Mike says that he isn't good at it but he really enjoys playing the guitar. He finds that concentrating on something other than work allows him to disconnect and gives him a release to come back to the office refreshed. He also likes to be outdoors hiking, which he says is also a fun way to have a business meeting, creating a "remember when" experience with clients or coworkers that creates stronger bonds.
In this episode, we talk about how you, yes you, have permission to talk about your hobbies and passions at work. This gives your coworkers and clients a deeper, pneumatic connection so they'll actually remember you. Mike also adds that the best organizations create a culture that empowers each employee to truly be themself while also being a representative of the organization.
Mike Michalowicz is an entrepreneur and popular keynote speaker on innovative topics. He's also a former small business columnist for The Wall Street Journal; is the former MSNBC business make-over expert; and is the author of Surge, Profit First, The Pumpkin Plan and The Toilet Paper Entrepreneur, which BusinessWeek deemed “the entrepreneur’s cult classic.”.
He graduated with degrees in Finance and Management Science from Virginia Tech, where he was a member of the lacrosse team.
Andrew Tarvin is a funny guy and is well-known nationally within the ComedySportz improv world. He also does stand-up comedy -- his first paid gig was opening for Pauly Shore. A few years ago, he left his Project Manager position with Procter & Gamble to start Humor That Works to show corporations across the world how humor can enhance their bottom line.
In this episode, we talk about how he realized early on in his career that humor helped him be more effective with coworkers. One of his first managers encouraged him to push the boundaries, which he did by creating his own title: P&G Corporate Humorist. He would include jokes, cartoons or videos in his team emails and found that sharing his passion of humor was the single most important thing to benefit his personal brand at work.
Andrew Tarvin is the world's first Humor Engineer. He teaches people how to enjoy their jobs more while doing them better. Prior to running his own company, Humor That Works, Andrew was a Project Engineer with Proctor & Gamble.
He graduated from the Ohio State University, Magna Cum Laude with Honors in Engineering.
Belicia Cespedes loves tennis. She also happens to be the youngest person to ever pass the CPA Exam (at age 17). Professionalism would tell her that the latter is most important for her career but she has found a great deal of success creating coworker connections through tennis, even teaching some of her PwC co-workers how to play. And her competitive side comes out during the table tennis tournaments (very similar, I mean it’s got “tennis” in the name!) the audit team had during Busy Season. What’s most impressive is all of this is from an intern – the first intern that has been a guest on the show!
In this episode we talk about how playing tennis translates directly to her role as a forensics auditor. Each person is ultimately responsible for their own performance but you can always turn to the rest of the team for support. We also talk about how much professionalism weighs on interns and new hires as they feel the pressure to impress at work, not realizing that sharing your hobbies or passions actually helps more than hurts your career.
Belicia is currently working as a Risk Assurance Intern with the Forensics Team at PwC.
She is attending CSUN and pursuing her MSA.
Joe Fleenor is crazy about triathlons. He only started participating in them seven years ago but all of his coworkers and clients know this is one of his passions. Running was boring, so he needed three sports rolled up into one so it could help keep his attention.
In this episode, we talk about how if he didn’t bring his personal life to the workspace, he’d be miserable. He’s seen too many people get disgruntled by letting professionalism consume them, so be proactive. Simply sharing his passion has lead to deeper relationships because getting to know each other better means a deeper level of trust.
Joe Fleenor is the Director of Events & Client Relations for The Rainmaker Companies. Prior to this, he planned tournaments for the United States Tennis Association. He’s also very active in planning triathlons, including the River Bluff Triathlon in a few weeks.
He is a graduate of the University of Tennessee with a degree in Education and Sports Management.
Looking at Mary Yetto, it might not be obvious that she loves to be outdoors. She’s an avid hunter and also a veteran kickball player, both of which have helped her create stronger connections both in the office and with clients. Being an ethical hunter and using patience are skills that directly translated over to her auditing career.
In this episode, we talk about how much pressure if on the managers to create a corporate culture that encourages sharing of hobbies and passions to increase employee engagement. Every new staff person needs to know that their manager is there for them and is supportive of everyone having an interest outside of work. Mary also believes that the biggest barrier to not sharing is yourself.
Mary Yetto works as an Assurance Manager for BDO. Prior to that, she worked at KPMG, then Hartman, Leito, and Bolt (who later merged with BDO).
She is a graduate of Texas Tech University, with her Master of Science in Accounting.
Evan Hackel loves skiing. So much so that he says it's more than a passion -- it's an addiction. He averages 60-80 days on the slopes each season, skiing all over the world. In addition to being a successful businessman who has started more than 10 companies in his career, Evan is also the Head Coach for the Mexican Freestyle Ski Team.
In this episode, Evan talks about how learning to ski is similar to learning how to run a successful business. The most important thing is to know how to stop safely so you can go full speed ahead, rather than using the snow plow technique that many skiiers and business leaders use. And I love how says that life is more than just business, so have a passion about something outside of work.
Evan Hackel is the Founder and Principal of Ingage Consulting, a consulting firm headquartered in Woburn, Massachusetts. He is also the author of the book Ingaging Leadership.
He is a graduate of Boston College - Wallace E. Carroll Graduate School of Management.
When Edie Gardner turned 40, she set a goal to have an experience in all 50 states over the next ten years. Mission accomplished! The stories she shares from driving through the snowy mountains in Colorado, to visiting Cracker Barrel in Tennessee, to Mount Rushmore, all helped her create stronger relationships with her clients.
In this episode, we talk about how important bucket lists are and how it gave her a sense of purpose -- while also remembering to enjoy the journey. She talks about how the best employees are those that have passions they use to enrich their jobs. This makes work more enjoyable and gives you something to look forward to.
Edie Gardner is a CPA and counselor who can audit your financials and then ask you how you feel about the numbers. She's had careers in public and private accounting and social work but is now a stay-at-home mom with a new business of “storybookkeeping” which is part accounting, part counseling, part organization of papers, and part creation of bucket lists for living a truly happy life. .
Edie graduated from the University of Santa Clara with a BS in Accounting. She later received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California.
Jen started juggling in middle school and hasn’t stopped since, now teaching corporate audiences to be more balanced and productive. She took the balancing act literally as she spent several years performing juggling shows at night while working as a structural engineer in New York City.
You can catch Jen as she tours nationally as a speaker, educator and host that has been on The Late Show with David Letterman, ABC News, Fox, Huffington Post Live, Good Day Sacramento, Good Day Philadelphia, Off-Broadway and TEDx stages — and now, the Green Apple Podcast.
Jen Slaw worked as a structural engineer in NYC for 6 years until she quit to become a professional juggler. She serves as the director of Juggling Life, a non-profit with a mission to engage, inspire & emotionally heal ill & disadvantaged youth through interactive juggling and performing arts programs.
She was valedictorian of her high school class and graduated from Swarthmore College with degrees in Art & Engineering.
Ruth Ross learned how to play poker at age 10 from her father. Little did she realize that it would give her the skills to develop into a Human Resources executive. Combined with her love of travel, she’s played poker all over the world — from Las Vegas to Monte Carlo.
In this episode, Ruth talks about how poker gives her the ability to work on her “gut instinct” to read others, which is often very useful in dealing with office issues. She parallels employee engagement with poker, saying that we’re each dealt a hand at work and we need to decide whether to fold or go “all in”.
Ruth is an engagement evangelist, speaker, and author at R Squared Resources. She wrote the book “Coming Alive: The Journey to Reengage Your Life and Career”. Prior to this, Ruth spent 30 years as a Human Resources professional, working her way up to Executive Vice President.
She graduated from Syracuse University with a BS in Human Development and Business. She later went on to get her MS in Counseling from Northeastern University.
Kelly Richmond Pope is on a mission to show what an accountant is not. She’s shattering the stereotype of an accounting professor by continuously looking for new ways to keep students engaged by learning with different media. Her latest project is a feature documentary All the Queens Horses about the largest municipal fraud in U.S. history.
In this episode we talk about how important it is to tell stories to make your point stick with the listener, whether that’s accounting students or audit clients. Kelly also brings up how important it is to always bring your best self to work, which means not hiding your hobbies or passions. Be sure to stay to the end because we have a lot of laughs during the “Get to know Kelly” rapid fire questions.
Kelly Richmond Pope currently teaches forensic accounting at DePaul University in Chicago and is the founder of Helios Digital Learning. She is also a fraud filmmaker, entrepreneur, and self-proclaimed educational evangelist.
She received her Ph.D. in accounting from Virginia Tech University.