Dominate Your Day Episode 2 feat. Raquel Daniels: Leading Through Uncertainty

Dominate Your Day: Leading Through Uncertainty

Dominate Your Day Episode 2 feat. Raquel Daniels: Leading Through Uncertainty in

Podcast hosted by Dana Williams with special guest Raquel Daniels

With every thorn there has been a rose or a sweet bloom in some way.

Raquel Daniels, on leading through adversity

Dominate Your Day Podcast

Welcome to the second episode of the Dominate Your Day Podcast! This podcast is for any professional or business owner who wants to live intentionally and dominate their day. Dana Williams and her guests will bring you practical advice about how to create a productive life through tools and experiences from guests who have designed the life they love.

At Dana Williams Consulting, we teach you everything you need to know about how to live intentionally and Dominate your Day based on your unique talents.  We have also created some great tools like The Strengths Journal. The Strengths Journal is a daily companion guide to the CliftonStrengths assessment.

Episode 2 ft. Raquel Daniels

Great change can’t happen over night, so in order for it to be sustainable, there needs to be many little steps.

Raquel Daniels, on change

Raquel Daniels, Director of Diversity and Inclusion at Southwest Airlines, joined us for the second episode of Dominate Your Day. Raquel shared with us her experience of leading during uncertainty, and how she uses her strengths to live each day intentionally.

Raquel’s top 5 CliftonStrengths are

  1. Responsibility
  2. Relator
  3. Strategic
  4. Discipline
  5. Restorative

Below is a full transcript of the conversation, including timestamps. To subscribe to Dominate Your Day on Apple Podcasts, click here.

Give yourself grace and freedom to slow down, adjust, and set a different pace.

Raquel Daniels, on advice she would give herself and others

I recommend that, if you can find space for yourself, to reflect and journal… this time will pass so [you’ll] want to remember the lessons that [you’ve] learned.

Raquel Daniels, on advice she would give to leaders and entrepreneurs

The best inputs are not homogeneous. The best inputs are from a varied system or a varied perspective, so entrepreneurs or individuals have to be thoughtful on how they develop their teams, their partnerships, and their community connections

Raque Daniels, on the importance of diversity and inclusion

Podcast Transcript

Narrator: [00:00:00] Welcome to the second episode of dominate your day. We’re Dana Williams, shares conversations from leaders, coaches, and visionaries from all facets of life. She talks about all that goes into leading a life with intention and dominating your day today. Dana is speaking with Raquel Daniels, the director of diversity inclusion at Southwest airlines about leading during uncertain times and how she uses her strengths to live each day.


Dana Williams: [00:00:31] First of all, how are, you know ?

Raquel Daniels: [00:00:34] I’m good. I’m good. It’s been crazy. Right. Can you believe it’s almost been a year Dame? No. So it’s been interesting. Um, I think overall I am, um, the words I would say is good, but we’ve been moving at an accelerated pace, both at home and at work of course, but.

All that being said, I’m good. I’m real good.

Dana Williams: [00:01:03] So as we get started, I just Raquel, I just think you’re just one of my favorite people and I love how you do life. I loved how you have. Taking challenges in life and just dealt with them. But also how you have created opportunities for yourself. They always say, you know, be ready.

So when the opportunities come, you’re ready and you’re just that person. So when you think about your strengths, I know that you’re a fellow strengths coach, but when you think about your strengths, what do you, think’s going on there? What do you think is that driving thing behind all that.

Raquel Daniels: [00:01:38] I think my number one strength of responsibility is the driver.

So in my strengths, my number one and my number four, number one is responsibility. Number four is discipline. And so I think at the end of the day, when we think about even the times in which we’re in, I just feel like it’s up to me to try to make a change, right. It’s up to me too. Map out or adjust in the best way possible.

And I think that strength of responsibility definitely does that. Um, I think the discipline shows up in a way that it’s almost like focused, that I’m determined. And I think those are the two that probably speak, speak loudly to me in times like this. Right. Um, strategic is number three. So I’m always able to think about how will this look or what’s the picture of things.

Far out a little bit. Um, and I think that’s what helps ultimately I think that helps in the day-to-day and how I show up in life. I really do.

Dana Williams: [00:02:42] So what. When you look at what keeps you steady through change. So we’re having change more often than ever before in our history. Right. Which of your strengths, how steady you during the change, would you say it’s that discipline that you just mentioned?

Or do you think it’s something, something

Raquel Daniels: [00:03:00] else? No, I think it’s disciplined. I think that’s, yes. I absolutely think it’s discipline. Um, you spoke about when we met, we, I was working out or I was. Teaching classes, actually, I was teaching a robotics classes. And when I think about it, that structure, the discipline to keep doing the same thing day after day, or the joy I get out of that, or, or the belief I have about, if you are disciplined, if you have a structure, if you just continue to put one foot in front of the other in the same manner, then your outcome.

Is going to be one that I truly think you’ll be able to count on. Right. Um, so I think that’s really important. I think discipline is, is truly key. The ability to continue to somewhat have a repetitive motion of things. Sometimes I think is important in change that I can bear down and I’m not. Um, overwhelmed by the structure of things, understanding that sometimes it is step one, step two, step three, that are able to put things in motion.

Um, that’s somewhat, it’s not hard for me. I mean, as you said, it’s a natural gift and in this time that’s what I think has kept. The sense of some normalcy, you know, I still have structured and disciplined and every day I get up and I get dressed and every day I write, write in a meaning way, but I get, get up and I get dressed as if I’m going to work, because I think the discipline of that, no matter where you are creates a certain energy.

Hm. And a certain direction that when all the world is crazy, that’s the one thing I can count on. Right. I’m going to get up and get dressed. I’m going to do all the things and

Dana Williams: [00:05:01] yeah. And give yourself that pattern every day. Right. It’s like, absolutely. And we were talking about, if you thinking through, COVID thinking through pandemic, snow storms, all the crazy stuff that has come our way.

If you were talking to, um, somebody getting ready to be you again, and if you knew all this last year, what would your advice be? If you were going to talk to Raquel the Raquel that was getting ready to enter this year?

Raquel Daniels: [00:05:30] Oh, wow. Well, what would I tell myself last year? You know what I would tell myself, I would tell myself, um, give yourself grace and give yourself grace and freedom to slow down, to adjust and set a different pace.

Right? Because I think in a funny way, Um, this has been that time, right. It’s caused us to recalibrate and I will remember last year, very vividly. I was on a plane. I was going to begus for work. There were a lot of events and it was just one thing after another. And it was all good things and I was excited by it, but my pace had somewhat gotten.

A little bit out of whack if I tell the truth. So, I mean, I’m saying this to you, Dana, we have to keep it a secret, but it got a little bit, it again, a little bit out of whack. And when we came into this time, the first thing I think I did was just take a deep breath. Right. And so we’ve really, we calibrated on pace now.

There’s still a lot that we want to accomplish a lot on the agenda. But I’m being more mindful of the pace I’m setting and all the things that are going on around me, if that answers. Yeah.

Dana Williams: [00:07:03] And I think it’s, it’s kind of leading up to leadership and managing as a leader right now and especially a virtual leader.

Well, you know, they say it’s not about technology being a virtual leader. It’s about the leader. It’s about the leadership and you’ve had to drive a lot of new initiatives. You’ve had to pivot a lot this year. So what would your leadership advice be? Um, To these up and coming young leaders, whether they be women or not.

I mean, I think we want to talk about women as well, but what, what would be your advice, um, as a leader in this virtual new surroundings, you talked about pace and how important that is. Yeah.

Raquel Daniels: [00:07:48] Don’t be afraid to be vulnerable and define what vulnerability means for yourself. I think there are many definitions of what it means to be vulnerable, or we have an idea of that.

And for me, I’ve learned how to lean into being vulnerable. Um, I think we’re, we’re on so often we’re on with the perfect package, the perfect idea, the perfect conversation. And in this time as a leader, I found how to found my voice in not. Being perfect. If you will, um, going with, um, you know, I don’t have all the answers.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. What I do know is that we’re going to find that out together, that we’re going to answer questions together that, uh, we need each other in this time. And I think when we really are able to talk about. Um, what the needs are and in lean into understanding, I found that to be helpful in my leadership.

I found that to be helpful in the team every day is a new day. If you think about when we first entered this time, there was a lot of fear and anxiety, right? What, what, how do we think about this? What is tomorrow? And a lot of the conversation was unprecedented time and you know, we’ve never seen a time like this before.

Um, but. We have history will tell us. We have. And I think I leaned heavy into reading a lot of history books. I read Eleanor Roosevelt over this time, and many of the things that we are facing now, they face then. So I’ve found strength in, in understanding, in my leadership style that you don’t have to be perfect.

What you have to be is human. And part of being human is being vulnerable, um, expressing your needs, expressing your concern, but being still very resolved. And though we don’t have all the answers, we will. That we will come on the other side of this in a very positive manner that may require some adjustment, but we will do it together.

And I found that to be, I found that to be very helpful. Um, I think vulnerability can be a scary place. I think there’s many definitions. Um, but vulnerability for me has been open to. The comment and the conversation about you don’t have all the answers, but we want to seek them and find them together. I think it’s somewhat like servant leadership.

That’s a big word. Right? Servant leadership is a big word. And you think about what does it mean? Um, and how do I still up in that and that alone with vulnerability is at every moment, how can I do the right thing? And so what the right thing is may look different depending on who I’m talking to, but I have to do the right thing for Southwest airlines.

I have to do the right thing for those that are on my team, have to do the right thing for those that, um, are counting on us from an enterprise wide in this conversation of diversity, equity, and inclusion, um, and being vulnerable and being open to adjust, I think has been the greatest gift and the greatest learning I’ve had.

Dana Williams: [00:11:08] So, uh, Raquel you have a lot on your plate right now. And in leading diversity inclusion, what do you think is the biggest challenge that you’re facing and what is the biggest opportunity?

Raquel Daniels: [00:11:18] Right. I think the biggest challenge, uh, for myself and others is patients and it is patients in myself and patients in the work and where we hope the work will go.

Right. Um, over the last few months, there has been a great enlightenment. And I think that enlightenment has been fuel for an acceleration of the efforts. Like we’ve never seen before. Right. Or we haven’t seen in a long time. And I believe within that, um, there’s also this conversation about Dana, as you know, anytime that you are inserting or an acting great change, great change can’t happen overnight.

It just cannot. So in order for it to be sustainable, there are many little steps. And I think that’s where the discipline in me comes in that I want to ensure that we have measured discipline steps that allow for sustainable change. That outlive me and you. Right. And when I think from an organization standpoint that outlive the both of us, um, I am excited that this, this moment has caused the, um, Amplification the, um, awareness, the elevation, all of those words.

I am excited about that. And I’m excited about that because I honestly believe. That, when we speak about race and representation and all of the things in ways that we haven’t for awhile. I mean, there’ve been big things that we have not talked about. I think just in our society and organization for the fear that comes when we talk about those things.

Right. And so now we’re, we’re having conversations about them. It’s scary, you know, for many it’s scary and I think it’s. Scary or there’s fear about it or anxiety about it, or it can breed tension because it’s the uncomfortable space, right? It’s, it’s right in the gap between being polite. And I really get to know you, you know, when you have them set up, even sometimes with someone or a friend, you’re like, now you’re my friend for life because we crossed over to a new area where we really got to know each other.

And I think we’re at a place where. People are wanting organizations are mourning. It’s also it’s table stakes. Now I don’t think we can go back three George Floyd and the killing of George Ford. We can’t go back pre May 25th. Right? We’re now closed. And so the post I did the post conversation, the post, um, expectation looks a lot different.

It looks so different. It looks different.

Dana Williams: [00:14:06] So as a leader, as a mom, as a wife, how did you navigate all that? What did you call upon on your strengths? Cause your son might have been asking a lot of questions, right? Yeah. What’s going on? How did you, and then your, your, the people that you lead, we’re probably going, Oh my gosh.

I remember being on a call when all that was going on. And you say, guys, I’m just gathering the information. Just give me a little patience and I’ll get us out. Bingo, you know, you weren’t, there was your vulnerability, but there was also, I’m going to get some answers to y’all, but I’m still learning, you know, let me get the information, just give me some patients.

And I love that. I thought that was such a great, you, you listened and you said, you know what? Let’s just gather the information. I’ll get back with you. So what CA what kind of, what was pulling up from your strengths to help you get through that time, as you were communicating with those in your circle, you know,

Raquel Daniels: [00:14:58] responsibility and restorative.

Because when you mentioned the responsibility about living, take a minute, I want to get it close to right as I can. I want to make sure and not right. May not be the right word, but that actual, what are the facts? What can we learn? And what can we know? Because this is a big moment. So it’s important for us to represent it correctly.

Right. And when we say represented correctly, there are many constituents. I want to represent us all and keep us all whole right. And anytime I think about that, um, the whole keeping us whole, and until you just said it, I use that all the time. Dana. And I think that is my store that I think it’s my story because I I’m always saying, I feel like in the conversations, in the, in the leadership that I provide, it’s all about how do we keep us all hold.

Right. And that is a constant calibration. So what I put in what you put in, what everybody expects. Man we’re different, but at the end of the day, it’s a constant calibration and keep us whole, so I think I really, my son you’re right, was asking questions. My son we’re African-American right. And so we were part of the African American community, the black community.

Um, and I also am a leader and have a responsibility to work as well. So I think I really counted on how do you being true to each one of these. And being true to each one of these means that you really seek to understand, and you seek to have conversations from a place of learning continually and in the learning, how do we grow to ensure that we’re moving toward a different level of understanding?

I could see it. I really took time to see it through ends eyes. See it through a 12 year old’s eyes. I’m seeing it through my husband’s eyes, our community, but also once again, seeing it through the work community and all of the other communities, we’re a part of, I think that really helped to provide, um, my perspective and how I weighed in on the conversation that I think helped to guide us.

At Southwest,

Dana Williams: [00:17:21] right? Yeah. I love that. It’s so funny. I heard a quote. I think it was Bob Goff who I adore. I think he said, you know, don’t worry, we don’t know the title to this chapter yet. We’re still going through it. You know, it’s okay. This, this chapter is going to have a title. It might be. A year, six months, six years from now, it’ll have a title.

Um, if you had to title it, what would you call it? Right. This lasts a year from we’re at March 3rd, today, or March 2nd. So what would you title this last year?

Raquel Daniels: [00:17:54] Oh my gosh. That is a great question. What would I title this year? Um, I said, no, that, um,

Dana Williams: [00:18:03] You mentioned patients that might, they might be

Raquel Daniels: [00:18:06] pensions, um, the year of change, but I know I.

You don’t want to say it’s a year of enlightenment in the year of awakening. Right. And the reason I use them like men, I think it’s been a year for personal enlightenment. Not only for myself, but others personally. And then as a society, we have become more enlightened. It’s been one of the most polarizing times ever.

I think when in my reading and review the only other. Well, the ones that have proceeded us have been moments of the civil rights, right? Like the 1960s. And then you have other moments when you think about the world Wars. So we have been in those moments, but every 50 years, um, if I’m recalling from my reading correctly, you have a reset, like something happens to shift the culture and shift the societal cares.

Right. And really at times, so we’re having. A different kind of awakening. Right. And I think every individual has been kind of sidelined for better or for worse. We’ve been sidelined that we’ve had to take assessment. Um, And all that’s been going on. Right.

Dana Williams: [00:19:23] I love that. And I, I think back, I want to hear, because you’ve been talking about history a lot and you talked about Eleanor, which I adore Eleanor.

What, which one did you, which, which book her

Raquel Daniels: [00:19:36] biography. Biography. Now it’s a mom one, but I mean, wow, just I’m telling you this, between that and the Walton and then a dash of something else. I mean, you look at the depression, you hear her it’s a lot. So

Dana Williams: [00:19:51] when you, when you were thinking of people that you are inspired by right now, it’s women’s history month.

Well, who are those women who are those women that have influenced you? And, um, and what have you learned from them?

Raquel Daniels: [00:20:06] Hmm, a great question. I love that. I think the woman that has most greatly influenced me was my grandmother. And my grandmother and I were very, very close. And I think about her that she was a single mom.

She raised four children. Uh, she was a, what would be known as a domestic. So she was a great cook and did all the things. But my grandmother had a love for reading and she, and I would read like everything. And I think I. I, I think I got that gene from her that anything, it could be a label on a can. It could be whatever, but she greatly influenced me that I could be, um, Mo most anything.

And the importance of being educated and knowledgeable, right. Being educated and knowledgeable is different in a little bit, from being smart. It was about how did you gain wisdom? And how do you, once you gain that wisdom, how do you take that wisdom and impart it on all the things that you do? Right. And, and she was also a big, big, um, she was a big cook, but she gave from her heart and through her cooking.

So you would say, you know, hi Dana, I just met you come by the house. I’ve cooked dinner for you.

Oh, the dinner. But she gave through what she had and what she must had was her, her gift to cook. Right. And so I think I learned from her and I, I try to keep this in mind all the time, that evening with all the things that are happening in the world. It is still most important to give from your gift and everybody’s gift looks different.

I think that like, we compare ourselves so much, but how can we stop to let our gifts really come to life? And that is what the true blessing is for those in our life. Right. So I think she’s been one of the most influenced, um, influential, of course, my mom and I have aunts who’ve been influential. And then I think.

Um, like I said, I love history. So I’ve read, um, other women I think about or Eleanor Roosevelt. Um, I think about Jackie Kennedy, of course, Oprah, uh, and just watching her trajectory. And then, um, there’s so many women that I’ve worked with both. Um, I can say who would be considered. Elders. I’m trying to think how to say that

Dana Williams: [00:22:55] they’re seasoned and they’re a little bit,  a little bit

Raquel Daniels: [00:22:58] ahead of me. Um, have been great mentors and great guys, but I hope so. Laugh at the fact that they’ve been, I don’t know if you’ve heard of lately reverse mentoring, right? Yeah. There’s so many young women who are like rocking it. I don’t like, Oh my God, where were you?

And like, you know, it’s, it’s, it’s exciting to see right.

Dana Williams: [00:23:25] It is. And that’s what we have to you’re right now. You’re mentoring. Other, uh, other young women, but you’re also being mentored by older women, whether they be historians or people here in our culture or people down the street. Yeah. But then that reverse mentoring.

I get a lot of my mentorship from my daughter. I mean, she’s, she’s got stuff that I’m like, wow. So I think, I think there’s something powerful there with women and just always having a mentor, always having a coach, always having somebody in your life to, to, to reflect on. So when you think about the legacy you want to leave.

And you’ve done a lot. I’ve seen you in, in several, you know, watched your career grow and, and marketing and media. And now in diversity inclusion, what is the, it’s your 80th birthday or your 90th birthday? What is the legacy that you want to leave? What are you, what do you hope that family members and friends are saying about you at this birthday party?

Raquel Daniels: [00:24:24] That I encouraged them, that I was able to lift them up, that when they didn’t think they could keep going, that I told them they could and gave them another option of how, um, I think opportunity and access to opportunity. And I think sometimes it’s just being a cheerleader. I may not share in the same way that others do the rah, rah, like, I’m so proud of you, but that they called me and I was able to help them.

Right or plan, or I just gave them encouragement or I prayed with them or that I was just an encourager with them, that they knew that they had someone in their corner. And Dana, I honestly think that that’s, that’s my legacy. That’s what I want to be known for. Right. I want. Yeah, I really do. I want to know that I made a difference when I think about it, that the place was better because I was there.

Dana Williams: [00:25:24] And how have you used your Clifton strengths as a coach, as a leader, as a mother, as a wife? Um, I know they kind of come in handy, my husband and I tease each other all the time. I’m like, you know, you’re in your balcony or you’re in your basement right now. Good. So how, how have you seen you’re laughing, but how have you seen that come to life for you?

Raquel Daniels: [00:25:44] Oh my gosh. I see my strengths as. The restorative, like, get up, come on. We can get you back to center that didn’t work out. Don’t stay there too long. Let’s write out a list and let’s think about where you will be in the next couple of years. Right. So I think I’m able to, to shift it pretty quickly and it is restorative, but that’s funny.

My brother was here and he, he had a, uh, Thing going on. And I said, let’s sit down and talk about if you had to see yourself, as I said in the next year, what do you see? Talk to me. And as he began to have the conversation, I jotted it down on paper and he said, wow, I didn’t think all that was there. Like you said, so this sheet of paper, and now you have an action item, go get it done.

Dana Williams: [00:26:40] Love that. Love that. How you use your coaching with not only your. Your, your people that you lead, but also your family members. So,

Raquel Daniels: [00:26:49] absolutely. Absolutely.

Dana Williams: [00:26:52] So do you use your restorative quite a bit? Do you find, what number is it for you?

Raquel Daniels: [00:26:56] It’s number five? I do. I think I use it a lot and I think within the work that I’m doing, I probably use, I probably use responsibility and relater and, um, Well, I’d probably use all of the five a lot because in this journey of diversity, equity and inclusion, you must be disciplined.

It’s not easy work, it’s not quick work. And so I think. I probably think I use them all quite a bit, honestly. I mean, they’re probably planted, showing up in ways. I’m not even aware of

Dana Williams: [00:27:30] one of the best quotes I heard from Gallop, um, about Gallup strengths and diversity inclusion as that at its core strengths are about inclusion because really you don’t, there’s, it’s all about here is this person and here’s how they’re made.

And here’s what they’re about instead of. All the other things that tend to come in. Right. So I love that. I thought that was a great perspective. So as you look forward into the future into 22, 22, 23, 24, what do you think is on the horizon for, for your work? The work that you’ve, um, been given to do this great, amazing work of leading diversity and inclusion.

Raquel Daniels: [00:28:14] Do you know? I think what’s on the horizon is a. Hey, a broader deepening of the, of the journey. Yeah, I think it’s, uh, I, I think the effort will be much deeper. I think the understanding will be much deeper. Um, I think that it will be elevated and connected in a way that it will no longer be siloed.

Probably the best word is an enduring commitment is what I see. I see an enduring commitment, um, commitments have always been there. And so I would never want anyone to think that whether it be at our organization or any other. That, that there hasn’t been support. And, um, there hasn’t been a level of commitment because it has been right.

I think where we’re headed though, is this enduring commitment where it is clear for those that it is a critical element in your business. Priorities as you move forward in the future, it will be an imperative that not only talent is looking for and expecting in an organization or relationship, but employees and customers as well.

So I definitely think that’s, what’s going to show up in the next few years.

Dana Williams: [00:29:43] I love that. And you know, there’s so many new businesses that have started during the pandemic. A lot of entrepreneurs out there, a lot of young upstarts, as well as the corporations that are continuing to grow. What would be your advice for the entrepreneur?

That’s building their company about diversity and inclusion, as well as a corporate leader that hasn’t really had the time or the effort to put something in place. Like, like you have, what would be your advice when you get that question? Or do you get that question?

Raquel Daniels: [00:30:14] I do get that question in my advice is any organization or any entrepreneur you must think about?

Um, it is up to us to really harness the power of all of the different backgrounds and experiences to, to actually be a competitive. Force in the world. Right? So whatever industry you’re in, in order to be competitive, you have to think about how do I, um, have the best, the best talent, the best ideas, the best inputs, and the best inputs are not homogeneous.

The best inputs are from a Berry. Um, a very system or a Berry perspective, right? So I think that entrepreneur, that individual has to be thoughtful in how they develop their teams, how they develop their partnerships, how do they develop their community, um, connections as well, because that that’s also in line with just where we are seeing the movement of America, the movement of America shifting.

It’s shifting and the demographics are shifting. And so to be a viable solution to be a viable product or service that’s considered, um, I would think one must be, um, uh, clear about the product offering. And one must be clear about who they’re offering the product to, you know, and so it, it’s not, not homogeneous anymore.

It is very big, very diverse, very diverse.

Dana Williams: [00:31:51] Love that. I also think right now, as you’re, as we’re moving into the, the middle of 21 and into 22, um, wellbeing, it’s going to be huge and taking care of your wellbeing. So financially your social community, um, wellbeing at work, um, is everybody getting to connect?

Are they with a leader that is, is cares about them? How are you managing the wellbeing, keeping the wellbeing, which is the main thing right now, as we, as we move into this next phase of pandemic, um, how, how are you leading right now with, with wellbeing and what are the things you’re focused on as you think about your team and you think about your other leaders or coworkers or other co-leaders that you work with?


Raquel Daniels: [00:32:44] Yeah, I think about this quite a bit, actually. And I had a conversation with someone last week. I said, look, let’s. Let’s really think about our channels and our modes of communication. I want to challenge you that when you are about to send an email, ask yourself, can I sit, can I also pick up the phone or can I ping someone on a teams call and have a virtual connection?

Right. Because I think that keeps us connected. That allows us to see people. It allows us, I think, to it just causes a different kind of stimulation. And so I believe that’s really important. We can do a lot behind email, but let’s pull ourselves out. Um, also the frequency of just popcorn calls. Dana, I’m really big that I don’t care if we have a meeting or not.

If I feel like I want to just check in, I’m going to check in for five minutes. So not being managed so much by our calendars, that you can just do a drive by and have a quick conversation with someone like five minutes. How are you? What’s going on? I think that’s been helpful. I would advise others to do that.

And you know, in the time, what was it, Snowmageddon and all the things that the last few weeks, I mean, on a daily, on a daily, I would text my team in the morning, text them in the afternoons and emails just to say, how are you today? What’s going on, give me a call, let me know if you need something. How can I help?

And so I think, I think those were important. And I also think one of the reasons you want to see people in video is because the things that people don’t say, those are the things you read and body language, and you can tell. I I believe in someone’s facial expression. So now I have such a good day or is the family crazy behind them and they’re trying to manage, but a team call.

And just once again, being human to say, grab the baby, put the baby on your lap and let’s have this call and keep it moving. Right. But I believe that those moments are important. Like dome don’t let this the time of us not being in person, um, Rob us of some of the same skills and some of the same, uh, must dues as we were doing those times.

I think that’s been absolutely critical. I think it’s, I think it’s been a really big deal.

Dana Williams: [00:35:17] Absolutely. And I think because not being in the office together, this hybrid approach that we’re going to be is going to be the new normal. How do we, how do we bring those opportunities within the day, the social, the community, you know, making sure that everybody, and I love that you start the conversation with how are you.

You’re just taking time to ask those three words. It’s just, how are you? Um, is huge right now. So we’re Cal as you think, um, back, and, and as you move forward, what is your advice right now to other leaders, um, in this time, and what’s kind of. Keeping you the energy going. Cause you know, it’s really not about managing our time.

It’s about managing our energy. So what’s keeping you energize right now. And what’s your, what’s your kind of advice to those other leaders out there right now to when they’re having those moments and we’ve all had them, um, what kind of gets you recharged and what, what would you recommend and what would be your advice for them?

Raquel Daniels: [00:36:16] So, first of all, I recommend get a workout regimen, whatever working out means to you. So working out may me, the Peloton working out, they mean yoga, working out may mean a walk. I think he exercise is absolutely critical. So I recommend that for leaders. Um, I also recommend what I’ve found to be keeping me energized is.

A good book or many good books or magazines, or just the fun thing that you like to do. Um, and I think the third probably most important is if you can find space for yourself to reflect and maybe journal, I haven’t done it well the entire time, but I do keep little notes about how I’ve thought of the day or the week.

Or the months, right. Because as you said, Dana, this time will pass. And so I want to, I want to remember, or the lessons that I’ve learned and I wanna remember particular thoughts about it, right. Because what we have all done, and I think what we can all, um, just be pleased about, we’ve all managed through a crisis.

Yeah, right. So, so we are leaders that are managing through a crisis, and that is a skill that I don’t think we would’ve gotten in some way. Right. Unless we had this time. So I think we have to acknowledge that we have a skill we’re honing it and we’ve learned how to manage through a crisis. And, um, you know, I, I journal in that way and I think that that keeps me energized.

It really does to think about what I’ve learned. To think about, um, how I hope to use this on the other side. Um, as you said, it hadn’t all been roses, but there’s definitely been, um, with every thorn there’s been a Rose and been a sweet bloom in some way. Right. And so I’m very thankful for that. I look for those moments, at least on a weekly basis.

What’s something I can be grateful for or thankful for, or what’s one thing my team did well, what was one thing? Um, as a leader I did well, or what’s one thing personally I did well, so that I found to be.

Dana Williams: [00:38:41] And that’s one of the reasons I put in the journal to be grateful every at the end of the day, what are you grateful for?

And then what is the fear that you want to conquer today or that you conquer today? Cause you talked about fear a little bit earlier in the call, but when we’re going through fear is when we’re growing. So what’s one of the, what’s one of the things that you’ve faced and got through and grew from it with your feet, with fear this year.

It could have been, it could have been. Yeah. So you had a lot of growing this year. You probably had a lot of lessons learned. Right. But stepping in the fear of the unknown, stepping into the fear of leading through a difficult time. Um, you know,

Raquel Daniels: [00:39:26] I think it’s been leading through a difficult time and you don’t have the playbook.


Dana Williams: [00:39:34] Yeah. So

Raquel Daniels: [00:39:36] yeah, like writing a book, right. And so there’s not a book that you can go pull off the shelf. There’s not a, you know, I referenced before, particularly in my space and even our business. Right. We were in the airline business, we’re in the space of diversity equity inclusion as well. There’s been a lot that has gone on in our business.

Um, and so. Leading in, in, um, gaining your confidence. As I said before about, I don’t know all of the answers. Right. But what I do know and believe I’ve received. A certain number of tools and skills that now it is game time and it’s time to test them out. Right. And I think through the test, I’ve learned ones that, Oh yeah, I will continue to utilize these and with bindings, but writing that playbook that has where the courage has come, that’s where the courage has come.

Dana Williams: [00:40:40] And I bet a lot of your energy from your restorative of fixing a problem of seeing, okay, there’s not a playbook, I’m writing it right now. And this is going to end. I love the fact that you journal because you’re going to remember and look back and go, okay, how did we get through that? And what did we use and what opportunity?

So we’re in a test and learn time. Right. Constantly. So it’s exciting to see and, and taking, as you said earlier, taking the opportunity this window of time in a crisis to figure out, you know, new ways of doing things. So

Raquel Daniels: [00:41:13] yeah. Yeah. I think you’re right. I think my strengths it’s one last point I would say to on that point as well.

I think my, I think my strengths are specifically geared toward, um, Turbulent times or, or turnarounds, like I’m never drained from, okay. We now have to fit something or we have to have to understand our problem. Right. I think I get energized from that. So that might be. How I think about my strengths too.

I, yeah, I think I noticed that.

Dana Williams: [00:41:46] Yeah. I mean, I see that all the time in you and it’s just knowing that, okay, I can pull that up cause I’m going to get energy from solving problems. So it’s, it’s, it’s exciting. I like to partner up, we talk a lot about partnering up with people that have strengths we don’t have.

So my restorative is probably in the middle. But I like partnering up with people with discipline and restorative because I’ll have the ideas and they’re going to like, okay, let’s fix it. Um, so it’s how to, how to work together in that way. So as we get ready to kind of close down, is there anything you would love to share with the audience, um, that I haven’t asked you or any thoughts on what’s on your mind right now that, um, as you, as you sit here on March 2nd, 2021, um, Just reflecting on the year, getting ready for, you know, women’s history month international women’s day mother’s day.

There’s some important days coming up to honor. Those that have been before us, anything special that we haven’t talked about or that you want to share that’s on your mind. Yeah,

Raquel Daniels: [00:42:49] I think thank you for that. I think what I would leave, particularly for women, um, As I think about leadership, motherhood, all the things that you just said is sometimes we have heard this conversation about balance.

And I think that just goes out the window. I think what I’ve been striving for and thinking about is harmony. Sometimes we’re going to be all in, on one particular element of our life, right? Because it calls for us at that moment. Um, and I think give grace and just strive for harmony. Not look for the balance because I don’t know that that’s fair to us.

Right? Think it’s, how can you do all the things you need to do with harmony and grace in a way that fulfills you and what feels all those that have an expectation and are relying on you. But balancing, it means something’s always out of whack. And I learned that from, um, a previous leader. Someone said, uh, gosh, she works all the time.

Or I don’t even know if she thinks of this as work or wow. Like they were in awe about it. And as I began to study her, if you will, or just watch her, it dawned on me. No, I don’t think she thinks of it as work. It’s her life. She thinks of all of these moments as her life. Hmm. And so as all of the moments are her life, I think that fuels her energy and how she shows up.

So I think it’s, it’s just asking ourselves that question and allowing for grace, allowing for recalibration, um, allowing for the change and the adjustment for the season in which you’re in. Right. All seats don’t fit where we were in a season, as you said previously, or even the season before 2021, um, allow grace and a reset for the season.

Dana Williams: [00:44:51] I love that such great words, such great advice. I want to thank Raquel. She did an amazing job of talking about how she leaned into her strengths during times of uncertainty, especially during a pandemic, as a leader, as a mother and a wife, leading diversity and inclusion in Southwest airlines. I loved how she pulled out her discipline to keep her going every day.

And the energy that brought her from her restorative, which she, she enjoys problem solving and gets energy from that. So thank you, Raquel. That was a great example of living your strengths daily intentionally. And we want that for you too. So take a moment to subscribe, to dominate your day, wherever you listen to podcasts.

So you’re ready to listen in on these life-changing stories. We can’t wait to bring you exactly what you need to dominate your day. Thank you.

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