About Rick Lozano

Rick Lozano is an energetic, unique keynote speaker who combines his work as a musician with his expertise in talent development to produce keynotes that audiences rave about. He specializes in helping people amplify their impact as leaders, individuals, and teams, he also helps organizations and teams elevate their performance, create customer loyalty, and build work cultures people crave.

Weird, Different, and Awkwardly In-Person

“This totally sucks”

“This is weird.”
“Are they smiling?”
“Is this working?”
“Why am I doing this???”

All of those questions were racing through my brain five minutes into my first presentation at the ATD (Association for Talent Development) Conference in Salt Lake City last week.

I rarely get nervous speaking on stage these days, but last week – totes nerves!

Everything was different this year. What is normally a conference attended by 10K+ talent development professionals, this year was barely a couple thousand, all masked attendees. You wouldn’t even think it was that many, the giant ballrooms were largely unfilled, the chairs were spaced six feet apart, and it felt AWKWARD as a speaker.

Honestly, it seemed awkward for everyone at first. How do we do this again? Is this…okay?

My time slot was the opening act of the conference and it seemed like we all were a bit uncomfortable being around each other again.

(Many of you reading this were there…did you feel it too?)

And that feeling was exacerbated for me when I took the stage. It felt like something out of a dystopian sci-fi movie. Imagine standing there, speaking to symmetrical rows of faceless, quiet participants.

I swear this guy was in the audience staring at me…

 

I MISS ZOOM!

“Seriously…did I just think that?”
I did. At least there I can see people’s faces if their cameras are on, but here? This feels weird! What am I going to do?

I did what you do.
I did what those of you who attended in person did.

I showed up.
I did my job.

I can’t see their faces, but they can see mine.
They braved the Delta variant, traveled from across the globe to learn at this conference, they chose to be in my session out of numerous qualified choices in this time slot…
I have to show up.

So I did. (guitar and all)

As we got further in, all that subdued audience energy began to morph slightly. We loosened up, had fun. It never reached the typical levels that I’m accustomed to (we laugh softer with masks on), but people engaged, a few joined me onstage (socially distanced), and the show went on.

And it was great.

And as people left the room, I was encouraged that numerous audience members stayed behind to chat, exchange info, you know…the normal stuff.

As I was packing up my guitar the last person in the room approached the stage and I heard a familiar voice say, “Rick, that was awesome as always!”

I thought, “Wait…who is that? …I think I recognize that forehead!”

It was my friend Alissa. I had no idea she was in the audience. I hadn’t seen her since before Covid shut the world down. She had great things to say, we had a chance to catch up, which felt good.

And as the conference went on, my thinking shifted to…

…maybe this isn’t so bad.

It wasn’t, not at all.

It was just different.

A few days in, people were visibly more comfortable being around each other. Most everyone politely followed the mask and safety protocols during the event and I realized there were things I actually liked about this smaller, more intimate setting.

I had a chance to connect with other speakers that I’ve known for years but never had an opportunity to spend time with. I got to see some of my friends in action, lighting up the room with their presentations. I had an opportunity to have longer conversations than usual with some of you!

And I remembered something equally – if not more – important…

We are all in this together

And we are all just trying to figure it out.

We all have to show up for each other.

And we owe it to each other to extend a little grace, a lot of gratitude, to be responsible and get our vaccines so that we can all move the hell on from this Covid era.

To be there for each other. Even when it feels weird.

And sometimes, to remember that different is just that…different.

I couldn’t see them during the conference, thanks to the masks, but I felt your smiles. I hope you felt mine.

And, if I didn’t get a chance to tell you….you have a nice forehead.

Rick

Ps…HUGE thanks to the ATD staff and volunteers, the speakers, and the conference attendees. It was a fantastic event in very different times.

AND – to those of you who were there in-person at my sessions, THANK YOU!!!!

Still Rick.

Weird, Different, and Awkwardly In-Person2021-09-10T15:45:20-05:00

Getting to the Bottom of Your Passions

I’ve thought a lot about passion and my views on it have changed over the years. I was delighted to be asked to speak on the Lean Into You podcast to discuss it.

There’s a little something for everyone in this discussion, enjoy and let me know what you think!
Special thanks to the Lean Into You Podcast, Wesley and Alex, Heather Hicks, Signal Centers and the TN Depr. of Human Services. Thank you for the work that you do.

Getting to the Bottom of Your Passions

Lean Into You

Getting to the Bottom of Your Passions

July 28, 2021 Alex Farrell and Wesley Mayes Season 2 Episode 35
Lean Into You
Getting to the Bottom of Your Passions
Chapters
Lean Into You
Getting to the Bottom of Your Passions
Jul 28, 2021 Season 2 Episode 35
Alex Farrell and Wesley Mayes

In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Rick Lozano, a keynote speaker, musician, and author. In this conversation, we will talk about how educators can begin to understand their passions better. We will cover:

1) What passion means and how we can revamp our understanding of passion
2) Borrowing from other interests in order to adopt a lens for viewing our work
3) How emotional intelligence plays a role in understanding our passions
4) The importance of facilitating a work environment that nurtures its employees' passions

If you would like to engage more with Rick's work, visit www.ricklozano.com.

This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.

In today's episode of Lean Into You, we talk with Rick Lozano, a keynote speaker, musician, and author. In this conversation, we will talk about how educators can begin to understand their passions better. We will cover:

1) What passion means and how we can revamp our understanding of passion
2) Borrowing from other interests in order to adopt a lens for viewing our work
3) How emotional intelligence plays a role in understanding our passions
4) The importance of facilitating a work environment that nurtures its employees' passions

If you would like to engage more with Rick's work, visit www.ricklozano.com.

This podcast is funded through a grant with the Tennessee Department of Human Services and Signal Centers, Inc.

Getting to the Bottom of Your Passions2021-08-01T15:00:23-05:00

Unlocking Talent on the Technically Speaking podcast!

Had the great opportunity to chat with my friends, Austin and Taylorr at Speakerflow on their podcast, Technically speaking.

We chatted about numerous things including the new book, Acoustic Leadership, unlocking talent, and finding your “rickness”. (You’ll have to listen for context on that)

Great episode with lots of laughs, and yes, some music!

Enjoy!

 

https://speakerflow.com/unlocking-potential-and-amplifying-talent/

Unlocking Talent on the Technically Speaking podcast!2021-07-29T09:50:37-05:00

Move it or marinate it?

Timing is everything.

And yet, such a funny thing.

I remember when I smoked (which is a bad idea, but I did it for years anyway), I knew I wanted/had to quit, but…the “timing” was always an excuse. I had XYZ thing coming up, I didn’t want to be uncomfortable when I was going to ABC thing…

And, of course I was going to Vegas, can’t quit smoking before Vegas!

And then, on January 7th, 2007, I made the choice. The time was right, I had one last cigarette and I permanently quit. (By the way, I read Allen Carr’s book, “The Easy Way To Quit Smoking” and, for some reason, it helped.)

But the truth is, the time was always right. For some things, that’s just the way it is, it is always the right time to…

  • Spend time with loved ones
  • Hit the gym
  • Send the thank you note
  • Opt out of toxic relationships

As a matter of fact, do one of those things today!

Yet, with other things, you have to take your time, that’s the way the process works. My wife, Angela, is an excellent cook, and with some recipes, things have to simmer or marinate until it just feels right.

As a songwriter, I’ve had songs I sat on for years, and then one day – boom! – they just finished themselves. As an author, my book was ready a year ago, or so I thought, then I was forced to let it sit for a while and something magical happened – that space, that distance made me realize how much more it could be.

And a year later, turned out to be the perfect time.

So, what things do you need to take action on now?

What things need a little space to finish themselves?

I can’t answer that for you, but I think you might have a gut feel that will help point you in the right direction.

Move it or marinate it?2021-07-01T08:52:42-05:00

The new album is out!

Hey friends!

In addition to writing the first draft of my new book, Acoustic Leadership – Developing A Leadership Culture That Resonates, my COVID time was also spent on my 6th album of original music! Songs I Had To Get Off My Chest is now available wherever you stream music. Here’s a short video introducing it, I hope you enjoy!

The new album is out!2021-04-13T07:26:31-05:00

Learning Under Water P.3

Bruce Willis Ruins All Films

Whether you agree with that statement or not, it is a good mnemonic for remembering to check your gear before you dive. In order, you check:
 Bruce – BCD (Buoyancy Control Device)
Willis – Weights
Ruins – Releases
All – Air
Films – Final check/Fins
..,before you start your dive.
Safety first, right? Check!

And that’s the way we now start every dive, thanks to our instructor, Bill Becker. He taught us this simple, yet absolutely important method to begin our dives safely, and held us accountable during our initial training if we forgot.
Onboarding properly makes a difference.
As we’ve developed as divers, I’ve noticed that not everyone does the protocol, but we always do – every single time, no exceptions. It is our commitment to each other to always perform the safety checks to keep ourselves and each other safe. And… on the rare occasion one of us forgot, the other stepped up and insisted.
This is how we do it.
(…go ahead, click it, you know you want to!)
The way you are introduced to things matters, whether it is scuba diving, leadership, a new team, or a new organization.  The initial tone – and the subsequent accountability – dictates how people will behave. It creates the norms and expectations for what great looks like and, when done properly, can impact everyone’s morale, engagement, and in this case, safety.
Onboarding is the first exposure. Make it count.
It is tempting to go fast, to hit the ground running, to get people up to speed and productive asap.  To skip the details and just jump to results.  After all, we don’t have time to waste!
But taking the time up front saves you time and money later. Set people up for success and safety.
And now that we’ve discussed that, I have a confession…I liked The Sixth Sense.  Bruce Willis is fine.
Learning Under Water P.32021-03-27T08:23:48-05:00

A New Guitar and the Art of Asking

For the first time in almost twenty years, I bought a new acoustic guitar.

This one…

I didn’t mean to.

I mean, I wanted it, I just didn’t expect that I would actually buy it.

Let me explain. The guitar that I’ve been gigging with forever has gotten a little road weary. Over the course of 20+ years it has been dropped, cracked, and fallen off more guitar stands than I can count.

While still sounding great and working beautifully (after repairs…thank you, Guitar Tex!), I started thinking about a backup guitar in case I found myself in a position where I needed one on the fly.

So I eyeballed the Martin GPC – 15ME. It’s pretty. I wanted it. But I didn’t yet want to spend the money.

And then I saw an email from Sweetwater.com selling a demo version of that guitar (meaning it’s been on display on their showroom floor and has a few small imperfections) for $200 off the price.

“Huh. That doesn’t look bad at all…still, that’s more than I want to spend right now. If only it were $500 off the price”, I thought to myself.

So, almost without thinking, I sent my sales rep an email asking him to lower the price by $500. I told him that if he did that, I would “buy the guitar today!”.

I didn’t expect he’d actually do it.

(Cue the text message to my wife…“Honey…guess what I just did…”)

Here’s the thing…sometimes you ask and the world responds.

I’ve been talking about this a lot lately in my keynote, “Amplify Your Impact”, how you “create” your next opportunity rather than trying to “find” it. But I suddenly realized just how many times this has held true for me recently, great things have happened because I took a chance and ASKED. That’s it. I opened the door to possibility, threw myself out there just a little bit and, in doing so, created these opportunities.

I came up with this crazy idea for a paid sabbatical as volunteer scuba diver this past summer- asked – and was approved.

I got to play at the legendary Irish Kevin’s in Key West, Florida simply by asking Irish Kevin what it would take to play there.

And now, the very guitar that I spent hours daydreaming about was mine at a nearly 40% discount. Because I asked.

Now, mind you, I probably have asked for many other things that have yet to come to fruition (come on, Paul McCartney, it’s just lunch), but the truth is in life sometimes we just have to be willing to throw it out into the world and the world will respond. Rather than waiting for opportunity, create it.

What are you waiting for?

**** Update – Shortly after I wrote this I sent the guitar back. It was beautiful but didn’t have the sound I was looking for. (insert sad face)

And – support your local guitar shop, those folks are awesome.  Thanks again, Guitar Tex!

A New Guitar and the Art of Asking2020-02-26T11:13:08-06:00
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