Hispanic Heritage Month LeadBoston Spotlight: Johana Muriel Grajales

Ilana Coolidge
Hispanic Heritage Month LB Spotlight blog graphic

Johana Muriel Grajales (LeadBoston Class of 2019), consultant at Boston Consulting Group, spoke with YW Boston about her heritage, advice for young professionals, and her experience with LeadBoston.

What are some of the things you love most about your Hispanic heritage? Or what are you most of proud of regarding your Hispanic heritage?

What I find myself celebrating and reflecting on is the connection that my family and I have not just to Colombia but to a highly diverse group of cultures, languages, traditions. I am proud of the diversity within our people and history and how that diversity continues to crystallize into an asset for the communities where we belong.

What advice would you give to young Hispanic and Latinx professionals?

I would advise them to be both patient and curious. Be patient enough to enjoy the learning journey and value your talents and experiences for what they are at this moment in your life, without constantly measuring yourself against where you think you should be in 5-10 years. Cultivate curiosity to experiment with different approaches to develop your talents and work towards your goals. Lastly, from a more practical standpoint, I would encourage them to learn about personal finance and become savvy and well equipped to plan for their future.

What were your reasons for joining LeadBoston and what was your biggest takeaway from the program?

I chose to participate in LeadBoston because I wanted to gain a deeper understanding of the realities and histories of our communities across Boston. LeadBoston truly opened my eyes and helped me gauge how far I had come on my journey towards becoming a truly inclusive leader. It was critical for me to recognize my own blind spots and become better at identifying those blind spots within the organizations I am involved with. I am still actively working on this, and it was thanks to LeadBoston that I became more deliberate and well-equipped to tackle the personal and professional challenges related to equity and inclusion.

If you could pick a personal motto or favorite quote, what would it be?

“Grow by growing others” is one of the values at BCG and I think speaks to the true meaning of leadership.

What are you reading, watching, or listening to right now?

I can never get enough of Adam Grant, the Organizational Psychologist guru. I find his work thought-provoking and inspiring. Right now I am going through his podcasts “Work Life” and “Re-thinking” and I always come away with one or two ideas to tinker around with my own personal or professional challenges.

About LeadBoston

Our signature leadership program, LeadBoston, supports all individual participants as they create and implement a leadership commitment. This leadership commitment is an action plan that confronts some of the systemic inequities they’ve learned about and that are showing up in their organization. This plan, and the collective LeadBoston experience, empowers leaders to create meaningful change in their workplaces, in their communities, and in the city of Boston itself. Staff work alongside alums for a year following the program to ensure participants have what they need to see their plan through.

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