Where do Todd's leadership and core values come from? For him, it's easy to trace it back to his parents.
Where do Todd’s leadership and core values come from? For him, it’s easy to trace it back to his parents.
Among many other values, your core values are empathetic leadership and also this drive to achieve change for the better. Where did these values come from and why are they so important to you?
Well, I think it comes from my parents, truthfully. Both of my parents, in different ways, have always been focused on fairness, on justice. My mom is a retired nurse, so she spent her career helping people. When I was young, she actually started a program in South Carolina - I grew up in North and South Carolina all over the place, and she started a program called Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies with the idea that if teen women became pregnant, through this program, if they stayed in school, they could get free healthcare and free daycare, and I sort of look back on that as a seven, eight-year-old person and at that very moment understanding the challenges of poverty, the challenges of education and illiteracy, and shame, actually, because these young women were not educated on how sex actually worked and then the shame that came with teenage pregnancy, and then dropping out of school, and the family challenges, and my mom fought to build this program that was incredibly successful, and so seeing that at an early age, I think, was very, very important and I think shaped a lot of my perceptions. She shares a story of me coming back from kindergarten when I was five years old and one of my colleagues, one of my classmates was being picked on and it just absolutely made me furious and I wanted to fix it. So, from a very early age, I've kind of had that sort of social justice framework. My parents have been very supportive of it. My father is a retired CFO but throughout his entire career, he had a very strong moral compass and there are so many lessons that I learned from him in terms of how he approached leadership and how he approached managing people, and always focusing on fairness and integrity, and that your reputation is the only thing that you'll ever have and it could be gone in two seconds, and that you should always treat people not just how you want to be treated but thinking about how you want to interact with them in the future. So, they both instilled in me a very strong moral compass, and I think that's really served me well throughout my career.
Vy Tran learned a tough lesson as a first-time manager – you can’t please everyone. Having to “drive accountability” while also being a self-described “people pleaser” required Vy to dig deep and re-think how she communicates with her team.