Branch Out - A Podcast from Connection Builders

Thinking Bigger Than Yourself - Charmone Adams

July 28, 2021 Connection Builders Episode 50
Branch Out - A Podcast from Connection Builders
Thinking Bigger Than Yourself - Charmone Adams
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Branch Out - A Podcast from Connection Builders
Thinking Bigger Than Yourself - Charmone Adams
Jul 28, 2021 Episode 50
Connection Builders
Thinking Bigger Than Yourself can be so impactful, yet so challenging at times. It requires a conscious effort to step out of our default myopic view and consider another viewpoint. In today's episode, we speak about diversity inclusion with Charmone Adams, an advisory service senior manager with Grant Thornton. We discuss what diversity and inclusion mean to us and how thinking bigger than ourselves is the key to building a more diverse and inclusive life. Charmone kicks us off by defining what diversity means to him and how inclusion complements this. He talks about different perspectives as the vital component and gives us the scoop on how seeking out someone else's perspective enriched a decision-making process of his own. Next, we begin to explore the power of thinking bigger than ourselves, and Charmone tells us how his personal mentor equipped him with tools to do so. Next, we dive into self-development and why we think it is the foundation of all success and agree that intentionality is the key ingredient. We also chat about the power of writing things down, and Alex leaves us with a challenge for the week: to list three things we want to change over the next six to twelve months. We hope you join us for a practical peek at prioritizing diversity personally and at work today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Why diversity inclusion is important to Charmone.
  • How he defines diversity as a concept.
  • Embracing diversity in your personal life if you want it to work in your professional life.
  • Why Charmone thinks of inclusion as the secret sauce.
  • The importance of including diversity in decision-making.
  • Why different perspectives are the key component.
  • How seeking out a different perspective enriched Charmone's decision-making.
  • The power of thinking bigger than yourself.
  • How Charmone's personal mentor helped him be intentional in thinking beyond himself.
  • Why self-development is the most important thing.
  • The value of creating a list of all your goals and how you wish to change.
  • Alex makes a summary of our conversation.
  • Intentionality as the key ingredient. 
  • A challenge for the week: write down three things you want to work on over the next six to twelve months.
Show Notes Transcript
Thinking Bigger Than Yourself can be so impactful, yet so challenging at times. It requires a conscious effort to step out of our default myopic view and consider another viewpoint. In today's episode, we speak about diversity inclusion with Charmone Adams, an advisory service senior manager with Grant Thornton. We discuss what diversity and inclusion mean to us and how thinking bigger than ourselves is the key to building a more diverse and inclusive life. Charmone kicks us off by defining what diversity means to him and how inclusion complements this. He talks about different perspectives as the vital component and gives us the scoop on how seeking out someone else's perspective enriched a decision-making process of his own. Next, we begin to explore the power of thinking bigger than ourselves, and Charmone tells us how his personal mentor equipped him with tools to do so. Next, we dive into self-development and why we think it is the foundation of all success and agree that intentionality is the key ingredient. We also chat about the power of writing things down, and Alex leaves us with a challenge for the week: to list three things we want to change over the next six to twelve months. We hope you join us for a practical peek at prioritizing diversity personally and at work today!

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Why diversity inclusion is important to Charmone.
  • How he defines diversity as a concept.
  • Embracing diversity in your personal life if you want it to work in your professional life.
  • Why Charmone thinks of inclusion as the secret sauce.
  • The importance of including diversity in decision-making.
  • Why different perspectives are the key component.
  • How seeking out a different perspective enriched Charmone's decision-making.
  • The power of thinking bigger than yourself.
  • How Charmone's personal mentor helped him be intentional in thinking beyond himself.
  • Why self-development is the most important thing.
  • The value of creating a list of all your goals and how you wish to change.
  • Alex makes a summary of our conversation.
  • Intentionality as the key ingredient. 
  • A challenge for the week: write down three things you want to work on over the next six to twelve months.
Charmone Adams LinkedIn
Charmone Adams Email
Alex Drost LinkedIn
Branch Out Podcast LinkedIn
Connection Builders LinkedIn

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[INTRODUCTION]

[0:00:04.5] ANNOUNCER: Welcome to Branch Out, a connection builder’s podcast. Helping middle-market professionals connect, grow, and excel in their careers. Through a series of conversations with leading professionals, we share stories and insights to take your career to the next level. A successful career begins with meaningful connections.

[0:00:21.2] AD: Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Branch Out Podcast. I’m your host, Alex Drost. Today’s guest is Charmone Adams, an advisory service senior manager with Grant Thornton. We discuss what diversity and inclusion means to us and how thinking bigger than ourselves is the key to building a more diverse and inclusive life. I hope you all enjoy!

Connect and grow your network. We are on LinkedIn. Search for Connection Builders.

[INTERVIEW]

[0:00:49.2] AD: Charmone, welcome to the branch out podcast, I’m excited to have you here today.

[0:00:53.6] CA: Thanks, I’m excited to be here. I heard a lot about it and I’m excited to be part of this show.

[0:00:57.8] AD: Awesome, talk into our listeners for a minute, Charmone and I have had a handful of conversations around diversity and inclusion and this is something that’s been really important for me to use to Branch Out Podcast to have some serious conversations around a very important topic and be able to talk about it with other professionals that can both talk about the importance of it and what it means to them but also that have some professional experience and understand some of the professional workplace and the importance behind that and Charmone and I talked about this and I was really impressed with some of the thoughts that you had shared with me in past conversations and wanted to just share that with our listeners.

Maybe the question I want to start to you is just, if I say diversity inclusion, this is something that DNI has talked about a lot right now. What does it actually mean? What does it mean to you, why is it important, just sharing some thoughts around that, we’ll take the conversation from there.

[0:01:56.6] CA: Yeah, absolutely. I think when you think of DNI, right? From a culture and corporate perspective, right? It’s multiple different components, right? I think, if you have to split up a DNI to be different but more importantly, right? It’s diversity inclusion is to DNI first, right? It doesn’t necessarily mean nationality, race, sex, gender but thoughts, right? Different ideas and that’s important to an organization, understand the diversity aspect, right?

Also, the inclusiveness, right? If you have those different ideas, different thoughts, different perspectives, it allows your organization to be a lot stronger, more in depth, new ideas, new thoughts, innovative, especially on a global spectrum, right? It’s no longer US or domestic type market, it’s global, right? I think it’s even more relevant and more important for diversity and inclusion to be embedded within every organization.

[0:02:45.7] AD: I totally agree with that. Let’s talk about diversity for a minute, we say diversity and I like how you said that this isn’t just about race or gender, this is diversity of thought, this is having different perspectives, having looking to make sure that it’s not just one big homogenous organization that there is diversity in that, how do you think about that? 

When I say that, what’s your reaction to that, how do we really talk through what diversity means?

[0:03:08.4] CA: I mean, I think a lot of different people have their different perspectives but from my perspective, I think, when you think of diversity, right, and different idea, if you think of how the US have come a long way, right? It’s no longer the US market but now it’s global but more importantly, the old way of thinking from like a baby boomer to as they would call us, millennial type perspective, right? It’s just – we think differently, right? We’re diverse, we want to hear from any and everyone, right?

We don’t want the same stagnant, old mind frame, right? We want different ideas and we want diverse, right? Different perspectives, we value that, right? I think that’s what diversity is, it’s just really opening up to have different thoughts, right? To be diverse in how we think, how we interact, how we deliver, right? All the different aspects and it can trickle down, not just outside of corporate but even at personal life, right? How to diverse, right?

Asking my son, “Hey, what do you want for dinner?” Diversifying it, right? That is important. I think understanding diversity really would go a long way.

[0:04:07.9] AD: Let’s talk about that for a minute. This is where I agree with you and what’s challenging with diversity times, diversity of thought in particular as we talk about this, which I believe that if you can be accepting of diversity of thought, it makes it much easier to just in general, live in a diverse environment, right? 

That’s the challenging part because everyone has a different perspective and it’s always more comfortable to sit in the perspective that’s yours, that you’re familiar with, that you’re used to but that’s lacking diversity many times, right? Because we all only know it from one angle, from our own perspective.

Knowing that one of the big challenges is first off, just becoming comfortable with this idea that there are different points of view, everyone has a different perspective and really embracing that. I agree with you that typically, the younger generation has a focus on that, not to say, not any one older generation can’t. I mean, I’m just – our younger generation absolutely does seem to be much more driven by wanting to see and understand that the world’s a really big place and that there’s a lot of different perspectives that exist out there, right?

You talked about how that trickles over your personal life, do you have any thoughts and you’re kind of thinking about where embracing diversity is actually something you have to – I think, have to do in your personal life if you want it to work in your professional life. I think it’s really difficult to separate the two of them and really be successful at it. Do you have any thoughts around that?

[0:05:29.8] CA: Absolutely agree. I think in my profession, right? As I solemnly work in the public accountant industry, right? We have a diverse and different client, right? All different nationalities, all different relations and religions and so forth.

I think it’s important and for me, to be authentic in what I do and have the authenticity and approach to it, I have to have the diverse approach, right? What I mean by that for my personal life is like, “Hey” invite individuals over, maybe to go golf and go for different people that may not look like me. Even attending birthday parties, right?

Having my son has all different nationalities and different races of different individuals and friends and being embracing, right? Understanding if you really live a diverse aspect, it is a part of your life, right? In your house as well as externally.

Traveling the world, right? We travel a lot, we’ve been all over the world and how’s that trickle into our day to day, I tend to travel maybe global or domestic and having interactions, right? They are diverse, different perspectives, right? It goes a long way, especially from a business perspective, what I do, understanding how one business deal may affect a certain demographic of the world than others, right?

If you have the diverse mentality and understanding, I think it goes a long way, not just personal but you know, from a business perspective too.

[0:06:42.4] AD: I love that, the example you gave of going golfing with people that are, with a diverse group of friends, with a diverse network ensuring that you’re going to birthday parties or embracing your children having diverse friend sets and understanding that this all comes back to just being thoughtful that you are continuously seeking opportunity to diversify those that you’re around to gain new perspective, to hear different thoughts, to understand the different ways that people might view something and know that if you have that open mind, if you’re open to understanding and just seeing it and listening to other perspectives, it does really allow you as a professional.

Knowing that our audience is largely professional service providers, that’s a skillset that you do get to bring back to you, especially if you practice in a global marketplace but just in general and wherever your professional practice take you, having that different perspective can be wildly powerful and valuable to you when working with clients. 

Alright, Charmone, we’ve talked a lot around diversity and the importance of diversity, what about the inclusion element? I know that inclusion is part of this but I know this is something to you that you really believe is the critical element here, can you share some of your thoughts around that?

[0:07:56.2] CA: As they would call it, the secret sauce, right?

[0:07:58.7] AD: The secret sauce, I like it.

[0:08:01.6] CA: I think a lot of organizations hit the diversity aspect but I think the missing component is the inclusive from this, right? If you want to, diversity to really be valued to the organization just personally, we have to have inclusion piece and what that mean by inclusion is like the whole frame is being invited to the dance and not have actually be in a dance or being invited to the table and not having a seat, right?

It’s really the inclusiveness, being intentional and having the ability to speak and be included within a developmental aspect, right? I’ll give an example, my profession, it’s say, hey, you're a senior manager so for different level, being invited to a board meeting and allowed to present or speak, right? I think that’s the inclusiveness that is missing, can be missing with an organizations that the value just is just missing within the organization that can actually aid them in the long run.

[0:08:52.4] AD: Let’s talk through that a little bit. Understanding that what I’m hearing, I like the analogy of it’s being invited to the dance versus being asked to dance, right? It’s, are you just being invited to be at the party or someone actually inviting you to participate in the party and to help make decisions of what the party is going to do and where things are going, right?

That’s something that I very much know and I’ve seen it play out in organizations where a team says that diversity is important so they build a team of diverse people that sit in a room together. Ultimately, a less than diverse set of people or individuals drive the decision making.

How do you recommend teams think about that and become aware of that because I think many times, it’s probably unconscious that people are doing that but it certainly comes out, how do you bring some awareness around this, what can people do to be thoughtful about that and try to make sure that that doesn’t play out in their organizations?

[0:09:54.0] CA: Yeah, absolutely. I think ways to mitigate and really to add value and really to remove hinderers and such where forcing inclusion is really to be intentional. I think also made to be intentional in decision making, being intentional in certain things and aspects, you might have individuals on the team, you and I say, “Hey, I’m going to allow Martin to really drive or deliver this because he played a major important aspect to it” right? 

Or, I might have Tom or Mark be part of this conversation, although they are normally not, right? I think is important because they might have different perspective, they may need to weigh in and they may see something I don’t see, right? A different perspective and that’s the key component, right? 

Having a fresh innovative thought, having a fresh innovative ideas and suggestions that brings to the table to ultimately bring a better product, right? I think when you understand inclusive, what it really means and inclusiveness, right? I think it’s a two way street and you and I know that could be a benefit, not only to the person that’s seeking inclusiveness but the organization to it as well.

[0:10:57.3] AD: I heard you say there that I felt was really important is it’s understanding that people are going to bring a perspective that you don’t have and being thoughtful in saying, “Hey, I want to find someone that has a different perspective than me and I want to ask them to participate in a meaningful way and share their thoughts in an open environment” or take the charge , run with the project, whatever it might be, to really give someone with different perspectives and different experiences, the opportunity to do something, right? 

To really lead the charge because what you said, it was really jumped out to me is because I value and understand that different perspectives are important. Because in my mind, I think to myself, I talk to myself and tell myself, it’s important to have other perspectives so I’m going to intentionally go out and find and make sure that I’m allowing that to happen, right? Is that a good way to think about the inclusion aspect of this?

[0:11:47.6] CA: Absolutely, that’s exactly how to think about it, right? You’re being intentional because you value a different perspective and you understand the different perspective may ultimately add value. You're absolutely right, Alex, that’s exactly what organizations have to think.

[0:12:01.2] AD: Say that one more time. You understand that another perspective may add value, right?

[0:12:06.4] CA: Exactly.

[0:12:07.3] AD: Knowing that is the important element of this and now, the challenge here, I’m just thinking in the back of my mind, the voice in the back of my mind says, “Well, what if I already know the right answer? Why do I need someone else” right? I think we can have that voice sometimes that I already know this or this is my way I know this is right, right?

Recognizing too that I think a huge part of DNI work as a whole and this is just speaking as a white male in a white male dominated industry and it’s recognizing that just because I see it my way, it’s not the only way and there’s a lot of ways to accomplish something.

Finding consensus to agree with me doesn’t mean that I’m right, looking and saying, “How do I find other perspectives and give other opportunities for different perspectives to emerge?” is what’s really important because if we do that, we’re probably going to uncover something that we didn’t even realize was there. That’s how you really solve big challenges and you make great innovation with an organization.

[0:13:02.0] CA: Exactly, right? You got to think more to think strategically aligned, right? From a global presence, right? I think it domestically now, we’re thinking global. If you open it up for different perspectives, you may have the results and able to get there but the different perspective might allow you to get there a lot more efficient, streamline the process and if you ultimately talking about PNL because that’s the language of finance.

You might save a few from an expense perspective so it’s understanded, right? Innovation is efficiencies and the process and looking at a different perspective and embracing a different perspective and thoughts, might add value to yours. A person might add value to your overall and deliver an overall thought that you didn’t think about they could see, “Hey, if I take this and add A, B and C. We’re going to get there a lot more efficient, a lot more effective and then we can ultimately have no profits” right? 

There were things like that, really is important to embrace. I know from my team perspective, I’m always asking for different perspective. I’m always giving a platform to different diversity, different teams and different individuals, no matter if you’re an associate or senior associate, I think everyone can bring something to the table, right? I think it’s important. Open it up and have the discussions and I’ll have to make sure, right? I am living the inclusiveness piece.

[0:14:17.6] AD: Yes, you're living it, you’re truly living it and that’s an important element behind this in really being successful in any kind of DNI type mindset, right? If I believe that’s important, I really want to live it in my personal life and my professional life, I want to look for those other thoughts, I want to be again, intentional, conscious, aware of it, seek out those different perspective but what you hit it in there that’s really important is that there are – from a business perspective, what happens when you get diversity of thought and you allow inclusion of those thoughts, innovation starts to occur. 

New things come to light, you see things in a way that you didn’t understand and that you didn’t see before and different perspectives and ultimately, innovation is what drives true long-term success and growth. It’s not about doing the same thing again, especially in today’s world where things change in a blink of an eye, especially as a professional service provider who kind of lives on the edge of some of that innovation in many ways and advising around that.

[BREAK]

[0:15:19.4] ANNOUNCER: This is Branch Out, a connection builder’s podcast.

[INTERVIEW CONTINUED]

[0:15:29.3] AD: I’d love to ask, I don’t know if you have anything, I’m not trying to put you on the spot on this but do you have any experience or any thoughts or any stories where you can say, “I looked for a different perspective and I found something and all of a sudden, I saw things in a totally different light, once I started asking about it from a different perspective?”

[0:15:45.1] CA: Yeah, absolutely. I mean, you know, one thing that comes to mind is just the client, also a friend of mine, I would say, have a different perspective of how to interact with a global presence bank, right? From his particular location in the world, right? Understand it, from a culture perspective, what was the importance? Was it innovations, whether different conversations and what – just having the different perspective of how to interact, right?

Ultimately presenting, starting deliverable on certain package and interacting from a networking event to actually being able to deliver and lock it in from that perspective. Really, it’s really the inclusive was really tapping into a friend from that region of the world, right? More so Asia pacific and really understanding, right? Interacting with him which ultimately allow me to understand how to interact, how the culture interacts and how to embrace innovation to benefit that organization as well.

Different things like that. I mean, the list goes on and again, I think it goes back to talking about from a – just diversity perspective, from a golfing or a networking perspective to open up your eyes and understand what inclusion to ultimately innovate, right? When you think about just the years and years of generations, right? I mean, organizations in a tech savvy and so forth was understand and key over to trail blaze and innovation aspect, right?

It’s like, we can no longer thing US, we got to think global and once you think global and think bigger than you, think bigger than yourself. You always had to think bigger than self, once you think bigger than yourself and understand that then your innovation juices will start flowing, especially from a lot of advising and consulting perspective.

[0:17:20.9] AD: Think bigger than yourself. I think that is a really important really powerful line and it’s something that I think at least the network of people that I spend my time around, I don’t believe there would be anyone that I would say think bigger than yourself and they look at you and be like, “No, no, no I only want to think about myself.” I think all of us naturally would agree that that statement is important that we should think bigger than ourselves. 

At the same time, it is really difficult at times, right? We all live in a single world and it’s our own. We’ve all seen the world through one set of eyes, our own. We all only have one set of experiences, our own. We all think about things only through our lens, which is who we are. That’s the reality of being human but at the same time, we know we have to think bigger than self and I do believe that doing this and trying to truly successfully live a life where you do think bigger than yourself and I think that is such a root part of really living a diverse and inclusive lifestyle is being able to think bigger than yourself. 

I also think that plays out in so many other aspects of your life but to truly be able to do that, it’s not an end point that you just hit that all of a sudden, “Oh, I’m there. I don’t have to stop thinking bigger than myself” it’s a constant, constant thing and you have to constantly remind yourself. You have to constantly put yourself in check. You have to be constantly reflective and view yourself, be aware of yourself and be thinking about, “What am I doing? How am I acting?” 

What am I doing to make sure that I’m not just thinking egocentric and rather I’m thinking bigger than self, right? 

[0:18:55.2] CA: Self-awareness, self-assessments, you know, struck the free back in criticism, you have to be well and to averse that, right? Think bigger than self. I mean, when you think about just diversity inclusion in general, just the inclusiveness aspect when you think bigger than self and understand right, it is bigger than me. I need to integrate it and it’s going to include and develop innervation and new thoughts then that’s how you’re thinking bigger than self. 

I mean, there’s a lot of different things that come to mind. I mean I have a personal mentor [inaudible 0:19:26.3] and he is intentional about coaching and thinking bigger than himself by giving me the tools, the techniques, the inclusiveness and now it’s for me to do the same, right? Think bigger than self as I continue to progress. It is being intentional and understanding that and know what I want. 

[0:19:43.6] AD: Well, in self-reflection I think plays into that a lot. I think giving, truly finding time and space for self-reflection and self-awareness and self-management to really allow you to see the opportunities to think bigger than yourself because when we are in autopilot mode, when we’re just in go-go-go mode and lacking intentionality in the way that we live and approach things, the general outcome of that is thinking for self, right? 

It’s thinking about me-me-me and all of the things I have to get done rather than slowing down and saying, “Oh, well there is a bigger picture to this” right? That can be difficult at times. As a busy professional where you have unlimited number of things to do, there is always a long to-do list, we’ve always got things that we have to go-go-go, do-do-do but yet, we’re supposed to find this extra time to somehow reflect and bring self-awareness and work on ourselves and think bigger than ourselves, right? That’s a challenge.

[0:20:43.1] CA: It is. It is definitely a challenge and it does take time and it can be time consuming, it’s a difference in others but I’m a firm believer like we talked about the diversity and how you include and being intentional just being diverse, right? In your thoughts, in your appearance and certain things, I think that plays a factor. Once you understand you have that, in fact from personal experience, once I’ve been intentional about diversity, thoughts, ideas, interactions, social networking and so forth, I think my thoughts about being bigger than self it grows. 

It’s like hand-in-hand to me. Once you’re being intentional in the DNI side then you begin to embrace the, “It’s bigger than me, I need to be inclusive. I need to interact. I need to reach back” right? I need to understand how to interact and even if it’s peer so forth or someone higher or lower it doesn’t matter. It’s just it’s all part of it and once you’re being intentional from that side, I think the others will take care of their selves even if it is only an hour. 

It may only be 30 minutes but you still are thinking bigger than self and having that inclusiveness aspect that can go a long way, right? You may not even know. No more wondering how innovative in that one seed that you dropped from the 30 minute or the 50 minute conversation can go, so yeah. 

[0:21:55.3] AD: I think what is really important about this and I am a big believer that diversity work in general, I think I can only speak from my perspective and being again, I say this as a white male in a white male dominated industry where diversity work is something that is much needed right now and I am glad to see a lot of the change that is going on in the industry right now. Knowing that, knowing that it is an important element, I also really believe in my experience around this is that so much of DNI or DEI work is very much a personal growth journey for everyone involved in the process. 

It is exactly is what we’re talking about, thinking bigger than self and the challenge with any personal growth is it takes these extra time, right? All of these things we’re talking about are all an element of personal growth, the gaining awareness, gaining self-management and reflection and looking for those opportunities but in my life experience around this, once you start really making personal growth a key of where you spend your time and energy, you start to have exponential growth. 

It may not happen out of the gate but it does start to build upon itself. It is a skillset and a cognitive awareness that you start to bring to everyday situations that continuously builds on each other and you start to see yourself grow and change in incredible ways and the value of all of that is as much as it feels like you have too much to do and too many things going on, there isn’t time in the day to put effort in this as it is, the reality is that your to-do list will never change but you as a human, you will never grow if you don’t go find time to do this. 

You will never change, you will stay in the same spot if you don’t go do this and that is why it’s important. That is why it’s so critical because you as a human are the only thing that you can control. Your to-do list won’t go away. It will always be there, right? Work on being the best version of you and know that the byproduct is everything else will figure out how to get itself done. Everything else and I know that sounds very easy and I know life can be challenging at times. 

Juggling everything can be hard but it really does come down to you have to do this. If you really want to better your tomorrow, you have to work on growing yourself today. It’s the only opportunity you have. 

[0:24:09.7] CA: I totally agree. I mean, if you don’t work on yourself in the developmental aspect and growth then you’re going to get the same results. You know, three years from now, five years from now, ten years from now, so I think ever evolving and every change and ever developing yourself is important to continue to make sure that you work on yourself away and it goes back to self-awareness too as well, right? Because being aware and making that definitive change and so forth to chip away and make yourself a better person. 

[BREAK]

[0:24:38.4] ANNOUNCER: This is Branch Out, bringing you candid conversations with leading middle market professionals. 

[INTERVIEW CONTINUED]

[0:24:46.9] AD: To our listeners, if they are sitting here saying, “Charmone, how do I start working on myself? Where do I get started? What can I do?” what are some thoughts that we can share around ways to start working on yourself today? 

[0:24:59.1] CA: You know, from a DNI perspective on working on self, I think it’s important just to start those conversations, right? Being authentic with the different individuals whether it’s your personal circle or your work circle. Having those conversations just to say, “Hey” and being okay to have conversations, right? Some conversations can be offensive and so forth but have those conversations where you can have dialogue and so forth across different nationalities and different sections and so forth that can be beneficial. 

Then understand to really self-evaluate yourself and say, “Hey, what do I want to be or what do I want to change or work on and improve three years from now?” Again, we all talked about everyone’s busy, you have work. You have your day-to-day life, you’re a parent but by understanding and setting those [inaudible 0:25:45.9] right? “Hey, in three years, this is what I want to improve. I want to work on myself to be intentional about inclusiveness and mentor someone” or being inclusiveness about people I work with at work to give them an opportunity to present and prepare presentations or so forth or about pulling them in and working onboard. 

It’s a lot of different aspects, which we do and I mean I just encourage people just to make a list on how do I improve. How do I work on self being in that it’s bigger than me? 

[0:26:17.2] AD: I like the, “Where do I want to be in three years?” What skillsets do I want to change? What do I want to be different in my life? What do I want to have? What challenges am I having today that I want to overcome in the next couple of years and really asking yourself that and creating that list can go a long way and I know nothing in personal growth is an overnight switch. Nothing happens overnight and it is a never ending process. 

You continually work on it, it is a continual journey of always looking for opportunities to improve and to better yourself for a better tomorrow but if you don’t start with writing a list down and knowing what to look at, how do you know where to spend your time? How do you know where to focus and how – I mean the core intentionality is to have that list and know what I’m doing, right? 

[0:27:02.3] CA: Exactly. To be intentional and I could say intentionality, have that list and then you also need to establish some accountability for yourself, right? I think it goes a long way and being realistic. I think three years is more realistic than I’m going to do it in the next two weeks. I think knowing yourself, being realistic and authentic about the situation to say, “Hey, I’m not easily a changer” right? I’m making myself a three-year plan and work on that. I have the plan to implement and change myself, right? Write and go so forth that can go a long ways. 

[0:27:34.1] AD: Well, what I think is really important too to remember is that when you do start writing those things down, it is very – I think human nature is to overestimate how we can change quickly and underestimate what we can change in the long run and when you start writing those things down, my own experience, I have been writing goals down for five plus years. I’ve written down pretty much every goal and I track it pretty detailed for myself. 

What I have seen is that I always overestimate how quickly something will change or how quickly I can master a skill but then I look back at things that are two or three years back and I’m like, “Wow, I’ve come a long way. Holy cow, the world, like I feel so different today than I did then” right? When you do that, it gives you the opportunity to really reflect back and look at what you wrote down and that can be motivating. That can be inspiring for yourself to just – I know what it is for me at least when I’m like, “Wow, I think totally different today and look at the work I’ve done.” 

“Look at what I put in, this is exciting. I want to keep doing this” and that’s the motivation to keep you putting in the work because underneath all of these as we’ve said, you’ve got a to-do list. You’ve got a busy life, you’ve got all of these things. This is just more work on your plate. This is just more things to do, more stuff to put energy into and having those goals written down, having the intentionality, making sure you’re on track but also being able to look back at that and see the progress you’ve made I think can go a long way in helping you motivate yourself to continue that change. 

[0:28:58.9] CA: Absolutely. I mean they always say, you know, if you want to understand your future or you want to be motivated for the future look at your past, right? Understand your journey and understanding that every journey begins with a step. You have a goal, you have a journey, you have an alternative list that maybe three years but again, it may start with a step, right? One thing off that list of 30 or 10 is this extra step, it’s the step that you have taken towards that journey, so absolutely. I would definitely agree on. 

[0:29:29.9] AD: Every journey starts with a step. What a great way to wind down our show today. Charmone, I’m going to do a little bit of a recap here just to summarize what we talked about and then if I miss anything, feel free to chime in around this. 

First off, we opened up talking about the importance of diversity of thought and really speaking about this in the perspective of diversity and inclusion and looking at diversity of thought and really knowing that when you seek out diverse thoughts, it could help you see things in a totally different way and a perspective that is not your own and that can be really valuable for who you are in your professional career and your personal career. 

Part of that is to recognize that you have to live and embrace this both personally and professionally. You really have to live this and embrace it on a personal side if you want to be successful in a professional way because you’re the same person that goes to work comes home and you have to truly authentically genuinely believe in the value of diversity of thought and diversity of your friends and your network and the circle and the people you spend time with to truly be successful in embracing that mindset. 

Then we started talking about inclusion and the idea here is the difference between being invited to the dance or being asked to dance, right? Am I just asking and putting a diverse group of people around me but yet a less than diverse group of people are actually making the decisions? That can be a challenge and we have to slow down, be aware of that, bring awareness to how we are making decisions in our organization and look for perspectives that we don’t have and value the perspectives that we don’t have. 

All of these came down to this idea of mindset and being intentional about looking for opportunities to include people that have different thoughts than our own and giving them opportunities to stand up on a platform, to champion a project, to run with something that allows a different perspective and a different thought to come out because underneath all of that, it drives innovation. When we see different thoughts, when we hear different thoughts, we start to drive greater innovation and that’s really what drives long-term growth and success. 

Now, shifting gears a little bit, we shifted in this mindset, “Okay, well how do we do this? How do we make this all happen?” We know this is important, we talked about diversity of thought, diversity of the people that we surround ourselves with and looking to be inclusive in nature, how do we do this successfully? The answer is, you have to think bigger than self. You have to really step back and thinking bigger than yourself and this all comes down to really working on yourself and focus on your personal growth. 

As we said, this is tough because we have a lot going on. There is always a lot to balance and a lot to juggle but when we really make the time for this, we work on ourselves, we usually see some kind of exponential growth for ourselves and that’s really what helps us become a better version of ourselves. The to-do list will never end, the workload will never end, we have to focus on being a better version of ourselves and again, this is all thinking bigger than self. 

One of the successful ways to do that is to really do a self-evaluation. Ask yourself, what do you want to change? Where do you want to grow? Write these things down, where do I want to be in three years because if I don’t write those things down, I don’t know what I’m doing. I have to intentionality. I have no ability to reflect and know if I am making any progress and I also don’t even know where to start but if I find the time, I write things down and I know what I want to change about myself then I know that every journey starts with a step, as you said and I love that. 

I think it just really shows the importance of making sure that you’re intentional about where you want to grow personally and professionally. Charmone, anything I missed there? 

[0:33:06.5] CA: No, I think you hit everything on T. I mean, you went into granular question and really covered it all, absolutely. I think if understanding that and recapping I think you really hit it home and for the audience, hopefully that was beneficial and value add. 

[0:33:21.1] AD: Awesome and well, to our audience, the call to action for this week I’d like to challenge everyone listening to find 30 minutes in the next seven days to carve out and sit down and just write down three things that you want to work on. Three habits, lifestyles, mindsets, behaviors, three things about yourself that you want to focus on over the next six to 12 months and know that those are things that may take three years to change but write them down and just make it a priority. 

Put it somewhere, put it on a sticky note and look at it often and just start being thoughtful of the things you want to work on and take that first step to get going. As we said, that is where the journey really does begin. Charmone, for our listeners how can they get a hold of you? 

[0:34:04.7] CA: Yeah, thanks Alex. Absolutely, I mean outside of LinkedIn, I’m on LinkedIn so they can reach me on LinkedIn. They also can reach me by email too, as well, which is my name, [email protected], so either there or on LinkedIn. I look forward to connecting and continue networking and so forth not just domestically but globally as well.

[0:34:29.3] AD: Awesome. Well, thank you so much for being on here today, Charmone. I really enjoyed our conversation, this has been a great time and enjoyed the dialogue and looking forward to talking again soon. 

[0:34:37.9] CA: Likewise, thanks Alex. I appreciate it. 

[END OF INTERVIEW]

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