CWJJ Episode 81: AGA Live: Stephanie Watson, Ben Warren, & Lane Miller
October 16, 2021
CWJJ Episode 83: AGA Live: Rita Hansen, Tim Mally, and Buddy Powers
CWJJ Episode 83: AGA Live: Rita Hansen, Tim Mally, and Buddy Powers
October 25, 2021

CWJJ Episode 82: Cindy Mitchell

CWJJ Cindy Mitchell Southern Gas Association

Thursday, October 21- Now this is an exciting episode with Cindy Mitchell. We just happened to have attended the SGA Natural Gas Conference and Expo this week! Check it out as Cindy talks about her top picks for books, natural gas champions program and strength finders.

Quick Links:

Cindy Mitchell on Linkedin

Episode Transcript

 [0:00] music] [0:00] [0:24]

Jim:  Good morning, everyone. Welcome to this episode of Coffee with Jim and James. Another beautiful day, a hot cup of coffee and a fantastic guest, Cindy. James, a little story, as I always do. It’s one of the…. [0:00] [0:38]

James:  This could go anywhere. [0:00] [0:39]

Jim:  Yeah, it could and actually… [0:00] [0:40]

James:  It means reliving all of her life choices and wondering what you’re going to pick a little. [0:00] [0:44]

Jim:  She is, if she is not scrubbing right now, she should be, you know. Now, this is a good story. Knowing Cindy from the industry and, and such, but, um, I had the ability and I was blessed to sit into one of the strength finder courses that she trained, and it was great and enlightening, the whole bit, and the way that she speaks and delivers it and all that. But, I just have to tell you what really hit me was after it were Cindy, I think, she somehow remembered a few of my strengths and in a hallway conversation, brought that up. And I’m just like, wow, you know, Cindy you really do care about people and care about, you know, um, development, and care about personal development, and getting better and such like that. So, I just want to thank you personally for that time because it did stick with me and it is forever in my memory cells. [0:00] [1:37]

James:  Wow. [0:00] [1:37]

Jim:  So, with that, well, you know, James please officially bring Cindy in for us if you would please? [0:00] [1:45]

James:  Yes, Cindy’s back. Now, since the last time, I believe, now VP of operations at Southern Gas Association, is that right? [0:00] [1:53]

Cindy:  That is. [0:00] [1:53]

James:  Which means she does all the work. [0:00] [1:54]

Cindy:  That is true. [laughs] [0:00] [1:57]

James:  Without a doubt, without a doubt. Cindy, it’s always a pleasure to have you on. Um, you’re one of our favorites out there. Jim, I thought you were going to tell the story when we sat around at an SGA event and Cindy read us like a fortune teller at the dinner table. You remember that? [0:00] [2:13]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [2:13]

Cindy:  That’s where I thought we were going. [0:00] [2:14]

James:  We would tell, we would tell the, our, our strengths and she would tell us all about us. They do. [0:00] [2:19]

Jim:  Yeah. Yeah, that’s right. Where were we at? We were in… [0:00] [2:25]

James:  It’s the greatest party trick ever. I mean… [0:00] [2:25]

Jim:  We were in the old country. Were we in the old country? Yeah. [0:00] [2:29]

Cindy:  Yeah, it was fun. [0:00] [2:30]

James:  I thought you would go out and out. But, yeah, and, er, if you don’t know, er, Cindy is very passionate about, as she said, which I love the statement, feeding people, right? Feeding them, whether it be leadership, and then she also just likes to cook and entertain and have a good time. But, Cindy, thank you for joining us, second time back. [0:00] [2:49]

Cindy:  Thank you so much. Thank you guys for having me. This is truly an honor. Um, I’ve been following your show as its developed and I really enjoy all of the content that you bring and what you’re doing for the industry, as well? [0:00] [3:03]

James:  I’m glad you’re back because I get to geek out with you a little bit more. [0:00] [3:06]

Jim:  Ah, jeez. [0:00] [3:07]

James:  And we laughed about that last time. You might have been one of the first guests that we kind of went down one of those tangents where Jim sat there in silence and wondered when it was going to end. [0:00] [3:16]

Jim:  [laughs] [0:00] [3:16]

James:  But, you’re passionate, like I said, about leadership, er, you know, opening minds to new information. [0:00] [3:23]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [3:24]

James:  Um, diversity, inclusion. Honestly, Cindy, that’s what, that’s what you get when you get Cindy Mitchell. [0:00] [3:30]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [3:31]

James:  And you bring a message along with SGA that a lot of companies and people just simply don’t talk about enough sometimes, in my opinion, and y’all bringing it into the conversation. And, I think that says a lot about the organization and also you, um, as a VP there. Cindy, let’s start with something that, that I want to start asking more. [0:00] [3:52] I know you read a lot, podcast, probably audible, whatever you’re, I don’t care how you read, what are you reading? [0:00] [4:00]

Cindy:  So, er, the two books that I just completed, and I say completed because first I get them on audible or some variation of that so that I can listen to the content while I’m working out, because I figure if I’m engaging my muscles and my brain, the material sticks better for me, but this one’s, I brought some props to be a little more visual today, so, this book is called “The Leaders Guide to Unconscious Bias.” It’s Pamela Fuller, and Mark Murphy, both are, er, consultants with Franklin Covey, leadership experts. [0:00] [4:38]

James:  Sure. [0:00] [4:38]

Jim:  Aha. [0:00] [4:39]

Cindy:  This book is so good. Of course, then I buy the book and I put my little sticky tabs on in it for my class or just number saved it. [0:00] [4:47]

James:  Yep. [0:00] [4:48]

Cindy:  You got on it even more. But, this is a really cool book for taking and uncovering our unconscious bias, because everybody has them. So, like, everybody has bias. There’s nobody without it. Nobody in the whole wide world. But, um, this, this kind of brings it back to, um, how to help build better teams. So, it really talks about unconscious bias and then bridging gaps in relationships. So, this is one, and then the other one is “Everyday bias”, and this one’s by Howard Ross. So, it’s identifying and navigating unconscious bias. Now, this is a really updated version. And so, it has a lot of newer, er, more recent, er, real life examples, but they do a lot of studies and they give you the results of a lot of studies in this book. So, um, so, these are two that I just finished and, um, I, I’m constantly looking for my next book, and so, er. [0:00] [5:54]

James:  And Cindy, correct me if I’m wrong though, because I’ve seen there’s a lot of communications coming out from SGA and one of the training was actually Uncon‑, Unconscious Bias. Correct? [0:00] [6:04]

Cindy:  Yes. Yes, I can… [0:00] [6:06]

James:  And you’re leading that. [0:00] [6:07]

Cindy:  I facilitate that. It’s a really cool workshop. So, what we’ve made, um, the topic, or, I mean, the title is actually Unconscious Bias, Bias Busters, um, which is catchy, a little hokey. But, but, um, I think, we’re going to change the name of it to something with a little more depth so people really know what they’re getting. Um, what we’ve done is create a safe space for leaders in our industry to explore and identify what biases they may have. And, then we take that and, and really wrap it around the talent, talent development lifecycle. [0:00] [6:45] And, that’s really where the focus of that workshop. We do a lot of exercises. I had a lady who is vice‑chair of our Inclusion and Diversity Council. And, she said in the class, um, and, and she was really monitoring or evaluating the class for her team, to see if she wanted to put them through it. And at the very end she said, “You know what? I did not expect to learn anything from this class and I did and it was great.” [0:00] [7:12]

James:  Wow. [0:00] [7:13]

Cindy:  And so, I just thought that that was really… [0:00] [7:14]

James:  Endorsement. [0:00] [7:15]

Cindy:  Yeah, please powerful. [0:00] [7:17]

James:  Well, Cindy, it, I, Iet’s see, October of last year I was put over HR, as well. So, Brand and Human Resources, and so… [0:00] [7:29]

Jim:  I can understand that. [0:00] [7:29]

James:  And so, I know, right? What lia‑, liability. [0:00] [7:33]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [7:34]

James:  And so, so, it’s terrifying, but part, you know, part of it was really, you know, what my big sell on it was about the the brand, right? If I’m going to curate the brand then I need to know how people are brought in and how people are off boarded, right? And so, so, kind of tying it all together it allowed, really, to start going to work on that and diversity inclusion is a big part of it. And, I love, er, this angle that, that y’all are taking with unconscious bias. So, I know I’ll be signing up. And you said it’s a workshop, right? [0:00] [8:04]

Cindy:  Yes. It is, it is, it’s in, like I said, it’s really interactive and, er, we get, we get the, I can’t wait till we can do it in person. [laughs] [0:00] [8:14]

James:  I know that. [0:00] [8:14]

Cindy:  We walk around and, but we do that in rooms, and so, it’s, it’s in the team’s platform, so that the breakout rooms work and, um, but yeah, they like I said, they do, um, some exercises to really open your mind, er, you know, because obviously our brains play tricks on us everyday. [0:00] [8:36]

James:  Obviously. [0:00] [8:36]

Cindy:  And so, that’s how we get through our day without it being painful. Um, and so, it really helps you just explore how easily your mind tricks you. [0:00] [8:46]

James:  And, and it’s a little bit about protection when you move down to it, alright? I mean, that’s okay, dogs bark, my daughter walked in a minute ago, it’ll be fine. [0:00] [8:54]

Cindy:  OK. [laughs] [0:00] [8:56]

James:  But, you know, I think it’s your brain really trying to protect yourself when it, when it starts, but then you kind of create those habits or those paradigms a little bit. And yeah, it’s a, it’s a really interesting subject. I know we’ll share the info when we roll this thing out, um, we’ll, we’ll be sure to plug it. [0:00] [9:12]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [9:12]

James:  Share them in the comments, if you have any, you know, questions you want to ask. Cindy, you are the person actually leading the workshop, correct? [0:00] [9:20]

Cindy:  Yep. [0:00] [9:20]

James:  One of the people. [0:00] [9:21]

Cindy:  Yep, it’s me, it’s me. [0:00] [9:23]

James:  Good old Cindy. [0:00] [9:24]

Cindy:  It’s me, so you can find me on the website at, er, yeah. So, the only other books that I really read for like I would say fun reading. [0:00] [9:34]

James:  Mm‑hmm, that’s what I was about to ask. [0:00] [9:35]

Cindy:  [laughs] [0:00] [9:35]

James:  What was it? I’m sorry. [0:00] [9:38]

Cindy:  Books. [0:00] [9:38] James; Hah, that’s funny. [0:00] [9:40]

Cindy:  Recipe magazines. I just love looking at that stuff, but the things I really read are for, um, development, for, you know, like you were saying, I love feeding people, I also to be fed. And, and so, um, different books, various books, really help feed that appetite for helping that. [0:00] [9:59]

James:  It’s funny though to see somebody kind of, do, you know, jumps into it like I do. I listen to it while I work on other stuff. I know people are, like, you can’t multitask. That’s not legal. It’s more osmosis for me. And then, as I begin to really parse through the book, I’ll have a physical copy and I’ll make my notes, and I use that for when I speak or when I leave either, you know, whatever it might be. So, it’s nice to see somebody else with similar habits, ’cause people think I’m crazy. [0:00] [10:29]

Cindy:  [laughs] [0:00] [10:29]

Jim:  Think? [0:00] [10:29]

James:  Look at him, shaking his head. [0:00] [10:29]

Jim:  Think? [0:00] [10:29] James; You know. [0:00] [10:29]

Jim:  I mean, OK, James, is it wrong for me to say nerd alert? Nerd alert, right now. I mean, is that OK. [0:00] [10:40]

James:  No, I think Cindy gets it. She knows she’s a nerd. [0:00] [10:43]

Jim:  I mean, and I say that with love and affection and, and admiration of you two. The, the passion that you both have, you know, four books and reading James is always getting on my case saying, Jimmy, you got to read this book. You gotta, you gotta, you gotta do it, and such like that. But it’s, it’s, you know, we all do it in our own way and such like that, but I’m very much in admiration of you two. [0:00] [11:04] Cindy, let’s go down, it’s not too far, er, you know, from a rabbit hole. We just went down there. Um, the SGA has really been getting into, you know, these topics of diversity inclusion, you know, unconscious bias and, wow, you know, these, these are topics on the agenda 10 years ago. I, we didn’t see them, you know, five years ago. We didn’t see them, and really, you know, when you look at the last 18 months, two years, they really have popped up. Um, why so important, you know, give us, you know, keep, bring me into this, this nerdy world, so to speak, and, and enlighten me and feed me please. [0:00] [11:41]

Cindy:  Alright, alright. I love the question, um, you know, that it’s unfortunate that we weren’t having these conversations 10 years ago and 5 years ago. It was… [0:00] [11:52]

James:  Might have been having so many now. [0:00] [11:54]

Cindy:  Yeah, [laughs[ that’s right. Um, so, any time, OK, Strength Finders focuses on strength. [0:00] [12:02]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [12:04]

Cindy:  Um, extended so that they’re focusing on what you do right. Right, extended disk is all about, um, first understanding yourself, so that then you can understand others. Um, and, and really, once you, er, expand that out, apply it to teams it’s really about, um, welcoming the diversity of your teams. [0:00] [12:27]

Jim:  OK. [0:00] [12:28]

Cindy:  OK, so it’s really about appreciating diversity. Now, tha‑, that’s not just, um, what we think of is race, or ability, or disabilities, but, but truly appreciating diverse ways to think about things, diverse ways to behave. Um, so really, all of those, um, tools in our toolbox. Um, beat the same drum as why diversity and inclusion is so important. So, we have increase in productivity. We have increasing engagement, because, I’m, I’m here and I’m heard, and I feel like I belong. I’m welcome to be different than you. [0:00] [13:09]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [13:11]

Cindy:  Um, a diverse team is more creative. [0:00] [13:14]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [13:14]

Cindy:  They’re better problem solvers. Um, you know, so focusing on what people do right, embracing the diversity, the diverse perspective, their diverse background, their diverse experience, all of those things, it, it does feel good. It feels good as a leader. It feels good to be on that team. But, I mean, Gallup wouldn’t be behind it for decades if it wasn’t really a business strategy. [0:00] [13:42]

Jim:  Yes. [0:00] [13:43]

Cindy:  Right, it’s a business strategy that has a wild side effect to make people better. [0:00] [13:53]

Jim:  Yep, and, and we, and we can learn from each other more each, each and every day. And, and again, you take James and I, we’re very diverse. Well, you know, I mean, we’re, we’re very different right? [0:00] [14:07]

James:  [laughs] We’re very inclusive. Let’s put it that way, to deal with Jim. No, I’m kidding. We are diverse, but that’s what makes our show, you know… [0:00] [14:16]

Jim:  Yep. [0:00] [14:17]

James:  …what it is and our communication. I was going to bring up I speak on a topic called Managing and Leading, people not like you. [0:00] [14:23]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [14:24]

James:  And I have some stats in there, and I always pull this out because there’s always stats, people either is always saying, “Well, show me the numbers,” because that’s what I say, and, er, I, I just pulled them while, I swear I was paying attention, but I was also doing this. Er, I play with them, and, and these are great stats, though 67 percent of candidates are looking for diverse workplaces. You know, in a time where we’re struggling to hire, 35 percent of diverse companies outperform those that lack diversity. You want 2.3 times, er, more cash flow per employee, go to diverse company. You know, these are numbers that are like dream numbers. [0:00] [15:04]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [15:04]

James:  What we would want and they’re happening for diverse companies. I mean, it’s, I mean, that you want some data to back it up. [0:00] [15:11]

Cindy:  That’s right. That’s right. [0:00] [15:12]

James:  All day long. [0:00] [15:14]

Cindy:  Gallup compiles it every day for strengths and strength based organizations, easy for me to say, but, you know, er, I will say that, if, if 75 percent of companies are working for diversity and inclusion, and have strategies and programs forty percent of the time they’re making things worse. So, it’s really, it’s really about, um, if, if, you have to get passed, and see, this is where leadership like, this is I’ll tell anybody and any of my workshops classes, whatever it is, the best thing about leadership is you have to bring it. I, I can’t impart it to you. If you’re not willing to step up, then it’s going to be obvious here soon, because you have to bring it, and you have to bring it every day. And so, um, we all have bad days, but you know. [0:00] [16:13]

Jim:  What it says. [0:00] [16:14]

Cindy:  Yeah, you have to bring it. [0:00] [16:15]

James:  Guess what, that day, some days may start at 04:00, when you gotta catch a flight or drive, you know, two hours to another city to catch fly. It may start, you know, it may run till 02:00 in the morning, because that event you got to prep for the speaking spot, or whatever it might be, right? [0:00] [16:32]

Cindy:  Yep. [0:00] [16:33]

James:  But you don’t get a choice to show that. [0:00] [16:36]

Cindy:  No, yesterday, er, as I was finishing a communication strategy class that I was co‑facilitating with one of my colleagues, it was raining from the ceiling in my kitchen. [0:00] [16:47]

Jim:  Oh, what happened? What did you do? [0:00] [16:50]

Cindy:  Air conditioner overflow rained through from the attic, rained through the second floor, which finally made its way to the first floor, so we can check it. So, yeah. [0:00] [17:02]

Jim:  Wow. [0:00] [17:03]

James:  And guess what? Cindy brought it yesterday? Still, I bet. [0:00] [17:07]

Jim:  Bring it every day. [0:00] [17:09]

Cindy:  That’s right. That’s right. [0:00] [17:11]

Jim:  Cindy, while we’re on it, and again, I don’t want to seem like we’re beating a dead horse, but the the natural gas champions program through the SGA. I have to tell you, I’ll speak on behalf of James and I that it absolutely helped us to guide Coffee with Jim and James throughout the last year. Arguably too. our friends over Connections for Life, who you know. I would say it also helps shape them, you know, really, you know, during the podcast to, you know, help spread a positive message, a very real message, you know, about energy and such like that. And, I hope and pray we did it justice, James, Cindy? [0:00] [17:49]

Cindy:  Absolutely. [0:00] [17:49]

Jim:  We can all fair and with that, but, OK, how is the, you know, natural gas champions program going? What’s, where are we at with that? What do you think? How is it doing for our industry, you know, has this last year been a huge challenge for that? [0:00] [18:07]

Cindy:  Actually, we’ve had a lot of success with our natural gas champions course. You know, Bill is primary leader on that course, and keeps the data and information updated. Um, and it’s really just a popular program because it leaves people better equipped, um, to discuss topics that they may be very passionate about but they understand that that passion sometimes creates more emotional responses than diffusing emotional responses. And so, and, you know, another thing with our industry is, um, there are still silos. [0:00] [18:43]

Jim:  Yes. Absolutely. [0:00] [18:45]

Cindy:  You know, if you do one part of the industry, you may not really be able to speak about the other aspects of the industry. [0:00] [18:53]

James:  Cindy, I learn that every day on the show that I know nothing. And, and I’m honest about it. Luckily. I have a platform to where I get to learn from all different segments, but we were on one this week and I told Jim, I said, I’m going to be honest at the beginning I’ll be saying things I don’t have a clue, what, any clue what it is, because this isn’t a segment that, because we’re so siloed. So, I totally agree with that. [0:00] [19:16]

Cindy:  Yeah, so just it, it just equips people to be better to speak and diffuse emotion to have conversations with your neighbors at the block party, or your family at the Christmas table or Thanksgiving table, and, you know, and I mean, it, it is still a very, very popular program, and so. [0:00] [19:36]

Jim:  Good. [0:00] [19:37]

Cindy:  I think, leading with that elevator speech, and SGA has just combined some of those elevator speeches into a flip book, it’s available on our website, that you can just go and, um, check out some of these real‑life elevator speeches, um, and just, kind of hear from other people how they put those terms into their own voice, and words that they would use, or feel comfortable using. I just think, it’s really, you know, it level sets. Um, I think, where more people, where people are more comfortable talking from. [0:00] [20:13]

Jim:  OK. [0:00] [20:14]

James:  I loved it. I mean, I went through it. Um, that’s what I was going to mention was the elevator pitch, was the kind of the, er, thing that brought it home for me? Because, I, I attend a lot of webinars and I, you know, I’ll go through trainings, word training company, you know, but sometimes you go through a webinar and at the end of it you’re like, if you don’t have some kind of way to apply it or walk away with action, is what I always call it. [0:00] [20:37]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [20:38]

James:  I felt like giving that I had a tool when I left to where if you’re not somebody wired to go figure it out yourself sometimes, you, you’re not going to do it. It’s like, man, that’s great, I’m going to bring that back and then you get busy and the world catches up, right? So, being able to walk away with some kind of tangible evidence and something that I could use I think that’s a really nice part of it. [0:00] [21:01]

James:  Cindy, er, in the pre‑interview, and, and also under your hobbies, I mentioned it already, you said, I like feeding people, er, both from a leadership perspective and entertainment perspective. I, I love that. I think, it’s, it’s a great way to put it. Where did your love for growing leaders begin? And then, secondly, why hang your hat on that? [0:00] [21:25]

Cindy:  OK, so, I’ll start off without like needing space on your couch. [laughs] [0:00] [21:34]

James:  We’ve already done that today. [0:00] [21:36]

Cindy:  That’s right, OK. So, um, my mom was elected to the school board of education in the city of St. Louis during desegregation, which was a very tense time, and I would, you know, between the ages of two and three while that was happening, um, I loved watching her bring people together and solve problems. Fast forward, in school I was always the speech and debate person, odd, oddly enough student council, um, and I really had some cool leadership foundation opportunities that arose out of those activities. Um, and then, fast forward again, um, at 24 I successfully ran for office, which was a large responsibility and figured out quickly that I, I needed help. [laughs] [0:00] [22:20] It’s like, I am, I am not doing, um, my best work here in a way that solved problems and brought people together. And so, um, all of those self‑assurance qualities that helped get you elected aren’t necessarily the best ones to, um, to bring people together and solve problems. And so, er, I had a leadership development coach, an executive coach and, um, and I just fell in love with the opportunity to, of course, learn, but better equip all of the people around me to just be better and do better. And to see how that pays off exponentially, um, so, you know, through that our association did training. We did a lot of technical trading but we didn’t do any leadership development training, and so, I brought that to the clerks of Texas. [0:00] [23:19] Um, I grew to a point where it was recognized nationally for that and and was able to participate some really cool national organizations and roles. And so, um, that’s really kind of the progress or the timeline of, of where this developed and grew. And then, why is it that I hang my hat? So, my favorite word in the English language is encouraged, because at its Latin root it means to give heart, and when we encourage people we give them our heart. And, you are constantly as a leader trying to encourage and equip, and so, it’s really the only way that you can give of yourself and serve them well, so that they’re better and other people will benefit from that, as well. [0:00] [24:12]

Jim:  I, I just wanted to jump in real quick when you say encourage, I really, that, that just hit a chord with me because I think, when we encourage people they get a confidence and if they have that confidence that they can do it, they can do it. So many times I see people that I know can do something, but they just don’t have the confidence. Now, if we just give them that little bit of encouragement, like, go ahead, you know, be free to fail. Probably they won’t fail. They’re fearing of failing, but if we give that encouragement, what’s that? [0:00] [24:41]

James:  Failure is so subjective, right? I mean. [0:00] [24:44]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [24:44]

James:  And, and you create that environment I think it just feeds itself. One of the things that we pride ourselves on in our, in our house, as well, not just this house physically, but Energy World, is that, is we do a really good job of our superpowers prototyping, you know, we’re, we’re able to put it in, put it out and know incrementally and, er, improve on it. And, sometimes we get, you know, how it is, analysis paralysis and you get stuck. [0:00] [25:12]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [25:13]

James:  And you can figure out all the scenarios in the world till the cows come home, you know, but you never get it off the ground. And that’s, that’s been a neat thing to see. Cindy, um, the other side of that is the party planner… [0:00] [25:29]

Cindy:  [laughs] [0:00] [25:29]

James:  …that showed you away, because you didn’t just say, you know, feeding when it comes to leadership, um, so, who taught you to cook? Who made it stick for you or entertain I should say? [0:00] [25:44]

Cindy:  Um, well, I mean, my Dad loved to cook. And so, I always cooked with my dad. Um, my mom love to have parties and have friends over and share our, our house with, with those people that we loved, and we always were the place where the big family dinners were. So, I love all of that. Um, so, really I guess, cooking with my dad is something that, um, probably, I mean one of our things was we made homemade pizza and you know, he loved make dough, he ended up, um, he was really, really talented with wedding cakes. [0:00] [26:20]

Jim:  Oh. [0:00] [26:21]

Cindy:  Um, I ended up right after high school while I was in college with a flower shop. And so, I would do wedding flowers and he would bake the cakes, and it was just kind of a cool synergy and, you know. [0:00] [26:34]

James:  That’s really cool, I love to cook. I’m a, my, my grandfather, who I spent a lot of time, er, with when I was young, he was, er, a cook in the Army. And so, I really cannot think of a meal that he didn’t cook, you know. [0:00] [26:48]

Cindy:  Yeah. [0:00] [26:49]

James:  He cooked every single one. [0:00] [26:50]

Cindy:  My Dad cooked in the Army also. [0:00] [26:51]

James:  Right, right. So, he always made big breakfasts because that was the one meal, you know, that, you know, was really important. And so, taught me how to make gravy, you know, everything. It was just that thing for. My mom was a cook in the school system for over 20 years. So, she never wanted to cook when she got home. So, but my grandfather did, but she was an epic baker like that. She still lives. So, it’s neat to see how that transforms us as, as people. [0:00] [27:20]

Cindy:  Yes. Yeah. [0:00] [27:21]

James:  I know Jim’s a big, Jim is a big fan over there. [0:00] [27:25]

Jim:  Well, yeah. Tammy, she’s a huge, she, that’s her happy place. She’s like a, she’s like whatever she needs a decompress she’ll go to the kitchen. And, we’re blessed that we have a big kitchen, has an island, so, not only is it our happy place, but then people can come and sit there and she can have conversations, and it really is the heart of the home. I mean, truly is, and that’s where everybody hangs out, congregates. And again, if she can put out food and feed people, then she’s in a happy place, surely is. [0:00] [27:54]

James:  There’s a great story about you and your dad, too, because my, my daughter is, if there’s anything in the world she will stand next to whoever’s in the kitchen and cook. It doesn’t matter what it is. So, we’re teaching her in all the skills as we go and she’s just, anytime you ask her she’s right there. So, that’s, that’s hopefully that we’ll be doing wedding cakes and flowers. [0:00] [28:15]

Cindy:  [laughs] [0:00] [28:17]

James:  We’re so lucky. [0:00] [28:19]

Jim:  Lucky days. Cindy, if I can, er, ask one more question before we begin to wrap this up, and I don’t really want to wrap this up because, you know, spending time as we do, whether this or planning a SGA event, and it’s a, it’s a joy spending time with you, but If you could leave a piece of advice, you know, for the audience today, something that could, you know, launch them down the path of discovery, what would it be, you know, leadership, diversity, natural gas, entertaining, anything, you know? [0:00] [28:49]

Cindy:  Yeah, OK, um, so, I thought about this, and man, I was looking through some old stuff, and I wanted to really wow you guys, and I really think that unfortunately, I’ll, I’ll underwhelm, but, you know, your intentions aren’t enough as a leader, as a good person, as a great leader, as a boss, as the friend, it’s really not. Your attention, your intentions are not enough. Um, and I think that the beauty of, er, all of these tools in our toolbox, whether it’s, um, learning about our biases or, um, using superpowers or strength finders, or however it is, whatever tool assessment extended it is that you use, um, to learn about yourself that, that awareness really does make a difference. Um, it, it, the awareness changes things. [0:00] [29:44] And so, um, then you take it as far as you want, right? You can, you can go as far as you, you want to go, as, as long as you’re willing to bring it. Um, but really, it’s just not enough to have good intentions and, and I didn’t mean it that way, um, but, but, because we really do, our words matter, man, words are super important and they can hurt. Um, and I think about the, some of those lessons that, er, I’ve had and, and understanding the impact that words had and I try not to forget those. [0:00] [30:20] Um, I love it when the words matter in a positive way and, and make a great impact, er, but really about understanding how detrimental our words can be to someone, like you said, um, they need that confidence or they need that boost, or they need that love, or they need that encouragement, and having a bad day because it started at the crack of dawn, or yesterday’s didn’t end until the crack of dawn, or whatever that may be to not let those opportunities shade how you interact with others. [0:00] [30:59]

Jim:  I like that. [0:00] [31:01]

James:  I saw something here recently and I, I just went and pulled it up. I swear I’m painted. [0:00] [31:05]

Jim:  He’s not painting, he’s not painted at all. [0:00] [31:06]

James:  This is what I do, it’s fine. Er, anyway, we shared it in a, we’re going through, well, we’ve been through, and some others are going through “The Power of a Positive Team” from John Gordon. And, er, anyway, so, we have a channel dedicated to that and slack, and so, people post stuff all the time. Anyway, I posted one the other day, and it’s actually from Indiana University Health and it’s on one of their doors. And, it says, “Please take responsibility for the energy you bring into this space, your words matter, your behaviors matter, our patients and our team’s matter. Take a slow deep breath and make sure your energies and check before you enter.” [0:00] [31:43]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [31:43]

James:  And, it’s so simple and, and easy, but, um, man, so very real, so very hard to do, right? And very intentional. I, you said something to make me just think of, you know, the old adage of, what is it? The road to hell is paved with good intentions. [laughs] Sorry, your intentions are definitely not enough. Let’s bring it, as Cindy Mitchell says. Jim, I wasn’t even going to ask, that was my final question. [0:00] [32:11]

Jim:  That was it? [0:00] [32:11]

James:  For me. But, I think, we’ve already asked Cindy whether she loves what she does. [0:00] [32:15]

Jim:  Oh, the last time, absolutely. [0:00] [32:17]

James:  I don’t think we have to ask her that. [0:00] [32:18]

Jim:  I mean, we could ask her again, but look at her, look, look at the, um, at the, um, the… [0:00] [32:22]

James:  Nerds smile she has in her face right now. [0:00] [32:28]

Jim:  It’s pouring out of her, you know, it’s pouring out of her, she absolutely loves. I’ll answer it for her. She loves what she does. [0:00] [32:33]

Cindy:  I do. [0:00] [32:34]

Jim:  Yeah. [0:00] [32:35]

Cindy:  I’m thankful that, that I’m in a role that allows me the opportunity to continue to, er, generate, um, helpful content that really moves the needle for people in their leadership journey. [0:00] [32:50]

James:  Yep. [0:00] [32:50]

Jim:  Yeah, I think a few words that I’ve heard you say over the years, again I’m paraphrasing, but, well, let’s look at it, let’s look at it. You know, like if someone has an idea, let’s look at it, you know. Cindy’s not the type of person to say, “No, no, no, well, you know, let’s look at it. How can this work,” you know, you know? That’s, and so. [0:00] [33:07]

James:  It’s like a game show, that there’s going to be the most ridiculous game show ever. We talked about that earlier with our Beltsgo guys, the fact that SGA trust us enough after being on a call with all of this says a lot about the associations trust in us. [0:00] [33:24]

Jim:  Yeah, yeah. [0:00] [33:25]

Cindy:  Well, and then what, here’s something about me is like I can’t wait for it. That’s the highlight of the whole of it. [0:00] [33:32]

James:  We were laughing about it too. [0:00] [33:34]

Jim:  Come on, it’s going to be a great event. It’s in Charlotte, it’s in, what’s the date of that again? [0:00] [33:39]

James:  October 6th. [0:00] [33:39]

Cindy:  16th. [0:00] [33:39]

James:  I think is the actual date. [0:00] [33:39]

Jim:  In Charlotte? Yeah, yeah. [0:00] [33:46]

James:  We will share that too. We’ll probably get good at this. [0:00] [33:48]

Jim:  Wait, wait, that was called the shameless plug. Oh wait, I was plugging. It. Never mind, Cindy can plug it. [0:00] [33:55]

James:  Cindy, you’ve been awesome. [0:00] [33:56]

Jim:  Yep, yep. [0:00] [33:56]

James:  Thank you so much for your time. I’m going to let Jimmy do the wrap up, but always a pleasure to have you and I look forward to seeing you out in the wild also. [0:00] [34:05]

Jim:  Yes, thanks again for joining us once again. You’re a great friend, a great comrade, you, er, do so much for our industry. So, thank you to you and everybody at the SGA for all you do. It is seen and felt and understood and it has an impact on, a positive impact on our industry. So, thank you. [0:00] [34:23]

James:  We are consciously biased on Cindy. [0:00] [34:27]

Cindy:  Ah, thank you. You can be anything, be inclusive. [0:00] [34:31]

James:  Oh, yeah. Let’s see the shirt. I mean, really, that’s the shirt of all shirts. [0:00] [34:35]

Jim:  If you can be anything, be inclusive. Alright, I like it. [0:00] [34:39]

James:  Yes, brother. [0:00] [34:40]

Jim:  Audience, thank you for joining us today, please if you are on the LinkedIn Pro, um, er, platform, connect with Cindy, follow SGA. There’s some great things coming up. And, if you’re free in October, and you want to go to Charlotte, no better opportunity than to see some people perform live there. So, we are gonna have a great time. Thank you, Cindy, for joining us. Until next week on Coffee with Jim and James, as I always say, stay safe everybody. Thanks Cindy. Thank James. We’ll see you guys next time. [0:00] [35:09]

James:  Thank you. [0:00] [35:09]

Cindy:  Thank you, guys. [0:00] [[35:10] music] [0:00]

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