Making the Shift from Expert Presenter to Storyteller in Your Keynotes with Katie Anderson: Podcast Ep. 280

Making the Shift from Expert Presenter to Storyteller in Your Keynotes with Katie Anderson | Speaking Your Brand

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Last year on this podcast, I did several episodes about the distinction between being an expert and a thought leader.

As speakers, we often get stuck in what I call “the expert trap.” We get comfortable training and teaching in our area of expertise and we think that’s the only way to provide value to our audiences.

The way out of this is to incorporate more of your personal journey and storytelling into your talks and to believe that providing your audiences with transformation is more important than information.

My guest on the podcast is Katie Anderson, an internationally recognized leadership and learning coach, consultant, and professional speaker.

Katie and I have been working together since the beginning of the year on her new keynote and helping her incorporate more storytelling and performance aspects into her delivery.

Katie and I talk about:

  • Why she wanted to get out of the expert trap and add more storytelling into her keynotes
  • What the process has been like for her and what doubts she had
  • The results so far from delivering two keynotes this year
  • How she developed her own voice from the blog and book writing she’s been doing since 2015
  • The power of the pause and silence
  • And much more!

 

 

About My Guest: Katie Anderson is an internationally recognized leadership and learning coach, consultant, and professional speaker, best known for inspiring individuals and organizations to lead with intention and increase their personal and professional impact. Katie is passionate about helping people around the world learn to lead and lead to learn by connecting purpose, process, and practice to achieve higher levels of performance. Her book Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn: Lessons from Toyota Leader Isao Yoshino on a Lifetime of Continuous Learning is an international #1 Amazon bestseller.

About Us: The Speaking Your Brand podcast is hosted by Carol Cox. At Speaking Your Brand, we help women entrepreneurs and professionals clarify their brand message and story, create their signature talks, and develop their thought leadership platforms. Our mission is to get more women in positions of influence and power because it’s through women’s stories, voices, and visibility that we challenge the status quo and change existing systems. Check out our coaching programs at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com

 

Links:

Show notes at https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/280

Katie’s website: http://kbjanderson.com/

Katie’s book “Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn”: https://kbjanderson.com/learning-to-lead/ 

Register for our Summit Speakers Reunion on June 21 (it’s free): https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/reunion/ 

Schedule a consult call with us to talk about creating your signature talk and thought leadership platform: https://www.speakingyourbrand.com/contact

Connect on social:

 

Related Podcast Episodes:

280-SYB-Katie-Anderson.mp3: Audio automatically transcribed by Sonix

280-SYB-Katie-Anderson.mp3: this mp3 audio file was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the best speech-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors.

Carol Cox:
Hear what it's like to make the shift from expert presenter to storyteller in your keynotes with my guest Katie Anderson on this episode of The Speaking Your Brand podcast. More and more women are making an impact by starting businesses running for office and speaking up for what matters. With my background as a TV political analyst, entrepreneur and speaker. I interview and coach purpose driven women to shape their brands, grow their companies and become recognized as influencers in their field. This is Speaking Your Brand, your place to learn how to persuasively communicate your message to your audience. Hi there and welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast. I'm your host, Carol Cox. Before we get into the details of this episode, I want to let you know that we're hosting a very special event coming up on June 21st. We are doing a reunion of our summit speakers, so we held the Brave Bull Beyond Live Virtual Summit at the end of 2020 and in spring 2021, where we brought on ten women speakers and they each delivered a ten minute test, I'll talk and we coach them and help them to create their talk. And then they delivered it live on that day. We're bringing them together so that they can share with you what it was like to create a transformational talk, this TEDx style talk, to really integrate their personal story into their big idea, what it was like to get coaching from us and what they've been doing since then.

Carol Cox:
This is a free event is happening live on Tuesday, June 21st. You're not going to want to miss it. You can get all the details and you can register by going to Speaking Your Brand reunion. Again, that's Speaking Your Brand reunion. Now, last year on this podcast, I did several episodes about the distinction between being an expert and a thought leader. As speakers, we often get stuck in what I call the expert trap. We get really comfortable, too comfortable training and teaching in our area of expertise, and we think that's the only way to provide value to our audiences. The way out of this expert trap is to incorporate more of your personal journey and storytelling into your talks, and to believe that providing your audiences with transformation is more important than information. And this is what you're going to hear from those summit speakers at the reunion. My guest on the podcast today is Katie Anderson, an internationally recognized leadership and learning coach, consultant and professional speaker. Katie and I have been working together since the beginning of this year on her new keynote and helping her incorporate more storytelling and performance aspects into her delivery. So I invited her on the podcast to share what it's been like to go through the shift, to get out of the expert trap, and to add more storytelling in her own personal stories into her keynotes.

Carol Cox:
What that process has been like for her so far, and what she also shares, what doubt she had going into it. But also what had the results been so far from delivering to keynotes that she did this year? Then we also dig into how the blog writing that she started doing in 2015 and the bestselling book that she wrote, how those things helped her to develop her own voice and storytelling ability, which she could clearly see she was doing in her writing. But she struggled to translate that into her speaking. So we talk about that, and then we also talk about the power of the pause and the power of silence. Especially in our culture, which seems to go, go, go all the time. Katie lived for 18 months in Japan, and so she really experienced the power of the pause and silence in Japanese culture. And so she shares some of those experience with us here. And Katie and I talk about so much more. In addition to this, you're going to truly love this conversation and get so much out of it. Now let's get on with the show. Welcome to the Speaking Your Brand podcast.

Katie Anderson:
Katie So great to be here, Carol. I'm really looking forward to diving into this conversation together.

Carol Cox:
I am, too. We have gotten to know each other pretty well since January of this year. So we're going on about five months. We've been working together. We did a VIP day to create your new keynote. You've also been in our Catalyst Collective, which is our advanced program for keynote speakers. And so I really want to talk with you today about your desire to shift from being just an expert presenter, especially in the keynotes that you've been delivering into incorporating more storytelling into it, why you decided that you wanted to make this shift, what that has looked like for you so far this year, and then of course, what we'll be doing in the future. Katie, you came across me back in 2021. I was part of Natalie Sissons summit that she did, and I was a guest on her podcast. And I believe you heard me either on one or both of those places. What triggered for you this idea that you wanted to shift the content that you were presenting on?

Katie Anderson:
Yeah, so I started binge listening to your podcast almost a year ago, right after I first attended one of your online workshops actually, that you did with Natalie. And I've made a shift in some of my own approach over the last few years of moving from more of my academic background, of writing and presenting that way, of really being the expert, to really tapping into my voice in a written way, both in starting a blog back in 2015, which I've continued, and then writing a book which I know we're going to talk about more later, as I have been doing more and more speaking engagements, of course, mainly virtual for the last two years. I'm super comfortable in that expert space, but I've found for myself the things that I'm the most engaged on are those times where I'm hearing stories, where I'm feeling connected with the heart. And I wanted to stretch myself to how do I do more storytelling of my own as the mechanism for teaching the lessons that I want? Because I've started to do that more in my writing, but I knew I needed to bring it up in my speaking as well.

Carol Cox:
Did you try doing some of this on your own and then what were the results?

Katie Anderson:
I host group workshops and I speak a lot and I always bring in sort of anecdotes and I'm very comfortable and transparent in talking about my own journey and stories. But something that's always been a little more challenging for me is really the more storytelling aspect. So really like crafting a scene and creating that tension. That's not been a strong suit of mine, even though I tell stories in anecdotes and transparent. And so I really knew that this was something I needed help in coaching with. As a coach myself, I always believe in continuous improvement and when you have something to learn or gap to fill, reaching out to people who are more experienced is the way to go. And so that's what drew me to working with you, Carol, in all of the way you've you've been talking about making this transition from an expert and already being comfortable speaking. But how do we how do you even get on a bigger stage, connect with a bigger audience? And so I knew that working with you was going to be the right step to help me on that journey for having the impact that I really want.

Carol Cox:
And what has surprised you the most about what you've been doing over the past, say, five months that we've been working together and you've been now testing on some of this material at your speaking engagements.

Katie Anderson:
So I also attended your in person retreat, which was super helpful because we're so used to right now being in this capacity. This is my this is my stage and to to reconnect with the physicality. I'm a big articulator, but how do I how do I use the stage again in a different way than I might have? How do I incorporate that into the storytelling? And so some of those aspects have been really helpful. So I've had a few keynotes in the last in-person keynotes, which is great since you and I have been working together and I have been experimenting with that. I even sit on my hands during one of my stories and I use the stage in a different way as the almost the metaphor for a point I'm trying to make. And the feedback I've gotten from the audience is that it's been very impactful. They've really enjoyed my presentations and I know they've enjoyed them in the past as well because I'm very comfortable on the stage. But I think this is a much more engaging way to be on the main stage. And you've helped me see that there's the time and place to do more of the teaching and how there's different types of talks. And so you adjust your style to that purpose.

Carol Cox:
And what else did you have going into this process initially about about kind of changing your approach to how you were doing your presentations?

Katie Anderson:
Yeah, you know, I think it's when. And I talk about this is actually one of the key points in my talk is getting comfortable with the struggle, because when you're learning something new, you're not as comfortable with it. And that that's just the part of learning something new. And so just reminding myself that imperfect and this is what I talk about to imperfect is okay and so just go out there and start experimenting with it. And I will continue to grow and expand. And it really did once I did, I did a lot of practice and having the time to practice in stage, on stage and get your feedback as well was helpful. But really just being comfortable with it, not being that you're, you're learning, you're learning while you're doing it as well. And so, but that, that's part of the fun. Yeah, but I had to remind myself it was okay and that people don't know. So your audience doesn't know.

Carol Cox:
Yeah, there's no. And Katie, I must say that you number one, you're very coachable. And I know this is what this has been an aspect of your entire career that you appreciate the coaching, you appreciate the feedback, and you take it and then you you integrate it into what you're doing. I remember at that speaking intensive, that in-person client retreat that you were at, that we hosted, that you, all the women that were there, you all would get on the stage kind of practice your different segments of your talk and we would give you feedback and instruction in real time there, and you would take what we were telling you and then you would incorporate it right away and try it whatever we were doing. Like you had this one bit in your keynote where you likened the experience that you were having with one of your coaches to like the National Geographic, like Lyons and at the watering hole. And they and even though I know it was something you had never done before in a speaking engagement, but you were willing to just try it and and kind of see how it felt.

Katie Anderson:
And that's how we learn, right? So we learned through trying in failure. And, you know, this is the whole the whole process of learning. So you have to be willing to take that step to try something new. And the more times you do it and I found, the more times I did it was the first time was very uncomfortable. It got better and got more comfortable. And then actually a few weeks ago when I was on stage in front of hundreds of people, it just sort of it was easy and it didn't I didn't have that same level of struggle. And so that's just the process of learning. So I really appreciate the coaching and the feedback and it speaks to having a really supportive environment to be learning something new, to be vulnerable, and to have that time for practice so that when it's an important time that we're showing up and doing our best effort at the time and not being as stressed out for ourselves.

Carol Cox:
Such a great point. Yeah. If you if you want to try out something new for the first time on a stage in front of 500 people is probably not the best time to try it for the very first time.

Katie Anderson:
No, no, definitely not unless it comes to you in the moment. But feeling super inspired. Yes.

Carol Cox:
And Katie and you know, like me and like many of our clients and many of our listeners, you're a high achieving woman. Like, you know, you did obviously, you did very well academically. Stanford University, Fulbright Scholar, you know, super impressive. Like you're obviously incredibly smart and capable. It feels like one of your core drivers in your life is kind of mastery. Like you enjoy learning something new even if something that you don't know a lot about, but then figuring out how can I get the best in the sense of perfectionist? But like, how can I make myself the best in this so that I can get the most out of it for myself? But then I'm sure on the other end, for the clients that you work with or for the audiences you're speaking to, thank you.

Katie Anderson:
Actually, in this the Clifton Strength Finder, my top three strengths are learner, achiever and positivity. And I think that really sums up sort of the essence of how I approach life. Like I go after goals, but it's all about learning and improvement. So I'm willing to fail because it's the process and then having a positive attitude about it and also being able to laugh at yourself. And I remember being on stage just going, Oh, that was terrible. Okay, let's try that again. But the more we learn, that's how we learn our way forward.

Carol Cox:
Well, thank you for being willing to be uncomfortable with our with with all of our instruction and our improv games and everything else that we did. Thank you. All right. So, Katie, you mentioned that you had gotten comfortable kind of using your voice and telling stories in the writing that you were doing so in your blog. And then I know you also have a bestselling book that you published a few years ago. So can you can you tell me a little bit about what that experience looked like, especially with the book, as far as making sure that you had your own voice in it and that you had a strong voice in it, that you and then you also including the storytelling aspects in what you were sharing with the reader, not just the here's the three things to learn for sure.

Katie Anderson:
So I'll start off sort of my earlier journey, how it got there. So the early part of my career was all spent in academia and doing academic qualitative research, writing for academic journals, writing an undergrad thesis and a master's thesis, all which is sort of very clinical and third person and very factual. And so for ten years that was ingrained in me when I started writing my blog. At the time that I moved to Japan with my family in 2015, I rediscovered sort of my actual speaking voice and it was really it was really wonderful to be like, Oh, I can. Talk about things in a more casual way and still have an impact. And so that was really sort of the bridge into real storytelling for me, where I really feel like I rediscovered my voice and then fast forward a few years later. So during that time I lived in Japan, I befriended one of my mentor and probably one of the most important adult relationships in my life, a man named Isao Yoshino, who worked for Toyota for 40 years. And we've become incredible partners. And I we started we'd made the decision to work on a book together. And at first and I was going to be the primary author, but he was going to be a contributor. We were both going to share stories and lessons, and it was very important to me when I worked on this book that I wanted to have a come across with my voice as well in my perspective to offer.

Katie Anderson:
But as I was working on the book and like starting to write, it just started to feel very dry because we were starting to be like leadership lesson one, leadership lesson two and maybe a few stories in vignettes. And I realized through all the qualitative research I was doing through my interviews with him, that the richness of his story of learning was the powerful part. And so I pivoted to actually write. The entire book is like stories of his life as a leader and as a learner. It's called Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn. But in doing so, we took out my storytelling from the book. It was very important for me to though have a perspective as the author, and I really believe I was able to do that with intention that I wasn't just the sort of behind the scenes author sort of ghostwriter of Mr. Yoshino stories, but that I was curating his stories. But my responsibility was the framing of it as a learning experience for other people and offering up my perspective questions at the end, providing context for the history. And then at the time and it was really important to me that we were equals in this book, even though they were his stories that we were sharing. And so I think I was able I knew I was able to accomplish that. But it was it was a concern of mine when we made that pivot.

Carol Cox:
Well, I'm glad that you were very aware of it and then intentional about making sure that your voice and your stories were in there as well.

Katie Anderson:
Yes. And it speaks to the power of the story. So one of the other so going back to where we started this conversation is that I believe the the success and impact of this book isn't is because we made that pivot of not just being here's leadership lesson one and some things you should know about it. Of course, that's included, but it's all grounded in stories. And some are short stories and some are longer. And it speaks to me to the power of the story, which is why I'm looking forward to making more of this transition for myself.

Carol Cox:
To and Katie, what year was the book published?

Katie Anderson:
I published it in July of 2020. So right at the beginning of the pandemic, I had a moment of crisis of like, should I even publish this book now? But I'm glad that I did. And yes, so it's coming up on its two year anniversary and I recorded the audiobook last year. We have an e-book and I created a workbook too. So it's been a big venture in production, but really exciting too.

Carol Cox:
And really what I see that has done for you, Katie, is that it is part of your body of work, kind of this bigger body of work that helps to position you as a thought leader, but then also as a kind of a higher, higher profile speaker. Because because I know because of your book you get now speaking invitations around the world.

Katie Anderson:
Absolutely. And so I was already starting my speaking career before this. But this is giving me a greater platform and what's also rewarding as well. People enjoy hearing Mr. Yoshino stories, too. They're coming to me for the framework that I of leadership that I developed and used as the structure for the book. They're wanting to know now my stories to and this connection between what happened in the past and I can now help them move forward to the future. But absolutely, writing a book into itself is not the moneymaker because of all the time and the effort. But it's a huge opportunity to create a broader platform and to connect with a wider audience, for sure.

Carol Cox:
And one of the things that we talk about here in the podcast, but also in our Thought Leader Academy and the Catalyst Collective that you're in, is having a container for your thought leadership. And it could be a book or it could be having a podcast, hosting a podcast, could be a LinkedIn live series, a YouTube video series, an event that you host, an initiative and so on. Of course, you can have more than one of those. It's ideal to like do one kind of get that done and then move on to other ones so you're not spreading yourself too thin. It's obviously I've had the podcast here for over five years. My next initiative is going to be, well, we've done events and then the next thing that I'm working on is a book and I kind of see all of these as really helping to support each other. That only because, well, number one, they're just different form factors. Some people like books, some people like podcasts, etc. But then also I feel like they also well speak for myself, enable me to think through ideas in a different way. Writing a book, a 250 page book is a very different way of thinking through ideas than creating a podcast episode every single week.

Katie Anderson:
Absolutely. And I love the way you frame it is containers and the thinking process that happens in different ways. So the amount of I mean, this was the book was like two years of like thinking and revising and. Framing, but it's that process that allowed me to come up with these frameworks of leadership, come up with how I'm talking about and connecting things that I learned in the past, but how I'm really helping leaders now as well. And then same with the podcast. You're able to talk things out in real time and have conversations like this. So just sparks thinking in different ways.

Carol Cox:
And Katie, let's talk a little bit about the work that you do in your company. So tell us about the clients that you work with and then what do you help them with?

Katie Anderson:
So I mainly work with organizations who are really trying to create people centered learning cultures. So maybe in the past they've been focused on tools and techniques about how do we make outcomes better. But having this realization that things aren't aren't sticking. So I work with organizations to see the human dimension underneath all the tools are trying to use, and that it's really about learning more effectively and faster to really identify what are the opportunities, what are the problems, what are the creative solutions as well. So some of this a lot of this has roots in the Kaizen mindset from Toyota and really connected a lot of my learning in Japan. I'd worked in continuous improvement in health care for many years as well, but it's really reconnecting everything back to the purpose of developing people and people for learning. And when we do that, then we're more effective at achieving outcomes because it's really all about the people in the learning process first. So my clients sort of have these aha moments of like reconnecting with their heart and something a bigger purpose and then realizing it's these simple ways to engage people in thinking, engage themselves and thinking as well.

Carol Cox:
And Katie, I remember when we were working on your your signature talk and our VIP day, you said a few things that really stood out to me because this is what I do. Like, I put myself in the audience's seat. And as you're I'm asking you questions and you're telling me things, I think, oh, what's going to make an impact if I was sitting in that audience? And one of the things you said was what Toyota says is that we don't just make cars, we make people. And can you tell explain a little bit more about what exactly that means for a company?

Katie Anderson:
Yes. So often we're so focused on the outcome. So we need to make a product or a service and to make money and to stay in business, which is super important. But it's the people who work in the organization that actually are doing those things and are delivering the outcomes. And so Toyota's secret to their success and what people have been trying to emulate for so many years is their learning culture. And then it's focusing on developing people's skills and capabilities to solve problems, to come up with creative solutions. And when we do that and have a clarity on what are the outcomes that we need to achieve, but give people space to do the learning and come up with the creative solutions, we'll come up with so much more. And but those are all the things that are invisible. You don't walk into an organization and see people's learning process and see the creativity that's happening. You see the the visible tools and artifacts. And so I think we missed a lot of things there. But really, the essence is about developing people first in service of being able to achieve your outcomes. And so if we can flip it, then that's going to be the secret to success.

Carol Cox:
And that has stuck with me since January when you first told me that. And I think about it a lot, even just with my very small but mighty team here, I'm Speaking Your Brand. And the other thing that I've learned from you is that the and again, because we're high achievers, we've done well academically, done well in our careers, that we're really great at solving problems. We like to solve problems, but they break there becomes a stage whether if you work in corporate and you're in leadership or if you're an entrepreneur running your own company where being the problem solver is only going to get you so far. And really it becomes a bottleneck for sure.

Katie Anderson:
And actually this is the topic of the keynote I just gave called Break The Telling Habit that we have been rewarded our whole lives for coming up with the right answers, jumping in and solving problems, which is a great skill to have. But when we're in a leadership or management position, when we're always solving the problems, when we may not be actually solving the right problems, but we're not leveraging all of the human capital and human collective energy that's it's working for us. And then we're burdened by feeling like we have all the problems to solve as well. So it's hard because our human nature is to want to help and jump in and think that we have the right answer. But if we can hold ourselves back, we'll actually achieve so much more. So it's this like paradox that we have to learn when we're managing people and teams.

Carol Cox:
And this is where like sitting on your hands for 10 seconds, right?

Katie Anderson:
Yeah. Sitting on my hands, counting to ten and asking a question and really giving space. You know, and this is not just for the work environment, too. This is like at home too. When I started paying real attention to asking more questions, to counting to ten and giving space to think and also not jumping in with all my great ideas. I had better relationships in my personal life as well, with my spouse, with my mom, and I see that with my children now as well. So this is like our human our human challenge is how do we break our telling habit and be there to really support other. It's to learn and develop their own solutions and capability. Now there's times to jump in, in the towel as well, but it's being able to sort of navigate what's appropriate for the outcome you want.

Carol Cox:
Yeah. And I also think, Katie, about our American culture here and the contrast with the Japanese culture, which you got to know by living there. And I think, you know, American culture, like we are very talkative. You know, we are very gung ho. We're very like we like the hustle culture, like go, go, go, you know, talk, talk, talk all the time. And one of the things that I'm trying to get better at as a speaker and as a coach and as a person is. The pause and the silence. Because it makes such an impact. And I'm a fast talker and I'm a fast processor, but as we know, especially when we're talking with our audiences, we need to give them that space and that time to absorb what we're talking about or to make that emotional impact. And Katie, I know you literally witnessed firsthand when you were in Japan and would attend some of their meetings for sure.

Katie Anderson:
And I think we've all had that experience right, where someone's like, do you have any questions? Okay, no. And just like run on and you're like, whoa, whoa. I didn't even have a chance to process that. So, yes, it's what was really interesting to me. Well, so many interesting things when I lived in Japan for those 18 months was how there is greater emphasis as a leadership capability for pause and silence. And so the in the Japanese culture, people are much more comfortable with silence as well. And so I'd go into these meetings with Japanese executives who were so kind and generous to spend time with me. It was I was so grateful for that, many of whom who spoke really good English. But we'd be having a conversation and I would slow myself down. But then there would be really long pauses like. 30 seconds, 45 seconds. Well, they were thinking and I really had to. It would be rude for me to jump in. So it allowed me to really over practice getting comfortable with silence. It also showed to me how uncomfortable with silence we are and as a facilitator and a speaker to being able to seriously count to ten like it's it feels so uncomfortable as a facilitator. It feels uncomfortable as a speaker because we're used to filling the space. But that's where the thinking happens. And if the only secret to learning is the space for thinking, then that's what's really going to accelerate the impact that you have on other people in your teams and your organization as well.

Carol Cox:
And this really is part of this this idea of shifting from expert presenter to storyteller and the leader is this idea of it's less information that you're presenting to your audience and it's more of the transformation that you're helping your audience to see what's possible for themselves. And the pause and the silence is part of that transformation versus filling every second with more information.

Katie Anderson:
Yeah. And I think that goes to with how we structure our talks, also the visuals behind us. You don't need as much content. You need like a visual to anchor almost. The visual is part of your pause. It's giving people space to think and not trying to multitask by absorbing a lot of additional content while you're speaking as well. So how do we have those punctuated pauses? Ask a question. Give space for the thinking and reflection. And we have if we think about it for ourselves, we all have that experience that that pause is where we can we can think. And if you do count to ten more often, it's on seven, eight, nine or ten, someone will speak and say something. So we we we miss out on that opportunity if we shortchange it.

Carol Cox:
Well, that's a good challenge that I'm going to take for myself and for those listening can take for themselves as well. Next time you're presenting, do the count to ten the silence and see what happens. See what comes.

Katie Anderson:
Up. Yes, yes. Well, especially if you're working with there's some interactive element as well.

Carol Cox:
So, Katie, you when we were kind of getting preparing for this conversation, you had mentioned that you had listened to the episode on this podcast from a few weeks ago that I had with Mary Ann Zegart, who wrote a book called The Authority Gap Why Women are Basically Seen as less Authoritative, Why Women Don't Get into leadership positions and what we can do about it. So it's a fantastic conversation for those of you who haven't had a chance to listen to it. And so you mentioned that when you were an undergrad that you created your own concentration because you really wanted to study certain things that weren't available. So I want to talk about that, but I also want to talk about it seems to me that in the work that you've done, whether it's been hospital administration, but now in kind of this like continuous improvement, kind of lean manufacturing space, are there a lot of women in that space? Are there a lot of women leaders? And how has that influence the way that you coach but then also the speaking that you do?

Katie Anderson:
Yeah, so great. So go back to my undergrad. I've always wanted to pull together lots of different disparate parts. And so when I my major was called Human Biology, which was this lovely is this lovely combination of the biological and the social sciences together. So you have a structure for your sophomore year and then you get to create your own concentration. And I wanted to pull together public policy, which was a big interest of mine, which is where my systems thinking comes in, as well as my passion for feminism and women's rights and equality and my studies on that and then economics as well and human behavior. And so I mashed it all up into a concentration called Women's Health and Public Policy, but it was really all around and how to how to find your voice and how to speak up for other not especially this is in the 1990s where still research at the time is mainly done on men and male bodies and policy looks at all of you not even looking at the the actual true demographics of of the people being impacted. So that was a big interest of mine. And then I forgot the second part of your question.

Carol Cox:
Oh yeah. So then about being like in this like continuous improvement lean manufacturing space that you've been in for so long, like how are women in leadership positions there?

Katie Anderson:
So really interesting in health care, there are so many women because of the especially because of the nursing profession and that is predominantly female oriented, not oriented, but just happens to be traditionally. So usually the executive in charge of nursing is a woman. However, in a lot of a lot of the people that I would work with were women as well within a hospital administrative side of things, however, the most if you look at the executive team still, then it would shift over to being predominantly male oriented. Now I think things are shifting as well in that, but certainly from a lot of the improvement work I was doing with sort of the middle management sort of this is 15 years ago in my career, it was mainly women actually that I was working with. But then we also needed to be able to speak with the executive team where there might be one or two women on on that executive team, but it would be more men as well who had gone to not speaking badly about our men. I'm super they're everyone's doing a role. But so we had this shift that and I know things are changing as well in health care now when I work, I work across industries. I'm sort of industry agnostic because it's really now the focus on the leadership capabilities and competencies and skills. How do we set direction in our organization and have clear strategies? How do we then create the systems and structures for learning and development? So how do we provide the support to people and then how do they develop themselves? Doesn't matter in the industry. I would say though that now when I work with executive teams, it's more predominantly men that I work with as well. And perhaps some of the lower not the lower levels, but maybe the the next level would be more balance between women and men.

Carol Cox:
Okay. Well, thank you for sharing that. I think it's just something for I'm always curious about it because again, thinking back to that conversation I had with Mary Ann about the authority gap and how women tend to get to a certain position of leadership but then hit that proverbial glass ceiling so often.

Katie Anderson:
Yeah, well, I think that, you know, and I've experienced this myself, I opted out of the traditional pathway when I was having my second kid, which was amazing. I started my own company at that time and it's thrived and been I've been so fortunate with that. But I do think women. In their mid-thirties. The current structures of how we've defined work hasn't necessarily worked with them. This is why I sound super excited about this the concept of the future of work and what we're going through right now coming out of the pandemic. How greater flexibility in working from home may positively impact actually more women feeling like they can stay in and opt in to the workforce.

Carol Cox:
Hmm. That's so good. Katie. So next week's episode is with one of our clients, and her thought leadership message is to corporate women is that you don't need a change. The organization needs to change totally.

Katie Anderson:
It was actually a side note for living in Japan when I was there. They had this big decree that they needed more women in the workforce. Actually, Japan has one of the highest rates of high educated women who are no longer working, and that's because of a lot of cultural expectations of once you are married or have children, that you leave the workforce. But they're like, Oh, well, now we need 30% of women in management positions. Well, you can't just say that you had to change a lot. Actually, the system needs to change to allow that to happen. It's not just, oh, the women need to stay in there. The systems and structures need to change too. So I think us all having voices and speaking to that is where those broader system changes can happen.

Carol Cox:
Absolutely. Love it, Katie. All right. So I'll share with the listeners where they can find you your website. And I know you mostly hang out on LinkedIn. You have a very active LinkedIn profile as well.

Katie Anderson:
Yes. So my website is K B, Jay Anderson. So my initials with Anderson with an own. You can find me on Twitter at CBJ, Anderson on LinkedIn at CBJ, Anderson as well. And then my book is Learning to Lead, Leading to Learn, and you can find that on the website and that's available in paperback and audio book and e-book as well. So I love working with leaders and helping connect the heart in actions to really live and lead with intention. I think when we do that, that's where we really can create a bigger impact in this world.

Carol Cox:
Well, Katie, and you love that. I see that you do this all the time. And so I will make sure to include links in the show notes so that listeners can grab that. Thank you so much for coming on the podcast.

Katie Anderson:
Thanks, Caroline. I'm looking forward to continuing to tap into my storytelling with you this year and beyond.

Carol Cox:
Thanks again to Katie for coming on the podcast. Make sure to connect with both of us on LinkedIn. If you would like to talk about how we can work together on your keynotes, your signature talks and your thought leadership, I invite you to schedule a consultation call with us. You can do so by going to Speaking Your Brand comms contact again. That's Speaking Your Brand contact. Don't forget to register for our upcoming Summit Speakers reunion. It's a free event that we're hosting. You can get all the details by going to Speaking Your Brand reunion. Again, that's Speaking Your Brand reunion until next time. Thanks for listening.

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