The Pavilion Podcast
The Pavilion Podcast

Episode · 1 year ago

Ep 36: You Only Have to Be 1% Better feat Vyara Ndejuru

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

You Only Have to Be 1% Better feat Vyara Ndejuru 

Hello and welcome to the revenue collective podcast. My name is Casey, like Gordon and I'm your host. Today I sit down with Brno Djourou to talk about her journey into a marketing leader. Before we get started, I want to give a shout out to our revenue collective sponsor. This episode is brought to you by Quota Path Commission tracking software built by salespeople for sales people. If you wake up in a cold sweat, dreading the commission's process quota path is for you. Quote. A path provides commission transparency for everyone involved while motivating reps to sell more. Plus, it's so easy to on board it'll be running before your next commission cycle. Ditch spreadsheets and formulas simplify commission calculation at quote a path dot com Hello and welcome to the revenue collective podcast. My name is Casey. Let Gordon and I'm your host. Today. I am very excited to sit down with a new friends and fellow revenue collective member V. R and D. Djourou. Viera is the I want to make sure I get this title right. The brand and digital experience leader, an element ai. In her previous life, she had been a marketing leader for CPG companies and has chosen to take this opportunity to really push outside of her comfort zones. We'll talk about VRS experience up until now how she got where she is and what it is like to be one a female leader and then also a woman of color in a leadership position. And so with that, we are a welcome to the show. I'm very happy to have you here today. Thank you, Casey, for having me. It's my pleasure. So we have toe laugh because this is such a 2020 thing. We've tried to record this at least three or four times now, and for some reason, our software will not work with the computer are sound. So we're taking it to zoom and we're making it work. Were being resourceful, as I like to see. Oh, exactly. Just do a little different this time. All right? So, Vera, I would love if you could take us one. Just maybe tell us what is element ai. And what is your role there today? Help ground our audience. And then I'd love toe, do a click backwards and hear about how you got here. What? Your path has been sure. So element the eyes that B two b A i software company. We work in multiple industries. So, for example, banking where government were also in supply chain manufacturing in terms of companies, size and maturity were four years old and actually very exciting. Since we last spoke, Service now has declared its intention to acquire the company. So sometime in 2021 we will be part of service now. So it's been a really, really big year for us. Ah, lots of excitement. I think I was very well served. I was looking for an adventure, and boy, did I get it and what I do There is namely managed brand and digital experience. So what that means is everything that is not customer marketing or slash product marketing is under my purview. What's exciting about the role is that it's fairly flexible. I work hand in hand or shoulder to shoulder or whatever analogy you wanna used to say that you're very closely aligned with e sales ops and sales organization. So really figuring out you know what our goals need to be? How do we accomplish that? What kind of campaigns do we need to run. And obviously making sure that our SDRs are kind of keeping us in line in terms of messaging and making sure that it lands that it's effective and that our customers that it resonates with our customers. Well, that sounds like a hell of Ah, I won't even say year because I don't think you've been there a year yet. Is that right? Now, I've been there two years. It's gonna be two years. Two years in November. So Yeah, it's been okay. So uneventful. Two years, year one you've got in your two. It was co vid. You guys have intention to get acquired. I would love to hear a bit about how you how you came toe to take this role. What is your background as a marketing leader? Like you said, you are in this, uh, you know, this hybrid role where it's very much concerned with what if sales need how doe I serve them, but also the integrity of brand and experience. And some people do that really well, and I find that others have tension there, So I would love to dig into your background. So I love that you use the word tension because it's actually the thing I lean into. I think there is really good tension between sales, the sales ops and marketing when sales holds marketing accountable and marketing holds sales accountable. So there is a sense of good tension, meaning that it produces outside results for everyone involved. When we're holding each other accountable to higher performance, I think the tension is bad when the communication is bad. But if the communication is good and everyone is holding each other up to higher standards, it's it's actually really good tension. And I look for it because we tend to report into...

...different leaders. There's also the kind of balancing off K p I. So when you don't have the exact same KP ice, there could be that that friction that's built into the relationship. But if you have good communication, I find that it's it's usually produces really good results. So I want to pause there. How do you manage that? How do you make sure there's good communication, or how do you bring that in when Maybe there's a deficit of it? I over communicate Okay, that's that's just a default over communicating because, uh, Everyone always thinks that it's the other person's responsibility to tell them what's up. If you actually go out of your way and over communicate at one point, it clicks in, and at one point the other person knows what you're about and trusts us in. So I would say that I sound really smart saying it, but I stole it from someone else. It's one of the agile coaches that I was working with was explaining to me kind of the dysfunctions of a group, and she was explaining that basically, the route is trust, but you cannot have trust if you don't have good communication. So really the foundation of communicate with transparency and over communicate until your intentions become so clear because there's such a volume of data to go from, if you want to call it data that the other person starts to understand. Okay, I see what you're about. I see that you're consistently asking for my help. I see that you're consistently taking my advice. I see that you're consistently looking to improve and I see it consistently not taking things personally. You know what? Maybe we could work together, so I think over communicating is is a really great way to get to a place of calibration. At one point you get to that right beat, but in the beginning, just over communicate until until trust citizen. I think that's so fabulous. And I think the book you were referencing is five dysfunctions of a team where they actually, you know, break down. And if you all are listening, there's plenty of resource is online. There's a book you can have audible, but it started in agile, but I know that I had a sales organization that I was running before, and we use that a lot. We use that across leadership. We used it across, you know, innovation anytime you're building something new, and that's certainly the case in an earlier stage company, new hires coming in, having that grounding or that foundation of I love what you said over communicate till intention and trust is clear. And I think that's you know, whether your sales marketing later or anyone going into to what companies such a key key point. So you're you look for that tension, you said. You lean into it, talk to me about your experiences, you know, either in sales or marketing getting into a position of leadership. So So, yeah, I think I think, as you go into commercial roles and you start to get your hand put to the fire. I think the first feeling I would tell you in terms of what it feels like to get into commercial rolls or commercial leadership roles is discomfort, because all of a sudden it's no longer the team. We it's like you did or did not x y Z, and that could be extremely uncomfortable. The first few times you get exposed to it because, yes, you are part of a team. But as the leader, it's your responsibility, and you are accountable if you do or you do not. I think that is the first thing that you go in. And I think sales professionals get their hand put to the fire earlier as they go through the ranks. So I think that that discomfort is assimilated. So example first Q B R around the table. Everyone is looking at it and maybe your marketing manager and you've been managing teams for a little while. But you've never been part of that bigger forum. I think that first kind of laser focus of you did or you did not accomplish X y z goal And that heat that goes into your cheeks. So I'm black. So I'm not red, but the heat, Israel and not getting defensive. It's definitely something that takes a while to get into to really lean into kind of feedback and say, Okay, you know, maybe I don't love the message, but is there some truth to that? And what could I have done differently? So I think it takes a lot of time to really remove the emotion from the feedback and try toe grab the learning. So I think that that was definitely the first difficulty and not trying to be all like, Well, you know what I did? I did my marketing plan. And if it didn't work, it's because nobody cares. You know what? Nobody is listening. You just didn't. So what you gonna do differently? So I think that was my biggest learning. Uh, don't take things personally. That was the goal. He didn't achieve it. Why? What you gonna do differently? That's it. Move on. So I think that's a really I mean, you were saying sales have these these sharp edges, so to speak. And I think that's such a great way to say that I've never heard it articulate it that way. But that, absolutely, is the case, right? I have to hit my numbers or I don't I'm responsible for revenue or I'm not. That's my job track or it's not. And so there's this very black or white, you know, switch on or off. E totally get that. I hadn't heard it articulated, but in marketing, what you just said is very much Ah, marketers response. I have a control. I did an...

...experiment what did or did not work and how will I optimize? So I wonder. I like what you mentioned around that tension. It's, you know, sales might bring you some more of those sharper edges, but you may be able Thio go to, you know, your sales peers or the organization. And really, we don't often say this, but dehumanize it. It's not about you, the individual that did or didn't. It's Instead, here's our experiment. Here's what we learned. Here's how we can optimize. I haven't learned all of that very well. I will say I have the ability to not take that feedback feels so personal, especially as a leader. You know, I think it's it pierces through the armor. Yeah, yeah, for me, for sure. And it's hard. I mean, especially if if you put everything into it and then you start to think, you know, maybe I can't do it. So then, of course, it gets super personal, But I think that's the That's the part. If you have a really good team around the table and you're really looking at the problem and not whether you did it or you didn't do it, I think it could be fun. Um, I've been in environments where we weren't hitting our numbers, and then it's not fun. But if you are doing relatively well and there's really that sense of camaraderie around solving whatever the problem is, I think it's those moments are fantastic and you really feel like one team when you're on the losing streak. It's very difficult to feel that way, and people will point fingers. That's just kind of human nature. But there is that there are instances where that feels fantastic. Yeah, I think that's such a such a salient way of saying it. And so I'm curious. You know, it's my understanding that the technology world would be to be tech. World is new to you, You career started. Is CPG correct? And so what do you see is the biggest difference in those two worlds as faras through the lens of being a marketer. So I was not accustomed to the enterprise sales model, which is a very complex, and, I find, honestly, super interesting psychological like jiu jitsu. So if you think about large deals and you think about the friction that exists in converting not just a person but a buying committee through the journey, I mean, that's next level. So if you think about TPG or if you think about retail and you think about a ticket price of $100 the friction that's inherent in the conversation or in the transaction rather it is so much smaller than you're looking at. $350,000 million deal. 15 people, different perspectives, different roles within the organizations, different agendas. One person I'm shopping for Saturday night for a pair of shoes, so very, very different psychology, and I think that the the skill that it takes an organization toe orchestrate that conversion through the funnel of something that is such a high ticket item so complicated to explain, complicated to install, to use an expensive to upkeep is like it's a completely different psychology. So I find that fascinating. Do you have? Do you prefer one versus the other now, having having done both? Well, I prefer what I have, no less. So I'm still very curious about the enterprise sales model simply because it's like it's unbelievable. It is, Ah, it's a really, really still human relationship based transaction and to try to codify that I find that really interesting. So what did the playbooks look like? What does emotions How do you repeat those? How do you systematize so that you can scale so that becomes predictable when it's human? I find that super interesting. Any tips or trips, because I feel that that was that was probably one of the biggest challenges in my last role is that you may have an individual who is able to come up with their unique system, but to scale that across two layers of human capital internally to your organization and then externally, to whatever company. And there may be similarities, but there's also a tremendous difference is one 100%. But I think eso one of the things that become obsessed with recently is taking a look at what some of thesis Ailes counterparts are doing in terms of training. So I think one of the key factors of systematize ing training and that's what I see being repeated over and over again in terms of success factor. So the human element is one. So maybe they have strengths that are specific to the areas where they're gonna have an outsized impact. But there is a playbook that could be systematized. And then it's about, I think, the coaching and the training. So what I find really interesting is those sales leaders who take an inordinate amount of time to invest back into their teams and to train into coach. So that is, I think the difference between being able to hit...

...your numbers and being able to predictably repeat those those motions. So that's what I'm finding is maybe the key is everything around the systematize ing, the documenting and the training. I really like that aspect of we're going to systematize the training and then allow part of the beauty of sales is the human element. It is that that you and I have different experiences, you know, expertise and we're able Thio, bring those those unique talents, skills, gifts, all of that into the role. And so focusing on what is our control, which is training. Everyone can go through the same process. The outputs may be different. Some people on better. Worse. We may then be able to chart them or approach. But that's the place. And I have found I'm curious of your take. But by the time a sales organization is ready to make a higher and maybe marketing thio, they're usually at a deficit. They're usually drowning, and so the manager or whatever you know, training entity. It becomes really burdensome Thio not only higher and bring on new people, but then to properly train and making sure that they are, you're setting them up for success. It's almost like you're underwater and you're trying to help someone you know up Aziz Well, and that tension there, especially around new team members building team momentum, etcetera. I personally have found very challenging. It's true. You're right. I think that there is that the ideal. And then there's the reality of managing and then kind of prioritizing. It's it's super tough, but I think the way I've seen it said the best is like the rule of 1%. If that person improves 1% every day for 365 days, it's like there's something crazy, like 37% better or 37 times rather better So that one to the infinity, it za crazy help incremental improvements Dr Outsized performance. So that consistency in that training. In the end, I think we have to think of it almost like an efficiency metric where you're saying, if I don't put the time in this is ultimately kind of what I'm losing out on, and I think that's what we need to tell ourselves and our managers when we're being told Hey, deliver this short term goal where you have, like, say, 40 hours in a week and you need to kind of chunk your time. But if you don't put in the time on your team doesn't put in the time and you consistently deteriorate because you're not improving, then That gap is kind of an efficiency metric that needs to be accounted for somewhere. So it's Either you leave because you're not able to deliver sustainably or that person in your team leaves because they're now drowning and they need to be coached. So I haven't figured it out. You're right. There's, like the ideal and then the rial and real life. But But that needs to be baked into the culture somewhere because at the rate at which teams are expected to grow and deliver, I mean, something's gotta give if something does have to give. I think that that is that is so well said. And so I'm curious. What is your team look like? Inside of element? What? Who are you managing? And then also, who are you reporting? Thio. So I had two phases. So at first when I came in, I reported into a marketing VP that BP has since left, and now I report directly into a co founder and chief chief operator. In terms of team, my team has shrunk a little bit. Unfortunately, I think we're all in that situation. So right now I have a team of about eight people and it's bands, Uh, so a B M paid a social PR design, events, content and Web. I've read somewhere that the management effectiveness goes down after a number of six people. That six is kind of your sweet number to manage. So I'm curious. I mean, do you find managing eight people challenging? Yes, because if you're honest, you would like to given our toe every person in a week. Yeah, and at eight people, eight hours, you can't do it. So what ends up happening is you given our every two weeks and for some and the team, that's enough. But for some, it's not. So I found that your you're not able to necessarily adapt to to the team member. So you, you, you it's a little bit rougher in terms off expectations. That might. So either you lower your expectations because you know that you're not giving them everything that they need or you need to have a tough conversation and say, I don't think that you're going to be able to sustain the expectation without a significant amount of coaching. Mhm. That's a hard conversation to have, especially when the system itself may be a little flawed to your point of Hey,...

I don't I can't pour this into you and recognizing it's it's less of pointing fingers. It's more of just a assessment of the situation and being able to surface that two employees. But I think one of the things in a startup that I found is, uh, different from a very structured environment is it is a lot more forgiving for these kinds of things, so people will throw their back into it a little bit more than, let's say, in a very structured environment where every move is a blind, you can ask for exceptions. You can. You can tweak the week. You can ask for a little bit more because people are bought into this ideal of what you're trying to accomplish collectively, that you might not get with more of a like a corporate setting. Going from big corporate's to start up world on A we'll just talk less sales marketing that just doesn't employees as someone that's a very going into different company culture. Do you have a preference or are their observations that you've seen that that make you favorite one versus the other? I definitely like having team members or colleagues who have an entrepreneurial bent, whether they're in corporate environments or in a startup, because they're they feel responsible for the outcome. They're not punching in. It's really whatever it is that they have in front of them. They want to deliver, they want to accomplish and it's theirs on. And I think working with people like that is a lot of fun because they're not going to rest until it's done. So I don't know if it's about the environment or about the profile, but definitely people who have that entrepreneurial profile tend to take things to heart and on take it to the next level, which which makes work a lot more fun. Yeah, definitely more fun, and I find that there's different environments, conserve you A different seasons of life is you know there are. There are times that you're able to be all in when it comes Thio work and you want Thio. You know, if this is successful, were all successful kind of thing and that there's other seasons where a job truly maybe a job just in recognizing that and I think having the experience of both will. Probably Very interesting is you go through your career to understand, you know, almost the levers you wanna pull. And what is the right environment based on where you are in life for sure, For sure. So why did you decide to go to a startup? Why? What was there? Was that intentional? Was it an opportunity that came up? I want to know. What was I was I was I was obsessed with going to element. I was obsessed with the company. I harassed them. I was relentless and getting it. So the company that I was at before it was fantastic and I had had many, many opportunities for growth. And, uh, I think it was just one of those times where, unfortunately, there's just may be nothing left to do. I had been there 10 years, so that's okay, you know what I mean. So I really was quite intentional and where I wanted to go and and we talked about this before, I really wanted to be 50% uncomfortable, so I knew I had a significant amount of leadership background, digital know how, analytics, etcetera, that I could bring and structure that I could bring to element, but I didn't have to be. I didn't have software. I didn't know A I I don't know what it's like to market a scientific lab, so these are all super new things. And I felt like if that was the exchange, that that would be extremely beneficial, and I was very uncomfortable. I still am. It's a really, really uncomfortable environment, so I really wanted to provoke it, and I don't know if it's going to sound sexist, but I really think that it's good for women to do that, especially as we get older and as we become more and more expensive and, uh, if you don't want to be put on a and this is my opinion, so you can hate on it. But it's my opinion. If you don't want to be put on the shelf of like a nice a nice lady, I think you have to show some teeth, sometimes surprised, you make some moves that are on characteristic and put some skin in the game. So I wanted to surprise myself. I wanted to. This is going to sound cliche, but like disrupt myself and be uncomfortable and and show myself that I could still do it and hopefully continued to do that to show that I'm invested in my career, that I'm ambitious and I'm willing to take some risks. So that was kind of the move. I think, you know, as as you grow in your career, you start thio, you start thio command a certain amount of of money, and you start to expect a certain amount of responsibilities. But if you don't want to be in the situation where you could easily be, um, kind of pushed to the side, you have to kind of change the game. So So that was my That was my intention. Oh, there's so much don't back here. I I love all the controversy you just dropped in a good way. So one, I think that marketers in general and taking gender out of it, But just even age, that's...

...something we see a lot around CMOs or marketing leaders that they age out and many times because you do have emerging technologies. The systems and tools are becoming easier to have access to. Early on in your career, you can automate a lot of it and essentially get the same expertise air quotes for much cheaper so that I think is a natural thing in your field as it is layer in ah, working woman and some of the tensions that are within that as a marketer. Those double, you know, double down. And I think for you to say it's more around the career you're building is I want to demonstrate that I have tenacity and grit and know how in resourcefulness and range and range less about the thing I'm doing. That's great that I can market, but we can all look things up online and I'm I mean, I'm being a bit facetious, but we can all like Google it and figure it out. But I'm exactly I'm demonstrating that I have something that accompany my character is what company X y Z will want. And then I can figure out the role within. Yes, and I think what you want to show is that you're able to bring that change with you where you go. So not to say that you're going to be in change change agent again, air quotes, but but to say this is an extremely dynamic period, and I have it inside of me. I am able to dive into it and come out on top. I think is ultimately what you want to show. You want to show that to the team so that they trust you and follow you. You want to show that to your leadership and you want them to say, Hey, you know what she came in doing? X, y and Z But we've put 12 and three challenges in front of her. And every single time she's come up with something creative that is added value across the organization. Huh? So you want people thio take notice. And I think you also want to create confidence which is the other thing that as you age you start to lose because you're not as exposed. Let's say as when you are deep in the trenches and then you you wanna make sure Can I still deliver? Um, I still is sharp. Can I still do? X, y and z Can I still reinvent myself? Can I learn these new skills? Can I Can I be a duer? Can I be a coach of coach is gonna be so you want to see You know what kind of range Can I adapt? And I still adaptable? Or do I become rigid as I age? So ultimately, you want to show that you're still extremely flexible and able to come up with new solutions? Be creative. That tenacity you were talking about and that creativity is ultimately what you wanna what you want to be about. Okay, I'm gonna I'm gonna put on my challenger hot if I'm listening to this. I'm hearing this. I mean, I'm like, hell, yes. And then the inner voice inside of me says, But what if I fail? What if I don't have the range? What? You know, you start to ask, and so I'm curious in making this shit. You said you wanted to be 50% uncomfortable. You wanted to really push yourself 50% of significant. Did you ever have that talk truck? Yeah, totally fail this. I could totally screw this up. And 100% Yeah, every day. But I think I think I think Did you read this book? Feel the fear, but do it anyway. Like it, Xena. Right now? Yeah, Z. So why would that emotion drive your action? So yes. Yes, you're very fearful. And but why would that determine your next your next action? We know that emotion is not a good trigger to base, to base your professional instinct on it's a feeling kind of like the weather. So I would just say that, yes, you're going to feel the fear, but you're going to try to push through it, and that shouldn't be the reason why you do something or don't do it. It could be in the background, and you could still act quite differently because they lacked confidently. Even though you're not, How do you coach your teams on that? I think you need to make an environment where they see you fail in its okay, So if you have a great example, I we all talk about like, failure so great. But I think that being really tangible about it can sometimes be challenging. So I think putting out a hypothesis on campaign X y Z so something low stakes and it's no good, like it's shit, that the performance of shit it didn't go well and having a conversation with others around the table about why it's not good and taking ownership. So saying Haiti member X Y Z. I take full responsibility for that. We didn't create the right environment for this to be a success. So why isn't it a success? So really trying to talk about again? Similarly to the earlier conversation we had around being shoulder to shoulder with sales and saying, Hey, why didn't that? Why didn't that work? Doing that same thing with your team shoulder to shoulder really helps. So going through almost like the recipe of what you thought was going to work and then what? Didn't so...

...that you So that you create that objectivity because again, if people are brought in, they're gonna feel they're going to feel something about not delivering. They're going to feel that accountability. They're going to feel like they let you down. But if you try toe, say, Hey, we're all we're all feeling that But let's let's look at what actually what we actually did and didn't do. And let's try to look at the what the difference is, what do we control and what can we do differently is one way I found is very effective, so really looking at it quite objectively, the other thing is to give people a chance to improve. So it's not so its to say, Hey, you know what? It's an iteration. I find that word really helps people remove some of the pressure of not performing. There's a next time. What are we going to do differently? I find it helps me. And I found it helps. The team is well just to say, Oh, great learning. I used to have the CMO. He was a Swiss, Swiss, Italian and yeah, this really thick accent and he would always talk about That's a great learning. So whenever we would really mess up big, it would be a great learning. So So I find even language can help not and not being accusing, saying Wow, that was a really great learning. What did we learn? So trying to use language that is less triggering. But then, you know, making people accountable, saying What is it that we did and didn't do? And what are we going to do differently and how we're gonna make this systematic? So using the process toe offset some of this emotion and then trying Thio not dig in and make people feel I feel like they did it all on their own and that there's no team around it and that you as their leader and not taking responsibility for ultimately, what is your team and your failure? Right, right. I find that and you mentioned in startups that you find there's some flexibility in process and structure just given the nature of the business. I also have found in smaller earlier stage companies that because it is very familial, it is very friendly that at times, also delivering the hard feedback can be challenging because we're all in the trenches because we all know we mean well and are doing well. But at times you have to really be direct. You have to say hard things or have difficult discussions. Employees and teams. I wonder if you have any perspectives on that or tools I a lot. I completely agree, and I think as a manager, especially if you're young manager, you're closer sometimes an age to your team than you are to your own management and closer and experience etcetera. So sometimes it's very difficult to take on that role, and it feels fake. I found that I read Kim Scott's book Radical Candor. It really, really helped because it started to give me a sense that some of the instincts that I have had were really good about caring deeply. So the base again is that communication carrying deeply so that you're able to when time comes, deliver that candid feedback in a way that is not accusing, still loving but direct. So that was the way I found. I found that book to be an epiphany, like in terms of framing that in a way that was aligned with my values, but also with the fact that I have grown the most when I've gotten super direct feedback. So again, why would I deprive the team off the growth? I like that you made it about them and their growth. It's not about It's hard for me to tell them that it's Instead I have to do this in Service of Growth and Kim Scott's book. It similarly was an epiphany for me to change my life. I think honestly of ability. Yes, that was me back up and down, being able to articulate it up, and I found that there are people not always bosses that I had, but there were people that exemplified the principles in that book of carrying deeply but being direct really well. And I was drawn to them and, you know, as I started to really assess the people around me team members, clients, even family members, etcetera. But there were also I became hyper aware that there weren't a ton of leaders. I saw doing this really well, No, and that was hard for me. And I think that especially I came from the tech world startup world. A lot of that There are a lot of male leaders and their communication. Sometimes they don't always established the care deeply, and I recognized it's a major generalization. But I do want to talk about being a woman leader. I found that vulnerability and the ability Thio tap more into that emotional side came organically to me as a woman than some of my male counterparts. And I think that's such a valuable piece because I also saw my male counterparts learning from that and because to start to flex that muscle. But I think that's where the idea of representation of different ways of leading of the way people look, that you know who they are and having that in leadership is so important. Because to me that communication breakdown can deter me from joining or not joining an organization. It can inform whether I am willing to put myself in a high pressure, high stakes environment in which we're gonna care deeply and be kind. Ah, high pressure,...

...high stakes environment where you win or you lose. I completely agree. And I think it's probably something you did you were able to fashion with time. So as you started to kind of pulling parts the information from the different environments, you started to see what was an indicator of fit, not fit. And, uh, that's just experience, right? Like with time, you start Thio, you start to develop that you start to develop that sense of not just sure that, but that's not just discourse. I'm not sure that that team is actually feeling what they're saying, and I wonder if you know they're going to deliver. Ah, warm, loving but still high performance environment. But I agree with you in terms of finding those those kind of unicorns that exemplify both the deep, the deep caring and the candor I haven't found. But I found people who have been great, great incarnations of one, but not the other. And I've tried to kind of take what I could from all of the leaders that are around me and say, Hey, you know, there's a little bit of that that I love about this leader. There's this this from that one that I really love to kind of create this Frankenstein off great, a kind of leadership in action because the book is still theory. But when you see it in action in context, within the environment that that, you know and within the company that you see with the people and you kind of BC, the response of the of the audience, or of the of the teams you start to be able to adapt it and make it your own. But it's definitely not an exact science. Not at all, not at all. I am. There was something you had said I first of all the Frankenstein analogy, I'm literally imagining this very cute communication like bubble That's Frankenstein together. So thank you for that. Exact. Um, Well, guys, you're seeing the real real time. Hit a wall here. No, there was something that we've talked about that really, really struck me. Maybe around the team, feeling one way by actually acting another. Are you able Thio? Talk about any of your experiences where you've been able to really decipher that. See that and then pull out the truth. No, I don't have an example, but I could tell you that one of the powerful ways I've it's a feeling when people are kind of ITT's. Not really so example. We've all been in a in a room where we know there's tension, but nobody wants to call it out. And you know, you're in a meeting and nobody's talking and it's super awkward. So I will give you another gift, and this is comes from somebody did. A panel with her name is Julie, and she said her go to when she gets to a place when she knows there's something she says, Where's the poop? And I was like, Oh, that's terrible, but at the same time, it's true, because if you just say, Hey, what's the elephant in the room? Everyone's gonna look at you and be like, What do you mean, no elephant? But there's something about that word which makes people kind of laugh. And it allows you to break through that, that whatever it is that is kind of making everyone act act fake. So that, I found is able. I was able to kind of break that early in a conversation or in a presentation or in a kind of group brainstorm where you feel people are kind of like e don't know this weird in this weird space. So during that early in the conversation breaks the ice, I found also in this time of cove, it that breakout rooms could be very, very good. So using Zoom trying to do breakout rooms to really get people to open up. But sometimes it's about that big group, right? We've all seen it were like 18 tiles on a zoom call, and and some people are posturing. So, you know, getting in there trying to do maybe subgroups and really getting to the heart of the matter can can really help. But I found that it zvehr e difficult to address a group behavior. Yeah, there's the male Chimps CEO Ben Chest night, he I saw him speak and he had a phrase so on your poop phrase, he said. Put the turd on the table. E no, it's terrible. E o team put the turn on the table like we need to talk about whatever this is. And I love that It came from leadership of pushing that to say, Listen, something's going on here. Let's all e Yeah, I could smell it. So yeah, I completely agree. So there's something about PC is obviously that never exactly like poop. But there's something about being so craft that kind of cuts through the BS again poop. But, uh but, yeah, I think I think that's very effective. But it's very difficult to address a group. Behavior one too many. It's much, much easier to kind of break it down and for sure. So you have spoken with an incredible amount of self awareness you have talked about. I want to be 50% uncomfortable. I want to go. If I'm gonna make a move, I wanna go Thio Element hyper aware of communication styles, But you also have a day job, and I find that you know, as as someone...

...rises in the ranks and becomes better and better at their job, more responsibility, it can at times be really challenging toe also hit the time out and say, I need to self reflect Who am I? How am I showing up is a leader as a professional? And I'm curious if you experience that tension or how you carve out time and space to also focus on, you know, we are a and and the journey you want to go on, not just within the role you're in today. So that's not an area where I excel. I find it still something I struggle with, like time out and I have not gotten there. It's something I'm aware I need to work on, but it's really not there. So I find that I over work, that work and life bleed into one another. I don't know what work like violence is. I've heard of it. I have not experienced it. There's some days where I'm like there are dishes in the sink. The kids and I run out of the door and we're going to be late for school. So I think it's at this point in my in my life. I just try to be forgiving of the things that are not perfect That's a Sfar, as I've gotten when I get farther than that. But you know, But right now that Zoe's faras I've gotten it's like some days there, Just not good. Mm. Preach to that. Had one of those yesterday. One of the things that you said earlier is that 1% better. And so I've heard you mentioned a ton of books. You know, like I said, to hear you say, you're not very good at that. That self reflection and self awareness is very surprising. Because as we've gone through this, you've dropped several nuggets of, you know, really good insight. And so I wonder if it's instead of you stopping everything and digging deep within if instead it's this almost 1%. I'm going to read this book. How can I implement that? Today? I'm gonna observe this, you know, action of a manager or employee, your team. And I'm gonna implement this. And maybe it's that incremental. 1%. Oh, I like that versus you having like Okay, guys, everything has to stop. I'm going to go on sabbatical and figure out You know what I want. My e think. I think maybe you're right. I don't know, but I like it. I'm probably going to try to use that. Just thio Try to make it systematic. So it's like, you know, 1% of whatever it's because I like systems, so I like to name it and I like toe like structure it. So when it is not that to me, it doesn't exist. But maybe I'm doing it intuitively. I doubt it, but maybe, Yeah, I appreciate the and honesty there like No, that sounds great, but I'm not doing it. So one thing I did mention at the top of the episode, and I really would love to know your perspective. Over the past year. Specifically, we have increased our conversations around diversity in the workplace. Women in leadership, people of color, diversity of backgrounds, age, etcetera in a former life. I used to say that innovation and diversity were the two most bastardized words in corporate America because everybody talks about it with the implementation of it and the systems to use your you know, your words aren't there, and I'm curious. As someone who is excelling in their career is taking on more leadership positions. How do you look at diversity equity inclusion within your company, your team, the broader landscape. I'd love to hear just any of your perspectives there. Sure, I think everyone in this last year has been kind of prompted to take position. So even though I could tell you that I was sensitive to diversity and inclusion efforts, I can't claim that I was active, meaning position and using my influence to drive change. I found that the younger generation, like younger people, are great at sparking the conversation because I think one of the things that I think I took for granted was things are as they are, so they're like, No, things are not as they are. Things are what you make them. So oh, that is so true. So I find that it's a really interesting time also to think across generations and to have our Children or the generation that follows talk back about the legacy we're leaving and it's the same ideas, this idea of saying Are we really delivering against the things that we say we believe in, and if so, what are we doing concretely and if so, how? And if we're doing that in a way that is improving. What do we have to show for that? I find they're holding us accountable in a way that is similar to the rest of our conversation. You know, you're being held accountable to a higher objective, and I think we've been feeling them. That's definitely the the sound I've been hearing across the board. But I think it's a conversation that they are driving and that we need to responded to. So so I found it. It's actually quite humbling, and it's a lot of the time the team educating me on language, on positions on legacy thinking, and it's also a...

...good way for you to show that you don't know everything. There is some things which are preconceived notions that you've incorporated and and that you're open to changing. But you have blind spots. So I found it to be extremely constructive conversation, extremely uncomfortable because you realize how many biases you actually have. And it's like you never even knew how many you had, even as a woman of color. The amount of thinking that I have, which is dated for lack of a better expression, is surprising, so I think e think it's holding ourselves accountable and having that very, very direct dialogue with a generation that is a little bit more aware than that, at least I am and trying to do better and do that in a way that's measurable. I just I really believe measurable is best, and I think you should do things in the open. So I believe that it's about, you know, systems and targets and behaviors and practices and new ways of hiring. And what about education? And then you think about well, if you're talking about education, what about housing? What about income levels? What about societal injustice? So then you start to broaden the circles and you say, OK, well, maybe there is some areas that are that are completely un broached that we need to look at, but we need to chunk it down because it's huge in terms of how broken it is. So so, for example, I'm East African and the black experience is very varied but quite rich. So one of the things that every single person of color will tell you that they've experienced is prejudice, but the way that they've internalized it is probably very different, depending on what their heritage and history is so It's a really interesting conversation and one of the things I did this year and I think like a lot of people like took position after George Floyd and I said, You know what? I'm going to invest my time and energy in combating systemic racism in a way that is visible. And so I joined an organization called The Black Opportunity Fund and one of the things we want to do is create a billion dollar front for for small and medium sized businesses because that's a belief that I have. I think it's easier to measure economic empowerment than, let's say, some of the more longer winded, more societal ills which I think are best solved through government. So so in my small way, I think I found a place that I I think I could drive impact. But it's definitely been prompted by by events outside of myself and definitely by awareness that's been that's been really I think that awareness came with kind of the people around me and the kind of conversation that we were having, the teams that work, the kinds of things that they were feeling telling me sharing and how how much it impacted them. Definitely created a conversation that does make that has been extremely rich, very painful, the very rich that was so beautifully said. And I appreciate you, you know, speaking to your experience and observations and the honesty and vulnerability to say, Listen, I had my own thoughts challenged and beliefs in this. I found that sometimes we we can observe and obviously, you know, I'm a white woman, and so my experiences are very different. But what I have found is when I look at the whole, it's overwhelming to know where to start, how to get involved. But what I have. A friend of mine told me that she was in the career coaching and team building she, you know, very successful in that space. And she said, I there's a lot of places I could start, But one thing I can give is exactly the things that I do for, you know, organizations and companies I can give to the community that I want to help so I could go work with young people. I could go work with people of color, low income, etcetera, and I don't have to do everything, but I could do this in my way, and that resonated so much with me. I We were hiring a team member similar to you after George, George Floyd and really, you know, stopped back, I think just a much broader conversation and something as simple as putting an educational requirements in a job description. Do you need to have a masters to be really good at sales? No, I don't. I think there's a lot of people that are and so being able to really challenge that assumption of what does that What does that say? Well, who are the individuals that maybe have gone on that trajectory? Are there things that we can say? You know, an unenviable means You're have a learning mindset. Okay, cool. That's something that you can have Is that you, you know, you are willing for put yourself up for a challenge or take on risk and responsibility. Those air things that become measurable, not the thing. Do you have this or you don't, because who knows? The life circumstances that may prevent an individual or allow an individual toe...

...have that. And so that was such a tangible, small way that really reframed, You know, how do I bring this in In a way into my organization? Not in a way that you control, right? Like I think this is my contribution. This is what I can control. And this is very different from what was done. And it should bring very different outcomes that No, I completely agree. And I think that's what everyone is challenged with you. Look at the you look at the size of the of the challenge and you're just like, Well, how can I even challenge is how can I even contribute to something that has taken us so long to put up as a challenge? It's not gonna be done in one generation is going to take time to unpack, unwind and and undo. So where do I begin? So then it's very easy to be defeated and say I'm not going to do anything, and I think that that's what we found. We are no longer able to do that. The generations that follow will not accept. And I think it's fantastic to to have have created that kind of dialogue where they are expecting us to do better. And I think it. Z created the right kind of response, I think, because when it's your own child telling you while you know what are you going to do differently, Mom, and how are you going to make a difference and how are you going to contribute? All of a sudden? It's a very personal conversation about what you is, their mother or us, their friend or us, somebody to look up to, are doing to make the world that they live in tangibly better. And then it's no longer a conceptual conversation. It's What are you doing with your time and your money? Hmm? Yes, I think there's two things I'll take away from today's conversation. I'll take away a lot, but the two headlines are be okay with the 1% because even just what we talked about, being able to just do incrementally better is better than doing nothing and overtime outsized rewards. It's 37%. I think it's 37 times if you do that over 365 days, one to the power of 3 65. I think it's I think it's like 37%. At 37 times bigger. It's like it's it's insane. The amount of improvement and not to me feel so much more approachable than having to do it all or waiting for this big reveal. It's much more of an experimental mindset which marketers are great at, and I think that's amazing. And then the second page is the 1% was the first one. Guys, it's five PM you guys, Um, but the second, oh, the accountability, the accountability piece because you said that that came up several times and accountability with sales, accountability, with marketing, accountability with younger generations, accountability yourself. Accountability. I actually thinks push it pushes you to do fewer things better. Mhm. Then just saying I can't do them all or I can't do any because it's just too many to start. It says no, do few things better. And then once you hone those, once you become an expert, those once whatever that that accountability is, you then can move on or grow or whatever that is, but without having done those really well, you're not excellent at anything. And so I e Those were the two salient points, despite me having five oclock on a Wednesday afternoon brain. Those are the two points that I'm taking away food. This is great talking to you so I could talk to you all day. You're very good at this. Crazy Thank you. Are you are a swell. I I I'm laughing still that you don't feel self aware because you are. You are one of the more stuff where people I've had the chance to sit down with so well, thank you very much. Thank you for having me. I could do the same time. Excellent. Well, we will have you back any time. This is the revenue collective podcast. My name is Casey, like Gordon, and I'm your host. We'll see you next time. All right. Another episode of the revenue Collective podcast down. They are in a guru. She was such a wonderful guest. I swear. I had a pen and paper out and was taking vigorous notes. As as we went through some great books and great tips and tricks. My name is Casey. Like Gordon, I'm your host. Before we sign out, I wanna give a shout out to our sponsor. This episode was brought to you by quota path. Quota path is the first radically transparent and and compensation solution from sales reps to finance Get started for free at quote a path dot com and your next commission cycle could be totally automated. See you next time.

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