My Stand and Deliver series features women who lead through inspiration and aspiration. Today’s article highlights how to collaborate across cultural boundaries.
I chose to interview Loren Rosario-Maldonado, a remarkable individual whose insights have consistently captivated me. Through her Forbes Expert Panel leadership series and engaging LinkedIn daily posts, Loren skillfully delves into driving business performance through cultural intelligence. 
As a respected HR executive, award-winning author, and masterful storyteller, she effortlessly navigates the intricacies of the human condition, leaving readers, including myself, thoroughly intrigued and inspired.
Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little bit about your career and what excites you about your current stage of life.
I am a rebel with a cause. I’ve been married for thirty-one years to my high school sweetheart, and we have a thirty-year-old daughter who is a force to be reckoned with. After spending years advocating for specific causes, I became passionate about building future leaders. I currently serve on the Girls, Inc of Greater Miami board, which promotes leadership and STEM skills for girls in underserved communities. I spent twenty years in HR, pivoting to a global landscape toward the end of my corporate America career. I saw firsthand how cultural intelligence helps diverse communities across the globe and wanted to have a bigger impact beyond corporate America. 
This past January, I launched Cultura Global, Inc., an organization dedicated to growing leadership skills rooted in cultural intelligence around the globe. Through evidence-based coaching and development programs, we are helping leaders and individual contributors develop the skills they need to thrive today and beyond. This is one of the most exciting stages of my life because a lifelong dream is coming to fruition. I always wanted to form a company, more like an ecosystem, that helps others thrive. 
 Tell us about a major transition period in your life (major move, career move, family, unique opportunity) and what prompted the change.
I am a serial entrepreneur, and my latest venture, Cultura Global Inc., has been the most significant pivot of my life. This is a farewell to corporate America, not because of the intricacies that shape corporate life. It is bittersweet because I have come a long way from my first pivot: becoming a mom at nineteen. When my daughter was born, I had to learn to be a mom, student (I was in my first year of college), and wife. That was the most challenging yet most rewarding time of my life.  Looking back, I see it as a testament to grit, determination, and perseverance. 
 What are the three top tips you have for woman trying to assert her influence and ideas?  
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How do you help unleash leadership at all levels?
Elevating leadership at all levels is a mission that thrills me to my core. Leadership isn’t about a title; it’s about influence, impact, and the ability to inspire action. It’s a cultural artifact, a narrative that every individual in an organization can contribute to, irrespective of their rank or role.
As a leadership development coach and a people scientist, I don’t just skim the surface; I delve deep into an organization’s DNA to understand its cultural nuances, unspoken norms, and hidden strengths. Through this journey, I unravel the threads of potential that are often overlooked, unappreciated, or untapped.
It’s interesting how leadership can naturally come about as a quality. My job is to create conditions where it can flourish like a flower in the right season. I infuse techniques from many different theories, like positive psychology, to bring out the intrinsic motivations connected to people’s natural leadership ability, whether C-suite executives or new hires. I love to explore values, beliefs, and individual stories to align each person’s unique capabilities with the organization’s overarching goals.
But I also integrate aspects from coactive coaching, which focuses on treating individuals as naturally creative, resourceful, and whole. This powerful perspective helps cocreate a space for transformation and growth.
Whether through workshops, one-on-one coaching sessions, or strategic consultations, I love designing holistic pathways to leadership. My superpower is helping leaders find their authentic voice so they can guide with wisdom, lead with compassion, and influence with integrity. My mission is to break down barriers that limit a person’s ability to lead and engage in dialogues that expand their horizons and understanding of what’s possible. 
Ultimately, in every corner of an organization, from the boardroom to the break room, there are untold stories of potential leaders waiting for their moment to shine. My mission is to illuminate those corners and invite everyone into the limelight, because leadership is not reserved for the few but a calling open to the many.
I see everyone as multidimensional. In essence, I don’t just cultivate leaders; I awaken the dormant leadership spirit in everyone. And when that spirit awakens, the ripple effects are unimaginable. You elevate yourself and the people around you, and together, you shape the culture, the organization, and even the world at large. Now, tell me, are you ready to unleash your leadership potential?
Tell our readers about a passion project of yours, why it’s unique or special, and what attracted you to it.
My first book, Becoming The Change: The Power of Cultural Intelligence, will be published in late fall. It took many years to create, but the outcome is priceless. I became passionate about cultural intelligence during my industrial and organizational psychology master’s program and have made it my mission to educate others through coaching and development. This book is for anyone who wants to understand how their cultural values shape their identity and how to understand those who are different from them.
Who inspires you today and why?
I am inspired by many people, but my father stands out. After fifty-three years in the US, he is now returning to his homeland. He is a man of faith who demonstrates perseverance and grit no matter what life brings. As I see him age gracefully, I cannot help but think about my legacy and how I want to pave the way forward for others.
 What is a future aspiration?
Many changes are happening, and I am learning to enjoy this phase of my life to the fullest despite the many hurdles thrown my way. Complete my doctorate in 2025, then prepare for grandchildren (fingers-crossed!). Enjoy my latest ventures and educate one million people about cultural intelligence.

My Key Takeaways

What strikes me the most about my interview with Loren is her ability to provide greater clarity to the terms culture and diversity through her writing. She reinvigorates these words, infusing them with a broader and more meaningful significance.
As a former corporate executive and advisor to Fortune 500 CEOs, I have observed companies’ persistent struggles when attempting to enhance diversity through actively recruiting various demographics, including women. Despite concerted efforts, the puzzle pieces sometimes fail to fall into place. 
Loren’s perspective urges us to dig deeper into the root causes of these challenges. In many cases, the real issues might lie beneath the surface, defying initial expectations.
Loren possesses a unique mastery of language that captures the essence of her ideas. Her employment of analogies and metaphors clarifies the barriers that can hinder our connections, even when our intentions are sincere. A quote that particularly resonates with me is:
“Leadership isn’t about a title; it’s about influence, impact, and the ability to inspire action. It’s a cultural artifact, a narrative that every individual in an organization can contribute to, irrespective of their rank or role.”
What intrigued me is her use of the term cultural artifact, which sheds light on the uniqueness within each of us—something not always readily apparent on the surface but potentially a piece of our history that is transferred and reblended from generation to generation. 
Another analogy I have heard Loren use has stuck with me, shedding new light on something seemingly mundane—the varieties of sand we often overlook during our beach visits. She reminds the reader that sand may be silky in Aruba, black in the Dominican Republic, or grainy in South Florida. Every grain of sand is different.
Loren beautifully captured sand’s impermanent yet distinctive essence in her eloquent prose. Her analogy is a powerful metaphor for leadership, driving home the importance of adaptability and evolution while staying true to our fundamental identities. 
Within that conversation, she highlighted the “Hourglass Effect”t. “In an hourglass, sand marks the passage of time. In leadership, timing is everything—when to speak, when to listen, when to act. Use your ‘sand’ wisely to make the most of the ‘time’ you have with your team.” She urges us to harness the unique qualities of each team member to optimize our collective time together. In this way, she encourages a fresh perspective on leadership and collaboration, emphasizing the value of individuality within the team dynamic.
Loren Rosario-Maldonado’s insights go beyond the superficial and delve into the profound, encouraging us to rethink conventional wisdom and embrace a deeper understanding of ourselves and our roles within our organizations. 
I look forward to reading her book in November and encourage you to follow her on LinkedIn.
What lessons did you learn from Loren’s interview? Let me know what inspired you by  connecting with me on Instagram or LinkedIn. You can also buy my book, Turnaround: How to Change Course When Things Are Going South, at


Lisa Gable