Who is Tamika Goode Otis?
I am a faith-filled, passionate and dedicated serial entrepreneur with a heart for God’s people. My personal and professional mission is to empower people to live their best lives. I am the proud mother of two sons, Christian, 19 and Braylon, 12 who are my biggest inspirations and motivators. I have a passion for justice, inclusion and equity and my portfolio of work shows my commitment to those causes in everything I do. I love to travel and within 5 mins of meeting me you will learn that sunrises or sunsets on the ocean are my absolute most favorite things. I also get my fuel from seeing other people win, manifest breakthroughs and maximize their success.
What is your background?
I was raised in South Jersey just outside of Philadelphia. I attended college for 2 ½ years before leaving to pursue entrepreneurial ventures. I was always a good student, but the idea of creating or being a part of creating new and innovative products or services pulled me hard. My very eclectic and vast experience stems from allowing life to be my teacher and completely immersing myself in every new experience or opportunity afforded to me. I studied both Social Work and Public Policy and Administration while in college. I am also a life-long learner and enjoy reading and attending conferences that assist in me expanding both my skills and perspectives so I can be more effective in my work. Prior to becoming the Director for KeyBank’s Boost & Build program, I served as Project Director for the federally-funded Job Corps program for 10 years and as an Admissions Counselor for 3 years prior to that. My cumulative and multi-dimensional experience has positioned me well for the space I am in right now.
What makes you empowered?
My desire to ensure that I and everyone connected to me are secure, stable, whole, healed and healthy.
How do you balance work and life responsibilities, being a female entrepreneur and woman leader?
This is a question I get often and my answer is always the same. There really is no such thing as work/life balance. The truth is sometimes work and business get 80% of my time and attention and my family gets 20% and sometimes the other way around. What is important to me is being intentional about how I use my time and energy wherever I am. If I’m coming off of an especially time consuming and demanding project, I am very intentional about the time I spend with my children afterward. I also learned the gift of ‘NO’ and no longer attaching that to shame. I learned the hard way that when I spread myself too thin, I cannot be effective anywhere. I’ve learned to establish boundaries and be honest with myself and others about what I am and am not able to do.
Who inspires you to live your best life?
I have so many amazing and inspiring people in my life starting with both of my parents, aunts, uncles, cousins and some life-long friends. So outside of those closest to me, Sara Jakes Roberts is a huge inspiration in my life. She is the daughter of Bishop TD Jakes and who made many mistakes in life but used those challenges to fuel her passion and purpose. Whenever I listen to her speak I am moved, inspired and motivated to do and be more.
What do you feel are the most important attributes of successful leaders today?
The willingness and desire to be an eternal learner; Taking a people-centered approach; being a blameless problem-solver; being transparent; making equity and inclusion the foundation of everything done; valuing compassion and collaboration over competition; demonstrating and encouraging the act of gratitude.
What would you say are the top three skills needed to be powerful and empowering leader in this day and age?
1.Empathy 2. Transparency 3. Vision
What goes through your mind when you think of women who have done this before you? What would you do the same or differently?
When I think of women who came before me, I think of those who look like me. Those who were told by the world that they weren’t valued or smart enough or light enough. Those who weren’t ever even considered simply because of the tone of their skin. So I don’t have very many examples; in many ways, I’ve been a trailblazer. But I understand and recognize that I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me. Those who could have been so much more if better positioned to receive opportunities. So much like the women who came before me, I will keep GOD at the center of all I do, I will honor my ancestors in my thoughts, words and deeds, I will honor and value people no matter where they are in life and I will always be intentional in paying it forward.
What motivates you to work hard?
My children and my desire to support my family and close friends.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
Becoming and being a Mom.
What is one thing you have done that not many people know about you?
I had a management deal to become a recording artist. Singing and music are my first love. I also used to sing in a band.
What is your favorite thing about the career path you have chosen?
I love the excitement and risk associated with business. I love bringing something from an idea to fruition. Even more, I love working with entrepreneurs and business owners who are some of the most passionate, determined and resilient people out there. Having influence over changing policies that historically excluded marginalized people is the honor of my life. The intersection between DEI/Social Justice and Economic Development/Entrepreneurship has proven to be my sweet spot. I love everything about the space I’m in and the impact that this work has on families and communities.
What makes you laugh the most?
Seeing and hearing joy and laughter in children
If you could choose to do anything for a day, what would it be and why?
Travel to Cape Verde (where my family is from) and discover the people, places and things that my Grandfather and his family loved.
What advice would you give to the next generation of minority female leaders?
Be bold. Find your tribe and lean on them. Do not allow anyone or anything to determine your worth or value other than you and God. Always honor yourself first. Silence the noise around you and move knowing that the hands of the most powerful and resilient people on the planet are on your back. Be intentional about self-care and prioritize it.
What family member do you call when you have good news to share and why?
My Mom. She loves to celebrate my wins and hearing the pride in her voice when I share something special is priceless to me.
If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have?
The ability to see and influence the future.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
Building sand castles on the beach with my Dad and riding on the back of his bike in my special seat for miles and miles. Adventures with my Dad are some of my most precious and favorite memories.
What is Kabod Consulting? What is the mission behind the business?
Kabod Consulting was formed in 2016 in response to a growing need for culturally competent grant writing in my community. In 2020, my very best friend and business partner joined and we rebranded and broadened our offerings with KABOD Consulting Group LLC.
KABOD is a full-service consulting agency that takes a holistic and unconventional approach to business and organizational consultation as well as leadership and personal development. We specialize in DEI assessments and training as well as Trauma Informed Practice, Emotional Intelligence and Personal and leadership development. We also offer Entrepreneurial Alignment Support to early stage and seasoned entrepreneurs and small business owners which includes, Business Launch Readiness, Strategic Plan Development, Service Delivery Upgrades and more.
To learn more about KABOD visit our website: www.kabodconsults.com
Where will we see you in the future?
You will see me on international stages presenting on topics around Social Justice, Equity, Personal and Professional Growth and entrepreneurship/economic development. KABOD will have a brick and mortar that will include event space accessible to the community, a co-working space and business incubator. My vision is big and I have audacious faith that it all will come to fruition.
What else would you like our audience to know about you?
South Jersey nurtured my childhood, Philadelphia taught me to be an adult but I became a woman in Upstate NY, Syracuse specifically. I am so grateful for this moment in time to be in a place surrounded by people who have no hisgtorical or familial connection to me but pour into me and love me nonetheless. I would not be where I am today without the influence of Upstate NY and the people in it. In all that I do, my intention is to always to “use all I have to do all I can for everyone I’m able.”
You can also learn more about my story and my work on a recent episode of Behind the Woman hosted by a close friend and colleague, Dr. Juhanna Rogers. You can tune in to my 25-minute episode at http://www.wcny.org/behindthewoman/