The Final Word for 2022 – by Jeremy Dean, R&E Founder

From the outside looking in, The ECD is an unassuming deck of cards – a game to be played. But The Emotional Culture Deck has grown beyond the deck. The game symbolises something greater. 

The ECD has become a philosophy for how we work and live. It stands against leaders and individuals who treat others like a resource or data point. It stands against those who intentionally and unintentionally suppress people in their environments. It stands against top-down authority and leadership. It stands against exclusion.

Instead, The ECD stands for people being able to speak their truth. It stands for people being able to express themselves. It stands for connection. It stands for giving people space to be heard.

I believe wholeheartedly in our mission to humanise the workplace. More than ever, people need permission and the tools to express themselves and tap their emotions to challenge and shift behaviours.

But it's not possible to do this alone.

I've received hundreds and hundreds of messages from people using the game because they've been introduced to it by an Elephant Rider, saying how thankful they are for The ECD.

These messages are their story of the game's impact on them; personally, on a family member, their business as a coach or consultant, or their teams is beyond my wildest imagination.

Thank you for being part of my journey and flipping how we work together worldwide.

My 2022 Bright Spots

In my Final Word for 2021 update last year, I said, "[2021] has been the most thrilling, proud, overwhelming, and joyful year of my life". Little did I know I would experience those same feelings even more intensely in 2022.

This year has been a year of two halves. The year's first half is a blur – it's hard to recall my experiences before August. Because life suddenly became much clearer, fuller, and more focused.

In August, we welcomed our second little baby girl Mollie, into our lives. After Isabella entered my life, I didn't think it would be possible to feel more joy. But I was wrong. Mollie is my living and breathing bright spot for 2022. A tiny, cheeky, slightly erratic sleeper of a bright spot!

But what followed Mollie's arrival was the biggest challenge I've faced. I wrote about the intense but beautiful experience of the weeks following Mollie's birth here. At the time, I didn't realise how this experience nudged Becky and me to design a completely new operating system and prepared me for what might come next. 

My second bright spot for 2022 can be summed up by one number – 1000!

When I sat at my kitchen bench in 2016 and designed the first ECD prototype, I never imagined there would be 1000 Elephant Riders in 37 countries across the globe. 

Our Elephant Rider Community is the beating heart and soul of R&E.

You give our community and The ECD life; in return, I am more determined than ever to help you in every way possible. 

My 2023 Hopes & Fears

As I look back on 2022 and feel grateful for everything that has happened, I also feel a sense of relief because it's been the biggest year of my life, both personally and professionally.

My number one fear next year is that I won't have the mental and emotional capacity to continue to serve you and our community as I have in the past. 

Our Elephant Rider Community is the beating heart and soul of R&E.

As our Elephant Rider tribe grows, it creates more demands on my energy and space. Small things matter when it comes to the experiences we design and build for each other. I'm afraid we'll lose our special bond and connection as Elephant Riders if I cannot keep my attention on the details within our collective experiences and community. 

But I'm equally energised and stubbornly focused on designing rules for my life and business to create space, so I can put my attention on this beautiful challenge and continue on this path. 

At the same time, my hope is our community continues to grow. Because as our community grows, our collective impact grows.

So what's ahead for R&E in 2023...

The R&E Theme for 2023 is 5% Better. 

Our focus is on executing fewer things, a little bit better. 

It's not about revolution. 

It's about evolution.

It's about nailing the small things because small changes can have a disproportionate impact.

I want to feel attentive, connected, thoughtful, and inspired next year to help us continue to build and foster our Elephant Rider Community and leave a dent that makes a real, positive, human difference in people's lives.

I pinch myself sometimes, thinking about how far we've come. 1000 Elephant Riders. Wow!

By being on this journey with me and part of our community, you've inadvertently nudged me to become a better person, father, and husband. 

You've helped me realise how much I still need to grow and develop.

Thank you! 

Your friend,

– Jeremy 


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