Episode 20: Career Nation Show with Shellye Archambeau

 Shellye Archambeau is a Silicon Valley leader, who is one of High Tech's first female African American CEOs. She has been featured frequently in Forbes and New York Times and Business Insider and has been an executive at IBM, CEO of blockbuster.com, and then the turnaround CEO for a Silicon Valley startup, which is now MetricStream, a global leader and governance risk and compliance software. She currently serves as Fortune 500 board member and holds board seats at Verizon, Nordstrom, Roper Technologies, and Okta. Her new book, 'Unapologetically Ambitious' comes out in October.

In Career Nation Show, Shellye talks about her book, leadership, and career management.







Okay. Hello and welcome back to the Career Nation Show. Today we are so lucky to have Shellye out on the Career Nation Show. Shellye is a phenomenal Silicon Valley leader. She's one of High Tech's first female African American CEOs. She has been featured frequently...

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How to Turn a Status Meeting into a Valuable Conversation

Another day, another status meeting!

Sometimes, status meetings are a necessary evil of corporate life. They could be dull and boring, and some of us even consider them a waste of time – time that could be better invested in actually getting things done. In short, status meetings could be a drag.

But it doesn’t need to be that way. There is great value in these meetings. It’s just that we don’t usually see it because of the way they’re done. 

Here’s how you can hack your status meetings and turn them into meaningful conversations to make them worth everyone’s time. 

Restate the Purpose

The first hack is to make sure you restate the purpose of your project. This helps participants who are basically running from meetings to meetings to get grounded into the objective. It also helps them understand the mission of what your team is truly trying to achieve. 

Provide Value

The second hack is to provide value. You can make this...

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The Opportunity Zone – To Demonstrate Leadership and Do the Right Thing

We carry our thoughts, ideas, and beliefs with us 24/7. These thoughts, ideas, and beliefs help us interact with the world around us. That world includes the environment around us, our family, friends, colleagues, boss, peers, leaders, and customers. Our interaction with them has an impact on our lives as well as theirs. And these interactions shape our destiny. These interactions shape our relationships, our careers, our compensation, our trajectory, and our future. We should choose to do the right thing in these moments. 

Sometimes these situations may be straightforward and easy, but sometimes, not so much. And doing the right thing all the time can be quite challenging. Sometimes there are moments and interactions that build up over a period of time. Or sometimes there are those very critical moments – the most pivotal moments.

We can make all these moments – whether they’re small or large moments – and interactions matter by choosing to do the right...

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How to drive an innovation culture in your team (leadership hack)

Driving innovation in our team is fundamental to the modern digital leader. Here is a method to help you foster innovation and provide forward-looking feedback to the team. 

The Innovation Economy = an Idea Economy

As leaders, we are always dealing with ideas and concepts. We’re living in the idea economy, an innovation economy. And in an innovation economy, we must keep coming up with great ideas, see which ones we want to test, test them out. And then, when they’re proving themselves, you roll them out as products or projects. And in any organization, when you look at all the ideas that are generated, not all of them become great products or great projects, only a small percentage of them become meaningful.

What does that tell you about most of the ideas that are created at the workplace? Are they all good? They’re not. So what do you do when you hear ideas from others and how do you, how does a great leader provide them feedback so that you know those...

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Leaders Don’t Coast Along the Curve, they Push to Challenge

You are a leader. There could be multiple scenarios for your job performance. One scenario is where you’re making progress. You are driving change; you are driving transformation. That is the high-performance scenario. There could be another scenario where you’re not participating; you’re not engaging; you’re not contributing. Maybe you’re not interested, or perhaps you’re not incentivized for that role. Regardless, that is a low-performance scenario.

There is another scenario. It’s right in the middle. And, this is the scenario where you are doing just the minimum required for the job. You know, you’re just getting the checkmarks, you’re just doing the bare minimum thing needed for that job, and that is coasting or cruising. Unfortunately for some people, this becomes sort of the primary mode of operation. Let’s just do the minimum and just coast along.

The modern, transparent workplace will eradicate coasting


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Business Transformation Represents New Opportunities in Saas and Cloud. Know-How to Grab it

One question I get a lot is, “I’m an industry expert, how do I get into SaaS and Cloud.” The answer is right in front of you. As you know, software is eating the world. This means industries are just going through massive digital transformation, whether it’s healthcare, financial services, manufacturing. This is not just like a digital transformation or changing the technology.

This is a fundamental business transformation, a business model transformation. And that’s why this represents a massive career pivot point and an opportunity for so many industry experts, domain experts, management consultants out there. Because you’ve wanted for so long to ride on the SaaS and Cloud wave. You wanted to get into that business.

Growing fast, disrupting everything

It’s a high growth business, and it’s disrupting everything. On the other hand, a lot of these companies that are in the SaaS and Cloud business who are trying to address those...

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Understand the Business Model to Create and Deliver Value

It is so important to understand the business model for a company. It helps to understand the drivers and the motivations for all the people that you work with. So, maybe it is for a company that you work for, perhaps you’d like to understand the business model of your customers or your competitors or your partners, your vendors. It doesn’t matter. But it’s fundamentally important to understand the business model of any company.

And at the core of it, a business fundamentally is doing three things. It is – 

  • Creating value, which is about creating value for its customers.
  • Then it is about capturing value, which is what we call as pricing. This is a way for the business to make some money, i.e., capture value.
  • And the third one is to deliver value to its customers.

This is where the business or that company is creating, not just creating value and capturing value, but delivering that value for their customers.

How does it help?

So, for example,...

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The #1 way to learn new skill and fast track your career growth

We all know that one of the keys to career growth is to continuously learn new skills. It is a career superpower.

People that can’t learn can’t survive in the modern workplace.

So how can we learn new skills quickly? Is there a hack?

Learning through audio or visual

Many people learn through audio. For example, you might be listening to some audio, maybe it’s a podcast, and you might be doing other things, but you’re always understanding the topic that’s going on, and you’re learning. Another one is watching videos. So, you are watching a video or hearing this audio, and you are learning. Those are great ways to learn.

Learning by doing

However, the best way to learn, which is great leaders have figured this out, is called kinesthetics. It is learning by doing. So, let me explain that. When we perform activities, that’s the maximum learning we get. So, when we are doing things with our hands, we are performing those tasks. That’s when...

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Luck is when preparation meets opportunity

You may have felt this a lot of times, like; this person has the perfect job; this person lives in the perfect neighborhood. And it feels like that person is so lucky. But that is not the case. Because luck is all about being prepared, and it’ll be looking for opportunities and taking advantage of them. Being prepared means that you worked on your skills, and you’ve built your experience in the right areas over a period of time.

So, when opportunities arise, you are prepared to take advantage of those opportunities. This is how you create your own luck, which also means that you have to be in the game to win the game. And so think about the game that you want to play in. And if you’re in that game, because if you’re not in that game, then it is time to prepare and be on the lookout for opportunities to create your luck.

You want to be a successful leader; then, you must prepare yourself to be in the game and look for your next opportunity.

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Technology has a First Mile and a Last Mile; where would you like to play?

How does technology make its way to the market, and what’s your role in that market? I like to view this as the first mile and the second mile.

The first mile is all about the creation of the product and the creation of the technology. It’s about making sure you are prioritizing the right features for the right market for the right customers, and then you’re putting engineering behind that to make that product come alive. And there might be a lot of scars on the backs because of that. Maybe it’s product strategy or product engineering or all of those things. And there might be some scars on the backs or as I like to call it ‘learning,’ right?

And the second mile is all about deploying that product, deploying that technology in the best interest of the customer to create the best outcome possible. And that involves a lot of knowledge about the customer or a set of customers or particular geographies or particular regions or specific types of...

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