037: Multiply Your Impact by Owning Your Career with Lauren Herring

Who is responsible for your career? The answer is YOU, but do you actually know what owning your career looks like in the modern workplace?

Have you ever felt like you “missed the train” when it comes to career growth?

In this episode, you will discover the keys to owning your career. Lauren Herring is CEO of IMPACT Group, one of the largest woman-owned career and leadership coaching companies globally, supporting over 200 Fortune 500 companies, in over 50 countries worldwide.

Lauren has good news for you.

There is no train.

But that is no excuse for not taking ownership of what you need to do in order to move things forward in your career!

Lauren has received the Game Changer Award by Workforce Magazine and has been published or quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Fast Company.

So press play and let’s chat… it’s time to promote yourself to CEO of your own career!

 

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MULTIPLY YOUR IMPACT BY OWNING YOUR CAREER

Take control. Take ownership. 

This was a big theme in my conversation with Lauren Herring. What are the parts of your career that you need to own? Ownership involves action. So let’s touch on three key areas that you own, and need to take action.

Number one is CLARITY

If you’ve been listening to this podcast, that should not come as a surprise to you. Seeking clarity and knowing, “What is the goal? What do I really want? What does success actually look like?” If you don’t have that picture clear in your mind, then that is the place to begin.

If this is a gap for you, I would highly encourage you to set up a career clarity call with OACO. We can help you in getting that clarity. But regardless of how you approach this, make sure that you begin with true clarity.

Number two is your PERSONAL BRAND

A quick reminder, this is not just about what your LinkedIn profile or resume looks like. Those are reflections of what your personal brand is, and yes, they’re important. But the core question is your ability to articulate the value that you create in your organization.

Can you easily and simply articulate your value, and how do other people then perceive you in that context? A brand is that web of cognitive associations, those somatic markers, in our minds. When someone sees your name, when you walk into that room, what is it that people immediately think and feel toward you? What is that personal brand? You need to be able to articulate it. You then need to actually share it with others. 

Pay attention and solicit feedback from those people in your inner circle, who you know, and who you trust. This is to make sure that you are creating the kinds of impressions that you want. 

Personal branding is not something that is optional. 

Here’s the truth. You have a personal brand, whether you like it or not. The question is, are you proactively creating it? Or passively allowing it to form without any intention? That’s your choice. But it’s not something that you can just ignore and say, “I don’t have a personal brand.” 

Wrong.

You have one. Do you know what it is? And are you being intentional to create the one you want? Take action here.

Number three is your NETWORK

I love what Lauren shared with us in this conversation. The critical conversations about your career are happening when you are not there.

So if you are not proactively building relationships, embedding that personal brand, and sharing your vision and goals, then how could you possibly expect to get what you want out of your career?

Who are the two people that you need to know? That’s your action. A lot of engineering leaders who join our programs and who I coach have a ton of resistance to this idea of networking in order to build your career. They say it feels slimy. It feels salesy. It feels sleazy. 

You want to be promoted on the merit of the quality of your work alone. Because you delivered results, right?

Well, here’s the reality. You don’t get promoted based on results alone. 

Nobody does. 

Because it’s not results that lead to your promotion.

It’s your reputation. 

Your reputation is your results multiplied by your reach. If you do all of the best work that anyone in your company has ever done, and there are zero people who know that it was you… You’ll never get promoted. 

That’s obvious, right? If the reach of your results is zero, then zero times anything is ZERO.

You’ll have no reputation and you will not get promoted. So you must make sure that people know about your results, or else you do not have an opportunity to move up. Results by themselves don’t lead to the outcome of your career growth. It’s Results x Reach that builds your Reputation and opens those doors to the next level.

The real reason you don’t do this already is fear.

Fear of being judged. Fear of being rejected. Fear of failing. Or a really special form of fear called low self esteem. You don’t believe you deserve it, or you’re not good enough. Fear has a thousand faces, but that’s what’s really holding you back. 

If you need help breaking through fear, that’s why this is the Oasis of Courage. It takes courage to face these challenges in our careers and win. We’d love to help you. Grab a career clarity call, get some time with one of our coaches or with me to talk through these things. We’d love to support you.

Take action. And let’s do this!

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ABOUT LAUREN HERRING

Lauren Herring is CEO of IMPACT Group, one of the largest woman-owned career and leadership coaching companies globally, supporting over 200 Fortune 500 companies, in over 50 countries worldwide. Over the past 30 years, IMPACT Group has successfully helped hundreds of thousands of people find jobs and grow in their careers. 

Lauren has also donated career services to thousands of individuals in underserved communities, helping them to find jobs, dignity and economic independence. She has received the Game Changer Award by Workforce Magazine and has been published or quoted in the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and Fast Company. 

Lauren’s passion for making a positive impact led her to write Take Control of Your Job Search! as well as her previous book, This Side Up! When not running her business, Lauren can be found running the streets of St. Louis while training for a triathlon or spending time with her husband, Ted, and two young children.

 

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FULL EPISODE TRANSCRIPT:

Please note the full transcript is 90-95% accuracy. Reference the podcast audio to confirm exact quotations.

[00:00:00] Zach White: I am here with the amazing Lauren Herring. Lauren, thank you so much for making time to be with us on the happy engineer podcast. I just can’t wait for this conversation and appreciate you making time to be on the show. 

[00:00:13] Lauren Herring: Absolutely so glad to be here, Zach. 

[00:00:16] Zach White: So Lauren, you have been CEO of Impact Group for over 13 years, just living and breathing personal and professional development career growth.

Expand to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:26] Like this is your zone of genius to empower people in finding and growing the careers that they love, which is absolutely amazing. And 20 plus years in the organization, but I couldn’t help, but no. That before that there was one little year of experience that didn’t match up with impact group doing program management at the Puerto Rico center for social concerns.

[00:00:52] And I was just like, wow, I wonder what was going on there in Puerto Rico. So, Lauren, will you take us back to 20, uh, sorry. The year 2000. And what was going on in Puerto Rico? 

[00:01:04] Lauren Herring: Wow. Didn’t expect to start here today. Zack, you, you did throw me a curve ball, but this is a fun one and it’s related to my passion of making a positive difference.

[00:01:15] And I’m blessed that I get to do that every day in my job at impact group. And I was able to do that for a year in a very different capacity. During my first year after college, I graduated from the university of Notre Dame. And rather than going straight into a career path where I felt like, okay, where I would be on some sort of a train to career success or whatever the case would be.

[00:01:43] I said, I want to take a year and I want to do something different. And I chose to do a year of. I was a volunteer for the center for social concerns in Puerto Rico. It’s based off of similar kinds of peace Corps, you know, various kinds of, um, uh, non-profit or volunteer organizations. And as a business major, I was a marketing major.

[00:02:12] I. Didn’t I knew I wanted to do something where I would be able to be of service and, and help others. I also knew that I really was not super excited about the idea of teaching. And that’s what a lot of people do in those kinds of situations. And I said, okay, well, what else is out there? And I found this organization where I was able to work with individuals who were interested in starting small businesses, and I wrote business plans for them.

[00:02:43] And I put the financial projections together and then I was partnered with a local bank and a nonprofit organization that would funnel these opportunities in, and it was a really. Incredible opportunity to essentially be doing what I had been doing all my time during business school, where I was writing business plans, putting projections together, doing case studies, that kind of thing.

[00:03:11] And I was doing it in the real world with small businesses. I helped someone get the financing together to buy a tow truck and they make actually really good money who knew maybe. Car towed recently, you are aware of that. Yeah. Um, but,

[00:03:29] uh, a catering company, you know, small businesses in a, an economically challenged area in San Juan. And, uh, it was a very special opportunity. Uh, really fueled my passion for, uh, international, uh, Involvement. Uh, I love learning and growing in my Spanish language skills. So that was really a great opportunity.

[00:03:52] uh, and then being able to make a difference and, uh, um, I’m still in touch with some of those people 

[00:03:56] Zach White: today. That’s super cool. Now, did you speak any Spanish before? 

[00:04:01] Lauren Herring: Yes. I had been taking Spanish. Uh, a lot of times I get asked if I have Spanish background. I don’t, I have been taking Spanish since seventh grade and I did it all through high school and all through college.

[00:04:11] And I did a year abroad Spain, so I had very professional. Spanish, uh, but you know, living and working and breathing, it is a very different experience. So there was still plenty of challenges along the way. Uh, one of my most fun years, also one of my most challenging years, but, uh, so glad I did it and, and it was one of the experiences actually, uh, that.

[00:04:35] Soon after coming back to the United States, starting a quote career that I realized, you know, there’s, there’s no train to get on that. Sometimes I think young people might have in their mindset about like, I’ve got to start this, so then I can do this and then I can get promoted and then I can get this.

[00:04:55] This is a journey and your journey is your own. And you know, that was a learning and an experience for me because there’s a period where I was like, oh, if I stay another year, am I going to be too far behind, you know, some of my peers, um, I would say it was a few years after really getting into my career that I reassessed.

[00:05:17] And I was like, you know what, uh, everyone’s journey is, uh, is what it is and you know, what can you learn from it? How can you grow from it? And, um, and how can you make sure that you’re being true to yourself and you’re clear about what you want. So, um, you know, that’s, those are some of the key things that I learned and took away from that time.

[00:05:36] Zach White: Lauren, you mentioned this really deeply connected with your passion of being in service and helping people. And I’m curious, where was that born in you? Is there any time or, or just something about your childhood that you could point to and say, this is when I really discovered that that was a passion of mine.

[00:05:57] Lauren Herring: This passion is part of who I am, and I would attribute that to my parents. Really. Um, my parents are all about making a difference. They were teachers early in their career. Um, also, uh, very much wanting to focus on making a positive difference, uh, back in the day, probably, um, the, the, the type of hippies that didn’t have a whole lot of recreational drug use, but like maybe the mentality was there.

[00:06:22] And, um, at least as far as they know, and then, um, and also growing up in my church, uh, probably if we went from the time I was in middle school on, we would occasionally, uh, get up early, like 5:00 AM as a. Um, as a young person that felt very early, uh, to go cook breakfast, uh, once or twice a month at a homeless shelter.

[00:06:42] Um, you know, so it was part of my spiritual upbringing. It was part of my family desire to make a difference and, and then impact group, which I have the great fortune to lead right now is also very much. Yeah, we’re focused on making a positive difference in people’s lives. And so my mom who founded the company in 1988, again, you know, for her, it was, uh, the same story of being able to recognize that there are people that have challenges, especially related to careers and finding jobs and unique circumstance.

[00:07:17] Especially in, at that time, we were very much focused on corporate relocation and helping. Spouses of people relocating find work in the new area and so very focused on, you know, making a positive difference. So again, it comes down to family and values and I’m able to be really integrating all of that in my work and my personal beliefs today, 

[00:07:42] Zach White: too.

[00:07:43] I love, I want to go back to the comment you made a second ago about there is no train. To get on. It’s not that you graduate the train. Yes. Yes. And that really just strikes me, it resonates for me, Lauren, because I do think that I subconsciously at least if not very consciously believed that there is a train and if it leaves the station.

[00:08:08] I’m going to miss out, you know, my career, isn’t going to grow the way I want it to, I won’t earn what I want to opportunities. Won’t be available to me if I don’t land that dream job right out of college, then I won’t land one. I mean, there were a lot of things that created fear around that and pressure to get on that train and stay on it.

[00:08:25] And I’m curious, you know, it’s obvious you have discovered that’s not the case, but why is that such a prevalent belief system or mindset that people hold. How careers are made. 

[00:08:38] Lauren Herring: I think our culture values this nonstop action, get going, move forward. Uh, if you’re not moving forward, you’re failing. Um, you know, there’s some of that in our culture and it’s up to, it’s up to us as, as you know, um, As individuals who are in control of our own careers, uh, as well as people maybe teaching our children as well as leaders in organizations to, uh, to be asking people about what is it that you want, how can I help you accomplish that?

[00:09:11] And. Uh, and then I would say the other piece is that how can we both own some of that, especially in an organization and as a leader, how can you help someone, uh, accomplish what they want? But then the other piece that’s really important, uh, in. In the whole career equation is recognizing what parts do you need to own as well?

[00:09:33] Uh, because no one is in charge of your career except for you. And if you want to get things moving to the next level, then what new skills are you bringing to the table? What, uh, what new effort are you going to bring forward? So that you’re an obvious choice. We all know that in today’s world. Length of tenure is not going to suffice for getting to that next level.

[00:09:59] So I know I’ve strayed a little bit from your question here, but it comes back together because no, there’s no train where you’ve lost. missed out if you haven’t. Um, Gotten on the train, but on the other hand, it is important for you to take ownership of what parts you need to be doing in order to move things forward in your career.

[00:10:21] Zach White: to answer that question, Lauren, would you be able to articulate, like, what are the top 2, 3, 4 things when you’re coaching your clients and leaders on how to break through and build careers, where do we need to begin in terms of that? W what are the key areas to focus me in? I don’t know, for me, it’s like, okay, cool.

[00:10:41] I’ll I need to know what I need to own. Well, can you help me figure it out? What, what are those places? 

[00:10:46] Lauren Herring: Sure. Well, I always start from a place of clarity because a lot of times people figure like, Hey, I want to be moving forward in my career, but, okay. Well, what do you want, do you want to be CEO? Do you want to get to the next level?

[00:10:58] Do you want to make sure that you’re having. You know, work-life balanced, are you fine with working like a maniac and you know, to heck with work-life balance. So make sure that you’re really clear on what you want. Uh, both personally and professionally. So I always look at it like you can’t necessarily look at your career goals.

[00:11:21] Uh, parts from your personal goals. So for example, I have, um, I’m married to a man, uh, where we have a daughter from his previous marriage. Relocation is not on the table in my relationship, but if I worked at a big company where if I needed to move up in order, uh, move around in order to move up. Then that would not be the right place for me, most likely.

[00:11:45] So, you know, keeping those pieces, um, not exclusive from each other is important. So, you know, making sure that you understand what are your personal goals, what are your professional goals? And you know, how can you get those in alignment? Okay. I’ve talked to plenty of people, even CEOs who said, I didn’t start out thinking I was going to be a CEO.

[00:12:06] Now, mind you I’ve talked to other CEOs who knew exactly from high school that they were going to be CEO. So it’s okay to be in both of those camps. Um, but you know, can you at least start to look at. You know, three to five years in your career, so you can see what the next one or two steps are for you.

[00:12:24] And then that can also help you understand what are some of the things that you need to be learning and growing and developing so that you can get to that next level and be strategic about the choices that you make in your career 

[00:12:35] Zach White: development. So category one, you’re responsible and you own deep clarity around the goals.

[00:12:45] And every area, the whole life picture. I love that. Um, what else, where do we need to step up and take ownership when it comes to career growth? 

[00:12:54] Lauren Herring: The next area that I often encourage people to focus on is around personal brand and for an engineer. I, I don’t know if this. Concept is something that is really innate.

[00:13:09] Um, so then how can we break it down really clear, uh, cause we’re not talking about, uh, just your resume. We’re not talking about just your LinkedIn profile. We’re not talking about you as a brand like Nike, you know, that’s, that’s too gray area for us. Uh, so what I like to think about it is how do you clearly articulate the value that you bring to an organization?

[00:13:30] Yeah. And, and I look at that in a couple different directions, uh, because it’s not only about how can you. Communicate that to your network, to your boss, to the person you’re interviewing with. Of course, we want to do that. That’s obvious if you’re looking to grow your career, but the place to start with that honestly is, is inside.

[00:13:53] And when you can own who you are at your best. The value that you bring an organization. That’s when I am so excited when someone can connect with that really well, because the level of confidence that, that brings themselves, it’s almost becomes like a career superpower, if you will, because that’s where, you know, like this is where I need to be spending my time.

[00:14:18] This is my superpower. Okay. How can I grow that to the next level? So I focus on personal brand. From getting clear on that yourself. And then of course, how can you really clearly articulate that? Uh, simply simply, you know, you don’t need a 32nd commercial where you’re going on and on and on and on and on.

[00:14:37] And then someone can’t remember what it is that you actually do. 

[00:14:41] Zach White: You know, this point Lauren, I really connect with, cause I remember in my own career at Whirlpool. When I went through a workshop where we crafted a personal brand message, so to speak, how do you articulate your value? What you’re saying?

[00:14:55] And I remember coming out of that, you know, I had this, this statement and it was kind of like, wow, this is the first time that I can actually articulate in a short, concise, simple way. Some of what made me unique and differentiated in the organization and the value that my role created and then my vision and where I wanted to go.

[00:15:12] And. Confidence. Well, I didn’t realize how much my own self-confidence was being impacted. My self esteem was being impacted by not being able to articulate that, you know, if I’m not clear on what I’m doing. Yeah, how am I going to ever share that with others? And it actually changed, uh, changed the game in a big way to be able to say that.

[00:15:34] So, you know, I hope everybody listening just recognizes this might be a blind spot where if you feel like self-confidence or self-esteem is an issue to begin with seeking clarity in what you’re talking about here is a great step. I mean, Lauren, do you see that with your clients? 

[00:15:50] Lauren Herring: Absolutely. And sometimes these brand and clarity pieces can go hand in hand as well.

[00:15:56] So they might feed off of each other. And one of the things that I really encourage people to do in this process is to not necessarily do it in a vacuum. Go to people that know you, that you trust. Uh, it could be a manager, it could be a direct report. It could be a peer, could be a client, lots of different directions.

[00:16:17] You can go and ask in, in terms of. Oh, what are some of my strengths? You know, do I have any blind spots? Uh, and you know, sometimes, especially if you’re asking this up the chain, you can be asking things along the lines of if I want to get to the next level, which I believe I do, then what are some things that you feel like I need to make sure that I.

[00:16:38] Exhibiting and understand what your, your level of competency there versus what’s, what’s required sometimes, uh, what we, how we think that we’re being perceived and how we’re actually being perceived might be different. And, uh, and so getting clarity also on how we’re perceived is an important part of this equation.

[00:16:59] So. Going to people that you trust to get some information on, uh, how do you see me? Uh, what are some of my extra stressful strengths? Where am I performing? When, when I’m, Uh, what can you always count on that you’re going to get from me? So, you know, there’s a handful of questions. Um, you know, I’m the go-to person for what, um, and, and, you know, see how you’re perceived from others.

[00:17:24] And that can help with this process as well. 

[00:17:26] Zach White: I love that. And I can say from clients, I coach Lauren, a lot of people don’t have that trouble. Group that they go to and ask those questions either for fear of what may happen if they do, or frankly just have never been proactive to go and engage in that way.

[00:17:43] So that’s a really great reminder. Is there anything else that’s really different that you would say, Hey, you also need to own this. So we talked about clarity and personal brand. Is there anything else you would like. 

[00:17:55] Lauren Herring: The other piece, and this is really critical for your engineering audience, Zack, and that’s around your network, your corporate visibility.

[00:18:05] And, uh, and sometimes this might not be an innate, comfortable place to be focusing on. Um, but how do you make sure that you’re building the right relationships? Uh, to make sure to progress your career. Uh, I interviewed someone on my podcast take control of your career the other day. And she said it beautifully.

[00:18:24] She said, uh, um, her name is Stephanie Chung. She is the chief growth officer for wheels up, uh, private aviation airlines. And she said every important conversation about your career, that’s going to be career defining about what’s going to happen to your. You’re not there. So other people are having these careers or these conversations about your career.

[00:18:50] And so you need to make sure that other people are aware of the value you bring to the organization and what you want. 

[00:18:59] Zach White: Wow. The critical conversations about the future of your current. Are happening when you’re not there. That is a really eye-opening statement. And it’s so true. You know, the door is closed when it’s time to have that talent pool discussion about your future.

[00:19:15] And if you’re not being proactive with those relationships, so they know what you want, how can you expect to get it? So Lauren you’re right. Stereotypically engineers. Don’t love the word networking. Some of my clients are naturals at it, but many of them. Dread this part of career growth and, and, you know, they don’t look forward to the people side of our coaching conversations.

[00:19:37] So what would you say if you’re breaking it down to the most important aspects of networking for career growth? What does that look. 

[00:19:47] Lauren Herring: Well, I happen to have number of ideas on this. And in my book, take control of your job search. This is actually an area that I focus on because there is so much emotion wrapped up in the whole concept of networking.

[00:20:00] And, and, and in that book, I really dissect the various emotions that go on in a job search. But, you know, it’s the same thing in career growth in general, whether you’re looking for a job or trying to grow your career, uh, internally. And one of the things that I talk about is reframing. Our brains are so focused on the words that we use.

[00:20:22] So for example, instead of calling it networking, which has a schmoozy, maybe to your audience, negative connotation, what if we call it reconnected? And you reach out to former colleagues that you’ve worked with at former jobs, you reach out to people that you went to college with, you reach out to people that you go to church or synagogue with.

[00:20:46] Um, you know, it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Schmoozing. It’s really about people to people having honest conversations like we’re having right now. I mean, we’re just chatting. We happened to be recorded and go through that whole process, but we’re also just having a conversation and that’s really what networking is about.

[00:21:05] So if you can reframe it into about reconnecting and maybe, um, and. For people that you don’t know, just, you know, new learning about new people and being genuinely interested in connecting with people. That’s one thing. Uh, and then the, the other piece is, um, how can we move away from the concept? The fear-based concept that if I ask someone for something that, you know, I’m really going out there on the.

[00:21:39] Because the, the reality is I think in most cases, people want to help people want to be kind. And especially if you have a relationship, it’s no sweat to make an introduction to somebody. So think about it. Like if the shoes on the other foot, if someone, if this same person asked you for an introduction to someone that you would like to know.

[00:22:01] Then you’d probably say yes as my guess. So you’ll think about it in that way as well. I 

[00:22:07] Zach White: love that. I routinely. Pose the question to my engineering leaders that I coach, you know, if a junior engineer, someone who just joined your organization came to you and just said, Hey, would you be willing to give me 20 minutes?

[00:22:19] Anytime you’re free. I know you’re busy. I just have a few questions about, you know, how you built your career to the level that you’re at, because I’ve really admired your career path. How would that question make you feel? And all of them say, oh, That’d be happy to. I love to do that. It’s, it’s, it’s a pleasure.

[00:22:35] It’s a privilege to be able to share those things with them. And then you turn around and say, well, how many times have you gone to those senior directors and VPs in your organization and pose the same question? Oh, I don’t want to bother anyone. Oh, they don’t have time for me. I wouldn’t ever do that. I don’t know what I would say to them.

[00:22:51] I don’t know what questions I would ask and, and complete. Unable to flip that script and recognize those VPs and the CTO and those people, you know, yes, they’re busy, their calendars are full, but they also have the same human heart that you have to want to help you and, and create, you know, the opportunity to support others.

[00:23:08] So 

[00:23:09] Lauren Herring: only that the other thing that I’ll add to that is aside from the human piece of it is. Those senior executives. A lot of times don’t have visibility deeper into the organization that your clients might have, and they are loving the opportunity to learn about fresh talent, talent. That’s motivated talent that wants to learn and grow.

[00:23:39] So if you can make sure that you’re going in with very thoughtful questions. And, uh, demonstrating to a senior leader about, again, the value you’re bringing to the organization, chances are they’re going to be really excited to be aware of top talent that they didn’t even know was there. 

[00:24:02] Zach White: I love that. I love that.

[00:24:04] I sometimes talk about leading with generosity and giving value in a networking conversation. Oftentimes people ask, well, what value could I give to somebody above me in the org chart? And that’s a great example where they want access to the questions and the thoughts and the things that you’re seeing at your level.

[00:24:21] So that’s really neat. Okay. Networking, engineers, engineers, oftentimes. Considered a bit of a special breed inside the organization. And so I’m just kinda curious. What do you think, you know, they the same as everyone else or where are they different? What’s your perspective? And in serving so many clients across every sector and every industry, you know, what do you think about engineers?

[00:24:44] Are we, are we. 

[00:24:47] Lauren Herring: Well, Zach, we’re all the same and we’re all different. 

[00:24:53] Zach White: So it depends, it 

[00:24:55] Lauren Herring: depends a special kind of networking that, uh, many of us have partaken in is dating. Many years ago, I went on a date with. An engineer and I live in St. Louis. So this young man was an engineer at Boeing and he was a little quirky, but kind of cute.

[00:25:16] And so I’m like, okay, well, this is, we’ll see where this goes. And so I was like, tell me about what you do. And he’s tells me how his job is classified. And, but, you know, I can tell you that. I work on stealth technology, any women about, you know, that deep into it, which is about all my business brain could handle.

[00:25:38] And then of course, what’s the joke that I make. Well, you could tell me, but then you’d have to kill me. And then he says, no, really? I just can’t tell you. So, if you want to know how some engineering brains work, that’s an example of someone who really takes it seriously to the letter of the law. Okay. It was a joke.

[00:26:01] Yes. I understand. You’re not going to tell me. So anyway, you know, we all work differently. Um, you know, the, the thing that I would focus a little bit relating to this question in a serious way. Is that a lot of times engineers are going to be more concrete, more black and white, you know, um, where, where there is a right answer on a lot of things where as you know, the higher you go in an organization, the more gray area there is, and coming to terms with the willingness to have some gray areas.

[00:26:38] Knowing that you’re not going to be able to have a right or a wrong answer, or, you know, sometimes you just need to make a decision and then eventually you can make another decision when you get more information. If it turns out that you need to course correct. So of course we recognize that there are some personality characteristics that.

[00:26:58] Potentially unique to CA uh, to engineers, those are some of the things that I would say as engineers move up the chain, working on some of those competencies around decision-making complex situations where there’s no right or wrong. And, uh, And the gray area is, is an area to, you know, be comfortable being uncommitted.

[00:27:20] Zach White: Yeah. I really appreciate that. And, and of course, being an engineer myself you know, sometimes we get bucketed in a lot of interesting stereotypes, but I think that’s really well addressed. How can we take some of those personality traits and, how our training impacts our mindset and learn to flex, learn to stretch that.

[00:27:39] Uh, watch out for the weaknesses that come when we over-index on those things. So really good, good tips, Lauren, before I get to the last question, I, I just want to get some other insights because you coach across such a broad spectrum and have helped leaders, you know, build incredible careers for so long.

[00:27:55] And so just in terms of a rapid fire, we won’t go very deep on these. What are the biggest challenges? That people are facing today in getting to the next level in their career that may not have been there 20 years ago when you started this work that people really need to focus on. If they’re serious about wanting to break through and get to that next.

[00:28:19] Lauren Herring: A relatively interesting new phenomenon is around this concept of remote work right now. So I imagine many of the folks listening right now might still be working full-time from home and. That’s great from a lot of convenience perspectives. Uh, I love it. I’m working from home right now. Um, on the other hand, uh, you know, there can be some life balance challenges in, in both directions.

[00:28:47] Uh, you know, you have the flexibility, but then also work is always there with you wherever you are. area that I think, um, especially for engineers who might be. Much more comfortable being heads down in their work is, you know, coming back to that network, how are you going to make sure that you’re, that you have that visibility, uh, in the organization, if you’re not able to have those water cooler conversations or not able to run into a senior executive in the, um, in the elevator for.

[00:29:20] Zach White: That’s a great point. The effectiveness of remote work. We’re just now starting to see how that, you know, it’s bigger than just did you get the project done on time? There’s a lot of other intangibles that we have happen. So remote work is that. 

[00:29:35] Lauren Herring: Individuals. And so where you’re learning, uh, you know, um, you know, there’s a lot to learn early in your career, both on the technical side, as well as on some of the other aspects requiring EEQ 

[00:29:47] Zach White: super, absolutely true.

[00:29:49] What other challenges are you seeing in coaching people to success? These. 

[00:29:55] Lauren Herring: Know, I think right now there’s also people just wanting to take a pause and reflect. So I don’t know whether you’re saying we’re coming out of COVID or continuing with the pandemic, whatever the case may be. I think people have taken the last couple of years to really take stock.

[00:30:14] And, and it’s an opportunity now for people to take, to get some clarity on what is it that I really want. I’ve been. On this corporate ladder or I’ve been on the treadmill, uh, you know, making my way through is this really what I want? And, um, I don’t know if that’s really something different, but I think that the time of the pandemic over the last two years has given people the opportunity to take a pause and, and force that reflection.

[00:30:43] Zach White: I’ve heard that from my clients and from a lot of other folks, who’ve come on this podcast and, you know, I w I guess time will tell how that continues to evolve and develop in the way people pursue careers and growth. Lauren, this is awesome. I want to continue so much. There’s so many places we could explore and ask.

[00:31:00] And I know every engineering leader listening has kind of want to hear more from you, but just to wrap things. I really believe you have great engineering and great coaching have in common that the questions we ask lead and the answers follow. And so if the engineering leader listening is in pursuit of that growth, you know, they, they want to take ownership of their career.

[00:31:22] They want to get to that next level. They want to find that balance and happiness along the way. What would be the best question that you would lead them? 

[00:31:33] Lauren Herring: I love this. And I am going to, at the risk of sounding a little bit like a broken record here, I’m going to ask about who are the two people or three, you know, whatever the case may be, but who are the two people that you need to know?

[00:31:52] That you need to build a relationship with. Cause it’s not just that you need to actually know, but who are the two to three people that you need to build a relationship with that can help take your career to the next level?

[00:32:07] Zach White: Simple powerful question. Lauren you’ve helped thousands of people to career breakthrough. and just to hear you say, this really comes down to, do you know who those next two key people are? Um, I love that, so I hope everyone listening takes a moment to seriously answer that question, Lauren, thank you again for being here.

[00:32:28] Where can people find. More about the work that you’re doing there at impact group and your books and everything else. How can they find you? Where should people go? 

[00:32:37] Lauren Herring: you can reach out to us at www dot impact group, hr.com or just to make it simple. I G H r.com. You can also connect with me on LinkedIn.

[00:32:49] It’s Lauren Herring and, uh, I’m the CEO of impact group. So that’s how you would find me there. 

[00:32:55] Zach White: Okay. Awesome. And we’ll make sure to put links to the website and to Lauren’s profile on LinkedIn in the show notes and, you know, visit Oasis of courage.com like you always do to find those and Lauren again, I cannot thank you enough for making time to be here.

[00:33:11] I hope everyone goes out and buys a copy of your books and checks out the work that you’re doing and, and gets coaching from impact group and Lauren and her team. Cannot recommend highly enough, just tremendous the value that they created, their expertise and depth of expertise around this area. So thanks again for making time for us and, uh, just a real blessing.

[00:33:30] Thanks Lauren. 

[00:33:32] Lauren Herring: Great. Thanks. 

 

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