THANK YOU to the amazing women of the Mondelēz Advancement Roundtable!

[Nov. 2022] Our work for this year has now officially ended, and it has been such an honor to be your coach and watch how you’ve built your confidence and leadership strength this year!

Please stay in touch, and bookmark this page to continue to access extra resources ongoing. You’re welcome to share any articles, videos, or other tools here with your teams and colleagues as relevant, too.

November’s meeting summary:

For our final meeting, we talked about YOU and your career. I asked you to share thoughts on four key questions:

  • What’s one thing you’re proudest of doing (or not doing) in the past year?
  • What’s one way you’ve grown your confidence in the past year?
  • What’s one idea or learning I’ve gained from being part of this group?
  • What’s one idea or learning I want to work on next?

I also shared my Year-End Look Back tool, which you can download here.

Many of you were proud of stepping more confidently into your leadership roles. Others of you talked about getting more comfortable asking for help, and knowing that a leader cannot know and do it all—she needs to engage and influence others around her.

As annual reviews—and self-assessments—begin, we talked about not diminishing your contributions and making sure you were documenting all of them.

What To Do Before Your Annual Review (Even If It Seems Far, Far Away)

October’s meeting summary:

After our summer break, we’re back together for our next-to-last session. Natasha kicked us off sharing how she originally thought our time together here would be more training-like, but when we

Based on the responses you gave in the survey I’d sent out earlier, we focused on giving better feedback to your team or others.  One idea we talked about is separating the giving of feedback from the action planning — in other words, share the feedback first so they can digest it, then later talk about how to correct it or what to do differently. This can work to help your team come back with their own solutions, as opposed to you figuring out how they can fix it alone.
Here are a few articles that may help as you give and get feedback:
In our final session in November, we’ll wrap up talking about YOU and your career--how to get clear about what you want long-term, and defining actions you can take now to keep moving closer toward that.
Also, as we did the past, we’ll start with celebrations, so bring your success stories and points of pride to share with the group. We love to celebrate all that you’re doing–and it doesn’t have to be big. All the small victories add up!

July’s meeting summary:

We’re getting better at the celebrations! More of you shared wins about conversations you’re having with leaders, successful pitches to others, taking time off, and continuing to overcome the lizard brain!

We talked about building confidence to ask for what we need, and spent time in our breakouts getting clear on what we need to ask for, from whom, and discussing what’s getting in the way. We talked about the internal conflict we sometimes feel of not wanting to bother or annoy others, and yet, we’re always glad when people ask us for advice or help. Why do we hold ourselves to a different standard than others do? What if our asking is actually a gift to someone else and allows them to contribute and feel useful?

YOUR ACTION: Stretch that asking muscle and ask for what you need more often, or make a bigger ask.

Here’s a series of articles all related to asking: for money, for feedback, and for support.  Also, make sure you read “Ask for What You Need,” which is Chapter 7 in my book “Red Cape Rescue: Save Your Career Without Leaving Your Job.”

Help! I’m Afraid to Ask for More Money at Work (& What to Do If That’s You)

How to Ask for Feedback at Work (Who, What, and What to Say)

How to Ask for More Support at Work

For those of you who’ve been concerned about scheduling time off, I’ll offer this article:

3 Reasons to Take a Vacation (Psst: It’s a Career Strategy)

June’s meeting summary:

As always, we started with celebrations, and a few members of our group told us of their recent CFO Award wins–congrats! Keep looking for YOUR celebrations, and remember, celebration or win doesn’t have to be external recognition. It could be something you’re proud of that you did (or didn’t) do.

If you’ve been struggling to find wins to share, this article has some ideas:

For the rest of our conversation, we dove more deeply into the topic we started last time about creating sponsorship and advocacy. One question emerged: what do we want sponsorship FOR? What do I want to get out of the time and energy I might spend identifying and building these relationships?

Here’s a list of things you may want from building sponsors and advocates. Which resonates with you?

  • Confidence that when your name is raised in a meeting for promotion, a new opportunity, or salary/bonus discussions, those in the room:
    • Have an accurate and positive impression of who you are and what you’ve accomplished, and
    • Are willing to speak up on your behalf
  • A resource (or network) to help you spot upcoming decisions or emerging points of view before they’re final, so that you can either weigh in on or evaluate their impact on your day-to-day decisions, work area, or team.
  • A connector to other parts of the company, helping you see how what you do might be applied elsewhere
  • A connector to internal opportunities that get external visibility, such as speaking at a conference or being invited to an industry group
  • A thought partner who will share challenges occurring in other parts of the organization so you continue to understand the bigger picture of how your work fits into the broader company and how your challenges are similar or different from others

This isn’t a perfect list, but can give you some thought starters to consider!

YOUR ACTION: Write down your answer to “what do I want sponsorship or advocacy for?” Make it relevant to you and what growth or advancement looks like to YOU (and it’ll be different for each of you.) 

If you’d like to share your thoughts with me privately (or have questions), reach out to me —or to each other! Your colleagues are there for support and help, too.

May’s meeting summary:

In our second meeting, we captured celebrations —including a few of you overcoming the “lizard brain” and taking note that action creates confidence, not the other way around. (Remember, there are more resources below).

We dove deeper into the idea of building sponsorship and advocacy, and I shared these points to help you identify and network with potential sponsors:

First, ask “who is in the room where decisions that I care about are being made?”

  • What are the decisions I care about? Promotion? Opportunity? Salary?
  • How do those decisions get made? (If we don’t know for sure, we need to ask. Start with your immediate leader.)

Once I’ve identified a person, as “what are the things they care about?”

  • Your agenda and theirs need to have something in common so that by advocating for you, they also get something they need and value.
  • Connect with them on LinkedIn (always personalize the invitation). Follow the things they write or speak on. You can also set a Google Alert for their name if you wish so that you’ll know if they’ll be at a conference or are published in a trade magazine, etc.

At the same time, ask yourself “How do I want to be known? What are the stories and phrases I want to “stick” when people think about me?”

  • We’re all made up of many layers. But what’s the main one that makes it easier for someone to understand who you are and what you do?
  • Make sure that you are using opportunities to tell more of the stories that support who you want to be, rather than who you might have been or even are now.

YOUR ACTION: Select one person to start building as a potential sponsor. Don’t forget that it may be someone you already know but who needs to understand where you’re going, not where you’ve been.

Sponsorship can be a slow and complex process, but little steps add up to a lot! Have questions? Reach out to me anytime.

More tools here:

Managing Upward: Common Mistakes & 5 Steps to Avoid Them (+ Scripts)

April’s meeting summary:

In our initial meeting, we got to know each other further and began getting clear about what we each want to get from this group  as well as what we can give to the group.

We talked a bit about confidence. I shared that confidence always comes from action—we can’t wait to feel confident before taking action. (More resources about confidence below).

We also began talking about how we can keep ourselves visible and “sell” our value consistently, and talked about how we need to share our success stories more often! We’ll dive into this deeper in May.

YOUR ACTION: find at least one situation where you can talk about something you’re proud of or that’s going well. Take a look at the resources below to help with this.

When we get together next, I’ll look forward to hearing how it went.


Communicating Your Value webinar

Last year, I taught a webinar for the IBS Women’s Network on Communicating Your Value When You’re Doing Everything Else. Maybe you were there! If not, you can watch the replay and Q&A sessions here. The page also includes other resources you may find useful. 

“How to Brag So Others Don’t Gag” trainings

If we want to be visible and communicate our value, we have to intentionally tell more of our success stories. Here are tools that can help you get over the hurdles of “bragging” –they’ll also help you figure out what to say!

How to Brag (Yes, Brag!)

Mastering the Art of Bragging: You Asked; I Answered

More resources on confidence

I mentioned that action builds confidence—we don’t have to wait for confidence to move into action.

If you struggle with confidence, here’s a tool that can help:

How Do You Build Confidence at Work When You Don’t Have the Answers? Here’s What to Say

Also, if you do not have a copy of my book, “Red Cape Rescue: Save Your Career Without Leaving Your Job,” contact Deb and she’ll make sure you get an ebook.