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Webinar 3 | Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable: Conversations about race and bias at work

WHAT: 45-minute webinar recorded on November 19th, 2020

WHO: Melissa Jezior, President and CEO, Eagle Hill Consulting and
Major General (retired) Linda Singh, Founder and CEO Kaleidoscope Affect LLC


0:00:00 Start

Moderator: Good afternoon and thank you all so much for joining us today for a webinar discussion, hosted by Eagle Hill Consulting. This is the third webinar in a series, Getting Comfortable with the Uncomfortable Conversations about Race and Bias at Work. Just a few words on logistics. We have all of our attendees in listen only mode just to minimize that background noise, but we do want your questions. You notice you have a control Panel—If you have any questions during the conversation, just type those into the control panel and we’ll read them at the end, the conversation.

So, thank you again so much for joining us. And I’d like to introduce our speakers. Today we have with us, Melissa Jezior, she is president and chief executive officer of Eagle Hill Consulting. And joining Melissa today is Linda Singh, who recently retired from the Maryland Army National Guard at the rank of Major General. She’s originally from Frederick County, Maryland, and she was the first woman and first African American to lead the Maryland National Guard. Over her military career, Linda has served in staff and command assignments and all levels, including deployments in Kosovo, and a combat tour in Afghanistan. She’s been recognized for her military service, receiving the Legion of merit and the bronze star, Among other accommodations.

In addition to our distinguished military career, her experience also spans the worlds of business and government. She’s the founder and CEO of Kaleidoscope Affect LLC, where she works with organizations on leadership, innovation, and technology. And she also serves on Governor Hogan’s Advisory Team for COVID. And just last January, she was named a leader in residence at Towson University where she works directly with the president and the provost to design, develop, and implement an inaugural leadership program. So, with that, I will turn this over to Melissa and we’ll get the conversation started.

Melissa Jezior: Wonderful. Thank you, Kelly. Welcome Linda. And thank you so much for joining us today.

Linda Singh: Thank you, and I’m so glad to be able to do this, and really to spend some time talking about such an important subject.

Melissa: Yes, agreed. And as you know, we’re on a journey here at Eagle Hill to build a more diverse and inclusive culture. And so, we’re really thankful to be able to talk to experts, like you, and willing to share, and learn from you, so we can all figure out how we can do better. And I think your experience, as Kelly just outlined some of your accomplishments. I feel like, when I hear your bio, I’m listening to 10 people’s accomplishments not just single woman. So, I am so excited to learn more from you, and in a component of your experience in the corporate world, spending 20 years at Accenture, your time in the military, you’ve written a couple of books, you’re a PHD, I’m feeling the need to step my own game up now. I’m so excited. So thank you so much for joining us today. I think it’s going to be a great conversation on how to do better. And as, as you may know as well, one of the catalysts for our discussion here today is for the Webinars series in general are the tragic deaths of Black Americans including George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, and many others. And at the same time, we’re seeing people of color suffering much higher rates of infection from COVID.

And of course, the presidential election, race has been a significant part of the policy debate. So, there are all these recent events that have been eye opening, and we’re really seeing now a national reckoning on systematic racism. You know, I personally, have felt this deeply, both personally and professionally. And it’s really jolted me to question so much. So with that said, let’s dive in and really, I hope to have a great conversation and hear about your experiences, and hopefully, again, just help shed some light on how we can all do better.

Linda: Absolutely.

Melissa: Perfect. So with that said, I’m going to jump right in, if That sounds good to you, Linda.

Linda: Absolutely. That’s perfect.

Melissa: Wonderful. So you talked about pivotal moments in your book, Moment of Choice. And I’m interested if you see this as a truly pivotal moment in history.


Linda: I absolutely do see this as a pivotal moment and in a number of ways. First, this is the first time that many of us are going through a pandemic. Secondly, when you think about just the racial divide. Probably, I would have to say a good number of us have not seen it to this level. We might have been too young, or it may have been things that we read about, but we’ve not necessarily seen it to this level. And then, you know, I think just about the presidential election and how it’s been so tense, everyone is very divided, right? You’re either on this side, or this side, you can’t even have a conversation about democracy without getting into an argument with someone. And so I think it’s, it is the pivotal moment.

And it’s a pivotal moment in the sense that it’s causing conversations, even though they’re not necessarily always productive conversations. It’s causing conversations to occur. It’s causing people to re-examine what they believed previously, what they currently believe, what their current beliefs are and even what their values are. I think the challenge is going to be is that, you know, we can have a lot of conversations, so what’s the action that we individually together are going to take to be able to move the dime forward?

And that means, you know, how do we look at this thing of inclusivity, and not lose ourselves, and lose our identity, but still address all of the critical things that, you know, we need to address. And that’s going to be a heavy lift, right? It’s not going to happen overnight. It is going to take policy. It’s going to take people at all levels, and it’s going to take community engagement continued.

Melissa: Yeah, no, you talk about conversations, let’s talk about conversations, we talk about action too, so we’ll talk about that as well. But starting first with conversation, that’s one of the things we’ve been spending a lot of time in this webinar talking about is the importance, uncomfortable conversations and uncovering bias, and how to have these uncomfortable conversations. So, I’m curious and interested from both your military and your corporate background, where have you seen examples of building a culture where these uncomfortable conversations really happen?

Linda: You know, it’s, it’s challenging because when you’re in the military environment, most people are afraid to talk. Right now, they’re afraid to talk but they don’t want to share things at that senior level for maybe fear of repercussion or that, you know, they’re just trying to be respectful, they’re going to tell you what you want to hear. What I’ve always loved to do in those environments, is to get down with the really junior people. Because if you want to know anything that’s going on, ask the really junior ones, where they don’t really have a filter, sometimes they kind of tell you. You really do have to get out. I mean, it’s almost like, you know, we have to go back to this management by walking around, and getting out and talking to people that you wouldn’t typically engage with, within your organizations. Because that’s where you’re going to hear more of the honest truth. And that’s where you’re going to hear more of what’s oppressing to them, and what they feel versus getting it through a number of diluted levels.

The other thing is that in the civilian environment, I think it’s a little bit even tougher sometimes because we want to be respectful. We’re trying to tippy toe around the issue. We don’t want to upset someone. We don’t want to offend someone. You know, we feel we stray away from sometimes just asking the question, and, you know what I think back to?

And I will kind of, you know, just make this comment. I said, too, what are the guys that I worked with previously? And I was, I was mentioning, it was at the time that I was getting ready to make. I think it was Lieutenant Colonel in the military. And this was then my civilian job. And we were just having a conversation, and this just goes to show you that sometimes people just don’t think. I mean, they, they assumed with my name, my name, last name being Singh, that I was not black. They didn’t take into account that that was my married name. And so I happened to say, you know, I’m going to be one of the few female Lieutenant Colonels when I get promoted. That’s African American, right, that’s Black, in the Maryland guard. And they just, they stopped, like, literally, stop them in their tracks. And they looked at me, and they go, I didn’t know. And I go, I’m sorry? Like, what did I miss? What didn’t you know? Like we were talking about this video. And you know what it was, is it’s it stunned him because he never gave it a thought. He didn’t really think about my background, and we never had the conversation about it. So just, Him being so honest, and he goes, I’m sorry, he says, I’m truly embarrassed because I didn’t know, and so then we had a Congress, so I was like, OK, let me come in and we’re gonna have a conversation about, you know, my background because he truly didn’t, didn’t know. And he had not known, and he was a little embarrassed, but I felt like, you know what, this is, this is a door opener. So let’s, let’s kinda have that conversation.


Melissa: So in terms of when people have that, is there any advice you would give to folks in terms of starting the conversation, or how to approach it in a way that makes it productive?

Linda: Well, I think the first thing is, you want to go into it very open, then not get defensive about what someone may say, because they just don’t know. And I think the biggest thing is if we can start with the assumption that people are coming from a place of being inquisitive. And sometimes, you know, they’re not, right, sometimes they’re just trying to be mean. And if they’re just trying to be mean you just gotta call it what it is, you shouldn’t try to kind of tiptoe around the conversation where you just need to have an honest conversation and say, you know, I just, I didn’t like that.

There has been times where, you know, I was selected, and this was on the military side where I was selected to be at an event. And they wanted to be front and center. And I’m just like, well, why do I need to be front and center and they go because you’re the only black female that we have that’s an officer. I’m just like, really? Because, you know, and now they were being honest. Right? And I’m just kinda like how do I feel about that. And I guess, so, you know me sometimes, I guess maybe that’s why, you know, sometimes, it’s good, sometimes bad. I just kinda looked at, so you mean to tell me, I’m your token? And they go, well, if you see it that way. And so I had to kind of re-assess that, and I said, Well, I can take it 1 or 2 ways, I can be the token, or I can make it an opportunity for myself to shop. And I chose the latter, because since they had me at this event, I got the opportunity to actually get up and talk a little bit about myself and what the veterans memorial was about. And boy, did I ever, I was just like, OK, it’s my turn now to shine.

All those men get up there and I’m going to shine and they were like floored. They were just like, I didn’t know you could do that. And I go, you never asked.

Melissa: So with your background, being so unique with all of the different things you’ve done throughout your career and climbing to top ranks in the military and in the corporate structure, radically different cultures. Though, as it relates to diversity in the workplace, what have you learned in terms of what’s mission critical in terms of making an impact, especially learning what you have from all the different cultures you come?

Linda: Yeah, that’s a great question because the first time that, when I first started at Accenture, and it was not anything with them, per se, I was embarrassed to tell people that I was also in the National Guard. So I didn’t talk about my military experience. There were very few that knew about it right off the bat. And, and part of it was because I was really trying to fit in in this culture, right? And the mentality is that, you know, you do everything for the organization, and you don’t talk about anything external, and it has changed dramatically since then. But, you know, when I really thought about it, it’s like, I kinda kept that very close, and I was very protective of that. And, and sometimes, a little embarrassed that, you know, here I am, you know, working another, quote unquote, job outside of, of the organization, in, You know, where it really kind of turned for me is when I met our defense lead, because I’ve never really thought about, OK, well, I’m in. I’m in civilian government, working within the organization. Do they have anything that’s very closely aligned? Didn’t really think about it. I just came in and started working projects and I got a chance to really have a discussion with our defense lead.


And he was shocked that I wasn’t in defense because of this background, and I go, well geez, I guess I really shouldn’t be talking more about my background, because if it wasn’t for that conversation, and that moment, I probably would have to hide, or not really talk a whole lot about my career, you know, my external career for a long time. And it actually became what I would consider to be then a perfect blend of the two opposing worlds. Because I started working in defense and started working on the Army account. And those worlds kind of collided right? They were very related. The skills that I brought was very beneficial to what we were doing. And so sometimes you really just have to not be embarrassed to kind of highlight and talk about, you know, being different. And I think sometimes we shy away from that.

Melissa: So tell us about, in your book, you mentioned being part of diversity initiatives at work, and in the leadership roles you’ve how this is obviously an important part of your responsibility. So in your years of experience, what gives different initiative tactics, the sticky effect? So, in other words, what makes a D&I focus and impact take root for the long term? I think this is something that we’re all thinking about now, right? Because that’s where everyone’s talking about taking this moment and making it a movement, so what advice might you have again for creating that stickiness factor that we can all keep focusing on?

Linda: Right. I think the first thing that you have to do is you need to really define you know, what your goals and objectives are going to be in and around diversity. So, where is your organization, and where would you like to see it, go? Or Where would you like it to be based on your strategy? It should be part of your growth strategy. It shouldn’t be separate. It shouldn’t be this thing that sits off to the side. And you say, OK, we’re gonna do it every day now, and then it really should be part of your overall growth strategy for your organization. And you have to apply the same metrics and measures, right? You have to define them, you have to lay it out, and you have to be intentional about how you’re going to go about making a change if in your organization.

And this is, and I say if, because every organization is different and every organization is at a different place. If you have demographic groups that are not doing as well as others, you need to dig a little deeper and find out why that is. And you can’t just stop that, OK, well, here’s the reason why, then what are you going to do about it? How are you going to make change, and the employer support groups, or the employer, resource groups, whatever, you know, all the different support groups, whichever name that you use, those are extremely important for individuals to be able to have a collective voice to maybe let leadership hear what they’re thinking, what’s important to them, and how they’re feeling about their overall organization. And so I think being intentional about how you’re going to go about making a change within the organization has to be tied to your strategic growth.

Melissa: So what are you doing with now that you started your own company? How are you baking these ideas into your own company, and how is it different from the experience that you had in the Guard and in the corporate world?


Linda: Well, the great thing is, as I’m, I’m really, you know, gearing up my partnerships. And I’m trying to ensure that my partnerships are very strategic. So I’m focusing in on veteran owned businesses, small businesses, minority owned businesses. And really trying to, you know, kind of help us help one another, right? So, as we’re looking at ways, and almost all the discussions that I’ve had has been with a number of small entities, now, there are some larger ones, because obviously, I need larger partnerships. I’m trying to diversify just my partnerships to ensure that I am promoting. What’s about, you know, what I consider to be part of my values, and diversity is one of my core values. And as I’m looking at growing my employee base, I want to have an employee base that’s not just diverse in terms of demographics. I want an employee base that’s diverse in terms of background and capability. That’s extremely important to me, and being able to have people who really can bring something different to the table where we can highlight that—that gives me the greatest joy. Is being able to look at somebody else and see things that they can’t see and how do we highlight and accentuate that?

Melissa: And how are you encouraging open and uncomfortable conversations in your new entity?

Linda: Well, it’s easy in my new entity. But, I think, the, In the community, you know, I’m joining it with a number of other small businesses and, and councils where, we are having conversations about how do we move the dime? How do we really help to make an impact? And, even though, you know, I’m not at a, you know, working as the CEO, the interim CEO for Ted Co anymore, I’m still having conversations with Ted Co and trying to be an advisor, where I can be to talk about, you know, what, what will move the dial. Right, And, you know, what are they thinking, and how will that make an impact across, across the ways?


I think the most important thing for me, as I’m looking internally, and kind of having those conversations externally, I mean, you have to walk the walk and, and, and not just kinda talk the talk, right? You have to live it every single day, and sometimes it may be easier. Or, you know, someone that has had the challenge of, you know, not being accepted in a group, not being accepted for who you are, to kind of define it. But I think sometimes it makes it harder, right, because we see it. And we want to kind of gravitate to say, well, I’m only going to work with these types of businesses. And that then just kinda spurs things the other way. Right? So, we, we have to have this, this mindset of being inclusive, and I would love for us to get to the point where we would never have to talk about this again, but we’re not there yet.

Melissa: So what type of things are you talking about and that will, you think will help move the needle or move the dial?

Linda: We are talking about policies, we’re looking at, you know, are there laws? Does there need to be a change in law? So like, you know, one of the things that, you know, I’m seeing coming up as a small business, and you might see this as well as, you know, some of the policies and requirements that we put into place that we are really trying to do the best that we can. So let’s just take cyber, for instance, and looking at all of the cyber requirements. Well, now, what is going to happen is they’re going to implement all of these requirements that small businesses need to have in place. They’re not thinking about the cost, they’re not thinking about ability. And what it’s going to do, is it’s going to cause a number of small businesses, that, if you want to do business with the government, you’re not going to be able to afford to do that. It’s going to immediately exclude you. So, everything that you put into place, in terms of service disabled, veteran owned, small business, minority business, 8A, if you don’t meet this requirement, you can’t compete.

It’s things like that where we have to rethink the second and third, order, you know, mag effect and what is going to us as we’re putting these things in place. And you know, we don’t we don’t always we think that we’re doing a good thing, and we don’t think about the downstream. effect. And so, that to me is, you know, we’re having conversations and trying to be very intentional and to say, if we do this, then what’s going to happen? You know, are there things that we didn’t attend to happen, you know, are there unintended consequences?

Melissa: Yeah, that makes that, makes sense. So, if you think about an unintended consequences for a second, and you think about how come companies are constantly trying to build these cultures now, right? That are more inclusive. And you see a lot of in the news, how some companies are succeeding more than others. So what do you think building such a strong, inclusive culture? It feels so elusive to so many organizations, and what do you what advice would you have to organizations who are trying to figure this out?

Linda: I think the challenge is it’s hard work. It’s not something that is, you can just kind of say, we’re going to do this, and it’s immediately going to turn the corner, right. This is a long and enduring process. And so it’s a marathon, it’s not a race time, and I think we lose steam after awhile, right? We lose intent, kind of the attention span just kind of goes away. And so, I think organizations need to realize that you’re going to have to put a plan in place. You’re going to have to measure, it needs to be careful that all. So, you’re not going to be there all and the width of, you know, just overnight. And that is the key thing, is that, you know, you really gotta have to find ways to look for, for talent very differently, and you may have an organization that’s very diverse, and you may not have a leadership team that’s very diverse.


You need to then step back and say, can I make a change Internally? Meaning, can you find the talent internally that you just may not be seen? Where are the hidden gems and can you grow them or do you need to go out and acquire them in some organizations? You can go out and acquire them. And what’s gonna happen is I think there’s going to be tons of people you know, trying to acquire and they’re going to the same pool. So that’s the other problem is that you know, we are trying to, you know, everyone is trying to get all of the real, senior, high level folks, and they’re gonna go to the same pool. Well, guess what? There’s no shortage of, you know, diverse talent, so we need to expand our polls and maybe go to another level of depth, And that’s going to cause us to be, you know, a little bit more strategic than what we would be.

Melissa: And tell me what you mean by another level of depth?

Linda: You can’t go to, um, a school. Let’s just say you can’t go to Harvard and expect to recruit all of your talent there, and that you’re going to get a good smattering of diverse talent. It’s just not realistic today. I mean, look at their student body. So what I would say is then, are you going to more of the HBCUs? Are you really going to search or look and where the pools where you are going to get some of that best talent? So if you’re looking for engineers and you what black engineers, then, are you going to Nesby to get black engineers? Because that’s where they’re cultivated. That’s the group of where they’re at. And so I think we have to you know, it’s one of these things where someone actually said this, is that if you want to fish for salmon, you’re not going to go to a pond out in your backyard. You go where salmon swim.  

Melissa: Yeah, That’s a great analogy, very good. So, the other thing I wanted to highlight is that, for anyone who read your book or read your book, I think it’s really obvious that there have been so many obstacles that you faced to succeeding at the very top organizational levels. You grew up without indoor plumbing, emotional trauma, economic hardship. It also struck me in your book that the challenges you face with respect to having a professional wardrobe, which I think, is something that many people don’t even give much thought to. So the more I read and learn, the more I realize there’s so much we need to be thought about. And so many different sources of diversity that even transcend race and gender, so I’m curious, how does this made you more sensitive to mentoring others and helping others be more successful?


Linda: Yeah. It’s when I think about that, and, and just the whole point of not having the wardrobe to be able to work in the environment, people, they don’t think about that, right? They don’t think about how, you know, someone shows up to work and how they’re dressed and maybe that’s their only means. So we have to—and what it’s helped me to do is to not be so judgmental of people when you first see them. And that takes work, right? Because I come even with my own biases and sometimes, they’re not necessarily, you know, they’re there. It’s, , I’m not even thinking about it, it’s that unconscious bias that you can see the body, and you make a snap judgement. And so what I’ve learned is to really not to try to make that snap judgement. And to, you know, approach people the same way that I would want to be approached. And that requires work. And that requires me to try to get a level of understanding before I really say, OK, well this person is this, this, this, and this. Because a lot of times we completely misread that. So unless you’re a mind reader unless you have a glass ball unless you’re kind of an empath, and you’re really good at it, you’re 9 times out of 10 gonna get it wrong.

I mean, most people, you know, when I came back from Afghanistan, I, I was interviewed on a stage in front of all my colleagues in Washington, D.C., and the center office. And because I know when you get a whole lot of things that happens when you’re in a deployed environment and when you get to think and when, just so many things are going on. And so, I came back and I really wanted to, I wanted people to know me, I wanted them to know me, truly the raw me, meeting, all the good, the bad.

And so, I sat on that stage and I told them that, you know, I dropped out of high school that I was, you know, sexually molested. I talked about everything. My bosses were there, no one knew. And so this was kind of a revelation for a lot of people and they had no idea. And so, I guess the point is that, no, they seen me, and they made an assumption without truly getting to know me. And so, we, we have to be vulnerable. Even at the most senior levels, we have to have this level of vulnerability to be able to open ourselves up, to know someone else, to get to know someone else.

Melissa: I definitely think vulnerability is a really important part, and I think play is also a really important part, and having these uncomfortable conversations in a personal and professional setting, right, admitting what we know, what we don’t know, who we really are, to your point, what has impacted us in showing up as our authentic selves. I think it’s a great place to start from. Without that, how do you have a conversation?

Linda: Yes.


Melissa: Yeah, so one final question. With all the recent events that have put all of our attention on this topic. And there’s so much to talk about. What’s your advice to all of us on the call today, on how we can make sure that we do something today that makes a difference a year from now, or even five years?

Linda: Yeah. The first thing is look in the mirror, right? Look in the mirror and be honest with yourself, as in where you are in this space. The second thing is to give someone else space to share. When I say space to share that means honestly, listening. And being open to hear what they may say.

And then the next thing is, what are you going to do differently? You have to have at least 1 or 2 things, or something that you’re going to do differently. And it has to be tied to wanting to make a difference, right? Wanting to have some forward movement, those are three things that I think we could do immediately that cost you nothing.

Melissa: Linda, thank you so much for spending time with me today, and letting me pick your brain and sharing your insights. You are such an inspiration, and I love hearing your stories and your perspectives. And I think if that time, if you still have time, I think the next step would be to see if anybody has some questions for us for us.

Linda: Absolutely.

Moderator: Great. And as a reminder to everyone, if you have a question, just use your control panel and type your question into the question box, and we’ll read it out loud. So we do have a couple already lined up for you, Linda. The first one is, organizational culture is really emphasized these days. What are your thoughts on hiring for culture, a culture fit, as it pertains to diversity, equity, and inclusion?

Linda: I think a lot about that, and so, you, I think, you do need to hire for culture fit, right? But assessing that, we want to be careful, that we are not excluding a potential candidate that could be the best thing since sliced bread, right. So we, we have to be very, very careful not to have it go in the wrong direction. As an individual, when you are applying through an organization, you need to look at the culture, you need to get a good understanding of fit. The degree of fit. That goes both ways. It shouldn’t be just the company assessing, that should be you assessing whether or not you think you’re going to fit in.

Melissa: I agree with that. I want to add too, I think the, I think if you could spend time, my thought is culture is so important, Right? You do, you do want to be in a place where you thrive, and people get you, and it becomes a very positive experience. One thought is we always recommend is for people started quantifying their culture. So it takes away that bias, where people are saying, oh, that’s not a good culture fit. Well, OK, well, what do you mean by culture fit? What do you look for? Are you looking for strong communicators, and you’re looking for flexibility? What does that mean to try to crystallize some of that that you’re talking about?

Linda: Yes, know that that’s absolutely true.


Moderator: Our next question, I’m seeing books like Stamped and Cast in things like the 619 project worked into school curriculums. I’m very excited to see that in my children’s curriculum. Do you have any thoughts about bringing that sort of content into the workplace?

Linda: I think, you know, there should be, I hate to say recommended reading lists, because, like, I’m sure we’re all so busy, but I do believe that you need to at least bring those types of readings, those types of things to have conversations around. You know, there’s, there’s this one I went to a diversity course at the Harvard Executive Education Program. And this was two years ago.

Now, I’m not usually floored in terms of being speechless, but, you know, we watched 13. And once it was done, because I had not seen it before, and it really put, um, you know, some things right there front and center in terms of our justice system. And for the first time, I felt chills. Just when I think about it, I was just floored. And when I looked around at all my colleagues, I think everyone, you know—the good thing is the instructor let us sit with that for a moment, and let us go on break, and then we came back and had a conversation. So, I think, I think we do need to have those types of things in the workplace. But it has to be facilitated to have a good conversation, or to be focused on a good outcome. Because what you don’t want to do is to make someone feel uncomfortable, and really have them go just the opposite way of what was intended.

Moderator: Thank you. Our next question, a lot of organizations are now hiring, diversity and inclusion professionals. What do you think that a D&I professional needs to have in terms of their background, to be successful in that kind of role?

Linda: Organizations, I mean, I know that they’re hiring them a lot more now. But there’s been tons of organizations that already have diversity and inclusion professionals. And I really do believe that it has to have someone that has studied, or at least has some experience in organizational, and I would say the like the industrial and organizational side, right? Individuals and people and organizations, and looking at how can you start looking at diversity in a very different way? How did you tie it to the bottom line? I think they need to have experience in that. There’s a lot of our HR professionals of that background that’s part of the jet. If, if they’ve gone to school for resources sometimes, you’ll bring in someone that has an IO background, right. So, the industrial organizational side of things, I think you just have to look at, at their background and see, you know, what are they bringing to the table?

But, you know, what would be my favorite thing is to get, you know, you need to have a team that is very diverse within itself, to bring all of those different perspectives. And just remember that if you are a global organization, what diversity means here in the US is completely different when we’re in another country.

Moderator: Thank you so much. The next question, I think Melissa mentioned, that you have authored two books. Can you tell us a little bit about those books?


Linda: The first book is Moments of Choice: My Path to Leadership and that one is focused in on my story, right, and my journey I would say, because it really was a journey. And then the second one is What’s in Your Box: Designing the Life You Want, which is quite interesting. I decided to take, and really do this comparison of our lives to a box, right. So, you know, what you put into your life is what you’re going to get out and what you put into a box is what you’re going to get out. So, it’s about really changing your beliefs, your values, to serve you well going forward and taking, you know, step by step and designing that life that you want to have.

Moderator: Thank you. Another question, This is a good one. I work in an organization where everyone I’m leading and speaking to has a different culture values and belief system that I do. Do you have any ideas for how I can be successful?

Linda: Absolutely. So that’s a great place to have a conversation, right and to learn. And when I think about being with people who are not like me, it energizes me. It gives me like there is something that that makes me just get so excited about, you know, being in an organization where no one looks like me in terms of, you know, we’re not all from the same place. We might all be the same color, but we’re not all from the same place. We have different backgrounds. And it gives me the chance to really learn what they value and to learn something from them that makes me up my game a little bit. Right. And so if you, if you want to be successful, the first thing is to learn what is it that pool that you’re swimming in and what are they like, and what do they value? And if your bosses are very different, you need to understand what their expectations are, and it doesn’t mean that you have to change who you fundamentally are. It just means how you show up may be different.


Moderator: Great, thank you. Well, we thank everyone for those questions. They were very insightful, and I will turn it over to Melissa to close us out.

Melissa: Wonderful. Well, thank you, everybody, for joining us. And thank you again, Linda, for sharing your perspectives and insights. And I really appreciate everyone’s time, and everyone has a great rest of the day. Take care.

Linda: Thank you, Bye!

00:40:12 End