90. Dr. James Kisia: Using mentorship to cultivate leadership in Africa

In the first of our series of guest-hosted episodes Racheal Wanjiku Kigame, Country Director, Help a Child Africa, who was a guest on episode 12 talks to her mentor Dr. James Kisia about using mentorship to cultivate leadership in Africa. He explains why leaders must listen, be curious and ‘walk their talk’ if they want to encourage others to grow and develop.

Racheal and James also discuss their roles as Country Directors in the international aid sector, where post-pandemic, there is a greater focus on localisation of NGO (non-government organisation) support to meet the needs of local communities.

Dr James Kisia is Country Director for Catholic Medical Mission Board Kenya (CMMB), and is a medical doctor who worked within the public, private, and NGO sectors. He has more than twenty years of combined clinical and humanitarian program work. He has led large, multi-county implementation of projects in reproductive and maternal health in areas of low resource settings and difficult-to-access services in Kenya.

James has been involved in setting up emergency and health services in some of the largest refugee camps in the world in Dadaab and Kakuma. During the Ebola epidemic, he was deployed by IFRC to West Africa to work with the three Red Cross Societies to understand factors related to the resistance to health messaging and work out ways to improve awareness and prevention of infections.

He holds degrees in medicine, public health, and management and has published in several high-impact peer-reviewed journals including the Lancet.

James loves the outdoors and has climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Mt. Kenya several times. He is passionate about the environment and has planted and cared for over three thousand trees within the last four years, most of them indigenous.

Connect with Dr James Kisia at LinkedIn | and at the Catholic Medical Mission Board

Connect with guest host Racheal Wanjiku Kigame on LinkedIn.

Key Quotes from Dr James Kisia

  • I realised that I had put aside my dream and so I rekindled it, and moved from my clinical practice to work for Kenya Red Cross. And I never looked back.
  • My father was a mathematics teacher in the fifties, and my mother was an English teacher. And what they imparted in me was the importance of education.
  • I derive great pleasure at seeing people just develop.
  • Context is very important for leadership, and the way in which we respond to the world is largely influenced by our own perception of the world.
  • I’ve always admired those kind of leaders that have clarity of thought, and clarity of action.
  • The issue about mentorship is you need a mentor who walks the talk, not just somebody who speaks.
  • Sometimes it’s feast or famine. You have too much money within a short time when disasters occur. And then once the disasters disappear, you don’t have any money.
  • If I do my part and leave somebody feeling that it was useful for me to be in their lives then I think that’s good enough.

This series is kindly supported by Squadcast –the remote recording platform which empowers podcasters by capturing high-quality audio and video conversations.

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James Kisia Transcription

Sue: our guest host today is Racheal Wanjiku Kigame, who was a guest on episode 12 of the podcast. I’m really looking forward to the guest she’s brought to the conversation today, who was originally her mentor. Dr. James Kisia, but we’re going to find out all about that. Racheal, welcome to the podcast, and you can introduce your guest.

Racheal: Thank you Sue, thank you so much for inviting me again, and this time round it’s a little bit. Different cause you’ve allowed me to bring a guest with me so I’m very privileged when you send the request to invite someone who I greatly admire and someone who I look up to. Top on my list was Dr. James Kisia, and I dunno if Sue you remember we all met James in the last leadership class that you facilitated for the organization I was working with. So Dr. Kisia walked to my desk and saying there’s this leadership training we organizing and you must attend. And I tried giving every excuse of how I had no budgeted for it, how my workload will not allow me. And he’s like, no, Racheal, you must take this is life changing and through this training that you did for us more than 10 years ago, it’s where both Sue and Dr. James Kisia and myself, I would say this is where the partnership with Sue began. So today I’m very excited to host one of my mentors, and it’s none other than Dr. James Kisia and Dr. James. You are very welcome, and maybe you can just introduce yourself to our listeners today.

 James: Thank you, Racheal. So my name is Dr. James Kisia. I’m a physician with public health training and management training and experience. In my earlier career, I used to be a clinician. I moved on to the NGO sector where I quickly moved into senior management with one of the largest NGOs in Kenya. and thereafter I went to work for a research organization but before then I had an opportunity to be the founding executive director for a research think tank. And today I’m working as a country director for Catholic Medical Mission.

So my career has moved from management clinical and at one point I should have said that I also worked in the private sector. So the three pillars of our society, private sector, government, and the NGO or the non-owned world of social during this time I’ve had huge opportunity to interact with young people that have worked with me and and for me.

And, I hope I have created a change that can have impact in their lives. And I’ve enjoyed it completely. I should say that I love mountain climbing. I’ve been on top of Mount Kilimanjaro I’ve been on top of Mount Kenya, and and I am a budding environmentalist.

 I grow trees and I nurture trees, and I relate very well with environment, which I think is the most important existential threat to the planet and to ourselves and to our ways of life. And this is where I’m putting a lot of my effort today also in leadership in the environment.

Racheal: Quite an impressive resume, Dr Kisia, and interesting enough, you are a qualified medical doctor. How long did you get to practice as a doctor and what motivated you to transition from being a physician and now to being a leader in the NGO sector?

James: So I practiced for almost 10 years, but I should say that when I was in medical school, I always talked about working for NGOs in difficult areas. One of the NGOs I wanted to work for was MSF. I was impressed with the fact that they’re in South Sudan, they’re in all these areas with conflict impacting on a population that was very vulnerable.

And also advocating for rights of people who had been impacted by natural and manmade disasters. One time when I was in practice, a colleague of mine actually my best friend, Courage Eteka a guy from Nigeria, who is now a physician in Atlanta asked me James,  did you ever work for MSF? You always wanted to work for MSF. I said, Oh, that’s when I realized that, I had actually put aside this dream and I rekindled it, went back moved from my clinical practice to to work for Kenya Red Cross. And I never looked back then that was, something that I really, wanted to do.. Yeah.

Racheal: Interesting. And it’s never too late. Who knows? Maybe MSF will be the next door that would open. But I’m curious to find out, Dr. Kisia, looking at your years of experience, what you’ve managed to accomplish, I’m really curious about your childhood. Did it in any way impact your leadership? How were you brought up and how, how did your childhood contribute into to becoming this great leader?.

James: Well, I think my childhood was a fairly normal one for a child growing up in in Mombasa. Both my parents had been teachers. My father was a mathematics teacher in the fifties, and my mother was an English teacher. And what they imparted in all of us was the importance of education.

But I think more importantly in the process of that, what they imparted, it was, levels of curiosity we became very curious through books. Through books, you can travel anywhere you wanted. You could travel to medieval England, you could travel to America, you could travel to India and, and have intimate conversations with the authors.

We could travel to the central province and listen to talking about, these places that we thought were far away not to realize that they were part of our country. So I think that level of curiosity and encouragement to just explore, my dad was clear that you needed to explore and see what would come out of it. He encouraged experimenting. And I think this kind of thing did give us myself and my siblings some early start to exploring the world around us and seeing what is it that we can do to make a change.

Sue: It’s fascinating as, as I’m listening to you talk about books and curiosity. I’m reminded of a previous guest we had on the podcast who was an astronaut, and he had a very similar experience in that his parents encouraged him and his brothers to bring the encyclopedia off the shelf when they had a question and to follow the curiosity and to learn about. So it seems that it’s a very important quality for any of us to have. I’m wondering how it shows up for you today in your work. How do you utilize your curiosity today?

James: Well, on several levels. So if you tell me something, just say something. I’m gonna be curious about whether that statement should be taken or its face value, or whether we should actually examine it. And I think what, what my father used to do very early is he used to challenge us to debates. We make some sweeping statements and he says, well, okay, that’s okay. But then he would throw a word to challenge to make it actually the opposite of what you just said, and then you’re forced to think.

So I think the curiosity is also around exploring areas of. Physically, mentally, and even artistically and areas of feeling, not just taking for granted that when I speak to young people, I’m also curious as to how they’re feeling, not just what they’re saying.

So the issue of managing through, listening to people in terms of their thought, observing what they do, and also being empathetic and taking in what it is that they feel and being curious about how they feel about certain things is important in my leadership style.

Sue: That’s, so fascinating I’m also curious as to when Racheal was working with you, what was it that you saw in her that you were encouraging her to take this leadership course, for example, and to develop, herself?.

 James: Yeah, so if you know, Kenya had a post-election violence in 2007, 2008, and Racheal was hired straight from college to be one of the people working in a camp in Nakuru. And when I met Racheal, she was very articulate about what they were doing, and she was clear about what her role was.

So for me, the one thing that is a major predictor of success for young people is curiosity and passion. These are very important things and I think I should add also creativity. What I saw with Racheal is that she was able to solve problems and within a short time, I encouraged the manager then to transfer her to a bigger camp.

Where she would be even more challenged because when people are not challenged they usually will find challenge elsewhere. They move on to other organizations. But I saw someone who was passionate about what she was doing. I saw someone who had a curiosity questioned that that was a bit higher than most of the staff that that we had at that time.

And I think from my experience, I think this person can go far. and they need the exposure and I think one of the things that I have for me is developing people. So developing not just ideas, but developing people. And I derive great pleasure at seeing people just develop they were in college, and being able to do what they, they were able to do, because I know that’s the case. When I get skill and a skill and a competence that I can do my work and enjoy it because of a training or a motivation or something that I’ve gained then work becomes fun. It becomes part of life. It’s not separate from it.

 Sue: Well, it’s lovely to hear what you saw in Racheal all those years ago and, and here we are today having this conversation, the three of us. Amazing. Racheal, what do you make of it and what are you curious about discovering?

Racheal: So indeed, Sue, I remember when I did my podcast session with you, I made reference to Dr. Kisia, who is very instrumental and what I’m really, really grateful is. The ability of a leader to see potential in people. Because I was fresh from college and the task was gigantic. Like we had over 300,000 people who were displaced.

 In school, they didn’t teach us how to manage such displacement, but they taught us how to solve problems. So the fact that Dr. Kisia saw a young girl with potential and really gave me a more difficult challenge. It was bigger than me, I self doubted myself. But really to just get the affirmation of a leader who’s willing to show me the way and hand hold me up to today is something I’m really grateful. What we find mostly with most leaders, they really don’t want to give power away. Some leaders are very insecure. They feel maybe if I mentor you, you’ll outdo me or outshine me. But there’s enough light for everyone to shine and everyone to thrive in their niche. So Dr Kisia for other people who could be in a similar situation as me what would you tell aspiring leaders why is mentorship important and what would make a mentorship journey value adding for both the mentor and mentee?

James: Yeah, so. One of the things to do for Kenyans and for Africans is to know that there is a context within which we operate. And context is very important for leadership. And the way in which we respond to the world is largely influenced by our own perception of the world .

So we have had an education system that has remained competitive and we must be aware of that default. Our education system is competitive. I mean, if you have young children, you have people who visit your house, and they, they will ask your children, so, which class are you in? They’ll say, I’m in standard six. So, Which number did you come? What was your rank? In, in this this last term? And the boy says number two, then the Wow. Excellent. Where they say number 30. It’s, it’s, oh, wow. And it’s just a straight line competition, without having the empathy to understand that different people and different children learn differently.

And sometimes it’s the teachers who are not imparting or are not responding to the children. Others have learning disability, like dyslexia and they can be branded. So this system of competition at school is often carried forth into the workplace. And the workplace does need collaboration and it does need for you to collaborate and as a leader to bring all that you have and to impart, the skills, competencies, and, soft skills to the people working with you so that they can be the best that they can be. And when they’re the best that they can be, then that actually helps you as a leader, so I think the one thing we have to be aware of in our context, is that unhealthy competition that has been fostered over time by exams, by, competition in class. And that you find that sometimes you can have a leader who is competing against people who are reporting to him. But one of the things for leadership, important for people to develop is to develop authenticity and to develop ability to manage themselves.

Because authenticity and ability to manage yourselves gives you the security that that this is who I am, these are my strengths, these are my weaknesses. It gives you that that ability to actually be able to know, other people are coming in to compliment you and you can do so much as a human being, but the idea is that, as long as you are authentic, People are going to be influenced by you.

Once people realize the leader is not authentic, the leader just make themselves great, then, of course you lose the people. So it’s important to keep in mind that the same thing that you aspire as a leader. Others have similar aspirations and to nurture them and to support them,

 The other thing that I wanted to say is, questioning it goes in the realm of creative thinking and you’re not going to be a leader without a lot of critical thinking and creative thinking, which questions the traditional organizational structure and the traditional way of doing things so that you continue to experiment on what works and you continue to experiment on what works for your people. But you can only do that if you are questioning, the knowledge that you found in order to create new knowledge. And leaders have a huge platform for doing that. So that’s something that is is lost when people just follow what they found there before.

 Racheal: Excellent. So the mentor is a person who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. Who would you say is one person who, who has impacted you in your leadership journey and why?

James: So I think there are several people impacted me, positive or negative, but impacted me nonetheless. You know, one is my longtime boss, the CEO of Kenya Red Cross, Abbas Gullet. His form of leadership is not the same as mine. But has definitely impacted my leadership by continuously challenging me in terms of education, in terms of doing, oftentimes throwing me the deep end to learn to sink or swim.

And that has a huge impact in my life. I’ve admired the leadership of people like Nelson Mandela, and Arian Madai, who, led in a very authentic way and were clear that their ideas were worth dying for. I’ve always admired those kind of leaders that have clarity of thought, clarity of action, and the ideals are, very strong and very clear in their minds. I’ve also admired environmentalists and people like the late Chico Menez in in Brazil, who actually, was killed for, his activism in the Amazon rainforest. We now know that sooner or later it’ll be a net emitter of carbon, because of the kind of ravages that it’s it’s undergoing. as industrialists, as farmers and, including arsonists cut down the forest. I mean, those are the people that I, I have admired. But I should say that for me, I had a very early leader.

My father who has been a big influence in my life. Always challenging me. My father wrote two books before he passed on this year. and he wrote the books when he was in his eighties, and he always asked me that, haven’t you found something that you can write about . He did not quite look at journal articles as writing. So he was always challenging, always challenging around new things. The issue about mentorship is you need a mentor who walks the talk. Not just somebody who speaks and a leader who allows you to question what they say, somebody that you admire their way of doing things and someone who can also articulate. Bring out tacit issues that you may have into explicit where you can do something about, you can talk about, you can, reflect on, and that kind of thing. And I think also it’s issues around sense making, it’s good to have a mentor who is good at making sense of things because oftentimes, Saying that our reality is constructed in the darkness of a foreign language electrochemicals in our brain. But we need to make sense of that in the end. We need to make sense of that for us and for others to do something with.

Sue: as I’m listening to, to you speak, I’m imagining how Racheal must have seen those qualities within you as a mentor over the years. And I’d like to turn our attention to leadership in Africa, and the NGO sector, traditionally, as far as I’ve understood, NGOs have played a leading role in providing humanitarian and development aid in Africa. I’m wondering from, from your perspective is that still the same or is the roles of NGOs evolving?

James: Yeah, I think the roles are evolving, but in order to understand leadership in the NGO sector in Africa, it’s indispensable that one has to think about the international aid architecture and the role that the I NGOs have had in Africa, good and bad. I think over the years, The international NGOs have played a disproportionately large part of international aid interventions than the local NGOs.

Right now we are in the middle of a serious conversation on localization of NGO work, which is a bit problematic. The just localization as a word is problematic because NGO work takes place in the local, at the local context. But I think over the years, the privileging of international over local has actually not had a very good effect on local NGO leadership development.

And it’s not past, it’s a continuous thing and these conversations are taking place within the international aid sector. So there have been indigenous NGOs that have developed ways of developing people. But I think this is an area of huge growth because leadership is not just generic and it can’t be the same everywhere..

So in Africa, we have to find ways in which we develop people within the constraints that are there within the constraints of finances. And I think one of the ways that we can do is mentorship and and it’s a cheap way to do because leaders have to give off themselves. They’re already in place and they have to be collegial. I think what has happened is that, over the years you find that oftentimes leaders are not necessarily collegial. They’re hierarchical. And one of the models of leadership that we have taken into the NGO sector the government model of leadership, which is hierarchical, and we bring that into the NGO sector, which is not necessarily what fits there because you are in a creative environment. You are doing projects, you need brainstorming, you need ideas, you need many stakeholders to be involved. So we have to develop this other countries have the luxury of, you can go to Harvard Business School, you can go to London Business School. And learn their perspective. Now, the perspective of leadership here is a low trust society, a society that has a lot less education, a society that has a lot fewer leaders, and oftentimes, bottlenecks that are placed in become a leader. Artificial bottlenecks. And we have to tackle that in Africa. This is not something that we are even starting to scratch the surface.

Sue: There’s just sounds like there’s real opportunities for leadership development amongst leaders and would be leaders in Africa. In terms of working in an ngo o do you think there are any unique challenges that, that you face? And actually I put the same question to Racheal. Because you’re both country directors in organizations, what do both of you think are the unique challenges and opportunities that you face?

James: Yeah, I think, I think the unique challenges are unreliable, budgetary, allocations or funding. Sometimes it could be even too much budget allocation, but it’s the unreliability of that, sometimes it’s feast or famine. You have too much money within a short time when disasters occur. And then once the disasters disappear, you, you, you don’t have any money. And the problems persist. Slowly and slowly we are getting you know, the gap between the rich and the poor is increasing significantly. And in countries like Kenya, that is the case.

And we are at this stage in our development where our investments as a country will continue to favor those who are educated and those who have some resources to invest. And cost of living would go up. And as the people in the upper echelons, in economic levels adjust, it becomes very difficult for the poor people.

These are issues that are not going away and very frustrating when you’re in the NGO sector because you are actually interacting with a very vulnerable population and you can. That small changes in infrastructure where they live, small changes in service delivery can make a huge difference. Small changes in education provision, and water and sanitation can make a huge, huge difference. So I think the opportunities that I see within the NGO sector, you have the opportunity to think through things and to make changes very quickly, so the ability to innovate is is one of those Big ones for me and to see change and to advocate with local governments and with the health sector.

For example, our NGO deals with an integrated rural health program in child maternal and child health. And we can see that we can spend a little bit of money that would a well-intentioned policymaker and budget creator within the government to actually scale up that intervention if it’s shown to work.

 Sue: So it sounds like having stories to tell and communicating those to. Source of funding may also then increase understanding. Is what I’m hearing from you?

James: Yeah.

Sue: Do you, do you have a similar perspective ?

Racheal: So in addition to the funding that is unsustainable, that’s a big challenge for all NGOs. I would say the biggest challenge we have across the divide is leadership, I believe strongly with good leadership we can be able to resolve our problems by ourselves and with our own resources. If you look at Africa, it’s really rich. It’s well endowed with resources. It has brilliant minds. We have the solutions. We know the context that we have the solution. So I feel if maybe governments can be held more accountable, if governments can prioritize investments where it really matters, we can be able to resolve all this.

And we can have a very bold plan to say in the next 10 years as Africa, we do not want to rely on external aid. It’s not dignifying, but for you to be able to utilize what you already have optimally then it calls for good leadership. So I really feel a lot of the challenges besides funding, it’s the systemic challenges and the leadership challenges we have at governance level, at oversight level, at policy level. If you receive a hundred percent of funding, you find that little can be shown to have an impact because a lot of it, we have high corruption rates. We, as Dr. Kisia mentioned, we are a low trust society, but all these narratives, it can be changed with good leadership.

 Sue: Well, I’m pleased that I’m hearing from you both that African people can solve and address their own challenges, which maybe just takes us around to localization in a little bit more detail. I know Racheal, you had some questions on that..

Racheal: Yeah, just following up on the funding that we’ve talked about and we have the localization agenda that’s really gaining momentum in Africa by truly calls for we as africans being ready to be able to be entrusted with resources, with decision making and choices that truly affect us and Dr Kisia cause we are in the same landscape. What opportunities and challenges do you foresee to accelerate the localization agenda?

 James: Yeah, I think there’s a confluence of things that have accelerated the localization agenda. We’ve been talking about localization for quite some time. I was in in 2016 in the World Humanitarian Summit in Turkey, where we talked about it. But I think the a few things that have brought this discussion to the fore. One has been covid Two years that we had these lockdowns and restrictions on travel. It forced thinking about how we do our work within the NGO sector, and the importance of local when you have to rely on the local and I. It also started to point to the area that we called capacity, that we said oftentimes capacity did not exist within the local organization. We start to redefine capacity, including local knowledge, including the fact that, presence itself and being, being within the area and being able to attend to issues. Right away without a huge. Is itself capacity because we capacity in, previously we had looked at accounting capacity capacity to articulate issues. And now we are forced to privilege local over international because, societies were starting to close down and you had to address things from where.

So that’s one. I think the other one is also the movement. Black Lives Matter was an important step in examining the manner in which internationals and also the role of governments in policy and all the interconnectedness of issues all over the world.

I think the other one that was an important one was the Me Too movement and where the large NGOs lost a lot of funding because of some behavior, sexual harassment of women. And misuse of funds. So I think these kinds of confluence of things have put light into, issues around localization

 just to make it clear only 6% of the funding within the NGO sector was going to local organizations, and that’s disproportionately very low. USAID They say that they will move that to 25 and they will move that to 50. And that means that there’s an opportunity for local NGOs to, to develop themselves, not just operational capacity, but also the leadership capacity because you do need the leadership capacity to support , the the, agenda.. I think the other thing is that we have seen this move into serious discussions within the academic sphere, because they’re talking about localization and decolonization these two things, seem to, run very similar because of the background of the big NGOs. So you have seen this move to universities. You’ve seen this move to areas of research and they are going to impact on all of us, they’re going to move us towards more localization.

Racheal: For the current organization you are working with, Dr. Kisia, maybe you can just tell us a little bit more about what you do and what you enjoy the most in your current role.

James: So the organization I work for is C M M B, and C M M B is 110 year old organization that was started in Haiti. By Dr. Flagg an anaesthetist whose child died in birth, and he was reflective about things and, wanted to make sure that other parents did not e experience the same. So he started the organization as a result of a, a bad experience. And oftentimes, in our, deep reflection out of Advers. and he was able to create this organization that has been functioning now for, 110 years. And we largely deal with maternal and child health and in an integrated manner serving those communities that are most vulnerable, communities that are rural.

Or communities that are per urban or, informal settlements within the cities in Africa, in Haiti, in the Caribbean, and in Peru. But here in Kenya we work with largely rural communities that do not have access to healthcare and where women lose their lives giving birth.. And where children and infants lose their lives just because there isn’t the facility or there isn’t the knowledge to make sure that they give birth, that they are delivered in a health facility.

We are trying to create some breakthrough innovations, some life-changing services for, for those most vulnerable. And what I like about it is that I am able to interact with people that I just almost like forgotten. You want to say that and advocate on their behalf to the government.

And to say that they deserve dignity in their lives and dignity in health. And that is a measure of how we, ourselves are as human beings, how we treat the most vulnerable. So I think that for me is, the core of why I continue to serve in this organisation.

And the organizations that I served in the past, I think every time I moved away from this kind of core mission for me at community Health and serving the most vulnerable I don’t do very well. So the issue around leadership is that you must find something that you’re passionate about. When I went into research, Found myself quite miserable and far removed from the impact that I wanted to create. When I moved into knowledge management, I also found myself a bit and I had quickly moved back into development work.

Racheal: And Dr Kisia, a leader is a reader. Which book are you currently reading?

James: I’m reading a book called change and it’s on change management by John Carter. I think a retired Harvard professor.

 Racheal: Okay. Excellent.

Sue: Rachael. What book are you reading?

Racheal: So I’m reading Attitude 101 by John C Maxwell. Dr. Kisia what legacy would you like to be remembered for?

James: yeah, I, I think one never knows what their legacy is because especially as long as they’re still alive, but I think the point is that, for me, the one thing that I enjoy most is developing young people and finding talent and finding ways in which, they can, unfold their true potential.

I have experimented with organizational cultures and try to create that space that people can manage themselves. That’s, it’s managing people it’s an anomaly. I think, sometimes less is more, and, the idea would be for people who work with me, to know that I try to create space, safe space for them to do their work and to manage themselves and then guide them through that, so I think that for me would be an important one.

I think something I’ve taken up in the last 10 years is the environment. And I grow trees, a lot of them. I’ve grown 3000 trees in the last three years and I don’t feel I’ve done enough trying to get my son to do more of that, trying to get my wife to do the same, so I think. Environment is big for me and doing what we can. I’m always reminded of one guy who say that there was in a fire, a small bird kept picking up water with his beak and dropping it to the fire and another big animal said, look, what do you think that’s going to do is just a drop. And the, the small bird said, well, , that’s what I can do. I’m doing my part. And I think for me is if I do my part and leave somebody feeling, that it was useful for me to be in their lives and it was useful for me to be in the environment then I think that’s, good enough.

Sue: Well, as you were talking there I was, I was thinking what we’ve heard today in this conversation is, that ripple effect. Small drops, small steps can lead to great things. And the small steps of encouragement of drawing out Rachel’s belief in her own potential led her eventually to this conversation and her then introducing you back into it. Dr. Kisia, it’s been a fantastic opportunity to hear from you. If our listeners do want to find out more about yourself and the work that you do, is there a website that they can go to

James: cmmb.org. We have a LinkedIn page and I’m also on LinkedIn.

Sue: Fantastic. Well, we’ll put links to those things onto the show notes. And of course, Rachael, we shall sign post listeners to your earlier episode . Thank you both for your time. I don’t know if you have any closing words as well, Rachel.

Racheal: It’s been an absolute delight to host and interview my mentor, who I really greatly admire and you to also for being a coach. All these. And I’m a product of what’s possible when mentorship is done right, and growing leader. So thank you both Dr. Kisia and so for that opportunity appreciated.

 Sue: Fantastic. So there’s been so much rich information shared today. I’m sure our listeners will love this episode. Thank you both for your time.

Racheal: Thank you, Sue. Bye-bye.

Sound Editor: Matias de Ezcurra (he/him)

Producer: Sue Stockdale (she/her)