7 months ago

YHRadio: After spending a week in Coronado, California, home of the Navy SEAL’s BUDS training, Cord Sachs is on fire for the extreme ownership method.

Cord Sachs is a Birmingham-based leadership expert and the CEO of FireSeeds, a company that helps companies find and grow great leaders and “the company behind many of Alabama’s fastest growing companies.”

The full conversation with Mr. Sachs can be heard on the Yellowhammer Radio podcast or in the video above, and a lightly edited transcript of his interview with Yellowhammer’s Andrea Tice and Scott Chambers can be read below.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio podcast on iTunes or Stitcher. Learn more about Cord Sachs and Fireseeds at www.fireseeds.com

Scott Chambers: We have got a special guest with us, now. It’s Mr. Cord Sachs from FireSeeds. We haven’t talked to Cord in a couple of weeks. He’s been busy traveling the world.

Andrea Tice: Where you been, there, Cord?

Cord Sachs: Wow, been a lot of places. Probably the most exciting, I was out in Coronado, California.

Andrea Tice: Oh, okay. Where is that in relation to the state? Is it up north or south?

Cord Sachs: Oh, no, it’s down south. It’s a little island that’s literally three football fields away from San Diego.

Andrea Tice: Oh, okay. Wow.

Cord Sachs: You get on the one end of the island and you got literally the skyline of San Diego right in your viewpoint.

Scott Chambers: Yeah, when we have a Warrior Wednesday and all the Navy SEAL guys talk about being at Bud’s they’re there at Coronado. That’s where they go through their training at, on that island.

Andrea Tice: Oh, okay.

Cord Sachs: Absolutely. You go to the opposite end of the island and that’s where the Bud’s training takes course, the Naval base on the opposite end of the island. Exactly.

Andrea Tice: Okay, Cord, we were talking about Hillary Clinton’s secret dream to become a pastor. Is this your secret dream? Were you trying out for the Navy SEALs? Come on, you can confess.

Cord Sachs: I’d have to say I’m little past my age, but I wish I could. I love everything-

Andrea Tice: That’s not stopping Hillary.

Cord Sachs: -they represent. My dad was a Marine and I grew up hearing the stories. It was always a dream of mine. Then God had me on a little different track, but yeah, I’m a big fan for sure.

Scott Chambers: What was the biggest takeaway from your visit there to Coronado?

Cord Sachs: Well, you know, when you go to a place like that- I had to go pick up a new leadership book, of course, and so I picked up one by Jocko Willink and [inaudible 00:01:39] “Extreme Ownership.” There’s nothing like reading about leadership in the context that makes it come alive. That was what I did. My wife actually loves that kind of stuff, too. She reads all the books. We were actually there and they were actually going through a class that just Hell Week while we were there.

Andrea Tice: Oh, wow.

Scott Chambers: Nice.

Cord Sachs: Man, just took it all in. Of course, I gotta come on here today and talk about just some of the top leadership principles I’ve been able to pull from SEALs and some of the Special Forces, etc., etc.. That’s where we’re gonna go today.

Andrea Tice: Okay.

Scott Chambers: I’m guessing you’re going to tie that in today, some type of leadership lesson to the Navy SEALs, I would imagine. After being out there for a week, it’s still pumping through you blood, right?

Cord Sachs: Oh, you better believe it is. You better believe it is. I would encourage anybody that wants to learn about leadership, I mean, who to better learn from that those that have applied those principles where it matters most? In the life and death scenarios in the trenches, they’re the ones that I’m really gonna believe when they say, “Hey, this is a leadership lesson you need to apply to make a team successful.” Absolutely.

Andrea Tice: Go ahead and list us some of those things that you’re pulling away from your time there.

Cord Sachs: Yeah, let’s do three. Let’s do three quick little- The first one is every great leader you see that’s in all the SEALs and the SEAL teams, they believe wholeheartedly in the mission and they make their teams, they make sure their teams, believe wholeheartedly in the mission.

Andrea Tice: Okay.

Cord Sachs: Simon Sinek, another one of my [stabler 00:03:12] leadership guys, he says that’s just as important to do here in business or in teams outside of warfare, and you start by telling the why, making sure your team understands the why. I don’t know if you’ve seen the “American Sniper” movie with Chris Kyle.

Andrea Tice: Yes.

Scott Chambers: Yes.

Cord Sachs: In that movie, he’s watching the why on television, if you can remember. Before he decides to go into the [inaudible 00:03:38] he’s watching 9/11 happen as we all did on our TVs.

Andrea Tice: Yeah.

Cord Sachs: This group of warriors that was launched out into the Middle East never had a clearer why than those Twin Towers falling. You saw at that time a huge growth in all the recruitment, a huge influx of young leaders because they saw a very clear why, believe in a mission that made sense for them to sign up, become a Navy SEAL, and go over and kick some tail over in the Middle East. The belief in the mission is what you see is the most important thing you gotta start with, is making sure your folks believe in the mission. That’s number one.

Andrea Tice: Okay. In your opinion, what sets the SEALs or any other special force leadership apart from leadership that is seen and played out in the marketplace? How do you see that played out in the marketplace?

Cord Sachs: Well, you know, you do see it played out in the marketplace. It’s just, again, the stakes aren’t nearly as high here. They are high, and the leadership principles, they apply across the board. There’s no doubt. But there’s just something about those that have tried the leadership principles, again, in the trenches and has come out and said, “This is what works to push a team forward.”

One of the second principles that you see and that these SEALs abide by is that there are no bad teams, only bad leaders.

Andrea Tice: Oh, okay.

Cord Sachs: I love that statement because this what the books call “extreme ownership.” This is the level of ownership that any SEAL team leader has for his unit. There are no bad teams, there are only bad leaders. They take responsibility for literally every aspect of every mission. I love the quote here, is that “the best leaders check their egos at the door and they accept the blame.” They seek out constructive criticism after every mission. They take detailed notes for improvement. They can always improve.

You hear the saying, but the great leaders, they take responsibility for all of the mistakes and they give all the glory to their team for all the successes.

Andrea Tice: Wow.

Cord Sachs: You see this just played out in these warriors that are just larger than life, but there’s always this element of humility that they have, that the mission always comes first and their team always comes before them. Again, just walking out, reading this, and then seeing and talking to a lot of these retired Naval admirals on this island while we were there, it was just phenomenal to see the level of humility that they really do have for what they got to do in their lives.

Andrea Tice: That really is extreme ownership, because I’ll tell you, if that was ever employed nowadays into the political realm, 90% of all politicians would have to leave because they can’t bear to take the responsibility on themselves.

Cord Sachs: Absolutely. Yeah, no, absolutely. I saw that in my dad. I saw him live that out in front of me. He was a contractor and he’d help me learn to frame a wall, to sheetrock a wall, and when I’d mess up he’d say, “You know, that’s not your fault. That’s me. I need to train you more. I need to give you more reps. If I gave you more reps you’d do better.” He celebrated me when I did something well. I got to see that play out with my dad and just the power and influence it had in my life.

Andrea Tice: That’s neat, ’cause you’ve drawn on that personally.

Scott Chambers: Right.

Andrea Tice: Yeah.

Scott Chambers: That’s awesome. I’ve got a question, Cord. You’re always talking about ownership for everything, you know? Will your people begin to feel that you don’t trust them? That makes me think, “Well, maybe if you’re always talking about the ownership, maybe they’re not gonna trust you as much.” How do you keep all the ownership and then give them their part to own up to or see a role to play, maybe?

Cord Sachs: No, that’s a great question. I think that’s a principle that plays out in that you don’t ever give away ownership, but you do give away responsibility. There’s a big difference. I fall guilty of this at times, too. I wanna get the burden of ownership off of my shoulders, so I give ownership away so that I’m no longer responsible. If I maintain ownership, but yet I give responsibility away, now I’ve got great balance between what is expected of me as the leader, having complete ownership and making sure I at the end of the day take all the credit for whatever happens wrong, and therefore I own it, too. I can give away all the credit when it’s very successful. That’s when I found the sweet spot.

A lot of people get tired of owning and so they give ownership away. There’s a big difference. When you give responsibility away, if you do it right, you do it by giving it away with three mini principles here. You gotta clarify the lens. Here’s the win of your responsibility. If you do this right, you’ll get a win. If you don’t, you’ll get a loss. You set the standards for what it would take to get the win, and then you simply hold the responsibility to what they’re responsible for as it pertains to the role they have.

Scott Chambers: Cord, we’re down to our final 30 seconds today.

Andrea Tice: That is a wonderful challenge that you just presented for leadership.

Scott Chambers: Yes.

Andrea Tice: Very, very compelling.


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6 hours ago

The Hollywood Conservative shares her views on the celebrities moving because of Trump

The Hollywood Conservative, Amanda Head, tunes in for “The Final 30” to talk about how she’s been lately and updating The Ford Faction on the places she’s been to.  Amanda sheds light on the list of celebrities moving away from America due to President Trump winning the 2016 Election.  Amanda talks about social media titans Snapchat and Instagram dumping the GIF site Giphy because of one user being offended by her search results.

Subscribe to the Yellowhammer Radio Presents The Ford Faction podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.

7 hours ago

Nancy Collat Goedecke is a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact

Nancy Collat Goedecke is a powerhouse not just in the business world, but the philanthropic sphere, as well.

She also is a 2018 Yellowhammer Woman of Impact.


Goedecke, who serves as CEO of Mayer Electric Supply in Birmingham, became the first-ever woman to chair the United Way of Central Alabama fundraising campaign in 2015. Under her leadership, the charity raised $38.8 million, about $600,000 more than the previous year.

Business and philanthropy both run in the family. Her grandfather, Ben Weil, founded Mayer Electric Supply in 1930, and her parents took over the business in 1979. Their philanthropy includes $25 million in contributions to the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Business, which took on the name Collat School of Business in 2013.

“I grew up watching my mom and dad give back to the community — first with their time, and then with their money and their time,” Goedecke told AL.com in 2015.

Goedecke told the website that she recalled her parents going door to door soliciting donations for the United Way. Community service, she said, is “just in my DNA.”

Goedecke worked her way up the company, starting with summer jobs in high school. After college, she worked as a sales associate in Tampa, Florida, before returning to Birmingham. She became vice chairwoman of the board in 2005 and chairwoman and CEO three years later.

The UAB Commission on the Status of Women honored Goedecke as one of seven Outstanding Women for 2015.

The list of Goedecke’s charitable activities is long. In addition to the United Way, she has supported the Collat School of Business and has contributed to the school’s Women and Infants Center. She has volunteered with the Girl Scouts of North-Central Alabama and Pathways of Birmingham. She has led more than a dozen fundraising campaigns, including the YWCA, the American Red Cross and Collat Jewish Family Services.

“You know how they say, you give a busy person something to do and they find a way to do it?” she told AL.com. “I don’t waste a lot of time.”

Brendan Kirby is senior political reporter at LifeZette.com and a Yellowhammer contributor. He also is the author of “Wicked Mobile.” Follow him on Twitter.

8 hours ago

Sexton, Petty lead Alabama by Virginia Tech 86-83

Avery Johnson has spent plenty of time trying to convince Alabama freshman star Collin Sexton to take ownership of his play and the Crimson Tide, a message the coach has repeated frequently during his team’s uneven season.

It finally seems to be getting through. The fact it took until March hardly matters.

“(Sexton’s) giving more speeches to our team, which is showing leadership,” Johnson said.

Make no mistake, however. It’s the point guard’s play — and not his talk — that sent the Crimson Tide into the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Sexton shook off a shaky and foul-marred first half to score 21 of his team-high 24 points after the break as Alabama took control late in an 86-83 victory over Virginia Tech on Thursday night.


“The coaches prepare us for stuff like this,” Sexton said. “They do so many hours of film, and they tell us all the answers to the test.”

The proof came during the second half.

Sexton made six of 10 field goals and 10 of 14 free throws over the final 20 minutes, including a jumper that got a friendly bounce off the back of the rim and a turnaround that gave the Crimson Tide a bit of breathing room in a game that featured 10 lead changes and never saw either club go in front by more than seven points.

No. 9 seed Alabama will face top-seeded Villanova in the East Region’s second round on Saturday. The Wildcats had little trouble dispatching Radford earlier Thursday.

Things weren’t nearly as easy for the Crimson Tide, who needed Sexton and freshman backcourt mate John Petty — and a serious uptick in defensive intensity in the late going — to reach the round 32 for the first time since 2006.

Sexton and Petty were in elementary school back then. Now they’re the centerpiece of Johnson’s dynamic attack with the Crimson Tide (20-15). Alabama shot 60 percent (30 of 50) from the floor. Petty, mired in a serious slump near the end of the regular season, finished with 20 points while making six of eight 3-pointers, including three in the first half to help the Crimson Tide hang around until Sexton got going.

“When I get in that type of mode, I feel like no one can stop me from shooting the ball,” Petty said. “I always have my eyes locked on my target and I’m going to hit it.”


Point guard Justin Robinson led the eighth-seeded Hokies (21-12) with 19 points but fouled out after being whistled for a charge with 48 seconds remaining and Virginia Tech down 78-74. Hokies coach Buzz Williams got a technical foul after erupting in frustration. Sexton made one of two free throws and then added two more on Alabama’s ensuing possession to give the Crimson Tide just enough of a cushion.

“I shouldn’t have had a towel in my hand,” Williams said. “That made it look worse.”

The bigger issue for Virginia Tech was an inability to keep Alabama in check. The Hokies forced 17 turnovers but couldn’t slow down Petty and had trouble whenever Sexton got into the lane. Alabama made 20 of 30 2-point shots, including 11 of 14 in the second half.


Johnson paid tribute to New Orleans Saints owner Tom Benson, who died on Thursday at age 90. Benson gave Johnson, a New Orleans native, a Super Bowl ring after the Saints won their only title in February 2010 after Johnson served as a consultant and honorary ambassador for the club.

“He meant so much to the city of New Orleans and the state of Louisiana and so many people,” Johnson said.


Alabama: Sexton might be the thinking man’s version of Oklahoma star point guard Trae Young. Sexton lacks Young’s shooting touch, but his quickness makes it nearly impossible to keep him out of the lane. And rather than force shots late, Sexton tried to get to the rim.

Virginia Tech: The Hokies are on the rise in the Atlantic Coast Conference, but success in March remains elusive. Virginia Tech has just one NCAA Tournament win in the last 21 years.


Alabama will try to reach the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2004 when it takes on Villanova.

(Image: Collin Sexton, Alabama Men’s Basketball/Twitter)

(Associated Press, copyright 2018)

8 hours ago

Alabama sheriff pocketing $750,000 in jail-food money draws new attention to old law

A recent report about the more than $750,000 that Etowah County Sheriff Todd Entrekin has pocketed over the last three years in extra “Food Provisions” money has reinvigorated attention into a state law that allows sheriffs to keep leftover money not used to feed inmates.

The report, authored by Birmingham News reporter Connor Sheets, details how Entrekin used the money to purchase a $740,000 home in Orange Beach last September, raising questions of whether the sheriff is doing right by inmates and taxpayers by keeping the money.

Entrekin has defended himself against insinuations of illegality or misconduct, saying he has followed the law.


“The Food Bill is a controversial issue that’s used every election cycle to attack the Sheriff’s Office,” Entrekin told NPR News. “Alabama Law is clear regarding my personal financial responsibilities of feeding inmates. Until the legislature acts otherwise, the Sheriff must follow the current law.”

The chief argument against the law used to justify such behavior was summarized by Aaron Littman, a staff attorney at the Southern Center for Human Rights who in conjunction with the Alabama Appleseed Center has sued 49 Alabama sheriffs for access to records dealing with inmate feeding funds.

“This archaic system is based on a dubious interpretation of state law that has been rejected by two different Attorneys General of Alabama, who concluded that the law merely allows sheriffs to manage the money and use it for official purposes–not to line their own pockets,” Littman said in a statement in January. “It also raises grave ethical concerns, invites public corruption, and creates a perverse incentive to spend as little as possible on feeding people who are in jail.”

Critics cite the case of former Morgan County Sheriff Greg Bartlett, who was ordered by a federal judge to stop personally taking money from the inmate-food account when prisoners testified to receiving inadequate meals.

Some sheriffs have told a different story about their responsibilities to feed inmates.

Colbert County Sheriff Frank Williamson, one of the sheriffs on the lawsuit, told WAAY 31 in January that he had to take out a $10,000 loan to help pay for meals because the $1.75 per diem per inmate wasn’t covering the bill.

“I had to borrow money to do this on my own personal social security number and I still owe money on that,” Williamson told WAAY 31.

8 hours ago

Licensing away economic prosperity in Alabama

Do you want to alleviate poverty in Alabama? Do you want to curb the power of special interest groups over government agencies? Do you want more affordable goods and services in basic industries?  Do you want to help disadvantaged groups find good jobs and become productive citizens? Do you want to reduce the population of our overcrowded prisons?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should read a new report published by the Alabama Policy Institute titled “The Costs of Occupational Licensing in Alabama.”


Coauthored by Daniel Smith (Troy University), Courtney Michaluk (Troy University), David Hall (Troy University), and Alex Kanode (George Mason University), the report details the effects of occupational licensure on our state.

What is occupational licensure? In short, it’s governmental regulation requiring people to obtain a license before entering into certain trades or fields.

Sounds harmless, right? Aren’t these regulations in place to protect consumers from exploitation and inexpert practices? Such reasoning led to the rise in occupational licensure, which today extends to several zones of economic activity.

However well-meaning, occupational licensure has had unintended consequences on the people it’s designed to protect. Instead of helping average consumers, it lines the pockets of industries that have lobbied to regulate away entrepreneurial forces that drive down costs.

If you’re poor and trying to find low-skilled work as a barber, manicurist, eyebrow threader, hair stylist, school bus driver, or shampoo assistant, you must obtain a license first. This license may be prohibitively expensive because of renewal fees, coursework, continuing education, and so forth.

“Alabama licenses a total of 151 occupations,” according to the report, “covering over 432,000 Alabama workers, which represents over 21 percent of the labor force.” Think about that: more than two of every 10 people working in Alabama need a license to do what they do for a living. Licensing boards governing admission standards and prerequisites can mandate expensive training and dues that don’t affect the quality of industry services.

Economists refer to occupational licensure as a barrier to entry. Barriers to entry ensure that those already within a profession or trade can raise prices to artificially high levels, in effect squeezing out competition by using the mechanisms of government to control the market.

Inflated prices harm low-income families who cannot afford to buy what they could have bought if the market had set prices based on natural supply and demand. Spouses of military service members often suffer from occupational licensure because, when they move from state to state, they must jump through hoops to enter the licensed profession in which they practiced in other jurisdictions.

Occupational licensure is, in short, a net burden on the economy, escalating prices, limiting consumer choice, and restricting economic mobility.  The API report estimates that the overall costs of occupational licensure in Alabama exceed $122 million. That’s a lot of money. What can be done to keep some of it in the hands of the ordinary people who need it most?

The report proposes five reforms for Alabama policymakers:

1. “[T]hey can reform current procedures for extending occupational licensing to new occupations and mandate thorough review processes to ensure that licensing is not extended to new occupations without a demonstrable and severe threat to consumer safety that cannot be overcome with the market mechanisms, such as consumer or expert reviews, reputation, guarantees, or private certification, or the already existing government laws, such as those dealing with liability, fraud, misrepresentation, and false advertising.”

2. “[T]hey can establish procedures to systematically review all licensure requirements for currently licensed occupations to ensure that they do not require unnecessary or excessive requirements or costs for licensure.

3. “[T]hey can systematically review all currently licensed occupations to determine, individually, whether a demonstrable severe threat to consumer safety exists. If not, they can remove occupation licensing entirely for those occupations.”

4. “[They] can explore licensure reforms that specifically target ex-offenders” to reduce the prison population and criminal recidivism.

5. “[They] can … explore occupational licensing reform with military members and their families in mind.”
A short article cannot capture the nuance and particulars of the entire report; readers should view the report for themselves to make up their own minds.

During this time of partisan divide and political rancor, people of good faith on both the left and the right can agree that something needs to be done about occupational licensure. The problem cannot continue to grow. It presents a unique opportunity for Republican and Democratic lawmakers to come together to ease economic burdens on the people of Alabama. Let’s hope they seize it.

(Image: Pixabay)

Allen Mendenhall is associate dean at Faulkner University Thomas Goode Jones School of Law and executive director of the Blackstone & Burke Center for Law & Liberty.