158: Character, compassion and listening are the top leadership traits - with Trina Martin

About Trina L. Martin

Trina L. Martin is a motivational speaker and podcast host of Trina Talk, who inspires emerging leaders to pursue their wildest dreams with heart and grit. An accomplished and dedicated member of the U.S. military for nearly 30 years, she has broken barriers and made strides in her career that many said weren’t possible. Her new mission is to show others how they, too, can achieve the impossible and define success on their own terms.


What made you have a desire to inspire others?

“…the fact that I am the fourth of four children and I grew up with a verbally abusive mother. So, I kind of learned and had to pull myself along my own imagination if you will because my siblings are so much older than me that growing up, they seemed more like aunts and uncles than brothers and sisters…”


What made you want to be a speaker?

“that’s the way to get out. It's funny because when I was in eighth grade the principal chose me to be the speaker at the graduation to introduce the president of the school. So, I did that, and most people would be knees knocking and teeth chattering but I actually didn’t feel that…”


What are the most important traits of being a good leader?

“I have several values that I use and that I live by myself. But just to give you a feel, my top one is character. And when I say character, I mean integrity. Do you have integrity, for yourself, do you respect others…”


Can you share with me your most successful or favorite networking story/experience that you’ve had?

“…when I was in grad school working on my MBA, and my MBA was on diamonds and the De Beers cartel. So, I ended up going to Africa, in Botswana where De Beers their mine is and that’s where their big corporation is…”


How do you stay in front of, or best nurture your network community?

“I periodically check in with people and you know I don’t have time to talk to people on a consistent regular basis. But I do have people that I still have my phone because I travel a lot. So, if I’m going to let’s say DC there’s several people that I know that live there I may shoot them a text…”


What advice do you have for the professional on growing their network?

“To get out. To get out whether its conferences, social events, etc.… to get and to also open your mouth. Use your voice. Tell people what you do, use the connections you already have…”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

“well, both are valuable because today we are in the cyber digital age. And you can connect with people quicker. But I still like the traditional face-to-face networking.”


If you could go back 20 years, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

“…pursue my passion, instead of chasing money. And I say that because when your twenty, you know you go to college, I was the first person in my family to go to college. So, it was all about I’m going to go to college and get a degree…”


We’ve all heard of the 6 degrees of separation… Now, who would be the one person you’d love to connect with and do you think you could do it within the 6th degree?

“Ok, so I am going to go for Michelle Obama, and because I am originally from Chicago. I was born and raised there as she was as well. And I don’t know if I could do it in 6 degrees but I’m pretty sure I could get it done by her being a girl of Chicago…”


What book are you reading right now?

“right now, I’m reading… Bishop TD Jakes, he has a book called Crushing. It just came out I believe in April.”


Any final words of advice for our listeners?

“just get out and talk to people. Talk to everyone, when you travel, when you’re at home, at meetings, social settings, whatever. Because you never know the opportunities that may come your way.”


You can get in contact with Trina at:

LinkedIn: Click Here

Website: https://www.trinamartin.com/