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CWJJ Episode 97: Get Out of Your Head – April Keatley

April Keatley

Thursday, January 13th- Tune in as we continue our Mental Health series – Get Out of Your Head. April Keatley with TC Energy is on the show this week!

Quick Links:

April Keatley on Linkedin

Episode Transcript

[0:00] [music]

Jim:  [0:24] Good morning, audience. Welcome to this week’s episode of “Coffee with Jim & James.” When we get on and our purpose and our passions align and good things, come up out of this, and I’ll just give the audience a little background.

[0:39] One of our passions is going to conferences, meeting people, and building friendships and relationships.

[0:44] Our guests today, we just got to the honor of meeting her not too long ago, but already on the LinkedIn board, we have a lot of back‑and‑forth communications. It’s wonderful to see people in‑person and then to follow up with any type of medium, especially electronic media that we’re blessed to have right now.

[1:06] We’re also very blessed to be talking about another one of our passions of mental health, mental awareness, all those buzzwords. We really have seen so much of it in our industry, work, friends, and everything, so it’s wonderful to be bringing our guests in today to talk about that. Before we do, James, how are you doing today?

[1:28] [crosstalk]

Jim:  [1:28] Are you all right?

James:  [1:28] I’m all right. I’m well. Sporting a new hat. A new old hat. I brought back one of the first ones from this year just to finish off the year. It’s very important stuff, very important stuff. I am excited today because we are amongst award winners today, SGA Award winners. I wish I had it, I could hold it up.

[1:48] [laughter]

James:  [1:50] We all laugh about it. I know we’re all humbled by the SGA and even being nominated, but to be winners, we are amongst winners today. One of those winners is our guest, April Keatley. Good morning. April. How are you?

April Keatley:  [2:04] Hey, good morning. I’m doing well. Happy to be here, and I’m excited to talk to you guys.

Jim:  [2:10] We’re excited. I’m now. April, I’ll tell you what, I’ll let you do the justice because I always feel like I screwed up that part up. April, if you don’t mind, let everybody know who you’re with and what you do. Also, if you don’t mind telling a little bit of the number one award you won, but secondly, why and what transpired in that story if you don’t mind.

April:  [2:34] Wow, that’s a lot to tell in my end.

James:  [2:35] We only have the next hour and a half.

April:  [2:42] My name is April Keatley. I am manager of Business Intelligence and Standards. My team is responsible for database‑type work that triggers out our work orders that drive our work management, and drive protecting our assets across the footprint, specifically in the natural gas business unit.

[3:04] Recently, I had the privilege and honor to one, be nominated and then to two, to win the SGA Award for my work on mental health, destigmatizing mental health. Just getting it out there, and being vulnerable and transparent about some of my experience with that. Yeah, it was really excited, unexpected. I was even unexpected to be nominated. They’re lie, “Wow.”

James:  [3:37] Same.

Jim:  [3:38] Yeah, we were honored. We were like, “Can you believe we’re nominated?” Just that alone was a big deal.

James:  [3:49] I’m sure you were just like us. We were sitting in the auditorium there at the NASCAR Hall of Fame, and Jimmy goes on and on and on the story. You could tell he did his background work and told the story better than I could have. Then you’re like, “Wait a minute. That’s my story. “

[4:11] It was so neat to be there. I don’t know about you, but we’ve had so much engagement post that event. People reaching out, wanting to know more and stuff. For someone who won an award for something so important right now, April, I’m sure you’re happy and for people to be reaching out and wanting to know, how do we do this within our own company?

April:  [4:35] Yeah, I did. Jimmy’s company, the HR team, Southern Gas, they reached out, and I had to have some…

[4:43] [crosstalk]

James:  [4:43] Actually, were you there? [inaudible] last week?

April:  [4:45] Yeah, we did talk a bit about that. I certainly can’t take credit for the whole program that our health services team is rolling out. I’m just one piece of that. I do want to make sure that the health services team…

James:  [5:07] Shout out to them, for sure.

April:  [5:11] are doing great work. That’s been featured recently and the company sustainability program or rollout that listed recently, cool stuff. So, maybe a little about how I got nominated and a little about my story if that works for you guys?

Jim:  [5:33] Please.

James:  [5:34] Tell us all about it.

Jim:  [5:37] Absolutely.

April:  [5:37] Feel free if you’ve any questions, too.

Jim:  [5:40] Well, you know us.

April:  [5:40] [laughs]

James:  [5:42] This isn’t our first time. [laughs] You’ll be tired of us here in the next 20 minutes.

April:  [5:52] It was fall of…Well, let me back up. Maybe just give a little bit of a background about my story, too. I worked for Columbia Gas originally, and we merged with TC Energy or they acquired us, however you want to say it. Then that became TransCanada and TC Energy, the nuke.

[6:17] During that period of time, I had moved into leadership. I had been a leader for a year and I had a smaller team of three to four people. Moved into a different role where I had nine people, so that was certainly a step up, a change.

[6:39] I will say that I am sure that I am not the only person, nothing special, nothing unique about me, but just the amount pressure and stress, you want to perform. You want to do well. You want to meet expectations.

[6:53] At the time, I did not feel I could speak up and say, this is too much. To be honest, it never occurred to me to do it because of how I was raised. My mom was always very much, “You soldier on.”

[7:13] I started noticing some headaches. Didn’t think much of it, work stuff. Then it continued to progress, and that stress was still there, but I never correlated them together.

[7:28] I started having some hearing loss in this ear, which I still have a little bit today. I started having some facial paralysis, which jacked up my eye move incorrectly in my smile, and things like that. Finally, it came to head in May 2018.

[7:48] I had my team and had a team meeting. Great meeting, but anytime you have a meeting like that where you get people together, it’s emotionally fatiguing, physically tiring. I went home and noticed that I was feeling a little emotional coming off the meeting and tired. Noticed that my eye wasn’t blinking correctly, and I wasn’t able to smile.

[8:14] I thought, “OK, this has gone on long enough. I’ve gone back and forth with doctors,” and so I went to the ER to make sure I wasn’t having a stroke. I was wasn’t sure. I ended up going to the hospital. I was in the hospital here in Charleston for five days, then up at Johns Hopkins for 10.

[8:39] They found out that I had, it’s called IgG IV, hockey meningitis. It’s a non‑infectious meningitis. It’s an autoimmune condition, very treatable, and not a lot of people have it, like 2,000 people. It’s crazy. [laughs]

[8:56] That was the first time when I got that diagnosis of autoimmune condition. They said those words and I was like, “Hmm, maybe that’s associated with stress,” you know what I mean because stress is one of the worst things. It can wreak havoc on your body.

[9:17] If you have a back injury and you’re under stress, your back is going to be bothering you. Really, just struggling with that stress, which is a form of mental health illness, not being able to manage it, and not feeling at the time that I could ask for help, or anything like that.

[9:39] [laughter]

James:  [9:39] Are you OK over there, Jim?

Jim:  [9:40] Yeah. I had…

James:  [9:44] You look like that story hit you.

Jim:  [9:45] It did hit me.

James:  [9:47] Literarily.

Jim:  [9:47] It hit my setup. It was an IT issue. I apologize.

James:  [9:51] This is the first time. I apologize. Please, let’s not break it apart, Jim.

April:  [9:57] No, problem. I heard that, like I said, that autoimmune diagnosis, someone’s like, “Wait a second.” I got to say, I got to take some accountability on myself because I didn’t…You know what? I joined the company. I was excited, new career, new job, getting into leadership, things that I’m very interested in as a professional.

[10:18] I didn’t set those boundaries and that is key critical. What time do you end the workday? What do you do to manage that stress right? Exercise, meditation, yoga, golfing, fishing, whatever it is that brings you Joy.

James:  [10:35] Podcasting.

April:  [10:35] Podcasting, talking to friends, all those healthy habits, and I had kind of forsaken some of that. I started reintroducing some of those boundaries, coming off the health crisis and issue. M my health did stabilize, so happy about that. Got some hearing back in this year, got a little bit.

[11:07] Then, we kind of COVID hit. My leadership knew that I was always very interested in positive things, like posting positive things, hearing positive information, sharing different types of safety moments because we do start every safety meet or every meeting with a safety moment within the company. That’s our common practice, safety share.

[11:34] As part of, I think it was in fall of 2020, the Health Services Organization had reached out to the VPs and some of the directors and said, “Hey, we’re looking for directors and managers to be mental health advocates.” I was like…

[11:51] Well, first, my director saw the email. She was like, “Hey, April Keatley would do great at this, like to have her do this for us.” I thought that was really nice and that she thought me. The company rolled out. I got a mental health certificate.

[12:08] I’m not a licensed counselor, but I know how to listen. I know some of the things to watch for, and people that could potentially be going down a similar path that I did. Not setting boundaries, not logging off working over the weekend, sending emails, at 11:00 o’clock at night or 2:00 in the morning, not good habits. Are you pointing to him?

James:  [12:35] I hope I’m pointing to James. Am I supposed to be pointing this way on my back?

James:  [12:39] Well, you’re right. I’m guilty.

Jim:  [12:43] I got a couple comments. I don’t want to cut into this.

April:  [12:46] No problem. Go ahead.

Jim:  [12:47] It just brings up the idea when you talked about this safety, you mentioned safety, and that’s at the core of everything we do in the energy industry. We yell it from the mountaintops. One of the things that I very rarely hear is psychological safety, mental safety, or those.

[13:06] Another thing that you have brought up when you were talking was, and James says this all the time, don’t suffer in silence. That’s a very hard thing to do because so many of us internalize things and keep it inside, instead of letting it out.

[13:23] I’m blessed to have James. He is my best friend that I can say pretty much anything. I do say anything to him and he doesn’t judge me. He gives me guidance. Well, sometimes he judges me, but that’s a whole another story.

James:  [13:34] That’s on the inside.

Jim:  [13:37] You need that, but it takes a leap of being brave to do that. Correct?

April:  [13:46] Yeah.

James:  [13:46] April, I was nodding my head for another reason, actually. I’m guilty of all those things just like many of us are. I’m sure several people were listening, nodding their head, “Going to have sent that 2:00 AM email.”

[14:00] I came to that same kind of realization here lately, and I went back to my teams and told both of them, “Listen. I don’t know that I’ve ever said this before, but if I send an email at 11:00 o’clock at night or 2:00 in the morning, it’s because I don’t want to lose that thought. I never ever expect a response, and I don’t expect anyone working past what their hours are.”

[14:27] Everybody was like, “Yeah, I mean, thanks for saying that, but I get you.” I don’t know that I’ve ever said it and I’d gotten those instant responses there at 7:00 at night. I was going, “Man, but I’ve never told people that’s not the expectation.”

April:  [14:49] Yeah.

James:  [14:51] Sorry, we’re we’ll listen. I’m having a good time listening.

April:  [14:55] I think it’s leaders. We have that accountability right to make it clear. I will say that that’s a fault that I made early in my career. Again, I was working all the time. I didn’t set those boundaries for myself, and at early on, I didn’t really set that expectation.

[15:13] Now, I have remedied that and said, “If you do ever get an email…” although on the flip side I really try to walk the walk and model that. What past that normal reasonable workday, unless there is a deadline or a safety sensitive type issue, or somebody could get hurt right there, it can wait till the next day. There will always be more work to do, always.

Jim:  [15:38] Setting up guidelines, too. Jamie, I don’t mean to interrupt, but sometimes if you and I do this, that email is OK. It’s an email. We have it in there. We’ll get to it. A text message, sometimes, at least in our world, is a little bit quicker, “Hey, do you know about this?”

[15:54] If this actually rings, which is prior to new COVID, we used to live on this, but if this thing rings something’s going on. It can either be personal, professional, both, whatever the case may be, but to have those, also to be built up.

April:  [16:08] Yes, I know and that’s similar. Like I will tell my team, “Hey, I’m off, but if you need me,, call me or send a text.” That’s fine. I don’t have a problem with it, but I’m not going to be actively monitoring email. Those are some boundaries that I’ve worked hard to put back in place.

[16:27] I would encourage other leaders to not only not to mock, to do it and then model that behavior for their employees because it does send the wrong message. I think it has the potential to send the wrong message. I understand exceptions happen. There could be important things, but again those are exceptions.

[16:51] Pivoting back to being the mental health champion, so they asked me to do that and I’m just one of a number of people. Again, that’s a natural topic for me because I’ve always been very interested in health wellness and being your best self, living your best life, all those things.

[17:12] I would say, being a positive person. Most people would say that about me, but I have to consciously work out because I have the ability to catastrophize things, “The sky is falling.”

James:  [17:26] It’s like a superpower.

April:  [17:28] Yeah. So, I started. I took the opportunity. We just rolled out this new platform using teams. We hadn’t been used in it very long. I was like, “There’s these big channels. Maybe I could share some safety messages about psychological safety, mental health safety, stress management, getting types of rest.”

[17:53] That’s exactly what I started doing. I started posting. I would try to do maybe one or two a month, maybe one a week, and it was always on Wednesday. I called it Wellness Wednesday, which is certainly not an original ideal.

[18:08] [crosstalk]

Jim:  [18:08] [inaudible] idea?

April:  [18:12] You absolutely can.

Jim:  [18:13] OK.

James:  [18:13] I hope you’re right. [inaudible] pair of royalties.

April:  [18:18] [laughs] I started posting on team’s messages. Some of them would just be written. Some of them, I would make an actual PowerPoint slide with the safety moment, to go with it. I also had reached out to some of my other mental health champions, and we did a mental health lunch and learn. We just shared our stories.

[18:41] The company also asked for volunteers, not me specifically, to share your struggle with mental health. I shared about that extreme period of stress that I went under, and how that affected me.

[18:57] It was so funny. I was doing it because it’s something I’m personally passionate about. I didn’t think, “Oh, I’m going to get an award for this,” or anything like that. It never occurred to me.

[19:08] One of my colleagues ‑‑ I don’t even know him very well. He’s in the reliability team ‑‑ he reached out to me and said, “Hey, I’d like to nominate you for this.” I was like, “You’ve just made my year.” Right? [laughs]

Jim:  [19:22] Exactly, it goes to the idea of touching one person in a positive way, and that person acknowledging that and gives you that reaffirmation that what we’re doing, does make a difference. I know James that I thrive on that all the time.

James:  [19:38] Yeah, it’s the nature of an awareness program writers. You don’t know who you’re going to catch at what time, so changing the message, changing the speaker, changing the odd. You don’t know what that one thing is for that person. That thing may change from day‑to‑day or moment‑to‑moment.

[19:57] If somebody’s in that bad spot, and your testimony can catch them then to go get help, or to reach out to you and at least start that conversation, it’s so important. That’s the roots of what we’re doing today. April, when we heard your message at SGA, I was like, “Man!”

[20:19] We didn’t cross paths completely. We did it in some weird way that you had to take off, and we switched cards with somebody. I just came home with a picture of a text message of someone else’s phone, but we worked it out.

Jim:  [20:34] It’s wonderful.

James:  [20:35] April, you mentioned something in the pre‑show, and I wanted to lean into it. It caught my ear at first because you’re used the smart acronym. We were talking a little bit about, “How do you sustain this culture, keeping this in the forefront, and bringing more people into the fold to help out with this?”

[21:02] You mention setting smart goals, can you talk a little bit about that, and what you’ve done over there at the TC?

April:  [21:10] I will say I wasn’t very good at goal‑setting early on. I was not. I think it has to be very transparent. The company is going to have its goals. They want to hit profit margins, things like that, to be accountable to our shareholders.

[21:27] That’s every company, but there is a change in the culture. We are seeing it in capital been‑star companies, that sort of thing, where they want to see that a company has a sustainability program that cares for the environment, that cares for the next generation, that cares for our people.

[21:56] Our people, regardless of whether it’s the energy, whether it’s some other company down the street, our people are our greatest assets.

Jim:  [22:06] Amen.

James:  [22:07] Sure.

April:  [22:09] You got to take care of your people. Just because somebody’s going through a mental health issue, a physical health issues, or a personal situation, that doesn’t mean you abandoned them. That doesn’t mean they’re suddenly not meeting expectations.

James:  [22:23] The broken.

April:  [22:25] Yeah, or anything. You know what I mean, or they exit the organization. We are whole people, and so we bring our whole selves to our work. We need to increase this idea of creating transparency in not being afraid to say, “Hey, I’m struggling this week. I’m really feeling fatigued. I’ve got…” maybe there’s something going on at home, it’s OK.

[22:52] That happens at the top of the organization, it’s going to happen at the bottom of the organization, and everywhere in‑between.

[22:58] To tie into the smart goals, we as leaders and employees, also have accountability in this too to have that dialogue with their leaders on, “Is this goal achievable, and is it specific? Are we clear on what it means for success? What does success look like? How am I going to be measured?”

[23:21] Having that specific candid dialogue so that you’re not surprised at the end of the year, and having that constant communication on, “What things shift, we’re running a little bit behind.” That is key critical to being success.

[23:42] Also, enabling our teams that are employees to be successful and have that satisfaction of a job well done, and “I didn’t work 80 hours a week to get it done. I didn’t work 60 hours a week to get it done.” We set something that was reasonable for both of us, me the company, me the employee.

[24:06] That’s going to sustain me from a long‑term purpose as a resource because people are resources. It enables us to retain that talent, and that person not burn out because that’s what you don’t want to happen. You don’t want people to leave because they feel burn out.

James:  [24:26] Right. I haven’t been in the workforce for very long.

[24:33] [laughter]

James:  [24:35] I was kidding, but I bet Jimmy can tell some stories from back in the day of when I always make the joke. It’s not funny, but it is that we almost had a baggage claim at the door.

“[24:50] You always had to leave your stove at the door. I don’t want that. Don’t bring your home stuff in here,” that’s me impersonating myself. I’m sure I’ve said that before, 10 15 years ago, but we’re learning that when we hired you, we hired your brother‑in‑law [laughs] and your dog and everything.

Jim:  [25:12] Hold your dogs, too.

James:  [25:13] Your habits, your vices, all of it, and that’s what every one of us. It’s exponential. Then there’s life, and there’s pandemics and everything that we got to work through. All of us are getting a crash course, what that looks like, how to do it, and how to do it better, hopefully every day.

[25:38] April, you said it in the pre‑show, people are people. We can’t expect workers to come in, put it in, and leave it all at the door anymore. If you’re going to be in your own homeworking, [laughs] and…

[25:51] [crosstalk]

James:  [25:53] my daughter runs in on you…

Jim:  [25:55] That doesn’t work.

James:  [25:56] Yeah.

Jim:  [25:56] It doesn’t make sense.

James:  [25:58] The lines are so blurrier than they’ve ever been before. We’ve got to be proactive and clearing that up for folks for ensuring.

April:  [26:09] Yeah. You guys are my talk therapy session for the week, so this is actually therapy.

[26:15] [crosstalk]

Jim:  [26:18] Let me share something, and you brought it up here about walking the talk, being transparent, and all those things with leadership. As I share with you, I’m celebrating today is day 3,806, sixth day of sobriety for me, and I’ll say that number out, “Thank you. I appreciate it,” and sometimes what was virtual high‑five, and I shared in the…

[26:47] Ten years ago, it was something you didn’t talk about. It took me six months, nine months to even say that I was now sober because I…

James:  [26:54] Because of stigma?

Jim:  [26:55] Well, it was like he’s weak. He can’t drink. He can’t control. I know I couldn’t. Even though I wasn’t a functioning alcoholic, I was an accelerating alcoholic. I did my thing well. As long as I did my thing well, he’s got to be good, but it wasn’t.

[27:12] It wasn’t good for me, so I’m celebrating 10 years. I shared that story, and I want to share it with you again, because if I can positively affect one person to say to themselves, they could have an issue. If they have one drink a day. It might be too much for them.

[27:26] Other people might be 10 drinks and it doesn’t matter any. Anybody has an issue that they feel is a concern, that’s their choice to have that choice to say, “No, one glass of wine is too much for me.” We have to understand that and they have to understand that it’s OK to say that, especially during this pandemic time.

[27:45] I’m a leader in a recovery church, and it used to be 1 in 10 people suffered from some substance concern. Not necessarily a full addict, but a concern. We were at the weekly meetings and we’re like, “We wonder what that number is now? Is that 1 in 8, 1 in 7?”

[28:05] Think about it, folks, next time you go to a meeting and there’s 10 people on there, know that one person could be struggling with something. You may not even know it until they’re in the environment where they feel comfortable enough to do that.

[28:18] Your words, April, before, absolutely resonated with me. I just wanted to say thank you for that, for wanting to ensure that.

April:  [28:27] Yeah, so growing up, my dad was suffered from addiction. Growing up, you didn’t think about it, but I did some research and shared a mental health moment on this about that addiction is a complex mental health condition. It’s OK to say you need help with something.

[28:51] Just like you said, sharing your story there, hopefully that touches someone today and gives them courage to speak up, and things like that.

[29:00] I had a leader…I don’t want to share too much private information. I had to reach out to me and dropped me a note. I did a safety moment on suicide and suicide prevention, and they reached out and said, “Hey, one of my children had an issue a few years ago. I really appreciate you highlighting this topic. It’s, something that…”

[29:25] Fortunately, for him his his child is doing well. You just never know. Sometimes people think “Oh, well, she talks about mental health a lot.” It’s always out of a place of care or concern for others, want one others to be their best selves, right?

James:  [29:53] Yeah, it’s about breaking down the stereotypes, and understanding that it doesn’t define someone, whatever it is. We’re not putting them in a jar and saying, “OK, we got you now.” That’s a tough thing in this industry.

[30:13] We’ve come so far in the last five years. I’ve been here about five or six years. I’ve seen it myself going to conferences this past year. We didn’t have a lot, but mental health was on every single one that I went to in some capacity. That right there says a lot.

[30:37] I’m really, really proud of our industry for stepping up and having what used to be tough conversations, and normalizing a little bit of this so that we could at least take it…I mean, we’ll take it from here. If you’ll let us just talk and talk about it, we’ll carry the torch, for sure. April, you’re one of those torch carriers. We appreciate you for that.

Jim:  [31:00] Absolutely.

April:  [31:00] You’re welcome. I…

James:  [31:03] Jimmy, you want to…Oh, go ahead, April. I don’t have a problem with it.

April:  [31:06] I was just going to expand a little bit on what you said there.

James:  [31:09] Please.

April:  [31:09] That it is super important for our frontline technicians and different generations too ‑‑ [clears throat] excuse me ‑‑ because it is different. I think maybe I’d share. I can remember, I said earlier when we were talking at pre‑free show, my mom was from the generation, the Boomer generation and was very much soldier‑on, right?

Jim:  [31:35] Definitely.

April:  [31:39] We need to really work, and that is something that some of the other mental health champions have gave feedback to Health Services. Is really pressing the message out to field operations right in our frontline technicians.

[31:53] The last thing that we want is somebody coming up that’s going to be working doing energy isolation, that is not fit for work that day, needs to take a personal day, go home, or whatever help they need to have in that moment. The last thing we want is somebody not being able to be present in the physical work that they’re doing and getting hurt or causing someone else to get hurt.

Jim:  [32:19] About safety chain is in my mind and I reference for that. It’s all the pieces that go together that give the whole safety chain. Mental and psychological safety is absolutely a key ring in that thing.

James:  [32:34] You sound like Steve Allen talking about PSMS right now.

Jim:  [32:37] Me?

James:  [32:38] Yeah, he’s so proud as his heart grew two times that day.

Jim:  [32:44] April, I have to tell you we could talk for hours. I I’ll speak for James and I that we love the…

James:  [32:50] I think someone was trying to hit a number for therapy hours. We may need you back perhaps.

Jim:  [32:55] [laughs] We can, and as far as I’m concerned, it’s nobody’s invitation to have you back on. If you want to do that, we can talk about that. Before we let you go today, what James and I would like to do is give you the stage.

James:  [33:08] This is my favorite part.

Jim:  [33:09] It’s are both of our favorite part.

James:  [33:11] No pressure.

Jim:  [33:13] No pressure.

James:  [33:14] That’s stress. No stress.

Jim:  [33:17] Give it all away. You get it? It can be a word. It could be a phrase. It could be a thought. Anything that you want to tell the audience, the platform is yours. I will…Please, anything you want to share?

April:  [33:29] Yeah, obviously care about your people. Be interested in them. Be interested in who they are. Everybody’s different. Everybody’s unique. Just care about your people. Talk to them. I do think create that safe space for people to speak up.

[33:52] Just because I’m a leader, it doesn’t mean that I know everything. I certainly do not. It’s OK to humble yourself, be vulnerable. It’s also OK to say, “You know what, I’m tired this week.”

[34:08] I said that to a couple my employees earlier this week. I was like, “Man, I was really tired on Monday. I didn’t want to get up. The weather was cold. It was warm in my house.” It’s OK to be human.

[34:26] The younger generation, the future generation of workers is demanding that we be real with who we are as people because we all have many talents and gifts that we bring. We all have different perspectives, inclusion, and diversity.

[34:45] If we can really demonstrate as a company, as Leaders, as employers, as a friend, as a wife, as a mother, we care about each other, people will strive to do their best. That’s something that I’m passionate about is enabling people to be successful, to be the best version of themselves. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

[35:14] On the flip side, if you’re a leader and your employee is coming to you, and they’ve made a mistake or they faltered in some way, don’t react. Don’t beat him down. Talk about it in a constructive, positive way about what can we do differently? What can we learn? How are we going to prevent this happening again?

[35:36] I certainly have been on the receiving end of the less‑positive version of that conversation. I can speak from her stand that that just shuts me down emotionally. If it’s more conversational like, “OK, I understand we had a mess here, but how can we do something about it and make it a positive? What can we learn from it?” versus that negative, mean spirit.

[36:08] That’s an old style of leadership. We got to leave that in the past, and focus on how we can collaborate and solve things in a positive way that rise.

[36:21] The last thing you want to do is for your employees or your team members not to come to you if there’s a problem or a safety in a sensitive industry that there’s an issue that they’re concerned about, especially being in our industry.

Jim:  [36:35] I love it.

James:  [36:36] Honestly, I just had a moment, Jimmy. I was sitting here thinking about “What is our show? Where have we come?” in a good way. If you would have told me that’s what we were talking about, I don’t know, 90 episodes into it when we started, I would have been pumped. If we were just going to be talking about pipes and energy, [laughs] and the fact that…

Jim:  [37:05] Or, talk about thing most important thing, James.

James:  [37:09] Yeah. How meta is it that we’re sharing this message, April?

April:  [37:15] We’re talking about energy, right? We’re talking about the energy?

James:  [37:20] Yeah. It’s so awesome. What a great message.

Jim:  [37:23] Fantastic.

James:  [37:25] And how simple. Our kids would laugh at us if they heard it. We’re getting paid to tell people now be nice.

Jim:  [37:33] Be real.

James:  [37:34] Be real, but it’s true.

Jim:  [37:36] Be human.

James:  [37:38] Exactly.

Jim:  [37:39] April, I don’t want to cut this. I want to keep talking, but with the band, it will probably go up to 10… What are those things called? Terabytes or whatever those things are.

James:  [37:53] I’ll tell you what, I’ll open an invitation for the next one. Let’s have another one, and let’s bring Ashley back on and we’ll all four be on. It’ll be a three‑hour episode. How about that?

April:  [38:06] Absolutely.

Jim:  [38:06] Yes, tonight was Southern Star, a good friend of ours. I will do this. I will make every attempt that I can in 2022 to have April James and Ashley on a panel somewhere speaking on this very topic because I would love to sit there and to hear that. I really would.

[38:25] I learned so much today. I have to say that no matter what our age are, what our tenure is in the industry, as long as we’re learning something every day, we’re doing good. If we could take that and pass it on to somebody else, then we are achieving some of our purpose.

James:  [38:39] I want to leave the audience with one more thing too.

Jim:  [38:42] Do it.

James:  [38:43] That you’re setting a tone one way or the other within your company. If you’re talking about mental health, or you’re not, it’s happening. You can be a part of the conversation or not and it says quite a bit either way.

April:  [38:58] I agree 100 percent.

Jim:  [39:00] April, thank you for joining us today. It’s been our absolute pleasure, the highlight of the morning for the audience members. Please if you’re on the LinkedIn platform…

[39:12] [laughter]

Jim:  [39:14] please connect with April. I didn’t do a solid part of the biggest thing that I enjoyed about you in some of our correspondents before and with some of your personal life experiences, dog, champion, lover, traveled the world, has goals on bucket list to travel to other places, and tall those things. I was saying, the work stuff, I get all that.

[39:40] [laughter]

Jim:  [39:40] We’re really interested in the first whole parts.

James:  [39:43] We got to have her back.

Jim:  [39:44] Yes, we’re going to. It’s a done deal. Anyway, audience, please connect with April. Please follow TC Energy, learn all about this. Ask us questions. If anybody has any question, direct message us. If you’re on one of the other podcast platforms, you know how to get ahold of us.

[40:01] April, again, thank you so much for joining us today. It’s been our absolute pleasure. Until next week on Coffee with Jim & James, I’m going to switch it up a little bit today because I always say, stay safe, but let’s stay mentally safe this week. How’s that? See you next week on Coffee with Jim & James. Thank you.

[40:20] [background music]

April:  [40:20] Thanks.

James:  [40:20] Thank you, April.

Jim:  [40:22] Great job. That was fantastic.

[40:25] [music]

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