What A Year!
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 0:10
Welcome to "Your Authentic Path to Powerful Leadership" with Marsha Clark. Join us on this journey where we're uncovering what it takes to be a powerful woman leader. Well, Marsha, we made it. I mean, almost Happy New Year to you!
Marsha Clark 0:26
Yay! And to you, too, Wendi. It really has been a remarkable year for us, hasn't it?
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 0:32
It absolutely has. And that's why we chose this title, "Oh What a Year!
Marsha Clark 0:37
I know. It really has been. So today, we're going to celebrate a little bit and share with our listeners some of the milestones that we've achieved since beginning this journey all the way back to the fall of 2021. And by the way, many of these milestones are ones that our listeners have helped us to achieve.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 0:55
Absolutely, absolutely. So before we get into the actual data associated with some of these milestones, let's take a few minutes just to explore what this past year has meant for you personally.
Marsha Clark 1:08
Well, it's been a tremendous year, and certainly a memorable one. We're going to get into some of those what makes it so memorable and Wendi, I want you to join into this conversation in big ways because you've been my trusted partner as we've traveled this journey this year. So I would ask you, what's it been like for you in the headlines?
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 1:28
Yes, well, I mean, you are amazing in that you're always consistently here and present. That's something that I really want to share with our listeners that Marsha doesn't just show up and sit down and just start talking from the top of her head. She comes in here with prepared notes that have been reviewed and edited and redrafted. And oh, I want to make this point. And we can make that point in the next episode, or didn't we already talk about that in a previous episode, and not that our script writer, Tracie, doesn't do a phenomenal job, because she does.
Marsha Clark 2:09
She does. I agree!
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 2:10
Yeah, it's just that Marsha puts that extra, you know, care and concern about what we're saying every week. And so that's been amazing for me to watch because I know that a lot of podcasters don't do that. I know that the majority of people who start a podcast sit down and just start talking and then they wonder why six or seven weeks into the experience, they're trying to figure out what to talk about next. And it's because they don't have a plan. And when I tell you guys that Marsha not only has a plan, you know, not only had a plan for all of 2022 but we have an entire plan already for 2023, and what that looks like, and the episodes that are coming out and how they layer upon each other. And that's the sign of somebody who is aiming for the top, to be one of the top podcasts that are out there. And we're going to talk about where Marsha ranks later in the show.
Marsha Clark 3:13
Well, Wendi, thank you very much for that. And I appreciate that you see that and that you experience it. And for our listeners, my goal is to have a great podcast by delivering value and practical tips, coaching recommendations, language possibilities. You know, I often use the phrase, "Yes, it took me 20 years to be an overnight success." And this didn't just happen. It takes a lot of work and we have a great team to make that work.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 3:40
Absolutely. So for you what's been the best or the most fun about starting this podcast?
Marsha Clark 3:48
Well, anybody who knows me knows that I love the new, the adventure, the creativity, sort of the excitement of all of that. And so and also I want to be learning. So you know, during this last year, and well, 14 months I guess it's been, I've been learning and it has been great fun, and it's been so much excitement and energy. And I love that we can share this information and the material we cover with so many people. And I also love the whole podcast platform because they can listen to any episode at any time when it's convenient for them. And that's not true when you're coaching and you have to set up an hour on the calendar or these are the days I'm teaching for programs, anytime, anyplace, anywhere. And I also love that it's conversational. And anyone who, again, knows me knows that even when it comes to keynote speaking, I talk about I'm a keynote conversationalist not a keynote speaker because I get energy from the back and forth, which is one of the reasons I love partnering with you so much because you have that energy and we feed off each other, which is delightful. And this podcast is focused on the learning, taking it out of the classroom, out of the book, and making it real for our listeners. And I want them to feel like they're a part of our conversation. And so I never want what I share to be so academic or so overly structured that, you know, if we miss a word, all of a sudden we're stumbling and feeling nervous and all that. And so I do hope that our listeners are receiving value, that they, too, are learning a tremendous amount, and that they do feel a part of our conversation.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 5:30
Yes. Well, I think they do. So what's been the most scary or the most challenging moment for you?
Marsha Clark 5:39
Yeah, when I saw Tracie's question on this, I thought, well, I had moments on any one of them. But when I think about what I would describe as the themes of what had been the scariest and most challenging, just, you know, it's the flip side of it was new and exciting. It was new, and we didn't know, right. I didn't know what I didn't know. And so that part was scary. And then the second part was, will our listeners find value in what we're sharing, and that being, as I said a moment ago, my overwhelming objective. And yet when you're doing something new, and especially because, you know, I didn't know what a podcast was before we started having conversations about doing one, and so the unknowns on both of those.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 6:27
Right. Any Mulligans? Do overs?
Marsha Clark 6:32
If I had this to do again, what would I do differently? (Yes.) Okay, so you and I know that our earlier episodes were done from your home office and my home office, you know, on Zoom and that sort of thing. And I think the fact that we're doing it now in the studio with a lot higher, better quality of technology and equipment that we're, that they're better, you know, better quality, better sound. Walk in easy to work with, not trying to figure out why my microphone isn't loud enough in my home office, all sorts of things. So I love being able to walk in and focus on what I'm delivering, not how I'm delivering.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 7:12
Yes. Yes, I agree with that. So, since we're still talking about the podcast, let's start with some milestones related to that. So I'm going to share with our listeners just a few statistics. The number of podcast episodes recorded - This is our 67th episode, but we've recorded 80 episodes to date, with 54 episodes recorded during the year of 2022. The number of podcast episodes downloaded is 12,809 of the 61 episodes released. So let me give our listeners kind of an idea of what all that means. Podcast ranks and the average number of downloads are typically looked at within only the first seven days of release, because that's really as long as you can kind of watch each individual episode. And I want to stress that episode one of Marsha's continues to be the most downloaded episode simply because it's episode one and people go back and they listen. They start from the beginning, and so over time, as Marsha gains new listeners and new followers and new subscribers to the podcast, they typically go back and download episode one and then they'll download episode two, and they go through this chronologically maybe or maybe not because they get a teaser, like when a friend mentioned it last week so they go and listen to episode 50, whatever. But then they immediately want to go back to episode one and start the progression. So here's the stats overall for the podcast market space. You are in the top 1% of podcasts if you get more than 3974 downloads within the first seven days. You are in the top 5% of podcasts if you get more than 795 downloads within the first seven days. Marsha typically gets around 1000 downloads every week, each week. So within the first seven days she's getting around 1000 downloads, so that means she's well within the top 5%, probably closer to the top 3% of podcasts in the world, like out there. I want everybody to get that. Like she's killing it. These numbers are just crushing it and again, I want to point out the compounding effect of over time the fact that this is episode 67 continues to build her audience as people jump on board and they start on the train at episode one and then continue to move forward.
Marsha Clark 10:06
Well, I just have to say, Wendi, in all total transparency with our listeners, I cannot wipe the smile off my face when I hear those stats. And you know, we're recording this in November so we're not done for the year yet. (That's right.) And, you know, we're on record to have great, even greater numbers. And this month of November, when we're actually recording this, is on track to be the highest month times 2 of the 14 months we've been recording podcasts. (That's awesome.) So I love that we're, you know, we're not only getting listeners, we're keeping listeners who want to keep hearing and learning more. And I also want to say I'm really proud of that.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 10:49
Yes, well, that's the key to success in podcasting for those of you who are in this space or thinking about getting in this space on your own or your company is or whatever. Acquisition is one thing. Retention is the key to success and creating that habit where listeners want to keep coming back. So Marsha, what's been your biggest surprise about doing this podcast?
Marsha Clark 11:15
I think the surprise has been, I don't know if it's a surprise. We've had so much good feedback from our programs and coaching work that we do, the lunch and learns, that, you know, just short and long term interactions and interventions. And so what I love... here's the way I have measured success of every new thing I've done and so I think it has applied to this as well. First, all the people that know and love you, you want to make sure that they're listening and supporting and thinking that what you're doing is good, because that's how you get the base numbers. (Right.) Then they tell somebody. And so now, even if I don't know the somebody that they told I can track it back to the somebody I know. And then the somebody they told tell other somebody's, right. And so one of my metrics is always and I'm seeing it in this, is when people are signing up that I don't know who they are nor do I know how they heard about us or figured it out or whatever, I'm now reaching an audience that is potentially solely based on not just people who know, love and want to support me. (Right!) They're getting value from it. And it's not a surprise, it's probably more of an affirmation. And I would say the surprise is, at a much more macro level, is that it's amazing to me how fast the market is growing and going to podcast. It used to be blogs, it used to be newsletters, it used to be this. It's just so much easier. To read a blog or to go to a website or any of those kinds of things you have to be sitting still and focused. I can be pushing the grocery cart and listening to a podcast. I can be driving my car and listening to a podcast. I can be taking my walk or running and listening to a podcast. So I love the flexibility of all of that and that it really is delivered when you want it to be delivered. And I would just say thanks to all of our listeners for telling others about it. And please keep doing that.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 13:35
Yes, yes. So for me that isn't a surprise at all. That's what I counted on when we started this. I knew that through the reach of not only your current programs, but women who have gone through past programs and knowing the quality and the caliber of those women and how large their networks were. And then you compound that with all the speaking engagements that you do and the other outside programs that are just one off that aren't even your own. They're things that you're invited to be a guest into. And then you talk about the podcast and the fact that you have a podcast and the fact that it's supported by the book. Like it's I saw that from the moment you first started talking about writing the book. I just knew that this was going to be a circular almost spherical, you know, continuum, model of support for each other for the content. But what I knew was going to be the key with a podcast... For those of you who really love to sit down and read, I'm a huge reader and so when I sit down and read, I mentally hear the author's voice in my head. I create a voice obviously and it's not really the author's voice, but it's a voice in my head. And so I feel like there's a conversation between me and the author through the book that I'm reading. With podcasting, it really is a conversation. Like everyone who's listening to this right now feels like they're the third person at the coffee table, or in the coffee shop at the table, where they're just sitting here, listening in. They're having their own thoughts, and they're having their own responses to the things that we're saying. And to me, that creates an intimacy with you, your brand, your programs, your supporting of women, like it creates that emotional connection between the listener, and all of the content that you create, and all of the programs and support that you provide.
Marsha Clark 15:55
Well, I love that. I love the intimacy aspect to that. They're sitting here in the room with us and having, even if it's their own internal conversations, we're doing that all the time, even when we're in any conversation. What I also want to say now is probably the most consistent feedback and I might say this again later when we ask these questions, but it feels very relevant right now. Women, come up to me and tell me this, and then other women come up to me and say that the people they've introduced this work to say it to them as well. And that is, "I feel like she's talking to me". (That's right.) And this sense of she, oh, my gosh, I'm not the only one who's had that experience, oh my gosh, I'm not the only one who's had that something happened to in that way. And so this idea of knowing that women learn best in relationship and through stories, and so we tell stories in this podcast, we tell stories in the book, we tell stories in the programs. And if our listeners can say, she knows my life, she knows me, she knows my story and she's going to help me maybe rewrite some of those stories to success stories that I couldn't have imagined having without hearing some of this, without having tools and language and someone who really understands and has my back. Because I think that's another part of this. We've got our listeners backs in ways that if they need something, we're here. So I love that.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 17:33
Right. Right. Well, I know we shouldn't pick favorites but have you had any moments on the podcast that have really stuck with you over this past year, or do you have a favorite episode? I know you don't want to pick a favorite child.
Marsha Clark 17:49
That's why I only had one. Brent, you are my favorite! So, you know, I know this sounds like such a cop out answer. But I just want you to hear I look forward to every single episode because it's got some nugget or some tidbit or, you know, some person that has heard what we're about to share has come back and said, oh my gosh, this was spot on, or exactly what I needed or whatever. So I think different things are going to touch different people in their own unique ways. And so when I talk about being authentic, to be authentic, says, something's going to hit you, Wendi, and you're going to think it's the greatest thing ever. But something different is going to hit somebody else and they're going to think it's, you know, the greatest thing ever. And I even had a woman after one of our programs, it was about six months afterwards, and she said, you know, Marsha, I just have to tell you, when you were teaching this, I was thinking, why are we learning this? And I just kind of tucked it away and went, interesting. Oh, that's a nice story. And now I used every bit of that yesterday and it was amazing. So we give a lot, and every week it may not hit you right then. But keep track of all the different things we talked about and then you can go back and listen to those episodes anytime you want to. (That's right.) And we've got the descriptions and we've got the transcripts on my website. So you can go back and pick and pull whatever you want. And that's a part of my favorite aspect of all of this.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 19:16
Yes. I love it. I love it. So I'm going to pick a favorite. (Okay, all right.) My favorite so far, besides this episode because I'm really enjoying this conversation, is episode 15, your very first On the Nightstand episode entitled (it was about the book) "Cassandra Speaks": When Women Are the Storytellers the Human Story Changes" by Elizabeth Lesser. That's been my favorite episode so far because you started talking about that book and I immediately went and got it and I think I devoured it in about a day and a half. And so that's been my favorite episode because it went on to inspire me to name a new business. (That's right.) So right on, Cassandra. So anyway, we'll just leave that.
Marsha Clark 20:03
And I will say my favorite thing about that is like you, I love the book. And my favorite line is that "History is not what happened. History is who tells the story." (Exactly.) And so women finding their voice, speaking their voice, sharing their voice, their stories, their perspectives, gives us a much more accurate view of history and life. Because those missing voices, like they, we need to hear them. We just need to hear them. When I think about diversity is a fact and equity is a choice, the equity of sharing all stories, not just some stories, is what really appeals to me about that.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 20:58
Yep. Yep. Well, I know you hear from listeners and clients all the time about the podcast and the book. What kind of feedback are you getting about the podcast specifically?
Marsha Clark 21:09
Yeah, and we're gonna have some testimonials because I want to speak the stories in the voices of people that we've heard from in all of this. So we will be reading some testimonials and stories that we've received. So this particular one is from Jamie Lafay. So let me say right off the get go, thank you very much for this, Jamie. And she says, here's her quote, "I took Marsha Clark's Power of Self course over 10 years ago and was excited to learn more about her book, "Embracing Your Power" and the associated podcast. These podcasts refreshed my efforts to get back to work with renewed focus and purpose to grow my leadership and share with some ladies that wanted to walk this journey together. And that she says, for her, these podcasts have unique practical insights and stories for women who seek to become stronger successful leaders in a work culture that needs a facelift." And I love that last line. You know, work culture that needs a facelift. So very well said and I couldn't agree more, Jamie. So thank you again.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 22:17
Absolutely. That's a great transition into talking about the other big milestone over the past year, which has been launching your book, "Embracing Your Power". It launched on January 4 2020, and I know that day because it's my lovely husband, Scott's, birthday and all the other exciting events that were connected with the launch. So before we jump into the numbers, how does it feel to be a best selling author?
Marsha Clark 22:44
Well, again, I'm smiling pretty big on the other end of this, for those of you who can't see us, of course. So I think I feel pretty darn awesome. And, you know, again, anyone who knows me and what I've done, long before I was an entrepreneur, even when I was in the corporate world, I strive to deliver practical tools that are valuable to clients, in this case, readers and listeners. And, you know, for me, the best selling author status is a way of seeing that hope become a reality. So it's awesome.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 23:16
What's been your biggest lessons learned along the process of writing and publishing that book?
Marsha Clark 23:21
Yeah. When I really thought about this one I think it's the breadth and depth. The breadth, we go a lot of different places and we go deep on topics, not just trying to do checklist kinds of conversations, and then providing the tools that from what we hear our listeners are finding, and our readers are finding very valuable. And even though I've done work with women from over 60 countries around the world, I'm seeing feedback and people signing on to the podcast from parts of the world that I've never, I don't know anybody, (right) I've never been there, you know, all those kinds of things. So it gives me I don't know, renewed, I guess, commitment to this information is useful and valuable to women all over the world. (Yes.) And, you know, different countries are at very different places in how they treat women. (Yes.) And so giving these tools and this information to women who are much earlier in the fight for equity for women and valuing women and girls, that they can use this information because they come back. Yeah, you know, that's what I also notice that the retention part. So it's an affirming lesson.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 24:45
Right. Right. I do you have some very impressive statistics here related to the book itself. So first, I want to set the stage. Amazon currently lists 3.2 million books for sale on the site, I want everybody to know. The almost 33 million books or right around 33 million books are options on Amazon. And as I alluded to a few minutes ago, your book is indeed a best seller on Amazon in two categories - Business Mentoring and Coaching, and the second category is Women and Business. And I want to share with our listeners what Marsha's rank is out of 33 million books. In Business Mentoring and Coaching, her ranking is 852. And in Women and Business, her ranking is 1126 as of today's recording. That may improve as we keep going. So first of all, huge, huge numbers, you know, and congratulations. So how does that feel and what does it take? What has it taken for you to get these numbers?
Marsha Clark 25:59
Yeah. And there, in order to be a best seller, you have to be in the top 100 for some period of time in order to get that status, and we were in the early stages when the book first came out. So, because when I didn't see, hear 832 - Oh, my God, 832? I'm not even in the top 100, you know, all that kind of stuff. And then I hear 33 million books. (Yeah, exactly.) And that the average number of books sold on Amazon, for all those titles, is 500. (Wow.) And so here we are with much higher numbers than that. So it's perspective, I go back there. It's all about perspective. Okay, but so here's what I think it takes to get on that bestseller list. First have wonderful friends in the network. I'll just say that right off the get go. But I also think it's to have a clear and useful message. And in our case, it's a blend of research, tools, frameworks, anecdotal stories, reflection questions, and even recommended language that provides the support and enables me to be a more authentic and effective, powerful female leader. So we're not just going to be, in anything I do, someone who suggests what you can do. We also try to help you with how to go make it happen (Exactly.) and that difference between the what and the how we go that extra step. And I think that's a differentiator for us.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 27:27
I think that's a differentiator. I also want to offer that you provide options on the how (Yes.) like, it's not just here's how, like, here's your 123, and it's one size fits all. It's no, if you're more of a dominant personality, if you're more of an extrovert then here's some options. If you're more, you know, if you're lower on the food chain in a hierarchical situation, and you don't feel as as powerful in this situation, here's your options for navigating that situation. So it's not just the how, it's the breadth of options of the how that we talk about here on this show as well that I think are incredibly important.
Marsha Clark 28:13
Yeah. The answer to every leadership question is, it depends, right? (Right.) And so what are the variables that we need to take into account to figure out the best option for you, just some options. So what's your relationship with that boss that you need to have a hard conversation with? Or, you know, how long have you been doing it this way? And, you know, is your culture a forgiveness or permission culture? I mean, there's lots of things that we've got to get clear about before we can identify those options.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 28:42
And you address all of those in the book. And I think that's great. So other important milestones for the book include the number of books sold, which is right now is around 4,000. I'm curious one of your goals, even for writing the book and doing the podcast is on increasing accessibility of the content to people who can't attend your workshop. (Right.) So how does it feel to know that you've expanded your reach that far beyond program graduate?
Marsha Clark 29:11
Well, with that goal and vision and determination to provide broader accessibility, I love that we're doing it. I mean, we're just doing it. I spoke a moment ago about we're in countries that, you know, I don't know anybody there and I've never been there and so on and so forth. And quite honestly, Wendi, I think we're just getting started. And you know, for most of these books that are not written by a celebrity, you know, it takes a minute to build that momentum. And, you know, the publisher told me even when I was trying to figure out what I was going to name the book, what the title of the book was going to be, they told me they said people buy your book based on title and book cover. (Okay.) Well, that in and of itself was interesting because that's not why I buy books, but that's the research they've done. And people keep buying your books based on the content and the value of that content. So the consistency with which we're seeing my book sale, our podcast numbers go up, tells me that the content in and of itself is worthy, right, that that's what keeps them coming back. And so as we continue to gain new readers and new listeners, and I told you in the month of November, it looks like we're gonna double where we were in various months. So that pace is ever increasing. And that's what we have to keep doing.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 30:34
Exactly. So part of expanding the reach of your work is that men are also reaching out to you to share how much the book has meant to them and their teams. And so one of the testimonials for your book that really jumped out at me was from Gordon Locke, he is the president and CMO of Pace. He's a former SVP of Hawaiian Airlines and a global VP with Sabre, so I'm gonna read what he wrote real quick. (Okay.) So "Embracing Your Power" was a very informative, well crafted read that reminded me that while we all need a plan, the time is now for women to harness their confidence in developing their professional path forward and for men to understand the importance of honoring and encouraging the mindset, the actions, the lessons and the activities Marsha Clark has so adeptly outlined in this book. In fact, I ordered copies for my entire senior leadership team, the majority of whom are women.
Marsha Clark 31:43
Yeah, I think we should rename this podcast to"The Smile" because again I'm smiling. So I want to be transparent with our listeners. Gordon is a longtime client. We've worked together, I'm gonna say probably for I know it's been over 15 years. And I've worked with him and all those companies except Hawaiian Airlines. I didn't know him yet. And one of the things I love about Gordon is he is a lifetime learner, a lifelong learner. And he is always striving to be an ever better leader. So one, thank you very much, Gordon, for writing this. And I agree with him. I think the book is just as valuable for men to read and you're going to hear some other testimonials in here from men who have read the book. And I was doing a speaking engagement and a book signing yesterday and the gentleman that came to me said, you know an older gentleman, not old but older. And he said, I have never worked for a woman until the female boss I have today and she's the best boss I've ever had. And so he got himself a book and he got a book for her. (How great.) And so this idea was he wanted to kind of share thoughts, perspectives, and compare notes, if you will, on this.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 33:00
Marsha Clark 33:01
It is, it is and I have another man who was talking to his niece yesterday. And the way it worked out I was hearing his side of the conversation. And he was quoting me to his niece. You know, and it was life lessons, not just work lessons. And so this idea, and he told me afterwards, he said, you know, I learn something from you every day too. And so I don't want the men in our lives to think this is a woman's book. It is a book about women. And you probably have a couple in your lives that, you know, it might be worth learning how to interact and be more effective with them. And can I say one other thing, Wendi? And I know we say, you know, in the end of our podcasts, here's to women supporting women. Absolutely I really believe that with all my heart. And I do love when I hear directly from men out there who are not only doing important ally work, being an ally for women, they're also telling me they're benefiting from the content themselves.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 34:04
Absolutely. There was another testimonial that caught my eye from executive coach and consultant David Green. And he says, "Although the primary focus is on women's leadership development, I find the book very helpful for my male coaching clients and of course myself. Easy to read, practical and insightful, Marsha's book has become one of the books that's never far from my desk". I love that. So now I have this mental image of David Green's desk with like little sticky notes and highlights and it's probably got some dog eared pages. Practical. I love that.
Marsha Clark 34:46
You know, and the men that I hear from, they are telling me that. And, you know, we have people bring their books they bought on Amazon, but they'll come to a local book signing and it'll have yellow stickies on it. It'll have you know things written into in the margins and where the questions are, and all that kind of thing. And, you know, I, as I said earlier, most men are working with, for and around women, and they're finding the book valuable to not only better understand women, but to also see themselves in different lights. And they're wanting to be more effective so they're shifting. And you know, I just want to say this, too, we always have an over under bet when we're doing programs before some woman says, when are the men going to have to learn this stuff? The men are now asking for this stuff. And that's awesome.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 35:35
Yeah, that's a change. That's a big change over the years. So thank you, David, for that quote. (Yes.) And part of the more formal process of selling a book is all of the publicity and promotions you need to do to get the word out. So Marsha, since launching the book, how many book signings have you attended or hosted?
Marsha Clark 35:57
Yeah, I've hosted a few, one for some of the people that were part of the book process. So they're cited in the book, they're, were part of developing programs, and so on, and so forth. And then we did a global virtual launch for people, women who have been in my programs around the country and throughout the years. But we've done a total of nine book signings since the book came out. I have my last one for this year, as we're recording this in November, tomorrow night in Austin, Texas. And so companies, professional organizations, women's organizations, coaching clients that live in a city who bring together their colleagues as well as clients, and so we've done that in a couple of different cities. So it's been amazing.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 36:42
What memorable moments do you have from those?
Marsha Clark 36:45
You know, the ones that, there are two moments that really touched me in different ways. One, and you were at this one, so you'll remember this, is when my granddaughter, Georgia, asked me questions about who had been my woman role model. And I mean, here she was in a group of adult people, mostly women, some men, Dad was there, aka my son, but you know, she was one of the first ones to raise her hand, and I loved it for several reasons. One, because of the courage it took for her to do that, and two, she thought of that question herself. I asked her mom and dad, did you plant that? And she loves being around me, she loves and I love being around her! And just to know that I am being a model for her and that she has the courage and the context to know how to ask the question that she did. No, I was walking on air for a long while.
And then the second one is a related one. I was down in Houston and a woman brought her young daughter, too. And so whether it's bringing daughters to the book signings, even if they're eight or nine years old, asking me to sign a book for them. I've also had high school daughters who are reading the book with their moms. I had one story about a woman who has three sons and she was driving them to a sports tournament in another city, and she had made the agreement with them, you get to listen to your music on the way down, and I'm gonna listen to what I want to listen to on the way home. And one of her sons happened to be a senior in high school. And so she's listening to one of the podcasts. And by being trapped in the car with his mom and his two brothers, he had to listen to the podcast too. And at the end of that conversation he says, you know, Mom, I now understand my girlfriend better. And so the woman who told me this story is like, you never know. And she said, we then had one of the best conversations we've ever had about what it means to be a boyfriend, what it means to be a girlfriend, what it means to be a good supporter, what it means to, you know. I mean, those are the moments that and the things that stand out from the stories I've heard, and who shows up and how they show up.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 39:20
That's legacy making. Marsha, the legacy maker. Hmm. So in addition to the formal book signings, you've also been invited to speak at a number of events or women's programs and as a result of the book being published, and or the podcast, right?
Marsha Clark 39:38
Right. So, yes, I've attended six different events or spoken at six different events and even at the book signings, you know, I speak... and what I love are the questions and answers and I love that I'm getting to meet new people. And there's always a nugget of something you know, that I pick up and take away in the spirit of I've never heard it said like that, or that's new or, you know, just thinking about today's reality. And one of the most heartening things that I hear in those settings is that for the younger men and women, the men are more supportive of their partner, their female partners. The men are more involved in their children's lives. The men are, even when the older men in their offices are saying, you're leaving at four o'clock to go to your, you know, your child's soccer game? Yes, I am. And men didn't used to do that. (Right.) And I, you know, when I think about the beauty of all of that, I've said many times now, that's my hope for creating a more equitable world, when fathers are more involved in the home with the children, and they know that it's parenting, not babysitting.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 41:03
Yes, exactly. So are you hearing any themes from the audiences at these events?
Marsha Clark 41:09
Yes, I am. And I sat down to think about that, kind of reviewing where I was. And I'm a visual person, so I can put myself back in that place, you know, and so some of these, you've heard us refer to. But one common theme is, I felt like you were talking right to me, you were describing my story, in my experience. The second is, I thought I was the only one who felt this way or had this experience, it's nice knowing I'm not alone kind of thing. A third is I never thought of it. And it could be whatever topic we were discussing. But I never thought of it that way. And it makes so much sense. Right? You know, it's kind of like it was all muddled or disorganized or disparate in my head, and now it makes sense. And then the fourth one, I call it a follow on theme, so it's kind of a two part story. Maybe I offered to them that they could ask for something, or they could set a boundary or they could say no, or that, you know, that sort of thing. And their initial reaction (part one of the story) is I can never do that. And I'll say just try, just try it in a low stakes way and find that moment, and then having them come back to me and go, it worked! You know, they didn't get mad at me. They didn't, you know, there was no retribution. It wasn't a career limiting move. And so I love that they're trying it and seeing that it works.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 42:32
Awesome. Well, earlier, I asked about the feedback you've been receiving regarding the podcast. So what are you hearing from your readers about the impact that the book is having on them?
Marsha Clark 42:46
Yeah, so I selected three themes on that. And the first one is that the tools and the stories are so helpful, I wish I'd had them earlier. That is one of the common themes from whether it be programs I do. And I then hear from them, you need to be teaching this to women earlier in their professional careers. So that's the first one. The second one is I love having this as a reference book or resource, I find myself referring to it often. It's the David Green, you know, it's never far from my desk. And then the third is I'm using this book, perhaps with my leadership team, sort of the Gordon Locke piece, I bought a copy for everyone. And then some have mentees or people that they're supporting or championing or sponsoring in their organizations. And they go a step further with, we're reading it together a chapter or a section at a time. And so everyone is getting the benefit from the content, the tools, the activities, and the reflection questions. And it's building team camaraderie, rapport, connection, shared thinking, unity of spirit, I mean, all the things that you want with teams to do even better work, not just individually, but collectively.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 44:08
Exactly. You've had so many wonderful endorsements with the book. And so I just briefly want to share a few of these as we celebrate all of the accomplishments of this past year. So here's two of them. "Clark has spent years researching women in the workplace and how women can support other women. She breaks down boundaries, intuition, getting past bias and learning to ask for what you want. This book is a must read for ambitious women looking to navigate a man's world." And that's from Sarah Kay Ramsey.
Marsha Clark 44:47
Thank you, Sarah.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 44:48
Second quote is: "Well researched and delivered, Marsha provides informative material compiled through her decades long career as a coach, executive and champion of women. Marsha's wisdom, gifted through the sharing of assessments, studies, data, personal experience and other real life examples, ushers readers on a journey of self discovery to identify and put voice to the special powers that make us all unique. A must read for all women and their supporters laboring to fill their toolbox with the hammers destined to shatter their glass ceilings." Wow, I love that. That's from Shaunine Shanks.
Marsha Clark 45:38
So I just I go, aren't the phrasings of this, you know. I mean, Sarah has written two books on her own that are amazing. (Yes.) And Shaunine has gone into multiple organizations, and goes beyond her functional responsibilities supporting others in amazing ways. So I love the connection to laboring to fill their toolbox with hammers (a tool) destined to shatter the glass ceiling. So I love it.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 46:05
I love it, too. You've been delivering workshops for a long time now. And I'm sure you've been receiving feedback all along. On those, what is it like to get actual book reviews on something you've written? How does that feel?
Marsha Clark 46:23
Well, we're not you know, we talked about this in I think the very first episode. It is a scary experience to put your word out into the world. And know then that you're, especially in a world where words can be taken out of context and used against you, ignoring the life's work that you've committed to do. And so it's humbling, and I feel very blessed. I'm 70 years old, I've been in the work world for over 50 years. That's a heck of a long time, and I've worked really hard during all of that to do good work, and whether I was figuring it out for myself and or supporting others in an effort to create equal opportunity for women and girls the world over and for the world to more greatly value women and girls. And so I have to say I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. That's the, that's the headline. I'm overwhelmed with gratitude would be my headline.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 47:24
Well, I pulled two other endorsements that to me reflect the diversity of your listeners and your readers. The first one is very personalized, and the other one presents such a great synopsis of the book that she might need to become a part of your official publicity team. So okay, here's the first one. "Just a quick note to say that I'm thinking of you. I just Kindle ordered and sent another copy of your book to yet another woman leader that I have either coached in the past or am coaching now. This truly is a wonderful book. I was rereading it today when I was running on the treadmill. (Okay, I don't know how you do that! We'll talk about that another time.) From today, one of the lines that really had meaning for me is this: should is could with shame on top of it. That seems very profound to me." And that's from Ginger Green.
Marsha Clark 48:23
Yes. Yes. You know, again, and this was my own experience in reading it yet again, after there had been one more edit and read it again, after there had been one more edit and so on. And even I, having written it, I would read something and go, oh, I forgot I put that in there, oh, I needed that today, or that sounded pretty good! Yeah, I mean, it is amazing that you can use it as a reference and resource and find value every time.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 48:49
Exactly. Okay, so the other endorsement is, "Generations of knowledge and experience, combined with research and humor come together to make "Embracing Your Power" a valuable tool for female leaders. Marsha Clark is not afraid to tackle tough topics and coach readers to address issues head on with empathy. "Embracing Your Power" is not about fixing female leaders. (Right!) It's about recognizing that style and skill are two different attributes and that there are many ways to be an effective leader while being an authentic person. "Embracing Your Power" is a practical guide for leaders who happen to be women. It explores one's personal beliefs, strengths and weaknesses, and provides tools to increase effectiveness and personal satisfaction. Marsha Clark tells it like it is in "Embracing Your Power" and provides an essential tool for female leaders and for their male counterparts who are serious about changing the workplace." And that's from Carrie McPherson. I mean, wow, we need her like, you know, there leading the band.
Marsha Clark 50:06
So, you know, we've known each other now for probably, we're not too far away from 10 years. And she is one of the tribe. And Carrie has done amazing work on behalf of women for a very long time. And I just want to thank Sarah, Shaunine, Ginger, Carrie, and all the endorsements and testimonials and feedback that we shared with you today. Each of the women and the men are amazing in their own rights. And I just want them to know that I love them each and every one.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 50:41
Well, with all of these accolades, it's no surprise that you've had a few organizations reach out to you to bring in some of your workshops, right.
Marsha Clark 50:50
And we had some goals around that. So working with companies that we had not worked with before. And we're thrilled to tell our listeners that we're adding three new organizations to our list of partnerships and building some customized programming for them around women's leadership. Some are domestic US, and one is a global program. And so I love working with people who understand what true partnership means. And I love the partnerships that we're developing with them.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 51:20
So we're gonna shift gears into the future a little bit here. And I'm sure the question you get a lot while you're out and about with your speaking engagements and clients is, what's next? When is the second book in the series coming out?
Marsha Clark 51:33
Yeah, so I'm currently writing book two. I started in the summer, but it comes in fits and starts, you know, where I have chunks of time that I can really sit down and do that. So book number two will be entitled "Expanding Your Power". So we've gone from embracing your power to expanding your power. And the byline or tagline for this is "A Woman's Opportunity to Inspire Teams and Influence Organizations." And what I want to say is that book one is about individual and interpersonal. This is going to be about group or team and organizations. So my goal is to have book two to the publisher by the end of January, and then hopefully available for purchase by mid year, summer of 2023. And somewhere in there, I'm gonna write book three. And, you know, we're gonna have, this is not, you know, some books, when the author puts out a second book, it's really just a rehash of the first book, that's not going to be this book. It's new content to cover because it's focused on teams and organizations. And we'll have a lot more tools that we're going to share there. And we'll, you know, continue to support women and all leaders who are striving to be their best authentic self.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 52:46
Well, and, you know, I've seen the sneak peek of the 2023 podcast schedule, and we have some incredible guests and content planned for the year. So I know I'm really excited about that.
Marsha Clark 52:59
We do have a lot of special guests planned. And each one of them represents a facet or an aspect of women that touches a certain niche, right. So we're going to have women from the military, we're going to have... well, I won't get into all those. This is not the point of this particular podcast, but we're gonna have women coming from lots of different places. And I also want our listeners to hear we're still going to provide you lots of content and teaching from book two much as we've done in book one. And so it's going to be another full and exciting new year.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 53:37
Yes. And we can go ahead and start pre promoting, get ready to purchase book two so you can follow along. Well, before we wrap up here. I have one last question related to the podcast. We've talked about favorite moments, lessons learned, you know, maybe any do overs, but you didn't have any and I love that. But if you could have one dream guest on the show, who would you invite and what would you talk about?
Marsha Clark 54:05
Yeah, so when Tracie sent me this question, oh, my gosh, there's so many, right? So it's hard. And yet I thought, you know, there is one woman that I would love to sit down and have a conversation with. And so my dream guest would be Ruth Bader Ginsburg and we would have a conversation about all the wonderful things she did for equal rights, many in my lifetime. Yes, that's the part that appeals to me. And, you know, I was doing a little bit of research, even back into my own archives and files. And so I recently saw a list and this was the title of it: Notorious RBG, Ruth Bader Ginsburg has made history and then it went on to list all the ways in which she had made history. So I want our listeners to hear this because I have such great respect and admiration and I want them to know the names. These are the stories of the women who have come before us, right? Cassandra Speaks. These are history making stories. So we need to know our history. So she graduated first in her class from Columbia Law School. And she was the first woman to do that. She battled and overcame sexism personally. And, you know, I, I've read lots of articles about her. She tells the story about how one of her law professors offered her the answers to a test in exchange for sex. And we say this isn't happening. Yes, this happened then and happens now, is happening now. She was the first person on both the Harvard and Columbia Law reviews. She became the second female law professor at Rutgers and fought for equal pay for being a female law professor. She co-founded the first law journal on women's rights. She became the first female tenured law professor at Columbia. She co-founded the Women's Rights Project at ACLU. She argued six cases before the Supreme Court and for a lawyer to even say they argued one is a big deal, she argued six and she won five of them. (Yes!) She became the first female Jewish Supreme Court justice. And she's one of only four female justices in history.
So she's the icon, right, for shattering the glass ceiling, for being focused and tenacious and persevering. Now, what I also want our listeners to hear is, what the results were for the fights she fought. So because of her, and this benefits both men and women, but I'm going to read the women's first. Because of her, women can get a credit card in their own names without a male signatory. Now, some of our young leaders are going, what? That was in my lifetime. Women can't be fired for getting pregnant. Because guess what? It used to be that they could. Women can earn admittance into military academies. Women are legally protected from any form of violence, the fact that we had to write legislation for that. Women are allowed to live with their significant other without being married. But you know, men did it all the time, but a woman had a whole different story. Women can ask for divorce due to domestic violence. Women can open their own bank accounts without male permission. What? Women can adopt a baby, as a single woman. Women are allowed to sue companies for pay discrimination, even after six months have passed. So just get that. Things that we take for granted, or that we think have always been, these have all changed in the last 50 years. And if you're a man, because I said she's done things on behalf and in support of men, if you're a man who's been covered by your wife's medical benefits, thank RBG. If you're a man has been able to receive his wife's survivor benefits from Social Security, thank RBG. If you've appointed a woman to be the executor of your estate, thank RBG. So I think our listeners can tell why I love her so much because she is a, I call myself as a social justice warrior for women and girls. She is. She's my, if I have an icon, she was. I should say that she did pass away in 2020. And yet, she is still an icon. And she is still my role model. And I admire her greatly. I hold her in the highest of esteem and have great respect for her.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 58:45
So as we wrap up this year in review episode, let's use these last few minutes as sort of a check out for the year. What do you want to share with our listeners in closing?
Marsha Clark 58:56
Well, I want to share one last testimonial. And I think it's a great wrap up. So I want to thank you know Eddie Batten, who's been a longtime friend. I've known her for 40 plus years. So her comments were "Important read and thought provoking. When you learn to embrace your power, the world opens up in an exciting way. And you start to see possibilities you didn't see before." And that's what we want. That is, that is my definition of success. My sincere hope is that we're helping our readers and listeners see those new possibilities and live out those possibilities, not just see them, and to live them out with power and authenticity. And, you know, again, thank you, Eddie, for your eloquent words. Not only are we doing that for ourselves, we're doing it in support of and in help to and with others.
Wendi McGowan-Ellis 1:00:02
Well, listeners, thank you all for joining us today as we wrap up a fantastic year. And Marsha, you know, I feel like this episode was probably our least scripted and one of our, all of them are authentic, but it felt very authentic today because it was very least scripted and we just kind of had a conversation about where we are so far and plans for the next year. So, listeners, please continue to download, subscribe and share this podcast with all of your female friends, colleagues, sisters, neighbors, everyone who needs to listen and hear and connect on becoming a more powerful, authentic leader.
Marsha Clark 1:00:49
Yeah, and I just want to say one of the principles I teach is a formula that's results plus recognition equals power. So we shared some statistics today that can demonstrate to our listeners that we're getting the results, we're extending our reach, we have feedback from listeners, that it's valuable. We're picking up the pace so the momentum is only getting greater and faster. And I'm proud of all of that. And there's the we part of this because the recognition is the I plus we. I'm proud of what we've done. And I couldn't have done it without the team of people who work with me. And Wendi, you're certainly a partner, and I was gonna say partner in crime but a partner in goodness (I love a partner in crime.) We couldn't have done it without Tracie and her scripting. I couldn't have done it without Natalie and Misty and all the support that they give us in the back room, my son Brent as well with social media marketing, website support, and so on. And, the other big we, if I can say it this way, is every single one of our listeners and our listeners sharing their experience, sharing the content with their, as you said, friends, colleagues, family members, anyone who wants to be a better leader and who wants to be a better person, live a better life in this world. And I think each and every one of us when we think about what we can do in that regard, we can be kind, we can be supportive. And, you know, I want to kind of shift to a different close for this particular podcast. We want you to join us next week. We want all that to be right. And I want our listeners to know I certainly strive to be a woman who supports other women. And I want to invite each and every one of our listeners to join me in that. And so as always, we're going to close "Here's to women supporting women!"
Transcribed by https://otter.ai