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Meet Charity. Charity Joy is a keynote speaker, coach, and digital product visionary. When she’s not helping businesses to lead through curiosity, you’ll find Charity listening to an audiobook, writing poetry or practicing her ukelele skills. Editor’s Note: Since this interview, Charity has accepted a role as Sr. Sports Franchise Producer, UFC for EA Entertainment.
Where do you work in the Okanagan?
I’m the founder of 30 Turtle, a leadership coaching and consulting practice. I’m in the process of building a program that teaches leaders to ask better questions and to lead through curiosity. As a leader, everyone’s looking to you for directions and answers, which is impossible. Questions are a foundational leadership tool, and my program will train you to exercise the muscle of asking questions. I’ve also been working with a group out of New York to help create more transformational keynote speeches.
Are there organizations you’re volunteering your time towards?
I’ve been doing some consulting work helping trainers rethink their content and delivery moving to an online environment. I’ve rejoined Purppl as an EiR and board member, and I’m mentoring with Techstars Montreal and Techstars Toronto—hosting workshops on team culture in a startup.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
I’m a perpetual learner—super curious about virtually everything. But when I learn something new, I have to regurgitate it. That’s where the teaching and mentoring side comes in. I believe that continuous learning is part of the human experience. In my own journey, the curiosities and ah-ha moments have helped me to move forward, to understand myself, to understand others, to move through the world and find new possibilities. When I learn something that has truly helped me, I want others to have that information too.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
Anytime you lead a meeting or enter into a workshop, you need to know why you’re there and what the ultimate result should be. That will help you to decide the right questions to ask or the right stories to tell. Your audience will have their own intention for being in that room. If you can recognize what that intention is and what they’re looking for, you can create an experience that will satisfy those intentions.
How did you get into this kind of work?
A friend invited me to visit him and learn more about Club Penguin(CP) and help plan some parties—CP was a startup at the time and I didn’t know much about it. I just assumed they were talking about staff parties. I met with Lane Merrifield and he started talking about these parties… then he started talking about penguins… and puffles. I was lost. But, tapping into my theatre training, I started brainstorming ideas and a week later I heard that they wanted to hire me. Shortly after starting, Lance Priebe asked me to manage production. Looking back at that experience, I was a theatre school dropout and a fitness instructor for seniors who ended up in product development for one of the biggest virtual worlds for kids. There was no way I had the answer for what that team needed. But I asked good questions and was curious enough that I could enable them to do their work in a productive way.
Have you always had an interest in teaching and learning?
I’ve always enjoyed sharing information. Even going back to my theatre days—writing a script, sharing a story—has always felt like a part of my DNA. I feel like I’ve had interesting opportunities to do that throughout my career. At Club Penguin, we’d facilitate brainstorms, organize training, speak in front of the team, all representing the brand from a purpose-driven standpoint. Understanding and being transparent about the why behind everything we do is really important.
The best piece of advice really stuck with you?
About a year ago, when I was contemplating what I wanted to do next, I met with a VC for coffee. I was explaining what I was interested in and he was surprised by how many things there were. I was immediately embarrassed, thinking that I should have come to them with one clear ask. He looked at me and said that it wasn’t a problem, but that there just wasn’t a box for me. It was very empowering. I thought that having a lot of interests was a source of problems, but he reframed that narrative. Which I loved. We get framed into these little boxes, but why do we do that? We need to reframe our stories and find the opportunities within them.
Who inspires you?
You know all those scooters around town? I saw someone riding two—one on each foot, holding both—that was inspiring. I feel like I get these moments of inspiration from humanity just doing humanity.