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Episode 31

Female Marketers: Level Up Your Leadership Skills In 2022

Hana Jacover
Chief Hype Officer | Hype House Consulting

Leadership is a critical skill for anyone working in marketing today. If you don’t have strong leadership skills, you won’t be able to manage your team effectively. And if you aren’t managing your team well, you won’t be successful at growing your business.

Female marketers, however, face many unique obstacles when trying to achieve success in their careers. From equal treatment and advocating on their own behalf to building alliances and trusting their own voices.

“Identify your superpower. It’s a really great way for us to get past our fear of doing something. And when you have that superpower identified, you can really figure out how to use it in a way that benefits not only you but others as well.”

Despite these challenges, women continue to push forward. Improve your marketing leadership skills by learning from other leaders like Hana Jacover. A coach who excels at leadership and team development, Hana shares some tips on how to overcome obstacles and ultimately become a better leader in marketing.

Highlights From This Episode:

  • Imposter syndrome
  • Fear of judgement
  • Identifying triggers
  • Finding trusted allies
  • Identifying your superpower
  • Building a support system
  • Finding leadership coaching

Watch the Live Recording

Full Episode Transcripts

Cheryl Boehm: Hello, and welcome to the “Lead Generation” podcast. In many of our episodes, we focus on the different ways that you can fill your sales pipeline with leads. But the show isn’t just about lead generation, It’s also about becoming better people and better leaders in our industry. And that’s why I’m just so excited today to introduce our guest, Hana Jacover. Not only is she really great at technical demand generation, and she has this proven track record of developing programs that really accelerate revenue. But she also excels at leadership and team development and we’re really excited to have you on the show, welcome.

Hana Jacover: Thank you. I’m excited to be here.

Cheryl Boehm: Great. So in our initial conversation, we talked about how you are a coach and you really focus time and energy on mentoring women and especially women of color in the tech space. So can you tell us a little bit more about how you got your start and where that journey began?

Hana Jacover: Yeah, absolutely. And I think it began many years ago when I was honestly a kid, because both of my parents are coaches. Both of my parents are executive coaches. And prior to that, they also ran a nonprofit organization that focused on elevating women that were in domestic violence situations. So their whole organization was about empowering those women and their children and giving them the resources that they need to survive and thrive with a hairy past that has really had an impact on them. So I think from watching them kind of develop and work that nonprofit and being involved in that as well. I was there in their office, helping out, hanging out with the families, doing whatever we could as a family to just be involved.

Hana Jacover: So I think that had instilled in me just this level of both compassion but also the drive to really ensure that we’re providing people with the right resources and seeing the potential and really understanding the situations that people can get into in many unfortunate ways and how we can help elevate them outside of that.

Hana Jacover: So if think that really formed a lot of different values in my life that kind of pushed me towards the direction of, wow, I love developing people, I love working with people, I love helping people. And of course, as that business kind of evolved, they actually moved into coaching.

Hana Jacover: So both of my parents became, and they ran a business together for many years called Strategies For Success. And both of them were experts in organizational development and executive coaching and that stuck with me too. I’ve told a story of like sitting on their office for reading through all their workshop docs and trying to understand what they were doing and I always thought what they did was really cool.

Hana Jacover: And so from there, I think I really learned how to facilitate, how to communicate and how to be a facilitator and really just observe. And that’s hard to do because you always want to add your own input and it can be really difficult to just kind of take a step back and make it not about yourself but I really learned that I was passionate about facilitating and leading people and guiding people and helping them to kind of see their own potential.

Hana Jacover: So that’s kind of my journey into when I was younger, sort of why all of a sudden I’m like, wow, this is really what I’m loving doing. And then as I kind of got into my career early on, I was so lucky to just have the most amazing mentors I worked for and have worked for throughout. I worked for several different agencies and mostly women and women owned. And not only that, but by amazing women who scooped me up and let me be part of their crew and really helped nurture me and gave that to me.

Hana Jacover: So throughout my career, these women have been with me 100% of the way, and even if we’re kind of far apart in our journeys, I know that I can always call on them and vice versa and we do, and we’ve also become really good friends. So I think that, as I progressed in my career, I started to realize how uncommon that was and how lucky I was and that not every woman in tech actually had that experience. That was shocking to me, which is really sad, right? ‘Cause I didn’t know any better.

Hana Jacover: That’s what I had from the beginning of my career, which is fantastic. But I was like, oh my God. It wasn’t like this for you, and you don’t have all this amazing network of women, these amazing mentors. I am so incredibly lucky to have that. So I think it just gave me a level of, and I always knew that it was special, but it gave me a level of dang! That’s some privilege right there, and you need to make sure that you also are giving that to other women because it is rare. And it is so important because it shaped my career in ways and not only my career, but who I am as a person and my confidence and just everything about my identity flows into that. So giving that back, it’s not only important, it feels like very much a requirement for me.

Hana Jacover: And so then again, that kinda led me towards the management path in my career. And then I sort of more recently have gone into thinking of freelancing and then also starting my own coaching business because it’s just, I’m at a point in my life where, I think we all kind of are especially given the backdrop of like what’s going on with COVID, and I mean, there’s so many things. But I think it was like, I need to figure out what my, and I call it essential intent and that’s a reference from a book which I’ll tell about later. But I need to figure out what my essential intent here is. What the heck am I doing in life? And I felt like a cog right in a machine and I saw this impact that I was making, but I didn’t feel fully fulfilled by that. And when I am in the position of coaching or mentoring or simply being a good manager to somebody and watching their career progress and watching them blossom into this amazing person, that’s when I feel best. And so, I’m betting on that and I’m betting on myself and I want to make sure that I’m available to then give those resources to other people.

Cheryl Boehm: Wow, that’s fantastic. And it’s great that you’ve had so many great mentors in your life, from the time you were a child. And like you mentioned, you had a lot of strong female leaders in your life and not all of us have that. And so because of that, a common challenge, a lot of women and even female leaders face is this idea of an imposter syndrome where they have a lot of self-doubt and they don’t really believe in their abilities or they feel like a fraud. So what are some events or triggers that can cause some of these feelings for women that maybe either contribution isn’t valued or as important as maybe like their male counterparts in the workplace?

Hana Jacover: I think, well, first off, what I’ll say is, I have a gripe with the term imposter syndrome. I hate it so much because it doesn’t exist. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not an imposter and there is nothing wrong with you. You are moving through life the way that you’re supposed to move through life and you are learning and growing. And that as a result has given you this sense of fear, and fear of judgment and that’s what’s driving that.

Hana Jacover: So it’s not like you have this syndrome that is going on. You have fear and you’re learning to overcome that fear. And some of us don’t understand how to overcome that fear, and that’s when it becomes overwhelming to where as people would call it, imposter syndrome. So that’s kind of my view on imposter syndrome, because I think that fear is the driver of… It holds us back, right? And in all things, and fear of judgment in particular.

Hana Jacover: And I think that women historically have this kind of built in fear of judgment that directly correlates with women’s rights and where we have been as a society, as it relates to women and men and the equality. So I think that that is inside of us. I could say something very similar about being black, right? We have this shared experience that goes back and is very much constructed by the way that our society was built. And it’s working how it’s supposed to, right? We’re just kind of going along with it.

Hana Jacover: So when we sort of put our feet down and we’re like, what the heck! This doesn’t feel right. It’s hard because we’re going against the grain, we’re going against what we’ve told is expected of us. So I do think it’s really difficult to get into situations where you want to overcome that, but you don’t know how, or you kind of catch yourself doing things, but you don’t know how to stop. So I think it’s really about identifying what those things are that make you feel fear, and again, most of the time it’s gonna be that fear of judgment, of, “Gosh, I’m worried about, if I say this thing, what’s the reaction going to be?” Or, “If I ask for the money that I want, how are they going to think about me?” A lot of the time, that’s just made up in your head. And I learned that a really good trick for me, a mental hack, is when I start thinking about those things and start making all these assumptions, I usually just tell myself, who told you that? Who told you that was gonna happen? Who told you that that’s the way that they’re gonna react?

Cheryl Boehm: I love that.

Hana Jacover: And I’ll sit there myself asking myself, I told myself that. And I’m in control of what I tell myself, so let’s change that. So recognizing again, when you feel that way, when the trigger happens and you start feeling that way, I think it’s really about reframing and taking a minute to sit with it and reframe it because if we don’t do that, we think it’s our fault. We think it’s our fault that we’re in the situation when it’s not, it’s just the way that society has been built and has been ran for many years.

Hana Jacover: So that’s kind of like one of the mental hacks that I use at least to kind of… And that also helps with recognizing the trigger of, “Ooh, I feel this certain way. What made me feel that way?” So thinking, okay, I’m recognizing this feeling and then tying it back to, “What is the one thing that made me feel that way?” And it could be so many things. It could be a word, it could be how somebody shows themselves, it could be so many things we know. There’s a lot of like double standards as well when it comes to women in the workplace. So I’ll pause in case any of that.

Cheryl Boehm: That is such a great hack. I love that. And I am definitely going to try that myself, because like you said, so much of it is based on fear, and that internal feel and the feelings that we have control over. So I’m definitely gonna try that hack out. But what advice would you give to women who are struggling with external factors? So let’s say there is some outright like bias or exclusion or being marginalized in the work place. Those things are external factors, not based on fear or feelings. What advice would you give to someone who’s facing that situation?

Hana Jacover: First of all, I would say document everything, put it somewhere where you can look back on it, and just as it happens, document it. Because we do this thing where, when something happens to us and we don’t like it. We either try, right? It’s fight or flight. We either, “I don’t wanna deal with this, I’m gonna block it out, I’m gonna run away from it.” And if you just take a minute to document it, so you have it, you don’t have to look at it then, but you have it later. So you can go back and actually see what happened in that situation.

Hana Jacover: So try to document it with as much detail as possible because our brain changes the way that we think about a situation that happened. So have it documented so you can keep a record of all of the times that these things are happening. Again, that’s also gonna help identify these triggers. And then I would say, have a trusted ally that you can have these conversations with and share some of your documentation and ask for advice. And that might be, a woman that has gone through something similar, a mentor, it could be HR, although I’ll argue that HR is not there to serve you, they’re there to serve the company.

Cheryl Boehm: That’s a good point.

Hana Jacover: Yeah. So have the trusted ally. And then if you can have somebody that can advocate for you and with you versus you just feeling alone. You have to deal with the situation. If you broaden your… Well, if you allow yourself to just talk about it in a way that doesn’t bring up that fear of like getting in trouble or getting somebody fired, right? We have to find the right people that we know will advocate for us and will understand the situation.

Hana Jacover: And then I would also say, identify your superpower, because I think that that’s a really great way for us to get past our fear of doing something. And when you have that super power identified, you can really figure out how to use it in a way that benefits not only you, but others as well. So I think having that super power, it first of all, it just gives you confidence. I have a superpower. That’s badass. And you know what it is, right? So learn what it is and also learn, what do other people think your superpower is? Because it could be something totally different than what you think it is.

Hana Jacover: And then, have that statement of your superpower so you can really own it and you can really live it and that is gonna kind of help you, at least from a mental state. Have of the confidence to address these situations and do it in a way that you’re good at because your superpower is gonna help you. If you use your superpower, you’re gonna be able to communicate something or you’re going to be able to do something in the best way that will have an impact.

Cheryl Boehm: So I have to ask, what is your superpower?

Hana Jacover: I knew you were gonna ask that. So my superpower is, I’m really good at motivating people and not for my own benefit, but motivating people to do the thing that they’re meant to do. And part of that is helping them identify their superpower and helping them see what they could be, see what their potential is and how they could contribute to a problem, and then kinda mobilizing and motivating towards action. So that is what I consider to be my superpower. I also have a superpower around communication and just being able to articulate in an authentic way and with many different types of people. And so, yeah, those are like my top two superpowers.

Cheryl Boehm: Those are great. So earlier, you had mentioned that if someone is having a challenge in the workplace, how connecting with another female or someone they respect, just to talk through this situation is important. If there’s someone who doesn’t feel like they have that connection, are there any other support systems out there that someone can go to?

Hana Jacover: Yeah, absolutely. There’s so many. And I will take the opportunity to plug Women in Revenue. I’m on the board for Women in Revenue, it’s an amazing organization. And we are all about equity in the workplace and empowering each other and helping to develop each other’s skills and also having some fun while doing it.

Hana Jacover: So Women in Revenue is a place where you could do exactly that. You don’t know anybody, right? And you say, “Oh, I really ask this question.” You can come to our community and ask it anonymously or not. And connect with some of the most badass women in technology today in revenue. And everybody is willing to share because we all want each other to win. And even if it’s like, “Hey, I need some good vibes, I some support, I need some words of wisdom or encouragement.” Then that’s what you’ll get. Anything from, I need advice on how to do this exact thing, I need a structure, I need process, can you share docs with me? To more anecdotally, like, how did you approach this? What do you think I should do? So it’s kind of a spectrum of what you’ll get there, but you will always find something that you need from the community.

Hana Jacover: I also really like, I’ve been on Fairygod, I think it’s Fairygodboss before, and that is a fun place. I haven’t spent too much time there, but it is one of those places where you can go where people have had these experiences 100%, and you can again kind of connect with those individuals and they’ll give you advice and help you through that situation. So you don’t have to do it alone. You just have to get the courage to join a slot group. And you don’t even have to leave your house.

Cheryl Boehm: And I imagine coaching, and finding a great coach is another way or another support system to help you through challenges. So what are some signs or signals that maybe it is time for someone to seek out the help and support of a coach?

Hana Jacover: Yeah. One thing I’ll say about my view on coaching, especially as it relates to tech is I think that there is a big gap today. I think that there is a very big gap in looking at kind of our really critical mid-level managers, director level people who are, oh my gosh, their plates are so full. I’ve been in those roles and I’ve worked with people in these roles and I’ve worked with people that are executives as well. And I’ve worked with people that are on their team, so I’ve really seen that full spectrum of these roles and what’s weighing them down. And I think that we spend a lot of time on executive and leadership coaching. We need it. That’s great. We really should.

Hana Jacover: However, we miss the mark in this middle area. We completely abandon these people and we say, “Manage up, learn how to make your bosses life easier.” Which is essentially saying, if they have bad habits, you have to work around them. They’re not a good manager, that’s your problem because then you just have to be better.

Hana Jacover: And I don’t think we spend enough time or resources. And this is definitely a call to action for organizations because if you’re providing that level of coaching for your executives, you need to provide it for your mid-level and directors as well, because who’s gonna be in that seat in a few years? And why wouldn’t we start developing them sooner so when we get into these executive positions, we are not having to lean on executive coaches to fix problems, we’re developing people and we can focus on that versus fixing all these bad habits. So that’s one thing I’ll say.

Hana Jacover: But in terms of things that might lead you towards wanting to have a coach, I mean, there’s so many different types of coaching. So I think, you can look at it through that lens where you could say, “Well, am I wanting to go through a career transition?” Because then, you might want a career coach. “Am I wanting to develop these certain set of skills so I can get into this promotion or this level?” And that would be a certain type of coach as well, where there is executive coaching, or even looking at like group coaching as well, so team development. So I think it kinda depends on what your goal is, but, yes, there’s like lots of different types.

Hana Jacover: And then I think for me, one thing that, or a couple different things that I hear that usually indicates, okay, I think that they could really benefit from this is first of all, if they’ve had bad managers, if you’ve had bad managers, you’re not getting what you need, you’re really not, and you don’t know it. And so I think most often than not, you almost don’t know when you’re in that situation because you don’t know any better if you’ve never had a really awesome manager. So you kind of have to rely on the feedback of others, of what you are doing and then make that connection of, “Well, I was never taught to do that. I was never given these skills, I was never given this information that I should be doing these things as a manager.”

Hana Jacover: So when you start to kind of connect the feedback to, “Wait, how would I know to do that?” I think that that’s a good indication of, I could use some help here in developing these skills or being better in these areas. And I also think if you get consistent feedback, if you have consistent feedback from team members or people in your network, and you are doing everything you can to change and implement their feedback, but it’s not working, that’s definitely an all opportunity to I think, talk to a coach and see how you can hone in on what they’re trying to communicate to you and make a plan to develop yourself in that area.

Hana Jacover: And yeah, I think obviously executive leadership and coaching is super important because as leaders, we need to guide our people, we need to be there for our people. And anybody who is a leader at a company, even just that being like, are you a leader at a company? Yes. You should have coaching.

Cheryl Boehm: Yeah. That’s so true. That’s a great way of putting it and boiling that down. So, well, you’ve given us so many tips and hacks and things to think about. I need to think about what my superpower is. I’m sure there’s quite a few listeners that are thinking about that too. And we’re so happy that you joined us today. If listeners want to reach out or learn more about your coaching services, where can they get in touch with you?

Hana Jacover: Yeah. LinkedIn is always the easiest place. Send me a message, connect with me there. I’m usually sharing lots of content. You can always email me at [email protected]. I also have Twitter, on Twitter I’m a little more ranty and I talk more about Web3 and NFTs, but I’m at @knockknockhana.

Cheryl Boehm: Well, that’s great. And we’ll make sure that we link to those different ways to reach you on our page. And again, thank you for joining us. And for all of our listeners, thank you for joining us for another episode of Tenlo Radio. We have a lot more exciting guests coming up on the Lead(er) Generation podcast, and we look forward to you tuning in again. Thank you again, Hana.

Hana Jacover: Thank you.

Hana Jacover

Chief Hype Officer | Hype House Consulting

Hana Jacover is a technical demand generation marketer with a proven track record of strategies and programs that accelerate revenue. As the Chief Hype Officer at Hype House Consulting, Hana builds business hype through strategy, demand gen, marketing ops, leadership development and coaching. Hana is also on the board of Women in Revenue—committed to elevating and encouraging future female leaders in the workplace—and on the marketing committee of Black Marketers Association of America (BMAA).