Growing up a shy, young girl in Barbados, Richelle didn’t always see herself as leadership material. Luckily her family and teachers knew better. After high school, she made the big decision to go to college in Florida—a long way from home. She was excited, but remembers, “The first day I was so worried that I made the wrong decision. I was far from my family and I cried for a whole month!” But the move helped her grow, take calculated risks, and step out of her comfort zone.
Now this high-powered leader offers strategies for creating relationships that take you to the next level.
Desire to be of real service
There are three elements to being of real service: understanding the client needs, exceeding their expectations, and always doing it with excellence. Before any project, I aim to understand what the issues are, simple or complex, so I can deliver results.
Look beyond the obvious
As a child, I always liked to be prepared. Today, I do research and refuse to settle the obvious. When you challenge yourself to do more, you always have a more rewarding result, no matter the outcome. And your client knows you’ve gone further than what was ‘required.’
Create moments that matter
True leadership isn’t just being in charge of people, it’s about creating experiences that connect them. I put their needs above mine. In my early days at Deloitte, higher-ups called me a leader because I was able to harness the power of our team. I want my junior members to know they have a voice and their opinion matters. I always ask if they’re learning something from me. If they’re not, then I’ve failed as a leader.
You’re one of a kind
My parents told me there’s only one Richelle. I tell my colleagues and friends, “What you see is what you get.” They know I’m the same whether I sit with a staff person or the CEO of the firm. When you’re telling the truth, people know that they’ll get a straight answer from you, even if it’s hard to hear.
Step into their shoes
I need to go beyond my role as an auditor and try to understand whoever I am dealing with, so I can learn their perspective. This helps me anticipate my clients needs and deliver work that’s valuable to them.
Your network: good for you, good for them
When you have a network, you’re not only able to tap into it to help you, but you’re also able to support your team. I try to connect my team with my network when I’m able to. As a result, we’re stronger together.
For more information about careers at Deloitte, visit the Careers section of their website.
What advice would you give to your younger self knowing what you know now?
Never compare yourself to someone else. Know that where you are now is not where you’ll end up.
You’re involved with College Summit, an organization that helps underprivileged kids apply for college. What’s that like?
One of the things we do is help the students write their college application essays. You would be surprised by how much they teach you. When you hear where they come from, and how they’re so focused on doing something to better themselves, it touches you to the core.
Many of our community members struggle with overworking. Any thoughts?
At Deloitte we call it work/life fit. What that means to me is, if I make a commitment on Saturday to see a friend, I stick to it. I’ll even schedule it on my calendar. If I have to work on the weekend, I make sure that 6PM is the cut off time. I won’t work after that.
What’s your favorite travel destination?
Barbados. Now that I live in the US I can really appreciate my home. I always go back for the Christmas holiday. The sea is so beautiful.