Ep #94: Why the ‘Great Resignation’ Is the PERFECT Time For You to Get Out of the Weeds
The Great Resignation is here – and it probably means one BIG thing for you:
You’re more in the weeds than ever before.
👉 Half your direct reports are already out the door
👉 Members of the leadership team are moving on to opportunities elsewhere
👉 And YOU feel like you’re the one who has to hold everything together
And I know all this because I am coaching the corporate women leaders I work with through this exact same dilemma, too.
And if you feel a sense of dread when I tell you that now is the time to get out of the weeds…trust me, I get it.
But, it’s true.
Because if you want to release the overwhelm you are feeling right now (AND make major progress in your career at the same time) you need to do something different.
And the best way to do that is to pull yourself out of the weeds, once and for all.
In this episode of Maximize Your Career with Stacy Mayer, I am going to show you how to do it AND how making this shift will set you up beautifully for the next promotion – and the one after that, and the one after that – all the way to the C-Suite.
If you listen to this episode and think to yourself “I want to think and act like a senior executive now”, then I am here to help. Because you are ready for that next level. Get your next promotion faster and easier than you’ve even imagined by joining at ExecutiveAheadOfTime.com
What You'll Learn:
- Why working your tail off usually doesn’t lead to a promotion
- The truth behind why YOU are the one who can pull yourself into the weeds (not your boss or your organization)
- The link between the Great Resignation and diversity in leadership
- A step-by-step process to get yourself out of the weeds for good
- How getting out of the weeds now will help you own your career, advocate for your promotion, and show up as a visionary leader who can say ‘no’ to everything that isn’t necessary
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 - super excited, as always, to be here with you again this week. Before I get into the content of today's episode, I want to give a very special thank you to you as the listener of my podcast. If it weren't for you wanting to make a bigger impact at your organization, wanting to have a real voice at the table, and the willingness to take the action steps needed to get there - I wouldn't have a podcast. In fact, I wouldn't have a business if a thousand powerhouse corporate women didn't want to get promoted each and every year worldwide.
So, I thank you so much for listening to this, and I want to give an extra special thank you to one of our reviewers on iTunes. Cassidy Jade1 left a five-star review on iTunes, and she said, "My new favorite podcast. Stacy is a wealth of information. I highly recommend this podcast for those of you who are tired of relying on your manager for a career plan and want actionable guidance on how to achieve your career goals." Yes! Great work Cassidy, and I'm glad that you are able to put what I am teaching on this podcast into action because I know so many of you want to feel more confident to lead at that higher executive level.
And the fastest way we're going to get there is by taking action to put ourselves in those higher executive level positions. So, if you're listening to this podcast and you love it as much as Cassidy did, I encourage you to go to iTunes and give us a review. Let other people know what is working for you through this podcast so that we can spread this message and really bring more diversity to the leadership table. And speaking of bringing more diversity to the leadership table, I kicked off another round of my Executive Ahead of Time six-week group coaching intensive. And at the time of recording this podcast, we are only in the Monday of the second week. So really, we've only been doing this group - this round - for one week; and we have already had two promotions inside of the Executive Ahead of Time program.
And that leads me to talk about today's episode, and I'm going to get into that a little bit more about how you can really get that voice at the table. But I want to celebrate, and I want to really highlight what is happening for the women inside of this group and why it is so impactful. So just like Cassidy shared in her review of this podcast, I am all about taking action. And the biggest challenge for women and minority leaders making it into the executive suite is not their incompetence - It's not because they don't have the ability to succeed at those higher executive level roles. And not only succeed - but thrive, but knock it out of the park, but make a huge dent in what the corporation is trying to achieve. The challenge for them is that they don't have the tools to get there. They've never been taught how to communicate and think like an executive leader, and that's where I come in.
And inside of Executive Ahead of Time, I lay out a very simple, clear process that gets you really big wins very, very fast. And why is that? It's exactly for the reason I just stated - you are an excellent manager. You get incredible performance reviews. But the problem is you're just getting pat on the back. And my mission is to no longer just get patted on the back and told that we're doing a great job. My mission is to get you promoted and get paid. I want you to get that higher level executive position. And so that is why I created Executive Ahead of Time to give you those tools to actually launch you into that next level of leadership so that you know what it's going to take. And so, these women take these communication tools, and they implement them immediately.
So last week's episode, I shared with you the first win that we had right on call number one where she let us all know that she got promoted to vice president when she had been trying for a couple of years to get this promotion. And then today, we just had a big share in our Voxer group which is the instant chat messaging app that we use to connect, and share wins and also to get real time coaching for me throughout the six-week process. And one of the women celebrated this morning that she is being offered a position that she would not have applied for otherwise. So, she admitted to us that she tackled her career late in life. She was a stay-at-home mom for a very long time. And then in her late 30s, she decided to go back to school, get her degree, and then she got a role as a financial analyst. And so, she knew that she wanted to make a bigger impact, that she wanted to be able to be a manager - be more of a leader. But at the time, she didn't really know what that would look like for her.
And so, this opportunity presented itself, and she decided to trust her gut and apply for the job. But she didn't just apply for the job. She also had conversations surrounding that application process about how she planned to execute at a higher executive level. She talks about her vision for her team, what she was seeing, where the gaps were. She talked about her vision for her long-term career, how she wants to make this impact at this particular organization. So, promoting her to that next level was just a no brainer. Everybody already loved her. They just needed to trust and see her as a manager, as a leader.
And the good news is, is that now she has the remaining six weeks to really understand how to be incredibly successful in this role and just ultimately knock it out of the park - so that she not only landed this promotion, but she gets the next one and the next one and the next one. Because, quite frankly, she still has 20 years left in her career. That's like half and half. And we think that we have maxed out our career at a certain point. But honestly, as far as I'm concerned, you've only just begun making the impact that you're truly capable of making both at your organization and as a corporate thought leader in the world.
So, I am just absolutely thrilled for everyone inside of Executive Ahead of Time who is taking this time to really put themselves front and center to own their careers, and to make themselves a priority. If you are interested in joining the next cohort, then I recommend scheduling a conversation with me ASAP. I have an application process - and I'll link to that inside of the show notes - where I speak with each of the individuals who are interested in joining the program because I want to make sure that this is the perfect fit for you. So go to StaceyMayer.com/apply - and submit your application. We'll hop on the phone and then we'll talk about the program and also what your challenge is, and what your particular needs are, so that you can also knock your career out of the park. So definitely get on that right away - way before the next group launches so that you don't run out of time.
Now into today's episode - so today I'm going to be talking about how the great resignation is the perfect opportunity for you to get yourself out of the weeds. Now this is going to feel a little bit counterintuitive, but because you might be noticing at your organization right now that you are more in the weeds than ever. And I know this for a fact because all of the leaders that I'm working with in various different capacities are totally stuck in this dilemma. But luckily, they have the tools to pull themselves out of the weeds and to really show up as that excellent leader that your company really, really needs. So, I want you to use this opportunity - what's actually happening in our world today - and use it as a chance to pull yourself out of the weeds forever more. And I'll show you throughout this episode a little bit more of what that looks like for you and how you can use this as that opportunity.
So first of all, I want to describe for you what the 'great resignation' is, and I think that most of you listening, you probably know this already. But you know, at the beginning of May and June, when people were starting to return to work; and it looked like people were actually leaving work. They weren't necessarily wanting to go back into the office. They were asking for their organizations to be more flexible. People were burned out. They were fed up. They have other opportunities at other companies. They have opportunities to work remotely - for whatever reason - people are quitting their jobs.
And there's actually a statistic from Monster.com that says that 95% of employees say they want to quit. And this was a survey just given this past month in August. So, I know this is a bias to survey because it's given by a recruiting agency; and so, they're basically communicating with people who are interested in leaving their jobs. But that being said, you're seeing it. So, I just want you to look at what's happening in your company. I know for a fact people are leaving. Things are getting shuffled around. The executive staff is leaving on their own accord. They're quitting. They're moving on. They have other priorities now. And so, you're seeing it happen regardless; and so, I want you to really take stock - has your workload increased? Has your frustration increased? Has your stress level increased? You probably don't even have to take stock, you know. You're like, 'Yes, it's happening. We are working our tail off.'
And one of the real challenges with really getting into this position where you're working your tail off - is working your tail off doesn't necessarily lead to a promotion. And here is why - and you've experienced this before, too. You take on a big project. You knock it out of the park. You do really great. And at the end of the day, you get some pats on the back, you get some thank yous, you get some kudos, but you don't actually get a promotion or recognition. And so, then you realize at performance review time, 'Oh my gosh, I should have advocated for my promotion a long time ago', but now you have to wait another year. And so, you spend that next year really advocating for yourself. And doing the steps that I teach on this podcast to make sure that you're advocating for your promotion ahead of time. You're becoming and building those relationships ahead of time. And so, you know that this is a fact, that this is what happens. That we don't always get rewarded. It's not - a promotion is not a guarantee for our hard work. So, you know that to be true. But yet you can't get out of it. Because often our default is to be in reaction mode. To put out fires. It's like, 'Well, I can't lose my job. So, I'm just going to be scrambling and putting out these fires.' And then at the end of the day what are you left with? You become one of those 95% that is ready to quit. You're like, 'I don't want to do this anymore. It doesn't matter. I don't like what I'm doing. I'm ready to move on. There has to be a better company out there that actually values me and my leadership'.
And all of that might be true, but at its core, you really have to understand that it's up to you to pull yourself out of the weeds. It's not up to the organization or even your boss. You might think that it's your boss that's pulling you back into the weeds, but in reality, it's you. And so that's why I have something to teach. That's why I have something to offer you inside of this podcast, inside of my Executive Ahead of Time program, as I start to really teach you how to pull yourself out of the weeds and not wait for your boss or your company to do it for you. So that's the first statistic that 95% of employees say they want to quit?
So, the great resignation is happening. It's happening all over the place - we see it. And 80% of workers say that they value diversity in leadership - so 80% of employees say that they value diversity in leadership. This came from a McKinsey report - its 'Women in the Workplace' report that they do every single year. And again, this doesn't sound like a surprise. So, most employees say they value diversity in leadership. And most organizations - publicly - will say that they value diversity and leadership, that they're taking initiatives to bring more diversity to leadership. Yet corporate -powerhouse corporate - women exactly like you still don't feel supported. You're not getting the recognition that you deserve. And so, you feel frustrated. You feel stuck. You don't have the resources to get yourself into those higher-level positions. And then what happens?
One for you - is you stay exactly where you are. You stay stuck, you stay frustrated, and you think your only way out is to leave your company and go someplace else; and the organization also still has no more diversity in leadership. They're throwing money at the problem and they're hiring experts. But they say, 'Oh, well, but we don't have the talent, or we can't find those diverse leaders that are - quote unquote - qualified'. And in my opinion, I call bullshit on that because I see corporate - badass corporate - women that are perfectly qualified every single day. What they don't have is the skills to communicate as an executive leader. And that doesn't go without saying, because, if you get promoted and you don't know how to hold your own, you don't know how to manage your emotions, you don't know how to think and execute at that higher level - You are going to be flailing.
And so, I don't want my clients and my graduates of Executive Ahead of Time to flail. So that's my goal. To give you exactly what you need to not only get the promotion, but to be successful once you get there. So those are the three things that are happening, and that's all one big giant bucket of the great resignation, and then also the movements towards bringing more diversity into leadership. And if our companies and our organizations and our boss aren't able to help us get promoted into those higher-level roles, what are we left with? Ourselves. We have to figure it out ourselves. We have to make choices ourselves.
And I am here to help you make those choices - To be able to really get yourself into those positions of influence and power. So, I said that the title or the purpose of today's episode is to show you how this great resignation, this time in our lives, in the corporate world, and all of this transition is the perfect opportunity to get yourself out of the weeds. And by getting ourselves out of the weeds, we are essentially setting ourselves up for that next promotion. We're showing executive leadership, not just telling them 'I want a promotion', but we're showing them through our actions that we're ready to be promoted into those higher executive levels. So that's what we're doing here. That's what this episode is about, is showing you how to pull yourself out of the weeds so that you can get promoted even faster.
So, the first reason why this opportunity is - and this one might appear very obvious to you - is that a lot of changes are occurring. And so, you see a lot of opportunities for you to step up, to take on a project. There might be things that your boss is struggling with or opportunities for you to lean in and really show up at a higher executive level. And I think what comes to mind for a lot of people is, 'well, if I raise my hand for that project, I'm just taking on more work'. And so, we want to make sure that we do things the right way. And what leadership - at this point - you might think leadership just needs more hours from you. But what they really need is a higher visionary approach. What they really need is executive leadership. They need leaders to come in here and cut through, and weed whack, and stop doing all of the things so that we can, as an organization, operate more efficiently.
And so, if you can start to pull yourself out of the weeds at a time when everybody else is scrambling, you are going to stand out more than anybody else. When you have conversations with your boss and you are the grounded one, and you are the one who brings it back to the vision, and you're the one who reminds her of why we're doing this and gives her solutions, not just complaining about the multitude of problems - Now you're seen as an equal, you're seen as a peer. You are somebody that the executive leadership team wants to hear more from - they really want to value your opinion. And so, you're going to start to take steps to be included in those higher-level conversations. So not just signing up for projects but inserting yourself into those higher-level conversations.
And we do that in two ways. One is by sharing our ideas, by sharing our solutions, by having higher level conversations, by sharing our vision. And the other way is by asking really good questions - so you can get invited to meetings and just listen. You can be a fly on the wall and absorb, and listen, and understand, and listen to understand so that you can really pull out what matters to the CEO. What's the CEO talking about all the time? What are - the C-suite officers - what do they care about? What does your boss care about? You can listen. You can ask really great questions to start to hypothesize for yourself how to create those solutions. And then you can reflect their words back to them so that you're really a part of that higher-level executive conversation. Now you're starting to solve problems at a higher level, and you're being included in the conversation and now what you're going to start to do is advocate for your promotion.
Now back to my original scenario, which is employees and organizations value diversity and leadership, yet they feel like they don't have the strong candidates. So, in addition to really showing up as that executive ahead of time and painting that vision, you're also going to show up and have very direct conversations with leadership that you are ready for that next level; that you would like to take on a project like this or a higher-level amount of responsibility. And you're willing to let go of some of your subject matter expertise in order to be able to do that. And not just willing to let go, but maybe you have a plan to let go. 'Such and such can take over this so that I can lead at this higher executive level.' So, in addition to showing up as that visionary, to listening, to solving problems, now you're going to start to insert yourself as being the solution to that problem - as being the visionary leader that could solve that challenge for your organization.
So, this is when opportunities get created for you. You start to get creative. You create a role for yourself. You have conversations with executives in different sides of the organization. Perhaps you're learning about what their real needs are and really thinking for yourself how you can personally solve those problems, making sure all along the way you're not just taking on an opportunity to get even more in the weeds, but you're adding to your leadership skill set. You're taking on those higher-level positions. So, you're basically showing up as that diverse leader that is ready to lead at that higher executive level. It makes it a no brainer - 'Of course, we need to promote Samantha because she is ready to lead at that higher executive level.' And it's important to us as an organization to have more diverse voices at the leadership table. So, you're going to get the voice at the leadership table, and it helps the organization fulfill their priorities as well.
How beautiful is this? And this is the opportunity that we live in. This is what is being presented to us right now. And we need to step up and start to create, not just ride that wave. We need to create those waves for ourselves. It's so empowering and it is so, so needed at our corporations. Now again, I said, you're probably pretty far into the weeds if you're listening to this and if your teammates are leaving, and your employees and your best person who did this, and you're scrambling to keep everything above water as it is. I also want you to look at this great resignation, the opportunities for these people leaving - to stop doing what is unnecessary.
In Gary Keller's book - The One Thing - he talks about 'what is the one thing that makes everything else easier or unnecessary'? What is the one thing that, if accomplished, if done well, will make everything else easier or unnecessary? So, you're going to start to ask yourself this. And by the way, this is an incredibly executive level question to keep asking all the time. So, if you're having a conversation with your boss, this is a great thing to explore - a great topic. It's going to set you up as that visionary leader. If you're having higher level conversations with other executives, you're talking about their 'one thing'. What it is that they really want to accomplish. And then when you're looking at your own schedule and the work that you're doing and the work that you're trying to accomplish, you're going to cut out the fat. You're going to make recommendations of things that you guys don't need to be doing so that you can focus on the 'one thing' - the thing that is really going to move the needle for your company. This is going to help you get out of the weeds.
And why now is such a perfect chance to do that is because you're swamped. And we all know that when we come face to face with stress, burnout - we're at the end of our rope. The best or only solution that we have is to stop. You just stop. And sometimes the universe stops for us. You'll get sick or your body will start hurting you, or you'll get fired. Or something will help you stop. But pretty much when we get to those breaking points in our career, all we're left with is stopping. And so, I'm suggesting that you stop it now. Right before you get burned out, when you still have your head on straight, when you can think through things and really just say, 'you know what -this isn't sustainable anymore. I'm not going to be able to operate. I'm not - I can't know everything. I can't be the subject matter expert on every single detail. So, what is it that I can start to let go of and still do my job well.’?
And actually, you're going to excel at your job because you're going to start to be working smarter and not harder. And what are full projects that I can start delegating versus just like the little details over and over and over again, which just keeps you more and more in the weeds? What is something that I could offload to my boss, even though my boss is already swamped as well? Don't make that your problem. Your role is to take care of yourself. So don't make it your problem. If your boss is swamped, you're like, 'Well, I can't give her this, because she's already...' No! Talk to her about your ideal scenario, 'These are the things that I would stop doing. This is what I would do instead.'
You see how all of this is executive level communication - it's executive level thinking. You are seeing yourself as that executive ahead of time and communicating accordingly. So, these are the ways that you're going to start to use the great resignation to get yourself out of the weeds. It starts with the commitment to pull yourself out of the weeds. You have to own that a promotion is not a reward for your hard work. So, you keep working yourself to the bone - you keep filling in for all of the other people who quit at your organization or on your team, and you're going to find yourself in the predicament that you don't want to be in.
So, this is the first opportunity for you to start owning your career choices. To advocate for your promotion ahead of time. To show up as that higher visionary leader and to begin to say 'no' to things that aren't necessary. I know you can do it. You are a powerhouse corporate badass, or you wouldn't be listening to this podcast. And I can't wait to see you get promoted and get paid at that higher executive level. Thank you so much for listening, and I'll see you next week - Bye.
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 “Maximize Your Career 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.