Conquering New Circumstances to Achieve the Ultimate Goal of Service with Jonathan Bates


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When humans are placed in an area where a threat is imminent, the response is either fight, flight, or even freeze.

In this 2-part episode, we have Jonathan Bates who is an Explosive Ordnance Disposal Officer from the US Navy. He’s been on every continent in the world (except Antarctica) where he has saved lives and helped protect the vulnerable.

In his line of work, Jonathan is expected to perform heavy tasks. Apart from deactivating bombs, he also leads a team and makes critical decisions. He needs to make sure that everyone involved in dangerous situations gets out of it alive.

Jonathan highlights the importance of being able to adapt to new circumstances so that we can move forward to our ultimate goal. This includes the capacity to evaluate the system and learn from the environment we are in.

Since we are always presented with changes, we must also learn to adjust otherwise, we never move forward and serve people who might need our help.


  • Jonathan’s life as an explosive ordnance disposal officer (04:00)
  • The assessment of the immediate environment (09:27)
  • Knowing the ultimate objective (12:02)
  • The importance of having core values in making decisions (13:42)
  • What are acceptable changes? (14:30)
  • Creating an emergency plan (17:23)
  • Why disarming a bomb is the same as living our normal lives (20:38)
  • The Naked Cupcake example (23:37)
  • What businesses need to do during a crisis (25:40)


  • “My goal is to not have to go to somebody's kids and explain to them how big of a hero their parent was.” - Jonathan Bates
  • “There's only one time when it's too late for a bomb squad guy or an explosive guy to change something, and it's when he's dead.” - Jonathan Bates
  • “Real leadership requires a decision and one person to take responsibility for it and for everybody to move towards the decision.” - Jonathan Bates


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