Chief Influencer

Candice C. Jones is the President and CEO of Public Welfare Foundation. The Foundation seeks to catalyze a transformative approach to justice in the United States that is community-led, restorative, and racially just by supporting the creation and implementation of an alternative vision of justice rooted in communities.

This week's episode delves into the profound impact of Candice’s experiences, including her involvement in tackling gun violence in Chicago, advocating for juvenile justice reforms, and supporting educational programs for incarcerated youth. Her experiences have profoundly shaped her approach to philanthropy and social justice. Candice underscores the importance of collaborating with people rather than titles and stresses the indispensable role of sustained, long-term efforts in effecting meaningful change.

You will gain insights into the vital role of strategic influence, both inside and outside organizations, in driving systemic change and the significance of maintaining balance, resilience, and focus over the long arc of justice work.

  • Building genuine relationships goes beyond official roles. Leaders must value and engage with people across all levels of an organization, acknowledging their contributions, regardless of their title.
  • Accept that entering any new role or undertaking comes with a learning period. Effective leaders recognize that they won't have all of the answers on day one and commit to a journey of continuous learning and adaptation.
  • Assemble a trusted circle of advisors or mentors who can provide sage advice and diverse perspectives. This network of support is invaluable for troubleshooting, strategizing, and maintaining perspective.
  • Understand that meaningful change does not happen overnight. Engaging in long-term campaigns that gradually win hearts and minds requires consistent effort, patience, and resilience.
  • Success involves initiating action and the will to repeatedly revisit, remind, and reinforce your vision and goals, especially in the face of setbacks or resistance.
  • Acknowledge that the path towards meaningful progress is long, with the ultimate reward of achieving justice. Stay focused on the broader horizon, even when immediate gains seem elusive.
  • Welcome the experiences you encounter as opportunities for personal and professional growth. A leader's openness to learn from every situation translates into wisdom that enriches their ability to lead effectively.

Quote of the Show:
  • “You have to engage with people, educate them, keep moving them along… progress is not a clean line.” - Candice C. Jones


Shout Outs:

Creators & Guests

Anthony Shop
Anthony Shop believes in the power of people-centered branding and marketing to create a bright future. He chairs the National Digital Roundtable, the premier convener of digital innovators, leaders and policy shapers. Anthony also is the Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Social Driver, a digital services firm that helps companies and non-profits establish winning strategies with social media, websites, creative, and advertising. An enthusiastic presenter and teacher, he has led executive-level training for Amazon, PepsiCo, NASA, The British Embassy and the Bipartisan Policy Center. He has been recognized as an “OUTstanding LGBT Role Model” by The Financial Times, “40 Under 40” by The Washington Business Journal, and Business Leader of the Year by the DC Chamber of Commerce. A former newspaper reporter, Anthony was the first new media professional elected to the National Press Club’s Board of Governors. He currently serves on the boards of Leadership Greater Washington and LearnServe International. He earned his MBA from The George Washington University School of Business, where he teaches as an adjunct lecturer.
Robert Krueger
Robert is an Executive Director for The Communications Board, an organization with the mission of providing high-quality professional development for every communicator in every location. He is also the Global Lead for Partnership Communications at Gensler, the world’s largest architecture and design firm. Prior to his current role, he performed executive and CEO communications for Gensler, and was the senior director of public relations and social media at the Urban Land Institute. He obtained an MA in Communications and an MA in History from George Mason University. He did his undergraduate studies at the University of Missouri-Columbia. In addition, Robert has taught communications at universities including George Mason University, West Virginia University, and the University of Florida. Robert currently serves as Immediate-Past President for the Public Relations Society of America’s National Capital Chapter (PRSA-NCC) -- the nonprofit’s largest chapter.

What is Chief Influencer?

Chief Influencer is a podcast that explores how today’s successful leaders inspire and influence others to make an impact in the world. They aren’t just Chief Executives, they’re “Chief Influencers.” We interview a range of leaders and uncover how they build authentic connections - both inside their organizations and beyond. Your next breakthrough idea may come from a Chief Influencer facing similar challenges in a completely different sector.