Christie Lindor spent the first two decades of her career working as a management consultant at some of the world’s top companies. Today, the first-generation Haitian American is a Workplace Culture and Inclusion expert that has earned a reputation for helping mid-sized and large organizations create high-performing, inclusive workplace cultures.
As the principal of Tessi Consulting – a Black, woman-owned boutique consultancy that offers diversity, equity, inclusion, training, coaching, and more – Lindor has served hundreds of global organizations across more than 31 industries in 10 countries. In her role, she also brings more than 12 years of experience planning, designing, and implementing diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Corporate America.
When she’s not consulting, you can find Christie in a myriad of activities. She is an award-winning author currently working on her third non-fiction book. She is active in local politics as the cofounder of the Political Lab, sits on the board of a women’s homeless shelter in Boston, an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and resides in Boston with her family.
No matter what she’s doing, Christie is helping to move the needle forward by making the world better than she found it, one workplace at a time.
In our latest “Faces of HR” profile, meet Christie Lindor. Enjoy!
How did you get your start in the field?
I was on a technology project with an organizational design and change management workstream. The workstream lead ended up going out on maternity leave earlier than everyone expected, and I ended up filling in aspects of her role. That is how I first got exposure to this type of work. I fell in love with it and decided from then on to focus my consulting career on all aspects of people strategy.
Who is/was your biggest influence in the industry?
With a focus on organizational development, diversity, equity, inclusion, and change management, I cannot say that I have one “influencer” that I admire. I look up to several different individuals for a lot of different reasons. For example, I admire Brene Brown and her work on vulnerability, which is critical in leadership. I admire John Kotter’s work on change management. I admire Netflix diversity leader Verna Myers. So, there’s not one person, there are a collection of different individuals I look to for inspiration in this space.
What’s your best mistake and what did you learn from it?
I was on a consulting project and in charge of the analysis for a major assessment we were doing for this large global corporation. My project lead ended up being out sick and I was the person best suited to meet with the client since I led the research effort on the project. I remember being so nervous to meet with this Senior Vice President of this large, multi-billion-dollar organization. I spent 24 hours preparing for that meeting, going through all my data, and rehearsing what I thought were going to be her questions. I remember meeting her that morning and noticing that something was off. She seemed a bit distracted. I wanted to do a good job and was so nervous that I went through the presentation and research data.
At the end, she didn’t have many questions and said she was going to head home early. Turns out on her way into the office that morning, she found out that her 8-year-old son had gotten hit by a car. She only came into the office to have this meeting and was going to be out for the rest of the day. I felt terrible when I heard that; I knew something was off, but I didn’t have the courage to ask her. I just went through my presentation, trying to check off my boxes and I didn’t really show up for her at a moment that really mattered. That lesson has forever stayed with me – you must meet people where they are. Had I stopped and asked her, I probably would have just rescheduled that meeting.
What’s your favorite part about working in the industry? What’s your least favorite part, and how would you change it?
I enjoy watching the work I do create immediate, positive impact in the personal and professional lives of employees. I hate the status quo that is conditioned in our society, which makes it hard to have truly diverse, equitable, and inclusive organizations.
How can company leaders make HR a value within their organization?
Listen to their employees, be transparent on what you can or cannot do, and keep people first. Even in the toughest of times, that formula will always stand.
Where do you see the industry heading in five years? Or are you seeing any current trends?
More demand for advisory, empathetic, and inclusive support for employees and leaders instead of compliance driven HR functions is the future.
What are you most proud of?
I’m really excited to see that corporations have become more purpose driven, more inclusive, and more environmentally conscious being prioritized in addition to a profit focus. I hope to continue to see these as trends. I’m encouraged for the younger generations that will be the future leaders at these companies.
Do you have any advice for people entering the profession?
Make sure to seek out companies that share and align with your values not only in words but in their actions.