October 14

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Leadership Tips from Leadership Consultant Expert Amanda Foster

By Mimi MacLean

October 14, 2020


amanda foster

Amanda Foster, Founder and CEO of Foster Inc.

Amanda Foster is the founder of Foster Inc, a strategic consulting practice for progressive, high growth organizations. Her experience with clients such as Google, Spotify, Quantcast, Cruise, Side Walk Labs, Buzzfeed, Unilever, and Westfield LLC make her a sought-after consultant to train the best and most successful executives.

Not only has Amanda built her company from the ground up very quickly, she knows what it takes to be a badass entrepreneur and CEO as an experienced coach in leadership and development, corporate strategy, and organizational change and culture. Amanda believes specific attributes are needed to make respectable and successful leaders.

Listen to this week’s episode of the Badass CEO Podcast to learn more about what it takes to become a successful leader as you grow your company. Your team can be the difference between what makes you succeed or not, so make sure you are leading them the best way possible!!

Find Amanda Foster

 

Episode Contents

  • Her Career Leading Up To Foster Inc
  • Team Organization, Company Dynamics and Leadership
  • How She Overcame the Fear of Failure
  • Why You Need Agility and Nimbleness To Succeed
  • How She Has Had To Pivot Her Business During COVID
  • Creating A Positive WFH Company Culture
  • Don’t Go For Perfection – Go For Progress

Her Career Leading Up To Foster Inc

Mimi MacLean

Amanda, thank you so much for coming. I’m so excited to talk with you today. The first question I have is, can you just tell us a little bit about your background?

Amanda Foster

Sure. I don’t know how far back you want to go. But let’s go a long time ago, and many, many miles away. So let’s start with the most important things, which is I’m Australian. I’m a citizen of the world, and a wife of a partner of 26 years. I’m a mom, I’m a daughter, I’m a terrible friend better on some days. So they’re the kind of most important things but I imagine the things you actually really want to know about is my career as well. So I was originally an actor, which is probably an interesting twist for a lot of people. So I was originally an actor, and my first degree was in acting, and I was a dancer. And then I realized fairly early on that I loved this. I love this ability to create an experience for other people, and something that they could learn and grow within and have a reaction to, but I realized that I wanted a little bit more security than that particular profession. And so then I spent the next 20 years I am dating myself, but it’s 30 years really in the space of human resources. So I basically started with a sort of purist HR background. And then pretty soon I learned that I loved learning. And I loved helping people learn and grow. And so then I spent the rest of my career in roles, like starting to do the sort of onboarding programs, sales, development programs and negotiation. And then I realized I love leadership, and the whole rest of it has been in leadership development across the globe.

Mimi MacLean

That’s awesome. Now, how long have you been on your own? Like, when did you decide to go out and start?

Amanda Foster

Oh, great question. Yeah, totally. Yeah, this is an interesting one. And it might be interesting for might be interesting. For some of people listening into this, you know, I reached this crossroad twice, before I took the leap to go out on my own. I think that could be a journey for many people is finding that moment in your life, and your career where that feels like the leap that you can take. For me, maybe that was five years ago. So five years ago, I reached it for the third time and I was like, This is it, I’m going to go out on my own, and be able to pursue more of the things that I always reached a point where I was like, I want to be able to do more with this particular project, way of thinking or approach. And then I realized that five years ago, I wanted to go and do that on my own. And that’s when I did it.

Mimi MacLean

That’s awesome. Now, do you wish you had done it the first or second time?

Amanda Foster

Ah, such a great question. No, I don’t. Because I mean, hindsight is an amazing thing, right? And I really believe in that balance of hindsight gives you insight and foresight gives you insight. Right, right. But in hindsight, no, I’m glad I did it when I did it, because it was lots of reasons why I didn’t one was family and health. So I was working through my own sort of breast cancer journey, and things that one of the points and had baby twins. And so that was not the right time. So no, I think that this was the right time for me, but having crossed it a couple of other points in time I had done I think it really helped me do the thinking and the wondering, that I think is so important if you’re going to take the leap,

Mimi MacLean

Right, to process it really?

Amanda Foster

Yeah. Kind of danced with it. I danced with it for and I know every personality is different, maybe. But I had dealt with that for 10 years. But why did it, you know, unknowingly, and I think, for my personality, and for my life, I’m the main breadwinner that?

Mimi MacLean

Yeah, that’s great. So did you can you tell us like kind of what your services are? And what you offer to company?

Team Organization, Company Dynamics and Leadership

Amanda Foster

Yeah, totally. And it’s great to ask this, because you kind of you may, you know, you make anything better, I would say, you know, Foster Inc really plays across three big buckets, although I’m thinking of a fourth one, which is always the way right. One is really around teams. So global teams in organizations that they want to do B and C differently pretty quickly. So based on a market change, or whatever. And that really entertains our obsession with team dynamics. So how does a team become a team? And how do you work on that, that’s one big market that we do a lot of work around. Other one is working with women, I have a massive passion and work with at the moment, I think I have 240 women across the globe, that identify usually in tech companies to be the next future directors. And so there’s a big bucket of work, we love working in it, which is helping women own and create their own career paths, right, we wait for the world and organizations to change. And part of my business is helping those organizations make that change. But we don’t also want to wait, we want to kind of create our own path. So that’s another place we play really solidly. And then the third one is really around executive coaching, which usually, you know, supports those other two, which is really doing the individual work and support to help people really create the lives and the careers that they want

Mimi MacLean

Right. So the women that you’re talking about is that individuals are group sessions.

Amanda Foster

That’s such a great question. I put them into cohorts. So they’ve been looking global, it’s a great day working global cohorts. And then they sort of work in subgroups around building communities of network of sponsorship of sharing, learning. And then there’s also an individual coaching element. So it’s kind of a bit of everything.

Mimi MacLean

Are they mostly corporate executives? Are they are entrepreneurs?

Amanda Foster

Yes, I’m loving these questions, because you’re stimulating my thinking. He has to date been predominantly corporate clients. But one of the areas I’m getting really curious about is being able to offer cohorts for entrepreneurial women, and maybe even mixing them. I mean, how great would it be, I know, the growth of corporate thinking would really be amplified if they met more entrepreneurial women and vice versa. So that’s a dream that I want to move towards.

Mimi MacLean

And that’s great. And then you just kept saying we is it just you? Or do you have other employees or a team?

Amanda Foster

So my wife, actually so you know, one of my big pieces of advice is be really careful and curious about who you choose to spend your life with, who supports your dreams. So my wife runs the other whole half of the business, which is all of the operations. So we are completely different strengths. So that’s a big one when you think about running and setting up and starting a business. And then yet we have sort of a small team of people that support us permanently. And then I have a larger group of associates that I bring in based on projects or needs.

Mimi MacLean

Right. Oh, that’s great.

Amanda Foster

It’s a nice way to scale.

How She Overcame the Fear of Failure

Mimi MacLean

Yeah, exactly. Because you don’t have them permanently on your payroll, especially now in today’s culture of what’s happening, you know, people are working from home and have different side incomes and, and whatnot. So when you launched five years ago, what was the hardest part for you?

Amanda Foster

I think the hardest part for me was actually dealing with my own fears of failure. And what that would mean, for me and my family. And the hardest part was trusting myself because I, one of the things that I did do that I would recommend to a lot of people if you have this opportunity, and you may not was I basically arranged a fairly solid ramp for myself. So when I left corporate life, I went to my last organization and said, I want to go out on my own in x period of time. How about I stay here for the next six to nine months and deliver x and y which I know are really important to you, and then I’ll kind of move on out. So I created this really nice ramp where I knew I was going and I was able to kind of move that forward. So I got a lot of practice. And so I think the hardest thing was trusting myself and my experience to do it.

Mimi MacLean

Mm hmm. And have you had trouble finding clients, either visuals or corporate?

Amanda Foster

Yeah, no, I was super lucky that I think I finished my corporate job on the Friday. And then by the next Monday, I’d been in a mentoring relationship, which I think is a really interesting point for a lot of women, is to try and have as many mentoring relationships that are valuable to you. Because these are often the moments where I called and said, I’m actually leaving. And by sort of the middle of the next week, I already had people kind of reaching out and saying, Can we talk, here’s what’s happening in my organization, and culture. So I have been, and I know, I’ve been really blessed, I’ve been really blessed that we grew really, really quickly, which I think is one of the challenges.

Mimi MacLean

That’s great, again.

Amanda Foster

And super fast in client groups that are all about word of mouth. So they can pass you around, which is brilliant. But we had to grow really quick.

Mimi MacLean

Right and so each of those jobs that you get, are they Is it a long term? Are they usually like short term, like only a couple of weeks?

Amanda Foster

Yeah, I lean or we lean more towards the longer term jobs, because that’s where I believe the impact actually comes. I don’t believe that, you know, we as complicated and beautiful human beings change overnight. So tend to curate them to be longer. But sometimes they are, you know, a keynote here or whatever. But I believe the impact is in the longer term work for us anyway.

Mimi MacLean

That’s great. I’d love to touch back on the mentorship that you are mentioning, because I don’t think that’s talked enough about, especially amongst women, because I look back on my career, and I don’t really have any mentors, like, and I think that’s a fault to me, because I never really knew how important they are. And like I never asked, right, yeah, I never kind of developed it, I have people that I look up to like past boss and whatnot from my other jobs that I admired. And I looked up to, but I never kind of solidified that, like, Hey, will you be my mentor, and will you kind of advise me, and I feel like that is really, I think a point to get across to, you know, my listeners or to younger people who are getting out in the world is like, find your mentors. So my question to you is, how would you recommend to somebody to find mentors? Or and what would you say to them? Do you come out? And specifically say, can you be my mentor? Or do you kind of just like, finess it a little bit and have it more be like, you know, more of a relaxed relationship, like in your mind they’re a mentor, but they don’t even know that you’re their mentor? You know, I mean, how would you recommend?

Why You Need Agility and Nimbleness To Succeed

Amanda Foster

This has been coming up, because it’s something that in the work that I mentioned I do with women, we spend a lot of time on is this a couple of things related to what you’re asking is this idea of your what is a mentor and wants to do is find a mentor and a sponsor? Right. And I agree with you wholeheartedly that and I’m just going to be I love the male population in the globe. But it’s something that they tend to do really, really well. And women, we don’t tend to do really well. And it’s not generated culturally, for us at college, or whatever. So yeah, I think it is really important to have both, I think it’s really important to have mentors, and it’s really important to have sponsors. I’m a little bit more of the relaxed approach that you kind of hinted that which is, you know, that book I, my mother, you know, that kind of children’s mom. Yeah, I don’t believe you go up to somebody and say, unless you might be an early part of your career, and you could say to someone, look, would you could you mentor me, I think that would work totally beautifully. But I think it’s about getting your antenna up. And having a look around about who in your life is inspiring to you is either where you would like to be if you’re younger, and doing things that are interesting, or thinking in a way that you want to be thinking, or maybe able to, if you’re thinking more sponsorship, and mentorship may have the ability to open some doors for you or connect you to people that could be of interest to you. So I think it’s informal. And you see it in the behavior and choices of people. And then if it comes to a point where you need to formalize it by saying I’m going forward for this role, or I want to do this project in my life, and I’d love you to.. Can I ask you to speak on my behalf, it can often become a little bit more formal. Mm hmm. That’s great. That’s great advice. I love it. So can we also talk a little bit about like, so what advice Are you giving anybody who’s in corporate America that kind of wants to go like when you go in and you have a client and they want to, you’re hired, what advice are you giving somebody to kind of climb the ladder? Or if it’s an entrepreneur like what they should do to to be successful? Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I think it’s two different things like slightly different tweaks between those two groups for me. So one thing is if you’re an executive and you want to move up, then the first thing I would say is do it because we need more and more diverse and thought leaders and particularly women kind of moving up, the questions that I would offer to really dig into and consider for yourself is why do you want to do it? Like, what does it give you, and be really as clear as you can about that and reassess it along the way. The other thing I would say is know what trade off, you’re prepared to make for it, and really look that honestly in the eye. And I think that’s really hard. I think that’s really hard to look that in the eye, because then you’ve got to look at some social biases and some of the other tough stuff that we’re working through socially, but really look at it. Because I think if you could do that, then you’ll make some better choices about who it is you want to be as a leader, and how different you want to be or not want to be, and then what companies and what leaders you want to work for to do that. That and I don’t think we my experiences, yet again, particularly is as really talented women, we don’t often think about those things, we are kind of grateful for the opportunities. And that is brilliant. But we don’t kind of map it out and say, I can ask for this. And this is what I want. So that would definitely be one of the things that I would say to people in corporate.

Mimi MacLean

Mm hmm. Well, when I worked in corporate America, a long, long time ago, I had some really good jobs. And one of the jobs is in investment banking. And I remember I mean, I was right out of college. But I remember looking around and seeing all these women who were in their late 30s 40s, who were, you know, the highest level of the company? You know, they were working on Saturday nights, it’s like eight o’clock at night on a Saturday night. Meanwhile, I know they have a family. And kids. I remember thinking. Whoa, this is not what I want to be doing when I have a family working on a Saturday night. So it definitely like makes you realize like, okay, where is the path? And obviously, things have changed so much over the past 20 years that like the work ethic and the flexibility that wasn’t there, right. 20 years is very different. But yeah, I do agree with you like looking around and seeing like, is that how I want to be treated? Or is this the hours I want to be pulling? Or is this the traveling I want to be doing? And how does it fit? I think right now our world is so changing. So who knows what’s gonna happen, like in the next year or two? Like, is it traveling really reduced? Or is going into the office and working those late hours? Is that still there? You know?

Amanda Foster

Yeah, a couple of things really resonate for me with what you’re saying. One is, I think a lot has changed, and a lot has not changed. And so that consciousness and awareness is really important. And then deciding the change agent that you want to be if you’re going to be a senior leader in an organization, like you, when I was moving up through the corporate ranks, I saw so few women that had children, and, and whatever. And so I really felt like I needed to be a groundbreaker to do that. And so I think that’s really, really interesting. And then the other thing I think that you’re bringing up, it’s really interesting is we teach people how to treat us. And so if you’re not clear, going into a role, or when you get promoted, or when you’re starting your own company, what that’s going to be, then you can find yourself at a certain point down the path at a very different place than what you had hoped for. And so I think, really, I think that that’s really important. And that’s, that takes tenacity and resilience and, and stuff on on any given day.

Mimi MacLean

No, that’s true. So you worked with some amazing companies and executives, what attributes or key characteristics would you say makes a successful executive?

Amanda Foster

Yeah, I’ve taken a really interesting shift about that. I think it’s less about attributes. And I think it’s more about qualities that translate into behavior. Because I think attributes have kind of got us to where we are now, which is a leader looks like this. And it’s like a poster on the wall. And I think that’s what’s got us to the leadership culture of where we are in a lot of organizations and, and government and many other places. So I would say it’s more about attributes that lead into behavior. But what I would say that I’m seeing is I’m seeing things like agility, nimbleness, thought leadership, curiosity, which I think is a weird one, but I will get it out that leaders that can really be curious about what’s happening and what what’s going to happen in the future. I think it’s more about that. I think followership Can you manage a multi generational workforce? Can you understand the perspectives and lenses of others? What is it about being diverse and being inclusive? I think they are the massive pivots of leadership now that I really come into the front.

Mimi MacLean

Right? No, it’s true. I definitely I used to think it was just like resilience and grit. But I just actually wrote an article for my website, it’s about how its adaptability and agility, like you said, it’s like Darwin, you know, it’s like the species that lasted the 10s of thousands of years are the ones that adapted to their environment.

Amanda Foster

That’s exactly right. And it’s happening so fast now, you know, with what’s happening with the pandemic, and our social sort of inequality challenges and stuff like that. I think that these qualities in leaders needing to be growing really, really quickly if it’s if it’s not there already. And I think that’s one of the biggest challenges.

How She Has Had To Pivot Her Business During COVID

Mimi MacLean

Right, right. So how is your business changed since COVID? started? Is there different things that you’re getting hired for, different advice that you’re giving?

Amanda Foster

Such an interesting question, it had to pivot really, really quickly. Like, I remember maybe sitting in front of my, you know, my computer on a Friday night, I think, like the first week of March, and just watching everything fall off our calendar. Like we had a calendar that was literally fully booked for the year.

Mimi MacLean

And is that in person?

Amanda Foster

Yeah, that’s a great identification is Yep, pretty much 100% of my work was in person. So planes, or traveling, etc, etc. And then it all changed. So we had to make a really, really big pivot to how would we deliver this support for clients, virtually. So I felt like most of my limbs were cut off and removed, because I felt like most of my skills, which is being able to be in a room, and I did my Master’s in neuro linguistic programming, which is being able to be read body language and language patterns and to support people to grow. I was like, how do I read that, when I cannot really see you from your shoulders up. So we had to pivot really, really quickly. And gain was a technological nothing, right. And so really, really quickly, we had to build some skills to really make this business work online, which I’m sure is probably a case of a lot of you people listening. And I, I really admire that and the pivot most of us have had to make and the courage that takes interestingly, though, the type of work did not change. So we had a month that was really quiet. And then suddenly, I think everybody started to realize this was not, we were not going back to anything, we are only going forward to something, right. And I remember the day I realized that and it was really profound. Because I kept saying, I will go back and I’ll be in person. And yes, I will, to some degree, but I had to pivot quick. So the work hasn’t changed. It’s just the how and so now how are we helping them? I think it’s kind of similar, but it’s deeper. It’s really about how do we help our clients at the individual and team level pivot really quickly, as leaders and as teams and as organizations and culture, because I believe Mimi that the culture of a team is made up of the individuals on it, the values that they’re holding and the experiences that they’re having in any given moment. And we’re all having reconnections to our values. What do I want in my life like pandemics offer that kind of stuff. So I think it’s really helping the companies pivot around that and get really clear on that redefine who they are, redefine what being a leader is, and leading people that are in a pandemic, and then sustainability. Like how do we help our clients have the stamina? My clients are exhausted. My parents are exhausted. My mom clients, my everybody is exhausted. And so how do we also help them with sustainability? So that people work in a weird way.

Mimi MacLean

There’s no OFF button. The other thing I’ve been thinking about, I don’t know if you’ve had experience with this. So I’m just gonna ask is I feel badly for all these graduates from college who just graduated that are starting work? Yeah. And their first day of work is on a zoom call or working from home? Like, have you had experience with any of these corporations having to kind of get these new employees working and part of this culture? Like how do you get them a part of a culture when they’re at home by themselves?

Amanda Foster

Yeah, it’s so true. I’m actually doing a lot of that will getting asked to do a lot more of that kind of work is how do we get how do we help them think about creative ways to bring that on board and to create virtual buddying systems and mentoring systems and things like that, and it’s interesting gets back to something that you asked me earlier actually, that I forgot is next week, I’m actually starting to help design a mentoring program. This is a great give back love passion project for yes university students that are feeling this complete loss of the experience that they think Though we’re gonna have the connection that they were going to have. And so you know, maybe we keep chatting about that maybe we watch that space. But I put my hat in the ring to really help design some programs that hopefully will go out to thousands of young people to help us think about that. But I’m happy to share as I learn more,

Creating A Positive Company Culture During The Era of WFH

Mimi MacLean

Oh, that’d be great. For anybody who is listening and has a smaller company that doesn’t have a lot of employees and they’re growing. What advice would you give them to create a positive culture? Like off the bat? They’re starting with a clean slate, right? So they don’t have to fix anything? Yeah. So what would you How do they get off on the right foot?

Amanda Foster

Yeah, these might be weird answers. So you challenge me if I’m not answering it, but I feel like, I think you create a clean culture by being supersonically clear about what you’re about. Because one of the things is small companies, I think, and I experienced it myself is, you think that to be successful, you kind of need to be all things to all people, right. And so you kind of go out a little wishy washy in every way, to the people that you’re looking to attract as team members. And so that creates the culture. So I would say be as specific as you can about who you’re going to be and what you’re going to deliver. Right, because that’s confusing to clients. And it’s really, really confusing to anybody that you’re trying to attract to do work with you. So I would say be as specific as you can. Because then it helps other people say I want to be part of that dream, and I want to help you build it. And I think that’s really important to the culture is honesty and transparency about what that journey might be like, like, What don’t you know, about? We’re going to be what, what do you think this is gonna be like, so I think being really honest, and transparent is really, really important. I think, setting up what the work culture is going to be like, like actually deciding what that’s going to be really, really early, and then making that attractive to other people. So I’ll give you an example in my life, is, I find that there’s amazing amounts of women at my point of career, and and then maybe greater men as well. But I just seem to have met an amazing amount of women who are crazy experienced, got off the treadmill at some point to have a family do something and whatever. And then a will wanting to look for a different work structure. Now COVID is probably starting to introduce that more, but before COVID. So I tend to to create a culture that is attractive to that attractive to people that can say to me, Amanda, I want to do 12 hours a week, I used to be the head HR person at x company, I want to do 12 hours a week. This is ideally when I want to do it. And I need to pick up my kids in the middle of whatever. So I think my suggestion would be be really clear about the culture that you want, and be really honest about it. And think about how you can be as creative as you can to create something that makes it appealing to somebody’s whole life.

Mimi MacLean

When you’re startup and your lean finances lean time, you don’t have a lot, right, like you’re being stretched. I think a lot of times, it’s hard, I’ve experienced this. And I’ve talked to other people who have to where it’s hard to just actually stop and take the time to develop your new people or to have that feel good stuff that you’re supposed to do, right, you know, a conversation on Monday morning, or that stuff that you’re supposed to stop and make them feel like they’re a part of the team. Whereas instead you’re like, we’re all just running. So just keep running, catch up and just keep running. Right. So it’s kind of hard as an entrepreneur, I think to stop or CEO where you’re wearing a lot of hats.

Amanda Foster

Yeah, I think that is true. You know, that’s a great point. Because I think you’re right, as the CEO, or the founder or whatever language you want to use, you tend to be 10 steps ahead. You don’t necessarily think about just taking I call it the power of the pause, which is just actually stopping and saying where am I? Where’s everybody else? In my wonderful world right now who’s helping me build this vision? And where do I need to offer them insight? Where do I need to offer them support? Where do I need to offer them a moment? Particularly, I think in this time, I think that that’s really, really important. Right? Yeah, right. Building somebody else’s dream. Yes, typically only fulfilling in my experience to a certain point. So you can be and I’m not saying people are, but you could be inspired by me, and what I want to do and whatever, there’s gonna be a point where doing it for me, it has to have something in it for them. So what are they wanting to do as part of this organization? And what can they add? I think that you can often miss that as a CEO.

Mimi MacLean

Right? Do you give advice because I find with working with people, I tend to like to let people have a lot of slack a lot of leway, it’s kind of like, you rise to the occasion. I’m not gonna lie micromanage you, because I don’t have time to do that. Yeah. What advice do you give to people? or What are the signs? Because sometimes that doesn’t work for everybody, right? Sometimes, some employees, like take advantage of that, right? And then the next thing, you know, like, they’re at the beach, or they use your credit card and, you know, have racked up bills or whatever, you know, taking advantage of the situation, instead of just being like, wait, I see that this person is giving me a lot of responsibility, I need to rise to the occasion. What advice do you give people? Or is there a sign to notice who those people are? Before they do that? You know.,

Amanda Foster

Yeah, I think so much in that maybe I’m a big believer in contracting, but I believe it in every aspect of my life, with clients with contractors that are working with me or team members, or my kids and my wife, actually, which is this idea of yes fairly much at the beginning. You know, you can definitely give Slack, but you give slack around what we know, are they kind of agreed terms? Because if not, I often don’t feel like I’m setting someone up for success. So this is kind of how we do things around here, which is about culture, right? Like, it’s getting back to the question you asked earlier, which is interesting, which is how do you tell people what life is like as part of your team? And what’s the kind of unsaid contract? Yeah, we don’t use a credit card for this is a credit card for that, or whatever, you know, you just kind of contract around the things that matter to you or the culture of your organization, and then you let people then they know the boundaries, then they know that other places where they can be thought leaders, and they can be creative, and they can do something else. That’s what I do. The things that I think you want to really be looking out for is how do people build trust? Right, because you’re right, I mean, I profile people, you know, part of my job is often profiling leaders and helping them understand who they are and how they work and how they make decisions. And then putting groups of people together. And what does that mean, for a board of directors or something like that? I think that’s important, even in your own business. Like if you even think about how do you build trust, right? People are typically either, I’m going to simplify it. And I know a lot of people listening will notice, right, you’re either someone that comes in with the trust equation, a cop if you think about like a glass full or empty. So I either coming to you, I’m someone that comes in with a glass half full. So the trust is there to either be maintained or potentially lost, right? By behavior or choices that either one of us make, but some people that I work with, and I’m blessed to partner with our MT and you want it, I think you really want to notice that early on, and actually ask questions about it. So that you can understand how you actually build trust, or in my field, that’s called psychological safety that allows you to not have to guess, with team members about how much you can give them and how much they’ll take. You can kind of contract earlier on. Yeah,

Mimi MacLean

I trust everybody. I’m just one of those people. Like, why wouldn’t they work hard? Why wouldn’t I just kind of assume they’re like me? And I guess, maybe sometimes that’s not the right. assumption. But you know, I kind of until you prove me otherwise, I’m just going completely trust you. So that’s the right way to?

Amanda Foster

Yeah, well, you could I mean, you could ask really cool questions like, What do you need? What do you need in terms of boundaries, processes, knowledge, and whatever, to do your best work? What do you know about yourself? That’s true. That’s a good way of putting it, I want to ask you team members, things like that. And through that, you would then get a sense because I might say, you know what, I’m someone that actually makes quite a bit of detail. So I need to kind of know what what you want to measure, and then I’ll go for it. You want to know that so that you don’t waste three months working that out? Because when you’re running your own company, and it’s new, every minute matters. I know, I know, every minute in my life is pretty cool. So I learned really early on that I don’t have time to take three months to learn that so ask people don’t don’t try. I call it crystal balling. Like, right. We expect people to read your mind and whatever. And particularly when you’re starting a new company, you don’t often have that time. So ask people.

Don’t Go For Perfection – Go For Progress

Mimi MacLean

Right? Okay, so the last question is What advice last minute advice that you would give any other CEOs or anybody else starting out with the company?

Amanda Foster

Oh, my gosh, that could be a four hour conversation. Let me give you the the top ones. Maybe it’s like the david letterman, top five or whatever. Yeah, I would say start before you think you’re ready. Don’t go for perfection. Go for progress. And get out there and learn on the road, if you can, I would say resource up to whatever degree that you don’t have the skills and capability quicker than you think. Because often in small companies, you think I shouldn’t be spending money on having, in my case, an accountant. But I’m useless at that side. So put a value on your time and make more revenue and resource up sooner. That was the best pieces of advice, I started my business at the same time as four friends. And only two of us are still going. And I actually think it got down to the fact that they tried to be everything within their organization as well. And they just couldn’t do it, and they burnt out. So that would be fine. I would say with decision making, going all across the board here with decision making, use more than just your head. Use your head, then use your gut and then use your heart and kind of say, what is my gut say about whether I should take this piece of work? Or how I should do it? And then say, what does my heart say and use all three, I use my brain a lot. And I’ve noticed since I’ve started my own company, I needed to use the other two if I was going to stay on track with why I was doing this for my whole life, and consistently reassess alongside your values. So stop every now and again and say, am I still doing this for why I did it? Or have I lost my way? Because I think when you’re doing a start up, it’s really easy to lose your way and be working 18 hours a day and not be doing it for why you did it, whatever those reasons are.

Mimi MacLean

Mm hmm. That’s great.

Amanda Foster

I tell you, I really, really learned a lot doing this.

Mimi MacLean

Right. You learn as you go. This has been great advice. I really appreciate you coming on. I thank you so much.

Amanda Foster

My pleasure.

Mimi MacLean

So thank you again.

Amanda Foster

You’re welcome.

Mimi MacLean

Thank you for joining me on the badass CEO podcast. If you enjoyed today’s episode, please leave a review and see you next time. Thank you

Where To Find Amanda and More About Her Businesses

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Top 10 Tips For Every Entrepreneur

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