Shellye is an experienced CEO and Board Director with a track record of accomplishments building brands, high-performance teams, and organizations. She currently serves on the boards of Verizon [NYSE:VZ], Nordstrom [NYSE: JWN], Roper Technologies [NYSE: ROP], and Okta [NASDAQ: OKTA]. She is also a strategic advisor to the Royal Bank of Canada, Capital Markets Group and Forbes Ignite.
She is the former CEO of MetricStream, a Silicon Valley-based, governance, risk, and compliance software company that she built into a global market leader with over 1200 employees serving customers around the world. Under her leadership, MetricStream was named in the top 10 of the “Deloitte Technology Fast 50”.
Shellye is a Forbes contributor and has been featured or referenced in major publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Financial Times. And is the author of Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers and Create Success on Your Own Terms
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Hello, and welcome to the leaders in supply chain podcast. I'm your host, Rado Palomar you managing director of ELCA global. And it's my great pleasure to have with us today. Shelly Archambault, Shelley is an experienced CEO and board director with a track record of building brands, high performance teams and organizations. She currently serves on the boards of rising Nordstrom Roper technologies and Octa. And she's also a strategic advisor to the Royal bank of Canada, capital markets group, and forks knives in her previous life. Billy's not so far, far away. Actually she is. She also used to be the former CEO of metric street, which is a Silicon Valley based governance risk and compliance software company that Shelly built into a global market leader with over 1,200 employees under her leadership MetricStream was named in the top 10 of the Deloitte technology. Fast 50 Shelley is also a Forbes contributor and has been featured in major publications, such as the wall street journal, the New York times and the financial times. And he's the author of unapologetically ambitious take risks, break barriers, and create success on your own terms, which is coming out on the 6th of October. So basically next week. So very, very excited about that, Shelley , thanks a lot for taking the time and for joining us today.Speaker 2:
Absolutely. I'm thrilled to be here. Ready . Thanks so much for having me.Speaker 1:
So first let's , let's start with the book because as you, you know, as you said, there's the, there's the highlight of a lot of work and I'm sure blood, sweat, and tears went into it. So maybe tell us a little bit about the story behind it and why you decided to publish it.Speaker 2:
Absolutely. I am a very goal oriented person and frankly, becoming an author was never really a goal. So I wrote the book because I have tried my entire career to be accessible. So people reach out to me, I respond, you know, email, phone calls, LinkedIn, you know, I try to respond because I want people to see that I'm a real person and I'm here, right? I'm touchable because if I'm touchable and they can relate to me, then they can be me as I was moving up in my career and got more and more responsibility, I could still respond, which I still do, but I couldn't make time to meet with everyone who wanted to meet with me and pick my brain right here . My story get, you know, get advice on how they do what I've done, et cetera. So I said, all right, when I get to phase two, I'm going to write it down so that I can share with others how they can also achieve their aspirations, share lessons that I learned, strategic approaches, even hacks right with the tactics and what have you. So I , I wrote the book because I just wanted to make it available to others. So more people could achieve their aspirations in life.Speaker 1:
And tell us a little bit about, you know, just to kind of make people curious, but at the same time, some snippets of, or gems of wisdom from the book, what are some of the, I dunno, a couple of takeaways, a couple of great stories that you share that you might want to , you know, you want one to impart with our audience.Speaker 2:
Absolutely. You know, one of the key messages is just being intentional and managing your career. You would never spend two or $3,000 for an airline ticket, pack your bags, get on the plane, strap in your seatbelt, and then look at the pilot and say, so where are we going anyway? Right. You would never do that yet. People all the time spend time, energy, money on education and knowledge experience. And yet they actually put their careers in somebody else's hands. That's crazy to me. So the book talks about how to actually manage your Chrome career, how to ask for what you want, how to build a plan to increase your odds. What kinds of skills are important, actually strengthen , right? So I share stories and approaches and what have you to help people work through? All of it, an example is I was at IBM and I was striving to become CEO of IBM. And when I did my homework, which I believe everybody should continue to do doing homework is just getting prepared. It was really interesting in that the direct reports to the CEO, the ones that actually had line responsibility had all done international assignments. What was fascinating was the majority of them had actually gone to Japan, which wasn't necessarily obvious because Europe was a much bigger market. So I didn't know why that was the case, but decided, well, I need to go to Japan because I want to be CEO one day. And if that's what's required, that's what's required. So I started telling everybody that, that's what I wanted. And people say, what do you want to do? I said, Oh, I want to go to Japan on an international assignment. And I work it into conversations and I put it out there and sure enough, I ended up getting the opportunity and the promotion to go to Japan. And it came as a result of a conversation off to the side, an executive that I knew I never really worked with her for, but we had, we had crossed paths and we lived in a neighborhood that wasn't too far from each other. Anyway, he got the assignment a couple of years later over in Japan and he's there and he needs to hire an executive. And he sends me a note and says , Shelly , I remember you saying that you were interested in going to Japan. Are you still interested? And I'm like, absolutely. He said, okay. I just wanted to make sure before I put your name into HR. So HR at IBM really plays a big role on high potentials and who gets those kinds of jobs, but he put my name in the pot. And so when it came down to interviewing and being considered, I ended up getting chosen for the role. But that happened because I had let people know, that's what I want. So you have to take charge of your career if I just waited and said, Ooh , I hope I go, I hope I get asked. I hope it wouldn't have happened.Speaker 1:
Oh , that's, that's , uh , I cannot resonate more. And I , I mean, it's, it's very simply put, I think it's even in the Bible, you know, if you don't ask, you don't get , uh, and uh, you know, ask and you show, you show give , and you shall receive, but, but we don't do it. And somehow a large proportion of the population and especially in the workforce is that kind of expectation of oil. If I do a great job, the results will speak for myself and then people will see what I'm doing. And then they'll, you know, I'll get the promotion or I'll get whatever. And I mean, our day job is executive search and head hunting. And I see that all the time. It's like, but that's just not really. I mean, that's, that's, you know, that's the kind of fundamental, of course you need to do a good job, but that ain't going to get you. I'm going to get you.Speaker 2:
And it's such a shame. I was just, I just had a conversation with a bunch of students at Howard. And one of the things that I shared is people will tell you when you graduate, you know, be ambitious, work hard and do a great job and good things will happen. And the answer is, no, it won't don't believe it. It's not true. If they , what they should be saying is work hard, be ambitious and be strategic about your career. And then you can achieve what you want to achieve. But yeah, I think people too many times, they're just told, you know, work hard and the problem is everybody's busy. Nobody has time to pay attention to what you're doing. So you've got to make sure that people know what you do.Speaker 1:
Hmm . And I , I think , uh, and I was listening to one of your , uh, one of your interviews, and I think you were, you were saying also when people just simply things, right ? Simple things. When people ask you, how are you , uh , you know, on the whole or whatever, instead of just saying fine or whatever it is , you know, you can actually drop a hint and say what you're doing and make sure that everybody knows what you're doing because in big organizations, most of the people actually don't know. So let's , let's maybe let's, let's take that example. And I know you have a few practical tips unite in terms of how can you make yourself even more visible? Cause that's a , that's a problem that a lot of people don't know how to navigate. Also, you talk about the roles of mentors and I want to talk about that as well, but maybe let's start with that example that stuck with me. And maybe you can share it with others as well, right? In terms of how can you make sure that people in your organization, especially in bigger organizations actually know what you're doing and to best position yourself for that next gig or next promotion, or, you know, be top of their minds .Speaker 2:
Right? So there's a couple things, you know, my point about making sure people know what you do and you hinted at it. So let me just describe that. And then there's one other point I want to make too. And that is, I tell people, let people know what you do until like , but how do I do that? And the answer is, people give you the opportunity every day. Because every day people will ask you as just common courtesy, how are you? What's going on? What's happening. And what people typically say, it's great, fine doing well. Well, you know what? You're not, you're not great, fine. And you're not doing well. What are you? You are excited because you just got this major project done, right? You are exhausted because you spent the last two weeks trying to get this customer live with the latest dah , dah, dah, blah . How are you? Did it , right? You just feel, you tell people 20 seconds, 20 seconds you take to describe what it is that you're working on in answer to the question. So you're not bragging because you're just answering the question. But the other thing you can do is people ask people all the time, what do you do? It might happen in a company. It can happen in a social environment, right? People, that's a very common way of just breaking the ISO . So what do you do? And most people respond with their title, Oh, I'm director of supply chain for XYZ company. Okay. They don't know what you do. It, all they know is your title. Your title is not what you do titles mean very little because every company decides what that title actually means in that company. As a matter of fact, the same title within the same company can have different meetings department to department. So when people ask you what you do, don't just say, I'm the director of supply chain. What you should say is, Oh, I'm the director of supply chain. I'm responsible for optimizing the men, whatever it is, right? The , the global deliveries for this aspect of our business, but about what are you responsible for I'm director of supply chain. I'm actually responsible for the quality of all of our suppliers and ensuring blah, blah, blah, blah. What do you do? I'm the director of supply chain. I actually take responsibility for all of our ESG, making sure that our suppliers are actually complying with all the different rules and regulations around, you know , climate change, blah, blah , blah, blah, blah. What do you do? Right? Director of supply chain has many different responsibilities and it can be different company to company. And the value of actually saying what you do is fast forward. The person you told is that a conversation with someone else. And they're saying, you know, we're looking for someone who really knows how to improve the quality of suppliers within an , you know, within the overall supply chain. Oh, I was just talking to Shelley, Shelley said something about quality and supply chain. Whereas if all you said was I'm a director of supply chain, they're not going to think about youSpeaker 1:
And this, this kind of to plug into the sharing we had. Um , we had a summit recently and it was all for cause and conditions, but there were a couple of panels. And on , on openers I asked , uh, I asked the participants . So what what's the one characteristic that you think is missing in the world of supply chain and what skill is necessary for chief supply chain officer or chief operations officer and so on. And the same answer came from all the different panels and it was more than 10 or 13 panels. And they said the storytelling, the ability to storytell the ability to present the ability to communicate them. And if we had to break it down, it's kind of the same thing. But ultimately it boils down to that. You know, how do you tell the story of what you do? How do you, you know, how do you make it in a way that people want to remember what you're doing also make it interesting. And in some other ways , it's almost like your 32nd commercial was you have 32nd commercials for your business. You can have 32nd commercials for years for your career as well, and for your role as well. Um, absolutely. Um , and you talk also about the role of mentors. So I'd like to double click on that as well. I know that you , you share some very practical advice and I am a big believer that mentors can probably be the most important source of accelerating one's career. So tell us more about your views on that.Speaker 2:
You know what I have had the fortune of having a number of mentors over the course of my career and they are absolutely valuable, but it's always hard with, well, how do you actually get mentors? And what I tell people is I learned early in my career, not to ask people to be my mentors, because when you ask people, the people you ask are obviously doing well and super busy. So when you ask them, their first response is thinking, Oh my gosh, time commitment. I don't have time. And you know, do I really know you well enough? Am I willing to give up the time? I don't even know if you're going to get value from it. Right? All those things. And so people tend to come up with excuses or reasons why they can't mentor you. So I stopped asking, I just started treating people like mentors because you know what all a mentor is, really someone who can give you advice and perspective around a problem or a challenge or an opportunity that you have. So yes. Is it nice to have one mentor that you can have over time and the whole bit, the answer is absolutely, but you can create those. You can create them. And I have absolutely created them by adopting them. I just start treating them like a mentor and treat me like a mentor is I asked them for something that initially something it's easy that doesn't take them time to think about. I don't say, what should I do with my career, right? That's not an easy question. I'll say something like, and again, early in my career, you might say, Hey, you know, I have a speech to make next week and I've seen you speak and you do such a great job. Do you have any quick tips for me now? That's an easy thing. They don't have to think about it. They'll just rattle off. Make sure you look at the audience, you know, practice, blah, blah, whatever project I'm gonna have to get a few things fine. The key is take their advice and then respond. But report back, say, Hey, I gave my speech yesterday. Thank you so much for the tips. It was one of the better speeches I've made. And I really want to let you know how much I appreciate it. Now, two things will happen. Number one, the person may not even remember that they gave you that advice because it was quick, right? It's quick and active. So now you're jogging their memory on you and to you're making them feel good because they're thinking, gosh, I don't remember doing this. And I made an impact on this person. Most people actually intrinsically like the idea of making an impact on somebody. And then if you follow that up and say, Oh, that was great by the way. Right quick. But crystal quick, by the way, and ask another simple question that doesn't take much. So here's the key. You don't do that. Like every week where you're have this constant thing, you do this and you spread it out, but you keep reporting back and then this person starts to remember you because man, you're , you know, they're having a big impact on you. Then later you were able to say, by the way, do you have 10 minutes, right? Or can I buy your coffee or did that? And then before you know, it, you've got a mentor and they don't even realize it. So you can absolutely adopt mentors. And then by the way, if you're good at what you do and you actually grow and get promoted and move forward, they'll start claiming you. They'll be like, Oh yeah , Shelly , Oh, I give her advice from time to time. They're like, Oh, Hey, I want to take credit. Right. So it's absolutely happened to me, but that's the way that was my approach. I, you know, after man, probably after six years in business, I totally stopped asking people to be mentors. I just started adopting them and I had a ton of mentors and they are, there are a lot of value.Speaker 1:
That's awesome. I love, I love this area necessarily . And it's so, I mean, I , and also, I mean, I also I'll give you already the feedback that I love, the way that you make it so practical. So I'm, I'm sure that that at least some of our audience will go back and try it out. And I've seen this work myself, like one I've, I've had many mentors myself, and now you're getting me to think maybe I should have more and adopt some more. And two , I know so many stories of also, I mean, mentorship relationships end up in, I mean , accelerating people's careers by, by miles and miles. Like one, once you was telling me that one guy outside of the company asked him to be his mentor. And at that point he was, well, he did ask him, but okay, this happened in Japan and he was Japanese. So I think in Japan, maybe things are a little bit different, but he agreed to the relationship, but eventually four or five years later, because he knew this, this mentee of years , he actually ended up having a job for him. And also he knew the guy quite well. He had seen how he had developed. And of course he was the logical, also the logical candidate and person for that role. So it can help in so many different ways, obviously visibility and having access to this type of people that have a lot of power to influence or to get you connected to other people is intrinsically , um, uh , career accelerator. How, how about networking? I mean, I, I want also to touch on the , the power of networking in general, because that's another thing that I come across again and again, that people don't understand that is not, is not so much, you know, that you're the best expert in what you do, but it matters equally if not greater, who, you know, and who you , you know, who are your friends and who are your advocates in the organization? Maybe tell us, what's your experience from your, you know, from your career on that?Speaker 2:
Hmm . So networking been interesting because I spent the first 14 years of my career at IBM and frankly, my whole network who was IBM, I moved around a lot. IBM is a big company. So I tended to make those relationships, to get to know those people. And didn't even realize that I needed a network outside of IBM until I left the company. And then it was like, Oh wow, okay, I've totally missed on this. So I totally rectified that. But the best way I found to build a network and let me back up a minute, a network is not how many business cards you have or how many names you have in your contact list. A network is made up of people that you can reach out to that will actually help you give you information, you know, do something when it's not convenient. That's how I define a network. So the way you build a strong network is by giving it's by helping others. So my whole, you know , my whole approach, my whole approach to life is I try to help people. And then what ends up happening is you create a great network because you've been helpful and added value. People are happy to be helpful to you. So it's not this quid pro quo thing. It's not like, well, I did the one thing. So you do one thing and then you do two things and I do two things . No, no, no, it's not any of that. It's really just genuinely being helpful without an expectation. But by doing that, you're able to develop, I find some very good and broad relationships.Speaker 1:
Absolutely. And I wanted also to ask you, and this is a question that we get a lot and you , you have the chance of , uh , you're in a position of being a board member on. Well , for we're leading companies, tell us a little bit, maybe first and foremost, what is a board position, right. In terms of, you know, what do you do as a board member ? Because some people may or may not know exactly what that is, but secondly, also how can a person on the longterm, cause I'm sure some of our audience aspire to be board members. How can you position yourself to be a , again, in a situation where a company comes and say, Hey, come and join our board.Speaker 2:
Certainly. So first, you know, what does a board member do? Right? A board members is responsible to the shareholders. So it's ensuring that the company has the right strategy in place to deliver consistent returns to the shareholder. And then ensuring they've got management in place. I E the CEO that they're confident can deliver on the strategy. Then it's making sure that the company is operating within the right levels of risk, that they are complying with all rules, regulations, and mandates that they're being good corporate citizens and that they are building and developing a team in an organization in a healthy, effective way. So the board's job is really one of oversight on behalf of the shareholders board members don't decide and don't operate. We're not making the decisions on what software to use or how to restructure the company or any of those. Those are operating and those are made by the CEO. So what I, what I found is the biggest surprise that people have in terms of the boards is understanding that your big lever is really just the hiring environment. The CEO now do play a role with regards to succession planning. Yes, that's a big part of your job is making sure that there is succession planning. Talent is right, all those things as well. Now, what do boards look for? Good boards create a skills matrix that represents the skills they feel will be helpful on the board to help advise and support the company with the strategy that the company is going after. And typically a skills matrix. You know , it's every, company's different 15 to 20 types of skills. I'm using skills generically. So it can be experience, right. It can be background. So skills is a broad term. The challenge is most boards only have like nine to 11 board members. So therefore they need board members who actually check multiple boxes who bring multiple skills that they're looking for to the table. So when you look at board members and therefore what they're looking for typically about 40 to 50% of board members are people who have been CEOs or run significant P and L's, that would be of the same kind of caliber. About 20 to 25% are financial experts. Think of people who've been CFOs, right? Treasurers or partners and audit firms, because you have to have financial experts for your audit committees. So the rest of the roles call that 25 to 35% comprise all the other skillsets that are required. And those skill sets might be industry experience or technical experience. I can be depending upon the company what's important. So the good news for folks here on supply chain is supply chain is actually becoming more and more important, which is good. But one thing to keep in mind is it's rare that companies bring a board member that is super narrow, because remember I just said that they have to check multiple skill boxes. So if all you're bringing is one of the skills that's required, it's going to be tough because they don't have enough slots to bring in a whole bunch of specialists. So they need to bring people who have more broad and can check multiple boxes. What else can I tell you for those that are interested? I actually have a, a blog, Shelly archambault.com/blog. And in my March, I think it's March of this year, I posted a piece on how to get on a board. So feel free to check that out.Speaker 1:
This is , this is useful. And from your experience as CEO of metrics at MetricStream, and I know, I think you you've been there for 15 years. If I remember correctly, you build the company in a global player with a global footprint. What are some of the key, if you may lessons or sharings, and I'm sure you talk about this also in the book, in terms of building a global company from a CEO perspective.Speaker 2:
Yeah. It's interesting. This particular building of company was not just building first. I had to fix it. It was a very broken, very broken company. So this was very much a, I call it a restart, not even a turnaround is a restart. And you know, the first step is making sure you have a value proposition that works. And a value proposition is what are we offering? What is our product ? And I'm using product in a very generic term product can be software. It can be services right, offering. It doesn't matter, but in a very general term product, what problem are you solving that the market needs solved and that the market is willing to spend real money for? So that's the first thing you've got to have. That's gotta be solid. And then once you have that figured out, then you have to have the right team to be able to deliver on that value proposition, because it's basically a promise to the marketplace and that requires technical sales, scale sales, right . Everything that you need . So you have , now you have to build the team around it. And honestly, it's all about the team. You know , I'd love to say, Oh yes, I built the company. No, I had a whole team of people. I happened to be the leader of the company, but we had amazing people who worked amazingly hard, brought great ideas and innovation and allowed us to actually build this company. So it's all about the team. Then as a leader, it's not just a skillset . You bring, it's your ability to actually paint the vision, to create clarity of mission and of priorities and to focus and ensure that you've actually got the right processes, the right incentives, the right communications, you know, all those things to enable the team to be as effective as possible. And then it's making sure you're representing the company, not just internally, but externally. It's a big role of a CEO. It's not just what you're doing internally, but it's also the external, both relationships, how you're representing the company, all of those things.Speaker 1:
I want to also touch a little bit on the, on the piece, on diversity, on the piece of also, you know, being a woman in technology, being a woman in anything pretty much, it's not, it's not as easy as being a man the same in the same industry. I think there's, there's a lot, there's a lot more adversities and obstacles that a woman has to face. And I'd like to, I'd like to get your thoughts on that. Obviously you've made it to the C suite. You've made it to board level positions. I think there is a clear movement nowadays, and , and almost from a society perspective that there's a big push for more women in leadership positions for more diversity in general, which is great. But I'd like to get your thoughts into how you see things and , and what you think still needs to be done in order to continue this road.Speaker 2:
Yes, no, you're absolutely right. The current environment. And I can't speak for all countries, but definitely for the U S and for a number of countries has indeed improved in terms of companies saying, okay, we want, we do, we are beginning to believe that diversity will help our overall performance. And it's helpful that you have companies like Goldman Sachs and say, Hey, we're not even going to take you public. If your board isn't diverse. So companies are actually putting their money where their mouth is, and the studies have all shown that diverse teams, diverse boards, right? Divert bring better results. So all of that is good. And that's why I think finally doors are being opened, but it takes more than opening a door. It's also ensuring that when people get on the other side of the door, that they're in an environment in which they can be successful and that they can contribute. So opening the door is not enough. We have to make sure we're actually creating environments in which people feel valued and where they can indeed make their full contribution that they are capable of. And that's going to take work. So I'm hopeful that companies are starting to spend a bit more time talking with their employees and trying to understand what's required. What does it work? Where are the challenges? Because many times it's just blind spots. You know, I don't believe there's any conspiracy out there. There's not a conspiracy that says, Oh, how, how do we put in processes that make it hard for women to be successful, right? That's not, it's not what companies are doing, but a lot of times and unintended ways and not realizing, you know, situations or what have you, there become challenges for people to be successful. So it's not so much trying to get people to stop doing bad things, right. I don't think people are consciously trying to do bad things. It really is just helping people to understand what they can do to actually make it an environment which people can perform better.Speaker 1:
And interesting that you mentioned that because, well, one, I am in a situation where I have plenty of blind spots as a white male that has not been confronted with this challenge is really, I'm almost every day figuring out new things. I was recently asked to give a speech on how to grow more female leaders. And it was the hardest thing that I had to do in my life. I actually taught a conference organized . Like, I , I really think that I'm the best person to talk about it , but like , he, you know, he insisted that, you know, coming from an executive search perspective. Yes. And I said, okay, I'll try it and read a couple of books. And I'm like, you know, I read the book from the CEO of Facebook share December, which is a great book, lean in about her journey. And I was trying to get myself like aware of what, you know, how does it even feel? Cause , okay. I mean, theoretically, I can, you know, I can, you know, kind of push it about things, but I don't like to do it. Right. So, so eventually I, my speech was like, I really don't know. I think we still have, you know, we still have a long way to go and, you know, there's some frames, almost societal frames and , and the way we even educate kids from a young age, right. There's some differences between the way we may be transmit some messages to the two girls versus two to boys and so on. But this topic of diversity versus inclusion, right. It's all how a good friend tells it . It's the difference between being invited to the, you know, to the, to the party versus being invited to dance at the party. Right. It's , it's kind of that , that practical difference I wanted to ask, did you see some, maybe you can share some good case studies or examples, or also from your work with different companies, if you've seen some of them make sure that that inclusion is, is happening in a good way and, and is , is taken care of in a good way. And maybe you can, you know, you can give some examples that others can apply to their companies.Speaker 2:
Sure. So let me, let me just give some simple kinds of examples. Cause it's not like major shifts have to happen to even start making a difference or an impact. So I was on a meeting with one of the big banks actually. And you know, this is something that happens all the time where a woman or minority, somebody will make a point or a statement and then not much discussion happens around it. And then somebody else makes some , a statement, very similar, if not the same, but later. And it's the guy who does it. And suddenly it drives conversation. So this had happened, this had happened and here, and by the way, this was a conversation with people who everybody around the table served on boards. So this is not a matter of you had junior people around the table. All right , this is a table full of people. There probably me think back probably 30% women, 70% men. All right . And so we're having this conversation and I said something and little bit of conversation, and then it goes on. And then one of the guys at the meeting said basically the same thing and to the leaders, to the moderators credit, the moderator said, and I don't remember the name, so I'm gonna make it up. Basically said, Jim, that's a really good point. It was great of you to build on the point that Shelley just raised just a few minutes ago. All right . So what did the moderator do? The moderator acknowledged, right? The fact that I spoke, even though Jim didn't remember it. Right. And other people didn't remember it, but it basically gave , um, I call it making space. Right. It kind of made space for me in that overall conversation. So many times it's just making that people are acknowledged that if somebody says something, then, and you feel that, Hey, it wasn't echoed or nobody caught it. Then echo it, say, Hey, good point. All right . And then con , and then continue on. But a lot of times it's doing things like that when you see folks being missed, but it's also listening to your employees. Every company is different in terms of where challenges might be. Sometimes it is the issue of, we make assumptions about what women might be willing to do or would be good at, or what trade offs they might, might be willing to make. I had that personally, I was striving for a promotion and I wasn't getting the opportunity and I didn't understand it. And so I escalated. I took a, what I call second line meeting. And when I learned in that meeting is they thought I wouldn't move. Cause I was married and had kids. Well, you can't make that assumption for me. I was willing to move, but it was just an assumption, right? Oh, your husband is working. You've got kids, you know, you're not going to be willing to move. So it's those kinds of things that we just have to make sure that we're treating everybody equally in terms of how we give them opportunity, how we make space for them to participate. Right. But it's all those little things that add up.Speaker 1:
Hmm . No . And I love your example and it happens a lot. And I , I, I mean, I, to your point is not that people do this on purpose. Well, not most of it , most of them, maybe some there's some mean people out there, but most of us are not mean, and then we don't do it on purpose. And , uh , and it has happened to me as well. You know , because you don't realize certain things, you , you put it out there, we put out a report for example, with skills needed for the industry. And I didn't realize it , uh , up to the point where the report was ready, but my team had quoted 10 guides. And of course here I am. Right. I mean, it's blatant , you know, blatant disparity between me saying that I'm all for diversity and us as a company, putting out a report with 10, then male only. Right. So, and then I was called on it. So I saw it, I realized it, but you know, in my mind is like, okay, nevermind you , since it's done, just put it out there. And then I was called on it. And then I was actually, it's not okay . Right. Because it's not, you know, it gives the impression that the industry is just, you know, male dominated, which is not true in the first place. But if I had to, you know, I had to experience that. And it's, you know, is that unconscious bias, I guess, to a certain degree that kicks in around unconsciously, we do a lot of things that may or may not be, you know, may or may not be right. So it's an forever journey of awareness, ultimately, I guess. Um , and , and becoming more, you know, more aware of these things. And I love again your point and your example that with that one, with the promotion, because that kind of, we tend to assume a lot, you know, you know, the phrase assume, right, makes an ass out of you and me. And a lot of people do that, right? It's like, Oh, I don't know why am I not liked ? And then instead of actually going and discussing and communicating and finding out what the issue is, and you , you know, you may be, you lose motivation or I end up looking for a new job, or you think that there's something that the world is conspiring against, you know, against you. So I love that example. And I'm very thankful that you, you shared it and especially for, for, for women, I think the biases can be significant, right? When it comes executive to the points that you mentioned, right. Having a baby or not being willing to move because of family or there's, there's some significant assumptions that we as society, I think make along those, those lines. And on that point, and I know that we were talking also offline before we started recording, but I I'd love you to share maybe the story. And I find that as an incredibly motivating story, maybe for all the younger people that are listening to this, right. When, when , uh , you, you had that internship or that , uh , that role, because it's also about asking, right. And it's also about getting access to very senior people. And it's also about, you know, if you don't ask, you don't get and how, you know, when you were doing that internship, you basically very early on, right? Yeah .Speaker 2:
I'm happy to share. So you have to roll the clock way back here. I am, I've got an internship. I'm getting ready to head to Wharton. Uh , so it's the summer before I'm going to Wharton. And I got an internship where literally what I'm doing is I am replacing secretaries. And when I say secretaries, I'm not being disparaging, but that's what they were called back then, who are going on vacation. So it's UN secretary support the executives. So here I am basically doing that. And the manager to her credit, my manager, she says to me, well, Shelly , you're obviously an ambitious girl given what you're trying to get done. She goes, you should use the time while you're here to get to , to know what , you know, what people do. People are happy to talk about themselves. If you just ask. I said, okay, now I took that. And I don't think she meant when I ended up doing, because now I'm sitting at executive desk , which means I had the executive corporate directory. So literally I sat there and flipped through and said, huh, director of global operations. I wonder what they do. And I call them up say, hi, my name is Shelley Archambault. And I'm going to work in the seminar. I want to run a business one day and I'm interested in what you do. I mean, literally I cold called people out of the directory. Now, now that I'm where I am. I can appreciate the fact that so many people said yes, and actually took the time to talk to me. They were probably so blown away by my audacity of actually doing that, that they actually gave me their time, which was amazing. But I learned so much about different jobs and different roles and how businesses came together. I mean, it was , it was pretty amazing. So I learned early ask, the worst that can happen is somebody says no. And then when I was a sales person , I learned that getting a note is a great thing because no doesn't mean no forever. No just means not now. The timing's not right. The value proposition isn't right. Whatever it might be. It just means something's not right. Well, if you get to know, it gives you a chance to say, well, why not? And when you ask the why not, then you get the roadmap of what you have to do to turn a no into a yes. So I, you know, there is no harm in asking the worst that can happen if somebody says no, and then it gives you a chance to find out why not.Speaker 1:
That's a , that's a beautiful reframe on that note, Shelley , thanks a lot for all the, for all the sharing. I want to encourage everybody to one, look, Shirley up, follow her on LinkedIn, look on her website and on her blog and definitely look into her book that is coming out next week, unapologetically ambitious. Cause I'm , I'm , I'm sure that you will find a lot more gems than what Shelley has shared with us today in the short time that we've had. And yeah, thanks a lot and keep , uh , keeping inspiring people, Shelly .Speaker 2:
Well, thank you very much for having me and thanks everybody for your support. And yes, I appreciate all orders of the book and support and what have you. So thank you very much.Speaker 1:
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