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Entrepreneur

78. Friend or Foe: The Art of Developing Relationships with Kathy Waller, Former Chief Financial Officer for The Coca-Cola Company

podcast May 30, 2024


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For this Women of Color Rise Podcast, I talk with Kathy Waller, Executive Director for the Atlanta Committee for Progress (ACP), which provides leadership on the key issues important to economic growth and inclusion for all citizens in Atlanta. Prior to this, Kathy was the Chief Financial Officer for The Coca-Cola Company. Kathy is also a Board member for Delta Airlines, CGI Group, and Beyond Meat.

 

Kathy shares her roots growing up in an all-Black neighborhood in Atlanta and then later attending an almost all-White college at the University Rochester. She shares how one of the key skills that helped her in her career was how to develop relationships, especially with White people. Kathy shares advice on the art of relationships building:

 

  1. Meet people where they are. Kathy shares how sometimes people had preconceived notions of Black people. She saw this as an opportunity for them to get to know her personally and show who Black people really.

  2. Understand people to determine if they are a friend or foe. Kathy advises us to observe how the person interacts with people they don’t know and how you can tell a lot about their bias and values. Are they a friend or foe? Can you turn a foe into a friend?

  3. Develop relationships by being vulnerable. While it may be uncomfortable to let your walls down, real relationships are based on sharing who you are, which opens the door for them to share as well.

  4. Don’t take it personally. If your attempts to convert them from foe to friend through a personal relationship doesn’t work, it’s not about you. They need to go on their own journey to overcome racism.

 

Get full show notes and more information here: https://analizawolf.com/ep-78-friend-or-foe-the-art-of-developing-relationships-with-kathy-waller

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