Your next promotion is within your control and this podcast shows you how to get there. Welcome to episode number 140. In today's episode, I am closing out my three part series called Working with Assholes, and I am sharing with you how to work with the most pervasive, jerkiest, rudest, hardest person to work with. And that is yourself. I'm going to show you how to get out of it and not only work with the asshole that is yourself, but find your way to the other side. Listen on.
Hello, corporate badasses. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer, and really excited to be here with you again this week as I feel like I'm finally recovered from Covid. Thank you all so much for your well-wishes and for listening to my Working with Assholes series that kind of came out of my "f"-it attitude that I experienced during Covid. But I think it's actually been incredibly valuable for so many of you who are experiencing toxic work environments, and it feels either insurmountable or it feels like you're the problem and you're never going to get out of this, or why does this keep happening to me? I've been able to lay out for you over the past three episodes exactly why this does keep happening to you and hopefully normalizing it for you so that you can find a way out of these environments that really aren't helpful. And also know that this is something that is happening very regularly in the corporate world and it's still happening. The thing that amazes me so much is I was talking about how women are still being told that their role in a meeting is to smile and look pretty. And so many people, only men, so many men said this can't possibly still be happening. I had so many people write me and say, this is not actually still happening, is it? And I said, Yes, absolutely it is. And of course, like I said, no women wrote me and said, this can't be happening. The women who wrote me, they said, you won't believe what's been told to me. And I said, of course I believe it. The number of times I've been told to smile more, the number of times I've heard other colleagues be told that. And so these little microaggressions eat away at our self confidence. And that's what I'm going to talk about in today's episode when I get into the third part of this series of Working with Assholes, which is the asshole, which is ourself. And I'll explain what all that means here in a minute.
But before I do that, I wanted to share with you one of the wins inside of Executive Ahead of Time. Now, I've been doing the Summer of Magic over the summer, and you probably heard about that. Actually, I'll link to it in the show notes, an episode I did a few episodes ago where I was talking about the magical ingredients to land your next promotion even while you're on vacation. And I set out in June with a goal to get ten women promoted by the end of the summer. And I'm happy to say by the end of July I had already hit that goal, which is actually pretty amazing, considering. Let me give you some statistics, some numbers. So we have about 75 active women inside of Executive Ahead of Time inside of our group. And if ten of those women got promoted, ten women got promoted in a four week period, that means in just four weeks we had about a 13% promotion rate. That is ridiculous. And then if we want to look at the number of women that get promoted over a year's time inside of Executive Ahead of Time, that number is closer to 80%. So the process that I'm teaching you inside of Executive Ahead of Time really does get you promoted into that next level of Executive Leadership. And here's where my win comes in that I want to share with you is that I'm not kidding when I say the support that we need once we get promoted. Because we're pretty resourceful women and we can figure out how to get promoted. And part of the reason that we're not getting promoted is because either one, we're protecting ourselves because we know that once we get to the higher level, the expectations are higher, the stakes are higher. And we don't want to lose time with our family. We have other priorities in our life, other things that we care about. We want to make sure we're actually successful at that next level. Or two, we know that getting promoted is only a small part of the process. And so that's what happens. Also in Executive Ahead of Time is that once we get the promotion, then we figure out how to navigate the world at the next level.
And so the win that I want to share with you inside of Executive Ahead of Time, it was shared just yesterday. And a woman who got promoted, I guess it was probably in April, she said that the VP of Operations reached out to her to talk about collecting some open invoices that hadn't been able to be collected from a client. So basically you could say insert project here, the VP of Operations. First of all, it's a win because if anybody is reaching out to you for your input versus, I'm going to reach out to you because I need you to go collect these invoices. That's not the case. So the VP of Operations reached out to her and said I want to talk to you about what's going on here and see what your thoughts are. So already that's a huge win because that means she's already built trust with her Executive Leadership Team, so much so that they look to her to be that voice, to be that idea maker, that person that's going to provide input. And so not only did she get the meeting, she used my advice. She said I channeled Stacy in the meeting and I showed up with the VP as a peer. And this is something that I teach inside of Executive Ahead of Time, is that we don't show up as somebody that's two levels down from this person. We really engage with them as a peer to peer relationship. And I think a lot of the challenges that we have in Executive Leadership is because this hierarchy is already set up for somebody else to be more important than us. It's set up that way. We have titles. This archaic structure of having people that are more important than other people. And honestly, I think that structure is actually really, really good because when we look at flat organizations, they have a whole other slew of problems that they face because there is no hierarchy. And so I don't mind somebody being in charge and I don't mind somebody being the leader and the decision maker. But I think where it comes to be a problem is that when we start to feel like we have power over other people. And so this woman, this VP that she had reached out to, she has built this relationship with her. So she felt like she could just show up as herself and bring her ideas peer to peer. So this was huge. Huge. And then at the end of the meeting, she wrote that she said she'd love to have lunch when she's in the area. A new ally and an added bonus is that I was able to bring it up with my boss today to show my work. So this is the final piece of the puzzle, right? So we're doing lots of different things when we're setting ourselves up to be successful at Executive Leadership and there's lots of different moving parts.
But the good news is that once you kind of get into this rhythm, she didn't need direct coaching from me. She knew the process, so it wasn't enough to just have a peer to peer call with her VP. Then she had to offer that we should meet up the next time that you're in town. Her VP, of course, said yes. Actually, I think her VP brought it up. I should meet with you the next time I'm in town. Huge. Huge win. Then you go back to your boss and you actually say, I met with the VP and we strategized about some ideas on how to get these open invoices going. And then now her boss is impressed by her and her ability to create this relationship with the Vice President so that when a promotion opportunity does open up, her boss is going to be like, of course she's ready. She's already built these relationships. She's incredibly proactive. She knows what it takes to succeed at the Executive Level. So this is an example that I wanted to share with you because it was so beautifully articulated in three sentences. And it's the exact process that I teach. And it was in her brain. So she was just checking boxes. Okay, do this. All right, that worked. Okay, do this. Okay. Next. She's putting all these pieces together and once you close that loop enough times, then your confidence just increases. You start to feel better as an Executive Leader. You are able to raise your hands more and more often and not feel like you're going to get the rug pulled out from under you every time you get promoted. This is the goal. So I just absolutely love that story and wanted to illustrate for you that in real time that we have several different types of wins that happen in Executive Ahead of Time. Of course, the promotions and our promotion rate is so fricking high, but really even in addition to that is that if we're getting promoted and we're failing once we get there, that doesn't work for me. I want to make sure that you know how to continue to build those relationships and to thrive so that you can continue growing and growing your career and your confidence and really creating that life for yourself.
So now back to working with assholes and that number one asshole being yourself. So I want to give you a little bit of a perspective about the concept of beating yourself up. This is actually how my brain works and kind of how I grew up and I'm an incredibly, to my detriment sometimes, a positive person, a very, very positive person. And sometimes this positivity was actually what I would label now in retrospect is toxic positivity. But I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason and that that's what got me through the first 40 years of my life. It was that I was always glass half full, looking for the positive outcome. Everything is great. Everything happens for a reason. It's going to be fine. We're going to push through. So when I would hear other people say things like, oh, I'm constantly beating myself up, oh, you know, I just wish that I wasn't so hard on myself. I was like, I don't even know what that means because I'm not hard on myself. I think I'm great, and by great, I mean on the surface. I thought I was incredibly successful. I'm a high achiever, I'm like, go, go, go, next. I don't spend a lot of time in depression states, so I offer that to you because this was incredibly foreign to me for a very long time. And I'm going to tell you the story of when it all changed.
So I had moved out to California from New York City, and I was very unhappy. And when I was in New York, I was, go, go, go. I was doing lots of things. I was working at this hedge fund and they transferred me out to Palo Alto, California, and I was like, why not? It's a perfect opportunity. But what happened when I came out to California is that I was actually forced to slow down because in New York I was running, running, running. And this could totally happen to you, because if you are in a position where you're the subject matter expert, the idea of letting go of what you're good at, of not running, running, running is incredibly scary. You may not even know that that's what's holding you back, but it's very, very scary. So I came to California and I felt very uneasy in my own skin. It was a little too slow paced. I didn't really know what I was doing with my life. I don't really understand this place. It closes early in general. I was very confused. And the good thing about California is it's also like the spiritual capital of the US, right? So there are lots of opportunities for you to dive into meditation, to yoga practices, to other spiritual practices out in California. It's not just a stereotype, it's kind of everywhere. And so I took advantage of that. I was probably in my mid-thirties at this point, and I took advantage of this opportunity. So I'm going to a meditation center and I'm sitting on a cushion and I feel incredibly uncomfortable, like angry. And the meditation instructor is not really giving us a lot of guidance. He's just saying, breathe in, breathe out. And it's a day long retreat, like 8 hours of this. And I'm freaking out. My head is spinning. I'm telling myself, hang. I'm visibly angry. Sweating. I got up a couple of times and paced around the room and I went and talked to the head of the group. He actually pulled me aside and asked, are you okay? No, I'm not okay. I am very uncomfortable. I don't want to be here. This is ridiculous. I was getting very angry and he said, you're acting like my teenage daughter. What? It felt like a slap in the face. But a knowing. A very, very deep knowing. And I was like, excuse me? He just sat there and I knew exactly what he was talking about. And in that moment, I realized nothing was going wrong in my life. But yet I was still so frustrated, so angry, so anxious, all of these things. And all I was doing was sitting on a meditation cushion. That's when I realized that I was the asshole. I was the asshole. I was the problem. When people are talking about beating themselves up and everything, I have been beating myself up for a very long time. And then it's one of those moments where everything just becomes crystal clear and you realize, I am the asshole. I want to offer to you those moments of frustration and rolling your eyes and judgment and anger and resentment and all of these things that are happening for you at work that you are the asshole.
I want you to start listening to the words that you say to yourself. Start understanding that what you're saying is not actually true. So I talked in the last episode about how your boss can be an asshole. Now, that is a totally different story. You can have somebody around you and be frustrated at that person. But like I shared with you, the solution in the last episode is that your solution is going to be to detach from it a little bit so that you can start to gain that perspective and figure out what the heck you're going to do about it. I don't want you to stay in abusive relationships at work. But I really want you to understand what you're saying to yourself on a regular basis. So there's the extreme things that you're saying to yourself, which is, I hate it here. This place is terrible and they're so stupid. So whenever you're saying those things, those types of judgments, look within yourself and really ask yourself, why am I so frustrated? Where am I not taking responsibility here and making a change? Because if you really do hate it that much, if it really is that bad, wherever you are, if your situation is so horrible, get the freak out.
You know, we put up with a lot of crap at work that we shouldn't put up with. If that person was our spouse being mean to us, like in the asshole bosses, we would be out of there. We are very strong women. We don't put up with abusive relationships yet, at work we're letting this abuse happen to us. Now, I don't want to say that you're a victim. That that's your fault. But what I do want to say is that you have a lot more control and power than you think that you do. And so what you're going to do is you're going to start to turn that judgment and be like, wow, I say a lot of asshole thoughts throughout the day. And yes, I call them my boss, my work, my situation, I call it I'm swamped, all of these things. But what I'm really not doing is taking responsibility. And whence you can take responsibility, and like I said in last week's episode, that responsibility starts with neutrality. Just stopping. What if I just stopped the judgment, stopped rolling my eyes? Does any of that help? If rolling our eyes actually helped the other person, the person who may or may not actually be an asshole, change,they would all be changed, right? We would have more women in leadership, but that is not the path to change.
So let's stop being an asshole and let's figure it out. Let's be our authentic power, that powerful corporate badass that is going to resolve this situation and get herself into a higher level position with or without this company because they deserve it. That is not being an asshole. That's figuring out what you need to do. Now, there's this other, more subtle way that we're assholes to ourselves. So that's the judgment side, which happens a lot. You'll see it. There's frustration. I'm all about owning the fact that people upset us and frustrate us and these things are happening. I don't want to diminish those emotions. But what I do want you to start to do is recognize that that's the pattern that you're living in. And as long as you're living in that pattern, you're going to continue creating more of that. So the second place that we tend to be assholes to ourselves is by actually diminishing what's happening for us. So we have the one which is the the pushing out the aggression. Before I move on, I want to add. For a lot of us, we're really, really smart. So we don't do it out loud, right? So we have enough emotional intelligence that we're not like actually yelling at other people at work. But that means even worse, that we're being assholes to ourselves because we're keeping it inside. We're holding on to that anger, that frustration, that resentment. We're just keeping it and bottling it up. And I encourage the women inside of Executive Ahead of Time to share, to say, this isn't working for me. I want you to get angry, but in a productive way, not in a self perpetuating cycle inside our brain over and over and over again, where we can never get out of it. There is a way out.
The other side is lowering our expectations and this is a huge, pervasive way of being an asshole to ourselves. We self protect and I call this failing ahead of time. And what happens for us when we fail ahead of time is we don't actually believe that success can happen to us so subtly. If you say it out loud, you're like, of course. The number of times that I'd be yeah, I can be on Broadway. I can have a hit television show. When I was an actress, when I was working on the hedge fund, I could be a VP. I just don't want to be. I wasn't actually taking steps to get there, but I would just kind of have this thing in my head. And so what happens for a lot of women is they'll use language like, we'll see, or I can't believe this happened to me again, or maybe I'm just not ready. I have imposter syndrome. All of these self-loathing thoughts, these are really shitty asshole thoughts that we say to ourselves on a regular basis that keeps us playing incredibly small. I can't even acknowledge my 3xed vision because I just don't even know how to be possible. Or I don't want to give up my freedom, whatever that might be. And I'll say to women in the 3xed vision, put all the the opposite of all the things you don't want in your 3xed vision. So if you don't want to be swamped, be like, I have an opportunity where I am included in the conversation, but I'm also able to say no. Where people just tap me on the shoulder for opportunities, where I have a team that really supports me. You can take all the things that you hate or that you're afraid of happening at those higher level positions and then you just create that as the opposite of that as part of your 3xed vision. So when you stop failing ahead of time, when you stop saying we'll see, or I just don't know, or this always happens to me, or I'm super frustrated, or it's just not really something that I want. When you stop those words, when you stop failing ahead of time, what are you left with? And again, it's this neutral space of determination. It's this neutral space of focus. It's saying, hey, I am on the right path and I am taking steps forward. Not everything is perfect, but I am growing and I'm moving and I'm challenging myself to do a little bit better each day. That is the opposite of failing ahead of time. When you stop being an asshole to yourself, you actually start making forward progress. So I hope in today's episode you really understand that this idea of being an asshole to ourselves is actually the hardest thing for us to change. We can change our boss. We can change our relationship with our peers and stop caring what they think, or even find another job where we love our peers. But stopping being an asshole to yourself is a lifelong practice.
Ten years ago, when I was sitting on that meditation cushion, realizing how much of an asshole I have been to myself for so many years, that was only the beginning. I realize on a regular basis how much of an asshole to myself I am all the time. I'll give you an example from today. I have little children at home and I don't like them being on their screens, but yet I have to do certain things for work at certain times. And so instead of just being focused on myself or even just let's say I'm not doing something for work, but let's say I just want to relax, I want to close my eyes for 10 minutes. I can't even take care of myself because not only are they on their screens, but then I can't take the time to myself because I feel bad about myself as a mom for even letting them be on the screens. So I can't take the 10 minutes to really just calm down, to relax, to do self-care, whatever that might be. Because I'm thinking about how I'm a bad mom. That's just an example of how we're assholes to ourselves. So I am an asshole to myself every single day, but I am so much better than I used to be. I was in complete denial more than ten years ago. Complete denial. No, I'm not an asshole. So even if in today's episode you can start to acknowledge that this is really the pervasive part of the challenge, be willing to just sort of soften that assholeness, roll your eyes a little bit less, judge other people at work a little bit less, judge yourself a little bit less, set your standards a little bit higher, know that you are not only fully capable of that next level of creating that 3xed vision that you really, really want and desire, but that it's actually a lot closer than you think. And it starts with dissolving this assholeness just a little bit. All right. Thank you so much for being here and I'll see you next week, Bye.