When we think about the true TARRA woman, no one better embodies the strength of character, natural leadership, creativity, tenacity, and glowing energy of the one and only Danielle Shoots, Colorado native and Managing Partner and Managing Director of the New Community Transformation fund in Denver, an equity venture fund for BIPOC founders.
At the formative age of 26, Danielle embarked on her executive leadership path, ascending to the position of Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. After the state, Danielle served as the Vice President of Finance and Business Operations for the West Division of Comcast, managing a billion-dollar capital portfolio, Mergers and Acquisitions, and a team of sixty. She then served as Chief Financial Officer for the Colorado Trust.
Danielle has garnered her numerous accolades, including the prestigious 2019 list of the Top 25 Most Powerful Women in Business from the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce, The 2020 Emerging Leader in Philanthropy from ABFE, The 2018 Woman of the Year Award for her work with youth in the community, and a recipient of the 2017 Denver Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 award.
Needless to say, Shoots is one of our most-watched and respected business leaders, and we were thrilled to have an opportunity to sit down with her to learn a bit more about how she approaches leadership in 2022.
Follow, read, say hello:
Describe a time when you “failed forward.”
The first time I became a leader, I was failing horribly. I wasn’t delegating, I had no idea how to feel accomplished through others, and I was scared, to be honest, about my limits or where I needed help. As I was crashing and burning, I decided to be honest because I was going down anyway. It was a moment of vulnerability in a time when I had little else to lose that truly taught me about what leadership is and who I was in it.
What can you not stop thinking about right now?
2022 is such a watershed year for my companies and my teams. I think about what is to come almost nonstop right now. I am just so motivated and excited because this is a manifestation of a lot of years of work and a lot of dreaming big even when it was hard.
What’s your most sage career advice to 20-somethings?
Have big goals and big dreams but be very flexible with the plans. Plans change, and if you stay open, you will reach your goals in ways you could have never imagined.
Worst advice you’ve ever been given.
“Leave your personal life at home” or “fake it until you make it.” Both ask real humans to be inauthentic, which is a recipe for disaster.
What should you compromise, and what should you never compromise?
I am a deeply compromising individual still on a journey to understanding and being firm in my boundaries. That said, what I have never compromised is how I treat people. I believe the way you treat people comes back to you in every way. I have never stepped on anyone to get ahead. I can say that with my whole chest.