The Power of Latino Leadership in the Multicultural Future with Dr. Juana Bordas

Latino Leadership in the Multicultural Future with Diversity and Inclusivity Pioneer, Dr. Juana Bordas

Hi everyone, it’s Jenn DeWall, and on this week’s episode of the Leadership Habit Podcast, I sat down with Dr. Juana Bordas to talk about the power of Latino leadership. We are the multicultural future! That is the focus of the podcast today, understanding that, from the perspective of Juana Bordas, who is the author of Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age and The Power of Latino Leadership: ¡Ahora! Both books received the International Latino Book Award for her breakthrough work in the multicultural leadership field.

Multicultural FutureHer new edition of The Power of Latino Leadership: ¡Ahora! Is being released March 28th and can be ordered on Amazon. But let me tell you a little bit more about Juana. Juana served as an advisor to Harvard’s Hispanic Journal, the Kellogg National Fellows as trustee of Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership and International Leadership Association, the ILA. She was the first Latino to receive ILA’s Lifetime Achievement Award. And as a founder and Executive Director for Colorado’s Mi Casa Resource Center, founding president of the National Hispanic Leadership Institute and the Circle of Latina Leadership, she was commended by Latina Style magazine for creating a nation of Latina leaders. I hope you enjoy our conversation as we talk about the power of Latino leadership.

Meet Dr. Juana Bordas, President of Mestiza Leadership International

Jenn DeWall (01:31):  Happy International Women’s Day! I am so excited to be joined today on the podcast to talk about the power of Latino leadership with you, the beautiful Dr. Juana Bordas, and I’ll call you Juana, thank you so much for coming on The Leadership Habit today, and especially to share your insights and your experience on this important topic. I feel so lucky. I said to you earlier, and of course our audience just heard your reputation is profound. So many awards, so many different,I guess just recommendations and accolades. And I just feel lucky to have you on the show today. So thank you so much for being here.

Dr. Juana Bordas (02:11):  Thank you for having me and for having a strong and powerful woman at the helm of this podcast. You know, we’re gonna do this.

Jenn DeWall (02:19):  Yes, we are. Well, let’s go ahead. They heard a little bit about you through that opening introduction bumper, but could you go ahead and introduce yourself and tell our audience a little bit more about who you are, how you came to be, what you focus on, and what you’re passionate about, anything you feel to share.

Dr. Juana Bordas (02:34):  Oh, great. Well, I am an immigrant. I came to this country when I was a little girl, three years old. And my family immigrated from Nicaragua. There had been a tsunami that had really wiped out the coast where my family was from. And so they had this vision and this dream. Now I come from a large family of eight. So my dad and my two older sisters came to the United States and worked and saved money to bring their family to America. And that’s my first boat. I’m in the hull of a banana boat, believe it or not, crossing the Gulf of Mexico. And I remember my brother asking me if I wanted a banana <laugh>. So we must have been eating a lot of bananas. There was just a series of bunk beds in the bottom of the, of the boat. But here’s the thing, you know, I think when we look at my experience as an immigrant, we can look across not only our own country and our history as an immigrant nation, but the incredible contributions that immigrants have made to America.

Dr. Juana Bordas (03:34):  For example, all four of my brothers served in the military and you know, my sister served in the waves in World War II, so out of the eight of us, five were in the military, and I served in the USP score in Chile. So, I mean, when you look at immigrants, we’re just here to find opportunity to get a better life. And my parents sacrificed everything so I could become an educated woman. So when people ask me why I’m so driven, I’m like, well, my family poured everything into me so I could become the one that opened the door for others in our family to become educated. And we all are. My three daughters have advanced degrees now. One’s a teacher, one’s a professor, and one’s a lawyer. And so I love to tell my story just because today there’s some tension around immigration. And yet, well, we have to look at the history of our great country and what happened here.

Jenn DeWall (04:27):  Oh my gosh. Juana! You came to America in the hull of a boat

Dr. Juana Bordas (04:32): The hull of a banana boat! Yeah, they had a room in the back with bunk beds. Oh my. And that’s where my mother and five of her children were. And you know, I do a lot of work with people about, about their purpose. And because I was the youngest daughter and because I had these parents, like my mother went to the, to the priest at the Catholic church, and she sat in her humble way, I can cook, I can clean, I can take care of children. But then she said, give me a job because I came here to educate my children so they could have a better life. And of course, who’s gonna refuse a selfless soul like that? So when you look at your parents, and all of us know that our parents and those that came before us, that we stand on their shoulders. When you look at what they sacrificed, I have a deep desire to give back and, and to make sure other people have the same opportunities I had.

Jenn DeWall (05:22):  Oh my gosh. And Juana, like you, I feel that. And every part of my body, just your desire to take what your parents gave you to pour everything into it. And today we’re gonna be talking about, you know, the power of Latino leadership and advancing that understanding that. And I will tell you that as, as our audience might know, like I am not Latina, so I’m going to be learning so much from you, Juana, and I am so excited to just have you here to talk about this and to share your story and to give highlights, but also, gosh, tap into that passion that you have! Because we all could use a little bit, little bit more Juana in our days. Lemme just tell you!

Dr. Juana Bordas (05:59):  Oh, that’s very kind of you. Now I think, you know, the fact is, is that, that most of us have a sort of a vision or a passion or a purpose. And part of life is, is is stoking that up, right. And, and keeping that fire alive. And so when I teach leadership, that’s one of the main things I do with people. You know, I believe that every one of us is unique. We are, there’ll never be another person like you, Jenn, or a person like me or anybody who’s listening. We’re one of a kind design. And so we have some natural abilities, some assets where we were born, our interest, all of that that leads us to make a unique contribution with our life. And studies show that when you have that sense of purpose, you lead a fulfilled life. You know? So, so that’s, that’s why it’s so great.

Who are Latinos and Where are They From?

Jenn DeWall (06:46):  Well, let’s step into your purpose. Let’s talk a little bit more about the power of Latino leadership. And we had captured the phrase that we are, and meaning Latinos are the multicultural future, but let’s level set for people because Latino is a broader term and if someone maybe is, you know, like me and unfamiliar or doesn’t know as much, that can be a confusing who falls under that classification. Yeah. Well, and so who, who are Latinos anyway? I know we have like, I’m not like who, who are Latinos?

Dr. Juana Bordas (07:15):  You kinda hit the nail on the head, you know, because so first of all, there’s Latino and Hispanic, Latino refers to Latin America, and it’s more inclusive because it also includes Brazil and Portugal. It’s the Latin countries, you know. But it’s kind of funny because Hispanic and Latino both go back to the Roman occupation of Spain. <Laugh>, that’s the Romans called Spain Hispania. But in any case, Latinos are a blended culture. They’re mainly the Spanish conquistadors or, they are called conquistadors, and the indigenous people of this hemisphere you know, there was kind of a merger unlike North America. And so when you look at the population in south and Central America, it’s called mestizo or mixed people. And then when you add, for example, my father’s father was French, so I’m actually French, Nicaraguan, Spanish and Indian.

And so we have this mixture, it’s called the Mezcla, the mixture. And that’s part of our DNA and that’s one of the reasons Latinos love inclusion so much. And we come from 26 countries and yet we were all colonized by the Spanish and have the Spanish language, common values that hold our culture together. So it’s really kind of a new phenomena, this population that is mixed. And today, if you look at studies 42% of Latinos say we have European blood. Sure. Because of the Spanish. A fourth of us are Afro-Latinos, a another 25% claim their indigenous roots. So even in the way we identify is mixed. And what’s so beautiful about that is that half the children in in today’s America claim that they’re mixed or multicultural. It’s what’s coming. And they’re very excited about living in a world where the best of each culture is available to all of us. And where we can learn and have cultural affinity for all the cultures around us. Like St. Patrick’s Day is coming up next week, and I’m gonna be celebrating that <laugh>.

What does the Multicultural Future Look Like?

Jenn DeWall (09:20):  I love it. But you’re talking about the future where we can appreciate the multicultural country countries that many of us live in. So let’s talk about what a multicultural future looks like here in the US. What is today’s dominant culture and how do you think that’s going to evolve over the next few decades?

Dr. Juana Bordas (09:38):  Well, we know that our, our culture’s changing. You know, an interesting thing to me was there was an a thousand percent increase in the last census, you know, 2020 census where people who had originally identified as white, checked white and other races. Well, you know, I think that’s interesting. Then there was a 250% increase in people who actually claimed they were multicultural. And now with people checking their DNA and, and and you know, marrying into different cultures and their children having friends and adopting the music and the culture of other people, this multicultural age is coming. And you have to marry that with the global age as well because we have people from so many different countries now, you know, one out of five people in America move every year. And so here we are, this mixture of people from different places and different countries and different ethnic groups and different races. And I think that cultural mix is gonna be so dynamic. You know, nature loves a hybrid.

Jenn DeWall (10:39):  <Laugh>. Yes.

Dr. Juana Bordas (10:40):  Know, Latinos have hybrid vigor. That’s what I always tell ’em. That’s why we’re so, you know, you look at Latinos and they’re running around, our music has an extra beat. We love color and, and you know, we’re hybrids. And so that opportunity, I mean, there’s no downside to diversity. You know, there’s all these people that go like, oh, this, no, this is an opportunity finally for humanity to come together and tap into the best of every, every culture, every nationality.

Jenn DeWall (11:06):  Oh My, I love this. Like, I have tears in my eyes just thinking about a future where we can all come together and just appreciate the different, like values and experiences, the cultures, like all that, the contributions that people can make, really ex expressing those differences. And I love that you said that there’s no downside to diversity, cuz I totally believe that. Like,

Multicultural Leadership and an Inclusive Future

Dr. Juana Bordas (11:27):  It’s, it’s about growth. It’s about growth, right? It’s an add-on process. Yes. I think we have to do some healing. You know, all of us, all of us may have things that don’t serve us now. But but that’s true. In, in, in, in any, anything you do. You know, they always say that growth is two things. One is doing a little pruning and the other one’s feeding and growing and expanding. Right. And so this is an opportunity I think for all of us, us to come together and we need to do it. We need to do it not only because our children are already there, right, right. Our children are already there. But also because there has been so much conflict in the world about differences and you know, we need to stop that. We need to get over that. We need to look at a future that includes everybody.

Jenn DeWall (12:12):  Gosh. And just find the love. Like find our common humanity. Exactly. Find the love, like find the peace. And I know there’s obviously a lot of things that go and be that, but wouldn’t it just be so great? But let’s talk about like what are the benefits if we move towards, I mean, I love your enthusiasm cause we’re gonna get a ton on what you’re going to say because I feel from where I sit, there are tremendous benefits. But again, I know that there are some, there’s a little bit of fear or uncertainty or whatnot. But let’s talk about the benefits when we actually embrace this approach

Dr. Juana Bordas (12:40):  Yeah, well let me give you a little, a little Latino thing on this. Ready? Yeah. Latinos have the highest participation of any group in the workplace. We love to work. And whether you’re talking about getting your roof put on or, or having your grandmother taken care of, you know, or or having your food served or your food grown for you. I mean, Latinos are essential workers across this country. And work is dignified to us. If we can work, we’re contributing, which our culture is all about. Everybody contributing their share, doing their part. Work is about dignity, you know? And work is about supporting my family. So, you know, it’s an important thing. And so Latinos have this other thing about work and it’s called Go for the Gusto. Some people have heard that. Right? Go for the gusto.

Jenn DeWall (13:26):  Go for the gusto. I love that

Latino Entrepreneurship

Dr. Juana Bordas (13:27):  Gusto. So that means about passion. Don’t just do your job like, you know, a job. No, do it with some passion. You know, do it with some, some some give it that extra shot. You know, try to do your best work. And then the third one, which I really love about work and and about the Latino culture is that we celebrate life. We have the highest participation in the labor market. Give us a job, we’ll do it. But it we also celebrate life. We spend more money on food going out to eat. We invented the word fiesta. We have celebrations. We love music. We’re higher technology users because we wanna connect with each other. So it’s that whole idea of enjoying life, contributing through work, doing a great job, but at the same time enjoying your family, enjoying your community, and knowing that that life really is a celebration as well. You know? So so the Latino culture has so much to offer people we’re also totally entrepreneurial. 80% of the small businesses in the last decade according to the census, were started by Latinos. Well sure. Because a third of us are immigrants and we’ve got that immigrant can-do, let’s get it done, innovative, risk-taking spirit. And and so I think Latinos are here to revitalize America where we are going to revitalize the American dream.

Jenn DeWall (14:45):  Oh my gosh. I feel like I’ve learned so much. And even just thinking about what and how I can learn. I mean, one of the things, things that really stands out about what you just shared is even just that coming back to our purpose of enjoying our lives, of finding joy and enjoying our community or giving back to our community, helping others, supporting our family. I mean, so many of those things that I think we’ve for some reason have kind of let slip or maybe not focused on in the same way. Like just knowing that we’ve gotta come back together.

The Multicultural Future is “We” Oriented

Dr. Juana Bordas (15:12):  Yeah. Well, you know because it’s International Women’s Day, we should take a look at the fact that women, in all cultures are “we” oriented. You know, they care about the family about the community. Women built our schools, they built our nonprofits. And so Latinos are a “we” culture, they’re a people-centered culture as are most cultures. You know, the African-American culture, the American Indian culture and cultures across the world. And that means that you don’t just think about you, you think about we, you think about the collective, you think about people, you think about building a society that takes care of its people. And I think women have done that traditionally throughout history. And so we’re at a crossroads, really. Are we really gonna continue with this gap where they say that three people in America, we won’t name any names, own half the wealth? You know, in our culture, you don’t take more than your share.

Yes. You know, I have a nice house and and you can be comfortable and you could even have a little vacation home if you want that. But you don’t need to be so filthy rich that it damages the other. And so in collective cultures, it was always understood that if somebody took or they had a few that took too much, it would damage the whole. And that’s where we are in society today with, you know, 47% of Latinos not even earning $15 an hour. And the fact is, you know, a good economy where people are making a good wage is good for everybody. Right? Right. And so we need to get back to that. Our constitution starts with, We the people!

Jenn DeWall (16:47):  <Laugh>. Yes. I love it. Bring it back to that.

Dr. Juana Bordas (16:49):  We need to get back to that. Yes. Yeah.

Jenn DeWall (16:51):  And, and I feel like yes, paying people a living wage, giving people the tools or access to the things that they need to be able to live a quality life. Like I just think that’s so important for all of our missions to give that back to humanity.

Dr. Juana Bordas (17:04):  Right.

Jenn DeWall (17:05):  Right. Why would we not?

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Latino Leadership is Creating a Better Future

Jenn DeWall (18:10):  And bringing it back into leadership. So I, I, again, I love this cause I feel like, did I get this right? I wanna make sure I got this right. So do did you say Latinos represent 26 countries? Was that what you said earlier? Yeah, 26. Yeah. Holy cow. I did not know that. Right, right. And I’m already just learning and I’m absorbing and I processing and then trying to ask questions and I’m sure our audience is following along thinking too. What do you think as it relates to really creating this like better future where we are embracing, you know, the multicultural future that we’re headed towards, what are the skillsets that you think that leaders need today to be ready to unite these individuals and to help everyone work better together?

Dr. Juana Bordas (18:51):  Well two principles of leadership that I think are very helpful. The first one is the leader as equal. You know, and if you talk to people that are trying to create a more equitable society, they will tell you that one of the biggest problems is dominance. Or before it was patriarchy. It’s like one group being, you know, or the leaders being you know, on top in a sense, you know? Yeah. And the leader is equal, defines the leader as someone who treats everybody with respect. And we know it’s true. If, if you ha, you know, if you’re working in an office, the people that keep the office nice for you so that you can go in the IT people that make your, your your IT work, the people who do the payroll and get you paid or whatever, every single person has something to contribute.

The Power of Leadership by Many, and Leaders as Equals

Dr. Juana Bordas (19:34):  And the leader, their job or our job is to develop those people. It’s to let them know that they contribute. It’s to let them know that they have value. And we do that by our own actions and our own character by treating people with respect. Whether you clean the place or you’re the CEO! And then, and then not, you know, not breaking the rules, you know, following the rules and showing people this is how you lead. And so that’s very important. Now, if you do that, a second thing happens, and that’s called leadership by the many. And that means you begin to get people that believe that they are leaders too, and that they can be leaders. And that’s what we need, you know, in a democracy we need everybody to participate. I mean, we need people engaged. We need people engaged in our schools and our nonprofits and Yeah. And, you know, and, and really engaged in business. I mean, when you hire somebody that they should really give it their best shot. And so these two principles, leadership by the many and leadership as equal, the leader is equal, really can create an organization where people step up and believe I too can make a contribution. So those are two fabulous principles that people can begin using that I, that I really outline in in, in the books I’ve written.

Jenn DeWall (20:50):  I have to ask, I have to ask the governor point. And I, I love that of thinking perfect. How can I show people that, you know, Hey, I appreciate you, I respect your contributions. I want to give you that recognition from where you sit. What do you think are the biggest challenges that people run into as it relates to either of those principles or philosophies?

Dr. Juana Bordas (21:10):  Well, I do think it is hard. I, I mean, it does mean you have to train people and you have to invest in people, right? People can’t do a good job if, if, if, if they haven’t been shown how to do that, and also been giving the coaching or the mentoring or whatever they need to be able to be high contributors and high performers. So it, it is intense in that way. But I, I, I had a, a leader ask me, well, how do you lead a big team? I say, well, if you really work with people, if you have a shared vision, if you have participatory leadership, if you have a plan that’s step by step so that each time they take a step, they’re moving forward towards that vision. You don’t have to manage that big team because they’re gonna manage themselves <laugh>, you know?

Building a Collective Culture of Accountability

Dr. Juana Bordas (21:53):  So the real goal is to get people to accept that commitment and that responsibility, that I’m an important part of this. And the other thing in collective cultures, if I don’t do my job, I let everybody down. And so if you can, you know, if you can establish that sense of, “we”, we’re in this together, this is our organization, this is our team, then people aren’t gonna let other people down because when they don’t do their job, other people can’t do theirs. You see what I mean? So I have to kind of imbue that spirit in them. And I have to say that when you look at leadership for Latinos or communities of color for 500 years, our leaders had to inspire people with the knowledge that they would never see the success or progress in their lifetime with the knowledge that they had to do this as volunteers, you know, as people who were just had a vision that, that someday their children would finally go to college, their children would finally have a good job in a good home, right? That’s what my mother would say to me. I want you to have a good home. I want you to have a good job. I don’t want you to work like I’ve had to work. And that’s such a motivator for people, you know, when people invest that way. But the leadership that we’ve had in the past has been really an inspirational inclusive type leadership.

Jenn DeWall (23:10):  And how do you feel? I mean, I love that and it’s, it is interesting, right? When we recall our own resilience, we can come back to that purpose, but sometimes, yeah, it can be difficult if, you know, you’re not going to actualize in the way that you wish you could, that it’s just smaller steps to get that message, the influence to grow the, the, I guess the purpose and getting it there. What do you think, so if that was the leadership quality, then what do you think is the leadership quality today? Is it more of like, going back to that understanding and how we create that “we”?

Dr. Juana Bordas (23:42):  Yes. Well, actually the, I I, I think there’s, first of all, one of the things that I think is real important, particularly for people who don’t know their ancestors the first principle in my, in my multicultural book is, is remember the past, know the past, connect to your past, learn from the past. You know that’s such an important thing for us to do because we live in a society where there’s sound bites and we go from one thing to the other, and people don’t even remember the struggles we’ve had. That’s why I was so happy today when I did my International Woman’s Day post to say, Hey, women have had the vote for a hundred years now. We’ve taken that step. Where are we going next? Do you see what I mean? But to really embrace the fact that, that women have been on this journey for, for over a hundred years and we’re just getting there.

Multicultural Leadership Must Look to the Future

Dr. Juana Bordas (24:28):  So these things do take a long time, but the true leader is not looking at the present, they’re looking at the future. They’re looking at what’s coming. They’re looking at the fact that, you know, when you look at studies on women as leaders, people would rather work for a woman because women also have that relational aspect that we’re talking about that’s in the Latino culture where people come first, children come, first, families, you know, so anyway, so it, it’s really important for us to be able to look at the past. Then the second shift is from I to WE, this whole thing about Numa and the individualism or our few people being leaders, that that really, and especially for millennials and Zs, if you do some research into the younger generation, they want allies. They want partners. They wanna be part of the, the, the organization. And they don’t like top-down leadership. And so we need to make that shift to we leadership, leadership that really inspires people. And that doesn’t mean you don’t have some, some hierarchy or positions, but those people, you know, it should be kind of hard to tell when they’re walking down the hall. Who’s the CEO <laugh>,

Jenn DeWall (25:33):  Right!

Dr. Juana Bordas (25:35):  I’ve met some CEOs like that, by the way, who are right there, right? And and you know, so they should be, they should be able to roll up their sleeves and, and, and, and be on the ground as well. And then the third shift is this shift to a more generous society where you don’t have such a gap in, in wealth. You know, I’m old enough to remember the fifties, and for those of us that can remember that, you know, my family bought their little home for $10,000. Working class people could afford a home, you know, and the gap in wages where, where the wages haven’t risen I think that’s something we should all be concerned about. We should try to build an America where people are taken care of. And that I think is the purpose of leadership. Whether you’re taking care of your team or whether you’re taking care of your organization and your corporation. How are the people, and do they really believe that you’re there to serve them, to grow them, and to help them reach their own potential?

What are Your Secrets for Success?

Jenn DeWall (26:25):  Okay, why don’t I have to ask this, like, you’ve given and dropped so many insights, considerations, and perspectives, but you yourself are someone how I’ve come to know you, and I don’t even know, but you, how I would describe you as someone that’s extremely resilient and purpose driven. I know this is kind of off script, but what’s your secret? How do you, how do you stay committed? Because obviously life can get challenging. Things aren’t perfect or where we want them to be. What is one of the things that you keep in mind to allow you to keep to that purpose and keep going even when times are tough? Because I feel like you’re also someone that we can all be inspired by to keep going. If things are going difficult, that we can persevere, we can do it. What’s your, what’s your secret? Give us some tips.

Tip 1: Stay Connected to Your Ancestors

Dr. Juana Bordas (27:10):  <Laugh>, I’ll give you some tips. Number one, you know, I am very connected to my ancestors and so are our majority of people in the world. So I invite everybody to look at my social media during Halloween, because I do a whole thing on Dia de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead, and how you can connect to your ancestry. That’s so important in the US because people were told to change their names to forget where they came from. The truth of the matter is, there’s a lot of power in the people that came before you and whose shoulders you stand on.

Tip 2: Keep Balance in Your Life

Dr. Juana Bordas (27:41):  I also have a lot of balance in my life, you know I do yoga, I meditate every morning. I’m a hiker. I just went skiing. I’m very active. Your health and how you eat and all that. We all know that. But I’m 80 years old, you know?

Jenn DeWall (27:59):  Wait, <laugh>, are you serious?

Dr. Juana Bordas (28:02):  And to, so if you wanna go the long haul and

Jenn DeWall (28:05):  You No, you’re kidding me right now. You’re not 80! <laugh>. Wait, are you kidding? Are you kidding? Right.

Dr. Juana Bordas (28:10):  No, no, no, no. I’m actually 80 and a half

Jenn DeWall (28:13):  <Laugh>. Okay? This is the moment where we take a pause in the podcast, and I wish everyone could go and Google Juana! There’s no way! You are 80!

Tip 3: Take care of the Mind, the Body and the Spirit

Dr. Juana Bordas (28:23):  80 and a half <laugh>. No, but I mean, I mean, you don’t think that way when you’re young, you know, because you do have that vibrancy and so forth. But I would encourage people to figure out, you know, whether it’s it’s the 30 minute walk or whatever, take care of the mind, the body and the spirit!

Tip 4: Live with Purpose and Help Others

Dr. Juana Bordas (28:38):  And then your heart, you know people say to me, well, why are you still working? I go, well, I surround myself with people who really have vision and purpose and who really wanna make a difference. And all the studies show again that a purposeful life, a life where you’re contributing is, is what’s gonna make you happy. And I kind of learned that from my mom. You know, my mother was a, a woman, a steal, this immigrant woman with a fifth grade education who had a vision and determination that I would be here today, right?

And if I was moping around, she’d say, get busy and do something for somebody else, right? I mean, she was real clear that too much concentration on yourself. And that doesn’t mean you don’t do your healing work. That’s very important. I grew up at a time when I couldn’t even speak my language, you know, and, and I was, you know, discriminated against. People didn’t think I was smart because of where I came from, but so, so you have to do your healing work, but beyond that, you have to serve others. And I think the richness of my life comes because I can look across my life and see how many people, people, how many women I’ve developed when I started Mi Casa Women’s Center in the seventies, or the National Hispana Leadership Institute in the nineties, to train Latino women to be national leaders. When you have that kind of a feeling about your life, then, then the energy just flows <laugh>

Jenn DeWall (30:00):  Wow!

Dr. Juana Bordas (30:00):  A beautiful, but yeah. But it’s so important that you, that you keep that mind, body, spirit balance, you know? And then the other thing is, you know, I, I kid people, I go like, I’m independently wealthy, and the reason I’m independently wealthy is because I’ve paid off my home. When I worked at the Center for Creative Leadership, I bought another little house. So I paid off a rental. I paid cash for my car. I have no bills. And so, Hey, I’m Rich <laugh>.

Jenn DeWall (30:27):  Yes, my gosh. Juana, I’m like tearing up because you are, and I hope our audience is getting this too, just the true example and role model of servant-based leadership practicing what you preach of giving back to the community. I’ve even talking about the principles, and I wanna, before we end, I do want to talk about your book just a little bit more so they can understand where to get that. But Juana, like your, your purpose is so inspiring to me, and I just hope that it, it invigorates or inspires our audience because you are just truly a role model of servant-based leaders.

Dr. Juana Bordas (31:01):  Oh, thank you!

Jenn DeWall (31:02):  I, I don’t see that all the time. Like, right, like, we don’t see that all the time.

The Power of Servant Leadership in the Multicultural Future

Dr. Juana Bordas (31:07):  But you have to understand it does make you happy and it does make it powerful. Servant leadership is is one of the most powerful forms of leadership because you’re not only by the way the, the test of the servant leader is our, do your people grow, become more autonomous, more likely to lead themselves. It’s not a, it’s not a, what do you call it? A it’s not you serve people and, and no, it’s, you help them become empowered, autonomous, able to serve themselves. So it’s, it’s just such a rewarding form of leadership.

Juana’s Latest Book: The Power of Latino Leadership

Dr. Juana Bordas (31:40):  So, but we were gonna talk about something and that was my book and what I wanna tell folks, I think that’s so important today, you know, the diversity and inclusion conversation has really not included Latinos like it should being that we’re gonna be, you know, the, we’re gonna be one out of four people in the next like 15 years, but we’re also 78% of the new entries into the labor force.

So regardless of whether you’re working with somebody or you’re a manager, or you’re leading whatever, it’s important to understand the Latino contribution to America and who we are, and that we welcome people to join with us. This cultural adaptability and cultural agility that I talk about in my writing, that’s what we all need in the multicultural age. Cuz just give you an example, you’re gonna be managing people in four different generations. Yeah. That’s cultural agility. Being able to listen to the millennials and the Z’s and recognize, you know, that, that they process information different than me and building a partnership with them where I learn from them and they learn from me. You know, my name with millennials is Tia Juana or Aunt Juana, because they don’t <laugh> that way, they can relate to me as their, as their favorite Aunt!

Jenn DeWall (32:52):  <Laugh>. I love it. Well, I, I wanna tell our audience your book title, the Power of Latino Leadership: ¡Ahora! Yes. When you, who is this book for? Who do you imagine reading this book or how can it help them?

Dr. Juana Bordas (33:05): Yeah. Well well first of all, I think for, for Latinos it’s an opportunity for them to learn about their history, their culture, their leadership, and have a vision for the future, which I call Latino Destino, <laugh> or Latino Destiny. And I think our destiny is to help build the multicultural world and to reinfuse humanistic values into the American society. You know, values such as hard work as generosity, as community, as people come first, you know celebrating life, the values that we have, I think can re reinvigorate America. But the other thing is, I think for all people that have not had an opportunity to learn about our culture, this is really important. This is gonna prepare you for the next wave of American evolution in this society. And again, we invite you to come with us. That’s a very different form of diversity.

Bienvenido! Welcome – Join Us in the Multicultural Future

Dr. Juana Bordas (33:55):  You know, we have a value called bienvenido or welcome. And a lot of people can even feel that when they’re with Latinos. You know, we used to embrace each other when we said hello, but we have this whole sense of extended family, of inviting people to be part of us. And I call that Latinos by corazon or Latinos by heart. And so our inclusion is very different. We say bienvenido, we say, come with us, work with us to create this new America that’s diverse, that’s people-centered, that recognizes the contributions of all its people. And that has a vision for, for a different kind of future.

Jenn DeWall (34:30):  Oh my gosh. And you’ve just painted a beautiful vision for a beautiful future. Juana thank you so much for coming on the show. I have to ask, just because I feel like you’ve given us so much, is there any less things that you would like to share with our audience before I ask you how they can get in touch with you?

Dr. Juana Bordas (34:45):  Well, first of all, I wanna honor them for listening and, and, and for being part of the conversation that shows they wanna learn, that shows they’re turned on, that shows, you know, that they really want to experience differences in a, in a new way. And so thank you all for listening and and yes, it would honor me and my ancestors to, to have this book. But I really do believe to prepare for the future, you under, you need to understand the Latino experience in America today.

Jenn DeWall (35:12):  Yes. And where can they get your book? How can they, how can they learn more? I already learned so much, and I, well, I don’t, I realize there’s, so I already knew I didn’t know a lot and now I’m like, I definitely don’t know a lot. And so where can they, where can they get your book?

Where to Find More From Dr. Juana Bordas

Dr. Juana Bordas (35:27):  They can get the book on Amazon. It, it as a pre-order. It’s gonna be out March 28th, but they can order it on Amazon, of course. Support your local bookstore, you know, but that, that’s an important thing. We wanna keep our small businesses alive and they can, they can order it, you know through Porchlight or any of the other book things. And, and I’m gonna be a best seller. So get it now while you can, cuz it’s hot!

Jenn DeWall (35:51):  <Laugh>. Yes, you are. And wanna thank you for sharing your, you are a light in this space. Thank you for being a light for the people that came before you. I love how much respect you have for the people that came before, but also your passion for creating a better world for us all to live in. Come and join us. Bienvenido. Like, welcome. I just, you are a beautiful light. Thank you so much for coming on this show.

Dr. Juana Bordas (36:14):  Oh no. Thank you for having this podcast. Girl. You go! <Laugh> Bueno! Thank you, Gracias, Adios!

Jenn DeWall (36:22):  Thank you so much for listening to this week’s episode. I know that I myself learned a lot and I really enjoyed my conversation with Juana. And if you would like to get in touch with her, you can purchase her book, The Power of Latino Leadership ¡Ahora! It’s available now on Amazon. You can also head on over to her website. It’s the first book on Latino history, culture, and leadership. And will prepare you to work with, manage, and lead the fastest growing sector of the workforce and the most entrepreneurial group in America.

And of course, if you know someone that could benefit or learn it, would love to hear this episode, share this with them. And finally, don’t forget to head on over to There you can request a complimentary leadership skills workshop for you and your team. You can find out about our complimentary monthly webinars as well as download our Whitepapers and eBooks. Thank you so much for listening.