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An Interview with Cynthia Berry

Join Brian and Cynthia Berry to get the highlights and key takeaways from her Dude University session on authentic leadership for women (and men). 

SHOW NOTES: 

SHOW SCRIPT:

Brian  
Welcome to the Operate Intelligently Podcast, the podcast for all things operations. We are sitting here on day two of Dude University 2019. Meeting more great people that have come to share their knowledge and wisdom. And joining me now is Cynthia Berry, who's the senior manager business continuity for Adtalem Global Education. Cynthia, welcome. 

Cynthia Berry  
Thank you. Actually, I just got promoted. 

Brian  
Did you? 

Cynthia Berry  
Yeah. No longer the senior manager, I am the Director of Enterprise Safety and Security Center of Excellence. Yeah.

Brian  
Excellent. Well, congratulations on your promotion. You said that you just got done speaking. And I wonder if you could share with our listeners a little bit about what you talked about today.

Cynthia Berry  
So my talk was on authentic leadership for women discovering the real or embracing the real you and it was just a very empowering, inspirational session first started off with standing room only, which is always great at Dude U right. And it was just a great group of women getting together from fields that are usually under-represented right by women. And so you know, I opened it up saying, you know, this is an interactive session, I want to hear from you and want you to, you know, talk to me. And we just had an amazing time, such a great amount of energy in the room, and had some key points and key takeaways for women who are trying to find their authentic self in leadership.

Brian  
So could you tell me a little bit about your role and what you do with Adtalem Global Education too

Cynthia Berry  
Sure. Actually, I have a multifunctional role, right. So in my day to day job, most recently, I did global business continuity, and then I've moved into a larger expanded role of enterprise safety and security. And that's kind of been evolving over the last few years. I head up an organization in Chicago, and then I also have operation that's growing across the world. And so basically, have been with Dude for several years.

Brian  
And I want to get back to what you spoke about. Could were there kind of like some key takeaways, you felt that people came out of that session with?

Cynthia Berry  
Yeah, let me back up. So I talked about kind of what I do for my day role about a year, two years ago, I actually founded with a couple other women an organization called E.D.G.E., which is empowerment, diversity, growth and excellence. And it's an affinity group. For our women. It's over 1000 members worldwide, 25 chapters. And the whole goal was really to just bring about some empowerment and leadership for women. Well, now it's become a global movement. And we've actually led conversations with Prime Minister's, with VPs, and CEOs of other companies as really become a phenomenal movement. So my passion has now become something that I get to do every day. And I'm now the leadership, executive leadership chair for E.D.G.E. And when that term rolls out, I'll be what we call an ambassador for E.D.G.E. But some of the key takeaways from this session today was, you know, I just was very transparent, I talked about my journey to becoming a more authentic me. And that was, you know, first identifying my strengths. And then number two, believing in myself, which I think is so important, being transparent as I am being with you guys. With my tennis shoes on and my shorts, being transparent with myself and others, right, allowing myself to fail and being okay with that failure, but knowing that I can fail forward, right, and then trusting the process that I'm in and that we're all in. And so I asked the ladies and the men in the room, because we had, you know, quite a few men who actually intended which was great to write down five things that they're going to do to become a more authentic for them. 

Brian  
And you know, that's an interesting approach because I think I understand kind of your strategy there is, is, don't let everybody else kind of define you don't fall into how society says you need to look, you need to behave, whatever. And, and I've always kind of followed up myself, I'd like you know, you really got to be comfortable who you are. Yeah, before you're going to be really comfortable with anybody else. So I think that's fantastic. How you, you know, breaking down doing those exercises, we really need to do it all the time.

Cynthia Berry  
Yeah, I actually took an excerpt from a book that I'm writing about authentic leadership, and it starts out one day I woke up, I really woke up and said, I'm not going to pretend anymore period, I decided enough was enough. And that my world needed to be defined by my own rules, as you said, and not someone else's, I decided I was good enough, even if no one else agreed with me. And I decided my life was better with my imperfections and my failures and wearing a mask or pretending. And so that's kind of what I kind of launched into the discussion about and I really challenged women to look at, you know, who they are every day, whether it's in the workplace, whether it's at home, whether it's with their children, or family members, friends, to kind of say no more fake news, no more fake mean, or fake friends. Yeah, I said it. And really become authentic, you know and become that real person. I like to tell people, you should bring your whole self to work. Right. So yeah, and these are things that I live, these are things that I impart to my daughters, and my sons and my granddaughters and grandsons. I mean, it's like, I can't live it. I don't want to do it. So

Brian  
I agree with you. Hundred percent, I think. And I've got two teenagers now. And I kind of remind them that like, don't, don't feel like you have to fit into what your popular click in high school says you need to be like, exactly if that's what you want. Fine. And this is what you like, and this makes you happy. But don't do it. Because you feel like this is what's going to make people like you.

Cynthia Berry  
Right? Right. Because there's always going to be people who don't like you. Yeah. And that's okay. Yeah. 

Brian  
And at the end of the day, I think if you're trying to be something you're not, at the end of the day, you're not gonna be happy with yourself, right? Like you're being a phony to your inner self.

Cynthia Berry  
Exactly. And so we need more real stuff, real food, we need more.

Brian  
We need people that are comfortable in their own skin.

Cynthia Berry  
Exactly, exactly. And I think we'll, you know, we'll find more happier people more whole people, right. And that's, that's kind of my mission in life. You know, what I talked about? It's not just for men, it's for men, men support women, you know, women support men. I mean, that's just, we're all human. 

Brian  
We all have the same emotions, we might have met different levels. But at the end of the day, you know, we're going through the same challenges as human race together. Yes, that's fantastic. I love the message that you're sharing out there.

Brian  
We just wrapped up Dude University 2019 a few weeks ago, and what an amazing event it was. We welcomed over 1000 of our clients to our hometown of Raleigh, learning, connecting, sharing their passionate about the work they do. We've recorded several episodes, interviewing operation management leaders that you'll be hearing from in the next few months. If you want to get in on the action next year, Dude University will be held on May 3-6, and you can register online at university.dudesolutions.com

Brian  
So is this is the first time you've been to Dude University?

Cynthia Berry  
I have spoken at Dude University at least once before, Dude is doing a great job with, you know, all the automation and all the different things that they're doing to help people in operations. All the different industries. It's phenomenal. I think every year Dude U gets better and better.

Brian  
That's great to hear. And I kinda want to ask you like, looking forward, you know, you're hearing and sharing with other people here, you know, what's, what do you see is like really kind of coming around the corner of maintenance operations that kind of get you excited?

Cynthia Berry  
Um, I think the automation, the more that we can do, you know, with apps and technology data is definitely defining what we do. Being able to capture data and you exploring ways, I'd love to see some VR stuff. I think virtual reality, there's someone at my hotel day who had this big VR thing on his head, and I'm like, Yes, I know what that is. But I don't know what you're doing with it. But, yeah, it'd be great to see that in the future.

Brian  
Now. Have you been down to Dude Labs?

Cynthia Berry  
I have not been.

Brian  
They have a virtual reality prototype.

Cynthia Berry  
See, I kind of called it didn't I? Yeah, I didn't even know. 

Brian  
Well, that's, that's great. Cynthia, I want to thank you for coming to speak at Dude U as well as coming on to the podcast and sharing great content for our listeners. 

Cynthia Berry  
Yeah, it was my pleasure. It's been fantastic since Sunday, so I'm really excited. Thank you. 

Brian  
Thank you.

Brian  
Thank you for listening to the Operate Intelligently Podcast produced by Dude Solutions. You can reach us by emailing dspodcast@dudesolutions.com or check us out on the web at dudesolutions.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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