- Preloading classes has data storage limits.
- Peloton’s University of Michigan bikes will be sold to the public.
- Peloton hit with a new patent lawsuit.
- The Hustle wrote about attempts to stop cheating in virtual cycling.
- Peloton Names SVP of Apparel. Matty Maggiacomo gets engaged.
- Cody Rigsby is officially a New York Times Bestselling Author.
- Ross Rayburn has a book coming out. Mariana Fernandez announces her fertility journey.
- Leanne Hainsby commemorates a year since chemo began.
- Robin Arzon featured in Time Magazine.
- Ben Alldis to run the London Marathon.
- Jeffrey McEachern finished Berlin Marathon with amazing time.
- Jess King gets a mention on Grimy Goods.
- The latest artist series features Thomas Rhett.
- Chelsea Handler is a Peloton member.
- Matt Wilpers’ Saturday ride music requests transition from PZP to Team Wilpers.
- Alex Toussaint taught a double-header.
- Susie Chan to appear at Cheltenham Literature Festival.
- TCO Top Five.
- Kendall Toole had a new Spiritual Gangster collaboration.
- This week at Peloton.
- Birthdays – Nico Sarani (10/03)
All this plus our interview with Jacob Morgan!
Watch the episode here
Listen to the podcast here
Kiss And Makeup: Peloton And Lululemon Partner Up For More Than Apparel! Plus Our Interview With Jacob Morgan Add Breaking News Sweeper!
If we sound a little different it’s because we are coming to you from a cruise ship.
We’re currently docked outside Saint Phillipsburg in Saint Martin.
This is our second Saint Martin episode of the year.
Yeah, by accident. We had no idea when we booked this cruise for the two of us. So much has changed because that was eighteen months ago that we booked this trip. We thought that my daughter would be staying with her dad. That changed. We had no idea that this trip would be stopping in Saint Martin. We went to Saint Martin and that was awesome.
We even checked the locations of all these cruises. We were like, “We’re just going to do a Disney cruise. Who cares?”
We’re the type that when we get here and everybody else gets off the boat, we go to the pool.
We’re like, “Now nobody is at the pool and we get it all to ourselves.”
That’s exactly what happened today.
It was nice. If you’re watching this on YouTube, our apologies. You have no video because we capture the video through Zoom and the Wi-Fi here is not great. There’s no way to run Zoom here. No video for this episode and no bonus for Patreon people, but that will be back next week like normal. We appreciate your patience
Speaking of things we’re not including, no Angelo for this episode. That’s because I forgot. Consider it a drunken haze. I’m just kidding, but I have been out of it, trying to relax. I totally forgot. I relaxed a little too well.
That’s okay. You got a nice thing in the mail.
It was from Robin Arzon’s publishing company. It was a box set of her new journal called Welcome Hustler.
This is unfair. When I get Hustlers in the mail, you get very upset.
That is a very different kind of Hustler.
I don’t complain about your Hustlers at all.
I technically didn’t get a Hustler in the mail. I got a welcome kit for being a hustler. Do the math on that one.
Is there something I need to know? Do you have an only-fans now? Is that what’s going on?
It was a whole thing.
It was neat. It was the journal itself. There was a nice magnet. There was a pen to write in that had a highlighter on one end and a pin on the other. There was a $100 gift certificate toward the clothing brand that she represents. I believe it’s called GTSQ. There was also a free year of master class.
That’s nice because that would get you access to everything.
I know. There was also a Swagger Society tote bag. I believe that was the full extent of everything. I was surprised at the journal itself. I did not expect that it was going to be things to get you thinking about your workouts, motivation, and things like that. It actually was a complete life journal. There were things about financials. There were things about what you want to do for a living.
I looked at it a little bit. It’s more like life coach stuff.
That’s what I said.
You said life stuff.
That’s what I meant. Make your whole life all over as an overview. We are both on the same page about that for sure. I was surprised at the depth of topics that it covered and went into. I know a lot of people are frustrated at Robin these days. I don’t know. I feel mixed about it. On the one hand, I feel like people are targeting her specifically.
I don’t know how else to label it, but she had this empire the longest. She has a brand the longest out of all the instructors. I feel like she knows how to monetize it in a way that some of the other instructors have been slower to embrace, whether they’re not comfortable with it or they don’t like it. There could be a million reasons why.
She also seems to embrace new technology with her love of Web3 and all stuff. The jury is still out on if that’s a real thing. A lot of people are skeptical. A lot of times, that skepticism is justified, but there have been a lot of things technology-wise that people were skeptical about. Watch clips of the Today Show talking about the World Wide Web from 1996, trying to explain what email is.
Really? I have not watched that. That’s hilarious.
It’s brutal. It’s so silly by today’s standard. I’m not saying that therefore the same is true for Web3, but I also don’t know enough to know that it’s not.
I’m not comfortable with it, especially the NFT side of things. At the same time, I feel like she gets a bad rap. I don’t understand why the other instructors get a pass. Kendall is out there literally everywhere. No one says a word. Alex is out there selling tickets that are a lot more expensive to take pictures with. Nobody says a word. It seems to me that people have their favorites and they get a pass in a way that other people who aren’t their favorites don’t get a pass. I don’t care who does or doesn’t. I just wish that people would be fair about it, like equitable.
Either way, I enjoyed the box. It was neat. I never would have probably tried out that GTSQ or GSTQ brand, whichever it is. I will be trying it out now. I will use the master class. We probably both will, knowing us. Those are things that we’re going to get used to. I appreciate the thoughtfulness behind that in sending it.
We should also say as a reminder that the book club is getting ready to start up if people want to take part.
I believe that it’s the second Tuesday of October that we are going to have our first meeting. I think it falls on 10/10, but I don’t have a calendar in front of me so forgive me. It will be 7:00 PM Central. David Miller is going to be joining us. If you are wanting to tag along, read the next three chapters and join us on the 10th. Even if you don’t read the three chapters, join us.
It’s not like you get grounded, detention, or something.
There’s no grade and there’s no test either. It’s all for fun. If you would like to sign up for that, you go to Patreon.com/TheClipOut and then click Join The Community. It is part of the free benefit you get for being part of the Patreon.
It’s not the cost to take part in the book club.
Everybody keeps saying, “What do I do when I go to Patreon.com/TheClipOut?” All you have to do is click Join The Community. If you would like to have access to our bonus episodes or get content, that comes out a little bit earlier than the regular content, that is where you want to click one of the tiers to join. That costs money. You can also get your ad-free episodes by joining one of those tiers. With the free tier, you have access to everything and everything within the book club that we’re doing.
What pray tell do you have in store for people?
We are going to talk about so much Peloton news. This became an issue for us, the preloading of classes. We’re going to talk about the new Michigan, the new patent lawsuit that hit, and the new SVP of apparel. We have tons of news about the instructors. We have celebrity sightings. We do not have a past guest update. We’re going to have our TCO top five and birthdays.
Before we get to all that, shameless plugs. Don’t forget we’re available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, iHeart, TuneIn. Wherever you find a podcast you could find us. While you’re there, be sure and follow us so you never miss an episode. Maybe leave us a review. That’s always super helpful and greatly appreciated. You can find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/TheClipOut. While you’re there, like the page and join the group.
I won’t go through Patreon again because we talked about it during the book club. It’s out there, Patreon.com/TheClipOut. You can watch 99.9% of these on YouTube, not this one, at YouTube.com/TheClipOut. You can sign up for our newsletter over at our recently redesigned TheClipOut.com. There’s all that. Let’s dig in. Shall we?
Let’s do it.
This is big stuff.
This is really big stuff. Lululemon and Peloton just announced that it was the beginning of a movement. It immediately struck my attention that it was not on the apparel channel. I said to you, “I don’t understand.”
People were like, “They must be an apparel thing,” and you’re like, “This is on One Peloton, not on Peloton Apparel on the gram.
When I went to go read it, it said the first drop was happening on October 11th. I must have been wrong, but then I saw this on Businesswire.com. It says, “Lululemon and Peloton announced a five-year strategic global partnership. The multi-dimensional agreement brings together the best in fitness content and athletic apparel to inspire a combined community of more than twenty million members and guests.” How, you ask. Let me tell you. Lululemon becomes Peloton’s primary apparel partner. What?
Do you think primary means that they can still do things with other brands?
I do because it doesn’t say exclusive. We know they’re about to drop the thing with Brittany Allen. It’s happening. It’s going to happen before people even hear this probably.
It makes me think that most of the rank-and-file stuff that you go through and the stuff that’s always in stock will be Lululemon’s stuff moving forward. It’s how I hear that.
I think so too. I also think it’s possible that Peloton is still going to be making their own. Maybe. I don’t know. Just a little reminder. It was not that long ago that these two were suing.
They were suing the living shit out of each other.
They both settled. Who knows how long this has been in the works?
I would love to know who made that phone call or who made the first phone call after they’ve been doing it and Lululemon was like, “You’re stealing our stuff.” They were suing each other.
Whoever made that phone call is the smart one. Can you imagine being ballsy of a business partner where you’re like, “I know that we’ve sued each other. I know it didn’t go well. How about we go ahead and work together? How about we buck the system?”
“Now that we’re done suing each other, what do you think about the two of us working together?”
“Let’s do that.” What a thing to announce the day after a new senior VP of Apparel hits. Wait, there’s more. Peloton becomes the exclusive digital fitness content provider for Lululemon. They will develop all content for Lululemon Studio beginning in early 2024. What?
Does this mean we have to stop making fun of the Mirror?
I think so.
I guess we will have to go back to making fun of Echelon exclusively. They will be our primary mocking partner.
I love that.
We’ll still occasionally make fun of the Mirror. It sounds like the Mirror is basically becoming a Guide. I wonder if they will call it the Guide+.
That’s interesting because you couldn’t do things with weights and stuff like you came with the Guide. Can you plug it in? I have questions. One of the things that this says here is that they’re going to give communities one-of-a-kind experiences and special content that will help them achieve their goals. Beginning October 11th, co-branded apparel across Lululemon’s product lines will be available for purchase at Peloton retail stores and the boutique online. That’s going to be in the US, the UK, and Canada. It will be in all five global markets by March 2024. That will hit Australia and Germany by 2024. The co-branded apparel will be launched over the course of three new events that will be added to Peloton on Tour, starting with an activation in Chicago.
Do you think that will be part of On Tour, or that can be something totally different?
It says it will be added to the already scheduled Peloton on Tour. On November 1st, 2023, Lululemon Studio’s all-access members will have access to thousands of Peloton classes for the same price they pay today.
As I said, the Mirror is basically a big giant Guide.
it says that Peloton content will be updated on a weekly basis on the Studio device and the companion app with the new Studio content produced by Lululemon through the spring of next year. In addition, Peloton content will be available to people who sign up for the free essential membership program, which currently has more than 13 million members. Lululemon intends to discontinue selling the Studio Mirror but will continue to provide ongoing service and support. Lululemon will also discontinue its digital app-only membership on November 1st, and current Lululemon studio app-only members will be offered an opportunity to become a Peloton App One.
If Peloton is creating exclusive digital content for Lululemon, but they’re going to cease making the Mirror, then what long-term are they making for them?
They’re giving new content for the existing Mirror. All it does is give Peloton 13 million members when their goal is to get to 100 million members. They just scooped up 13 million.
If you already had Lululemon, you’re like, “My Mirror still works, but now I got Peloton baked into the Peloton world.” All of a sudden it’s like, “Maybe I do want to bike.” That is a pretty good move, especially since Lululemon has been wanting to ditch the Mirror for so long.
Can I just say though? I’m a little sad it wasn’t Tonal. Although as badly as things have been going for Studio, maybe it’s for the best. That would mean that Tonal would have to be in a bad place for this to be happening.
It sounds like they couldn’t sell it so they’re like, “Screw it.” There’s writing it off. This is their way of not just leaving. Here’s the good thing from a Lululemon standpoint in terms of respectability for Lululemon. They didn’t just shut down Mirror and leave all those people in the lurch. It’s like you still have a thing. Your thing is still going to work. Only now, it will have Peloton content. Your membership still exists, but it will be a Peloton membership.
Remind me. Maybe I’m crazy. Didn’t the same thing happen when Flywheel went under? Didn’t Peloton step in then too?
There was something like that. They ended up in a lawsuit with Flywheel at home or whatever. There was something like that.
You still could become a Peloton member. It wasn’t just an automatic transfer, but you had the option. These people have more options because they can become a different tier. They don’t have to take on the full thing if they don’t want to. It’s nice that Peloton will continue to make new content. It’s very smart because then the people who already have a studio membership like you said are going to be like, “This is good content. What am I missing over here?”
It’s probably better than what they’ve been getting.
I was trying to be nice, but yeah.
I was trying to be nice by saying probably. That was me being nice. We just confirmed what everybody already knows, which is you’re nicer than I am. This is a good move for Peloton. I think it’s a little bit of a shit burger for Lululemon. I think they did the best they could given that the Mirror was a whole lot of nothing. It was a TV hung sideways that you did aerobics with.
You said it since day one.
It never made any sense to me. Now at least it has Peloton content on it. They pull those members in and maybe upsell them on another piece of equipment or you pull them into your ecosystem. That’s for the best. I think this is smart.
They scooped up all those new members. We need to hear from people who have a Studio. That’s what we need. If anybody out there is listening and you have Lululemon Studio, How does it look over there? What’s happening? Obviously, you don’t know yet. When it happens, we want to hear all the details, so reach out.
There’s your breaking news. We will now return you to your regularly scheduled The Clip Out program already in progress.
We discussed that preloading classes come with data storage limits.
It makes sense. There is nothing that you can download or use data for that does not have a limit. Somebody posted over in The ClipOut group that they were unable to get to their classes because they had so many of them, which got me thinking about how much I am actually using it. Because we were getting ready to go on this cruise, I pre-downloaded some classes that I wanted to be able to take. They don’t appear to take up a tremendous amount of room.
To give people perspective, I hadn’t even used 1 gig. I had downloaded Susie Chan’s new 90-minute class that was outdoors. I had downloaded several other runs. I think it was a total of seven. I also had a pre-run stretch and an after-run stretch. I hadn’t even used 1 gig. The woman who posted this was using 50 gigs. My greater point to that is that if you are preloading classes, you want to make sure that you delete them. After you take a class, it doesn’t just disappear. Some people think it does.
I get why someone would think that. I also get that there are probably people that want to retake things and it would drive them crazy if it got deleted every time they used it.
That’s a very fair point. People also might be asking what the heck is a pre-loading of class. A few years ago, Peloton came out with this nice feature that used to be exclusively on Apple. It’s not that I was an Android user and had great upsetness over this.
You have since turned.
I have. What you do is you’re able to click the download on any class and it loads it to the device you’re using. When you want to play it, if you’re in a spot that doesn’t have great service, you’re still able to play the class. The only exception is you need enough Wi-Fi to start the class.
You can’t download a bunch of stuff and cancel your membership.
That is exactly what they’re trying to avoid. It’s super nice if you’re in an area. Let’s say you’re doing an outdoor class and there’s no signal. I don’t know if you’re in the middle of the ocean and then you want to be able to take that class. If you have enough Wi-Fi, you just connect.
Just so they know you’re legit.
The rest of it, you can play. You don’t have to worry about skips, stops, and slowdowns. It’s all there.
Once they know you’re legit, you will be too legit to quit. We talked a while back about Peloton’s University of Michigan bikes. Originally, they were a branded thing that was going to be available on campus but not a thing that you could actually get. That is no longer the case.
Peloton did post that you are going to be able to buy your very own University of Michigan-branded Bike+. You will be able to do it by the end of September. How much is it going to cost? We have no idea. They haven’t posted that yet. The second they do, we will tell you all about it.
If you’re thinking to yourself, “I don’t go to the University of Michigan. I don’t care,” you got to think that this is a precursor of things to come.
It’s only a matter of time before pink bikes are going to show up. That’s all I know.
A pink bike that’s maybe tied into a movie, or you can get an Aerosmith bike.
If they do a Lizzo bike, I would die.
I bet you you’re going to start seeing lots of things like that.
Taylor Swift bike.
I’m going to need a whole room, like a collector’s edition garage to put them all in.
Do you though? I don’t know that you do. I don’t think you do.
I’m pretty sure.
It will be interesting to see all the things that this brings forth for people. Another week, another lawsuit. Peloton was hit with a patent lawsuit that we think might be more of a patent troll, allegedly. You need to say “allegedly” because they like to sue people.
Also, when we say a patent troll, we’re not trying to defame them. That’s what people who do the actions they are taking are called in the vernacular. This is by one of our amazing helper bees, Lindsey. She put this together because she understands legal things being an attorney. She put together this explanation. There’s this company called Fleet Connect Solutions. They sued Peloton for patent infringement in a Federal court. That’s where all patent lawsuits are brought. That’s normal.
That’s because patents are Federal. If you had one for a state, that wouldn’t do much good.
Check this out. Fleet Connect has filed 25 lawsuits against companies since late 2020, and four of those were within the last week. Their suits are almost all filed in Texas Federal courts. The named defendants include not just Peloton but other companies that are well-known, like Bridgestone, Penske, and Two Men and a Truck.
What kind of patent does Two Men and a Truck has? They’re just moving stuff. I guess there’s something. It’s just a head-scratcher.
I would agree. The other thing is Fleet Connect Solutions has only existed officially since April 2020. As Lindsey said, they had spent the COVID quarantine a bit differently than the rest of us. They went through and acquired nearly 50 patent assets from another company called Intellectual Ventures in December 2020. Only seven months later, it started filing its first lawsuits for patent infringements.
It needs to be noted that Intellectual Ventures, which was the predecessor of the new one, has filed hundreds of patent lawsuits in the last ten years. What exactly is a patent troll? It’s a company, in this case. Once you own a patent, you can now sue other companies for infringement. Fleet Connect does not invent things. They buy existing patents and then they look for possibilities of other companies to sue.
They are very minor obscure patents oftentimes. They look for people who have somehow accidentally crossed over tangentially or maybe borderline hypothetically, hoping for quick settlements.
That’s exactly what it is. They are trying to get Peloton to settle because Peloton is a target. Everybody is suing Peloton. They know that this year, in particular, Peloton has been settling left and right. They have been knocking out these lawsuits. They are ripe to be taken advantage of. What is going to happen? We don’t know. This is brand new. We don’t know if Peloton is going to do a settlement, which would end it quickly, and a lot of these companies do, if they’re going to fight it, or if it will get dismissed. A lot of these companies that Fleet Connect has gone after have been dismissed. Several of them are still fighting.
The way this theory works is you cast the net wide and hope that you can find a judge that goes, “I guess kinda.”
It’s also frustrating because now I realize that this is Federal court. People talk all the time about money spent and ways to save money. This is a ridiculous use of everyone’s money and time. They’re just doing it to try to get money. It’s so gross.
If somebody’s patent is truly infringed upon.
That is not gross. That is not what I am talking about.
The fact that this seems to have become a cottage industry is very frustrating.
That is what’s gross.
There was a thing in podcasting a while back where somebody was like, “I invented the podcast. No one can put out a podcast without paying me.” They started going after some big names. I believe Adam Carolla and I think Joe Rogan was like, “No, we’re going to fight you.” They spent a lot of money fighting them.
They knew that they would go after people who could not fight them.
That was the thing. If they could get somebody like Adam Carolla or Joe Rogan, who is a big one, to roll over and pay even a little bit of money, there’s an almost infinite number of podcasts that they could now go after. While I might not always be on the same side with those two, it was very admirable that they fought that battle. That is for sure. Peloton has a new SVP of Apparel and Accessories.
Cedric Fletcher is the new senior VP of Peloton Apparel. It would be very interesting to see what happens next. Apparently, he’s quite the good fit for Peloton because he was most recently a Chief Product Officer at True Classic. He also held previous leadership at Under Armour, Nike’s Jordan brand, and Calvin Klein. It makes a lot of sense especially since Peloton is trying this new marketing piece where you can be anywhere and do anything. It only makes sense that they want to do more with their apparel with that as well.
It almost makes me think that they’re trying to grow it as a fashion brand. It is more of a fashion brand than a souvenir. It’s like, “I like Peloton. I want something that says Peloton on it.” It sounds like they’re trying to be more like, “I wear Peloton things.”
If that’s true, I think we can expect it to go back to limited amounts of things.
Do you think?
Nike and Under Armour don’t have limited amounts of things.
They surely do, but not everything. When a Jordan first comes out, how quickly does that sell?
An Air Jordan, sure. If you want a pair of Nike shoes, most of them are quite available.
Absolutely. I just think it could lead to the most sought-after, wild, and flashy things.
Maybe you will see tiers. Maybe you will see instructor-led things. Those will be their Air Jordans, but then you will see more standard Peloton-branded things that aren’t. If they do good on that road, then you have to start wondering what happens because a lot of these instructors have Adidas deals and Nike deals. It’s always a tough road for them to walk in that regard. There was an interesting article on a website called TheHustle.co, not the aforementioned Hustler.
No, but that’s also hustling.
There was probably an article there as well. This sounds interesting. I haven’t had a chance to read it. It’s titled One Man’s Quest to End Cheating in Virtual Cycling, which I find fascinating because I know how frustrated some people get because they think people are gaming the leaderboard.
It makes them so mad. It seems to focus on Zwift but it also calls out lots of other things including Peloton.
It sounds like what he’s saying is that the way it calculates your output is based on self-reported weight. Riders could be toggling their weight mid-race to falsely inflate their speed and power recording and cover the race course faster. He thought, “There’s no way this would work. They will catch it,” and it totally worked. It’s problematic because, with the rise of eSports, a lot of people are making money doing this.
That’s crazy. He is also part of a team. He is part of eSports. I understand people who are benefiting from some eSport or they’re trying to get money out of it. I understand why they would be motivated to cheat. I will never understand why people are motivated to cheat on the Peloton platform. I don’t get it.
Maybe they have to come out with bikes that when you get on are actually also a scale. It knows what you weigh.
I would be depressed. “You gained 5 pounds.” “You know what? F you, bike.” We will have to keep an eye on this. Maybe we can talk to this guy. That would be fascinating.
That would be an interesting conversation. Maybe we should reach out and see if we get ahold of him.
I’m intrigued. I want to see how he’s going to shut it all down.
Coming up after this, we’re going to tell you all sorts of instructor updates, who got engaged, who is trying to have a baby, and who is a New York Times bestselling author. I bet you probably at least know the answer to that one. Stick around.
Matty Maggiacomo got engaged.
I’m so happy for that man. I cannot think of many people who deserve happiness and love more than Matty Maggiacomo. I am so ecstatic for him and his new fiance, Evan. I can’t wait to see the details of the wedding. I can’t wait to see how all this goes down. They got their new puppy not that long ago. It’s going to be a happy little family.
Congrats to them. Cody Rigsby is now officially a New York Times bestselling author.
We knew it was going to happen. There it is a week later.
That was a full-court press. It was everywhere, but it looks like it did the trick so congrats to him.
Congrats to Cody.
Speaking of books, we found out that Ross Rayburn has a book coming out.
I’m so excited about this one because he’s talking about not just his life. He’s talking about meditation specifically and all the benefits behind it, which there are many, and how he fell in love with it. You can already pre-order the book. We have a link for that. We have an article for that. Also, I love Ross Rayburn. He’s the nicest guy and so sweet. Also, it’s refreshing like, “You can pre-order my book right now. That wasn’t nine months ago. Here you go.”
It is a little bit overwhelming as someone who lives in the Peloton space and covers such a large part of your life. It’s been book after book after book. The average person is like, “An instructor wrote a book. Maybe I will think about buying it,” which is why they have to get so aggressive about it. For someone who covers it all, it can be exhausting.
It can be, but congrats to Ross.
Mariana Fernandez posted on the gram about her fertility journey.
She did and she also shared publicly that she has frozen her eggs. That has happened and that way she can secure her ability to have children when she is ready to do that. That’s amazing. I love that these instructors share these aspects of their lives.
That’s a very personal thing to be.
I’ve never gone through the fertility journey that I know but I’ve watched people go through how difficult it is. Going through it, you experience much different than watching someone go through it. As a person, seeing people struggle, you’re only seeing a tenth of the agony and the stress, like poking yourself with all the needles, all the hormones, and all the things. I appreciate it when people are open and share these things.
I understand when they’re not.
I do too.
It’s just nice when someone is comfortable enough to do that.
What specifically speaks to me is when a person shares at that level. What I mean is when these instructors who are so public take the time to share something that is not easy and let other people then, by proxy, see their struggles.
It helps normalize it.
Yes, and that is amazing.
Leanne Hainsby commemorated a year since she first started chemo.
This is another thing. Look how much she has shared about her chemo journey. Look how much she shared about her cancer journey, normalizing and showing that even a person who is healthy and takes care of themselves still has breast cancer. That is an important conversation to have as well. I can’t believe it has already been a year. This year has gone so fast. I’m glad she’s doing so well.
Time Magazine featured Robin Arzon as one of America’s top Latin leaders for 2023.
That she is. Can you imagine being featured in Time Magazine?
That’s pretty cool. I know magazines aren’t as important as they used to be, but it’s still pretty cool.
Congrats to Robin.
Camila Ramon spoke to Walmart as part of Latin and Hispanic Heritage Month about the importance of diversity in the workspace.
That’s another important thing. I’ve heard so many people from the Latin community speak up about how much they love having these instructors that they feel represented by. I feel like we’ve said this a million times, but I still think it’s true. The variety of instructors that Peloton has hired over the years is impressive. It’s pretty cool that the newer instructors are getting more visibility and showing that they are able to speak to somebody like Walmart about inclusivity. That’s a big deal.
Ben Alldis is going to run the London Marathon in 2024.
Did you hear who his running coach was?
This is me you are talking to.
I mean I told you about it. That was a softball.
I think you had been drinking.
No. It’s Jon Hosking. It was the cutest video that they did. Apparently, Jon Hosking can develop a bromance with anybody. It’s the best thing ever. Jon Hosking is going to be Ben Alldis’s running coach. Ben jokingly said in the video that he tried to get Susie Chan and she couldn’t make it, so he was waiting there to see who his coach was going to be, and here comes Jon Hosking. They do a whole reel with Jon having him do all these different workouts and stuff.
Here’s another thing I can’t help but wonder. Do you think that maybe we’re going to see another running program? It’s been a while. It’s been about 3 or 4 years since Matt Wilpers and Becs Gentry did a marathon running program. I’m curious if we’re going to see another one come out of this. I would love for that to be the case. We shall see.
Speaking of marathons, Jeffrey McEachern finished the Berlin Marathon with amazing times.
What were his times, Tom?
It was very fast and his mile pace was fast. He finished the Berlin Marathon in 3 hours and 36 minutes.
Are you being serious?
I don’t know. Look at the article and tell me. His mile pace was 8.16.
Very good, Tom.
Did I get that right?
You did get that right.
I just want to point out that I do not have this article in front of me.
I’m curious how you have that information in your head. I guess it’s the same way you won trivia twice this week.
This is an important time to point it out to people. They did a movie quote trivia that started at 6:15, but we thought it started at 6:30. It was 25 questions. We walked in and we missed the first 6 questions.
We came on number seven.
We still won. People were not happy at all. Not in any way shape or form.
It’s also funny how we did another movie trivia. It was that same night I think.
It was the TV one.
We didn’t do nearly as well on that one.
There was a movie quote the next day. We didn’t tank, but we did not do nearly as well. On that one, I knew every single one of them.
It was so much fun. We love doing the trivia.
It’s so funny who gets so mad. I’m like, “We won luggage tags. Dial it down. It’s not that big of a deal.”
Luggage tags, then the other one we got a tote bag from Disney cruise.
Not even one that was a nice tote bag.
It was made out of recycled cloth. I am grateful they give us anything because we’ll do some of these for nothing. We did not win the costume contest last night though.
There were some good costumes there, so I don’t feel bad about that.
We weren’t trying to win a costume contest. We were just trying to have fun. If you haven’t seen pictures, you should roll on by my personal Facebook. I dressed up as Cruella de Vil.
I was a Dalmatian.
Whenever they asked Tom what he was dressed up, he’d say, “Woof.”
They’re like, “You are Cruella de Vil and you are?” “Woof.”
The crowd loved it. Not enough said to keep us on the stage.
Yeah, bastards. Anyway, I had those times right.
The stuff that sticks in your head will never ever cease to amaze me. Congratulations to Jeffrey McEachern. That’s pretty cool. He was tired by the end. Anybody who runs that fast would be.
That makes sense. A website called Grimy Goods is a long-running music blog based out in LA.
You know that one.
No, but I clicked their About page because I was like, “What is this?” They had an article about five women DJ producers you need to see at some music festival coming up in San Diego. It was interesting because Jess King was mentioned. She’s not appearing there or if she is, they don’t think you should go see her. I don’t think she’s appearing there. I’m just being shitty. They were referencing one of the other DJs.
I thought it was a woman who wrote the article, but I honestly don’t know. The author was saying how the first time they heard this particular DJ was from a Jess King class. I thought it was interesting that someone who is wired into music enough that they write for a music blog that seems to be pretty well renowned got exposed to music by a Peloton ride. That’s a lot says a lot.
It does, plus the Arctic Monkeys are on tour. I didn’t know that.
I would rather see The Monkees.
You’ve seen them plenty.
Yeah, but that’s not a thing now.
I’m sorry. That’s sad. We’re getting old.
We are. Coming up after this, we’re going to tell you about the latest artist series and what celebrity we now know loves Peloton. Stick around.
The latest artist series features none other than country music superstar Thomas Rhett.
I’m excited about this because I took a class with Matt Wilpers during the little music thing that they did, the All For One series. I kept thinking about what it was called. One of them was a small class with Matt Wilpers and it was all Thomas Rhett classes. This is called the number one. They’re celebrating his twenty number-one hits.
He has so many.
Yes, that is cool. There’s going to be a 30-minute class that is going to be a run with Matt, and then there’s going to be a ride with Hannah Corbin. Both of them will be covering the 30 minutes of twenty number-one hits.
They have to leave a few on the table. They’re not going to be able to get to all twenty in 60 minutes. One wouldn’t think anyway unless they’re doing medleys, remixes, or something.
We shall see.
We also have official confirmation of the Janet Jackson artist series.
We knew it was coming and we also have a full list of the artist series of classes. There are a ton, including a Lanebreak. If you include the Lanebreak, there are fifteen different classes that are coming out for Janet Jackson, and two Lanebreaks, by the way. A 15-minute run on the Lanebreak and then there’s going to be a 15-minute warm-up on the bike. That’s pretty cool.
We have a new celebrity sighting. Celebwell.com talked about Chelsea Handler and she mentioned that she is a Peloton member. It makes sense. She seems to be in shape. She looks like she works out, not to be creepy. It stands to reason, but it’s always fun to see another celebrity added to the ranks.
I have to say this because I know somebody is going to send me a note. I know that Lars Ulrich is a Peloton user. I know that we were talking about it in our podcast. Tom and I have talked about it before. That’s why we didn’t include it for this episode because it is its own little thing We’ve known that for a long time.
This is not new information.
He has a huge fan. We did try to get him on the show, and we failed, but everybody has an end. If you come in with Chelsea Handler, we would love that too. That would be fine. That’s pretty cool.
Matt Wilpers Saturday Ride Music Requests are transitioning from the Power Zone Pack to Team Wilpers.
If you have been a person who has been putting in your request for the Saturday classes on the Power Zone Pack Facebook page, you can’t do that anymore. You have to go over to Team Wilpers and do that. That’s taking place this week. Isn’t that an interesting little turn of events?
We will let you draw your own conclusions about that. I guess if you want to get kicked out of Powers Zone Pack, you can go over there and be like, “What happened to the music request?” That seems like how that would play out.
I’m afraid to comment. I’m pretty sure somebody is going to boot me out of this room if I comment on it.
It’s funny. I remember years ago when they slammed me into the group without asking me and then kicked me out. It’s like, “I don’t have to be here in the first place.” Alex Toussaint has a doubleheader. This comes out on Friday. It’s happening on Saturday. If you’re listening on day one as you should, this will be news. If not, then this already happened. He is teaching two classes in a day, which says something about his level of commitment, given everything he has going on right now. He’s super busy.
He’s so busy, but it’s the Ride to Greatness.
You’d think he’d be there by now. He’s been riding to greatest for six years.
He’s inviting everyone else to come along. It’s a ride.
He has to be so far ahead. How are we going to spot him?
You make a good point. You can do a 20-minute Ride to Greatness with Alex on Saturday. The other half of that doubleheader is a 30-minute Club Bangers ride, which is his signature ride.
Are there any rides to mediocrity? That’s more my speed.
I feel like if I answered that, somebody would be mad. Let’s say I have an opinion that the answer is yes, and we will leave it at that.
Go get yourself a National on. Mediocrity would be a level-up for them. Susie Chan is going to appear at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
Listen to you pronouncing that UK name with confidence.
I don’t know how else you’d say it.
I’m not confident with anything London-oriented. I think we’re undocking.
We are moving.
We did. Bye, Saint Martin. Susie is going to be speaking at the Literature Festival. A lot of people miss this because if you look at all the information, it varies. This lady, Louise, is the headliner. Her name is all over everything.
Luckily for you, listeners, we are avid followers of the Cheltenham Literature Festival. We receive their newsletters weekly. We were very well aware of the goings on at the Cheltenham Literature Festival.
We wouldn’t miss it.
Do you think this means Susie Chan appearing at a literature festival has a book in the works?
I would not doubt it.
What are you going to literature festivals for if you’re not writing a book? On the flip side of that, with all due respect to the instructors, I don’t know that I would consider their books literature.
I know what you’re saying, not to mean that way.
I will read Stephen King. I don’t know that I consider it literature like Charles Dickens.
It’s all of the books I dislike. I don’t like literature.
These are fancy pants books with metaphors and things like that.
Let the red shoes go. It says that it’s part of a broader theme at the festival because it’s all about resilience and bravery. I think that it is fair to say that Susie’s achievements as a woman in endurance sports are a good fit. Badwater 135 which she did this year is a great example of both of those things. I think that’s a big reason. I don’t think it’s just about literature. It’s like they have a whole theme and she’s a good person to fit that theme.
Either way, for people who would love to meet Susie, if they are in the area, they could take part in this. You still have time. That’s the best part. Because it wasn’t as obvious that she was going to be there as some of the things that we talked about, the tickets were still available today. If you’re interested, she’s going to make her appearance on October 15th. You still have time as of this recording to get your tickets and meet Susie, which I hope someday to do.
The TCO top five. We reach out to you and you tell us your favorite classes, and then we compile them and spit them back at you like an Eminem verse.
It was interesting. It seems like everyone is having a hard time going back to school. Everybody’s favorite were super chill. We have the favorite stretch. This was from Matty Maggiacomo, a 20-minute evening stretch. Marie Kay Burdick said she’s not sure if we’ve mentioned this one, “These evening stretches are an amazing way to wind down. I took the one from August 4th. It’s totally relaxing and almost as good as a Ross Sleep Meditation.” That is high praise there. We have not featured Matty’s evening stretches as a TCO top five, but we did do a story about them. Tina reviewed them at TheClipOut.com.
The next one comes from the favorite Peloton ride. This was a 30-minute feel-good ride with Ally Love. “Ally Love’s 30-minute feel-good ride from 9/17/23 was a great class. She even snuck in a little Tabata. I love her energy. I love taking these feel-good rides on a Monday to start my week.” That came from Kerry Pickett Martin. We have our favorite Peloton walk. It’s a 30-minute Disney walk with Jess King.
Sarah Lester said, “Jess King’s 30-minute Disney walk from 9/24 was great. It wasn’t an easy walk and not the music you would typically think of with Disney. The energy was great and a ton of fun. It’s a lot of contemporary songs as opposed to the classic.” Sarah Kaplan Schmidt agreed and she loved the unexpected choice of music. She added a song from The Descendants and said, “It’s just EDM Disney music.”
We had the favorite Peloton row on 9/25/23. This one was a 30-minute classical row with Alex Karwoski. Susan Dutton Burton said, “Favorite class this week was Alex K’s 30-minute classical row. He explained the history of each musical piece selected. I learned a lot. It was so enjoyable, not boring, went by so fast, big climatic ending, and highly recommended. Here’s a tip. If you want to customize your rower foot straps with your favorite Crocs jibbitz as I have, it’s easy and they fit perfectly.”
Watch your jibbitz. You don’t want those to get caught on anything.
She has a Boston on them like a little sports thing that you can close. A jibbitz is like a closure of some kind. We didn’t know that, Susan. You know us and it’s sports related. Thank you for including the picture. We have the favorite and unstackable run. We didn’t get a group recommendation this week. This one came from Becs Gentry. I know she’s not actually part of the group, but we’re just going to go with it.
Becs showed off some extra color on her face after she took a HIIT run with Selena. She shared her experience in a since-expired Instagram story while sitting on the floor pointing to her cheeks, “This is what happens after taking two Selena tread classes. Look at these stripes,” referring to sweaty red streaks on her cheeks. Becs did stack this with an endurance run as a cool-down. When you’re an Olympic trials runner, you do that sort of thing. For most of us, we’re going to consider it an unstackable. That’s a 30-minute hit run from Saturday, 9/23.
It’s probably mostly gone by the time you hear this. Kendall Toole had a new Spiritual Gangster collaboration.
I do love the color of this one. It dropped early the other morning, but I was afraid to post it too early. I might piss somebody off, so I let it go.
You have to be careful.
I know. Somebody may get mad. Even though it came out at 7:00 AM, I waited and then I waited too long and the day got behind me. By the time I got around to posting it, the sports bras were already gone and people were upset.
Finally, we have this week at Peloton.
A lot of stuff is happening. There’s a beginner strength roll call. That’s beginners week. If you haven’t ever taken a roll call class, this is a great way to get started. Also, new Pulse Hour classes are starting. They’re not starting. They’ve been around, but I guess they’re all new ones. Barres and Pilates. There is going to be one from Hannah Corbin, Anna Greenberg, Aditi, Ally Love, and Kristin McGee. Those are all going to be at 9:30 AM Eastern this week. There is the Blue Beetle movie ride. That’s going to be taking place on September 28th. It will be taking place by the time you hear this. I’m confused as to why they’re doing this weeks after the movie came out.
It came out 5 or 6 weeks ago.
I’m super confused about that. You’re Reel Spoilers. You guys reviewed this movie.
We did an episode on Blue Beetle.
If you want to hear the spoilers review, you can go get that over on ReelSpoilers.com.
I wonder if it’s tied into its VOD release or if it will be on HBO Max that week. Is it already on? I don’t even know, but it’s odd that they’re doing something around that movie so late in the game. Clearly, that’s studio-driven.
Peloton wouldn’t just decide to do that.
I wonder if that has something to do with the strike.
Maybe. I don’t know. That’s a good question. Also, Jenn Sherman’s cover series is back. People love that one. It’s going to be a fun one and that’s back starting this week.
We have one birthday. It’s on October 3rd, and it is Nico Sarani.
How are we in October?
Because time is linear.
Happy birthday, Nico.
Coming up after this, we’re going to talk to Jacob Morgan. He’s a futurist.
You’re going to hear all about what a futurist is.
We didn’t know.
We had questions.
We are past this, but not past this because we hold grudges. Stick around.
Joining us in this episode is Jacob Morgan. He is a trained futurist, which he will have to explain, and one of the world’s leading authorities on leadership, the future of work, and the employee experience. He has written five bestselling books. The new one was Leading with Vulnerability. Jacob, how’s it going?
Good. Thank you for having me. You seem like you have way too much fun on this show.
We try because we never have that side thing or that hobby that you turn into a job. You better enjoy it because you spend a lot of time on it. You probably know how that is. Usually, I start with Peloton questions but we have to start with futurists because there are a lot of people that are raising their eyebrows like, “What does that mean?” Please, explain.
This was a certification I got at the University of Houston. It is a professional certification in the realm of foresight. People who have been on LinkedIn will probably know that sometimes people put futurists in front of their title because it looks good and sounds cool. Believe it or not, this is a field of study. It’s something that you can get a Master’s degree in and can get certified in. Years ago, I went to the University of Houston, spent some time there, and got this certification in foresight.
It teaches you how to think about the future. There are different frameworks, tools, and questions that you can ask. It’s a fun and useful way that you can try like think about things in the future and anticipate trends that are coming up. For me, somebody who writes and talks a lot about leadership and business, I thought that was a very useful skill. I play a lot of chess. Chess is always about thinking several moves ahead. I thought it would be very interesting to learn more about how to do that in the business world. That’s where the certification came from.
I’m curious on a high level. We need to be certified ourselves. In chess, there are a finite number of variables for you to contemplate. There’s a lot, which is why you have to be smart to be good at it but in real life, the variables are infinite. What can they teach you that helps you predict or if we all get hit by an asteroid, here’s what you do then?
Definitely not the asteroid. Believe it or not, there are more possible moves in a game of chess than there are atoms in the universe. There are more possible moves in a game of chess than there are seconds that have elapsed since the Big Bang.
That’s total moves but if you’re in one specific moment and time moving forward, it’s been winnowed. It’s still crazy high.
It depends on the situation and what’s going on in the board position. Chess is almost a limitless and infinite game because of the number of possible variations and moves that are out there.
I would say the same thing about Chutes and Ladders. People don’t believe me.
In life, it’s similar. Imagine you’re running a business and you are trying to make a strategic business decision. You want to acquire a company and make an investment in something. You can approach it in a couple of different ways. One is I’m going to make this investment, the business is going to grow, and we’re going to be great. Thinking like a futurist, I’m using this concept of foresight. It teaches you to think in terms of different scenarios and possibilities.
What are some of the other possibilities that might happen if you make that investment? What are some of the things that can help make that possibility come to fruition or keep that possibility from coming to fruition? It’s a series of these types of questions where you’re faced with a potential roadblock. When the scenario that you ideally want to happen doesn’t happen, you can be prepared to take those additional steps.
Going back to the chess analogy, it’s equivalent to playing a game of chess. Instead of only thinking that you can make one move on the chess board and your opponent can only make one move, you think in terms of scenarios. “I could move my knight and my opponent might move their bishop but if they don’t move their bishop, they could all so castle. If they do that, then I’m going to do this.”
That’s ultimately what this concept of foresight and thinking like a futurist entails. It’s how you train and practice thinking in that kind of way. It’s not about predicting the future but it’s helping make sure that you’re not surprised by what the future might bring. If you’re on a chessboard, it’s like, “I have a good idea of what my opponent can do,” but you never want to be playing a game of chess where your opponent does something and you’re like, “I didn’t know that was coming.” You know you’re in trouble.
It sounds a lot like project management.
I was thinking that too. It’s like a Gantt chart for variabilities.
In the project management world, you’re always trying to think of all the possible roadblocks that could come up and mitigate this.
I can give you a useful visual. One of the famous tools that a lot of futurists use is called the cone of possibilities. You can google this. I’ve made an image of that. There’s a lot of visuals and illustrations about it. The way that this cone looks is to imagine you’re peering through the narrow end of a cone. The narrowest part of the cone represents the closest time horizon. It’s what’s closest to you.
It’s narrow so there’s not a lot that you can see. The farther out you look into the cone, the broader the cone becomes and the more space there is. That represents the farthest time horizon. This concept of thinking like a futurist means that a lot of us are good at knowing what’s going to happen tomorrow, the next day, or maybe the next month, maybe if we’re lucky, a couple of months out.
The farther out we think and the farther out we peer down this cone, the broader it becomes. The more possibilities and the more scenarios are possible. If I ask you, “What’s going to happen tomorrow,” you’ll probably know. If I ask you, “What do you think is going to happen a few years from now in your life or the world,” all of a sudden, you can rattle off all sorts of different scenarios and possibilities.
There are four questions that go to this concept of the cone of possibilities. The first question is, “What is it that you want to happen?” You have a vision and idea. If I were to ask you, “What’s your ideal scenario of what you want to happen,” that’s one of them. The second question is, “What do you think is likely to happen?” You can think of a very practical example. We think about AI, the realm of things like ChatGPT, and what’s going to happen to employees and jobs. This is a very practical example you can try to anticipate.
“What do you want to happen?” “I would like a lot of the mundane, boring aspects of work to be given to technology. I would love to focus on the human aspect of work.” “What do you think is likely to happen?” If you look at the trend that we’re starting to see with how good technology is becoming, it’s certainly possible and likely we will get to a point where lots of jobs will get automated and lots of these mundane aspects of work are going to get replaced by technology. You start to look at these other types of scenarios.
“What else is possible?” “Maybe things are going to be the same way a few years from now as they are. Maybe we’re not going to see a lot of change. Maybe there’s going to be a lot of regulations and rules that are going to stifle technology and keep it from making the impact that we think it’s going to have.” You start to ask yourself these types of questions. As you move down this cone, based on what’s happening, you can adjust and see what you need to be doing. It’s about making sure you’re thinking about the different options that are out there instead of assuming there’s only one path that you can take.
How do you feel that this being a futurist has affected or changed being a leader? You also do a lot of leadership. You have books about that. How do you think that’s changed things?
In my previous book, ironically called The Future Leader, I interviewed 140 CEOs of companies around the world. I asked them, “What is the number one most important skill that we need to have inside of our organizations?” By far, the vast majority of these 140 CEOs said, “The skill of the futurists.” That is being able to think in terms of scenarios and possibilities instead of picking and anticipating a single path and assuming that’s what’s going to happen.
We live and work in a world that’s changing very quickly. We always talk about how fast it is, how much change we’re going through, and how much turbulence there is. We need to be good at being adaptable, agile, and pivoting. That’s what the skill of the futurist is about, looking at the different scenarios and possibilities and being able to quickly pivot when you encounter obstacles, roadblocks, or challenges to make sure that you’re not stifled and can move forward.
It’s to make sure you’re not searing.
Sears or Blockbuster, you can go through the list of so many of these organizations out there where they fail because they had a single track that they thought the future was going to be. When anything was telling them, “That track is likely not going to happen,” they’re like, “Screw that. We’re going to make it happen. We know what we’re doing.”
It’s not like they haven’t been paying attention but they saw. Blockbuster was aware of Netflix but they’re like, “There’s no way. That’s not going to happen.” That wasn’t even on their radar as far as a possibility or scenario. They had one path charge ahead at all costs, ignore anything else that came our way, and disappear.
It’s always ironic, and using Blockbuster as an example, when a disrupter gets disrupted. People didn’t necessarily think in terms of disruptors when Blockbuster started but they were. It was the idea of watching movies at home. It was very new and scary to the film industry until they figured out how to bake it into the business model and then they loved it. They flip the script on how people engage with media. They had it done to them not too far into their life cycle in the grand scheme of things. They only lasted about a generation.
It’s crazy. There are lots of stories. Kodak is a famous example that people keep talking about as well. The business world is filled with those types of stories or examples where leaders and leaders of organizations go down that one path. When something gets in the way, it crumbles and everything falls apart.
I’ll give you one that didn’t even last a full life cycle, Clubhouse. Remember when Clubhouse was worth $9 billion for about 4 minutes? They’re then like, “We’re not going to sell this. We’re going to take over the world.”
Do you remember Quibi?
That was dumb from a jump.
What was Quibi? I don’t remember.
It’s TV on the phone.
Quibi was Jeffrey Katzenberg. He was a big TV media executive teamed up with, I believe, Meg Whitman. They put billions of dollars into this company to do short-form content to be viewed on your phone. They hired all the top actors and this and that. It lasted a couple of months and sold for parts.
They were throwing their money like crazy. They were filming their shows on your phone dimensions.
I don’t even remember that.
It’s because it went by so fast.
They disappeared quickly.
I’m curious how vulnerability plays into all of this. I don’t think about leaders being vulnerable. I know the leaders I’ve worked with.
My guess is because they’re not vulnerable and that’s the problem. They’re too egotistical to say, “Maybe we don’t know what we’re doing.” Instead, they say, “No, we’re going to sit here and keep running people DVDs because that’s what we’ve always done.”
Is he right? Did he get one?
Sort of. I’ll take it.
There’s a distinction that I try to make between vulnerability versus leading with vulnerability. Let me split those two apart. Vulnerability is something that a lot of people are familiar with. We’ve all experienced it. We all know what it feels like to be vulnerable. For most of us, it is the assumption that you say or do something that puts you in a position where what you said or did could be used against you in some way to cause emotional harm. Sometimes physical harm but for most of us, it’s usually emotional harm.
For example, I say something. Somebody else can use it against me. I don’t get promoted or I get fired. That’s what a lot of us think of vulnerability. I always wondered. In our personal lives, it’s clear why you want to be vulnerable with friends and family members. You’re trusting them. It’s okay to be emotional and share things like that.
I wondered, is it that easy, applicable, and practical inside of a work setting where we have a different dynamic? At work, all of a sudden, we have a hierarchy, structure, teams, and functions. We have dollars and cents that are at play, deadlines, timelines, and pay. It’s a very different environment and structure. Whereas in our personal lives, that structure does not exist.
I was also interested in what happens if you’re in a leadership role. I’m responsible for people and the fiscal aspect of a team, business, or function. Is vulnerability for me the same as it is for everybody else? It turns out it’s not. One of the stories that I give in the book is of Hollis Harris. He used to be the former CEO of Continental Airlines. We all know it ended up going to United. The company was struggling for several years.
Hollis Harris was asked to address his entire workforce. He sent out a memo to all of his 40,000 employees. He said to them that he acknowledged that the company was struggling, it was going through tough times, and he didn’t know what to do. His best piece of advice that he gave in this memo was he said, “All of the employees at Continental Airlines should pray for the future of the company.” The next day, he was fired.
What Hollis Harris did in that situation was very vulnerable. This story was told to me by Doug Parker, the CEO of American Airlines. What he said is Hollis was vulnerable but there was no leadership. What I always tell people is you should not be vulnerable inside of your organization. You should lead with vulnerability. The vulnerability piece is the emotional exposure. It’s what Hollis Harris did.
Let’s take another example of another CEO named Fleetwood Grobler. He’s the CEO of a company called Sasol, a South African Energy company with 30,000 plus employees. He took over his CEO when the company was $13 billion in debt. This was even before the pandemic. The pandemic happened and the company was nose-diving. The banks were about to come in and take everything over. Hollis too had to address his entire workforce but he gave a very different message.
He also was vulnerable. He acknowledged the company is struggling. “I don’t know the exact path that we’re going to take going forward.” He was vulnerable in that regard but then he added the leadership piece. The leadership piece was, “I have a vision of where this business can go. I have an idea, a picture in my mind of where we can end up in the future. I don’t know the exact steps I’m going to take to get there but if you work with me to help me figure out that exact path, we can rebuild trust with our customers and employees. We can turn our business around and be successful.” That’s exactly what they did.
There is a difference between vulnerability and leading with vulnerability. It’s something very simple. It’s called the vulnerable leader equation. Leadership plus vulnerability equals leading with vulnerability. Too often, what we see inside of our organizations is we show up to work and say, “I need help. I’m struggling. I don’t know how to do this. I made a mistake.” At a certain point, your leaders and peers are going to look at you and say, “What are you doing in this job? If you keep showing up talking about all of this stuff, why are you here? Why are you in this role?”
Think of a very classic example. Let’s say I work for you. You assigned a project to me and I screwed it up. I made a mistake. Being vulnerable would be I go to you and say, “Crystal, I am so sorry. I know you gave me this project. I messed it up.” That’s a vulnerable thing to do. Leading with vulnerability would say, “I’m so sorry. I screwed this up. I made a mistake. Here’s what I learned from the mistake that I made. Here’s what I’m going to commit to doing to make sure that does not happen again in the future.” That’s leading with vulnerability.
That is the critical piece that we oftentimes forget inside of our organizations. One of the CEOs I interviewed is Steve Bilt. He’s from Smile Brands. He’s a dental healthcare provider. He gave me this great analogy. He said, “If you’re showing up to sixth grade and you keep asking about fourth-grade math, eventually, the teacher and other students are going to look at you and say, “This is sixth grade. You keep asking us about fourth-grade math. What’s the deal?”
Let’s take that same scenario. I’m in sixth grade asking about fourth-grade math but I say, “I have a tutor. I’m going to stay after school and get help from the teacher. I know the homework said to do ten problems. I did twenty problems to try to get better.” That’s the leadership piece. In other words, you need to demonstrate that you are learning, growing, and trying to close that gap. Inside your organization, especially if you want to get into a leadership role, you have to demonstrate that leadership piece, not just the vulnerability piece.
Leadership and vulnerability are about competence and connection, being good at your job and being able to connect with people. Let’s say I’m good at connecting with people but I’m lacking in the competence piece. I go to one of your employees and say, “What do you think about Crystal?” This is assuming you’re good at the competence piece. You’re good at the leadership aspect.
Somebody will say, “Crystal is so great at her job. She’s closing deals, bringing in a lot of money, and is super smart. She’s good at her role but it’s hard for me to connect with Crystal. We don’t have that same chemist chemistry. I don’t feel that sense of engagement and motivation. It’s hard for me to connect with Crystal on a human level as a leader.” Let’s take the opposite scenario. Crystal is great at the connecting piece but she struggles at the leadership piece.
I would go to one of your employees and say, “What do you think of Crystal?” They’d say, “Crystal is so great. I love hanging out with her. She’s awesome and engaging. We have a great time. She’s the best but I’m not sure Crystal is the right person to be leading this team because she hasn’t demonstrated that she’s good at her job. She seems to be struggling in those aspects.” If you’re only good at connection, then people will assume that you are incompetent. If you’re only good at competence, people are going to think that you’re a robot. You have to have both of these things at play, leadership, vulnerability, competence, and connection.
What about the new book coming out? Tell us about that. Is that covering all of these topics?
That’s the whole premise of the book. The whole premise of that book is lead with vulnerability. Don’t just be vulnerable at work, especially if you’re a leader. You lead with vulnerability. That’s the thesis of it. All the frameworks, ideas, and concepts support how to make that happen.
Vulnerability without a plan is a weakness.
It’s not just a weakness but you will undermine your credibility, status, and work. A lot of people do this. We sometimes use vulnerability as a way to justify poor performance. “Jacob, why did you mess up on that?” “I’m sorry. I didn’t have the time. I screwed up. I didn’t have the budget. I’m going through a hard time.” At a certain point, nobody’s going to care about that.
You have to demonstrate that you were hired for the role to do a good job. It doesn’t mean that you should treat people as cogs but it does mean that you need to demonstrate at least and that you are trying to close that gap for yourself. It’s okay to make mistakes and do those things but share what you learn, how you’re going to get better, move forward, and create progress. Don’t just focus on the vulnerability piece on the things you’re struggling with. Talk about the leadership.
You were a pandemic purchaser of the bike. Given all of your background, what do you think of the old CEO leaving and the new leadership coming in on a high level? I’m not trying to put you on the spot and make you say negative things. I’m just curious if you put all that into play and had opinions about it.
My wife looks at that a lot because she studies and looks at customer experience. She’s looked at Peloton and the trends that they’ve had over the years. I honestly am not super abreast on the changes with Peloton. I know John Foley was the CEO. The company had a huge, crazy valuation, and then everything plummeted. It seems like they tried to capitalize on that pandemic wave.
Going back to that futurist scenario, it sounds like maybe they never took us a step back and thought about, “What happens when the pandemic ends? What happens when things do go back to some sense of normalcy? What should we be doing with the business?” To me, it seems like some of those conversations were not happening. It was like a pandemic and then it dropped off.
How did you and your wife get into Peloton? How did that happen?
There’s a lot on the Peloton side. Originally, how a Peloton made its way into our house was with my wife. We live in Los Angeles. We used to live in the Bay Area across the street from a gym that we used to go to and then the pandemic happened. We were both very much into fitness, health, and exercise. It’s the biggest part of our lives. We were trying to figure out what are we going to do. My wife was saying, “We should get a Peloton.”
I was doing some research on Peloton and was like, “This thing is $2,500? What are you thinking? I thought we were going to get one of those Aerodyne bags. It’s a couple of hundred dollars. We’ll put it in the garage and work up a sweat.” She was like, “No. I want this Peloton bike. I want the classes.” I’m like, “I don’t want that thing in this house. I don’t want a $2,500 bike,” so the bike is in the garage.
As a futurist, you should have known that your wife was going to get the bike. That’s how this plays out every time.
You noticed. It didn’t make it to the house though. It’s still in the garage. I see what you did there.
I use it a lot and she used it in the garage. It has a treadmill too. She got it mainly because of the pandemic and then I started using it. I’m like, “This thing’s pretty cool.” I use it almost every day. I still work out in my garage. I have weights. I do cardio on the Peloton. We wanted to get the Tread Plus. We waited for it for well over a year. At a certain point, my wife is like, “Screw this. I need a treadmill.”
She bought a different treadmill but still uses the Peloton treadmill courses. She still uses the Peloton treadmill on the treadmill that we have. It’s interesting. Peloton became an interesting part of my life for a few reasons, not just from the health and wellness perspective of exercising. It’s also tied into the book too. To give people a little bit of context, my parents are from the Republic of Georgia which is the former USSR. It was a communist regime. They were persecuted for being Jews.
It’s not an environment where you want to be vulnerable. You’re not going to talk about feelings and emotions in communism where people can come in and take your stuff. I grew up where mental and physical toughness was always encouraged to me, especially by my dad to be number one. “Nobody gives a thing about your problems. Don’t talk about your feelings and emotions. Don’t apologize. Nobody cares.”
My mom tried to emulate more of the vulnerability and emotional openness but as a young boy, I grew up watching my dad. Even when I go to my dad’s house, he’s still like, “Come over here.” “Dad, what is it?” He’s like, “How many dips can you do?” I was at his house and he took his shirt off. He’s like, “Come count how many dips I can do and see if you can do more.”
That’s like the Mandelbaums on Seinfeld.
My dad and your dad could be friends.
It’s dip, push-ups, or pull-ups. Sometimes when my kids go stay with him, I’m like, “Dad, you should put sunblock on the kids.” He’s like, “They don’t need sunblock.”
“That’s what they have skin for.”
“Stop putting that on your kids.” I’m like, “Dad, it’s 100 degrees outside. Put sunblock on the kid.” “I never use sunblock. Why do they?” That’s how I grew up where you should never be vulnerable. An interesting thing happened to me a couple of weeks after signing the contract for my book. This was a few years ago. It was the middle of the pandemic. It was during the holidays. I was standing in my bathroom brushing my teeth. This was around 7:00 in the morning.
My wife is in the other room, getting our kids, waking them up, and getting them ready for school. All of a sudden, I started to feel weird. My heart starts beating fast like 130 or 140 beats per minute. I’m breathing heavily. My vision gets blurry. I was overcoming this big fear of panic and dread. I’m sitting there thinking, “I’m having a heart attack.” I’m screaming for my wife. I’m like, “Something’s wrong.” She has me lying down on the bed. My body starts convulsing like if you’ve ever had the flu and you get the chills or the shakes. That was going on to me. I couldn’t figure out what was going on.
I couldn’t see a doctor because it was during the holidays. I couldn’t get into the urgent care because they were filled with COVID patients. I was stuck like this for several days where I would feel fine for a little bit and then all of a sudden, randomly, it’s like I’m dying. Finally, I got in to go see a doctor. They do an EKG scan on me and look at all these different biomarkers. They’re like, “You’re super healthy. You’re good.” I’m like, “What are you talking about? I’m thinking I’m going to die here.”
The doctor’s like, “You’re great,” but then she says, “You might want to go see a different doctor,” and pointing at her head like signaling as she goes, “See a therapist.” I’m like, “I’m not going to go see a therapist.” I’m talking to a therapist. A couple of sessions in, it became very clear what was causing these panic attacks for me. It was the very fact that I had committed to writing a book about vulnerability when I was not vulnerable. My body, brain, heart, and soul were like, “Screw you. How can you?”
“We’ll make you vulnerable.”
That was a very pivotal moment for me because it was my body’s way of saying, “You’re a crap. You’re exploring something that you don’t believe in and don’t talk about.” The reason why Peloton came into play here is because what emerged after having sessions with a therapist became that I needed to do a better job of focusing on my well-being.
I needed to get better at talking about feelings and emotions and doing all of these different things that I didn’t do. Peloton meditation became a part of that. I started doing Peloton meditation and these calming techniques. I started relying on Peloton, both in terms of exercise, mental well-being, and mental calm to help me. It was a huge plus for me so it became a very important resource and a tool for me on the meditation aspect of the fitness side.
Especially because people come on here a lot and talk about their Peloton but typically, it’s like, “I exercise this way. I utilize that. Maybe yoga.” Rarely does someone come on and say meditation or if they do, it’s ancillary. It’s like, “I do this sometimes.”
I haven’t used the meditation aspect as much since all the panic attacks and stuff went away. My wife still uses it every single day and sometimes twice a day. We’re going to get her on your show in the future. Between the two of us, we’re using Peloton 3, 4, or 5 times a day, whether it’s the bike, treadmill courses, meditation, exercise, or boot camp classes my wife loves. It’s very much ingrained into how we start our days. It’s a big part of how we start our days.
Do you use both pieces of equipment that you use or you’re just a bike guy?
I like to use both. It’s primarily the bike because my wife is usually stealing the treadmill but whenever she’s not on it, I try to hop on there as well. I try to do both.
You didn’t want any of it.
That’s true. She reminds me of that frequently. She’s like, “You’re using the treadmill?” Sometimes, they even do outdoor running as well. I’ve done a couple of those classes too. Running outdoors and doing those classes has been awesome. I’m a big fan. We tried to get some of our friends to get Pelotons. They bought them and then returned them. I like a lot of Alex Toussaint’s classes because I like the militant my-dad-mentality like, “Nobody gives a thing about your excuses. Shut up and go.” That’s not for everybody. We had some friends try to use Peloton and they were like, “No, I like this scenic route but I already did all the scenic routes. Now, I can’t do any. I don’t want people yelling at me, this and that.”
Most of the instructors don’t yell. I don’t understand that.
I don’t like the calm like, “We’re going to get on the bike and you’re going to go for twenty minutes.”
It’s funny when you get people who have this opinion of Peloton like, “It’s just someone yelling at you while you run,” but that’s not what they do.
I only had one experience. I don’t take a lot of Alex and Jess King classes. I’ve only been yelled at by one instructor and it was in their class. It was live. I have never gotten over it. I don’t like that instructor. I’m not even telling the story because I don’t want anybody to hate me.
I love Alex Toussaint’s classes. To be fair, I haven’t tried all the instructors. I tried Ally Love and Tunde’s classes. There are some other bikers that I’ve tried there as well but I haven’t been able to connect as much with those classes as I have with Alex’s style.
I feel like Alex is positive. That’s the interesting thing because I feel like he’s like, “You woke up today. Smile.” How can you not smile?
It’s positive and no excuses at the same time. I like that combination. It’s very much how I grew up so I resonate with those types of classes.
It’s funny. That training works for people because it used to get utilized almost exclusively but it’s also like I still hate sports. It’s because I kept running into people like that. I wasn’t good. That didn’t help but they would get visibly mad when I wasn’t good and I’m like, “Now I don’t want to get good.”
It’s interesting how different people react to different kinds of styles. I like classes where I feel like I had fun. I worked hard but I had fun. When you do a class with Jenn Sherman, you’re singing the whole time. They’re all your favorite songs from the ‘80s. How can you not smile when you’re done? That’s good stuff.
I’m also super competitive.
Jacob over here is like, “My book is not called Exercise with Vulnerability.”
There have been times where I’ve gotten on that Peloton and there’s the leaderboard. There have been a few times when I’m close to the top or somebody’s very close to me. By the time I get off the bike, I feel like I’m going to die. My heart rate is up to 180 and I’m like, “I got to stop doing this because one day, it’s not going to end well.” I try to be more mindful because sometimes you get the adrenaline going. You’re like, “I’m going to beat you.” You’re then like, “I don’t feel good.” That’s happened to me a few times. My wife would look at me and say, “Are you okay? You look a little crazy there.” I’m like, “Get out.”
Would you say Alex is your favorite instructor then?
For sure. I’ve used some of his stuff for the treadmill, especially for the bike. When it’s a lot of heavy exertion, hard workouts, and pushing yourself, I find that his approach to me resonates the most. It’s like, “Let’s go. Nobody cares about your excuses.” As opposed to something a little bit more lighthearted and positive like, “Today is a great day. You can do it.” I want to be militant, reminding me of communist Russia like, “Shut your face and pedal.” That approach is as weird as it sounds but resonates more with me.
He’s as close as you’re going to get probably on the Peloton side.
I feel like if Steven Little was still around, you would like him because that’s how he was. It’s been many years since classes have been purged for a long time but he would crack me up because he would sit there and sip his coffee in his little Hello Kitty mug first thing in the morning during 6:00 classes. He would say something rude but with a smile. Get away with it because he had this sarcastic way of doing things. I remember one time he was like, “Did your class stop today? Did your bike not work today? You complain to me that you couldn’t get your workout done. Pivot. Get over it. If you want that workout bad enough, you’ll do it, won’t you?”
I like that approach. No complaining, no whining, just get it done. I’m motivated to try some of the other instructors too.
We’ve got your advice for newbies. “Suck it up,” that’s what Jacob says. Be vulnerable at work. Lead with vulnerability but suck it up on the bike. Got it.
Do it or done. It’s a lifestyle. A lot of people forget that exercising is one aspect of fitness and one aspect of the lifestyle but you have to do all of it. You have to eat healthily, get enough sleep, drink water, and pay attention to how you’re living. You can’t just go on the Peloton, exercise, and then go eat a box of cookies afterward. It doesn’t balance out like that. I get frustrated sometimes with family members or friends who are like, “I’m exercising. I’m on the Peloton but I’m not seeing the results.” “Maybe don’t go to McDonald’s afterward.” It’s a whole holistic approach to living, which a lot of people forget.
What is your leaderboard name?
You go back to the chest thing.
I’m going to take all of you down, whoever’s reading. You add me on there. I’m coming for you.
You’re the guy that’s during cool down, you keep going, don’t you? That’s what I thought.
Yes. Cool down is when you get off the bike.
Cool down is for when there’s a power outage.
That’s hardcore. I love it.
Jacob, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to join us. Before we let you go, remind everybody where they can find you on all the social media and your new book.
Thank you for the opportunity. The new book is called Leading with Vulnerability. We made a fun web page for it. Go to LeadWithVulnerability.com. My website is TheFutureOrganization.com. I can also give people my email in case they have questions. It’s Jacob@TheFutureOrganization.com. On my main website, you can find links to all my social. My name on Peloton is Chess Jacob. Come at me and I’ll take you down.
I guess that brings this episode to a close. Until next time, where can people find you?
People can find me on the Disney Fantasy in the middle of the ocean.
Not by the time this comes out.
That’s true. All right. You can find me on Facebook at Facebook.com/crystaldokeefe. You can find me on all the social media and the Peloton leaderboard @ClipOutCrystal.
You can find me on Twitter @RogerQBert or on Facebook at Facebook.com/tomokeefe. You can find the show online on Facebook.com/TheClipOut. While you’re there, like the page and join the group. Don’t forget our Patreon at Patreon.com/TheClipOut. That’s it for this one. Thanks for tuning in. Until next time, keep pedaling and running and rowing and cruising.
About Jacob Morgan
Jacob is a professionally trained futurist, keynote speaker, and the international best-selling author of 5 books that focus on leadership, the future of work, and employee experience. His passion and mission is to create great leaders, engaged employees, and future-ready organizations. He is also the host of Great Leadership With Jacob Morgan, one of the most popular leadership podcasts.
His work has been endorsed by the CEOs of: Unilever, Cisco, Mastercard, Nestle, Best Buy, SAP, KPMG, T-Mobile, Audi, Kaiser Permanente, and many others. Jacob has also contributed to and been cited in publications such as Cosmopolitan, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, CNN, Glamour, the MIT Sloan Management Review, USA Today, and The Harvard Business Review. Jacob lives in Los Angeles, California with his amazing wife Blake, their two kids, and their two Yorkie rescue dogs. You can learn more about Jacob and get access to his content by visiting TheFutureOrganization.com.
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