There is an epidemic of loneliness and disconnect today. Without relationships and purpose, we’d all be gliding aimlessly in life. An energetic soul who aims to connect the world a person at a time on purpose with purpose is Ginger Johnson – a coach, speaker, expert connector, and entrepreneur. Ginger visits the show to share with us her wisdom on setting your purpose and why doing so allows you more freedom in life than you expect. She points out the power of connecting with a purpose to not only find success in business but to also grow as individuals. Get clear on what you do and who you’re doing it with. After all, these are the very things you are giving your life to.
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Embracing Connectivity And Purpose With Ginger Johnson
I have another energetic soul who loves to connect. As she says, “Connect the world one person at a time on purpose with purpose.” I love that because my word of the year this 2020 is purpose. To all of you who are reading, I’m here with a coach, speaker, expert connector, Ginger Johnson. She is an entrepreneur and has been running her own company since 2002. She’s excited and driven to help leaders, entrepreneurs, and other high performers to become world-class connectors. Without further ado, Ginger, welcome.
Thanks, Penny. Thanks for the invite. Let’s do this on purpose. I love your word of the year. That’s great.
It’s that somebody had written up that they wanted you to put a word that described the upcoming year with the first initial of your name. I was already looking for a P-word. In a lot of what I do is also around productivity and time management, reducing stress and a lot of those things, it comes down to being clear and purposeful about what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. With this new decade, I believe now more than ever that doing things that matter is much more in focus for me.
I would totally echo that. When we have the intention, we have the purpose and that guides and clarifies. The great thing about clarity as you know is it helps productivity. It helps everything because when you focus on with purpose, you let other stuff go that doesn’t matter, that doesn’t feed the progress. It’s a beautiful thing.
Let’s continue on that piece and then we’ll come back to hear more about how you got where you are. Talking about that, why is it that it seems when you’re clear about your purpose and your goal, that it almost gives you permission, there’s a freedom with it that allows you to let go of other things. Why is that?
If clarity allows you to let go of other things, to be technical because we decide what the things we’re going to focus on are. For example, when I speak with the audience and give workshops and so forth, I do an exercise called the ripples. I ask people to get clear on who the people in their life are. This is a nod to one of my coaches, Brendon Burchard, who says, “There are three groups of friends. There are the incidentals, there’s the sometimes and then there’s the close.” Getting clear on who those people are because that’s who you’re giving your life to. That’s why that matters. It’s not to do with judgment or exclusion or inclusion or anything. By the way, those two concepts are good to get familiar with. When we’re clear, then that gives us permission to say, “I’m going to focus on Penny,” and that means I’m not going to focus on that other thing. That feels great because that’s my purpose.
When we have the intention, we have the purpose. Click To Tweet The people that we spent time with, as they say, the top 5, 10, whoever you want to “listen to,” determine what our results are going to be based on who we hang out with. It’s important to be purposeful about that and to think about it in terms of those groups. I’ve heard some different names about it but that’s key. For people who are reading, how could you relate it to their business if it’s not friends?
Ripples apply for everybody. Getting clear on who your relationships are, creating and developing a relationship on purpose, that’s my area of expertise. When I help people think about that, I want them to think about who are the people who you believe to be critical in your life. What we need to do is zoom out, as I call it and say, “Get rid of the have-tos and it-shoulds.” In fact, in my book, Connectivity Canon, I talk about to get rid of the half, chose and it should. That’s a pressure that somebody else is waving the finger. Think about the want-tos and the get-tos much better. That’s much more truly empowering coming from inside and not extrinsic. When we’re focusing on those people in our lives, no matter where we think they fit categorically then we get a lot clearer. Frankly, a lot of people in business need to fire some points.
I’m going to challenge your readers. The first challenge of this show is clean the house. Get super-duper crystal clear on who the relationships are in your life. It’s the Pareto Principle. It’s a principle of the 80/20 rule. Who are the people who enrich your life? Who do you want to enrich their lives? It’s everywhere. When you’re clear on that, you’re happier, you sleep better and you take better care of yourself. The symptomatic impact is everything in our lives. It’s that straight forward. I encourage people to think about your life holistically. Don’t just work and play. If you love what you’re doing, if there’s true purpose, then it’s all tied in. If it’s not tied in, this is the perfect time to take a look at where you’re putting these precious hours of your life you’re never going to get back because it’s all up to you. You’re in charge. Everybody has 24/7. Nobody is forcing you to do anything. It’s your choice.
With the Pareto Principle, it’s those 20% of the people that you hang out that are going to give you 80% of the results. I like the idea of stepping back and zooming out. Are there clients that aren’t the best clients for you? They drain you. They’re not the best an optimal use of your time. Are you spending the time you need to be spending with your team and giving them the attention that they need? Are you creating partners? I believe the greatest way to grow in our business is through great partnerships and finding those people that are a great fit, compliment and growing together through the collaboration.
You’ve read Growth by Carol Dweck.
I’m not sure that I have. I have not.
It’s a phenomenal book I would recommend everybody, Growth by Carol Dweck. She talks about how the best partners are the ones who challenge you to grow. They don’t let you maintain. The status quo means the state in which. What state do you want to be in? What do you want your status quo to be? You get to dictate that. You can decide that and get clear on who those people are who will support you, who will spark support. Support is not a static concept. It’s a growth concept. If you’re in a growth mindset like Carol talked about versus the fixed mindset, that’s going to be on you too.
There are a couple of challenges here for you to step back and take a look at who it is that you are giving your time and attention to. I’m sure that in all of these Ps, the purpose of your partners is perfectly purposeful in presenting productivity and profitability. We’re going to evolve the whole show on that. It’s a world of Ps for 2020. Mind your Ps and not so much your Qs. Let’s hear more about Ginger Johnson. Why are you passionate and energetic about this area of activity?
Human connection is the juice. Human connection is what we all crave. We are social creatures. Whether it’s one person or a room of 1,000 or cast of thousands, we are social animals. There are some profundity and some survival still back in our DNA, which we don’t necessarily have to pay attention to all the time, depending on where we’re at in the world. The human connection provides us many things. Fundamentally, it gives us stimulation. It gives us love. We can partner together and find food. It’s everything about having a connection with at least one other person in this world has to do with us feeling connected with our lives. The American Psychological Association says there’s an epidemic of loneliness and disconnect. It’s maybe true.
Here’s the great news, that is totally reversible and it is completely in all of our own commands. We can’t go crying off in the corner and saying, “I’m lonely. I can’t do anything about it.” That’s baloney. I’m going to give you the second challenge. If you feel like you’re not connected with somebody, first of all, a connection is not a phone, it’s not a laptop, it’s not a tablet and it’s not a screen. With decades of marketing, I can tell you that all those platforms are mechanical tools. They are avenues. The person to person, real-time, face to face, the human connection will never be supplanted with anything else. If you are feeling lonely or isolated, call out and reach out to somebody. Pick up the phone and get on a Zoom call, go out to your local coffee shop.
Walk down your Post Office, walk down the street, say hello to somebody. Here’s the deal with connection, Penny. This is what I love so much about it. I love that we are in complete command. For the record, I didn’t start this way. I wasn’t a shy kid. People come up and are like, “Ginger, you’re so good at.” It’s a skill. That’s the juice. We can all flex those muscles. Get those multiples back in shape. They’re working out. You’re in total command. In the Canon, I outlined the framework of how do I connect with them because I hear real-life stories every day that are both heartbreaking and simultaneously encouraging. We’ll say, “I don’t automate people.” I could go down, “That’s a tragic road.” I’m going to turn, I’m going to pivot. If you were and said, “There’s your opportunity. It’s that Y in the road, as I call it, that’s your opportunity.” You can go. It’s a free country and in most parts of the world, you are able to meet other people. Get out there and do the work in connecting with people and I have all kinds of tactics on my YouTube, LinkedIn, my newsletter, all those things I regularly share, hopefully generously because I want people to say, “I’m an introvert. How do I do this?” Great from the top questions, I get. “I feel like I don’t have anything in common with my coworkers.” I’m like, “Let me bust that one wide open because we always will have more in common than what we don’t have in common.
It’s where we’re focused. I want to come back to the idea and some of those tips around connectivity because you sparked a couple of questions for me. I feel that Facebook, social and text messaging, these ways to connect to one another. I have the feeling that it’s made us more disconnected. Why are people lonelier now than ever before? What do you think about that? We’re disconnected because we think we’re connecting but they’re such shallow connections. They’re not real connections and it’s not fulfilling a need that we have inside.
The best partners are the ones who challenge you to grow. Click To Tweet All of those tools, platforms, avenues, whatever you might call them are ways forward. They will never supplant or replace human-to-human, in-person connection. I have people tell me that it’s easier for them to email. I’m going to call BS on that because it’s simple but is it easier? Is it faster? Is that what they’re saying? I’m a word nerd and let’s get into what we think we’re saying. When people say, “We’re more connected than ever.” I’m totally calling the flag on that one. We are not. We are more technologically-bound. It’s mind-blowing how many ways we can communicate or at least an avenue for communication. Communication like connectivity isn’t assumed just because. Just because I can I call you on the phone doesn’t mean that it’s sure.
Body language and the nonverbal, verbal, tone, volume and all those things that we learned about, that’s where I would highly recommend. I’ll challenge again, get out there and learn about listening. Brilliant treasure is amazing. Get out there and learn about your body language, any type of groundbreaking TEDx or TED Talk. We’re onto things when we are willing to say, “How am I going to go forth and put my best person forward on purpose?” That’s to increase my skills first. Go back to school, invest in yourself with the coach and go to the workshop. Here’s another tactic I would share. We go to events, we go to workshops, we hire coaches and all those things are valid and important. I believe that everybody gets better only with the help of other people.
My friend, Randy Common, says, “Manage your expectations.” What that means is set the intention, “What is the purpose of going to a workshop with 600 other people? Are you trying to overload your brain or do you want to take one thing that is valuable?” That’s where I go with it. I’m a voracious reader, there are many great books, there’s much I want to read. I’m not going to put that pressure on myself to say, “You have to remember everything about this book.” No. I’m going to take one thing away because I can read the book again. I read one chapter and that’s enough to blow my head open for the time being. Let that sink in. Let that be purposeful to use your word and then add another when you’re ready. We’re not more humanly connected. We are more technologically strung together. The challenge again is to make that goal for yourself to get out and meet people in your own community, in your travels or wherever that might be. That is what yields a fulfilling life is your relationships of real meaning, worth and depth.
When you said about that person who said it’s easier or faster to send the email. I’m not an introvert, so I can only imagine I have moments of introversion. I could imagine it’s easier because you’re not being seen. There is something to being face-to-face. Why are sales more effective face-to-face? I can sell on the internet and all these places, but face-to-face will never be replaced.
I’m glad you brought this up. I talk about that in my book too, Sales and Marketing For Connectivity. When we are face-to-face, what are we doing? We are serving. That is huge. In the Seven Elements of Connectivity, I call it the cosmos. The first one is why and then mindset and then everything else follows. You have to have a service mindset. If not, you’re shoving the conventional model of sales of overcoming. That’s the biggest bunch of crap. It’s hit the pavement since the parade went by. If we’re focused on trying to overcome, trying to persuade, cajole, do all and convince. Several years of my life in one of my previous businesses after I was doing. I will not call it a waste of time. It was an enormous lesson that I will not repeat. It’s not a failure unless you don’t try. Now I know that what you do when you are face-to-face is you are able to relax. Your shoulders drop, you can read the body language, you can smell the environment and you can hear everything that’s going on.
That’s when you are best to be able to serve. That’s why it happens. You can mechanically sell something online. You can do it over the phone, but the strongest bond will be with that human connection, hands down. That’s why people “win” business. That’s why they lose business because they don’t do it. I know about you, but anytime I get an email solicitation that somehow makes it to my filter, it’s like, “Would you be interested?” I’m like, “No, I want to meet you first.” That’s not always possible in this global world. That’s always been a global economy for the record. At the same time, there are ways electronically to get to know people. I covered some of that in my talk to my workshops. I remember one time I had a lawyer in one of my classes and she said, “I work remotely and all my clients we patch in. How do I develop that human connection?” That’s something real. I get that. That’s legit. There are ways you can connect with people using technology, but technology will never transplant it.
You mentioned that you have these seven cosmos of connectivity. We’re in the Cs, not any longer in the Ps. Can you quickly go through what those seven are? We’ll point people in the direction of where they can get access to your book and see some of the great talks that you’ve done and videos that are available online and how they can get more in touch with you.
The great thing is that all these steps are available on my website. If you want some great resources, they’re out there and ready for you. The elements of connectivity made themselves known when I was writing the Canon. I wrote the book for two reasons. I wanted to be clear so people could use it and I use it to leverage in my own business problems. For those people who are thinking about writing a book for their business, if you want to have a side conversation on that, we can talk about that. It’s fun. It’s hard-cover. It’s differentiated. It’s got gold pages.
The framework made itself known when I was writing. I know people can’t read it, but it’s a basic grid. I made it into a cosmos because it’s more fun to draw and my Art degree comes in handy. We did it as a cosmos. That’s a galaxy. In the center is your why, your purpose, your vision? It’s one of the primary lessons I teach in groups. People are fundamentally and profoundly moved by this exercise. It’s much fun because people change their lives at that moment. It’s like nothing else. They were transforming. That’s the course of why. You’ve got to know your own vision. You’ve got to be able to close your eyes and say, “How do I picture myself?” That’s what a vision is. It’s not some empty, pithy paragraph on the wall. It’s your purpose. The next step out is your mindset also known as attitude. Where is your head in all of this? If you have a solid ‘why’ like, “My ‘why’ is to connect the world.” It’s three simple words, that’s a fit.
If my mindset isn’t there, if I’m not ready to connect the world, I’m not going to be effective. I’m not going to be enthusiastic. I’m not going to be positive. That’s my check. Am I in the right mindset? Is my attitude proper for what I want to accomplish? Here’s the grace. In chapter nine, Permission Slips, give yourself some grace. Give yourself some slack once in a while and say, “I’m having a day.” We all have them. Give yourself permission to go inward, to be a crab, to go hiking and to whatever you need. Take care of yourself first because you cannot possibly serve somebody else. It’s a grind culture, yes. You’ve got to take care of yourself first before you can serve anybody else.
You’ve got why and then mindset. The next five are tactical. I love building things. This is structured. Here’s how you do it. It is useful. The first step is the first move. You and I are in the post office, I’m standing behind you. I make an opening question, comments or something like that. That’s the first move. The first point of contact, verbal contact and what can maybe be a connection but it’s not a connection yet. It’s the first contact, the first move. You’ve got to make that first move. That’s the biggest hurdle for a lot of people do is that confidence to speak up. That’s the first of its five tackle. The next one is why on the road. You’ve made the first move. I said something to you in the post office. There’s a brief conversation usually. It’s either stay or go.
That’s why I call it the ‘why.’ It stays like, “This is a cool woman. I want to get to know her more.” That’s where it could go or she does this or there’s something about that conversation that sparks me wanting to keep it going so then I’d stay with that. “That was pleasant or something is not pleasant.” I’m going to go. There are seven billion other people on the planet and I’m going to find somebody else and keep going. That’s also along the muscle I talked about. Make the first move because that’s the jump. That’s the leap and then that will appear. Get the why on the road. You get to decide, “Do I stay or do I go?”
Everybody gets better only with the help of other people. Click To Tweet After that, the third one is to pursue your path, “Let’s get some speed, shall we?” If you stay, you and I decided to have coffee or we go for a hike or something. That is continuing to see where the connection can go. This is where we start to get into connection territory. If we know the other way, we are then seeking and trying this again. We repeat the first move and it’s a beautiful circle of possibility. The why mindset first moves, why in the road and pursue your path. The last two are essentially twins point and it’s a completely family-friendly acronym. It’s FUFT. It sounds like a Dr. Seuss word. FUFT stands for Follow-Up Follow-Through.
This is the juice because when we follow-up, which is the immediate subsequent action to that element, and then we follow-through, which is the long-term care and fleeting. That is where the most massive opportunity is. The flip side of opportunity is we let stuff drop. Have you ever gone to a networking event, the N-word, and you’ve collected cards and you’ve stashed them somewhere? You forget about them. You come across them days, weeks, months, years later, you have the moment. Give yourself some permission, it happens to everybody and that is the opportunity to follow-up and follow-through.
I was speaking with a group in Nebraska from the Katsu group and I said, “Has anybody ever done this?” They said, “No.” Over half the hands, I get it too. I tucked it there so I wouldn’t forget where it was and I find it. I encourage people, “Let’s say years had gone by, pick up the phone and call that person.” Here’s what’s going to happen. All of a sudden, we start laughing at ourselves. Humor is important for connectivity. When they say what they want to make, humor is often in the top queue. I need somebody with a sense of humor, which means they can let the crap go and they can focus on what matters and they can laugh at all the silliness that is us in our lives.
Pick up the phone and say, “Penny, this is Ginger. I’m not sure if you remember me. We met a few years ago. We met a couple of months ago. I have your card and I want to tell you that even though it was a long time ago, it was fun to meet with you.” What could possibly happen? Everything. That’s not the worst-case scenario by a long shot. That’s the skills. That’s the muscle development. You’ve got to be willing to put yourself in that spot because here’s how I think about it. I encourage people to think there’s somebody, there’s one person out there waiting for you. You haven’t met yet, but they’re waiting for that connection. Think about it that way. Frame the positive, the mindset. The ‘why’ is to connect. Mindset is like, “I can do this. Let’s see what happens.” It’s magic.
You don’t know unless you put yourself out there. I need context. I was at a stage many years ago where I was switching careers and I was looking for a mentor, but I didn’t have the finances in place to hire a coach at that time. I remember I believe in working with people and having coaches. I’ve always had a coach or somebody to help to push you up. I reached out to somebody who I respected and I only had met them one time before, but there was something about them that I respected and they were aware I wanted to be. I reached out and I said, “I know you might think this is crazy, but I wanted to ask you if you would be open to mentoring me and meeting with me once a month.” She said yes because I put myself out there. She could have said no, but yes. What happened is that I would ask and I always say to somebody, “How would you feel if someone asked you or connected with you after a few years or whatever? How would you respond?” That’s what you can expect someone else if you would respond. “I’d be surprised if they would call after a few years and still remember me or have my card or whatever.” “Would I be open to the conversation?” “Sure.” We get caught up in our head about the worst-case scenario and then live there in that worst-case scenario.
Knock that stuff off. Mel Robbins nailed it with her The 5-Second Rule. Anybody who lets that happen to themselves and we all do it, we hesitate. That hesitation is the kiss of the stoppage of progress, quite frankly. You wake up in the morning and like, “It’s cozy in here and I want to do this.” The five-second genius and it’s not scientifically proven. It’s the same thing with connecting. Know that there’s somebody out there who wants to hear from you, know that you will make somebody’s day better. You’re going to get odd, “I don’t remember you. It’s strange. No, thank you.” That’s cool too. That’s great. Give people the room to say, “No. Thank you.” Like this woman you called, they’re super flattered. Here’s some juice. Remember this, I’d like to trip the saying that you never know upside down. You always know, people are paying attention. Pay attention to how you present yourself in. That’s why your ‘why’ and your mindset are critical. They are fundamental. I don’t believe you can connect without those things. You certainly can’t connect well if you don’t have those things or you are networking and you are surficial. When you choose to dial into yourself first, that is magnetic. It’s truly the attraction, that Law of Attraction, whatever you want to call it. When people see that you know your ‘why’ and its energy, they feel it. They can see it in your actions.
Energy is everything.
Energy is truly everything. That’s what’s powerful. What’s that something about them? I’m going to take that and run with that one too. When you said, “Think about how that other person is thinking about you.” There’s something about them, turn that around like what is that role modeling or that reverse engineering of that? Is there something there? What is that something? You don’t always have to explain it. We want an explanation for everything. We want to know exactly technically why. We don’t have all that. Trust is a huge part of belief because beliefs aren’t the truth. Beliefs are experiences, opinions, ideas and so forth. Different than a fact when you know that connecting with people is your dam, you will make progress in all those things.
What’s your website where people can best reach you and find out more information about you and other things that you have available?
It’s GingerJohnson.com and everything I have is on there. I do have the icons out to the different sites as well. I do a lot on YouTube. There are a lot of instructional and insightful. I have a good time with it too. it’s short and sweet. Most of them are two minutes or less. A lot of them are in that 1.5-minute range. I’m active on LinkedIn. If you’re interested in more there, send me an invite. Personalize your invite. Here’s another juice. Personalize your invites when you’re inviting people to come with you. Don’t send it automatically. I don’t care. You’re not telling me anything. I’m on Twitter, @GingerJohnson. Instagram is my latest platform. I’m learning a lot more on there, @GingerTheConnector. GingerJohnson.com will take you everywhere you want to go.
To close out, let’s hear something deeply personal from you that there was the moment that you knew this was your path. We all have that moment and I’m discovering some of what that moment and putting all the pieces together. Somehow, I think that you’re aware. What was that emotional moment that had you aware that this is your path?
I open many of my talks. I talk about my prairie dog and all my supertanker turning. Those things don’t happen quickly. They can be frustrating. It took me about 1.5 years to 2 years to turn my ship to find connectivity. It was an intentional effort. I knew it wasn’t going to be the thing I had been doing. I didn’t know what it was going to be. I did some proactive exploration. I invited friends over, “I got this idea. Would you listen to this? Would you give me your feedback?” Tap into the people you know, those are your ripples. They want to help you. The moment I realized it, I was doing my prairie dog, I pop up and I’m like, “This is a thing and this is great.” Slowly I’m like, “It’s not.”
What yields a fulfilling life is your relationships of real meaning, worth, and depth. Click To Tweet I’m back to the drawing board and I popped up again. Ideas are not a problem for me, it’s choosing that golden thread. I remember the day that I popped up like, “It’s the activity.” It’s always been, “What is it?” I know what it was for me. I knew the human connection that connecting on purpose with a service mindset, creating and developing relationships. I knew what that was, so then I needed to describe what it was. That’s where the book came from. I wanted to be super clear so other people could immediately understand and use it as a tool.
That’s why human connection is crucial for me because I connected with my own ‘why’ first and now I can’t wait to share it with everybody and anybody who wants to hear it. The deep part of my ‘why’ is I know what it feels like to be blissfully connected to your purpose. They’ve had different moments like that in my life. I’ve worked my butt off and I’ve been fortunate as well. I know what those moments are. Those are Camelot periods. I want to help other people develop into that self. Finding their why first and having them feel fully connected. That’s why it’s important to me and that’s why I love it and that’s how it changes the world and how I want to change the world with it.
Thanks so much for being here, Ginger, and bringing so much energy and some great tips for everybody to see how they can embrace connectivity and all of those seven cosmos.
Thank you, Penny. It’s a pleasure. We can do as many parts as you want because there’s a lot more connection with that came from. I appreciate your gracious invitation.
Thank you for being here because without you, there would be no show. I would love to connect with you even more. I’d like to hear from you as to what topics you’d like to engage with and engage with me more. That is something that I would like to purposely do more of in 2020. Purposely connecting is the theme of the show, connecting with your why, connecting with other people and serving is something that we need more of in this next decade because people are busy and distracted. If we’re going to create more peace and profitability in this world, we need to come together. We need to connect, collaborate and work together to be happier and create more meaning for ourselves in our lives. That’s what I want for all of you for 2020. With that, if you’re new to the show, go back and read some of the other episodes. If you’ve been here a long time, welcome. I’m excited to have a great year ahead of us. I will see you in the next episode.
- Ginger Johnson
- Connectivity Canon
- Seven Elements of Connectivity
- The 5-Second Rule
- YouTube – Ginger Johnson
- LinkedIn – Ginger Johnson
- @GingerJohnson – Twitter
- @GingerTheConnector – Instagram
About Ginger Johnson
Having started her first company in 2002, she’s excited and driven to help leaders, entrepreneurs, and other high-performers to become world-class connectors.
Her mission is to connect the world, one person at a time, on purpose and with purpose. The remarkable people she’s met over the years – in her own towns and traveling across the world – has reinforced that there are remarkable people everywhere. We bet you’re one of them. And she wants to meet and get to know a lot more – and help you meet and get to know a lot of them as well.
Ginger frequently works with established and emerging agencies and organizations using her extensive knowledge of connectivity to evoke positive change and mindset in a disconnected environment. Ginger has quickly become a conference favorite for her clients who invite her back for consecutive annual events. Her lively presentations include interactive participation, tangible takeaways and many “aha!” moments. The audience leaves inspired and motivated, ready to connect.
Ginger lives in Oregon with Her Fine Husband, and their faithful companion, Züc. When she is not traveling around the world speaking, coaching, and connecting, Ginger can usually be found hosting lively dinner parties.
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