Getting to Yes, And



Jerry Colonna

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Kelly has a compelling conversation with Jerry Colonna, the Co-founder of Flatiron Partners, one of the most successful, early-stage investment programs; former partner with J.P. Morgan Partners (JPMP), the private equity arm of J.P. Morgan Chase. Jerry is the author of two books: REBOOT: Leadership and the Art of Growing Up and his latest book - which we discuss - REUNION: Leadership and the Longing to Belong.

There is a word that your Welsh friend Wil taught you when you were describing the feelings you had visiting your father’s birthplace in Ireland – “Hiraeth.”

"People will often ask me, well, if the book is called Reunion, aren't you implying that at some time in the past we were united? And I am, yeah. And it's kind of a nostalgia for a time that may not have actually been there, but seems to be embedded in our DNA, nonetheless. And so, if I describe for you a place where you know you belonged fully and wholly and completely, and that you're yearning for that place - even if that place never actually existed. That's the feeling. That’s Hiraeth.”

I’ve honestly never read a book on leadership that raises the issue of generational trauma as core to effective leadership.

"You can't help but look at this book and then turn, in effect, to look at your ancestors or your own life and the way it shows up. That is what I wanted to do. That is what I wanted to invoke in people: our efforts to be better humans. As I write about in the book, to create a sense of belonging for those who might have less power than us will fail. If that house of belonging - to use a phrase from the poet David White – if that house of belonging is not built on a foundation of knowing to whom and to where one belongs, that house will be hollow at best.”

Your writing is very poetic and that’s on purpose, correct?

“People are dying because we don't know what to do with suffering. Because we are so fearful of the other that we weaponize everything. I can make that intellectual argument and I can appeal to your intellect, and I might convince you that I'm right. But if I touch your heart - the way art is supposed to work - then I think I have a greatest shot at helping you open your heart so that you can respond to a broken world with empathy and not just intellect.”

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