Life Lessons from My Leadership Coach

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By: Ashley Delgado, Spring 2018 Fellow at National Louis University


I am currently the Program and Operations Intern at Braven – Chicago as well as a student in the Braven Accelerator at National Louis University. Being a young Latina woman, I want to pursue a high-powered job to not only provide a better life for myself but to give my future family a better life than I have. I want to learn how to get there and empower other women to strive for the same, so I interviewed Phasha Spencer, my Braven Leadership Coach, recently about her career path, dealing with hardships, and her successes along the way. Phasha is an inspiration to me and is a powerful woman in the workplace. In addition to volunteering with Braven, she is the Director of School Partnerships at OneGoal.


Who were your key influencers growing up when it came to deciding your career route and what you wanted to major in? How did they influence you? 

Phasha: I decided which career path I would take, but I did value the opinion and mentorship of my Assistant Principal in High School, as well as professors in college who always held me accountable and saw the best in me.

When was your biggest failure? How did that experience influence you?

Phasha: My biggest failure happened in high school. I did not walk the stage with my class because I failed U.S. History. It was truly one of the most devastating times of my life. It took me years to forgive myself and believe in myself again.

Do you live by a certain motto? What does that look like in your everyday routine?

Phasha: Wow! I love this question. I have a few, but I will say that one of my favorite things about myself is that I am compassionate and giving. So the old saying is true, that people won’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.

When and how did you discover your greatest capabilities in the workplace?

Phasha: I learned what I was made of when leaders (and former managers) did everything they could to NOT support me. I had to tap into my own strengths to uncover my potential.

When was a time you were given a task you were not confident in? How did you respond to that experience?

Phasha: This is something that will continue to happen throughout life, to everyone, I think. I always respond to these situations with a personal pep talk. Then I take notes on what I am supposed to do. I ask clarifying questions about the task in order to make sure I am accomplishing the vision.

How have your accomplishments thus far impacted your personal life? Was it all worth it? If not, what would you change?

Phasha: OMG! Everything has been worth it. The biggest accomplishment that has come out of everything I have experienced and accomplished, is that I know who I am. I am a consistent person with a great spirit and good head on her shoulders. I wouldn’t trade character development for anything in the world. I never compromise my dignity, self-respect or worth.

Phasha Spencer, Braven Leadership Coach
Phasha Spencer, Braven Leadership Coach
Ashley Delgado, Braven Fellow and Intern
Ashley Delgado, Braven Fellow and Intern