With present-day businesses facing several challenges that require strategic responses, it has become imperative for employees to possess essential leadership skills for proper decision-making. Owing to this, skills grooming and development programs for new leaders are gaining pace. LaToya Jordan, founder of Lead by Design Lab, is doing just that— helping emerging leaders harness their unique leadership skills so they can authentically and successfully lead others.
A Seeds of Fortune Board Member and one of Black Enterprise’s 2018 Corporate Diversity Executive, LaToya boasts over 15 years of experience as a human capital strategist providing business and professional development counsel, executive coaching, training, and workshops to business leaders, employees, students, and community-based organizations. Her clientele includes Peloton, Uber, Cigna, T-Mobile, Mitsubishi, Swiss Re, Michigan State University, Grand Valley State University, NJ LEEP, The Columbus Foundation, United States Postal Service, and the NAACP Brooklyn Branch.
Currently residing in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and two children, LaToya holds a Ph.D. in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University. While working in the corporate sector, she developed strategies to support the employee life cycle, including performance management and succession planning), Pfizer (where she led global mentoring and employee development), Jennison Associates, Columbia University, and the NAACP. LaToya is also an adjunct professor at Columbia and Stanford University, where she teaches team development and design thinking, respectively.
The Purpose behind Lead by Design Lab
After becoming a corporate executive and assuming senior leadership ranks, LaToya faced the issue of leading authentically without a roadmap. She did not want to lose her unique style, cultural background, and values that made-up her core as a leader. Once she found her voice, there was no looking back, and her innate ability to meaningfully connect with others and help them grow led to the founding of her boutique, strategic development practice Lead by Design Lab in 2019. She also came across experts transitioning into leadership roles, and struggling with understanding how to function, delegate work, and communicate effectively.
LaToya’s intention was simple and clear — to inform and inspire them to reach their greatest potential across the broad needs of a diverse and ever-changing workforce. While promoting the workforce to the position of team lead or managerial roles, companies already have anticipated their leadership capabilities. However, an employee may touch the minimum potential of leading roles while lacking the critical aspects of decisiveness. “As an Organizational Psychologist, Leadership and Entrepreneurship Coach, and Design Thinking Expert, I follow four A’s as part of my coaching framework—Assess, Align, Action, and Adjust. These steps aid executives in overcoming their leadership hurdles and experiencing the same transformation I did. One might be a born leader, but their skills still need honing and grooming to be utilized at the optimal level,” LaToya says.
The Success Story
For almost two years now, Lead by Design Lab has been working towards unlocking the potential of leaders and teams through human-centered techniques. The brand works towards nurturing a community of leaders seeking transformation across a spectrum of experiences–from a sole proprietorship to large global organizations and everything in between–with the help of proven tools and strategies.
Message to Budding Women Leaders
Supporting executives in unique, human-centric ways through leadership coaching, team development, and organizational effectiveness is foundational to LaToya’s work. Comprehensive skills development training not only helps the workforce to achieve their professional goals but also their organizational objectives. In this way, leadership training is a well-balanced deal for everyone. As someone who has held leadership positions herself, LaToya believes women should first be clear about who they are and how they want to be as a leader. LaToya further emphasizes how it is detrimental for women to conform to a perceived societal model; instead, they should not let anyone shake them up and work towards building more effective teams and systems to accelerate their growth.
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