Errol Pierre
Seeing the Paradox

You can't control what people do to you. You can only control how you react to how people treat you.

Errol Pierre
Listen Now
Show Notes

Acclaimed author of “The Way Up: Climbing the Corporate Mountain as a Professional of Color.” Errol L. Pierre(@Errol L. Pierre) shares his dynamic expertise on how to succeed as a leader and professional. As the Senior VP, Errol’s precision and insights are invaluable to anyone starting out or a senior-level executive. Recently completing his Doctorate in Business Administration from Baruch College, Errol seamlessly blends academic acumen with practical industry experience, enriching the ongoing conversation of DEI, mentorship, and being on purpose. 

“Have the courage to make a million mistakes and the wisdom not to make the same mistake a million times.”

-Errol L. Pierre

Key Takeaways:

  • Optimal Performance Strategy: Execute tasks with unwavering commitment and enthusiasm. Wholehearted dedication to each endeavor maximizes the potential for success and fulfillment. Opportunities present themselves in the synchronicity of life.
  • Strategic Interaction Approach: Adopt a professional mindset akin to “One Day, One Life.” Treat every daily interaction as if it were an interview, promoting attentiveness and respect for meaningful connections. Show up as your best each day and prepare for the best possible outcome in all your interactions.
  • Cultural Awareness for Harmony: Acknowledge that societal divisiveness often stems from limited exposure to diverse cultures. Foster unity by actively seeking to understand and appreciate different cultural perspectives. Regardless of who we are, we all have biases; this is an important distinction when engaging in and facilitating complex discussions.
  • Learning through Errors: View mistakes as valuable learning opportunities. Making a diverse array of mistakes can lead to a wealth of knowledge and increased intelligence. However, repetitive errors without adaptation require corrective action to ensure continued growth and success. 
  • Mentorship Principle: A genuine mentor facilitates the journey of individuals in discovering their true selves. Acting as a guide and shepherd, a mentor provides support without giving answers. Like bowling bumpers, mentors offer nudges and guidance, encouraging mentees to navigate their personal growth paths. The focus lies on answering questions, reminding them of guiding principles, and gently steering them towards self-discovery and industry expectations.


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Go to: WildHealth.com/UNBEATABLE,  and use code UNBEATABLE at checkout.

Links for Errol L. Pierre:




Mark Divine  0:00  

Hi, welcome to the Mark Divine Show. I’m your host Mark Divine. On this show, I explore what it means to be fearless by talking to some of the world’s most compassionate, courageous and resilient leaders from all walks of life. Stoic philosophers and entrepreneurs, cognitive scientists and nutritionists and folks who’ve climbed the corporate ladder. My guest today is one of those ladder guests. Errol L. Pierre, healthcare executive, a professor and public speaker, author of The Way Up: Climbing the Corporate Mountain as a Professional of Color. Errol’s a senior VP at one of the most notable health care nonprofits in New York. Previously COO at Blue Cross Blue Shield. He’s also an adjunct professor at NYU, and Columbia University and Baruch College Teaching health economics. He’s an in demand speaker on leadership, diversity in healthcare and he’s addressed hundreds of audiences to include the National Urban League for Young Professionals at Fordham University. He’s got a Bachelor’s degree in business administration Fordham and a Master’s in health policy from New York University, and recently completed his Doctorate in Business Administration from Baruch College. Super stoked to have you today Errol, thanks for being my guest on the Mark Divine Show.

Mark Divine 1:15

I really love to start these shows, just by right understanding, kind of where you’re from originally, what were some of the foundational things that happened in your life that shaped you the challenges, the screw ups, you know, and the successes that got you on your track? Could go so many ways in life, right? A single decision here and the single bad influence there, and boy, man, we could be toast. Give us like a, you know, high level overview of the formation of Errol. 


Errol L. Pierre  1:45  

Sure. So I always start with my father, because he’s been so instrumental in who I am. So he is a Haitian born immigrant that somehow someway made it from a tiny town in Haiti called Gonaive to New York City.


Mark divine 2:01

Wow. When was that, by the way?


Errol L. Pierre 2:03



Mark Divine  2:04  

That was back when Haiti wasn’t even as bad as it is today. I mean, like that was probably, it’s gotten a lot worse hasn’t it?


Errol L. Pierre  2:10  

It’s definitely gotten worse. But when he was there, before he came over, there was a ruler that they call Baby doc, he was the son of Papa doc. And so it was pretty bad. Back then, just from there was a despotic you know, dictator, loves ruling the country. And he somehow made it out to America, as an immigrant, and had a dream of being the most selfless man that I know, to create me. I start from that. 

So I grew up in New York, luckily, because if I was born and raised in Haiti, my total life would be totally different. 


Mark Divine 2:44

For sure.


Errol L. Pierre 2:44

So luckily, I was born on the shores, land of the free and just saw a man tirelessly work. Morning, noon, night. He left for work at four in the morning, came home after I was at bed, had multiple jobs, had you know, small business studies to take me out to do. And I just watched this guide never complain. That’s really what where I got my values from, my work ethic. Because, you know, my worst day is nowhere near anything that he’s ever like, nothing, it’s negligible compared to what he’s been through.


Mark Divine 3:15

Right, wow. 


Errol L. Pierre 3:16

So puts things in perspective. And he was cleaning offices, cleaning houses, he was making sometimes $5 an hour, you know, when he first got here. And so when I hit minimum wage, like $15.


Mark Divine 3:27

Right, yeah.


Errol L. Pierre 3:28

It’s like I’ll take that, you know, compared to what my dad was going through, and he was selfless, you know, he put my mom throgh school. So he was working full time, while my mom went to pharmacy school, he put a roof over our head. You know, I didn’t know that we were wanting anything until you compare yourself to your friends. But if I didn’t compare myself, I always had food, always had a shelter over my head. So that’s how I grew up, work hard, keep your head down, stay quiet. You know, be fortunate, you know, understand your blessings, and understand how fortunate you are to be here. And that’s kind of my foundation.


Mark Divine  3:58  

Wow, man, I just like to pause there, because what you just said is just so powerful for anyone who’s you know, kind of dealing with the largesse of our society. You know, culturally, we’re at that time, we’re like, it seems pretty easy for a lot of people like, you know, the technologies that we have and the amount of things that government does for you, that you people just take for granted that certainly weren’t there in 1969, right.


Errol L. Pierre 4:22



Mark Divine 4:23

And just all this largesse, so it’s easy for younger people to take that for granted. And to then think that we just had that, or your dad just had it growing up. It’s not true. 


Errol L. Pierre 4:34



Mark Divine 4:34

It’s a lot of work.


Errol L. Pierre  4:35  

I’ll give you a story. So there was these shoes that used to light up when you walk.


Mark Divine 4:39

I remember those things. 


Errol L. Pierre 4:40

They call them LA gear lights or whatever. I remember wanting those shoes so bad because everyone at school had them. And my dad sat me down and said, I need to work four hours cleaning offices to buy that shoe. So I’ll get it. But is that what you want? Because it’s going to be four hours of us, vacuuming, taking out the trash. And so early age I was 12 1314. He didn’t say no, he actually brought me into the decision making to say, you know, these things don’t just grow on trees, this is what it’s going to take. And then I was like, do I want to have my dad work an extra four hours, where I love him to maybe come home at eight o’clock instead of midnight? 


Mark Divine 5:20

Oh that’s pretty cool. That’s powerful. 


Errol L. Pierre 5:22

Yeah, it puts things in perspective. And so I value everything I learned from him. And you know, one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, regardless of all my academic…


Mark Divine 5:29



Errol L. Pierre 5:30

…prowess, he’s one of the best teachers I ever had.


Mark Divine  5:32  

So how was school for you? Are you an academic type? Or did you struggle with that at all?


Errol L. Pierre  5:38  

Yeah, you know, I was one that was too smart for my own good. So I didn’t do homework, I was distracted. I talked to other kids in class, I wanted to play outside. But I was smart. In between my mother, and a teacher, Mrs. Powell, who really just went over, above and beyond sat me down and was like, You’re gonna squander this talent, you’re a smart kid. If it’s too easy for you, that doesn’t mean you get distracted and distract other people. Let’s give you a different type of work so that you stay occupied. So I was always a smart kid. But I didn’t start utilizing it and realizing it’s probably too late. So around, let’s say, end of middle school, early high school, in 10th grade, I started to get some semblance of seriousness around schooling. And so because we had these like state exams called regents.


Mark Divine

Oh, yeah I am familiar with the regencts.


Errol L. Pierre 6:35

I was able to take a test. And my teacher was like, Oh, you did really well, you should take another one, you should take another one. And so I stumbled into precalc and calculus as like a Junior, and it was all because, you know, Mrs. Powell sat me down was like, you’re going to squander this talent. So it took me a while to use my intelligence to understand that it was smart, not wasted, because what I was doing before that was just kind of being distracted and having fun, which I think most boys do.


Mark Divine  7:03  

Yeah, for sure. But it’s so cool that most of the people that I talked to have, like one person like that, or two people, you know, your your father and this teacher, it’s incredible, you know, for all of us to recognize the impact that we can have on someone, if we care, right? So…


Errol L. Pierre 7:21



Mark Divine 7:21

And you may not know it, actually. Right. Like, you may not know it. 


Errol L. Pierre  7:25  

100%. And we can be that person for other people. That’s what I’ve learned to realize. I’d never known someone else’s, you know, tap on the shoulder. So…


Mark Divine  7:34  

Yeah, to always be open to being in service to others, and you can change someone’s life and never know it. And that’s a beautiful thing. 


Errol L. Pierre 7:41



Mark Divine 7:42

You went on to Fordham, did you go there with a specific intent to study something? What was that?


Errol L. Pierre  7:48  

Yeah, that’s a great question. I would take the subway train as a high school student. And I would love seeing these guys in really fancy suits, pinstripe suits.


Mark Divine  8:01  

I was one of them for four years.


Errol L. Pierre  8:04  

And they were folding New York Times papers, like really big and you’d hear the paper fold, and I’d be on the train as a kid. I’m like, they look so important. You know, their shoes are shiny, the suits look tight. They look very, like they have make a lot of money. And they look so important with this newspaper, like who are they? And so I went to Fordham, majored in business finance. And I was like, I want to be those guys in a suit. That was my kind of angle. Not knowing exactly what they do. 


MArk Divine 8:34

That’s awesome.


Errol L. Pierre 8:34

Because they look like they have money that looks sharp. They have this vibe around them. 


Mark Divine  8:39  

The funny thing is, you know, if they really had a lot of money, they wouldn’t be riding the subway.


Errol L. Pierre  8:45  

Absolutely, absolutely. Um, so I was like, I’m gonna do business. I didn’t know what that meant. I was like, I’ll pick finance. And that’s how can I kind of went to Fordham and I also had a track scholarship. So I ran D1…


Mark Divine 8:58

Whoah, that’s great.


Errol L. Pierre 8:59

…winter and spring track as well. And I wanted to be at Fordham, because I definitely wanted to be in New York City. I knew I wanted to go to college, with the city being on my campus, as opposed to like some of the big schools that are kind of far away. 


Mark Divine 9:11



Errol L. Pierre 9:12

So that’s how I got into college. And with business to me, it turned into solving puzzles. So I love the fact that math always has an answer. And you’re either right or you’re wrong. Like the classes that I used to take was, like subjectives and you have to give your opinion and the professor could say, I think you’re all right. But there was like no right answer. I was like, yeah, like this like, I like a rubric where it’s like, telling me the answer. I either solved it or I didn’t. And so math really spoke to me. It was like a puzzle to me, solving problems. And in finance, it just made even more sense to say, okay, there’s a solution like when you do accounting. There’s a solution on the left side, you have to sit on the right side. So that really just spoke to me. And I ended up excelling at finance and stuff. So that’s kind of what I did. I was also working part time while I was at school. So I was doing track, my academics, and working part time as well. So I was always staying busy, which I think I learned from my dad, just the work ethic and just get it done. 


Mark Divine  10:16  

That actually just reminded me of my time in New York City, I was at NYU, getting my MBA, and working for Coopers and Lybrand full time. And I wasn’t in a sport because I wasn’t, I was in graduate school, but I would run in the morning and go to the gym at lunch and go to the martial arts studio in between work and school.


Errol L. Pierre  10:35  

Their you go, their you go, scholar, athlete.


Mark Divine  10:39  

Scholar, athlete. Yeah. And then I became a warrior threw it all the way. But hey, that’s a whole other story. After Fordham, did you get into the workforce for a while? Or did you continue education, what was your path after that?


Errol L. Pierre  10:50  

Yep. So graduated Fordham. While I was there, I had an internship at the largest health insurance company in New York, Empire BlueCross-BlueShield. How I got that internship, just it’s an amazing story. So I decided to work at a beauty supply store. And, you know, people always ask me, like, how did you end up there? What happened was, I used to teach karate, when I was in high school. One of the students that I had, while I was a black belt as a senpai, that was teaching younger kids, as I was training myself, and one of the younger kids, I had their parents just really loved me, because like, my kid has so much discipline, thank you for spending time with them thanks we’re focusing on them. They’re just going up to be a nice young man, and I owe it to the fact that they’re learning to discipline your karate at your dojo. And so he offered me a job. He’s like, I was in high school, about to go to college he’s like, how do you make any money? You know, because you’re teaching these classes for free? I was like, Well, yeah, I would love a summer job. So he’s like, okay, come work in my warehouse. So it was a beauty supply store and salon and I would like started out just taking shampoo bottles, and dropping them off at the salon. So they would put an order in, I’d get the order, pull it with drop it with another driver. 

And me being nerdy, that nerdy guy that was in the warehouse waiting for orders. So we just sit around sometimes for a couple hours doing nothing. I was like, let me read the back of these bottles, what are they? You know, what shampoo, what’s conditioner, what’s gel, all that kind of stuff. And I’m dropping off boxes. The owner of the store is helping a customer and I’m looking for a shampoo that doesn’t have lauryl sulfate. Lauryl sulfate is like the tough detergent in a shampoo that actually cleans your hair. But some people are allergic to it. So you have to find, you know, sort of a natural shampoo. And I knew what brand it was, I’m like Paul Brown. I was reading the back of the bottle. 


Mark Divine 12:43

That’s awesome. 


Errol L. Pierre 12:44

Paul Brown doesn’t have a lauryl sulfate. So I’m like, with my hand truck dropping off boxes, and I’m like, oh, boss, I got Paul Brown in the truck. I can bring it in. He’s like, wait, what?


Mark Divine  12:57  

That’s awesome story. How do you know that? 


Errol L. Pierre  13:00  

Yeah, he’s like, what? Like, totally out of the blue. How do you know that? Like, I reorganized the warehouse to make things easier for when I pick up stuff. And while I’m opening boxes, I’m reading the bottles. He’s like, okay, well, get the box, bring it in, and you’re not in the warehouse anymore. I need you in the front office. 


Mark Divine 13:20

That’s great.


Errol L. Pierre 13:20

So that’s how I moved to the front office. And I was doing Saturday, Sunday, I was opening closing, I was handling the money. Like he really gave me way more responsibility after he kind of knew who I was. And that’s how I met the Chief Operating Officer of Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, she would go to that salon. And I would have never seen her because I was in the back doing, you know, stockman in the warehouse. But because I got moved to the front. I was able to see her. She’s the one that asked me for my resume while I was Junior in college, still working at that store. And I was like, Yep, I have a resume. And that’s how I got my first internship at Empire. BlueCross BlueShield. So…


Mark Divine 13:56

So cool.


Errol L. Pierre 13:56

I interned there for two years. And then that’s where I started my full time job after I graduated. But I always have to tell that shampoo changed my life. I was like, I always tell that story. Because that’s how I got my first job.


Mark Divine  14:07  

That’s a great story. I love that just shows you how synchronicity, you know, really plays a role. A little while ago, we’re just talking about how mentorship even if it’s an seen by the mentee plays such a powerful role. 


Errol L. Pierre 14:21

Well, yeah.


Mark Divine 14:22

Same thing with just synchronicity. If you pay attention, you know, like you were paying attention to the contents and you were attentive to your job, you weren’t just like regretting it or resenting it, you know, you were grateful for it and you were attentive to it. So we wanted to bring improvement to some process and learn even if it was just beauty products. I love that. So that’s a great lesson for everyone’s like whatever you’re doing, do it all out, even if it’s a temporary like an internship or even if you’re down in your luck because you lost your job and now you got another opportunity. And you’re like, oh well I just do this until something else comes along, do it all out, because the next opportunity will present itself as a result of that right for you as the CEO coming in and you getting that from Office opportunity.


Errol L. Pierre  15:00  

100%, I always say you never know who you’re going to meet. So every day is an opportunity for your next role. So you’re always interviewing.


Mark Divine 15:08



Errol L. Pierre 15:08

You’re just always on an interview. That’s kind of how you have to think, yeah.


Mark Divine  15:11  

Always on an interview. I love that, that aligns with my martial arts master, because I studied karate in New York as well with a guy named Tadashi Nakamura, Grandmaster of Saito karate, I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of Saito.


Errol L. Pierre 15:23

No, no.


Mark Divine 15:24

Pretty much headquartered in Manhattan. It’s a great program. He had like three or 400,000 students around the world, he was really well known karate guy, he came over the United States to run Coke and Chai for Matsuyama. And then he had a falling out with him, and Matsuyama and his thugs tried to kill him. And anyways, they make peace. And he started Sado, I think in 1979, or 75, or something like that. Any rate, he was also a Zen teacher. And so every Thursday night, he had a Zen class, you know, so the senior students would go, and I ended up joining that as a white belt. And he would give these little chalkboard talks at the end, look, Koan lectures, you know, and one of them was one day, one lifetime. And that was basically what you just described, like, every day, you have an opportunity to determine the rest of your life. And oh, by the way, you know, from the warriors perspective, it may be your last opportunity. So make a count. That’s always stuck with me. I’ve got a chapter in my next book titled after that, like I just really revered his teaching. He was my mentor who changed my life.


Errol L. Pierre  16:24  

That’s awesome. I love the sentiment of one day one lifetime, it’s just captures it well.


Mark Divine  16:29  

Yeah, it does, doesn’t it. So you went over to Blue Cross Blue Shield. And this began your like, your real professional, white collar career? 


Errol L. Pierre 16:37



Mark Divine 16:37

And we’ve heard so much about, you know, like, the challenges that a black man has an or black woman, has in those professions;the glass ceiling, you know, discrimination, all that. What was your experience?


Errol L. Pierre 16:48



Mark Divine 16:48

And what is your experience? 


Errol L. Pierre  16:50  

So, I walked in, really not knowing what to expect, and probably just not prepared for what I was going to face.


Mark Divine 17:00

Really, ok. 


Errol L. Pierre 17:01

I think that, let me say it this way. So all the virtues and guidance I learned from my dad, were great. But because he never had white collar experience, he was never in corporate America, there was all these unsaid rules that I had no idea about. So I didn’t know about corporate culture. I didn’t know about the water cooler, the in and out groups. And it’s not what you do, it’s who you know. Like all those things that you just kind of learned? I didn’t know. So I came in eyes wide open, assuming…


Mark Divine 17:33

The egalitarian system, right, like your dad taught you.


Errol L. Pierre 17:34

Exactly, exactly. You work hard. And it pays off. Right? That type of thing. I wouldn’t say that I’ve dramatically faced discrimination. I wouldn’t say that. But what I think that I learned is, wow, it doesn’t matter how hard I work, it doesn’t matter, my production, or what I produce, doesn’t matter how polite I am, there are going to be people that potentially are in positions of power, that have assumptions about me, even before I open my mouth.


Mark Divine 18:06



Errol L. Pierre 18:06

And so I just had to learn how to overcome those assumptions. And you could come across, they call them micro aggressions. I think sometimes there’s just people that are just not nice people. 


Mark Divine 18:17



Errol L. Pierre 18:17

And you just have to figure out how to navigate not nice people. And I think early in my career, I would blame myself for the actions of others, like, oh, he didn’t give me eye contact. He spoke to me condescendingly, he didn’t give me a raise. I didn’t get this, I didn’t get that because of something I did. And I think I had to mature over time to learn that sometimes these things are out of my control. It has nothing to do about me, it’s them. 


Mark Divine 18:42



Errol L. Pierre 18:42

So that was one of the big lessons for me, the other thing I did was attach value to how I was perceived that I was doing at my job. So if I got a very good rating, and a good bonus, I was like, I feel really good because the company says I’m good. But then if you don’t have as good for the year, or you do struggle on the project, I literally was like getting depressed, like oh, my goodness, I have no self worth because this project that work went south, and that’s totally unhealthy to attach your personal value to a project or personal value to work. So I think early on without and because I did not have a mentor, I did not have anyone around me that knew how to navigate corporate America. I didn’t know about corporate culture. I didn’t know about all the unsaid things that occur. I kind of just was stumbling upon them accidentally, without knowing, type of thing.


Mark Divine  19:36  

Did you see anyone else get derailed by those things and in the career early because they just found it hard to navigate?


Errol L. Pierre  19:43  

I did. So there is a thing that I learned early as a kid. I remember my dad told me this. He’s like, you can’t control what people do to you. The only thing you can control is how you react to how people treat you.


Mark Divine  19:55  

One of the most valuable lessons anyone can learn. 


Errol L. Pierre  20:00  

Yeah, 100% is like somebody can spit in your face. What you do next is the most important thing. And this happens, being African American in America with the judicial system, like, a cop can stop you, how you react to that cop is all about you. 


Mark Divine 20:15



Errol L. Pierre 20:15

Are you irate? Or do you comply? Like that’s up to you? 


Mark Divine 20:18

That’s right. 


Errol L. Pierre 20:18

That’s up to you, and then you suffer the consequences of those decisions. And so, yeah, I saw people derail, like, someone says, a condescending comment, and you fly off the handle. No one remembers what the condescending comment was. All they remember is that wow, John went crazy. What happened? He like started yelling. And that’s it. 


Mark Divine 20:40

That’s it. 


Errol L. Pierre 20:40

You can’t say, Well, someone said something mean to John. No. 


Mark Divine  20:43  

It’s because of that, like, no, no, you’re the one who lost control.


Errol L. Pierre 20:46

Exactly. Exactly. So I definitely saw people lose their cool, or give it back. So like a leader is mean, or gives the cold shoulder and they give it back. You know, because I think what I learned in corporate America is discrimination. In the old days in America was the white hood and a noose, the new form of bias is, I ice you out, I give you a cold shoulder, I don’t invite you to the meeting, you don’t come to the happy hour, you’re not involved with the things that we’re doing. You’re not on the email chain. You don’t get the nice project, you get the crappy project. And so those are harder to like, point out and say, oh, maybe it’s not discrimination. Maybe it’s just your boss’s nasil. I know there’s so many. So many different ways to look at it.


Mark Divine  21:31  

Or both, good chance it’s both.


Errol L. Pierre  21:35  

And how you react to it’s so important. And I’ve seen people just derail their career, because they come out with just fire and fury. And they absolutely look insane. And everybody looks at them says like, what’s wrong with you, you lost your cool, like, that’s not professional.


Mark Divine  21:49  

That’s fascinating. Such good lesson. Emotional control is really, really important. It doesn’t mean you can’t fight for justice. And there’s right. But losing control in that moment is not going to get you there. Right. It’s not going to help anyone.


Errol L. Pierre 22:05



Mark Divine 22:05

It’s interesting. You know, I’m at Pepperdine, getting my PhD in global leadership and change. And I hear a lot about critical race theory. And it’s just taught as if it’s just gospel, it’s just like, don’t even question it’s real. I’m white. So I don’t see it. But I could see it. If I could look from someone else’s perspective, I could probably see it, if someone pointed out, like where it existed, how it existed. And I haven’t studied it much either. But I’m just curious, what do you think about the systemic nature of racism in this country?


Errol L. Pierre  22:33  

Yeah, it’s a great question. So this is the way I think of it. So you have a group of people that came to this country, and they were here. And for a generation. So the talking that came in the early 1800s, or maybe late 1700s, up to 1865, when slavery was finally ended, and they were not allowed to read. Reading would be a form of punishment. You have a generation of a family that’s here, that was not allowed to read. Plus, what happened with the purchasing of slaves was families got separated. So people would say, I want that big guy, and I want that girl. And so they were separating families as they chose who they wanted to be on their plantation. 

So you have separation of family, where we know how important a family unit is.


Mark Divine 23:19



Errol L. Pierre 23:20

And you have lack of education because we knew if slaves knew how to read, they would revolt. So we have to keep them not from reading so that we can keep them subjugated, right? So okay, then they’re free 1865. And then you go from 1865 to 1964, another 100 years of their free, but they’re not. So you go through Jim Crow, all this other types of things. So they couldn’t vote. They couldn’t make their own money. If they did make money they weren’t making a lot. If they did go to college, it was like they call it the talented 10th. It was a very few and far between that were able to go and the 1964, now we’re in modern society. Everyone’s free, great. So it’s like you are at the starting line. But when you’re about to run the race, there’s some people who have an anchor on them. Their grandparents and their great grandparents, no education, no land.


Mark Divine  24:13  

Families divided.


Errol L. Pierre  24:14  

Families divided. And then there’s other folks that I have education. I have my family, I have my nuclear family, I have land. And so we’ll run the race, don’t get me wrong. I don’t make any excuses for anything other than we run the race. You just have to have the acknowledgement of what came before. 


Mark Divine 24:30

Yes, I agree with that.


Errol L. Pierre 24:30

Not blaming the past. We’re not saying the past is the predictor of the future. Just need to acknowledge what transpired because so much of your history is important. The one thing that’s interesting is like, 911 never forget,the Holocaust. We can’t forget because we’ll be doomed to repeat it. And then for some strange reason, slavery is ah, that happened, you know, so long ago, what are you talking about? Why don’t we talk about it? So I’m like, these big traumatic things it’s never forget. Let’s make sure we don’t repeat it. I will never endorse or condone someone who blames their suffering in 2023 for slavery. I’ll never condone that. But what I will say is, they had a different start in life than someone else did.


Mark Divine 25:14

Fair enough. 


Errol L. Pierre 25:14

And so I think the recognition of that is all I think we should acknowledge. Beyond that, it shouldn’t be an excuse. It should never be an excuse.


Mark Divine  25:23  

Yeah, I think where the rub is, with a lot of the cultural discussions is, it’s not a discussion, right. It’s a bunch of opinions and shouting, right. So you have, you know, a large group who say, wow, reparations, and like, we were done wrong, so it needs to be fixed. In a large group people on the other side is like, Well, that wasn’t me. You know what I mean? 


Errol L. Pierre 25:44



Mark Divine 25:44

That happened 100 years ago, it wasn’t me who did that? So why should I pay for that? And so the point is that they’re both are right. 


Errol L. Pierre 25:51



Mark Divine 25:52

It’s like with politics. I’m a post conservative post liberal, posts democrat, post now, I don’t want any label. That’s why I love that new group that’s forming called new labels, like, we got to move beyond the labels and have conversations, right? Open your heart to the fact that everyone’s right and everyone’s wrong. 


Errol L. Pierre  26:07  

100%, a great example of that is like affirmative action, which is a very controversial topic. The way I view it is this, a school is better, when there are different thinking and groups of thoughts that’s in the classroom, so that they can be debated.


Mark Divine 26:24

Diversity in other words, right.


Errol L. Pierre 26:26

Diversity, you don’t get tested, great. By no means do we want to lower standards for a specific group of people, because one that’s detrimental to the process in general, but it’s also detrimental to the student that you accept. Because then they know they’re like, technically you wouldn’t be here unless we lowered the standards right.


Mark Divine  26:45  

Sets the expectation as less than.


Errol L. Pierre 26:46

Exactly. But I do think there’s a recognition that if I had the same exact two students, and I’m trying to decipher, okay, of these two that you’d have same GPA, same this, same that, same that. Of these two, what should I do, and I have one spot left, I would land on, what would be the better experience for the class body. Like that would be where I land. So I think when you’re trying to break ties, diversity can factor into the equation, that shouldn’t be an excuse to say, I lowered the standards. That’s like a very pragmatic approach to it. You never had a conversation in the news? It’s always they took my spot.


Mark Divine 27:26

Right, exactly.


Errol L. Pierre 27:27

You know…


Mark Divine 27:27

Or, I deserve that we deserve that spot. Right? 


Errol L. Pierre 27:30



Mark Divine 27:31

I am very grateful for my doctoral experience, because we have an incredibly multicultural program, I’m one of probably, maybe you know, out of the entire graduate school, in my year, maybe like five white men. It’s fascinating. It’s been very good for me to be in a room sitting next to people of all different races and cultures, and to just have these kinds of conversations with some of the most valuable things. I wish I did it when I was 30, instead of my age right now, which is not 30.


Errol L. Pierre  28:06  

31, 31.


Mark Divine 28:08

31, exactly.


Errol L. Pierre 28:10

I do think our country is still, we’re nowhere near a melting pot, we’re still like, I think they call it a salad bowl. So even though we’re a very diverse country, we’re still in our own pockets. And people can go their whole lifetime and not have true interactions, not just like pass someone in the airport, but like true interactions with someone who’s, you know, a different culture, a different background. Most of our divisiveness, I think derives from the lack of exposure to other cultures. I think that’s what it comes from.


Mark Divine  28:39  

I agree with that. And social media allows yourself to kind of wall yourself off, and to get into that echo chamber. And that’s dramatically magnified division in this country. I really hope that we can figure out how to fix that in the next five years, otherwise is going to tear us apart.


Errol L. Pierre  28:56  

On that note, I love that you brought up social media. So this happened to me, I realized that my feed that because of you know who I’m friends with and what my friends post that I was getting a disproportionate share of any type of altercation that was race related. So anything that was like someone in a supermarket and it’s a white person and a black person and it was a fight. 


Mark Divine 29:19

Was this the algorithm doing it or?


Errol L. Pierre 29:22

Exactly it was the algorithm.


Mark Divine 29:24



Errol L. Pierre 29:24

And so I remember that was like, wow, that became my world. Like, I’m thinking this happens every single day, every single second. 


Mark Divine 29:32



Errol L. Pierre 29:32

It happens, but not to that degree. And I remember having to like cleanse my instagram or twitter feed because I was like, I somehow got into a little rabbit hole where this is all I’m seeing. And that can enrage someone if that’s all you see. And I think that’s happening to people all over the place.


Mark Divine 29:51

Of course.


Errol L. Pierre 29:52

Whatever bias you have, that algorithm will find you and show you what you want to see and prove that you’re right.


Mark Divine  29:58  

That’s right. Exactly. Well said it’s so true. 


Errol L. Pierre 30:01



Mark Divine 30:02

Yeah, I mean, I think what started out as like a really useful service has descended rapidly, you know, over the past 10 years into something that’s really, really dangerous for this country. So like we said, so hopefully we can fix it, if not just stop using the stuff. I use social media just for my business. But like, I have a team of people who post that stuff, I don’t actually, someone sends me something on Instagram, like by text or something. It takes me to the page and it says, I need to log in. I’m like, nah, no, I’m not going to log into tha.


Errol L. Pierre 30:34  

You’re better for it, you better for it


Mark Divine  30:36  

Exactly. So your book is called Way Up. Tell us about the lessons or stories? You know, I know, we’ve already covered a few. But like, what were some of the other insights that you wanted to share to help other professionals like you kind of succeed at a high level and navigate some of the issues of diversity, equity, inclusion and bias and nasty people, you know, who just don’t see things your way? 


Errol L. Pierre  30:59  

Yeah, 100%. So I think the first thing is The Way Up: Climbing the corporate Mountain as a Professional of Color, that first thing I wanted to call out was that it is a mountain. It’s not a corporate ladder.


Mark Divine  31:09  

That’s an interesting distinction. Yeah. For you, it’s a mountain right for maybe for a white guy, it’s a ladder, and just one rung at a time, every screw up, you get promoted.


Errol L. Pierre  31:19  

So I called it out because I said, I wish when I started my job as entry level, I knew it was a mountain, I knew that I had to prepare for this climbing of a mountain. So I actually started out the book, talking about my trip to Thailand, where I was in Chiang Mai and climbed Dontnod. And it was like, man, when you do a mountain climb, like you have a guide, you have extra food, you have change of clothes, you have all these different things to prepare for the trip. And here I am coming into entry level role of corporate America, just like showing up in flip flops, like, Hey, I’m here.


Mark Divine 31:53  

Shorts on and flip flops.


Errol L. Pierre  31:57  

If you really want to play in this sphere of corporate America, you got to understand the rules. And you have to understand this is going to be an arduous trip, and treck and just get prepared for it. That’s the first piece. The second piece, this is like one of my favorite phrases. So, have the courage to make a million mistakes, and the wisdom not to make the same mistake a million times. 


Mark Divine 32:18

Oh, I love that.


Errol L. Pierre 32:19

And so what happens is, so you’re a person of color you join corporate America, you look around you, there’s not a lot of people that look like you. So immediately, you’re kind of now a little bit quieter, because you feel like you don’t know who to talk to, and how to feel like you feel included and things. And that could be your assumption of what people are doing. And that could also be what people are doing. So you have to kind of check that too. And you’re then the least likely to take chances, you’re least likely to raise your hand and ask for help, you’re least likely to make mistakes, because now you’re just all in your head are on do I fit in? Am I accepted, that can derail a career because I tell people, your peers are not thinking about if they’re accepted, they don’t care. They’re just doing their work. And then now you’re using your mental capacity to worry about if you’re accepted, which means you can’t give 100% to your job because you’re distracted on trying to think if you fit in. 

And so the have the courage to make a million mistakes is even though you feel like you’re the other, even though you feel like you don’t belong, even though it’s awkward, even though it’s uncomfortable, get very comfortable, being uncomfortable, and make mistakes, make mistakes, to make mistakes means you have to take risks, you have to take risks, or raise your hand, ask for the tough jobs, say you want to do it meet new people that you would never talk to, if you’re at a happy hour, don’t just sit in the corner with the people that you feel comfortable with, like go meet someone new that doesn’t look like you. And like really get out there, you have to put yourself in a position where you can make mistakes. And then the second piece of it is the wisdom not to make the same mistake a million times. If you make 100 mistakes, that’s 100 new lessons. And so you’re going to be that much smarter than the other person who’s playing it safe. But if you make the same mistake a million times, then you deserve to be fired. So shame on you. 


Mark Divine 34:09

Shame on you.


Errol L. Pierre 34:10

So you got to learn from your mistakes. Don’t just make them you got to learn from them type of thing.


Mark Divine  34:15  

Yeah, we used to say in the SEAL teams that there’s no such thing as failure, just a failure to learn. 


Errol L. Pierre  34:19  

Exactly. That’s a great way to say yeah, and then the last big lesson is really, one the importance of mentorship. And so I talked about in the book where the term mentor comes from. Homer wrote The Odyssey. Odyssey is about Odysseus, he goes fights the Trojan War, leaves his son Telemuchas behind, who does he trust to raise his son, a man named mentor? And I think people don’t understand the gravity of what a mentor truly is. They don’t think of it as like, this guy left his son for a couple of years and trusted one man to raise them. That’s a mentor. 


Mark Divine  34:53  

That’s a mentor. 


Errol L. Pierre  34:54  

Right. Right. So at work when you’re like I have a mentor, it’s like, Is he really your mentor? Like is this your trusted advisor? Is he a father like figure that’s taking you under their wing to show you the ropes? Or is it just a guy you get beers with to complain about your boss, like there’s a difference. So just trying to explain like what a true mentor is. And if you have one that’s like that, you have to be a good mentee. So I actually have a whole section in the book that explains before you even ask for a mentor, are you ready to be a mentee? Like, are you ready to have the agenda ready for your mentor? Reach out to them? Have respect? Keep things in confidence with them? Like, are you ready for that type of relationship? So that’s one of the big lessons too.


Mark Divine  35:34  

How did you find your mentor? How did that come about?


Errol L. Pierre  35:37  

I got lucky. I got lucky. My mentor that me I talked about him all the time. His name is Jeff Growling Irish guy with red hair. So I started my full time job at Empire BlueCross BlueShield. Little did I know that when you buy a suit, the pockets are sewn in when you get it, and you’re supposed to undo them, right.


Mark Divine 35:57



Errol L. Pierre 35:57

I didn’t know. So I’m there my first week, my first two weeks, he introduces himself, he was the VP of the department. I was like a entry level analysts. And he asked me if I wanted to come get coffee with them. We got coffee, start chit chatting. I was nervous as hell, because I’m like, he’s a VP. I don’t know what to say. I don’t want to sound stupid. And he made me feel very comfortable was very relaxed. He’s like, do you want to stop in to Brooks Brothers with me? I was like, Yeah, sure. So we go into Brooks Brothers, and very politely, and cordial was like, hey, you know, when you get these suits, the tailor will open up the pockets for you, you know, then you can use them. And you know, where you put your pocket square up, those get opened up to. And then in the back, you get a double vent suit. They put little clasps on them, and you just open it up. And it was like the nicest tutelage. And the nicest way to provide feedback. That’s like, I see you in the office. I see you got your


Mark Divine  36:56  

Got your nice new suit with buttoned up pockets.


Errol L. Pierre  36:59  

You got to unsew them and open them up. 


Mark Divine 37:01

That’s awesome. 


Errol L. Pierre 37:02

Ever since then, like, we were off to the races. I got coffee with him in the morning, we would talk about the industry. He’s like, What do you want to do? I tell him what I want to do. He would advocate for me, he would put me on projects that were tough, I could come to him at any time. And he really took me under his wing to this day, I still talk to him. He’s a great guy. And I just remember how nice he was. And he didn’t have to do that for me. And so I always feel this indebted to other people to do that for other people as well.


Mark Divine  37:30  

That makes sense. And then that leads to the question is, how does one become a really good mentor? I mean, you just modeled one for us in your Irishman. But if someone says I’m think I’m ready for mentorship, like how do they know, and how do they become a really good mentor?


Errol L. Pierre  37:43  

Yeah, I think what I’ve learned is my first foray at mentoring was I wanted people to become me. And then I learned a true mentor helps people become themselves. And so it’s when you have something to give back. And all you’re doing is shepherding them, you’re kind of like the bumpers, when some of the bowling just to say go back to the left, go back to the right, kind of just a little, and you shepherd them through their own process of growth. You never give them the answer, but answer their questions and guide them to remember whether Northstars like, hey, look up, don’t forget, are you going the right way, you’re kind of off, bump back, but you never give them the true answer. And then you’re ready to mentor. The other thing I think is a misnomer is you need to go to like the CEO for mentor. And you actually don’t, it’s usually someone who’s one level or two levels above you could be the most amazing mentor because you want to get to where they are. 

And so I think the other thing that entry level people are like, I need to talk to the senior vice presidents like no, you know, there’s a manager or director, they’re at a perfect level to be a great mentor. And the last thing I’ll say is a mentor and a boss are two different things. I think some people are like, oh, my boss can mentor me, it’s like, no, your boss is your boss, right? And you want to have your relationship with your mentor, to understand how to work with your boss. They’re one of the same, it’s too close. It’s not enough degrees of separation.


Mark Divine  39:12  

I agree. The objectives and values might align, but you know, what’s his best interests or her message may not be yours. Right, you know, so sent to you on a career change. You know, that would be a tough conversation. 


Errol L. Pierre 39:25



Mark Divine 39:26

You know, there’s a lot of just like our conversation earlier about critical race theory and people just getting locked into positions. There’s a lot of kind of interesting discussion about DEI, you hear ESG and DEI, you know, being thrown around as buzzwords, diversity, equity inclusion. My perspective is it’s really important. I’m in concurrence with you that diversity always trumps homogeneity, especially diversity of opinion and diversity of cultures and all sorts. You know, if you have diversity without inclusion, then that gets shut down. 


Errol L. Pierre 39:57



Mark Divine 39:58

All the benefits start to go away. So this is where you start to see that diversity and inclusion do go together, right there hand in glove, and then equity. Right? It’s like, okay, yeah, I mean, why is it that pay is 20% less, or whatever it is 14% less for, you know, one group over another when they do the same work. Like, that doesn’t make any sense. So we got to fix that. But it’s like, I know, there’s a lot of statistical waiting and stuff that gets in there. And people like fight over that. But like, just I’d love to, you know, as a senior executive now, after this long mountain climb of yours, what’s your take on diversity, equity inclusion, and how do we bring out the best of what those words really mean? So organizations can flourish as a multicultural organization?


Errol L. Pierre  40:39  

It’s a great question. And I love the question to give this a lot of thought. So I think what the country our country, unfortunately did wrong was post George Floyd, post COVID, we ran to diversity, equity inclusion. And so if you look at the stats, you can see in the headlines, the Chief Diversity Officer role skyrocketed.


Mark Divine 41:04



Errol L. Pierre 41:05

After 2020, they hired all these people to come in, they hired all these consultants to come in. And then the first thing they did was bias training. And so then they told all of their employees, you’re bad, and you’re to blame for why America is the way it is. 


Mark Divine 41:23



Errol L. Pierre 41:23

And so…


Mark Divine  41:26  

now, it’s funny, because that’s exactly what happened to a lot of I didn’t my own company, so we didn’t do that. But I just heard a lot of about it, especially in the government, you know, like in the military, and there’s a supposed to be fighting, you know, getting ready for a war and, and they’re sitting there doing this crazy training, learning about how bad they are.


Errol L. Pierre  41:42  

And the crazy thing about that is like, we knew these companies didn’t have as much diversity. So the message was going to the dominant group. And it’s like, you’re going to tell 80% of a company that they’re bad, and the reason why the company is not good. So I think that’s like the total like worse way about it. This is my value proposition for DEI, McKinsey did three studies that 2014, 2016 and 2018, to look at Fortune 500 companies that have the highest profit margin. In every study, they found the most diverse companies performed the best, and they performed like 30% better than any other company. So any company that had more diversity, equity, and inclusion keeps your diversity because if you don’t have those two, then you’re gonna lose your diversity. They perform better. So now you hook in the CFO. Now you hook in the CEO, oh, this is not just window dressing, and something nice to do. It’s not just…


Mark Divine 42:40

Bottom lining.


Errol L. Pierre 42:40

It’s bottom lining, it impacts. Anything that’s nice to do, when the recession hits is the first thing to go. So when we started laying off people, after COVID was the first people to go he was the chief diversity officer, because like, well, this is on the liability side of the ledger. So we can cut. And then it’s not revenue generating, versus having a conversation to say, these fortune 500 companies like American Express, have diversity. They’re trumping Visa, MasterCard, in earnings per share, and in growth, and all these different metrics. So you have to set the base aside, this is not an altruistic thing to do. This actually drives to the bottom line, right? Okay, cool. You get over that. Then someone says, Well, why? Maybe it’s not the diversity, maybe it’s just those companies performed well. 

The reason why is because diversity brings in different thoughts, which means you eliminate groupthink, and everyone has bias. So when you have multiple biases, you’re able to mitigate bias better. 


Mark Divine 43:43



Errol L. Pierre 43:44

Right, so these companies that make these really dumb mistakes, you know, they launch a product, they get egg on their face, because people are like, I can’t believe you’re so insensitive.


Mark Divine  43:54  

Like Bud Light, recently. 


Errol L. Pierre  43:57  

Exactly. So I can tell you that those issues happen when his group thing. And so you only make those decisions at a corporate level


Mark Divine  44:07  

When no one’s saying that’s stupid.


Errol L. Pierre  44:10  

Right? And the way you get there, it’s because this group think.


Mark Divine 44:13



Errol L. Pierre 44:14

That’s why these companies perform better, because they have different people around the table that have different opinions, and they’re fighting and they’re gnashing it out. It’s not pretty. I think people think like diversity is pretty, no.


Mark Divine 44:25



Errol L. Pierre 44:25

Diversity means there’s more angst. there’s more discussion is more disagreements. There’s more input from different sides. But you get to a better outcome that’s like pressure makes diamonds. So whatever idea you have, it’s going to have a multitude of people that say something about it, and then you’re going to come out with a better product. I think explaining that, it one, diversity is not pretty, it’s messy, and it has its disagreements, but you’re better for it. And then two, this is the bottom line play, do we want to make money, do we want to make money?


Mark Divine 44:56



Errol L. Pierre 44:57

Let’s make some money. Right. I think that’s the better way to talk about Diversity and Inclusion versus dislike bias training that people always do. It never works. It never works.


Mark Divine  45:06  

That’s great. I love that discussion. And not only does it make for better decisions, but it makes you a better person. Because you know, you get out of your own little echo chamber and your ideas have to stand the test against people who have completely different perspectives in life. And so it grinds you down too and, and you get stronger from that. And you get less sensitive to every single word coming out of someone else’s mouth being a wound. And that’s like, we had to get real tough real quick in the SEAL teams, because you know, we took risk at such a high level that we’re always screwing up and the consequence could be really high. So the feedback, 


Errol L. Pierre 45:53



Mark Divine 45:53

Extremely direct. And if you couldn’t handle it, you’re gone. 


Errol L. Pierre 45:58



Mark Divine 45:59

So anyways, I think a diverse organization, like you said, is not all kumbaya sitting around and you know, we just had this suddenly coalesced into this diverse viewpoint. Now, it’s sausage making on the way there, and it makes everyone more resilient in the process.


Errol L. Pierre  46:02  

I was gonna say one piece, as you said that it just dawned on me. So one thing that happens is, so, human nature is that people, for some strange reason human beings are tribal. If there’s white people and black people in the room, maybe the white people will huddled together in the black people huddled together just because they just feel a form of comfort. Now, if everyone’s white, I’m just making this up, maybe the urban people…


Mark Divine 46:26



Errol L. Pierre 46:27

…people from urban neighborhoods that are white, coalesce together, and then the rural white people will call us together. So like, it doesn’t matter who’s in the room, human nature is we’re going to divide ourselves into and try to find our clusters, right?


Mark Divine 46:39

That’s interesting. 


Errol L. Pierre 46:40

That’s human nature. So rather than trying to demonize it, like, why do you always hire women, it’s like, well, it’s a female. And so she hires a lot of women. Like, rather than demonizing it, say, let’s have a diverse leadership team. So if they all hire people that seem to be in their tribe, at least, the leadership team is diverse, so then all the employees that they hire will be diverse. And then that that’s another way to get at it too, like, human nature is human nature, people do like to coalesce around who they know, we have to be aware of it, you have to make sure that it doesn’t mean that we’re hiring unqualified people, right? You want to make sure they’re qualified. But the nature of when you have more diverse leaders, you can naturally have more diverse employees. That’s the other reason to do it, too.


Mark Divine  47:23  

So what’s next for you like, you have aspirations to be CEO of Blue Shield? Or what’s your what’s on your plate?


Errol L. Pierre  47:31  

Yeah, so I ended my book with, let’s keep climbing and reach the top together, my journey has not ended. I’m a senior executive. But I haven’t gotten to the CEO level yet. So I’m definitely charging towards that. I also want to amplify all the messages from the book. And so I do mentoring, I will talk to anybody if they find me on LinkedIn, or wherever, I’ll always be happy to have breakfast with someone and try to just share with them my story. But the book was I was able to reach so much more people than I could. And so I want to amplify the voice because there’s a lot of people out there that feel stuck. They feel like they can’t move. They’ve done everything. And hopefully this is a breath of fresh air for them. So that’s also a little bit what I want to just keep doing. And in teaching, I love being able to see new students and sort of have a hand and how they think about the world moving forward. But that’s really the three goals I have moving forward.


Mark Divine  48:26  

That sounds awesome. Best of luck with all that and we’re here to support you in any way that we can. And so your book, The Way Up: Climbing the Corporate Mountain as a Professional of Color, love that. That’s outright it’s available on Amazon and whatnot. 


Errol L. Pierre  48:40  

It’s out. It’s on Amazon, it’s in Barnes and Noble. It’s everywhere books are sold. 


Mark Divine  48:45  

And how do you like people to reach out if they want to connect with you?


Errol L. Pierre  48:48  

The best way is Instagram, Errol L. Pierre, or LinkedIn, and Errol L. Pierre LinkedIn.


Mark Divine  48:56  

Awesome URL. Well, thank you again very much for your time. It’s been an enlightening conversation. I really appreciate it. Hooyah to you sir. 


Unknown Speaker  49:04  

Thankyou so much. Mark is great.


Mark Divine  49:10  

That was really interesting conversation with Errol Pierre. Fascinating discussion, I really aligned with his views on DEI and diversity in general. And it’s time to have those conversations above the fray. So thank you very much, Errol. Appreciate your time today. Show notes are on their website at Mark Divine.com and the video is on our YouTube channel. If you need to reach out to us and promote any guests or ask questions you can find me on Twitter-X at Mark Divine and on Instagram or Facebook at real Mark Divine, or on my LinkedIn channel. If you’re not on my newsletter, distro list, go to Mark Divine.com to sign up and subscribe for Divine Inspiration which comes out every Tuesday, where I’ve got my blog, I’ve got show notes of the week’s podcast in case you missed it. Got a book I’m reading I got a weekly practice and other interesting things that come up cross my desk. So check it out, I think you’ll like it. Shout out to my great team, Jason Sanderson, Geoff Haskell and Catherine Divine who helped produce this podcast and bring guests like Errol to you every week. Ratings and reviews are very, very helpful. So if you haven’t rated or reviewed the show, and you like it, then please consider doing so. It really helps others find it and to find it at the top of the rankings. So super helpful. And finally, as per usual, thanks for being part of the change that you want to see in the world. It all starts with us. All change comes first on the inside. So let’s be the change but we can do it at scale by sharing this podcast and by doing the work with our teams and our families. Till next time, sure host Mark Divine Hooyah!


Transcribed by Catherine and https://otter.ai



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