Hold The Standard - Freestyle
, | March 8, 2018

Hold The Standard

Have you ever had the opportunity to witness someone stepping into the person they once upon a time set out to be? If you have, you know it is nothing short of amazing to experience as an observer. You become part of their intellectual, physical, and emotional process which in return invites you and your process on the same journey. My wife Tonya and I were thankfully able to experience this while attending the Hold The Standard Summit this past weekend in Venice, California, hosted by our friend Logan Gelbrich, Owner and Founder of Deuce Gym.

This was Logan’s first time bringing the Hold The Standard Summit (HTSS) to the U.S. and he brought it with a bang! The experience itself was orchestrated and designed to open one’s heart and mind to learning. From the setting (a space which was currently under construction symbolically representing the students in attendance), to the information presented (which had me on the edge of my seat the entirety of the two day event), it was clear something powerful was about to transpire. In a nutshell,  the HTSS is Logan’s body of work which is dedicated to leadership and organizational and personal development for high performing teams.

This particular summit was extra special because Logan was joined by Dr. Cara Miller, his personal coach, who specializes in the fields of leadership formation, organizational change, and the psychology of adult development and learning. Simply put, Cara is a TRANSFORMATION POWERHOUSE. The seminar opened with Logan entering the room; his presence alone got us all in attendance to zero in on his opening words: get what you came for.

“Get what you came for.” – Logan Gelbrich.

These five words empowered us to take ownership of our participation at the summit, responsibility for working alongside Logan throughout the weekend, and set the tone for what was to come. If we were going to get anything out of the summit we needed to squeeze the information and concepts presented to make the experience a successful and meaningful one.

It was not long after his opening remarks that the room was naturally divided into the 3 Student Stages:

  • The Child – Those that needed hand holding.
  • The Teen – Those that felt they had it figured out.
  • The Adult – Those who were ready to take ownership and act.

Logan navigated this divide masterfully by providing a safe environment for the child stage students to run free, a lab for the teen stage students to experiment, and a sense of responsibility for the adult stage participants. In addition to the practical information and exercises provided on how to structure and develop an organization through individual and collective leadership, there were three things that stood out for me: adaptive development, ownership, and courage.

Adaptive Development

Dr. Cara Miller working with Nathan Helming from The Run Experience

Organizations where its members are living in a state of constant development is where high performing teams thrive. In order for such an organization to exist, it must begin with an environment where each member of the organization is willing to work on their individual development. During the summit Logan demonstrated, in typical Logan fashion, adaptive development by opening himself up and invited us to become spectators of a LIVE coaching session with Coach Dr. Cara Miller. This was a very powerful moment in the weekend where we got to see the top dog in his most vulnerable state facing a dark fear and uncomfortable revelation. Because of Logan’s willingness to fully show up in that moment and be guided by the skillful Dr. Miller, he was able to come away from the exercise with a cleared runway to better leadership and an upgraded expression of himself. He had transformed into that expression of himself that regardless of imperfections and fears was now (in the words of Nassim Taleb – Logan’s favorite author) more anti-fragile.


Tonya and Carl Paoli

As humans we do a great job of finding excuses to stop exercising responsibility for our actions which often stems from a lack of awareness- self and collective. The way Logan helped address this topic was by shining light on the things that we can control in our lives and urging us to recognize the things that are  out of our control and don’t serve us. If there is something we need or want we must become aware of this difference and be able to take confident, decisive action without being slaved to outcomes, but rather fully engaged in the process. It is ownership that allows us to not just become more effective performers, but also to enjoy the ride.


Dr. Cara Miller and Carl Paoli

Our hands are not as tied as we may think. It behooves us to realize this and to take action and begin moving towards the outcome or goal that we have in mind and focus on what’s in our control to get there. As our goals are most likely surrounded or embodied by everything that frightens us the most, we must step forward with courage! It is only then that we can begin to unpack our ability to become who we truly are in our fullest expression and capacity.

It is living in a state of constant adaptive development, ownership, and courage that allows us to set a standard and subsequently hold it.

My main takeaway was that leadership begins with you. You must first be willing to look inward before becoming a leader. You must realize that vulnerability is a strength that will allow you to play the game of adjustments. You must respect and let go of what you can’t control while focusing and acting on what is in your power. You must stay in the game by having the courage to show up daily in order to Hold The Standard.

I highly recommend this seminar to all business owners, individuals who currently occupy a leadership role (parents included), and/or aspire to one day start an organization. Special thanks to Logan Gelbrich for putting on the best seminar I have ever attended. Thank you Dr. Cara Miller for sharing your talents and insight with all of us. Thank you Menotti’s for providing such a cool space for learning and delicious coffee. Thanks to the entire Deuce Team for continuing to be a reference for all high performance teams and organizations around the world.

Contributor: Carl Paoli

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