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IAM2082 – Podcast Host Interviews People Sharing Their Real Life Stories

Podcast Interview with Lee Parks

In this episode, we have Lee Parks, host of the Nonidentity Podcast, a channel that interviews real people about real lives. He started his podcast after his wife’s stroke and aiming to give a platform for everyday people to share their stories.

Lee Parks discovers the impact of their work and how they turned personal struggles into a powerful mission.

He discusses his experience working with special needs students, including those with ADHD, autism, and emotional behavioral disorders. Despite the challenges, Lee also describes it as a fun environment.

The conversation covers the importance of taking action on ideas rather than just sitting on them. He also focuses on optimizing and improving without actually taking the first step, which is crucial for progress.

Youtube: Nonidentity Podcast

 

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Transcription:

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Lee Parks Teaser 00:00

It's easy to try out there and get a load of celebrities, but at the end of the day, everyone's got a story to tell, and everyone's journey is inspiring. So I wanted to be a bit different. So then I've decided, I'm still gonna live your normal lives with your people because everyone's got a story to share, whether you're successful, whether you're not. You've still got your journey that it'd be wicked to give a platform for people to speak on.

Intro 00:24

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Gresh values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I AM CEO Podcast.

Gresham Harkless 00:51

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I AM CEO Podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Lee Parks Lee. Excited to have you on the show.

Lee Parks 00:59

Hi, Gresh. Thanks for having me on.

Gresham Harkless 01:00

I appreciate you being on, Lee. And before, of course, we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Lee so you can hear about some of those awesome things that he's been working on. And Lee is the host of the Non-Identity Podcast, a channel that interviews real people about real lives. He set this up after his wife suffered a stroke at the age of 33 to support with his mental health and meeting inspiring people. And I had the guest and the opportunity to be a guest on these podcasts and it was phenomenal just to hear about his journey and story.

And he has a absolutely phenomenal story that I think you'll definitely love and get the opportunity to hear about because I think so many times when we hear about stories, we don't realize that we can see ourselves in in in the people that we hear the stories from. So, Lee, appreciate you for your time. Appreciate you even more for all the awesome things you're doing. Are you ready to speak to I AM CEO Community?

Lee Parks 01:45

I am. Thank you so guys for, having me on.

[restrict paid=”true”]

Gresham Harkless 01:48

Yeah, absolutely. We kick everything off. Let's rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you got started with all your awesome things that you're doing when I call your CEO story.

Lee Parks 01:56

Yeah. So as you guys can hear, I'm from the UK. And throughout my life, I started volunteering with young people when I was about 14. So since then, I've worked in the field of working with young people. So I've worked in youth clubs, after school clubs, summer activities, Easter activities. I now work in schools. To be honest, that's because where the money was at. After school clubbing that, I find, but it's only two to three hours work a night. And as you get older and you get a family, obviously, you need a bigger income. And school is 6 to 7 hours a day, so that's where the money's at.

I've done a lot of work with special needs students. So young people with ADHD, autism, emotional behavioral disorders. I did that for about fifteen years. I had to leave that a couple of years ago because of as you mentioned in the intro, stuff going on with my wife. And it was a very volatile environment. So the young people we worked with would kick off at a flick of a button. So I've had knives in my face. I've had tables and chairs thrown at me. Been punched, kicked, spat on, bitten. You name it. I've been through it. But it was such a fun environment. It's really weird to be saying this, but it was such a fun environment at the same time.

Gresham Harkless 03:05

Yeah. It sounds like you had both sides of the coin. So I imagine it was very rewarding as much as it is. I'm sure a lot of things were happening. I imagine it's probably very rewarding as well too. You get an opportunity to impact a lot as much as you could, especially the youth.

Lee Parks 03:18

No. Exactly. And it was really strange. I remember one student I worked with, and he didn't like strangers in his room. So if you went into his room, he would come over and then scratch your face or scratch your arm and stuff. But we used to take him to the park on a Friday at the end of the week and just to see his face for the 10-15 minutes that he was on the swing, it was like he was a young person again.

So all the rubbish that we had gone through that whole week, just to see that smile on his face made everything worthwhile. So, yeah, so that was my issue with working with young people. And then what led on to the podcast is, like you said, my wife had a stroke at the age of thirty three, and it was one of the most brilliant experiences I've ever been through. I still think I'm suffering from the PTSD today.

Gresham Harkless 04:04

Yeah. And that's why I appreciate you so much in sharing that, of course, like, how you run with that with your podcast and everything because I often just say we forget about the human aspect of business, but I say even the human aspect of life at that. And I think you obviously like, you talked about with the kids being able to get the young child be able to see and have that experience on the spring on the swing and and see the smiles and stuff. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more. Could you tell us a little bit more about the show, how you're structuring some of the conversations, how you are making an impact in serving your guests.

Lee Parks 04:33

So, originally, when I worked at the special needs school before I was the behavior leave, I was the Media Coordinator for a year. So and at the time, I was trying to I was trying to get the awareness of the school's radio station out. I thought I need to get celebrities on board. So I paid for our first celebrity. I'm hoping to say I had a budget. And I paid it was an English soap actor that came to the school, spoke to the young people. And I forgot that one person. So what I can do then, I can email her, say, add this person on. Do you wanna come on?

And through that, I managed to get probably eight or ten different celebrities onto the school radio because it helped that it was a special needs school, and it helped that we had someone that had been in the English soap as our first person. So I've got people like you may be aware of is Frank Warren, who is Tyson Fury's British promoter, the heavyweight champion of the world, and Davon Brown, the illusionist, the magic illusionist. I know he's been out in America as well, and a couple of, what we're class as BOC celebrities in England, they came on and gave their time as well. And when I then sat back and forth, wanna do the podcast, it's easy to try out then get a load of celebrities.

But at the end of the day, everyone's got a story to tell, and everyone's journey is inspiring. So I wanted to be a bit different. So then I decided I'm just gonna live your normal real lives with real people because everyone's got a story to share, whether you're successful, whether you're not. You've still got your journey set. It'd be wicked to give a platform for people to speak on. So I sat there for one originally, I wanted to call it The Nobody Podcast with a tagline “To be Someone, We All Start As No One”.

And when I shared that out to a couple of people, they were a bit like, that's a little bit negative. It's like, it's a good concept, but the name's a bit the nobody's a bit negative. So I went through the festival, and I was trying to look for another word that had a meaning to nobody, and the term Non-Identity was then there. Because, obviously, this was because before the bilingual stuff and the genderization stuff, this was back then. Because I know some people have been confused with the title of the podcast because of the non-binary situation that's going on.

Non-identity could be meeting with that. So but as I said, well, I really come up with a concept. So I had the name, designed the logo, and I thought, no. I can't do this. No one's gonna be interested. No one's gonna wanna be a guest. I'm not doing it. And it took me six months. So I was battling the stuff going on with my wife, and I just it just something was nickeling in my head. No. You need to do this. You need to do this. So I put a post out on Facebook, and we've been an hour and a half.

About five years ago, I took part in a charity boxing fight for cancer research, and someone who trained me there reached back out to me and said, yeah, I'd love to be a guest. And we set it up by the end of the week, and we just hit the call, and bam, was off to the races. And we're 55 episodes in now. I did actually take a break to go and do a boxing podcast for seven months because the person that was my first guest, he said, I really enjoyed being in front of the camera. Could we do something together? And I thought to myself, well, no. I did. He's my little baby. So we'll put that a bit on the back burner. Let's try and do something. It got to okay. We got to some boxing events. We interviewed some fights and stuff, and I actually sold the channel onto someone else. It wasn't making any money at the time, but someone saw potential in it, and they made me an offer.

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It wasn't a big offer. It was a hundred and fifty pounds, probably about a hundred and eighty dollars. But I thought it was a really good offer because I'm not a massive boxing fan. I'm just a casual boxing fan. I was struggling to put weekly content out on a subject that I didn't really know nothing about, but we had to try and stay weekly. And I've given them a a good starting platform. So we came up with a deal where I actually made a bit of money off that channel, and then I went back to Non-identity, and this is what I love doing.

Gresham Harkless 08:25

Nice. I appreciate you sharing that so much, and I love the concept of the Nobody Podcast and how you you came to the name that identity podcast as well too. Because I think when you I always say it's as important as it is to know, like, what you do, is it even more important to know why you do it. And, I love hearing how that speaks directly to the journey, because I think so many times we forget about the journey.

We see where we are now, and of course, we wanna pay homage, I guess you say, can say to the present and how important that is. But also paying attention to some of the things that we can do now. There was a time that we wish we were wishing that we would be where we are now. We were wishing that we would be able to accomplish the things that we're doing now. If we don't pay homage to that, then we aren't really, like, given an overall look to our journey, the things that we're doing, and people other people are doing, and how they're doing.

Lee Parks 09:13

No. That's crazy.

Gresham Harkless 09:17

Perfect. Perfect. So that sounds like it's part of what I like to call your secret sauce. The thing you feel takes you apart and makes you unique. It seems like with the podcast, you wanna try to highlight that story, the journey, and those things that people sometimes don't see or hear or know about. And it almost feels like you're bringing a connection that we sometimes don't appreciate or maybe even pay attention to by the guests that are on the show, and I imagine the listeners as well too. Do you think that's part of that secret sauce?

Lee Parks 09:48

And, basically, I just wanna give a platform for people to speak on. So I don't mind what anyone wants to come and speak about. Here's a platform. Here's the opportunity for you to do it. Obviously, people need to be respectful and stuff like that. So I'm not gonna open the floodgates to anyone who wants to come on and  just spout a load of rubbish, really. You got substance behind what you wanna come on and speak about, but the platform's there.

If you want it, take it. I spoke to magicians. I spoke to ex-drug addicts. I spoke to ex-gang members. I spoke to you guys. I spoke to someone who wrote a book on Amazon. I spoke to another person whose goal is to write eighty six books by the age of eighty six. And I think he's on book number two. He's about forty years old. I've I spoke to a barber hairdresser who set up a bricks and mortar store, and he was then moving into the online stuff. But like I said, I'm open. Anyone wants to reach out, wants to come and share their story, this is the platform to do it on.

Gresham Harkless 10:49

Yeah, absolutely. And so wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or even a habit that you have. What's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

Lee Parks 10:59

I honestly think it's the people around you. So when I was the behavior leader at the school I worked at, the people I had around me is what helped make the school successful in behavior. And, also, I think as a a leader or a management team, you've gotta show people you've got to earn the respect by showing them that you're willing to do what you're asking them to. So the fact of the matter is the fact that I was in the front line when someone had the knives and they had the knives in my face and other people saw that. When I then asked them to go and deal with the situation, they were more than happy to do that because, see, I was willing to do that.

And what I find, especially in a school environment, a lot of head teachers or head of schools and stuff sit in their office, and they pass down emails. And it then upsets the staff because it thinks you come on the floor and do that. But if you work your way so I started off as a teaching assistant, then I went to a tutor, then I went to a media coordinator, then I went to a behavior lead. People said I worked my way through the floor. So therefore, so that I was willing, and I always had good people around for that. And then it's also even though you was management, go and find someone that can help. So like I said, I'm dyslexic. So whenever I had the presentation I needed to deliver to start, I would have a colleague check my presentation to make sure spelling and stuff was right.

And they did that after their own back, and they didn't want nothing for it and all that because they had to respect when I asked them. Because if they didn't needed to ask me a favor, I says, that line. So is it yeah. And know the cleaners name. Know the person who collects the bins. Know the, the person who's feeding you at lunchtime and stuff like that. Make sure you know every because we're all cogs in the wheel of a company. And I always find with CEOs or management, you've got to remember, you've got to give a service to your staff. Because for you to succeed, you need them to succeed. And for them to succeed, you need to offer them a good work environment. So if you're not gonna offer that, then you're not gonna have people that wanna work for you that are happy. And if they're not happy, you're not gonna succeed. So my yeah. My biggest hack is make sure you surround yourself with good people, but make sure you earn the respect of the people that you're working with.

Gresham Harkless 13:00

Yeah, absolutely. And those are huge hacks, and I appreciate you sharing that well. Let me ask you this. What would be what I would call a CEO nugget? A little bit more word or wisdom or piece of advice. I usually say it might be something you would tell, somebody that's hoping to do a podcast or potentially what happened to the time machine. It might tell your younger business self.

Lee Parks 13:17

When you get the idea, just go for it. Don't let fear of not starting hold you back because it's always we're always improving in life. Every day we're making improvements, but you have to start it to improve it. So don't just have the idea and sit on the idea. Have the idea and go for it. If it works out fantastic, if it doesn't, pivot and you'll be able to do something else. But at least you've got the beginning of something. Like you said a minute ago, you've got your first step. So take that first step would be my little nugget.

Gresham Harkless 13:48

Yeah. I love that nugget. And so many times, we're thinking about how to optimize, how to improve, how to do all these things to get better, to get to our goals, but we forget, like, the most important part is you have to have something to start. You have to have that first step to be able optimize, to make it better, to evaluate, to all those things. But we don't take that first step. We don't go ahead and get the ball rolling and you can't continue to take those steps from there. So absolutely appreciate that nugget. And I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is to have different quote unquote CEOs on this show. So, Lee, what does being a CEO mean to you?

Lee Parks 14:21

Oh, I just think being a CEO is just I don't know. It's a really hard question to because I personally don't like the term CEO because I feel like you're building values up against people. I just I like the word community. So I think it's be a strong leader of a community would be a good definition of a CEO.

Gresham Harkless 14:42

Nice. I know that definition there, your perspective, and so much so because it gets back to what we've been talking about, the human part of business and understanding the people within the business or the people within the organization. And I think it also to me speaks to because when you're talking about community, you're talking about usually people that have a common something that's linking them all together or common cause or something that they're driving with. So I feel like it taps into that. But on a deeper level, it also taps into the CEO, leader, founder, organizer, leader, manager, whatever title it might be. At the end of the day, we're helping people to get to where they wanna be and helping to make the world a better place.

Lee Parks 15:20

A 100%.

Gresham Harkless 15:22

Awesome. Awesome. We truly appreciate that definition. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So what I wanted to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And, of course, how best people can get a hold of you, find out about the podcast, and all the awesome things that you're working on.

Lee Parks 15:39

Yeah. So, no, if people wanna come and watch our episodes, we're on YouTube at the Nonidentity Podcast. We're also on TikTok. Everything's at Nonidentity Podcast, Instagram, Spotify. And, also, if you wanna be a guest, please just reach out through Facebook or email at nonidentitypodcast@gmail.com. I'd love to hear your story. And like I said, either one is welcome. So and thank you for everyone's time, obviously, and watching today.

Gresham Harkless 16:05

Absolutely. We truly appreciate your lead and make it even easier. We're gonna have to leave some information in the show notes as well too. But thank you so much for your time and all the phenomenal things that you're doing, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the the day.

Lee Parks 16:16

You too. Thank you.

Outro 16:17

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Thank you for listening to the I AM CEO Podcast powered by CBNation and Blue16 Media. Tune in next time and visit us at iamceo.co. I AM CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at Blue16Media.com.

This has been the I AM CEO Podcast with Gresham Harkless, Jr. Thank you for listening.

Title: Transcript - Mon, 15 Apr 2024 11:39:32 GMT

Date: Mon, 15 Apr 2024 11:39:32 GMT, Duration: [00:16:48.27]

[00:00:00.00] - Speaker 1

It's easy to try out there and get a load of celebrities, but at the end of

[00:00:04.20] - Lee Parks

of the day, everyone's got a story to tell, and everyone's journey is inspiring. So I wanted to be a bit different. So then I've decided, I'm still gonna live your normal lives with your people because everyone's got a story to share, whether you're successful, whether you're not. You've still got your journey that it'd be wicked to give a platform for people to speak on.

[00:00:24.50] - Intro

Are you ready to hear business stories and learn effective ways to build relationships, generate sales, and level up your business from awesome CEOs, entrepreneurs, and founders without listening to a long, long, long interview? If so, you've come to the right place. Values your time and is ready to share with you the valuable info you're in search of. This is the I am CEO podcast.

[00:00:51.60] - Gresham Harkless

Hello. Hello. Hello. This is Gresh from the I Am CEO podcast. I have a very special guest on the show today. I have Lee Parks Lee. Excited to have you on the show.

[00:00:59.00] - Lee Parks

Hi, Gresh. Thanks for having me on.

[00:01:00.60] - Gresham Harkless

I appreciate you being on, Lee. And before, of course, we jump in, I want to read a little bit more about Lee so you can hear about some of those awesome things that he's been working on. And Lee is the host of the non identity podcast, a channel that interviews real people about real lives. He set this up after his wife suffered a stroke at the age of thirty three to support with his mental health and meeting inspiring people. And I had the guest and the opportunity to be a guest on these podcasts and it was phenomenal just to hear about his journey and story. And he has a absolutely phenomenal story that I think you'll definitely love and get the opportunity to hear about because I think so many times when we hear about stories, we don't realize that we can see ourselves in in in the people that we hear the stories from. So, Lee, appreciate you for your time. Appreciate you even more for all the awesome things you're doing. Are you ready to speak to IMC? Okay.

[00:01:45.90] - Lee Parks

I am. Thank you so guys for, having me on.

[00:01:48.90] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. We kick everything off. Let's rewind the clock a little bit, hear a little bit more on how you got started with all your awesome things that you're doing when I call your senior school.

[00:01:56.00] - Lee Parks

Yeah. So as you guys can hear, I'm from the UK. And throughout my life, I started volunteering with young people when I was about 04:14. So since then, I've worked in the field of working with young people. So I've worked in youth clubs, after school clubs, summer activities, Easter activities. I now work in schools. To be honest, that's because where the money was at. After school clubbing that, I find, but it's only two to three hours work a night. And as you get older and you get a family, obviously, you need a bigger income. And school is six to seven hours a day, so that's where the money's at. I've done a lot of work with special needs students. So young people with ADHD, autism, emotional behavioral disorders. I did that for about fifteen years. I had to leave that a couple of years ago because of as you mentioned in the intro, stuff going on with my wife. And it was a very volatile environment. So the young people we worked with would kick off at a flick of a button. So I've had knives in my face. I've had tables and chairs thrown at me. Been punched, kicked, spat on, bitten. You name it. I've been through it. But it was such a fun environment. It's really weird to be saying this, but it was such a fun environment at the same time.

[00:03:05.69] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. It sounds like you had both sides of the coin. So I imagine it was very rewarding as much as it is. I'm sure a lot of things were happening. I imagine it's it's probably very rewarding as well too. You get an opportunity to impact a lot as as much as you could, especially the the the youth.

[00:03:18.19] - Lee Parks

No. Exactly. And it's it was really strange. I remember one student I worked with, and he didn't like strangers in his room. So if you went into his room, he would come over and then scratch your face or scratch your arm and stuff. But we used to take him to the park on a Friday at the end of the week And just to see his face for the 10:15 minutes that he was on the swing, it was like he was a young person again. So all the rubbish that we had gone through that whole week, just to see that smile on his face made everything worthwhile. So, yeah, so that was my issue with working with young people. And then what led on to the podcast is, like you said, my wife had a stroke at the age of eighty three, and it was one of the most brilliant experiences I've ever been through. I still think I'm suffering from the PTSD today.

[00:04:04.40] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. And and that's why I appreciate you so much in sharing that, of course, like, how you run with that with your podcast and everything because I I often just say we forget about the human aspect of business, but I say even the human aspect of of life at that. And I think you obviously like, you talked about with the kids being able to get the young child be able to see and have that experience on the spring on the swing and and see the smiles and stuff. So I wanted to drill down a little bit more. Could you tell us a little bit more about the show, how you're structuring some of the conversations, how you are making an impact in serving your your Yeah.

[00:04:33.30] - Lee Parks

So, originally, when I worked at the special needs school before I was the behavior leave, I was the media coordinator for a year. So and at the time, I was trying to I was trying to get the awareness of the school's radio station out. I thought I need to get celebrities on board. So I I paid for our first celebrity. I'm hoping to say I had a budget. And I paid it was an an English soap actor that came to the school, spoke to the young people. And I forgot that one person. So what I can do then, I can email her, say, add this person on. Do you wanna come on? And through that, I managed to get probably eight or ten different celebrities onto onto the, school radio because it helped that it was a special needs school, and and it helped that we had someone that had been in the English soap as our first person. So I've got people like you may be aware of is Frank Warren, who is Tyson Fury's British promoter, the heavyweight champion of the world, and Davon Brown, the illusionist, the magic illusionist. I know he's been out in America as well, and a couple of, what we're class as BOC celebrities in England, they came on and gave their time as well. And when I then sat back and forth, wanna do the podcast, it's easy to try out then get

[00:05:44.10] - Speaker 1

a load of celebrities. But at the end of

[00:05:46.89] - Lee Parks

the day, everyone's got a story to tell, and everyone's journey is inspiring. So I wanted to be a bit different. So then I decided I'm just gonna live your normal real lives with real people because everyone's got a story to share, whether you're successful, whether you're not. You've still got your journey set. It'd be wicked to give a platform for people to speak on. So I sat there for one originally, I wanted to call it the nobody podcast with a tagline to be someone, we all start as no one. And when I shared that out to a couple of people, they were a bit like, that's a little bit negative. It's like, it's a good good concept, but the name's a bit the nobody's a bit negative. So I went through the festival, and I was trying to look for another word that had a meaning to nobody, and the the term non identity was then there. Because, obviously, this was because before the bilingual stuff and the and the genderization stuff, this was back then. Because I know some people have been confused with the title of the podcast because of the non binary situation that's going on. Not identity could be meeting with that. So but as I said, well, I really come up with a concept. So I had the name, designed the logo, and I thought, no. I can't do this. No one's gonna be interested. No one's gonna wanna be a guest. I I I'm not doing it. And it took me six months. So I was battling the stuff going on with my wife, and I just it just something was nickeling in my head. No. You need to do this. You need to do this. So I put a post out on Facebook, and we've been an hour and a half. About five years ago, I took part in a charity boxing fight for cancer research, and someone who trained me there reached back out to me and said, yeah, I'd love to be a guest. And we set it up by the end of the week, and we just hit the call, and bam, was off to the races. And we're fifty five episodes in now. I did actually take a break to go and do a boxing podcast for seven months because the person that was my first guest, he he said, I really enjoyed being in front of the camera. Could we do something together? And I thought to myself, well, no. I did. He's my little baby. So we'll put that a bit on the back burner. Let's try and do something. It got to okay. We got to some boxing events. We interviewed some fights and stuff, and I actually sold the channel onto someone else. It wasn't making any money at the time, but someone saw potential in it, and they made me an offer. It wasn't a big offer. It was a hundred and fifty pounds, probably about a hundred and eighty dollars. But I thought it was a really good offer because I'm not a massive boxing fan. I'm just a casual boxing fan. I was struggling to put weekly content out on a subject that I didn't really know nothing about, but we had to try and stay weekly. And I've gave given them a a good starting platform. So we came up with a deal where I actually made a bit of money off that channel, and then I went back to non identity, and this is what I love doing.

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[00:08:25.80] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I appreciate you sharing that so much, and and I I I love the concept of the Nobody Podcast and how you you you came to the the the name that I identity podcast as well too. Because I think when you I I always say it's as important as it is to know, like, what you do, is it even more important to know why you do it. And, I I love hearing how that speaks directly to the journey, because I think so many times we forget about the journey. We see where we are now, and of course, we wanna, you know, pay homage, I guess you say, can say to the present and how important that is. But also paying attention to some of the things that we can do now. There was a time that we wish we we were wishing that we would be where we are now. We were wishing that we would be able to accomplish the things that we're doing now. If we don't pay homage to that, then we aren't really, like, given an overall look to our journey, the things that we're doing, and people other people are doing, and how they're doing.

[00:09:13.79] - Lee Parks

No. That's crazy.

[00:09:17.39] - Gresham Harkless

Perfect. Perfect. So that that sounds like it's it's part of what I like to call your your secret sauce. The thing you feel takes you apart and makes you unique. It seems like with the podcast, you you wanna try to highlight that that story, the journey, and those things that people sometimes don't see or hear or know about. And it almost feels like you're you're you're bringing a connection that we sometimes don't appreciate or maybe even pay attention to by the guests that are on the show, and I imagine the listeners as well too. Do you think that's part of that secret sauce?

[00:09:48.10] - Lee Parks

And, basically, I I just wanna give a platform for people to speak on. So I don't mind what anyone wants to come and speak about. Here's here's a platform. Here's the opportunity for for you to do it. Obviously, people need to be respectful and stuff like that. So I'm not gonna open the floodgates to anyone who wants to come on and and just spout a load of rubbish, really. You got substance behind what you wanna come on and speak about, but the platform's there. If you want it, take it. I spoke to magicians. I spoke to ex drug addicts. I spoke to ex gang members. I spoke to you guys. I spoke to someone who wrote a book on Amazon. I spoke to another person whose goal is to write eighty six books by the age of eighty six. And I think he's on book number two. He's about forty years old. I've I spoke to a barber hairdresser who set up a bricks and mortar store, and he was then moving into the online stuff. But like I said, I'm open. Anyone wants to reach out, wants to come and share their story, this is the platform to do it on.

[00:10:49.00] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And so wanted to switch gears a little bit and ask you for what I call a CEO hack. So this could be like an Apple book or even a habit that you have. What's something that makes you more effective and efficient?

[00:10:59.60] - Lee Parks

I honestly think it's the people around you. So when I was the behavior leader at the school I worked at, the people I had around me is what helped make the school successful in behavior. And, also, I think as a a leader or a management team, you've gotta show people you've got to earn the respect by showing them that you're willing to do what you're asking them to. So the fact of the matter is the fact that I was in the front line when someone had the knives and they had the knives in my face and other people saw that. When I then asked them to go and deal with the situation, they were more than happy to do that because, see, I was willing to do that. And what I find, especially in a school environment, a lot of head teachers or head of schools and stuff sit in their office, and they pass down emails. And it then upsets the staff because it thinks you come on the floor and do that. But if you work your way so I started off as a teaching assistant, then I went to a tutor, then I went to a media coordinator, then I went to a behavior lead. People said I worked my way through the floor. So therefore, so that I was willing, and I always had good people around for that. And then it's also even though you you was management, go and find someone that can help. So like I said, I'm dyslexic. So whenever I had the presentation I needed to deliver to start, I would have a colleague check my presentation to make sure spelling and stuff was right. And they did that after their own back, and they didn't want nothing for it and all that because they had to respect when I asked them. Because if they didn't needed to ask me a favor, I says, that line. So is it yeah. And know the cleaners name. Know the person who collects the bins. Know the, the person who's feeding you at lunchtime and stuff like that. Make sure you know every because we're all cogs in the wheel of a company. And I always find with CEOs or management, you've got to remember, you've got to give a service to your staff. Because for you to succeed, you need them to succeed. And for them to succeed, you need to offer them a good work environment. So if you're not gonna offer that, then you're not gonna have people that wanna work for you that are happy. And if they're not happy, you're not gonna succeed. So my yeah. My biggest hack is make sure you surround yourself with good people, but make sure you earn the respect of the people that you're working with.

[00:13:00.89] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. Absolutely. And those are huge, hacks, and I appreciate you sharing that, Val. Let me ask you this. What would be what I would call a CEO nugget? A little bit more word or wisdom or piece of advice. I usually say it might be something you would tell, somebody that's hoping to do a podcast or potentially what happened to the time machine. It might tell your younger business self.

[00:13:17.79] - Lee Parks

When you get the idea, just go for it. Don't let fear of not starting hold you back because it's always we're always improving in life. Every day we're making improvements, but you have to start it to improve it. So don't just have the idea and sit on the idea. Have the idea and go for it. If it works out fantastic, if it doesn't, pivot and you'll be able to do something else. But at least you've got the beginning of something. Like you said a minute ago, you've got your first step. So take that first step would be my little nugget.

[00:13:48.60] - Gresham Harkless

Yeah. I I love that nugget. And so many times, we're thinking about how to optimize, how to improve, how to do all these things to to to get better, to get to our goals, but we forget, like, the most important part is you have to have something to start. You have to have that first step to be able optimize, to make it better, to evaluate, to all those things. But we don't take that first step. We don't go ahead and get the ball rolling and you can't continue to take those steps from there. So absolutely appreciate that nugget. And I want to ask you now my absolute favorite question, which is the definition of what it means to be a CEO. And our goal is to have different quote unquote CEOs on this show. So, Lee, what does being a CEO mean to you?

[00:14:21.89] - Lee Parks

Oh, I just think being a CEO is just I don't know. It's a really hard question to because I I personally don't like the term CEO because I feel like you're you're building values up against people. I just I like the the word community. So I think it's be a strong leader of a community would be a good definition of a city.

[00:14:42.20] - Gresham Harkless

Nice. I I I know that definition there, your perspective, and and so much so because it gets back to what we've been talking about, the human part of business and understanding the people within the the the business or the people within the organization. And I think it also to me speaks to because when you're talking about community, you're talking about usually people that have a common something that's linking them all together or common cause or something that they're driving with. So I feel like it taps into that. But on a deeper level, it also taps into the CEO, leader, founder, organizer, leader, manager, whatever title it might be. At the end of the day, we're helping people to get to where they wanna be and helping to make the world a better place.

[00:15:20.50] - Lee Parks

A hundred percent.

[00:15:22.79] - Gresham Harkless

Awesome. Awesome. We truly appreciate that definition. Of course, I appreciate your time even more. So So what I wanted to do now is pass you the mic, so to speak, just to see if there's anything additional that you can let our readers and listeners know. And, of course, how best people can get a hold of you, find out about the podcast, and all the awesome things that you're working on.

[00:15:39.60] - Lee Parks

Yeah. So, no, if people wanna come and watch our episodes, we're on YouTube at the Non Identity Podcast. We're also on TikTok. Everything's at Non Identity Podcast, Instagram, Spotify. And, also, if you wanna be a guest, please just reach out through Facebook or email at podcast at g mail dot com. I'd love to hear your story. And like I said, either one is welcome. So and thank you for everyone's time, obviously, and watching today.

[00:16:05.60] - Gresham Harkless

Absolutely. We truly appreciate your lead and make it even easier. We're gonna have to lease some information in the show notes as well too. But thank you so much for your time and all the phenomenal things that you're doing, and I hope you have a phenomenal rest of the

[00:16:16.10] - Lee Parks

the day. You too. Thank you.

[00:16:17.39] - Intro

Thank you for listening to the I am CEO podcast powered by CB Nation and Blue sixteen Media. Tune in next time and visit us at I m c e o dot c o. I am CEO is not just a phrase. It's a community. Don't forget to schedule your complimentary digital marketing consultation at Blue sixteen Media dot com. This has been the I am CEO podcast with Gresham Harkless junior. Thank you for listening.

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Dave Bonachita - CBNation Writer

This is a post from a CBNation team member. CBNation is a Business to Business (B2B) Brand. We are focused on increasing the success rate. We create content and information focusing on increasing the visibility of and providing resources for CEOs, entrepreneurs and business owners. CBNation consists of blogs(CEOBlogNation.com), podcasts, (CEOPodcasts.com) and videos (CBNation.tv). CBNation is proudly powered by Blue16 Media.

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