030: Carrie Weston: I have to be clear on what I want
Carrie Weston Show Notes
Carrie Weston was given a job offer to leave her current employer. When she looked around, the company had experienced a downturn in sales and a lot of internal movement and uncertainty. A pivotal moment in her career led to a lot of self-reflection. While the time may have been right for others, Carrie decided making a move was not right for her. With an offer in hand, she did something that many others would never do. Listen to Carrie’s story and how she got over the hump.
Carrie was raised in a very conservative, small community just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan called Jenison. She was the middle child of 3 and was 16 years old when her father provided some life-defining direction. “Kid – You are smart. You’re going to college and you are paying for it. Figure it out.”
Being a self-admitted daddy’s girl and being a rule follower by nature, she did just that. She elected to commute from home and attend Grand Valley State University, studying Health Science, where among many other experiences she teacher-assisted anatomy labs working on cadavers.
Carrie held many jobs to pay for this education including: working at a gas station as a cashier and as an automotive parts clerk, waitress, phlebotomist and finally as a second shift shipping dock clerk at an automotive re-manufacturing center.
Proudly, Carrie achieved her first goal by obtaining her Bachelor’s Degree and graduating debt-free by the time she was 22 years old.
After a few technical laboratory jobs, including working in an automotive chemical/metallurgical lab and environmental testing where she ran cyanide analysis every day, she knew she wanted more.
Finally, selling her skills until they agreed to interview her. Carrie landed a job with the company she sought and actively recruited because of their global position, culture and values.
20 years later she is still employed by Amway Corporation and proudly holds the title of Global Voice of the Customer Program Owner for Quality Assurance.
Carrie spends her free time either at sporting events or unplugged and “up north” in Michigan with her 4 boys and husband, where they all actively hunt and fish.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
“Every leader grows over time.“ -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“There’s a whole lot I need to learn and I count on my peers for that.“ -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“I don’t consider myself an island; I have a group of peers.“ -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“Knowing that people are okay in their own world…gets you whole lot farther.“ -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“Just because the time’s right for someone else, doesn’t mean it’s right for me.“ -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“If you’re going to leave you need to know what you’re running to.” -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“If you’re going to run to something are you clear what that is?“ -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“I can choose to get in the hole every day…or I can choose to do something about it.“ -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“I tend to take my view of my career in much shorter sprints.” -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“I’m not interested in the title as a role, I’m more interested in the fit.“ -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“It’s okay to be uncomfortable.“ -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“I should be thankful for what I’m being offered.“ -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
“I’m not really pro-feminist, I’m more pro-knowledge.“ -Carrie Weston Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Carrie Weston was recruited and given a job offer to leave her current employer. When she looked around, her current employer had experienced a downturn in sales and a lot of internal movement and uncertainty. This was a pivotal moment in her career. Carrie decided that a move may have been right for others, but it was not right for her. With an offer in hand, she did something that many others would never consider doing. Listen to Carrie’s story so she can help you move onward and upward faster.
Holding her back from being an even better leader
I tend to have a lot of energy and I need to read my audience better and give them a chance to warm up to my ideas.
Best Leadership Advice Received
It’s okay to be uncomfortable.
Secret to Success
I try to get up every day with an attitude of gratitude.
Best Resources in Business or Life
My peer group and seeking out other leaders.
54 Emotional Intelligence (EQ) Competencies List: Emotional Intelligence has proven to be the right kind of intelligence to have if you want to move onward and upward fasterClick to access edited transcript
Intro: Welcome to the Fast leader podcast where we uncover the leadership like hat that help you to experience, breakout faster and rocket to success. And now here’s your host customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.
Jim Rembach: Thanks Kimberly. Okay Fast leader legion, today I have the opportunity to share with you somebody who I met who when I did meet her I thought, “Men she seems interesting.” And I have to hear her story, and I think it would be a great story for the Fast leader legion and that’s why she’s on the show today, and her name is Carrie Weston.
Carrie was raised in a very conservative small town just outside of Grand Rapids, Michigan called Jenison, Michigan. She was the middle child of three and was sixteen years old when her father provided some life defining direction, he said: “Kid you’re smart, you’re going to college and you’re paying for it, figure it out”. Being a self-admitted daddy’s girl and being a rule follower by nature, she did just that. She elected to commute from home and attended Grand Valley State studying Health Science where among many other experiences she teacher-assisted anatomy labs working on cadavers.
Carrie held many jobs to pay for this education including working at a gas station as a cashier, and as an auto motive park clerk, waitress, phlebotomist, and finally as a second shift shipping dock clerk at an auto motive re-manufacturing center. Probably, Carrie achieved her first goal by obtaining her Bachelor’s degree and graduating debt free by the time that she was twenty-two years old. After a few technical laboratory jobs including working in an auto motive chemical, metallurgical lab, and environmental testing facility where she ran cyanide analysis every day, she knew she wanted more. Finally, selling her skills until they agreed to interview her, Carrie landed a job with a company she sought and actively recruited because of their global position and culture and values. Twenty years later she is still employed by Amway Corporation and probably holds a title of Global Voice for the Customer program owner for quality assurance.
Carrie spends her free time either at sporting events or unplugged up North in Michigan with her four boys and husband where they actively hunt and fish. Carrie are you ready to help us get over the hump?
Carrie Weston: I am
Jim Rembach: Okay. Well, I’ve given our listeners a brief introduction, but can you please tell us what your current passion is so that we can get to know you better?
Carrie Weston: Sure. My current passion is split between spending time with my family, who are my first priority and pride and joy, and then also spending time as a growing leader here at Amway working with my team.
Jim Rembach: So when you talk about growing leader, what does that mean for you?
Carrie Weston: Oh my Gosh! I think every leader grows over time and I’ve been at this formally as a leader for three years, there’s a whole lot that I need to learn and I count on my peers for that and I hope I never lose that.
Jim Rembach: Now you talk about peers, and a lot of us have certain ways that we actually use those peers in order to help us do that growing, what are some of the things that you do?
Carrie Weston: I don’t consider myself an island. I have a group of peers here who have been down the similar path, and even if they haven’t been down the same path they all have great advice and experiences that I can learn from to help me along and guide my journey.
Jim Rembach: Yeah, I think there’s a lot of sources that many of us use in order to do just that. One of the things that we focus on at Fast leader show is leadership quotes because they can give us some insight, different perspective, and things that we otherwise just wouldn’t find on our own. Is there a quote or two for you that kind of does just that? Can you share it with us?
Carrie Weston: Absolutely. I did some reflection on this because there’s been one quote that I’ve held tight to for a very long time and it’s still resonates with me, so I’m not going to change it on you, [Laugh] and that ones from Theodore Roosevelt and it is: “No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.” And I tend to take a very servant leadership approach with my team and family and that one really guides my decisions in what I do.
Jim Rembach: And that’s definitely a good quote and I’ve kind of heard little bit, different versions of that throughout the course of time. I don’t know, for me it just resonates so much when you think about what really motivates people, that intrinsic drive. I also heard one thing that talks about, you know, people would say: “It’s a misnomer to think that you need to make the effort of trying to get people to like you.” Really the effort, it really should be spent around trying to get people to realize that you like them.
Carrie Weston: Right. Knowing that people are okay in their own world and investing time into them and making sure they’re personally okay, first, gets you a whole lot further with your family and in leadership.
Jim Rembach: And there’s times when I know for myself, ‘I didn’t quite do that.’ We often call those burning of bridges and things like that, and we wish we can go back and correct in real time would be ideal to do that. That’s one of the things that we focus on the Fast leader show, is to try to give people experiences and insights from others, so that hopefully they can stop in the moment and not burn a bridge because you never know when you may have to cross it again. I know I’ve had humps to get over, we all have, I mean you talked about—in your bio, the hump of having to actually pay for your own education and you got over that hump, but is there a time where you can remember a hump that you had to get over and it really gave you that learning so that you can actually move onward and upward faster, can you share that story with us?
Carrie Weston: Sure! Very early on in my career here at Amway, probably about five years in, I had moved into the supple chain department and was doing well but Amway sales had taken a turn. We were looking at restructuring and re-organizing and at that point there were a lot of internal movement as well as recruiters going actively. A pivotal moment in one’s career might be, “Do I want to be an individual contributor? Do I want to be a leader and take up an offer? Or do I even want to leave this company?” So there was a lot of self-reflection for me. I choose to try to be as self-aware of my own needs as I can be. The one big hump that was very obvious to me was—just because the time’s right for someone else doesn’t mean the time is right for me and I have to be clear on what I want. There were some great leaders here who helped me navigate that.
Jim Rembach: I think a lot of times people get stuck on the fence because of that whole fear issue, fear of failure, fear of leaving and losing, I mean all of those fear factor components, how were you able to balance that fear factor to know that you did make the right decision?
Carrie Weston: I gave it a good amount of time. I ended up getting recruited away from the company. I got an offer and I know myself and the offer didn’t feel good, it didn’t feel right to leave. So, I took the time that I needed to think it through and to be true to myself and really reflect on what was right for me at that time and to be honest about it.
Jim Rembach: So I know for me, I kind of did the opposite, meaning that, I had an opportunity and I took it and actually this happened more than once, so, you think shame me twice. Anyway, I didn’t do a good job of evaluating the opportunity and maybe I needed to have a little bit more fear and apprehension but I made the leap and it was not the right leap. What are some of the things that stuck out to you, to tell you, nope this isn’t it?
Carrie Weston: It didn’t feel right to take the offer. In considering my options I had chosen to be at Amway. I had sought this company out and it felt good to be here. I knew my work here wasn’t done, just the time wasn’t right of what I was being asked to do. I chose to be very honest with my leadership and laid the offer out and had a discussion with them about what this meant to them, thankfully they came back with a beautiful counter offer. And some additional points to invest in my growths to both meet my financial but my personal needs too which I think was wise on their behalf.
Jim Rembach: So there’s a couple of things that you mention within that story, and thank you again for sharing it. You talked about ‘seeking them out and really reinforcing that decision as you are going through this journey’, I mean, what are some of the things that caused you to have that tighter bond to Amway and held you there?
Carrie Weston: The culture that we have here, the opportunity that this company holds, my peer group, and I was very tightly invested in the work that I was doing. Someone said to me once, “If you’re going to leave, you need to know what you’re running to, are you running from something or you’re running to something? And if you’re going to run to something, are you clear what that is?” Just because the offer was made doesn’t mean that’s what I wanted, sure it was tempting but that’s not necessarily where I wanted to be if that wasn’t my endpoint.
Jim Rembach: Now you mentioned the word “culture” and talking about seeking them out and opportunities and things like that, what are some of the things specifically that ties you to the Amway organization?
Carrie Weston: Amway is built on a culture of community and on relationships. The goal here is to help people live better lives, that’s what we do. This company holds true to doing that for employees, as well as ABO’s or distributors or customers.
Jim Rembach: I know when we had the opportunity to meet at the Customer Experience Professionals Association Member Insight Exchange recently you were talking about a project that was global in nature, that was really taking and consuming a lot of your time and effort and we were sharing a whole lot of ideas about some of the humps in regards to some of that project work you were doing in getting over them but when you think about that particular role and what you’re doing now with Amway, what are some of the things specifically that it gives you that excitement?
Carrie Weston: It’s the ability to make a change. So, I now manage a division of the complaint department. I can either choose to get in the hole every day because all we hear is bad news or I can choose to do something about it. I’m being afforded the opportunity to change some of the game here, to do something about it and contribute to helping people live better lives by running a business that we offer.
Jim Rembach: So Carrie I know, I’ve been in service recovery opportunities throughout my career I can say that I’m even in that now when you come to personal professional business but when you think about constantly hearing the negative it is so draining for folks, I mean how do you find a way to keep them motivated when their always hear negative, is there a story that you can share with us about how you do that?
Carrie Weston: Sure. The nature of what we do every day is managing product complaints and that can be a functional complaint where a product’s not doing what we needed to or it could be something a little less serious and the goal for my team is to solve the problem so that people understand and their needs are met. But then also, taking that situation, learning from it, engaging our peers internally in product development and marketing and making a change to the product so that we don’t head down that same path again so they get to run an offense, they get to choose to participate in running an offense.
Jim Rembach: So, it sounds like the motivation comes from not just doing that service recovery in moment but it’s also knowing that there’s an impact and effect downstream that could ultimately make a product change and people can see that through the process that’s what it sounds like.
Carrie Weston: Absolutely. We can affect our future, we don’t have to sit back and just manage complaints, and we can choose to do something about it that’s more forward-looking. And it puts the company in a better light it serves someone’s business a little better in the future.
Jim Rembach: I know that this particular role is something that you’re currently doing right now and you been with the organization for a long time, what are some of your goals?
Carrie Weston: Oh my goodness! That’s a hard question Jim. I tend to not take a five year macro view, I tend to take my view of my career in much shorter sprints and it’s built mostly around what I’m learning. So, I have a deep interest now in staying with Amway if I can and learning more about other parts of the organization, specifically sales, our affiliate’s and the ABO’s because the experience, with the customer experience, is so intriguing to me and it is brand new.
Jim Rembach: So you mentioned ABO a couple times. What is ABO?
Carrie Weston: ABO’s are our Amway Business Owners. So Amway is a direct sell company and people can choose to sign up for the business opportunity and run their own small Amway business.
Jim Rembach: So, Carrie you talked about not taking a macro view of what your goals and your aspirations are,e which a lot of people actually think much further down the road looking at five-year ten-year plan and where they want to retire and all of those things and you’re taking a much shorter view, so why do you take that viewpoint versus the longer?
Carrie Weston: I think it’s based on some of the learnings that I’ve had in my most recent past. I sought the help of a career counselor who gave me much smaller sound bites to work in. I’m not interested in having to become the director of this or the VP of that, I’m more interested in taking the skills and the knowledge that I have and understanding what’s in sweet spot and helping that match with something that the company offers, because really in coaching and developing people that’s where you get the most out of someone. I’m not interested in the title as a role, I’m more interested in getting the fit.
Jim Rembach: I think that is where a lot of us need to probably do a better job of, focusing in on fit because if not it ends in frustration.
Carrie Weston: Exactly.
Jim Rembach: And so thanks for sharing that viewpoint and the Fast leader Legion wishes you the very best. Alright here we go Fast leader Legion it’s time for the—Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Carrie the Hump Day Hoedown is the part of our show where you give us good insights fast. So, I’m going to ask you several questions and your job is to give us a robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Carrie Weston, are you ready to Hoedown?
Carrie Weston: You bet.
Jim Rembach: Alright. So what do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Carrie Weston: I tend to have a lot of energy. I tend to be an inspirational and visionary leader. And I know that my energy can sometimes be too fast for some others and I need to read better my audience so that I can give them a chance to warm up to my ideas.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have ever received?
Carrie Weston: The best advice I received was from one of our director and he told me it’s okay to be uncomfortable.
Jim Rembach: So what is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Carrie Weston: Every day, and I don’t get this everyday I’m not a master at it, but I try to get up and have an attitude of gratitude every day. I should be thankful for what I’m being offered.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best resources that helps you lead in business or life?
Carrie Weston: Leadership in life is to my peer group here. Seeking out fellow leaders.
Jim Rembach: What would be one book you would recommend to our listeners?
Carrie Weston: The book I read most recently is called “Knowing your Value” and it just gives a really good perspective. I’m not really pro-feminist, I’m more pro-knowledge and it gives a really good balance of knowledge that I did not have before, for myself and for others.
Jim Rembach: Okay, Fast Leader legion, you can find the links and other bonus information from today’s show by going to fastleader.net/Carrie Weston. Okay, Carrie this is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you’ve been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have now back with you but you can’t take everything you have to choose one, What one skill or piece of knowledge would you take back with you and why?
Carrie Weston: I would take back with me the ability to earn trust faster. I think if my team were suffering or struggling, I would seek to walk a mile in their shoes first whereas when I was twenty-five I think I would have rolled up my sleeves and just tried to fix it for them, just a wrong way to go about it.
Jim Rembach: Carrie Weston it was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share with the Fast leader listeners how they can connect with you?
Carrie Weston: Sure. They can get a hold on me on my LinkedIn account at Carrie Weston
Jim Rembach: Carrie Weston thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom. The Fast leader Legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump.
Thank you for joining me on the Fast Leader show today. For recaps, links from every show, special offers and access to download and subscribe, if you haven’t already, head on over the fastleader.net so we can help you move onward and upward faster.
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