Maggie Craddock is an executive coach who has worked with clients at all levels on the professional spectrum – from people entering the workforce to Fortune 500 CEOs. She has been featured on CNBC, National Public Radio and quoted in national publications including the Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune.
Before building her executive coaching business, Maggie worked for over a decade on both the buy and the sell sides of the financial services industry. As a Portfolio Manager at Scudder, Stevens & Clark, Maggie managed $3 billion in short-term global assets. She received two Lipper Awards for top mutual fund performance:
She is the author of "Lifeboat: Navigating Unexpected Career Change and Disruption" "Power Genes: Understanding Your Power Persona and How to Wield it at Work" (and "The Authentic Career: Following the Path of Self-Discovery to Professional Fulfillment"
Listen in for her wisdom about women in the workplace - and women everywhere
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I so enjoyed this next podcast interview. Maggie Craddick is an executive coach who has worked with clients at all levels on the professional spectrum. From people entering the workforce to Fortune 500 CEOs. She has been featured on CNBC National Public Radio and quoted in national publications including the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune.
Before building her executive coaching business, Maggie worked for over a decade on both the buy and sell sides of the financial services industry. As a portfolio manager as good as Stevens and Clark. Maggie managed 3 billion in short term global assets. She also received two Lipper awards for top mutual fund performance.
She is the author of lifeboat navigating unexpected career change and disruption, power genes, understanding your power persona and how to wield it at work and the authentic career. Following the path of self discovery to professional fulfillment. I'm so excited to welcome the podcast, Maggie Craddock. Welcome.
Thank you so much. So I'm delighted to be here.
I am delighted that you're here too. So let's start with a little bit about you, what you do how you got started in your career, and major milestones along the way?
Well, you know, I have an executive coaching firm workplace relationships. I've been running this firm for over 20 years now, which is sometimes hard for me to even realize when LinkedIn congratulated me for that I was kind of startled and I almost dropped my phone right.
It is a second career. For many years. I was a portfolio manager on Wall Street. also kind of an interesting choice because I hailed as the only child of two only children from Fort Worth, Texas and a military family. So I had a dad who had a strong work ethic and a lot of discipline. And then I had a mom who was really focused mostly on domestic issues. So me growing up and going into Wall Street that wasn't really necessarily supposed to pan out that way. I'm actually a love reading. I love world events. I had gone to the London School of Economics, I thought I was going to work for the World Bank. Until as a single woman, I realized that tax free income notwithstanding they were going to place me all over the world. And it wasn't going to get much of a chance to build friendships and relationships that I felt would be long term. Right? That's how I ended up on Wall Street. And that is how it was fortunate enough to work with some amazing people. Win a couple of Lipper awards and then really shift my focus not to just creating profitable portfolios, but really to try to help people create meaningful careers. Right.
Interesting. So is that what led you to become an executive coach?
Well, I think one of the things that led me to become an executive coach was just being in the business myself, you know, when I was coming along as a portfolio manager, as particularly in the 1990s we were hiring a lot of consultants to come in and help us with communication skills and how we did things and what was going on with all of that. But I always felt as many coaches do that really being in that industry for a while. Really taught you the felt sense of what was actually going on with people regardless of how they were trying to, you know, keep calm and carry on, as we all say. I mean, I remember so one night, I was coming home from an exhausting day at the trading floor and I was just dragging down the hall, and I put my candle lock and I went in and collapsed on myself and I thought what is the problem? Because we've had a great day we'd had a trading meeting, we put our trades in there were no errors. It was international markets. That was a miracle on its own. And then I just sat with those feelings and started thinking what's really going on? Well, the trading desk next to us had hired a new person that had made a huge error a couple of $100,000 hit the error account, very embarrassing for a new person and a lot of stress on the firm. Right? And then I thought about that and I thought, you know, I feel like I've worn home other people's feelings like a dress that doesn't fit or something. So the next day I asked one of the most macho traders that I worked with, I said hey, you know, how was your night last night? He's gosh, I was really depressed. I was just dragon. And then I told him what had happened. And he said, Yeah, I think I was experiencing sort of the secondary emotional waves of this too. And what got to both of Asou and one of the things that led to my understanding around coaching and the value was there. It wasn't surprising to me that a man and a woman from two different roles and backgrounds we both carry these feelings with them. Yeah, was that we didn't know we would. It's that we expected to just be able to be around all that emotional stress and have that boundary and everything would be okay. You know, you pick up on a lot of things emotionally, visually, with what's going on with people around you, that you don't even realize that can impact your productivity and your focus.
Totally. I think also, you pick on people's energy, because we all know we sit I mean even if you don't know somebody, you sit down next to them, you sense that in a highly stressful situation. It really is the whole package, isn't it? Because I know that one of the next steps because obviously you left the trading floor and you became a coach but one of the things that stood out for me when I'm looking at background checks and masks and social work.
Yes, I do. Well around the time so that I was sort of going through my own internal thought process around you know, where I was investing my time and energy, and I you know, I tell people all the time, look, we trained for important conversations in our careers, make or break interviews, board of directors, presentations, we get coached, we get filmed, we learn how to deal with the nonverbal nuances, the pacing, all of that. But the most important conversations we ever have are always the conversations we have with ourselves, right? Because those conversations with ourselves sort of come before whether or not we take action, anything we say the inflection with which we say it, all of that. So I was having a lot of conversations with myself. And I remember thinking probably the most valuable resource I've got is the talent, emotional focus in what's going on with my traders because I would make investment decisions but they would have to execute on the line under a tremendous amount of pressure. And I had I hired an awful lot of female traders. As you can imagine. I'm a female Portfolio Manager, so they call this bonds for blondes at one time. We also had some really great male derivative traders and currency traders in the mix as well. And so I would go away on the weekends literally to meditation retreats and spiritual retreats. And just keep notebooks about how I was managing my team. So they could be effective. So like on really stressful days, I would literally if I thought they were going to tinker with positions because they were nervous. I'd send them well. I'd say take the day off because you know, we need to be as effective as possible here. And it really taught me an awful lot about those conversations with myself and when it came to my transition to being a coach. That's when I realized that everybody was looking to me like Lucy in the peanuts with you know, therapeutic help five cents, and coming in my office and clients were doing that too and I thought I need some formal training for this. Particularly when I had a client call me one night, very lucrative investor and he said, You know, I've locked myself in my car, I can't deal with my wife and kids right now and I thought, Gosh, we've had some great investment dinners, but I'm not qualified to advice particularly advice on this I went back and I studied social work, because that's what really gives us this wonderful bio psychosocial framework to try to understand the environment and the personalities and how they're coming together. Interesting,
very interesting. One of the things that I'd love to ask you as somebody coaches, both women and men, I'm interested in what you think are the major challenges faced by both men and women leaders, because I know that you work with both and I know that you do a lot of work with the C suite level.
I do and I think if we're going to look at what we're going through right now. So I think that one of the major challenges for men and women alike is how we figure out the normal between remote work and then be back in the office together. And the reason I say this is the pros and cons to everything. So I love webinars too, I mean, here we are. We can see each other as fabulous, right? You know, but when you're advancing in your career in particular, even when you're trying to figure out who to tap for the pipeline of succession. An awful lot takes place when we're making our impression of other people that we might consider advancing or we're trying to express our own value. An awful lot happens when people don't know they're being watched. And the tricky thing with being remote, right, is that you don't have the same opportunities to be seen working with other people by members of senior management when they're walking the floor or coming through the department. Or if you're in senior management. You don't have those priceless glimpses of how people respond when they don't realize they're being observed. You often discover some of the most wonderful strengths, or some areas where a little help and mentoring is necessary in those moments, and that I think is what makes remote working such a risk, and how interesting it's going to be having been in this environment as we come back together more and more in the workplace.
That's a fascinating point. Because because we're at the moment we're, we're coming out but you know, we don't know what's going to happen, you know, moving forward.
Well, we do know depending that some people have gotten even better at their diplomatic skills and their emotional distress tolerance purely because they've been juggling relatives getting through illness dealing with kids every step of the way. The people who have been isolated during this period, may need to want to take a pause and be particularly mindful about how other people feel about themselves in their presence, because they may not have been having that modulating feedback. On the homefront, that invites them to consider taking a moment before they respond to someone to make sure that they're being motivational and not creating a reaction where somebody feels subtly challenged or kind of defensive.
Right. You may you you're bringing up were you prompted me to ask a question that one of my previous guests had identified that she said that her the women who report to her are wanting to retain the flexibility of remote working whereas the men who works are very happy to be back into the office. And so given what you've just said, that has implications, so if you have thoughts about that,
I do I really do. And as you know, I've had the incredible privilege of working with women at all levels of seniority from the C suite to people just entering the workforce or reentering the workforce and making transitions right. And so I would have to say one of the most powerful things I can think of for women in this regard. And of course we've seen it everywhere this issue about women burnout, leaving the workforce and juggling right the domestic and professionalism possibilities is a key area that women need to remain vigilant around and where we do not want to lose ground. Is this idea that we don't have to do it alone. We can get help and support. I've had some conversations with some amazing women that I've met and had the privilege of working with in an executive coaching context. And when I'm talking to them about that piece of the work that relates to their position is the CFO or the CRO or whatever they're doing advising large organizations around huge issues that are transitional time, their body language, their tone, they'll be pointed, they'll look me right in the eye they'll last sharp questions about anytime we spend together. How is this going to add value for their organization, their team, their clients, they're crisp, they're strategic, they want to know get to work life balance around offering coaching, support and any kind of support that will help them sort of balance out what they're giving to their career with what their careers giving to them, right? And you can literally see a shift not only in the power style, but the body language will morph and they'll become softer, they'll look away, they're apologetic. Well, I have so many things I should be doing and my mother always and I want to for my kids, and so they can get caught into a lot of emotional triggers that invite them to be operating from the definition of success or the values that may have come from the generation that they were raised in and exposure to the gender biases of a previous generation, rather than what's happening today. And that's such that's why right as women leaders, and women supporting other women, we definitely need to have these conversations, talk with one another mentor one another around these issues, because it prevents us from working from an unexplored you know, sense of shoulds that we internalized, but we buried it. It's subconscious. Now we don't even realize it's happening until we see it happening with other women. And then we're like, oh, that's how we learned so much from other people's stories in these conversations. So you're like, Oh, wow. Do I identify with her? You know, just shifting from being like, super focused to be almost apologetic for being there. And what can I do for you? I mean, I've had women literally that had me terrified that I wasn't, you know, answering their question crisply enough to wondering whether or not they were going to help better my role in the next beat of the conversation. Do you and I'm so so we really do.
Price me about so important about that? Is that unrecognized? We pass them on to our daughters
and the next generation. And this goes to how we parent as well. So which is why I think that all of this is so important when you say passing it on to our daughters in the next generation. Because here again, and I'm speaking in generalities, because there are always exceptions. I've got. that coach, I need transportation. I need an apartment in the city and they're totally calm about it. It's not even an entitlement. It's just, I'm worth it or even more. I'm gonna get this special support for a very junior young man.
Every bit of support every step of the way, right? And in contrast, I've seen your senior women go, I don't want to make waves. I don't need anything. I'll pay for this myself. I don't want my firm to think that I'm wasting resources on personal development. I've got this. And it's all it's almost like they don't want to take up energy and time they feel like other people are more deserving of those resources. And it's fascinating when those resources hit the crossroads of personal growth. In their careers. Fascinating.
Wow, wow. That's that is such such a great perspective. Because you're seeing both sides. You see at the same level,
and it's fascinating too, because we think of the amount of money that people will spend on their wardrobes. And things like this. But that's about you. That's about how I appear to you and what you think of me, as opposed to doing the work that helps you center from the inside out, so that I self validate, and I know I'm comfortable with me. So maybe I'd
like to ask you, how do you go about having somebody find that power inside themselves when you're working with a woman executive?
Well, I think it's always there. I think for for men and women alike. It's always there. But you know, Sue, we talk so much about the power of stories, understanding your story. And I think if you look on the media more and more, we're seeing skillful examples of how we connect with other people more effectively, when we can talk about ourselves in personalized terms and make that emotional connection. So it's not all transactional. But to me, the most important part of knowing your own story is being able to validate, be patient with and be kind to yourself. When you have emotional triggers because there's so many things in the world that cause people to have this hangover of not feeling good enough. Not feeling like they measure up you have to look at what you were validated for by your mom and your family system. What did she validate you for? What was the definition of success your father had? What did he validate you for? What did you always want to be validated for? Right? What's enough? When do you know you're doing enough and that is the key to being able to interface with others persuasively and effectively because then if emotional triggers start bubbling up, and you're concerned that you're not going to be forceful enough, or you're just going to be tongue tied and not know what to say at all right? Not clear. You're not people get off the beam and lose their senior executive tone. When it's not just about trying to make a persuasive argument to others. They've got to convince themselves at the same time because they're not perfectly sure in the conversation you're having with yourself. The pacing, the time, sometimes even a light touch of humor, bearing in mind that it's not at anyone's expense can be incredibly powerful, because people get in that moment that you are rock solid on your position. So rock solid that if new information comes to light, you can pivot because you're dealing with facts, which your from an emotional point of view, you're not insecure, or self conscious around your motivation for what you're doing in the moment.
Wow, you're doing very important work maybe
you are too I hope we all are I mean enough people can't be with us right now because we've got so many absolute so many reasons to feel like we don't know enough or we haven't done enough in today's world and we need to give ourselves a break so that we can come from the wisest part of ourselves, where we're facing is all this unknown, and all these important decisions.
So I want to ask you, which sort of off the back of that what role has impostor syndrome, if any role played in your career. And what recommendations do you have for women who find themselves challenged? By this?
Well, you know, Haven't we all had it? Because that's another version of that I'm not good enough. Right? And so, you know, I had the I had the most wonderful conversation I was at a benefit event for for a disease that we were you know, all concerned about in Manhattan. And I turned to a woman who ended up being the publicist for Danny Glover, absolutely beautiful women of color. And we started talking about this piece of impostor syndrome, and I told her something that just just cracked her up. I said early in my career, I was so self conscious about being a young woman, and a lead Portfolio Manager, right. I would have guys stop by my desk and say, How the heck did you get this job? And I would, you know, try to be witty because I grew up in a military family where you've got to have that, that sense of wit, and look, I'm beating the market if an Aardvark beat the market, they would give that Aardvark an office and a phone. Okay. The minute I'm not beating the market, you won't see me here anymore. But all of that psychology and not having a lot of other female role models to see around me in those days. Made me so self conscious about walking into a largely male board of directors and talking about what we were doing, because I had internalized a sense of self calm self consciousness around being a female and looking youthful. I needed something else. So I remembered the television show roots, where they had that guy playing through Dickens day and I thought, Okay, I'm not going to do the females thing because that's buried so deep. I didn't have the tools then to let that one go. I thought I'm gonna do an acting exercise and pretend that I am a young man, dedicated as I am to my job. I am a man of color. And they're actually going to have their own internal biases, but I'm going to show them that I'm doing this in a very strategic and valuable way. So that these guys would ask me a question, and I literally would get in that space and pretend right, this is who I am and I would lock them right in the eye. And I could nail the timing and the energy because I was planning from what I know is imperfect. I knew we go right around the room. And it kept me from falling into that rabbit hole that you fall into, if you're dealing with too many emotional triggers around something that's been really dug into your own psyche, and made it sort of like an acting exercise. So you want to stop performing when the meeting is over. But you want to remember that sometimes we all have to perform in business. And it just gave me some compassion for how we leap over that impostor syndrome. And it goes to the quality of the conversations you're having with yourself, they'll impact that alignment between what you think how you feel, and then the action you take
inside of us, absolutely fascinated. Why did you pick that character?
You know, I think because, well, first, I don't think we've watched roots in a long time and I haven't even brought that up in a long time. So I literally want to rewatch that series, because as a child, it captivated me. I loved it. I think it may have come from being in a military family with a strong father. And I think that sometimes and again, this is not to compare the kinds of internalized biases that women deal with when they're white women and women of color because I do remember doing hiring a consultant to do a beautiful piece for us on diversity and inclusion. When I was a portfolio manager, and she put us in two separate circles, all of the Asian women, women of color and all of them and she put all of the women who were Caucasian in a different circle and came right up to me and said, What does it mean to you to be white? And that's when I realized I hadn't really thought about it. There was a sense of entitlement and internalization there that helped me navigate right over rough waters, that a lot of the women of color, right couldn't, you know, really do in the same way, because again, they're battling these messages from the inside out, which is why we need such strong work to do that. But it also helped me recognize that when we work together, there are some parallels. Women have been subordinated. People of color have been subordinated and we're comfortable circle with men in that, you know, sometimes who haven't felt this in their careers. By the time they get older. And it's time for them to retire. But they don't feel older. They still got a lot of experience. They feel those micro moments when they're kind of left out of the loop as well. So we've all got our moments to feel that. And those are the moments when we go to our internal sense of value, right? Because that impacts so many facets of how we communicate. And when we understand that we're often highly, highly effective. And even that little bit of self consciousness can help us know exactly where to be kind and exactly where to speak up. Yes,
it's a very rich topic,
isn't it and it's good for us all because it reminds us that we need to remember that a tone of unity and appreciating our differences rather than pointing fingers at one another because of them is absolutely critical to being effective in rapidly changing times because other people will see your perspective on a problem. You may not understand.
Yes, totally. We see the world as we are in office. It
is absolutely you really be a huge help. comes in and helps us see it from a different angle.
I'd love to hear a little bit about maybe your advice for somebody who is experiencing or struggling with. One of the things I say is that empowered women empower other women. Yes, there is a road to becoming empowered. And whilst on that road, sometimes we don't empower each other. And I would love to hear your thoughts on that because we are already dealing with all of these sectors, which are we've talked about it is coming from within, but we there are societal factors at play.
So when we
don't help each other, it really can be a difficult journey. So yes, your perspective I'd love Well,
I speak as someone who's had the wonderful opportunity to work with some powerful women's networking organizations and also some programs for women mentor other women within the workplace. I think it's vital to understand that we need to realize that important relationships with anyone but particularly with our female peers in business, need to be more than completely transactional in a moment where we have this kind of disruption in our world situation where whole industries are in flux, where many people are thinking, even if I stay in this industry, it may feel like a transitional experience because this whole industry is going to morph as we move forward. We could talk about a lot of industries that are going through this kind of transformational thinking right now. But when it comes to you know how we work together to support one another, I think that it's vital that we find people that can not only help us in terms of contacts or in terms of strategic perspective about our industry, but can help us develop competence in our own decision making process, particularly under pressure. Because when we talk about moving ahead for women, for minorities, for people entering the workforce, this comes down to competence in our own decision making process trusting ourselves and being able to communicate in a way that's effective in the moment. Often we have a wide variety of different personalities, different backgrounds, even diverse experiences with regard to how much stress is building up in someone's calendar on that particular day. So again, when we're talking about women supporting other women, we want to be able to have conversations where we mentor in our confidential but supportive sounding boards for one another. When we're not just asking things like do you think I should fire this person or give them another six months? We're going to the question under the question where we're saying, Do you think my assessment of this person is fair and objective? Yeah. Are there any emotional biases that may be driving me that I'm not fully aware of? Right? When you talk about should I go to this firm or should I go to that firm? Okay. You don't want to just be talking about the salary and the brand. You also want to be talking about things like you know, what's the group energy of this place look like? Because it's going to shape my sense of self is going to impact my quality of life. I go in there every day. If these are sort of friendly, people that kind of validate one another and we all work together and there's a tone of unity, that's one thing. But if this is a highly competitive environment, where people often have a lot of adrenaline going and you know, this sort of thing that's going to follow me home. Yeah, that's going to start to seep into my personal relationships. Even if you're working remotely if people are contentious or pitted against one another, rather than working together in a solution oriented way. You can power that computer down, but you can't flip those feelings off and that emotional tone off like a light switch. It will impact interactions with your spouse, with your friends. It will impact the pace at which you lead your life. So these are very important things to bear
in mind. So well said and I think rarely expressed in that depth. So important. I want to explore some of the things that were highlighted in the 2021 McKinsey report regarding the state of women in the workplace, and just for people who are listening. The report included information from 423 participating organizations employing 12 million people, and they surveyed more than 65,000 employees, and they conducted interviews with women of diverse identities, including women of color, LG, BT Q, women and women with disabilities. And so I love to explore some of these because their key findings show that despite important games, women are still underrepresented, and women of color lose ground at every step of the career pipeline. I was talking the other day to somebody and they were celebrating the fact that in the C suite women are now around 20%. However, which is amazing when you consider where we've come from, however, for us to have equal number of seats at the table, and with a diverse group of people. There's still a lot of work to do. I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Well, you know, I have a couple of thoughts. I mean, one of them is one of the things that organizations can do that I think will be extremely helpful. Here is they can focus more on women at mid career. Because in my experience, once you see HR that you know, and this makes a lot of sense. I don't mean to armchair quarterback, this idea that the resources are limited and that priorities often follow what the C suite is saying is going to add the most value. I get the recruitment piece that's vital. People coming in need to be on boarded need to learn certain things about the culture, the organizations, the norms, that recruitment piece and making that something that's going to keep a certain amount of retention within any organization is critical. And then of course and we both do this to I know at the senior level. You can just work with somebody a little bit on their tone and how they're presenting themselves and it can be worth millions in an organization in terms of clear communication, a sense of motivation, adding to their culture, retention, all of these things. But what sometimes gets lost in the process are the hard working people. Sometimes based on their power style, they're not as promotional as self promotional, at least they're keeping the lights on. They're putting their heads down. We're not always sure what's going on in mid career. And I found in my experience working with people at all levels of seniority, that is often some very talented women at mid career. The organization says she's got this she doesn't need anything. She's fine. She's not fine. She wants to move up. It's time for her to move up. People are worried about moving her because if they do move her, she does so much of our own job. And sometimes other people's is well, they're not sure what's going to happen. And I'm going to say to women in mid career who were in this situation, they need more self confidence and better advocacy skills so that they can move up on their own. And I will say to organizations, they need to take a look at this or what will eventually happen with the best of these people who've been career is that they'll leave your firm. And that's tragic, because these are people if they've been keeping the lights on, they're invaluable in terms of corporate memory. And also as mediators in transitional situations. And I don't know an organization right now, that isn't grappling with their strategy because of all the changes we're seeing right now around the world.
So is that because one of the things that we've noted in the career is that there is a broken rung in the career ladder progression affecting women? Is that what you're talking about?
Well, I'll come to a piece of that because I think that the run that you really need to fix as a first rung we need to fix that first rung, okay. And that is where you go from entry level and then you start moving up more towards a management pipeline. And that wrong has to be fixed anyway that we go with it. Even in industries where you know, people claim that there are you know, some very difficult personalities and very emotionally triggerable people on the line. I've seen women who are incredible line managers that really come up in terms of how to mediate how to hold their ground, how to be really effective communicators, how to keep these people in line from a management point of view. We've seen it in the military, too. We need to look at that first run and be very, very careful that that one is solid and doesn't break because that's where you start to move forward. And that's where I think you start to see a sort of a disproportionate gender split or even racial split sometimes in the management pipeline. Fix it early. Right.
Interesting. So you're saying it's right at the beginning,
right at the beginning. Those things that start those people that could tap for mentorship programs that could tap into leadership programs, there needs to be a lot of strategic focus around how later on down the line. This is going to impact the diversity footprint of that organization, need to start early? Because that of course reinforces throughout the culture that this is a priority. Right?
Yes, absolutely. And it seems to overlap actually, with a conversation that's going on that we haven't touched on, which is really around what we're calling here, the great resignation. But I think to great degree is not so much about the great resignation. But the great job swap for a Better Environment at work, feeling more connected at work feeling more motivated and part of something bigger than oneself, and also, that the work that one is doing is meaningful and matters
Absolutely. And you know, one of the things that we both think about as coaches all the time and you know, I think about this from a power style point of view, because you can see the strengths and blind spots of all these different power styles before people really understand what's happening in those emotional triggers in that conversation that they're having with themselves. from a policy point of view, again, is vital to keep these power cells in mind, because one size doesn't fit all. Not in terms of how we're motivated, not in terms of how we learn indefinitely, not in terms of how effective we can be working remotely or having some kind of balance around this. You can look at people there are certain power styles, you want to watch them. They're good. They have a lot of Killer Instinct, but they're highly personally ambitious and if you don't keep them busy, and keep them focused, you can't necessarily be as confident of what they're saying on their timesheets, if they're more junior, or how focused they are on things. You've got other people and we know this if we stopped to assess it and take a step back and really pause and give this Strategic Evaluation. I can think of so many women that are unbelievably responsible, great project managers, and they've lost jobs because people have said we need you in the office full time. But that wasn't necessarily true. There were other people they needed in the office full time because of their personality style and what was going on with a group dynamic. But this particular person, if you'd been a little bit more relaxed and didn't have a one size fits all requirement is a superstar at what they do. So it's important to bear all these nuances in mind. I get that you need to have policy, but you need to be thoughtful about two sets of things that intermingle one is the personality style of someone right? And how it lends itself to being in a group. Being in a group under tension, dealing with deadlines, all these things right and again, that can be generational, because of what triggers us, right? And then also the exact skills that you need, right? Because sometimes you can have a person on the verge of retirement or a younger person who's smart. learn these skills for minimal training costs. I'm not sure but we need to be thoughtful about factors like this, particularly when it comes to work life balance, if we were to keep an organization strategic,
right, it's about thinking differently, where that we traditionally
and and more dynamically because things are changing, but at the same time you know, our reactions to things are changing within ourselves and not and this is one of the big things that's come out of this period. So we don't all think like under normal circumstances, we might have the veneer that most of us do but under pressure you're seeing a lot of polarized thinking a lot of judgmental stuff, right. And under normal conditions, you see most people able to weather frustration be fairly diplomatic, but under pressure. We're seeing reactions that are causing people to consider resigning when they wouldn't otherwise. There's a lot of things going on where people are minimizing things they should be addressing, and maximize they'll be letting go. And so we have to bear in mind that we're different that way as we navigate this
period. Absolutely. One of the things I know that you've written a book about power styles, and you were referring to would you like to say a little more about pastel so I think that that's such a great framework in which to think about these issues. Well, you know,
people are always asking me because I wrote a book on power. And I wrote a book on Harvard for power. And Harvard was gracious enough to put this in a collection of other things they've done in power. And so people often come to me and say, Maggie, how do you define power? Well, when I was writing power Jitsu, I got the chance to work with all sorts of different people. This again, is where I say one size doesn't fit all. I got to work with spiritual leaders whose power came from their altruism and their charisma. I got to work with military leaders whose power came from their ability as commanders to get people information and get them to do things, right. I've got all different kinds of people. They're all different power styles. But the one thing that power styles have in common, any of them from Margaret Thatcher. To Mother Teresa, is the power is relational. And the reason that I got that was that most people just go well, your relationship with him. Powers about your relationship with yourself. We've talked about that, which goes to the heart of your ability to chart your own course professionally. And not have it dictated for you by outside forces, particularly in rapidly changing times when senior management can be a little bit more demanding, right. Power as we all know is about your relationship with other people. But when you really understand your power style and how it works, it gives you the tools you need to do things like negotiate conflict in a way that fortifies your personal integrity rather than diminishing it. Take the pause, you take the beat, you know what's going on with you. And you have that room to respond in a way that observers go well, I wish I've done it that well. I saw that Zinger that they just said it her and she that was poised right. But most important for this with the definition of power. How are deals with our relationship with organizations, industries, and the business world at large and that has never been more important is this particular historic time, because all of us want to be careful about aligning ourselves with organizations that generally reinforce our core values. Because this is going to impact us at all levels, our sense of self our life satisfaction, and of course when necessary, make a healthy break with those that don't. But when you get the nuances of your power style, you become a mutt no organization is perfect. No culture is perfect. Heck, no elevator ride with three people is perfect, right? Yes. Learn Enough right? That you are able to become a skillful change agents and persuade people that otherwise might have been so far out of your comfort zone that you couldn't communicate with them effectively. And one thing we both know so when you get good it's one thing to be great in business with people you kind of like you get along with them anyway. But when you get good with those really strong personalities, not as many people are, that's a value on its own. Right? Yes,
absolutely. So maybe it's such a pleasure to talk to you. Oh my goodness, I could talk forever. But I'm you have written a couple of other books and I'd love you to share a little bit about this before we close.
I would love to the first book I wrote was the authentic career. And that really, that really goes to this idea of who do you want to be when you grow up and for people who are in transition. People who said that this is a pretty timeless tone when it comes to just you know, figuring out the difference between what you genuinely want to do with your life and career and what people along the line have been advising you should do. Whether it's your family, your spouse, your friends, sometimes it's even, you know, persuasive people on social media, so that you're sure that you're investing your time and energy in something that long term is going to be authentically fulfilling for you. So that's the authentic career. And then later down the line I wrote power genes that we've been discussing, and this talks about how the way that you give and take power before you even have time to think stems from internalizing what you experience with the first people who ever had power over you. For many people. It's their birth parents, some kind of caregiver in your family system. You watched dynamics around power, whether it's like just raising your voice to make a point or minding your timing. You know that you still take with you into the workplace today. And then lifeboat most recent book that came out in in 2020 and did a marvelous job in the UK and Ireland. We've gotten so many great bits of feedback there. But that one is about what happens when the issues aren't just emotional tension with people. The issues have gone organizational. And now we're asking questions like why are our best people leaving? Right? You know, I mean, why do I feel like I have to choose between keeping my job and having a sane amount of work life balance in my life? What's going on? With the value systems around the organizations? And this really helps people understand how organizations themselves make a shift from what I call the self help mindset, which can be constructive. We're trying to be at our best right? Then go over to what I call the US help mindset where we're much more mindful of how we sort of harmonize our efforts, how we work together as a group with limited resources and stay on track in rapidly changing times.
Wow. Maggie, thank you again. It's been
absolutely I really appreciate this. It's a delight talking to you.
So that was Maggie Craddock, what is the life so many rich insights for women in the workplace, great wisdom, and you can contact Maggie on LinkedIn. Or via her website, workplace relationships.com. My next interview featured JJ de Jeronimos, who had a career in the tech industry, has written two award winning books, has an international podcast and gives action based keynotes and shares career strategies with women in business to accelerate the next level of influence and impact. Join me look out for it on Saturday, the sixth of August on Apple or Spotify.