McMaster students bring light to truly thoughtful conversation with Potential Excellence podcast
True, meaningful conversation is a gift. It involves profound, open and encouraging discussion, a sense of feeling heard and an opportunity to learn and grow. Through their podcast, Potential Excellence, second-year McMaster University students Brian Osei-Boateng and Tevin Wellington exemplify this wonderful kind of conversation to support and encourage.
Initially having met in high school, Osei-Boateng and Wellington are the co-creators of Potential Excellence. Described by both as more of a message than just a brand or a podcast, Potential Excellence began initially as a project for the pair’s Grade 11 leadership class where they were asked to invent a brand to address a real cause. They did well on the project and then months later, when they were getting ready to head off to university, the idea came back up again.
“We came to the conclusion that if we could do this good on a fake brand about a real cause as a team for just a school project, imagine if we made this a real thing?” said Osei-Boateng.
We’ve shown our potential to a few, we’ve shown that we can be excellent to some, but to many we have a lot of things to prove #JourneysNeverOver
— Potential Excellence (@PotentialExcel) September 30, 2019
They went back and forth with ideas, drawing on their initial project. They considered their own strengths and past experiences to determine what message and topics they wanted to include.
Gradually it all came together and Potential Excellence began to take form. They officially launched just over a year ago, publishing their podcast in September 2019. Within the last year, they have continued to grow, expanding to more platforms and gaining more followers.
Each podcast episode is centred around a conversation between Osei-Boateng, Wellington and an occasional guest. They have covered a wide variety of topics in their podcast, ranging from dating advice to diversity. When choosing topics they rely on a variety of sources, including input from their followers and also world events.
“It sucks to have an easy topic [because] something tragic is going on in the world, like a certain movement or a certain issue in the political environment or the social environment. We hate to talk about it, but [in] our roles as influencers, we have to bring awareness to various conflicts and issues. So those are the easiest times to think of a topic when there’s a big thing happening,” said Osei-Boateng.
While the topic for each episode is selected and roughly outlined ahead of time, the conservation itself is not scripted, flowing organically and feeling as if the audience was just listening to an everyday conversation between the two.
At its core Potential Excellence is about highlighting people’s potential. It’s about making people more aware of not only what they could do, but who they could be and encouraging them to pursue their potential.
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Stream U.Y.P.E (#16) on all platforms! 🎙⬇️ (A direct link is in our bio) In this podcast episode, @tevinwellington & @obriansays discuss the importance of having an opinion, the best time to share your opinion, & the positive & negatives that come with it! Please sit back, and enjoy another #UYPE episode! 🙂 #OnAMission
Described by both himself and Wellington as a motivational speaker, Osei-Boateng brings enthusiasm and an encouraging spirit to the podcast, emphasizing the importance of openness and growth in all aspects of life when it comes to developing one’s potential.
“I hope someone can become more aware of how they’re feeling about their lives, instead of going through the motions and just pushing all the hate and negativity down. I hope someone could become a lot more open-minded about certain topics that are going on and take the time to just really take in what’s going on and . . . what they could do to help while also building the best version of themselves in that process,” explained Osei-Boateng.
Described by both himself and Osei-Boateng as being knowledgeable about a wide range of topics and interested in the art of conversation, Wellington is often the facilitator of the conversation, asking the questions to encourage reflection and further thought.
“I want someone to walk away with the ability to understand that I have my opinion, I have my way of seeing things, but that does not automatically mean that my way of seeing things is correct. That does not automatically discount other views and whenever you’re in a conversation, whenever you’re talking about something you should always be willing to accept that there is a possibility . . . that you could be wrong. You should always be willing to accept that and you should never sacrifice a good conversation, the opportunity to learn, for the sake of being correct,” explained Wellington.
Though they may seem to be approaching the podcast from different angles, their strengths complement each other well and have helped them to create something that is authentic and thoughtful as well as informative and uplifting.
It’s important for the pair that they are not only helping people to recognize their potential but also that their audience comes away with what they were looking for. They recognize that different people at different points in their life will be looking for different things and they hope they’re able to provide whatever is, especially during these difficult times.
“Depending on the mindset you’re in, if you’re feeling more melancholic at a point in time, you obviously lean more to the motivational side of the podcast as opposed to the actual social aspect and opinionated sides of the podcast,” said Wellington.
Potential Excellence is a wonderful example of not only what good conversation looks like, but also the power that kind conversation has and the ways in which it can be used to encourage and inform people.