People First! with Kimberly Reed


By Morag Barrett

Kimberly Reed is an award-winning international speaker, author, corporate trainer, and diversity, equality, and inclusion executive. She's been nationally recognized as a thought leader, expert, strategist, and advisor to some of the world's most influential organizations in global professional services, healthcare, financial services, consumer products, and pharmaceutical industries. Her book Optimists Always Win! offers deep insights into the power of positive thinking as well as a look at her own personal journey of remaining steadfast in the midst of grief and loss.

Joy Runs Deep

Kimberly learned to have an optimistic outlook growing up from her beloved mom and dad. They always encouraged her and told her that she could achieve whatever she applied herself to, and Kim credits them with planting the seeds of her success. Nine years ago, as her mom was dying of breast cancer, Kimberly saw a woman who drew upon a deep well of joy in the midst of tremendous pain. Those lessons were refined in the crucible of Kimberly’s own battle with cancer just months after her mom’s passing.

Glass Half Full

Maintaining a positive outlook can be really difficult when facing challenges; especially if you’ve just experienced the onslaught of challenges brought to you by (you guessed it!) 2020, and its little brother, 2021. I love what Kimberly had to say about the power of negative perception when it comes to terms like, “lockdown.” All of a sudden, staying home takes on a negative light when, in actuality, you’re more productive than you’ve ever been at the office! Framing our circumstances in a positive light helps us overcome challenges.

The Dual Challenges of 2020 & 2021

The past two years have proven challenging in many ways. Obviously, the pandemic has shaken the paradigms of how we work, with most of us having to adjust to an entirely virtual experience. But we’ve also seen many organizations become more keenly aware of their need to become more diverse and inclusive as protests over the untimely deaths of George Flyod and so many others loomed large. Kimberly’s work in Diversity and Inclusion training has helped many of these organizations tackle these tough questions.

Optimism is not Happiness

Kimberly is quick to point out that optimism is not about being happy all the time. Happiness is fleeting and circumstantial. True optimism is the ability to find the good in every situation, even if you’re feeling deeply unhappy. In leadership, this can be your superpower! Being able to see opportunities where others only see struggles can set you apart as an innovator and champion revitalizer in the workplace.

Discouragement Eliminators

Discouragement is a powerful force that can hold you back from achieving your dreams. One of the keys to Kimberly’s approach to leading with a positive mindset is by employing what she calls, “discouragement eliminators.” In her book and in her 21 Days of Optimism YouTube series, she unpacks the tools she’s discovered to overcome discouragement. 

Supporting Cancer Charity

Kimberly is generously donating 100% of the proceeds from her book, Optimists Always Win, to support cancer charities. Not only can you learn the keys to overcoming discouragement and leading with a positive outlook, you’ll also be helping people affected by cancer get the resources they need to stay strong in the fight. After you’ve taken a listen to my lovely conversation with Kim, you can pick up your copy using the links below!

Watch away: Here!
Treat your earbuds: Here!
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