Listen: Dallas Mavericks, Mark Cuban, Cynthia Sint Marshall discussed on Boss Files with Poppy Harlow
"In this episode of boss files I'm uniquely qualified to do this. I have to do for the sisterhood. I have to help create a great place to Work Dallas Mavericks. CEO Cynthia Cynthia Marshall She's the first African American woman ever to lead in the eighteen. She was hand picked by team owner. Mark Cuban tasked with cleaning up a toxic work environment an independent investigation later found quote numerous acts of sexual harassment that spanned over two decades in the Mavericks. I walked into a culture. I walked into a place where the women were not valued and treated the way I would like to see them. Treat it so we had a problem with treat it women frankly I think we had a problem with how we respected and treated people of color and it wasn't a very diverse an inclusive environment when I got there and so we needed to to do some things she's fulfilled her one hundred day plan to turn around the team leadership taking the organization and from no women in leadership to fifty percent. She tells me she is committed to making her employees the top priority I want them to feel like this. The Dallas Mavericks is the best place to work on the planet and to in order to do that. I talked to him. I mean my first hundred days. I met one on one with every single. Oh employees plus marshalls remarkable personal journey how her faith is her northstar and how she has endured unimaginable loss. I've I learned literally how to give my problem frank to the Lord. I mean that's where my strength comes from. It comes from above I'd be a mess will just be a total mess trying to handle all all this by myself. I I couldn't deal with it. She beat cancer and defied all the odds. Here's my conversation with Cynthia Marshall. I am so thrilled all to be sitting here with you. Cynthia sint Marshall because you like to go by heavensent heaven love that thank you so much for being here. Let's start art at the Mavs and what you're doing now and this transformation and then let's back up but into your extraordinary life okay so just to begin this is the last place that you thought that you would be retiring from anti our parent company and working with Mark Cuban s an NBA team the Dallas maps crazy. Why did you say yes? I said Yes for the sisterhood I I said yes because after I met with him and then some of the women grabbed me on the way out the door because I hadn't decided yet and they told me their stories and they told me about the climate and I got in the car and I talked talk to my husband and I went home and I prayed about it and I said actually I'm uniquely qualified to do this. I have to do it for the sisterhood. I have to help create a great place to work you the first female African American CEO of an NBA team yes. Why did it take so damn long? I don't know but I'll tell you what I won't be the last time I will not be the last. I don't know why it took so long because the Dallas Observer has said of you. You're the quote most important acquisition since they drafted grafted Dirk Nowitzki. That's like a lot of prayer they said. I don't know I don't know I don't know we have some great great ball players. I mean I own the fact that we have turned around the culture and I didn't do it by myself. I brought some folks in with me. We promote it some people we created a great diverse leadership team but yeah I own it. Let's tell people who aren't who may not be familiar with the the crisis that was the Dallas Mavericks not that long ago and the culture crisis in what you know a number of people there gone through this review from to our to our listeners from the sports illustrated investigation which uncovered all of this quota corporate culture rife with misogyny and predatory sexual behavior alleged public fondling by the team president outright domestic assault by high profile member of the mavs Dot Com staff unsupportive or even intimidating intimidating responses from superiors who heard complaints of inappropriate behavior from their employees even an employee who openly watched pornography at his desk one former former employees called it quote a real life animal house. Is that what you walk into I walked into a culture. I walked into a place where where the women were not valued and treated the way I would like to see them treated so we had a problem with treated women. Frankly I think we had a problem with how we respected entry people of color and it wasn't a very diverse and inclusive environment when I got there and so we needed to to do some things so yeah I walked into a place that is not the place the people are walking into right now. Can you talk a little bit more about how you saw people of Color in the the in the office being treated because I heard you say that in another interview and I think a lot of the press was about women but but you as an African American saw a the real issue here with how minorities are being treated right well and part of it was the absence the absence of people of color at the leadership table the absence of what I perceived to be people of Color in middle management so there was just a culture that catered to white men and that leadership team that was all white man which of course now is fifty percent women and forty seven percent people of color so we've made some changes. There are a lot of changes a lot of changes so I noticed that when I walked walked in the door what was missing because I'm used to working in a very diverse and inclusive environment and so this was very different from what I was choose to right I mean you had that at at. At and T. again your head of diversity at the company for for a long time and you had a different experience you had bosses who told you I want to go out of your way to elevate minorities exactly and a boss who gave a big speech at one point in time rental Stevenson about moving from tolerance to understanding our big boss. Yes big boss so we had a big focus on all people and I just didn't see it. The folks represented. I didn't see the representation that needed to be there and that's just on the surface and then of course inclusion is another whole part of that and so I just didn't see it. You know we just said okay. Let's lay out a plan. we laid out a one hundred day plan executed on it so I mean you you put so much on the line by saying yes. You didn't need the money you had this sort of picture picture-perfect career. You're in retirement. You could have just written off into the sunset enjoyed. The time with your husband is your kids. You didn't Mark Cuban calls you rumor has it. You are wearing a golden state warriors sweatshirt and Steph Curry sock when Mr mavs Kalsi drew that is correct that is correct. Yes I'm from the San Francisco Bay area yeah so usually when I'm at home I wasn't traveling for my consulting business that week and so usually when I'm home and this was in the past I would ever I wouldn't either have have on cal Berkeley sweats and a baseball cap tennis shoes all that or Golden State Warriors and so that's what I had on and now you are head to toe for people who can't see you were ahead. mavs blew mavs blue black silver grey true. You really didn't know who Mark Cuban was. That is true. Have you turned on the television do ever watch shark tank. I'm watching. MSNBC no you're not you're watching everything okay. I'm watching the news and then I watch football yeah now. Of course I watch basketball sure but I didn't know him and my husband had to tell me who he was and he said Shark tank. Thank I said okay. I've never seen shark tank. He said okay owner of the Mavericks. I said okay. The kids have gone to Mavericks Game I have and so I got a chance to know him day. What did he say he didn't know me either? Though I mean somebody recommended me and he knew of you yes why what did he say I Walk Sends Office and while he greeted me at the door and he just he looked broken. I mean he looks as if I could have been crying well. He will you come yeah. He said he text messages then we finally called him back because I actually thought it was the kid texted me for."