Pledge 1%'s #WomenWhoLead series celebrates female leaders who are paving the way for the next generation. While our featured leaders come from a variety of backgrounds and industries, they are united in their efforts to promote equality for all women in the workplace. We’ve asked them to share a bit about their journey to success, as well as lessons they’ve learned along the way.
Executive Team, ADAPTOVATE
What is your current role? Briefly describe in 1-2 sentences.
As one of the first ADAPTOVATE employees in the US and the first woman on the North America Executive Team, I have been grateful to help grow the firm's presence and impact in the Americas. We have nearly quadrupled in size in the past two years and have done so while maintaining high employee engagement ratings and being certified as a "Great Place to Work" (c) in 2021.
As a lead for our client engagements, I lead teams of consultants & coaches in order to drive transformation for our clients. As a trusted advisor for senior executives, I leverage my skills in relationship building, diplomacy, facilitation, and operationalization to serve as a guide through ambiguous periods of transformation.
At ADAPTOVATE, we support the transformation of traditional organizations and teams into Agile organizations through a culture and mindset change. We do this by coaching teams, managers, and senior executives to make their organization deliver better outcomes, faster. We support the building of learning cultures by facilitating training in a practical and engaging way to make change sustainable.
What’s the best part of your job? What do you enjoy the most?
The best part of my job-- the part that brings me energy--is working 1:1 via coaching conversations with both clients and internal team members. I've spent my entire career coaching, and I love nothing more than being able to help others envision what is possible for themselves and their teams, and to unearth assumptions that might otherwise block them on their path to achieving what is possible. Each individual has unique strengths and identities that, when considered deeply, can allow us to unleash our fullest potential for ourselves, our organizations, and society at large.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Listen. Check for understanding.
What does generosity mean to you?
To me, generosity means that you are generous in whichever way you are able-- by sharing your time, talents, treasures in ways that others truly need. I believe in being generous with my feedback, energy, and ears--I love being a sounding board for others and helping people get specific about what is working for them and what they should do to evolve.
Community engagement is important to me. I grew up watching my grandparents volunteer their time as union presidents and volunteer coaches. My mom volunteers her time and energy on various community boards and is generous with her coaching of others in her field. I volunteer and lead in a variety of community organizations across Miami and am grateful that ADAPTOVATE is generous with its time, talent, and treasures via the Pledge 1% Initiative and our pro bono consulting and coaching engagements.
How do you feel businesses can play a larger role in solving today’s biggest challenges? Do you have any specific stories or examples from your work or colleagues you can share?
Absolutely. Businesses, especially large enterprises, provide employment and goods/services for hundreds of millions of individuals within the US, and impact our daily existence in countless ways. Given their impact, what businesses say, and more importantly, DO, can directly impact today's biggest challenges. One example that comes to mind is the role of business in encouraging democratic institutions. If businesses are vocal about the importance of encouraging civic engagement (voting), and back it up with action (giving paid time off and transportation to voting sites), then employees, customers, and communities will bear witness and act. If businesses follow their values when deciding where to open new offices or locations, then they can convince political leaders to lessen legislation that negatively impacts communities. Businesses and business leaders help set the tone in society, and their investment, voice, and actions are critical to solving today's biggest challenges.
If you could describe yourself in one word what would that be and why?
My one word would be "adaptive".
As I thought about this question, I asked one of my team members for his take, and he said "adaptive" is the first word that came to mind, and I wholeheartedly agree. I believe my strength is my ability to navigate a variety of different cultures, environments, and situations quickly, and to be able to add value and learn with ease. I've worn dozens of different hats across my career, lived/worked in 4 countries and partnered with thousands of individuals across the globe, and as a student of anthropology, have learned about many cultures; I apply this context in whatever interaction I am in to make others feel comfortable and drive impact.
It's also notable that our company name, ADAPTOVATE, is a mashup of the words "Adapt" and "Innovate," so I'm grateful to work with a team that takes adaptation and innovation seriously and allows me to bring my strengths to work.
If you could pick a song to guide you through 2022, which song would it be?
I love this question! I'm opening my Spotify to see my "On Repeat" algorithm playlist.
"Keep it light" by Jack Harlow is one of my most-played so far in 2022, and I think it will continue to guide me through 2022. I'm committed to shining a light on others, hearing feedback without taking it personally, and trying to bring good energy to any situation I am in, even as I continue to push for more. The end of the track also features a sample of Jack's mother encouraging him to pause and reflect on the impact he has already made on people's lives. My mom gives me the same advice frequently, so it's a good remind to just enjoy the moment and the journey:
"Take some moments today during the shoot to look around
Look at the faces of all the people you've brought together
Watch their reactions
Look at the joy on their faces
Take a moment to really absorb what you've created
What you're creating
And try to savor it"
-Maggie Harlow voiceover on "Keep it Light" by Jack Harlow