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Women Leading Women

December 17, 2019

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Carly Fiorina: Women Leading Women

December 17, 2019

Kết quả xổ số HaojiangCasey Enders, CEO of Unlocking Potential (Carly’s charitable foundation) shares a Q&A session with Carly at the Women Leading Women forum. UP brings leadership training to nonprofits across the country with the goal of providing leaders at the community level with the tools and resources to strengthen their leadership and problem-solving skills. Carly answers questions about criticism versus feedback, her own political future, how to get involved with UP, diversity, inclusion, turning prosperity into equity, cultivating leadership skills at the beginning of a career, how to address burnout, and Carly’s definition of success.




 
 

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Carly Fiorina:
I'm Carly Fiorina and this is By Example

Casey Enders:
Hi. I'm Casey Enders. Welcome back to By Example. For those of you who don't know, I serve as the CEO of Carly's charitable foundation, Unlocking Potential. Our mission at up is to build the leadership capacity of nonprofit organizations and their teams. As we wrap up season two of By Example, I want to thank you for listening and sharing this podcast with your colleagues, friends and family. On most episodes of By Example, you hear Carly talk to a special guest about what real leadership is and what it isn't. We hear stories from people you know like former secretary of state, Colin Powell and Superbowl winning NFL head coach, Tony Dungy, as well as from people you may not know like lobbyist, Kayla McKeon and six year old Austin Perine. To end season two, we're going to try something a little bit different today. The work we do at Unlocking Potential takes us across the country to teach Carly's Leadership Philosophy to nonprofit staff members from large nonprofits to small community based nonprofits and everything in between. Regardless of who the participants are, what their title is or what their level is or what specific leadership skills they're trying to build. We found that one of the most effective ways to deliver the curriculum, is to have the participants ask Carly questions live. Any questions. Because the curriculum is based off of Carly's career and experiences. The answers to questions provide valuable insight into her views on leadership. They often touch on topics we may not get to during our regularly scheduled programming. But topics that really matter to folks who are leading and solving problems every day. In that spirit, on this episode of By Example, we're going to share a Q&A and session with you directly. Earlier this year, Carly was the honored guest at the eighth annual Women Leading Women forum at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business. At the event, she was asked a variety of great questions from the audience. Those questions ranged from business to public policy. We loved the great question she got asked and the new insights on leadership that we heard from Carly and we wanted to share them with you. In this episode you'll hear those questions and answers. Thanks again for listening this season. On behalf of Carly and the team, we hope you enjoy the episode and wish you a very happy holiday season.

Leah Jones:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangHello, Leah Jones, Maryland undergrad alumni business school. I wrote an essay on you actually to get-

Carly Fiorina:
Dear.

Leah Jones: ... into the business school, so thank you-

Carly Fiorina:
I'm glad-

Leah Jones:
I know.

Carly Fiorina:
Kết quả xổ số Haojiang... you got in that double whammy from Maryland.

Leah Jones:
It worked out. But thank you for being here. You're truly an inspiration to all people, not just women but... my question is about criticism. I work with male counterparts and when I have been criticized or feedback, I think they would call it feedback. But depending on how you-

Carly Fiorina:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangWhat would you call it?

Leah Jones:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangIt depends on the day and my mood. But my question is that the feedback that I get is you're being defensive in response to criticism. Now, I've talked to other women and this is a common theme when women tend to be more defensive as they are receiving a feedback. Whereas... I think sometimes the perception with a male counterpart to feedback isn't perceived that way. That's my own bias. But what I want to ask you, because I'm sure you have some thoughts about that, is what do you recommend in order to accept that criticism to be strong, to be perceived well by your male or female counterparts? That's my question.

Carly Fiorina:
The reason I asked, is it criticism or feedback. Sometimes I think the feedback that women or someone else who's different for another reason gets, is around asking someone to be more like the norm. A lot of times feedback women get is actually about being more like a man. It's an issue of style. In my day, by the way, there was this book called how to dress for success. Then there was the version how to dress for success for women. The book advised that we should try to look as much like men as possible. Seriously. While we couldn't wear pants that was before pants but you had to wear a very severe dark suit, a white shirt, perhaps blue button to the throat, a little bow tie. I actually dressed like that for quite some time until I said, "This is absurd." That's an example of... that's how I was dressed when I went to the strip club, just to be clear.

Leah Jones:
Not to be confused with the dancers.

Carly Fiorina:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangI carried a briefcase and the cab driver said, when I got in the cab, "Are you the new act?" More to take off? I think he was assuming. Anyway, my point in telling you that little story is so often the criticism is, "Well, you should do it this way because that's the way it's always been done." Or "That's the way they do it." Which is not necessarily the way you do it. If people cannot bring all of themselves to work, then they are not going to be as effective. You need to be who you are. Now, that doesn't mean you can't learn new things but my first piece of advice would be learn to distinguish between criticism on style and feedback about performance. Feedback about performance tends to not have a lot of adjectives around it. It tends to be more fact-based. Feedback about impact tends to be focused on talking about a problem or a result. Here was a goal you to achieve that goal. Why do you think you failed to achieve that goal? It was a team. The team wasn't brought in. Why not? Criticism that uses a lot of adjectives, tends to be about style or appearance, not substance. Second thing I would say is, try not to react in the moment. Very hard. Try not to react in the moment. Whatever... let's assume, give most people the benefit of the doubt. They're trying to help me. Assume that. I always assume the best of someone until they prove the worst. But until they prove the worst, I give them the benefit of the doubt. Assume someone's trying to be helpful. Before you react, pause, say something like, "I really need to think about that. I'd like to think about that. Thank you." Then go think about it, pause, reflect, do not react and then go back and tell this, whoever it is, what you actually think. "I think this was valid. I don't think this was valid. I think we have a misunderstanding. I think..." Go have an honest conversation. Feedback and criticism, feedback or criticism are an opportunity to have a substantive conversation that builds a relationship if done in the right way and it may help you perform better, if heard in the right way. I hope that helps. Thank you.

Speaker 4:
Hi.

Carly Fiorina:
Hi.

Speaker 4:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangThank you for coming. I have to say that you are probably one of my favorite candidates in the last campaign run that you-

Carly Fiorina:
Thanks.

Speaker 4:
... had. I thought that you and Rand Paul had the most sensible ideas, so my first... since nobody's behind me, I'm going to ask two questions. I don't know if I can do that. My first question is, what is your future in politics? I was disappointed when... I thought you were going to run for the Senate. My second question is how can we get involved with you're a nonprofit.

Carly Fiorina:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangOkay. If you want to get involved or if you want to learn more seriously, it's very easy text Carly, C-A-R-L-Y to 345345 and tell us who you are and we will reach out. We have wonderful coaching opportunities. We have a fantastic director of coaching. Most of our coaches work with us part-time. We train you up in the curriculum or there may be other ways you want to get involved but we'd love to hear from you and we will absolutely contact you. What is my future in politics? I don't know. The reason I didn't run for Senate, I think the Senate is a completely dysfunctional body. Honestly I didn't have much interest in being part of that body. I went into politics because I run into problems. I saw a lot of problems and as I tried to express before, what I've learned being in politics is the system is geared to winning and winning over and over again. If you think about it, as citizens, may I just say the system doesn't serve us well. Think about any problem you care about right now. I'm not going to go off on this too long but pick your problem. Deficits, foreign Wars, immigration, healthcare, veterans affairs, pick one. Have they been solved? Do we feel as though we're making progress? Actually, no. The reason is because getting people focused on a problem and getting people mad about a problem tends to help win elections. People get revved up, they give money but it's not solving the problem. I've concluded that our politics, which I think is so often downstream of culture, our politics won't change unless we change it. Which is why I'm focused on building up problem-solvers and problem solving skills and lifting up leaders wherever they are. But I've lived long enough to say, "Never say never." I don't have a plan. Remember, I just have a path.

Speaker 4:
Awesome. Thank you.

Speaker 5:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangHello. My name is Sadia Alao. I'm an undergraduate at the business school. I'm a marketing and theater major. We're at a time where the rich get richer and the poorest they pour. What are your thoughts on diversity and inclusion and turning prosperity into equity in order to help progress the lives of women and people of color and what are ways you're implementing strategies within your own company?

Carly Fiorina:
Okay. That's a big question and it's a really important question. By the way, one of the things that problem-solving requires is clear eyed realism. We use a tool called current state future state analysis. We start by asking people to be clear eyed, realistic, complete and compelling about our current state. I start with that because our current state is indeed that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poor. That's a fact. Our current state is also that we have a long-standing systemic issue that the history of slavery in this country has created and that we are not solving. You see it in all kinds of ways. A clear eyed assessment is also to say that corporate America today spends $8 billion a year on diversity and inclusion training and we are making very little progress. If you look at board rooms in America today, what you would find is that people of color and women are less than 16% of boards. That number hasn't moved in 25 years despite $8 billion a year. We're not making progress. You have to start by acknowledging of that, the systemic endemic consequences of slavery. The reality that the rich get richer and the poor get poorer and that there are structural impediments to prosperity and success and the reality that we can spend a lot of money and talk a lot of talk and it ain't getting better. Let's just start with all that. What am I doing in my world? Because I can't... none of us can affect a theoretical problem. We can only impact our world and the problems we face. What am I trying to do? I have built an extremely diverse team and we use that diverse team to go into communities that are disadvantaged. The reason we work with the homeless community in Washington D.C. is those people have potential, they can solve problems. They are absolutely overlooked. The reason we are working on health equity outcomes in ward eight is because the life expectancy of an individual who lives in ward eight in Washington D.C. is 27 years below a person who lives 10 miles away. That is a structural systemic issue. That's what I can do in my world. That's what I will continue to do in my world. What I would say is people closest to the problems usually know how best to solve them. When I talked about asking questions, we go into communities and ask questions. The reason we work with the center for black equity is because they probably know more than I do about things that will help level the playing field, bring equity and prosperity to people regardless of their circumstances or their appearance.

Speaker 5:
I think we have two more folks. Ask questions and then we will go to the reception.

Speaker 6:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangHi. My name is [inaudible 00:13:47] I just graduated in May and I just started working in October. For somebody who has just started out their career, what advice do you have for how I can cultivate my leadership skills from the bottom up in order to manage up with the goal of developing my own leadership skills but to also help develop the leaders of my team as well. Earlier you mentioned that oftentimes like subordinates can prove to be mentors to you. I guess what I'm asking for is any best practices that you have seen from your subordinates that have helped you become a better leader today.

Carly Fiorina:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangThe short answer to your question is, solve the problems that are right in front of you and collaborate with the people who are right around you. That sounds really basic. But it gets a little bit harder when I tell you that management is not the same as leadership. What do managers do? By the way, managers are good people. They're important. But a manager produces acceptable results, maybe even excellent results within existing constraints and conditions. Leaders change constraints and conditions. You can't solve a problem unless you're willing to change constraints and conditions. When you go into companies or an organization, frequently the message you get is manage, do your job, stick to your lane, follow the process. You get a lot of signals from people saying, "Why do you think you can solve that problem? I mean just stick to your job." Yet, the only way you unlock your own potential, the only way you unlock potential around you is to actually solve problems. By the way, that's also what brings people together. You can get, the fastest way to bring a diverse team together and get it to a high performing level is to give it a really tough problem. People figure out with help, how to work together effectively to solve that problem or achieve that goal. Look for problems. Ask the people who work for you, what they think and be prepared. When somebody comes to you and says, "Who do you think you are? Why are you trying to solve that problem? That's not your job." The status quo always has enormous power, always. It's why leadership is hard. It's why it takes courage. It's why you're going to get criticized. The status quo, even if it's very unsatisfying, has power. Because there are people invested in the status quo. There are people who have succeeded in the status quo. To change it, which is what you got to do. To change the order of things for the better and solve problems, you have to be brave. One little tool that I used early on, I asked my subordinates to give me feedback. This was before 360 Feedback was a thing. I asked my subordinates, "Tell me how you think I'm performing as your boss. What would you like? What do you want me to do? Continue to do? What do you want me to stop doing? What do you want me to change or do differently?" It's amazing what you learn. But you have to be certain that you are creating a safe environment where people can actually tell you the truth and you're actually going to hear what they're telling you. I hope that helps. Yes.

Speaker 7:
Hi, Carly. Thank you for all the points that you've made so far. I'm Dana. A neuroscience major, business minor. I have a question for you. What advice would you give for somebody who's currently in the process of starting her business or company facing a lot of criticism. Especially not very supportive one and a lot of closed doors who would essentially starting the company because she sees it as something that will solve problems. As you were saying.

Carly Fiorina:
Starting anything new is difficult and so encountering closed doors is part of it. You shouldn't take that personally. It's hard to do something new. People get stuck in the way things are. It's why the way things stay the way they are for a really long time because people get stuck there. Don't take it personally when people have a hard time seeing what the value in the new thing that you're trying to talk to them about. Second, sometimes when someone... it feels like someone is rejecting you. Maybe what they're actually doing is giving you some feedback about, "I really like this but maybe you ought to think about that." Take that on board. Get a thick skin is the first part. Take on board what's really valuable to you. Which means you have to be humble and you have to be... you can't get so wedded to an idea that hasn't been proven that you're not flexible enough and adaptive enough to change that idea. The final thing that I would say is, again, look for the people who are going to lift you up. Even if someone says to you, "I don't think you have it 100%." But gives you some supportive comments, lifts you up, stick with those people. Put your energy into those people. You know, we're all pretty discerning. We learn pretty quickly, who's on your side and who's not, who's trying to tear you down and who's trying to lift you up. Go to the people who lift you up. I hope that helps. Good luck.

Speaker 7:
Thank you. It does thank you.

Carly Fiorina:
Hey.

Speaker 8:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangWhat's your advice for people who've experienced burnout in their career?

Carly Fiorina:
Burnout? Such an important topic. Why is it that people experience burnout? Maybe it's because they literally aren't getting enough sleep or they're not taking care of themselves. I mean, it may be literally a physical burnout, in which case, the most important thing you can do is get some rest. I know it sounds... I've had to actually order... I don't do that very often. Subordinates to take a break because it's clear they're just not functioning. Be honest. You are not functioning well. If you're getting no sleep, you're not taking care of yourself and you're not eating right. You're just not. You're not functioning well. Go get some rest. But often burnout isn't actually physical. It's not actually that you're too tired. It's that you're emotionally burnt out or you're spiritually burnt out or you're just overwhelmed by all the things that you have to juggle. In each of those cases I think it is the equivalent of get some rest. Meaning pause, reflect, think through, "What is so soul-crushing about what I'm going through now." We've all had times that were soul-crushing. Then we've had times when we are working incredibly hard and we just feel joyful and energized. Think it through, "Why am I so burnt out? Is it because I don't believe in what I'm doing anymore? Is it because I hate the people I'm doing it with? Is it because I'm not having any impact? Is it because it turns out I had a plan and I don't like the plan anymore and gee, I actually do have to drop out of law school because I can't do this anymore." Pause and reflect and refresh yourself. The reason that's so incredibly important to do is because you will crush your own potential and your own ability for impact, if you allow yourself to continue to be burnt out and you're worth the investment in a pause and reflection.

Speaker 9:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangI think the people in line, those will be our last questions for the evening. Then we can go to the reception.

Speaker 10: My name is Abby and I'm a senior. I'll be graduating in May. I was just... I guess wondering how you would define success given year... I guess, years of vast experience in the workplace. How would you define success. I guess some people have this idea like success is this, this is not, success that kind of thing.

Carly Fiorina:
Yeah.

Speaker 10:
Kết quả xổ số HaojiangMy second question is, I know you said it's not the best option to have a plan but rather to have a path. Usually I'm the type of person that likes to have everything mapped out, this and this and this. You just keep going just to make everything easier. I guess what advice would you give to me regarding that?

Carly Fiorina:
I think a... I wouldn't have known this when I was your age. I wouldn't have known this 20 years ago. I think a successful life is not measured in time or title or position or power or money. Although, having more of many of those things can be a very good thing. I think a successful life is measured in love, in moments of grace and in positive contribution and impact. When I choose my days, I strive to spend my time in a way that will bring me more love, more moments of grace and more positive contribution and impact. It's okay to have part of a plan, it's okay to say, "This is the industry that I want to go work in when I graduate." When a plan gets to be a problem, is when your entire happiness or sense of self worth depends upon the achievement of a very specific goal. One of the stories I tell in the book is, a story about one of my great colleagues and teammates who when I made the decision to drop out of the presidential race, I don't mind a tough challenge but there was no path. It was time to get out and my team was devastated. The day after we made that decision, we came... Or the day before we made that decision, we'd come home late at night. It was a disappointing primary in New Hampshire and he rings the doorbell. He was my campaign manager. I opened the door. He's devastated, distraught, looks like he's been up all night and he said, "Carly. I mean, you look great, you're happy..." I had not set my heart on a plan to be president. I was prepared to win the job. I was prepared to lose the job and do something else. I wanted to make a difference but the position, the title, the money, the power, those are planned destinations and those don't feed your soul. I have a little bit of a plan. Just make it fuzzy enough that you can see the opportunities that come along and you can change your mind if you need to.

Speaker 10:
Thank you.

Speaker 11: Hi, Carly, I'm Zara [inaudible 00:00:25:29]. Thank you so much for getting back to the Terp community and also in just in general for what you do to give back to the community. My question is about feeding the soul. What do you personally still have left on your bucket list? Where is one place in the world that you have not been that you are... that you would love to go to? Lastly, how do you feel about being an American citizen versus a global citizen?

Carly Fiorina:
That's a very thoughtful question. Perhaps consistent with my path over plan mentality. Here's how I would answer your first question. What's still on my bucket list? What's the one place I haven't been? I don't think about it quite that way. Here's what fuels me and it's always fueled me. Here's what brings me joy. There is a look that people get when they do something they thought they couldn't do. When they achieve more than they thought they could. We all know the look. I mean maybe we see it in our kids' eyes or we see it in.... there's a look and I've been in enough places in the world and worked with enough different of people that I know that look is the same, the world over. It doesn't matter whether it's men or women or boys or girls or people of color, whites, it doesn't matter. The look is the same everywhere. That look is fuel. What I want to do is see more of that look in places maybe in particular where you don't see that look very often because I know from experience. Everybody has potential more than they realize regardless of their circumstances and appearances. The second part of your question, I've now forgotten, so what was the second part? Speaker 11: Where would you love to go that you still have it been? Carly Fiorina: I don't know. There are a lot of places I haven't been. Maybe I would have to say now... although, I'm a little afraid to do it, which is probably why I should, Antarctica. I've never been there but I probably won't see the look in Penguin's eyes. So maybe not.

Speaker 5:
Thank you so much for coming.

Carly Fiorina:
Thank you for such great questions and thank you all for being here.

That's all for now. If you enjoyed this podcast, you can visit Carly fiorina.com or iTunes for more episodes and make sure you subscribe to By Example, so you never miss an episode. To receive updates and exclusive offers, text By Example, to 345345. While you're at it, you can send us feedback on Facebook, Twitter, or instagram at carlyfiorina or by email at byexample@carlyfiorina.com. As always, thanks so much for tuning in. I'm Carly Fiorina and this is By Example.