Women Worldwide with Deirdre Breakenridge

Allison Pickens is the COO of Gainsight a customer success and product experience platform. Allison is a speaker, blogger, and host of The Customer Success Podcast. She is also a Board Director and advisor to several companies. She was named one of the top 50 people in sales and business development and top women in SaaS. She joined Gainsight in 2014, and helped grow the company and build the sales and development team.

She has always been passionate about organizing and building teams, and that is a big part of her role today. We talk about skills needed for women to make it to the c-suite in one of the roles of CEO, COO, or CFO. Allison shares how she learned to rely on her individual skills and how important it it so recognize the talent in others. We talk about technology, team building, what success means, the importance of perseverance, and more in this episode.

Show Notes

  • [03:20] It would have been hard for Allison to anticipate the adventure she's been on.
  • [03:40] She has always loved organizing groups. In school, she was president of the athletic committee or the spirit team.
  • [04:26] She also started a women's leadership initiative in college.
  • [04:37] Organizing communities is something she's always been passionate about and today, it's a big part of her role.
  • [04:59] She likes technology and gets excited about the future. She's also been entrepreneurial and likes building things.
  • [05:49] Requirements for c-level positions vary a lot by company.
  • [06:11] Being able to learn quickly has helped Allison. Learning is a skill, and life doesn't always teach us how to learn quickly.
  • [07:30] Early in Allison's career, she had to quickly switch client engagements, and then later on, sectors and opportunities in the investment world.
  • [07:39] Her schedule is really busy, and she's focused on different challenges every day. This leaves her with small windows for learning.
  • [08:37] She mostly learns through dialogue. Although, she is also a visual learner.
  • [09:31] Problem solving is a huge part of her role. Being able to dive deep and then surface up is important. Looking at patterns is also important.
  • [11:45] They're also parallels between different fields that can help you learn.
  • [12:31] Type B can step back and connect the dots. Type A runs around and does everything.
  • [16:29] Allison loves focusing on teams. In Lacrosse, you win with an interconnected system. It's not about any one person. A great team has these connection points.
  • [19:20] Signals that people can be team players includes whether they listen or if they interrupt during the interview. The way they resolve issues in another key.
  • [20:38] The greatest challenge is to mobilize different skill sets and push everyone ahead. Find the balance with yourself and your team members.
  • [23:17] Allison is not an early adopter. She doesn't adopt a technology unless she sees a clear path with it making her life better in some way. She does understand the tools she uses for work.
  • [25:04] Going for a hike is a great way to get grounded.
  • [26:00] She is active on LinkedIn. It helps her share content. It's also a great way to stay connected with people she works with in a variety of capacities.
  • [27:55] Alison is learning about herself all the time. One of the things she learned on her career path is that she can persevere. Perseverance and just showing up is a really important factor when it comes to success.
  • [30:33] Allison is working on structuring her day in a way that is effective for her.
  • [33:06] Allison has had some fear with sharing personal stories, but people have been extremely supportive and appreciative.
  • [36:27] Success is having deep relationships that create meaning for her and other people. She wants to follow her values and build communities of people that inspire.
  • [38:21] Be brave, because you might be braver than you think you are.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW213.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Parents can sometimes get so wrapped up in caring for their children that they lose their own identity. This can become a problem once the children leave home, and the parent suffers from empty nest syndrome. My guest today is a life coach, corporate wellness practitioner, and facilitator of special programs to help us become happy or regain our happiness.

Samantha Lewis was so inspired from hearing a motivational speaker years ago, that she now travels the world coaching and helping others. While working with clients, she discovered that empty nest syndrome was a problem for many. She now works with clients and gives them the tools to discover what makes them happy and brings the fun and joy back into their lives. She also shares tools and questions to help improve communication and start living in the present.

Show Notes

  • [04:53] Samantha was inspired by a motivational speaker that she heard years ago. She decided that she also wanted to do that.
  • [06:08] Samantha became a single mom, and she wanted to add things to her life to be what she could for her children and still be there for herself.
  • [07:25] She kept exploring what else was out there in life. She used self-help and healing to bring all she could to her children.
  • [08:21] She searched, so she wouldn't be lost in being all she could for her children.
  • [09:32] When she started coaching clients, she discovered parents started questioning what their lives were about when the kids started leaving. This was especially hard for people with only one child.
  • [11:05] She started asking people questions, so that they could re-engage with who they were. They needed to see the change as an opportunity not a void.
  • [12:10] Having something missing can affect a marriage.
  • [13:24] Wives can ask husbands what is going on for them almost as if it's a reflection of what's going on for the wife.
  • [15:41] Strategies to avoid empty nest syndrome.
  • [16:00] Find a way to stay connected to things that you find fun. Start doing this right away and add one fun thing each day.
  • [17:23] Be willing to ask for and receive help. Team up with other moms, so you don't have to do everything yourself.
  • [19:16] By teaming up you find solutions that you wouldn't have thought of on your own.
  • [24:15] What helps keep Samantha motivated is when she actually helps people, and they let her know how much she has changed their lives.
  • [25:57] There is a difference between listening and active listening.
  • [26:52] When Samantha begins to feel stress, she stops and asks herself, "what is really going on here and is it mine." She also takes walks in nature or plays with her cats. She also asks what she can do to change it.
  • [30:22] Stress can be turned into energy to use for something positive.
  • [32:25] Samantha doesn't really see her work as work. It nourishes her and it's fun.
  • [34:16] The Being You Adventures are about having a space where people can come and get a sense of what being really is. It helps reconnect people with who they are and bring more of who they are into everything that they do.
  • [38:02] Some of the challenges that Samantha encounters with her work are that people want to see something tangible. Because of this, she tries to be an example and role model.
  • [39:06] Being happy is a choice. It's really about asking yourself is this fun for me, and if it's not fun, look for something that you can add to make it fun.
  • [40:16] Live in the present not the past.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW212.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

How do you know when to pivot and follow a passion project? Can you align your work with a greater purpose? Erin Ganju did just this when she made a pivot from the for-profit sector to the nonprofit sector. She is a social entrepreneur that started out in the financial industry and then moved on to co-found Room to Read. It was here that she honed her social entrepreneur skills as she moved from CEO, COO, to Emeritus Board Member.

Erin is the author of Scaling Global Change which is a how to guide from start-up to scaling and driving impact. In this episode, we talk about finding ways to create change, being a leader, knowing when to pivot, building a team and collaboration, having great mentors and role models, and creating the change you want to see. Erin shares so much knowledge and wisdom in her own authentic way.

Show Notes

  • [03:37] Erin started out in the financial world at Goldman Sachs and now she's the managing director of the Echidna Giving Fund and a Co-founder, former CEO, former COO and Emeritus Board Member of Room to Read, an organization that believes World Change Starts with Educated Children.
  • [03:55] The connecting line through her career is working internationally and finding ways to create change.
  • [04:43] It's important to help people see how wonderful it is to invest across our borders and look at our world more holistically.
  • [05:36] It's a common theme in many sectors to see women drop out as you move up the ranks.
  • [05:50] Erin enjoyed being in a dynamic group of men and women, but she decided to take another path.
  • [06:22] During Erin's career change from the for-profit to the nonprofit sector included an aha moment where she questioned why she was working so hard for causes that she didn't care deeply about.
  • [06:50] She decided that she wanted to align her work with her values. She decided to pivot into the social sector.
  • [06:59] Erin believes education is the great equalizer and wanted to provide education for children no matter where they were born.
  • [07:28] Scaling Social Change is the how to guide to turn something that you deeply believe in into something that can really scale.  The key behind the book is that it takes building a strong organizational foundation.
  • [09:06] You also have to focus on your operational excellence.
  • [10:17] Hiring top talent is a challenge for social entrepreneurs.
  • [11:04] Founder's syndrome can be a huge issue. It can be hard to delegate.
  • [12:03] Erin stepped down as CEO of Room to Read last year and let the first non-founder CEO take over.
  • [12:57] You need to compellingly explain the problem and tell your story and how it connects with the world. Make it personal and connect it to the global.
  • [15:30] Organizational fit is very important.
  • [17:37] Understand what is and isn't working using data.
  • [20:07] Interacting through social platforms helps connect conversations.
  • [24:51] Great leaders know when to step down, it's about the bigger cause.
  • [26:20] For Erin, female mentors and role models were essential.
  • [28:06] Success for Erin has been about seeing her place in a dynamic team and creating impact.
  • [30:26] Collaboration is natural for people. Women sometimes need to take more credit for what they do.
  • [34:30] In the social sector, you can share emotions and be authentic. People trust the leader more when they are authentic about their cause.
  • [39:23] Tap into the positive such as focusing on education being about the future.
  • [40:23] Erin and her team are creating an open source database that is mapping around girls education. It's amazing what technology can do when it comes to making connections.
  • [41:35] Social media can be important in terms of telling your story, but you need to cut through the noise.
  • [42:49] Take risks. You will never succeed if you don't try. Take the less traveled path. You can also join forces with an established organization collaboration is important.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW211.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Dr. Jill Garripoli Pedalino is an award winning pediatrician who was named New Jersey Family’s Favorite Kids’ Doc for the years of 2011-2018 and one of New Jersey’s Compassionate Doctors from PatientsChoice.org in 2013. In this inspirational interview, we learn what inspired Dr. Jill to become a pediatrician and her unique outlook on patient and parent care.

She also shares what it’s like for a solo practitioner to open their own practice and take on all of the business responsibilities from billing and coding to being a team leader. Dr. Jill shares her unique outlook on being a team leader and how self care helps her manage day-to-day stress and decision fatigue. This is a wonderful look into the life of a thoughtful and caring entrepreneur.

Show Notes

  • [02:33] Dr. Jill Garripoli Pedalino always wanted to help people. She liked kids but thought she would become a lawyer. She then decided that this may not be the best way to help people.
  • [03:19] She spent a summer working at a hospital and saw a baby delivered. This is when she knew that she wanted to take care of that baby.
  • [03:34] She then knew she wanted to become a pediatrician.
  • [04:20] She was always a good student and she loved learning. The challenge was having a bit of insecurity and wondering if she can risk taking people's lives into her hands.
  • [05:14] She was encouraged by friends to get through her insecurity and self-doubt.
  • [06:05] Medical school was learn as you go. It was important to listen to her instincts and reach out when she needed help.
  • [07:30] There's a lot of nuance to being a doctor that isn't taught in medical school.
  • [08:14] Dr. Jill Garripoli Pedalino has been doing a lot of research into nutrition.
  • [09:07] Dr. Jill Garripoli Pedalino keeps motivated by having the opportunity to change the lives of these children's parents. She walks the walk, so they can trust her more. She talks to parents from a place of truth.
  • [11:24] We are now so in-tuned to our higher selves.
  • [12:50] Dr. Jill's patients actually enjoy coming to see her. She is there for them and gives them a sense of respect.
  • [13:43] She also tells her patients that she loves them so much.
  • [14:13] As a solo practitioner, she is 100% invested in both sides. There are a lot of business aspects from billing and coding to team management.
  • [15:43] She is always reading and studying about how to be a better leader. She tries to lead by example.
  • [16:49] She looks for people who are go-getters and who are present and reliable when adding to the team.
  • [17:11] She has a medical secretary and medical assistants. She tries to find people who want to be there, but she also understands that this is a job for them.
  • [19:01] She delegates and leaves her staff to do it which gives them a sense of importance. She checks in but doesn't micromanage.
  • [20:40] She tries to treat her office staff like friends and family.
  • [22:46] What trust means to Dr. Jill Garripoli Pedalino. She believes people are inherently good. She trusts people until that trust gets broken.
  • [25:12] Dr. Jill knows that she will have a good day, because she doesn't create any space for lack of trust or negativity.
  • [27:04] Building relationships with patients parents can be a delicate thing. Dr. Jill is very gentle about building trust and includes everyone on the team.
  • [28:17] Keeping the parents as part of a team from the beginning helps build trust.
  • [30:02] We shouldn't listen to formulate our next response. Active listening is a skill.
  • [30:37] The littlest things we say matter. Telling parents that they are doing great helps with their confidence.
  • [31:35] Dr. Jill tries to be as present as possible and treat people the way she would like to be treated.
  • [32:17] We are just on the tip of the iceberg when it comes to learning about nutrition. Dr. Jill is also concerned about how children watch everything that their parents do.
  • [33:01] Her concern is that people aren't paying enough attention to diet, nutrition and how their energy is transferred to the kids.
  • [35:21] Decision making can be draining. Dr. Jill meditates to keep herself in a good space to make those important decisions.
  • [36:11] She also goes to the gym and gets good sleep.
  • [37:34] Deirdre worked with Navy Seals and learned how important sleep is.
  • [39:24] It's important to prioritize how you want your life to be.
  • [40:03] If something makes you a little bit scared and a lot excited, then you should go for it.
  • [41:18] Have faith in yourself, because if you don't try, you won't know what you can achieve.
  • [43:11] Find a spouse or partner who lifts you up.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW210.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

Today's show is about happiness. We are really going to focus on happiness in the workplace environment and the antidote to negativity and even bullying.

Kyla Mitsunaga is an entrepreneur, an author, a speaker, and a workshop trainer who has been busy developing a happiness workshop.  

She is also sharing her approach in 14 different countries across three different continents. She empowers  corporations, organizations, institutions, and individuals to succeed by first being happy. Kyla shares how she stumbled upon the topic of happiness and how it took off from there. Learn how one woman's journey has made more people happier by making each other happy.

Show Notes

  • [03:18] Earlier in her career, Kyla was a professor. In 2014, she spoke in Austria. She realized that she had to be the change that she talks about and actually live it. This began her journey.
  • [04:42] She was then asked to speak in Mexico on empowering students to give back to their communities. While she was researching the subject, the topic of happiness kept popping up.
  • [05:39] She based the happiness workshop on a simple premise of if we can make other people happy then we can become happier.
  • [06:01] After being featured on the evening news, Kyla decided to share her workshop with as many people as possible.
  • [06:24] She brought her happiness workshop to the university that she taught at in Korea.
  • [07:32] Her students are initially surprised when they have to make as many people around them as happy as possible.
  • [09:27] It can be hard for people to step out of their comfort zones and be happy.
  • [10:58] Everyone in every culture wants to be happy. Everyone also has their own internal roadblocks.
  • [11:31] Happiness takes work just like anything else. It's a mindset.
  • [12:12] Her book was inspired by her 2012 TED Talk.
  • [14:27] With the prevalence of devices, people aren't paying attention anymore. Hiding behind a device is not the way forward.
  • [16:01] Her book is deeply personal. It's part memoir and part self-help. It's her journey of getting to WITH.
  • [16:49] Kyla sees everything with a WITH versus AT lens. Her book is written in a WITH style with activities and QR codes so you can watch videos.
  • [19:04] Kyla wanted to create change and be an example for other women like her to look up to.
  • [21:08] She had a huge epiphany that she had spent 40 years of her life with blurry vision. She discovered that the reason why she does what she does boils down to WITH.
  • [22:48] For Kyla, WITH is an idea of oneness.
  • [23:33] The more you understand yourself, the more you can be with other people. WITH has a lot to do with empathy.
  • [25:57] Happiness to Kyla is total alignment with yourself.
  • [29:03] Kyla is her work and her work is her. The more she understands herself and her personal growth, the more that she can share with others.
  • [29:58] She is motivated, because she has been through depression. She also had a lot of guilt over her mother's illness. Emotions are ego-driven, and ego doesn't like change.
  • [31:37] It's helpful for Kyla to have a talk with her ego.  
  • [32:43] The deeper she goes with herself, the deeper her participants can go with themselves.
  • [35:31] Journaling helps Kyla with the sustainability of her happiness practice. Women can be held to impossible standards.
  • [37:27] Write down all the AT things you say to yourself. Then draw an arrow and have a WITH thing.
  • [40:33] Change starts with yourself. Start with the power of WITH.

Links and Resources:

Direct download: WW209.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:00am EST

1