Episode 39 – Lyndsey Oliver A.K.A The Chief MsChief Maker

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Today’s guest is Lyndsey Oliver, AKA the Chief MsChief Maker

Lyndsey is the founder and director of M4 Coaching and creator of Back to Work without a Bump® and Making MsChief®, the groundbreaking programmes designed to help retain, support and unleash the true potential of all human beings regardless of their labels.

Lyndsey is a champion of working Mums and an advocate of gender balance in the workplace. She’s passionate about helping parents (both male and female), female leaders and female business owners become the best versions of themselves, both in and out of work.

I was introduced to Lyndsey by a former colleague and listener to the show who had worked with her through their parental leave and said that I had to get her on the show.

The challenges that Lyndsey helps Consultants with are ones that many people in our industry deal with every day but ones that rarely get the attention they deserve. Knowing the positive impact that Lyndsey had had on this listener and others in my network I knew she’d make a fantastic guest and she certainly didn’t disappoint.

We cover some really deep topics in this interview including:

  • The barriers that hold women back from climbing the career ladder – both structural and self imposed – and what Consulting firms and female leaders themselves can do to break through these.

  • The relationship challenges that can face some Consultants as a result of the job and the conversations you should be having with your partner to ensure you’re able to manage them.

  • The challenges that parents face when it comes to building a career in Consulting and what their firms and they can do to manage these to help them achieve the balance of home and work life they’re looking for.

  •  And finally, What those of us who are white men, like me, can do when it comes to diversity and inclusion in Consulting and how we can help improve it.

This was a fantastic interview and we go in to detail on all of these topics. So much so we got carried away after the interview and kept going. As you’ll hear towards the end of today’s episode I’ve actually put some of our post interview conversation back in because I thought it was such an important topic for you to hear.

For any regular listeners you’ll also know that I often ask my guests for resources that they’d recommend you check out if you want to work on any of the things that we discuss.

To help you with this Lyndsey has created a free workbook that you can use to help you identify your own biases – both conscious and unconscious – and start to think about how you can make positive changes to reduce these in day to day live.

Whether you’re a senior leader who is looking to be the best role model they can be or a junior consultant looking to understand more about themselves I’d highly recommend checking this out.

 If you want to download the workbook you can find it on Lyndsey’s website – www.makingmschief.com/free-workbook and I’ve put the link in the show notes for you.

You can get in touch with Lyndsey through her LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/lyndsey-oliver/

Or check out her website – www.makingmschief.com

Specific things we discussed in the show:

The DO lectures – https://www.thedolectures.com/

Making MsChief – https://www.makingmschief.com/

The Path of a Doer by David Hieatt and Andy Smith – https://amzn.to/2taGYfj

Tim Ferriss – http://bit.ly/2RMmPWW

Brene Brown – https://brenebrown.com/

Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown – https://amzn.to/2GsM9PC

Dare to Lead by Brene Brown – https://amzn.to/2WMGGsB

Brene Brown TED talk – https://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability?language=en

The Invention of Difference by Binna Kaandola & Jo Kaandola – https://amzn.to/2RNOUNi

Women Who Run With The Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estés – https://amzn.to/2MU6rTm

Fierce Fairytales by Nikita Gill – https://amzn.to/2TJzYSx

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson – https://amzn.to/2GfLdyH

What we talk about:

00:07:04 – Lyndsey’s background and how she got to where she is today.

00:11:04 – Why Lyndsey decided to leave her successful corporate career.

00:16:46 – The glass ceiling – what holds women back from climbing in their career, both structural and self imposed.

00:23:40 – Lyndsey’s recommendations for the best children’s TV shows from a diversity and inclusion perspective.

00:25:25 – Why a ‘lack of confidence’ is rarely the real issue that female leaders face.

00:30:20 – The Dilts Pyramid and why it’s so important for your career success.

00:35:29 – The structural challenges within Consulting and what firms should be thinking about if they want to improve diversity and inclusion within their firm.

00:40:59 – How can Consulting firms balance their career progression and reward structures to support both those who want to prioritise their careers above other areas of their life as well as those who are looking for more balance across the different areas.

00:49:06 – The impact that social media and external validation can has on our career decisions and choices as we pursue ‘success’.

00:57:52 – Why flexible working would transform Consulting and those that work in the industry.

01:00:51 – How Consulting leaders can support their team in balancing their career with other aspects of their lives.

01:04:00 – The challenges that ‘high flying’ couples face and what you and your partner should be thinking about if you want to maintain a health relationship while climbing the career ladder.

01:10:00 – The warning signs that can tell you whether your relationship is suffering as a result of your career.

01:15:45 – The importance of understanding yourself and why this is critical to developing a successful Consulting career.

01:18:00 – Self Improvement Books and whether they’re seen as ‘acceptable’ by our industry.

01:27:53 – The challenges that expectant and new parents face when it comes to their career and how they can successfully overcome them.

01:32:06 – How parents can manage the challenges of travelling for work with bringing up a family.

01:38:30 – The specific career challenges that men face when their partners are pregnant and what they and their managers should be talking about to ensure they get the support they need.

01:42:50 – The positive and negative impacts of company policy when it comes to diversity and inclusion.

01:47:10 – How the challenges that parents face change as their children get older and how they can manage these challenges are their children grow up.

01:52:42 – What ‘white men’ can do to support and improve diversity and inclusion in Consulting.

1:58:37 – Lyndsey’s book recommendations.

02:06:00 – Lyndsey’s closing advice for you whether you’re just starting out in Consulting, in the middle grades or approaching Partner level.

02:08:10 – How to get in touch with Lyndsey.

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