October Message From DeEtta

At the end of this week, I celebrate my 50th birthday...It's hard to believe. With this milestone birthday I've been doing all of the stereotypical things people do: doubled-down on my healthy food and exercise routines, made commitments about downsizing and de-prioritizing things that aren't a reflection of my most deeply held values, planned celebratory time with my closest friends and family. 
Perhaps more than anything, though, I've been thinking about my life's work. I've always been obsessed with fairness and inclusion. As a college student, I led and participated in countless marches and demonstrations. In my early 20's, I was appointed as Director of Human Rights, placing me in a visible and active leadership role in my community. I spent my early career traveling the world delivering speeches and workshops, always nervous about failing but investing in so much preparation that failure was never an option. 
In my mid-30's, I ventured out and launched DeEtta Jones and Associates. I knew that my philosophy wasn't yet welcome in existing contexts—that effective leadership, managerial excellence, and equity, diversity and inclusion are all part of an interconnected system and efforts toward transformation are most impactful when a holistic approach is taken. Further, I knew that there needed to be space for people like me; people who don't look like the "leadership gurus" who had been so popularized, have Ivy League pedigrees or want to climb traditional corporate ladders for 20 years before being recognized for our brilliance. 
The world has changed so much since I launched DJA in 2005. The philosophy that was so "outside of the box" then is now what all leaders know—that an inclusive, systematic and holistic approach is the only way to have a meaningful impact, particularly given the fast-paced and intense changes we are experiencing. 
For DJA, this also means that we are as busy as ever. We are working with clients to create EDI strategy and activation, offering customized coaching to equip executives as champions of EDI efforts, and—coming in December—launching a new product based on direct and overwhelming requests from our clients. (I can't wait to tell you more about it. It's amazing!) 
As you continue through our newsletter, I encourage you to reflect on some of the milestones of your own life and career. What have been the defining moments? Of what are you most proud? What is the current focus of your intention and attention? What do you need to achieve the goals that you have for yourself, your team, your organization? Let us know how we can support you. 
Also remember, you don't have to be celebrating a milestone birthday to end a chapter or to celebrate a new beginning. 

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