Hello, corporate badasses. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer.
And wow. I am not only thrilled to be here with you this evening as I'm recording this podcast, but I am so excited to announce that we're at episode #50.
Such a huge milestone and such an amazing accomplishment both for me and also I want to commend you, the listener, who has been listening to this podcast throughout the year and been implementing all of the lessons and teachings that I've been sharing with you here on this podcast. Because I know that you're implementing because you guys tell me that you are. And you're telling me that this stuff works. And that's what has been guiding my podcast and the topics that I cover here on this podcast, is what is actually getting corporate leaders promoted into senior executive leadership positions. And that is what I'm sharing with you on this podcast each and every week. So congratulations.
And to celebrate episode #50. I'm actually going to do a few different things. So one of the things is, is you're going to see in the month of December, I'm going to be running a contest where I'm going to be giving away an Amazon gift card and maybe a few other things for my podcast listeners. So definitely look for that.
And in today's episode, I'm going to be talking about some of the lessons that I've learned over the last year in terms of leadership. So, some of it's going to be a personal story, what I've learned for myself, and you'll be able to apply it to yourself as well.
So let's start with 2019.
It's the end of the year and I had this idea for a podcast and I actually I was pretty excited about it. I felt really strongly about it. As many of you know, I was an actress for over 20 years. So I love being on stage. I love talking, I love performing all of those really great things. But I knew that I wouldn't have a problem speaking, but I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to talk about.
So I decided that I would write the first three episodes and figure it out after that. Like, I'll just figure it out. Now, in 2019 I was pretty clear in the work that I was doing. I had several 1:1 client and I was getting them promoted. So I was always the work that I was doing and I knew that I wanted the focus of this podcast to be about getting corporate leaders promoted into senior executive leadership positions. And I'll share with you some more focus and what I learned along the way and later on in this episode.
So end of 2019, I've got this idea for a podcast. I'm ready to launch it, even though I only know the first three episodes. I actually recorded the first episodes in a soundproof booth. So I had a little sound studio. I was ready to go, recorded the episodes, and something happened. It was a little bit of a combination with iTunes schedule and just some logistics, and I wasn't actually able to launch the podcast when I originally wanted to, which it before the holidays in around mid December timeframe.
And I remember being really frustrated and nervous because I was so gung ho. And if you're somebody who's been really excited about something, then you just get like really pumped up and you're just like: 'I just really want to do this thing.' And then it's going to take a month longer than you think.
So I was like: 'OK, practice my patience. It will happen when it's ready.'
So we officially launched the first week of January and I had those first three episodes ready to go. Still didn't know what I was going to talk about. And I guess that's my first lesson that I want to share with you guys today is start before you're ready. You'll figure it out along the way. And I am so grateful that I did that. Because even if I had written the topics ahead of time for the first twenty episodes and I knew exactly and had every single thing planned out perfectly, as we all know, it doesn't actually turn out that way.
And it's so important that we as leaders just kind of dive right in and start before we're ready. We create parameters in place so that we don't fail. So what are the commitments that I had was that I wasn't going to not produce an episode and that I would figure it out. So I made that commitment to myself and I completely succeeded. And I'm super proud of that commitment and then my ability to succeed.
So I talked about how in 2019, early 2020, I was coaching 1:1. And one of the things that I'm super proud of is that now at the end of 2020, I've actually launched my first group coaching program.
So as I've been recording this podcast, it became clearer and clearer to me what my overall mission and values are and what I stand for and what really matters to me in the world. And it just became super apparent to me that my main goal was not just to get corporate managers promoted, but it was literally to change the face of the executive table, to bring more diversity to the leadership table.
And I came up with this mission of getting a thousand corporate leaders, under-represented powerhouse, amazing leaders, giving a thousand of them the tools to get promoted into senior executive leadership positions each year worldwide. So that was a vision that I came up with probably in about March or April. And the reason why I'm mentioning it is twofold.
One is because I came up with that mission because I was doing the podcast, because I was doing the work, because of what I was seeing with my 1:1 clients. But whenever you have a thought leadership platform, like a podcast or you're getting up on panels or you're on a board or you're talking about your own leadership philosophy, it really helps you hone in on what actually matters. And you start to be able to understand it both for yourself, but then you're able to articulate that for others, and it's really inspiring and very motivating.
So speaking of motivating, so I had this idea that I was going to get a thousand corporate managers, that I'm thinking like really far out, like five years from now, right? That every single year getting a thousand corporate managers promoted is a long term goal.
Well, towards the end of 2020, it became really apparent that it didn't have to be a long term goal. That it could actually happen in 2021. It could really happen.
And this is what I teach my clients all the time. That you want to be in the C-suite someday? What if that someday happened in the next three years? What if it happened in one year? What would you need to change if you were going to get yourself set up for that position?
So I really started taking my own medicine and I decided to launch my first group training program so that I could connect with and share this teaching on a deeper level with more and more people.
So I launched Executive Ahead of Time this year and it's an incredible program. We're actually leading the first cohort through that program and they're already getting such fantastic results that I wanted to just take a quick Segway and share with you what some of those results are.
So these are some of the posts included in the program is a Voxer group, and we have corporate leaders who are all challenging themselves to do better, to to step up, to take their leadership to that next level. And here's some of what they said in just the first week of the program.
Now I want to share with you some of the amazing wins that the clients in Executive Ahead of Time have been experiencing in just a few short weeks. Here is one from Susan. I'll call her Susan. Just for privacy.
"The module this week felt like it was 100% for me. I am totally in the weeds. That was an aha moment for me earlier this year, but wasn't sure how to get out. When I had my one on one with my boss this week, I led my answers to her agenda topics with the high level answer rather than the details. Overall, it had a positive effect on the conversation. She only asked for more details on one or two topics, rather than giving me all the details on everything."
Yes, yes, yes, Susan. So, so good. And another person wrote in in our Voxer boxer group:
"Oh my God, Stacy, Lesson two, strategic thinking versus strategy strikes home. It's like someone trying to look over my shoulder and saying: 'this is what you need to correct in your delivery.'.
It is so important to have the actual skills to know what it is that you're going to say.
And then the final win that I want to share with you is:.
"I made another bold move this morning with the CEO. Offering my suggestions. He liked the suggestions and is working to implement them."
This is what it means to become the Executive Ahead of Time is you start to speak like a senior executive leader and you start to share your ideas like a senior executive leader.
So just in the first week of the program, so many of them have been shifting the way that they're communicating with their bosses.
This is so important. And what it is also what is also happening is I am getting closer and closer myself, personally, to my goal of getting a thousand managers promoted into senior executive leadership positions because I'm able to get this information to more and more people and it's so huge.
So this kind of segues into the next lesson I want to share with you, which is that, you know, you find your leadership style by sharing, right? By doing, by taking action. And you also find your own true voice, your authenticity. So many of us want to be more authentic at work. We feel like we put on this look or how we're supposed to be at work. And we wish that we could be authentic, but we don't really know what that is. And sometimes it's just a matter of taking action, actually doing something. And when you take that action, you start to find your authentic voice. So I didn't know what my podcast was going to sound like a year later. And I bet even if I go back and listen to those first couple of episodes, it probably sounds a little clunkier, right? I built my confidence over time. So that is the only way confidence works is through action. You have to build it over time.
I also talked to you guys about one of the wins was just that I didn't really know what my topics were going to be. And one of the lessons that I learned is that I have a lot to say. I have a ton of opinions and so many of my clients experience this as well. So they wonder how are they going to speak to the vision? What would they even talk to their boss about if they weren't talking about all the details of their job? And then when they're able to start talking about the strategy, they realize that they actually have so much to say and they can't stop talking. So tapping into that confidence and that power inside you is so important.
Another thing that I learned about myself is that I really love pushing myself. I love challenging myself. I love setting deadlines. I am not going to miss a podcast episode no matter what. It doesn't even occur to me that I would miss that. Just like you're not going to miss a deadline that has been promised. We find a way and we're so resilient no matter what is happening.
So I talked about how when I first started my podcast, I had this like actual recording studio. And then, of course, Covid hit and I ended up giving up my office space and now I'm working from the corner of my bedroom. So I turned my studio into my bedroom. I mean, it's absolutely insane. It's ridiculous. And I'm doing it. And I'm resilient and I'm figuring it out. And talk about a confidence boost.
Now, this next lesson that I want to share with you is super duper fun, so. You might be like me when I surround myself with very powerful people, I feel more powerful. And so this is why it's so important to get yourself some really incredible mentors and colleagues and people that you're surrounded by that really inspire you to be, honestly, a better version of yourself.
So doing the interviews for my podcast has actually really helped me step up my game because I basically look on the Internet, or LinkedIn, or read books, and I think, you know what? It would be really awesome to have that person on my podcast. And I just ask them and some people don't get back to me and some people do. And it is so it's so rewarding to have them say yes. And then it's also rewarding. And because I get them on the podcast and I feel like they're my equal. So I haven't had anybody on the podcast that I felt like was sort of up on a pedestal and that I was down here. It's like, no, I admire them. I think they're amazing. I think they're incredible. I love the work that they're doing, but we're equals. We're both at the same level. And I treat them that way in the interview. And I feel that way and I really, really believe it. And the same thing happens for you. So you might be looking at the C suite. You might be seeing people and think: 'Oh, that person is so amazing. And they seem to have it all together and they seem to have all the answers.' But you put yourself in the room with that person and you start having ideas and conversations with that person like they're your peer, that's when you're not only going to believe what is possible or you're going to start to see what is truly possible for yourself.
Now, I talked about my interviews as being something that was really fun and engaging and very powerful for me, but here is what was even more powerful for me in terms of leadership, is I actually thought that I would bring these really important people onto my podcast and that would be the highlight, right? I would have these episodes where I would offer you advice and talk to you about my ideas, but really it would be about the very important people that I would have on my podcast, the famous people or whatever. The people who already wrote books and had ideas out there in the world. And I thought that those would be the highlights of the podcast. Well, it turns out that that is not necessarily true. So while those episodes are really amazing and they attract a lot of people and you, the listeners, are listening to them, the episodes where I get the most feedback, the most downloads, and the episodes that are the most impactful for you, based on your feedback are the solo episodes, are the episodes where I am just teaching you and offering my advice. Because it's good. It's valuable and it matters and it works. It matters to you.
And the reason why I'm sharing this with you is that it can feel really intimidating at first to start to share your ideas and to speak up at the executive meetings. Because I guarantee you're not a self-centered person. You're not a person that just likes to hear yourself talk. You want your words to actually mean something just like I do. I'm not making these episodes for my health. I'm making them for you guys. I'm making them so that you can get yourself promoted and get the recognition that you deserve.
And so it's an interesting thing to start to think about is that people really start to care about your ideas and they actually matter. And it's not self-serving. It actually serves the company at the highest level. You being in a senior executive position, serves the company at a much higher level than where you are now.
It's been an absolutely incredible year. I'm super excited for what 2021 is going to bring for me and my business and my clients and this podcast and all of the work that I plan on doing in this world. And I just want to say thank you guys so much for listening.
I want to encourage you to continue to spread the word about this podcast. If it has helped you at all, leave me a review on iTunes. It really helps more people find me. Definitely check out the contest that I'm going to be having so that you can get your hands on some free swag and also so that you can really help me on my mission of bringing more diversity to the leadership table, because honestly, the time is now. We've already waited too long. You've already waited too long to step up your game. All of the tools are there. They're all right here in my past 50 episodes and then my future 50 episodes. And I just couldn't be more thrilled to share them with you.
Thank you so much for listening. And I'll see you next week.