CHANGING THE WORLD ONE SISTER AT A TIME: LAUREN HISEY, TRANSFORMATION LEADER & CHANGE AGENT
Welcome to The Sisterhood Report. I am Kimberly Faith, your host. We are in a changing world, my sweet sisters, and it's such an exciting time. But I hear from a lot of you, you’d like to think about what all of these changes mean for you, for your life, and the life of women in general, but who has time? But the good news is, I've done the heavy lifting for you. And each episode of The Sisterhood Report, I sit down for a one-on-one conversation with a guest who is an influencer in their own way; and together we connect the dots. So, let me ask you, what if you could see the much larger story unfolding? What if you could learn new ways of thinking that could absolutely revolutionize the way you and other women see themselves, each other in the world? Well, the fact is that we can change the world one woman, one sister at a time. It starts with you and me. Right here, right now.
Kimberly Faith: (01:00)
Our next guest, Lauren Hisey is one who I have had the pleasure to know for the past few years. She was a participant in one of my classes and I have had the experience to be able to watch her grow from one step to the next, as she has really stepped in to take charge of her overall leadership brand. She is known as a season transformational leader, a mentor coach, data analyst. She currently works with Nielsen and certainty supports other companies as well. So, I appreciate how much zest she has had and actually jumping into the driver's seat of her career. And I think you'll find her story quite inspiring. Please welcome, Lauren. Today I'm thrilled to have Lauren Hisey with me. Lauren, Hello!
Lauren Hisey: (01:47)
Kimberly Faith: (01:48)
So, where does our paths cross? Lauren? So, I'm curious about what you remember and I will share with our listeners what I remember because I had a very specific reason for why I invited you on this podcast today.
Lauren Hisey: (02:00)
Okay. The first time I met you was probably, let me think about this, about a couple of years ago. When I was working at Nielsen. And, you came in and you did a presentation with Black Sheep on our presentation skills. And how our presence is in how we deal with that in our everyday life. And, how we deal with that and everyday in the business. And how we can grow from being not, maybe, not being heard, to being heard much better. And ourselves, and how we handle ourselves on talking with executives or just talking with people in general. And that's right. Yeah. That's my, that's I remember that. And I remembered that when I first met you, it was very, meeting you and hearing that presentation was very empowering to me.
Kimberly Faith: (02:49)
Okay. And so, and so why was that? Why was that? And I'll share with them the rest of our journey together because we've actually had a much longer journey and it's been so interesting and inspiring for me to watch your personal transformation, but I want to see if we can remember what it was like back then. So, when you walked into that program. What was it like and why was it that it stood out to you?
Lauren Hisey: (03:09)
One of the biggest things that stood out to me when I walked into that program, I wasn't really sure where I wanted to be. Right then at that point, I had been, at that point, I'd been with Nielsen for a couple of years. I had moved over to Nielsen from AT&T and I was trying to figure out how can I grow and how, which way I wanted to go with myself. And how I wanted to go in my career; and trying to understand what's the best way to handle myself in front of those executives, in front of people in general, and understanding what was my next path in life.
Kimberly Faith: (03:46)
Okay. Well then what was really interesting for me because, probably a year or two later, I then launched an online course called Breakthrough Branding to give people more detail about how they could build their leadership brand. Because I saw that people really wanted the mechanics of it. And you actually went through my pilot program.
Lauren Hisey: (04:04)
Right. That's right. And that, yeah, it was great. That was a great course.
Kimberly Faith: (04:08)
And why was that? So, I mean, because part of what I asked you, the reason I invited you as a guest is because you went to a course, you then did the online course and then you actually read the book. And I've been watching your progression over time and I'm seeing a different Lauren emerge. And so I wanted to take us back on a journey of what was, what does personal transformation look like? What are the steps? Because it's not like a light switch, right? It doesn't happen overnight.
Lauren Hisey: (04:34)
No, it's not. No.
Kimberly Faith: (04:36)
And so I'm trying to take us back in time, as if this was kind of my virtual time machine. So, what was happening to you when you first came to the class. But then when you took the online course, you really dove deep into that. And I was so impressed about how much attention you invested in yourself. So what were some of the nuggets that came out to you there and new awareness maybe that you had?
Lauren Hisey: (04:58)
Yeah, that's a good question. One of the biggest things I did when I saw that you are offering that pilot, I was so excited to see that because you made such an impression on me the first time I met you. And then when I started the class, I was just so excited because you gave me the tools to move forward. And like you said, it wasn't something that happened overnight. And the growth probably took me a good year, year and a half. But you gave me those little tools to just kind of start moving forward. And I started making small changes every day. It wasn't a big change overnight. Anything over that year, year and a half doing those small changes started to make me feel like I had the confidence in the power within myself to move forward.
Like I said, I moved from Tampa to Atlanta just recently this year. And one of the things I was trying to figure out, I had interviewed with other companies because I thought maybe living in Atlanta might be a good time to move my career into another company. But, when I was going through interviews, I wasn't really sure what I was looking for. And then after speaking with my husband about it, one of the things he said, well, you've always talked about starting your own business. Why don't you start your own business? And that's where I finally took time upon myself and to reflect on what exactly I really wanted to do. And I love what I do as a lean six sigma black belt. I love helping people or organizations improve their processes.
But I wanted to start doing something for myself, and more, and give myself the power that I needed to move forward. So, that's when I decided, about a month and a half, two months ago, that I really wanted to move forward this dream I've always had. And at that same time I was thinking about doing that I read your book. And by reading your book, it just, I felt that it just hit, it just hit me on the head saying, this is the time for you to move. Even though I am comfortable at Nielsen. I think I'm getting a little too comfortable, where I'm ready to challenge myself and put myself out there to be risky. And when I read your book, I think there was a couple, it was a Gabriela mindset.
Kimberly Faith: (07:24)
I need permission or approval.
Lauren Hisey: (07:26)
Right. And now I don't, I realize I don't need that permission. Even though I had asked my husband, he was the one that just pushed me. He said, you don't need my permission. You just need to go do it. Right. And then I realized myself that I can move forward within that confidence. And then I'll say with the.....
Kimberly Faith: (07:44)
Interesting! You know what’s interesting Lauren, you'll laugh at this because part of what I want to tap into is why as women do we sometimes hold ourselves back in that respect. I was coaching someone from England the other day and she also was talking about the sisters from the book. And she, that was one of hers too, that needing permission and approval and we were working with her on her leadership brand words. And she obviously was a visionary leader, but she had a hard time saying that. And I said, you can say you're a visionary leader and here's what she said to me. So I want your reaction, because I think you will really understand that she said, what right do I have to declare myself a visionary leader?
Lauren Hisey: (08:21)
Oh, that's a good one.
Kimberly Faith: (08:24)
So, why do we do that, Lauren? So I mean, who is this transformation for you? I'll tell you what I said to her in just a bit, but even for yourself, where is it that we begin to learn that we have to look for that and, and what does it feel like to begin to step out of it, including the good and the bad.
Lauren Hisey: (08:41)
I wouldn't say that we think, we probably think like that when we start as kids. Probably because, you know, when we are growing up, my brother, like for example, my brother was always allowed to pretty much go out and do whatever you wanted to do. But I always felt like I had to ask permission to go and do things. And I think that's probably where it started because it's probably more, sometimes it's a cultural thing. Women didn't always have the power to go out and do things that they wanted to do or have the strength within themselves to say, hey, I can do whatever I want and I can do, I mean, when I remember going to college, I would ask my dad, is it okay if I study political science? And he said, you can do whatever you want to do. At that point I should have started to pivot even more when I was younger. But then you know, we just grow up in these mindsets. And I think that's where a lot of it comes from. And one of the things you helped me realize is that, I like innovation. I like encouraging people to think out of the box and be innovative and not think about the old ways. And I think that's one of the rights you gave me to help me figure that out.
Kimberly Faith: (09:52)
Well and what's so been so powerful about this work and just personal transformation is seeing people shift. I mean, because that's really, it's huge. And that was what was so fun for me to watch you. And what I ended up telling her you'll laugh is then she said, what right do I have to declare myself a visionary leader? And I said, well, Honda, if you're waiting for someone to come and, and you know, tap you on the shoulder and say, you are now a visionary leader, then I'll do that for you. I hear by decree, you're a visionary leader. We were chuckling at that. Maybe, us as women, we could do that for each other a little more often.
Lauren Hisey: (10:23)
Yeah, I definitely love to, I tried to do that. I mean, one of my biggest things like to do is mentoring girls and, or students, you know, and it's so funny. We still have that mindset today and so hopefully teaching young people’s minds is a way to go forward.
Kimberly Faith: (10:42)
Well, and what was really fun is I happened to see you the day I went back for another program and I saw you the day after I think you finished the book. And you said the book opened your eyes, but I was curious if you would just share what was it that resonated with you? Was it just an awareness? Was it seeing yourself in the story? As I tried to develop tools to help and inspire women for their personal transformation? I was curious if you could share that.
Lauren Hisey: (11:06)
Yeah, I saw myself in the mindsets. I was, it's really interesting that you brought that out of me, like a light bulb went off my head. So yeah, that's me. I think I resonated with all of the mindsets. I'm like, we all do that. And we don't realize that as, I think that's more with women than it is men, that we have to, [feel like] I have to meet everything, I have to do everything. Well, why do I have to?
Kimberly Faith: (11:34)
Yeah. If I have to meet all the demands. Right.
Lauren Hisey: (11:36)
Right. Yeah. And the permission and I just, I felt like I saw myself in every one of those mindsets and it was very interesting to read the transformations of the stories of those different mindsets. And I think that's what, that's why it really just resonated with me so much.
Kimberly Faith: (11:54)
That's powerful. That's very powerful. And, you know, when you talk to young women now and you're trying to encourage them, what do you listen for? And how do you encourage them to get past the fear? Because each time that we take some of these steps, we actually have to cross over a threshold of ourselves, out of our comfort zone. So, what do you say to them about that subject?
Lauren Hisey: (12:16)
Oh, a lot. So, I have a good example. I was mentoring a young lady at, from University Of South Florida. And we had lunch one day. She comes in and she just, she didn't look right, and then she just started having tears around us, because I asked her how she was doing. And she had just come from a career fair, where, it was a man, told her that she can't have everything. She can't have the good job and a family because that's not successful. And so, I asked her, said, well, what do you think is successful? And she said, having a family and having a good job, something that, the job that makes me happy. I said, well then that's your success. And I told her, don't ever let anyone define what you're success is. Your success is your own. And you don't need someone to tell you how you're going to turn out. Right after I told her that, she just, her eyes were wide open and then we had a whole conversation on what’s successful. And how she can move forward, and what's her best path to get to where she wanted to get to. And she was just so absolutely so excited.
Kimberly Faith: (13:30)
Powerful that you were able to do that. And you know what she was tapping into there, that was that story reminds me of is what I call the Narrative in the book. So, the Narrative is like each woman, baby girl when she's born is given this book that's already half written by someone else. And we hear this Narrative over and over, whether it's instances like that, whether it's our articles we read; and I think becoming more aware of the Narrative and I put Narrative with a capital N, so we begin to see it for what it is. But as you well experienced, for a long time, we don't. Now that your eyes are opened, you then are opening other people's eyes. So, how does that Narrative show up Lauren? Because we obviously hear it repeatedly.
Lauren Hisey: (14:11)
Yeah. How has that Narrative show up? You know a perfect example; my husband and I were at a dinner party the other day and the women there were a little older than me. And I was sitting there and talking to them and they kept asking me, well what does your husband do? What does your husband do? And you know, I tell them and then I'm sitting there waiting. Well why, I'm just like thinking to myself, why aren't they asking me what I do? Because, I have a really nice job, too, as well. And I think, the reason why that narrative is always written for us, when we're born, is because it was just how the old standards were. And I think that's part of the problem is trying break through those old mindsets. It's just not just not, you know, the old folks it’s probably people that are younger too. So, and that's one thing I've been very blessed to having a great husband who has always been very encouraging to me. And he's never had that old mindset like that, where he could be like, he's a gentleman, but at the same time he encourages me. And he’s just like, “you have all this power, you have all this strength and I want you to succeed.” He was, I'm successful, you're successful. That makes us a successful team. And I think that if we had more people thinking like that, I think that would help us move, as women, move forward.
Kimberly Faith: (15:32)
Absolutely! I liked the way you say that and what's interesting is now, so I'm curious, do you see the Narrative more clearly versus before? So, like there are two ways that you could have responded to that dinner party. You could have gone home and just fell a little bit defeated and, you know, things are never going to change. Or you saw the narrative for what it is. And then, you know, you decided to say, okay, I'm not going there today, but I'm looking for how it's like you put on a new lens when you begin to step into this and how do you see it differently? Because that's what it takes. If you had not taken these steps and we might still be having some of those old conversations. Does that make sense?
Lauren Hisey: (16:10)
Yes, it does. One of the things I want to do is, when I meet these women again and they ask me how my day went, I think I'm gonna say, oh, I had a great day at work. I did X, Y, Z, and, I'm so proud that I got that done today. I think by changing that, by changing that conversation from what does my husband do to, maybe what do I do; and then maybe have people understand that there's teamwork here. And as women, we need to help encourage, keep encouraging each other. And, yes, we should go ahead.
Kimberly Faith: (16:51)
Now, when you were at Nielsen, I mean you saw a whole wide range of women there as well. And I know Nielsen has a very, very active, women's group. And so, what were some of the conversations that you used to see with women there? Because obviously you're well on your way, Lauren and, and I'm really excited to see where you're going to take this.
Lauren Hisey: (17:07)
Yeah. What, Oh, a lot of the conversations, one of the things that I've always loved about Nielsen is they were very encouraging for women development and women growth. They don't see it as, it's not an old man's world. It's more like, I see a lot of women that are moving up in their ranks and they encourage you. And we encourage each other. And then I also see that a lot of the men are encouraging us as well. Which is one of the reasons why I always loved working for them versus, I worked at AT&T and AT&T I feel sometimes it was kinda had that old man's theory behind it.
Kimberly Faith: (17:47)
Several companies struggle with just shifting that culture. So absolutely. And, so in Nielsen that was always something I saw as well. So, let's talk about that a little bit about the support of men as we change the way the world sees women. What do you see are the two or three things that men can do to support and encourage women in their workplace?
Lauren Hisey: (18:08)
Oh yeah, definitely. What men can do is if men see a woman is, as I would call them in my workshops, a mouse, right? They see a woman that she's a very strong person but not a very outspoken person. Or she may be afraid and not speak. Maybe pull that person aside and maybe offer to help mentor them to become, to have a stronger voice and just show that they are doing really good work. The second thing to do, I think this comes, I would do this more from a husband standpoint and even of father, is to encourage the women in your life, and in your personal life, that they have strength; and that they are really in it, they're good at something. Encourage them to get to develop those skills and not to hold themselves back because someone says they can't do it.
And then probably the third, this is more toward all guys, is if you have any women in your life that are maybe struggling or maybe they don't understand the direction that they want to go, encourage them as friends and maybe help, you know, help them out. And if there's something that you can [help with]; a skill that maybe that you are good at, that you see them struggling with, maybe encourage them, like, you know, mentor them or give them some advice in that way. And then, just always keep encouraging women and girls in your life that they can be powerful in that they can shine.
Kimberly Faith: (19:37)
Absolutely. Absolutely. Because you know, in today's world it's very easy for men to become a little concerned about how this whole women's movement moving forward. And I think the difference for now, versus a few decades ago is, now, I see much more conversation about the fact that we're better together, that this change is going to take both men and women.
Lauren Hisey: (19:57)
Exactly. Exactly. I agree with you 100% on that.
Kimberly Faith: (20:02)
And so, and that's the thing I think it's important for us all to keep telling them is that we're in this together because it doesn't have to be that women are better, or men are better. We both have qualities that we bring that are very, very strong. And so, when you concur, I loved your advice about encouraging men to be able to do that. And the role of fathers because I actually have been very surprised at how many fathers have been interested in the book and have shared it with their adult daughters. Can we talk a little bit about dads and just in general, why is it that the voice of our father sometimes can have such a big impact on how we move forward?
Lauren Hisey: (20:41)
Oh yeah, that's a good question. So, I think, from my personal experience, I always saw my dad is the breadwinner in the family. And he was more of the breadwinner of the family and my mom kind of, stood in the background and you know, did her own thing. But that wasn’t because I think it wasn't because my dad, you know, just didn't encourage her and back her. He did encourage, in fact, she had started her own business and encourage her to keep moving forward. But then I think my mom held herself back. So, when I saw that I was thought, I saw my dad as the breadwinner in the family and I thought, well, that's the way it should be. And so for fathers, I think for fathers that are in that situation is that if they can encourage their daughters, because like my dad always encouraged my mom, they encourage their daughters to kind of build up their skills and build up their confidence and tell them that they can go out and do anything that they put their mind to. I think that would change the whole mindset of the men. Men should always be the breadwinner and then women should always, you know, not be the breadwinner. It's like you said, it's, yeah, nowadays, it takes a team. Men and women. And I see it a lot with like friends and stuff where the men and women are both working and sharing all their responsibilities together because that's how you make it in this world today.
Kimberly Faith: (22:07)
Well, I think that's very powerful and I know as you've read in the book, you know, I came from an experience where things did not work for the family. So, all of a sudden my homeworker mother was catapulted into the workplace unexpectedly. And I watched that very challenging struggle. Now that she's retirement, she never really quite recovered from. So, I think it's really important for us to begin to look at families holistically because we just licensed that way. You never know what's going to happen.
Lauren Hisey: (22:33)
Exactly.Yeah. And that's like, go ahead, go ahead. I said, yeah, and that's one of the things when my husband and I were deciding whether to go from Tampa to Atlanta and we were moving here because of my, for my husband's job, he got transferred up here. But we made that decision together. Like what if we stayed in Tampa, what would happen? If we move to Atlanta, what would happen? And like that's what you said, putting together as a team; because trying to figure out what's the best course of action for both of us to move forward in our careers, I think that was the deciding factor to move up here.
Lauren Hisey: (23:11)
And so what's next for you, Lauren? And I know you're going to build your own consulting business. And anytime that we take on a new adventure, we always have to push through those days that sometimes feels a little overwhelming or fearful. How do you, how do you push through that for yourself? And as we get ready to end the podcast, what are you looking forward to and any final words for women listening?
Lauren Hisey: (23:32)
Yeah. So, to make that decision to even just start the business was a huge stepping stone for me. And then, so taking that huge step and taking that leap of faith is something that, I said about two months ago, I realized I couldn't do that overnight. So, at this point I'm still working at Nielsen and I'm going to start this on this side. And then I want to launch by the end of the year, beginning of next year. And then my next steps after that is once I launch, just to keep working both things for awhile and see how I can work that out. But I hope within about a year or so, I can do the consulting business full time. And, what I'm hoping is I can continue to keep all those relationships that I've created at Nielsen and outside of Nielsen and move those forward and make something very successful for myself. And show the world, you know, what I have to offer.
And I hope by doing that I'm encouraging any of the girls that I've mentored in the past see that they are encouraged to continue to grow for themselves. And then also I have my own mentor as well, then, encouraging her and her in challenging times that, you know, she's encouraged me to move forward and hopefully I can encourage her to me forward as well. And my biggest takeaway or story that I want people to understand, is that don't let anything hold you back, from anything. And if you dream it, that dream is then put that into motion set, you know, set that plan. A dream is something that you visualize and then you put that on paper and then you make that plan and we can make things happen.
Kimberly Faith: (25:25)
I love that, Lauren. And the thing I often talk to people about is that motion begets motion. So start the process. Even if it's not perfect yet, start the process. Because as with each step we take, I think we've become better and better and that power we end up moving towards the direction that we want to go.
Lauren Hisey: (25:42)
Definitely. Definitely agree on that.
Kimberly Faith: (25:44)
Lauren, you have been such a bright light to watch, actually gets brighter and brighter and brighter as I've watched your transformation over the few years. It's been such an honor to be part of your journey and I'm, I sincerely look forward to where life is taking you.
Lauren Hisey: (25:58)
All right. Thank you so much Kim. Thank you for being a part of that and give me the tools to move forward.
Kimberly Faith: (26:04)
All right, so you take care Lauren. And listeners, thank you so much for tuning in. We'll talk to you next time.
I hope you found this edition of The Sisterhood Report thought provoking and inspiring. Please know the role you play, in the collective story that is unfolding, is powerful. The world needs you. Yes, you Y O U and everything that you have to offer. Thanks for joining us today. As always, you can find my book, Your Lion Inside on Amazon, 1-800-CEO-READ and all eBook sites. It has been truly my privilege to serve you today, my sweet sisters. Until next time.