Success is not achievable alone. We all have a story of a person who took a risk, someone who imagined a life greater than what we could, someone who stood in the gap. This show shares those 'someones.' Those unsung heroes who pushed us when we could have settled for what is.
Stood in the Gap focuses on the journey of where leaders were before they achieved their goals. It's stories often left untold, yet those stories made the difference between giving up and pressing on. And in those moments, what made all the difference? The words said. Each leader on our show, shares what was said in their darkest moments, catapulting them out of the darkness and into who they are today.
What were those words? And why were they said? And more importantly what happened next. Join host Derrin Slack to find out.
Willie Little w/ DaMarion S.: "Don't let anybody take your shine."
Everyone faces challenges in life, but it’s important to remember that we can learn from each other and grow stronger together. Willie Little and 10-year-old DeMarion, who are both guests on Stood in the Gap, share their stories of how growing up in a diverse community has profoundly shaped their perspectives. They discuss topics such as self-criticism, overcoming negative self-talk, and surrounding oneself with positive people.
Willie discusses the power of community and how it can be a source of strength during difficult times. He encourages everyone to reach out to people in their neighborhood or community who could use some help, and to “do something good in the hood” – even small gestures like checking up on elderly neighbors or picking up litter on your block can make a difference. DeMarion speaks openly about his struggles with self-doubt and fear, but emphasizes that we have the power to turn these feelings into positive ones through understanding and empathy.
Join us on Stood in the Gap for an inspiring journey filled with lessons about resilience, courage, and hope!
Amber Fields: "I'm not giving up on you."
Discover the story of Amber Fields on "Stood in the Gap," a podcast that delves into the people who have helped others succeed and become successful leaders. Join host Derrin Slack as he plays a fun "This or That" game with Amber, and hear her share the powerful words that changed her life: "When are you going to realize that you have everything you need within?"
Uncover Amber's journey of self-discovery as she navigates through different career paths, including broadcasting, logistics and customer service, and sales. Understand the struggles of finding one's true identity and fulfillment in life, and join in as Amber shares her experience of feeling lost and searching for validation in the wrong places.
Our Youth Voice segment features Erina Q., a youth leader in ProAct's Kids in Action Club at Northview Middle School of MSD Washington Township (Indianapolis, IN).
Dr. Wallace McLaughlin w/ Ra'Kiyah T.: "When Do You Want to Graduate?"
On today's show, we have a very special guest: Ra'Kiyah T., a participant in the Kids in Action Program at Willow Lake Elementary School in Indianapolis, IN. Derrin Slack, host and CEO of ProAct Indy, is thrilled to have the opportunity to sit down with Ra'Kiyah and find out more about her experiences in the program. Ra'Kiyah shares some of the amazing things she has experienced so far, including going to new places and helping others in her community. Derrin also opens up about his own personal experiences, including the best compliment he has ever received - that his voice is a powerful gift. He also discusses the difficult but necessary decision to end a friendship with a childhood friend as he grew up and their lives took different paths. Don't miss this chance to get to know Ra'Kiyah and hear more about the inspiring kids that ProAct works with every week!
We will also hear the story of transformation from one of Derrin's mentors, Dr. Wallace McLaughlin, formerly the President & CEO of the Fathers and Families Center (Indianapolis, IN). Dr. McLaughlin shares a bit about his personal life journey, which encompasses an esteemed career in education and the nonprofit sector. He is a poised leader who is incredibly passionate about his family, faith, and community.
Blake Behr: “Maybe it’s on you.”
Blake Behr grew up in a one-parent home. He knows how important it is for people to show up and show support for others. For Blake, one such person hit him with the cold, hard truth: were his problems the fault of others, or was some of it really on him?
That question changed his life trajectory. Now the President of Ridgeline Electrical Industries and as a leader, Blake puts ownership of his words and actions at the top of his list of priorities. Blake takes time to coach his employees everyday and invests in them as people as well as employees, all because he wants to be able to stand in the gap for them, just like many people did for him. Listen to his whole story to hear how that effort has proven to be more than worth the while.
In This Episode:
[00:52] This/That with Blake [05:55] Blake’s story [10:07] Learning to take responsibility [12:53] How the words “maybe it’s on you” changed Blake’s trajectory [14:12] What inspired Blake to want to develop people [17:24] Problematic mindsets [20:50] Principles that define a leader [25:37] What keeps Blake up at night [27:13] Blake’s guiding principles [29:41] Why a leader needs to be empathetic [31:41] How to be a strong foundation for others [35:02] Blake’s advice to anyone struggling Quotes From This Episode:
“We’re all scared boys and girls inside of our own heads that need somebody to step into that gap, that need someone to say those words to overcome that one mindset that’s holding us back from greatness.” “Nobody gets pissed that a game isn't over yet. Nobody cares because there's a game. You enjoy the game. You enjoy the process. I feel like business is the only game where we are pissed off we're not already at the finishline.” “Get curious and lean into the danger.”
Bryan Brenner: “You’re the man of the house now.”
At the age of twelve, Bryan Brenner’s life turned upside down. Suddenly, his parents got divorced, the family filed for bankruptcy, and Bryan's father told him he had to be the man of the house.
For Bryan, it was a lesson in how impactful words can be in a negative way, as that sentence filled him with a sense of responsibility that he had no way of fulfilling. Still, Bryan believes some positive things came out of feeling like he needed to grow up fast, like starting a business early on and greater awareness of how he communicates with his family.
In this episode, Bryan talks about the need to be thoughtful about our own words and how we absorb the worlds of others.
In This Episode:
[02:24] This/That with Bryan [04:12] Admitting when you’re wrong [06:43] Lessons learned growing up on a farm [07:45] What got Bryan into employee benefits [09:30] The importance of self-awareness and leading yourself [11:05] “What do I want my influence to be?” [13:34] Learning from past mistakes [16:04] The wrong words at the wrong time [22:02] “You can do anything you put your mind to.” [23:17] How Bryan’s parents shaped him as a parent [26:28] Words matter Quotes From This Episode:
“The more self-aware we are, the more vulnerable we can be, the more genuine we are, the better the outcomes.” “If a human being feels known for who they truly are and they feel loved in that, they can do just about anything and work through just about anything.” “Be careful with how you absorb other people’s words because often they don’t know how they might impact you and you have to be responsible for that yourself.”
Tony Mason: “Help people because it’s the right thing to do.”
“Help people because it’s the right thing to do.”
It’s a simple concept that has served Tony Mason well. As CEO and President of the Indianapolis Urban League, a community outreach program dedicated to helping minorities achieve social and economic equality, Tony lives those words every day.
As Tony admits, helping others is sometimes a thankless task, but he’s had others go to bat for him and believes we should all pay it forward. Listen to his full story to see what shaped him as a man, father, and community leader.
In This Episode:
[02:22] This/That with Tony [04:38] Tony’s story [10:34] Where Tony’s work ethic comes from [12:57] Tony’s path to Indianapolis [16:30] Leading with your heart not your head [18:07] People who stood in the gap for Tony [22:16] Never assume you know what someone’s going through [25:30] Showing up and being vulnerable [31:03] “Help people because it’s the right thing to do” [32:17] What Tony wants people to know about him [33:26] Bring leaders together to achieve a common goal [35:21] Words of wisdom Quotes From This Episode:
“We’re not guaranteed in this life that every day is gonna be smooth. It doesn’t matter how strong your faith is. There are going to be challenges, and you’ve got to find a way through all of that. It forces you to be humble and open, and vulnerable.” “We have to work together to be the cavalry for our people and our community. No one is going to do that for us.” “If you think the cost of education is expensive, try the cost of ignorance.”
Honest leadership conversations!
Appreciate how Derrin and his guests bring authentic leadership by focusing on events and stories that changed peoples lives. It makes me want to be more intentional in how I interact with others and honoring those conversations. Thank you Derrin and his team for creating this show!!