An Interview with Kati Clement-Frazier: Development Advisor & Leadership Learning Guide
For Kati Clement-Frazier, No Barriers Leadership has been a long time coming. Having more than 15 years of professional experience in corporate training, she was uniquely situated to identify what works and what was missing. And in this day and age, what was missing was the personal side of professional development. People don’t just leave their work at work anymore, and they don’t entirely leave their personal life at home either. The desire for excellence and meaning bridges the two sides of their life — and that needed to be addressed in corporate training.
Enter the No Barriers Life, and the idea that harnessing adversity, breaking down barriers, and embracing challenges all lead to being able to create a full life of meaning and purpose. No Barriers Leadership — complete with immersive adventures, experiential learning, and online follow up and community building — is simply the logical extension of that idea to the corporate world.
No Barriers sat down with Kati to talk about the exciting prospect of building a corporate training program from the ground up, why she thinks No Barriers Leadership is so special, and what her hopes are for the program.
No Barriers: Tell us a little about No Barriers Leadership and how you approach creating a program like this.
Kati Clement-Frazier: No Barriers Leadership is a suite of offerings that helps people in organizations learn how to engage with life to its fullest potential. The authentic and transformative experiences that are a part of the LBB suite lead individuals through the process of clarifying their values and vision, leaning into adversity as a way to grow, and connecting with others in meaningful ways.
LBB was built by harnessing the collective wisdom of the No Barriers community. Through conversations with No Barriers Ambassadors, such as Erik Weihenmayer and Mandy Harvey, and drawing upon the expertise of No Barriers staff and supporters, we were able to build a robust curriculum around each of the No Barriers Life Elements. The LBB offerings are driven by inspirational storytellers and experienced facilitators to help learners connect those pearls of wisdom back to their own life and circumstance.
NB: What do you think makes this program different from other corporate training programs?
KC-F: I have been in the corporate training space for the past 15 years and I’ve seen pretty much everything that’s out there. I can sincerely say that LBB is one of a kind. Not only does it help individuals develop their leadership abilities in a truly authentic way, but it also builds community in a way that meaningfully feeds positive impact back into the organization.
NB: What are you most excited about with this program?
KC-F: The stories! The stories that the learners will experience from our No Barriers Ambassadors, and the stories that the learners themselves will create as a part of this experience.
NB: What sort of impact do you expect/hope No Barriers Leadership will have?
KC-F: I hope that LBB will infuse learning and development efforts with a breath of fresh air. I hope that it creates the space for individuals to grow in a way that is meaningful to them, and as a result, builds communities within organizations that can connect in authentic ways.
NB: Why do you think the online component is important?
KC-F: The online component of LBB guides learners through the process of applying the No Barriers Life Elements to their own life and situation. This affords learners the chance to do a deeper dive on understanding what each element is all about and results in commitments to tackling challenges they might not have otherwise considered as a part of their own personal development.
NB: Who do you think will benefit most from going through the LBB curriculum?
KC-F: I think the people who are actively looking for ways to become better versions of themselves will benefit the most. It’s a guided process that will help individuals confidently tackle the hard stuff.
NB: What is your background in this area, and how did you end up in this field?
KC-F: When I was in high school, I used to travel around the state of Maryland delivering leadership development workshops. I was always so drawn to research and practices related to working hard at becoming a better version of yoursel
f. So when I landed an entry-level position at Duke Corporate Education after college, I was ecstatic to have landed in an industry that I always gravitated toward. And it’s been a fun adventure ever since then. I was an active part of Duke CE’s global growth — helping them open offices around the world. And then ended up leading Design and Innovation at UCLA Anderson Executive Education. A mutual colleague connected me to Dave Shurna at No Barriers, and I’ve been a part of creating LBB from the beginning. This kind of work is why I get out of bed in the morning (well… that, and my children). It has been the best project of my career!
NB: When you think of your own life and career, do you think a program like this would have helped you? When would it have been optimal?
KC-F: LBB introduces you to the No Barriers Mindset. I think the sooner you’re able to adopt that mindset, the stronger the foundation you’ll have for your career and life. I think any time is a good time to engage with LBB. You’re either learning that mindset, or being reminded that leaning into adversity is the only way to really grow.
I will say that building this program couldn’t have been better timed. I was in the middle of a career transition myself, and bringing the No Barriers Life Elements to life through the support of the No Barriers community really encouraged me to embrace the challenge and make bold leaps. No Barriers truly walks the talk. And I’ve been forever impacted as a result.