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Season 1, Episode 45

Working Parents during COVID – Leverage Their Value with Dr. Dana Sumpter

About this episode:

Conscious leaders strive to learn about how we can better manage, lead, influence, and support our teams, our colleagues, and ourselves, and how we can best lead, especially through crises or change such as COVID-19. In this episode, we speak with Dr. Dana Sumpter about a leverage-point that has great relevance for any manager in the workforce. In particular, we will be focusing on one of the most valuable and essential segments of the workforce – parents.

There’s a lot of evidence that especially in this COVID era, with the shutdown of schools, working parents are feeling the pressure and scarcity of resources. They are a misunderstood group. Collectively as a society, and as leaders, in particular, we have a shared responsibility to better understand what this group is going through, and to understand what we can do to challenge the system, to create the change we want, and to stand for reformations, acceptance, and empathy, and how can we reorganize ourselves in a way that is creative and from above the line. 

In this episode, we talk about specific tactical recommendations for both parents and leaders of working parents to maximize growth, improve communication, increase support, and optimize productivity, especially in remote working and remote learning environments

You may be one of those who is needing to be better understood, better supported, or you may be not part of this demographic segment and yet it’s very important that we better understand what they’re going through right now so that we can move into a place of greater awareness and we can make conscious choices as leaders about how we might adapt our approach to be more in service of that to which we are most deeply committed.



Read more about working parents

Explore the impact of the pandemic on working parents and how leaders can better support their teams. Gain valuable strategies to foster empathy, accommodate diverse needs, and create a positive work environment. Discover the power of compassionate leadership in times of crisis and seize the opportunity for personal and professional growth.

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Want to hear more about managing teams?

This week, learn about a pernicious problem that you might be contributing to without realizing it.  One of the most common issues that come up in organizations, families, teams, and even within ourselves is gossip.

Gossip is a pervasive form of drama that infects entire teams when left unchecked. Gossip matters because it is one of the easiest ways to spread drama in any social setting, in any relationship, in any team, and in any company. 

Gossip keeps you in Below the Line feelings like shame, blame, paranoia, and guilt. Shifting your mindset and practicing gossip-free leadership moves you and your team towards the incredible benefits you get living in Above the Line empowerment. 

Drama patterns like gossip stifle creativity and collaboration. By consciously leading your team and yourself out of the gossip habit, you can facilitate creative and safe collaboration. 

In this episode learn what gossip truly is, why gossip arises, and how to stop yourself and your team from engaging in gossip. Gain drama-busting skills that stop gossip in its tracks by addressing the root of the gossip issue. 


  • 12:09 – Meet Dr. Dana Sumpter 
  • 15:49 – Gender inequity in academia, and the proverbial ‘second shift’ through playing the role of house manager.
  • 24:48 – It is vital for managers to identify the difference between performance issues and situational challenges faced by external circumstances such as COVID-19. The cognitive load that is required for parents is increasingly overloading in work from home environments. It is very simple to fall into a “below the line” victimhood role in these situations. 
  • 34:49 – Employers and managers have a great opportunity right now to leverage one of the largest demographics in the workforce.
  • 46:19 – Being aware of benevolent sexism and stereotypes is vital at this moment for managers in order to make sure we are supporting our employees while simultaneously not disempowering them. Also in a time of job security crisis managers have the opportunity to communicate job security and help avoid overwork and burnout that results in this anxiety. 
  • 54:59 – We are in a vital and empowering time of post-traumatic growth with new opportunities and creative ways to move forward if we choose to be open-minded and flexible.



The Challenge and Skill of Leading with Empathy with Jeremi Gorman, CBO of Snap Inc

Tools for Authentic Relating with Simon D’Arcy

Loving Kindness and Stress Management during Covid 19 with Janet Logothetti 

The Feminist Identity with Mary Blooom of Snap and Anna Bloom of Airbnb 

Re-Engage and Re-Humanize – Best-Self Management, Remote Work and Co-Founder Relationships with 15Five CEO, David Hassell, and Chief Culture Officer, Shane Metcalf 

How to Shift Out of Drama and into Power – The Empowerment Triangle

The Change Formula – Why Self-Help Books Aren’t Working for You

Dana’s LinkedIn

Dana’s website

Dana’s TEDx talk – “Don’t Underestimate Working Mothers”

Discover experiences that give your life purpose in your Zone of Genius

Executive Coach Dr. Caneel Joyce reveals a life-changing framework that can help you overcome self-doubt, uncover your hidden talents, and radiate with confidence, one small step at a time.