Regina Huber is the CEO and Founder of Transform Your Performance, whose mission is to drive female advancement so we can all benefit from more diverse leadership teams. In addition to her role at Transform Your Performance, Regina is a Multicultural Transformational Coach & Consultant, a Global Inspirational Speaker and the author of the book Speak up, Stand out and Shine and the white paper Diversity and Inclusion Initiatives Thrive with Maximum Leadership Support.
Tell us what your greatest personal challenge is, and how you’ve achieved success in spite of it.
As someone who grew up as an extremely shy kid in a small village in Germany, raising my confidence was a huge challenge for the longest time. Venturing out into the world (thanks to my tremendous curiosity and my adventurous spirit) and moving to different countries and continents constantly pushed me to greater heights but it wasn’t always easy. In each location, I had to find new friends, new networks, and later as an entrepreneur, also new clients. My inner being (or Higher Self) repeatedly pushed me to take risks and to re-invent myself… because we’re not meant to stay stuck; we’re meant to grow.
Taking risks was often rewarding… and it also taught me some painful lessons, such as an experience with a fraudulent business partner, which at the time cost me not only my business and big stacks of money, but also my self-esteem – that confidence that I’d built up with so much effort over the years. I was starting over, again moving to a different location (from Rio de Janeiro to New York City) and again building a new network and business from scratch. Gladly, I had studied holistic techniques that helped me through this difficult phase and quickly allowed me to transform my pain into a life-changing lesson, regain my power, and operate from a self-empowering mindset. I realized that as a result of my eclectic, multi-cultural background and my experiences and studies up to then, my new passion really was inspiring people, and specifically women, to step into their brilliance. That’s how I founded my current coaching and consulting practice Transform Your Performance.
Name something that guides both your personal and professional development and helps you to regain focus during challenging times.
A critical practice for me is to stay consistent with my own mindset work; to catch thoughts, feelings and subconscious limiting patterns that do not serve me and to turn them around into more empowering thoughts and feelings. This practice never ends, it’s about steady progress, every single day of the year.
One thing I cannot live without is dance. Whenever possible, I dance 3-4 times a week, both in high-energy dance classes (such as Afro Urban or Congolese dance) and socially (mostly Caribbean and Angolan rhythms these days). I didn’t group up with dance, but I picked up a piece of the local dance culture wherever I lived – Spanish Flamenco, Argentine Tango, Brazilian Gafieira, Salsa,… you name it! Dancing keeps me balanced, fit and happy. It raises my oxytocin level, which catapults me into my positive vibes! Dance doesn’t only occupy a sacred place in my life. It’s also taught me a ton of wisdom that now flows into my coaching around a compelling business and speaking presence.
What do you believe is at the core of why women hesitate to “lean in” and pursue leadership roles where they are?
There are of course many undeniable circumstances, for example: Women often don’t see enough female role models in the top leadership ranks, which leads them to believe that there are not enough seats at the table for women or that it’s just too hard to get there. And in many organizations, it actually is harder for women because let’s not forget that corporate was created by men for men, and we’re still a long distance away from all-inclusive structures and cultures that truly support female advancement with all that requires. We don’t see enough balance in leadership, which would favor higher inclusiveness at all levels as well as more flexible workplaces. But let’s look beyond circumstances: Where are women playing smaller than they could?
Some women (subconsciously) believe that they will work more hours in a higher position, although that’s not necessarily true. Often enough, they are already working 10+ hours/day… just for less money. I’ve also worked with female clients who had stopped themselves from moving up early in their careers just because “someday they might have children…” They shortchanged themselves by slowing their careers down even before they became pregnant. Another pattern I see with women is that they don’t acknowledge their past accomplishments enough, let alone their potential, while many men very confidently talk about their future potential – and therefore get promoted and paid for it. We women must learn how to believe in our own power and brilliance, rather than doubting ourselves so much. We can’t always do it alone, so we need a solid support system.
Tell us one of your greatest professional accomplishments, and why it meant so much to you?
What means the world to me is when my clients transform into their best selves and bring out the powerful beings they really are, when they connect with their inner power and their unique genius. Every client that steps into the next level of their potential through our work together means I’m successfully working within my purpose: inspiring them to step into their brilliance and into the next level of their unlimited potential. This, combined with the Diversity & Inclusion-focused work I do, is my humble contribution towards more inclusive workplaces, faster female advancement and more balanced leadership.
I am also extremely thrilled to have a small international team of Certified Facilitators for my Powerful Leadership Transformation (PLT)™ process, which I’m planning to grow over the next few years. The goal of this program is to spread the work to communities that do not currently have easy access to this type of content, while giving the facilitators a way to generate extra income by teaching the workshop and spreading the love.
My “big-vision WHY” behind all my work is to create more wealth and peace for all on this planet, and I am excited to see the ripple effects of both my clients’ and facilitators’ successes and teachings.
How do you manage fear in both your work and personal life?
Whenever I face fear, I look it in the eye and ask it what it wants to protect me from. This helps me figure out if it’s a justified fear or an irrational fear. I have found that most of the time, fear is an indication that it’s time to step up to my next level, into the unknown. In which case the only real choice for me is courage because I’ve learned that my inner being will not allow me to stay stuck. It constantly nudges me to grow, and when I don’t make the move voluntarily, I’ll either get frustrated or that gentle nudge turns into a violent push.
The truth is, I have always been adventurous, and I’ve taken a lot of risks… I can tell a few stories! For example, as a business owner in several different countries, I also had to deal with corruption. With integrity being one of my core values, giving in to corruption was never an option. This sometimes came at a high cost but more importantly, I learned to stand up for myself, stay true to myself and aligned with my values… despite the inherent risks.
Also, I learned most things in my life by doing, I re-invented myself several times. There’s no room for fear in starting over. It takes guts.
What do you believe will be the greatest global benefit to having more women in leadership roles?
I firmly believe that when we have a critical mass of women in leadership roles – in politics, in corporate, as entrepreneurs, as community leaders, as artists…, there will be more wealth for all, more co-creation, and therefore less competition, less rivalry and more peace.
Women tend to share their wealth once they have created it… with their families, their communities, the causes they want to support.
Women also are naturally more collaborative, although some have adapted a bit too much as a result of highly competitive corporate and political environments. What we need is more collaboration and co-creation. That requires trust. Not an easy challenge but the more we work together as women and the more male allies we recruit, the faster the change we can create.
The goal is of course not to replace male leaders… The goal is to come together in more diverse leadership teams to make more balanced, better decisions, and to implement more inclusive policies, processes and structures that benefit all, just to name a few.
What have you found to be the most effective way to motivate and energize your team?
My team are my Facilitators, and I don’t get to see them in person as often as I’d like, so I provide a platform where we can come together in virtual meetings, learn and grow with and through each other. We are also constantly brainstorming other ways to collaborate.
As far as motivation is concerned, I don’t really believe that we can motivate others. Motivation comes from within. What I can do, though, is inspire my team, and yes, energize them by equipping them with ideas, resources and tools, and by making sure we stay connected. Everyone on my team is highly professional and self-driven. That’s why they qualified as Facilitators in the first place.
What is at the “core” of your drive and motivation to succeed?
I want to see women, young leaders and really everyone step into an Empowering Mindset and into their Body-Conscious Presence, embrace their Distinctive Uniqueness, and not feel threatened by other people’s (different) greatness. This will allow us to move towards more co-creation rather than wasting so much precious energy on competing with others. When we are truly aware of our authentic brilliance and our unique genius, there’s no need to compete, as we’re now able to fully understand the amazing gift that diversity really is. We understand that we are all unique pieces in the diversity puzzle, and we recognize the complementary greatness in others. We combine it with our own, so together we can achieve even greater things.
That’s what led me to integrate the concepts of an Empowering Mindset, Distinctive Uniqueness, a Body-Conscious Presence and Effective Action into my process Powerful Leadership Transformation (PLT)™. I then added Conversational Intelligence C -IQ® to my repertoire because it helps build the trust that’s necessary to bring out the best in diverse teams.