Pushing Through Fears and Taking a Stance with Dr. Kerry Murphy Healey

Pushing Through Fears and Taking a Stance with Dr. Kerry Murphy Healey

Everyone faces fears. But, what some people do better than others is pushing through that fear to get to the other side of it. In our work and personal lives, we make a lot of decisions on a daily basis, and some of those decisions impact other people. How do we stay on track and focus on accomplishing our goals when we face these challenges?

Our guest, Dr. Kerry Murphy Healey is the inaugural president of the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream in Washington, DC. In this episode, she candidly shares stories with us about her two failed runs for office which led to her winning the position of Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts—a much higher position than she originally sought out. Dr. Healey had to overcome a lot about fears of being on stage and on television, but overcoming those fears led to new opportunities. Dr. Healey is full of actionable advice and pearls of wisdom about how to succeed at work and in life.


[02:26] Kerry’s journey
[07:46] How Kerry overcame her fears and limiting beliefs
[10:31] How to reframe failure and what failure teaches you
[14:27] Making decisions without creating division
[17:25] Going where your skills are needed
[22:52] Identifying mentors and sponsors
[25:02] Building strategic relationships, building communities, and asking for help
[28:33] Showing people what you have to offer
[30:05] Leveraging self-promotion 
[32:27] Kerry’s goals for the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream
[34:26] Lightning Round Questions
[39:01] How to get in touch with Kerry 


“Forcing myself repeatedly to do things that were uncomfortable and that scared me, is what helped me learn to take off all the edges and just do whatever I needed to do.” – Dr. Kerry Healey

“When you decide, you allow for a conversation, because it’s very hard to have that conversation unless someone has a point of view.” – Dr. Kerry Healey

“You can’t really join a community and say ‘What is this community going to do for me?’ You have to put something into that community first.” – Dr. Kerry Healey


Lightning Round Questions:

What book has greatly influenced you?

  • The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

What is your favorite inspiring quote or saying?  

  • “I never lose, I only win or learn.” – Nelson Mandela

What is one word or moniker you would use to describe yourself?

  • Optimistic

What is one change you've implanted that made your life better?  

  • Sleeping and learning to make time for sleep.

What power song would you want playing as you walk out onto a stage?  

  • “Take Me to the River” by The Talking Heads

About Dr. Kerry Healey:

Dr. Kerry Murphy Healey is the inaugural president of the Milken Center for Advancing the American Dream in Washington, DC. Kerry Healey’s career spans higher education, elected office, and foreign and domestic policy. In July 2019, she capped six years as the first woman president of Babson College, the 100-year-old business school consistently ranked as the country’s leading institution in entrepreneurship education. During her tenure at Babson, Healey championed women entrepreneurs, created greater affordability and access for students, and oversaw a dramatic $200 million renewal of the Wellesley campus.

Previously, Healey served as Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor, where she led bipartisan efforts to improve services for the homeless, tackle the opioid crisis, and increase protections for victims of child abuse, drunk driving accidents, and sexual and domestic violence. She was also integral in crafting the state’s pioneering health care reform legislation.

Dr. Healey has been a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Institute of Politics and Center for Public Leadership, and is on the International Council of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs. She holds an AB in government from Harvard College and a PhD in political science and law from Trinity College, Dublin. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Trilateral Commission and a trustee of the American University of Afghanistan


Website: https://www.mcaad.org/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kerrymurphyhealey/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kerry-healey-1626701b4/ 



Weekly Insights & Exclusive Content.

Get actionable insights and leadership success strategies delivered to your inbox every week.