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We had the privilege to get to know and speak with founder of Bowtie Leadership & Development, Inc., Dr. Todd Jenkins.
Expert in the Field is a series where we highlight experts we love who are making waves in their respective industries. This month Mary Mickel got to hop on Instagram Live with Dr. Todd Jenkins who Resplendent has the honor of working with on our diversity and inclusion efforts.
Before diving into the meat of the conversation, here is little about Dr. Todd Jenkins:
Dr. Jenkins is the Founder of Bowtie Leadership and Development, Inc., a global training, consultation, and coaching firm with a focus on bringing diverse people together to increase individual or organizational productivity and performance. Dr. Jenkins has more than 10 years of experience as managing partner and chief diversity and inclusion executive, trainer, and strategist. Today he is known as Dr. “Bowtie Todd,” a trainer, consultant, motivational speaker, life coach, and conversationalist. He is a proud husband, author, servant leader, and conversationalist who believes in his philosophy “bowtie” it all together, serve and simply be a gift unto the world!
Q: How did you get into this field?
A: Well, I never thought this is what I would be doing, but I am so happy I am. My background is sociology and psychology, and I came in from inside an organization perspective. I did academic research for a while and looked into how minority professionals perceive their supervisors in the workplace. I was able to look back on this and provide a resource to help close that gap for professionals. Every workplace has a supervisor. So I understood that I could not change the community, or the board of directors, but I could change the perspective of the supervisor. I went in and changed cultural competency and understanding because that was the largest gap. I started consulting and creating a curriculum. Next thing you know I created a global team doing just that, 10 years later. I’m always growing and learning now, too!
Q: Can you please explain the BowTie Method?
A: The BowTie is of course the brand! But I will tell you when I’m traveling, people will always be curious about the BowTie, it creates and opens up conversations. I had this epiphany, what if people stopped to have conversations about people, like they do with my bow tie. Most people are challenged by having difficult conversations. So what I did is created an acronym on how to navigate these difficult conversations. So I’ll share it with you.
B: Be present. It can be challenging. It is key to be mentally present in a conversation to unpack, unravel, and connect with someone different.
O: Open. Be open minded and be open hearted. Imagine if we created spaces where openness is encouraged, and put first. People want to be seen and heard.
W: Willing. Willingness to share perspectives and stories. Everybody has a voice.
The most challenging part of conversations is tying it together like my bow tie! And that is the bow tie philosophy. We’re having a bow tie conversation right now! You can take this philosophy and apply it to any part of your life.
Q: Tell me something you wished you learned earlier.
A: First you can’t solve everything all at once. I had a big vision, and I did not want to put myself in a box. It’s also important to focus on and understand your role. You do not have to be everything at once. It takes time and work to be your ideal self. Take a holistic approach to the way you work and think about your wellness too. It’s important not to do things by yourself. Sometimes I’ve seen that people will step on others to succeed because they themselves want to succeed. The more unified you are, the more you win. Take a community approach to your business. It’s ok to ask for help and get help. AND SMILE! HAVE FUN. Find those special moments.
We enjoyed getting to talk with and learn from Dr. Todd Jenkins. If you’d like to see the full interview you can watch it here, and be sure to follow us on Instagram @Resplendagram for monthly interviews with industry experts!