Unserious

Introducing Unserious

October 31, 2023 J.B. Skelton and Molly McMahon Season 1
Unserious
Introducing Unserious
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Welcome to Unserious! Get to know hosts J.B. Skelton and Molly McMahon as they kick off a season of exploring how to manage and manifest creative impact in an era of constant disruption. Also, there are fireballs. 


Follow Unserious in your podcast app, at unserious.com, and on Instagram and Threads at @unserious.fun.

Molly McMahon:

This is the first time that this digital world is kind of cannibalizing itself.

J.B. Skelton:

As creative people, our work can feel like a never-ending game of twister. People just don't have the capacity to do more. We're constantly asked to adapt how we create and collaborate. We're looking at this macroeconomic context To accommodate new platforms, paradigm shifts, companies are just really focusing on optimization, and even social and political crises. So if we can't stop change, how do we manage through a constant barrage of disruption? Welcome to Unserious, a podcast that explores how teams create and communicate to achieve uncommon results. Join me, my co-host, molly McMahon, and our guests as we try to have some fun with the changes that fall into our laps, because when we can get some distance from the seriousness, we see the problem space in a new light. We see opportunities we might not have otherwise, and lowering the stakes helps us take care of our teams and ourselves. The culture I try to build is one that is unafraid to try, and the only real sin is making the same mistake over and over and over again. In the first season, we're exploring how to manage and manifest creative impact amid constant change, in conversation with some extraordinary leaders we know and admire. Tune in and follow Unserious wherever you get your podcasts. You can also follow us on Instagram at Unseriousfun.

Molly McMahon:

Well, that's fun. That was a great exercise.

J.B. Skelton:

So Molly and I have known each other for 20 years or so now, but we grew up in the same town, yep. We graduated from high school at the same time we did. We have lots of mutual friends but we had never met each other until we were adults. And we met working for the Recon Foundation in Tegucigalpa, honduras, and I would go down there for you know, probably a week or two. I worked out of Washington DC and Molly was the country director for the operations across Honduras and one weekend we decided to take a road trip up north. We go, get drunk as a skunk, we do.

Molly McMahon:

Because we're in our 20s. Let's be honest we're in our 20s.

J.B. Skelton:

Molly and I wake up in the middle of the night and like, because we're all in, it's like a bunk room that we're in, it's basically a hostel. And so I'm like Molly Molly, do you smell smoke? So we walk out of our hotel room, unbeknownst to us, like a forest fire, and come onto the property and, like we were like oh, snosing, right through it. And we wander out to the beach and we just sat on the beach for like an hour or two.

Molly McMahon:

Smoking cigarettes.

J.B. Skelton:

Smoking cigarettes Watching the fire.

Molly McMahon:

Yeah, and that was not the only incident where JB and I have seen fireballs. No, we also. That was just the first time. That was the first time and most recently, which maybe could have been the second or third time, we saw some giant fireballs together. This is in the middle of COVID, jb and I snuck out of town to do some camping in Big Sur. Yes, so it was like our first time out in public masks on having a burger and a Coke in downtown Cambria and a car careened off the road and crashed into a farmhouse shop and then the shop, caught on fire, blew up.

J.B. Skelton:

It was like a whole barn blew up and because we'd had this experience in Honduras. We know about fires and so, while everybody was kind of walking towards the fire with their cameras, you walk outside and then we both watched like this gas main explode, building on fire and we just look at each other and it was like and we ran in the opposite direction.

Molly McMahon:

While everybody ran towards the fire, we were like we are out of here.

J.B. Skelton:

Get the fuck out.

Molly McMahon:

Because I think we have been trained in Central America that you do not head towards the fire, you get out of there as quickly as possible because bad things can happen. And so we did and we were like and we didn't even have to talk, we just locked eyes and sprinted away together.

J.B. Skelton:

We wanted to really sort of give our audience you know, the three people who are tuning into, listen again an idea of what, what's in store for them with this podcast and with this season, and a bit about who we are. So, molly, why don't you kick us off and tell us what is unserious and why it's important right now?

Molly McMahon:

I really think about it as taking unserious approaches towards solving our most serious challenges. Right now, work and life feels hard, even if you have everything that's right. Even for the most privileged of us. We feel like everything is super hard and I think it's really around the rate of change, the amount of disruption, uncertainty about the state of our planet and our country and that seeps into our world of work. It's affecting how our businesses run, Many folks around me. I come out of a background at IDEO, which is a design and innovation company, and many alumni and creative folks I know from that world were laid off. This last year I think there was close to 250,000 tech workers laid off.

J.B. Skelton:

Oh my god.

Molly McMahon:

In the last year and things feel uncertain. Things feel like you have to do more with less, and it's a time when we really need more creative problem solving for people in planet than any other time in history. I believe, and I think a key part to this is taking the ego out of problem solving. So it's around, it's really around thinking about how you built that collective efficacy, that belief in yourself and each other that something better is possible.

J.B. Skelton:

I think that the stakes have never been higher in the world today. I feel like everything is framed as life or death for the planet, for democracy, for people. When these are problems that you're working around in your day to day work, it feels like the stakes of everything are incredibly high, and unseriousness helps lower the stakes, make problems more approachable, make being a beginner and an amateur at something Because oftentimes we're wading into waters we've never worked in before Totally, totally, much more possible. It makes you able to do it and makes you able to move and begin All right. I think that that's the show. We really hope that you join us for our first episode with the amazing Courtney Kaplan, who leads Iconic Leadership Coaching.

Molly McMahon:

She has been a coach to several of us on the Unserious podcast and she led design operations at Facebook. She is a fabulous human being. She dropped some amazing ideas. A fabulous human being. She dropped some amazing wisdom bombs and it's such a fun conversation.

J.B. Skelton:

It's a great one. I hope that you'll join us. Tune in and follow Unserious wherever you get your podcasts. You can follow us on Instagram at unserious. fu n. Thank you so much.

Molly McMahon:

Thank you.

Trailer
Get to know J.B. and Molly
What's coming in Season 1
Outro