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Brenda Harrington: Leading With Inclusion

Episode 79

About Brenda Harrington: Brenda Harrington, PCC is the Founder of Adaptive Leadership Strategies, LLC. As the Executive Coach to global leaders in private, public, nonprofit, government, humanitarian and intergovernmental organizations (IGO’s) she helps clients refine the leadership competencies and professional habits necessary for them to have the greatest possible impact. Brenda has extensive experience working with subject matter experts and individual contributors elevating to roles that require them to a leader of people. A core area of focus for her is the development of cross-cultural awareness and competencies required to work successfully with diverse and multicultural teams. She is the author of ACCESS DENIED: Addressing Workplace Disparities and Discrimination (March, 2022).

Brenda completed coaching certification at Georgetown University and Global Mindset certification at the Thunderbird School of Global Management. She holds a master’s degree from Virginia Tech, Pamplin College of Business and a bachelor’s degree from Adelphi University.


In this episode, Jordan and Brenda Harrington discuss:

  • How insensitivity could affect people around you

  • Cultivating curiosity about history

  • Being aware of systemic racism

  • Dealing with your blind spots

Key Takeaways

  • Some cases of racial insensitivity aren’t malicious by intent, but can still have a negative impact on a person. We need to be conscious about what we say and what we don’t put appropriate weight on when it comes to discussions around history and race.

  • We need to have a thirst for authentic knowledge about our history. We can’t be complacent about things that have happened in the past, as the impact of eras and events of before still reverberate to our modern age.

  • Racism is systemic, pervasive, and ubiquitous. There are many ways that you won’t even know that it’s happening unless it is happening to you. We’ve got to broaden our horizons and know more about our surroundings and develop compassion for other people.

  • In order to bring light to your blind spots, you’ve got to discover what your fears or triggers are. You also have to have a realistic degree of expectations. You need to read the room, you've got to understand the culture of the organization and the environment, and who the power players are.

“People need to be honest with themselves, about what they're dealing with. And it has less to do with them and everything to do with the environment that they're in.” — Brenda Harrington

Check out Brenda’s book, “Access Denied: Addressing Workplace Disparities and Discrimination” by clicking on this link:

Connect with Brenda Harrington:

Jordan Goldrich

Your host, Jordan Goldrich, grew up in a loud New York family and once lost an executive position because of his style. He is co-author of the Amazon Best Seller, Workplace Warrior®: People Skills For The No-Bulls**t Executive, Chief Operations Officer, Master Corporate Executive Coach, and Licensed Clinical Social Worker. His guests are part of his international network of Workplace Warrior® executives, master corporate executive coaches, and thought leaders. Each guest will engage you in conversation about their successes, mistakes, and solutions. You will get strategies for being completely authentic, while you fulfill your commitment to your organization, build positive relationships, and take performance to an even higher level.

Connect with Jordan Goldrich: 

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