Episode 41: The Future of Leadership, Feat. Barbara Rapaport

Ten Thousand Feet Podcast Episode 41

In this episode:

Renowned leadership coach and author Barbara Rapaport believes that the answers are always in the room. It’s a tenet of her coaching practice and a thread that applies throughout her work locally, nationally and globally with leaders.

Andrew Powell sat down with Barbara to talk about leadership and how she views its future in a post-pandemic world.

For more information about Barbara, make sure to check out her memoir: Reimagined.


This podcast content was created prior to our rebrand and may contain references to our previous name (OST) and brand elements. Although our brand has changed, the information shared continues to be relevant and valuable.

Episode Transcript

Andrew Powell: Hey, everybody. So today is all about leadership, an essential ingredient in any changing organization. On this episode, I interview Barbara Rapaport—an author, a leadership coach, a cancer survivor, and founder of Real-Time Perspectives. Barbara has coached leaders locally, nationally, and globally to help them become fulfilled and effective. Among the people she’s coached—me.

It was great catching up with Barbara and hearing her take on the future of leadership. Enjoy!

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Andrew Powell: Barbara, Barbara, Barbara, I’m so happy that you have joined us to talk about leadership. I know it’s something that I think about a lot. It’s something you have tremendous expertise in, but I don’t want to get ahead of myself. For our listeners who might not know who Barbara Rapaport is, help us understand. Who are you?

Barbara Rapaport: Well, what a lovely question to ask. And before I answer, thank you for inviting me. It’s always a joy and a privilege to be asked. I thought about the answer to that question quite a bit lately, because I’ve been reevaluating my purpose in life. And I have to say what has held me centered for a long time and makes me me is this belief that the answers are in the room—whether at work or home or in the community. And that the way I like to show up in the world is to create a context for those answers to surface.

And I would add one more kind of philosophical piece to who I am, which is, I’ve just come to this peace of mind with so many of my clients, because I’m an executive coach and I facilitate leadership development programs. And so many of my clients say they don’t feel like they’re worthy or they don’t feel like they bring enough to the world. And I want to be a person and continue to aspire to be a person who helps us all say, “Wait a minute, wait a minute. We are enough. And we also want to get better.”

Andrew Powell: Oh yeah. Both are true, right? Like—

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah.

Andrew Powell: You are enough and also you can be better.

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah. So that’s me.

Andrew Powell: So tell me a little bit more about the “answers are in the room.” Is that true? Are the answers always in the room?

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah, and the only proviso I give to that is, obviously, whether I’m with one person or I’m with a group of people, if the answer in the room needs to be a technical expertise that is not in the room, right? If you’re a bunch of doctors and the technical expertise you need in the moment is an accountant’s point of view, obviously, the answer is not in the room yet, but bring the accountant in, but in terms of decision-making around the choices we have in front of us, strategic options, research, what we know, what we don’t know, the answers are in the room. I have never been disappointed in that. And I’ve been doing coaching work and a corporate career at Steelcase before that, where I was on the executive management team for many years. I was never disappointed that the answers are in the room. I really watch people flourish and thrive when they give themselves the chance to uncover the answer. So, Andrew, a lot of what I do is just give people permission to go there.

Andrew Powell: And sometimes it really is that simple. It’s just about giving them permission to do the things that they could do if only they felt empowered to or allowed to.

Barbara Rapaport: That’s exactly it. Yeah, that’s exactly it.

Andrew Powell: So when you think of yourself as a leadership coach, do you think then you’re helping people discover the leader within? Is that a frame of reference you use?

Barbara Rapaport: I say that would be fair. I’m not sure I ever actually thought of it that way, but in listening to you, I think that’s fair. And I think the first thing to add to that would be—to me, leadership is not a title. And I know there’s lots of people out there who agree with me so it’s not like I’m a thought leader of it, so… It’s not a title. It’s the capacity, I think, and this is very Barbara, to be at peace with what you bring to the table and to be willing to show up that way. And that’s where that word, which is kind of a catchword now, is authentic self.

Andrew Powell: Yeah.

Barbara Rapaport: That you can be a leader in essence, in any moment, right? You can be sitting in a staff meeting and a topic comes up and you have no title that references leadership, whatsoever. Yet in that moment, the full you speaks up, in terms of what you have already thought about, believed, imagined could make a difference, and you speak that truth, and you’re a leader in that moment.

And so really, the leader within? Yeah. Again, I never thought about it that way, but I think that’s true.

Andrew Powell: So you spend most of your time providing leadership coaching to new and existing leaders in West Michigan? I’m asking, define for me, how do you describe what you do?

Barbara Rapaport: Ok. There are quite a few parameters around, kind of, where I do my work, because it’s global. A lot of people don’t know that. One of the things I do is I help coach and develop other coaches.

Andrew Powell: Oh, okay.

Barbara Rapaport: It’s a big part of my role. I do it with a firm out on the East Coast called Minds at Work. It was started by two really smart people and a brilliant person in adult development theory. His name is Robert Keegan, Harvard graduate school of education. And I was privileged to be part of a faculty for them, where we teach people to help other people uncover hidden barriers. And that’s a coaching methodology based on a particular theory of adult development. So I do that all around the world. I’ve kept track. I’ve worked with people in more than 20 countries at this point.

So my little practice, independently, has a global presence, and I’m very thrilled with that because I get to really understand diversity at a whole other level. So I love that.

And then I have like, what you know about Anthony, right? What you and I would call more of my local practice, where I have individual coaching clients. They can be C suite level. They can be mid-management level. It really depends on people who are ready to discover and uncover what gets in their way that they can pay attention to and decide if they shifted how they thought about it, and then acted differently as a result of that mindset shift, could actually have a more satisfying career in leadership, so I do that one-on-one. And where you and I met was at the Chamber of Congress, because I run programs there, two leadership development programs, one for women only called Leading Edge.

Andrew Powell: That’s not where we met.

Barbara Rapaport: No, it is not! We met at the other one, Leadership Advantage, where it’s a deep dive, pretty fast, where people in that particular program are ready to reflect deeply on their internal values, how they see themselves in the world, are the worldviews the worldviews that they want to take forward given their aspirations from a leadership perspective. So it’s kind of that well-rounded experience that I’ve had in leadership development.

Andrew Powell: Yeah. I was suddenly flashing on this, Barbara. I don’t know if you remember this, but when we first met, I wasn’t ready.

Barbara Rapaport: Oh yeah. I remember.

Andrew Powell: My first opportunity to be in Leadership Advantage I bailed on and it took me over six months to be ready to do that kind of work.

Barbara Rapaport: And I’m so glad you did, because…

Andrew Powell: Thank you.

Barbara Rapaport: One of the first things I ask any potential client—yeah, there’s always what we call chemistry calls to see if my style cut would really fit because there’s many coaches out there. I’m not alone in that. I don’t think.

One of the things I—I ask two questions, what brings you to coaching now? Like N.O.W., like what’s now? And are you really ready? Now, I don’t ask it quite that way, but that’s what I’m getting at, because this has to be, to your point, in essence, from within. It has to be a yearning from within. And even if an employer came to you and said, we really want you to fix how you—let’s say you’ve had a blow-up that was public in the organization. A lot of people saw it and your upline management comes to you and says, you know, “This isn’t good. We need you to work on it.” And if the client comes to me and says, “My boss told me I had to work on this.” And my question back is but do you want to work on it? If the answer is really no—and I’ve had that—I won’t even start the process.

Andrew Powell: If I don’t want to be a better leader, it doesn’t matter what you do. I’m not going to be.

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah. And so I love that you brought up that you quote unquote bailed, but boy, once you got in the program, you were all in. You were all in.

Andrew Powell: I think if you want to make it work, you gotta be.

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah.

Andrew Powell: I think not just in the program, but in leadership, right? If you—if your goal is to help people be successful, you’ve gotta be fully committed to that goal. You can’t halfway help people. I mean, I don’t know how to anyway.

Barbara Rapaport: Well, yeah. And the other thing too is it starts at home. How can we really understand other people’s vulnerabilities, their frailties, the amazing part of their humanity—that they often try to hide, but it really makes them so compellingly themselves—how can we possibly understand that, connect to it, help leverage what’s there, if we won’t even look internally at what gets in our way?

Andrew Powell: Preach. You know I agree with everything you just said. It’s one of the things you taught me in our time together. Alright. I just—yeah, I think all that work begins at home.

So let’s talk about leaders. You gave me a nice definition a minute ago about leaders and that you can be a leader without the title of leader, but let’s talk specifically about sort of leaders in the workplace.

It’s been a rough year for everybody, for all of humanity, but in particular, it’s been a rough year for leaders, right? Who’ve had to question everything about how they lead and what they think they know about what is required to be a good leader. Has this been a busy work—a busy year for you?

Barbara Rapaport: It was and it wasn’t. When the pandemic first hit, I was in a panic state, like everyone else in the world around what we were facing just for our own survival of the planet. Absolutely.

Andrew Powell: Right.

Barbara Rapaport: And then coupled with that, in my particular case, the first three months, what I like to phrase as my business tanked, because the part that was organizationally focused, right, because that’s where I get my clients. Organizations hire me, individual human beings typically don’t very often, but clients come from organizations. No one was doing that for the reason you said a moment ago. I mean, everybody was like, “Whoa! How do I react?” You know, “How do I lead? How do I help my followers?” You know, all of that.

Andrew Powell: And in some cases how do I keep my business afloat?

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah, literally, absolutely. So no, I had none of that. And most of that just started coming back literally from organizational perspective. But my leadership experiences where I create coaching experiences in groups like at the Chamber and for my colleagues in the East Coast, we turned all that stuff to Zoom, so I didn’t not work, right? But I will tell you this last quarter—I’ve been telling people, I’m seeing, it boomed this quarter for me. And I earned in the first quarter of this year with more people coming and saying, “Okay, we want to get back to it,” so on and so forth, I earned four times this quarter, what I earned the last year of this quarter.

Andrew Powell: Oh, wow.

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah.

Andrew Powell: That’s an explosion. That’s a lot of work.

Barbara Rapaport: An explosion. I’ve been thinking a lot about, you know, what’s different. And on one level, with my—and I’m going to call them corporate clients, although they could be a nonprofit as well—but with my corporate clients, I actually was already working on what I’m going to share in a moment, which is trying to help leaders be more adaptive. Meaning that, more kind of traditional structures, the way we always did it, thinking in one way, what got us here will get us to the future. I have already been working on changing mindsets because of the complexity of the world within what you got, right? Two things, which I think are connected, which is the global nature of our business and the rate of technology development. Those two things have connived to create, you know, chaos and complexity and confusion. And let me use the word teaching or preaching, now we have to look at complexity theory as leaders. We have to see what old-school thinking will no longer help us. How can we take our mindsets and transform them to something completely different that’s adaptive to these new environments. I was doing that before looking at that. I will tell you I don’t have to sell it now.

Andrew Powell: And that’s the big shift then?

Barbara Rapaport: That’s the big shift.

Andrew Powell: Suddenly organizations everywhere saying, “Oh man, this is something we need to think about. This is something we need to solve for.”

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah, and that’s our world! That is our world. That is not like a single event. And so actually people are really open now to—one of the quadrants, it’s a four-quadrant model, but the one you don’t want to get into, which many people were into this past year was called chaos. You can’t go back to cause and effect, you don’t understand cause and effect, because there is no cause and effect. Nothing is stable. It keeps changing.

One of the amazing things that we get to try if we’re in that to pull ourselves out of it is called Safe to Fail experiments.

Andrew Powell: Say more about that.

Barbara Rapaport: Well, I think about—if we do Save to Fail experiments, what we’re really doing is we’re trying to learn as we go, but we intentionally are doing that. So we’re not trying to do, to my earlier point, tried and true, let’s put it into this context. It worked, then it’ll work. We’re saying, “Ehh, we don’t think these things are going to work, but we don’t know what will work.” So if we pick a few simple things to try, we can be intentional about that. We can be smart about that. Do safe, small experiments and know that you actually might fail, but it doesn’t matter because you’re going to learn that.

Andrew Powell: And you know, that is such a hard lesson for people to learn, for leaders especially, that it’s okay to fail, because failing feels like, you know, failing.

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah. Yeah, you could put failing into there’s only one form of failure and that’s total, right? Safe to Fail says, “No, you’re smart about what you’ll learn, knowing that even if you fail, it won’t have a huge impact that would be so detrimental that you’ll lose your business, but it might just move the needle enough to help you uncover the real thing you really need to do.

Andrew Powell: Yeah, yeah.

Barbara Rapaport: Actually, I can’t remember the name of which company it was. It was years ago when car services like Uber were just starting. One of those services, it might’ve been even a regional one, tried something purposely to see what didn’t work so that they could implement the things that would work. I mean, they absolutely turned it on its ear. So it’s not that it hasn’t been out there, it’s again, what we said a moment ago, people have a choice now. So think about even, I don’t know what happened at OST, but even as the protocols through the CDC kept changing around COVID-19 practices in the workplace, right? You had to do some Safe to Fail experiments. It was changing every day. The governor came on and she said this, and, you know, Anthony Fuaci said that, and I listened to this guy on CBS News—love him from Brown University another [inaudible] [00:17:43] and, you now, he says something and you’re like “What?”

Andrew Powell: Yeah, I’m with you. We reflect on that a lot at OST that we thought 13 months ago that we were sending our employees home for six weeks, and we have yet to reopen our offices. It’s all been pivot and change and figure out what’s next and figure out what makes sense. So where are we headed do you think? I mean, as leaders, as organizations, what do you think is the 2021, 2022 challenge we’re going to grapple with as we try and figure out what the new normal is, what we do to put our businesses and our relationships with our businesses back together?

Barbara Rapaport: Well, I think there has to be tremendous regard for technology and its impact on us in so many ways. If I were a business leader today, I think I would be overwhelmed with the implications of making decisions about the kinds of technological support systems infrastructure we would need to manage the flow of information. What’s going to happen in a year? Is something that like happened over 10 years? And as a business leader, you can’t ignore that…

Andrew Powell: Yeah.

Barbara Rapaport: Right? It impacts every part of your business. It impacts the humanity of your business. It puts you in jeopardy around being sabotaged. I mean, it just has so many implications. So I think that’s something that business leaders and their teams have to work together on trying to anticipate.

I’m a big believer in scenario planning. So I think in this day and age more and more scenario planning should be part of general strategic planning.

Andrew Powell: And do you think part of what made the last year tough was that no one had scenarios for this?

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah, absolutely. You know, a couple of years ago I watched this really great show, at the time it was on Bravo—I think you can get them on streaming networks now. It was called “Counterpart.” It starred J. K. Simmons, who I like a lot, and he played two guys, the same guy who lived in parallel universes, and the parallel universes happened and one parallel universe faced a pandemic and was almost destroyed and the other one was saved and there was this bitterness between the two universes. That the one that stayed healthy actually caused the pandemic in the other. And I remember watching that, people wearing masks and no one’s on the street in the one universe, and everybody’s living their happy life in the other one, and I’m like, this is surreal, right? And then it happened.

Andrew Powell: And you’re like, “What do I got to do to be in that other universe?”

Barbara Rapaport: Oh my gosh, I’m driving down 20th street with my daughter, you know, like, in March and it was empty! And this past weekend it was jam-packed like crazy, so—

Andrew Powell: I mean, listen, that’s why I asked you the question I did because in my head, if we had scenarios we would not have had scenarios that were, “Hey, what’s your scenario for when you shut down your business for a year and all of your employees work from home and no one goes outside and everyone has to have their groceries delivered and you can’t leave your house?” Like we would—even if we had scenarios, they weren’t going to be scenarios that included that.

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah. And that’s one of the interesting things, Shell oil company has actually been renowned for their scenario planning that’s global, that is big the way you just described it. I mean, they bring people together who really think, talk about outside the box. Now, I don’t know how they fared in this given, you know, what they do for a living, but they have the skill set—so that’s where I’m going back to leadership—

Andrew Powell: Yeah.

Barbara Rapaport: The skill set to bring in really advanced thinkers, and I don’t know that you have to be a brilliant expert in any one topic to be part of that, this is what I think would make it so exciting for companies, bring the people. The answers are in the room. I mean, you’ve got some phenomenal people in your organizations who, given the opportunity and what we learned in this last year, could really start to anticipate what are other options and futurist kinds of thinking that we might have taken into account that we kind of [inaudible] [00:22:20] in the past. Yeah. So that’s one of my thoughts for leaders moving forward.

And I think, you may remember, we talked about something in adaptive leadership that’s called the metaphor of you can stand on the dance floor and pay attention what’s going on kind of on a day to day more operational level. Or, you can go upstairs to the balcony and you look at the much bigger view of what’s going on on the dance floor and that leaders typically have to go back and forth. But yeah, primarily the highest level leaders in the company stay on the balcony as much as they can. They often get into trouble if they get too much in the weeds on the dance floor. But now, implementation or execution is really important—equally important—because of the complexity of all the interacting facets of the business. And so many of those are volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous.

Andrew Powell: Made all the more complex and ambiguous when your dance floor can only be reached by talking to a camera on a computer.

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah, no question. And so we haven’t even talked about, right, that. Now, I remember with clients, in my first few months where the clients where I was still working with, because they were already under contract we were going, these were—a lot of them were high-level administrators in public school systems across the country. So these were teachers. They’re now at home with their children. And some of them had toddlers, and I remember saying so naively, I mean this, to one or two of them because they’re experts in child ed and they were so stressed and worried. One told me she had a three-year-old and she just let them make cookies every day and she didn’t care that the cookie dough was all over the kitchen [inaudible] [00:24:17]-[00:24:18] horrible cookies. And I said, you know, they’re kids, you know, they’ll rebound. And it’s a year later and a lot of the kids aren’t rebounding, right? We didn’t know what we didn’t know.

Andrew Powell: Yeah.

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah.

Andrew Powell: Yeah. I wonder if 10, 15, 20 years from now, this is just going to be this lost year. Could this be the year that nothing happened.

Barbara Rapaport: Well, yeah. And also to, you know, to your point, whatever you said earlier, got me thinking to tell you that, which is, we don’t know the impact on our human infrastructure, let’s call it.

Andrew Powell: Yeah.

Barbara Rapaport: We really don’t know the impact of that yet. I don’t know if you and I will know in our lifetime, I think we will, but I think there’s a lot more there that’s going to interfere and that leaders are going to have to try to find ways to uncover—sorry, I think you’re going to say something.

Andrew Powell: Yeah, no, no, you just touched on it. That’s where my brain naturally goes is, so then what do we, as leaders, need to be thinking about so that we can help our organizations and our people solve for the challenges that are coming for the—what do you call it—for the back to work rebound or the new normal rebound or that, you know, that readjustment that we’re all about to go through.

We think the worst is behind us, Barbara, but I think it’s just the next thing. The next thing is ahead of us, that’s what I think. We had a weird year and we’re in for another weird year.

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah, I think you’re right. And to put a little more optimism in that, which is how I look at it, which is, I so fully believe that the answers are in the room. That one of the key things that leaders can do is find out ways to create the context for those answers to surface, not be afraid of those answers, be joyful and delighted in bringing them forward. So much of my executive coaching practice is around people who feel their voices are never heard. This is prime time to change that. It could be like a whole tipping point, to quote Malcolm Gladwell, it could be a tipping point in another direction of really treasuring our human resources.

Andrew Powell: Yeah. Yeah, definitely. And I’m certainly hopeful of that. I’m hopeful those are the conversations we find ourselves having.

Okay. I want to take a pivot. You, during the course of your quarantine time, you channeled some of that energy into something, you wrote a book. Yeah?

Barbara Rapaport: I did. And I love telling people about it, so thank you for asking. Anything in particular, you want to know about?

Andrew Powell: Tell me what I need to know. Tell me what it’s about. Tell me why you wrote it.

Barbara Rapaport: It was a way of taking advantage of that downtime that I didn’t expect—

Andrew Powell: Sure.

Barbara Rapaport: obviously, like none of us did. What happened was this, here’s my story. In 2017, I was standing in front of Staples picking up something from them. And I put my hand on my chest and I felt a hard mass. And to make a long story short, that began a series of events that uncovered that I had a malignant tumor on my sternum, and I had to have my entire sternum removed—most of my ribs had an implant put in instead of that to protect, you know, my heart, my lungs, and all that. You can imagine huge major surgery: three different surgical disciplines in the room, to make sure I survived eight hours on the table, four days in intensive care, and then a whole month in the hospital.

So I came out of that and the book is actually the story of what happened 18 months after. I woke up every morning saying, “I don’t want to do this anymore.” And I couldn’t define “this.” I just knew I was haunted by that cancer experience. And I didn’t know if I could face the world with purpose I had had up until then. And I was really struggling. And so the book is the story of what realizations I came to and the triggering, well, using memories of things that triggered some of that being haunted, so memories of childhood and a trauma that happened when I was a little girl. And so the story of the cancer and the healing and recovery of that is interspersed with these memories. And they speak to how worldviews I created as a five-year-old to survive in a traumatic environment were absolutely getting in the way of me surviving moving forward.

Andrew Powell: Wow.

Barbara Rapaport: And I’m so pleased I did it, because I wrote the book and through the process of writing, Andrew, I figured it out, right? If I hadn’t written that I wouldn’t have figured that. I didn’t start knowing the answer.

It’s called “Reimagined.” You can get it on Amazon, and there’s a couple of copies at Schuler’s. I’m very excited. We’ve had decent success because I’m, you know, self-publisher. My network has been very gracious and I’ve gotten some amazing feedback. So if any listeners are interested, I encourage them to read it. I think there’s human lessons for all of us. It’s only a two hour, two and a half hour read. It’s not like this big tome.

Andrew Powell: Yeah. Yeah. And having written it, you think that’s a part of your journey too, right? It isn’t just the work you did in processing that out, it’s also being able to tell that story that can be transformative for us.

Barbara Rapaport: That’s what I’m told, right? Because I’m getting feedback from, you know, people who know me about that. And one of the key messages in it, which I think is a universal one, which is again, and I see this in my practice that many of us think we have multiple personas, the other in conflict with each other. And my message is I had that, too. And I thought, one, all my life was trying to eradicate the other, and I realized, no, no, no, no, they want to live together in joy.

Andrew Powell: Well, I have a doughnut loving persona inside of me and I have a thin persona inside of me. And those two are constantly in conflict. I’m just being honest. No, I understand—

Barbara Rapaport: I can help you with that. Call me after today.

Andrew Powell: We can go into a little therapy session after we’re done with our conversation.

So what’s next for you? Is this a pivot? Are you an author now? Do you think in terms of narrative and other stories you want to tell? Or is this a one-time thing?

Barbara Rapaport: Right now I’m saying it’s a one-time thing. What would interest me more, frankly, is there was a lot that didn’t get into the book just because when you work with a coach they really help you understand what a memoir is, right, and what it isn’t. But there’s a really helpful narratives that I didn’t get to put in, so I was thinking more of like a short story sequencing of something. Not gone anywhere with it, but I’m playing around with that. And of course, I’m continuing my practice.

Andrew Powell: Sure, which has taken off like gangbusters.

Barbara Rapaport: Taken off like gangbusters and I’m just having really a lot of fun. And, you know, also given my age, because I don’t hide it, this thing in 2017 started when I was just about to turn 65. Now is also a time when all of us in this stage of life say, you know, how much do I want to actually work work? And how much do I want to kick back and why? And right now the “I want to work, work” keeps winning out—

Andrew Powell: Yeah.

Barbara Rapaport: to put it mildly.

Andrew Powell: I hear you.

Barbara Rapaport: Okay.

Andrew Powell: Well, I mean, fortunately, you’ve got lots of work to do, lots of people who want your work, and lots of energy to do that work. So sounds like you got an exciting couple of years ahead of you.

Barbara Rapaport: I do, and you know, right now I’m cancer-free and I’m very, very grateful—three years in. Yeah. So every day is, you know—people say every day is—they say a gift, I say every day is a joy. I’ve always wanted every interaction I have to be in some form of a learning experience, and that’s how I face the day every day, and I feel darn lucky to be here, Andrew, I really do. I saw the other side and it was really dark.

Andrew Powell: Well, I feel darn lucky to have you here.

Barbara Rapaport: Thank you.

Andrew Powell: So as we wrap up, you may or may not know this about OST, but OST’s main headquarters in Grand Rapids, Michigan is in an old game factory—The Jerky Games Factory—made wooden games in Grand Rapids, Michigan for a long, long time. So we always ask our guests about games as we wrap up. Tell me what games you play. Do you play chess, checkers, you have a favorite tabletop game you play? You got some game that’s keeping you occupied during quarantine?

Barbara Rapaport: I’m not a big game player. I never really analyzed why, other than I noticed when I played board games, I would get anxious. So what that, I think, is telling me is I’m really competitive and didn’t know it.

Andrew Powell: Interesting.

Barbara Rapaport: I don’t like that because in the world in which I operate outside of that game, I’m not competitive actually, at all. So I didn’t like that side of me and I didn’t like the way it made me feel. So I didn’t play too many. I will play Scrabble now and then, that’s kind of intellectual, I kind of like that.

Here’s what I do now with my daughter, my best friend daughter, we do Legos.

Andrew Powell: Oh, okay. Okay. Like, big kits or free—

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah, the kits. The kits. Yeah, yeah, yeah. So we just did the “Friends” café.

Andrew Powell: Oh, okay. Sure. Central Perk.

Barbara Rapaport: Yeah, I love it because it’s right next to a picture—the four of us, my husband, daughter, and son, when we were at Warner Brothers—we sat in their little place where you can take a picture on the couch.

Andrew Powell: Yeah.

Barbara Rapaport: So the picture is next to the Lego display. And then my daughter and I took a wonderful trip to Paris after I was well enough. After my bout with cancer, she and I took this special trip and so I just bought the one for Paris, so we’re going to start that this weekend.

Andrew Powell: That sounds lovely. That sounds great. Well, excellent. Barbara, I’m so, so thankful that you spent some time with us today talking about leadership and I’m so thankful to have you in my life.

Barbara Rapaport: Thank you.

Andrew Powell: Truly, truly.

Barbara Rapaport: Ditto. Ditto, ditto.

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