May 22, 2020
Kevin Carrol is a Katalyst, a spark.
I first met Kevin at a conference several years ago and I've been a huge fan ever since.
When I met him, he was the "Creative Katalyst" at Nike. Phil Knight called him the Mayor of Nike.
But his journey to Nike was never preordained. He took a lot of twists and turns, like the feather in Forest Gump.
Kevin was raised by his grandparents in Philadelphia after his parents, addicted to drugs, abandoned him at age six.
Everything in his environment told him that he should never amount to anything.
But out of necessity, he found a way to build community and seek wisdom from others-- drug dealers, veterans, positive deviants, teachers and more.
Growing up, Kevin played basketball and football. But after suffering a few concussions on the football field, he started playing soccer, which helped pave his path to college.
From there, Kevin found his way to the Air Force where he became a translator while also studying to become a sports trainer.
After leaving the Air Force, he thought he found his dream job as a high school trainer in Philly. This led him to become the head trainer at St. Joseph's University, and then the Philadelphia 76ers, which is where he was discovered by Nike.
Kevin has an incredible life story, and an even more incredible energy.
You should definitely check out that podcast-- just after you listen to this one.
For more on Kevin, check out his website here-- where, by the way, he has the greatest testimonial of all time from Paolo Coelho: “When I met Kevin, I saw a man who manages to preserve the wisdom of his inner child. This human ‘Katalyst’ is able to bring out of reality its magic and out of people its joy.”
When you listen to this interview, you'll see what he means.
Huge thanks to Kevin for sharing so much with us. I sincerely hope we can do this again soon.