Today on the podcast, we have Wendy Ryan, CEO of Kadabra, and the concepts and strategies we’re going to talk about today come from her first book titled Learn Lead Lift: How to Think, Act and Inspire Your Way to Greatness.
In this episode, we discuss:
[03:42] Wendy’s passion for diversity and inclusion
[08:08] How diversity affects profits and productivity
[12:54] What differentiates great leaders from others
[20:03] Understanding privilege and how it affects people’s chances of succeeding in life
[30:39] Important leadership skill sets
[33:15] The dynamics between allyship and privilege
[37:34] Giving confidence to people by listening
[40:16] Leadership behaviors
Click the play button below to listen ↓
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Wendy Ryan (she/her/hers), MHROD, is the CEO of Kadabra, an interdisciplinary team of leadership and organizational change experts based in Silicon Valley, California. With over 25 years of combined experience in human resources, organizational development, non-profit leadership and executive coaching Wendy has partnered with hundreds of individuals and organizations throughout the U.S. helping front-line through C-suite leaders and board members achieve success as individuals and in teams.
In her consulting work, Wendy’s ability to build trust and rapport with her clients, and her agility in assessing and engaging individuals and teams from “where they are,” facilitates breakthroughs and business results. She is an expert in organizational and individual assessments, leadership development, strategic visioning, and implementing change from start-ups through the Fortune 500. Wendy customizes research-based best practices to work with each client’s unique culture and business model. She understands the dynamics of entrepreneurship, venture capital, and private equity funding and seamlessly integrates those dynamics into her work for the benefit of her clients.
Her first book, Learn Lead Lift: How to Think, Act, and Inspire Your Way to Greatness was published in May 2021.
The relationship between diversity and company success
If we just look at the US and look at the racial makeup of people in the US especially working people in the year 2040, it won’t be what it is now. Whether we are comfortable with that idea or not, the reality is that our workforce is and will continue to change a lot. And it’s not going to look like our workforce of today or the last 20 years.
And so all of that creates a real sense of urgency for me as a leadership practitioner and as a coach, to help equip people to be ready for that future.
You have to lean in 100% [towards diversity and inclusion] because if you don’t, you will be obsolete, and you won’t be setting your company up, your organization, and your community for its best possible future.
Privilege and allyship
You can think of allyship as operationalizing your privilege quotient. So it’s understanding that in certain scenarios, you have the opportunity, and I would go further and say, the responsibility to show up as an ally for someone, to say, “Wait a minute, I’d like to hear what Dolores thinks about that. She has a lot of great ideas.”
It’s making space for others and not just waiting for them to speak up but inviting them to speak up actively. Sometimes we forget because we assume that as leaders, just because we’re confident speaking up in that meeting, that others will be as confident as well.
Building cultural competence and humility
We must recognize that what we think would make us feel confident might be different for others. So that’s where getting back to identity matters.
Building our cultural competence and our cultural humility is so essential because otherwise, we risk pulling forward all the leadership thinking that’s been so great in the past but without fundamentally shifting what needs to shift there so that it can serve people in the future.
Links and References
- Learn, Lead, Lift by Wendy Ryan (book)
- Gender Equality in the Workplace: The Progress, The Challenges, and The Opportunities with Sejal Thakkar
- Kadabra (website)
- To Be Honest: Lead with the Power of Truth, Justice and Purpose by Ron Carucci (book)
- If you want to download a free copy of Wendy’s Privilege Quotient guide and other Learn Lead Lift related tools, visit https://www.wearekadabra.com/learn-lead-lift/