Walk the Talk Like a Boss

Inspiring kids continued once again today. It didn’t happen as originally planned but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a success.

I learned at the beginning of this week that the scheduled speaker for today couldn’t make it. He didn’t cancel, he just needed to reschedule for a few weeks from now. That was a relief that he isn’t out of the picture, but it did leave me scrambling a bit for this week.

I hound my usual suspects repeatedly for things like this. Things I conjure up and need a bit of help with to execute. And although none of them have said they feel used, or over-used, I don’t want them to even think it. I keep trying to diversify and spread the volunteer gigs out among my small circle(s).

So, who could I ask to fill this spot with such short notice? Cancelling would be the alternative. I figured why not give it one last shot, and late Monday night I sent an email to the two co-owners of my office at Incite. I thought the story of them starting up their company 17-18-ish years ago and keeping it going through all the ups and downs of the economy. Maybe that could be an interesting presentation for the students? That’s what I pitched in my late-night email.

Tuesday morning, I got a reply from Ted Kouri, one of the co-owners, saying that he could do it and he’d chat with me later that day about the details.


But he did just that: came and chatted with me asking who would be there, what I wanted him to talk about, and he said, “Okay, sounds good.”

Done. Simple.

On presentation day, he drove us both to the school from our office and I prepped him for the chance of low turnout, as I knew of at least one other school club running at the same time that day, which sucked. And yes, the turnout was a bit low (10 kids). But it didn’t matter.

He got the kids to sit in a semi-circle and he sat with them, too.

He told the students about his journey of life growing up and what he was interested in. Hockey was a hit. Piano lessons were not.

He threw the question out to the group wondering if anyone knew what marketing was. And they offered up some good answers. “Selling stuff,” was the basic consensus.

But it was the takeaway messages that I hoped the kids would actually take away with them, because I did. I found myself nodding and in the back of the room as I listened to his talk.

He told the students that what you do for work is important but what is more important is who you do the work with. So your coworkers, clients and your surrounding community members. They all help or hinder your success, as does how well you get along or connect with them all.

He asked the kids what they wanted to be when they grew up. Rocks were a surprising hit in the group. I expect to have a lot of archaeologists, geologists and paleontologists in Western Canada in a decade or so.20170216walkthetalk4ted001

Ted encouraged them all to love their rocks and go with it. Picking something you like makes work easy, he told them.

One girl said she wanted to paint while riding a horse. And without missing a beat, Ted encouraged her to do just that. He explained that she’d be a great entrepreneur as he didn’t expect she’d have much competition with that set of talents.

He also reminded the kids that by picking one thing you really love doing, doesn’t mean that’s the only thing you should pick. You can have hobbies or you can change careers in your lifetime–you don’t have to stick with just one plan.

The students also learned what an entrepreneur is and that it’s pretty nice being the boss. There are also challenges to it, like spelling “entrepreneur,” but also that you are the boss and you have to make the decisions and find out the answers. It can be hard sometimes.

I was honoured to have Ted Kouri come from Incite reaffirming that I do work with good, supportive people.


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