The Guide to Rockstar Leadership for Women of Color in the Workplace Provides Seven Affirmations, Coaching and Seasoned Insights from Author L. Michelle Smith’s Career Story as a Fortune 10 Ex-Pat and Serial Entrepreneur
DALLAS, TX Aug.10, 2020—What if women of color, especially Black women not only understood their value, but how
to leverage it in order to climb to executive leadership? That question is core to the new business and leadership book No Thanks: 7 Ways to Say I’ll Just Include Myself: A Guide to Rockstar Leadership for Women of Color in the Workplace. It also proposes that this moment of current racial, economic and health crises presents the best opportunity in a while to simply go for it. It represents the first commercial book release for author, keynote speaker and certified executive and business coach, L. Michelle Smith.
One look at the board of directors at almost any major company reveals a harsh truth: Corporations are built and centered around White men. So where does that leave women of color, specifically Black women? According to a recent Catalyst Research study, it positions Black women as “double outsiders”—due to their gender and their color. Other women of color also struggle to break through this double-paned glass ceiling as well. There’s only been one Black woman CEO in the Fortune 500, and she retired in 2016. There hasn’t been one since.
No Thanks: 7 Ways to Say I’ll Just Include Myself, steeped in tenets of positive applied psychology, recommends doubling down on the positive self talk, encircling yourself with people who can re-enforce your value, despite an environment that “others” you. It even suggests thinking like a White man would in some situations, betting on your own brand above all others, being yourself and leaning outside your company to lead like a rockstar inside of it.
“This is the executive coach-in-a-book that Black women need because most of them don’t have access to such a perk from the company, but more than anything, she is exhausted,” said Smith. “This over-credentialed professional has been pouring out into the corporate machine for more than 10 years, and it has not poured back into her. She may be comfortable, but she is disenchanted,“ said Smith.
According to data from the U.S. Census and Catalyst, the corporate leadership pipeline is spewing out mid-level, professional Black women who are starting their own businesses, and at an unprecedented rate. If they do not start businesses of their own, they find themselves stuck in the middle as a general manager, wondering why others are being promoted and leading at the top levels of companies.
“She’s asking, ‘Why not me?’” Smith said. “Not only have I coached this woman, but I’ve walked in her impeccable pumps. There are just some secrets she will need to unravel in the workplace to be successful and reach her dreams, and some secrets about herself that will allow her to get to executive leadership where she really wants to be.”
No Thanks shares actionable insights and advice on how Black women and other women of color can overcome the fears that are embedded in them, no thanks to generational and cultural trauma. It shares how to tap into the leadership qualities that are already in her DNA after generation over generation of surviving and thriving.
Rich with storytelling and practical coaching methods, Black women will be able to shift her mindset and successfully identify and confront the minefields of microaggressions with the wisdom in the book and navigate racist and sexist stereotypes all while stomaching being asked to speak on race at the next town hall.
Affirming Your Way to Rockstar Leadership
No Thanks includes seven affirmations that will provide the positive self talk that professional women of color need to prepare for the journey to the C-Suite.
- “I know who I am, and I find value in my story.”
- “I’ll be excellent…and good with the skin I am in.”
- “I’ll recognize that there is indeed a problem, and I will confront it.”
- “I will be my own best advocate.”
- “Some sisters have made it to the C-Suite being themselves. I can too.”
- “I will bet on my brand.”
- “I will take positive cues from White privilege because I am entitled.
The book closes with some additional advice and cautions regarding some of the hottest positions in corporate, the Chief Diversity Officer, a note to corporate leaders who want to be allies in the workplace and a coaching guide so that Black woman can plan their next steps for their ascent to executive leadership.
In addition to sharing anecdotes from Smith’s 25+-year career, the author also pulls on some of today’s top Black Women executives and experts to chime in with their own stories, as well as their own tips and advice. You’ll hear from Dallas Maverick’s CEO, Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall, Mary Kay CMO Sheryl Adkins-Green, Center for Workplace Excellence CEO and executive Coach Trudy Bourgeois and more.
The “How-To” Professional Women of Color Have Needed from Someone They Can Relate To
No Thanks: 7 Ways to Say I’ll Just Include Myself zeroes in on the importance of claiming an entrepreneurial mindset inside and outside of her workplace by embracing the intrapreneur, entrepreneur and extrapreneur that’s inside of her. The simple roadmap includes coaching questions and space to work through her plan at the end of the book. While she journals on her journey to rockstar leadership, Black women and others will learn how to
- “Flip privilege” to your advantage in the workplace
- Engage the “outside-in” approach to leadership ascension in your company
- Uncover your secret sauce and bet on “brand you” without trying to duplicate someone else’s journey
- Navigate the inevitable backlash and politics when your star begins to rise thanks to an intentional and well-executed personal brand
- Assemble a tribe and activateit as an act of self advocacy and self care
- Jumpstart multiple streams of income and still remain compliant
- Build your confidence so that you always say and do what needs to be said and done as a true change agent
- Confront and shift your mindset about microaggressions/biases successfully, not just worry about them
- Tap into the secret weapon that all high achieving women of color possess to separate you from the pack
- Manage “Karen” and take some best practices from “Kyle” (There’s something positive there, believe it or not!)
- Raise the right questions when seeking or being tapped for the popular diversity & inclusion roles
“We can’t wait any longer for someone to invite us to lead when Black women are over-prepared and ready to get the job done, and we can’t fear the reactions we receive when we walk in our power,” said Smith. “We have to include ourselves, create the opportunities that will chase us and not allow fear to paralyze us into comfort zones. I’m committed to showing Black women, and other women of color, how to do exactly that.”
No Thanks: 7 Ways to Say I’ll Just Include Myself: A Guide to Rockstar Leadership for Women of Color in the Workplaceis released under the no silos communications llc imprint and is available on Amazon worldwide for Kindle and in paperback. The paperback is also available in the e-store at lmichellesmith.comwhere those who purchase will receive a FREE No Thanks digital tool kit to support C-Suite aspirations.
Women of color can celebrate the launch of this book on social media by posting a photo of themselves with the book and sharing their dreams of executive leadership or posting bout a challenge they’ve had in the workplace using the hashtag #NoThanks.
About no silos communications llc
no silos communications llc specializes in leadership development x strategic communications. We develop rockstar leaders and brands that thrive at the intersection of technology, business and culture. We are a media, content, coaching and consulting company. We serve everyone, but have a heart for black women, women of color, the businesses they operate and the corporations they want to lead. The brands include NSC Executive, Career and Business Coaching, NSC Strategic Consulting, The Culture Soup Podcast®, NSC eLearning, no silos communications group and L. Michelle Smith, pro speaker, author and principal certified executive & business coach.
For more information, contact:
Name: Andre McBride
Phone: (800) 493.7950 x 06