Tim Olaore

Tim Olaore
Episode 89

Join host Japhet De Oliveira as he delves into the life, motivations, and experiences of his guest Tim Olaore, discussing everything from mispronounced names and entrepreneurial failures to the power of authenticity and the determination to explore the world with family.
Libsyn Podcast
"Autonomy really motivates me. If there is an opportunity to be independent or have ownership, creative direction in whatever the work is, that's what's motivating."

Narrator: Welcome friends to another episode of The Story and Experience podcast. Join your host, Japhet De Oliveira with his guest today, and discover the moments that shape us, our families and communities.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, welcome friends to another episode of The Story and Experience podcast. And I am delighted to have this guest today because in addition to the regular thing that he does every single day, this particular guest does this all the time as well. So it's fun. If you're brand new to the podcast, we have a hundred questions and they basically become more vulnerable and more open towards a hundred. And they're about stories and experiences that shape you into the leader that you are today. So without any hesitation, I'm going to dive into the first 10 and then I'm going to open the floor for them to choose as they're nodding firmly here. Anywhere between 11 and 100. All right, here we go. First one, what's your name, sir? And does anybody ever mispronounce it?

Tim Olaore: It is more often mispronounced than even by myself. We actually have to change it up a little bit. So my name is Tim Olaore.

Japhet De Oliveira: Olaore.

Tim Olaore: Olaore.

Japhet De Oliveira: You know what? This may be the first time for me. Olaore.

Tim Olaore: Normally we say it like Ola-ree. Yeah, that's how...

Japhet De Oliveira: Olaore.

Tim Olaore: Yeah, Olaore. That is a traditional Nigerian pronunciation.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, that's goods.

Tim Olaore: I've been often confused as Irish. Yeah, O'Leary. O'Leary comes out a lot. So, Tim Olaore.

Japhet De Oliveira: No. And you do parts for an Irishman often?

Tim Olaore: I do. In fact...

Japhet De Oliveira: The way you dance, I can tell.

Tim Olaore: It's a giveaway.

Japhet De Oliveira: It is. That's fantastic. Good. All right, so do you want to share with us what you do for work?

Tim Olaore: I have the privilege of serving as the leader for our leadership residency and internship program at Adventist Health. So I get to work with recent college grads and post-grad candidates and build our pipeline for future CEOs, FOs, executives, leaders in our organization.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do they enjoy being called part of the pipeline?

Tim Olaore: Well, yeah, if they know where the pipeline's going. If this pipeline leads to something good, then yeah, I'm happy to be part of that.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, you have an amazing crew of people that have been recruited though.

Tim Olaore: We think. Thank God. We thank God.

Japhet De Oliveira: Super talented.

Tim Olaore: Yeah, it's kind of nerve wracking every year as we hear the stories and experiences.

Japhet De Oliveira: Thank you for throwing that in so naturally. I'll send you that sweet chocolate as a gift.

Tim Olaore: But as we hear of the folks that have matriculated through the program and the caliber of work that they're doing and their feedback from the leaders, it's a little bit more nerve wracking going out and saying, okay, we have to recruit at least that level. And so it's partnerships, it's God, it's the Holy Spirit. I take a little credit for that, but we're very excited about our group.

Japhet De Oliveira: I have enjoyed watching these new people come and join the company and the incredible talent that they have, the depth, the breadth, and their insights. And so it's been really good. It's good for the company as well. Good for them. So well done for increasing that pipeline.

Tim Olaore: We thank God.

Japhet De Oliveira: In the morning when you wake up, Tim, first drink of the day, water, coffee, liquor, green smoothie. Where are you at?

Tim Olaore: It is water.

Japhet De Oliveira: Cold?

Tim Olaore: Well, I get it out of the fridge, so it's pretty cold, but sometimes it's not the best. But I try to down like 24 ounces of water.

Japhet De Oliveira: Like instantly?

Tim Olaore: Instantly, just knock it back. So at least I know for the rest of the day...

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you use a straw?

Tim Olaore: I can't be tough with a straw. It's in the big mason jar, all the way back.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow. 24 ounces. All right, that's impressive. Good. All right, so tell us where you were born.

Tim Olaore: I was born in Nigeria. Ile Ife was the city. I think it was a teaching hospital in Ile Ife, Nigeria. So we are Nigerian, myself and my brothers.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's awesome. And when you were a child, what did you imagine you were going to grow up to be?

Tim Olaore: I wanted to be an actor. I wanted to be a computer animator. So something in film, something in animation. So much so that when we came to the States, I was five years old when we came from Nigeria to LA and it's LA, it's Hollywood. And my very young elementary mind knew a little bit about casting like, hey, so these talent scouts are out and they just find random talent and they put them in movies. And so I would always dress up just hoping that a casting director would just find me somewhere and just whisk me away to set. I mean, just a very naive, but yeah, I wanted to be an actor or I like to draw as well, so I wanted to animate movies.

Japhet De Oliveira: You still draw today?

Tim Olaore: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Fantastic man.

Tim Olaore: For fun and stuff.

Japhet De Oliveira: Now surprise me, personality. If people were to describe you as an introvert or extrovert, what would they say? And would you agree?

Tim Olaore: Very reserved.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yes, I can tell.

Tim Olaore: Very reserved, just a clam, just doesn't open up.

Japhet De Oliveira: This is a hard podcast.

Tim Olaore: Yeah. Can't connect. The opposite of all of that.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, thank you for helping us with that. Now, are you an early riser or late night owl?

Tim Olaore: So I have discovered that I am both, I am very productive and energetic in the morning to some people's annoyance, but I can also stay up very late and still be productive. It is between 1:00 and 5:00 or 6:00 PM that I am useless to anybody.

Japhet De Oliveira: I thought it was between 1:00 and 5:00 AM but I guess it’s PM.

Tim Olaore: 1:00 and 5:00 PM is just that slump period. But late nights, early mornings, I'm the guy.

Japhet De Oliveira: So what time is it now?

Tim Olaore: Are we talking to you at the best?

Japhet De Oliveira: This is great that we're recording you at 2:00 PM in the afternoon.

Tim Olaore: My most productive.

Japhet De Oliveira: Most productive area.

Tim Olaore: I'm coffeed up. This is the coffee hour, but it's good.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's awesome. Thank you for selecting this time.

Tim Olaore: Yeah, let's do this at midnight next time.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. This morning when you woke up, what was the first thought that went through your mind?

Tim Olaore: What was the first thought? So we just got a new bed. We moved into a new house and the first thought that I had was, dang, she's so far away from the bed. I'm on my side. And that was the first thought I leaned over. My wife is sleeping, was like, man, she's so far. So that was literally the first thought.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. It's the American way, king size, right?

Tim Olaore: We used to have... I mean we had small... We were in a queen size, we were in a standard size and everything is cozy. But now it's like, hello? Hello?

Japhet De Oliveira: You're preparing for the 1950s.

Tim Olaore: Message by carrier pigeon.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's awesome. All right, this is your wheelhouse, a leadership question. Are you a backseat driver? And remember that all of your residents are listening.

Tim Olaore: (Laughing) Are you going to filter the audience?

Japhet De Oliveira: No, just they, are the only ones listening.

Tim Olaore: This is a targeted episode. Am I a backseat driver?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Tim Olaore: I am not a backseat driver. If somebody is put into a leadership position or somebody has... I try to, as much as possible, empower and enable and hands off, probably too hands off sometimes. I'm not even in the car. And that's just the backseat. So I do really like for folks that have been put into a position to fail, to make the mistakes, to get the glory and the praise if they do it right. So that's what I would appreciate for myself. And so I try to behave that way for folks that are in my scope.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. Good. All right. So first 10 done.

Tim Olaore: Oh, nice.

Japhet De Oliveira: Now the floor is open and you get to pick between 11 and 100. Where do you want to go?

Tim Olaore: Let us go with 50.

Japhet De Oliveira: 50.

Tim Olaore: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. 50. Here we go. All right. Share about who has influenced you professionally.

Tim Olaore: Who has influenced me professionally? So I'm influenced a lot by entrepreneurship. So people that have had an idea, started businesses and have received some level of market success are very influential to me. So particularly when I was in... My first job out of college was at Hewlett Packard, so I moved from Alabama to the Bay Area. So we're surrounded by Facebook and Google and eBay and all these things. And so you have these examples of folks that have built gigantic organizations from an idea filling a particular market need. I mean, there's not been one particular person, but Mark Zuckerberg and Bezos and some of these folks have been influential in just that entrepreneurial startup. And then taking some of that into what I do as an employee. How do I take an idea and create a startup if you would, even within the organization that I'm working with and take ownership of that.

Japhet De Oliveira: Do you like the spirit of startup or the spirit of the maintenance of the startup?

Tim Olaore: The startup part.

Japhet De Oliveira: Startup part. The creating.

Tim Olaore: The creating, the galvanizing folks, the testing of the ideas. I really like that part. And then for me, just knowing my style, it's really about building partnerships for the sustenance and the management and the continuation of it. I can do it, but I would much rather be on the sparking side.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, that's awesome. All right, great. That was 50. You want to go up or down?

Tim Olaore: So that was 50. Let's see what 21 looks like.

Japhet De Oliveira: 21. All right, here we go. Share the best compliment that you've ever received.

Tim Olaore: The best compliment that I've ever received? I think it would have to be my little brother... So I look up to my little brothers as... I'm the oldest of four. And I always refer to myself as the least cool brother. My three little brothers are just... They got so much swag and just... I mean, they're just so cool. So stylishly, the clothes they wear, how they engage and things like that. And so I really look up to them just from a style perspective. And so there's one time that I put on a button down shirt, and I had been seeing on Instagram, I've been following these men's fashion and things like that, and they had a tutorial on how to fold up your shirt sleeves.

And so I did that and my brother saw me, I think we were on a FaceTime video or something, and he recognized, he was like, oh, I see you. I like how you've rolled up your sleeves. And I was just like, stop, stop bro. Come on. And it was just really, really cool. I mean, that is probably small for a lot of folks, but because I appreciated their style sense so much, the fact that they recognize that effort of...

Japhet De Oliveira: Has it ever happened again? No, I'm kidding.

Tim Olaore: Yeah, he was like, you get the one and done.

Japhet De Oliveira: One and done.

Tim Olaore: Don't milk this too much. But yeah, my little bros.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really good, man. All right, where'd you want to go after that?

Tim Olaore: All right, let's go up. Let's do 60.

Japhet De Oliveira: 60. All right. When in life have you felt most alone?

Tim Olaore: When in life have I felt the most alone? So interestingly enough I felt alone for a second or for that moment, but the people that rallied around me were there. So there was a relationship that I was pursuing for a long time. Like I liked this girl and really pursuing her, and she was kind of, let's just be friends. And so pursuing and pursuing and pursuing and pursuing it. And finally she was like, okay, we'll do the relationship. And she was not a Christian. So I'm a pastor's kid. And so I've been raised in the church and part of why she said that she wanted to be in the relationship was the standards that you have and this and that and blah, blah, blah. And so we were going through that, but at the same time, mind you, I'm very immature over here just trying to be a player.

And at that time, to me it was cool to have multiple relationships at the same time. And so that was the case in this particular case where I was like, yeah, she said yes, but I also have other folks that I was talking to at the time that she was not aware of, but that she became aware of these relationships. And what broke me the most when she was like, hey, we're not doing this anymore. She was like, I thought you were this guy with high standards and you're promoting God and spirituality and this and this and that, and for you to be able to do this and feel like there would be of no consequence just tore me apart and for whatever reason. And then all the other relationships that I was holding onto, all fell apart at the same time, and I just felt like such a shell of a person that I've been promoting this thing and it influenced this person to make decisions in this way. And I was careless with that.

So I mean, I was in a very, very... Because I value, I may say it, but I really value relationships. And so I was in a very dark, dark, dark, dark place and felt like I wasn't this person to this person, and then with my parents. And then I just extrapolated it to a bunch of other things like, oh man, my parents see me in this way, my brothers see me in this way and all this stuff. And so very, very dark place. And I don't remember how if he called me or I called him, but I got on the phone with my little brother and he just encouraged me. He was just there, no judgment, just listened and just connected. I mean, I felt so far away. I felt like I can't even ask God for forgiveness. I was like, this is so horrible. And he encouraged me. I cried and slept and woke up the next day and there were text messages of encouragement and stuff like that. So that was...

From that point I was like, you know what? I'm just going to date God for a little bit. Literally putting it as if God was my girlfriend. And so whatever time I'd want to spend with somebody, I would spend it with Him and if I had questions and all that stuff. And that really kind of helped change my perspective on stuff. But yeah, that's an alone time.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's good to have great families, isn't it?

Tim Olaore: Yeah. Yes it is.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay, this is not a question on here, but I'm going to ask this. Do you feel like having a good family is something that you can foster and grow yourself? Do you take that to work with you?

Tim Olaore: Oh yeah. I think the thing that makes family great is that you should be able to be your true and authentic self with your family. Yes, that might cause some friction. There might be some disagreements, but you don't have the added energy of being somebody else because that takes energy, that takes stress. So you can bring that to the workplace where you create an environment that's safe and trustworthy, where folks feel comfortable being their full and authentic self, and they don't have to do this charade of the Tim at work versus the Tim at home. And so I try to bring that to the work that I do. I try to celebrate when folks have that, within the teams or wherever they are of being your true and authentic self and creating a space where folks can do that and be celebrated for it.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good, man. That's good. All right sir, where next off of that? That was question 60.

Tim Olaore: That was question 60. And that got close. That's how it goes.

Japhet De Oliveira: There's some possibility.

Tim Olaore: Let's bring it back to the teens. Let's do 15.

Japhet De Oliveira: 15. All right. What is the one thing that you always misplace?

Tim Olaore: My wallet. So much so that I had to... You can see it over here. I had to attach my wallet to my phone because having two things is just...

Japhet De Oliveira: Too much.

Tim Olaore: It's just too much. So I'm always losing my wallet, but not anymore. We have a solution for that now.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's great. Good for you. All right, where next after that?

Tim Olaore: All right, let's go back up. Let us do 40.

Japhet De Oliveira: 40. All right. Let's see here. Tell us about a time that you failed.

Tim Olaore: A time that I failed? So many times. Again, I've really aligned with the entrepreneurial journey, and so there's been several entrepreneurial endeavors that I've tried to do. One of them was a... So after I graduated, I got a job at Hewlett Packard, moved to the Bay Area and my girlfriend at the time was on the technology side. I was on the marketing side, she was on the technology side. And so we decided to do a startup. We wanted to build something that would connect mentors and mentees, kind of like a dating site for mentors and mentees. And so I always liked British culture, so we called it... And I liked the word... And she was from London, Innit. And so the whole idea was that you are in it, you have this relationship and this connection. And so we're trying to build the algorithm and the use cases and all that stuff, trying to fish it out to investors and coworkers and things like that. And so we were pursuing it.

We were trying to test it in the market, and eventually we had to shutter it because I moved. I lost my job at Hewlett Packard and I had to move to Colorado and we're like, okay, we'll just keep doing it remotely or separately, or you can come to Colorado. And she was like, no, we're not going to do that. Let's just try and continue doing it remotely. And that works so well now. I don't know why remote didn't work back then for what we thought was going to be a tech company. And we just started to grow further and further apart and starting to meet less and less. The prototype that we were trying to build was less than ideal. We were trying to outsource it and things like that.

That was my first foray into trying to do a tech startup and build it out. And it stung even more when years later I'm browsing LinkedIn or something, and LinkedIn proposed like, hey, here's this new mentor mentee matching feature or service. And my text, I was like, look, this could have been us. We were way ahead. She was like, yeah, we were way ahead of our time and situation.

Japhet De Oliveira: I thought she was going to turn around and say, yeah, it was me. I was like, oh wow.

Tim Olaore: I was like, oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, that was actually me. So yeah, that was one of many startup and business non successes.

Japhet De Oliveira: But you learn a lot through that, right?

Tim Olaore: Oh my gosh.

Japhet De Oliveira: I mean, through these hard things, you become stronger. You realize what's weaker, what's better.

Tim Olaore: Yeah. And you build, and every successive attempt at a business after that has been sometimes marginally, sometimes significantly more successful as you kind of learn and grow.

Japhet De Oliveira: So this is a sub question, not on here, but what would be the secret from rising when you feel like that did not work, it crashed and burned, but how do you get back up on your feet?

Tim Olaore: Well, I think it's very much a mentality of knowing that it was a learning experience. When you see everything as a learning opportunity and now you know what not to do. But that's a mentality that you have to have and that you have to build up. And if you have a culture or a family that hard wires that, that celebrates that, if you don't have that naturally, you have to grow that. But for me it was, all right, if I want to do this again, I know not to do that. It's just like if you have the answer sheet to a test, you already know that these are not the right answers. These are the right answers. And so it's almost like you're building up your answer sheet as you're going through. If you want to start up a business, do something in an area that you have a lot of competency in, or you have deep relationships in, or there's high market demand. You start off small. You start knowing all the things to do, and then you rise again and you try it again and you keep pushing forward.

Japhet De Oliveira: Good word. All right, where next, sir?

Tim Olaore: All right, let's go deep. Let's see. I've recovered from the... What did I do? 60 or something.

Japhet De Oliveira: 60. Yeah.

Tim Olaore: Okay, so let's do 61.

Japhet De Oliveira: 61. That's a big leap. All right.

Tim Olaore: I'm taking risks out here.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, this is good. You would actually like this one. This is kind of like in your wheelhouse. So tell us about a time that required incredible courage.

Tim Olaore: A time that required incredible courage. So in the role that I am in now is leading the leadership residency program. I started as a leadership resident myself and in HR. And I was a non-typical hire because they normally would hire folks that had just graduated from college or are in their postgraduate. And I'd been quite a few years removed from my undergrad. So I appreciated the executive taking the risk and bringing me on. And so I was doing HR in the hospitals in Southern California. And you could probably tell from our interactions, I'm very high energy, relationships, connecting, and I appreciate being liked. And so I'm doing this and generally positive interactions with folks in this residency role. I'm learning, I'm connecting and things like that. One day I get a call from the executive that hired me on and they were sharing that, hey, I got a call from one of the leaders, one of the directors in the hospital, that they're not happy with your level of service.

They feel ignored, they feel taken advantage of, they feel not prioritized. And just a list of different things. And I mean, that just shattered all confidence. And it was even more confusing because I thought from the surface that we had a great relationship. And so it was a confusion, the embarrassment, the fact that I had to hear it from my higher up versus I thought we had the relationship to do that one-on-one. And so the advice that I received from my leader was, you need to go to them and put together a plan. That was the last thing that I wanted to do. I was mad at them. And granted, this leader had also... There were other folks that had feedback about hardworking relationships with this person. So I was not interested in going and discussing. And so it took a lot of courage because I knew that if I did not do something about it, it would just continue to mar the relationship with other leaders and the program, the residency program, and bringing folks in.

And so, all right, it had to be done. I reached out and set up an appointment and just had to come very humbly and just hear without coming up with a lot of solutions, just hear what they have to say, where their gaps were and then just discuss. Apologize where I needed to apologize, make plans. But it was very... I remember the door was closed and I had to knock on the door and I'm out there, my heart's beating really fast. But we had a great conversation. They laid out all the things that they were looking for, what their expectation were and what I was missing. And we put a plan together and it turned out that, maybe a year later when this leader was leaving, they actually came and sought me out where I was at to say goodbye and say how much they appreciated and things like that.

So that relationship was healed, but it was not something that I was... And it was my first time really in dealing with formal leaders that were not happy with the work that I had done. I would see that. I mean, it didn't happen all the time, but there would be other instances where, because I knew how to handle that, I can then go directly to somebody that was not.

Japhet De Oliveira: And teach others as well.

Tim Olaore: And show others how to do that. So that required some courage.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hard to believe this, but we have time for just two more.

Tim Olaore: Oh man. Two more. Okay. Let us do...

Japhet De Oliveira: What numbers would you like? That was 61.

Tim Olaore: That was 61. Let's drop down and then go back to the top. Let's go down to 52.

Japhet De Oliveira: 52. All right, let's go here. It is... Oh, priceless for you, share what motivates you.

Tim Olaore: What motivates me? Autonomy. The ability to be the owner of my own domain and do what not. And so that's what motivates me. If there is an opportunity to be independent or have ownership, creative direction in whatever the work is, that's what's motivating. If I see that there's going to be a lot of restriction or bureaucracy or impediments to that, that's less motivating. And I'd have to find other factors or other avenues that allow for that autonomy. So autonomy really motivates me.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right, last one.

Tim Olaore: Last one. Let's bring it home. Let us do 70.

Japhet De Oliveira: 70. All right. Hey, this is great for you as well. Tell us about one thing that you are determined to accomplish. Just one.

Tim Olaore: One thing that I am determined to accomplish?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Tim Olaore: I am determined to take my family to every country.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Tim Olaore: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Every country?

Tim Olaore: I love traveling.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow.

Tim Olaore: So much. That's another thing that motivates me is the opportunity to travel. But as many countries, I mean, every country it's a lot.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's amazing.

Tim Olaore: It's an aspirational goal and Jesus hasn't come yet. And we'll keep striving.

Japhet De Oliveira: You do it.

Tim Olaore: Even if it's for a day. But I want to be able to take the family to every country.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow. That's great. And if you went into a country, what are you looking for?

Tim Olaore: Oh, their culture, their way of thinking, their perspectives. It just adds to whatever my perspective, what it's I'm trying to do. So I really like to go deep. How do they talk? Why do they do the things they do? What's their traditions and family food and all that stuff. So I really try to...

Japhet De Oliveira: Is that probably one of the secrets of how well you actually go and find the great talent to come and join the company? That you ask people questions, you're seeking out who they are.

Tim Olaore: One of the questions that I love to ask folks, and you made reference to this in the intro, I had a podcast as well. I love asking people, what are you famous for? And that brings... It's not just about what you do, it's like, what do people know you for? What are things that bring you energy? So the people answer that question in a variety of different ways, and that helps me to get deeper with them. And so I ask that to residents, to interns, to candidates. What are you famous for? That'll teach me a little bit about your background, about your goals, your aspirations, your family. Some folks are famous for the tacos they make. Some folks are famous because they host great parties. And then you can dig into... That opens up a treasure trove of more kind of probing questions.

Japhet De Oliveira: Well then it would be remiss of me not to ask you that question. I mean, what we'll do is we'll ask the question and then we'll allow everybody who's listening to delve deeper on what that means. So what are you famous for, Tim?

Tim Olaore: I am famous for... And it's kind of like in different circles, but I'll just pick one. I'm famous for children's stories. I tell children's stories at churches. I've done children's story concerts, and it's just a way to... My ability to take a simple Bible story or any kind of story and just bring it to life.

Japhet De Oliveira: Something complex.

Tim Olaore: Yeah, exactly. Take something complex, make it engaging. I use voice animation, body animation and including the audience and things like that. So I think my children's stories are...

Japhet De Oliveira: That's beautiful. Hey Tim, thank you so much for being part of this podcast.

Tim Olaore: Thank you, man. This was fun.

Japhet De Oliveira: It was brilliant. And I want to encourage people to do the same thing. Find a friend, sit down, maybe even have 24 ounces of water in front of you with a straw, a sippy straw. And sit down and drink some water and just ask good questions and listen, because we learn from each other and we grow through that experience.

Tim Olaore: Absolutely.

Japhet De Oliveira: So it's a blessing. Thank you. God bless everybody else who's listening. Until we meet again, it was a pleasure.

Tim Olaore: Thank you.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for The Story and Experience podcast. We invite you to read, watch, and submit your story and experience at adventisthealth.org/story. The Story and Experience podcast was brought to you by Adventist Health through the Office of Culture.