Dr. Alicia Makaye believes that self-empowerment “starts with your mind.” Especially in a time where many people feel they have lost their power in their lives, careers, and situations due to COVID-19, she says it’s important to remember that we are the ones who give ourselves power.

“This is a season [when] everyone is having so many different challenges and situations and circumstances that they may be dealing with,” she says. If you are trying to regain power, she continues, ask yourself: “What story are you telling yourself every day about this situation that’s going on?” 

Dr. Makaye is a key decision maker and career problem solver with years of experience leading through tough situations. She is the vice president, human resource manager, co-founder and co-owner of GXA, which provides IT support, consulting, and solutions to other small to mid-sized businesses around the Dallas, Fort Worth area. She is an Air Force veteran and the third local leader featured in our Facebook Live interview series.

For her, and her company, this has been a time of forced adaptability. However, Dr. Makaye invites viewers to view adaptability as the key to their accessibility, and a possible road into a new season of life.

“If you can learn how to adapt to the season, that may be an opportunity for you to go into a new season of your life,” she says. “Everybody has a problem right now. Everybody has a situation. Everybody has circumstances that may be that may lead to. I need these to be solved. So what do you have in your hand, which would help you to solve a problem?”

Other key leadership highlights from Dr. Makaye include: 

  • “Expect nothing, and appreciate everything. Every time we wake up, we should have an attitude of gratitude. In the field right now, people are applying for positions, but they have this expectation that they’re going to be making lots of money during this season. In COVID-19 so you may not be able to get your expected salary, so expect nothing and appreciate everything during this particular season.” 
  • “Encourage yourself … Just because someone laid you off this season, it may have not had anything to do with you personally. It may have been a situation with the organisation … it doesn’t mean that you’re not valuable. You may be very valuable, but you need to find your value again. Talk to yourself every day: ‘I am valuable, I am more than enough. This too shall pass. I may be down but I’m not out.’ It all starts here in the mind.
  • You’re going to be challenged mentally. So what I think about is how to get my physical body ready to take on the challenges of today. I go walking in the morning for 30 minutes. I don’t bring my kids. I clear my mind, get my body physically ready for what’s about to happen today. I walk, taking deep breaths and preparing for whatever the day brings to me. I then find myself having more patience with my children, more patience when dealing with employees. 
  • Even if you’re unemployed right now, you should still be marketing and selling. This is not the time to not apply for jobs. I am hiring. I have a few jobs available right now. Just because the building is close, doesn’t mean business is not happening. We are doing business, and we’re waiting on you. It starts here, let’s keep moving and let’s become stronger together.
  • For those working at home and facing having internet troubles: Look at your internet connection, your internet provider, your bandwidth … do not click on attachments from strangers.

Local Leaders by Local Profile is an ongoing video series featuring incredible local leaders sharing their best leadership insights. Going beyond business, Local Leaders aims to inspire and motivate you to become the best version of yourself. It broadcasts LIVE via the Local Profile Facebook page (click here.)

Alexandra Cronin

Alexandra Cronin is Local Profile's senior editor. She has been with the company since 2016. She loves great coffee, good food, and average wine.