About Dr Cindy Banton
Dr Cindy Banton is the Founder and CEO of AVID Consulting, specializing in designing, developing, and implementing enterprise-wide workforce optimization initiatives. She is a transformational leader with more than 20 years of experience providing results-oriented organizational development solutions that optimize workforce performance. Dr. Banton’s career spans various industries including aerospace, technology, and learning and development. Throughout her career, she spearheaded multimillion dollar global workforce performance initiatives and served in senior leadership roles at Boeing, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, Infogix and several start-up companies where she led teams of more than 150 employees.
Dr. Banton currently works with Fortune 100 companies and government entities to develop strategies and actions that change the policies and practices that support the status quo. She helps organizations develop a clear, realistic view of their organizations’ current and future states, specifically in the realm of multicultural and equity competencies and inclusion practices. Dr. Banton is committed to her goal of discovering innovative, common-sense approaches to address the ongoing challenge of creating work environments where talented people are engaged in their work and can thrive.
Dr. Banton earned a doctorate in management from the University of Phoenix, a master’s in organizational management and leadership, and a bachelor’s in business administration. She recently completed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in the Workplace program at the University of South Florida’s Muma College of Business. Dr. Banton has authored numerous published manuscripts, including her most recent chapter contribution to the book, Advances in the Technology of Managing People: Contemporary Issues of Managing People. Dr. Banton is originally from Los Angeles, California. Currently, she resides in Chandler, Arizona, and is an active volunteer in her community, working with the City of Chandler, Chandler Chamber of Commerce, and the Chandler-Gilbert YMCA. She is a member of the Chandler Chamber of Commerce Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee and serves on the Board of Directors of the Chandler-Gilbert YMCA.
Lesson 10: Make Sure My Intentions And Actions Are Pure And Clear. 03:34
Lesson 9: Self-Care And Self-Reflection Are Equally As Important As My Career. 05:52
Lesson 8: Challenges And Obstacles Are Excellent Opportunities To Gain Strength And Grow. 08:07
Lesson 7: Know My Value And Worth. 11:12
Lesson 6: Stand In My Truth – Know And Be True To Thine Self. 14:02
Lesson 5: As Women Leaders, Femininity Is An Asset, Not A Detriment. 19:03
Lesson 4: Never, Ever Forget The Human Side Of Things. 23:22
Lesson 3: Take Risks! Be Bold! 30:01
Lesson 2: Being A Great Leader Requires Being Vulnerable. 35:39
Lesson 1: Cease Trying To Live Up To The Expectations Of Others. 42:15
Dr Cindy Banton
[00:00:03] Diana White: Hello and welcome to our podcast. 10 Lessons it Took Me 50 Years to Learn where we talked to business leaders, journalists, gurus, luminaries from all over the world to dispense wisdom for life and for business, and to provide you with shortcuts to excellence. My name is Diana White and I’m your host. I hope you will enjoy this program.
This podcast is sponsored by PDF the professional development forum. You can find out more information about PDF at www.Professionaldevelopmentforum.org. Our guest today is Dr. Cindy Banton. Dr. Banton is the founder and CEO of Avid Consulting. Specializing in designing, developing, and implementing enterprise-wide workforce optimization initiatives.
She is a transformational leader with more than 20 years of experience providing results, oriented organizational development solutions that optimize workforce performance. Dr. Banton’s career spans various industries, including aerospace technology and learning and development. Throughout her career, she spearheaded multimillion dollar global workforce performance initiatives and served in senior leadership roles at Boeing, Motorola, Hewlett, Packard, Infogix, and several start-up companies where she led teams of more than 150 employees.
Welcome Dr. Banton.
[00:01:30] Cindy Banton: Hi Diana. Thank you for having me.
[00:01:32] Diana White: Thank you for joining us today.
I’m so excited to talk to you Let’s start off. I want to give you a question, thrown a curve ball at you here. Uh, not one of your 10 lessons, but let’s start off with, what would you tell your 30-year-old self?
[00:01:48] Cindy Banton: Hmm, that’s a great question. So, 30 is one of those milestone ages. Where in your twenties, you’re the wild child.
You’re figuring life out. You’re having fun. And then you get into your thirties, and you start looking at life going, Hmm, what’s happening here? Where we’re at? Where do I fit? Where do I want to be? Because 30 then comes 40. There comes 50. Then come 60. So, 30 is, it’s kind of a sweet spot. I will tell my 30-year-old self to, don’t worry about living up to expectations of people.
Figure out what it is you want to do and go for it. you don’t have to do the status quo. You don’t have to do what was embedded, in your brain growing up of, of what a successful life looks like. You know, in our family, it was go get a good government job, or you work for some major corporation for the rest of your life, and you retire.
And that’s what life was about. I’ve always felt differently. And I started to really feel that when I was in my thirties, that there’s something more I want to do. There’s something I want to try some things. And you still got time to make mistakes when you’re in your thirties.
[00:02:55] Diana White: I wholeheartedly agree. And I think there are a lot of families that fall into that, kind of take the same path that your parents and your grandparents took.
And sometimes it takes a person to say, I’m going to break the mould. I’m going to go outside of the box and have an adventure. And, you know, if that adventure leads you back to getting that government job and retiring with your pension, then fine. But, you know, I always feel like it’s, it’s better to say.
I tried it and I didn’t like it then to say I was too afraid, you know, so yeah, for sure. Well, let’s lead on to
[00:03:34] Lesson 10: Make Sure My Intentions And Actions Are Pure And Clear
[00:03:34] Diana White: lesson, 10, make sure my intentions and actions are pure and clear. Let’s elaborate on that one.
[00:03:43] Cindy Banton: Oh, okay. So, intention for me is karmic related. I believe what you put out in the universe is what you’ll get back.
I believe the way you treat people. I mean, even if it’s walking down the street and you see a person who’s, who’s maybe homeless or down on their luck and you smile and say hello to that person, that can make a big difference in their life. How you interact with people, how you talk to people. I always want my intentions to be pure.
So that, that interaction meets the goal that I wanted to my mission in life every day is to get up in the morning and just help people, make somebody smile, make somebody’s day better. I want to be a blessing in somebody else’s life. So that comes along with having the right intentions. When you do things, whether it’s business, your personal life, your friendships, whatever intention is, key.
[00:04:33] Diana White: I see that time and time again, 30 years in sales and retail and, knowing that I’ve had not such a good day and my intention is to just get the customer what they need and get on with my day, as opposed to really trying to figure out how can I service you? The reaction I get back. From the energy that I put out is so different night and day, you know?
And so, I had to learn approach every, interaction with that kind of positive intention makes a lot of sense.
[00:05:05] Cindy Banton: Sometimes I’ll speak my intention so that it’s clear, especially in situations when you’re interacting with people and it’s, complicated or complex or could potentially, result in conflict, then I’m very clear.
I will state my intentions so that we both start off and go, okay, we know what this is about. Nobody’s trying to figure out anything it’s on the table. And we just moved from there.
[00:05:28] Diana White: I love that. I love. Have you had anyone tell you before? you were too bold. I don’t like that you stated your intention and, kind of scared them off a little bit.
Have you had that happen?
[00:05:39] Cindy Banton: Not yet.
[00:05:40] Diana White: Good. Good, good.
[00:05:42] Lesson 9: Self-Care And Self-Reflection Are Equally As Important As My Career.
[00:05:42] Diana White: So, number nine, self-care and self-reflection are equally as important as my career.
[00:05:49] Cindy Banton: Oh, most definitely. And I’m not very good at it at times. I’m going, I’ll take that back at times. I’m very good at my self-care. I, I purposely, schedule in my scheduling book.
Nothing happens is day. We’re going to do what you want to do, whether it’s get a bowl of popcorn and a glass of wine and watch Netflix all day, or, uh, I’m going to go somewhere. I’m going to drive, take a real quick day trip somewhere. I think it’s so important because you have to clear your mind. And if I’m, if my glass is half full, I can’t, I have nothing to give.
I can’t give to people. I can’t give to my job. I can’t give to my family. I can’t give to my friends. I can’t give to my business partner, my clients when I’m low energy. So, it’s real important. Self-care is so important. Some of the things I do, I like to read, I like to sometimes just be quiet, quiet time.
Uh, a lot of people struggle with just site. You know where there’s no, radios or TVs, I’ll take a weekend, I’ll do a digital D what I call a digital detox, shut down everything that has a communication, because we get caught up in, especially me and to give anxiety, um, the deans, the messages, the notifications, and you’re trying to keep up with all those things and it, it drains your energy.
So, self-care is really, really important. A good massage, just a nice hot bath. Anything that’s just going to settle you into. I feel good about myself. I can take a deep breath.
[00:07:20] Diana White: That resonates with me because I think a lot of people, when one mentioned self-care, they think psychological, they think, making sure I wash my hair and get my nails done and really self-care means what brings you personally back to centre? What fills your cup and for you, it could be reading or sitting in silence. For someone else it could be taking, a seven-mile run. It means something different to everyone, but the point is, if it brings you joy and it fills your cup and it has nothing to do with work, it’s just solely for you then do it.
[00:08:03] Cindy Banton: Do it. Yeah. Yeah.
[00:08:05] Diana White: I love that. I love that.
[00:08:07] Lesson 8: Challenges And Obstacles Are Excellent Opportunities To Gain Strength And Grow
[00:08:07] Diana White: All right. number eight, challenges and obstacles are excellent opportunities to gain strength and grow.
[00:08:14] Cindy Banton: Ooh, I’ve had my fair share of challenges and obstacles. I have this sign on my office wall and it said, it says, God only gives us what we can handle. And the second line says, apparently God thinks I’m a bad ass because I’m a cancer survivor.
Um, there were times when, uh, financially started trying to start my business. I almost went broke. Um, I’ve survived, you know, uh, company acquisitions and layoffs and things like that. And when you’re in those types of situations where the obstacles and challenges are so strong, you really, I changed my perspective on things.
I, first of all, I go, well, you got nowhere else to go but up. And what did you learn from this? That’s the biggest thing, learning from those obstacles and challenges and, and using that information. I think all the obstacles and I wouldn’t trade it. Anything people say you would have cancer again? Well, no, not necessarily, but it showed me a strength and depth within myself that I didn’t know I had, and coming out of it, nine months of chemo and radiation, I felt like I can do anything.
This didn’t kill me. So, it was empowering almost. And it changed my mind set on challenges and obstacles, not to say that I still don’t get in the weeds and go, Hey, what’s happening? Why me? Why, why can’t things just be smooth? Why do they always have to be? Yeah, I do still get in that and it’s okay. I embrace it.
And then I come out of it. But I think challenges and obstacles are there for us to learn from. And I know it’s cliche to say they make us stronger, but they actually do. It’s like the Ying and the yang, you got to have the good with the bad. So, obstacles and challenges. I welcome them. I really do.
[00:10:07] Diana White: I love that. I had a mentor, many years ago that told me, pity parties, sometimes they’re necessary, but nobody should stay at a party for too long. It doesn’t matter what kind of party it is. Right. And so, I always remembered that. And, when I read that lesson, I said, Ooh, this is a good one.
Because I think there are a lot of people out there that they get into situations and life may happen to them. And they honestly cannot see a way out or a positive light. I almost akin it to when you’re, when you’re ill, when you have the flu or a cold, and you’re like, I don’t even remember what it was like to be well, and then the cold goes away and you’re well, and the cough is gone and you go, wow.
Like, I don’t remember what it was to be sick. Like you have to take all of that into perspective and remember the good and the bad so that you learn that lesson. You learn that life lesson. So, I wholeheartedly agree.
[00:11:12] Lesson 7: Know My Value And Worth
[00:11:12] Diana White: Now number seven, number seven has got me salivating here. Know your value and your worth.
[00:11:20] Cindy Banton: So, I’m going to answer this from a business perspective, because when I first started my business Avid Consulting, I thought I just need to get customers. Just anybody that wanted anything. I was like, oh yeah, I can do that. Oh yeah. And I wasn’t charging what I was worth. I would just, I just wanted the business.
I wanted to build my intent was to build the business. But then again, I set that expectation that go to her. You’re going to get good quality work and it’s going to be cheap, and that’s not the reputation I wanted the business to be built on. And I found out the hard way I have a mentor, a wonderful, gentleman, Tom, and we were all partnering together on a proposal to give to a client.
There were three of them. And we each had a different part that we were going to do on this particular project. So, I gave him my part. I think mine was some, um, professional development training and consulting, and everybody, turns in their part of the bid. And he calls me on the phone, and he goes, your bid is three times lower than what everybody else submitted.
And on top of that, you have the largest, most important, critical part of this project. Why did you do that? And I go, well, I didn’t want to be, why we didn’t get it. And I didn’t want to charge too much. And this is a real important client. He says, look, charge what you’re worth charge with your work.
You have worked hard; you have a lot of experience and expertise that has value. So, I want you to take this back. I redo it. And he says, if we don’t get it, that’s just a client that can’t afford our services. And we’re fine with that. It’s not meant for us to have, and we move on to the next client. So that was a hard lesson to learn.
and you know, underselling yourself in any situation, can be bad, but particularly business when you want to be profitable.
[00:13:10] Diana White: Oh, a hard lesson to learn, but an amazing blessing that you had, someone in your life that was kind enough to coach you on that because quite honestly, It would’ve made him look great, right?
To deliver this proposal, knowing that he’s getting your services for pennies on the dollar, but he chose to show you that you’re worth more. We need to see a lot of that in this world. I think a lot more of that and the mentor piece of it as well. you know, I consider you to be one of my mentors and it is always good to know that my mentors have mentors and that I to mentor, it’s always paying it forward always.
[00:14:00] Cindy Banton: All the time.
[00:14:01] Diana White: I love that.
[00:14:02] Lesson 6: Stand In My Truth – Know And Be True To Thine Self.
[00:14:02] Diana White: So now number six, which I find difficulty with sometimes. So, I love this one stand in my truth. Know, and be true to thine self.
[00:14:14] Cindy Banton: Okay. So, this one has gotten me in trouble a lot
with my family, you know, in my personal life and my family, we tend to sweep things under the carpet. We don’t talk about things where, you know, we just want to pretend it’s like the story of the emperor’s new clothes, where the emperor is walking down the street and he’s naked. Nobody wants to tell him you don’t have any clothes standing in your truth is, is that you were standing there naked, and you have to face what you see in that mirror every day.
And this, this is part of my, life of gratitude and intention. In standing in your truth. You can be unapologetic. This is who I am. You can accept me for who I am or not. That’s fine. But what you see is what you get, and I’m going to stand in my truth, and I support others in their truth, which is even more important.
Being something that you’re not, or just not taking that time to reflect on who you really are. I do a lot of self-reflection just in those quiet times that we talked about, just sit and go, okay, where are you in life? What do you want? Are you happy? You know, I asked myself that question, if you’re not happy, what do you have to do to get there?
what, what is your truth? So that’s really important to me standing in my truth. It can often cause me to be the black sheep in situations, especially family stuff. Oh God. Here comes the truth police, you know, we are all shut down. Here she comes, don’t look her way. That’s how, isolating standing in your truth can be.
[00:15:50] Diana White: And let’s talk about that isolation because it’s one of the reasons why I think a lot of people don’t and a lot of people sweep things under the rug and they’re happy to do so because it keeps the peace so to speak. And so, I, I wanted to ask you from, from your standpoint, if you were giving coaching advice to someone that’s like, I am finally going to stand in my truth.
I’m going to speak my piece, even if it might not resonate with others. How do you feel at the end of the day when you’ve done that? Is it, you know, is it, do you cry yourself to sleep or are you okay? I feel good about what I did. I can lay my head on my pillow and fall asleep and have a good night’s sleep.
Are you saddened by relationship that relationships you may lose, uh, because of this, and ultimately is standing in your truth worth it?
[00:16:48] Cindy Banton: Ooh, that’s an excellent question because standing in your truth is empowering. It has a lot of good qualities to it, but you can also standing in your truth means you could lose relationships with people.
The people might not like her truth. and I think now in the world today, we sometimes have problems with the truth. So, uh, it can be alienated, but the truth can always stand. A lie or living a lie. Can’t like my grandmother used to say, was done in the dark will come in the light. So, you know, standing in your truth and believing I sleep great at night, but it could be alienating.
Some people might not like it, or they feel like, if she stands in her truth, I have to stand in mind, which I love, you know, empowering other people to do it. So, there’s, there’s a lot of responsibility that comes with standing in your truth and a lot of, backlash as well.
[00:17:44] Diana White: But I believe that if you consistently do that and you believe in it, then you attract other people that feel the same way.
And it’s almost like you shed the false skin so that you can live your true life with people around you that are doing the same. And then in that sense, I feel it’s worth it.
[00:18:05] Cindy Banton: Absolutely. And people feel like it’s empowering to them. So, I’ve met people where I’ve talked to them or they know I’m standing in my truth and they go, wow, I’ve had this same thing.
I’m so I’m so glad that you are this person that you are. Maybe I’ll tell a story about something that’s happened in my life, and they have this idealistic view of who you are, and they go, I had no idea. You, you, you are human. I had the same experience, you know, thank you for standing in your truth. Thank you for speaking up.
I can relate to this. It brings me closer to you.
[00:18:40] Diana White: And that’s one of the messages I think hopefully that will resonate with our listeners is that you never know what the other person is thinking. And, if. you stand in your truth, chances are, you may be pleasantly surprised to know that that’s all they were looking for the whole time.
And, and now the relationship can be richer. So, I love that.
[00:19:03] Lesson 5: As Women Leaders, Femininity Is An Asset, Not A Detriment
[00:19:03] Diana White: Number five. Oh, this one is you’re going to have to give us a good one on us. As women leaders. Femininity is an asset, not a deterrent.
Or a detriment. So, let’s, let’s dig into that one.
[00:19:17] Cindy Banton: Okay. So, I have a background in modelling which is, you know, it’s all superficial it’s all about what you look like, but it’s a business. I have a PhD; I have a doctorate people have these views of what a doctor would look like. They don’t expect a glamor girl or in the workplace. There’s a myth because I stand in my truth.
I find this as a myth for me. People don’t take you seriously because of the way you look or your glam girl or whatever. That’s absolutely not true. I haven’t had that experience. I’ve had people say some things or are curious, you know, uh, but I think it works to my benefit. I mean, I think femininity is a gift it’s a gift and a talent and it’s powerful, but use it wisely.
in the business world I’ve never been criticized. I think it is a definite asset. People are curious. They want to, know what’s your story, you know? Or I mentor young women and they, they go, wow, we thought you’d be like frumpy or something like, you know, I’m like, no, you can be cool, and you can wear a little makeup and have your hair done and drive a fancy car.
But that’s what it’s about. You don’t have to dumb yourself down or, or dull yourself down to make other people feel comfortable. Now that’s not standing in your truth. Or I need to be this natural person because I’m going to get more respect being that way. You get more respect. I get more respect by being who I am.
And it goes back again to standing in your, in your truth. This is who I am. Take me or leave me. What you see is what you get. But outside of the physical, I know my intellect. I can hold my own there. So that’s what really shines through I’m flattered, that people still think, oh, femininity, oh, you’re so girly, girly, but they know I’m smart.
There are brains behind it. You know, there’s intellect behind that.
[00:21:13] Diana White: And I think that is key, for, for so long. even now still, women are made to choose either you’re going to embrace your femininity, to the fullest, or you’re going to be revered for your intellect and you’re going to be a smart person.
And the beauty and the femininity has no place in that world. And I was so happy when I saw that because you are actual living, breathing proof that that is not the case. And it really is about not necessarily choosing one or the other but being authentic. And if the authentic you is both, then it’s both, you know, I have, many clients over the years who have asked advice about, you know, I I’m, I’m going for this contract or I’m going into this interview.
I’ve never worn makeup before. I think I should wear some makeup. I tell them don’t, if you don’t wear makeup and you’re not comfortable with it, don’t put makeup on for a meeting where you need to be your authentic self and the opposite. If you’re used to dressing up and glamming up, do that because that is who you are, and they need to see who you really are in order to figure out if they want to work with you.
and sometimes the answer may be no. But you’re never going to know why people respect you or want to work with you if you’re constantly changing to fit their mould.
[00:22:44] Cindy Banton: Exactly. Exactly. I think in my experience, men have respected femininity in the workplace I haven’t had, well, for the most part, um, it’s respectful. I think they are fascinated. men are fascinated by it. I think they honour it, that I choose to show them who I am, my feminine self in the workplace. but again, it goes back to having that substance behind it.
That reinforces all of that. But I believe what you said is 100% true. Just be genuine, be true to who you are. even in our friendships, our relationships with other women be true to who you are.
[00:23:21] Diana White: I love it.
[00:23:22] Lesson 4: Never, Ever Forget The Human Side Of Things
[00:23:22] Diana White: Number four, never, ever forget the human side of things.
[00:23:28] Cindy Banton: Okay. So, the human side of things is really important in all aspects of our life, our personal lives, our professional lives, whatever I do, I like to establish that human connection first and this is many cultures do that. Like when they have a meeting or something, we don’t go right into, I don’t go immediately into talking about the business.
I want to talk about other things. First. I want to build that rapport. I want to feel a connection to that person. I want them to be connected to me, and then we can move forward with it with my team members. They come first, they come first before my customers. I wouldn’t have customers without my team. I care about their well-being.
I get together with them. One-on-one we have conversations and we’re not allowed to talk about business. We only talk about life.
[00:24:13] Diana White: Love it.
[00:24:15] Cindy Banton: And then we’ll have, you know, team meetings. We’ll, we’ll talk about what’s going on in the business. I am very transparent when it comes to business, I believe people need to know what’s going on in that organization.
They know how much money I make. They know how much money we make on, on deals. When we have a proposal for work, we sit down together and we, you know, we talk about the rates. We’re going to charge and everything because that’s the human side of things. I think we forget, even in our personal lives, we get too busy and too, caught up in things to say, Hey, as human beings in a relationship, let’s just sit down and connect with each other.
People may call it date night, but it goes beyond that. Even in my girlfriend circles, you know, we get together, we say, okay, let’s just sit and connect with each other and see where we are as human beings. I often, I love this. One of my projects that I work on, I teach a digital literacy class for seniors, and that connection with them is so valuable.
It’s more about my connection with them than what they’re learning about computer one-on-one. I mean, they are, they really love that connection, and they learn from that. That’s how that’s the learning structure for them. They can’t learn if I’m going to be in front of the class and, um, you know, hi, I’m the trainer.
They liked to really interact with me. And I think in all interactions, human interactions more.
[00:25:39] Diana White: Well, you have to let me know the next time you were doing that training because my 84-year mom needs to be in, in that class. I am very tired of Face Timing with her, uh, and trying to see the computer, but I’m looking at her nose.
I’m getting pretty tired of that. but no, I, I totally understand what you mean. And what you said resonates with me because I do the same with my team. We’re a small but mighty team. And, I will often say, okay, round table and round table means share whatever you want to share today. Uh, what, what is going on with you?
It could be personal, it could be business, it could be goal oriented, you know, and, and it doesn’t have to be business goals. It could be a goal of, you know, I, I want to spend more quality time with my kids and I’m trying to figure out how to do that. And some of us may have advice to give, some of us may say, well, good for you.
And let us know if we can help in any way. But I think you’re absolutely right. Knowing that you are a part of a construct where you don’t always have to be in one lane is super important.
[00:26:52] Cindy Banton: It is. And another major part of the human connection is emotional intelligence. We tend to, especially in the business world, we shy away from knowing how somebody feels.
If I see a teammate that comes into the office and they’re a little off, you know, I’ll approach them in a gentle way and say, Hey, you seem like you’re not yourself. Or just as a leader, being aware of people’s emotions who are around you, don’t shy away from them. And it shows that you care about them more than just that that’s the emotional intelligence is the ultimate human caring.
As far as I’m concerned. I’m very, very cognizant of people’s, feelings and attitudes. I have a favourite, server at a restaurant that I like to go to and she was a little off. She wasn’t her happy peppy self. And I said, Jennifer, how are you doing today? What’s going on? And she did have something going on.
And I took five, 10 minutes to talk to her about it. And she felt better. Just being that, that little bit of awareness with people and looking, and seeing and watching the body language, just, you know, and being self-aware of our own emotions and our, how we interact with people in that way as well.
Where are we? Where’s the self-reflection.
[00:28:04] Diana White: And I think, I think that that brings up a valid point that you can do it with your friends. You can do it with your family, but when you notice and genuinely care about someone who you have nothing to gain, there’s no relation, talking about the server who she serves your food.
you may come back today. You may come back tomorrow. You may never come back again, but that you looked at her as a human being to say something’s off. And I’m here. And I’m willing to talk with you, even though I don’t know you as well as I would know, a friend or a family member, you’re still a human being to me.
Right. I think that that is more powerful. than just about anything else I can think of. it’s wonderful. It’s wonderful. And I, I get a kick out of going out and just making people smile. I don’t have to know who you are, but if I see somebody walking down the street, I’ll say those boots are fabulous and, and they don’t know me, but I noticed their boots and it just lights their face up.
I was out, just recently a few months ago, and there were two elderly ladies, going to a restaurant. And they were both dressed up and I just said, where are we going? And they said, one of them said, well, it’s my birthday. We’re going to dinner. And then we’re going to go see a show.
And I just, I casually said, I said, well, you know, you guys enjoy yourselves, but you make sure you brought your ID because they’re going to card you, you know, you just started being able to drink. They’re going to card you. And they giggled and laughed and blushed. And it was, it was a beautiful moment for all of us.
That’s because I stopped to have a little fun, you know? Yeah.
[00:29:53] Cindy Banton: And I think more than ever, we need this human connection with each other. We need it so desperately.
[00:29:58] Diana White: Yeah. It’s true. It’s so true.
[00:30:01] Lesson 3: Take Risks! Be Bold!
[00:30:01] Diana White: All right. So, number three, take risks. Be bold. All right. You’re talking to a lot of people who, who might be scared.
Take a risk. What do you mean? I’m like, I just got this job. It has benefits. I have a 401k take risks. What do you mean? I went to school for this discipline. I can’t possibly parlay it into this field, even though that’s where my passion lies. So, taking risks be bold. That’s scary.
[00:30:33] Cindy Banton: It is. It’s scary and refreshing.
I’m scared all the time, but I do it in spite of the fear. Um, and then there’s a certain part of, of a little bit of exhilaration about it, you know, when you succeed in something, but there are different types of risks. There are calculated risks. There are outright risk. As long as you know, what’s a risk.
Do it, I, you know, again, it’s cliche to say, well, if it doesn’t kill you, you know, you’re okay. And I kind of think about things that way. I’m like from this, what’s the worst that could happen, you know? But if I don’t do it, then I’ll never know the worst opportunities is once you don’t take.
[00:31:11] Diana White: That’s right. This is what we said earlier.
[00:31:13] Cindy Banton: Yes. Yes. and leaving a job, that’s a serious decision to make. I have to make it, I had to jump ship from corporate America and I’m thinking, wow, this is stable. This is unstable, but let’s weigh my options. I have freedom. I can make as much or as little money as I want. this will show me what I’m really worth, what my value is.
All of these things that I learned now I can put them into action. I’m my own boss. I can run things the way I want them to run. So that’s a good piece of that. Well, I could say in play it safe too. And there’s a part of me that would be miserable that 30-year-old, who said, this is not me just being stuck in corporate America would be okay.
You know, but, taking that risk and just going on to, I take risks every single day. There was not a day that doesn’t go by that. I go, okay, let’s go. We’re going for, what’s the word? You know? And generally, when you’re an entrepreneur, the risks are high, but the rewards are greater.
[00:32:23] Diana White: Even if the reward is the lesson that, okay, I, now I know what not to do.
Yeah, I think that is valuable. So, you’re absolutely right. You’re absolutely right.
[00:32:36] Cindy Banton: I’ve had customers ask me, I’ve had clients asked me, do you do this? And I’m like, oh, I don’t even know what this is. I’m Googling while I’m on the phone or on the virtual room with them. And I’m saying, what is this?
Oh, okay. I’m scared to death. I know nothing about this, but I’m going to go out there. I’m going to do it. And I’m going to do the best. I have to believe in myself. That’s another thing about taking risks. You have to believe in yourself in order to take risks. That’s a huge part of it. If you don’t believe in yourself, nobody else will.
So, you, you have to get out there and put it out there and just walk out on blind faith.
[00:33:12] Diana White: Sometimes even in the face of, of the people that you care about the most telling you, what are you doing? You know, this is, this is risky. that I had that experience when I started my consulting firm and I decided to leave retail after 30 years, you know, I’ve got a mom who, you know, she did do the work for an entity for 30 years and retire and get your watch and your pension.
And she just didn’t understand why I would, I would do this. And now, you know, I, I look back on it and I talked to her about it, and she sees the benefit, Not the lifestyle benefit, but she sees the change in me. She sees a happier, more fulfilled me and she actually said, you know, I regret doubting you because you ultimately have to make the best decisions for yourself.
And I am happy that I have a happy daughter.
[00:34:14] Cindy Banton: Yeah.
[00:34:15] Diana White: That’s, that’s an awesome statement. You know,
[00:34:18] Cindy Banton: I had the same family situation, but they have no idea what I do there like Do you even work. I know. What is your job? I mean, they, they, they don’t have any, we don’t have that I can think of maybe one or two people on our entire family that were ever entrepreneurs.
I think I had an uncle who installed, uh, home alarms when they first became popular. He had a business doing that and maybe somebody had, was did yard work or something, but, um, No. That’s about the re I might as well go jump off Mount Kilimanjaro. You kidding me? And what do I tell people? I know, I tell people you do, they don’t know the name of your company.
[00:35:04] Diana White: They remember, I, I, I spoke to my mom, and I said, mom, I said, are you proud of me? And she said, yes, baby. I’m so proud of you. I said, mom, do you know what I do? No, but I am so proud of you. I said, okay, that’s good enough, mom.
[00:35:24] Cindy Banton: I’m afraid to ask.
I don’t know. You’re a slacker. You don’t, you don’t have a job. We don’t know what you do.
[00:35:32] Diana White: Yeah. But she’s so happy as a slacker. Oh yeah. Oh, my goodness.
[00:35:39] Lesson 2: Being A Great Leader Requires Being Vulnerable
[00:35:39] Diana White: Well, number two and, and I actually know this to be true, and I know how difficult it is. Being a great leader requires being vulnerable.
[00:35:51] Cindy Banton: Ooh. Yes, so I have 16 members that work for, for our company.
They’re all smarter than me. these people are unbelievable. I am always showing vulnerability. I, if I don’t know something I’m saying, oh, you know what? I don’t know that. I’m not trying to save face. I think people respect you more when you just say I’m clueless. And I have to be particularly careful in this area because.
People think those letters behind my name when I speak it’s law. Well, Dr. Cindy said it, no, Cindy knows nothing. She knows very little. So, uh, being able to be vulnerable or even show emotion. I shed a few tears before at work. I don’t, you know, I’m not necessarily hide, I’m not in the middle of the, uh, presentation and break down and cry.
I have my moments, or I’ll show anger and say, while I, you know, why I’m mad even more so in the workplace, it’s more important to be vulnerable in our personal lives, allowing to have open, honest dialogue with people and being able to say, yeah, that happened to me, or this is where I am, you know, in life or just opening up.
I’m an open book. My friends say you talk too much. You tell everything because I feel like when I share those, my vulnerability, somebody can learn from it. People we have to allow ourselves to be vulnerable so others can gain from it. And I don’t like putting, putting up a facade. I don’t want to walk around like I am strong. I am woman hear me roar all the time. Cause it’s a lot of work. You got to let that guard down and people around, you have to know it’s okay to let their guard down. Vulnerability as a leader is huge. And when people look up to you as a leader, in that case, They want to see a leader.
You can be too strong and then sometimes people become dependent on that strength and it’s draining on you because you’re like today, I’m not strong. I can’t even handle this. It took everything I did to get from the parking lot to my office, not today. Right. and if you were a vulnerable leader, you could say, yeah, I’m kind of having a day.
You guys let’s address this tomorrow. Let’s deal with this tomorrow or whatever, but it is crucial to be vulnerable.
[00:38:18] Diana White: And I think that we need to make it clear that vulnerability does not equate to weakness. And I think that is the biggest problem that we’ve had in our, in our corporate world, in our, in our leaders.
Right. That showing vulnerability. puts a target on you because now you seem weak. And I think also to, to, to add more fuel to that is that women can get away with showing vulnerability because we’re the weaker sex anywhere. Right. And, I cringe to say that, but I know that that is the sentiment of, of a lot of people, but vulnerability just means that you were willing to be your human authentic self, even in the workplace.
It doesn’t mean that you are weak
[00:39:13] Cindy Banton: and it’s an asset. I I’ll never forget this time. I w I was in software sales a few years back, and the CEO of our company, I was the top salesperson on the west coast. I had all the Western region of the United States. He wants to go out with me. He goes, I’m going to, you know, I want to meet your customers.
I want to see what’s going on in your territory, you know, so we could share best practices or whatever. So, we go out and visit some customers. Every single person we visit when they came and got us in the lobby to bring us up to whatever area we were going to, we would hug. And he noticed that he goes for men and women.
He says, everybody, every person needs our VPs and CEOs. He’s like, they hug you. I said, because first of all, human connection intention, I always feel gratitude for everything. You know, the relationship that we have, of course the products they buy or whatever, and then just allowing myself to be vulnerable in that moment.
And I remember when we went on our first visit, I thought to myself, well, He’s never seen my interactions with customers. So, when I went to our first visit, I extended my hand to shake the person’s hand we were meeting with and the guy’s like, oh, what are you doing? He knocks my hand away and gives me a big bear hug.
You know, I’m like maybe professional. I don’t want to, he was like, what is this? Come here. So, it was awesome. then he bought a million dollars’ worth of products.
[00:40:45] Diana White: Uh, hug says a million words,
but I think, as, as people I think subconsciously that’s one of the things that’s driving us nuts about, the new COVID era is that we have to be aware of. The connection, you know, six feet, uh, elbow, you know, fist bump we now have to change the dynamic of how we greet each other and show that we genuinely care as human beings about each other.
And it probably will evolve. I’m a, I’m a big hugger as well. I love to hug, but it probably will evolve. I hope it evolves to something that is just as meaningful. Um, because that, that says a lot, somebody who, Especially if it’s somebody that is going to write a check for them to have the know, K N O W, know like trust to write that big check, but still consider you such a good person and a good friend that they want to hug you.
you’ve done your sales job and then some, and many salespeople that have those kinds of relationships, they keep them long after they’ve left that business, you know?
[00:42:02] Cindy Banton: Yes, very true.
[00:42:05] Diana White: So, we’ll see what, what the new hug will be, um, until then I’m still hugging sometimes, sometimes it depends.
[00:42:15] Lesson 1: Cease Trying To Live Up To The Expectations Of Others
[00:42:15] Diana White: And now we’re up to our final and number one. And I think that this is a lifelong process. Cease trying to live up to the expectation of others.
[00:42:29] Cindy Banton: Yes. So, I’m real done with that. I am entering a phase of my life where I, I make it a point to say, I’m not living up to anybody’s expectation. I did that for so long and it’s exhausting in the same respect. I need to keep my expectations of others in check as well. So, it works both ways, this expectation thing.
I am, I am so hard on myself sometimes it’s like, wow. And then I extend that to other people. And I expect them to live up to my expectations, even when they don’t know what my expectations are, the secret, the dreaded secret expectation, you know? And I’m like, why didn’t you know that, you know, this is post.
I don’t know, you know, you don’t know what you don’t know. and I think it’s hurt me in relationships. Sometimes. I think I use my expectations to self-sabotage relationships sometimes. Oh, well, this person didn’t do this, or they didn’t do that. I’m cutting them off. Right. That kind of thing. That’s hurt me in the long run.
the expectations, I am pressure that I put on myself, the expectation that with my, family, you know, why don’t they treat me the way I want to be treated? Or why don’t they recognize me in that one? All of that is done. It’s done. And expectation has a lot to do with self-preservation as well. I’m trying to live up to other people’s expectation will wear you down.
It will zap your energy. you’re not living your authentic self when you’re living up to what you think other people want you to be. And on the flip side of that, people respect you too. When they see, you’re not trying to live up to their expectations when you’re just yourself, you’re your true, authentic, genuine self.
and, you know, have, have you ever met a person has kind of nutty and you go, oh, well, that’s just how, that’s just how Janie is. You know, I don’t want to be that person. but in the same respect, I don’t want to run myself crazy. Trying to be everything that you think I should be. Or what I think you think I should be that’s, that’s another one.
That’s a deadly one. it’s deadly as the secret expectation is the one where I’m trying to live up to what I think you think I should be.
[00:44:45] Diana White: Ah, right, because you, you have no clue, you will miss the mark. you’re not your authentic self. I mean, I can go on and on and, and, and we’ve actually discussed this before.
the concept, you see it in, in your personal relationship, you see it in business relationships where somebody will come into your life or come into your company and you may have given them a job description, but there’s so much in between the lines that is not spoken, that you have these expectations in your head and you haven’t even told them what they are, but you are immediately judging them and you have immediately written them off because they don’t fill those expectations. And they’re clueless, absolutely clueless. It’s like having, you know, a judge trial and jury and, and the defendant is like, I don’t what happened here?
What did I do? And it is so detrimental and, and it’s actually human nature. And how do we stop doing that and just saying upfront what we need?
I used to mentor girls all the time and you hear it. He doesn’t appreciate me. He doesn’t call me. He doesn’t bring me flowers. He doesn’t do this.
He doesn’t do that. did you tell him that those are the things that make you happy? He should know, you know, uh, oh, I have a worker. I hired them and I hired them to do this job, but, uh, there was something that needed to be done and they walked right by it, and I would have done it. They didn’t do it.
Did you give the expectation that everybody chips in and pitches in and takes out the trash and they should know?
[00:46:35] Cindy Banton: They should know
[00:46:36] Diana White: that’s a rough one.
[00:46:37] Cindy Banton: expectations and intentions to me align very closely with each other. You have to set proper expectations up front and whatever you do with, with people, any human interaction, there’s some expectation and there’s a fine line between expectations and judgment too.
You could very quickly crossover from, this is my expectation. You go from, this is what I expect to you. Didn’t do what I expected. So now you’re a big fat dummy. So, there’s a fine line there between expectation. Uh, even like I go back to the restaurant example. when I was in the service hospitality industry, I was food and beverage manager for a hotel.
And I would tell my servers, here’s the ways that you can increase your, gratuities when somebody wears a hamburger. Don’t just give the hamburger, salt and pepper is already on the table. Right? Bring things, trying to exceed the person’s expectation, bring ketchup mustard. Uh, I had a customer. I like to have mayonnaise on my French fries.
I know it was weird. So, I bring a little, bring a little thing of mayonnaise and say, Hey, you know, try this. You like it. If you don’t, you know, you’re not charging for, I got a guy hooked on eating mayonnaise with his French fries. He loved it. That exceeded his expectations. You can meet people’s expectations; you can exceed them.
You can keep them secret. But it’s about, just knowing that this customer is going to expect mustard, ketchup, and something where this burger and fries. Know, that think about that. So, they don’t have to ask you for things all the time. And I would get very upset when people didn’t do that.
Don’t, you know what? They just ordered a hamburger and French fries. They need ketchup. So, we have to be very careful with expectations and that’s a developmental area for me as well. I’m still working on that.
[00:48:22] Diana White: So, I, I tell you what I learned a lot today and I knew I would, and I I’m just so grateful that you joined the show and, uh, I have one more question for you.
Uh, this is one that we ask of all of our guests. You know, we talked about your 10 lessons that you’ve learned, but what is the one thing that you’ve had to unlearn in your life?
[00:48:46] Cindy Banton: So, I think the biggest thing I need to unlearn is having expectations of others. It goes back to expectations. Again, this is still a developmental area for me, uh, imposing my expectations on other people. And then being disappointed because they don’t live up to those expectations. I want to unlearn that.
That’s, that’s a horrible practice or if I’m going to, or learn better ways to express my expectations to people, upfront. So, my intention is clear. The expectation is clear, and we both agree on whatever these, the expectation and intention are for both of us. That is the one thing I need to unlearn because I grew up in a world and in my personal life and business where you had to figure out expectations, what people’s expectations were.
We didn’t talk about. This is why I want you to do this. Or this is why we’re doing this. It was like, go do it. You had to figure out, well, am I doing it the right way? Am I doing it the wrong way? And like, especially in cleaning our house, you know, my mother had a, she was a stickler of perfect cleaner. She was spotless.
But her version of spotless and our version of spotless, young girls was different, you know, but you quickly learn when she come in the room and there was a smear on the window, a glass that you didn’t clean well, and you, you know, you got that smack on your bottom or wherever it landed. Tell me, I don’t know about smears and streaks and things like that, you know, but we, you had to figure out expectations, even in the workplace, you know, in the eighties, seventies, eighties, nineties in the workplace, the boss said, go do something.
And then you went and did it. You didn’t say, well, how do you expect me to do this? Or what do I need or whatever, you go figure it out. but now people need to know expectations. They know to know what, what we expect of them in all aspects of our lives.
[00:50:45] Diana White: Very true. Very true. And you know, some of those lessons that were hard on, on the bottom and the head in the early days, I think about my mom, you know, retired, registered nurse, and she was insistent on teaching me how to do hospital corners on when, when you make a bed and they had to be perfect.
And she still lives her life like that to this day. Now I do not, uh, you know, I don’t need hospital corners. I just need for the sheet to cover my feet. But when she comes to town or when I go to visit her, I know how to make her bed the way she likes it, you know? And so that’s some of these lessons. We, we, we take them, we absorb them and.
We don’t use them for ourselves, but they come in handy a little bit later on, you know, so, well, my goodness, this has been amazing.
[00:51:42] Cindy Banton: Um, enlightening for me to, you know, thinking about this is a good reminder. All the questions were a good reminder of, okay, let’s keep this in the forefront of your mind. All the time, so I can continue to practice this because sometimes they get on the back burner and you don’t get to, you know, think about, uh, intention or expectation or, or, you know, whatever.
[00:52:06] Diana White: Well, thank you, you, if they’re your lessons and I’m going to absorb them and start using them in my life as well. So, and I know many of our listeners will, too, for sure. In closing, you’ve been listening to the international podcast, 10 lessons. It took me 50 years to learn sponsored by PDF the professional development forum. PDF provides webinars, social media discussions, and podcasts and parties.
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