The transcript begins at 6:03 due to a program lead-in, nothing has been omitted.
Nikki Woods: 06:03
Hello everybody. Happy Wednesday and welcome to this special conversation that we are having with a phenomenal influencer in the area of leadership. I will give you her, her best introduction ever. It just a second. We’re going to give people just a short time to jump on. I understand how this is working, but we’ve already got people just logging on. So good morning to Jennifer and dropping jewels. Uh, Rita Mcguire just joined. Joe Jones is on, uh, the phenomenal author, Omar Tyree is here. So welcome Tiffany. Nicole also just joined, so we are extremely excited to have you here. Um, and like I said, this is going to be a very open and honest conversation about leadership, especially in 2019 I’m in what we do need to do to kind of move forward. And we have, as I said, one of the premier influencers when it comes to leadership, um, to spend some time with us.
Nikki Woods: 06:58
So, uh, we’re going to be able to ask her questions. You can provide comments, you can join in the conversation. We are going to take your questions live. We’ve already had a few people that have gotten extremely excited and submitted some questions beforehand, but we are going to talk about the foundation for our guests success and how she has built a multimillion dollar company, um, and how she continues to influence not just a women and men of our generation but also the younger generations as well. So, Hey Charles, good morning to you. Thank you for joining. Thank you for all the waves and the likes. Um, and let me just tell you a little bit about myself and then we are going to bring in our guest. My name is Nikki Woods, uh, and I am a media veteran of 20 years and now I help others with their brand and visibility and leveraging the media to build bigger businesses.
Nikki Woods: 07:55
So Hey Vicky. Good morning, Florida. Nice to see you. Rudy rush, the phenomenal Jerome Kent. Yolanda. Faye, welcome to this special conversation and let me introduce you now to uh, our guests. You see her on screen, she looks phenomenal. Um, and you will be moved not only by the conversation but um, her heart and also her, her depth of knowledge when it comes to leadership and business. Her name is Doctor Angela Reddix. She is the chairman and founder of Envision Lead Grow, which is a nonprofit organization aimed at aspiring girls of all ages to chart their destinies by teaching them the skills and dedication required to accomplish their dreams through entrepreneurship. Her own entrepreneurial drive led her to found ARDX & Associates an award winning Healthcare Management and IT consulting firm with 100 plus employees. So welcome. Hi Doctor Reddix. How are you?
Angela Reddix: 08:52
Hello Nikki. I’m fantastic on this Wednesday morning.
Nikki Woods: 08:56
Well, you look phenomenal. You look like sunshine over there and I’m very excited about this conversation. Um, we’ve got people to need in from New York, from The Bahamas. We have Saudi Arabia checking in. Yes, it is. It is phenomenal. And I recognize a lot of people that are in the world of entrepreneurship and business who are eager to learn from you. So, um, one of the things that I certainly want to mention is that you have a brand new website. Uh, AngelaReddix.com. It is a phenomenal wealth of information about leadership with articles. Um, you have a, uh, a download for people called the Reddix Rules and we’re going to talk about that in just a second, but I certainly wanted to give you a chance to, um, to add to my intro of you, if there’s anything else that you wanted to share with the audience
Angela Reddix: 09:48
Well Nikki, I think you did a fantastic job with the intro. I would say to the audience, first of all, thank you for joining us. Uh, I recognize for many of you, this is the middle of the day. Um, but I think it’s an important conversation for us to, to have. I’m often asked to speak about my 12 years. um running a federal government contracting firm and some of my tips that I would leave for others and what I often hear people talking about is really starting their business. How do you start the business? How do you maintain, how do you sustain the business? Um, I think an important part to the conversation that we often don’t speak about, um, is how it’s just very difficult to do it alone. And so in order to do it with the team, you really need to understand, uh, leadership. So the discussion about entrepreneurship and leadership, um, having an organization that, um, you know, our numbers have peaked to a 150 employees at times. Um, it is very challenging to manage not only the vision and mission of the organization, um, as a small business, but also ensuring that your most valuable assets, your people are properly mobilized to move towards the vision. So, um, I would say that is my passion. That is what I’m, I’m spending much of my time. um working on not only what does it take to have the technical expertise, but also documenting what it takes day in and day out to manage your vision.
Nikki Woods: 11:26
No, absolutely. And the conversations that we’ve had, I’ve learned more about leadership than I have in my entire, um, stint as an entrepreneur. So I think it’s phenomenal. Um, and for those of you, we are, we’re going to talk about five essential principals for becoming a better leader or as we call them, the Reddix rules. And you can go to the website and download your copy at AngelaReddix.com/reddixrules. Um, it’s a free download and we’re going to talk about some of those principles, but we have got people checking in from all over. We have Ralph from Hawaii. So welcome to this conversation. I also, uh, Nigeria Legos, Nigeria has checked in George Daniels from Chicago, um, has checked in as well as Latoya Bell. So welcome to the conversation. Um, so, so why the Reddix Rules let, let’s start there. Why did you decide that you were going to develop a system, um, not only for yourself but for others to follow that would help them become a better leader, a system of principles?
Angela Reddix: 12:26
You know, Nikki, I think it’s important as an entrepreneur, you know, I spent many years in corporate America, um, as a senior leader in large companies and starting your own, you almost feel as if you’re on an island on your own. Um, there are many perks to being an entrepreneur. Some people think, okay, you’re your own boss. No, no one is the boss of you, so to speak. You know, and in my reality, that’s not the case. You know, the government is my boss. You know, you pay taxes, uh, you, you have employees and in many ways they drive what you do. Um, but as far as being accountable to someone, uh, that is critical. Um, and so as the CEO, it’s important that you have a set of principles that become your guiding principles in how you are going to conduct your business. And so that’s really what a rule is.
Angela Reddix: 13:22
And so I’ve started documenting those Reddix Rules. This first iteration are the top five, I would say, but they will grow and you’ll find more on the website. But these are some of the principles that I hold to be true as I’ve learned by doing. I certainly value education. And you know, even as an entrepreneur, I went back to school to, to study entrepreneurship and business and obtained my PHD at Oklahoma State University. So in reading the literature, there’s a lot that I learned there, but honestly, a experience has been the greatest teacher. And so I’m not here to preach to anyone. I’m saying that through my trials, through my, uh, trepidations, I found some things that have worked for me and some things that have not worked for me. And so if there’s anything that I can share that will allow someone to go down this path a little bit easier then I think it makes it all worthwhile. Um, and so these are principles that I’ve found to hold true to the days when I felt like a success. And then there’s days that I didn’t feel so great. And so I’ve documented those also. But, but the Reddix Rules, I hope will inspire others to create their own rules. And if it can use some of these to get us started as a starting point, great. Um, but we all should have a set of guiding principles that we govern ourselves accordingly.
Nikki Woods: 14:49
So let’s talk about one, one, two of those. Which one do you want to do to break down for us? Which ones are your favorite? Reddix Rules.
Angela Reddix: 14:57
Ooh. Um, that’s a little difficult, but I’m going to start with number one I think. And then number five, um, number one, find your passion. So often, uh, you know, working with Envision Lead Grow where I’m working with young middle school girls, uh, across the nation. By 2020, we will have 1000 girls in our pipeline in 48 states. And within those states we’ve selected the cities with the highest level of poverty. And so we introduced these girls to an immersion program, uh, into entrepreneurship as a way of transforming those communities. We are just so excited about what we’ve seen. Um, this year we’re on our 30th state. Um, and so we’ve seen transformation happen within these girls. But what happens is they’re transformed, therefore their parents are transformed, their communities are transformed. The first thing that we talked to them about is finding their passion.
Angela Reddix: 15:59
And unfortunately, some of these girls come to us and even at the age of 11, they’ve been exposed to things that are just, um, just things that even some adults haven’t had to experience. And so the first day we have them dream. Just dream. If you didn’t have any boundaries, if there were no constraints, what are the possibilities? What makes your heart sing? So we talked to them about finding your passion at a very young age. And so 11 year olds have a difficult time dreaming. Imagine what adults have as they’ve, as they’ve fallen and have felt like they did not win, that they’re failing. Um, sometimes you have a little bit of fear about dreaming. My rule number one is no matter where you are and what you’re doing, find your passion and somehow link your passion to your current circumstance, your current job, your current, um, uh, you know, if you’re learning in school, find something that connects to your passion because that allows you to get through those difficult times.
Angela Reddix: 17:11
I mean, there’s been times in the organization, I have to tell you, um, where, you know, it’s been overnighters all nighters that we’re working to get a deliverable completed for the federal government. We work with health and human services. We have critical things that we’re working on, um, within ARDX. And so the pressure is there. But in all of that, I find my passion. I know that the work that I’m doing will assist the nation in something that’s very important, which is health care. So that is how I connect because I know I’m helping the community. I would just recommend to everyone, take a moment to find the passion that is your why and when you are connected to your why. It just makes life so much easier to get through because you feel like you’re moving towards something that you will call success. So that’s rule number one.
Angela Reddix: 18:05
Um, and we have a few exercises that we ask people to go through just to think and get to that clean space where you can think clearly. Rule number five is something that I think we’re very challenged with. The workforce is challenged with. I think it’s important that leaders recognize the challenges, um, as, as the, you know, uh, population in general, we’re struggling with stress levels we’re struggling with mental health issues. Um, and so people bring their whole, whole selves to work. It’s not like they can compartmentalize, so they’re dealing with things. I read a, um, uh, a statistic, 60% of the employees go undiagnosed for mental health issues. That’s the workforce that we’re dealing with. So in that rule number five is reimagine balance. I’m often as, as a mother, as a wife, as a daughter, as a friend, as an employer, as a business owner.
Angela Reddix: 19:10
How do I balance it all? By the way, during that process, in the last four years I was in school, uh, and that last year was something working on the dissertation. I will tell you how do you balance it all? It is so critical, I think as I have a quote from Oprah, you know, you can have it all. You just can’t have it all at one time and people have to reimagine that. If you want to get 10 steps ahead, you got to know that you’re going to have to sacrifice. And what that means is I had to learn to be kinder to myself that I would not be at every soccer game. I just can’t be at every soccer game. But there are other things that I can do and do well and explained that to my children so that they understand. I bring them to some of the seminars that I conduct or some of the presentations.
Angela Reddix: 20:01
So they’re aware of what it takes to enjoy the things that they enjoy. Um, and so we have to, as leaders reimagine balance and help our staff reimagine balance. We need to, um, I tried very hard to be forgiving of myself and that was not always the case. I remember the first couple of years of the business, it was difficult, it was difficult working on the, in the business and then at midnight having to work on the business. And so you’re burning the midnight hour and you’re doing that every day. And so it was very challenging to um, forgive the small things that weren’t done. Hey, it was a lack of experience two years in and running a business and having to manage it all. You just don’t know how big, if a ball drops, what really is going to happen from that? Right? So it’s experience that teaches you that you know what the ball can drop and the show is still going to go on. And so you begin to be more forgiving of yourself, therefore you can be more forgiving of others. Um, and, and really ensuring that we’re demonstrating what we want others to emulate. And it’s such an honor to be able to be a leader. It’s an honor that someone will follow you. And so I take that honor very seriously. And so I constantly check myself and what it looks like to have balance.
Nikki Woods: 21:36
So we’re getting some great comments. Uh, Leah checked in and said, that’s very thoughtful and positive. Uh, James from Florida says that that’s an amazing wealth of information and he’s going to download the Reddix rules. So that’s good stuff. You said a lot of things that I could talk to you about forever, but one of the distinctions that I want you to clear up for us, and I’ve heard this probably about five times in the past five days, um, is the difference between working in your business and working on your business. Uh, and what that means for you. I think a lot of entrepreneurs get so bogged down in the day to day details and just keeping the business going. Um, and so they don’t ever get to really develop their business, you know, to where it would grow. So can you talk just a little bit about that part of it?
Angela Reddix: 22:23
Absolutely. I think you go through phases within, within, uh, a growing business. Uh, you know, just as you have a human being that grows, you know, you’re an infant, you’re a toddler, you’re a teenager, a young adult and an adult. A business goes through the very same thing. I often say, you know, an organization is a living organism and so we have to be aware that there are phases within that. Now, in an ideal situation, maybe you will create the business plan, think through everything before you open your doors for business. My story, it was a little different than that. Um, because of my niche I had business before I actually opened the doors. So that’s just an interesting story. Um, and I’m grateful for that. But what that means is I was hiring my first employee before I really understood the DNA of my organization.
Angela Reddix: 23:23
Um, so I was hiring, um, I was working on the projects. I was the project director, the trainer, I was the writer. I was completing all the binders. I was creating all the travel I was presenting. I was doing it all at that point. I have no regrets about that because I know my business better than anyone knows this business because I did everything. Um, but with that, that means you’re working all day to complete the tasks that you are being paid to do. So when are you going to work on your core values? When are you going to work on your strategic plan? What are you going to think beyond today? And think about two to three years in the future. It was probably year. Now we’ve done strategic plans from the beginning of time, but I can tell you it was probably year nine before I could step back.
Angela Reddix: 24:26
And at that point 125, 130 employees before I could step back to say, you know what, Angela, this isn’t sustainable for you to be the HR manager, the project manager. the, it was draining to the point where I was saying, I’m not even sure I like my own business. And so I had to begin to work on my business and that meant I had to figure out if I am going to, uh, run this race to the end, I have to figure out who do I need at the top to support me. And so it was around that year that I was able to take a step back and start thinking about an executive team. Um, and so it was probably year nine and ten that I started bringing ins and you go through a process with that. Um, and so you bring someone in.
Angela Reddix: 25:26
I thought, okay, well, okay, let’s try it again and let’s try it again. Um, and so, um, I think it’s hard when you let people into your business because really this business has become my fourth child. It’s your baby. It’s very hard. And then it’s very hard when someone, um, you know, takes advantage of your trust. It’s no different than any relationship. You know, when you are really saying this is my blood, sweat and tears, this is my sacrifice. This is the time that I was away from my children that I’ve put into this business. And so you either say, listen, I’m not going to trust anyone so I’ll just hold it to myself and I’ll have 12 different jobs and not do them well. Or you say, listen, I have to take a calculated risk. And so you take the risk that people come in and, Huh, okay.
Angela Reddix: 26:22
On both, on both parts they thought it was one thing. You thought it was one thing and it just different than what you thought. And so you just, I would say to people that one of the things, things that I’m most proud of is that I did not allow one particular one not working out to hold me back from opening the doors and trying it again. And again. I, I, I, I would say when I listened to relationship stories and you know, women who’ve gone through a hard time and it’s very difficult because you’ve had a bad relationship. You might have prince charming right there, but you can’t let them in because you’ve been hurt. There’s no difference to be then letting someone in your business that you’re the founder, the CEO, that you have worked and worked and worked and someone really takes advantage of the situation. And so I, I really, um, what say it was at that point that I’m working on the business, which meant we could do five year forecasts, we can do investing, um, so that we could figure out diversification. Um, and so, um, that’s what I mean about working on the business, working on processes that make you more efficient.
Nikki Woods: 27:43
So that lead us to a question from Marsha p? She submitted a question that asks your advice about being a solo preneur and is it possible to do that and be successful?
Angela Reddix: 27:54
You know, successful success is a very interesting term because my success and your success will always more than likely to be different. And so it just depends on what your success measure it or your measure of success for the type of organization that I run, there is zero way that I can be successful as a solo preneur and have a life outside of work. Right? So it depends on your organization. I will say be careful because you can be the single point of failure if you’re a solo preneur. Most businesses require your time in order to make money. So what if you’re sick? What if something happens that’s unexpected? If you don’t have a contingency plan because someone understands your business than you are the single point of failure. So just make sure, you know, sometimes having a team, you know, it’s also your insurance policy that the organization can live on beyond your ability to operate at your optimal state.
Nikki Woods: 29:03
So the followup question that she had that, and you talked a little bit about this already, was building, um,
Nikki Woods: 29:10
the dream team. So I want to ask you that in just a second, but I certainly want to remind people that we are offering the Reddix rules to you as a free gift. You can always go to the website. Uh, AngelaReddix.com/reddixrules. You can share your email and we will get that right out to you. Um, Angela, Dr Angela Reddix has grown her business to phenomenal heights. She’s also a in the business of helping the younger generation, especially girls through her foundation Envision Lead Grow to also become entrepreneurs. Um, and one of the things that, that she says that I love and it resonates really strongly with me, is that, um, her foundation right now is changing the face of the board room and what that’s gonna look like in 10, 15, 20 years. Um, and even immediately for us as, as we learn how to be better leaders and our, our own business. Um, so Marsha’s followup question to that was how do you, how do you build the Dream Team? Um, and also do you hire people that compliment your skills or do you hire people that have skills that you don’t have?
Angela Reddix: 30:17
Great question. Um, how do you build the Dream Team? So step one, I would say that, um, before you can add anyone to your team of one, you really have to define where you’re going. And so you have to have a very clear mission and vision. Along with that, uh, clear core values, those core values become, um, the North Star for, for me and selecting the team members, being very clear with what I see the end to be in the characteristics of those people. That becomes the foundation of the behavioral questions I’m going to ask when I’m finding the people for my team. I’m going to use an example with Envision Lead Grow. We are three years into the nonprofit. We have a very bold mission to transform the lives of 1000 girls by 2020. And so we had steps that we were taking. So by 2019 the number is 600 that we’re reaching and we’re reaching that this summer, not only just 600 but in 38 states.
Angela Reddix: 31:36
So it was very clear where we’re going. So in order to get there, we had to determine the roles that were necessary to get us there based on figuring out our stakeholders. And that was a key part to this. We also needed to have donors. So that was a key part and this is a research based organization because the, the actual concept came from my original study, which was my dissertation and now is a longitudinal study. So we had to have someone who was going to focus on data. So I’m using that as an example because we first had to be clear about wherever we’re going. We had to be clear about the conduct or the behavior that we needed, um, to have the characteristics of the individuals for the team. And then we had to be clear about the roles that will be necessary in order for us to be able to be successful in reaching the goal.
Angela Reddix: 32:31
That made it very, I won’t say easy but easier to find the right people with the right skills. So the question you asked was do you, um, hire those or bring people into your team that compliment your skills? Absolutely. I believe in leading with strengths. Um, one of the things that we’re doing in our organization and really any organization that I’m affiliated with actually even on the board, um, we’re going through this process of strength finders. If you haven’t taken that in, your team, hasn’t gone through that process, I strongly recommend that you go through that process and it allows you through this assessment to identify your top strengths. I think off the top of my head there’s about 34 different characteristics or um, and so we are focusing on the top five strengths now and the strength. Some people choose to focus on the weaknesses, but for me, I believe in helping people get to where we’re trying to go together by starting with where they are.
Angela Reddix: 33:36
So taking people from where they are to where we’re trying to go based on our mission. And in order to do that, you’re going to get a whole lot further if you’re dealing with people’s strengths and allowing them to blossom based on their strengths versus focusing on their weaknesses. My goal is always that we have a well rounded team and what that means is everyone doesn’t have to have the strength of relationship building, but if someone has that strength and certainly the person who’s going to be the one developing the business, that will be good for them to have relationship as one of their top characteristics. So to, to answer your question, I believe that we need to compliment each other. I definitely don’t want a new one. All profiles that look like my profile, that is absolutely number one, a boring organization. If there are a whole bunch of me’s walking around, I couldn’t take it. So we want the diversity, but we also want to be very targeted and strategic about making sure that we have all of the major domains covered. Otherwise there will be a gap because we’re not a well rounded team.
Nikki Woods: 34:50
That is a great answer. So, so the, I guess if there’s any bad news when it comes to this is that we are running out of time. You have been phenomenal. But the good news is that this is just the first in a series of conversations that we are going to have with Dr. Angela Reddix, um, about leadership. But I do want to give you a chance, Dr. Reddix to give some final comments before we start wrapping this up.
Angela Reddix: 35:17
Wow. I can’t believe it’s 30 minutes.
Nikki Woods: 35:20
Um, but this, this was, um, a great time. I tell you, I love that.
Angela Reddix: 35:25
Um, it’s just such a gift and a blessing to be able to give based on your experience. Um, I don’t take anyone’s time for granted. I am so happy that you all have joined. I hope that you just got one nugget out of this and that we can continue this conversation. Um, but we’re all trying to learn this game be the best that we can be. Um, and it is by just sharing our stories with each other that allows us to look at things from a different perspective. So, um, I’ve enjoyed this time. I love to look at some of the questions. Please, uh, stay connected with us through social media and definitely the website. Um, and I’d love to hear from you.
Nikki Woods: 36:07
Absolutely. But as we said, we will be back next Wednesday at the same time in the same places for more conversation on leadership and entrepreneurship. So we will be going through the questions through the comments, people will be watching the replays and we will get all of those and we will have that prepared. A Thomascine said brilliant, so needed for anyone leading, so she thanks you for your time. Um, but as Dr. Reddix said, you can go to AngelaReddix.com/reddixrules and get your copy of the Reddix rules, uh, the five essential principals for becoming a better leader, but on social media, Dr. Reddix shares a wealth of nuggets that you can walk away with and start implementing immediately. So we certainly appreciate your time, Dr. Reddix. I’m excited about next week. Um, and I think that we’re going to have even more participation. Jack One said. Excellent advice. Thank you. Uh, so very great. Very good conversation.
Angela Reddix: 37:04
All right. Thank you
Nikki Woods: 37:14
For Dr. Reddix and myself, we thank you for joining us and we will see you next time.