08.03.20 | Ep. 420 Devin Hedgepeth | MBA Candidate at Stanford Graduate School of Business

Devin Hedgepeth Rounding the Bases with Joel Goldberg Ep. 420

Devin Hedgepeth was recently accepted into the top rated Stanford Graduate School of Business.  He spent the last five years working for ExxonMobil.  Devin was a star football player at Oklahoma State with legitimate NFL possibilities as a cornerback but three achilles injuries led to a pivot to another arena he excelled in, the classroom and industrial engineering.  Deviin talks about his career path and about racial injustice and growing up in the predominantly white community of Derby, Kansas, a town he still loves.




Rounding the Bases with Joel Goldberg Podcast was created to share the stories of men and women in business and entrepreneurship that are both well knowing and or hidden gems. Joel believes that everyone has a story and their story matters which is why Joel is eager to connect with individuals that are bringing value to their community through innovation, leadership, entrepreneurial journeys, and developing company culture. If you would like to be a guest on Joel's podcast please email us at joel@joelgoldbergmedia.com.


Devin Hedgepeth


Joel Goldberg: How are you,


Devin Hedgepeth:  I'm good. So how are you. Thanks for having me. 

Joel Goldberg: It's great to have you. And you and I had been introduced by a

Joel Goldberg: Past guest of rounding the bases Parker Graham, who is a college football team. A lot of yours. I didn't know that offensive lineman and defensive backs.

Joel Goldberg: Out together only sometimes only sometimes doesn't have much he's a, you know, an entrepreneur, a business man you are the same and

Joel Goldberg: There's so much in your story that I want to talk about that. I think everyone can learn from. I say it so often there's so many lessons learned.

Joel Goldberg: In sports, first and foremost, congratulations on the next endeavor, in your life, not just any business school. Perhaps the best business school in the United States, Stanford School of Business. How does that sound.

Devin Hedgepeth: Sounds great. I appreciate it was a long journey to get there and I'm definitely blessed to say that I got accepted. I got it. And so I'm excited for it.

Joel Goldberg: Well, it's, it's pretty amazing. And really just a part, I believe, of your journey. And what I love about the thoughts of this interview.

Joel Goldberg: Is how many different areas that we can cover regarding business regarding life regarding adversity regarding diversity, but I'll back up. I mentioned Parker. He and I

Joel Goldberg: Got to know each other from my podcast and then he connected us he thought would be a good connection and you and I were set

Joel Goldberg: Work you're working down in Houston, or we're at Exxon Mobil yes i thought i royals Astros let's do a podcast that obviously never happened with coven so better late than never. Your background.

Joel Goldberg: In football and I know all kids that love sports have dreams of playing baseball, or football or basketball hockey or soccer, whatever it is. How big were your NFL dreams and how legitimate, were they

Devin Hedgepeth: They were big you know what's funny is it out. I'll take it back to when I first started to play football actually hated football. When I first started, I believe I started around the third grade, and my most kids. You start by either you know you have a

Devin Hedgepeth:Huge desire to play the sport or your dad probably kind of pushed you to play. And so I was the ladder.

Devin Hedgepeth: And my dad really encouraged me to to get into the sport. And I think at that time a lot for him was just wanting me to get into some kind of

Devin Hedgepeth: Sport so that I could build that discipline, so that he could further teach me about attitude and perseverance and discipline and football was the, the perfect sport for me, but I didn't realize it. And I just hated it at first.

Devin Hedgepeth: I hated going outside of the practices I hated the heat diving into the grass getting all itchy. The long practices and and having to do it the next day.

Devin Hedgepeth: But lo and behold, I was actually decently good at it. And I got better every year. And it wasn't until high school that I really started to

Devin Hedgepeth: To learn how to love the sport of football and then in college. I like truly fell in love with it. And I think the answer your question.

Devin Hedgepeth: You know, I always use the the story. The example of I can vividly remember sitting in my dorm my college dorm.

Devin Hedgepeth: And I Googled myself and I saw at the end of my freshman season had a phenomenal freshman season was able to start because a senior front of me, got an injured stepped into a starting role.

Devin Hedgepeth: fill that role pretty well. And I remember Googling myself and I was already projected in the 2014 NFL Draft. And for me that was that became reality right

Devin Hedgepeth: Before then, I had the desire but it was just a wish. But the see my name on that list, knowing that I had already accomplished what I accomplished as a true freshman in the big 12, by the way, as a defensive back

Devin Hedgepeth:That really solidified it for me that okay this is more than just a dream. It's now reality.

Devin Hedgepeth: What steps do I need to take to to, you know, accomplish that reality. Take care of business. And then at the end of my senior year, hopefully get drafted in a good position. So I was definitely looking forward to that.

Joel Goldberg: While you're on that track going to be starting at Oklahoma State was where Devin played college football and starting as a freshman as as a DB and then as you mentioned,

Joel Goldberg: Seeing yourself already being projected we can throw up a little. Spoiler alert. If I put up Devin's website. And what you will see as maybe as you read that first word Achilles, it, it actually should say

Joel Goldberg: Achilles three yeah with the injuries. I mean, I'm just talking before we went on I

Joel Goldberg: I've always felt like that Achilles rupture has to be one of the worst because it looks so simple, but the pain that you'll see in a guy when he goes down and all sports.

Joel Goldberg: Just looks like something no on in the world would ever want to go through. Not that anybody wants any of these injuries. So take me through what happened and how your life and those dreams changed.

Devin Hedgepeth: Yeah, the first rupture came against Texas a&m my sophomore year, I believe it was my fourth game in and the payment started much much before the

Devin Hedgepeth: Around the summertime when we were training for the upcoming season. I had a very sharp pain in my Achilles.

Devin Hedgepeth: And we thought it was just tendinitis, but it didn't go away. I just tried to push through it, and lo and behold, we got to a and then

Devin Hedgepeth: It was in the fourth quarter, I think. And that was a crazy game. We went into halftime. I think down 21 or 24 points we clawed our way back. We were up in the fourth quarter. It was intense. It was heated

Devin Hedgepeth: And I was, I was manda sorry defensive strategy that game was any third down or greater, where we knew they were going to have to pass the ball, I would line up against Ryan slope. I don't know if you remember slope from a&m but he was a little slot receiver.

Devin Hedgepeth: Very Wes Welker tight and he was very elusive. So I was manned up against him and

Devin Hedgepeth: I was manned up guarding him and Mark Hello Mark the safety kind of came over top. We jumped up deflected the ball. I came down

Devin Hedgepeth : And I stood up adrenaline's all of my body. Right, so I don't really realize at the time, but my my leg. Well, it's just laying there my foot is

Devin Hedgepeth : And I'm I was able to hobble along to the sideline, I was able to get to the sideline. They laid me on the table and they told me I ruptured my Achilles.

Devin Hedgepeth: And there's actually a few different types of the killings ruptures. Mine was not a full separation. The first two times I had a

Devin Hedgepeth: Partial separation, about seven, eight. So the tendon. So that happened the first time I did it again. So I rehab what through the cast the crutches gone into my boot and then did it again.

Devin Hedgepeth: During that that transition at phase came back rehab boot crutches got to my junior year and and the third game at home. I went down for the third time and that third time was a full

Devin Hedgepeth: Tear off of the bone and that one was excruciating very painful. So

Devin Hedgepeth: It was difficult, but just the process of getting injured, and I don't think a lot of people realize from a mental standpoint.

Devin Hedgepeth: Physically, it's tough already right you're in a you're on crutches. Your any cash or in a walking boot, but mentally it's playing with you, you're not able you go from

Devin Hedgepeth: You know peak performance, being able to do what less than 1% of the world can do to, you know, you can't even walk the class, you know, I need a parking pass. I got crushed down in my car drive the class have a parking pass crushed into the building and so mentally. It's just very difficult

Devin Hedgepeth: And it was a tough time for me. But thankfully I was able to to get through. I had plenty of people that was surrounding me plenty of love, plenty of support and I'm grateful for that.

Joel Goldberg: Well, it's

Joel Goldberg: The interesting part of this story and I know you know his so well athletes can sell off and be labeled as just athletes. I think the old term from back in the day, maybe it's still the same. I don't know is dumb jocks which I never really understood

Joel Goldberg: But I get where the stereotype came from. There are a lot of guys that go to

Joel Goldberg: Go to college on scholarships or in high school, or whatever it is, and they don't have interest in the books or they're not good students that wasn't you.

Joel Goldberg: That was clearly from everything that I've read everything that I've heard you are a guy from the beginning, the way I understood it straight A's and in high school, maybe top of the class. I think if I if I saw that, but

Joel Goldberg: It football. Never happened for you. I'm

Joel Goldberg: very convinced with a little that I know about you that you would have been very successful in life. I think that there are, and I'm sure you would agree.

Joel Goldberg: Plenty of lessons that you pulled from football in terms of discipline and work ethic and all that, that you added on time sure what your parents had already taught you.

Joel Goldberg: But to have that maybe it wasn't a backup plan at the time, but it's amazing because you always hear athletes being told, make sure that you have that backup plan cause

Joel Goldberg: Every athlete at some point will be an ex athlete yours just came a lot quicker. What was the mental challenge of making that pivot.

Joel Goldberg: I'm sure much quicker than you ever envision doing it and just getting focused on the classroom where you are already excelling

Devin Hedgepeth: The toughest part of the mental challenge was identity you go your most athletes go their entire lives identifying as an athlete you know when someone asked me.

Devin Hedgepeth: Know, what do you do if they find were a freshman in college and someone asked me, What do you do, I don't say I'm studying engineering, I say I'm a football player. And by the way,

Devin Hedgepeth: You know, do all these other things because we are for the leads. But at the end of the day.

Devin Hedgepeth: A large part of who you are. Isn't is your craft being an athlete, because you dedicate so much time into it to be able to do what you do at that level.

Devin Hedgepeth: You have to sacrifice a ridiculous amount of time you're waking up at 4:30am you're hitting the weights, you're going to class you're coming back for the film session. The, the workouts. The practice afterwards, and you wake up recycling repeat

Devin Hedgepeth: And so you are then entrenched in this identity that that is a part of who you are. And so when that's taken from you specifically through an injury, right, because it's so sudden

Devin Hedgepeth: It's very difficult to just all of a sudden, do a one at pivot and say this is no longer a part of me.

Devin Hedgepeth: And so the the hardest part from a mental perspective is being able to re identify who you are. And I think a lot of athletes struggle with that because

Devin Hedgepeth: They never get to the point to realize that it's actually not really identifying who you are. It's just leaning in more

Devin Hedgepeth: To who you already are in other aspects, right. So in college, I was an athlete.

Devin Hedgepeth: I was an engineering major, but I was also a son. I was a brother, I was a friend. I was a mentor. I was all of these different things. I was a teacher. I was a learner.

Devin Hedgepeth: That then I just have to re pivot, my focus and then I lean into being more of a learner more of a teacher, a mentor. I now have more time to spread love to help others along their journey. I can tell my story.

Devin Hedgepeth: Because I know others are out there struggling and hurting. So that was a biggest hurdle for me in terms of the mental aspect was just just having to re identify myself.

Joel Goldberg: Well, you've done that, throughout the course of this journey. And before we

Joel Goldberg: Talk about

Joel Goldberg: So many of the different elements do you've written a lot of a lot of nice, whether it be essays, or articles and I want to talk about growing up in Derby Kansas and your perspective on what's going on in the world.

Joel Goldberg: But let's talk about these last five or or so years. And so your ad, but in school even to back up before that engineering was your

Joel Goldberg: Was your classroom passion. Is that accurate. 

Devin Hedgepeth: It was industrial engineering was my major. And then I minor in marketing to because

Devin Hedgepeth: I knew I wanted to be on the business side. I love the business side, I thought I could get through school before I got a taste of it, but

Devin Hedgepeth: I fell in love with marketing when I took one class. So I picked up that that marketing minor as well.

Joel Goldberg: Did I read something at some point. And if I'm making this up. You can, you know, you can call BS on me. But then I read

Joel Goldberg: That that the interest in engineering happened after a visit to the barbershop or something. 

Devin Hedgepeth: Yeah, yeah, I'm surprised you uh you know that so

Devin Hedgepeth: Joseph Randle that that name will ring a bell to a lot of Oklahoma State fans. But Joseph Randle was the starting running back at Oklahoma State for well he wants to the Dallas Cowboys. But he and I are from the same area. He

Devin Hedgepeth: He grew up in Wichita, Kansas. I was in Derby, Kansas, which is 10 minutes south so basically the same area and he has an older brother.

Devin Hedgepeth: That was a great athlete as well. But he he got his engineering degree and he was based there in Wichita, and so at the end of high school, I was always a very

Devin Hedgepeth: Academic driven person and I like I said I love business, but I also loved engineering. I love the way the engineers think their thought process, how they approach problems. It's really about problem solving.

Devin Hedgepeth: So I really wanted the engineering degree, but I also love business. So I was torn. So I sat down in the barbershop and by chance. He was there. I had a 2030 minute conversation.

Devin Hedgepeth: With him waiting on the barber and he basically explained to me this concept called industrial engineering, which

Devin Hedgepeth: Is one of the only engineering principles that take into account the human element, and it has very direct ties to the business world processes.

Devin Hedgepeth: And people. And so I went back I researched it a little bit more. And lo and behold, it was the right choice for me. So that is where I first learned about it in the barbershop.

Joel Goldberg: It's amazing how those little things can happen. I mean, maybe you do go down this whole path, but maybe not. I mean, have you thought about that. If you don't bump in

Joel Goldberg: To and have that conversation that that maybe engineering is not or maybe you would have found that at some point. I don't know.

Devin Hedgepeth: Yeah, I mean, it's a good broader topic I think life is a lot about chance encounters, but I don't think we're as lucky as people would assume. I think there's a lot of things in life that

Devin Hedgepeth: You do that always prepare you for certain moments. Right. And this gets into the whole the topic that we can. I can talk about hours for and that's habits.

Devin Hedgepeth: The habits that people form create who they are in life. And so if I have a habit of studying and preparing and always thinking about the future for myself and thinking about what I want to be.

Devin Hedgepeth: I could have sat down next to to Joseph's brother and had a conversation. But if that was never on my mind maybe that topic never comes up. Or maybe it does come up, but I don't necessarily listen, but because I had formed that habit of

Devin Hedgepeth: Being students in a classroom, thinking about what I would, in my future to look like outside of football. I sat down the resource was there. We sparked a conversation. And then I pulled something from that resource.

Devin Hedgepeth: And so I think there is an element of luck. But I also think there's a huge element of preparation and that can translate into any conversation in life, whether that's starting your own business having a healthy relationship.

Devin Hedgepeth: Getting into the school you want getting good grades and life for me is a lot about habits.

Joel Goldberg: I wanted to ask you about that because I need more of your habits in terms of routine. I look out our work as hard as anybody that's always been the case. I was taught. Well, I was raised well

Joel Goldberg: I wish some of that would translate into I've gotten I've gotten and going out.

Joel Goldberg: On a run the last two days, which is somewhat record setting today john Rowe and 90 plus degree. He what time this morning where you up working out.

Devin Hedgepeth: I was a 430 this morning actually skip my workout will not skip. I did not work out this morning because I'm doing this.

Devin Hedgepeth: online class before I get into school. I just want to learn a little bit more. So I chose to go the learning route instead of working out, but I was up at 430 a mental work on I

Joel Goldberg: If I had to predict, I would have guessed the workout was in. But if you had said to me, yeah. I woke up at 730 I would have been like no chance. There's

Joel Goldberg: This guy is but you're i mean you you are very routine based from what I've learned about you very disciplined, tell me about those personal habits and how they have shaped you

Devin Hedgepeth: I mean they are who I am today. The personal habits that I've created, but more so I think it's important to talk about where they came from. And that's my dad when I was

Devin Hedgepeth: Young, he really instilled in me, regardless of what I did, whether that was in a classroom on the field on the court wherever it may be

Devin Hedgepeth: The importance of habits and discipline and perseverance and the number one thing he instilled in me was attitude.

Devin Hedgepeth: He taught me that there's so many different things that can happen like there's so many different things that you can't control. You cannot affect but those are external but focus on what's internal

Devin Hedgepeth: And what do you have the ability to control and really that boils down to your attitude and it's how you respond to a situation right it's it's how you

Devin Hedgepeth:  Can figure out how to leave your mark on the situation. And that translates into daily habits for me and I'm all about sustainability and consistency.

Devin Hedgepeth: Because it's it's sexy in the media to talk about you know someone who made that hundred million dollar acquisition or

Devin Hedgepeth: They did all these things that look really cool, you know, the actors or the athletes that are on TV, but behind all of that typically are

Devin Hedgepeth: Hundreds of thousands of hours, day in and day out somebody mastering their craft. And those are the things that are not always shown

Devin Hedgepeth: In the media and to do that you have to be consistent and you have to be have a sustainable schedule. Right. So when I talk about getting up at 430

Devin Hedgepeth: You know, when I first tell that to people they freak out, like, Oh my God, how you're able to do that. And there's a lot of people that do it right. I'm not necessarily on a pedestal. Sure.

Devin Hedgepeth: But you don't just, I mean, I guess you can, but you don't. All of a sudden, just go from waking up at 11am one day to I'm going to now wake up at 430

Devin Hedgepeth: How can you get there in a sustainable way where you can be consistent. So maybe you wake up at 10 the next week and maybe nine. The next week and maybe eight. The next week.

Devin Hedgepeth: Right. And then once you hit that 430 or five o'clock routine. How can you slowly start to building good habits. So I'll wake up and do a 30 minute workout.

Devin Hedgepeth: Right. And then the next month, turn it into 45 and an hour after that. And then after that I start to throw in maybe some online classes or things like that.

Devin Hedgepeth: So it's the habits are all about being sustainable and being consistent for me because that's how you you build up to stack to it. But my dad definitely instilled in me. The, the power of attitude.

Devin Hedgepeth: And letting me know that the way you respond to a situation is going to define what you you become in life.

Devin Hedgepeth: And that's really the message. I've been trying to spread, whether it's Achilles heel. The team calm the the TED talk that I've given the short eBook that I've written

Devin Hedgepeth: The different blog post any kind of discussion I had with the school or organization. It's all about being resilient. And that ties back to be to your attitude right when when an obstacle pops up.

Devin Hedgepeth: To me resilience is more than just learning how to overcome that obstacle. It's all about learning how to leverage that off school to make yourself better. So the very thing that was meant to keep you down.

Devin Hedgepeth: Is now the reason why you're going to excel in life, the very bullet that was meant to take you. Well, is now the reason why you're going to

Devin Hedgepeth: Get to the next level and take that next step. It's all about learning how to change your perspective. But in order to do that you have to be have control.

Devin Hedgepeth: Of your attitude. You have to be able to say this external thing that happened to me is not happening to me it's happening for me and I have the control to decide how I respond to that that elements so

Devin Hedgepeth: That, that's what it's all about. For me,

Joel Goldberg: Well, I mean, those are amazing lessons and obviously the influence that your dad has had you've written about him a lot of I've read a lot of your work and your posts. I want to share this and this is from your

Joel Goldberg: Your LinkedIn but but there's a three things, control the things that you can control it. We hear that all the time and sports control the controllable strive to be your best self.

Joel Goldberg: And treat people right but then also in here you right in today's media black men can be inconsistently portrayed. But my dad has been there for me every second of my life.

Joel Goldberg: And raised me to be the man that I am today instill that invaluable mindset me that I'll take to the grave. I love this article because it shows how my dad who represents so many other black men.

Joel Goldberg: Set an example to raise a true leader. Love you, Dad. And so this was kansas.com and I would encourage everybody to to certainly check that one out. But

Joel Goldberg: Devin, there's, there's so much even right here because among your many writings you wrote this letter to your hometown of Derby Kansas and you know stereotypically in my head, I would think.

Joel Goldberg: Wow, though, you know, there was a an African American kid that came out of this small town. He must have just dealt with so much racism and it was really interesting for me to read it because

Joel Goldberg: Your perspective and and you fill in the blanks. Obviously, if I'm getting it wrong, please let me know your perspective was

Joel Goldberg: I had a lot of love in the community. And I love the community of Derby, but we also have work to do. So instead of just attack, attack. It's almost like what we've heard

Joel Goldberg: With what needs to be happening in communities, especially minority communities where there's a lack of trust with the police and we're hearing. Look, we got to do a better job to

Joel Goldberg: To be a community and understand each other. And it sounds like you already had a lot of that understanding and trust with your community. So it almost enables you to ask them to take that next step right how how close them on that. I think you're spot on.

Devin Hedgepeth:  You know when when the video of George Floyd first came out, there were plenty of instances where

Devin Hedgepeth: We had seen things like that but that video with George for was just a little bit different. Right.

Devin Hedgepeth: But I think what people also don't realize is that things like that happen every single day. And there's been so much tension and so much divisive language in in our country for

Devin Hedgepeth: A while. Now, that was just really disheartening to see that that video somewhat created divide, but it was also very encouraging to see that video bring a lot of people together.

Devin Hedgepeth: And you, you asked, when you talk about my position and Derby and potentially what I had to

Devin Hedgepeth: Add to the community in terms of value and you're spot on. I was in a situation where I known in the community of Derby. I'm very well loved very well received, not only because of my accomplishments, but just because I'm I am a member of that community that

Devin Hedgepeth: A lot of people know because it is a smaller town. And so when those things happen. I saw not only an opportunity and I hate to use the word obligation because I don't necessarily think that

Devin Hedgepeth: Black people are obligated to do certain things, but I did see an opportunity to speak up because of my very specific situation. And so I wrote the letter.

Devin Hedgepeth: And it was very well received by the community. But like you said, I didn't, I didn't necessarily want to take a position of

Devin Hedgepeth: You know, this is what people have to do. This is what they need to do, because for me that that starts to draw on that anxiety and divisive language for me. I really just wanted to focus on

Devin Hedgepeth: The concept of love. Right. You guys know me you know who I am.

Devin Hedgepeth: Since I was a little kid. You've watched me run around on the football field. You've seen me in the classroom. You see me that at the Jazz concerts.

Devin Hedgepeth: You've, you've helped my family out with my mom got cancer, you know, we were there for you when you all had struggles and concerns.

Devin Hedgepeth: But at the end and you showed me so much love and I wanted to make sure to hammer that point home.

Devin Hedgepeth: But I also wanted to let them know at the end of the day that even in our loving community of Derby.

Devin Hedgepeth: These things still exist whether it's on a very large scale or a very small scale.

Devin Hedgepeth: We still have an opportunity to get better and I want us to get better together. So how, how are we able to do that. And that's really the message that I was trying to get

Devin Hedgepeth: Across and in that letter because of the situation that I was in, I think it's easy, not necessarily easy, but a lot of the lot of times what we hear in the media are people that have come from.

Devin Hedgepeth: communities of color, where, you know, majority of that community is black or majority of that community is a minority but I wanted to speak up from the position that hey Derby is 91% white

Devin Hedgepeth: And that is a community that I'm from and that's who I am, because I was raised in that community and I'll never disown that

Devin Hedgepeth: But also, this piece of me, which is the color of my skin and my culture that is tied to that.

Devin Hedgepeth: I want to make sure that you all are aware that that's also important to me. And that is a part of your community because you're saying I'm a part of your community. So it was amazing, actually, to see the, the reaction and

Devin Hedgepeth: Really just open up the conversation and talk to people. After that, because at the end of the day, that's really what it's about. It's about open communication being transparent being honest and seeing how we can all get through this together.

Joel Goldberg: I love the, the four sentences short sentences you know my character you know my values, you know, my smile which by the way I've learned that already. Big smile and, you know,

Joel Goldberg: Devin, I always say a smile, and you can't fake these things you shouldn't fake these things. Yeah. Smile goes a long ways, it's a universal language and it's

Joel Goldberg: It's something that I've learned in baseball. How come sometimes players fall in love with our fans fall in love with certain players that sometimes they can't

Joel Goldberg: Understand the accent or they even speak a different idea. It often Spanish sometimes Japanese I see a smile goes a long way. And so that's obviously something that they watched you grow up with you didn't start smiling it 2025. So yeah, that's where you are.

Joel Goldberg: What a couple questions, one he you mentioned the numbers in terms of percentages. Just curious. Your graduating class in Derby was how many kids possibly about 400, I believe. Okay, so, you know, big, big, big class. How many, how many black kids in the class.

Devin Hedgepeth: Is probably go back and count on a hand if I needed to. We were probably at about, I would say about 20 ish maybe below 20

Joel Goldberg: I bring that up because I'm going to pick up seeing you. Right. And I've heard from you know so many friends in discussions that I've never had in my life before, and should have but

Joel Goldberg: That part of the white privilege is walking into a room and not thinking about looking like everyone else, not having to be different.

Joel Goldberg: I experienced

Joel Goldberg: The only way that I could relate to it is my brother was

Joel Goldberg: Working in the Peace Corps for two years and I went over and visited him in West Africa was one of the most beautiful experiences of my life. But, you know, everywhere we walked. We were the only two white people. So you always have eyes on you right and so

Joel Goldberg: My question with that is saying that not in any way understanding what someone growing up experiences as a black boy a black girl. And then, as an adult, as a man or a woman.

Joel Goldberg: But the extra effort that it takes to have to just think about that every single moment. Maybe once you get into that football locker room. It's, it's quite a bit different because you have that that mix of people and that drives me

Joel Goldberg: Were you aware of that growing up. What was it a thing for you. You know, I did not become I experienced it, but I did not become aware of it until later on in my life.

Devin Hedgepeth: And I think it's because that's, that's all I knew, like I didn't really realize that I was going through that until I was a little bit older and became a little bit more conscious because when you're young, it's you know your little kids, and you're running around on the playground.

Devin Hedgepeth: And, you know, I'm not a huge fan of the, the term. You don't see color, but really if there's any point in life where people don't see color. It's when they're they're little kids, Brian, you're

Devin Hedgepeth: My, my best friend that I've had the longest time, which is Sean Smith, I met we met in the first grade. I think when I first got to Derby, he's white on black and we call each other as brothers from another mother and we are we're thick his blood. It's like, that is my, my brother and so

Devin Hedgepeth: It was it was tough for me to be able to see that. But by the time I got to. I actually, I could tell you the pivotal point for me was around Middle School.

Devin Hedgepeth: When I we started to get more and more involved in in my church, which is predominantly black and I spent a lot of time with them during the summertime, and I realized

Devin Hedgepeth: Oh, there's a stark difference between my culture and the culture that I am around every single day. And then when I went back to middle school. The, the following school year. It was just that that transparent for me and it was difficult to to have to go through that and and it's

Devin Hedgepeth: It's not that it's like one specific instance. But it's that compound effect right it's every single day you you feel slightly, slightly and slightly out of place.

Devin Hedgepeth: And the concept of compound interest, all of that just adds up. And that's why you hear the term.

Devin Hedgepeth: Or the phrase, you know, black people just so exhausted when when we saw those videos come out. That's what we mean when we say were so exhausted. It's so tiring.

Devin Hedgepeth: You know, things like that happen all of the time, black people are put in positions where we're uncomfortable and we're

Devin Hedgepeth: Outside of or when the the minority all the time. Or were the only person of color in the room only black person code or black person in the room all the time and that one instance isn't necessarily traumatizing

Devin Hedgepeth: But, add the years the decades onto your life of every single day living that and that's where it gets pretty tough.

Joel Goldberg: That's what I've come to understand in the last three months more than anything that that

Joel Goldberg: That sounds like a smaller thing in the grand scheme of when you start talking about brutality and and and all the different elements that we've seen lately in terms of racism and even just some of the absolute

Joel Goldberg: garbage and free license of people to say whatever they want behind a fake Twitter handle and all that crap but I've come to understand that subtle end of

Joel Goldberg: We’re tired means, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year, so that that to me has been the biggest revelation, and one that I wish I had understood earlier, but one that I want to continue to

Joel Goldberg: To just help explain to my white friends that say, Well, I'm not got black friends and I understand. I'm not racist. And you know what I learned from a pastor pastor at three that who I had recently on here.

Joel Goldberg: very dynamic pastor here in Kansas City is that that you can, there can be racism without racists and a systemic racism that is involved.

Joel Goldberg: One more question about that. And I want to ask you some baseball field questions to a football. Yeah, to a football guy or former football guy. Maybe once football always football but

Joel Goldberg: Percentage wise just asked about what were their responses from that letter that you wrote to Derby, what percentage positive or was there anything negative coming back.

Devin Hedgepeth: Oh, by far, overwhelmingly positive. I would put it in a honestly 99 percentile positive. I'm not sure that I got much

Devin Hedgepeth: Negative feedback on that went to be honest. I know it's out there, but it probably is. It didn't get back to me so overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Joel Goldberg: Yeah. And I'm just curious about that. Yeah, it doesn't mean that that the bad stuff isn't exist that we and they'll go, they'll find ways to take shots.

Joel Goldberg: In a for and that's different, that's unfortunately where we're at right now. And you know, I think we need to keep exposing people like that, even if they're hiding. I've got three baseball field questions I want to ask you. Professionally speaking at this point.

Joel Goldberg: Think about Exxon Mobil, think about Stanford. This might be the answer could be Stanford I don't know what's the biggest home run. You've hit here now in your career.

Devin Hedgepeth: Oh, I'm going to say Stanford, but I, the reason I say Stanford is because I'm always going to say my biggest home run is the most recent home run. I mean, for me, I

Devin Hedgepeth: If I am following what I value which is I never want to be complacent. I always want to continue to stretch myself, I would hope that

Devin Hedgepeth: Every single thing that I continue to build upon and try to achieve is that next biggest thing and it does is not necessarily tied to

Devin Hedgepeth: Money or status or power or anything. It's just if I Dennis and if I identify something and I say this is worth pursuing. I would hope that that's the next big run and

Devin Hedgepeth: I would say Stanford's the next home run it puts me in a position where I can truly the side or truly have a little bit more access to being able to change the world on my terms.

Joel Goldberg: A lot that the flip side of that is biggest swing and miss. What's a swing and miss. You've had and what did you learn from it.

Devin Hedgepeth: Who I have a lot of

Devin Hedgepeth: I have a lot of swing and misses. Um,

Devin Hedgepeth: Let's see.

Devin Hedgepeth: I would say

Devin Hedgepeth: I laugh a lot of people are that that go through the MBA application are going to laugh at this, I would, I would say the biggest swing and miss for me is trying to study for the G man, which is the test that's required to get into business school. And it's a very

Devin Hedgepeth: Infamous test. I would say it's grueling it's really tough to take. And I think in some ways it is a

Devin Hedgepeth: It's one of those weed out mechanisms that really try to see who's going to be able to persevere through when the first time I took it was absolutely horrendous. The second time was a little bit better but

Devin Hedgepeth: It took me a bad close to a year, year and a half to be able to get to the point where I had a decently good

Devin Hedgepeth: Score to to get in a school so that those were probably the biggest swing and misses  Because there's so many times where I wanted to give up.

Devin Hedgepeth: And I want to make it clear that that you know anybody who's in a position of a success feels that way they they get to a point where they think

Devin Hedgepeth: I can't do this. I want to give up. But, you know, for some reason, people that are successful just figure out how to continue to push on and persevere, so that those were huge swings and huge at her misses For me,

Joel Goldberg: That's the humility question to me is what that is. Because those of us that are humble can find all those moments and they resonate.

Joel Goldberg: The last baseball themed question is my culture question essentially small ball. What are the little things baseball terms but sacrifices stolen bases.

Joel Goldberg: That add up to the home runs, what water you can understand this as a football player to not that everything needs to be in football terms.

Joel Goldberg: It's not all about that that pic six in the bed. Yes, action. There's so many little things in your world today. What are the little things that add up to the big things. 

Devin Hedgepeth: I love this question. Um, I wish I had

Devin Hedgepeth: I'm look I'm looking around for my there. So the reason I'm looking around, is because I actually and it's on my website I there's there's a little mechanism that I created. It's called a feel good matrix.

Devin Hedgepeth: And this matrix matrix is basically something that I before I moved out of my place. I had it posted up right right above my desk, it's I think it's on my phone. I could pull it up.

Devin Hedgepeth: But the feel good matrix is split up into six quadrants. It's just six different squares. And it's a very simple easy reminders for me of what I need to do day in and day out to take care of business.

Devin Hedgepeth: And so I'll give you an example. I'm trying to remember off the top, I think, and I also have

Devin Hedgepeth: Been prioritized. So here's the most important that you need to focus on. If you're not feeling you're 100% self with start here, then go all the way down. And number six. And so for example number one is sleep.

Devin Hedgepeth: Right, if you're not taking care of yourself if you're not getting the adequate amount of sleep, and it doesn't mean I need to get eight hours every single day. But on average. Are you getting enough sleep to function. The right way and then the next one, I believe, is

Devin Hedgepeth: I believe the next one is exercise. Right. So are you moving enough. Are you keeping your body active

Devin Hedgepeth: And it doesn't mean I need to be in there trying to hit a new personal record every time the gym, but are you if you don't have time to get a full workout in. Are you getting a 30 minute walk, walk for day

Devin Hedgepeth: Are you if you're stuck in the office. Are you standing up and sitting down. Are you taking walks upstairs and downstairs and keeping your blood flowing

Devin Hedgepeth: The next one, for example would be meditation and mindfulness. Are you finding quiet time to sit down. What is 510 minutes a day right and so

Devin Hedgepeth: The list continues. I think it's like water consumption. Are you drinking enough water.

Devin Hedgepeth: caffeine and alcohol consumption are, you know, are you drinking too much caffeine too much alcohol.

Devin Hedgepeth: Make sure to take care of that. And then healthy eating. Are you eating the right things. So those six things I would say are the small

Devin Hedgepeth: The small ball. For me, it's are you taking care of business are you doing the right things, day in and day out and going back again. It's about sustainability and consistency. I can't hit all those six one on Monday, and then

Devin Hedgepeth: Neglect in the next six days of the week and be like, Oh, man. Well, I don't know, I'm not at my peak performance is every single day, day in, day out. Are you hitting these very small things because they're going to add up to greatness. At the end of the day.

Joel Goldberg: All right. Fascinating stuff for final quick, rapid fire questions here as we wind it down in the last few minutes

Joel Goldberg: My walk my my rounding the bases questions. The first one you talked about getting up at 430 in the morning. So what would a typical bedtime be for DevOps engineer probably 930. Wow.

Joel Goldberg: Oh man, I need, I need to work, but I'm still working at that time of night at least one baseball is going on. Okay, yeah, to bed at 930 up at 430 and Devin still in his 20s, I believe right yes 2828 going on 65 now.

Joel Goldberg: It's very impressive habits back to your football days fastest 40 time you had 

Devin Hedgepeth: 444444. Yeah, well, could you do today.

Devin Hedgepeth: I'd be lucky to break for eight probably

Joel Goldberg: That's not an old man thing that's being out of the game for a little bit. Don't. Yes, that one. We don't need any more.

Joel Goldberg: Third question, as we round the bases

Joel Goldberg: Who was your favorite player, whether it be growing up or watching it Oklahoma State or even at this point, did you have a cornerback or any type of player that you want to model yourself after

Devin Hedgepeth: I'm going to take the not the cheap route here, but give a slightly different answer. My favorite player was Deanna Mata Dion is my best friend that I made while I was at Oklahoma State.

Devin Hedgepeth: He was a safety. He actually changed his number after I had my career ending injury. So he will he switched from 28 to number 18 in my honor

Devin Hedgepeth: And deion and I. The reason I say that not I know these are rapid fires. But when you're an athlete and you're playing and you get injured, you can't play anymore.

Devin Hedgepeth: It's actually a very cathartic experience to watch your teammates people, you know, still on the grind and playing every day.

Devin Hedgepeth: On the field and Dan. Dan and I are like brothers. It's another one of my best friends, and he and I still have a very close relationship. So I just

Devin Hedgepeth:  Had a jolt of energy. Every time I watched him playing out there. I love watching and play. I love that I thought you're going to go into different Dion more famous

Joel Goldberg: primetime yet Sanders but but that's a great personal answer. Final question my walk off question for you.

Joel Goldberg: When Stanford Business School, and you move on with your career. Where do you want to see yourself in 10 years or so as you're approaching say 40 years old and you're still going to bed at 930 at night. Where do you want to be.

Devin Hedgepeth:  I want to be able to uphold the Stanford GSB model. And that's changed lives, change organizations, change the world. There's not one specific career job that I think about for me in the future.

Devin Hedgepeth: You know, I could do anything, any industry, but at the end of the day, I truly want to

Devin Hedgepeth: Be able to drive impact across a broad organization. I want to be able to change lives. I want to be able to sit down one on one with someone

Devin Hedgepeth: And have a conversation and talk to them in January and come back in December and see how not only have they gotten better from a professional standpoint, but they're actually just better people because of the the conversations that we've had so

Devin Hedgepeth: That would be my where where I want to be. And I know it's more of a soft answer, but I, I just really want to be able to affect people's lives in a positive way.

Joel Goldberg: I actually think it's a great answer. And it's a phenomenal way to end the podcast. If people want to learn more about them and certainly you could be could check out his, his LinkedIn and all the social media.

Joel Goldberg: But here it is Achilles heel. There's that number 18 that Devin wore at  Oklahoma State Achilles heel to

Joel Goldberg: Dot com going great places in life. And I love that I, who knows where it's going to be, but I know that you're going to make an impact you already are, you'll continue to so

Joel Goldberg: Devin. It's been in the works for you and I, for a while. I'm glad we finally got a chance to catch up. Best of luck at Stanford. I can't wait to see all the updates and thanks for spending time

Joel Goldberg: Thank you. I appreciate it. Great stuff from Devin and I'm really looking forward to following his career, he is going to do huge things already is.

Joel Goldberg: doing big things. So best of luck to Devin thanks to all of you for listening again.

Joel Goldberg: Hope you'll subscribe five star review, share it with your network keep spreading that word. And if you want to get ahold of me. You could do so at Joel Goldberg media.com that's going to do it for another episode of rounding the bases hope to catch you that

Rounding the Bases with Joel Goldberg Podcast was created to share the stories of men and women in business and entrepreneurship that are both well knowing and or hidden gems. Joel believes that everyone has a story and their story matters which is why Joel is eager to connect with individuals that are bringing value to their community through innovation, leadership, entrepreneurial journeys, and developing company culture. If you would like to be a guest on Joel's podcast please email us at joel@joelgoldbergmedia.com.