SDForum Tech Women - Getting to the Top®: Strategies for Career Success

Uploaded by GoogleTechTalks on 04.05.2010

GORDON: Hello, welcome. My name is Francine Gordon. I'm one of the co-chairs for SDForum
Tech Women. The other co-chair is Sonja London, who comes from a further distance than I do
and got caught in traffic. So we're delighted to have you all here. We had a hundred, over
160 people registered. You'll have--I don't know if you'll be happy to know or not but
you're one of the privileged few. We actually turned many people away today so--which we're
thrilled about. Not that they didn't get to, you know what I mean. That didn't come out
quite right, did it? Anyway, SDForum is a non-profit organization. It's been around
for about 20 years and originally was the Software Development Forum. They spread their
responsibilities, got more involved with everything with hearted development in high-tech and
bio-tech, et cetera. So now, if you've talked to the CEO, Susan Lucas-Conwell, she will
tell you it is the super-duper forum. We are, the tech women, we're all volunteers who run
the SIGS and the special programs. We're one of the special programs. Our mission is to
support the advancement of women in technology and to encourage girls to pursue education
to prepare them for careers in technology. We are very proud of the fact that we have
worked with Northrop Grumman to host or to sponsor teens now for all girl teams for the
tech challenge put on by the Tech Museum. We've done it for three years now. We have
one of the women, one of our girls, women who's been involved, Veronica Hume, who has
participated for three years. And with her partner in crime, Diana Chen, they've now
setup a tech girls' website which I will send you information about when I send out the
survey afterwards. So that's our basic mission. Just curious, how many people have ever been
to an SDForum event before? Oh, great. And I also want to give you a brief introduction
from Association of Women MBAs, Sheela Ursal. >> URSAL: Thank you, Francine. So, hi everyone,
I'm Sheela Ursal. I am the president of Association of Women MBAs. I wanted to know, how many
of you heard of the organization? Could you just put up your hand? Fabulous. I didn't
expect so many people but it's great to know that. And welcome. We are partnering with
SDForum. We've been around for 10 years. We've done a pretty bad job of marketing ourselves
so we do are trying to get better at it. And, we are also a non-profit basically run by
10 women who are on the board. One of them happens to be here, Kristina, please stand
up. She's done all the marketing work for this so if you're here probably because of
Kristina. A quick thing, we do events once a month, very similar to this career-oriented
events and mostly in San Francisco. We're trying to move here to the South Bay and really
honored to partner with SDForum and other organizations. One way you can help us is
to find spaces to do events. We have some great speakers lined up. One of them named
Barbara, she's right here. And we have other speakers lined up but we are always short
in finding space, so if you can help us with that. The other is we have a flyer, which
is on your chair, so join us on Facebook, on LinkedIn. There are so many women just
like you in our organization. Although it's for women MBAs, we actually encourage people,
anybody with a master's degree or anyone who, anybody who wants to just try event, can also
come and attend. So, hope to see you some other time.
>> GORDON: Thank you. By the way, we do programs pretty much every month. Next month, May 20th,
we're partnering with what's called the EL SIG, the Engineering Leadership SIG, to do
a program on engineering leadership. That will be a panel of men and women, engineering
leaders, managers, vice presidents, et cetera, who will be interviewed by Mala Devlin of
Cisco who's written a book on engineering management. So she is going to be doing that
May 20th and that's going to be at SAP. We, by the way, also are dependent on companies
to host us. And, next month, we actually need someone to help sponsor refreshments, so if
you know, if your companies are willing to provide a few hundred dollars for that, that
would be great. Come see me or Sonja. So, there's Sonja, I don't know if Susan Kelleher
is here and Jennie Hou, these are the co-chairs who handle our tech girls. Patti Dock is our
new director of marketing. Stand up. And we have several people who are helping us do
blogging and tweeting during the event so we always need volunteers. We can tell you
a little more about that later. When I send you the--after you're done, you're going to
get an email, tomorrow probably, that's going to ask you for feedback on the event. I will
include information about our LinkedIn group and about some of the other groups that we
have formed because we're trying to create a community for SDForum Tech Women. And, I'll
also send you the link to the tech girls' website. I'd like to thank Google for hosting
us, Susan Kwok, in particular. Susan is hiding out in the corner but I'll bring her up in
a minute. This has taken a lot of work to get this all put together. It's hard to imagine
what she's had to do behind the scenes. And by the way, we originally had said there will
be 90 people, and 168 said they were going to come. Susan did her best to get the food
allotment increased, but catering needed more time. So, for those of you who may not have
been properly fed, there will be pizzas coming in a few, in about, I don't know, half an
hour or so, because we don't want anyone to be hungry. But quite frankly, we hadn't expected
such a fantastic turnout. With that, I'd like to introduce Susan. Susan is a quality engineer
here at Google. And she's one of the heads of the Google Women and Engineering International,
GWE I, as I understand it, Network. And, Susan is the one who's done all this work back here
at Google. So if you could talk a little bit about your group and about Google that would
be great. >> KWOK: All right. Thank you very much everyone
for coming. Wow, this is such a big turnout. We didn't expect so many of you to be here,
but we're really glad to have you here. So I've been a part of Google for almost four
and a half years now. And I'm a test engineer so I'm not actually an event coordinator even
though I may seem like I'm doing event coordinating. And I just want you to give a little bit of
intro just to what Google does for its employees. So GWE iNetwork, Google Women Engineers iNetwork
is actually an employee resource group here at Google. There are multiple groups here,
whether it'd be BGN, Black Googler Network, or Hispanic network, or Grayglers, or Gayglers,
a bunch of these employer resource groups. We do have just diversity backing these groups
and allowing us to sponsor these types of events to help people come on campus and have
tech talks and, you know, Kathryn come on board and do the tech talks like this. So,
I've always found Google to be a very supportive company especially in this area in terms of
supporting diversity. Anyway, without further ado, I would want to bring up Kathryn and
grab my notes here. Kathryn started out as an engineer, and she also got her MBA. She's
worked at companies such as Motorola, GTE, Accenture, Scopus, and Siebel. She currently,
she has done executive search for a dozen years now, and she currently does at--works
for UCLA Anderson Business School doing counseling for alumni. And just right now, she is publishing
her book which would come out shortly and we will have a little raffle for that too.
So you might a nifty copy if you did drop your business card when you registered. Okay,
and let me get Kathryn up here. >> ULLRICH: Thank you.
>> KWOK: Thanks so much. Yes. >> ULLRICH: I'm going to get started because
you'll find out that I have a lot of energy and I've got a lot of information I want to
share with you, but I'm going to start. We've all been summoned for jury duty, but how many
have actually been on a jury before? Yeah, a few of you. I actually had an interesting
experience that's relevant to this and it goes back to the days I was in strategy consulting.
So I have to put you in the context. I was working 60-plus hours a week, traveling four
to five days a week so when jury duty came, it was like, "Good, I get a break." And I
sat on a jury and they let us out Thursday at noon. Well, anyone that knows me knows
I'm not somebody who plays hooky, but I was going to play hooky. And so I had--I lived
in Southern California at that time. My favorite thing to do was go bike riding down the beach.
So I'm driving towards the beach, toward my condo near the beach. "I'm going to go bike
riding, got to get my car washed. Oh, what else should I do? You should be a successful
businesswoman and then mentor young women." I had no idea where it came from but it resonated
with me, okay? And that's how I figured out my mission in life, driving from jury duty
to the car wash, okay? Now, I start with that because today what I'm going to do is to start
with that career strategy and that vision because you need that to be able to drive
your decisions and where you're headed to. So it starts with that career strategy and
I'll go through that. The second thing that I'm going to go through today is career paths.
As an executive recruiter, I've spent a lot of time going through thousands and thousands
of resumes. Actually, for the book, I also did groundbreaking research, looking at, well,
what backgrounds did people come to, to get to VP marketing, product management, sales,
CEO, and what paths did they take. So I'll take you through that. The third part of it
is I'll take you through the skills needed at the top. I've been running a career development
program now for five years with Stanford Business School and with UCLA Business School. And
I interview panels of executives, panels of women. I loved it when I have panels of women.
Four VPs of marketing from top Silicon Valley companies, that was a fun panel. And I summarized
the information from over 125 of these speakers over the five years to put it into a leadership
skills model of the skills you need as you're advancing in your career. And then the last
part is, "Well, what's this all mean and how do I put it in a career development plan?"
And the key around that is a lot of people, if they're working on a large company with
the very supportive organization, you might get career development. But many other companies,
and especially if you're unemployed or moving from startup to startup, you might not get
that career development. So it's really your own responsibility to look at, "How do I advance
from where I am? How do I make myself resilient for the next economy? And how do I continue
my own career development?" So we'll help you put that into a plan. So let me start
by taking you through career strategy and this is--and I'll go back to that story that
I talked to you about with my own career development and how that guided the career decisions that
I've made. So back when I was in strategy consulting, after I figured out what that
mission in life was, I figured it out, "Okay, I have to be a successful businesswoman."
Being a consultant wasn't going to get me there. And I needed to go into a company but,
you know, the secret is a consultant has no functional skills, whatsoever. So I, there
were three different paths that I could take. Since I worked at Accenture, everybody had
an engineering degree. Everybody thought I was a technical consultant, so I could go
into professional services, consulting, implementing solutions. That was one path. The second one
was I had done one project defining product development process for one technology company
therefore I knew what product managers did; so I could go into product management. That's
how consultants do it, they do one project. And then the third was corporate strategy.
Since I've been doing strategy consulting I could go into corporate strategy. But I
thought about it that would put me into an ivory tower. And I was trying to go on to
run a business and so I didn't think that would get me there; so it was my third path.
Well, I ended up landing at Scopus, running the telecom vertical for product marketing
and defining the products that Scopus was offering. Now we were acquired by Siebel and
one of the things I didn't say is work-life balance was very important to me. And if anybody
knows the reputation of Siebel Systems, it doesn't really have work-life balance and
so I stayed and got our product out and then decided to go on job search and my, started
that by going trekking in Nepal. That's a good place to search your job search. And
the other place I started was reaching out to executive recruiters. You just let them
know, "I'm in the job market." And one of them said, "Have you ever considered search?"
And I said, "No, but I'm willing to listen." And I found out that executive search was
consulting a bit around people. And back when we were in strategy consulting, we'd say,
"It'd be better to have a B-strategy with an A-team that would execute on it." So now
all of a sudden, I was working on putting that A-team into companies. And guess what?
I have a new way of achieving that vision of becoming a successful businesswoman and
being able to mentor others. I can look at what other successful executives are doing
and how they're getting into companies, why they're getting into companies, and then share
that with people. So I'm here today, okay? And, but you can see how that mission guided
me and helped me make that decision. Otherwise, I'd say, "Why would I go into executive search?"
Now, it also guided a couple of other things. And I started my own executive search business
during the last three session so I decided I needed to be on a board so why not start
a women's group? So that's how we started PANW back during the last three session. And
again, the goal was to help women in their development and networking. I found wonderful
successors in Francine Gordon when I was having my second child and needed to step down from
that role. But after my second son was a year old I needed to do something else so I started
yet another career development program in the Getting to the Top series that we started
at Stanford Business School. So again, I kept doing things that followed this mission and
so I lead this life where I love everything I do because it's so connected with my core.
And that's what you want with that strategy. Now, you look at this kind of drawing. Of
course, I have to, I'm an engineer so I have to have some kind of process mapped up there.
But the whole thought is, "What is the direction that you want to achieve and figuring out
what that is?" And that will guide you. A lot of people, you know, I like asking that
interview question of, "What do you want to do in five to ten years?" You know, what is
that that you want to do because that's going to guide you. And I find that if you have
that direction you're more likely to achieve that. You know, think about--we had one panelist
that said, "I want to be CEO of IBM," okay? And her name is Shellye Archambeau. And if
any of you know her, she's a CEO here in Silicon Valley and she was a long time IBM person.
And she actually was, she was at IBM, she found out that every CEO had had a stint in
Japan so she decided to do a stint in Japan. Well, if anybody has met her, she's a 6-foot
tall African-American woman going to Japan. And even her mentors said, "You got a lot
of challenges in front of you, good thing you're bright." And so she went off to Japan.
Well, over the course of her career, she realized, "Well, I still want to be CEO," but she was
getting further way from what she wanted to be doing. She liked working with the customer
and being closer to it. And the more bureaucratic and higher up in a large organization she
got; it all became people issues, internal issues. And so she decided she didn't want
to do that. She moved to the West Coast as president of and then she
moved on and she's CEO of MetricsStream today. So she still have that vision of "I want to
be a CEO of IBM," it changed, and she wanted to become a CEO of something else. So it'll
change a couple of times over your life. In fact, Lili Pratt King, who's sitting in our
audience, she's a career coach and extraordinaire I should say. And Lili was one of the panelists
also and she quoted one of the professors from Stanford said, "You'll probably end up
repotting yourself nine times during your career." And I think I'm up to about seven
right now, so. But you will go through that. So that long term goal will change but if
you have something that's driving it you'll keep achieving it. And the example I give
is, how many friends have you had that say, "I'm going to run a marathon," and they are
the people that don't even park at the far side of the parking lot, okay? And then the
next thing you know, three months later, they've run a marathon. But because they stayed at
that goal they're going to achieve it. So the first thing is figuring out what is that
long-term direction that you want to achieve. Now then the other part is, there are--my
process flow map here, there's four pivot points in that transition. The first one is
level; and getting that promotion from manager to director and VP. The second part, sometimes
you have to take the lateral moves to move up; the side step to move up or the down to
move up. And so you can take a lateral move into a new function, maybe moving from engineering
to pre-sales, consulting to IT to marketing to sales, that'd be a great one to go into,
and making that lateral move. You can also move companies. We have a lot of people in
Silicon Valley that do move by going in between company. And then the fourth one is new industry.
And that's not necessarily new company because even when I left Siebel Systems they said,
"Well, we're starting all these new verticals. You could run the utility vertical." So you
can take on new industry expertise. Like if you want clean tech, do it within your own
company and branch out into those things within your own company. Now when you're making these
steps within your career, anytime you're trying to do a transition that goes over one, it's
much easier than going two or three at the same time. So if you are moving between companies,
it's why the employers really want someone who's been there done that. It's harder if
you're trying to change to get a promotion or changing functions while you're changing
companies. So those are the kinds of things you have to be mindful of as you're starting
to put together that plan to get to that goal. Now the next part of it, I want to take you
through some of the groundbreaking research because I did look at, "What does it take
to get there?" Now I wanted to get a show of hands, how many engineers do we have in
the room? Okay, a number of engineers. How about IT folks? IT marketing? Product management,
product marketing? Sales? Wow. HR? Biz dev alliances? What did I miss?
>> Ops? >> ULLRICH: Ops, that's a good one. Oh, good.
Thank you. Manufacturing fits in there, anything else?
>> Accounting finance. >> ULLRICH: Oh, accounting finance, I forgot.
This is a really well-balanced audience here, this is great. So anyway, I pulled together
a product management and brought the data on that. What I found in interviewing these
panels, there'd be four people but I'd still see that they came from different backgrounds.
So you'd have the product managers that were the engineers that became product managers.
I'd also see that some sales people had gone into it; or the one that I like is the domain.
So this is the person who would get--was very deep in an area. You know, maybe it was telecom.
Like my background was telecom and then I became product marketing in telecom. Well,
if I continued in a career and start going into mobile and other things, you might look
at me and say, "Oh, she's got this telecom domain expertise." And you can see it across
industry but you can also see it within a function. Like in marketing maybe it's somebody
who's really good at social media marketing or somebody who's really good at lead generation
campaigns. You know, maybe it's somebody--I've done searches on so many different domains.
So even within software industry it's, you know, I need to find someone who does not
only middleware or something like that but service-oriented architecture. And it gets
deeper and deeper. And what I've learned in search and when you're job searching, you
know, write this down, everybody wants somebody with that deep domain. And one of the big
mistakes people make is they try and be generalists because they don't want to miss out on an
opportunity. But you have to be niche-oriented for this person and niche-oriented for that
and niche-oriented there. And they're looking to make sure you've got the right industry
functional whatever that domain is. And so there were product managers who sat there
with deep domain experience. There are also some consultants that went into product management.
So you see the different categories. You know, a third of the people came up through product
management. You have these strategy consultants and bankers fit in there and 22% came from
that background, engineers made up 20%. The numbers aren't just important, just looking
at it and seeing the different backgrounds people came from. So if you're an engineer
going into product management, as you're positioning yourself moving up, you'll want to find the
positions where people are valuing that you have deep technical skills. But also you need
to keep an eye on if I've got deep technical skills and I'm competing against people with
really good sales and marketing skills or analytical skills, how do I start learning
what they're doing to be able to enhance my background? So start using that to position
yourself. Okay, the next one. I have to bring up the CEO part of it. I had a question the
other day as I presented they said, "Oh well, the CEO function." I'm guessing there's a
lot of engineers-CEOs. And I look around and said, "Well, au contraire," you know, "less
than 15%." And it makes sense. They are sales and marketing, a third of them come from sales
and marketing backgrounds. And it's because the CEO of those text start-ups is the number
one sales person in the company. And, guess what? If you're a technology co-founder, your
usual--and a tech person, the engineer that's developing it, you may end up running into
and becoming that's CTO co-founder. You still are the co-founder but you'll hire in people
that can do the other parts of it. So I just wanted to point that part of this out to you.
Now I have breakout sessions. You guys get to work tonight. Okay, and the reason for
this is I want to have a context, I want you to have a context so that you can think about
this for your own self. So that as you walk away tonight, you're going to be able to think
about, "What do I want to work on?" So we're going to spend 10 minutes, and yes, I need
you to come back to me in 10 minutes, so I'll try and get you. Actually, when I start doing
it, whoever comes back in lessons I give one of these away, okay? So anyway, we're going
to spend 10 minutes and breakout into groups of three or four and I want you to introduce
yourself. So if you're sitting around people you work with go find new people you don't
know, okay? And I want you to one, introduce yourself with a 15-second pitch and I'm going
to give you an example because we all give 30-second to a minute pitches. It's "Hi, I'm
a product manager in mobile applications. I developed something like this app you might
have." And if you're looking for a job you can say, "And I'm looking for a job at companies
like Google or Microsoft." That's your introduction, short and sweet. But then the second part
is the most important. Why don't you just share with this group if you've got any thoughts
on where you want to be, what's your dream, your vision. Maybe it's even just a pipe dream.
But if you've got a thought and where you think you're going to be headed with your
career whether it's just your next job or even better if it's longer term. So we're
going to spend 10 minutes doing this, and I'll get you back together. So go ahead and
find a small group. That was just to give you some context so that you've got a direction
that you're thinking of, because with that thought process the next part is going into
the leadership skills model. And I call it the career pyramid because the graphics look
pretty; of skills at the top. And there's five that I'm going to talk about. And I can
give you examples for the next three hours on this, okay, but we're only going to spend
30 minutes. So, the first one is strategic vision. We learned about this in business
schools so I'll probably go through it pretty quickly. Customer perspective, you've got
to bring the customer perspective into your job, whether it's external or internal customers.
And how do you do that? It's kind of interesting because you wouldn't expect to see that up
there but it was very interesting how all of the panelists talked about who they're
customers, from CEOs talking about shareholders, to VPs of marketing bringing that information
into the company. So I'll take you through examples of that. Communication skills. So
there's a reason why communication skill is four times larger than any other part in here.
The importance of communication skills grows exponentially as you advance in your career
so get good at it. And I'm going to take you through some examples of that. Team leadership,
we'll go through that as well. That's one that I think we can all work on. And the last
one, just to surprise you, is called distinguishing skills. So as you move through your career,
we go from doing to leading, what's really interesting is you get rewarded for doing
and then when you get to the point of you get rewarded for leading, well, you're not
supposed to be doing quite as much. But there were some skills--since remember I took this
functional perspective looking at marketing and product management and sales and CEO,
I looked at it and I saw there were some things that you had to continue doing really, really
well. You know, and the example I use is, you know, if you're VP biz dev, you're negotiating
$2 billion deals. Well, you don't walk and start negotiating at a $2 billion level. You
better start here and get really good at it because you're never going to be able to delegate
that. So what is the distinguishing skill for the functional area that you're looking
at, okay? And I'm going to go through these with lots of examples. Strategic vision. So
this is not only setting the strategic vision for the company but most--it's also setting
at for your division, your product, your team, and then getting everybody in alignment with
it. So it's not just the setting division but it's the alignment and how do you communicate
that and making sure the alignment of your product or team fits with the company direction
as well. Now a couple of examples of that because it's not just the company vision,
Marlene Williamson is a VP of marketing. She was at Symantec and then now she's at Ericsson,
Redback Networks of, a part of Ericsson. And she was a market, has been in marketing in
Silicon Valley for 20, 25 years. She was a candidate of mine 10 years ago and she was
a VP of marketing at Acer. So I'm dating myself, how many people remember PC clones and clone
wars? Okay, there's a few of us. Thanks, guys. Anyway, she--back then for the people that
didn't know us, you know, you bought IBM, you couldn't go wrong buying IBM computers,
or you bought HP, Compaq was separate, DELL, I think they're around. And once you got passed
the kind of big guys, the PC clones had a really poor reputation. They were kind of--they
were very cheap. Well, Marlene put together the marketing vision that put Acer on the
map and Acer became the clone to buy. So if you didn't want to go IBM, you bought Acer.
And she built that up and set that marketing vision of, "What do we do to do that?" And
that takes a lot of vision to be able to that and then the execution behind it. Now the
other example, I bring up is Erna Arnesen, is a VP of Strategic Alliances. Again, from
Symantec and she's with Cisco now. And when you hear Erna talk, she's been in Strategic
Alliances partnerships for 25 years. She has this mind that thinks strategically about
partner ecosystems and "How do we work together to create value for one another?" And it's
this very strategic mindset that I don't think strategically--around partners the same way
she does, but it's having that kind of strategic vision. Now I also want to talk about alignment
because in alignment it's communicating and over-communicating. The CEOs would say, "If
you think you're communicating a lot, the vision, well, you probably not communicating
enough. So keep over-communicating. An example, one of the CEOs or one of the executives shared
with us, he had been an executive at Pacific Telesis, PacBell, you know, some iteration
of that and they had an industry luminary come in and in an executive level in the group,
Marty Kaplan was his name. And he came on board and he went around and talked to all
the division leaders about what's going on in the organization, and he came up with this
list of 85 things. And after about a year with the group he's going, "What's happening
with the performance here? Why are we not hearing our numbers?" you know. And he pulled
one of his managers aside, "You got to tell me what's going on? What am I missing?" He
goes, "Well, we're all working on your list of 85." And Marty had to say, "My list of
what?" And he had to get up and publicly in front of the group tear up that list of 85
so they could go back to their kneading and concentrate on profit, revenue, and all of
the basics. And so they lost sight of what that vision was because of this little list
of 85 because sometimes if the leader says it, everybody thinks they need to jump through
hoops and do it. So it's the leader, the strong leaders and the executives that were quoted
in the book, they gave countless examples of you always knew where you stood in the
company because, you know, the CEOs said, this is our objective; one, two, and three,
and from the top down to the bottom of the organization they could sight that. Very interesting,
UCLA Anderson just honored Fred Smith, the CEO of FedEx, and he talked about how the
mission of the company from top of the organization down to the bottom of the organization, it
was all about how we're delivering packages to satisfy our customers and to take care
of our customers. Well, that evening at the dinner, they surprised him and they were going
to have a FedEx delivery man who worked the graveyard shift at LAX terminal, he was going
to ring the doorbell and bring in his package, okay. I sat next to this nice young man at
the dinner table and I said, "You know, how do you motivate people on a graveyard shift?"
And he goes, "Well, it's all about the customer." I'm going, "I thought I was sitting next to
Fred Smith right there." So all the way down to probably 10 levels down in the organization,
they knew what their job was in taking care of the customer. That's setting a vision and
getting alignment through the organization. Hey, second one, customer perspective. This
is a commandment, "Know thy customer," okay? It came out so many times. Now, a lot of the
panelists were marketing and sales oriented but it was so apparent that was, "know thy
customer." Now this is external if it's the customer is buying your product, but it could
also be internal if you have to, ha, the tech support guys who were setting us up, the security
of the people who were supporting the organi--the events that are going on. You know, who is
your customer within the organization? Now a few examples here, Judy Kirkpatrick was
a VP at eBay and before that worked at Intuit and Adobe in her career. And she talked to
us about eBay and what it meant to bring in customer perspective there. And A.G. Lafley,
he's the chairman of P&G. They had a saying that they translated to their own, and A.G.
Lafley would say, you stand for election--the customer--stands for elect, "We stand for
election when the customer buys and when they use the customer." So think about that laundry
detergent you just bought from Procter and Gamble. You now, it's when you buy it but
then you have to use it and then you have to go out and buy it again, okay? So for eBay,
that meant to them every time a customer clicked and bought, every time somebody came on board
and sold something and then would come back and sell again. So the customer became customer
perspective was that whole user experience. Not just buying upfront buy using it going
through customer service and operations and going back and telling everybody about it
and buying again. So how do you bring that customer perspective in because you're touching
the customer, you know? Even if you're sitting in finance or some groups like that, what
is the impact that you have on it? The second example that Judy Kirkpatrick shared with
us, she had worked at Intuit, and Scott Cook the founder of Intuit shared something early
on. Now everybody knows Intuit and Quicken. And so it was Quicken was invented to being
an electronic checkbook so you could balance your checks and that's how it was used. So
during the first two years, they did a lot of home visits to see how people were using
the product. And they went in and they found out that a lot of people were using it for
small businesses but they ignored the data for two years. And they finally said, "Well,
maybe we should do something about this." And so they actually then started going after
small and medium businesses. Well, Intuit, if you guys know Intuit, they now are, I think
it's half of their business, is targeting small and medium businesses with their QuickBooks
product. And not only that but they're known because they target small and medium businesses
and they're not, aren't that many companies that do it as well as Intuit; but they ignored
the customer data for two whole years. Now another example, I want to take you through
how people get this customer perspective because you might say, "Well, I'm sitting in customer
service, I'm sitting in here," whatever the group is, "How do I learn about sales and
how do I get closer to the customer?" Rita Iorfida was the VP of product management to
PeopleSoft but she started out in customer support and consulting. And she wanted to
learn more about sales so she picked the best sales person in the company and she said,
"Can I learn about sales and come out on some sales calls with you?" As she put it, "she
glommed onto sales," and that's how she learned. And then she took that knowledge of sales
and it propelled her throughout her career because everybody knew that she was so close
to sales with everything she did so that's how she got some of her promotions. Now another
person, I worked with Anne Klein at Siebel Systems. She ran the healthcare and insurance
vertical--remember domain? She had that domain. So she ran that vertical and what she did,
Anne was really good at supporting sales. You know, we all spent time developing our
products and along with developing her products, she spent several months developing the sales
demonstration tool. And anybody that's done that, if they're on customer--the sales engineers
who were going out into giving the demos on the product, well, the hardest thing is putting
in the demo data and the process flows of how the customers will use it. So Anne's team
spent three months developing a really well-thought out sales tool with demo data added to it.
Now what ended up happening is not only did all the insurance and healthcare sales people
used this but they started using it for all the other verticals and they started selling
more of their product because it have the process flows map. And in addition to that
because she had helped sales, sales would give her information so they could develop
better products for those customers. So she developed really good applications because
she was helping sales sell product, okay? So think about those kinds of examples when
you're thinking about, "How do I support sales and how do I learn more about it?" I actually
think that the MBA curriculum doesn't prepare you enough for sales so anytime you can sit
closer to sales and bring in revenue and help people bring in revenue I think it will help
out in your career. It's a blanket statement but I don't make those often and that's when
I really believe in. Communication skills. Okay, how many people have ever gone to communication
skills training? I hoped that everybody's hand in this room goes up. I found that every
time I joined a new company they send you to some sort of conflict resolution or--it's
not saying anything about me, is it? But anyway, I--or what's your communications? I'm a tiger,
I'm blue, I'm red for this one, you know, and every single company I go to they've got
one but the important thing about it is it's understanding, "How am I perceived by someone
else? How do they listen, what's their style? And how can I make myself heard by them better
or listen better or work better with them?" And that's kind of it the fundamental of the
communication skills. It starts with listening. I have to share, there's VP of corporate development
of the Amgen had said this. He is a former McKenzie strategy consultant and he said,
"The higher up I've gotten, the more sunshine I get." And he said, "Everybody's delivering
sunshine, no one wants to deliver the bad messages about what's going on." So as an
executive, you have to get good at understanding what are they really trying to tell you with
all that sunshine. And that takes listening. How can you listen so you can hear what they're
saying? The other parts of it is, well, we think about communicating, communicating down
to the team. Well, a lot of the communications is the cross-functional teams and how do you
communicate across the organization. It's also communicating up to your boss. I got
a call yesterday from one of my colleagues about that. "How do I work one through my
boss and communicate this?" A couple of the examples I want to bring up, we had a SD Form
program of getting to the top panel. I think it was several years ago now of CIOs, and
we have the CIO of Varian, Jessica Denecour said--she's an introverted person, she'll
even tell you that, and she realized, you get into these meetings with all the other
executives and she'd say, "Everybody would steal my ideas because I wouldn't speak up,"
because she was a little quiet about speaking up. So she learned to deal with it. She goes
into a meeting and she speaks first so no one can steal her ideas. So, you know, it's,
you know, if you are, you know, if you find out, you know, this is my trait, well, find
ways to deal with that and come up with ways that you can improve upon it. Another woman,
Larraine Segil, an incredible woman, she comes from Strategic Alliances and she found that
the Committee of 200. There's an organization called National Association of Women Business
Owners, for women's business owners, you know, like myself, Francine, and others in here,
Committee of 200 is the women who run companies with at least 50 million in revenue. So I
got to go to one month once but I'm not a member. Anyway, Larraine started that and
so she's run some several large companies. Well, she talked about, when she got into
her first larger company, she talked about the politics of running aboard. And she said
that 50% of her time was spent communicating up to the board and getting them in agreement
and getting things worked out before the board meetings. And so you have to have those skills.
Another woman, Trish Halamandaris is VP of marketing running the mobile, ran the mobile
at Walt Disney. And she gave strategies on how you communicate with your boss because
it happens at all levels. And so she talked about, you know, going back to what we said,
it's like, "What does your boss want to hear from you?" Not delivering sunshine all the
time but how can you be delivering that message so they understand what you're trying to tell
them. And a lot of it comes back to these communication styles. One of the other things
in there is influencing. You know, it's really important that you work on this influencing
and gaining credibility with others. Tracy Eiler is a VP of rublic relations and was
with Postini, I think that was acquired here by Google, and now she's VP of Mark Logic.
And she talked about early on, she talked about the need to develop this trusted relationship
so that if a CEO or, you know, even think of it, it's a colleague, you know, you're
in marketing and you're talking to engineers sales, they have to, you have to have credibility
with them so that they understand the council you're trying to deliver to them. And Tracy
talked about early in her career, she was asked to run a press release about a Minnesota
office. And against her better judgment because she said, "Why are we doing that? Shouldn't
we be talking about global expansion?" She ran this press release saying, "Hey, we've
got a new office in Minnesota." She became the laughing stock of the media world because
they said, "Hey, I'm up here in Minneapolis," and it turned out it was a guy in his bedroom
and they did a press release on the national news wire about this new office. So now, she
tells all her team no Minnesota press releases but they can only deliver that because they
have gained credibility. And what she ends up doing with her team is, you know, they
gained the credibility and instead they'll say, "Well, instead of a press release, why
don't we do this which will get those kind of results." And it becomes this trusted relationship
with the executives that they're working with. Another part of this communications that I
put in there is managing expectations. We had Melissa Dyrdahl on the panel and Melissa
was a VP of marketing at Adobe. Now she was there for 8, 10, 12 years, I can't remember
the number but, you know, the typical VP of marketing in Silicon Valley is there about
18 months and so this was--she was there for a long time. So I asked, "So what was the
key to your longevity there?" And she said, "Managing expectations. Communicating what
you're capable of doing, and then showing people those results." So really working on
managing the expectations of what people think you're going to be delivering. So you see
how there's all of this kind of figuring out how to deliver the messages, how to build
up relationships and work with other people on this communications. I strongly recommend
that you work on it. Take classes, you know, do 360-degree reviews to see how you are perceived
by your team. Team leadership, this is a fun one. It starts with hiring the best. As a
recruiter, I have to say that. So AP, there's an adage, A-players hire A, and B-people hire
C, and that's what ends up happening. So if an A-person hires an A, you've got a team
of A-people, you Googlelites here. I also had a pleasure to work at--my first consulting
project was with Frito Lay which was PepsiCo, all A players, just fascinating working there.
I also had the chance to do a consulting assignment, I processed map all of Microsoft in two weeks;
they're all-A players up there. Worked at Siebel System, all A-players; really fun working
within that environment. What happens was when you get to the organizations that are
B, they start getting marginalized. And if you've ever had a B-boss, they don't want
to get challenged and they don't want somebody to look better so they start hiring lower
than they are. And it gets really, really frustrating in those kinds of environments.
I had one client where, as I put it, the B-plus players were real stars in it because the
C, D, and E-people had to go to work somewhere. And it's, you could see how marginalized the
company had become. It was, you know, a little lower level blue collar kind of a company.
But you want to hire the best. I have this one quote, I have to read it. Jasmine Kim
was, in charge of international for Yahoo and came from consumer package goods, brand
management and then became COO, CMO of for Johnson & Johnson. She said, "I'd rather
corral resources than motivate donkeys to walk." Okay, so, you know, stick around with
those resources and hire the best. Nina Smith was the chief marketing officer of Xerox and
she also said, "Don't be too proud. You need to fill in your weaknesses." So you need to
know the areas where you're not strong and make sure you're hiring for that. So many
times we're hiring and you hire people who are just like you, sometimes you have to hire
somebody that adds a new perspective. Not to challenge it and make the team dysfunctional
but somebody that allow that perspective or round out the skill sets. You know, if you
are very analytical, maybe you need somebody who's people-oriented. You know, those kinds
of differences in staff that you're hiring. The other part after you bring these people
in, you have to continue developing them or send them to getting to the top or things
like that. The next part is also delegating and empowering. As you moved up from that
doing to leading, the hardest part is the letting go of details. I actually had an MBA
approached me that he was corporate, director of corporate development, for a billion dollar
company. He said, "I can talk to M&A people all day long, do all these high level deals.
They just gave me a team and I am sinking. I'm absolutely underwater. It's the busiest
since I've ever been in my life. I feel like I'm a failure." And what it was he didn't,
he could communicate with bankers, he couldn't communicate with his team and on top of it
he couldn't let go of the details. And Marlene Williamson put it best when she said, "You
have to get comfortable in this gray area. That you're going to let go of the details."
They're not going to do it the same way you've done, but if you hire those resources and
that A-team of people just trusted that they're going to get it done. Maybe not in the same
area but you have to let go of the details of how they're going to do it and delegate.
Now, then the other part that I have to tell you over the course of five years we've probably
run 10 CEO panels, 8 to 10 CEO panels. Every single one of the CEOs has said that the biggest
mistake they've ever made is not firing quickly enough. And that's very, very telling. While
I was writing this book, I hired an admin. But after three weeks I realized there is
too much emotional baggage for my home office and I needed to let her go. But I was going
on vacation on the fourth of July so, "Oh, it'd be good if she's here," and it took me
three months to let her go and I should have let her go after three weeks. So even I did
the same thing while I'm writing these chapters here. There was one example also of a COO--CEO,
young CEO who talked about they had a product release coming up. And the VP of engineering
came in and said, and he held a lot of the power around this, and he came in and he said,
"Well, we'll hit the delivery date if you pay me X tens of thousands of dollars." And
the CEO, well, they don't prepare you for that and he said, "I've got to think about
it overnight." Well, word got out in the company that this decision was going on, he was talking
to the board members, he said, "You know, I knew the decision was right the minute I
made it up in my mind." He, of course, fired the person. The entire team rallied because
they were glad the guy was gone and they didn't make the date. But the CEO, it was more important
the integrity of the company, the team. Can you imagine every other person that would
try holding him hostage after that? And so, you know, that's one of the examples. Some
of the other examples that people shared were it's, you know, like it's easy firing the
poor performers, the non-performers, but the very marginal people they're just taking up
seats, a lot of times they help you on your way up to the top and then you've got to turn
around and fire them. They also talked about, you know, like, okay, you can put them on
performance plans but they all said that the performance plans really didn't work. So they
said, "Just be generous on the way out and help them leave with dignity, but fire them."
So that was the general word of the CEOs and it was across the board every single program.
Not in the down note. We'll move on to the next one which is the distinguishing skills.
So in the distinguishing skills, this is the one where you have to get really good at something,
whatever it is. We had examples of how the PR folks, at the low levels are writing press
releases, at the high levels, they're expected to write newsworthy stories that are changing
how the market, you know, changing and developing market categories or new stories. In driving
sales, you know, we already talked about the sales person, you know, has to drive sales
but the CEO is the number one sales person and how can you do that? We talked about establishing
culture and you think the CEO is responsible for that, those are all people issues again.
But it also establishing your culture could be in your group. When I was president of
PANW we went into one technology company and they said, "You know, we'd love to see more
women here. We don't have a woman-friendly culture except in one group." So we got talking
about that one group, what makes that a one woman-friendly culture? It was a soccer dad
who let it and he let all the moms go, you know, like if the kids were sick they could
go home, they could take them to the appointments they needed too because they knew they'd work
and that group was 50% women. So in this tech, you know, in this tech company that didn't
have a friendly women's culture this one group did. We always hear culture starts at the
top, but it can even start at the top with you in your team, in your group establishing
that culture. So figure out what the distinguishing skills might be for you and we'll move on
from, you know, from there and how do you develop those in your career. I do have one
breakout session but you're going to do this at the end because I want to take questions.
So the next part would be to think about what are some of the skills that you want to develop?
So go back over that pyramid and think about, "Are there one or two?" You know, everybody
should have some sort of communication skill on that list but what are a couple of skills
that you want to develop. And if you want to meet with your groups or talk about it
afterwards, but I want to get to some questions so we're going to go on and take the last
slide here which is, "How do you develop this?" Now, when you want to change behavior, the
first thing they always talk about, there's four phases, and the first one is unconscious
incompetence. You don't even know you're bad, okay? And then you move up to conscious incompetence.
You know that you're not doing something well and then you can start improving your behavior
and you become consciously competent. You know you're doing well but you still have
to work at it. And the goal is, of nirvana, is unconsciously competent; you just do it.
Now I have to give you the example I use is, anybody who knows me doesn't know me as this
person, but back in college in engineering, I was shy, I was really painfully shy. And
it was coming home from sophomore year, those first really killer engineering classes and
how I didn't have any friends in my class, and my dad said to me, he said, "Did you ever
think that people might think you're stuck up?" I'm going "I'm shy dad. I'm shy." And
I went back after Thanksgiving and I looked around all these class of people who I thought
weren't talking to me because they were better than me. I looked around and I saw a whole
room full of shy engineers. And so I started kicking myself, you know. You could see the
foot going in my head, but I started kicking myself to talk to people. And I started with,
"Hi, did you do the homework? What do you think?" And pretty soon, we had the two or
three rows around me, we actually became best friends for the next three years because I
just kept kicking myself. And it probably took a year or two of kicking myself, and
every now and then I did like sitting in the back of the room and just watching, but I
kicked myself so that I don't think about it. And I looked at my sister, never got that--she
never kicked herself so she's still painfully shy. And, but it's something that it was a
behavior I didn't like. And so, and I wanted to change that because I felt like I was missing
something or whatever it was, but I wanted to change it. So it starts with recognizing
what is that behavior? What is that skill that you want to change? And then you need
to want it bad enough because it's easier just sitting there and not talking to someone
and continuing with it, but what is that behavior you want to change? And then what you do is
the developmental people put learning into three categories. The first one is experience;
you have to do it to learn it. The second category is exposure; it's your network, it's
the people around you. And then the third category is education; going out and taking
a class. Well, they actually say that learning comes 60, 70% of it comes from experience
and just doing it. So what they recommend doing is, you know, if you're ever ask to
take on a special assignment or, even better yet, volunteer to take on a special assignment.
Jasmine Kim in the international group realized there was a titling issue between different
companies--countries. Some were VPs, some were directors, it was causing terrible strife
within the group. She volunteered to take on a leveling project that would be a god-forsaken
project because you'd have a lot people hating you on it. But she learned a lot about HR
processes and things that she really, really enjoys and worked on this pretty high profile
project within the company. Another example of that was Denise Peck is a VP at Cisco.
She started at Sun, and along the way she was in marketing, but she was asked to take
on investor relations. These are the people who are communicating your stock price and
what's going on to Wall Street. She does not want, "That's a finance function, why am I
doing it?" So she took the principles of marketing and applied them to investor relations, you
know, all legitimately, but their stock price went up. And because of that she had a whole
bunch of executives who knew she, who she was. Well, along the way she also took a role
in IT. She knew nothing about IT and she decides to go to IT. Why? Because IT was the customers
for Sun and Cisco products. So she got to have lunch and talk to these people and learns
what the customers are thinking and how they feel about it and what their impressions are
so she can do a better job of marketing to them. And currently, she's over in Shanghai
running operations in China for Cisco and she credits all of those rotational moves
into different functions. Plus she deliver--developed a lot of political allies within the company
that knew how good a job she does. So you take on those experiences even if they get
you outside your comfort zone. Another example of that, with PANW, I love this example because
you can take on volunteer assignments, you know, work for the non-profits and, you know,
do the blogging and tweeting and you learn social media, right? Well, we have one volunteer
who desperately wanted to be a manager but she was, you know, faced with that catch-22,
I say, "Well, have you ever managed anyone?" "No." "Well, then you can't be a manager."
So she needed to manage someone so she volunteered to lead a team on the biggest team that, the
auction team, and did a banged up job. She went into the job interview situation saying,
"Have you ever managed anyone?" "Well, yes, I did this great team for PANW." And she got
a manager title and managed one or two people so she got that check mark by doing volunteer
work. So it's taking on those projects volunteering to do them, reaching outside your comforts
zone and taking risks. Next part of it is exposure. Penny Herscher was another one of
our panelist who's CEO of FirstRain and she came up through Cadence. She was CEO of Synopsys
which was acquired by Cadence. Well, Penny started out as a Math major, and a mentor
said, "Well, go into programming." So she went into programming along the way, somebody
said, "You'd be good at marketing, go into marketing." Another mentor said, "You'd make
a good CEO someday." So she always had these mentors kind of helping her prepare for those
roles along the way. So seek out mentors and if your organization isn't large enough you
reach out into professional associations where you might get exposure to other women or other
executives in your industry. And then the last part; take courses. I know there's a
lot of development courses around for people, whether in your company or outside, so what
I want people to do is just think about, you know, where their long-term direction is?
What are a few skills that you think you can work on developing and then start thinking
about what activities can I do to start developing it? And what I did was I left you a little
worksheet you can fill out afterwards. But with that, I want to take questions. Go ahead.
Wait, we have a mic for questions. I'm stressed, so aloud they can hear me. They hear me in
San Francisco and all around the world. >> VECCHI: So, hi. Hi, my name is Luciana.
I work at Adobe System as the business manager of the globalization team. And my question
was I was actually wondering in your research, did you take a look of how long those women
take from moving from one leading position to the next? So how long would they take average
from a manager to a director, a director to VP, or something like that?
>> ULLRICH: That's a good question. I didn't study that. I have to write another book.
>> VECCHI: I'll work for you. >> ULLRICH: No, I'm sorry I didn't look at
that. I would say that some people did it very quickly, if I'm just kind of thinking
through the executives where you could see they moved up very quickly. But I've also
interviewed people who moved up way too quickly. And I think that you do have this kind of
natural development curriculum that if you do get up to the VP really, really quickly,
you better be learning those skills in back filling which you didn't learn. And I think
that if you are moving along, it's, you know, seeking out people who know you that can help
you and deliver advice on, you know, like, "What kinds of things should I be working
on to advance to the next level?" One of the things, this is a good one that I was taught
after the fact in, you know, how we all have performance evaluations quarterly and no one
ever does them and then annually you get surprised? Well, someone said, why don't you talk to
your boss monthly and just say, "And how am I doing?" and it can be really informally.
"Is there anything else I could be working on? You know, here's what I've been working
on, is there anything else?" Usually, they'll say, "Oh, no, you're doing a good job." Do
it monthly, keep track, and say every single time, "Is there anything else I should be
working on?" At the end of the year, when they surprise you with that performance evaluation,
you could come back and say, "Well, every month I've been asking you and you haven't--and
you've been saying, 'No, there's nothing else I needed to be working on,'" okay? But put
in place that plan that says, "I'd really like to be director, I'd like to be a VP.
What are the things that I could work on?" And you have to watch out because I think
a lot of us do have an Achilles' heel. And I've watched some women go from company to
company to company and they've still got that Achilles heel and changing environments won't
change that. You've got to fix what it is so that you don't keep running into it. And
so if you can face that, maybe do a 360-degree assessment and figure out what it is that
is holding you back, especially if you got close friends or people that can kind of share
that that may not be your direct supervisor. Another question?
>> Hi my name is Alexia Dow. I work for TeleNav, that's a GPS Nav company. So my questions
is a lot of the topics that you've brought up talk about personal development, things
that women can do for themselves but I'm wondering how many of the VPs, the CEOs, those that
get to the top, in terms of their environmental situation, such as having two nannies, having
a spouse that, you know, maybe having the lesser job or, you know, those things that
are equally important to enable women to get to the top. Did you look in to those factors
as well? >> ULLRICH: Yeah, let me address that from
a few different dimensions. I'm going to start by saying when I was in strategy consulting
complaining about how I was running errands every weekend and in between those trips out
of town, they said, "Kathy, what you need is a housewife," and it was true. There are
CEOs, men and women, because there's an interesting fact out there that men actually want balance
and flexibility as much as women but there's actually a bigger stigma on men in getting
it so the men want that. And what I have seen is they end up setting boundaries if their
good at it. Now, some aren't, and remember it's about how they set culture. So comparing
contrast to, these are both male CEOs but I'll take you through some women in a second,
so with the male CEOs, one said, "Okay, I have this agree--" you know, he's got young
kids and he has an agreement with his wife that, "These are the nights I'm working late,
but these nights I'm going to be home. And then after the kids are in bed I go back to
work until midnight or whatever it is." But he has that agreement that these are the nights
that I work late so he just sets those boundaries but his family is really important to him.
Another CEO comparing contrast this, he's sending emails to his team at midnight, 1:00
a.m. in the morning, and he's kind of testing them to see who else is working at those hours,
okay? And so you have to know who you're working for. Now I have run into a lot of, you know,
call them VP marketing-caliber talent that have just decided, "I'm tired of that revolving
door of changing every 18 months; and benefits, flexibility, I'm a single mom," whatever it
is, says, "I'm just going to take a director of marketing title and let that VP over me
keep changing." And one woman did that during the recession, watched four VPs of
marketing go over her and she kept her head down and just did this because she knew that
the health benefits for her husband. Or another one did it because, you know, she was a single
mom and needed to stay at home. So there is nothing wrong. There's actually, the career
theorist will call this, you have to set, you know, "What is, this success mean for
me? And what do I want to give and what's most important?" And you'll go through periods
of your life where it maybe more important to take care of family and then there's another
period where you ramp up your career. Or you tradeoff because now it's time for your spouse
to ramp up their career and you're doing the more flexible thing and then you tradeoff,
and those are all the things you have to think through.
>> So... >> YEN: Hi, my name is Yen.
>> ULLRICH: Oh, well, one of... >> I'm sorry. I was ahead of you.
>> ULLRICH: Go ahead, Yen. >> YEN : Oh, me?
>> ULLRICH: Yeah, go ahead. >> YEN: Okay. My name is Yen. I work for LPC
Tools. And my questions is, I started work for about 20 years ago and then at a time,
women were coming up but there was a stereotype of an executive women, how they had to sell
their souls in certain ways and become more men-like. Do you have--have you studied on,
I know, there're more women executives these days, but I really haven't run into a lot
who have not had to pretend to be more manly, do you know what I mean?
>> ULLRICH: Yeah. So I have a generalization and it's not a study but, actually, I think
catalyst will do, does more work around kind of perceptions around that. I think it's generational.
I'm the very last year of baby boomer and I see this kind of half generation ahead of
me because I didn't like wearing the little tie, so I wore the blouses that I didn't have
to wear a tie with because I really didn't like the ties. But anyway, there's this half--there's
this generation above me that there is almost two categories of women, some that really,
really support women. Carol Bartz is the perfect example of that, that whole heartedly supports
women and their advancement in corporations. There's other women, and I'm not going to
mention their names, that they're too supportive. That they don't feel like they have to support
women because they compete in a man's world. And I think that you see that in what you're
talking about in, "I have to be more man-like." I love wearing skirts and I will be feminine
in what I do. "Okay, I have to be the career person so I'm wearing pinstripe tonight, but
it's a feminine one, all right?" Anyway, but it's one of those things that I think it's
your own personal style but I really do like the women who do reach out and help other
women. And I do encourage you to do that because I think that's how we'll all get ahead. In
the back, we had a question. >> So my question was going back to your comments
on performance evaluations. At what point do you broach that topic with your supervisor,
with your manager? >> ULLRICH: Give me a little more.
>> So some companies, I mean I worked for public accounting where there were specific
programs, very formal programs, about having a mentor and they were partners who would
approach you wanting to see, "Well, how far do you want to go and I'll help you," then
have gone to corporate situations where you had to really find someone on your own to
be your mentor or help you find your path at the company. But at what point, I guess
in corporate situations, do you broach those topics with the VP or the SVP saying, "I would
like to go further, how do I get there?" >> ULLRICH: In that conversation, I think
that first you have to start it with your boss because it's only polite to start it
with your direct supervisor. However, if it does not go anywhere, like the conversation
I had yesterday, she is being stonewalled by her boss and he closes the door and won't
speak to her. And I'm going, "Okay," and that becomes, how do you move to the next level
and what's appropriate? And what are different ways you can do that? Now as far as the reaching
out, I've been in corporate situations also that I have informal mentors where I just
approached people and say, you know, "It's been real helpful, the advice you've given
me, would you be my mentor?" And it's this kind of explicit verbal contract. But then
I've also had programs where it's been, here's the mentoring program, sign up, they match
you. And I found that I have more success in the informal, me just approaching somebody
about it, because it's somebody I already have a relationship with, they've already
provided advice. And as long as you don't step over that line of mentoring versus you
really need a coach, you know, mentors can't do that, I think it works out. Now the formal
mentoring programs, to me, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. And I just happened
to be in one where it really didn't work that well because, you know, I chose a mentor that
everybody wanted to have as the mentor because she was good at mentoring but I didn't have
the relationship with her, and I was better just approaching people. I'm, you know, I
used to look at it--when I was in consulting, I was in the L.A. office and we have seven
people there versus 200 in San Francisco. So every time I was up here you never knew
the consultants would be out but the partners always had to go to lunch. So I've go to the
partners' offices about quarter to 12 and say, "Would you like to go to lunch?" Well,
they were going to lunch with other partners so I go to lunch with three partners, you
know, and the consultants would look at me and go, "Well, they have to go to lunch, too."
And so I got to talk to the partners so they knew who I was. And so I think that if you
reach out to people and start establishing those relationships, even with the executives,
they have to eat lunch, they're going to the gym, you know, they've got the same, you know,
parental issues you might have. And it's just starting that conversation, so you can say;
"Hey, can I ask you a question?" But it's starting to develop a relationship so you
can ask them those questions if you don't have that formal setup to do it. Let's--last
question. >> I work for a small business that's a locally
based operation that has like franchises in five counties and there is a glass ceiling
that's very, very, very thick in the company I work for. It's a privately held company.
There are really are no top women in the company. So I decided I'm just going to stay where
I am and keep my head down which is what you suggested. But trying to get--oh, how could
I say it, to have really good working relationships with men who've been groomed to work in that
company is extremely difficult. We have something they call a "boss" team that comes around
and checks all the franchises to make sure that everybody's operating the way they're
supposed to be. And they're actually very good, they're very talented. I find it extremely
difficult to talk to these men because their attitude is like, "Don't talk to me," you
know. "You don't know what you're doing." I've been with the company almost nine years,
so. And I worked in three different franchise operations so it's like, "Where do I go from
here?" I know it's time to move on and yet I'm learning as I'm sitting there. I'm helping
them transition. I'm doing some great work and I'm learning a lot. So when I'm not, you
know, 15 anymore so where do I go from here? >> ULLRICH: You know, you probably have a
lot of questions that we could spend two hours talking about, so. But I'll give you a quick
one. I always like this, there was one time when--okay, I wasn't paid much when I went
from consulting into product management because I took to a lower salary. So I got an offer
for 50% more to go over to Oracle to the arch nemesis and so Scope has decided to keep me
instead and gave me a 50% raise. So if you ever need negotiating around that, just ask
me and I'll help you with it. But anyway, I got a 50% raise. And, but it was interesting.
One of my friends said, "Kathy, I could tell the exact day that you checked out." Well,
there's an interesting thing when you do check out, I'm not saying check out, but it's coming
back in with a different viewpoint because if you approach a job--and I'm going to give
you an example of a woman I talked to, maybe six months ago, that she, the company, she
wanted to go into marketing but she had come from finance and the company was either going
to lay her off or she'd go into finance. So guess what, you're going to finance. And,
but I said, "Well, what if you go in to finance but do things that will support you so you
prepare yourself for marketing." So, and have that attitude. Now you won't go in dreading
finance, you're going to go in there, "What can I learn?" because she was supporting the
sales team. Guess what, sales team and marketing work close together so how do you become a
best friend of sales while working in finance so that you can move back into marketing and
be a step ahead. So what I would do is put on that perspective of, "I'm really learning
a lot, what do I want to learn that gets me ahead and how can I learn it here and seek
out those opportunities to learn?" It'll put you in a different frame of mind approaching
that same job. You know those guys that are coming over around and evaluating and go,
"I'm really appreciating what you do and how tightly a ship this is." You know, "What can
I help you with to make sure we're performing better?" And learn what they're doing. And
when you start taking that kind of attitude of this kind of learning environment, all
of a sudden, it puts a different frame of mind on how you approach your job because
now you're going, "What can I do to improve myself and learn that sets me up for the future?"
We have a raffle, a drawing. >> All right. And I just wanted to check,
was there any questions from the distributed sites? If there were, un-mute and speak up.
All right.