How to Tap Into Your Superpowers: With Julie Lythcott-Haims

Jennifer Brown | | ,

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In this episode, originally recorded as a TONE Talk, Julie Lythcott-Haims joins Jennifer Brown for a conversation about 3 “superpowers” that everyone possesses and how to unleash them. Julie is the New York Times bestselling author of the anti-helicopter parenting manifesto How to Raise an Adult. Her TED Talk on the subject has more than 5 million views, and in 2020 she became a regular contributor with CBS This Morning on parenting. Her second book is the critically-acclaimed and award-winning prose poetry memoir Real American, which illustrates her experience as a Black and biracial person in white spaces. A third book, Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, will be out in April 2021. To learn more about TONE Networks, visit

Listen in now, or read on for the transcript of our conversation:

Julie Lythcott-Haims: I label these things as superpowers, mindfulness, kindness and gratitude, because I do believe that the seeds of them are innate in our spirit and our being and our bodies as humans. If developed, if focused on and activated, they can be incredibly strong, powerful tools, and they are accessible to us regardless of our education level, income, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, parentage, mental health situation. We all have access to these things, which is why I’ve put them in this basket of very special things I think of as the superpowers that can really transform and transcend.

Speaker 2: Everyone has a diversity story, even those you don’t expect. Welcome to The Will to Change with Jennifer Brown. Get ready to hear from leading CEOs, bestselling authors and entrepreneurs, as we uncover their true stories of diversity and inclusion. Now here’s your host, Jennifer Brown.

Jennifer Brown: Gemma, I am so glad to have you join me to introduce the episode for today on The Will to Change. Welcome.

Gemma: Oh, I am so happy to be here. Thank you so much, Jennifer.

Jennifer Brown: Oh, yeah. When I first discovered your work and what you had founded with TONE Networks, I was immediately intrigued. I knew and know that there’s an enormous need for what you’ve built and the way that you support women leaders. Today’s episode actually was my opportunity to be on that platform interviewing one of my favorite people, Julie Lythcott-Haims, and one of your favorite people too. I just want to give the audience a sense of take us back when you founded TONE, why, what problem were you trying to solve? Even I’m sure there’s a personal element to it because you were probably trying to solve your own challenges and make it better for future generations of women. But take us back and tell us about TONE Networks and give us some context for the episode.

Gemma: Certainly. Actually, yeah. There’s quite a personal story here, which is I actually didn’t set out to found TONE. I actually had worked in corporate America for quite a long time in accounting finance and then at AMC Networks in content and marketing and distribution, and then I ended up working in tech and data. I had a great run in a corporate, and I thought … I went into work one day, to be completely honest, and a good friend of mine had passed away, and I realized I needed to do something different. I wasn’t quite sure what it was, but I knew that I wanted to do something that was more fulfilling. Meanwhile, I had a great gig. Make no mistake.

Gemma: I retired, which was somewhat surprising, and I sat on this journey of trying to figure out what would light me up for the rest of my life. I realized that I thought it was going to be philanthropy. I wanted to help people. That’s what makes me happiest. In that retirement phase of my life, I actually got asked to speak at a women’s leadership conference. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone want to hear from me? I’ve retired, I’m out of the business. I’m trying to figure out what I’m going to do next,” and the session was actually on career pivots. I thought, all the more reason, why would anyone want to hear from me? I’m in a personal pivot right now.

Gemma: I’m trying to figure out what’s new or next for me. At the time I was reading Brene Brown, another favorite of mine, Daring Greatly. The idea of vulnerability came in and I felt very vulnerable, and I thought, “Well, if I’m going to be about helping people, if that’s what I want to do, I should go and speak at this leadership conference and talk about career pivots.” I did that, and I got to the room and it was quite a large group of people, of women. The fear in the room was palpable. I talked about my experience and how I jumped around from different types of careers in different categories. I got to end, and it was a very good session, and I got to walk home. I wasn’t in the corporate chaos of day to day run here run there, and I got to reflect, and I started to think.

Gemma: All of these women that were in that room were really talented and they were having trouble making these pivots and moves. I started to think, well, what is it? Why was I able to make those moves? I was able to actually have time to reflect, which so often we don’t have time. I started to think about, for whatever reason, I got the projects, the mentors, the sponsors, and those resources and those requirements to be successful are scarce. I started to think about how could I create a different form factor, a different version of mentorship of access to executive coaching and experts like yourself in a way that is scalable so that I could get this knowledge to all women, and that’s really how TONE began. That’s our story.

Jennifer Brown: Wow. You talk about a pivot, and what a wonderful unlikely but very obvious thing to build, right?

Gemma: Right.

Jennifer Brown: It’s like, well, let’s bring the learning to the women who struggle with all the things that we struggle with to reach our potential, and let’s remove some of those obstacles that keep us from reaching our potential and getting the support we need and the learning we need and the expertise we need. You’ve done all of those things in one place. I’m just thrilled I play a couple of roles. Can you tell people about the roles that speakers play on the network?

Gemma: Yes.

Jennifer Brown: Then give us some context for how Julie Lythcott-Haims and I ended up in a TONE Talk.

Gemma: Absolutely. When I set out and got this idea and then took the idea and thought, well, maybe I should better check to make sure this is a good idea, right? We actually set out and did some national research, where we asked working women across the United States, “What stands in the way of your personal professional development?” What they played back to us was that there were three main categories. First was time, access, and confidence/permission, if you will. That became really the basic tenants of the product that we built on the platform. What women played back to us was they were short on time, they were often last on their list.

Gemma: They didn’t necessarily know experts or didn’t have access to experts and executive coaches and thought leaders in a way that they could easily use and that they also needed role modeling and they needed to see themselves. What that led us to is this curation of experts like yourself, where we look to identify true experts and thought leaders that have a body of work that speaks for their passion and their credibility quite honestly. That’s how someone like you, Jennifer, we’re so thrilled to have you as a TONE Networks expert, but also you’re also a host now as well. You get to ask the questions, which again, is very important for the members that we serve.

Gemma: When it comes to TONE, what we recognize is that we all have different learning styles and different time requirements, and women played back to us, “Don’t make me write an essay, don’t make me take a course, I don’t have time.” What that leads us to are different form factors to experience learning and TONE. You can go and experience a micro-learning video, which is only a couple of minutes because we all are short on time, or you can participate in community-based coaching sessions where you’re in a safe environment with experts like you, and you can actually learn from those experts and participate by asking questions and learn from the questions that the community raises.

Jennifer Brown: That sounds so ideal. The snackable learning, the micro-learnings. It’s all about that now and being able to grab a piece of inspiration. Not too much I think is just perfect. It’s right on time. Julie Lythcott-Haims, as a choice for a guest, was powerful and I was so excited because I have had Julie on my podcast before. Julie is a prolific author of three books, the latest of which is going to be coming out in April of 2021 called Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, which is a little bit of a play on words from her first book, which was How to Raise an Adult. The middle book and there is called Real Americans. These are all incredible. You’re a huge fan. I know, Gemma, you read her work voraciously. What is it about Julie that you value so much and what was so critical for you to bring from her messages to the TONE audience?

Gemma: Right? Like yourself, I am a huge fan and the opportunity to even say hello to someone like her, I’m very grateful for. She basically, as you do, you both really fit the criteria that we look to hold to at TONE, which is you and Julie are not influencers. You are genuine and true experts. You walk the walk, you talk the talk, you have a body of work. I think as a huge fan of Julie’s How to Raise an Adult was a very powerful book. It was very straight. It’s very to the point.

Gemma: What I found so important about someone like Julie is Julie can have those tough conversations in a way that is very accessible and makes you feel like, okay, I may not be doing this right, but I can, I can get there. I can do it right. I think, especially when we look at diversity and inclusion and intersectionality, there’s a lot of fear and there’s a lot of differing opinions. I think what Julie really brings to the table is this directness, and she tells her story with such truth and authenticity that you feel like, okay, yeah, I can. I can do this, and you feel unafraid.

Jennifer Brown: That is such a good description of her. Really, she’s a teacher and so compassionate at the same time, and is so brave about her own personal story. She’s the ideal person. I loved interviewing her. I always learned from her and she role models the compassion. Even around this really difficult topic that is so super-charged, she finds that way through, and it probably comes from many, many years as a dean in college at Stanford and dealing with this really complex landscape. But it’s her life. It’s her entire life that enables her to do that.

Jennifer Brown: This is wonderful, Gemma. I appreciate the opportunity to reair this, and I wanted to let The Will to Change audience know we will be sharing a special link for everybody to have, I think, a limited time access to the TONE platform. We will add that at a later date, and you’ll hear that next. But, Gemma, I just want to thank you for giving us an opportunity to give people a window into this conversation.

Gemma: Thank you so much for allowing me to be a part of this. I’m excited to be hosting a TONE Talk with somebody who’s such a luminary in my field and somebody that I’ve learned from and eagerly read all of her books and watched all of her talks, and I recommend you all do the same. Julie, you and I met in a beautiful setting relating to some alumni networks that we share. I listened to you and overheard a conversation you were having, and I was drawn to you immediately. I realized that we both share such a deep and abiding commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and that’s what we work in every single day and where our hearts live.

Gemma: I just felt an immediate need to know you, and it’s been an honor to know you since then. I’d like to just welcome you and invite you to share with our audience a little bit about who you are, your journey. Tell us maybe about your latest book, which is called Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, and how it’s so relevant to the times, all of your work, to the times that we’re living in right now.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Jennifer, thank you so much. It was really kind of you to introduce me that way. That personal heartfelt connection is something we’re all so hungry for. When we do find ourselves resonating with another human being deeply, even in these challenging times of technology and Zoom and virtual conversations, it’s really quite a precious gift. I’m grateful to be here with you, grateful to Gemma and the whole team at TONE for inviting me to be a part of the conversation, and grateful to everyone who’s decided to bring us into their day, whatever time zone you’re in. We do mean for this to be nourishing for you, an offering that we hope will make your day, your moment a little bit easier, give you some tools, help you feel seen and less alone.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: In a nutshell, I am a 53-year-old Black biracial woman. I grew up mostly in White spaces. I had a lot of experiences early on in life in those spaces that really harmed me. In hindsight, I don’t think I realized along the way quite how much harm was being accrued. But in the aggregate, I went from this innocent child, as we all begin, and I plunged into this place of self-loathing, and then I emerged out of it into a place of self-love over the course of my years on this planet. A child and then 20s, 30s, and then into this place of self-love in my 40s, and as I said, I’m now 53. I wrote a book on that. It’s a memoir, a very vulnerable offering around what it was like.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: I tell lots of little stories in that memoir, Real American. I was able to write that book, I think, because I had already written another book, and it’s been alluded to already today, How to Raise an Adult. That was based on my work as a dean at a fancy university here on the West Coast, Stanford University. I was the freshman dean. My job was to care about my students thriving and becoming who they were meant to become. I just, over the years, saw too, too many students and a growing number every year who were effectively their parents project. I became really fascinated around the notion of when does a person claim their own right to make their own way, make their own choices, solve their own problems, pick themselves up when they fall, et cetera?

Julie Lythcott-Haims: I wrote that book on the harm of over parenting, How to Raise an Adult, based on my experiences as a college dean. Then this new book that Gemma was referring to, Your Turn, is for millennials and older Gen Zs who might be feeling inadequate at the task of adulting, and this book is a very compassionate book that says, “Yeah, it’s scary. I get that. And you got us. Let me sit alongside you.” The narrative voice is very close and very personal as if we’re having coffee together, where I’m trying to listen to their fears and concerns and needs and trying to offer some thoughts and some guidance based on choices I’ve made, stumbles I’ve made, and ultimately, it’s this very supportive book that says, “It’s your turn and you can do it.” That’s, in a nutshell, who I am and what I’m about and my writing.

Jennifer Brown: That’s so awesome, Julie. Thank you. Already pearls of wisdom are coming from you. I love the book. As a Generation X-er, I got a lot out of it. There’s a timelessness to it that I think there are learnings for all of us and work so much to be done in terms of stepping into our voice and into our power and potential, and really give our gifts in the world and be of service in the way that you’ve outlined. But it’s a journey. You talk about … There’s a whole section in the book on superpowers, and I know we want to get right into that today. Tell me about … I don’t want people to think superpowers as something that’s inborn, necessarily.

Jennifer Brown: I think we probably come to the table with these natural abilities, perhaps. Right? But I think most of it is effort and focusing and practice and those hard conversations, and then practicing them on a day-to-day basis, which you share you still do, right? The work doesn’t end. Tell us about why it became really clear what the superpowers are that you identified in the book, but taking us back in your own development of those superpowers so that we can maybe see ourselves in your journey.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Yeah. The three superpowers I outlined near the very end of the book, there’s second to last chapter is unleash your superpowers, mindfulness, kindness, and gratitude. I agree with you that they’re not innate, that is they’re not a set of skills we just have. But I think the seed of them is inside us. As with a muscle that is always there, but whether we choose to develop it, to strengthen it, to make it more powerful is all about the effort we make and the experiences we have. I think kindness is obvious. Be a kind person towards to others. We hear that a lot as children. Gratitude is very much about recognizing what you do have.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: There’s research that shows that when you can be grateful for the tiny things you do have in your life, not the big things like my life, my health, but specifically that I have this roof over my head today, that is sheltering me from this storm, that my son made me dinner tonight. The more practice we can get at recognizing the very small things that are happening, the more we are at peace and feeling joyful actually, and sometimes even in a bit of awe about the life we are leading. Gratitude makes what you have enough, which is a beautiful reframe. Then mindfulness is the mysterious one, I think, and maybe that’s just because I didn’t know anything about it until I was in my late 30s.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: But I was working with a coach at Stanford who was helping me try to be a better colleague because I was getting some feedback, some of which was very stereotypical. I was being told I was aggressive and emotional, which is a story for the Black women. But nevertheless, she was working with me on how can you have the impact you’re trying to have? She helped me develop a mindful practice, which is essentially learning to discern what’s on your mind, what’s happening in your body in response to your environment, to things you observe, to things you see, over here, and it’s noticing what’s coming up for you and loving yourself as it comes up, and notice, acknowledge, yeah, okay, that’s bothering you.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Oh yeah, that’s really making you mad. That’s making you feel afraid. Whatever it may be the act, you get better and better at it as you practice. Noticing it over time allows you to then say, “What triggered that feeling?” Then you start to learn what your triggers are. Oh, I get really incensed when or I get really afraid when, and you start to understand your triggers. Then in combination, you’re able to say, “Okay, I’m going to decide how I’m going to respond or not when those things happen again.” It’s a way of harnessing the strength of your mind to love the self in an interrogation of what’s going on and then decide, am I going to respond? If so, now or later?

Julie Lythcott-Haims: If now, how do I want to respond? Rather than having these impulsive, verbally, emotional, angry, what have you, or physical responses where we might act out. Mindfulness allows us to be in charge of ourselves in a very loving, very aware way. It has changed my life, developing that tool, which I said I didn’t even know about it until I was I think 39. I’ve practiced it so much in these 14 years. It is now like instinct. It’s just there with me running like my internet browser in the background. I can just pop in, how am I feeling? Oh, you’re feeling threatened. You’re feeling defensive. You’re feeling scared.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Okay, what am I going to do about that? Loving myself through it, keeping on going. That’s the three superpowers in a nutshell, and combined, these are things in the book I say it’s like when you realize you have them and you work at honing and polishing these powers, these tools in your toolkit, it’s like when Superman, Clark Kent I mean, one day said, “Hey, I got this cape. Maybe I should use it.” This is what these superpowers are. They are an incredible set of tools that will transform how you feel in a situation and how the people around you feel, how they respond to you. Let me go back to kindness for one moment because I said it’s something everyone thinks they already understand.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: What people don’t understand is kindness has this incredible ripple effect. Jennifer, if you are kind to me, overtly kind in public, I will feel better because you’ve done a kind act to me, you will feel better because you’ve done something kind. Anyone watching will feel better because they’ve watched a kind act and they are more likely to go do kind things for others. It becomes this butterfly effect, this magic that really has the capacity to make our human communities, our human existence better, kinder. It allows us to transform our realities if we choose to deploy it.

Jennifer Brown: Yeah. If we have that presence of mind you just described of mindfulness, kindness. I almost feel like there’s an order to them. I don’t know if you’ve thought about it in this way. But stopping ourselves from the triggers, the reaction, the ego, and sitting in the mindfulness and then choosing the kindness, choosing the next action, right? Which is so important. We have so much choice in agency that maybe we think we don’t, but we really do. But we have to quiet ourselves in order to realize we have those choices, and then moving into gratitude for the freedom to actually do that, right? The agency that we have within ourselves to make these different choices must feel very, very empowering. How do you respond? How did you learn to manage the triggers?

Jennifer Brown: I know you probably have a lot of answers on this that have to do with identity as much as anything else, right? When we’re living in a world where we hear microaggressions on a consistent basis and just aggressions, sometimes I don’t even like to use the word micro, which just implies that it’s so subtle, you blink and you miss it. You’re not sure if it happened. But aggressions, right. You live in a world as a Black biracial woman in the spaces that you’ve led in and you have heard so many things. I can imagine that it’s very hard one, that mindfulness practice you have now, and it’s honestly probably enabled you to survive, I would think. But tell us a little bit about trigger management for you.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: I think one thing I got to say right off the bat is age and stage in life has a lot to do with this. I think if you think about the arc of our journey from infancy to the end of our life, our adolescent years, our teenage years, our 20s are spent really trying to look to other people for evidence that we’re okay. We search for belonging to groups, we will do what our peers want even if it doesn’t make sense because we’re so desperate for belonging. We really understand ourselves through the lens of how others see us, and so we’re searching not for our own individual voice, most of us, I’m generalizing, but to conform and to belong and to know I’m okay because these people like me.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: The older we get, and you see this in what we would now call memes, what for decades we’ve might’ve called notes or wall hangings, you’ve seen older women say, “When I am 60, I will wear purple.” The implication that I will get to an age where I will be the decider in my own life. I certainly have witnessed that happening within me in my 40s. I grew far less concerned with what others thought. In part, because I was tired of conforming to what others thought. I was trying to be the Black person who would not be called the N-word again, who would not be discarded or disregarded on the basis of my skin color.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: I had had those experiences that made me fear those things happening, and so I was just trying to please White folks, trying to please White folks. Then I finally got, through my mindfulness practice, with my coach, I began to where the triggers were. I realized, oh, when somebody dismisses me or doesn’t take me seriously, contradict me, the button that pushes for me is around my identity as a Black person. Who knows why they’re doing it? Who knows if they’re doing it? But I’m feeling that this trigger is pushed. The way that I manage triggers is to love myself through it, to say, “Yeah. Yeah, you feel that way, Julie, and it’s valid. You got a lot of track record here, a lot of history in life that led you to have this embedded trigger.”

Julie Lythcott-Haims: I’m not mad at myself for it, nor am I ashamed that it’s there. I just love myself, and the recognition of it like, yeah, you came by that the hard way. Of course, it’s there. What do you want to do about it? How can it serve you or underserved now? Knowing where your triggers are just gives you the power back to say, “You know what? I am going to go off on this person.” Or, “You know what? I’m just going to smile and nod and keep going because my goal today is to achieve this, that and the other, and I don’t want to get caught up in this nonsense that this person has going on.” It’s really about harnessing and this loving internal dialog that doesn’t critique why we’re that way, it doesn’t get mad at ourselves.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: But it’s really a loving, soothing seeing of that inner child or that past self or that history that we’ve had that has made us feeling defensive or insecure or what have you. But I do want to underscore that I think part of what does happen is the older we get, the more we’re able to say, “You know what? It’s up to me. I don’t care if these people don’t like me. I don’t care if these people don’t like people like me. I’m not here for that. That’s their issue. That’s their life. I know who I am.” We get to an age where we say, “I’m pretty sure I know who I am, meaning what I’m good at, what I love, what I want to do with this life just in terms of how I want to show up in work and relationship and community.”

Julie Lythcott-Haims: The older we get, the more we can hear our own voice in our head and we can discern our dreams, our wants, our fears from the noise in our heads that is everyone else’s expectations and judgment. This was one of the things I was working on with my students as a dean, and I write about in Your Turn. Discerning your voice and deciding, oh, that’s what I want to do. Regardless of what my parents, my extended family, my peers, my coworkers, my neighbors, everyone on social media is valuing, this is what I know to be true about me, and I am going to increasingly give myself permission to listen to my voice and then honor what it tells me to do. That’s, in many ways, a key measure of are you an adult? Are you able to do what you want to do in this life, regardless of what the people that matter most seem to think is the right thing to do?

Jennifer Brown: How many years does it take to get to that? As a LGBTQ+ woman, for some of you that have watched my talks, coming to this place of embracing all of that and celebrating what that journey and that identity, the gifts of that identity, right? The gifts of the struggle, and then living true to that and coming from a place of alignment relating to embracing all of who I am, it is such a multi-year journey, but it is really liberating, particularly for women and I think for those of us with what we would call marginalized or underrepresented identities, where we don’t see numerous role models, right?

Jennifer Brown: It is harder, and being kind on yourself to say, “You’re triggered because something’s trying to keep you safe from danger, really.” Right? It’s this beautiful thing to celebrate, I think, to notice it and not demonize it. I love what you just said. Make it your friend. However, moving into the higher order of thinking I think is, okay, I notice it, I acknowledge it, I’m grateful for it. It’s there for a reason. But now what is the kind … What response do I want to choose? I have this palette to choose from, and I want to be proud of what I choose, and I want to leave that kind of legacy that stands for what I stand for. I wonder, Julie, this past year, 2020 and 2021, it continues, you talk about full of probably a lot of triggers, a lot of super honest conversation that were so sorely needed and needed to be heard.

Jennifer Brown: Truths about racial equity or inequity, more like experiences of marginalized people, how the pandemic has been differentially impacting so many of us. As you’ve gone through that, I’m sure you’ve leaned really heavily on these superpowers, and I wondered if you had some reflections on perhaps the practices that you’ve invested in, and have you been tested over the last year in ways maybe you didn’t expect? Because I know the year tested all of us in really unexpected ways, but it also has caused us, I think, to grow, exponentially, right? Our businesses, ourselves, our evolution. I’m just curious how you’ve experienced this past year.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Yeah. Yeah. What I think I want to say first is I am a very privileged person. I am upper-middle-class. I’m self-employed. I’m highly educated. I have a big family network. All of these things have afforded me a privilege that I know many people don’t have. Whatever’s been hard for me about this pandemic pales in comparison to how hard it’s been for many. My children are 19 and 21, so I’m not dealing with trying to support young kids in a K-12 virtual learning environment. No one in my family is the frontline worker. With that said, yes, I have had my struggles this year, and it’s also been an opportunity for real clarity.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: For example, when George Floyd was slowly murdered under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, I was really blown away by the number of people in my life who reached out to me as maybe their Black friend or their Black family member. I’m in a multi-racial family. Lot of White folks in my family. There were three kinds of people. Those who reached out who have always reached out because they’ve been aware of Black Lives Matter issues for years. That’s category one. Category two, those who newly got it and were like, “Oh my gosh, this is horrible. How could these things happen?” I was grateful that they were having this dawning awareness while feeling really frustrated that where have you been?

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Were you watching cat videos when these other people were murdered? That sort of like, “Wow, your astonishment that this happens is revealing a tremendous ignorance, but I’m glad you’re here.” The third category were the people I didn’t hear from at all, and I’m talking family members and friends who didn’t seem to think it was a good thing to maybe reach out and check in with your Black friend for whom every piece of news is now triggering because they’re showing the video or alluding to the video, right? Just the mere fact of everyone talking about it becomes a trigger, and we don’t want people to ignore it. Right? We’re not saying don’t talk about it, but please understand that the lift right now, the emotional lift is heavy, and those who couldn’t be bothered or didn’t even think of that, it might be nice, stunned me.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: I spoke with a friend who’s a life coach, a Black woman, queer woman who said … I said to her, “I need to teach these folks, whether they’re family or friends, how to love me,” and she said something that just crushed me. She said, “You’re assuming they want to.” I was like, “You’re right. I am assuming they want to.” I didn’t want her to say that, and I really hadn’t heard it because it felt like a dagger. I’m trying to show my friends and family who are White, who don’t seem to get it, I’m trying to show them how to love me, and she replied, “You’re assuming they want to?” But wow. Was that a clarity, because I’m a people pleaser and I’m trying to just get people to like, are we good? Are we good? Are we good?

Julie Lythcott-Haims: What I realized is I was trying to say to them, “To be good, you need to please show me some … Please ask how I am. Please emote to some degree.” The fact that that wasn’t forthcoming from them was actually really important evidence that maybe I don’t want to chase that. Maybe my effort to chase that response from them is just going to be an agonizing journey for me, and maybe what I need to do is say, “All right, they’re not there yet. Maybe they never will be. I need to continue to be in spaces and in places and with humans who do see me for me, who do in tune that things might be extra hard for a Brown person in America right now.” It’s allowed me … Just as I quit a book club years ago because I was tired of being the only person, month after month, who seemed to bring up, what about this character, the marginalized character, the poor character, the Brown character, the queer?”

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Whomever in the book was like … I was always like, “Well, let’s try to understand it from their perspective,” and I got these, “There she goes again.” Finally, I was like, “Dude, this is the wrong book club for me.” I think what I’m trying to say is this year has been an opportunity for me to get super clear on my priorities. Where do I feel safe and seen and held and loved? Where do I have those mutual experiences and where do I not? Let me stop trying to chase them down if I don’t have it, and instead, if you can’t be with the one you love, love the one you’re with. Who is there? Who is showing up consistently in a way that I find nourishing mutually and reciprocal? I think that’s been, in some ways, the silver lining of some dark moments. Instead of being upset about who wasn’t there or who didn’t reply or what, instead to be grateful for the people who were there and are there and are taking that interest and are doing that work.

Jennifer Brown: That’s so good, Julie. Is it nourishing me? Am I getting as much out of it as others might be getting and being in those choosing and curating those spaces that fill our cup, right? Or that feel easy because we don’t have to explain, or you don’t always have to teach, or we don’t always have to modify how we’re showing up in order to neutralize the stereotypes and the biases, right? At some point, you have to choose, I only have a finite amount of energy every day, and so where do I want to spend it? To me, that is the ultimate self-care. If that means being a little more choosier, a lot more choosier prioritizing differently this year has really, I think, forced us to get smarter and stick up for ourselves in a way. No, I’m not here for that, but I am here for this. Right? My energy is a precious resource.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Can I offer one more example, one more quick story from-

Jennifer Brown: Yes.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: … my local? I won’t name them, but one of my local civic organizations reached out to me in the wake of the murder of George Floyd to basically say, “Will you join our board?” I thought, “How dare you? I have lived here for 20 years. I have been in a relatively prominent role in this community at senior level administrator and dean at Stanford for 14 years, and then I’ve been an author and an author that’s doing quite well. [inaudible 00:39:08] You just noticed me now?” It was so insulting and it was so desperate because they had realized the murder of George Floyd made everyone and their mother seem like, “Oh no, we don’t have any people of color in our organization, on our board, in our efforts,” and they all wanted to reach out to the one or two they knew, and I was that person for a lot of people.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: What I said back to this person who invited me, and I’m sure he didn’t want this earful, but it was so … He was like the last straw, so he got even more [inaudible 00:39:45]. I said, “Look, if you’re trying to …” This is what I would respond to. If you called me up and said, “Hey, Julie, we’re doing this work. We’re doing a task force to dive deep into our history to understand our founding and who we’ve been and who we’ve always been such that it wasn’t until this year that we decided, wow, we don’t have enough people of color. We’re going to unpack that, we’re going to understand how that happened, we’re going to interrogate that, we’re going to reflect and we’re going to write a report. Wen we do write that report, we’re wondering if you might have time to sit with us and give us some feedback on that report.”

Julie Lythcott-Haims: If you do that work and all of that happens, and then you invite me to be on your board, I’m bought in. I know that you’re doing the work. Instead, you’re just asking me, “Will you join our board,” without interrogating your whole history of exclusion? Says to me what am I going to get from being on your board? You’re going to feel satisfied that you now have a Black person and I’m going to feel like, how does this benefit my life trajectory? It is literally tokenism to do that. I don’t need that. You might need me desperately. [inaudible 00:40:55] you, and that clarity is just a joyful thing to arrive at.

Jennifer Brown: Isn’t it? Oh my goodness. I know. I couldn’t agree more. It’s nice to have your time be respected to such an extent and not taken for granted, and we’re not just window dressing. But I want to ask you, there is some … I know the TONE Network is full of women building their careers and maybe early in career, and some of us feel like we can’t win between. One of the superpowers you talk about is kindness, and I feel like obviously so critical, but how that’s viewed in the world can sometimes be harsh, particularly if it’s applied through being a female exhibiting this [inaudible 00:41:41] male. We’ve got a double standard there, and then we’ve got many standards going on around I’m strong and I’m viewed now as too aggressive, right? And the stereotypes that get applied to some of us.

Jennifer Brown: You’re in an intersectional woman. You’re a Black woman. For those of us who we can define that term, it’s the impact of overlapping stigmatized or marginalized identities and intersectionality as coined by Dr. Kimberly Crenshaw. It must feel sometimes when you’re leading from the superpower that you can’t win because some of us are too … If it’s kind, it’s viewed as weak. If you’re not likable, right? You’re penalized. If you’re too strong, you’re aggressive, whereas a man might be called assertive. Right? I hope all the TONE folks know these are these very alive double and triple standards. It’s hard to know how to be, and I wondered if you had any advice for us around striking that balance because that must’ve felt like a polarity for you occasionally.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Yeah. I identify as queer too. I’m married to a cis man. I’m in [inaudible 00:42:52] actual marriage. But both of us are bisexual, and that’s an important part of our identities. While I have the privilege of being in a hetero marriage to not just a cis man, but a White cis man, I got a lot of privilege from him. That intersectionality is at times in certain places one that contributes to my experience. The first thing I want to say is it gets better and it has gotten better. Here we are in 2021, and what we’re experiencing in the workplace is a damn side better than what our mothers experience and what our grandmothers experienced if they were in the workplace.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Let us not lose sight of how far we have journeyed. That said, there is still so far to go, but this is a classic example of the arc of history bending more toward justice for women and queer women and women of color and poor women in the workplace. Kindness, as I write about in the book, drawing on the example of Orly Wahba who founded the kindness organization, Life Vest Inside, and put together this amazing film that’s been viewed hundreds of millions of times around the world called Kindness Boomerang, which demonstrates how you doing a kind act leads to this person and this person and so on, and it comes back to you ultimately. Orly made the point, makes the point in my book, Your Turn, that we can be kind for the purpose of getting others to like us.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: That’s not an empowered kindness. That’s not a self-loving kindness. A self-loving kindness is I’m choosing to be kind because I think it’s what I want to do. Knowing your why, which is another theme in my book, knowing why you are doing something is what’s critical. Choosing your moments in the workplace to be a kind person for the sake of standing on your values, acting with your integrity, that will never be a bad thing. If people in that environment think you’re weak for doing that, it sounds to me like that’s a toxic environment that you may want to extricate yourself from as soon as you can. In terms of aggression versus … What do we say? Men are [inaudible 00:45:07]

Jennifer Brown: Aggressive. [crosstalk 00:45:09] they’re assertive and we’re aggressive.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: [inaudible 00:45:13] and aggressive. I’ve been called that a lot. This is where mentors are key. First of all, people never leave. It said people don’t leave jobs, they leave bosses. If your boss does not see you in your full capability, take an interest in growing you to be stronger, better, more capable, more agile, more resilient, all of that, that’s a bad boss, and at some point, you ought to leave that boss and go find yourself an environment where you are nourished and cherished. Okay? You also have to pick … You’re looking for bosses and mentors who see you and get you. This is why representation matters in the workplace. We need more women, we need more people of color, we need queer people who are in more senior ranks who can be keeping a lookout for those in the more junior ranks who may not be allowed to speak up in meetings, who may not be heard when they do speak up.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: We need allies who have more power to take an interest in us. What we need is … This is what my practice was as a leader. When I was at Stanford in my final years, I had a team of 35 and my philosophy was, okay, I’m a senior person. I have a lot of words in my title and a big budget, and I got a lot of good ideas. I’m pretty sure I have great ideas. This was my ego like, “I have ideas. They’re amazing.” But I came to learn, wait a minute, your ideas are not always the best, other people have great ideas. As a leader, if you show up at a meeting of these 35 people and say, “Okay, I have this idea. Here’s what I think we should do. Boom. What do you think?” It’s really hard for the people who don’t feel they have much power to speak up because you’ve already said, “This is my idea, and I think it’s great. What do you all think?”

Julie Lythcott-Haims: What a leader needs to do is go back many steps and say, “I’ve been thinking about X, and there are a lot of issues related to X and I’d love your thoughts on where we might move forward.” Let the team come up with the idea, let the team brainstorm, and then you, as the senior person can say, “Wow, Jennifer, I really appreciate that point. Wow, Gemma. Yeah, yeah. Say more.” Right? You help bring other people out, and only if you feel something essential needs to be said that they haven’t said might you add, “And I’m also thinking about this,” and it might be the most important thing in your mind, but you offer it gently so that it doesn’t sound like a more important issue than what everyone else already said.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: That’s the way to build participation in the workplace, particularly among junior people. I called it, my philosophy was the wisdom is in the room, meaning we don’t have a hierarchy of the boss and the direct reports and their direct reports and so on. We are a circle, and at any time, anyone in the circle can step into the circle and talk to all the rest of us about a good idea. That’s what I tried to emulate. That’s how I tried to show up in the workplace when I was the senior person. When I was the junior person, I looked out for those people who I knew cared about me, who I knew cared about my career. I would seek them out for advice and guidance. I would give them a heads up if I was having trouble. If I had something big I wanted to try to get going, I would go to them first, talk it through with them.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: You try to build buy-in before you stand there with your hands like this and say, “All right, this is what I want to put out there.” You got to build your base of support, and one or two people who can have your back and with their own body language signal that they like what you’re saying or that they’re at least on board with it to some extent, that’s a way to be aggressive in the workplace, but have some confidence that some people have your back.

Jennifer Brown: And be the back for somebody else too. I think one of the best ways we … Young people assume I need more mentors, and I always say, “Well, how are you mentoring? How were you sponsoring?” Because we all have something we can be activating in alignment with someone or in solidarity with somebody even if we’re early in our careers. Practicing that and seeing what it feels like from both sides that you’ve just so eloquently describes is so important and living both sides of it. Because that will be true throughout our whole careers, is what we need as much as what we give, and doing that simultaneously. What you’re describing is this beautiful, I think, practicing your superpowers, honestly.

Jennifer Brown: Because mindfulness means it’s not all about me. I’m here for the groups, the output that wants to be birthed here. The wisdom of others, right? It’s low ego, and then the kindness to welcome that and celebrate it and the gratitude for it, right? The gratitude for it. I love it. There was a question about the three superpowers you’ve identified. The only ones, obviously they’re not. Do you think people have unique superpower? When you started to really think about this, does it go beyond what was true or is true for you? I guess maybe the question might be, how can we help live in to our, but also enable young people to discover theirs, even if they may not be exactly the ones that you’ve chosen and write about in the book?

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Yeah. I label these things are superpowers, mindfulness, kindness and gratitude, because I do believe that the seeds of them are innate in our spirit and our being and our bodies as humans, and if developed, if focused on and activated, they can be incredibly strong powerful tools, and they are accessible to us regardless of our education level, income, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, parentage, mental health situation. We all have access to these things, which is why I’ve put them in this basket of very special things I think of as the superpowers that can really transform and transcend. Of course, everybody has traits and characteristics that make them the unique individual that they are.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: I think as an individual you can have a sense of I’m really good at X, whatever it might be, and you might think of that as your superpower, which is awesome. I’ve just chosen to use that term to apply to something that I think … to apply to these three things that are techniques available to everybody, no matter what. In the book, I also talk about … I’m looking here at the table of contents. The book starts out with you got to learn how to fend for yourself and you have to want to fend for yourself. You’re not perfect. You’re here to learn and grow. That’s growth mindset over fixed mindset. Perfectionism is really a terrible thing, and we want to instead be like, “What can I learn? How can I grow? Where’s my learning edge right now?”

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Developing your character, be good, unlock a major achievement. That chapter is called Stop Pleasing Others. They have no idea who you are. This is about claiming the work you want to do and the identities that are where you find your truest sense of self and belonging. There’s chapters on money and on self-care and on surviving really terrible things that can happen and making a contribution to your world somehow, your community, making it a better place. This book, it’s a big book and there’s a lot in it. But the superpowers come at the end because I do feel, regardless of all of that other stuff, these are tricks, techniques that can make your life and the lives of others around you happier, healthier, safer, kinder. That’s why I called them your superpowers.

Jennifer Brown: Do you have any advice for those of us who were hiring teams? [inaudible 00:53:23] I think it’s hard to do an interview that assesses truly whether this person has developed into these superpowers. Because I think we all agree we want to work for people like this, we want to work with people like this that have prioritized these, but they aren’t typically what we, I guess, are trained or equipped to evaluate for. I wonder, and perhaps you do this in your personal life as you orbit, you meet so many different people, as I know you do, from so many different domains. How do you assess that capacity in someone? Because I think we want workplaces that center these things, and yet they haven’t.

Jennifer Brown: There are people with toxic bosses right now who can’t get out because of our constraints right now and always, right? But especially now. But what would a workplace look like that centers these things in teamwork, in hiring practices, in manager behavior and incentives, even? Can you imagine a workplace that incentivizes these things? But they’re a bit like they’re intangible in a way, and so I think that’s why we haven’t gotten really good at measuring what does it look like in practice, and then how do we hold people accountable to something that’s rather intangible, but so important?

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Yeah. I’m not an expert on how to craft a workplace to be a kinder, safer place by a long shot. But I do know that the world of HR has become so transformed by a values-based approach to how the workplace should be and feel, a talent development approach that is about helping people grow these skills like mindfulness, active listening. Just an aside to the person who’s like, “I have a terrible boss and I can’t exit that person’s orbit because of COVID,” then the hack is suck up to your boss, and I’m not recommending that as a lifelong strategy, but every single human, except for those who are very, very evolved and practically like Buddha, every single one of us has an ego that needs to know that we matter and that we’re loved and cared for, and a toxic boss is toxic because they’re hurting somewhere.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: But to really want to hack it, you decide, “Okay, I’m going to show my boss that I care about them, that I’m there for them. I’m going to do the things that they need. I’m going to recognize the ways in which they need to be seen.” A toxic boss is feeling unseen, unsupported, and if you can show up and be that person who pushes those good buttons for them, that’s how to survive in the short term with that person. It’s not a long-term strategy because that person may turn around and just bite you in the butt when you’re not looking. But in those moments where you are pushing their soft buttons in a good way, maybe you open up and you can say, “Sometimes it can be a little hard to work here. When you get really angry, it’s scary, but I love working here and I’m with you, I’m not leaving.”

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Though you can make some asks in that context. Big picture for the workplace, look, there are places that are great at this. I’m thinking of places that are great at customer service that they’re focusing on how can our customers have a fantastic experience, like Zappos shoe company? Regardless of what we’re selling, can we make sure our customers are happy? My hope is that workplaces that have that customer service ethos are also deploying that within the company for employees. Trader Joe’s is a great example of a company that is around the country, they have stores in so many states and they’re consistently ranked number one or number two employer, according to Forbes, because the way they hire and interview, hire, onboard people, manage people, support people, employees is fantastic.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Trader Joe’s has something great going on. There are plenty of other companies who do too. There are places that are intentional about it, and those are the places that are winning, and that ultimately over the long run will win. I encourage folks to look at those Forbes best employers list and great places to work lists you can find online easily, to figure out where’s the place near me that’s actually got employees raving about, the way they’re managed, the way they’re supported, their benefits, their pay, the climate, et cetera?

Jennifer Brown: What is your wish for the takeaways from last year, this year and your superpower conversation for men? I think that’s incredibly important for us to envision and also support the men in our lives of all identity men, to step forward into what I call allyship, right? So that we’re not just looking to each other, but we’re also acknowledging that men have a different set of privileges with which they walk through the world. Then you add on to that ethnicity, sexuality, gender identity and it gets complicated. How do you see that?

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Yeah. To be a good ally is to take your privilege and use it.

Jennifer Brown: [inaudible 00:59:04]

Julie Lythcott-Haims: It requires bravery. It’s not easy to speak out when someone is being harassed or somebody is being demeaned or someone is being mistreated or overlooked. It requires bravery. Being an ally should not be easy. It’s basically joining a fight. Okay? But you know you have some privilege, so you are more likely to be heard, listened to, taken seriously, et cetera. This applies to men in an environment where women are being not heard. For example, the most basic common microaggression that happens to women in the workplace is we have ideas and people just … We articulate an idea or an opinion, and people nod and this and that. Then a few moments later, a man says the exact same thing and people are like, “Oh, that’s a great idea.”

Julie Lythcott-Haims: The woman is going, “Literally, I just said that.” We need, in those moments, male allies to say, “Anne just said that. Susie just said that. Just want to note that that idea came out of Susie and we didn’t actually recognize it then. That’s a dynamic in the workplace.” A man owning that is showing up as a fantastic ally. Just as White folks owning it when the people of color are not being listened to, or when really awful things are happening. There’s an off-color joke, there’s a really unkind thing happening the ally with their privilege, whatever it is, you don’t go into a protective stance of this other person. You show up in your own body and say, “Hey, we need to talk about that because that offends me.”

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Allies need to own it as my values are being impinged upon by what you did. Not like I’m offering an act of charity to these other people who are being maligned. No, it offends me. Then the bad person, the bully, the racist, the misogynist, whatever, now they’ve got to contend with you with the privilege that you’re showing up with. Also, have a climate and culture where you recognize, you pay attention to who’s always speaking? When we have our meetings, who always jumps in? Right? Introverts can’t jump in. Extrovert can. I have a practice as an extrovert of just shutting up. Even though I have so many ideas, stop, wait your turn because introverts need silence in order to be able to step forward.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Younger people. I have a college intern who’s on my team right now working on this new book, and every time we’re in a meeting and she’s sitting there not saying anything, I’ll pause about 20 minutes in and say, “Catherine, I want to make sure we make room for you to share your thoughts. If you have any notes, we’d love to hear them.” I’m signaling to her. I’m also trying to develop her, you need to step up, kid, right? But I’m also signaling that dynamic, maybe one where if you’re young, you’re female, you’re of color, you’re in some other marginalized category, you may not feel permission to speak, and it’s up to the allies and it’s up to the managers and the leaders to ensure that, on my team, I am hearing from all.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Another way to flip this is you want to know if your environment is safe for all. Ask is it safe and welcoming of trans people of color? Because those intersections, those are the folks who are most at risk of their lives out in our America. If your company, if your school, if your home is a place where the most marginalized can be seen and feel safe always, then you know you’ve got a great community. Okay? The people with the greatest intersections as we’ve called them, citing the work of Kimberly Crenshaw, they’re like the canary in the coal mine that can show you, okay, we have some problems. It’s not that they are the problem. It is the circumstance, the culture that is the problem. Make it right for that person, you make it right for everybody.

Jennifer Brown: I love that point. It’s the litmus test really. Strategies haven’t done in the past to contrast it is our strategies for diversity have served the most privileged within the most marginalized communities. In the LGBTQ+ world, for years, I’m Gen X, so I’m going back aways, but I used to be the only what appeared to be cisgender woman in a room full of men, right? It would mainly be White men. That was the world, the advocacy world, in some circles that I was a part of. Then I realized, wow, so this is all about them and what they want, the battles they want to fight. Right? And seeing through that prism.

Jennifer Brown: We had the opposite of an intersectional lens, right? We were not building our strategies around the most marginalized so that the rest of us benefit, which is so true that that works. But we were building from the top of the privilege line down and not really down at all. Same reason in women’s networks, you’ll see mainly White women, you’ll see mainly cisgender and straight women showing up because other women don’t feel comfortable. I do want to raise that to the TONE audience that sometimes we’ll get that complaint like, “Well, why aren’t these women showing up and why do we not have more diversity?”

Jennifer Brown: We really have to look within ourselves to understand, well, what are we building or communicating? What are we practicing and what are we committed to that would be truly welcoming to all diversities? I think that’s a huge shift this past year. I hope that many, many efforts have reoriented towards that lens, which has been long time coming, and people like you and me that look at these problems all day, we know that was always missing. But I think now it’s front and center, which I’m thrilled about.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: I got called by a CEO, a White male CEO of a well-known company after the murder of George Floyd. He was like my friend … A mutual friend put us in touch, and he basically wanted to talk to me about how he was struggling in his workplace to understand all of this. I agreed to have the call because I was doing that work, and I was really struck by the pain he was in in recognizing how little he understood. He was feeling shame and loss, I think, of status in his own mind, and I was really witnessed to this man doing the work. In other words, making a workplace inclusive, truly inclusive of all, it’s not easy.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: There’s a guy in my book I quote named Anthony who’s an African-American man, who’s a health and wellness practitioner. He says if you go, as a White person, to the Native American reservation and you feel comfortable, you’re not doing the work. They’re making you feel comfortable. To do work is to go into these places of discomfort, where we try to inhabit somebody else’s shoes for a moment, which is so hard to do. But that is what empathy is, right? People don’t care about Black people being killed by law enforcement because they don’t see us as human as they are.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: If they actually felt we were human beings, just like them, just like their child, they would be in anguish over what happens. That’s a very stark example, but it is ultimately, I think, what we’re talking about here, Jennifer, this empathy. How can I care about these other humans in my midst as if they are me, as if they are my child, as if my God showed up in the form of these people? That’s the reframe I like to offer. What of this whole universe, planet, world is run by a downtrodden Black man? Every time you see such person on the street, if … Not everyone’s religious, I’m not religious. I’m just offering it to you as a reframe of what if the whole system is actually a test for how kind are you to those who appear to have and be the least?

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Imagine a workplace reframe where our job was to ensure we are bringing everybody along, and we don’t get to the win, to the profits, to the promised land, profits, P-R-O-F-I-T-S, the money we don’t get there unless we bring everyone with us. Imagine those kinds of radical reframes that would only occur if allies were brave and if people did the deep uncomfortable work of trying to imagine, trying to live in somebody else’s shoes for a moment, I think we’re capable of that, but I’m not suggesting it is in any way easy.

Jennifer Brown: Yeah. But it goes back to your superpowers. I guess kindness according to whom? The other thing I really encourage people to think about is your lens on kindness, your definition of kindness, what really matters is how others experience that kindness, the psychological safety that they need to thrive. I think as you get older, you realize everything we do is wrapped up and our destinies are wrapped up, right? Our thriving is wrapped up with each other. I love the imagery of, you said stand alongside me and share. Make this issue your own issue. I think of it as I’m not standing on the shore and I’m watching you struggle and drowning and I’m pointing to you and saying, “Isn’t that horrible?” I get in the water with you, right?

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Yeah. [crosstalk 01:08:31]

Jennifer Brown: Yeah. I love that the energy of solidarity alongside is not for someone, but alongside someone or maybe even behind someone. I love that. It’s important. These are small words, but they have a very different energetic alignment to them. Gosh, I hate that we’re almost out of time. Are there any last bits of advice you would give to our TONE members before we wrap up, Julie? Advice you give, things to bear in mind, anything we didn’t talk about or something we did talk about that you just want to put a point on before we leave?

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Here’s what I know to be true about all of us humans. We are all hungry to know that we’re enough, that we’re good enough as we are not because we have some title or some salary or some fancy house or car. We’re all desperately hungry to know we’re good enough as we are. Every person you know is hungry for that. Everyone listening is hungry for that. Everyone in our families and workplaces is hungry for that. If we can take that awareness into our interactions with every person, that is they need to know they’re enough, they need to know that I regard them as enough as they are, that allows us to shift how we show up.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: Then we can show up and treat them with dignity and with kindness, we can celebrate the good things that they’re doing, give them a little feedback if they want it. But ultimately, it’s that mutual respect that we’re all in this place of just really desperate to know we’re okay, and if you can show up knowing that, you can really make someone’s day and transform a conversation and transform a situation, a family, a company.

Jennifer Brown: What a loving thing you’re talking about truly, and we would want that love extended to us, right? That’s a beautiful call to action. Thank you, Julie. I’ll take it with me and apply it in the next challenging interaction, everything you’ve talked about today. Everybody, TONE members, this was fabulous. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did. Look up Check out Julie’s work.

Jennifer Brown: Connect with both of us on Instagram and LinkedIn, and I just wanted to, as we’re closing up, highlight that March 9th, mark your calendar, because we’re going to have an expert presenter and media maven, Jessica Abel, with something you’ve all been requesting, which is public speaking and presentation skills, one of my favorites. Thank you all for all the great questions. You’re amazing. Look for your TONE takeaways from Julie in your inbox. But now is the time to set the tone of your life as we’ve talked about today. Julie, thank you so much for joining us.

Julie Lythcott-Haims: My pleasure, Jennifer, Gemma, everybody. Thank you so much. It’s been fabulous conversation. Thanks to everyone who joined us. Appreciate you.

Jennifer Brown: Hi, this is Jennifer. Did you know that we offer a full transcript of every podcast episode on my website over at You can also subscribe so that you get notified every time a new episode goes live. Head over there now to read my latest thoughts on diversity, inclusion and the future of work, and discover how we can all be champions of change by bringing our collective voices together and standing up for ourselves and each other.

Speaker 2: You’ve been listening to The Will to Change, uncovering true stories of diversity and inclusion with Jennifer Brown. If you’ve enjoyed the episode, please subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. To learn more about Jennifer Brown, visit Thank you for listening, and we’ll be back next time with a new episode.