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Creating a thriving work environment: How to provide constructive and loving support (#111)

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Jean Latting
November 10, 2023
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What happens when you lead with love? Helen Stagg talks about how making change starts with honest, respectful, direct, and open conversations.

This week Jean interviews the CEO of Change Happens, Helen Stagg. She talks about facing issues head on by assessing, anticipating, and preparing for anything but always with direct, open, honest, and respectful communication. How did she learn this and what wisdom can she provide us? Below are timestamps for important points. For the full interview, read the transcript or watch the video.

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Timestamp of today's podcast

0:01 Introducing Helen Stagg

3:05 From segregation to integration

5:00 Helen’s first leadership role

6:08 Raised by strong women

8:15An idyllic childhood

10:37 Have a loving environment, get out, and then what?

14:09 When you see something that’s not right, you speak out about it

18:16 “The power of one”

21:31 From a 21-year college grad to the CEO of Change Happens

24:23 What is Change Happens about?

30:24 How life works, how opportunities happen

33:13 The value of self, you’re worthy of all things

38:13 The leadership role she knew she could bring to the table that wasn’t otherwise there

41:01 Stick to lead with love

43:32 What do you do with your ugly thoughts?

47:25 How does Helen get to share her philosophy with people at Change Happens or beyond?

51:26 Handling staff discontent, board discontent, or community discontent

54:23 Change Happens contact

Helen Stagg profile picture

Helen Stagg

Chief Executive Officer of Change Happens

Helen Stagg is Chief Executive Officer of Change Happens, a community-based social service organization in Houston, Texas; Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist; serves on the board of the Texas Association of Substance Abuse Programs, the Greater Houston Healthy Marriage Coalition, and the Advisory Board of the University of Houston’s Health Research Institute; Adjunct professor at the University of Houston Clear Lake and University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work.

As CEO, she is responsible for operational planning and management, program operations, and oversight, addressing strategic organizational issues, human resources planning and management, financial planning and management, fundraising and grant writing, and community relations/advocacy. Her role in the organization has resulted in exceptional growth that expanded the organization’s programs. The agency was most recently awarded a community impact grant from the Obama Foundation. Change Happens’ mission is to “Empower people to help themselves.”

She is recognized by the Center for Application of Prevention Technologies from SAMHSA and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention for her work on strengthening the evaluation capacity of evidence-based interventions. She frequently speaks at various community events and has been featured in a documentary commissioned by The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Promise Story: “Empowering Community Health.” She is an honoree of the University of Houston Graduate College of Social Work’s 50 for 50 honorees (2019), recently awarded the Third Ward Go Champion award, named as one of Houston Business Journal’s 2021 Most Admired CEOs, a Pinnacle Award Winner by the Greater Houston Black Chamber of Commerce, and Outstanding Child Advocate for the Gulf Coast Region, by Children at Risk.

Connect with Helen:

Questions to ask yourself

  1. Does "leading with love" sound doable in your workplace? Could you do it?
  2. How do you handle discontent among your staff? Board? Community?

Conscious Change skills
covered in this blog:

  • Build effective relationships
    • Develop skills in inquiry and openness
      • Engage in powerful listening
      • Distinguish intent from impact
    • Conscious use of self
      • Maintain integrity
      • Seek to understand others' perspectives
      • Focus on others' strengths
      • Adopt a growth mindset

    #LeadingWithLove #Communication #ChangeHappens

Coming July 9th!  Available for preorder:
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Leading Consciously

We are a leadership development firm that helps people and organizations create resilient, sustainable, multicultural, and inclusive settings. The ability to lead consciously can help you gain true awareness and earn the respect and trust of others.  

It’s the assumptions we have about people’s lives that are the biggest obstacles to growth, awareness, and success. We help you understand how those assumptions are preventing you from becoming the best you can be as an organization, an inclusive leader, and a person.

Let’s start a conversation. Email us at jeanLC@leadingconsciously.com