#culture Tumblr posts

  • ¿Quién extraña lo que no conoce?Hace poco más de 5 siglos, los nativos en México dejaron de sentir orgullo, sus hijos y los hijos de sus hijos jamás se enteraron que sus abuelos habían construido una civilización impresionante…Hoy, 500 años después de la llegada de aquellos hombres que poseían una extraña forma de ver el mundo, los mexicanos comienzan a descubrir cosas que un sistema deficiente omitió en los libros de texto. Hoy se sabe que los olmecas descubrieron el proceso de vulcanización 3500 años antes que Charles Goodyear, que Teotihuacán fue más grande que la Roma imperial, que Texcoco fue una capital cultural del mundo nahua, una ciudad similar a Atenas para los griegos, se sabe que Tenochtitlan contaba con 700 mil habitantes, es decir, era 16 veces más grande que Sevilla en aquel entonces, también se sabe que la educación entre los nahuas comenzaba desde la niñez y que era obligatoria, pública y universal, al contrario de los europeos, que solo educaban a los niños de la nobleza, sabemos el día de hoy que los mayas edificaron observatorios y que diseñaron el único calendario de venus en la antigüedad y que en la ciudad de Ek Balam fundaron las escuelas de pintura más importantes de su cultura, se sabe que los wixarika y los raramuri aprendieron a conectar su corazón y su pensamiento con la tierra y su esencia gracias a las plantas de poder y que evitaban las enfermedades físicas sanando la mente primero…Sabemos tanto que hoy es posible dejar atrás esa creencia de que los europeos descubrieron un continente y que además lo civilizaron, porque como pudiste apreciar, la civilización aquí ya existía, pero era algo que los europeos no tenían la capacidad de entender.

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  • “My main purpose with this series was not to portray African marginalised communities in a victimised or somber light like they usually are portrayed in most media,” says Perez.

    Instead, I wanted to celebrate and empower them through portraits that were more artistic, abstract and intimate. I’ve consciously taken on a personal mission to use photography and storytelling to highlight the beauty of Afro-communities and other marginalised groups that I feel inspired by and connected to across the world.”

    #mesmerized by these #denisse ariana perez #so talented#photography#art #black is beautiful #skin tone #by Denisse Ariana Pérez #africa#african culture#culture#portrait
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  • image

    I saw we were posting our spotify wrapped pics and wanted in

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  • Same Wiz same 👽


    PuffnDankDaily.com 🍃💨
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    #PDD #PDDAllDay #weedporn #weed #dankmemes #memes #culture #houston #high #highlight #stoners #legalizeit #funny #highmoments #marijuanacommunity #marijuana #texas #supreme #smokeyeye #smokeshop #shop #smoker #love #support #weedsociety #weedlife #weedstagram420
    https://www.instagram.com/p/CIWkm70hS3x/?igshid=c4k8cllnrmw0

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  • Are Election Republicans Too Spineless To Stand Up For Democracy?

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  • #african/black experience #war on afrikans #protest#culture#afrikan#violence #violence against women #police terrorism against women and girls #revolutionary analysis of fascism #SoundCloud
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  • Women Of The C-Suite: Cristina Miller of ‘1stDibs’ On The Five Things You Need To Succeed As A Senior Executive

    That COVID would accelerate e-commerce adoption 10 years in the span of just a few months. Everything we had been telling our seller community and building our platform for suddenly just…happened. The circumstances were not those anyone would have wanted, but our complete readiness for this shift to e-commerce has been a bright point in a complicated year.

    As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Cristina Miller. Cristina is the Chief Commercial Officer at 1stDibs, a global marketplace connecting buyers who are passionate about design and fine art with dealers who sell these rare and desirable items. In this role, Cristina oversees supply-related initiatives, such as new category growth, and leads seller-facing functions, including sales, account management and support for the company’s 2,500 dealers in the Americas.

    Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

    My parents raised me with an intense appreciation for education, the arts, and entrepreneurship. I grew up in D.C. surrounded by people working in policy and politics, including my dad, who is an economist. My mom immigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua and is an entrepreneur and an artist; she has started several small businesses, including a non-profit called the Latino Student Fund, which is now a national scholarship organization for Latinx students. I’ve combined influences from both of my parents throughout my career to align with companies that engage and support sellers and entrepreneurs, particularly those that help small businesses transition to the Internet.

    Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

    The transition of 1stDibs from an online listings platform to an eCommerce marketplace, which took place from about 2013 to 2016, was a forward-thinking business decision that involved an enormous communication effort with our seller and buyer communities. We saw that even the design industry would eventually shift to online — as has been the case with so many other industries — and the need to innovate and provide the best one-click purchasing experience for our customers was critical to growth and success for not only our business but also the thousands of businesses that our platform supports. But the transition required much education, especially on the seller side, as eCommerce was a very new way of doing business for many of our partners and not always their preferred channel (especially 5–6 years ago). We knew it was the right decision, even if we were a little ahead of the times; and now in 2020 — with quarantine forcing many businesses to close their shops and focus entirely on an eCommerce-based selling strategy — we feel fortunate to have a robust eCommerce platform that we’ve been refining for many years now. We are well-prepared for the large growth in demand we’re seeing today, and we’ve been able to support our seller community during these incredibly challenging times by equipping them with a trusted channel for conducting online business, and a large, global audience of buyers who are making online purchases at rates like never before.

    Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

    The art and antiques industry has an intense learning curve. My background is in business and eCommerce. On my first day at 1stDibs, I was handed an art history textbook and was told that I would, “need to learn this.” How many companies give you an actual textbook — “required reading” — for your job? I had just had my first child, and I remember being at home, trying to stay awake at night with my baby in one arm and this textbook in the other to get up to speed. I felt like there was an expectation that I essentially earn an art history degree in three months. The truth is, I never made it through that whole book, but I did end up learning quite a bit of the material, thanks to my talented and knowledgeable co-workers and our amazing sellers, who still keep me up on my design knowledge today.

    None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

    David Rosenblatt, CEO of 1stDibs, is my current boss but also a longtime mentor. I was introduced to him by an ex-CEO of Etsy. We met for a coffee and discovered we had grown up blocks away from each other in Washington, D.C. and had a number of other things in common. Soon after, I joined a startup that David had co-founded, and while I was there, David accepted the CEO job at 1stDibs, which was a fairly obscure company at the time since it catered mostly to interior designers. I knew all about 1stDibs, though, and I loved it as a source for one-of-a-kind design items. I never imagined I would work there. David was really helpful to me in thinking through some other career situations over the years, and one day when we were catching up, we started discussing the possibility of me working at 1stDibs. He had assembled a really impressive team, and I was excited to join them. I was also eight months pregnant when I was formally offered the job, which I think says a lot about David and about 1stDibs.

    In my work, I often talk about how to release and relieve stress. As a busy leader, what do you do to prepare your mind and body before a stressful or high stakes meeting, talk, or decision? Can you share a story or some examples?

    Breathing techniques and mindfulness really help me stay focused and relieve stress. As a business leader, there are times when I have to explain tough decisions to partners, employees or other stakeholders. During the transition to an eCommerce business model, I spent hours meeting with our seller community in small groups across the U.S. and Europe and was constantly challenged by people who felt threatened by the change or disagreed with it. There was a lack of trust and a lot of anger at times. I firmly believed the changes were imperative for long term success, both for our business and for those of our partners, but that didn’t make those meetings easier. These breathing techniques really grounded me during that time and kept me going — the physiological changes that you can create just with breath are real, empowering and can help a person take back control of a difficult situation.

    As you know, the United States is currently facing a very important self-reckoning about race, diversity, equality and inclusion. This may be obvious to you, but it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you articulate to our readers a few reasons why it is so important for a business or organization to have a diverse executive team?

    There are so many reasons why diversity is critical for businesses, but to distill them into two key buckets: First, creating an equitable environment is the right thing to do from a human and moral perspective. Second, it’s been repeatedly proven that teams with more diverse representation achieve better business results. Point one is enough for me, but it also makes perfect sense that companies thrive when their employees have a safe, equitable and representative work environment. At 1stDibs, our executive team has gender and racial diversity, and we are interested in further diversifying our teams, especially to increase representation of BIPOC employees.

    As a business leader, can you please share a few steps we must take to truly create an inclusive, representative, and equitable society? Kindly share a story or example for each.

    Education is a critical first step. I’m Latinx, and in the midst of the Black Lives Matter protests this summer I became aware of gaps and assumptions in my own understanding of the experience of Black Americans and how that was showing up for me. I took some steps to get educated and I am still on that path — trainings, reading books and articles, listening to podcasts. I am trying to put into action what I have learned in order to foster anti-racist and inclusive spaces.

    I think it’s important to challenge the status quo, no matter your age or experience level. It’s important to be proactive when you identify something that can be shifted or adjusted for the better. I found it really impactful when 1stDibs employees spoke up about diversity this past summer and suggested ways to create a more inclusive workspace. Employees formed anti-racism groups, support groups, informal communities, and they pushed the executive team and the business to do more and do better. And it was not always comfortable for many of the people and groups involved, including the executive team. But it moved us forward. We created and publicly committed to a five-part plan to increase diversity, equity and inclusion that ranges from anti-racism training for employees to financial donations to broadening our seller base to include more BIPOC businesses, to more intentionally elevating the works of historically under-represented artists and makers in our marketing.

    Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. Most of our readers — in fact, most people — think they have a pretty good idea of what a CEO or executive does. But in just a few words can you explain what an executive does that is different from the responsibilities of the other leaders?

    I think what everyone knows is that you have to be in charge of the operations of the business, but the other side of the coin is that you also have to constantly think about the bigger picture — the larger financial picture, threats and opportunities for the business, confidential matters and people topics Our executive team spends a great deal of time thinking about our biggest asset — our people. From there, we have to determine what should be conveyed to the larger team, and what should be insulated from them so they can focus on their day-to-day. This can be more challenging during difficult times, like the start of COVID-19. You have to be protective, and build the conditions in which your team can thrive.

    What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a CEO or executive. Can you explain what you mean?

    The biggest myth is that we always know what to do! I think people would be surprised at some of the discussions that happen at the executive level. If something goes wrong or doesn’t go as planned, we immediately hear the question: why has the exec team not dealt with this? But we have to go through a process to get the right answers. It’s that process — including the team you’re on, and how you get to that answer, balancing all of the different stakeholder viewpoints — that gets at the heart of how the executive role operates.

    In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women executives that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

    Unconscious bias is the toughest one. It comes in many forms. It might be in a group setting, where men are trying to impress other men, and it’s harder for women to be heard. It’s when someone repeats your idea and makes it sound like it was theirs — it’s hard to tell if it was intentional, so it’s hard to call out. Or, maybe you were interrupted or passed over for your feedback — did the man (or woman) who did that realize it…? COVID has exacerbated a lot of the assumptions or biases that people have. Having control over how much to talk about or reveal about your family is something women have relied on to be seen as equals to men. Now, suddenly, a female executive’s kids are interrupting her on Zoom, and there are a lot of responses to that across the spectrum. I read recently that women have tended to work at the kitchen table during COVID, where they can pitch in with school or childcare, whereas men have more often worked in a separate office or room in the house.

    What is the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?

    When I started at 1stDibs, I was incredibly excited about the opportunity, the industry, and the executive team. I knew the job would change and evolve over time, especially since the industry was transforming — a change we were leading as we facilitated the online transition of the antiques furniture business. What I anticipated going into the role, and how it actually played out, might be slightly different, but I always anticipated change and progress. This constant evolution is something I still love most about my job today. It’s what keeps things exciting.

    Certainly, not everyone is cut out to be an executive. In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful executive and what type of person should avoid aspiring to be an executive? Can you explain what you mean?

    In my opinion, the traits that make a good executive include an ability to inspire and lead people, a big appetite to keep learning, a willingness to communicate (including hard conversations), and a healthy dose of humility. That’s the only way you’re able to learn from your mistakes, pivot your energy, and re-focus on the path. I also think resilience is really important. Some days and stretches of time are really, really hard, especially when you have to be so present at work when there are other things going in your life or the world. There have been times, like when my kids were little and not really sleeping, that I wasn’t sure I could make it out the door in the morning, but, of course, I just had to. The sense of responsibility to the business, my team, our partners — that has actually helped get me through hard times. The excitement and satisfaction of accomplishing a goal that a team of people has set out to tackle is electrifying to me. I am not sure that’s a necessity for everyone to be an executive, but it has certainly been helpful for me.

    What advice would you give to other women leaders to help their team to thrive?

    My biggest piece of advice is to remember there are multiple ways to achieve anything. There isn’t just one right way. There are so many people to learn from, at various levels. Keep in mind that some days are going to be great, and some days are going to be hard. But take it day by day, and learn from your hard days. Again, communication and humility are key to learning and growing from your mistakes. Continue putting one foot in front of the other, and just keep moving forward.

    How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

    It’s so important to me to pass it forward — to empower other people and support the communities that inspire us. I love that my role allows me to connect people with resources to grow their businesses, and provide exposure to audiences that are passionate about the same things they are. I try to live out my values with everyone in my life — my kids, at work — whether it’s through volunteering, mentoring, or supporting small businesses like the ones my mom started.

    There are so many decisions we make in a day, both big and small. Each one is an opportunity to do better or to make a change. Maybe it’s buying food that is ethically sourced. Maybe it’s responding with empathy and thoughtfulness to a work challenge. Lately, for me, it’s how I’m answering my kids’ questions about hard topics like the election. No matter how high you climb the corporate ladder, it’s always important to respond to the little things with grace and kindness.

    What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

    1. That many of our seller partners would become so much a part of my life. They are a bit like an extended family, with all the great and less great things that come with that! Many have become friends, and I am grateful for these relationships. I wouldn’t have guessed that.
    2. Related to point one, that I would share my cell phone number with so many of our sellers! I thought it was important to be accessible, especially during the business model change, and I still do. I try to make sure I talk with sellers every week, personally. But, had I known I would do that, I might have gotten a “work” cell phone!
    3. That “Gio” in “Gio Ponti” is pronounced like “Joe”. It took me years to figure that out and I still cringe thinking about all the times I said, “Geeeeoh.”
    4. That the amazing 1stDibs team would get us through all these big business transitions successfully and we’d emerge as a better and stronger business and team afterwards. There were some stressful periods there! Though, I guess it was the challenge and the belief in the end goal that motivated us so much.
    5. That COVID would accelerate e-commerce adoption 10 years in the span of just a few months. Everything we had been telling our seller community and building our platform for suddenly just… happened. The circumstances were not those anyone would have wanted, but our complete readiness for this shift to e-commerce has been a bright point in a complicated year.

    You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

    I think every one of us has influence and agency in life. Leadership roles may shine a spotlight on individual influence, but I am a big believer in grassroots-style movements. My movement would focus on improving education in this country, because empowering children and young adults with the right tools to succeed has a multiplier effect on society.

    Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

    “Assume best intentions.” It is my rule for myself and my team! I find that it can shift all communications and interactions between people and teams in order to immediately facilitate being action-oriented and actually getting stuff done.

    We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them

    I would love to meet Stacey Abrams. She’s inspiring on so many levels, and she has an incredible ability to execute. She represents the kind of leader I strive to be — positive, action-oriented, focused on creating a better process. She has empowered millions of people through voting and brought hope and awareness to historically underrepresented communities in a way that I think will serve as a model for other movements.

    Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

    External image

    Women Of The C-Suite: Cristina Miller of ‘1stDibs’ On The Five Things You Need To Succeed As A… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



    source https://medium.com/authority-magazine/women-of-the-c-suite-cristina-miller-of-1stdibs-on-the-five-things-you-need-to-succeed-as-a-31dd3504795b?source=rss—-f772c66cd492—4
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  • Wedding of Princess Lalla Nuzha of Morocco, 1964.

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  • Women Of The C-Suite: Lee Anne Nance of Stewart On The Five Things You Need To Succeed As A Senior Executive

    Hard work does get noticed. One factor that I credit for my path so far is not focusing on getting credit for my accomplishments. At work, ego is the enemy. Credit takes care of itself. People notice hard work and meaningful outcomes. Instead, focus on leaving things better than you found them.

    As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Lee Anne Nance.

    Building on her years of experience as an executive in marketing, business consulting and economic development roles, Lee Anne Nance was the first woman to serve on the executive team at Stewart, an interdisciplinary design, engineering and planning firm with more than 200 employees.

    As Chief Operations Officer (COO), Lee Anne plays an essential role in the company’s concerted commitment to diversity and inclusion. The effort is a vital part of the company’s core values and opens doors for opportunity, innovation and creative collaboration.

    Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

    Prior to Stewart I was an economic developer for sixteen years — where I was able to combine my skills in economics with my experience in marketing and communications to create jobs and tax base for a state I love, work with amazing companies and travel the world to exciting places in China, Israel and throughout Europe. This included as COO of a regional economic development organization, Research Triangle Regional Partnership (RTRP), and before that economic developer in the county where we lived — Harnett County, North Carolina

    It was at my first job after graduate school that I realized my love for applying the principles of economics to communications and marketing and it has led my career ever since. After that first job, I took a chance accepting a position as Director of Marketing and Communications at a Fortune 500 radiation chemistry company, a job for which I was not qualified — and they took a chance on me. After more than five years, I decided to make a huge career change and start my own consulting practice from home, which was quite revolutionary in 1995. This decision helped me to keep my career viable and our bills paid while enabling my husband and I to parent in a way that truly worked for us until I was ready to return to a team-based, mission-driven organization.

    Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

    When I first joined Stewart our executive leadership team was preparing to launch a company culture initiative, outlining the values of the firm as it continued to grow. Like most companies, we struggled to articulate our company culture in a way that employees remember our values and weave them throughout the culture of our organization.

    The foundational values were built out of our guiding principles, strong and well thought out. Enthusiasm and a desire to roll them out quickly was well founded. Still, I felt that in order to make a real cultural shift and embed those values in the way we do business day in and day out, we needed to deliver the message in an authentic way that would hold weight with employees.

    The first step in creating change from the top down would be for the executive team to walk the walk. I received a lot of push back initially. My plan involved pushing pause on rolling out the initiative and first looking internally at ourselves as members of the executive team to ensure we were living and demonstrating these values in our daily interactions and decision-making processes.

    Now, with a full year under our belt after rolling out the initiative to all employees, the executives that pushed back tell the story of how this pause was paramount in the success of making a fundamental cultural shift. And it could not have come at a better time.

    For me, this reinforced the importance of having courageous conversations and standing up for ideas you believe in.

    Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

    Throughout my career, there has been a recurring situation where a woman is asked or assumed to take on a responsibility outside of her role based on gender stereotypes or implicit bias.

    One of the first times it happened I was the only woman participating in a meeting and was asked to get everyone coffee. As a servant leader, it is my instinct to help in any way and do whatever it takes to help my team. I said yes.

    Moments later the meeting planner stepped in and said she would get the coffee. Later, she told me how disappointed she was that my natural reaction was to be courteous. As one of the few women leaders at the company, I was paving the way and setting expectations for how the company would treat her and other women.

    Later, I was again the only woman on my team and our manager consistently asked me to take minutes during our meetings. This time I asked my male mentor for advice on how to handle the situation and I took it. I pulled my manager aside and explained that I really can’t focus and participate in the meetings the way I would like to because I am attentively taking notes and asked if we could instead take turns. He agreed.

    I continued to learn from these situations, each time finding an appropriate way to speak up with the voice I had at the time. Everyone has a voice. Some voices are louder and stronger than others, and that changes throughout your career. Now I have a larger voice with a different seat at the table and I feel compelled to speak up for others and make change. As an executive, I can call people up.

    None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

    I was fortunate to find a mentor at my first job after earning my master’s degree — a woman named Melody. This was at Citicorp, now known as Citigroup. There were not many women in the Fortune 100 financial world in the mid-80s, and Melody was a great role model and guide. She cared enough about me to provide both constructive and positive feedback.

    She did not have time to invest in me with courageous conversations, but she did anyway. It’s easy for a mentor to tell you what you’re doing right, but a strong mentor relationship is really about helping you grow and learn from their experiences so you do not have to go through them or, if you do, you can navigate them more smoothly.

    I cried at work one time in my career and she showed me tough love. She told me she worked her entire life to break the stereotype that I was displaying at that moment and to go outside or do what I needed to do to gain back control. She said it does not matter what happened to make you lose control, people will only remember the reaction and that can follow you through your career. Later, she told me a story from her own personal experience to help me more fully understand her advice.

    Melody believed in me enough to invest in me and be vulnerable. She was not afraid of having uncomfortable conversations with me, including ones where it took me years to understand the value of those conversations. To this day when I face tough situations, I still think about how she would handle it.

    In my work, I often talk about how to release and relieve stress. As a busy leader, what do you do to prepare your mind and body before a stressful or high stakes meeting, talk, or decision? Can you share a story or some examples?

    Preparation is key. I try to go into the meeting as prepared as possible, whether that’s conversations ahead of time or reading up on the topic. As an economic developer, I would often enter meetings where I would know the industry a company was in but for confidentially reasons, not the company itself. For these meetings, I would read up on the industry to the point where I could customize my talking points and conversations.

    I also prepare by centering myself. For me, that means a devotional every morning. Before a recent woman in business event I spoke at, I prayed that at least one person listening would be impacted by something I said. I center myself around my spiritual connection. Find what works for you.

    When it comes down to it, it can help to realize the more you do it, the less stressful it will be. I used to not be able to breathe when I spoke in front of people, now I speak to more than 900 people. I would not be able to do that if I had not put myself out there. Get yourself out there and raise your hand. Advocate for yourself and have that hard conversation, knowing that it is going to be stressful. In that discomfort, that is where you grow.

    It can also help to be authentic and share your nervousness. I have started conversations before with, “I’m sorry if I come across nervous, but this is very important to me and I just really want to get this right.” You leave an authentic impression that you are passionate about the topic and it is worth hearing. Your audience has been there, they will boost you up and you will get the support of the room.

    As you know, the United States is currently facing a very important self-reckoning about race, diversity, equality and inclusion. This may be obvious to you, but it will be helpful to spell this out. Can you articulate to our readers a few reasons why it is so important for a business or organization to have a diverse executive team?

    Having a diverse executive team is more than just about doing the right thing, it’s smart business. If it was not good for the bottom line, it would not last. Our CEO at Stewart, Willy Stewart, surrounds himself with a diverse set of leaders with very different experiences, values and strengths. The friction that is present in decision making and strategic conversations is a healthy asset to the company. If you have people that all look and think alike in the room, then you are going to get one path towards decision making. When you have a diverse group, you create very healthy friction in the conversation. The important piece is everyone in that group must really have a voice.

    You know immediately if you are at the table because they need a woman, someone of a different race or another diversifier. But if you authentically put people at the table because you value their opinion, you value their voice and let them advocate for their perspective, you are going to get a better business outcome, period. I have lived it over and over.

    I have been at the table where I did not have a voice, and at the table where I did, and I have seen the outcomes dramatically improve. You know immediately which table you are at.

    I think about Amazon who has as one of its leadership principles, “Disagree and Commit.” Really great leaders understand friction, how to make it productive and that in the end a decision must be made. Those great leaders, after having the ability to use their own voice, will support the decision.

    Additionally, having a diverse leadership team is a huge talent recruitment, retention and development tool. If an employee can look at the leadership team and see someone who is like them in some way, they can see themselves in the future of the company. Women can watch others ahead of them on their journey and learn from their experiences.

    People need to see themselves in the leadership of a company to see they have a place there and feel like they belong. Not belonging is one of the worst feelings in the workplace.

    As a business leader, can you please share a few steps we must take to truly create an inclusive, representative, and equitable society? Kindly share a story or example for each.

    Culture exists in a company regardless of whether a company realizes it. It is an intangible framework that runs parallel to the visible infrastructure of an organization and is as powerful as infrastructure in its ability to support goals or thwart them.

    Creating an inclusive, representative and equitable workplace starts with culture.

    In 2019 all 200+ employees at Stewart graduated from THREAD Institute, a multi-day curriculum highlighting the values that govern our employees and how we work with each other, clients, partners and our community.

    The concept of THREAD began several years ago out of our guiding principles, combining values of a culture of inclusion and belonging (Trust, Humility, Respect) with those of business intelligence (Excellence, Accountability, Discipline).

    Our executive leadership team first ensured we were living and demonstrating these values in our daily interactions and decision-making processes. We then collaborated to develop the curriculum and took shifts teaching employees.

    THREAD Institute will continue to be taught to all future employees. Its values play a significant role in making Stewart a great place to work and partner to do business with.

    Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. Most of our readers — in fact, most people — think they have a pretty good idea of what a CEO or executive does. But in just a few words can you explain what an executive does that is different from the responsibilities of the other leaders?

    A key differentiator of an executive is that you must play forward the experiences of being both strategic and tactical. You must be willing to be a ground trooper and be able to fly 10,000 feet above to make decisions. It is a constant balance between thinking strategically and understanding the tactics that need to be in place to implement. You need to be able to think three to five years out, while managing what is happening today. This is why it takes a while to develop your executive skills. They are refined on your journey.

    What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a CEO or executive. Can you explain what you mean?

    That executives are all confidence and we never question ourselves. That we never wonder if we are doing the right thing. To me, the weight of the position is that your decisions and actions have far reaching impacts. I say all the time, there are 200 families at Stewart that are counting on us to make the right decision.

    To me, that is where you need that trusted diverse leadership team. The way we can combat the heaviness of the position is by surrounding ourselves with a trusted leadership team. This allows us to challenge each other in a safe environment and walk out of that room knowing we processed the decision to the best of our ability and that we are not alone in the decision we made.

    At Stewart, we call that a THREAD group of leaders.

    In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women executives that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

    It is not specific to women, but anyone who is different from the majority has the challenge of being your authentic self. Over the course of my career, I have had the challenge of not only being a woman in a male-dominated field, but also being a southern woman.

    Raleigh and North Carolina did not always have the amazing external brand that it does now so being a southern woman, there were a lot of stereotypes that came with both of those in that industry. I looked at it as an opportunity to educate people about women in business and about North Carolina one person at a time.

    Our CEO Willy Stewart went through a period where, in the 90’s, he avoided mentioning his Columbian heritage because many people would associate him with the drug lord Pablo Escobar. It was not until he heard a recording of his voice two years later where he realized he has an accent and was only deceiving himself. He credits that moment of realization and embracing his identify with giving him renewed confidence as an individual.

    There is a calibration that everyone makes about how much of your authentic self to share at any point in time. All workplaces have a standard of behavior and it is about calibrating your authentic self in a way that is appropriate to those standards in order to be heard, respected and make an impact.

    Now within that, there is a double standard that is very real and hard for women to calibrate. If you are a kind, empathetic leader some people may find that as weakness in a woman, where in a man they find it as sensitive. Likewise, if a woman is to the point and doesn’t share a lot of herself at work, she can be seen as cold, distant and uncaring, whereas a man is considered productive and understanding of how to get straight to work.

    I have tried to refine that over the years. I went through a period of my career where I did not talk about my personal life at all with anyone because it always came back to haunt me. Sharing a story about my son being up all night would translate to not being put on a project because I had young kids at home. I left my personal experiences at the door. Whereas a man telling similar stories would be seen as an involved father.

    With any differentiator you have, you have to realize you are being held to a different standard and respond with a balance of authenticity and being impactful in the environment you have chosen to be in.

    What is the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?

    I knew I had a lot to learn when I transitioned into this role last January, but had no idea I would be doing it during a pandemic. No one has had this job before me. I needed to figure out first what the job was and how to do it, while also learning eight individual businesses within our firm. On the job training would typically be walking the journey with people, such as sitting in on meetings and asking questions in the hall. Instead, they were done while finding our footing in a remote environment, under the stress of the added, unplanned for challenges of a pandemic.

    It was difficult to find my sea legs a bit in the middle of that, but I leveled through and think we all handled it well. The pandemic was an additional adjustment that I did not plan for in the transition and had to figure out how to navigate.

    Certainly, not everyone is cut out to be an executive. In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful executive and what type of person should avoid aspiring to be an executive? Can you explain what you mean?

    There is a balance of empathy and courage that I believe an excellent executive must walk.

    An excellent executive puts themselves in the position of the people they are responsible for, because they have been there, or they can imagine having been there. But at the same time, that empathy cannot drive their decision making. You must be able to separate your personal and professional feelings to do what is best for the company — your employees are trusting you to do that.

    An excellent executive can do research and make a great decision for the company, be transparent and empathic in implementing the decision and overall be genuinely kind.

    What advice would you give to other women leaders to help their team to thrive?

    Treat anyone and everyone with respect — and insist it is reciprocated, not just for you but for all. I believe mutual respect and a willingness to achieve the best possible outcome, combined with open and honest communication, can overcome nearly any obstacle, challenge or misconception and can make a team thrive.

    How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

    What I am most proud of over the course of my career is that I have truly lived my life philosophy of, “Leave it better than I found it.” In all of my leadership roles, beginning with working the McDonalds drive-up window at 17, my time in economic development, roles at the Research Triangle Park Regional Partnership, or in private industry, I have found ways to improve the environment around me.

    At Stewart, I get to use the strategic framework I learned as an economist combined with what I have learned about communication and promoting ideas, to contribute to change, continuous improvement and planning for the future.

    In five years, I hope I will have continued to make improvements not only at Stewart, but also in the industry and for the Carolinas.

    What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

    1. Don’t give yourself such a hard time. Don’t be so critical of the mistakes or of things you felt you should do better. Instead, see each of these as opportunities to learn and grow.
    2. Be yourself. I think that is hard. But if you have the right calibration of being your authentic self in a way that is appropriate to the standards of the workplace so that you are heard and respected, that’s really where your happiness and success will grow. Embrace who you are confidently, and trust what you are bringing to the table is of value; others will follow suit.
    3. Hard work does get noticed. One factor that I credit for my path so far is not focusing on getting credit for my accomplishments. At work, ego is the enemy. Credit takes care of itself. People notice hard work and meaningful outcomes. Instead, focus on leaving things better than you found them.
    4. Step out of your comfort zone. Get yourself out there and raise your hand. Advocate for yourself and have that hard conversation, knowing that it is going to be stressful. In that discomfort, that is where you grow.
    5. Be courageous. As an executive you will need to make hard decisions. You must be able to separate your personal and professional feelings to do what is best for the company — your employees are trusting you to do that.

    You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

    I would inspire a movement to make your character your legacy. People will probably forget what you did on certain projects, but they will remember your character. The Maya Angelou quote, “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel,” really supports that.

    Character is something you need to check in on every day because it really breaks through on the bad days. At Stewart, we have our THREAD culture to ladder up to. Did you treat people with trust, respect and empathy today? Maybe you did and maybe you did not. We are human, we are going to make mistakes.

    What you do about it is where character comes in. Give yourself and others grace. Learn from it, make it right if possible, then apply that lesson and move on.

    If your character is your legacy, others will give you grace in return because they know inside you are a person of character.

    This is the foundation of all relationships, inside and outside of work.

    Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

    “Seek patience and passion in equal amounts. Patience alone will not build the temple. Passion alone will destroy its walls.” — Maya Angelou

    When I see something that could be made better, I want to make it happen immediately. Often in life, things do not change overnight. I continuously work on having the patience to celebrate the small wins along the way and work toward the long-term victory.

    My desire to improve what is around me has often led me to take on too much. I am constantly working on balancing my personal and professional passions and silencing my inner critic when I cannot do it all.

    We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them

    I would love to have a private lunch with Brené Brown. As she says, “I want to be in the arena. I want to be brave with my life. And when we make the choice to dare greatly, we sign up to get our asses kicked. We can choose courage, or we can choose comfort, but we can’t have both. Not at the same time.”

    Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.

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    Women Of The C-Suite: Lee Anne Nance of Stewart On The Five Things You Need To Succeed As A Senior… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.



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