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In this episode, Heather speaks with Sarah Pierre Louis, Sr. Manager Marketing Team Development for Tableau Software (recently acquired by Salesforce) about her leadership style, and her fascinating approach to helping her team come up with their “why” and their own solutions. She talks about the times when she got in her own way while leading a team and how she made her way out of it.
- Ask our people what they want or what they are trying to accomplish to help them answer their own questions.
- Ask yourself what your people need from you on an individual level.
- When things are crazy, and you want to make a decision, pause first.
- Think of three things every day that went well to help in re-framing and moving past stuck.
Sarah Pierre-Louis continues with her passion to inspire by serving as the team developer and career coach for Tableau Software’s marketing department. As a champion for Diversity and Inclusion, Sarah serves on the company’s council and contributes her experience to ensure an innovative and diverse working environment.
In professional and personal life she is grateful to spend her time helping others realize their dreams through coaching and development. Sarah also volunteers for Rainier Scholar program and is on the board of ACT theater.
Following My Heart
I just followed my heart on what I want to do, and that is coaching. I actually visualized that I wanted to do it, but I didn’t know how that was going to go. But some time while I was working, the management came to me and asked me to be a coach for the marketing department at Tableau Software. Because of that, I was able to create my job from the ground up.
I really want to bring compassion and kindness back into the corporate world, because it is important to me. That’s why I really put my heart into my work.
I love my job, not because things are perfect, but because I really enjoy what I do. When you really enjoy what you’re doing, that light shows up on your face and affects how you show up, and how you inspire other people.
Bringing The Magic
I like bringing the magic out in people and situations.
We all have something we’re really good at, or something we’re really passionate about. Hence, a lot of times, we get called up and people would say, “Here’s what I think I should be doing,” or, “Here’s the direction I think I want to go.”
But, I try to sit down and go, “What do you really want? What is it that you really want? What do you think drives you? What’s the intention behind what you want?”
Having those conversations has always been so amazing. I get to watch people wing it. Some people go forward their career routes. Then, they find the thing that they really wanted to do and create it in their own way. I’m very lucky that I get to watch people create their careers, and more so their personal lives. It’s so rewarding and it really helps me.
I put the mirror up and have you look at yourself. What would make you get up in the morning and even if it’s not the greatest day, you would just say that you really want to go to work?
Early in my career, I got caught up with the direction I want to go. I was just into going and climbing the ladder, but not asking why I wanted this, what it is I’m trying to do, or what my real ultimate goal is.
Now I’m finding millennials to be very much immediate, such as a promotion every two years. So, I make them sit down and ask, “Why? Where are you trying to go? What are you trying to do? What is your ultimate goal?”
Once I get them talking about it, they realize that their goals are different from their desire.
Taking the Ego Out
When I managed for the first time, I was new to the company and they asked me to create a department, thus the pressure. That time, the second person I hired wasn’t motivated and honest. He was not showing up really well, so I took it personally. I let the ego get involved.
Hence, for three months it was hell. I was trying to get him fired. I was trying to get rid of him because I wanted to get rid of the situation. My ego was hurt. In my mind, if he was doing this, maybe I am not a good leader.
But when I stopped and took the ego out, I went, “What does this young man need from me?” So we sat down. We had an honest conversation and realized that he was bored. He was not being pushed and driven.
I found out that he wasn’t quite ready to transition to the next thing he wanted but there was a place in between. So, we started mentoring him to go to that position. Once we changed, we took the ego out, and really just focused on moving him forward. Afterwards, he moved, got the new job, grew and went on to be one of our best sales representatives.
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