In this week’s episode of Leading the Way, you’ll get introduced to a dynamic and empowering woman who shares her amazing journey to success that began with an inspiring story of fleeing to America from Ghana when she was a little girl. Mia Mends, CEO of Inspirus | Sodexo, Benefits and Rewards Services, USA is a living example of the true American Dream and demonstrates for us the opportunities that we can create simply by taking intelligent risks. She authentically shares how her career and life transformed by taking a leap of faith, and who believes that the only way to get experiences in life is by trying, whether or not you feel you are ready.
Mia, a humble leader who calls herself an “accidental CEO,” talks about the power of vulnerability, asking for help, listening, paying attention to cues, and aligning with values is what gets you to the top. So many great insights shared by Mia on the topics of employee engagement, building a healthy culture, and how using real-time technology to share employee recognition is a powerful way to make people feel valued. She also reiterates the power in “thank you”.
You’ll feel motivated and encouraged by the wisdom and perspectives of Mia Mends, who works hard to help people see their own potential and is passionate about making people feel hopeful, optimistic, and grateful about life. Surely, the world could use more leaders like this.
- On risk-taking – “The growth journey is about taking a leap sometimes. When I have taken risks, it has been painful and hard but somehow had the ability to say, ‘I am afraid, but I am going to walk through the fire.’ Before you jump off, understand inherently the end goal, be present and open, be willing to live with the pain of the journey, consider the worst thing that can happen, and have a plan in case the worse thing materializes.”
- On values – “Don’t chase titles in life, chase the work that aligns with your value system and allows you to be your most authentic self.”
- Advice to young professionals – “Be still. There is power in being in the moment. Stop thinking about the next opportunity, stop planning a decade out. Give everything you have to where you are, and amazing things can happen.”
- On culture - “A healthy culture is an environment where people go above and beyond, we call it ‘discretionary efforts’; when people go to work and feel like they can bring their whole self to work, allowed to feel vulnerable and psychologically safe. Because when people can feel safe, it enhances their commitment and allows them to focus on the job at hand, knowing they’re in an environment that truly cares.”
- On employee engagement – “It is leadership-driven and it’s about helping employees create meaningful connections at work, with their managers and with their peers.”
- On complacency - “Complacency is falling victim to the way things are versus the way things could be. Ask ‘what can I do better?’. We all have an obligation to contribute meaningfully. Why not advocate for positive change?”
About Leading the Way
Leading the Way is a weekly radio show and podcast series that highlights influential business leaders and leading people practices from i4cp. Co-hosted by Emmy award-winning television anchor and radio host, Scott Murray, and i4cp’s Angel Carlton, the show features interviews with respected business leaders from the world of business, sports, entertainment, healthcare and philanthropy.
The show airs live every Sunday at 4 pm CT on KLIF 570 in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, the global audience is invited to listen live on www.klif.com and the weekly podcast debuts on iTunes or Google Play and the i4cp website the following week.