Today I’m taking a moment to pause and celebrate the 50th episode of Inspirational Leadership! Thank you for being a loyal listener and for investing your time and energy to learn and grow as a leader!
This week I spoke with Heather R. Younger, who’s an experienced keynote speaker, two-time author, and the CEO and Founder of Employee Fanatix, a leading employee engagement, leadership development, and DEI consulting firm, where she is on a mission to help leaders understand the power they possess to ensure people feel valued at work.
Heather’s personal Why emerged as she sought to find meaning from her difficult experience growing up in the 1970s. As the only child of an interfaith and interracial marriage, both Heather and her Black father were shunned and excluded by extended family because of the color of their skin. While the sting of exclusion left Heather with a lot of questions growing up, it also led her to develop a high level of resilience and a deeply inspired commitment to advocate for anyone who has ever felt devalued.
Today, she credits her capacity to navigate complex social dynamics and discuss identity in the workplace to those early experiences, and is dedicated to creating opportunities for organizational leaders, teams, and individuals to learn strategies for reframing adversity while empowering leaders to change their workplaces for the better.
Here are some of the topics we discussed:
- How leaders can intentionally take daily actions to show care and concern for those they lead
- What it looks like to create a culture of listening
- Why 76% of employees would leave their organization for one that shows they value and appreciate them
- How WD-40 went from being a multi-million dollar to a billion dollar company by shifting to a people first mindset
- The importance of getting feedback regularly and taking time to reflect and process it
- Embracing self-leadership through practices of self-care, boundaries, authenticity and having a strong support system
- Creating psychological safety so people feel confident sharing their truth
- Why micro-aggressions feel like a death by a thousand cuts for marginalized groups and how to proactively prevent these behaviors
- How to drop down into your heart so that you are leading with your whole self not just your head
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