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Welcome back to the Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #166 with Chris Gargano, who is now in his sixth year with the New York Jets as vice president, executive producer where he oversees JETS 360, which is responsible for all Jets produced content – including video production, social media and editorial – with a goal of providing football fans an all-access pass to unique, engaging, quality content over a variety of platforms. Chris has also just started his fourth year teaching leading leadership at NYU, which is what led him to this podcast.

Watch this interview on YouTube here. 

Follow the New York Jets here

Follow Chris Gargano:

On this episode you will learn:

✔︎ How Chris knew that a career in sports broadcasting was the right path for him, right from childhood.

✔︎ How an injury caused him to pivot towards broadcasting, and then later, pivoted towards lifelong learning again.

✔︎ What led Chris to our podcast for his leadership students at NYU.

✔︎ The characteristics of a championship head coach, and team.

✔︎ How he prioritizes a work/life balance with a busy schedule.

✔︎ The future of leadership–building self-awareness in our future generations.

I’m Andrea Samadi, author, and educator from Toronto, Canada, now in Arizona, and like many of our listeners, have been fascinated with learning and understanding the science behind high performance strategies that we can use to improve our own productivity in our schools, our sports, and workplace environments. My vision is to bring the experts to you, share their books, resources, and ideas to help you to implement their proven strategies, whether you are a teacher working in the classroom or online, a student, or in the corporate environment.

I first met Chris Gargano just a couple of weeks ago when we connected on LinkedIn and his background immediately caught my attention aside from the fact he works for the New York Jets. I will let Chris tell you his story, with the hopes that it will inspire you to reach new heights and I can tell you that from someone who has led some of the best “teams behind the teams” that he will empower you to take a closer look at how he sees top performers reach those high ranks, and it all begins with the topic of leadership.

Let’s meet Chris Gargano, and see if we can leverage his life story, to push us closer to where we are all going.

Welcome Chris Gargano! Thank you for taking the time out of your busy season that has just begun, and I know there is never a slow time with your work, so thank you for taking the time to be here today.

Chris, before I get to the questions I have for you, I mention in the show notes that you run JETS 360 that’s responsible for all JETS related content, and as someone who also produces content, without a production team like you have over there, I wonder if you can give us any tips for what you do to catch people’s attention with the graphics/videos/content that you create to connect you’re your fans?

I was sorry to see the results of your game on Sunday but know that mindset is a huge part of the game here, and I know you are going to give us some new ways of looking at life and how you deal with wins/losses through the lens of someone behind the scenes of the top performers you get to work with every day. I’m looking forward to what we can all learn from your experiences.

Q1: Chris, can you take us back to where your vision for your career began, when you were a student in the classroom, before your college days, before you had this incredible opportunity to work in broadcasting and media production with teams like the NY Jets and the previous teams you worked with (Oakland Raiders and San Francisco Giants) was there any defining moment that you can recall when you thought “aha” this is what I am meant to do?

Q2: What happened to that vision/dream in your college years that led you to your career in Broadcasting/Sports?

2B) I think this is what caught my attention the most when we connected on LinkedIn. What made you decide to go back to school to continue your education with your MA in Leadership Studies?

Q3: When we first spoke on the phone, you mentioned that you found our podcast through our episode #68[i] “The Neuroscience of Personal Change with Stephen R. Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” that was the most downloaded episode until I checked and realized it was beat out significantly (with 3x the downloads) earlier this year with a Personal Review of the Fisher Wallace Wearable Medical Device[ii] Can you explain what your vision is for your leadership students you are teaching at NYU, what you liked about that episode?

Q4: I have to ask a question about Head Coach Saleh because I think it ties into your story.  I mentioned him at the start of this year on EPISODE #103 The Neuroscience of Leadership[iii]  when I found an article talking about his powerful story that launched his coaching career when he traded his “cubicle for his coaching dream after his brother’s 9/11 close call”[iv]   and I am certain that his passion for the sport is the foundation for the success he will experience as a head coach, in addition to the emotional intelligence that he has developed. What have you learned from your interaction with phenomenal HC that you think sets him apart from other coaches you have seen?

Q5: Using your experience with the Jets (and other pro level teams/organizations, what do you think is the best mindset for championship teams, that we can take away from your experience and apply towards our own ingredients for success?

Q6: Our podcast took a turn towards health and wellness in the past year, so I always want to emphasize the importance of the top health staples (sleep/exercise/nutrition). With an extremely busy work schedule, how do you create the balance that you need for your own mental health and well-being?

Q7: What are your final thoughts on the future of leadership, how you see yourself fitting into this vision and how do you want to encourage leaders (like those you are teaching at NYU) to step up, find their passion, true talent, voice, confidence, to attain their own individual and team success?

Chris, I want to thank you so very much for connecting with me  and first of all for validating the work I am doing here. It really did make me feel good to know that someone at your level was looking at the work that was created months ago, showing me that we can all have a significant impact on the world with whatever it is we want to do and for those listening to hear this example, to not be afraid to put their voice out into the world.

Secondly, thank you for adding to this vision, and sharing with our listeners your valuable experience working with some of the best players in the industry.

Finally, thank you for all you have shared with us here on the podcast that are all transferable skills that can be used across all industries, not just in sports. I will put a link to the NY JETS in the show notes for those who want to follow the team and your content, and I’m confident that with the talent, strong culture/community and leadership you have behind your team, that these are all the winning ingredients for success.

Follow JETS360 and the NY JETS


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Robert Saleh Becomes Jets’ 20th Head Coach in Franchise History by Randy Lange and Eric Allen January 19, 2021

Think Again: The Power of Knowing What You Don’t Know by Adam Grant, Published Feb. 2, 2021


[i] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #68 “The Neuroscience of Personal Change with Stephen R. Covey’s The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People”

[ii]Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #130 “Personal Review of the Fisher Wallace Wearable Medical Device for Anxiety, Depression and Sleep Management”

[iii] Neuroscience Meets Social and Emotional Learning Podcast EPISODE #103 “ The Neuroscience of Leadership: 3 Ways to Reset, Recharge and Refuel Your Brain for Your Best Year Ever”

[iv]  Robert Saleh traded cubicle for coaching dream after brother’s 9/11 close call by Ryan Dunleavy Jan. 12, 2021