This week’s conversation is with Kevin Carroll, an author, speaker and creative catalyst.

It is Kevin’s job to inspire businesses, organizations and individuals – from CEOs and employees of Fortune 500 companies to schoolchildren – to embrace their spirit of play and creativity to maximize their human potential and sustain more meaningful business and personal growth.

He has helped turn creative ideas into reality for organizations such as Nike, Starbucks, Adidas, Walt Disney, Target, Proctor & Gamble, Under Armour, Mattel, the NBA and many others.

The focus of this conversation is much more about how Kevin became the man he is today rather than the “what” of his accomplishments so I want to give a quick rundown of Kevin’s stops along the way.

Raised by his grandparents in Philadelphia, Kevin spent endless hours at the neighborhood playground where he found his calling: a red rubber ball.

His subsequent pursuit of play and his ‘red rubber ball’ took him overseas with the Air Force, where he served as a language interpreter and translator, gaining fluency in Croatian, Czech, Serbian, and German.

After serving in the Air Force for ten years and earning his college degree, Kevin became an athletic trainer at the high school and collegiate levels in Philadelphia.

His expertise in sport performance was recognized by the 76ers organization and led to his job as the Head Athletic Trainer for the Philadelphia 76ers in 1995.

While at the 76ers, Nike tapped Kevin to bring his unique experiences to the sneaker giant in 1997.

Although no job “officially” existed at the time, Kevin was directed to create a position at the company that would add value to the overall mission of the brand.

Kevin left Nike in 2004 to create his own company, Kevin Carroll Katalyst, committed to elevating the power of sport and play around the world.

“We all have that innate need to belong somewhere and to feel like we’re connected to something.”

In This Episode:

  • Having a rough childhood, moving often, and having to get used to chaos around him
  • Being left in a trailer by his mom when he was 6 and having to figure out what to do from there
  • Moved in with grandparents, started to have stability and began to thrive in school, was seeking praise due to his troubled past
  • Used performance for validation, classic trap for many people
  • The moment that changed everything for him: Meeting a friend’s mom, Ms. Lane, and learning what a healthy family unit looks like
  • Why having a sense of belonging him was so pivotal for him
  • The moments where he feels likes he’s at the edges of his capacity
  • How he prepares for his speaking engagements
  • His spiritual framework
  • His role at Nike
  • How curiosity fueled him
  • The role creative confidence plays in his life
  • What he learned from Phil Knight at Nike
  • Why he believes he’s a custodian for ensuring the creative spark within others


Listen via: Apple Podcasts | Android | SpotifyStitcher | Pocket Casts |  RSS


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Author and Speaker at

Kevin brings a playful curiosity, an avid intellect, a keen understanding of human nature, a lifelong love of competition and a "dash" of inspiration instigator to all of his creative endeavors. He sees humanistic potential + possibilities everywhere. He solves issues and challenges in surprising + unexpected ways.