Episode 213: How Leaders Thrive in Adversity and Live Extraordinary Lives with Dr. James Kelley

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Dr. James Kelley is a professor of marketing at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain, Dubai, the host of the Executives After Hours podcast, and the author of The Crucible’s Gift: 5 Lessons from Authentic Leaders Who Thrive in Adversity, which releases April 23.

In his new book, Dr. Kelley explores how to lead an extraordinary life from a leadership perspective, the power of self-awareness and reflection, and the concept of relatableness: how to build trust and loyalty by giving someone the power of feeling listened to.

Today, Dr. Kelley joins Jon Berghoff on the podcast to talk about the importance of diversity, challenging relationships, how to move negotiations in a mutually beneficial way, and more.


  • Why Dr. James moved his family to Dubai – and why diversity is so important in our lives.
  • How Jon and Dr. James’ relationships with women have been affected by the #metoo movement.
  • Why challenged relationships with mothers impact how both Jon and Dr. James parent and show up in the world today.
  • The deep insights Dr. James gained on leadership and adversity by interviewing over 170 executives.
  • Lessons on compassion, integrity, relating with others, and the power of self-reflection.
  • Dr. James pays Jon a legendary and well-deserved compliment.


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