Renee Moorefield and Jane Cocking share important findings from research they conducted on the relationships between leadership, ethnicity, and thriving. Based on data from 900+ leaders in the BWLW database, Black and Hispanic leaders who completed surveys about their well-being scored significantly higher than leaders who identify as white or Asian. To gain a better understanding, Jane and Renee interviewed 20+ leaders across a wide swathe of industries and ethnic identifications to unpack the data. 


“I succeed when we succeed, so part of my job is to amplify the well-being, the effectiveness, the success of the people around me, and in particular, to help lift up my ethnicity.’”

– Interviewee’s feedback from Be Well Lead Well Pulse research

Race and the science of thriving

In the Be Well Lead Well (BWLW) Pulse model, thriving is defined as ‘having the internal resourcefulness to meet external complexities and demands’. Renee Moorefield, the creator of the Be Well Lead Well Pulse wellbeing assessment, and Jane Cocking an executive coach and BWLW certified guide share important findings from research they conducted on the relationships between leadership, ethnicity, and thriving.

Certain themes emerged…


The respondents gave striking insights on inner strengths were built naturally – a byproduct of not living in the dominant culture:

[19:18] “We heard that a lifetime of challenges for leaders who identify as Black or Hispanic have enabled them through the hardships they’ve had in this dominant culture, whether that’s a door shut in their face, whether that’s discrimination, or whether that’s microaggressions. You can think of all the things we’re hearing about in society that have enabled them to build a level of resilience within themselves, coping mechanisms to just live in this culture. It’s also enabled them to build a sense of identity beyond that white dominant culture of success.

“So it’s a way of seeing themselves that goes beyond this culture. And it’s also built within them a connection to their internal capacities.”


[25:43] “… Under stress, growth occurs. In the situation of these people we were talking to, they would say, ‘The reason I got to where I am as an executive, is because I drew from all of those experiences – me knowing who I am and what creates well-being for me enabled me to become and grow as a leader’.”


Not everyone’s version of success is the same

[17:19] “Overwhelmingly, we heard, no matter the race of the person, that we are all living in a white model of success…

“The white model is you have to be productive, you have to achieve, in order to be successful. If you’re not productive and successful, then maybe you’re lazy. Acquiring wealth is important, the status of your job title or where you live or what car you drive – the status and very much a ‘me’ culture.”


These individuals have a story

[34:43] “’What I would love everyone to know what I believe about myself is that I’m fully human and humane. And as a black executive, when I operate in the world, I often don’t get treated as fully human, I get treated as an asset or sort of marginalized voice.’”

[38:33] “The people I talked to who identified as black or Hispanic knew a lot about their own history, their story, they had a connection for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of years back.”



Be Well Lead Well Pulse Well-being assessment:

#6: An Essential Link: Wellbeing and Leader Effectiveness


Renee on Star Coach Show, Episode 141 Be Well, Lead Well

Connect to Renee and Jane:

Renee Moorefield

Jane Cocking


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