Alright – so today we’ve got the honor of introducing you to Gail Rudolph. We think you’ll enjoy our conversation, we’ve shared it below.
Gail, looking forward to hearing all of your stories today. Looking back, what’s an important lesson you learned at a prior job
I started out clueless, as the only full-time employee at a community foundation. My boss was part time and more often than not, I did the majority of the work while he took the majority of the credit. So I regularly starting asking for a raise, which my boss denied, citing the irrelevant fact that I received child support as a single mom of two children. Finally, I resigned and moved on. But I learned that I had been unknowingly giving my power away.
The trouble was, even in subsequent roles, I still didn’t have a grasp of how to claim my power and use it effectively. Ultimately after years of struggling, I realized that power can be learned, and once I mastered it myself, I set out to help others do the same. It was out of this quest my book was developed. It is intended to be a guide book to harnessing your own personal power.
Gail, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
I sat for years in the C-Suite of major health systems and became increasing frustrated at all the money that was being spent on consultants. They would come in for a bit, share their wisdom and tell us what to do but when they left everything went back to the same as it was before. I thought what a waste of time, energy and money.
When I began to look deeper I found that most of them were coming in with their “opinions” and very few had any data or evidence to back it up. So I decided to start a company that was based in scientific research and brought real solutions to the table that made a substantial impact on reaching solutions and change.
So Gail Rudolph Collaborative was created to leverage scientifically proven, time-tested, and world respected methods that are both teachable and learnable. We have worked with top leaders and created original, proprietary materials around power dynamics, diversity, equity and inclusion, generational challenges in the workplace, leadership, team development and Influence.
We provide an active experience, not passive learning, that results in real change once we are gone.
Learning and unlearning are both critical parts of growth – can you share a story of a time when you had to unlearn a lesson?
My lesson was that maintaining and holding on to our personal power could only be done through holding firm boundaries in the workplace, but it can be tricky. It is challenging to protect our limits in an environment where we feel obliged when an authority figure asks us to do something. However, someone who understands boundaries will never purposefully encroach upon the limits of others and will accept a firm no.
As a recovering people pleaser, I fight with holding my power and boundaries every day. But, I now understand that I am giving my power away by not holding my boundaries.
It was a lesson I learned from a young age that carried over into my career as I got older. As the youngest of four children and my oldest brother was eighteen years my senior, with that kind of age difference, I never felt my voice mattered, and no matter how hard I tried, I was just a pesky five-year-old. So I learned that to survive, my best option was to keep everyone happy as best I could and do everything I was told.
Everyone, except me, still laughs that my sister would be given a job like taking out the trash, and my mother would not even finish her sentence, and my sister would be saying, “Gail, take out the trash.”
This type of giving my power away was not suitable then, and it is definitely not good in a business situation.
It is incredible to me how many learned behaviors we have from childhood spill over into our work lives.
How do you keep your team’s morale high?
The key word is Inclusion.
There is a lot of emphasis on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion these days. But so many programs make people feel preached to, admonished, or put on the defensive.
Diversity is the easy part. It is simple for a company to meet the “requirements” of a diverse Board of Directors, executive team, or workforce.
Inclusion – creating an authentic environment where every person feels welcome, seen, valued, and appreciated for their uniqueness – is a very different matter.
To offer our best selves to any group or organization, we need to belong, which allows us to feel safe sharing our ideas, providing feedback, and asking questions. That encourages us to do our best work, sparks true creativity and collaboration.
I believe an organization should do the following five things to enhance their teams
Create an environment of Inclusion
Build communication and problems solving skills
Produce opportunities for people to shine
Build Buy-in – in other words, don’t be a top-down initiative organization
Great teams maximize every individual, no matter their role, so they can effectively harness their power and influence to advance the organization’s goal and mission.
- Website: Gailrudolph.com
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/gailrudolphauthor/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/GailRudolphAuthor
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gail-rudolph/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=gail+rudolph+collaborative
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