Leadership in Action is our ongoing series featuring inspiring leaders who are taking conscious leadership into their workplaces and lives.
Shawn Newell is Vice President of Business Development at Industrial Supply in Salt Lake City, UT. Shawn is also a frequent advisor and collaborator with InclusionPro, a consultancy specializing in diversity and inclusion. He is a member of the Salt Lake City Branch of the NAACP, the Utah Black RoundTable Board, and is a Founder of the Utah Multicultural Civic Council.
Along with collaborator and InclusionPro CEO, Sara Jones, Shawn is facilitating “Let’s Talk Race” Guided Discussions for executive teams to explore race and equality in the workplace. Crafted Leadership recommends this offering for any leadership team who wants to increase their understanding of racism and expand their commitment to inclusion and equality. Check out InclusionPro for more information.
How have you created/facilitated spaces where honest conversations about race are possible?
Yes. I continually participate in spaces where these conversations take place. I contribute to these conversations through lectures, panels, training, and group gatherings.
Which conscious leadership leadership tool or practice is your favorite? Why does it work for you?
Mindfulness is the tool I employ most. Being mindful allows me to exit my sphere of understanding and to receive others’ realities. The resulting blank canvas allows me to better gauge the individual or group I am engaging. In turn, as a leader, I can then be more present and maintain a receptive mindset.
What’s the best investment you’ve made in developing your leadership?
Collaborating with others in this space who have different skill sets than my own. I have found that being open to gathering differing perspectives has allowed me to grow in the development of the content, implementation, and understanding of my personal leadership skills.
What are you still learning as a leader?
I am continuing to learn that as people we can evolve, but we must have the authentic desire to do so and make the difficult conscious work a part of our lives.
What have been your influences in leadership and what/how did they make you a better leader?
My experiences in life have helped me to be a better leader. From my time as a student athlete to my roles in both the public and private sectors, I have gathered a knowledge of how to navigate environments that are not always hospitable.
What type of leadership skills do you find most difficult to train?
It is not only the skills we develop that make us great leaders. It is the traits we need to develop that will become part of our innate interpersonal system that are critical. The development of mindfulness, resilience, and compassion are key to being an influential leader.