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Episode 9: Lessons learned from the ADF - 10 Veterans working in a multi-million-dollar business.

Episode 9:
Lessons learned from the Australian Defence Force

Axons are part of the neuro-transmission system in the brain… they carry the spark between the neurons to fire the body into action!
This podcast will get your Axons fired up by our hosts Robbie, Tamara, Dan and Dane as they uncover the untold truths of what it really takes to successfully transition from the ADF, how to build a multi-million-dollar property portfolio, how to start a business as a veteran entrepreneur and how to more effectively communicate with your partner… while optimising your personal performance in every aspect of your life.

One of our favourite things about the team at Axon is just how many veterans we are able to employ. In the final episode of Season 1, the team talk about the traits that come with that, the environment and culture in Axon, and also the changes that are needed, especially from a leadership perspective.

Listen to Axons Unleashed:

TRANSCRIPT:

Robbie Turner:
Morning, everyone. My name's Robbie. I'm joined here with Dane, Dan and the lovely Tamara. Welcome to episode nine of Axons Unleashed, coming to you live and uninterrupted from downtown Gold Coast. How is everyone?

Tamara:
"Lovely Tamara." Good morning.

Robbie Turner:
You are my wife, so.

Dane:
[crosstalk 00:01:19]. It's all good.

Robbie Turner:
The lovely wife, the lima whiskey. Hey, we're first week in March. And for those listening just now, you would have been flooded with our social media stuff about Axons down in Sydney. We also did a Newcastle meetup down there for the Australian Small Business Champion Awards. So, fellas how was your... I mean, Dan, you've done a few client meetups now. It was great to catch up with everyone wasn't it?

Dan:
Yeah, absolutely. And just for clarity, that was March of 2021. Who knows when you're listening to this? But yeah, it was really, really good. Bit more of an intimate feel to the Newcastle visit. A lot of our clients that have been with us for quite a long time came along to a nice dinner there which was quite nice. And then as always, if you're anywhere near Sydney, I'm talking like Wagga, Canberra, anywhere. If you-

Tamara:
Wagga is not near Sydney.

Dan:
If you're-

Dane:
Five-hour drive.

Robbie Turner:
[crosstalk 00:02:05].

Dan:
If you're anywhere near it and you have the opportunity to come to one of the Axon catch-ups in Sydney, that's the place to come to.

Tamara:
It is.

Dan:
It's always a fantastic night. And I think we were meant to be finished by 7:30, and I think people were still dragging themselves out of there at about 11:00, so.

Dane:
And we'll buy you a beer too as a guarantee.

Robbie Turner:
I was going to say, for the record, the bar tab had finished by then.

Dane:
Oh, yeah. Well and truly.

Robbie Turner:
It wasn't still going by then.

Dane:
Well and truly.

Tamara:
Dane was just ramping up by then.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah.

Dane:
I took over the bar tab [inaudible 00:02:31], which was a disgrace the next day when I looked at my credit card statement.

Robbie Turner:
Hey, one of the things I absolutely... That's what happens when you start ordering shots. One of the things that I absolutely love though, is that after we'd finished doing a bit of a tour and a site survey around all the properties in Newcastle and different developments, we went down the beach for a bit didn't we?

Dane:
Oh, yes.

Robbie Turner:
That was gold. So, it was the three of us. And Dubs, aka Grasshopper who's our videographer, was taking some footage of us standing out in the water. It was pretty good.

Dane:
I thought about you too this morning, man.

Robbie Turner:
Where were you? In the shower?

Dane:
Actually I was.

Tamara:
Oh, God.

Robbie Turner:
Okay. Again?

Dane:
I went for a surf before we came in here, and I was having a shower, and I remembered the recce you took down at Merewether Beach where you walked the length of the beach and told us about the 10 showers, and which one was warm and which one was cold, which one was hot or whatever. But I didn't get enough sand off mate, so I'm a bit uncomfortable. So, I did think of you in the shower actually.

Robbie Turner:
When you're out there in the waves getting bloody smashed and you've got sand up your... you need to go and get it all washed out properly.

Tamara:
God.

Robbie Turner:
So yeah, it's the ex-senior [inaudible 00:03:26] Army, I mean I need to have my admin log sorted out. So, warm shower, dry floor, toiletries in hand, get yourself changed, away we go.

Tamara:
That's because I wasn't there wasn't it? Your admin and log was in order.

Robbie Turner:
I have... Hey, today we're going to talk about episode nine. So, this is the last episode in series one of Axon's podcast called Unleashed, and today we're going to be talking about transition from the ADF, which is actually one of the pillars of the podcast itself. So, we talk about ADF transition, we talk about veteran entrepreneurship, we talk about women in business and what it's like to be a female spouse of a serving member. We talk about mindset money habits, and of course we're going to talk about property as well.

Dane:
Yeah, yeah.

Robbie Turner:
So, I guess let's give everyone a bit of a taste about what our own experiences were as far as transitioning from the military goes.

Tamara:
Last episode I touched on how important it was for me in terms of hiring veterans. I absolutely love hiring veterans, and I'm such an advocate for other business owners to do that as well. But just their leadership, their dedication, the teamwork, the passion, the project management skills. There's so much that you can benefit from hiring these veterans. And it's a chance to give a veteran a purpose after their serving time. They've come from this huge life purpose, and some of them are leaving through no fault of their own, especially if they've been medically discharged.

Tamara:
And yeah, I think it's so important to utilize these skills because a lot of the time they don't know how to move their current skills. So, like if they've had particular skills say in artillery, they don't know how that transitions into civilian world. So yeah, I'm such a huge advocate of that, and I'd love to dig a little bit deeper today into the things that you've learned in defense and the way that carries over to civilian life.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah.

Dan:
And don't get me wrong, there is some wonderful work being done out there by organizations that are trying to assist veterans from being able to translate all their skills, knowledges and experiences that they do have from their defense career, out into the real world. I know that one of our awesome clients, Josh F down in Melbourne, you spent a bit of time inside the Victorian Government in one of their programs where you were literally taking people through the process of turning their military skills and qualifications into civilian qualifications to be able to help them out through that.

Tamara:
Nice.

Dan:
So, we're very, very acutely aware that there is awesome organizations that are helping people do that. But obviously today we want to take that a little bit deeper, just from our own personal perspective I suppose.

Dane:
I think ours too, a lot of the skills we're going to probably talk about today aren't always on your [inaudible 00:06:15]. I think one of the biggest things that is annoyance of people are always getting something quietly, they're a bit misconstrued. Because I know coming from the Air Force, they won't give you exactly the right amount of [inaudible 00:06:26], and it almost keeps you in there a little bit so guys have to find they've got to do bridging and so on and so forth to be able to transition out. So, it is a good push from people who are getting involved in that and actually making sure that they can transfer their skills over to the civilian. Because you are going to leave aren't you, Robbie?

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, for sure. I mean it was the halfway mark of my career. So, it was about the 11 or 12-year mark when I did my one year's worth of training and did my ASWOCs, which was the transition from sergeant to captain. And my battery commander at the time, Charles, who's been a wonderful friend and a great mentor of mine over the many, many years, he said, "Look, even though you're about to now start a whole new career. Transition from the enlisted swine into the officer ranks." As it was commonly known.

Tamara:
The swine.

Robbie Turner:
Yes, it's a commonly known term.

Dane:
Get your top hat and tails ready.

Robbie Turner:
Going to the dark side as it's commonly also known.

Dan:
Learning how to enjoy cucumber sandwiches.

Robbie Turner:
Yes, indeed. He said, "Look, you should also start preparing for transition from the military. Because at the end of the day, Robbie, it's not if you get out, it's when you get out." So, that stuck with me for a long, long time. And you and I have had conversations, Dan, over many years now about how important this is. So, I guess every single client that we coach has done around about 10 years, like from an Axon Property Coaching perspective. If they've got about 10 years under their belt, we should be incorporating, and I know we do already, "All right, buddy." Or champ, whatever.

Dan:
Oh, champion.

Tamara:
Champ, oh.

Robbie Turner:
"What's your transition plan?" Because it's not if but when. And as we also remember, you can blink your eyes a couple of times and you're at that 10, 11, 12-year mark. And boom, then you've done 20. And then you're 10 or 12 years older and you're like, "Fuck, what am I going to do now?"

Dane:
Sitting in the hot seat.

Dan:
Yeah. And in my mind, as soon as someone says something along the lines of, "I think I'm going to..." Or, "I'm going to do this after defense." That's a real red flag for me. I'm like, "If you're thinking about it, you're probably within about five years of being able to get out." And you actually need to be taking real steps to be able to deliver yourself a great outcome at the backend of that. Not just like, "Yeah, I'm thinking of getting out." It's not like that happens overnight where you go from thinking of getting out to actually pulling the trigger and getting out in most instances.

Tamara:
True.

Dan:
You're like there is a period of time that you can prepare yourself, and you can effectively prepare the battlefield from that perspective to make sure it's a really successful transition.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, my exit from the military was reasonably swift. So, sometimes you don't have a lot of time to speak about it. And the real identity crisis I went through, I'm like, "Who is Robbie Turner?" Who's the guy in the mirror when you don't have your uniform on? When you're not walking round as fifth year special forces Major Robbie anymore, and you're just a civilian dude? And sure you can like, "Oh, you spent all this time in the military." No one really gives a fuck that you were in the military, in the normal private sector. "Yeah, cool, you're a veteran. That's awesome, man. Thumbs up." But no one really cares how many years you did or what you actually did, if it's not relevant to the part of the conversation. So, I guess-

Tamara:
Well, I'd say being a veteran is important, but not so much what you did, who you were.

Dan:
What operation you went on.

Tamara:
How long you served. That kind of comes in, but not really. As soon as you kind of, "Oh, you were in the military." People are grateful and thankful for that, and they are proud of you for that. But you're right, they don't care about the details.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. I remember the very first CV I wrote, was some very good friends of ours and your almost auntie, Tam, Danielle and Simon, they run a really successful transport and trucking company in Sydney. And I went, "All right, cool, maybe there's going to be an opportunity for me to step into that realm." Because I needed to do fucking something of course. So, I wrote my first CV and I'm like, "And I was the operations officer for the special ops task group on [inaudible 00:09:52] dah, dah, dah."

Dane:
Oh, yeah.

Dan:
Oh, mate.

Robbie Turner:
"And I was responsible to do this, this and this."

Dane:
"I'm going to kill it."

Robbie Turner:
And the civilian HR guy that took my... he's like-

Dan:
"I don't even understand what you're talking about."

Robbie Turner:
"Mate, you're so far off the mark as far as what we're looking for. No one cares about that stuff." So, I guess for all the listeners out there at the moment, once you do get to that point when you do transition, you don't need to list what operation you were and what your specific duties were as fucking OIC whatever when you deploy there. You've got to literally put it in civilian speak.

Robbie Turner:
But I guess the opportunity that we've all had, as Tamara and I, as founders of the business, very, very proud business owners for veterans, is that when you are able to successfully transition and find that new purpose and find that new identity and find that new cause, your whole life just becomes open to you. And it's the whole reason why I wanted to name this podcast Unleashed, is that I feel unleashed, and I can now live my best life because I'm not hamstrung by all the DFDA and other rules and regulations that go around being a defense member.

Dane:
100%. I think I heard a saying a few years ago that I always laugh about. So, my nephew sort of finished school and he's going through... And I'm a big advocate for defense. If you don't know what you're doing, it's a great place to go park your [cabus 00:11:02] for a little while.

Tamara:
Cabus.

Dan:
[crosstalk 00:11:03].

Dane:
And then, so he was saying and... My nephew's going, "I don't want to go march." And his dad goes, who's in the RAAF, right? And he goes, "I'd rather be marching to work, mate, than walking to the dole line."

Robbie Turner:
Oh yeah.

Dane:
And it was a really good saying.

Tamara:
Boom.

Dane:
And he's in doing his time. But he's a young fella, he's getting pretty good. And it's a good spot to sit, you get skilled up, you get through that. But you are right, Robbie, it does insulate people because they start to... they think about trips, they think everyone thinks about that. Whereas a lot of people in the civilian sector don't give a shit really. But you need to be able to take your skillset and push it through and make it readily I guess register in the civilian sector as well. So, looking at the skills you can then take to the table for that.

Tamara:
And there is so many skills. That's what the underlying message is. Is there is so many skills. But it's not so much, yeah, the particular details, because while they matter... And I said this when you guys are at meetups and things like that, then especially the defense members will talk about, "Oh, did you do this operation? Oh, were you posted here?" They're the community that will talk about that. But in civilian world that means absolutely nothing.

Dane:
Nothing, nothing, nothing.

Dan:
It's a very simple way that I think the military uses to find where people fit in, like find the common ground, is like, "Oh, you were here at this point in time? Oh, well you posted with such-and-such?"

Tamara:
True.

Dan:
And all of a sudden you've got that one line of communication. Because when you are posting around every two years, your entire family changes every two years. Because you're not taking mom and dad, your auntie and uncle and everything like that to the other side of Australia with you, you're literally turning up, up in Darwin, up in towns after living in Sydney or Adelaide, and the only family that you really have from an extended perspective is that one that was issued to you. So, the ability for you to be able to get on the ground up there and turn around and say, "Oh, you know such-and-such? He was a good dude, therefore you're a good dude, and I like you and I'm going to hang out with you and your family." And all of a sudden you rapidly create this community around you that allows you to get through that next two years where you're significantly dislocated from the rest of your family.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, totally. I mean, we've got our own values here at Axon, and that's not the point of what this podcast is. But as we reflect on what the values of the Defence Force are, even though there are specific ones for the three services, Army, Navy, Air Force, the ADF values are service, courage, respect, integrity, and excellence.

Robbie Turner:
Obviously even yesterday when we sat down and wrote a few notes about this we were like, "Well, how do we now do this in Axon?" And went, "You know what? Let's can that and actually go, 'What are some of the lessons learned I suppose that now 10 veterans have now been able to successfully transition from the military and now work in a very successful multi-million dollar property investment and coaching firm?'" Dan, you and I got out as majors. Dane, you got out as an officer in the Air Force. Dane, you and I had the opportunity to transition from being an OR into an officer.

Dane:
Yeah.

Robbie Turner:
So, I guess the first thing I want to talk about really is leadership.

Dane:
Good one.

Robbie Turner:
Because at the end of the day when you've got a vision and when you've got a greater cause, someone's got to be steering the ship, right? So, that leader's got to be able to communicate effectively the reason why the business exists, and then why people want to come along and exchange their time for your employer's money.

Robbie Turner:
Because one thing I want to put on the table straightaway, when you're in the military you don't go to work to get paid. I certainly didn't feel that anyway. Sure, you get compensated for the fact that you now want to put service before self and contribute to a greater cause, and feel proud that you're serving your country in whatever way, shape or form that might be. But we all know we could have earned more money in the civilian sector than what we did in the military, so in most cases it's not about the money. And at the end of the day, once everyone's basic needs are met, think about Maslow's hierarchy of needs... Fuck, I'm going back into instructed leadership [inaudible 00:14:48] mode here.

Dan:
I was about to say. The first time that we actually met you were down at RMC, and you were down there as a newly minted captain I might add.

Robbie Turner:
I was.

Dan:
After you ASWOCed across. And you were actually instructing on the leadership component down there at RMC, so you were actually a bit of a student of leadership I would say. And it's one of those things that I think people continue to learn as they progress through life. The leadership that you probably had as an OR probably slightly changed by the time you became an officer, and has probably evolved even further since you've gotten out of the military. You have to have changed your military leadership style to then be able to suit the civilian sector.

Robbie Turner:
Oh mate, yes, yes and yes, of course, of course. I mean, you're absolutely right. Charles that I've spoken about before, he gave me my first leadership book called This is Leadership written by Rudy Giuliani who was the mayor of New York during the 9/11.

Dan:
Yeah.

Dane:
Yeah, yeah.

Robbie Turner:
Now, this is old Rudy who's had the bloody hair dye running down the side of his face as he's trying to fucking...

Tamara:
What a photo.

Dan:
Sweat out Trump's lies.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. And then of course when I went down to Duntroon there, one of the COs down there was Dan F. And then, yeah, he was massive on leadership as well. And then between him and Mark S who was the DMA, they went, "Right, we want to stand up a new leadership cell. And Robbie, as an ex-senior NCO..." The most important relationship that a brand new lieutenant's going to have is that with a senior NCO. The guy or girl who's been there for 12, 13, 14 years, and you rock out of Duntroon as a brand new lieutenant as a sometimes 19, 20-year-old, how the fuck do you relate to that person? And you're their boss instantly, so it's a very unique circumstance there.

Robbie Turner:
So, when I went down to Duntroon, I'm cruising around, I'm like, "Hey, where's the orderly room? Where's the ROP? Where's the [inaudible 00:16:37] room?" All the captains are like, "What do you mean you don't know?" I'm like, "I didn't come through here as a cadet, dude. I got no idea where anything is here, so."

Tamara:
That's kind of huge in itself. Because you talk about leadership and the respect that people give you when you've been somewhere for a while and you grow in the ranks and people get to know you. And then you're kind of thrown in that leadership role expecting people to respect you. Whereas that doesn't really translate into the civilian world as much. Rank in defense is you do as you're told.

Robbie Turner:
That's right. You're actually appointed and you've got that legal command responsibility where there is implications about you not following orders quite frankly. So, it was an interesting little time there. Even Dan, you'd remember, as soon as the cadets got word that Robbie was an ex-senior NCO, Captain Robbie of course, commonly known as Sir.

Dan:
Guns and buns [crosstalk 00:17:35].

Robbie Turner:
Was an ex-senior NCO. I just had a different relationship with them. They'd come and ask me different questions because they knew that... So, even though there was like 50 other captains there that were all there as part of the instructional team, I'm not saying I'm better or worse than any of them, I was just different, I was just cut from a different cloth. And at the end of the day you don't understand what it's like to be a digger or a junior NCO, Dane, you would agree, if you've never been one yourself. Even though there's an internal rank structure at Australia's premier leadership organization like Duntroon, you just don't know what it feels like to be a digger.

Dane:
You have a different appreciation I think. And I think by having... So, we're all pretty fortunate, none of us went through [ADFORA 00:18:13] or whatever. We didn't have to go do our degrees through the military, we sort of did a sideswipe and came in through the backdoor as they say. But having a different appreciation, because if you're there and you're receiving command, and then you sort of think to yourself, "I could do a better job." Or whatever this is. But you're still going to carry out that command.

Dane:
I sort of took a different approach, because when you're down going through all your officer training, the way things are portrayed, and with [inaudible 00:18:40] commissioning airmen, that's what we were called, so us and the other retreads or ex-troops or whatever it is, we looked through the eyes of it completely different. To when you've got someone who has gone and done a mech engineering degree at UQ and has come in, going to defeat the world, and they think they're realistically going to go and meet all these senior NCOs who don't know what they're doing.

Tamara:
Was that a jab there?

Dane:
Slightly.

Dan:
He couldn't have been talking about me because I went to QUT.

Dane:
Oh, I've got it wrong.

Robbie Turner:
Even better.

Dane:
Yeah. So, I think with those different lens that you look through, is I took an approach whereas I'm, I know it sounds weird, I'm there to enable them to do their job. I'm there to be able to push their needs at a certain level that they're not able to do. Whereas you would have other officers who are pretty much like, "Oh, I'm here to discipline them and control them and so on and so forth." Which I don't think is a good outcome realistically when you do that. But having that-

Tamara:
Remember when we were talking about this? I really, I don't know, I didn't really believe that you guys had a jail.

Robbie Turner:
You said to me yesterday, "Is it real jail?"

Tamara:
"Like a real jail or just like a detention."

Robbie Turner:
I'm like, "Well, first of all I've never been there." But yeah, sure as shit it's real jail.

Dan:
But we've got clients who literally were the actual people running the jail down there.

Tamara:
To me that is so weird. If you don't follow your boss, you go to jail. To me that is so-

Robbie Turner:
This is not a board game either by the way.

Tamara:
That is so farfetched. Yeah, what is this jail? I'm thinking you might go to detention or something for a few hours, I don't know. But you guys are like, "No."

Dan:
Write your name up on the blackboard, "You're going to detention."

Tamara:
Yeah. But it's like, "No, no, it's jail. Real jail." And I was like, "What? That is crazy." And I guess that made me think about my time with Qantas, with the way that they've got the 360 reporting there, in terms of they're really great with this for safety reasons, there is no reason why you can't report someone higher than you. So, say if you're a flight attendant, if your supervisor, your cabin manager, even the captain of the flight, if there is something wrong, especially if it comes down to safety, you can report them. There is no problem with you reporting your boss and refusing to do what they're telling you to do, especially if it comes down to you don't feel safe, you feel like it's the wrong thing, you don't feel like it's aligned with the values, those kind of things. And then I hear from you guys, "If you don't follow your boss you can go to jail."

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, quick little disclaimer. In the military it's the same. If something is unsafe or dangerous, you can put your hand up and go, "No boss, that isn't happening."

Dane:
Yeah, yeah.

Tamara:
Right.

Dan:
Yeah. From a safety [crosstalk 00:21:21].

Robbie Turner:
I just saw a big sigh of relief come over you then, Tamara. So, it's not blind justice where you just do that, but it's called instinctive obedience, that's the reason why drill exists in military. Fuck, now I'm back to bloody recruit instructor Robbie back at Kapooka teaching recruits.

Dane:
Instant hotspots.

Robbie Turner:
But yeah, that's right. So, when the circumstances arise and someone says, "Go." You fucking go.

Dan:
Yeah, and then that's why you practice. That's why you do rehearsals. That's why you've got your SOPs. That's why you've got your TTPs that are drilled into you day in, day out, so that when a certain action occurs, your reaction is instinctive, not like, "Oh shit, what do I do now?"

Robbie Turner:
Because seconds matter.

Dan:
Exactly. Like you-

Tamara:
So, what are the things that you'd go to jail for?

Dane:
Fraud's a big one isn't it? There's a lot of guys in there for that.

Robbie Turner:
Disobedience. So, if one of your leaders gives you a lawful command and you refuse to do it, you're going to go the high jump. So, you get detained straightaway, then you'll be charged for insubordination or disobedience of a lawful command. You'll be marched in and you'll be sentenced. And if you want to go bloody spend a week in jail, then go for it champ.

Tamara:
It just is so farfetched to me. I would hate that, if I said something to my employees and they were like, I don't know, "No." "Well, you're going to jail."

Dan:
Well, I suppose that brings us to an important segue now that we've transitioned out of the military, and now we're talking a civilian organization. Tammy, you're almost disgusted in the fact that this military type stuff happens in the background. But that just means that when people have come out of the military, there's a significant adjustment that needs to make from being in the military system where you've got your rank and everything like that, and you've got jail sitting there behind you and the DFDA, all that good stuff, right? What do you reckon the biggest challenge or the biggest learning point for you has been, RT, since you got out? When you're now the owner of a business or a leader within that organization?

Robbie Turner:
It's actually only hit me in the last six, eight, nine months, is when we've grown so much. So, when there was me, you and Tamara, we all know each other really well, we never let each other down. Then there's one or two others get bolted on there. But when you have six or, as we learned, seven people join us in a six-month period, to have all those different personalities, so there was males, there was females, there was Navy, there was Air Force, there was Army, all joined us in a 12-month-

Dan:
And civilians as well.

Robbie Turner:
And civilians, good point. It all comes down to culture and the belief in what the vision and the mission and the values of the business is. If people are not there for the right reasons, then I guess it... Because it's become really simple for you and I, Tam, to be able to ask people to not be in Axon anymore, aka, get voted off the island. It's never personal, it's all about, "This is not the right workplace for you. You don't fit in here. The greater good of the Axon vision/mission values, you're not aligned to it based on your behaviors, see you later, buddy."

Tamara:
And it's not just about us. It's not just about, "Okay, you're not a fit for us." But we're not a fit for them. And so, we're holding them back from finding their purpose, living their best life, living what they're meant to do, by keeping them in a job that they're not aligned with or they're not passionate about, or a company that they're not feeling part of that family.

Dan:
Yeah, absolutely.

Robbie Turner:
One of the other things that I really love about hosting and sharing the meetings, and you are doing a great job with this now at the moment in the senior leadership role, is that just because you're the host or the leader of the meeting, doesn't mean your opinion is right. Whatever is the best outcome is the right answer. And if that comes from Jonno who's only been here for a few weeks, or it comes from one of the founders.

Tamara:
Good old Jonno.

Robbie Turner:
If it comes from the founders. Then it doesn't matter where the answer's come from, we want to be able to really encourage that bottom-up refinement, and in the true sense of the term, to make sure that all the good ideas are being put forward there. And then obviously the assessment analysis goes from there.

Tamara:
We actually get some great insights from our team when we do our quarterly planning. And we do some activities on growth, on ideas, on really forward-thinking, and yeah.

Dan:
All that divergent thinking.

Tamara:
Divergent thinking. Telling people, "Just go as farfetched as you think." And some of them are absolutely nuts and we're like, "Okay, we'd never do that." But some of them you go, "Actually, with a bit of tweaking that's not a bad idea." And from there is how we've managed to grow and add on things and tweak things. And just yeah, it's not just Robbie and I coming up with all the ideas.

Dane:
You can do it your way as well, which I like. When you're going in through the military, if you have a good idea, the process is almost more painful than what that good idea could... the outcome could be.

Robbie Turner:
Write a brief. Decision notes, through the chain of command.

Dane:
Minutes, going up to this person, one stars. And by the time, it is almost so painstaking that people are just like, "That'd be a good idea." And then we just carry on with what the procedure is at the time because the pain of actually going through and changing it is too difficult and painstaking and fucking long.

Robbie Turner:
That's definitely one thing, we're very nimble as far as that goes. We don't knee-jerk, we don't have that organizational whiplash, and I know we're going to get to that in a second. But from a process and a continuous improvement perspective, if it's a fucking good idea and we all think it's good to go, let's get it implemented. And it's something I'm really proud of and it's something that's been a huge factor to our success.

Dan:
Yeah, absolutely. I think for me, probably one of the biggest things that has altered when I've come out into the civilian sector is adding a lot more empathy into the way I do leadership. When you're in the military, obviously there's the rules and the regulation, and the type of people in general terms that have been enlisted into the Army, from my perspective, are a certain type of individual that need a certain type of leadership to go over the top of them.

Dan:
But that leadership does not correspond to young people out in the real world, or sometimes even older people out in the real world, just the way that you interact with them, the language that you use. It's no loner about, "You haven't got that done, you should have got that done." And it's very cut and dry. It's like, "Okay, why haven't you got that done? Let's dive a bit deeper." It's a lot more personal on the network from a leadership perspective when you do get out there in the real world.

Dane:
Not as authoritative. Where you can practice that in the military, right? You can be like, "Didn't do that, you had this timeframe, bang." Whereas, like you said, and I've noticed that too, like when being in Axon, the empathy side to it. Because you also have your culture there that you want to make sure that you're fostering the culture from a leadership perspective as well.

Dane:
the military is that big you can have sub-cultures all through it. You can go to a unit where a culture might exist there, that doesn't exist at the unit next door. Whereas we only have one culture because we're a pretty small band still, and the actions we take need to be able to flow down to people, and they look, what you practice and what you preach effectively. So, if you're there doing stuff and cutting corners, they're going to see that. So, we want to make sure from a cultural and leadership, we are setting the bar where we want people to be at. And then, like you guys said, if the square peg doesn't fit in the round hole, it just doesn't fit, and they will find the door eventually.

Dan:
Didn't work for James the other day when he was trying to shove it through on his little dump truck with the shapes squared [crosstalk 00:28:19].

Tamara:
We're talking about James, his son.

Robbie Turner:
James, your son, yeah.

Dan:
My son.

Dane:
Not the employee.

Dan:
Yeah, my two-year-old son. Not the 30-year-old employee we have that still can't put square pegs in round holes.

Dane:
Pete's doing that, yeah. [inaudible 00:28:28] those toys for.

Dan:
But it's one of those things. You're a fit or you're not a fit from that perspective. And I think that goes both ways, that people can vote themselves off the island as well. If they don't like the leadership that they're experiencing, they're not being issued this employment now, they can throw themselves out the door as well if that culture isn't right. So, you've got to create a culture that encourages people to be there. And it's not like the OC changes every two years and you've got a new boss. There's the same bosses are still going to be there two years later, you continue to reinvest in the same organization, and you want to have people there for the longer time to develop them.

Tamara:
I can't even imagine that. Having a new leader in your business every two years. Just the amount we've grown and the stability we've had from having those people grow up in the business, I just can't even imagine having someone new expecting respect.

Robbie Turner:
We turned four this month.

Dan:
We would have gone through two COs by now, and we'd be looking down the barrel of the third.

Robbie Turner:
Yes, [crosstalk 00:29:32].

Dane:
[crosstalk 00:29:32].

Dan:
Let's imagine that's like two CEOs out in the real world, and to try to guide and grow this business from the ground up. And I mean, that's one of the challenges that you do have in the military I suppose. Is when a new CO or a new OC or a new commander effectively comes into the role every two years, quite often, especially if you've just got a CO coming in, right? They've been in that unit before. They've been in command at that lower level, so they're probably looking at their OCs going, "Hey mate, I've done your job, I know how to do it, and I probably know how to do it better because I was promoted, I got through that hoop, and you're only a junior OC."

Dan:
And then you've got OCs doing the same thing looking at their lieutenants, turning around and going... And this is very Army specific, I know. But they're down there looking like, "I've been the platoon commander, I know exactly what you're doing right now. And guess what, I probably did it better, and I got promoted." So, you've got all these people that are now looking through the prism of, "I've already done your job and I know how to do it pretty good." Which creates a very interesting way that the organization starts to work from a military perspective.

Robbie Turner:
As the saying goes, there's no good being a good platoon commander when you're the company commander. That time has gone. So no, it's something again that I'm really proud of that we don't have any organizational whiplash here and there's a lot of continuity. So, that's definitely one message I want to be able to pass on to the listeners and watchers, is that you've got that to look forward to when you join the right organization and you have that right culture and you're working with the right people, you can expect to have that little bit of extra stability there. Which is good, and you can just go narrow and deep. Like we're going to be around for the next 20 odd years.

Dane:
Invest in your people, right?

Robbie Turner:
Yeah.

Dane:
I find, because obviously I wasn't in the Army, being in the RAAF. But when you're there you're at a flying squadron, usually it's someone who was a flight commander, right? They might be in as a squadron leader, they'll nick off, go off to headquarters and then come back as a CO. When they come back though, always feel like it's about them making a change, whether it's good or bad. They just want to be able to... they've changed the squadron to doing something, because they need-

Tamara:
Put a name for themselves.

Dane:
Just legacy every two years, yet is only a legacy.

Dan:
Got to grab a commendation out of it too.

Dane:
Yeah, I'm going to build my PAR. But the problem is there's a lot of time when you're doing that for the squadron itself and everyone who's working there, you're swinging from here, and then you're swinging from there, and you do have that, like things are getting rewritten every single time and redone. It's just like tying your shoelace over and over and over again.

Robbie Turner:
There's this one thing called ownership, which is that, "Right, I've come here, I've got two years, I'm going to own the shit out of this." Or there's maybe a better one called stewardship, whereas you just take over the path that it's currently on. And sure you're always looking for improvements and you've got that continuous improvement mindset, and you're doing your hot washes and you're doing your AARs and you're promoting the right people. All that stuff that goes into making it all happen, the elements of the FIC, fundamental inputs to capability.

Tamara:
Another TLA there.

Robbie Turner:
Another TLA.

Tamara:
Thanks.

Robbie Turner:
But yeah, stewardship not ownership is a massive one. And I've got to say in my last couple of years of SOCOMD I saw that actually occur really, really well. The organization whiplash was reduced massively because of that term started to emerge, stewardship not ownership.

Robbie Turner:
So yeah, as we sort of branch now, Dan, into right person, right seat. Teamwork. Really it's I guess having the right people in the team just comes to work. I want to come to work, I want to grind, I want to have thoughtful conversations, I want to win, I want to lose sometimes, I want to do things really, really well, and I want to have some challenges. But I want to do it with people that I actually enjoy hanging out with, because I choose to fucking have them in the business, and they choose to be here as well.

Robbie Turner:
You've used the term already, Dan, a couple of times. We're not issued people. The scheme or [inaudible 00:33:07] equivalent across the services don't go, "Right, bloody Jonno again. Jonno makes [inaudible 00:33:11]. Jonno's now going to get posted down into your unit." And he might be a fucking ball bag, he or she, not that a she would be called a ball bag. But that person may be substandard, but you as all the bloody people in that organization need to fucking suck it up and just make it happen.

Dane:
[inaudible 00:33:26].

Robbie Turner:
Whereas here that isn't the case. So, I guess Tammy and I literally... I bounce up out of bed, you come to work with me most days, but we really look forward to coming to the office because there's people that we fucking like hanging out with there.

Tamara:
Yeah.

Dan:
Yeah. From a teamwork perspective, I think, yeah, we get the right people in the door, but I love the fact that we can really just allow people to go narrow and deep on their specialist skillsets as well. Because I know that as an officer there was always the idea that you should go back to this command stream or this special... or the generalist [inaudible 00:34:02] I should say. And you go back to that, and it's like, "You do this job, and then you do this job, and then you do this job, then you get promoted and you do this." And you follow the same sort of pathway. But it's not going to be the right thing for everybody. And I suppose that's one of the things that I enjoy. Is we can bring in really specialist capabilities and be like, "Your one job that I want you to do for the foreseeable future is whatever you're passionate about." I mean-

Tamara:
I absolutely see that with Daniel, our videographer, he is living and breathing his passion. And we recently just saw that when he was down with us in Sydney for the awards, for the meetups. He was absolutely in his element. And he filmed us doing a little piece to camera, and then like 10 minutes later he's so pumped that he's editing it and getting it online. And ah, just to see someone living their passion and living that energy. Yeah, it's awesome.

Robbie Turner:
I did this last episode when Noah was here. Dan, I'm going to do this to you now. Chuck those headphones on, buddy. Can you hear me?

Dan the videographer:
Yeah, I can hear you.

Robbie Turner:
Awesome, mate. You are a civilian, you don't have a military background.

Dan the videographer:
No, not at all.

Robbie Turner:
How old are you?

Dan the videographer:
I'm 29.

Robbie Turner:
Great. So, you've been working-

Dane:
Same age bracket.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. We're all the same, right?

Dan the videographer:
Yeah.

Robbie Turner:
So, you've had over 10 years now working in the workforce after doing your studies and everything. Give the listeners and give us, and this again, question without warning, because you're like, "Why is he fucking waving to me?" I'm like, "Come over here, mate."

Tamara:
Standard Robbie ops.

Robbie Turner:
This is the thing I love, I love raw and real with no rehearsals. What's it been like with you for the first couple of months working with us? What have you observed? How do you feel? And I guess how does it compare to other businesses and/or organizations that you've helped before?

Dan the videographer:
Well, without sucking up too much because that's what this is going to sound like I'm sure. But working with you guys has just been such a great experience for me. And what you just said then about, what Tammy just said about following your passion, I think I'd only been working there for like a week and a half, two weeks, and Robbie caught me in the hallway and he goes, "How are we going? Are we fueling your passion? Are we fulfilling what you want to do?" And I was like, "Yeah, absolutely." And that's such a great thing that I'm able to do. I love being behind the camera. And then also just having the freedom and the trust from you guys that I can start exploring new ways of doing things, like trying to edit these videos on the fly on my phone and just get them up and ready to go. And...

Tamara:
You just absolutely buzz when you get those little things, those little wins, you just see it... you absolutely exude it. You're like, "Yes, that was so good." And even when you capture a certain piece of content or something, you're like, "Yes, that was so good." And you've even been busted working back late just trying to get some videos out because you've been so excited. And we're like, "It's okay, we don't need them straightaway." But you're just so excited.

Robbie Turner:
Literally the clients that we got to see down in Sydney, they're like, "Your social media presence has gone through the roof. All your videos and all your stuff." They're like, "What's going on?" I'm like, "See that dude over there behind the camera, Dan? That's him." Yeah, that's all you, mate. Which is immediate great feedback from the people that we're trying to communicate through anyway.

Dan the videographer:
I know. And it's that feedback that is really driving me. And I guess that's something that I find is missing in most other jobs that I've had, is that immediate feedback. And you saying that I get buzzing, I get buzzing because I know that when I show it to you you're going to be just as hyped as me, Tammy.

Tamara:
Yeah.

Dan the videographer:
And that's always a [crosstalk 00:37:30].

Tamara:
Well, we've come a long way from the iPhone propped against on a HelloFresh box in the old office.

Robbie Turner:
It worked.

Dan:
I was going to say, it worked at the time.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, it did. It did. Mate, and just to close it off quickly. I've found it, and Tammy, you said it in some of your opening stances, it's easy for us to bring in and... sorry, identify, recruit, and bring in defense members because we know about their background. We know pretty much how they've been shaped, Dan, as you said, they've been specifically selected there. But to have someone as highly specialized and skilled like you as a mature age recruit, almost 30 years old. When you collared me a few weeks ago-

Tamara:
"Mature age." Jesus.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. When you collared me in the lift after being at work by about two or three weeks, you sort of said, "Oh, Robbie, can I have a chat to you for a sec?" I'm like, "Dude, yeah. Mate, what's up?" He's goes, "I want to come down in the lift with you." I'm like, "All right, this must be fucking serious, we're going to have a chat behind closed doors." I said, "What's up mate?" So, we've got about 12 or 15 seconds to go from level eight down to level one. I said, "Mate, what's up?" Can you remember what you said to me in the lift?

Dan the videographer:
Yeah, yeah, I can. Because it was right after somebody else at Axon had said that they were going to move on to follow their passion to join the fireys. And you said in the group, you said, "I just want everybody to follow their passion and be living their best life." And then you said, "If you ever need to come back, you come back." And the feeling I got, and the feeling I got for Axon and for you guys at that time, I was like, "I have to let you know." Because yeah, it was like a really...

Robbie Turner:
It was really cool, man. I literally fucking drove home like-

Tamara:
So, what did you say?

Dan:
I was going to say, you didn't even say it.

Robbie Turner:
No, no, from my recollection, I'm very much paraphrasing you here. You said, "Look, I haven't heard anyone speak like that before. The fact that you really look after each other and you're putting their interests almost in front of the business, but you're leaving the door very much open for them to come and join again." He just said, "Look, I've never heard anything like that from a CEO of a firm before. And you're really happy to be here."

Dan the videographer:
Yeah.

Robbie Turner:
And I'm like, "Cool, man." To me I'm like, "All right, I didn't script it that way, I just said what I thought was..." First of all it was the fucking truth. And as I do with everything, it's just off the cuff from a speaking perspective. So, if it resonated with you, man, I felt really good in the car driving home. I'm like, "Cool, if we're able to resonate with someone that's been in the civilian world for longer than what we have quite frankly. Then we're on the right track." So yeah.

Dane:
Think they have that value when you talk about, "We are family."

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, good one.

Dane:
It's probably one of the most important values we do have at Axon. And I think because when you do have military personnel, they're moving around all the time, so you end up in like... Jess always says to me, "Oh, your military friends." Because I've got this little posse of military friends. Because that's what you do, you see them all the time, and then when you move someone's there that you already know in the post and you sort of go around that. And I think when we are taking people who are transitioning out, they're used to that.

Dane:
So, one thing I find, and even with the civilian staff we have, is everyone sort of gets around each other. And it's not always work, but they're able to like, "Oh, you need a hand moving?" Everyone really insulates around that, and it's a really good quality. And that's a cultural thing, and that's really hard to build for a lot of people.

Tamara:
Yeah, I've heard you be the big brother for some of the girls in their dating life as well.

Dane:
Bit of a sensei in that area, so.

Dan the videographer:
That's the next podcast.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. Hey Dan, thanks for joining us mate, good on you.

Dan the videographer:
Yeah, man. Thanks very much.

Robbie Turner:
You can pass it on to the other Dan. Now that you're one of five Ds that we have in the business.

Tamara:
Yeah.

Robbie Turner:
Big bag of Ds we have in the business.

Tamara:
Oh, God.

Dan:
I'll tell you what. How good is The Grasshopper?

Robbie Turner:
Ah. So good.

Dane:
[crosstalk 00:40:59].

Dan:
You get him on camera, he speaks, but very, very well. Awesome to have you here, bud.

Robbie Turner:
Google that. What else?

Dan:
Yeah. Google Daniel The Grasshopper.

Robbie Turner:
And you'll see him fucking [inaudible 00:41:10].

Dane:
Yeah, yeah.

Robbie Turner:
What else? So, I love the thing about the family, and it's certainly one of Axon's values that we hold very dearly, it's been with us for a couple of years now, and I can't see it ever changing. Family looks after each other, like blood's thicker than water, right?

Tamara:
Mm-hmm (affirmative).

Robbie Turner:
And if we're not looking after each other in the same way and treating each other with respect, and having robust conversations, and it's not about agreeing all the time, and it's not about being yes men. It's all about having that element of respect and understanding-

Tamara:
And the bigger picture is always Axon.

Robbie Turner:
That's right. We can come forward with our opinions and speak passionately about them. But at the end of the day, whatever's going to be the best outcome for the business, whilst taking care of the people in the business, is going to be what's going to happen.

Dan:
Yeah, absolutely. And I mean one of my favorite elements as being a coach is the ability to also bring our clients a little bit closer into what I term our broader Axon family, which is every single person that we work with. And those external relationships with our clients I think, as we start talking about our family, are arguably as important as any other relationship that we have too. Because they've always got our back, they're always helping us out too, it's not a one-way street where it's like we help them, it's a two-way street where we build a relationship to be able to guide each other.

Tamara:
How good is it when people refer to them as being part of the Axon family?

Robbie Turner:
Axon fam bam.

Tamara:
Yeah.

Dane:
Welcome to the Axon family.

Tamara:
I love that.

Dan:
When we were in Sydney I was having a quick chat with some new clients that are going to just get started on their journey. And the young lady, M, she comes up to me and she goes, "So, tell me more about this cult." And I'm like, "We've made it. We've made it to cult status. It's no longer just a family."

Tamara:
The Axon cult.

Dan:
We're overtaking CrossFit.

Tamara:
Oh, God.

Dan:
Everyone will be talking about Axon. How do you know someone's an Axon client? They'll tell you.

Dane:
There's a certain way of building that though, right? If you're putting your clients first. And I remember you saying to me, Dan, when I was first coming through the business and doing coaching, you said, "Never ever put yourself before a client's needs." So, one thing which I really, really liked.

Dane:
And it almost borders on a bit how we have friendships with some of them. So, I'm catching up with DL when we go up to the Sunshine Coast and go and get breakfast. I don't have to do that, but I want to because you're getting involved, and I know from the coach level it's not always about the tangible asset, but you talk about transition, family life, all that sort of stuff, and you spend a lot of time with these people. So, I love when we go out and do our meet and greets and we get to have a drink, and it's like meeting old friends effectively. So, it's a really, really good feeling.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah because, as you guys all know, we choose who we work with. We don't just let any client in the Axon door. If someone's not coachable, they think they know better, they're going to be a pain in the arse, or they're just not going to drink the Axon Kool-Aid, go fucking work with someone else.

Dane:
Yeah.

Robbie Turner:
We've got a business model that works, we've got proven runs on the board, over $100 million of net worth that we've now injected back into the defense community over the last couple of years. If you want a part of that, we'll fucking bend over backwards. If you don't want to try and buck the system, go work with Jonno's Real Estate on the corner. old Jonno.

Tamara:
Oh, bloody Jonno. But it goes back the same way. If they're not a fit for us, if we're not a fit for them I mean, like if we can't help them, if it's the wrong fit, if it's the wrong thing to do, then all of the team know 1,000% you don't go there.

Dan:
Give them the old [inaudible 00:44:42]. Give them a kiss and let them go [inaudible 00:44:44].

Tamara:
Yeah.

Dan:
I mean for me, I know that I'm going to be spending dozens of hours with these people. And I don't want to spend dozens of hours with people that I don't like.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah.

Dan:
So, there needs to be that personal connection there to actually be able to take the relationship to the next level, because life's too short, I don't want to be spending half my week with someone that I don't like.

Tamara:
Yeah. And the commercial benefit for Axon is never more important than that.

Dan:
Absolutely.

Tamara:
Growing the business, getting more income, we're not a charity, but obviously there's a fee for service to pay-

Dan:
Yeah. The world doesn't run on love and Pixie Dust, right?

Tamara:
No, I do need to pay my staff.

Robbie Turner:
Not just on love, trust and Pixie Dust, yeah.

Dan:
Yeah.

Tamara:
But in saying that, I would never want any of my team members to feel like they had to push a property down someone's throat that wasn't a fit.

Dan:
Yeah. And I mean that all comes from working towards a bigger purpose in my perspective. It's never about the little incremental steps that we're going to take here. And I mean I love some of the work that Simon Sinek's put together about The Infinite Game and things like that. If you haven't listened to any of that or read any of Simon Sinek's books, I highly recommend you go and do that. But it's about one of those things that you got from the military, right? Is we know what our mission is. We know what our focus is. And everyone just gets in line to be able to go ahead and achieve that.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. And right now I can let everyone know that Axon's current mission is to help 300 people in one year. We're 140 odd last year, which is amazing. It was at 67 the year before. So, we're very, very much on the trajectory.

Tamara:
That's not for this year.

Dan:
That's a few years down the track.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, correct.

Dan:
[crosstalk 00:46:22].

Robbie Turner:
So, in one year. So, that's our three-year goal there and mission. Every single thing we do is working towards that. End of story. Every conversation we have, everything we do is working towards it.

Dane:
Yeah.

Dan:
And that's one of the really powerful things I think we've all drawn from the military, is taking that real mission-focused, and then being able to turn it into a vision. And it's like, "Okay, this is the vision that we have for Axon and where we're going now." Which is realistically. Like that alignment really starts to resonate through to the whole civilian sector, where they're like, "I can see my North Star, I know exactly where the business is running towards here. What's my piece of the puzzle? How do I be able to fit into this and make sure we're all heading in the right direction?"

Robbie Turner:
And not just fit in but actually contribute as well, which is really cool. Let me just go back to a quick thing I said before. When I said that if you're allowed inside the Axon door and we say we're going to bend over backwards for you, this is what I mean, I've got this little thing, an analogy between being on exercise versus being on operations.

Robbie Turner:
So, we know that when we go to Cultana or we go to Shoalwater Bay or we go to Tindal or wherever it is, and there's an exercise going on, we're there and we show up, 75, 80, 85%. We know that no one's going to die unless there's an accident. No one's shooting at us, et cetera, et cetera. So, we go through the motions and we do our TTPs and we get better at our job and et cetera, et cetera.

Robbie Turner:
But when you go on operations, it's on. And you're there and you're showing up 110%, and you never miss a brief, and you put all your heart and soul into making sure that the teamwork and the things that you're doing actually matter. Well, guess what-

Tamara:
Is that kind of because on training it's your own team members, that you've already got that trust I guess? When you're deployed or there's another element of the enemy.

Robbie Turner:
The enemy gets a vote as they say.

Tamara:
They've got a say in it, and it's not just the trust that you have in your team to follow all these directions.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah. So, I guess you just do everything at 110, 1,000%. More than 100, or whatever fucking number resonates with you, right? Guess what? Axon's on operations every day. This is not a rehearsal. We're not just flirting with your financial future. We're actually putting steps in place and having conversations about family planning and marriage counseling sometimes and defense transition and money habits, and oh by the way let's talk about property. So, it's a very, very comprehensive sort of coaching and life program that we've put together there. But yeah, that's what I mean by bending over backwards.

Dan:
Yeah. Tam, and when you were speaking then about why does it go to 100%? From my perspective it's because the stakes are higher. If you fail, something drastically happens. You don't want to have to be the person that's talking about such-and-such as being mortally injured, wounded, everything, or died. The stakes are exceptionally high there.

Dan:
And I mean, not to get too melodramatic about it, but when RT says we're on operations now 24/7, the stakes are very high. These are life-altering decisions that we're talking about with our clients. So, we need to acknowledge that the repercussions of if we get this wrong, then drastic things do happen. So, that's why-

Tamara:
And that is why we rely so much as well on our suppliers, our network of amazing accountants, amazing specialist mortgage brokers. Things like that that can offer that advice based around the strategy that you guys can come up with.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, it's so critical. We talk about teamwork, and we're talking about ourselves, we're talking about our clients. But those supporting, flanking, enabling other businesses around the organization there. It's why I called the business Axon Property Group, because there's a group of businesses, majority of them outside the wire from an Axon perspective, that are all now working, and working for the betterment of our clients.

Robbie Turner:
And it's one thing that I am fucking red-hot militant with. That if one of our... we always jump on and do a quick little hot wash with our clients. "Hey, so how did your chat with the mortgage broker go? How did your chat with the accountant go? Is the solicitor... do you feel like you're being looked after?" And if that client doesn't come back and say, "They're absolutely treating me like a VVIP." I get my fucking size 12 out and kick someone in the arse and find out why. Because-

Tamara:
And it's happened.

Robbie Turner:
Oh, yeah. Because our clients are paying us good money and putting trust and confidence and faith in us to just get access to the very best network, and make sure they can have those service providers.

Dan:
And I mean all of those external strategic relationships that we do have, they know what is expected of them. They've signed up when they said, "Yes, I absolutely want to be... have that strategic relationship with you." They're on board. They say, "Yes, I'm on board with what it is that you expect from us from a standards perspective, to be able to deliver to your clients." So, this is no surprise to them that they expect a really, really high standard.

Dan:
In fact, most of the time they turn around and go, "I really wish everybody else was just like you guys because your clients when they come through are absolutely amazing to deal with." But it goes two ways. They have to be absolutely amazing for our clients to deal with too. It can't just be a one-way street from that perspective.

Tamara:
I have to say, we do work with some bloody rock stars. They're the ones that are applying after hours, that are jumping on calls, that are taking the time out of their weekends and their evenings because they know that the sacrifice in service that our clients, well majority of our clients, being ATF members, they can't always speak during business hours. So, absolutely working with rock stars that are flexible, that just want to put our clients first. It's amazing.

Dane:
It's a testament to the relationship you build. You're very much going out there, so you're meeting people, other stakeholders and so on and so forth, and being able to show them what you're about, and how they can be positioned to come in and assist. But if they're not, go, "Oh, well we don't do it that way." Well, they're not the right fit. You know what I mean? So, it's definitely super, super, super important.

Dan:
Yeah. No, that's absolutely right. So, I suppose if I was just going to wrap up, I think we've covered off on a few topics.

Robbie Turner:
What an awesome session.

Tamara:
Yeah.

Robbie Turner:
I've loved this by the way.

Dan:
So, we covered off on some leadership stuff, what we've learned from the military and how we've brought that into the civilian sector and evolved from that perspective. A little bit about organizational change and how it's different between the civilian and the military sector there. Teamwork, both internal and external, with our clients as well. When we spoke about Axon being a family, it wasn't just about internal of Axon it's the whole listed community. And then also speaking about our absolute mission focus there and supporting organization.

Dan:
But I mean, RT, I'll throw to you as the CEO and one of the co-founders of the business. Taking you from your military and then going into the civilian sector, what's your number one takeaway? If you had to say, if there was one gem of information that you wanted to pass on to other people out there, what would it be?

Robbie Turner:
Without a doubt, mate, it's find your passion, make it your profession, and you'll never work another day in your life. Or I can put it in another way. Find what you're good at, find a way to make money from it, and find a way to contribute or help people along the way. When you're doing those things... When I joined the military at 17 and got out at 41, from a inculcation perspective, 24 years of my life from a teenager through til I was like post-40, which is older than everyone else here in the room, it's a fucking massive chunk of my life. And I know lots of people listening right now are at that stage. Even, what, six weeks ago would have been my 31st year anniversary of being in the military.

Dan:
That's how inculcated you are, mate. You still remember when your Army birthday is. And you're like, "If I was still in from seven years ago I would have hit 31 this year."

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, but-

Tamara:
God, I can't wait til retirement with that one.

Robbie Turner:
The reason why I say that though, I see all my peers and stuff on Facebook, they're all still in, and I'm like, "Fuck, how..." I love the fact that, even though it wasn't a pleasant experience when I got out, the fact that I've been out now for all this time has enabled me to just do and see and meet so many more people, that I would never have had the opportunity to do. I sometimes feel sorry for all those people that are still in, because I'm like, "There's a whole big wide world out there that you still haven't seen." So, you've yet to be unleashed, put it that way.

Dan:
Yeah.

Robbie Turner:
And when they do get unleashed, they're going to be fucking in their late 40s like I am now, and then guess what? They've got 10 years less of being that best version of themselves.

Dan:
Dane, have you got one?

Dane:
Do I have one? A good one.

Dan:
Put him on the spot there.

Tamara:
Yeah.

Robbie Turner:
Yes, I fucking do.

Dane:
I guess for me, my final thought or lesson, I don't know, I think you need to be able to support your team. You cannot be in a position where you think that they're there to support you in a way. You need to be able to enable them to do their job, and the way you can do that is operating at a different level I guess that they are. So, that's why you're there. You're there to enable them to do that. So, never ever think you're bigger than your team, because you're never ever going to be.

Tamara:
I think the underlying purpose of every human being is they want to help people. No matter where you are in your life, whether you're in defense, whether you're whatever job you do, whatever situation you're in, I think the underlying purpose of every human being is, "How can I help other people?" And I'm so grateful that we can really do that every day in these tangible, we can see how much we help people every day. Not only in our teams, not only in our community, it's... Yeah, so good.

Robbie Turner:
Dan, before I wrap up quickly, what about you, mate? What's the biggest lesson learned and observation that you've taken? What have you been out now for? Three and a bit years. Three and a half years, yeah.

Dan:
Yeah. For me it's about just life is... Obviously a few very momentous occurrences have occurred in my life since then, like having children, getting married. Now I've found a new extended family in Axon as well, and sort of being privy to watching that grow over the last few years has certainly been exceptional. But for me it's all just about life isn't a dress rehearsal. People often ask me, they look at my calendar and they're like, "Holy shit, how do you fit all that in one day? Aren't you exhausted?" I'm like, "Absolutely I'm exhausted the end of the day, but I'm also on a high because I'm not just leaving... I'm not leaving anything on the table anymore. I'm 100% in. I'm doing this at 100% all of the time. I'm not in that training mode." I'm like, "It is life. Life is now, let's make the most of it and go at 110% all the time."

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, it's certainly something, Dane, you would have seen when you read that job ad there. And go back to listen to episode three or four when Dane came in, he's like, "This is not a 9:00 to 5:00 job. It is a lifestyle." And I see you nodding your head there, mate.

Dane:
It is. Definitely is.

Robbie Turner:
Yeah, gold. That then brings us to the end of episode one. There we go. Nine episodes down.

Dan:
Season. Season.

Tamara:
Season one.

Dan:
Season one.

Robbie Turner:
Oh, I always get that fucking wrong don't I?

Dan:
You know what? Right at the very beginning of episode one, he called it season one for the episode. And now here we are right at the end of season number one, and he's calling it episode one.

Robbie Turner:
Sorry, so just a quick little recap. So, if you're listening to episode nine of season one, go back and listen to these other episodes. So, episode one we covered off about Axon's beginning and how the business started because of Tinder. And it's got nothing to do with Tamara and I by the way. The next one was all about Dan starting and me being in a wheelchair, and basically what happened through there. Then the third episode was about I sacked my wife from the business and then begged for her to come back. I actually-

Tamara:
Everyone is so shocked by that one. Even when we were down recently in Sydney and we saw our business coaches, and you mentioned that, the heads swung around with their jaw wide open.

Robbie Turner:
"What?"

Tamara:
And they're like, "Are you kidding me?"

Robbie Turner:
I was like, "Yeah, I was that guy." Episode four was all about why we stopped marketing to 99% of Australia. What actually happened when we started to just reaching out to defense community only. Episode five was all about when the business grew up, and the day that the training wheels come off. Episode six was the man himself Dane starting. So, it's basically about the whole recruitment, you being in the friend zone and us having about five or six conversations before you were actually offered a job.

Tamara:
Stuck in the friend zone.

Dan:
It was a good insight to the detail that we go to from a recruitment perspective as well.

Robbie Turner:
Episode seven is about growing a high-performance team during COVID, and why it was a no-brainer to hire seven people over a six-month period. We sort of touched on that just quickly before. Episode eight was all about our tagline as far as Axon goes as a commando approach to property. So, you can get your heads in the game as far as that goes. Then of course what we've just spoken about then was about it's not if but when, when are you going to successfully transition from defense, and hopefully we've given you a few insights there that resonate with you about how we can make it happen.

Robbie Turner:
Please come back for season two, it's going to be cracking. So, we've now gone through a chronological order about how we got to this point. All of us have now transitioned, now as I guess we've really laid the platform for us to get some other guest speakers in and really go narrow and deep into five things we're going to talk about. ADF transition, ADF veteran entrepreneurship, females in business and how to be a successful spouse of a [inaudible 00:59:25] defense member like me. We're going to talk about mindset and money habits, and of course we're going to talk about what's going on in the property market as well.

Tamara:
And if you haven't already, make sure you give us five stars. You can share this, spread the word. I'm hoping by now, by the end of episode nine you've already done that, but if you haven't, then yeah, subscribe and share and like, and all those awesome things. But let's get this out there.

Robbie Turner:
Thanks Dane, thanks Dan.

Dane:
No worries.

Dan:
Thank you, thank you.

Robbie Turner:
See you all soon. Season two coming soon.

Dan:
Bye.

Tamara:
See you.

Dane:
See you later.

Robbie Turner:
Hey, thanks for tuning in to today's podcast. If you enjoyed listening, make sure you give us a five-star rating. Hit subscribe so you'll be first in line to get it in your inbox every week on a Tuesday. Whilst you're at it, open up your favorite social media app, be that Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube, and connect with Axon Property Group. This is where you'll see us every day sharing the secrets of creating multi-million dollar property portfolios and performing to the highest levels of your life. You'll get exclusive behind the scenes access to what it really takes to build a life that you love. You'll also discover how to secure your financial future as an ADF member or veteran, and I assure your future self will love you for it. Thanks again for listening, and that's a wrap.

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