Uncomfortable Questions with Melina Cordero
[00:00:00] Melina, thank you so much for joining me.
Thanks for having me. This is exciting. I love it. Do you know what , there's something I really love about when I know someone reasonably well and they come on the podcast, cuz I think we get a really rich conversation because we know each other a little bit and , it's a good comfortable convo.
Goes straight in there. Yeah, exactly.
I've been really looking forward to you coming on because this is a topic This is a topic that is really applicable across the board. And sometimes I'm conscious that some of the topics I pick are gonna be for a bit of a slice of my audience and maybe not as applicable for others.
This topic that we are going into today, the post 2020 Workplace. Is just, it's applicable for all of us. There's so much for us to learn around this, so thank you for coming on to share about it with me. Can we [00:01:00] kick off by you just introducing yourself and telling the listeners a bit about your journey to where you are now?
Sure it was I always say about my journey, it's, it was very winding path, but I'm very proud of that. I had fun along the way and it was hard at times, but also I always encourage people not to shy away from taking steps that feel. Off the path, but actually it's all part of the path.
So my career was pretty unexpected for me. When I graduated university and I had these grand plans of going into one field and ended up in another, and I landed in a commercial real estate. So I was working primarily in retail with all sorts of clients. There was major smaller retailers all over the world.
But also with owners and landlords and big banks and pension funds that were that were owners of real estate. And so a world that I had never really planned to go into, but I [00:02:00] was there and I did really well. And I landed in a big, sort of Fortune 200 company and was climbing the ladder. I joke, I was climbing by accident, like I was falling up.
What's that? I did really well. But as I was going through, and, I was in it for about 10 years, I the higher I went, the deeper I went into that space, that industry, that environment it didn't feel right to me. It didn't feel like I was where I wanted to be, even though, financially, career wise, you look at my LinkedIn profile, it was a great career.
It was a great path on the outside, but for me it didn't really fit. So I found myself. Open to looking at what was it that I wanted, which is hard to do when you have, a full-time job or two full-time jobs as a lot of us we have. And then the pandemic hit, and then it was 2020 I was, and then 2020 happened, and for all of us, I think 2020 was a moment where, a lot of things [00:03:00] happened.
A lot of things happened on the outside, but a lot of things happened on the inside, right? All so many of us ended up for various reasons looking inward and saying, is this what I want? Is this where I wanna be? What more do I want? What am I missing? And for me, because I was leading this life where I was always on the road, I was going to conferences, I was speaking at places, I was having meetings all over.
I really didn't have a chance to just sit and think. Yeah. And the pandemic gave me that chance. It, that's a big lesson there, right? You need space to Come up with things. So what happened for me was I had that space to sit and really. Get more in touch with was it that I wanted or what I didn't want.
But also it was what was going on around us. So here in the us and really all over the world, in addition to the pandemic, there were these large social justice movements Here. There's Black Lives Matter, which ended up being very global and sitting in Washington, DC where I was living at the [00:04:00] time it was very present for me.
And very present for me as a Hispanic woman in a very white and male dominated industry. And I started looking around at how companies were responding to this. Not just how my company was responding, but how everyone was responding and how leaders were responding to this, and how lost leaders felt around this.
And what do we do? And we're not prepared for these kinds of conversations in the workplace, and I don't know what to do. And that's when it all came together for me. And I said that I can change and I think we can do a better job than what we're doing. And I think it just takes a little more focus, a little bit more innovation and more hearts and minds that are dedicated to thinking about this and equipping people to.
Do things differently, and it all came together really quickly for me. It clicked, it felt right. I was passionate about it. I was super fascinated by [00:05:00] it. And long story short, I handed in my resignation to a lot of shock and awe in, in April of 2021. And I just said, I dunno exactly how I'm gonna do this or what it's gonna look like, but I'm gonna figure it out.
And that's what I did. That is some entrepreneurial bravery right there because and let's face it, I think anyone who answers that call to do something that is more aligned with their values, with what they care about, what they're passionate about. There's no getting around that need for bravery that need to do a courageous thing.
It must have been a shock to the people you were working with cuz here's this woman who is doing so incredibly well within the company. Was there an element of kind of not really understanding your motivation at the point where you had handed in your notice from inside the [00:06:00] company? Oh yeah. A lot of people didn't understand.
I'm very lucky that I have the support of my family and I have a great friend group that was very supportive and they knew me well enough to know that I, I wasn't doing something wild. I wasn't, it wasn't a reactive thing to feeling stressed or angry about anything. It was a genuine desire and optimism about figuring this out.
However, yes, in, in the environments where I worked there, there was a mixed response, right? There were some people who said are you crazy? What? Why are you're on this path and look where you're going. Because it was very much, as I mentioned this very pretty path that on the outside, you did this and then you did this, and then you got a promotion after a year and a half, and then another promotion after another year and a half, and you were at this position at the age of 32, which was totally unheard of.
Right? And I ticked all these boxes that were like, you're doing well. And people thought it was insane that I would step off of that path.[00:07:00] But the people who knew me well and understood what, what really motivated me, understood that wasn't what was gonna make me happy. And that's not what was gonna make me feel fulfilled and successful.
I didn't feel successful. That's the funny thing on that path. A really good insight, isn't it? I think I did a podcast episode about this a couple of weeks ago, and that is around, def having your own definition of success. And it doesn't look always the same as everyone else is, or the same as the definition people expect to have.
Yeah, we and that I think, takes a lot of work to be able to separate and distinguish what is my definition of success and fulfillment and accomplishment and what is everybody else's, because it's hard. It's hard when you feel, ugh I'm on a good path, I'm happy. And then someone makes. A comment that's when are you gonna go back to work?
Or when are you done with your sabbatical? And I was like, I'm not on a sabbatical. [00:08:00] I'm right. I'm building a business. So you have to have a, and I think it's something you have to continue to work with and continue to seek support around is, yes this is what I want, this is what I want, this is right for me.
This feels good. And if it doesn't to listen to that voice too. I agree. Yeah, absolutely. And making that stand for the, and this isn't about sacrificing making money. Oh. Or sacrificing anything else. This is about embracing everything for full fulfillment and fully realizing everything you're capable of.
And I guess that's where a lot of people stop short. They do stop short and they stop short at the position of the expected definition of success. Whereas quite often Oh yeah. People, it's much bigger. It's much bigger if they let themselves follow it. Yeah. And I found myself in that space, because I was ticking all these boxes of [00:09:00] financial growth and title climbing and being in these fancy offices and going to these important meetings.
And. I found myself trying to push myself to be happy with all that, which I think a lot of us do, right? I think most of us can identify with that. It's no. You should be happy. And so I spent a lot of time trying to figure out why I wasn't, push myself to be happy with that. And at a certain point I was like maybe this just isn't what fuels me and feeds me.
At which point you say, okay, I have to abandon ship on that mission and say, okay, what is it that would make me feel good? So what was that transition? What was this new passion that you decided to pursue? Tell us a bit about the work that you did when you, after you handed in your notice.
So after I handed in my notice, and this is advice that I got from a lot of people and that I continue to give to [00:10:00] people who make a similar move, is you need to take some time to create a little bit of a buffer space between the path you are on and the path you're getting on.
Because if you just do this radical shift, you're gonna carry over too many things from. Your past life, right? Yeah. And so I did at the insistence of many of my supporters, I took several months and just digest it. We were still in the pandemic. It was 2021. So I took time to do the things that I hadn't had time for before.
I went on walks. I went to museums. I read so many books. And I spent a lot of time thinking and learning about this topic, this new topic I was gonna dedicate myself to, which was leadership, diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace. Change management, why do we work the way we do? So I went on this really fun.
Sort of intellectual path around. I need to understand why things are the way they are at work today. And what are some alternatives? So that's what I did. And [00:11:00] then I started writing and taking those ideas and sharing them with people and getting feedback. And then I started doing some consulting work.
So I started working directly with organizations who were committed to and interested in advancing. Their approach to diversity, equity, inclusion, organizations that were committed to doing it differently, not just ticking boxes and, writing a check to an organization, but they really wanted to do it.
And that was super fun. Because I got to work with great people and experiment and try new things with them. Because that's what the space is about. It's constantly evolving, right? So I was doing that. At the basic level it was consulting and advisory work for companies working with leadership.
And so that's where I started. And did you see that almost when you started doing that and working with these kind of companies? It not all companies were at that place, were they, not all companies were being proactive [00:12:00] around seeking the education and really addressing the, how they needed to maybe look at things differently and do things differently.
But do you now see. The ball rolling on that and more companies seeking that?
It's a great question. And it's hard to answer because on the surface, if you look at the stats, at least in the US there was a huge infusion of investment and attention to diversity, equity inclusion, particularly after the murder of George Floyd, right? So post 2020, all these companies were rushed to do that, but a lot of those companies were public companies.
A lot of them Did similar moves, right? They hired a chief diversity officer, they hired a team, they became public about, their diversity metrics. So I think that on the one hand there's definitely been a renewed attention to this. However, I think that it is still very limited [00:13:00] compared to where it could and should be, and.
I think there's still a lot of belief that this is a large company thing. If you're a large public company and you have to, be held accountable to shareholders and a larger audience around what you're doing to take a stand they're doing it. But I think a lot of smaller and medium companies feel like we just don't have the resources to do something like that, and therefore there's nothing we can do.
And that is where I think we have a huge opportunity to change the mindset around that and change the way that we approach this work and make it more accessible to a wider audience. So I'm hearing that, these bigger companies are doing it because they feel they have to do it, and I.
I know that's not the whole reason. I think there are a lot of leaders who want to embrace this, but they've certainly got an added incentive of answering to their shareholders and ticking the right boxes. And you use the word attention. There's been a lot [00:14:00] of attention on it, and we know, don't we, that just because there's a lot of attention on something that doesn't always equate to cultural change within a company.
It doesn't equate. To actually embracing the change. With, you can have meetings add in for item, but if you're not doing the right things to really embed change into a company, it's just lip service, isn't it? A lot of box ticking is what the primary complaint has been about d e I and sort of leadership programs over the past few years is that people are frustrated with a lack of sort of results or real change.
That it feels very on the surface, that it feels, as you explained, like we're doing this for PR or communications purposes. And so that is a chief complaint among a lot of people now. When we dig into that I shy away from saying that it's because they don't care. I don't of course there's always a portion of leadership of organizations that really don't see it as [00:15:00] important, but they do it because they feel they have to.
There's always gonna be that percentage, but I feel in the work that I do and the conversations I've had and the leaders that I have engaged with, that it's more an issue of not knowing what to do. Yeah, it is more an issue of not being sure what works, not having any blueprints of this is what you do, having very few people and resources to guide them in that path, in that exploration.
So that is where I saw and continue to see the greatest opportunity for change and growth is in equipping and educating everybody. With these tools because I think one of the myths is that it takes, is these huge changes and just huge, massive, overwhelming shifts. And I don't have time for that.
Nobody has time for anything these days, right? And yes, we do have some big changes we need to make, but we also have lots and lots of tiny [00:16:00] little every day shifts that we can do. That actually make a massive difference in, in this work. I, those are the bits and I feel they're the bits that people don't know what to do.
It's almost like big. Exactly. Huge projects that you can undertake or I is almost that's not the bit that needs companies attention right now necessarily. It's the micro steps, the embedding. Just tiny actions done repeatedly. And consistency that will change culture. Yes. Do you think? Yes. Small hinges swing big doors.
Is my favorite. I love that. Yeah. Love it. Yeah. Small hinges swing big doors. Sorry Lena. You're gonna have to literally edit this out cuz my head's going into like somewhere completely different with that.
Right Lena Edit me laughing and being weird [00:17:00] about it. Lemme just get out my, that's the blooper. Does the blooper real? Ok. I do love that small hinges swing big doors. And it's true, isn't it? It is really true that the small things we do, because it's easier to keep up, smaller change and it, and that builds like a muscle, right?
Cuz the confidence comes with small changes that stick. If you read anything, all these popular books and studies around habit changes. Habits, yeah. Changing practices. It's lots of small, micro, repetitive and a, it's not perfect. You have to stumble, but you have to keep trying to go, oh, I forgot to do that.
Okay, let me do it again. And it's that, and it doesn't, so it doesn't have to be perfect. That's another major thing, doesn't it? Doesn't have to be perfect. No. So that makes me also think is another of the things holding leaders back, this fear of getting it wrong? Oh, I would say that's the [00:18:00] primary thing, holding leaders back.
I say it's two things. Not knowing what to do. Yeah. And they're very correlated. Not knowing what to do. And when you're in that position, being terrified. Of doing it wrong or doing the wrong thing, or saying the wrong thing. And can you blame anyone for having that fear? Consider the context we're in.
Everything's online, everything's on social media. Everybody can criticize everything. Everybody can record anything, legally or illegally. It happens. And there's backlash for a lot of things. And so the rise of things like cancel culture and the fact that leaders feel and indeed are in the limelight more than ever before, it is terrifying to think, I can't mess this up because if I do, I could be done for a very long time.
So it's a scary, so it's safer to not do anything, isn't it? It's safer to take no act. It's safer. Exactly. And that inaction [00:19:00] out of fear is what I believe is the thing that we need to change. Because if we can address that, we unlock an incredible number of people and teams who are doing the work.
Yes. So tell me a bit more about that and tell me how that features in the work you do. With your clients and with the pro, the exciting project that you are working on? Yes. So as I mentioned, I started off doing this advisory and consulting work around specifically diversity, equity, and inclusion.
So helping yeah a company or organizations craft programming and think differently about what they're doing and how they're growing their business, taking things like equity and inclusion. Into account. So that's what I was doing, combining my background in, in business strategy and client facing things to incorporate d e i and [00:20:00] business growth, right?
The things you need to do. But as I was doing that was spending more and more time with leaders, right? Spending a lot of time with leaders, having these conversations, they would get comfortable with me and they would trust me, and then they would tell me what they were concerned about, and they would say, Hey, can I ask you a question?
I don't know what this means. Like this gender pronoun thing. I feel stupid, but I just don't, I don't get it. Interesting. Will you explain it to me? And so I kept having those kinds of conversations where I realized, oh, There's this other thing that's bigger than just d e i but it's about providing leaders with support, with a safe space to ask questions and dig into things and a safe space to not know the answer.
That's the thing. That's it. Isn't it a safe place to not know the answer and. To not worry about ridicule for not knowing the answer or about ruining your reputation cuz you don't know the answer to [00:21:00] something or, cause this is so important I think, and particularly post 2020 where everything became so uncertain for business and for leaders in business and they were really, and are coping with lots of different.
Problems that really they weren't dealing with before the pandemic. Yeah, lots of problems and lots of conversations. Lots of conversations that they never had to have before. Why do we always assume that people will become skilled just like that at something new? And I think this is a mistake that happens all the time.
There's not enough thought put into, okay, things have changed. And because there is a bit of a fear culture, particularly in, in some of the bigger companies, leaders don't ever want to admit that they. Perhaps need some help and support to cope with these new challenges of post 2020. So I can totally [00:22:00] understand.
And what a wonderful natural birth for what you do now, because, it's like when anyone starts a business or a new project. The first question is is this actually something someone needs? Because often, we talk a lot about, following our passions and which is great, fabulous, but if no one needs it, it's not a viable or sustainable business for you.
This is really answering a call of something that is, Absolutely needed right now. And I think where that ball is starting to roll a little more and it's coming down, like you said, it is coming down to the smaller businesses too. No one is outside the loop of this, outside the circle of this.
Are they. And I think about that a lot, right? Because I came from an industry that did have a handful of very large large players, but the majority of the industry [00:23:00] was. Small, local, regional, smaller firms, that had a lot of money, but maybe were smaller. And a lot of industries are like that.
We talk a lot about these big companies that are in the news, but a lot of us work for smaller firms, smaller organizations. And that's where I think if we think about numbers and mass and habit changes and practices, that's where I think we can make a really big difference. Yeah, absolutely.
So I alluded to it just now, but there's something you've been working on, which really, again, it's just absolutely indirect answer to what you know is needed out there. Yeah. And that is, You. It is said it. So you said it. It is called Yes, it is. It is. It is the answer to that. And it's called P 20.
And everyone always says what's P 20? And I was like it's post 2020. Everything that I was doing, everything that I lived was really about. Oh, we, we need to equip ourselves for a post [00:24:00] 2020. So much changed in that period of time that we gotta reset, we gotta rethink.
We have to be innovative. And so after I had this experience talking to leaders and fielding these questions, I said, you know what? I wanna create a space for all the leaders, even those who aren't working with me and paying me. To be able to ask questions. And so I started this project online called Un Uncomfortable Questions, and I just hang on.
We have to stop for a minute because listeners, isn't that just the Mabo? Brilliant. You are. I'm gonna put a link to this in the show notes. But if you are not already on melina's mailing list for uncomfortable questions, it's it's a weekly newsletter where she takes these uncomfortable questions from leaders, from business owners, from anyone who's got a question that they like.
You say it's, it is uncomfortable. Things that you are either fear of Fearful of asking outside of a safe space because you might be ridiculed, you might be, you might get it wrong. [00:25:00] You know that kind of, that fear of saying the wrong thing. This is a space where Melina does actually take these uncomfortable questions.
Just, you do provide a safe space for this and you tackle the questions so sensitively and so comprehensively so that what? What one person wanted answered, I know, is reaching so many more people and answering the question they didn't have the courage to ask. So your newsletter Uncomfortable Questions is just amazing, and I will definitely be linking to that in the show notes because I really want everyone to sign up.
Oh, thank you. I just love it. Yeah it's been great. It's been really fun and really challenging too, because I get hard questions. That's the point. I made it anonymous. Yeah. So people feel super comfortable asking really uncomfortable things. So I've gotten a range of amazing topics and questions from, how do I hire inclusively?
I can't find. Diverse [00:26:00] talent, as they call it, essentially. And I wanna diversify, but I can't find it. What do I do? Two how do I keep the political conflict that's happening around us and the divisions from entering the workplace because people post a tweet or they post on LinkedIn and then it causes conflict in the office.
And how as a leader, how do I do that? What do I do? So an amazing range of questions that has just been great. To dive into and to connect with other experts on topics where I I may not have the best background, but someone else does. And so it's been great to collaborate with other leaders and experts who can bring in their insights and do that.
So that project has evolved really beautifully for me. It's been fun, it's been interesting. And from that came. What we referenced before, which is P 20 or post 2020, which was, I think a natural evolution of those learnings which was I wanna be able to put into the hands of everybody in the workplace.
Whether you're just starting [00:27:00] out in your career or you're a seasoned executive. Everybody needs this kind of support and this kind of space to ask questions and learn. Especially on the topics and the questions that have emerged since 2020 that we really don't have answers to so far. So I created this platform, a digital platform that seeks to do exactly that is to equip and provide insights to leaders.
And by the way, when I say leaders, I believe that everyone. Can and should be a leader, right? So leadership skills and qualities benefit everybody, not just absolutely. People who manage a team, right? Yeah. So it's about equipping everybody with leadership skills that are adapted to the post 2020 workplace.
What are these new concepts we're talking about? How do I respond to a major news event? Because today, Companies, [00:28:00] whether you're small or large, or organizations, whether you're tiny or huge, or a nonprofit or private or public, are expected to respond. Yeah, it's very hard to stay neutral these days.
And so as much as many are trying to stay neutral and not go there for fear of doing the wrong thing or going to the wrong place that's gonna be harder and harder to do over time. And The biggest contribution I think I can make to this world of work and leadership and the world in general is trying to equip people and teams with the comfort and the accessibility and the knowledge and tools to adapt and to do things differently.
And provide, I think also what P 20 does your platform, which has just fantastic content. I'm so grateful that I've had a little insider peek. So I [00:29:00] know the quality of the content that is going into this, but what it also does is it brings everything together from one trusted source, because at the end of the day, Leaders want to do the right thing.
I don't doubt that actually. I think leaders want to do the right thing. So at the moment, what are their options? Yeah, some of the bigger companies have appointed someone and made them responsible for this, okay. But there are so many companies where they don't know where to go through, go to for this information.
And the problem is there is so much out there from so many different sources. You get information overload and it's really tricky, isn't it? It's really tricky to wade through that and get some kind of consistency in approach and in the answers, right? So what I love about P 20 is that it becomes this one stop shop for leaders to come to and put their trust [00:30:00] into.
You are incredibly open the way that you you put yourself out there on video. You speak at a lot of events. You certainly, you have your Uncomfortable Questions newsletter, which is, people are, you are very accessible to people and people who know, how much goes into creating this content and making sure it's a reliable source.
So I think for me anyway, that's the value of P 20. It's having this one. Trusted source to come to and be able to get a balanced overview and really actionable, actual advice around what to do. Thank you. I appreciate that. And there's an, there's another aspect that I would add to that, which is something that's really important to me that I pay a lot of attention to as I've built this out, which is that it not be boring.
I have to, oh my God, you're so right. You're so right. It can't be boring. Dry, couldn't it? It could be dry. It could be. [00:31:00] And it has been historically. Anybody who's been through management training, leadership training, compliance, training, a workshop, I. The second you say workshop or, oh, my training.
Or even you wanna roll your eyes. One of those things you have to like, just log into and it's a cartoon thing. Click. Yeah. And you have to click or, and no, I, it is outdated. I had to do one of those about like data protection, I think. And it was so long and it made me want, literally, I think that's part of the reason I handed in my notice, just didn't want to do any of those.
There. There's a new selling point compliance training that won't make people quit their jobs. That's the that's my pitch. Yeah. It's, I joke about it, but it's a real thing. Because, so I, it's a thing, it's a real thing. The industry I worked in was I worked with salespeople.
I worked with real estate brokers, I worked with people who were incredibly busy, who [00:32:00] were incredibly focused on one thing, which was generating revenue, making income, selling things, making deal, very focused on that and didn't like to waste their time. So I started out, when I was in the industry, I was doing research and I was tasked with providing insights to these folks.
And that is what trained me to I joke that I speak and I communicate in bullet points. You have to be to the point, you have to be engaging. You have to tell stories, but do it succinctly. And that training and that experience and working with that audience who we joke have a very short attention span.
Which is part of what makes them successful to a certain degree. That is what I've kept in mind as I've built this because we are all one, one of the other impacts of the pandemic is that we have all taken on more work. We're working more than ever before. We are super busy. Many of us are, have been asked to do [00:33:00] multiple roles there.
The inbox traffic is through the roof. We don't have time to be thoughtful. And that's the problem. That's one of the problems. And so what I try and do is be super thoughtful and then condense the nuggets down into a super engaging brief. Piece of information. You know what you are right.
I've just realized that I've, ever since I started watching some of your video content, I have thought to myself, damn, she's good at this. Because you are very engaging and you, I don't know, you you really do put across a point you really. Engagingly. There is no way anyone can be bored with hearing the way you explain something.
But I think I've just realized why, part of the reason why that is, it isn't just your sparkling personality, which of course is part No, but part of it is that you don't use a single extra word. [00:34:00] I just don't think you do. I couldn't afford to. I could. I wasn't allowed to. Yeah. There is no fluff or there's nothing extra that doesn't need to be there.
I'm a queen in this. I'm honestly, if I can say something three times and say the exact same thing, I'll do it all the time. So I need to learn from you this from you, because I, as you were explaining that, I've just realized that's what it is. It's so succinct. It's so to the point. Which I think adds to how engaging it is.
Oh, thank you. It's, yeah, it is part of, that's how I was trained and learned and adapted to, to communicate was through, through the industry I was in, through the work I was doing. Capturing attention, keeping attention and teaching that everybody would walk out of that room or that meeting with.
Some new, I always call them nuggets, right? Nuggets. And so that is what I've brought into the platform [00:35:00] in terms of, okay, how do we redefine learning and training in the workplace because it can't be these boring 45 minute click next things. And that's really what's. What helped inspire the platform, which I describe as a sort of Netflix of leadership learning. And tools. Yeah. And so it's not a do this, then you can do that and then you do this. No it's a library of resources that are super curated and super to the point. And I've also given myself the challenge of keeping the videos basically under six minutes.
That. What that does is two things. When it, it keeps the content small, but it also keeps the subjects of each video or unit very specific. And so it helps people know exactly what they're getting with each video. Find exactly what they need. Because rather than saying, I'm gonna do a video about gender.
In the workplace? No it's gotta be super specific [00:36:00] about gender pronouns in the workplace, right? And so when someone has a specific question, they may not have time to sit through a 45 minute or two hour workshop on every aspect of gender in the workplace. So if we give them something small and specific that addresses that question in less than 10 minutes, they're walking away with things that they can actually use.
And that's the goal. Yeah. That's the power and that's the goal. Yeah. Yeah. I completely agree. And it's searchable, like you say. So you know, because where I'm seeing this come in is that uncomfortable questions in the workplace arise in real time, right? And yeah, we need to be able to have a resource that we can go to be able to come back to someone.
Fairly quickly with a considered answer. And sometimes leaders get frozen by not knowing or fear, again, of getting it wrong. And that's what I love about [00:37:00] this kind of Netflix approach to it, where people can search for very specific topics, get specific answers to their questions and to the things that are getting them stuck. Yeah, and it's interesting cuz it's reactive too, right? As we talked about, I'm constantly taking in questions from people on and off the platform, so I know what's top of mind for folks and then also the world is constantly evolving, right? So things happen.
Events happen that. That leaders have to respond to, as I mentioned before, right? So let's take the example of on June 29th. That week happened to be my birthday. The Supreme Court came out with with three rulings That caused a lot of concern for a lot of people. And drove some pretty big changes to the status quo and had big implications for equity and inclusion in several different environments.
And Leaders had to respond to that in a lot of situations. [00:38:00] And there, there's legalese in that, right? So they're technical, legal things that they're like, I don't know what this really means for me and for us. And then there was a sort of social and emotional component of people feeling very strongly, one way or the other about what this represented.
And The way that I've set up the content here is, for example, I, this week I've decided that I'm gonna make this week's content, this week's constable question about this because it's timely, it's important, and leaders need support around it. So it's really fun to sit and plan out, okay, these are all the topics we're gonna cover this month or this quarter.
But to also be able to say, okay, actually I'm gonna, I'm gonna add this in this week because this is really important. So this is really an ever-growing. Resource hub, isn't it of? And it's really going back to that point about having this trusted place to come to where you can trust that the information is, it's up to date, it's, it's being reviewed [00:39:00] constantly by an expert in the subject.
I think so much value for people. It's like a peace of mind for people to have that access to that. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. I think it's access to. Learning data. I'm a big data person. I mentioned, I came from the research world, so I do a lot of research into every topic. So as a little, insight into the process when I pick a topic I mentioned gender pronouns before.
I get a lot of questions from leaders about, what's this whole gender pronoun thing? Can you just explain it to me? What I do is I spend a lot of time researching and understanding from different experts, from a lot of academic things, from a lot of research reading all different perspectives too on the topic so that I can.
Condense it down, give you everything you need to know about that topic and provide you additional resources. If you have more than four minutes and you wanna dive deeper, you have more questions. Here are several resources that I think do a great job of talking about it. The [00:40:00] other thing that's important here is recognizing that almost every single one of the topics that we cover on P 20 is nuanced.
It has gray areas. There isn't always a black and white, there isn't always a right answer or a right response, which is something I'm very open about. And so what I like to do is also equip leaders with with what the different perspectives see and believe so that they can also make their own decisions, informed decisions about how they'd like to approach that topic.
So that's really important too. It's not about informed decisions. Yeah. Really important. And I like that. So as well as these videos, like you say, you, the additional resources that you are providing links to things and suggested extra research around these topics. But even that, it's a curated list by you.
The expert in the subject. So again, when it comes to coming to this one trusted platform to get the information, I think [00:41:00] that's the key to this. Yes. And that's such a service to leaders. Yeah. And when we talk about curated content It's really important to me that content be diverse in terms of the format, right?
So I always make sure that when I provide resources to people on a topic, it includes written articles, short and long. It includes audio components. Some people really are audio learners and they just, Maybe they listen to podcasts every morning on their way to work. And so that's how they prefer to consume information.
That's how it sticks best. And then some people are very visual, and in that case I always provide videos as well. And I always also, this is something I've done since the beginning is when I provide a resource, I tell you about how long it'll take to get through. I think, time management, time stress is such a big thing.
And you know when someone can see sometimes that, okay, this is a three minute. This link is a three minute investment. It's easier for them to click on it. [00:42:00] Yeah. Yeah. I don't wanna click on something and then find out I need to set aside the next two hours to digest it all. Yeah.
Unless I have that time set aside and that's what I want to find something to fill. It's just knowing, isn't it? So I just, I love everything about the platform that you've pulled together. So what's the next step with it? Where are you in the journey with it? So I'm super excited. The platform is built and I am adding content to it weekly.
And so right now it is in what I lovingly refer to as beta moats. I'm working with with a client company that is rolling it out across their 300 person organization. And what we're gonna do is really encourage people to use it teach them about it, and then collect their feedback on it. That's really important to me that I understand, what they like about it what they want more of, what they want less of what works.
And so really making sure it's effective. In the wild, in the wild of the workplace before we [00:43:00] get free. Yes. And so we'll be doing that and then opening it up. I will be on an invite only basis in inviting folks to, to have access to the platform and provide feedback. And of course, if there's anyone listening to this who's interested in participating in that, who's particularly.
Passionate about this or wanting to learn or potentially considering it for their team, organization. You are more than welcome to reach out to me and I am actively looking for beta testers now so happy to include folks in that process. And to shape, the evolution of this platform.
But the goal on a timeline thing is that in Q4 this year, so before the end of the year, I will be opening it to the masses. And the way that it works is that individuals can subscribe to sort, so it's a membership. So individuals can become members of this if they're interested in, in, in beefing up their leadership skills and their learning and their awareness of these different topics.
So let's say you're an [00:44:00] individual. You're eager to boost your management skills or your leadership skills, or just learn about these things, but your organization doesn't subscribe to it. You'll have access, you'll be able to subscribe to a membership. And then I'm also providing organizational level memberships, right?
So if a leader. Or an organization wants this to be a learning and development platform for their, for all of their organization. They want it to be part of their leadership training in any way, shape or form. Then they will be able to work with me to have a, what I would call an enterprise-wide agreement, right?
Essentially allow all of their users, all of their employees access to this. And I can see that being incredibly popular because it is gonna be so easy for companies to roll this out. And also its super easy. People quit their jobs. They, it's interesting about quitting jobs. I spent a lot of time setting the great resignation, which I was very much a [00:45:00] part of.
And why were people leaving jobs and. It's interesting that the number one reason people were leaving their jobs was what they described as toxic workplaces or workplaces where they didn't feel welcomed and they didn't feel they were learning anything. And when you look at Gen Z and millennials the younger workforce that's going to very soon make up the bulk of the workforce what they look for in an organization.
People think it's pay and this and that, but actually when we look at office workers the number one thing they're looking for is this a role and is this an organization where I'm going to be learning and growing? And a lot of times we assume that means, oh, they're getting promotions every year and a half, or they're getting pay raises.
But actually what the research says is what people really want us to feel. They're growing to feel that they're getting new skills, that they're getting new insights that they're getting new opportunities. And so this is also an answer to that [00:46:00] for leaders who are having issues with retention, for leaders who are looking to attract.
More talent and more diverse talent to be able to say, we provide access to this curated platform that, that provides you leadership and learning support and that allows you to dive in and grow as a leader. That's a huge step towards changing the lack of support so many employees feel in the workplace.
Yeah, and that's huge. And also I th Sorry, Lena, my mind went, just take out my, that's huge again. Cause I've said that about 50 times. You'll probably wouldn't. Have you noticed that? I have to lean in to talk to Lena? No reason why. Don't need to do that. For some reason. Lena, this is for you, Lena, over and out chief.
Yeah, sorry Lena. Could you just go back to when Melina stopped talking and I started rambling? Thank you.[00:47:00] And that is a huge incentive for companies to sign up for this, isn't it? Because one of the biggest complaints now is turnover and retention of good people. It, and it's expensive. It's really expensive.
It's super expensive. Companies lose and waste billions of dollars a year. On retention issues, right? Because when someone leaves a post, then you're leaving a team scrambling. You need to spend money hiring someone. You're losing out on business cuz you're under resourced. All the other team members are getting stressed out because they're having to cover the work of a missing role.
And then the cost of recruitment and then the time and cost of retraining someone new. Absolutely. Do you know, thinking about that, if there's any if you are listening to this and you are thinking, what all of this, these uncomfortable conversations, and whether it's d ei, whether it's the other [00:48:00] topics that are covered by P 20, cause it isn't just about d e i, right?
If you are listening to this and thinking, I know the company that I work for needs this, or I know that my company needs this. I think one of the most compelling arguments you can put to a company to persuade them is to tell them about the impact on revenue. Because most companies, that is where they will sit up and start listening.
So that retention argument. Saying, look, companies lose staff because people find the workplace toxic to work in this addresses that it will have a direct impact. And I think, whatever you can use to get companies on board to start taking those, like we said at the beginning of this episode, the micro actions, it doesn't have to be big, massive stuff.
And in addition to retention, from a recruitment angle, which a lot of leaders have been coming to me in the past year or two saying, [00:49:00] really hard time getting young talent, especially companies that are fully in person or majority in person they're having trouble, competing with hybrid or remote offerings from other companies.
Younger workers when they walk into an interview are asking what is your d e I program? Or what is your lead? What kind of leadership training do you provide? What kind of support do you provide employees for learning and development? They're asking these questions and they're making employment decisions.
This is nice to have. No, this is, it's not. No. And in the US at least, and, I think this is happening in, in, in many markets, but I can speak specifically to the us. The population is rapidly diversifying. Gen Z is entering the workforce and they're gonna continue to enter the workforce.
So we have to face the reality that our employee base is gonna look and behave and speak and demand differently. [00:50:00] And we're already seeing it. What they. They grew up in, in the same way that millennials they said every generation is marked by some world event, right? Or some contextual factors.
So a lot of millennials were, our careers were shaped by the fact that we entered the workforce during the recession. Oh 8 0 9. This generation is marked by a, when I say this generation, Gen Z is marked by greater awareness of and concerns for the environment, social and moral values.
They expect companies to take a stand on things, d e i, and the fact that they were learning and starting to work during the pandemic. So very different ideas concepts of work-life balance of what role an employer plays in our lives. And so love it or hate it. That's who's gonna be your employee base.
And we [00:51:00] need to that's the key 20. Workplace is, it's different. It's different. It's different. It's very different. It's different. And we need to do different, we need to be different. Yeah, we need to do things differently and as I've said from the beginning, I think we need to change the way we work.
Absolutely. And I am always, and continue to be blown away about how committed you are to make that happen. So thank you so much for coming and sharing about that. Today because, thank you. This is one of the, some of the podcast episodes that I put out on Heads Together are quite flippant and you know me, but for me, this one is, this is really getting our heads to be a.
Together about something that really matters. It really matters to me, and I'm so grateful to have you as a trusted resource for me on this topic. Yeah. So I'm gonna be putting in the show notes, all of the links to where people can find you. I'm gonna put the link for, like I said, I really want you list [00:52:00] listeners to sign up.
To the Uncomfortable Questions Newsletter. It's a real good one. It's one of the ones that you will look forward to dropping into your inbox. Not one of the ones that you will delete without reading it or opening it. It's fine. It's, and if you're an op deleting emails without opening them, just unsubscribe.
Because, and I would also, I'd also add that, if you are someone who is particularly passionate about, Some aspect of leadership could be neurodiversity, could be accessibility, it could be management styles, it could be, personality styles in the workplace. If you have an interest in any of that, if you're passionate about any of that and you would like to be featured on the platform, if you would like to speak on a topic to, to educate, if you see a gap in knowledge in the workplace I welcome you to reach out to me and I love, love, love collaborating and as I mentioned, I.
Feature guest experts and speakers on the platform regularly. So please [00:53:00] reach out and it could be a great opportunity for you to share your insights. How should people reach out to you if that's what they would like to do? Email is the best. It's melina cordero.com. Super easy. You can also always find me on LinkedIn that's a super easy place to, to reach out to me as well.
Perfect. And again, I'll pop all of that in the show notes. Melina, thank you. It's been such a pleasure to talk to you today. Just really good deep conversation as always with you. So thank you so much. Thank you Jill, and thanks everyone for listening. Bye for now.