We had the good fortune of connecting with Carolina Caro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Carolina, putting aside the decision to work for yourself, what other decisions were critical to your success?
When I started my journey as an entrepreneur, it was easy to only look at the number of clients or the bottom line as a measure of my success. That kind of short term and limited thinking can be stressful and unproductive. Numbers matter but they don’t tell the whole story, especially at the beginning. I also had a big vision that I hoped would happen overnight but of course things take time. So I would say that the single most important decision is to not allow the current circumstances or social proof determine what is possible. If I wouldn’t have had that type of mindset shift, I would have never gotten to the point of building a team to help support the big vision which is probably the second best decision. But everything starts with mindset.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I run a coaching, speaking, training and facilitation practice that focuses on leadership development and diversity, equity and inclusion. I approach both of these issues from a neuroscience perspective since it’s important for us to understand our minds in order to master them. As such, I help leaders uncover their blind spots so that they can make better choices about their leadership habits. Even though I use the term Diversity, Equity an Inclusion (DEI) as a separate discipline because it’s most commonly approached this way, I see DEI as an integrated part of leadership development. In other words, how can we mitigate our biases in the way we speak, manage conflict, give feedback etc.. It touches every aspect of being a leader. It’s also important for leaders to engage in the larger conversation of how to collectively contribute our efforts to dismantling systemic racism. I remember eight years ago, I was part of a group of consultants working in the DEI space that would collaborate and share ideas on how to advance the needle in this area. Back then it was challenging to have organizations see this as a priority. Today, more and more organizations are recognizing that we have to have these conversations even if they are uncomfortable. We shouldn’t be afraid of a little discomfort. As I say to leaders, if you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am deeply grateful to Leadership Pasadena, a non-profit organization that develops community leaders for offering me the opportunity to partner with them as the coach, trainer and facilitator for their program. When I started with them over 6 years ago, my business was still getting off the ground so it was a great role and a perfect fit. But it became so much greater than a job. As a member of the Pasadena community, I became more knowledgeable about the issues, more connected to members of the community and more passionate about finding ways to get involved. It’s powerful when you find a place that you don’t only call home in name only but because you feel a true sense of belonging. The people I’ve met are more than colleagues or participants in a program, they have become like family. I cherish the people that have come into my life as a result of this role. They have been my coaches and mentors- because everyone needs that support!