Nancy Rizzuto is a Co-Founder of both Cap Strat and Cap Strat Women’s Forum. Nancy is a visionary. She’s clear about her purpose, and she shares with us in this episode about how to inspire others to live abundant and meaningful lives.
I know you’ll be inspired by Nancy and who she is in our world.
About the Guest:
Nancy Rizzuto is an accomplished entrepreneur, speaker, philanthropist, mentor, and faith filled action leader with over thirty years leadership experience.
Nancy is a Founding Partner and Principal of CAP STRAT, an independent fiduciary investment advisory firm that she launched in 2003 with her two partners. She is also Founder of the CAP STRAT Women’s Forum, a community created in 2015 to support the personal, professional, and financial success of women.
Nancy’s purpose, which she lives each day, is to serve and empower others to take intentional action to live a successful, abundant, and meaningful life. She is fiercely committed to educating and empowering others, especially women, to own their voices, to act on their power and, to attain financial freedom so they can live the life of their dreams and create a meaningful legacy.
The best way to reach Nancy is by email, firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Cap Strat Women’s Forum – https://capstratwomensforum.com/
Call to action
Find ways to create opportunities for others.
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Teaser for next episode
Tune in on January 17th for my next guest episode: How to Be More Influential with Beth Ruske. Beth is a Co-Founder of Tiara International, a leadership development company, and she will give us a practical tool to enable effective perspectives and actions guaranteed to increase your influence.
Nancy Rizutto. My guest today is a co founder of both cap strat and cap strapped Women's Forum. She is a visionary. She's clear about her purpose, and she shares with us in this episode about how to inspire others to live abundant and meaningful lives. I'm glad you're listening and know you'll be inspired by Nancy and who she is in our world.Amy Riley:
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 am 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 leaderAmy Riley:
Nancy something that I've admired about you for a long time is that you are really clear about your leadership and its purpose in our world. Will you tell listeners? What is the purpose of your leadership?Nancy Rizutto:
Yeah, thanks for that question, Amy. So the purpose of my leadership, Amy is to serve and inspire others to take intentional action to create and live a successful, abundant and meaningful life.Amy Riley:
I get goosebumps every time you say that. And I know you live it. I've been the recipient of your service and your empowerment through connections and information. You are tuned into not only communities, but individuals. Right? Recognize to really serve and empower you, you need to know what what's going on with the individual. Where are they at? What do they need? And I know you think about that relationship, what needs to be present in order for you to live that purpose?Nancy Rizutto:
Yeah, that's a great question. What for me, what needs to be present really is, is authenticity, and truth? You know, Brene Brown, I think has a saying or believes that being authentic is being able to stand in your own truth. And I think that as a leader, if you expect others to show up, as you know, their best best selves, you really need to show up as your your authentic self and to really inspire people to, you know, come as they are to create a space for people, you know, at work and in your life where they can come and be seen and heard, without any shame or judgment, or fear or regret. And I think that for me, that's what's most important is being able to show up as my authentic self all the time.Amy Riley:
Lovely. I couldn't agree more, Nancy, anything we could say about how to foster that. I mean, obviously, we can show up as our authentic selves we can like not shame. Right, right. Listen, is there anything you would add to that? Like, how do we encourage others to show up authentically?Nancy Rizutto:
Yeah, it's a great point, I think the three things that come to mind as a servant leader, you know, as a servant leader, people, from my perspective, they want to know three things about you that will really foster their ability to show up as arrows, authentic selves. And that is the first is really is they want to know, do you care about me? Then they want to know, can you help me? And then most important, is they want to know, can you trust me? And you know, those things all take time, to really foster and to and to you have to nurture those things. And I think once people get a sense that you care that they can trust you that you can help them that will create kind of an environment or a sense that they can show up as their authentic selves and not be judged and not be shamed. I think that those are really important, you know, qualities that a leader needs to again Foster and to cultivate on their teams or individuals or wherever you are serving.Amy Riley:
Mm hmm. Yeah. It's like how important it is when or what a difference it makes when that is our intention. And approaching the relationship, the conversation, right, I feel it from you, Nancy and did from the moment we first met, if I that, that care, right, you're gonna, you were gonna sit down and take the time with me, to who I was, what was going on? And how you could help?Nancy Rizutto:
Yeah, you know, I think Amy, I go back to something that happened to me. You know, decades ago, you know, there was a mentor in my life and entrepreneur who had hired me decades ago. And he said, four words to me, that really just changed the trajectory of my own journey, my own professional journey, as well as my personal journey. And those four words were, I believe in you. Yeah. And, and, you know, when you can have that kind of impact on someone with just four words, you know, it's just, it can be life changing. And I do I think that, you know, caring for others is just part of who I am and wanting to see people succeed in life, not just at work, but in all aspects of their lives, is just core to who I am. So,Amy Riley:
yeah, yeah. And how rewarding and what an honor to be that person in people's lives.Nancy Rizutto:
Yeah, I'm, you know, I count it is a blessing to me when I can have impact when I can use my influence, to help others not only to say to them, that I believe in you, but to see when they believe in themselves, you know, when they, you know, they, the, you know, one of the most rewarding actions I can see is when when people become more self confident when they become more self aware when they begin to believe in their own worth. That is so rewarding.Amy Riley:
Absolutely. Absolutely. Everyone, we are talking to Nancy Rizutto. Today, she is an accomplished entrepreneurs, speaker, philanthropist, mentor and faith filled action leader with over 30 years of leadership experience. She's a founding partner and principal of CAP Strat, an independent fiduciary investment advisory firm that she launched in 2003, with her two partners. She's also founder of the cap strap women's forum, a community created in 2015 to support the personal, professional and financial success of women. Nancy's purpose which she lives every day, we've already heard it is to serve and empower others to take intentional action to live a successful, abundant and meaningful life. She's fiercely committed to educating and empowering others, especially women, to own their voices to act on their power and to attain financial freedom. So they can live the life of their dreams and create a meaningful legacy. Ah, thank you so much for being here, Nancy. And I, I mean, I feel that commitment all the time from you. So there's so much that you could do to live that purpose. How do you focus? How do you decide where to spend your time and effort? Well,Nancy Rizutto:
I think for me, it's really about self awareness and taking action each and every day, you know, I am really mindful of leading by example. Both, you know, here in my community, in our firm through our women's forum, and, you know, I believe that I strongly believe that women have to support other women in any opportunity that I, I have to support someone else, and especially women, I am game for and, and I have to be mindful though, Amy that even if it's I'm not the right fit, or I can't offer immediate support, or they need something other than what I can offer. I am always always game and invested in that individual and we'll go and find another resource or an accountability partner or some type of solution that I can offer to them, or at least point them in the right direction. You know, When I was years ago, decades ago, a global financial services firm is to women to mentor me. And I was told no. And, and that made such an impact on me, you know, and I think that that truly has to change and as a leader, you know, no, may not be right now, it but it doesn't have to be a solid No, no, it may not be the right time now, but come back to me in six months, or no, I'm not the right resource. Let me introduce you to Amy, she's a better fit for you. So I really look at it as from a servant perspective, how can I help, I may not be able to solve the entire problem, or I may not be the right fit, but at least I can offer some type of authentic support to help that individual.Amy Riley:
I love it, Nancy, it's What can I do? Exactly? What can't I do? Because I guess I imagined there gonna be times your your, your your mentoring plate is full. I know you're always creating and generating a list of events to support and build skills for women through Cap Strat Women's Forum are there's a there's a lot on your plate. And you're right. And sometimes there might not be the time and the effort. I don't have the time and the effort to do it well. And here's what I can offer.Nancy Rizutto:
Exactly. And I think, you know, for me, it comes back to the whole serving and empowering aspect. And I consider it an honor to be able to help people. And it's something that I am so very grateful for and so very mindful about that. We have to step up because everyone has something that humanity needs. I may not be your right resource. But I can offer you again, that support I can help inspire action. But when you if you offer somebody a no, that's not I don't think that is the right response in any situation.Amy Riley:
Lovely, lovely. It's just lovely, who you are Nancy, and that this is your commitment in our world. And you're so clear about it. Yeah. How did you arrive at this light? I mean, right, like, how did you know, this is your purpose to fulfill in our world?Nancy Rizutto:
Yeah, I think that it came to me, to be honest with you. I think it really was inspired, and came to me through my mother whose life was, you know, based on three core values. My mother was a woman who lived her life, based on her faith, based on her sense of gratitude, she had such a strong sense of gratitude, she was grateful just every day to be alive and to be, you know, using her own gifts and her own skills in the world. And then also, her sense of optimism. And those are, are three values that, you know, have, are really embedded in who I am. And I think that my, you know, purpose legacy came to me simply because I want to serve because I think, my, I am on this earth for a purpose. And when I leave this earth, I want to leave it better than when I found it. And I want to be part of something bigger than myself. And those are all kind of, you know, they don't I don't mean them to sound trite. But I truly believe that I was put here for a purpose to make the lives of other people better. And I can do that in a whole host of ways. And when when we talk about or when I talk about support. Support can be a kind word support can be, you know, praising somebody support can be Hey, there's a job opening or support can be yes, I'd be happy to mentor you or here's an open board seat or let me listen to you support earlier was an offer to a friend of mine who was going for a breast biopsy. So support can be seen in so many different ways. And I think that is support and service are just really what my life is about these days. How can I serve and empower others is just who I am. It is a mindset of how I live.Amy Riley:
Yeah, yeah, I think right that right there can be so beneficial for all the Leaders listening just the range of ways that support can look. Absolutely. Yeah, not not every leader out there is going to have a leadership purpose, which I call leadership legacy. It's something that we're living into and constantly leaving behind. Like, hey, it's like this bigger picture commitment that calls us to be bold, to be extraordinary, right like to, to show up in a bigger way. And to get over some of those natural human considerations and concerns that our brain kicks up for us. But not every team leader, not every leader out there is going to have a leadership legacy like yours, Nancy, yet there's an aspect of your leadership legacy that probably all people leaders, at least want to tune into that being able to empower others create meaningful work, right? It's so important right now, what would you offer to people leaders? What what can they do to, to empower, and ensure that the folks on their team have meaningful work?Nancy Rizutto:
Yeah, for me, it's really about creating opportunity for people creating a belief in, you know, others, but really an opening doors and giving them you know, exposure to opportunities within their company or within their community or being able to serve on a team. But again, it really goes back to also not putting people out there solo, but being sure that there is an infrastructure that there is a team a community around, you know, people within your firm, to support them. And, again, it's just for me, it's trusting in people, it's in demonstrating your faith and, and your, you know, your appreciation of their ability, but really, you know, give people an opportunity let people step up, even if they may not check all of the boxes, give them the opportunity to learn and to grow and to expand into a role or into their firm or onto their, into their team. I think if you just, you know, kind of keep them where they are, and not amplify their own presence and their own skills. You know, that's not serving anyone, you know, part of a, I think a leaders experience is really being able to foster growth and development in others. And the way that, from my perspective, the way that you do that is really to give people opportunity, see that there is more that there's more opportunity for them to serve more opportunity for them to have an impact more of them, you know, they can have an opportunity to lead a team or a project. I think that that's really important as a leader, and if people aren't, you know, sure of how to make that happen. It's really just taking a first step, sitting down with somebody on your team, and, you know, trying to get to know them better trying to uncover what they're passionate about, or what they're interested in doing or what they how they envision their own professional development so that you can then identify those opportunities in which they can flourish.Amy Riley:
Love it, and as you said, so many good things there. Right, give them the opportunity. So that's telling me also that we we want to be constantly looking. Yeah. What might be possible, what can we get them more involved in? Oh, I see that skill. I see that strength, I see that interest of theirs, how can we foster that? How can we give more opportunities for that? So given the opportunity, and then I'm hearing the trust and the appreciation, right, we can't give the opportunity and then be like, Oh, that's not working. Okay, I'm gonna, Manager I'm gonna, I'm gonna jump in, though.Nancy Rizutto:
I think as a leader, really your part then is to really to encourage to encourage and to offer, you know, feedback, that constructive feedback and truthful feedback. And that comes again, also based on trust, but you're there really to act as a sounding board to empower them to encourage them to offer that that candid feedback that that is there to help them grow and to learn and to, you know, grow into other opportunities. I think that is your role as a leader once you identify an opportunity for somebody on your team, be sure that you continue to be there as a partner to them that they can come to you, and have those candid conversations, and that you can continue to encourage and empower them.Amy Riley:
Yeah. So many leaders become afraid of the feedback. The leader that is giving somebody a new opportunity to leverage a strength or pursue a passion or just try something new. Right. And we're providing that opportunity, that visibility, right, they're gonna, they're gonna be open to the feedback from us because they know the intention. Yep. Attention that it's coming from. Yeah,Nancy Rizutto:
that's great point, Amy.Amy Riley:
I think it's also important, Nancy, that you were talking about the infrastructure, right? How also thinking like, we're gonna give somebody this opportunity, it's also thinking about how to set them up for success.Nancy Rizutto:
Absolutely, absolutely. And then, you know, accountability is really important. When you give somebody an opportunity, or you allow someone to lead, you know, an assignment, whatever it might be, you know, you just don't give them that opportunity, or assign them that, that role, you really need to hold them accountable. And I think being accountable, especially as a professional is, is really important. It, you know, you become part of a network, you become part of a success story. And accountability is key, you just can't let somebody go off kind of on their own without having that infrastructure, or that, that network or that resource for them to check in with you. And you with them, you know, giving you giving them that opportunity. There's also accountability there that you again, going back to what we're talking about a moment ago, your accountability is really about encouraging, empowering, inspiring, being there to answer questions and offer, you know, ideas and insights from your own experience. But also, they have to be accountable back to you.Amy Riley:
Oh, I hope everybody tuned in to your expanded definition. And, and thoughts around accountability?Nancy Rizutto:
Yeah, I think it's key,Amy Riley:
that term can get a bad reputation, right. Like, it's like, like, it's follow up, and it's bringing the hammer, and it's making sure people are meeting expectations. I heard inside what you were saying, it's part of the support, it's part of the structure, how are we going to check in, right? Like, what reviews do you want to need on on the work, right, and also that accountability is empowering, because we're learning how to on you to do these things.Nancy Rizutto:
And I think that gives people ownership, you know, it also inspires ownership, you know, if you give somebody this opportunity, you you expect them to take ownership of it. And I think that when you when you do that, it just it really inspires action and inspires people, I think to really show up and step up for, you know, for you back to you as a leader for themselves for the organization. And it just really Foster's you know, tremendous personal and professional growth, I think,Amy Riley:
yes, yes, it's all fostering growth and development. Do you do you have an example that you could share with us?Nancy Rizutto:
Sure, we, you know, one of the things I think about in terms of, you know, offering opportunities we have, in our firm, we have what we call a Culture Club, which is something that we started about, I think about four years ago, way back when, and it's all about, you know, the principles, the beliefs and the behaviors that we at CAP Strat, live by, both as professionals and as people outside of, you know, outside of what we do, and we call our culture club doesn't matter get better in every other matter, get better, doesn't matter get better. And again, our firm has a very defined set of principles, beliefs and behaviors. And so every Friday we get together and we talk as a firm, firm wide for a half hour about certain aspects of our culture, whether that's, you know, gratitude or client service or the importance of communication or the importance of owning your 20 square feet. There is something that we talk about mandatory every Friday. And here's an example as we give ownership and allow the junior the our associates, the junior partners to lead those programs. This is not You know, the founding partners kind of dictating and leading this program, we give ownership to to the, to others in those in the firm to pick a topic. And to do the research and to provide a, you know, a learning plan and a learning lesson and questions, reflection questions, we give them out on one Friday, and then we come back and talk about it the following Friday. And it's been remarkable, Amy to see how they have, again, stepped up how they have own this opportunity. But what's more important is to see how the lessons that we talk about the topics that we talk about, again, impact them personally. But also, when they leave the office, that these are a set of principles, values and beliefs that they're now talking about at the dinner table with their families are they're thinking about how they respond to a client differently, or how they respond to their children differently. So it's, you know, I think that that's an example of, you know, giving someone giving others opportunity that this is not just about us, this is about everyone in the firm. And so every Friday, one or two of our associates, lead that program,Amy Riley:
love that love. And like, there's, there's a context here, but you're letting people pick their opera, their opportunities, you're giving them opportunity, and then they have choice around that solely.Nancy Rizutto:
Yeah, and they've done a great job, really, I've learned probably so much from them over these last four years.Amy Riley:
Yeah, and when you are co creating like that, that that just creates a high level of trust.Nancy Rizutto:
Oh, absolutely, it creates a high level of trust, it really energizes the entire firm it is, you know, they come with such intentionality, and their own purpose, you know, during these programs, and, again, it really seeps out to them, as you know, as individuals and impacts how they're living their own lives outside of the office. And, and that's what one of the things that's most important is that we want them showing up as their best selves in the in the office. But we also want them showing up as their best selves, out of the office and in life. And when we have that kind of impact and allow them to take ownership of something so important, it's, it's just really amazing to say,Amy Riley:
when we're great at home, when we're great with our family, when we're great with our neighbors, being great at work, work great with our clients. And I know, Nancy, you have no Matt and practice that totally decades, the experience of the pandemic is hopefully bringing that more front and center for everyone, like we are whole people and as leaders in the workplace. Yeah, we need to serve the whole person.Nancy Rizutto:
Absolutely. That's a great point. It's just, it's so and again, when you see, you know, children being impacted by these conversations and how we're responding within, you know, with our spouse, or or partners or whatever, you just the self awareness is just so remarkable to see. And, yeah, I truly believe if you have people who are healthy, and happy and anchored and grounded at home, and they will show up that way in the office and to one another and to our clients. And, you know, that's just so meaningful.Amy Riley:
Yeah, yeah. And I can hear and I know the listeners can hear, you know, when you when you are serving and empowering others, right, like, like what you get in return, that, that reward the just just to be able to see the ripple effects. Yeah. When when one individual is showing up great in our world for the day, that impacts so many,Nancy Rizutto:
so many people, you know, if one person has a bad day, or one person has a bad reaction, you know, that it's a that's a different story. But when somebody shows up, present, you know, you use this word intentional, you know, with gratitude that just emanates out and just really impacts so many other people, whether that's, you know, the person of the Dunkin Donuts line or your client or your child It is. And that's just I think how we need to live more authentically, and just really need to be aware of how our actions, you know, whether small or just, you know, tremendous how our actions and our beliefs impact other people.Amy Riley:
Yes, yes. Ah, powerful. Nancy, you've shared so much great stuff with us. I want to recap just a few things. Leaders, when you're looking to serve and empower others, they want to know that you care. They want to know how you can help. They want to know that you trust them, that there's trust there. Nancy also talked about being on the lookout for the opportunities that we can give and invite people to step into. And then once we do that, showing up with the appreciation, just the infrastructure, the support, setting them up for success, and bringing that empowering accountability to the situation. Right, and oh, and it takes getting to know them and their vision and what they're about, right. It's it's taking so true, people. Yes. Such great stuff. Nancy, thank you for your time today and for being on the courage of a leader podcast.Nancy Rizutto:
Amy, thanks so much for having me. And cheers to you, and congratulations on the success of your podcast and your book. And I think you know, my two favorite words for you or just keep going. You're offering your own service and serving, you know, others and I am grateful and honored to be a part of the courage of a leader.Amy Riley:
There's Nancy always living her leadership purpose. It's an honor and my energy has gone up over this past half hour. Thank you.