When it comes to landing your next promotion, it’s only natural that you’d be thinking about yourself.
You might be wondering why you got passed over for that promotion.
Or you might wonder how you’re going to get ahead when you don’t have a great relationship with your boss.
And focusing on ourselves like this doesn’t just feel a little icky…it feels heavy, right?
But I know YOU. I know that you don’t want to get ahead for purely selfish reasons.
You want to be in community with other leaders. You want to be part of the conversation. And you want to change the face of leadership.
And guess what?
Getting ahead for selfish reasons doesn’t work anyway.
So if you want to get ahead, you need to really tap into those other desires you have.
The desire to make a greater impact. The desire to have a voice at the table because you have brilliant ideas to offer your organization, your team, your community.
So in this episode of Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer, I’m going to show you how to set yourself up for a promotion by focusing on why your organization needs you in a higher level leadership position.
What You'll Learn:
- Why advancing your career without focusing only on yourself is the only way to get promoted
- The three REAL reasons why you actually want to be an executive leader
- How to identify if you have a scarcity mindset
- How to move from a scarcity mindset to one of abundance (and how this will impact your career)
- What ‘15-Minute Ally Meetings’ are, and why you need to book one today
Listen to the Full Episode:
Featured on the Show:
Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of Maximize Your Career. I'm your host, Stacy Mayer. And super excited, as always, to be here with you guys again this weekend.
At the time of recording this episode, I am actually coming off of a wonderful weekend of conferences that I attended for Wisdom 2.0. This is a a mindfulness conference based in San Francisco, but it specifically addresses the intersection between mindfulness and technology. So they had speakers like Tristan Harris who created the movie The Social Dilemma. And another speaker that I really enjoyed is named David Simas, and he was actually a member of the Obama administration and he's now the CEO of the Obama Foundation, an absolutely incredible speaker who talks about politics and mindfulness in conversation.
And and then another incredible woman who I heard speak, her name is Dr. Tiffany Jana. And, oh, this woman is just absolutely on fire. So I've started following her. Her mission is to bring more diversity, but she does that through joy. She talks about inclusivity in all areas of the world, no matter if it's race or gender or whatever, just all different types of inclusion. And bringing joy into the conversation as to what is possible, what is really possible. And her conversation got me super fired up.
So, as you know, my mission is to get powerhouse corporate women and male minority leaders promoted into senior executive leadership positions.
And when I heard her speak, I was like: 'Why do we need to do this?' Because sometimes it gets really serious. These diversity and inclusion conversations can feel a little heavy, like we're bringing up topics that feel uncomfortable to people but are very important to address.
And the way that she presented it in this way of: what is really possible? When we have an organization that has inclusion in all areas as their mission, as part of their core values, what is possible in terms of executive leadership? Leadership is contagious. And when we have those executive leaders that are more empathetic, that are having these difficult conversations on a regular basis, who open up the door for all people at the organization to be able to express how they're feeling, to challenge themselves, to talk about more things other than just: 'did you deliver your product at the end of the week?' And this is why we need powerhouse corporate leaders like you in those higher level executive positions.
And I am just so grateful that you are here listening to my podcast so that we can get you into one of those positions, because that is really going to change the face of the leadership table. So thank you so much from the bottom of my heart for being here with me on this mission.
And as I continue to digest all that, I learned from these amazing speakers and read Dr. Jana's books and really just think about my own mission and how I want to serve all of you. Yeah, it's just exciting as to what is really possible. So thank you. Thank you all so much for being here.
In today's episode, I want to talk a little bit about this all or nothing mentality that you are using to get ahead in senior executive leadership.
So first, let's back up and let's think about why do you want to be in a senior executive leadership position, and you've heard me talk about this before, but it really comes down to three things. It comes back down to impact influence and energy. And what that looks a little bit like is you want to make a bigger impact at your organization. You really want to affect the bottom line. You want to be included in the conversations at the executive table. You want to be paid for your ideas, not just the hours that you put in at work. You want to have real influence at your organization so you can bring other leaders up so that you can coach you, so you can mentor, so you can become a thought leader in your own right, in your bigger communities. So that when you get to the point of retirement, you can look back and you can look at your career, and it just it wasn't just an exhausting experience. And speaking of exhausting, you want to have the energy to maintain all of that so that you can really love your job. You could show up, but then you can also cut it off so that you can be very present for your family. So that you can do other things in your life and not just be working 80 hour weeks.
And so a lot of times the people who listen to my podcast, one of the challenges is they don't put themselves out there. They don't want to hire executive leadership role because they're already so far into the weeds that they can't imagine adding more to their plate. But the real truth is the impact and the influence that you're going to have at your organization has to also start with having more energy and being able to pull yourself out of the weeds so that you can have those higher level conversations.
So I want to start with that. As in what? Why are we doing this? Why are we putting ourselves out there? Because of community. We want to be a part of community. Many of you are not looking to get into a senior executive leadership role so that you can be a dictator and just tell every single person what to do. You want to be a part of the conversation. That's it. You want to have influence. You want to be included. And this doesn't require you to be the biggest, baddest, bestest person at your organization. And you know that. You want to be a part of a team effort. You see other executives and you're like: "I could do that. I could do that role. I could be a part of those conversations."
So all of that is very inclusive. It's actually it's connection. It's community. OK, and then now I'm going to go to what you're actually doing right now to get yourself into that senior executive leadership role, and this is what you're doing. You're thinking all about yourself.
And so you're thinking: 'Ugh, I deserve a better role.' You're thinking things like: 'Why? Why don't they just promote me? Why did they promote Jim and they didn't promote me?' You're thinking: 'I don't get along with my boss. How am I ever going to get ahead?' You're thinking about yourself in that: 'My boss is already a director. I'm a senior manager, my next level as director, how am I supposed to become a director, because he's already a director?' You're thinking: 'I can't have conversations with him because that'll be threatening to him and his role.' And then he's probably also saying the same thing: 'I don't want to support her because I'm a director. And how am I supposed to support her to get promoted? Because then it takes over my role.' Do you see how selfish this is?
It feels heavy. It's like me, me, me, me, me, me, me. And what I want you to see in today's episode is that the reason that you're having difficulty getting ahead is because you're thinking only about yourself and your own personal needs. And you're not actually focusing on what I talked about, which is: 'I want to be in a senior executive leadership role so that I can be a part of the conversation. So that I can actually make a bigger impact in community, not just by myself.' If I thought that I was going to become a CFO and then I was going to have to do everything myself, I wouldn't go for it. I would be like: 'Oh, God, I don't want that role.' But as you continue to move up, you realize it's more and more important that you have that personal board of directors, that you have those people who surround you, who help you, who lift you up so that you can make big, bold decisions, but you're doing it as part of a larger conversation.
Now, I'm going to take a step back and I want to talk for a minute about scarcity vs. abundant mindset. And I really dug into this concept in a book called The Soul of Money by Lin Twist. And I was actually given this book 10 years ago as part of a meditation retreat that I attended in San Francisco. And I read the book at the time. And I sort of got it. I was like: 'Oh, yeah, you know, I probably have a scarcity mindset when it comes to money and abundance. And I'm always thinking I never have enough. And then now, more recently, my business coach actually suggested that we, as a group, read this book again. And I was like: 'Oh, I have that book. It's on my shelf. Let me revisit this.' And I saw it at a whole different level. Ten years later, I was able to really think about this idea of scarcity versus abundance. So Lynne Twist talks about how she worked for The World Hunger Project and she talks about how she traveled all over the world and worked in villages in Africa where people did not have enough resources and enough food to literally, like, eat or live. And she would see these small villages have this abundant mindset. This idea that there was always enough, even though from our standards, there was not enough at all. They didn't have enough. But yet there was so much joy and peace and love in their communities because they had this abundance mindset.
Now let's go to us in our culture and think about what a scarcity mindset looks like for you. This idea, and I'll just read you a definition that I found that I actually think is quite useful:.
"A scarcity mindset is the belief that there will never be enough, resulting in feelings of fear, stress and anxiety. On the other hand, an abundance mindset flows out of a deep inner sense of personal worth and security."
So I want you to ask yourself, where am I making decisions from this scarcity mindset? So when we think about getting to that next level of leadership, are you doing exactly what I said, which is: it's all or nothing. Either my boss leaves so I can get promoted, or I have to leave the company in order to get promoted, or some big shift has to occur. Which is very selfish. Which is all about you. Which always gives you those feelings of fear and resentment and that there's never enough.
This plays out all the time in terms of money. I don't have enough. And what I want to start to shift you into in today's episode is that abundance mindset. And the interesting thing is, is that when we have this abundance mindset, that is actually why we're going to get promoted into senior executive leadership. That is literally the solution to your problem.
So I have a program called Executive Ahead of Time, you've heard me talk about it a lot on this broadcast. But this concept of Executive Ahead of Time is how can we start to begin to be the executive now. So whatever level of leadership we're in, we're going to start thinking and communicating like a senior executive leader now – where we are in our current role. And the thing that is, is that when you start thinking of yourself as a senior executive leader already, you are going to create that abundance mindset for yourself. It's the only way that it works.
Here's the opposite of that. So you might be somebody who is overqualified for your position. You might be somebody who is very underpaid and overqualified. And that could be true. And you also have a scarcity mindset, which is fear and rejection and that you're not in the right role. So you're trying to get ahead with literal brute force. Like: 'I need to show them and I need to tell them that I am ready for that next level role. I need to go around my boss. I need to skip three levels. I need to do this. I need to do that. I'm not making enough money.
And so every day that you're waking up, you feel like you're in scarcity. There's never enough. You're not getting ahead.
So now let's think about the Executive Ahead of Time/abundance mindset, what that actually looks like in practice. So when you have that abundance mindset that there is enough for everybody, so first of all, you realize that your goal is to be part of a community. It's not just you getting ahead. It's not for selfish reasons. You understand that the reason that you want to get ahead is to actually affect the company's bottom line because you have brilliant ideas, because you can make changes at the top. Because you want to be part of a connection, part of a bigger community. And when you realize that, when you feel it in your bones, when you understand where I'm headed and the direction that I want to give back to this organization, and I can do that if I am at a higher level executive position, then you are more willing to put yourself out there. You're more willing to have those higher level conversations.
I have a concept that I created called '15-Minute Ally Meetings'. These are a series of 15 minute conversations that you're having on a regular basis with executive leadership.When you don't feel like it's just me and it's all about me getting ahead, when you feel like it's about understanding how your organization functions at a higher executive level, those '15-Minute Ally Meetings' become easy. They're a piece of cake. Because you want to understand. You want to have conversations with your C-Suite executives. You want to understand how they became executive leaders, because someday you're going to be a part of them. You already are them. So you don't have any difficulty having these conversations. You don't have difficulty having a conversation with your direct boss about your career ambitions because it's not threatening to him. You're not saying: 'I'm going to take over your job.' You're just saying: 'look like I want to grow. I'm ready to grow at this organization and I'm going to figure it out. I'm resourceful.' In order to be a senior executive leader any way, you have to be incredibly resourceful.
So you're having these conversations and you're not afraid because it's part of abundance. There's enough to go around. There's enough for everybody.
Now, another reason why I wanted to do today's episode is simply because I felt that many of you aren't going for those higher executive leadership positions simply because you feel like the only way you can do it is to be selfish. So this is like why we're head down, why we're so focused on our work all of the time, because we really do have this inherent need to affect the company. We don't want it to be all about ourselves. And so the way that we do that is by doing a really good job. So being a great manager for your team, focusing on your deliverables, making sure that your score scorecards up to date, that you always hit your deadlines. All of those different things.
And what I hope that you can get out of this episode is that there is a way to advance your career without it being selfish. Not only is there a way to advance your career without it being all about you, but it's actually the only way.
We see people all the time get promoted because it's all about them, right? And, you know, you see that you know that person, right, who's extremely selfish, extremely ego driven, and they keep raising their hand like I want a promotion, I want a promotion. And they make friends and they get up there and they go for it. And they get promoted. So it does happen that you can get put into a senior executive leadership position by being a jerk off. But I know that's not you, right? If you get into a senior executive position, you want to do it your way. That's actually changing the face of the leadership table.
This other person who is very selfish and has a scarcity mindset and just feels like he has to bully his way to the top, he may still get there, but that's not really changing the face of the leadership table. We're bringing more inclusivity. We're bringing more connection. And so what I'm offering to you is that the way to get there is to bring more inclusivity, to bring more connection, to bring more abundance to the process. And at the end of the day, what you're going to see is that you actually enjoy your job more because it doesn't feel like you're hung out to dry. It doesn't feel like you constantly have to prove yourself with your deliverables. Can you imagine being in a scarcity mindset and we know it? You don't you don't even have to imagine this, and you're in the C-Suite already. There is so much responsibility at that level that if you're constantly thinking, oh, my gosh, I have to prove myself, oh, my gosh, I have to show them how great I am. Oh, my gosh, I have to do this and this and this...I don't want to be in that position. That feels like crap, right? You want to have influence, impact and energy to lead at that higher executive level.
So my directive for you today in today's episode is to ask yourself: Am I trying to get ahead with a scarcity mindset with that mindset? Let me look at this definition again here. With the belief that there will never be enough resulting in feelings of fear, stress and anxiety. Am I trying to get ahead because I feel like I'm holding on by a string, because I have to. Or, am I trying to get myself into that next level of leadership in this feeling of abundance, this inner sense of personal worth and security, knowing that I was meant for so much more, knowing that the impact that I can make at my organization is so much greater if I am in a senior executive leadership position. Start becoming that Executive Ahead of Time, create that abundance in your life, and you will make it into that senior executive leadership position.
And my friend, if it's not at your current organization, you will find another place. You will find another leader to work for, because your self-worth and the impact that you were meant to make is so frickin great that you're willing to just go for it, no matter where it is, no matter what it is, it's not all or nothing. But we do need you in a senior executive leadership position. So let's start thinking about abundance and let's get ourselves there.
Thank you so much for listening and have a wonderful 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.