See It to Be It : Management Consultant (w/ Vivian Blade)

Amy C. Waninger welcomes consultant, author, leadership speaker, trainer and executive coach Vivian Blade to the show this week to discuss her career journey and more. As always, check the links in the show notes to find out more about Vivian!

You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Check out Vivian’s website.

Learn more about her book, Resilience Ready.

Interested in supporting Living Corporate? Check out our Support page.

Check out Lead at Any Level.


Voice-over (00:00): Living Corporate is brought to you by the Liberated Love Notes podcast. Part of the Living Corporate network, the Liberated Love Notes podcast is a starting point, integrating self and community affirmations into your daily practices. The Liberated Love Notes podcasts center the experience of black folks, existing in white systems and speaks to overcoming imposter syndrome, disrupting injected, and internalized forms of oppression, embodying an abundance mindset, and building a healthy racial identity. Check out Liberated Love Notes podcast where ever you listen to podcasts. Hosted by Brittany Janay Harris.

Amy C. Waninger (00:49): Hey everybody. This is See It To Be It. The Wednesday podcast from Living Corporate. Living Corporate is a digital media network that centers and amplifies black and brown people at work. My name is Amy C. Waninger . and I’m the host of See It To Be It. When I was growing up in rural Southern Indiana, I didn’t know people who went to college or who worked in professional roles. I didn’t know what those jobs looked like or how to break into them. I didn’t even know they existed, but this show isn’t about me. It’s about my guests. Every week I bring you career stories from everyday role models in jobs, you may not know exist. More importantly, the folks I interview shared their perspectives as black and brown professionals in jobs and environments, where they may be the only. My guest today is Vivian Blade. She’s someone I met through National Speakers’ Associations, Kentucky Chapter. She is a friend of mine. We worked together in the past and she’s absolutely brilliant. She just released a new book called, Resilience Ready, and we’re going to talk about that and more. But before we get to the interview, we’re going to tap in with Tristan for some career advice.

Tristan (02:00): What’s going on Living Corporate? It’s Tristan and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. Today, let’s discuss how you can more effectively search for jobs on LinkedIn. When applying online, there are so many factors that play into being seen by employers. Linkedin has some great filter and sorting options that can help you narrow down your results, and even potentially increase your odds of being seen. I’m not going to talk about standard filters like location or company, but some that you may not have even known existed.

Tristan (02:31): The first filter is date posted. We know that the sooner you get your application in the higher the likelihood of the recruiter or hiring manager reviewing it. By default, your job search results will show results from any time, but you can use this filter to only display jobs posted within the last 24 hours, the past week, or the past month. The second filter is under 10 applicants. The average job posting gets anywhere from 150 to 250. So if you can be one of the first people to get your application in, you’re more likely to be considered for the role. The third filter is in your network. We know the best way to land jobs is through networking and referrals. By using this filter, you’ll only bring up jobs where you have a connection. You can then reach out to that connection for an informational interview or even a referral, depending on your relationship with them.

Tristan (03:24): The last four filters I’m going to discuss together because I think they can work well in tandem. And they are experience level, job type, industry and job function. You can filter your job search by specific levels of experience, job industry, particular skills, or even by full-time, part-time, contract and more. Suppose you’re trying to move into a senior level leadership role, transition into a new industry, or just exploring what options are out there based on the skills or expertise you have. These settings can help you narrow down the possibilities.

Tristan (03:57): Lastly, don’t forget to set up job alerts. You can create job alerts on LinkedIn to stay updated on new job postings that match your preferences. You can choose to receive these alerts daily or weekly through the email app notifications or both. Start by searching for a job on LinkedIn at the top left of the job search results page, switch the job alert toggle to on, to create a job alert for that search criteria. Instead of spending hours searching for your ideal role, try using some of these filters and sorting options to cut down on your job search time.

Tristan (04:31): This tip was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Résumé consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook at Layfield Résumé or connect with me, Tristan Layfield on LinkedIn.

Voice-over (04:43): Living Corporate is brought to you by The Leadership Range, a podcast within the Living Corporate network. Hosted by globally certified and Fortune 500 executive coach and leadership development expert, Neil Edwards. The lLeadership Range is focused on having real, raw, soulful and accountable conversations about inclusive leadership, allyship, professional development. Every week is a new episode for new learning and new actions to take on, to grow inclusively. Make sure you check out the Leadership Range everywhere you listen to podcasts.

Amy (05:16): Welcome back to See It To Be It. My guest today is my friend, and one of my collaboration partners, and just all around amazing colleague, Vivian Blade. Vivian works with the world’s top brands, equipping leaders with the resilience that inspires teams to recover quickly in the face of ongoing disruption and to thrive in spite of insurmountable odds. And I know, the last year has certainly put that to the test. Welcome to the show of Vivian.

Vivian Blade (05:46): Thank you very much, Amy. I’m excited to be here.

Amy (05:49): I am so glad to have you. I love interviewing people I know. I love interviewing people I don’t know too. But it’s always fun to learn about this kind of career aspect of people that I’ve met. Since they’ve been out on their own, because I don’t typically know all of the stuff that happened before I met you. So today I get to learn that. So too my listeners. So can you talk to us a little bit about your career journey that led you to where you are now?

Vivian (06:14): Yes, absolutely. I was very, very fortunate and blessed with my career path and it started after graduate school with an MBA. I got into the management intern program at Humana, where I had the opportunity to see different parts of the business. My MBA concentration was in finance. So I started out in finance. My second rotation was in marketing, which was so much fun. I had an opportunity to do a third rotation, but I chose to stay in marketing, place out of the program as a marketing manager. I stayed at Humana for nine years doing various marketing roles and progressing in my career. And a colleague of mine had gone over to work for GE Appliances in the direct marketing area for the warranty management business. Recruited me over there. And so that’s how my career within GE began.

Vivian (07:11): And I really had phenomenal opportunities there. And the growth of my career and a lot of lessons learned, happened during my career tenure there for almost 13 years. But I started out in warranty management doing direct marketing, Jack Welch had just started the Lane, well at that time, it wasn’t Lane yet. It was Six Sigma, the Six Sigma initiative. And said, if you want to grow your career in this company, you’ve got to go through being a full time, having a full time spot in the Six Sigma organization. So I had gotten my green belt certification, took a black belt role in the marketing and product management within the Six Sigma organization. Had the opportunity to launch new technology. So the [inaudible 00:08:04] speed cooking oven was new. And I had an opportunity to work on that, was recognized by the GE company with the Lewis Latimer Innovation Award for my work and helping to launch that technology.

Vivian (08:19): Gosh, from there I had an opportunity to go to e-commerce where all of the e-commerce digitization was starting to grow. And we were doing more selling through our dealer network online. And so that was part of my responsibility in that role. From there, I had an opportunity to come back to product management running one of the pieces of the portfolio. So a P and L of sourced cooking products. And what that means is that I had an opportunity to work with manufacturers around the world to design and source cooking products. Different, mostly niche products. And from there had an opportunity to come back to Lean Six Sigma. So I was asked to lead for our consumer and industrial division at the time, the customer experience initiative. And again, sort of on the forefront of new strategies, the Net Promoter Score.

Vivian (09:23): I don’t know how many of you have heard about, or your companies and organizations use Net Promoter, but that was new. And so I was asked to lead that for our division and was part of the GE Steering Committee to lead all of that effort. In 2007, 2008 GE was going to either spin off or sell the appliances division. And so, I began thinking about what would I do if that happened? And then the downturn in 2008, 2009 occurred, and I was impacted, my job was impacted. I was laid off. Previous to that, had to lay off members of my team. And then in that second wave I was impacted.

New Speaker (10:13): So how I got to where I am today was really all of that experience, that career experience that I just described to you, that I had over the course of my time in GE. I had a lot of leadership development, professional development, career development as well. So I had the opportunity from being laid off, to take all of that experience and all of that learning and use that to help other organizations and professionals to succeed in driving change, and developing leaders, in helping professionals be successful in their careers. So long story short, that’s how I got to where I am today.

Amy (10:58): I think that’s wonderful. And there are a couple of things I wanted to follow up on about that, because it sounds from what you described, that you got your first job because of your MBA program. There was sort of a feeder into a company. It was pretty much a natural next step. But then it sounds like everything after that, everything after the marketing job at Humana was really about your network, and who tapped you on the shoulder, and who gave you the inside scoop on what was available, or what was important, or what was valued. Can you talk a little more about that?

Vivian (11:33): Yes. That is critically important. And even my first job out of graduate school was about my network. People that my husband knew, and from that individual working in the human resources area, within Humana, helped me to meet the people who would help me to get into the management intern program to really launch my career start. But, you’re right. From then that transition over to GE and roles since, the network of individuals who I was fortunate enough to meet, to develop relationships with, being part of the GE Affinity Group Employee Resource Group. We have different names for them. But the Women’s Network, the African American Forum also gave me an opportunity to expand my network, be involved, very involved with those affinity groups. And therefore, had a little bit more exposure to people who then could know more about me, and help to let me know, or recommend me for a lot of those opportunities when they came about. So you’re absolutely right. It’s a lot about the network.

Amy (13:01): And I want to go back to this notion of, here you were, you were nationally recognized by your company as an innovator. You were somebody who was moving up. Clearly, they had invested a lot in you, in developing your skills and to giving you experiences. And they got a lot back from you and what you were able to contribute. So, at no point in this whole process where you not performing or not a highly valued employee. And that still wasn’t enough to keep you there post recession. Can you talk a little bit about that and what that felt like?

Vivian (13:39): It was devastating and to your point, I had given a lot. And one of the things that I learned is that you do have to continue to deliver. You have to be on top of your game, be a high performer and in order to have the opportunities for career advancement. To even be able to be considered. So that part was critical. And, even with all of that, to your point, at the point of a downturn, there were people who had been there. A friend of mine 23 years and lost her job during the downturn. And then, that’s part of why I wrote about resilience too. And we can talk about that a little bit later, but that was tough. My faith and my network really helped me to get through that.

Vivian (14:34): So there was really something very, very specific that helped me to navigate that time. And I’ll talk about that briefly, but a colleague of mine who also worked for GE lived in the Texas area. I had gone down to a conference. They invited me to church with them for revival one evening. Marvin Sapp, who is a gospel artist and a pastor, was the visiting pastor for the revival. And he talked about II Chronicles, chapter 20, which is about a king and a small country who were very committed and loyal to their faith and to God. Who had heard about being prophesied to about a bigger country coming in to fight them. They prayed. And at the end of the day, God took care of them. And they were able to reap the rewards of their enemy and take advantage of those opportunities.

Vivian (15:35): And so, I saw that as a message that I could use to help other professionals who were going through layoffs at the time. With some of my own team who initially, I had to either help find positions or lay off. But then later on it spoke to me. So that was one of the things that helped me to get through. Some of the other thinking previously about what would I do if GE were to sell or spin off this business? And I didn’t have a job here anymore, what would I do? And so, those pre-planning thoughts around starting a consulting practice, really helped me to jumpstart my business. But it was very emotional. And having given to your point, so much to the business and feeling like I had committed so much. And you work hard, you give all those extra hours, but I also knew that those were hard decisions for people to make. And even for my boss, that was a tough decision. There were no easy decisions. So I realized that, to help keep myself holistic, that I needed not to take it personally. And try to remember what my personal value was. And then of course there were people in my corner and people in my network who, who were helping me and helped me to get a start in this business. But all of that contributed to getting through that time.

Amy (17:06): Yes. Early in my career, it’s odd to say it now, but early in my career, I was blessed to lose my job often. And I got really good at what I call having one foot on solid ground, and feeling for my next step with my other foot. All the time. And I did that my whole career. People who have been in a job for 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, and don’t have that experience. It can be very devastating when the ground starts to shake. And the reason I brought up, your history with the company and all of that investment. We talked on the show to my friend, Katrina Roddy, and she wrote a book called, Steal Your Skills From Corporate. And she talks about how you just take everything you learn and it’s yours, once you’ve learned it.

Amy (17:55): And it sounds like that’s what you did. But also, work is a season. These jobs are our seasons in our careers. They’re not absolute. And I think a lot of times, especially young people, they don’t start out thinking I am my job. They get the job. And then they start to think, well, this is who I am now. And someday I’ll be this. And they start climbing and they start moving up, and the job becomes so much of a sense of their identity. At some point, when that job is gone, they lose part of, in their minds, they’ve lost part of who they are as well. And I’m wondering if, I know you talk about this in your book a little bit, but I’m wondering as people are facing right now, a similar existential crisis to what we faced in 2008. It’s kind of the reverse a year ago, going into the pandemic, people were losing jobs left and right. And now the narrative is companies can’t find good people and keep them. But there’s going to be a lot of turnover for the next few years in both directions I would imagine as demand changes and shifts. What advice do you have for people as they’re thinking about the next five years of their careers?

Vivian (19:11): I think about a couple of things. I think that’s a great perspective and great question, Amy. I think about a couple of things. One,yourself, and then your contributions and connections to the organization where you may be today. First, I think we have to consider what do we want our careers to be? And we don’t necessarily write the steps and everything falls into place perfectly along the way. But, if we don’t have a vision and an idea of where we want to go and what we want to do, then we can’t take meaningful steps toward that. To lead us to even things that are beyond what we imagined we might be able to do, and really takes advantage of our full potential. So thinking about what it is you want from your career and where can you get the experience, develop your skill and develop your network, to help you move forward toward your goals? And know that a career is made up of stepping stones.

Vivian (20:16): So, given what I want to do in the future, I know that there are going to be two or three or four steps in between. That are going to help give me what I need to be competent, to be able to knock the ball out of the park, when I get to that point. So I think that’s one thing. And then secondly, I think we can’t absorb ourselves so much with what might happen, given the instability of the workplace and jobs right now. Because if we are so worried about that all the time or fearful about that, then it’s hard for us to deliver each and every day. And do what we need to do without that worry. And there are two things to worry about. So one, our job, and then secondly, sometimes we’re so worried about the next step, the next job, that we fail to really keep our focus on and do a great job where we are today, which needs to be your primary focus. But, be concerned about what can I do to add value to this organization? And make sure other people know about it.

Vivian (21:27): Not that we’re just touting our ourselves, but we can put our money where our mouth is and other people can see that and feel that, and we’re making meaningful contributions. Fuel Forward, my first book that I published is all about this topic of career advancement, how you navigate your career for the future. But, to get back to your question, this environment that we’re in, we really have to be solid in who we are, adapt our skillset. What does our organization need from us, and how can we add value, and be those partners to give our best and be seen as a value add contributor?

Amy (22:14): And one thing that you said that I love, and this is a common theme on this show, believe it or not. Is you have to let people know what you’re doing, and know what you’ve accomplished, and know what you’ve contributed. Because a lot of folks, especially folks from historically excluded groups, especially people who grew up, maybe in working class families are frequently told, put your head down, do a good job, mind your own business and let them notice you. And we know that doesn’t work. And you said, you have to put your money where your mouth is, but I think the reverse is true for a lot of us. We have to learn to put our mouth where our money is. And nobody tells us that. Did you find that to be true for yourself?

Vivian (22:55): Absolutely. Aand growing up in my professional career in GE, I had a lot of career development, career advice, sponsors, mentors that helped me along the way. Incredibly fortunate for what I learned. And from that learning, I wrote the book, Fuel Forward. So, just to emphasize quickly, the things that you’re talking about our career is built on a foundation of our execution. That is table stakes gives us the opportunity to play in the career advancement arena, to be considered for additional roles. Then, there are what I call three accelerators, your reputation, your reach, and your relationships. Your reputation, your professional brand, there are these core brand variables that we have to manage and be mindful of. And one of those is making sure that we tell our story, and that we make decisions about what we want our brand to be, and that we represent that each and every day.

Vivian (23:59): Secondly is reach that second accelerator. And reach comes from the advertising term, which is the awareness or the reach that your brand message has to a given target audience. So who do you want to reach? What are we doing to make sure that people know our story, our message, what our value is? But we also have the opportunity to demonstrate that. Who is itan is it that is important to be aware of who we are and what we can contribute? And that we are intentionally reaching out to create connections and reaching out to bring people aware of who we are, and the value we bring. And then there are the relationships we have our allies, our acquaintances, we have advocates, we also have adversaries. So I talk a lot about what those four relationships are and how to manage each of those relationships in our career management process. So you’re speaking my language Amy.

Amy (25:03): I love it. And I’m embarrassed to admit I have not yet read Fuel Forward. But I was lucky enough to be one of the earlier readers of Resilience Ready, which is your new book. And can you just tell us a little bit about what prompted you to write Eesilience Ready in this moment in time?

Vivian (25:20): Yes. Last year, given where we were in the pandemic and everything that was going on. In fact, I had began to write a book and was writing, not Resilience Ready, but really a book about how you move forward in the face of career crossroads. And as we began to get into the pandemic, everything was shutting down. People were stuck. I was stuck myself in fear of the uncertainty, not knowing what was next. And I began to really rethink about my purpose. What can I do in this time right now to help professionals, to help leaders to get through this time and to make a difference? And to help their teams and their organizations to get through this time. And so, I really shifted what I was writing about at that career crossroads, because a lot of that was really how do we navigate during a crisis and a challenging time, make sure we can move forward? So I adapted what I was writing. Really began to think about the topic of resilience and what it meant to be resilient? How to become resilient? What are some of the things that are holding us back from being resilient? And so, that’s why I wrote this book.

Amy (26:44): And you do a lot of work with companies helping them manage crises. And not just COVID, but things like their reputation is damaged because an employee does something stupid online that draws negative attention. Or they have a big product recall that they need to manage the publicity around. Or an executive leaves and now they’ve got a deal with ,the aftermath of that. And so you’re not just telling this from a place of how to do this in your career, you’re coming from a place of really deep expertise in crisis management at this big, I’m not going to word this right but on a massive scale.

Vivian (27:28): Yes. And the examples that you talked about, for example, a big PR product recall that you have to deal with. I’ve been there. I’ve been in the product management seat when that has happened, and I’ve had to deal with that operationally. So I know crisis management from the operational aspects. And I also, having been in Lean Six Sigma, I know the process improvement processes. I teach project management for the University of Louisville College of Business. So, I know the operational side and how that works. I can help you through that help organizations through that. Also, and a lot of what resilience ready is about is about the human capital element. Because a lot of times when we are focused on the checklist or the process improvement process, we are not as focused on the human capital element, which is critically important for any change.

Vivian (28:27): And we are in this change environment we have been, but whether it’s a crisis, whether it’s the change that we’re going through where we, we experienced reluctance and resistance to change. How do we engage our teams, the individuals, the people, the humans in the process to help deal with the emotion, the challenge that everyone’s going through, the overwhelm that everyone is going through? And pull everyone along to have a seat at the table to be able to get through it collectively and put the operational aspects along with the human capital aspects of change and crisis. To be successful and moving forward and thriving through it, not just surviving through it.

Amy (29:20): And I think that is so important because typically when something happens, the something with the capital S. Something happens, people are more stressed, and they’re asked to work just a little bit harder. And they’re working with other people who are more stressed, who are also working just a little bit harder. And the complaints start to come in, and there’s some churn, and then somebody leaves. And it’s almost like this spiraling downward. And what you’re helping people do is really just stop that in its tracks, so they can maintain everything that’s working and fix the stuff that isn’t at the same time.

New Speaker (30:03): That’s right.

Amy (30:04): I talk with my hands a lot, which people can’t see on the podcast, but I did a brilliant Amy sign language demonstration of what we were just discussing [inaudible 00:30:11].

Vivian (30:13): Yes, she did. Yes. I can attest to that yet. She did. Absolutely Amy, because what is critical is for us to remember that we are human beings. And stress costs organizations more than $300 billion a year in turnover, loss, productivity, healthcare costs, absenteeism. All of those elements are affected and they are real. They are real. And we have seen that more prevalently this past year with the pandemic, than we have maybe in other crises or challenges that we’re dealing with in our organizations. But never mind the size and the scale, those areas of impact are there. And they have to be dealt with, or they grow into bigger issues and they can create challenges for the success of your change process of the crisis that you’re going through, of what you’re trying to implement. So you have to deal with that. With that element. Absolutely.

Vivian (31:28): What I talk about in Resilience Ready is our typical reaction when we face a crisis or a challenge, we have that uncertainty in front of us. And you talked about the spiraling down when we have so much that’s out of our control. Again, there’s so much uncertainty in front of us. We can respond as a victim. This has happened to me. I didn’t ask for this. What’s going on. There’s nothing I can do about it. This is the hand that I have been dealt. And we can respond again, more helplessly as a victim. Oftentimes, we begin it that way we don’t have to stay in that place, but sometimes we do move to the point of where, well, it’s been some time, again, this is the hand that I’ve been dealt.

Vivian (32:19): I’m going to settle for this. I’ve beginning to learn how to get through it and how to make it. So I begin to settle. So after a time we get to the point where we’re surviving, we’re doing okay. We’ve gotten our survival strategy, how to make it. You were getting maybe a little bit better than we were before, not quite the victim. Where you’re not settling as much, but we haven’t yet gotten to the point where we could be. We’re not taking advantage of the possibilities, or we’re scared. We’re stuck. We’re frozen in where we are right now. And it’s not until we take that next step into our stage, the next stage in our crisis response of being courageous. Where we really think about what is the one next, best thing that I can do, the step that I can take to help to move from this point to move forward to a better condition, to get to the point where we can thrive?

Vivian (33:23): And that is the fifth stage of our internal crisis responses. Now we’re taking action. We’re not settling. We’re not staying where we are. We’re going past surviving. Having the courage to figure out what can I do, and how can I thrive where I’m beginning to click again on all cylinders? I’ve figured it out that I’m in a change continuum that, things are going to continue to evolve. But I figured out how to look at those situations, how to change my perspective and how to take action toward, here’s the vision of what I want my future to be. The future of this organization, to be my team, to be as a leader and engaging your team in those conversations, in the process. But, getting to that point where I’m not just surviving, but I am thriving as I go through and get through a crisis. We’re not going to enter a crisis in the thriving mode. And we’re human, we’re going to go through some of those other stages, but it’s those people who can use a lot of the resilience principles that I talk about and process to help them to get to that thriving stage, to rebound quickly.

Amy (34:45): And going back, you were talking about all these stepping stones in your career. How do you get to where you want to go? And it really is about taking just the next step, and the next step. And being intentional on what those steps are, but understanding that the path may change. Because when a crisis happens or when a new opportunity comes around, or even in your own career. You were talking about being on the new e-commerce team and then the new product management team, and then the new customer experience team. Those were jobs that didn’t exist when you started.

Vivian (35:14): That’s right.

Amy (35:15): But by just keeping on those paths, by just stepping forward and saying, what can I do next? What can I do next? You were able to forge a really rich path to things that you could not have foreseen.

Vivian (35:30): That’s right.

Amy (35:31): And I think crisis does that for us as well in a lot of cases, if we play it right.

Vivian (35:35): That’s right. Yeah. And I would not have been prepared to take on some of those successive roles if I hadn’t done some of the other roles previous. So you have to be attentive to and talk to people, understand what are the steps that are important to get you to where you want to be. And to your point, Amy, there were new opportunities that open up that I didn’t even, none of us really were aware of or knew that they would be in the future. But because I had taken the opportunity again, to prepare myself at successive levels, get the experience. And to build my network of sponsors to take advantage of the career development. Being in the African-American Forum and the Women’s Network, being very involved there. They’re taking leadership roles and know so that I had opportunities for development.

Vivian (36:33): I also had opportunities for reach and exposure for people to know me, and know what I was about, and what I could do. And then, therefore there were people who were willing to go to bat for me too. And I had to speak up about what my interests were. So getting into that customer experience, leadership role back in Six Sigma, as a master black belt, I would not have had that opportunity if the senior vice president of marketing at the time, wasn’t aware of my career interests. And herefore, he had the opportunity then to bring my name up and she wasn’t the only one. I can think of other people. There was a time when I actually, when I took the role from Six Sigma as a black belt to e-commerce. My mentor who was the general counsel for our business, his name is Raymond Burse. He got on me because I did not consult him. Actually, that was not the next best step for me. And he let me know that, but I took that role in isolation. I probably talked to some other folks, but it didn’t consult him who knew a lot more about the landscape. And politically what roles I needed to take, the experience that I needed to have, to have the kind of leadership career I wanted. So though that role did prove out to have some important development. It did put me a couple of years behind. So, using your network of mentors and advocates, and people who know the business, and know the opportunities that you got to have some of those conversations.

Amy (38:35): Yes. And it’s also good to have those people when crisis hits. Because they can give you perspective that you don’t have, otherwise they can help you find the next opportunity. And then, sometimes you find that you’ve landed on your feet and they’re struggling and you can start to give back.

Vivian (38:52): Oh, absolutely. Because mentoring is definitely two-way. No, it is not, not one way. One of the resources that I have available with the Fuel Forward book, is a free download with that, with part of the resources for Fuel Forward is a mentoring guide. And it walks you through the mentoring relationship. From thinking about who your mentor might be and asking, and engaging a mentor through having a constructive mentoring process, to sunsetting and mentoring relationship, closing that relationship.

Amy (39:24): And where can people find that?

Vivian (39:26): It’s availability on your Feel Forward book is on Amazon. Resilience Ready is on Amazon. And if you go to, then you can get access to a variety of resources that go along with the Fuel Forward book.

Amy (39:52): That is fantastic. Now, there are probably people listening to this who think, you know what my company needs some help managing crisis because they need help getting us through. Remembering that their employees are stressed out as they are. If they want to mention your name in rooms where people could bring you in to give some of the support in their organizations. Where’s the best place for them to find you?

Vivian (40:18): You can email me at My website is My LinkedIn profile you’ll find me there, Vivian Blade. You’ll find me on LinkedIn. Also, you might want to check out, which is the website for the resilience ready book. You’ll also find some additional resources and information. There’s a free webinar there as well about resilience and being resilience ready that you might want to check out.

Amy (40:53): Excellent. Thank you so much. We’ll make sure we get those links in the show notes. Vivian, I want to thank you for sharing just a little bit more with me about your career journey but more importantly sharing all of these amazing lessons with our listeners. You’re such a great resource to me and such a good friend, and I’m so glad to have you.

Vivian (41:10): Thank you, Amy. I appreciate the opportunity to share. I wish the best to your listeners, and to you, and appreciate our friendship so much, and our collaboration as well. You’ve been such a great partner to me. So thank you for that.

Amy (41:26): You’re very kind.

Voice-over (41:29): Living Corporate is brought to you by The Break Room. Have you ever felt burnt out depressed or otherwise exhausted by being one of the onlys at work? You know what I’m talking about. Hosted by black psychologists, psychiatrists and PhDs. The Break Room is a live, weekly web show in the Living Corporate network that discusses mental health, wellness, and healing for black folks at work. Name another weekly show explicitly focused on mental health, wellness, and healing for black folks at work. I’ll wait. This is why you’ve got to check out The Break Room, airing every Thursday at 7:00 p.m. Central Standard Time on

Amy (43:25): All right. Wasn’t Vivian fun? What I love about Vivian is that she has taken all of this knowledge, all of this experience that she’s gotten in all of these corporate roles, where she was really invested in. These companies really developed their people and she realized she had this collection of knowledge. That was valuable beyond her current role, beyond just her own head. As she’s able to then pour into others, all of this, that she’s learned, all of this experience and knowledge and education that she has.

Amy (43:56): If you enjoyed this episode, don’t forget to subscribe to Living Corporate, and share us with your friends and colleagues. And Hey, you can really help us out by leaving a six star review wherever you get your podcasts. If you’re new here, you may be thinking Amy, there are only five stars. Okay. Give us all those stars, but then go the next step by leaving a couple of sentences in your own words, telling us what you liked about the guests, or the episode or the series. Don’t forget to visit to learn more about our other podcast videos, web shows, and more.

Amy (44:28): See It To Be It is brought to you in part by Lead At Any Level, a certified woman and LGBTQ-owned business dedicated to helping organizations turn their reclusive nerds into inclusive leaders. Lead At Any Level leaders can be anywhere and should be everywhere. Learn more at That’s it for this week’s episode of See It To Be It. This is Amy C. Waninger and I’ll see you next time.

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