The forces reshaping the structure of work with Sabrina K. Garba.

“...There's this awareness around what it feels like, and what it means to be in the liminal that I think we're having a deeper access to.” - Sabrina K. Garba

From The Noodler

The entangled realities and expectations that shape how we view and plan for our current and future lives are constantly shifting. "Can I change..." was the leading question according to Google’s 2022 Year in Search - people asked questions like, can I change... my life, myself, my job, my passion, my outlook. But what is required to effectively adapt to and navigate change both from within and across the external systems that influence the trajectories of our lives?

We invited Sabrina K. Garba to share her insights as a consultant focused on developing ethical approaches to leadership, employee engagement, and organizational commitment across for-profit and nonprofit organizations. Sabrina's work is informed by observing and distilling societal and organizational trends - which is further complemented by her current pursuit of a Ph.D. in Business Psychology. Sabrina brings forth the idea that we are constantly in states of liminality - because our lives are multifaceted - there is always something “in process" - from the call to radical rest, the push/pull of organizations calling employees back to the office - and the resistance from corporate entities to adapt and change.


Read Along

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Sabrina K. Garba [00:02] I think because there's so many obvious ones, I think right now what organizations are looking at is what's going to shift and change employee engagement and organizational commitment. And I think that specifically, organizations are looking at “resilience” a lot.

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The Noodler [00:19] Welcome to The Noodler where we unpack timely cultural insights in quarterly digests featuring researchers, strategists, and creatives with an eye for contextualizing the present and forecasting the future. Our inaugural release explores what it means to occupy the literal and metaphorical ‘liminal’ in our lives and work, along with some of the shifting cultural dynamics playing out before us.

My name is Brady Hahn and joining me in conversation is Sabrina Garba. Sabrina is a business psychologist and founder of the Glass Ladder Group, a consultancy aimed at improving employee engagement and organizational commitment, as well as Honey Hive, a community for women who lead. Join us as we explore her journey of pursuing a PhD while working full time, and her latest thoughts on the shifting dynamics of work - and much more!

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The Noodler [01:10] So, Sabrina, when was the first time you heard the word liminal?

Sabrina K. Garba [01:16] Not surprisingly, the first time that I heard the word liminal was from you, Brady, right. Because new terms, words, ideas and concepts are things that you just come up - you surface - often. And I was excited to be able to run around and talk to my friends about how we're all in the liminal right now. So thank you for that.

TN [01:35] Well, thank you. That's very kind of you to say. I'm curious, when you were talking with them, what were some of the things that came up in conversation?

SKG [01:44] Well, one, most people had no idea of the concept, so that was exciting. But also that a lot of people are feeling in this “in between” space. And what I find really unique is everyone knows with very clear consciousness why they're in that in between space.

Whereas, I think in the past we were a little bit unclear about, like, “I just feel stuck.” Now, people are identifying, “I feel stuck because of my ego”, “I feel stuck because of this specific trauma that happened in my life."

And so, there's this awareness around what it feels like, and what it means to be in the liminal that I think we're having a deeper access to.

TN [02:26] Oh, I think that's such a good point, actually. And as soon as you said that, too, I'm thinking about even just the way people are communicating online about their experiences. It's much more specific and nuanced, as you mentioned as well, which is really interesting.

SKG [02:43] Yeah.

TN [02:44] Well, before we dive in, can you share a little bit about your background? What would you like people to know about you? And can you share a little context for the work that you're doing as a business psychologist?

SKG [02:57] Yeah, for sure. So whenever I get to this point in any type of interview, I always start with saying that I like to do a little bit of everything. So the chair of a board that I'm on calls me a “Maverick”. And the simple way of saying it is, if you ask me, I might most likely have a response of seeing something associated to it. That doesn't mean that I have the right answer, but I can find it. And I think that's really what business psychology and all the work that I've done has helped me to be able to do.

So from a foundational standpoint, business psychology really helps you to understand how business and commerce work.

So a typical MBA, but it also gives you a doctorate in psychology. So understanding human behavior, people based off of the psyche and the norms that we've seen in the human way of life and the way that we think about things. And so I share that first to say that has been the foundation to everything else that I've done as a founder. A mutual friend of ours, Kim Kenny, likes to call me a serial entrepreneur. And I'm like accepting it because it allows me the opportunity to make my wildest dreams come true without a box. And the ways that I've been able to do that is through consulting with my firm, Glass Ladder Group, that I started about eight or nine years ago now.

[4:22] And I really work with people from different cultures, from different organizations to work together more effectively through strategic communication and my understanding of engagement and social behavior. And in addition to that, I run quite a bit of women's leadership programs and work through my organization, Honey Hive, which is about offering empowering experiences for women leaders. And business psychology has given me the tools to improve all of that. Everything that I've done, everything that I know and understand because it gives me a deeper understanding of the way that we live and how that is related to our economy.

TN [05:01] I think we should also mention that you're bilingual as well [so you think and live between two languages and cultures].

SKG [05:05] Yes, I am. So I spend about half the year when I can in Brazil and am excited to make that a permanent thing - every other quarter or so. And so in that time over the last eleven years, I've learned Portuguese.

TN [05:22] Amazing. Well, and what I think is really interesting about the path of an entrepreneur is that it really is kind of the ultimate application of liminal thinking, of not necessarily putting strict boundaries on what you can do, where you can go, and how you can do it. To me, it's like, probably the most creative use of liminal thinking in terms of seeing the connections that can be drawn between one place and another and showing others how to do that.

SKG [05:54] Yeah, I definitely agree with that. I feel in some way or another, every single one of us is in a “liminal”. And the way that we are processing that oftentimes shapes the quality of our life.

TN [06:11] Yeah, well, and I think the interesting thing about liminality is it can be both a very specific time. In terms of giving birth, getting married, graduating, but it can also be a whole phase in someone's life, and then it can be a place which I think is really phenomenal, and it can be on the macro and the micro level as well, in terms of culture and society. And so it's an interesting context through which to look at things. But I think you're right. I think all of us are in some sort of liminal one level or another at any given time, which is really interesting.

SKG [06:51] Yeah. And I would even argue that we're always in a liminal.

TN [06:53] And we'll dive into that probably more, too throughout the conversation. And so one of the things, speaking of liminal periods in one's life, you're currently working on your dissertation, and so I'd love to know what drew you to going back to school for your PhD. And how did going back to school in your 30s compare to getting your undergraduate degree and Masters in your twenties? And what was kind of part of that process of letting your program and deciding really how you wanted to dig in and expand your expertise in business psychology?

SKG [07:30] Yeah, that's a really great question. So I have a little bit of a unique situation because I started college at 16, so - and I was done with my Masters by 22. I'm a completely different person. Yeah. When I was put on the campus, I was 16, I probably turned 17 within like a couple of weeks or so. And then I was done with my Masters by 22 and had a full career at that time as well - at the same time.

[7:59] And so here's what I will say: 16 to 22 year old student Sabrina showed up and was the same good, bad, ugly and everything in between. I think that my understanding and reflection around whether or not how much of a liminal my behavior will keep me in is what's different. And so what really drew me back to being in a PhD program in particular is because I had an understanding that there was something missing in the way that I was doing the work that I was doing specifically as an entrepreneur.

[8:41] So I'm a public speaker, I speak all the time, I'm creative, I've had enough information in my life and worked in enough leadership positions to know how to start to set something up, but not enough to get me out of the liminal. And so the degree helped me with that. Right. It helped me to plug the gap both emotionally, personally, and internally because I was studying psychology. But also from a business perspective, like what operations and systems was I'm not understanding? And what was I not understanding about my ideal client in particular.

[09:22] And not my ideal client as VP of HR, but my ideal client as the VP of HR, mom, wife, daughter, whatever it is. And what do I know about them psychologically that can shift our interactions with one another so that their goals can be reached?

And so I'm thinking completely different. Whereas instead of me thinking about how to get the right answers, which is what I was doing in college as an undergrad and a master's student, I'm now thinking about how we create solutions together, both off of our connectedness, our understanding.

And I would say that business psychology has helped that, as has maturity.

TN [10:05] Yeah, well, I mean if you were in school during your teenage years, adolescent years, you are a completely different person by the time you're twenty-five, let alone into your thirties. And I think one of the things that you said is really interesting and true and that oftentimes in undergrad there's almost like a performative aspect of it, of wanting to do the work, get the grades and all the things. And it's not that you're not questioning things - I think that's one of the trademarks of being a college student is that you're questioning things - but the interesting thing is what you said about coming back to school now is that you're more solution oriented, it's more about grounding your practice and also being able to use this as a stepping stone. Like, to have a PhD allows you to do larger research projects and other things like that in partnership with other people because you have this background. So I think both of those things are really interesting that you touched on.

SKG [11:06] I would also say that, one of the things that the PhD really has helped me to do is be able to find or to determine a validated answer for just about most questions that would come up, right, in the world. And I think that's really what the PhD does. It teaches you how to find a valid enough answer for the small demographic that you're looking into. And so it shifted the entire way that I think about the world and my understanding of how knowledge is created - and what we believe to be true.

Because I understand statistics and data in a way that can say that maybe the cultural information that we're getting skewed or at least some pieces out, I understand the manipulation of data in a totally different way.

And so that's been really exciting for me, and my work to be able to think more clearly about how we work together from different cultural backgrounds and how we connect - whether it be in our work lives or our personal lives. And I chose to study business psychology - I kind of talked about that a little bit already - but specifically because I knew that this would actually help me to get an even more global perspective and I mean global from a world lens, but also like organizational lens that I needed to give me the foundation to do the good work that I want to do.

TN [12:43] Yeah, well, and I think one of the things I'm curious about, too, is post pandemic - I feel like I've talked to so many women in particular who are feeling the pull to change the way they work, or to rethink and re-tool. What are your recommendations for women who are maybe considering going back to school, in particular those who feel like they might be “too old” to go back? Do you still think it was worthwhile to spend the time, energy and money to do so? It sounds like yes.

SKG [13:24] I feel like if you want to, do it! When I went to go into my PhD program before I was about to apply for it, I was like, this is going to take forever. I had all the objections, every single one. And a woman looked at me and was like, the time is going to pass anyway. And so if you have a desire for it's an investment in yourself.

An investment in yourself is never too expensive in my opinion.

And I'm just one of those. I'm of the belief that if I invested in myself, it will pay itself back. And it's my charge to believe that and to make it happen. So when you think I'm going to keep it real, I'm like two-hundred and something thousand dollars in academic debt. I don’t even think about it.

TN [14:12] Right. And that's real money. That's real money, you know?

SKG [14:17] I don’t even think about it. And the reason that I don't think about it is because, one, I have the privilege not to think about it because it's a federal loan. So I need to say that, right? And I know I can think about it later...

but it's the one purchase I feel like if you made it - it's not like a car. It only appreciates and it appreciates and appreciates.

TN [14:43] Yeah.

SKG [14:44] And so I always encourage people to make that investment in ‘self’ if they're interested because it grows you, no matter what happens, you will grow if you're interested in the growth.

TN [14:56] I love that metaphor. That's a really good one. Now that you've been through the coursework. How did your learnings within the program align with what you have seen throughout your career in the real world? Did you experience or observe any notable, like, friction or contradictions that you feel like education hasn't quite caught up with?

SKG [15:20] Okay, so this is what I will say. The research is relatively timely, right? So our research around a couple of things: Employee engagement, so how are organizations engaging their employees in this specific time, our research on diversity, equity, and inclusion, research on the pandemic and workplace behavior, workplace culture is up to date, right? Researchers are actively doing that work every single day.

TN [15:50] Yeah.

SKG [15:51] And so all of those things I just named, even marketing and comms fall under business psychology. Right?

The challenge is not the research, it's the actual implementation and integration of that research that I'm seeing.

For me, for example, my PhD program is a consulting based program, so it teaches you how to implement. And I think that there are not enough programs that are teaching doctoral level academicians or academics how to implement this in the corporate space. What we're learning and the data, that would be the big challenge. I see more than anything.

I do feel like industries like business psychology do a really good job of doing research that acknowledges cultural change and cultural differences, whether it be organizational culture, whether it be around demographics, around race, gender, sexuality. Those pieces are deeply studied.

Whether or not they're then connected to real world experiences in life. And organizations and their leaders are making the choice to implement what the findings are is a totally different conversation.

TN [17:05] What's one of your favorite examples of where the research has helped you kind of really understand what's currently happening in the workplace?

SKG [17:19] I'm hesitating because I think for me that's a hard question to answer and this is so bad, but it's because I'm a business psychologist - everything - right, like, everything is a study to me…

TN [17:31] Sure.

SKG [17:33] So I had to say that out loud.

TN [17:35] Yeah.

SKG [17:41] But I think because there's so many obvious ones, I think right now what organizations are looking at is what's going to shift and change employee engagement and organizational commitment.

And I think that specifically, organizations are looking at “resilience” a lot. The research is really clear that resilience will help you and support you around keeping your team engaged and keeping them connected. Right? But I think the challenge with that is putting the systems and processes in place to make sure that actually happens in the post pandemic world.

So - people don't even want to come back into the office, and so what's the backlash going to be? Like, where's the water muddied around my liberty, my ability to be flexible, to do what I want and be where I want, and then this force of, like, I have to come back into the office?

TN [18:35] Right.

SKG [18:36] And the questions that we're having around what is right for me? What is right for how I show up in a world as a result of what I'm being forced to do after seeing that it can be done a different way?

TN [18:53] And I think this is a really great example because this is such a “hot” topic at the moment, and I think especially from our perspective, you and I have worked from home for over a decade. We're…

SKG [19:09] You can't make me go back. And you want to know the worst part about that? You can't make me go back unless it's my office.

TN [19:16] Totally!

SKG [19:18] So that's a leadership thing we need to talk about, right? Because, like, maybe I agree with that.

TN [19:25] And it's got to be really pretty! But you and I have worked from home for a really long time, so I think we come from a different perspective than a lot of professionals who have gone to an office for most of their career. And I think one of the things that's really fascinating about this topic in particular, that is couched as something around “resilience” is really interesting. Because I think it was a blessing and a curse to work from home during the Pandemic. Right?

Because people's whole families were home, so their work from home experience was very unique. If they had never done it before, had done it in a limited kind of capacity. And then also, the other thing, when people would ask me during the Pandemic, they were like, is this what it was like working from home the whole time you've been doing it? And I was like, no, I have spent more time in meetings, like, on Zoom - like connected to devices than I ever did working from home prior to the Pandemic. So it's different. But the backlash of coming back to the office is actually really interesting.

[20:32] And in some ways, I'm kind of surprised how many people, based on the pandemic experience of “work from home” still want to remain work from home employees because they didn't have the experience you and I had, which I think was if we're going to call it better or worse, like, I think you and I had just such a different experience than what a lot of workers had the last few years.

SKG [20:54] I agree with that. And I think part of the reason

I brought up the resilience topic is because the way that organizations are using it right now is to convince people that part of their “resilience” is to come back and fall into the robotic way of doing everything.

That's me reading into something right? Like, don't quote me on the research. But - and so it's like, how do we get them to be re-engaged with us? And I think, quite frankly, and this is if I said this to any client, they would be like, what are you talking about?

But give them their freedom and the trust and the systems and the processes they need to do their job.

But if they want to do it from the beach in a thong bikini, let them do it. I think that there are some areas in which we need to think about that doesn't work necessarily, right? But I think that the - the way that it's being done now versus this deep force, I'm very curious how much - how many more resignations or the shift in our economy as a whole that will come. Because like I said earlier, I'm not going back to an office. And I know a lot of people who feel that way, and I know a lot of people are having to understand that Manifest Destiny was for you too.

TN [22: 19] Right, yeah.

SKG [22:22] And you can create your own way and do your own thing. And more importantly, and this goes to your question around what are we doing different now? How are we showing up differently?

We're understanding that - the way that the economy works today, the way that business works today, works because it plays on our ego.

It plays on our need to be the CEO, VP, head, star, leader, blah, blah, to always be present, to always be at the center of things, right? But the truth of the matter is, we don't actually need any of that to survive.

We need the economic trade. We don't need the egoic trade. Those are different things.

And so what's happening is we're breaking up with our egos, and we're saying, in a way - we're breaking up with the unhealthy pieces from an ego standpoint of like, I am willing to sell myself for you because my ego needs to be I need to be positioned here from the world's perspective.

And instead, we're taking an internal look and having a deeper conversation around what we want our internal life to look like.

And that looks like, I know my bills need to be paid. I know my bills are going to be paid. And if they get paid because I'm gardening today, flipping a burger tomorrow, writing a book on Thursday, and running…. it doesn't matter because my private, my personal, my life actually becomes a thing that is more important than what the world tells me should be important.

So I think realistically, it's different now to be in a space where you're determining what's important for you, right?

TN [24:20] I think that's true. Yeah. Well, I think especially over the last few years, so many people have talked about what toxic work environments look like. And because we kind of went around this weird crescendo the last ten years, where it was like, all of a sudden, offices became a lifestyle. Where it was like offices wanted - companies wanted to keep you at work. They wanted to have the ping pong table, the cafe, the beers at four, like all the things available in the workplace. And I think one of the things you're speaking to which is really interesting is people got a chance to step out of that and realize how much of their life was being taken up by work and thinking about work and having no boundaries about work. And now I think that's kind of become what so many people are couching as toxic. I think there are different layers to that than just it being one thing, but it's really interesting that having this time to step out in a certain way has really changed and shifted the entire conversation around work.

SKG [25:35] You and I, in past conversations have gratefully, had a lot of talk about this, because one thing that I can recognize is really different about my experience is that I've literally spent the last eleven years being like peace. Even when I had a full time job for weeks and months at a time.

TN [25:52] Yeah. Right.

SKG [25:53] And that was not easy. It wasn't accepted, it wasn't okay. Like every time I did it, there was some type of response that was like, she's not serious. But what I can say today is because they realize that we must rest. And every moment that you take that you prioritize somebody else's call on your life over rest is like somebody - said to me one time, you can't get back time, right? And when you are resting and you're not caring for your body, that is the biggest way that you are losing time and work. Your titles, whatever that is, will last for just as long as you're healthy and alive. Do you know?

But our legacies, the thing that we're always so rushed to build, the thing that we don't rest because we need to build, we're already done.

Like you're already my homegirl, Brady. Whether or not you're my homegirl, Brady who is Oprah, or my homegirl, Brady, you're my homegirl, Brady. And it's like we're making these impacts in our lives so close to us, but so focused on what's far out there because we've been taught to prioritize that and that's why we're all miserable.

But if you step back and you say I'm allowed to rest and the world will still see my glory for what it truly is, you'd be really surprised how much just comes to you.

TN [27:35] And I think that's one of the things that we're seeing in this kind of shifting perspective on what great leadership looks like. We kind of like “Girlbossed” too close to the sun for too long. Many of us are like, oh, maybe “that” is not it. And so you've already kind of touched on how that's shifting and being redefined. I'm curious, with your business psychology background, like what are you seeing now becoming the definition of great leadership? Beyond just setting a good example by taking time out when people are at work or thinking about setting up their companies or building out teams, like, what's emerging now as the qualities of a great leader and also the kind of processes and approach that you think is going to be more successful going forward?

SKG [28:32] Yeah. So in this “liminal” of my dissertation, I've done a lot of research on leadership in particular. So I've looked at everything from authentic leadership to transformational leadership, transactional leadership. These are all research focused leadership styles.

The most popular leadership style - well for forever at this point - is a transformational leadership style that is about being charismatic, having a strong communication style, and being able to have and drive a clear vision.

Right? So I think that stands strong. Most of the research or conversations between leadership researchers say that it is situational. You have some of my colleagues who will say that they prefer for a leader to be transactional, right? And so from what they're seeing in their research, right, like transactional works for certain things.

[29:27] But what I think and this is just me,

I'm looking at all the research, my thoughts around this is - it's partnership and vulnerability.

The difference between personally - me and my meetings and my conversations of saying, of pretending it's all figured out versus apologizing for the fact or not even apologizing - naming the fact that it's not figured out and that your value here is to help me figure it out has been really helpful. Because it changes the dynamic from you're up here and I'm up here and you're down here to like, how are we partnering to find these solutions that are critical, that are important for us to be successful, for us to feel like we did good work together.

And so if I had to identify anything, it would be to really consciously consider how you as a leader integrate your true good skills with the individuals who are supporting the vision that you're pushing forward.

TN [30:34] You use the word “Us” and “We” in that explanation. How do you also maintain a level of - I don't know if I have the right word, you might have to help me find it - but let's say you have to lay somebody off or restructure something. How do you still kind of keep a line between - like, you are a professional and I respect you for what you bring to this conversation and to this business, but also maintain the fact that it is a business and your time together may be short, it may be long, it might have to shift depending on different needs. How do you also then account for just the need to run a business as well?

SKG [31:19] “We” for me, is cultural. “We” and “us” is cultural because we are doing this together. “Us” is doing everything together. I might have the vision in my head that we're building towards, but I always start with “us” - everyone knowing that it only works if we can have open and clear conversations to surface.

So, if I start with the fact that I'm always going to be direct, I'm always going to be clear. Am I restricting their freedoms and opportunities for ego? Like, is this actually a true business decision that needs to be made or am I making it from a place that is not purpose driven?

I'm also pretty trauma informed in the way that I do a lot of things, because I'm an overthinker. And I think that also has been really helpful when hard decisions need to be made.

So learning to lead individuals from different cultures, different languages, different perspectives, different socioeconomic backgrounds has required me to be deeply reflective and ask the question of am I restricting their freedoms and opportunities for ego?

Like, is this actually a true business decision that needs to be made or am I making it from a place that is not purpose driven?

TN [32:29] Right. You also mentioned that you are a “trauma informed leader.” Can you define what that is for people? Because I think, kind of in the general discussions out there, so many people are talking about “trauma”, but being trauma informed is not the same thing as understanding that people have experienced trauma.

SKG [32:52] Yes, yes! Okay, so when I specifically say that I'm a trauma informed leader, what I mean is that I consider my own trauma when I lead, right? So, I consider how my trauma might be impacted or projected on others. I also consider how their trauma might be projected or impacting a situation as a whole, and how collectively trauma can be caused. And I surface it. And it's uncomfortable as heck for me Brady, but I mean, because the work that I started was in cross-cultural communication, helping people to communicate with each other effectively across cultures, being in the perspective of race, gender, all of those things, right?

And as human beings, we have been literally trained to say the thing that will upset someone. And so as a leader, you have to be okay with surfacing the fact that you might have said something that was a little off - and working through that. And that's how you create “We” and “Us.”

I know that people hate the idea of like, okay, we're a family in a company, but you are a community. And as a leader, you do need your team to push back and to tell you when you're not doing enough, giving enough, supporting enough, so that you can be good, so that you can be a better and great leader.

TN [34:14] And I think that what you said is really interesting. It's “we are a community”. And that's a very different approach to kind of the “pyramid” style of work that I think most companies exist in, which is like the corporate structure, so to speak, where you're kind of a faux community, where there's actually, like, hierarchy and certain people have no autonomy and others have a lot of it. And where if you're working in this idea that you are a “community” and working towards the highest health for one another - that's a different way of thinking and doing than when most people came up during their careers, which I think is really interesting.

SKG [34:57] It takes time. I remember I was working with a client on doing research, specifically evaluation - learning and evaluation research for foundations - and testing whether or not they were hitting their numbers, right - or their goals. And one of the things that this particular organization was trying to do is make itself completely flat.

TN [35:23] Interesting. Okay.

SKG And, really think deeply around equity.

TN: And does that mean like, no managers, everybody kind of runs their own division and work…

SKG: Pretty much.

TN: Okay

SKG [35:34] Right! Now me, as like an equity person - I'm kind of like, this sounds juicy. It's interesting. I think there's a possibility of making this effective and making it work, and I want that to be real and true. However, in today's everyday society, there are some “layers” I'm not going to say steps, but I'm going to say layers that we each need to get in our career.

And sometimes that being, for example, in an earlier position in your career, being in a particular place where you feel like, I want to move out of this I don't have enough information, I don't have enough autonomy, is not a bad thing. Because I think, to your earlier question around what's the difference between my master's in PR and calm and my doctorate in business psychology, it's me understanding that I didn't have all the tools that I needed to even do what I needed to do if I got to that position. And so...

it's okay for us to beginners.

TN: I love that.

SKG [36:55] That's really what it comes down to. Do you know? And I think that the question is, like, can organizational leaders treat beginners as partners in respect of the fact that they're beginning, so shifting their relationships with them to a teaching one, a teaching student, so when the teacher is ready, the student will appear? That saying goes two ways. And - I know today that I need my team members who are not necessarily CEO and leading to do all the things that up here, I no longer think about. I used to think about them. Thank God, I used to think about them because now I know how to teach the people who are coming up behind me how to think about them.

But it's a passage of life. And the reason we can't tell that is because we're so focused on the money, the power, and the ego.

TN [37:57] So knowing all of this, do you see liminality as positive, negative, neutral, or does it depend on the context?

SKG [38:08] Liminality to me is mindset.

TN Explain, please!

SKG [38:13] Like, you're only stuck as long as you keep yourself stuck. You can be in the “in-between” of something - you're not seeing it happen, but, like, can you feel it happen?

Because if you can feel it happening, right, if you can kind of see and appreciate the small steps you're putting in day to day, then it doesn't feel like “stuckness” or just deep in-between, it feels a little bit more like an adventure, a finding of self.

TN [38:46] I love that. So what do you see us moving towards or your predictions for the future in terms of women leadership and society at large? Or, what are your hopes when it comes to the structure of business and what we're moving towards?

SKG [39:04] I have to go back and just make it really clear that the conversation that we've had -

the conversation that we have had around leadership, around women - around… looks so different for women of color and what it looks like moving forward for women and women across the board, including women of color, is completely different.

So I think it's important to just lay that out. And I think I'm called to really just pause and specifically speak black women.

TN: Yep.

SKG [39:48] I am a multicultural Black woman who grew up in New York. I'm a first generation American.

And one of the things that I will say is that as a Black American woman today, it is important for you to understand your inner life, not the life that everyone is telling you should have.

Specifically, what is being shown in the media for us as “Boss Girl” energy, as all of that, because I think that our "Boss Babe" time is starting today in a way that is our new narrative in the media, where I feel like white women had that narrative over the last 10-15 years. And I just really want black women to hear me say that, you don't have to do it the hard way, and you don't have to be in comparison. You don't have to pay attention to the conversations that are happening that says that we're in competition with our male counterparts, because you're not.

Your minding your own d*** business. You're focused on your inner life, as you should be. If you see it for yourself, then it is meant for you, no matter what anyone else says to you. And I say that specifically to Black women, but I say that to all women because it is our turn to lead without fight.

TN: Can you say that one more time?

SKG [41:19] It is our turn to lead without fight. You, “we” are already placed in the positions of power. We just doin too much talking about what they did to us that was wrong. You keep getting your PhD, you keep building that business. You keep teaching your children to break generational curses. You keep focusing on your direction forward. You can - we have the ability to lead without a fight now, but we have to see it. We have to start talking about something completely different.

TN [41:56] So where can our audience find more from you?

SKG [42:02] Yeah, I think the best place to find information for me right now is going to be on Instagram and And you can also find me through the Glass Ladder Group website as well, or It just depends on what you're interested in.  But those are three great sources, and I just ask everyone to stay in contact, stay connected, and tune in for more information around just taking a beat. I'm actually writing a book about pausing, so I'm excited to connect with you all and I hope to stay tuned to stay connected.

TN [43:47] That's so exciting! Thank you so much for this conversation today. It's been lovely talking with you.

SKG [42:56] Thank you so much. I'm super excited. Brady, it's always a pleasure to chat with you, and I'm so excited to continue to see what you and the noodler do.

Soft music plays

TN [43:05] Thank you again (soft music plays). And listeners, you can find the full transcript of this conversation and more from The Noodler online at thenoodlecollective co. Thank you for listening!