phone: 703.860.3882 | email: info@helioshr.com

Leadership Spotlight: Dr. Virginia Bianco-Mathis

Posted on June 20, 2016
Debra KabalkinWritten by Debra Kabalkin | Email author

Dr. Virginia Bianco-MathisThis month we sat down with Dr. Virginia Bianco-Mathis, Professor and Chair of Management and Human Resources at Marymount University, School of Business. She teaches courses in analytics, coaching, talent development, organizational development, and strategy. In addition, she is a leading consultant in the areas of strategic planning, executive coaching, organization development, and leadership.  Check out the interview below:

Helios HR:

What gets you excited to go to work every day?

Dr. Virginia Bianco-Mathis:

What gets me excited about going to work is the idea of discovery and curiosity. My business partner inspired me to do what she does.  Specifically, make it a daily goal to try to influence everyone I interact with during the day in such a way that they feel better after that interchange. That’s a very lofty mission, but it drives me. Plus, I’m a voracious reader—books, journals, blogs, research, everything. Each day I can’t wait to jump into new information that I might bring to my students, clients, or my own life. For example, I have an email on my dashboard from the Marymount library for gaining access to a new resource of management case studies. I am itching to get into it and find some great new cases.                                                                                                                            

Helios HR:

What’s the most impactful way you believe in for developing current and future leaders?

Dr. Virginia Bianco-Mathis:

Having done a research study on this very topic, I’ll share what I have found and how the research I did supports it. The best ways to develop as a leader is by taking part in forums or creating forums yourself where you can share stories with other leaders. The magic seems to be in the telling and sharing of the stories—the experience of it, highs, lows, and ultimate learning. So whether it is through a formal leadership session or an informal group setting, sharing stories needs to be part of that interaction. As the saying goes, folks remember the story, not the slides.

Helios HR:

Why is talent development important to you?

Dr. Virginia Bianco-Mathis:  

The entire notion of continuous improvement I find energizing. I get most excited when I see the light bulb go on in a student’s or client’s head. It is like watching them break through a barrier and enter another dimension. To assist people in reaching higher levels of knowledge and performance in their own lives is powerful. Not only do they expand their life experience, but I learn from every student and client I touch. It’s like I’m on this continuous road of mindful enrichment—picking up bits and pieces along the way.

Helios HR:

How are you providing opportunities for team members that do not aspire to be in a leadership role?

Dr. Virginia Bianco-Mathis:

I mentor. I share resources, invite them to join me in activities that they may otherwise not have access to, find avenues for them to pursue workshops that excite them, and brainstorm ideas with them about following a vision. I talk to them confidentially and personally about everything from leaving one profession and moving into another—to how to reframe how they may be looking at their everyday work. Folks get stagnant because they don’t talk enough about what they are doing and hear about other approaches.

Helios HR:

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received from a mentor/coach?

Dr. Virginia Bianco-Mathis:

Best advice I have received: “You are a great teacher. Embrace that. That is your hook. It will enable you to be a good leader, parent, professor, and trainer.” In essence, my mentor was able to help me see what my core strength is and how I could use that strength wherever my career and life takes me. That was an awakening for me.

Helios HR:

If you could inspire other leaders today to implement one thing you are doing that can make a difference what would it be?

Dr. Virginia Bianco-Mathis:  

Learn dialogue. This is learning the art of conversation where you don’t just command, control, wait only to say what you want to say, etc.—but, rather, you learn to use language that empowers, questions, encourages joint pools of knowledge, creates future pictures of success, and coaches rather than tells, and—raises the bottom-line (I’m talking dollars here) of the individual, groups, and the entire organization.  My research has shown—and leaders I have worked with have proven—that when leaders begin to use dialogue and then build organizational infrastructures where everyone is using dialogue—it becomes the most powerful tool for achieving goals.

2 Comments

  1. by Susan Shoham on June 21, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    Dr Mathis is inspiring yet practical. I intend to share her interview with my 30 something children

  2. by AJ on June 25, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I’m glad to see that a professional such as Dr Mathis reaffirms my inner belief that proper, open and purposeful communication between people (peers and subordinates alike) seems to be at the core of success.

Leave a Reply




By submitting a comment here you grant Helios HR a perpetual license to reproduce your words and name/web site in attribution. Inappropriate or irrelevant comments will be removed at an administrator's discretion.