Leadership for Executive WomenAug 21, 2023
Executive leadership is a visionary role. You’re inspired to lead at a higher level, increase and improve team productivity and efficiency to meet and exceed goals, and to grow yourself in your ability and skills in leading. Therefore, it’s important for you to see–and treat–yourself as a visionary, an entrepreneurial leader, regardless of who owns the company for which you work.
As I’ve worked with thousands of women, I have felt deep pain for those in positions of authority who are throttled by those for whom they work. There is a misalignment of vision and goals where women meet resistance to–or perhaps are even prevented from–achievement. It’s time to change that and no longer allow your potential to be diminished.
“Vision is not exclusive to just founders and business owners and entrepreneurs. Vision exists within companies.” – Kris Plachy
What You’ll Learn
- Thwarted achievement
- Emboldened potential
- No longer contorting yourself
- Affected by the same trappings
- Creating empowerment
Contact Info and Recommended Resources
- LEAD FOR WOMEN: Registration is open (currently there is a waitlist). You must join the waitlist to get the Advanced Registration discount. LEAD FOR WOMEN is THE curated Leadership Development, Training AND Advisement program for Elite Visionary Women seeking to upgrade their skills leading, managing, communicating with, and inspiring the people you pay to achieve results in your business. It’s also for C-Suite Women so check it out!
- Private Subscriber List: Sign up to get preview invitations at thevisionary.ceo/lead. (Opting to be added to the LEAD waitlist on this page will add you to the Private Subscriber List.)
- The Moxy Sage: Join with a paid subscription to hear more about this topic and others. Kris shares more in depth content every week and hosts a private podcast.
- Get a FREE Month of Coaching on your Business Edit. Go to thevisionary.ceo/theedit to access everything and learn more.
Connect with Kris Plachy
- CEO Boutique: Digital Clinics offered by Kris Plachy: Essential Practices for Women Who Lead + the Advisory Hotline + Kickstart. Shop what’s available, including Kickstart Team Ops, Team Audits, Dealing with Difficult People and much more!
- You can help me make a difference in the lives of other women (and men, too). Please take a few moments to submit a review of Leadership Is Feminine to your favorite podcast platform (or two). It really does help boost the recommendation frequency to reach new listeners. THANK YOU so much.
Email: [email protected]
Well, hello, hello and welcome to the podcast this week. I am Kris Plachy, and this is Leadership Is Feminine. And I wanna talk to you about executive leadership, and if you're an entrepreneur, don't tune out. This is for you, too. All right, let's go.
Hey. Hey. So let's talk about executive leadership and then being an executive woman. And I wanna give you a little backstory on some of the modifications and changes that we've made to what we do here at The Visionary CEO. Because we went through a period of about four or five years where all we did was focus on entrepreneurial leadership, management, founders, small business owners, and the majority of our clients have been that.
Those of you who've listened to me for a long time, you know that I used to actually mostly coach executive leaders and a lot of men, actually, too. And as we were putting Lead together, and we really made the shift to talking more about visionary leadership as opposed to just entrepreneurial leadership, it became more and more apparent to me that we needed to start to have this conversation with executive women.
Honestly, I've actually had a few clients over the past, probably six, seven months who are in executive roles - and when I say that, I mean, you know, senior leadership, VPs, C-Suite, senior VPs - and just spontaneously reaching out to me needing support. It really reminded me of a couple of things.
First of all, most of us, when we get into executive leadership roles, we are operating at a visionary level. And what I mean by that is you are inspired to achieve excellence in leadership and to grow in your own growth in a leadership role, and to take on more responsibility, first of all for your own career trajectory - that is a hard word to say, by the way, trajectory - and also because you have a vision of potential that you want to realize through the work that you do in this organization.
Having worked now with thousands of people, I want to first level set that, whether you're an entrepreneur or what we lovingly called intrapreneurs, when I used to work in a startup environment, vision is not exclusive to just founders and business owners and entrepreneurs. Vision exists within companies, and if you're the senior vice president of X, Y, Z part of your business, you are responsible for the direction and the vision and the strategy that delivers on that for your part of the business, right? I know you know that I'm preaching to you the choir here, right? But I think that we need to talk to you and help you leverage that part of who you are.
So I'm gonna speak from personal experience, but I'm also echoing the experience of so many other women that I have known and know. And like I said, just recently, I've had the opportunity to connect with other women who are in more senior leadership roles. I felt deep pain for all of these women who are in positions of authority, where they are responsible for delivering the strategies and tactics to achieve their part of the organization's success, but they are throttled by the myopic vision of their leaders, the people that they work for. And honestly, I feel like it's actually the worst position to be in, is to be in a senior leadership role and have the trappings of authority and influence but not actually be able to capitalize on that, because you work for, and in many cases, men that do not align with what you're trying to achieve, and they make it more difficult for you to achieve it.
And so when I have opportunity to work with women like that - and if you resonate with that, I think you'll understand - I feel that deeply because I experienced something similar in my former life. I had a really big vision and I had the opportunity to work for several women who were incredibly endorsing of my vision, and they did everything that they could within the organization that I worked in to help me and my team realize that vision. But there was only so far we could go because we were met with all of the other BS that we know happens in larger organizations that have nothing to do with leadership and everything to do with political acumen.
When I talk with senior executive women who are facing these moments, you know there's real issues. You are making a lot of money. There's a lot on the table for you, possibly stock options and retention bonuses, and there's a lot of money sitting on the table that keeps you in an environment that is not conducive to your leadership growth. And I appreciate how paralyzing that feels. How despondent you can become.
So I invited my entrepreneurial clients to stay tuned because I want you to hear me and what I'm saying to these women. Now, I know that if you're an entrepreneurial leader, you know these women, but that is a very real challenge that these women face. But what we cannot do is decide that in the face of these challenges, we diminish our potential.
And that is what I'm fighting for over here in the Lead program, is to talk to you as the visionary woman that you are, to arm you with all of the tools and the practices and the beliefs that I know are available to you. That after a while of feeling frustrated - it's the best word I can come up with - beat down, exhausted, with trying to create substantial change in the organization that you're in, have more influence, have more say, and also be treated properly even when you are faced with those obstacles and those challenges.
What I don't wanna see you do is believe that that is permanent for you. And what I wanna help more and more and more women do is awaken that emboldened and empowered part of who they are. That visionary mind of yours that does believe that there's another potential here. But we have to arm you first. We have to prepare you first. We have to teach you first how to have these conversations in another way. How to approach finding opportunities to implement what you wanna do in another way.
And if after time, you recognize that the system that you are currently in is never going to relent, that does not mean that what you believe is possible for you and what you think is possible in the world that you live in, the industry that you're in, the profession that you're in, whatever it is that you have built and amassed this amount of credibility and experience in, that does not mean that you give up on that.
So I wanna invite my executive leadership sisters here. I want you to hear me that just because you chose the careerist path and you didn't choose the entrepreneurial path, does not mean there's not a blend here somewhere. And I believe that anything that you believe in enough is worth it.
And I also believe that if you're in an environment at a senior leadership level and you feel like you're constantly having to contort yourself, to fit into a culture that is not suited for you, that is toxic for you, I want you to know that there are ways to change how you interact with people in those moments that help you. I don't care about everybody else that you work with. I care about you. And I just got another email today. "I need to figure out how to navigate being one of a few women in a male dominated industry."
I hear it all the time. It's too vast to blame. There's no blame here. This is just truth and honesty. I'm not trying to point fingers, I'm just telling the truth. I spent some time with a woman recently who works for someone who, here she is the position of authority and he treats her like she's a secretary. She's a senior vice president. And listen, she has children and a family that relies on her for this income. So what is she supposed to do? That's really her mindset.
And what I wanna always offer is, listen, we are not gonna change that, but we can learn. You can learn and approach the way that you wanna interact here and the way that you wanna move through these moments differently. We can give you back your confidence, your grace, and help you find your leadership voice. Because you have achieved already so much. There is nothing that you leave behind, but there can be times where you have to make some harder decisions. But after years of being influenced and slightly convinced that the vision that you have, and the strategy that you think will work, and the ideas that you believe should be implemented, are not the right ones.
It doesn't surprise me that there are a lot of women in their late thirties, forties, and even into their fifties who are senior level executive, making a lot of money, and struggling to find confidence and voice. And if there's anybody we need to invest back in themselves, it's you. Because we need you. You are in a position to make a difference. And whether it's in this company that you're with now or not, is not what I think we're here to figure out.
What we have to figure out is what is right for you and how do we give you back and show you approaches to lead yourself ,and your team that you are responsible for, through these challenges in a way that you haven't tried before. Learning the Leadership is Feminine model, starting to model a new way to lead. What if we just did that? What could be possible? I never, ever, ever, ever want to see women who are successful and powerful and accomplished and brilliant, believe that they're trapped.
And so that is why we chose to include the executive woman in this next version of the programs that I've been creating for years in Lead for Women. You will have a dedicated advisory call once a week, in addition to all of the digital content that is gonna blend for you, how to think like a visionary, how to think like, and realize success on your own terms.
It's just that the challenges that you face are different then the challenges that a woman running an eight figure business that she owns faces. But it doesn't mean that the foundations of leadership and self-leadership and self-agency are not exactly the same, because they are. Because for those of you who are executive leaders listening to this, it might seem that if you're an entrepreneur, you get to do whatever you want.
But the problem is that so many women who lead their own businesses can do whatever they want, but they still are affected by all of the trappings that we've been sort of insidiously programmed with. Which is, trying to make people happy, not rocking the boat, not wanting to feel guilty, not wanting to disappoint people. All the same stuff that limits our ability to go forward, we have authority over. I can't control the bozo dude that you work for. I can't get rid of that situation, but I can absolutely help you stand firmer in your footing and make decisions differently than you are now. And that's what I want.
This was me. I was you. I worked in an executive position. I met the wall. I got as far as I could. I got shoved in a corner. Listen to me. I have been you, mama, and I made the choice to step out. Not everybody has to. That is not the only solution. But in order to identify the best solution, and identify what it is that you're really trying to achieve, we have to feed you and nurture you and reconnect you to your vision, your dream.
Who do you wanna be as a leader? What are you here to do that creates empowerment for you? We can see beyond our current circumstance, but a lot of times that just feels impossible. So that is why this invitation is out there for you as an executive woman to join Lead for Women, and to become a part of our cohort that is specifically for women who are leading leaders.
So you need to be in a leadership role and you have managers that report to you, because otherwise, if you're a newer manager, we have a program called the Manager Formula, and that's who that is for newer managers who work directly with individual contributors. The Lead program is for women who are in leadership roles, who are leading leaders of leaders, that you have a much larger organization, that you're at the director level, the VP level, the senior VP level.
I say I'm loose with titles because I also have worked with HP clients years ago. And I would have clients who worked for HP who were called managers, but they had 300 direct reports, including all of their supervisors and team leaders. And so titles can be quite different within organizations.
What I'm talking about is level of responsibility. Do you have directional responsibility for your division, your branch, your location, your region, your center of excellence? That's what I'm talking about. HR, sales, marketing, IT, finance, CEO, any of the C-Suite positions as well.
All of your circumstances are similar and also require that higher level of leadership responsibility for the work that we're gonna do to really make sense. If you've made it to the point where you're in a senior role, this is good news for you. And it doesn't have to be necessarily as complicated, I think, as for some people it continues to be. And a lot of that is just rooted in the way that we watch one another. And then we get resigned to truths that I think we need to eviscerate, if you want my honest opinion.
So hopefully that makes sense why we've made this decision, and I hope I've given you some things to think about as an executive leader and who you are, that you have a lot more agency, and I wanna help you find that for you.
How you lead does not have to be how you've been told to lead. Everybody up until this point, because if you're feeling like you're still not in your skin as a leader, I know we can help you with that. So go to thevisionary.ceo/lead to learn more about our program, specifically for business founders and executive women. We would love to work with you and share space and time with you and support you.
So I hope you'll check it out. Thanks for tuning in today.
Lead for Women is now open for registration. If you're a woman and you are also a visionary, somebody who sees the world differently than it is, and you are eager to achieve that through your work and by leveraging the hearts and minds of others, then I invite you to go to thevisionary.CEO/lead and learn everything you can about our Lead program.
While it's not for everyone, it really is for you if you are a woman who is ready to learn how to think better, so you can lead better, and you can live better. You have a legacy to leave here and I wanna help you leave it by enhancing and improving how you show up as a woman who leads. Join us there.