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ET-014: Reflections on lessons and insights from 12 leadership

With Wayne Brown

ET-014: Reflections on lessons and insights from 12 leadership

and your host Wayne Brown on September 27, 2022

Episode notes: WAYNE BROWN reviews the first 12 episodes

As a corporate head of Learning and Transformation since 2008, the ideals of how we learn best are well-engrained. So, as I reflected on the best value that we could bring to our listeners, it occurred to me that one-time exposure to something is rarely sufficient for the lesson to stick.

“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn.”

                                    — Alvin Toffler

Therefore, when we were developing our strategy for this podcast, there were a few things that we decided needed to be foundational to our show for the benefit of TEAM ET.

And today’s episode is one such occasion. We decided that after every 3 months we would do a review and summarize the learning from the previous 12 Leadership guests. Hence the end of each quarter we will repeat this approach.

The second foundational element that was agreed upon is the inclusion of our listeners into the show. We want to ensure that you have an opportunity to appear as guests and have a voice. Be able to ask your questions and get some answers.

As a start to this process, we have established a podcast-specific booking page on our website (see details below), where you can book a time to have an initial free call with the host or one of our coaches, to discuss your topic and together decide whether you would like to have your case discussed in public.

This booking facility is the starting point, and we plan to expand the functionality further in the future. 

Instructions for accessing the “Call Scheduling”

Step1:  You are currently where you need to be.

Step 2: Scroll down to the bottom of the page to find the “Schedule a Call Now” button


Step 3: Select a date and time that suits you for the initial call


Step 4: Complete the registration details so that know how to connect with you.


Today’s Guest:      All 12 previous Leadership Gurus plus ONE 😊

♦ Merrylue Martin: Merrylue Martin | LinkedIn

♦ Kevin Eikenberry: Kevin Eikenberry | LinkedIn

♦ Audrey Tang: Audrey Tang | LinkedIn

♦ Eric Harkins: Eric Harkins | LinkedIn         

♦ Phil Simon: Phil Simon | LinkedIn

♦ Catherine Yeo: Catherine Ye | LinkedIn

♦ George Randle: George Randle | LinkedIn

♦ Benny Ausmus: Benny Ausmus | LinkedIn

♦ Chester Elton: Chester Elton | LinkedIn

♦ Andrew Bartlow: Andrew Bartlow | LinkedIn

♦ Marcia Reynolds: Marcia Reynolds, PsyD, MCC | LinkedIn

♦ Henrik Horn Andersen: Henrik Horn Andersen | LinkedIn

♦ Mr Wayne Brown: Wayne Brown | LinkedIn       

Today’s Guests Latest Books:

These books are listed in order of the guest above:

What You’ll Learn

Today we’re going to reflect on the first 12 episodes and explore the central messages that’s been conveyed.

And today I’m going to do this as a solo executive, sharing my own thoughts and ideas as we recap the lessons from those leadership gurus. 

Final words of wisdom from THE HOST:      

“If I was to try and summarize into one simple succinct sentence what gift they’ve offered us, it would be that we’ve really been looking at how to create and become an effective transformational leader, helping your people, whether that’s through strategies for communication and facilitation around change initiatives, whether that’s through an online virtual and hybrid workplace, and whether that is focused on addressing the concerning growing challenges around mental health issues.

Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this recap and you’ve been able to take away some valuable insights about what you can do next on your journey. If so, congratulations. And I look forward to you tuning in again as we introduce yet another leadership guru in our next episode.”


0:00:00.0 Wayne Brown: Hello, I’m Wayne Brown and welcome to the ET project. We’re delighted to be delivering this podcast for executive talent all over the world whom we’re affectionately referring to as Team ET. In today’s episode, we’ve planned for a change of pace from the weekly barrage of esteemed guests and in their insights. Instead, today we’re going to reflect on the first 12 episodes and explore the central messages that’s been conveyed. And today I’m going to do this as a solo executive, sharing my own thoughts and ideas as we recap the lessons from those leadership gurus. Plus, now for something a little more exciting perhaps, as per our original planning, we are gearing up to bring your voice and presence onto this show.

0:00:52.1 WB: We’ll be speaking more about this at the end of the episode. So please stay listening and learn how you can register. For now, let’s start by tackling the question, who exactly is Wayne Brown? Aside from being your host, of course, that’s a great question. I’ve been around, you might say, my corporate career is about 45 years. And during this time, I’ve had the enormous pleasure of working with incredible legends in their field, making sure that I studied as diligently as possible under their guidance. In parallel, I’ve also allowed my entrepreneurial side to have its way by founding two companies and multiple independent businesses.

0:01:32.0 WB: We’re in the closing stages of getting our second book ready for release which should be around quarter one of 2023. This time round I’m co-authoring with a number of gifted coaches. And for the majority of these activities, I’ve been stationed abroad from my home country, which is the land down under. In fact, living and working on four continents, in more than 85 cities and with colleagues from well over 100 different cultures, it’s been a fantastic ride. You might say the ride of a lifetime, but of course I won’t because someone a little bit more famous than I has already used that line. Anyway, let’s get ourselves ready for a bit of reflection, hopefully a handful of aha moments and most of all, a thoroughly enjoyable 30 minutes together as we unpack the commonality and messages from our initial 12 leadership gurus.


0:02:30.2 Speaker 2: Welcome to the ET project, a podcast for those executive talents determined to release their true potential and create an impact. Join our veteran coach and mentor, Wayne Brown, as we unpack an exciting future together.

0:02:46.7 WB: All right, welcome Team ET. As mentioned in the intro, today is really all about unpacking the insights and the lessons from the last 12 leadership gurus that we’ve had the pleasure of bringing onto this show. So what we’re going to do is we’re going to briefly look at each one of them and what we spoke about in our conversation, and we’re gonna try and extract their core messages. We’re gonna start with the first three. So we’ll do them in blocks of three and therefore we’ll have four separate blocks. First up, we heard from Dr. Merrylue Martin and our discussion centered around the importance for leaders to acknowledge that those they lead are people first and employees second, hence it’s all about the human factor and breaking a code to attract and keep the best employees. Merrylue’s book is titled The BIG QUIT Survival Guide, and it gives leaders practical ideas and tools to help them win over in the talent war.

0:03:51.4 WB: All right, so that was our first guest. Next up we had Mr. Kevin Eikenberry. Kevin’s currently listed in the top 30 of the world’s leadership gurus. And in our conversation, we focused on the challenges being faced by companies, by leaders, and by employees in adapting to the virtual world and learning to cope with the rules for long distance leadership and teamwork. Kevin’s got a complete library himself that he’s written. But some of the most recognizable books are The Remarkable Leadership, From Bud to Boss, The Long Distance Leader, and his latest work which is The Long Distance Teammate. And then the third guest, which was a really fun conversation. Our guest was full of energy and is the very memorable Dr. Audrey Tang. Audrey’s a chartered psychologist, an award-winning author, she’s published, I think, three books, The Leader’s Guide to Resilience, The Leader’s Guide to Mindfulness, and Be A Great Manager Now. In addition to writing books, she also hosts podcasts.

0:05:06.6 WB: She’s a presenter and a resident psychologist on TV. She’s highly qualified in multiple fields. And in our discussion, we focused on two topics; how to deal with fear and how to build resilience. So they were our three guests. And in summary, we spoke about leaders and their teams. We spoke about the need for leaders to be aware, understanding, empathetic and compassionate. We spoke about the need for leaders to learn how to cope, with leading remotely and through virtual means. And all of the time focusing on nurturing their people. We then opened the door on the important topic for leaders to learn ways for coping, not only for their own, but also their team’s mental health challenges. And so here’s my first question and the challenge for our team, ET listeners: If you tuned into any of these three episodes and you heard the conversations, did it stimulate to make a change to some aspect of your leadership? To change something that you’ve been doing or something that you thought maybe I could do that better? I truly hope it did. We all have tremendous capacity and yet, regardless of how good we are, we can always be improving. And my challenge to all of you is to take a step today, stop being a passive passenger in your career and get out there and do what you do best, lead.

0:06:54.0 WB: Here are some of the words of wisdom coming from our first three guests. And I truly hope that you have your pencil sharpened and you have pads at the ready to capture some important notes. And we’re going to start in reverse order this time with Dr. Audrey Tang first. And this is what she had to say. I think the key thing for me is please do not treat mental and emotional health like antibiotics. With antibiotics, we take them and we feel a little bit better and we don’t take them anymore. Please don’t do that. With building our mental and emotional and physical strength, we need to keep doing it outside the point of crisis. And now to jump to Dr. Merrylue Martin, and this is what she had to say. There are no shortcuts to the employee retention. The most efficient route is to keep value workers connected and connect with them individually one at a time.

0:07:54.0 WB: Monitor that balance of requirements, those rewards and the respect. This was the three Rs that she writes about. And because human beings, as we’ve said it all along, people first and employees second. So we must choose to deal with that variable first. And it’s amazing how much can get done and how much pleasanter that environment can be to get work done when we have got this as our guideline. All right. And then to our final guest, our leadership guru, Mr. Kevin Eikenberry. My advice to all of you is don’t try to have all the answers; talk with your team, find out what they think. This isn’t meant to say, “Oh, you know, we’ve got to do or bow to their desires,” but rather to start a conversation or a dialogue that helps us all better understand the wants and the needs of both the outcomes for the organization and the needs for the people as well. And so, for us as leaders to be even more effective, we have to be more flexible as well. But that starts with us knowing, understanding, building greater connection and trust with our team, and that all starts by asking for their input. So there you have it, there’s our first trio completed, and there’s a common thread that ties all three of their gurus and myself together. Not meaning to class myself as a guru, but we are all professional coaches and we’re all focused through our programs on aiding our listeners and our followers to develop and grow.


0:09:40.7 WB: All right. So now onto the second group of three leadership gurus, and we started our fourth guest episode with Mr. Eric Harkins. He’s a great guy, as genuine as they come. Eric’s the author of Great Leaders Make Sure Monday Mornings Don’t Suck: How to Get, Keep, and Grow Talent. And his message was all about how leaders have a responsibility to make the workplace somewhere that employees want to be instead of wanting to avoid. A super cool book, short and easy to read, brimming with ideas that you can immediately employ yourself. The fifth episode shifted focus a little and expanded the people gazing aspects to include an operations perspective where we speak about project management, about tools, platforms, and systems, as well as personal biases. And yet we still keep it applicable to leadership. Our discussion was with Mr. Phil Simon. Phil, again like Kevin, is an author of his own library. He has a dozen or more books, depending on when you listen to this recording, it could be even more of course. His latest book was titled, Project Management in the Hybrid Workplace.

0:11:00.8 WB: It’s a great book for those wanting to gain a little bit of an in depth understanding of the challenges and the positive potential that exists in our whole new world of remote and hybrid workplaces, particularly when you’re running projects. And finally, we spoke with Catherine Yeo, a creator, entrepreneur and investor, and she’s studying Computer Science and English at Harvard. Catherine was our youngest guest to date, but is someone well suited to bring the millennial and Gen Z voice to our show. So Catherine’s the author of the Creator Revolution: How Today’s Creative Talents Are Shaping Our Tomorrow. And the book, and our discussion were primarily centered around the online world of people generating consumable content, whether they’re doing that for business purposes or as a hobby. Okay. So there’s the three guests and what they’ve brought to us through their ideas, tips and tools for improving our leadership awareness, together with the implementable skills that we can incorporate immediately. One of the core areas of focus has been around the use of online platforms, platforms for leading others, for building followings and for sharing the content. It’s a different world that we operate in today than from a decade ago. And those that are more senior in their roles really need to be able to continue learning to stay current and present. And now to my second question and challenge for our Team ET listeners.

0:12:51.4 WB: Can you identify with any one of the six guests we’ve interviewed and reviewed so far? If so, why don’t you try reaching out and connecting with them and their work, whether that’s through an online platform such as LinkedIn, and by the way, all of our guests that we have conversations with on the show are typically members of LinkedIn. So you’ll find them on LinkedIn. Speak with them about what they’re doing regularly that might be worthwhile for you to also adopt. What are they reading? What influences are they following? Let them know that you heard about our conversation on the ET Project Podcast and I’m sure they’ll be happy to strike up a conversation. You never know how this may impact your own career going forward in the future. Let’s now take a moment and listen to the words of wisdom coming from those last three guests.

0:13:52.1 WB: Hopefully you’ve still got that pencil and pad handy, ’cause here we go. This time we’re gonna start in the middle with Mr. Phil Simon. And Phil’s message was one of diversity. And by way of example, he states, “I really value the time that I spent as a college professor teaching so many different courses because I had a certain background doing enterprise systems, writing and speaking, but when I began teaching as a college professor, I became exposed to a whole different set of technologies and programming languages and applications and even methodologies.”

0:14:32.9 WB: And then we move to miss Catherine Yeo. Catherine’s someone to watch, we believe at least, as her career matures. Catherine shared the following: “I’ve been investing in startups and individuals, building our tomorrow. I’m especially interested in people building the future of technology-assisted storytelling. I’ve talked to quite a lot of startups who are building really interesting things such as democratizing the tools for indie filmmakers or integrating brand into metaverse, thinking future forward. And what does that all look like? I’ve just been thinking a lot about how our future can continue helping individuals become their own businesses, how these technologies, these emerging technologies can empower individuals.”

0:15:30.5 WB: All right, so now to the final guest in this second cluster, Mr. Eric Harkins. And Eric left us with the following words of wisdom, “I really do believe in this competitive landscape that we have, in this great resignation that people want to talk about, all the stuff that’s going on that companies have to deal with, the only differentiator that you have is who you are allowed to be a leader in your organization, because every company has things that are attractive to people and things that aren’t attractive to people. But if you focus on leaders who know how to create a culture, high performers want to be part of it. And you’re never going to have to talk about the great resignation in your company.” Well, three more gurus in their respective field. And again, our common denominator is in coaching and mentoring. Are you being coached yet? If not, we’d recommend that you give some thought and inquire about how it may be beneficial for moving your needle and taking your career to that next level.

0:16:37.3 WB: Right. So we start immediately with our third group and it’s indeed a power-packed assembly of influences. Mr. George Randle, Mr. Benny Ausmus and Mr. Chester Elton. Mr. George Randle is the co-author of the book, The Talent War: How Special Operations and Great Organizations Win on Talent. He’s a military veteran and an established leadership figure in the field of HR, renowned for selecting building and reorganizing teams that are able to reach their full business potential. And during our conversation, George introduced us to some powerful insights that were applied by the special forces in the military when recruiting and training their people. Insights that, by the way, are also just as applicable to corporations. In the eighth guest episode, we built on the groundwork laid by George, and this time through the scientifically researched approach to talent acquisition and development. And this was introduced to us by Mr. Benny Ausmus.

0:17:43.9 WB: If any of our listeners here today have any similarity to me and my background when I was starting out in my own leadership career, I have to say I was very naive to almost everything about the real value and quality that HR teams can bring to the table. And so if there was any one lesson, I would encourage all of you as executive talent to explore and maybe even try and understand as much as possible, is the role and function of your HR colleagues. There can be huge insights and it becomes a great asset to your own development. In Benny’s case, he opened our eyes to a new method for selection through a platform that’s called Lectica. He’s also the author of an interesting and practical book titled The Transformational Leadership Compass.

0:18:37.3 WB: Then onto one of the leadership influences I’ve followed myself for many years is Mr. Chester Elton. He’s nominated by multiple ranking agencies in the top three of all leadership experts in the world. Chester and his business colleague, Adrian Gostick, have bought as many as 14, so another library generator, 14 wonderful high quality books around the subject of leaders and improving their leadership capability. Most recently he released two books called, Leading with Gratitude and Anxiety at Work. And our conversation is centered around the latter. And we looked at the blueprint that the book outlines. The blueprint is basically an eight step guideline for helping the leaders address their mental health topics.

0:19:29.1 WB: All right, so they were our third cluster of three leadership gurus. And so now to my third question and challenge for our Team ET listeners. There’s been nine guests so far that we’ve touched on very briefly, each is a success in their own field, each recognized as a leadership guru. What can you learn from them? There’s countless insights and suggestions in each of their episodes. And you know there’s countless insights and suggestions in each of these episodes that even the most qualified and successful of us can draw from. How many ideas have you aligned with so far? Maybe your notepad is even full by now, your challenge is start prioritizing some of those ideas for implementation and set a timeline to get yourself underway and maintaining the momentum.

0:20:32.4 WB: It doesn’t happen by itself. It’s not always going to be easy, but if you start and you persist and you stay passionate, focused, then you have a chance of making that next career move. And if you need help, look at the resources available to you. Maybe it’s a coach that can help you. If you need further support, go to our freebies page, check out our show notes. We’re going to post all of these and you know what? Here’s what we’re going to do. We’re even gonna offer you a link to three free videos and a workbook that you can download.

0:21:12.6 WB: You can work on and review at your own pace, and it’s gonna help you focus on success behaviors. And these are behaviors that are critical if you wish to transform your career to that next level. Before we finish with these three gurus, let’s see what words of wisdom they had to share with us. As usual, I hope the pencil’s handy. I hope your pad is beside you. Please get ready to capture the notes from these final words of wisdom. First up, Mr. Benny Ausmus, and Benny said the world’s getting more complex. Business is not getting simpler, it’s getting more and more chaotic and complex as time goes on.

0:21:55.2 WB: We need to be well prepared to foster the thinking and nurture the talent that can respond and develop into people that can respond to the problems and the opportunities of the future. So I really want to talk to people that are forward thinking, that are into the idea of future of work, but are also keen to fix the future’s problems now, because that’s the thinking that’s required. It requires us to take some action now so that that’s what I’m gonna leave you with fix it now fix later now. And now to Mr. George Randle. George said two things that I would leave a lot of executives with.

0:22:39.6 WB: Well, three quick things. One of the things that we pointed out, your company is gonna go wrong, especially in this environment with diversity, equity and inclusion, the political social media blurry. Your HR leader has to be a strategic leader without doubt. As Tracy Keogh said, HR isn’t at the table, HR is the table and that’s the way it should be. And you should compensate them like you would any other C-suite person. The other thing is talent is the only competitive advantage you could hope to achieve and maintain. And if you focus on your talent and become a talent magnet, so many of your challenges and problems will disappear. And now to the last word from Mr. Chester Elton, Chester said, “I would just like to reiterate the words of wisdom from my father.”

0:23:37.7 WB: “He had a huge impact on me. My dad was my best friend and my first manager and my biggest cheerleader. Now I just loved his attitude. You always felt better about yourself after you spent some time with my dad. And it was a wonderful gift that we had.” And that saying of, “Be good to everybody, everybody’s having a tough day,” I think it’s a wonderful way to end the podcast. Just be aware that people are struggling out there and they may look great on their Instagram and they may look great on their Facebook page. Everyone’s got something, however. Be kind, be grateful and be of service. How can I help? I think is a great question. How can I help? And when you are serving other people and you’re not focused on all your wounds, ’cause I know you’ve got them, it does lighten the load and it makes everyone stay a little better. So be good to everyone, everyone’s having a tough day. Wow three more gurus in their respective field.

0:24:42.0 WB: Are you aligning with anyone? Are you following any of them? Have you reached out to any of them? I’m also more than happy to hear from you myself. You’ll find the links where you can reach all of our guests and myself in the episode notes on our website. Well, Team ET, we’ve reached our final three guests. These people have all appeared on our show in the last three weeks and it’s been a delight to have a conversation with each and every one of them. So let’s not delay any further and just jump straight into it. First up was Mr. Andrew Bartlow. Andrew is a HR Leadership Consultant and has a special interest in helping startup companies. He’s co-authored the book Scaling for Success: People Priorities for High-Growth Organizations.

0:25:31.0 WB: The book offers a very detailed blueprint for recruitment and HR functions that leaders can leverage as they start to grow and scale their business. Andrew goes deep on the realities of running and managing a fast paced business. Andrew also established the People Leader Accelerator Program to helping professional development in people ops, talent management and HR to propel their organizations and their careers forward.

0:26:02.1 WB: Alright, so that was Andrew Bartlow. Next up we chatted with Dr. Marcia Reynolds. The name Marcia Reynolds is synonymous with so much about coaching and it was a true pleasure to have this opportunity to track with her about her career, her books and a multitude of topics. Marcia shares plenty of insights for our listeners. In the last decade, she’s written around four great books, the most recent being Coach The Person, Not The Problem. And it contains plenty available tips about the art and the power behind using reflection as a tool to assist others to have their own breakthrough.

0:26:41.8 WB: And then finally, our most recent guest, a gentleman, nonetheless from Denmark, Mr. Henrik Horn Andersen. Henrik is an expert in the field of change and works as a management consultant, assisting leaders to run successful business change initiatives. He introduced us to five simple and yet effective steps that his consultancy identified after surveying more than a hundred companies that increased the likelihood of the change process being successful and lasting. Henrik is also an expert in one of my favorite fields which is facilitation, and has written several books on the topic and the most recent being Virtual Facilitation: Create More Engagement and Impact. All right, so there’s the last three guests. And so for the final time and my fourth question and challenge for all of you at Team ET, here we go. Can you identify the common element that exists across all 12 of these leadership gurus? And this time I’m gonna help you with the answer.

0:27:52.3 WB: The answer is, that they all are in business to help others, to serve others, to help them become successful. They’re not working to serve themselves. That becomes the byproduct of what they do. They become successful through virtue of the fact that their focus is on helping others become successful and in return they become successful. So my challenge for you is to look inwardly and do a little of your own self-reflection. If you want to move ahead in your career, can you identify who it is that you’re serving right now? And are you being effective? Are you focused not on what that might bring to you, but instead focused on how it is truly helping those that you serve? So I guess you’re sick of me saying it, but for the final time, here are some words of wisdom shared by our final three guests commencing with Mr. Henrik Horn Andersen.

0:28:53.0 WB: Henrik said, “I would hope that your listeners could be a little bit more courageous; courageous on designing their meetings and their workshops, courageous on trying things out like doing art, crazy things on their next change projects. I would promise them that they’re going to give back more than that they ever thought possible. So courage and curiosity will be my two main hopes for your listeners.” And then we move to Mr. Andrew Bartlow and he said, “So Wayne, around our discussion related to strategic planning, I just encourage your listeners to keep it simple. Have a plan, realize that whether you’re at a company large or small, any type of organization it’ll evolve. And so you want to keep it organic, but keep your team aligned to having a plan.” All right. And I’ve saved the last word for Dr. Marcia Reynolds. Marcia said, “Well, I said to you Wayne about being present, knowing what emotions are as a leader, even if you’re running a team, a conversation, you set the emotional tone, you are the weather. And so being present with your emotions and shifting them and staying with the person, the person that they want to be, being present and caring, they don’t need you to be perfect and to know everything.”

0:30:21.5 WB: So a great message is to finish off with on being an excellent leader. All right. So that brings our review and the reflections of the past 12 episodes and the words of wisdom from our 12 leadership gurus to a close. If I was to try and summarize into one simple succinct sentence what gift they’ve offered us, it would be that we’ve really been looking at how to create and become an effective transformational leader, helping your people, whether that’s through strategies for communication and facilitation around change initiatives, whether that’s through an online virtual and hybrid workplace, and whether that is focused on addressing the concerning growing challenges around mental health issues. Hopefully you’ve enjoyed this recap and you’ve been able to take away some valuable insights about what you can do next on your journey. If so, congratulations. And I look forward to you tuning in again as we introduce yet another leadership guru in our next episode.

0:31:43.4 WB: Hello, again, Team ET, as I mentioned at the beginning of today’s episode, we’re releasing the next step on our journey to support you and to help you transition through your career. And to do this, we want to hear from you, you are the executive talent, we want to ensure that you have a voice and that your questions are heard and getting answered. So we are opening our platform for registrations from anyone that would like to be a guest on our show and discuss your challenges directly with me, and in doing so, help so many others who are most likely facing the same or at least similar situations. To register your interest, please visit our website at coaching4companies, that’s four, the number four coaching4companies.com and go to the podcast page. When you’re on that page, scroll down to the very bottom and click on the “Schedule A Call” now button.

0:32:44.7 WB: And from there, you’re going to be able to find a suitable time and a date where you’ll book in the opportunity for us to connect. We’ll come back to you following that booking with an invite to that call. We’ll put a link and the instructions in our episode notes on our website so that you can find us as easily as possible. We’re truly excited about the prospect of chatting more with you, understanding better how we can help you and what you concerns are so that we can move the needle for you in the right direction. Until then, bye for now.


0:33:29.8 Speaker 2: Thank you for joining us on the ET project, a show for executive talent development. Until next time, check out our site for free videos, eBooks, webinars, and blogs at coaching4companies.com.

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