choice Magazine

Episode #48 ~ Vanguard Conversation Series: Resistance <-----> Risk

May 02, 2023 Garry Schleifer
Episode #48 ~ Vanguard Conversation Series: Resistance <-----> Risk
choice Magazine
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choice Magazine
Episode #48 ~ Vanguard Conversation Series: Resistance <-----> Risk
May 02, 2023
Garry Schleifer

Leaders at the vanguard of ideas and change inspire us to loosen our grip on the comfortable status quo in favor of exploring new possibilities that better align with the altering patterns of our personal and professional lives. As we shape a world where people love their life’s work, this live conversation series showcases global leaders who embody the curiosity and discernment that stimulates a new relationship with change.

Join CEO of inviteCHANGE, Janet M. Harvey, MCC, and her co-host, Garry Schleifer, PCC, with their guest, Esther Jones-Alley and explore the idea of being comfortable with resistance so that you can take a risk. Build your roadmap for how to have a different kind of conversation with your peers, clients, and communities.

Watch the full interview by clicking here.

Download the 4 Questions Handout: invitechange.com/vanguard-conversation-series

See Esther's Handout Example: d158lfzx0cl8au.cloudfront.net/documents/brochures/Tension-of-Presence-Reflection-Activities-2023-Esther-Alley.pdf

Grab your free issue of choice Magazine here - https://choice-online.com/

Show Notes Transcript

Leaders at the vanguard of ideas and change inspire us to loosen our grip on the comfortable status quo in favor of exploring new possibilities that better align with the altering patterns of our personal and professional lives. As we shape a world where people love their life’s work, this live conversation series showcases global leaders who embody the curiosity and discernment that stimulates a new relationship with change.

Join CEO of inviteCHANGE, Janet M. Harvey, MCC, and her co-host, Garry Schleifer, PCC, with their guest, Esther Jones-Alley and explore the idea of being comfortable with resistance so that you can take a risk. Build your roadmap for how to have a different kind of conversation with your peers, clients, and communities.

Watch the full interview by clicking here.

Download the 4 Questions Handout: invitechange.com/vanguard-conversation-series

See Esther's Handout Example: d158lfzx0cl8au.cloudfront.net/documents/brochures/Tension-of-Presence-Reflection-Activities-2023-Esther-Alley.pdf

Grab your free issue of choice Magazine here - https://choice-online.com/

Janet M. Harvey
Welcome everyone to the Vanguard Conversation Series for 2023. As you're coming into the room, please feel free to use chat and tell us where you are zooming in from. That would be awesome.

I'm located north of Seattle, on a place called Whidbey Island, and my name is Janet Harvey. I am the CEO of InviteChange. And I'm joined in this wonderful adventure with my colleague and co-host Garry Schleifer who is the founder and editor for choice magazine, The Magazine of Professional Coaching.

This whole series came out of a long time of he and I wanting to engage people in a deeper conversation about coaching. I know for me, I'm feeling that space of such great disruption going on in the world and how do we equip ourselves to be with disruption, with our feet on the ground, with a sense of capability and possibility? And we thought, you know the best way to do that is to be in dialogue with each other.

So that was our early initiation, and each time that we come together in this series we invite another inspired global visionary leader and Esther Jones-Alley is with us today, and I'll interview her a little bit more in a minute. Wave Esther, say, hi to everybody.

We also do something here that you might not be used to, but strongly encourage that everybody have their cameras on, and you are welcome to leave your mics open. I am not worried about a doorbell or a dog barking. It is part of humanity.

Be here. Manage yourself. If you need to take a break and be right back, that's all good. You don't need even tell us that in chat. But come back and be in the space with us together.

All right. So what are we doing this year? We've been exploring this idea that I call tensions of presence and we're going to talk today about one of them that's very common for all leaders across all industries, resistance and risk taking.

Now why do we think that's Vanguard? I'm going to turn it over to Garry to tell you a little bit about that.

Garry Schleifer
Well thank you, and welcome everyone. And Esther, great to have you here, and can't wait to hear more about you and your thorny problem but a little bit about the background of Vanguard. We started, as Janet mentioned, this is our second year.

Vanguard means being at the forefront of ideas that are emerging, so we can proactively disrupt our thinking as Janet was mentioned earlier. As an easy example, most people put pork chops with apple sauce, and think what is apple sauce, if not with pork chops?

Well, so many more things. But we won't get into that part. Our conversations focus on our experience of life today rather than a theory, an outcome, a process or even a promotion to buy anything. We're not here to sell.

We invite you to transform your process of listening, to get something, to giving yourself an opportunity to experiment, and learning through practical application that's relevant to your life, which is what Janet was saying. We're going to get engaged here.

Janet M. Harvey
And so, Miss Esther. I have known Esther since, didn't we figured this out? I think 2007.

Wow, 2006, yeah, it would have been would have been in the fall of 2006. Wow! That's amazing. I don't know where the time goes, and I have watched you walk in the world in such glorious ways from your time at the Department of Transportation, Metro, we call it here in Seattle, and you're gonna hear her direct leadership experience today. She's gone on to embody a professional coaching. She is an ICF
professional certified coach, and her specialty really is a spiritual lifestyle, and she's gone on to become a one spirit reverend, and she brings the divine into every single moment. So you're in for quite a treat to experience her presence and her way of understanding what's so very important for all of us, which is the reflection on our lives. Without time spent there we will repeat history.

As her wonderful book, I'm gonna make sure to get the title right, "The Centered Life, a Spiritual Life Coaching Journey." I hope you'll check that out. She also introduced a program in 2020 that I am a huge fan of called Cracking the Shell On Racism which was designed for non-black African American people to truly understand the history, the roots of the systems in America that have kept racism in place. If we don't know from where we've come, we are never going to get forward in a new way.

So this is a magnificent global leader. Thank you, Esther, so much for joining us today, and the floor is yours to begin to share your thorny problem, and how you resolved it.

Esther Jones-Alley
Well, thank you, Janet, and thank you, Garry. I'm so honored to be here and share this story, and as you know, we will encounter these hiccups throughout our career. But I want to focus today on one that I experienced early as I stepped into leadership and did not quite have an understanding of how things were working. At the time I was working for Metro, which is the Transportation Company in South Seattle and I just got this promotion. I was really excited because I had come up with this great idea, and they had just completed the tunnel that goes on to Seattle, and the buses were going, and the tunnel was just beautiful. I mean all of the stations, they had put a lot of money and a lot of intricate arts, and it was just beautiful.

And so my idea was, why don't we make some money? Well, what I found, which I had no idea. It made sense to me. We were a service providing organization, and our ridership was down and I saw this as a great opportunity so I pitched it to my director and my director at the time was a man from Russia, and he was just a marvelous, marvelous leader.

He decided, I like your idea so let's go for it. But what I needed was not just him to give me the green light, but to kind of walk that path with me which he didn't.
What I had to do was to get the buy in from the transportation department.

Now I felt like my idea was flawless. It was solid because we were losing ridership, we needed to make money and we needed to do something to bring the ridership back. At that time we were still running buses all the way down to Pierce County and up to Snohomish county. So those buses would start very early every morning, like 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning. We were expanding our transit stations. We were building new transfer stations in the outer out of perimeters of the area. So I figure coffee was just taking off.

Starbucks hadn't even gotten the foothold into the coffee business like they have today so there were coffee carts everywhere and Seattle loves coffee. There were coffee carts everywhere. The problem was transit had a rule. You could not drink or eat on the bus.

So here I go, skipping in there with this grand idea. We're going to make some money. Let me show you how we're going to do it. Blah! Blah blah. I hit a brick wall of resistance. I didn't understand. It didn't compute in my head. What is all this resistance?

Don't you understand what is possible here? Because I could see it, my director could see it but the Transit Department was ran like a military. They were militaristic, you know they were "we do it this way."

Janet M. Harvey
In other words, no risk taking.

Esther Jones-Alley
Wasn't happening. Wasn't happening. If it ain't been proven and it had to be proven by them. So I had to figure a way to sell this idea, to move a whole department.
And what was happening to me was I was being given the run around because I wanted to have the ability for us to permit coffee carts at our transit stations and I wanted us to use the tunnel to do parties and receptions in the evenings, and that was like "No, we don't make money. We're government, we aren't supposed to make money", and I'm like "I think the Government would like that, don't you think?" No, we work on grants and whatever revenue we bring in from the transits. I said, okay, I can go with that.

If we can increase ridership by allowing them to get a cup of coffee at 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning, drink that coffee, take the trash off when they get off the bus, don't you think more people would be interested in riding. It just wasn't sinking in and I didn't understand the wall I was up against.

I had to go back to the beginning and start to really look at that transit department to figure out what was happening.

They had a rule. No food or drinks on the bus.

People would rather be in traffic in their cars because they could have their coffee. When you're working at 9 to 5 peoples lifestyles are regimented. They've got to get everything in. So they won't get on the on the bus and have to throw their coffee away.

So I go back and I start at the bottom. I had start at the bottom with the planners that were planning the expansions, and now we're planning the routes and I took my time. It was it was grueling. I took my time and explained the idea to them, and a lot of them began to perk up because they didn't understand the higher rule, and they were like, yeah, this sounds great.

But they couldn't move it. They could not move that idea. So I had to go back to my director and said, Listen, I need you to help me to get through this. Director to director need to talk. Oh, Esther, you got this. Don't worry about it. You gonna bring them around and I continue. I went back. I started going to the managers, getting on their calendars, and they kind of listen. Yeah, yeah, yeah.

And then I said, just let's try this. Nordstrom, which was a part of that downtown West Lake Center, at that time, before they moved to the bigger store, their store was connected. I went to them because they were having a celebration and sold them on the idea of doing a formal party in that transit center.

One of my friends is on here, Miss Irene. She worked for Nordstrom
at that time, and she was my cohort in convincing Nordstrom. She took on Nordstrom and I took on Metro and we convinced them that this was a good public display of cooperation and a good use of the tunnel, and Metro made some money and Nordstrom got a lot of PR out of it. I remember it was a gala. Everybody was dressed in their suits and their gowns and everything. And here's all these Metro executives showing up all dressed up like, yeah, look what we done. And I'm thinking, hmm, this is interesting but I yet had to convince them that people could learn to take their trash off.  We could provide receptacles on the buses. I had to go step by step to educate them and lay out the plan. I mean it's like backing it out from where you want to be, and you work that thing all the way back to get them to understand and some of them got on board.

I mean, it was a whole program. I called it the Economic Development Program, because the other thing I wanted was to allow musicians and things inside the tunnel to entertain the people while they were there and they could throw them some change or whatever. But let's make this alive because the tunnel looks like a mausoleum. It was beautiful but nothing was happening but buses running. After I worked through all the managers and assistant managers and stuff, I just threw my hands up and said I'm going to director myself and I invited him to lunch. There was a restaurant across the street from where we work called the Metropolitan Grill, and we would all go there and I caught him one day having lunch. I waited. I staked him out.  I was a stalker.

I sit down next to him at the bar, and I said, can I just talk to you about this for a minute? And I started talking to him and for some reason he listened and then he says "Esther, get on my calendar. Let's talk a little more about this."

Of course people were kind of "How did she get to Director? How did she do this?" But I talked to him. I explained to him the program. I laid it out and he said, Well, you know, we're not used to making money, but I can see other avenues in which we will benefit. I say, yes, our ridership is going to increase, our image to the public is going to change, I said, and we're going to support some small businesses out there.

I said so there's many beneficial facets to this program, and all we need is for you to get on board, because if you get on board then the rest have to follow and he bought it. He got into it. But it was a long, arduous process. When you run up against that kind of resistance, you gotta go back and figure out what are they resisting? What is the principle or the rule that they are holding on to, and that was the biggest thing that shift for me was when I figured out that the rule of no eating, no drinking on the bus meant that the maintenance part department didn't have to do too much.

So again I had to go and sell this to the maintenance, even after talking to the director, I had to go and help them think through how we could make this work, because there were so many pieces involved. I found myself having to be very personable, and face to face with different managers and directors to help them understand how it would work.

Well, we got it. We did it and I think my takeaway is not to be so, because when I get an idea of my head I'm dogmatic, I'm gone.

Garry Schleifer
Apparently.

Janet Harvey

Lucky Metro.

Esther Jones-Alley
No, seriously. This taught me to look at the whole picture. All the people that are involved and look at it from their point of view, not mine, because I was pretty myopic, like I got this. This is this is great. We're going to change the world.

But in reality, I had to take time and honor their fears, their concerns and their resistance, and then show them what was in it for them. You know it wasn't just about me and we're gonna run up against resistance when we're trying to make changes and expressly established organizations or established corporation. You're gonna run up against that. Change is scary for people. Risk, you don't have no data? We don't know what the end result is going to be? Yeah, that can be very scary.

It's tough in that resistance because sometimes the leader or the one that is champion the project or the program have to be more flexible and more patient and more considerate even if you don't understand because that was a crazy rule to me. But it was their rule, and it was real to them and it was important to them.

So I had to back out of my own judgments, my own thought process, and look at it from their point of view and voila, we got the program!

Garry Schleifer
And voila, after how long, how many conversations?

Esther Jones-Alley
It was months and I worked myself into the hospital. Okay, that's how long it took. I mean it was like months of this meetings, and but once it was up, of course everybody's chest is stuck out, because look what we did. And it was okay with me because I think that overall the customers benefited more than anybody that they could get up, get to the transit center and there was a coffee cart there. They could get coffee. They actually started building, literally, they actually started building little stores in their transit centers, where the people could get their coffee and their pastry or whatever but it just it took a while. I had to massage that, you know.

Garry Schleifer
Yeah, you know, Esther, when you tell your story, I can't help but think about the handout we've given to people, and obviously you recognized it wasn't necessarily a thorny problem. You recognize an opportunity.

But then, if you saw what was behind it all, it became a thorny problem and then you yourself admitted that you tend to want to just hit the ground running like, Hello! Let's just change this. The point of our series, and about the whole dilemmas to leadership that we're talking about, you had to take a step back and that's where had you had this tool, which thankfully you now have and everyone has, you took a step back and went, okay, how do I handle this right? Oh, they're afraid of change. Who do I need to talk to? And it took longer than a knee-jerk reaction. We all tend to go there, oh this is the easy pick so we'll just start putting the coffee carts out. It's like no way, Jose.

Esther Jones-Alley
No, there had to be forms forms created. There had to be insurance. Oh, it was layers layers and pulled a lot from me in the way of patience, and I'm not a very patient person.

Janet M. Harvey
Another piece that pulled from you is not just patience but you started to think in the system.

Esther Jones-Alley
Yes.

Janet M. Harvey
I think that when we did the early research on the tension of presence, what leaders kept saying is, how come people can't see the benefit of this idea?

The ideas become thorny problems because resistance and risk taking are at odds with each other. Some people want to risk other people are like over my dead body.

Leaders really need to be able to stay steady, which is what you did right to stand in the tension just a little longer, be in the discomfort and shift your thinking. So part two of the tool that everybody has, there are 4 key questions here.

What's the habit in the organization? No food or drink on the buses.
What's the preference? I don't want our maintenance staff to overwork.
What's the assumption? We're not supposed to make money? We're a Government Agency. 
What's the bias? I don't want to take a risk. I want the path of least resistance, which is status quo. Right?

All of those required attention and conversation to help people see what was the higher mutual goal before you could roll out what the ultimate solution was. Then so many leaders we coach, they don't have the inner fortitude to stand in the tension. And your reflection was the key.

Esther Jones-Alley
Yeah.

Janet M. Harvey
Very cool.

Esther Jones-Alley
A lot of people don't have to no risk, no gain and sometimes it's not going to be a gain but you're gonna learn.

And the next time you step out there you have data to work with. But no, we're not taking no risk. No, no, No, no, you know.

If I had had this tool, I probably would have got it done in real point.

Janet M. Harvey
That's the idea, right?  Can we equip ourselves with things to work through the reflection process? Which is what we want to give everybody an opportunity to do. But there is a question from one of our guests asking, how much did the ridership increase?

Do you remember the data?

Esther Jones-Alley
I don't remember the data, but it did increase significantly enough that they kept that program in place  and it probably still is. I haven't entertained them in years but when I retired it was still there. I wasn't running it, but the program was still in place. It was significant enough that they could see the benefit of keeping the coffee carts and the little stores that they had in the transit centers for them.

Janet M. Harvey
So the moral to the story is, if you want an active legacy, sit in the discomfort a little longer, and keep staying in the reflection, you will find an answer.

Irene Shimizu:
Yeah, can I say something?  Before I forget, Esther, we do go away back like a quarter of a century. But how can that be, we are only 25? But anyway, coming from the Nordstrom perspective of when it was happening, not only did it increase the business and change the paradigm of how people looked at it. It wasn't a mausoleum. It was beautiful, but there was artwork. There was musicians. There were different things to engage people, and it wasn't a scary place anymore. And so people like traveling that way.

I would see different, because I was a bus commuter too at one point in time, made it easy, but I would see entire schools coming for a field trip, or families going on there. So it not only changed the ridership in terms of numbers, but it changed the ridership and dynamic in terms of who would feel safe going there and coming from Nordstrom, sitting in that tension a little bit more. I work for them for 10 years, and that's actually how Esther got with community outreach.

And I said, who is this lady? And we had been talking on the phone so many times. I was in the HR Department. When I first met her in my little teal suit and my little black pumps, I went to go introduce myself to Esther live with her other cohort, Vivian
and I went to extend my hand and shake her hand, and she said, Girl, I know you, and she involved me in a big bug, and that was it. So many, many years later. But Nordstrom is a risk taker, because if you are familiar with Nordstrom, they have their anniversary sale in July. They found a need, and they filled it. That was the slowest time for them.

So then they started doing the anniversary sale which now eclipses their holiday sales. They had to get buyers. Who wants to try on wool coats in Seattle in July? Nobody but people line up, and again it's changing the shift of people's mentality, and what's in it for them. So Nordstrom saw the opportunity of partnering with Metro and doing an event, so being a responsible corporate citizen, being a part of the community opening that up. And I will always appreciate that with Nordstrom, because they were always the first step out. So I got to meet Esther through that, and for that I will always be grateful.

Janet M. Harvey
Thank you. Thanks, Irene, and you know yet another example. So here's a retailer who has long history in the city, and I'm sure had a lot of resistance coming from personnel going, what do you mean we are going to do this?

Esther Jones-Alley
I think they were more on board than Metro. They were much easier to work with.

Janet M. Harvey
I'm sure that was true from your side, but I can imagine inside of Nordstrom, in that there were some factions that were like, we're doing what? And it's normal. Again, this is what the research was showing us that these tensions show up, and too many people give up.

And so this reflection practice is a way to not give up, to start to see that the system level picture, and that's what we want to give everybody a chance to play with now. So I hope you've all come with a thorny problem and you have the tool that you can download. And this is an opportunity, just talk your way through it with each other. A tip for success, you might not know the person that you'll be in a breakout room with so say your name, and think about what's a top personal value that would help the other person get to know you just a little bit before you drop right into the use of the tool. You'll have 15 minutes in the breakout room, and when you come back, and there'll be time to share comments and ask Esther questions, or Garry and myself as well.

So you should get a join button here quite shortly. Join a breakout room. There we go.

Have fun.

Welcome back.

Steph McCluskey
It's hard to come back. We were in the middle of our conversation.

Janet M. Harvey
Paige, do you want to go ahead and put us on wallpaper so we can see everybody?

Garry Schleifer
Yup? Think of this as the big circle.

Janet M. Harvey
I'd love to take a little photo. If you don't want to be in the photo, go ahead and close your camera now and, Paige, do you want me to do it, or do you want to do it?

Paige:
I can do it.

Janet M. Harvey
Okay, Marvelous.

Paige:
All right, Everybody do something cool. 2, one

Janet M. Harvey
Wonderful.

All right. Well, the floor is open. It will be very useful if you raise your hand. You can use the reactions. They're at the bottom of theZzoom display third from the right.
That way we can see it in the participant list, and open up for you, and we'll sequence from there. Comments, questions, insights, whatever came up for you and playing with the tool and spending a little time in your pair, or triad.

Esther Jones-Alley
No one has any questions. After I went through all that.

Chris Mijatovich
Millions of questions.

Janet M. Harvey
All right, Chris. There you go. I appreciate your courage, please! What happened for you?

Chris Mijatovich
I'll first go. In our group with a Steph and Deborah, it was nice to hear Steph's thorny problem, and being able to share my experience that I've had and that might help her. But listening to Esther more specifically, this couldn't be more timely Because I'm hosting a workshop in Louisiana next week and for me that would have been a 5 minute conversation. But now we have 6 people flying in and I  shared with Esther last week, I did this Harvard Business Review, quiz on curiosity. To what extent do we crave intellectually, and are we open for opening new experiences? And everybody scored very high, so that made me realize there must be something else. So this is helping me to reflect once again. I haven't read the attachment yet, but that's something that I'm going to do. So that that came up for me.

And then specifically to Esther, these type of opportunities come up for me all the time, but I don't always have the time or the energy or the bandwidth outside of my day to day activities or responsibility to pursue that.

So, Esther, how do you balance this passion, this vision with more mundane tasks that you have on your plate that might consume your energy on a day to day basis?

Esther Jones-Alley
Well, Chris, as I always say, it's a choice. You have choices that you can make and there's always going to be something. But you prioritize according to what your goals are, and how you can energize your support system. So, first of all, always remember you have a choice. You can choose what's most important at this time.

Sometimes people forget they have choices and they think I got to, I have to, I can't.
No, we actually need to eliminate them from our vocabulary. We have our choice. We can do anything.

Janet M. Harvey
You used your power of choice to say, I'm also not alone.

Esther Jones-Alley
Yes.

Janet M. Harvey
That's what I heard in your story. Is that stepping back you were able to say, hang on, I live in a system.

Esther Jones-Alley
Right?

Janet M. Harvey
Yeah, that's great.

Sheila. I saw you had your hand up, but you took it down, do you?

Sheila Kern
Thank you. I thought the tool in the reflection was incredible, and it's interesting in hindsight how you can see, "Oh that's what went wrong."

Judy and I had a great chat about thinking that leaders holding the tension, knowing that there's a process to go through and it's going to take some time before action, I think, is just so incredibly powerful. So thank you both.

Janet M. Harvey
You are very, very welcom. I can't wait to hear some stories as you help other leaders walk through this. Thanks, Sheila. Go ahead, Ken.

Ken
Yeah, I think, for me the thorny problem I brought had more to do with the client. So I know that this was based on you know that an action pursuit didn't result in a satisfactory result. But instead, I find, like a client that just is having a really hard time taking action because of like limiting beliefs. And so I was struggling to try and map this into that where that's just getting in the way for them. So that's what came up for me.

Janet M. Harvey
So Ken, here would be my suggestion. Beliefs are an example of a place where, as a coach, you're giving clarity. The client is gaining clarity about a belief that's operating often completely unconscious and invisible to them until we're having the conversation. So when they tie that belief to the result, oh, well, no wonder, because believing that meant that the basis of my decision was this value, this principle, this criteria, whatever it might have been.

All we're trying to do is to crack into the reflective practice, to see it more clearly. So while we've set it up as a sequencing where you can work from the result you don't like, because that's usually where people start, like I'm so frustrated with, fill in the blank, working our way back gives them some certainty about the situation that feels very ambiguous. But if you start with the limiting belief, that's fine. You might even say, Well, what's the data you're looking at, that reinforces that belief as the truth?
 Oh, well, I don't have any. Okay, so where did it come from? Was this some memory? Is this right? And you're on your way?

So don't have to do it in sequence. But all the elements are there as a way to start to see the whole picture.

Ken
Alright, thanks.

Janet M. Harvey
You're welcome. Go ahead, Steph.

Steph McCluskey
So in talking with Deborah and Chris, I just scanned the tool, and they really organically started working on the habits, the beliefs, kind of the processes in play from my thorny problem  and they also really went into Pathfinder mode for me. Really helped me thinking about what if you don't participate in the process as prescribed? Are there options to get outside of it and that was so helpful and really helped break that habit of Well, here's my route. Here's my options. And so I thought that was that was really great to hear from them, and they did it organically, just as helpers. But that was really great for me is thinking about. Okay? Well, your belief system that you are in this process, and that's the way it is. Let's think about alternatives, and it it really helped me feel confident in in moving forward, trying something else.

Janet M. Harvey
Fantastic.  I'm remembering another one of our global leaders that we'll see a little later in the in the year Sharif Abdullah talks about calcified thinking which to me encompasses habits, preferences, assumptions, and biases. That we live our lives. We get it experience. We integrate a certain way of seeing the world, and then the world changes but we don't recognize that the world has changed. We're stuck in a calcified thinking, and the value of the reflection practice, particularly when we can do it with someone else who's a great listener, helps us realize, "Oh, wait, hang on a second. I have more capability than this, and I can hear you let your in a creativity out. It's great."

All right, Michael.

Michael Futterman
Yeah, thank you. Thank you everybody for pulling this together and for making these resources available to us. It's great to have. This is something that we can come to, you know, to help develop our own skills and and solve our own problems. So, Esther, I have a question for you, and thank you for sharing all of the experiences that you've had. I'm wondering, during this period where you're working to try and change an organization to try and change some norms that we're out there, there are going to be times in any of those situations where there's going to be self doubt, there's going to be these moments of of sort of self pity is another way to describe that, I'm curious if you had any habits or techniques that you used for yourself that allowed you to refocus yourself or re-engage in the process, or re re up your energy towards achieving this goal that you had set?

Esther Jones-Alley:
You can't see my view but there's a lady on each side of you and those 2 ladies were my sounding board and have been for years and when I get to a place where I'm having self doubt, self pity is not an option, but self doubt, I'll run it by someone that I trust and ask for support, and I think women do that better than men.

Michael Futterman
I agree.

Esther Jones-Alley:
No woman is an island and sometimes we can get stuck in our view and can't see the other possibilities. That's why I do sound checks. I do conversations with someone that I trust that understands my vision that can give me solid options.

So I would say, Michael, the first thing I would do is ask for help. I'm stuck. This is wearing me out. Can I run this by you?

I try to keep a small team of people around me even today that I trust. It's so important to have someone that you trust that understands who you are that understands your values that understands your ability, that you can conference with. That you can run it past because they're gonna be real with you, you know, say, Michael, that's crazy. Didn't you see that over there? And trust me, these 2 lady I'm talking about, they will tell me Esther you are crazy, that don't work, you know. Hey, look at this. Did you see it? Oh, no, I didn't.

So extra help. That would be my first stop when you get like that. And the self pity, that's not a good place for me to be. I don't know if you enjoy it. But it hasn't been beneficial in my life. It is self doubt. There's always going to be moments of self-doubt.

Janet M. Harvey
And those are the moments that have us say, hang on a second. Let me push my chair back a couple of inches.

You said something about the small group of people, and it occurs to me that if we construct our small group of people with folks who think like us it may not actually work that well. In other words, it's so valuable to notice our our bias, our positive bias and conversation bias, however you want to think about that, and to bring people into that small circle who think very differently from me, that challenge me to go that's messed up. That's old.

There's more going on out there than how you're seeing it, and how valuable it is to think about who we bring it into the space.

Esther Jones-Alley:
And you're right. You're right.

What I have found my close circle, they don't all think like me.

Janet M. Harvey
Right.

Esther Jones-Alley
But they are independent thinkers that can look at me and say, Esther, bullshit. Excuse my expression, and that is the kind of support you want, that is going to call you on that, that's going to say no, it's not okay.

Open up your mind. But they understand you, Michael. They understand your values. They understand  what you're trying to do and they're coming in to bring other viewpoints.

Janet M. Harvey
Just as you have done today, Esther. Thank you so very much for your energy, your presence, your history, your storytelling. It's really magnificent, and we're blessed to have your contribution. Thank you very much.

Thank you all for being here. We'll release you at 60 minutes. It's been a joy. We will see you again on June.

Garry Schleifer
June second, for the Conformity to Contribution with our guest, Magdalena Mook, the ICF President, Executive Director.

Janet M. Harvey
All of the above all, of the above.