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The Mentally Strong Leader with Keynote Speaker Scott Mautz: Show Notes & Transcript

Post | Jun 25, 2024

Welcome back to Marketing Smarts! From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini (that’s us) comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. We deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from our combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. We tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

In this episode, we’re talking The Mentally Strong Leader with Scott Mautz. Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and your other favorite podcast spots – follow and leave a 5-star review if you’re exercising your Marketing Smarts!

  • Episode Summary & Player
  • Show Notes
  • Marketing Smarts Summary
  • Transcript

Marketing Smarts: The Mentally Strong Leader with Keynote Speaker Scott Mautz

The best leaders are mentally strong. How do they get that way? Our guest, Scott Mautz, believes there are 6 mental muscles that equate to mental strength. And we have to keep working out those muscles – just like we do physical muscles at the gym. Scott is a Bestselling Author, Keynote Speaker, and passionate expert on mental strength, peak performance, change, employee engagement, and leadership. His latest book, The Mentally Strong Leader, explores why mental strength is THE leadership superpower of our times. This episode covers everything from mental strength to leadership. Here’s a small sample of what you will hear in this episode:

  • What is mental strength?
  • How does self-regulation work?
  • What are the 6 Mental Muscles?
  • How do you build habits?
  • What is the secret sauce of being successful?
  • How should you assess risks?
  • Have Anne & April ever been to a casino?
  • What are 5 things Scott would take to a deserted island?

And as always, if you need help in building your Marketing Smarts, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at:

Check out the episode, show notes, and transcript below:

Show Notes

  • The Mentally Strong Leader with Keynote Speaker Scott Mautz
    • [0:00] Welcome to Marketing Smarts
    • [0:25] Anne Candido, April Martini
    • [0:32] Connect with Scott on LinkedIn and check out his book, The Mentally Strong Leader
    • [1:48] What is his background?
    • [2:48] What is mental strength?
    • [5:15] How does self-regulation work?
    • [6:08] Self-Awareness
    • [7:02] What are the 6 Mental Muscles?
    • [10:18] What are the most important mental muscles?
    • [11:38] Impostor Syndrome
    • [12:04] How do you build habits?
    • [12:45] Atomic Habits by James Clear
    • [15:32] P&G (Procter & Gamble)
    • [16:04] What is the secret sauce of being successful?
    • [19:05] Why do some people with strong mental muscles do well and some don’t?
    • [22:10] How do you know the tension you’re feeling as a leader is positive?
    • [24:28] We’d like to invite you to join ForthRight Women: The Cohort. This community is for females who are ambitious in their careers, but want an equally fulfilling personal life. For more information and to join the group, check out
    • [25:04] What are some examples of mental muscles in action?
    • [29:04] Self-Acceptance
    • [30:24] Social Media
    • [32:53] How do you know you’re not overdoing mental strength?
    • [35:32] Brené Brown
    • [37:42] How should you assess risks?
    • [38:58] How do April & Anne assess risks?
    • [44:08] How does risk play into The Mentally Strong Leader?
    • [44:54] Have Anne & April ever been to a casino?
    • [45:52] What casino game do people stand around and watch?
    • [47:12] Google
    • Quick-Fire Questions

What is Marketing Smarts?

From brand-building and marketing veterans Anne Candido and April Martini comes a podcast committed to cutting through all the confusing marketing BS so you can actually understand how to take action and change your business today. They deep-dive into topics most would gloss-over, infusing real-world examples from their combined 35+ years of corporate and agency experience. They tell it how it is so whether you are just starting out or have been in business awhile, you have the Marketing Smarts to immediately impact your business.

How do I exercise my Marketing Smarts?

Thanks for listening to Marketing Smarts. Get in touch here to become a savvier marketer. 


Please note: this transcript is not 100% accurate.

Anne Candido 0:00
This is Marketing Smarts – a podcast committed to helping you become a savvier marketing leader, no matter your level. In each episode, we’ll dive into a relevant topic or challenge that marketing leaders are currently facing. We also give you practical tools and applications that will help you put what you learn into practice today. Now, let’s get to it.

April Martini 0:20
Welcome to Marketing Smarts.

Anne Candido 0:22
I am Anne Candido.

April Martini 0:23
And I am April Martini. And today, we’re going to talk all things leadership through the lens of a new book by our friend, coach and five time author, Scott Mautz. Scott is a keynote speaker and trainer, former P&Ger, which is how we know him or how and knew him in the first place. And he’s recently launched a new book called The Mentally Strong Leader, we tap into his guidance on a regular basis. And we’re excited, therefore, to bring all he has to offer to our audience today.

Anne Candido 0:49
Yeah, and it’s interesting, because we’ve all experienced good leaders and not so good. Yes, we have, right. And we’ll ask on a second, which one he thinks he falls into. It must have told me describe good leaders will say they are, or were brilliant, or they cared about their people, or they were inspirational or motivational. But the common thread here is that the really good ones all exhibit certain mental attributes that allow them to be brilliant, empathetic, inspirational and motivational. And what’s more, these are actually muscles, which we’re going to talk about which can be strengthened, and not necessarily something that you have to be born with. Yeah, exactly. And for those of you counting, yes, this is his second time on this podcast. And as long as he continues to publish game changing books, and being our coach, you’ll probably hear from him again.

April Martini 1:37
That’s right. All right. So Scott, with that intro, please introduce yourself to the audience.

Scott Mautz 1:43
Right on, I can’t wait to meet this cool guy you’re describing. By the way, you should call your show, I’ve decided I’ve come to a big conclusion. Don’t call your show marketing smart, you should call it marketing smarter. Because every time I listened to it, I feel like I got smarter. And I’m listening to your show. And any marketer who doesn’t do that, then they could go listen to marketing dumb, as far as

Anne Candido 2:06
marketing getting dumber, I

Scott Mautz 2:08
really am already getting the marketing getting dumber, which by the way, some would argue it is getting dumber. But I really do enjoy your guys show. And you know, not just because you know, we have a connection from way back. But you guys are doing really, really good work. And I really enjoy it. Awesome, thanks. Good. And yeah, it’s by way of introduction. So yeah, it’s me, I’m, you know, you’ve already introduced who I am. I’m an author and ex-P&Ger, and all that stuff. And I’m a mental strengths expert. And I’m just glad to be here, chatting with you, folks today.

April Martini 2:40
Awesome. So with that, let’s get into The Mentally Strong Leader with Scott Mautz. So we have and we’ve discussed your new book, right? But for benefit of the audience, let’s just start out with what exactly is mental strength? You just said you’re an expert in it. So talk to us about that. And then why write a book about it.

Scott Mautz 2:57
mental strength is the ability to regulate your emotions, your thoughts and your behaviors productively. Even in adversity, you can argue, you know, especially in times of adversity, as I like to shorthand it, you guys may have heard me shorthand it this way before. It’s how we manage internally, so that we can lead better externally and get ready for this April Anana. Are you ready for this? Here’s something you guys already know. All your listeners already know that if you want to succeed at work in life, well yet, duh, you have to be able to self regulate your emotions, thoughts and behaviors. But can I let you in on a secret? It’s really friggin hard to do. It’s really hard to do that. It’s what puts the human in human beings self regulating, is really hard to do. And it’s why I was so passionate about putting a book together a guide that can really help people to understand, like you guys said upfront that mental strength is not a fixed quantity, you really can improve it. And you can do it with the right set of tools in your hands. So I feel pretty strongly about you know about doing that. And that’s why I’m here today talking to you.

Anne Candido 4:08
Well, it’s interesting that you say, Scott, that we all believe that self regulation is important. But if you saw people, and you know, you kind of took a little bit of a landscape assessment about how people behave, you wouldn’t think that by necessarily watching how people act and behave in the workplace, frankly, and I’m making a very generalization but everybody knows what I’m talking about in their own personal landscape assessment. I’m going through all the examples in my brain right now. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. And then, on top of that, we have this other call it Montra being able to bring your quote unquote whole self to work right. Being able to act through your own sense of values and sensibilities and, and being able to just say how you want to say things when you want to say Pay them and be appreciated for all that. So how is this different than that style or that behavior, mental

Scott Mautz 5:08
strength, it isn’t, you know, minimizing your emotions, you know, at all, it’s just really managing your emotions, thoughts and behaviors and getting them to show up in the way that you want to and what you know, what you’re talking about is pretty common. It’s people, you know, mental strength has a lot to do with self awareness. And you’re talking about people who aren’t necessarily self aware at all. Right? They’re, they’re showing up in a way that is destructive to themselves and to others around them. And the only self regulation they do is how can I continue my agenda in ways that, you know, things are gonna work out for me and for my own interests? So for sure, while we may, as a human race, understand that you need to self regulate to to succeed, that doesn’t mean we all have the self awareness to even know what we’re self regulating, we may think we are. And in truth, we really aren’t. Which is, you know, well, you know, we’ll get into talking about the six muscles, it’s really helpful to at least understand what the six mental muscles are that equate to mental strength. So you could start with that as a place of self awareness. We have all met people like that, haven’t we? I mean, how many do you have in your life that like, could use a heavy dose of self awareness in their life? Oh,

Anne Candido 6:15
I might April, that all the time. Oh, yeah.

April Martini 6:18
I don’t have any as you know, it’s one of my greatest weaknesses. No.

Scott Mautz 6:27
I don’t think I believe that. That’s fine. We can let the listener believe that. That’s all good.

April Martini 6:34
All right. So you mentioned the six mental muscles. And I think the point is really well taken of the tie to self awareness here, because we joke about it right. But I met when I said when and started down that path, I’m reliving all the bad leaders that I had in my career and all of those behaviors. And it’s like, they get so far out in front of themselves that it’s like, they can’t help it. And they just keep going and going. So to the point of this podcast, and giving people tools talk through the six mental, oh, my gosh, say that three times fast, the six mental muscles that make up mental strength, and how do you figure out how and when to use them?

Scott Mautz 7:11
Yeah, I’ll just quickly outline the mental muscles. And we’ll talk a little bit about, you know, how I came to the conclusion that that’s the definition of mental strength, mental strength. And like I said, I’ll get into the research, but it’s proven itself to be built around six core mental muscles that we can choose to exercise and to build those mental muscles, our fortitude, confidence, boldness, decision making, which is both decisiveness and making a good quality decision, goal, focus, the ability to stay focused on your goals and keep other people focused on those goals, as well as what I call messaging, the ability to stay positive minded in the face of negativity, and to stay engaged in the communications that you’re giving to others such that you’re sending a good message to the troops. So it’s these six mental muscles that equate to mental strength and, and you can determine which mental muscles that you have to work on. By taking the mental strength self assessment, it’s in the book, the mentally strong leader, and it’s pretty, it’s pretty cool, you know, because honestly, sometimes everyone in self assessments can induce an eyeroll like, oh, yeah, okay, I’m gonna take these and you know, are they really statistically valid? So I mean, I put an awful lot of work in bringing even a data scientist on board to help me develop these 50 question questionnaire, it only takes you about 15 minutes, honestly, of introspective quiet, unless, if your kids are running around screaming in here, then you’re gonna get a double the time we all know that like it does anything, but you take 15 minutes, and that the assessment gives you an overall mental strength score, and it tells you which tear that you might fall in with each one of those. And it also gives you a score for each one of your mental muscles that are contained within an assessment that was talking about fortitude, confidence, boldness, etc. And the good news here is, you know, the opposite of mentally strong is not mentally weak. We are all born with a baseline of mental strength that we can build from, you just have to know where to start and which muscles to work with. If, if you guys were gonna go to the gym in Berlin, and you know, you wouldn’t go to the gym and work every muscle in your body for 19 hours straight, you’d have about I don’t know, a leg day, then you’d have an arm day and a back day or whatever it is you want to work on. You would break it down and develop your own strength trading program. And that’s what this assessment allows you to do. It allows you to see your overall mental strength and that which which mental muscles do you really need and or want to level up so you could design your own customized mental strength training program that’s uniquely right for you. So you could build mental strength in the way that’s right for you, not just according to the masses and what we should do. We should be mentally stronger. Right? So that was that makes sense. I encourage you guys to try the test. It’s pretty powerful. Absolutely.

Anne Candido 10:06
And I think that’s always a really good way to bring that self awareness that you’re talking about. So at least gives you a place to start. Right? So my question is, is there one particular one that you see that people tend to over index in and ones that tend to be kind of once people struggling? And is it different for men and women?

Scott Mautz 10:29
It is not, although maybe the difference may not be quite as pronounced as you think on men versus women. But, but overall, you know, so I guess the I don’t know if there’s good news, or just news or it’s just a fact, it’s just data, we do see a pretty even distribution across all of the different, you know, muscles, for sure. There’s a couple of caveats I have to give to this. When you talk definitionally, about mental strength, the first thing that pops to people’s head is fortitude, oh, mental strength, that’s, you know, it must be being mentally tough, it must be resilient, it must be fortitude. And that is certainly a big part of it. So when you ask people to list, what do you think mental strength consists of? We see in our in our research, invariably, fortitude is usually the first one it’s listed. Because it’s the one that’s the most common sense. Now, is that the one that people have to disproportionately work on? Not necessarily, the one that we see more often than not, is probably confidence. And, yes, we see it disproportionately, so in women versus men, that’s probably zero surprise at all. And within the context of that, and you know, I can talk about this more later, we also see the phenomenon if you want to call that of imposter syndrome, which is an element of a lack of confidence, appearing even more in women than it does you know, with with men, and you know, so I can go into the confidence building muscle in a bit. But yeah, so that’s, that’s what we see confidence tends to burst fortitude is the one that you see most often associated with muscle strength.

April Martini 11:52
Got it? All right. So you’ve explained that building mental muscles relies on habit building science, and you you’ve hinted at the science a little bit throughout the conversation so far. So talk to us about how people build habits and why it’s key to enhancing your own mental muscles, whatever one or ones you want to be working on.

Scott Mautz 12:12
Yeah, so let me just kind of check the core context and premise of my book, would you guys agree with this? Yeah. Okay, you understand what metal strength is? Can we all agree? It ain’t easy to self regulate your emotions, thoughts are bears, I think I don’t know that there’s a human being alive, that would say, No, no, no, I could do it all the time. It’s easy. It’s hard. So we need help. And the help that I wanted to build into the mentally strong leader takes the form of habits. And I have been studying habit building science for ever, I was so upset in a good way, when James clear published atomic habits, which is sold like more copies in the Bible, because I was working on a similar book years and years and years ago, and he beat me to the punch. But I’ve been studying habit building sites for a long time. And you know, what I could tell you is that and I think you know, this, a habit is at its core, what? It’s repetitions. Yeah, right. I mean, anything? How do you get repetitions? Well, you get it through systems, and frameworks. And when you don’t have systems and frameworks, guess what, you usually don’t repeat that behavior, and therefore, it doesn’t become a habit. So the first kind of, and I’ll cover really quickly three rules of habit building habit. First, you got to you got to get those reps in man, you got to build the systems and the frameworks to allow you to do that. So each of the tools in the book, the mentally strong leader, there’s over 50 of them to help you build whatever mental strength element is right for you. There’s over 50 of them that are designed as systems and frameworks specifically, to help you get reps in and I’ll give you example of those in a little bit. Second principle habit building signs built in is I have for every habit and tool in the book, over 50 of them. I have a section called your first small step will help ship figure out like just where do you get started. We often don’t form habits because we don’t ever take the first step to do it. There. I mentioned in the book something called the Zeigarnik Effect, which is simply it’s based after researcher Bluma Zeigarnik who identified you get ready from ready for this, you are much more likely to complete a task and actually form a habit or repetition simply by starting the task. First breaking insight your earth shattering inside live brought to you your marketing smart, get started and you will be more likely to form that habit. So you got to know what the first small step is. And the third principle of habit building to build in is what do you do in moments of weakness. Every single habit in the book that a mentally strong leader has a section said in moments of weakness when you start to break down when you feel your confidence faltering when you feel that you don’t feel so bold anymore when you can feel your resistance wearing down and your your focus string on your goals etc. What do you do in those moments and you need those that little bit of help when you put these three things In the combination systems and frameworks, the first small step to take what do you do in times of weakness, you are going to be far more likely to build the habits that will actually lead to becoming mentally stronger. It’s how you train your brain for achievement, because mental strength is disproportionately linked to achievement. And the habits and the systems are how you train your brain for that

Anne Candido 15:21
also gives me because I was just having that thought in my head. So if I was going to go through all of those elements, and I was going to take myself back to my p&g self, I would say I’d probably now maybe I should take the assessment and get real self aware. But I would say just kind of like, you know, doing a self scan of that, I would think I do pretty well in a lot of those things, but may not necessarily achieve the level of success that I want it to. And you mentioned the self regulating part. And so is that having to do with how to actually then put it all together? And I’m not trying to lead you into an answer here, Scott? So you can tell me no, that’s a different, it may take a different angle on it. But it just seems to me like there’s like, you’re not necessarily saying if you do all these things, all of a sudden, you’re going to be successful, right? There’s got to be something else that allows you to like be able to manifest these in a way that allows you to get that achievement. So what is it? What is that other secret sauce piece?

Scott Mautz 16:21
I think, believe it or not, and you can tell me to surprises you you’re not least what I’ve seen in my research is it comes together when you have tension in your life and a chance to put those things into place. Because you have to remember self regulation, you know, these these mental muscles, they’re not randomly picked. They’re assigned to mental strength because they require self regulation. And self regulation implies that there’s tension involved. So the cocktail in the mixture is, you know, do you have enough tension? Do you have enough reason to put them all together to be able to succeed? And I’ll give you an example, a pretty telling piece of data that, you know, kind of led me to actually believe I have to write this book because, you know, I have asked over 3000 executives multiple times, one single question, thinking of the highest achieving organizations you’ve ever been a part of that overcame the most obstacles, right? There’s the environment we’re talking about, that overcame the most obstacles. Describe that leader? What were the attributes of that key leader? Every time I’ve run this study, between 90 to 91% of the respondents describe the same kind of leader, the same six mental muscles that I’m talking about what which they may not have used the term mental strength, some of them did. But when even when I said, Oh, wow, that’s interesting. So they were very bold, they’re very confident they had incredible resilience. Was it a mental strength? thing? Is that how you would describe it, you could see the lights turning on and almost to the person when I would offer it as a prompt, if they hadn’t already offered it? They would say yeah, yeah, that’s it. So mentally strong leader I’m starting to learn is becoming that descriptor that we can use in today’s work world that describes the very best leaders at the very best time. And that cocktail of to your point, they were able to exude those and strengthen those muscles and show those muscles in an environment where you needed those muscles. And that self regulation to thrive in an environment where there was, perhaps adversity where there was tension, where you as a leader felt like, I really need to show up as the best mentally strong version of myself to help us get through this. So it’s often when we see that cocktail of things happening, that, you know, achievement truly does happen and why it seems to be mental strength seems to be so strongly correlated now, with achievement, right, if that makes sense to you?

Anne Candido 18:46
Well, I mean, that totally makes sense. I mean, there was no adversity at P&G. So that’s probably why I did.

Scott Mautz 18:54
Dominated it all the way through, it’s

Anne Candido 18:58
so freakin easy. No, I think it makes a ton of sense. I think the thing that I’m playing with with my brain then is Why do some people who have these traits do well, and some people who have these traits don’t do as well? Why is there still? Or maybe you’re saying no, anybody who exhibits these traits automatically kind of like accelerates to that level of a strong leader achieving to that that upper level echelon of leadership, but it feels like there’s still maybe levels within the level, if that makes sense. Does that question make sense?

Scott Mautz 19:33
There are yes, it’s a fantastic question. It’s a level within a level and a consistency factor. And ah, and I often say this, I often say this in keynotes about this topic. But if you stopped going to the gym, guess what happens to your muscles, they atrophy, they atrophy. And so what we’ve seen is even though leaders can express certain elements and Spike, and by the way, there’s a couple of things going on. There’s a consistency factor, they have to keep striking those muscles over time. That’s how this works, that’s how strength works. Number one, it has to be consistency to There’s levels within the levels, for sure. So, you know, we see that some of the highest TV achieving leaders of all scored disproportionately high for every single muscle, and they maintain that over time, then three, there’s also a self-miss-attribution factor, where the leader may think they score very high in those mental attributes. But when you ask the employees, they would disagree, and we see this happen all the time, the self awareness gap that can exist, and I’m not implying and that you thought.

I there’s not I’ve not applied that at all. But we could sit you know, this is why when I conduct this research, I conducted not only amongst the leaders, but amongst the employees to rate the leaders, and then I look for discrepancies. And the ones that line up, that are truly achieving, it’s you it’s, it’s 100% of the time, the one the leaders that are accurate in their reflection of themselves, not just based on what they think, but what their employees think it’s well. So there’s a mis attribution factor in volunteer as well. So it’s that combination of all of those things, you have to be consistent over time with it, there is tears within the tears, you have to understand you can always improve, even if you think you’re already mentally strong, then you have to be honest with yourself and self aware enough. Are you really assessing yourself accurately?

April Martini 21:29
Well, and I mean, my brain was also over here working. And where I got kind of stuck. So it’s maybe an adjacent question or chicken in the egg. But so I’m stuck on the tension piece. And what I mean, by being stuck there is totally get the idea that you have to continue to do it. Right in order like to the muscles atrophying Right, totally buy in and believe that. But when we’re talking to our clients, a lot of times we get into this whole, like, what’s the right amount? What’s too much, and making sure that we’re setting our we’re putting ourselves in situations to do exactly what we’re talking about here, but not so often that we’re burning out, or we’re losing perspective, or those types of things. So can you give some insight there into like, how does the leader know like, I’m pushing myself for being pushed in a positive way versus like, holy cow, it’s coming at me so fast every day that I could fall over, you

Scott Mautz 22:26
know, what you want to know how I could sum it up in four words with a tattoo that a client of mine actually had put on their hand, believe it or not, it’s has to do with mental strength. And those four words were rise to the occasion. And what we see in our research is the mentally strongest people, it’s, it’s when I say tension, it’s not that 100% of the time you act like you’re in crisis, because that would be the opposite of it, you’d wear yourself out. The mental strength has a lot to do with understanding, when do I need to rise to the occasion? When do I need to role model resilience for my organization? When do I need a role model resilience from my family and step up and lead the way here? When do I need to really elevate my level of confidence and stop listening to this self doubt that creeps into my head? When do I really need to stay focused on my work, do deep work so that I can accomplish my goals, etc, etc. So there’s there’s also a lot of knowing when when it’s time to rise to the occasion, and use those muscles disproportionately relative to just being at ease and relaxed. Right? Does that make sense? April? Yeah. Yep. Excellent question. Good questions, ladies. As always, we kind of do this for a living a little we’re getting marketing smarter here as we go, like, marketing

Anne Candido 23:39
dumber yet. Good Self-Awareness check on that. Check. That I have to work on my fortitude, I think. Am I getting it? Yeah,

Scott Mautz 23:52
I think I think we’re gonna ask April to take the quiz about you after you take the assessment.

Anne Candido 23:59
That is what I heard, we should totally do that. That’s why I

April Martini 24:04
do what we telling us. I

Scott Mautz 24:06
do it. It’s a very, very powerful exercise if you find leaders that are willing to be that vulnerable and open to it. It’s a very powerful exercise.

Anne Candido 24:14
We should totally do that. What to do that over wine. I’m

April Martini 24:16
gonna say I might.

Scott Mautz 24:19
That’s a three beer thing right there. Right there. I’ll tell you the truth serum gets flowing up. Exactly.

Anne Candido 24:28
Well, not using ourselves as examples yet. I was actually going to ask if you could give us some examples of how people put some of these into practice and how it changed them and help them to really exercise their their mental ly strong muscles.

Scott Mautz 24:43
Yeah, sure. You know, you lady you’d ask before you Okay, so is there one that disproportionately shows up and you know, for sure confidence does by the way that does it surprise you? Does it have all the tenants of metal that confidence would appear you know, is as the one that disproportionately shows up? And so you know, I Have a reader who had recently sent a note out that found one of the tools in the knowledge struggle and very powerful I call it the the doubt continuum, it’s within the chapter about building your confidence muscle on it, it starts with a very important understanding, which is that confidence is not the absence of doubt, it is not. It’s managing your relationship with doubt. Because we all have doubt to a certain extent. And, you know, I have talked to so many people in interviewing for this book. And I can tell you, ladies, even the most confident leaders that I met, none of them would tell you, Oh, doubt never appears it’s always how they manage the relationship with doubt. And so if you think of, you know, kind of doubt on a continuum, where on you know, one end, it’s a danger zone, because you can actually be overconfident, you can blow through red lights, and you can assume everything in a vacuum and assume you don’t need any help in life. And that’s on one side. And on the other side of the spectrum, of course, is, you know, one of the ultimate forms of doubt, which is, you’re paralyzed by fear. This client told me that one of the things that really struck her about the really strong leader was, you know, I kind of give a lot of kind of resolution to if you’re paralyzed by fear, one of them simply being to remember that there’s really only three ways you can fail, when you quit, when you don’t improve, or when you never try. Or if you’re never invited on marketing smarts. To me, that would be the other one. It’s remembering this relationship with doubt. And understanding that what you’re trying to do is neither be overconfident, nor paralyzed by fear of failure. But be perfectly confident in that, you know, you have the right data, the right resources, the right balance, you have the right critics in your life to help you give you impact, or you want to be embracing healthy doubt, which involves letting your disquieting thoughts sit there, letting that doubt that you might have about whether or not you can lead that team quietly sit there, and being okay with it, not letting it turn toxic. And knowing and this is really key. And, and as long as I’ve known you, I’ve noticed to always be true about you, you’re very good at this. It’s being okay, with not knowing everything, and believing in your ability, small

Anne Candido 27:16
percentage to figure things out, though, just as a small percentage of me. Now, I interrupted, but But the second part, you said, Yes, I personally believe Yeah, I build things out. Yeah,

Scott Mautz 27:31
just being able to figure things out. So being able to sit to kind of sit in that. And, you know, while we’re along the confidence meter here, I’ve also had people tell me in the middle, a strong leader, they have, I mean, I’ve had like heartfelt letter, in one case, a heartfelt letter written to me already about a tool called the self acceptance scale, which is another element of, you know, confidence. And we were talking about this, that if you want to be fully confident, it starts by being accepting of yourself. And to be accepting of yourself that requires the highest level of self regulation we have as a human being. Because think of all the noise that comes into the system that makes you think you shouldn’t accept yourself. And so in the mentally strong leader, I have this the self acceptance scale that I want your listeners to picture, this scale on the left side of the scale is self acceptance, that’s what we’re gunning for. On the right side of the scale, is the opposite of that, which is imposter syndrome, where your level of self regulation is at its lowest. And you are literally convincing yourself, that you shouldn’t accept yourself for who you are, what you’ve accomplished, what your worth, is, what your skills are. And then the in between, there’s all kinds of degradations of self confidence. I’ll hit on some of them just really quickly, remembering again, you’re trying to stay on the left side of the scale, self acceptance. But what happens is, life happens. That’s what happens. And degradations of confidence happen one at a time, slowly, killing us with death by 1,000 paper cuts that first movement out from self acceptance, that’s for degradation is when we start to seek approval, right? We start to chase approval, instead of authenticity, and slowly it starts to eat at our confidence. Another degradation out, I’ll just give you a few more examples, is when we start to compare to others. Right, forgetting that the only comparison that truly matters is to who we were yesterday, and whether or not we’re coming a better version of ourselves. And, and by the way, I’m not saying that comparing to others can’t be good, right? I’m sure you guys compare to other podcasters. And you think like, Oh, I like what they do there. Let’s not do that. Let’s do this. Let’s not do that. That’s good. And that’s healthy. I’m talking about when you’re obsessed with comparison, or it’s an irrelevant comparison, which to use an overused example we do all the time on social media, right? We compare our blooper reels to everyone else’s highlight reels and it’s having a real impact. As we assume their success, of which they’re only showing us a sliver of their life, right, is due to their brilliance and their amazing skill sets rather than their circumstances, rather than maybe they got lucky, rather than maybe they’re not showing us all the pain that happens outside of that slice of success. They’re showing some social media, so we can start to compare ourselves to other on that scale. Further degradations happen when we begin to just engage in negative inner chatter, almost as a constant practice constantly beating ourselves up, we can even evolve all the way over the spectrum to the point where we believe we’re not enough. And if I could, I’d like to say this to your listeners, right now, if you’re listening, I want you to pull over, put your engine in idle and listen to what I’m about to tell you. You are enough. And you don’t have to take on everything by yourself. And I’m going to repeat that you are enough. You don’t have to take on everything by yourself. And degradation continues all the way to impostor syndrome. And, and in the mentally strong leader, you know, I talk about resolutions for each one of these problems. The big thing, the big takeaway here is to is to sync, the tool, the self acceptance scale, it is so powerful, when you could stop and either by yourself or even with a group to say, these are the ways that I let my confidence degrade over time, they get to different degrees of pain, and they get to different degrees of a lack of self regulation. If I can identify when I’m doing them, that awareness helps lift me up from that and stop those degradations of confidence from happening. You can tell I’m passionate about it. Let me shut up for a second to make sure this is all making sense to you.

April Martini 31:50
Yeah, no, I mean, I think it makes a ton of sense. And for all the reasons, the one question I think I have or the place where my mind kind of settled is. So we talked about on one hand being confident. And then we talked about, we’ve talked several times about self awareness. And so what about the you know, when do you know that you’re aware enough of what people are saying or inputting and those kinds of things and taking the right amount versus over indexing? And then kind of heading into this bad place, if you will, and making sure that you can check yourself in those moments of, oh, well, that person said that, but I can let that leave that, or that actually isn’t true, or that was in the context of this, like, you know, what are the thoughts there?

Anne Candido 32:35
And let me just build on that question, because my question was gonna be somewhat similar. Is that playing devil’s advocate for a second, other people’s opinions and other people’s perceptions do matter? Right. So if I was, you know, it’s like, well, yeah, I can be as mentally strong as possible. And I could try to be authentic, and I can try to, you know, be all these things that you’re Scott that your book is teaching me. But if my boss doesn’t think that I’m capable of my boss doesn’t think that I’m doing good work, no matter how mentally strong I am, I’m not going to be able to deliver, and I’m not gonna get the reading I need, I’m not going to get the promotion I need or my image is going to suffer if I fail, or my reputation is going to suffer if I fail. So there are like real consequences to some of being at some areas of the spectrum. So to build on April’s question about get my name for a second.

April Martini 33:28
Like, um, no,

Anne Candido 33:29
I was like, if I was gonna say your name or not, but the building on April’s question about like, how much do you take? It’s also like, how do you rectify this other side? Which is, it matters in a lot of cases, what other people think?

Scott Mautz 33:44
Yeah, I think you’re 100%. Right. And there’s even a specific tool that I talked about in the melee strong leader. Let’s let’s follow that through. So I talked about let’s use the, let’s use the purest of examples of, you know, when you get criticism in life, right, so am I saying mental strength is just blowing it off? Is what I’m saying? The criticism, absolutely not. Couple of things to think about. And this one may or may not surprise you? I don’t know. But I would argue that first of all, you decide who gets to criticize you. Okay, your boss? Sure. your boss’s boss. Yeah, your spouse or your partner in life, probably, you know, your children to a certain extent, Bob in accounting, who doesn’t, you know, like the way you show up in a meetings, you know, he could pound salt he doesn’t get so I’m not saying to start that, you know, mentally mental being mentally strong, is closing the world of people that can criticize you so much that you miss out on positive and useful feedback. I’m not saying that. I’m just saying start with intentionality of who actually makes the cut that you’re gonna listen to, you know, who is actually in the arena, as you know, Brene Brown likes to say, who’s actually there who actually has that right to criticize you and then if they do Like you said, and in the real world, we have bosses. And when they say things that matters, we have to do things about that mental strength. I’m not saying he’s blowing that off. I think the next part is being really smart about finding the nugget of truth and what they’re saying. And staying confident is not only hunting for nuggets that serve you well, in the moment that make you feel better about yourself, conferences just as much being willing to find that nugget of truth about you that you know, that you have to work on that you know, that you have to act on, and not letting the emotions and the sting of criticism, takeover. It’s interesting. You know, neuroscience shows us that the part of the brain that registers social rejection is the same exact part that it registered physical pain. So when we get criticism, it could actually physically feel like it sticks. That’s what we’re up against here. So I’m not saying to block that impulse. You can, and you should part of mental strength is being willing to be open enough to find that nugget of truth that lies in what people are telling you, which I think is kind of the essence of what you’re getting at. And is that is that right? What you would hope people would take away. Yeah,

Anne Candido 36:12
but I also think there’s some element of what you were saying, and maybe I didn’t internalize it the way that you attended it, which is, if I’m going to be competent, I’m trying to be confident, and I’m trying to play the spectrum of competence versus doubt, my doubt puts me at risk. Right? So it puts using words from another prolific writer, and Adam Grant, like, the whole psychological safety of where I’m sitting, puts me at risk, it puts my reputation at risk, it puts my credibility at risk. So I’m trying to be confident in the face of doubt, and maybe trying to lean in or, you know, not trying to be afraid of failure. But when I do fail, I know there’s catastrophic consequences. How do I rectify where I should be playing on that spectrum? In a way that feels good for me, internally, but also is going to give me the external result that I’m craving? Yeah,

Scott Mautz 37:12
and I think we all have, I think we have in ternal monitors as well, I think, you know, we’re, you know, how far you should push something before it becomes a stupid risk that you’re taking in your life or at work. Or you think you have the monitor the other way, as well, where I know, I’m not pushing things hard enough, I know, I’m not going to break through the clutter, if I don’t work my way through this discomfort to a better result for you know, myself. So you’re describing the beauty of being a human being in today’s world. And you know, we there is no easy answer to say, this is the exact moment when I should push beyond my fears and say, risks be damned. Or this is the exact moment when I know that I really need to kind of dial back or either way, there is no central truth to that other than sometimes you just have to listen to your instincts and try to decide like, Okay, I know what I’m feeling emotionally here is leading me this way. Or it’s not leading me that way. And kind of, you know, as best as you can lean into it. And I would ask you to how good Have you become at discerning and figuring out when you should lean into a risk or not? Where do you fall on that front?

April Martini 38:30
Well, it’s interesting, you bring up instinct, because that’s what I was thinking about. I found myself saying earlier today on a different conversation that as far as business is concerned, there aren’t very many situations, given my years and like breadth of experience where something is presented to me that I don’t feel confident that I’ve either seen it before, or know the right first step to take or feel confident that I can go and figure it out based on all the things that I know. And I think a lot of that is a credit to both experience and intuition and pretty equal measure. Whereas earlier on in my career, I was given a lot of feedback about my approach and bringing people along. And it’s just as important how you say it and those kinds of things. So, you know, making a little bit of a joke. But I think for the most part, your point is well taken and that if we it’s all kind of a balancing act, and we’re taking the inputs in at the same time that we’re using our experience and our instincts to do whatever we’re going to do as a result of that. And

Scott Mautz 39:35
what do you think about I think that’s well said, Yeah,

Anne Candido 39:38
I would say I’m actually on the opposite. Well, yes. And I’m on the opposite side of the spectrum in that I’m probably overconfident. I mean, I was making a little flippant joke when you were talking and I probably should have let you talk but like, I don’t feel like I’m wrong a lot. And I feel like I’m really really good at what I do, but it makes me a little blind to be and open to feedback being open to things that are maybe not in my purview taking it all in because I also like to move fast like I’m decision go decision go. April, on the other hand is a processor, right? So I find a lot of value in having a processor as a partner who’s like, wait a second, let’s think about this just for a whole hot second, I’m like, Do we really have to have like, why and then she will say something, I’m like, Oh, shit, that makes it better. And so it’s kind of like actually having a little bit of humbleness to be like, okay, slow down just a little bit for just a hot second, take some input, and then see if it makes it better. But I also will say, it’s hard to do that when you’re younger, and you’re trying to be this hard charger, you’re trying to show how good you are. And you don’t want to accept that feedback, you just want to demonstrate your capability from the get go. And this is why I will say and you know, this is a give Scott a ton of props, because you’ve been my coach for a long time, it’s really, really, really, really important to have a coach, not just a mentor who is like you can talk to and have lunch with every like couple of weeks, which is always nice to have a support group, which is what I call that, but a coach is actually looking at it and looking at you like you’re their project. Like your their success resides in you being successful. 1,000%. And so that is I think, extremely important. I’m I get really disappointed upset when people aren’t willing to invest in that because I feel like it’s it’s a small investment for the potential that it unlocks. So I love this conversation for that fact, because you can play on different sides. And I think what it demonstrates is like, there’s no good side necessarily, because it’s very circumstantial, it’s very moment in time. And I like what you said about flexing it and making sure that you’re being mindful about when you’re exercising those things. Because, I mean, being overconfident, being high end on that spectrum isn’t always the best thing all the time, either, right?

Scott Mautz 41:58
Yeah, that’s right. And you know, it’s look, different athletes need different develop muscles for different reasons, you know, and I’ll butcher this analogy, I’m sure. But you know, you wouldn’t tell a sprinter that they need to have a massive upper body, right, they probably have to have incredibly large size to really, so everybody. So okay, so and you’re overconfident? Great, as long as it’s not to a point of fault. That doesn’t mean you’re automatically at the pinnacle of mental strength. That means the confidence muscle you have developed in certain ways. And you know, if that over overconfidence runs away from you, that can be problematic if you have that in check. But that doesn’t mean there are other mountain muscles that you might have to develop, even if you think they are developed. Remember, you know, going back to There’s levels within the level, right, right, to be able to continue to be mentally strong. So yeah, it’s what I love coming on the show. It’s always really good discussion and debate. I love it.

April Martini 42:50
Awesome. We could probably talk this all day. But I’ll ask one last question. And then if you have another one, which I’m sure you will? Well, it

Anne Candido 42:57
depends what you ask. That’s true.

Scott Mautz 43:00
So question your question.

April Martini 43:01
So quite or, or build and say, and the other thing that I don’t know, I think we touched around this, but when did take action, kind of to what you were just saying like racing ahead versus you talk Scott about like being paralyzed and in place of inactivity. But there’s also this question of risk. And so to the discussion, we’re just having about, you know, how do you feel about your abilities and those kinds of things. But also, I mean, there’s just an always different levels of risk, depending on how impactful the decision is there, what could it do to the business or all of those types of things? So how does risk play into the mentally strong leader? And how is that something that you manage through the six muscles that we’ve talked about? I think

Scott Mautz 43:49
there’s a pretty important first starting point, and I talk a lot about risk taking within, you know, obviously, within the context of boldness, the boldness, muscle and mentally strong leader, right, it makes a lot of sense. But I see organizations and individuals making a pretty common mistake. And to set this up. I’ll tell you a quick story. So let me ask you a question first. Have you either have you ever been to a casino before? Oh, no, I’m sorry. I’m not talking about during the working day when you were a Procter and Gamble. And you’re supposed to be at that meeting. I mean, in general, it

Anne Candido 44:23
was several of them at the casino so that

Scott Mautz 44:28
you kill two birds with one stone. I had a The reason I asked that is I had a client. I won’t name the name of the company. But what I will say is they have heavy operations in Las Vegas casinos. And I was out I was in Vegas for a leadership seminar I was doing for them a keynote in a workshop. And they invited me out to dinner the night before and they were telling me about a very, very interesting problem they’re having again, I’m not going to tell you the name. But in this particular casino, they’re having a throughput problem on the casino floor. And what I mean by that is one of the games on the floor was creating a throughput problem in that the ratio of people standing around watching the game, to the ones who were actually stepping up and spending their money on the game was not good, such that it was just creating unproductive traffic flow for them a whole bunch of people watching the game. No one’s spending the money creating, you know, an overcrowded, unnecessarily overcrowded floor, and it was causing real issue for them. What game if you had to take a wild guess? Do you think that game was it was causing this issue? craps, roulette? Well, you jump right on craps. You’re right. Why do you why did you say that?

April Martini 45:34
That’s her mom’s a professional, because my mom is a professional gambler. And?

Anne Candido 45:41
Well, just because it’s too hard to understand how to play it.

April Martini 45:44
Well, so I actually and I, you know, we say this in jest. But I’ve spent my fair amount of time in casinos. And actually, I’m not much of a gambler to the point of risk averse, and all that. But anyway, I jumped on it right away, because I think there are people standing around for a variety of reasons at that table. And it’s a bigger space, but like they’re either trying to learn, or someone’s winning, and everybody’s caught up in it and wants to watch. And it just has a little game. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And it has a bigger presence. And then the more people it just compounds, I feel like there’s a lot of space around that table.

Scott Mautz 46:17
There are elements to that, and whispered the secret in between there. And would you repeat what you just said?

Anne Candido 46:25
They’re not playing because they don’t know how they don’t know.

Scott Mautz 46:27
And if you’ve ever seen so, April, what you’re saying is 100% true. The real core issue though, is if you’ve never seen a craps table, go Google it now, as I like to jokingly say I play craps. And I don’t know how to play craps. I only remember after about three beers, and I’ve tipped a stickman. And tell me where to bet. For those of you that don’t know craps is a game that it’s played on a table, it’s kind of a sunken table, and you roll the dice, it’s a game of chance you roll the dice. And if the dice have certain outcome, in certain cases, you you win or you lose. And if you look at the table, and like I said, if you haven’t seen when Google it, it is intimidating. There are all kinds of squares and rules and things you look at it, you’re like, oh my god, I yeah, I’m not gonna say I am. So if you’ve ever heard the saying, it comes from Vegas, you’ve ever heard this thing, you know, step up and roll the dice. That comes from the game of Craps in Vegas. And what they learned was, people literally weren’t stepping up and taking a risk with their money, because they didn’t understand the rules of the game. And what we’ve seen in our research is back Meanwhile, back at the office, guess what, if people don’t understand the rules of risk taking, they are going to be less likely to take the smart risks that you want them to perfect example, if you are a leader, imagine if you issued a simple one page summary listing the rules of risk taking, for example, a good risk looks like dot dot dot. A bad risk is dot, dot, dot. Here’s what happens when you succeed with a risk. Here’s what happens when you fail with a risk. Here’s who needs to approve what level of risk and so on and so on and so on. And so in the mentally strong leader, I have a list of questions 20 Questions you can use to help facilitate the discussion around what the rules of risk taking are because I have seen in my research repeatedly, when the leader can articulate those rules clearly or the subordinate asks for clarification of the rules, people are going to be far more likely to engage in that risk taking behavior. I love that journey there. I took you on a journey there with a story.

Anne Candido 48:26
I’m gonna go to Vegas. Vegas, that would fix all their problems. Yes, that’s true.

Scott Mautz 48:35
The three of us could go to Vegas and we’ll clean that place up and you know, oh, no, you don’t like to gamble on April. So that’s alright. Nevermind. You could sit at the bar. I don’t

April Martini 48:45
like a good time. I just Okay.

Scott Mautz 48:51
Fair enough. Welcome. Welcome to gambling smarter with April.

Anne Candido 48:58
The repairman for that? Yeah,

Scott Mautz 48:59
right. That’s right. That’s right.

April Martini 49:00
Okay, so total departure. Before we you know, let you bring us home and wrap us up and tell people where to find you. We’d like to do some quick-fire questions.

Anne Candido 49:10
I don’t think we did these last time. I don’t know. So

April Martini 49:13
these are new to you. Right? And they likely have very little to do with what we just talked about. So I’m

Scott Mautz 49:19
a listener, so I kind of know what’s coming. Yeah,

April Martini 49:22
I know you do a favorite book you’re reading right now other than your own or just recently read.

Scott Mautz 49:30
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo. It’s a young adult fantasy book. Really good. Very good. You probably didn’t expect that. I was gonna say something you know, like, oh, I don’t know. Good to Great by Jim Collins or something like that. No.

Anne Candido 49:47
I was totally expecting that. I actually I was told I cannot lie.

April Martini 49:52
Favorite band or concert you’ve been to?

Scott Mautz 49:54
I would have to say I’m a huge Mumford & Sons fan and deadline. So you know the band, there’s my favorite band, favorite concert. I saw Queen live out here in San Diego. And that show was

Anne Candido 50:07
a lot of fun. The old Queen or new Queen? I

Scott Mautz 50:11
guess new Queen, you know with Adam Lambert ahead. So yeah, it was this was just like last year. So yeah, a lot of fun, you know?

April Martini 50:19
Ah, okay. And last one is five things you take to a desert island, I don’t know.

Scott Mautz 50:26
Five things I think the number one a portal that allows me to get to someplace other than a desert island. But that’s cheating. So I don’t really think that that counts. Well, I obviously I would take water. That’d be number one. iPod, so I could listen to music and help, you know, pass the time for sure. I take a stack of books. I really like fantasy a lot. So I would take a stack of fantasy books. And I would certainly do that. Let’s see. And I take some snacks with me probably. And what else a blueprint for how to build a vehicle that’ll get me out of the desert. How about that?

April Martini 51:03
That’s those on a desert island? I

Scott Mautz 51:05
really don’t want to be on ironically, yes.

Anne Candido 51:07
He’s not bringing his wife.

Scott Mautz 51:11
People No, no, she would have put me there. Why would? Why would I add insult to injury?

April Martini 51:24
On that note, this has been awesome. As all of you here we have a lot of fun with Scott, in addition to hopefully bringing lots of information. And we’re super happy about your new book, The mentally strong leader. But please cover anything we missed or anything I forgot to ask you about. Let people know where to find you just kind of wrap us

Scott Mautz 51:42
up. Yeah, right out, you know, you can find me at And I always like to put together you know, extra value for you two. As you know, I try hard to do that. So one of the things I want to make available to your leaders, your leaders that are listening or just your human beings that are listening. If you want to go to, you can download for free, a 60 page PDF that includes the mental strength self assessment I was talking about earlier. And it includes some really some of the really best templates in the book, but also prompts that I don’t know, like you guys, but I love prompt questions that help you to get the best out of a book. And so I included a lot of them in this free 60 page PDF. So again, if you go to, you can download that.

April Martini 52:30
Awesome, we appreciate that. Well thank you so much again, Scott. And with that we will say go and exercise your Marketing Smarts! Still need help in growing your Marketing Smarts? Contact us through our website: We can help you become a savvier marketer through coaching or training you and your team or doing the work on your behalf. Please also help us grow the podcast by rating and reviewing on your player of choice and sharing with at least one person. Now, go show off your Marketing Smarts!