Ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things when they expect more of themselves. That’s the message from our guest, Keisha Bell, who has overcome obstacles and achieved extraordinary success by ignoring the doubts and doubters.
Keisha Bell is the Managing Director and Head of Diverse Talent Management and Advancement at DTCC where she is responsible for developing the next generation of leaders through focused sponsorships and talent advancement strategies.
Keisha understands what it takes to go beyond barriers. She believes in changing mindsets, forging progressive practices, and views each employee as an agent of change. Keisha says that the role of a leader is to make decisions that move things forward. Her secret is to never overcomplicate things and to keep it simple. While it’s important to seek trusted feedback, eventually, a choice needs to be made. That’s why sometimes, the most important decision you can make is just making a decision. So if you’re feeling stuck and overwhelmed with options, remember that unless you’re a surgeon, there is “no patient on the table”, just make the decision!
In this episode, Keisha tells us about her career path, what helped her achieve her goals, and why it’s important to find joy in everything you do.
[02:15] Biggest lessons learned
[03:15] Overcoming underestimating yourself
[04:55] How Keisha’s career path unfolded
[07:06] From college to current role - coming full circle
[10:19] Advice on find clarity in your career path
[13:22] Keisha’s framework for decision-making
[16:01] Overcoming limiting beliefs
[18:24] Most pivotal lessons learned from family of strong women
[21:26] The importance of creating opportunities for others
[20:34] The difference that access makes early on in life
[26:29] Continuous learning and growth
[28:42] Developing valuable relationships
[30:27] Keisha’s approach to effective execution
[33:19] Staying grounded
[31:47] Lightning round questions
“Be intentional about where you direct your energy and skill set and let people know what you are capable of.” - Keisha Bell
“Show up, be authentic, be accountable, do the right thing and act ethically.” - Keisha Bell
“You have to be ruthlessly honest with yourself about what you’re good at.” – Keisha Bell
“You don’t have a patient on the table. No one is going to die if you don’t do this right.” – Keisha Bell
Lightning Round Questions
- “The Warmth of Other Suns” by Isabel Wilkerson
- “If you want to fly, you have to give up the sh*t that weighs you down.” and “Dream a little before you think.” By Toni Morrison
- Working on negative self-talk
- “I’m Every Woman” by Chaka Khan
What book has greatly influenced you?
What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying?
What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself?
What is one change you've implanted that made your life better?
What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage?
- 2021 World Federation of Exchanges Women Leaders List
- 2020 OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Models - Top LGBT Executives
Keisha Bell is Managing Director and Head of Diverse Talent Management and Advancement at DTCC, where she is responsible for recruiting and retaining the best diverse talent and developing DTCC’s next generation of leaders through focused sponsorships and talent advancement strategies. She believes in changing mindsets, forging progressive practices, and views each employee as an agent of change. Keisha partners with business leaders to identify diverse talent across all levels of the organization focusing on their growth and mobility, and with Human Resources to ensure diversity and inclusion are fully integrated into working practices. Additionally, Keisha leads Corporate Philanthropy and Social Responsibility for DTCC.
Previously, Keisha was Managing Director of DTCC’s Risk Management Reporting, Governance, Analysis and Program Management group. She successfully led the firm’s Board and Management Risk Committees, regulatory, audit and compliance reporting, management control testing, and program management of the Financial and Technology Risk initiatives. Prior to that, she served as Executive Director of Wealth Management Services. She was also a member of DTCC’s
Global Diversity and Inclusion Council and a founding leader of the LGBTQA professional network.
Keisha serves as a member of the board of directors of The NYC Anti-Violence Project and is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Partnering for Racial Justice in Business initiative. Keisha has been named to the World Federation of Exchanges’ 2021 Women Leaders List and to the 2021 OUTstanding LGBT+ Role Model List of 100 business leaders for her impact on LGBT+ inclusion inside and outside the workplace, her business achievements, and the seniority and influence of her role. She also represented DTCC at The Alliance, an inaugural gathering of the influential LGBTQ leaders held in Lisbon, Portugal.
Keisha has more than 20 years of experience in the financial services industry, spanning broker/dealer operations, technology transformations, program management and business analysis. She earned her B.S. in Organizational Behavior from New York University.
Keisha has received the following awards: