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Elevate Your Career

Recently, I was invited to join the incredible Nicole McMackin, CEO of Irvine Technology Corporation (ITC), on her podcast, Elevate Your Career. Nicole is an amazing leader who has built an innovative business, and continues to pay her success forward by bringing women technology leaders together in her Women in Leadership Program.

The podcast may be useful to you if you'd like to learn more about:

The power of building positive relationships, especially when working in organizations where influence wins over authority every time. In every role I've had, it was critical to collaborate with those who did not have a direct reporting relationship to me - clients, peers, colleagues, volunteers, alumni, Board members, to name a few. Without strong relationships, everything feels - and is - harder to achieve. And the by-product of strong relationships? Work becomes a lot more fun, and I've built friendships that have enriched every part of my life.

Why demonstrating warmth and competence are non-negotiables to establishing trust. Studies have shown that when we meet someone, we are quickly forming opinions about their warmth (do I like this person?) and competence (will this person be effective?). To be successful, we need to demonstrate both. Nicole and I talk about how to do this through non-verbal cues, in situations where you don't quite feel competent (yet), and how integrity, follow-through and being respectful of others can define how others see you.

The power of asking thoughtful questions, and practicing deep listening. This not only allows the other person to feel seen and heard, but can quickly help dispel the imposter syndrome. Instead of pretending to "know it all," I've gotten more comfortable asking questions, taking copious notes (so I don't have to ask again!), and repeating back what I've heard. In a world where we're distracted by emails, texts, and constant interruptions, practicing active and deep listening is a game-changer.

When starting a new role, the initial struggle of the "s-curve" is real. Each time I started in a new industry (strategic consulting, a dot-com start-up, a cruiseline, a non-profit, and now, executive coaching), I have had to learn - a lot. It was natural to feel frustrated and that I was starting from ground zero (again!). And while it is always hard to be "consciously incompetent," I can now savor the challenge inherent in new growth and learning. And, most importantly, the skills I've developed in previous roles are still there, and can accelerate my trajectory once that initial learning phase is over.

Finally, I am so grateful for the many leaders who gave me a shot, and an opportunity to earn their trust. I don't take these opportunities lightly, and am thankful for the faith that others have had in me. Because of this, I have been able to switch to a new "curve" multiple times over my career. These changes have allowed me to leave roles before I got too comfortable (and possibly stagnant), continually learn and grow, believe that I can take risks, and maximize my fulfillment in this wild and precious life.

A huge thanks to Nicole for not only inviting me on her podcast, but including me in her Women In Leadership program. I hope you'll tune in, and subscribe to Nicole's podcast here.

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