Episode 517- Carolyn Ellis

Carolyn is an Organizational Consultant & Musical Theatre Performer

Carolyn Ellis, Founder of Brilliance Mastery, talks about how she discovered her passion for musical theatre, how it has taught her to stay out of her own way, the skills that she can apply to her career, and much more!

Episode Highlights
• Getting into musical theatre
• Her favorite role
• Getting out of your own way
• Growing comfortable with discussing her passion at work
• Why leaders should create the space for an open culture at work

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Carolyn’s Pictures

Carolyn playing Mother Superior, singing “I will survive!”

Carolyn in rehearsal as Rapunzel, with her husband Rumplestiltskin

Zombie Carolyn

Carolyn’s Links


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    Welcome to Episode 517 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 in another way, it’s encouraging people to find their “and”, those things above and beyond your technical skills, the things that actually differentiate you when you’re at work.

    And normally right now, I plug the award-winning book What’s Your “And”?, but I wanna take a moment to talk about globaldogart.com where all the proceeds go towards saving 1 million dogs by 2030. And did you know that research has shown that pictures of dogs increase our well-being, reduce stress, foster social connections, promote trusting relationships in business settings? And Michael Puck, who was a guest on the show, his and was dog photography. And his pictures are amazing. But now, he’s teamed up with other dog photographers all over the world for globaldogart.com. Check it out. Support someone’s “and” and help out a really great cause. And please don’t forget to subscribe with the podcast so you don’t miss any of the future episodes. I love sharing such interesting stories each and every weekend.

    And this week is no different with my guest, Carolyn Ellis. She’s a trainer, coach, and author of the award-winning book, lead conversations that count how busy managers run great meetings. She’s out of Toronto, Canada. And now, she’s with me here today. Carolyn, thanks so much for taking time to be with me on What’s Your “And”?

    Carolyn: I am so looking forward to our conversation, John. Thanks for having me.

    John: Me too. This is gonna be so much fun. And we’re friends outside of this, which is great. And I have 17 rapid fire questions that I probably should have asked you years ago when we first met, but now’s the time, so here we go. We’ll start— Maybe this is an easy one. I don’t know. Law and Order or Suits?

    Carolyn: Oh, man. You know, I never got into either of them.

    John: Oh, okay. All right. Fair enough. Suits was filmed in Toronto, so that’s why I thought it’d be a slam dunk.

    Carolyn: I know. Well, you know, I’m a little over Meghan Markle a bit these days, so maybe that’s another issue.

    John: Right. This was pre-royal Megan.

    Carolyn: Exactly.

    John: Yeah. It’s tainted now. Fair enough. How about your computer, more of a PC or a Mac?

    Carolyn: Absolutely Mac. Used to be a PC girl.

    John: Wow. Okay.

    Carolyn: Used to be and then it was just constantly updating right when I was in the middle of like major things. And I got an IT guy and switched over to Mac and, ugh, love it, love it, love it.

    John: Wow. Good for you. Okay. How about more of a shower or bath?

    Carolyn: Well, shower.

    John: Yeah, just efficiency. Bam. There it is.

    Carolyn: Also live in a house right now where I don’t have a bath, so that’s another factor.

    John: Oh, that makes it easier.

    Carolyn: But I do live across from Lake Ontario, so I could have a bath technically if I wanted to.

    John: Oh, that’s amazing. Okay.

    Carolyn: And I do sometimes. Yeah. Just wander on over there before dinner, have a quick bath in the lake.

    John: Right. No, Lake Ontario is awesome.

    Carolyn: Oh, it’s beautiful.

    John: Yeah. So beautiful. I’m a huge ice cream junkie. So when you get ice cream, in a cup or in a cone?

    Carolyn: Oh, it’s a tough one. I think there’s a lot of pressure when you’ve got it in a cone like that you don’t lose it or crack it. And I really like to get every single drop. So I’ve migrated to being a cup girl. I could just lick that spoon and just stick my whole snout in the cup.

    John: Right. There it is. There it is. Totally. I agree 100%. How about a favorite animal? Like any animal.

    Carolyn: Ooh, you know, dogs. I love dogs. I mean, we’re sharing about your friend Michael and what his dogs like— Scribble down that URL. I’m gonna go check it out. I’ve got a Golden Doodle and I’ve had dogs for years and years growing up. So they are amazing creatures.

    John: Yeah. No they really, really are. I totally agree. How about puzzles, Sudoku, crossword or a jigsaw puzzle?

    Carolyn: I’m a big fan of jigsaw puzzles and I do them actually on my iPad.

    John: Oh.

    Carolyn: Yeah. There’s an app I use called Magic Puzzles, and it’s super fun because you don’t know what the picture is, and you can dial up. Do you want the pieces to move? Like you can rotate them. Do you wanna do like the 48-size version or do you wanna go for like the 500 little pieces? So you can dial up or down your level of difficulty, and it’s super fun.

    John: You don’t even know the picture. That’s wild. Okay.

    Carolyn: You don’t even know the picture. And then if you get really stuck, there’s a little magic button where you can say “How about you just like float 10 pieces into this corner here ’cause I’m just like really frustrated right now?” So I love that too.

    John: I’m gonna throw my iPad if you don’t give me 10.

    Carolyn: Yeah. As opposed to like just clearing the table of a real physical jigsaw puzzle.

    John: Oh, that’s interesting. Very cool. How about a favorite color?

    Carolyn: I love a lot of colors I’d say.

    John: That’s fine. I’ll give you more than one.

    Carolyn: I love vibrant colors. My favorite, I think right now I’m in the mood for are like teal. So think about like a Robin’s egg kind of color. And you know, again, this lake, man, sometimes it’s like a deep, deep blue or like a greeny blue, and I’m really vibing in that sort of blue green, teal-y zone.

    John: Yeah. I love it. How about a least favorite color?

    Carolyn: Oh, least favorite color I would say is the color of an old dog turd that’s on a sidewalk after a rainy day when somebody stepped in it with a newspaper. Like that kind of gray brown, mushy— Yeah, that color.

    John: That is by far the least popular color. It’s amazing how much just brown or any version of brown comes out.

    Carolyn: Brown. Like what was that? Yeah.

    John: Not good.

    Carolyn: Just walk around it.

    John: That’s hilarious. How about a favorite adult beverage?

    Carolyn: Favorite adult beverage. Oh, man. I just recently bought myself a cocktail book when I was visiting New York, and I’m not much of a mixologist, but I did recently get into Singapore slings, which is something that my parents, growing up at the cottage, all the adults used to get really snuckered with Singapore slings. I’m like “What was that drink?”

    John: Yeah. I’ve never even heard of that.

    Carolyn: Yeah. There’s a lot of ingredients, but very tasty. It goes down too smoothie.

    John: There you go. That explains it. And there you go. Now, you’re the one getting snuckered and it’s all good.

    Carolyn: Exactly. Just trying to honor my parents. Yes.

    John: This one’s for you. No, totally. How about are you more talk or text?

    Carolyn: I do both. I prefer talking ’cause I like the connection better. And also, sometimes texting is just— That damn autocorrect, you know, just gets me so many times. It’s like “No! Stupid.” So yeah, it kind of trips me up a bit.

    John: That’s funny. How about— This one’s gonna be a hard one. Do you have a favorite actor or an actress?

    Carolyn: I would say I really— like Emma Thompson lately, man.

    John: Oh, yeah. Okay.

    Carolyn: She’s so fantastic. And she’s been around for such a long time. She’s super funny. I, you know, have seen some of the old stuff that she used to do with like Hugh Laurie. Like she’s just so wildly talented. And then her latest movie, I dunno if you’ve seen it yet, it was Good Luck to You, Leo Grande, about this older woman’s—

    John: I haven’t seen it yet. No.

    Carolyn: Oh, such a great performance. I mean, it’s a great film. It’s a great story, but she just really went for it. And she can play serious. She can play crazy and manic.

    John: Yeah. The Cruella de Vil movie proved it.

    Carolyn: Oh, her Cruella was— How she was in that movie was just amazing.

    John: She’s on Fallon doing the rap battles and stuff. Like she’s so good.

    Carolyn: She just goes all in.

    John: Yeah.

    Carolyn: Yeah.

    John: Really good.

    Carolyn: She’s like no holds barred. I really admire that in her.

    John: Yeah, totally. No, great answer. Totally. Are you more heels or flats?

    Carolyn: Well, my osteoarthritis in my left foot has determined that heels are out of my shelf. Like I cannot do that anymore. So flats are fine. I’m a tall girl. So I’m 5 feet 10. So I’ve spent a lot of time trying to unlearn the slouching I developed as a teenager to try to fit in with everybody else. So yeah, I’m more on the flats side.

    John: Nice. Okay. Okay. Fair enough. How about season, summer, winter, spring, or fall?

    Carolyn: I love them all, you know, and I love the transition. I love it when you wake up on a summer day and you’re like “Ooh, I’m smelling fall.” It’s just got that Christmas in the air. I live in a part of the country where we have colors changing and the trees go. And I love me a good winter crisp walk with the dog on the beach. Awesome.

    John: All right. All of them. Just in case they’re listening, none of them are left out and they’re all—

    Carolyn: No. I did mention spring, which is when I was born ’cause that’s usually a bit of a mixed bag. It’s like that’s when a lot of that brown stuff shows up on the sidewalk or leftover after the winter snow.

    John: Also, it’s like so short in Canada ’cause it’s like winter—

    Carolyn: And then all of a sudden, like “Oh, you’re in summer now.” And the flowers are going like “Hey, what? Already?”

    John: Yeah, exactly, exactly.

    Carolyn: Bye.

    John: Right. Yeah. No, I can totally see that. How about you have a favorite number?

    Carolyn: My favorite number is 4.

    John: Okay. Is there a reason?

    Carolyn: And I don’t know why. I grew up my sister, and I, and my parents. So there was like always a four. And there’s just something kind of interesting about 4 for me.

    John: Yeah. No. That makes sense. Totally. How about least favorite vegetable?

    Carolyn: Least favorite vegetable. Ooh, I’ve been doing so good on getting my veggies.

    John: I’ve done like 47.

    Carolyn: You do, ei?

    John: No. Probably three I can think of right now off the top of my head.

    Carolyn: Gosh. You know, I would have to say I was gonna put Brussel sprouts in there, but I’ve learned to really love Brussel sprouts roasted with a little balsamic on it.

    John: Yeah. You gotta do some work, but they’ll get there.

    Carolyn: You know what? I’d have to say like really, really bitter greens.

    John: Ah, yeah. Okay.

    Carolyn: I need me some soft sauce up in there with the arugula just to break up that bitterness a little bit. So I don’t hate it, but it’s like that—

    John: Yeah. No. I agree. Totally. How about when it comes to books, audio version, e-Book, or real book?

    Carolyn: Oh, I love me a real book ’cause I’m very kinesthetic like I like to have a pen in my hand, but I get too many of them. So I’m trying to be a little more minimalist and then I’ve been going a little bit more e-Book, but I find I don’t remember them as well. You know, that’s the problem. And thankfully, Amazon will remind me. It’s like “You’ve already purchased this book in 2019. ” It’s like “Really? Dang! I should go read it then.”

    So still working that out.

    John: Yeah. ‘Cause they’re stored up in the cloud and you haven’t downloaded it to the device yet, so you forget that you have it.

    Carolyn: Yeah. It’s not like you can flip through the pages and see how many treasures I have yet to read.

    John: What does it look like? Yeah, exactly.

    Carolyn: Exactly.

    John: And the last one, the favorite thing you have or the favorite thing you own.

    Carolyn: The favorite thing I have, it’s not like a possession, but it’s a patio in the place that I live right now. It’s a deck and I look across the street and then there’s like a green boulevard. There’s the boardwalk, there’s the beach, and there’s the Lake. So I can literally see, you know, Oh my gosh, there are white cups.” I’ll be on my couch in my living room’s like just checking out. It’s so great. You know, I just love having that kind of like nature’s— like living right in it. Even though I live in a really big city, it feels like I’m up in cottage country and I’m like in a huge urban city.

    John: Right. That’s fantastic. So let’s talk musical theater.

    Carolyn: Yeah.

    John: How did you get started with that? Was it something that you like grew up doing or was it more later in life?

    Carolyn: It was something that I grew up always wanting to do, but I was always really intrigued in high school with like plays and things. I was like “Oh, that would be so much fun”, but I would always chicken out. So I would do stage makeup for the theater or I’d play my flute in the pit band.

    John: Oh, okay.

    Carolyn: I’d get close, but I always kind of hover around the periphery.

    John: Right.

    Carolyn: And then like when I was in like my 40s, my kids were getting older and stuff, my chiropractor was like “Oh, you should come to see this musical I’m in.” I’m like “Wait, what? Like an old dude, like you can be in a musical? Like tell me more.” And so, he introduced me to his musical director who, a couple years later, she started and it was basically formed by a bunch of adults who were sitting in the hallway of some gym watching their kids have a great time with her doing their musical theater stuff. And they’re like “Why can’t we do this?” So that’s what we are. We’re just a bunch of middle-aged and older people who some have had some experience, most of us have had very little except for singing in the van, and yeah. So I’ve been with this group for about 6-7 years, 6-7 productions. One of the joys is my daughter is also in the cast and she’s like one of the most talented people in the whole— Like she just raises the level of leadership up in all of us.

    John: Okay.

    Carolyn: Yeah, it was something that I always like wanted to do, but just kept saying “Nah, you’re not good enough. Nah, you don’t know how to dance. No, you don’t know how to sing.” So just saying no and then just finally saying “Well, what if I tried it?” And it was like “Oh, my God, I love this.”

    John: Yeah. That’s so fantastic. So it’s like one show a year kind of idea?

    Carolyn: One show a year. We do one show a year. So usually, of course, the pandemic has messed all of this up. So we’re just waiting to see when we can get back on track. But usually, we start rehearsals sort of end of September-October, performance 3 days. And it’s all for charity as well. So we raised money to support art space programming for kids in remote communities in Northern Canada and also in Africa. And so, we perform end of January. 3 nights usually sold out. So it feels good. And it’s always a process like, you know, “Am I gonna learn my lines? Like I don’t know how to do the choreography.” And any time you’re in a group with like 25 to 30 people doing something and it sort of feels a little pressurized, especially now with the pandemic, you know, we look back and like we’re so lucky to do this. I mean, we just get to be like goofball kids and just discover things about what you can do and like the kind of joy that you can have in your life. And it’s okay. Like you deserve to have some fun too.

    John: Yeah, no, I love that. That’s so fantastic. Do you have a show that you’ve done that’s been one of your favorites or a role that you had?

    Carolyn: Well, I think one of my most challenging and most favorite roles was in my most recent production. We were doing a bit of a mashup between like Robin Hood and Monty Python’s search for the Holy Grail. It was a bit of a mash up there. So I played a character of Rapunzel ’cause, of course, we had to have nursery rhyme characters in there as well. I was Rapunzel and I was also Rumpelstiltskin. So I had to puppeteer like an Avenue Q kind of puppet. So he was my husband. And so, you know, different voice. And I think the highlight for me was singing Do You Love Me as a duet from Fiddler on the Roof.

    John: Oh, my goodness. Yeah. That will mess with your brain a little bit.

    Carolyn: Yeah. It’s like chewing gum, patting your stomach, walking and, you know—

    John: ‘Cause you have to do the puppet and both voices.

    Carolyn: Yeah. And then your reaction to the puppet and then the puppet singing. And your face is supposed to be reacting differently. So it was a lot of fun. It was so great.

    John: That sounds like a blast. And what a cool mashup. I mean, it reminds me of like Albert Brooks had like the Robin Hood movie back in the ’90s. You know, that was a hilarious movie and then to throw in also all these hilarious stuff is right up my alley. That sounds like so much fun.

    Carolyn: It was very zany, very zany.

    John: Yeah. And then it doesn’t matter. It doesn’t have to be perfect.

    Carolyn: It doesn’t have to be perfect. And I think, you know, one of the things I really didn’t quite appreciate and totally love about community musical theater is the people in the audience. They’re not subscribers. They’re like your friends or your family, your colleagues, your neighbors, and they are so rooting for your success. And so, there’s like this amazing reciprocity of like you just wanna leave it all on the stage floor as we would say. And they’re just right there. And I was surprised actually. I have friends coming back year after year. They’re like “Oh, my God, like just going to these performances are like the most exciting.” I’m like “Really?” Like I just didn’t realize.

    I think being in the theaters helped me kind of come out of like getting outta my own way in a way. It’s like “What are people gonna think?” People are going to be inspired. And this is what I think is so cool about what you do with your podcast, John, is when you are in your passion zone and you’re doing your and, like whatever it is, like for me, it’s the theater, like it just ignites something in people’s hearts around you to say like “Hey, you know, what could I do with that kind of energy? Like what would that look like for me?” So it’s a wonderful experience to have and to sort of pass that forward.

    John: No, I agree totally. Just the energy and even just in the universe, I guess, you know, type of a thing of giving people permission to go do the thing that does light up their soul and does make you happy and brings you joy.

    Carolyn: Just do it.

    John: Like go do it. Yeah.

    Carolyn: Like what are we waiting for?

    John: Right?

    Carolyn: Let’s go.

    John: Yeah, exactly. No, such great advice. And do you feel like any of this translates to your work at all?

    Carolyn: Actually, I’d never thought about it before. You ask me that question now, John. Oh, my gosh. Around the time I started doing the musical theater, I also made a pretty big pivot in my business. And one of the things I started to do was called graphic recording, which is drawing conversation in real time. And if I didn’t have that experience out there— ’cause what that is, like I have been at conferences where there’s like 1,500-2500 people, all kinds of luminaries on the stage. One day, I graphically recorded Michelle Obama and Joe Biden on the same day at two different events.

    John: Oh, my goodness. Yeah.

    Carolyn: The old Carolyn pre-theater experience would have been like “Oh no, like what are people gonna think of me? Am I doing this right?” And now, I’m just like I can be there in that space and it’s like “All right, let’s dance in this moment, and I’m gonna just go with it” and getting out of my own way of like “Did I do this right?” It’s just like that little inner chatter has just kind of fade into the background. When it comes up, I’ll just be like “Hey, how are you doing? You sit on the bench now. I got some work to do here. I gotta show up for these people.”

    John: Yeah. Because it’s like I’ve exercised this muscle outside of work so then, when it’s at work, I can do this, you know, and I can make it happen.

    Carolyn: And I think there’s something too about that experience of working with people and it’s not gonna be perfect right out of the gate. The second week of rehearsal, you’re just like “Oh, how are we ever gonna do this?” And it’s the same thing when you’re like at the jobs, right? Things are not gonna be perfect at the beginning, but to trust your team, and to work with each other, and to find like there’s alchemy that happens when you have goodwill, and good heart, and good intention and you work with each other. So I think that’s another thing that I really learned from my experiences with my troop.

    John: Yeah.

    Carolyn: Like you just don’t know. And if you think you know, you’re not thinking big enough.

    John: Yeah. No. And it’s so true. And it’s not why you do musical theater, but it’s a cool byproduct of doing musical theater. It’s like no one during any of your education did anyone say go do musical theater ’cause it will make you better at your career.

    Carolyn: No! And if you’ve mentioned it, they would have said “Well, that’s not very practical. That’s not gonna be a good way to earn a living.” And you would have just tamped it down. If you’re having joy in one part of your life, it spills over. And I think people feel that whether you’re in the theater, in a boardroom, at a conference. They’re like “I’ll have what she’s having.”

    John: That’s so true. I mean, if you have joy in your life, like what lights up your soul? Like that’s deep.

    Carolyn: Yeah.

    John: Like someone that I had had on, Mark Winburn, another guest, he said it’s his breathing and happy. And I’m like “Wow. Like how rich is that?” It spills over, you know. If you’re living your best life, you’re gonna be doing your best work and that’s so good that you pointed that out. It’s so true. And I guess has this been typical for you to share your outside of work hobbies through your career or is it more that the musical theater was like “Hey, this is a cool thing that I’m doing”?

    Carolyn: You know, I think when I started my career, I was very kind of buttoned down. I thought I had a personal life and there was a professional. And like I had an interest in things about consciousness and spirituality. I would never ever, ever talk about that at work ’cause like “Oh, no, that’s not rational.” And so, I kind of kept those realms separate. And I think whether it’s, as I’ve just progressed in my career, I don’t care as much what other people think about me, you know, than I did when I was in my 20s or 30s, or just having these experiences where you see like if you’re willing to really be out there, be authentic, be vulnerable, I know those are all clichés now, but really let people see you as a goofball and it doesn’t matter, it just opens up the space for them to be like “Oh, man, we need a little bit more lightheartedness here. Like let’s do some improvising, collaborating, like just riffing off of each other.”

    That’s what brings more meeting and joy to the moment than like “Oh, wait, that’s not on our agenda for this meeting is to have this conversation.” It’s like “Well, I’m sorry. That protocol is dumb.” You know?

    John: Right. Also, my agenda shows that it’s clearly here.

    Carolyn: Yeah. Notice what’s going on in the room with a reaction here and can you respond to what’s actually here rather than to what our mental constructs have been? ‘Cause I really think with this pandemic, a lot of us are— You know, the wells of emotional resilience are pretty dry and we’re trying to find our way back. And these kinds of opportunities and moments, even just those little moments, it could just be a conversation in an elevator. Oh, remember the days we used to go to office buildings with elevators and people would be in them?

    John: Right. It scares me when someone else comes out. I’m like “Whoa! Hey, I didn’t know you were gonna be here.”

    Carolyn: Like “Whoa, what?” “It’s okay. We’re at 6 feet?” “Yeah.”

    John: Like “Yeah. Yeah.”

    Carolyn: That’s right. So I think, you know, people finding some solace in culture, and music, and those sort of shared experiences I think are really powerful. I’ve missed them and I’m enjoying getting back to them now.

    John: Totally. No, it’s super important. Humans wanna be around other humans, you know. It’s just straight up we want to. And that’s how it goes, you know. And how much do you feel like it’s on leadership in whatever capacity to create this space for people to be able to share an and or how much is it on the individual to be like “Hey, like I’m just starting with my small circle up here and we’re gonna go from there”?

    Carolyn: Ooh, I think it has to come probably from both. I mean, I think leaders need to create a space for that. And if they’re not creating some sort of space for their own to start showing up in how they lead, I think they’re missing the boat because people in the trenches on the team, those individual contributors, especially, again, pandemic has had a big impact on people saying like “What am I doing with my life? Is this what I wanna be doing? Like I got other things or places to go, people to be, and feelings to have rather than feeling like you’re a cog in the wheel.” I mean, I think that’s just really old style. I think there’s a shift in that, but it needs to be supported at the top and modeled at the top. Again, if it becomes a checkbox, we need to have time for people to share about their passions. You go first.

    John: And I have a stopwatch, so you can’t go longer.

    Carolyn: Yeah. You’ve taken too much time.

    John: Right.

    Carolyn: On to the next. Thank you for sharing. That was very moving.

    John: Right.

    Carolyn: You gotta mean it. Like your words and your energy have to be aligned.

    John: That’s so true. That’s so true. I agree totally on that. And so, do you have any words of encouragement for anyone listening that feels like they have an and, but no one cares ’cause it has nothing to do with my job?

    Carolyn: If you feel a niggling to explore some and, just find what is that one next baby step that you could do to explore, bringing a little bit more of that into your life. It’s not a big commitment. Like you’re not going to Broadway. I’m not going to Broadway, but just like what’s that next little tiny step and just give yourself permission to do that. I find sometimes those nigglings, if you ignore them, like they’re not inconsequential. I really feel it’s like your wisest, and best, and most expressed self is saying “Hey, let’s check out this fork in the road.” And if you don’t say yes, at some point, you’re gonna get like a smack upside the head somehow, which will say like “Oh, man, I should have learned how to take more time away from my work and to indulge in my passions ’cause now something calamitous has happened.” So just take a little baby step and have some fun with it. Be light with it. And if it’s not for you, you know.

    John: Absolutely so true. So true, Carolyn. That’s so perfect. And I feel like before we wrap this up ’cause this has been so good, it’s only fair that I turn the tables and make this The Carolyn Ellis Podcast. Thanks for having me as a guest. And I’m all yours, whatever you wanna ask.

    Carolyn: Well, thank you. John, it’s been a pleasure. I’m so glad you could be here with me today.

    John: Right? I booked myself. I’m not gonna lie.

    Carolyn: Yes. Yes.

    John: Like I did.

    Carolyn: I have two rapid fire questions for you. What is your biggest pet peeve that when you experience it, you say “Come on, seriously?”

    John: Oh, wow. I have so many pet peeves.

    Carolyn: Feel free to share more than one.

    John: I mean, at an airport with your shoes off or on the airplane with your shoes off, or at the airport or anywhere on speaker phone. What are you doing? I don’t need to hear your conversation. Or listening to a video on max volume. Like I feel like it all boils down to inconsiderate behavior. Or like leaving a shopping cart just randomly. And I used to work at a grocery store, so I had to go get them. And now, it’s like “What are you doing? Why it’s 20 feet over there? Just go do it.” I think it’s inconsiderate behavior is really where it gets me.

    Carolyn: Ooh. Those are really good ones. I hadn’t thought of them. Now, I’m feeling—

    John: This is a thing now. We’re doing it.

    Carolyn: Yeah, come on.

    John: Okay. Like yeah.

    Carolyn: Yeah.

    John: I feel like the smartphones, you should have to take a test to whether or not you’re able to own a smartphone. Just because you have speakerphone doesn’t mean you should be on it at all. When I worked at an office, that was my pet peeve, was the partners would always hit speaker phone and then dial the phone number. Ring, ring, ring. And then when the person picks up, they would pick up the receiver to talk, but I don’t need to hear your boo, boo, boo, boo ring, ring, ring. No, pick up the receiver. Dial it that way. Like what are you doing?

    Carolyn: That’s so inconsiderate. Absolutely right.

    John: That’s really what it boils down to. And probably none of those things happen in Canada ’cause it’s magic land.

    Carolyn: Oh, we’re very polite up here. Yes. Uh-huh.

    John: Right?

    Carolyn: No, no, but you’re right. I mean, honestly, sometimes on the beach it’s like people are out there, families picnicking and stuff. And then the next day, it’s like “Dude, you had your beer and the recycling’s right there and you just had to leave it on the grass. Like why?”

    John: Yeah. Yeah, littering. Yeah.

    Carolyn: It’s like, oh, I hate that.

    John: That’s out there too.

    Carolyn: Ugh! Okay. So my next question for you, John, is when you come back in your next life, who or what would you want to be?

    John: Holy moly. Carolyn Ellis, that’s who I wanna be. I wanna be you. Wow. That is a good question. I mean, part of me wants to be like a dog or something where it’s just like life is good. Like I got zero pressure. I’m surprised every time my owner comes home. It’s just always a party and not a lot of pressure, and I can just pee wherever I want, and we’re good. Yeah, everyone loves you.

    Carolyn: Everyone loves you. State of delight the whole time.

    John: Yeah. I feel like a dog wouldn’t be so bad, you know. Like it’s kind of nice to just have a rotation off, if you will, where it’s like, hey, less pressure. Like we’re good. I don’t need all the pressure of all that stuff.

    Carolyn: Oh, that’s a lot of training involved with that. That’s a very special kind of free incarnation.

    John: We might start the training. And 2 hours in, they’ll be like “No, not this one.” We gotta like move them out to something else.

    Carolyn: I think that’s a wonderful answer. And it’s just good boy, John.

    John: Yeah, there you go. And yeah, more good boys. I feel like we need like more of that in my existence.

    Carolyn: Please. Well, you nailed those answers. Thank you so much for playing the game.

    John: No, no, absolutely. Thank you for being the host and honestly for being a part of What’s Your “And”? This has been super, super awesome, Carolyn. Thank you so much.

    Carolyn: Awesome. It’s been a delight. Thanks so much.

    John: Everyone listening, if you wanna see some pictures of Carolyn on stage, or maybe connect with her on social media, or check out her book (Lead Conversations That Count), be sure to go to whatsyourand.com. All the links are there. And while you’re on the page, please click that big button, do the anonymous research survey about corporate culture. Thanks again for subscribing on Apple podcast 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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