When I interviewed Traci Campbell for The Courage of a Leader book, I asked her, “How do you get employees to take on the tough stuff?” Her response was immediate, “Educate, support, protect and guide.” We got together on this episode to talk more about exactly how to do so.
About the Guest:
Traci S. Campbell is an entrepreneur, speaker, author, executive producer, Information Technology consultant, CEO of BIBO Worldwide, LLC and founder of two 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations, the C.H.A.M.P. Community Project and The BIBO Foundation.
She has worked with corporate and academic clients in various cities and Silicon Valley including IBM, McDonald’s, Sears, CSX Railroad, Northwestern University, and University of Chicago. With over 12 years in podcasting and radio, she has hosted several programs that aim to educate, inform, and entertain! As CEO of BIBO Worldwide, LLC , she and her team help clients with radio, podcast and streaming media exposure via the well-received BIBO Weekly and BIBO Weekly’s Winners Circle web series and the entertaining AM/FM radio and podcast show, The B Zone w/ Traci S. Campbell.
Traci is a dynamic talent, host, and executive producer. She has interviewed the likes of veteran actors Harrison Page (Law & Order, CSI, JAG, and Grey’s Anatomy), and Tippi Hedren (iconic actress from Alfred Hitchcock’s “The Birds” and “Marnie”, mother of actress Melanie Griffith) and Dee Wallace (veteran actress in iconic movies and shows such as “ET: The Extra-terrestrial”, “The Howling”, “General Hospital”). Recording artists such as Chilli of the Grammy Award winning group, TLC. VH1 stars Valery Ortiz (“Hit the Floor”) and politicians such as Senator Iris Y. Martinez, first Latina elected to the Illinois Senate. She conducts celebrity interviews, highlights people helping communities throughout the US, and panel discussions that address a myriad of topics affecting teens and families including relationships, political, social, health, wellness, and business topics that especially affect women.
As founder of The BIBO Foundation www.thebibofoundation.org, Traci and team produce the annual BIBO (Beauty In / Beauty Out) Awards which recognizes dynamic women demonstrating leadership in their communities and celebrates “real role models.” The BIBO Foundation educates and mentors budding female leaders from disadvantaged backgrounds via their S.H.Y.NE. Mentorship program.
About the Host:
Amy L. Riley is an internationally renowned speaker, author and consultant. She has over 2 decades of experience developing leaders at all levels. Her clients include Cisco Systems, Deloitte and Barclays.
As a trusted leadership coach and consultant, Amy has worked with hundreds of leaders one-on-one, and thousands more as part of a group, to fully step into their leadership, create amazing teams and achieve extraordinary results.
Amy’s most popular keynote speeches are:
The Courage of a Leader: The Power of a Leadership Legacy
The Courage of a Leader: Create a Competitive Advantage with Sustainable, Results-Producing Cross-System Collaboration
The Courage of a Leader: Accelerate Trust with Your Team, Customers and Community
The Courage of a Leader: How to Build a Happy and Successful Hybrid Team
Her new book is a #1 international best-seller and is entitled, The Courage of a Leader: How to Inspire, Engage and Get Extraordinary Results.
Links mentioned in the episode
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Teaser for next episode
The next The Courage of a Leader podcast episode features Elisabeth “El” Lages, CHRO of Flexera. El and her team have been planning for flexible, hybrid work for quite some time. If you’ve got questions about how to navigate this new expectation for flexible work and keep employees engaged, you’ll want to listen in on May 17.
Welcome to The Courage of a Leader podcast. This is where you hear real life stories of top leaders achieving extraordinary results. And you get practical advice and techniques, you can immediately apply for your own success. This is where you will get inspired. And take bold, courageous action. I'm so glad you can join us. I'm your host, Amy Riley. Now, are you ready to step into the full power of your leadership and achieve the results you care about most? Let's ignite the Courage of a Leader.Amy Riley:
Well, you are great at being a show host and an interviewer and an interviewee II. I know I have told you, Traci Traci, that I was so impressed when I interviewed you for the courage of a leader book, I asked you the question, how do leaders enable those around them to take on the tough stuff? And your answer was specific. And immediate. You said educate, support, protect and guide. So I'd love to dive deeper there. Educate. I assume we give people all the information that they need to be successful. We tell them not only the what we tell them, the why we provide the background, we provide the context. Tell me more about support. Okay, because I think that there's a lot of leaders out there who feel like they're supporting their teams. And I think that they might have one, maybe two key ways that they do that. How do you think about supporting your team members in your various endeavors?Traci Campbell:ndation are still there since:Amy Riley:
Yeah. Love it. What an empowering perspective on support, that it's not just listening to their ideas listening when they need to vent. Right. Yeah, being there to hear them. But going beyond that, giving them the ownership letting them drive the boat. And yeah, I feel really proud of what they're able to help create. That's great perspective on support.Traci Campbell:here. I think she came on and:Amy Riley:
lovely, lovely, lovely, I see what people try new things. Maybe Be on the lookout for strengths, and where might they be able to contribute in new and different ways. And when we do so, set them up for success,Traci Campbell:
that amount for success. Now, again, if someone did that, and they realized, and we realized that, you know, this is really not for you. It's okay. Yes. Okay. Yeah, it's okay. It's one thing when you realize that something is not for you on your own, versus someone telling you that it's not for you. Experience is always the best teacher. So if we're able to give someone that experience, and then let them decide if this is for them or not, but guess what, you can go back to doing what you were doing before you can try something else. When you're in an environment or you create an environment like that for folks. I think they will stick with you longer.Amy Riley:ebo worldwide, and founder of:Traci Campbell:
I am so excited to be here, Amy, and thank you for allowing me to share this opportunity with you. This is fantastic.Amy Riley:
Absolutely, I could talk to you for hours. Let's also talk about part of your response, which was pro tact. And that one that one touched my heart. When I heard that one, tell us more about how does a leader protectTraci Campbell:
me. And again, I know this gets harder when you're in a corporate structure. I know I've spent the bulk of my career in corporate. So I know it's harder to do what I'm about to propose. And that is to create a sense of family. And we all know that. When you think a family, we like to think that a family protects its members, right? We like to think that mom is protected of dad, mom and dad are protective of their children. And so even the children are protective of their parents, we like to think in a healthy family environment, key word being healthy family environment, that that's inherent right that protection is inherent. The same can be applied to a business entity, if you will, especially a small business, especially if it's a situation where you own or you're the leader of the small business, you have the ability to absolutely foster an environment that feels family like now that doesn't mean that things are lackadaisical, that doesn't mean that folks can just do what they want to do and, and not adhere to the bottom line. I'm not suggesting that. But what I am seeing isAmy Riley:
your baby brother and Leslie. Right,Traci Campbell:
right, exactly. Yeah. There's gotta be boundaries, issue boundaries, even in your in your personal life, the boundaries. But that aside, you can still have an environment where folks feel like not only am I going to work for a brand, or a mission that I believe in, yeah, a brand or mission that will allow me to grow because they're going to support me a brand or mission that, wow, I'm going to get great experience. But I also feel that if I were to make a mistake, and guess what they will and so will you as a leader, if I make a mistake, or if I have a misstep, if you will, that I feel that I can go to this family, to this head of the family, and that person or group of individuals are going to first try to protect me, or cover me if you will. If of course, it's warranted, I have to put me right, because I've been very careful with this one, because protection is there if it's warranted. Now, obviously, we have a situation where this person, or individuals did something that would be a detriment to the company or to the mission, that's a different conversation. But the assumption is that this person made a mistake, this person is growing, we all make mistakes as we grow. And if you're able to foster that kind of environment, your job is to make everyone feel that they are protected, that they're valued. And again, this all goes back to enhancing the performance of your team. If they trust you, then they're less likely to do anything that's going to be detrimental. Yeah. And if they do, you have the opportunity to give them another chance and make them feel inclusive and protected. So so to me, it's creating that family like environment, and it's not always easy. What I'm proposing sounds easy, but it's not. But if you're able to do it, again, it speaks volumes to retaining those individuals on your team. Yeah,Amy Riley:
it is a challenge and one that is definitely worth pursuing. As I think that that family feel that we support each other, we've got each other's back, this is a safe place to share your new ideas, try something and stumble. It's more important than ever.Traci Campbell:
It is it is. And you know, Amy is something that's really interesting. And I think it's great, actually. But it's really interesting, this whole notion of supporting your own or being there and being supportive of something that's a little more close knit. The millenniums are doing a phenomenal job of this. And I've read more than one article that talks about how they will support a local, unknown brand. Yeah, if they believe in it, if they feel a connection to it, they are more apt to support that brand or that mission. And guess what, tell all their friends and family about it, then a big box brand, they're more apt to support, Bob, and Jill's Apple, Stan, than they are to support target. Okay, so those are just examples. But I hope everyone gets the point here. And then this is the generation that's coming up. And they are all about localization. They're all about supporting homegrown, they're all about supporting authenticity. So we, you know, the Gen Xers, the boomers and beyond, really need to take heed of that. And if you're in a position where you can influence the environment that you're in, take a lesson. That's one of the great things about millennials. I think that's phenomenal that they are all about supporting the little guy. Yeah. If you are a little die, then you might want to take a lesson from them. I think it's great.Amy Riley:
Yeah. Yeah. And that's, and that's a great point, right? Whether it's our department, our function, our division within something larger if it's our mom and pop boutique, if we support and protect our team members will get that support and that protection back? Absolutely. It will be it'll be it'll become an authentic exchange,Traci Campbell:
as Absolutely. Now, is this a silver bullet? No. Because we all know, there's all sorts of things that happen along the way that and some things are just unavoidable. But if this is your bread and butter, if you will, of how you're going to conduct your business, especially small business, and this is how you're going to foster that type of environment. I think that being able to say I've had interns with me for 567 years being able to say that my nonprofit committees or boards are still around for 10 years, I think you're setting yourself up to be in a position to be able to have those milestones.Amy Riley:
Yeah, yeah, I couldn't agree more. So Traci, you said, educate, support protecting guide, pre pandemic? And now we have experienced a pandemic? Yes. How does leading in these ways, look and feel different? How have you how have you had to do that more intentionally? I'm assuming?Traci Campbell:
Yeah. The one thing I can say, Amy, and we've had challenges just like everybody else, but the one thing I can say is, you know, when you go through a situation that you prepare for, well, I should say, when you are prepared for a situation that hasn't arisen yet, okay? When you do that, and you train or you plan, or you stockpile, or whatever it is that you're doing, when the situation actually happens. Now you have things that you can call up, you have reserves, you have things that now you can tap into. And the reason I bring that up is that some of the things that we just discussed with them, some of the things that we're talking about right now are things that just just didn't happen yesterday. Yeah, these are things that we were doing and advocating and trying to live what we preach for a few years now. Yeah, so when the pandemic hit the team, I have to give them all credit. It they just said, Okay, well, we can't go in the studio now. So guess what, we're going to set up our own home studios, and they were proactive without having to say, Hey, everybody, this is what we're gonna do. They were proactive. I realized they had ownership, trade, ownership. There you go. They had ownership. They had a stake in this. And if you've been with anything, a couple of years, 234 years, you're not really wanting to let that just fall by the wayside. Right? You're you have a vested interest now, so they were proactive in getting whatever they needed at home, setting up their area at home if it wasn't already set up. They were proactive. Have okay now, even though it's not my job to promote on social media, because Traci has individuals that do that, guess what we're all pitching in. So they started promoting more than they did before they even though it was outside of their primary responsibility, they still did it. And they did more of it. So all of those things that the environment that we created together for those few years pre pandemic, all of that stuff came up, bubbled up to the top when we needed it. Yeah, yeah,Amy Riley:
I just keep thinking about that ownership that you were speaking of earlier. Right? And when people are invested, and we're more invested, when we feel that ownership, we do we all right, when we feel like we can make decisions around this, we're a we're a integral part of making it happen, then you get that proactive response, you get that you're not going to get that it's not my job, right? We're making this happen. And you're thinking about what are all the ways that I can support and I'm gonna get involved in social media promotion, even though it's not my job? That's right, guys, I want this to be a success.Traci Campbell:
That's right, we had a couple individuals that unfortunately, fell ill to COVID. And so all of us, myself included, had to take up extra responsibilities. Well, a couple of team members said, Hey, we would love to be able to help with show ideas. And would you allow us essentially, to, hey, we're going to come up with some ideas, we're going to pitch them to you, Traci, and others, and, and if it's great, if you want to use it, great, we'll go out and we'll do because once you have a show idea, you have to now do the research and do all these other things to prepare. So it's not just hey, an idea. And that's it, no, there's work that's associated, when you're signing yourself up for it. You're setting yourself up for probably five or six tasks that are related to this idea. Okay, so and they know that they've been around long enough. So they knew what they were saying when they say hey, we're willing to pitch in and do this. And, and couple other ideas. We said, Great, we want to move forward on and they took responsibility. And some of those ideas we've already broadcast out there. And it was a great conversation, great content, great research. I didn't do all that myself. These are individuals that are on the team, but they learned from me and from others. And so now they can go out and do it at a level that brings us quality. And again, how we handle the pandemic, well, we didn't wait till the pandemic, we borrowed on all the things that were building blocks prior to the pandemic. Now, within the pandemic, some things came up unexpectedly. But again, that family supportive, experimental, if you will, environment, allow individuals to say, Okay, we have to do this, this and this, and they were proactive. And that's, that's the kind of team that you want.Amy Riley:
Yes, yes. And when you have that, they can figure out the details. They can have the obstacles, the opportunities, the whatever is coming your way? Absolutely. Yeah. When you've got the team that's empowered and feels that ownership, they're ready to figure it out.Traci Campbell:
Absolutely, absolutely. Absolutely. And that's what happened to us. And I'm everyday, everyday, Amy so grateful and feel very blessed to have individuals that I work with constantly that aren't burned out, at least not yet. And they continue to deal with my idiosyncrasies, and, and all sorts of things. You know, we're all humans. So we have quirks and but all those things aside, it's a phenomenal, phenomenal team. Yes, yes. AndAmy Riley:
your team puts on a lot. Yeah, we have covered some of it. But we have not yet. Tell us about luminar.com. Yes,Traci Campbell:
we were discussing some of the topics that we talked about on the radio or on Bebo weekly. And I said, wow, you know, when I talk to clients, outside of our media projects, you know, clients that are wanting to take their business to the next level, you hear the same things over and over, you hear, Well, my website's not doing what it's supposed to do, or I'm not getting enough leads, okay? Or how do I get more hits on my website? Usually, the common denominator is that a, they're not educated themselves. And they what happened is that they relied on someone, that person may or may not have been qualified, but nonetheless, this person is no longer there. And now, they're in the lurch, right? So that's a very common scenario, very common scenario. The other Aside of that scenario is that well, they may realize that they need to know a, b, and c. But they, the courses are expensive. So maybe they can courses. Or maybe they feel that, okay, if I have to prioritize paying for this course, you're ordering more widgets for my business to continue to operate, guess what they're gonna do, they're gonna order more widgets, right? They're gonna, the course or the training is going to go by the wayside. So understanding that, that conundrum, we said, Okay, what do we do? What can we do? And we decided, okay, we're going to create a platform, we're going to start it off with some of the common things that small business owners need. If you're going to teach it, you really need to teach it well. Yeah. Which means many hours of video and or in person and or handouts. I mean, it's a lot of work. Yeah. And so of course, automatically, folks think, oh, my gosh, this course is going to cost me 497 or 697, or 997, those prices that you see out there, yeah. For courses. And so I said, you know, we're going to do something that's a little weird. We're going to do all this work, I took kind of the onus of this, I kind of put this more myself than on my team, because they're already doing other stuff. And I said, over the course of several months, I just took my time. And I basically recorded a lot of content. And we put it together in a nice course on a nice platform made it really easy to get to. And we're looking at prices anywhere from $37 to maybe 147. At the top. Wow, super affordable, super affordable. Now, will we be able to do this long term? I don't know. But our but we want to do it, everyone, we want to keep it that way. And so we're hoping that for the foreseeable future, we'll be able to keep the courses that we offer the training that we offer on blooming our.com. And that affordable RAM extremely affordable round. Yeah. And you walk away feeling wow, I got all of that for that. And our hope is that, selfishly, we hope that you'll tell other other people about it. Right. And again, we're both over there. But authentically, we really hope that you get something from it. It comesAmy Riley:
back to your leadership, intention of educate. Yes,Traci Campbell:
absolutely. Absolutely. That education needs to be accessible. Education is not good if it's not accessible. So we want to make it accessible. And in order to do that, in this climate that we're in economic climate that we're in, we have to make it at a price point that everyone can say, I can afford to squeeze out for them.Amy Riley:
Yes. I glossed over the leadership activity of educate earlier, right, I said a few things about it, and then dive into the next I'm glad we've made a loop back to this. Because that's a really great point about making it accessible, right, and this is to your clients. But we can also think about how do we educate an accessible way to our team members? Absolutely. How do they prefer to learn? How do we get to get it to them in an easy way? You know, I've seen some organizations that you know, like everything's a link, well, maybe they want to talk something through with somebody, right?Traci Campbell:
They want to talk to another human being, maybe maybeAmy Riley:
we have different learning styles. So considering that right, and giving folks options and educating in different ways, I might have more of an impact.Traci Campbell:
Absolutely. And again, sometimes old school is best. I know, folks don't want to hear that. And if we can't, because of the pandemic and all sorts of other factors, if we can't make that in person, one on one human connection, and you know, touchy feely connection, if you will, the next best thing is video as the best the best that we're gonna be able to do in this climate. And so folks will gravitate towards that quicker than giving them a PDF, if you will, they want to feel some kind of connection. And again, we have to do the best we can in this climate. So we took the time on luminar.com to create a lot of video content, actually, the whole platform is set up for video based content because we already know that that's going to be the next best thing to in person learning.Amy Riley:
Nice, nice. We will make sure that the link to Luminar and all of the shows that Traci is involved in that the links are in the show notes. Thank you so much for being with me today, Traci and some great specific takeaways on how we can really engage our team remembers at a high level.Traci Campbell:
Thank you, Amy for having me. And I truly hope that what we discussed here today, I truly hope it will benefit someone out there, especially if you are already in the position carrying the moniker of leader, Director manager, whatever that moniker is, if you're already wearing that badge, I really hope that some of what we discussed today is helpful. And if you're beginning to go down that path, I truly hope what we talked about today is helpful because it really will make a difference long term and for your business for yourself, but especially for those on your team.