150: Leaders with Heart Are Accountable and Humble

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In this episode, Heather interviews the two women from her DEI certification class which she referenced in her blog recently. These two women shared an interaction, which truly inspired Heather. Antrece Baggett, History, Associate Chair and HCC Foundation Board Faculty Representative and Golbou Ghassemieh, Project Manager/Recruitment Manager at Koff & Associates, both demonstrate humility, compassion and accountability in their interaction.

Watch this week’s episode to experience the beauty of friendship and the true nature of caring leaders. 

Key Takeaways:

  • It’s important for caring leaders to be able to have accountability and take criticism.
  • Have courage to confront the person that did something to harm you. 
  • Demonstrate empathy and compassion when conversing with those who were hurt by your actions.
  • Both parties in a confrontation need to 
  • Assuming positive intent and accepting what someone was intending to do, take people on their word. Giving people the benefit of the doubt. 
  • Create a safe space for someone to speak up, everyone deserves an opportunity to open up and talk.
  • Be authentic leaders, whatever that is and whoever you are. Be yourself.
  • Help people to lean into the discomfort in their mistakes and embarrassment because that’s where growth happens.

Antrece and Golbou’s Full Bios

Antrece Baggett

Antrece L. Baggett, daughter of Robert and Joyce Baggett and a native of Jackson, Mississippi, graduated from Texas Southern University, BA, University of Mississippi, MA, and Ferris State University, and is a Community College Leadership doctoral candidate.

Antrece is the Houston Community College History Associate Chair, and the Director of the Africana African American and Women and Gender Studies Certificate Programs where she supervises both programs, establish curriculum standards and course loads, recruit and monitor faculty and student activities, plan cultural celebrations and events, and maintains budgetary oversight authority.

She has served the institution since 1995 in a variety of positions including part time campus manager, academic division chair, and HCC Foundation faculty liaison. Antrece has supervised security officers, maintenance employees, receptionists, monitored campus events, facilities, address emergencies, and assist faculty, staff and administrators.

Antrece co-supervises 100 plus faculty members and provides leadership for the faculty senate as its Vice President. She teaches American, African American and Women’s history and Humanities courses. Her classes are face to face, online and hybrid.

For additional questions or clarifications, do not hesitate to contact Antrece at 832-741-6300.

Golbou Ghassemieh

Golbou’s professional qualifications include over sixteen (16) years of experience in the Human Resources field, most recently serving as a Deputy Director and Director at County and City agencies in the public sector. She has extensive experience in all aspects of human resources including but not limited to classification and compensation, recruitment and examination, organizational development and training programs, EEO, employee and labor relations, MOU administration, policy development and administration, performance management programs, discipline administration, recruitment and examination, presenting to Boards and Commissions, and general human resources leadership and administration. 

Golbou has been an instructor for Sonoma State University’s Human Resource Certification courses 9 years and has served as a speaker during many public sector HR conferences.

Golbou earned her B.A. degree in Psychology with a minor in French at University of California, Berkeley; her MBA degree with an emphasis in Human Resources Management from Sonoma State University; and holds the SPHR, SHRM-SCP, and IPMA-SCP professional certifications. Certification as a Certified Diversity Practitioner in progress.

Self-reflections, Safe spaces

Golbou: Sometimes people have to really have some self-reflection and recognize that things could get quite uncomfortable for us personally and for the organization. Part of creating a safe space is being willing to make it safe for people to be uncomfortable and for people to be in a worldview or self-perception that is being challenged. The opportunity for what has come out of that interaction wouldn’t have occurred if there wasn’t the combination of courage, bravery, speaking out, and being willing to be put in an uncomfortable position to have self-reflection.

You have to get uncomfortable. You have to be okay with being uncomfortable. - Golbou Ghassemieh #leadershipwithheart Share on X

Authentic Discomfort

Antrece: One of the videos that we watched in Dr. Allen Goben’s class was a video by Dr. Irvin where he calls us to be authentic leaders, whatever that is. “Whoever you are,” he’s saying, “be yourself, lead in that authentic-ness and others will follow.” What I strive to do every day is to be my authentic self, whatever that is because leadership changes. There are some days when I am a situational leader, depending on the circumstances. There are days when I like to be a participatory leader. I like to bring everybody to the table and get buy-in (support). But then there’s some days when I miss it. As much as we say we want to be leaders and we want to do this, leadership is not easy. It’s difficult.


Golbou: It’s really important for people to be comfortable with being uncomfortable and to lean into that discomfort, because that’s where growth happens. Here was Antrece being authentic and brave, and demonstrating courage. It was an opportunity to lean into the discomfort, the embarrassment and to have a chance to learn about her, what she was saying, and the experience she was having because she’s not alone. There is no there is no growth without discomfort.

If you do whatever it takes for you to achieve whatever that goal is, but we can't bring people along with us, then our journey is very sterile and is boring. It's not worth living. - Antrece Baggett #leadershipwithheart Share on X

I'm still learning and I'm going to always be learning. - Golbou Ghassemieh #leadershipwithheart Share on Xben

Improving Conversations

Antrece: As leaders, a lot of times we are faced with having pretty difficult conversations, and we don’t know how we’re going to react. Of course, one will say what “I would never do this. I’m going to do this.” But when your true self comes to life, like because Golbou was so compassionate in reaching out to me, I said that I have to respond back. Out of all of the things that happened in 2020, building a relationship with her at the end of the year is probably one of the best things that I’ll be able to reflect on.

Golbou: For me, through the whole exchange I was baffled. I was stunned. I was playing what other people had said, it came out the other way and I didn’t realize. It’s really important as a burgeoning diversity practitioner right and a leader to be willing to take feedback and criticism, especially as somebody who wants to be an ally and somebody who has experienced my own set of experiences in life as an Iranian American person. If people are willing to be educated, I’m willing to educate. If I’ve said something that I didn’t even realize I said and someone’s brave enough to call me out on it, I am going to take that feedback as a gift. I’m going to recognize it as an opportunity to improve and to become a better person in general.

It's important for people to be willing to hear when they've made a mistake; otherwise they can't correct in the future. - Golbou Ghassemieh #leadershipwithheart Share on X Be your authentic self. - Antrece Baggett #leadershipwithheart Share on X


Connect with Antrece on LinkedIn

Connect with Golbou on LinkedIn

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