Do I really need an MBA to be a leader? Is it a ‘career killer’ to say no to a role with relocation? How important is global experience? Join our candid Ask Me Anything session featuring top executives who’ve seen a thing or two…and bring your own leadership questions! This hour-long Q&A will offer fresh advice on everything from managing critical career relationships to unwritten rules that help you advance. Our panel of industry leaders will share fresh perspectives, but your questions will drive the conversation. (Panel)
Speakers: Liz Brenner, Founder & CEO at Culture Evolved and Kathy Tyra, VP, Workplace Resources and Real Estate at NetApp.
Tuesday, December 3, 2019 | Ask a Leader Anything Do I really need an MBA to be a leader? Is it a ‘career killer’ to say no to a role with relocation? How important is global experience? Join our candid Ask Me Anything session featuring top executives who’ve seen a thing or two…and bring your own leadership questions! This hour-long Q&A will offer fresh advice on everything from managing critical career relationships to unwritten rules that help you advance. Our panel of industry leaders will share fresh perspectives, but your questions will drive the conversation. (Panel) Speakers: Liz Brenner, Founder & CEO at Culture Evolved and Kathy Tyra, VP, Workplace Resources and Real Estate at NetApp.
Mark your calendar! December 13 marks the launch of my book Woman of Influence. That would be a great day to buy the book – but only if you want to reinvent yourself as a woman of influence and become the leader you were meant to be.
Shout out to NetApp
1. Stories To kick-start the conversation, ask your mentor to tell a story from his or her own career.
2. Situations Now that the conversation is flowing, you can bring a specific situation to your mentor that you’d like help navigating.
3. Self-Awareness One of the greatest strengths you can develop for yourself is the gift of self-awareness, meaning the ability to see yourself as others view you.
4. Skill Building Is there a skill you’re currently working to enhance? Ask your mentor for advice and resources that will help you polish that skill,
December 2019 | Ask a Leader Anything
Ask a Leader Anything
Bank of America GeodisThermoFisher Scientific
CEO, Be Leaderly
• Has dedicated two decades to helping
women advance into positions of influence
by leveraging their leadership strengths.
• Developed a pragmatic and powerful
roadmap that guides women to become the
powerhouse leaders they were meant to
• Has spoken at women’s leadership
conferences, professional associations,
and corporate women’s networks for more
than 300 organizations.
• Woman of Influence: 9 Steps to Build
Your Brand, Establish Your Legacy, and
Thrive (McGraw-Hill) launches December
Founder & CEO at Culture Evolved
• 22+ years in global corporate roles
spanning operations, consulting,
marketing, and HR.
• Launched Culture Evolved in 2019 to
help clients with change management,
culture, engagement, and
• Frequent speaker, blogger, and career
• Lives with husband and 4 children in
hometown of West Chester, PA. We
love traveling, watching sporting
events, and just spending time
VP, Workplace Resources and Real
Estate at NetApp
• Responsible for global facilities
management, real estate, safety and
security and corporate travel.
• Has led great teams across a wide
range of operations including finance
operations, supply chain, facilities and
real estate, and shared services.
• Takes immense pride in being a strong
steward of the company culture and
employee success objectives.
• Kathy and husband Dave have been
married 27 years. They have a
blended family of four children and 4
grandchildren. They enjoy travel,
extended family outings, sporting
events and wine tasting.
4 Types of Questions to Ask a Mentor
What is the one thing you
believe it takes to succeed, and how has
this helped you in your career?
• Ask for the promotion
• Share your good work
• Be vocal in meetings
How have you created work
life / personal life balance the more senior
you get? Is it even possible?
• You have to create your own
balance and it may not be 100%
all the time.
• Determine what’s really
important to you and preserve
time for those things.
Describe the situation in which
you made your biggest mistake. How did
you handle it and what did you learn?
• Not getting feedback on a proposal
for a client from enough people and
from the right people.
• The proposal flopped.
• Luckily I got a second chance.
• Reworked and got feedback from
more people. It was a success!
• You can't assume one person can
speak for a full team—get multiple
viewpoints and feedback.
• Never go into an important
presentation without giving a
preview to the client first if you can.
What's your advice for how to turn
down a recommended position that I know I will be
good at but would be very unhappy doing?
• Always show thanks for the
• Be honest about why you don’t
want the role.
• Are there other ways you can
help without taking the role?
What should I do if I really
don't like my boss as a person?
• You aren't going to like everyone
and everyone won't like you.
That is OK.
• Keep it focused on the work and
• Find common ground.
How can I advance or get a mentor
or sponsor when I am over 50 years old?
• Never be afraid to ask for a
mentor or sponsor regardless of
• Be ready to explain how a
mentor/sponsor will help you be
How can I correct a less-than-
optimal first impression?
• Depending on the situation, you
may want to acknowledge that it
was a poor first impression.
• Or just ignore what happened
the first time and change that
impression over time with your
good work, strong presence,
How to make people accept
you as their leader?
• It all starts with trust.
• Keep your promises.
• Be transparent.
• Be a supporter of career
success and next steps.
• Co-create a common vision and
goals for the team.
• Be real.
How do you conquer the fear of
handling people that you think are a better leader
than you or of managing people who are better
• This is classic “impostor
syndrome”, which is more
common with women than
• Think about – what can you
bring that they don’t have
and what can you learn
• Jointly, how can you and
the other person/people
create a stronger team?
What strategies do you use to
help employees understand the
necessity of driving change?
• Help with the head, heart, and hands of change
• Everyone owns change—get everyone involved
• Give people a voice
• Be transparent
What are techniques for working
effectively with senior leaders who have very
different communication styles and perspectives?
• Try to have an understanding of
their style before you present or
meet with them.
• Acknowledge their perspective
in the meeting.
• Come VERY prepared.
• Give them space to express
their views or vent (How to use
your happy place.)
How do you keep up with
everything? What methods can you
recommend for defining priorities?
• Block your calendar.
• Use Fridays to catch up.
• Take vacations to recharge.
• Don't look at your phone during
your "blocked" time.
building Can we meet for
30 minutes to
4 Types of Questions to Ask a Mentor
MeanPeopleSuckby Michael Brenner
“25 Questions to Ask a Mentor” by Jo Miller
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Reimagine Your Leadership
Tuesday, February 25, 2020
You already have a personal brand. But is it
a leadership brand? This webinar addresses the key
question: How can I reinvent how others perceive me as
a leader? Develop a leadership brand that stands for
something bigger than you can accomplish alone—and
makes everyone around you sit up, pay attention, and
see the leader in you.
Speaker: Jo Miller, CEO, Be Leaderly
1. What was one piece of usefuladvice from Kathy and Lizthat
you’ll put into action?
2. What’s thebest advice you ever received from a leader or a
3. Create one questionfrom one of thefour types (stories,
situations,self-awareness, and skill building)to ask a leader,
mentor, or role model.