Constant Elevation Podcast – Season 4

The Constant Elevation Podcast is for rising leaders who seek to define the future. Join Gabriel “gaberock” Avilla on his journey through the Air Force, fitness, family, and everything in between to inspire you to rise to your full potential .

Knowing when to hit the pause button

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes…including you.” In this episode, I share my recent realization that I am both physically and mentally getting burnt out. Recognizing the opportunity to minimize some of my efforts in order to recharge for what comes next, I hope that my story helps you find your own opportunity to hit the pause button and reflect on what is most important so you can continue to shape your life towards what matters most.

Can’t Stop Spreading Aloha

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.” In this episode, I reflect on past efforts of spreading aloha in my community. I wasn’t prompted by anyone to do these things, I just felt they needed to be done. During this holiday season, it is not uncommon for all of us to reflect on what we are thankful for, but we should also find ways to give back for no other reason than we simply need more aloha in the world.

Just because you can doesn’t mean you should

“Sometimes the highest form of action is inaction.” In this episode, I share a recent experience where I deliberately held myself back from “helping” a teammate. Leaders have opportunities to let their teammates fly, but we have to recognize them ahead of time to make sure we don’t miss them or get in their way. If you put the work in ahead of time as a team, you can trust each other when it’s game time.

I was selected for promotion to Colonel…Now What?

“Have you heard? The bird is the word.” In this episode, I reflect on my recent selection to be promoted to the rank of Colonel in the United States Air Force. I phrase my thoughts by responding to the simple question, “Now what?” I’ve worked for almost twenty years to climb this mountain, so what happens when you reach the summit? This isn’t a simple question to answer, but I have some initial thoughts to keep me motivated to continue to lead from the front. 

The One Year Anniversary of “No Pressure”

“You were selected to lead for a reason, so remain true to yourself.” In this episode, I reflect on the one-year anniversary of the release of my book “No Pressure.” I’m still super proud of my accomplishment in creating a product that was designed to help leaders find their way through a successful command tour. Success can be measured in many ways, but I still believe remaining authentic, genuine, and striving to be the leader you would want to follow from the first to the last day of your tour is the best way to make a positive change.

True leaders embrace the loneliness of the high road

“I’m going to take the high road because the low road is so crowded.” In this episode, I share my recent struggles with staying on the positive side of approaching a problem while working with a negative teammate. It can be easy for one to go into self-defense mode and make choices at the expense of others, but true leaders will stick to the high road and won’t engage in events where they may compromise who they are as true leaders. The high road isn’t the easy one, but it is often the right one to follow.

Interns: Because we give a sh*t w/Kaylan Swartz and Michael Klepfer

“The expert in anything was once a beginner.” In this episode, I welcome Kaylan Swartz and Michael Klepfer to talk about their experience as new interns at Revival Fitness. We discuss their fitness backgrounds, what drove them to sign up to be an intern in the first place, and how they want to be positive examples of leadership within our local fitness community.

1.5 Mile Run Test: Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

“I don’t run to add days to my life, I run to add life to my days.” In this episode, I discuss my recent results in the 1.5-mile run test as part of my annual Air Force Fitness Assessment. It has been two years since I’ve tested, and I get nervous every single time. I also share my perspective on the training components I use how to smartly prepare for the test and provide a FREE six-week training plan for you that you can use to improve your run time.

Talking ‘ship with Lieutenant Colonel Dear Beloved

“A mentor is someone who allows you to see the hope inside yourself.” In this episode, I chat with Lieutenant Colonel Dear Beloved about the four ‘ships of the Air Force mentoring program: Mentorship, Relationship, Sponsorship…and I propose a new ‘ship that brings everything together so we can Fly, Fight, and Win. 

2021 AFA Air Space Cyber Conference Debrief

“We have the vector, now is the time to add thrust.” In this episode, I share my thoughts on the 2021 AFA Air Space and Cyber Conference held at National Harbor, Maryland. I was fortunate enough to attend and hear insights from our senior leadership, meet up with new and old teammates, and get “re-blued” as an Airman. 

Do we ALL need to skate where the puck will be?

“A good hockey player plays where the puck is. A great hockey player plays where the puck is going to be.” In this episode, I discuss why this sports analogy might not be the best to mimic as a leader in the workplace. While this leadership quote is popular, the application of this advice may leave you at a disadvantage because you aren’t paying attention to the opportunities and challenges that are available to you now. If everyone is moving where the puck is going to be, who is taking care of the puck now?

Process vs Personality: Which wolf are you feeding?

“If you can’t describe what you’re doing as a process, you don’t know what you’re doing.” In this episode, I discuss my mindset on why I tend to be more process-driven as a leader, when the power of personality can and should shine through, and how using both techniques can drive optimal outcomes.

Check yourself before you wreck yourself with Colonel Heather Blackwell

“Ask yourself if what you are doing today is getting you closer to where you want to be tomorrow.” In this episode, I chat with Colonel Heather Blackwell, Director of Cyberspace and Information Dominance, and Chief Information Officer, Headquarters Air Combat Command, Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Virginia. We talk about why self-assessments are an important tool to build a successful career, creating an environment and tuning your sensors to allow honest feedback to be given to you, and how the small yet consistent habit of self-reflection can empower yourself to be better every day.

Listen Twice, Speak Once

“An active mind cannot exist in an inactive body.” In this episode, I share my thoughts on how and why I spend more time thinking and listening than speaking. Even though I have an extroverted personality, I spend more of my time taking in and processing information to ensure my output of information is well-informed yet authentically me. There are 24 hours in the day, choose to use them wisely.

Reflect, Release, Reset

“Reflection: looking back so that the view looking forward is even clearer.” In this episode, I share my thoughts on three simple steps that all of us can use when dealing with challenging times in our lives. We can’t avoid them, but we can transform them into a positive event where we elevate ourselves and keep on moving forward instead of letting it weigh us down.

Creating Healthy Habits, not Restrictions with Taylor Bialkowski

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” In this episode, I chat with Taylor Bialkowski, co-owner and coach at Revival Fitness. We discuss her journey in nutrition, the importance of nutrition as the foundation of any fitness program, and simple tips to help leaders get started and maintain healthy habits that support a healthy lifestyle.

How A First Impression Went Sideways

As the saying goes, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” In this episode, I share my recent experience where my first impression with a senior officer went completely sideways. This event will go down as very formative for the rest of my career and how I will continue to grow as a leader. Every experience can be valuable, even the low ones, if you search for the right pieces and learn from your mistakes.

Stop Dropping These, Because They Aren’t Hot

Despite what Uncle Snoop Dogg says, not everything you drop is considered hot. In fact, there are a couple of things you should avoid dropping as much as possible at work, else you’ll be considered an empty teammate who prefers to reminisce over the glory days instead of getting work done NOW. In this episode, I share my thoughts on a self-defense mechanism you may not be aware of and how to avoid embarrassing yourself.

Can’t Stop Won’t Stop

Welcome back to Season 4 of Constant Elevation! I’m returning after a well-deserved break, but tune in to this episode to see what I’ve been up to, what I’ve been thinking about, and why I decided to return. MAHALO for being a first-time or long-time listener, you won’t be disappointed!

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