Executive Presence in a Hybrid World &

Tips to Prioritize DEI Efforts in the Workplace

James Prince, Director, Customer Success Strategy and Strategic Client Experience at ADP

James Prince, Director of Customer Success Strategy and Strategic Client Experience at ADP

In this week’s episode, James Prince draws on his 30 years of leadership in the Human Capital Management Space for iconic Fortune 500 brands to share best practices for developing a strong executive presence.  In celebration of Black History Month, James also discusses barriers African American employees continue to face in the workplace and offers strategies that leaders can implement to address these challenges. James outlines how organizations can move beyond DEI fatigue to create impactful practices to prioritize DEI throughout the year.


Brown: Welcome to the Menttium Matters podcast, where we talk about leadership, life, and the transformative power of mentoring. This is Solveig Brown, and today I am fortunate to be joined by James Prince. We are going to talk about executive presence and Black History Month. James will also share best practices to take your leadership to the next level.


Before we begin, let me formally introduce James. James Prince is the Director of Client Success and Strategic Client Experience at ADP. For over 30 years, James has been a noteworthy leader in the human capital management space. Possessing a broad range of executive experience, James has a lifelong commitment to developing leaders.


As general manager, he effectively led large diverse teams for iconic Fortune 500 brands such as Delta Airlines, Walmart, and Costco Wholesale. James served as the VP of Operations for the National Black MBA Association’s Atlanta chapter. He was also the director of Leaders of Tomorrow where he created a whole new approach to youth mentoring.


James is the Founder and Chief Motivation Officer of Beyond Mediocrity Leader Development (BMLD), a consulting firm focused on self-actualization, social activism, and business acumen. James lives in the Atlanta area with his beautiful wife and their four exceptional children. Welcome James. I am so happy to have you as a guest today.


Prince: Thank you so much for having me, I am thrilled to be here. Solveig, I am just so grateful that Menttium sees the need for executive presence discussions, and particularly in this month of February, our focus on DEI specifically for African American history.


Brown: James, one of the reasons we wanted to have you as a guest for this month where we are focusing on executive presence is you have such a strong executive presence and you have helped your clients and mentees expand their executive presence.


What are the most important things someone can do to intentionally develop their executive presence?


Prince: First, that is a valuable question to ask, and while I certainly won’t claim to be an expert, I’m very grateful and I appreciate the fact that others see me that way. The first thing, or the most important thing, is realizing that it matters. For executive presence, it is seeing or being interpreted as, and I know there is a great book, which we’ll refer to I’m sure during this conversation, but there are all different types of ethos in terms of how you come across to other people is what really deems you one with executive presence. So, if you saw me that way, it was probably because I had a sense of awareness that I need to come across with confidence. The way that the book refers to it is gravitas. A sense of knowing that you deserve to be in a discussion about executive presence at a table, boardroom table, and not in a sense that you deserve it. No one owes us anything. Everything we get, I hope, is earned. But gravitas and confidence shouldn’t be the same as arrogance. But I want to know that it is something that matters, that is the most important.


The other thing that is given more focus than it should is appearance. Let’s face it, right before we gathered together, I had on a blue shirt and I didn’t have on a blazer, and I thought, wait a minute, I can’t be on a call or on a podcast discussion and possibly on video and talk about executive presence and not look like it matters in my appearance. So, I went, and I changed my shirt. The blue was a little too dark, so I brought a little bit of pink or a pastel color, and that was only because of why it was important.


Now, depending on the type of company you are working with or the kind of interaction you are having, I couldn’t go to a park for a meeting for a team building activity with a blazer and a shirt. I think that even then you can find a way to make sure that you dress the part. But appearance is a huge part of it.


The last part that I will say is important to me is communication. It is not just what you say, but the way you say things. It matters all of this together to make the right impression. And let’s face it, you’ve got a couple of executives by title that sometimes are not the greatest communicators.


If there is a presence that you want to create, let it be something that people will remember you for in a more positive light. So, if you’re upbeat, if you smile when you speak, if you use great eye contact, good voice inflection, those are things that I think can help create that type of executive presence that you want and that will have people talking about you in a positive way after the fact.


Brown: That’s helpful. The book that James is referring to is called Executive Presence by Sylvia Ann Hewlett. It is a great resource for some of those pillars of executive presence.


James, what do you see as the challenges for someone who is not part of the dominant group, let’s say, who’s not white and male in terms of executive presence?


Prince: There are so many different challenges, but I guess I can speak on behalf of my own, and it depends again on the type of environment you are in. For example, I’m a male and I’m with Menttium, which is a woman-led, female-led company. There’s a certain amount of discomfort that I could easily have been one of two or three people in a room, and I’m the only gender. It applies to me as an African American man, as a man of color. One of those challenges is just acknowledging that you have a right to be at that table. You have a right to be in the conversation that you are invited to that boardroom discussion.


And a lot of people struggle with that, at least from conversations I have been a part of. I have been in many meetings where I was the only Black man, the only person of color, and this is in rooms of executives, and we’re talking twenty, thirty people. If you think about it, if I am the only one out of twenty or thirty, that is not a great representation. I could easily feel like, am I really supposed to be here, because this feels like I am out of place. I have had to tell myself and challenge myself to say that, no, you are here because you’re not just credentialed, but you have the things that are necessary; integrity, you come prepared. Those are the kinds of things that you feel challenged with.


Something else to that point is the fear of being seen as an imposter, or imposter syndrome, as they call it. The one concern that I know I’ve had, and again, I can’t speak for all Black men or all men even but thinking that people may assume that I’m there because I’m a diverse candidate or because they need to have equal representation. Because when you think that is the reason you are there, then it discredits the real value that you bring.


While I may have a few degrees, I still have had moments when I questioned, did anybody even care that I was educated? Is it truly just to say that they’ve got someone that looks like me on the call or someone in the conversation? I’ve learned to just appreciate that, even if that may have been the motivation. Part of what people of color must do, and even women, because let’s face it, businesses aren’t all women-owned or women-led, the way Menttium is. There are a lot of companies that are led by men and that are, as you say, majority.


You can easily feel like that is a discredit to you and your ability that you are there because you are a diversity hire, and they could have even told you that. But guess what? So what. If someone were to tell me that if we did not have proper representation, we needed to have someone like you, that would be a little dangerous if someone were bold enough to say it. But I take it as a sign that this is something I’m going to use to my advantage.


And so, when you’re in those situations where you’re the only, and you may even have been accused of being a diversity hire, I say, yeah, it doesn’t matter really what got me here. The fact is that I have the skills, I have the aptitude, I have the acumen to be able to stay. Those are just some of the challenges that I face. I am sure some of the other Menttium mentees or mentors have had different types of challenges.


Brown: You did a good job of explaining the things that someone could be thinking about if you are one of the only kinds of people in the room. I know so many of the mentees have talked about how they do not have senior leadership that looks like them, and so they feel that’s intimidating and they wonder, how can I rise when no one else looks like me in this position. That is great to highlight what that feels like. One of the things I hear so many mentees talk about is how do you have good executive presence in a virtual setting?


Prince: If you were sitting in a meeting with an executive, or even if it were colleagues or peers and you were in an actual conference room, would you feel comfortable with a hoodie? Even though it’s a very casual setting, unless you work for Under Armor or Nike or some of these types of manufacturers or retailers, I think that it’s probably important for you to think about what if I was in the room with that individual, those individuals, as opposed to being on camera, would I come dressed this way?


A lot of times the answer would be no. So that is one of the rules of thumb I have, and I mentioned this when I first joined this discussion and placed my camera on. I knew that I had a business shirt, yes, but I knew it was a little dark. I knew that I was going to be on camera, and I did not have a blazer on, even though I had several suits in my closet. I just didn’t take the time to do it. So, the first thing you can do is realize that just because you are comfortable and just because this is how you have led your calls all day long, depending on the type of interaction, it is okay to change. Something that people underestimate is that there is a very different type of impression that you make, even if it is virtual.


I will give you a case in point. I am fortunate to be in a good company at ADP. While I have some brand recognition, there were people that I recently interviewed with that I knew well. So, it was easy for me to be comfortable coming to an interview for a job I was competitive for, so that I could come in with a more casual tone and body language.


But I felt that would be a detriment to this opportunity because there was never a guarantee that I would get that job. So, one of the things that I heard after the job was offered, what helped me stand out from some of the other candidates was that although we were all virtual, I was the only one that showed up with a shirt, a tie, and a blazer. The fact that my VP told me that those were notes from the other panelists. They said, and it was literally written that another individual came to the meeting with a shirt, but you are at home. You couldn’t get a shirt and tie, or you couldn’t get a blazer?


He said those were notes that he saw from the recruiter. These are the people who made the decision to offer me the job. And let’s face it, if you’re wanting to make that type of impression, think about the person that you’re interviewing with. If there is a potential for them to influence your career one way or another, what impression did you really want to make?


I am glad that I chose to wear a shirt and tie. It was uncomfortable. I’ve gotten just like everyone else, more casual with the way that I liked to appear, but I knew that mattered. To hear a hiring manager tell me that it did, I think is huge.


The other thing I will add is just being positive with your tone of voice. I said this earlier with your appearance, but you can show up on camera and look like you don’t want to be there, and that can make a bad impression on people. A lot of people take advantage of the no camera option. Once you turn that camera off, you begin to multitask. That is not necessarily the best impression either.


If you really want to appear engaged, it’s okay to leave that camera on. And guess what? We all know this; when you are being watched, you do less fidgeting, and you don’t multitask as much. At least I don’t, and those are the kinds of things that being in a virtual environment we can easily leverage and take advantage of in a good way.


Brown: What you are speaking to also about leaving your camera on is that sense of presence, that here I am, and you have my full attention.


As you know, we are celebrating Black History Month, which is a time to honor the history of African Americans, recognize progress that has been made, and a time to commit to strengthening year-round efforts to further diversity, equity, and inclusion and results. James, what do you see as some of the biggest challenges African American employees face in the workplace, and how can leaders do a better job of addressing these challenges?


Prince: I will start with this, the fact that it is even questionable in 2023, whether there needs to be acknowledgement.


Let’s face it, Black History month only started in 1976. It was not officially something we observed in this country for the majority of the time that we all know. I was well alive at that point and did not know at six years old in 1976 when it started, but I can tell you that it is just as important today as it was then. One of the reasons why it is important is because of the political environment that we are in right now. There is a lot, and I don’t want to give any judgment or assessment on where people sit on in terms of political beliefs, but when you’ve got in 2023, efforts being made to pass laws in certain states to limit or prevent teaching on African American history.


There are leaders today, just a week or two ago, that have said that African American studies as a part of advanced placement programs lack relevance and educational value. And to me as a Black man, that does not really say a lot about how this individual and those who support and standing at rallies and cheering on that type of personality, how they feel about me or other people who are described as Black or African American.


That is a mouthful but let me just qualify what I am saying. When I start to see that there is an effort, to not talk about what is actual history because it demonizes in some perspectives, one type of group over another, then that says to me that there is a lack of knowledge. And again, I’m not here to make it a political statement. I just feel that anyone, no matter which side of the aisle you are on, when you make a statement that things that are truthful and that are part of our history should not be discussed, I think that’s just ignorance.


When you think about people like me in a workplace at an ADP, one thing I can tell you, ADP is on the complete opposite spectrum. We embrace diversity. We don’t try and discredit, we look for ways. In fact, there are a few links that I sent you earlier this week that we provide by way of our Spark newsletter that companies can do to be more inclusive. But in this environment where there are certain politicians who want to say that they do not feel that type of push for diversity, equity, and inclusion is welcomed in their state, that is why we need Black History Month.


Now in terms of how I handle or what can be done, being open, being candid, having conversations like this to say, what should I feel uncomfortable talking about a somewhat, I guess, sticky subject, any kind of racial type of discussion. I am really being careful not to say the wrong thing. That is how difficult it is sometimes to talk about this. But I feel like if employees are encouraged, psychological safety is provided, then we will all feel a little bit better about the conversation.


It may not be comfortable, but African American history is just a small part of American history. One of the notions from, I forgot the doctor’s name, but she wrote the 1619 Project. I highly recommend that, I have the magazine from the New York Times, but she talks about the fact that African American history should not just be a focus on African American history. It is just American history. We happen to be a huge part of a lot of the things that we are ashamed of. Having people enslaved is not something that you would think people would feel proud about. Yes, I agree. But that does not mean you ignore it or pretend like it never happened. What we can do is use healthy dialogue and talk about where we are.


Small things like Black History Month I think are great, and then during this month, encouraging people to say, hey, can I come and talk to you about something that really bothers me? And that even could have happened within the workplace. Someone who is not a person of color, who is not black, but is open to having those kinds of discussions are things that I would look for.


And so I’d imagine other people that are listening to this podcast would probably feel the same, that even if I’m not comfortable with it, if I can come to you and you give me a sense that there’s a safety in me having this discussion, not looking for answers, just wanting to talk about how it makes me feel when I see or watch or hear things, that makes me feel more engaged.


It makes me want to be a better employee for a company like ADP. I tell you, there’s so many wonderful things we do, and it’s not just to give a plug for ADP, but we do this very well. We have been recognized by a lot of different agencies for what we do, right? But there are a lot of other companies that are doing just as well. If we can get more companies to do these things, I think that would go a long way.


Brown: James, in one of your blog posts, I really like how you phrased it. You talked about productive conversations and that it is time to shift away from avoidance, passive acceptance, and combative confrontation, and move toward active participation, peer intention, and proactive engagement.


I really like what you are saying that it begins with having those conversations when they are uncomfortable and that with practice, you may get more comfortable having them, but they are essential to be able to have those conversations.


Prince: Yes, absolutely. If you don’t mind, I’d love to take this analogy. I use it on a lot of different things that I share with people to help them feel that when you start, it may not feel great, but as you continue, it may get easier. The analogy I use is resistance training. If you have ever worked out, everybody we are in February now, so hopefully everyone is still sticking to their New Year’s resolution of losing a little weight or working out more.


When you think about lifting weights, it may not be comfortable, especially if you have not done it in a long time but think about how it relates to conversations on race. If you have never talked about it honestly, then it is going to be hard to pick that up and just suddenly think that you can lift it.


It is like taking a twenty-pound weight when you have not been to the gym in twenty years. That is not the safest way to start. You are going to get hurt in the process because your body is not conditioned. But if you start with five pounds and then maybe over time just work at it and then add another five and then work yourself up to ten and then double that. Eventually you will get to that twenty, but it really does take measured judgment on how you start. That is just like with a weight and just like working out in the end, you will be stronger.


Conversations and relationships will be stronger when we start with the small weight. If it is just talking about, hey, did you see what happened in the news? Or what’s your thoughts on what happened with Tyree? Those are ways you can start small. And not necessarily go in and expect someone to give answers, but just have a little bit of that resistance. Eventually, the more you have those conversations, the stronger you feel, the less uncomfortable you may be, and hopefully we all grow stronger together.


Brown: One of the other things that affects a lot of people is unconscious bias. As a leader, how do you address that? Do you have any tips for leaders of how to address that within your team?


Prince: One of the first things we can all do is admit that we have it. Every single person has unconscious bias. Admitting it is the first step to healing and resolution. I feel like you may not have bias toward a gender, race, or an ethnicity, but we all have them. Unfortunately, and I must admit this, I have a bias against teenagers for some reason.


I have two of my own, I have four kids, as you mentioned in my intro, but two of those four are teenagers and they are in the middle of that point where they are truly trying to figure it out. So, I have a bias about the way they operate. I have these opinions and what I have had to do is tell myself, do not treat my daughters, both teens, as if they are stereotypical teens.


What I have had to do, and this is what I think all of us can do in the workplace or even in our families, is see each person as an individual. Both of my daughters have very different personalities. Both do have a few of those stereotypical traits of a teenager, but they are not the stereotypical teenager that I have created in my mind. Having acknowledged that I did have the bias, I was open and told my wife about it before they both got into the 13, 14, 15-year-old stage. I told my wife when they were seven and eight and nine that I don’t like teenagers, but I had a chance to get to that stage where I am now. Having addressed it, acknowledged it, admitted it, I’m now able to say, that was wrong. So, what am I going to do differently to see them as individuals?


That is how I think we can all do at work or in our professional setting, is just see each person as the individual by name and who they are specifically. I hate to say this, but you know the name, Karen. I feel so bad for any woman whose name is Karen, particularly a white woman whose name is Karen, because I think that it has been given such a bad reputation to that stereotype of a person. But if you see that individual as, even if her name is Karen and she is white, she may have a similar trait from what you’ve seen in social media. See that individual, Karen, as the Karen that you are talking to, and not assume that she has any other trait that may be affiliated with what you have heard before.


Not all Karen’s are alike. I’ve got two Karen’s on my team, and I love them. They are nothing like what I have seen in terms of what you hear about on the news. I can tell you that I have been conscious to be very mindful that what if thinking that suddenly, do I have to change my name? I saw that in the news that women are changing their name, but I think it’s because they feel the same kind of pressure. They are being now treated a certain way just because of what other people believe they may be, and it could be based solely on a name.


I say all of that to say that if we can be more deliberate in acknowledging our own bias and even for the unbiased, not knowing what you don’t know or you are not aware of. Be open to the fact that I could be wrong about certain people, and so let’s just figure out what it is about them that I can learn to appreciate and go from there. If someone extended that offer to you, I’m sure you would feel better about yourself. Why can’t we extend that same offer to others?


Brown: I love that. It goes back to having those conversations and seeing people as individuals and just getting to know people as they are. James, in our prep meeting for this interview, you used the term DEI fatigue.


Can you explain what DEI fatigue is and offer suggestions for how organizations can move beyond DEI fatigue to protect and prioritize DEI?


Prince: It is a real term nowadays, and again, we have multiple articles on our Spark newsletter through ADP that give you some suggestions on how to confront it and to some extent embrace it as well.


Because let’s face it, ever since 2020 when we were all stuck at home and saw the video of George Floyd, I can tell you that was one of the most difficult things for me to watch. Suddenly, DEI became the new initiative for most companies. Here we are in 2023, and like most things in American pop culture, it does not last very long. But this is not the latest hit song from a singer; this is a social movement. I think that companies are feeling like we have gotten it. We know that it’s an initiative, it’s on our website, we’ve got a focus now, we’ve got a target for how many we will have represented on the board. That is not enough.


The challenge I will put out there is that if you think you are tired of talking about it, I will be fifty-three in two months, most of my life I have been very aware that I fit in the category of a diverse individual. If I have ever been tired of talking about or giving explanation of why I feel the way I feel, or giving justification for being upset, that should give you some relief. Because if you have not had to deal with it until the last three years, add 50 years to that and imagine what it is like.


Brown: Totally. 24/ 7.


Prince: Yes, 24 7. I constantly wonder, and I gauge who is around me when I’m in Target or if I’m even in a parking lot. I try my best to look presentable or non-threatening to anyone that could see me as a Black man walking through a parking lot with a hoodie on as threatening. That is tiring. It is exhausting, trust me. But I have learned, because it has been my life to just deal with it and make the most of the experience. If you have others who say, haven’t we had enough talk about diversity, can we move on? I think that it’s going to be a difficult workplace if that is how certain leaders are operating. If you think because you’ve got a website reference to what your DEI goals are or how you support certain communities, or that you give a certain amount of dollars, you’re going to learn down the road that if that was not with pure intent like we talked about earlier, you’re going to face something and it will become a wakeup call to have to do more.


Fatigue is exactly what it is. When you have heard about it, you have talked about it, and you are ready to give up. The key is, and the thing that you can do is not give up. Find those kinds of resource groups that you have, hopefully in most corporations, and ask those kinds of questions. I think that to be very honest, if diversity is not a part of every agenda item for a corporate board meeting, or even if you’re meeting with your staff, if you don’t have some kind of bullet point that’s going to address diversity, equity, and inclusion, that’s a good sign that it doesn’t matter to you.


That is one thing that I think you could do, but then ask those individuals, not just Black people, do you feel we’re doing a good job? Engagement pulses or surveys, 360’s, those types of events can help give you a sense of where the client or where the employee base is. If you listen and they tell you honestly, you will get a lot of things that you can do differently. They will tell you what they want if they want more face time.


We have what we call coffee and conversation events. You have executives, senior VP’s and leaders, business unit leaders who take one hour out of a month. We would rotate here with one of our resource groups called Cultivate, and we would have people come and they would sit and learn from an executive about what it took for them to get where they are. And this wasn’t just Black leaders, these were leaders from across the board.


One of them was our CEO, Maria Black. She came and sat for an hour and just told her story. She’s Swedish and Maria is not Black, but she was at an event that was sponsored by Cultivate, a group of Black employees. She spent time just talking to us. That is something that a lot of leaders could learn from and that is one of the many reasons why I love and respect Maria, because she has always been that type of leader well before she became CEO. I don’t want to ramble, but those are just a couple of things that I would do differently if they are not being done now.


Brown: I liked on the ADP blog post that oftentimes organizations fail to benchmark their DEI goals and then leadership is not held accountable. Those are great ways to start thinking about it, of how to make it more like what you talked about on the ADP website, that it is a strategy, not just a program. It is a way to make your organization better, stronger, support all the people, and create a culture of innovation that thrives.


Prince: Yes. And if I could add one more thing to this notion of a strategic approach. There’s a huge retailer that I really respect. I have noticed over the last three years that every time I walk into their store, I’ll just say it is Target. They deserve to get credit. So, I walk into Target, and I have noticed every month there is a focus right in that entrance.


When you walk in the door, you may find a Starbucks on the left or the right, but there is a display on the main corner when you walk in after you get your shopping cart. This month it is a focus on Black history, but what I’ve noticed in the past is that there’s been an LGBTQ corner, I think it was in the month of June or July. That is something that is very strategic, as opposed to just saying, let’s just have a day that we give folks who fit these criteria an opportunity to feel valued. They have put their money where their mouth is. They have put an endcap and space within their stores, and many stores I’ve been to that have a focus on that group that may be a part of a DEI strategy, is if people are business leaders are really smart about it, they’ll realize that strategy is typically focused on making money and being profitable.


If you did not think that people of all colors, people of all different sexual orientations, different genders bring in money when you cater to them, then that is something that you can add to your strategy. I can tell you my wife buys more from Target in the clothing and apparel than she used to because there are pictures of Princess Tiana. My daughter sees a t-shirt that looks like her. That is a t-shirt that we would not have bought two or three years ago, my wife has told me that. So when you want to be strategic and you want to make money, even if you’re a nonprofit, you can find ways to do this, make DEI a part of your strategy because everybody will show you their value for who you are to them, but more people are going to buy. I’m not sure what target stock is, but I can guarantee you that people in the black community, you’ve got a lot more people that are talking about it through social media. We all have family and friends, and they find it extremely valuable that there is representation when they go into the store.


That is just one example, but that is a strategic approach and I’m sure that they are not doing it just for the dollars. But let’s face it, when you make those kinds of moves, it is going to add to your bottom line. You will have a lot higher profit, and your sales are going to go through the roof as well. So anyway, I just wanted to take that time to share that story.


Brown: That representation does matter. Even in terms of your workforce, diversity of thought matters in figuring out the best things, figuring out what people’s perspectives in contributing to the bottom line or the strategy. So, James, we have time for three final questions.


The first one is, do you have any habits or practices that you feel have contributed to your success?


Prince: One of them is to agitate. I consider myself what John Lewis would call, making good trouble. I’ve been one that never can sit still and hear that there is something that should be challenged and challenge it.


I feel like people need to have that courage to speak up. I can tell you that again, there have been places where I was the only, but it didn’t stop me from sharing my point of view. If you are there, if you are in a room, you deserve to be there, you have a right to be there, so then use that opportunity to say something.


If you hear that there is a chance for you to add value, that is one habit that I have. Some people may not like it, and my wife, she has a poster of Frederick Douglass, and it has the three words, agitate, agitate, agitate. Sometimes I can be a little agitating in a negative way, but for most, it is for the good. It is truly to challenge others and myself to do more, to be better, to go beyond mediocrity. That is what BMLD is all about. Being more than what you are and not having to accept average just because everyone’s doing it. So what? But let’s go further. What is the opposite of good? Great. And so, if you can be good, but then great is still an option, go one step further and have a great conversation when you can.


Brown: Yes, that is great. James, what would your advice be to up and coming leaders?


Prince: That’s loaded. I would say stay humble.


Brown: Final question, do you have a favorite saying, quote, or motto?


Prince: The one that comes to mind that I use is “to whom much is given, much is required”. So, I feel like if there was anything that I can live my life by, it is knowing that. It’s chicken and the egg, which came first; that I was given much and so much is required or much is required because I was given?


People have been given, for example, this opportunity to share on this podcast. I was grateful and humbled to be very honest that you would ask. But what can I take from this conversation? Someone else is already asking me when I get done, I shared with one of my colleagues that I was doing this, and she wants to have me pass the link along. That is the whole point. What we do should always be with intention. If you think about the fact that I have been given an opportunity to have a conversation with Menttium, to whom much is given, much is required. I am required to share this message on executive presence and to encourage other people to talk about what is not necessarily a comfortable discussion, but much needed.


That would be the first one I pick, just because it is the one that I quote every other day. To whom much is given, much is required, and it is straight from the Bible.


Brown: Yes, James. I love that quote and I think we can all think about how to give back more. We have all been given so much; how can you share that with other people?


James, thank you so much for being my guest today, and thank you for being a mentor for Menttium. You have given us so many actionable ideas for improving executive presence. I also appreciate you sharing your insights on the challenges that African Americans face in the workplace.


Your suggestions for having productive conversations and eliminating DEI fatigue are fantastic and I hope that people will use them. James is a keynote speaker and executive coach, and his company BMLD also does change management and staff development. You can go to his company’s website at www.beyondmediocrityld.com for more information.


James in this discussion day, talked about some articles related to Black History Month, DEI, and facilitating a truly inclusive culture. These articles will be available on the show notes for this episode, and you can also find them on the ADP Spark blog. Thank you all for listening to this Menttium Matters podcast. We have many great guests lined up and we look forward to having you back next time.