Episode 20 - Be a Better Person, Become a Better Leader feat. Deena Piquion

What a great conversation with Deena Piquion, soccer mom, team manager, community advocate, Chief Marketing Officer, Xerox. The conversation is important as leadership evolution is becoming an obvious requirement in the workplace in order to match up skills with how to navigate change, uncertainty, unpredictability, and the need for meaning in work.

Angela McCourt 0:00
Let's get ready for some serious shift. This is a podcast shifting Inside Out hosted by your quantum shifter Angela McCourt, we are diving into ways to empower and enable a quantum shift. Inspiring topics hacks and guest speakers take us on a journey around authenticity, challenging status quo, personal power and living a purpose filled life.

In this episode, I speak with Dina Lamar pecan, and she shares her journey of taking risks in her career of leadership and how she's found this leadership evolution to be much more impactful, and how her personal life and experiences have really opened up one of the best skills she can bring into her leadership. And you'll hear that in the episode, as well as you know what personal brand means and how important it is, and advocacy and advocacy that I have witnessed her over the years, be that advocate on behalf of her team, out in the community, and for any cause that they need that messenger gift. Dena has been there and she has definitely been an impact to not only business but also community. So I'd love to hear your thoughts on this episode. As you listen. You can find me on LinkedIn at Angie belts McCourt on Instagram at Angie underscore McCourt, or on Twitter at McCourt. Angie. I hope you enjoy this episode. And without further ado, let's hear from Dina.

Dena, welcome to shifting inside out. It is so wonderful to have you on this episode. So to get started, why don't you go ahead and introduce yourself?

Deena Piquion 2:03
Sure. Thanks. Thank you, Angie, I'm so excited to be here and so proud of everything that you've been putting out to your audience. So really honored to be here with you. My name is Dina Mark Qian. I am currently CMO at Xerox but I'm many other things. I'm also a mom, a daughter, a wife, a soccer moments he manager and a community activist and especially somebody who's really passionate about women in technology. Oh,

Angela McCourt 2:33
I love it. Yes. That was a great introduction, by the way, very much encapsulated. Deena. Okay, so just have a few quick round questions for the listeners to get to know you a little bit. So can you give us an idea of what your morning ritual or routine is?

Deena Piquion 2:50
Yes. So I wake up pretty early. anywhere between six and 615. Usually, I have my morning Espresso. That is the first thing I do. I cannot function without my morning Espresso, no sugar, no cream, no nothing to ask that coffee. And then I focus on getting the kids ready for school, right, making sure they have breakfast, making sure that they're, you know, getting a good start to their day. And then once I know they're settled and into their routine, then I can focus on you know, working out getting a quick workout in and then getting ready for my day. So that's usually the order coffee, kids getting them settled and then getting myself settled, usually with some kind of sweat session.

Angela McCourt 3:39
Awesome. I love it. How do you renew your energy?

Deena Piquion 3:43
Yeah, for me, it's vacations, family vacations, family time. And with family. I mean, it can be the family I was born into. It could be the family I married into it could be the family I chose through friends that have become family. But vacations really important to me. It's it's one of the things that I think as we grow in our careers, we always need to make sure that we're actually taking and stopping and pausing to enjoy. Especially beach or water or something of that sort really helps me to just connect and get a little bit more in touch with nature

Angela McCourt 4:22
or Safaris in Africa

Deena Piquion 4:25
or Safaris in Africa. Those are really good too.

Angela McCourt 4:29
That's awesome. What is your guilty pleasure?

Deena Piquion 4:33
I have a few I have a few um I still absolutely enjoy pizza and wine on Fridays. Sometimes I gotta switch up the wine for tequila depending on what kind of week I'm but that's definitely a guilty pleasure. I would say also retail therapy, especially on my phone. I even just scrolling sometimes through stuff is a way to kind of it's a guilty pleasure. And I wish I did less, but it's easy to get distracted. And zone out of it.

Angela McCourt 5:11
There you go. That's awesome. Yeah, I know, it's that if they could just do window shopping online with no cart that would help so many of us. Okay, so, um, I have been just excited, so excited to have you on you, you were part of this plan even long before you knew you were. Because I have had the pleasure of knowing you for I think over 20 years now. And watching you grow in your career and becoming such an amazing, amazing, nurturing, evolved leader. And such a beautiful representation, honestly, of where we need to take our leadership, and also just from a community activist perspective and advocate of colleagues and employees, you know, a beautiful representation of work life balance, and making sure that priorities are set, right. And a wonderful, honestly, a wonderful example of just, you know, building a, an amazing personal brand. And so, you know, I thought one of the things that I had the pleasure of watching and I know many did was in New York, at women at the channel one year, you shared your journey, and I thought it would be great for you to do that today. And then maybe expand on a few of those other topics like personal brand advocacy, and you know that the nurturing leader, because that is definitely something that I would love for you to share how that journey has been for you as well.

Deena Piquion 6:53
Thank you. Thanks, Angie. And I have to say, We have known each other for 20 years or more. And you were actually an example to me when I started, you know, at Tech Data where we both got to know each other because you were this great example, right and pillar within tech data of somebody who was moving up in their career, a woman, a family woman, somebody who, you know, also had other interests in life besides work, right, and made those known to people, but was also just such a badass at work. So thank you for being an example to me, and inspiring me. So I started, you know, not ever thinking I would be in technology, not ever, this was not where I wanted to be, I initially thought I'd be a lawyer, I then deviated a bit and thought I'd go into kind of like international relations and a lot of community, you know, NGO work and advocacy. And I guess that's where the advocacy comes from, right? So, I pivoted quickly because I had student loans to pay back. And I got approached by, you know, private sector opportunities like Tech Data. And I thought, Well, I gotta pay my student loan somehow. So if I start out, you know, already 100% focused on my community interest, it's gonna take me forever to be able to pay back my student loans. So I started at Tech Data in a management training program. And I think we don't do this enough anymore. As companies, I think we've departed from this kind of overall management training program, that gives you an ability to see different aspects of the company, like I think we've gotten so focused on people's particular skill sets and filling particular skills gaps that we have in our teams, that we don't sometimes step back and see the potential in people, if they just get to see a 360 of what makes a p&l work, you know, what makes a balance sheet, you know, look attractive from a, you know, one company to another, what are the levers that are that are, you know, that are actually making that company? Right. And so I have to say, thank you for that program that I got, because it gave me great insights into finance and HR and sales and marketing and operations and a whole slew of areas and what their particular contribution contributions were to making a successful company and running a successful. So I did that, and, you know, settled in operations, which I think you did a tour in operations too. And it was, you know, it was kind of the heart of the company at a plant, right, because we were going through so much transformation, that a lot of those initiatives were being led by tracked by support Dubai operations, right and so, so much of the, you know, margin improvement we were doing in a very tight margin industry, or, you know, the right sizing that we were doing and capacity planning and things like that came out of that group. So, again, that gave me that preparation of kind of seeing the bigger picture of how sometimes some really tough decisions that need to be made, you know, can impact a company and a company's long term success. So started leading a very small team. At first, I think, like maybe three people was my first team, and I was super nervous, I was like, Oh, my gosh, I have to deliver performance reviews and tell these people what they're doing well, and what they're not doing well, and they had been at the company for, you know, so long, and I was new. And so there was that whole learning curve of being able to, you know, step into the shoes of a leader who's able to recognize the great contributions of people, but also give them constructive criticism and feedback on where they needed to improve. And then, from there, grew, you know, and expanded my teams, my responsibility went on to take on Product Marketing, Marketing, eventually sales, and then general management, right. And so, through each of those journeys, of growing in leadership, the interesting thing was my own personal life was also you know, growing, expanding, going through its own challenges, right. So I became a leader for the first time, very close to around the time I got married, right and had to balance you know, having a partner, making sure you have a partner that supports you.

Luckily, and thankfully, I didn't meet my husband quite, you know, kind of later in life and got married later in life, right? Where it was already really important to me to be successful in my career, and to have somebody that understood how important my career was to me. So he did, and he was able to deal with, you know, me traveling and lead to devoting the time I needed to to excel in my career. So that's one thing, you know, along your journeys, I think you'll talk to people all the time. And I think it's one thing that it's a big hit or miss right and, and, and you got to think about it, you got to be intentional about it, you got to have these conversations. If you do want to become a leader, you know, you really got to be intentional about how much that might occupy in terms of your personal life and energy, right, and in trying to be a good one and making sure that your partner supports that. So that's one, you know, lesson, I'd say along my journey that I always try to remind younger people as I'm talking earlier in career talent, right. And it can be any life partner, anybody you have around you, they need to be supportive of what you're doing. And then I, as I started growing, you know, I had kids, and then you have to balance this whole thing of being a mom and being, you know, a leader. And in our industry, in particular, I think there was such a double standards still. Right, in terms of, you know, what was expected of us what we could do and what we could contribute, and still be a good mom, you know, and I say that in air quotes, because people had this kind of like juxtaposition that you couldn't be this great career person and be a good mom, like, it had to mean that you were giving it up. And I think that, you know, that became really important to me. And it became even more important to me when my son got sick, right. And, you know, my son was diagnosed with leukemia, he was to like, first third birthday. It was a really big week at work and, and there were some things that I did that I would redo if I had to, you know, if I were given the redo chance, and I swore to myself not to ever make those mistakes, again, you know, prioritizing the meeting over like, a gut feeling about how or think or you know, your family, right. So I think that was another big lesson for me along the way. And it helped me to be a better leader along the way, first of all, because my team stepped up for me in a way that was just so inspiring, right? I mean, they were they were so supportive and that To me made all the difference, but then it also made me come back. As such, I'm much more empathetic leader, right, everybody has their own challenges. We all have varying degrees of wanting to share wanting to be private about what's going on in our lives. And, and I think that we're at a point where, you know, the onus is on the leader to demonstrate the empathy, and to put themselves in the shoes of the people that they lead, right. And that comes with the territory, it comes with, you know, being a leader, and that's what's expected of you. And in terms of being the best leader that you can be. So I think that was, you know, another really big lesson in my life that taught me, again, how to take what was going on in my life, find a way to balance and then find a way to take that into how I lead people and how I, you know, delicately balance all that I know, they have going on as well at different times and be able to support them. Um, and as you know, as I grew in my career, and those opportunities came up, where even I was interviewed by people I knew, right, and that knew my work ethic, knew my work output, knew everything, they still questioned along the way, right? Either my ability, or my determination, or my dedication, or whether I'd be able to do things to be able to get the job done. Well, I think that this was an area that really, it was a pet peeve of mine, to be honest, you know,

what women had to go through in our industry in order to kind of jump through the same hoops and get the same positions. And even if it didn't come from a malicious place, you know, I don't, I don't actually think it came from a malicious place. For most people, it was just kind of having conditioning, and not stepping out of yourself and say, you know, thinking before you speaking, think, thinking before you ask, um, but I think what what happened is, then I said, Okay, well, now I'm in a position where first of all, I could tell them that what they're saying is inappropriate or challenge. Challenge, you know, why they were asking me that, and if they would have asked somebody else that, but also teach those around me. And those are my team, you know, what was considered acceptable and unacceptable behavior, either when recruiting or in the unfortunate times that we had to go through? Downsizing? Right, what, what, what was actually acceptable to be considered and what was, and I think that that's a responsibility that we also have as leaders, especially those of us that consider, you know, consider ourselves diversity and inclusion advocates, we have that responsibility to stand up. And, and to make a difference with those around us. Um, the transformations we went through at Tech Data, I mean, you know, we went through so many transformation, culture integrations and, you know, transformations of, of, you know, actual real purpose of being as a company, right shifting, and these were things that taught me so much. And I think that the experiences were so rich, and they allow me the opportunity along my personal journey, to also decide how much I wanted to be able to share with other people. Right. And so, I, you know, I decided that I hadn't throughout all these great experiences, I had great process, I had some not so great bosses, but I had some great bosses. But they were all men. And I could never really get down and talk to them in this way. Have a conversation like this and, like I. So what I decided to do was develop a platform where I could share some of those experiences with people, right. They could read personal blogs from me, they could reach out to me with questions. They could read some of the same books that I had read, they could see an example of, you know, work life balance and what that look like, because I just never had anybody to go to

in that way. And so That, for me was, was a great space, having a company that actually supported me, you know, in doing that, and allowing me my space to do that. And so, you know, I ended up developing a personal brand, while I was at a company that ultimately probably got me noticed by another company who ended up recruiting away, right. But those are the chances you take in life, right, and the more you put yourself out there, the more opportunities you have like that, but that wasn't actually even why I had created it, it was really to, to be able to serve as an advocate, and as an example, for other women in our industry. And even the most basic and simplistic ways and showing images of, you know, other things that I did, and, you know, yoga or, or exercising, or vacationing, my friends, my girlfriends who are an absolute, big part of me getting through my personal journey. So, you know, that, to me, is so important. So it's not only important to define who are you at work, right? And what do you want your brand at work to be? Because you got to be known for something, right? When people think of you for an opportunity for a project for you know, anything, you want a few things to come to mind, in terms of what you're known for. Right. And so I had that at work, right, you know, I was known for being a relatable leader, somebody people would, you know, relate to, and follow and engage with, but also somebody who, you know, got their work done, right. If I, if I made a promise on the timeline on the deadline, I met it, you know, if I had a task at hand, we attacked it, we got it done, right. But then I started to think, well, how does that relate to what I want to leave? Overall, as a, you know, as a brand, and as a legacy, not only want to be known as a professional, it's the intersection of everything that I do, that makes me me, right, and, and if people didn't know about me, as a mom and me as a wife, and you know, me, as somebody who raises funds for charities that are dear to my heart, then it wouldn't see all of me. Right? Yeah. And I think that that's something that today, we need to make sure as leaders that we're really paying attention to, because when you look at the next generation of talent that's coming in, they want a purpose, they want a connection they want, you know, they want to be understood, and they want to assure ensure that they align with the same values that you have. Yes. So, um, you know, having that platform really allowed me to think and kind of boiled down to, you know, what do I want to be known for and, and how can I help others guide through their own journeys. So, ultimately, about two years ago, I left Tech Data, join Xerox, and lead their last town team. And then who was tapped recently a few months ago to participate in this cmo you know, interview opportunity, our CMO had left and there was an opportunity and they knew I had some marketing background and in the past, but more than that, they knew I had a business which I think they thought at this point in time was what was needed more than a true marketing background. And I have to say like many other times in my career, you know the little voice the little you know, the little oh my gosh, can you really do this? Do you really want to do this and started to pop and grab a tour? Yeah.

Exactly. started to creep into my head and and it was actually my husband who's done it you know, quite a few times that reminded me like, you've got this you can do this, like go and give it your all in the process and see what happens. And so it you know, that's why I go back to saying that, having that partner or anyone, a friend, a sister, a brother, a life partner, but somebody that can help you get that voice out of your head and and calm that voice and make sure that you continue to push forward in your journey rather than standstill is such a blessing, right? And we all have to have those people in our lives that that we want to We need that we can go bounce our ideas off of. So I developed my brand, it's I am deena.com, if anybody wants to check it out, and it was, you know, I decided to go with I am Dina because literally in the most authentic of ways, it is just who I am. And you know, if you can learn from me, if you can take any nuggets, then great. And if we can connect and engage and learn from each other, then even better. And it's, it's done wonders for me speaking to people in a different way, right? People have come up to me, from our industry, and they've said, Oh, my daughter wants to do this. But she's already afraid and thinking about the family, she's gonna have like 10 years or 15 years from now that she doesn't have now. But how it's going to how it's going to stop her or get in her way of what she wants to do. And I'm like, no, no, tell her to call me. So I think that, you know, my journey, I would say, has been amazing, it's nowhere near being done, I have a lot more of I still want to get done in life, right? I do want to have a board seat one day, I'd like to be you know, just because that's another area where this, you know, there's this opportunity to break biases and break ceilings. And so it's one of those that's coveted to me, just because we still see so few, right and, and so I think that's something I aspire to, I mean, I'm on boards, but not a public paid board position, right. And so I think that's where, where it comes in, in terms of really breaking the ceiling. So that's something that I you know, I have as a goal for myself. And I continue to surround myself with people that can help remind me how to be a better person, because ultimately, if you're trying to be a better person, you will be a better leader. Right? We're all likely, if you're striving to be the best version of yourself as a person, then you will be a better leader and it will resonate through. And I've had the examples of people that I didn't want to be, right. Yep. And I have to remember those from time to time. Especially if you know, it's a tough situation, it's, you know, a tough task at hand, you got to remind yourself, you do not want to be that person, one you need to stop, check in with your people, see how they're doing, see what they need, and make sure that you advocate for them at the table, where they're not invited to the conversation, right? You are their representative at that table. Yes. And it doesn't mean that I haven't had to make those tough decisions that we've all had to make at some point in our career, but you do it in a respectful manner, right, thinking about the employee experience at hand first, because they're people just just like you and just like the rest of your family. So I think that, you know, a partner, empathy, and advocacy are kind of the three themes that have been woven into my journey that have helped me to stay grounded while still, you know, being able to climb the ladder as peoples, right?

Angela McCourt 28:45
Yeah, you know, I have witnessed you, I can't even count on my hands, because I think it's been way more than that many, many, many times as the advocate, as the messenger on behalf of your team, at the table with senior leadership, sharing, how we should recommendations on how we should handle something on making sure there was truly a human connection back to people, making sure that the message of concern was shared. And it's not always the popular one. And it's not always the easy one. What have been some of your, you know, how you got up the courage to do that, how you prepare to share that message? What are some of the ways that you have come to the table when it wasn't popular? To share? No, this is how we need to handle this. What are some of the things that you've done in the past to to do that, get yourself prepared? And then also, you know, get over the fear of you know, I'm putting myself out there on behalf, you know, of the this group and you know, I don't know how this is going to be received.

Deena Piquion 29:54
Yeah, this is a great question. And I remember I remember being served shy in my, like, first few years at Tech Data, right, and just being fearful of how people would react if I actually gave my true opinion, right, and so I had to start letting it out like, easily, little by little, and especially at the time, I had a boss who didn't really want to hear people's opinions very much, especially when they differed from from him. Right. And, and I think eventually, what happened is that, you know, I just started to, especially with all the life experiences that I had, number one, I said, this is, you know, even if I lost my job for speaking my mind, you would not be the worst thing that could happen, right? And, and, you know, there, I would find my way. And even if I had to change my lifestyle for while I find my way, and I'd find something else to do to be gainfully employed, right, and, and so that removed a lot of the fear, right is saying things could be worse, even if I lost my job, things could be worse, I could lose my health, I could lose someone close to me, I could lose, you know, other things that would be much worse than my job. So that helped to just kind of break down the the barrier of the fear. And then it just became, okay, either they're going to get to know me, and get to know that, you know, when I feel strongly about something, I'm going to say it regardless of whether it's the popular opinion or not. And they appreciate it, or they don't. And, and you know, you got to test it out sometimes, right. And it doesn't have to be, you know, you don't have to turn the faucet fully on. And you got to know your audience. And but I think that that's where that's where it, it really helped me to just remember those things free, remember, you'll be fine, you know, you'll still have your house, you'll still have a lot of other things to focus on, even if you have to be looking for another job.

Angela McCourt 32:03
Yeah. So leadership. And you've been in leadership for a very long time, even before you had a title of a leader, you were a leader. In my opinion, the evolution of the leader and who the leader needs to be today is very different than our model of the world and how we, you know, kind of evolved through leadership roles for decades. And in today's environment, where people needing connection, people needing to be connected to that value, to really feel their engagement to the company to what they're doing to their contribution to change, to being able to be resilient through all of the change that many companies are going through now, to really feel like they have meaning in their work, you know, the leader role has changed, because the old way does not accommodate leading people and teams through this. But you mentioned empathy. And I feel that is one of the absolute keys to this leadership evolution that needs to happen. And you brought it in from a personal experience. But can you share with us like, what are your thoughts on how that's evolved in your leadership roles? And or what other kind of recommendations could you give others on? Just authentic empathy? Like, how to do that? What does that mean, give examples, maybe of a couple of situations, I think that would be really great for our listeners.

Deena Piquion 33:45
Sure. So I think, you know, you're so spot on, like the the role of a leader and the attributes of a leader today, like what we need today to engage people in our workforce is so different than what we were used to in the past. Right. And I've seen it, I've seen the leaders that, you know, think that with every promotion or expanded role that that makes them a little bit better than other people. And that shines through and what they do and how they lead, right. And I think, you know, there, they'll be remiss at one point because they they will lose the engagement of their teams, right? Because that's just not the way to get people motivated to work alongside you. And, and I've seen people think that they can, you know, the rules don't apply with them. They're, you know, the rule is different for them because they're the boss and they can do different things and I've just, I've never been somebody who found that okay. I just don't think it's the model of you know, what, what the example of what We want to give to our teams. And so for me, it's always been like, Wait, how would I feel? Or how did I feel when I saw that? Right? Because I've seen it many times. And I know how bad it made me feel, to watch somebody, you know, break the rules that we were all supposed to follow, but they weren't supposed to follow them. Because they were, they were the leader of the boss. So I took how it made me feel, as an employee as a team member. And I said, I don't ever want people to feel that way about what I'm, what I'm doing with them, and how I'm modeling behavior with the team, right? They need to feel that we're in this together, that we work together, right? And sure, yes, I have, I have a different title, perhaps, and I have to make some decisions. Sometimes, you know, I have to be the referee, and be the tiebreaker and make some decisions. But it doesn't mean that I'm any better or any worse than anyone else. Right. And I think that that's what's so important about empathy is being able to put yourself in people's shoes. And so I always try to remember what not only my personal experiences and how that's made me a more empathetic person, but also my my professional experiences. And what I've, you know, what I've learned, really made me feel achy, from from from certain leaders and that I didn't want to model.

Angela McCourt 36:36
Yeah, so tough decision time, leaving a company you had been with for over 20 years. And, you know, maybe not even at a time when you were thinking of leaving, what how does that work? And, you know, what did you consider and and how did you say, Okay, I'm gonna do it.

Deena Piquion 36:59
Yeah, it was, he was really tough. It was a tough one to, to come to terms with, right, because literally, the people there were like my family, like I had, you know, I have a work family. And I have a lot of people from that work family that I still keep in touch with and that are my friends. But I think there was also this kind of realization on my part that I had gotten pigeonholed into a certain segment of the business there right after having done it for so long, that it was hard for people to see me as ready to do something else or be the first choice to do something else. Right. And so I made a conscious decision to move into an this kind of the same segment, same geography, but different company, and kind of be able to start again, right, in terms of how I positioned myself and, you know, financially, it helped, I did negotiate well, from a financial perspective, so that it was attractive to me. And I think that that's important to you. But I think it was also pushing myself to get out of my comfort zone. Because I can see myself being comfortable and continuing. I wasn't unhappy. You know, I was just in a comfort zone. And I wanted to prove to myself that I could also get out of that comfort zone and push my limits of it and push my boundaries.

Angela McCourt 38:37
And you unleashed yourself in less than two years. I mean, incredible, which I was not surprised by. I think you had two promotions and like a year and a half. Xerox right. I was not surprised by that at all. By the way. I was like, yeah, she's finally being appreciated for the full spectrum of your talents.

Deena Piquion 38:59
And I think that yeah, and that's where, you know, sometimes it's tough when you are in one company for a long time, and especially when you grow up in that company, yeah. Right. To be fully appreciated for your potential versus when you're brought in as a professional with experience under your belt and can kind of start fresh again, in terms of how you're perceived in in the new culture. Right. And by the new leadership.

Angela McCourt 39:29
Yeah. That's amazing. I have one last question I want to ask you and and I think this is important, and I'm probably going to start doing some work around this. So I would love to get your thoughts on this is when you're in a career, but you don't want to leave, but you are feeling just stagnant. You're feeling like you're not being seen, especially where there's so many, you know, positions now that are very remote And as leaders, we still haven't quite gotten our hands on how to make sure we still make our team feel connected and visible. How do you refresh and reboot? your motivation, your inspiration, your creativity around your job? Like, what are some thoughts that you have on that? I know you do.

Deena Piquion 40:20
Yeah. So I'm reading I love to read. And I love to read about people who inspire me like, the last book that I read about someone that I've always admired was Indra Nooyi. My life footfall, right. And I remember during, you know, during all these years, that I was managing little kids and work and balancing and hurt so many of her funny quotes from interviews, like, you know, really got me through and made me rethink things, little like tidbits that she would have been there. So I'm reading helps me a lot. And for her, it's also it was also about incorporating your purpose into a company, right? When she became CEO, she really be it was about leading with a purpose and performance with a purpose, right. And so I think that if you step back, and you find a way to renew that energy around your purpose, then you can start to see opportunities of how to bring that purpose to life in your current job, right. Yes. Yeah. And, and I think that that is, you know, it's a challenge for all of us. And we all get, we're all getting, you know, virtual meeting fatigue now, right. And we got to find ways to re energize ourselves and, and try some new things in terms of, you know, bringing what matters to you into what you're giving at work and what are delivering at work.

Angela McCourt 41:59
Yeah, I think a lot of people are on a finding meaning and purpose path. But I think they're thinking it has to be outside of where they are today. And, you know, I've, I've been in those ruts before, where I was just like, Okay, I'm not feeling inspired anymore, I need a reboot, and I would figure out ways to do that I would take on new projects or special projects, I would work with my team in a different way. You know, there were always little ways I was able to do that. But I feel like that calling people are like, you know, grabbing on to now they're like, I have a purpose I am, I'm supposed to do something more meaningful, that they're disconnecting then from their current wherever they are. And there could be a lot of other reasons why it couldn't, it could have to do with company culture, it could have to do with their own leaders, it could have to do with just lack of alignment and values, or, or the Alliance, that their values have shifted and change and no longer aligned to where they are now that yeah, there probably is opportunity to go find something else. But I think your point about kind of rediscovering you know, here's my purpose, and how do I how do I work that into what I'm responsible for what I'm doing? How can I bring it in in a creative way or in an expanded way from my current role, and that re energizes, re inspires and can kind of get people a little motivated again, I think, in their current place, not having to leave and go find something else.

Deena Piquion 43:28
I agree, because, you know, sometimes the grass isn't always greener, by the way. And, and so I think there is a lot of opportunity for us to find ways to re energize ourselves in our current positions, and especially now with companies, there are so many opportunities for you to align with, like sustainability initiatives, or diversity inclusion initiatives or corporate social responsibility. So if those aligned with your passions and your purpose, you know, there's a lot of ways that you can weave that into what you do with your team even in your work.

Angela McCourt 44:07
Yeah, yeah, definitely. Okay, do you have one rapper, like billboard, quote from Xena Lamarck, mckown that you would like to share?

Deena Piquion 44:22
Don't shy away from being you lean into yourself, right. And and you're allowed to have that change and evolve over time?

Angela McCourt 44:34
Yes. Yes. That was perfect. Love it. Thank you. All right.

Deena Piquion 44:40
Thank you for that.

Angela McCourt 44:43
Yeah. Do you have any call outs that you'd like to make, whether it's a company a book, or organization, nonprofit products, anything that you'd like to share?

Deena Piquion 44:53
Sure. So first of all, my website has a lot of books so I'm not gonna I'm not gonna call so on A lot of my book recommendations are on my website. So it's imdb.com www.imdb.com. And then in terms of organizations, there are two that I work with so much, just because I feel so personally connected to them Nicholas Children's Health Foundation. And so that's where my son was treated. It was Miami Children's Hospital at the time, it's now renamed after a very nice gift from the NIC cross family. But they have a foundation and I've seen the work that they do. And I've been, you know, active in the work that they do, and it's really great. And they're not only helped families get access to treatments that they wouldn't have otherwise. But they also help the whole family experienced during difficult, you know, treatment times. So that's one and then mystic Forest Foundation. I know that founder really well. She was not as less as I was, and she lost her son to a battle in cancer and dedicated for life. The crazy thing is her her husband's, a neurosurgeon and her son had, you know, a cancerous brain tumor that was inoperable and untreatable. But she, you know, she created this foundation. And her mission is really to increase the amount of research cancer research that's done on pediatric cancer because unfortunately, it only gets like three to 5% of the research funding out. So that's made her mission. And I absolutely encourage people, she also does a lot around her community, she created heroes Hangout, which is for kids going through treatment, it's completely sterile environment with Tony's for them to come and disconnect and engage with each other and hang out while they're on treatment. Hmm,

Angela McCourt 46:56
that's so wonderful. And I remember you've been working with her for a long time, because I remember we we've actually had them at a Cisco ignite event.

Deena Piquion 47:06
Yes. Correct that in Miami. Yeah.

Angela McCourt 47:09
I remember that. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, that's wonderful. Well, thank you. And your son today, Matteo is how

Deena Piquion 47:17
old 14? He's taller than me, us like I'm handsome and smart, and just so kind and such a great kid. And he's one of those kids that you get, you know, emails, unsolicited emails from teachers about like that. He's just such a great kid. And he really is he's a blessing in so many ways.

Angela McCourt 47:38
Yeah. He is meant to do some big things in this world. Yeah. That's awesome. Thank you so much Dina. It was such a pleasure to have you on.

Deena Piquion 47:49
Thank you, Angie.

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