I enjoyed a recent television interview of Cynt Marshall. Cynt as she prefers to be called, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Dallas Mavericks. Called by Mark Cuban back in 2018 she left her long held role at AT&T to become the first black woman to lead an NBA team. Her story was beautifully captured by her interviewer as he canvassed her new autobiography, “You’ve Been Chosen: Thriving Through the Unexpected”. I love that she was a woman of faith and proudly so. Knowing I can always learn from a leader such as herself, I took time way from my own family to really take it in. I even had to pause a few times and circle back. Trust me, it’s the life of the mother I now am.
I walked away with something she shared succinctly. There are three L’s in Leadership. She declared they are to listen, to learn and to love.
Days later now I reflect and ponder in what ways do I feel I live the three L’s as the leader at the helm of HRBoost, LLC. I truly believe leadership lives at all levels in my business and among my team. Like Cynt, I feel blessed not lucky.
In today’s talent turbulence, I like to think I practice what I preach within my business as much as WE deliver such practices to our diverse portfolio of clients in Chicago. When I meet a new Booster, I tell them the whole story of how HRBoost came to be and if they want the story on how I came to be me, that too is gifted to them. I listen for the three things that they must do every day to feel joy. I listen for the spark that brings them to life in our field of HR, better known as workplace ministry at HRBoost. I listen for their desired boundaries and point out the important of sharing it with everyone on the team, so their personal lives don’t get sacrificed by our work. Months later, I meet with them again. A meeting we call a “Leadership Success Exchange”. The agenda is to listen and ask how my business serves their life goals, their needs, and even their dreams. Not just at work either, but at home and in life. We employ a wonderful tool provided by Become Unmistakable, called a UMAP. I ask my team to give their voice to our GAPM (Generally Applied People Metrics) anonymous survey 2x a year. I then know that once you become the perceived “boss”, no one is as honest as they once were, as psychological safety is not found in each person. Be it due to me, them or another on the team. Thus, deidentified, I listen and then send a neutral person on my team to seek qualitative findings. I then listen to proposed solutions as culture is not from me but rather a team process that changes, evolves and is proactively nurtured.
By committing to our culture with such rigor, I feel I learn. I find it absolutely breathtaking to witness team shout outs and praise in the form of peer feedback on our Bonusly platform. There, our Shared Core Values (developed by the WE back in 2012) now LIVE and the GIF, emoji, and hashtags delight me as I learn by witnessing so much my Boosters are doing to serve one another and our clients. As my business grows, it has become so much more than me and even yesterday, a new Booster has brainstormed a new revenue stream that they can now bring to HRBoost. Collaboration truly requires taking time to listen and learn. Together, he and I created something new and voila, it went out in a proposal the same day!
Last but certainly not least, love. I love our intellectual playground at work, and I delight that I witness the love of others at work in it. What could be better than loving your work and your co-workers? Whether you are in the same physical space or lack proximity, you are tied to work and likely others who co-create the magic of it all with you. I expect our team to LOVE and to LOVE, one MUST care! As we say in Vistage, give it GAS! That’s right, to be a real leader you have to Give a Sh%$! Without love of self, it’s hard to love another. At HRBoost®, we start with cognitive Assessments so we can see the gifts of the Boosters immediately and then they can see the gifts of their peers in a shared drive. Emotional intelligence only comes to be when two people choose to really see each other and aim to meet in the middle. Yes, at HRBoost we want, in fact it is our Vision, to bring JOY and PURPOSE to PEOPLE through their Work! Because without that commitment to love and self-love of our graces at work, what’s the point?
Thank you Cynt for giving me the lens to really think, how do I Listen, Learn and Love? I think I will keep auditing this measure of leadership with my Boosters!
Nicole Martin is Chief Empowerment Officer and Founder of HRBoost, LLC, a HR Shared Services consulting firm based in Chicago, Illinois. In recognition of her professional excellence as well as her community, Nicole has been honored by multiple organizations including the Mirror Review’s 10 Game Changing Women in 2019, Awardee for Business Excellence by the Chicago Daily Herald, and a 2016 Enterprising Women of the Year Champion by Enterprising Women Magazine. A sought-after expert, her knowledge and advice have been featured in newspapers and magazines throughout the country. In addition, Nicole is the host online of HR in the Fast Lane and contributing writer for the Chicago Business Journal. Nicole has authored, International Literary Award and Amazon Best Seller, The Talent Emergency, the accompanying Talent Emergency Guidebook, The Human Side of Profitability, The Power of Joy & Purpose, and her newly released co-authored book No Fear Negotiation for Women.
Nicole serves on a number of Boards dedicated to Human Capital, Culture and HR Excellence of which include Best & Brightest® Companies to Work For, Social Service in the community and Women in Business. To learn more about Nicole, go to www.hrboost.com or www.nicolemartin.live
Awards and Recognitions:
- 2017 Business Excellence Business Leger Award
- 2020 Chicago’s Best and Brightest Companies to Work For
- 2020 Innovative Companies to Watch For in 2021
- 2021 Star Icon Best Speaker Award
- 2021 CIO Times: The Spearheads Most Inspiring Leaders of the Year