Offering Goodness, Truth + Beauty | Sofiya Deva, This Same Sky

Offering Goodness, Truth + Beauty | Sofiya Deva, This Same Sky

# 27: Offering Goodness, Truth + Beauty | Sofiya Deva, This Same Sky

Sofiya Deva didn’t waver from her commitment to launch a new business, This Same Sky, even in the face of a pandemic.  She was unwilling to turn away from any of her ‘loves’ – of beauty, for supporting multi-generational artisans, ethical and sustainable fashion and her self-described geeky love of strategy and business.  I believe Jim Collins would give her an A+ in building a business with a clear core ideology (Vision, Purpose, Values).  Listen in and you’ll also be gifted with Sofiya’s reading of This Same Sky’s brand poem.

Show Notes

“We have a twofold purpose: On one hand, supporting the artisans and preserving their traditions. On the other hand, we’re trying to inspire a more intentional lifestyle for our consumers…that is more fulfilling and authentic.”

Sofiya Deva, Founder and CEO of This Same Sky

Integrating your passions, strengths, and purpose

Not only did Sofiya Deva launch her brand, This Same Sky, in the middle of the pandemic, but she managed to masterfully integrate her loves and strengths. The company focuses on artisan-centered rotating collections of personal and home accessories, but it’s also a social enterprise that earns these multicultural artists an exceptional livelihood. Her purpose is to preserve traditional arts and crafts and remind us that we can’t forget the irrefutable value art can bring into our lives, – even in an era where minimalism is gaining traction.
One of the other passions the brand draws from? Poetry. The inspiration for the company name comes from a book of poetry of the same name. Everyone under “this same sky” lends to the sense of solidarity, that we’re all in this together. Profiling different artistic lifestyle pieces, it celebrates the distinctiveness of cultural differences while affirming a sense of unity.We discuss how Sofiya is achieving “the good, the true and the beautiful” within her new company, and how her pillars and purpose have fueled the company’s genesis and growth, even during such an uncertain time.

When less is more, choose intentionally

[17:47] “My subtle critique to sustainability in the present moment is we have a lot of emphasis on minimalism, and less clutter, which is great, but…I think if we just negate and eliminate, without tapping into a greater sense of who we are, a greater sense of where we come from, it’s incomplete for me.”

As consumers, we’re always voting with our dollars one way or the other. We understand not amassing possessions just to have them. But let’s also choose wisely, bringing things with beauty and life into our home.

The changing landscape of fashion

[25:51] “[The fashion industry] is in need of reform. But the great thing is that consumers are demanding that reform, so I think the brands that are going to deliver that reform have a competitive advantage in terms of being more desirable by consumers.”
[27:59] “Being born in the middle of a pandemic, it’s forced us to be even scrappier than we would have ordinarily been, and very adaptable and very agile – and to really think through, how can we create?How can we create a diverse and flexible business model?…We leaned into collaboration and how to create win-win scenarios.”

Balance passion and self-care

[34:03] “As an entrepreneur, you have to take burnout very seriously. You have to recognize that you’re not immune to burnout; you don’t have infinite energy and resources. I’ve had some really good coaches who have helped me recognize that, actually, my energy is a really valuable resource in this project, and I need to guard it.”

As Sofiya says, it’s important to engage intentionally and assess priorities so you’re able to follow through.

Connect with Sofiya:
Linked In: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sofiya-hyder/

This Same Sky https://thissamesky.com/

Social handle: @thissamesky

Twitter – https://twitter.com/sofiyadeva?lang=en

Other mentions:

This Same Sky by Naomi Shihab Nye – https://www.amazon.com/This-Same-Sky-Collection-Around/dp/0689806302
Guide to Owning Your Value – https://mailchi.mp/d37649fa5f04/own-your-value
Guide to Reading Poetry – https://mailchi.mp/6b573fc30d9e/guide-for-reading-poetry
Vickery Trading – https://vickerytrading.org/
Forbes article on Corporate Gifting: https://www.forbes.com/sites/shamahyder/2020/10/01/how-to-make-corporate-gifting-count-this-holiday-season/?sh=7b7db4453666

Sudara – https://www.sudara.org/
Olivela – https://www.olivela.com/
Wolf and Badger – https://www.wolfandbadger.com/us/

To subscribe to the Rise Leaders newsletter for more resources:  https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit: https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

I specialize in helping leaders and organizations thrive.  Reach out if there’s a way I can support you.

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Offering Goodness, Truth + Beauty | Sofiya Deva, This Same Sky

Taking a Collective Stand | Achieving a Bold Stakeholder Vision

Taking a Collective Stand | How to Achieve a Bold Community Vision

This episode is being re-published because the content feels incredibly relevant given our political and social environment.  In the mid-1990s Jennifer Touchet and a group of committed citizens took a clear and unified stand against a powerful and complex system and won!  They used positive political strategies based on a win-win-win approach and intentional inclusivity.

Show Notes

In the beginning, the vision was something for the community, and truly nothing more than that. That’s what held us together. We wanted to bring the community together.
–          Jennifer Touchet

The Power of Your ‘Why’

In episode 21, I discussed owning your value and the key elements to unlocking authenticity and personal power. This week we take a deep dive into the first element, “Know what you stand for,” as embodied by my guest, Jennifer Touchet.

Holding true to the vision and the “why” of the community was indispensable during her bid to establish a nature center in the urban neighborhood of Oak Cliff in Dallas, TX.

While some wanted to erect a high-end, gated community on that beloved spot of land, much of the neighborhood knew and loved it for the nature and recreation it provided. What followed was a years-long project requiring passion and persistence. Enjoy learning some key pointers from our conversation.

[3:12] …BeBe spoke so passionately and it was clear that she had a bigger vision for who should benefit from … this jewel that was in our community. So afterward, I connected with her and … asked her if she wanted to work together to try and bring the community voice to what’s really going to happen. And she wanted to…

Be Empowered by Your Beliefs

[9:32] “One of my core beliefs is that local communities that are closest to problems are also closest to solutions…”
“I firmly believe that the community can come up with what’s best for itself. I kind of believe that in general, that the communities that live and work and play where they are, that are closest to things know also how to make it better.”

Know the Stakeholder Environment

“If you want to get anything done, you have to look at all the different factors that will affect your ability as a person or as a group to get that done.”

Know When to Relent and Know When to Relax

Knowing your stand is important. But there often comes a time when compromise needs to occur.  Originally Twelve Hills was 20 acres of land. To achieve their purpose, they had to scale back and negotiate. As Jennifer said, “To win doesn’t mean winner take all.”
[16:08] “We had to go back and change our plan, and negotiate with our city government, the school district developers to come up with a different vision. Twelve Hills today is just over five acres…But there were some people that felt like we gave up too much. But at that point, it felt like it was going to be if we fought for all, we were going to get nothing.”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

Owning Your Value | Key Elements for Authenticity and Personal Power
https://rise-leaders.com/owning-your-value/

A Guide For Owning Your Value:
https://mailchi.mp/d37649fa5f04/own-your-value
A downloadable worksheet for defining and voicing your value

To learn more about Twelve Hills please visit:
https://twelvehills.org/

To connect to Jennifer please visit:
https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-touchet-0437571/

Sign up for Rise Leaders newsletter:

https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:
https://rise-leaders.com/contact-info/

I specialize in helping leaders and organizations thrive.  Reach out if there’s a way I can support you.

Sign up for Rise Leaders newsletter:

https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

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Offering Goodness, Truth + Beauty | Sofiya Deva, This Same Sky

Social Impact | From Idea to Enterprise with Suzanne Smith

Social Impact | From Idea to Enterprise with Suzanne Smith

Organizations committed to sustainable change bake it into their business model.  There are a host of labels and designations for those that “do good”: conscious capitalism, social impact, social entrepreneurship, BCorp, etc. In this episode, we explore the differences and how they function. Suzanne Smith, founder & CEO of Social Impact Architects and adjunct professor at Pepperdine University and the University of Texas at Arlington unpacks it for us.

Show Notes

“[As a social entrepreneur] You don’t always do things (directly) connected to your bottom line, you don’t always have to get an immediate benefit out of something, because it’s part of who you are and your ethos – baked into your DNA.”

– Suzanne Smith

The nuances of doing good

We hear a lot of labels today around “doing good” in business: conscious capitalism, social impact, social entrepreneurship and more. But what are the differences and how do they function in the business world?

Today Suzanne Smith – an expert in social impact who works with nonprofits, foundations, socially responsible businesses and individuals – unpacks it all. She founded Social Impact Architects back in 2009 with a goal to reshape the business of social change, and she teaches on these topics as an adjunct professor at Pepperdine University and University of Texas at Arlington.

Looking differently at social change

We discuss how social change exists in a middle space between the business world and government where neither has entirely tackled it head-on. Historically, the business sector hasn’t created enough of a market for social change, but in recent years brands look differently at how they engage. Creating change has become much deeper than charity donations and volunteering. With such a surge, it’s important for brands and individuals to rely on research-backed methods and best practices without reinventing the wheel. But it’s also important to not lose sight of what you can uniquely bring to the table.

Social entrepreneurship, charity, conscious capitalism

[8:40] “So the traditional notion of charity is the whole idea of ‘I’ll give a man a fish,’ if we want to use that analogy. Social entrepreneurship changes that narrative and says, ‘You know what, let’s teach a man to fish. Let’s figure out how to do that to scale.’

“We leverage the toolkit that businesses established to create market-based solutions.”

[12:22] “Social innovation is about the idea, social entrepreneurship is about the mindset, and social enterprise is about the business model.”

[21:55] “That’s where I would put the conscious capitalists, those are the people who are hardwired around the idea of, we want to, we want to do a better job of creating social change. But typically, they’re looking at it more from a business practice perspective, it’s part of their ethos.”

The difficulty of effecting social change on a grand scale

[10:58] The danger of starting from scratch: “Leapfrog innovation, which is yes, we want to create change, but we want to give ourselves the best chance at creating impact. So we want to build it on a solid foundation of best practice research, problem, ideation, etc. So that way, we get as much impact as we possibly can from that innovation.”

People are drawn to social change

[30:15] “I consistently look at what I purchase, and I vote with my dollar…if you look at some of the research that’s been done, those companies who perform better time after time, are the ones that are socially conscious. People running those organizations are making more thoughtful decisions, they’re making less decisions that are in the short run, the better decision versus the long run being the better decision.

“Companies have to start thinking about these issues. It’s not just about them creating the product or service anymore… Do their employees have appropriate daycare? Are they moving their employees up in a career pathway?”

Her recommendation to students

[37:40] “Find that thing that they’re uniquely passionate about, marry that with the thing that they are uniquely God-given from a talent point of view,”

Resources mentioned in this episode:

https://socialimpactarchitects.com/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/social-impact-architects/

https://www.linkedin.com/in/suzannesmithtx/

https://twitter.com/socialtrendspot

https://www.instagram.com/socialtrendspot/

https://www.facebook.com/SocialImpactArchitects

Sign up for Social TrendSpotter blog:

https://socialimpactarchitects.com/newsletter-signup/

Sign up for Rise Leaders newsletter:

https://mailchi.mp/426e78bc9538/subscribe

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Offering Goodness, Truth + Beauty | Sofiya Deva, This Same Sky

Owning Your Value | Key Elements for Authenticity and Personal Power

Owning Your Value | Key Elements for Authenticity and Personal Power

There are times in our professional lives where we need to advocate for ourselves. – to take a stand. Recognizing our worth and being able to communicate it isn’t rude, nor is it bragging.  But it can be uncomfortable.  Owning our value supports our authenticity, which liberates our spirit and launches excellent performance.  

Show Notes

When we’re able to own our value, we’re more likely to bring positive contributions to work,

to life, to our communities-  to whatever we care about.

The Power of Authenticity

There are times in our professional lives where we need to advocate for ourselves. – to take a stand. Recognizing our worth and being able to communicate it isn’t rude, nor is it bragging.  But it can be uncomfortable.  Owning our value supports our authenticity, which liberates our spirit and launches excellent performance. Communicating our value is necessary to get a seat at the table. We make the value we bring apparent when we confidently acknowledge and demonstrate it each day – and it also helps us bring our unique advantage to the workplace.

Explore the Eight Elements of Knowing Your Value

This week’s episode is an efficient 13 minutes as I outline 8 elements to help you own and speak your value. These are actions you can take to increase your feelings of power and authenticity in all aspects of life. I’ve created an in-depth, integrated guide for your reflection and to help you develop new habits.   Whether you’re mentoring someone or need strategies for realizing your own impact, you will achieve greater awareness of what you offer and how to communicate it.

Highlights from this episode

[2:30] “Know what you stand for…what you care about and what you’re committed to. These values guide your decisions, your actions and your priorities. Have clarity around your vision.”
[3:30] “Knowing what we stand for keeps us in our lane, focused on what we care about rather than pursuing what others are striving for.”
[6:53] “Track your contributions. These are quote receipts of your good work. I do this daily in my journal to remind myself that I spent my time well, and so I can articulate the deliverables that I’m working on with clients.”
[8:51] “To go along with speaking your value is to practice embodying your value. Embodying your value means that you feel it at your core, and others also feel it and see it in your presence.”
A Guide to Owning your Value:
Clifton Strengths Assessment:
Tilt 365:
Episode 19: Trudy Bourgeois about workforce excellence: https://rise-leaders.com/achieving-workforce-excellence-trudy-bourgeois/
To discuss executive coaching, leadership development program design, and workshop facilitation, please visit:

I specialize in helping leaders and organizations thrive.  Reach out if there’s a way I can support you.

 

 

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Offering Goodness, Truth + Beauty | Sofiya Deva, This Same Sky

Silicon Mountain: Finding Multi-Stakeholder Wins in the eWaste industry

Silicon Mountain | Finding Multi-Stakeholder Wins in the eWaste industry

Hillary and Joel Patterson transformed a business opportunity into a passion project.  After designing ERP solutions for clients in the electronic waste recycling industry, they jumped into the fascinating world of recycling, repair and redistribution of the electronics we regularly toss in our trash.   They became SO passionate that they privately funded and produced a documentary, Silicon Mountain. 

Episode 20   | September 15, 2020

Show Notes

 

 

It’s the ultimate win-win-win situation where we help the environment, we help businesses, we help people – the products that are sent off to other countries can help with education. There’s just such a big benefit. I wanted to show what all the opportunities are, and how individuals and companies can make a difference.

– Hillary Patterson, The Vested Group

 

The Unintended Impact of Constant Innovation

Today we use more electronics and gadgets than at any point in history. Electronics are used in everyday life, with people upgrading their phones to the latest model, buying new technology for their companies, homes and more. This raises the question: What happens to the waste? How can we recycle and safely dispose of it? And who might this benefit?

What is Electronic Recycling?

[17:05] “Only 20% of any of the waste in the world gets recycled. So that shows you the potential of growth and the amount that can be gained by just recycling our own devices… “Such a small percentage of what’s out there that can be recycled is actually being recycled… Approximately 400,000 smartphones are thrown away every day in the United States.”

[18:14] There’s $343 million worth of gold in those phones, $46 million worth of silver. If we don’t recycle that, then we have to dig that out of the earth again. The environmental ramifications are obviously ongoing and large – something that we can easily take a big chunk out of.”

[33:31] “They have almost unlimited demand for their products when they recycle and repair these items that come in. Their struggle as [an eWaste company] is getting this stuff.”

What About Data Security?

[20:58] “As long as you’re going to a certified recycler, they have the process in place…as long as you’re using somebody reputable, they’re going to take care of it … because their reputation is on the line as well; they’re going to make sure that that that it’s secure before it’s actually sent to anyone.”

A Circular Economy

[22:47]“It’s taking something that one person has stopped using. And a lot of times people will buy the new iPhone because they want a new iPhone, not because there’s anything wrong with the last one that they have. Instead of leaving it in a drawer, they’re giving it to somebody that can either sell it, refurbish it, and putting it back into the economy.”

Silicon Mountain Documentary

Premier Information:
Date: Thursday, September 17th , 2020
Time: 7pm CST
Streamed through: http://www.siliconmountainmovie.com/

Thank you for listening and reading!  I’ve included links to various resources covered in this episode.  

And remember…Elevate Your Part of the World!

To learn more about Joel and Hillary Patterson and The Vested Group please visit:
Joel Patterson http://www.thevested.com/meet-your-team
The Vested Group http://www.thevested.com/netsuite-provider-the-vested-group
https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-vested-group/?trk=top_nav_home
https://twitter.com/TheVestedGroup
https://www.instagram.com/thevestedgroup/
https://www.facebook.com/VestedGroup/

 

I specialize in helping leaders and organizations thrive.  Reach out if there’s a way I can support you.

 

 

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The Rhythm of a Great Place to Work: Drew Clancy

The Rhythm of a Great Place to Work: Drew Clancy

The Rhythm of a Great Place to Work:  Drew Clancy, President of PCI

Drew Clancy, President of Publishing Concepts (PCI), is a self-proclaimed ‘cultural enthusiast’.  His commitment to the core elements of culture has resulted in year-over-year growth and consistent recognition as a Best Place to Work.  As a third-generation leader, he has brought this near 100year-old family business solidly into the 21st Century through innovation and servant leadership. 

Season 1   |   Episode 09   |   November 12, 2019

Show Notes

 

We inspire dreams and transform lives

PCI’s Purpose

 

A Successful Third-Generation Family Business

Drew Clancy is President of PCI, a midsize, third-generation family business headquartered in Dallas, Texas.  In 2021 they will celebrate 100 years in operation, and like any company that has weathered that much time, they’ve experienced iterations and evolutions. In 1982, Jack Clancy, Drew’s father, breathed new life into the company and gave it a new name: Publishing Concepts, now best known as PCI.  They’re in the business of “helping college, university, and association clients engage their alumni and membership and raise money in order to fulfill their mission of educating our nation’s future leaders”.

Jack Clancy was a ‘dynamo’, as Drew describes in the interview and embodied many first-generation and founder qualities: charisma, high energy, generosity and a preponderance for making all the decisions, and generally keeping tight reigns on the business. These characteristics are needed at start-up but will cripple the business over the long-term.  Note:  PwC has published a very interesting survey on family businesses.  A short video summary can be found here.  

Drew entered the picture in 1995 after his father suffered a heart attack and could no longer bring his formidable energy and presence to the business.  Drew recognized the talent and capacity of the team and brought his own unique approach to leading and managing to PCI.  Essentially, he navigated the company past the ‘founder’s trap’ as described by Dr. Ichak Adizes, creator of the Adizes Corporate Lifecycle, and steered PCI toward sustainability.  And it’s working – PCI continues excellent financial performance, targeting $50M in revenue this year, doubling 2016’s performance. As you hear in the interview, Drew is a self-described “workplace culture enthusiast” and is so passionate about this that he invites anyone to reach out to him for a conversation.

Organizational Culture as a Business Strategy

We spent the bulk of our time discussing Drew’s passion: workplace culture.  He is a strong believer in Servant Leadership and sees creating a thriving workplace as a foundational business strategy.  His orientation is paying off:  PCI has appeared on both Dallas Morning News 100 Best Places to Work and Best Companies to Work for in Texas, nabbing first place in 2015 & 2016.  Even with these accolades, he doesn’t take culture for granted, claiming “you have to work for it every day”.

They have a term for the central elements of their culture, theFIVE:

  • 5 Elements of the core ideology: Purpose, Values, Vision, Goals, Commitment
  • 5 Values: Excellence, Unlock Human Potential, Act with Integrity, Innovate a Culture of Relationships & Fun, Lead with a Servant’s Heart

Structure Will Set You Free:  Rhythms, Rigor and Ritual

A best-place-to-work culture will not happen by wishing for it.  It won’t even happen if you articulate your core ideology (Jim Collins’ term for Purpose, Vision and Values) and hang posters throughout the workspace.  You have to take action.

Drew is keen on the idea that “structure sets you free”. Liberating structures are created to channel individual or group energy toward a specific goal.  James Clear’s book, Atomic Habits, guides individuals to make tiny shifts in daily behaviors that will lead to big results.

At the organizational level,  leaders use liberating structures by setting rhythmic meetings with appropriate agendas to guide actions and increase engagement. Drew outlines the meeting rhythm at PCI that has helped create their award-winning cultural.

Drew’s morning ritual:

Like many successful leaders, Drew has a rigorous morning ritual that he’s been practicing for seven or eight years now.  Last year, he led a book discussion at PCI on The Morning Miracle by Hal Elrod, which helped him fine-tune his own routine (this is also an example of his commitment to Unlocking Human Potential as an organizational value). Here’s his practice:

  • Wake at 5:45a or 6:00a
  • Exercise – push-ups or sit-ups
  • Meditate for 10 – 20 minutes
  • Read the Bible & pray
  • Journal – writing about the 10 personal goals he sets each year

PCI’s Organizational Rhythm:

“Try a lot of things and keep what works”.  This is the advice Drew gleaned from Jim Collins’ epic book, Built to Last.  Here’s what is working for PCI now:

  • Annual Planning – Yearly
  • Monthly Extended Leadership Meeting – Trail Blazers meeting for anyone leading a team, project, product, client relationship, etc. This meeting is focused on growth and learning.
  • Weekly – CEO Council.  This is an L-10 meeting (Level 10 from EOS)
  • Daily Huddle – 10 minutes at 8:30a, called the 10@8:30. See PCI’s agenda here

These meetings share critical information such as metrics (transparency is key), updates, and progress and also keep team members focused on ‘theFIVE’

Helpful Articles:  Discipline Sets You Free; The Right Meeting Rhythm Will Set You Free; CEO’s Roadmap to Alignment

Book:  The Power of Liberating Structures

Courage:  The Final Element

Courage is the third element for creating an enduring culture.  There are times in the life of a leader when decisions aren’t just tough, they may even have a short term negative impact – financially or otherwise.  The leader has to choose whether to take the high road and stay true to the stated values of the company or let something slip by.  These are known as leadership moments and they are opportunities to embody the values that have been espoused.  Actions speak much louder than words.  Which reminds me of the quote attributed to St. Francis of Assisi:  Preach the gospel at all times. If necessary, use words.

Drew Clancy’s actions SHOUT his commitment to the culture at PCI.

After listening to the interview and reading the notes, I wonder what your takeaway is?

Thanks for tuning in!

LeeAnn

 

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