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E72 L. Michelle Smith: Rockstar Leader


12/07/20 • 17 min

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Having a case of the Mondays? Today's guest is sure to help kick start your week. L. Michelle Smith is an executive business coach, accomplished author, and empowering figure who brought a refreshing perspective to the show. Enjoy!

Finding diverse talent is not a challenge, but many companies just don't know where to look. From L. Michelle’s experience, the middle of the leadership pipeline is spewing out overqualified and high performing women of all backgrounds that can be easily recruited. She believes that the current systems in place to join the workforce are ingrained with implicit bias. It is exciting to see large software companies begin to break the paradigm (ex. required CS degrees) and find new ways to be more inclusive. L. Michelle has found that many companies get shortsighted when they think of filling the pipeline with diverse candidates for entry level roles only. Add seats to the board of directors and fill them with people of color. Then move down in the organization and continue diversifying. Once your leadership team is set, then it is more likely that apprenticeships and other programs will be successful. To retain diverse talent, she believes the key is to focus on women and other marginalized groups. Studies have shown that women of color, specifically Black women, are double outsiders in companies simply because of their chromosomes and melanin. Leaders in organizations need to go over and beyond their comfort level to make sure that talented people of marginalized groups are not overlooked.

L. Michelle Smith is the CEO/founder of no silos communications llc a media and consulting company that blends talent development and strategic communications to develop high-performing, women executive leaders. She is the author of No Thanks: 7 Ways to Say I’ll Just Include Myself: A Guide to Rockstar Leadership for Women of Color in the Workplace. L. Michelle is also the creator, executive producer and host of The Culture Soup Podcast® which is heard in 38 countries and has been consistently at the top of the rankings on Apple Podcasts in the Business/Business News and Business/Entrepreneurship categories.

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