Loving Fiercely, Living Fearlessly and Learning Forgiveness with Toni Townes-Whitley, E1
Hylke Faber speaks with Toni Townes-Whitley, NASDAQ Board Director and former President of Microsoft US Regulated Industries, about how to lead from a place that is deeply connected to our core. Toni shares insights about how foundational forgiveness is in soulful leadership and that it includes assuming positive intent, taking deep breaths and looking at people and situations with peripheral vision beyond the issue at hand.
Also, how is a ‘round no’ a powerful way to serve another person? How can we practice forgiveness by explicitly making space for ‘ugly conversations’? How can we use conflict to become even more connected with each other? Learn more about being and becoming a rooted & unwavering leader from this deep dialogue about connectedness.
Learn how foundational forgiveness is to being a connected leader.
Toni Townes-Whitley is a global technology leader who currently serves as an Independent Director/Trustee on eight Boards: Nasdaq, PNC Financial Services, Empowerment Inclusion Capital, United Way Worldwide, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, Partnership for Public Service, and the Princeton Faith & Work Initiative.
As former president of US Regulated Industries at Microsoft, Toni led the US sales strategy for driving digital transformation across customers and partners within the public sector and commercial regulated industries. With responsibility for the 5200+ sales organization and ~$16B P&L, she was one of the leading women at Microsoft, and in the technology industry, with a track record for accelerating and sustaining profitable business and building high-performance teams.
Her organization was responsible for executing on Microsoft’s industry strategy and go-to-market for both public sector and regulated industries in the United States, including Education, Financial Services, Government, and Healthcare. Prior to her U.S. role Toni led Microsoft’s global industry strategy for manufacturing, retail, media, and all regulated industries. In addition to leading a sales organization, she helped steer the company’s work to address systemic racial injustice – with efforts targeted both internally at representation and inclusion; as well as externally at leveraging technology to counter prevailing societal challenges. She has developed expertise and speaks publicly about “Civic Technology,” applying tech innovation for social impact.
Toni helped to launch new initiatives at Microsoft, building the ethics framework for Artificial Intelligence and emerging technologies, establishing the carbon-negative initiative, sponsoring Blacks & Africans at Microsoft (BAM), partnering with the Athena Alliance, an organization that prepares tech women for corporate board roles, and working with Gender Fair, an organization which rates companies on their gender-equity practices, policies, advertising and philanthropy.
Prior to joining Microsoft, Toni was president of CGI Federal, where she was responsible for a portfolio of more than $1 billion, leading 6,600 employees to deliver greater value to US Government civilian, defense, and intelligence sectors. Previously, Toni held several management roles at Unisys Corporation leading global and commercial-sector system integration and the Federal Civilian group, where she achieved 500 percent revenue growth and doubled profitability.
In addition to her board service, Toni has been a long-time advisor to and fundraiser for the Women’s Center of Northern Virginia, and a past president and Board Chair of Women in Technology. She is the recipient of numerous awards that include: Fortune’s Most Powerful Women: Ones to Watch, Women in Technology Leadership, Black Enterprise Top Executive, FedScoop Top50 for Industry Leadership, the 2020 IES Lifetime Achievement Award, and NVTC Tech 100 Executive. In 2020, she was awarded the prestigious Federal 100 Industry Eagle Award.
Toni continues to support the US Peace Corps, for which she volunteered for three years as a village teacher in Gabon (Central Africa). She earned her bachelor’s degree in Public Policy & Economics from Princeton University and has received certifications from Wharton Executive Education, New York University (NYU), and the Performance Management Institute. She and her husband John H. Whitley reside in Mclean, VA. They have five children, eight grandchildren and counting…
Connect with Toni on LinkedIn.
About Rooted & Unwavering
Peace, Compassion, Wisdom, Purposefulness, Creativity and Strength come online in us when we deeply connect with the true, unwavering greatness that lives within ourselves and others.
In this podcast and radio show, Hylke Faber, seasoned transformational coach and author of the award-winning Taming Your Crocodiles series, engages in deep inquiry with leaders from all walks of life about courageously connecting with our true selves, others and the world at large.
How do we stay connected to our true selves and our greatness, especially when we are challenged? How do we rest in the heart, also when our mind keeps us restless? What becomes possible when we truly stay committed to our own and others’ best selves, also when we don’t feel it? How do we practice staying connected to our true selves, in the midst of our busy lives?
Join us and leave inspired to act on your heart’s greatness and that of the people around you.
About Our Host
For as long as he can remember Hylke Faber has been curious about what this life is about. His ongoing inquiry has become his work: helping people individually and collectively to discover what is possible in life and express that authentically and fearlessly.
Hylke started his work life with Towers Perrin as consultant and then as Partner with Strategic Decisions Group, serving a wide range of industries, including financial services, manufacturing, consumer electronics and life sciences companies. A major shift occurred during this critical phase of his life. He had become the typical, hard-charging, 16-hours-a-day strategy consultant, and was burning out at a rapid clip.
When he discovered meditation, everything changed. He was so taken by his new discoveries that he chose to bring to business what he was learning: that there is a way we can have it all – we can be fulfilled, do work we love, and create extraordinary results with others. He thinks of it as creating a sense of ease in business.
He learned how to coach and facilitate human transformation completing his coaching certification with Newfield Network and by working at Axialent, the culture and leadership company. After a few years, he founded Co-Creation Partners together with other leaders in the field of transformation and personal development. Then he formed Constancee to help people grow by creating the conditions where deep personal, interpersonal and organizational shifts happen routinely.
He leads Growth Leaders Network, the culture and team development consultancy. He has also taught coaching at Columbia Business School Executive Education and has contributed to Harvard Business Review. He is currently teaching a course on Climate Conscious Leadership at Arizona State University. His award-winning book, Taming Your Crocodiles: Unlearn Fear & Become a True Leader, was published by Dover in 2018.
His next book, Taming Your Crocodiles Practices for Leadership Depth, came out in 2020. Besides helping others grow, which he loves, he is a trained opera singer, enjoys hiking and writing, is an avid reader, in particular of biographies, and is always in the process of growing himself. He integrates all of what he learns in his work with executives.
Connect with Hylke on LinkedIn.
About Our Sponsor
Realizing Your Greatness
We are a team of experienced facilitators and coaches dedicated to helping individuals, teams and organizations thrive by helping them recognize their innate greatness and putting it to work.
- Executive Coaching: we work with clients individually to help them connect to their calling and use every challenge as an opportunity to help them grow more into what makes them great.
- Team Performance: we help teams evolve to their next level of excellence, connectedness and impact by working on the root drivers of team performance.
- Culture Development: we help organizations to evolve their culture by creating clarity about where they aspire to go, and by building role models, coaches and systems that catalyze people being energized to work the new way.
- Key Notes: we deliver powerful speeches at conferences and other events that help audiences become energized, more connected to themselves and each other, more open to discovery and ready to commit to the next stage of learning in their career and life journeys.
Growth Leaders Network (GLN) serves Fortune 500 companies, smaller organizations and non-profits globally.
GLN clients report that we catalyze significant business transformational impact and profound shifts in people, team and organizations at the root cause level.
Learn more about the Growth Leaders network here.