Nov 12 – Jean Derenzy, “Choosing Courage Over Comfort”


November 12


11:00 am - 01:00 pm

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The Leadership Lunch Club


Traverse City Golf & Country Club

1725 South Union Street, Traverse City, MI 49684

Traverse City, MI, US, 49684

Presentation:  “Choosing Courage Over Comfort”

Presentation:  “Choosing Courage Over Comfort”

Theodore Roosevelt stated in part in one of his speeches “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena … who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly.” Getting into the arena as a leader makes them vulnerable and choosing courage over comfort is not always their default because it can come with a price, but can also make a powerful difference. In her presentation, Jean will talk to why it is important for a leader to listen, to observe, to have tough conversations, challenge the status quo and show up with all your heart. As a new leader coming into a highly visible public realm, Jean will share why it’s critical to have courage, embrace differences and appreciate and explore different ideas.

Presenter: Jean Derenzy

Jean Derenzy currently serves as the CEO of Traverse City’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA). In her role, she works with about 200 retail and restaurant businesses operating in the district. Jean is a Traverse City native who helped oversee planning, development and brownfield activities for Grand Traverse County for over 20 years before taking her current position. Jean is also a graduate of Northwestern Michigan College and Central Michigan University. Jean describes her leadership style as highly collaborative and is committed to being open and listening to and understanding the various sides of an issue.

Featured Book:

“Dare to Lead” by Brené Brown

“The world is desperate for braver leaders.  It’s time for all of us to step up.” That’s a challenge from author Brené Brown and it forms the theme of our featured book.  The book is based on a series of interviews Brown conducted to flesh out what leaders need to do differently, to lead during times when “we’re faced with seemingly intractable challenges and an insatiable demand for innovation.” Her research included 150 global C-suite executives. What she found points to the importance of “emotional intelligence” – the Interpersonal skills that help us build healthy relationships both in a leadership role and in our personal relationships as well. As part of helping the reader take actionable steps, Brown compares the differences between the behaviors that are part of what she calls “Armored Leadership” and “Daring Leadership.”  She encourages the reader to be vulnerable, embracing and acknowledging imperfections and dropping the “armor” to live and lead more authentically.


11:00am – Doors Open // Sponsor Expo // Networking

11:20-11:45 – Lunch, Open Networking Continues

11:45-12:50 – Welcome, Featured Presentation

12:50-1PM – Q & A and Wrap-up

NOTE: No Refunds on orders, but you can make attendee substitutions if you create an Eventbrite account. 

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