More About LaTonya

My most valuable skill, and the one thing I often teach others, is how to build real relationships across differences.
I demonstrate what it means to lead below the surface through relatable stories from my career, my family, and through direct experience with other below the surface leaders. We can all lead below the surface and make real change in our organizations. A few small shifts can go a long way.

Speaking Topics Book a Keynote

As founder of Change Coaches I work with C-suite leaders, executives, and their teams where human connection and cultural change really happen: below the surface. I am a credentialed coach, author, and sought-after keynote speaker who has inspired audiences all over the world. My team and I help our clients create cultures of belonging while amplifying the “only ones” at work so they feel more valued, heard, and engaged.

Through years of experience at Fortune 500 companies and in higher education, I’ve developed a unique evidence-based approach to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). I built my career working in HR, talent management, and learning & development at GE, Abbott Laboratories, AbbVie, and other corporations. I returned to the world of higher education to teach and take on progressive leadership roles at the University of Illinois’ Gies College of Business. Often being the only one at work, I have channeled my corporate and and academic leadership experience into wisdom and strategic insight, which I have used to coach leaders at organizations at large organizations such as Google, GE, The New York Times, several non-profits, and small to mid-sized organizations of all types and sizes. Some of the words that my clients have used to describe me include approachable, non-judgmental, inspiring, creative, unique, and insightful (to name a few).

I am the current President of the True Star Youth Foundation board, which is a digital marketing social entrepreneurship company run by youth of color that recently received a Google Impact Award, as well as a member on the board of Women of Color in the Workplace. I received a peer-nominated award for most inclusive HR influencers in 2019. I am also the founder and CEO of Change Coaches, which has earned national certification as a Minority Business Enterprise.

And I’m not done learning yet! I am always expanding my knowledge and practice of somatic coaching so I can integrate mindfulness, somatic coaching, positive psychology, and more into day-to-day coaching. My bestselling book Leading Below the Surface: How to Build Real (and Psychologically Safe) Relationships With People that are Different from You is available through multiple retailers.

Below the Surface Leadership

Leading Below the Surface is a prolific compass for the forward-thinking leader. Inspired by organizational culture research, social psychology, neuroscience, and the real-life experiences of culture leader LaTonya Wilkins, this book disrupts the way we think about traditional leadership to achieve truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive cultures of belonging in the workplace. No matter what level of an organization you are in, you will gain something valuable for your career in this book.

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