3 min read

Amplifies the Deep Well of Leadership - Untapped Leaders

The Untapped Leaders Community brings together Black, Indigenous, Latinx/a/o, Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander, MENA, and otherwise marginalized leaders from across industries to learn from each other through weekly facilitated leadership discussions.
Amplifies the Deep Well of Leadership - Untapped Leaders

Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in leadership development but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jenny Vazquez-Newsum, CEO of Untapped Leaders, LLC, located in Santa Monica, CA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

Untapped Leaders is:

  1. A private leadership development community for leaders of color.
  2. A framework that amplifies marginalized and overlooked leadership strategies for fresh approaches to complex challenges
  3. An organizational consulting practice supporting companies to uncover the untapped leadership that exists in their teams.

The Untapped Leaders Community brings together Black, Indigenous, Latinx/a/o, Asian, South Asian, Pacific Islander, MENA, and otherwise marginalized leaders from across industries to learn from each other through weekly facilitated leadership discussions, small-group peer support sessions, and a diverse network of members committed to each others' success.

Tell us about yourself

I am a leadership consultant, speaker, and author of Untapped Leadership: Harnessing the Power of Underrepresented Leaders (Out June 2023). I've had a long-time interest in leadership stemming all the way back to being a 5th-grade elementary school elected official. As a biracial Black/Latinx woman, the leadership journey has been bumpy, invigorating, challenging, and a life's work.

Across my career, I have worked with 500+ leaders ranging from established executives at large corporations to high school students beginning their leadership journeys -- witnessing the untapped capacities that exist across all stages in career paths. Through my prior work as Vice President of Leadership Training and Programs at Coro Southern California, I designed and facilitated cohort-based programs for leaders across all sectors and industries.

Interested in digging deeper into the limitations of current leadership rhetoric and bringing in the voices of the often-unrecognized leadership contributions of BIPOC and marginalized leaders, I launched Untapped Leaders in July 2022 to create a space for those contributions to be named, validated, and amplified. Having studied and facilitated leadership frameworks for the past two decades, I realized most all frameworks are not developed by nor for leaders of color. As a result, I designed the Untapped Leadership framework.

I'm motivated each day to shift leadership narratives beyond the dominant perspectives that only represent a select few.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

I am most proud of the quality and thoughtfulness of the Untapped Leaders Community leadership sessions. We have excellent BIPOC facilitators who lead a committed group of members who are digging into career and leadership development tools while centering our most marginalized perspectives. We have created a space to have REAL conversations about work that are often impossible in other environments. I consider it a significant accomplishment to have facilitated the creation of such a space for our community members.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

One of the hardest, yet not unexpected, things about being a business owner is consistently being in iteration mode. Being on the ground floor of building a business means my first idea is not always the best idea, nor is my 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc. Building comfort with constantly tweaking offers and messaging-- and being wrong-- can be challenging. But, in that process is the makings of a really powerful and meaningful business.

Another challenge is being relentless about not letting business ownership take over my life. When thinking about how I work best and the many roles I have (as a business owner, mom of young kids, etc.), maintaining a 4-day workweek has been an essential part of my design. It can be challenging to maintain that commitment when building something from the ground can feel like it requires 24/7 attention. Yet, those moments of stepping away give me more clarity on what to prioritize, which also helps me build a stronger, more sustainable business.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Get clear on your "why" and be flexible on your "how."
  2. Nothing is ever accomplished alone. Find your people!
  3. Maintain an identity outside of your business.

Where can people find you and your business?

Website: https://www.untappedleaders.com/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/jennyvazqueznewsum/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/jennyamanda
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jvazqueznewsum/

If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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