035: Sydney Savion: I need to break myself
Sydney Savion Show Notes
Considering herself an introvert by nature, Sydney Savion realized she needed to break her natural tendencies so she could build more relationships, faster. As an officer in the US Air Force it was expected that she socialize with other officers, but the corporate world required even higher level of social interaction to get results. Listen to Dr. Savion tell her story of how she got over the hump to move onward and upward faster.
Arising from her formative years as a farm girl living in one of the more serene and rustic communities on the western shore of Chesapeake Bay Virginia Sydney Savion’s appreciation toward surroundings and discovery are heightened.
Each day that she’d walk on her grandparent’s land she would never get bored with the scenic backdrop of nature. She feels there’s always something new to see and learn from nature, and from the meaning individuals attribute to a social or human problem.
Sydney Savion fulfilled a 21-year career in the US Air Force (active duty and reserves) in the fields of aerospace operations and joint plans and operations and honorably retired as a commissioned officer.
After retirement, Dr. Savion received a PhD in human and organizational learning at The George Washington University.
Her research focused on the social phenomenon of life course observations of transition that shape individual lives. Scholar, practitioner, author, speaker and ardent applied behavioral scientist all characterize Dr. Savion.
She is currently employed as the Global Learning Officer for Dell Global Support and Deployment Services where she is charged with shaping the global learning strategy and aligning learning solutions and the development of people with the business goals of the organization.
Dr. Savion also spends time as a mentor for the Career Transition Workshop outreach ministry providing instructional, informational, social and spiritual support to people during the transition from one job to the next — from one career to the next.
Tweetable Quotes and Mentions
“Have a conversation with any veteran that would like to have one.” -Sydney Savion Click to Tweet
“Focus on being excellent at everything you do.” -Sydney Savion Click to Tweet
“People seem to be okay with doing the least they can do.” -Sydney Savion Click to Tweet
“Hey, let’s give it all we’ve got.” -Sydney Savion Click to Tweet
“Form relationships…you never know when you are going to need someone.” -Sydney Savion Click to Tweet
“Show first what you can deliver so people have something to believe in.” -Sydney Savion Click to Tweet
“Your words don’t mean anything until you can deliver on expectations.” -Sydney Savion Click to Tweet
“Words and deeds are only separated by what’s delivered.” -Sydney Savion Click to Tweet
“Always leave yourself with a way out.” -Sydney Savion Click to Tweet
“Trust the wisdom of your gut instincts.” -Sydney Savion Click to Tweet
“Most times, our senses are informed by more than just feelings.” -Sydney Savion Click to Tweet
Hump to Get Over
Sydney Savion considers herself to be an introvert by nature. But she needed to break her natural tendencies so she could build more relationships, faster. When she was an officer in the US Air Force it was expected that she socialize with other officers, but now being in the corporate world she is required to socially interact at an even higher degree to get results. Listen to Dr. Savion tell her story of how she got over the hump so you can move onward and upward faster.
Advice for others
Have a conversation with any veteran that would like to have one.
Holding her back from being an even better leader
Managing my time better.
Best Leadership Advice Received
Always leave yourself with a way out.
Secret to Success
Appreciation and accountability
Best Resources in business or Life
Appreciation and accountability (as a mental tool)
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 faster. Get your free list today.Click to access edited transcript
Intro: Welcome to the Fast Leader Podcast, where we explore convenient yet effective shortcuts that will help you get ahead and move forward faster by becoming a better leader. And now here’s your host, customer and employee engagement expert and certified emotional intelligence practitioner, Jim Rembach.
“Developing your company’s talent and leadership pipeline can be an overwhelming task, you’re your burn is over with ResultPal you can use the power of practice to develop more leaders faster. Move onward and upward as by going to resultpal.com/fast and getting a $750 performance package for free.”
Okay, Fast Leader Legion I am so excited to have that and the guest that I have on today because I met her on a video where she was being interviewed and I reached out to her because I thought she was just—I was just enamored, I think she has a poise and a grace and a level of knowledge that you have to find out about. Arising from her formative years as a farm girl living in one of the more serene and rustic communities on the Western Shore of Chesapeake Bay, Virginia, Sydney Savion’s appreciation towards surroundings and discovery are heightened. Each day that she walk on her grandparents land she would never get with a scenic backdrop of nature. She feels there’s always something new to see and learn from nature and from the meaning individuals attribute to a social or human problem. Sydney Savion fulfilled a 21 year career in the U.S. Air Force in the fields of Aerospace Operations and joint plans and operations and honorably retired as a Commission Officer.
After retirement Doctor Savion received her PHD in Human and Organizational learning at the George Washington University. Scholar, practitioner, author, speaker and are Applied Behavioral Scientist all characterized Dr. Savion. She is currently employed as the Global Learning Officer for Dell Global support and deployment services where she is charged with shaping the global learning strategy and aligning learning solutions and the development of people with the business goals of the organization.
Dr. Savion also spent time as a mentor for the career transition workshop outreach ministry providing instructional, informational, social, and spiritual support to people during the transition from one job to the next and from one career to the next. Dr. Savion are you ready to help us get over the hump?
I am to help you get over the hump. [Laugh]
Jim Rembach: Alright. I’ve given our listeners a little about you, but can you tell us what your current passion is so that we get to know you better?
Oh, my God! My current passion has nothing to do with what you just said. My passion—everything you just talked about is my profession, my passion is helping better in transition from military to civilian culture. So that’s my passion. I do a lot of talks whether it’s for
Chamber of Commerce, for business. for veteran to organization, for colleges about the very topic—I am an adviser on operational uniform which is a non-profit organization that helps veterans from an empirical standpoint, meaning it’s not just about a bunch of books and reading and writing, this is taking them through real life situations to scenarios to show them what actually is like from the military to civilian culture. So, that’s my passion. I’ve written about it, I talked about it and I spend time with veterans trying to figure out how we can better help them make the transition.
Jim Rembach: What you is loud and scope in scale and it’s been definitely riddled with the whole lot of—let’s just say negative press because of the action or lack of actions that have occurred and regardless to the transition process and caring for the veterans and the whole dead of gratitude that we have as a society here in America for any veterans of service in any o global country, it’s just huge being able to pay that back is something that probably can never be repaid for many of these, especially the ones that lose their lives.
Sydney Savion: That is the least we can do.
Jim Rembach: That’s a great way of putting it, it’s
Sydney Savion: That’s right. [Laugh]
Jim Rembach: I know there’s a major focus for a lot of organizations to hire veterans, to put veterans to work, to take care veterans and do all of that, and you’re definitely contributing in a lot of ways, as you said. But if you were to say that there is really one thing that an individual could do in order to help with that cause, what would it be?
Sydney Savion: Have a conversation with any veteran that would like to have one. I think most times that’s really all they’re asking to just get a cents of what it’s like to be on the other side. You have to consider about half of a percent of the people in the United States have ever worn a uniform, so it means that there are lots of people out there that could help better inform the veterans transition from the military life to civilian culture.
Jim Rembach: There’s some really good points there and I find that a very large percentage of those that have worn uniforms still wear uniform. Whether or not they’re serving as fire or police or some other first responders. And when you think about some of the things that have been going on in regards to the lack of respect for those in certain areas, I don’t know if it is a generational thing, if it is a culture thing, if it’s a racial thing, the point is it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter. So, when you start thinking about the quandary or the leadership opportunity for focusing in and doing the things that we need to do, and trying to go beyond that least thing that we can do, what do you think it would be?
Sydney Savion: It might sound softer even hockey but it’s something I believe in. I feel like commitment to excellence. I feel like if an individual’s committed to excellence, trying to improve the activity or the thing–whatever it is, whether it’s trying to make your eggs better in the morning to trying to lead people at work during the day focusing on being excellent in everything you do and that’s one of the core values of the United States Air Force, that’s something I espouse and certainly use in my civilian life. I think that’s the thing I think is lost because people seemed to be okay with just doing the least they can do. Mediocracy is what I see. If I could just get by—this will work, this will do rather than, ‘Hey, let’s give it all we’ve got.’
Jim Rembach: I think that’s a great point. One of the things that we focus in on the Fast Leader show are quotes because for me, and for a lot of our legion is that, quotes oftentimes give us that energy that we need in order to pursue that excellence. And knowing that it is that, it’s a pursuit that we have to be focus that are open to learning, were open to others views and that’s why we have the followers that we have on the show because they’re learning from everyone and are learning from the people who were on the show. So, is there a quote or two that does that for you?
Sydney Savion: There’s one quote in particular that I love and believe and I espouse and it’s from Vince Lombardi and it is, “The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to the commitment of excellence regardless of their chosen field of endeavor.”
Jim Rembach: That’s a good point. It doesn’t matter what you do, it doesn’t matter what your passion is, I think that’s the beauty of the world that we live in is that the passions can be diverse.
Sydney Savion: Absolutely.
Jim Rembach: I think more of us, including myself, have to do a better job of trying to find what those passions are sooner so that we can get to it, right?
Sydney Savion: Right. We all have that challenge. [Laugh]
Jim Rembach: We do. I think it also changes through the course of our life to a certain degree. And I know that for you, with your service, with your education, with the work that you do globally, with the charitable work that you, you yourself and have seen even others have humps that they’ve needed to get over in to move onward and upward faster, is there a story that you can share with us that no epitomizes that getting over the hump to move on to better pastures?
Sydney Savion: Oh, gosh. I will tell you—I consider myself introvert by nature as I made the transition in the corporate America that it’s not just the quality that aligns with being a leader or executive, let’s just say, and as a result of that I’ve had to reset on how to break myself out of being an introvert, I don’t necessarily feel like, fine I have to be an extrovert per se, what I’ve discovered is I need to and have triggered out somehow how to better improve relationships or build relationships. And the interesting thing is in the military, especially as you become an officer one of the things that is not written but certainly is expected is that you do a lot of socializing. Do a lot of socializing with your fellow officers, senior officers, conversing about the challenges but also solutions and lessons learned and that is probably before I even made the transition to corporate America when I got commissioned that is one of the things I learn and how to get over the hump with.
I wasn’t comfortable with small talk and certainly wasn’t comfortable with just go and talk to strangers. And while in the military I have a strong brotherhood camaraderie but still I always feel myself apprehensive but then in the corporate America, again, that was one of those things that I still had struggled with. And now, I never say it comes naturally it’s something, and this is what I say in terms of how I solution it, it’s something I had to be very intentional about. Going and talking to people, getting on their calendars, having a general conversation, it didn’t have to be about a project just talking about something we have in common, just kind of how I got over the hump. Being intentional tha is the best practice that I found has worked for me.
Jim Rembach: You bring up a really important point for folks that maybe extroverted that is to be able to make those touches and have those conversations and being intentional about it because goodness knows that we are totally overloaded with our task in life and our information overloaded life and trying to make sure that we make those connections is not easy. Have you found that there’s a certain tool or tactic that helps you keep in the forefront of your mind so that you can be intentional?
Sydney Savion: The main thing for me is, since I lead people, it’s what behavior do I want to model. And if I want my team to build relationships so we can be more collaborative and solve problems more efficiently and effectively hard and doing that is having formed very intentional relationships with people, quite frankly, you never know when you’re going to need someone.
A friend of mine, a long-time friend, a mentor of mine, Joe Bakaitis, he was a marine who was stationed at an Air Force base for many years and wok in the Motorpool, [Laugh]
Go Air Force! Go Marines!
That’s right, that’s right. And he had shared with me after being in service for maybe a year or two less than you but long tenure, when he got out he felt that he didn’t have his back covered like he did when he was in the service. Aas in the service. And it wasn’t really a struggle for him, talking about that transition to move from, “I feel like I have got my six covered” to being out in the corporate world and say, “Wooh, my rear end’s exposed.”[Laughter]
Sydney Savion: Yes, I understand that feeling completely. [Laugh]
Jim Rembach: How are you able to cope with that after being in for 20+ years and moving into the corporate world and not just the corporate world but the corporate executive world?
Yeah. When I think about coming to Dell, I been at Dell for 3 years, I didn’t know anyone, I didn’t have any friends there. It was on the basis of my credentials and my experience that I was hired. I believe that because I don’t have any ‘N’ I didn’t have he ** say, ‘Hey, Sydney you want a job a job at Dell” So, getting here not knowing anyone to that point, going back to what I said before, it’s about building relationships, showing first what you can deliver so people have something to believe in, they don’t know you. So, your words don’t mean anything until you actually deliver on some of their expectations an so that’s what I found from a professional standpoint—this is not about making friends this is simply about making allies in the corporate world, kind of like we make allies in the military or department of defense same thing here, that’s how I been able to—Look, I don’t want it to sound like it’s just about me, actually I’ve had some really good bosses, some really good leaders who believed in me, obviously the people that hired me believed in me. But now I have a new boss, again but even that relationships is predicated on delivering on expectations building a relationships of trust. Again words indeed are only separated by what’s delivered.
So true, so true. Now, you talked about at the beginning that, “Hey, what I described in your bio really isn’t your passion, you’ve obviously talked about some of the passion and the transition and a lot of the things from growth relationship building perspective, if you lay all those things out and think about what you’re currently focusing in on, what one thing gives you that crazy excitement that really drives you?
Oh, my God! Crazy excitement. Writing is definitely a passion of mine. I’ve written two books, one with my sister, my first was about the transition from military explaining culture. The one with my sister was about bliss, totally something that I—not totally divergent from what I wrote about in my first book, but it’s open to interpretation from many people. When you say bliss, that’s when you say happiness, when you say enjoyment it’s different for everybody. So my sister and I collaborated on this, it was great fun. It was her idea that’s why she first author but together we were able to forge our backgrounds together and I felt like we really did create something—hopefully it’s useful to people, if not the bottom line is we have fun doing it. I had fun working with my sister, she’s my youngest sister, so, always a pleasure to be able to work with her and works towards the goal together, so it was exciting.
The next book is still in the outline base. Here you go with the blend between work and life, I haven’t have a lot of time to work on it but probably over the holidays I’ll spend some more time on it. It too will be similar to my first book as it will focus on life transition as well. So, well see what happens with that. Yes, that is definitely one of my passions. I love it. I’ve written a lot of stuff. You can go to the Internet and you’ll see a lot of it. I have a blog for whole year with healthy place and it was about bliss, so a lot of fun.
Jim Rembach: And what we’re going to do listeners is we’re going to make links to her blog as well as to those books and you’ll find them on your show notes page which you’ll find at fastleader.net/Sydney Savion. And we wish you the very best on all those endeavors. Now, before we move one, let’s get a quick word from our sponsor.
Whether in the office on the road work with your community or coach to practice great behavior and produce great organizational results. Capture real-time behavior practice from competency-based development plans and invite feedback in an elegant and simple application. Take tough performance mobile by going to resultpal.com/fast and getting a $750 performance package for free.
Jim Rembach: And now it time for the rapid pace part of our show and that’s the—Hump Day Hoedown. Okay, Dr. Savion, 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 robust yet rapid responses that are going to help us move onward and upward faster. Sydney, are you ready to hoedown?
Sydney Savion: I’m ready to hoedown.
Jim Rembach: Alright. What do you think is holding you back from being an even better leader today?
Sydney Savion: Managing my time better.
Jim Rembach: What is the best leadership advice you have received?
Sydney Savion: Always leave yourself with a way out.
Jim Rembach: That sounds like a good military learning right there.
Sydney Savion: Backup plan.
Jim Rembach: What is one of your secrets that you believe contributes to your success?
Sydney Savion: Appreciation and accountability.
Jim Rembach: What do you feel is one of your best tools that helps you lead in business or life?
Sydney Savion: Tools—I’m going to say, the same thing, appreciation and accountability. That’s not a physical tool but it certainly is a mental tool.
Jim Rembach: What would be one book you would recommend to our listeners? Doesn’t have to be a business book.
Sydney Savion: Not necessarily a book but I recommend “Message to Garcia” is a bestselling essay by Elbert Hubbard and it was published in 1899.
Jim Rembach: Yeah, some of those old staples are good to read, we need to pull them back out. And again we’re going to make links available to that on the show notes page, you’ll find at fastleader.net/ Sydney Savion. Okay, Sydney, is my last Hump Day Hoedown question: Imagine you were given the opportunity to go back to the age of 25 and you have been given the opportunity to take the knowledge and skills that you have back with you but you can’t take everything you could only choose one, what skill or piece of knowlege would you take back with you and why?
Sydney Savion: Wow! Okay, trust the wisdom of your gut instincts because most times our senses are informed by more than just feelings.
Jim Rembach: Please tell us more.
Sydney Savion: Oftentimes, you know when you’re 25 you don’t have a lot of wisdom, your still not in your formative years but certainly you’re young adult years. When you get to 40’s now you gain some wisdom because of experience and the cognitive development, so oftentimes when you’re young it’s mostly about emotions and feelings. Again the idea of trusting your gut instincts certainly as you’re older is coming from not just feelings and emotions but from a wealth and wisdom that you’ve gain as well. So that’s why generally when you move beyond your formative and young adult years—trust the wisdom of your gut instincts.
Jim Rembach: Sydney it was an honor to spend time with you today. Can you please share how with the Fast Leader listeners how they can connect with you?
Sydney Savion: Wow! You can connect with me on LinkedIn, Dr. Sydney Savion@Linkedin, same thing with Dr. Sydney Savion@Twitter and those are the two best places to connect with me.
Jim Rembach: Dr. Sydney Savion, thank you for sharing your knowledge and wisdom, the Fast Leader legion honors you and thanks you for helping us get over the hump. Woot! Woot!
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.
END OF AUDIO