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“I very much think of myself as the leader behind, or the leader beside. I love to help people across their finish line, so get rid of that mistaken belief and realize that we can define leadership in so many different ways.” – Laverne McKinnon

Leaders come in all different shapes and sizes, and the “old school” notion of being an extrovert and telling people what to do and how to do it is not effective, productive or sustainable. Today’s Finding Brave guest shows us that we are all leaders of some kind, and part of her mission is to inspire and challenge each of us to step into our leadership potential and make a positive impact on the world. 

Laverne McKinnon is the Executive Producer of the Netflix series Girlboss, and the co-founder of K&L Productions, a film & television company created with Kay Cannon (writer of the Pitch Perfect franchise and director of Blockers). K&L has a first-look production deal at Sony Television with multiple projects sold including Amazon, Quibi, Fox, CBS, NBC, ABC and TBS. Laverne and Kay are passionate about championing underdog and underserved stories. Laverne is also a leadership and personal coach, certified grief counselor, and an adjunct professor at Northwestern University’s MS Leadership for Creative Enterprises program. For a significant part of her career, she was a successful programming executive with stints as SVP Drama Development at CBS and as EVP Original Programming & Development at EPIX. Laverne holds a Masters in Business Administration from Pepperdine University, is the former co-chairman of the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment (the longest-running and most prestigious Asian American & Pacific Islander non-profit) and is a passionate advocate for adoption and foster care programs.

The world is in desperate need of a new type of leadership, and Laverne is a glowing example of someone who connects all the dots of who she is and what she stands for, in order to leverage her creativity fully and make a positive impact in the world.  

Highlights from this Episode:

  • How Laverne got her start in the entertainment business, and the big surprise she discovered soon after [3:38]

  • Her keys to thriving in a competitive and male-dominated industry, and the amazing advice she received at a particularly difficult time for her [9:10]

  • The role that effective communication plays in leadership and making tough decisions [14:08]

  • What Laverne considers to be the biggest personal growth gap in inspiring leaders today [15:00]

  • What to remember when upleveling your life and business, plus what can happen when you don’t prioritize self-care [20:30]

  • How to be creative and lead in your chosen field [22:13]

  • Why she says she leads in a much different way than someone who is considered a typical leader  [24:16]

  • The ways that Laverne is empowering herself and others through her work [25:50]

  • What women can do to become more comfortable in their journeys to becoming a leader, or being more effective as one [28:42]

  • Exciting details about her new leadership program beginning this month [30:48]

For More Information: 

Resources Mentioned: 

Laverne’s Services (including her upcoming Leadership & Transformation Group Sessions)

41: The New Definition of Leadership, with Karen Kimsey-House

Kathy’s interview with Laverne: Executive Producer Of Netflix’s Show ‘Girlboss’ Shares Her Reality About Life In Entertainment

For more about Kathy’s upcoming book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths To Career Bliss, sign up for her weekly newsletter at for updates, free giveaways, contests, and more, coming in Summer 2020. And to discover if you are experiencing any of the 7 damaging power gaps today, take Kathy’s Power Gap Survey and find out!

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“I feel like ultimately what has allowed me to thrive, and to succeed, is that we as human beings are naturally creative, resourceful and whole. It took me a long time to actually embrace that and recognize it.” [8:07]

“Being curious, compassionate and supportive is sometimes about telling people some hard truths.” [12:44]

“It’s really like in a way pruning our thoughts, and pulling out the weeds. If it’s not a quality thought, yank it and replace that thought with something that’s going to be helpful.” [15:54]

“That place of empowerment is just so rich and delicious, and it allows us to navigate those natural obstacles and challenges that are part of life.” [26:35]

“I feel like many women are kept small because we’re told that we have to choose to do one thing.” [32:07]

Sponsor Highlight!  

I’m thrilled to share that is a sponsor of Finding Brave! Take advantage of their great special offer of one FREE book of your choice with a 30-day FREE membership trial! And feel free to keep the book even if you cancel the membership. Click here to sign up for your free book!

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  1. 136: How to Know When You Have a Book Inside of You and How to Start, with Bruce Gelfand - […] Episode 106: Turning Our Creativity Into a Leadership Force, with Laverne McKinnon […]


Kathy’s new book The Most Powerful You: 7 Bravery-Boosting Paths to Career Bliss shares vital information on the 7 most damaging power gaps that 98% of professional women face and how to overcome them. Boost your power and confidence today!


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