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Aubrey’s Social Media!!
Listeners can go to my website at www.awakenyourgreatness.guru There's a couple leadership resources that are available. There's my crunchy conversation tool kit. It's 28 pages that will walk you through how to have any difficult conversations.
Whether it's at work or in your personal life It's free, please download it, please use it. It's super important that we have these conversations out in the world. I also have a team member profile available there as well. Where it's just a really good way to understand who you're working with. So you can work better with your people that you lead and that you manage. Both of those are free gifts available on my websites to your listeners.
Daniella Hi, this is the cavnessHR podcast and I'm your host, Daniella Young. Our guest today is Aubrey. Aubrey are you ready to be great today?
Aubrey I am thanks for asking Daniella.
Daniella Aubrey is a leader, business owner, trainer, speaker and a woman on fire about elevating leadership. Particularly women's leadership and changing how business is done. Her background is in leadership and human resources. She has served both as a direct employee as well as consulting with hundreds of organizations over the last 20 years on how to accomplish their business goals while tending to their greatest assets, their people. Having worked with large corporations for Fortune 50 companies, as well as smaller startups and everything in between. Aubrey is well versed in the challenges that business face today. She brings her fresh approach to help businesses do business differently in a way that feeds the people and the bottom line.
Daniella So before I even asked you what you're excited about. I just want to say I love that I love that last line in the bio that we've got to feed people and the bottom line. Because little known fact, they both matter. I've been talking about this a lot lately on our websites and on our blogs and all of this stuff. But you know, culture and profit are directly related to each other. Directly related to each other. Harvard published a study that said culture increases your profits 756%. This was a 22 something year study. So it's hugely, hugely effective. But you don't know what you're missing. If you don't work on it, right? It's very much like my background is security in the military. we only know what happened on Pearl Harbor because it happened, right? We wouldn't if we had avoided it, we wouldn't have known. So it's like you never know, really the downsides or the upsides of culture unless it's really bad or really good. So it's just one of those things that you have to be working on. So awesome. Love it. Aubrey, can you tell our listeners something that you are working on these days? That is super exciting.
Aubrey I would love to thanks for asking. I'm super thrilled to be here. So thanks for inviting me to be on your podcast. I feel honored to be amongst so many wonderful people that you've had on here. The really the big thing that I've been that's been working me and so that I've been working it and bringing it out to the world is going into organizations and teaching them how to have what I call crunchy conversations. It's those places, whether it's boundary setting and upholding those boundaries. Whether it's from the leadership down to their people. Or for the people up to their leadership, and really teaching people how to have these awkward, terribly uncomfortable conversations that are really essential to the organization's health and well being. That's the big thing that I'm really excited about. I offer those, both open format where anybody can come and then I also do specialized sports, business specific needs, and go on site and work with their teams. It's super rewarding.
Daniella That's great. I love I love crunchy conversations. Very, very Seattle, right? Because we're all about the hippies. Actually, one thing I really love about Aubrey, and if you're listening and not watching, you can't see her. But she has fun curly hair, purple glasses, amazing earrings made out of feathers, and she's wearing pink. All of these things are things that serious business women in the past, couldn't do and be taken seriously. So, but of course, she's this incredible, badass, 20 years of business experience, and she coaches business leaders. I love that. I love that our culture now is changing to where you can bring who you are to the workplace. That's what everybody should be doing. So thank you, thank you for being on our podcast. Thanks for showing up as you. Let's jump right into that executive experience as a woman with executive experience. I would love it if you could talk a little bit about exactly that, being a powerful woman in the workplace and she share your thoughts.
Aubrey First, I want to say it's not easy to be in an executive shoes period. It's less easy for, for women and particularly women of color. It's really difficult to show up in most of the business world is very masculine, it's very much the old, the old man's game. Historically, what women have done is they've tried to play the man's game and make themselves into men and adopt the way businesses is being done. I did that I was one of those women, I was sitting at the executive table and I was miserable. I mean, it was not uncommon to find me, literally hiding in the corner of my office where nobody can see me through the window crying, but trying to do it really quietly. So the CEO next door, couldn't me. It was so miserable, that I got to a point of, of I couldn't, I just couldn't do it anymore.
Aubrey Like my soul would not allow me to continue this masquerade of trying to be something or someone that I wasn't. I had a total and complete breakdown, I'll be really honest, I had a breakdown, I just was like, I cannot do this, and I will not do this anymore. That opened the doorway for a huge, like personal evolution of my own self. But I think in order for a woman to be powerful in the workplace, she has to feel powerful within her own self. There has to be a certain amount of personal work and personal development. So that I could do that piece and then reemerge confident in who I am confident in the skills and the value that I bring that I know my worth. I no longer question my worth anymore. I'm not like tiptoeing around that. I think that as women, particularly, it's so important for us to do our own personal work so that we can show up fully. Even when our voices quiver.
Aubrey Even when we muster up the courage to say the thing that needs to be said. Nobody else is saying in the room, to stand with your knees knocking and your voice quivering, and still stand there. And know that you have an impact, even if it doesn't feel like it. I just I think it's a important time for women to really elevate themselves and rise up and invest in themselves. As women, we need to rewrite our relationship with each other. You know, part of that old paradigm is we are conditioned to tear each other down. I see that in the workplace all the time, particularly here in Seattle tech is really big. I hear story after story after story of women in tech, about how they tear each other down. I'm just I have an invitation for everyone listening or watching particularly for the women. Let's rewrite that story and how do we stand next to a woman and support her in a way that really builds us all up. All women know how to build community, we know how to tend to the greater whole for the betterment of all.
Daniella What's so interesting about that is I think I really relate to what you're saying. I think that it's seen as a thing that women are catty, and women tear each other down. But I think so much of that comes from the outside. So I noticed during my time in the military, and I was a female officer. So that's fairly rare. percentage wise, right? Like, we're like 11%, or something. So people would come up to me like the men, whenever a new woman got to the unit, the men would walk into my office and say, Oh, have you gone and seen your competition yet. It was always funny to me, I'm like, No, I'm going to go meet my new friend, I'm going to go walk down the hallway and say hi to my new colleague. But it was interesting to me of this idea that women are going to fight with each other and it wasn't coming from the women. It was coming from the men.
Daniella Something else that I heard from you that I think, you know, it's kind of, it's so important for women to be able to be their whole selves in the workplace. So for the leaders listening that means when we say we talk a lot of equality right now, in our society. These movements for l women are equal, minorities are equal, diversity is good. That's all true, but equal doesn't mean the same. What has been in previous generations. It's women, you can be here you can be equal, but really you have to pretend to be a man. When in reality as leaders, we all need to realize that, like, know, and be a woman. We learn things completely differently and we need to be able to bring exactly who we are, to the table. Use that, because of course, that's the actual impact of diversity, right? Or the value of diversity is your entire your entire life experience.
Aubrey Well said. I think it's, it's not a better than or worse than to you. So I want to be really clear. I'm not proposing here that women are better than men. What I'm sayin is that women in the wholeness of their womanness, an element is missing in business. It's an element that is leading to where we're at in business and why business needs to be done differently and I can go on and on.
Daniella Absolutely. Well, and there's so many ideas that have just never been thought about right. So I love you know, two great examples is Rent the Runway and then Sara Blakely's Spanx. That were two ideas that were scoffed at by men in the industry. Sara Blakely tells the story where she couldn't figure out why hosiery was so uncomfortable. Until she couldn't get anyone to make her prototype because the entire hosiery industry was only men. Then she had a light bulb moment, she was like, Oh, this is why hosiery is so uncomfortable, because it's conceived of and made by people that don't spend 12 hours a day in it.
Daniella She, of course, made her product, owns her entire company by herself, because nobody believed in it. Now she is a billionaire. Similar story with Rent the Runway. It was this idea that the ruling business elites could not even understand, because it was a product for 30 year old women, and they were not 30 year old women. Now it's the unicorn, now it's the newest billion dollar company which is amazing. There's just so many opportunities like that. We saw it in the military, we put women in combat, how quickly that changed our our positive outcomes. e see that like you said, in Seattle, we see that in tech, oh my god, right, with the differences, the changes that women make in the tech industry, which is amazing. When we talked earlier, you mentioned you work with clients on changing the way that businessis done, tell us about that process?
Aubrey Well, I first I want to say that has to be the correct kind of clients. I'm actually picky about who I work with, there's a certain foundation of who I will even entertain working with. It has to be the kind of client that genuinely they want to do good. They want to do good by their people and they want to be a good leader. As they're sitting in their business, and they're looking around. Usually it's reflected in their bottom line. So they're seeing it in their financials, they're seeing it in a personal way, like how it just feels to go to work. They know that something isn't, isn't working. But they have no idea what to do or what to fix it. So that's the starting point is there has to be a genuine desire to be to be a great leader and to build a great company.
Aubrey Then from there, you can talk about changing how the business is done. So there has to be a certain openness and willingness first and foremost. I find that those leaders that they're so they're so hungry for it. I'm a pretty intense person, I have stamina and going power, and I can just go go go. I have to really gauge my clients and say, Hey, you get to tell me when enough's enough for today. You could just say no. and my way is I ask them. I say I have something for you. Do you want to hear it right now? They have full permission and autonomy to say yes or no or no, I've had enough of you today. Thank you very much go find somebody else to work with today. Which happens to, there has to be that willingness. From there, what I do is I do that executive coaching upwards. When you're sitting at the top, it's really lonely up there.
Aubrey People might complain about what you do, but nobody's actively working with you to help grow you. I insert myself into the middle of the business, and I grow the top level executives up through the executive coaching. I work downward to their next level of leadership and I serve as a bridge. I know with the president, the CEO, or whoever is really wanting for their business. Then I become an extension of them. I get deployed out to work really in depth with their teams, to coach to elevate to problem solve, to brainstorm, and then bringing them together. Making sure communication is happening. Because often businesses are so fast paced, that communication is not happening. Which leads to some of the frustration that's happening in the organization.
Aubrey Then I work with the employee group to raise them up as well and really speak to here's what we're creating here. Is everybody so busy, like making the widgets of the business, right? No, but there's usually a lack of a leadership voice of saying, here's our vision. Here's what we're creating, and every day speaking to that, and that's how you grow a business. Then I get in there and do like hands on technical stuff. So it might be crunching numbers with people it might be looking at financials with the CEO or the president. It might be like elbows deep working side by side with one of the leaders to help them fix the problem. So it's not as though I'm a consultant, just telling people what to do. I work with them. Then I actually get in there side by side and do it with them. Then I bring in some of the personal development stuff, where we talk about growth mindset, and we'll do lunch and learns with the staff to really help them understand what is the growth mindset? versus the fixed mindset? How does that apply to their business? What's their biggest business challenge and how can we take this concept and actually apply it to the challenge and actually moved the needle into it quickly?
Daniella That's such an important part, right? Is the there's a lot of abstract concepts. We're talking about how, for example, everyone says, You got to start with values, right? What are your values? What are your company's values, that's a very abstract concept. Actually, what people like, well, both you and I do with clients, right is show them here's what that means. Here is a physical tangible example of how you take a value and use it when you're making decisions. Then also, the other thing I heard you talk about was getting in there with the leaders and sort of helping be their guide. This has kind of been a theme I've been hearing a lot lately that it has to be the right kind of person.
Daniella That really, what it comes to, I believe, is that the best leaders study leadership, and the best cultures come from people that study culture and care about culture. It has to come from that person, and I hundred percent agree with you, like, if it's not the right, not the right client for you. Or if you're a business leader, and it's not the right coach for you, Or you're not the right business leader, for them, it's not gonna it's not really going to work , and with, with culture and leadership, specifically, it's very interesting to me. As I talked to all these different guests, because I think iit's like psychology and therapy, like the people that need it the most are never going to get it because they don't even know that they need it. So the people that I'm sure you find this with your clients. The people that seek you out and want your help, you sort of mentioned this already, they already know there's a pain point. They're already seeing it in their in their financials, and they know that this sort of what some people consider to be soft, woohoo, stuff. That is a culture and leadership and personal development is a actually really hardcore stuff that is affecting their day to day business.
Aubrey It's super hardcore stuff, it takes a lot. It takes a lot for somebody to be willing to look at their stuff, their own styles, and instigate that change and stick to it to build those new habits. As you're talking about the right fit, whether it's the right fit for a client or the right fit for a coach. It's making that into the business place. I think that this is a place where leaders can grow is they need to be more discerning about who's the right fit for their business, and to not tolerate bad behaviors. That's a big piece that I see out there, especially right now is being an HR, there's this talent shortage. They're like, if you're breathing we will take you is what a lot of businesses are doing because they're so desperate. Well, that's a reflection of leadership, if you have great leadership, you're going to have great talent.
Daniella I think so important to re emphasize this point of you need the right people. You have to be the right people for your company, or your leadership style. Just because they're not the right people for your company, doesn't mean they're not great, amazing people that will be right for somewhere else. I compare it sometimes with my clients to dating, right? Like, women get told a lot that they're too picky, especially professional women, right? The answer to that is well, you only need one. You're only looking to find one. Of course, all of this work that you do with the leaders is just going to help them become more and more self aware about who they are. What are their values, but also their business values are which I'm sure you would agree, right helps them find the right people?
Aubrey Well, absolutely. Even helping that's part of that, like side by side work that I do with them. Let's identify who is the correct person for you to hire and bring into your business. So when you're hiring new people. Are we hiring, not necessarily the most talented person or the smartest person or any of those things? Like I let them take care of the technical aspects and I really focuse on the person, do they have the kind of mindset that will allow them to help you grow your business? Are they willing to be in these crunchy conversations? Are they willing to instigate them and have them and speak up? Because if we don't have people that are willing to speak up, you're not going to grow your business and maintain it the way your vision is and your desire? I just I think being picky is good. We want to pack that a little bit to make sure you're being picky for the correct reasons and in the correct way.
Daniella Because you definitely want to make sure you're not being picky just to hire only people like you. Because that of course creates an even worse problem. I do just have to point out that if you're not watching the video, you probably don't see this. But our Aubrey's title is Greatness Guru, which is phenomenal. We've had man we've had the Executive Shaman, we have the Greatness Guru. I love these titles. That's so awesome. I wanted to give you the opportunity to talk for like a minute about Women's Business Organization.,
Aubrey Absolutely!!! So WBO is the Women Business Owners Organization, it's here locally in the Seattle; Bellevue area. It is a phenomenal networking group of high powered women that come together. We have a couple events we do every month. It's really about building relationships, and supporting each other. It's not one of those where you get sold to or anything like that. It's really powerful women coming together to support other powerful women and enjoying ourselves along the way. So WomenBusinessOwners.org for anyone who's interested. We do a lunch and a happy hour every month. Come see me there.
Daniella Yes, I need to make it to one soon. But networking for women by women. Aubrey our time is basically over it went super fast. It always does because all my guests are just so great. Were you providing a gift or discount today for listeners?
Aubrey I am so if the listeners can go to my website, so it is awakenyourgreatness.guru So again, we're changing how business is done. So awaken your greatness guru, they can go on there. There's a couple actually leadership resources that are available. There's my crunchy conversation tool kit, it's 28 pages that will walk you through how to have any difficult conversations. Whether it's at work or in your personal life and applies there to. It's free, please download it, please use it, it's super important that we have these conversations out in the world. then I also have a team member profile available there as well, where it's just a really good way to understand who you're working with. So you can work better with your people that you lead and that you manage. Both of those are free gifts available on my websites to your listeners.
Daniella I'm downloading that right now. What is the best way to connect with you on social media?
Aubrey Instagram has been my favorite place to hang out lately. So you can find me on Instagram at greatness_guru.
Daniella I need to learn more about Instagram myself. I'm gonna go connect with you. Listeners, please connect with her if you heard stuff that you liked and want to engage more. She's so energetic and inspiring. Thank you so much. All of the links will be available. Everything she mentioned all the links all the different ways you can connect with her on social media will be available in the show notes and those are found at www.cavnessHR blog.com Thank you so much Aubrey and remember to be great every day