Leading Through Story with Katie McCleary

Katie McCleary is a storyteller, professor of leadership, and co-author of the book Bridge the Gap. As founder of the nonprofit 916 Ink, she helps transform underprivileged youth into confident authors. We discussed all of this and more this week on the On Brand podcast.

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About Katie McCleary

Katie McCleary is a storyteller, professor of leadership, and a lover of people. She is co-author of Bridge the Gap, which Inc. Magazine named 1 of 3 business books to read in 2022. Her work has been featured by Forbes, PBS, Shondaland, New York Post, and more. Katie hosts NPR CapRadio’s leadership podcast, “The Drive,” in partnership with The American Leadership Forum. She is also the founder of 916 Ink, a nonprofit that has transformed over 4,500 youth into confident authors who know the power of their voice and story. Mashable named her as a “Real Miss America” for her projects in low-income communities. She teaches leadership in the master’s program at Pacific University and is passionate about amplifying people’s personal stories to create positive change.

Episode Highlights

“Leadership is everywhere,” Katie began. “It’s a personality choice‚ where you lean in to understanding. You have to schedule time to get to know your people.” It can even be 20 minutes.

How to bridge the gap in a polarized world? Story helps here as well. “If I know your story, I can’t deny your humanity.” We spend so much time at work, it’s important to create communities of belonging here as well.

What’s one thing you can do to better connect with others? “Before your next networking event or meeting, go to the bathroom and wash your hands with cold water. The cold water resets your nervous system and provides you with a moment to check in with yourself.”

What brand has made Katie smile recently? “I love Short Story.” Not simply short stories (she loves those too) but the box program with clothing for petite women, which also includes personal touches like handwritten notes.

To learn more, go to HowToBridgeTheGap.com and check out the work that 916 Ink is doing.

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Until next week, I’ll see you on the Internet!