About EB Sanders
EB Sanders is a certified career coach, speaker, and staffing consultant. Her career journey from college professor to recruiting and staffing specialist to career coach has always been about helping people ditch their fears and design their careers so they can achieve the fulfillment they really want.
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Deliberate Leaders I am your host, Allison Dunn, Executive Coach and Founder of the Deliberate Leaders podcast where our mission is to grow great leaders who grow great businesses. We do that by offering a complimentary strategy session. If you’re interested as a podcast listener to take advantage of that, go straight to our website at deliberatedirections.com click on the blue button and pick a time that works best for you. I am super excited for our guest today. Her name is EB Sanders. She is a certified career coach. She’s a sought after speaker and a staffing consultant. And EB’s journey started from being a college professor, then recruiter and staffing specialist to now being a career coach, and has always been about helping people ditch their fears and design their careers so that they can achieve fulfillment the way that they want. And she’s eager to share that knowledge with you today. So EB, thank you so much for joining us here on Deliberate Leaders.
Thank you so much for having me.
Absolutely. I like to kick these off with a deliberate conversation and just what is the number one leadership tip that you would give to our listeners?
I would say that it is it would be to not just allow but also encourage your team members to work to their strengths, instead of forcing them into some container described by a job description, really allowing them to lean into the things they do absolutely the best.
I love that one. Thank you. That’s a fantastic tip. And something that I talk a lot about as a coach when we’re talking about leadership. And we seem to focus on the things that people don’t have to mention, as opposed to trying to amplify the things that they’re just doing really well as exactly, to do those things. Right. And one of the things that really resonated with me is that and I think it goes to what you were just speaking to as to how to work in your strengths is how, how do we be our most authentic self? And, while we’re also trying to meet the needs of what the organization’s asking us to do?
Yeah, I think, and I wouldn’t call it a shortcut. But the shortest path to that is to make sure that you’re working with an organization that shares your values. If you are supporting their values, and they’re supporting your values, there’s so much less disconnect. And you’re both working towards similar goals, you both want the same outcome. And then it isn’t me versus the organization, it is all of us working together as a big team towards the same goals. And it just makes everything smoother, more effective, more energized. And it’s just, again, a more direct path to making sure everyone’s doing what they want to be doing where they want to be doing it.
I do a lot of recruiting for the companies that I work with to help them find their next rock star, you know. And from an executive coaching standpoint, we work on what our company values are and what the executive or CEOs values are. I often find that individuals who are interviewing aren’t able to articulate what their values are.
Help them understand why it’s incredibly important when I work with companies as well to work on their staffing plan and get them there people. Sometimes even though they may have a mission statement, for the individual leaders, it’s difficult for them to outline their values. So it’s sort of an exercise that I make both sides go for, for my clients that come to me that want to step up into their leadership skills, I don’t let them move forward until they can clearly define for themselves what their values are, and how those values you know need to be supported in their life and in their work. And once you’ve got that, once you can speak to it solidly as a person going in and having, you know, a very strong sense of self will help you figure out whether workplace is correct for you. And it will allow the leaders to understand better, what’s really is more important to them. Because quite often we might be working for large organizations that have had a mission statement that maybe hasn’t even been looked at, you know, quite some time, right. So it, I really do focus on making sure that both sides understand what their actual values are versus what maybe they feel they should be saying they are right, they have to truly believe and consider them not just personal values, but pillars of their career, pillars of an organizational operating system, really.
What would be your guidance for someone who has found themselves inside of the business or an organization that they do align their values with, but they are doing that they’re reporting to a leader that doesn’t or there’s just a disconnect in some way and so on. Stagnating, maybe feeling a bit stuck and to do, what would be your guidance?
My diet is always I. And this isn’t an ideal work environment, hopefully a leader is open to transparent, open, honest communication. I know that they all aren’t. Unfortunately, that’s the reality, right? But I suggest that you always start directly with your, you know, your direct leader, have that one on one with them. Hopefully, that’s something you have regularly. But if you don’t, then this is the time to get it on the calendar and try and do a calibration. They may share your values, but it’s not coming out in the same way people go, you know, towards the same direction and two different paths sometimes right? into, simply ask them say, this is why I work here, these this is the values that I was told this company believes in, I’m feeling a little disconnect, how can you not get on the same page. And again, it might be that you are, it might be that you’re not? If you’re not able to coordinate with your direct manager that way, sometimes you do have to go above them, sometimes you do have to go to HR. And, you know, if it escalates to the point where you feel that you’re not able to do your job? Well, because of this disconnect, it may mean that it’s time for you to find another place, which is unfortunate. But that is the truth.
Um, do in the work that you do, what would be some of the guidance that you would, in addition to like, if I’m, if I find I’m not on the right career path? Or if I find that I’m being overlooked? Mm hmm. Your path that I’m actually gonna use me as like, if I want? And what would be your suggestions on how I go about it and be successful?
Yeah, absolutely. Um, it is really, really common. I think a lot of people unfortunately, have the idea that your managers watching everything that you do, they’re really concerned with your career path, and they’re just gonna let you know, like, Oh, hey, you’ve reached this milestone, you’re clearly moving, when that’s not the case, they are too involved in their own work. They’re trying to just get their work done and worried about their career, you need to be the proactive one, no one is going to advocate for you the way that you are going to. So I absolutely suggest keeping a record of all of the wins that you accrue the tiny wins on a daily basis, the big project wins all of the things that you’re working towards. And, you know, for all intents and purposes, creating a proposal a presentation of why you should be moving on up what your long term goals are, how you want those to align with the company goals and take that to the powers that be take that to the stakeholders that you need to and make sure that they’re aware that this is the thing you’re talking about. you’re considering it you’re thinking about this on a daily basis. They it’s not that they don’t care, they’re just not going to be in your in your business in that way on a day to day, you have to help them help you. Really you do.
So identifying a way to be able to be confident and be your own cheerleader?
Absolutely. Yeah. And again, a simple way to do that is to keep track. It’s something someone we have this idea that someone else is keeping track for us. They aren’t, they really aren’t. They’re worried about getting to that next meeting that’s overlapping with the one they just scheduled. Keeping track of your daily wins, keeping track of your big wins, making sure that if you don’t have a win, that you have a missed up keeping track of what you learned from that, and how you would reframe what you’ve learned and taking that into the future. Because especially during a review cycle, right, those missteps may be brought up. And if you can say, you know, it wasn’t necessarily a loss, it was a misstep. But I’ve learned and here’s what specifically when what solutions I put in place, you will come out looking like a rockstar.
That is such a great piece of advice. I mean, I thrive and really, I love lessons learned, right? Because there’s no failures. There’s not like, you know, things that you do wrong. It’s like, what am I learning from it? And if we’re doing quickly, we’re not stretching ourselves. So absolutely proactive about saying like, wow, that was just that was not good. Change it right.
Yeah. And everyone is gonna make mistakes very literally everyone, and it’s not, you know, whether you will have a misstep, it’s one in which one you can it’s not possible to keep all the balls in the air that’s expected of us on the job these days. It isn’t. So how you manage that how you handle that and how you come out on the other side is going to be your winning kind of linchpin.
For sure, and another element, so you talk a lot about confidence. And you actually have a course that’s called Career Change With Confidence.
And the framework defining your thing, or I don’t know if I said that, right. Yeah. Thank you trademark and get that right.
I really would like to touch on that because I think that it does highlight a lot of things that I’m hearing People talk about so baked into the framework and how you actually change your career with confidence.
Sure, and it’s so there’s it’s a two fold thing, it’s much for the people who actually want to pick their career and change into completely different career. And then it’s for people who really need to make changes in their career. And they are, they can be two different things. And so people come to me thinking they need to completely pivot and change careers, when truly they need to create and design the career that they want within the one they already have. And it all does boil the confidence, I’ve learned this from working with students and one on one clients for years now is that they feel that they are, they have no options, they feel hopeless. And what it truly is, is that they have the most abundant amount of options, they just don’t have the confidence to believe that those options are there for them. And I see this over and over when I was working in the corporate world, and I was managing teams and doing staffing, I wish I had the biggest box of Kleenex in the office because people will come into my office and just cry. Because they felt that they were stuck, and that they had no options. And they didn’t have the confidence to do the things they wanted to do the things they knew they needed to do, or they really didn’t feel they had any idea what they meant to be doing. Unfortunately, not every organization is great about learning and development and helping their team grow. And there’s some fear about that, that if we help them grow and learn to get bigger, they’ll all leave us. And what it means is they leave you because they feel so dejected, and they feel like they haven’t grown right. So the course is really to help people find start with finding their core values and making sure they’re in an environment that’s supporting that and to make career decisions based on who they truly are their core, who they want to be what they want to be working towards. So that when they do make career decisions, it is with confidence, because they know they’re working towards these larger life goals. Other than hitting a monetary milestone, it’s much more about doing what they want to do being who they want to be. And yeah, it all comes down to, to the confidence aspect. And in terms of finding their thing, I find that there’s so much pressure on us, especially in the US to find and live your one burning desire passion. And unfortunately, there’s so many people that don’t have that, or they’re they do have that burning passion, but they’re having to monetize it. And it’d be also their source of income just can suck so much of the joy from it. And so I like to take that just that pressure off of my clients, it allows them to find something that they enjoy something they’re good at something that they feel is meaningful and important to them. But it doesn’t have to be their one burning, all consuming passion, but it’s their thing, it’s a thing that they you know, it lights them up, they find it easy, they can get in flow in a way that makes them just really enjoy the process. And that’s, that’s truly the core of most of my work. So it’s all about finding the things you’re good at and doing it. You know, with confidence.
I hope that I’m not alone. You obviously work with a lot of people to help them find that, but it took me decades. Yeah, figure out what my what my job is. Now that I found it, love, you know, every, every day and what I get, but, you know, could all my other careers but never at this like high achieving level. So it took me decades as well. Now I’m on major career number three.
Yes, you are. Exactly. That’s okay. I think people are a little bit of like, if it’s if I don’t find happiness in this, I have to find the thing that does make me the most happy and maybe you just have to experience more things or figure out how you things where you’re at sound. Excellent. Um, so we first started talking about, you had mentioned, you know, really working within your strengths. So can you help explain it leading to your strengths is way more effective than overcoming your weaknesses and how to minimize those?
Yeah, absolutely. If we’re talking about it from a leadership standpoint, and you’re trying to have the strongest team that you possibly can, allowing them to do the things that are innate to them that are easy for them that are second nature for them, the things that they don’t understand why they’re difficult for other people. If you allow them to do that, even if it seemingly bleeds out a little bit from their direct job description, your team will be so much more strong than if you have them sit down, create a list of their flaws, sign them up for a bunch of trainings to overcome those flaws. Then you’re spending time and money and energy and resources to fix quote unquote problems that aren’t there because I guarantee To you, there’s someone else within your team within your group that can easily pick up the slack that the problems, quote unquote, the need to be fixed by one team member aren’t someone else’s strengths. And they’d actually enjoy working in those. And if you allow people to do that, instead of really trying to have them in into these containers that are easily, you know, codify with metrics, because we can sometimes get way too obsessed with metrics of the actual person behind them. If you just allow them to lean into it, especially if they know what they are, and they’re aware of those strengths, your team will be stronger, you will be seen as a better manager, your team will be more productive, like none of these things are bad things. But if you’ve got a team that’s feeling a little dejected, and if they feel that they’re being sent to the principal’s office, because they’ve got to go fix something they did wrong, or that they don’t do, if you’re having to spend a lot of time, they’re a you’ve made a poor hire, and there’s some process that might need to be fixed to there. But if they’re doing all this time to fix these, quote, unquote, flaws, they’re not doing the projects you needed them to do in the first place. So allowing them to lean into the things that are amazing. And instead of, you know, they, let’s say you’ve got someone who’s a great, you know, presentation giver, let them be the best presentation giver that’s ever been, instead of sending them, you know, to learn how to do more pivot tables in Excel. It’s going to stay the need to save the company money and save everyone a lot of headache.
Great advice. What, in your crystal ball for 2021? Knowing that it’s right, that, that there’s just a lot of change happening in the business. And people may be feeling extra stuck or extra concerned about making some type of change? What advice would you give them? First off? And then secondly, what do you see businesses doing about career opportunities? When it’s not in a team environment? Things are just different?
Yeah, I think the thing is, is I think things are different in a good way. I think people are panicking a lot. because things are changing. We always panic when there’s change. And things are going to look very different in the net within the next five years. But I think for good in the good way. I think for those people feeling stuck right now and panicking about making a decision. Unfortunately, before when they felt that they may have been secure in their career in their position. Unfortunately, that was a facade of security, you’re not truly secure. Just because you’ve been embedded in a company or an organization or you’ve had a long history. That is sort of a smokescreen know when you can, especially California, we’re at will employment, right, you can show up the next day and be like oh, for absolutely no reason whatsoever. And you can leave for absolute reason that way. So the organization has no security as well. But now what’s happening is so many companies, so many organizations, organizations have been forced to put in the infrastructure for us to work anywhere, right, they finally been forced to do it. Whereas before it was seen as a perk, it was seen as a benefit, it was seen as something that you really had to fight to get it was, you know, to do remote work and understood, let them understand that you can not just do the same work, but maybe even better. Now I see that it’s already happening, you can already see it happening. A talent pools from places where people may not have been able to pick up and move to a major metropolitan city, they’re finally getting their shot. You can live wherever you want and have the same opportunity as people living You know, it near the Nexus, like let’s say Silicon Valley, or New York or Chicago, that in the salaries are starting to even out, which is a great, great thing. It’s people have been so desperately paid in different parts of the country and different workers, especially for international versus the US. These things are all evening now. And some people that’s scaring them, because it means they may not make as much in like the big city that they moved to, to be closer to them work, there are going to be growing pains. But companies are going to realize there’s amazing talent in tiny pockets of this country. I’m so excited to see those people get a chance. I’m so excited to see, you know, kids in rural parts of the country get a chance to work, you know, for major startups, that’s amazing to me. So it is going to be different, it is going to look totally different. There are still going to be those companies that want a but in a physical seed and that I don’t think will ever go away. But it’s going to look different. And it’s going to be good stuff, I think, for the people that are worried about those decisions, worried about, you know, their security, to reframe it and look at as an opportunity to do something that they maybe always wanted to do didn’t feel they could do before or to realize that their role can grow in a way that that opportunity didn’t exist and they can actually do what they’re doing in more places instead of the few that they maybe thought they had the opportunities at before. I think it will take a minute refrain from a lot of people, but I do think it’s gonna be Oh, goodness.
Very good points. And I think that all of it’s happening. Like I think everything is happening in a very positive way. CPA is in Hawaii for the next six months working from Hawaii, because you can’t. They’re not in office. And I, when I was speaking to him, I’m like, how long have you been there? He’s like, oh, I’ve been here a couple of months. Good for you. That’s right. And people should start to think about how to take advantage of making if they’re, if their career maybe it’s the location, like sometimes change your location, if you’re allowed to does make everything better, right?
Absolutely. And I had a client yesterday who she’d been living in Manhattan, because that’s where quote, unquote, her work was. And now she’s like, I just bought a van, I’m gonna get in my face, she can still do her work and go see the country in a way that she’s wanted to do since she’s a teenager. And she can actually go do it now and things like that. Not that I think everyone should get an advance that sounds like my nightmare. But the opportunity to live somewhere where you can have a better quality of life, however you deem that to be, that is going to be an opportunity for you now.
So the optimistic and positive side of what is going on in the world and the things that the amazing opportunities that are available to people in careers in different places were from right from where you are. Eb, is there anything that I didn’t think to ask you, in this interview that you were hoping to share? We’ve got a couple more minutes. Before we wrap up?
Yeah, I think I’d like to get back to this concept of, of leadership and how to be the best leader that you can be. Especially when you’re not in a position of power when you’re not a stakeholder in your company, because there’s so many people that have such amazing leadership skills, and they want to be leaders, but they haven’t been, you know, knighted with that official title. And we’ve all had managers and bosses that were terrible leaders, right. And I think if you can hone those leadership skills, if you can understand what it takes to be a good leader, whether or not you’re a manager, you’re going to create this amazing non vicious cycle of goodness of open communication of people supporting each other and lifting each other up. And if you can do that, before you have that title, not only will you obviously gain that title in time, but you will be creating such ripples of healthy supported creative people, that can only be a good thing. So I would really encourage people that aren’t yet in positions of power that aren’t yet managers to be the best leaders that they can be and to concentrate on learning what that means for them.
Right, and being the example that they would like to see.
Excellent. What is the best way for people to find you and follow you?
They can find me easily enough on the web at Ebsanders.com. I’ve got tons of free resources on there for people who are looking to make some changes in their career. I’m pretty active on Instagram at Eb_ Sanders. You can find me there. I’m also all over the place, but it’s all in the website. So make it easy on yourself. You can just head there.
Fantastic Eb, thank you so much for your time today. And I encourage anyone who is looking for some inspiration about where they’re taking their career, and changing gears that her resources are fantastic on the website.
Well, thank you so much.
Thank you so much.