Name: Winnie D Talley
Title: Public Speaker | Founder & CEO
Organisation: People Operations Services
Location: United States
A thought leader with over 15 years of experience in a variety of fields including administration, human resource, and management. I have served in many industries and is able to provide direction and guidance by speaking and sharing my challenges and how I overcame.
Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!
We’ve gone through the interviews and asked the best of the best to come back and answer 7 MORE Questions on Leadership.
I hope Winnie's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!
1. As a leader, how do you build trust with employees, customers and other stakeholders?
People are human beings that require compassion, empathy, and overall generosity and I honor them in that way. Humanity is number one. Most of us grew up hearing the saying, treat people how you want to be treated; that is the foundation I build on.
I understand that trust is not given, it’s earned. As I lead with integrity and kindness with the goal to receive and retain the trust of everyone I partner with, no matter in what capacity. It is my duty to offer not only a great service, but an unforgettable experience. I take pride in saying, I am here for you every step of the way.
Every day brings new opportunities, so I am open to receiving new challenges and creating solutions. I understand that my efforts must be equally supportive to the people as well as the organization. So as the representative or leader of the people, I recognize that I must collaborate with them for the best solution around the opportunity.
2. What do 'VISION' and 'MISSION' mean to you? And what does it actually look like to use them in real-world business?
When I think of vision, purpose comes to mind. I believe that vision gives you the roadmap to your destiny. So its your purpose calling you to be with your are destined to be. Once you answer the calling on your life and start moving toward the vision you have been given, then the mission starts.
The mission is when you tackle the thing that your vision has told you or has driven you to create a solution for. Businesses are visions of how your going to provide a solution to an area of opportunity. For example, my vision was to bring engagement into all workforces.
The area of opportunity was the lack thereof. So my mission, was to open People Operations Services to provide programs for workplaces so that they can engage with their people.
Once you have the vision, and you make up in your mind that your going to pursue it, that is when you start moving towards your purpose, and the mission starts.
3. How can a leader empower the people they're leading?
In order to empower your people, you must engage with them. You have to be intentional about getting to know who they are, what they need, and how they can bridge the gap for your need and lack. I have witnessed organizations suffer lack while the solution was amongst them. The problem wasn't that the answer was not available, it was because the leaders didn't engaged with their people so they didn't know, what they needed was there all along.
Empowering people is to give power to someone to do something, but how do you determine who you give the power to? You must engage. Acknowledge that your are in need, inform your people on what you are needing, and then move forward with the solution or with the person that can provide the solution that is amongst you.
You should avoid outsourcing a service and gaining an additional expense, when you have the answer to the problem on the roster already.
4. Who are some of the coaches or mentors in your life who have had a positive influence on your leadership? Can you please tell a meaningful story about one of them?
God has been the most influential coach in my life and has made an tremendous impact on my leadership. When I unjustly lost my job, less than a month after I moved into my new home. I realized that those who I looked up too and friended, was only conditional. During the most challenging time in my life, they were nowhere to be found.
So I went into isolation and leaned solely on him. Apologizing relentlessly because when I had everything I thought I needed, I abandon him, but when everyone else left, he remained. Through our time together our relationship grew stronger and he began to show me things about myself that I wasn't aware of. When I would have moments of sorrow, he strengthen me. He introduced me to people that would push me into my purpose.
I remember the first destiny helper that he introduced me too. She was a random hairstylist who planted a seed that I could become an entrepreneur and be successful in my purpose. As I nurtured the seed, by giving it thought and moving in the direction I was being led, I began to see myself successful as she said. Weeks later, that seed had grown and People Operations Services was born.
He revealed to me the strength I have within and how it can move mountains, and he trained me on how to activate it.
5. Leadership is often more about what you DON'T do. How do you maintain focus in your role?
Success requires you to prioritize your time and monitor your intake. To remain focus, you have to limit your time on things that does not matter. You must be reminded on what you did before you became as big or as busy as you are now.
Many times, people become overwhelmed and distracted with success because they fail to do the things that they use to do, prior to success. For example, if you sought counsel and guidance for success, you must continue to seek that same guidance to maintain it. If you became resilient and determine to gain that level of leadership, you must continue to be resilient and determined to keep it.
When you continue to follow the path that has excelled you, quite often you will yield success. I maintain focus because I lean on my life coach for guidance, because my coach brought me to success. I monitor my intake and limit my time on things that doesn't contribute to my success as a person or leader. I acknowledge that I must be led, so that I can be effective as a leader. I lead by learning and learning requires focus.
6. If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. Everyone plans differently. How do you plan for the week, month and years ahead in your role?
I realize that there are some people, that are more gifted in areas that I am not. So I partner and collaborate with others to ensure I am making the best decision possible. I share my plans and accept help so that I won't become overwhelmed or overbooked.
When you are a collaborative leader, you will find strength in those relationships that you would have not had alone. Everyone is uniquely created and has strengths and weaknesses. When we come together and fill in the gaps for each other, we become unstoppable.
Our visions may take us far, but we go further when we collaborate with the right people, because there is always someone who is strong where we are weak.
7. What advice would you give to a young leader who is struggling to delegate effectively?
As humans, our body and mind have limits. We can only do and go as far as it allows. In life our goal as leaders and people in general, is to live a thriving life. Many of us, have not experienced a thriving life, because we have not allowed others to do, what they are destined or called to do, for us.
For example, a seed can only thrive when it is partnered with good soil, energy, and a water source. Without them, its just a seed.
I encourage you to identify what you need to thrive. I can tell you that you need suitable rest and a loving environment. Those two things alone, requires you to partner with others. You have to be acceptable to allow someone to grant you rest or a vacation. You must allow others to love you, by helping you. If you choose not too, you will become exhausted and frustrated and the body and mind, will shut down.
Make up in your mind that you don't want to be a surviving leader, but rather a thriving leader.