IAM1014- Podcast Host Focuses on Conversations with Professional Athletes

Podcast Interview with Jen Garrett

Jen is an internationally recognized author, speaker, leadership expert, and brand architect who works with executives and professional athletes on how to push boundaries, build effective teams, optimize performance, and “move the ball” to reach higher levels of success in business and in life. Jennifer's background includes seven degrees, Fortune 100 executive leadership experience, and military officer leadership as an Army lawyer. She is also the host of the Move the Ball podcast, a podcast that focuses on conversations with professional athletes, Fortune 500 C-suite leaders, and entrepreneurs on connecting the competitive athlete mentality to leadership for business, career, and personal success.

  • CEO Hack: Sticking to what drives me
  • CEO Nugget: Trust the process and evolve as you need
  • CEO Defined: Strong and great leader


Move the Ball Book Link:
The Daily Hustle Planner Link:
Optimize Your Life Course:

Full Interview:

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00:22 – Intro

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

00:49 – Gresham Harkless

Hello, Hello, Hello. This is Gresh from the IMCEO Podcast and I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Jennifer Garrett of Get Inside the Huddle. Jennifer, it's awesome to have you on the show.

00:58 – Jen Garrett

Hey, thank you so much for having me.

01:01 -Gresham Harkless:

Definitely super excited to have you on and before we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Jen to hear about all the awesome things that she's doing. Jen is an internationally recognized author, speaker, leadership expert, and brand architect who works with executives and professional athletes on how to push boundaries, build effective teams, optimize performance, and move the ball to reach higher levels of success in business and in life.

Jennifer's background includes 7 degrees, fortune 100 executive leadership experience, and military officer leadership as an army lawyer. She is also the host of the Move the Ball podcast, a podcast that focuses on conversations with professional athletes, Fortune 500 C-suite leaders, and entrepreneurs on connecting the competitive athlete mentality to leadership for business, career, and personal success. Jen, are you ready to speak to the I AM CEO community?

[restrict paid=”true”]

01:49 – Jen Garrett

I'm ready and thank you for that wonderful introduction.

01:52 – Gresham Harkless

Well, you did all the hard work so I just read the words. So I appreciate you for doing all the awesome things to kind of help so many, you know, CC executives and leaders out. And what I wanted to do is just kind of rewind the clock, hear a little bit more on how you got started, what I call your CEO story.

02:07 – Jen Garrett

Yeah, so first I'll step back. You mentioned that I had Fortune 100 executive experience. So I spent 20 years working in corporate America, a lot of different things, engineering, sales, marketing, business development. I am a lawyer too, so I've done legal work and transactional work. And I decided a couple of years ago that I was going to one day leave to be the CEO, move the ball brand, and really grow that. And what really was the turning point for me, was because I loved my corporate career, had a great resume that I was building, and found it fulfilling, because you hear a lot of stories about people talking about how they weren't fulfilled, right? For me, I enjoyed all of that.

But what happened was my dad passed away very unexpectedly. What I realized due to his unexpected passing is that the world keeps moving whether you're in it or not. What is the legacy that you want to leave? I loved my corporate resume, but I wanted more than that. And I had published my book, Move the Ball, a few years back, was doing a bunch of speaking, kind of as the side hustle, so to speak. And my employer, I worked for GE at the time, they were great. I did a lot of traveling around GE facilities, doing speaking as well. And what I found was people started hashtagging move the ball. People started reaching out to me saying, hey, Jen, I moved the ball today.

And to see it catch on was pretty neat. And so I thought, you know what, I have an opportunity to really create this brand and leave a legacy through a movement, a move the ball movement, and getting real people, getting people thinking about how are they going to move the ball, whether you know anything about sports or not, you can grasp the concept of did you move a ball today or not. And so I decided to leave corporate America, I ended up leaving on what would have been my dad's birthday, which for me was just like the most important day because it was my dad's passing that really set everything into motion.

03:57 -Gresham Harkless

Yeah, I definitely appreciate you for sharing that. Sorry, of course, to hear about your father, but just the symbolism of you being able to kind of get that, I don't know if you call it an aha moment, but that point in time where you started to see about what it sounds like legacy and the impact that you were having and how you were able to kind of help people amongst the brand to move the ball in their life and in their business in so many different ways?

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04:19 -Jen Garrett


04:21 – Gresham Harkless

I wanted to drill down a little bit more and hear a little bit more about how you work with your clients what the brand represents and what exactly you do to support the clients you work with.

04:27 -Jen Garrett

Yeah, that's a great question. So everything that I do is under this theme of moving the ball. So there's a number of different things that I work with. So I do a lot of working with organizations in a business context of how are we gonna move your business to that next level. So strategic planning, brand creation, looking at product differentiation, Also in terms of productivity and working with your employees and making sure that they're at their optimum level. So I'll bucketize that more and like higher performance if you will. Then I work with professional athletes as well as and individuals, executives on their branding, whether that be their business brand outside of the corporate environment or their personal brand.

For example, with athletes that they play, I work with a lot of NFL athletes mostly, but I do work with other professional athletes as well. And For football, it's a short career. The average NFL career is 2 years. So it's not very long. And I think as time has continued on, a lot of these young men have realized, okay, this isn't gonna be the thing that's gonna set me up for life. So now I need to make sure that I'm thinking about what's next. And so a lot of them have, depending on, you know, how much success they've had, they have this brand around it. So what do they do beyond that brand? Whether it's going into entrepreneurship, whether it's being a speaker and having a speaker platform, I work with that on creating that brand and putting together that playbook and how are you gonna build that to be successful?

05:48 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that's absolutely huge. And as you said, you know, we all have those moments in life and especially for a lot of athletes, you know, something you've been doing for probably your entire life. And then you have that moment where you're not gonna be playing, you know, the game anymore. You have to figure out what's next and how are you gonna continue. So I love that you're able to kind of help, it sounds like empower, you know, the athletes, but also the executives and people as well too on how exactly to do that and what that looks like.

06:12 – Jen Garrett:

Absolutely. And you'll find executives decide to go and have a second career at some point, right? They're like, okay, you know, I've done this, and let me go figure out what's something new and exciting that I can do to learn and grow and a new passion. And so I'll work with executives on that same type of thing, not just athletes, but it's great to be able to connect. Why do this? I love connecting with people and I love helping them to pursue what they're passionate about and kind of seeing their success and their journey.

06:37 – Jen Garrett

Because as we know, life is about a journey, not the destination, right? And so just seeing the progression over time and knowing that I've been able to play a small part in effectuating that journey and the outcomes that they have. For me, that's just still rewarding and that's why I do this.

06:53 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I love what you said earlier too about like even if you're not an athlete, as you said so well, you still can move the ball. You still can do those things to get to that next step and pivot and change and do whatever needs to be done for you to get to wherever, you know, success means as an executive or an athlete or even somebody that's a leader. So I wanted to ask you for what I call now your secret sauce. This could be for yourself personally or for their business or a combination of both. But what do you feel kind of set you apart from McChinique?

07:20 – Jen Garrett

Well, I think a couple of things. one, because my background is so diverse, I mean, 7 degrees, that means I'm a little crazy too, but I've done a lot of different things in my life, which has allowed me to really have a different perspective than other people. one of the things that was really helpful in my corporate career was I was able to ask questions that other people didn't think about. So I like to say it I'll drive non-traditional thinking questions and critical thinking because of this diverse set of expertise that I have. So that really set me apart from a business acumen, and leadership standpoint. And then when working with athletes, I'm a big football person, but I know a lot about different sports and that competitive athlete mentality.

And it's again, it's driving those, those critical thinking points. But I've also taken so many lessons away from sports and applied them to my own life. So I can really connect with you, so I didn't play professional football, right? I didn't play semi, but like I, the lessons that I learned were all from watching as a fan being on the sideline, but I can still connect with the people who played the game. And I think that's important when you work with someone, it's that connection, you know, to get them to trust you, to know that you are the 1 that can help them. And so I think I do that really well, just because of my whole expertise around sports as well as in the business environment.

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08:36 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And it's so funny you said that because I'm actually reading this book called A Range Now, and it kind of talks about how important it is for people that are able to have a diverse range of experiences, maybe 7 degrees or different jobs and positions that they have, it gives them a unique perspective to be able to solve problems a lot of times because they're looking with different or varied eyes onto certain problems and solutions and coming up with those solutions to be able to kind of solve whatever those problems might be.

09:04 – Jen Garrett

Absolutely. Yeah, and I think it's important for everybody, no matter whether you're an executive or not, is to understand how you bring differentiated value to the teams that you work in, whether it's an executive team or you're just an early career professional or whatever. You need to figure out how are you going to be different and what's going to set you apart so that people will recognize you as an expert in whatever, right? So they'll want you to be a part of their team or opportunities will come your way.

09:30 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, that makes so much sense. And I love how it sounds like that manifests itself into your podcast and what you do there where you're having those conversations with the C-suite executives, the leaders, and the athletes as well too, on how they're able to kind of do that in their lives.

09:44 – Jen Garrett

Absolutely, Yeah. I mean, podcasting, as you know, it's a fun experience, but you learn so much from people sharing their stories and their advice and their lessons. And so, I mean, I know that I learn and grow just as much as my audience does because there's just so many great stories that my guests have shared and what they've taken away through their life experiences.

10:04 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, I could definitely co-sign to that where I've learned probably more than the people who are listening as well too, just because you learn so much from the stories and the insight that people have.

10:12 – Jen Garrett


10:14 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome, Awesome, awesome. So I wanted to switch gears a little bit and I wanted to ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an app, a book, or a habit that you have, but what's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

10:25 – Jen Garrett

I think something that makes me more effective and efficient is, well, I'm gonna bundle it. It's a couple of different things, but one is it's staying connected to your purpose, to your why every single day when you wake up in the morning, what is it that drives you, and reminding yourself of what drives you, you know, every, every podcast episode I ended by saying make sure that you suit up, you show up and you move the ball. And so suiting up is you suit up with the right perspective, the right mentality, that positive mindset, but you're also connected to your why. And so your why is what's going to drive you no matter what happens throughout the day, good or bad, because you can't control all the external factors, but that why is going to keep you focused and keep you grounded.

11:05 – Gresham Harkless

I want to ask you now for what I call a CEO nugget. So this could be a word of wisdom or a piece of advice. It might be something you would tell a client or if you happen to be a time machine, you might tell your younger business self.

11:16 – Jen Garrett

Yeah. So I would say that trusting the process is a big thing for me. You know, you have your process, and sometimes you make adjustments as you learn, right, but it's that consistency and application of that process that's going to get you the results that you want to get. Sometimes it's not going to happen day 1 or day 5 or 10. But it's that consistency, which is what's going to drive the results that you're looking for. So you can't you can't get caught up in the day-to-day. You have it's important to assess and reflect and see what's working. But you can't get frustrated and impatient. We know that success takes time. So we always want it to happen more quickly than it does in most cases. And so you just have to stay true to that process and evolve as you need to evolve your process, but trust that your process if you have a solid foundation and a solid process, will get you to the results that you want.

12:04 – Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. And so now I wanted to ask you my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And we're hoping to have different quote-unquote CEOs on the show. So Jen, what does being a CEO mean to you?

12:14 – Jen Garrett:

Well, I think being a CEO, first and foremost is about being a strong leader, a foundational leader that's focused on taking and influencing your organization to whatever success looks like for you. Success has different definitions for different people, but as the CEO is ultimately your responsibility, not only to drive performance, we obviously know that, but to be a great leader, to be an influential leader that aligns with the mission and the vision and the corporate values of your organization.

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12:46 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, I absolutely appreciate and love that definition because I think so many times we can forget all the, I guess, the parts and pieces of the organization and how that aligns with that mission and vision and what you're trying to do. And I think it basically calls on us to be really great leaders, to be able to drive that ship and to be able to make those things happen. And I think if you're not, you know, being that great leader, then that's when sometimes things can fall off the rails.

13:10 – Jen Garrett

Yeah. And I think too, when we have things like a pandemic that's thrown into the mix or these unforeseen circumstances and uncertainty, sometimes people lose sight of the need to be a great leader and the influence that they have because people are looking to your leadership to carry them through the darkness, the negativity, the uncertainty. As we've seen, there's been a lot of change over the last year, a lot of adapting and evolving because we've had to. And so people look to the top, right, to see what are, how are we going to continue to navigate the ship, to move the ball, to keep things moving in this new world?

13:44 – Gresham Harkless

Yeah, absolutely. And I think during, you know, difficult or less than ideal times might be a better way to say it. That's when you find out that true leader and where they stand. But as you said so well, I think we are looking towards those leaders to be able to kind of direct the ship and what changes and things are gonna happen because that's where you get somewhat some peace or at least knowledge that you are moving the ball in the right direction.

14:06 – Jen Garrett


14:07 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. Well, Jen, truly appreciate that definition and I appreciate your time even more. What I wanted to do is just pass you the bike, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional you can let our readers and listeners know. And of course, how best they can get a hold of you and find out about your podcast and all the awesome things you're working on.

14:22 – Jen Garrett

Sure. Well, thank you for that. I mean, I think the big thing for people to remember is you always have choices each day. And so really it's your choices that are going to drive the outcomes that you have in your personal life, in your business, with your team. So I think it's important to stay mindful and aware of the choices that you're making and also the energy that you're putting out there, whether that's in the digital space or through your in-person interactions. Again, I see so many leaders that have maybe slipped a little bit with what's going on over the past year and it's like, you are still the influencer. So remember the energy that you're bringing into each space and make sure that you're radiating positive vibes.

And that you're leveling up your team because it's one of the things that I mentioned in my Move the Ball book is that great leaders are ones that bring energy that energizes the people around them. So I think that's important. As far as how you can get in touch with me, you can go to my website, which is get inside the huddle com. There's always a sports reference. I do work with a lot of people who don't necessarily have sports expertise or know anything about football that just happens to be kind of how I got started.

But so there are sports references throughout, but I do work with a lot of people that don't aren't sports savvy My podcast is called Move the Ball. Again, as you mentioned earlier, conversations with professional athletes, but also senior executives, C-suite leaders, as well as successful entrepreneurs on their journey, their life lessons, and how you can use their experiences and their advice, to move the ball. And you can check out those at

15:53 – Gresham Harkless

Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. Thank you so much again, Jen. We will have the links and information in the show notes as well too, so that everybody can follow up with you and all the awesome things that you're doing. But I truly appreciate that last reminder and just understanding the influence that we can have, especially as leaders in so many different ways in life and in business and everything in between and all around. And I think once we understand that responsibility, we start to take those steps and that action towards that. That's when we really start to see phenomenal things happen. So appreciate that reminder and I appreciate your time as well. And I hope you have a great rest of the day.

16:22 –  Outro

Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by Blue 16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I AM CEO is not just a phrase, it's a community. Be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to our podcast on iTunes Google Play and everywhere you listen to podcasts, SUBSCRIBE, and leave us a five-star rating grab CEO gear at This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless. Thank you for listening.



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