Did you ever struggle to eat your vegetables when you were a kid?
Sure, your parents told you that vegetables are good for you, but you still didn’t really want to eat them, right?
The same thing can be said for building your network.
Every leadership coach will tell you that you need to develop a network of mentors, sponsors, and high level leaders, but….
…like most busy corporate managers, you put it off until you are suddenly in need of help.
But surrounding yourself with powerful role models isn’t just about asking for help. It is a way for you to be constantly reminded of the leader YOU want to be.
Not sure where to start?
You’re in luck. In this episode of Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer, I show you how to start building these connections starting today. As in: you’ll be ready to get to work as soon as you’re done listening to this episode.
PLUS, I’ll reveal the reasons why you don’t have powerful role models already.
What You'll Learn:
- Why the way you’re thinking about building your network right now is completely wrong
- The energizing impact of having high-powered leaders in your corner
- Exactly why having a strong network is non-negotiable if you want to reach high levels of leadership
- A critical question that will help you uncover your subconscious resistance to becoming an executive leader
- PLUS a super practical homework assignment designed to help you start taking ownership of your career and be inspired by people around you today
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
- Marshall Goldsmith’s How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Next Raise and What Got You Here Won't Get You There: How Successful People Become Even More Successful!
- Ep #38: How to Embrace and Elevate Diversity in the Workplace with Minette Norman
- Barbara Huson’s Sacred Success: A Course in Financial Miracles (formerly Barbara Stanny)
- Join the waitlist for my 6-week group coaching intensive, Executive Ahead of Time
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer. And super excited, as always, to be with you guys this week.
I have had a really fun week. We kicked off another round of Executive Ahead of Time. And I've been connecting with these powerhouse corporate leaders and showing them all of the things that they need to do to get themselves promoted and really set themselves up so they can start to be seen as that senior executive leader today. And they're already making so much progress and really being able to put what I am teaching into action immediately, which is really, really exciting to watch and to see the results of that. So I should have some more wins for you guys next week on my podcast.
But for today, before I get started, I wanted to share with you a review that was written about my podcast. And I think that this is really helpful to share these types of reviews so that you as a listener know why you're listening, why this podcast is valuable to so many people. But also you'll know how you can begin to share this information with other people. Because we all know that amazing corporate leader that just seems to keep getting passed over for promotion, not able to live to their fullest potential, feeling frustrated at work, not able to get ahead. And this podcast really gives you the resources to break out of that cycle.
So I want to share with you these reviews every week and encourage you as well, if this podcast is useful for you, to share a review. Let us know on iTunes what you love, what's working for you, and what kind of results are you seeing because of this podcast?
So I had a phone conversation with somebody recently. This was a a consult, a conversation about my programs and also offering some advice to this corporate leader about what he could do differently and how he could begin showing up in his role. And one of the things that he mentioned to me at the end of the conversation was about how much he had been enjoying the podcast. And he shared with me that Marshall Goldsmith, who you may have heard of, he's a phenomenal executive coach. He's also the author of two books he's the author of several books, but two books that I quote from quite regularly, How Women Rise and What Got You Here Won't Get You There.
He really sees things in a very unique way and in the same sort of mission that I'm in, which is to give individuals tools to advance their own careers, to be able to take ownership of their own career.
So this leader said to me that: I listened to a couple of different podcasts, one of them being Marshall Goldsmith, and the reason why your podcast is unique and really stands out to me is because it's actual practical application. So you take what I'm hearing from somebody like Marshall Goldsmith and then you say: 'OK, this is what it actually looks like for that person this week. This is how you can actually start to put this into action.'
And that's extremely humbling for someone like me to hear, because I admire all of these phenomenal people who have gone before me, and yet I'm still able to pave my own path. And that's what I want you to start to be able to do. I want you to start to see how you can have all of these incredible leaders ahead of you who have done really phenomenal things in their career, yet you can take what they have done and then you can still have your own leadership path.
So the review that I want to share with you, it says: 'Practical, high energy and sincere.' So thank you so much. Weekend Warrior, for your five star review on iTunes. He shared with us:.
'From the first podcast, I knew Stacy was plugged into the reality of corporate vice president, manager, employee dynamics. My company asked me to relocate away from my company headquarters to an embedded position with the prime contractor in another city. I quickly realized that I needed advice on how to manage my career as a remote employee. Stacy provides inspiring, sincere and practical advice to overcome being out of sight, out of mind with my company leadership. I now have a much more proactive and informed approach to my professional development and executive communication.'
Thank you again, Weekend Warrior, for that five star review on iTunes.
This is so important. One of the biggest lessons, and you've heard me talk about it in my podcast over the last couple of months in particular as I've been reflecting on 2020, is that in some ways being forced to work remotely, every single one of us not having the leadership team pop into our office, has been one of the biggest blessings that I think that we have all received if we handle it correctly.
And so what I mean by that is that we look at the fact that we're remote as being trouble. So just like in this review, he said that this was a challenge for him. And of course, it has been a challenge for many of you. But I want you to also remember that having someone pop into your office occasionally is not actually a strategy. Right. It's just something that happens. And so the blessing of 2020 is that it's forced all of us to take stock and to say; 'How am I deliberately creating those relationships with people around me?' And that's what I want you to start realizing.
So if it's been a good year since you've had a decent conversation with one of the executives that you used to speak with all of the time, now is the time to actually create a plan so that you can get in front of this person. And so that is one of the things that this review was really pointing to is that I give him, in my podcast, strategies to be able to work as a remote employee, somebody who is not in the same even city as the executive leadership team, and understand how he can proactively still continue to get in front of them. So that is what I encourage each and every one of you to start doing.
Now, in today's episode, I'm going to focus as well on those relationships.
Why it is so important to have very strong, foundational, mentoring relationships and to surround ourselves with powerful executive leaders.
Now, many of you understand the power of having a mentor, or especially a sponsor. A sponsor is somebody who really advocates on your behalf, and it's somebody who can actually put you up for a promotion. So that feels very powerful having somebody who's on your side, who really puts you up and says; 'You know who would be really fantastic for this job? Susan. Susan is the person that we should be thinking about.' Of course there is benefit to that.
But I'm going to tell you another side and another reason why it's so beneficial to surround ourselves with very powerful role models.
So that's what today's episode is going to be focused on. But before I get into that, I really want you to understand why you're not surrounding yourself with really powerful role models.
And the first reason is because you haven't actually thought about it as a priority. You're not prioritizing surrounding yourself with powerful role models. So I would like to encourage you after today's episode, to simply prioritize it.
Now, networking and mentorship gets a really bad rap in the sense that we all know we should be doing it right. It's like eating our vegetables. We all know we should be doing it, but we're not. And so we can tend to beat ourselves, especially if we lose our job and then we wish that we had kept up with our network. We wish that we had kept up with some of those people that could be really beneficial to us right now.
So the first thing I want you to realize is: it's not because we don't know that mentor or expanding our network is not a big deal. Just like eating our vegetables, we know is a big deal, but we're not doing it. So I just want you to realize the only reason that you're not doing it is because it's not a priority for you. And I think that that's because you're thinking about it the wrong way.
So when we tend to think about mentors or sponsors, we always are thinking about what they can give to us. So if I had this sponsor, then they would be giving me something right? They would be putting me up for promotion. They would be advocating on my behalf. They would be giving me something. What we can take from this other person.
Same way with mentors. The mentor is usually, especially if it's somebody that we really admire, it takes their time. And so we feel like we're putting them out right. We feel like we are taking up their time. And same way with network. When we approach networking as being something that we only do when we need something from someone, when we approach our network as somebody that we reach out to when we need a job, then we're not looking at the right way. We're looking at what we can get from that person.
I want you to start to shift into this idea that it is, first of all, a mutual relationship. I did a really powerful interview with Minette Norman several months ago in 2020. So go back and look at that. I'll link to it in the show notes.
But in it you get to hear from the mentors perspective all of the benefits for the mentor. And if you've ever had the opportunity to mentor yourself, you know that there are tremendous benefits to being a mentor.
So the first thing I want you to start to realize is that it's not always a take, take, take relationship. And that it's actually your responsibility to make sure that it's a give and take relationship. And one of the ways that we can make sure that it's a give and take relationship is to be proactive about it. It's not something that we do when we desperately need something. It's something that we just do all of the time. It's part of our high performance leadership regimen. When we know that executive leadership, you have to surround yourself with powerful mentors and sponsors and a big network of people because it's lonely at the top. So who else are you going to have to talk to about some of your challenges, but also because it's a priority.
And continuing along this theme of a priority.
I want you now to start to look at some of the other reasons why this is a priority. So again, it's not just what you can learn or get from that person. And let's say that you're taking the proactive approach where you are meeting with mentors and your network and that's just a part of your daily regimen, it's just part of what you do on a weekly basis, how you connect with people.
Now we're going to look at why it's actually a priority for you as a senior executive leader. And this is a little bit of the flip that I want to do for you in today's episode. I really want to show you. And my hope is by showing you how it's actually a priority for you, that you'll start to do it right. You'll actually start to take your own medicine, eat your vegetables. It's not just because vegetables are good for you. So this is the shift. This is where I'm headed. It's not just because vegetables are good for you. It's actually because vegetables give you energy.
I'm going to say that again. Well, let me just plug in the word mentor.
It's not just because mentors are good for you, it's because mentors give you energy.
And not just energy, as in: I have more energy, I feel fired up, but also magnetic energy.
Now I'm going to speak a little bit more to that so that I don't freak you guys out. But this is very true.
So part of becoming the Executive Ahead of Time is that throughout your entire body and your entire being, you are the executive before you even become the executive.
So people start to see you as an executive, so that when that promotion opportunity comes up, they just say: 'Of course. Of course Susan is the first person that we think of when that opportunity presents itself because she's already doing the role. She is that executive. She's exuding executive status.' That is being the Executive Ahead of Time. It also gives you the confidence to say 'yes' when the opportunity is presented to you.
So if we're thinking about energy in that way, the energy that we're putting out into the world and showing other people, here's where I want you to start thinking about the power of surrounding yourself with positive role models, whether it's a mentor or your network or a sponsor or whoever. I was listening to an interview last week with Barbara Huson. She is a phenomenal woman and a wealth expert for other women. And she has a fantastic book called Sacred Success. Definitely check her out. I will link to her information in the show notes.
But one of the things that she was talking about that just really resonated with me and hit me hard is that, it's not enough when we're trying to have success... So you're looking to move into an executive role or maybe you're looking to make a bigger impact at your organization, whatever that means to you, you're looking for something more. You're looking for growth. It's not enough to just want that, because what you're going to start to see is even though you want it really bad and you feel very aligned with it, there's something inside you that's keeping you from getting it. And so Barbara Huson in this interview talked about law of attraction versus law of congruence. And what she meant by that is sometimes with the law of attraction, there's something deep inside of us that actually doesn't want to have success. And until that is examined, we are not ever going to get the thing that we want.
So we can say, of course I want to have an executive level title. That is what I want. I've wanted that for a very long time. I've been working towards it. I feel ready for it. But yet we're still not getting it. And one of the reasons that we're not getting it is because it's this idea of: be careful what you ask for.
So she gave an example of a woman entrepreneur who was having challenges in her business and she couldn't make enough money. She wasn't able to make the income that she wanted to be making and she couldn't quite figure out why. And Barbara asked her if she had any role models or knew anyone. Like what was the first thing that she thought of when she thought of a wealthy business owner? And what happened was her brain went to an old lady in a very fancy car all by herself.
And so one of the things that was keeping her from having success is she equated being wealthy, especially a wealthy woman, with being alone. That you would push other people away?
So that's the first thing that I want you guys to ask yourself, and this gets a little bit deep, why do I not want to be an executive? And actually, it doesn't even get that deep, because I asked my clients this all the time. Do you have any examples in your life of successful executives who are doing what you want to be doing? And almost all of the time? The answer is no. That they have a really difficult time thinking of that person, that successful executive that also has a very powerful home life. That successful executive that's not working around the clock. That successful executive that's not pissing everybody off. That successful executive that has emotional intelligence. That's able to make big, strong, tough decisions and create more abundance for every single person at their organization.
Now, here's the kicker, those executives exist. They are out there, for sure. I talk to them, I bring them on to my podcast. You get to listen to them. Those are the type of executives that are building an executive career that they love. One that really suits them, that really fits all of their needs, that we can have everything that we want. We can be making a larger impact at our organization and be able to unplug and go on vacation. That is possible to us. But here's the kicker.
If in your subconscious you think that having the next title is going to create a ton more work for you, that's going to give you a bunch of headaches, that is going to turn you into this evil leader. You aren't going to actually get it. Because, thankfully, in some ways, our subconscious actually protects us.
So in Barbara Houston's example with the entrepreneur, she didn't want to become a lonely, old, wealthy woman. But when we keep it in our subconscious, when you don't even realize that's the thing that's driving you, then you just will not be getting your goals and you won't know why. You'll just be frustrated, you'll start to say: 'Well, maybe it wasn't meant to be. Maybe it didn't matter to me.'
And so then you make excuses or you don't really go for it or you end up just staying exactly where you are. And so this is the power of surrounding ourselves with other powerful role models and other powerful people. I want you to have on default what a powerful executive looks like. What a person that embodies the type of leadership that you really want to be doing. This is your work, it is part of you being able to obtain that next level success is to surround yourself with positive mentors, network and sponsors.
Now, the first thing that might come to mind is: 'Well, I don't know anybody like that.' And great, great. Because what that does, once again, is it points to the fact that that is probably part of the reason that you're not able to enjoy success is because what you see, you don't want to recreate. You don't want to become that leader. And so then therefore you end up making choices that keep you from becoming that leader.
So after today's episode, I want you to start to own the fact that you were in control of your career and you're also in control of your subconscious thinking.
So your homework assignment for this week is to find a mentor. Find somebody that you really admire. If you have never met this person before, great. Follow them on social media. Follow them on LinkedIn. Watch their videos. Understand what it is that they're doing differently. Even very important people, you can also reach out to them and try and schedule a phone conversation. Attend conferences. Network with other people that are possibly having the same challenges that you are and that want something more and aren't quite sure how to get there, but you see in them your future potential. You see in them the powerful, amazing, wonderful, loving, diverse, inclusive leader that you really, really want to be in desire to be. So they don't even have to be people who have had that level of success, but they just carry the same values as you.
This is what I want you to start doing it, get inspired by people who actually inspire you, because I guarantee you right now three fourths of the people that are in the roles that you want, are not that inspiring. You don't want, necessarily, what they have or some aspect of what they have.
And the more that you surround yourself with the people that have what you don't want, the longer it's going to take for you to get there.
Are you ready? Are you ready to start taking ownership of your career? Are you ready to purposefully be inspired by those people around you? I know you are, because you're listening to this podcast, this is part of it. Listening to this podcast, seeing what is possible, And really understanding what is consciously or subconsciously getting in your way of making it to that next level of leadership. I can't wait to hear from you. Send me a DM. Let me know who you reached out to. Let me know who you're following. Who are those people that you admire, those leaders, those executives that you want to be like someday? And start to model your thoughts and your conscious thinking around putting yourself in that position.
Thank you so much for being here and I'll see you next week.
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.