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Reflection: The Greatest Gift a Leader Can Give

 

“I actually want to really understand how you are doing. Because I feel like you’re being stretched in a bunch of different ways.”

Hearing those words from a boss can be powerful, life-changing even.

Shannon Wasiolek entered a career development conversation with a leader and had a very different conversation than she expected.

It was a space for reflection. She asked questions like:

“How can I actually be all the things that I want to achieve, in all aspects of my life?”

As a people pleaser, Shannon is a doer. And says “yes” often. Shannon’s boss said, “I want you to track how many things you say ‘no’ to for the next 6 months, and how you’ve reinvested that time into your top 5 priorities. And I’d love to review them with you each month, and this is inclusive of every part of who you are.”

She had the aha moment: You can have it all, you can achieve everything that you want to, but not all at once (and likely not on the timeline you’ve made up in your head).

That day, Shannon’s leader gave her the gift of reflection.

Christina Brady summed it up perfectly: “The job of leadership is not to make better employees, but to make a full breath of a person and to help people be better people in every aspect of life, and then you will see it in their work.”

Host: Christina Brady, President of Sales Assembly

Guest: Shannon Wasiolek, Global Director, Sales Enablement at Google

Highlights:

  • Shannon’s career background prior to her 10 years at Google [0:45]
  • New into the role of leading a global sales team, Shannon was planning for a career development conversation while juggling home life and being a mother. She jumped into the conversation with her boss, and her boss read her energy and said, “Can we hold on that for a second? Let’s put the paper down. I actually want to really understand how you are doing. Because I feel like you’re being stretched in many ways.” [1:56]
  • Shannon entered into a different conversation than she prepared to have. It led to a time of reflection. “How can I actually be all the things that I want to achieve, in all aspects of my life?” And realizing “I can have it all, but I can’t have it all at once.” [4:36]
  • Shannon’s boss said, “I want you to track how many things you say ‘no’ to for the next 6 months, and how you’ve reinvested that time into your top 5 priorities. And I’d love to review them with you each month, and this is inclusive of every part of who you are.” [5:30]
  • Reflection will clearly correlate back to your priorities. Are you living out your priorities and values in the way that you want to? [6:30]
  • You can do all of the things that you want to do. But do you have to do them on the timeline that you’ve made up in your mind? [7:02]
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