Shellye is an experienced CEO and Board Director with a track record of accomplishments building brands, high-performance teams, and organizations. She currently serves on the boards of Verizon [NYSE:VZ], Nordstrom [NYSE: JWN], Roper Technologies [NYSE: ROP], and Okta [NASDAQ: OKTA]. She is also a strategic advisor to the Royal Bank of Canada, Capital Markets Group and Forbes Ignite.
She is the former CEO of MetricStream, a Silicon Valley-based, governance, risk, and compliance software company that she built into a global market leader with over 1200 employees serving customers around the world. Under her leadership, MetricStream was named in the top 10 of the “Deloitte Technology Fast 50”.
Shellye is a Forbes contributor and has been featured or referenced in major publications such as The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, and The Financial Times. And is the author of Unapologetically Ambitious: Take Risks, Break Barriers and Create Success on Your Own Terms
More info on Shellye and to get her book: https://www.shellye.com/
Listen to the full discussion here:
- Listen on Stitcher
Connect with the Guest:
Shellye Archambeau: LinkedIn
Some of the highlights from the podcast:
- Shellye planned to become CEO of IBM and how this led her MetricStream
- Being a board member of multi-billion dollar listed companies – what does it entail and how to get there?
- How to best position yourself, get mentors and plan your career strategically
- Why Shellye decided to write and publish her book, Unapologetically Ambitious
- Stories of how if you don’t ask you don’t get
- [01:34] So first let’s start with the book because as you said there’s the highlight of a lot of work and I’m sure blood, sweat, and tears went into it. So maybe tell us a little bit about the story behind it and why you decided to publish it.
- [02:47] I wrote the book because I just wanted to make it available to others. So more people could achieve their aspirations in life.
- [02:49] Tell us some snippets or gems of wisdom from the book that you want to impart with our audience.
- [05:46] You have to take charge of your career if I just waited and said, “I hope I go” or “I hope I get asked” nothing would have happened.
- [06:47] People will tell you when you graduate, be ambitious, work hard, and do a great job and good things will happen. And the answer is, no, it won’t. What they should be saying is work hard, be ambitious, and be strategic about your career.
- [08:05] How can you make sure that people in your organization, especially in bigger organizations actually know what you’re doing and to best position yourself for that next gig or next promotion?
- [09:59] When people ask you what you do, don’t just say, I’m the director of supply chain. What you should say is, “Oh, I’m the director of supply chain. I’m responsible for optimizing…” or whatever it is that you do.
- [12:08] You share some very practical advice and I am a big believer that mentors can probably be the most important source of accelerating one’s career. So tell us more about your views on that.
- [12:54] I learned early in my career, not to ask people to be my mentors, because the people you ask are obviously doing well and super busy. So I stopped asking, I just started treating people like mentors because a mentor is really someone who can give you advice and perspective around a problem or a challenge or an opportunity that you have.
- [17:24] I also want to touch on the power of networking in general, because it matters equally if not greater, who you know, who your friends are, and who are your advocates in the organization? Maybe tell us, what’s your experience from your career on that?
- [18:19] A network is not how many business cards you have or how many names you have in your contact list. A network is made up of people that you can reach out to that will actually help you, give you information and do something when it’s not convenient.
- [19:39] Tell us a little bit, maybe first and foremost, what is a board position? And secondly, in the longterm how can you position yourself in a situation where a company comes and say, “Hey, come and join our board”?
- [22:08] About 40 to 50% of board members are people who have been CEOs or run significant P&L’s. And about 20 to 25% are financial experts, people who’ve been CFOs, treasurers, or partners in audit firms. So the rest of the roles call that 25 to 35% comprise all the other skill sets that are required.
- [23:53] What are some of the key lessons or sharings in terms of building a global company from a CEO perspective?
- [24:54] The first step is making sure you have a value proposition that works. What problem are you solving that the market needs to be solved and that the market is willing to spend real money for? So that’s the first thing you’ve got to have and that needs to be solid. Then after that, you have to have the right team to be able to deliver on that value proposition
- [26:18] There is a clear movement nowadays and almost from a society perspective that there’s a big push for more women in leadership positions for more diversity in general, which is great. But I’d like to get your thoughts into how you see things and what you think still needs to be done in order to continue this road.
- [27:43] Finally doors are being opened, but it takes more than opening a door. It’s also ensuring that when people get on the other side of the door, they’re in an environment in which they can be successful and that they can contribute.
- [30:39] Can you share some good case studies or examples of different companies where that inclusion is happening in a good way and is taken care of in a good way. And maybe you can give some examples that others can apply to their companies.
- [32:35] Many times it’s just making sure that people are acknowledged that if somebody says something and you feel that it wasn’t echoed or nobody caught it., then echo it.
- [36:30] We were talking also offline before we started recording, but I’d love you to share maybe the story when you had that internship or that role.
- [38:50] There is no harm in asking and the worst that can happen is if somebody says no, but then it gives you a chance to find out why not.