HERdacious

Queen of Management

November 09, 2020 HERdacity Season 1 Episode 36
HERdacious
Queen of Management
Chapters
4:40
A company's critical role
5:34
Supporting managers
8:15
Management, leadership, and mutual exclusivity
9:00
Desirable characteristics
12:50
The 6 C's
14:40
Tips for increased gender diversity
17:45
Keys to successful management
20:20
The Yin to your Yang
24:02
Femme fact: The Mother of Thanksgiving
HERdacious
Queen of Management
Nov 09, 2020 Season 1 Episode 36
HERdacity

Elements to Include in Your Management Routine

In this episode, herdacious host Lorelei chats with Jennifer Farris about all things management. Jennifer brings forth her extensive HR expertise to advise us on being successful managers in the workplace, and how to find the very best of the best for the job (ladies, this is your cue). From developing our leadership skills to the six C’s of management, Jennifer teaches us that being a kickass manager requires mentorship, dedication, and never ending practice! "Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation." -Ann Voskamp

Host: Lorelei Gonzalez
Co-host: Jennifer Farris

Jennifer Farris currently works between Austin and the Bay Area. She gained experience through working with some of the fastest growing start-ups in the Bay Area; building HR departments and teams that could scale from series A to IPO. Now she helps her clients work through defining their mission, vision, values, talent strategy, establishing core philosophy and process around recruiting practices, accelerating talent through goal alignment and feedback loops, management training/coaching and compensation leveling.

Things you will learn in this episode (chapter markers available):  

  • A company’s critical role 4:40 
  • Supporting managers 5:34
  • Management, leadership, and mutual exclusivity 8:15
  • Desirable characteristics 9:00 
  • The 6 C’s 12:50
  • Tips for increased gender diversity 14:40
  • Keys to successful management 17:45
  • The Yin to your Yang 20:20 
  • Femme fact: The Mother of Thanksgiving 24:02

Resources mentioned in this episode:  

Link to show transcript here.

Episode sponsors:  

Looking for additional resources on this topic? Check out our blog post “How Women Can Develop Their Confidence”

Loved what you heard on herdacious and want to share with friends? Tag us and connect with HERdacity on social media:
Twitter: @herdacity
Facebook: @HERdacity
Instagram: @herdacity
LinkedIn: HERdacity 
Email: [email protected](dot)org

For up to date information on HERdacity events, webinars, podcasts, and community activities, join our newsletter here

 

Disclaimer: While we appreciate our sponsors' support in making this show possible, herdacious content is curated with integrity and honesty.

Support the show (http://herdacity.org/donate/)

Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Elements to Include in Your Management Routine

In this episode, herdacious host Lorelei chats with Jennifer Farris about all things management. Jennifer brings forth her extensive HR expertise to advise us on being successful managers in the workplace, and how to find the very best of the best for the job (ladies, this is your cue). From developing our leadership skills to the six C’s of management, Jennifer teaches us that being a kickass manager requires mentorship, dedication, and never ending practice! "Practice is the hardest part of learning, and training is the essence of transformation." -Ann Voskamp

Host: Lorelei Gonzalez
Co-host: Jennifer Farris

Jennifer Farris currently works between Austin and the Bay Area. She gained experience through working with some of the fastest growing start-ups in the Bay Area; building HR departments and teams that could scale from series A to IPO. Now she helps her clients work through defining their mission, vision, values, talent strategy, establishing core philosophy and process around recruiting practices, accelerating talent through goal alignment and feedback loops, management training/coaching and compensation leveling.

Things you will learn in this episode (chapter markers available):  

  • A company’s critical role 4:40 
  • Supporting managers 5:34
  • Management, leadership, and mutual exclusivity 8:15
  • Desirable characteristics 9:00 
  • The 6 C’s 12:50
  • Tips for increased gender diversity 14:40
  • Keys to successful management 17:45
  • The Yin to your Yang 20:20 
  • Femme fact: The Mother of Thanksgiving 24:02

Resources mentioned in this episode:  

Link to show transcript here.

Episode sponsors:  

Looking for additional resources on this topic? Check out our blog post “How Women Can Develop Their Confidence”

Loved what you heard on herdacious and want to share with friends? Tag us and connect with HERdacity on social media:
Twitter: @herdacity
Facebook: @HERdacity
Instagram: @herdacity
LinkedIn: HERdacity 
Email: [email protected](dot)org

For up to date information on HERdacity events, webinars, podcasts, and community activities, join our newsletter here

 

Disclaimer: While we appreciate our sponsors' support in making this show possible, herdacious content is curated with integrity and honesty.

Support the show (http://herdacity.org/donate/)

Sponsor

Today's episode is brought to you by HERdacity. HERdacity is a non-profit inspiring confidence in women to achieve their professional goals. For resources, networking opportunities, and a strong community of women visit herdacity.org to learn more. 

 

Lorelei

Welcome to HERdacious, a podcast for audacious women. Happy fall to you all. Welcome to HERdacious, the podcast for audacious women looking for a little career support on their professional journey. My name is Lorelei, and I'm glad you chose to join me today as we're gonna be discussing some really important elements to include into your management routine. Now, to join me in this really interesting and crafty conversation, I have the Chief People Officer for Terminal, a startup advisor, a future of work advocate, and speaker. Miss Jennifer Farris.

 

Jennifer

Very nice to be here today.

 

Lorelei

It is an absolute pleasure to have you, Jennifer, thank you for joining us. As an HR professional, I know that your perspective on these management tools and tips are gonna be really helpful for us, so given that we're going to be talking about management skills today, I would like for you to give us a little bit of background into how you got to where you are, how that shaped you as a senior executive in HR?

 

Jennifer

Absolutely, it's funny. I actually started my career off in politics, which I sometimes joke, feels like HR, although maybe not in today's climate. I didn't study HR in school, in fact, frankly, I had no idea it was even a function I could pursue, but I got really lucky and I fell into it like many people do, and I learned very quickly that this was a world that resonated with me. It was like the intersection of human psychology and business acumen. Yeah, and I realized what I enjoyed about politics was kind of similar in that it was the ability to practically impact the lives of others. In HR, it's a smaller group, perhaps that you impact, but you have a real tangible results and you see your results like helping someone find a new job. Right, so I got started on the recruiting side, and from there, I would say I was given a lot of unique opportunities, and from those opportunities, I really learned several key principles that helped get me to where I am. 

 

Lorelei

Would you be willing to share some of those principles with us?

 

Jennifer

Absolutely, I would say there's four key principles, one, always be open to new opportunities, whether it's inside your company or opportunities that you may not even know were on your radar, like how I fell into HR. It was never a career I thought I would pursue, and then seek out high quality mentors, I had two amazing mentors in my transition from recruiting to HR who really entrusted me with everything, which actually leads me to my third point. Trial by fire, nothing teaches you faster than being in the trenches day-to-day and having to problem solve and figure out all the different needs of the business in that moment. The fourth point is really about building trust, do what you say and say what you do, this also means bring recommendations to your leaders, come with data, don't just complain about something you may not like. I learned very quickly that to build trust, you can't just say something is wrong, but you really do have to bring solutions, so I took all of these lessons over the years and was lucky enough to find my way into organizations that had some great success and allowed me, not just to see what great looks like, but also how to get to great... And those are actually two very different things. And I was able to grow my career faster by being inside companies that had to grow themselves, so I had to find ways to level up my own knowledge quickly to meet the demands of the business. 

 

Lorelei

Excellent. Now, considering we've already discussed the topic for today, which is important elements to include into your management routine, here's your softball question, what is the most critical role for a company in order to be successful? 

 

Jennifer

It's a great question, and although the answer seems obvious, especially given the topic today. In practice, it really isn't always perceived that way, but managers, in my view, are the center of everything for their teams and the most critical player to drive the company forward. First, managers really are the ones that truly connect people to purpose, and this is what motivates employees, This is what gives them the north star to work towards, managers are really the ones that make that vision a tangible reality day-to-day for employees, and yet in spite of their importance to the business and to driving productivity with their teams, managers face an abundance of challenges, not least of which is being under-trained and generally under-supported by most companies.

 

Lorelei

So how can companies better support managers?

 

Jennifer 

Ultimately, I think giving managers more training and also more empowerment, and you do this by really ensuring that managers have good data and information at their fingertips. However, we currently don't live in a world where managers typically get that level of visibility, and yet they're being asked to drive team productivity and performance at a very high level and the high rate of change inside the business, and so companies really need to focus on what are the systems you have in place, what are the trainings you have in place, and how can I ensure that the teams are set up success with the right information?

 

Lorelei

I feel like your answer is not intuitive. I think outside looking in, a lot of people would just assume or presume that managers are heavily supported that managers are the power players, that managers have all the things that they need to get the job done.

 

Jennifer

These growing companies are growing so fast, they're promoting managers far before they're truly ready to be people managers, and so they oftentimes don't come with the right skills to be able to properly manage and drive their teams productivity, and then companies again, oftentimes those that are more in their growth state, not so much, maybe those that are more mature in nature, but certainly a lot of the companies we interact with regularly don't have really robust resources for training internally, it's not the first programs that are typically built in HR in general, which is the department that opt-in is focused on talent development, is often under-resourced and under-funded, and so a lot of pressure is put our managers without a lot of the tools that they really need to be successful.

 

Lorelei

Jennifer, how would you differentiate between a manager and a leader?

 

Jennifer

I love this question. For me, a manager or management is a job or a role where as leader or leadership is actually a skill, so individual contributors can be great leaders, even if they don't manage people directly. And they can do this by being someone people look up to, by having influence inside their team or organization, but they don't necessarily have to manage people in order to have leadership skills, so the goal is really to make those managers or those in management that have oversight actually over people's jobs, ultimately understand the skills and importance of great leadership. So you don't just have great managers, but you have the best leaders as managers, and when this happens, people managers are not just seen as a functional lead of a team, but they can better drive and influence the business and inspire and engage their team in new ways. So the good news is, is leadership can be a skill you practice.

 

Lorelei

Right. So let's get to the heart of this episode, what are some of the characteristics that make a good manager or a leader?

 

Jennifer

Especially as more and more companies are going remote, let's say you wanna be a world class marathoner, you may have natural talent and you may wanna capitalize on that, but even the best athletes have coaches. And they fundamentally practice and they practice not just once a quarter for once a week, they practice every day. Sometimes multiple times a day, and we have to treat the development to be a world class manager or leader in the same way. So I have six habits that really make great people managers that I call just the six C’s. 

 

Lorelei

Alright.

 

Jennifer

So the first is creating a clear purpose, so this is about laying the foundation and understanding the why. Why are we here, how should we behave. Where are we going as a team and as a company. And this goes back to what I mentioned prior, that managers need to connect people to purpose to ensure that you create that north star. The second would be cascading goals. So this is the what you need to understand what needs to be done. The third is clarity of role, so I'm personally a big believer in RACI, which is a responsibility framework that stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted and Informed, and there's different versions of this, but it ultimately comes down to what role does each person play in completing a goal and this really eliminates any confusion of who is doing what. The fourth is continuous feedback, so we can only improve or continue good habits with consistent feedback from our manager, and then coaching one-on-ones with the feedback. We then need coaching to accelerate our performance and engagement and I'm a big fan of performance reviews, the performance acceleration, how can we look forward and perform better, faster, stronger, and that's part of what the coaching one-on-one is really aimed at doing. And then finally, career development, this is the personal needs of the employee being met with the needs of the company. It can't all be about the company's needs, we need to serve the needs of each human on the team, and this is where it really rounds out the skills necessary to be a great manager or leader.

 

Lorelei

Excellent, well, you just set me up to help round out this first half of the episode, and we're gonna take a quick sponsor break. 

 

Sponsor

Hi Barbie, here from Moonray, husband and wife indie pop duo. If you enjoy the intro music, we invite you to listen to our debut EP Honeymoon. Streaming now on all platforms. Visit www.moonray-music.com for more. 

 

Lorelei

And we're back with Jennifer Farris talking about the important elements to include in your management routine so that you can be a total boss. Now, Jennifer just went over the 6 C’s and they were clear purpose, cascading goals, clarity of role, continuous feedback, coaching one-on-ones and career development. Those are awesome. So how can we help the audience and anyone listening, and me and whoever else, begin to build these skills, those six as practice.

 

Jennifer

If you're a manager already take the time to incorporate these six C’s into your routine, but start slow, like working out. Going back to that marathon or analogy, you don't wanna pull a muscle and then be sidelined, I would recommend starting with clear purpose and cascading goals and trying to incorporate those practices into your management routine, and then it's easier to incorporate giving feedback and coaching. Once people have a clear understanding of what's expected of them. If you're not a manager but you want to be, you can begin with becoming a mentor in areas you feel are real strengths do you have to offer, so counsel others and learn the skills of listening and delivering feedback, help those new mentors that have professional or personal goals. Okay, and then on the flip side, ask for mentorship from a great leader or mentor and create your own goals and then create the accountability structures to achieve those goals for yourself. Then at the end of all of that, you can always ask your company if they offer any training support, but I would start by seeing what you can do to help yourself. 

 

Lorelei

Alright. Well, Jennifer, as you and I both know, women pretty much come into the workforce at the same rate as men, they don't often stay in the workforce at the same rate in order they scale to those managerial or executive roles at the same rate as our male counterparts, what advice do you have for our audience who are interested in climbing that ladder.

 

Jennifer

As you may have seen, I come with a point plan, so I have a five-point plan. Really getting more gender diversity inside leadership teams is still incredibly important. However, I do feel sometimes women, even if they have the skills and experience, will wait for their manager or company to acknowledge them versus taking more ownership over their career, so I do have my top five tips. 

 

Lorelei

Tip number one?

 

Jennifer

Tip number one, you are the smartest person in the room until someone shows you otherwise, and I actually have to give credit to my dad on that one, 'cause he told me that all growing up. This does not mean be arrogant, but rather confident that you belong in that room and can add value just as much or more than those around you. 

 

Lorelei

Awesome.

 

Jennifer

Number two, step into the fire. 

 

Lorelei

Well, there you are with the trial by fire, again.

 

Jennifer

It's so important, especially these days, companies are moving so fast, and frankly, they expect you to do more than any job description actually defines. Be that team player to your organization, raise your hand to step up in difficult situations, even if you don't actually know all the things you feel like you need to know, be willing to be your own advocate. Don't expect your company to tell you everything you should do or need to do, there really is no road map that will get laid out, you need to be willing to create that for yourself, know your value. Value does not just refer to compensation, you should understand the value you are bringing to the business and be able to articulate that value clearly. And last but not least. Understand the business, and this is more than just understanding the product your company creates, but understanding the business in general, educate yourself on the stage of the business, perhaps how and why they do or don't wanna scale, the challenges of the business they can face, what is the market desire overall for the product the business is selling and have an understanding and empathy so you can better offer and support the immediate and future needs of the business.

 

Lorelei

Okay, so we just talked about management again, I wanna switch lanes back to leadership. What advice do you have for our audience interested in developing their leadership skills. Do we need to be working on that skill development slow, or is that something we should be talking to our companies about immediately.

 

Jennifer

You should always be the one owning your career, you should be the one to bring solutions to the business, bring your career desires to the business and it will allow them to help you much more effectively. However, I do have a few points that could hopefully be helpful. The first is don't jump the gun too fast in having that conversation, so I have personally had several reports come to me very early on, maybe their second or third months inside the business asking for this career conversation. But the reality is, I would recommend holding off on doing it that soon, the company or your manager really doesn't know you well enough yet to know how to best support you, which is ultimately also why you have to be the one to own your career 'cause you might have new managers along the way, and you need to be the constant, you need to be the one bringing your plan along with you. Do you remember that companies hired you for a particular role, so this is just a little bit more pragmatic, if you're seeking advancement or a new skill right away, that can sometimes backfire just because the business may not see as being committed to the role you were hired for. So get involved in your role, understand the business, but again, on your career, which goes to number two, you are again, the owner of your career, come with a plan, don't ask them to create it. You have a strong understanding of what makes a huge difference and more fruitful conversation than your manager will have for you, you need to bring that information and then third, really try to understand your own strengths and weaknesses. So it's hard, I know, 'cause sometimes it's hard for us to really want to identify those things about ourselves, but we need to remember, we don't know what we don't know, and we need to ask for feedback from those that have worked with us so that we can seek out areas that we need to improve upon.

 

Lorelei

Alright, well, I wanna pull at one of the threads on the sweater you just created for me, I've seen it happen where the person who's being interviewed start sharing what they really wanna do, where they really wanna go, and the interviewer starts pulling back, being like, Oh, maybe they're not a good fit for this role because they wanna go other places, except for in this one specific job that I'm specifically hiring them forward, this one job isn't the be all end all for them. Probably not a good fit. What do we do then?

 

Jennifer

Like everything in life. It's a balance. I think as you talk about your career goals, because we all have them, we can all acknowledge them, but a lot of it also comes down to timing, and if it’s something you're looking to do in two or three years, is it a goal that you're looking to do within the next six to 12 months, and really in the interview setting, I would just personally recommend talk about your career goals, but then talk about how you believe this role will help get you the skills that you are looking for and be able to advance you at an appropriate point in time, and why this role is still a role that you're very interested in and how you see it fitting into your career.

 

Lorelei

Awesome, awesome. Well, lastly, share some resources with us today. Things that can help us on our journey onward and upward.

 

Jennifer

Absolutely. Well, I'm gonna do a plug for my friend... Actually, she just wrote a book. And it's fantastic. So my friend Shelley Osborne, she's the VP of Learning Udemy. And she just came out with a book called The Upskilling Imperative. And although it focuses on how to make learning more to your company culture, I think there's some good nuggets as individuals to really always be learning and make it core to how you approach your work and life. Yes, one of my go-tos in general, especially as we talk about management and leadership, is Liz Wiseman’s Multipliers book, it's been out for a while, but she really talks about leadership styles that are considered multipliers and those that are considered to ministers. It's a great read because you may think a style or characteristic of leadership, that's a multiplier, but in the end, you realize, Oh, wait, no, I guess that's kind of more of a diminished characteristic, so it's a great read, especially for newer leaders and managers who are trying to figure out what style works for them. And my third is another friend of mine, Gayle Allen, she does a podcast called Curious Minds, she interviews authors, visionaries and innovators across many disciplines, so there's always really something very interesting to learn there, 'cause they've all written incredible pieces of literature, or done a TED Talk or something, so they're all great people to learn from.

 

Lorelei

Very cool. Curious Mind. Alright, well, this curious mind wants to know if you have any covid safe Thanksgiving plans.

 

Jennifer

I will actually be down at the beach, hiding in a house down here, but we were very excited. I have a six-year-old and my husband, her and I will be just spending a little bit of time on the beach and trying to get some much needed RNR.

 

Lorelei

Nice. Well, Jenifer, do you know how Thanksgiving really came to be a thing in America.

 

Jennifer

Other than maybe what I was taught in kindergarten, I don't know. 

 

Lorelei

Alright. Well, well, to give you the background, we have an odd progressive, not progressive female from the great state of New Hampshire who has largely gone pretty much unrecognized in history to thank for Thanksgiving. She is in fact the loudest advocate of Thanksgiving we've ever had. Misses Sarah Josepha Buell Hale, who was an American writer, activist and influential editor, born in October of 1788 in Newport, New Hampshire. Hale was a school teacher for much of her early life before transitioning to writing, she wrote everything from poems to novels to nursery rhymes. In fact, we have her to thank for Mary Had a Little Lamb. Pretty neat. 

 

Jennifer

That's very cool.

 

Lorelei

But aside from her revolutionary work in Mary Had a Little Lamb, Hill also broke some barriers as a bad ass activist. She was not only just one of the first American female novelist in general, but she was also one of the first novelists to write a book about slavery, the thesis of her book was based around the idea that slavery dehumanized both parties involved, now the book garnered so much positive attention that Hale was actually invited to be an editor of a Boston Journal called Ladies Magazine. Really creative title. With her newly acquired position as editor, she helped created a section called Employment for Women, where she wrote about women entering the workforce during the 19th century. She also published the works of women who wrote about why education for women was important, and while it's worth noting that much of her work was incredibly progressive for the time period, Hale is still regarded as a devoutly conservative person. She did indeed advocate for women's need to be formally educated, primarily because she believed a high quality education was essential in preparing women for the most important vocation on earth: that of the Christian mother in the nursery. That's where the Mary Had a Little Lamb part comes in. But unfortunately, Hale did not believe in women's suffrage, nor did she believe that women could do an equal or better job at any given profession than a male counterpart. For her, women belong to the domestic sciences. While Hale left a sizeable mark on history for her publications and her education advocacy, her most well-known accomplishment has become that most memorable of Thursdays in November. Sarah Hale was the nation's biggest and loudest advocate behind Thanksgiving, and history has coined her the mother of Thanksgiving.

 

At the time, Thanksgiving was an incredibly small and fairly unknown celebration, almost exclusive to the New England area, and even then, it was only celebrated in certain states on entirely different days. So Hale took it upon herself to lobby and support the effort to make Thanksgiving a National American holiday, because as noted in her Northwood novel, Hale thought that we had two few holidays. Beyond that Hale was motivated by this sentiment of the holiday and strident believed that Americans needed to take a day to devote to gratitude, especially in the midst of a civil war. She promoted the celebration by publishing Thanksgiving themed poems, Tales of Happy Family is dining together, and recipes for tasty dishes such as roast turkey and pumpkin pie and sweet potato. Everything sound familiar? Her goal was to win our way into people's hearts through their stomachs. Classic and effective move, if you ask me. And that wasn't all... She even launched a letter writing campaign to Congressman, governors and presidents, and these letter writing campaigns lasted for decades, eventually gaining some success in 1863, when President Lincoln signed a national day of thanksgiving and praise in the midst of the Civil War.

 

Citing his letter from Sarah as a main factor in this decision, Hale worked until her passing at the age of 91 to make Thanksgiving an official holiday, but it didn't get officially adopted into law until about 60 years after her passing when President FDR signed a joint resolution recognizing Thanksgiving as a national holiday in 1941. Although Hale wasn't alive to see it, her determination to memorialize Thanksgiving has paid off as we gather around the table this year in this unique unique time with a giant animal on the table laid bare for us. Let us recall this passionate and fervently dedicated woman who made it all possible, who literally went to the grave advocating for Thanksgiving, intending it to be a day dedicated to gratitude and reflection with family gathered around the abundance that America has to offer. Now, with that in mind, I make the small ask of you this year, let's unite in our gratitude for what we have, love those around us like there's no tomorrow, and remember our fellow Americans who are struggling around our country today. With nearly one in four households, experiencing food insecurity this year. So if you can, please consider a small donation to your local or state Food Bank, perhaps initiating a food drive at your work, church or local group, or even find a covid safe way to volunteer in your community, perhaps by delivering meals on wheels, whatever works for you.

 

There are a lot of options and let your heart lead the way. Jennifer, I am glad that your heart led you to support our podcast with your time and your effort today. We're really grateful to have had you.

 

Jennifer

Thank you so much, it was a pleasure to be here. And what a great story. 

 

Lorelei

They tend to be pretty unique.

 

Jennifer

As women often are. So I am of course very grateful. 

 

Lorelei

Absolutely, if you like our show, please subscribe and share with an awesome lady friend of yours who you think might want a little bit of support or positive feedback in their ear. HERdacious is here to do that for you. After subscribing, after sharing with her friend, maybe like us on the socials. Until next time, I'm Lorelei, this was HERdacious, and remember, I'm grateful for you. Peace. 

A company's critical role
Supporting managers
Management, leadership, and mutual exclusivity
Desirable characteristics
The 6 C's
Tips for increased gender diversity
Keys to successful management
The Yin to your Yang
Femme fact: The Mother of Thanksgiving