Episode 136: Torian Richardson on Leadership, Purpose and the “Real A.I.”
In this episode of Beyond the Business Suit, I'm featuring the 3rd episode in my #flyguyfriends series where where I have been featuring some of my guy friends who are not only doing some great things, but are also some great people. Next up is Torian Richardson, who I have known for over 20 years. Torian and I went to high school together back in the western suburbs of Chicago (shout out to Waubonsie Valley!) and way back then, we could have never imagined where life would take each of us. Over the years, I have admired how Torian has grown and developed into an inspirational, conscious global leader.
Some of what we covered in this episode:
- Torian's career journey
- His experience living and working in Nigeria and China
- His perspective on stewardship, empathy and humanity-focused leadership
- The downfalls of the current diversity and inclusion conversation and what he calls the “real A.I.”
- A whole lot more…
Torian Richardson’s inclusive why is to inspire the genius in others to live valiantly so that potential is turned into impact. Over the past 20 years as an international thought leader whose expertise rest in analytics, culture and people development, strategy and stewardship, he is a lifelong learner through experience and immersion living and working on four continents and journeying through over 70 countries.
Born at South Chicago Hospital of a family rooted in Chicago's Southside, he is the product of a working-class broken home and lived west on 87th street from Southside’s Gresham to Justice to the Aurora/Naperville area. But what really shaped him was not only life in these diverse neighborhoods but growing up in a well-intended yet abusive family during his formative years.
Torian was able to transform a lackadaisical attitude into earning an NCAA athletic scholarship and losing it. Once he buckled down and fought his way to being a first-generation college graduate; earning a Bachelors of Business Administration in Finance from Benedictine University and a Masters of Public Administration in International Development from Tsinghua University in Beijing to most recently
graduating from Harvard Business School.
In the United States, he has held a variety of corporate leadership roles in finance, education, and transportation with general management responsibilities of over $80M in P&L leadership. Additionally as a Chairman of the Board for www.globalminded.org as well as a consultant with HBS Club of New York. In Africa, as the Business Solutions Director, he was responsible for successfully building educational technology and service businesses throughout the African continent. Living in China for four years, Torian became an entrepreneur founding Guanxi Universal as well as lecturing at University of International Business and Economics (Beijing) and Changchun Finance College.
The Final Five
1. What is the best advice you've ever received: to get over myself.
2. What is one book that has made a significant impact on your life, personally or professionally?: Everybody Matters: The Extraordinary Power of Caring for Your People Like Family by Bob Chapman
3. What are three do or listen to to stay sharp? Meditation, talking to strangers and recognizing people
4. Do you have a morning or night time routine? Typically wakes up without an alarm clock from 4:45 – 5:30, thinks about one thing he's thankful for for the day, has a cup of white tea with organic honey and two slices of lemon, then he does physical activity (yoga and weight training) and writes down three intentions for the day.
5. What do you put on to feel most powerful? A custom suit — everyone should have the experience getting something.