Conversation with Nicki Sanders and Tammie Mobley of Flawless Imperfections


Tammie Mobley believes that empathy is one of the things that makes women naturally great leaders. Women can empathize with other women in the same position and help them get to their next level. She believes wholeheartedly that through collaboration we can all go further. 

Tammie loves seeing other women succeed. She is a committed mentor and accountability partner for a new professional and is committed to them rising and shining together. Tammie is assisting her mentee in starting a nonprofit and helps her find creative ways to spread her message. Tammie is intentional about ensuring that her mentee’s voice is heard and that she is not standing in Tammie’s shadow. 

Tammie and her family relocated to Virginia from Maryland during her husband’s deployment in Afghanistan. During that time, she became an AmeriCorps member and was placed in a nonprofit organization where she worked as a Program Coordinator Life Skills Coach to inner city youth. The second nonprofit she was assigned to required her to facilitate healthy relationship presentations to middle school youth in the City of Richmond Public Schools. During this time, Tammie soaked up everything she could and continually improved her skills.  She believes that leaders should always learn as much as they can. When her service ended, she became employed as a Client Services Coordinator and Peer Counselor for a Domestic Violence Agency. While employed at the agency, she was called to return to her previous position, but her title had changed to Youth Program Director. 

While serving as Youth Program Director, Tammie worked hard to grow into the position and strengthen the impact of the program. Under her leadership, the number of youth served increased from less than 100 to over 500. She also hired, onboarded, and trained 12 staff/facilitators who served 12 schools. Tammie provided remote supervision and visited the schools to support her team as they delivered 20 classes per semester in the City of Richmond, Henrico County and Chesterfield County Public Schools. The work was challenging, and Tammie was committed to keeping her team motivated and encouraged. She made sure that she was available to them, sent them emails expressing her gratitude, treated them to lunch, and provided them the platform to have their voices heard. Safety and self-care were priorities and she also held monthly conference calls to hear what was going well and what was not. As the director in a small nonprofit organization, Tammie was also tasked with payroll and curriculum development. 

While this position allowed Tammie to develop her skills, as the only African American on staff, she also felt that she had to prove herself. She was very intentional about her speech and attire and took additional steps to maintain her professional stature. Tammie is very passionate about helping women and children. She is a fierce advocate who is very vocal about injustice and inappropriateness. She has discovered that her strong personality can be too much for some people to handle and has decided to be customize her approach for each situation. 

Although Tammie was nervous to speak in public as a youth, she is now also a leader in her community. She has served as President of the Parent Teacher Student Organization at her son’s school – her most challenging leadership role. She serves on Domestic Violence Task Force of Chesterfield County, facilitates women’s empowerment groups, is a public speaker, and serves on Chesterfield County Youth Advisory Board. Tammie has received several awards for her commitment and leadership in the community. Her awards include the “Diva in Charge Award”, “The Educator Serving the Community Award”, “Circle of Grace Award” and “Woman of Inspiration Award”.

Tammie is in the process of becoming a certified Coach. Tammie has decided that she does not want to be put into a box. She developed a character and leadership development program for teen girls and is now a full-time entrepreneur facilitating classes and providing consultation to mentoring organizations. What she loves about entrepreneurship is flexibility and control. She is excited about networking and promoting her business and most nervous about managing the back end of her business. Flawless Imperfections encourages women to let their imperfections show instead of hiding them to protect their image. Authenticity is liberating, she believes.

Tammie claims as her leadership superpower gathering resources and connecting people. She ignores the negative stereotypes about women leaders but encourages women in leadership to keep their personal biases out of the workplace and be intentional and diplomatic in conversations. She also warns leaders to ensure that they set strong boundaries and separate their personal and professional lives. She also wants leaders to be strategic about the things that are created for their employers because employers own the products created with their funds and on their time. 

Tammie warns that leadership will not come easy to everyone and all new leaders should be aware that not everyone will like them. She has committed to being true to herself all the time and to be the same person all the time. She is 100% sure that anyone that you ask will say the same thing about her character and work ethic.  

Tammie’s has great advice to emerging leaders:

  • Learn as much as you can
  • Attend training’s and classes
  • Grow your network
  • Think outside the box
  • Don’t fear rejection or failure because they are a part of the growth process
  • Try new things
  • Remember that you may need a professional reference

To entrepreneurs her advice is not to be so hard on yourself, develop your skills, don’t get discouraged when things don’t happen as quickly as you planned, and don’t give up. 

In the beginning, it was a challenge for Tammie to quickly build her business and continue the same level of care for her family at the same time. She has been intentional about carving out family time and gotten better at saying no. Tammie no longer works on Sundays and reading books at night and a monthly massage are a part of her self-care routine. 

Much like me, Tammie absolutely loves cupcakes. Her favorite places for cupcakes in Richmond, VA are Shindigz, Carytown Cupcakes, Lola’s and Bakers Kitchen.  

Nicki Sanders, MSW, is a Leadership and Career Strategist who helps mid and senior level women leaders develop the confidence, competence, and credibility to lead with authenticity and boldness. She has an extensive background in leading multi-disciplinary teams, developing and managing programs, and forming public-private partnerships. She is a college professor with a passion for teaching and mentoring the next generation of leaders. Nicki is an accomplished supervisor, trainer, and group facilitator who has merged her Master of Social Work degree and over 20 years of diverse work experience into a thriving business. Nicki Sanders Leadership Consulting assists companies in expanding their influence and impact by enhancing employee recruitment, increasing employee morale and performance, and decreasing employee turnover.  Nicki is a travel and cupcake lover who also enjoys reading, listening to music, and serving her community.

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