Inside the Office with Tiffany Quivers: Elevating Leaders to Success

Tiffany Quivers is more than an educator. She is a life-changer who expertly unearths the beauty and voice within each of her students. Her career spans over a decade of corporate and public sector endeavors that have highlighted her talents as a speaker, teacher and curriculum developer. We were honored to interview her recently and learn about her growth as a leader and a teacher. We love how she uses her work to engage and inspire.

What is your “day” job?

This is a hard question because I feel like I wear many hats. When I teach, I introduce myself as a Leadership Development Consultant. My work involves teaching, program and curriculum development. Each course I teach, program I design or curriculum I write is geared towards helping people tap into their unlimited potential. It’s all about our mindset. I try to get people to think beyond their present circumstances and create the right conditions for maximum growth.

I am particularly passionate about single mothers reaching their full potential. Having been raised by a single mother and now raising a beautiful son as a single mother, I know the power of two things- the power of women in community and the power of a woman who recognizes her brilliance and finds her voice. I believe empowered mothers can be the game changers for our children and our community. My dream is to help single mothers - particularly black women who are so seldom celebrated - discover (unearth!) their innate talents, inventiveness and brilliance!

Who were your heroes or mentors?

I have had many mentors and heroes, but I will speak about my first hero - my mother.

My mother taught me - without uttering a word - how to make things happen despite the odds stacked against us. My father died when I was 8 years old, leaving her as a 28 year old single mother. We never missed a beat! She ensured I received the best - I went on to attend one of the best private colleges in the area, Hampton University. I came out of college with less than $500 in school loans! Her life taught me not to question what I can or can’t do, but instead question the effort I’m willing to put in to get it done. Great intention, discipline and effort produces greater results. This is one of the messages I have to remind myself of often and try to convey through my courses and training sessions. My mother was a living lesson on the power of faith and hard work. I hope to pass that lesson on to my son.

When did you decide that you wanted to become a Leadership Development Consultant?

I am not certain I decided I wanted to become a leadership development consultant or it found me! I worked at Capital One and was extremely successful as a trainer and leadership development consultant. I supported leaders in identifying their strengths and creating cultures of high performance. I loved it. I still do. I am gifted at delivering and designing courses and programs that engage and inspire - from the dullest or most complex of topics I look for what will engage, inspire and lead to action and our best selves. It is this same model that I look forward to bringing to single Black mothers, helping them tap into their leadership strengths for the benefit of themselves, their families and their community.

If you weren’t doing this work, what would life look like?

I would be doing community activism and social justice work full time, developing an innovative women’s social impact venture is of particular interest to me. I want to transfer my deep knowledge on adult learning and leadership development to work with mothers. Reaching and inspiring women through that center would become my life’s mission. There is this great line at the end of the Hunger Games movie. The main character, Katniss, says something like they made us believe we are the problem, but we are the solution. I feel that is true of single Black mothers. In tacit ways, we are made to believe (and are treated like) we are the problem. When, in fact, we are the solution. In my dreams, I make that apparent!

If you had to do it all over again would you do anything differently?

That is such a good question.

I am a bit of a risk taker and I love that quality about me. Maybe what I would do differently is to do more planning and be more intentional with my risks.

As I neared 28, the age my father was when he died, I started to take risks. When I was working for Capital One the company was expanding in England and needed people to go help set up operations. I jumped at the opportunity even though I had never been so far away from home before. Recently, I spoke to my manager at the time and he said he saw the growth in me when I returned. That is the thing about taking risks - they stretch us and grow us.

I also left my cushy corporate job to help start an early literacy preschool. I went from the corporate tower to the basement of a church! Very few people would do that. These risks, strangely enough, scare me to death and yet make me feel most alive!

I think what I would like to do differently (not in the past, but going forward) is to combine the risk with the well laid out plan. Maybe build better wings and have a map under my arm as I take off!

Something that has always stuck with me is, “You don’t have to make the mistake to learn from it.” What is the toughest lesson you’ve learned, that you hope another woman can learn from you?

In the words of Shakespeare, “ This above all, to thine own self be true.” I spent the first half of my personal and professional life trying to be somebody else, to conform to what was “accepted”. Validation doesn’t bring happiness. I downplayed my uniqueness, my value and more importantly, lost my peace.

If you are in a job or relationship that doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Just walk away. Stop compromising yourself for a false sense of safety or worth.

What do you do for yourself that brings you absolute joy and peace?

Being in my 93 year old Grandma’s kitchen is such a soothing and comforting experience. Her quiet loving demeanor, humming a spiritual as she works, cooking fried chicken and fresh rolls or baking warm gingerbread (one of my favorites!) always brings me a sense of love and of joy and of peace.

Conversations with my 5-year old son also bring me great joy. He teaches me every day how to live more in the moment.

I’m also an avid reader. Books were my great escape after my father’s death. Delving into stories helped me heal.

What would you like your epitaph to be?

Interesting question. My epitaph would have two parts.

She lived the life God designed for her - and - she set the captives free.

I think the latter is dependent on the former, right?

If you only had one word, what is it that you want people to remember about you?

Peace. I want to be remembered as someone who demonstrated peace. Peace doesn’t mean that your life is void of conflicts or difficulties. Instead, it means that you’re really grounded in who you are and consistent in how you show up regardless of what is happening around you. A peaceful woman is grounded in her womanhood and her values. The craziness of life (or of others) doesn’t change her.

My aim is to live a peaceful life and portray that life to others. I still have lots of work to do here and am getting lots of practice lately!

Is there anything else you wish I'd asked you?

I don’t think so.

How can readers connect with you?

Its simple - you can find me at:

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Inside The Office is a monthly blog that features female executive, entrepreneurial and creative leaders from diverse industries sharing wisdom and insight from their personal and professional journeys.

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