The transcript begins at 2:43 due to a program lead-in, nothing has been omitted.
Nikki Woods: 02:43
All right. We are back. Happy Wednesday happy 1st of May. I was so surprised that woke up and I was. Then I realized it’s close to summer break. So we are super happy to have you here. This is week two of our discussion with a leadership influencer and a brilliant entrepreneur. She has been sharing with us about how we can step up our leadership game and I’m not gonna even say this is part. We have decided this is going to be an ongoing series because we’ve gotten so much feedback so I am going to introduce her in just a second. Oh. Guys so everybody’s popping on we’re going to give you a couple seconds before I do formal introductions but it’s good to see you. Hey Sam thank you for joining. Hi Joy. So thank you so much. Like the pretty ladies on the screen. We appreciate that Joy thank you so much. Yeah. We love compliments early in the morning and we’ll take them all. So we are going to talk leadership today. We have a very special guest. You were introduced to her last week and we’re going to go a little bit more in-depth today with our talk on leadership. But her name is Dr. Angela Reddix.
Nikki Woods: 03:51
She is the chairman and founder of Envision Lead Grow which is a nonprofit organization aimed at inspiring girls of all ages as they chart their destinies by teaching them skills and dedication required to accomplish their dreams through entrepreneurship and her own entrepreneurial drive led her to found ARDX which is an award winning healthcare management and IT consulting firm with 100 plus employees. So we are talking leadership today. I mean you can absolutely ask questions we’re taking those as well. Thank you so much for. We already have questions from them and it’s great. Thank you so much for for sharing that but we are going to be taking questions and we’re going to talk about the next generation this week. So I’m really really excited about that. So welcome to the show.
Nikki Woods: 04:36
Good morning Dr. Reddix.
Angela Reddix: 04:37
Good morning Nikki.
Nikki Woods: 04:39
How are you?
Angela Reddix: 04:41
I am fantastic. I am just coming off of celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary so I am on a high. I’m excited.
Nikki Woods: 05:02
I think every time I see one of your fabulous pictures pop up in my timeline, it makes me smile. Make sure you follow Dr. Reddix on social media for her Twitter and Instagram updates.
Nikki Woods: 05:13
But also what’s coming up for leadership and so Dr. Reddix. Let’s talk about it. You have the Reddix rules which gives five core principles on how to be a better leader. We talked a little bit about them last week. I know a lot of people got a chance to go download it and you can as well at AngelaReddix.com/reddixrules but I know there was one that you wanted to talk about today. Which role was that and why is that one the one we want to discuss.
Nikki Woods: 05:42
You know I think provide a clear vision. We were unable to go into detail on all the five last week. So we covered one and five which was one was ‘Find your passion’ and five was reimagined balance you know the whole notion of having a clear vision is something that’s near and dear to my heart. It is something that we work with the young girls at ELG to ensure that day one they are defining their personal vision before they even move to thinking about having a business. Because when we are out of alignment between our personal vision and what we do from 9:00 to 5:00 we are looking for a catastrophe. So I would love for to kind of focus on the importance of creating a clear vision for you as an individual as well as your organization and what it takes to have others kind of latch on to that vision.
Nikki Woods: 06:48
You know a tendency to try to separate you know what you’re talking about and you talked about vision you have your personal brand your corporate brand personal vision corporate vision and you’re saying that in order to be in alignment that you need to merge them or you need to just develop one.
Angela Reddix: 07:04
You need to start with personal vision got you know years and years and years ago I remember and I and I really have to say it became crystallized when I became a mother for the first time I’m a mother of three. And you know it became very clear that life was so much bigger than myself and that the things that I do today become tomorrow’s history. And so I have the opportunity to create legacy that is so it’s just so valuable. It doesn’t matter your social economic status it doesn’t matter how many degrees you have. That’s something each of us can take control of and we become tomorrow’s history and create legacy for our family so so many of us deal with kind of generational curses things that have happened in our past but we each have an opportunity to say today is going to be to the day that I create a vision not just for myself but for generations to come. And so I think I became very intentional as I became a mother having a clear vision and writing that out and making it very the focal point of my day ensures that my actions my words are holding I’m holding myself true to the legacy that I’m trying to create.
Nikki Woods: 08:35
Teenage boys and I think that I grew up with my parents and we’re just like this is what we say to do you do it there’s no question. And so as a single mom though it’s just a different kind of a vibe and I started every year with us as a family sitting down and going over what our vision was for that year.
Nikki Woods: 08:53
And there was such. There was there was more balance. I think they definitely were more on board with the plan as opposed to what I just kind of told them what we were going to do. And so I guess that translates then according to to what you’re saying to a company as well. So having a clear vision or for personally but then developing that into the corporate vision also helps keep everybody on the same page.
Angela Reddix: 09:18
Absolutely. Absolutely. You know it drives and I will share some of the most successful women that I follow that they actually have posted their personal vision. So this is not unique to the Dr. Angela. That having a clear vision and having a vision statement. You know my vision statement is that I live my life to create legacy that will build for my children for generations to come. So anything that I’m doing before I take on an endeavor if it’s not doing something that is that is actually mapping to what I would want our legacy to be as a family then I just have to say no to that opportunity. I can’t. Every opportunity every dollar is not a good dollar. So I have to make sure that whatever I’m doing it’s going to lead me in the direction that I can say at the end of the day. I’m coming closer to crystallizing that vision.
Nikki Woods: 10:33
In this on this. The leadership and entrepreneurial track and I want to know what was your vision for that original because you talked about your becoming a mother I think we all realize that it is not about us. We have children. But what how did that translate to this organization Envision Lead Grow and the amazing work that you’re doing with them.
Angela Reddix: 10:55
Nikki for years so artists which is my federal government contracting firm focus in the space of health care management consulting and IT, so I’ve had the privilege to do very high profile work for the federal government specifically Health and Human Services and CMS speaking on their behalf nationwide to all the health plans and ensuring there’s compliance and ensuring their systems are built so that they could submit data and collect funds from the government. And so in doing that over these 12 years I’ve had the opportunity to to hire more than 100 associates. What that means is I’ve had the opportunity to provide funds for mortgages I’ve had the opportunity to provide the food on the table for families I’ve had the opportunity for parents to send their children to college. So when I think about that and to think where I started where I came from a single mother, my mother actually was in college when she gave birth to me.
Angela Reddix: 12:08
I was raised for the early part of my years with a village, my grandmother and my aunts and and they all started off in public housing. So to think that this young girl with that beginning with statistics will say that means that you know your end is probably going to be very similar to your beginning. I’ve been able to prove what I know to be true that where you start certainly doesn’t have to dictate where you’re going to end. And so as I was working on my PHD and I started reading the literature and my advisors kept saying over and over again as PHD student your job is to close the gap in literature. And I didn’t know what that meant. I mean we were reading journal article after journal article I was trying to stay awake. I was running a business.
Angela Reddix: 12:59
I was you know had the kids had my husband. And all of a sudden it came to life for me as I was reading the entrepreneurship literature and I was reading about deliberate practice and this was the theory that was the basis of the outlier. And I kept reading about it and reading about it and in all the business literature I just did not see a lot about women in business certainly African-American women in business and definitely. How does this girl from an inner city kind of community come to a place where she is empowered to employ over a hundred employees and make a difference in her community. So I decided I was going to test that model in a community that looked just like me. And so I went on a mission for my dissertation to collect data from communities of high levels of poverty, middle school girls if, I could demonstrate for them the possibilities if I could show them the ‘bling’ that could be in their community through their power to transform their communities into communities of poverty to communities of prosperity.
Angela Reddix: 14:19
If I could do that then could I replicate myself in these communities. And so the study I went through all the data collection and went through to Atlanta and Baltimore and Philadelphia and Greensboro, North Carolina, Richmond, Virginia, and Baltimore, Maryland and seven locations and collected data from four hundred and fourteen girls as we introduced them to a week long of entrepreneurship training. And I was able to see that yes we could change the mindset and create an entrepreneurial mindset that then would lead them to the possibilities of creating prosperity in their communities. So that was the beginning of Envision Lead Grow. It initially was not a nonprofit it was a study simply to get my dissertation.
Nikki Woods: 15:17
This conversation because even though you’ve been to these cities and touched almost 700 girls in one way or the other you’re certainly expanding in 2019. And that’s probably going to triple by the time in another year. But there are still going to be probably some girls that are not going to benefit from what you directly from what you have to offer. So I want to talk about what parents can do but what I want to say about you first is it your business way a very long time ago which I think is fascinating because you shared a story with me before about when you would sit at the kitchen table with your mom and you would map your goals were very young and I was like, so you were vision boarding before it was even a thing. And so you always had this very deliberate way of planning what your future was going to look like. And I think that that would be so beneficial to so many children. So I guess I want you to talk a little bit about that and where that came from but I also want you to share what parents can do to help assist you in this ongoing project and help you know instill in their children maybe some of the traits that will help them be successful in the future.
Angela Reddix: 16:26
Oh that is such a critical ingredient, parents. Again it doesn’t matter if you have two parents in the household one parent you’re being raised by your grandmother. It really doesn’t matter. The simple things that parents can do the first year was 414 girls and working with their parents the next year we added another two hundred and fifty. This year we’ll have 600 girls in the program. By 2020 we will have 1000 girls all at the same time in the program in 48 states. And this is the one thing that I know that’s true. Yes. We provide the training. Yes we provide a mentor for the full year. Yes we provide the monthly ongoing sessions and then we take them to Washington D.C. where they’re introduced to 100, excuse me eight Fortune 100 female executives and eight successful entrepreneurs who pour into them.
Angela Reddix: 17:24
But the one ingredient to this that is a must is having someone in the household again whether it’s a guardian a parent whomever it is that can just hear the girls and validate the girls. You know some of these girls have big dreams. They came into the program and they didn’t even know how to dream because of some of the circumstances that they’re dealing with in their communities. They don’t even know that there’s possibilities. But once they catch the bug we just need the adults to say, ‘Ok, tell me more’ instead of, ‘That’s impossible.’ Yes. I share it with you. A really fun memory of that I have of my mother and again she was a single mom but I remember sitting down and I was probably 12 at this point. And I remember her creating this grid and on this grid it had the age and it had certain milestones education, jobs, relationships, children, all these critical areas.
Angela Reddix: 18:33
And I saved this piece of paper forever but it mapped out at what point in my life was I going to get married. It mapped out what point in my life would I have my first child. How many children would I have. How far would I go in education. And I would reflect on that timeline. And it really kept me focused. I remember sharing sharing with my husband. So my milestone was I was supposed to get married at 24. Well I met my husband the first day I was on campus, JMU. And we didn’t date immediately but I met the man who I’d been married to for 25 years on the first day of campus. I will tell you I was focused and I shared that timeline with him as we started seriously dating. Now you know men are men, they are a little slower.
Angela Reddix: 19:27
So he wasn’t exactly on time with putting the ring on it.
Angela Reddix: 19:31
But nonetheless we were maybe a year or so off. So that’s the key is to have a plan. Does it mean that it’s all going to happen like clockwork. Absolutely not. What is going to happen closer because you have a vision than if you didn’t have a vision at all. So we try to instill that kind of concept with the girls that a vision without a plan.
Angela Reddix: 19:54
Basically you’re just dreaming is not going to happen unless you have a plan and you have some dates and you have who’s accountable for it. So we drill that. But what’s key is the parents just have to speak life into the girl’s dreams the Guardians have to speak life and possibilities.
Nikki Woods: 20:11
And yet before I became a full time entrepreneur it’s like I really did not have much patience for people who didn’t have it together.
Nikki Woods: 20:21
I guess is a good way to say it like I wanted to teach you how to do something but I didn’t want to help you fix your life like I did. But what I have found is they’re so closely intertwined that if you’re not in a space mentally, spiritually there’s nothing that I can teach you that’s going to help you be successful if you don’t think it’s a possibility for you. And so I guess my question is for the parents who may not know how to dream either. A lot of times children don’t know how to dream because their parents don’t know how to dream. Is there any kind of advice that you offer them as how they can start to work on their mindset so that they can then pour that into their child.
Angela Reddix: 21:01
Mickey we have mentors that sign up to be a mentor that they really don’t know what they are getting themselves into. They’re thinking oh my gosh I’m not. How much time am I gonna have to dedicate to the girls and just things that we go through. Parents OK what am I going to have to do what’s my responsibility in this thing. What is so interesting to me. The number of mentors who are now dreaming because they’re walking with the girls so they’re thinking that this is gonna be a one way I’m going to give I am telling you I’m watching their worlds change because of what they’re hearing through the girls experience same thing with the parents. Many of these parents never thought about owning a business. I can tell you countless numbers of mothers who are now engaging in their local communities. Because of the experience that they have with their daughters.
Angela Reddix: 21:54
So I would invite everyone to get involved. We are in 30 states this year 48 states next year giving your time. You get more than you give. I can guarantee you that parents. Yes it’s a commitment. It’s no cost. We pay for through our sponsors. We pay for the transportation to get them from Maine to Norfolk, Virginia for the week, all food, all housing, all transportation. We provide the mentors, we provide the web based training once a month, and we provide their transportation and housing to for the trip to D.C.
Angela Reddix: 22:34
The difficulty of getting the pay off. It’s just incredible.
Nikki Woods: 22:39
People are shouting out their cities that they want you to come. An overwhelming cry from Chicago to come to Chicago.
Angela Reddix: 22:47
Nikki I’m glad you mentioned that so listeners are if you are in Chicago I will tell you we have 12 scholarships in Chicago and for some reason we’re having a challenge getting the girls in Chicago. So if you know girls in Chicago and they are in the fourth fifth or sixth grade that’s the point of entry. Once they’re in there and through high school graduation please send us an email because registration is closing and we don’t want these gifts to go to waste. So we’re looking for 12 qualified girls qualified meaning they’re the age group you know that they are going to continue through the program which is a program year, full year. We would love to hear from you.
Nikki Woods: 23:32
So the address did find out more information is http://envisionleadgrow.org. We have a couple of people that are actually in the media in Chicago that are on it said that they’re all over it. So we’ll get this together for more information and where Envision Lead Grow will be in your city or when it will be there or how you can support because you can also support even if you don’t have a girl in the program, http://envisionleadgrow.org is the web site and we’re getting a ton of questions.
Nikki Woods: 24:02
And I want one of the questions it is about the results that you have to seen. And so I want you to speak to that because I don’t think people really realize the depth of what you do and the outcome that you’ve been able to see.
Angela Reddix: 24:15
Oh my goodness the things that we have seen.
Angela Reddix: 24:19
First of all 95%, 95.5% of our girl bosses say that their whole, we do surveys the whole time. This is a research based program. So 95.5% of our girls say that they are more conscientious about what they’re doing. They’re more detail oriented in school, they think about what they’re doing, before they actually act on it. One out of every two girls reports that their grades have improved since they joined ELG.
Angela Reddix: 24:59
85% of the girls we have them establish a goals day one in the program and then we monitor and track to those goals. 85% have accomplished their goals. You know adults I work in a world where you know people say what they’re going to do and then they don’t do it and they’re ok with, not doing it. They set the goals and then they never check back in. So to have within seven months these girls track to these goals and actually accomplish them. They are becoming, yes we have girls who are already selling the girls are selling their products and goods services. Here’s the reality. The average age is 13 years old. I am an employer and I will tell you I will hire any one of these girls because they are being trained to have an entrepreneurial mindset. They’re being trained to be excellent contributors to anyone’s business because if they can set goals and accomplish those I want them on my team.
Angela Reddix: 26:02
89% reported that ELG has helped them feel more confident in themselves. What we deal with when we think about the mental health crisis in the United States so much of it has to do with self-esteem and confidence. That’s one of the things that we focus on with these girls is that we’re building you so that you understand that your voice matters. When you speak, we’re going to listen.
Angela Reddix: 26:28
We find that they’re standing up straighter, they are raising their hands higher, they are not waiting to be told to speak. They’re saying hey I have something of value to offer. Eighty five percent reported that ELG has helped them feel more comfortable with public speaking. If you can speak and you can write if you can communicate basically you can create your own path in corporate America.
Angela Reddix: 26:57
We have all 95% of the girls have actually started their business. They have actually received dollars for their goods and services greater than two thousand dollars. I mean these eleven year olds they’re able to say my name is X Y Z and I’m president and CEO which means they’re more confident to be able to say that over and over again and they’ve been validated because people have paid for their products and services.
Nikki Woods: 27:25
We have a question here from a parent of a daughter who says, her daughter already has the entrepreneurial bug and has started to talk about not going to college she just wants to start her business right out of high school and keep it moving. She wants to know what your advice and your thoughts are on the necessity of getting a degree.
Angela Reddix: 27:46
So I have kind of a split opinion. So let me tell you the more conventional experience that is my experience. I love education. I love education so much so that I never say it out the classroom. So that’s why I have a doctorate. So I definitely am a proponent of education, but I see life a little differently now. There are so many more career paths. There’s their skill and career pathways that you know we have to kind of open our minds to a new generation. We have to open our minds to the value of experiential learning and ensuring that the person is ready to be in that seat to get what needs to happen in the classroom. I would say that if there is an opportunity to do both as a backup plan I absolutely will always recommend that education is the key. But I think we should open our minds to different forms of education. And timing is everything. And I would not have said that probably three years ago.
Nikki Woods: 28:54
Now I had a talk with my son who is a junior in high school and in Texas they have you have an opportunity to by the time graduate from high school you can have your associates. And so he started on his plan and he’ll have his associates degrees says he wants to take two years off, because he he he likes business as well. And then he says he’ll make his decision then and I’m like OK. As the parent, ok. And so it’s interesting that I’m the same way I’m a big proponent of education I haven’t you know I was a teacher for a while and so it has been an interesting walk accepting this path that he has chosen.
Angela Reddix: 29:27
And Nikki I think you raise you know the point to close out that question and that is you have to know your child and you have to trust your child. So you know there we have to set some boundaries kind of kind of loosely set some boundaries and allow them to work within those boundaries because there’s so many other opportunities now that I think we have to open our minds but we have to know are our children now.
Nikki Woods: 29:58
Absolutely so we are coming up on our half hour, stop time. We have gotten so many questions so many compliments on the program people have gone to the Web site, they are checking things out, so that’s awesome. It http://envisionleadgrow.org . You can be a supporter without having a child in the program, but you can also check and see when ELG will be in your city and how you can get involved there. And so Angela do you have any closing thoughts before we head out of here.
Angela Reddix: 30:29
I don’t you know I spoke to close out because I know we’re time but let me wrap up with this actually that you know the message was about creating your vision and I talked about having a vision early on and in life being so much bigger than just focusing on myself and ELG is absolutely in alignment with my vision. It is the legacy that I have longed to create. In fact that little girl that I said my first child was the one that made me kind of think about that. You know that that little child who is now 22 years old is the program manager for Envision Lead Grow, so again I mean right your vision, it’s so amazing how you know writing the vision and I’m a woman of prayer so I believe praying on the vision that you will get the right people putting your path that that vision will be realized in a way that you will have impact greater than your street, greater than your community, your city, but across this this nation. So I invite you all to join the movement at http://envisionleadgrow.org. Let’s stay connected.
Nikki Woods: 31:40
Absolutely and make sure that you’re also connected to AngelaReddix.com/reddixrules . You can get your copy of the Reddix Rules and learn some of the principles that have really been the foundation for Dr. Reddix’s success and also the success of Envision Lead Grow and we will be back with more conversations via live stream we’ll have some special guests that you want to learn about and meet. So make sure that you’re connected on social media as we make announcements not just about that but also what’s going on with Envision Lead Grow and how you can get connected and support the movement, as Dr. Reddix says. We hope you have a phenomenal first day of May.
Nikki Woods: 32:17
And we will keep you posted on when we will be back with more conversations. Thank you so much. Thank you Dr. Reddix.
Angela Reddix: 32:23
Thank you Nikki!