In Episode #74, we continue the conversation with acclaimed author, international speaker and coach at The John Maxwell Company Stacey Speller on Leadershift for Women, including the top seven things that women can start doing right now to move some of the shifts and maximize their effectiveness as leaders.
To learn more, sign up for our upcoming LeaderShift for Women workshop on March 12.
Read Transcript Below:
Welcome to the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast, where our goal is to help you increase your reputation as a leader, increase your ability to influence others, and increase your ability to fully engage your team to drive remarkable results. Hi, I’m Perry Holley, a John Maxwell facilitator and coach, and I’m Chris Goede, Vice President with the John Maxwell Company. Welcome, and thank you for joining.
Just as a reminder, as we get started today, if you’d like to learn a little bit more about The John Maxwell Company, how we can add value to your organization through facilitation, through coaching, through consulting, please visit johnmaxwellcompany.com/podcast where you can leave us a comment, a question, and even a place where you can find more information about some of the things that we’re doing with organizations around the world in regards to culture and leadership.
Well, this is the second part of an incredible conversation that we had in last week’s podcast. And I want to encourage you, if you didn’t listen to last week’s, I want to encourage you to listen to last week’s right after you listen to this one because we have guests in the studio with us and Perry and I got a little tired of sitting there looking at each other, having leadership conversations. And so we wanted to bring a couple of other guests in the room. And today we have Stacey Speller just like we did a last podcast and she and one of our other executive facilitators and coaches, Sharon Pfleger, former executive in the corporate space, have a passion to add value and to help women in the leadership space. And so, I want to encourage you to go and listen to that.
We talked about last week, John’s content Leadershift and we talked about how that is relevant in so many different ways to leaders all around the world. Sharon and Stacey have taken this and they have a passion for women in leadership and they have designed some coaching, some training, some consulting for women leaders, and I was joking around as we were kind of wrapping up. It’s for women, you know, by women and John and Mark Cole are very excited about it and couldn’t be more excited to have them represent our brand from the front of the room.
So what we thought we would do today, just kind of continue that conversation and go a little bit away from the shifts. Okay. Those will be kind of the themes of what they’re going to cover with you, but we wouldn’t do is talk really about some of the pain points that are real and that exist out there. And so one of the things Sharon and Stacey came to us and said, Hey, let’s do this. Let’s send out a survey and let’s get real time feedback in addition to what they’re experiencing in rooms and organizations and what they’re hearing already. And said, Hey, let’s go out there and let’s go ahead and send a survey and we’ll get a number of women just to tell us, man, what are they dealing with? What are some of the issues that we would love help with from The John Maxwell Company, specifically from Stacey and Sharon in regards to leadership.
And, there were some positives, there were some negatives. They are all across the board, but what it allowed us to do was really to kind of have a roadmap of where we were going to go with this content. So Stacey, thank you so much for joining us. If you want to learn a little bit more about Stacey, listen to the first episode, she tells us a little bit about her story and her journey. But thanks for being here again this week and I look forward to tackling some of these issues with you.
Well, thank you for having me. I’m so glad to be here. We’re so excited and passionate about this and as we unpacked in the first episode, I mean, we really are ready to go all in to say, let’s get women the tools they need so they can show up as the best leaders possible. So, we’re raring to go and really looking forward to this.
Well, I learned a ton from the first episode in sharing your passion. And what you’re insuring or doing is remarkable. It’s all you on stage at LTL describing it and the audience came alive when you were describing that. I’m so excited about that. And Chris mentioned the survey you took. And one of the things that came out of that were confidence related issues. And I wonder why do you think confidence is such an issue for women leaders?
Well, you know, it’s oh man, the negative stories we tell ourselves. I mean, if you could get a thought bubble sometimes of the things that go on in a whim, in a woman’s head, and they’re all over the map. I mean, you could almost have like 10 thoughts within the span of like five seconds. And they’re negative stories that we tell ourselves. And there’s so many, it’s like we become Jetti Nights of Self Sabotage because of what we tell ourselves. And it’s kind of like the I’m not good enough syndrome and it’s, I’m not smart enough. I’m not educated enough. I’m not connected enough. I don’t deserve a seat at the table. I had a woman that I was coaching and she was, I mean by far, so educated, so sharp, so professional. She was promoted in her organization and she’s an engineer by profession. And so now she has all these male engineers that she’s leading. We get together one day and she just says, I don’t know if I can do this. And I said, why not? She says, because when I’m sitting at the table, I wonder why I’m there. Wow. And I thought, that is so real. And it’s so hard. I said, the worst part about it is you are the most qualified person to have that seat at the table. But because of the narrative and the stories you tell yourself, you find yourself, you’re second guessing yourself. And then when you do that, you’re not able to make good decisions and kind of come across as that leader that knows what she’s doing. And it’s because of the narratives and the negativity that we actually end up telling ourselves.
And Sharon and I are both really, really passionate about that because we’ve seen, I mean she’s just one example of so many we have seen across the board that it happens. And I think women are honest, we’ve all kind of had that place. I know I’ve been there. I found myself when I got my first really kind of high level position, the first thing I thought about was my first staff meeting. And you start wondering, do I deserve to sit at the table? Why am I here? And you start questioning yourself.
One thing I learned from you last time, it had nothing to do with your ability, your capability. It’s all there. But yes, this imposter syndrome versus being authentic and how do you coach out of that is just believing in yourself? And it sounds, sounds kind of simple, but it’s not. But how do you get past this? Because you do have the capabilities and the abilities to do the job. I was wondering how you get past that?
You know, it actually, you’re right, it sounds really simple, but it’s really just starting to unravel the stories that we’ve been telling ourselves and really just saying, okay, why this? I always like to use the example. Let’s go back to who you were before you got your first no, before somebody told you you couldn’t do it before somebody told you you weren’t good enough. For some people it may be something in 8th grade or in 10th grade. You know, I have a woman who, she’s in STEM and you know, when she was a little girl, someone actually told her, they said, well, you don’t really want to be a research scientist, do you? And you know, it was probably in jest. But she internalized that. And so now through her leadership journey, she still internalizes, did I really want to become this? And in her logical mind, she knows that she does, but that narrative still, that loop still plays in her head. So it’s really unraveling those stories and going back to who told you you couldn’t.
The lies we tell ourselves, right? The lies we tell ourselves. Well out of this survey. We posed the questions and got feedback from the women. That is all built into the content that you guys are going to be delivering. We wanted to do today as we gave the leadership in the first podcast episode and then today you and Sharon said, Hey, we want to add value right now. Like, so here are a couple of things, seven that we feel like women that are listening to this podcast can start doing right now to help move some of those shifts that they may be in and not know what the name of them or the title of them or the content are going to be. So let’s talk about that.
And the first one I’m going to throw out here is that you guys said be authentic, right? And so to get started right now, the first one you guys put down was be authentic. Talk to us a little bit about that.
To be a Successful Leader, You Need Feedback on Your Leadership.
We’re excited to announce our new and improved Organizational Effectiveness Survey (OES). The OES gathers feedback from employees to give leaders and management the knowledge and action plans needed to develop a more effective and productive work environment. Our new version measures 4 areas of your business: Leadership, People, Strategy, and Performance.
Well, one of the things that we find is how can you be confident when you’re not being yourself? Because now you’re trying to imitate somebody. Well that’s a confidence drain right there. That’ll just zap your confidence because how can you ever be the best version of somebody else? You can’t. And so the first thing you have to do is just say, you know what? I need the courage to just be authentic. Take this mask off, to take this narrative that was handed to me, this script from my life and say, you know what? I need to be authentically who I am. Because when you can actually be unapologetic about being authentic, that’s influence on steroids.
So one of the things that I think we run into in organizational development is that we bring on team members and hire people to be themselves, right? They’re there for a reason and yet then we get them inside the organization and then we just try to stifle that. We try to put them in a box. And so I think what I’m hearing you say is like giving permission, you know, to leaders to man, you’re there for a reason. You have the ability to, you were talking about earlier and be confident in that and be authentic to who you are. Absolutely. I love that you had me when you said we put on a mask. I can picture that. And you think authenticity just be you. That must be easy, but not when you’re in these environments and you try to put on and you take on other people’s expectations. So that really resonates with me. Go to number two. It says stay in your lane.
Yes. Stay in your lane. Ladies. This one’s for you. You don’t have to be all things to everybody. And sometimes that’s one of the hardest things to do. So we’re trying to be the best, you know, we’ve got all this messaging you need to be at the best wife, the best mother, the best leader, the best church goer. Like you have to be the best of everything. And so you’re trying so hard to be the answer to everybody and everything and you know, the world is telling you you should be winning and all these things and deep down inside you feel like you’re failing at everything. And so it’s just being able to stay in your lane and say, you know what? This is what I’m called to. That goes back to the kind of having that clarity about your calling. This is what I’m called to and it’s okay that I’m in my lane and I don’t have to be everything to everybody and it’s good.
Love that. Number three, change your mind. So when I see this, I’m intrigued by where you’re going to go with it. So what are you and Sharon looking for? What are your thoughts here that they can start doing right now in regards to changing your mind? You know, it’s, it’s that mindset, you know, sometimes I think we undervalue because we hear it so much. Just that power of positive thinking and you know, there’s that old narrative that, you know, it’s a woman’s prerogative to change her mind. Well, it’s great to change your mind into a more positive mindset where you don’t have all the self doubt and the narrative that’s telling you what you can’t do and be willing to just kind of disrupt it and say, you know what? I’m not going to continue to stay in the self sabotaging thoughts. I’m going to change my mind. I’m going to shift and start thinking from, you know, problems and challenges to possibilities and outcomes. You know, that’s kind of that going into that higher level of leadership where you’re going from level three into level four. It’s because you’re willing to change your mind.
Oh, I love that. And it’s almost like giving yourself permission to think. I always tell people to have a point of view. Make sure you have a point of view, have a point of view, but being open, being able to listen to other points of view, being able to shift on that. And I love what you think going from level three to four, I find most leaders at level three, that production level, getting things done through others and achieving those results that are so much an outcome of that. But that requires a team. And how you put yourself on that team, that imposter, I’m thinking about, I’m trying to be everything to everybody and is it okay to just give myself permission to work with the team and to listen and to have to be a part of the bigger picture of what’s going on.
Absolutely. That is absolutely true. And so yeah, change your mind, be willing to change your mind. Oh, I don’t know. I have to work on that. Number four. Ooh, I love this live in the moment. Yes. So again, it goes back to the narrative and you know, again, if you could have that thought bubble so a woman could think about, you know, in the span of, again that 30 seconds she’s thinking about the mistake she made five years ago, what she didn’t do five minutes ago and where she should be five hours from now.
And so it’s being able to say, you know what, the regrets, the mistakes, all of that, you know, just become an expert at learning from your mistakes. You know, just decide, you know what, I’m going to be an expert. If I’ve made a mistake, I’m going to learn from it and then I’m going to move forward. And then being able to be in the moment and not be so far in the future where you’re wondering, okay, if I make this decision, then what’s going to happen in five years? And what about that? And what about that? Just giving yourself permission to kind of be in the moment and not feel like you always have to, you know, be dragged down from the past or just overly anxious about what’s going on in the future. I can remember when I finally got this understanding and Sharon and I were laughing about this, that, you know, you could actually sit awake at night.
Hmm. I’ll just think of that. Yeah, you can sit awake at night and you’re sitting there thinking, okay, did I really do that? Should I have done that in your second year? Guessing yourself about something you did two days ago in a meeting. But then in that same breath, you’re also thinking, okay, but what about this? What about that? About things that are going forward? And so just being able to disconnect and say, you know what, I’m in the moment today. I’m the best that I can be and, as John always says. And then tomorrow I’ll be better and, but I’m going to learn from today and then I’ll just be better for tomorrow.
I love it, I think about today’s matters. It was such a big lesson about tomorrow’s gone and you can’t get it back tomorrow. I mean tomorrow’s not promised yesterday’s gone today. Today’s all you have it today matters. So stay in the moment. Yeah, I get that perfectly. Makes me think just about being present. Right? I think you both have talked about the fact that you’re at the table for a reason, right? You’re in the organization for a reason. And how do we get a mindset to a place to where we’re bringing everything we got in the moment we’re being present.
So I absolutely love that. So real quick, number one is be authentic. Number two, stay in your lane. Number three, change your mind. And then number four, we just talked about right live in the moment. And so we have three more in regards, just kind of adding value. Some things you guys can start doing right now before you guys have the opportunity to get into the workshop with Stacey and Sharon. So number five on the list is to get clarity. Talk to us a little bit about clarity.
Well, you know when, when a lot of times when you don’t have clarity, then what you do is you find that there’s just this ensuing chaos because you’re not really clear and you’re not for women, you’re not really clear on a lot of things. You’re not clear necessarily on your calling. You’re not clear on maybe even your priorities, you’re not clear on, you know, how you want to grow, what kind of leader you want to become. So what happens is you’re trying to fill all these buckets and then none of them are actually being filled and you’re not able to do it well. And so when you don’t have that kind of clarity, then that voice of doubt, that negative talk goes back to that. It’s able to just kind of come and rear its ugly head right back in your life. But when you get real clarity on what you’re supposed to be doing, who you are as a leader, how you’re supposed to show up, you know, I kind of laugh and call it emotional clutter. It’s kind of all the just stuff that’s going on in your head. And it’s all the emotional clutter, but when you can just kind of get clarity around that, then you can show up in that authentic leadership space with confidence because now you don’t have all the back channel talk that you’re giving yourself in your head.
Right. I’m feeling as you said the word priorities is that what it comes down to is really knowing what’s important and you said staying in the moment, what’s important now? Where are we going? Having a why and a direction, but really staying clear on your priorities andI love the word clutter. I feel like my life a lot of times is I have a lot of noise and it’s hard to focus, hard to have that clarity in the thing. And how do you clear out, especially at a leadership role to have that kind of clarity to get rid of that clutter? It seemed like a really strong skill to have.
It is a very strong skill to have to be able to be in that moment. And it’s kind of almost like, you know, I liken it to just doing like, almost like a total, you know, house renovation. Like, let me get all the clutter, all this stuff, you know, it’s almost like we’re mental hoarders, you know, you get a picture of, you know, and you’re mentally hoarding all this stuff and to be able to just be in that moment and let today matter. It kind of leads into forgive and forget is number six, letting some of that stuff go it sounds like. So tell us about forgive and forget.You know, forgive and forget is probably one of the most powerful underused things that we talk about is women. And one thing I’ve noticed the hardest person for a woman to forgive is herself. And you really see that in high achieving women who, you know, those, you know, the types who want to be successful that are driven and motivated, they are a great asset to the team. But inside, if they make one little mistake, they have a hard time forgiving themselves. And so then they internalize it. And then it becomes that vicious cycle because then they internalize the mistake. It’s hard for them to hear feedback and before you know it, they’re not in the moment. Then they’re second guessing themselves and it’s eroding their confidence. So it’s like a vicious cycle where it’s like a domino where one thing is feeding into another. So when you can get to a point where forgive yourself and then learn the lesson, but forget about the experience because all you need is the lesson, you don’t need to keep replaying the experience. You just take the lesson with you.
Yeah. We talk a lot about self-awareness as leaders and I think one of the things that’s going to come out of this, and even some of the conversations that you may have heard last week or on this episode is just becoming aware of some of these things that you and Sharon have brought to us. The top seven things that you want us to start doing right now of I need to be doing them or I’m not doing them or that is what is going on and I do need to change my mind.
And so I think, the more you guys get out there, the more you talk about the more impact and value you’re adding to women, the more awareness is going to come, you know, to the top for them. And even for you guys and be able to bring some of that to those that join us. Well, number seven, the last one to kind of wrap us up here is learn something new.
It’s really, really being intentional about getting out of the box. And too often we finish our education and then we kind of think that we’ve arrived. You know, there is nothing like the confidence that comes of learning something new and it doesn’t always have to be something, you know, really intellectual, you know, it could be anything, but just the satisfaction that comes from learning something new.
You know, John really kind of helped me with this on even my journey when I was living overseas and he actually said, you know what? He said, what is really going to propel you is that you’re learning all of these different cultures. He said, that is going to be such a wealth of experience to see what leadership looks like in so many different cultures. He said, learn as much as you can. And he was so, so right. And so every day was like, what can I learn? And I started realizing that if I’m learning something new everyday, my confidence just started growing. It just starts growing exponentially. So wherever you are, whatever your passion is, just purpose yourself today. What am I going to learn that I didn’t know yesterday? I promise you’ll start to see your confidence just kind of starts to bloom. It’s almost like water for the seed of confidence that gets planted.
And it compounds over. It doesn’t have to be, like you said, any enormous big thing. It gets small things done daily, consistently over time. Remarkable results. And I just love that, that it compounds over time. And you said, how did I get here? And all of a sudden I love the, you phrase it as my confidence. Well, how do I get that confidence by doing small things daily and growing and learning and I forgive and forget, but I’ll take the lesson and then move on. But what’s the lesson? I love how you put that together to, because I know compounded in my own life and it’s just small things done daily. Absolutely.
Stacey, I’m going to ask you for a just a closing thought as, as you and Sharon worked through these seven things. Then I’ll let Perry wrap us up out of today’s session. But ladies, if you’re listening to this, okay, you want to be in the room. Yes! March 12, 2020 in Atlanta, the first time The John Maxwell Company will host a workshop: LeaderShift for Women. And you want to be in the room. I promise you both Stacey and Sharon bring an enormous amount of experience and wisdom and represent John’s brand so well in this niche and we’re so excited about it.
So, Stacey, thank you Sharon who couldn’t be with us today. Thank you. Who’s listening or she better be listening. She’s listening. And, for the work that has been done that you guys are going to do in the future, we’re grateful for both of you and so excited about where this is going to go.
Final comments. Well, again, we are so excited. I mean when I tell you it gets us up in the morning to be able to know that we’re going to have an opportunity to take all of our years of experience, all of John’s great leadership material and truly be able to add value. Like we see this as a prime opportunity to really start moving the needle, adding value and making an impact for women. I mean this the the what we did today, where we want, we’re ready to start at in value now today, which is why we said here’s seven things you can start doing right now, but we look forward to March 12 to really being able to start really changing the conversation and helping women show up in their authentic leadership style.
Well, you definitely added a lot of value. Again, if you want to know about that workshop, go to johnmaxwellompany.com on the navigation bar, look at workshops and there is a place for you to register for it there. Also, if you’d like to leave a question for anything about this podcast or a question for Stacey, you can do that at johnmaxwellcompany.com/podcast we always love hearing from you there and we’d be glad to entertain your question. As always, we’re grateful for you joining us. This is the John Maxwell Executive Leadership Podcast.