Have you observed the slippery slope into the land of disrespect for leaders over the years? Yes, there is a disconnect between unprincipled, unethical top decision-makers and those that produce the products and services...and the gap is widening. So, what's a woman executive to do?
ThriveWithNancy Podcast addresses the tricky points you run into daily as a woman executive. Nancy Fredericks shares all the secrets she's acquired as an experienced thought-leader. She's passionate about sharing practical, insider solutions with women executives to tap into on your way to achieving all of your career hopes and dreams.
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Hey, are you someone who believes leaders are more often than not the downside of business today? It's a topic more often whispered behind the scenes than out in the open. Are you ready to navigate today's less than ideal leadership landscape in the Light? Welcome everyone to Thrive with Nancy, a podcast entirely dedicated to executive women ready to gain skills and attitudes to become influencers in their organizations. This conversation, I have to tell you, is very difficult for me. Everyone in business, whether you're a leader or questioning critical factors of the company probably feels the same way I do. So let's explore the topic. Is leadership losing its luster? Before we get started, let me become clear about something. I know there are countless good leaders developing healthy cultures, but the majority of the business articles about leaders concentrate more on their failings and there's no question research on, we humans attest to the fact that we remember the negative way longer and more vividly, and that includes the issues you have with your problematic leaders. Please don't forget that as we pursue a dialogue regarding the leaders who have failed us, have you observed the slippery slope into the land of disrespect for leaders over the years? We can all agree that it hasn't been pretty and in no way admirable. Consider the high level leaders indicted when the Me Too movement saw leaders fired, jailed, or at a minimum toppled from their position of power. And there are a slew of leaders who have been indicted mostly for corporate wrongdoings, which essentially involved corruption, insider trading and fraud. Yikes. Their actions often irreparably damaged organizations, investors, and you. The workforce, the most recent to be jailed as Elizabeth Holmes of Theranos sentenced to prison for 11 years and now we have still to know the outcome we're facing in the FTX crypto scandal filled by the revelation of the company's dysfunction and mismanagement by its founder, Samuel Bankman Fried . The disconnect between companies in many cases is growing wider. A Bloomberg August 25th, 2022 blog posted by Reed Picker said , quote , US profit margins has reached its widest since 1950, suggesting that the prices charged by business are out pricing their increased cost for production and labor, while at the same time companies such as Amazon Meta , Hewlett Packard, and Twitter to name just a few are announcing wave after wave of layoffs. Hu all of this, no wonder employees are losing faith in their companies and those steering the operation. Okay, un principled, unethical leaders and the massive disconnect between the top decision makers and those that produce the products and services continue. Why am I exploring the downside of leadership now because of a woman's event where I almost fell out of my seat? The first speaker shared leadership philosophies instituted at her admired company and she was awesome. The first question that came from a participant was more of an indictment than anything else. Leadership is a dirty word to me. She said with great conviction, what sacrilege? I thought, but that wasn't the point of you of many attending. Not at all. As I thought about the conversations, I realized they've been beaten up, burned out by executives who were more focused on themselves or profits or looking good than the people they were responsible for serving. It's distasteful, so what's a woman executive to do? The reality is that successful businesses realize that leadership and the workforce have a mutually symbiotic relationship. That's the ones who are leading successfully. Yet so many companies have lost that point of view. Through the years, I've noticed something profound, and I hope you have as well. Even the weakest or poorest of leaders can become more effective through the influence of a talented employee committed to the greater good of their company. It looks as though, and I giggle as I say this because leaders may not agree with me, but it really looks as though everyone in the organization has skin in the game. Whether you realize it or not, simply dissing something you don't admire or requires fixing isn't ever the answer. My commentary and yes, that's what it is more than the typical thrive with Nancy Tactics and Tips podcast, because I appreciate that. I don't have the answer anymore than anyone else does. Bad leaders not only ruin work for everyone, but they also lose money for their company long term because as I always say to my clients, you can make it to the top without values or integrity. You just can't remain there forever. Eventually, a poor foundation will crumble often in the most public of ways. There's no question and is difficult to be employed by a company with a bad leader. Oh my gosh, I could remember the days when that was me. What can you do for yourself First, it's decision time for you seriously. Is there value for your career in staying or is it time to go? It's a strategic determination. Hear that strategic determination, not an emotional one. Yes, your feelings reveal. You've reached an evaluation point, but then you have to move into logic. Are you gaining experience to add oomph to your resume that you couldn't achieve anywhere else? Then your answer may be to stay too often, I see women tightly holding on in an attempt to succeed while losing career momentum, and you can't afford to do that. Don't let this ever be you. Second, once you've decided to remain in a challenging work situation, leave your emotions at the door. Don't allow yourself to be drawn into the dysfunctional drama surrounding you. Stay focused on your strategy to shape your career in the direction you want for your future as you gain essential skills, attitudes, and behaviors that will serve you well throughout your professional life. Third, keep detailed records. It's particularly essential when working in a chaotic distressful work environment. You don't have to do formal documenting. Consider that after every meeting where you pitched an idea, you send a friendly, you heard me hear that. Friendly, friendly, friendly email thanking the leader for the discussion and briefly bullet pointing decisions and timing. Such an email becomes an official record. Proactively generate notes concerning conversations or conclusions in date order sequence to make them legal and for heaven's sakes, keep these vital records on your home computer. Several clients couldn't access their documentation because they were suddenly marched out of the door. Unjustly terminated from my point of view. Wisdom prepares you for the worst while living as though the best will occur. Fourth , what can you do for your company? Speak up respectfully when you disagree with directions going silent, even though perhaps the easiest option in difficult leadership scenarios has you cheating the company, they're paying you a salary for your views and expertise. Whether your boss or senior leadership values your input or not, I know how tough it is to stay engaged. Oh my gosh, I can remember the days and my heart bleeds for all of you. If you can't be committed and involved in your company's future, let alone yours, perhaps you need to reassess your strategic decision to remain. Whatever you do. A word to the why . Don't get caught in the leadership blame game as so many others do. Come on, that's finger pointing, not solution generating. Getting stuck in such a mindset is like being sucked into quicksand. It's a sure pathway to shrinking and sinking your career. Blaming without solution is the worst decision you can make. It leaves a vacuum, you know, a void that doesn't support the company or your professional future. I hope you got wisdom from today, even though it didn't have a ton of tips to support you along the way. Interested in checking out your strategic edge program to propel your career forward, even in the most difficult of circumstances, I would be honored to explore a partnering relationship with you. Check out the your Strategic Edge coaching program full of free extras such as the 125 a month virtual mastermind program for free. Remember with other dynamic executive women, check it out at www.thrivewithnancy.com/executive/. If you're interested in talking to me, click the link on the page to schedule A working through your career call and that's free. I'd love to discuss how together we could achieve all you hope is possible and overcome all the barriers that are in your way. Remember, no one ever makes it to the top or even arrives at their next career destination alone.