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Leadership Energy: The Path To Conscious Leadership With Vicki Bradley

No Woman Left Behind | Vicki Bradley | Leadership Energy

 

Rosie Zilinskas explores the intricacies of leadership energy with the remarkable Vicky Bradley. Vicky, a seasoned corporate executive turned entrepreneur and CEO of WIL Empowered, unveils the seven levels of leadership energy, guiding us on a journey of self-awareness and conscious leadership. Through riveting anecdotes and profound insights, she illuminates how leaders can navigate the delicate balance between catabolic and anabolic energy states, empowering listeners to make conscious choices in their professional and personal lives. From fostering allyship between men and women to redefining success in the corporate world, Vicky’s wisdom transcends boundaries, offering a roadmap for a more connected, thriving future. Tune in to this enlightening conversation and unlock the leader within!

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Leadership Energy: The Path To Conscious Leadership With Vicki Bradley

Welcome back and thank you for joining me in this great next episode. We are going to be talking to Vicki Bradley. She’s going to be enlightening us about the seven levels of leadership energy. We are going to be discussing how leaders can be more conscious leaders. Finally, and this is the one that I’m looking forward to, is allyship with men. We need more and more men to support women.

 

Vicki is also going to tell us what men do in their careers that women don’t necessarily do. Let me tell you a little bit about Vicki. Vicki is a 25-year corporate executive leading a number of organizations and is now an entrepreneur supporting leaders to become more conscious as leaders. Her work is one-on-one with senior leaders and with groups that are emerging and stepping into leadership roles. We are going to be talking about all of that and much more. Stay tuned for this great conversation with Vicki.

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The best part, it’s completely free and it only takes three minutes to complete. I have helped countless women like you achieve their career goals. I know exactly what it takes to succeed in the corporate world. My Promotion Readiness Checklist is a perfect tool to help you get started on your path to success. You will find the link on the episode website or you can go to NoWomanLeftBehind.com to take the quiz.

Vicki, thank you so much for coming on to the show. I know you and I have met before and I was on your podcast before, but how are you doing?

 

Awesome, Rosie. Good to see you again. I’m happy to be here.

 

Thank you. I am ready to dive right into the conversation. I know that you are CEO and founder of Women in Leadership Empowered and I think that’s such an amazing platform to continue to help women advance in their careers. I don’t know if you are on social media at all or have heard anything about a certain football player who went out and did a commencement speech at a certain college and that whole thing threw me for a loop.

 

This is a young man, and I don’t want to go into all the specifics. This is a young man who’s 28 and thinks that women belong in the kitchen and should be happy being wives and mothers and raising their kids. Most of us are very happy being wives and mothers and raising our kids, but we’re more than just that. Let’s start with where you think the world is today as far as women in leadership.

 

Women In Leadership Today

I did see that social post that went out. Unfortunately, I think this young man may have shot himself in the foot. What questions come to my mind is what environment have you been raised in? What messaging are you being taught? Women are multifaceted. What I see happening in the world is we’re figuring out how to harmonize home and family and our careers because we are more than just a wife, a mom, a sister, a daughter, or whatever.

 

We’ve been in a society where that has been very much trying to put us in a hole, so to speak. We’re busting out of that hole. It’s not anything to put men down or to take away. I think that’s when the #MeToo movement started, we swung that pendulum so far the other way. It takes all of us to make this world prosperous, connected, happy, healthy, and whole. My concern is we don’t need to pit one against the other.

No Woman Left Behind | Vicki Bradley | Leadership Energy
Leadership Energy: We don’t need to pit one against the other. Let’s figure out how to harmonize and coexist together in a very productive, connected, and happy way.

 

Let’s figure out how we harmonize and coexist together in a very productive, connected, and happy way. We learned through COVID how important connection is anyway. It can’t be one against the other because you hurt yourself when you have that mindset. It’s how we come together and thrive in a world where there’s so much to be grateful for and so much that we need to do together.

 

Men Supporting Women

As you said, the connection is everything. I know that men are great. There are so many men in the world who are incredibly supportive of women. Let’s talk a little bit about what to do about allyship with men. I know that you work with both men and women. What is it that you think men are noticing about women’s leadership? How are they reacting to women and what are they doing to support women in leadership?

 

As I was saying a moment ago, the pendulum has swung far. At first, I only was working with women. That was partly because of my own career path. I never worried about I’m not getting opportunities because I’m a woman. That never even entered my mind. I was very fortunate because the way I communicate is very direct, and I always had great male mentors, people who pushed me to believe in myself.

 

When we had this shift that happened, men have gotten nervous and they’re asking, “What are we allowed to do?” Their hands have been smacked for even the smallest things or someone crying foul when there wasn’t foul. What I was saying a minute ago, we’ve got to find that harmony. I did an event in the Capitol here in Canada. That was the first time I had done an event where I had a 50% turnout of men. We were talking about male allyship and why that is so important and why we need both. It’s if I do well, then you can’t. No, it’s how together we do well.

 

What I observed and what I loved were so many men were leaning in and they were saying, “Help us be better male allies.” There are a lot of incredible men who support women. They put them forward. They know that women are well-rounded. We’re used to managing and handling multiple things at one time. That’s partly why we make great leaders and why we’re awesome at running different organizations because we can do all these things. Smart men realize that. They recognize it, so they nurture that. They sponsor these different women.

 

They’re always bringing their name up when they’re not in the room. You have a few bad who behave poorly, but let’s not blanket everyone that way. What I see happening is you have men who have become more sensitized in what they say, how they say things, and how they behave, even simple things, Rosie, like they’ll say to their male colleagues, “Let’s go have a beer after work.” That’s when the connection happens. Now they’re learning women don’t necessarily do that because they got to get home to older parents or kids or whatever. They are looking for other ways to be able to build those connections in a professional way.

 

What Women Are Missing

As far as the men that you have been working with, is there anything that you’ve noticed that maybe they do that women aren’t doing to advance in their careers? I know you had mentioned going for a beer or going on the golf course. I know that women don’t do that, but is there anything else that maybe we’re missing out that we’re not doing as women to advance in our careers that men are doing?

 

This is not new news, but we tend to not put her hand up. We tend to have to check off all the boxes. I still coach a lot of women on why you are not putting your hand up. Why are you not walking into your boss’s office and saying, “I know this role is coming open. I want to be put forward for it.” Instead, we’re saying, “I don’t think I’m ready. Maybe I don’t know how to do X, Y, Z.” It’s more about hiring people around you who have the expertise. You don’t have to be the expert in everything.

It's more about hiring people around you that have the expertise. You don't have to be the expert in everything. Share on X

That’s a real distinction between men and women. Men will say, “Put me up for the job because I’ll figure it out. Women do the same thing, although we’re not as bold in a lot of cases in being able to put ourselves forward. I’ll give you an example of a woman I was coaching. She was incredible, VP at one of our big banks, and head of marketing. A new person came on board and he told her, “I’m going to terminate you.” He didn’t even know her.

 

She was devastated. The company came to her and said, “We have another role that we would like you to consider. It was in risk management.” She said to them, “I don’t think I’m qualified.” She calls me and we have this conversation. I said, “Correct me if I’m wrong, but at one point, you were the head of IT. You’ve been the head of marketing. How are you not qualified.” She said, “I didn’t even think about that.” I said, “Look, you have the skills. If John down the hall had 40%, he would have raised his hand and said, ‘Pick me.’”

 

To answer your question, Rosie, I think we have to say more yes. So what if you get turned down? It’s taking that step, having that courage to put yourself forward and what are you learning from it. Not being afraid to fail. What am I learning from this experience? I think that’s the big thing. I encourage you to say yes more. This is true with even our young people today too. My son just graduated from university and I said to him, “You need to say yes to opportunity. Yes, it can be scary, but put your foot out there anyway. Try things because that’s how you find where you are meant to be.”

 

Conscious Leader

I love the phrase that you said, say more or say yes to more things. I think that’s key. There’s a lot of controversy with leaders these days. What do they do? What don’t they do? Do they make people come into the office? Do they leave them? Are people being productive? That whole thing. What does it mean to be a conscious leader where you are aware of what’s happening in your company? If you’re aware that people are not happy, what do you do in those situations?

 

That’s been coming up a lot lately because our world is accelerating, especially with technology and AI. I think you and I have talked about that a bit. Everything is moving so fast and people are choking trying to keep up. The demands on leaders are even greater than they have been in the past. There’s a lot of telling. There’s a lot of top-down, pushing people to do even more 24/7 and be in the office and there are pros and cons to all of these things.

 

From my perspective, conscious leadership is about learning to respond and not react. Because we’re so fast, we tend to just knee-jerk comments. Instead of taking that pause and thinking about things and saying, “What is the best way for me to respond in this given situation?” If your people are not happy as an example, and that was one of the things you asked, you can take a quick pause. Do we have high absenteeism? Do we have a lack of engagement? Is productivity dropping? There’s no secret here. We see these things.

 

The question is, what do you do about it? That starts with, usually, there’s a high level of distrust when that disengagement happens. When you start calling in sick, or I need to take a vacation day or whatever, usually, there is a high level of distrust that’s happening. Gaining trust is about having conversations, and asking questions. “Tell me, what is going on. I can see we’re having a lot more people missing work. Why is that happening? What is making people unhappy? How do we start to rebuild trust?”

 

A lot of the work I do is around communication. Usually, when you’re an organization that is driven by telling me top-down like I’m going to tell you what to do, that is where people put the protection mode in and they go, “Wait a minute, they don’t think I’m competent. My ideas aren’t valued. They’re not hearing me. They’re not seeing me.” When you can start to shift that into more of a positional or even a co-creative where I’m saying to you, Rosie, “We’ve got to do $300 million this year. What do you see as the things that we can do to get there? Because you’re on the front line.”

 

Having connection and deep conversation becomes an important aspect. When I know that you’re listening and taking suggestions that I’ve made, it doesn’t mean you’re going to do everything, but you’re hearing me and you validated me that I heard what you said. That’s a great suggestion. I might not be able to do that right now. Maybe that’s something we have to do in phase two, but I’ve heard you, I’ve made a note of that. People want to feel valued. I think that’s a big part of what happens. When we become more conscious of that, that leads us to have choices.

 

I like the fact that you said to go to the people who are on the front line and ask them. When I was in the corporate space, one of the things that always happened was we would get top-down direction, not asking anybody at the desk level, “How is this going to impact you?” Once it came down and we implemented it, people were like, “Wait a minute.” They started poking all these holes and all these issues and all these questions.

 

We went through several situations where we would release something and then all these questions came from the staff and our external partners, and then it was messy because we didn’t prepare and we didn’t go to ask the people. I always thought, “What is the reluctance of going and doing your approach?” Asking the people at the desk level, how will this impact you? Because then you’ll uncover all the things before you release them.

 

100%, but it takes longer. That’s the number one pushback I get from clients when I’m working with them on how to shift from this telling communication to a co-creative. They’ll go, “Vicki, that takes too long.” I’m like, “Does it really?” You gave a perfect example, Rosie. You push something down right from the top and then when it gets initiated, everybody is poking holes and it’s not working. There are all these gaps that have taken place.

 

Whereas if we had slowed the machine down a little bit, and had some questions, this doesn’t mean you talk to everybody, but you pull some key people in. What potentially could be roadblocks here? What are some of the biggest challenges you’re having currently in executing? How do we be more customer-centric? Whatever those questions might be, they get caught up in how quick or how slow it takes to do things. It’s that knee-jerk. They want instantaneous satisfaction. Sometimes it’s like the tortoise and the hare. When you slow it down a little bit, you get great results.

When you slow down a little bit, you actually get really great results. Share on X

Seven Levels Of Leadership Energy

The key word for me is that you said there was co-creative like co-creating, I think that’s so huge because when you slow down, you get better results. It’s more comprehensive and more holistic. The people at the desk will buy into whatever it is that you’re trying to do. They can’t come back and complain to you while you didn’t ask me. To me, that’s a huge win-win. What are some things that you think we can do?

 

I know we’re going to talk about the seven levels of leadership energy, but when it comes to leaders and how stressed they are with all of the responsibilities, all the obligations, the key performance indicators that they have to now meet in this day and age, I think energy is so depleted in this day and age. Walk us through like what are the seven levels of leadership energy and how we utilize them in the workplace.

 

This is my sweet spot and what I love to work with clients on. The seven levels of energy are about choice. It’s helping leaders understand what their actual intention is and how it’s impacting them. Learning that you have seven possible choices of how you respond to something. It goes back to that little bit of a pause, stop knee-jerk reacting, and look at how you can serve yourself and that other person or people better. How do you want to show up? How do you want to be in the world? One of the things I work on is the difference between catabolic and anabolic energy.

 

Catabolic is very draining. That’s when we’re in that high-stress state that you were talking about. The problem with catabolic is it’s okay to be there for seconds, even minutes, but if we’re staying in that space for too long, that creates a lot of dis-ease and eventually turns into disease or has the potential to. I’m a classic example. High-stress executive, running North America for a company, just had a baby, went back to work. I’m traveling all the time and my body completely shut down on me. I wasn’t listening. I had lots of signs. I was not paying attention, but I was in that high catabolic state because it was pressure. You got to perform.

 

Anabolic is the opposite. Anabolic is being in that space where you’re highly creative. It’s how we typically show up when we’re in an anabolic state unless you’re a very angry or victimized person, but anabolic is where we want to spend more of our time. The seven levels of energy help you understand that flow and how we as individuals ebb and flow through each one. As an example, when we’re in high anabolic states, we’re spending more of our time in that prefrontal cortex, which is where creativity comes from. It’s where logic comes from. All the things that we need as executives. It’s learning how to shift from being knee-jerk reacting, angry, or highly stressed into something that’s going to serve better.

 

I’ll tell you what the seven levels are just to give some context. Level one is about being a victim. Level two is fighter energy. Level three is rationalizing or taking responsibility. A lot of executives are in that level three energy because they’re always having to rationalize the work that they’re asking people to do. Level four is about care and concern. Level five is seeing opportunity. Level six is a visionary, and level seven is the creator.

 

You can flow through each of these and I’ll give an example for the audience so you understand what I mean. Rush hour traffic. If you’re in a big city, especially during rush hour, traffic is our nemesis. We hate it. I’m driving along to meet Rosie for an interview and some person runs me off the road. My initial reaction of level one might be, “How did this person pick me out of thousands of cars on the highway today? I’m already late to meet Rosie. I need to get there on time and have a little breather before we start talking.” That’s victim energy.

 

I only stay there for a little bit because then I move right into level two, which is angry. I might pull up beside the person, have a few choice words, and could have some sign language, who knows? Level three is about, “I was listening to that podcast or I might’ve been on the phone. Maybe I veered into their lane.” I’m taking responsibility and I’m rationalizing what has happened. Level four potentially sounds like, “That person may just get a phone call to go pick up their kid at school because they’re sick. Maybe the guy’s wife is in the back seat having a baby and he’s trying to get her to the hospital.” I’m coming from a place of concern.

 

Level five might sound like, “I love listening to my podcast. I know my brain goes into such a deep thought. I’ve got to make sure that I’m carving out time in my calendar to listen.” When did that high rise go up? I never even noticed that on my drive to work. You start to see on a much bigger plane. Level six is about being a visionary. My sense there might be, “I’m going to invent a flying car. That way I’m at Rosie’s in ten minutes and I don’t even have to worry about rush hour traffic.”

 

Somebody said to me one time, “Vicki, that’s not reality.” I said, “Actually it is because look at what Elon Musk did. He created the boring company for exactly that reason. He created that tunnel or he is creating that tunnel to go between LA and San Francisco.” It’s all perspective. Level seven is there’s no problem. There’s no solution. There’s no winning. There’s no losing. It just is. You have seven choices as to how you might look at that situation. Energetically, that becomes very important, because if I’m spending time in level one and level two, I’m depleting my vitality.

 

I’m losing valuable energy. When I’m able to choose how to respond with one of the anabolic levels, I’m actually in a much calmer, much more thoughtful mindset. I know that’s a quick abbreviation, but it gives you a sense of how someone can move and ebb and flow through each of those levels, and then it becomes your choice. If you decide, “Today I want to feel like this. I’m pissed off.” That’s okay. Just don’t stay there. What I would say to leaders is you can look at examples of leaders, even politically. Let’s take Trump as an example. He’s a high-catabolic individual. He is lashing at people.

No Woman Left Behind | Vicki Bradley | Leadership Energy
Leadership Energy: When I’m able to choose how to respond with one of the anabolic levels, I’m actually in a much calmer, much more thoughtful mindset.

 

He’s angry all the time. He gets short-term results, but long-term, he loses a lot of credibility and he loses a lot of momentum. You look at somebody, and this is just this is through my education where people that have been in my classes, this is their feedback on the leaders. Obama, people see him as a highly anabolic leader and he takes that time and he listens and he sees and he values. You’ve got two leaders, one getting more long-term effect than the other. I’m not saying pick one or the other. I’m just saying that this is an example of when you have leaders who are in a high catabolic state, there are very short-term results.

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I love the example that you gave us because it’s very relatable to everybody. Everybody has been in that high traffic and then some days to me, people cut me off and I’m like, “Whatever, it’s no big deal.” The other days when I get aggravated, I do recognize that I’m more stressed out because I have something going on in my life too. I think the seven levels of leadership energy are so important not only for our day-to-day but as a leader. If you are not able to be aware or even have any awareness that there are different levels and that there are different ways that you can handle situations and then react to all those situations, then you’re kind of in the dark.

 

Women In Leadership Empowered

Once about the seven leadership levels, then you’re more informed, then you’re trying to, not that we can stay in that anabolic all day, every day, but when you’re in that catabolic state as you said, you can be there shorter time so that you can recognize it and then move on to the anabolic state. That example was very easy to understand and very relatable. I want to shift the conversation a little bit to you. Tell me a little bit about your journey in leadership, why you created Women in Leadership Empowered, and how you got to where you are today.

 

Thank you. I spent about 25-plus years in corporate in Canada, the U.S., and the UK. I loved it and, as I was sharing earlier, my body completely shut down on me. When that happened, my doctor said to me, “Vicki, you’re never going to be able to work again.” I was like, “That is not an option for me. I am not that person. My brain needs to stay stimulated and active.” I did some soul searching and I was like, “What is it that I love about the work that I’ve been doing all these years,” and it came back to people.

 

Especially in helping women have the courage to say yes to more and have the confidence to know that they do have these amazing superpowers and how to use those. As I was figuring this out, initially it was like, I’m going to work with women one-on-one, which I do. I continued to evolve this business. I had a client come to me and he said they have twelve high-potential females in the IT industry, which is heavily male-dominated. He said, “I need help with getting them ready for senior leadership. Would you come in and work with us?” I’ve spent a year working with this group and phenomenal women. At the end of that, I was like, “This is incredible.”

 

This is a business opportunity. I created Women in Leadership Empowered, It was not just about soft skills or power skills development. It was also about networking, peer-to-peer mentoring, and coaching. I said this to somebody the other day. You can’t have one session and go, “Now I know how to do everything.” Especially for women, it’s about building that network around you and that support system that helps you to say yes.

 

If you’re balancing having kids and working, you can do it. It’s nice to have other women who are experiencing the same thing that you can have conversations with. I keep evolving. As I was sharing earlier with male allyship, men started coming to me and saying, “Vicki, would you coach me?” I want to help because I want to be a better ally. I’ve started taking on more and more men because of that reason. They are asking because they want to be better allies. It continues to evolve. For me, I see the glass half full.

It's nice to have other women that are experiencing the same thing that you can have conversations with. Share on X

I know the journey I went through health-wise, some people have said to me, “How awful.” I couldn’t even walk. I was a mess. It was the best thing that ever happened to me because it brought me to where I am today. The impact I get to have with helping people to be more conscious as leaders and to have more choices as to how they want to show up. That is powerful because it’s easy to go with the status quo and push stuff down and tell people what to do. When you truly actualize the leadership abilities you have, think of the impact you get to have on the world. To me, that’s priceless. That’s why I do what I do.

 

Did you recognize, and I’m going to call it burnout just to make it easier, where you were at that time when you were stressed out and your body started breaking down, did you recognize those signs beforehand? Were you aware that you were that stressed out and that you were heading towards this body breakdown at all?

 

No, I didn’t think I was stressed at all. I loved the work that I did. I loved traveling all the time. That’s where it was interesting because my head was in one place and my body was somewhere else. I had many signals. I would fluff it off because I had a bit of this “I have to be there. I have to do this. I have to help my people be successful.” My heart was in the right place, but it was taking a toll on me physically. It started with little things like my back was bothering me.

 

I’d get off an airplane and I was having a harder time standing up. I’d be walking through a plaza and having to hang on to the rail. People would be like, “Are you okay, Vicki?” Because I’m a high-energy person. I’d be like, “I’m okay. Maybe I’m a little tired right now. I’ve been on three flights in the last three days.” That kind of thing. I would make excuses for it. I developed an autoimmune issue, which is what my challenge is. When it happened, it took me eighteen months to figure it out and that was going to different doctors and people going, “I don’t know what’s wrong with you.”

 

Doing all kinds of alternative medicine and practices, but the reality was it was what was going on internally because I was out of alignment with what I was supposed to be doing. Sometimes we think, “We’re in this career and we have to stay in this career.” You don’t. I said to somebody yesterday, “Stop being afraid of being fired,” because that might be exactly what needs to happen to open you up to what you should be doing. She looked at me and she went, “I’ve never even thought of it that way.” I said, “Think about it.” I said, “Spend some time reflecting on why you’re doing what you’re doing and do you love it as much as you think you do?”

 

I’m a certified high-performance coach. One of the things we do is we take twelve weeks and every week, we have a different theme. It’s almost like peeling back the onion. That’s what I thought about when you were talking because even your health journey took eighteen months to figure out what was happening. It’s a journey. You can’t just figure it out from one day to the next. How did you decide to focus on women, to begin with? I’m curious about that.

 

It’s a question I always ask myself. What drove it was that throughout my career, I tended to always hire women. In my last role with the Bombay Furniture Company, my entire executive team was female except for two. It was always my two men who were always saying yes. My women were not as much. That was the catalyst where I was like, “Why are these women not seeing all the skill and the passion and the knowledge that they have? How do I help women bring that to the forefront?”

 

We need more of that in our world. That’s how we’re going to shift this mess we’re in. That was what drove me and help women find the confidence to speak up. Be seen, be heard. Don’t make yourself small, be bold. That doesn’t mean you walk into a room and alienate men or other people. It’s about being conscious of that, but being conscious of who you are and what your contributions could be, so a possibility. Turning what’s invisible and making it more visible. I love that.

 

Many of us who are in the space that we are, whether it’s coaching, leading, in some way, shape, or form, are doing what we’re doing because of our experiences. I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. when I was younger, I was like, “I need to have my paycheck in the bank every two weeks,” and now that I’m here, It wasn’t even like I made a choice.

 

I started volunteering, slowly but surely but then I found myself speaking up and speaking out for those younger women that are coming out behind me and saying, “You need to speak up. You need to advocate for yourself.” Through some research that I’ve done, I think Robin F. Goodman, figured out or discovered that girls’ confidence peaks at age nine years old. I think in this day and age, there are so many women and people just in general pushing collectively for gender parity and gender equity. We all want the best for those women who are coming up behind us. As you said, I think collectively, we’re going to be able to shift things around.

 

It’s going to take time, but we have to continue to have conversations like these. I know there are so many conversations like these happening. To your point earlier, I talked about applying anyway, because men apply with 50% of the skills. When I go and do talks, the majority of people still don’t know that statistic. It’s still very important for us to bring awareness to women and people in general. Going back to the seven levels of leadership energy, how can someone work with you with these seven leadership levels of energy?

 

Work With Vicky

When I start working with a client, that’s the first thing I do. If somebody said to me, “I’d like to just try the assessment.” It’s called the Energy Leadership Index Assessment. Forbes ranks that as one of the top three that every executive should go through because it’s not a personality test. It’s highly subjective, but it’s more about what are your attitudes, belief systems, and perspectives. It gives you insight as to what is helping me to excel, but where might be my blind spots? What holds me back?

 

It gives you a good foundation for understanding how you show up in the world as a person and as a leader. People can come to me and do that if that’s what you’re interested in, but I also do lots of different coaching packages. That is one thing I do ask my clients to go through because it’s so incredibly powerful. When you practice it, this is how I try to describe it to people, it’s like going to the gym. You want to go and build muscle.

 

You can’t go once and do barbells and get those biceps looking good. You have to practice. You have to keep increasing your weight. It’s a process. If you want to understand how to be more responsive than reactive, then it’s worth that investment for yourself. You can find that on our website at www.WILEmpowered.com. It gives you lots of information about that, or just reach out to me directly. You can reach me at Vicki@WILEmpower.com or on LinkedIn. I’m happy to have a free discovery call and chat with you or answer any questions that people might have about the assessment.

 

Vicki, thank you so much for all of the information that you’ve given us. I’m wondering if maybe there’s one takeaway tip that you can leave the audience with from today’s conversation.

 

Self-Awareness

One thing I think that is probably most important is developing those self-awareness skills. What I would encourage people to do is when you’re having conversations, be highly conscious of what your intention is and then ask questions as to how it might have impacted the other person. We don’t check in enough to say, Rosie, we were talking about energy leadership, what is your takeaway from that conversation? It’s a great way for you to check if you’ve been clear on your communication and what you intend that person to walk away with.

No Woman Left Behind | Vicki Bradley | Leadership Energy
Leadership Energy: When you’re having conversations, be highly conscious of what your intention is, and then ask questions as to how it might have impacted the other person.

 

We all live in our own realities because of our environments and all the competing priorities that are coming at us. Oftentimes, that’s where we have breakdowns. We think we’re communicating one thing and it impacts somebody in a different way. That’s not an easy one, I know, but even that little bit of nuance if you can start to ask those questions about, what are you taking away from our discussion today? That’s a huge one.

 

That is incredible. What is your intention? How was it perceived? To your point, when you’re not checking how it’s being perceived or how it’s impacting other people, that’s when the communication breakdowns start. I agree with that. I love that actionable tip. Thank you for that.

 

You’re welcome. I’ll give one more example, if that’s okay, Rosie. One of the things that when I go in and I’m working with groups, that’s one of the things I work on with them in that communication. You would get this as well with your background in corporate leadership. A leader gives direction and then the troops walk out and Vicki picks up one thing, Rosie picks up something else. John has a different perspective.

 

That’s where we get the gaps. That’s where we get the breakdowns. If you just pause and take those extra couple of minutes to ask for that takeaway, then you know because it’s a check for you as a leader how your communication is being translated, but it’s also how are people listening. Anyway, I shared that because that’s a huge one in especially team environments.

 

We saw that because we had seven different teams. I was the executive vice president of leadership and development for the underwriting team and we had seven different teams. Sometimes I would talk to this team and they’re like. “We’re doing it this way and then another team is doing it completely different.” We gave the same direction and then people started doing it completely differently. I get that, for sure. Vicki, thank you again so very much for taking the time to come in and being on the show. This has been a great conversation. Thank you.

 

Thank you, Rosie. Thanks for having me. Have a great day.

 

You too.

What a great conversation that was with Vicki. My biggest takeaway was our discussion about the seven levels of leadership energy and how to utilize them. Vicki introduced the concept of the seven levels of energy, and she highlighted the distinction between catabolic energy and anabolic energy. The way I took the catabolic energy is that’s more destructive and the anabolic energy is more constructive. She explained how understanding and utilizing these levels of energy can make us more conscious leaders.

 

One of the things that I think with the catabolic and anabolic energy, once you are aware of those energies, you’re more aware of how external triggers can impact you. By knowing these seven levels of energy, you are able to moderate your reactions based on what happens to you in the world. You’re able to go from that catabolic, which is a destructive energy, and move out of there much more quickly because you should be in the anabolic energy. Those seven levels of leadership energy were fantastic.

 

Vicki left us with one final takeaway tip. She emphasized the importance of developing self-awareness in communication. She encouraged us to understand what we’re saying, but more than anything, how we are showing up for other people. Meaning, when you say something, how are other people taking it? The only way you can know that is by seeking feedback on how people are receiving your messages. By checking in with others and figuring out what their takeaways were from your discussion, then you can understand if you’re being effective in communicating with other people.

 

Great takeaway. I think it’s important for us to understand when we’re communicating how it’s showing up for others. All of Vicki’s contact information is going to be on the episode website, so you can reach her there. Also if you haven’t done so already, remember to take the promotion readiness checklist. I’m also going to put links in the episode website as well. If you want to figure out how to work with me, you can always schedule a strategy call. You can scan the QR code over here, if you’re watching on YouTube, to figure out how you can join the Unlock the Leader Within membership, which we’ve been doing a lot of great work within the membership. With that, remember to be brave, be bold, and take action.

 

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About Vicki Bradley

No Woman Left Behind | Vicki Bradley | Leadership EnergyVicki is a 25+ year corporate executive leading a number of organizations, and now entrepreneur supporting leaders to become more conscious as leaders. Here work is 1-1 with senior leaders and with groups that are emerging to step into leadership roles.