Podcast Transcript

Celebrating You

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  0:10  
Welcome to "Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership" with Marsha Clark. Join us on this journey where we uncover what it takes to be a powerful woman leader. Marsha, I feel like I say this all the time that I've been looking forward to this episode. You know, "Celebrating You" I think is going to be such a gift to so many of our listeners.

Marsha Clark  0:36  
Well, you know, I think the same thing every week. Oh, we're gonna get to talk about that! Yay! So, you know, our title today is "Celebrating You" and that's what we're going to explore. And it's the idea that how we accept and acknowledge our own achievements, how that can set us up for greater influence and future success. So I know when I talk about these tools and ideas with women around the world, it really does help unlock or unblock some areas that keep us from fully stepping into our power.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:06  
Yeah, exactly. Somehow the idea of celebrating yourself might seem a little like, Ooh, I don't know about that, don't know about that self-care word. But it will help women step into their power. I know it helps me.

Marsha Clark  1:22  
Well I agree. And there's all kinds of stuff, you know, around it. But let's jump in and let's look at what it means to "Celebrate You".

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  1:30  
Exactly. Now, I know we've had quite a few favorite tools that can help in this area of accepting and acknowledging achievements. So where do you want to focus our attention today?

Marsha Clark  1:43  
Yes, I want to focus on two specific concepts that I think can have really an immediate positive impact for our listeners when it comes to increasing influence and stepping into our power. And the first is actually a formula I developed. It's sort of an adaptation of something I heard and I've made it my own, to help frame how we think about recognition and influence. And the other one is related to a much larger topic of the Imposter Phenomenon, and we're going to cover that in a whole, full episode and in greater detail a little bit later on. But we're going to touch on it today.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:19  
Yep, I'm looking forward to the Imposter Phenomenon, for sure.

Marsha Clark  2:23  
Yeah, me, too.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  2:24  
So you said this first concept is a formula you developed around recognition. So what is that?

Marsha Clark  2:31  
Yes, well, if any of our listeners have been listening for very long, they know I have to give a backstory or a little bit of context in order for this to make sense and to have the impact that we'd want it to have. So I introduced this formula, or this equation, in the book, "Embracing Your Power", by setting up a typical scenario that hundreds of women, and I mean hundreds, have shared with me and that I've really seen throughout my career. So I'm going to read a little excerpt from the book: "When a woman receives a compliment or word of recognition, she tends to deflect it or minimize it. Someone tells us they like our blouse, well, we devalue their words by responding, oh, this whole thing, I got it on sale, or I've had it for ages, you know, something like that. Or someone tells us we've done a great job leading a project to some successful conclusion. And we're going to deflect by responding. Oh, it wasn't me. I had a great team to work with, or it was my team".

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  3:26  
Yep. All the time.

Marsha Clark  3:28  
Yeah, it's a familiar story. So when I talk about this in the book, and I'll say it here, this is one thing that we can begin to change immediately. And that one thing is to stop deflecting or devaluing the praise that we received because to do so is to diminish ourselves. So I want to say that one more time. You don't have to back it up to hear it again. To deflect or devalue the praise that we receive is to diminish ourselves. So I want to read again from the book: "So every woman who's been in any of my programs has gotten there because she gets results". I mean, wouldn't you, you were in the program, you know who these women are, you know many of them through other means. So these are typically high-achieving, high-performing, high-potential women who've been nominated through some process through their companies to be in the program. And yet, here they are, and they often deny their achievements. And some are even shocked that they were considered to be in this program, or to learn that it was a 'nomination program' versus a 'oh, I'm broken, I gotta fix me program', right? So they tell story after story about how this denial of me and my accomplishments and performance and potential, this denial shows up in their day to day lives as well. And I I'd venture to guess, to say that our listeners are also high achievers with high potential who are self-motivated, driven learners or they wouldn't be listening to this podcast, so I'm betting they can relate.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  5:08  
Exactly. And I know you're right about that. I mean, our content is absolutely targeted to that high-achieving, high-potential audience.

Marsha Clark  5:17  
That's right. So you know, so for most of our listeners, just as the women in our programs, you may have been taught as a way of shifting this thinking about denial or or deflecting, just say "Thank you" when offered that compliment, or some kind of praise. And, you know, just to say thank you is good, it's better than deflecting or denying. And yet, in my opinion, it's not enough.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  5:44  
Right. Right. So that's what I had been told to do. You know, you remember your parents say, smile and say thank you, but without any reasoning why everyone else deserves the praise.

Marsha Clark  5:59  
Yeah. So I agree. Just saying thank you is good, but not enough. And not enough. So here's where my formula or my equation comes into play. And so I think of it in terms of a mathematical equation. So here it is: Results plus Recognition equals Influence, or if you want to think about "influence" as "power/personal power'", it can be Results plus Recognition equals Power, or Results plus Recognition equals Influence, whatever word you're most comfortable with.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:33  
I love that. Results plus Recognition equals Influence. I like the word influence, personally.  I love the word power, but I love the word influence because to me, that implies power. But again, either word interchangeably used as you see fit.

Marsha Clark  6:52  
Yes, that's right.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  6:52  
So break that down for us, Marsha, will you?

Marsha Clark  6:55  
Yes. So first of all, let's look at the end result that we're trying to achieve with this equation. In this case, we're trying to increase or have power influence. You know, it's the if I have a seat at the table and I want to influence outcomes, how do I maximize my opportunity to do that? So we want to enhance our personal power. And this isn't just positional power, because results can be achieved at every level, recognition can be achieved at every level. So it's not about where I fit on the org chart. It's about my personal power. We often refer to it in today's world about 'what is your personal brand'. And so it is about our ability to influence decisions, recommendations, programs, policies, outcomes, customers we're serving, values we're reflecting and all of that. So the end goal here is more influence.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  7:47  
That totally makes sense. Begin with the end in mind.

Marsha Clark  7:50  
Right. We've all heard that phrase. Yes. So then how do we get there? So by demonstrating and providing results. And remember we're talking here about people, women, specifically, who are high achievers, high performers, and they're most definitely delivering results. And your probability of being able to influence decisions goes up as you demonstrate solid results. And this is an important piece of the equation, just relying on your results is not enough. And that's where women especially tend to diminish our own potential for greater influence, where we're giving away our power, if you will. So think about that. If I just get the results, but I'm not getting the recognition for producing those results, therefore my influence is reduced. That's why it's a mathematical equation. Right? So what the other piece of this is that, and this is another one of the great myths, if you will, we rely on others to notice that we're producing results. And we rely on others to recognize how hard we're working, what we're producing, our contributions, our talents, and this is categorically a feminine behavior. And, and in many ways, it's the socially conditioned response. And, I'm going to say especially in Western cultures where women are conditioned not just by men, but by our Western culture, our parents, our mothers, our other women, to even the playing field. And we're not supposed to stand out above anybody else. So you know, there's a phrase that we learned early on in our research that was coined by Dr. Patricia Heim, and she refers to it as Power Dead Even.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  9:36  
Power Dead Even. That sounds extremely interesting and intriguing. What does it even mean?

Marsha Clark  9:45  
Right. So Power Dead Even is the tendency of women to flatten out or even out ensuring that everyone is on that same level as it relates to a power structure, and especially with other women. So so we're trying to equalize this distribution of power amongst our peers or colleagues. And we're actually, again I know we tease all the time about upcoming episodes because we've got these planned out for the next, year/six months, so we're actually going to do an entire podcast on Dr. Heim's work. But for today, I want to stick to how women give away our power as it relates to this recognition. So, you know, let's go back and revisit this equation or formula to see how it all fits together.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  10:33  
Okay, so Results plus Recognition equals Power or Influence.

Marsha Clark  10:39  
Right, right. So, take a woman, one of our listeners, who's leading a team, and her team reaches some, you know, significant or awesome milestone, right. She and the team have achieved the results, right? All right. And all too often her response is: What oh, it was the team, they deserve all the credit. They worked so hard, they're so dedicated. The customer was really a dream. We had such a great sponsorship, you know, our sponsor from above and, and, and. So what does she rarely, if ever, do in the process of responding?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  11:14  
Ah, take any of the credit. Like any, any credit.

Marsha Clark  11:19  
You know, it's like I was invisible, and I did nothing. That's right. So when she extracts herself from the equation, when she makes herself tangential or I would say invisible, I mean, I even hear it to that extreme, so what does she do to her ability to build or maintain any power for herself or create the opportunity for future influence? She does nothing. And if anything, she may even diminish or negate any potential for influence. This idea of when everybody hears her giving everyone else credit, well, maybe she didn't do it. I mean, I start to wonder, I start to doubt. And so that's a part of how we can even detract from our ability. It's not a neutral place, it's a negative place.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  12:01  
Okay. So I know there are some listeners who are who are listening to this, and they're saying to themselves, Yeah, Marsha, but isn't it a leader's job to shine the light on the accomplishments of the team and not hog the spotlight?

Marsha Clark  12:15  
Yes, that is true. And I love this question, because it's this long held and dare I say, there's only so much recognition to go around and so I need to give it all to my team. Well, that in and of itself is a limiting belief, right? So there is enough recognition to go around. And by shining a light on my team is appropriate, and just giving myself a little bit of that light, too. Because what we've been taught often is, you know, in young girls, this is the social conditioning part, it's not like we like to call attention to ourselves. It's not lady-like to brag, you know. And there's even a book, I forget the title of it exactly, but I think it's called "Tooting Your Own Horn", right? Because we've not learned how to do that. And it's not about being braggadocious. It's merely acknowledging the role that we played. So the fact that we're expecting others to either recognize us or reciprocate in some way, are the rules that we grew up with. And yet, remember our episode with Anne Litwin when we talked about the female friendship rules. We're relying on others in the room or the team or the organization to notice and bring our achievements to the spotlight because that's what we're doing for them. So there's this quid pro quo. Except it doesn't always work that way, especially when we have mixed gender groups or when we have women in the group who demonstrate far more masculine attributes than their female counterparts. And I will tell you, I work with women who say, Well, I don't get recognition for anything, because I just think you're doing your job. That's your job. That's your job. And I often refer to this because it helps people remember it. It's kind of the "I told you I loved you when I married you. If anything changes I'll let you know".

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  13:59  
Wow, right?

Marsha Clark  14:00  
You're doing your job. I told you I love you. Do you not believe me? Does it not last for 43 years?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  14:05  
Right. Right. Wow. Okay. So no wonder this gets so messy.

Marsha Clark  14:10  
Yes, yes. So and especially when we're sort of oblivious to what's going on, we really don't understand and realize what's happening. So that's why we've been working and doing this for 20 plus years. And now the book and the podcast, because we want to bring these things to the surface. They're still in play every single day, you know, at our workplaces, even within our families, and you know, in organizations all over the world.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  14:32  
So that makes me wonder. Is this consistent around the world? What have you found in your work?

Marsha Clark  14:39  
Yes, that's another really good question. I'm gonna answer it out of both sides of my mouth. Yes, it is true, and in some cases, not. So yes and no. So some cultures... we talk about national cultures being collectivistic or individualistic, and some cultures are far less individualistic than we are in the Western and European countries. So, you know, the collectivistic, the ones that we're all in this together, it actually has a more feminine bent to it because the 'we're all in this together' is a more power dead even or flat structure approach. And we see that in countries like Japan, China, Korea, Taiwan, Venezuela, Guatemala, Indonesia, you know, Ecuador, Argentina, Brazil, India. And there's an index that studies all of this, that gives us the countries that are more  individualistic and collectivistic. And oh, by the way, the United States scores the highest on individualistic, followed closely by the United Kingdom, followed closely by Australia. So those are the highly, sort of that end of the spectrum on individualistic where some of the other countries that I just named are on the other end of that continuum. And so, you know, we're gonna find leaders in those collectivistic countries, who are more likely to defer the recognition of results, you know, to their teams. So they're going to, as I said, take that more feminine approach. And that's going to be true of males as well as females. So we do need to take the culture into consideration here. And the issue that we run into is that in a global organization, especially where the dare I say, the individualistic leaders are the ones with strong positional power in the company. So even if your headquarters is in America but you're operating in one of these collectivistic countries, that's where you can get into trouble, if I can say it, that and where we may see the imbalance of where the role that recognition plays in recognizing and acknowledging what you've done, and therefore having the influence. So, again, I'm gonna go back to, we may lose out on the opportunity to influence as much as we can if we're not willing to own and acknowledge our role in the results.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:07  
Exactly. So how does a leader do that - own the role in their results?

Marsha Clark  17:12  
Yeah, so that's where the equation gets completed, Results plus Recognition. So means that you as the leader, or even if you're an individual contributor and this is your project, right... you're the man, you're the woman, you know, you keep yourself in the narrative, or you put yourself in the story. So let's play this out, Wendi.  You're the CEO and you're going to compliment me as a leader on a recent major milestone. So you ready to do a roleplay?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  17:39  
Absolutely. Okay, so let's use this podcast as an example. "Marsha, congratulations on your 34th podcast episode! This is quite an accomplishment".

Marsha Clark  17:50  
That's a really good one, very in the moment. So here's the kind of response that I would encourage. So I would say to you: "Wendi, thank you. You know, I'm really proud of the leadership that I've provided and the work that we've done over these many years to get us to this place. And I can't begin to tell you what a great team I've had to work with over all these years. And I call it my small and mighty team. And I love that." And so that's the end of my response.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:19  
Right.

Marsha Clark  18:19  
So I want you to get this. I call this the I plus We approach. (The pronoun letter I plus We approach.)  I'm not taking all of the credit, nor am I deflecting the credit. And the truth is, I couldn't have done it without my small and mighty team. And you know what, they couldn't have done it without me either.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  18:40  
Exactly. And so that's the both and response, the I plus We response.

Marsha Clark  18:45  
Yep, yep. So the teaching point is this. And this is what I want people to really remember, and you may need to pause and write this down if you don't have the book, because it's in the book. The teaching point is this. When we take ourselves out of the success story, we're giving everyone else permission to do the same. So that is usually one of those stop in your tracks moments. So I want to take a moment and let that sink in. And I'm going to repeat it here. When we take ourselves out of the success story, we're giving everyone else permission to do the same.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:23  
I want everyone to reflect back on... I cannot remember the episode number but it was recent, in the teens... and Marsha's "On the Nightstand" episode with Cassandra Speaks.

Marsha Clark  19:37  
15. Episode 15.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  19:39  
There we go. It's so true. It's so sad when you think about it.

Marsha Clark  19:43  
Yes, yes. So taking credit or just receiving credit, willing to take that in and own it, is not arrogant and that's what I want our listeners to hear. It's not bragging. It's acknowledging and accepting that my contributions matter. And that's the simplicity of it. Now men will often respond quite differently. They assume they're going to succeed and are quite willing to take credit for that. And that isn't good or bad. It's simply a different approach. And we can learn that lesson from them. Because again, yes, some organizational cultures might, you know, talk about team and we and that sort of thing and I hear that, and yet, when you really listen to how people speak, it's different. And I've had women say, "You know, I've been told that I need to use the word 'we' more." And she said, "But you know, after my boss told me that, I listened, and he says 'I' all the time". You know, so that's a truth as well. So I also want to say that when women use the pronoun "I" that they may get that feedback of, we're a team. And so, you know, I really kind of laugh at this, and it was brought up when I was working with a group out in Palo Alto. And it was a group of women, and it was a group of, you know, I would call well informed women around this kind of stuff. And so I'm talking about the I plus We and one of them raises their hand and so I offer this to our listeners as well, "Well, can I at least put the 'we' before the 'I'?  So I call it the I plus We. Yes, it can be We plus I. You know we've gotten great results, and the team was amazing. And you know what? I did enjoy leading this project, I did have a lot of pride. I do have a lot of pride around the work that we were able to accomplish. So you can blend it in, put a few I's and a few We's in there to kind of soften that out if you think that that's something that otherwise would prevent you from being seen and get the recognition that you want.

And I also want to give you another, what I call an indirect, way of getting some recognition. It's to write a thank you email, right, so email is the way we communicate these days, recognizing the contributions of my team members, citing their specific contributions, the skills they displayed, the perspective they brought, and copy the boss. So I'm providing recognition to my team, they got results, I'm giving them recognition, and that makes them feel good. And and it serves other purposes. So not only does the team get that recognition, but they also get the visibility with the big boss, because you copy the boss on it. And then the boss sees you doing a good leadership thing, right? And by you being a model for that or reflecting that, it may inspire your boss to begin to, you know, kind of notice what's going on. And if he thinks it's good for you to do that, might he or she get the idea. And then you're getting some indirect, I'll say recognition or credit for providing that strong leadership behavior, both by producing the results and giving recognition to your team. So some people feel better doing that because it's more indirect than it is the verbal or direct way of saying it. And both work.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  23:10  
Yeah, I love the ownership power that you receive taking the initiative to queue up an email like that. Like it just, that really feels good because there's a subliminal understood recognition that this is my responsibility even though I'm giving these people praise and thanks. And I love that it's not judging the more masculine approach way of taking credit. It's about accessing a power source that we might not usually consider.

Marsha Clark  23:47  
Well, and I love it as a power source. To be able to effectively and confidently give and receive recognition is a power source. So I love that.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  23:59  
Yes. So I think this brings us to the second major point in this episode, which is another potential reason why women don't feel comfortable celebrating their own strengths and achievements, and don't call attention to themselves and their successes.

Marsha Clark  24:18  
Yeah. So, again, we're gonna have an entire episode on this topic of Imposter Phenomenon. But it's relevant to women when we downplay our own achievements and success. And so we want to introduce it here so that your IP or imposter phenomenon can be another culprit that prevents us from actively promoting our results.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  24:40  
Right. I know the topic of imposter phenomenon has gained a lot of attention over the years, and more people are becoming familiar with it, but maybe not all of our listeners know what it is or at least what we're meaning by imposter phenomenon. So can you outline what we're talking about here.

Marsha Clark  24:59  
Yes, I can and I just want to let our listeners know there were two women who did the research and coined the phrase "Imposter Phenomenon" way back in the late 60s, early 70s, Dr. Suzanne Imes and Dr. Pauline Clance. And we're working really hard to get an interview on a podcast with Dr. Clance because she came in and taught in the early days of our program, our Power of Self program. So we got this from, you know, the source, if you will, right. And so the bottom line is that with the imposter phenomenon, that this is high achievers who consistently produce outstanding results and that are constantly worried that any day now, the world is going to discover that their success is really just a fluke. Or it's lucky timing, or due to being in the right place at the right time. And, it has nothing to do really with their own awesomeness.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  26:04  
Yeah, every time I hear this description of IP, it just breaks my heart a little bit. So what advice do you have around this topic of "Celebrating You" do you have for those listeners who find themselves struggling with imposter phenomenon? Are there any specific pieces of advice without us going too far down the road of imposter phenomenon?

Marsha Clark  26:27  
So I'll read a couple of excerpts from the book just so that way I can keep it clean and crisp without going off on a tangent. So in our chapter about the Imposter Phenomenon in the book "Embracing Your Power", we have a specific section talking about owning strength and celebrating success. So here's what we say in the book: "Our last strategy for managing the imposter phenomenon centers on owning our strengths. The entire Power of Self program is fundamentally built on the principle of becoming aware and then owning our unique strengths as women and as leaders. So while the concept is a cornerstone for the program, it is especially important to women who are struggling with IP. So we strongly urge our listeners to get crystal clear on your strengths, and your non strengths through various assessments, feedback, coaching, performance management reviews, all that kind of thing. And as the data comes in from the sources, look for themes and trends over time, that help you form an accurate, unadulterated story of who you really are centered on those strengths."

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  27:45  
Wow.

Marsha Clark  27:46  
Yeah, I mean, we are so quick to point out all the things of what we are not enough of. Yeah, and yet every single time we're not paying attention and we attribute it to luck without recognizing that every single time I've had success I've done my research, I've gathered my data, I built a business case, I've, you know, prepared and practiced and planned and all those kinds of things. So we lose sight of that if we're not really paying attention. So we also remind our readers, and this too is from the book, intelligence or competence is not a fixed state, but a changing and fluid, never ending process of growing and adapting. And it's important for anyone that has high IP, imposter phenomenon, to change their self definition to one that focuses on and acknowledges the cumulative accomplishments that they've achieved over their lifetime and that their strengths, gifts and core worth, all of that, without getting caught up in a singular performance metric tied to a discrete test or task, you know, tapped talents on any given day.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  28:58  
Right. So one of the things you say in the book about this that I love is, quote, "People around you, especially those who acknowledge and value your gifts and contributions, are going to try and tell you how awesome you are. Let them." Period.

Marsha Clark  29:18  
Right.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  29:19  
Right! And I love that, the thought of that, the concept of that. Let them.

Marsha Clark  29:26  
Let them celebrate you! I know this is about you celebrating you, but let others celebrate you too. It's pretty hard to own our own strengths and celebrate success when we won't allow any of the good stuff, right, to filter in and hang out or hang on for more than a few seconds. And you know, what if it's possible that those good things that they are saying about you are true?

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  29:49  
Wow, wow, there's such a powerful visual in that chapter about accepting positive feedback. And let me quote the book here because I just love it so much. So quote is: "Can you allow yourself to receive the gift of thought positive feedback being offered to you as an affirmation of your fundamental goodness, as an avalanche of praise-shaped snowflakes that cannot melt because you are allowing them to penetrate deep into your story of yourself, reshaping that story into something that is solid, strong and undeniable."

Marsha Clark  30:32  
Just imagine. An avalanche of praise-shaped snowflakes that cannot melt, penetrating deep into your story of yourself, and reshaping that story into something solid and strong and undeniable. Now that is how you celebrate you.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  30:53  
Absolutely. So we started this episode with your formula of Results plus Recognition equals Power or Influence and we've wrapped with this powerful imagery of allowing the praise of others and our own results in our successes to shape our stories of who we are at our core. Is there anything else you want to say as we wrap up today's episode, any other key takeaways for our listeners?

Marsha Clark  31:21  
Yeah, you know this is one of our shorter episodes because we really wanted it to be pointed and not be overwhelming. So there's really four pieces to this. One, remember the formula Results plus Recognition equals Influence or Power and I will tell you, you can look at that again on our the Marsha Clark and Associates YouTube Foundational Elements because we talk about that there. And oh, by the way, I will do a shameless plug. We're building these magnets because people always want these Marsha-isms to be you know, on magnets, so we have magnets.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  31:56  
Oh, my gosh we have this one done so MarshaClarkandAssociates.com for the magical magnet.

Marsha Clark  32:03  
That's right. We're gonna have 24 of them, is what our starting point is. Just know that. The second thing, so Results plus Recognition equals Influence or Power. Number two is I plus We, and if you prefer, We plus I, but taking ourselves out of the story gives everyone else permission to do the same. We want to avoid that. And that's number three, when we take ourselves out of the story. So remember that. It's how I often refer to it, it's how we're contributing to our own marginalization if we get ourselves out of the story, and it's how we give our power away. And the fourth is, you know, the snowflakes. Yes, praise-filled snowflakes. So let the praise in.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  32:46  
Love it! Marsha, thank you so much for another great episode. I hope our listeners take all of this to heart, celebrate themselves. And for those who haven't celebrated themselves or their own goodness in the past, please begin to do that.

Marsha Clark  33:02  
Wendi, I wish the same thing for all of our listeners. And, you know, we often use a phrase in our programs, because people who come into the programs are learning, right? We're learning every single day. And so when we're first learning to do something different to change our behavior to knowing that our brains are not, you know, set in concrete so to speak, there's something that seems challenging, you know, and hard to do, we remind ourselves. So I might say something like, I've never been able to do X, Y or Z. And what we offer to our listeners and to everyone is, to end that phrase, I've never been able to do X, Y or Z "up until now". Up until now. So for those listeners who have been thinking, Oh, I've never been comfortable celebrating my own success or tooting my own horn, I say you've never felt comfortable or able to do it up until now. So, and I give Edie Seashore credit for that.  She was one of my professors in my master's program. And she wrote the foreword of ...In My Book Choose", and we talk about this phrase "up until now", because it's such a powerful phrase. I'm giving myself grace. And I'm giving myself permission from this point forward to do it differently because I've never been able to do it and I still may not be comfortable. And I'm going to do it anyway.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  34:23  
So for our listeners, Marsha doesn't know this, but I'm throwing a surprise question at her.

Marsha Clark  34:28  
Okay!

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  34:29  
How do you celebrate you?

Marsha Clark  34:34  
Ooh. Well, part of it is the language that I use when people tell me things. And I'm blessed to be able to say that I get a lot of positive feedback about changing people's lives and how this information is valuable or whatever. And I think one of the biggest things was shifting this to, I'm really glad, I'm glad that the research that we've done that the programs that we've developed and designed and delivered are finding value because the delivering value is big for me. And when people in whatever way that may come, tell me that it has in fact delivered value, first of all, I'll say something like, imagine me grinning from ear to ear, email or a phone call or something like that. Because I am, I mean you know, being able to just not only communicate to them how meaningful it is when they tell me those things, but I don't deflect it. I don't minimize it. This is my life's work. You know, I mean, this gets back to the purposefulness of living our purpose. And so nothing makes me feel better than knowing that my very purposeful work is delivering value to another person. So just being able to take that in, and I don't trivialize it as them saying something just gratuitous to me. I believe it to be true because I can hear it, and I don't deflect it in myself, and it gives me the inspiration to want to do more and to want to do better. So that's what I would tell you is the way that I take this in in ways that I, and I didn't use to do that. Yes, that's it has gotten more clear and deeper in me in the 20+ years I've done this.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  36:38  
That's what I wanted to pull out of you. I want our listeners to hear that this has been a process even for Marsha.

Marsha Clark  36:44  
Absolutely.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  36:46  
You know, that this is a process for all of us that we grow and we get more comfortable owning things, owning our our gifts and our talents and not being ashamed or deflecting those. So I really wanted to pull that out of you today. Thank you.

Marsha Clark  37:00  
Surprise thank you.

Wendi McGowan-Ellis  37:01  
Surprise! Thank you. Well, listeners thank you for joining us today on our journey of authentic powerful leadership. Please download, share, subscribe to this podcast on iTunes, Google, Spotify, wherever you like to listen and visit Marsha's website, MarshaClarkandAssociates.com for magnets (sweet!), tools, all the resources we discussed today. Subscribe to her email list and get her book, "Embracing Your Power" on the site. And you can stay up to date with Marsha on her social media as well.

Marsha Clark  37:39  
Well, thank you Wendi, again. This is a short and I hope power packed or information packed and powerful for each of our listeners in our own way. And I do want you to "celebrate you". Goodness gracious you earned it. You deserve it. You are, you are awesome. So please do feel free to connect with us. We want to be here for you in whatever way we can. And we also hope you'll join us again next week and here's to women supporting women!