03:33 Monique: I really want to start off with the book that you published a few years ago, “Reaching Senior Leadership”, and I appreciate you for letting me be an author of one of the chapters in your book. But in your book, you indicated that you had an opportunity to really experience managing up first hand when you were tasked with developing an executive leadership program early on in your journey so will you share that? How did you get tapped for that opportunity?
04:01 Alex: One, I had to say I was blessed, right? I was talking with my wife when about this guy was commenting on Kevin Hart and he basically said that Kevin Hart was lucky. The reason why Kevin Hart was successful is because he’s lucky. Certain things wouldn’t have happened; he wouldn’t be where he is. And I think the same thing happens for you and I and everyone else is a great deal of luck comes in the play, opportunities. But the question is, how do you increase your luck, right? How do you increase your chance of doing something great happens to you, an opportunity happens to you that you can take advantage of it? And I would say networking is what got me where I was. I started off with doing a lot of networking on LinkedIn.com, met network executives, making my presence known within a learning community where I am working in. And ultimately, this opportunity came up and again, I don’t know why they asked some 23 year old kid to create them and executive program for capital agency but when they asked me, the only answer I could say was yes, right? Because in my mind, you can only learn. If you’re successful, phenomenal! You can learn, you’ve grown. But if you’re not successful, phenomenal! You will learn, you’ve grown. I mean, for me, there’s no downside to trying new things specifically for your audience that you’re focusing on, the 25 to 35 younger professionals’ career but the movie, all these media talk about how this one person did this thing and their career was in this forever, that’s not reality. We will fail many, many, many times. The falling down, this things are not in the movie. Yes, it could have happen to life; it could have happen there so I encourage everyone especially in the younger age to try new things. And I think that’s what got me moving in that direction.
05:54 Monique: And so I found that interesting when you said my only option was yes, and I’m thinking, “Well, was that really your only option? Or was it that you’re comfortable in yourself and had that confidence in yourself to say yes?” So what role does confidence plays in this? Even with what you said about networking, reaching out to other professionals on LinkedIn. Who do you have to be or how do you have to think of yourself in order to initiate those types of conversations?
06:27 Alex: It was a great question and I think I have two answers. I hope I can remember both of them by the time I get this talking. The first is, I think you need to be comfortable. I would say confident, I think it’s confident knowing that you don’t know everything. That is the first thing that makes me more comfortable with reaching out and trying new things, that I am 100% confident that I don’t know everything. And because I know that, because I accept that, it makes me more willing and more accepting to ask for advice from other people who have done it. I am consistently reaching out to people. “How do you do this? How do you move up on your career?” Reading books, watching YouTube, being mentored by people like Monique, you. You have an impact in my life and because I know I don’t know everything, I feel comfortable that when I walk in to a new situation, I am not going to take it all of them out on my shoulders, I am going to try to find someone else who can help me. Because I think the reality is that, though sometimes, we believe that everyone is out to get us and you can’t let your right hand know what your left hand is doing. With the Keybar, our desire is one can go […]. The reality is, I think more people actually are willing to help you if you are willing to ask. So I think the first thing would be being confident that I don’t know everything. The second thing I would say is, having a mindset of that you’re not a bad thing and fear not being a bad thing, I tell people in the course I run that fear is good. Our minds are literally designed to have us feel fear, to keep us safe. Because if you don’t have fear, you’ll be jumping off the roof or those kind of places so fear is actually a good thing, right? The challenge becomes how do you then overcome fear in instances when you really are in danger. I tell people that fear is like fire, if you compared fear to fire, then what makes fire grow is oxygen, then oxygen will be time for us. So the more time you give fear, the greater that fear can become because your mind is going to keep on thinking of every possible reason why you shouldn’t do it. That person, you reached out to that person and they’re going to hinge, they’re going to tweet about you. How are they going to tweet about you? I don’t know but your minds got to put it out there. So what I heard people do is if you think you want to meet someone, you think you want to try something? Do it. Not tomorrow, not next week, not next year, just do it. Because getting you moving forward, making some sort of progress now allows you to take the next step. You can’t take the second step, you take the first step; just do it.
09:19 Monique: Well, and what is, in those instances that as you have described, what’s the worst thing that can happen when you reach out to connect with someone to try to engage or to learn or being there or gain insights, or something. What happens when, Crickets, they go radio silent. You never hear from them, they never talk with you. What happens within you in those moments?
09:44 Alex: Nothing. No, to be completely honest, for me, there is the reality that I haven’t lost something, right? If you didn’t know them already, you still don’t know them so you haven’t lost anything. I do these interviews with executives because again, I want to hook myself around those successful leaders so I understand what it’s like feels to be around them and understand the context of their life. As I talk to them about how they move into those successful leadership positions, they are all saying the same thing; they’re willing to reach out to these other people, to grow from them, to learn from them. I asked them weren’t you afraid? Then they are saying the same thing, “Of what?” If I didn’t know them, I still don’t know them. But to add in, […], I think there’s the pride, right? I think people have this pride that they don’t want to be turned down and I think that is a huge contributor to people not reaching out to someone who they know can be beneficial on their life. There’s that pride. But I think once you understand, if you can move to a place where you understand that, one, there are many, many, many; there are billions of people in this world. If one person doesn’t want to talk to you, it’s okay. Really. It’s okay. You have to understand that. And then the other thing is, the reality is, I hope I don’t take too much of the time but prioritizing your time, your time is most valuable resource that you can have, you can manage, right? You’ll never get that. So I am very intentional with my time. I mean how I spend it and who I spend it with. The reality is, there are some people who I am not able to meet with because of I have priorities regarding my time. It doesn’t mean I hate them, it doesn’t mean I don’t like them because I have other things that require my time with that moment. And if I’m going to do that for myself, I have to now respect someone else has priorities with their time as well. And if I can say, “You know what? Maybe they’re not busy, maybe they’re not a bad person. They don’t think negative of me. They are just busy just like we assume all the negative things that are going on, we can just the same way assume the positive things so I would say that.
11:50 Monique: It’s the other side of the coin, right? A coin is a coin, it has the same value. And there’s a head, and there’s a tail. And so that’s what on the other side of the coin. You know what came up from me as I was listening to you Alex is why, in my personal experience, not sure what I want to do when I was coming out of undergrad with the marketing degree in business. I landed in a position of sales. And I always say, I don’t know what know your background of degree is, if you really are unsure, one of the best things you can do is go sell something. The reason I say that is because that’s going to squarely put you in to the fitness center of building that muscle for when someone says no and when someone you’re not a priority for them. And you have to handle objections because in those moments, if you can successfully sell, and you do that when the customer’s says no. But to turn those situations around, build those skills are some of the best skills I believe to have, wherever your leadership journey will take you. Because those transferable skills of how to navigate how you’re feeling in those moments and how to stay focus on the goal and continue to move ahead is powerful. And it helps you do that, Well, if could go out and sell and be knocked down in professional role where my livelihood was depending on whether or not this product is going to be sold or not. You somehow build that internal fortitude for moving ahead. And that would really serve you well. I really love hearing what you’ve said about that. You can’t beat yourself up. That doesn’t serve you.
13:39 Alex: If I can add one last thought, I love what you just said, I love what you share. It now makes me think of the initial question you asked about me working in overseeing an executive at a really young age. And I’ve been out doing executive coaching and leadership development for, focusing specifically for […] Network and so on and so forth. I didn’t know that for 10 plus years now. And it’s really interesting because the reason why I’m doing this, and I am teaching people who are 45, 55 and 65 years old to learn and do these things. It’s not because I am some genius. It’s literally, I believe, is because I started early. Because I was in this position early on, I have to learn this skills, I messed up a lot. “Okay. That didn’t work, let me try this one over here.” And I got better. That’s why, at a relatively young age, I am now teaching people who are much senior to me, you know, this people […] because I started early. So to your point, has your audience is trying to build relationship, network in manage up and so on and so forth? Do it now because you will learn what works and what doesn’t work so 5, 10 years down the road, you’re an expert. You know this stuff at the back of your hand.
14:58 Monique: Yes. And that will serve you well as you ascend organizationally which really takes me to the next question I have for you around the benefits of learning to manage up. And like you said, you starting to build those skills early and you will have the opportunity to continue to apply them overtime and get better at doing that. What are some other benefits as you think about the long term career of a young professional? What are some other benefits of learning how to manage up early?
15:30 Alex: I think a lot of time, it comes back to an influencing. What I’ll say is that, when you manage up there are two big big positives. One, if you’re managing up work effectively, you are making the person you are managing look good. Actually when I walk in to a new job, wherever I am, my job, what I tell everyone my goal is to make the person I work for look really good, people who are below me to look really good, people who work down sides of me look really good. If I can make people look good in my job, they’ll going to be happy with me and they will help me out. I’m fairly confident at this. So if you’re managing up and you’re doing it effectively, you’re helping your leader to be successful, and now they are going to value you and your skills even more or the other leaders are now looking at you and say., “Wow! Alex or Monique is a killing it. They’re really good. I would love them to work for me.” And then you get promotion, you get offers and so on and so forth like that. And to be completely honest, I receive an email from an executive friend of mine who owns the CEO of the big organization just reached out to me this past week saying, “Hey, I’d love to have you come and work in an executive level. I got the perfect position for you. And that’s because they’ve seen how I’ve managed up and make sure that those around me always look good. So I would say the first thing is you kind of build this wonderful reputation and everyone wants to work around you. Second, would be on influence specifically. When I started, I moved from managing […] programs to writing policies for programs. And initially, I thought I was going to hate that job because policy sounds boring. But I realized how much influence I have because I am drafting the language for a program, for a policy that everyone would have to abide by. Now, yes. Will that be edited by my superiors and executives? Sure. But they are editing the foundation that I created. That means I have outsized impact on a product that is being produced. So that same exact applies from managing up. As you give recommendations to your leaders and in your principals, you’re obviously going to be make recommendations that you believe also serves you. It doesn’t mean that it’s going to serve you primarily, it only serves you because that’s obviously self centered and you will then be a taker in the words of Adam Grahams book Give and Take. But what you do want to do is to focus on the other edge. You want to be focused on helping your supervisors and those everyone around you to be successful. But you can also think about yourself, right? You have goals. So when you’re putting for recommendations, you are thinking about your future. So when you say, “Hey, supervisor. I’m thinking to implement this program this way, this way and this way. And you know what? I think I am the perfect person to lead this program. That’s actually thinking about yourself, right? It’s not you being evil, that is thing, “I want to grow this skill, I have some ideas. I think of interjecting those ideas in to the game.” So think those are two massive benefits of managing up.
19:45 Monique: So Alex, for anyone who knows you, we know how good you are at Strategically networking, right? Considering that, and networking for many people think, “I hate that”, draws fear, you know, oxygen gets pumped in and you’ve mastered the ability of really honing your craft. What are some of the drawbacks, in particular for someone who consider themselves to be an introvert?
20:16 Alex: I think that’s the perfect question. I think the first drawback may sound funny but it’s language, it’s words. I honestly believe that the word introvert, the word extrovert, we associate something with it. We believe that those extroverts are, “those are great networkers because they can talk to anyone, that’s why they are great.” But you know what? I am an introvert so I am not expecting to be a great networker. Obviously, I can be in a corner count the ceiling tiles. I challenged that, I pushed back on that because networking is not about your personality type that you have. Networking is about identifying the strategies that work best for you. Surprisingly, I’m a public speaker. I speak in a room of 300-400 people, right? Everyone loves me. I am laughing, joking around and good stuff. I don’t like large groups of people. It makes me feel uncomfortable. So for me, when I go to networking events, I hate happy hours. I hate being in spaces where a whole bunch of people there, kind of rub elbows and talk to you. Soon they are going to find out who you are. If they like you, they’ll talk to you. If they don’t they’ll go to the next room. I hate those environments. So what do I do? I don’t really like those environments. I like it putting myself in situations where I’m comfortable so I’ll go to talks, to books things, to other dense that require a smaller number of people, when everyone is quite and where everyone can talk to one another. And still on top of that, I don’t like holding conversations in front of everyone. I like one on one conversation. So then what do I do? I’ll walk to that person whoever I want to talk to and say, “Hey, you know what, I really love what you said earlier. I thought that was very interesting. Do you mind if I connect with you offline? Thank you so much.” I get their cards, I say thank you then I’ll leave, then I email. But some people would say, “Oh, no! You talk to them there, not in a later time.” No! Do what’s works best for you. And that’s the number one thing that we can do in networking. Here’s a really quick example. I got a client of mine. I like talking to him, he’s super introvert. He hate, I wouldn’t say hate people. He didn’t enjoy being around with people. And it was really interesting because he would have some challenges in his career because of that adverse nature of building relationships with colleagues and so on and so forth. And so we had a conversation about his relationship building and he said I don’t want to be out. My wife actually can sense that when I go out with our friends. I don’t want to be there. She’s not happy. Here’s the thing about this. What makes you happy? He said, what? Just tell me, what makes you happy? He says, well, I love Scotch. You like Scotch, let’s talk about Scotch a little bit. So what else do you got, what do you enjoy being? I’d like being at home, drinking my scotch and watching a history channel. I said, okay, that what makes you happy? Yeah. I love the idea. Why don’t you invite people over? He’s like what? Just invite them over for some scotch. I can do that? Yeah! You can do that. And you could have seen the guy’s eyes just light up because he knew that he’d be in the environment that he’d like to be in, that he enjoys what he’s doing. At the end of the night, when he’s ready, he could walk to the room. So I tell people again, I actually course on networking specifically, the first thing you have to do to be an effective networker is understand you. What you love doing? What are your goals? What are your aspirations? What makes you comfortable? Once you understand all those things, they’ll be much more strategic in putting yourself in a situation where you can leverage those. Now, again, I say at some point, yes. You may have to go to happy hour that you don’t want to go to. You may be in some situation where you have to go somewhere that you don’t enjoy. At that point, you just create some rules for yourself. Okay, I’m going to stay here for 30 minutes, I am going to talk to three people and I’ll leave. I’ll check the box. I’ll walk on every four corners of the room, crosswise like an X so people see my face then I can leave. So they will remember that I was there’s always strategy that you can employ.
24:31 Monique: That’s terrific because there are opportunities on the other end of giving some thought of how will I make this work for me? And break an experience down in the way that resonates with you that makes you comfortable and is realistic. And as oppose to just leaving yourself in language of “I hate going to this event. I hate it, I hate it!”. And you convinced yourself and guess what, you’re going to show up hating the event. I love what you said kind of making a time bound, consider what’s your purpose. If it’s to be seen, to at least have shown your face and to go to the four corners. I love that. You mentioned course on networking. Are your courses available to the public? Or these are in the workplace?
25:19 Alex: Oh, definitely! You can go to alextremble.com. You can find my Strategic networking course. This is actually I’ve been doing for a long time. Getting courses on how to become a Strategic networker, Identifying and building relationship influence, and so on and so forth. I’ve been doing it in person for a long time and Covid has changed that so to make this available to the broader community, I now put it online. I’m telling you, the results, the feedback I’ve received from the people in the course is phenomenal. I do encourage your listeners to visit alextremble.com
25:55 Monique: Well, I’ll be putting a link to that in the show notes for today’s episode so individuals can actually have access to that link. Then before we actually sign off on our time together today, I’ll make sure that you share with the audience whatever opportunities you have available for connecting with you. But a couple of more questions before we go to that point, what Alex do you say is the mindset for young professional who is interested in developing those managing up skills. What is the mindset of that individual?
26:30 Alex: This really may sound surprising but the mindset of the individual who wants to be successful in effectively managing up is not being selfish. You’re not just thinking about yourself but think about yourself last. Be selfless, think about yourself less. It’s about the other people. It’s not about you. When I manage up, whether it be executive leaders or subordinates or other people that are not my supervisor.
26:59 Monique: Kind of peers of yours or colleagues.
27:01 Alex: Yeah, it’s all about how can I help them. If you understand how you can help someone, it goes so far. I tell people that, you know, this is a very good example. If you’ve ever received a gift that you did not care about, but you’re like, “Oh, yeah. Thank you so much. I love this sweater.” And you smile and then you said thank you and they walked away. You[…] and you never saw that again, right? That’s a gift, right? Someone gave you a gift. And does it make you a bad person if you didn’t want that gift? It doesn’t. That gift wasn’t what you want, wasn’t your desire, wasn’t in your plan. So it wasn’t as valuable to you. Did that make you a bad person thinking that it’s not valuable. So the question comes, and I have to learn this through my marriage. Not just giving gifts that I want to gift someone, giving gifts of what people want, right? And how do you know that? By asking. What are your supervisor’s goals? What are their aspirations, what they want to be, what they want to accomplish? Once you know this information, you now know how to help and guide them to that destination. But you can’t do that if you don’t ask the question. I mean, it’s the same thing about someone giving you a gift that you didn’t want. Great, you gave them a gift. You helped them do something. That’s not what they want, that’s not valued as much. You don’t build that relationship significantly. One of the strategies that I love to implrment is PPF. If you can learn what their personal goals are, what their professional goals are, and what their financial goals are, your golf, right? Because you know what to do to help them. So I would say, if you want to be effective at managing up, you have to be someone who’s focused in understanding who you’re working for and with. And how you could help them, what do they want to accomplish so you know how to help them.
28:59 Monique: And so along these lines of you’ve tapped in to a few resources in terms of learning from others, we’ve even talked about course that you have available so e-courses. You’ve mentioned books have benefited you, what additional resources come to mind for you when you consider developing that skill for managing up? What are some beneficial resources?
29:22 Alex: My usual suspects are, they’re my favorite books. I love the book power while others have it and other stuff. I love that book because it really drives home the importance of building influence. Again, if you want to influence others, you need to have the resources that they want, right And so with that book along with my course, teach you to identify those resources to identify how to help those people out. And I will also say is. I’m going to recommend this books because so many people have a adverse reaction to power and influence, wanting to seek power and influence something called Love and Power. I think it’s Love and Power. If it’s not that, it’s Power and Love either way. It has in a cover a heart or something like that. This book, while I was sitting, having lunch with a former clinical deputy director of International […] services at Little […] then he asked me some question about what my ultimate goals were and I was kind of hesitant on sharing with him the level of influence that I want to have and he saw that. Alex, you need to read this book. Read this book then come back to me. Then I read this book and tell you, within the first 2-3 chapters, my mind have completely changed in regards to power and influence. And so I would recommend those books from the job.
30:50 Monique: Nice! I will be more than happy to put link to those and with the additional information on how to contact you. So as we’re drawing to a close, Alex. What are some of the exciting and new initiatives that you have going on and it sounds like you’ve tested your own skills and push beyond your boundaries as a result of covid and created an online way of delivering your wonderful content. What else? What else do you have going on?
31:17 Alex: For last 6-7 years, I’ve been thinking about this but Covid pushed me to do something about it, right? and so I’ve done it, we started with what’s called Alex Tremble show. Where I’m interviewing Executive Level leaders from across the world on how do you become a better networker, how to appraise your influence, critical savvy, this career progression as a whole. And I interviewed the Former Deputy Director of Intelligence the CIA, couple of weeks ago and the Undersecretary for the EPA in the State of California. I have an ambassador that I've been interviewing in the last couple of weeks. I’m super excited. It launch and air on January 6, 2021 and I’ll be posting new episodes bi-weekly, every other Wednesday, every 1st and 3rd Wednesday. And be completely honest, there’ll probably a lot of bonus posts as well because so many of the leaders I’ve been connected to are saying, “Hey, we want to share our advice to the masses. We want to help people who want to move forward in their career so they are also offering to interview so I have more than seasons to come even for 2021. I am just so excited about so I hope people will come and join. You can go to alextrembleshow.com for more information about it.
32:40 Monique: Yes, I am absolutely including all the contact information for you in what we’ve talked about today in the shownotes at Tuesdaywithcoachmo.com/podcast. So Alex thank you so much for making time for the Tuesdays with Coach Mo podcast. It’s been absolutely a pleasure to have you today.
33:02 Alex: One more thing if you don’t mind. It’s just coming out organically so it’s not planned but you referenced the book, Senior Leadership, the one that you co-authored. Again, you have phenomenal content in there, If you don’t mind, I’d love to offer your listeners a free version of that book, e-version if that’s okay. They can go to Alextemble.com and they can get the book, they will use the discount code MYFREEBOOK and they’re happy to get a e-book version of this book and again, I 100% encourage all of you to read Monique’s section on strengths. If you’re not someone who’s focused on strengths, she will make the argument that that’s what you need to be focused.
33:46 Monique: Yes, I am. Anyone who have listen I’m actually making that argument when the saw the cost of actively disengage employees out here is causing the US somewhere between $630,000,000,000 to 1.2 Trillion. So that came about as a result of Gallup’s research. So I said you know what, it’s too expensive for people to be actively disengage so someone needs to take their own ownership of their talents and strengths and their managers need to as well know on how to engage in their employees and leverage their talents and strengths of the team. So thank you Alex for being with us. I’m so sorry to learn of your grandfather’s passing as a result of this pandemic. I tell you we are really looking forward to getting to the other side and will definitely remember fondly those we lost along the way. So thank you so much Alex for being here and make it a great day.
34:42 Alex: You, too. Thank you much.