Interviews with purpose-driven leaders who are making a meaningful impact in their communities, industries, and around the world.
TELL US, WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU DO?
My name is Jayzen Patria and I am the chief curator of JP Speakers and Lead With Your Brand!™. I work primarily with Fortune 500 companies in entertainment, tech, media, and more to drive workforce engagement by ensuring that their employees can find their true brand voice and bring their best authentic selves to work every single day.
HOW DID YOU GET HERE?
Prior to owning my own firm, I worked for NBCUniversal for 25 years. I had the pleasure and honor to run executive development and build NBCUniversal Talent Lab, their corporate university specifically focused on developing leaders in entertainment, media, and tech. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege to coach, train, and develop more than 10,000 leaders in the entertainment, media, and tech industry to be their best authentic selves and lead their industry forward.
WHAT DO YOU STAND FOR? WHY IS THIS WORK IMPORTANT TO YOU?
I believe that every person has an amazing story to tell. If we have inclusive workplace environments everyone can bring their best selves forward which leads to amazing innovation and delivering really cool products and services that help make people successful.
WHAT IMPACT ARE YOU MAKING?
I’m helping companies think through their inclusion and diversity strategies and how they relate to employee engagement. Some of the things I’ve been really excited about doing, especially over the past couple of years, are helping companies transform their employee resource groups from operating like clubs to being associations made up of diverse employees that are actually driving business results. We’re working to use employee resource groups as a key way to ensure that diverse employees are able to be their best selves and learn how to align themselves with what’s most important at the company and really understand the unwritten rules and the secret sauce of being successful in a big corporation.
Additionally, when I speak about leading with your personal and professional brands, I’m having an impact in helping people find their next career breakthrough in a way that is at the intersection of where they are amazingly talented, where they are super passionate, and where their companies or their industries actually have needs.
WHAT (OR WHO) INSPIRES YOU TO DO THIS WORK?
I have so many inspirations in my life. I grew up with an amazing working mother who taught in Los Angeles Unified School Districts for more than 30 years. Even as a kid, I was always inspired by the power that people can have in terms of inspiring others through teaching and amazing facilitated conversations. In addition to her work, I appreciate the way my mom led her family. I grew up in a multiracial family in the 70s – my mom is white and my dad is Hispanic and Asian Pacific Islander -and we were having the kind of conversations about race that really weren’t happening back then.
Another person who was really influential and inspiring for me was another amazing woman named Mika Brzezinski, the co-host of Morning Joe on NBC. Ten years ago, she wrote an amazing book called Know Your Value, where she shared her experiences being a journalist, who happens to be a woman, and how she faced inequity in assignments as well as pay in the news field. A few years ago, she invited me to speak on leading with your brand, primarily to an audience of women in media. The theme of the event was about knowing your value and I had an epiphany where I realized if I can inspire people on this stage, how many more people could I be inspiring with this message – leading with your brand to your next career breakthrough? Mika looked straight at me and said, “You know you’re the only person on this stage who’s not on TV, right? The audience loves you – you’re one of the highest-rated portions of this event.” It made me really stop and think about my value and that maybe I wasn’t thinking about the level of impact I could have if I took the step toward my own next career breakthrough. That empowered me to think through how I could launch my own consulting firm as a second career after having worked in corporate America for a quarter of a century.
WHAT’S YOUR VISION, YOUR BIG DREAM FOR THE IMPACT YOU WANT TO MAKE?
My big dream is to touch as many people as possible and show them how they can use all of these great business models for themselves and their careers. There are so many business models out there that work for business, but what we don’t realize is that we can use those same models for ourselves. As someone who has coached, developed, and helped facilitate strategy for so many business leaders over the course of many years, I came to the realization that when we talk about personal branding in the workplace, so many times we’re talking about HR mumbo jumbo and it’s competency-based language in things that we might see on a resume or job description. But after spending so much time with great CMOs who helped their business teams transform their business strategy through branding, I explored how we can take that same brand marketers toolkit and apply it to ourselves. I’m inspired for people to use a brand marketers toolkit to build their own professional brands. I’m inspired for people to take business strategy and apply that to their own career strategy so that they can achieve a breakthrough that gets them to the next level of satisfaction and engagement.
WHAT CHALLENGES ARE YOU FACING?
For me, the greatest challenge is time. I entered COVID-19 thinking that I was going to have a lot of breathing room, only to find, as I’m sure everyone else is, that our need for engagement and inclusivity, and not only having a diverse workforce but businesses that serve the diverse communities that are the fabric of America and a global marketplace, are even more amplified in a time of crisis. I’m always searching for a 26th or 27th hour in the day to get stuff done and support these efforts.
I am also working to make sure I constantly have big, hairy, audacious goals and that I’m not settling for creating a plan just because I know that I can achieve it. I actually need to set up a plan knowing that I might not be able to achieve it, but I need to try and get there. I’ve had the honor of meeting with so many Olympians and interviewing so many athletes as part of executive development over the years. When I interviewed Nia Ali, who was on our track and field team for the U.S. in the Brazil Summer Games, she told me that every time she preps for a race and she says to herself, “I just need to get on the podium,” that is when she misses the podium. So she trained herself to envision that she’s standing on the top of the podium with the gold medal. She doesn’t always get the gold medal, but when she envisions getting the gold medal, she’s more likely to get on the podium than when she isn’t specific about the outcome she wants.
As I think about how to apply that for myself, the bottom line is that we’re the boss of our own careers – we’re only accountable to ourselves. So why do we shortchange ourselves by not challenging ourselves with some really meaty goals? I don’t think those goals necessarily need to be about moving up in an organization, they could be about finding more passionate work, they could be about tailoring your job to better meet your passions, they could be about balancing all of the things outside of work that are important to you to ensure that your work is actually funding the things that you love and do outside of work.
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WANT PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT THE WORK YOU’RE DOING?
The most important thing I want people to know about the work that I’m doing is that we all have the power to be our best selves. The real question is are we getting up every morning and making consciously competent, strategic choices to get to where we want to go?
DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE QUOTE OR WORDS OF INSPIRATION TO SHARE?
It changes over time but right now I am really inspired by a quote by Hellen Keller that says, “A bend in the road is never fatal unless you never turn.” It’s a quote that’s over 100 years old, but it feels like a perfect quote for what is happening in the world today. No matter what we’ve been doing in our career and life and if we’ve been on autopilot, we have a unique one-time moment in our lives where the entire world is disrupted. As human beings, it can be really easy to just bury our heads in the sand and say “I’m not leaving my house, I’m just going to escape and do whatever I need to do at work to get through this.” But the world is going to permanently be different at the end of COVID, at the end of work from home, and at the end of our reckoning with racial inequity and injustice. Now is a time that if we’re on autopilot, we’re going to drive off the road. We need to be holding the steering wheel and making choices to ensure that we’re all going to be okay. It’s not like there’s just one on-ramp or off-ramp or one fork in the road – there are many choices we can make. The only thing that would be horrible is to not make a choice during these times.
HOW CAN OTHERS SUPPORT YOU OR YOUR CAUSE?
My call to action is to be your best authentic self. More importantly, use where you are privileged to help other people be their best authentic selves. Being your best authentic self also means that you facilitate and encourage that from other people, especially those who are not as comfortable or have not traditionally had the ability to share their own voice.
In addition, I’ve recently launched my new Lead With Your Brand!™ podcast to help amplify diverse voices and help everyone reach their next career breakthrough. Listen and subscribe on iTunes or wherever you get your podcasts and share the knowledge with everyone who needs it.
Orapin Marketing + Public Relations helps purpose-driven companies increase awareness and become known for their work, expertise, and impact. We believe those who are working to make a difference in the world deserve to be known, supported, and celebrated. If you would like to be featured in INSPIRED IMPACT™, reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.