Leading in the Age of DEI

Leading in the age of DEI is a hot topic in corporate circles these days.

My guest this week has earned her place in those circles as a leader and mentor to those finding their way up the corporate ladder.

Including those traditionally left at the bottom.

Tell Me What the Team Looks Like

Monica Cole‘s path to Executive Vice President at Wells Fargo is paved with lessons learned on a college basketball court.

Skills she acquired on the hardwood help set her apart and set her up to lead effectively in the age of DEI.

Today at Wells Fargo, Monica leads a team of 230 within Agribusiness, Food and Hospitality. And would you believe she knew nothing about those sectors when she raised her hand and said “yes?!”

That’s because, regardless of the challenge, Monica’s first shot is always: “Tell me what the team looks like.”

Who are the role players? How do their skills and experiences complement one another? And how can they help us win?

Whether on the court or in corporate America, Monica knows the more diverse the team, the better the odds of coming out on top.

Leading With Vulnerability

But as a leader in the age of DEI, Monica also knows there is another key component to success: leading with vulnerability.

During our conversation, she shares deeply personal experiences as a Black woman that helped change her corporate culture, because she was willing to “go there.”

Because she shared her truth, she helped those in authority look at themselves and their actions from a different perspective.

And she routinely urges her team to call her out when “she’s nuts!”, so that she can be a better leader.

There’s Enough for All of Us

Leading in the age of DEI certainly comes with a set of challenges.

One of the biggest is a common belief that “your success is to my detriment.”

But as Monica shares in this episode, and I wholeheartedly agree, there’s enough for all of us.

It’s way past time for us to embrace the diversity that makes our companies and our lives better.

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