Clint Bruce is an inspiring motivational speaker, but the heart of who he is – his highest calling – is as a father to daughters. His daughters are his pride, joy, and mission. And he considers it a privilege and responsibility to be a resource for other young women and men. Having lost his own father at a young age those mentors in moments of need or uncertainty have been the “Great and good fortune of my life.”
Life doesn’t always give us the best preparation for reality as college ends, creating a career begins, and other major life events like marriage, children, and other events come our way.
Here is a Q&A for any daughter as she prepares to enter the real world.
Q: What evergreen traits would you look for in someone you’d hire?
Clint: Choosing the right talent matters so much. But the right choice considers so much more than talent. We’ve all been around enormously talented people, but if all they have is talent… they are more liability than a resource. Talent must be coupled with curiosity, great communication, and the ability to collaborate.
When building a group to try and do anything – build a business, solve a problem, win a competition, etc… I look at two things: capability and capacity. Which becomes the dominant filter has a lot to do with the time I have to make the decision. If I have no time – I look to current capability. The right tool at the right time. But if I have time then I choose capacity. Capacity allows me to grow the talent the right way. Like good clay, capacity allows someone to become exactly what the project, business, battle, or adventure requires.
Q: Outside of my job, how can I prepare myself for finding an apartment, getting married and starting a family?
Clint: We have to have a plan in order to get anything done. The plan doesn’t have to stay intact. In fact, it rarely does. The plan is a foundation for pivoting as reality, preferences, and circumstances reveal themselves. I’ve always been a fan of beginning with the end in mind. This allows us to “flex forward” as life does what it does.
When I was in high school I knew I wanted to play football in college, become part of the Special Operations community, marry an incredible woman, and have children. I didn’t overly detail that reality… I just put those x’s on the map of my life. What I found was that I made a million little decisions, and did a million little things along the way that kept me moving towards those strategic goals. How my brain processed information, how I reacted to events (both good and bad)… having those big blue arrows tuned my subconscious mind to make decisions which led towards where I said I wanted to go all those years ago.
The subconscious makes 1000x more decisions on a daily basis than our “active” brain. We have to point the “subconscious ship” in the right direction. Plan #1 helps you do that. And by the time you get to Plan #587, you find you’re pretty close to where you said you wanted to go all along. It won’t look like it did back then. In many ways it will be better. But you’ll be on the right map.
Q: How do you personally handle the pressure of the real world? With finances? With family? With your career?
Clint: This is where having a guiding ethos, and personal standards matter. I don’t know who said this first, but they are brilliant. “You don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training.” Entropy, chaos, adversity, resistance, tragedy… these are guaranteed players on the field of life. They will beat you about the head and shoulders whenever possible. Having a strong ethos, knowing why you started doing what you’re doing, running with the right people and making sure they know your goals so they can help you when needed and hold you accountable always… this is magic and mastery. To the observer it looks like you “rising to the occasion”, but the truth is you can only sink so far and slow down so much when you have these things in place.