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True Tales from the Virtual Trenches: A Conversation with CEO Michael Coston



This episode of Berardi Consulting’s True Tales from the Virtual Trenches features Michael Coston, CEO and Founding Partner of Coston Consulting. Recognized as one of the “Top 100 Most Influential African American Leaders in Business” by The National Diversity Council, Michael advises companies, boards of directors, and executives on strategy, business development, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) matters.


During this lively and passionate discussion, a variety of subjects are covered related to DEI, how to manage meaningful relationships with clients, ways to balance work and personal demands, and a whole lot more.


Some of the topics covered in this episode include:


  • 2:45 – Background about Michael and his consulting practice.

  • 4:40 – Michael describes what he loves about his job and how he and his partners have been able to align the things they are passionate about with their professional interests.

  • 6:18 – What prompted Michael to take the leap and launch his own consulting practice.

  • 8:00 – Michael shares what gets him most excited about his work with clients.

  • 11:20 – A discussion on how to effectively grow and maintain authentic client relationships on a virtual basis.

  • 14:45 – Michael provides his perspective on DEI and examples of clients that are raising the bar with respect to these issues.

  • 17:00 – A discussion about how companies and law firms can go beyond treating DEI as an opportunity for media attention, such as the importance of internal listening campaigns.

  • 21:00 – They discuss the impact of George Floyd’s death in May 2020 and how Michael responded to this event.

  • 25:00 – Michael talks about taking a trauma-informed approach to addressing systemic racism and how companies can address these issues in meaningful ways.

  • 27:30 – Michael and I bring it all home and discuss key takeaways from this episode.


The full episode is available here.

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