Code-switching, Authenticity & The Real Key To Winning
Code-switching & Authenticity straight-talk from a recognized, award-winning industry leader. Anton Vincent knows what it takes to excel and succeed in the corporate hustle and bustle. He shares the ins, outs and true key to success with us. Anton also addresses the "fallacy of perfection," what humility doesn't equal and asks what you're wound up in. He even gets clear on who does it right. Listen as he shares the wisdom that helped him rise in this Season 2, don't miss episode of The Leadership is Personal Podcast!
3 Jan 2019
Code-switching vs. Soul-switching and The Unseen Challenges w/ James Burroughs
You’ve invited them to the party. You’ve even asked them to dance. But who’s on your playlist? Have you created a culture of inclusion? We talk Code-switching & Authenticity w/ James Burroughs, Chief Inclusion Officer for the State of Minnesota on the Leadership is Personal Podcast.
10 Jan 2019
This Sh*t Ain't Black & White! Dr. Rudder Dishes On #MeToo
It's nuanced and necessary. But it's not black & white. This is a hard one to peg. I try to give you a bit of what we discuss here, but Dr. Rudder leaned in on so many areas of our patriarchal society. Covering men, masculinity and having to answer tough questions on the roles we've played in silencing women. Is it the privilege of men that's created the necessity for a #MeToo movement? Dr. David Rudder dishes on the perspective of change and the rise of women. How men are having to confront the current realities of women being bread winners, divorce and toxic masculinity. What is the role of higher education? How has the patriarchal society enabled the oppression of women and course correction run awry? This and so much more!
22 Feb 2019
"This Sh*t Won't Be Easy" Leadership is Personal Podcast with Kevin D Wright
There are real paradoxes afoot; real challenges. And at least 175 company CEOs and executives recognize it. The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion is a wonderful campaign and we all have very high expectations. Our only hope? It's not just another great campaign. While running the risk of sounding a little negative, unless companies truly address the issues head-on, this is precisely what it will be. I long to see a new landscape. I'm rooting for its success! Historically, we've wanted to fix issues without emphatically identifying their benefits to select populations. We've long wanted to fix diversity and inclusion in our companies, without truly addressing the benefits of D&I's absence. We wish to fix the income disparity issues for women? Though it'll take over a century and a half based on the widely held projected finish line from the current remedy methodology. To get to a point where being a man doesn't matter, we have to acknowledge where it does. To arrive at a place where race doesn't matter, we have to acknowledge where it does; emphatically. Unlike the airline industry, our businesses have not addressed problems of this magnitude in a black box thinking way. There is a reason why no two planes crash for the same reason. In an attempt to minimize risk, blame, and legality, companies address issues, without identifying them directly. Plausible deniability is never too far. By acknowledging the genesis and benefits of current structures, we can identify how to level them. We must stop exercising the glad-handing muscle and truly attack these tough issues head-on. And like any good business problem, someone has to run point and be held accountable. This will take some real chutzpah. If I can be so frank? This sh*t won't be easy! To illustrate, it is not the "thought" of the large Black guy that causes different treatment. Yet we address "diversity of thought" to address diversity and inclusion. I get it in theory. It’s cute. However, in many settings, his "thought" doesn't stand a chance because of its packaging. Unconscious bias training is valuable for sure. But as an element in a holistic solution. To truly get at the issues, we must address the paradox. To arrive at a place in our world where race doesn't matter, we must first address where race matters. I suppose I'm taking a page from the book of today's political environment of being less politically correct. I simply wish to do it with a level of deep study, facts, and intellectualism. We all have to get fine with straight-talk in a respectful and solutions-based fashion. The Stroop Effect is real. Idiosyncratic Rater Effects are real. Yet we continuously attack today's problems with yesterday's approaches and little systemic address. The processes that we lead under were long ago put into place with a one-sided mindset. It will take massive action to reverse and rectify. We have much work to do. We want desperately to drive deeper connections for better employee engagement. We want to close the pay disparity gap. We want our organizations to provide the solutions that only a diverse workforce can. But to do so, we have to be willing to identify why the challenges exist in the first place, the benefits and benefactors of said systems and the strategic redesigning of those systems for sustainable success. It won't be easy. Check out the Leadership is Personal Report (under the news tab) to learn more about The CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion or to see more from your favorite publications. Have an epic week! Leadership is personal!
26 Oct 2018
Most Popular Podcasts
Peanut Butter, Ramen and Questioning God. How Delay Is Not Denial.
Award-winning CEO, Darnyelle Jervey transparently shares. This best selling author with 7 books to her credit, and Coach of the Year by Stiletto Woman Media, shares amazing pearls. Recognized by Small Business Trends, you want to hear what she has to say. Combining spiritual principles with business growth strategy, Darnyelle, CEO of Incredible One Enterprises, LLC takes a different approach on sales, systems and scale-ability. Empowering people to shake the planet and build a business that serves them financially and spiritually as they profitably impact the world, you don't want to miss Darnyelle. CLICK PLAY NOW!
27 Dec 2018
Could Code-switching Be A Form of Prejudice?
We're talking code-switching and authenticity with Dawnna St Louis. Unlike every other leader that has sat down with us, Dawnna has a different perspective around code-switching. Per usual, her perspective dances on conventional wisdom and adds to the list of "Things that make you go hmmm..." Listen close, and tell me what you think!
18 Jan 2019
"Are Your People Waiting For Your Leadership?" Leadership is Personal Podcast with Kevin D Wright
Recently while inside a client's office, as we walked to get coffee, one of their direct reports passing in the hallway said, "I spoke with Jane up in Finance and she said they won't agree to change the pricing for us. What should we do? The leader I was walking with responded, "Let me think about it and I'll drop by your office later today." "Perfect." the subordinate said. Sound familiar? This took me back to my graduate school days while studying psychology. Surely a different lesson than I was taught in B-School, but because business is the business of people, the psychology lesson holds true. "You teach people how to treat you." Leaders, this means you. Sometimes members of our teams lack the gumption to take initiative because we've inadvertently "clipped their wings." It's not their fault; it's ours. We haven't empowered them appropriately. Positions have gotten so tenuous, we've become afraid of even the slightest of failures. Consequently, we are teaching our teams to bring everything to us; to not make a move until they've run it by us. The message we just heard was clear, "Let me think about it and get back to you." And by "it" I mean the problem. Someone has brought you a problem, and you have now made it your problem. 1) Where's the lesson in initiative? 2) What do they do while you "think about it?" (I know they have other work to do...) Let me get to it. Stop doing your teams' work for them! Empower them! Here, you have relieved them of initiative, responsibility and most importantly, the opportunity to grow. You have taught them to depend on you for answers. Great leaders don't have all of the answers. In the knowledge-based working cultures of today, it's imperative that we teach our teams to analyze critically, fix problems, and mitigate future problems. There will be a few failures for sure. But that's where the learning and innovation can be found. Apple. Wheaties. Dyson Vacuums. None of these would be what they are today without failure. EMPOWER YOUR TEAMS Yes. There are times when you want your leaders to bring you the issues. But never without a proposed solution. And as a guide, they should manage these challenges in just one of three ways; 1) Bring it to you with an actionable solution and get your blessing to fix it. 2) Fix it. And update you right away of what they have fixed. 3) Fix it. And update you during the regularly scheduled status meeting. Notice a trend? "Fix it!" was the prevailing theme. Great leaders don't have all of the answers. They just ask the right questions and empower. And in the process, develop great leaders.
26 Oct 2018
Entrepreneurial Thinking, Execution and Being Your Own Boss w/Anton Vincent
Rarely do we get the opportunity to hear the ins and outs from people that have reached the pinnacle in the corporate structure as well as played very large as an entrepreneur. Corporate executive, turned one of the largest Applebee's franchise owners in the country, and back. He's been a President as well as CEO of multi-billion dollar organizations, Anton shares his boomerang journey between corporate and entrepreneurial endeavors. One of The Leadership is Personal Podcast's most listened to interviewees, Anton speaks candidly about how you should be thinking, why you need help and how to think about executing on your dream of being your own boss. Many romanticize about the opportunity of being their own boss one day. Anton asks, "Are you ready for success?" Sharing why this is important, you get unfiltered access to Anton. You gain insight on mindset, investment and concentration of intellectual value. This is a DO NOT miss podcast! www.LIPpodcast.com
28 Mar 2019
"How To Get The Most From Those You Lead" Leadership is Personal Podcast with Kevin D Wright
It’s the holiday season, and again my wife has waited until the end of the year to attempt to use the bulk of her vacation days that she’s not taken throughout the year. While I sat at my desk pecking away at the keyboard I noticed she was on her work laptop. “Aren’t you on vacation today?” I asked. “Yes.” She replied. “I’m just getting this one thing done. Then I’ll log off.” She chirped. I continued to work for quite some time before looking up again; as did she. Employee engagement is a critical consideration for companies that want to perform at the highest possible levels. Employees that are engaged provide many benefits to their employers: improved customer service, enhanced productivity, and lower employee turnover. As I’ve written in other articles, numbers from global research and consulting firm Gallup indicate that over two-thirds of American workers are disengaged, Discretionary Effort Do your employees stay late to get work done without being asked? Will they log on or come into the office over the weekend to get caught up or even ahead for the following week? These are good examples of discretionary effort. Discretionary effort is a display of behavioral engagement and is seen when an employee goes the extra mile, puts in extra effort to get their job done. Remember though, engagement is not simply measured by the hours that someone puts in. An engaged employee is also more likely to think outside of the box and take a creative approach to their work. They may use skills that they don’t usually draw upon in their daily role to help the company in unique ways. Engaged employees are also more likely to collaborate with their team members and let others share in the spotlight when projects are successful. When an employee loves what she does, going the extra mile is business as usual. Why Employee Engagement Is Vital You probably have an intrinsic understanding of why it is so important to have engaged employees, but you may not know that extensive research has been done to collect data about the importance of engagement. This research has lead to the publication of some very telling statistics that use hard numbers to show just how important employee engagement is. According to numbers compiled by Office Vibe: Companies with engaged employees have 2.5 times more revenue than organizations with low engagement levels Organizations with highly engaged employees achieve double the annual net income when compared to organizations with employees that are behind on engagement According to the Harvard Business Review, Sears reported that a 5% increase in employee attitudes lead to a 1.3% improvement in customer satisfaction, causing a 0.5% increase in revenue What kind of business wouldn’t want more revenue and happier customers? The benefits of improving your employee engagement will have a direct impact on the core goals of your company. You will reap very valuable benefits from more engaged employees. The biggest challenge for employee engagement, however, is in engaging today’s employees the right way. The Whole Employee and Organizational Goals Even if you understand how to engage employees, you may be unsure about where to begin when it comes to matching their passions to company goals. Personal development programs are a great way to accomplish this task. Research by the British Institute for Employment Studies showed that employees with a personal development plan that have received a formal appraisal in the past year have much higher levels of engagement than those who do not. Personal development plans also help satisfy a critical component of workplace engagement for employees: input on their job responsibilities. As many studies have found, autonomy drives engagement. The more say that an employee has in their workplace tasks, the more likely it is that they will be engaged and emotionally connected to these tasks and go the extra mile to get them done. Employee development plans are also important when considering how to engage employees because they are tailored to the individual needs of the people. that work at your organization. Everyone at your company is different: the millennial fresh out of college has vastly different interests and passions than the baby boomer with grandchildren that is only a few years from retirement. What engages one of these employees may be off-putting to the other. Adopting a one-size fits all approach may be a recipe for failure and resentment. A Better Way To Boost Engagement What escapes many business owners and leaders is the secret to improving employee engagement is aligning the mission and vision of the organization with as a whole to the interests, passion and purpose of individual employees; the whole individual, professional and personal. Pizza lunches and ice cream bars are nice and may in fact make your employees happy momentarily. However, iInstead of trying to take a homogeneous approach when considering how to engage employees, companies would be much better served by creating implementing plans tailored to the particular capabilities and interests and personalities of your employees. Not only is this a much more effective way to make employees feel more connected with the goals and mission of the company. It has the added benefit of showing team members that you are engaged, committed and care about them individually, the whole person, both personally and professionally. Workers in every office in every field face challenges on a daily basis. How they address these challenges and what they think about them depends on a few factors. One of the primary elements is their level of engagement. When an employee can tie their own passions and personal motivations to the overarching goals of the business they are working for, they will be much less likely to leave the company. High engagement levels correspond with high levels of productivity, which is beneficial for everyone. To get started on your journey to improve revenues and customer satisfaction by boosting your employee engagement, look for a wayways to create personalized programs that remind your employees every day of how what they do is integral to the success and prosperity of the entire company.
26 Oct 2018
"Leadership Lessons from A Stiletto Wearing Football Coach" Leadership is Personal Podcast with Kevin D Wright
Remember the scene from The Blind Side where Mrs. Tuohy teaches Coach Bert how to lead? Coach Bert, barking out orders, and quite clear about his fleeting contempt for young Michael Oher screams onto the field from his perch, “Oher! You got a hundred pounds on Collins and you can’t keep him out of our backfield?” After a few “coaching” words with Michael up close, he heads back to the sideline. Leaning over to commiserate with his Assistant Coach, “Well at least we’ll look good coming off the bus. They’ll be terrified till they realize he’s a marshmallow.” “Looks like Tarzan, plays like Jane.” Coach Bert said as his equally as inept Assistant Coach snickers. Cue the real coach. Mrs. Tuohy in her fitted skirt and stilettos, like she just exited a Paris runway, steps off the bleachers and onto the field. Walking past Coach Bert and his trusty sidekick, she heads to the huddle. “Give me a minute Bert.” smacking him on the butt as she walks by. “We’re in the middle of practice Leigh Anne!” Coach Bert barked. “You can thank me later.” She quipped, never missing a step. In just two plays, Mrs., I mean, “Coach” Tuohy had assessed the problem, knew what connections were necessary to illuminate for Michael and what motivated her guy; her left tackle. Physical touch wields power when moving those you lead. Pulling Michael closer, “Michael, you remember when we first met, we went to that horrible part of town to buy you those dreadful clothes? And I was a little bit scared and you told me not to worry about it because you had my back. You remember that?” “Yes Ma’am.” Michael nodded. Like the most intentional leaders, she makes Michael the protagonist. Michael now has the picture that he is in control. She even gets his buy-in, ensuring he believes he is capable. Real leaders need not to be the hero. Real leaders make heroes. She gave him one more dose of confidence, saying, “When you and R.J. were in that car wreck, what did you do to that airbag?” “Stopped it.” Michael says with more confidence. “You stopped it right!” Coach Tuohy says pointing into Michael’s chest, further cementing the you in “You did that.” Now don’t miss the value of the point. Even with a firm index finger, Leigh Anne touching Michael was intentional and powerful. You see, leadership is personal and sometimes you have to physically touch someone for them to embrace their importance; a transference of power from the leader if you will. I know, I know. Human Resources has everyone scared to touch anyone. To hell with that! I’ll say it again. Leadership is personal. Nothing connects us as humans as much as the power of touch. To learn more of this social connectedness and the power of touch, check out the July/August issue of Scientific American Mind’s article on The Secret Social Power of Touch. The power of touch, and being 100% present while sharing a teachable moment with the people you lead can
26 Oct 2018
From Plant Floor To Executive Floor - We Talk Code Switching & Connecting w/Carson Funderburk
We sit down with Carson Funderburk, Chief Supply Chain Officer of Sara Lee Frozen Bakery. Carson talks about the different ways of communicating and connecting with different people. Whether connecting with those in the plant to those in the senior executive suite, he explains how you connect. He even shares what's in his office closet that helps!
25 Jan 2019
"The Strategy For People That Every Leader Must Know" Leadership is Personal Podcast with Kevin D Wright
(Published in The Arkansas Banker) Imagine having more DDA, Mortgage and Trust customers than you can handle, triple digit revenue increases year after year and Twitter, Facebook and Periscope ablaze from customers singing your praises. The best companies are the result of their people. No two alike; each bringing a dynamic difference to the workplace. Does your environment allow your people to bring their full selves, making the unassailable difference for your organization? Or do you force them into your proverbial box like 24 crayons in a box of Crayola? Employee engagement is a critical consideration for leaders and companies that want to perform at the highest levels. Unfortunately, the research data is staggering. Many like global research and consulting firm Gallup indicate roughly three quarters of American workers are disengaged. Engaged employees provide many benefits to their organizations: enhanced customer service, increased productivity, and improved retention. Bankers are realizing their firms cannot afford to ignore the responsibility of keeping their team members engaged. The Strategy To Getting The Most From Your Team Members While there are five Dimensions to the “whole’ employee, we’ll assume we’re addressing the Professional Dimension here. Diving a little deeper, let’s address the five-part Strategy to getting the most from your employees. Shhh, I’ll let you in on a little secret. This can also be used for product development, significant others and yourself. When wanting to more deeply connect, ample time must be spent around the following: Fields Connections Differentiation Sequencing Impact Humans, and consequently employees desire to be in a consistent state of growth. Developmental meetings are a great place to discuss the 5 strategy elements to deeper engagement to get the most out of your talent. Understand where your employee is headed. Or said differently, what Fields does she wish to “play on?” Where is it that she would like her career to go? This is a good time to gain insight around whether you have a long-term employee, or one that considers her calling elsewhere. What are the essential Connections necessary to move from where he is today, to where it is he aspires to be? Whether in another division of your firm, the office next door or The Peace Corp, it is essential that as a leader we understand where our talent aspires to be and how to be helpful in getting them there. Few of us really take the time to understand our point of Differentiation. What is it that makes us so special in the context of our role or future roles? You’ve likely picked up by now this system is forward looking. You are meeting them where they are, and assisting in their growth. Equally as important as knowing the Connections necessary and Differentiation, one must understand the Sequence of events that need to occur to get them to where it is they aspire to be. Many of us want to go from midnight to morning in just minutes. Fortunately, it’s not that easy. There are reasons we can’t sell, until we get our Series 6. As we consider the generational differences in the workplace, this conversation may have varying tones and speed aspirations. With Millennials projected to be 75% of the US workforce by 2025, we should get comfortable with an expeditious timeline. Ultimately, as leaders it is incumbent upon us to assist our talent to realize the Impact they make in their current role and will make in their aspiring position. Depending on the motivation for the aspiration, your employee may realize the position they aspire to, doesn’t align with the impact they wish to make. Pizza parties and ice cream socials are nice and may in fact make your employees happy momentarily. However, your company would be much better served by implementing plans tailored to the particular capabilities and aspirations of your employees. Not only is this a much more effective way to make employees feel more connected with the goals and mission of the company, it has the added benefit of showing your team members that you are committed and care about them individually, not just to the extent that they fit into the organization at large. As leaders, you are engaged.
26 Oct 2018
"Who's Wearing Your Shirt?" Leadership is Personal Podcast with Kevin D Wright
While sitting on a coffee shop patio, sipping my latte, I spot a young couple walking up the sidewalk toward me. They are smiling and chatting as if the world around them is standing still and only the two of them exist. As they get closer, I see their big smiles. I also see their shirts. Now I'm smiling. Their shirts are beautiful in their simplicity. His says, "She rocks! I'm with her." Complete with the pointing finger. Her shirt says, "He's the bomb! I'm with him." Requisite pointing finger in place. The pleasantry head nod transpires between us as they pass. Then my smile widens. I see the back of their shirts. "Who's wearing your shirt?” Opportunities To Examine Our Leadership Abound A simple, yet profound question when considered from a leadership context. "Who's wearing your shirt?" When you, your character or your integrity is called into question, who will step forward on your behalf. Who’s wearing your shirt? Who will stand in your honor to tell the world who you are at your core, without being asked? Who will share what you do and who you are, when there are no "Likes" to be gained? When there are no “hearts” to be had, who will show you love? The young men and women of Tulane and some of their parents have made an error in their rushing to judgement for having Yoda Kotb as their commencement speaker. Their petition was unwise, and I trust they will do their due diligence next time. Equally, I hope they garner the lesson available by reading the note from Karen Swenson. In it, you will find a lesson on leadership that could arguably be a class. It is a gleaming example of how to live your life, so others will wear your shirt. Karen’s shirt-wearing is a sparkling testament to how Hoda lives her life when there are no cameras to see, no wine to be sipped or spotlight to be shared. One question. As a leader, “Who’s wearing your shirt?” For all you do Hoda, "Thank You!"
26 Oct 2018
"Are You Ready To Lead In The Era of Trump?" Leadership is Personal with Kevin D Wright
What does the election outcome have to do with your organization and the work that needs to get done? A lot! With the backdrop of an already disengaged workforce, many chose to further disengage immediately following the election. This impacts an organization’s productivity. Whether the people of your organization's guy won or woman lost, they are processing what this means. Leader, have you engaged, or is your head buried? People are not machines and don’t check their thoughts and feelings at your door when they enter their offices. While some were elated, some were “mourning” the loss by Hillary, their scabs open and sore and any brush against them in the office, could ignite an outburst of pain. I heard both sides firsthand immediately following the election, “Let someone say something wrong to me!” “These folk need to man-up. They lost!” Both of these sentiments without guidance and support are counterproductive. Among the two main parties, it was as if there were four candidates running. For DJT and HRC, there was the candidate supporters saw, and the candidate that the opposing side saw. There was what some saw as the most prepared person and first woman on the planet to lead the free world, yet others saw a criminal that was neither prepared nor capable of running our country unlike her own gang. There was the savvy businessman that would create jobs and “make America great again.” Yet, others saw a narcissistic, xenophobe that was born with a silver spoon in his mouth, who had accomplished what anyone given a multi-million-dollar head start could achieve; four candidates. Our ears and brains are powerful. They filter messaging looking for that which supports our own ideology. Nin said, “We don’t see the world as it is, we see the world as we are.” We tend to read, watch and take in messages that resonate with our own existing thinking. Because we are moving through this day-by-day, people need the safe place and space to process what it all means. This includes in our organizations. Fact is, some of White America did not hear the messaging of our candidates the same as People of Color. Some men did not hear the messaging of pundits the same as women did. Uconscious bias? Gender bias? The effects of this election are impeding on the synapse in the brains of our employees that would otherwise be utilized to get their jobs done. The same messaging being heard differently by varying groups has the ability to permeate and impact the productivity of our organizations. As leaders, it is imperative that we help our employees to process this quickly, safely and inclusively, so that they can get back to the tasks at hand. CEO of Kaiser Permanente, Bernard Tyson gets it. He shared a message he sent to the people of Kaiser. Without taking one side or the other, he shared his perspective. He let his voice be heard. This is leadership. Our teams are in search of our voice. As leaders we can’t bury our heads in the sand and act as if there is nothing going on. Our teams are looking for our inclusive leadership; our insights on how we navigate. They are looking to hear from us on how we process the happenings of the day in a balanced and non-judgmental way. The proverbial line that used to exist between work and home is blurred and the people that we work with are looking for our support. Not to sway or direct, but to say, “I understand what you may be feeling, and you are in a safe place should you need to process.” Need I remind you, the employee that feels their leader is interested in their personal lives and what they are dealing with is three times more engaged. 300% more engaged! You don’t have to agree. You needn’t celebrate or march with them. Simply hear them inclusively; take an interest. Let them hear you authentically and let them know that irrespective of what happens, we will all be OK. I often ask my audiences, “What resume are you building?” That is to say, are you more concerned with your position and what you are or in your humanity, who you are? When we close our eyes for the last time on earth, others will remember us fondly. They won’t recollect on us being the best President, Director or Manager ever. They will however, remember how we touched them, how we made them feel, who we were in our humanity. Again I ask this simple question, “What resume are you building?”
26 Oct 2018
"Three Questions Is All You Need" Leadership is Personal Podcast with Kevin D Wright
You're beginning your day, haven't had your coffee, the phone is ringing and you have a meeting in 7 minutes. In today's pressing times, less of it is spent with your people. This time has largely been replaced by emails, which require the time to read and sometimes decode. As if the drain on your time wasn't enough, there are unlimited meetings. Some cultures requiring a "meeting before the meeting;" and sometimes one after. There is one way to maximize the individual efforts of your teams and ensure you are giving them what they need as a leader. Ask. Here's a tactic I engaged long ago that works. To ensure you're maximizing the capabilities of your people through your efforts, and they get what they need from you as a leader, ask these three direct questions quarterly. And to the extent possible, DO IT! What do you need me to start doing? What do you need me to stop doing? What do you need me to never stop doing? Leadership Is Personal
2 Nov 2018