Patrick:            Hi everyone, I’m Pat V., and you’re listening to The Rise Above Your Best podcast, where I am not only obsessed with searching out and interviewing individuals that are achieving great success to uncover their habits, but also in uncovering and presenting the research that proves great success is available to anyone. It all starts when you believe in the power of rising above your best.

My guest today is Jon Jennings, who is currently the City Manager in Portland, Maine. Jon has an exciting and very professional journey. He’s been an NBA scout and coach, a legislative candidate, a franchise owner, an investor in a developmental NBA team called The Maine Red Claws. Prior to that, Jon grew up in Indiana, where he was the first in his family to go to college. On top of that, he then went on to earn a Master’s from Harvard.

In this episode, Jon speaks to how his experiences of growing up in Indiana, his experiences in the NBA with coaches such as Red Auerbach and players like Robert Parish and Larry Bird, have shaped his journey and his commitment to helping others. We’re going to pick up this conversation where Jon is talking about growing up in Indiana. So let’s jump right in.

Jon:                  So my mother always said that I couldn’t keep a job. That’s why I had so many different opportunities. But honestly, I’ve just been the kind of person that’s had a lot of different interests. I grew up in a small town in Indiana, and she worked in the same factory for most of her career. That was just never going to be my destiny. I always believed that there was much more for me to do, and to explore all these different interests. That’s where really, I think our society, particularly since the ’80s, has become much more of a transient society.

Our parents, our grandparents, basically born and raised and worked in the same town mostly. That’s not true of our generation and certainly later generations. So I’ve always enjoyed challenges. I think that’s kind of really the … Whenever I see something ahead that challenges me, that’s kind of what motivates me to do something.

Patrick:            Well, obviously it shows in your resume. Born in Richmond, Indiana?

Jon:                  Yes.

Patrick:            What was that like growing up?

Jon:                  You know, it’s interesting as I reflect back, because my hometown is a microcosm of what’s happened in this country over the last 30 years. In my little hometown, we had five major factories. My mom worked at the Alcoa Plant. My brother in law worked at the APCO Plant. There was a bus plant. There was two other major manufacturing facilities in my hometown. So you look back and you think, wow, we really had this poor middle class in this town of 20,000 people in Indiana.

So you had kind of the very wealth people who owned the businesses in Richmond. You had a large middle class because of factories, and because of job opportunities like that. People like my family, we were not very wealthy, but my mom did have a full-time job in one of those factories. Unfortunately, my dad left when we were young. So she was the sole breadwinner, if you will. But fast forward to 2018, all of those factories are gone except for one. If you go to my hometown today, you’ll still have that tiny sliver of wealthy individuals who own businesses and so forth, but that middle class has disappeared to a large degree.

And people of my age and younger have fled the city. And what’s left is a fairly large group of people who struggle on the margins. They’re one paycheck away from being destitute. And so that, I think, has really informed me as I’ve grown into adulthood, and certainly at this point in my life. But obviously, it’s something that’s happened in a lot of different cities and towns all across the country, right here in Maine. The manufacturing base in former mill towns and so forth just disappeared, and those opportunities left. So that is a cataclysmic shift that has happened in our country. And that’s what we’re suffering from right now.

We’ve never really had a leader in my opinion, in the country, that can really explain what has happened to the country. In the turn of the last century, Theodore Roosevelt became president through the assassination of President McKinley. And that was the end of the agrarian society, and into, really, the burgeoning railroad and manufacturing society that we ultimately became. And he was the kind of president who really did teach, and the American people, what they were living through. And that is really kind of the same time, there’s a lot of fear in our country right now. Fearful of immigrant people coming to the United States for the first time.

That’s not unique. We’ve had those periods in our history. But that’s the unfortunate part about our era, though. We don’t really have true leadership in this country, at all levels of government, to be honest with you. And that’s where I think we’re most suffering.

Patrick:            So there’s a quote by John Quincy Adams that says if your actions inspire somebody to do more, learn more, dream more, become more, you’re a leader. Really just talks about behaviors. Where do you see that fitting in terms of what we’re talking about? What are those things that inspire somebody to do more? Here you are in city government, which, notoriously, has been one of these that any type of agency, it’s hard to get people to change. How do you do that?

Jon:                  Yeah. I think for me, I had a very formative experience when I was in high school. I was 18 years of age, standing on the steps, or the grass, of the US capitol in January of 1981. I was president of the student body, and had organized a trip to Washington for the inauguration, of what became the inauguration of President Reagan. And so I distinctly remember standing there with all of my high school friends and listening to the inaugural address of President Reagan. And he came to the famous part where he says, “Government is the problem.” And I remember standing there thinking to myself, I just fundamentally disagree with that statement. I don’t believe government is the answer to all of our problems, but I believe government is a partner in addressing the issues that face our country and face our world.

So in various parts of my career, from basketball I went to Washington, from business I went to run for congress. And then Senator Kerry’s office, and now I’m in city government. And I think a lot of my career has been about trying to prove that statement wrong. What I mean by that is, I think government can be effective, government can be efficient if run in the right way, and with real leadership. It’s not who was willing to put their neck on the line, in order to make tough decisions that have that type of change that I think is really needed at this point in our country’s history.

Patrick:            Sort of take a step back in terms of you growing up, right? We all have this ability to hopefully form the direction to go in. What was it about you that you said, “This is not where I’m meant to be?” How did you take the responsibility for that?

Jon:                  Growing up without a father, for a boy, and for a girl, is certainly a formative experience. I had the most incredible mother. My mom, to the day I take my last breath, will be my hero. She was a person who had a really tough life in various periods of her time. She was a domestic violence victim, she had a lot of challenges facing her. But what she did do is, she got up every single day, got us dressed for school, provided us a roof over our head, provided us food. She went to work, a lot of times, in the third shift of the factory, putting sheets of aluminum into a press that made bottle caps. I can’t imagine how difficult that work was for her day after day, year after year, of putting aluminum sheets into a press.

So for me, I think, with the absence of a male figure, I just began reading. And I read everything I could find on heroic figures in history. And I think through that process, I probably, without completely psychoanalyzing myself, formulated a father figure that I wanted to emulate. So I read a lot, I just read everything I could find about Churchill. I read everything I could find about Robert Kennedy. I remember the book that really had such an impact on me was an Arthur Schlesinger book on Robert Kennedy. I was 15 at the time, and I read this book about this wealthy guy who had kind of the ease of life, but transformed himself over the course of his political career to really understand the plight of the poor and the dispossessed in our country. Who actually went to the Mississippi delta to see firsthand. I mean, how many US senators do that today?

We had an ambassador at the UN just say yesterday that we shouldn’t, UN shouldn’t be looking at poverty in America. Well that’s great if you want to turn a blind eye to people who are suffering, but there are a lot of people who are suffering in our country today. So all of this reading that I did, Jefferson, Madison, Washington, the founding fathers, many, many others. I think, for me, I realized that there was a larger world out there. That I wasn’t consigned to work in a factory job in Richmond, Indiana. While there’s nothing wrong with that, I just had a different idea for my life.

I think that that’s really both my mother’s incredible support, and this belief that there are people who had tough childhoods, like Churchill. Churchill’s father was fairly nonexistent in his childhood. He was, in fact, scorned by his father. His mother was really not present. And he grew to be on of the greatest figures of the 20th century, if not the greatest figure. As a kid growing up in Indiana, the person I’ve always looked up to the most is Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln spent his formative years in Indiana. He was, from the age of nine to 18, he lived in Southern Indiana. His mother died when he was nine. My parents divorced when I was nine.

So everything I could find on Lincoln, and then of course his personal story of success, failure, failure, failure, success. And then dealing with the Civil War, and losing a child in the White House, and so many other things that were going on. He had this depressive side, this melancholy, that was often written about. Which I found fascinating. Churchill had the same thing, which he called the black dog. Actually, Theodore Roosevelt had the same thing, but he believed that a vigorous life, he could outrun that blackness of depression. So it was an interest period in my life. Because of course the absence of having that paternal figure, but being able to kind of create this figure in my own mind of what I really wanted to be.

Patrick:            So it’s interesting, I don’t know if you’ve read Napoleon Hill, his book, Think and Grow Rich. But he speaks about this imaginary cabinet that he had, he had all of these different figures that he would, in his imagination, refer to, in terms of helping guide him to where he was going. Which I think is interesting, based on what you’re saying.

Jon:                  Well that was in the early, the formation of me in the early stages. But later I was blessed to have incredible mentors. People who really did come in and out of my life. My fifth grade teacher, I have a scholarship at my high school in honor of Mr. Clark. He was the guy, and it was right around the time when, honestly, I could’ve gone one way or the other. The chaos of my own family and everything else. And Mr. Clark put a firm hand on my shoulder and directed me toward the life that I currently have. And if it wasn’t for him … So 15, I guess, years ago, I created this scholarship. It’s for any student going into elementary education, as a way to thank him for what he did for me.

Later, of course, Red Auerbach, with the Celtics, he was the person who had such an impact on me in my adult life. The way, really the way I do everything. The way I manage, the way I lead, the way I treat people, the sense of family that I’ve tried to take everywhere I’ve been. So I’ve been very, very fortunate that I’ve had great mentors. And then adversely, what I’ve tried to do is try to pass that along. To young people who constantly come into the office here, or I’ve met over the course of the last 20, 30 years of talking about their interest in sports or government, or you name it.

Patrick:            You mentioned in one of our last conversations in regards to Red Auerbach, specifically, in terms of how he managed different players, in terms of how he would approach them, whether it was Cousy or Robert Parish. Can you sort of tell that story again?

Jon:                  Yeah absolutely. I mean Red was, he was a master psychologist, in order to describe. Red really could understand and read people. And this is what, I learned so much from that man in this area. So I remember him telling me the story that, when he was coaching, this was back in the ’50s and ’60s, he had a racially diverse team, which was fairly unusual for that era. In fact, he drafted the first African American to play for the Celtics. Boston, at that time, was still a very difficult city, in terms of race relations. He was Jewish. And so you had a team full of African Americans, whites, different parts of the country, coached by a Jewish fellow from New York.

And what he used to talk with me about was, you’ve got to understand the people you’re leading. So for instance, he knew he could not scream at Bill Russell. Bill would not react well to screaming, to kind of a direct confrontation. It was just not the way to get through to Bill. Conversely, what Red would do is, he would scream at Tommy Heinson. So Tommy could take that screaming. But the message was actually being sent through Tommy to Bill, and to the rest of the team.

Patrick:            Such a great story.

Jon:                  It was the same point with Bob Cousy. Bob could be very sensitive, at times, according to Red. So he had to figure out ways in which he could best get through to Bob without getting him in a place where it wouldn’t be productive. And all the great coaches are like this, I mean, there’s no Mike Kryzewski at Duke. The great other great pro coaches, Phil Jackson and Pat Riley, Casey Jones. I mean, the coaches that, certainly of my era in basketball, they had this very compelling way of leading teams that wasn’t a one size fits all. And I think that’s true of leadership. You simply cannot treat everybody the same, because we’re not all the same. And that’s, I think the real successful leaders understand that. I think those people who, it’s my way or the highway, fail. And often fail spectacularly.

Patrick:            So what was your high point, in terms of your coaching with the Celtics?

Jon:                  My high point, for me, on the basketball end, really was being around some of the greatest players that ever played the game of basketball. Larry Bird, I’ve learned so much from Larry, just through observation. Larry and I were both from Indiana, we spent a lot of time together when I first came to Boston. And Larry was not an overly emotive leader. He was not a person who was a screamer or anything. He led by example, and that taught me a lot. Larry would be, usually, the first to practice and the last to leave. And when those young kids, the rookies, and first and second year players like Reggie Lewis were drafted, they would come in and they would see the omnipotent Bird.

Now Bird had already won Championships, Player of the Year, just incredibly successful, one of the greatest of all times. So when Larry’s on the court till well past practice had ended, you didn’t dare leave. And that taught those guys a lot about professionalism and the commitment to excellence. And that’s really what I learned most from Red, was that commitment to excellence. He used to tell me that the goal is perfection, but there’s no such thing. So you settle for excellence in all that you do. Not just in basketball, but in life, in your family. Every conceivable thing. Boy, you’d love to get to that perfect game or that perfect season or whatever, it’s just not possible.

Coach and I used to say the same thing. His goal was to have the perfect game, but there’s no such thing. So as long as you understand that, and everyone is rowing in the same direction toward excellence, that’s really where it all comes down to.

Patrick:            Speaking of excellence, and on that path to excellence, I have yet to read or speak to somebody that didn’t come through challenges. Probably those most difficult things are the things that as they look back on it now, those were the turning points or really the fuel that got them to where they are. I’d be curious, from your own experience, what are some of those challenges that you had either growing up or later on, that you look back on now and say, in the moment, darkest time I’ve had, looking at it now, probably what has propelled me going forward?

Jon:                  I think again, I go back to my mom. My mother used to assign us chores. And as a kid, you’re not terribly thrilled with the idea. You’ve got to wash the dishes, or run the vacuum cleaner, whatever. But I always remember my mom saying something, we never want to half ass anything. And I don’t think I could understand what that meant when I was real young. But later, of course, I understood completely. If you’re going to do anything, do it the best of your ability. So that was really, to be honest with you, that lesson came from my mom. And at the darkest moments of my life, when my family was going through a very difficult time with my father leaving and his alcoholism, and abuse, and so forth, my job was to protect my mom.

So there were times when I intervened, and I was recipient of some of that behavior from my father, but I always knew I was doing the right thing. So I think that is, I also think my Catholic faith, to be honest with you, has been there for me in the darkest of times. It is something that is, I’m not a person who wears my faith on my sleeve. It’s just not me, I am deeply embedded in my faith. It means everything to me. But other people don’t believe the way I believe, which is really cool. I don’t agree with everything the Catholic church stands for. I completely disagree with them on serious social issues.

Growing up, I had this priest, Father Francis Van Betten. And the chaos of my childhood, I used to go to mass oftentimes by myself. And Father Van Betten was this old priest in my hometown, I think saw me in the pews, and kind of took an interest in me. In the way in which he was concerned about seeing this young kid all by himself, I think. And so, really, I think through conversations I had with him and others, the life of Jesus really was the thing that is so much more important to me than a Catholic church. So that example, that I think Jesus taught all of us, is really the way I try to live my life. In service to others, and acceptance of others. And fundamentally understanding that we’re all in this together, and we need to help each other.

So I think through the darkest times, certainly my faith, my mother, my readings … I just, I learned to be resilient. There were certainly in jobs like I have today, I’m constantly criticized. You’ve got to be able to understand where people are coming from, and not necessarily take it personally all the time. There are times that it’s impossible not to take things personally. But I think, whenever you’re trying to affect any type of change, if you’re not unsettling someone, then you’re probably not addressing the kind of change that needs to be addressed.

Patrick:            I would agree with that. In regards to sort of where you are, if you look, are there any rituals? Things that you sort of do on a regular basis that you would say, “These definitely help where I’m going, or where I’ve been?”

Jon:                  Yeah absolutely. I wake up at 5:00am every day. It’s been something that, I don’t know, I don’t even set an alarm clock. I wake up and it’s almost always at 5:00am unless there’s been a long council meeting the night before. And then I start to read. Right now, I’m reading a book on President Bush 41, who I think is one of the greatest Americans this country ever produced. I’m not saying that in terms of a political sense, but as a man and a human being. I read a lot, there was an excellent book written last year on Washington’s farewell address, which I read. I’m constantly reading, and reading books.

Before this job, I used to exercise all the time. I ran the Boston Marathon a few years ago, which was always a goal of mine. And unfortunately with this job … Running the marathon, I hurt my hip and had to have that replaced. I just said, got to get back to the ritual of exercise. Then at night, I always pray. It’s remembering, praying for my family, the people I love, certainly the people who have left. My best friend in the world was a guy by the name of Lenny Zakim. Lenny was a man that was the head of the Anti -Defamation League in Boston. He was a person that I admired so much more than just your ordinary friendship, because of his commitment to justice, and people of all backgrounds and races.

We created a foundation together. That’s the thing I’m most proud of during my basketball years, on the non-basketball side. This foundation called Team Harmony. Reggie Lewis was one of our players when I first talked about doing something like this, and unfortunately, Reggie died suddenly on the basketball court at the age of 27. Reggie and I were very close friends on the team. But Lenny and I were really, really close friends, and we decided to do that together. So for several years, we had this large event at, what was then, the Fleet Center. Now it’s the TD Garden. To invite thousands of young people from all over New England to take a stand against hate and bigotry.

We had people come, like Mrs. Clinton, Hilary Clinton came and wrote about the foundation in her book, It Takes a Village. A young Justin Timberlake came, he was 16, he came with his mom. I didn’t even know who he was at the time, until he walked out on stage, the ear piercing scream. I realized those teenagers must know this kid Justin Timberlake. And sports figures, and elsewhere. What we were trying to do is empower those young people to take a stand against hate and bigotry in their schools, in their communities. Because oftentimes, that type of work can be somewhat lonely and isolating.

So I think the relationship I had with Lenny was more based around love, as a friend, and not just your typical friendship. Unfortunately, Lenny passed away from cancer back in 1999. So my prayers are Reggie, and Lenny, certainly my mom, and my brother passed away some years ago, and others.

Patrick:            So in the experiences that you’ve had, if you were to look back and tell yourself something at age 20, what would you tell yourself?

Jon:                  I think, enjoy yourself. That’s what, I think, when I was 20, and certainly in my 20s, I was rushing to be something else. I didn’t enjoy the moment. So you go to work for the Indiana Pacers, you want to be … So you’re scouting and doing video work. But you really want to be an assistant coach, you really want to do this, you really want to be general manager. You get to the Boston Celtics, I get to the Boston Celtics, and I’m doing video work and scouting. But I want to be an assistant coach, I want to be a general manager. I think if I could tell myself something, from that time of my life is, slow down and enjoy the moment. Because I felt that I, as I look back, I was rushing through all of that. That’s maybe typical for people, but I don’t know. That’s certainly what I would say to myself.

Patrick:            Which is interesting to hear you say that. Because right, isn’t that what we sometimes hear today? With the millennial crowd, is they’re always looking to get ahead. Is it really just, generationally, at that age, that’s what we do. And we’ve pegged the generation for being impatient, but at 20 years old, we’re probably all impatient to a degree. If we’re high achievers.

Jon:                  This idea that you can broad brush an entire generation is,

Patrick:            Ridiculous.

Jon:                  It is absolutely ridiculous. I get very frustrated with the baby boom generation, and I’m at the very tail end of the baby boom generation. Because of many things that’ve happened in this country over my adult life. But I would never say that the entire baby boom generation was horrible, in the country. And the same is true for the millennial generation. I just think it’s so convenient to take broad brushes. But we do that, unfortunately. Or people do that, in order to achieve some type of a, I think, political outcome. Or dividing us. It’s just, there’s so much division in this country now, and certainly around the world. And that’s where I just wish we could get back to feeling as though we’re all in this together.

The great leaders, certainly that I’ve read about, were really ones that brought a country together, brought a people together, brought a city together, brought a state together. John Paul the second, one of those individuals I had the honor of meeting a few times in my life. And Nelson Mandela was another one of those individuals that I had the honor of meeting a few times. And both of those people, when I met them, you realized you’re in the presence of grace. It was a different experience … I’ve been around presidents, I’ve been around basketball players, I’ve been around iconic sports figures. But being in the presence of Pope John Paul the second and Nelson Mandela was a completely different experience. They radiated grace in their presence, and you felt it, it was palpable.

That was where I realized that there is a, whatever you believe in, whether it’s Jesus or anyone else, you realize that there is a sense of grace amongst us. And that is where I really believe that if we could just put aside our petty differences and realize that we’re really, we’re in this together. We have this very, very, very short time on this planet. And why should we spend our time in such divisive ways, instead of really try to figure out how to have the best life possible? And not assign blame to everyone else.

So I think, I’m sure many people through the millennium have thought that. But that’s really, I think, the goal. It always should be the goal. Unfortunately I’m living, my adult life is, I’ve been consigned to live through a horrible, horrible last 30 plus years in our country’s history, where we’re so divided. And we shouldn’t be.

Patrick:            Your experience is so broad, in terms of basketball, business, into public service. In all of this, I failed to mention, in terms of all of your achievements, you actually have your master’s in public administration from Harvard. Which, I didn’t see a date on that. Where did you manage to fit that in in all of this?

Jon:                  Yeah. Again, that’s one of those things that, I went to Red and said, “I have an opportunity to go to the Kennedy school.” And I said, “I’ll still do all my scouting and everything, I promise you, and I’ll go to classes.” So it took me a few years to get the master’s degree. And a relatively poor kid growing up in Indiana, I never thought in the world I would ever have the opportunity to go to Harvard. Well for that matter, go to Indiana University. I’m the first person in my family to graduate high school, let alone go to college. When you were asking me earlier about where this all comes from, it’s really that determination to be much more than what the examples I had seen from others growing up, other than my mom.

Patrick:            So I’m going to shift a little bit here. You talked about the Boston Marathon. Were you actually, and you said, you injured your hip. Were you able to finish that, or?

Jon:                  Yeah, no, no. I didn’t injure my hip during the marathon. It was age, to be honest with you. My mom was dying, and many of us, of course, go through that process. And it’s a really horrible process, I think, for all of us to go through, when we’re losing a parent. I think, for me to be able to cope with that experience, I started running again. And I really, really set a goal. So I started running 5ks and then 10ks and then I ran a 20 miler from Kittery, Maine, to Salisbury, Massachusetts. That was a pre-marathon.

Then I ended up running the Boston Marathon in 2015. I was very slow. It was a rough day, it was raining and cold. But to honor my mom, I was determined to finish. And I ran and I ran. I never, I stopped once for a bathroom break, which was about 20 seconds. Then I kept running, and I didn’t stop, and crossed the finish line, and was very, very proud that I could do that.

Patrick:            That is certainly one of the things that I love about sports in general. There’s that opportunity, I’m sure, along the way, even through training and running it that you maybe said, “I don’t know if I can do this. I don’t know that I can go another mile.”

Jon:                  Yeah, you know, there are certainly those moments in life where you’re not sure. Unfortunately, some people take extreme measures when they hit that wall, when they feel like they can’t go another step. In running, you can’t go another mile. But the perseverance that I’ve had in my life, that willingness to never, ever give up. That’s one of the Churchill quotes, that my sister bought a sign for me, and Churchill said that, “Never give up, never, ever give up, in anything, great or small. Never give up.” That has really been kind of the way in which I’ve lived my life. I’ve certainly had moments where life can break you. Hemingway said that if you live long enough, the world will sometimes break you, and you’re strong at the broken places. If you’re resilient, you become strong at the broken places.

That’s really, I think, the definition of all of us. None of us get out of here alive, none of us get out of here unscathed. We all have, whatever your story is. You had a difficult time. And it’s really how you react to those difficult times. To push through the pain and the sorrow, and to keep running to finish the marathon, is really, I think the apropos way of looking at life. This is a marathon. We keep running and keep running, we get a rainstorm once in a while, or fall on the ice, or you name it. But we pick ourselves up and we keep going. And with that, I think, defines the quality of life one leads.

Patrick:            Whether it’s public service, or business, what would your parting thoughts be? Or suggestions, to somebody that’s just starting out, so to speak?

Jon:                  I really think it’s finding your passion, and in that moment in your life, passion changes. A lot of people, and this is where I’ve tried to live my life. When I was a kid, I had memorized all of the presidents. So I was like the family freak show. I’d come out and recite all the presidents, and then I’d run off to bed. So I was very interested in government and politics and all that stuff from a very young age. But I had this opportunity in basketball. And what a phenomenal opportunity to have been a very small part of an organization like the Boston Celtics. A true family type of situation.

And the experiences that that gave me, as well as the people that taught me. So I think it’s really important for anyone starting out is to find the passion of the moment, find mentors that can help educate you, and most importantly, be open. Make sure you are open to the fact that you may not have all the answer. When you’re young, you think the world is never going to end. And certainly, life is never going to end. And a lot of times, you’re the smartest person in the room. As you get older, you realize, that’s not even remotely the case. So be open to learning from people who have already gone down that path that you’re passionate about.

Most importantly, be open to people who are less fortunate than what you are. All of us, regardless of our station in life, can help each other. Whether you do big things or small things, that makes a difference in someone’s life. That, to me, is really what, at the end of the day, other than my beautiful and wonderful daughter, Abby, the thing I have been most proud of is the lives that I was able to touch along the way. And hopefully for the better. And most importantly, the life of this beautiful daughter that I have. My dream, when she was born, was to raise a very strong, independent, and smart young lady. And that’s what she’s turned into, and I believe she’ll be that way. Her mother, and certainly I, have spent a lot of time trying to make sure that she is this well-adjusted, wonderful, beautiful young person.

Patrick:            I’ve seen my hint. So I’d be able to concur that you’ve done a great job there.

Jon:                  I’d say the same thing about you as well. Your wife, with grace.

Patrick:            Well this is a great way to end this, Jon. I’ve really appreciated your time. You have such a great and valuable story for other people to hear, in terms of inspiring, how can they rise above their best? So I appreciate that.

Jon:                  Well thank you for the opportunity.

Patrick:            I hope you enjoyed this exciting episode with Jon, and his conversations around growing up in Indiana, the experiences of his life that shaped who he’s become as an individual, his experiences with legends such as Red Auerbach, and how they shaped who he’s become as a leader. I hope you find ways through our conversation that help you to go out and rise above your best.

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