Our roster of outstanding staff is growing here at #RBLP, and we’ll continue to introduce you to them via our #MeetTheTeam series. Today we’re speaking with Dr. Gabriella Miramontes, RBLP-T!
Hi Gabriella! Thanks for chatting with us. Tell us a little about who you are and where you’re from.
Thank you for the opportunity to share a little about myself. My name is Gabriella Miramontes, I’m from the Los Angeles area. I strongly believe in the advocacy of people within organizations. My first and foremost priority is my family. I’ve been married for 23 years and have two children, a son and daughter. Some of our hobbies include reading, going to the movies and having deep discourse (tongue-in-cheek) of all things pop culture. I’m fairly close to my extended family as well – both of my parents and my siblings, a younger brother and sister – so we spend quite a bit of time together.
What can you tell us about your education and career background before you started working with RBLP?
My background is in project management and training & development. I have over 20 years of program management experience and have served in mainly non-profit and higher education. I am also currently a visiting professor at Pepperdine University’s Graduate School of Education and Psychology, teaching Leadership, Change Management, Qualitative Research, Comprehensive Examinations and serving on Dissertation and Comprehensive Exam committees.
As far as my education, I have a bachelor’s degree in Management, a Master’s degree in Educational Technology, and a Doctorate in Organizational Leadership – all from Pepperdine University. It’s this combination that has allowed me to bring together the worlds of Project Management and Training and Development to create a cohesive experience around both areas.
Who is a role model that you’ve interacted with in your life that inspired you toward this career trajectory?
I don’t know that I have a single role model that inspired my career trajectory, however, my parents were my first role models. Through them I learned about sacrifice and overcoming adversity, integrity, perseverance and staying the course. Additionally, I was afforded the blessing, if you will, of having met an individual that early on had a profound impact on my professional life, who became a mentor and good friend. Dr. Farzin Madjidi, whom currently serves as the Associate Dean at Pepperdine University – GSEP. He was one of my first professors in undergrad and eventually served as my chair when I defended my dissertation. Through his counsel and guidance, I was able to learn many of the ideas and concepts that we hold dear here at RBLP. Further, it was through his mentorship that led me to discover how much I enjoy facilitating growth and learning, both individually and in teams.
What drew you to the role that you’re fulfilling with RBLP?
I served on Dr. Gene Coughlin’s dissertation committee and we talked at length about the subject and the findings of his research. Once he graduated, we continued to stay in touch, he shared his vision for what this program could be, and the impact he could make by using his findings in developing this certification program.
Ultimately, it came down to the foundations of the program. The idea of resilient teams closely aligns with my views on leadership. If more organizations focused on people instead of the bottom line, there could be a transformative shift in the way we do business in our society. Yes, the bottom line is important, but employees can have a dynamic effect on an organization’s growth, they can make it or they can break it. If we can harness that synergy – the innovation and creativity that can result from that – we can create value that sustains organizations in the long run, but it has to start with people.
RBLP is uniquely qualified and positioned to further that idea and that concept, making it widely accepted and incorporated within the business world.
In your mind, what is the best definition of “resilience” for those who might be unfamiliar with the program that RBLP offers?
Resilience means having the toolset or skills to be able to overcome adversity. To see a problem, challenge, or obstacle and be able to figure out a solution without getting overwhelmed or losing site of the end goal. It means feeling challenged to succeed and help others succeed with you.
What are the three most important components, in your opinion, that you try to convey to every team that you train under the RBLP certification program?
Hmmm, the three most important components… Leadership is a choice. It isn’t about power or authority; it is about service. You need to be able to see people for who they are and what they bring to the table. Treating people with dignity, respect, compassion and consideration should be paramount, and in this paradigm we should embrace diversity and be inclusive. If we keep these three components in mind, you can experience transformative outcomes within organizations, regardless of industry, sector, or practice.
What is one of your own best personal experiences in your career that has influenced or inspired you in your certification training?
It’s two-fold: I had the privilege of leading a team of phenomenal individuals that adhered to the very ideas behind RBLP, they weren’t named but very much intentional. We achieved some very amazing things as a result. When I think of resilient teams, I inevitably think of them. We had the knack of meeting challenges head on, bringing our collective knowledge and understanding to the table and then getting down to getting things done. We had a lot of fun, but we also worked very hard. If I needed something done, I knew this was the team to make it happen. While I no longer lead this team, I still keep in touch with some of them and feel deep gratitude for the time we worked together.
At the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve had a leader that embodied these same ideals and as such, I was able to experience being a part of a team where he consistently modeled the way.
In your time as an RBLP staffer, what is one of your best memories of a training program that you’ve accomplished with a company and why?
I think the best memory is going through the program myself. While the content wasn’t new, the delivery of the content is very unique. This feels more like coaching then training and I had a fantastic trainer: Meghan Michael. This approach lends itself to deeper discourse and synthesis of the information. It was enjoyable, and gave me insight into the instructor’s experience and professional background. We regularly went over time because our dialogue was always so engaging. We are both lifelong learners and our conversations reflected that.
Again, I can’t reiterate it enough, this is a unique program with a very unique approach.
Pivoting a little bit from the program – tell us a little about yourself outside of work! What other activities or hobbies do you love?
I love to spend time with my family. Whether it’s going to hockey games (Go Kings!) or vacations, we enjoy doing things together. Also, I love to read as I’m a lifelong learner. I also love to scrapbook, we love to go wine tasting (prior to COVID), and as a stress reliever I love to color. I know, I know… but some of the coloring books that are made for grownups are quite intricate and soothing. In those rare occasions, I love listening to rain fall. I don’t get to do that as often since I live in sunny Southern California, but I take advantage of the few days a year when it actually happens. Oh! And I love Christmas, like Christmas in July kind of love. My family has banned me from putting up my Christmas tree any earlier than Thanksgiving. One last point… my favorite color is purple. I hold the color near and dear, a little more than most: purple front door, purple walls (some not all), purple office, purple décor, purple mini fridge, purple artwork, you know normal stuff. In my defense, I find the color soothing and life is too short to not surround ourselves with things that bring us joy.
Can you give us a quotation that you feel really inspires you to continue inspiring others?
Honestly, there isn’t just one. I’m inspired daily by thoughts, dreams, and quotes by so many: Steve Jobs, Brené Brown, Simon Sinek, Eleanor Roosevelt, Frida Kahlo, Wayne Dyer, Winston Churchill, Rosa Parks, Grace Hopper, and the list goes on and on… but if I had to pick a quote in this moment, I guess I would have to say that it would be:
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” – Walt Disney
I pride myself in believing that if I set my mind to something I can and will accomplish it. For better or worse I am the architect of my life. So I dream.
RBLP leadership certifications are about Building Resilient Teams™ that overcome adversity and then can adapt and grow! As always, we are #StrongerTogether.
Learn more about the requirements for the RBLP Certification program.