Leader Spotlight- Nolie Burns
I am extremely excited to announce a brand new segment of A Leader's Perspective. Each week I will spotlight a leader from our community. This is our opportunity to connect, hear new perspectives, and to celebrate these phenomenal leaders.
As our inaugural Leader Spotlight, it is my honor to introduce Nolie Burns of Life Identified Image Consulting and Blog. Check out my interview with Nolie below.
Nolie: I am extremely excited about the opportunity to be featured as a contributing writer for A Leader’s Perspective. If you have been following the amazing Dr. PBJ for a while, then you know what I mean! She is a powerhouse and when she picks you out of a crowd to do something, you do it! I am so honored to be able to share my perspective with her and her friends.
PBJ: Please introduce yourself.
Nolie: Hello! I’m Nolie, a believer, college counselor, an entrepreneur, lifestyle blogger, and mentor. I earned my bachelor’s degree from University of West Georgia in 2009 and 6 years later decided I wanted to return to school for a master’s in counselor education. I attended Georgia Southern University for my master’s and pursued the clinical counseling field post-graduation. I have held many positions in the field of social services because I just can’t get enough of helping and encouraging people, regardless of their stage in life. However, I must say I truly enjoy working with college students and helping women with personal development. Outside of being a counselor and managing my personal brand, I really enjoy being with family and friends, shopping, listening to music, enjoying nature, and listening to audiobooks.
PBJ: Tell us about your work.
Nolie: By day, my job consists of providing support to students by listening to their concerns, providing appropriate resources, and devising educational plans to help them successfully complete the semester. I conduct therapy with them, if needed, and collaborate with other departments to ensure each student receives what they need.
Outside of my day job, I take pride in blogging for my personal brand, Life Identified. Life Identified was created for the purpose of uplifting women and fostering an atmosphere where people can gain insight about who they are in Christ, learn how to embrace themselves, and learn life skills related to identity, style, and confidence. Life Identified has evolved so much since it was established in 2017. The brand started as an image consulting business and blog where I provided styling services, mentoring, and self-esteem building sessions with clients. In addition to providing consulting services related to personal style, one of my favorites is conducting empowerment groups on topics, such as: dining etiquette, social etiquette, interview skills, self-perception, and confidence.
PBJ: How do you describe your leadership style?
Nolie: My leadership style is best described as collaborative, supportive, and directive, if needed. In my day job, I am not in a supervisory role, but I still take my position serious and carry myself as a leader for the students that are watching me, as well as the team I work with on a daily basis. I used the words collaborative and supportive because I enjoy working alongside people and making them feel valuable by listening to their approach to certain tasks, while offering my suggestions with hopes that together we can create greatness. I was once told, “a boss is someone who gives commands, but a leader is someone who joins in to help.” That has always been my motto in life, to join in and add value where I can versus always giving commands. As a counselor, I subscribe to Carl Rogers’s person-centered therapeutic approach which simply states that a trustworthy relationship must be built with the client in order to provoke change. When genuine relationships are built with people, it provides opportunity for honest and open conversation to occur, most times without offense. This is a model that I use naturally in all of my interactions with people. Honesty and transparency are two of my core values and I can be found influencing people with those qualities alone. The Life Identified blog and social media platforms provide me with the space to influence and encourage people through my candid stories of identity crises and my fashion sense. The best way for me to influence people is to humble myself and demonstrate that I do not hold myself to a standard of perfection, but a standard of grace and they should too. I believe I can help people go so much farther in life if I am able to self-disclose on a level where they are able to see my failures that were turned into productive success stories. Therefore, my influence and leadership styles typically occurs through transparency, honest feedback, and encouragement.
PBJ: What is the greatest leadership lesson you have ever learned?
Nolie: I have learned some my greatest leadership lessons from receiving poor leadership in the past. However, I will preface my statements with the fact that there is no such thing as perfect leadership, as each employee or mentee has different needs that must be met. So, every leader is not for everybody. Nonetheless, one of the most valuable lessons I have learned is when leading any group of people, it is important that you make your team feel supported by advocating for them, letting them know you’re interested in what they are doing without being overbearing, meet them where they are, extend grace and compassion, and get curious about their experiences. I have learned that if a person feels supported, they will make sure that you, the leader, has everything you need to do your job well. In essence, they will take care of you. There is an article on LinkedIn that states, “people don’t quit jobs, they quit bosses.” This is such a true statement and I am convinced that the person that quits the job most likely did not feel supported by their boss. As a leader in my community, I have been intentional with reaching out to my mentees during this time since we are not able to see each other in person. It is important to me that they feel my support from afar and that I provide a space for them to discuss their concerns surrounding the pandemic and racial injustice. This season is difficult for many and I want to make sure that I am using my platforms and positions in a way that supports and encourages people to keep going.
PBJ: How can people connect with you?
Nolie: I would love to hear from you all and provide you with any assistance you may need.
Instagram: @lifeidentified, and
Facebook: Life Identified Image Consulting & Blog or Nolie Burns.
Talk to you soon!
PBJ: Nolie, thank you for sharing your passion for fashion and your compassion for people with us!