In today’s episode, our guest is Kellen Clemens. He is the Head of Elateus Sports and Development. He joins Elateus following a 12-year career in the NFL and bringing his energy and passion for team building and organizational efficiency. He has a BS in Business Administration from the University of Oregon and a rich leadership background across a multitude of diverse groups and teams. Kellen has a strong work ethic, a high standard of excellence, and an enduring desire to know and serve his teammates. Today, he is excited to use those same behavioral preferences for drive and analysis to help clients recruit, build and develop successful teams both in the corporate and athletic realms.
[10:27] Why should I listen to you?
Because I’m genuinely interested in you, if I’m talking and we’re visiting, I’m genuinely interested in getting to know you. That would probably be the best answer I can give you. If I’m going to sit and we end up at tables next to each other at a coffee shop, and we’re going to strike up a conversation, I’m genuinely interested in your answers.
[11:50] Kellen’s Journey
I grew up on a cattle ranch in Eastern Oregon. We worked, and we played sports. I was fortunate enough to get a scholarship and go to the University of Oregon. My highlight for five years was to play and being there.
I broke my leg in senior year, and then it kind of throws everything up into just chaos because I wasn’t sure if I was going to be ready for the draft, but I got fortunate, and I was healthy enough to get drafted and went to the Jets.
I got cut twice in 2011. It was the first time in my life that somebody says, “you’re not good enough to be on our team.” That staggered me a little bit and got lucky, and the ball bounced my way, and I ended up in St. Louis. I got to play there pretty well and then signed as a free agent in San Diego.
[14:58] What are some experiences that have strengthened you through the adversity?
The eye-opening bit for me that happened is I think it happens for a lot of us is when we first get to that stage. That’s the expectation has a kind of the romantic side of it. But I think what slapped me in the face early was the business side of it.
We’re the young guys that are trying to replace the old guys. But eventually, when you play long enough, you become the old guy. Every new crop of young guys is coming there because they’re cheaper, healthier, younger, and they’re there to replace you. That part was the most shocking for me.
The Truth about the NFL
I played for five different organizations. There are some teams where they’ve created a culture that isn’t quite like that. But some perpetuate that, and they pit guys against one another. It’s a demanding and challenging environment. It’s not all the glitz and glamour.
There’s an aspect of mental toughness that comes from being in that situation. If you want to survive that, you got to classify certain things.
Every coach coaches differently. You sometimes hear what they say and not how they say it. Unfortunately, in those relationships, you got to compartmentalize those relationships because we’re all pulling in the same direction. When you show up to camp with 90 of you, 37 are going home in just a few weeks—that’s the harsh reality.
Even when I transitioned into the real world and become an entrepreneur, there are still mentally-tough challenges.
Working with Elateus
I got a partnership opportunity with this company called the Elateus, based on the east coast. We have brain mapping, which is the most comprehensive and excellent behavioral assessment tool globally. We’re utilizing that in North America to help companies recruit, build, and develop high-performing teams.
We’re about to launch the latest sports, which now has entire other aspects of team building and understanding players and athletes, particularly at the college level and helping not only the coaches get to know the athletes faster, how to engage teachers, motivating them based on their behavioral preferences, how to treat them, but also helping them prepare for life after sport
It helps them understand their behavioral preferences and profile and prepare more accurately for a life of fulfillment after college after their career. That’s the additional output that we’re able to do. I think it’s going to make a significantly positive impact on the lives of athletes.
[21:00] What makes you different from others?
The most significant difference for us is what we’re doing. We measure the degree to which you prefer to use eight different models and behaviors. We can use that and match it against different roles and job roles as companies are hiring and even succession planning. The cool part is using it as a recruiting tool because it’s completely diversity neutral. It takes all the human bias out of the hiring and retention process. You get the best and most qualified people who will be genuinely fulfilled, engage, and deliver the highest degree of output.
Some of the team programs and team-building exercises we do are significantly impactful for people working remotely. It doesn’t do me any good to communicate, inspire, or motivate you the way that I want to be motivated because I got to reach you where you are. Sometimes you get the wrong person. It’s not that you can’t, but if you get the wrong person in the right seat, you’re not firing on all cylinders, and when you have two or three of those missing cogs in a wheel, it can be deflating
[24:30] What are the ones that stand out the most to you?
The brain is very much relationships, empathy, creativity, different types of stuff that don’t have a lot. The left side is your logic, reasoning, drive for success, independence, and all that stuff. I’m very much over on that left side which has been good for me. In both my business and my relationships, it’s about understanding that other people need empathy. People need to be allowed to be creative.
I have to understand that there’s value in that amongst my team and understanding when that person gets going, let that person go because there’s value there and understanding it’s not natural for me, but understanding that person.
[26:41] Breaking Stereotypes
Be treated how you want to be. They go against that stereotype, and we’re breaking that down.
[29:48] Goals for 2021
What we have never been able to do is put down roots, invest in the community, and try to develop some of those long-term solid relationships. We are finding that community that we want to invest in and go from there.
[31:51] What promise did God make to the world when He created you?
I hope that it would be something to the extent of he’s going to pay it forward of what he’s given and that he will pay forward. We got to pay it back to him. Pay it back to him by paying it forward to others. That would hopefully be that promise.
[10:59 – 11:02] “The curious minds are ones that learn things and apply things later.”
[18:42 – 18:47] “You have to be able to battle through some of that adversity. Every player goes through it. It’s unique to every player.”
[28:31 – 28:37] “You find something that you love to do that people love you do. That’s a sweet spot.”
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