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An Interview With Vivian Garcia-Tunon Corporate Truth Teller, CEO And Founder Of VGT People Advisory

Written by: Tricia Brouk, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


Vivian Garcia-Tunon founded VGT People Advisory to partner with transformational leaders and help them build great companies. Her personal journey of moving beyond ancestral trauma, has positioned her fully in supporting heart-centered leaders to become more vulnerable and by doing so creating powerful and empowering cultures.

Vivian, you have years of experience in executive coaching, as well as a successful career as a Human Resources leader within financial services, private equity, and investment banking. You specialized in talent, change and growth strategies including capital raising, and mergers & acquisitions. Throughout your incredible career, you have built high-performing teams in fast-paced growth organizations.

Vivian Garcia-Tunon Corporate Truth Teller, CEO And Founder Of VGT People Advisory

How has your work leading individuals inside heavy-hitting organizations changed now that you founded VGT People Advisory?

In my corporate career, I worked with a lot of toxic leaders, and it was not until a toxic leader hurt me that I started on this path to change them and I get to do this now inside of my company.

After my most rigorous, gut-wrenching, personally sacrificing year of my life, I was told I wasn't a team player, and in my heart of hearts, I knew that that was not true. It’s my DNA, of who I am and always have been. Through my own experience of balancing my beliefs and my values and through my experience of toxic leadership, I was inspired to be part of the solution to help support leaders in having more impact and success.

I started off on a mission to help others and the more I helped myself the more I was able to have a profound impact and success with my clients.

When I started the business, I had tremendous clarity on what I wanted and tremendous ego in looking to prove myself with other successful entrepreneurs in this space. I started with a vision and no plan. I’ve been on a journey of learning to build and grow a business while never realizing how intertwined my mental, physical and emotional state would be in predicting my success and my impact.

My personal journey enables me to support my clients on reflecting in all areas of their life and creating new intentions for the impact they are having.

When you think about what it means to move away from the toxic leadership style of the past, how do you inspire this kind of change?

I have so much empathy for these leaders. I’ve been there. I didn’t know I was there. I did the best I could do; most companies are not teaching people how to be strong leaders. While most people know they are doing something with a negative impact, they aren’t always shown another way forward.

Let’s be clear…No one wakes up wanting to be toxic. They just don’t have the tools or space to learn new ways to be. You don’t learn that at Harvard or Princeton or whatever university you go to.

We provide a safe confidential space to shine a light on the areas that are holding them back from having the impact they really want to have. Our clients are thrilled when we provide them the truth plainly, simply, and objectively. We give them the space to explore the changes they want to make.

What do you think of the great resignation? And why did it surprise so many people?

The great resignation is a really exciting time. We've been hearing about the looming gig economy for years. It was never clear to me how it would happen. Covid was the perfect catalyst to allow people to reflect on what was working and what needed to improve.

I love that employees are taking a stance for themselves and seeking better working conditions for themselves whether it be what they do, how they do it, how they are compensated or who they work for.

For leadership teams, it’s really scary as it’s a clear scorecard of what you and your company’s culture and leadership are doing. No one really wants to have that mud on their face; however, I have been incredibly impressed with the leaders who had been taking the bull by the horn to change their cultures.

I’m inspired and excited to work with the leaders that want to be a part of the change rather than the leaders who are just talking about it and scratching their heads and staying in their leadership towers.

It surprised so many people because generally, speaking people have been complacent, and they have felt stuck and stagnant. As a recruiter, people kept coming asking for a job and I saw so many people miserable and stuck in their jobs, not knowing how to get out and too scared to create a change that would risk their financial security. People have had time to reflect and focus on creating new realities for themselves personally and professionally.

These chains were finally willing to be broken during the pandemic, they realized their physical, mental and emotional needs were too important to not risk their financial needs. This was a shifting of priorities.

You are known as a Truth Teller in your work. What does that look like?

It’s funny. I have been trying to figure that out for a while. Everyone mirrors it back to me in different ways about how they experience my Truth-Telling. Many use words that seem cliche these days: authentic, genuine, real.

I see, feel, and articulate objectively the impact that people are having to help support them to reach their desired impact and goals. It’s a subtle art of speaking from the heart that allows people to feel supported and not defensive. I feel like the luckiest person in the world to provide messages that resonate and transform their behaviors.

In my assessment of leaders and being able to understand their current mindset, pain points and community, I can easily predict actions and behaviors limiting a company's success and impact based on those observations.

Just like any relationship, it takes time to build trust and gain trust. Our process is focused on gathering data around observations and impacts. Not only mine, but that of key stakeholders to truly create a moment of awareness and awakening for leaders. With that information, I can be an objective observer and continue to help leaders identify their own fears and limitations in their stories that have been holding them back and helping them align to the vision of the leader, the potential and the impact they have always wanted to do and have.

What most people don’t know is that people crave that truth-teller. They crave someone to guide them on their path to success and impact. Let’s be clear, no one wakes up wanting to be known as a jerk. Most people just become lazy as no one is holding them accountable to do better for themselves and others.

In my assessment of leaders and being able to understand their current mindset, pain points and community, I can easily predict actions and behaviors limiting a company's success and impact based on those observations.

How are your core values related to the work you are doing in the world? And why is this important to you?

It’s simple. My values and the company’s values are one in the same.

Humanity, truth, integrity, and accountability.

Our process and our experience are defined by our values. We engage with clients that we believe in their mission and in their leadership. We assess what’s working and what’s not working. We share the good, bad and the ugly objectively. Then, it’s up to them to determine their goals and prioritize the change. We hold them accountable to reaching their success and change.

It’s important because reaching our goals are part of my values and my company's values. Throughout my journey of life and building this business, I have continued to gather and attract fellow coaches and experts aligned with these values to truly be able to transcend organizations in a powerful way.

What do you see as the future of leadership in the workforce?

I believe we are being called to humanize business and leadership. People want to see people like them in leadership positions. People want to work with leaders that care about them, their goals and their future dreams; not just leaders that are focused on the bottom line.

As we humanize business, we will see exponential growth in results and impact. Who doesn’t want to feel good about the work that they do when they are spending the majority of their time at work?

When we start caring more, having more fun our bottom-line increases.

For more info, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and visit my website!

Read more from Tricia!


Tricia Brouk, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Tricia Brouk is an international award-winning director. She has worked in theater, film, and television for three decades. Tricia founded The Big Talk Academy where she certifies speakers in the art of public speaking. She was the executive producer of Speakers Who Dare and TEDxLincolnSquare and now The Big Talk Live. She is currently being featured in a new documentary called Big Stages, which highlights the transformation of her speakers. Tricia’s commitment and devotion to inclusion are a priority as all of her shows, events, and communities are diverse. She curates and hosts the Speaker Salon in NYC, The Big Talk, an award-winning podcast on iTunes and YouTube. The Influential Voice: Saying What You Mean for Lasting Legacy was a 1 New Release on Amazon in December 2020. She was awarded Top Director of 2019 by the International Association of Top Professionals and Top Ten Speaker Coaches in Yahoo Finance in 2021. Her documentaries have received critical acclaim—winning Best Documentary Short at The Olympus Film Festival and Los Angeles Movie Awards. Tricia has spoken at Forbes, Pride Global, New York Public Library, I Heart My Life Live, and The National Organization for Rare Disorders.



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