#41 How To Be A Great Leader | Tim Olaore Interview

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Tim Olaore is an entrepreneur with an extensive background in organizational development and expert in mentorship, leadership and HR management. 

He shares excellent advice on organizational development and how to be a good leader and mentor in order to make an impact in people’s lives. 

Listen to Tim as he tells Ryan more about his background and what inspired his development in the field as well as special advice for young entrepreneurs on how to be the best leader they can. 

Show Links: 
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Find more There to Here Podcast Episodes with Ryan Dye

Key points:

1:40 — Tim’s Background

5:00 — Passion for training

6:38 — Inspiring idea generation 

10:05 — Common mistakes in organizational leadership

12:26 — Stakeholder management

14:58 — Listening as a leader

16:08 — Showing stability during uncertain times

18:58 — Mr. Meaningful Work

23:09 — What it means to do meaningful work

25:09 — Key indicators for hiring a good employee

28:15 — Encouraging the strengthening of practical skills

30:07 — Key mentorship 

31:54 — Good leader and good mentorship

32:25 — Advice to young entrepreneurs

35:08 — Connecting with Tim

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Episode Transcript

Ryan Dye (00:00):
From CoLab INC it’s there to hear. A show about entrepreneurs, innovators, and mentors, and the impact they seek to make on the world. I’m Ryan Dye, executive director of CoLab. And on today’s show, we talk with Tim Olaore. Tim is an entrepreneur with an extensive background in leadership development, having worked the past several years in the healthcare industry, helping hospital personnel and associates maximize their strengths and achieve their career goals. Tim is also the founder of Mr. Meaningful Work, an impactful side hustle where he hosts the show, The Late Afternoon Show With Tim Olaore. Featuring comedy, games, interviews about current events and professional passions.

Ryan Dye (00:38):
And finally, Tim is the president of Peak Executive Group, a mentoring and management consulting organization. Based in Roseville, California, Tim is currently the program manager for the Adventist Health Leadership Residency Program and is at home in the areas of organizational development, organizational effectiveness and human resources management. Tim holds a master’s in Organizational Leadership and a bachelor’s in Marketing and Business and Technology. Tim, thanks so much for joining us.

Tim Olaore (01:06):
Ryan, I need to bring you everywhere. You need to be my resume.

Ryan Dye (01:10):
That’s a mouthful. Oh my goodness. How do I sum up Tim? That’s a tough one.

Tim Olaore (01:16):
A three page story. Wow, that was good.

Ryan Dye (01:18):
I’m hoping that was all accurate.

Tim Olaore (01:19):
That was incredibly impressive. Thank you so much.

Ryan Dye (01:23):
So tell us a bit about your background and what inspired you to pursue a path in business and most importantly, leadership development and human resources?

Tim Olaore (01:33):
So my background is a lot of traveling. We came to the States when I was very young from Nigeria. My dad came here to get his master’s degree, I think in theology at Fuller Seminary down in Southern California. So there was a lot of movement and he’s a pastor by trade. So if anybody knows pastor life, like you’re never in one church. If you’re doing a good job, they move you around. So it was a lot of movement, but also seeing my parents and their commitment to excellence. They have three boys, they were brand new in the States, and they were both in school and both working at the same time. Like it was crazy. It’s only now that I look back and see, it’s like, “How are you raising three boys?” Mama’s pursuing her master’s, dad’s pursuing his master’s, mom’s working, dad’s working. I’m like, “What were we even doing?” Like I don’t even, that’s a crazy, crazy time.

Ryan Dye (02:24):
You turned out and you survived it. So I guess that something was going right.

Tim Olaore (02:28):
They did something. It was God, it was magic. It was all of that stuff combined. And so I think one of the pivotal points for me was when we started homeschooling. So they took us out of school in sixth grade and I homeschooled for seventh grade and it was then that I was able to see that, “Oh, I can go at my own pace. I don’t have to stick to the structure and the framework that folks kind of have there.” And so I breezed through the seventh grade curriculum, I was actually able to test out of eighth grade, did ninth grade homeschool and went to Nigeria for a year for my 10th grade year. And they’re very accelerated over there in their kind of education and coursework. So by the time I came back for 11th grade, I’d already done anything that an 11th grader or a 12th grader was going to be doing here in the States. And so I enrolled in the community college at Arizona.

Tim Olaore (03:17):
So it was part of that kind of thrust into being able to go at your own pace. And at the same time being thrust in an environment where I was the youngest person in college and having to kind of figure things out, I really had to become very, very self-aware of what my strengths are, what I needed to play on and lean on, because in college is where you find yourself. And these are folks that are coming in at 18 and then coming out at 22. I came in at 16. I barely had my license, and came in and was trying to figure myself out. So all of that helped me figure out that my love and what I usually leaned on was my presentation skills, like my ability to present myself in a charismatic type of way to lack of a better word fit in to the environment that I was in.

Tim Olaore (04:03):
And I just started kind of using that over the years and started telling a bunch of stories, started telling stories. I told children’s stories a lot. And then folks started inviting me to do children’s stories and children story concerts across the country in different churches and things. And even in my work life was, after I graduated from Oakwood University, I got a job with Hewlett Packard and was able to, and also in marketing, right? So in marketing, it’s all about how you communicate the value of a product. And we were in charge of global marketing for the HP monitors. So I was able to use my presentation skills. I was a young guy, I think I was 20 when I started working there and had to present the monitor products in story form to our global leads, right?

Tim Olaore (04:52):
So, Europe, Asia, Africa, North America, and hey, this is who we are. This is how we’re going to differentiate ourselves. And so really just kind of growing and growing that. But I was really in the thread of all of those things, what really resonated with me was the training piece. I knew that I could present really well, but understanding the content that needed to be presented and understanding the very simple way was something that I really resonated with making something complex very, very simple. That’s what storytelling was for me, like how do you, in presenting, how do you make something very complex, very simple, but also very engaging.

Tim Olaore (05:31):
So I started to kind of lean more into not just the presenting, but training and developing and taking something that is complex and making it simple for other folks. So through the course of different career changes, out of HP, did sales for a little bit. I was really good at sales, but what I really enjoyed was training folks on the sales piece. So I went back to school to understand organizational development, leadership development so I can scale that. So as opposed to kind of a one-on-one approach, how do you do that?

Tim Olaore (06:01):
So that was kind of like the journey of just moving around a lot, having to figure and find myself in a new world, both in a new country, new cities every two years. And then being thrust in an environment where figuring myself out was one piece and then understanding the training and development piece was what I really started to pursue.

Ryan Dye (06:21):
If you’re not aware, Tim is a very high energy guy that seems to have a handle on maximizing the power of social media. You’re posting things regularly to help inspire others. And just lots of little tidbits here and there that are really quite engaging. How do you continually come up with great ideas to share that can uplift and motivate the potential of your audience?

Tim Olaore (06:44):
Ryan, you know, it’s funny that you asked that, because yesterday, so I have this show that I started at the top of this year called Meaningful Mondays, where I just wanted to reflect on how do I make the activities that I’m doing this week meaningful? Mondays, normally folks come into Mondays, all dreary, like, “Ah, it’s a new work week and blah, blah, blah.” And I wanted to change the conversation on that. So I started a show back in February called Meaningful Mondays, and I’ve done a show every single week for the last 30 something weeks.

Tim Olaore (07:14):
And your question about how I find things to talk about, it usually just comes from the week before, I look for learnings from the week. It’s usually from my kids. Sometimes I get it from work. Sometimes it’s from nature. Like, “Hey, how do I apply meaningfulness to my work activities?” It’s funny that you ask that, because yesterday I went throughout the whole day, I’m like, “I need to post something today.” And I had nothing and I didn’t want to force it. I didn’t want to make it up, because I was thinking like, “Okay, well I learned this thing two weeks ago or this happened, or should I say something about the elections and do some type of inspirational?” And it just wasn’t coming. And so I documented that, I don’t know if folks have seen, like I documented myself saying, “I have nothing to say.”

Ryan Dye (07:59):
Sometimes it’s just not your day.

Tim Olaore (08:02):
But most of the time just pull inspiration from life. And if you look, if I look at life through the lens of what can I learn if my kid says something, if my wife says something, if somebody at work does something, if I observe something in society and I can apply that to meaningfulness, what happens is everything starts to start looking like meaningful. It’s like you have a very sharp, it’s almost like it become like a bloodhound and you can start smelling these meaningfulness opportunities because I have exposed my … I’ve positioned myself to receive that learning. So it’s just general inspiration from life and work.

Ryan Dye (08:41):
Well I would think a part of that comes from growing up in a pastor household where your dad is someone who probably had to spend, every week he’s looking for those nuggets to share. And so that probably is in the ether of, and I got to come up with some little nugget just in the queue. So I mean, it’s your little sermonette for the week. That’s a good thing to actually strive for. I think anyone can say, “Well, maybe I need to just bring something each week that I can help my fellow coworker with.” Or whatever, or myself and set goals, deadlines. You know, I think that can be a powerful motivator.

Tim Olaore (09:17):
100%. Dad when he was doing his sermons. I’m glad you brought that up because dad when he was doing his sermons and he would preach, oftentimes he would use us as, if anybody out there is listening that’s a pastor’s kid, you know you are the context, don’t think you’re going to be escaping. So like we would always hear stories from the week and I would hear how he had seen something that I did or something that my brothers had done or something that his wife had done. And he had pulled from those. I didn’t even think about that until now that you just said it was like, “Yeah, that was a lot of his sermons and the biblical applications. You also threw in some real life story anecdotal situations as well.”

Ryan Dye (09:54):
That’s what’s relatable, you know? Because people go, “Oh yeah, I’ve been there, or I understand.” What are common mistakes that you see for those that are at the top of an organization? We’re kind of jumping back into organizational leadership and then maybe there’s something that kind of sticks out like, “Oh yeah, this is kind of a common thing in organizations that can be challenging.”

Tim Olaore (10:13):
You know, I think the biggest things that is a hindrance for leaders is not listening and not learning, right? When folks get to a certain stage, it’s because of a certain skill level or sort of competence level, or maybe it’s just relationships and charisma or whatever it is that they feel that they got to that stage because of something that they did, which they probably did. Where I have seen folks start to fall off is when they stop listening to their people, they stop listening to the market. They stop listening to the environment or they listen and they don’t learn, right? You hear what’s happening, you observe what’s happening, but that doesn’t translate into changed behavior. There’s a concept of this trust triangle, where on the three parts of the triangle, you have authenticity, or like showing folks who you really are. You have empathy, the ability to bring folks along and say, “Hey, it’s you and me on this. I feel how you feel.”

Tim Olaore (11:13):
And then there is results. Like your ability to make sound decisions, like the things that you do actually make sense and translate to results. So every leader needs to have that trust triangle. They need to have authenticity. This is your true self. You have decisions that actually result in something good. And you bring us along. When any one of those three things start to wobble or start to shake, you start losing trust. And if you’re not listening to feedback saying, “Hey, I don’t feel like you’re being sincere right now. Or this is not your true self.” Somebody is observing you and say, “Hey, this is not really who you are.” You don’t listen to that. Or, “Hey, I don’t feel like you’re bringing me along with you. We don’t feel like you have best interest at heart. Or the results that you’re delivering aren’t really matching up, right?” So if you’re not listening to that feedback on those things, you’re going to get that wobble and you’re going to get that breakdown. So I think listening and applying is probably one of the biggest things that leaders at the top struggle with.

Ryan Dye (12:10):
Sure, it’s a great observation. There are a lot of examples of companies out there that have a culture or structure that takes an adversarial approach between management and employees, or that’s kind of baked in, how do you help employees know that their voice matters?

Tim Olaore (12:25):
Part of it is over-communicating. The cadence of communication of, we want to hear your voice. We want to hear your voice. So you’re constantly sharing with them. You’re transparent with them. You’re bringing them along. But then when they give feedback, being transparent in how that feedback is going to be used or not used, right? Part of my job, a big part of my job is what’s called stakeholder management. In my role where we’re bringing folks in into our leadership pipeline or our executive development program, we have a lot of folks who are involved. We have CEOs of the markets. We have system or corporate leaders. We have the local market leaders. We have so many of the folks are involved. And one of the things that my mentors taught me is that you have to learn the difference between a vote and a voice.

Tim Olaore (13:13):
And so if you are transparent with somebody and you’re connecting with somebody and their feedback comes in and you let them know, I was like, “I appreciate your voice. I appreciate your input.” Versus this input is going to have significant impact on how things are changed. Not everybody wants what they say to result in something. Some folks just want you to hear, “Yeah, I’m just giving you my opinion about something,” but you have to be very clear about that. So hearing folks out and say, “Hey, this is your feedback.” And then being transparent with how that feedback is going to be used. We’re just taking this feedback for to get a general kind of temperature on where folks are versus we’re taking your feedback, we’re going to input it into this design or this program. And you can expect to see results at this, this, and this time. So I think it was being clear and transparent on what you’re trying to do.

Ryan Dye (14:02):
Having been in some leadership roles myself. I think it’s interesting when you’re in a group dynamic where maybe you’re struggling with an issue or there’s conflict resolution that needs to take place or whatever it may be. Being able to kind of deconstruct some language that might be used. In other words, let’s say we’re dealing with a difficult situation and you have someone who’s got a complaint about something and they’ll say, “Well, we feel that such and such isn’t working well. Or we don’t like this. We don’t like that.” You have to be careful with the word we, because sometimes that might only be one person or two people. And so as someone listening to that in a leadership role or in a managerial role, you have to go, “Okay, well, we might need to unpack that a little bit. It might not be we, you know?” It involves a lot of deciphering language and being careful not to let the complaints of the few dictate the needs of the many. So I think that’s something that every leader should be cognizant of.

Tim Olaore (14:54):
Part of that unpacking. I think part of good listening is asking questions, right? So you hear something, you don’t have to take it at face value. I know that you’re listening to me if you’re asking me questions based on what I just said, right? So if somebody’s saying, “Hey, we feel that blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” It’s like, okay, so who are we talking about? And then you can further unpack that. And then you get to clarity as opposed to making assumptions because you know, folks hate that. You assume my wife hates that. She says something and I assumed based on that assumption.

Ryan Dye (15:25):
Yeah. I’ve never done that.

Tim Olaore (15:26):
Yeah, yeah, we’re both bald men here.

Ryan Dye (15:29):
Exactly, right. Well, and I think that speaks to the fact that it’s a dangerous place to be making important decisions when you really haven’t listened carefully and you don’t unraveled maybe the complexity of the situation. So don’t be too quick to make important key decisions when it comes to managing people and leadership when you don’t have all the information.

Tim Olaore (15:51):

Ryan Dye (15:52):
So right now with, especially with COVID happening worldwide, there’s a lot of stress on the shoulders of leadership with many issues that are beyond their control. How can a good leader show stability in the midst of uncertainty?

Tim Olaore (16:09):
A good leader is clear and transparent about what’s going on and doesn’t sugar coat the adversity or the trials that are happening. Some folks think that there’s benefit in painting a positive picture to keep the morale high, but that goes against authenticity, right? That goes against folks really feeling like they can trust you because they see that it’s not going well, but here you are touting that it’s going better than it actually is. So you and me are stable and are okay. Even though everything else might be kind of topsy-turvy. If we stay true to the line, so when the boat is rocking and they’re in stormy seas, hold on to something that’s buttoned down and the driver of the ship needs to stay the course, like if you can’t see the stars, you know this is the direction that you’re going to go.

Tim Olaore (17:05):
So in an unsteady situation, in a stormy situation, the leader’s job is to make sure that me and my people are here, right? We understand, we are setting reasonable expectations. We’re not going to be a billion dollar company this year. We’re probably going to lose $50 million this year, but we’re here and this is what we’re going to try to do to get through it. The clarity and making sure the relationships are strong is going to lend itself to more stability. While obviously on a work product side, you’re doing the right things, you’re mitigating risks in as much as you can. But the stability is really going to be coming from you and your people. If they can trust you and are strong with you, you guys will be able to weather through it.

Ryan Dye (17:50):
Yeah, that’s an excellent point, because I think that we know these are challenging moments. These are some of the difficulties we’re going through, but here’s the plans we’re working to develop and we’ll continue to keep the communication open. I think that will always lead to much better loyalty with an employee, employer relationship. I know folks that have worked for some companies 20, 30 years, and a lot of the reason why is because leadership treated those folks with the respect that they deserved in knowing what’s going on. Don’t leave folks in the dark, that will never help your organization. I’ve never seen that work actually, so.

Tim Olaore (18:26):
You know, you feel like leaders are in this high castle, right? And it’s honoring when they share things with you that you thought maybe was only for kind of leadership levels like, “Oh, these folks, they trust me with this vision.” If I feel honored, I am going to, honor to get honor. Like if you honor me, I’m going to feel obliged to kind of return that honor and trust and respect to you, so 100%.

Ryan Dye (18:53):
Tell us a little more about your project, Mr. Meaningful Work. That sounds like a lot of fun.

Tim Olaore (18:58):
Mr. Meaningful Work. So this is my foray into building my personal brand. I’ve been very intentional about my personal brand and it started earlier this year. We moved from LA to Roseville outside of Sacramento. And this was a bunch of new stuff, new job, new city, new everything. And I was like, “You know what? I want to be very intentional about my personal brand this year.” And I was thinking of like how to do that? If I was going to change the name, actually what would I be doing? And I was just going through it, going through it. One of my friends, his name is Tim Salau and he’s branded himself as Mr. Future of Work. So every time you think Future of Work, you think Tim, or if you think Tim, you think Future of Work?

Tim Olaore (19:42):
So I was thinking, I was like, “Man, what do I want folks associating with me, like Tim Olaore? What would be good? What would be meaningful?” So I was like, I was literally in the shower, just scrubbing. I was like, “What would be meaningful?” And then I just stopped the pedals, like meaningful, like just meaningfulness. I want to be associated with meaningfulness. Like meaningful what? Meaningful life. I didn’t want to become a life coach. I don’t want to start going to that route. So I was like, “I wanted to dedicate it.” This is a new job. Okay. So let’s figure out meaningfulness of work. And then that’s how the Meaningful Monday started was just my exploration of the idea of meaningful work. This is an opportunity to do something that energizes me. So it just kind of started off with just me documenting my experience in meaningful work from the week prior, I really started to think about the importance of building a community around meaningful work.

Tim Olaore (20:37):
So actually engaging folks through things that really bring people together. So I started doing interviews. When somebody is able to, just like right now, if somebody hears somebody else’s perspective, they can resonate with that. They can chime in, they can give feedback and you start building a community little by little. That’s really what I’m trying to do is it is an opportunity for me to do what I’m good at, which is presenting and being on camera. And in some cases, entertaining. Building community around something that I feel is very important, meaningful work. We spend most of our time in life working, right? And we don’t want to be doing that with a sense of loss. Like, “I don’t know why I’m doing this or what I’m supposed to do.” Or with the sense of dread, right? Coming in, it’s like the whole Monday dread type of thing, the whole not wanting to come to work.

Tim Olaore (21:28):
If you’re going to be spending a majority of her life doing this thing, you got to enjoy it. You got to find meaning in what you’re doing. So that has really been the [inaudible 00:21:35], but so now I’m just trying to make it fun. So I’ve kind of covered the basis of, “Okay, this is what meaningful work is. Now we just got to make it fun. Now I’m just got to make it popular,” figuring out ways to do that. So I just recently launched a show like you talked about, the late afternoon show, which is like, “Okay, now let’s make it fun and engaging and let’s try to create some cool content.”

Ryan Dye (21:54):
Well, I think that an interesting thing to look at just from a historical perspective is how in the last 100 years, how work has really shifted in our society. I mean, just looking at the United States as an example where our grandparents’ generation, our parents’ generation sometimes would be going to a job that would oftentimes be mindless or uninspired exercise and tedium, and you talk about dread. And I think it could be where, or maybe they didn’t love their job or maybe they didn’t hate their job, but it was just a job. I think we live in an era now where that doesn’t have to be the case. I think if you’re, most of us will change jobs or careers several times, and maybe an employer would hate that because they don’t want to keep training people.

Ryan Dye (22:38):
So I get that side of the equation, it’s understandable. But at the same time, I don’t think we should just have positions where we need to fill it with a warm body and they don’t find anything meaningful or rewarding in what they’re doing. Yeah, there’s going to be jobs we’ll have in our lives that are somewhat remedial or not terribly engaging or exciting. That’s actually not a bad thing either. But I think that if we’re working towards establishing a career, you do need to seek those things which can inspire you and engage you.

Tim Olaore (23:06):
Now that we have gone through it. So we’re almost a year into this whole Mr. Meaningful Work situation and it’s not meaningful job, it’s a meaningful work, right? So activity that you were doing, is it meaningful? One of the definitions that I’ve found when I was doing some research and I was actually thinking, it was like, “Man, I should approach this from a PhD perspective and actually do research, dissertation, find case studies and all that stuff. But one of the definitions said that meaningfulness is defined as the value that you place on the outcome of an activity, right? So if you look at the outcome of the activity and there’s a high value to that outcome, the work that you’re going to do towards that outcome is considered meaningful. If you have a low value to that outcome, then the work that you’re doing is going to be less meaningful.

Tim Olaore (24:00):
So if, like back in the day, when you’re talking about our parents and grandparents, if they were thinking the outcome of this job is $100 a week, $50 a week, $200 a week or whatever. And that puts us at, we can feed our family, we can go on one vacation a week or whatever. And the value of that was high enough, they would work 60 hour weeks. Like they would go in and bake bread or grind the mill or whatever, and come home and still have great family time and still be able to do all these different things because they value the outcome of that activity.

Tim Olaore (24:35):
So if we look at that and look at your activities and say, “Hey, what am I doing? Do I value the outcome of this thing?” Whether it’s personal outcome, societal outcome, you can put the outcome wherever you want, and that you just do your little measurement, the value on that, then that really, really kind of help define if the activities that you’re doing are meaningful or not.

Ryan Dye (24:56):
So when you’re kind of going out and helping to inspire and encourage people, or you’re looking for good employees, what, on the HR side, what are some of the key things that you’re looking for in hiring today that maybe didn’t even exist 20, 30 years ago? Not that you may know that, but what are some of those key indicators you go, “You know, these are the things we want in our employees.”

Tim Olaore (25:20):
Here at Adventist Health we have our values, right? So we have our mission and then we have our values, which we translate into behaviors. So our mission living God’s love, inspiring health, wholeness, and hope. Our values are behaviors that help us do that. So be love, be welcoming, be a force for good, be a mission owner, be brilliant, be curious. So these are the behaviors that we want to do. So when we’re going out and looking for folks, we’re looking for folks that can show that they exhibit these behaviors, they have shown that they can be curious, they can be welcoming. They have a mission mindset.

Tim Olaore (25:56):
On top of that though, what I’m looking for is folks that understand some of the competencies that we look for in a position or in a role. So we have like 20 something competencies, like executive competencies, with that we say that, “Hey, if you’re looking at as an executive and you’re looking at where you’re doing well or where you may be falling off, if it’s managing complexity, it’s collaboration, if it’s driving results, like whatever those competencies are, when we’re looking for folks, we also say, “Hey, how have you exhibited some of those competencies? How have you shown that you’re able to drive results? How have you shown that you’re action oriented? How have you shown that you are able to build networks and those types of things?”

Tim Olaore (26:37):
So if I find somebody that has identified some of the competencies that we see as valuable in our organization and has built a body of work or have some demonstrated experience, this is what I tell folks all the time. Like students that are coming, I was like, “You don’t have to have a lot of work experience,” but if you have the ability to find an organization or the kind of organization that you like and see the things that they value, and then you take it upon yourself to demonstrate competence in those areas and document it somehow, whether it’s through video or blogging or conversations, or some way to document that, “Hey, I have this skillset that you value, you and your organization.” That goes a long way and those are the folks that we’re trying to bring on.

Ryan Dye (27:25):
For sure. Well, and I think there’s a lot of great organizations out there that might be focused more in the technical side, or you need a particular skillset to be effective. And a lot of those companies are having a hard time finding good qualified people. So I think there are jobs available out there in a lot of areas, but I think it has to start in a person’s life when they’re younger to say, “Look, as you continue to go through school and we’re all kind of in this together in that elementary, junior high, high school phase,” but to start to encourage them to maybe think about certain areas or skillsets you want to continue to develop now, because there are roles out there for you. There are jobs and there are well-paying jobs that are needed. Start that process younger. I don’t think we need to be talking to that junior in college, or seeing, like we’re a little late on this.

Tim Olaore (28:19):
You know, I tell my kids, right? So I am of the mindset that you’re going to figure out what you’re good out artistically, and you’re going to pour a lot of energy into that. And we’re going to figure out what you’re good at technically. And then we’re going to pour energy into that. So whether it’s math or reading or presenting or engineering or whatever it is, figuring what that strength is, and then giving them every opportunity to grow in that. Because even though the ways technology is applied might change over the course of the future, technology is not going to change. People and the need to be able to work with people is not going to change. The ability to take and analyze data is not going to change, the ability to build things is not going to change.

Tim Olaore (29:07):
So if we kind of find like the basic kind of fundamentals of what are not going to change, and you can start training in that phase from a very young age, organizations start, like for us at Adventist Health we’re just, college is probably the earliest. But really starting in the high school, in the junior high and getting folks exposure and experience, practical hands-on experience in those things. You’re going to build your pipeline a lot faster and get insight on how the market is changing.

Ryan Dye (29:41):
You know, a lot of young kids that are in that junior high, high school age, I mean, they don’t know a lot of where their life may be in five to 10 years, because they don’t necessarily think in that way. But I think because there’s a lot of moldability there, it is a great opportunity to focus on where mentoring can come into play. Who are some of the key mentors in your life?

Tim Olaore (30:03):
I have a tribe of mentors, but yeah. So like my dad is a big mentor for me. I lean on him for marriage and family stuff. He’s really good. He’s really practical. Yeah, he’s a pastor, but he’s real, he’s raw. I think we’ve come to a stage, because now we’re both men and adults and you don’t have to sugarcoat stuff anymore and we can really be authentic and transparent with each other. Professionally reaching out and asking for mentors, especially at work. If I see a position that I want to be in, so for some, one day I want to be either a hospital CEO or a system CEO. So I have CEO’s that I reached out to and say, “Hey, is it okay if we spend some time once a month, once a quarter, just kind of touching base, I update you on where I’m at and if I can add value.”

Tim Olaore (30:51):
That’s the other thing about mentorship is not just a one way street where the mentor is pouring into the mentee. If there’s a way that the mentee can add value back to the mentor as well, I think it really strengthens that relationship. So out a couple of CEO mentors that we meet with on a regular basis, my boss had brought me into Adventist Health, the HR executive post mentor friend of mine. And then outside of work, I also have kind of business and entrepreneurial mentors as well. So when I was doing real estate investing in Colorado, the guy that I was working with, Terrence Doyle, he’s actually my mentor on some of the real estate endeavors that I want to do. And just entrepreneurial he’s done, outside of real estate he’s done a lot of other app-based businesses, consumer-based businesses, a lot of different things. So he has that closure, so.

Ryan Dye (31:43):
I think that’s, you made some excellent points there. And the thing that I grab onto is, this is where I would connect leadership and mentorship as a fluid back and forth, because good leaders should also understand the importance of being good mentors, because they’re not going to be in these positions forever. And if they really want to see their legacy continue, if it’s something that’s really built up well and strong and can have longevity, then you would want to say, “Hey, here’s some younger people coming along. I want to instill my knowledge and understanding, and encourage their enthusiasm and leadership so that they can take on these roles and continue that legacy.” That’s really where leadership and mentorship goes hand in hand. One of our last questions here is, what’s a piece of advice that you would share with a young entrepreneur who undoubtedly is or will be in a position of leadership during their journey?

Tim Olaore (32:38):
You know, it is okay, I’m going back to this trust triangle, because one of the areas that I struggle with, or I’m kind of working through is the ability to be fully authentic and own your mistakes, own your mess ups, not trying to hide it and cover up and put on this front that you know what you’re doing, because it’s more detrimental than good. So what I would share with young entrepreneurs who are going to make a myriad of mistakes is, own those mistakes. Be authentic, communicate about those things and where you need help. If you’re not clear about where your fault lines are, then nobody can come in and help you out. And you don’t have to be strong in every single area. I am a horrible planner, like bad, bad planner. I’m a great presenter. I’m a great facilitator. I’m a great ideator, like bringing all this stuff. But when it comes to like planning stuff, like to get it to the event, I totally suck.

Tim Olaore (33:44):
But, and for a long time I thought I had to get better at planning. And because it’s one of my weaknesses, so it drains my energy, I would hate doing stuff like that. So I would never get that much better because I didn’t want to do the work that it took. Once I realized that I had to be authentic with them and say, “Hey, I’m a bad planner. I suck at planning. How can I get help?” And being able to lean on folks that are good planners and be able to leverage their strengths to compliment my strengths, to be able to get to wherever we’re going to go. So to sum that all up for the young entrepreneur that’s undoubtedly going to be a leader at some point in their journey is, be authentic, own your faults, own your mistakes. And the challenges that you’re going to have, and find people, be intentional about finding people that can help you in the areas that you’re weak.

Ryan Dye (34:39):
For sure. Well, I think that’s excellent advice. I think it’s important to own up to things that you’re not strong at. Be a good leader by finding those folks who can help in the areas where you might have deficiencies. That’s excellent leadership in my opinion. So Tim, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with us today. I really appreciate your insights and look forward to keeping in touch. How can we connect with you and follow your regular words of wisdom on social media?

Tim Olaore (35:07):
Yeah, so I am probably the most active on LinkedIn. So LinkedIn is simply my name, Timothy Olaore, or you can search my hashtag. #mrmeaningfulwork. You can also find me on Instagram and my @ is mrmeaningfulwork on Instagram. And those are the two main places. I’m a little, I’m trying to get better at Twitter. I’m not as good on Twitter as I probably could be. But on Twitter it’s Naija, N-A-I-J-A_ Royalty. So Naija_Royalty, which is just another way of saying Nigerian royalty. So I’m a very humble person [inaudible 00:35:52].

Ryan Dye (35:54):
Well again, really appreciate you taking this time. And as we sign off here, I just want to tell folks that our next webinar Wednesday will be November 18th from 12 to one Pacific time. And we’ll be talking with Kevin Welch, a technology executive instrumental as one of the developers of Microsoft Windows, QuickBooks and Genentech, just to name a few. And as an entrepreneur and major venture capitalist, Kevin will talk about how not to raise money for your startup. So that will be an interesting topic.

Ryan Dye (36:25):
And to find out more on how to register, visit our website, colabinc.org. In the meantime, follow, like and subscribe to CoLab INC on all the various social media platforms and visit our website colabinc.org to see the various ways we help promote the spirit of entrepreneurship. If you have comments on today’s episode or know someone who would be a great guest on our show, send your suggestions to ryan@colabinc.org, and we’d love to hear from you. Special thanks to our producer, Michael Webberley, editing by Tanya Musgrave, Joel Norris, and all the CoLab staff. Until next time, be well, and God bless.