Jeff Willis, the 2012 AEE NW Conference Playnote, is the founder and principal consultant for Creative Toolbox. He specializes in helping organizations and people to think out of the box, work more collaboratively together and build a sense of appreciation for the assets we already possess.
We’ve asked Jeff to answer 18 questions inspired by the Proust Questionnaire in attempt to reveal his true nature and to find out what we can expect from his playnote on Friday, April 13.
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Cheddar cheese (very old) on a French baguette with fresh butter, enjoyed on a very long holiday stint. It’s sunny outside, and the smell of fresh fair trade dark-roasted coffee in front of me along with a newspaper… Wait! I am also in a foreign country and my family is about to arrive to start our daily adventure. The moment between individual bliss and the gratitude of a family adventure.
What does your ideal day look like?
Waking my daughter each morning by singing “Wakie Wakie, Eggs and Bakie! Good morning, Sunshine!” From there I am open to whatever happens so long as it’s a step forward in making life a better place. At the end of the day, giving my wife and daughter a kiss before bed.
What is your greatest extravagance?
Scotch. That’s it. Think Anchor Man (the movie) and Ron Burgundy’s “Scotchie Scotch”.
What possession would you be heartbroken if you lost?
My family is not my possession so I would say my house. I’ve had to work very hard to purchase it.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
I have a long torso. And short legs. So I run like a chicken… Nah! I wouldn’t change a thing. This question feels like one of those trick questions…
What childhood fear has followed you into adulthood?
Snakes. Big ones. I’ve had two encounters where I have nearly stepped on poisonous snakes. They just scare me.
Do you take comfort in darkness or light?
Light, of course, as it allows me to have the best view of my surroundings. Don’t vampires come out at night? Come on, people!
Do you remember your dreams?
Certainly, I do, for most dreams. The ones I cannot and should not talk about, I soon forget.
How do you collect snippets of observations and ideas that come to you unexpectedly?
I repeat the idea/comment/experience in my mind so I don’t forget. I do my best to follow up with the person right away if they are involved with the idea. Finally, I like to write it down and eventually incorporate the idea into a life experience.
What emotions do you experience when you begin a new project?
Conviction, determination, 100% focus and 150% super high-level of energy. I am an “all in” type of person.
What is your favourite way to avoid work?
Not show up. (I can afford to not show up as I work a lot of over time in the first place.) I love to watch movies or go for bike rides. Typically, I avoid work by planning an experience or vacation.
Does being in love propel or postpone your work?
Hmm… I would say my wife and daughter keep me balanced and focused but they also help propel my work. So yes.
How do you work under pressure?
Unfortunately I work extremely well under pressure and I wish I didn’t.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
I really don’t have one. I do respect Steve Jobs, Robin Williams and Pierre Trudeau.
If you were reincarnated as a person or thing, who or what would you be?
I would be a sailboat. To have the opportunity to travel and see the world by sea is something remarkable. I have a love for the sea and one of my bucket list items is to learn how to sail.
What is your most memorable EE-related project or program?
Starting Fireside Adventures has been an 8-year dream. It’s a combination of my Outward Bound experience, my background in child and youth work, and my summer camp days. It truly has been an awesome experience building a program from scratch and giving so many kids the opportunity to explore, discover and learn.
What is your favourite part about working in experiential education?
Knowing I can be a leader, facilitator and learner – all at the same time. To be honest, my favourite part is really the people I meet each day who share the same interest and passion for EE.
Tell us one thing you cannot prove but believe to be true.
Quebec City will get their NHL hockey team back. Trust me – Canada will get more hockey teams.
On Friday, April 13, prepare yourself for a full-on, satirical and adventure-filled experience with The Canadian Bacon Play, including games such as Beaver Tail Tag and Moose on the Loose! It’s sure to be one of the most engaging, talked about and remembered sessions of the conference!
To register for the 2012 AEE NW Regional Conference, follow this link: http://www.aee.org/conference/register/id/54/