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Bonus: Panel Discussion

Female Leadership In Marketing

Panel Discussion
Questions Answered In This Episode:

What is female rivalry in the workplace and is it healthy?

Women typically welcome and value healthy competition in the workplace. That means fighting fairly for things like jobs, projects and promotions.

However, many workplaces experience female rivalry. This happens when a woman uses her position of power to keep another woman from progressing in her career.

There’s a common misconception that women must compete with each other to become leaders. In reality, if we help each other, we can all get ahead.

How can women build a valuable network of female connections?

Some women feel they must succeed on their own. But it’s okay to ask for help.

Don’t hesitate to reach out to other women you admire, whether it’s via LinkedIn, email or even phone. A direct, one-on-one connection is a great way to go about building your network. Mentors can help you grow and succeed in your career.

Another way to build your network is to be in the same places as female leaders. For example, consider attending networking events or leadership conferences. Not only will it help you further your connections, it will push you outside your comfort zone and expose you to new experiences.

You can also take a virtual route to find female mentors. For example, you can attend webinars and listen to podcasts focused on women in leadership.

Can finding and applying your “superpower” make you a better marketing leader?

Your superpower is your unique contribution at work. This is something you do better than anyone else.

By tapping into this power, you’ll feel more confident, successfully contribute to your team and also feel more satisfied with your job.

If you’re unsure of your superpower, ask the opinion of people who work closely with you. They can point out unique attributes that will help you identify the superpower that makes you a strong leader.

What are a few qualities that make women good marketing leaders?

According to our panel, active listening is an important skill for leaders. When someone brings concerns to them, they should listen to those concerns without judging them or dismissing them. This allows them to hear the person more deeply, beyond the surface of what is being said.

Accountability is another important characteristic of a good leader. It requires a certain level of vulnerability and humility. Because being accountable means that leaders are willing to admit when they’ve made mistakes. Not only do they take ownership when they fail, they learn from those mistakes.

Good leaders are also those who don’t think they’re smarter than everyone else. They should be humble and aware of their strengths and weaknesses. They focus on their areas of strength, and seek out others to support in areas where they are weaker.

Most of all, leaders lead by example. They don’t force people into action based on their title or position. The best leaders are people that others look up to, admire and want to willingly follow. Leaders inspire and empower others to do better.

What are two common approaches to marketing leadership?

There are two ways to approach leadership: as a carpenter or a gardener.

When you act as a carpenter, you have a blueprint. You invest time and energy to build the employees on your team based on exact specifications.

If you approach leadership as a gardener, you nurture and tend to the unique abilities of each team member. You give them the tools, support and advice to nurture their strengths so they grow as individuals.

Do you want to be a carpenter or a gardener? That’s the question each marketing leader must answer.

Full Episode Transcripts

Cheryl Boehm: Hello and thank you for attending today’s office hours. I have a few team members joining me today. So I’d like to extend a huge welcome to Crystal, Vanessa and Shawna for joining me.

Cheryl Boehm: Today’s topic is all about leadership. I had the opportunity to interview Hana Jacover recently for the Lead(er) Generation podcast. And in addition to being an expert in demand generation, Hana is a coach who specializes in leadership development for women. So that’s why we have an all-female panel today. It’s not an accident.

Cheryl Boehm: And remember if you have a question, just add it to the chat and we will answer it live and answer as many questions as possible. So in the meantime while those questions come in, I’ll get us started.

Cheryl Boehm: So first, I just like to get an overall reaction to the interview with Hana. So Crystal, how about we start with you?

Crystal Madrilejos: Yeah…

Cheryl Boehm: What was one important takeaway or favorite moment from the show?

Crystal Madrilejos: Yeah, so I mean, my overall, takeaway from it. I enjoyed the episode. The last couple years, I’m sorry. Can you hear that? Oh my God, my neighbor.

Cheryl Boehm: It’s all good. You gotta love the new virtual world.

Crystal Madrilejos: It’s so loud. I’m gonna mute for a minute. Maybe somebody else go until he completes whatever it is he is doing.

Cheryl Boehm: That was good, Shawna, do you wanna go ahead and answer that?

Shawna Fibikar: Yeah, I really, I really liked her stance and approach on just empowerment. When I left listening to that episode there really truly was a feeling of empowerment. Knowing that there are avenues of someone helping you build those skills. I don’t think that we’re always aware of those opportunities. And so the way that she touched on some of those things, I walked away wanting more information.

Cheryl Boehm: That’s great. Crystal, are we safe to go back to you? No, not yet. Okay, Vanessa.

Vanessa Carter: Yeah, I really enjoyed the interview. I feel like both of you guys did a really good job especially with the questions to the answers. I think what stood out to me the most was like how she talked about leadership and how it can look different.

Vanessa Carter: She also offered like various ways to grow in leadership and unique and creative ways. Like I never thought about seeking out a coach potentially, to help with leadership growth. And I thought that was really unique.

Vanessa Carter: So I feel like she had a lot of interesting perspectives on that. And just like as a woman of color, you know, she spoke to a lot of things that I experienced. And so that was really cool to like hear cause I mean it’s obvious that other people have similar experiences but when you have like that one on one, it just makes the like the information just translate differently. So, yeah.

Cheryl Boehm: I think sometimes people don’t talk about what those experiences are like, you know sometimes we just try to blend in and become part of the the norm instead of recognizing each other’s differences and how those differences, you know, definitely play a part of our work environment.

Vanessa Carter: Yeah.

Cheryl Boehm: So Crystal are we good now?

Crystal Madrilejos: So yeah, as I was saying I really did enjoy the episode. I mean, one of the things that really resonated with me is that I did have a lot of similar experience to Hana in terms of the having strong women mentors throughout my career. And then realizing how lucky I have been to have that because I know it’s not, it’s not common and how much that really shaped my leadership style and my career and to your same point is even as one of the things I really liked was that she did talk about different types of leadership and also different types of coaching that you can get within leadership. Like she talked about one-on-one coaching she talked about executive coaching but she also talked about group coaching depending on the objectives your teams might have. You know, I feel like that’s really good perspective. Cause sometimes we think about, you know, leaders are only people at the top, but leaders are not, leaders are throughout your organization.

Cheryl Boehm: That’s great. All right. I see a question coming in and this actually really plays into what you were just talking about, Crystal with having, the importance of having female mentors and people that you can look up to and talk to. So what are some different ways that you recommend to other women of how that they can build up that support system and build a valuable network of female connections?

Crystal Madrilejos: Mm. So from my…

Cheryl Boehm: To start, okay Crystal.

Crystal Madrilejos: Yeah sorry. From my point of view, I mean one of the things I think that has been sort of been challenged a lot recently is this idea of that women have to compete with one another to make it to the top. So, I feel like there’s been a lot more women supporting women and that we should really try and lift one another up. So I think with that in mind like people should not hesitate to reach out to women that they may consider, like someone that could be a mentor. I think a lot of times women don’t ask for help, “help” you know, because they feel like they have to do it on their own or that other people might judge them for needing that help. But, you know, one of the things I was just talking to one of our other coworkers about this is this idea of that when I was younger, I thought that, you know the older I get, the more I would, you know feel confident and, you know, secure but it’s like the more, the older I get, the more I realize like everyone is just figuring it out as they go. And that is just part of being an adult. And I feel like the more we can be vulnerable in that way and just reach out to have that conversation to someone that you admire. That’s, I feel like that’s the best way to go about building your network.

Cheryl Boehm: Vanessa, do you have any thoughts on building up that female support system?

Vanessa Carter: Yeah, for me, what I realized is like I have to be in the places that the people I want to, well actually it’s twofold. So like I need to be in the places where these females would be and then also pushing myself a little outta my comfort zone as well.

Vanessa Carter: So like I had a very opposite path to like seeking out women as mentors because I started out so heavy in the tech space with like coding and stuff. And it was just all males, you know? So I was Reeling and things. So I was always around males. I had male mentors, but I noticed that I kept hitting like a roadblock the older that I got and older like 25 but that’s like nothing, you know. And when I started seeing out more females I realized that I had changed my way and how I thought about leadership. And I didn’t know where the women were.

Vanessa Carter: And what I started to do is get more focused on like where are the women at that I would wanna be associated with? And then the ones that would also like push me to a different level as well. So it’s like being intentional, like going to Eventbrite, you know, going to a Meetup.com and finding out where those events are at and being like super intentional in that way.

Cheryl Boehm: Great. How about you Shawna?

Shawna Fibikar: For me, I think that there, I had definitely had a lot of more men mentors in my career but there seemed to be a real dynamic of dependency. And so I had an opportunity back in 2007 to work for an ad agency that had more women in leadership. And one of the things that I walked away from that experience was feeling like I had permission to do the work on my own.

Shawna Fibikar: And so I’m drawn to female leaders that are like that, and a lot of times I do try to listen to podcasts about women in leadership. I listen to maybe speakers from a self-help type of aspect of how to have critical conversations especially right now with kind of being stuck at home during the pandemic. I’ve tried to lean on some of those virtual aspects, but truly, I felt empowered in that sense of having worked with powerful women who just showed you that they could do things, they weren’t dependent on someone else telling them they could do something. They had permission to do it. And I’ve taken that with me professionally, as well.

Cheryl Boehm: That’s great. And you mentioned powerful women and that is a perfect segue into this next question I’m seeing. On this show, Hana talked about super powers and understanding what your superpower is and then how to apply that to increase and improve your leadership. So I just wanted to get your thoughts on how do you feel like identifying your superpower? How important do you think that is? And then you gotta tell me, you know what you think your superpowers are. So I’m gonna start with Shawna on this one.

Shawna Fibikar: Yeah. With regard to superpower I have 27 years professionally working and where I have found my strength is looking at everything like a puzzle and putting the puzzle together. And I like to look, I almost look at it like a 3D puzzle. I need to look at it from all views, consider any aspect that might influence it and be able to put it together. So, I like working with a lot of different personalities and stuff like that and can stay pretty calm in situations where maybe conflict comes into play. And so, this would be emotional labor if you will. But I feel like I can stay calm underneath that. And it’s just taken me time to realize that this is where my strength is.

Cheryl Boehm: That’s great. How about you Crystal? What are your thoughts on finding your superpower and then what is your superpower?

Crystal Madrilejos: So there’s a couple things I’m gonna say here. One, as someone who like, I have very high standards for myself, it’s hard sometimes to look at yourself objectively to be like, oh yeah that’s what I’m really good at. Because sometimes you’re always like, well I could always be a little bit better or somebody’s better at that than me.

Crystal Madrilejos: So one of my suggestions is to ask other people what your superpowers are specifically people you’ve worked with for a long time, because I have to say that one of my superpowers is seeing superpowers in others because one of the things I always strive for as a leader and a team member is when I am building a team is looking for people who are better at things than I am. Like I want people who are stronger at specific things that I know I’m not good at.

Crystal Madrilejos: So all of you are on my team and I can identify what I always perceived as what your superpowers are. So Vanessa, one of your superpowers that I’ve written is that you are not afraid to ask the hard questions. You’ve definitely put me in situations and asked me and I’m like, okay. Yep. That is a question that someone should have asked. Glad you asked it, you don’t shy away from the hard conversation.

Crystal Madrilejos: Shawna, you are just an amazing supporter of people emotionally and seeing them and recognizing where they’re at and meeting them there. So that is great because, so I’m not always one to ask the hard questions. Sometimes I’m like a little too, like, Hmm, do I wanna you know, create that conflict? And then Shawna with you sometimes I’m like, you know do you, I go there, am I, do they trust me enough? Am I in that, on that level to be asking those questions? So both of you having those superpowers definitely helps you know, create a more robust team for all of us.

Crystal Madrilejos: And then Cheryl, your superpower is just thinking of all the different aspects of a project for sometimes I’m like, yeah, we can do that. And Cheryl’s like, hold on. Let’s just think through some of these things first because I can get down a path and realize like, okay wait, maybe we should have thought about that. A little bit longer. So these are all of the superpowers you guys bring to the team. But I would say that…

Shawna Fibikar: What about you?

Crystal Madrilejos: My superpower is being able to see the superpowers in others.

Shawna Fibikar: Okay. All right.

Vanessa Carter: Ooh. I see. 

Cheryl Boehm: So you have superpower vision.

Crystal Madrilejos: Superpower vision.

Cheryl Boehm: Oh, that’s great. All right. I see another question here. Let me find it. All right. So someone is asking, what are some of the top qualities that you identify or recognize in other women that you feel like makes them a good leader? So Vanessa, let’s start with you.

Vanessa Carter: Yeah. One of the things that I and this is kind of piggybacking off of Crystal’s energy here. I actually see Shawna, two things, something that I see in Shawna and Crystal as far as like leadership goals are two things that I really love when it comes to leadership.

Vanessa Carter: So one with Crystal, I love that she leads, but not in a way that’s like, I’m an authority and this is my title. And I have to come in with all this heavy energy to lead. So I love seeing those leaders that can put like their best foot forward but they’re also like calm in the way that they orchestrate. And they’re very attentive. And I really love that in Crystal’s leadership.

Vanessa Carter: And the second part of like what I love seeing in leadership and and Shawna does this so well is recognizing the person. I think that is so important, cause it goes beyond someone fulfilling a need, execution, et cetera. And I love that she takes a time to see someone and say, Hey, like, yeah you’re opposed to complete this task but I see you’re a little frustrated. Like I see that. I see you. And I think that recognition is really important.

Vanessa Carter: There’s are two things that I really value in leadership and being so, or like detail oriented. Like that’s so powerful. That’s a skill, that is a skill. Like I love that. So I think those three things are like what I envision as a leader.

Cheryl Boehm: That’s great. How about you Crystal? What are some qualities that you admire or look up to in leaders?

Crystal Madrilejos: So first thanks Vanessa. That was very kind.

Crystal Madrilejos: So, I mean, I think, you know, sort of, you know, empathy obviously being able to meet your, you know the people that you’re leading, understanding like sort of similar to what Vanessa saying like seeing them as people, you know, I think another thing in terms of leadership is, you know, being humble, like one of the things that I’ve always, you know, admired in leadership or people I consider good leaders is that they don’t feel like they need to have all the answers you know, leading is not about knowing everything. It’s not about being a know-it-all. It’s not about being the smartest person in the room but it’s being someone that people wanna follow.

Crystal Madrilejos: So and that requires vulnerability. It requires humility. And I think the last thing is, you know like leaders knowing their own strengths and weaknesses. And that might go to, you know, in line with some of the humbleness or the humility, but, you know and also being able to note like when to leverage those strengths and where to support those weaknesses, you know, we were talking a little bit before this and one of the things I, you know I consider Tessa who is one of the leaders in our organization, you know, a really strong woman leader. And I love that she is able to leverage some of the strengths that she has in terms of being, you know like super passionate about what she does, first of all but being able to connect these dots, you know she’s created the Lead(er) Generation podcast with you Cheryl and you know, and she’s not only used her ability as a leader to create this space but also to empower other people to come along with it. You know, like now we’re all here in this conversation having office hours based on something that she built. So not only is she empowering our team, our companies but then also leading our clients.

Cheryl Boehm: I love that cause is I know I’ve, you know, been in situations where some of the leadership kind of strong arm people into, you know, I am the leader you must follow me. And you know, people, they’re more apt to follow leaders that, you know, they respect not just because of their title, you know, it’s their behaviors and how they treat others and the empowerment that they provide their team. So that’s really, yeah, that’s really great. How about you Shawna? What are your thoughts?

Shawna Fibikar: To me, active listening, feeling like you’re being heard, that any concern you bring to somebody that it’s just being heard. And I think with active listening that means hearing beyond maybe just the surface of what’s being said, you know, the deeper thing in it. And that’s only obtained through active listening.

Shawna Fibikar: I also think accountability is a big thing, but I think that that comes, it pairs with having the ability to fail and that makes you human. You know, like we tend to be afraid to fail but to see a leader fail and be accountable for it. And I think that goes along with what Crystal was saying is being humble about it and that it humanizes you and it doesn’t make you feel like you’re above the people below you. You know, even though maybe title wise, you are what not. You’re one of us down there.

Shawna Fibikar: And I think kind of summarizing a little bit what Vanessa and Crystal said, I look at it as two ways. There’s two ways to approach leadership, a carpenter and you’re building something and you’re, you know, if you’re investing in a person and you’re building them to be a certain way or you can approach it like a gardener and you’re nurturing your garden and letting people be the best carrot that they are or ahead of lettuce, but just allowing them to be themselves and being the best item in that garden. And to me, I really gravitate to a leader that is more of a gardener and less of a carpenter.

Cheryl Boehm: Oh my gosh, I love those analogies and…

Crystal Madrilejos: Shawna the analogies, you’re so good at the analogies.

Cheryl Boehm: You are. You’re great. Yeah. And I just, I love that nurturing aspect and it comes back to something Crystal had mentioned about you know, building a team where, you know, people fill in those different gaps of what their strengths are and it’s really about celebrating differences. And all those differences put together really create unique perspectives and we don’t all fit in the same box. I don’t know why we keep trying to shove everybody in it.

Shawna Fibikar: You make a really awesome salad.

Cheryl Boehm: Yes, yes we do. Oh my gosh that’s fabulous. Well, on that fantastic note, we have other questions we didn’t get to but we’re running out of time.

Cheryl Boehm: So I just wanna thank everybody for attending today’s office hours. You know, we’re gonna continue to cover different topics you know, everything from digital marketing strategy and lead generation to content marketing and web development and we’re gonna continue to switch up our panel.

Cheryl Boehm: So you get to hear different perspectives from different fruits and vegetables and really get to know our team, cause apparently we’re all a great big salad. So thanks again. And we will see you next time.

Panel Discussion

Women in Leadership, Panel Discussion

Guest Panel:

Crystal Madrilejos | Vice President of Creative Strategy at Mod Op

Shawna Fibikar | Project Coordinator at Mod Op

Vanessa Carter | Technology Coordinator at Mod Op


Cheryl Boehm | Co-Host of Lead(er) Generation | Director of Copywriting at Mod Op



Female Marketers: Level Up Your Leadership Skills In 2022

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Leadership is a critical skill for anyone working in marketing today. Female marketers, however, face many unique obstacles when trying to achieve success in their careers. Despite these challenges, women continue to push forward. Explore how to improve your marketing leadership skills from leadership development coach, Hana Jacover.

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