1599 – Human Transformation with Brooke M. Dukes

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks to the Chief Sales Officer, President, Master Trainer & Executive Consultant of Brooke M Dukes, Brooke Dukes.


Brooke shares her expertise in helping executives find fulfillment by aligning their passions with their actions.

Fear is a common emotion that keeps many individuals from reaching their full potential. Brooke emphasizes that fear, whether it's fear of failure, success, imposter syndrome, or perfectionism, should not hinder personal and professional growth.

Effective leadership strategies are crucial for success, especially in distributed or virtual teams. Brooke highlights the importance of understanding what motivates employees and using tools like anonymous assessments to gather valuable feedback. By aligning employees' goals with the company vision, it's possible to create a sense of purpose and engagement that can elevate organizations.

She also emphasizes the need for companies to provide women with a voice and recognize their unique contributions. Diverse workforces enhance efficiency and effectiveness and foster a culture of innovation and growth. Women can showcase their strengths and bring positive change together by supporting and mentoring each other.


About Brooke Dukes:

Brooke is a seasoned executive with 30 years of experience in roles such as CEO, Chief Sales Officer, President, Master Trainer, and Executive Consultant. She has worked with C-suite executives and entrepreneurs, helping them navigate personal and professional challenges. With strategic planning and transformation expertise, she has served Fortune 100 companies, including United Airlines, IBM, EDS, Lear, Isagenix, and Homepoint. She excels in assisting women to identify and overcome barriers, crafting unique plans tailored to their circumstances.

Brooke earned her BS from Michigan State University. As a mother of two and an ardent traveler, she combines her passion for exploring the world with her mission of helping individuals achieve their dreams. She currently resides in Austin, TX.


About Brooke M Dukes:

Brooke is a consultancy that specializes in personal and professional development. Recognizing the challenges faced by those who may appear successful yet feel stressed and overwhelmed, she provides customized solutions. These plans are designed to meet individuals in their current situation, identify their desired goals, and devise a strategic pathway toward them.

The core premise of her service lies in helping people transition from near burnout to a more fulfilled and balanced life. Through her expertise, Brooke ensures that her clients envision change and successfully achieve it.


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Josh (00:00:05) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my influence and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now, it is Brooke Dukes. Brooke, you're an executive consultant speaker specializing in transforming human behavior and strategic planning. You're found on the Web at Brooke M Brooke, thank you for joining us.

Brooke (00:01:15) - Thanks for having me, Josh.

Josh (00:01:17) - All right. Well, tell us explain to me like how you what the work that you do to what types of human behavior are we talking about when we think about transforming it?

Brooke (00:01:28) - Well, primarily, I work with executives.

Brooke (00:01:31) - So C-suite entrepreneurs, you know, founders, all of that. And really the people that come to me, a lot of times they're at a crossroads. So they've had a lot of experience, they've had a lot of success. And they woke up and said, Huh, I don't feel the way I thought I would feel when I got to this place in my life, when I've had this level of success and so they come to me to really look for Can you look at all of my years experience, what I'm passionate about? Then let's see how we can package that. So when I look at human transformation, a lot of times there's things that they're doing right. The behaviors, there's habits that they don't even recognize are standing in their way of being able to live that life that they really hope they'd be able to live. So what I do is I look at what do you want now? Who do you need to become in order to achieve that? What are the habits that you need to create? What are the habits that we need to maybe get rid of in order for you to be able to do that? And so really, it's transforming identity.

Josh (00:02:39) - Yeah. What have your observations been in this area, particularly over the past couple of years?

Brooke (00:02:46) - Yes, Well, people are in a lot of uncertainty. Right. So and it's funny, the speaking engagements that I have, a lot of them, they want to talk about fear. They want to talk about overcoming it because so many people are at a transition. Maybe they lost their job or their job looks different. They don't really like it anymore, but they don't know how to make that change. They're afraid, right? They've possibly gotten to a particular level of financial security. They don't want to jeopardize that. Right. So it's a lot of fear. It's a lot of I want to change. I know I want to do something different, but I have no idea how to do that. And I don't really want to give up what I worked so hard to accomplish also. So it's a lot. I've over the last years, I've been doing this for over 21 years. Uncertainty, fear, fear of failure, even fear of success.

Brooke (00:03:37) - Right? Imposter syndrome, perfectionism. All of those things are really at the forefront right now.

Josh (00:03:45) - Oh, yeah, Yeah. You know, and I'd love your take on this, right? So when we think about things like fear, you know, I've heard it said that, listen, it's okay to be afraid. Everyone is afraid. Everybody feels imposter syndrome. So, you know, so when you feel that, don't treat it like it's some sort of defect in your personality that indicates that you're normal. But, you know, what we want to do is do it when do it afraid. At least that's how I rationalize. I don't know that that's the healthiest way. How would you how would you address that issue of like, I'm feeling this fear? Does that mean that something's wrong with me?

Brooke (00:04:27) - Right. So you're absolutely right. Everyone has fear. And we have to when people say, oh, get rid of the fear, well, that's stupid. If we didn't have fear, we would walk in front of a bus or we would we would be hurt.

Brooke (00:04:39) - We'd be killed. So we want that healthy fear, right? That sense of urgency. But you're right. You have to push past it. You've got to be able to step out of your comfort zone, take some risks and make changes. All growth, all happiness, all of that is on the opposite as on the other end of fear when we push through that. So of course, celebrate. Okay, I'm here. I'm feeling fear. So I must be doing some things different. I need to keep going. So just use it as a guide. Absolutely. You're right. Do not beat yourself up about it. It's. We need it. It's healthy, and we can't let it paralyze us.

Josh (00:05:19) - Yeah, You know, even just thinking about this, you know, with imposter syndrome, you know, if you were dealing with someone that never felt any degree of imposter syndrome, I would start to question. Well, that would probably make them a little bit sociopathic, right? You know, just like there's something you'd build like this, you know, creepy drama about, you know, someone that can just kind of step in and, you know, be anybody at any time.

Josh (00:05:45) - You know, it's you know, I think it's it's again, it's it's it's healthy to a degree to, you know, recognize our own limitations or imperfections and perfections are are beautiful but yet you know our ability to rise in spite of that and step up and you know that that's saying you know the the really been helpful for me in these moments of you know if not me who if not now when you know that that sort of thing. Like I think every great leader probably stepped into a role at some point where they're like, well, I've never done this before, but I'm going to give it a shot.

Brooke (00:06:29) - Exactly. Absolutely agree with you. You know, we all we all feel it in imposter syndrome. And I feel like with imposter syndrome, it's because especially in America, we are taught no pain, no gain. If if you didn't have to work really hard and practically kill yourself to get it, then it really wasn't worth it. Or it's not important enough. So I feel like a lot of imposter syndrome comes to.

Brooke (00:06:52) - In fact, I just talked to a business owner last week. We said, you know, it just I feel like I got lucky. Like, ah, my business is exploding and I'm feeling like I don't have enough experience for all of this success. Like, I'm going to be found out like the shoe is going to drop. Well, no, you were one of the fortunate ones, to your point, to have awareness around your skills, what you're good at, and you have natural abilities run with it. But because we're taught if it's not hard, if we didn't have to figure it out and grind, then you know we're not worthy of it. That's that's a lot of times where that comes from.

Josh (00:07:31) - Now. And Brooke, tell me about your work. Like, who are you working with? What does that look like?

Brooke (00:07:38) - So as I said, I work with executives, C-suite, primarily women, but I've worked over 21 years with a lot of men as well. Um, and a transition.

Brooke (00:07:49) - I'll work with executive presence. Right. Someone that either they want to move up the ranks and the company that they're in, maybe a VP that wants to get into that C-suite and has been overlooked or someone, a business owner or C-suite that they're looking want to do something else. I'm thinking about this entrepreneurial thing. What are we going to do with that? And I also work with small businesses. So anywhere from, you know, engaging and retaining top talent, communication and influence, sales, training and development. So really anything as it relates to that leadership development.

Josh (00:08:24) - Yeah. And what types of companies?

Brooke (00:08:28) - I were over. I worked in a consulting firm for. I just phased out of it over the last two months. And what we did there was leadership, culture, executive coaching. We worked with $6 billion Fortune 100 companies, and we worked with small million dollar, you know, revenue architectural firms, all the beginning. For me personally in my business, I'm really focusing on that, that smaller side of things, right? So 200 million and below that, that's really the sweet spot for me as it relates to corporations.

Josh (00:09:04) - Yeah. And obviously, you know, we want to create great cultures, you know, and we want our everyone within our organization leaders and everybody to feel like this is an environment where they can thrive. What are some of the best practices that you're most excited about that maybe you've either advised on or you've seen clients implementing where you're like, Oh, I like this. I think this is, you know, if I were looking ahead, I would be doing more of this. What sorts of things might you be thinking of right now? And I ask that, yeah.

Brooke (00:09:38) - So I would say the pieces that I do on communication and influence, especially since Covid, everything changed. We were all I mean, we're meeting on Zoom now. We may have met in person four years ago and done a podcast. So really being able to connect, whether it's virtual or in person and helping leaders and just people in general to really understand how to align. And when you're connecting with someone, it's about really that intent of adding value.

Brooke (00:10:10) - It's about recognizing anytime that we communicate, we're typically asking for when there's six human basic needs, four of which we use during communication, right? It's connection itself, esteem, it's growth is significant. So really helping to when you're speaking to someone recognize which need are they asking for in that moment? It's not a personality trait. It is just where are they at in that moment? Do they need self esteem or are they looking for significance? Do they just want to connect? Because if you can identify that, you can quickly align with someone, it really gets to have them. Then they want to open up their ears. They want to listen to you because they feel like you hear them, you get them and they want to either work with you or whatever you're trying to accomplish during that communication. So I feel like that has really grown more because we can't now, a lot of times, even though, you know, we're moving out of all of that, we don't have the luxury of sitting in front of someone.

Brooke (00:11:09) - So the body language, all the things that we used to rely on aren't necessarily there. Now we've really got to focus on getting to know each other and understanding and always looking at any interaction. How can I add value, How can I create a win win here?

Josh (00:11:27) - And, you know, for leaders that find themselves in organizations where, you know, they were hoping to get back together in the office, you know, that kind of that proximity, that personal proximity, they're looking at the toothpaste, not going back in the tube and going, well, okay, I guess, you know, my whole department is going to be zoom for the rest of my life. You know, Zoom and other Microsoft teams, you know, it's just we're virtual. We're all over the place. That can be really challenging. What have you seen working well in terms of culture and effective leadership strategies when we're dealing with distributed or virtual teams?

Brooke (00:12:07) - Yeah. Well, as far as from a leadership development perspective, it's really looking at it's not just about, Oh, I'm going to let everyone, you know, have time off on Friday or, you know, the all the little things that we used to do.

Brooke (00:12:23) - You really want to now, especially understand like, what is this? Why did this person come to work here? Why do they stay? I mean, that's important. Figuring out what is it that helps them to be happiest and most engaged because happy employees are more productive employees. There's studies on that, right? So now we can't we don't just have the luxury. We leaders have to step up. They've really got to know. And there's a lot of different tools out there. Right. Because now you don't have that. Like there's assessments, you know, anonymous assessments are a great way to do it, to really get to the heart if it's a larger company. Right? Because a lot of the leaders, they can't they don't have the luxury of talking to every single they might have thousands of employees. So really getting that feedback hearing. Right. It's not just about, well, if I give them a lot of money, they're going to want to stick around. Well, not everyone's driven that way.

Brooke (00:13:23) - Then I'm motivated that way. Some are, some aren't. You really have to look at what is going to keep my people engaged. What do they care about letting them in on? What's the company vision? A lot of times when I would work with a company, their vision and their mission would be mixed up, right? A vision is a measurable target. We want to be a $500 million company by the year 2028. That's a vision. We want world peace. That's a mission. So help making sure that that's very clear and that your employees know it, and then helping them to align their own goals with the vision of the company, showing them that you're a big part of this without you. This doesn't work as efficiently and effectively. You're important. What you do is important. I think that that's that was a long answer to your question, but hopefully that helps.

Josh (00:14:17) - One area that you seem to be doing really excellent work in is appreciating gender within the workplace as well. So in my leadership team, I'm the only guy.

Josh (00:14:31) - It's all women and I have an amazing female who I think, you know, is is many steps ahead of me in the sensitivities that we might want to have to be, you know, to have a workplace that that might be, you know, we always want to have a workplace that's welcome to all, you know, within our organization. Certainly, you know, also folks that have been in very marginalized groups, I think that's a goal for all of us today, I hope. But are there any particular sensitivities that maybe you've had as you've worked with leadership teams where you say, you know, we've done some assessments, we've kind of looked for gaps and we've found that you may not you know, I wonder how often this comes as a surprise to them, too, when there are gaps related to, you know, we've been giving lip service, but maybe our policies haven't adapted. I don't know. I'm kind of meandering here in my question, as I often do, but help me out here.

Josh (00:15:36) - What do you see working well as as it results to having great environments and cultures for all genders.

Brooke (00:15:45) - Well, I don't really work in the area of culture too much anymore. I have throughout my career, But what I would say and what I have worked on with that, especially with women. Women also have to take responsibility for their place in the workforce, right? Companies have got to allow women to have a voice, hear what they have to say, recognize they're different than men. It's not good or bad. It's just different. We're wired differently. Right. And that needs it can't be the way, you know, the good old boys club anymore. You have to. And there's so many studies that have been done. Diverse workforces are more efficient and effective, productive workforces. You want I think, educating your leadership on this isn't just about being nice. This is actually about our company growing faster. Right. So I think if you can put it in terms and I don't want to put everyone in this category, but a lot of leaders, they really think is on the lines of the bottom line.

Brooke (00:16:45) - That's really what they care about. It's okay, but speak their language, then show them that by being more diverse, by being open, by allowing people to have their voice and listening to other viewpoints, your company will be more profitable. Your company will make more revenue, your company will grow faster.

Josh (00:17:06) - It's absolutely true.

Brooke (00:17:07) - Big thing. And then women, when I work with women a lot, it is about you don't need to act like a man to be successful. I was that I was in corporate America. I worked in a male dominated field and I lost a lot of my femininity for a few years because that was what I thought was the only way, whether I was right or wrong, that I was going to advance. The other thing is I didn't help out other women when I had female bosses. They were ambivalent towards me at best because there was very few positions at the top for women, so we tended to compete against each other. Men do a much better job of mentoring each other, of mentoring each other or promoting each other, of really being a support to each other.

Brooke (00:17:51) - A lot of times the women do. And so we have to really embrace who we are. We have women are you know, we create life. People by their Enfield influence, by emotions, and they justify with logic. Well, women understand emotions. We're very intuitive, but a lot of times we shut that down. And then, you know, when sometimes we're also we're afraid to. It's funny, I was just listening to was at an event and they talked about how men and women, you know, let's say there's an ad dating myself in the paper wherever they find it, and a woman will look at it and say. I only have 90% of what they want. I'm not sure if I should go forward with this. I'm not sure. A man will say I've got 25%. I'm going for it. I got this right. So it's really we've got to. We were taught to be humble and not to, you know, to kind of downplay our accomplishments. No, we need to really scream our accomplishments out and those of our counterparts by supporting each other, mentoring each other, sponsoring each other.

Brooke (00:19:06) - That's the way it's going to change.

Josh (00:19:09) - Brooke your website is Brooke M Someone that's been listening to our conversation there like, I need more Brooke in my life. What do they do? Where do they go?

Brooke (00:19:19) - They can email me at Brooke at Brooke Dukes. Com they can go to I'm Brooke Dukes at any social media and going to the website.

Josh (00:19:30) - Yeah. And again, that's Brooke Dukes. You've got a great blog. Certainly, I would follow Brooke on on LinkedIn. Your LinkedIn game is very, very strong. You've got a great following. And I learned that you're you're you're a fellow Michigander.

Brooke (00:19:46) - I am. Yes, I am.

Josh (00:19:49) - So I'm originally from West Michigan. Where where were you? You went to Michigan State, right?

Brooke (00:19:54) - To Michigan State. Yeah. So I was in a place called Clarkston. It's about 50 minutes northwest of Detroit. That helps. Yeah. We've just been in Austin for about three years.

Josh (00:20:07) - So also another fantastic place, particularly to do to do business.

Josh (00:20:13) - Brooke Dukes, again, your website, Brooke Dukes. Brooke, it's been a great conversation. Thank you so much for joining us.

Brooke (00:20:20) - Thank you, Josh.

Josh (00:20:26) - Thanks for listening to The Thoughtful Entrepreneur Show. If you are a thoughtful business owner or professional who would like to be on this daily program, please visit up My influence slash guest. If you're a listener, I'd love to shout out your business to our whole audience for free. You can do that by leaving a review on Apple Podcasts or join our listener Facebook group. Just search for the thoughtful entrepreneur and Facebook. I'd love even if you just stopped by to say hi, I'd love to meet you. We believe that every person has a message that can positively impact the world. We love our community, who listens and shares our program every day. Together. We are empowering one another as thoughtful entrepreneurs. Hit subscribe so that tomorrow morning. That's right, seven days a week, you are going to be inspired and motivated to succeed. I promise to bring positivity and inspiration to you for around 15 minutes each day.

Josh (00:21:31) - Thanks for listening and thank you for being a part of the thoughtful entrepreneur movement.

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