“What we need to think about is not change, it’s growth. It’s not about losing something, it’s about gaining opportunities.” – Nancy Giordano
This past year has felt hard to a lot of people. With COVID, racial injustice more pronounced than ever and a slew of other things thrown our way (like Snowmeggedan in Texas during February), it’s felt like a lot.
My guest on the podcast today though, believes we’re in a transformative time. Her name is Nancy Giordano and she’s a strategic futurist and author of the new book called, Leadering. Nancy was named by Forbes as one of the top female futurists, which means Nancy knows her sh*t when it comes to predicting what’s going to happen next in our world, and like I said above, she’s calling where we are today a dawn of a new day.
OUR INTERVIEW IS BEYOND ENLIGHTENING AS WE DISCUSS THINGS LIKE:
- Why this is the end of the industrial revolution and what age we’re entering now
- What the future of leadership looks like
- What the concept of “leadering” is and how to embody those skills
- How feminine energy will be the way of the future
…and so much more
This interview is hands down one of the most impactful I’ve had on the show to date. You don’t want to miss this conversation. Listen via the link at the top of this page.
RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
This is the Become an Unstoppable Woman podcast with Lindsay Preston Episode 103,
Welcome to the Become An Unstoppable Woman podcast, the show for goal-getting,
fear-facing women for kicking ass by creating change. I’m your host, Lindsay Preston.
I’m a wife, mom of two, and a multi-certified life coach to women all over the world.
I’ve lived through enough in life to know that easier doesn’t always equate to better.
We can’t fear the fire, we must learn to become it. On this show, I’ll teach you how to
do just that. Join me as I challenge you to become even more of the strong, resilient,
and powerful woman you were meant to be. Let’s do this.
Hi there Miss Unstoppable. Welcome to a very special episode of the show. Today I’m
going to be interviewing author Nancy Giordano, and she is a strategic futurist, global
keynote speaker, corporate strategist and gatherer with a drive to help enterprise
organizations and visionary leaders to transform to meet escalating expectations.
Nancy is a keynote speaker. She is recognized as one of the world’s top female
futurists. She has worked with many leading companies to evolve over 50 billion worth
of business. Nancy wrote a book called Leadering. So if you’re wondering what does
that term mean, it is a way for visionary leaders to play bigger.
Nancy drops in a lot on this interview, my goodness, even though it’s one of my shorter
interviews she talks really fast and there are some major gold nuggets in this episode.
So stick with it, even if she’s talking fast for you, you know I talk fast but Nancy talks
even faster than I do so, maybe even slow down on your podcast player the speed of it
if you need to, because again, you don’t want to miss this episode. I promise you.
She’s going to talk about what leadering means of course and how it’s different from
leadership, how we’re moving out of the industrial age and what age we’re moving into
and this is really, really exciting stuff. And that’s why we need to look at leadership in a
different way. We talk about how women and men view opportunities and growth and
setbacks in different ways and that’s a major gold nugget. We’re talking about just so
many things in the future and what we need to be doing mindset wise to be able to you
know, in essence evolve and to be the leaders that we want to be or as she says
“leadering” the way we want to be. You’re just going to leave this interview likely very
inspired, really with a basic playbook of what you need to start doing next to up your
leadership game. Again she calls it leadering, but really if we’re looking at the lens of
leadership, what do you need to do next to become a better leader?
Lindsay: Hi Nancy.
Nancy: Hi, Lindsay.
Lindsay: I’m excited to have you on this show and to talk about this thing called
leadering. Tell us what does leadering means.
Nancy: I think the best way to get into this is to step back just a little bit, about the fact
that there are these various eras of technology in business that define how we show up
as leaders or managers or people in organizations. There was an industrial era that
lasted, for many decades slash maybe hundreds of years. Starts where I guess, the mid1700s, and has carried us through and we’re no longer in that era.
What was defined as leadership, which was a certain way in which we organize, I would
argue, is no longer holding in a world that is what we’re calling the gate to the
productivity revolution. There’s a lot of factors that go into that and have to do with
technology and culture and how those are going to shift quite dramatically and that
we’re just on the front end of. If we’re on the front end of this way of doing things
completely different as organizations and as a society, we need a different way of being
able to manage our way through.
The cleanest and easiest way that I could describe it was the difference between a
noun and a verb. Leadership is a noun, it’s static, and hierarchical, and closed and very
intentionally designed to root, to keep out variability, to keep things as consistent and
ensure that we are able to scale growth infinitely and have short quarterly growth
consistently delivered. Leadering, it just takes a different approach. It’s about being a
verb. It’s about being dynamic, and responsive and caring, and inclusive. It’s designed
to support constant innovation and iteration for long-term sustainable value. It actually
takes a long view on value creation, as opposed to on R&D, and just flips it.
Lindsay: Yes, wow. I keep hearing about how we’re out of the Industrial Revolution.
Especially 2020 has really shown that even if we just look our education system. It’s
like that was what we were training people for. Hearing you say, this is like, “Wow, this
is so exciting that we’re transitioning,” because I didn’t know, what are we transitioning
Nancy: Well, that was just it. People are still using sometimes the language of the
fourth industrial revolution and I was having conversations with people throughout the
day today about how outdated that is because it still assumes that there’s just another
way of being able to tweak the playbook and we’re just moving out of the industrial
era. Almost all of the assumptions and expectations and the way that we hold risk, and
the way that we organize things in that era are no longer going to hold up in a world of
artificial intelligence and spatial computing and robotics and bio-engineering and 5G is
If you just take a look at all of the technologies that are emerging and converging,
which is really the key, and will transform every industry, every organization, every
societal structure, as we know it. The way I describe it also means there’s a part that I
think that we’ve underestimated is when you talk to the people who are building the
future, the technologists, the designers, the scientists, the entrepreneurs, the engineers,
and you ask them how far along we are, almost universally you hear 1%.
Nancy: That just means that there’s a lot of room for shift and change. In launching this
book, we just launched this, whatever, 10 days ago, or 14 days ago, and we’ve been
doing a series of Zoom sessions and interviews with other experts as a way of being
able to help people track along with us around the chapters of the book. One of them is
Steven Kotler, a close friend of mine who wrote The Future Is Faster Than You Think.
He and I had a conversation a few days ago about the fact that there are– He thinks
that there are 14 to maybe 20 internet-sized opportunities that are waiting to be
Nancy: Right? I know, let’s just talk about that for a second. [laughs]
Lindsay: Mind blown.
Nancy: It is and that’s just it, I get the privilege of living on the frontier of all this with
the people who are designing all this and so for me, it’s a little less daunting. Someone
asked me earlier today about why I do what I do. I said it’s because I don’t want to be
blindsided. I really love knowing what’s coming and being able to help us make sense
of it and build the capacities to be able to ensure that we navigate our way through
safely. It is really extraordinary.
Even I as much as– We did a project recently about imagining society, 50 years from
now for a client. There’s a lot of cool things that we can talk about, what’s happening in
healthcare and what’s happening in finance, what’s happening in education, what’s
happening in everything, and manufacturing. Even that I am probably underestimating
what’s about to happen. The question is less about what’s going to happen, and how
we think about it. This book was really designed to shore up this ability to the gap that
we have in understanding and the way that we approach things, I just think that we’re
approaching it from such an outdated mindset. We need to bring a much fresher
What I love about your podcast, and being part of this community, is I do think that
there’s not just a feminine gaze to it or an edge to it but there’s a real– There’ll be a
much more human-centric component to this, they’ll be much more caring. We’re
talking about caring economics at the most extraordinary level, completely redesigning
from GDP to an alternative called the social wealth index, which really puts people in
humans and our connection to one another, really at the center of this, and we are the
people who are going to be ushering that in. We’re the people who can neatly get that.
I’m excited to have this conversation with you and your community.
Lindsay: I don’t live in this future world at all. Nancy, are you aware of the assessment
called CliftonStrengths at all? It used to be called StrengthsFinder way back in the day?
Lindsay: There’s a strength in there called futuristic, I don’t have it. That’s when you’re
talking about all this and these people, I’m like, “These are all futuristic people.” We
find so much inspiration from you all of sharing all of this stuff, because we can’t see it.
It’s so exciting.
Nancy: There’s two components to it. One is the futurist who can just start to say, ‘This
is what’s going to look like over here,” and there are people who do that even more
boldly and creatively than I do. I’m a strategist. I’m a strategic futurist. I’m really here to
try and help create a path between here and there, that is that we have confidence
around and that we can get excited about and that we can get really motivated to go
help build. I really want to help build a better next.
Part of it is because I don’t think that the past really worked that well for everybody. If
you really look at the full landscape, women weren’t fully included in that certainly,
many people were not full beneficiaries of all that has happened in the last several
hundred years, if not thousands of years. There’s a way to build this significantly better.
The question is, how do we get there? What I get excited about is helping people
create a better understanding of it.
Maybe another way of thinking about it is that we’ve had a map. We’ve all been taught
that this is how to do it. This is what leadership was, it was a playbook. It was a map.
We’re now in terrain that is so unknown and it’s changing so quickly around us, the
conditions around us continue to change. How do we build the capacities for that?
Imagine, instead, I gave you a compass and I said, “Here’s how you use a compass to be
able to go into terrain that you don’t know.” Well, that feels like, okay, I can do that. I
can trade a map for a compass. Then the question is, how do I know where to go? Then
the North Star becomes a part of it. Purpose.
We’re going to hear so much more about that on an individual level, on an
organizational level, I would even argue at a country level or nation level, you’re
starting to see that starts to play out around the world, around the various places that
people are carving out in this exponential productivity revolution about the role that
they want to have in it. There’s a lot that is being constructed and reimagined and
redesigned and rethought right now.
Lindsay: Well, when I hear the purpose piece, that’s a big thing I do with my clients of
let’s find your purpose in this world and intention. I hear you saying is like, we’re all
going to be doing that collectively.
Nancy: Well, we’re doing individually and collectively, so there’s a really humanistic
view. We can talk all about the technologies and they’re exciting, and they’re
fascinating. They’re interesting to see what the use cases around all that are. Some of
the curiosities that we need to have around that so we’re leaning into it not so scared
Really, what we’re finding so much in this work, Lindsay, is it’s really a very humanistic
thing. It’s about how we connect with one another, it’s our sense of self-awareness, it’s
our sense of self-worth. It’s our sense of purpose and knowing how to express that and
feeling urgency to be able to express that, being in systems that support that and really
being able to better sense if we’re in a system that allows or does allow for that and
how we shift it if it doesn’t.
I talk a lot about the five shifts that are forces that are shaping the new economy, and
one of it is just not only our sense of resilience, and our ability to get through the
difficult times, but recognizing the systems around us that are holding us as well at
home, at our employers, at our retailers and the brands that we choose, and our
governments. There’s a lot that we’re assessing that right now about whether or not we
feel comfortable and safe. There’s a lot of awakening that is happening around all this
internally and externally. I do think that really, the internal piece is that– What we’re
finding is the place to start. That is actually really critical.
Lindsay: It excites me as someone who’s in mental health and mindset of like, we’re all
going to be collectively starting to look at this more. As you said, we’re questioning the
systems right now. Let’s do things differently. In order to do that, we have to question
all of our beliefs, and everything we’re doing.
Nancy: That is so key. It’s funny, again, we did 11 interviews in the last eight days as
part of this launch. Almost every one of them comes down to this idea of selfawareness, and a sense of purpose and a sense of really understanding who you are,
and aligning your beliefs with your actions and your intentions and your expressions.
Again, on the most individual level and then as a team, as an organization, as an
industry as a society, it mushrooms out. We talk a lot about that.
We look at the lens, the future, there’s three lenses, which is we always start with a
professional, like how can we do our job better? We’re humans that are going through
this. Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, community members, and we’re
members of society, increasingly being asked to take responsibility for our actions in
that greater scope, which is both daunting, and I think really exciting because it means
that if you make some good decisions, you have an ability to impact lots and lots of
Lindsay: Oh my gosh, so exciting. How did you arrive at this set of beliefs, Nancy? How
do you see, this is the future? I know you’ve been speaking with a lot of people.
Nancy: No, I think it’s a really great question, because I do– It’s probably three or so
fold. First is that I grew up in an ad agency, that’s probably multiple ways. One, I grew
up in phenomenal ad agencies. That’s where I was trained to build amazing brands and
got a really, really great education in business. What we saw is a big giant digital
transformation that came through, at I guess, in the ’90s, early 2000s, that really
When the internet came on, it changed the game. I saw how much that can completely
whipsaw an industry, change the talent game of who was prepared for that, and who
wasn’t prepared for that. It really woke me up a bit. I think at that point is when I
realized that building things, the way that we had built them meaning that we really
cared a lot about a communications campaign really wasn’t going to be where it was at.
It was going to be on more values and how organizations structured themselves around
I moved into that terrain and I did a lot of consulting with big, huge iconic companies. I
had a pretty good sense of where things were going. I had an ability to be able to
synthesize information that we’re bringing to them “Look, if I just bring it to you, it’s all
going to be great.” “I don’t believe any of that.” I’m like, “Oh, my God.” What I realized
that I’m advocating for the world is round, and they’re like, “No, the world is very flat.”
I’m building a boat that goes over the edge, and like, “No, that’s never going to work.”
The resistance around that was really, really frustrating for me and exhausting. I finally
decided to heck with them, I’m going to join the tech people. I was invited to help start
an artificial intelligence company five or six years ago, we didn’t get the full funding
that we wanted to, but I threw myself into a world of AI software startup, and culture,
and talent and it was quite a beast. It was extraordinary learning really, really great. I’ll
maybe only double down on a lot of my thinking around all this.
Then I built a conference on the seven most disruptive technologies and programmed it
so that you would see an industry leader or practitioner and a visionary around all
seven of those and once you saw that over the course of two or three days, then you
got a really clear view of where we’re headed and how unprepared we are for all that
and I wanted to help people understand that. Then I have been doing, as a result, or
have been able to tell their story in a way that helps people make sense of it and have
done 80 keynote talks around the world in the last two or three years.
Every time I do a talk, people briefed me on what’s going on in their industry, or what’s
going on in their organization, and where the gap is. You take that times 80, you get a
really clear view about what’s happening here, almost the same analogy over and over
again. We’re building the plane overfly, we’re putting the wheels on the car while we’re
racing. We’re building the bridge, while we cross it. Literally I had a day when I’m
getting briefed on two different talks by two different sets of clients who used almost
the exact same metaphor. [chuckles]
You realize is that everyone’s going through this, and everyone’s asking some of the
same questions about how we navigate our way through. What I’m just trying to do,
again, is shift the way people think. I want them to think differently about risk. I want
them to think differently about how to navigate. I want them to have confidence
moving through, because one of the things that we’re finding from all of this work is
that fear just locks people into place and if anything, gets them to double down and
resist change. If anything, what we need to think about is not change, it’s growth. It’s
not about losing something, it’s about gaining opportunities.
There are some scary stuff on the horizon. We need everybody in there to help steward
it safely. We absolutely need women in this technology. I think that there’s a big miss
right now, again, was describing it to someone earlier today because of Women’s
History Month and I would argue women’s futures month would probably be a better
way to look at it. Historically, we talk about innovation, we always refer to men.
We hardly ever refer to women that have been really breakthrough entrepreneurs like
Madam CJ Walker, who if anyone doesn’t know, Google her immediately, she’s amazing.
Then we talk about the women that are in the field right now and there’s such a lack of
women in artificial intelligence, in robotics, in cybersecurity, in so many of the areas
where we need a feminine perspective married with a masculine perspective.
Then value creation out of the 560 IPOs that have happened over the last several years
three were founded by women. Look at that, we’re not making the money. We need to
be part of the value creation that is happening as well. Props to Whitney from Bumble,
who just recently IPO successfully here, we’re also proud of her. She’s such an anomaly
and that’s a shame. She had to face so many barriers to get to where she was because
people didn’t believe in her idea. We’re just trying to open up the playing field a lot
Lindsay: Of course, I’m going back to all this of the mindset lens, Nancy, I’m like you’re
talking about the– You said something like the aversion to risk is one of the things that
we’ve got to overcome. Really, again, that to me comes back to mindset, which you
talked about, of like, these are growth opportunities, and really programming women to
take those risks and put themselves out there, believe in themselves, and do the things.
Would you agree?
Nancy: There’s two or again, multiple– My brain was supposed to go like multiple
dimensions. The first is just let’s just talk about risk in general. I would argue, again, the
things that most business leaders that are older than your target is, that most older
boomer business leaders were taught to do certain things because it would constrain
risk. All of those things now make us vulnerable.
There’s a lot of unlearning that that generation of leaders have to figure out. Things
silos or things like making sure that all the biggest decisions get done by the people
with the longest tenure or making really incremental shifts. All those things put us at
risk. What I’m trying to do with that level of leadership is help them reinterpret that
actually, this way of behaving is actually the safer way of behaving. I’m advocating for
this is the safe way and that’s the scary way, as opposed to the opposite. There’s that.
Then you put the lens on women. There’s really amazing work that Carol Gilligan did in
the ’80s. She wrote a book called In a Different Voice. Most of us are unfamiliar with her
work, but she really made a distinction between how men and women hold risk in
general. She just– The easiest way to describe it is the difference between internal and
When in its most no stereotypic way, when something good happens to a man, he
attributes it to himself and when something bad happens to a man, he attributes it to
the external forces. If a business idea doesn’t work, it wasn’t that he didn’t do it well, it
was, timing was wrong, the guys didn’t get it, they were jerks and didn’t understand the
big idea. They’re able to completely externalize the bad news.
For women, it’s the opposite. When something good happens to women, Stacey Abrams
actually has a great TED talk on this if anybody wants to watch it. It was recently done.
That when something good happens to women we attribute it to luck. Good timing, and
an amazing team. I got super lucky.
When something bad happens to a woman, we think it’s all our fault. I should have
known that that plant was going to catch on fire in a separate city. I should have known
blah, blah, blah. We accept responsibility for externalities that aren’t ours to know. As a
result, it’s much harder for women to accept risk, because if we hold ourselves
responsible for all the dark side that could happen and we self-flagellate ourselves
afterwards, it doesn’t feel really good to go take that risk. It’s much easier to go take it
if you can externalize that.
The quick in, and anybody who’s got teenagers can maybe see this, but I have three
kids and my oldest son, who I’ll just say, just graduated with a master’s in aerospace
had a math test once in high school where he got 69. I’m like, Dave, it’s 69. His answer
was, “The teacher didn’t teach us anything that was on the test.” My daughter comes
back with an 85. Like, “I need to drop out of math, I’m not smart enough.” I’m just like,
Those are the kinds of habits that I think if we can call ourselves out on it, and I’ve
done so many stories around how we help coach each other through those moments
where we see that behavior start to happen, and we stop it in its tracks. Happy to
elaborate, if you want a story around that. I think that we can call each other out. Once
we know that, then we can start to look at it and examine it with more.
Lindsay: I had heard that Nancy, but you bring it up again. I feel like that alone is so
Nancy: Game-changing is. It is game-changing. I’ll tell you two stories. One is I was at
an ideation session a million years ago and there’s a young woman who was ascribed
on our team, and we were supposed to all come up with whatever the idea was, and it
was time out, we had to go present. You could just see her shrink and feel really
insecure about it. Our team had come up with nothing, [chuckles] we were a terrible
team. I looked at her, and I said, “You do realize that that’s not you. Right? We didn’t
come up with anything. You were a great scribe. This has nothing to do with you.”
She looked at me like, ‘Really?” I’m like, “Yes.” She took all the responsibility for the
fact that this team hadn’t pulled its act together, as opposed to a dude who would not
have done that. The minute I just gave her permission to not hold that responsibility,
you could just see her relax and assume that she’ll become a scribe again next time,
because otherwise, if she felt all that responsibility, is she going want to step into that
role again? Not really.
Another time was when we were working with Sprint, and I was working actually with
an ad agency that had done a week-long project for them to start on a Monday and
went through a Friday, and they were presenting the results to a senior executive who
was a woman and then videotaped the whole thing to show how this process worked.
They wanted to capture her. It was very successful and they wanted to interview her. I
watched her say, “Oh, you know what, no, I haven’t colored my hair. I’m just not ready,”
and she deferred the interview.
I lunged across the room and I’m like, “You’ve never met me before and I’m sorry that
you don’t know who I am, but let me just tell you, there’s not a man on the planet that
would not take credit for the work that just happened here over the course of this
week. Who cares if your hair is colored or not? Own it.” All right. She went to the room
and she went and did the video. I think at some points, we’re just in the moment, just
need to coach each other to get over whatever that old behavior is and absorb it. The
only reason I had the confidence to do that with her is because I had been at a
conference a week before where someone interviewed me and I did the, “Oh no, no,”
thing and I beat myself up afterwards. I was like, ”No, we got to do this better.”
Lindsay: So good. That’s more of like leadering, Right?
Nancy: Yes. Leadering is this place about stepping into and being able to send– I think
that there is an innate ability, that– I’m just going to– I hate to be sexist about it,
because I really– I do think there are many amazing men who are leadering such as
Satya Nadella at Microsoft is an amazing example of this. You look at Jacinda Ardern, in
New Zealand as an amazing example of what leadering looks like, which is again, very
human, very responsive, very compassionate, really thinking through the systems and
understand how this is connected to this, is connected to this. It’s not just driven by
only sales results or growth results. It’s really thinking about the overall, relevance and
longevity of the business and the way that it impacts people in lots of different ways.
Lindsay: What I hear is a lot of adding in the people aspect. Yes?
Nancy: Yes, totally. Again, if you– Actually just check out Femme Futurists Society.
Because of my frustration about the fact that women are so discounted and not fully
included in this conversation about the future, we set out to do a conversation series
with women who are considered the top futurists in the country or in the world. There
were some articles about the top 10 female futurists. I was fortunate enough to be on
that list. I thought, “It’d be really fun to meet all the other women that are on this list,”
and we decided to videotape them. We called it into– We can describe it as the fem
Right now, I think you’ve only done 16 or 17 interviews, but if you go listen to them,
the through thread around every one of them and around the world, from Africa to
Sweden to the United States, is this human-centric aspect. It’s really about building
with having a real sense of not just humanity, which is in its biggest form, but actually,
humans designing with humans at the center and really thinking through the processes
Regardless of whether they’re in governance or whether they’re technology or whether
they’re in design or whether they’re in whatever aspect of the futurist work and
foresight work that they’re focused on, there’s a really consistent through-line in that
which is really very encouraging and inspiring to feel.
Lindsay: It’s the rise of the feminine. That’s what I keep hearing.
Nancy: Yes, and the feminine can exist in men. This is one thing. I do think that women,
we obviously we’re bringing our own take on it and we call it the feminine gaze. There
are only women that we’re interviewing for this series. Again, part of it also is to your
earliest point, encouraging women to step up. If you look at the top 20 business books,
I haven’t done it this is for sure but there was a stock once that was quoted to me at
the top 20 business books that three were written by women. Where is everybody?
It’s not only that we’re not necessarily, we have to fight our way through it a little bit
more but we also don’t step up. That has a lot to do with the fact that we think
everything has to be perfect before we throw it out there. I don’t know how many of
your viewers are also in the Clubhouse, but it’s been really interesting to watch this
new medium take place and watch guys just go in there and mess around and not be
perfect, just wing it, and women who want again, make sure that it’s all right, even I
haven’t put computers in there yet. I want to be perfect before I get yes.
Lindsay: I’m the same, I have the invitation and I’m just sitting there watching.
Nancy: No, but again, but I thought, this is the reality, we’ve got to get it and I was first
playing. It’s not because we’re trying to play it the men’s way, I think there’s a lot of
restructuring. I’m not necessarily just to lean in gal into the patriarchy, I think there’s a
way of completely rethinking those systems, I have a lot of men who are friends of
mine who are CEOs who start meetings at 7:30 in the morning. As if you realize
anybody who’s trying to get their kids ready for school can’t be at that meeting. You’ve
already just handicapped us by just deciding that you think that 7:30 is a normal time
for a meeting, which is just not. There are a lot of systems right now that are not
working well for women. Clearly, we’re seeing that this past year of the pandemic,
when you’ve got a She session with 80% of people who drop out of the workforce are
women, because we just cannot do this without some of the support structures around
to help us. I think we’re going to get much savvier about all this moving forward.
There’s really sophisticated work that’s being done on this if you want to go into that
which we can turn people on some resources that are really thinking through
recognizing what’s happening to women in society, and the ability to build much better,
much more cohesive systems around it.
Lindsay: Yes, I mean, I’m just thinking so much hope from this ante because I’m always
a hopeful, positive mindset person, but there’s just been so much shit that’s hit the fan
in the past year and it’s where are we going to end up out of this, and imagining this
future if it’s going to be better. It’s very exciting. Thanks for sharing all that with us.
I feel like there are so many nuggets from today that you dropped, Nancy. To a leader
out there, a female leader, and I view any woman as a leader, even if she’s just the
leader of her home, or just leading her own life, what would you say is the biggest tip
you’d have for her?
Nancy: There are many, all sorts of bucket them. I mean, the first is just compassion,
compassion for yourself, compassion for your teammates, compassion for others on the
planet who are have just different hurdles that they’re trying to go through, we’re in a
moment of tremendous transition. When we can call at change, which freaks people
out, I can call it growth, which actually inspires us a bit more, but the fact is, there is
transition and so being able to take care of yourself, just like the old, gas mask on the
airline, and then be able to take care of others.
I really do think compassion is a really big part of it, try not to beat ourselves up so
much for it. There’s a whole conversation right now with the increasing imposter
syndrome. The fact is, we are leading and learning simultaneously, historically had just
to learn, integrate, and lead. Now it is all happening in real-time, which is why again,
the book has a leadering with a verb.
What does it mean to build that capacity, and so compassionate because of being part
of it, curiosity becomes a big part of it, encouraging ourselves to always ask what if, as
opposed to never, and leaning into stuff that we’re uncomfortable and learning, it’s not
easy to learn new things? It challenges us in many different ways. The next piece of
that then is building a support system. How do we build a community that we’re able to
learn with, and grow with, to challenge, and our bad days have a chance to talk to one
There was a great story one day about, I did some work with PwC, a big accounting firm
that is doing a big, huge digital transformation. They’ve empowered a really young
group of people. They call digital accelerators and investing a lot in them around
understanding technological changes and shifting and having them go back into the
organization like a Hep C virus. We don’t use that term anymore, but go in and build
internally some of the shifts in the system.
I got to watch a panel discussion of these young people talking about what it felt like
and this one was, “Yes, I’m doing all these online courses and one day I hit the wall. I
was like, I’m too stupid to do this. What did I sign up for? This was a huge mistake.” She
doubted herself over and over again. She picked up the phone and call somebody who
just talked her down, and at some point she was okay. She took a deep breath. I start all
my keynote talks in a deep breath because, at the end of the day, you realize you do
have the capacity but sometimes you just need someone to remind you of that.
Building support structures I think are really, really critical. That’s where I do think
women have a huge advantage, because we often have built these networks of support
and a place where we can be vulnerable, and we can share whatever is going on. This is
where I think men are very disadvantaged because they don’t have that. They’re
internalizing all of it, which we’re seeing show up in really dangerous statistics. I think
you use those networks, build those networks of support and community. Stay curious,
stay confident, stay compassionate and take lots of deep breaths.
Lindsay: Yes, so good, Nancy. Okay, where can everyone go get the book?
Nancy: Amazon, Amazon seems to be at the threshold for it all there. If you want a bulk
version, it’s again, like I just tell you, Byzantine business right now, that’s certainly not
caught up with the times I literally have a flowchart that if somebody wants bulk sales,
there are six different ways that we can somehow facilitate this, if they want it
softcover, hardcover, digital book, signed, not signed. If your average person just going
to get on amazon.com.
Lindsay: The book is Leading?
Nancy: It’s Leading: The Ways Visionary Leaders Play Bigger, and it does show women
and men there’s a lot of examples of brilliant women that have done things, including
Martha Stewart. Martha Stewart is an amazing person where you actually read about
her curiosity and how she’s expressed that so many different ways they would argue
and she took a leap over an edge, but even that she used to her advantage. She’s an
amazing role model but all the way through, there’s plenty of examples of corporations
there’s it’s packed with statistics, stories, case studies, anecdotes, some that are mine,
some that are others. There’s a lot in there that people can, I think find something to
inspire them with.
Lindsay: Yes, for sure. I mean, I told you, I was just starting to read it and I was reading
“Oh, my two-year-old is running around. I was like, no, this isn’t the right headspace for
that, I really want to pay attention to it. It’s good.”
Nancy: If your curious father told me he felt like it was a textbook. It is not a textbook,
it’s not that intense but it is packed. It was actually really interesting. Again, back to
your listeners, just quickly, I actually googled how women write nonfiction differently
than men. There’s a really a big difference because we can’t just like make a big bold
point. This is where futurism and women I think, is challenging because we’re living on
the edge. We’re living with ambiguity. There’s not a lot of clarity here. That’s, again,
why the future societies are cool. It’s like, okay if I want to make a proclamation, I feel I
need to pack it with all this stuff. There’s a lot around each of the points that really
prove it. I’m really trying to make someone believe that this is real, as opposed to just
follow me down some—
Lindsay: Yellow book road. [laughs]
Nancy: Yes, exactly. I’m like, there are plenty, there are lots and lots of foot there, and
so lots of places you can dig deeper if you want or you can just read– Honestly, if you
just read the table of contents, you have a really good sense of where this is headed.
Lindsay: Just the wake, wonder, navigate, all of that. I’m like, okay.
Nancy: Have you know, honestly, I was just like this, if you only got this far, he’s
actually already like, yes, this is pretty much it. If you need proof around any one of
those you’ve got, 50 pages each to prove them out for you.
Lindsay: Nancy and I are referring to the cover because y’all can’t see us but yes, that’s
so good. Well, Nancy, thank you so much for doing this.
Nancy: It was fun. Thanks so much for having me. I really appreciate it and I wish you
guys the best of luck and if anyone’s got comments or ideas, let us know.
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