Meet Yvette Collins
Yvette has served in a variety of roles during her tenure at AT&T Michigan, currently as the Director of External Affairs, she provides support to all corporate AT&T U-verse activities, legislative efforts, and provides direction, education and guidance on corporate initiatives and compliance.
We appreciate the time Yvette took to talk with us about Leadership.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership exists when an individual can harness the power of others to achieve a shared goal. A real leader recognizes individuals’ value and understands that each individual brings some unique experience to an issue that provides value that no one else can bring.
Who has influenced your idea of leadership?
It’s difficult for me to pinpoint a single person. I would say I have had many people affect my life over time and the more people I meet, the more individuals influence me. In my experience, leadership style is fluid. I will point out that I have consistently worked with influential female leaders in my career.
Some of these women were supervisors and some were peers, but they all could see what needed to be done and find a path of getting the job done. They had different styles, but what was consistent is that they were logical and persistent in figuring out how to complete a task at hand or getting a job completed.
Using facts and persistence in applying the skills to make successful use of both to accomplish a goal has always driven how I operate.
Why do we need more women in leadership roles?
We exist in a world that is majority female. It is problematic that governments and businesses have not caught up to this fact.
All people need to see themselves represented – from all women to all people of color.
The world doesn’t exist as monochrome, and each person brings new perspectives. Women don’t inherently have some secret power that adds to the mix. The qualities a woman brings to a workplace is no different than what a man brings. Each of us as human beings have our strengths and weaknesses; none of those are inherently defined by our sex.
The answer is that there is no male/female dynamic to what anyone brings to the table in any field. Each individual provides insights and experiences that are unique and should take a seat at any table where their voices can be heard. Women are just as qualified as men to do any job that exists, so no secret sauce or component makes that.
How are you leading in your career or community?
One of the aspects I enjoy most about my role as Director of External and Regulatory Affairs at AT&T Michigan is that I get to get out into the community and become engaged. AT&T provides contributions and volunteer support to a wide range of non-profit and community service agencies throughout the state and as an employee in the state’s External Affairs organization, I have the honor to be engaged in any number of projects.
It isn’t easy to name just one, but I have been able to organize the volunteer efforts that AT&T has done through its Believe Detroit initiative with Cass Community Social Services. Many people in Detroit may know about Cass’s broad reach and the many things that they do to serve the needs of those most in need in Detroit, not the least of which is the Tiny Homes project that is the brainchild of Rev. Faith Fowler.
Still, there are so many opportunities to volunteer and engage with Cass. Over the past several years, I have had the pleasure to work with AT&T employees on a multitude of projects that support Cass.
Last spring, we cleaned up a space that became a memorial garden for Cass, and in the fall, we took part in a big clean up of discarded tires in an abandoned lot. Cass recycles these tires and employs men in the Cass Community to make rubber mats that they sell, which pays for their work.
It has been profoundly gratifying for me to organize these projects that allow us to work with Cass. I appreciate the AT&T employees that devote time to help on these projects that help so many people in the city of Detroit. As a native of Detroit, it means a lot to give back so directly to a community I love.
Is there anything else that you would like to share?
I am very honored to be considered for inclusion in this spotlight of leadership. I never thought my leadership style was anything unique.
Still, if I can share anything I’ve learned about leadership, I would say that it is always to remember that all individuals have something to offer in any situation. It almost sounds cliché, but I don’t care. I believe to be true: Good leadership is more about focusing on we instead of me.
Social Media Handles
On Twitter: @YMC26
What is the best way for someone to contact you?