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Podcast Transcript

Leadership Lessons At Ten

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:11  
Welcome to "Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership" with Marsha Clark. Join us on this journey where we're uncovering what it takes to be a powerful woman leader. Well Marsha, I think this is going to be the best podcast episode ever because we've got a granddaughter as a special guest, and I know she's been wanting to be a special guest. You've been wanting her to be a special guest for quite some time.

Marsha Clark  0:38  
That is exactly right. And I was thinking about the intro of uncovering what it takes to be a powerful woman leader or what it takes to be a powerful girl leader. Girl power! So right, yes, I have been thinking about this episode. Georgia and I talked about this a long time ago, and that it would be wonderful. And she even did a little proposal for me to what she wanted to talk about. And so we are making that happen. So let me welcome you, Georgia Clark. And my description of Georgia, in addition to being you know, my wonderful, wonderful, wonderful granddaughter is that she's a scholar, she's an athlete, she's a voracious reader, and she's a leader. And so, welcome to the podcast, Georgia, and thank you for being our guest today.

Georgia Clark  1:24  
Thank you, Mimi, and I'm really excited to be here.

Marsha Clark  1:27  
Mimi, now everybody knows that part of me as well. So Georgia, you know we have been talking about this for a while. So how does it feel to finally be in the room?

Georgia Clark  1:38  
Like I said, I'm really excited to be here and it's really cool.

Marsha Clark  1:40  
I love the cool. We were at Kidzania. They had a place where kids could go in and pretend or you know, make a podcast. And the line was so long. And so I told her. I said well, we weren't able to do that, but here we are doing the real thing.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:53  
Doing an official one that has thousands and thousands of listeners.  

Marsha Clark  1:58  
Yeah. So, Georgia, you know that our podcast and our listeners know that it's about leadership. So my first question for you is when you hear the word leader, what does that mean to you? And what do you think leaders do?

Georgia Clark  2:11  
Well, I think that leaders play an important role in the world because they help the followers know what to do. And it's a big role to play. And I think that's a good thing to be.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:25  
All right. So what do you, what are some examples of where you and your friends, Georgia, have been able to lead? Like, I know, you play sports, volleyball, right? Okay, so do you or your teammates ever do things, specific things to help lead the team during the volleyball game? Tell us about that.

Georgia Clark  2:46  
Um, so at most games, we sing Baa Baa Black Sheep to pump everybody up. And also, there's this player on the team called the center. And what you do there is you play all the positions, you hit, you set and you pass. So I think that's like building up the team.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:05  

Marsha Clark  3:06  
What about school, because I know y'all do a lot of projects at school. So what are some leadership roles you can take in that environment?

Georgia Clark  3:13  
Most of the time, I'm the one like, telling everybody what to do and like, how to do it. And everybody always makes me write because I have the best handwriting.

Marsha Clark  3:24  
She does take after her grandmother. So when you find yourself in those positions of leading, what do you like about that? What are things that you enjoy?

Georgia Clark  3:33  
I like that you get to help influence other people instead of just doing what someone else shows you what to do. It lets you do what you want instead of just like, instead of just following someone else.

Marsha Clark  3:40  
Yeah, so you've got to come up and be creative. And you like being able to set a direction or give instructions, that sort of thing.

Georgia Clark  3:58  

Marsha Clark  4:00  
Do you think there's anything hard about being a leader?

Georgia Clark  4:03  
I think that it's a big responsibility because if you do the wrong thing in front of someone and you're a leader, they all end up doing that wrong thing and it's a chain reaction. So I think that it's important to know what you're doing before you do it.

Marsha Clark  4:20  
Role model girl.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  4:21  
Yeah, exactly. So Georgia, is there anything hard about being a leader?

Georgia Clark  4:28  
I think that it's hard to know what to do at the right time and when to do it and in front of who, because if you do it in front of the wrong person or do it at the wrong time, it might end up becoming a chain reaction or something.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  4:44  
Okay. Yeah.

Marsha Clark  4:46  
So Georgia a couple of Christmases ago when you were eight years old, when you were a young girl, you took a real leadership role in a little project that you created and defined and made happen which we call Jingle Jars. So talk about that project and tell us how you came up with that idea.

Georgia Clark  5:07  
So it was almost Christmas time, and I was thinking about all the presents I'm gonna get. And I was thinking about how kids wouldn't be able to have, some kids wouldn't be able to have presents. So I had a smart water bottle in my room, and a lot of Legos. So I just filled the bottle with the Legos. And there was the idea of jingle jars.

Marsha Clark  5:30  
Well, there you go. And so, you know, that sounds very simple but there was a lot that went into that. So what did you learn from that experience?

Georgia Clark  5:39  
I learned that to make something happen, you have to put a lot into it. And also that I should be open minded about other people, because they might not have as much as I have.

Marsha Clark  5:50  
Well, and I want to prompt you a little bit, because you went from smart water bottles to having to find a different kind of bottle. You had to put a budget together. You made videos to get people to contribute to it, so there was a lot to that. So can you, do you remember some of those things?

Georgia Clark  6:09  
Yeah, I remember that I made a video to help raise money, I made a video to help keep or to thank people for giving me money and I actually raised like $1000 and something dollars.

Marsha Clark  6:21  
Which was pretty amazing. And I want all of our listeners to hear when you have a good idea and your heart's in it and you're passionate about it and you can make it happen, people want to support you.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:31  
That's right.

Marsha Clark  6:32  
And that's a part of what leadership is too, right? (Yeah.) And then a little over a year ago, I loved this moment, too. You asked me if you could come and work for me. And so what made you decide that you wanted a job and that you wanted to work for me other than I'm, you know, your Mimi?

Georgia Clark  6:50  
I, at the age of like 9 or 10, I realized that you were doing something to actually impact the world and I really liked that. And speaking of following in your footsteps, I made my own business called SOS stands for Save Our Seas and me and my friend have already raised like $200.

Marsha Clark  7:10  
Oh, I gotta hear more about that too, Save our Seas. I know that I got a baseball like cap with a turtle on the front because it was for saving the sea turtles because that's one of her favorite or her, you know, favorite passionate things. So I know, Georgia, you stay very busy between your schoolwork and your sports and, and I know, in addition to Jingle Jars. I know when you were down visiting your grandparents in Austin, you also did some volunteer work and helping them. So you know, one of your other favorite activities, though I know is reading. So when you think about some of your favorite books that you've read, what are they and why did you like those?

Georgia Clark  7:50  
Um, some of my favorite books are Jane Goodall, Harriet Tubman, Grace for President, Blended, Dear Girl, the Harry Potter series, and now the Hunger Games.

Marsha Clark  8:00  
And and whatever else, right? And I just want to say I have given Georgia some of my old Nancy Drew books, and we've read some of those together too, so old school in that regard as well. So many of the books that you've named, they have strong women characters or strong girl characters in them. So what is it about those books in those characters that you like so much?

Georgia Clark  8:24  
I like that they accomplish something in the books. And it makes me feel more confident that I could accomplish something.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  8:32  
Right. And yeah.

Marsha Clark  8:32  
I mean, that's why we all read books, right, I mean, when we're motivated, when were inspired. We just recorded another podcast just before you came, Georgia, and it was about a woman's book. And Wendi and I both said at various times, it gave us chills, you know, sort of a chill factor and goosebumps because the story was so real. And it was like our story. So I know that you spoke about Jane Goodall and Harriet Tubman, and those are books about real women. And so when you think about that, what were your favorite parts of their stories?

Georgia Clark  9:06  
Well, for Jane Goodall I liked that she took something that she liked as a kid that she felt compassionate about and turned it into her career. And for Harriet Tubman, I liked that she helped family, friends and even strangers escape slavery, just out of the kindness of her heart.

Marsha Clark  9:26  
Yeah. I love that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  9:27  
Servant leadership. Yes.  So I heard, Georgia, that you've read every one of the Harry Potter books on your own. So how old were you when you started and what, which one did you read first? Did you go in order?

Georgia Clark  9:45  
I went in order and I was seven years old.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  9:47  
Oh my goodness. Well. Just little known factoid about myself and my husband, Scott. We watch the Harry Potter series. We watch all of the movies between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day every single year. It puts us in holiday mood. Because we especially love the episode, I think it was season two or season three, I can't remember which one. I can't believe I can't remember which one but when they have the ball, the big dance, the Christmas ball, it just gets us in the holiday mood because the Christmas scenes in every episode.

Marsha Clark  10:21  
Lookit here. I'm learning something else about you.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  10:23  
We are huge Harry Potter fans.

Marsha Clark  10:26  
So I have to tell you. I've not read any of the Harry Potter books. I know they were her mom's favorite. I know they're Tracie Shipman's favorites. But these are really long books. And I think about you reading these at seven. So did you ever, were you ever overwhelmed or intimidated by how big the books were?

Georgia Clark  10:46  
Not even and I've read 870 pages in one of the books. I don't get worried because I have my whole life to read them.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  10:55  
There you go.

Marsha Clark  10:56  
So I know your mom loves the Harry Potter books. What about them interested you?

Georgia Clark  11:02  
Well, one, I just liked the magic and the like, fantasy theme of it. And also, I like that all of the characters are strong leaders.

Marsha Clark  11:13  
Yeah. So I know when Harry and Ron and Hermione that when they first went to Hogwarts, they were about 11 years old, which is only slightly older than you are. And they managed to do some pretty amazing things, even in those first years. So when you were reading about that, how did it make you feel about such important characters for Gryffindor? You know, and I do know some of the words just because we're talking, so for Gryffindor?

Georgia Clark  11:43  
Um, I, I think that it made me feel good about them. And also, I liked that Harry had his bravery, Ron had his silliness and Hermione had her smarts so they all fit together perfectly.

Marsha Clark  12:00  
See, I like this. Hermione had her smarts. I just know another young woman who has some smarts as well. Y'all don't have to guess very far on that. So were there other people or who else in the books turned out to be leaders as you continued reading through them?

Georgia Clark  12:15  
Um, I think that Neville Longbottom was a very big leader because he went from a chubby little bucktoothed boy to the leader of Harry's, the house.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  12:29  
He was one of the leaders of the house.

Georgia Clark  12:31  
Yeah. He was one of the leaders of the house and Harry's followers after he left to go fight Balthazar.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  12:38  
And Neville killed the next to the last horcrux.

Georgia Clark  12:42  

Marsha Clark  12:42  
Oh my god.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  12:43  
I know. When people watch this or hear this, they're gonna be like, Wendi.

Marsha Clark  12:51  
It's alright. It's alright.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  12:53  
It's huge. I wanted to I want to get back to talking about Ron and Harry and Hermione for just a second. And I want to hear from Georgia. Like, what do you think. They're different leaders, they were clearly all leaders, but they had different styles. Talk to us about that.

Georgia Clark  13:07  
Yeah. So I think that Hermione was always the smart one and both like cool and being safe. So like if Harry decided to go off and fight a giant snake or something, she'd be like, No, Harry. And Ron was always very, like silly and helping everybody feel less stressed when it was like a really stressed situation.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  13:33  
I also think that Ron was the character of family. Because Hermione, her parents were magical people. They were called Muggles. Can't believe I'm saying all this. But and then Harry clearly was an orphan. But Ron had this huge family so I think that he brings that part of stability to a leadership style. And I think that's interesting.

Georgia Clark  13:33  
Yeah, I like that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  13:39  
Okay. All right.

Marsha Clark  13:39  
Any others that you want to call out?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  13:51  
What do you think Harry's leadership style was?

Georgia Clark  14:09  
I think Harry's was bravery because no matter what he had to do, no matter where he had to go, he would do it if it helped save his friends.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  14:18  
Yeah. So okay, so Georgia, here's the big question. Of all the books you've read, all of them, do you have a favorite character and why?

Georgia Clark  14:30  
Well, there's this one character in a book called Blended. Her name is Isabella and she has a white mom and a black dad. And she goes through them being married, fighting and divorced and having to switch houses every week, which I think would be really hard to go through, especially having like different parents every week. And her parents, both of her parents, actually ended up getting remarried. So she had four parents. I think having more parents is fun, but I think that I wouldn't want to go through that.

Marsha Clark  15:05  
Yeah, that's a lot.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:07  
Yeah. So, Marsha, why don't you answer the question. What's your favorite character from a book and why?

Marsha Clark  15:15  
Oh, goodness, I don't know that I'm prepared for this. Okay. You know,  I look at the character from When the Crawdads Sing and I think that's amazing. And I also read books about powerful women, much as you do. And I think the Ruth Bader Ginsburg story was amazing. I read one of those 800 plus page books about Eleanor Roosevelt. So I don't have a favorite, all of that. But the theme that runs through all of mine is strength, dealing with adversity so that I'm going to make this happen, I'm going to be personally, I'm going to persevere, I'm going to be tenacious. And that this idea of service, so you know, being brave in service to others, being smart about protecting and serving others. So I think, you know, the books may be different that Georgia and I are reading but the themes are very similar.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  16:12  
Exactly. I think my favorite, one of my favorites, but the one that I'm going to bring forth right now, because it has to do with leadership in very challenging times is the I can't remember the title. But it's the Katharine Graham story, the woman who took over the Washington Post when and the fact that it was in her family, and her father gave it to her husband and then he died. And so that was the only way that she took it over. But this was in the '50s and '60s and women were treated very differently back then. And it's a big like 807 page autobiography of her.

Marsha Clark  16:50  
Yeah, it's in my audible to read list because I've heard good things about that as well. And I do think like she said, that's another strong character that models for us what the possibilities of leadership are.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:02  
So question back to Miss Georgia. Do you have any plans to lead any projects this summer while you're out of school?

Georgia Clark  17:13  
Like I told you, I'm currently helping my friend run a business. But besides that, I really just want to hang out this summer because I know that fifth grade is going to be a lot.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:25  
Yeah. You know, I love it, too. Yeah, fifth grade is, I remember. It was a lot.

Marsha Clark  17:32  
Well, and here's what I want to say, too. You're gonna read a lot, I'm sure (Yeah) Continue to do that. And we just opened a new library here in Frisco. And it's one of on our to do list is to get them in because it has, it's amazing. And I want to be able to introduce all of my grandchildren to the library. And you already have a library card in the McKinney Library. And you know, she, there's hardly an occasion, birthday, Christmas, or whatever that goes by that she doesn't get more books.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:01  
That's phenomenal. So Georgia, what are you most excited about reading next?

Georgia Clark  18:06  
Um, I'm in the middle of the second Hunger Games, which I really like so far. And I think I'm looking forward to reading the third one.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:14  
Okay. All right, Marsha, what's next on your book list?

Marsha Clark  18:20  
It's How to Build Confidence, and then the one shortly after that, because I'm almost finished with Confidence one is, How to Say Anything to Anybody. Oh, so it's a communication one. My colleague, Susie Vaughn gave it to me as a high recommendation. So let's work on it. But I just have to say I'm working really hard on writing, myself. So I have to say I'm reading a little less and writing a whole lot more.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:43  
That's good. We're all appreciative of that. So that second book comes out on time because we're chomping at the bit on that one. What's on my reading my nightstand right now is a book called Two Hour Cocktail Conversations, I believe is the title. My husband, Scott, picked it up. It's all about how to host a really effective two hour networking, connective. interesting, everybody leaves with valuable nuggets and connections, cocktail party. So I'm always up for a cocktail party and now here I go. That's the next one.

Marsha Clark  19:23  
I want your Cliffs Notes on that. I mean, you know, this whole idea of dinner parties and salons and learning from one another and sharing stories. Maybe we can do that this summer, Georgia.

Georgia Clark  19:33  
I can't drink.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:34  
Well, no. We'd have punch.

Marsha Clark  19:37  
That's right. We can have cocoa or lemonade or whatever. But what I'm thinking is if you got your friends together, and we could facilitate a conversation about anything you wanted to talk about.

Georgia Clark  19:46  
Sure, that'd be fun.

Marsha Clark  19:47  
You want to, you want to come be a co-host with me?

Georgia Clark  19:49  

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:51  
Well, Georgia, thank you so much for being our guest today and helping us all see that there's no such thing as being too young to be a leader. And we usually wrap up the show by sharing our favorite part of the conversation. And so mine was vibing with you on the whole Harry Potter thing. And Marsha, I'm gonna let you say what your most favorite part of the show was.

Marsha Clark  20:14  
Just the anticipation, and it's now happening, and I want the world to know my wonderful, smart granddaughter and because our future is our girls. And, you know, I want us to acknowledge how smart they are, how they too can contribute and step up to leadership in big ways. And I think Georgia is a great a great model for that. And doesn't mean that all of us aren't, you know, we will get off base a little bit or we'll fall short sometimes. And yet here we are. We're all learners, whether you're 10 or whether you're 70 years, we're all still learning and I love that and I love Georgia sharing her stories today.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  20:53  
Yes. So, Georgia, what was your most favorite part about being here today? Was it the chair, and the mic in your face?

Georgia Clark  20:58  
Um, I think my favorite part was getting to talk about Harry Potter in a way that I don't think I've really ever thought about it before. I think while reading the books, I kind of just read them, I'm like, know them. But today talking about how they were leaders. I really liked that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  21:17  
I love the leadership aspect. And because I think a lot of people watch the stories, especially if they watch them two or three times or read them two or three times, what comes out is the love. Like I see people with tattoos of the three deadly hollows and they turn that symbol into an always and I love that word, always. That's a theme throughout all the books and now I'm really going down a rabbit hole but Snape is the best character.

Georgia Clark  21:46  
Yes, he is.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  21:47  
See. Okay, there we are.

Marsha Clark  21:50  
I'll have to hear more about Snape.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  21:52  
I think we might need to wrap up this episode with this whole episode was like a book list, reading list adventure. So that was awesome. For girls and women and women. All right.

Marsha Clark  22:04  
Thank you, Georgia for being here today.

Georgia Clark  22:06  
Thank you for inviting me.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  22:07  
Yes, thank you Miss Georgia so much. And thank you, listeners, for joining us today on our journey of authentic, powerful leadership, journey all the way back from 10 years old, coming all the way forward. So please continue to download, subscribe and share this podcast from wherever you like to listen. Visit for links to all of her tools and resources. Subscribe to her email list and stay up to date on everything in Marsha's world, including her granddaughter.

Marsha Clark  22:41  
Because anybody who looks at my Facebook knows that there's lots of stuff on there about my grandkids. But you know, I also want to just share with our listeners, reading is was a big part of our focus today. And I just want to say it opens the world up to get beyond our day in and day out lives were whatever that may be beyond our homes, beyond our schools beyond our neighborhoods. And I know reading was a bit of an escape for me. And you know, I was one of those that when I was young, I would after the lights had to be out I had a flashlight and I read under the covers because I you know, didn't want to put the book down. And I think I know somebody else who does that. And I just want to encourage our listeners, you know, introduce your girls and your boys to bigger possibilities so that they can see the opportunities that lie ahead for them. Listen to what they have to say. They you know, out of the mouths of babes and they can be very insightful. And asking questions about the latest books a girl has read, in my mind, sends a strong message about being smart and being a scholar. And we always want to say Oh, how cute or Oh how pretty. And I want to say and smart. (And smart. Absolutely.) And I want our girls to hear the message that being smart is a cool thing to be. (I know cool's probably not the right word, but whatever the right word is.) So thank you, listeners. Thank you for being willing to share a special moment for me as I bring Georgia into this podcast series and podcast work. And be on the lookout because she's a mover and a shaker. And as I often say not only hashtag value women and girls, but "Here's to women and girls who support women and girls!"

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