as you recall. If you think about that trip, we had some crazy stuff go on. We had some travel nightmares. But we still have Paris.
Tom- Guest: We'll never forget Paris.
Ken- Host: Tom and I got re-routed. We missed a [00:27:00] flight in Paris. We had six hours to kill. And we're dragging our little luggage around to see the Eiffel Tower. And we end up in Germany the same day so we could get over to Budapest that night. We were in four countries in one day. Then they lost our luggage once we got there. And we lived in a white t-shirt and a little toiletry bag that Budapest airport gave us.
Tom- Guest: Yeah, so kind of them. For days, for days on end.
Ken- Host: But we still have Paris.
Tom- Guest: [00:27:30] And that one café.
Ken- Host: All right, enough said. But I bring that up to say even once we bought some clothes, and then our luggage did show up and such, and things were normal, in my mind, and I'm thinking you'll agree, but you can tell me is, I mean, we did some fun stuff and mopedding around a nice Europe city and what not and just fun times. And those are good memories, and a lot [00:28:00] of pictures, but what is satisfying as a human being, no matter what motivation you have to go on those, even if it's really fun, or adventure, or team building, there's all these different reasons, but after you spend a few days, why they don't have power tools, I don't know, but trying to knock down walls like Fred Flintstone.
Tom- Guest: That were built like, yeah, pre-Great War, I think.
Ken- Host: I know.
Tom- Guest: [00:28:30] It was crazy.
Ken- Host: And trimming brush around so kids have a little yard, and just helping lay floors so people can have ... So families can have a nicer place to stay. But it's when the mother and her children come, the touch with real humanity, these are the people that your labor is affecting to make somebody's life better with no [00:29:00] benefit to me. And I think that's where you walk away, even years later for me, that's the most meaningful part, because that satisfied something, I think, that's deep within anybody, that you're here on earth not just for yourself. Everything else was a fun memory. That wasn't particularly a fun memory. You're just meeting people. But it was the most meaningful.
Tom- Guest: Yeah, I don't know how you felt, but I remember when I met this mother, and I [00:29:30] know she had this desire to say thank you. I didn't even want to hear thank you, because at that point, it was completely ... We had done a few days of work. And it was back-breaking work, sledgehammers and what not. But all of us in that group knew we were doing it for somebody. And it didn't matter if we were kind of hurting and what not, we just wanted to keep doing it because we knew a mother was going to benefit. We're knocking down these walls and doing these different things. But then when we met her, I didn't want to hear [00:30:00] her say, "Thank you for doing this," or have her feel the pressure. I wanted to get to know her, and her circumstance, and what led her to where she is right now.
And that's where I think we felt this whole word compassion. That's also an emotion. That's where I felt compassion for this woman who is in this circumstance, who had her own responsibilities to take care of a child that she was having a difficult time doing because she didn't have a place to live. Well, we were helping [00:30:30] her with that, which was incredibly rewarding. But knowing her story and realizing there are so many other people just like her who are in circumstances. We don't have to fly to Europe to meet those people. They're right here in Michigan. They're all around us. These people, we have opportunities every day to at least give a kind word, but even once we give that kind word, try to find out a little bit more about somebody. Get right to the heart of stuff.
[00:31:00] I like doing that. I like talking to people and saying, "How's it going?" But then go deeper than that. And we're so inclined, I think, in our society, to chit chat for a little bit and then move on. And I like chit chatting too, but if we can get to really know one another, and then find a way to help. I mean, we're all learning. I'm learning how to do this. I'm not there yet. But I want to be better at that.
Ken- Host: There's so many ... So that's a European trip across [00:31:30] the world. Not everybody can do that. But that's part of what this little program's about, just talking ... I think, really two things if I were to think about this podcast, for instance, is for people to think about their own community, and look a little closer, look a little deeper. There's all kinds of things going on in your own community, where you may not think people are hurting, but at some level, everybody's hurting. And it doesn't have to be [00:32:00] a poverty situation. Sometimes it is. It could be in the fancy neighborhoods that somebody lost a spouse, somebody lost a child. And if you can relate to that or help in any way is amazing.
Tom- Guest: They might not always need the financial help. Maybe you could look behind these big brick walls, and these large mansions on some lake here in Michigan.
Ken- Host: Your neighborhood.
Tom- Guest: Yeah, my neighborhood.
Ken- Host: Not.
Tom- Guest: [00:32:30] But beyond those walls there are people just like you and me who are struggling in some sense. It might be a very difficult marriage. It may be the fact that you might think they have a lot of money, but they just declared bankruptcy. Or they just have a rebellious child. It could be in your own home. You could look across the dinner or breakfast table, and you've got a 14, 15 year old child who, deep within his or her mind, they're thinking thoughts [00:33:00] that are very dark. How do you reach that person that's right there? It is one of the most difficult things to do.
And one reason for that is because we're also trying to figure out our own lives. How am I going to appease my boss who's got this deadline who I've got to meet, or else this consequence lingers over here for me, and then for other people too. And then you've got this 14 year old teenager who needs, in our case, your dad [00:33:30] or your mom to understand them. And they're just people all around us. So utilizing compassion as a tool to reach people and to gain their trust, I can tell you a kid, a teenage kid is not going to reveal the inner workings of their mind if they don't trust you, no matter how compassionate you are.
If they don't trust you, that you have their best interest in mind, [00:34:00] they're not going to reveal their deepest, darkest secrets. And they're screaming for help, but they're not going to come screaming to you for help. But they need you. And so compassion and trust go hand-in-hand. And so the people are all around us. They're in our homes. They're in our neighborhoods. They're in our townships, in our cities, and they're in our workplaces, and they're in another continent somewhere. [00:34:30] They're all around us.
Ken- Host: My previous neighborhood I lived in, which is only about 10 minutes from where I live now. And this is just maybe four years ago. A nice, quaint, middle class neighborhood, green lawns, kids riding their bikes. Just a nice ... Everyone knew each other. We'd all take our kids at Christmas to this one house, and they had gingerbread houses, stuff for them to make for like every kid in the neighborhood. And then [00:35:00] I think it was at the end of every summer, right before the school year, summer before the school year would start, one house had a projector, and they would show a movie on the back of their house for the whole neighborhood kids. It was that kind of neighborhood. And one of the ... And even I try to be involved in what I consider like compassionate work when I can and this and that. And I come back to my quaint neighborhood while I'm out trying to make difference out in the world.
Tom- Guest: Save the world.
Ken- Host: Save the world, come back to my [00:35:30] neighborhood that's doesn't need it. And well, one of those guys, one of the main, top families. I don't know if you can call them a top family, but one of the main social organizers that's got the perfect kids, and college bound, just great, top in the athletics, top in the ... First guy to welcome me to the neighborhood. I mean, couldn't be a nicer family was found dead with a self-inflicted bullet [00:36:00] wound in the back of his yard.
Tom- Guest: You're kidding.
Ken- Host: In our neighborhood, three houses down. And then I had to watch his wife now, and his kids, mowing the lawn every day. Now they're dad-less. And you can't prevent or help everything, but it's that thought that sticks with you afterwards is when you think about people in need are out there. For me, it was three houses down. And it didn't look like they're in need at all. Something's going on, financial or whatever it was, [00:36:30] where that decision ends up being the one you think is the best.
Tom- Guest: I think we're accustomed to living with a veneer around us, even inside our own homes. And I am convinced that if your own household is not healthy, doesn't mean it's perfect by any sense. I'm not perfect. My house is not perfect. But we're honest. If we're having a bad day, I think we all share that with each [00:37:00] other, because that's part of it too is asking for help. This poor dad, this husband, he probably was the guy that always wanted to be the giver. But if you can't receive, you're ultimately going to hurt those around you because everybody needs help.
So if I go to my wife, and I confess, "I need some help. I'm struggling here." That's a good thing for her too. It's a good thing for my [00:37:30] kids to hear that, okay, their dad also needs help. He's not going to be perfect, because when I do fail them, it could be disastrous to them if they think I'm perfect. "Well, if Dad isn't got it all together, then what about me?" No, they need to know that I struggle too, but I'm learning as we go. I've got this many years on them, so I've learned that much more, so I can help them through some things. But I'm still not there yet, and I need people in my life to assist me.
It's this symbiotic relationship that [00:38:00] we all have with one another. We're all people, some have more experience than others. But if we have compassion towards one another, even if we disagree on a particular ... Maybe it's not just politics. Maybe it's the way our home is operating. Or maybe it's our finances. If we disagree, let's put it out on the table. Let's find out where we disagree, why we disagree on those things, not in order to demonize the other person, but to understand. Maybe I've got a blind spot [00:38:30] here. I need to understand this a little more. If it's not emotionally, maybe intellectually I need to understand where they're coming from. Try to work things out. And if you don't agree on something, we can agree to disagree, because it's much more important that we love one another, and that we live in peace. So long as we have the main core values that we agree on, there's going to be other peripheral things that we're not going to agree upon. We can work those out.
Ken- Host: Right.
Tom- Guest: So yeah, we're all in need. I feel horrible about your neighbor.
Ken- Host: [00:39:00] Well, you know what ... It was a harsh thing to bring up. But you know what it taught me was for one, you can't know everybody. You can't be intimately involved in their lives where maybe you could have done something. But what I've done from then on is I make myself available. So I may not know you very well, but if I'm always available. I do that with pastors I meet. I do that with business people I meet [00:39:30] now, just neighbors. Like that one, he was one that came over, first one to greet me in the neighborhood, cordial. There's no regrets, but I think back, "Well, what if there's somebody who's too embarrassed to talk about, but you just remember this one guy that said, 'Hey, if you ever want to get together, just give me a call.'" Just that simple, to everybody. No matter who they are in your life, past, present, or just neighbors, just be open to be available. You can't be everybody's friend. [00:40:00] You only have so many hours in a day. Your circle's pretty small. But it doesn't mean you have to close off either.
Tom- Guest: Yeah, and it also means that you need to go out and do the same thing. You need to ask people to help you. I think that guy probably, maybe he felt like he was supposed to be the one guy that people can come to, but then who does he go to? And so it's a back and forth. And I don't know this gentleman, who he was, but [00:40:30] I think if he knew what we know now, about how is wife, or his kids needed him to be there, he may have sought help. But again, I don't know his circumstance, but I know people that have been in similar circumstances, and that was the case.
Ken- Host: So to me, we talk a lot about compassion. Compassion doesn't have to be when you see a need. I think it's just to think about everybody has need, seen [00:41:00] or not. And so you can't know what to move on if you don't see it, but that availability that somebody won't even realize you're somebody to call on until they have nobody to call on.
Tom- Guest: Yeah. I bring it back to the home and the family structure. I think that we learn to see other people's needs within the family structure. We learn how to resolve certain needs within the family structure. And this is played out over centuries, over millennia. It's [00:41:30] not just in America. It's all across the world. The vast majority of countries, they have children that live in a two-parent household. And those two-parent households drastically reduce the risks of poverty, of crime, of homelessness, a lack of being able to take care of oneself. I mean, statistics have proved this time and time again. This is , I think, when we were talking about our premise or an axiom earlier, that is a solid premise [00:42:00] that we can-
Ken- Host: Wait a minute. I'm referring back.
Tom- Guest: Axiom.
Ken- Host: Oh yeah, I got it.
Tom- Guest: A-X-I-O-M. That we can always go to to say, "Okay, this does work." And I know there are certain messages out there that say the family, or the nuclear family isn't necessary. No, it is, based on every metric that I have seen in pretty much every single country that exists on the planet today. The family structure is the one key stable thing [00:42:30] that almost guarantees a very strong outcome in an individual's life. Not always. There's abuses that occur within families. We know that. Families are not perfect. But if you have loving parents, no one is going to love the kids more than the parents, on average.
And those parents will do anything they can to make and help their child succeed, if you have healthy parents who themselves were raised in a healthy home. You got healthy families, you got a healthy neighborhood. You got a healthy neighborhood, you got a [00:43:00] healthy township. You got a healthy township, healthy county, and state, and ultimately a healthy country.
Ken- Host: Yeah. Well, let's wrap this up. I brief mention with ... So Executive Wealth Management, not making this sound like a commercial, but we both are really here because I'm working for Executive Wealth Management, who's sponsoring this podcast, because I was attracted to their core values. I didn't know their core values at first were trust, community, compassion. I just met the people [00:43:30] in the interview process. And I was interviewing with five companies. And this appealed to me most because of the people I were meeting seemed so kind. And with people doing your finances, you want the people you can trust, and that their personal lives are full of compassion. And the farther I went, it just came clear that this is a place I'm comfortable. And then, [00:44:00] for those listening, I knew Tom before this. And I was telling them that in my interview process. And then I was kind of joking one day on the phone with him when I was at work, when he was about to make a big deal with WJR. I was like, "Hey wait, you should work here." I was only joking. Then you kind of are working here.
Tom- Guest: Yeah. So because of our friendship, and what you were telling me, and I've watched you go through a variety of interview processes, and you've shared with me some thoughts about different companies. And what you said [00:44:30] about Executive Wealth Management intrigued me, because you and I, we've both interacted with a lot of different companies, a lot of different people. And when something sticks out, it's typically because, there's a few reasons, but one of them is that their words match who they really are. And you were starting to pick out, "Well, these people really are who they say they are."
They're compassionate. They're trustworthy. They're about their community. And I thought, "Okay, well this is a financial company, and [00:45:00] financial advisors, and wealth management." And so I was intrigued. And I started looking up their company and information about them. And then I spoke with Mike Lay, I spoke with Shawn, I spoke with some people within Executive Wealth Management. And I thought, "These people are the real deal." And I don't say that lightly because I've also had bad experiences with things a lot of people have with financial planners, that kind who [00:45:30] you always kind of question is there a motive behind what they're revealing to me that I'm not yet seeing? And you're kind of skeptical.
But I've asked enough questions. I've looked enough into Executive Wealth Management and the people that are there, that they're the real deal. They're authentic. So I started ... I wanted to do some consulting work with them. And I'm doing that now. And I get to work with you. And I get to work with Bert, and Mike, and Shawn, and Kyrsten, and Greg, [00:46:00] Greg Barber, and so many good people over there. So it's so refreshing. And I mean this authentically. It's refreshing to work with people who truly do care, not about what's going to happen today or tomorrow, but really for the long term, 10, 15, 20 years down the road. Is this the best for you? And that's what they truly believe.
Ken- Host: Yeah. And for me, it's the same as for you in journalism. Discomfort, if you feel like you're not giving people the best information, [00:46:30] and then you can enjoy your work when you find a place that you are. I can't ... I do business development type work. And I can't go out and help promote a business that I wouldn't say to my family, to my sister, "You should use these people." I'm not going to tell other people to. So it falls under those lines for me where then it's comfortable, and the job is easy because I really enjoy these [00:47:00] people and it's a great company. And they support this podcast. So thanks for being here.
Tom- Guest: Thanks for having me, Ken. It's a real honor and it's fun. Congratulations on the podcast. And thank you for this stellar mug. Cheers to you.
Ken- Host: I know. These are awesome. And we'll close out with a little more on Executive Wealth Management.
Speaker 4: We are in a period of time of intense and continuous change.
Speaker 5: People who want [00:47:30] to build wealth need to know that an investment philosophy and process is critical to any long-term investment strategy.
Speaker 6: So clients, when they're looking at their portfolios, and they're seeing the markets move in a very negative fashion, or even in a positive fashion, we want to make sure that we're taking advantage of what the markets are doing. So we're building, we're defending, and then we're advancing that strategy.
Speaker 5: Through compassionate growth, we build, defend, and advance. That is the founding principle of our investment [00:48:00] philosophy.
Speaker 7: Clients knowing that they can be up at one level of risk and very gradually reduce based on a non-emotional analysis is mathematically driven. It is based on a developed system that is built for a very large community.
Speaker 8: Our team is built up of not just a couple advisors with their assistants like you'll see in a lot of offices. We have our investment team here and investment policy committee. We have our operations department here. We have our compliance department here. We have our technology department here, which allows [00:48:30] our advisors to have more direct access, which allows them to not have to jump through as many hoops. That just leads to a more efficient client experience.
Speaker 4: I wanted to be part of a company that had and fostered that team work, that had regular meetings, like the case studies, the collaboration, the practice management. I saw a ton of value in that.
Speaker 9: Being part of a team is crucial for me. I came from almost 20 years in the banking channel. Thinking about [00:49:00] why I came here was specifically to do with the way that they treat the employees as family.
Speaker 6: We have a great culture here. That's one of the things I really take pride in. It is about chemistry. You need people to want to be here.
Speaker 9: The fact that we're treated so well allows me to focus on other things for our clients and how I can help them.
Speaker 10: And what I really found special about this place was that emphasis on building relationships. And that is something that I've carried into my practice as an advisor. I want to build that plan, [00:49:30] and then obviously allow us to defend it, but ultimately is that peace of mind that we're going to help them advance going forward.
Speaker 11: When I worked at the big bank, every client was fit into a little box. As a fiduciary, it's a continuous relationship. We have to be doing what's right for you all along the way and not miss a step.
Speaker 12: I'm the partner to the investor with inside the firm. I really enjoy answering clients' questions. A lot of our clients like to read thoroughly through our disclosure documents, and they have a lot of excellent questions. And [00:50:00] part of my job is to ensure that the client is informed and has access to that information. So if there's ever a time where a client has a question, and if they just want to give me a call, they are always welcome to do that.
Speaker 6: We communicate with our clients. We are following up with clients when they ask questions. We want to make sure we're proactive in doing that, and that's part of our strategy of building and defending and advancing our relationship.
Speaker 13: I've been working for Executive Wealth Management for over 10 years. I love the people that I work with, with great [00:50:30] clients. Our clients trust us. We care about our clients.
Speaker 11: I'm able to be more proactive. I'm able to have those forward-looking conversations with my clients because trust is at the center of every relationship.
Speaker 5: Building your portfolio and your retirement, defending it when it needs to be defended in difficult times, and advancing it when things turn. Build, defend, advance.
Speaker 13: Schedule an appointment today and meet with an [00:51:00] Executive Wealth Management advisor to learn how we can build, defend, and advance your investment future.