Men and their powerful bravado usually dominate C-suite positions. Women at such levels often hide or completely lose their femininity just to fit in. They become afraid to break through glass ceilings so men can find them acceptable. Ulrike Seminati believes this should not be the case, as the women’s perspective brings so much to the table that men cannot. Sitting down with Rosie Zilinskas, she explains how women should stop self-sabotaging and chasing perfectionism to bring authentic value up the corporate ladder. Ulrike also shares how women can turn their unique stories into superpowers, the common myths of impactful communication, and tips on executing a successful salary negotiation.
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How Women Should Act At C-Suite Levels With Ulrike Seminati
In this episode, we’re talking to Ulrike Seminati. She is in Switzerland and I will be having a conversation with her, specifically about her experience as a former C-Suite Executive. It’s important for us to talk about women moving up the corporate ladder, but it’s as important for us to highlight the challenges that women in the C-Suite or executive level have.
Ulrike Seminati is a longstanding senior executive coach and author, with many years of being a successful leader in corporate organizations. She believes that female leadership is one of the biggest untapped potentials in the world. She is known for combining all her experience and years of excelling in the corporate world with powerful self-development techniques that she gives to hard workers like you, allowing you to flourish, realize the root causes of your struggle, and finally land that leadership spot you’re after. Stay tuned for my conversation with Ulrike.
Welcome to the show, Ulrike. Thank you so much for being here. You are very well-versed in the executive realm or C-Suite realm. You and I spoke before and you mentioned that one of the mistakes that women do when they get to that executive level or C-Suite level is that they lose their femininity or hide their femininity. I want to know why women do that and why is that a mistake.
First of all, thank you for having me. It’s a great pleasure to be with you. We all do that automatically because human beings try to fit in. We are wired in our brains like that and we think we need to fit in. This is something that is not appropriate anymore in nowadays‘ life, but years ago, if you did not fit into your tribe, you were excluded and that was the death penalty in the past.
This is why our brain is so much wired into, “There’s a group of people and if it’s a C-Suite, I have to fit in.” What we see in the corporate world is that we have specific behavioral codes. They can derive from one company to another, with the company culture, but overall, these codes have been shaped by over destinies by men, not only by all men but by a certain type of men. They try to fit into a certain type of men and as women, very rarely, we naturally fit into this behavioral pattern that is out there.
Naturally, we think we have to adapt to the behavior. We have to show up in a different way, speak, stand, and dress differently, and do whatever it takes to fit in. Some women consciously are aware when they’re doing it because they feel it goes against what they are and that can be painful. Many others do it unconsciously. When they climb up the career ladder, they become more and more male in a certain way, in the way of speaking or dressing up. You rarely see C-level women dressed in pink. They also go more for dark blue and gray and all of that. There are reasons in our brains. Society or culture is ingrained in our brains in a certain way. This is why that happens.
This is why we lose our diversity because when we speak about women in C-Suites or women in leadership positions, no matter how high up in the hierarchy level, it’s all about having this feminine perspective, whatever that means. It can be different as well from one woman to another, but we lose that diversity as soon as women are not themselves anymore, whatever kind of woman they are. If they are the more emotional type or tough type, it doesn’t matter. As soon as they adapt to a certain way of being, we don’t have that diversity. I don’t see a reason for having women in the C-Suite if they’re not women anymore.
We are trying to empower women to move up the corporate ladder, and now, we’re talking more about executive and C-Suite level women. It’s ironic that they lose that femininity as they climb the ranks. That’s what the mistake is because you lose your diversity as a woman, and you’re trying to think more like men.
We want to bring that female perspective because we want to have that diversity. When there are more diverse people, everybody knows that it benefits the company because the company sees everything from different perspectives. That’s a great thing to point out. What can women do to be heard at that high level? As we both know, it’s difficult for men, especially when it’s a room full of men and there’s one woman, for her to be heard. How does that work?
First of all, it depends very much on what the woman thinks about herself. You certainly have seen women in C-Suites or in positions where you are very surprised like, “She’s self-assertive.” It doesn’t mean that she’s like a man. She’s just sure about herself. You might have seen a woman also dressing like a woman, very feminine, living this femininity, and still being a real authority in her area and people listen to her.
This has nothing to do with how much women are adept in the group or with the behavioral code. They can be controversial, creating some surprises as well with their way of being as long as they’re solid and grounded in who they are. When you are that, nobody can resist you because you will convey this message, “I love myself. I’m fine like I am. Take it or leave it. I’m an expert in my field at the same time and that is why I’m here. I’m here with my full self and not just with this small professional part that I was used to sharing before.” That is the mistake that you only share what you think is the tolerated professional part, instead of the whole package and that is the difference.
What has your experience been? Tell me a situation maybe where you’ve been in that position and you were able to bring your whole self. How did the men in the room react?
I did that and then I retracted from it, and that was the biggest thing that I made. This is also why I’m doing what I’m doing now because this should never ever happen again while it happens all the time with different people on the planet. I was brought into the C-Suite as the youngest person at the same time. There was this double weight. On the one hand, I was in my early 40s. “Wow. She’s young and she’s a she.” I was always a feminine woman. I always like my femininity. I love to wear skirts, dresses, and all of that and not just formal ones all the time.
I tried to maintain this way of being to a certain extent and it worked okay-ish. I have always torn apart between this feeling, “I have to be different to be accepted,” but I’m making compromises with myself all the time. It’s a big mistake. I wouldn’t do that anymore at all if I had the same situation again. There was once a difficult decision that we had to make. We had to relocate people to other countries, and that is a big cut in the organization and will create a lot of uncertainties. It’s one of these critical situations that you have to handle as a C-Suite executive together with the CEO.
I knew that it was not all about the discussion or decision as such. That is a painful one and we cannot avoid it. It’s about how you execute things. This is where the female perspective is so important. It makes a difference in how we execute things because what I realized then is that the men in the group were not sensitive at all to the potential pitfalls that come with a more human and empathetic approach to this whole thing.
What for me was totally normal, like thinking about the people who stay, who will have a lot of fear that they will be the next ones, about the people who will have to leave who lose their jobs, but even those who stay, they didn’t even think about these guys. For me, it was like, “How can you not even have that as an idea in mind?” They were nice guys. It was not a bunch of these tough people where you say they have no heart. They were nice people and nonetheless, didn’t have that on the radar at all.
I started to fight for my position on how we execute these things and that we should do it in a certain way so that it’s less painful and respectful towards people, both those who have to leave and those who have to stay. There are ways of doing this, like preparing the leadership below us, so that they can prepare mentally and not send it out like a bomb. At some point, I realized that I created a lot of irritation in this executive committee about myself.
I realized that, for them, it was too complicated. They thought, “We push it through. People will forget that in three months. They’re over it. We can go on with business as usual.” “People don’t forgive that. If they stay in the company, they will remember that in 3 or 4 years. It’s like a trauma that you create in an organization.
At some point, I gave up my opinion and position because I had the feeling, “If I insist, we will maybe do the right thing or maybe not, because I will never push it through, but I will feel excluded from the group,” and all these self-thoughts that I had before, “I’m the youngest one. There are others who had more experience than I did and so on,” came into play and made me retract my position. That led to the fact that we went into the wall straight. We were sending out this bomb and it was a disaster and I knew it.
Afterward, I thought, “How stupid is that?” This made me think something like that should not happen ever anymore because it is this position that a woman can take and men can also take that position, but I made that experience that naturally, they don’t come up with these perspectives on certain situations, not that naturally.
When we do not push through this position and these red lights or red flags like, “This is going wrong guys, ” then we hurt a lot of people. This was harming many lives and also, the motivation of many in the company, and so on. I can’t even count how much harm it did in the end and how much harm we could have avoided. This is why it’s so important to be very clear on how far can I defend my position, and if I can’t, what can I do to bring my full self into the picture and be assertive and courageous enough to do so. That is the real difficulty for many women when they climb up the ladder.
It was a fantastic lesson for you because what I find so interesting about men is that they can compartmentalize. They can come to work and it’s almost like they leave all their feelings aside. Whereas we, women, don’t leave our feelings at the entrance of work. You bring your feelings, especially for someone that has led before, which both you and I have. You have to think of the person and how the company’s decisions impact the human being, not just the employee.
That’s one thing that companies now, especially with the pandemic, are starting to try to do to bring attention to how we treat the whole self and not just the employee part. I feel for you being in that situation, how difficult it must have been, you being the only woman and then all the men going, “Don’t worry about it. They’ll get over it,” and that’s terrible. Again, that was a good lesson for you and for all of our readers to not give up your position when you truly believe that it’s the right thing to do. That’s great. Along with those lines, then you say that it’s crucial to trade perfectionism for authenticity. Tell me a little bit about that.
Women tend to be perfect. They want to be perfect. I don’t know the percentage, if there are any signs about that, how many women are perfectionists or near to being one at least, but it’s high. What we can say is that women have a high level of self-criticism. Perfectionists have an extremely high level of self-criticism because they are never satisfied.
I am a perfectionist and if there’s a 1% that is not good enough, I used to blame myself for this 1% and I was never able to celebrate the 99%, which is crazy. Rationally, I understood this, but I still wasn’t able to not blame myself for this 1%. That is a huge mistake when it comes to self-confidence. Perfectionism is the biggest enemy of self-confidence. How can you be self-confident if you never celebrate yourself full-heartedly for an achievement? There’s always something that’s not perfect, at least in the eye of a perfectionist. That is a big enemy.
Why is perfectionism a problem when you want to raise your profile, step into the big roles, and still want to feel good about yourself? The bar is higher. You need to reach and deliver more things. You have the feeling that you have to be more inspiring, and also rally more people around you. There’s another level of communication that is asked from you as well.
If you are a perfectionist, you will always be inward-looking because you always think about, “How do I come across? What will I say next? Have I said that in the right way? Is my dress looking fine? I’m not sure. Maybe I should rearrange my hair.” These thoughts are bombarding your brain while you’re presenting or speaking to someone.
When you’re doing this, you look inside of yourself and that means you are not able anymore to look into the audience, into the eyes of people, and send truly a message out because you’re speaking. The vibes are not going out anymore because the vibes are going into yourself. People feel that there is no presence, the famous executive presence, that is coming over because the person is so focused on herself as she wants to be perfect.
That’s why I say it’s much better to make a few mistakes, to stumble over your words here and there, to not look perfect, not be fully adapted to whatever group where you are in, but to stay yourself and have that energy to send out like joy, optimism, inspiration, or whatever you want to send out and focus on this exchange instead of focusing on being perfect and delivering the perfect message. That makes a big difference. That’s what I’m teaching a lot when it comes to communication for leaders. It’s essential. Most people are so bad presenters because they focus so much on delivering the perfect presentation, instead of focusing on the audience and letting it go and flow a little bit.
You’ve seen 1 million movies where someone’s going to do a speech and they have all their little cards and then they’re like, “Forget the cards,” and then they speak from the heart, and that’s when their speech makes a difference. That happens in real life because sometimes you’re so worried about how you’re going to say things or sound instead of the impact that you’re trying to do on your audience, team, staff, or whomever.
That is great advice because sometimes you’re so stuck in your head that you’re not able to serve your community. You also say that we need to use our story as our superpower. What does that look like? I’m interested to know this one because we all have our stories. How do we turn that story into our superpower?
It’s about the learnings that you have in your life. We all have a story about what we have learned, the mistakes we have made, and all of that. I have made many mistakes. My mistakes shape my superpower. The story which I told you, where I was not doing or sticking to my opinion, that is a such huge learning for me. I turned it into this superpower of detecting these behaviors, and also in other people and helping them to detect it themselves to realize that and step into another dimension.
We have to go back to our learnings and then we’re always coming from mistakes. In my opinion, there’s no relearning or deep learning without a mistake because it hurts, you remember, and then you grow. If you look at it like this, then you grow. You can grow into having a package of superpowers if you look at your mistakes and future mistakes as well as opportunities to get your super tools into your superpower box in a certain way, and combine these things and think about, “What have I lived in my life? What were the situations that were more difficult for me?”
For people who lived through real hardship, I see often that they turned this quite easily into superpowers. They had a hard time in their lives and that shook them up so much that they couldn’t ignore it. In the best case, they get out of it 10 or 100 times stronger than they have been before. For people like me, I didn’t have that hardship and hard situations in my life. It’s much more difficult to detect these things because you have to look into the little stuff.
Some experiences like the one I shared is a bit bigger and more obvious, but there are many other situations which people easily wipe away because it was a mistake, “I don’t think about it anymore,” and then they do the mistake again a few years later because they have forgotten it. Whereas they could have turned it into, “What’s the learning?” It may be small learning, but small things add up. This is how you can grow a competent profile and turn it into strengths and create an awareness of it, that’s so important because we have lots of strengths, but are we aware of them? Most of us are not especially perfectionists because they’re so self-critical.
That’s incredible because that’s a little bit of what you and I are trying to do now. There was a time when I went through a bad divorce and it was one of those things that I had to fight for my kids. From there, I had these two little kids to take care of and I knew that I had to advance in my career so that I could take care of these two little kids. That was one learning that I had for me. I need to hustle and move up that corporate ladder, but I was working hard and thinking to myself, “Any day now someone’s going to come and say, ‘Rosie, do you want to become a manager?’” Nobody ever came. When I finally said something, that’s when things started happening for me and I became a manager.
That was part of my story where it taught me to use my voice so that I could advocate for myself, and now I’m paying it forward, and trying to advocate for other women as you are doing as well. I love the fact that you use the phrase, “Turn your story into a superpower,” because you can do amazing things when you triumph from some hardship. I’m curious about the next thing that I’m going to ask you. How can women break through that inner glass ceiling that keeps them small?
First of all, you need to see where it is. A glass ceiling is a nice metaphor for that. You can imagine inside of yourself, somewhere at a certain level is a glass ceiling. If you don’t know where it is, then you cannot do anything about it. The first thing is to understand, “Where is my glass ceiling?” You can do some mental exercises for that. If it’s related to a career, then it’s also related to money. There are two ways of doing that. The best is to do it both ways. It’s a little bit more conceptual. You can imagine a high position where you want to get to, maybe not in the next week, but maybe in five years. it’s something that is truly inspirational for you and seems quite out of reach.
While you imagine yourself and visualize yourself in that situation, you then listen to yourself because, on one hand, you’re like, “This is great if I could be there,” but surely at some point, you’ll get thoughts like, “You do not have the competencies to get there. You will never get there. You’re not good enough for that. Others can do that, but not you. You’re too old,” there are thousands of thoughts. You’ll be bombarded by your negative beliefs in the situation.
What people often do is push them away and forget them again. What you can do to create more awareness is after that exercise, write them down. What have you heard? What were these thoughts? Look into your normal life. What are you doing every day? How are you reacting in situations? Where do these thoughts come into play?”
If you have the classic one like, “I’m not good enough,” thought, where does it come into play? How often have you thought about it? How often have you thought about it in the last meeting? How often have you thought about it and you did not open your mouth to ask a question, even if needed an answer? How often did you not comment on something because you thought it was not good enough? The comment is not professional enough or whatever. It’s important to understand that you have these beliefs.
I do the other one often because it’s more tangible and it’s about numbers. Think about your salary and listen to yourself about how you feel about the salary. You can do the same thing. It’s the slightest feeling of guilt, shame, or doubt appearing. If so, then in your mind, turn the salary down. If it is $100,000, go to $90,000. Listen to yourself again. “Do I feel any guilt? Do I deserve $90,000? I still don’t,” then go down to $80,000.
This is frightening because nearly everyone is comfortable with a salary that is lower than the one that they have, which means that they are already operating above their glass ceiling in a certain way, and this is why they hesitate so much to ask for a salary increase because subconsciously, they already believe they do not even deserve the salary that they have now.
A salary increase means stepping up in the hierarchy as well or vice versa. When you apply for a new role and you’re not aware of that, you subconsciously do not feel like deserving the salary that comes with it. You will self-sabotage the ways how you apply. You might not even apply at all. If you do, you do it with the doubt, “I will not get that role anyway,” and what you think of yourself, others tend to think of you as well. If you convey this message subconsciously with your body language and nonverbal cues that you do not deserve this role, you won’t get it. That will reconfirm the pattern that you’re not good enough. This is how you stay under your glass ceiling.
You said a lot that blows my mind. These are patterns because things that you think and keep recurring thinking. A simple example is, “I have to lose the last ten pounds.” You wake up and think of it every single day, but when you are following a good diet or eating healthy and exercising, and you start seeing the scale move down, that thought leaves your mind. You have head space to think of something else.
I can barely believe that you said that some people think that they feel guilty earning a certain amount of money and then they keep going down. That’s incredible and that, to me, is sad because if you’re already getting paid $100,000, you should feel that you deserve that money. As you said, that’s how we women sabotage ourselves when we think that we’re not good enough. I’ve said this 1 trillion times. Women don’t apply for jobs, so I agree with you that we need to reframe how we think of our glass ceiling and continue to try to achieve something.
If your limiting self-beliefs start popping in, you need to squash those beliefs and reframe them so that you think, “I deserve to be here. I deserve the next position.” That’s all good information to talk about because even C-Suite executives are going to be thinking this, especially because they might be the only woman in the room, as you will know. I said that one of my mistakes was that I didn’t say anything so that was one of my lessons. What are the three common myths about communicating with impact?
The first common myth is about communicating is about sending a strong message out. It’s also about that, but overall communicating is about, first of all, listening and thinking about what the other person needs to hear or needs at all. You then can communicate with impact. Whereas we usually do the opposite thing. We send something out where we think this is a strong message and then it should land logically because we think that it will and it doesn’t. It is because we never listened to the other person and never took this empathetic look at the situation so we can tailor-make a message towards another person. That is an important thing.
The other myth about communication is that only extroverts are good communicators because they make the show. I don’t believe so. Out there in the world, especially in the corporate world, we have that image that certain personality types seem to be more successful or more adept to be good leaders. These are still also the stereotypes that we have in our minds or the behavioral codes that we are used to. It is not like that.
The myth about communication that you need to be outgoing, outspoken, and energetic, and only then you’ll be a good communicator is not true. What this leads to is that those who are more introverted and calmer people who have another way of communicating will have to be inauthentic. Authenticity is key in communication. It’s not about being the big rah-rah person. It’s about being authentic and truly staying yourself when you are communicating to the outside world. This is something that is important.
Communication is the intent that you put into it. There are so many ways of communicating. It’s a dialogue, email, or presentation. It’s always a little bit different, but are we clear about the intent? Often, we send out an email and stuff in there somehow, but the other person doesn’t even know what they’re doing with that. It’s just for information. “Do I have to do something? What exactly? By when?” It’s unclear quite often because we don’t even ask ourselves what is the intent.
Good intent is not about the wind that you create for yourself because you need this information or you want someone to do something for you at work or something like that, but that you create and shape an intent and that sounds like something well-known, but people don’t do it, shape a win-win. Think win-win simply. Your intent is something great. What is the win for the other person? Why should they do that? Why should they do that immediately? Step into their shoes and change your perspective. It’s not about you, it’s about the audience.
Shape their win before you come to what you need from them. You’ll then get much better results. Logically, people will see at first also their win because you said it at first, you wrote it in your first sentence, and not in the last or nowhere, then you get something back. It’s much easier. You’ll see it’s much smoother to make your team do what you want them to do to convince a peer person who had not the same opinion as you to at least go into a dialogue. It makes things much smoother.
What I got out of that was the 1st thing is to listen, the 2nd thing is to be authentic, and then the 3rd thing is to have intent or communicate the intention. Those are fantastic because sometimes if you don’t do 1 of those 3 things, it’s going to fail because it doesn’t have those three components. You and I both know that women don’t negotiate as often as males. As a matter of fact, I’ve read a statistic that women can make up to $2 million less than a male over an entire career, simply by not negotiating. What are some things that you recommend for leaders to do when it comes to the next salary negotiation?
First of all, check your money mindset. It’s all in there. I’m persuaded that it’s all in there. You can learn the best negotiation techniques or whatever, read books about that, how you bring up the topic, and all of that, but if the inside of you does not believe you deserve the amount you’re negotiating, then you will send out all the nonverbal cues that are not congruent with what you’re saying.
Your arguments can be as rock solid as you want. You will sabotage them because your tone of voice is not congruent with the message, body language, or eye contact. You cannot train the micro mimics in your face. You need to feel it because then it will come all-natural and you will go in with such a conviction that you deserve that amount.
It’s about your money mindset as such also about your achievements. Women are self-critical about what they have achieved because they think it was good, but not good enough, and so on. Go back to your achievement and look at them from a different perspective. For me, there are two main things that you can do if you want to go much stronger in a negotiation or even do the first step of asking for negotiation. That’s the first thing to do.
One is this money mindset. It means that you elevate your level. You can do that by mentally blowing up your money belief or your belief about your salary. Not a belief, but the salary as such. You can visualize it like a thermostat, a meter, or something like that, but you blow it up to 10 times the amount or 20 times, something completely unrealistic, and then you tune it down again until you feel no guilt anymore and you feel, “I deserve that.”
You can do that every day or days before your negotiation every day. You will feel where you are at. If you want to negotiate $130,000 or several hundred thousand for example, or whatever it is, then go until you feel good about your $130,000 better, even about $200,000 because the situation as such can push you back into old behavioral patterns or thought patterns. That’s one thing.
The other thing is being aware of your achievements seriously. What I often say to women who are so critical about what they do at work, they know that they’re competent, but they don’t feel it. You need to feel that and track down your successes. Do like a gratitude journal, but a success journal and write down all the little successes. This is the trick here. You write them as if you were your best colleague or best friend who appreciates your work. You write it from that perspective, not from yours. If it’s from you, you will diminish them.
The first time you do that, you will already see, “Wow, what a gap,” because I would never phrase it like that. People will phrase it differently and that changes the perspective. Read it through again and realize, “If I see it from another perspective, there is another reality.” It’s not only what is right is the reality. This other perspective is as real as yours, even if it is far more positive. This thing changes your reality in the end because your thoughts create your reality, and that is important to understand.
The money mindset is so critical. We’ve talked about mindset before on the show, but we haven’t specifically spoken about money mindset. To your point, if you don’t feel and believe it, and you go into the negotiation and you do all these micro facials or body language. This is a little bit of a tangent, but you mentioned the executive presence which is what you say, how you say it, and how you look when you’re seeing it. If you don’t bring a solid executive presence to that negotiation or conversation, that’s when it all goes south.
Amy Cuddy has that famous TED Talk where she does the power poses and stands like superwoman or whatever. Before you start thinking about the negotiation techniques and what you’re going to say, you bring a great position. You have to feel it within your body, believe it, and bring that confidence. You then can start talking about all of your achievements and stuff like that.
It’s interesting that you use the word conviction because previously I was saying, “You have to be able to articulate your worth with massive confidence and conviction.” I spoke to somebody that does a lot of languages and they said, “You don’t have to. You get to. It’s a privilege.” You get to be able to articulate your worth with massive confidence and conviction. All of those, the executive presence, the conviction, and the money mindset are all part of it. It’s hard to get there, but people can do it by doing some of the exercises that you said. As a C-Suite executive, have you done coaching for women when it comes to money mindset?
Not when I was a C-Suite executive, but now. I do it now quite a lot. This is why I say it’s so crazy that nearly all of them are comfortable with a salary that is lower than their actual salary. This alone is a good insight because that explains a lot of things. Why are they underpaid potentially? Why did they not get that new position last year? Why do they never self-promote? Why do they never ask for negotiation either and so on and so forth? It’s amazing and it happens to all of us.
To me as well, I also check that for myself and I’m doing it nearly every morning now for my business to check where, “What do I accept as a business amount or as revenue right now?” When I see it lowers again, I do the exercise and push it up again so that it stays on my level. I saw things changing. Things change like that. What you create in your mind changes what you create in the outside world. It sounds so easy, but it’s not because you have so many subconscious sabotaging thoughts going on that it’s hard to clean up that mindset overall. It’s not only for money, but for our success, our position in the company, our private life, or whatever we want to achieve.
We’re having this conversation for a reason. We want women to know all these things about themselves, but at the same time, it’s a little bit deflating that we, women, are so hard on ourselves. The fact that you might think that you don’t deserve the money that you’re earning now. That rattles my cage. We’re coming down to the end here, but I know you have a gift which is a Top 10 Achievers Lessons. Thank you very much for that gift, but do you want to tell me a little bit about your gift?
It’s called Top 10 List. It’s a list of proven strategies that I’ve worked out based on my own experience of climbing up the whole career ladder and what I’ve seen with my clients and when I was a C-level executive. It’s a good mix of things, starting from your goals, but also walking through your beliefs, creating that confidence, prioritizing differently, looking at other people that are more successful than you differently, and many other things. These are ten proven strategies of how you can shape a different leadership personality that is based on your true self.
I did want to go back to the fact that you said to journal your successes but do it from a different perspective. That’s fantastic because as we all know, we are our biggest cheerleaders for our friends, family, and loved ones, but not for ourselves. When you do it from someone else’s perspective, because you know that your best friend is not going to be as critical about you as you are about yourself so doing that from a different perspective, that’s gold right there.
You’ve given us a ton of good information already, but could you provide us with two actionable tips that an executive or a C-Suite executive could do to continue to maybe not necessarily advance because a lot of women may not either want to advance or get to that presidential position anytime soon, but how do they keep to the level of their peers and continue to be an effective leader?
It comes back to two things that I said as well. For me, these are the top two things that you need in life and also in your career. The first one is this perfectionism versus authenticity piece. Be authentic, be yourself, and do not try to be perfect. Give your best, but your best is enough. Your best is in your eyes only. 90% is what’s required then 90% is good because you gave your best. Trade perfectionism in for authenticity.
You will come over with much more energy when you will convey this radiating from the inside, but it is not happening when you’re holding yourself back because you try to be perfect. The famous aura around you or charisma that comes out of that can never ever come through if you stay in your perfectionism bubble. You need to go out of that. That’s super important. Logically, the decisions which you’ll make and the bold positions which you can take will come with that. That is an important consequence of this way of being.
That’s important at all levels. Your thoughts shape your reality. Be aware. Create awareness and maintain awareness. You can ask yourself in different situations, “What have I thought about myself in the last two seconds? I had this thought again. It pops in here. This is why I’m acting like that. This is why I’m feeling small right now.”
It will help you to grow because you can then see yourself in a much more friendly light because you realize how harsh you are all the time with yourself. You can grow your confidence. That’s what you need if you want to step up and feel good in that position because you have low confidence and still reached the high level, it’s pretty painful. It’s a stressful exercise.
What I heard you say was to trade that perfectionism for authenticity, and then the second thing is that thoughts create your reality. Those are so powerful and good because thoughts do create your reality. You see that in people’s lives when someone is negative all the time, life s*** on them all day long, but for someone that’s positive, life gives them positivity and good experiences in life. Again, thoughts create your reality. It’s not that hard. Ulrike, this has been a great conversation. Any final thoughts before I let you go?
I hope that the audience takes advantage of whatever I’ve said and tries to apply that in their daily life. It’s not difficult, but it takes discipline because it takes time and it’s a continuous evolution. It’s not done overnight or with a crash course for one week. It’s a lifestyle. You can change this way of being. The only person who can decide is you. You don’t need anyone else.
I love the fact that you’re saying the way you think is a lifestyle change. It’s like your diet. Losing weight is a lifestyle change and it’s the same thing with your mindset. You can’t see your mindset the way you can see the weight on your body. Thank you so much for your time. I appreciate you.
Thank you for having me.
I’m pretty sure you can understand why I invited Ulrike onto the show. By the way, she had to educate me on how to pronounce her first name close, but apparently, I’m not exact. She did a great job at providing us with some good information as a C-Suite and executive-level woman in corporate. One of the things that struck me is that as a woman, you can’t lose that femininity because it brings diversity into the conversation when you’re in the corporate world. That’s one of the biggest things for me as a takeaway.
The second thing for me is to turn your story into a superpower. Use whatever grievances life has thrown at you and turn them into something positive, whatever the situation is. The last couple of things that I will do is recap her two tips. Tip number 1) she says, “Trade perfectionism for authenticity.” Let’s not try to be perfect. Let’s try to be authentic. Tip number 2) is that thoughts create your reality. If you’re a negative Nelly, life is going to throw negative things at you, but if you foster that positivity, life will show you positive things. I am a true believer in that.
It was a great conversation with Ulrike Seminati. Thank you so much for taking the time to read this. If you have any topics that you would want me to cover or that you’re interested in knowing more about, please send me an email. I am on LinkedIn. You can contact me through my website, NoWomanLeftBehind.com. Ulrike did provide us with a free gift, which is the Top 10 Achievers Lessons. The last thing is to remember to be brave, bold, and take action.
- Ulrike Seminati
- Top 10 Achievers’ Lessons
- LinkedIn – Rosie Zilinskas
- https://QRCodes.pro/PJBoFK?preview=true – Rosie’s VCard
About Ulrike Seminati
Ulrike Seminati is a long-standing senior executive, coach and author. With over 20 years of being a successful leader in corporate organizations, Ulrike believes that female leadership is one of the biggest untapped potentials in the world. Ulrike is known for combining all her experience and years of excelling in the corporate world with powerful self-development techniques that she gives to hard workers like you, allowing you to flourish, realize the root causes of your struggle, and finally land that leadership spot you’re after!