Don’t Force Square Pegs Into Round Holes- Outside Insights Podcast Episode #32

by placers on May 12, 2023 in Outside Insights


Servant leader Rob Eppes said he believes that an entrepreneurial soul is something most business owners are born with; Outside Insights Podcast Host Chris Burkhard laughed and agreed during this week’s episode.

An upbringing that “points to the horizon,” looks to “what can be” and asks, “How can we make it better?” nurtures an entrepreneurial spirit. These are some of the pillars of Junior Achievement (JA), the worldwide nonprofit that “connects students to their boundless possibilities.”

JA teaches students how to develop their inner entrepreneur and fiscal literacy which allows them to identify skills and interests that lead to a pathway of success, said Eppes, President, JA of Delaware. He discovered JA at a young age, as did Burkhard. They realized early on that JA gave them permission to lead. “It’s how people responded to me that made me want to lead,” said Eppes. “Working with a team gave me that organic experience.” As years passed, both men eventually sat on their local JA Board together and learned how volunteering honed their business acumen while helping youths.

JA and skill-building go hand in hand, said Eppes, adding that the “sweet spot” of the nonprofit shines a light on soft skills such as social and emotional learning as it relates to employability. “It develops confidence and motivation,” said Eppes. The workforce today isn’t adequately ready for the workplace, added Burkhard, who advocated for the JA experience which prepares students how to: listen and talk, debate professionally without getting offended, and participate in a team setting.

A JA alumni survey revealed: 

  • 91% said their JA experience motivated them to learn.
  • 84% said JA influenced their positive professional development.
  • 81% said JA influenced their career path.
  • 80% said they find their work fulfilling.

“Only 25% of average Americans say they’re in their dream career,” noted Eppes. “ Sixty-nine percent of JA alums say they’re in their dream career. They’re where they want to be where they are.”

To learn more about where you want to be and how to get there, order “Opposite The Crowd” by Placers’ Presidents and Founders Alan and Chris Burkhard. The audio version is available now. The print and eBook versions will be available in early summer.

Listen to this entire interview to learn more about JA and hear about the importance of timing in career-making decisions and how to navigate control in life and the workplace. Click on the image.

For more information about JA of Delaware, go to:

If you enjoyed this, I recommend listening to these past Outside Insights Podcast episodes:

A Sit Down With Vince DiFelice – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #31
A Sit Down With Dave Raymond – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #30.
A Sit Down With Robert Herrera – Outside Insights Podcast Episode #29

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