March 21, 2023

Re-energize for the new (not) normal with Hilary DeCesare

On this episode of Navigating Forward, Lisa Thee is joined by best-selling author and former Silicon Valley CEO, Hilary DeCesare. Now, as the founder and CEO of The ReLaunch Co., Hilary helps women and businesses transform with her 3HQ framework. Featured in her book RELAUNCH! Spark Your Heart to Ignite Your Life, the framework focuses on the heart, the head, and the higher self. Hilary and Lisa delve into some of the challenges facing entrepreneurs, employees, leaders, and businesses as they navigate a post-pandemic landscape that has been impacted by quiet quitting, ongoing layoffs, and other stress-inducers. Key to thriving in this new world is reigniting the passion and energy of leaders who can then do the same with their teams. Hilary leads Lisa through a re-energizing exercise that starts with Lisa having to choose a song – and you’ll never guess which one she chooses. Listen in for a lively conversation that just might have you thinking differently about how you approach the new normal – which isn’t very normal at all. Find Lisa at Find Hilary at,


00:01 Narrator: At a crossroads of uncertainty and opportunity, how do you navigate forward? This podcast focuses on making smart choices in a rapidly changing world. We investigate the challenges of being at a crossroads and finding opportunities that arise out of disruption. Listen in on future-forward conversations with the brightest luminaries, movers, and shakers. Let's navigate forward together and create what's next.

00:25 Lisa Thee: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the Navigating Ford podcast. My name is Lisa Thee and I'll be your host today. We love bringing you innovative movers, shakers, and thought leaders to help you think through navigating forward. Today we have the honor of interviewing Hilary DeCesare. Hilary is an international bestselling author, a founder of both The ReLaunch Company and the Fired-Up Entrepreneur Signature Course and an award-winning business expert. We're so thrilled to have you here today Hilary, thank you so much for joining us.

00:58 Hilary DeCesare: Lisa, I mean, I have been so excited about this, you know that. We've had to change it a few times and now it's happening. And I can only imagine what we're going to be talking about. So, this is really great.

01:11 Lisa Thee: Yeah, I remember our first time connecting with through shared passion around 3Strands Global Foundation. We were both board members at the time, and I was just kicking off my start up and they said, oh, we know just the person that can be an advisor and a mentor to you. Hilary has this amazing social media networking tool that she's launched, and I remember reaching out. You were incredibly generous with your time for somebody that was a first-time founder and really helped me navigate some of those landmines that can happen as you're leading in Silicon Valley. Do you want to share a little bit about that experience?

01:45 Hilary DeCesare: Well, you know, it's really interesting because now I think I have over the 20 years, coached thousands of people. And it always comes down to that there are gates that people go through when they're starting a company and then actually scaling it as they grow into a higher-level revenue company. And the gates that I find are usually when you're first starting out, you're just trying to get that, you know, kicking around that idea.

02:16 Hilary DeCesare: Then you hit the six figure. Then you hit 250, 500, a million, 2.5 million, and then above. And at each gate, you really need a different mindset, a different identity, a different toolbelt that you need to be wearing in leadership. And what's really fascinating is that as I continue to develop and my own company keeps going through the gates, I realize how important it is to have that connection with people like you, when you came and said, hey, what would you do? How would you do this? You know, what are the things to avoid? Because when you don't have that, we both know that you can just waste a whole lot of time. You can waste a whole lot of energy and a whole lot of money. So, I've really had the pleasure of, now the company I have, and I've been running for a few years, which is called ReLaunch. I've been able to help women relaunch into the next level, revenue level of their business. And it's a mindset relaunch. It's a scalability relaunch. And if you don't know what you don't know, it's very difficult to try to maneuver it alone.

03:39 Lisa Thee: In addition to that, just having somebody to be a bellwether, to say the problems you're seeing today are not the first time that these problems have existed in the world. You didn't do something wrong. Having that cohort of support, I think, can be incredibly transformational for founders to be able to navigate the ups and downs of entrepreneurship. But I think that we're seeing that in the corporate world as well now, the whole get a job and set it and forget it for 20 years mindset has been antiquated for a while. Now it starts to feel like we're on like 20-week sprints or something for people in terms of unexpected change happening in the industry. As a coach and as a thought leader in this space, it's kind of been there, done that and seen that.

04:21 Lisa Thee: What advice do you have for our listeners that are maybe navigating new areas of change that is happening to them or anticipating change coming with technological innovations as well as the business climate adjusting?

04:3 5Hilary DeCesare: So, you know that I was at Oracle for almost ten years and, you know, there was always this corporate guilt that I had of where am I? How am I dividing my time? What am I really doing? I had the entrepreneurial spirit, and there's a lot of women that are in corporate that are now being given the ability to have some of the entrepreneur that that spirit in everything they're doing and they're trying to navigate the waters.

05:04 Hilary DeCesare: And right now, never in our history before have there been what I call the three different types of relaunches happening at the same time. We've got global relaunches, meaning we've got the pandemic, we've got the war, we've got financial crisis, we've also got now catastrophic situations, you know, natural catastrophes that are happening as well. And then you've got your personal relaunches that are happening where people are coming out of COVID.

05:35 Hilary DeCesare: People are trying to get past that heavy stress associated, the loss of people in our lives. You've got people moving out of not just cities, but states. You've got in the business, in the professional workplace, you've got all of these professional types of relaunches happening where the hybrid, but now we're moving back into the office again. You've got leadership that no longer can be based on the old school mentality of, you know, IQ steps.

06:10 Hilary DeCesare: Now it's all about how do we combine the head and the heart, the EQ and the IQ, and still be able to have a culture, still be able to hit the revenue goals. And so, these days, it's more important than ever to be able to leverage your own internal entrepreneurial journey within your division, within corporate, more than ever.

06:36 Hilary DeCesare: And I'm being asked to speak at a lot of companies now, some of the big ones, because there has been a massive change. And so, where we're seeing things going is, again, it's not the IQ and EQ, it's this idea of 3HQ, which I've coined, and I did it because you and I both grew up in that time period where Sheryl Sandberg, the former COO of Facebook/Meta, ended up coming out with Lean In, right? She wrote that book and we all thought that, hey, this is our is our war calling song. We got like, you know, we're going we're going into battle. We're going to put our names up for everything. We're going to lean into any opportunity. And a lot of us did it, and it didn't work for us.

07:28 Lisa Thee: I did it. I have the scars to prove it.

07:31 Hilary DeCesare: And we have the scars to prove it.

07:33 Lisa Thee: You know what they say? You can have it all. You just can't have it all at once.

07:36 Hilary DeCesare: Yeah. So that's exactly. And so, with that, it led me down a path. A path of I did it. I got the big promotion. I threw out a guy that had already been given the actual job and they had not considered me. And I went and said, why wasn't I? And they said, oh, well, you know, you have kids, you don't want this. Why would you even want to be here in the morning and leave at night? And I went for it, got it, and the poor guy ended up having to work for me. And it was an awful situation. It probably is what caused me to really pivot and leave a job that I could have really ended up seeing a long-term history with.

08:24 Hilary DeCesare: Instead, what we now have in 3HQ is the ability to get out of your head, into your heart, so that you can tap your higher self, that best version of you. And I say it like that because it first has to be a personal 3HQ. It's 3HQ and you. Then you can 3HQ your company. Because if you think about the company, whether it's Fortune 500, whether it's a startup type of business, you've got 50 employees, it really doesn't matter when you talk about a business being in its head, it's got thoughts around this is the quarter we always bring in the most amount of revenue, this is the one that we never do.

09:07 Hilary DeCesare: This is the ups and downs and oh, we've got negative you know, we've never really been good with that client, all these head-based things. We also have identities of companies and what's happened over the last few years is that identities have cratered, they have crumbled, and the ability to create culture now is literally at the foundational level.

09:34 Hilary DeCesare: How are you going to be able to do it? And so once you think about the head, and your business has so many of these had qualities, then you look at the heart and you look at the people, the people that not only are your employees, but the people that you are selling to. They've changed. Everybody has changed. So how are we leveraging what we now know? And in order to do that, that's when you can align the two. And you can't lean into one versus, can't lean into, well, here are all the steps. A to Z, these are the things you must do. Or you give your account managers, here's your revenue. Now go bring it in.

10:15 Hilary DeCesare: But wait, wait. That's 20% more than last year. We didn't even hit the numbers last year. If you can't get them bought off on it, if it doesn't become about what they're going for, the revenue will never get to where you want it to go this next year. It has to be in alignment with what they want. We call them rocket goals, with where they believe their why is behind it.

10:40 Hilary DeCesare: Because again, never have we seen, and my book is called Relaunch! Spark Your Heart to Ignite Your Life. But really, Lisa, it's spark your passion to ignite your purpose. And now more than ever, you have to empower your employees in the corporate world to allow them to say, I've got the passion now. I've got the passion, and I want to help bring the mission, the vision into the next 12 months.

11:12 Lisa Thee: Well, I have the luxury of watching your career over time and recognizing you reinventing yourself multiple times over, and then taking that expertise to others. I would really love to ask a question around something you mentioned earlier, which was that it starts with the private journey and with determining your highest self. Can you share a little bit about what your highest self means to you?

11:37 Hilary DeCesare: So, when you think about you being and you operating and you reaching your goals, whether you call them goals or whether you call them results, priorities, whatever works for you. When you think about when you are in that alignment, when things are working for you, when you're hitting your numbers, when you're creating that amazing marketing content, when you are heading into the boardroom and you're like, yeah, I got this.

12:07 Hilary DeCesare: I know what I need to know right now in order to get that point across or deliver whatever presentation you're about to do, that's when you're in alignment and what that really means is that you're operating at a very high level of energy. Energy comes in all forms, right? Everything around us is energy. Our thoughts have energy. Our emotions have energy.

12:33 Hilary DeCesare: And when you think about a company and the struggles we're going through, I mean, let's just call high tech right now. We're going to call that one out because high tech is being absolutely beaten up with, you know, layoffs and morale is tanking and people are on the on the stress-mobile where they think, you know, am I next, am I next on the chopping board. Instead of these are our layoffs, it's done, now companies are saying, well, this is our first pass and we're going to keep going till the end of the year. So heightened, heightened level of stress. Which if you think about the neurochemicals that come with stress, people are on that tightrope, and everyone's worried they're going to be falling off. So, when you start to look at energy and you think about being afraid, being in fear, you're operating at a very low level.

13:22 Hilary DeCesare: You then ask them to go and do something, create something, drive more revenue, and you wonder why they're not succeeding. Energy is what is inside you that is the invisible, that we need to be concentrating on in order to create in the world around us the reality of the visible. So, it really is, for me, your best version of you, your higher self is one that, it starts with your own energy level, which you have complete control over. Even with all of the relaunches that are happening in your life, even with, you know, when you want to make more money, increase, get that best job that you've been wanting to get. You are going up against yourself and your own energy.

14:15 Hilary DeCesare: And we have the ability. The one thing we do have control over is our thoughts that create our emotions, that create our energy. So, it's super, it's super important for me to realize that you may wake up and it's like, oh, today's a really tough day and I'm not feeling good. I didn't sleep well. I had nightmares. I kept getting up all night. But I have a process that I've done for, gosh, I can't even, 20 plus years where I come up with a song, a song of the day. And it's a song that I pretty much use all day long to kind of elevate me. But more importantly, what I'm really doing is elevating my energy and I'm setting the intention in the morning that, okay, this is what I want to have happen during the day.15:08Hilary DeCesareOkay, Lisa, I would really like to take you through a process to actually help you really leverage this whole idea of elevating your energy at any time. You up for this?15:22Lisa TheeI'm in let's do it.

15:25 Hilary DeCesare: I love that. Yes. And it's called, this whole process again, tune in. It's the tune in process. And there's really four stages to tuning in. The first is I'm going to ask you, what right now is your biggest challenge in business? What are you challenged with right now?

15:48 Lisa Thee: I would say that my biggest challenge is being able to predict my output day in, day out. Post-pandemic, I have had some complications with my health that make my energy levels highly variable. And so, there are times of day that work really well for me to be creative and innovative. And then there are times of day where it's probably best that I don't make any big decisions. And sometimes that's a big challenge for corporate America because, you know, your clients aren't aligned to when your frequency is. So, I'd love to learn more about how I can lift myself up in those times where I need to deliver. It's a moment that matters, but it's maybe not when I have access to my best creativity or innovation.

16:33 Hilary DeCesare: You know what you have? You are so talented that even those smaller amounts of energy are, I mean, others can't even come close to what you can deliver in that amount of time. What people may not know is that you were actually superhuman before, and now you're back to being one of us. But okay, so I do hear that you said it's really, you can't predict your output. And your energy levels, they're strong, then they fall, then they're strong, then they fall. And to not be able to have consistency.

17:13 Lisa Thee: Yeah, it challenges my integrity button. I feel like if I commit to something, I need to see it through. And I, it's a big shame trigger for me if I have to go back to someone and say, I know I said this in good faith that I would do it, but it's got to be, we've got to adjust now. I feel like you get a couple times to do those things, but not over and over, and I wonder how much energy I lose, just kind of beating myself up over things I don't have control over.

17:41 Hilary DeCesare: Ooh, the energy leak. Absolutely. Okay. So, we're going to cork that energy leak. All right. So now that was stage one. Stage two is when we're going to actually change your channel, because as you just said, you feel badly you're out of integrity and it really beat you up. You beat you up for those times. So, in changing the channel, what I'd like you to do is think of a song that really elevates you, that when you hear it, you are like, yeah, I love this, it lights me up. I'm excited, you know, to do things. What's a song that really changes your mood?

18:23 Lisa Thee: Well, I'm going to date myself here, but I can't keep a poor attitude when I hear MC Hammer’s “U Can't Touch This.”

18:32 Hilary DeCesare: [Laugh] That’s so great. I think everyone right now, I mean, we're all smiling. Okay, so “U Can’t Touch This.” So, what I want you to do is, I want you to shut your eyes and I want you to fully embrace “U Can't Touch This.” I want you to hear it in your entire body. You can feel it. It's vibrating.

18:56 Hilary DeCesare: You're moving. You're changing your state by even moving. And I see you smiling. I love that. And what I want you to do is turn up the volume. I want you to tune in to that song. And here's where we stay in this state for at least 30 seconds, at least 30 seconds, hearing it constantly, like just turn it up a little bit more, moving your body, elevating, elevating you.

19:24 Hilary DeCesare: Okay. So now, after you've done that, I want you to, let me know is stage three, what would be in your perfect world again, what would it look like for you to have these energy bursts where you could do what you have committed to throughout the day? What would that look like to you and how would that feel?

19:51 Lisa Thee: So, I had an interesting visual with that. And when I think of the music, I also think of the fashion of the time. I think of the dances that were made iconic. And what I expected to see in my mind's eye is a little different than what came up. I saw myself in some M.C. Hammer pants doing the typewriter, which is ridiculous. I hope nobody else has to have this visual.

20:13 Hilary DeCesare: Oh, my gosh, this is so great. And I have to say, when we when we see each other at the ReLaunch retreat, I am going to make you do that dance because this is all part of it. Oh, my gosh. So, but okay.

20:27 Lisa Thee: It actually makes a lot of sense to me because when I think about my innovation and my creativity and capturing that flow, it's almost always a movement. So, whether that's dancing, whether that's walking, whether that's just getting reconnected with myself, that's when my breakthroughs happen.

20:46 Hilary DeCesare: Ooh, so good.20:48Lisa TheeYeah, I need to get that vigilance down and like, meet that Maslow's hierarchy of needs for safety and security. And that's where co-creation, and really the magic, can happen.

21:00 Hilary DeCesare: Okay, I want you to tune in. Tune in again right now “U Can't Touch This.” And I want you to really think about what are you feeling right now? As you know. Wait, I just tapped into something that this could work for me. This is like I can, I can have additional spurts.

21:20 Lisa Thee: I think at this stage of my career, what I hope to be as a visible role model for women in STEM, that leadership is accessible to them, either as an intrapreneur or an entrepreneur, a thought leader, an author, or whatever reincarnation they want to hit. And I can see myself in my mind's eye onstage sharing that message to spark the next generation, to hand the baton to the people that probably felt a lot like we did along our journey, right, Hilary? There was no clear roadmap. Nobody expected us to make it work, you know. You don’t always stick the landing on the first try, but with resilience and persistence, we can all bring our unique vision to the world and do it in a way that can lift up a lot of people around us, and I feel that energy flowing through me versus having to generate it myself.

22:10 Hilary DeCesare: Okay. I'm telling you, when you said that you're onstage again and you're delivering this message and that you are visibly being a role model, I got chills. And so, that is really stage three. But stage four now is, I want you to tune back into the song, tune back into “U Can’t Touch This.” And now, what could you do today that would give you forward momentum to getting you to be visible again, to be on that stage as a role model? What could you do today?

22:45 Lisa Thee: Well, I actually can connect with this pretty easily because I've only been back in the country for about 48 hours since I hosted the main stage for the World AI Cannes Festival last week. So, I got to moderate quite a few panels as well as introduce a lot of the keynote speakers and record our Navigating Abroad series while we were there.

23:10 Lisa Thee: So just being in that flow of connecting in real life with people that I respect and admire, that we can talk technical but in a relatable way to make it more accessible for everyone and to be part of the conversation of the changing environments and helping bring people along during that change, that human side of technology. This really resonates with the vision I get when I when I see this music play in my head.

23:40 Hilary DeCesare: So good. So, Lisa, what will build momentum? What can you do literally today to make sure that you're taking the tune in process, and you are you're elevating yourself and you're moving forwards towards more of the stages, more of that visibility. What can you do today?

24:00 Lisa Thee: Well, my big decision today is the cover art for my upcoming book from Fast Company that will come out in September called Go.

24:09 Hilary DeCesare: So good, so proud of you.

24:11 Lisa Thee: And I'm really excited about helping others reboot their careers and learn more AI and data skills to come along with the transformation that's going to happen all around us. And I'm really energized around coming up with a visual that catches people's attention so that they don't feel like they're left behind.

24:28 Hilary DeCesare: And creating you to have a more visible stage. That book.

24:33 Lisa Thee: Yeah.

24:33 Hilary DeCesare: That is so good. So, when you figure that out, you're going to send me the image that you selected, okay? This is all part of the accountability. Okay, so that that is tuning in, and tuning in again, it can be because for some you're going onstage. Well, there's not necessarily for some a challenge to that.

24:57 Hilary DeCesare: For others, there is stage presence. You know, you're scared of being on the stage, but for some it's like, no. What intention are you going to be creating? So, the tune in process can work just as easily for I'm setting the intention to really connect to the audience. Great! Stage two is really that idea. How are you going to change the channel, elevate yourself even more that people are like, it's magnetic toward you. What would that look like? Stage three How is it going to feel when you're on there? Right? You're lighting up the audience, Lisa That's it. And then that one first step, what can you do? What's going to create that momentum? It's continuing to tune in, it's elevating, it's dancing maybe, as you're about to go on and then it's all like lights up and you move forward, and you get on. So, you can really leverage tune in even when you don't have that challenge, even when you're, you know, going in for negotiations and you're fired up on like this is going to be so good, but it's giving you an edge up.

26:05 Hilary DeCesare: It's giving you no matter what you're doing, like I said, you're going into a board meeting and you're about to deliver, you know, hey, we're going to have to make these cuts. But this is the other thing I'm really excited about. It's the culture building. It's, you know, the idea of we're going to be using this new level of 3HQ, and how do you promote that? You got to start with tuning in because we have tuned out for so long.

26:31 Lisa Thee: Oh, my goodness. It feels like the noise of the world has drowned out everyone's inner wisdom, and these last few years have just been pretty relentless in terms of demands from the outside world. I couldn't agree more that slowing down to be able to even hear your own thoughts is incredibly powerful. But to then elevate them through this process is really quite spectacular.

26:56 Lisa Thee:So, for people that are inspired by this 3HQ process, can you share a little bit about how they can explain to their business leaders and their teams why they think this is the right way to accelerate towards goals and maybe be able to engage with people that can help them to have that psychological safety to co-create in the workplace today?.

27:17 Hilary DeCesare: It's really about when art and science meet. And when we look at revenue, right, revenue is a must right now in terms of elevating your clients, elevating your companies to get out of where they are right now. And it's about really tapping into your people, your biggest asset. How are we keeping them fully engaged so that they're not quiet quitting, so that they're not thinking about what's next on the outside so that people want to stay longer than they are right now.

27:58 Lisa Thee: And people are focused on running their own race, not trying to compete like crabs in a barrel with their teammates. And that scarcity mindset, right? Because these are the times when great companies are born. It's in the lean times that the great companies accelerate and differentiate. It's not when things are going amazing. And I think that when we can get people really back into themselves and in touch with what they're uniquely good at, I think we have that magic that can be made that sometimes has been kept to the side for entrepreneurship.

28:36 Lisa Thee: And now we can integrate that back into bigger companies who always need to be reinventing themselves. And with the data that's being created these days from the market, there's no lack of signal from the market about what the expectations are. It's being able to tune in and hear it as a leader to be able to bring innovation back into the company to drive all those revenue goals, right Hilary?

28:57 Hilary DeCesare: You just hit on something so important. When you hear something, are you really listening to it? And so many of us hear things and then we let it go. And in today's world, we need to be leveraging what we innately have, our intuition, building that out. We need to be able to understand, not just become aware, but then understand and know how to work with people that are in heightened levels of stress. Heightened levels that, how do you take care of somebody when you know they're coming to you and they're falling apart, you know, their life? How do you get them to really want to excel in what they're doing for the corporation? How do you do that? You need to make sure that at a level you understand their limiting beliefs, what they're going through. I call them bugs, beliefs, underground surfacing, these bugs that come up like, gosh, this person was such you know, they were crushing it.

30:05 Hilary DeCesare: They were doing so well, this leader or this manager, they were excelling. And what happened? People are like, oh, what happened? And then they immediately like, oh, non-recoverable. Oh, if you can recover them, those ones that have truly already had that shining star moment and capture it again, you will have an employee for life. It's that we write people off.

30:32 Hilary DeCesare: We don't understand that what is below the surface will absolutely show up on the exterior. And as you as the manager can really tune in to 3HQ, understanding that yes, a thought and an emotion repeated over time create your behaviors. What behaviors has your organization created? What's acceptable, what's not? What's the buy-in from the team?

31:04 Hilary DeCesare: How isolated are you siloing out your people, your organizations? Because I often say if there's a point of failure in the company, if there's a point of failure in the manager, it will directly impact your goals and actually sabotage those goals from happening. So, you can be doing everything that you think is right. But if you aren't working with the ecosystem of your business. If you're not working in that, you know, the head part, the heart, the higher self and working with all three and you are going old-school and it's all about like, here's your quota, you're going to be missing out. You're not going to be in that position for very long. People are getting moved out because they're not a heart-based leader. People don't know how to do that. People aren't aware of even how to start to, you know, get people to want to elevate themselves. And that's all what we are now facing is, it's not a new normal in business.

32:09 Hilary DeCesare: It's not. It’s a new different. It is completely different. And we need to have tools that allow for this difference to move and to be successful and to remain one of the top players in the industries.

32:25 Lisa Thee: Yeah, I couldn't agree more. 21st century leadership skills look very different than 20th century leadership skills, especially as we see an acceleration in these generation models for AI, for example. Things that people made their whole careers on can be now automated. We're seeing these huge inflection points. So, we all have to evolve with these changes. And I think that's a really great way to help people see a path forward.

32:51 Lisa Thee: So, Hilary, for people that are interested in reading your book and learning more about you, tell us a little bit more about that and where they can find it.

32:58 Hilary DeCesare: Well, the probably the best place is we have a quiz on our website that will let you know where are you operating as a leader, as that leader within you? Are you in your head? Are you in your heart? Are you in your higher self? So, you can go to our website

33:20 Hilary DeCesare: Take the quiz, see where you are. And the best part is that when you become aware of this, then you can start to work on it and whether you're an individual player, whether you have a small team, large team. This is working for companies, like I said, from startup to IPO companies, this is like this is becoming 3HQ. You heard it right here.

33:47 Lisa Thee: Yeah. And Hilary, I've had the luxury of seeing your success from corporate America at Oracle into, you know, building a social media tool early with half a million user adoption before going into developing your coaching and speaking practices. Your accomplishments speak for themselves. I really enjoyed your episode of Secret Millionaire, if people want to pull that one out and Google that one.

34:10 Lisa Thee: So, I think you are the right person with the right message at the right time. I don't think it's any accident that you're a number one international bestseller in this space. So, I really encourage our folks to take your quiz and also pick up your book. And thank you so much for your time today. We really appreciate it.

34:26 Narrator: Hey, everyone. Thanks for listening to the Navigating Forward podcast. We'd love to hear from you. At a crossroads of uncertainty and opportunity, how do you navigate forward? We'll see you next time.

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