Can you name another woman, who had an impact on you as a leader?
My wife, Jamey, has impacted me as a leader. I envy her drive and tenacity. When we first met, she didn’t have a high school diploma. She attended GED school and passed the test on the first try. Then she attended Fortis Institute and became a Medical Assistant. Now she is working her way to becoming a Lead Medical Assistant. As a leader, she is forgiving, understanding and compassionate. She speaks of the language of caring, which she utilizes at work. Caring is more than a language, it is who she is at her core.
Our differences are our strength. While I am realistic, she is hopeful. She helps me realize that there is room for everyone in the world. We actually came up with the tagline: Health, Wealth, and Spirituality together. She helped me to start dreaming of a new and fulfilling future.
What is your vision of a leader?
For Colored Girls Who Lead is my vision of the who of leadership. Often times, we think of leaders as only the person who gets results. The vision for For Colored Girls is to develop capable holistic leaders who will be viewed as assets and positive additions to organizations, businesses, schools, agencies and their personal lives.
A holistic leader cares for their health, wealth, and spirituality. Health is caring for your mental, physical, and emotional health. Self-care is essential to leadership. Once we understand OUR health, then a leader understands that a healthy mind and body is essential to those that we lead.
Wealth goes beyond money. A leader claims her purpose and grows prosperous habits. Life is about our experiences rather than material goods. What will be your legacy?
A holistic leader is connected spiritually to influences, models, and a higher power. We connect by meditating and believing that their is calling on our lives. There is a correlation between women with role models and women with leadership goals.
What are your current goals?
My current goals revolve around For Colored Girls Who Lead. Every first Monday of the month, I will continue to feature women of color who are Leading.Enterprising.Ambitious.Dynamic. One of my biggest goals is overcoming my fear of being in front of the camera. You will definitely see more of my face in the future.
This month, I will be starting the I AM campaign. I am is one of the most powerful phrases. What you think is what you become. I want to bring awareness to who you are and who you want to become.
Erisel, Nik and I are launching a podcast in August. I know the message of For Colored Girls Who Lead needs to go further out into the world.
What is one thing that you wish you’d done differently?
I wish I believed in myself from the start and owned my voice. This is why affirmations have become so important to me. Growing up, we receive a lot of injunctions while journeying through life. These injunctions teach us how to behave and what we should not do. I heard that children should be seen and not heard. I always wanted to play the drums, but the women in the church never played the “cool” instruments. Also I watched as men stood up and spoke while the women had to step to the side. I heard that a woman can teach but she cannot preach (which to me was leading). I really internalized those beliefs. While I am an introvert there were times where I should have spoken up but I was scared of being judged or misunderstood. As Black women, we are seen as too loud, aggressive, and angry. I did not want people to perceive me as the “angry” Black woman, so I shut my mouth.
If anything, I hope For Colored Girls Who Lead helps little girls to believe in themselves and their abilities. I hope I can be a model for others like myself.
What is the biggest risk you’ve taken?
From 2015-2017, I was working at a historically Black organization, and I was miserable. My contract was ending, but I was offered an extension which meant financial security. On May 18th, 2017, I walked away from a stable job to work on For Colored Girls Who Lead full time. After praying, I knew that God had something more in store for me. Listening to my inner voice (the God within) caused unbelievable fear and excitement, which is the perfect forecast for change.
How do you stay motivated?
I stay motivated, because I know this is my purpose. I am sure that God is moving in my life. When I was in my office in 2016, I was having a depressing day. I was watching a free stream of Speak and Write with Lisa Nichols. The name For Colored Girls Who Lead popped in to my head. I knew there was no exit strategy.
My 6-year old son, Cayden, said that I am his superhero, which is a tough charge. I know that he is watching my actions, so I must continue on my journey.
What is your measure of success?
My measure of success is knowing that I am moving toward my purpose in a fulfilling way while taking care of my mental, physical and emotional health. If I can reach one person, then I am successful.