One of my favorite things about becoming a CEO is surrounding myself with badass women leaders who fire. me. UP. 🔥
I have met, read, listened to, and interviewed countless women over my career.
And do you know what they all have in common?
A higher mission.
Eleanor Beaton is one of these women.
She graciously wrote the foreword of my book Promotions Made Easy, and she’s on a mission to 2X the number of women entrepreneurs who generate over $1 in sales by 2030.
But before she worked solely with women entrepreneurs (like moi!) she worked with very influential women CEOs of major corporations.
And do you want to know what she noticed?
These senior executive leaders had missions, too, and they were out-donating and out-supporting their male counterparts as a result.
What Eleanor discovered (and what is at the core of everything I teach) is that women earning money, power, and influence uplifts everyone.
On this episode of Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer, we dive into how corporate badasses like you can use your higher mission to expand your career and make a bigger impact than you ever thought possible.
Want more of Eleanor? Read her foreword in my brand new book: Promotions Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Executive Suite. I wrote this book to help corporate badasses like you step into a higher leadership position, receive the recognition you deserve, get paid for your ideas instead of the hours you put in at work, and enjoy more time, freedom, energy, and joy. Get your copy here.
What You'll Learn:
- Eleanor’s personal motivation behind helping women access money, influence, and power
- Why women being successful is good for everyone
- How Eleanor was able to step into a higher-level mission
- The myths and misconceptions that are holding diversity and inclusion back, and what we can do to overcome them
- The power of bringing a feminine approach into the corporate world
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Listen to Eleanor’s podcast, Power + Presence + Position
- Safi Media
- Bozoma Saint John, Chief Marketing Officer at Netflix
- Connect with Eleanor on LinkedIn
- Connect with me on LinkedIn
- Kim Blue, former global head of people experience at Zoom
- Ebony Beckwith, Chief Business Officer at Salesforce
- Get your copy of my brand new book (with a foreword from Eleanor Beaton): Promotions Made Easy: A Step-by-Step Guide to the Executive Suite
- Join us inside of Executive Ahead of Time
Stacy Mayer: Hello, everyone, welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer, and let me just say I am very excited to be here with you this week. I am bringing on a very special guest for you all to meet and her name is the fabulous Eleanor Beaton; and I have been following Eleanor for many, many years. And I want to share with you a little bit of history as to how I first found Eleanor and then how we've come full circle to have her on my podcast today. So, I first met Eleanor through Google. I was working for a premier women's leadership organization in Silicon Valley, and I was a newer coach, and I was commuting on the train every single day, and so I typed into Google 'Women's Leadership podcast' and up popped Eleanor's name and I thought, 'Oh, well, we'll see'. And I pulled it up, and she was just saying it like it is. Everything that came out of her mouth, I was like, 'This is amazing. These women that I'm about to coach all need to hear this'. And I just loved listening to her podcast. And then I started to notice that it was getting me fired up. I was feeling empowered as their leader and just kept listening to it religiously.
Stacy Mayer: And then at some point I was listening to it, and I realized, 'Oh, I need to hire her as a coach, I need her to be my coach'. And in so a couple of years, I did just that and I've been working with Eleanor over the past couple of years, and it's just been absolutely phenomenal to see her work, and to really learn from her firsthand. And then as Queen Eleanor does so fabulously, she dropped a truth bomb. So, I'm in my house and I get this package in the mail. And it has - and I want Eleanor to describe this story and -this creation of this little postcard that came in the mail to me. And this was for hitting a milestone in my business as part of the program. And it said on the bottom of this postcard, 'when women earn, we all win'. And I was just like, 'Ooh, oh my goodness'. And it hit me like a ton of bricks. So, we're going to explore that topic today. We're going to explore all kinds of other topics and really just have an open, candid conversation about what it's like to get women into positions of influence and power at their organizations so that we can all win as a society. I got goosebumps already. Thank you, Eleanor. Thank you so much for being here.
Eleanor Beaton: I'm so excited and honored to be here on your show as a listener and fan of you. It's just a privilege. I can't wait to dive in,
Stacy Mayer: So, I want to give a very formal - so to speak -introduction of Eleanor and all her greatness. So, Eleanor is the founder of Safi Media, where she is on a mission to 2X the number of women entrepreneurs who generate over $1 million in sales by 2030. She believes that economically empowered women entrepreneurs are key to driving gender equity globally. She is the former chair of the Visiting Women's Executive Exchange Program at the Yale School of Management and has been recognized as Canada's Leadership Coach of the Year by the Corporate Excellence Awards. And she's one of my favorite people just to be around every single day. Oh, Eleanor, this is so exciting. So, another thing that I didn't say at the beginning of this is at the time of airing this episode, my book is coming out. And when I got that postcard in the mail and then, really just always being very inspired by Eleanor, I asked her to write the foreword for my book, and she said 'Yes'. And so, we really explored this topic of 'when women earn, we all win'. So, can you kind of take us back a little bit? What made you think about that? Where did this quote come from - or have you - were you just sort of born thinking that?
Eleanor Beaton: No, it definitely came from so many experiences that I had both, both personally and professionally. So, I've always known that there was a connection between financial independence and autonomy and the ability to have impact. And you know, I can remember growing up - so we moved to Canada when I was a kid. We immigrated. My mother was from the Fiji Islands. My father was Welsh, and we came to a totally new culture. And so, for my mom, who had previously been the main breadwinner in the household, she felt, 'Gosh, we're in a totally new place. I don't understand the culture here. I don't feel comfortable putting my kids into a daycare or home care where I just don't know the culture, so I'm going to stay home and look after the kids'. So that was a decision that she made, and it was a great decision in many ways for our family, but it also left her completely economically disempowered. So, she was completely dependent on my father for money, even though they had a great relationship, which was equitable -in some ways, it wasn't economically equitable. And I can remember being a teenager, my mom is driving me to basketball practice. She and my dad have just had a disagreement about how money should be spent. And she was very frustrated. She felt like she didn't have a voice, and she's holding the steering wheels and she is a dark-skinned woman, and her knuckles were very white. So, it took - she was grabbing that steering wheel - and she said to me, 'Eleanor. Money is power. Always make your own'. And I, you know, I believed her. I believed her. There was something about the energy around which she was saying that. And she was frustrated. She was angry, but she was also really speaking the truth. And so that became my mission before it was to prove a model of economic growth that sustains the planet, one woman-owned business at the time. Which means in order to create that proof point, I need to show that women can sustainably scale past a million in annual revenues. Before all that, there was only that emotion of economic independence. So, I saw that and then I did a number of different things. But I became a journalist and had a communications consulting company and did a ton of work. My specialty was working with very senior corporate leaders, and I did a lot of work with them on messaging. So, women who were CEOs of major corporations, very influential women leaders, and it was all around kind of their messaging and positioning. At that level of leadership, as you teach, it's so critical to stand for something, to have a brand. And as I was working with these women, what I started to see was a degree to which they were turning their personal financial gain into community benefit. It felt to me - my observation was that they were out-donating, out- supporting their male counterparts. And I really started to see the economic power of women and how that's so often used to quietly uplift people around her.
Stacy Mayer: Amazing. You share a story. Would you mind sharing that story that you share inside of my book?
Eleanor Beaton: Yes. So, I was doing this work with a woman leader. Her name was Annette Verschuren - actually, she was the former CEO of Home Depot Canada and Asia. She brought Michaels to Canada. She was, you know, when your former President Trump had an economic roundtable with Ivanka and like a bunch of women entrepreneurs and founders from across North America, she was one of the women who went with our prime minister as well. So, very influential woman. And so, I was working with her on her book, actually, which was called Bet on Me - excellent book. And I was shadowing her and going around a very small, like small city that she came from. And we were going around from one place to the next, and what I was seeing, we were just kind of visiting her old haunts, checking up on people. And I saw what we were actually doing is we were checking up on these people, individuals, organizations - from historical museums to major university centers - to artists and artisans, to restaurant owners, I mean, she knew them by name, and you could tell that she had been quietly over years, investing money know how and resources to help these organizations and individuals be more effective, be more successful, be more sustainable. I'm talking about - I can't even tally the hours, the input, and the cash money that she would have put toward it, and it was so inspiring. And the reality is - I was seeing this again and again and again in the work that I was doing. And, not to have these places named after her, although there is stuff named after her; but because of this sense of contribution, this desire to uplift and that’s where I saw that to change the kind of to elevate the money, give money to the women.
Stacy Mayer: Yes. Yes. Oh, that is so fantastic. So how did you take this, this perspective into your own career? What are some of your secrets to success? What did you have to learn over the years as you continue to elevate your voice and be this impactful woman that you are today?
Eleanor Beaton: Yeah. Oh my gosh. So many. So, so many. I think that one really important thing that I've learned is that I think it's really important to be clear about what we want for ourselves, and to be able to advocate for ourselves and allow ourselves to have our goals and desires and dreams. And we don't have to justify them - they can just be what they are. But what I've really learned is that if you want to - if you want to have the impact that you're capable of having, it has to be bigger than that. And it's really about connecting what you want to a larger mission for good. So, getting really clear on what change or impact do I want to make in the world, and how are my personal goals connected to that? That's so important for so many reasons, but I think - you know when I think about what it means to have a vision, a vision is by nature inclusive. So, inside a vision, people can always see themselves in it, and therefore it activates them to support you to accomplish it. And this is just - very often, like again - it started for me personally. Money is power. No one is ever going to control me or tell me what I can buy or not buy ever. That's like how it started. But that was a gateway to a larger vision that I couldn't have seen then. So, it was just like working toward what I knew was an important personal goal and then beginning to understand that connection to a larger goal where other people could see themselves inside of that, or not.
Stacy Mayer: And one of the transitions that you've been making in your business that I've been able to witness is transitioning from Eleanor Beaton Co. to Safi Media. So, did you have to let go of certain things - what was that transition like?
Eleanor Beaton: Oh my gosh, it's been huge and in so many ways that I didn't expect. So initially, I know there are people out there who are very excellent at very detailed long-term planning. What my strength is - you know, for me planning has always started with this sort of nudge or whisper, 'Hey, I think you need to do this' or 'look over here'. And so, it expresses itself in terms of inspired action. And that inspired action always feels expensive. It feels bigger than me. And so, I take it. I do the thing, and often the reason that I'm doing it starts to become evident afterward. So, Safi Media - Safi stands for 'self-actualized female innovator' and Media because I just believe that media is how we change the world. So, I was at a point where I felt there was a big part of me that was like, I don't want this to be the Eleanor Beaton show. And it really felt like this fatigue. And I've noticed to pay attention when I start to feel fatigued around things, to pay close attention, because that's usually a sign of a pathway that is starting to get shut down - cause I want to shut it down, it starts to feel like fatigue. And so, I just had this feeling that I didn't want to be the 'it' girl. I didn't want to be this. It's not that I didn't want to be visible. It's not that I didn't want to be a spokesperson; it's not that I was scared of the camera or scared of the mic or had nothing to say, I just felt like there was something off with being - with the entire company built around me. Why? Because I wanted to be able to attract and work with colleagues who shared a vision for what was possible. And I just thought about the people that I wanted to work with and be a colleague around - I just felt that they would want to see my larger vision and collaborate with me on that than have it be, let's build Eleanor Beaton's personal brand. So, that was like the initiation of it. That's how it started. And I mean, it's been, you know, there's been so many unexpected things, big personal changes I had to make along the way, for sure.
Stacy Mayer: So, what are you now able to accomplish now that you have this bigger vision and you've literally stepped into it and you're thinking about your business outside of yourself and the legacy and everything else that you want to do with your work? What is starting to shift and come out of that?
Eleanor Beaton: Well, I think that one of the first things that happened was I had to - what I realized is that when I was Eleanor Beaton and Co. I derived a lot of the meaning and satisfaction from the company based, in terms of what people thought about me. And it was about the impact, the one-on-one personal impact that I had with a client. So, when I made that change - and this was commensurate - this was happening at the same time that I was starting to bring in other experts and people to be in the company alongside me. They started having those relationships and interactions with people. And I remember going through phases where I thought something was wrong. I started to feel like maybe I wasn't doing enough. And so, I really had to - I had to graduate myself. And so sometimes I think the title comes before the inner - you've conferred your inner self with like that authority to lead. And I'm sure that I know that many of the women who are listening are working inside corporate roles but could potentially relate to that. That that conference happened has to - it happens inside, sometimes after the fact. And I know what you're teaching is 'No, you can confer ahead of time'. And see, I had the strategy in place. I had this vision in place, but I didn't make that internal conference of growth. And so - anyhoo - so that was something that had to shift and change. And so, when I think about things that I'm able to do now, for me, the big thing has been that I am able to look at the company that we're building together from an ecosystem perspective. So, looking at it in its wholeness because I have support to look at the parts of it in detail. So, what I mean is when you're trying to scale a company, there's a lot of information in our industry and for entrepreneurs about how you scale demand. So, you would think that scaling a company is all about scaling demand, i.e., sales and marketing. But there's this huge part of it which is scaling excellence and delivery. And so that does not - neither of them happen without a team and a larger mission. But to scale delivery, it's all about having groups of committed professionals who are committed to the clients that you serve and the mission that you have as you are. And so, I honestly think that's been the biggest thing - so it's the ability to scale excellence of delivery, which then frees me up. I don't even think about scaling demand anymore. I just know it's going to be there. I really think about much more sort of fulfilling our vision and mission. Yeah, it's a shift, so it's allowed me to step more fully into my vision and the company's vision and mission.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, I see the obvious parallels for my clients. That's why I thank you for sharing that story. When they start to transition from being that subject matter expert to seeing themselves and having other people see them as this executive leader and a statement that comes to mind as I was listening to Bozoma Saint John, fabulous woman - love her. And it was like, I got this golden nugget of wisdom in a quick Instagram reel. But she said 'being the CMO of Netflix was never my goal. Like that would have been way too small. I wasn't meant to be the CMO of Netflix.' And now that she is the CMO of Netflix, you can totally see that. And so, when I hear you talk about this greater vision in this ecosystem that you're creating and the world that you're creating, it's like Eleanor Beaton Co. was too small. It's just - it's just you. And I think for most of the women that I work with, what they're doing is they first have to get to the selfishness to have it be about them. That's actually a good thing. That's just part of the process. I want them to own that they could be the CMO of Netflix if that's what they want. They first have to own that. But then at some point, we're just going to let that go and start to think about what is that greater mission, what's really that impact that we really, really want to be making on the world. And that is way bigger than our title. But it's the impact that we're able to make and giving back, just like how we started this conversation. When women earn, we all win because we know we know what charities we would support. We know what board we want to be on. We really know who we want to mentor and the changes that we want to be making. And so, we just need to get into those positions of influence and power to start to be able to do that.
Eleanor Beaton: Totally, and I think that there's this hierarchy - there's a hierarchy that's happening in terms of how we make our impact in the world. And so, at the very top level, you're going to have a vision - and a vision is always very sort of directional in nature. Then I believe, sort of beneath that, you have a mission. And a mission is like a very clear milestone on the way to that vision. And then below that, you're going to have a mechanism. And a mechanism is - it could be for some of your people, for instance, for demonstrating what excellence and corporate leadership looks like. So that mechanism transcends the job. It transcends the specific. But below that mechanism, that's where for me, I think about it in terms of the level of programming, but the woman is going to think about it in the level of the job. So, I think about Bozoma Saint John, her sort of, that baseline for her is the job she's doing right now. But above that, I think her mechanism is being an emblem of diversity, being an emblem of the power of diversity and true originality and leadership. She didn't say that I did. I think that's what her mechanism is. Why? I suspect as a mission; we know that she has personal missions around diversity and inclusion. And there's a vision, I think, which is to really change the picture of what leadership looks like. So, you're right. If she were just going after - if she were going after just the title, she's stuck in this piece that's all about her, that so many great leaders, they can't be stuck there. They won't be stuck there. It feels shallow, it feels empty, it feels constrictive and they're wondering why things feel off. And it's often because they're just not connected to that higher place that they need to be. But often that initial thing - we need that. I agree with you. I think being able to tap into that desire is what opens up the gateway to what's above that desire.
Stacy Mayer: So, so good. Yes. And then I just had a bigger vision of something that I've been thinking a lot about lately is that your company needs you in this higher position more than you need them. And so, when we think about Netflix -and I've also interviewed an executive leader at Zoom and Salesforce - these are the giant companies that are leading the change and walking the talk of diversity and leadership. And then by having their leaders step up in this way - in this bigger, bolder way - of really pushing the needle becoming an example of what's possible, I look at those companies as being like, 'Yes, you should apply there. Yes, you should go for an executive role there.' And that's when we, as women, start to have choices. We're looking at the boards of these organizations. We get to pick them. They're not accepting us. We choose them because of what they stand for, and I think - I don't think it's pie in the sky. I'm starting to see organizations really understand that and know that that's part of the process of their own elevation as an organization.
Eleanor Beaton: One hundred percent. I mean, there's this great analogy from the military, which is that 'in times of peace, a huge military can run effectively with a couple of good leaders. But in the fog of war, you need excellent leadership at every level.' And if you think about it in the fog of war, something happened. Things are going wrong constantly. There's tremendous change. There's literally fog. And if you're in a unit of six people, you better have a great leader. And if your unit commander - something happens to her or him or them - there better be another great leader willing to step up. And I think that when we think about the tremendous technological social change that we're living through right now, it's- I’m not going to call it the fog of war - I'm going to call it the mists of transformation. But great leaders are required at every level, which means that there must be an expanded view of what those leaders look like. And it also means that, to the level of the woman, she needs to look at herself and say, 'Yeah, that's me. That's me that they're talking about.' I couldn't agree with you more.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, it's so important. So, you know that one of the things that I have been doing, I talked about how I first found you was, I was working for a women's leadership organization and as a thought leader in my own right, I really question the status quo and really think about, 'OK, is this process helping', actually helping advance women or not? And what are some of the aspects of women's leadership that's actually hurting our progress and so I have lots of opinions about this. But my assumption is you might as well. And so, I would love to - I would love to hear from you in terms of your own experience working with women. What are some of the myths or misconceptions that you think are actually sending us backwards? And then what can we do about it instead?
Eleanor Beaton: This is such a great topic. I mean, I think what I've seen - so I started really focusing in on working exclusively with women and women leaders at the very end of 2014. So, I had been moving to that direction, but that's when I really said, 'Look, I want to work with women leaders exclusively'. And at that time, the quote-unquote 'women helping women economy' was in its infancy. There were not as many companies that were, or entrepreneurs at the time, who were starting businesses focusing exclusively on working with women. It was just a bit of a different landscape. And I honestly have to say, I don't know that the conversation has advanced much. So, I still hear a lot of conversation about things like imposter syndrome. I still hear every other conversation about women's leadership has to do with the fact that women need more confidence. I still hear people talking about leaning in - so there's these kinds of conversations. What makes them so devastating is they're a little bit true. Yes, it's a little bit true that confidence is an issue. But what I really think is the problem with so much of the 'corp' of the corporate feminist movement is that its feminist without tapping into the feminine? So that's where I used to be. And if you are a feminist, you are looking for sort of equal rights and equity for all. But if that is anchored, and if in how you identify and define what equity means, is based on the decaying structures of a patriarchal business society or a patriarchal business system, then you are basically trying to create a new world on a really shoddy foundation. So let me give you an example: I can remember sitting around a table - It was a very powerful and influential table. And we were discussing something - an important, high-ticket decision. And I strongly disagreed with the decision because I felt the way that we were making the decision was wrong, that the means did not justify the end. And the majority of the people around that table felt that the ends justify the means. And so, I will say that in a patriarchal business system where traditionally that's the way it's done - we're going to make the tough call because the means justify the end. And I would say when you start to bring more feminine into the business world, the means must justify the end. Otherwise, the end, do we really want the end? So that's like an example. But I think that this is huge. And so, do women have imposter syndrome? Yes. Should they? Yes. Because you know what? From the time that most women were born - from the very time - all of our religious leaders and heroes have been men. All of our political leaders, until recently, it's the standard is still this way and we're kind of off to the center, and then people are giving us a hard time for having imposter syndrome? The conversation has to go deeper.
Stacy Mayer: And you know, there's this, I've been thinking a lot about because people will take my words and reflect them back to me. And I'm like, 'No, that's not what I'm saying', even from anywhere like, so you're saying we should be more like a man? No, of course not. And one great example that keeps coming up is this sort of - we have to talk about our accomplishments. And this is why I thought to ask you this question because you've been bringing this conversation into our coaching as well, talking about the masculine and how we have these accomplishments that we create. And so, what we're supposed to do is tell our boss about the accomplishments that we've had that week, and it's hard for women to do. And so, they'll do it and then it will feel a little bit uncomfortable. And then sometimes it'll kind of work. But it's a very masculine approach to getting ahead. And the approach that I'm teaching is more of a feminine approach, which is that we talk about our vision, our values, we're having conversations with leaders, we're making sure that we definitely speak up, but we're making sure they really hear us, that they're following us, that they're along for the ride. We're not just this voice over in the corner talking about our accomplishments. And I think that it hurts our progress as women, it hurts our ability to progress, but then once we do get the titles because let's be honest, many of them will still get promoted. Of course, women are getting promoted all of the time in leadership and they'll get the title, but then they can't be themselves like they feel disconnected. So, then they still leave the workforce.
Eleanor Beaton: Oh, that's such a good insight. And you know, I think what you're getting at, I 100 percent agree we have to bring our whole selves to it. But what I have learned about working with women, is the importance of the acknowledgment of the container in which the action is happening. So, I'll give you an example. One of the things that sometimes women are criticized for is needing permission. And so, the thing is, don't wait for permission. Just ask for forgiveness. Just go do it. And that can be a helpful piece of advice. But why are so many smart women quote-unquote 'waiting for permission'? I think there's something underneath that which is important, which is that it's not that they're we're waiting for permission. It's what I have learned from working with women is that an acknowledgment of the container - in which - inside which the action is happening is very important. So, to be respectful of the container, whether the container is a department, a political climate inside a social climate or construct inside a company; for many women - it's important to - we think, relationally. So, it's very important to understand: What is this container? How do I relate to this container? It's not wrong. It's not asking for permission. It's trying to understand what is the culture in this place, so that I can decide how I relate to it, so that I can then decide how I'm going to engage. And I think what you're talking about, the way that you're suggesting talking around about accomplishments is an acknowledgement of the container. These accomplishments, I'm not just blurting them out. They're happening inside a container that you understand who I am, that you understand what my vision is and what my mission is and some of the practical things that I've done. It's a container, and to me, that's what we bring. Why are women promoted into power when things are going to hell? Because there's an acknowledgment of the container that we're bringing? We're brought in to contain the damage all the time. In Iceland - Look what happened in Iceland - all these women were promoted into leadership roles when, of major organizations, when the economy was tanking. Why? Because I think there's a subtle understanding. First, there's definitely the glass cliff. You know, there's a lot of negative things about it. But I think that this idea of the container is so important for women.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah. And to really - what you're describing is this acknowledgment and then also ownership of it. So, we're willing to engage in these conversations. We're willing to show up, we're willing to build these relationships so that we can; and that is to me bringing my whole self to work right. We talk about authenticity, and I think with a lot of women, they think that that means passion. And so that actually goes outside of the container because, you're looking at this corporate structure and you're like, 'I'm just going to talk to them about my passion and they don't understand me because I can't talk about my passion'. So, it's like this sort of flip-flop. But what they're doing is they're breaking out of the container so that they cannot be heard. So, their boss or the CEO's like, 'Oh, I think it's great that you have a passion, but we're trying to hit our numbers over here.' And so, when I see women really have that success is when they see that container, but then they also understand how their leadership and their team and the work that they're doing fits inside of that and drives all of the change. It's just it's very exciting - I get goosebumps.
Eleanor Beaton: Totally - because all of our success comes from relationships. And so, it's like, who am I? Who is this organization? And how do we relate together? And what I'm hearing you say with all about the passion, it's all about that person as an individual without acknowledgement. No, but your success here - it isn't about you only. It's going to be about your relationship with this organization. And it's all about everything. And life is about understanding relationships and how you relate. Who are you? Who is this other thing? And how are you going to relate together to create this next - that's the type of, I think, maturity. And I think that's why the work that you're doing is so important because we all need those guides who can sort of explain the lay of the land. And without them, you don't know. And so, you're kind of thrashing around blindly. Nobody's going to tell you. I think that's why the kind of conversation that you're leading is so critical. It's really sort of doing some myth-busting and showing people, 'No, this is the blueprint'. This is what it looks like so that you can figure out how you're going to relate to it.
Stacy Mayer: Right - This is what they say, but this is what they actually mean. And they're two very different things constantly. So, I am curious from you, why do you personally want to earn? What is your mission, as Safi Media continues to grow and grow and grow, what are your hopes and dreams now as you continue to build this powerful vision for yourself and your company?
Eleanor Beaton: Yeah, I think it comes down to proof points. So, from a really young age, like a really young age, I was really concerned about the planet. I can remember having this battle with my friend Karen about - we were in grade six and we were doing a fundraiser, and so we were trying to decide where the money went, and I was leading. It should go to buy acres of the rainforest. She was going, 'We should use it to support a family in a developing country'. I was like, 'If you do that, you're just helping the family. We need - if we save the trees, we're helping the state' - this is my, you know, whatever 11-year-old logic. But that's always been this recurring theme for me is the planet. And I can remember being in an event and hearing a First Nations indigenous woman talk. And she said that in her culture and in her community, they had a saying that you can tell how a culture, or a nation treats its land by how it treats its women. So, for me, at first, I knew my specific thing - financial independence. And then it was about financial independence, cash influence and autonomy for the woman entrepreneur. And then beyond that, it was about doubling the number of women entrepreneurs who sustainably scale passed a million bucks. And I never knew why is it a million bucks and why is it doubling, what's going on here? And I couldn't see it. But what I've since seen is because we're proof points. Every woman who does that - and I'm talking about scaling in a specific way - building a 'jewel' business which allows for 30 percent or more top line revenue growth, 30 percent profitability and 30 percent open time. Every single woman who does that, together, we become a sisterhood of proof points that there is a different model for how you grow economically. Because right now - so we just had these climate change meetings, and they were ineffective again. Why? Not because the leaders are stupid, but because well you might argue, some people might argue that - but because they don't actually believe that you can grow an economy and protect the planet at the same time. We need to show how we can do that at the level of a single business in order to be able to show how we can do that at the level of an economy. And I think that female founders are the key to doing that. So, number one, it's about a proof point. I want to show - I am so sick and tired of people talking about people coaching female founders like it's this lifestyle business. You can take your lifestyle business B.S. and shove it. I know sorry people -headphones (safe for work) - but you can shove it. What we're doing is creating a model of - proving a model of economic growth - that big companies and countries haven't been able to prove. So, to me, that's like this big picture mission. And through that, what does it mean for me? So, it means that I have to live it to give it. So, for me, it's about being the proof point myself - that I can generate tremendous financial wealth and resources in a way that's sustainable, in a way that allows me to connect. That, to me, is really critical. It's like this personal commitment and challenge that I have with myself to show, to prove out my vision at the level of one woman. And that woman is me. You know, it's just to have a very clear and strong connection to it. And what does that mean? It means security for my family. It means the ability to travel. It means - and sometimes it just means - being able to buy really cute clothes that I love. I mean, you know, it can be about that sometimes. That, to me, is what fires me up. And it's different. There's no kind of proving energy in it. There used to be there, used to be there's just not anymore. I'm just like, 'No, this is happening'. It's all unfolding. There's no rush. And I'm going to do this with my people.
Stacy Mayer: That's why it's been so fun being on this journey with you to be able to learn from you because I could see it. You can see it from the outside in your podcast and really hear what you teach. But then when you get to be in your world, you really get to learn from you and see you walk the talk every single day. You're like, 'Let's have a conversation about these touchpoints and what our work means'. And you're doing this from your own experience. And yeah, so that's been really amazing to be a part of.
Eleanor Beaton: Well, it's so important - because I think education has sometimes been a tool of oppression. And so, sometimes education - we're always trying to educate, educate, educate. Now that's super important. I think it's like 15 percent of what we need. But I think there's this other place where it's like, let storytelling, let's have conversations, let's be willing to share what our experiences are like. And I think that is so critical for women. I think that's why researchers - I can't remember what university it is - but there was a kind of a landmark piece of research that came out recently that took a look at the difference between men and women's networks; and that men's networks, they studied these graduating classes of executives, and they found that the most successful male executives had broad networks. They knew a lot of people. The most successful women executives had small, tightly knit - like the wolf pack type network - where they were able to... This doesn't mean don't network. That's not what it means. But they had to have those really sacred relationships where they could piece together. They could talk about the container. That was really critical. And that's what I know that I try to create. I have learned that that kind of container is one of the most important things to create if you want to generate real advancement.
Stacy Mayer: So, speaking of advancement, any final words of advice for a woman who's looking to get ahead in her career -break into the executive suite? Anything else that you'd like to add today?
Eleanor Beaton: I think the key thing is - and you kind of hinted at it earlier - do it in a way that you love the woman. All -that you love the woman that you are, you're bringing your whole step, every step of the way. And do it now. I think a lot of people think once I get to this place, then I will have earned the respect that I need to show up as I am. That what you'll find is when you get there, you're just going to try to protect an identity that was never you to begin with. And I think that sovereignty -really owning who you are and bringing your full self with you. Yes, you're in a relationship, but you're still who you are. So that the person who ultimately gets promoted is you, not a representative of you.
Stacy Mayer: Absolutely. And that's what we want as women, ultimately. And that's why I call them corporate bad asses because we're always - we are that now and we are that as we get promoted; and so that we're continuing to show up as that badass self, whatever that means in many different ways that we've talked about today. But it's just having that layer that comes with it - that is us, that is the greater mission, that is what we want to be doing. And then also being able to take that space in that time for ourselves, for travel or whatever, that might be.
Eleanor Beaton: A hundred percent. And you know, I work on it in my lane, which is really working with female founders. But the reality is that organizations have tremendous clout, influence and power; and we need women like you and the women that you work with to transform larger industries and organizations from the inside out. There's many of us who are like, 'Forget it. Listen, we'll be - we're going to support you however we can, but we're doing it over here'. But you know, it has to happen in those organizations.
Stacy Mayer: Absolutely. So how can we find you if we want to learn more about your work besides reading the foreword of my book?
Eleanor Beaton: So, run, don't walk to buy the book, and read the foreword. And then I would suggest that you go to Power + Presence + Position, which is my podcast, and then you can find me on LinkedIn at Eleanor Beaton. Those are the two places I'd suggest you go.
Stacy Mayer: Follow and also run, don't walk.
Eleanor Beaton: Yes, run, don't walk to buy the book. Listen, y'all are getting this gorgeous, free podcast. We got to buy the book. It's important. It's got - if you're benefiting from the podcast, you're going to love the book.
Stacy Mayer: Yeah, thank you, Eleanor, for everything that you do. It is such a pleasure to be in your ecosystem as well and to be part of your greater mission, and I so appreciate you.
About Your Host
Hi! I'm Stacy Mayer, a Certified Executive Coach and Promotion Strategist on a mission to bring more diversity to the leadership table by getting 1000 underrepresented corporate managers promoted into senior executive positions each year worldwide.
I help undervalued executives scale to the C-Suite using repositioning strategies that build your confidence and visibility, so you can earn the recognition and support you need from key stakeholders while embodying your unique leadership style.
My podcast “Women Changing Leadership with Stacy Mayer” tackles topics like executive communication, getting more respect in the workplace from challenging bosses and team members, and avoiding the common mistakes that sabotage career advancement.