Deborah Jones comes to the Swamp and shares what it took to build the Community Leadership Programme with the Violence Reduction Network in Leicester, England. She describes how the commitment of Leicester’s diverse network of leaders has fostered a culture of leadership practice and produced an enhanced impact that benefits their city and county. And they all seem to be having a great time supporting each other on their learning journey.
[0:00:06] ANNOUNCER: You are listening to 10,000 Swamp Leaders, leadership conversations that explore adapting and thriving in a complex world with Rick Torseth and guests.
[0:00:20] RT: Hi, everybody. This is Rick Torseth, and this is 10,000 Swamp Leaders, the podcast where I talk with people who’ve made a challenging and bold decision to raise their hand and choose to lead in the world regarding difficult complex challenges that the world faces. It could be climate change, it could be social impact, it could be community work, the kinds of stuff that’s messy and swampy as I like to call it. Today, I have the cool pleasure of inviting a friend and a colleague, Debbie Jones, who lives and resides in Leicester, UK. Deb, first of all, welcome to the podcast.
[0:00:57] DJ: Thank you, Rick. Thanks for having me.
[0:00:59] RT: You’re welcome. I’m just psyched that you’re here. You’ve been doing some pretty interesting work for a very long time in your community. I want to get into the work that you’re doing particularly around leadership for women here. But you’ve been involved in your community, doing leadership work for I’m thinking, I’m going to guess at least eight or nine years and it could be longer than that. You know your stuff, you’ve been doing it for quite a while, and you’ve helped a lot of people. Before we get into the specifics of the way you’re doing your work in your community, I want to give you a chance to share with people who you are and what you think’s important for them to know as who Debbie Jones is in the world before we get into the details of your work.
[0:01:39] DJ: Okay. Thank you very much. I’ve never really considered myself as a leader. That’s one thing I guess I’d like to start with. I am a coach and a leadership development consultant. I run programs and I coach people. I coach individuals and I coach teams around their leadership. That’s what I am professionally. I’m a woman from the Midlands in the UK, so I live in Leicester City, which is in the East Midlands, and I grew up in and around Birmingham City, which is in the West Midlands. I’m from a working middle-class background, probably more working class.
I guess I started my career in London, I worked in financial services, and I had a good 10 years, innovating, working for financial services companies in product development, in that corporate environment. As much as I enjoyed it, I always felt that I wanted to do something locally, something in the Midlands, whether that was going to be in the West Midlands, or the East Midlands. I sometimes felt like a fish out of water. I was really keen to do something locally, but I never had the opportunity initially. That came, as you say, over the course of the last eight years or so.
I have two little boys who are 10 and 12. Like every parent, they mean the world to me. When you become a parent, you sort of reset, don’t you? And you want to be the kind of person who sets a good example to them. I’ve always been interested in change. I’ve always been interested in other people. When I was a teenager, back in Birmingham, my dad put me on a bus and then a plane to go and spend a few summers in France on holiday with other families. This was in the mid-80s. There were no mobile phones back then, and I just went.
I’ve been used to change, I’ve been used to being a fish out of water, I guess in other environments since I was a teenager. I think that really shaped me. It shaped what I enjoy doing, how I enjoy spending my time. It shaped the fact that I enjoy meeting new people and taking on new challenges. It also shaped my love for travel and adventure. I’m very much a Euro file, so I studied European politics and French at university, and spent quite a lot of time as an undergraduate in France and Belgium as well. That’s a little bit about me. I think that’s probably enough for now.
[0:04:24] RT: There’s good stuff there that I think we can cycle back to. Let’s then, therefore talk a little bit, and we’ll jump ahead to go backwards. How’s that? Because just a week or so ago, you sent me something knowing that we’re going to have this conversation today about a program that you’ve been involved with, and I think probably leading or co-leading a large part of it in Leicester, the Community Leadership Program. You just had a celebration a week or so ago, a graduation celebration for look to me about 18 or 20 participants in this program.
Let’s begin with that work because I know it’s been going on for a while. But I want to use that I think as a starting point to understand your views on leading, and leadership, and how you help people develop that capacity. Tell us about the event, and what these people had, journey they traveled, and a little bit about how you and others supported them on that journey to get them to that cool place last week.
[0:05:22] DJ: Okay, thanks. I’ll tell you about the event. If I may start with the program, because the event was a celebration of them completing the program, the leadership development program. As I’ve mentioned, you’ve already said, I live in Leicester City. Leicester is a hugely diverse city in the UK. We are now at 59% ethnic, let’s call it majority, rather than minority and 41% white British. As a city, Leicester has had immigration since after the war from all different cultures. We have now got a lot of South Asians, Africans, African Caribbeans. We’ve got a big Polish, Ukrainians, Somali population in the city. It’s hugely diverse and I love living here.
As I mentioned, I wanted to do something locally. Actually, what I wanted to do locally was to be able to support community leaders. I didn’t quite know what. I thought maybe I’d be doing some coaching or some career mentoring for teenagers. I’d really didn’t know. Then, an opportunity came along to tender for the office of Police and Crime Commissioner here in the city, has a violence reduction network attached to it. The violence reduction network, or they’re often called units, violence reduction units are something that’s come from the home office. They’ve been given money to specifically target reducing violence, serious violent crime in mainly cities across the country.
The one in Leicester has a great vision for taking a public health approach, which is a holistic approach to improving community safety, and reducing violence, reducing crime across the city and the county. As such, this public health approach means that they do lots of different interventions. The Community Leadership Program was also an idea of theirs. They commissioned this program a few years ago now about four years ago. I applied with my business, and with some colleagues who I know both work in the community, have got a long tenure of working in the community, and also our leadership development consultants and coaches. That we could put a program together, and that we could meet this need.
Luckily, we won the tender, because you don’t always win these things. I think they like the fact that we were local, and that we’ve got lots of community experience in the team, as well as the leadership development, academic side of what the team was bringing. It was actually somebody else’s vision that I piggybacked on if you like, or I joined as well. This vision of the Community Leadership Program was part of this wider initiative to improve community safety and reduce violence in the city. The program itself is a five-module program, it runs over 12-weeks, it’s got a hybrid element to it. There’s some online sessions. That’s really an overhang from COVID. When we first started, it was all online, and lots of face-to-face sessions as well. There’s an information platform where we keep all the material and everybody can access that, depending on how they want to access material. We have lots of events as well.
Something else that’s come out of the Leadership Program is a network, so like an alumni network as well, that community members have stayed part of. I think maybe in our conversation, we can dig in more to that network, and how it’s tackling the gnarly problems that are coming across in communities, not just violence. Sometimes it’s – well, it’s all kinds of things, that’s why it’s a public health approach.
The types of people who have come on the program, they’re already leading Rick. They’re already doing hard things. They are spending their time, supporting their friends, their neighbors, their communities, in a wide range of activities, in a wide range of organizations. We have people on the program who are from homeless charities, boxing clubs, football clubs, domestic violence support groups, food banks, mental health provisions. We’ve got rape counselors, we’ve got youth clubs, music groups, arts groups, specific cultural groups.
I mentioned there’s a big Somali population in Leicester City, and there’s a group called Women for Change, who are a group of Somali women who have created a community interest company, and are doing everything they possibly can to support the Somali community in Leicester City. That ranges from supporting the NHS with COVID vaccines back at 18 months or so ago, to putting on workshops for young people, supporting families when maybe somebody gets attacked, an incidence of violence, supporting with the challenges of just integrating into society.
We’ve got an African Development Network, a group called Wandugu, run by one of our participants. That says Swahili word, I believe, that means family or brother. They’re trying to unite a vast array of African families that are in Leicester City, around coming together, and just supporting one another. We’ve got violence against women and girls’ groups. We’ve got Muslim father’s support groups. We’ve got a whole range of people that come on the program.
I guess I should, at this point mention what is the point of the program. There’s two aims. One is to provide community leaders with high-quality leadership development training. I use that word training intentionally. It’s a mixture of a bit of knowledge, some theories, but lots of practice, and some lots of techniques, and useful tools that we think community leaders will do good things with. The whole point is that they’re already leading, but maybe this program can help them to make even more of an impact than they’re already making in their community groups.
The second point of the program is to create a network, to create a supportive network of leaders across our city and our region that can come together, collaborate. But also collaborate with public bodies, public agencies, local councils, children’s, adult social care, public health, housing departments, the NHS, the police. Lots of people who are working in the public zone, and have the budgets, but aren’t necessarily at the grassroots level. Our aim with the program is to create a network almost across a system that strengthens that collaboration and ultimately, the cohesion across the city.
[0:12:48] RT: Okay. There’s a great deal of useful stuff here. Let’s pick it apart a little bit. Let’s begin with, you’re making two distinctions. One about the network, so let’s put that second here. The first part I’m interested in is, these people show up in your program as leaders already. Some kind of experience either educated experience, school of hard knocks experience, combination of both, wise people using themselves. Given that the listening audience for our conversation is probably a lot of people who are also on a journey of building their capacity to lead. What is it that you and your team are learning about what is useful for these people to add to their repertoire of leadership already, that you’re bringing to the program. You’re in your third or fourth iteration of this, I suspect you update it, and improve it based on what’s actually happening in the cohort you’ve been working with.
Let’s go in on now for the people in the cohort that you think is important that you’re a little surprised by that you didn’t have at the outset, that you now see based on where they’re at. We need to bring this stuff forward so that they can build additional capacity.
[0:13:57] DJ: Okay. Well, there’s a lot. I’d start with engaging the communities themselves. These, you mentioned about where these people have come from. They’re already leaders. They are leaders, they don’t necessarily recognize themselves as leaders. They’re already doing a day job, they may have a family, and they’re doing this work in addition to the – this is not necessarily their paid job. They’re doing this work because they care. They do this work, because they’re interested, they do this work because they have a purpose and a vision. Those are things that I know you understand are crucial if you’re going to lead anything, anybody. You need a vision, you need a purpose, and you need to be able to corral people around that.
Therein lies I think the first skill that we try and impart on the program and that is around engaging communities. That might sound a bit weird, because you think, well, they’re already working in the communities. They are, but what we can bring is maybe some additional techniques around being more impactful and engaging community groups, the theory around positive deviance. We have some guest speakers on the program and one of those guest speakers is Lars Thuesen, who comes to talk to everybody about finding people in your communities who are succeeding where others are not. He talks as well about, nothing about us without us, which is a key tenant of positive deviance.
Sometimes you can find with community and voluntary work that people with really good hearts, and really good intentions are working hard, but might not necessarily be what the community identifies initially as priority number one. It’s just a reminder to those people on the ground to listen to their communities and give some techniques about how to convene a focus group, we’d know it as. They probably just call it a coffee to get people around talking about, what are the issues that we’re really bothered about today? Is it poverty? Is it knife crime or is it anti-social behavior on the park? Or is it drugs or is it – I’ve already mentioned poverty, but those are some of the top issues or is it cultural cohesion. Is it love thy neighbor and creating a more cohesive community. Sometimes we can run away with our own ideas without remembering to check in with those people who actually we’re doing the work for.
[0:16:34] RT: Yes. I’m going to dig a little bit here. I know Lars as well, we’re all friends, and he is one of the world leaders in positive deviance now. For those who are listening, I’ve had Lars on the podcast earlier, so you can find his specific conversation on the website if you’d like. But let’s go to this piece that you said, because it’s my view, not invented by me, but I subscribe to it. Leading is a choice, and an activity, not a role and a position. Meaning, it can come from anywhere in the system, which I hear you saying to some degree is what some of these people are now doing. It’s not part of their official role, but they’re raising their hand somewhere here and saying, “I’m willing to step in here and do something.”
Then the second point you raise, which I think is also really a partner to the first choice, which is, how do I mobilize people to come together to do joint work so we can make progress on whatever the issue is? I’d like for you to tell people who are listening what have you witnessed, and what have you coached people to actually do to create this mobilizing, this convening, this gathering of people so they stick together and have more capacity as a collective to go out and have impact than had one person tried to do it his or herself? What do you know now about that convenient function and that stickiness element that is essential in order to get people collectively moving on something?
[0:18:02] DJ: There’s a lot of questions there, Rick.
[0:18:05] RT: My podcast masters would say, “Rick, you ask too many questions.” But I’m thinking, Deb can handle these, so I’m not worried.
[0:18:12] DJ: Oh, okay. Well, I’ll give an answer. If I miss something, you’ll have to bring me back to it. What have I coached them to do? As part of the program, we coached them to go out and talk to their communities to check in, first of all. With what their friends, neighbors, communities really think are the priorities for them to work on. As a collective, we encourage them to work together. But actually, we don’t set that as an objective. And I’ll come back to, this is a community leadership program, so it’s not an assessed program. What we do is we create a safe space, and we create a space where people from all kinds of backgrounds, religions, ethnicities, countries, come together, and learn with one another, not just about leadership, but about each other as well.
Through that, through creating that safe space, through planting a few seeds, and giving them some tools and techniques. The magic actually happens amongst themselves. They come together, and they have a shared purpose. The shared purpose is all about reducing violent crime and increasing community safety. So, they having conversations about those kinds of topics, and realizing a lot more about what they have in common than what they have as differences. Things that they have done together, for example, they have applied for funding together as sort of cooperatives rather than as individual groups. So by pooling their knowledge and resources, they’ve been able to win funding bids. We have a fundraising module on the program and a bid writing module on the program, because this is community work. Community work only generally happens through charitable funds. So that’s one thing that they’ve done.
So they’ve got grants, and they’ve got money that way, by coming together to put on event. They’ve run cross cultural events, so we’ve had African drummers and South Asian curry, and dancers, and Windrush poets talking in little old coal town villages, that are traditionally very white British. Bringing the mixture of the huge diversity of the city center, out to more traditionally white villages in the county. That’s very much around just getting to know one another again and sharing experiences.
We have organizations that run – so getting to I suppose more of the hard knocks side of things, who run workshops on knife crime first aid. So how to stop bleeding, how to actually look after somebody if they’ve been attacked. This particular organization was an African organization. They’ve gone into the Somali community and the delivering these workshops together. Similarly, the Women for Change group in the Somali community are going out to traditionally white British council estates and running workshops, conversations with white British kids and adults over there.
We’ve had allotment groups where we’ve had Gujarati elders growing food, nutritious food with young white British teenagers, and just enjoying their time together. There’s a peace and love festival that is going to be put on later on this year, which in particular is a response to some of the violent outbursts that we had in the city last year. We have always been, I guess, held up as a very cohesive city, Leicester City, quite a homogenous city. But the cracks still appear, and we still have issues. It hit the news last year that there were some troubles in Leicester City between a couple of communities, and that really shook everybody. There was a response to that, the community leaders all representing different groups coming together and deciding that they wanted to make some statements in front of the Town Hall, go on the local news. As I say, put this peace and love festival on. They’re just some of the examples. I know that there are actually tens and tens of more examples that people are doing, but those are a few.
[0:22:59] RT: So you leave London, go to Leicester. You want to work in the community, that was a while ago. When you reflect, what is it you’re learning about community that you could pass on to people who are trying to foster more communal activities, partnerships, networking, in support of some of the challenges that they face that are similar to the ones you described in Leicester? Because you didn’t grow up in Leicester, you came to Leicester, you’ve acclimated yourself into it, you become a strong supportive voice. What do you know about fostering that kind of culture in a community, that other people could learn from Debbie Jones on?
[0:23:41] DJ: You’ve got to start somewhere, so just start. Be curious, put yourself out there. I don’t think community happens at home. They say charity starts at home, don’t they? Of course. we all need to look after ourselves and our families. But cohesive communities don’t happen by everybody just staying in their own homes. You have to convene a space, a transitional space, if you like. Sort of a time in space, a space in time, I don’t know what it is, for people to come together in the Community Leadership Program. The meetings that the network has subsequent to that is one of those times in space, or spaces in time where people are coming together. You have to convene things that lots of different people can come to.
I think you have to then just stand back and see what happens. Let people – have trust in people that they will find things that they have in common. I don’t think anybody gets anywhere by pushing too hard. Trust in yourself and trust in other people that the energy they bring, the purpose they bring will create something, will be attractive, will be sticky enough for other people to be interested and want to get involved.
[0:25:09] RT: Today, as you look ahead a little bit, what are the challenges that the city is facing? What are the challenges that you think are ahead for you with regard to continuing your effort to support and build capacity, whether it’s leadership, or networks, or community? What are the challenges that Leicester faces that you think need to be addressed, and that you have your eye on?
[0:25:31] DJ: I think the challenge that Leicester faces, the same challenge, that the UK faces that the world faces, and will continue to face. That is one of, I guess, bringing in immigrants to homegrown communities and helping everybody to understand one another and integrate. It’s one of inclusivity, it’s one of leveling up, it’s one of understanding one another, and encouraging more of a homogenous society. I think that people get angry, and therefore that can lead to crime, it can lead to violence when they’re living in poverty, when they’re living in inequality. I think that’s the challenge that we have to maintain the effort towards that. I think that if we assume that it’s happening, just because we’ve got lots of people of different nationalities living in a city or a town, that would be an incorrect assumption.
[0:26:40] RT: This is a podcast about leadership, 10,000 Swamp Leaders. What’s leader leading and leadership to you? What’s Debbie Jones’ definition of that?
[0:26:50] DJ: My definition of leading and leadership is having a vision for something and being able to share that with people, and inviting them to stand shoulder to shoulder with you and have work together on it. Whenever I’ve taken a different approach to leadership, it’s not worked out for me. I know, like you, Rick, there are lots of different types of leadership style from authoritative, through to more managerial, through to a coaching style of leadership. I’ve always succeeded and seen other people succeed when they’ve led from the sidelines, when they’ve taken more of that coaching style rather than anything else, especially in these kinds of challenges, which are – you’re non-positional, you don’t have a title, you don’t have a budget, you’re not getting paid by an organization to deliver specific objectives.
So very much around creating a space, and inviting, and sharing your vision. I don’t see leaders who are quiet getting as far as those people who are able to articulate themselves and just have the energy, the energy to bring other people with them.
[0:28:12] RT: Let me ask you because this has been part of your work. I was thinking about the link, you sent me about graduation, which by the way, we will put in the show notes so people can see this really cool video montage of the participants in the graduation. But I couldn’t help notice all the things that you’re talking about, the diversity of people who are in that cohort, and the number of women. I’m curious from your own views, what are there to year experience – to your extent, are there unique challenges that women face in finding their voice to lead, that you have learned from firsthand experience and counsel that you could pass on to people who are listening. If that’s not relevant, it’s not relevant. I’m just curious based on knowing you and the work you’ve been doing, and you’re focused on women a lot of the times. What thoughts do you have there?
[0:29:01] DJ: Well, you know as well that I run a Women’s Leadership Program at the University of Leicester. I have spent quite a bit of time with women and there are a lot of women doing community work. The last few years, I’ve been a lot more in these conversations, and I’m a woman myself, so that helps. A lot of it is self-confidence, and a lot of it is socialization. There’s a lot of bias out there. Unfortunately, it is still holding people, holding women back from stepping forward and leading. Even if women do step forward and lead, they have challenges that men don’t have because their authority is challenged often and maybe other things about them as well. You often get levy debt. Who are you today into wanting leaders? Who are you to put your opinion on us? Men don’t get that as much.
Having the self-confidence to put yourself forward in a leadership position is something that I work on a lot with women, and it comes up a lot as well. It may not come up as, oh, I need to work on my self-confidence. Can we have a session on that? But it’s underneath, it’s the factor that means that a lot of women don’t put themselves forward, or doubt themselves when they are in that leadership position, and the stakes are high. All of a sudden, they’ve got to take maybe more of the lead. So, definitely self-confidence.
You will know, as a person, I didn’t talk about this. I, over the last few years lost my hair to alopecia. I’ve had to deal with self-confidence issues myself more recently, because all of a sudden, putting yourself forward into situations where you’re in front of a lot of people, and you have no hair, and you had hair a few weeks ago, it makes you a little bit nervous. Building up my own self-confidence, building up my own personal resilience is something that I’ve invested some time in. I bring that to my leadership coaching work. I think that’s something that women actually are quite good at investing in. They have a lot of inner resilience, because they get knocked back a lot.
[0:31:28] RT: You’re correct. I’ve known. You and I have been in conversation a lot. We always are on conversation a lot, so I know this journey you traveled. What did you do to manage your resilience and your confidence when you’re losing your hair, and you’re having to take yourself out into the world, and do your work and find work? What did Debbie do? I’ve never thought to ask you this. I don’t know how you manage this.
[0:31:52] DJ: I did a lot of research, I love books, and I bought probably – I don’t know, 20 different books, and went on various different webinars, and looked for answers as to how I could support myself. But ultimately, it comes down to two things, or maybe one. The big one is taking some time for yourself. Retreat a little bit. There are times when you need to retreat, and you need to look after yourself, you need to rest, so retreat and rest. I meditate not in a really major way. I do short meditation every morning when I get up, which links to one of my quests. I did a lot of research into physical intelligence, and I recently finished a course in with physical intelligence, which was excellent, and learned about how our hormones, and neurotransmitters create emotions in our bodies, and how we can manage that, how we can reduce our cortisol levels by certain diaphragmatic breathing techniques. So meditation in effect, and also boost our strength and our confidence through strength training, and different postures, et cetera.
I did a lot of research, and I take time to put into practice some of those things that I found out about when I was in my own personal crisis of losing my hair. They’re long answer, but doing some research, taking some time for myself, and actually looking after myself is the way that I support myself. Where I found the self-confidence from, I don’t know whether that’s just back to being a teenager, and being thrust into situations where I had to dig deep. Like I mentioned, going and staying with French families for weeks on end, and being a fish out of water. I’ve got into a habit of doing things that are uncomfortable, and I didn’t want to give up. I’m certainly not somebody who was just going to run and hide. I just had to get over myself and get back out there.
[0:34:07] RT: Thank you. This is a question I asked often on this show, and you probably – since I know you’ve listened to a few episodes, you’ve probably heard me ask it, and you may even know it’s coming. But let’s play with it anyway, which is, we tend to remember and learn more from our leadership failures than we do our successes. Do you have a couple or one quote failure of leading that you remember and what did you learn from it?
[0:34:30] DJ: Goodness me, I’ve probably got more than a couple, Rick. Whether it’s a failure – Mind, you know, probably was a failure. A long time ago when I was still working in corporate world and I’ve got some really big stretch targets given to me by my director. I remember getting really, really stressed and the project that I was working on, stalled because of a difference of opinion between what I was being asked to do by my exec team at the time, and the creative agency that we were working with. I was advised, and I wasn’t given a lot of support, to be honest. But I was advised by one director to be more authoritative, and go in there, and lay the law down. You’re the client, Deb, so tell them what we need.
I did that against my better judgment, and it didn’t go down very well. I think my first lesson is, listen to your intuition. But my second lesson, as part of that was asked for help sooner and I didn’t ask for help. I suffered a lot of stress in that situation, because I internalized that responsibility that I’d been given and took it really seriously, and I didn’t ask for help, and I should have asked for help sooner. So not listening to myself, and not asking for help are two mistakes.
[0:36:03] RT: It never ends well when we practice those two strategies, does it?
[0:36:06] DJ: No, no, no.
[0:36:07] RT: What have I not asked you that you wish I’d asked that you want people to know.
[0:36:12] DJ: I think maybe, why bother? Why bother investing in community leaders? Why bother supporting community leaders? The reason is, because as a society, what we face here in Leicester, what we face in the UK, with rising crime levels, with rising levels of diversity is not going away. Public organizations don’t have budgets anymore, and I can’t see them having the budgets in the future to be able to tackle these things. We need to strengthen the system across our communities. We need to be able to trust.
I’m using this word a bit reluctantly, and with a really small P, but professionalize a little bit our community leaders. That’s what this program does. It gives them the skills, it gives them some tools, and techniques. I mean, we’ve not talked about the program itself and the content in the program. But suffice to say, a lot of these are, they’re leadership techniques, but they’re also practical tools, project management, fundraising, bid writing, measurement, and making sure you measure the impact of what you’re doing, as well as storytelling, and influencing.
But giving community leaders this kind of training, which they don’t have access to, because they haven’t got hundreds. Well, they haven’t got 1000s of pounds of budget to put themselves through corporate training programs, or even university-based training programs. Investing in community leaders hopefully is also creating some kind of resilience in our cities, in our regions. A form of resilience that will help people adapt to difficult or challenging life experiences, and help them to draw upon other resources, social resources if you like.
Cohort one of the Community Leadership Program is now a social resource for cohort two, for cohort three because they’ve been through the program, and they’re already out there using some of those tools and techniques. I think why bother investing in community leaders because we need to build the resilience in our towns, in our communities, in our cities, in our countries. We’ve got so many challenges ahead of us. Well, right now, but also ahead of us that by strengthening that resilience at the grassroots level will help public organizations and private organizations take those challenges on.
[0:38:55] RT: I want to say to people who are listening here that known you for quite a long time, and I’ve watched you go through a lot of things. I’m thinking about it because of your repeated word resilience. When I think of Deborah Jones, that is what I think of, and so I’m opinionated here, ma’am. You can refute me if you want. I believe that a large degree of which you’re able to hold people’s space and attention for the work is you are a role model for resilience through hard times, and they can relate to you and you are a wisdom keeper for that essential quality of perseverance, and sticking with it, and being of service to people. I just want to acknowledge you for that because I know it so, and you’re not saying it exactly. I want on this podcast record, so other people will know and they can look you up in the show notes as well afterwards. First of all, thank you for coming on and having this conversation. It’s really been a humbling pleasure for me on my side.
[0:40:02] DJ: Thank you, Rick, and thank you for the acknowledgement. I humbly and maybe reluctantly agree with you.
[0:40:09] RT: Yes, yes.
[0:40:11] DJ: I have had to dig deep quite a few times in my life, and I guess people have to look up and see a facilitator standing in front of them with a bald head, and not worrying about it, and still getting on with things. It helps with their own confidence to get out there and do hard things, so thank you. Thank you, and thank you for inviting me to have a conversation today. I’ve really enjoyed it.
[0:40:36] RT: Thanks for coming to this one.
[END OF INTERVIEW]
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