National business consultant Tracy Spears keynotes June 22 WIN breakfast
IF YOU GO
What: Western Industrial Nevada (WIN) breakfast meeting
When: 7-9 a.m. Friday, June 22
Where: Atlantis Casino Resort Spa, Reno
Tickets: $20 for WIN members; $35 for non-members
More online: winevada.com
RENO, Nev. — A former shortstop for the U.S. National Softball Team, Tracy Spears always planned to be a coach after she hung up her cleats.
Spears realized, though, she could make a bigger impact off the softball field, coaching in the business world.
Specifically, Spears wanted to help promote diversity and inclusion at all leadership levels.
“As a female Native American lesbian business owner, I have been discriminated against my whole life,” Spears said in a phone interview with the NNBV. “I wanted to give a voice. I was very resistant to do that for many, many years because I didn’t want to lose my job. At some point, I realized, oh my gosh, being a voice — for people who were in the same boat as me or maybe still are — is a great joy for me.”
Since pivoting to coaching business leaders, Spears — harnessing an energetic and interactive approach stemming from her days on the softball diamond — has helped thousands of professionals all over the world improve their leadership skills, communication and understanding of how people and organizations succeed.
“I made the transition to coaching in the business world, and it’s been a fun transition for me,” said Spears, who three years ago founded the Exceptional Leaders Lab, a worldwide community of progressive business leaders. “I’m super passionate about helping people reach their potential in a leadership role.”
Moreover, Spears advocates for diversity in the workplace and why it matters.
Spears will spread that message and more at the next Western Industrial Nevada (WIN) breakfast meeting Friday, June 22, at the Atlantis Casino Resort Spa in Reno.
“It used to be that it was just the right thing to do,” Spears said of having diversity in the workplace. “Now, organizations are seeing that it’s also the more profitable thing to do. When you’re company has more types of people in it, you’re able to connect with a much bigger audience.”
In fact, according to a report by consulting firm McKinsey & Company, organizations are more likely to have financial returns above their respective national industry medians when there’s more diversity in the workplace — 35 percent for ethnically-diverse companies and 15 percent for gender-diverse companies.
“So when people maybe in the past would say, I don’t think (diversity) makes that big of a difference … I think there’s something that they need to look at,” said Spears, adding that businesses have come a long way, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. “The national and international conversation has at least become more inclusive. And I think now is the time for people to make decisions and change the way that they operate and be ready for the future.”
At the upcoming WIN breakfast on June 22, Spears said she would ask the audience what they could do to move forward with their diversity inclusion program to “create a more inclusive work environment.”
In addition, Spears will touch on how to spot micro-aggressions as well as address unconscious biases and how to overcome them.
“People just say things that maybe they have said since they were kids or heard their parents say, and sometimes they are really offensive,” Spears added.
Visit tracyspears.com to learn more about Spears and the Exceptional Leaders Lab.
This weekend camp event is for girls ages 10 to 14 from low-income communities in Northern Nevada and will focus on energy, sustainability, science and technology, engineering and math, as well as leadership development, communication, collaboration and problem solving.