Being stuck is time-consuming and could drain all the energy you have in you. It’s time to recharge yourself and recognize the opportunities that lie on the path that you should take. Join Jen Du Plessis and Dr. Rolanda Schmidt as they share powerful insights on implementing change, leadership management, and facing adversities. Dr. Ro is an author, management consultant, international speaker, and the CEO of Truth with Grace Consulting, which specializes in management consulting for corporations, academic and religious institutions. Faith is an action testimonial, and Dr. Rolanda explains how we could use that in our business and daily lives. With her mission to be a beacon of light to people, this episode is a great start for you to amplify your lives and grow!
Looking for some help? Jen is seeking individuals who would like to be featured as a panelist on the show for her Mortgage Lending Mastery Mastermind Series. Email Support@KineticSparkConsulting.com to get scheduled!
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How To Implement Change With Minimal Resistance With Dr. Rolanda Schmidt
I am so delighted to have one of our authors from our number one bestseller in two categories with Amazon, IMPACT: Inspiring Motivational Powerful Acronyms For Cognitive Thinking. With us is Dr. Rolanda Schmidt, otherwise known as Dr. Ro. Welcome to our show.
Thanks for having me. It’s an honor.
I’m so happy to have you here. I want to talk briefly about the book since you were in it and this is how we met. I’m so excited about that then we’re going to go on to other things. Your chapter in this book is called Lead. We have a couple of leaps in there as well. I want to talk about some of those pieces but organically, we’re not going to go through each one of those because you can get the book on Amazon and you can read all about Lead. I know that you’ll be talking about that a little bit because that is what you do every single day. Let me take a quick moment to tell everyone about you.
Dr. Ro Schmidt is an author of a couple of different books. I’ll have you name off those books. I’ve got the name of one of them, How to Implement Change with Minimal Resistance, which is what people love. I want to talk about where that stems from. You’re a management consultant, an international speaker and also a professor. You help a lot of people with management in leadership and that’s where this stems from but you are so deep. This is not who you are or what you do. It has to be what you do but it’s not who you are.Make faith-based decisions during difficult times and take the right direction. Click To Tweet
There’s so much depth to who you are. I’m delighted that you were in the book and you’re here with us so that we can get to know you a little bit better. You have something very poignant coming up in August 2021 that we’ll talk about as well. With that said, let’s talk about your journey. Take us all the way back. Where did your journey begin to becoming who you were that led you to be a professor and going into leadership management as one of the topics that you teach?
Back in the day, as a toddler and then even as a teenager, I’ve always talked. My dad would say, “You have a motor mouth. You keep talking.” Since I was two years old. I’m born and raised in Florida and I recall being on a beach with my grandfather and my dad. At two years old, you don’t know what that means but you know how the guys is going to look to the side at the women, I came home at two years old to my grandparents’ house and I said to my grandma, “Granddad said the headlights on that lady is cool.” My grandmother hit him on the head with the newspaper. I was like, “At two years old, you don’t understand.” Now that I’m older, I’m like, “Oh.” They would always say, “You talk too much.” Sometimes that’s a good thing, I’ve learned to listen but in that stage, it taught me that I know with certainty that I have a divine calling and that’s to write, teach and speak. You never should hold back with what your voice is but I didn’t know how that would go.
Getting out of high school, my dad would say to me and this was for religious reasons, he didn’t want me to go to a big college. I did what Midwesterners would call PSEO or short learning of college. I was in a two-year university. That is a version in high school and I would leave school and then go to work after doing those two classes. My first job then was as a tax accountant. My dad was like, “That’s what you need to do. Focus on this because it’s going to make money.” I did that for seventeen years. I don’t regret going into that arena of finance and doing taxes because it helps you to be organized and structured. At the same time, I am so much a people person so to sit in an office is not my personality.
My calling outside of that was how do I help other people lead in a way that I can help them. Initially, I thought that was going to law school. After getting some first formal educations with my Bachelor’s and then going on to my Master’s, my mentor said to me, “What do you want to do?” I said, “I want to put pedophiles in jail and when they get out, put them on a farm in Iowa somewhere and castrate them.” He was like, “You’re not biased. You cannot do that. You are a people person.” That’s what led me to management. She said, “You’re not just a manager, you’re a leader.” There is a difference.
You learn that many people manage different things, not just over a team but you’re a stay-at-home mom, that’s a manager. You could be a truck driver. You’re managing how you navigate your path on the road. For me, what did that look like? I was managing an office as an accountant. When I left my religion, I lost my clientele because they leave you. I pivoted, got my Master’s in Management at the time then when I graduated, I was asked to do a speech at graduation. The president at the time of the college said, “You’re going to be a professor. You’re going to teach.” I’m like, “Really?” That’s how life started for me in the arena of teaching.
I love the classroom. I love my students. I love imparting wisdom. I’ve done that for thirteen years. At this time, I’m on hiatus from teaching, not in the classroom but run hiatus from the classroom. My decision is not based on, “I wasn’t put on this Earth to teach.” It’s based on having a tragedy with my youngest child going to heaven. I decided, “Do I want to be in the classroom for 8 to 9 hours and see kids that look like my son?” It was hard. I’m like, “No.” I am pivoting my life outside of the classroom and consulting with individuals and companies one-on-one and as a group. I’m also pivoting into ministry in a way because I am in churches directly speaking to people that look like my son and helping them understand that life is hard but know that they’re loved. That’s where my purpose of leadership lies and I understand that I need to remain in that arena of teaching and speaking.
I’ve talked about that quite a bit. I know that that’s the pole that you have. Many of us in this arena, in fact, in this crazy book are going to this new poll that we all are experiencing. It’s amazing. We talked a lot about the word pivot during COVID. A lot of us made a pivot but now we’re making another one because that shift was a realization or shining a light on something we wanted. I know for myself it’s the same thing. It’s only been a short period of time but who showed up for you along this journey that you had of this transformation since the passing of your son? Who showed up for you to help you realize what you truly want to do?
When it first happened, I think I was on autopilot. You think in your mind, “I can do this,” but when tears are running down my face at the smallest things, I knew that I had to get therapy. Not the typical therapy but trauma therapy since I was home when all of that happened. The person number one that showed up to me first is God and my husband. We’re empty-nesters now. All of our kids are grown and out of the house. I will see him on a consistent basis and I can bounce certain things off of him. I had to realize I couldn’t trauma dump on him either because it affected him the same way that it affects me. Maybe not as closely being that my son is my biological son and he’s the bonus dad but it affected him.When you have a gift or talent, use and amplify it to motivate and teach people. Click To Tweet
Those two first mentors came around me mentally, spiritually and physically to say, “I am so sorry for your loss but I don’t want you to stay stuck in this place. What can we do to help you?” At the time, I didn’t know what to tell them other than pray for me. As they prayed, many people came into my life through an app, which is basically how I ended up meeting you through Clubhouse. I didn’t know what it was. I could hear people but obviously, God is saying to me again, “You talk. They talk. You belong here.” I met some amazing people that helped to amplify the gift that I have of writing, speaking and teaching. By having segments where I can still talk about leadership, I can talk about pretty much any subject how to overcome the challenges and that has given me a purpose. I’m not making light of a pain because I would give anything to have my son back.
I don’t wish this on any parent ever but it’s easy to get in the bed and never get up. I felt those days but when you have people that show up for you in the mornings and they’re like, “I want to hear what Dr. Ro has to say.” I know that I’m amplifying their voice and they’re amplifying mine. It makes the difference. In essence, the answer to your question is connections to people who are divinely put in my life, close family, close friends and people that hold me accountable for being productive to make the goals that I want to make. One of them was to have a national best-selling book. I have written books but not one that hit that level so I’m thankful to you for allowing me to be on that platform to do that.
I’m happy to. What has been your worst fear as you’ve gone through this process of stepping out and sharing you with the rest of the world? I can speak from experience and I know you can as well in this arena. Through sharing this story and sharing your trials and tribulations, it’s helping you heal. That’s what being stuck is. It’s letting it consume you and circle the drain and it’s like anything. You’re a teacher, you know that when you teach and you learn as much as the other people that you’re teaching. What’s been your worst fear in sticking your neck out there to the world?
Being judged although people say, “Don’t worry about what people say.” If you only knew the committee meeting that people play in their heads and I’m speaking for me directly as a mom, it’s like, “What are they think about? Why would her son do something like that? What family is this?” The mistakes that I’ve made in the past and having them surface thinking to myself, “Is there any part of me that has something to do with what my son chose? Was I working too much that I’ve been there?” All of those things, “What are those thought processes?” As far as fear in itself, sometimes when you become successful and I get this quote from my cousin, Dr. Stephanie Henry. She always says that new levels bring new devils. I am not a fearful person in the sense that I don’t have faith. I know that God is there for me. However, that trepidation comes when, “What’s going to be next?” It’s because I know it’s coming.
There was an interview with Oprah Winfrey. She had interviewed all these famous and very powerful people in the world. They said, “What is the most common thing that happens with all these people that you’ve interviewed?” She said, “Immediately, as the microphones are shut off and the cameras are shut off, every one of them says, ‘Was that okay? Is that good? Did I do good?’” Every one of them no matter their category because she said people want to be validated. They want to be heard, understood and listened to. That’s what you were going through. Validate the fact that I’ve gone through this process and say it’s okay. Tell me it’s okay.
At least that’s what I’m hearing from you. You’re not through everything, I get that but now that you’re at least on the upward swing here and you’re surrounding yourself with people that were in the book, from Clubhouse and from your new podcast as well. All the people that you’re surrounding yourself with, what are some of the rewards that you’re now seeing? To me, part of this show is breaking through glass ceilings. Through whatever that ceiling maybe, it’s not women in money all the time, it’s other ceilings that you have broken through. I feel like you’ve broken through but you’ve penetrated that ceiling. If you feel you’re completely broken through, it’s a whole other story. Tell us about how you’re feeling about the rewards that you’re getting now and what are some of those rewards?
It’s a blessing. I correlate it to grass outside. I say this because my father is a landscaper, retired now but it’s something I grew up with since I was little. When grass or seed comes and you keep watering it, it takes weeks sometimes to pop up a little bit of a blade. When you keep watering it, it blooms. If you don’t put fertilizer and other treatment on it, weeds come through even with beautiful grass. For me, I started with these weeds with grief, pain, stress, mentally, emotionally, financially, spiritually. By the blessings that God has brought to me, through you and others, I can get up knowing that specifically, if I left this Earth tomorrow by accident, that I have done what God put me on this Earth to do.
I’m sure there’s more that I have to do but I will be satisfied knowing that I did that. I honored my son and I’m honoring his legacy. I’m trying to be the best wife, bonus mom person that I can be and owning the times when I have done something that’s not so stellar. I’m learning how to pivot to better pastors, own that and do something better. It’s been a mountain of blessings, honestly, knowing and having the confidence that like, “I have this national bestselling book. What’s next there?” More books. Let me speak my mind. Maybe have one of those books turn into a movie that helps other moms and dads deal with the grief that I’m dealing with. There are so many things that I don’t have to have trepidation or fear about moving forward like it’s not going to happen. When you step into your divine purpose with humility and asking for help and being okay with that, God puts it there and he makes it happen. It doesn’t mean for everything because it’s not his purpose but when it is, it does happen.
Share with us why you’re wearing blue because this is something that if you begin following Dr. Ro, you’ll start seeing that there is this thread of blue in everything that she does.Overcome the challenges that come your way, and know that there’s a purpose for everything. Click To Tweet
When Giovanni passed away, which was October of 2019, a lot of things happen. I wasn’t sure what I would do with this but then I had a revelation two months after his passing like, “I have this organization already.” It’s not a 501(c)(3) yet at the time but I’m here to advocate for children and help them prevent abuse.” The name of it is No More C.R.A.P. (Children Being Ripped Apart from Parents) yet another acronym but I’m going, “My son was ripped from me.” I added suicide prevention in there. Apart from that was a vision I had of this bear bringing comfort to people. It’s called Courage, the comfort bear and it has a blue cape and I thought that’s the color. Giovanni loved the blue, the same royal blue that I wear. Blue is also for awareness of high functioning autism, which is something Gino suffered with as a teenager and Suicide Prevention Awareness has that blue tone as well.
It’s a threefold purpose to say anytime somebody sees blue on my nails, my hair or my clothes. Blue at some point, it’s going to be there. If I don’t have it on my nails, it’s on my toenails. It gives me the opportunity to speak because people will go, “You have blue in your hair or your nails are blue.” I can have that conversation without trauma jumping to say, “I’m advocating for my son.” I tell them why minimally but ask them to lend their boys to join me in this fight and they 100% of the time say, “Sure. I’ll do that.
There’s always a charitable component to most things that I do, not every episode that I have but I love that charitable component because I’m very involved in my church, faith and with veterans. I love hearing that story about how you are advocating for a multitude of causes that are close to your heart. Thank you for what you’re doing in that and continue to do so. Those that are reading can say, “I want to follow Dr. Ro because she’s leading the charge for this advocacy.” I want to talk about what’s next. Every day, you’re on Clubhouse. Are you only doing that weekdays or every day?
I have a busy life but early in the mornings, I’ve been granted the opportunity to be with Breakfast with Champions started by Glenn Lundy. Everyone has different segments. There are 31 of us. My segment now has been merged with Trevor Houston and we are able to interview on Tuesdays at 8:00 Eastern Standard Time on that segment for an hour. I typically support Monday through Friday for a few hours and then I treat it like a podcast. It’s in my ear. I’m there to listen unless I have a segment on Saturdays. That’s my day, I’d have to do stuff and I have a date night with my husband. On Sundays, they have a church element in there at 1:11, they Club 1:11. People come for 45 minutes and listen to someone who gives a sermon.
I know the answer to 1:11 because I love that. I know exactly why that is but some people may not know that I’m big on that. In fact, I said, “It’s 1;11.” Can you share with everyone what 1:11 is?
I honestly don’t know what the 1:11 is. I’m learning that. The reason I say that is it’s so weird because they also did an event for my son to raise awareness for giving life. He donated life and his death and we had 111 people sign up at the end of this event. Out of 9,900 people that came into the room, 111 signed up. That was our ending number back in May 2021. I thought, “What is it?” I can’t remember at this point.
I know so I’ll share. It’s a sign of angels looking down on you. What’s cool is when you see a clock at 1:11, it’s a sign that angels are looking down on you. That 1:11 could have been your son or other angels saying, “Here’s the sign that I’m here and I’m present, I’m with you.” That’s what’s so great about it. There was a friend of mine who introduced me to this. I’m a 22 person. I like 22 for everything. It’s ironic my mom had her stroke, which subsequently took her from me two days later on the 22nd of October, which is my favorite day of the year. It’s my daughter’s favorite day because mine is May 22nd. My number in school was 22 and everything was 22. I thought, “I got double.” I double the angels looking at me because every time I look at the phone or at something, an email that comes in, it comes in at 22.
I also have the 11. These two friends of mine, we had released our first book, all of us and we were speaking at this author’s thing on panel. Not too long after that, we kept sharing. We were driving in our car and we’d see 1:11 and we’d share that picture and go, “Look at this, it’s a sign.” The three of us propelled our businesses together with the support of one another through that. It’s a cool thing but it’s a sign that angels are looking down on you. Everybody can look it up. Whether it’s a wives’ tale or whatever, it doesn’t matter. It seems to come around and I’m pleased to have it. I love that you’re doing that. You’re doing the Clubhouse and I know that you’re talking about putting another book together so that’s in the works but you also have a big event coming up. What’s the name of your podcast, by the way?
Uncovering Truth With Grace. It’s all about truth with grace from a management perspective but also life and work because things come up and people want to know what’s the real truth about that. I try to interview people who will be real and authentic about whatever it may be under that arena.
As a Catholic, we have something called Fiat, which is for the blessed mother where she appeared in Mexico to some kids. I’m sure a Latin word for what it means but we turned that into something called Catholic Business Network, CBN. It’s networking with other Catholics like Christian athletes and young life. I was part of all of those. FIAT, we took that acronym and we turned that into Faith In Action Testimonial because what it was was how do we use our faith in business daily similar to what you’re talking about.
How did we do that? What difficult decisions were we contemplating or looking at that were counterintuitive to our faith? How did we move through them and make them faith-based decisions rather than going the other direction? I think that’s beautiful. I love that podcast. Make sure that you follow that. Last but not least, you have an event coming up and I know this has to do with organ donation. Tell everyone about that so that they can take action immediately in the episode notes.
Back in May 2021, I was introduced to Ashton Kutcher’s better-known twin who is Michael Kutcher. They are just a few minutes apart. When Michael was twelve, he had a heart attack and he needed a heart or he was going to pass away in 24 hours. Ashton himself said that he wanted to give his own heart to save his twin, which is so touching but he did get a heart. A pregnant woman came in the hospital. I’m always sharing those details because I have his permission but secondly, we hope to connect him with the baby that was born from this pregnant mom who didn’t make it. He has the pregnant woman’s heart and he’s been living with that heart. It’s not unheard of but sometimes a person will get a heart transplant and they have to do more than one because it may not take or might happen.Step out, and share how you overcame difficult trials with the rest of the world so that people could learn and shift their mindsets. Click To Tweet
There’s a baby out there who is the child of that mom and they have not contacted Michael yet. We don’t even know if they know. I was introduced to him and he, therefore, is a recipient family and I am a donor family being that my son Giovanni saved 73 lives with his tissues, skin grafts, his organs and all other aspects of his eyes. I’m fortunate that he did that. We merged together with this big event in May 2021 and I bring that up because our goal at the time was, “Let’s get 5,000 organ donors.” In our heads, we’re thinking, “It’s not going to be any money. We’re just asking for people to give organs.” It’s harder than you think. It’s not knocking on somebody’s door and be like, “Can you give me a kidney?”
They’re not going to go, “Yeah.” We had this Clubhouse event and in that event, with the amazing people who showed up for us, there were 9,900 people coming throughout that three-and-a-half-hour event. We had 111 sign up at that time. Michael said, “This is not a non-success because we got 111 but we also had a woman who needed a kidney and someone volunteered on the stage to give her a kidney and eleven other people did too so we saw that we changed lives.
Giovanni’s heavenly birthday is September 15th, 2021. He would be twenty if he were living. To commemorate that, we want to still hit that 5,000 mark. I believe I’m going to disclaim it in the name of Jesus that we’re going to hit that goal before September 15th. On September 19th, 2021, we will celebrate reaching that goal. We’re basically celebrating Giovanni’s birthday, bringing everybody together on the 19th. That’s a Sunday and it will be at 2:00 PM Eastern Standard Time because I can’t be folding into the Club 1:11 because that’s still on a Sunday. We anticipate having more than we had before with the 9,900 in attendance. There are going to be recipients, donors and lots of celebrity.
What is it going to be called so that people that understand Clubhouse and that go into Clubhouse can do a search for that particular club?
It’s called Organ Donor & Recipient Miracles but the best way to find it, which is very easy, is MichaelAndGino4Life.com. That is the registered site. When they go to that site, you’re going to see all the information about the event that’s going to be on Clubhouse. The greatest thing is now Clubhouse is not as exclusive. Anyone can come to the event. We want any and everyone even beforehand to go on that site, click the Register button, get on the national database registry. It’s not just enough to check yes on your license. What you’re doing is giving someone an opportunity from a national standpoint to say, “Yes, if something happens, I see this and I also see it on their license.” We’re not asking for much. We want you to share it with all your friends and family so we can reach that 5,000 mark and it’s going to take a lot of effort.
It’s going to be exciting when you do and I think that’s wonderful. I’ll make sure that I get on there too. I’m already a donor so I’m good but I’ll make sure I get on there and share it as well. What a great cause. This is the true example of someone who has shifted from success to significance and making an impact in the world. When you start talking and thinking about other people so many wonderful things will come your way and that’s exactly what’s happened to you. Even in the few months that I’ve known you, the transition and the opportunities that have come up have been great. It’s been astronomical.
You can make up your own words.
I made one up and someone said to me, “Can you make one for me?” I said, “No, I’m not good at this, I don’t know how it happens but it comes in.” That’s why we called the book Impact because everything that I said in an interview for me, I thought, “I’m an author of this book, I need to have someone interview me.” I had my publisher and he said, “Every other word is Impact.” I said, “You’re kidding.” He said, “That’s what the title of the book needs to be.” It came together really well. It was divine intervention.
It’s been an absolute pleasure, Dr. Ro, to have an opportunity to speak and talk with you and I’m delighted to get to know you more. I wish you so much luck and I will be an advocate pushing on the backside here to help you get to where you want to go. I know that’s not the end of our relationship. We’ll continue to see each other. I want to thank you for sharing with us your story, your wisdom, your impact and your significance in the world. I hope that God blesses you for great things to come. Thank you so much for joining us.
Thank you humbly for having me. All glory to God, indeed. I appreciate you.
- IMPACT: Inspiring Motivational Powerful Acronyms For Cognitive Thinking
- Dr. Rolanda Schmidt
- Breakfast with Champions
- Uncovering Truth With Grace
- Catholic Business Network
- Michael Kutcher
- MichaelAndGino4Life.com – Clubhouse Event
About Dr. Rolanda Schmidt
Dr. Ro Schmidt is an author, management consultant, and international speaker. She is dubbed a “humble servant leader” while using versatility to empower her clients. She also enjoys helping them successfully meet professional and personal goals. Dr. Ro was CEO of a tax accounting firm for 20+ years prior to transitioning into academia for 12 combined years as a business professor at Cardinal Stritch University, St. Catherine University, and the University of Northwestern. She pivots this gamut of skills to her current role as CEO of Truth with Grace Consulting specializing in management consulting for corporations, academic and religious institutions, individuals, and non-profit organizations.
She has been featured in the Washington Post, New York Times, USA Today, on MTV, ESPN, and a plethora of radio shows. Dr. Ro’s happiness is derived from serving God, spending time with her husband, children and bonus children. She also serves the elderly population in need and advocates for abused, suicidal, kidnapped, and under privileged children. Her personal mission is to be a beacon to everyone she encounters. To learn more about her background and books, visit www.drrolanda.com
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