Rebel Human Resources Podcast

Episode 67: Leading with Love - Odessa Jenkins

October 19, 2021 Kyle Roed, The HR Guy / Odessa Jenkins Season 2 Episode 67
Rebel Human Resources Podcast
Episode 67: Leading with Love - Odessa Jenkins
Show Notes Transcript

Featured on Fox, CBS, ESPN, Yahoo Sports and more, Odessa "OJ" Jenkins is a sports disrupter and known leadership expert who was also named one of the most influential and powerful women in sports by Sports Illustrated. She co-founded women's national tackle football league, is the first female owner (and coach) of a national sports team and the winningest female football coach in football history. In addition to her sports background, she recently took a position as one of Silicon Valley's only openly gay, black female presidents of a technology company, Emtrain, that is helping to improve diversity, equity & inclusion programs among Fortune 500 companies.

Prior to Emtrain, she served as head of business development for Parity, and VP of operations at YourCause, a start-up that helped to revolutionize the CSR industry. An in-demand national speaker, Jenkins is a recognized market leader in CSR, DE&I, Team Dynamics, and SAAS technology with multiple years of leadership experience in private funded start-ups, joint ventures and Fortune 100 public companies.
 
Football was OJ's shield growing up and her ticket out of central L.A., where her brother was murdered by gangs when OJ was just 11. From that point on, she lived by the motto, "create opportunities where none exist before your life is over". That motto has served her throughout her professional and personal life, and its one to be shared with your audience. 

We discuss 

  • How to lead from love while holding people accountable
  • How to breakdown workplace inequities
  • Why leading with your "why" is critical to future success
  • Creating champions of your people 

OJ is a female football Hall of Famer, a 5X National Champion, 2X USA National Team captain, 2X Gold Medalist and was named the world's leading running back by FIFA in 2013. 

Odessa’s Profile

linkedin.com/in/odessajenkins

Twitter



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Odessa Jenkins:

I think it's a really hard pill to swallow. For us. Sometimes it's like, diversity can happen through happenstance. You know, you can bring different groups of people together, you can show a very diverse picture. You can put people together, but inclusion is what happens once they are together.

Kyle Roed:

This is the rebel HR podcast, the podcast where we talk to human resources, innovators, about innovation in the world of HR. If you're a people leader, or you're looking for a new way to think about how to help others be successful. This is the podcast for you. Rebel on HR rebels. All right, revelator. our listeners hope everybody is having a great day, and really excited for our guests this week. Before I hit record, you know, I said, Every once in a while I get a guest recommendation and I just have to meet this person. And that is definitely the person we're talking to today. So we are going to be talking to Odessa Jenkins. She is a sports disrupter in a known leadership expert, who was also named one of the most influential and powerful women in sports. By Sports Illustrated, she co founded the women's national tackle football league. She is the first female owner and coach of a national sports team. And the winningest female football coach in football history. She is also one of Silicon Valley's only openly gay, black female presidents of a technology company m train that is helping to improve Diversity, Equity and Inclusion programs among fortune 500 companies. Thank you so much for joining us today. Odessa,

Odessa Jenkins:

thank you so much for having me, Kyle, how are things

Kyle Roed:

things are good things are kind of like Groundhog Day, as I feel like we're kind of back in 2020. Again, but you know, we're all in this together HR people, you know, we got our tribe with, so we're doing fine.

Odessa Jenkins:

That's good to hear. We are all in this together. It's a it's an eerie thing that we're all being put in similar circumstances in this world right now, which is some ways good, like we all need to level set a little bit about how important we think we are.

Kyle Roed:

I love that perspective. I do think, you know, early last year, when things were really wild, we really got down to the base of humanity, right? It's like, Hey, we're all in this together. Right? So I agree 100%. And I didn't like

Molly Burdess:

we went through a political nightmare. And now here we are, again, trying to level set might not be the worst thing again.

Odessa Jenkins:

It might not be like I think that hopefully we don't get reminded by disaster as often that we are all in this together and that you are a piece to a puzzle, not the entire puzzle. I believe in being confident and self assured and taking care of your business and your family. But it is critical that we know we don't operate alone. And so I think if nothing good comes out of this that that hopefully will come out for for a great majority of us.

Kyle Roed:

I agree. I love the optimism. I'm wired the exact same way. And I think many people in our field are, you know, feel that way. But it's, it's really hard to remember that on a day to day basis sometimes so. So I want to maybe start off by just understanding, you know more about you, what prompted you to do such exceptional things. And I mean, your biography is just so fascinating. So what is the oj origin story?

Odessa Jenkins:

Yeah, you know, for me, it's always been really simple. I have a responsibility. I think it always started with the responsibility of where I was from, and people who are like me, I'm from South Central Los Angeles, I grew up and what a lot of people would think was a did it disadvantaged neighborhood, a society of people who were had a lot of obstacles put in front of them. And so for me, it started very early on in life where my parents and my community and my coaches and my educators, the people around me, kind of instilled this, whenever you get an opportunity, you go crush it. Whenever you're given something, you go multiply it. Whenever something feels unattainable, you go grab it, and so it's just always this reiterating that to me, and it never had anything to do with the outcome. You know, I never had to do Hey, go be a president. Like it wasn't it wasn't it wasn't at all. It was just whatever is put in front of you, you go win, and you go kill it, and you let them know that people like you exist and can win, whatever you're doing. And that's that it's always been a responsibility to that for me.

Kyle Roed:

So I love the tour, I love the term you use there that you know, to multiply. And just so the audience understand. So oj has multiplied a lot of things. So five times national champion two times USA national team captain two times gold medalist and named the world's leading running back by FIFA in 2013. So what so clearly, you've got a you've got a winning mindset. So sure,

Odessa Jenkins:

yeah. No, I think I think that's the that's the thing is unique is that I've helped multiply a lot of businesses, you know, when I went into your cars, we were 32 people, 24 clients, I walked out, we were 600 clients, you know, sold that thing for 180 million and, and we're now we're rocking and rolling and M train. So like, I think, what's different, what I hope to demonstrate is that, yeah, I'm competitive, but results oriented, too. And I think as a woman, you know, I have a responsibility to that this show that women can be competitive, and can be intentional, and can have ingenuity, and be all these things that that make you want to compete at the highest level, and achieve, because I don't just want it, I want to show the numbers, I want to I want to show that it can be done.

Molly Burdess:

Make me feel like I need to get off my couch more and put the line down and try to get a little more of something done.

Odessa Jenkins:

No, I am willing to like I live in all of my life. Like I'm as the kids say, I'm living my best life. I think that a lot of it. You know, when when when you talk about wealth, and when you talk about people being put in the best position they can, it's really just all about being able to do what they want to do, right? Like, that's what financial wealth gets you that's what educational wealth gets you that's what health, wealth and health gets you the ability to do what you want to do. And so for me, as I build wealth in multiple different definitions of wealth, it's just leading me to get to do more of what I want. Yeah, you've done

Molly Burdess:

amazing things. You mentioned something about competitive your competitive in nature and a lot of women who are competitive, I feel like it's stereotypes in the worst way. Have you experienced this? Or what would your advice be for women that are competitive, but that maybe have been labeled? Not so nice in the past?

Odessa Jenkins:

Yeah, I think there's one thing I want to clarify, I think everyone who's overly competitive gets classified the same way. We talked about men getting classified different as women, I think it's not the classification. It's the consequence of the cap classification that harms women, it's like, pay everybody who's has no empathy. And that is aggressive when when aggression is in call for is kind of perceived the same way by most humans. But when it's woman, the consequences of it is, I don't want to be around her. She's the B word, she is insensitive to the needs of the employee base. She's not here for other women, like all of those things get labeled on us. What I would tell anyone, but particularly women who are in that place, where you find yourself competitive, and always willing to win is one, like, remember that empathy is our is a gift, right? And it's a gift that you should receive and give. Because I think that regardless of our personality types are how we want to approach the world, like we talked about it in the beginning, you're not alone. So stay competitive, stay aggressive, but never lose sight of the fact that you are trying to impact and affect other people. And if you were in a scenario where your aggression and your willingness to Pete is also being met with empathy, and it's not working, then you might be in the wrong environment, because I'll never ask someone who's competitive to stop competing. I think that that's like, the absolute wrong advice to give people so I'll never asked a competitor to stop competing. I'll just ask a competitor to keep adding tools to their toolbox. Empathy, the ability to communicate, the ability to share when what happens when you don't win, how to take an L all those things. You have to teach a competitive person, you have to equip them. So that's what I would tell her if she's listening and she's like, yeah, I want to compete and win all the time. Keep competing, keep adding things other things to your toolbox as well. Yeah.

Molly Burdess:

I love of competition and empathy together. It's such a great formula and sorry, Kyle, that's gonna make women just change the world one day. One day, we were already changing, we are changing the world, you're gonna get it? Are you gonna give us credit for it? Right? Yeah, boys. Yes, we're on our way.

Kyle Roed:

Hey, I'm all for it, believe me. My wife is a strong woman and reminds me of that every single day. And that's why I married her. So you know, keep challenging us guys to to do better. That's I'm all for it make us better?

Molly Burdess:

What a question kind of want to stay here just for one second. So obviously you have a background in a more predominantly male environments, right sports and all of that stuff. What advice you have for either business leaders or just leaders in general? How do we how do we get more inclusion? And how do we get more equity in those types of environments that are more predominantly men?

Odessa Jenkins:

Yeah, I think that we have to be intentional. So inclusion is tough, because inclusion belongs to be empowered. And I think it's a really hard pill to swallow. For us. Sometimes it's like, diversity can happen through happenstance. You know, you can bring different groups of people together, you can show a very diverse picture, you can put people together, but inclusion is what happens once they are together. And inclusion means shared power, it means rearrange, power it to me, it's all about power and influence, and communication, and what happens when power shifts, right? All of these things that need to happen, that when power shifts, and for me, there needs to be certain skill sets in the building in the business on the team, in order to truly handle inclusion. And I know that's controversial to say, handle inclusion. But I'm a realist. Like, if you come to me, and you tell me the way I've lived my life, the way that I've built my life, the way I've built my career, everything that has been made valuable to me is not just needs to change, but might be wrong. I'm going to ask some really tough questions. Well, why should I change? And what what are you going to give me? What tools are you gonna give me to ensure that I'm going to be okay, in the end? So we go back to your question about, like, how to get inclusion in these places that are predominantly male. I think if we start with the men, we start with what skill sets are we building in those men to be prepared for all the tough things that inclusion brings? You know, decision making processes? How do we make decisions in a room that no longer looks like it looked before? When I bring in a female coach to a locker room that's never had a woman in there? What kind of things? Should I be saying? How should I be making my decisions? Who's teaching me how to value the differences between us two? How do I make sure that she is walking into this room, her authentic self the same way that I am? How do I handle the curiosity that I have as the empowered to those who are coming in and creating diversity in this space, I think we all want it to be so simple, is put a bunch of different people together in a room and they are going to figure it out. And when I say room, I mean like figuratively, of an office space, a team, your your places of worship anywhere, the store communities, I think that it is all rooted in one year intention, but those who are empower those with the power, need to make sure that you have the right skill in the room for you when you get shocked. Cuz diversity is hard. Inclusion is shocking.

Kyle Roed:

I love that perspective. I think it's a really, it's really interesting to hear how you approach it. And you know, obviously, you made this comment, you know, you do a lot of work for you call it people like me. And so you know, throughout your life, there's been some differences in a lot of your world, I can only guess. So how did you cultivate that approach? As you were, as you were growing as a leader, as a player, as a coach, how did you come to that realization and I got to believe that you had some trials and tribulations to get there. All kinds

Odessa Jenkins:

but you know, this is where sports is a cheat code. And it's a cheat code, particularly for women. For those who are different. You know, for those who you are unique, I was watching the story of Caitlyn Jenner the other day and listening to her talk about how spore was Sport did for her and her life to help her make it through some very tough scenarios. And sport has done similar for for everyone. Sports is our map automatically diverse, right? It's a microcosm of life. So you learn all these communication tools, you learn how to have critical thinking, you learn how to work through this problem solving these tough scenarios, all these practices that you're going to need in business, all these practices that you're going to need in relationships, you literally practice them every day in sport. So where I think I developed this ability to walk into a room or a business, or to build a relationship with someone's like me, like, my every business leader that I've had leading up to my career, where I was the business leader, myself has been nothing like me, looked nothing like me, you know, straight cisgendered white male, it's just that that is just been the case. And people always say, how did you get like meant to talk to you like that are to think differently. And I would say my secret sauce is sport. And sport is rooted in issue resolution, and conflict resolution, and communication and self esteem. And knowing your role know your responsibility. But even more important, it's rooted in achieving, and people like people that get stuff done. And I learned early on, like, Listen, if I want somebody to listen to me, they will listen if I'm good, right? The likelihood and some people haven't had this scenario. But the likelihood of someone listening to me that's different than me, that thinks that I can help them is higher. If you think I can help you, you are more likely to listen to me to have a conversation with me to engage me. Once you talk to me and you engage with me, I got you. Because sports has taught me how to do all these other things. I know how to listen to you your differences or your question about me and not take it personally. Because almost nothing is personal. Right? Almost everything is about you trying to learn your fear your whatever is about you, almost never about me. So I think that you asked my how my How is I've figured out a way how to transform those lessons learn as a young girl in athletics, to business in almost every other dynamic in my life.

Kyle Roed:

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Odessa Jenkins:

I mean, what if you knew you were chemically predispositioned, to be more comfortable around people who were like you who looked like you, who had the same life experiences of you, because there's a natural disposition to run away from danger and difference sometimes in your brain is categorized as danger, right? If it's different, I did evokes fear, fear in hopes, you know, me to react and go grab for certain things, to defend myself to run to do all these things. And so a lot of the like, l&d professionals and connect with the DNI professionals are all talking about this thing, like, you are predisposed to bias you are predisposed to bias versus unconscious biases. He thinks it's like, Okay, well, yeah. But to your point, there's a consequence to me receiving that category. And you continuing to note my category, right. And so I think that we have to start changing the conversation a little bit ourselves to receive the fact that biases there, we have to receive the fact that there's comfort in the things that are a part of my culture. This is another sort of uncomfortable thing that I talked to my team about when we talk about all the time. And it's like, when there is a connection between race and culture. If I'm comfortable with my culture, does that mean I'm necessarily just comfortable with my race? And there's a really hard conversation about white American culture versus black American culture, right? Is there a white American culture? And if there is, is it okay for you, Kyle, to be as comfortable with white American culture. And that not feel like racism, as I am with the idea of a hot press and calm touching the hair and what that smells like, because I have Southern Baptist parents. So it's, so it goes way deeper than I think we want it to go. But I'm categorizing you a certain way. And I'm immediately saying, white cisgender. Male, it means one, Kyle's got a better chance than I do. So I'm a little pissed at him. Two cows got a white male American culture. But what does that mean? Right? Is that, uh, is there a culture of harm to me? Or is there some stuff that just just for Kyle in white guys, and is that cool? And I think that that's like this really, you know, gray area that we're talking about when we talk about inclusion, that we need to do a better job, and some of that doesn't get figured out. And some of these differences don't align with each other. But I think where we can align is like, you and I just had that conversation. Like do you feel? You feel alright. I feel okay, still.

Kyle Roed:

Oh, yeah. I'm good. Now. I'm just curious. So okay, so So, let me ask you a question. So right. When I said I was born in rural Iowa, what was your reaction to that? Or I guess what was your assumption of me? When you heard that?

Odessa Jenkins:

My assumption was that you didn't have a very diverse approach. Bringing, like when I think about rural Iowa, I don't think about diversity. I'm born in a city. So I think about the polar opposite of growing up in LA, I think about like, is I'm starting to think now I'm like, how to kind of get around when he was a kid? What jobs were available? What's what was the job of choice in your family versus my family? What kind of music Did you listen to? And what drove you? Listen, where do you go to church? Did you go to church? Like I started to think about, you didn't have as many options as I had in the city. And so that automatically made me think, you know, Kyle, kind of maybe maybe didn't see much in his upbringing. Therefore, he might not have been through much

Kyle Roed:

percent. You're 100%? Correct, sir. There was one black family in town town of 5000. And, yeah, I mean, job option. My parents were teachers, my dad taught shop at the local prison, that local prison was essentially the the, the industry of our community is one of the big prisons in the state. And yeah, that my exposure to diversity didn't happen till college. I mean, really, I mean, it, you know, it just, and then my, you know, my world like, blew up. Right? So yeah, I would say I lived a very sheltered life, you know, it was very comfortable. It was very safe feeling, you know, but I think the other thing that's really interesting, so you're talking about, like white male culture. I can't speak for other white males, I can tell you my culture raised where I'm at, was what I what we all call Iowa nice. Which, which I describe as kind of passive aggressive. Like, you might think things, but don't say it, you know, and so conflict was really hard for me. But, yeah, so I've had to, like, honestly, I've kind of had to unlearn all that to be an effective HR practitioner. Many of them

Molly Burdess:

and I

Odessa Jenkins:

bet you have, but the tough thing, and when I'm talking to, you know, people that I'm trying to influence to either create, you know, DNI programs, or to advance themselves in understanding of inclusion. And it's usually people who hold power. And when I'm talking to them about that, it's like, always trying to get them to self reflect on Hey, what part of this can you hang on to? That is good? And what part of this that you absolutely want to hang on to that you think is good? And what are you willing to give up in order to truly get us to this place? And I don't know that just always starts people from a nice like, space of being empowered. Because I think again, a lot of this is about you know, distribution of power and disruption of power and what happens when when those things you know, go one of my favorite athletes is Kobe, Kobe Bryant. Kobe Bryant was sitting with Ron our test we just changed his name to Metta World Peace. This was after the Indiana Detroit basketball fiasco, better world peace for those who don't know was a very disrupted athlete, very challenged man. And, and he came and he met Kobe Bryant, who's his start competitor, and Metta World Peace. It just changed his name just started to get in Zen really changed his life. And he wasn't playing well. It wasn't being as normal, aggressive self. And he came to Kobe, and he said, and Kobe said, Hey, what are you doing? You know what? I need that I need that same guy that was in the Indiana, metal world peace tells him listen, I'm a different man. I'm not that same aggressive person. I'm not perfect. I can't I can't be that and be metal world peace. Coby tells him How do you think you get peace? And he's like, he's like war. That's how you peace. And Metta World Peace goes say well, well, okay. I thought there were two ways to multiple do and then kill, he tells him listen on the court, you go to war it off the court, you have understanding, right? You have an understanding of how to get the peace. And I think for us, in this world, we are deciding one of two things we're deciding to either go to war, which always results in disruption, which sometimes results in peace, or we're deciding to go to understanding which is much more complicated. I'd like to go the way of understanding because I'm a peaceful being. I know you know how I know violence, my ringing or not, not like not wanting any of that anymore. But I think it's something where you have to get real about like if you want change, how do you truly get change on the scale that we Trying to affect

Kyle Roed:

and that's powerful. All right, I'm, I'm reflecting here and I'm, you know, shifting back into the workplace. And I'm thinking, how I really want to get to a point of, you know, inclusion, you know, equity within my organization. But we can't have a war in within the organization. So So how understanding may be harder, but what what are the, you know, what, what are some of those steps or tactics that that we can employ? To do this in a way that is comfortable for the organization?

Odessa Jenkins:

Yeah, so, so we'll be comfortable. wore does it mean, discomfort and understanding? Does it mean comfort? So I want to make sure it's not after we gotta get out of the comfort zone, but I think there are certain things that that every company can do, I think one is like, What's your plan? Like? what what what's your plan? What are what's your stated? Like, plan? I don't even say goal, because I think goal is like a really weird word when it comes to inclusion. But what's what's your plan you want people to have what environment? You want this community to feel like a community to? To whom? Like, what are the outcomes that we that we want? How do we want our environment to change is I think a great way to put it, okay. And then how are we being intentional? You can help yourself be intentional with, well, what are the processes that you have in place to influence inclusion? What are your communications? positions around? inclusion? How are you influencing ally ship in your communications, and your decision making processes, how you and infusing valuing differences in every way you communicate? Whether it be your meetings, or your written communication, your marketing? To your point, if we're going to handle this view, in understanding, there's going to be curiosity? How are we making room for that curiosity? How are we making space for that, on a day to day basis, this is why I'm saying it's not comfortable. Because immediately your CFO go, you got time for curiosity. We need to get this cost per lead down, like, you know, we were working on my new business growth, and you're trying to make room for curiosity. That's why it's not always comfortable. Because you have to make you have to make space for it. How are you making space for authenticity and belonging. So one of the ways is, you gotta get tools, like you can't do it on your own. I think there's technology and people that serve you, you know, technology like ours, and I'm trying it's like, let's put some training and some content and some, some data around you. That's going to truly help you grow and learn and get a learning process and a curriculum around building these skill sets. The other thing, though, is who's running the business? Who's making decisions in the business? And do they actually want this to happen? And have they proved it where they're putting their money in their time? So like, because we can all you know, as men managers, you can plan what you want to plan. As the director of inclusion, you can plan what you want to plan. But ultimately, if you're the folks writing the checks and making the budgets are turning down requests for getting, you know, resources, technology, people, building these skill sets, evaluating hires on these things, they're turning those things down, then you won't get inclusion you sure as hell won't get equity. Then you won't be really being intentional.

Molly Burdess:

Yeah, what advice do you have for those people that keep getting shut down,

Odessa Jenkins:

please, leave, leave. But here's the thing, you are important we, we I'm not far away anymore. I'm the man now. So I know. We, we you as the employer, you run the business to run the business. You decide, see, this next generation has figured it out. The Internet social media has done this and it's made them a community in cases where they would wouldn't normally have community. So they're starting to figure out you know, what, what is this business without us? right it is. So take your time, your talents and your interest to places that appreciate and compliment that time, talent and interest period.

Kyle Roed:

And I would make a point. Sorry, Molly, I was gonna say, I would make a point. I'm going through this right now, budget time, every HR person's favorite time of the year. And oh, by the way, when you're going through that, you know, bring it doughnuts for your finance team, because they need, they need all the help they can get right? So So the first step is like, make nice with the people that set the budgets. So that's like, let's start there. We're talking about empathy, like, man, it really sucks to be you're in your job right now you're working 16 hour days, here's some donuts, right? Like, do that. But, you know, I would say that the worst thing you can do as an HR person is not ask. Right? Like, you gotta like, you gotta have a plan, or complain about it. Yeah, yeah, exactly.

Molly Burdess:

But I don't have a solution that I'm going to present to you. There's nothing worse than that.

Odessa Jenkins:

You bring up a really good point. But I think that the other thing is like solution, like some people have a really hard time about finding what the solution is. But there's no shortage of resources that are telling you where to get started, right? Hey, if you want to build more diversity in the company, you know, it start with hiring, start with the recruiting process, start with your onboarding process and your post onboarding processes. Because those were we lose people the most, right? We lose them. So getting them is hard enough, but then we onboarding, we lose them right away, or right after onboarding, we really lose them because we aren't really sufficiently supporting them, after they've gotten our met our representative and they meet real us and they're like, whoo. So it's like, if you're an HR professional, and say, you know, focus in on those areas of a company. But to your point, you're right, like, ask once you find a solution, once you find some technology, once you find, you know, some learning guidance, some expertise, and you know, what you want to go and do? Write your number down slag across the desk, like,

Kyle Roed:

you know, with the donor

Odessa Jenkins:

cell, put a doughnut on top of it, it's kind of wide open and see what you get.

Kyle Roed:

Yeah, 100% Yeah.

Molly Burdess:

And I think you know, just from talking to you, I feel like you build such great relationships, and you just have such an influence and can make an impact on whoever you're talking to, I can definitely see how you achieve the results that you do, and have just skyrocketed with these results of everything that you're a part of, I definitely think people need to just think about the impact and influence that they do have and work on refining that skill as much as possible, because I can see that is what has led to your success. Yeah, and

Odessa Jenkins:

I and I, you know, to be fair to everyone, I fought, and I've lost, and I've left, right, so I'm not giving anyone advice that I haven't practiced in my own career, I think that I've been willing to, I want to see companies be available, and I'm going back to this look like Mikael thing. But people that experience the world, like I've experienced it, and you've experienced it, like us three here, like we were sitting here being representative in a company, it would be pretty cool. And so I want to build companies that have no question about whether or not they're prepared for all kinds of diversity. And you have to start somewhere. So most people start with diversity of race, diversity of ethnicity, then you diversity of gender and diversity of sexuality. But like, I continue to put push myself, you know, later on in my career, I'm learning about diversity of learning, and even learning more about mental differences, and how you can better support employees in your employee base, who might learn different, or hi have different mental capabilities. Like, those things are surreal to a lot of people, leaders, but you could be missing on great talent, because you don't have the ability to handle someone's handicap, you know, and how you you so I think for us, even for me, as I'm learning on a day to day basis, what is diversity truly mean to the workplace, but also what does diversity truly mean to the workplace? And are we dealing with adversity? Are we just dealing with diversity? And how do I treat it different?

Kyle Roed:

I love it. And and to circle back to where we started this podcast, we're all in this together. Right? So it takes that open mindedness, the honesty, and you know, and allowing people to, to get a little uncomfortable to, to grow. I love that.

Odessa Jenkins:

Yeah. Make peace, not war. Make peace now or for sure. Yeah, I hope that we, I'm very hopeful. I'm optimistic. I love people. I think we do way more good. Then we do harm. And I think one of the greatest gifts is the ability for people to come together but that's like a pack as a pack animal talking that's that's the coaching me that's love team talking right? I wouldn't be I wouldn't do well as an individual contributor, right? I'm all about to

Kyle Roed:

make you say that I'm like, I'm sitting here. I'm like, I could see why she's a coach. She's Yeah, I play for you. I would suck but I would play for you. I would say good.

Odessa Jenkins:

day I got you. Oh, my God. Out.

Molly Burdess:

Did you really know where I was? When Kyle asked you because you picture it. Most people will say

Odessa Jenkins:

I actually hired two people from Iowa shout out to Leah Gilbert, and it was another guy from Iowa. Anyway, but in my career, I've had two people, two employees from Iowa, both two amazing people. So shout out to Iowa as the two examples I've ever had three now. Open Open been really dope people. So

Kyle Roed:

I'll take it. I'll take it. I've never you know what, I don't think anybody has ever used the adjective dope to describe me. I love I will take that. I'm gonna put that on the podcast style. I'm gonna put that No, no, come on.

Molly Burdess:

You do karaoke.

Kyle Roed:

You're pretty. Yeah, well, you know. Yeah, we could talk music. Yeah, you met you talked like what kind of musical is too? Well, yeah, we could talk that for for the whole podcast. We don't have time for that. So that's another episode. All right. Well, we are we are steadily coming up to the end of time it's flown by it's been such a wonderful conversation. I wish we had another three hours to keep going. But as the president of an organization, I'm sure that you have many things building up in your inbox right now. So we are going to shift gears, we're gonna go into the rebel, HR flash round, so ready to go?

Odessa Jenkins:

Let's do it.

Kyle Roed:

All right. All right. Question number one, what is your favorite people book

Odessa Jenkins:

the power of who by by boating? I don't know if I'm supposed to emphasize on that am I supposed to,

Kyle Roed:

I'm not familiar. What's the what is the power of who? powerful by

Odessa Jenkins:

Bob, Bob bodeen. I'm not a huge reader. So I like to read things that are quick, that give me immediate return. And it's a book that I recommend to every people here. But really what it talks about is empowerment around your your network, and how everyone already knows everyone that they need to know to get where they need to get in life. And it's a story about like self esteem, believing and self, but also about your power and the ability to network. And all the skills that you build when you truly learn how to become a good networker, like to your point asking for what you want, and building out a plan. And I think particularly for women, we have a really hard time asking for what we want. And so it really like builds up that skill and that muscle around, you know, how do I build a network or a board of directors around me that's going to tell me the truth that's going to help me achieve my goals? And it's just fam fabulous perspective on it. So yeah, by building the power of who?

Kyle Roed:

I love that. All right, question number two, Who should we be listening to?

Odessa Jenkins:

yourself? You know, yourself, I think, you know, we're in a world of where there's so much noise and so many voices and I think sure there's all kinds of podcasts and music and books and lectures, and whatever is meaningful to you of the day you can have but I think I don't know the power of self esteem is getting lost in our society. And I'm not talking about arrogance I'm just talking about believing and valuing and loving on yourself. And I think we need to do more internalizing on that these days. So I would say listen to yourself, learn how to listen to what you need, physically, mentally and emotionally and I think it'll help you develop as a person.

Kyle Roed:

Love that great answer. That's that's well said.

Molly Burdess:

I heard that from another wise man. Not too long ago.

Kyle Roed:

All right, last question. How can our listeners connect with you?

Odessa Jenkins:

Um, you can LinkedIn is is awesome. I'm Odessa Jenkins on LinkedIn. Or you can catch me on Twitter. I think I'm Oh, Jenkins oh three on Twitter. But yeah, LinkedIn is the best place to connect with them yet. I And Odessa Jenkins

Kyle Roed:

perfect in the company is m train em, train and help with dei programs, we'll have all those, all those links in the show notes so that you can just click into your podcast listener, click on the show notes and find out more I'm sure we're gonna have a lot of really interested listeners, you know, and this has been such an interesting conversation, because it's a little bit of a different take on D II. And, you know, I think that all of the advice I think, is really it's actionable. It's pragmatic, and it's, it's something that we can all start to do an organization's right now. So really appreciate the time and a great conversation.

Odessa Jenkins:

Now, thank you, I want to make sure it's actionable. I think that's why I joined the M train cars and I'm hoping, you know, whether it be the wF C or m m train or whatever I'm doing that, that it's something that's gonna help change the world. One day I

Molly Burdess:

told him, You know, I was one of those people that thought this was all so simple, like, put each other in a room Be kind. And let me tell you, I have had so many people talk to me about all this stuff. And you're probably the first one that has talked about it in a way that I'm like, it makes sense why I was so wrong in my thinking before. So I definitely appreciate this conversation.

Odessa Jenkins:

No problem. Thank you. I appreciate your having me.

Kyle Roed:

Thank you. Changing the world. Oh, Jay. Thank you.

Odessa Jenkins:

Let's do a YouTube YouTube. Superhero tan tandem. Y'all need to keep going.

Kyle Roed:

There you go. All right. Have a great rest of your day. Thanks again.

Odessa Jenkins:

Take care.

Kyle Roed:

All right. That does it for the rebel HR podcast. big thank you to our guests. Follow us on Facebook at rebel HR podcast, Twitter, at rebel HR guy, or see our website at rebel human resources.com. The views and opinions expressed by rebel HR podcast are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any of the organizations that we represent. No animals were harmed during the filming of this podcast. Maybe