Orchestrating Success

Orchestrating Success

OS 87: The Karmic Path: Better Karma for Better Living with Tina Erwin

November 27, 2017
Tina Erwin is a retired US Navy commander, who worked 20 years for the Submarine Force, serving in a variety of leadership positions, including first female instructor in the history of the US submarine school, one of the fist female exec officers for a submarine training facility and she served as assistant Chief of Staff for Force Physical Security, anti-terrororism and law enforcement for Commander Submarine Force US Atlantic fleet, responsible for the safety of over 100 billion dollars in submarine assets.

More at https://TheKarmicPath.com

Interview Transcript

Hugh Ballou: Greetings, welcome to Orchestrating Success: Converting Your Passion to Profit. I have a special guest today. She is one of the team of leaders in an organization called The Karmic Path. Tina, tell us who you are and a little bit about you, and then a little bit about The Karmic Path.

Tina Erwin: Thank you, Hugh. Thank you for having me on your show. I am absolutely delighted to be here. I spent 20 years in the military. I am a retired naval officer. I retired at the Commander level, and I worked for the submarine force for 20 years. When you discuss conducting, I play seven different instruments, none of them particularly brilliantly, but I really love music and I wanted to see what I can learn. I was in a band, so I understand conducting. If you don’t have a strong leadership, then everybody stays out of tune or out of sorts. The metaphor of conducting is really quite brilliant. I did work for the submarine force. I retired in 1992, and I started on a very different path. That is where The Karmic Path comes from. I learned that I have certain, for lack of a better word, psychic abilities. I had to learn how to use them for the greatest good, how to help other people, and what was the karma attached to that. I took what I learned in the military and translated it into metaphysics. Now what we’re doing with The Karmic Path is teaching the physics of metaphysics. That is a nutshell.

Hugh: That is brilliant. I have experienced- Dogs are a lot more psychic than we give them credit for. And children. We knock it out of children as they grow up. The smart ones like you stay attuned. We are born with a lot more sense in this area than we realize. As we get older, as we learn to trust that, that we can be more in tune. It’s more of a spiritual realm than a physical realm.

Tina Erwin, I didn’t say it before. Spell “karmic.”

Tina: K-a-r-m-i-c. Karmic.

Hugh: Tell us what karmic means.

Tina: If you drop a pebble in a pool, the action of dropping the pebble is an action, and the ripples that come out of that pool are the reaction. Karma is the law of action and reaction. It doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t have a bad day. It always is. If you drop a rock in a pool, depending on the size of the rock, it will immediately and forever determine the exact size of what the ripples would be in perfect balance. If you take an action, whether you are an employee or you are the CEO, you are going to create a reaction in proportion to the action you took. If you summarily fire someone, there will be a reaction. As a leader, you have to determine what kind of reaction you want. You are creating karma with everything you do. Was firing that person a good thing or a bad thing? It’s what you did. You have to look at what is now going to be the karmic repercussions, the reaction for your action. It’s not good or bad or right or wrong; it’s simply the reality you’re facing. But a really fine leader anticipates that if X happens, this is what is going to happen in the future. It doesn’t mean you’re some psychic and now you’re having premonitions and are seeing the future. It doesn’t take a psychic to see that if you do this action, you can anticipate certain level of results, not 100%. We can’t possibly see 100%. But you should be able to anticipate a large percentage of what will happen.

Hugh: That is so key. We as leaders don’t always think of the consequences of our actions. We think this has to be done without thinking about the consequences. Once you’ve squeezed that toothpaste out of the tube, you’re not putting it back in. It’s out. It’s out. That’s one of the biggest things that I deal with, is leaders that slash and burn and then get mad at other people for their reaction when in fact we are the ones that set up the problem. It’s not bad or good, but we set it up and call it a problem because we are getting unintended results because we didn’t think it through. This is a big-deal topic. It’s something that is invisible for a lot of leaders. Do you find that to be true?

Tina: I do find that to be true. I have dozens of military stories. It doesn’t matter whether you are military or civilian. It’s irrelevant. We have the case of the commanding officer who expected you to do what he said no matter what. And you have individuals who can see that he is thinking clearly. I can share a very interesting example if that would be all right.

Hugh: All right, go for it.

Tina: I was attached to a commander of a submarine force in an Atlantic fleet in Norfolk. I had an amazing job, but that is a different element. While I was attached there, we had several squadrons that left out of Norfolk. Every so often, they had what’s called an ORSE team, which is the Operational Reactal Safeguard Evaluation team. They always made sure that the nuclear reactor on a submarine is safe. The ship handling is safe. Everything is working correctly. It’s not just an engineering test; it’s a whole ship-wide test. An ORSE team on board is a big deal.

The ship gets under way out of Norfolk. They are in the Thames River. It is a river full of other craft. The captain says to the navigator, “All ahead flank,” which means as fast as you can go. The navigator says, “But, Captain, we have all this traffic. I would recommend respectfully, sir, all ahead slow until we get into open water and we hit the hundred fathom curve.” We are a submarine. A submarine is low profile. When you look at the tankers- I knew what this guy was thinking. Oh my God, the tankers that are all around us. But the captain says, “By God, I am the captain. All ahead flank.” The navigator says, “Captain, I say again, this is ill-advised.” The ORSE team is just standing there watching this. The captain says, “I am giving you a direct order. All ahead flank.” The navigator says, “Sir, I hereby refuse this direct order,” and he tells the watch to load it in the log and refusing the direct order because it is an illegal, wrong order. I stand relieved. The captain says, “All ahead flank.”

When the sail planes of the submarine opened up the tanker like a frickin’ can opener to open ocean, the navigator was the only one who was not court marshalled. Because he could see- He knew that since they were oh by the way also operating in fog, who in their right mind takes any ship to sea in fog? The navigator karmically did the right thing. And he pushed the CO so that the ORSE team could see what frankly a jackass he was. And he was relieved on the spot by the ORSE team and the XO and the chief of the boat. They had to immediately turn around, and there was a massive investigation. They had to push for the tanker that was damaged. Of course, the submarine didn’t even show a mark because it is so exceptionally well-built, usually by the Electric Boat Division.

Here is an example of a CO who is abusing his power. His ego has gone to his head. Common sense has fled. It wouldn’t take a nuclear engineer to see that he is going to hit something. When it does, it’s going to be bad. He’s just lucky that it happened that soon before he was able to do more damage. This is an example of you can see what’s coming. It’s not rocket science. But the CO got his ego in the way. When that happens, whether it’s a corporation or a submarine, it’s going to be bad. Get yourself out of the way if you can.

Hugh: As you and I discussed briefly before we started this interview, I champion transformational leadership, which is a style of leadership about a high-performing culture. A very qualified leader, and the culture is a reflection of the leader. The leader elevates leaders on teams. You just described a high-functioning team, and the leader was not listening to the input. We have in any field- Corporations lose a lot of money because leaders do that kind of thing. Conductors have bad concerts because they don’t listen to what’s coming to them from the players. We do barge into areas where we think we have the divine right, but we have not really looked at the data and received the data. The best leaders don’t have all the right answers. The best leaders take in the data from the highly skilled people we have trained around us. That is a good example where you have a very skilled reader who had a very clear opinion, and the top leader didn’t listen to that person with expertise. Therefore, he created disastrous results, which could have been far worse, couldn’t they?

Tina: It could’ve been. I do have an example of a leader who took a different track and actually changed a lot of things.

Hugh: Let me set the context. We have a lot of different kinds of leaders listening to this podcast. There are leaders in social benefit work that are in small companies. We also have leaders in mid-cap companies. As somebody starting out, we even have people who are solopreneurs who are working by themselves looking to build out a big team. These are fundamental principles you can change if you already have a large team. As you are building your organization, you want to keep these in mind and keep yourself in tune as a leader. As you build a culture, you are able to lead that culture of fine performing individuals that you bring in.

Go ahead. Let’s have that other example. This is fascinating.

Tina: I love the submarine force. I married a submariner 44 years ago. These are some of the smartest men I’ve ever met. Brilliant, brilliant men. They are 99% men. For some reason, I was honored to get to work with them. When I was sent to command a submarine force at the U.S. Atlantic fleet, I was given a job that I had no idea how to do. I was the assistant chief of staff for forced physical security, anti-terrorism, and law enforcement. My territory was the entire Atlantic fleet, the Caribbean, and all of Europe to protect 86 submarines, nine submarine tenders, and three submarine bases, and the senior Jewish admiral in the Navy. I had two mentally retired people to help me. I was told that’s your job and don’t screw up.

I went home and cried for three days. I am not going to lie. I would love to tell you that I rose to this great occasion, but I felt like I’d been set up to fail. Then I had a transformation myself, which was I had no place to go but up. Since they have nothing, and everybody was worried about massive terrorist attacks in the ‘80s as they are blowing up airplanes and cars and hijackings and assassination attempts, anything I do could potentially be helpful. I decided that I needed real help because I didn’t know what I was doing. I contacted Seal Team 6. If there are people who know about terrorism, it’s Seal Team 6. I developed through finding some of the finest people I could find and sitting down and saying, “Please teach me. I don’t know anything about how to do this. Will you help me?” And then working with the security officers at the bases, I was able to gather what do we really need, hunt it down, and develop a program.

On the way, because it’s military, the boss changed. My three-star admiral changed. I ended up with Admiral Cooper who I did not know. When I spoke to him, I had to brief him, and we were given 30 seconds. How can I brief a three-star admiral on the security of this massive fleet in 30 seconds flat? They said, “You only have 30 seconds. The admiral is in front of you. Don’t screw up. Tell him what you need to tell him.” I said, “Admiral, there is no way I could give you a valid demonstration of the security of your fleet in 30 seconds. I am requesting a private meeting with you.” No one else did that. They crammed crap into 30 seconds. He looked at me like this one’s ballsy and turned to his chief of staff, “Set it up and give her a half hour.” I could do a lot in a half hour, but 30 seconds was ridiculous.

I sat down and said, “This is what’s going on. This is how I’m supposed to take care of you and protect you from being murdered.” He said, “I don’t want to do what you’re telling me to do.” I said, “I don’t really give a damn, Admiral, because you are going to die if you don’t do what I tell you.” He said, “Okay.” I said, “Your aid can’t call you Admiral. You can’t wear your great scrambled egg hat. Wear jeans and a T-shirt when you fly. Sanitize your wallet. This is what we’re doing for the fleet.” And I gave him this list, project by project by project. He was so impressed when I said, “I need money. I need to be able to do these things,” which the process is classified still to this day because it had never been done before.

This man listened. He listened. He gave me the time because my husband was out there, my brother-in-law is out there, my friends’ husbands are out there. It’s personal. It was personal to him. He listened, appropriated the money, and made sure that he not only listened and gave me the money to put it fleet-wide, but he also invited in the type commanders for the surface fleet, the air fleet, and other areas and shared it so that the entire fleet—surface, air, submarine—could all be working together.

This man is one of my heroes. To this day, I think the world of him. I was given a lot more authority and a lot more money. Those things are still in the fleet to this day. Here is a person who took an unknown and listened and then went forward with it. The man was absolutely adored throughout the fleet because he listens.

Hugh: Those are all exceptional leadership qualities that 3% of the leaders possess. A rare number are leaders anyway, but you get 3% that possess those qualities. That is even rarer. I’m sure you found that to be true. You were 20 years in the military, were you?

Tina: 20, yes.

Hugh: Yeah. You keep using the word “man.” Let’s jump into this gender thing. I would guess that you were playing in a man’s world there.

Tina: I was. I had to learn how to speak their language. I didn’t expect them to learn to speak mine.

Hugh: I want to throw a bomb into your midst. I have a write-up on the myth of equality. Women say, “I want equality.” When you influenced this person, and we have this old white male paradigm that we have set up, why should women who have a fresh perspective, a whole lot better quality, a whole lot more creative, a whole lot more as you used the word ballsy, why should you dumb down the quality? You want equity. You want your own space. That is what I perceive that you just did. I am betting that because you weren’t aggressive but assertive. I am hearing that as assertive. You said, “I don’t care what you say.” If you were aggressive, you would have sat him down and tied him up. Assertive was you said, “This is what you need to do for me to do my job.” I think that was a brilliant response. Speak to the fact of the gender there. You are a woman in a man’s world that may in that situation work in your benefit because you stepped up to your excellence as a woman leader. Tell me more about what that paradigm was.

Tina: My hero is Captain Kirk from Star Trek because I didn’t see any leaders who grew up. But he solved problems. He employed the best of the people around him. He was my role model of what a commander should be doing with and for his people and how hard the decisions are to be made. When I went to work for the submarine force and they didn’t know what to do with women, I was one of the first three ever to work for them—I had to explain to them in their vernacular. They didn’t know what to do with us, so I needed to tell them in a way that would be beneficial to them. Demanding and doing things that were out of their range of understanding wouldn’t win me anything.

When I was a lieutenant junior grade assigned to submarine school and they stuck me in a job and the executive officer said, “What would you like to do at sub school?” I said, “I’d like to teach class, sir.” He said, “Well, women don’t teach class.” I said, “Sir, how hard can it possibly be? Men do it.” I really did think he would laugh. He didn’t even crack a smile. I said, “Sir, I really want to teach class.” He said, “What could you possibly teach anyone here?” I said, “I am an expert at the classified material system because I receipted for all the cryptogear for all new construction submarines at Electric Boat Division, which was my last duty station.” He said, “Women will never teach class here.” I thought, Oh my gosh, you laid down the gauntlet here. Let me try.

Thy gave me a job of opening mail for a lieutenant commander. It was mind-numbingly boring. I said, “Oh please, you can just get me out of your hair if you just let me go to instructor school.” They said, “Fine, anything to shut you up.” I graduated just fine from instructor school. I said, “Now I’d like to teach class. Oh please. I can teach CMS, and I can teach admin. These are all the things I can teach.” They said, “If the CO of the school says so, maybe we’ll consider it.” I said, “Let’s set up an appointment.”

I said to Captain Balson who- This is a big man. I am 5’1”, and I weighed 105 pounds. I looked like this little tiny thing. I said, “Captain Balson, you are a man of vision and wisdom. Can you imagine how it’s going to look in all hands when your name is mentioned as being the most progressive man in the submarine force by opening a door for men and women to work together by allowing me to teach this particular class?” He said, “Really?” I said, “Yes, sir, I can teach this. I’ll do all the CMS inspections on the river. I’ll do them on the waterfront.” I know we know people at all hands, so he said, “Okay.” I became the first female instructor in the history of submarine school. All hands, I still have the article that Captain Balson is mentioned in, and they give him high praise. I was incidental. I didn’t care. I could teach class. It worked out beautifully.

I opened up five other jobs for women. We developed a lot of friends. I built friendships with all of the men who took my classes. I was locked in a vault with 25 of the coolest guys you’ve ever seen all day long teaching all those classified materials. I made amazing friends. I grew to have a deep and abiding respect for these men. Over time, they would take me aside and say, “Look, kid, listen. If you want your career to progress, do this, this, this, and this.” I listened to them. They became my mentors.

Your reputation in the submarine force is always going to precede you because it is a small community. I made sure that I worked really, really hard, that I was extremely respectful, and that I learned the language that men understood and expected to hear, not what I was used to other women saying. I had a blast. Doesn’t mean I didn’t have some bad days, but I have to tell you I had a great career.

Hugh: There is some very significant leadership nuggets in what you just shared. You want to position your message so that the other person can hear it. There is a certain dynamic there, a woman in a man’s world, but there are other dynamics: analytics, talking to creatives. I am an extrovert. Duh. Talking to an introvert. For us to be able to think about the receiving.

I’ve seen a sign that says, “What you thought you heard was not what I thought I said.” Part of the leadership dysfunction is we cause with our karma negative results, and we are not aware of it. Part of it is how we approach the situation. What you did there is what a lot of leaders don’t understand. They want to tell, and- We are selling a product or service. We are trying to connect in a big deal or collaboration or convince somebody of something. We talk about the what, and we never talk about the why. The brilliance of how you positioned with him, “This is going to make you stand out as a leader. This is what’s going to happen.” It stroked his ego. Male ego is a thing you have to understand, and you do. But you also talked about the benefits of this. The demonstrated value. Here is why it’s good for you. Here are the results you’re going to have.

The way you approached that, you could have talked about it in a lot of ways. You could have whined and said you had to give women a chance. You could have done lots of whiny things. But you approached it from a very analytical, logical, fact-based position. I am really seeing a whole lot of good that you brought in to the non-military world from the military and back to transformational leadership. There are lots of similarities.

I have modified it a little bit as you know from the conductor standpoint. There are lots of similarities. You have a leader that directs a very highly skilled, highly trained, fine-tuned culture. You’re in concert. You can’t micro-manage. You’re in combat, and you can’t micro-manage. The team has to be high-performing, and they have to have rehearsed and the synergy. That is why I call my company SynerVision. It’s the synergy of the common vision. This is really good stuff, Tina.

You and I met on LinkedIn. Took note to me. You said, “Let’s share a podcast.” I’ll be on your show some time later. You don’t know it, but you’re tracking my philosophy of leadership that I’ve created and developed and gleaned out of my 71 years of living and my multiple years studying transformational leadership. This is really awesome stuff.

On our podcast, we have a lot of high-functioning female leaders in charities, small business, mid-cap companies that are doing really good work. Any advice for those women who want to step up to their highest level? I don’t use this go to the next level thing; let’s just go to the top sequentially. For ladies, for women out there who are really on it, what’s your best advice to them to step to the top of their game?

Tina: I have several pieces because I spoke to many female midshipmen classes. First of all, I want to address the male ego. If you are on a submarine and you have a billion-dollar asset and the lives of between 125-150 men depending on whether it’s a fess attack or a ballistic missile submarine, by God, the captain better have a decent ego. He better have enough confidence in himself to deliberately submerge that ship and bring it back, to be in trail of a Russian submarine for months. I have a deep and abiding respect for an ego for those men. Deep and abiding. I wanted my own submarine. I really did. But Congress hadn’t changed the law. I do respect the ego of men because if you have that level of responsibility or if it’s an aircraft carrier, you have to have enough ego and believe in yourself enough to make it happen. You have to have an inner strength. Those were the lessons that these men taught me, and I value that every day.

For women, I have two children and we actually adopted a third. I have grandchildren. When I was in the navy, my children were little. I had a lot of women say, “Oh my gosh, I feel so guilty I am not spending time with my kids.” I said, “I’m going to give that first class ticket on the guilt train back to you. I’m not guilty.” I’m a significantly better mother wearing oak leaves than I would be standing as a soccer mom. I think soccer moms are awesome. That’s not my personality. That works for you. I’m happy for you. I’m not here to judge. But I am an aggressive personality on certain levels. I wanted to make commander. I wanted to be able to pave the way and open doors for other women, including my own daughter. When I was with my kids, by God, I was with my kids. We are extremely close to this day. I didn’t have to be with them 24/7.

I had dinner with my engineer because I was executive officer for a submarine training facility in Point Loma in San Diego for a while. Somebody said, “Commander, you are going to retire soon. How is it going to be to be a full-time mom?” The engineer stepped away and said, “Man, it’s going to be messy.” I said, “Are you a part-time dad?” He said, “Well of course not.” He said, “I’m a full-time mom whether I’m here or I’m in front of my kids.”

My kids are independent. They are individual thinkers. I am growing to the next crop of naval officers whether they are in business or they are in the military. I don’t care where they are. If you are organized, if you are focused, you can arise to the height of your game. You can still be a mom, and you can still be a good wife. You have to set your priorities. You can’t let anybody tell you that you can’t. Don’t let somebody else make you feel guilty for what you can’t do. It isn’t about having it all. It’s about understanding what your mission is. I have a mission as a mother. That’s not going to stop. I have a mission as a wife. I’m a pretty good wife. I had a mission as a naval officer, and now I have a mission with the Karmic Path. We have five websites that we are working with now. It’s a mission of enormous service to other people. Those missions don’t change. My family respects those missions, and they help where they can.

If you don’t respect what you’re here to do, what your mission is long-term, then don’t do it. Don’t think that you’re sacrificing your children or their childhood just because you can’t make every soccer game or band concert. You’re going to miss some of them. It’s not the end of the world. Be there for the important things. When you’re present with them, be emotionally present. Get off your cell phone. Get off your computer. Leave your work at work. Those would be the things that I would say. Be clear in who you are and what you want. If you’re not, nobody else is going to know it either.

Hugh: Absolutely. Those are very profound words. If a leader has a very clear pathway- I approach strategy like it’s military objectives and tactics. You have a real clear objective, and here are your tactics. We do it sometimes for our business, which is really important, but we rarely do it for ourselves. There is a parallel path. We have to manage self to be a good mother or father, to be a good work person in the workforce.

Part of one of the leadership methodologies that I teach came from a psychiatrist, Murray Bowen. He talks about us learning about ourselves by studying our family of origin. I learn a whole lot of stuff that way about self. The only person we can mange is ourselves. We can bark at other people, but we can’t make them do anything, like that first story you told about the submarine officer who his navigator would not do something unsafe or illegal. He just said no, I’m not going to do that.

There is a piece in all of this leadership methodology. It’s a very common piece that I see where leaders cause themselves problems. It’s called overfunctioning. I want to bounce a little bit off you and let you come back from that paradigm of balancing work and home life. You have personal and work. Sometimes people overfunction so much in work that they give up unnecessarily too much of personal life. Or the other way around. It’s about setting some good principles. This is what I’m going to do. Then not overfunctioning.

Usually, in the military, in a corporate setting, in nonprofits, in a church or synagogue, there are other people who want to do things. As we overfunction for them, we actually irritate them, and they underfunction. We end up burned out. Part of the paradigm that you didn’t talk about that I heard in your narrative was that you were able to balance your life by saying, “Here is the essential things on both sides. I am going to balance those and be there.” Speak to this dynamic. You have probably seen people who overfunction in this world and cause themselves some heartburn, and are completely unaware of it. Speak to that dynamic about managing self if you will.

Tina: That is a really critical point. My belief and what I do is delegate. I cannot possibly do it all. Why would I want to do it all? If someone else does it, it’s a learning opportunity for them. Why would I deprive them of a learning opportunity? I didn’t have to make the lunches for my kids. Here is how you make lunch. I’m teaching you. Now you are responsible for making your lunch. I’m not going to do it. If you want to do this, this is what it’s going to take. I’m not going to do that for you.

This was true with my crew. No matter where I was or what I was doing, I was emotionally available to discuss a specific problem. But then I would give the problem back to the individual. You can problem-solve to a point because part of leadership is teaching. If you leave out the teaching portion of it, you’re not the best leader you could be. If your ego is such that no one else can do it as well as you can, then how will anyone ever replace you?

One of the classic examples over time back through the history is I have studied the life of Queen Elizabeth I. The amount of change she brought to England and how she took it from a bankrupt country to the most powerful country in the world. She controlled it all. She was brilliant. But she had no successor. England took a dramatic leap backwards because she didn’t plan ahead. Her glory may have been great, but her legacy was flawed because she didn’t set herself up. She didn’t-

When I was the XO out here, I had a stable of officers. Whenever I took leave, I would rotate the acting XO position among each of them so that when they got to be an XO, they would be able to face all of the problems. I am not the only person who can be an XO. Lots of people can be an executive officer. It doesn’t have to be just me. If we had problems, we’d go around the room and look at who had the best problem and create a solution everyone could buy into. If you buy into it, you have an emotional commitment that means that you will see it all the way through. If I direct dictate an order, you are just following orders. You are not thinking through it. When somebody’s life depends on your decisions, you ned that buy-in more than anything else.

I looked at the leaders who gave me an opportunity to grow and to learn and to make mistakes. We don’t come into mortal life to lead a perfect life. We come into mortal life for the experience. If you are a leader not anticipating your people will make mistakes and you are not taking those mistakes and transforming them into powerful learning opportunities, you’re missing one of your greatest opportunities as a leader: to teach and to grow and to train your replacements. It keeps your ego in check.

Hugh: Wow. That is an often overlooked area, especially in the nonprofit world. We tend to create all these great things, and then it goes south after we go on, retire, or die.

Tina, this has been really good stuff today. I have a whole series of interviews with leaders that have great wisdom to share. You are right there at the top of that list, of both men and women. I have a good mix of different kinds of individuals from different walks of life. Never had somebody with this extensive leadership background from the military. I find this to be very helpful.

I’d like you to tell people about where they can find Karmic Path and then for you to have a parting shot. What would you like people to remember most, and what do they find when they get to The Karmic Path?

Tina, tell people where they can find The Karmic Path.

Tina: You can find The Karmic Path on iTunes, iHeartRadio. You can go to the App Store and download The Karmic Path. We put out a podcast every single week. Once a month, we have a one-hour podcast. Each podcast is anywhere from 10-20 minutes. We discuss all kinds of different topics, from parenting to business to leadership to spiritual elements, things that can offer you a different point of view on how action and reactions are reflected throughout your life. We are all walking a karmic path. The more each of us can be aware of it, the more thoughtfully and the more creatively we can make those decisions that affect not just our lives, but the lives of others. So that is what The Karmic Path is. It’s a podcast, and I think that it could be of great help. We actually have teachers in classrooms listening to some of our episodes.

Hugh: Really? K-a-r-m-i-c.

Tina: K-a-r-m-i-c, from Karma. Karma is a Sanskrit word that means “action and reaction.” That’s really all karma is. It’s no mystery. We want to take the mystery out of it. We want it to be ordinary, common, which causes you to pause if ever so briefly to think about your action and the potential reactions that will occur.

Hugh: Well, as we wind up this really inspirational and wisdom-packed podcast, what final thought would you like to leave with people?

Tina: The final thought that I would like to leave with your listeners is that leadership starts from parenting. Your very first leadership example are your parents. If your parents weren’t the leaders you wanted, it doesn’t mean that you can’t be the leader that you would like to be. If you don’t have children, look back at the leaders that you thought were terrible, and look at the lessons you learned. Look at the leaders you thought were brilliant, and look at the lessons they offered. Everything is a lesson. Ignore the lessons at your peril, but when you embrace them, you take a giant leap forward on your karmic path. Thank you so much for having me.

Hugh: Tina Erwin, The Karmic Path, thank you for sharing with our audience today.