I know how they do it – a panel conversation with three powerhouse leaders

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This episode is SO.DANG.GOOD. I have three powerhouse leaders, who are sharing how they have broken the "rule" that you need a stay at home parent to be able to balance a senior leadership role alongside a family.

They share so many wonderful thoughts that highlight what amazing leaders they are.

For those taking furious notes, you can get the full transcript below.

 

Episode Transcript

Liz: Alright. Hello everyone. This episode is one that I have been looking forward to for seriously, all like a really long time. I'm so excited. We have a panel conversation here today. I have three wonderful humans. I have Madhu Sara, and Lacrecia here and they're here because I posted in a group. It's actually a Facebook group for Peloton moms in leadership.

Side note, if you want to learn more about that, go back about two or three episodes. I interview the group leader. If you want to learn more about that group and her story, but I posted in there, the question of whether there is anyone in the group who could speak to the. Rule that being at the VP level only works.

If you have a stay at home parent, you sometimes hear that like, oh, I can't get to VP level because it's just too much. I'm too exhausted. And so these three wonderful humans all put up their hands and said, absolutely, they would come on to chat with us. And I'm kind of calling it the, I know what they did panel because we're going to find out what they did to make it work.

So. We're going to kick things off with a quick introduction from each of them. I've asked each of them to give us their kind of one sentence or a 32nd intro. And I especially want to hear what their super power is. That's one of my favorite questions. What's your super power. So I can go around where I'm seeing people my screen.

So I'll start with Madhu and then Sara, and then Lacrecia. 

Madhu: Great. Thank you so much, Liz, for having us. I think this is a wonderful opportunity to hear from Sara and Lacrecia as well for me. And I think it's great to, you know, be there in front of your audience. So you know, I've been a C-suite leader in the healthcare industry now for 18 years, I've been a chief operating officer or chief strategy officer chief of staff.

More...

But one of the largest healthcare companies, but I've done it through kids through single motherhood. I'm now happily married. I have three children, but I would say to all of that journey, right? My biggest superpower, I would say, has been my ability to prioritize my ability to, you know, be my own advocate and to know my value is, is how I would put it.

Liz: Amazing. Okay, Sara, you're up there. 

Melissa: Thank you, as Missouri said for having us I am so excited to be here, to learn from each of you guys. So I came more to learn then, then to be part of your panel. My name's Sara Miller, I sit at the VP level in a health care improvement organization and also do it through.

You know, with a busy life. I have two small children. My husband works full time. I guess my children are teenagers. I need to stop calling them small in my head. They are still small and I have two bonus children. So four kids, two jobs, a house, all of that. I wish my superpower was as super as, as Madhu is, but mine, I would say is really just my ability to harness the morning.

The first thing in the morning is my time. And I didn't love that time of the day for my entire life. So to harness those moments, when I can center myself figure out how I want my day to shape, find those moments of focus and that clarity that can then propel me through the rest of the day. And being able to do that has, is something that I have really honed.

And I, we call that, I guess I would call that my. 

Liz: That's so wonderful. And I, don't something I'm not even sure if I'd shared with the panel beforehand, but my whole thing is about love your Monday mornings. Like I think everyone deserves to love Monday morning. So Sara, I love that. Yeah. That harnessing and just like enjoying and having delight in your morning.

That's wonderful. Okay. Lacrecia, you're up next. 

Lacrecia: Hi. Yes. So Lacrecia here. I am. I have been working for the world's largest retailer. I think we all know that's Walmart right for about 10 years now, and I'm not quite an exec. I am a senior director currently sitting within the supply chain organization and also a single mother and have been a single mother.

My entire mom had pretty much. So I've got a, I'm a 15 year old daughter and a nine-year-old son. And they've been along this journey with me these 10 years that I've started my career. If I had to pick a superpower, I would say my super power is adaptability. A lot of things come up and you just have to gotta go with the flow and figure it out on a whim.

Right? You have to have the ability to think quickly and figure out. Which balls you can drop. Like we talked about earlier in which balls you can keep in the air. And so I think over the years, that's something that I've been able to manage very well. That has allowed me to continue to move forward and progress. 

Liz: Yeah, I love that. Like Lacrecia and especially like you're saying, like, if you're in the supply chain and being a senior position, supply chain like that adaptability I'm sure has really served you these last couple of years. So I think whatever industry you're in, you know, that supply chain issues, like they've been an issue for a couple of years now and, you know, still, it's still ongoing, so good for you.

Lacrecia: Absolutely. Yeah, it's been rough and I actually have moved into a position at about three months ago. Now that is directly supporting the import at work, which is where a lot of our supply chain issues are currently living. So yes, it's definitely been a challenge, but it's been a good challenge. It's I've learned a lot, so it's exciting.

Liz: That's awesome. So I think each of you is already kind of spoken to this, but let's dig in a little bit more about the whole, that mean kernel theme that is going through this about ignoring or breaking that rule that you, that you need to have a stay-at-home parent, or it's just going to be, it's impossible to be at VP level without some kind of stay-at-home parent or that, you know, lots of extra support.

So, and they see Madhu has already taken herself off of mute. She's got some thoughts if you're, I'll put you on first and then maybe we'll do Lacrecia and Sara. 

Madhu: Sounds good. Liz, thank you. So I'd say this, that, you know, it, I think it's a complete mint and I think it's a mid, but I think it's also something that has been pushed on us, you know, as women, like we've been taught that early on.

Right. Okay. You got to take care of the kids or the family, and then, you know, husband does that. Right. And maybe nobody, you know, says that to us, you know, all the time, but it's there in the society. It's just there everywhere. Right? So, you know, my thing is today, like I have a husband who is working, I have three children, universe smuggler, Sara, I have a boner child.

Right. Are, you know, we have three children. And the thing I would say is that. The aspect is educating people around you. And by that, what I mean by that is that, you know, if I have to leave work at five and then go pick up my kids and take care of my family and I'll get back online at like eight or 10, when they're asleep, educate the people on your team.

And most times what I've realized is that people. Are empathetic people understand, but if you don't educate them, it's sometimes hard for folks to sort of, you know, realize what you're going through in your life. And so for me, I would say that's one thing. And then the other aspect of sort of, you know, what the, you know, you asked about sort of like which rule can you break?

Right. And this is this one rule I would say. You absolutely grant break, right? You absolutely can break this aspect of what are the expectations were versus what needs to happen. Right? Talk with your bosses, talk with your teams and tell them if this is what needs to happen. I will get it done. It's just that after hours or after certain times, or I have all of these other commitments that I need to equally prioritize, and I love them equally as much as I love my job.

Liz: There is so much gold. And what you just said there, I've got a few, I just noted down a few threads. I'm going to probably get to pick up on, but I, and did I see Sara? Did it look like you wanted to jump in there? Right? I did. 

Melissa: I just wanted to add, I think Madhu was saying some great things and I would add that if as leaders, if we don't bring that to the organization with us, our people can't do it.

And if I, if my people don't realize, like there's going to be a time. I need to be away from my desk in the middle of the day to handle something at school for one of my children. If I'm not transparent about that, if I can't show my team that I need to do that, then they're not going to do that. And then the entirety of the organization is going to fall apart.

So I think what you said is so, so, so important. 

Liz: Yeah, so good. It's called role modeling. Like you want to role models, you want to bring it which I wrote down as well, too, like signs of difficulties in your company, like, you know, kind of use like toxic job or toxic environment. Like if it's, sometimes you might need to just take a step back and ask why, why don't I feel comfortable setting boundaries what's going on?

Like, is it an internal thing I need to get comfortable boundaries or is there kind of a challenging environment here? Is it time to start looking for another company? I think 

Melissa: the rule that we're breaking to here is that, you know, work is nine to five and not never sell the two intermingle. And that is just not how life happens anymore.

And it's particularly true for women in leadership. 

Liz: Yeah. I love that. Oh my gosh. So much good stuff. Okay. Lacrecia, what are your thoughts? What's coming up. 

Lacrecia: Yeah. So actually actually clapped when when I heard her say that, because it's actually one of the big things for me is sitting down with my team.

You know, if it's a new team, I sit down with them as soon as I get them. You know, someone that I work with a peer and we talk about that, right? And we talk about how it's not an eight to five or seven 30 to five 30 type of environment anymore. It's changed and it's when you can get the work done, get the work done.

And if you can't get it done at the office, get it done wherever you're at. You know, the other thing that I find very interesting is whether you're a single parent, a two parent household with both parents working or one parent stay at home and one parent working, we all face the same challenge. We all have to prioritize.

And so when, when people say, you know, how do you do it as a single parent? Well, I do it the same way you do it as a two parent household, right? You have the same struggles and the same challenges, just in a different way. You have to prioritize. There's going to be times where you both have competing things that you need to get done and you have to figure out how do you manage through those.

And I, I think it's the same lens for everybody. I think it just goes back to what was it earlier. And so in society, we've kind of been trained that there's this certain picture of what it should look like. And it's really time to break that mold, you know, it's time to, it's time to move forward on that.

And, and historically there haven't been a ton of women in leadership and we see that starting to change rapidly, faster and faster, especially within my company and within the industry. And you know, for me, it's just about. Putting in the time putting in the effort, making sure you communicate when you can't be available and when you can get it done and just learning how to balance those things, but then also being okay.

When everything doesn't go. According to plan, there are going to be times when, at the end of the day you feel like you failed, right? Or you feel like you forgot something or you dropped something or you disappointed your kids, or you disappointed someone in the office and that's okay. Like that, that happens no matter what level of leadership you're in or what level of urine and your career.

And I think you just have to learn to be okay. 

Madhu: I think that is super gold Lacrecia. This is Madhu. And, but I think what you said was amazing that it is okay to not do okay. Right. All the time. I think we have this such high expectations of ourselves that we believe we got ahead. That hundred percent. Right.

We were just right at the beginning of our chat, Liz and I were talking right. It's really important for us to be at that a hundred percent. And we got to achieve sort of like get that A-plus every single workplace. The apparent at work at, you know, with your friends, as a wife, as a mother, as every single and every single girl, and it's not always possible.

And I think we should be okay with it. I think that's absolute to represent in terms of knowing when to prioritize, knowing when to say, I'm going to let go of this. And I'm going to sort of like, hold on to this, because this is really important in this moment of time. But then when that time moves on, you know, you take on that other piece where you weren't able to do as much.

Right. And so there is that aspect and we should be okay with that. That's that's just amazing inside Lacrecia. Thank you. 

Liz: I'm Sara. I saw you nodding as well. What's coming up for you.

Melissa: Comes a little bit around to what is it that you were telling yourself in those moments? And so what does the voice inside your head sounds like when you have to maybe accept that 130% is not going to be the goal here and ha, and for me, I find it helpful to take a step back and think. Is my expectation of myself here.

Reasonable. Would I put that expectation just like that on somebody else? And would I speak to somebody else the way I'm talking to myself about the fact that I'm not going to get to 130% here and that to me will help reframe those moments of it just can't always be that absolute ultimate perfection.

Liz: Yeah, that's so good. And for those listening, there is an episode I'm just forgetting which number it is. Check the show notes about where I go into more detail on it, but literally what Sara's talking about there about like, kind of like check the message you're telling yourself and really explore that.

And then also to address. Suggestions as well. You can also ask yourself, what else could I tell myself here? What other story can I make of this? Cause basically human brains, like restore a storytellers. We can make these stories and then choose a story. That's going to be most productive or most helpful or feels good.

So I'll drop. And then also, I just wanted to note, because there's so much gold here, so everyone listening, I'm going to, I'm going to transcribe this and put it on the website as well. So you can go back. I'm sure everyone's furiously taking notes, but I'll also transcribe this for easy reference. Cause there's so much golden care already.

And we're what, like 50 minutes into the conversation. So good. The other piece. Oh, there's so many pieces. I could pull off threads that I can pull on here, but let me put it back out to the pedal who's having, what's coming up for you right now. Who's got a thought either. Raise your hand or take yourself off mute.

You got any thoughts? Lacrecia. 

Lacrecia: Yeah, Liz, I have a thought. So I was just sitting here thinking, you know, I think the there's a couple of things I want to touch on one being treating your. Your physical and your mental with the same amount of energy. And what I mean by that is. You know, we're all a part of the same Peloton group.

So we spend a lot of time making sure physically we take care of ourselves. You have to spend the same amount of time. If not more, sometimes making sure mentally you're taking care of yourself. Mental health. Just as important as physical health and physical health actually helps my mental health.

That's one of the reasons why I love to exercise, but there are lots of other things that come along with that. And mentally being a hundred percent or as close to a hundred percent as you can be, is super, super important when you're in a leadership. You know, cause, and you have people looking at you and I don't know that you, you all in your, in your roles, but I have people looking at me to make decisions all day long.

At the end of the day, I have decision fatigue right in those days. And so that's super important is that you find time to take time or find ways through the day to make sure that you're taking care of yourself mentally and that you understand. You know, when you may be triggered or running low on mental juice and how you beat that back up.

I think the other thing is planning. You can't plan everything, but there are a lot of things that you can play in. And I don't know if anybody's ever done, you know, seven habits of highly effective people. But one of those is, you know, plan where you can plan. A lot of times I get meetings dropped on my calendar at the last minute, and most of the time I will up.

You know, if you're sending me a same day meeting or a next day meeting, more than likely I'm not going to go to that, unless it's absolutely urgent for the business. And we must attend. I block time for working time and I schedule meetings as far out as I possibly can. To allow for, you know, leadership meetings that are going to drop on my calendar that are going to be, I have to go attend this right now.

And so I think if you can develop the habit of planning where you can and thinking ahead, where you can have, where things are going to come in, that could potentially cause you to have to rearrange, then that really helps. And then making sure that mentally you have the capacity to be able to take the day is also super, super important.

And I think sometimes we want to skip on. Because we think we just don't have time or at least I do. And I, I make myself when I feel like that because it's so, so important. 

Melissa: I think Lacrecia, I brought up another rule that, that we, as an, as a greater body of of working society has finally learned to break.

And that is that we have to talk about taking care of our mental wellbeing and. For so long that was taboo. And we didn't accept that part of our humanity inside of our working day. And if, you know, I said it before in terms of balancing work, life, work and life, but I think it also comes to us as leaders to make sure that you are again, role modeling that behavior.

I work inside healthcare wellbeing is something that we talk about every single moment of every single day right now, because. If there have been any blessings out of this pandemic, it has unveiled some really significant opportunities to do a better job. And I think that just seeping into organizations is just invaluable.

Madhu: That's that's so true, Sara and Lacrecia you know, I think being open about an openly talking about mental health is so important, right. And again, Similar to you. I come from a healthcare space as well. Right. And it is you know, we've what we've realized, right. Is that mental health is as much important as physical health.

Right. And so taking care of both sides of that aspect is so important. And then that seeps into sort of. Our ability to, you know, do better at our jobs, our ability to do better parent, be better parents or whatever relationship we're in. Right. And so, you know, that is so important. And I think, you know, I it's, it's funny cause I go back and think a little bit you know, our CEO, he's a big Peloton fat and he's so open about it.

And then, you know, there are other leaders and we talk so openly about, Hey, who's right. Did you follow? Right? So this is part of the word conversation. You know, whose run did you do today? Right. And so now it has become this sort of like such an you know, such in expected conversation that, Hey, we're taking care of ourselves physically and very open about it.

Right. And then there's this other aspect, which is yes. And that makes us efficient and better at whatever jobs, you know, at home or at work that we do. So. Absolutely, absolutely. Amazing. Liz, if you don't mind, I have one thought as, as you were, you know, asked me about, Hey, do you have any thoughts here?

The one thought I had was also around, you know sort of like the team leadership aspect. And when I say team leadership is there's a work aspect of team leadership, but there's also work, you know, there's a home aspect of it by that. I mean, is that again? We have been so pushed on thinking. You've got to do this by yourself.

You shouldn't ask for help. Well, you know, that's another norm that I feel that we need to break. Right. I think it's okay to say, Hey, I'm thinking about this. Right. I need help. Right. It's okay to say that. So at home I say that all the time to my husband, you know, to my parents, to his parents, or, you know, sort of like I say that, I even say that to my children, Hey, mommy's got to do this.

Right. I have nine, nine and six. Those are the ages of my children, but I asked him, I say, Hey, mommy's got to do. Can you help mommy with this? Right. Okay. Pretty much 98% of the time. Their answer is yes. You know? And so there's that aspect, the similarly at work. Right. And it's not just people who report into you.

I also believe in asking opinions, sharing where you're coming from for other leaders where either your peers or your superiors just sort of say, okay, I've been thinking about this problem. What do you think? A lot of times, right? I mean, people have smart ideas, like pretty much all the time. People have smart ideas, but a lot of times you have, you know, they have something that immediately applies to you.

And if you're by yourself thinking about it for 10 hours, You can shorten that time and you can get it done in two hours. Right. And so I think it's okay to lean in, into the organization as well and ask people around you, Hey, I have this issue. How do I solve it? Or can you help me? Can we do this together?

Because no single person accomplishes anything by himself or herself. It's always about a team it's always. Team leadership and having that mindset that we went together or we lose together. Right. And so I believe in saying, you know, and asking for help and that that's okay. And we should be okay with that.

Liz: Yeah, I love that. And for everyone listening, do you kind of catch, like, there is a a confident curiosity there, like that was the energy that I was hearing, like asking for help asking for ideas. Like that's not rooted in insecurity. It doesn't mean that you're insecure. Unsure. It's like, there's a real what's the word I'm looking for?

Like groundedness and grounded curiosity that is so powerful in a leadership role. The other piece. Oh my goodness. There's so much good stuff in here, but the other piece has come up a thread. I don't know if anyone else has sort of caught it. But for those of you listening to really catch on all three of our guests here are really lending as well, or like understanding kind of impact.

We often get caught up in. What we're doing and here is kind of like, it's really helpful to take a step back and understand the impact that we're having either on, on people or on business. And that's, you know, I'm thinking back to the crucial point earlier about kind of planning and being, being okay to decline meetings, same with like you know, emails.

You don't necessarily have to be on email all the time, but like to understand the impact rather than all this like, activity that happens. So I just wanted to mention that. And then the last thing I just wanted to mention, I want to pick up on, and then I'm going to open it up to see what other thoughts are bubbling up for people.

But as on the mental health piece, like I've, I don't know about anyone else, but I've been long thinking about how much mental health conversations, like as we've been opening up over even more than the last two years, but opening up, but it's so often ends up focusing on that. Mental health, like when we're crashing, like that's where like, oh, be okay.

Taking a leave of absence and like, almost like be okay being that being wounded or being, and it seems here like we're shifting towards that mental strength, that mental health, that mental wellness, like not to forget that to support and to, to ask for help in times of crisis. And also that there are things we can do to strengthen our mental health and to have that mental wellness side of things.

So I just, I love everything that you're all saying. So now I'm curious, who's got, who's got ideas popping up. Sara, Sara has jumped off you, 

Melissa: You know, thinking about that mental health. I think, you know, our health care system works in the reactive space, right? We don't take care of people when they are, well, we wait until they are unwell and then we take care of them.

And I think shifting the conversation to. Prevent rather than to treat is really the way that we should be approaching physical health and mental health. And we are just starting to have those conversations about mental health. We have, you know, spent some time in the, I don't know, in the last couple of decades, really focusing on, on physical health more than we have on, on mental health.

And I get frustrated in the lack of understanding of how inextricably those two things are linked. If we are not taking care of our mental health, we will not be physically well, I don't care how many hours you spend on your bike. You are, it is just not going to happen. So I'm so happy to be a part of a conversation that's starting in many conversations that is really starting to shift that focus.

Lacrecia: Yeah. You know, I, 100% agree with that. You know, as a company, the company that I work for, we work really hard at culture, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Right. But sometimes we focus that on how we look and how we, how we act and how we think, but we don't necessarily tie that back to, let's be inclusive of the mental health capacity of that as well, because.

Honest with each other and I'll be transparent. I struggle with depression on a regular basis. Right. And I don't know how many people I come in contact with at work that may be having those same struggles. And if we continue to act like. Nobody has those issues or nobody has those, you know, those struggles that they're dealing with personally.

And we don't address those with one another and kind of give, give that back to people. Then we'll continue down this path of, you know, reactive versus proactive. Because what I've learned through the years is if I take care of myself mentally, there are days that I need to not get out of my bed and just not be around anybody to re re-energize myself because I'm very introverted and I have to be extroverted most days.

I have to take care of myself. And if we can talk to each other about those things and share those things that we're doing, to be able to take care of one another, I think we'll find a lot of our mental health struggles that we deal with behind the curtain. Aren't so bad anymore. And aren't so strong and aren't as hard as they used to be before.

And it's just like any other piece of diversity that we have, and we should treat it as such. 

Madhu: That is so amazing Lacrecia. And first and foremost, thank you for having the current. Just share what you just shared. I think it takes a lot of courage in today's day and world to accept right. That aspect. And you, you just hit, you just hit it, right?

When somebody has a heart disease, when somebody has, you know, cancer or something like that. We it's, it's a different kind of a mindset versus when somebody says, Hey, I have depression or I have a mental health. Right. You know, that that's that's a diff that's treated and looked upon differently.

So thank you so much for helping us, you know, hit that barrier or take down that wall. So thank you very, very. Sincerely. I would also say, I appreciate what you just said. Right? Amazing. When it comes to diversity, equity and inclusion, we have talked about all other things, but mental health doesn't always normally come into the foray and it should come into the foray.

It should be okay for us to say, you know what? I'm going through a hard face. Right. I think pretty much everybody goes through stress and challenges. Right. I think almost everybody benefits from having an open dialogue with somebody or having a therapist or a therapist, like right when I went through my divorce.

And when I went through sort of like that, you know, being by myself of course I wasn't, you know, a single mother, as long as you have been in, so kudos to you for that as well. But I would say when I went through that, right, it was hard in general. I did go for therapy and I'm very proud to say that, you know, that helped me.

And I share that with other women and other people on the team as well, just because you have, we have to normalize it. We have to normalize the aspect of, you know, Hey, I just had a cough or I had a stressful. It's just the same. Right. And physical and mental, and we should be okay with that. And so I think this is an amazing thing.

What you just did. I hope a lot more senior leaders come out and talk about their own, you know, mental health challenges. And, and, and we, it it's high time that we normalize mental health as much as, you know, physical health.

Liz: Yeah, just to echo, thank you for sharing. And the critique, I think is especially sharing you sharing here and to, to Muddy's point about normalizing, like recognizing that it's not this sort of like on, off switch when it comes to mental health, like, it's not like, oh, In depression, I'm having depression.

I'm going to work with a therapist for a few months, take a whole full time off, and then I'll be good switches back on. Like it fluctuates like we're humans, like our emotions, our mental health. Like I know it's all intertwined, not mixed up is the wrong term. Intertwined is probably a better term.

There's so much interesting, fascinating research too, about like body mind connection and how it all interplays and you know, just like Lacrecia to your point. Like some days we have those days where we're just like, I don't want to adult, I can't, I can't adult today. I just want to stay in bed and pull up the covers.

And maybe some days you do, and other days you, you get yourself out of bed and then other days you wake up, you're like, I can think Sara's morning, right? Like harnessing the morning I'm getting out of the world kind of warning where he does love that, that morning. And that's okay. I love that term too muddy that you shared about normalizing.

Like there's so much of this to normalize, like to normalize the wonderful quirkiness of our humanity and that we all have where we're all different and the same at the same time. Like, it's just so fascinating. So, and Sara, I saw you coming off mute there. You wanted to add some. 

Melissa: I was just laughing at the king of the morning and thinking that's exactly how I feel.

And then I hear the footsteps upstairs above me and it's like, oh man, there it is my workout room at the time. 

Liz: Oh, that's too funny because of you listening, you wouldn't even see me. She got a big reaction out of me. Yeah. Four and a half year old. So I have those morning and he doesn't have a regular wake-up time. So I have the room I'm in right now. We're creed. I call it my inspiration room because it's just so beautiful and I love it.

So I'll come in here from my mornings and I've got my pet Peloton meditation app. I've got my journal. All right. Not this morning. 

Madhu: Two kids are peeking in from outside. They're like, what mommy do you going to Saturday morning? So they absolutely are peaking in from there. Totally. 

Liz: So good. So we only have just a few more minutes here until we end. Can you believe just how fast that went? So I'm curious to catch from everyone, catch your thoughts, like, you know, how would you like to end? What final thought would you like to share with everyone? And what I'll do is I'll go background the, from what I did in the beginning. So go Lacrecia then Sara, and then.

Lacrecia: All right. So, so final thoughts for me, I think are well, first of all, thank you so much for doing this, Liz. I think this has been. Just a phenomenal experience just to get, to sit with three other really strong leaders that are women, you know, and hear different perspectives and hear how much we have in common.

Maybe without even realizing it or knowing it. But I think I don't comments for me is every, everything is a choice. Everything is a decision. And if you, if you make a choice and make a decision that you want to be a leader and that you want to be, you know, at the top. Of the chain when it comes to working and you want to be an executive, then there's going to be sacrifices.

It's just balancing how you make those. But it's absolutely possible for anyone who's willing to do the work. And I think the other thing I would say is it's not going to be easy and it's not going to be perfect, but we're all humans, whether we're leaders or not leaders, and anybody can get there. If they're willing to try.

Melissa: I love that I would add to it. So I have two kind of final thoughts on one is you have to be not afraid to fail. There are going to be times that you fail. It's just part of life in all aspects of life, honestly. And if, if you don't accept. Sometimes it won't work out exactly as you planned, but that you're willing to learn from those moments.

You will go where you want, but if you are afraid to fail and you sit in the comfort zone, you will not. And then the other thing I would add to that, to this, and, and I think this is an important lesson for me as I grew my career and my family at the same time is it's not always going to be exactly what you thought and.

You have to let go where you can let go. And I'll give you an example. When I travel a lot for work, although not as much in the pandemic time periods. And I used to really meal plan and prep and cook and get the family really set up before I would travel to the extent of individual meals in Tupperware containers.

That's a picture on my phone. That's sometimes I look at to think what. And my kids remember most when I traveled and their dad took them to the convenience store and fed them $5 pizza and I wanted to die. And now that I think back at that time, and I think so what it's okay. That's it, for me, it was like, Oh, God.

Why would you feed them that? And really like, couldn't make a little bit of a better choice, but in actuality, it's a really nice memory for them and they really love that. And partly I think, because I like to rip on me because they knew it would horrify me, but, you know, Eventually it took a long time, but I learned to let go, okay.

That's how you're going to make dinner happen and still make it to soccer practice and still make the guitar lessons. Okay. Nobody starved. 

Liz: I love that. And we're all parents here. So I think you'll get the reference often and call it the, the, let it go approach for the, let it go. Let it go. Oh, I love that. All right. Madhu. 

Madhu: Yeah. So Liz, thank you so much for having us. This is a great opportunity to meet all of you. I would say my parting thoughts is, you know, it comes down to prioritization, prioritize what is important to. Prioritize yourself that is equally important, right. Be our own advocate and it's okay to ask for help.

And it's okay to say, you know what? I am going to do this. I'm not going to do this. And in order for me to accomplish a, B and C. I'm going to lean in and ask help of others. And finally, I would say, you know, something, what both Sara and the Grecia said is that, you know, it's okay to adapt to the situation.

We have to be flexible and say, this is not how we thought about things, but this is how we are okay. In things happening. Right. And so be adoptable to any situation that comes along with you, but finally be your greatest advocate.

Liz: What a wonderful way to end. Oh my goodness. Thank you all so much. This has been wonderful. I mean, I could, I could probably keep going for hours on this, so we will definitely make sure to have more panels. I hope everyone listening to that. You appreciate it just as much as I did. Thank you, Medea. Thank you, Sara. Thank you, Lacrecia. This has been just phenomenal. 

Melissa: Thank you for having us Liz. 

Madhu: Thank you.

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