COLORADO SPRINGS — Ken Harrison is joined by former U.S. Navy SEAL and Founder of Life of Valor, Jeff Bramstedt, on the latest episode of “On the Edge with Ken Harrison.” Together they discuss what it takes to become a U.S. Navy SEAL, surrounding yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses, and Bramstedt’s story of donating a portion of his liver out of Christian love for someone he had never met.
Highlights of Bramstedt’s interview in the podcast include (edited for clarity):
Becoming a U.S. Navy SEAL and practicing the legacy of excellence:
“I would say to anybody who wants to become a SEAL, understand that your body is ten times more capable than your brain tells it that it is. When you become tired, and your muscles and your body are saying ‘I’m exhausted. I need rest.’ know that you can still keep going. In training, you’re going to be pushed to the edge of your capabilities and who you have always known yourself to be physically.
Once you are launched off the ledge of your limitations, you will realize that you didn’t fail and you didn’t fall down. Not only are you still on your feet, but you will have a whole set of new limits—this is what the training is all about, pushing you past your limits and coming through the other side. You will be able to do more than you ever thought possible.”
“When you become a SEAL, everything is done in excellence. From what you say, to the way you treat your teammates and boat crew—don’t let anything come out of your mouth that’s discouraging and always be there for somebody. Take care of somebody else before you take care of yourself because it’s just as much a team sport as it is an individual sport.”
Leadership and surrounding yourself with people whose strengths are your weaknesses:
“I think there are two kinds of leaders that are out there, the kind that are born and the kind that are created, mentored. Take someone who is a born leader and they’re not mentored, they can be kind of the bossy guy. Take someone who learned how to be a great leader because they were a great follower, they’re going to be a really good leader. Then, take a born leader who was teachable and a great follower, he’s going to be an amazing leader.
But, how great of a leader is someone if you were to ask the people that follow them? You will get a much different answer than from the leader who has their own view of themselves. So when we look at the distorted mirror of our leadership, it can be easy to think ‘I’m awesome at this.’, but this can be dishonest because we tend not to think about our weaknesses.
I looked inward at my own weaknesses and started to focus on them because I knew what my strengths were. After a long time of focusing on my weaknesses, I started thinking ‘What if I surround myself with the people whose strengths are my weaknesses and I keep those guys close to me?’ It changed the game for me, my growth, and my leadership. I’ve been doing this for close to a decade because it is important to surround yourself with these individuals, as well as those who are not going to say yes to everything.”
Bramstedt’s story of donating a portion of his liver out of Christian love for someone he had never met:
“I always tell my boys that character is the place inside you where the things that you say, the things that you do, and the decisions you make come from—from God’s center.
When I heard about Melinda’s story, I immediately said yes because it wasn’t okay that there was a man that was going to lose his wife and there was nothing he could do about it. So, I stood up in his shoes for his wife. Early on, I thought about what would it be like if I was in the position where my wife needed something and there was nothing I could do because maybe our blood types weren’t the same, or maybe I had something that would get in the way of me having to be who I needed to be for her. It would have destroyed me and changed me as a human being, husband, and father. When I met Melinda, I said, ‘I’m not doing this for you so much. No offense, I’m just doing it for him because I can’t imagine what it would feel like as a husband with your wife in this situation.’”
“On the Edge with Ken Harrison” is a weekly podcast featuring fearless, no-holds-barred conversations from a biblical worldview with the leaders, influencers and changemakers behind today’s news. Harrison shines the light of God’s Word on the toughest, timeliest issues relating to current events, faith, family and fatherhood.
The podcast, available in both audio and video form, can be found on Apple, Spotify, and YouTube. Podcast listeners can also receive an encouraging weekly devotional that will inspire them to put their faith into action.
MEDIA NOTE: Please email Press@theKcompany.co to schedule an interview with WaterStone CEO Ken Harrison.
KEN HARRISON is the host of “On the Edge with Ken Harrison,” a podcast building godly people for a better tomorrow. The podcast, available in both audio and video form, can be found on YouTube and your favorite podcast platform, including Apple and Spotify. The podcast also offers listeners the opportunity to receive a challenging weekly devotional that will inspire them to put their faith into action.
Harrison serves as CEO of WaterStone, a Christian Community Foundation whose clients donate over $2 million per week on average to build God’s Kingdom. For nearly 40 years, Waterstone has assisted givers in supporting their favorite charities by crafting customized, innovative giving solutions that empower donors to prioritize income, minimize taxes and optimize giving.
Ken started his career as an LAPD street cop in South Central and then spent nearly two decades in commercial real estate nationally and internationally. After successfully building and growing his company, he sold the majority interest to the second-largest commercial real estate company in the world while continuing as CEO of U.S. valuation and chair of international valuation.
Ken volunteers his time as the chairman of Promise Keepers. His mission is to provide executive leadership and strategic direction to the ministry while inspiring men to be bold, humble and ambitious about their faith.