Demystifying the success career pathway for executive women…which, by the way, is far different from a man's, in case you hadn’t notice. Pertinent, practical sage tips you can incorporate into your daily work life immediately.
ThriveWithNancy Podcast addresses the tricky points of contention you face daily as a woman executive. Nancy Fredericks shares all the secrets she’s acquired as an experienced thought-leader. She’s Strategically Partnered with women executives for over 30+ years, sharing practical, workable solutions to tap into immediately on your way to achieving all of your career hopes and dreams.
If you found value in the information in this podcast, there are many more career tips that will open career doors for you. Ready to have Nancy Fredericks in your back pocket? Sign up immediately for a FREE Discovery Session that will up your game when it comes to nailing your career desires:
Welcome to thrive with Nancy podcast. Today is a call to action. Let's get clear. I am a powerful, strong champion for women executives to reach positions of their dreams. And when you look around and the women I'm often speaking to in large groups, haven't found their dream as yet. And it makes me mad in an angry kind of way, because women are great leaders. Companies are more profitable. Every study I've ever seen when they have more women in their senior ranks by every measurement of profitability. Then of course, Zieger Folkman came out with a study that was based upon 360 reviews that demonstrated women, outscore male executives in 17, out of 19 capabilities of leadership. And yet we all know how many percentages of men are at the top compared to women. And then you look at another study by neuroscientists who reveal that the female brain is wired for leadership. So what is wrong with this picture is what I want to know. It's a systemic issue. If you ask me, I was in a conversation recently with a woman who I consider a pioneer in the field and she and I were talking about, you know, clearly there's a systemic issue when all the research shows that women should have parody. If leadership is based upon capabilities, and yet all the studies reveal that at the pace we're going now, it's going to be 30 years before we make the parody that we're all looking for. So my friend looks at the system and tries to make change through large groups and is making inroads. I, on the other hand, work with individuals because we all know that throughout history, there are women who have made it to the top. And I want to know what did they do that worked? And I want to share that knowledge with the executive women that I coach with. I want to demystify what the road to the top looks like for a woman, which is very different than what it looks like for the male executives that I coach in part we, women have to get over the limitations. We need to trust that we can make a difference. And through us making the difference, others will follow where it's no longer a zero sum, but a multiplication game for women. That's what I want women to look at. But I have to tell you, there are days, sometimes even weeks when I feel like that character in the network movie that says, I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it anymore. I'm sure I'm misquoting, but you know what I'm saying? And then I get back in who I am, which is a change agent and a leader for women and a champion for women. So many women that I've worked with through the years have had positions of authority and responsibility and influence, and their dreams came true right before their very eyes. It wasn't an easy path, but it's doable. So let's talk about demystifying it. First of all, you have to have male champions or there is little possibility that you're going to make it to the top. Think about it. It's just a practical way of looking at things who has the power. You got it, the men in most cases. And I was sorely disappointed in a study that came out a couple of years ago with KPMG that said the women who took the study by 82% wanted access to female mentors. And I'm not saying there's anything wrong with that, but females don't have as much power in most organizations. So if you're leaning in to create relationships and you have a limited time to do so, because your schedule is so packed. If you fill it up with women, you're not moving your career as fast as you could. If you had a bunch of guys in the marketplace who are sending out word about how great you are, when you reached Sheryl Sandberg's biography, she had a lot of male champions to get her to the COO position of Facebook. So look around you inside and outside of the organization. Think about where you want to go. Think about what your passions are, what your strengths are, what male executives can you connect with over the next month to six months where you could be known by them. And please, please, don't look at your peers. Look up way, way up in the organization. It's been disappointing to me. When you look at this mentoring question and men typically have relationships with high ranking executives in their organization and women's relationship when examined has to do with peers . So which relationship building exercise do you believe is going to lead to stronger positions? You've got it in one. It's the ones that you create with people who have power. And it's you systematically reaching out, connecting as a woman, as a leader, woman, as sharing ideas that you have as congratulating these leaders on ideas or projects or visions that they've expressed that you can buy into. That's made a difference to you, right where you are right now. Do you see what I'm talking about? It's being you, but doing it proactively in an arena where it counts. Let's look at something else that has kind of bothered me through the years. You know, sometimes when I'm coaching my women executives, we're just too dog gone loyal. Honestly, I was coaching a woman who was doing all the right things. She's got some male champions that have noticed her and are talking to her and encouraging her and are talking about her in the organization. And she has a female boss. The last meeting, her boss was musing about the future and how she's planning on staying in the organization for another two years before she retires. And she's looking to my client as a successor. Now doesn't that sound golden? Well, it would, if you didn't know my client, my client is ready for promotion right now. My client is going to make a difference in divisions higher than where she is right now. And what did my clients say? Something along the effect of, well, you know, I'm a loyal and you know, you can count on me. I was like, no, you need to look at your boss and say, you know, I've been loyal for years. You know, I'll continue to be loyal and you need to understand I'm ready for promotion. Now, not two years from now, there's a position in the organization that would be perfect for me. Will you start championing me in that arena? And I promise to help you build succession in your division. Other than me being the person, don't think I was the only one that wasn't a happy camper. My client wasn't any happier than I was. It's just, she responded out of her loyalty gene rather than putting in any of her own best interests. How often have you found yourself doing that yourself? You need to share and speak up. Yeah. Shares to softer words, speak up about what you want your career to look like. Don't passively. Wait for someone else to give you the E ride ticket up to the top. That's not going to happen as quickly as it could. If you were beating the right people and having the right conversations and having the attitude that I'm ready. I also was talking to another client where she was being considered for promotion pretty well had it, I think by what I was hearing and one of the first things out of her mouth was, do you think I'm ready? No, of course you're ready. And if you're not ready, you are such a solid, strong leader inside that you could meet any challenges you're faced with don't back away, move into the challenge, because those who are at the top understand that challenges are the name of the game and that's how they become successful and make their mark in the organization. So I started out with sometimes we're too loyal. Think about yourself right now. Have you been loyal to your company or you priding yourself on your loyalty? Have you stuck to it? Even when others have jumped ship, that is not a trait that's going to move you to where you want to be. You know, years ago, I had a phenomenal woman who was number two, number three in the organization. They were kind of tied. And the number two or three person who was a guy left, jumped ship when they were going through tough times to another company. And my client actually got a really juicy offer from another company that she turned down and I'm fine with her turning it down. Her intuition was saying, no, this isn't me. Now, this isn't the right place for me. I always suspect that some of that was comfort zone, but we'll never know. But the part I want you to hear and understand is that guy came back to the company four years later, when it was revved up and rolling and making money, he came back for a huge salary increase way higher than my loyal client was currently getting, or could even envision getting within the next two to three years. And she was not a happy camper, but I said to her, excuse me, didn't he go off? And I won't go into detail, but he gained skillsets from an organization was thriving. And those skillsets that he gained at that other company, he then marketed to his old company for a lot of money. That's called business. That's called leadership. Loyalty has nothing to do with it. It's about what the marketplace demands of its executives. I love it when my clients are loyal, but I don't want them to be loyal only to their company. I want them to balance loyalty with where they want their career to go. Is that making sense to you? You know, the other thing that is interesting to me is that often women are said to be too nice. You know, they're the good girls and many of the executives that I speak to are saying, whoa, that's not a good trait. And I go, whoa, wait a minute. I love being the good girl. I love being nice. And in fact, there are studies that show women executives who are not nice lose, lose, lose. So I love my clients to be nice. But again, you need to be asking yourself, what am I going after? And sometimes you just need to bring in an edge. Sometimes you need to directly ask for what you want. Sometimes you have to say no all in a nice way, but with that edge, because you know who you are, you know where you're going and you know, what you bring to the company and the value added that you bring every single day. Sometimes I think that the reason we choose to be nice to move up the corporate ladder is because we don't have confidence in ourselves. And I get it. I remember when I was coming up the ranks and how little confidence I had in myself, but I also started listening to what people were saying about me, that what they were saying about the work I was doing, what the projects I was working on, created in the organization and slowly but surely. And I'm sure you've seen this too. I realized that I was a huge contributor. And even though there was a period where I didn't feel confident in my contributions, I actually stood proud and strong on the work that I was doing as the confidence builder. So when someone asked me to do something, that was way outside of what I thought I was able to do, it would be, of course I could do that. I never said, oh, do you think I can do that? It was always a response. Oh yes, of course I could do that. Oh yes. That is really something that will make a difference in the organization. Do you hear the difference between being nice for nice sake as though that's going to get you to the top and being nice with the edge and with confidence and how much further that's going to propel your career? It's amazing when you just switch the nice gene definition to also include confidence and an edge and a knowing who you are. So be nice and just redefine niceness so that it begins to work for your career, not just in the lower levels of the organization, but in the higher ones as well. You know, you just have to break up that, thinking that working hard is the winning formula. It is the formula when you're trying to reveal to the company who you are, but it really has nothing to do with who you be. Once you move into mid manager level and above, it really has to do with these relationships you have as champion. It really has to do with having confidence in yourself. It really has to do with feeling so comfortable with self that you ask for the work you want and that you ask for the jobs that you want. And you ask for the salaries you want, not from a demanding point of view, but from a confident look at what I am contributing to the organization. Point of view, you are the only one that can break through the systematic unconscious bias that companies have about women. You can't prove your way through it. You have to be an act and ask your way through it. That's what the women who have made it to the top are looking like, so what are you going to take on for you to be the leader that you want to be? I hope that this podcast had you chewing on some food for thought, because that's what I wanted to do. I wanted this just to be a dialogue and a conversation between you and me. That's going to spur you to the next level, whatever that is much success to you always. And come back again for some more practical wisdom. That's going to move your career and boost you for the future. Thanks so much. Bye. And if you're ready to have a bit of person to person boost to your career, please check out www thrive with nancy.com forward slash H P P T forward slash for a free discovery call. It would be my joy to support you in gaining momentum in your career.Speaker 1: