The Wise Why

Episode #36

Episode #036

#36 Akin Odulate – Navigating Change

by | 28 Oct,2022

About This Episode

Akin Odulate is an organization & change management professional who has
seen the world, born in Nigeria, and moved to East Sussex during his childhood and moved to America to study film.

Akin loves to learn and wanted to find new ways of making learning fun, as a natural on camera he was soon taking on main roles in the student films eventually moving to performing off Broadway.

All these life changes helped Akin adapt and learn about change.

When you read Akin’s LinkedIn page you are blown away by how much he has accomplished helping organizations to transform and change.

His cross -industry experience (domestic & international). Helps Akin to look at a situation from all perspectives. He has Worked across several Industries including, Healthcare, Management Consulting, Retail, Engineering, Training & Online Education Telecoms, eCommerce/Banking, Manufacturing, AI & Software Development, Airline and Entertainment Industries.

Akin’s ability to lead impactful change management initiatives and implement process efficiencies and impact is awe inspiring.

His smile and laughter light up the screen and I am sure you will find this episode as insightful as I do.

Episode #36 : Full Transcription

During this episode no subject is untouched, Akin talks about leaving Nigeria and building a life in the UK, his journey to the USA to study film, performing off Broadway to now being a thought leader in change management.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Hello and welcome to the Wise Why. I’m Andrew. Oh, my goodness, I love it, when thing to go completely wrong on the introduction, and that is the joy of the why’s. Why? I was going to say my name, and I never say my name because it’s about the guest. So, this morning I am joined by a keen odd, uh, late. I think I got that correct. Did I get it correct?

Akin Odulate: You nailed it.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Awesome. Now, Akin a thought leader, he is an inspiration, and my goodness, his life is full of just joy. So, as usual, the WiFi is not about me, it is about my guest. So, Akin, over to you. Introduce yourself.

Akin Odulate: Hello. Akin Odulate cafe late Odulate is how I always pronounce it, and that seems to work. Um, I’m, um, about a 30-year veteran of the transformation and change management, um, discipline. And, um, I am originally from Nigeria, but I did grow up in England. I went to school in England and, um, I left to come to the States in the 80s, late eighty s to go to university, where I started out studying filmmaking before I moved on into the business world and consulting, which is what I’ve done for the last 30 years.

Kirsty van den Bulk: I love that. I love the fact that one, I didn’t know that you’d been schooled in England, which is fascinating. Obviously, our love of the film industry is what brought us together and helped us to really connect. But can you just where do you go to school? I’m intrigued.

Akin Odulate: Yeah. Ah, well, I left West Africa January, um, week, and arrived in West Sussex in the middle of winter.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Ouch.

Akin Odulate: That was interesting for an eight year old boy. Uh, yes, I went to school in, uh, Whisper Green in West Sussex. Um, I was there for a few months, then moved to another school in Sherbourne. Um, and then my high school was in Bedford school in Bedfordshire, and then I was in London and did my A levels and then moved to the States.

Kirsty van den Bulk: So why the move? Uh, you’ve obviously transient moved around and I love West Sussex. Uh, my parents, uh, live in East Sussex, not west. But um wow. I mean, how and why how did you get from Nigeria invent the States? What took you to the States?

Akin Odulate: Um, I was trying to figure out I did my A levels, and here’s the interesting thing. In the UK, you do your A levels, and it’s really straight after O levels, you’re really specializing. And I couldn’t quite figure out what I wanted to do. My family was all science oriented, math, physics, all of that, and I like that, but it wasn’t me. Um, and my father said to me, you know, you’ve always had this affinity for kind of film and entertainment. You want to think about that? And so, I researched, I said, well, okay, that sounds exciting, but I’ll tell you what, I’ll do I’ll test myself. I’ll apply to a top school. And I searched around research. I said, well, the University of Southern California Film School is the top school. So, I applied, and, um, I got in. And that was when I realized I’m.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Critical the farm industry. Obviously, I didn’t get to Hollywood. I did some low budget movies where I mostly ended up on the cutting them floor, and I did lovely TV, ambassador Ward at winning dramas. But there is something that draws you into that industry, isn’t there? What was it about the industry that just hooked you?

Akin Odulate: Well, you know what? I’ll tell you, mine was not the entertainment side, mine was the education side. So, I’ll tell you a fascinating story. I was struggling when I was doing my A levels. I was initially, like I said, doing the sciences. I was doing some pure math. Uh, and I was struggling with, um, three dimensional equations, partial equations, and part of math that does all these long equations. Um, and I’m a visual processor, as I found out later in life, I think, in pictures. Um, which goes for film. Um, but I struggled with it. And I was sitting there one Sunday when the BBC show Panorama came on. Panorama was doing no, the horizon. It was horizon. Horizon was on. And they were doing a show on, um, some physics, and they describe which they describe the difference between two dimensions and three dimensions. And they show this grid, and they show a dot in one of the cells. You’re looking at two dimensions. If you added a third dimension, that dot might actually be a pencil sticking through, um, the axis. So that dot became a pencil because he had a length to it now, which you couldn’t see in two dimensions. And he blew my mind. I went back upstairs to my room, pulled up the equations, and I saw them differently for the first time. Oh, my God, that’s what’s going on. I just need to understand what this equation is about, what parts are moving. It just gave me a whole visual understanding of equations, and then I had no problem solving them. And I thought to myself, they’re teaching this stuff all wrong. They’re teaching it wrong. So, I had this conversation with my father, and that was what really triggered the idea. Why don’t you go? Why don’t you do film and do educational films? Let’s make educational stuff and teach it in this way that appeals to you. And there’s a whole bunch of people out there who would love that. So that’s really why I went to film school. I really didn’t go in to do Hollywood films. I went in to do to understand how and why film works and how I could apply to education.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Wow. So, I was terrible, obviously. I’m dyslexic. Dyspraxia and math, uh, is something that just eludes me. I can add subtracts. I can do my tax but an equation. Oh, my goodness, I missed that Horizon episode. I wish I had seen it, because maybe, like you, I think, in pictures. So that would have been fascinating. So, you arrive in America, you’re studying, you’re at the film. Is it film school or university?

Akin Odulate: University of Southern California film school.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Uh, am I not correct that you ended up on camera instead of just behind the camera?

Akin Odulate: Yes, I did. So, in film school, um, basically, the curriculum is about throwing you in and making a makes film as many as possible. And back in those days, we made Super Eight, and then we moved on to 16 mil, and then you finally aged 35 mil. Um, but I did a couple of student films, and I would say I did them well, because after that, everybody wanted me to be in their films. And then the university had some, um, commercial stuff they were doing, and the film professor says, could you step in and help us in a row? One thing led to another, I started showing up in all these, um, uh, films, and then that kind of naturally graduated on to getting some work off Broadway. Did some work off Broadway. Um, it was interesting. And when, um, I was graduating, um, from film school, my professor called me and he said, um, I want to say something to you. I want you to think about something. Um, you’ve done fine, and you’re graduating. You’re getting this film degree. Um, and I know how well you’ve done in front of the camera. Um, but I believe that you have a unique talent for communication. And I believe that you’ve done this degree in filmmaking. You’re behind the camera, but the talent is before the camera, in front of the camera. And your talent is communicating. And your talent is in articulating, um, in a way that really connects with people. So, she wrote me this fabulous recommendation letter. I’m giving you this recommendation letter. I want you to walk across to the Annenberg School for Communication. I want you to go to the dean and give him this letter from me. And I’m hoping you’ll do. Your master’s in communication management. Because I think that’s so that was high up, uh, from behind to in front of the camera.

Kirsty van den Bulk: I’ve got a hair. I love it when you go live, and you actually have no option than to just go with it. So, um, just communication. Film industry on camera, off Broadway. And then suddenly you’re now this amazing thought leader. You are advising incredible companies. I’ve looked at your website, and I am blown away by the people you’ve worked with. I’m blown away by the sectors you’ve worked in and what you do. Can you expand a bit more on that? Because it is fascinating. A lot of people say to me, if you come from the arts, is it useful for business? And I always say absolutely. If you come from the arts, you’ve got a great foundation in communication and in business. I would love people to understand what you do today.

Akin Odulate: Yes, absolutely. So, um, my area specialty is in what’s called change management, organizational change management, and in this day’s, transformation also. And, um, the best way to think about change, uh, management, is, you all know, everybody says it’s the truth of our time, right? Change is constant, always happening. Um, and so when you say you’re managing change, what are you really doing there? And really, organizational change management is this discipline that’s focused, um, on the performance interventions that organizations are trying to do. They’re trying to do things better, and they come up with different ways to do it. Often, it’s technology. We’re going to put in a new technology. It’s going to help us do X, Y, and Z. And that technology is going to help us do better. Um, organizational change management is about taking those changes in what you call operationalizing them, which is making them the day to day. They start out being a special project. I’m going to come into your home. I’m going to put in this newfangled tool. Then in your day to day, that newfangled tool is designed to make your day better, allow you to do things better. And where OCM, as it’s called, steps in, is to help you figure out how to make that special project become really a day-to-day event. Does it really work? Does it do the things? And that’s where you really get into the question of what exactly am I expecting this new tool to do for me, and what exactly do I have to do to make sure that I am leveraging it to its fullest? So, if you think about it, and here’s a link to me in the way my mind works, if you think about, um, um, acting and filmmaking, that is, in a sense, what we’re constantly trying. We’re introducing a story, a scene, an actor, an actress. We’re introducing a, quote, unquote, a foreign element into the reality of the audience. And what we’re trying to do is locate the story, the actor, the scene, the set, in a way that’s going to further the cognition of the audience, help them move further. And so that’s really what you’re doing. Often, when I would get a script and I must play a part, um, that was what I was doing internally. How do I make this character me? How do I become that character? So, it’s this change. How do I make it day to day? How do I make I remember often, um, recognizing that there shouldn’t be aspects I couldn’t get into of a character, and then I would find out that the only way to do that was to, um, acquire a physical attribute that I wasn’t doing before. So, some characters, for example, some scenes, for example, a call for me sitting down, saying something. I can only do it standing up. So, it’s that whole thing, how do you make that work? And it’s movement on both sides, both the character and the scene, both the subject, uh, and the object. And that’s what change management is, really. Do. We do it inside of corporations, we do inside of organizations, we do inside of departments, we do it for individuals, we do it for and that’s what we’re trying to help them. And it’s all AHA moment. If you really think about it, the one thing that joins all of that together is communication.

Kirsty van den Bulk: I genuinely love that. And it’s interesting because what you’ve touched on there is something that I use in my coaching. I actually use it from a sales perspective. So, I ask people how they serve, and I use and I’m sure you know these seven questions very, very well. Stanislavski is seven pillars. Those seven questions of that we use as an actor. We ask, where am I? Who am I? Where do I want? Where do I have to be to get where do I have to be to get to what I want? And I’m sure you’ve used those. What do you think? Now I have a big thing where I just think this is how, what, why? Where the questions that everyone talks about in business. Well Stanislavski was alive in the 1800. So, I have this big thing where I think thought leadership is nothing new, but there’s a lot of people that have done it really well. And I’m going to go back to Stanislavski, I’m going to go back to Plato, Aristotle, and I’d love to see if you agree with me, and you might not, that there is a link here, because it’s not necessarily about new, it’s about understanding it. And as you were describing the pillars and the building of the characterization, I was just thinking back to your pencil and that equation. So, I’m just wondering how I managed to get there. Actually.

Akin Odulate: What’s happening when you’re communicating, um, effectively, what you’re doing is you’re helping the audience make the connections. And one of the best ways to do that is through allegory example and all of those things which the great philosophers and thinkers of our time have always leveraged. That’s how they’ve helped us open our minds to like oh, it’s almost like the phrase, oh, I see, said the blind man. Right? That’s kind of what it’s all about. It’s an internal vision in this innovation. Um and, um, when you look at the power of the great thinkers, um, any great thinker they are switching on that internal innovation they’re giving us. That, um, because, um, uh, if you look at the work of, um and one of the ones that one of the thinkers that really connected with me as I started film, um, Lucretius, um, he had a fascinating view of, um, how we understand. And there was a phrase that he put together in one of his, uh, works. Um, and I’m not going to butcher the Latin name, but you can look it up. Um, it was a Roman. He said, how similar is what we see with our minds to what we see with our eyes? And that, to me, was and it should have been all my film essays and stuff I had to write about. I would have to find a way to drop that in, because I was like, oh, my God, that is right on. That’s really what it’s about. Um, that’s what we are communicating. That’s what we’re putting our films together. We put our plots and all of that. What we’re trying to do is connect with the mind’s eye. And if we can do that, then we’ve got access to everything else we can make mind see. And I remember, uh, one of the off Broadway plays that I did, which I helped write, um, and it was a political satire, but we used that as the basis where all the characters were blindfolded, and they interacted with each other and in the political space. I thought it was a perfect metaphor. When politicians go at it, it seems like they don’t see each other, right. And all they’re doing is pushing their own. And so, we had this great skit where this play where politicians people were taking political positions, and he was blind, and the only one who could see that. This is ridiculous. With the child, the child, like, take the blindfold off.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Wow. I must, because right now, as you can imagine, in the UK wow, that is so poignant. Um, yes. Wow. Thank you for sharing that, because I think that’s actually probably how 99.9 cent of the UK are currently feeling. I think we’re all feeling like we’re in a fast. And I don’t get political, and I will try not to. I will get off my soapbox. But that was you can imagine when my brain went there. Ah, thank you for sharing that. Um, I want to ask you who inspired you? Because wow. As we said earlier, Nigeria, England, America. Um, where are you now in America?

Akin Odulate: I live in Charlotte, North Carolina, which is east coast. Uh, two state staff in Washington, DC, which most people know. So, um, that’s, um, where I’m located now. And currently, um, where travel is, I spent maybe the last ten years traveling every week, just about different clients, different locations. And now that we’ve got the post COVID era, where we can do a lot of things remotely, I end up less travel, but more connections. So, uh, that’s kind of where my life is right now.

Kirsty van den Bulk: So, as I said, I was just asking who inspired you? Because you have had the most amazing life. It blows my mind. So, who has inspired you along the way?

Akin Odulate: Um, I have drawn inspiration, um, from several different places. Um, my parents initially, um, because my mother was Muslim, my father was not only Christian, but, um, wasn’t really practicing. He was more of a thinker. And, um, so at an early age, um, I had that juxtaposition. And then coming to England, a Christian country, so I was close to my mom, and I wasn’t Muslim, but I would do all the stuff with her. I’d go to Moscow. But my mother was, um, really wanted us to understand that religion had a role to play in our lives, but not in the dogmatic sense. She wanted us to have it in the mix, as we thought through stuff. And so, when I was going to England, she brought me across. You’re going to Christian country. And, um, here’s what I want to say to you. I, um, want you to pay attention when there is religious talk, but from an inclusive way, right? Not we’re all the same. And there is much wisdom in what religion brings. Um, that and I remember my first school in England with people from all over the place, from Iran, from India, which is like an international school. And I’ll never forget that. One of the people who impressed me the most was a Hindu friend of mine. And I loved his countenance, the way he was. And I said, I read the Bible and all this stuff that sounds like you’re talking about him, right? So, I had that idea, um, that what on the lies, all of this, is that I had a concept that the importance of the things we experience in life is about how we can, um, organize them in a way that they relate to each other and they shed light on each other. As opposed to being this kind of dogmatic I am this versus that I was always open to. And that kind of came from my parents. And then in later years, um, I did, um, find, uh, the, uh, Baha’i faith. And that’s the principle of the Baha’i faith, which is the oneness of humanity, the oneness of God, and its social teachings are all about how do you bring oneness together? And when you start in a world that’s so diverse, unique and diversity, and they seem like they are, um, opposing, but as we know in this age, they’re not. And in fact, for us to be who we really are, we have to embrace that diversity. In a way, for me to be who I can fully be, I have to embrace the fact that you’re different, but you are the same. You have all the same needs, rights, loves, and everything that I have. And until we’re doing that, we end up spending our time fighting one another and trying to keep, uh I never forget going to a Jesse Jackson campaign when he was running. I was on the side of the country, to the States, and I used to be the president of the African Students Association at my university. And, uh, we get invited to certain things. And he was running, and I got invited to this event. It was my first political event, but I don’t forget what he said. He was talking about the Israeli and Palestinian situation, and he said, um, there’s no freedom in war. We talk about we want freedom. There’s no freedom in war. Because even if you’re winning a war, you’ve got to keep the gun train on the other person. You’re not free to go do anything else. That’s your lot. You’re there pointing the gun, right? This dynamic, um, of unity and diverse, I really kept building, and that, um, the biggest influence in my thinking and thought has been this constant relationship. Um, anything that’s going to bring about unity and oneness not uniformity. We’re not saying everybody is going to be the same. I’m not saying that. That is exactly the opposite. Some describe as the unity of the graveyard. That’s the only time when everything’s the same vibrancy. Right. And that requires, um it does require thought in how we go about relating with one another. It really does require thought, articulation, um, and, um, uh, a discipline.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Thank you. That reminds me, everything you just said, that reminds me of I think it’s a Graham Kendrick. All this going back to my childhood. The song that goes, spec, spec in your brother’s eye log, log in your own eye, eye. Take the spec out of your brother’s eye to see the log in your own eye. That’s very badly paraphrased. Uh, it’s based on a Bible quote. I cannot remember where it is, but I know that it was one of those songs that absolutely still to this day, I hold, because I’m well aware that to judge someone, you have to look at why you’re judging your own bias first. And we all have bias, and I’d love to tell you I don’t. But what I do try to do is be aware and go, no, that’s my problem. Let’s move it on. And it’s not easy but thank you for that reminder. I really appreciate it. I also want to ask you, um, about your Aha moments, and then you get to turn the tables on me and ask me a question. So, there must have been points, because you have pivoted, you’ve changed, and you’ve resolved. So, there must be some major AHA moments, and along the way oh, boy.

Akin Odulate: Yeah, I think a big harm, um, you grow up, you’re full of ideas, and you’re charging your way through life. And, um, the biggest, AHA, moment was the recognition that you don’t have all the answers. You may not even have the right approach. And it’s what you just kind of touched on. Um, self-awareness is the biggest thing. Um, some of the great thinkers roomy, uh, Socrates, Plato have in some way referred back to, I think it was talkative to, say, the greatest gift you can give someone is the gift of self-awareness that’s you giving, but also for you, um, true losses. For him to spend his life in utter ignorance of his own self. I think of us as, um, the, AHA, moment. For me, when I was my other son when he was born, had, uh, a gift. It was only about two years old. He had a gift for Jigsaw puzzles. And I was working them with him, and he would be way ahead of me. And initially, when he started, I thought he was wrong. No, that’s the wrong piece. And then we found out that the right piece. And it happened two or three times. I realized; you need to get out of the way. This kid’s got something that you don’t have on all this stuff. And he just would. It got me thinking, um, our existence is very much like I talked about this idea that we’re all one. And I really believe that for, um, us all to be one and we’re all different. It’s almost like a jigsaw puzzle, right? It’s like all the pieces are different, but they fit. If you find the right fit, they fit to get the big picture across. And that was an AHA moment that until I understood who I was, how I was. I would always run into situations where I think they’re wrong or this is wrong because I hadn’t figured out what my approach was, what my biases are, ah, what my prejudices are. Right? Because as human beings, as physical beings, we require prejudging for security. We scan the environment, and we see something that’s often the first thing we want to make sure is it threatened or is it friend or foe? And we’re doing that, um, and unawares. To us, we take that same mental construct and we put into our social and we look at people friend of foe, right? And then we get to the point where we become self-aware enough to know that your perspective, a friend of foe, is entirely coming from your own vision. And if you understood who you were, you would understand why that feels like a foam or that feels like a friend. But that doesn’t mean it’s true. That doesn’t mean that’s the truth. So, all of a sudden, it was like, oh, ah, wait a minute. I got a lot of work to do. I remember texting my wife, and I said, I just want to apologize. I had no idea I was this difficult to live with. And she started laughing. She was like, what? Yes. I felt like, hey, if everybody did things the way I said, it would be great to be great to live with me. And then I realized, Wait a minute.

Kirsty van den Bulk: I know I’m disappointed to live with.

Akin Odulate: My wife. That was my first wife. My wife. Now, we’re, uh, very different in the way we problem solve. But we’ve gotten to the point where we appreciate that difference. And what we do is I’m like, I’ve got this thing to do, and I need your superpowers, because that’s not me. I’m going to go in there, I’m going to muck it up, I’m going to try to make it into my world. And I’m pretty sure that’s not what’s needed. Those little jigsaw puzzles were the big AHA moment for me, that I had to figure out how I am. That’s when I started learning things like, oh, that’s why I had trouble with, because I also had Dyslexia, but I think in pictures, I’m a systems thinker. What do systems thinkers do? They link things together. My gigs are puzzles against gameplay. Well, that’s not always the appropriate answer and the appropriate It’s contextual. And I say to my clients now, I say to them, I’m thorough, but I’m not fast. If you’re looking for speed, I have a consulting buddy of mine who you should talk to. He can parachute in, and he can get things going. If you’re trying to understand how to recreate and transform, so you have to understand what it is you’re trying to do and get to first, I’m your guy. It takes a little longer. That’s a perfect thing to do, is bring me and my buddy over and I can do this piece of it, and then he can do that piece of it. Um um so that was the AHA moment, and it’s never left me. That’s the thing that I try every day when I have my moments of meditation, uh, and just sit back to think about it’s always about how the dynamics of who I am played in the experiences I had during the day and what are those experiences are really about my perspective. What was I generating in there? Not so much. Oh, the other person really takes me from when someone ticks me off, it’s almost like a knee jerk reaction for me to go figure out why. Right. Because there’s people that love that person just the way they are.

Kirsty van den Bulk: And I really do. I think that’s really important that we remember that we are individuals. It’s so yeah, I genuinely love that. And one of the reasons my husband and I work is because we are totally individual. He is completely the opposite of me. I’m the creative, I’m the noisy one. And he is steady, and he’s there. He is the solid rock that I absolutely need to laugh at myself too. So, this is where the tables turn. You get to ask me any question you want. I have to see if I can think on my feet. And it just takes the pressure off you because you’ve done an awful lot of the yeah, I’ve done a lot of the questioning. And thank you. It’s been absolutely brilliant.

Akin Odulate: Wonderful. Um, the question I always ask, um, and I always teach my kids to ask themselves, but also be ready to answer. And it’s constantly involving. Why did you choose to do this? There’s only one wrong answer. Somebody told me to do it. Someone made me do it.

Kirsty van den Bulk: So, I didn’t choose to do it. I did it. And that is indicative of me. Um, I’ve been thinking about this quite a lot because I was talking this week at, ah, an Oxlep Event and they asked me to talk about my business journey. And I call myself an accidental entrepreneur because I like to jump on the surfboard. And this probably is the actor and me, I like to jump from the surfboard and just ride it and see where I land and then look at what’s happened. Or I called it a lot of people call them, ah, quantum leaps. I call them Alice moments. So, I jump into the white rabbit’s hole, and I spin down and I will eat me and drink me on the way down. And then I’ll get to bottom, and I’ll land, and I’ll go, oh, what’s this adventure? So, I kind of fall into things, but I fall into things because I want to fall into things. So, it’s not that it’s not planned. It’s just I want to push the boundaries. I want to see what can happen. And then I want to see what I can bring to the mix and what I can add. And, um, it’s a bit like baking a cake. I never know if it’s going to turn out all right. And I’ve had some disasters, but it’s the fun of the journey.

Akin Odulate: Beautiful. I love that. You know what I love about that? Um, it’s reflective of the confidence you have in your own.

Kirsty van den Bulk: It took a long time.

Akin Odulate: My youngest son had some struggles right now, all centered around that aspect of it. And, you know, everybody looks at him and sees the genius in him. That’s not how he sees himself. And so, he’s, um, having that time where he is, um, trying to love himself, struggling. Um, so when you talked about the deliberate seeking, the Alice moment is something that terrifies him because he doesn’t love or trust himself, he thinks is. And everybody who’s worked with him has been around him, has the opposite understanding. Um, and it’s one of those things where, um, he has to come to that realization. And he’s doing some therapy and like, we all are. Uh, and I was grateful that he initiated through some prodding, he initiated that. And he’s, um, beginning to have some moments. And I said to him that, um, I can’t imagine. I never had that issue of lack of confidence. Um, and I said to him it was a double-edged sword because I can sit here, and I can recount to you. I can recount to you, things I’ve done with absolute confidence, which I cringe about now. Oh, my God, I can’t believe I said that. Or I did that. I felt so sure. Um, so this is a balance. And I said, it’s an extreme.

Kirsty van den Bulk: Just to put things into perspective, 20 odd years ago, I followed the White Rabbit into a hole, and I shook up my entire life. And I looked the Black Dog in the face, and I said, you can’t have me. And, uh, up to that point, my m confidence was low. I didn’t believe in myself. And it took a long journey to get to where I am. So, if your son does listen to this, um, I really had to tell. And I remember the day I said to the devil, you’re not getting this one. You’re not getting me. I am going to rise and I’m going to become the Phoenix, and I’m going to keep going. And that’s where I saw the white rabbit. So, it wasn’t easy. It really wasn’t easy. But it’s worth it.

Akin Odulate: Yeah. And I think that those are the life without those moments, wouldn’t be life. Just, um, not recognizing everything that we could be. Um, and it’s almost like that’s part of it. To unlock that mystery and that promise. You have to jump on the hole. Uh, depending on how your whole is dimensioned. Yours was experiential. Do something different. Mine was more cognitive. Think differently. How do you think differently about this? And that my God, I was so sure about that. Now I’m not anymore. So, I can’t just go on my cognitive skills and think that’s the answer. And I say to people, now, what are you most concerned about? Something. When I think I’m absolutely right.

Kirsty van den Bulk: I think that’s a lovely note to finish it on. That when you think you’re right, you could be wrong. Um I love it. Thank you so much for your time. It’s an absolute pleasure. I, um, have thoroughly enjoyed talking to you this morning. Thank you.

In this episode:

0:00 Kirsty van den Bulk Introduces Akin Odulate and gets tongue tied
0:37 Akin explains how he came to change management
0:55 Life before change management
06:11 School life
08:15 Akin talks about performing off Broadway
10:10 Why a background in arts is useful
14:09 Communication, selling & Stanislavski
15:50 The Great Philosopher’s
18:23 The political Landscape
20:47 Religion. The world & friendship
23:54 Jessie Jackson
25:41 Graham Kendrick
26:10 Bias
26:48 Big life moments
30:51 My Wife
31:22 Dyslexia & perspective
33:19 My Husband
34:00 Question to Kirsty
35:14 Boundaries & life struggles
40:12 Close

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