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Drink Like a Lady Podcast

Author: Joya Dass

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Drink Like a Lady with Kathie De-Chirico Stuart & Joya Dass.Kathie is a brand strategist. Joya is a recovering journalist. Each week, on the Drink Like a Lady Podcast, they share tactical advice to support women getting a seat at the bar ---and the boardroom.
39 Episodes
In Season 4 of the Drink Like a Lady Podcast, we have focused on how to kickstart the process if you need to lay out strategy. We also shared how that strategy worked at Spanx and Amazon. In this final episode of Season 4, we offer up SIGNS that you are, in fact, a strategic thinker. And steps you can take to make your strategic thinking skills BETTER.HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU ARE A STRATEGIC THINKER?Here are some signs that you're a strategic thinker:Spending time in self-reflection: If you frequently find yourself reflecting on your work, completed tasks or experiences that you wish had gone differently, then you likely are a strategic thinker. One of the characteristics of strategic thinkers is reflecting on events and experiences and then using that knowledge to impact your future performance.Asking a lot of questions: Strategic thinkers try to understand context and avoid problems that could arise ensuring everyone involved understands what they need to do and why. Strategic thinkers ask questions about why an issue is important, what key factors led to a decision, what outcome is most desirable and who it will impact.Compartmentalizing distractions: If you are a strategic thinker, you likely are effective at compartmentalizing your responsibilities and minimizing distractions to focus on whatever priority is most relevant and highest.Setting regular goals: Strategic thinkers often set performance goals for themselves in order to continue progressing professionally.Demonstrating decisiveness: Strategic thinkers understand the importance of being decisive in their decision-making. They efficiently gather information and then make a decision based on that information. They recognize that reaching decisions and being decisive takes both knowledge and confidence.Welcoming to feedback: Another sign that you're a strategic thinker is that you are collaborative with others and open to feedback in order to improve your abilities.Enjoying helping others: Strategic thinkers often enjoy helping others to perform at their best and achieve their fullest potential. They recognize that it's important to help everyone overcome challenges in order to reach company-wide goals.Planning long-term career goals: If you are someone who regularly imagines where you will be professionally in one or even five years and begin taking the steps to get to where you need to be, then you likely are a strategic thinker.Here are the steps you need to take to further develop your strategic thinking skills:1. Pause and reflectThe first step you need to take to improve your strategic thinking skills is to commit to slowing down and spending time reflecting on a situation. To ensure you do this regularly, you may want to schedule time each day or week to actively spend time just thinking. 2. Gain experiences and ideasTry to gain new experiences whenever possible. Visit new places and meet and have conversations with new people. You could even just take a different route home after work or visit a new part to stimulate your mind.3 Discuss ideas with people who think differently than youIf you need to resolve a problem, bringing together people who are extremely different, such as creative people and technical people or introverts and extraverts, can be extremely useful for generating new ideas.4. Make decisions about what to do nextPart of being a strategic thinker is executing on what you learn. After you spend time thinking and generating ideas, you need to execute your strategy. Identify the resources that you need to execute your idea and then take action.
In this episode, we share two lines of questioning you can use to become a more strategic thinker. We use Spanx as the case study to illustrate both schools of thought.PART ILook for solutions, not problems.When she wanted to find manufacturers to make her prototype of her shape wear, all she could find was men making hosiery.She, her mother, and her friends personally testing the garments. This was innovative at the time, as the industry did not test products with people. Blakely's research revealed that the industry had previously been using the same size waistband for all hosiery products to cut costs, and a rubber cord was inserted into the waistband. For her product development, Blakely created different waistbands to suit different-sized consumersRuthlessly prioritizeShe wasn’t going to go door to door like she did selling fax machines. She knew she needed to get into department stores.Blakely had a meeting with Neiman Marcus Group, at which she changed into the product in the ladies restroom in the presence of the buyer to prove the benefits of her innovation.[9] Blakely's product was sold in seven Neiman Marcus stores as a result of the meeting;Spending time in the stores where your product lives will not only let you pull sneaky marketing maneuvers, but it will also let you learn directly from customers about what’s missing in your market.Do some research and find out what podcasts, television shows, publications, social media platforms, and events your target demographic is into. Sara’s top media priority was Oprah, so she sent the TV mogul a gift basket of Spanx to get her attention. Don’t be shy about sending samples of your product to your favorite podcasters, Instagram celebs, or journalists in the hopes that they want to review it.In 2017, Sara invited her friends to take pictures of themselves skiing in Spanx. In your notebook, label a page “(Kinda) Crazy Marketing Tactics.” Come up with at least 10 out-of-the-box marketing ideasBe Willing to Take Risks.Sara decided to patent Spanx early.  Use Packaging to Stand outSpanx’s packaging shone in bright red—and the color alone subsequently became a form of advertising. For inspiration, go on a recon mission to the types of stores that might carry your product. Take a good long look around. What packaging trends do you see? More importantly, what do you not see at all? Write your observations down and look for a packaging niche you can filListen to and Recruit Others' Perspective.She met Laurie Ann Goldman at the Saks Fifth Avenue in Atlanta in 2001, while she was on maternity leave from her employer at the time, Coca-Cola. Goldman was specifically looking for a Spanx product, and the pair exchanged contact details—Goldman became the CEO of Spanx in 2002.Goldman crafted a business model for the company based on lessons she learned during her 10-year stint at Coke: thinking big, starting small, and scaling fast. She advised her team at SPANX to focus on product quality over profit margins. Free Yourself from Execution.Just 2 weeks ago, founder Sara Blakely sold a majority stake in Spanx to Blackstone, valued at $1.2 BilionPART 2Question 1: Why should I care about this problem?Market opportunity: The number of women was on the increaseQuestion 2: What does success look like?Question 3: How might I solve this problem?Question 4: How should I actually solve the problem?Question 5: How can I take action?
In EPISODE 8, we take a deep dive into Amazon’s business model. The company started out selling books. But that was a beta test for everything else it could sell online.We look at the company's strategy to sell everything else and how it keeps customers in its ecosystem.We leave you with questions you can ask yourself about your business. What can you do to become indispensable?WHERE AMAZON STARTEDJeff Bezos started Amazon with $245,000 from his parents, in his garage. It launched in 1995 as the world's largest bookstore. But books were simply a beta test for Amazon's sales infrastructure and business model. After conquering the book business, Amazon realized it could feed more than paperbacks into its incredibly efficient sales network. Bezos believed in always be evolving.1. Figure out what your customers crave.Amazon's initial work with book sales helped it recognize that people cared quite a bit about getting goods as quickly as possible. This realization helped Amazon as it began to offer different products. It recognized that the delivery logistics involved were just as important as the quality of the goods it offered. Figure out what truly matters to your customer base, and adjust your business model to address those needs.2. Create Unexpected ValueDelight your own customer base by solving problems they never knew existed. Pinpoint a shortcoming that people generally accept as a cost of doing business -- slow delivery, a lack of options or a lackluster review system -- and explore potential ways to eliminate those stumbling blocks. Once Amazon solidified its logistics based on one product category, it began to implement its model to other verticals.3. Satisfy every customer. Lesson here is that if your company can meet a basic human need (and do it better than anyone else), you're in solid shape to carve out a substantial customer base.4. Pivot into things you makeUntil the Kindle was introduced in November 2007, Amazon sold stuff. It didn’t make anything. But Bezos knew that ebooks wouldn’t take off without a sweet device on which to read them and an online store to make purchasing them easy. First-mover status does not necessarily guarantee that a company will lock up an entire category, but it worked for Steve Jobs, and Bezos was confident it would work for Amazon.  Today, Amazon maintains an estimated 60% of ebook sales This pivot into hardware, while surprising at the time, also helped usher in Amazon’s whole cloud computing initiative, because like Apple, Bezos wants to lock in customers into his ecosystem. Purchase ebooks, music and now movies from Amazon, store them in Amazon’s cloud, play them on Amazon’s device and, with a nod to Microsoft’s Windows strategy, if you don’t want to buy a Kindle you can use Amazon’s Kindle app on your iPad.More than merely wanting to sell as much stuff as they can to the most people, Amazon strives to become so ingrained in people’s lives that they can’t imagine living without it.
We take a look at companies with successful business models and companies who successfully pivoted their business models. We share questions you can ask yourself as a leader if you think you need to make a pivot too? COMPANIES WITH SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS MODELS When they were founded, they didn’t have rivals. Apple: Valuation in Trillions is 2.2 Founded in 1975. Function and design can co exist.Amazon: Valuation in Trillions is 1.7 Founded in 1994. Reliable delivery of any item you want.Facebook: Valuation in Trillions is .9 Founded in 2004. Worldwide connectivity.WHAT DID THEY HAVE IN COMMON?They had recurring revenue streams (subscriptions) or recurring trafficThey didn’t make a one time sale of a physical product. They build a long-term client relationship.They tailored solutions to create value for the customer and more profit for themselves.Kathie's STORY: While working at WSJ, and then consulting with multiple companies, we concentrated on LTV (Life Time Value) for our customers. Segmenting out those customers who would bring added value, allow for increased products and services, allowed companies to positively contribute to the bottom line and grow their businesses competitively.NETFLIX SUCCESSFULLY PIVOTED ITS BUSINESS MODELMailing DVD’s to pivoting to an online streaming serviceWhat did it do for the customer?Made it more convenientEnabled impulse purchasesEnabled access to recent best sellersGave customers access to a large back catalogVOD serves customers better than brick and mortar stores.  Why Streaming Video Beat Rival Models:Monthly subscription fees = recurring revenueLower cost to operateCost to Customer (2007):§  Streaming: $0.25§  DVD by mail: $1.25§  Video Stores: $2.24QUESTIONS YOU CAN ASK YOURSELF ABOUT YOUR BUSINESS MODEL  Is what got you here, going to get you there?Are you agile?Does your team have the authority to experiment with new configurations?Are you investing in capabilities for the future?Don’t design a completely new competitive position. Can you support entrepreneurial activity in house?Rather than fix the current operation, can you undergo a one time change-management process to execute a different strategy.How do the elements impact each other? How are you testing the hypothesis, experimenting, learning, and taking action? The faster a firm cycles through the process, the more effective it will be in the marketplace.LOOK AT YOUR COMPETITIONWhere are the hot trends?Where can you create value? Look at their business model.How attractive are you in the industry? How are you positioned?How are you realizing and implementing? What is the outcome?And then you “re-loop” the continuous improvement on the strategy.QUESTION: CEOs of mature companies should ask themselves, “When did our annual strategy process last generate a truly breakthrough idea?” like ride-sharing or mobile banking or even “streaming as we discussed above”?These higher-level strategic programs must be owned and championed by the CEO.TO RECAP: HOW CAN YOU ASSESS A PIVOT IN YOUR BUSINESS MODEL?Have clear direction and allow time for experimentation/innovation in houseDedicate time to a change in strategyEar to the ground. What is working for the competition?Be willing to be agile.
Let's talk about benchmarks. Better known as KPI's. These are the 10 or so metrics that will be used to track progress. We also talk about how to talk strategy to team members so they can execute on the HOW. STEP 1 THE LANGUAGE FOR SHARING STRATEGY WITH OPERATIONSCOMMUNICATE GOALS AND MEASURES to your team leaders and/or team membersTURN STRATEGY INTO TARGETS. You want to set the goals that convert the strategic objectives into specific performance targets.THINK BIG PICTURE IMPROVEMENTS.  Strategies help the business improve the way it operates and set new goals, as opposed to goals that simply improve or fix what the company is already doing.WHAT IS AN EFFECTIVE GOAL. It states the what, when, how, and who. They are SPECIFICALLY measurable.SHORT TERM ACTION ITEMS. They should address what you need to do in the short term (1-2 years) to achieve your strategic objectives.WHAT IS A RESULTS STATEMENT? These are outcome statements expressing a result expected in the organization. They are issued annually. They are specific, measurable, attainable, responsible and time bound. STEP 2 SELECT THE RIGHT KPI’sWHAT IS A KPI Metrics that track and measure an organization’s progress toward its strategic objectives. KPIs tell a story about how well a company is performing.INDUSTRY KPI As a Senior Executive at Macy’s, when working at the individual store level, each of the departments had their % increase in sales measured against the following: the store's performance. The region's performance. The corporate's performance. The Goal…always to outperform any of the above metrics.KPI= BETTER DECISIONS   Leverage these metrics to pivot.KPI= ARE OBJECTIVES BEING MET? A KPI measures a company’s performance against its primary objectives. High-level KPIs focus on a company’s overall performance, while lower-level KPIs focus on departmental processes, products, and productivity.10 KPIS are sufficientKINDS OF KPIS. Revenue and net profit margin.Customers- satisfaction or customer churn.Operations- time to market and average order fulfillment.Talent Management metrics- workforce retention and turnover.Leading-predict what may happen in the future.Lagging-reflect past results, measuring the aftermath of actions.STEP 3 THE LANGUAGE FOR SHARING STRATEGY WITH TEAM MEMBERSLay out the short-term goals organizational goals and measuresSelect the top 5-10 KPIs that will be used to manage the performanceUse your SWOT Analysis to Set Priorities and create tractionEvaluate the options you have prioritized and identify the ones that create the greatest benefit and to best achieve the mission and vision of your organization.STEP 4 Define the Long-Term Strategic Objectives                                            Create Annual Milestones. ...Create a Year One Operational Plan. ...Monitor Regularly at Board Level. ...Adjust Accordingly.EXAMPLE: Amazon's primary goal: link the digital and brick-and-mortar shopping experience in order to be part of every single purchase made.A short-term strategy includes a detailed action plan: what  platforms will the marketing appear (TV, radio, print, social media). Who will carry out the strategies,  budget, profit, etc
How do you road test your strategy? How do you poke holes in it to see if it can stand up to the market forces? In this episode, we are going to share how to do a SWOT Analysis.1. START BY ASKING ADDITIONAL QUESTIONS.How do we create sustainable growth?How will we diversify our revenue streams?When I was in the wholesale business in fashion, it was always a challenge to not put all of your revenue growth into one retailer. (Or eggs in one basket as we would normally say). Many times, we have a single retailer who begins to take up a lot of our production, leaving us vulnerable to an unexpected “pull out” or their own economic limitations that may impact you. Diversifying your customer base.How do I adjust margins and costs to stay competitive?How do I innovate?2. DO A SWOT ANALYSISCollect competitive intelligence. What are the opportunities. What are the threats from your competition?  How does it impact your own strategic offering. With your ears and eyes to the information being conveyed through customers, media, etc.STRENGTHS- Ask yourselfWhat do you do well in sales, marketing, product innovations, data capture and analytics as well key leadership?What are your core competencies?What differentiates you from your competitors? The standout word that anyone will refer about you.Why do your customers buy from you?WEAKNESSESWhere do you lack resources? People, talent, skills etc.What can you do better or should outsource?Where are you losing money, or your margins are nominal?What competitors have an edge over your current strategy and infrastructure?OPPORTUNITIES What’s possible? What can you bring to market? What is it that you want to capitalize on?What do you have in the way of internal knowledge, resources, and capabilities to optimize?Can you run with this? Can you optimize part of the process whether it is technology, product offerings, global reach, or marketing.WHAT ARE THE NEEDS OF TARGET CUSTOMER. And how can your brand meet those needs?Customer segmentation and targeting is critical to developing your strategy and understanding the overall needs and lifestyle preferences that you will serve. What needs or wants define your ideal customer? Utilizing surveys of current customer makeup will show gaps of fulfilling those needs.What characteristics describe your typical customer? In my past brand building and strategic planning, I would have the teams create a Brand Persona- Give them a name and describe them so that we can bounce the strategy off of that persona for clarification.Are there different profiles based on needs, wants, and characteristics? And do they align differently with each of those characteristics while remaining true to the umbrella persona?For the segments of the target customers, are there clear communication channels and platforms to reach a large, targeted audience in that segment?THREATSINTERNAL THREATSLack of talent in the areas of perceived expansion.Lack of bandwidth to deliver the product/services that make up the opportunity list.Lack of cohesion in an organization for delivering the product or belief in the strategy and time implementation plan.Lack of motivation to meet the plan or those individuals who continuously say “What’s in it for me?”EXTERNAL THREATSNegative economic trends- think COVID last year.Competitor market conditions
Let’s say you  are ready to think strategy, how do you get started? In this episode, we will talk about the steps to take and much of this is shaped by Kathie's time at the Wall Street Journal to build up the Lifestyle Brands division.THINK STRATEGY1. To Get Started You Will Need to:Plan your teamCreate a ScheduleGather documents, data, and information for decision-making 2. Establish a TimelineMost productive strategic planning sessions take 3-4 months on the average.Make sure that the process moves along at a pace that allows you to not just “Check the Box” but to actually believe that you are accomplishing your objective(s)3. Invest the Time Needed1-2 Weeks (1 – 1.5 Hour Meeting with CEO/Owner, Strategic Director, and facilitator to discuss process, information collected and direction on how often you plan to revisit the strategy and reassess.4. Questions to Ask the Planning TeamDo they have the right answers or ability to envision a different outcome than the current path of events?Do they have the time to dedicate to this endeavor?Do they have the skills to pull information together and create a concise strategic plan?Who will lead? Will there be a strategy Director or special task lead? You absolutely need to have a point person to guide the entire process.Fast forward 12 months from now, what do you want to see differently in your organization as a result of embarking on this endeavor. CREATE A BRAND PLAYBOOKESTABLISHED ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THE TEAM MEMBERS. 1 day meeting dedicated to this. Key functions were data operations, marketing, customer service, finance and analytics, and advertising.ESTABLISH TIMELINE FOR BRAND BOOK.  Decide what will be used internally and externally? (with Brand partners). This took 2.5 Months  including the interviewing of potential brand partners.DATA COLLECTION/MEASUREMENT. We used current planning information and established a feedback loop to continuously get data.  Customer service ongoing demo and psychographic studies  BUILT A BRAND BOOK. Hired outside consultants to create logos, fonts, how to’s, the brand’s tone of voice, positioning statement and brand story, emotional connections of the brand to our customers, voice, tone, and the right and wrong way examples on how to use our brand. COMMUNICATIONSPlanned Introduction Meetings for Internal StakeholdersList of those departments/brands that we needed to meet.Calendar meetings and availability of the top interactions to optimize brand expansionReconnecting via a brand intranet site.Formalized strategic plan with the use of the following information:The last strategic planMission, vision, and values statementThe Business Plan for moving the numerical and financial goals forward.Historical financial data with explanations of the new plan and how to’s.After reviewing all of the data we took a look at:Emerging trendsAreas of weakness or specific strengths 
 Currently, only 63% of individuals take the time to “strategize/plan” for the future of their organization or their team.In this episode, we will explore WHY we don’t strategically plan? What is strategic planning? WHY DON'T WE STRATEGIZE?We have to look forward and not focus on the current situation.It takes imaginationIt is using a different set of skills that is based on the “belief” that you can reach your vision and a new future.We do not understand the POWER of strategy and therefore, do not see it as the powerful tool that it can be when used systematically.WHAT IS STRATEGIC PLANNING?1. It provides a sense of direction and outlines measurable goals.It helps to prioritize efforts,  allocate resources,  ensure goals are backed by data and sound reasoning It guides day-to-day decisions, tracks progress and informs when its time to make change.2. Strategic planning is an evolving process—not a one-time meeting. In a study of HBS graduates who started businesses, 93 percent of those with successful strategies evolved and pivoted away from their original strategic plans.3. Strategic planning can come out of crisis or unexpected events. When we run into unanticipated opportunities and threats, we have to respond. Sometimes we respond successfully; sometimes we don’t. But most strategies develop through this process. 4. Strategic planning requires time, effort, and continual reassessment. BENEFITS OF STRATEGIC PLANNING1. Have one vision. Have several 'sub visions'Create a single vision, make everyone aware of your company’s goals, how and why those goals were chosen, and what they can do to help reach them. Make sub visions so a manager doesnt make decisions on a team level that counteracts the bigger goals' efforts.  2. Discover where the bias lives?Here are examples of what bias looks like. Examine where they may lie in your organization.The tendency to select the option presented most recently because it’s fresh in your mindThe tendency to assume the most obvious decision to be the best decisionThe tendency to select options that allow you to think, feel, and act in familiar ways Confirmation bias. When seeking to validate a particular viewpoint, it's the tendency to only pay attention to information that supports that viewpoint. Enlist others with differing views and opinions to help look for information that either proves or disproves the idea.3. Track Progress using KPIsCreate metrics that measure to find out if every level of your organization is aligned. Pivot your KPIs as goals shift and communicate the reasons for changeQUESTIONS TO ASK UNDER PRESSURE & MAKE GOOD DECISIONSDavid Robinson, author of "The Substance of Leadership," wrote 7 questions to lead Marines and teaching them to make good decisions under pressure.1. Is this a decision that I need to make now?2. Did I consider the context and constraints?3. Did I get the right people with the right expertise in the room?4. Did I accurately frame the issue and encourage debate?5. Did I collect all of the relevant facts and consider all aspects of the issue?6. Did I identify and appropriately weigh the risks and opportunities?7. Do I feel enough conviction to be decisive and explain why I made the decision?
In Season 4, Episode 2 of the "Drink Like a Lady" podcast, we talk about how to improve your decision making skills as a female leader.The focus for Season 4 is "How to Think Strategically." Strategy and decision making are close cousins. In Episode 2, Meghna Shah, Director at PwC and a member of my Women’s Leadership Academy,  leads teams and is client facing. She speaks from her experience, on what makes for GOOD decision making skills. 1. Not all decisions are created equalUnderstand the types of decisions being made and consider the severity of impactKeep it in perspective Have the Right Mindset | Be Solution OrientedAsk yourself, "What are you trying to achieve?" or "Does this action help solve the problem? If this problem is solved in this way will it get e closer to my overall objective/outcome?"Always have your OKRs - the big objectives and key results you are want to achieve, close at hand. Take Action | Avoid "Analysis Paralysis"Make a planSet timelines"Observe don’t absorb" It’s not a "Till Death Do us Apart" decisionReview decisions periodically to see if the original need is being met/resolved Cast a wide netHave a wide variety of acquaintances - working with new people, colleagues improves teamwork and active listening skills and activates a different side of your brainTalk to experts in the field. Diversity of thought is key. If stuck - Rest and RechargePower of exercise - movement brings momentumSleep on itYou can listen to all 4 seasons of "Drink Like a Lady" at on Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon Music.
It's Season 4 Episode 1 of the Drink Like a Lady podcast, designed to get you, as a female leader, a seat at the bar and a seat in the boardroom. This season, we are focused onHOW TO THINK STRATEGICALLY as a woman leader. I'm joined by guest host Deb Boulanger, The Great Do-OverStart with the end in mind - how does your initiative connect to the strategic goals of the organization?What are the potential benefits of this initiative if successful? Can you cite other use cases or similar challenges/approaches in other companies?Who are the key stakeholders involved in this decision? What do THEY care about?What is your business case - pros and cons of each approach - give leaders choices. What are the associated risks / benefits?Framing your presentation - Take a McKinsey Approach - Create your Hypothesis and use data to tell a storySeed the room by pre-socializing your idea with key stakeholders so that your presentation is just a formality to get approval.
American entrepreneur and author Jim Rohn said  "Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development." With the demands of family, work, kids, home schooling,  self-care and personal development gets siloed to the back burner.What if we flipped the paradigm?What if we worked harder on ourselves?So when we do show up forImmediate FamilyExtended familyWorkSide hustlesKidsWe show up with our best-selves. We're more *effective* as leaders.Imagine that.In episode 11 of Drink Like a Lady, our final episode of Season 3, we talk about the steps you can take to reinstate self-care ---and what it looks like.
As women leaders, we can't blame ourselves for the stories in our head. Some of those stories  have been whispered in our ear by our grandmothers, parents and reinforced by our community.  According to a recent study conducted by the United Nations, 50% of the world's population believes men make better leaders. In some countries, 70%  believe men deserve a job more than women do. Even though its like turning around the Titanic, we have to start somewhere. In this episode of Drink Like a Lady, we share 5 ways to start telling ourselves different storiesWhat does it mean to 'want' versus 'will'What actions steps are you committing to?How are you building that self awareness muscle?How can you expand your story?What are they saying about you when you're not in the room? You should know
Each week, business strategist Kathie (De Chirico) Stuart and I host the "Drink Like a Lady Podcast," designed to help women leaders get a seat at the bar--and a seat in the boardroom.In Season 3 Episode 9, we talk about the 6 tips to help women leaders get the best performance out of their teams as we transition back to the office.1. Make space to lead. Make space for learning. 2. Be able to anticipate and get ahead of problems. 3. Communicate, communicate, communicate4. Keep the team goals in mind, Help them see the big picture5. Role model values and encourage feedback6. Have vision. Be decisive.Kathie: (18:21)Well, they can. There's the email [stuartkathie]. I love that. So I don't have to spell Stuart and Kathie are two names that are often this spelled based on how I do it or directly at my, um, line number, which is (609) 933-7600. I forgot what my number wasFor all other episodes, go to>Podcast
In Season 3  Episode 8, we talk about transitioning back to the office. Emotions are running high Some are still working from home. Some are back in the office. Some are resisting coming back to the office. Culture is difficult to maintain with a hybrid schedule.When so much change is in the air,  it's easy to lose your cool.  In this episode, we walk you through eight tips to keep a calm as we transition back.1. Build that awareness muscle2. Set boundaries3. Keep things simple. 4. Delegation5. The "football post-mortem"6. Manage expectations7. Offer feedback8. Manage yourself. 
In Season 3 Episode 7 of the The Drink Like a Lady Podcast, we talk about  7 tips to optimize stress for top performance.KNOW WHAT STRESS ISstress is a hormonal jolt of adrenaline and cortisol brought on by our nervous system to deal with actual or perceived threats.The calm that ensues after stress allows us to tap into our decision-making brainChronic stress is the pathway to burnout. Our stress-response capabilities expand when they get “practice.” 2. KNOW YOUR STRESS TRIGGERS AND OTHERS' STRESS TRIGGERSKnow yourself as to your stress triggers,Become aware of stress triggers for others on your teamWhat this did immediately was energize me for those tough conversations with others who also needed to be “redirected” into different responsibilities- more in line with what their less stressful and superfluous responsibilities.3. HOW TO BECOME FAMILIAR WITH YOUR STRESS TRIGGERSAsk yourself some key questions.During your work week, how often do you feel well rested?How often do you feel totally engrossed in your work or in a state of flow? How long do these periods last? And what time of day or night do they occur?What are the biggest sources of stress in your life?How do you cope with stress? Do your coping mechanisms energize you or deplete you?How often do you recognize your stress in the moment vs knowing that you are through that stressful period of time?Locating and describing your stress is a process of discovery and the more you learn the better you will live through your own stress response. 4. HOW TO RECOVER FROM STRESSCreate Conditions for Rest and RecoveryBlock time for deep workReduce distractionsTake a break from videoconferencingLearn to say no.How much of your life are you enjoying? Laughing.5. HOW TO BUILD IN RECOVERYBefore the pandemic, we had built-in pauses- our commute, the wait in the elevator, business trips on an airplane, time to briefly chat with others as our workday unfolded. All of these (and more) offered cognitive recovery. Now we must plan them consciously. Here are some tips for creating those recovery periods AFTER the pandemic.Take micro breaks during the dayMake sure that sleep is a priorityExercise regularlyEat better and drink lots of waterSocialize outside of workUse the time immediately after a stressful situation to reflect and consider the behaviors for recovery that work…and those that don’t. Other choices to minimize stress are to stick to a predefined work schedule and create “end of day” rituals that make sure that you especially know when it is time to “turn off” and reenergize – creating space for you to be able to optimize future stress related situations.6. HELP OTHERS MANAGE STRESSObserve teams and individuals and their own stress cues.Are the norms that have been created in your teams and company- are they conducive to minimizing stressful situations OR allowing for periods of recovery, learning recaps, and energizing for the next task at hand.Meetings…do they energize your teams or are they just another time sucker?Be clear about work times and expectations – respecting those of others. (Understand that no one can be in “crisis mode” every day.)Since we spend more time virtually, it is important to look for signs of burnout and critical loss of productivity.Arrange agenda-free, one-on-one catchups with people to stay tuned in. Watch your high performers for burnout as they usually are the first to add more work to their already pile of obligations.7. CONSIDER EXTERNAL SUPPORT (A COACH)
In Season 3 of the The Drink Like a Lady Podcast, we are focusing on what we learned from the pandemic and where the growth opportunities are. This as the conversation turns to recovery. In Episode 6, we will be discussing the most inviting of leadership skills for the post-pandemic —creating PSYCHOLOGICAL SAFETY for employees.The benefits of creating psychological safety is agile teams and the ability to adapt quickly.  IDENTIFY BURNOUTSigns of “burn out” includeBecoming more cynical with timeEverything that occurs gets to be a big deal or seems to be a big deal.Feelings of uselessness or not purposeful are discussed openly.Depression and anxiety are now commonplace and identifiable.Excessive use of alcohol and drugs becoming more recognizableHaven’t use their time off, vacation, or taken sick days when needed NEXT STEPS: Create the right climate for open-minded thinkingDeveloping positive mindsets. Create safety in risk takingRole model behaviors such as compassion, respect, and support – starting with the individual.Positive team climate is the #1 driver of psychological safety and occurs when leaders demonstrate supportive, consultative behaviors, and then this is when the real power of leadership folds into the mix of management and leadership.  A shift In leadership style that work is key: The traditional command and control leadership is no longer key to success. In fact, this form of style is detrimental to psychological health and well-being.Here are some key metrics on the positive relationships of leadership behaviors and their outcomes:Authoritative Leadership- -.08% impactConsultative Leadership- +.54% impactSupportive Leadership- +.33% impact 6. Using a combination of the consultative and supportive leadership styles shows that the POSITIVE TEAM CLIMATE impact is +.77%Consultative leadership solicits input and considers the teams views on issues that affect them.Supportive leadership has an indirect effect by helping to create a positive team climate, ie “What do you need to meet the objectives set out for you?"All of these behaviors encourage team members to support one another…mirroring the executive leadership’s behaviors. It all starts with a catalyst…and that is from the top down. YOU are or can be that catalyst!
As the world transitions out of the pandemic, women executives are entering a changed workplace. Being a great leader in this space means more than just management skills. It's about empathy, compassion and understanding what everyone's up against. Joya and Kathie offer us six insights into the post-pandemic workplace, from the exponential growth of e-commerce and the increased demand for workers in the healthcare & STEM space. And they discuss how we're no longer beholden to the metro area for work - because more flexible, innovative working models are here to stay. 
Welcome back to our Fourth (4th) Episode of 2021 Drink Like a LadyIn Season 3 of the podcast, we are exploring the growth opportunities post pandemic.  In today's episode, we are tackling the opportunities for innovation. Note that:80% of consumers will switch to another company after just ONE poor customer experience,59% of consumers will care more about their customer experience than they did “before COVID times” when deciding which companies to support or buy from.The companies that innovated well and worth noting are:Dialogue  Because it's an e-commerce platform is backed by machine learning, your sales systems are always getting smarter.  Dialogue will create tailored messages for different potential customers based on specific preferences and sales patterns to achieve the best possible outcomes. Its been known to  boost conversion rates by up to 25 percent. With the multitude of businesses going online, competition in the e-commerce is fierce. Personalization and customization is key.  WalkMe This company offers a platform that can help any organization of any size go digital.  WalkMe helps train employees who use software, websites, apps, and other digital solutions. It also trains management on how to use is a fintech concern. The company is disrupting the mortgage application process by bringing it to the internet.  With automation, it shortens the weeks of mortgage application waiting time to minutes. Its business model is such that instead of charging fees or commission for transactions, the company focuses on interest. The company says it has already extended more than $4 billion to homebuyers in 2019.  The company has already received approval to operate in 44 states across the USA and is set to cover all territories.Innovating for the next normalCompanies involved in the internet, software, finance, e-commerce, and business intelligence will play a big role in the upcoming economic recovery everyone is hoping to see soon.BUT IF YOU ARE IN AN ESTABLISHED COMPANY, then there are 3 themes for change:Create or confirm a case for change (e.g. burning platform for growth)Talk about innovation in terms of tangible results to help create a better future.Provide a step-wise approach to getting these results and make the journey credible through anecdotes, past successes and visualizing the story.In our next Episode of Drink Like A Lady, we'll focus on the GIG ECONOMY.  
Season 3 of "Drink Like a Lady" is focused on the growth opportunities in 2021. We are looking in the rearview mirror of 2020 and sharing what we learned from the pandemic.Today’s episode explores the changes to the GIG Economy. Since everyone began working from home during the pandemic, the 'gig' economy becomes the new way that many Americans will participate in the workforce of the future. In this episode, we exploreWhat is a 'gig worker?'Someone who takes on small tasksSomeone who takes on projects that they can complete on their own timeSomeone who participates in the marketplaces that have been created to match talent with needs.What are the pros of being a gig worker?It offers FLEXIBILITY to work from anywhere, which clients to take on, and how much you charge for your servicesIt allows you to TEST DRIVE a new career.ITS SIDE INCOME that is steady and can support another goalAs an employer, it helps to get the job done without the expense of full-time helpWhat are the cons of being a gig worker?No set salary. No health benefits.Its demand dependent.The takeawaysWORK-LIFE BALANCE has been disrupted For some workers, the flexibility of working gigs can actually disrupt the work-life balance, sleep patterns, and activities of daily life. Flexibility in a gig economy often means that workers have to make themselves available any time gigs come up, regardless of their other needs, and must always be on the hunt for the next gig. Competition for gigs has increased during the pandemic, too.NO STEADY JOB WITH BENEFITS In effect, workers in a gig economy are more like entrepreneurs than traditional workers. While this may mean greater freedom of choice for the individual worker, it also means that the security of a steady job with regular pay, benefits—including a retirement account—and a daily routine that has characterized work for generations are rapidly becoming a thing of the past.LONG TERM RELATIONSHIPS SUFFER. Because of the fluid nature of gig economy transactions, long-term relationships between workers, employers, clients, and vendors can erode. There goes the benefits of building long-term trust and familiarity with clients and employers. It could also discourage investment in relationships that would otherwise be profitable. Nobody has incentive to invest in a relationship since it only lasts until the next gig comes along. 
Welcome back to our Second (2) Episode of 2021 Drink Like a Lady Last week, we looked back at 2020 and shared examples of companies, industries that GREW during the pandemic.This week we focus on CUSTOMER SERVICE and how that has changedLast week I interviewed the CEO and Founder of Silk + Sonder. She talked about doubling down on customer service. Your existing customers, this who already converted are GOLDSO what’s changed about customer service59% of consumers will care more about their customer experience than they did pre COVID when deciding which companies to support or buy from.And, if you are a business, this means that there is very little room for mistakes heading into 2021. ANY friction is a customer’s journey can cause a loss in potential revenue (Life time value of a customer), and a potential gain to competitors.When you consider that 80% of consumers will switch to another company after just ONE poor customer experience, this opens the door for companies to not only compete on pricing and product buWhat can you consider doing now: WE SHARE 3 KEY THINGSEMPOWER YOUR AGENTSIf in a company with a separate customer service department- you will need a GREATER FOCUS ON THE IMPORTANCE OF AGENT EXPERIENCE.a) To be truly successful, companies need to see their agent experience as a valuable part of the customer experience.b) The agent experience is defined as the view of how empowerment, efficient, and effective a company’s customer service agent is. As in the case with almost any department in a company, prioritizing your team and staying in touch with the employees and their morale is the only true way to ensure positive reactions from your customers.c) It is as simple as this. Happy agents=happy customers.d) How do you facilitate greater Agent Experience?  HERE'S HOW  i.      Better tools in software programs  ii.      Enhanced training   iii.      More accessible customer data  iv.      Specific and relevant feedback that’s based on context and specific conversations. v.      Clear process documentation and flexible guidelines that empower agents to prioritize customer outcomes over their own performance metrics.What can you be doing now: OMNICHANNEL COMMUNICATIONOmnichannel communication will be everything.Customers need direct access to companiesUnlike years prior, this new type of conversational commerce is much bigger than just offering live chat.   Facebook, What’sApp, email, phone, text, etc.The right strategy will allow you to deliver a unified. Budgets need to support these channels aggressively.Consider the customer’s experience from start to finish. The customer journey is a valuable tool for recognizing the gaps in the customer’s experience and where new initiatives can be implemented   What can you be doing now:  INVOLVE YOUR CEOCustomer Service will play a bigger role in C-Level StrategyCEO being part of the social media messaging as well.measure success.  “Please Rate Our Service.” AND, they really want to know.Customer service in 2021 will be your number one differentiating factor.  Are you ready? What do you need to get yourself set up for success?
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