Embracing Empathy in Leadership – Brandi Bernoskie

“When you take care of your team, your people, and clients, they will take care of you too.” Brandi Bernoskie

Leaders work with people and it is very important that they create an environment that fosters open and honest communication if they are to get ahead and thrive. This is according to our guest today, Brandi Bernoski, who believes that the best way to sustainably grow your business and be a better leader, is by defining what success means to you, and being human in all your points of contact with both your people and clients.  

Brandi is a digital strategist, website developer, and founder of Alchemy+Aim and North Star Sites, companies that help entrepreneurs and business owners elevate their online presence and enhance their digital experience. She is an advocate for using technology in ways that humanize, connect and serve people as well as for asking deeper philosophical questions and teaching others to think more broadly about impact when they create, particularly in STEAM fields.

Brandi’s academic background in theatre, philosophy and physics was the perfect foundation for launching her business, where her team has worked with thought leaders like Brené Brown, Laverne Cox, Judy Smith, and Kate Northrup as well as other notable change makers since 2013. Brandi is a natural connector and business matchmaker, who is always working to help others step into their genius work and leverage the expertise of those around them to achieve new levels of success and community along the way.

In today’s episode, Brandi  discusses about what to consider when building a digital presence for your business. She will also delve more into what it means to be an empathetic leader and the importance of taking care of your people as well as your clients and creating meaningful relationships.

Listen in!

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  • I started my business about eight years ago as a freelance developer. [2:22]
  • I am not developing anymore because my team is doing all the development. [2:31]
  • We have the opportunity of partnering with our clients to bring out the best of what they do by creating something online that supports their business and their lifestyle. [2:40]
  • I am not a believer in magic pills or cookie-cutter formulas in order to get the job done. [2:50]
  • I am emphatic with my clients about tuning in to what they are excited about and leveraging those points of connection for the benefit of the business. [2:58]
  • I am such a natural relationships person, that I have built my entire business on just referrals, connections, and meeting new people. [3:39]
  • We have to start by defining what success means for ourselves. [4:15]
  • We hop on the latest social media channels because everyone is there, and we think that is where we should be, but your ideal audience may not be there. [6:05]
  • I tend to find my perfect audience in rooms full of brilliant women. [6:15]
  • We think we have to launch out of the gate with many offerings but you can start with just two and build on new ones as the audience demands it. [8:18]
  • That is the joy of having a business; is that you learn and evolve as you go. [9:55]
  • Some of my clients have come as referrals from people I have known; from spaces that weren’t necessarily related at all to website development. [10:10]
  • I never have a goal to sell anyone anything, even on a sales call. [10:50]
  • My goal is to understand what they need, and help them get what that is. [11:00]
  • There are times I go into things that I don’t think are going to work with me. [11:10]
  • I focus on finding who in my network I can connect them with, to help them get what they need. [11:18]
  • Any offer I make to my clients always comes from that place of service. [11:37]
  • This has helped me create long-term relationships with people. [11:52]
  • Commercial Break [13:25]
  • Being empathetic with people and getting to know whatever situation or struggle they are going through. [14:48]
  • Inevitably we can’t silo ourselves. [15:05]
  • If something is happening in our personal lives, it is going to affect our work. [15:12]
  • Permitting people not to be perfect all the time is huge. [15:51]
  • Creating that safe space for anyone that you are working with to come to you and let you know what is going on is so significant, particularly today. [16:23]
  • That is the foundation of all the leadership work I do with people. [16:55]
  • We have had to shift how we operate in so many ways, and to shift back is going to take some time. [15:25]
  • The pandemic brought to light things that mattered most to people. [15:40]
  • I always tell my team that if something happens, that needs your attention, please be there. [20:55]
  • Remember that you are an evolving human being, and it is not about getting things done perfectly but beautifully in their imperfection. [22:45]
  • It is always an evolution. [23:10]


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