This post was originally published on Michigan Chronicle

By Sherri Kolade

In 2021, nearly 7% of companies were led by female CEOs, and about 15% had female CFOs. Also, Black CFOs nearly doubled from 2020 to 2021, according to investopedia.com.

The path that it takes to become a boss or leader in a company is not always easy or paved with gold, especially for women and minorities — not to mention double minority employees.

Steps to becoming an effective leader in an organization can be even more challenging — if one is up to the task. An effective leader harnesses their own power and bolsters the power of others in the form of excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to inspire others, according to smallbusiness.chron.com.

Global Leadership Consultant and Communications and Etiquette Expert Jacqueline M. Baker, a multihyphenate podcast producer, author, and speaker, “occupies spaces” to help others embrace the very same characteristics that make them an inner leader, while confidently advancing to their next level.

Baker, the founder of Scarlet Communications, a global leadership consultancy, positions herself to help thousands of students, Fortune 500s, and community organizations across the globe learn about leadership content creation and delivery. 

“She evangelizes that leadership isn’t just a skill or concept reserved only for those in executive roles, but that we all have the power to lead in our own unique ways across both social and professional settings,” according to a press release. 

The author’s first book, “Leader by Mistake: Becoming a Leader One Mistake at a Time,” showed readers how to find their “inner leader” by learning from mistakes and developing skills that they already possess to lead confidently. 

Her new book, “The Unexpected Leader: Discovering the Leader Within You,” released this fall, is about learning that effective leadership isn’t constricted to individual silos. 

“It appears everywhere, and sometimes in the most unexpected of places,” according to the book.  

In the book, readers will find: 

  • Examples of how exemplary leadership can show up anywhere
  • New strategies for implementing the latest leadership techniques
  • Modern lessons on unique and authentic leadership from people unexpectedly thrust into positions where great leadership was essential.

Baker told the Michigan Chronicle that people hire her company to help their own organization’s leaders be “better leaders.”

Baker said that she gave herself “permission” to thrive as a native Detroiter who grew up on the eastside and didn’t come from money or resources.

Currently, in Washington, D.C., Baker holds a Six Sigma Green Belt certification in process improvement, which she uses to help clients develop systems and processes that will allow them to reach their strategic planning and leadership development goals. Jacqueline also hosts the podcast Just Start™: From Ideas to Action. Every chance she gets, she is an avid dinner party host and loves to convene meaningful groups of people for great conversation, idea sharing, and accountability, paired with delicious cuisine and wine. 

Baker said that her desire for the book is to help people to allow the content to redefine them and the leader within, not box leaders at work.

“Our minds gravitate to the corporate workplace and hierarch, and we’re asking people to think a little differently,” she said, adding that leadership comes in four styles:

  • Self-leaders (self-driven, self-advocating)
  • Leaders of others (parents, bosses, etc.)
  • Leaders of a community (mayors, city council, etc.)
  • Leader of movements (individuals over political, religious, movements and the like)

“All of the things I’ve done in my life personally that is a key leadership quality,” she said of delegating tasks to children, organizing parties, and more, which translate well as skillsets. “But why do I forget that when I walk in workspaces?”

“It’s very simple because we spend a lot of time waiting for permission,” she said, adding that the book is a wakeup call and a calling card.” “Here is a template of tools (for you to) see yourself differently. … The world’s issues are waiting on us to manifest the answer to them.”

“The Unexpected Leader provides a unique perspective on what it means to be a leader, whether at work, at home, or in the community, and provides a compelling case for why we are all everyday leaders in life. Jacqueline M. Baker masterfully outlines how each of us can strengthen our leadership skills through tools, frameworks, and real-life examples. In an increasingly complex world, The Unexpected Leader is what we need now more than ever.”

KimArie Yowell, Chief Learning Officer, Rocket Central, said in a quote that The Unexpected Leader book is out “at the perfect time.” 

“In a world where it’s important for everyone to understand that we all have the capacity to lead where we are, The Unexpected Leader provides practical tools for everyone to lead effectively, no matter their role, position, or status in life,” Yowell said.