We had the good fortune of connecting with Rhodes Perry and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Rhodes, what role has risk played in your life or career?
The idea of risk taking is an interesting one as it relates to my life and career. As a bisexual and transgender man, living my most self-actualized and authentic life is a risk. This reality often gives me greater courage and confidence when I encounter a challenge, and it also offers a source of inspiration to work through that challenge, knowing the kind of inner strength and intuition I have cultivated by living my truth.

When gauging whether I can actually take a risk, I rely on the very smart work of Amy Edmondson, an American scholar of leadership, teaming, and organizational learning, who has written extensively about psychological safety. Using her framework, I often help assess how likely I can take a risk *without fear of negative* consequence. For example, if I’m working with a client in my business: 1) can I ask for help when I need it, 2) can I admit to a mistake when I make one, and 3) can I offer constructive feedback when it I have it. If I answer no to any of these questions, a red flag is raised indicating, I’m not psychologically safe.

If I’m not psychologically safe, there could be a very real possibility that if I took any of the 3 risks above, there is a very strong likelihood that I am likely to experience a negative consequence. In the workplace setting, this could lead to losing a client, damaging my company’s reputation, and losing social status. In a community environment, negative consequences could lead to feeling the sting of social exclusion – things like feeling invisible, discouraged, disconnected, and shame.

When I can take risks, this often leads to creative ideas or solutions to problems in a workplace setting, or in a social setting, building stronger interpersonal relationships that lead to deeper connections, and ultimately a feeling of support, or a general sense that folks in my community will have my back when their support is needed the most.

What should our readers know about your business?
Our mission at Rhodes Perry Consulting is to help inclusive leaders, visionaries, and change makers build an emotional outcome of belonging to transform their workplace culture. Established in 2015, the firm is a global leadership and management consultancy that partners with leading brands including Genentech, PNC Bank, and the Kellogg Company, along with government agencies like the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services and the U.S. Department of Interior, and also larger nonprofit organizations including the American Red Cross, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

Together, the firm co-creates transformative change management solutions building equitable cultures centering those least likely to feel a strong sense of psychological safety and trust on the job. The firm specializes in executive coaching, leadership development programming, DEI capacity building and strategic planning solutions to help workplaces establish and implement system-wide DEI commitments and metrics to achieve them.

Each project the firm takes on embraces a targeted universal approach. This means that while an entire organization has a broad universal goal of delivering an emotional outcome of belonging for everyone on the team, this universal goal can only be achieved when a targeted approach focuses on those least likely to feel safe on the job. This approach helps nonprofits, government agencies and corporations achieve transformative and sustainable culture change with a demonstrated record of success.

At RPC, we are fully committed to the success of your organization’s DEI goals, and we are focused on building lasting and fulfilling relationships with our clients. We recognize and fully understand the challenges many organizations face. This is why we go the extra mile to not only ensure your organization is clear on its DEI commitments, but we also bring the themes of this book to life so that you know what direction you are heading by establishing metrics along the way to keep you focused on these goals. Our work empowers organizations like yours to maintain a clear focus on your vision for belonging. Together, our collective work helps grow the #BelongingMovement.

To learn more about Rhodes Perry Consulting, visit: www.rhodesperry.com.

RPC Social Media Handles

Web: www.rhodesperry.com
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhodesperry/
Facebook Belonging at Work Community: https://www.facebook.com/groups/belongingatwork
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhodesperryconsulting/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RPC_LLC
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rpc_llc/?hl=en
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/RhodesPerry

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I am an East Coast transplant living in Portland, Oregon for the past 7 years. I moved out here because of the incredible connection to the land and nature. While I’m an uninvited guest living on the ancestral lands of The Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, I take on the very serious responsibility of being a respectful and mindful steward of the land I find myself surrounded by. I say all of that because my itinerary would focus on seeing the full breadth, depth and beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Here’s some of the things we would do:

1) visit Multnomah Falls (20 miles east of Portland, OR)
2) Eat at Bamboo Sushi
3) Visit Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock
4) Eat at the Bridgewater Bistro in Astoria
5) Visit the Olympic National Forest
6) Spend time at the Quinault Lodge
7) Day trip over to Mt. Hood
8) Grab some food at the Timberline Lodge
9) See a movie at the Living Room Theater
10) Pick up some books at Powell’s
11) Take a kayaking or white water rafting adventure with Wet Planet
12) Drive to Bend and visit the Three Sisters Forest
13) Visit Crater Lake
14) Go gravel bike riding in Dufer

There’s so much adventure in the area…it’s really hard to pick…that’s where I’d start.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d love to give a shout out to my mentor, colleague, and friend, Jess Pettitt. Jess was a possibility model back in 2003-2006 when I was a grad student at NYU.

While we met at NYU, shortly after I graduated from my MPA program, Jess started her very first consulting and speaking business, I Am Social Justice. She was a force that quickly ascended within the DEI and Leadership Development Industry. Today, she has built a powerful business that inspires me to keep doing the work I do everyday. You can find her at: https://jesspettitt.com/. She is also the other of Good Enough Now: https://jesspettitt.com/jesss-book/.

Website: www.rhodesperry.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rpc_llc/?hl=en

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/rhodesperry/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/RPC_LLC

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rhodesperryconsulting/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/RhodesPerry

Other: Podcast: www.imaginebelongingatwork.com Books: www.RhodesOnAmazon.com Membership: www.belongingmembershipcommunity.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.