143 – Warren Rustand: Husband, Father, Grandfather, Leader & Role Model To Countless Others – Part 2
This week we’ll hear the final installment of David Hirsch’s conversation with Warren Rustand. Warren has led an exemplary life. He’s been a serial entrepreneur, a former White House Fellow, former NBA player for the Golden State Warriors, past CEO of the World Presidents Organization, a frequent speaker, a grandfather of nineteen and a father of seven. This week, in part two, we’ll hear about Warren’s son, Scott, who has special needs. We’ll also hear tips on how to live a healthy productive life, with his five life principles. That’s all on this Special Fathers Network Dad to Dad Podcast.
Tom Couch: Special, thanks to horizon therapeutics for sponsoring today’s special father’s network. Dad to dad podcast, horizon therapeutics believes that science and compassion must work together to transform lives. That’s why they work tirelessly to research, develop and bring forward medicines for people living with rare and rheumatic diseases.
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Warren Rustand: And that’s been true of mental health issues over the years. It’s been true of physically disabled people over the years, right? And it’s this notion that somehow they’re not as good as they’re not as up to the par we might see, that’s just not true.
We all know special gifts that people have. That are remarkable, stunning far in excess of our own gifts. They just don’t happen to do the same things we do in the same way. And that’s okay. That’s just okay. That’s
Tom Couch: how our guest yes. This week, Warren Russ, Stan Warren’s led a fascinating life. He’s been a serial entrepreneur, a former white house fellow, former NBA player for the golden state warriors, past CEO or the world president’s organization, a frequent speaker and a grandfather of 19.
And the father of. Including a son with special needs this week in our final installment, we’ll hear about Warren’s son, Scott, who does have special needs. We’ll also hear tips on how to live a healthy, productive life with Warren’s five life principles. That’s all on this special father’s network. Dad, dad podcast.
Here’s your host, David Hirsch. Hi, and thanks
David Hirsch: for listening to the dad to dad podcast, fathers, mentoring, fathers of children with special needs presented by the special father’s
Tom Couch: network. Special father’s network is a dad to dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation.
It’s a great way for dads to see. Dads to find out more, go to 21st century dads.org.
David Hirsch: And if your dad looking for help for would like to offer help, we’d be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to
Warren Rustand: death.
Tom Couch: And now let’s hear part two of this fascinating conversation between Warren Russ, Stan and David Hirsch.
David Hirsch: I’m thrilled to be talking today with Warren Ruston of Tucson, Arizona, who is a serial entrepreneur. Former white house fellow, former NBA player, past CEO of the world president’s organization co-founder and Dean of the entrepreneurs, organizations, leadership academy, international chairman of Meredith of three, a leadership organization, frequent speaker author, and perhaps most importantly, father of seven and grandfather of 19 Warren.
Thank you for taking the time to do a podcast interview for the special father’s network.
Warren Rustand: Thank you very much. I’m really happy to be here. And I appreciate the opportunity. You’ve afforded me to, to just have a discussion around, uh, being dads and friends.
David Hirsch: So let’s switch gears and talk about special needs son, Scott, um, is the one with special needs.
And I’m wondering before Scott’s situation or diagnosis, if you in Carson had any experience with the special needs community
Warren Rustand: we had. Well, we knew of the special needs community because both of I had volunteered time in high school to teach just as a normal course. And my wife being, uh, having a master’s degree in early childhood development had had this specific experience.
She taught school for four years before our first child arrived. And so she saw it firsthand every day. In the school system. I saw it from time to time in the school system. And then I spent a lot of time in the not-for-profit world, specifically with law firm data law firm data means the pioneer. We started with a $250,000 block grant and built that into about a $70 million organization serving the needs of marginalized communities and at-risk families.
And many times those at-risk families had children with special needs. Yeah. And so we were exposed to that in a very specific way. And of course our son Scott, uh, when I was with my wife in the recovery room, the day of his birth, our doctor came in and I said, Dr. How Scott? And he said he won’t live through the day.
That was the news that we had at that moment in time. That was a stunning blown up. And the good news is that through a whole series of things, including the intervention of some spiritual healing and other kinds of things, Scott came home with. Uh, two weeks later, but he had a highly membrane condition, which covered as long as he couldn’t get oxygen into his lungs once he was born.
And it was a very difficult thing. And in that process, his part of his brain didn’t get all of the oxygen that it needed. And so, um, he was challenged as a young man. He was bullied. Unfortunately he had an older brother and lots of younger brothers and a sister who protected him and took care of him.
But along the way, Scott was very bright and he was able to use tools to which he was exposed. To actually compensate for areas of his life that weren’t as fully developed. And, and today, if he were on this call with you in a zoom with you, you, you, you wouldn’t be able to tell he’s such an, a gregarious.
Big hearted. Fantastic guys. Six foot, two, 220 pounds. Um, just a great kid. Wonderful kid. Great passion for family is a wonderful member of our family. And he has just become an outstanding, successful young man because of how he was nurtured and raised and challenged along the way. And he did such a good job personally.
So we love him. We give great credit to him. Uh, and we admire him and I think he was a special experience that we had in our lives. And he helped bond the family. He helped bring the family together in so many ways, and he continues to do that today as an adult, he continues to, he is very committed to family, very committed to his brothers and sisters, to his nieces and nephews.
He’s a wonderful, wonderful person. Yeah. Well
David Hirsch: that sounds like a pretty, um, And your situation is, uh, birth, uh, the diagnosis that you just described and the uncertainty that, um, existed early on in life. And I’m wondering if there was any meaningful advice you got early on that helped you and Carson sort of chart the course that you’ve just described?
Warren Rustand: Well, I think the first there’s always been a stigma in our society about special needs or people who are differently abled. And sometimes families try to hide that. Sometimes they’re embarrassed by that we have to address that we have to be open and honest about it, and we have to seek help as early as possible in both diagnosis and treatment in a way that benefits the child.
Concealing it or hiding it or being embarrassed by it just is harmful to the whole process. And particularly to the child, it seems to me that we have to just deal with that in a very open, honest way. And hopefully we did that. I know others that have done it really well also, and who are remarkable in that way.
And so I, the first advice I would say is once identified, then let’s seek out experts. And if there’s treatment necessary or special programs or tools that can be used to facilitate that specially abled person, then let’s do that. And in that process, we’re going to go. And the child is going to grow. And I think that’s also very important.
So I think once, and that’s been true of mental health issues over the years, it’s been true of physically disabled people over the years. Right. And it’s this notion that somehow they’re not as good as they’re not as up to the par we might see, that’s just not true. We all know special gifts that people have that are remarkable stunning far in excess of our own game.
They just don’t happen to do the same things we do in the same way. And that’s okay. That’s just, okay. We just need to love them and help them all we can. And so it’s really encouraged me to be involved in the not-for-profit community in a significant way in Tucson to try to help children, especially in my wife’s much better at it than I have much more involved than I am.
Uh, but children and families who have these special risks and special needs.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thanks for sharing. And I don’t want to focus on the negative, but, uh, there are challenges along the way, and I remember. A story that had to do with, uh, a business trip that you were planning on a big business trip that was going to take you to New York and sort of a fork in the road that you’ve found yourself at.
If you can recall
Warren Rustand: that. Yeah. Scott was a young boy and just soft to school, and we’re all proud when our children go to school and happy for them. And, and he struggled a bit as a real small boy. And, uh, I was on my way to the airport, uh, to go to New York, to close a large transaction that we’ve been working on for a considerable period of time.
And there were probably 25 or 30 people, lawyers, accountants, finance, people, bankers, all prepared to meet the following day tomorrow. Negotiate through this final piece of stuff and then get a deal done. And so I’m on my way to the airport. And I got a call from my wife and she explained the situation to me.
And she said, Scott needs you. And I said, well, honey, I appreciate that. But I’m on my way to New York. And I got a business deal. I got a close and we’ve been working out for six months. And then my wife says as only a wife can say, she said, Scott needs you. And I knew then that there was only one calling that I had in life and that was to be a father.
So I turned my car around. I made the appropriate phone calls, we canceled the deal and I went home and I spent the next three days sort of hugging Scott and playing with them and, and just nurturing them and being close to him. And then he went back off to school and it was a wonderful time. For me in my life, I was very emotional time, but it was really a wonderful time.
And my wife knew exactly what I needed to do. And the good news is, I guess, on the other side of it, we eventually put all those people back in the same room and I did get to New York months later and we did close that transaction. That’s fine. But, but there are pivotal moments in our time. I think as parents, when we know what’s right and what’s best, and we have to act appropriately in that moment.
Just saying, wait, wait a second. I’ll get off the phone and just a second or here here’s a tablet, go watch a video game, right. That kind of stuff. Doesn’t work. And can’t work. We have to pay attentive and present in our children’s lives to affect the kind of outcomes that we want. Okay. And coming up short of that, which we all do at certain times, we just aren’t perfect.
Right? I mean, my gosh, we all make mistakes and I’m, I’m hold up both hands when it comes time to identify mistakes. Cause I made tons of them in my life, but we know when those moments occur and we have to act on those moments. And when we do, I believe we get outcomes that we wouldn’t get otherwise. So that was a one for me.
It was an important moment. Yeah.
David Hirsch: Well it’s. Really important story because it has to do with the intersection of work and family. And that is something that, uh, most parents dads in particular deal with on an ongoing basis, you know, am I going to work or am I going to be with my kids? And you know, it’s not a black and white issue.
You have to make a judgment call on a daily basis. And I think if you do have your priorities in order and things are crystal clear, like you just described, hopefully. Yeah. Helps people make those decisions, um, what the right decision is for them. Right. You don’t want to be
Warren Rustand: judgemental that’s right. Yeah.
Whatever’s best for them. So,
David Hirsch: did I remember hearing that you also have a grandchild on the autism spectrum?
Warren Rustand: Um, we do. We have one of our grandchildren who’s on the autism spectrum. His parents identified it very early. And as a result of that, a wonderful wonder. Help has been given then he’s just a terrific kid.
He’s a sophomore second year student at a university right now doing terrific, excellent student. And he’s a really pursuing filmmaking and film production, which is where he wants to be. And he was wonderfully helped by again, identification early. Yeah. Tools and programs that helped support from the educational system.
Some great teachers out there who do a marvelous job of supporting these kids and mainline, mainstreaming these kids. And he’s just turned out to be an absolutely wonderful young man. And we just saw him 60 days ago and had a great time with him. He’s coming down to spend a couple of weeks with us. So we’re excited to have him.
David Hirsch: so I’d like to talk about a few things beyond a family now. And one of them has to do with your five life principles. And I’m wondering if you could
Warren Rustand: enumerate them. You probably can. So, um, over the years, we’ve tried to reduce things that either we do or we believe. To certain principles. And, uh, we think there are three overarching principles in life that drive us.
And then there are five that we apply every day. The first one is clarity of vision. It’s the notion of just trying to understand where we’re going and getting as much clarity about where we’re going as possible. You know, so many people end up in their lives just by serendipity, by chance, not by design.
Not by thinking about it, but something comes along and you decide to do it. And you ended up somewhere in a profession, right. Or in a city. Right. Um, and we’ve always believed that if we can get clarity of vision, then we’ll live where we want to live. We’ll work where we want to work. We’ll dress how we want to dress.
We’ll live in the home. We want to live in, but we can accomplish all of that. If we’re really clear about where we’re going. So the first print fundamental principle is clarity of vision. The second is certainty of intention. That once we know where we’re going, we should intentionally act on that every day.
And we, if we act on that every day, we’ll be amazed at how many things we can accomplish in our lifetime. Just by being intentional, as we discussed, the third is the power of values. Those are the, the guard rails are the boundaries of our life. It’s the way we behave and act with others. And in our family, overtime is sort of the code of conduct kind of stuff is what we believe in at our core.
And so if we get those three things right, That really helps us a great deal, clarity of vision, certainty of intent in the power of values. And then there are five principles that we can apply every single day that make those things operational. The first is commit to a higher level of discipline than you ever have before.
Just commit to a higher level of this, do everything that you normally do better a little bit here, a little bit. There shows dramatic improvement over time, right? If we want to lose that five pounds. We start walking then maybe running, cycling, just working out a little bit at a time, watch our diet a little bit more.
We can get those five pounds off. We can get 10 pounds off. We can get in better shape, but it’s a little bit of the time. You don’t have to do it all at once and you don’t have to be dramatic about it a little bit at a time. And so that’s true of our business life, our family life, and the kinds of things that we want to get done.
The second principle is live with purpose. When you get up in the morning, spend a minute on the edge of your bed and ask yourself, why am I alive today? What’s my purpose for the day. And then focus on the most important, purposeful activities that you’re going to have over the day. They’re going to be a hundred other things you’re probably going to do during the day as well.
They aren’t nearly as important if you can focus on what’s most important. Remember we talked about priorities. If you can focus on what’s most important and then do those, your days become pretty good and pretty successful and pretty high. But if we always get sucked into minutia, if we always get sucked into the things that are mundane and they’re not as important, and we get to the end of the day four or five o’clock and we say, I didn’t get anything done today.
I didn’t do the things I needed to do today. Maybe we need to change that a bit. Let’s do the things we need to do every day. The third is act with intent in all things large and small intentionality matters. And you ask athletes, it’s the attention to detail that makes the difference. You see attention to detail, the little things, what makes that great athlete better?
What makes that Olympic athlete able to perform at that exact moment in time when history calls them to the starting line and they win the gold medal, the attention to detail the attention to detail. So act with intent in everything, large animals. Don’t get swept along, along with unintentional things, just because you don’t care, you’re not sure.
Right. Go do the things that are most important and do them intentionally. The fourth thing is make conscious choices. Don’t allow your life to become unconscious. Right? Don’t put it on autopilot, every little thing, every significant decision, be thoughtful about it. Really make a conscious decision. About what you’re going to do, what you believe in, what your life is going to be about.
So make conscious choices. And then the fifth one is be engaged in a cause greater than yourself. I have found over the years that when I’m having a bad day, if I can go serve others who are really having a bad day, I’ll be okay. We just have to remind ourselves that oftentimes we’re choosing about first world problems.
You know, we don’t live in a third world society. We have first, oftentimes the choices we make are good, better, and best. It’s not between good and bad. It’s good, better and best in our obligation. I believe as human beings on planet earth is to be the best we can be while we’re here. Do our best now recognize that our best may not be someone else’s best.
Don’t get caught up in comparing ourselves to others. A quote that I created on 25 or 30 years ago is one. Success is relevant only when measured against one’s own potential. It doesn’t matter what other people around me are doing. It only matters what I do and how close to my potential I can come to living because all of our potentials are different.
We all have genetic different genetic makeups. We all have different DNA. We all have different life experiences. That’s our bundle. That’s who we are. Now let’s just live to our potential. So one success in life is relative relevant, only when measured against one’s own potential. So don’t get into the comparison cause I can’t win the comparison game.
Someone’s going to always be good, better looking than I it’s so hard to imagine. I know, I understand that. Someone’s always going to be better looking than I am. Someone’s always going to have a bigger home, a faster car, a nicer boat or whatever. But how good can I be with the tools and gifts and skills that I’ve been given?
And I think that’s when we talk about special needs, that’s the brilliance of special needs kids and adults is that they optimize oftentimes optimize their potential, which is beautiful to watch. It’s just beautiful to watch. So if we can do those five things and apply them every single day, my experience is our life gets a whole bunch better.
David Hirsch: Well, as it relates to the a cause bigger than, and yourself and not comparing yourself to others, the thought that comes to mind has to do with the difference between being competitive, always comparing yourself to others and winners and losers and being achievement oriented. So focused on what your goals are, what your objectives are, and you try your best to achieve whatever that is.
That’s, that’s, what’s important, right? And if in fact you do better than other people. That’s great. That’s okay, too. Yeah. Right.
Warren Rustand: You don’t leave anything out there. Well, you and I both have done some running in our lifetime. Uh, you just completed a big race, but the important thing is what’s our personal best.
Not with someone else’s personal best is I don’t need to worry about their personal best. I just need to do my best. And if I can set my personal best, each time I go out, I’m going to get better and better. Those times are going to come down. That’s going to be okay by me. As long as I’m doing my best.
And I think that’s really the challenge of life. Isn’t it it’s to be the best parent. We can be. It’s to be the best son or daughter, father, or mother. It’s the be the best business person. We can be the best teacher, whatever it is, let’s just do our best.
David Hirsch: Well, you do have an advantage. Now you have those two new hips.
Warren Rustand: That’s true. I wore out the others completely. I am a, uh, yeah, I am a jet propelled man. At this point in time, let’s
David Hirsch: talk about entrepreneur’s organization. I know it’s played a really important role in your life. There’s 14,000 members, 198 chapter 61 countries. Uh, when did you join? What role is that organization?
Warren Rustand: Well, it’s a fantastic organization. It’s a global entrepreneur, 14,000 members. As you mentioned, all CEOs, all entrepreneurs, all striving to get better. The organization is really to nurture and develop, teach, and learn and grow and to allow people to become better at what their chosen profession is and what they’re trying to accomplish.
I first got exposed to EO probably, uh, 25, 28 years ago when I began to mentor. Uh, EO companies. So I got to know the organization and it just growing and developing. It’s a global organization, as I mentioned in about a hundred countries. And so then I was asked to participate in the formation of the global leadership academy in Washington, DC, where the best and the brightest of the entrepreneurs in that organization from around the world come to Washington, DC for a specialized program.
And I’ve been Dean of learning there now for 12 years. And it’s, it’s remarkable. And we’ve now created regional leadership academies in each of 10 regions in the world. And so we specialized in those 10 regions and we’re just introducing, uh, this week. In fact, what are called chapter leadership academy.
Yeah, because local organizations are called chapters. And so groups of entrepreneurs in local environments who may not be able to travel to a regional event or a global event, but can still benefit from that kind of knowledge. And so we’re just kicking that off. So learning is the biggest single part of the entrepreneurial organization, but importantly, you’re learning with people.
Everybody. There’s a CEO, everybody there’s growing a company. Everybody’s trying to be their best and do their best. And there’s tremendous opportunity for cross pollinization. For cross fertilization for the exchange of knowledge, the growth of individuals, it’s a remarkable organization. And if anyone on is listening to this, who’s an entrepreneur who wants more information about that.
The entrepreneurs organization is located in Alexandria, Virginia, global headquarters. Just contact them. They’ll send you information. You can go online and find out more from EO and let’s see if you call them. And if you do, I’d certainly encourage you to give it strong consideration, but it is a remarkable, remarkable organization.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well thank you for sharing and, uh, that’s different entirely, but it sounds very similar in some aspects to the. Young presidents, organization or world president’s organization, which I know you’ve also been instrumentally involved in not compare and contrast, but just to share with our listeners, you know, what the world president organization
Warren Rustand: is about as well.
Yeah. The young presidents organization was formed about 62 years ago and it was formed when a young man’s father died of a heart attack and suddenly, and he inherited a business. Had never thought about running that business. So he looked around the landscape to find some other young leaders, CEOs of companies that he could just talk to and he could exchange information.
And that’s now grown into a global organization of about 30,000 CEOs. And I’ve been a member of that for about 40 years. As you mature, you get to age 50, you, you then evolve out of YPO, the young presidents organization to the old guys, right. Which is the world presidents organization. I had the chance to be the global chair of that and to spend a lot of time designing learning programs and doing other things, they’re all really good organizations and they all benefit their members.
They have a slightly different take on things in some ways, but they’re all about growth. They’re all about pure learning and that’s always helpful. I found, and then there were a group of us that were in those organizations and we got to talking one day and we said, well, what if we created an organization that simply concentrated on the second half of life and what we’re going to do with our resources and what w what the knowledge we’ve gained for that second half of life.
And so we created an organization called L three and L three stands for leadership legacy life. And L three is a thriving organization and it focuses on a philanthropic contribution, continued learning, making a big impact late in life. And there’s some wonderful things getting done there for L three as well.
So those kinds of organization I have found lift us up, make us better, make us stronger, um, and allow us to contribute to the wellbeing of other people after all. Isn’t that? Why we’re.
David Hirsch: We just recently had a book published the title of which is the leader within us mindset, principles, and tools for life by design, with a forward from your longtime friend, Robert M.
Gates. It’s also published by Forbes. What would you like our listeners to know about your.
Warren Rustand: Well, the book is, uh, look at very many of the Mo the principles here today, uh, to a large extent, the first three clarity of vision, certainty of intent, the power of values, and then the next five as you apply them every day.
But it’s full of real life. Stories of people have used these principles where their lives were when they were introduced to the principles, how they’ve applied them and where their lives are today. And at the end of each story, I have a testimonial from the person who lived that. So it’s an affirmation of the truthfulness of the story, number one, and of the real experience that they had going through it.
And so it’s, uh, it’s organized in a slightly different way, but it talks about the SCADA story. Some stories about my time in the white house and what I learned there, it’s got some stories about how I grew up. Well, some of the stories we’ve talked about here today, but importantly it’s how do we apply these principles and how have others applied these principles where their lives have been fundamentally altered and the outcomes have been changed.
Sometimes that’s personally, sometimes it’s within a family, sometimes it’s within a business, but it’s all of those situations. And I hope it’s helpful. I hope it’s instructive. I wrote it because these are principles. I’ve learned over my lifetime, that I’ve applied in my own life in different ways. And I just hope it’s helpful to you that read it.
So the leader within us is out it’s available. If you’d like to have it, I hope you’ll go online to get it. And I hope that one or two of those stories put a smile on your face or a tear in your eye. And that you realize from that of which you are capable and that you go out and live your life as you.
David Hirsch: Well, thanks for sharing. I think everybody should, uh, reflect on the book, especially if you enjoyed this particular interview. So I’m thinking about advice and we’re going to go, uh, rapid fire because, uh, I know, uh, we have a limited amount of time. Oftentimes you talk about the 10, 10, 10 principle. And I’m wondering if you could just, uh, give us your insights and how that’s been useful for you.
Warren Rustand: Well, I think what I discovered in talking with leading people, politicians generally. Corporate executives, Olympic athletes, and so forth that almost all of them, maybe all of them have, have a, uh, an absolutely morning regimen that they wake up to and they do. So when I ask people, audiences and others, what do you do for singing?
You get up in the morning while I get a cup of coffee, I walk the dog, I go to the bathroom, I brush my teeth, I get dressed. I kiss my wife. I read the newspaper. I turn on TV or I reach for my cell phone. Those are sort of the standard answers. And so what I say to that is that none of those prepare you for a great.
And so how about this? Sit on the edge of your bed. I mentioned this earlier for one minute. Ask yourself, why are you alive today? What’s my purpose. Today then spend 10 minutes in gratefulness. Think of all the things in your life that you can be grateful for. And then spend 10 minutes reading inspiration, positive inspiration, and then spend 10 minutes positively journaling for the next gen.
And leave those journals for your children and grandchildren to absorb. Don’t write about the bad stuff. Write about the good stuff you can write about the good lessons that you learned from bad stuff. But write about the good stuff. Now you’re 31 minutes into your day, right? A minute of deciding your purpose.
10 minutes of a gratefulness tendons of inspirational reading. 10 minutes of journaling. You have to ask yourself, where is your mind? It’s ready to go. You’re in a positive frame of mind. So then what do you do next? You. Well, I, because that’s the hardest thing you’re going to do all day, but you’ve got a positive mindset.
Go workout, set your goals and go work out every day needs about 150 minutes of rigorous exercise every week. So three or four sessions of 30 minutes at a time, we’ll get you where you want to get. If you want to be a more intense athlete, you can train more rigorously, but that’ll help you a great deal.
And then the next thing you do is you put nutrition in your body and you should have some protein and hydration following your workout. And then the last thing is, it’s how you manage time. It’s what the rest of your day looks like. And how good are you? That’s the short form.
David Hirsch: Yeah. Well, thank you a great way to get the day started.
And now the discipline that goes along with that and doing that, literally not like when you feel like doing it, but just part of the daily routine. Yeah. So one of your mantras is choose lifestyle over career. What do you mean by that?
Warren Rustand: Well, I think we’re in a world where many people feel like they have to choose career and that career may take them to a city.
They don’t want to be in or working for a company that’s not a good fit or any number of. I hope that we step back at a relatively young age in our early twenties. And we step back and say, where do I want to live? What kind of life do I want to live? What kind of lifestyle do I want to have? Because I have decided that you can make enough money wherever you live.
You can make enough money in almost any career, right? It’s this notion of living the life that you want to live, as opposed to that, which you think you should live, perhaps oftentimes. To benefit others or to make others feel good. What really matters is how good we feel, because the better we feel, the better spouse we’re going to be the better family we’re going to have the better business partner we’re going to be the better teacher we’re going to be.
Right. So let’s live where we want to live. Let’s work where we want to work. Let’s do this extracurricular activities that make us smile and make us happy. And as engaged, I think this notion let’s choose our lifestyle. Let’s choose our lifestyle. Let’s not be so focused on career. Let’s choose our lifestyle and somebody asks me what’s my career.
I have no idea. I’m not sure I have a career. I’ve just done a lot of different stuff that have all made. It’s made me happy. I’ve enjoyed what I’ve done. It’s been a great road. Maybe it’s cause I can’t keep a job, but every three years I have to change it. Right. So, but it’s this notion of doing what you wanna, do you ever
David Hirsch: thought you might’ve had the adult version of attention deficit
Warren Rustand: disorder?
Absolutely. I’m sure that’s the case. And we’ve talked
David Hirsch: a lot about your relationship with Carson and the role that she’s played. And, um, I know that you think about yourselves as co CEOs and the importance of honoring spouses. And I’m wondering if there’s any advice that you can share with our dads about ways to
Warren Rustand: go about?
Yeah, I think first of all, never stopped dating your wife, always caught your wife, bring her a gift when there’s no special reason to. It’s not a birthday or an anniversary. Just bring her a gift because you love her. Have a date night every week, where you go out and dads, you, you plan the date night and you only give your wife one question.
You all know what the question is going to be. What should I wear? They’re all going to ask the same question, whether that’s a bicycle rider or a horseback rider going to the opera, or just going for a drive, just date your wife, and have a date night. And then about every quarter. Why don’t you hop in the car?
And go for a drive and don’t give into answering the question, where are we going? It doesn’t matter. What you’re saying to your spouse is I want to be with you and I want to talk to you. Let’s just plan and drive and share and have fun, throw some casual clothes in there and just take off. And then maybe once a year, twice a year, plan a vacation, just the two of you get away for awhile just to renew your spirit, just to, to engage again.
Right. If you do those three things, then I think the opportunity of having a healthy marriage and having a good relationship, our spouse is there. But what happens is we get to go in fast and we get caught up in all the stuff we have to do, and we don’t pay as much attention to the person to whom we’re married for me, that’s a lifetime commitment and we have to pay attention to that.
Now. Have I made mistakes in that? Sure. I have always been the best now. I’m probably a C student when it comes to being a husband, but I’m working hard to get better. And, um, and I think that’s, it’s a constant striving that we have to do. And I think as dads, as husbands, we need to set the example in our home for what love is.
And frequently maybe often. The only example of love our children will see is how we treat our spouses and our partners.
David Hirsch: Very profound. Thank you. So I’m sort of curious to know why you’ve agreed to be a mentor father as part of the special father’s network.
Warren Rustand: Well, I, uh, I need to, to give, right. I’ve I’ve been given, uh, you know, to whom much is given right.
The old adage, right. I think we’re required to give back. And so, um, I want to do the best I can to do that. And I’ve tried to do that throughout my life. I’ve always been engaged in different things, but the program that’s been created is special and unique and is doing wonderful things. And to the degree that I can be helpful, I’m prepared to.
David Hirsch: Yeah, we’re thrilled to have you. Thank you. Let’s give a special shout out to our mutual friend, Phil apartment. Uh, who is this? A super young dad with five super young kids, uh, German in Cape town, South Africa, who you met through EO for introducing the two of them.
Warren Rustand: Well, I appreciate it. Phillip’s a wonderful guy.
We should mention that his five children are under five years of age, which is especially challenging for his wife, Vanessa and himself. And I’ve spent time with them in Cape town, a wonderful family, but there’s a certain level of stress that goes with that. So I had my hair, it was him greatly all the
David Hirsch: way he talks about it.
He’s got five kids within 13 months. Triplets and there’s twins. And in Chicago, when you think of a guy having five kids within 13 months, you don’t think of somebody like Phillip, you think about this guy. That’s had a lot of kids with like maybe two or three or four different women, right? That’s right.
Anyway, he’s a remarkable young man and the dedicated.com program that he has and hosting the being dad podcast is just a must. Listen to, I listen to it all the time. So I’m sort of curious to know, is there anything else you’d like to say before we wrap up?
Warren Rustand: Well, first of all, I want to thank you for taking your time to just have a conversation with me.
I really appreciate it. I appreciate talking about these subjects specifically, because I think they’re all preparatory to us doing better in our own lives. And if we just make a little progress every day, uh, we’ll have a pretty good life and we’ll do a lot of good things for what you’re doing and care how you’re caring for people, caring for fathers, uh, caring for people.
Young people caring for people with special needs. Um, that’s a special calling and a special gift, and I admire you and I respect you for doing that. And I want to thank you for allowing me to be a part of it and to participate in this call today. So you’re, you’re a gifted man. Take good care of yourself.
Take good care of those who listened to this. And may all of us enjoy the best years of our life going forward.
David Hirsch: What was my grandmother used to say from your lips to God’s ear? Yes, Warren, thank you for your time. In many insights, as a reminder, Warren is just one of the dads. Who’s part of this special father’s network, a mentoring program for fathers raising a child with special needs.
If you’d like to be a mentor father or are seeking advice from a mentor father with a similar situation, your own, please go to 21st century dads. Thank you for listening to the latest episode of the special father’s network, dad to dad podcast. I hope you enjoyed the conversation as much as I did, as you probably know.
The 21st century dads foundation is a 5 0 1 C3, not for profit organization, which means we need your help to keep our content free. To all concerned. Please consider making a tax deductible contribution. I would really appreciate your support, Warren.
Warren Rustand: Thanks again. Thank you very much. I’ll look forward to seeing you again and soon.
I hope in Arizona. That would be fabulous.
Tom Couch: And thank you for listening to the dad to dad podcast presented by the special fathers network. The special father’s network is a dad, dad mentoring program for fathers raising children with special needs through our personalized matching process, new fathers with special needs children connect with mentor fathers in a similar situation.
It’s a great way for fathers to support fathers go to 21st century dads.org. And
David Hirsch: if you’re a dad looking for help or. We’d like to offer help. We would be honored to have you join our closed Facebook group. Please go to facebook.com groups and search dad to dad. Also, please be sure to register for the special father’s network.
Bi-week the zoom calls held on the first and third Tuesdays of every month. Lastly, we’re always looking to share interesting stories. If you’d like to share your story. No, the compelling story, please send an email toDavid@twentyfirstcenturydads.org.
Warren Rustand: But dad
Tom Couch: to dad podcast was produced by couch audio for the special fathers network.
Thanks again to horizon therapeutics who believe that science and compassion must work together to transform lives. That’s why they work tirelessly to. Develop and bring forward medicines for people living with rare and rheumatic diseases. Discover more about horizon therapeutics at horizontherapeutics.com.