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Quiet Meets Courage in Corporate Life: Josh Crafford

Josh Crafford Breaks Barriers

Josh Crafford shows how to combine quiet leadership with courage.

Josh identifies as an introverted man, and over the course of a two-decade career in financial services, he has bravely broken barriers.

For one thing, Josh “came out” as someone with learning disabilities including dyslexia. That vulnerable act has only strengthened his ability to lead learning and development teams at credit card specialist Synchrony.

Josh also was an early ally of underrepresented groups in the corporate world. He volunteered to teach courses on business communications to Asian colleagues struggling to work effectively with their U.S. counterparts. Ultimately, Josh took a leadership role in the Asia Pacific Employee Resource Group when he was at GE Capital.

“I grew up with learning disabilities,” Josh says. “So if I see someone struggling with someone else or having difficulty, I’m much more comfortable going up to them and saying, ‘Everything okay? Anything I can help with?’ And maybe even sharing a little bit about myself to get them comfortable to open up to say, ‘Yes, I could use some help.’”

Now Is The Time For Quiet Men

Josh is one of the accomplished quiet men leaders we interviewed for our “Now is the Time for Quiet Men” video series. The program shines a spotlight on the challenges, strengths and strategies of introverted male leaders.

Currently a Vice President at Synchrony and Technology and Operations Learning Leader, Josh also is working on a documentary and book related to learning differences. In our conversation, Josh spoke about lessons from his journey as a quiet man. These include:

–Building a network of colleagues whose strengths complimented his

–Recharging at work, such as by carving out time in his calendar and inviting team members to take time to reset as well


–Finding that his own career benefited as he served underrepresented colleagues, because his network expanded and he discovered leadership opportunities

“A rising tide lifts all boats,” Josh says. “The human race is a social people. And whether it’s just friendship or allyship, helping others accomplish what they’re trying to achieve in their goals is rewarding. It’s rewarding on an internal level, but It also helps your career.”

Check out our conversation to learn more about Josh’s quiet, courageous example.

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About The Author
Ed Frauenheim
Ed Frauenheim
I'm about reinventing masculinity and organizations. And about connecting the dots between the two. As seen in: Medium, USA Today, Yahoo Finance, Fortune, Yahoo, Thrive Global, The Good Men Project, CEOWORLD Magazine, The Spectrum & Daily News, Workforce Magazine and more
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