Your next promotion is just the beginning, and this podcast shows you how to get there.
Welcome to episode number 154. I am so excited about today's episode. As I was preparing for it, I was looking back on 2022 and all of the milestones that we have hit as a business, the milestones and the incredible accomplishments and the failures that turned into accomplishments inside of Executive Ahead of Time, for all of the corporate badasses that I've been working with on the executive path over the years, and also for me as an executive leader, how I have grown over the past few years running my business, stepping into executive leadership and what we can expect from Executive Ahead of Time and Women Changing Leadership and all of the work that I'm doing inside of this company in the upcoming years. I cannot wait to share this with you. So let's get started.
Hello corporate badasses. Welcome to another episode of Women Changing Leadership. I am your host, Stacy Mayer, and super excited as always to be here with you again this week.
So today's episode is going to be my last solo episode for the year 2022, and I wanted to use the time today to do a reflection on the past year and where I have grown as a leader and some of the changes that I've had to make over the past year, and also where we have grown as a community in terms of advancing women into senior executive leadership positions.
So in today's episode, I'm going to be sharing with you lots of wins, lots of losses that I actually consider to be wins. And then really a lot of average, everyday stuff that's been happening both inside of my life, but also in the lives of the corporate badasses that I work with every single week. So super excited to reflect and share with you today.
As I was thinking about today's episode, I was thinking what was the overall theme for me as a leader in 2022 and for my business in 2022. And I came up with this word, which was: contentment.
And I remember when I first encountered the concept of contentment. You've heard this word. It seems like a really nice word, but it was presented to me inside of a meditation class that I was taking on contentment and. I thought to myself, I don't want to be content. I always want to be growing. I always want to be striving for something more. I always want to be pushing myself. And so a lot of people have that struggle where they feel like they want to be motivated, they want to be moving forward, they want to be making progress. Yet they're tired of the grind, of the suffering, of the frustration, of all of the things that come on the other side of the challenges that we put ourselves in front of. The challenges that we do when we advocate for our promotion. Anything that we're doing in life where we want to challenge ourselves we get really tired of all the ugliness that comes on the other side.
And what's in the middle is called contentment, which is that we're incredibly happy with where we're at. And the misnomer that I had over ten plus years ago when I took this meditation class on contentment was that that meant that you would never grow.
And I actually was terrified of this because since a very early age, I've been striving and and wanting and feeling like that was my mission in life was to do more and more and more. And I'm hoping that you can relate to this. I feel like you probably can. And thinking about contentment felt like almost giving up. And the meditation instructor explained it as just the opposite, that when we are content with what we have, then we are allowed to step into what is called desire, which is: we don't need, we don't must have, we don't need anything. We want it, we desire it. We have a hunger for it. To get to do more. And you can only really achieve that from a place of contentment. We try to achieve that from a place of suffering and getting out of the suffering by having more and more achievement. And that's where that rollercoaster, that push pull.
But when you can desire achievement, when you can desire more, when you can challenge yourself because it feels good, that is a very, very different place. And so when I look back at 2022, the number one word that comes to mind is contentment. There were numerous occasions in 2022 where somebody would ask me how I was doing and I was like: really great. That's how I would answer. Not like amazing. I'm doing so great. Or a lot like" Oh yeah, things could be better. But I was like, really great. Really, really good. I am so happy with where things are at right now.
And of course, there were moments in the past year as a leader where I would dip into confusion and feel frustrated. But the other thing that I noticed is that I would pull myself back into this place of contentment incredibly quickly.
So I want to share with you in today's episode, what were some of the pieces that I put into place that actually allowed for that level of contentment in case this is something that you would like to strive for in 2023 as well.
So the first thing I did was in November of 2021, I wrote a book or I released a book. The entire year of 2021 was writing the book. And I remember when the book first came out in November, December of last year. There was a lot of excitement but also fear attached to it. I was like: Oh, I hope this does good. I hope people like it. There's this desire that is a suffering around it because you want it to be good. You want it to be successful.
And by the time I got to January, February, I had let that go because I realized that the book itself was not the definition of success. It was the act of writing the book. I had already done the work. It wasn't the release of the book that was going to give me validation. I put in the work. So if you've ever ran a marathon or something, it's the work leading up to it. And sometimes the marathon, you can feel really proud and you can get the medal, is really just the climax of it all. It's just the end, but you're not thinking about it like: Oh my God, that was the best day ever. It's really all of the journey and you're so proud that you challenge yourself, that you did something really great and a really big deal.
And I think because I spent 2021 doing something that was really, really big, I felt an enormous amount of gratitude and contentment in 2022 with the fact that I did that. I felt like I had accomplished something great in my life and I wanted people to like it. I wanted people to get promotions because of it. I wanted it to reach more and more people. But I also realized that it already had. Because, in writing the book, I was sharing my process, I was growing as a leader and I was becoming who I became in 2022, which was this content, powerful, corporate badass. And it is an incredible feeling. And when somebody asks, How are you doing? The answer is always: actually really, really great.
So in terms of the business side of things, I think it reflected in the exact same way on the business side. So when I look at the women who got promoted this year, the women who had success inside of Executive Ahead of Time, the women who had success further along on my executive path. I'm going to share with you some of their great stories over the past year and successes that we've had. But also some of the failures. Is that the biggest thing that they kept coming back to is the inevitability of it all. So even when they received their promotion, several of them to the C-suite, it was like: of course. There was this of-course-ness to it because they had done the work over time and they already knew that they were meant for the c-suite. That they were ready for the c-suite. So then when the promotion happened, it was just like: Oh yeah, cool. It's actually a really good feeling. You should try it sometime.
And then on the flip side is that when things didn't work out, when they had to pivot, when they got an opportunity and it didn't turn out as well as they hoped or they had to resign early or they had to, they got laid off or they got a boss, that wasn't the right expectation, they were able to pivot very early and they would reflect to me like I'm actually okay. I don't feel as distraught as I would have a year ago. And I think those are the biggest wins in my mind. If we can get off of this roller coaster of: accept me, show me that I'm great and just know that we're great, that we are a corporate badass, that we can have tools to become the Executive Ahead of Time. And if this organization wants to actually promote us into those executive levels, we're going to do everything we can to get promoted in our organization.
But we're also willing to go elsewhere because we have choices. When we know that about ourselves, when we know that our next promotion is really just the beginning of the impact, the greater impact that we want to be making on the world, everything kind of comes together.
So in 2022, I opened up enrollment for Executive Ahead of Time to lifetime enrollment. And one of the big reasons for that was because when we were doing the 6 to 8 week cohorts, what I would do is I would get these women in the group and they would learn all of these incredible skills inside of Executive Ahead of Time. And then I would say: okay, go do it. And some of those women would transition onto the leadership path with me and and go to The Leadership Table or The Boardroom, which are the women who've been working with me for two, three years and get more one on one coaching. But then there was also a huge percentage of women that really just wanted to continue applying the Executive Ahead of Time principals over and over and over again.
And so that choice to switch to lifetime enrollment was such a huge part of this growth. For me to really say: You know what? I am not giving these women a one and done approach. I'm going to work with them forever, literally forever. Lifetime, right? Until I stop coaching. I am there with you and I'm going to take you across multiple, multiple, multiple finish lines. And this has been so impactful.
So we actually we ended up enrolling the same number of women inside of Executive Ahead of Time in 2022 as we did in 2021. But because it's now lifetime enrollment, we ended up with over 100 corporate badasses inside of that group who come to the weekly coaching calls, asking questions, engage inside of our community Facebook group, engaging in our monthly roundtable discussions, offering peer advice. And there at so many different stages in your career, both for themselves, but then also in their stages of learning the material.
So some of the women in the group have been in the group for two years and some of the women just started this week. And they're all learning from each other. And it's just so much more impactful in terms of community and growth and an understanding of where you are at in this corporate badass process and in this uncovering and really just believing in yourself. So that is a very significant change to 2022 that I wanted to offer to you.
The other big change just happened a few weeks ago and shifting the podcast to Women Changing Leadership, which was a very significant shift for me and something I'd been thinking about for the past year. But it clicked almost overnight and I decided: Oh wait, I know exactly what this podcast is. And the reason that I knew exactly what this podcast wanted to be for the next 150, 300 episodes was because I was asking myself: What are the women who are getting promoted actually doing? And it was hands down changing The Leadership Table. They were changing their organizations.
What was the outcome of their promotion? It was that they were really able to make the impacts that they wanted to make. And so when I think about this level of contentment that I have in my business right now, it's because of all the work that I did before 2022. And it's because of all the promotions, all of the plateaus, all the different milestones inside of my business that has allowed me to feel like: Wow, I am so happy with the work that I'm doing as a leader, how I'm showing up. I'm in so much integrity.
And so the final piece really felt like Women Changing Leadership. And I have noticed that since I changed the format of this podcast that my settling in my confidence has grown so much, even when I'm doing interviews that you're going to hear. Coming out over the holidays, I've got an entire series for you over the holidays called the Whole Self Series, where I have interviewed women about various different aspects of your life that technically have nothing to do with getting a promotion but have to do with your entire life who you are as a woman, and how we can bring that to The Leadership Table.
So those episodes are coming out. But even in those conversations with the women, you're going to notice that a shift in me and how I'm showing up and engaging in those conversations. So really, really impactful and super proud of that change inside of Executive Ahead of Time.
I also offered a couple of different courses that were super fun. And if you decide to join us in Executive Ahead of Time, then you will get immediate access to all of these trainings that we did in 2022. So please come on in and get going on that. But I did an executive reboot where I went even deeper on the core training modules, answering questions that I've received since I recorded all of these trainings in 2019.
And then I also offered the Summer of Magic. So this goes into some of the wins that we created inside of Executive Ahead of Time and the actual promotion opportunities that happened in Executive Ahead of Time. So promotions can happen super quickly in Executive Ahead of Time. And you'll see that if you join, which is some simple shifts to your communication are going to open up possibilities that were not available to you before. And we have those types of wins consistently.
But in the Summer of Magic, what I did was I asked myself while I was on vacation: what if women could continue to get promoted, even while they were on vacation? Why do we have to wait until performance review time in the fall to get promoted? Can we just get promoted now, even while we're on a two week sabbatical, or four week sabbatical, even while we're traveling the world? Whatever we're doing on vacation. Is it possible to get promoted?
And so I set the goal for the Summer of Magic to get 13 promotions in basically like a six week period.
And we ended up surpassing that goal and having 17 promotions inside of the Summer of Magic. Anywhere from individual contributors moving into management all the way up to two C-suite promotions during that time. We also had a woman who's been in The Leadership Table with me for two years. She came in to Executive Ahead of Time in our initial cohort in 2019, and then she ended up getting her promotion to vice president. And so this is something she's been working on for several years and was able to achieve it as part of the Summer Of Magic.
And the biggest lesson that I wanted to show everybody is that we've put in the work. When you've put in the work, there is that level of contentment, that level of like: I'm going to leave the rest up to the universe because I have done exactly what I need to do. And once we're able to do that final piece, which is letting go and letting the universe work for us, that's when promotion opportunities really come to life. So I was so proud of the Summer of Magic and what we were able to achieve through doing, quote unquote, nothing. But clearly we were not doing nothing. And I think it's really important to realize that we put all the magical ingredients into the stew, and then we opened up these promotion opportunities for ourselves that wouldn't have been possible if we just barreled through it and hustled our way to the other side.
So hugely powerful experience. And in that process, I brought in guest teachers as well to do things from Oracle readings to Reiki trainings to journaling exercises, and again, all of that's available to you inside of Executive Ahead of Time as soon as you join us. And I invite you to do that.
One of the other things that I really want to recognize is Jennifer Fisher, who you have met on this podcast several times...I'm going to have her come back in and talk about her three year journey from vice president to chief sales officer. She got her promotion in 2022 to chief sales officer. Again, it's that inevitability. Like it was of-course-ness to the whole process. But she really did everything I teach over the course of three years, and had all of these wins along the way. And I just wanted to specifically call her out by name because I am so proud of her transitioning into Chief Sales officer and the huge impact that she's making at her organization and and really want to applaud her for that and her growth and willingness to do what I say, to trust and then to take it across the finish line. So I am just so incredibly proud that that happened in 2022.
And then, like I said, we had a couple of layoffs. People unexpectedly having things happen or bosses that were crappy. Just like all kinds of different things. But again, there was that baseline of, ok-ness. That baseline of like knowing that our 3xed vision is inevitable and we're on the right path.
And I think all of that happens through community. Because we're uplifted, we're supportive, we're meeting every single week. We are connecting with the other corporate badasses. Another thing I did was put together an Executive Ahead of Time directory, so that all of these women are connected on LinkedIn. And that directory can also be positioned to recruiters and opportunities that we wouldn't have had available to us in our little vacuum. Like if we were just in our island all by ourselves. So that is a really big transition and thing that happened as part of 2022.
Now, what's next? What's happening in 2023? Now, if you are somebody who has gotten the promotion, you feel that level of contentment, that's starting to feel good for you. You get it, but yet you're like: Oh, I want something more. I know that there is more that I can be giving. What you can start to do, and what I am going to start to do, and I've already started this, is inviting bigger opportunities to come my way.
So in 2023, I plan to double the number of women who are inside of Executive Ahead of Time. So right now we have 100 women, and my plan for the end of 2023 is to have that number at 200. And I'll be doing that by offering very exciting promotions and trainings throughout the year. But most importantly, for empowering you to get yourself into that next level leadership position, because we know that your next promotion is just the beginning and there's such a bigger impact that you can be making at your organization, in the world, in your industries. And I want to spread this message to as many people as possible. So I'm going to be offering a lot of exciting things and incentives inside of Executive Ahead of Time next year.
Again, please don't wait to enroll. One of the things that's probably also going to happen is the price is going to go up in 2023. So if you were thinking about enrolling, just get enrolled now so that you don't have to worry about that. But you still get access to literally everything that we're doing inside of Executive Ahead of Time.
We'll also be growing the programs on the executive path, like The Leadership Table and The Boardroom. The women who've been working with me. But even out of Executive Ahead of Time, if you're looking for more guided coaching, to challenge yourself, not only to get that next promotion, but just: how can I sustain this? How can I keep up this level of executive leadership so that I just become it? And that's the big transition that I notice after people start to move towards their next promotion. It's about embodiment and really becoming that executive leader forever more. Your baseline never changes. You're always that executive leader. And so for me, that's going to require some challenges in terms of pushing myself, figuring out what my next marathon is going to be. What are my next milestones?
I'll be coming out with my second book in 2023 and so really challenging myself to get that going and continue writing that book, getting that out into the world. More talks, more events, more doubling down on my mission to make your next promotion easy so that you can really start to make that impact.
And so all of those things that make me feel incredibly uncomfortable, but I'm wanting to do it. I want to push myself outside of my comfort zone in a way that feels congruent and good to me.
I'm going to continue speaking up, and I think that's probably the thing that pushes my comfort zone the most is, if you've been following me on Instagram, I highly recommend it. Go to @CorporateBadass on Instagram. And I've been making a lot of videos where I say the hard things and I'm saying: what is happening for the women in terms of gender bias in the workplace, things that we're being told, bad advice that we're being given. And it's hard for m e as a leader, I, I don't know, hopefully I make it look easy, but it's not easy to say the things that we all like to be that representative, to be that voice for each and every one of you in a social way. To be willing to just say what's on our mind and that frustration. And then also say it with love and understand that I have so much advice to give every single one of you and how committed and frequent and powerful can I do that in in a bigger, bolder way. So that's my commitment to you in 2023.
And between now and the end of the year, I just want to wish everybody an extraordinarily happy holiday. And I am so blessed in 2022 to have known you, that you have been on this path. I can't believe that we're only on episodes, like what? 154? That we still have so much more to do inside of this podcast, Executive Ahead of Time, my executive path for all the women leaders who have trusted me to guide them, who have trusted me to show them the way, that when I say: you can have both in life, you can have both a career that you love and a life that you love, they have trusted me to show them how to do that. I'm so grateful and I just can't wait to see what happens next for you.
Take care. I'll see you next year. Bye!