DEI Advisors Podcast

Kimberly Twiggs, Associate VP of Market Development, DIRECTV, interviewed by Dorothy Dowling

May 29, 2024 David Kong
Kimberly Twiggs, Associate VP of Market Development, DIRECTV, interviewed by Dorothy Dowling
DEI Advisors Podcast
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DEI Advisors Podcast
Kimberly Twiggs, Associate VP of Market Development, DIRECTV, interviewed by Dorothy Dowling
May 29, 2024
David Kong
Join me on a transformative journey with Kimberly Twiggs, as we delve into her destination career at DIRECTV. Kim's story reveals how her executive journey has been rooted in her unwavering commitment to excellence. Through her narrative, we witness the pivotal role of mentorship and advocacy from leaders in propelling her career forward.

Show Notes Transcript
Join me on a transformative journey with Kimberly Twiggs, as we delve into her destination career at DIRECTV. Kim's story reveals how her executive journey has been rooted in her unwavering commitment to excellence. Through her narrative, we witness the pivotal role of mentorship and advocacy from leaders in propelling her career forward.

Dorothy Dowling:

Greetings. I am Dorothy Dowling, a principal of DEI Advisors. We are a non profit organization dedicated to personal empowerment. I am delighted to welcome Kimberly Twiggs, associate vice president of direct team. Kimberly, it is such an honor to have you with us today.

Kimberly Twiggs:

Dorothy, it is such an honor to be here. I am, I feel like I am among giants. This group of advisors that DVI advisors has collected. You yourself, such an icon in our industry. Thank you so much for inviting me to be here today.

Dorothy Dowling:

Let's get to it because I know you've got lots of good content to share with our listeners and our viewers today. We usually start with our advisors, Kimberly, and ask them to share their career journey with us. I know you have worked at DIRECTV for some time now. And have had a very important role in driving business for your organization. So I'm hoping you can share your journey on how your career developed at direct TV, as well as prior to your role with direct TV.

Kimberly Twiggs:

Absolutely. I have been at direct TV for 18 years, and this is. It's only the second company I've ever worked for. You never could have told me I'd be at the same place this long, but a lot has happened in those 18 years, both personally and professionally. I like to say I grew up at DirecTV and I'm grateful for that. I'm grateful to work for a company with an incredible culture. That has allowed me to grow to get promoted, to reinvent myself, to create my own personal brand now. And I really love companies that provide this type of environment for their employees. I think there's this stigma in our generation of staying with the same company for a long time that. Somehow changing companies often are always seeking out that next opportunity at a new company is a better way to do it. But I was recently at a sales kickoff for one of my vendors and the CEO, and his remarks was telling his team of 400 or so management employees that his hope was that they would all want to see. stay to grow their careers there to be promoted and to eventually retire there. And I think that's such a powerful message to send to your employees, that you're a company and a leadership team that wants to invest in your people, that you are so certain that you have the strongest players, that you will do anything to keep them, nurture them and help them achieve their career goals. At your company. So that's been my experience at direct TV too. But before we go there, my very first job out of college was at international paper, a paper enforced products company. I was in their management development associate program. I did three different functional rotations in three different cities. I did a communications rotation in Savannah, HR in Dallas, and then sales. In Stanford, Connecticut, which then turned into a full time sales role. It was really great to get relocation experience early on. It served me well to learn how to start over in a new place. You have to find a bank and a dentist and a gym and all that. You have to make new friends, go to happy hour. It taught me to be agile. It taught me to be flexible, and it taught me to be brave when I'm doing something alone or something new. I had graduated from Texas A& M with a degree in English, in liberal arts. And at first, that didn't seem like it would be helpful for anything other than getting a master's or my teaching certificate. But I joined the corporate world with IP and I continued with DirecTV and I've learned that my English degree is actually one of my biggest assets in my corporate role. Being good at writing, at public speaking, at getting what I want from people, either through written word or spoken word. is highly advantageous in a sales role. So much of selling is influencing people, and so much of leading is inspiring people. And even if you're not in a sales role, so much of what you're doing every day is presenting to leadership or presenting cross functionally to get funding, to gain consensus or buy in on a project. Being a good communicator is key. incredibly beneficial in that way. So after getting some sales experience at IP, I went to direct TV in a sales coordinator role in our New York office. And in that sales coordinator role, that is where I learned the importance of data analysis and being able to tell a story with data. I learned to write queries, to pull data from Cognos, our data warehouse, to do pivot tables in Excel, all things that were new to me at the time, but I learned it then. And I continue to keep this at the foundation of my leadership. Today, everything begins with data. If there's a problem, I don't know how to solve. I go to the data. If I'm looking for trends or watch outs, I go to the data. And even though I have a full business analytics team now, I still find myself sorting through the raw data often because that's where you find the storylines. That's where all the answers are. And when you're running a business, you need to understand your KPIs inside and out. That's all data analysis. So from there, I started getting promoted and relocated around the country and around the company from New York to Atlanta to L. A. And eventually to Colorado, which is where I am now. And I was in sales that entire time at direct TV. And what that means here is account management, managing a base of direct TV resellers, we call them dealers. And that meant my job was getting things done through relationship management. So when you're not a direct seller, but. Instead, you're selling through other people that influencing and inspiring becomes all the more important. I had a territory, so I spent a lot of time on the road. I was visiting my dealers trying to grow their sales by increasing their focus on direct TV and holding them accountable for their sales numbers. One of the biggest compliments I ever received actually came years after being in an account management role. I was at an industry event where I ran into one of the dealers I used to manage back then in South Florida. They were a really small dealer when I first took over that account, but I spent a lot of time down there. Increasing their focus, showing them how to market their service, hosting sales events, and eventually growing their direct TV business exponentially. And so the CEO of this company was at an event and he had retired by this time. And he was talking to someone and he called me over and when he introduced me, he said, this is Kim, she was my area sales manager, and she's the one that made me a millionaire. So he had, in fact, increased his DirecTV dealer business during my time managing his account so much so that when he retired, he was able to sell his company and make a lot of money. And to me, that was such a huge compliment and an indication that I had done well as an account manager, as a relationship manager. L. A. Was a pretty pivotal move for me. That's when I was promoted to director and I took on direct reports and P. N. L. Responsibility for the first time. That was a big learning curve. I had managed dealers, but managing employees was completely new, and I was also building an entirely new line of business from the ground up. I was learning how to build it. IRR models and secure capital. But the same things that had proven beneficial in prior roles like communicating well, analyzing data, building relationships, really just being a student of the game paid off. Women, I would say in particular, are really great at this. We ask questions, we lean in, we learn everything we can. So I worked really hard to become the subject matter expert on the business. People eventually started coming to me for answers. No task was ever too small to take on. I like to get my hands dirty running a business because the better, it, the better you can manage it. And then from there I took over our hospitality business, what we call lodging and institutions at direct TV. And I've been in this role for 10 years, leading the team that sells direct TV to hotels and also senior living communities, hospitals, university dorms, anything with a commercial overnight stay. Even prisons. We like to say that whether you want to be spending the night there or not, we can provide direct TV service to you. So it's so crazy to say 10 years because that included COVID and it also included being bought and sold by AT& T. So in a way it doesn't feel that long because there was so much change going on the whole time. But in those 10 years, I've grown the LNI sales team from one employee. To 18 and together, we've grown the business from a 230 million revenue generating unit for direct TV with about 25 percent market share to a half a billion dollar business today with nearly 50 percent market share. So it's been a great journey so far.

Dorothy Dowling:

There's so much to unpack in terms of your journey, but it is quite incredible just in terms of the success that you have been able to. Really drive. And there's a couple of things I really love. One is the fact that Direct TV has afforded you a destination career. And that's one of the themes that is coming forward in talent today that we've got to build that ability for people to Fulfill their dreams and their career growth within an enterprise. So congratulations to you and congratulations to direct TV for leading the way in that space. The other part that I just the thread for me was just the way you have embraced change and learning through your career in terms of Really getting down and getting your hands dirty and learning all the things that you needed to do to be able to level up in terms of the leadership skills to be able to drive that business success. But it really is an incredible journey. The other piece that I really loved was that you fundamentally positioned how a degree in arts which has been talked about in many different literature sources that it really does empower you in different ways because it does. Teach you one, how to learn into those communication skills that have been such a strong driver of your business performance. So thank you for sharing that. And also that element of a relocation and, dealing with all the personal disruption that relocation brings, but also how that built your skill set to work in different environments and be able to manage some of those challenges of resetting your. Personal life as well as a professional life that you need, right? So if we can talk a little bit about champions, because we ask again, many people have had individuals that have mentored or been significant influencers in helping shape their career. Do you have any of those individuals that have powered your career?

Kimberly Twiggs:

Oh, definitely. Of all the roles I've had in my 18 years at direct TV, I've only ever formally applied for that first one when I left international paper. All of my promotions have happened as a result of working hard, becoming a subject matter expert, and then being tapped on the shoulder to take on the next big thing. So my mentors and sponsors have been absolutely integral to shaping my career. Because they advocated for me in rooms that I wasn't in yet. And I think this is another thing that doesn't get talked about enough. That not everyone has this super clear vision of the path they want their career to take. There are a bunch of us out here who have careers that have unfolded very organically. One bit of hard work leading to the next opportunity and so on. I'm not currently an associate vice president at DirecTV because 18 years ago, I said, my goal is to be an executive. I'm where I am because my currency has always been being the best at whatever I set out to do. I've chased that level of excellence and all the roles I've taken on, and that's led to amazing results and more opportunity. I think, some people might think that's naive or not aggressive enough, but it has. certainly paid off for me. As far as outstanding sponsors go, the person that I report to now has been my biggest advocate in my career and also in my personal life when it really mattered. When I stepped into this hospitality role, Doug knew that I was underpaid compared to my counterparts running the other commercial lines of business for direct TV. And I didn't know that. At the time, but eventually it became clear that in every annual merit review process, he was advocating for me to make more money in order that I could catch up to my colleagues. I never would have known that I didn't make as much money as they did, but he did. And he was fighting for me in the rooms again that I wasn't in. And I'm so grateful for that. And it's something I now also do on my team and other areas of the business that I influence. Fighting for the people who are doing an amazing job, but who aren't yet in the room where it happens is the most important thing I believe that you can do as a sponsor or a mentor or an advocate.

Dorothy Dowling:

Extraordinarily well said. I don't know that there's much I can really offer there, Cam. I fundamentally believe that. Doing the job well is the first ticket to success. You have to deliver excellence and certainly that's a lesson that you learned. But I also think it's a reason why others wanted to continue to develop your career because they could count on you and they trusted that you're going to deliver on the performance. So again, that's just an amazing story. And I think having someone that understands. And supports you behind the scenes is so critical. And again, you are so right that many of us don't fully appreciate that until we're well underway in our career. So I'm sure it's something that you earned well, and that was why he took you under his wing. It was such a strong sponsor for you. I'd like to move on a little bit, Kim, because I've had the view of seeing how you support women and you do a lot of work in terms of the industry through your volunteer service. And I'm just wondering if you can share how your volunteer service continues to shape you.

Kimberly Twiggs:

Yeah. The work I've been doing in advocacy for women in technology, women in hospitality. And other DEI thought leadership has been, I'm sure you will agree, the most meaningful work I've done in my career. I am so enjoying what I'm doing these days. Leading the DirecTV hospitality business has given me the platform to support many of the industry initiatives centered around supporting women and empowering women in our industry. And it's truly something. I wish had existed when I was starting out in my career. DirecTV has had the honor and the privilege to be the headline sponsor for AHOA's Her Ownership Conference and AHLA's Forward Conference for two years in a row. We've also sponsored the Travel Industry Executive Women's Conference. Network Conference, and we just recently sponsored McKnight's Women of Distinction event. That is a women's leadership event in the senior living space. This advocacy work started as an external facing initiative sponsoring industry events, building on the momentum created by groups like H. L. A. And Ahola and to win. But then it actually built up internal interest at direct TV. So I've also had the honor Within the past few months to start an internal initiative at Direct TV called Women in Leadership at Direct TV. Our acronym is W. I. L. D., where we're turning advocacy work in internally as well to support and empower the women who work at Direct TV. It was a massive undertaking that started in October of last year. And by March of this year, we were fully formed with a Full governing board. And we celebrated women's history month and international women's day with our big first big event and philanthropy activity in LA where direct TV is headquartered. So it has been an incredible experience for me to be part of this. And I am so grateful to work for a company that gives me the opportunity to use my platform for the betterment of our industry and for the betterment of our community. And even more than that continues to invest in me to. grow and develop this skill set so that I can continue to do more in the industry. So two programs that I would recommend for listeners are eCornell actually has an executive women in leadership certification program that I was able to complete last year. Really great Course content on decoding the gender gap and women on boards. And then a second one is signature collective. They're a leadership development program that partners specifically with corporate entities, just like direct TV and signature collectives. Leadership programs are developed specifically for women. And so I would recommend both of those as a way if you're interested at your own company of learning more or, developing more in these areas. Definitely pursue, your own training and coursework and education. Talk to your company about having them invest in you from a thought leadership perspective in this way. And then if you don't currently have a women's advocacy group inside of your company, I highly encourage you to just lock arms with, One or two women that you work with and start from there because that's how these things develop is from the ground up.

Dorothy Dowling:

That's amazing advice. I love the particular recommendations that you have on the personal development side, Kim. I, but I also want to just commend you and direct TV because kind of investments that you're making in this work, obviously there's not a direct commercial linkage, but it's certainly, I think something we all take note of is just the level of investment that direct TV is making. And then. Also, just your presence at these events and the way you continue to tell the story in such a powerful way, which is the perfect segue because I obviously had the pleasure of being in the audience. I don't know if it was about a month ago when you were on stage at forward which again is just an amazing event that HLA and Anna Blue, who is a leader of the foundation delivers to so many of us. Thanks. You were extraordinary on stage. You led a very impressive group of industry experts who discussed how the framing of DEI and related strategies associated with talent development and recruitment is misunderstood. And this is one of those hard conversations today. So I'm wondering if you could share with us some of the thought leadership from this session and the takeaways that were offered to the audience to consider as they think about DE& I and its relevancy to their talent strategies.

Kimberly Twiggs:

Yeah this was definitely one of the highlights of my year so far. I was so honored to moderate this panel. I was also incredibly nervous. I was responsible for these four questions. Four amazing leaders, two CEOs and two chief diversity officers and all of their collective wisdom. I felt this overwhelming responsibility to make sure that their stories got told adequately and accurately. The intent of the session was to actually to not shy away from the fact that we're in a really difficult time right now for DEI. While so much progress has been made, the pendulum is swinging and we're now in the center of some real emotional reactivity fear, anger, resistance to DEI work. Recent changes like last summer's Supreme Court decision to remove affirmative action from schools, along with Something like 542 pieces of legislation on LGBTQ plus rights alone demonstrate that we're in a time of change that's not positive for DEI. It's an election year. And with that messages are even more amplified. People are more brazen. We're in a polarized country. If you Google D. E. N. I. Right now, you'll see much more negative than positive. So as D. E. I. Leaders and as business leaders, we have to acknowledge this and we have to have meaningful conversations to correct the negative rhetoric. So while it was important to acknowledge. that elephant in the room. We also wanted to arm the audience with things they could take back to their companies, best practices, ideas on how to continue to make progress even in a difficult time for D. E. And I. So a few key things came out of that panel. One corporate training modules don't work in the field. Some very well intentioned DE& I work has been done in companies across the U. S., but a lot of it has centered around teaching employees words like unconscious bias or microaggressions. Learning vocabulary matters, but it can actually be alienating instead of helpful if it's not relatable. So instead of asking an employee if they've ever experienced unconscious bias. Ask them if they've ever worked on a team where they truly felt like they belonged or where they felt like they didn't belong. This is going to get the conversation going and it will ultimately result in the end goal, which is training teams and training leaders to create environments that are inclusive, where people feel like they truly belong. Belonging is a process. Is the outcome. It's the goal of diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives. If a leader's goal is to ensure that all of their team members feel like they belong, like they're in a community where they can thrive, then that leader is executing on their D. E. I. Strategy. It doesn't have to be complicated or full of big words or definitions. In fact, big words and definitions are counterproductive because that's unfamiliar and it creates fear, making the concepts relatable and real to our associates. That's how we make change. Another important theme is that diversity is multidimensional. It's not just about race and gender, though. That's where we typically. focus first. Diversity is visible, but it's also invisible. 90 percent of who we are is below the surface and that 90 percent affects how we navigate the world and how we're perceived by others. Diversity is your communication style. It's whether you're an introvert or an extrovert. It's your mental and physical capabilities. It's your culture. It's your belief system. It's your work experience and your tenure. It's your work. It's your family relationships. It's your defining experiences. Companies need to be considering all of these aspects of diversity. And in particular, they need to be considering the intersectionality of these aspects of diversity. The more diverse a team is across all dimensions of diversity, The more likely it is that those team members will experience true belonging because differences are embraced and intentionally sought out to be on that team. And then lastly, but I think most importantly, is that DE& I initiatives are only going to be effective in a company that's Real change can only be made if leadership is modeling the commitment and driving the strategy. Your CEO and your executive team have to set the DEI strategy, just like they set the financial strategy, and then execute on it across the company. This can't be something that you're putting in the laps of your associates to create, or that you simply say in a kickoff meeting, but then never model. You have to prioritize your people. And their ability to feel like they belong and help people lead teams where others feel like they belong. And that has to start at the top. This could look like executive road shows, town halls, in person, talent reviews in the field. It looks like employee resource groups that are well funded and abundantly supported by C level execs. It looks like CEOs talking about DE& I belonging and mental health in the exact same discussion where they're covering KPIs and the financial health of the business. So it was truly an incredible panel. Michael Amilcar from Be Equitable, Dexter Davis from Ecolab. Daniel Delomo from Sage Hospitality and Stephanie Pimana from Seminole Hard Rock. These leaders are so brilliant. So I hope all of your listeners will start following them if they aren't already. Such incredible and incredible thought leaders in our industry who are doing really meaningful work to teach us how to navigate these more difficult times in D and I, and continue the path forward.

Dorothy Dowling:

Thank you so much for sharing the learnings from the panel and some of the takeaways that the audience can really invest in Kim. I have to say it was a highlight of the event for me. I the forward event. was so impactful overall, but I will clearly remember being in that audience on Friday. And yes, you had a powerhouse of individuals that were on stage with you, but the way that you led the conversation, the courage that you demonstrated in unpacking a lot of these difficult things that we all have to listen to, and that sense of really driving belonging, because just this morning, as I was going through all of my various information sources, The belonging factor in most workplaces is at an all time low. And so I think the lessons that you delivered at that event permeate everything that we need to do to be able to really engage with talent, really secure all that discretionary investment that employees that belong and feel good about their workplace continue to give. And also just having some of the courage to unpack some of the myths that, that we have to continue to. Combat to understand that D. I. Is a very relevant investment that we all need to make to really drive to that sense of belonging. So I just want to thank you for your courage at forward. I want to thank you for sharing all of the outcome drivers with us today. And I know for your continued advocacy in the space.

Kimberly Twiggs:

Absolutely,

Dorothy Dowling:

so I'd like to move on a little bit about talking about adversity. We ask all of our advisors to share with. With the audience challenging situations or adversity that they've faced in their journey and you know The lessons that has brought to them and how they have really grown through those experiences. So I'm hoping you would Be open to sharing some of those with us today, too.

Kimberly Twiggs:

Oh, I think we could do an entirely separate episode on this. I have so much to share here and so much I am still learning in my life about adversity and what we make of it. I mentioned earlier that the person I report to now has been my biggest advocate in my career, but also in my personal life when it really mattered the most. And I am so grateful to say that Doug is not the first leader I've had at Direct TV like that. Very early in my career at Direct TV, tragedy very suddenly and unexpectedly struck my family. Two of my brothers died by suicide in 2008. And it was the most devastating thing that had ever happened to me. My whole world turned upside down in an instant. And for those listening who have experienced loss of this kind, you know that it never really goes away. But I was so fortunate to be where I was. My career, my leaders, my colleagues at the time were such a big part of me making it through that. A few years later, still a direct TV, but working for the team I'm on now. Tragedy struck again and I was diagnosed with leukemia just as my husband and I got pregnant with our second baby. We lost the baby. I started treatment immediately and the same leader who was advocating for me professionally was the most incredible supporter of me and my family when we needed it the most. I am so fortunate to have been so well cared for by my nuclear family, but also by my work family, my direct TV family. My nurses said they had never seen someone with a bigger support network than me. It was a beautiful outpouring of love and support, which to this day, I still believe was my best medicine. My full recovery is complete. I'm perfectly healthy. I'm also the happiest mama of two kids. Our son, Jax, who was only 15 months old when I was diagnosed. And our daughter, Alex, our rainbow baby who was born two years after I completed treatment making. Meaning of these tragic things will be the greatest work I do in my lifetime, and it's gonna take me my whole life to figure it all out. But I can tell you now that surviving these things that felt impossible to overcome at the time are what inform how I show up every day as a mom, as a wife, as a leader, as a friend, as a colleague, as a mentor. You asked me earlier when we were talking if I have a personal mantra that I live by and I would tell you It's this. I'm brave enough to be broken, and I'm brave enough to lead broken. So many times, I think we try to hide the broken parts of ourselves. We don't want to be perceived as damaged or weak, but our brokenness is actually what makes us stronger. It makes us resilient. It makes us fireproof. There's a Japanese art called kintsugi. It's where broken objects are repaired with liquid gold, and the mended object actually becomes even more beautiful and valuable than before it was broken. That really resonates with me and what I've experienced in my life. And most importantly, I think Being brave enough to lead broken makes us human. It allows us to connect with each other because everything is going, everyone is going through something. And whether they're talking about it or not, what they're going through is with them every day at work, in meetings, on calls, while they're traveling, while they're at events. At the most recent conference I was at, I hosted a Women in Leadership at DIRECTV session to recruit new members. It was very informal, and ultimately the women that attended naturally began talking about topics that were meaningful to them, and issues that were important to them, like losing a family member, or caring for our aging parents. Feeling guilty about being away from their kids. And at the end of the conference, I was told it was the most impactful session that they had attended all week. They felt seen, they felt connected, and even in their brokenness, they actually felt more whole at work. Life is hard. We all face adversity. And I intend to continue to learn and grow and make meaning out of my adversity and to bring more. gold paint to the people I get to work with so we can be our whole selves and so we can create meaningful connection. An author and a podcast host that I love so much is Glennon Doyle. So if anyone needs a new podcast to listen to, it's called, We Can Do Hard Things. And she's also the author of one of my favorite memoirs, Carry On Warrior. So I just think we should all Lean in lean into that. Know that adversity creates your resilience. It creates your fireproofness. It creates the magic that allows you to lead and to mentor and to bring those experiences, meaning for yourself and for others moving forward.

Dorothy Dowling:

I want to thank you, Kim, for sharing so much of your personal journey and how it has powered you to become the leader you are today. I, I am going to be someone that's sitting on the sidelines watching your career continue to evolve. Because as I look at what is sought in leaders today is exactly what you have just shared. It's being open to sharing how broken you may be and to be able to allow others to relate to you and then to grow with you as you are on that journey of learning and, what you're meant to be through some of these challenging situations. But I'm grateful that you had the courage again to share. So much of your personal story with our audience. I know it's going to be very meaningful.

Kimberly Twiggs:

Thank you.

Dorothy Dowling:

So the next area that I wanted to ask, because you're a parent you have to 2 children that you're very important to and obviously a wonderful husband that has been instrumental in navigating all of the different diversity or challenging issues that you have had to power through and your work family that you've talked about and how you've led as a senior executive. So I would love to hear how you balance all of the demands on your time to bring the best Kim to every situation.

Kimberly Twiggs:

I think the answer to this question is I don't I am definitely not winning at work life balance. I find it honestly to be the most difficult thing to manage and I carry an experience. Excessive amount of guilt about it. Everything regularly feels like a compromise or a trade off, and there's never a time when I feel like I'm doing everything well. So I don't know that I have any advice per se, but I do have a good story. I spoke on a panel of women leaders at the beginning of this year, and after that panel. A colleague of mine, Dawn, let me know that she was so inspired that she wanted to recreate the women's panel, but on her team. And she asked if I'd be willing to speak there as well. And I said, of course, like I would absolutely love to do that. So fast forward to last month, she scheduled a call with some of the other female colleagues on her team and me to begin planning the panel. And she said they had nailed down the dates and it would be great if I could arrive the night of August 27th and the panel would be the morning of August 28th. And I immediately knew what August 28th is. It's the first day of kindergarten for our daughter this year. So I told Don that and I said, look, if it's okay, I won't be able to make it in on the 27th. But if you move the panel to the afternoon of the 28th, I can drop Alex off at kindergarten that morning. I'll head straight to the airport. I'll make it to Chicago in time for the panel in the afternoon. And she took a deep breath and she said, As a mama who's been there, you also need to be there to pick her up from the first day of kindergarten, so it's no problem. Don't worry about it. We're going to move the women's panel to the next team meeting. I was so overwhelmed. I immediately started crying. I had never been on a call before where someone gave me permission. firmly gave me direction to prioritize my personal commitment over this work opportunity. And it was so meaningful coming from someone who had been there, who knew that there was ever going to be only one first day of kindergarten for her. And it actually felt like exactly what I would talk about on a panel for women leaders, that you're always having to choose between being home for one of the kids milestones or being at work for a big, meaningful opportunity. But the panel in this case was my opportunity and my family, my fellow panelists was the one that made the decision for me. So all I know is that there's going to be trade offs. My hope is that over a lifetime, they will balance out to the right combination of work and home. And in the meantime, I'm just so grateful for people like Don who helped me to make tough calls.

Dorothy Dowling:

Thank you for sharing that story because I do think that's a very meaningful one, which I think alludes to having diversity in the workplace and having other parents that can advocate for each other. But I also appreciate your honesty, Kim, in terms of saying that there are always trade offs, and that is part of the journey of being a senior executive, that it is part of the expectations that you have to just continue to figure out and hopefully figure out how you can make some of those other investments with your family and people that you care about in different ways. Thank you for sharing that. We're coming up near the end of our interview, Kim, and we always ask every DEI advisor if there's any final words of advice that they would like to offer to the audience.

Kimberly Twiggs:

Yeah, I would say. Prioritize one on ones with your leader and possibly their leader if that's available to you. And if you're a leader yourself, prioritize one on ones with your direct reports and their employees. I read an article recently. That recognition is the single largest predictor of future success, meaning if your actions and your work style are regularly being acknowledged and validated by your leader, that is the most effective way to guarantee that you'll continue to produce successful outputs going forward. So recognition in this sense doesn't necessarily mean being showered with praise. What it means is if you're spending time with your leader enough that you're aligned in the approach that you're taking to your role, and you're aligned with the strategic direction that leadership has laid out for the company, you're going to do more of those things and produce greater and greater results. Knowing that you're on the right track increases success. Speed and it increases accuracy. I think some of us have experienced the type of leadership where we're told no news is good news. But this isn't an effective way to lead and it's not an effective way to empower people. It's inefficient. People second guess their efforts, which causes a drag on productivity and it also impacts mental health. So I think, my advice is to spend time in one on one dialogue with your leadership and with your teams. Don't wait for them to schedule it. My one on ones are the most important meetings on my calendar every week. And it is for this reason, the more aligned we are, The more I'm able to validate the work that's being done, the healthier their mindset is, and the better our company results are.

Dorothy Dowling:

I think that's remarkable advice. And people work for leaders. And so I think building that bridge in terms of strengthening that bond is critically important. And I also think it allows people to shine the light on their own achievements and make sure they're tracking with success. I appreciate you sharing that and also just the strength of the commitment that you make that it is the most important meetings on your calendar, because I don't know that I've heard that from too many leaders, Kim. So kudos to you for putting your employees and your teammates at the front of the line in terms of your investments back to them. So this really concludes our interview today, Kim, I just want to thank you so much for the authenticity and humanity that you brought to the panel. Our audience today. I just think that those kinds of intimate sharing just brings so much to everyone in terms of their personal growth and learning. So I just want to say thank you for investing so much time and also for sharing so much of yourself with us.

Kimberly Twiggs:

The pleasure is all mine. I am so grateful for this opportunity, Dorothy, and for your leadership in our industry and of women leaders. I look up to you so much and everything that you and the DEI advisors team is doing. Thank you for the work that you're doing for the content that you're bringing into our space. It really is making a difference.

Dorothy Dowling:

Right back at you, Kim, because you are one of those very strong advocates that I look up to as well. So thank you for all of the great work and for all of the wonderful support that DirecTV brings to our industry. So in closing, I'd also like to thank our audience and just advise that if you've enjoyed this interview, I hope you'll visit us on our website, DEI advisors. org, where you'll see webcasts and podcasts from other great industry leaders like Kimberly that will empower your knowledge and feel your spirit. So we hope to see you there. Thank you.