EP 263: Turning Your Values Into Action With Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coach Erica Courdae

The Nitty-Gritty:

  • The frustrating situation that led Erica Courdae to go on her own and create Silver Immersion, an inclusive hair and beauty company
  • How Erica has developed her voice and ability to stand up for what she believes in
  • Why modeling is a key way she leads her team—and her clients
  • How she made the transition into coaching and decided to specialize in diversity, equity, and inclusion for business owners
  • Why Erica takes a stand for imperfect allyship and how that plays out in her business

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We talk a good game about having values, living our values, and even running a business with our values.

But, like, what does that really mean?

It’s not enough to have them written down somewhere. It’s not enough to put them on your website. It’s not enough to talk through them with a new hire.

No, values can be, should be, the filter for how we do everything in our businesses.

Part of our job as business owners—as leaders—is to ensure that the values we hold dear are operationalized in our work. It’s our job to make sure values turn into systems, product features, or boundaries with clients.

Strong leaders turn values into action.

This month on What Works, we’re talking about leadership—and specifically, we’re talking about how leaders operationalize their values, how they turn values into action, structure, and systems.

I’m fascinated by the creative ways that entrepreneurs operationalize their values. I’m fascinated by how values make decisions easier, policies clearer, and plans stronger. I’m fascinated by how brands display immense leadership by doing things differently than the norm—all inspired by their values.

And I’m fascinated, of course, by the results that businesses see because of how they operationalize their values: stronger communities, bigger movements, more brand recognition, and, yes, often more profit, too.

Displaying strong leadership and operationalizing our values isn’t squishy and it’s certainly not just a nice-to-have.

It’s become the bar we have to rise above if we want the work we do to be relevant and meaningful.

Over the course of this month, we’re going to hear from leaders who have operationalized their values in a variety of ways.

You’ll hear from Shannon Siriano Greenwood, who has built an incredible, values-driven community with Rebelle. Shannon is now expanding outside of the Richmond area and I wanted to hear how she’s taking her values into new territory.

You’ll hear from Rob Walling, a serial entrepreneur, podcaster, and the founder of MicroConf. Rob has intentionally an event experience that’s different than others in the same field by focusing on his values.

You’ll hear from Melissa Urban and Carrie Kholi-Murchison from Whole30 on why they’re investing in making the Whole30 community a more diverse and inclusive community—and what steps they’re taking to do it.

But today, my guest is Erica Courdae, the founder of Silver Immersion, a Baltimore-area hair and makeup business, as well as a diversity, equity, and inclusion coach.

She’s also the host of Pause On The Play, a podcast where she shares insight and expertise on fulfilling your values for diversity and inclusion in your business.

I met Erica at She Podcasts Live! in Atlanta last October and I knew she’d be a perfect fit to kick off this month on leadership.

Erica and I talk about the frustrating origin story of her first business and whether she’s always been someone willing to speak up and share her truth.

We also talk about how she models her values for her team members and the clients they service—and why that’s a key part of how she leads. Plus, we talk about why she ventured into the world of coaching and how she settled on diversity, equity, and inclusion as her specialty.

This is a great episode to listen to if you’ve felt the call to bring your own values into your business more concretely but don’t know where to start or how to lead the change.

Now, let’s find out what works for Erica Courdae!

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