Your next promotion is within your control and this podcast shows you how to get there. Welcome to episode number 142. In today's episode I am actually going to show you why working remotely can be the biggest gift for your executive leadership skills. And if anybody tries to tell you that you have to work closer to headquarters or be in the office to build relationships, that is limited thinking. And I actually think as women, it allows us to create the Executive Leadership role that we've been craving and wanting all along, one where we're included in the conversation and we can do it on our own terms. Listen on.
Hello, corporate badasses. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer, and especially excited to be here with you this week because it's September. And you know, for me, as somebody who has little kids at home, sometimes the summer can be a little bit brutal. If you're a loyal listener of this podcast, first of all, thank you. Thank you so much for listening. And you've probably heard that I had COVID throughout the month of August, and I felt like this was a double whammy to me because I had actually canceled some travel plans throughout the month in an effort to not get COVID. You know how that is. You try and put precautions in place to make yourself safe and have some semblance of control in your life. And then everything just backfires. Great! I also had a lot of really amazing things happen in the month of August. So I don't want to discount them at all. As you know, we've been doing the Summer of Magic, and my goal in June was to see if I could get ten women promoted into higher level leadership positions throughout the summer, even while they were on vacation. Because when you put the magical ingredients in place, magic starts to unfold for you. And I'm happy to announce that we had 13 women get promoted just in a six week period throughout the summer months.
These are women inside of Executive Ahead of Time, people who have been working with me for a year and a half, two years inside of my more advanced coaching programs. And then also a couple of emails that I received from complete strangers. People who read my book applied what my book says and got themselves a promotion. So hats off. Congratulations to every single one of you who received a big promotion in the months of July and August. And then because life is 50/50 and like I said, sometimes it throws us good, sometimes it throws us bad. We also had a couple of women inside of The Teadership table, my advanced program, where we've been working and putting pieces into place for quite some time to get them set up for a promotion. And it turns out they're not going to get it. And I want to note that because I want to also normalize what it's like to not receive a promotion. So first of all, it sucks. And in both of these cases, the ones that are coming to mind right now, they were for arbitrary reasons. One of them was because one person decided that they couldn't be promoted. Okay, that one person now has the power over their career. And then in the other case, it was because some things happened in the organization, some feedback was given that had nothing to do with the corporate bad ass, but instead it was HR's decision to not promote anybody.
So this is all crap that happens to us. You've experienced this, you've done all the right things, and then at the end of the day, life is just going to do what life is going to do. And so we have to figure out ways to pivot and also to be upset, of course, and to feel defeated and frustrated and all of those great things, all of those useful emotions. And then to understand what we're going to do about it moving forward, how we're going to start to put some changes into place so that this feeling of being other people having more control over our lives than us doesn't happen again. So that's where we're at here, because I had ups and downs in August, and many of you probably did as well. But what I love about September is for me personally, it's a refocus. It's a re-energizing. If you have young children, they're back at school. So that feels like you're a little bit more in control. You also have the final quarters of the year, which for many of you are incredibly busy. But I know for a lot of you, when shit hits the fan, you step up to the plate. And so this is an opportunity for you in the fall months to really get energized, get focused, figure out what you're going to do and make it happen.
I have no doubt that that's going to happen for you. And that's how I'm feeling. I'm putting some big plans into place for the end of the year. I'm super excited about what we're going to do inside of Executive Ahead of Time. I am focusing on what I'm calling promotions 2023 because each one of you know that if you want a promotion, you have to put some pieces into place now to get you set up for next year. And so I'm really strategizing both in my own business, but also mostly for you to figure out what pieces you need to put in place, to get yourself set up for that next promotion. So that's the work that we're doing over here inside of Executive Ahead of Time. I invite you to join us in that program. There's never been a better time for you to get in there. Start doing that foundational work so that you feel more in control and you know how to pivot and you understand what you need to do to get yourself set up for those levels of success.
Speaking of knowing what you need to do to set yourself up for success, the first thing I want to talk about are commercials. What we hear in the media that tells us what we're supposed to do or not do, and now this doesn't even include what we hear at work and what we hear from our coworkers and what we hear from our bosses that tell us, okay, this is how you'll be successful at work. Whether they tell you verbally or subconsciously or you see certain people get rewarded for certain reasons. And then that's how you learn what creates success at work. And then on top of that, there's also the media coverage that tells us as women where we have problems, why we're not successful. And so much of what I aim to teach on this podcast is to really show you that I completely disagree. And whether you believe what I disagree with or not is kind of irrelevant because what I want you to see is that there are so many different ways of looking at what is going to create success for you, and then I want you to be able to choose that way. So a great example for this is that you've been told the first 20 years of your career that you need to work hard to get promoted, and if you put in the work, you will be rewarded. It takes time. You have to put in the work, you have to put in the effort and then you will be rewarded. But that doesn't work for you once you get past senior director level and you start making it into these higher level executive positions, they're like, oh yeah, you're hitting your numbers, you're doing great work. Oh, that's all excellent. But we're still not going to promote you. And so then you're like, what? The rules have changed. And so my job is to infiltrate your mind so that you can see early on that those rules were never rules to begin with. That they were arbitrary rules that were set up so that you could be a good worker at your organization. They weren't really interested in compensating you or giving you a fair wage or giving you a fair title. And in order to do those things, you have to kind of break out of this mold. So I was watching CBS Sunday Morning over the weekend and I really liked that show. I think it's great. It's sort of like fluff media, but I have a lot of fun with it. It gives me snippets of the news, so I have a good understanding of what's going on and it's pretty lighthearted, except for on September 4th, the Labor Day weekend episode, they were talking about remote workers and the challenges with companies and organizations deciding whether or not they were going to bring their employees back to work, back to the office, or just let them stay at working remotely. And what different CEOs are deciding to do about this dilemma.
We know that that's a challenge right now and we understand that. I'll link to the interview in the show notes, by the way. But they put this slide up and they're talking about the benefits of working remotely versus the benefits of working in person. And I actually felt very upset by this slide because I thought, wow, that's a really defeatist way of looking at the benefits of working remotely versus working in person. And also I think none of this is true. I completely disagree. So let me share with you what some of the benefits of working remotely were on this slide. A benefit of working remotely is that you could live anywhere and you could have a flexible schedule. Okay, fine. Live anywhere? Yes. I can't really debate that. Flexible schedule? I think you can have a flexible schedule and go into the office, but okay, fine. That's all fine. They said another benefit of working remotely is that you don't have a commute. Yes, I can't argue with that. I think that's fantastic. If especially if you don't want to have a commute. And then it says the childcare. Excuse me, I do not have my children right next to me here at home. But okay. So working remotely does not solve a childcare headache. I'm not really fired up here yet. And then the last one said that if you work remotely, you can avoid office politics. And I was like, how so? That doesn't make any sense. Because this is going to lead me to my point that I try and instill in you on this podcast is that office politics are actually what you need to lean into. You need to accept. And I think as women, we hate politics in general and we don't want to get caught up in it. And so then we avoid it and then we end up getting passed over for a promotion. So I really encourage you not to look at office politics as the bad guy and really find a way to make office politics work for you. Great example of office politics is that your boss has very little to do with your promotion, but your boss's boss's boss has a lot to do with your promotion. I'll say that again. Office politics. Your boss has very little to do with your promotion. Your boss's boss's boss has a lot to do with your promotion. Basically, if your boss's boss's boss says you're going to get promoted, guess who's going to get promoted. Your boss's hands are tied half of the time. And in this example that I gave at the beginning of the episode, it's like, her boss can be well, you know, I'd like to promote you, but HR is telling me no. Well, you get a C-suite executive, it's like that C-suite executive is going to walk into HR and tell them, I don't care what you say, we're going to promote her anyway. It's literally office politics working in your favor. So we need to start embracing that. And it has very little to do with working remotely or not working remotely. I don't even think it should be on this list. Now, here's the part that I actually got fired up about.
So it says that when you work in person, you're more likely to have collaboration. What? That doesn't even make sense. In Executive Leadership, you have to have collaboration. And how many of you are in meetings all day long, even if you're working remotely? There's actually research on this. When Silicon Valley turned to open desk space where nobody had a cubicle anymore, they just had this open office. They were like it's going to be so great for collaboration. And it wasn't. It just made productivity lower. We can collaborate remotely. We've proven we can collaborate remotely. This is not even a problem. And then the other thing that it says here and this is the part that got me fired up was it says mentoring. As if mentoring can only happen in person. Now, this is actually the single biggest factor for women not getting promoted in their own heads because they think that the only way they can have mentors and the only way they can get sponsorship to get promoted is to have a social life. To go out and be at the bar and to have those side conversations and spend all these extra hours. In this person's point, to go into the office is the only way I can have a mentor. That's terrible. Think about what that does to you, even just to see this slide pop up on the screen. If you're like, well, I refuse to to go back into the office because I don't want to commute. And I do want to live anywhere which is totally valid. But I'll never be promoted because I'll never get a mentor unless I go into the office. That's a bunch of crap. Go back and listen to my episodes, about 15-Minute Ally Meetings and learn the way that I teach, which is that mentors are not the end all, be all anyway. But that we can create allies all across our organization. And guess what? 15-Minute Ally Meetings was created as part of the pandemic, as part of the virtual world, to recreate those coffee chats, those bumping into somebody at the bar or in the hallway or that social hour that many of us as women have no desire to participate in.
So we put the ball back in our court and we start to schedule 15-Minute Ally Meetings. Now we're in control of who we have, mentors or not mentors, and I don't care if we work remotely or not. That is a way that powerhouse corporate women win. We can live anywhere. We can not have a commute and we can still have mentors even when we work remotely. The other thing that it says here is that you can't have insight into the corporate culture. Again, how are you going to have insight into the corporate culture if you're not having 15-Minute Ally Meetings? You could be going into the office every single day, have zero mentors, and have no insight to the corporate culture. Just doing your job, working hard every day and then all of a sudden you get passed over for a promotion. You have to proactively be influenced by corporate culture. It has nothing to do with whether or not you are in person or not. You have to be proactively seeking out allies at your organization. And I have a very simple process that teaches you how to seek out those allies, how to create those allies in a repeatable way virtually. And as doing that, you're going to better understand the corporate culture.
It's so important at that Executive Level that you know what's going on, you know what matters to the organization. You know how they make decisions. You know what affects the bottom line. You know how to speak to the vision of the company. How are we going to learn that? It's not by showing up into the office in person and working at either our shared desk base or in our cubicle. We're going to know that because we're having 15-Minute Ally Meetings. A social life. This is another one that it says here on the benefits of working in person. And I think that yes, I think that for me personally, I miss being around people. But the way that they're implying a social life is that we all go out and eat and drink after work. I don't really care about that. I do miss being around people. And so let's say if the only benefit to working in person is that you get to have lunch with your colleagues a couple of times a week and that's fun for you. Is that worth going into the office every single day? And I say no. I could schedule a lunch with my colleagues if I want to, or I'll go in just for lunch. That's fine. And now we have possibilities. So now as women, we have the possibility to live anywhere, to not have a commute, but yet we can still collaborate, we can still have mentors, we can still understand the corporate culture. And if we care to schedule a lunch every now and then, or maybe even fly in, because we live anywhere, but we're going to fly in and have some sort of event and have that social time. Just because we like it, but not because we have to to get promoted. You see the difference? There was a woman who was very, very specifically told she was a senior director. She was specifically told because she didn't live near headquarters of her organization, that she could not be promoted. She's a senior director, has no fault in her abilities, but she was told that she could not be promoted because she didn't live near headquarters. Why would she be told this? One, because she doesn't have relationships. She didn't have those. This is when I first met her. She wasn't getting mentors. She wasn't building relationships. She didn't understand the corporate culture. She wasn't speaking to the way that she's able to collaborate with the Executive Leadership team. Right. So she wasn't really doing that. And because of that, then she just gets this feedback which says, you can't get promoted because you don't live here, which is actually not true.
It wasn't true that she couldn't get promoted because she didn't live there. What was true and this and please just take this away from today's episode. What was true is that she didn't get promoted because she didn't have allies on her executive team. She didn't have a pulse on the corporate executive culture at her organization. She wasn't collaborating with her peers at that higher executive level. Not because she didn't live there. Because you can again, you can live there. You can be going into the office and you can still not be collaborating with executives, not building relationships and not understanding corporate culture. That has nothing to do with physically or not physically going into the office. So what I am saying to you is that all of those things, collaborating, mentors, corporate culture, are important for your ability to succeed at that executive level, but has nothing to do with whether or not you're physically in the office. I really want you to take that away and to start to understand how you can use the process that I teach at 15-Minute Ally Meetings, how I teach you to get out of the weeds so that you can start communicating in this executive level way and open up possibilities for you. Because otherwise you're just going to be wondering, maybe I should move. Maybe I should move to Texas, because that's what they keep telling me. If I want to be successful, I have to move to Texas or get another job. No! If you want to be successful, what you have to do is build relationships at the executive level and then you will be successful. That's the answer. So in today's episode I just wanted to point out how we're getting these mixed messages and they're really stopping us from going out, creating those careers that we really, totally crave and are completely qualified to create right now. You have the ability, regardless of where you live, regardless of what relationships you have right now, regardless of your title that you have right now, to set yourself up for very high level executive positions. And I'm seeing this every single day. And the beauty of the process that I teach is that it is repeatable.
I still remember the conversation that I had the day, literally the day, and it wasn't called 15-Minute Ally Meetings yet. But I know that day, March 2020, when I created the concept of 15-Minute Ally Meetings, it was because a woman said to me, "I miss going into the office because I no longer have face time with my boss and I'm worried that is going to affect my ability to get promoted." And I said to her, "Let's create a way for you to have face time with your boss." Because what you're doing right now, which is bumping into him in the hallway, is not a strategy. It's not repeatable. It's not something you can measure. It's not something you can keep doing over the long term. So when you follow the strategy, when you really understand that your job is to build those relationships. So she's right. She's right. It is a problem. But I say it was always a problem. You need to be proactively building relationships so that you're in the driver's seat always. So that when you get that senior vice president role, you know, and you have those relationships so that you don't feel like you're on an island constantly having to prove yourself by the number of hours that you put in each week. That's no way to live. This working remotely is a gift to each and every one of us as women to create the life that we really want to be creating. To have that freedom to live anywhere, to be able to not have a three hour commute every single day, yet still have very high level executive positions and a lot of authority and inclusion at work. So I encourage you to go on out there, create and build those relationships yourself, regardless of where you're at, regardless of your current status, and see what doors it opens up for you. All right, everyone, have a wonderful week. Take care. Bye.