Step one: make the bullies laugh. Step two: build a successful life with humor - Victor Varnado

Leading Consciously

Sep 1 2023 • 48 mins

This week Jean interviews Victor Varnado. Born with albinism, he didn’t know he was any different from his Black family until around age 4. Bullied at school for his light skin and poor eyesight, he learned to use his humor as a weapon. From there he worked in entertainment, became a cartoonist for The New Yorker, and wrote The Anti-Racism Activity Book for kids (available through Victor chose to beat the odds stacked against him in life by using his comedic skills to pursue his dreams. This approach could have backfired. In today’s cancel culture, some people are genuinely perplexed as to when humor is appropriate. Victor has an unusual take on how to decide whether a joke is funny or offensive, and used that distinction to build his success today and plunge into topics that others stay away from. Listen to this interview to learn about the interplay between humor, pain, and pursuing your dreams.


Conversations with forward-thinking leaders about patterns that keep us stuck and how the leaders are breaking the mold. Personal reflections on provocative topics and how to level up despite yourself. Get unstuck, change your story, become more effective. ⁠⁠Join us⁠⁠.

The ability to ⁠⁠lead consciously⁠⁠ can open your eyes.

⁠⁠Jean Latting⁠⁠ is an organizational consultant, inclusive leadership coach, and behavioral scientist.