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WASTE NO POTENTIAL - EPISODE 6

Two ways forward.

An inspiring story of resilience proves even the darkest moments hold a glimmer of light.

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Two ways forward

“Incredible” is a word that’s used so often it can lose its meaning. But in the case of our guest, Chris Wilson, his impossible-to-believe story offers insight into the power of resilience, understanding self-worth, and manifesting your own destiny. Your eggs benny isn’t incredible — this story is.

We believe there are two ways to move forward with decisions in life: agree and get on with it; or disagree and make it better. Sounds reasonable, right? But at 17 years old, Wilson faced a choice more than dire. Either acquiesce to a life in prison, or overcome inconceivable odds and devise a plan — a “Master Plan” — to convince the powers-that-be that he was better suited for a life beyond bars.

Today, Wilson is an entrepreneur, social justice advocate, film producer, and author of “The Master Plan”. His life journey reads like a Hollywood movie. At times it’s hard to listen to — it’s real, gritty, and jaw-dropping. If you ever thought there wasn’t another solution to a problem, take a listen, and witness Wilson face unthinkable atrocities and injustices as he navigates his path from the crack-addled neighbourhoods of his youth to present-day triumphs. He proves there are always two ways forward.

We also hear from Manu Varma, Principal Strategist at Traction on Demand, who highlights how innovation for a large company is dependant on working together — and not being afraid to fail — in order to find new ways forward.

This episode is an absolute must-listen.

You can learn more about Chris Wilson's journey, his book, The Master Plan, and his artwork here.

Highlights

  • 3:42 - 9:35 “Chris Wilson on growing up in Washington DC and losing his freedom.”
  • 12:46 - 14:19 “Manu Varma on what two ways forward means.”
  • 21:55 - 24:53 “Chris’s Master Plan opens an impossible path forward.”

Transcript

[00:00] Alexandra Samuel: Before we start today's episode, I just want to let you know that it does contain some stories that can be hard to listen to. One of our guests talks about witnessing sexual assault and about other experiences of violence.

There are Two Ways Forward is coming up.

[00:00:22] Chris Wilson: Washington DC, late 80s, early 90s. Crack epidemic was sweeping through the communities. It was the beginning of the, you know, the war on drugs and the 94 Crime Bill. So, people were being arrested for anything, all of these things were happening, which increased gun violence in my community.

As a result, people in our community started carrying guns, mostly for protection. So, a lot of I started losing a lot of friends. And then there was a lot of drug abuse.

[00:00:52] Alexandra Samuel: Chris Wilson grew up in a neighborhood that sometimes seemed like it offered only one path. A path almost perfectly designed to extinguish hope. A path full of fear, anger, and sorrow. There was a time when that was the only path Chris could see too. But eventually, he found another way forward. And today, he's going to show you how to find that other way. Even when it seems like the only option is to give up.

[00:01:22] Chris Wilson: All of us, I believe, have something in us we have the potential to – to really live a beautiful life. But it's hard to take that first step

[00:01:37] Alexandra Samuel: I'm Alexandra Samuel, and this is Waste No Potential, brought to you by Traction on Demand.

The story I'm sharing with you today has some really visceral moments. But, for now, let me just preface it by talking about the idea of driving this episode. So often, the world presents a single way forward. It might begin with your parents or your teachers, assuming that you're going to pursue a certain kind of education or a particular career. Maybe it's the expectation that you're going to get married, have kids, work a steady job. Then, there's the one way that gets offered to you at your job.

The assumption that you're going to run your business a certain way or go after a particular kind of customer. Agree with your boss, position your brand and your products the same exact way you always have. Well, then one day you're sitting around that boardroom table, or, these days, staring at all the faces on the video call. And you realize maybe there's another way. That's the lightbulb moment that we're talking about today. That moment when you allow yourself to question the consensus. To swim upstream, the moment you say out loud, “There's another way.”

The thing is, it's not always easy to spot that other way forward. Learning how to, that's often the key to unlocking our own latent potential. Today, we're going to hear an incredible story that shows what's possible when you hone that skill. When you find the strength to chart another path forward, even when everyone around you insists that there is no other way.

Meet Chris Wilson. He's an entrepreneur, and also the author of the book, The Master Plan. His story reveals how he built his own way forward in one of the most unlikely places. Prison. And he's going to tell us how we did it.

I'd love to just start at the beginning of your story.

[00:03:43] Chris Wilson: Sure. I often describe myself as a hybrid. Having grown up in two different environments. I would stay with my mom on the weekends, and I stayed with my grandmother from Monday through Friday. My grandmother's neighbourhood was 100% African American community. The only people that we saw who looked different from us were the police officers, who were white.

And it was very strange growing up because a lot of people in my neighbourhood, I write about this, would say, you know, white people out to get us. And on the weekends, my mom would pick me up. And we were… it was a very diverse neighbourhood. You know, I always describe myself, still do, as a mama's boy. I was always under my mom, and my mom going to the store, grocery shopping, whatever she was paying the bills, I would sit down with me and my siblings. There were five of us. They would – they would tease me and get me about this, but I didn't care. And, so, my mom taught me about entrepreneurship.

It started with, you know, candy, and teaching me the Law of Scarcity. About, you know, if you're the only person in a school who has Blow Pops, then you control the price. Now don't make the price too high, but, you know, make sure you can turn a profit. And, so, she sat me down, and we had a $2 bag of Blow Pops, and she helped me determine the price. And I would go to school and sell these Blow Pops. And really, I just wanted the money so that I can buy like chocolate milk and cookies for like the ladies in class.

But that's how I started my mom teaching me about entrepreneurship. She drove me on dates, to like the 99 cent movie theaters, taught me how to be – how to treat a woman, and help me with my love notes. And she just played a critical role in my life.

[00:05:34] Alexandra Samuel: Then things began to fall apart for Chris. Just a heads up, the next few moments might be really painful to hear.

[00:05:42] Chris Wilson: And then my mom had met someone who was a police officer, a DC police officer, and he was a crooked cop. He was like Denzel in “Training Day.” Real smooth, but he just was up to no good. And then we were attacked. She was attacked by the police officer who sexually assaulted her, and my mom never recovered from these injuries. They overprescribed her pain pills to opioids. She got addicted to them. Eventually, it was heroin. And, so, she lost everything. And my mom never recovered.

There was no food in the house. We just spiraled downhill. And for many, many years, as a youngster, I just didn't understand it. I was confused. How can someone that I love more than anyone say these mean things to me and turn on me? And it really destroyed my mom and our relationship. And, inevitably, it destroyed my mom.

[00:06:39] Alexandra Samuel: Chris's world was swallowing him whole. And soon it would spit him out. One evening, one moment, set him on a path from which there seemed to be no return, and no escape.

[00:06:55] Chris Wilson: So, this was the summer of 1996. I had lost, at this moment, five of my friends, my brother had been shot, my cousin was killed. My mom was spiraling downhill, and I was angry. I was angry that as a young person, and all the things that I was going through, that I didn't have opportunity to live a normal life as a young person. It was just funerals. It was you know, doing drugs.

A lot, a lot of violence in my household. And, so, around this time, the person who attacked my mom had made parole – the police officer – and started stalking my family. And these early years, there wasn't a law against stalking. This person had used to be a police officer, so he had a lot of connections. He was clever. So, he was breaking into the house, and calling us, and telling us, “One by one, we're gonna pick you off, and we're gonna kill you.” And, so, I started carrying a gun.

One night, in June, I believe, I was going to walk to the store. And I came out of the house to walk to the store, and I saw two men across the street. Didn’t recognize them, they were staring at me. But I was like, “Well, whatever,” and I just kept walking. And they started following me. I said, I'm gonna go somewhere. It was like a gas station. There's a lot of people out here. People getting gas, people walking to the stores, people at the payphones.

I said, “They won't bother me here.” And I walked over there, they followed me. So, I’m standing there, thinking about what to do, and they surround me, and said, “Are you Chris?” And I said, “Yeah.” They said, “We've been watching you. We've been watching your family. Don't think you safe. Any moment that we want to do something to you.” And one of the guys tried to get behind me and jump on me. And I just pulled my gun. And I just fired some shots. And then I ran in one direction, and they turned around in another direction.

And, so, what I found out, a few weeks later, that, um, that I hit someone, and they had ran two blocks. I hit one of the people, one of the guys who came after me. And he ran around a corner two blocks and then died. And I was charged as an adult. I was 17. I was tried as an adult. And while I was in jail awaiting trial, people came looking for my brother who was laying low with my biological father. And they killed my father. So, my father passed away. His mom was there. His mom had to watch, you know, her son die. And then right after that, I got found guilty, and I was sentenced to natural life in prison.

[00:09:37] Alexandra Samuel: So, you've just lost – you've lost your freedom. You've lost your father. You're living with your complicated feelings around this incident. And, so, you find yourself at Patuxent. And when, when you're first there, you describe yourself being very… in a very dark place, and not, not with a lot of hope. Can you… can you describe like that mindset where you just cannot see a way out and it feels like that the only road before you has… has no hope?

[00:10:13] Chris Wilson: I'll try to describe it. I think it was a combination of a lot of traumatic experiences that I had – at that point – experienced in my life. Losing my friends too, who died in my arms, being attacked, watching my mom sexually assaulted in front of me, receiving a life sentence, called at home, and no one accepting phone calls, no visits, no mail from people. I'm 118 pounds.

And at this point, I just turned 18, and I'm being told that my life is over. And it was very difficult because when I arrived at Patuxent, I saw a lot of older people who had been in there for 30 and 40 years and had life sentences. And they were telling me, “Little Chris, just get comfortable, because like this is your new home.” And it was something inside of me. I know that I committed a crime, and I was struggling with like accepting responsibility for what I did, because these people came after me. But I couldn't and wouldn't accept that my life was over.

And I just decided to believe that I could be free one day, and that I could prove to myself and to everyone else that my life was redeemable and that I can contribute to society. And that was kind of the genesis of how I started creating this master plan. And transformed my life.

[00:11:40] Alexandra Samuel: Chris coming up with his master plan was when he planted the seed for a second path. It was the moment that he reopened possibility and began to once again, broaden horizons that had narrowed so terribly. In a moment, Chris will be back to explain what he did next. But first, to talk more about this idea that there are two ways forward, I want you to meet Manu Varma, the Principal Strategist at Traction on Demand.

So, I'm curious, when you hear that, and particularly as someone who has watched people hit roadblocks, hit those impassable moments. What do you think is the secret to seeing that second path forward? What is… what does Chris make you think about?

[00:12:25] Manu Varma: That type of resilience…where does that come from? I'm a big believer in, you know, hardship. Looking at Chris, he's obviously experienced some hardship, but I think that's where he got the strength to be resilient. And coming from where he came from, to be able to come up with that plan is just truly remarkable.

[00:12:47] Alexandra Samuel: Tell me tell me what this idea there are two ways forward. What does that mean at Traction on Demand?

[00:12:54] Manu Varma: Yeah, so this whole concept of, you know, Two Ways Forward really kind of emanates from… there's no passengers on this bus, right? Everyone has to be on this ride. You either bought in or bought out. And I think it really is woven into our DNA. So, either you kind of, you're in it, you get it, or you vehemently disagree with what we're doing, and you're going to provide us with some solutions. So, it's always about being able to provide solutions and not just object.

You have a choice. Every day, you kind of visualize yourself walking over this line at the front door. In fact, we actually did put a line of sand in the front door at one point. Hey, when you're coming in here, right? You are here because you're making a choice. You're either gonna get-er-done, or you're gonna have to figure out a better way to do what you're doing today to continue to innovate. So, that's kind of where the genesis started was really about, you have a choice to be here. So, do agree, or don't agree and make it better.

If you use that Japanese concept of ikigai, right? To, what are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? What can you be paid for, right? What does the world need? And that kind of confluence of those four things is what we're really trying to do. So, going back to that two paths forward, I think ultimately, the goal is how can we get to that concept of ikigai at work because we spend so much time there.

[00:14:20] Alexandra Samuel: According to Manu, you can follow the herd, or you can suggest an alternative. But either way, you should aim to be part of the solution. In some situations that second, previously uncharted path, can be a lifesaver. But it takes courage to go against the grain. Resilience, innovation, reaching out for your own sense of purpose. These are powerful drivers for finding a second path, which is just what Chris does next. When we paused his story, he was still in Patuxent prison. But he's about to take control of his own destiny.

You're listening to Waste No Potential, a new podcast about incredible stories of spotting untapped potential. This show is brought to you by the good folks at Traction on Demand. And I'm your host, Alexandra Samuel. If you're enjoying the podcast, don't forget to follow us wherever you're listening from. You can also find us at tractionondemand.com/podcast.

Manu just gave us a look at what it means at Traction when they say there are two ways forward. It's not just another version of two roads diverged in a yellow wood, or if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all. It's more like there are always multiple paths forward. It's working towards a solution that matters.

When you don't buy into the plan that's being presented, recognize there's another option. It might not be obvious, it might take patience, it might take enormous resilience – but finding another path forward is up to you. And just recognizing what you don't like about the obvious path, even just finding the courage to be the person who says, “You know, this just isn't good enough. It isn't okay.” Well, that can be a powerful first step. So, let's take that back to Chris's story. His clue that there could be a second path forward through his master plan began like this.

[00:16:26] Chris Wilson: The things that triggered this transformation... So, it was my relationship where my grandfather who raised me Monday through Friday. And my grandfather, when I was incarcerated, he was battling skin cancer. And I sat with him for a long time, for months. And he shared stories with me about how he grew up in Mississippi, and his siblings was killed by the Ku Klux Klan, and how he fought in the Korean War.

[00:16:52] SU: American paratroopers take part in the biggest training exercises since the armistice.

[00:16:59] Chris Wilson: And how he came back home as a soldier and people would spit in his face. And it was hard to find work. But he went back to school, got his PhD, became a social worker, started his own business. And he's telling me all these things while on his deathbed. And at the time, I was still carrying guns, smoking weed. And he told me, he says, “I didn't go through all of this stuff, to build this family for you to dishonour my name.” And he says, “I need you to come up with some type of plan to turn your life around.”

And at this point, I'm having this conversation with my grandfather, I'm already I believe, in prison, and about to be sentenced – or may have just been sentenced – and it's like, I promised him. I said, “But Grandpa, I don't know how I can do this.” And he says, “I've been hard on you your whole life. But I see it in you. And you got to come up with some type of way to do it.” It was after having a conversation with, who, a person who became like a Godfather to me, Steven Edwards… and he was studying in computer code. He also had a life sentence.

And he said that, “You know, I want to get out of prison. I'm gonna start a software company and make millions of dollars. I’m gonna buy my dream car…” He knew what car he wanted. He had it all mapped out. I sat in the corner after talking to him, it's like, “Well, I kind of got to come up with my own bucket list, or master plan.” And, so, I went back to my cell and I took out a bunch of blank sheets of paper. I started saying to myself, like, “Who do I want to be, 40 years old, like, what does that look like?” And I said, “I know I want to be an entrepreneur. I want to work for myself. I want to have a business that helps people or helps my environment.”

I didn't know what the term social entrepreneurship back then. But I wanted to be a social entrepreneur. I wanted to learn Spanish. I wanted to travel around the world. I hadn't been anywhere. I wanted my dream car, the black Corvette convertible with nice rims and the sound system.

[00:18:51] Alexandra Samuel: Putting words to paper was Chris inventing a new future for himself. One of those things was starting his very first business while still in prison. Even when the system around him did not exactly welcome new ideas – like the one he was about to come up with.

I wonder if you could tell us about that business. And I’m still mad!

[00:19:11] Chris Wilson: Me too, I'm still mad too, actually. So when I was incarcerated, I think it was around 2001, my cell buddy and I had a subscription to Popular Science. And I remember us reading this article about digital cameras. We had Polaroids at the time, and I think 35-millimeter cameras. And I said, “Look at this! A digital camera. We could print pictures! As many as we want!” And I said, “We should get one of these cameras.” They were like 1000 bucks back then or whatever.

And I said we should get one of these cameras and start a business. We can create a couple of jobs and like train up some photographers and then we can… we can sell picture tickets. And we can create a fund and use that money to do things around the prison. Recreational equipment, books, and lab – you know, just – ping pong tables. And, so, we put it all together and pitched it to the administration. And I said, “I need you to pay me double what you pay me every day,” and I was getting paid $1.35. So, I was like, you know, you double that, and I want to be able to go to every recreation centre, and I want to be able to hire some people.

And they agreed to it. And it just started to flourish instantly. We went from $600 to, in a few months, having $12,000 in our account. And then, the following year, we had $40,000 in the account. And I started going to all the housing units and talking to influential people in the housing units, and saying, “What is it going to take for you guys to really embrace change? And what is it that I can do for you?” And, so, I was working on this deal inside the prison of, “If I could get basic cable wired up throughout the day rooms and then your individual cells, would you guys, like, agree to like stop stabbing and robbing in the housing units? You know, at least reduce it significantly.” And, you know, many guys… it's like, “If you could do that, like, of course. There will be no trouble in my housing unit.” And, so, we had the money to pay for it. And that's when the institution decided to seize the money in my account. And they bought, uh, security cameras for the prison.

And they thought that was funny, too. When I asked for the money, they says, “You spent it!” I said, “No, I didn't.” They says, “You bought the cameras. Thank you.” And, so, I was upset. But I was also proud that I was able to create a business to generate some revenue. So, I knew I had ‘the sauce’ at that moment. But it was it was bittersweet for sure.

[00:21:43] Alexandra Samuel: Even though Chris's earnings were seized to install more security cameras at the prison, that experience still birthed something amazing. A newfound passion for social entrepreneurship. Over the next few years, he'd continue to work on his master plan, pursue a college education, go to therapy, and so on. All the while, he continued to appeal his case for a reduced sentence.

[00:22:08] Chris Wilson: I had put in five times for a motion for modification for a sentence based off a good behavior. And I was denied five times. I was putting in all of the work on a day-to-day, studying and in therapy, and staying out of trouble. But it just wasn't taking, like the Universe was still like, I still was so uncertain. And I put up a master plan. I said, you know, “I need a sign to know that like all this hard work, I need to know if it's going to pay off or I'm just going to grow old.

A well-educated Black man in prison and die here.” And I did that for two weeks. And, for some reason, my lawyer came to see me, and he says, “The court stay had a change of heart, and you got a court date.” That's when I came clean, and I spoke to the judge and I talked about you know how I’d changed, accepted responsibility for what I did, and talked about what I would do once released, if given a second chance.

And my sentence was reduced. And, so, I can’t rule out some divine intervention in my life. And I even asked my judge many years later, when she was walking me to my car to confirm that I actually bought the black Corvette convertible. And I asked her, I said, “Why did you risk your career to let me out of prison, Your Honour?”  And she said, “You wrote me these letters over the years. And one day, one night I just woke up, and I just felt different. And I just decided I was going to risk it. But I wanted to hear from you. And when you spoke to me, I believed you.”

[00:23:46] Alexandra Samuel: The criminal justice system in the United States is a relentless force. Once it pulls you in, it's hard to see any other path, any other possibilities. That's what makes it so extraordinary that Chris was not only able to see another way forward, but also find a way to actually pursue it. To make it a reality.

After having been in prison for 16 years, he was finally out. And he had his master plan tucked in his arms, ready to propel him forward.

[00:24:22] Chris Wilson: I did have it. Coffee stains and all on it. It was – it was scary, but… it started raining. I had $50. I thought people were crazy. I saw them talking to themselves, and I didn't know about the earpieces and like speakerphone, and I spent the first night on YouTube. I was so amazed that I can type in anything to learn how to do something, or video, and it just pops up. So, I spent the whole night just doing that.

[00:24:53] Alexandra Samuel: It's such an incredible story, but we can't expect everyone to have Chris Wilson-level resilience. To have the strength to see another way forward when there's so much standing in the way. So, what can we mere mortals do to find that other way? To take the first steps to turn our ideas into solutions. Here's Manu.

Well, you know, what do you do when you see somebody who is maybe hanging back, you can tell they haven't fully bought into the first path. How do you encourage people to look for that second path?

[00:25:26] Manu Varma: Well, I think for me, is it's really about storytelling, right? And leading by example. To show people, you know, there's an element of fear there. What's holding you back? And trying something news is scary, but showing that experimentation is allowed. And by telling them stories of showing that this has happened to me, this has happened to other people, take a leap, knowing that we’re here to still grab you.

You know, when you're so fixated on one thing, right? You just you completely block yourself up, unknowing and unwittingly, to everything else around you, especially through the tough times, right? I think that's it's very easy to be an integrous leader. When things are really happy, and things are good, profits are good, and we're paying up bonuses. But it's when times are really shitty, I think that's where integrity really comes into play. You know, it's not a calm sea that makes a good sailor.

And I use that all the time when I talk about culture, right. And, so, what I always say to leaders, I'm like, “Man, show them that you're human. Lead with your humanity. You can make mistakes, you will, you can fall down, and you will fall down, and share those mistakes. Again, that will give you so much credibility towards your integrity as a leader. You can go to a million leadership development courses, but you're still not going to get it. If you've lost your humanity, you’re kind of… you're dead in the water.”

[00:26:46] Alexandra Samuel: Chris was now in a world totally different from the one he knew. So, what has he done with his years as a returning citizen of the United States? Which is his preferred way of describing formerly incarcerated people.

[00:27:00] Chris Wilson  I had a contracting company, Barclay Investment Corporation, where I invested in people who were mostly impacted by the criminal justice system. Providing job opportunities, wraparound services. Over the past couple of years, I would say the past six years, I became a visual artist. Sort of by accident. I started thinking about the power of stories. And some of the things that people would tell me when I had my construction company, a furniture company, and was working doing workforce development work, was that maybe the best use of your time is to help inspire and groom leaders. And I didn't know what that meant.

And I was like, “Cool. What does that mean?” It says people gravitate towards you. People come to you for advice. And you seem to help people and give them the inspiration, and then they go do something amazing. And I started to realize that I could do this through film. So, I started doing a few short films that went viral. I went to all the film festivals. Tribeca Film Festival, South by Southwest, Sundance, and tell them powerful stories about issues. Solitary confinement.

But when I would get off work, I would go back to these artists’ studio, and it would be playing house music, and they would paint, and they would start telling me about the meaning of the art and the power of it. And I fell in love with it. So, I started… they asked me to think about things that I cared about, and it was criminal justice reform and societal injustices, and I started making these beautiful, colourful paintings.

And I started traveling around the world. I went to Italy to work and study under a famous sculptor, and I went to Paris and, you know, Spain, and just different places, and painting and selling my art.

You don't always have to start your own business to be entrepreneur. You can be an intrapreneur. You can work for a company and think like an entrepreneur and move up in the company. But it's something empowering about really thinking about the problems of the world and creating something to eliminate the problem, but also help, you know, help yourself and others like, you know, buy homes and lift themselves up.

So especially coming from where I come from, having grown up in the prison system, there's so much that’s stacked against you, so much discrimination, of you want to get this dream job or you want to advance in this career, and they won't even open a door to let you in to consider you. So, I think you know as an entrepreneur, you can… you can create your own door. You can build that path

[00:29:38] Alexandra Samuel: If you were to think back to that moment 25 years ago, when you were first at Patuxent not yet seeing the master plan, not yet seeing the second path. Is there something you would say to yourself that would have let that kid know that there was more opportunity ahead than he was seeing in that moment?

[00:30:03] Chris Wilson: It's interesting. It's a really interesting question because, you know, when I was in prison, and growing up, my family gave me more chores than anyone. They made me do stuff I didn't want to do. They sent me on trips to New York. And I got on the chess team, which I didn't want to do. And I started competing, and they made me do stuff, and I complained whole time. And when my grandfather was… was dying, he was still hard on me. “I'm disappointed in you,” he kept reminding me that, “I am trying to help you find your purpose.

I think I know what it is.” And, so, all of these things forced me to really think about what is it that I'm meant to do? And I think what I would say to my younger self, you know, maybe it's, it will probably be some tough love, but, you know, I would tell the younger version of myself that that you are competent. You are strong. You are a loving person, and… and get up and put the work in.

You know, I when I started my master plan, I was upset about how many years I wasted once I started looking back, I say, you know, all throughout high school, I just wasn't really hearing what everyone was trying to tell me. And I would say to the young, younger version of myself, like, “Get up. You can live a beautiful life. You just got to… you got to get up and do it. It starts today.”

[00:31:27] Alexandra Samuel: Today, my guests were Chris Wilson, author of The Master Plan and Founder of the company Cuttlefish. As well as Manu Varma, the Principal Strategist at Traction on Demand. You can support the work Chris is doing by going to the ChrisWilsonfoundation.com.

Or follow him on his website at ChrisWilson.biz and help him on his personal mission to get his amazing book into every prison in the United States. The proceeds from his book, and the art that he makes, go towards helping individuals and communities affected by the criminal justice system.

I'm Alexandra Samuel and this is Waste No Potential, brought to you by Traction on Demand, with production support from JAR Audio. I want you to imagine a leader. Someone who instantly comes to mind when you think about making big changes, making important decisions, taking charge. I often think of politicians or CEOs or people who lead huge social movements.

But what about people you don't see? Some leaders aren't the ones you expect. Instead, they're leading the charge from behind the scenes. Join us next time when we'll bring you a story of intrigue, determination, the movement of millions of dollars, and leading from behind.

Follow us on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your shows. Until then, thanks for listening.

More potential awaits.