Marty Rodgers of Accenture stops by the show to discuss the concept of lifting as you climb. He also tells us his career journey, from the beginning all the way to his current job at Accenture, and talks about the difference between mentorship and sponsorship.
Zach: What’s up, y’all? Look, I got a question for y’all. I’m kind of talking to–I’m talking to us right now, recognizing that we have allies listening in, we have various types and hues of melanin who check out the podcast, but I’m kind of talking to us right now. Have y’all heard of the phrase “all skinfolk ain’t kinfolk?” Have you ever heard of that phrase? Okay, so if you haven’t heard of that phrase–this is education for everybody now, so shout out to everybody who listens and checks in with the podcast, but the idea of all skinfolk not being kinfolk means that just because someone looks like you doesn’t mean that they’re actually out–looking out for you, right? And the whole idea of all skinfolk not being kinfolk is really illustrated and articulated well in corporate America. You know, for me, I think because I am one of the few if–I mean, arguably the only person in my family really actively in corporate America doing what I’m doing, coming into these spaces, and I see other folks who look like me. Initially, early in my career, I would run up on ’em and be like, “Oh, what’s going on, man? Da-da-da-da-da. What’s going on, brother?” And they’d hit me with, “I’m not your brother. I’m not your pal, buddy. Go find something else to do,” right? Like, they hit you, and you’ll be like, “Whoa, what is this?” All skinfolk not kinfolk, and so as I had those experiences and disappointments in my professional journey, finding folks who were actually kinfolk became all the more satisfying, right? And so I’m really excited because even though this Black History Month has been trash, with Jussie and Gucci and whoever else making blackface clothes and folks just wiling in general, people having actual–putting on blackface in 2019 or acting as if the ’80s was, you know, 89 years ago. This episode is really powerful for me, man. And yeah, Ade isn’t here this week. She’ll be back next week. So I’m kind of sad, but this is a silver lining, because I got to actually have a conversation with someone who really epitomizes the concept of lifting as you climb. This man, his name is Marty Rodgers. Marty Rodgers is a managing director out of the D.C. offer at a firm called Accenture. Great man. You’re gonna hear about his profile, hear about his story, and so I’m really excited for y’all to check this out, okay? So don’t go anywhere. The next thing you’re gonna hear is us getting into this interview with Marty Rodgers. Now, look, the computer crashed and we had to redo the interview, but I want y’all to know–and I say it in the conversation–he did actually show us mad love at the top of the interview about Living Corporate. He actually checked out the platform and stuff. He’s actually a fan. Shout-out to you, Marty Rodgers, and shout-out to all the folks listening. I want y’all to check this out. Talk to y’all soon.
Zach: So for those of us who don’t know you, would you mind telling us a little bit about yourself?
Marty: Sure, absolutely, Zach. So in terms of my background, I’ve always wanted my career to go back and forth between for-profit, non-profit, and government. I very much believe that all three sectors would be required to come together, to work together, to understand each other, to understand the respective, you know, why each sector exists, what their purpose is, how they’re incorporated, what their incentives are, and then all three would have to figure out a way to work together on the greatest issues and challenges of our time. So whether that’s the environment or civil rights or education or health care, we’ve got to find a way to get all three of these sectors to come together to tackle those great challenges. And so when I was coming out of undergrad–I went to the University of Notre Dame, and as I was getting ready to graduate, a guy named Dr. Cliff Wharton became the first African-American CEO of a Fortune 500 company. He became the CEO of TIAA-CREF, and Dr. Wharton had a distinguished career at the UN and also in non-profits before assuming that position, and also as an educator as well, and so he kind of embodied kind of what I wanted my career to be, and so that’s very much what I set about the course of doing. So my first row and assignment I started working with Aetna Life and Casualty. I was doing economic research and economic portfolio analysis for a big real estate investment–holdings that the insurance company had. That was really awesome and great, because it happened at a time and a moment in our–in our country when the SNL crisis was happening and properties were getting dumped and affecting our portfolios, and so I’d have to do lots and lots of research on the impact of those–of what government was doing and its impact on the private sector, and so I did that for a while, and I had an opportunity to go to work for one of my mentors in the non-profit space, a woman by the name of Dr. Marian Wright Edelman. She was the president and founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, and I originally started and worked for her as her–on her staff as her assistant. That was an awesome experience for me. I got to work directly with her, learn from her, and here was a person that had and is still changing the country. She was the first black woman lawyer in the state of Mississippi and had worked to help create Head Start and a whole variety of other programs for children. That was a great experience. It was the first time I was working really on helping her launch a race-specific campaign for African-American kids called the Black Community Crusade for Children, and we launched that in a whole series of freedom schools all across the country. And then I left there–I kind of had the advocacy bug at that point and went to Capitol Hill. In fact, that was another great experience where I got to work for another mentor of mine, somebody who I’d always looked up to and respected. I went to work for a guy, senator Harris Wofford, who–he’s a white guy who had gone to Howard and became one of if not the first graduate of Howard Law School. He went on to work with Dr. King. He went to work with Robert F. Kennedy and John F. Kennedy. He headed up civil rights in the Kennedy administration and [inaudible] the Peace Corps and was the college president of a couple universities, and so, like Cliff Wharton, he was somebody who I had looked up to and wanted to be more like, and so it was a great opportunity to go work for him and with him. He was very passionate, having co-founded the Peace Corps, about the idea of bringing the Peace Corps home to serve American families and American communities, and so that’s very much [what we did together?] was–we worked together. I was in charge, as his staff person, of working on the Americorp legislation and creating a program called Americorp to allow young people a chance to make a difference through full-time national community service efforts, and then we also worked together to create in turn–since he was a friend and an adviser to Dr. King, we worked with congressman Louis to turn that holiday into a national day of service, and so that was my time on the Hill, learning, you know, how does legislation work, how does politics work? How do you get things done on the Hill? And then after that, after spending, you know, almost 5 years trying to convince people about the importance of service and giving back and making a difference, I thought it was quite hypocritical that I hadn’t served myself, and so I went and I did a stint serving Native-American kids out in New Mexico and then went to grad school, and then it was after grad school that I joined Accenture, and I’ve been at Accenture for 21 years, and the great thing about Accenture is it’s allowed me to continue to do those things that I was passionate about, and that is, again, moving back and forth between for-profit, non-profit, and government. So I started my career at Accenture in the for-profit space, working in our financial services group. I moved over and joined our government practice, then I started our non-profit practice and launched that literally 10 years ago, almost to the month, and then after that I’ve now moved into our health and public service group, which is a little bit of a combination of both.
Zach: So first of all, that’s amazing, all of the things that you shared. Of course there’s a clear pattern of service and partnership, and I also, think, Marty, what’s really interesting about when you share your story and just your introduction, a lot of us, we have a perspective on one of those three spaces, if it’s, like, the legislative space or the non-profit space or the for-profit space, but–and I’m certain that you’ve heard this many times before. I think your perspective in having such dynamic and deep experiences in each of those spaces gives you a unique perspective, especially when it comes to effectively actualizing change and supporting and lifting as you climb. And so as you know, today we’re talking about mentorship versus sponsorship. And, you know, before we started recording the call, and we didn’t get–we didn’t get this because the computer crashed, but, you know, you said a lot of great things about the podcast, so thank you for that. But everywhere I go–so when I joined–when I started with Accenture, and I’ve been to some other firms, but everyone has either heard of you or they’ve worked with you or they aspire to work with you, and so I’m excited to talk to you about this topic, because when your name comes up, often times, especially within the black consultative community, there’s a desire for you to be a mentor to them or a sponsor for them, and so I’m curious, could you explain a bit in your mind about the difference between mentorship and sponsorship?
Marty: Sure, absolutely. And there really are–it’s critical to know the difference between the two and to understand the difference between the two, especially as you’re navigating your career. So as I think about mentorship versus sponsorship–and they’re both important, but again they’re both very different–I think it’s important to kind of realize that at different points of your journey you’re gonna need mentors, and at different parts of your journey you’re gonna need sponsors, and in some cases they can go back and forth. You know, you can have a mentor that can be a sponsor and a sponsor that eventually becomes a mentor, but they are fundamentally different, and if I can take a second just to kind of delineate how I think about that. Let me go through that. So first–and again, just for you and the audience, Zach, it’s just I think helpful to think of it just really quickly in a couple of kind of compare and contrasts. So first, mentorship is someone who speaks with you, and sponsorship is someone who speaks about you and for you. Mentors advise. Sponsors advocate. Mentors support. Sponsors steer. Mentors are folks that can help you think about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, and that can include work, but it doesn’t have to exclusively be about work, whereas sponsors talk about career and work, right? Like, that’s the purpose of a sponsor. Mentors help you translate kind of the unwritten rules, whereas sponsors are the rules. Mentors have mentees. Sponsors have employees. Mentors talk about paths. Sponsors talk about trails. And then a couple other last ones as I was kind of quickly thinking through this, mentors are someone you look up to, right? And they’re folks you want to be like. So for me it was senator Wofford, it was Marian Wright Edelman, it was Johnneta Cole. It’s Cliff Wharton. It’s all of those folks, you know, that have shaped who I am and who I want to become and who I want to be like and who I look up to, aspire to be like. Sponsors, that’s not a requirement, right? But a requirement of sponsorship is power, right? So my mentors have been my heroes and my sheroes. Sponsors don’t have to live up to that high of a status. And then lastly, as I described in the beginning, mentors can be sponsors and vice versa. So that’s sort of, like, how I quickly kind of think through the compare and the contrast of all of those.
Zach: No, absolutely. You know, I’m curious, what do you think are some of the biggest misconceptions around mentorship? So a lot of times–I rarely ever in conversation, when we have our conversations about our careers and career management with my colleagues and even folks that are non-managers and things of that nature, do I hear people say, “Man, I really want him to be my sponsor.” Like, most times we’re like, “I need somebody to mentor me.” What do you think are some of the largest misconceptions when it comes to black and brown professionals? Or just professionals in general of course, but what you think when you say the word “mentorship” and the expectations. What do you think are some of the largest misconceptions around that?
Marty: Well, especially for mentorship, right? Well, let me just actually start with both. So both mentorship and sponsorship are two-way streets, and I think a popular misconception is, you know, it’s kind of a one-way relationship, but both–the key thing is that it IS a relationship, right? And there are costs and risks and investments of time, of capital, of attention, on both sides, and both sponsorship and mentorship require kind of nurturing care and feeding, and you can’t have a mentorship or a sponsorship relationship where all of the value is going in one direction. It’s got to be–it’s got to be both ways, and so that for me is the biggest misconception. Like, there’s this perception that, “Hey,” you know, “I’m gonna get something from my mentor,” versus, you know, what are you gonna give your mentor? Or “Hey, I’m gonna get something from this sponsor,” versus what are you gonna give your sponsor? I talked earlier about, you know–one of the things I like to say is, you know, mentors can help guide you on a path, right, and talk about paths. You know, like–and again, like, that whole notion of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Your path is a bigger thing than just your career and just your–you know, your work and your job, and a path is–it’s something that you’re cutting yourself. It’s your way of moving forward, and a mentor can talk to you about the ups and downs of that journey and how that happens. A sponsor is really about the trail, right? And when you talk about trails, you’re following after someone that’s already blazed that trail. You’re going–you know, with a sponsor you’re sort of the protege. You’re the person that they’re investing in, that they’re expecting something from, that you’re gonna be a reflection on them. And again, that’s the notion that–for a sponsor, you’re an employee, right? And you’re somebody that they are investing in ’cause you’re gonna do something for them and for the firm, and it’s a–it’s a transaction. And again, that’s not–that’s not the same type of relationship that you would have necessarily with a mentor, where a mentor is more somebody you’re gonna–you’re gonna want to be like and look up to.
Zach: That’s just so perfect, man. And first of all, Marty, it’s 4:00, so are we okay to go for another 10 to 15 minutes?
Marty: Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’re good. We’re good.
Zach: Thank you so much. So let me ask you this. What was a moment for you–’cause you talk a lot, again, when you kind of talked through your journey just before grad school and before joining Accenture, you mentioned your mentors a lot and the multiple mentors that you’ve had. Did you ever have a moment where the difference between mentorship and sponsorship impacted your early career?
Marty: Yeah. I mean, I think the story, Zach, that really kind of brings home the difference between mentorship and sponsorship would actually be when I first was made a partner–and maybe we will come back to that at the end, right? But when I was made a partner–now we call them managing directors–you know, I was sort of, to be blunt, kind of clueless. I was potentially–there’s far too many of us, as black and brown folks, that–you know, my attitude was not what it should be, and what I mean by that is I was of the mindset of, you know, “Hey, I’m doing what I need to do. They should make me a managing director or a partner, and if they don’t, you know, it’s not why I get up in the morning, so, you know, their loss,” right? Somebody, one of the folks that I was reporting to who, you know, now I would call more of a mentor, said, “You know what? That’s probably not how you want to think about it, and if you want to accomplish a lot of the things you want to accomplish for other people, for other causes, for other things you say you believe in, then I need you to care about making it to partner, to managing director.” When I started on that journey, I had no clue, you know, what was the process was. I was sort of, to be blunt, almost disinterested in the process. I just kind of figured–again, it would happen if it happened. When I was first up for managing director, for partner, I got what we call the paperwork without even knowing that I was up that particular year. I filled out the paperwork. Not even–you know, kind of rushed. Didn’t even really think much about it, and went through the process, if you will, and Zach, the crazy thing was I was brought into meet with one of our executives, who told me that particular year I was not going to make managing director, that I was–hey, I had a good run. Glad I was part of the process, but I wasn’t going to make it. And hey, you know, it was one of those things where I was like, “Okay,” you know? “No big thing.” I wasn’t–I didn’t even know this process existed. I wasn’t sure of the process. I wasn’t gonna lose sleep about it, right? 2 weeks later I was called back into that same person’s office and was told, “Hey, guess what? You actually are gonna make it.” And the difference between that and two weeks later was a sponsor had got the list, didn’t see my name on it, and had decided, “Hey, nice list, but it’s missing somebody,” and that’s the difference between a mentor and a sponsor.
Zach: Wow. And that’s just so powerful, because I’ve–you know, from mentors that I’ve spoken with about–the higher that you climb on these ladders and levels of leadership, you know, the more of that type of support you’re going to need, right? And that there needs to be more and more consensus on who makes that list. So that’s a powerful example.
Marty: Absolutely, and in this particular case, right, and this is something more and more corporations are wrestling with, dealing with, and trying, and we do it formally here at Accenture, but this was a person who had been named as my sponsor that I didn’t know that they were my sponsor. So they had–they had been kind of assigned to be my sponsor, and I didn’t know until much later that they had been formally assigned to be my sponsor.
Zach: Wow. And that’s also particularly amazing, and I would imagine humbling for you, Marty, in that, to your point, you weren’t even super invested in the process at the time, right? Like, your attitude was not one of, you know, “I need to get this.” You know? And so for that to be the case, that’s just–that’s incredible, but I think it also speaks to your earlier piece when you were talking about people being invested in you that sometimes–I know for me, at least in my career, there have been people who have been more invested in me, in me getting to a certain place [that I was?] at a time because they had the insight and wisdom to know what me getting there meant, and that’s invaluable.
Marty: And that’s the key thing for a sponsor, right? A sponsor has to decide, “Hey, I’m going to give some of my capital to you, and the reason I’m going to give you that capital, the reason I’m going to invest in you, the reason I’m going to sponsor you, is because you in turn are gonna be a good reflection on me,” and/or “You’re gonna be a good reflection on the firm, and net/net.” Normally what that means is, in for-profit firms, you’re gonna help us make money.
Zach: Yeah. So, you know, in my career, I’ve seen–the folks who go the furthest, they have sponsors, right? Of course. And frankly I’ve seen people of color attempt to build sponsor relationships and fall flat a little bit, and so I’m curious, what are some tips that you have for black and brown professionals–particularly millennials, but of course Gen X and baby boomers as well–who are seeking sponsors, and what advice do you have for senior leaders and executives who may not be used to engaging professionals that don’t look like them and really establishing those types of relationships?
Marty: So [that was?] kind of a two-part question there, Zach. So if I take the first part, right, in terms of the black and brown folks that are seeking sponsors. Well, the first should be, again, to remember that it’s a two-way street, and there has to be mutual value shared in both directions, right? And you have to know that when you enter into that relationship, you are a reflection of your sponsor, and that bears with it certain responsibilities, right? And you have to help them, and they have to help you, so to speak. Second thing is you have to ask the question, you know, “Where do I find a sponsor,” right? And a sponsor ultimately, going back to those original definitions, right, has to have power. They have to have a seat at the table. They have to be in the room when decisions are being made, and that usually means you’ve got to look at the org chart, and you’ve got to look at, you know, who has the budget, and who has the chair, and who has the–you know, the P&L statement to–or, you know, who’s filling out the final performance reviews, and how high up in the ladder are they doing that, right? So that would be kind of a second point. Like, you’ve got to know where to look, and make sure that you’re actually identifying folks that are at the table. And then the last part of that is–I always encourage folks to–just like with mentors, you’ve got to have more than one, and you’ve got to look for multiple sponsors, because–especially in a lot of organizations nowadays, folks are moving around all of the time at the top, and so you never know, you know, who’s gonna shift where when, and the worst-case scenario is, you know, you’re planning and investing in a certain sponsor that then moves, and that person no longer has influence where you need them to have influence and you don’t have any fallback. So you want to have multiple sponsors in multiple different places, multiple different folks that can speak for you at the table and can be at the table as things move and change. And my last thought in terms of our folks as they seek sponsors, I think it is incumbent upon young professionals in particular to put themselves out there and to realize that that takes courage, but you’ve got to put yourself out there in terms of being willing to sign up for assignments that you might not–you know, that are stretch assignments that have risk in them. You’re gonna have to do a lot of networking and additional relationship development above and beyond kind of your day job. The table stakes, the price of admission, is that you’re gonna, you know, perform exceptionally well and what you’re doing day in and day out. The last part of that is your sponsor is going to–in terms of that relationship, they’re going to be helping you remove obstacles and barriers. They’re gonna be helping pick you out for certain assignments, and they’re gonna in some cases be helping–they’ll help you get that promotion, but you’re then responsible, not just for what you were doing before. Now you’re responsible for achieving in that new role, and that–you know, that’s sort of your next test case, and then that relationship will continue to develop or evolve based on how you perform after that, that kind of first reach-back or reach-in. So it’s an ongoing evolution, and that relationship and that dynamic will change over time, and so I think sometimes we get into these relationships and we think they’re sort of–they’re always the same and they’re always sort of static in terms of the relationship. What you’ll find is those things actually change, especially as you climb and as your relationship and the proximity sometimes between you and the sponsor, that gap, closes. In terms of the second part of what your question–and sorry for being a little bit long-winded, Zach, but in terms of the second part of your question, senior leaders that are–you know, in terms of how they can best engage with young professionals that don’t look like them, I always talk about the opportunity to create space and to have grace. So space and grace, and there’s really a need for both, whether it’s our employee resource groups or it’s our offices or whatever profession you might be in, or if it–or even sometimes those senior leaders themselves, to create the space to come together to get to know folks, to have an opportunity to interact with folks and see who those folks that have that promise, that have that ability to rise, are and can be. And so in the case of folks that don’t look like them, that creation of space is really essential, where both a person of color, but also they themselves can feel comfortable in that interaction, and then the grace is, you know, there are gonna be some moments where neither of you feel comfortable, but that’s okay. It takes a little bit of courage, but that’s part of the price of being a leader at your firm.
Zach: Right, right. So I’m a new manager at my company, and I’ve been recently promoted to manager–
Marty: Congratulations, that’s awesome.
Zach: Thank you, Marty. I appreciate it. It’s been about–
Marty: You see, man? You just keep climbing. It’s awesome. And you keep giving back, which is this podcast. Represent.
Zach: Right? Man, you’re gonna make me blush on this podcast, man. They’re gonna see it through the app, man. Thank you. But it’s been about a year, but let me be honest. In my career, often times–and I’m gonna have a bit of an inside conversation outside the house, but often times when I see folks that look like us–and this is has been my experience–they’re more–they more often act like referees than they are true avenues of support, and so–and interestingly enough, some of the most prominent mentors that I’ve had, they’ve shared that some of the biggest roadblocks have been from them being at a junior level and from people who were at a senior level that do look like them, and so I’m curious, you know, what advice do you have for black and brown leaders to better lift as they climb? And what, if any, roles do non-minority leaders play in helping to support that culture? And I know I’m giving you a lot of, like, two-parter questions, but the reason why I’m asking that second part is because I do believe that there’s some type of–there’s a reason why we don’t always lift as we climb. There’s some type of factor in that, and so I’m curious to know if there’s a greater cultural influence at play for that. So that’s the purpose of the B part of my question.
Marty: Yeah. So it’s a great question, so let me just kind of unpack it. So first, I love the expression “lift as you climb,” which comes from Mary McLeod Bethune, right? And ultimately, right, that’s what life should be about. I always talk about the difference between ambition and aspiration, and in our world and our society and in way too many of our corporations we talk about them as though they’re the same thing, and they’re fundamentally different. Ambition comes from the Latin, and it literally–“Ambit” means to walk around, and what it meant, Zach, was back in the day, you were gonna walk around and you were gonna buy votes. You know, you were gonna, like, literally pay people off to vote for you, and it had a very negative connotation. And aspiration is also from the Latin, but it comes from the Latin word that means to breathe, to give air to, to give life to, to give oxygen to, and we have to be people of aspiration, and we need our firms and our companies to be companies of aspiration, right? And fundamentally what that boils down to–when you’re ambitious you believe kind of in a scarcity model. You believe “I’ve got to hold you down so that I can lift myself up,” whereas aspiration is about lifting as you climb. It’s about abundance. It’s about saying, “Hey, I only get lifted up by those coming after me, and it’s my responsibility to reach back, give back and make a difference, to pay it forward.” And so–and that I’m only there as a result of others that made my being there possible. And so with that mindset it becomes incumbent upon all of us to, you know–especially as leaders of color–to realize that we’re sitting in chairs and we’re occupying chairs as a result of others that came before, and sometimes we get in those chairs, and there’s this sense of, “Well, hey, I’m the only one, and if there’s another then they’re gonna have to knock me out or knock me down.” And again, that’s a scarcity model. That’s an ambition model. That’s not an aspiration model, and we have to realize that, you know, we have to be about the business of lifting others and making a difference in that way. In terms of advice and roles for non-minority leaders, I think the simplest thing can sometimes be just an expectation of something that simple. You know, sometimes there’s this whole idea of, you know, “Well, gee, if I’m here–” You know, when I first started and took on a leadership role at Accenture and was leading several of our accounts here, I very consciously wanted to have the most diverse accounts, right? And I believed if I could create the most diverse accounts
and if I could create accounts that were the best accounts at the firm that people would be fighting, you know, against each other trying to get on these accounts, and if I had the best talent, then the rest would take care of itself, and some of that has to be the same spirit and ethos that non-minority leaders would have in terms of creating a culture that rewards people that recognize diversity, that bring in diversity, and say to minority leaders themselves, “You know what? You are diverse, and if you bring in more diversity, that’s a good thing. And if you’re helping advance other diverse leaders, that’s a good thing, and we’re gonna reward that.” And that’s a positive thing. It’s not a negative thing. It’s not a scarcity model. It’s an abundance model.
Zach: Marty, this has been a great discussion. Before we go, do you have any parting words or shout-outs? In fact, and I don’t want to put you on the spot, but I know that–I know that I have a colleague who–this is from years ago, and you might not remember saying this, but she made mention of the fact that you said something like we as a people–that black people, we’re, like–we’re the blue note. Do you recall that statement? I wasn’t there, but she said you had a statement–
Marty: I have lots of statements, but yes.
Zach: Man, could you just wax poetic on that please? Because–and I don’t–the reason why I ask is because I wasn’t there, and she wasn’t even able to fully articulate what you said, but her eyes glowed when she said it, and I was like, “Man, when I speak to him–” And this was literally 4 years ago. I said, “When I speak to Marty, I’m gonna ask him to talk about this.”
Marty: Hm, okay. Well, the concept of the blue note comes from jazz, right? And so there’s this idea that–and it’s something that, you know, in our firms nowadays, and Accenture is no exception, we talk all the time about the need for innovation, right, and the need for creativity and the need for–you know, as things are going along, there might be a disruption, or there might be something that comes along that creates dramatic change, and so really that’s the idea of the blue note in jazz, right? It’s the moment of improvisation. It’s the moment when you don’t know where or how the story’s going to–the music and the story is going to unfold, and really that is–you know, whether you read Cornel West or Eric Dyson or others, that’s really been our history, right? That’s our story, of every time we’ve been on a journey as a country we have served in the role of the blue note, the improvisation that moves our story forward around the realization of those very first principles that were first embedded in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution. And so, you know, whether it was–you know, our battle, originally as enslaved people or later in terms of the Civil War and fighting for freedom or the battles for reconstruction or through civil rights, or now even today as we move forward with Black Lives Matter and other movements to more fully recognize the process of more fully recognizing our humanity and more fully recognizing our citizenship has been one that has caused the country to confront and to look at itself and its values in the mirror, and we’ve been that blue note to help the country evolve its definition and its story as we’ve gone along.
Zach: Man, I love that. I love that, and now it’s captured on this podcast. Marty, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us today. I’m beyond honored. I appreciate your time. We definitely consider you a friend of the show, and we hope to have you back.
Marty: All right. Well, thank you, Zach, very much for having me. It’s been an honor to be a part of it, and if I can ever be of help to folks on a journey, feel free to hit me up on LinkedIn or Twitter or otherwise. Happy to be of help.
Zach: All right, Marty. Appreciate it. Peace.
Marty: Take care. Bye-bye.