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Shanna Hocking is a thought leader, keynote speaker, podcast host of One Bold Move A Day, and author of a forthcoming book on women and leadership, as well as the former Associate VP at a global pediatric hospital. She recently left her role in 2022 to focus full time on Hocking Leadership
Her expertise has been featured in Harvard Business Review, Entrepreneur, Chicago Tribune, American Express Business Insights, Today.com, The Muse, and Thrive Global, among others.
Shanna is committed to helping women thrive at work and home, which she navigates, too, as a wife and proud mother of a 7th grader.
As a working mom, how you can be a role model for your team
The idea of the “primary parent” and how her husband played that role despite being dual working parents
How to have conversations about careers in your relationship
How to mentally get to the place to outsource things
Who is in her personal board of advisors for career, leadership and life advice
Her definition of rest – doing things that fuel you
Ways she’s been a leader to her team during the pandemic and what policies she created to help
How to maintain and lead a work from home team
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Follow along at IG: @MommysonaCall & @StephanieUchima
[00:00:00] Stephanie: Welcome back to Mommy’s on a Call. Today I’m excited to bring to you Shanna Hocking. Shanna’s a thought leader, keynote speaker podcast host and author of a forthcoming book on women and leadership as well as associate VP at a global pediatric hospital.
Her expertise has been featured in the Harvard business review, Entrepreneurs Chicago Tribune, American express business insights today. Dot com you name it. She’s been in it.
Shanna is committed to helping women thrive at work and home, which she navigates to as the wife and proud mother of a seventh grader. Welcome.
[00:01:29] Shanna: Stephanie. I’m so glad to be here. Thank you for those kind words and introduction.
[00:01:33] Stephanie: I’m really excited to have someone who. In it, doing it throughout the pandemic and everything. So I’m going to have to pick your brain on all the things. So, first to start off, I wanted to ask, what was your biggest mom win of the week?
[00:01:46] Shanna: Oh, I love this question. So I do win of the week at work, but I haven’t really thought about it in a mom context.
It’s this is so fun. Okay. I’m going to keep it really real with you from the very beginning. So I was having a really tough day today and I wasn’t feeling like I was as involved in what I needed to be the way I needed to be. And I knew to really refocus, I needed to focus on what matters most. And so I quietly announced to the conference host that I was going to be leaving our session so I could go pick up my son from school.
And that’s what I did now. Stephanie, when I got there, he didn’t really feel like talking to me today. So I had to like keep it all in check. But I think that that. That’s my win of the week, both that I chose to do it, which is a really big deal for me. I don’t think I would have done that before the pandemic.
And also that I’m not so upset about the fact that he didn’t necessarily want to talk to me the whole way home as I might’ve been really defensive about that before, because we just have to honor that like every day is a new day and there are people too.
[00:02:45] Stephanie: And he’s basically a teenager. And so I know, I know how that is.
I think I did one interview where she was like, I learned that with a teenager, you just be quiet. You let them express their feelings, express their emotions or not talk. And you don’t try. And mother and mother and mothers. So that is an amazing win. And I know you said like before the pandemic, you probably wouldn’t have done it.
What shifted in you to kind of allow yourself and give you that permission to be like, I’m going to do what’s best for me right now. And I want to prioritize my family. Like what, what in that? And how can that, like, how can you translate that to other moms who might want to do that? Who might be like, they scheduled a meeting, right when I have my, you know, daughter’s ballet recital, and I really don’t want to miss it, but I also really don’t want to like say no to my. You know, how, how did you go about like what happened in your mind?
[00:03:39] Shanna: Yeah, I mean, I think the pandemic required all of us to pause in a way we hadn’t planned on or had ever done before.
And though I would never wish this situation on anyone. Uh, I think it has reminded us to really consider why we’re doing things, not just what we’re doing and just kind of. Do the same routine because we’ve always done it before. I’ve been a vocal mother at work. I feel like that is my responsibility and opportunity as a working mother to help create a pathway for other working moms.
But that didn’t mean that I wasn’t, you know, late to pick up. It didn’t mean that I didn’t miss my train because I was staying for another meeting or I didn’t say that I had to go. It didn’t mean that I missed school activities. So even though. Doing it all per se, I was still making a lot of sacrifices that I didn’t even realize I was making until they weren’t there anymore.
It just required us to really say, wait, do I have to do that the same way I always have? And I think that’s, that’s the shift. I mean, not commuting is unbelievably life-changing for me, my creativity, my confidence, my joy has increased in ways. I also could not have expected.
And I think for other working moms, what I would say is we just have to really pause to say, why am I doing it this way? What could I be doing differently that would bring me and my family and probably my team more joy. Because people are watching us and they’re making decisions for themselves when they see what women leaders do, whether or not they could do that for themselves. And so I have to be really loud about what I do in order to be a role model and create that possibility for someone on my team.
[00:05:16] Stephanie: That’s incredible. You’re an amazing leader. I was actually going to two curious questions. One, how did the conference host react to it? And two was your son surprised that you were there?
[00:05:27] Shanna: So the conference host was amazing. Not only did I make the choice to do it, but then I said, why I was doing it. And at first I just said I had to leave.
But then I, I leaned in and said, no, I have to leave. And here’s why. And she said, I totally support it. Good for you. Go enjoy your family. And. It was a reflection of the person that she is. And obviously I trust her and feel connected to her even more so as a result of that. And yeah, I think my son was surprised.
I mean, he had his own expectations of what he wanted to do when he got home from school this afternoon, but sometimes picking him up is not just about what’s right for him. It’s really about what’s right for me too. And I never got to pick him up from school before this ever. It just, it just would never have happened. I’ve outsourced all of these things in order to be the working mom, the work and the mom. I want it to be so it’s as much for him. I hope as it is for me.
[00:06:18] Stephanie: Wow. Well, to step it back a little to give the audience some context, I know you have a seventh grader right now. What does your family structure look like?
What does you and your, do you have a partner? You know, what are the roles that you and your partner play in the family and the relationship and also, and you only have one kid, correct? I do. So, yeah. What is kind of to give the audience some context about what your family looks like?
[00:06:41] Shanna: Sure. So my husband, Matt and I met when we were 17 years old and we have before we knew who we were going to become as adults, and we’ve really grown up together and that’s been challenging sometimes because we have dual careers, you know, our ambitions have pulled us in different directions and we’ve had to kind of grow through that and create our life together. We’ve lived in a lot of different places. Uh, mostly for his career. I’ve been really fortunate to thrive in my career too, but his career has required us to just pick up and go for his training where we need to go.
And we moved to the Philadelphia suburbs when our son was four months old. We didn’t know anyone. We didn’t have any family here. It was a really radical shift for us and I am. I’ve always been driven. I had very clear pathway. I wanted to succeed in my career and, and I, you know, I didn’t have to do all the training.
My husband did. For much of my son’s life. My husband was the primary parent. And I think it’s important to talk about that, that, yes, I do have it all and it does require different sacrifices. It does require outsourcing. It requires letting go of things that used to be important. And I think the dynamic has changed during the pandemic because I’ve been working remotely, but I’m able to do more.
We don’t have any help at all in the house anymore. That’s been a huge shift for all of us, but I think our family unit. Has made it work through all of this. And it’s important for me as the mother of a son, for him to see that a woman can achieve her goals, both professionally and personally. And I want to raise him to be an amazing partner someday, where he values, what that person’s bringing to the family and to the table.
[00:08:17] Stephanie: So dual careers. And you said you made a comment that he was the primary parent. So what does it like, unpack that a little, I’m just curious, when you say primary parent, was he responsible for like pick-ups and drop-offs or what does that mean?
[00:08:29] Shanna: Yeah, so I read about this. I wish I could remember who coined that term.
I read about it probably like four or five years ago. And the idea of the primary. It might’ve been Ann Marie slaughter was the idea that there was the parent who did the pickups and drop-offs for a school called they would be the one to kind of drop everything and go. Although interestingly school always called me first and, you know, he would be the one who would take them to soccer practice and schedule a doctor appointment.
And that’s a very. You know, non-gender role expectation. And I love that we’ve been able to create that right. Dynamic for our family. And again, during the pandemic, it’s shifted because life has shifted so significantly. And our son’s older too. But I think for, for women to see that it’s okay to have conversations with your partner about what expectations you have in terms of parenting, in terms of home responsibilities, the more you can clearly communicate it, the more you can set your family up for success.
[00:09:23] Stephanie: Well on that note of communication, how do you communicate then with your, you know, with your significant other with your husband? How, how did you communicate those roles? You know, some of us just assume roles, but then having those conversations is sometimes harder. How did you approach that? And also say like, my career is important to me.
I want to do this. We’re going to have a kid or we have a kid. How did you have those conversations and how do you on an ongoing basis to now post pandemic? Where some things have shifted and lifestyle. How do you have those communications and keep it alive with your 17 year old? Uh,
[00:09:59] Shanna: I know that’s crazy.
[00:10:02] Stephanie: You’re on your teenage love.
[00:10:04] Shanna: I know. I know. So I do think there’s an element of. The fact that we did grow up together, that we did have to talk about things like this that were really important before most couples would be talking about that. I knew at 18 what career I wanted to have, and I’m a very driven woman.
And you know, it all comes with that package. Like you have to kind of know what you’re getting into and my sweet husband. But not every conversation was like super great. We had arguments, there were tears. I mean, I had to pick up my entire life and moved to cities and states. I never planned on living in, in order for my husband to achieve his goals.
And so I think we’ve had to be open about all right, these were both important to us. What sacrifices can we make? What are we willing to accommodate? And again, I don’t want to make it sound like it was like all perfect. We’ve had a lot of really hard conversations. The point is that we’ve had the hard conversations and when we were living our lives and were going two different directions, sometimes both out of state or country at the same time, we used to have weekly check-in meetings, which I really valued.
We would look at the calendar for the week or the upcoming weeks. Okay. Who’s doing this. Who’s doing that. Oh, you have an early morning meeting. Okay. We’re going to need, ask for help. This. We’re going to need to get this done. We’re going to need to let that go. And that hasn’t happened as much because we’re together all the time right now during the pandemic still.
But the same time, we’re able to have conversations at lunchtime that. I only would have dreamed of having like, w we worked in the same organization for four years and we had lunch like four times together. And so now for us to be able to be at home, having conversations, it means that we’re able to talk about the little things and the big things.
And I think that’s important. All of those have to have a space for conversation with your.
[00:11:44] Stephanie: And we’re a lot of these posts having your son. And I know there’s, you know, different stages when they’re toddlers, it’s totally different. But how did you manage kind of the behind the scenes, when with childcare, with anything you outsource, how did you be able to have both of you do these out-of-town trips if he’s gone or you’re gone or whatnot when you had a kid?
Cause I think that’s also a concern for a lot of women. They were like, want. They are striving and they really want to like, be the leader, be the VP, whatever that might be, be the president, but then they’re like, I have to outsource everything. Or how did you, you know, manage all of that?
[00:12:21] Shanna: Yeah. Um, so the first thing is that we did talk about this before we had a child.
And I think that that’s important. I really don’t think there’s too such thing as too early in a conversation to talk about this. You know, there’s an article in Harvard business review that says like, if your spouse doesn’t support your career, you should just stay single. And I mean, that’s like a sad fact, but it is true for women, our spouses and our partners play a major role in how we’re able to succeed in our career.
So we did have conversations about it. You know, my son is 12. My husband took time off at his birth. He came five weeks. So it’s totally unexpected for everybody. And, you know, my husband took off and, but that was like people weren’t talking about paternity leave and time off then. I mean, he was a very progressive dad and he was open about being a dad at work.
And I really admire that for him. I think that that’s such an important thing for both of us to be open about this. And so we have had to have these like really open conversations. That the outsourcing didn’t happen early on in our relationship. We were still acquiring our ability to even outsource things.
I mean, we didn’t, we didn’t always have money. He was in training for such a long time. So the outsourcing came later on as our careers progressed. And it was just like, why are we fighting about who’s going to do the dishes? Like there has to be something more we can spend our time and energy doing. And what I say to working women who say to me, like, W, how did you get to the point where you could actually outsource things?
Like, okay, I have resources, but I still don’t think I can mentally do this. I can’t take on that assignment. I can’t take on that job because it would require me to not do all the things a mom’s supposed to do. Well, no one’s supposed to do anything. And I think it comes from letting go of whatever this guilt is that we feel.
You know, if, if making the cupcakes for school is important to you, and by the way, that was important to me, I stayed up ridiculous amounts of time and hours to do it. I, I think I was proving it to the world as much as to myself, if I can admit that now with a twelve-year-old, but if that’s important to you, then do that thing.
But do you, is laundry important to you? Are you, are you showing your love through laundry? And if you are then do it, but if you’re not. And then get it done, like get like pay a college student to come into your house and do that. And I think it just comes from like there’s no should or supposed to.
There is no one who has all this all figured out. We’re just all figuring it out day by day. So figure it out for yourself and your family. And don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.
[00:14:44] Stephanie: That’s I always said like, you need to remove should from your vocabulary because should, like, what does that even mean? Like who’s telling you that you’re supposed to do that.
Nobody and I love that. You, you said it before is just like, know what you want, know your why. And so if you’re passionate about, you know, making cupcakes, then do it. If that’s like, what fills you up? Like, I love folding laundry, which is. One of the things that I could outsource, but like, it brings me, I don’t know.
I just, I loved origami. So it’s like, it’s, it’s soothing for me. I love laundry and I love washing dishes because for some reason it’s soothing, but don’t ask me to touch a toilet because for me, that is like not at all, but I. Yeah, what fuels you.
[00:15:27] Shanna: And I think that’s so important though, because even just the two of us having this conversation right now or validating, but it doesn’t have to be the same thing.
Like the thing that I would be like, no way, I’m like, okay, I’m really glad Stephanie likes to do that. And I think that’s what it comes down to is like we can celebrate each other’s choices because it means that you’re able to fry and I’m able to thrive. And when women thrive in general, we’re all gonna rise a lot higher.
[00:15:50] Stephanie: Yeah, and I love one of the things that you promote is like building your team, but also building your personal board of advisors or building that you know around you. And I’ve heard a lot of successful women talk about that. I’m curious, who’s in your personal board, who do you keep around you to support you?
And in what ways do they support you.
[00:16:09] Shanna: Yeah. So this idea of having a personal board of advisors or people that you could rely on for the very best career in leadership and life advice, and it can evolve over time. And so mine certainly has, I feel very fortunate that I have many mentors, including some former bosses who I still rely on for advice.
I have peers that I can rely on, even if they’re not in the same industry, just, you know, how’s that experience working for you? What can I learn from that? I like to share with people that I have male peer mentors and male mentors. I don’t think that women have to only be mentored by women. I think for me, actually, having a male mentor helped me.
Like ask for more with my salary negotiation, you know, I think realistically we should just use everyone’s strengths and skills to help learn.
[00:16:56] Stephanie: So I agree. I was going to say my business coach has always been a male I’ve I’ve never hired a female. And the reason why is I wanted that other perspective to challenge me, to make me think differently than just almost supporting what I internally believed, but someone to challenge me.
And so I love the different perspectives. I mean, it doesn’t matter on gender, but. Yes, they do bring a different kind of perspective, especially when it comes to business in the workplace.
[00:17:21] Shanna: And then people I mentor are on my personal board of advisors because I have learned as much from them as I hope I have taught them.
And I think it’s important to think about the multi-generational aspect of people who are on your board because the world’s evolving and. What we’re talking on right now didn’t exist 20 years ago. So, or if it did, I definitely didn’t know about it. So we have to be able to keep pace with what’s happening in the world and always be learning because really the more we can learn, the more that we will be able to understand what’s possible for us.
I love having conversations like this because of it. I’m learning a lot right now.
[00:17:57] Stephanie: I love it. You talk a lot about how to stay in your job. If you know, you’re passionate about it, like taking rests and things like that. I’m curious for you, what do you do for rest? What do you do that fuels you that keeps you going every day so that you are still passionate and fulfilled in what you’re doing in your career?
[00:18:15] Shanna: Yeah. So I love the term rest and I use it very broadly, Stephanie, because I think, yes, obviously sleep is rest and thou shall sleep. It’s very important for all of us, particularly our moms selves to be our best selves in all things. But rest of me is also. Doing things, like you said, that fuel you. So I love to read, I read dozens of articles a day.
I am always thinking about like, what’s this next thing that I can either share with someone else or apply to my team or apply to myself. And I write a lot. So you very graciously mentioned my book at the introduction and I am. Thrilled to have a book coming out next year with McGraw-Hill it’s called one Bolden day as your podcast,
[00:18:58] Stephanie: which by the way, I love your podcast.
I mean, six minutes. And it’s just to the point I love it. I’m all about efficiency and all of that. So I love it.
[00:19:07] Shanna: Thank you. Well, you know, for women on the go, that’s like sometimes all the time we have in our day, so thank you for that. When I started that in the pandemic, I had really never planned to do a podcast before then, but I think too, going back to your point about like, what fuels you, what gives you energy?
Knowing that we are serving other people, particularly women gives me energy. And so when I’m feeling exhausted and thinking, how am I going to do this thing? I remember why I’m doing it. I remember what I could be doing to help someone else. And it gives me another, another motivation to keep going. And so, um, but there’s also times where.
I like literally do nothing. I’m not very good at it because I’m always thinking about something, but I think it’s okay to just, as my mom says to just be,
[00:19:51] Stephanie: what time do you get up in the morning?
[00:19:53] Shanna: Okay. I’m an early riser. So we wake up at five 30 in the morning and I’m a first of the day exerciser. That’s always been how I’ve been able to fit it in. My husband and I were talking, we went out for coffee this morning after we dropped her son off for school.
And we were like, Hey, remember those days before the pandemic, when we used to be in a 5:30 AM workout class together. And I was like, I don’t know how we did that. So I have always been like more like in tune with morning than night, but I always say like, it’s really about finding the rhythm that’s right for you.
You don’t have to like to be, to be amazing and successful. You don’t have to wake up early. You just have to find the time that resonates most with you and then lean into it and do the things that bring you the most energy.
[00:20:37] Stephanie: Thank you because I am not a morning person and everyone that I interviewed, they’re like, oh, we wake up at five.
One girl was like, I wake up at three 30 in the morning before my kids. I was like three 30. Oh my goodness. And bedtime. I’m like, I’m a night owl and I’m trying to adjust that, but it, thank you. I needed that.
So obviously the pandemic droves of women, especially moms left the workforce, whether they were laid off or whether they couldn’t because they had kids at home and, you know, the numbers are just like frightening of all of that.
And it’s changed the way the corporate environment is. For you personally. I know you’ve always been driven in your career, but how has the pandemic kind of changed you in terms of how you show up at work? And then also was there ever a point in the last year where you were like I’m just going to quit. I’m not going to do this.
[00:21:24] Shanna: Yeah. So, I mean, the pandemic has changed, has changed everything. I mean, it’s changed a lot as a leader. I have always prided myself on being compassionate and caring about my team members. As people I’ve talked a lot about bringing your whole self to work. That’s been redefined in the last year and a half.
I mean, between openly talking about how to create an inclusive work environment, talking about the insurrection of the Capitol, talking about the George Floyd, Myrtle murder trial, like these are things no manager has ever been trained on doing.
And so, and then talking about what it’s like to be a working mother or a working parent and, and saying like, you have grace to do what you need to do. And then like, what does that even mean to have that? And you know, what’s on my heart and I know that’s on yours too. Stephanie is the women who have been forced out or have to leave the workforce. It’s the reason I do what I do to help support women, to be able to do all the things that are important to them.
So to see the circumstance creating it, where it’s just not possible and particularly for, for women in lower income brackets, where there’s just really no choice involved. It’s really been heavy on my heart over the last year and a half. And sure. There’s been some days where I woken up and thought, oh my gosh, I need to just like, just like just, you know, I have so many things I need to do and I don’t think I can do this.
And my why really is in serving my team at work and my, the women that I write for and do my podcast for. And so. I keep showing up anyway. And I think that’s an important lesson to show for my child. Who’s had to go through all this too, that the resilience, but I think it’s okay for women to say, I want to reinvent myself right now.
I don’t think we have to keep pushing through just because we’re supposed to or should, like we talked about before. So I am really encouraging women to consider what what’s an appropriate risk for them. And what does it mean to reinvent yourself? And if it’s going to bring you joy and help you be more help, you thrive better at working home, then I think it’s worth considering.
[00:23:27] Stephanie: So to those moms who maybe think that what are some questions they can ask themselves, or what are some of the things they can do to kind of kickstart that journey?
[00:23:35] Shanna: Yeah. So my very favorite question for anyone considering a career shift is. Who do you want to become? I think about, we get so caught up in titles and salary and like, those are all important, but that’s not who we want to become.
And I think for working moms in particular, who are deciding what’s important to me, why am I doing what I am doing? Then it’s a chance to really say, I’m not doing what I want to be doing every day anymore. And I need to think about what that will look like and what am I willing to sacrifice and what am I willing not to sacrifice?
I think working remotely is going to be a really important component for corporate America too. It’s not a perk anymore. It is a mandate. And, and I think also for women too, To talk with other women. I mean, you’re creating this safe space right now for women to say, this is what I’ve been thinking about.
Thank you, Stephanie. And thank you, Shanna. And I think to talk to other women, not, not for advice because not everyone’s going to make the choices and pathway that you are to talk to other women to say. How have you handled a difficult situation or a difficult choice in your life because that’s where we can learn from each other without judgment.
And I think I’m so fortunate to be a part of a lot of different women’s communities where I can have that conversation with women. I’ve never really talked to you before, because you just have to put yourself out there and then, and then ask and then get the support that you need.
[00:24:57] Stephanie: I think that’s an important point though, is that you put yourself out there.
You also got the support and I think. A lot of moms tend to not want to ask for help, whether it’s actual childcare help or whether it’s support, help. And I like how you phrase that, that it’s not asking for advice, because I think as women we’re always like, I want advice, like tell me what to do. This is why I love interviewing people is I want to hear your story.
I want to hear from your background, how things happened, and it helps me also give context on why you’ve made the choices you did. And it helps inform me on like, interesting. Well, maybe I could do that because she did that. So I love that it’s like more inspirational. Then you should go to your boss and, you know, ask them for this or do this or demand this.
And I think right now in the culture, it’s very much kind of like that. Like, we’re all angry with pitchforks. So I like that. Thank you for sharing that story.
I’m curious what, since you run a team of 40 plus individuals, how have like any policies that you’ve changed or things that like you’ve done that you’ve seen like positive impact on your team because nowadays.
We’re all going remote. It’s not a perk. It’s part of the job. What are some of the things you shifted as a leader on your team? Because a lot of women out there, even if they’re entrepreneurs, they’re leaders of teams or leaders of your family that could translate into family life, what are some of the things that maybe you have changed in the way you do things for them?
Like any policies or any sort of, yeah,
[00:26:34] Shanna: sure. So I like to joke that. Anything we’d ever done before had to be like thrown out the window and revisited. And I think that that is such an important key of leadership anyway, that if you keep doing things the way you’ve always done, you’re not evolving and people are always growing and evolving.
And so I consider myself a student of leadership. So I have read a gagillion articles. As I mentioned earlier about what’s worked for other people, particularly for remote only companies before the pandemic, so that I could help figure out how to show up as the leader that I wanted to show up.
I mean, the first thing is really allowing people to bring their whole selves to work. That that’s the personal effects, the professional, it is, it is always affected it, but we just didn’t want to ask for help to your earlier point. We weren’t able to. To say, this isn’t working for me. I’m, I’m going to need to leave work early or I’m going to need to have some flex time or so I make it a point to ask my team or suggest to my team rather than waiting for that conversation to happen.
And I asked her a lot of feedback about what’s working and what’s not working. And I lead what’s on my heart. You know, I try to say when things are hard for me, And what I’m working through, because I want people to know that it’s safe and that when I am vulnerable and willing to walk into the discomfort, I’m inviting you to walk into the discomfort with me.
We’ve cried together. We’ve, we’ve had a hard conversations. We supported each other. I am so fortunate to lead the team that I do. And at the beginning of the pandemic, I felt so hopeless for how I could. Help people feel like everything was going to be okay when no one knew that it was. And so I started writing them a letter at the end of every work day and I called it the daily update.
And it was whatever was on my mind, whatever I was thinking about. And then I would try to share like links of fun things to do or TV shows or pandemic purchases and examples. So many too many. And so after, after several months of doing that, the woman who was like my right hand, chief of staff at the office said to me, Shanna, we can’t bring you out.
We need you to keep leading here. How about we all take turns? Writing this letter, and it’s been one of the most incredible things every day. Different team member writes this update and it’s about their life. It’s about their family. It’s about their work. It’s about their projects. It’s about their frustrations.
It’s about an article they read. I cannot overstate how very meaningful this has been to see people really showing up as their whole selves, their truest selves, and then getting like wrapped in, just support for whatever it is that they’re sharing or high fives, you know, virtual high five. So it’s not a policy, but I think that what makes us successful as leaders in times of uncertainty is creating meaning, creating purpose and creating rituals to rely on.
[00:29:27] Stephanie: That’s perfectly sad and said we can end it here, but I have a few more questions. Well, so leading a team, that’s now mostly remote. Having them work from home. I know you did kind of an episode of on work from home. So I want to touch on a little bit of that, but how as say an employee or a leader really keep empowering those people at home to show up and not, you know, we were saying like, it’s great to integrate that and to bring your personal side to work, because it gives you more like purpose and fullness.
But on the other hand too, sometimes, like, I mean, we saw during the pandemic, your personal was literally your professional. Like everything was integrated. And it affects productivity in some sense. So how have you guys been able to work remotely, but stay productive and on like an on task I guess, or motivated to keep going?
Or how do you manage a remote team? Especially as a leader who you’re like, I’m not sure what they’re doing at home or I’m not sure, you know, what’s on the other side of the screen. It’s great for employees. There’s more flexibility, but also I know the stats on productivity have kind of gone down. So, how do you maintain a work from home team?
[00:30:39] Shanna: So, I mean, still a work in progress, you know, because even when you think you have it figured out something has shifted, you know, school started a month ago. And so we’re shifting and learning again. My big focus is on progress, which I think gets people to productivity. My big, my big thing is that progress is better, is greater than productivity.
That if you focus each day on what I was able to move forward, what was I. Able to help my team move forward. How did I remove a barrier or an obstacle? How did I offer them support or a lending ear that I really believe that that will get you to your goals? When we focus on a to-do list, we’re just kind of going through the motions, but we’re not necessarily focusing on what I call the best and highest use of time.
And time is a precious resource and it’s more limited than it’s ever been. It’s more present than it’s ever been. How, if you have 15 minutes, are you working on a piece of the project? That’s like the big thing, the most important thing that you could work on or are you writing back 14 emails and listen, some days I’m writing back 14 emails, but if I can really focus on what am I moving forward, what am I at?
And not just because I’m moving it forward, but because I feel a sense of. Like mastery and progress every day. And I think that that’s why you keep motivated to come back the next day. You asked me about your, the mom win of the week. We do win of the day on our team. And it’s because I want people to focus on the little things and the big things.
So, you know, if you, if you close a deal, great, and that’s a win of the day, for sure. But what if you got a yes to someone you’d never been able to visit with before. What if you, you know, finally got that big project unstuck from where it was. And so I tell my team, I want them to share that with me.
And so I’ll get like randomly throughout the day, uh, when a W O T D is what we call it a win of the day, text or email with an update from someone about like what they’ve been able to work on. And it’s not only wonderful that they want to share that with me, but it’s also wonderful for me because if I’m having a tough moment, I’m looking at their winds of the day to remind me to keep going. So it’s like all cyclical and beautiful and, and I’ve tried to engage with my team because screens are hard as personally as like.
In ways that I had not done been doing before and innovating. So we instituted skip level meetings, which I named elevator sessions. I asked my team members to nominate different names because I didn’t love skip levels, but the idea that I wanted to meet with people frequently on a quarterly basis that I don’t get to see every day. I meet with my full team monthly, which we did pre pandemic.
And we’ve continued that. And then, you know, this, this concept of what, what is most important and what can we celebrate? It’s something we’re still working through in a virtual environment, because it’s easier to just like, do the thing and keep going. And so reminding ourselves to focus on those wins and share them with other people.
[00:33:26] Stephanie: I love that you do the wins also because for me, not only does it throw off my guests, cause they’re like, wait, we were prepared for something else. Two. It makes them. A little bit more positive and like inspires that. Cause you know, mom conversations can sometimes go the wrong way. We all complain about things, but I’m like, what was your win?
Like, even if it was small and I actually have a post-it now above my computer. The small wins matter. And it’s because it doesn’t matter, it’s kind of like gratitude, but it’s like, it’s just the little, little incremental wins that you do. It just, it matters. And so it just like, yeah, snowballs.
[00:34:07] Shanna: I love that we’re very closely aligned in our values on that.
And I love that. I think it’s important to focus on, and I love that you have a post-it note to remind you
[00:34:14] Stephanie: well, to wrap things kind of up. I wanted to leave you with a question, which is what is your superpower that you gained once you became a mom that makes you better at either business or life, so something you didn’t have, but then once you become a mom, it’s now your superpower.
[00:34:31] Shanna: Yeah, so, oh my gosh. I mean, life changed so radically when I became a mom, I mean, I I’m a recovering perfectionist and I, I just got so caught up in every decision and like overthinking everything and it had to be right. It had to be right. And I, I think it comes from a lifetime of trying to prove ourselves as women, you know, it’s not, it’s not just in us.
It is created in society creates that in us. And so, I mean, We’ll throw that all out the window. You there’s just no way you can do it anymore. I fought it for a while because I did want to do all of the things, but there’s so much beauty in the gray. There’s so much beauty in the learning. I think being a mother required me to, to see that rather than focusing on what I hadn’t done yet or what I wasn’t good at mostly because now I want to model that for my child too.
[00:35:24] Stephanie: I love that. And where can we find you online?
[00:35:27] Shanna: Oh yes. Thank you. Shanna A Hocking dot com is my website. You can visit. I see a lot of different things we’ve talked about today and my writings there. And then I’m on Instagram and LinkedIn. I’m really everywhere with Shanna A Hocking.
[00:35:39] Stephanie: I’m excited. When’s your book coming out at the end of next year.
[00:35:43] Shanna: So working on it now, and I’m hoping to be able to launch it, you know, pre-launch next fall. I can’t wait to
[00:35:49] Stephanie: share more amazing. Congratulations. Writing a book is a big deal, so impressive. Well, thank you so much for joining today.
[00:35:57] Shanna: Stephanie, it was really a joy to talk with you. Thank you for creating this really special conversation for other women too.
[00:36:02] Stephanie: Well, and thank you for being an inspiration.
[00:36:05] Shanna: Thank you.
[00:36:06] Stephanie: Thank you so much for listening to this episode of mommy’s on a call. Your support means the absolute world. To me. You can find the show notes for this episode and other. Over at mommy’s on a call.com. And if you enjoyed this episode or have gotten value from the podcast, I would be so grateful if you could head on over to apple podcasts and leave a rating and review so that we can reach and empower more moms all over the world together.
Thank you so much again, mommy pod, and I will see you here next time.