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Podcast Transcript

Cape Cod Coup

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:11  
Welcome back to "Your Authentic Path To Powerful Leadership with Marsha Clark" where we believe there's a better way to be a woman today. Join us on this journey where we uncover what it actually takes to be a powerful woman leader. Marsha, welcome back! And what are we talking about this week?

Marsha Clark  0:32  
Well, hello, everyone. And today we're going to talk about the Cape Cod coup. I'd like to share a bit of background on an experience that I had many years ago now, that contributed significantly to my journey to understand and develop my own capability around personal power. And also to discuss the importance of women supporting women.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:57  
Perfect. So Cape Cod coup. Okay, so you don't really go into the details about this story in the first book. But I know it's such an integral part of the story of your whole journey in starting the Power Of Self program, which is the foundation of your book series. So why don't you provide some context for everyone if they could hear that story today? And how it sets so much in motion?

Marsha Clark  1:25  
Yes, I'd love to do that. Thanks, Wendi.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:27  
Yep. So I very quickly, though, we're talking about the actual Cape Cod like in Massachusetts, right?

Marsha Clark  1:34  
That is absolutely the place we're gonna we're gonna talk about!

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:38  
What were you doing there?

Marsha Clark  1:41  
Well, I was attending something called the "Power Lab," and you know, with a title like that I had to go figure out...

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:48  
What that was all about, of course! Okay. So tell us more...

Marsha Clark  1:51  
So, the Power Lab was established many years ago... 30 plus, probably at this point 40 plus years ago by Barry Oshry. And it's a 24 by 7, so a totally immersive societal simulation. And the point of it, or the objective of it, is to explore the system and organizational dynamics. And so let me share a little bit about what that means, because that's a lot of, you know, words. But participants play roles, such as elites, middles, and immigrants. That's why it's referred to as a societal simulation. And the role that you play determines where you sleep, what you eat, the work, you do your access to money, and other kinds of resources. And so it really is like life, right? That what you have to deal with on a daily basis. And there are coaches there who support you through the experience, and really highlight and heighten your learning. And then there also are several anthropologists, not something we see in our daily lives. But what the anthropologists do is record conversations and activities that they're observing. And what they do is put a story together, and what they see is a more comprehensive view of the entire system. And they tell that story at the end of the week. So it's a, it's a really good place to see how your personal choices, actions, behaviors, words, how that relates to your power, your personal power in the system. And what I mean, just to go one step further is that no matter whether you play the role of elite, a middle or an immigrant, you're getting to see how your personal choices and your personal power, impact, and ripple throughout this system in ways that we don't really have that, you know, ability in our daily lives to understand that ripple effect. And always but this was a, I call it a microcosm or a condensed version of life.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:54  
And, how did that experience contribute to the Power Of Self program, and ultimately, your first book?

Marsha Clark  4:04  
So I describe it almost like it was a perfect storm. So I had just left a 21 year corporate career where I had, you know, more opportunities and career advancement, sort of beyond my wildest dreams. And I was also working mostly with men. And that's important in this case, because the women played a different role at the lab than they did in my day-to-day career life. And so I was also in the middle of a master's program. And I have a Master's of Science in organizational development. So you, that's where you do a lot of studying about the human condition, and team as well as organizational dynamics. So I attended this lab back in October of 1999. And so there's lots of change going on in my life. And that's why I say the "storm" part because it wasn't clear to me, and because I was trying to determine what my next chapter of life and work was going to be. I was 47 years old. And it wasn't clear. And you know, I think how this came to be or how this what I learned through this lab, we're gonna kind of let that unfold as we go through our podcast today.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  5:12  
Okay, so now what did you hope to learn as a participant in this Lab?

Marsha Clark  5:18  
Yeah, so one of my classmates, my master's program classmates, had told me about it. And so again, having had a lot of positional power in my corporate life, I chose to go in the role of immigrant. So in the socio-economic strata, that's the lowest level. And I really wanted to explore that. So how could I show up? How could I choose to influence and impact a societal system as an immigrant, so I would have to rely solely on my personal power. And the what I loved about this is there were 17 people in the lab. I didn't know any of them. And they didn't know any of me, or any any of the rest of us. And so there were people from all over the world, not just the United States, but all over the world. So we're all starting at ground level, or, you know, just with a blank sheet of paper, and we get to build and start whatever we choose.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:19  
So what's an example of how your personal power was tested, if you will, in the power lab?

Marsha Clark  6:28  
Well, and you know, this is one where people are going to kind of think you were doing "what?" So you get there, you go through an orientation, and almost immediately, almost just, I mean, within the first hour or so, the immigrants were put to work I was put to work in order to earn my supper, right. Yeah. So I literally had to work in order to eat. And so the personal freedoms and conveniences that we you know, enjoy in our day to day lives, they weren't really available to you there. And that in and of itself was a, you know, sort of rocked you back on your heels kind of moment. So there I was in Cape Cod in October, raking leaves in the rain. Right? And so there were nine of us that were immigrants, and five were women and four were men. And what I want to tell you is that in the first minute, and I'm not kidding you, in the first minute, the men were telling us what we were going to do as immigrants. So, not shocking. It wasn't a discussion. It was a well, what do you think it wasn't a collaboration? It was "Here's what we're gonna do." You know, and it was very, it had a lot to do with, with really, almost like an action movie, right? You know, like, you know, lots of stuff, noise, loud things going on. And, you know, we women, the five of us that were all standing around raking leaves in the rain, we didn't go along with it. And it was a moment where "Wait a minute. You know, I don't know you. You don't know me, but I don't. Why should I trust you to tell me what you think we're in?" First of all, why don't you ask me not tell me. So that was what I mean, literally, in those first few minutes, things were getting started. And I wasn't going to go along to get along. So that was a moment where I stood in my very personal power resisting, you know, immediate action to go do something that I didn't agree with.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  8:30  
Yeah, you've said the experience was a catalyst for your work. So tell us in what ways...

Marsha Clark  8:37  
You know, again, it was not an objective that I had going into this simulation to say, "How are women going to support women?" I didn't even understand at that point as how strong the connection would be that we can all be more powerful. When we support each other, I just knew I was going to explore my own personal power. So what happened so you know, kind of tell you the end of the story here at the beginning, but then we can unfold it. But what happened was women at every level, the elites, the middles, and the immigrants, we banded together. And we changed the system, the system didn't look like at the end the way the system started. And we did that by working with each other, talking to each other, and truly being strategic and what we were going to do in order to make the system what we thought was better for all not just us, but better for all. Which is what I think is the possibility if women were supporting women, and there were more women at the table in our real world lives. And so it was like, "Wow! Look what just happened!" because I've never had that experience before.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  9:56  
Right. So what's the specific example of like what happened? Tell us and what was key about it?

Marsha Clark  10:02  
Yeah, so I guess I have to give a little backstory here, because we all all have backstories, right? When we walk into our work lives, we've all got stuff going on in the background. So when I went, my husband had just come out of the hospital. It was it was nothing serious, and yet, I was concerned about touching base with him to see how he was doing. I almost didn't go to the Lab, but he had insisted and, and anyway, I knew that I could call him every day and check on check on him. And so I wasn't, you know, I knew that I could feel confident in that. But I want to also then say this is, I call this the B.C. time period - "Before Cell." Yeah, so, you know, come to find out when I say that immigrants had limited resources, we didn't have access to phones. So you know, if if I was gonna be able to call my husband that that was not going to be available to me. So what I did, because this upset me dearly, because I traveled most of my current adult career, and I'd called home every single night, when I was on the road. And here, I was not gonna be able to do that. And my husband was, you know, had just come out of the hospital. So what I did was check with my middle. Each of us immigrants had been assigned a middle, and I asked him if he could check with the elites to give me access to a phone because I knew the elites had all the resources. And so that was, you know, "the keys to the kingdom" so to speak. And so I kept thinking, you know, he's gonna ask. He's gonna ask. And after 24 hours, when they still didn't have an answer, for me, well, I exerted my personal power. And I went straight to the one female elite, there were four elites, and I went to the one female, thinking that she would have some empathy quite honestly for what I was trying to do. And she did. So come to find out my middle had never even approached her about my request. And so the elite said, "Please come to the elite housing and you can make your phone call to your husband." At that, that point that started a whole string of events in everything from the immigrants brought a case against a male elite for barging into our immigrant housing without knocking. One female immigrant was my lawyer. And we had three other female witnesses pleading our case in front of the female elite, who was also our society's judge. And I know this may sound a bit contrived, but I just want you to know when you are there, it is so real, it is real, because you're living it every moment. It's visceral, you're immersed in it. And you know, I mean, all of it, you're just, you're overwhelmed. And yet you see all the possibilities and opportunities to try some different things.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  12:49  
So were all the women on board with this strategy of going straight to the elites?

Marsha Clark  12:56  
So this was fascinating to me I have to tell you... So never ever did we as women all get together and say, "Let's strategize and change the system."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  13:07  
And isn't that like the the case for real life today?

Marsha Clark  13:12  
I think it is. I think it is. It was only in retrospect, and with the really the help of the anthropologist story, that we truly understood the full impact of what was happening. So I then asked myself, "What would happen if we did get together and strategize supporting one another? How could we contribute to our families in our organizations and our communities in an even more powerful way?" So it really wasn't a question of being on board or not, it just happened organically. And really, it was only in retrospect, or upon reflection, that we really understood the power of it, and what critical choices we had made to set that societal path on a different that societal system on a different paths. And that's, and that's what I mean, it was like a, you know, a wake up call, or you know, just Oh, yeah, we call them "aha moments." It was a big aha moment.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  14:05  
Okay, so to bring this into reality today, how do you think this plays out in our everyday lives?

Marsha Clark  14:12  
So, that was in 1999. And we started our programs in 2000 2001, that timeframe. And so I can tell you that many women that have attended the programs that I've delivered, declare, that they'd rather work with with men than with women. Women are petty. They take everything personally. They gossip about other women. That's the kind of stories that we heard early on. And some women would even talk about mother and sister dynamics, and those aren't always supportive either. And so one woman, I'll never forget it... She walked into one of our very early programs, kind of stopped in her tracks, and she stated on this like, there's too much estrogen in this room. So this was a woman who had four sisters she had she was an engineer worked in an errand dynamic company very male-dominated. And she really had to work hard, though, to get past her stereotypes of women based on her relationship with her four sisters. And you know, I think as you do this work, and we get to know ourselves better and recognize, if I can build a strong relationship with the women in this room, can I take that beyond this room and build relationships throughout my life in those ways? And I think this is I think we've said before, this is one of the big changes I've seen in the time that I've been doing work. We are much more supportive of one another than we were 20 plus years ago when I started this work.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  15:39  
Well, speaking of 20 plus years ago, didn't you work with other women at EDS? And why was it so rare for you to see women supporting women back then?

Marsha Clark  15:51  
Well, you know, I can laughingly say that I drank the Kool Aid. And what I mean by that is that leadership is leadership. I mean, you know that because there was really only one model. And because it was basically totally defined by how men operated as leaders. I thought that was what leadership was. And, you know, keep in mind, there weren't very many leaders that we had really enough experience to be able to differentiate or delineate those differences. And in addition to that, most of the research was done with men only. So that that reiterated or reinforced that male model of leadership. And so I'll never forget, in the early 90s, I went to an Executive Assessment Center where you go through, you get tested, take all this battery of tests, and you go through these various scenarios. Basically, to see if you're going to make a good executive. And the psychologist are the ones who were running the center, and they really didn't know what to make of my results. So whether it was the assessments tools that I that I did, my verbal responses when, you know, they take you through questions and presentations, and so on, and it was unlike anything they had ever seen. And they told me this, "We really don't know how to evaluate you because we don't want this." I mean, and that was, as I say, in the early '90s. And, and so we were forging a path to describe what female leadership look like. And, you know, it was that double edged sword of if we acted like men, we got in trouble. But if we acted like women, we got in trouble. So we were having to create, you know, some balance in all of that to make it to become legitimate and recognizable as female leadership.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:35  
Exactly. So what are you hearing from the women that you teach and coach today? Are they... do you think they're getting more support from one another? Now? I think they do you think we are supporting one another, better? Now?

Marsha Clark  17:50  
I can happily say that this is one of the most significant changes that I've seen. We have more women in leadership, first of all, so we have more data, we have more results to understand these differences, and even more role models. You know, I I've never worked for a woman because there weren't any women that were in, you know, leadership kinds of roles. And I want to cite a book, and this was written some time ago, but it was a really important book for me to read. It was written by Gail Evans, and it's entitled "She Wins, You Win." And she made a great case about when we help other women we're also helping ourselves and all women. You know, she talked about, you know. When one woman rises, all boats rise, you know, if you think about that old saying. And so the women that come into my classes today, it is rare for them to talk about not being supported by with other women in general. Now, do we all have that one woman that we work with that might be a problem... Yes, but it's not as pervasive or broad. And, you know, so there are still pockets, but it's nothing like it was 20 years ago.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:59  
Yes. And you use a quote from Madeleine Albright that many of us had seen and I'm going to state the quote, it's:  "There's a special place in hell for women who don't help other women."

Marsha Clark  19:13  
Yeah, when I first read that, it struck a chord based on all these, you know, stories that I had heard and and when she said it, admittedly, it was a different time. And, you know, when you kind of she's been interviewed and asked about this quote, many times, and when you get behind it, she you know, the fact that the men were by and large, making all the rules and the women were trying to live by them and figuring out how to fit in. So the point was that why are we making it harder on each other as women. We make up you know, over half of the workforce in today's world. And, instead of fighting against each other, what if we banded together and tried to make improvements or changes that, you know, we're a more inclusive kind of workplace community societies and so on.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  20:01  
Exactly. So let's get into specifics. What can women actively do to support other women?

Marsha Clark  20:10  
Yeah, and I want to say this, I don't want us to support each other just because we're women. Because I, I'm a values-driven person. And I'm going to support people whose values I think align with mine, and who are working to serve a larger good than a selfish good - an only me kind of good. And so just like men, women have different values, experience and points of view. So I want to give women the benefit of the doubt, and I want to include them, invite them more. And so my commitment, and what I think each of us can do in that regard, is for us to coach and mentor women. You know, it's often hard for women to find other women mentors, because we, we play so many different roles. And so mentoring is often like an add on to our business, you know, responsibilities and so on. And yet, I think it's really important that as female models that we are there to coach and mentor others, to how on how to be strong women leaders, we can advocate for women for hires, hiring promotions, raises leadership on high visibility projects, and even ensuring that they get the recognition for their work. You know, one of the things we hear oftentimes is the woman does all the back office, you know, kinds of things, developing the slideshow, doing all the research, then it's someone else who gets to stand up in presented and get all the credit. We want to make sure women are getting credit for all the work and contributions they're making. Another way is that we can amplify another woman's idea or contribution. And what I mean by that is when they say something, we can voice our agreement and support. Again, not blindly or or without it truly supporting what they're saying. And especially if a woman is bringing up something that may be different than what's been talked about are different than something that's always been done if she wants to take a new or different approach. How can we help support that to try something different, perhaps better, or go against the grain in that in that way, we also can provide feedback when women are doing something new or risky, or high visibility kinds of projects, that kind of thing. And we can certainly avoid making negative comments about women, you know, because they're often unfounded, they're generally negative, diminishing demeaning, devaluing, and we just have to get, we have to stop that. And we can, we're not only should we not say or contribute to that, but we can call out others when they're making those catty or stereotypical statements, and especially things that are not based on firsthand observation or facts or truth. And we got to stop talking about women in a gossipy way. You know, in the sense of whether it's how she looks how she's dressed because all that does is reinforce old stereotypes that have nothing to do with our capabilities.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  23:11  
Right. So let's shift gears a little bit and talk about tools. One of the tools you have in the book is a table where the reader lists people in their support system. What's the intention of that tool?

Marsha Clark  23:25  
Yeah, so this is one of those eye opening experiences that I hear from women. Oftentimes, because we don't always think about our support systems, we spend more time thinking about how we support others versus who supports us. So this is a tool that helps you really get clear about some of that. And what we've done is specify specify five categories of possible support. And I'm going to... it's going to take a minute, so get your get your pens and papers ready if you'd like to do that. And certainly, if there are other categories where you think about support would be helpful for you please add to that, because this is really looking at both our personal as well as our professional lives. So I call these the five C's. So the first one is Clarifying. And this is about the person that you might go to as a thought partner to help you organize your thoughts, someone that can ask you questions to help you get clear about your point of view or whatever position you might be taking, could be about raising children. It could be I know the mom, you know, Facebook pages, and and places where we go for information these days that we never had before. Or maybe it's about the big presentation that you're going to make to you know, a senior team, a board and executive team, a client or something like that, who can help you get clear about how you want to show up and present the information. So that's one. Then, Comforting. "C" for Comforting is about the person you go to when you've had a disappointing day. It's been a hard day. It's been a "never again" day. And, you didn't get the promotion. Your child did poorly on a test. There's a leak in the laundry room. I mean the list goes on and on for what can create one of these days. So who do I go to when I'm feeling down? And I need just a little, you know, an arm around the shoulder. You're going to get through this. I feel you. Whatever those things are that you want to say. So those are the first two. So Wendi, any thoughts before we go on?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  25:32  
Well, yes, I'm immediately thinking of two different people in my life. So the Clarifying one, I think it probably is. I don't know. For me personally, that would probably be someone more on the professional side. On the Comforting side, that's probably someone in my family, my spouse, my mom, my mother in law, my sister, etc. But having these people I love that these are the five C's. So I'm gonna let you keep going. Because the first two...

Marsha Clark  26:00  
All right. And the next C is Celebrating. So this is the person you can go to when you're having instead of the down day, you're having a positive day. So celebrating big wins... You got that promotion. You close the big deal. Your child got into their college of first choice... You know, that. And the key thing about this is the other person isn't jealous about it, or doesn't try to say, well, what's the big deal about that? You know, it's a big deal if it's a big deal to me, and they can be as happy for you, as you are happy for yourself. Right? So this is the person that you don't have to worry about being, "Oh, am I being too bright and braggy? Am I being too, you know, arrogant?" No, it's It's your moment to shine and celebrate.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  26:47  
I love that. Because I think that person is probably someone that you have a high level of trust with. And it's reciprocated, reciprocated. And so there's a lot of comfort and ease. And not that feeling of somebody bragging and somebody else having to listen to it. So I love that.

Marsha Clark  27:06  
That's right, that's right. Yeah, here, here come the last two. So the the, the fourth one is Confronting. So if the person that's the person that you go to when you need to play someone to play devil's advocate with you, right? So the confronting can be also the challenging your ideas, your thoughts, your assumptions. Did you think about ___?  Did you consider ___? Kind of thing. It might be to help you get clear, or it really may be a true challenge that says, I think you're looking at this too narrowly, or I, I think you you really need to talk to so and so before you go down this path. So that's the kind of confronting. And then the last one is Crisis. And goodness knows we've had many of crisis moments in the last many months. So this is the person that you can call on, you know, your child is sick at school needs to be picked up, they can't get in touch with. You know, your your point of contact other than yourself. You're in another city. You can't go pick up your child at school and that needs to happen. So who can you call on when it comes to that? Or, you know, you're about to walk into a presentation, and you're the presenter. So you can't, you know, get out of that. And all of a sudden, there's an escalation call that somebody has to handle. So who do you call on when it's that. So those again, as you mentioned, people that I have high trust in, in their willingness and ability to handle the crisis in a way that I think would represent me the organization or, or my family, you know, whatever it might be.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  28:39  
So, what happens if someone discovers that they really don't have that much of a support system? Or they find that it's the same one or two people for all five of these slots, if you will?

Marsha Clark  28:52  
Yeah. So I will tell you, that's actually the case more times than not. That is the norm, you know. If it's one or two people, it's a spouse or a partner, a mom or a sister, maybe a best friend. But the reality is that it's rare. It's the rare person that can provide effective support and all five of these categories, right, and some are good at some of them, but not others. And if you have that person, yeah, I'm really happy for you, because we all need, you know that, right? And, but, and by having multiple people that that can support you, though, is also desirable, because that doesn't put all the weight and responsibility on that one person or those one or two persons. So you know, one of the things I'll do with our listeners today, and is to encourage them to think about how do I expand my support system? And how do I invite others to be a part of that? So so as you assess the support system, I also encourage you to think about adding people that are different than you so especially if you want to clarify or that confronting to broaden your perspective, if you if you live in you know today's world is often called the echo chamber where everybody just kind of repeats back to you what you already know, not as useful when you're trying to get clear and so on. And you know, it. Also remember, support isn't about commiseration. So it's not a piling on. And, you know, yeah, I can't believe they did that to you versus Well, what are thoughts in ways that you can learn from this? What, Where do you go from here? So, and I also want to say that both men and women make up our support systems, it doesn't have to be all women. And yet women do have, in many ways, again, bell shaped curve research, they can empathize with what we're going through much more easily and readily sometimes than men can. And so do you like it. And I also want to say, you know, because we have technology and virtual platforms, and you know, all kinds of ways that we can connect with technology, this doesn't have to be a person that you know, lives down the street, or that, you know, works in the office next to mine, you know, you can hold on to support systems even as as they move through, you know, life cycles, and so on, and so forth. And then the last thing I want to say is, make sure to let people know that they're a part of your support system. And this is one thing that the day after we teach this in the program, people come back in the next day and say, I called three people last night, and I told them that I really appreciate the support they've given me over the years, and then I really treasured them as being a part of my support system, and that it made both of them feel really good. That is such a gift. Yeah, maybe I could share that with you. And you because you didn't know, right. And so, you know, and the key here is don't just connect with these people when you need something. I mean, we want to build the relationship so that when we do need something that people understand and have some empathy and context for what it is that we might be asking them to do.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  32:02  
So I want to go back to the Power Lab very quickly. You attended this more than 20 years ago. So my question is, do you think if you went to it today, you'd have a different experience? And if so, in what ways?

Marsha Clark  32:17  
Yeah, well, well, first of all, I have to tell you, I haven't gone back to the Power Lab. But you know, anybody that knows me, that is when if I like something, and I'm in I'm all in. So alright, so based on my own experience, I came back and I was a staff member of the Lab first as a coach. First as an anthropologist, and then as a coach. And I and I that the name of Barry Oshry's company, his Power And Systems, and I even went back and was a board member on the Power And Systems board. And that, you know, many people that have been a part of the Lab. If I came as an immigrant, this time, I might want to come as a middle next time, and I might want to be an elite the next time because each one gives us a different vantage point of the system. Right? And, when I say system, it's the organizational system, the culture of the system, the processes, policies, practices, within any organizational system. And if I did go back as a participant, I played a lot of different roles. But I would go back as a middle, because I think the middle role is one of the toughest to play. If you think about our organizational life. And, we do and there is a more professional organization simulation versus societal simulation that we've included in our programs, and we'll talk about that much later. But I just want you to get, you know, on any given day, using these societal lab terms, an elite or a top, in other words, on the most senior level hierarchical power person in the room, but yet, without me changing my job title or role, I can go to the next meeting and be middle and I can go to the next meeting and be an immigrant or a bottom. So you know, this idea of being able to have those different vantage points I think is is really important if you really want to understand organizational dynamics.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  34:19  
Well as you say that, I'm also thinking about just as women as we move throughout the day. We may be like when we wake up in the morning I almost feel like for most of us we're immigrants. We're slinging out the cereal. We're packing the lunchbox. We're making sure that the gear for the soccer practice is in the backpack, you know, all of that. That feels like immigrant work sometimes at the beginning of the day, and then we go to an office and we participate either as a middle or an elite or maybe an immigrant again, but then we come home... We move through these power systems, most of us, on a daily basis. I think that's so interesting to talk about.

Marsha Clark  35:02  
Well, I will tell you, I can't go anywhere now without diagnosing the system. You go to a restaurant... What role does the maitre'd play? What role does the waiter or waitress play? What role does the person who cleans up your table or delivers your food or, you know, checks you out or valets your car?  I mean it. There are systems going on everywhere. And if we begin to notice, and, you know, we do, I want to say this in the way we need to diagnose think about this in our professional and our personal lives, we often try to diagnose problems as there's always it's the person, that's the problem, they're not doing what I want them to do, whether it's the family member or the the co worker, or the boss or the direct report, or whatever it may be. And what we what we want to do and where I have found such great value in this organizational system work is if we diagnose the problem, is it individual? Is it interpersonal? Is it team?Or is it organizational? And, sometimes organizational, or organizational policies, practices, systems, technology systems, compensation systems, promotion systems, hiring systems, whatever it may be, those need to be fixed. And then the person can perform more effectively. So you got to diagnose the problem at the right level to solve the problem at the right level, because we've all known people that we said, "Well, Joe is a problem." or "Susie was a problem." We replace them, and guess what? The problem doesn't go away! Right? That's it. That's a hint, or an indication that it may not be an individual problem, it may be a systemic problem.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  36:54  
So so great, such great advice today. So what would you say are a couple of types of our top takeaways from today's episode?

Marsha Clark  37:03  
Well, first of all, is to recognize that there are systems out there everything that everything is an organizational system, and then really beginning to better understand, and you can get this through your support system, which is another takeaway, but really understanding how my actions, my words, my choices, what is that ripple effect going throughout the system? Because when I say this on Tuesday, how does that show up on Friday, three levels away, right? So beginning to really notice, I often say notice what you notice, because now I hope I've heightened some awareness with our with our conversation today, to begin to understand how that ripple effect, and if we can see it, and others, then we can begin to also better see it in ourselves, which means I'm going to choose my words more carefully, or I'm going to choose my timing more carefully. Or I'm going to make sure that I have a direct conversation rather than it rippling through, you know, several interpretations. So that's the big thing about power lab and systems. And the second, big takeaways are around women supporting women. So I shared with you the list of things that women can, you know, visibly do publicly do to better support other women, I encourage you to take away and think about who's in your support system, and and just even beginning to think more about the power of women supporting women. So how can I show up when another woman needs something for me and ask for my support. And you know, quite honestly, just to wrap this up totally in the sort of the package is I hope that women supporting women becomes our natural default so that we don't have to remind ourselves that we want to support other women, that it that we just naturally move into that kind of thinking.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  38:59  
Amazing. This was such a great episode today. And all of you listeners thank you for joining us today on our journey of authentic and powerful leadership. We invite you to download, subscribe, and please share this podcast wherever you choose to listen to your podcasts. Please share this with your women friends, and visit Marshalls website at For links to all the other tools and resources we talked about today. Subscribe to her email list stay up to date on everything in Marsha's world. And you can also find out more about Marsha herself and her latest book "Embracing Your Power" on the site and social media.

Marsha Clark  39:45  
Well, I too thank everyone for listening today. It's always a pleasure to to bring your thoughts that I hope you'll find helpful and I I want to reiterate that yes, we want to hear from you because I keep learning by hearing stories. And by hearing your thoughts, reactions responses we can we can be even hopefully more valuable to you when we understand what your unique circumstances or situation or reactions might be. So we look forward to talking with you or hearing from you and we hope you'll join us again next week. And so as always, and this one seems particularly appropriate today, here's to women supporting women!

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