Rick Olesek is the Executive Director of Enneagram Prison Project. In this episode, EPP Ambassador Clay Tumey visits California and sits down for a conversation with Rick about topics ranging from funny movie quotes to leaving a career in private enterprise for a journey more meaningful.
Hi, my name is Clay Tumey and I am an ambassador for Enneagram Prison Project. As we approach our 10th anniversary, we thought it'd be fun to sit down and have a chat with all the people who've had an impact along the way with EPP. On today's episode, I traveled to California and sit down for a chat with the executive director of EPP and my friend, Rick Olesek. We are in Well, first of all, I, you know, don't do like the prep thing. But I do have something I want to play for you here because it just I don't feel like this would be appropriate if we didn't start here. And then I guess we could give some backstory to this if you want. Or we could just totally leave it alone. Sure, but I'll play something from my phone here real quick. What would you say you do here? Well, I don't know Bob. I've waited so long. And of course, if for anybody who doesn't know that's from a movie called office space, that's one of my favorite movies. It's a movie that you and I share a lot of just joy in or punch lines, enter jokes in or whatever, like we'd laughed a lot about, but that particular scene is that in that, that line, in particular, we've said for for years, but it's worth here at the beginning. And as you know, we've already started just how we roll. Where to tell us anything that you find relevant as an introduction to yourself who you are, where we are? What would you say? You know anything about yourself? Sure. So I'm Rick, Rick Olesek, I'm Susan's partner. I'm also the executive director for Enneagram Prison Project. And that's a, I don't say that very often. I'll say that title very often. I'm a Type Seven. And I suspect that one of the reasons why I don't say that title, I really don't say titles very often in my whole life, I haven't really done that. And there's a lot to unpack there, just from a, what not wanting to be above or wanting to be wanting to be of and not above. And so what do I do here, I co create, I share space, with so many lovely hearts in the project. And I show up with a beginner's mind and lots of spaces to, to learn from, and to be inspired by and to inspire, I guess, I probably don't put enough in my own self in that space. But for the project, and when to place the ways in which the project is, is growing and how, and to quote Susan, l feel like the project is growing me. So that's what I do. I do, of course, hold lots of different spaces in the, in meetings and such. I often am the de facto facilitator for lots of things, but but you know that I think that's more of me just liking that kind of that kind of role than one of, you know, being in a hierarchy. So what's the most recent facilitation that you've done, where somebody had an issue, whatever the case may have been? And they said, this is I don't know who does this, but Rick will know. And I'm calling Rick, and then they call you? And you're like, oh, yeah, I'm the guy. I'm, you know, I I spend a fair amount of time facilitating in places where, where there's upset, and and also facilitating in places where the where the answer isn't clear, and that I don't know the answer. But I'm willing to stand in the space with them and try to figure out what that answer is, and whether it happens to be a little, you know, we spend a lot of time on organizational theory, and trying to put that into practice with, you know, TEAL aspiring and things that kind of go along with that. And this is, this is a place for me that I really enjoy. But what what that what that invites me into or invites everyone into is to be able to solve their own problems and to take responsibility for their own, you know, emotions and the ways in which things are coming up into to do the work together. So I, I get this, like, in a past life, I would feel like if I was going to go into those kinds of meetings, I'd feel like I need to solve a problem. And now I go into those meetings, and I invite them. And I invite myself into a creative space to say, how is it that we, collectively are going to work on this and work work together to, to do this? And sometimes it works out brilliantly. Stop there. Because you know, if you say, the next part I'm gonna ask you. Right, right, yeah. So then, then as it is, we can come back to that we'll get we'll get we'll ease into that another time. But we'll hopefully we'll come back to one of my favorite stories to tell about you. And it ties in with what you're talking about problem solving. And all that is I was staying here at the house, we're here. I don't know if he said that yet. But we're, I'm at your house with you right now. And we've had the, the, the the celebration yesterday. And we've had a lot of people around and, and now we're just kicking it on a Sunday morning. I was here a couple years ago, I think it was four years ago, one night before I was traveling to Kentucky the next day for a foosball tournament, and, and I was going to be taking this idea that I had of foosball stats. And like I using this the spreadsheet, and I don't even remember how it got brought up, I just randomly threw out an idea of like, Hey, I'm doing this thing. I'm using Excel, you know, spreadsheets to do Foosball stats at this at the World Championships that I'm going to tomorrow. And from a little I don't maybe you remember how it started? Because I don't but I know it was something just like a random mention. Or maybe even I asked you a question about how to do something, or something along those lines. And next thing, you know, we stayed up at the kitchen table for literally at least four hours, probably closer to five, working on something that big picture didn't matter. Like it's not, there's I'm not changing the world with Foosball stats, it was just something that I cared about, that other people there might care about, and that you suddenly cared about, and you stayed with me with that problem. And finding multiple solutions, we created new problems, just so we could solve those two, because they added to the joy of what we were doing. And to somebody who who don't know anything about what we're talking about what I want to know, your, your, your version of that story. And why that was, if it was enjoyable? And why? If it was, what is there? Are you drawn to is that you're wanting to help me? Or is it your own? Now it's your problem that you're wanting to solve? Like, what about that? was so interesting, and, and desirable to you to put your energy into that? Interesting question I am, I don't think I've ever pulled it apart like that. Obviously, I remember that time. And it was it's a, it's a lovely memory, for me staying up late working on, you know, something that was, you know, solving a problem that hadn't been solved, that gives me, you know, a lot of that, that just that alone, in doing it with someone that I care about, that's a big deal. So as I'm pulling, as I'm thinking about what you're saying, and pulling that apart, I'm thinking, how much of that was the intellectual exercise, how much of it was the camaraderie and, you know, the two of us kind of doing that together. And how much of it was, you know, was the fact that I love Excel and, and, and the technology and to be able to bring technology into into play here. I think the way it started, was you had brought this up, and you were trying to kind of imagine how that could be done. And I think that, if I remember correctly, I could imagine maybe a little further down the road than you could just because of my own Excel experience. But I really think that the thing that kind of was the was the, the thing that buoyed us along was just we I felt we were both kind of sharing in this, like giddiness of like, how cool is it that we can actually do this and, and go from literally zero to something that is, you know, that that that is worthwhile and can be can be tracked. And then of course you built on that for you for years and continue to grow it, you know, way past where we were that night. And I and I I've kind of followed along and I love the fact that it started you know sort so organically Yeah. And and it's it's a it's a really lovely memory for me. When I talked to Robin last night and we were talking about art, and I'm talking about my days as a musician and how part of why I learned so many instrument It was because I don't collaborate well with others, it's not a thing that I naturally do. And one of them my, my favorite part about the whole night, the end result was awesome. All that other stuff was great. And I loved it. And other people did too. But my favorite part was, I don't have a great history of like doing things with people. Like, together as a partner, I just as a, as a partner, I fail a lot. And part of it is not for lack of ability. It's for lack of desire. A lot of times I don't I don't see, sometimes I don't see the value in putting energy into that. So it was a big, it's a great memory on so many levels for me. And that's honestly, at at the top of the list, I think. And so it's just one of my favorite things to talk about too. Well, for me, thank you for saying that. And I, I think that it that says a lot about you about how willing you were to experiment and engage at that level. Obviously, you knew that I knew a few things about Excel and that there'd be there'd be certainly knowledge, but ultimately there was I think it wasn't it wasn't and that was it was it wasn't an exercise in knowledge and learning. It was really an exercise in CO creating. Yeah, and, and that was the thing that was really invigorating and enlivening for me. And that is kind of one of the things that I've leaned into, you know, in lots of different ways in in the EPP is that, this this space of co creation is, is one that is talked about a lot. But it's rarely tapped into, it usually is a semi co creative space where someone is driving an agenda. And then other people are either coming up coming to the agenda, or they're not coming to the agenda, and they're bringing a few things to the party. But you know, it's not, they're not fully in. And I find that this in so many places in in, you know, I guess we'll call our back office stuff at EPP is that people are bringing their whole selves. They're bringing their their, their their experience for sure. But they're also bringing their their love and desire for something better. And how can they create something better knowing that, knowing that they don't actually know how to do it, and yet still feeling like they can just jump in to the pool with you know, both feet. And that is something that I just I just I love I thrive on that. And I didn't even know how much I did. So when I'm thinking back to when EPP first began, that's the word that comes to mind for me. You were you were you were not yet the executive director for EPP. You were still working. And what do we call it? The corporate world? What's the proper like, term there private enterprise Private enterprise? There we go. And it? I mean, as you said, you're you, Susan are partners. And so you were you were there for the early conversations, obviously. So I'm curious about those and what those were like, and you know, when she came to you with this idea, or whose idea was it to take the Enneagram into prison? I've talked to her extensively about her side of that. And there's been many times where I've asked, like, What about your husband? Like what, you know, and not instead of, but also, like, in addition to your side of it, like, what about Rick? Like, how did was it just like, hey, I want to go to prison? And wasn't just like, oh, cool, that's neat. Or was it like, yeah, I don't know. And I've, as an inmate in the prison where she went, that first time, I can tell you that the rest of us were thinking, like, this dude must be just a complete badass, because his wife is 2000 miles away with us inside prison and how cool that is and how I just remember, like, a lot of us thinking, like, this dude is legit. And it's, it's, I understand that. That can be a demeaning thing to say. And it's, it might be offensive to some ears to hear it that way. That's what our experience was. And when I finally got the chance to meet you, I that was what was in my head when I was meeting you was like, I this is I finally get to meet the dude who in my view was just such a great support. And a lot of that was all just stuff that I just context clues I read between the lines and all that stuff. But I have you here and so I want to know like what was that like when she says hey, I got this chance to go to prison and and then even after a while of that being cool. Okay, actually this thing is a this EPP is the thing that needs to exist. What's your side of all that? Um Well, I will say that you paint me in way too favorable light. I'll just say that right out off, I'll start with that. Of course, there was support, of course, there was lots of, of, of conversations about this. But at that point in our marriage, we were at the time, I think we were we were 2009. So we were 12 years into marriage. And, you know, all the way through until EPP was founded in 2012. And, you know, we weren't, we were figuring some things out. And we were trying to, to really figure out how is it that we are going to be together in this world? And you know, Susan, and you know, me, and sometimes we can, we can come up against some things, and what's that quote about? What's it Hill worth dying on? It's not the hill, I'm going to die on but I think that the thing for me on EPP was, I, I fully supported what Susan was doing. And I hadn't understood it yet. And I understood prison, at least at the from the outside looking in kind of prison. And I understood that there might be some danger, and there might be some things but But ultimately, I I kind of just, I glossed over that. And I was like, You know what, it's not only a Susan, you know, Susan's a big girl, and she can, you know, fend for herself. We all know that. And, but there was this other part, which is like, I, I wanted her to succeed in the things that she was passionate about. And so I wanted to just support that. And that's what I felt like I could do as a husband. And then as things kind of progressed, I was like, oh, there were, there wasn't like a big, like, Aha moment, it was just lots of little things was like, oh, and now it's that. Oh, now and so it's like, it's like, you know, the frog, when you drink jumps into the boiling water, maybe this is a terrible example. Nobody has been boiled. Hope at least no. But the thing is, it's just like, it's like, I definitely was, I was being I was understanding, you know, just little bits. And, and then there'll be another learning for me, and then there'd be another, but really, this is, this was my journey, my journey to be able to be open with myself and understand myself and then to be in a partnership with Susan. And so when she went into the Texas prison, you know, I was fully supportive. And, you know, I was for the time, you know, at the time, it would, whatever I could do to be supportive, of course, and, and how I was, I was, I was, he was, he was actually a start of a whole journey for me, of how, you know, what, what do I want to do in this world? How do I want to be in this world? Who am I? And, and who are we, Susan and I together. And, and it, it's, it's when did away when did through all kinds of interesting twists and turns, but it was a start. And I don't know, i She's also incredible writer, and I loved when she would come back from Texas, and write these just incredible blogs, about the stuff that was happening. It was inspirational for me to read, and to be like, oh, and at the time I was in, you know, in the public, you know, in private enterprise doing work and, and, and, you know, it turns out, that's not very inspirational. I could, I could, I, as I said, sometimes to, to Susan, I was like, some of these days, I feel like I could do everything with not just one hand tied behind my back, I could do my this whole thing with one hand tied behind my back and, you know, and half my brain on and, and that's not really for me wasn't the way I wanted to go through life. So she was inviting me into a space to like say, Huh, and that and that and that's, that's been my journey is to like, slowly be able to pick pick up what she's been laying down. Yeah. And then and then of course, for us to do it in a way where where we could where we could come together and and do something, you know, that we want it to do together and be together. The main character in office space is Peter Gibbons. Gibbon or Gibbons. I think it's givens and it's it's only think of him as Peter so Peter Yeah. And he was started at Griffin but that's Family Guy. And what you said made me think of him because you're saying I could just it's not challenging, you could do it with one arm. And there's a point in that movie where he says, you know, on any given day, I only do about 45 minutes worth of work, you know, and then he goes on to talk about how not rewarding it is and unfulfilling. It is. And all that stuff. And the first scene of the movie is him in therapy, which, that's the whole, there's a lot of stuff about that movie. That's hilarious. But there's also some stuff about that movie where it's like, I kind of get that. And there's the search for value in life. That is just it's sometimes it's just tough to find. So you were good at what you were doing. It wasn't that it was a struggle there on that front. But at some point there and correct me if I'm rephrasing this or repeating it incorrectly, but if it's like, this is something I can do, that is not rewarding. This is something I can also do, and it probably will be rewarding. So the transition from private enterprise into the nonprofit, you know, space is, I don't know, I can't imagine for me, there would be a small sense of excitement just because I'm comfortable with the idea of, of smashing face first into the ground, but there would also be a little bit of terror, with a family to support and and let's be real about it. The paychecks are different going from private enterprise to the nonprofit world. And so, what was that transition? Like, from a nuts and bolts perspective? Or even from like, whose idea was that? And how did that even come about? It's been how long by the way? I think I think it's, I think secular directors for about six years. So it's 2015 or 16, somewhere in there. It was August of 2015, or August of 2016. I have to go back and look. Okay, but the over six years, was it? Was it the idea here? And then next month, we're here? Or was it like a year or two process? How did that all happen? Well, is it cool talking about that? Of course. Yeah. Yeah, I'm just thinking to myself about, you know, I'm probably going to do this more than once to quote Susan, yeah, but I'll quote her here, not a bad person, where she would say, there clearly was something that you were getting out of what it was that you were doing, else you would have gotten, you would have left. And so if you're still there, then there's something that you're getting out of it. Speaking of private enterprise, okay. And, and I think that the thing for me, what I was getting out of it was, I was getting, I had had tied my value to myself as a, as a provider. And as a father, and as a, as a husband, who was supportive. And, and I could put all those things together into a nice, neat little package. And say, because I'm all these good things, you know, I don't really have to look at myself very deeply. And I got, I got my shit figured out. And when I started to, and so the provider piece as anyone, I mean, I'm sure this will resonate with some people is that it? It really is insatiable. Because there's always a bigger paycheck, there's always a bigger thing, there's always more and, and chasing that particular dream, I guess, or that particular image was, was pretty. I was good at it. And I was like, Okay, so, you know, we can we can, we can navigate things easier with money and with you know, and I can support Susan, right? I'm putting support in quotes, air quotes, I can support Susan, in her desire to go and do things like go to prison. But ultimately, what I was doing was I was as somebody would know about the I feel like I'm a self pres seven, but I do feel like that my, my social instinct is here. And I would that one of the things I have been wrestling with in my life is this whole martyr thing. I will martyr for my children martyr for my wife, martyr for whomever, so that I could actually feel that because that particular feeling was had some level of comfort for me. And, and I note, I can now notice it a lot more in myself, like Oh, interesting. Look what I'm doing. They're throwing myself in front of that. But again, going back to this like transition piece, I was very comfortable in that space. And I was unsure what it was going to be like, not in that space. And any time that you say a word like provider, that means that there is a there's a power dynamic between the provider and the provided. Right? So how, how did that whole thing play into my marriage with Susan, our relationship or my relationship with my boys? And my relationship with the world? How did I get my own value out of that? And so it took me a while to actually decouple that. And so coming on, as the executive director for Enneagram Prison Project was a a huge step. And it was, you know, again, to quote Susan from last night, you know, it was a step off of a cliff, that I was hoping that the ground was going to be there underneath me to support me. And it has been, and it has been, maybe, maybe, because that's the way the universe works. And maybe because, you know, maybe because I was able to navigate it, who knows where the where the actual, you know, I'm sure it's a lot of things. But it was just a step off of that it was a step in that. And it was a step towards something. I was stepping towards a more integrated life with Susan and a more integrated life with myself. I don't know if that answers your question. Absolutely. And it makes me wonder what more as well. And I'm gonna be nosy and hopefully, you know, the drill, but I'll say it clearly just in case, the boundaries are yours to set. And if at any point, I say something that you don't feel like talking about, then tell me pass. And we also have the almighty delete button. Later, if necessary. I'm curious, just strictly from a nosy perspective, like were there anything good or bad, positive, negative, whatever, unexpected things that came up that I don't want to say that makes you second guess, because that's putting that's assuming way too much. But just like things that came up that was like, this is way better than I thought it might be or this is scary, or or, you know, any any of those types of emotions that just weren't anticipated or expected or anything like that, after making the switch from, you know, your career, previously, to now executive director as of Enneagram Prison Project? Well, the funny one is that I thought, naively, that I was like, I am so accomplished, I can do this easily. This is going to be literally another one of these exercises of like, you know, this is not going to be a hard thing. And boy, having that smack me in the face, like oh, no, actually, you're going to need every last thing that you learned over your whole career. And then some and you you are going to be you're going to be thrown back into a learning curve that you haven't you haven't seen smacks or what I want to hear about, what were the smell? Well, I mean, the thing is, is it's like I was like, Oh, well, okay. I've run HR departments, I've run IT departments, I've been a CIO, I've been run my own company. I'm like, I know, I No shit. And so I'm like, Oh, I can easily go into a nonprofit and the small, we're just a little bitty thing we can, we can, I can easily work this through. And I was like, Oh, hold on a second. I know, I know, I know, everything. Or I knew a lot about business. And I know nothing about the heart. Nothing. Because that all of the places in which in spaces that I resided in, in business, were all about numbers. And, and, and deliveries and creation of you know, of, you know, programs and nothing, of course, of course, running teams, but running teams with in a transactional way. Now, I had lots of folks I, at least at least as I continued to grow as a, as a manager, I realized that was that that 10 of transactional management was, you know, wasn't wasn't working. But I hadn't, I hadn't really understood anything about my own motivations and my own ways in which I would like, come into something and say, Oh, no, fundraising is a thing. And, and you've never done it. So good luck with that. Yeah. But what can be so hard about fundraising? I say with my tongue completely my cheek. Right. And I was like, yeah, what could be so hard about that? And like, oh, yeah, that's right. I've never done it. In fact, I've always said I've always had some, you know, value proposition saleable good. And something that I'm like, oh, x for y. And now it's like, oh, no, no. Oh, that's not actually what this is. This is actually, you know, this is looking at the bigger and broader future. And what does that look like and how do We create a better space. And I have I've created widgets. Have I have been, you know, made creation of widgets more efficient. I don't even know what a widget is. I should and I don't want to admit that out loud. But what the hell is a widget? Well, it's it's a it's a fictional thing that's just like a fictional product. Okay. And so it's like, I, you know, and so sometimes when they talk about things, and like, oh, just, you know, widgets is just a common phrase for that, but, but I would I got really good at that kind of thing. But this isn't, there's, there's not a widget to be found here. So, EPP, there's our T shirt every episode. There's not a widget to be found. It's just like this. It's about the heart. And in fact, it's been my invitation from Susan and from from you and from other folks inside of EPP to continue to, to go inward and to figure out what is what is it that I want? You know, what it what is it that I want in this, you know, one precious life. So I, I love hearing the way that you talk through that because it's so different than I don't know, I have I first of all, never had a career. I mean, I've had different jobs, but I never went to college, I don't have an education, most of what I've learned, is just from experience, and by and honestly, just from making a ton of mistakes, which is comfortable territory for me. I love the language that you choose. A lot of times when we talk, we're buddies, so we we shoot the shit quite a bit. And we've probably had a conversation or two about language. And I want to ask you, in particular about one thing, if you're for chatting about it, I there's a phrase that I've noticed that it's it seems more common in this community than like in the foosball world, for example. People when they're married, introduce themselves as husband and wife. And it's very rarely that you'll hear somebody say that this is my partner, when they're married. And I've noticed that that's the thing that's common with you and Susan, and then a lot of other people, but you're here. So I'm asking you about you. Why is the language of that? Well, first of all, is it important? And why when you're married to someone? Is it? Is it? Why I say this is my partner rather than this is is my wife? So I haven't thought of it this way. But just the you kind of introducing it. I think that the undercurrent for me is this part around possession. And that being in a saying someone is your husband or someone is your wife, while it is true? It does have it doesn't it doesn't it doesn't feel maybe sometimes for me, like it has that we're necessarily moving towards a common goal. And partner, you know, that, that that the actual that that is the thing, husband and wife is the thing, as opposed to I feel like for Susan, and for me, I feel like the two of us are in a partnership and we're moving towards something that's greater than ourselves, and greater than the sum of the two of us. And so, so it's not that there's not a boundary or Senate that confined by the that, you know, the nomenclature of husband wife, and I haven't thought of it that way before. You know, happy just to say Susan is my wife and I work and and I also I love thinking of her as a partner. Because like I said it just it it seems to me more expensive. Expensive. And I want there's a joke in there about I'm gonna leave it we'll say that Off mic, but I heard expensive. Definitely not expansive, expensive. This is where my accent can get me in trouble sometimes. Well, thanks for talking. I was totally I mean, that was maybe felt random. I think I think it's fun to jump in. I mean, is that a weird question to ask? I, I have I have put my expectations at the door. And I left them there and I'm just I'm gonna be present and roll with whatever it is that comes up. What? So Oh, then you just totally open the door on that one. And so then we'll flip it now you're asking me questions, you're in charge. Well, you right, I can do that. Even though you know it'll take me two seconds to like flip into that. I'm down. You said we're up. We're down for anything. So I just I don't know I'm comfortable test drive and just random thoughts with you. Like I think it's I think it's fun. You always seem up for the challenge of not even challenged but just the joy ride of just Like something new, something different. And part of that is, you know, you said you're a Type Seven. And you gave, I put you on the spot early this weekend when we were driving up the hill with my mom, and I asked you to give like a quick little 10 minute elevator pitch, which 10 minutes is kind of long for an elevator pitch, but have Type Seven, and you know, and you in that 10 minutes, I learned a lot about seven, then I just hadn't thought. And that's the way that you articulate things is the way that you again, the way that you use language, I find it enjoyable. And I think it's fun to listen to. And I understand that too. That's an important part. Because sometimes I don't always get what people are saying. Even when it's a simple, like, idea. I'm just like, What are you talking about? And the way that you articulate things makes it easy for me to get. And so I feel like you're down like a lot of times for just a new idea. And just randomly, you know, pulling that apart and seeing what's there. Is that a seven thing? Or is that a? Like what's what's the what's I don't know, what's the deal? Well, I think that for me, um, I, I have a real, like love hate relationship with language. And with being understood. I pulled apart some of this in my let me just say a couple of different ways. When I was in high school, I took a ton, usually an S ton of Latin. That was the language that I chose to take in high school. Why does anyone do that? That was, you know, now, of course, I was thinking to myself, this is, you know, I like I like mythology, I like, you know, I like history, I like you know, culture, and all this data, Roman culture and, and Greek culture for, you know, at least understanding a little bit about, you know, Greek myths and things. But why Latin. And, as I've and then later on, when I was in college, I took Italian. And I can't speak Italian. And but I what happened for me as I was realizing that I in this, I did not feel I did not have enough enough inner strength to approach people or a group without being able to feel like I could be understood. I could not go back into a place where I could be, you know, speaking at a third or four year old level, I couldn't do it. And I tried really hard and and, and as I was kind of trying to figure that out as in my 20s and 30s. i What I realized is I'm like, Oh, I this is this is a total defense mechanism for me. Like i i will come up I'll use all kinds of things to deflect I, I lived in Italy still can't speak Italian. Right? And why? I have no it was really I just didn't. I didn't feel comfortable. Not being understood. And as I've gone on in my life, I'm like, okay, so I can draw through line, like, oh, that's why I took Latin took Latin because it's not a speaking language. Nobody SPEAKS LATIN. They just they can do it on paper. Right? It's a it's a it's a translation language. It I could I could put it under like the Oh, it's a learned thing, right? I get to learn all these different routes. So now you know, I can know all these different words. But it's not a speaking language. When I took a speaking language, I was like, Oh, I'm terrified of not being understood. And I really think as I was going through as in kind of understanding myself as a seven was like, Oh, if I can't be understood, then a lot of my particular superpowers, you know, being, you know, affable being easygoing, and, you know, able to, you know, deflect with jokes or, you know, funny witticisms or whatever, it all goes away, you get nothing. You got, you can't you can't show up in that way. So how do you have to show up, you have to show up basically as, as a, as someone who doesn't know. And that's terrifying. Right? So how are we how are you? How is someone going to be able to judge me in a language that I can't speak to are gonna judge me poorly? And so instead, I would just reject it and say, you know, what? I would, I would speak in English. I would, you know, I would, because I felt because I felt I felt lesser than and, and that's, as I've kind of looked at that i It's given me a lot of empathy for my younger self, and also a lot of just empathy for for folks that are that, that that also that we're English isn't there, isn't there? First language and, and know that the way in which they are able to, you know, move through the English language is, you know, turned as I've said to other people when they're like, oh, you know, I don't speak very good English and I'd be like, Yeah, but it turns out your English is a ton better than my French or Spanish or whatever, you know, pick whatever your natural your native language is. So do you have Is there a particular memory, that's, that's it's not a favorable memory, maybe a bad memory that's tied to not being understood. Even as a as a child, or more recently, as an adult, were you in hindsight, I was like, that sucks, because my point didn't get across. And it was because of a lack of my ability to communicate. Yeah, I mean, when I was when I was young, I don't know if I can speak as a specific example. But when I was young, I, I believed in my bones, that if I just could have the right argument, then I could, I could get my agenda met, I could get my needs met. If I just had the right argument I could convince, I could in some way, be able to navigate to, to love or affection or, or safety or whatever. And that happens need to argue about I mean, well, when are for our well, what would any teenager or, you know, younger kid need to argue for, you know, autonomy, you know, being able to go out and do something, being able to, you know, have you know, have a family that was you know, a little bit more didn't have as much dysfunction, you know, things that were coming up that were maybe if I could just find the language I could convince. Yeah, I remember, I remember those things. And those that was in my native language, right, that was in English, that wasn't like me trying to say it in a different language. And, and so, so that became something that I just didn't, I just noticed it, and it would, but it was noticed in hindsight. So just kind of, as I look back, I just think, Hmm, and then and now I can say, okay, so could I do a better job now of learning another language? Well, I guess I could bring elasticity, you might say no, but, you know, I certainly I am much more open to it, and much more open to being, you know, be able to, that my, that my value, as a person isn't, isn't tied to my ability to bring humor or deflect or bring witticism, or, or to make something light or easy, you know, these are all like, you know, the seven stuff really resonates here. And it's funny that so as as you talk, I, I think, like the words that you say, and it may it makes sense. And I understand one of the stereotypes that we often have for the seven is is his physical energy that's just like kind of, you know, always outward and sometimes for withdrawn type can be overwhelming. I've never experienced that with you. And it's, I know that you're seven, I know that you have fonts that are consistent with what I know a lot of sevens do. But for somebody who might hear you talk and think this is the least seven I've ever heard anybody sound because you're not bouncing off the walls or whatever that other nonsense stereotypes, that there might be about seven, and it makes me it goes back to the elevator pitch that I heard you give on the way up and I'm wondering if you're down to just hit us with a little Type Seven elevator pitch just so that we can further understand well, I'll just say I will I will say a few things here. You know, I am just sitting in this this place of reflection. And I think that I can remember the times when I was bouncing off the walls, I can remember the times when I could not be contained in the what my energy was was too much. I can remember that. And my journey has been to see that in myself and to say and not like it and then to say okay, and as I said this to lots of people and I've said this to you I have a really strong six wing you know my dad was a phobic six and is a phobic six and and I can hear his voice a lot. And so I can you know I feel like I'm I'm leaning there a lot I lean there in that space, especially as a father and and hearing his voice in my head about how you know how you how you do fatherhood. But as a seven I can feel the ways in which I did that. And the fact that I don't do that anymore. Thank you, I'm glad that I don't show up in a way that that that typifies, or is like things that you've seen and other sevens because I, what I've been moving away from and, and the reflection of us, I've seen that reflection in others, and I've seen it, and I recognize it in myself. And it gives me further I guess, fortitude to stick to continue my path of like presence and staying solid, but I'm, I'm here in this in this space to bring joy. I know that and, but what I've really pulled apart is that joy actually doesn't come from like, effervescence or like, like energy. Joy actually comes from just, just being and being in this space of like, Oh, love and, and, and, and seeing, you know, some of the things in the world that are that can be interpreted in beautiful ways and can be seen in beautiful, and just having the joy of we're sitting here it is absolutely storming outside. Yeah, and some of that might be picked up on the mics but it's pretty bad. And it's pretty windy outside at the very least. And I'm I'm and I know this is a reframe. But I but and I'm not a rain person. I grew up in Miami, we had rain every rain to me in Miami if you've if anybody's listening to this knows Miami and the rain is was the time in my in my life when stuff had to go inside. And it happened every afternoon. So pretty much in the summer in Miami every afternoon, the rains would roll in. And that was the time when I wasn't able to play football on the street was the time when we had to you know bring the boat in it was the time when we had to, you know, go in and and nothing wrong is over. No, at least at least all the stuff that we were kind of moving to the games were happening outside, you know, they moved inside because it wasn't just rain, it was also lightning. And then playing in the rain is not even an option. Right? Exactly. So playing in the rain is not an option. You know, I remember when I was I think I was probably like 12 or 13 and we were inside and some afternoon and a lightning bolt hit one of the pine trees it's probably like 30 feet from my window and it was made of noise right explosion and and so so rains not my rains never like it doesn't have a lot of good memories. For me. It has a lot of like, like, like constriction things that have happened for me it's a bummer. Yeah, but But I but I look at this and we are here we are in it is absolutely just Stormin Norman out there. And, and, and I'm like, oh, we need that in perfect timing. And of course it is. Yeah. So, but I mean, I don't mean to, like, like, just gloss over the, the, you know, the elevator pitch, but I do feel like, you know, my essence. I'm still trying to, I still trying to find in, in, in all these different spaces. And I know. I know how I show up. And I know, I, I, I I take criticism, okay? And he said criticism and then the sentence ends with a laugh. It's full. I mean, it's let's, let's laughable, actually, right. Because I know that I, I did. It's a it's a learned thing. And this kind of gonna kind of come goes all the way back to Susan as my partner is that I I have learned so much as a partner with her. And we have gotten to to grow up together. And I and I will say I know for me, I have gotten to grow up with her. Yeah, it's good. How can and we're still we're still on seven how can how can I? I specifically and then the general AI to who anyone is listening. How can I be a better friend to Type Seven? I think my quickest answer is to be patient and to invite them into a different space and I I have had a, I have a very strong counter will type of, you know, mechanism in me. And so if someone were to say, I don't like that in you, of course that would maybe that might do something in the in the time. But ultimately, I would probably reject that and move instead move away from that person, as opposed to take that, you know, past my, my particular outershell. However, if I can, if, you know, through modeling through love through just invitation, I love the word invitation, by the way, it's become one of my favorite words, three invitation, I feel like people can change, they can be a better version of themselves. And sometimes it is. Just like I said, the invitation to something that's greater than, and there are always we all know that there are spots in our lives, when people that we love are in those inflection points, those points where they can make a change. And we see them and they sometimes it's just a glimmer, it's just, it's just like a moment, but the right, you know, showing up with with love and showing up with with real true empathy for and not judgment of, really, for me, that's that that's that was a that was the elixir that was where I could say, Oh, what if I make a change? What if I do something, just something a little differently? And do it for you know, for myself? I appreciate that. Um, you're, you're one of the, you're the first person that I met who claimed Type Seven that I that I that I liked, that I got that I got along with. And so I, i i And that's, that's because of me, that's because of my issues with that. And I wish I had this conversation a decade ago, because there's some sevens who I probably would have got along with a lot better, because I wasn't any of the things that you just asked us to be. And it's a work in progress. And I hope I'm I hope I'm making steps in the right direction. You're one of my favorite people to talk to you. We're not done. I don't want to sound like I'm wrapping up, but I do want to check and see how you are. It's we're rolling up on an hour here. Is it okay, yeah, I'm good. Um, I want to ask about a more recent thing that you've been involved with with the project. And that's the podcast, this is something that exists. And I give Robin credit. I give you credit. I give Halida credit. And obviously I accept my role as well as being important. And one thing that I've noticed and talking to everybody about their roles, and I hope I didn't leave anybody out, by the way, is it seems that everybody is underselling what they do. So when I say Robin is literally without Robin, it doesn't happen because it didn't happen for years. And the most recent change to the to the chain was Robin was added. So I don't feel that I'm exaggerating when I say Robin is not the reason. But without Robin, it wasn't happening. And then, you know, I think I wouldn't say that he just dismisses that. But he does. There is a bit of an undersell saying, Look, you're there like so everybody's given credit to everybody else instead of just, you know, instead of just taking that and saying so I'm wondering if you'd be it's a silly question. I'll admit that in advance. So prepare, but instead of underselling, you're part of the podcast? Would you go the other direction and just completely oversell everything that you do with how this happens? And what what the process is? And just exaggerate it as much as possible. Okay, you're ridiculous. That's the reason why, why we all undersell it? Isn't because it's because it's a it's a it's a it's a recipe that has ingredients. And if the ingredients aren't quite right, or you don't have the right ingredients, then the the pie doesn't bake, right? It doesn't, you know, the thing the bread doesn't rise, and nothing, nothing wrong with you know, that particular ingredients. It just doesn't, it just doesn't come out the way that you'd want. And so you're like, Well, why would I bake that again? Right, that didn't work. So do I play a part? Of course I do. And is my part, you know, any more important than the part that someone else plays? I will undersell it because i i don't i i don't want it to feel like it is me. Cuz it's not, it is us. And this is a space by the way, that is that I've mentioned earlier on this on this podcast is that I, I loathe hierarchy. And I and I'll just go a little bit into the seven here for me. I used to loathe hierarchy. Because I could get mine, I felt like I was subconsciously or consciously that I was smart enough and quick enough to be able to get my if we were on, if we were on level ground, I could get my agenda and my needs met. If we were on level ground, and so I would, I would do away with hierarchy and whatever, and I would, you know, pull down hierarchy in whatever way I could, I now see it a little differently. Now I see it like, listen, there is a real lovely energy that can be created, and can be co created. When, when intention is set in when the when the energies are in alignment. And so is my energy in alignment with a podcast? Absolutely. Am I willing to throw in into all the, you know, the things that need to get it over the finish line? Just like you just like Robin? Of course. And does it happen without me? It might, but it might not. It might not happen might not happen without you. And it might not happen without Robin? And yes, Robin is the latest ingredient to it. And I think all of us are, you know, are what make this happen. And to call out the, the yeast is in, it's not, it's not that important. Until you don't have it until you don't have it. And then you're like, and so and so in trying to like go back in time and like try to dissect and be like, Well, what makes that, you know, bread good. You're like, well, it's really it's all that so I know I wouldn't I am taking your route. What I what I consider to be doing you said a silly question. And I'm just gonna say that's what I'm gonna call it ridiculous. I did. I was I was I was comfortable. It's silly. Like I thought that's pretty mild. And you and you didn't you didn't accept that. Like, no, let's upgrade that to first class ridiculous. Alright, well, so So then then what the what what would you say you do here with the podcast when I do my part. This is my Bart. Yes, this I talk. I hit record. And then I do a little, some technical things with with sound and then I email it to just just so they know. I email all four at once I email the file to Robin you Susan Pelita. Why who does what after they get that? Well, ultimately now it's on kind of, you know, autopilot, right? We're just going through and we're doing the day to day one. Yeah, but but but it's day one. It was it was I think if you go back go to day negative one. Yeah, pretty well. Yeah. Pre day one BC. So if you go if you go to BP? For podcasts, guys. Yeah. So before it was it was it was this thing where as a as it as an energetic exercise. We all were trying to figure out what this wanted to be. And my particular part was, how can we make sure that however, whatever, whatever is done here can be easily distributed? And that was my part. And what does that look like? Turns out, you know, two years ago, it looks a lot different than it looks now. Right? Two years ago, it was, you know, it was relatively difficult. And now there are many different places to be able to do that kind of publishing and, and get things to easily move through. My other part is to make sure that that all of us I feel like one of my parts is to, to make sure all of us are in alignment. And, and that's a super easy part. Because we're, we're naturally in alignment. So it's almost like it's like a non issue. So might so then it's super easy for me to undersell that because it's not very much. And I will just I'll politely disagree because I think that the cuz I can say I can say my version of that and people, people people say a lot of nice things about the podcast and I don't always it makes me feel good. But I don't always feel deserving because, you know, they'll comment on specific tactics that I've used and I'm in my head. I'm going I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I just like talking to people. I genuinely find people interesting. And and I'm just nosy sometimes and I'm curious and sometimes silly, or Ridiculous. Ridiculous. Yeah. So and I just it's fun to me. So what the way that the way that you're underselling, that is to me I think it's similar to, like, people don't accept it when, when they give that compliment of a specific way that I asked the question or, or anything. And I just say, I don't know what I'm doing. I just want to sit down and talk to people that I that I like, and so I feel what they tell what would they feel when I say that is what I feel when others in the process, say, like, it's not that big a deal. I didn't know how to do it. I know how to do a lot of things. I don't know how to get this. I don't know how to district this distributed. I don't know how to upload it somewhere. But now you do. And you know what? And so the fun part for me, I don't Well, if y'all I couldn't do this, you could just take me two seconds. But I'm gonna say the fun part for me was figuring it out. Yeah. And of course, and figuring it out with you, and with Robin and with Halida and others, and just saying, You know what, this is how we're gonna do it. And we're fine, though. We'll just we'll make fun of them if they come through. For anybody, I don't know that the mics picked it up, but we have company training. Last night, it was Suzanne, and she's not even here. And she's still getting brought up again. So exactly. This is Robin probably chop all this. Hi, Robin. Um, I, I, I think that, for me, the easy thing, easy way to say it is, is that when in any type of endeavor, project, or you know, or something larger when when energies are in alignment? Actually, things seem so easy. And when they're not. It's like pushing a rock uphill. Right? And so, in so do we do we How, how silly is it to talk about how easy it is to roll a rock downhill? Pretty easy. It's really hard to roll rock uphill. So it's really about alignment. It's about energy. And it's about just saying, Hey, what are we doing here? What would you say you do? I want I'm gonna watch that movie on the fly. Do you have a favorite line in office space? A line of quote, and I do anything? I I think that the that office space is one of those movies that just I can just smile. It's so many different aspects, especially of the boss. Yeah, coming in and lumbered exactly when Lumbergh comes in and says, I'm gonna need you to work on Saturday. I just, I just can't I just start laughing. Because I know that. That's the I've seen that I've been that. That's this this. That's the part that I was talking about earlier about this transactional nature of business. And so and it been, it seems. So it's so ingrained in our, in the way in which we do things in in the, in the, in the private sector, in a private enterprise. And it's almost so much that it's like, how could you possibly do something different? That's just the way you do it, you have employees and employees do things and the the way of manager is actually given credit for what their job is to get the most out of their employees? Well, what does that mean? That means that you're going to exploit them? Yeah, right. That is the at the very perfect word. At the very base level, that is what it is, it's in, you might you might do it through all kinds of other tactics. But just those the language there of like, get the most out of your employees. Right, is we use that language and it's, you know, it's all like, you know, fluffed up there, but getting the most out of your employees. That That sounds that sounds transactional to me. And so, it's no and so some, this is why love organizational theory is that it's like, okay, so if the, one of the interesting things is kind of come through is like, well, the way you do that is to make it so that the employee feels empowered. Okay, well, are they empowered? Because what baby, right? Well, if they, I mean, maybe they are, it depends on exactly what the structure looks like, right? But if the structure is hierarchical, right, where someone is telling you what to do, then, you know, even if they're asking you nicely, or they're, you know, pretty pleased to sugar on top. Yeah, it's still like, you know, your job is on the line unless you do it. And they may say, Hey, do it at your own pace. They may say, but if but if ultimately, you know, corporations come down to a profit motive, then efficiency matters. So, so how do you so I don't mean to go too far off on the weeds there, but I'm down by the way, but it's just it's just a thing. And so the one of the things and I would, you know, I'll just do the plug for, you know, for Fred Lou's book of reinventing organizations, I just am continuing to learn at that at that books, feet of about what, what to looks like. And I'm excited about just how we as an organization have been embracing that. In the movie Office Space Lumbergh. What how would he if you could tap him on the shoulder and say, hey, I can I can help you out? And you could be a better leader? What would what advice and I'm okay, actually calling this question ridiculous before I even ask it? What advice to give Lumbergh so that he could be in I mean, seriously, there's yeah, there's a lumber listening somewhere. They might not know it, but well, you know, what, what, how is lumber? How does he d lumber himself? Well, that's the part of the problem. Part of the problem is the structure itself, is actually debilitating, not just for the for all the folks that are in office space, but also for Lumbergh. Because of you know, that that is part of things happening to him, right? I mean, of course, he's the boss and whatever. And I think he may be you know, but he is part of a corporation, and then Corporation has, you know, has things that they're needing to do and, and so he's gonna, he gets his pressures and the way to actually decouple that is to create, create different spaces for the employees to be able to pursue, and to live to be passionate about what they're doing, and to and to create, to be able to be invited into a co creative space. And what does that look like in office space? Heck, if I know, because that movie is not about that at all, that in fact, the that is the the literal opposite of that. But I, and I will say just for the record, the fact that you're we're talking about office space in this podcast is ridiculous. There's 0% chance that office space. And the conversation was literally it would not be an honest, genuine conversation. If this didn't come up. I want to do one tiny exercise and then give you the last word after that and ended there. And that exercise is naming episode like this is part of what we do with the pods podcast. And typically, I throw like when I email, everyone, and by the way, good call on what you said earlier about the power going out is not affected. Because we're on laptop, it's gone out. It's flickered twice now it's not relevant. anybody listening, but I just did. Yeah. But so the process for my end is i i talk and record. And then I go back and do some audio adjustments, like in terms of leveling the volume as much as possible, snipping things here and there. And then I send an email and in the email, I say, This is what I like the title as I like, description is this and then it's not my call. It's just my suggestion. And then a lot of times it stays and then sometimes it's, it's bettered, or whatever. So naming the the podcast episode is what I'm, it's fun to me. And I don't I don't often ask for input, but you're one of the people that's in the process. And so we could like what's what feels like a good title for this episode? Do you what what comes to mind? For episode eight of the Enneagram Prison Project podcast? So we've talked a lot about language. And so normally here, I would try to be somewhat punny and find some way but I can't on the fly do that without, but I think maybe the answer is probably around space. And it's probably the answer is office spaces. office spaces. Oh, office spaces. Yes, I'm done. I'm so down with that. And if you have a change of heart later yeah, I don't know about the title. can put your elbow on the counter with your cup of coffee. So about that title? Yeah, I don't know about that. Alright, off that'll be the tentative Yes. Title I personally like. And then of course, the, you know, I don't like the last word, it's one of my favorite things to not do. I don't like to introduce people. And I don't like to take the last word. And so that'll be all yours here in a second. I first want to just say thank you for sitting down. And this is not everybody's cup of tea. And people have been so willing to do it and it's it's rewarding. It's it's enjoyable for me on a selfish level. And from the feedback that I'm getting. I can tell you that people before they even hear this I can already tell you that they're gonna be glad that they have had a chance to hear you talk and and hear some of your thoughts on a lot of different things. And I would like to chat again sometime with you. I think you're a fascinating person. You're my friend. I carry a great deal about you, I think very highly of you. And I just want to express gratitude and your willingness to just sit down and talk with in a conversation that really has no limit. So thank you for that. I want to give you the last word and and anything that comes to mind for you, I won't, there's no question, there's no prompt. And there's no limit on time, either I have a lot of space on this whole laptop over here. Anything that we didn't cover anything that's just on your mind, on your heart, the floor is yours. And I'll just end with Thank you. Thanks, Clay, we had the benefit of being able to go to breakfast this morning with your mom. And that was really lovely to just, you know, to be in, in that place with the three of us just having, you know, just just connecting. And you brought that question up a lot around partnership with Susan. And, you know, we've gone around so many different ways, like, okay, so what was it like to do this transition, and what was it like to move from office space, you know, to, to this other place. And I think that the, the thing I'd like to just end with is that some of the things that I was talking to you and your mom about, which is this place where we can get to an inflection point, and we don't even know it. And we have to make a choice. And so Susan's talked about this on other podcasts or other, you know, discussions about, you know, where emotional responsibility came for came from, where that particular part got introduced into the curriculum came from our therapist. And you've asked me a lot about Type Seven. And I think oftentimes about our therapist who was also an individual therapist for me, and she was a Type Seven, and she was blunt as hell. And I loved that about her. She was, she was not the stereotypical bouncing off the wall seven, she was, she was direct and into the point and, and could say, really hard stuff with a smile on her face. And there was a spot, you know, where choices get where we get to make choices, and get to go from a place of like, you know, towards partnership. And I was reflecting on that with your mom, in with you. And that's in that time when, when she and her name was Leanne, and her name probably is still in Thailand, where she just where she, where sometimes, you know, I talked about earlier in the podcast, that an invitation is the way to change. And sometimes it's not. Sometimes it's just the real deal. It's somebody saying something who you respect, and is telling you, hey, you need to knock it off. Or you need to make a choice. And that choice is yours to make. And I've said this in I think other places, but I'll say it here. When we were struggling. In our marriage, one of the things that we would talk about in this emotional responsibility piece of like, you know, if only Susan didn't do this, then I would be okay. Our marriage would be okay, everything would be okay, if only Susan didn't do this, only Rick didn't do this. But I was with Leanne by myself. And she just took it upon herself to like, give me the real deal. And she just said, Hey, listen, here's the deal. I'm gonna make it really simple for you. You're at this point where you can make a choice. And the choice can either be you can look inside, you can figure out what's going on for yourself and make a change, even if it's, you know, in Star start to make a change. Or you can leave this marriage and go find somebody else. And go on, you know, and find someone by the way, just spoiler alert, it'll be someone very similar to Susan. It'll be someone who is but, but you'll already been on this carousel once before so it won't go as long before you hit the same problems. And then you'll get divorced from that and then you'll do that rinse and repeat for as many times until you die. Those are your choices. So it's either you're going to make this choice to start the process of looking at yourself and how to take emotional responsibility for yourself or or you have this other perfectly in a non judgmental way she's like perfectly acceptable alternative. And, of course she said it with a smile and I knew the answer was like Well, let's do not what and and and I I was not wanting to go down. I did not want to open door number too. And so the invitation though it was really more of a, like a, you know, the authentic like, hey, slap you upside the head kind of thing was, hey, get your shit together, grow up, figure out a way to look inside and to start making some changes in your own life. And I really really appreciated that. It's more than I mean it was it was an inflection point it was a place where it could have gone either way. And and I was so glad that she had the, the foresight to be able to see me as you know, another seven and just to be able to be real with me and to say, what was really the deal? And I've, I've, I thought on that a lot. And so, when you started talking about like, what was it like, right to, for Susan to go down this path? You know, in prison, what was it like for, you know, for people to for the for the prison project for you to step into the prison project, space, it all the through line is this this is like, Oh, this is my journey and, and who's to know what your journey looks like when you start? You can usually if you go back, you can usually find some spaces where you made a particular turn down a particular path. And but it's but it's not without some peril. And it's also not without, with any like, foreknowledge of what it's supposed to look like at the end. And so, just continuing to stay present continuing to find the ground underneath me and. For more information about EPP, please visit Enneagram prison project.org We appreciate your time and attention today. Stay tuned for future episodes, which you can expect on the 12th of every month as we continue to tell the story of Enneagram Prison Project