Episode 395 – James Sinclair

James is a CEO & Animal Rescuer

James Sinclair, co-founder and CEO of Enterprise Alumni, talks about why he feels it is important to have a hobby or passion that gets you away from your work, how he found working with animals as his passion, and much more!

Episode Highlights

• Why James loves animals
• Hugging a cow
• How his passion has improved certain aspects of his life
• How training animals can be like handling difficult people in the workplace
• Fostering dogs
• How your hobby could positively impact your career


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    Welcome to Episode 395 of What’s Your “And”? This is John Garrett, and each Wednesday I interview a professional who, just like me, is known for a hobby or a passion or an interest outside of work. And to put it another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “and,” those things above and beyond your technical skills, things that actually differentiate you when you’re at work.

    And if you like what the show is about, be sure to check out the book on Amazon, Indigo, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, a few other websites. All the links are at whatsyourand.com. If you want me to read it to you, look for What’s Your “And”? on Audible or wherever you get your audio books. The book goes more in depth with the research behind why these outside-of-work passions are so crucial to your corporate culture. I can’t say how much it means that everyone’s reading it or writing such nice reviews on Amazon, and more importantly, changing the cultures where they work because of it.

    Please don’t forget to hit Subscribe to the podcast so you don’t miss any future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every week. This week is no different with my guest, James Sinclair. He’s the Chief Executive and Co-founder of EnterpriseAlumni. It’s the market leading alumni and retiree engagement platform. He’s the author of The Alumni Advantage: How Innovative Companies Leverage Their Former Employees, coming out in just a few weeks. Now he’s with me here today.

    James, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    James: Thanks so much, John. 395, that’s the lucky number.

    John: That is. This is it. I had 394 just to get to you, man. So let’s make some magic. This is going to be great. So I have 17 rapid-fire questions to get to know James right out of the gate here. So I’ll start out with a pretty easy one here. Suit and tie or jeans and a t-shirt?

    James: Jeans and a t-shirt. Oh, I have such a good story about that, but we’ll get to that later.

    John: Okay. All right. All right. How about puzzles, Sudoku or crossword?

    James: Crosswords, New York Times.

    John: Oh, you next level. Okay, professional. I see. All right.

    James: Well, I didn’t say completed them. I look at them.

    John: I wait till tomorrow and then get the answers. All right. All right. How about a favorite color?

    James: Unfortunately, my family would tell you that I do like the neon colors too much.

    John: I love it, man. That’s awesome. That’s very cool. It was safety first man. You never know when you’re out.

    James: I’ll give you my rebuttal next time. It’s a safety thing. Yeah, for sure.

    John: You’re just being courteous. How about a least favorite color?

    James: My least favorite color is apparently my old favorite color was what my daughter would call poo brown. And apparently, she could just look at my clothes and be like, “There’s a common thread here.” So because of that, it’s now my least favorite color.

    John: Okay, okay. All right. How about cats or dogs?

    James: Dogs all the way and less than with my wife, in which case, it’s obviously cats, obviously, even though it’s not.

    John: Right, right. There you go. How about a favorite actor or favorite actress?

    James: I can’t help you here. Sorry.

    John: Okay. No worries.

    James: I love watching just everything about everything. So no apologies.

    John: No, no, no apologies at all. That’s probably better, to be honest. I think it’s all good. Would you say you’re more of an early bird or a night owl?

    James: Early bird because I’m forced to be an early bird. Night owl when I want to get shit done.

    John: Right. Yeah, yeah. And especially with kids, I’d imagine, yeah, early bird is not by choice. That’s for sure. Would you say more Star Wars or Star Trek?

    James: Star Wars, obviously. Is there an option in there? Is that a choice?

    John: Right. You’d be surprised. I had somebody on who their and was Star Trek.

    James: Actually, I just insulted 50% of your audience. I apologize.

    John: No, no, no, man, it’s all good. It’s all good. It’s more like 99, but it’s fine. It’s just funny because each to their own and some people do both. I don’t know how you do both, but some people do. How about your computer, more of a PC or a Mac?

    James: Mac, all the way.

    John: Oh, wow. Okay, you’re way cooler than me. I don’t know if you would let me hang out with you. I hope maybe one day. Here’s a fun one. How about a favorite word?

    James: Oh, wow!

    John: Take your time. I mean, that —

    James: You know, I’m going to take a second. I guess, I don’t have a favorite word, but I think my favorite theme or theme of word is around commitment. That’s my word that I’ve been focusing on as part of my own personal growth. So I don’t know if it’s my favorite word or my coach’s favorite word.

    John: Okay. I feel like there’s a theme here where a lot of people will influence what becomes your favorite just because you’re like, “I don’t want to fight you anymore. I’m just — yes, it’s my favorite.” Cats. I hate brown and commitment. This is more of an intervention, James, than it is a podcast.

    James: This is the first step of our 12-step program — acceptance.

    John: Exactly. You’ll be back for Episode 396, 397. Yeah, we’ll cross the bridge. How about a favorite season? Spring, summer, fall or winter?

    James: Winter.

    John: Really? Okay.

    James: Love it. Love everything associated with it. I live in California, so it’s not really winter. It’s more of just a mild breeze.

    John: It’s when Christmas happens.

    James: Exactly. A mild breeze and we get gifts.

    John: Yeah, you know what? Actually that sounds pretty good. That sounds pretty good. How about a favorite ice cream flavor? I’m a huge ice cream junkie.

    James: Oh, the cookie dough or the mint bits.

    John: Okay, good answers. Good answers. How about a favorite cereal even from when you were a kid?

    James: Never been a cereal person. I’m a French toast all day person.

    John: Oh, okay. All right. So that would be French toast or pancakes. There you go. All right, waffles. All right. If it’s a French toast, it is. How about a favorite number?

    James: 42.

    John: 42. Is there a reason?

    James: Yeah, of course. I’m going to let you and your audience google what does 42 mean after this.

    John: Is it a Jackie Robinson reference?

    James: It’s way better than that. It is the answer to everything. It’s a reference from a movie. I’m going to just leave it there.

    John: A Jim Carrey movie.

    James: Nope. I’m going to leave it there. No explanation.

    John: Oh, that was 23. That’s what that one was.

    James: Yeah.

    John: Okay. So 42. Okay, all right. Google it. And then I hope you have 42.com as your website and then — there we go.

    James: I have registered all of them except for that, but yeah. It’s from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, where 42 is the answer to the universe and everything. It’s such a ridiculous concept that for some reason I’ve just kept it in my head forever. I just love that concept. The 42 is the answer to everything.

    John: Yeah, no, that’s awesome, man. I love it. How about books? Do you prefer real books, Kindle, or the audio version?

    James: Real books, hardcover. When I bought yours, I have to buy softcover, so on that side of the house. But I am a hardcover book person.

    John: The hardcover just ups the cost, man.

    James: I know.

    John: So I saved you a couple bucks, so you’re welcome.

    James: I don’t know why, but I like the hardcover because of how I read them. I don’t know why. I think I just —

    John: Yeah, you’re an aggressive reader. Yeah. Plus, when somebody says something you don’t like, you just throw it.

    James: Yeah, you want to make sure you break a window. Yeah, you want to break a window, whether you really throw it out the window. It’s critical.

    John: That’s awesome. How about when you travel, planes, trains or automobiles?

    James: Yeah, automobiles. I love a good car trip, like so much.

    John: All right, and the last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own? Besides the paperback of my book.

    James: Oh, it’s out the window.

    John: Right. Never mind. I don’t own it anymore.

    James: Yeah. I think the favorite thing I probably — wow, do you know what it is? It’s my dad’s old watch. It’s like some crappy watch, like worth nothing, but it was just a very old watch. It broken and he got a new one. I grabbed it, and I put it in my safe for safekeeping. My dad is still alive, and it’s amazing. It’s like weirdly like that and my grandpa’s war medals. Those are my favorite things. I don’t visit them that often. I don’t think about them that often. But I think they’re just an absolute reminder of that. And yeah, I love them both. Again, I haven’t thought about them recently, but I think that would be my favorite thing.

    John: Right. No, I mean, but it’s just really cool things that take you back to people that are important to you. And that’s awesome, man. That’s super cool. Super cool. So let’s talk animals and animals in general. Did you grow up having animals in your house, or you make up for lost time?

    James: I’m making up for lost time, for sure. No questions. Some heritage family is using this therapy session. You know, I’ve always been a massive animal lover in terms of always wanted dogs, always wanted to get the point that I could have dogs. As I’ve kind of grown and worked, the one thing that having dogs has let me do is you go to the dog park in the morning. You have 45 minutes just there. You wake up earlier. And what I really learned is actually I like the process of owning dogs as much as I do the dogs itself, going with them, something not work. How do you just calm down for a second? Like you, John, quite consistent and quite fast paced. And so you need kind of explicit things that you enjoy where you want to calm down. Like when I vacation, I don’t want to sit on the beach and read. That doesn’t work. I want to do something. I want to explore. Animals has just been for me that kind of thing. And then as over time, I’ve just become more and more involved in kind of like the rescues, when you have the fires in California, rehousing. You know what? It just makes me smile. It makes me happy.

    Again, I think you and I talked earlier, no, you can’t be in a bad mood when a puppy is playing with you. You can only smile. For those people that haven’t hugged a cow, that was a recent experience of mine. It just made me smile. I just wasn’t at work. I wasn’t on my phone. No nothing. This is me time and I was having a challenge creating me time, so I needed a hobby to force it, if that makes sense.

    John: Yeah, no, I love it, man. I love it. Was it a cow out in front of a Chick-fil-A holding a sign, or was it a real cow?

    James: It was a real cow. There’s a thing up here about an hour away that I found because I got some kids called The Gentle Barn where you can go, and literally they adopt kind of animals out of like uniquely poor situations. And it’s just like just animals. You can go and there are big things. Come hug a cow, and you’re like, do I want to hug a cow? The funny thing is it turns out, yes, you do want to hug a cow. It turns out you absolutely do.

    John: That’s awesome.

    James: When I tell people about it that don’t have kids, when you tell people that have kids, they’re like, “Oh, my God, my kid will love it.” I’m like, “Cool. Wait till you hug your cow.” When you tell people without kids, they’re like, “You’re just a weirdo.”

    John: Right. No, I don’t have kids. I think that’s awesome. That’s so great.

    James: It just forced me to just move away from work. I would also funnily enough tell you that it’s increased my patience. It’s increased areas of my personal life. But you talk about that. Your opening line of the book is like your external hobbies, the external things you do have such an impact in your core purpose and the core things you do.

    John: That’s so cool to hear. I mean, that it’s not just my make-believe idea. It’s like it actually applies to the real world, and it’s something that you can feel and makes a difference.

    James: You also learn, you know, when you hear about these things and you hear about these trainers of how they train and how they acclimate the animals, how they handle them, how they handle difficult ones, I got to be honest, it’s very similar to how you handle difficult people in the workplace — patience, structure, organization, consistency, cadence. All the words that these amazing trainers use you could use for a manager in an organization, to be fair.

    John: No, that’s such a great point and treats. I mean, you just give them a brownie, they’ll do anything, like literally anything.

    James: It’s true, tangible rewards, feedback loops. Same with an animal, unfortunately. But yes. So I’m just a big fan and more and more it’s just me time. No phone. No nothing. No anything.

    John: With your family as well, which is cool. Because, I mean, when I talk to people, and they’re like, “Well, my and is my family because I’m so consumed with it,” it’s like, but specifically, what are you doing with them? I love it, how it’s playing with dogs or going to this animal, The Gentle Barn, which is such a great name for it.

    James: Such a great name. You know, I think you’re so right. Like you can be with your family, but are you present? Are you there? And it’s tough sometimes. So you know, I’m there in person theoretically, but I’m not actually there. And so doing something, these activities, kind of enables that. You’re 100% right. Your family cannot be your and. Your family just is because it’s not like you can replace them and be like, “Eh, I didn’t want kids. My bad.”

    John: Right, right.

    James: I guess you can, but it’s frowned upon.

    John: It’s frowned upon for whatever reason. But, yeah, I mean, that’s exactly it. Have you had several dogs? I think the rescue side of it is awesome where are you bringing them in, or are you going to help out with that?

    James: Yeah. I’m what’s known as a foster fail, which means someone will phone me and say, “Hey, we got this dog. He needs or she needs a home and some training before we rehouse. Would you be willing to foster the dog?” And I’m always like, “Yeah, of course, I will.” And then, you know, I fall in love and next thing you know, I’ve got a wolf pack. I’m a foster fail. I know it. I’m okay with it. It makes me smile. I mean, again, our bed is a little bit busy.

    But, you know, funnily enough, the dogs and young kids have been an amazing thing to watch, like the weird love — not weird, the incredible love you see between like a two-year-old and their protector, their brother. They travel in packs. They copy each other, all of those things have been amazing. ou know, I was obviously quite nervous, like I got big German Shepherds, like, oh, my God, they’re going to eat the kid for a quick snack. Instead, they are the protector, the trainer.

    So again, it’s just you’ve got to find small things to just put a smile on your face, and people sometimes forget about that in the day to day. It doesn’t have to be a big thing. If having a dog puts a smile on your face, they’re not the end of the conversation.

    John: No, and I love that and how important that is to work. Like how important is it to have that and, to have something that puts a smile on your face?

    James: So whether it puts a smile on your face or not, the and is not a choice. If you are feeling something, you need diversity of opinion. You need other people, other ideas. You need snapshots or moments or zaps that might come somewhere else. And the only place to be able to get that — and it doesn’t mean outside work you’re getting training or learning. It’s just you need to be doing things that can be like, wow, I could apply this to my business, or by doing this, you get a spark of energy about your own business. You need to create those.

    So the and or the side hustle does two things. Number one, it gives you more diversity of opinion and the opportunity for those zaps of inspiration. And the second is it takes you out of your day-to-day job or whatever it is you’re doing and gives you something else to think about, which forces a new section of your brain, maybe an underused section, maybe something you wish you use more. Maybe it’s adrenaline because you get excited. But I really believe that a side hustle, whatever that might be, is absolutely critical. There’s no reason why everyone shouldn’t have them. Most people do, but they don’t recognize they do.

    Side hustle doesn’t have to mean you’re earning money from it. It just means something you do on the side that you enjoy. So whether it’s mentoring, volunteering, helping, talking. Side hustle can also be playing golf with your buddies once a week and that’s okay too. I think people try to formulate, well, is this enough of a side hobby? When John says to me, “What’s your thing on the side?” and I’m going to say, “I play golf once a week.” If that’s what makes you smile, that’s what brings you together with other people, that drives something, amazing. That’s the end of the story.

    John: That’s exactly it. If it’s once a year, you do a 5K walk for charity, done. I mean, it’s an intentional thing that lights you up, that makes you smile. What I found from talking to so many people is it’s hard to give yourself the label runner. Well, people are going to ask me what my time is, and it’s not very good. So instead, it’s I enjoy. I enjoy blank, and then no one’s going to ask you how good you are at it. Or like, how many cows did you hug, James? It’s like, one. Do I need more than that? Are we keeping score? I enjoy animals. There’s follow-up questions. Well, what’s your favorite kind, or what’s one that you’ve been around recently? or whatever. I think it just takes the pressure off of us to —

    James: It’s also kind of a little bit ego driven. I think when you say you’re a runner, you think people are going to ask you, “What’s your time?” But actually, most people are going to say, “Wow, that’s incredible. You did a half marathon.” Most people are going to say, wow —

    John: Yeah, most normal people. Yeah.

    James: Yeah, most normal and I know that you and I are nowhere close to the normal.

    John: Right, right. Yeah, yeah. I mean, I’m definitely on the fringe. But there’s that inner critic that tells you, well, you’re not the best. You’re not the best. I mean, there’s only one best, and that person, as soon as they say they’re the best, someone just passed you, so you’re not anymore. Let’s not hang our hat on that.

    I love it, man. I think that’s such a great philosophy to have. I mean, especially as a CEO. So like when it comes to your people, do you ask them about their and? Do you encourage them to share that side of them? Do you find that out? I mean, I imagine that them knowing that side of you has to be at least a conversation starter of some sort.

    James: I mean, the and is what bonds everybody. So yes, we’re here for a job. Yes, we’re here for a common purpose. Yes, we’re here for a paycheck. But the first three minutes of a phone call or an innovation session or something or performance review isn’t how’s your job going? So I ask it before we hire people. So one of the funny things that takes people by surprise is I read a book a few years ago by Reid Hoffman, the founder of LinkedIn. I think it’s called The Alliance. And he said people work in tours of duty two to three years. What if you were to ask people before they join you what their next job is going to be, where they think it is, what they’re going to have. Now you know how to retain them.

    So I’m a big believer that someone who works for us, it’s a privilege, not a right, and it’s a privilege that I have to earn every day. I might not be great at it, but I always look at it that way. So the and is critical to me, especially through this work from home time. You can only ask how are you feeling, how are you doing so often. You can only have so many mental health days. So the and is how do you make people smile? How do you deliver a giggle? How do you bond over something that’s unrelated? Because that’s the thing that’s going to keep retention. Why do people choose to work here? Yes, we’re a good employer. Yes, we respect our people. We pay good wages. Yes, we’re a good place to work making an impact. But also and like it. And I like it is more than just I like the work. I like the people I’m working with, and they meet or satisfy my need for personal interaction, given the fact I spend most of my life in this workplace.

    John: Right. Yeah, more of your waking hours, absolutely. I love that, man. That’s so awesome. I don’t know. You should just run this podcast. I just love that you think that way, and that’s how you run the company. I would imagine too, I mean, dealing with companies that are working with alumni, working with retirees, I mean, what EnterpriseAlumni does, as well as your book that comes out, how much is it on creating those relationships that are sticky, which I have to assume are around getting to know people for real?

    James: I mean, if we think about you, John, for a second, ex-PwC, if I’m allowed to say that, so I put 1,000 ex-PwC people into a ballroom. What? You’re all instant friends? No. Why are you putting me around 999 people? I left voluntarily. But now I put you on a table of seven other people interested in comedy, growth, thought leadership, things that you care about yourself. So essentially, I always think of these ands is what takes a ballroom of 1,000 people into a table of seven that’s giggling, the one you see at the restaurant that you’re not at. You’re sitting having dinner and there’s a table next to you that is just giggling and laughing and high-fiving and having a great time. You’re like, “What do they have that we don’t have?” Well, I’ll tell you the answer. They have a common bond. They have trust. They have respect for each other. So it’s not an awkward company dinner. It’s a group of friends bonding over a common thing.

    So I always think about this and as being what this table of seven is. So 1,000 people in a ballroom does not a community make. Seven people tied around being a PwC but also interested in x or working at this company. We both launched the new Coca-Cola brand together. Those fundamental moments is what bonds people, and they choose to opt in. I want to be at this table because I want to talk to these other people and because they meet a need of mine, whatever that need my be. So the and is never an option.

    If I was to go back — I’m sorry to carry on this exhaustive sentence — to this concept of asking people about their life where we hired a mid-level engineer, she’s amazing, one of the questions I asked in the interview is exactly that. When you leave, what do you think you want? Where are you going to work? Do you think you’re going to move to like a Google, to like a Facebook, a big company? Are you going to stay in the startup small business? Do you think you’re going to have headcount? You’re still going to be an engineer? And she was like, “Oh, my God, I have no idea.” And what I realized is because a lot of people in employment don’t have a chance to think about their life, their career trajectory, their life trajectory. It just arrives. I think it’s our duty, our duty being leadership, and leadership doesn’t mean CEO. Leadership can appear anywhere in the organization.

    John: Exactly.

    James: We have a great guy in the office who’s not the CEO, and he rallied everyone around to go for drinks on Fridays pre-lockdown. That’s a leader, independent of his title. I think it’s the responsibility of leadership to provide that. I actually think that’s what companies are forgetting to do. They’re teaching high competency, how to program this, how to do that. What about how to live, how to plan, how to financially understand your 401(k)? Those are things that are as important as everything else.

    John: Yeah, no, I love that, man. The more that you’re outside of work life is in order and you’re happy and satisfied with, then the better you’re going to be when you’re inside the office. So it’s just caring, just having a genuine interest in caring. And it’s almost sad that you have to say it. Isn’t this a standard? I was speaking at a conference, a virtual conference, recently, and someone said, “Isn’t this intuitive?” No, it totally is. It’s just you’re not doing it. I’m not reinventing something here. I’m just reminding you that, hey, care,and that there’s so much more around you.

    James: But I think the standard is just so low and it actually annoys me quite a lot. So if we take the same engineer, I’m not going to name and shame because that’s not fair, but I check in consistently with her. She’s an engineer in a male-dominated industry or company, which is we have more male engineers than female, but it’s just the fact, and always check in, always checking in to make sure that all of these things we want.

    But one of the other things that was really important we found was around salary, around negotiation, around those bits and pieces, where, I guess, I was oblivious to those conversations that have to happen. But caring is, you know, when she came here, after a few months, I did a performance review and she was like, “I’m so happy. I’m so happy. You’re inclusive. You’re this. You’re that.” I couldn’t help but be like, but that’s not the mark of a great company. That’s just not being shitty.

    John: Right, right. Exactly.

    James: I don’t want to hang my hat on the fact that you just told us we don’t discriminate, and that’s nice. That’s not nice. That’s just being human. And so that’s why I use that phrase of employing someone is a privilege that you have to earn every single day because it forced me to rethink the employment or the transactional relationship that we have with our employees, with our customers, with our vendors. We think about the same with our customers. It’s a privilege to have a customer, and we have to earn that privilege every day.

    John: I love that so much. I love that so much. I guess to wrap this up, do you have any words of encouragement for people that have a hobby or a passion outside of work that they think, well, no one’s going to care. It has nothing to do with my job.

    James: I think there’s so unrelated. If I could end with an example I heard from someone, I heard this on a podcast and I wish I could give credit, was there was a guy who works at, I think, it’s like GE, and he’s in manufacturing. His side hobby is he does what’s called a maker studio. I might be getting the terminology wrong. It’s like this thing with plastics and you put on your desk and you can build these CAD 3D models like on your desk out of like lasers and plastic. I’m butchering this but it’s called the —

    John: Like a 3D printer sort of a concept?

    James: Exactly. He leads a community of like 40,000 makers, and he does this on the side. It’s got nothing to do with his job. When this conversation around the pandemic happened and GE — and it might be GE, it might be GM, I could be wrong — I was thinking like, how can we repurpose and masks and all these things? He stood up and said, “Oh, we could just create a CAD diagram. I can go to my maker community, and we can generate all of these, and they’ll be here in like a week.” People were like, “I’m sorry, what?” And suddenly this guy’s side hobby, this thing he goes home to at night, nothing to do with his work, which was just making 3D models and planes and stuff, suddenly the business impacted it.

    So you want to talk about how your side hobby impacts your business, that’s how they delivered all of their masks and things and bits, and the guy was talking about as being transformational.

    My word of advice to everyone is don’t underestimate anything you do, and don’t downplay anything you do. It’s not anyone else’s choice. It’s your choice. And if it makes you happy and it makes you smile and you think it makes you more motivated or more excited to do your day-to-day role, then you should be jumping on it. You and I talked earlier, Jeff Bezos says you should be trying to aim to be happy with at least 50% of your job. So that’s it.

    John: Right. The bar is low, everybody. A puppy is worth at least 51%. So you’re already winning. I mean, there it is. There it is. That’s awesome, man. Well, James, that was so perfect and so much fun. I feel like I rudely peppered you with questions at the beginning, so it’s only fair that I turn the tables, make this the first episode of the James Sinclair podcast. Thank you for having me on. I kind of booked myself. So I’m all yours. Fire away, whatever you want to ask.

    James: I have two questions. Number one is what is the consistent theme of all of your guests that you’ve seen? And I’m not saying secret to success, but is there a consistent theme that you see out of leaders on your show?

    John: I think it’s everyone that’s on the show, they light up. I mean, the enthusiasm that they have for their and is all the time. You’re always excited about your and. I mean, when you’re going to go hang out with animals, it is never a bad experience. You’re always excited. But with work, as you said, with Bezos, 50% of the time, or whatever percent, it’s work. So that’s the thing that I think is consistent is your and is always awesome. It’s always a great time because it’s what you’re doing with your free time, you’re choosing to do it. You’re oftentimes paying money to go do it. Your job is the opposite. You know, it’s like, well, I have to do this. I’m getting paid to do this.

    I look at it as kind of like a Venn diagram of things you love to do and then things that you get paid to do. There’s a little bit overlap there, but there’s plenty on both sides, and that’s okay. So I think just the enthusiasm and the vigor that people have for there and is just — it’s infectious. I mean, you can hear it.

    James: Yeah, I love that passion. My second question is how many times have you read your own book? I’m talking about drafts, redrafts, rewrites, rewrites rewrites? I want to know the number.

    John: It’s so many, like I almost hate my book. When I did the audio version, eight hours, two four-hour days of reading my book. And man, that’s exhausting. Luckily, I wrote it in a way that’s very conversational. I wrote it in a way that I talk with my words. So me reading it should have been super easy. But it’s just, you know, you want to have the right inflection. You want to animate it some. So I would say easily, gosh, I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me if it was like triple digits. I mean, it wouldn’t surprise me. Just from writing it and then rereading it. Luckily, I had a really awesome content editor, really awesome publishing team. It was three rounds of proofreading, three rounds with an editor. It was just like, oh, my gosh, and then, yeah, it’s just making sure that, you know, I’m not sitting beside you as you read the book. So it’s not like I can tell you, oh, you didn’t like that? Well, you’re going to want to skip the next two chapters. It’s just making sure that it all lands appropriately and that I’m making my point, but I’m not punching you in the face at the same time. As an author yourself, man, kudos. I’m excited to when your book comes out in just a little bit. So that’s awesome.

    James: Thanks for having me so much, John. I love this conversation. This is exactly the style of conversation that makes me smile.

    John: Everybody listening, if you want to see some pictures of James with animals or maybe connect with him on social media, be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. Don’t forget to check out his book, The Alumni Advantage: How Innovative Companies Leverage Their Former Employees.

    While you’re on the page of whatsyourand.com, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture. So thanks again for subscribing to the podcast on iTunes or whatever app you use and for sharing this with your friends so they get the message that we’re all trying to spread, that who you are is so much more than what you do.


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