Unleash Your Leadership

#17: Caring Leadership With Andrea Galvez

June 13, 2023 Priyanka Shinde Season 1 Episode 17
#17: Caring Leadership With Andrea Galvez
Unleash Your Leadership
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Unleash Your Leadership
#17: Caring Leadership With Andrea Galvez
Jun 13, 2023 Season 1 Episode 17
Priyanka Shinde

In this special episode, I chat with Andrea Galvez who is a revenue leader with nearly 20 years of experience across large corporations and small startups. Her journey has been winding with detours through graphic design and community management. Today she's focused on client experience and discovering and sharing the secrets of team building.  
We discussed how empathetic and caring leadership can help build high performing teams. Andrea emphasizes the importance of self awareness and self introspection and how that helped her build upon her leadership style. 
Join us and listen to Andrea's practical tips to building trust with your team and even listen to my own embarrassing childhood story. 

Youtube video: https://youtu.be/OgGzUreKb3c

TPM Academy presents a brand new live cohort-based course - Advancing Your Career: The Path to Staff+
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  • 🎯 Secure that promotion you have been eyeing and accelerate your career trajectory
  • πŸ—ΊοΈ Break free from your current level, exceed expectations and become promotion ready by building a career success roadmap.

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Show Notes Transcript

In this special episode, I chat with Andrea Galvez who is a revenue leader with nearly 20 years of experience across large corporations and small startups. Her journey has been winding with detours through graphic design and community management. Today she's focused on client experience and discovering and sharing the secrets of team building.  
We discussed how empathetic and caring leadership can help build high performing teams. Andrea emphasizes the importance of self awareness and self introspection and how that helped her build upon her leadership style. 
Join us and listen to Andrea's practical tips to building trust with your team and even listen to my own embarrassing childhood story. 

Youtube video: https://youtu.be/OgGzUreKb3c

TPM Academy presents a brand new live cohort-based course - Advancing Your Career: The Path to Staff+
Supercharge your program management career with the only course designed for experienced TPMs and Program Managers in Tech

  • 🎯 Secure that promotion you have been eyeing and accelerate your career trajectory
  • πŸ—ΊοΈ Break free from your current level, exceed expectations and become promotion ready by building a career success roadmap.

Want to unleash your leadership?
Work with me

Follow Me

Buy me a coffee

β€Š πŸ“  Hi everyone. Welcome to the podcast. I'm so excited to have another special guest with me today. Andrea Galvez is a revenue leader with nearly 20 years of experience across large corporations and small startups. Her journey has been winding with detours through graphic design and community management.

Today she's focused on client experience. And discovering and sharing the secrets of team building. Welcome to the podcast, Andrea. 

Thank you. I'm so excited to be here. I can't wait to talk to you. 

Wonderful. I am excited as well to hear more about this journey of graphic design and community and so on.

Tell me first a little bit more about yourself and what do you do for the world? 

Yeah, I love that the way that you. You asked that, what do you do for the world? So I am VP of client success at the Financial Health Network and our mission is to create financial health for all. So we really do wanna change the world.

And I have a team of client success managers and then also a community manager. So our membership model. So I spend all day focused on how to help my clients and then also help my team become the best versions of themselves. 

Wow. Tell us how this journey begin and how you came about to be in this role.

Yeah. So you mentioned at the top it's been winding and I think so many leaders have had a similar  wavy path. And I started Really in a more traditional marketing role, right? Right. Outta school, I had a communications degree with a graphic design minor for a bank. Started there and then w was like, well, I'm gonna go explore this creative side.

So went and got just a graphic design job and was there for like a year because I was so bored. And that is no offense to graphic design artists. It's really that I just wasn't good enough. I just wasn't talented enough and wanted to do other things. And so went back into marketing and along the way was able to, to co-lead and, and support different sales teams and support teams, and then have really focused for the last about five years on a client client support.

And so, That's, that's how I ends up where I'm today. But to sum that up in a good way, I would say I just took opportunities, things that I thought would be interesting to me and fun and that I en enjoyed the day, the day went by fast when I was doing this work. 

That's wonderful. You mentioned something which is the day just goes by fast.

When you enjoy doing something and sometimes it doesn't feel like as much work, and I always say this to people, which is your strengths are what work you enjoy doing the most, because you're not gonna worry about how, what time it is, how long it has taken, and you are going to be highly motivated just because you enjoy it.

Exactly. Yeah. And I love my work today.  I'm always shocked when the end of the day comes. And the work never ends. There's still work tomorrow, but it always comes fast. It's just a good. 

I can see the smile on your face when you say that. And  those of us who are listening I just wanna tell you, , and Andrea's just smiling and, and I can feel that excitement and the enjoyment come through and jump out to me from the screen.

Andrea I like to ask this to everybody  I interview, which is, what did you wanna become when you were younger? 

I really had to think about this. Because I think I went through phases. I definitely remember wanting to be a ballerina at some point. But that didn't work out. And then I didn't, I didn't know like when you get formative, like when people ask you , what is your major for?

But I knew I wanted to help people. Yeah. And. It's been  a joy and a surprise that this direction that I've taken has led me to a role where I help people every day, which is  unexpected. When you go into  a, a marketing field, you don't me immediately think of  helping people, but.

That was something I considered  early on in my career, I considered being a missionary but don't wanna be that today. But I still wanna help 


That's really wonderful to see.  

You  had some way of thinking about what you wanted to do, even if you were jumping through different titles or job roles or something, and then eventually you still ended up doing what you really wanted to do.

So far, you're ahead of me. So we'll see where that takes me. But, but yeah, for sure. . 

So as you went through this journey, , the winding path that you told us, , tell us a little bit more about when did you first become aware of your own leadership aspirations? Skills and qualities. 


I'm not sure if you expected. Me to go back to elementary school with this answer, but I am going to so I moved around a ton in, in growing up and I had just recently joined a new classroom and we were voting for student council representative, and it was one of those, do you remember, I don't know if you did this in your elementary, but  the heads down thumb,  you had to  put your head down an anonymous vote and raise your hand.

And I was elected student council president, and this was, I think third grade. And I didn't know what that was. I was like, what is student council? I had no idea. I I wasn't expecting it. And so that was a moment when I realized that I had In  influence even though if I didn't  really know what that was.

And then of course I went through periods of my life where I was called bossy, which is a very common term for young ladies who are showing leadership capability. And so always thought , oh yeah, I wanna be, I wanna be a leader. , once I figured out what that, what that was now I had no idea how to do that and how to do it right.

But I,  knew I wanted to be at that point. 

, that's a great story. I can  picture you being in third grade. And it did take me back to my elementary school where , we did actually do voting. It wasn't like that heads down thing. It was actually writing up the name of  whoever you wanted to vote for and put it in and.

This is really embarrassing. It just reminded me of a very embarrassing moment in my life, but I'm gonna share it here is, , the first time I, stood in for  being the class representative. That's what the voting was for. I only got one vote.  And it was not mine because at that young age I gave another candidate a vote and she gave her mine.

Yeah. It was so weird. But it just reminded me of this story and,  , take me back to the time and I was thinking about, I think leadership in some ways. Not how it is today, but I, love to see that, , that's how you started off and you started learning about your own leadership. So from that time onwards to today,  how have you unleashed your leadership for the people around you or, or the organizations around you to experience?

Yeah, I would say , Early on in my career, and in fact very early on I was given a leadership opportunity. So  nine months outta college, I was asked to hire my first person. And for me and growing up and  probably how I got the student council seat was all about delivering outcomes.  Do I.

I do what I promise. Do I do more than what I promised? Do I do it faster than what is expected? Really an accomplishment based idea of what leadership was. Which I now, as a leader, looking back, I see a ton of new leaders doing this.  I was an excellent independent contributor, and so that must make me a leader.

And that was totally  my approach early in my career. And so I set these  very demanding quality standards and held people accountable. Like all of these  more authority driven leadership practices or behaviors. And surprised people didn't like that. People didn't respond well to my leadership in all of those ways.

We were super successful. We always met our goals, but I wouldn't say my team was always happy. And so I. And I had this  idea of , well, a leader can't always be liked, right? And so we're, we're meeting our goals. I must be doing something right. And then I went back and got my MBA somewhat late like everybody else in my courses were  seven and five years younger than me.

. And I as an MBA first year you have to  do your rotation courses and I did mine on organizational leadership and the first  unit and it was just  a short unit cuz you had to get to all of the ways there's organizational leadership was on self-management.

And that was really a breakthrough moment for me in my leadership journey because I had never taken a hard look at the things. About me that I could manage and  self-regulation and self-awareness and really understanding inclusive inclusivity and trust and psychological safety, like all things that a leader has power over that I was just ignoring completely.

So that was a really, I would say, pivotal moment in my career journey where I looked at. In more inward, which feels so unexpected. Cuz leadership is all about  outwardly manifesting. So that was a surprise for me and something that  I try and coach people on when they're, they're first stepping in to leadership.

. I love that you say that because you are right. Sometimes leadership,  the perception of leadership is very different. And it's not just about how you appear, but also how self-aware you are. And  it, this is a very important point that you bring up. That for leaders to be really good at what they do and to help their teams, it all starts inwards.

It all starts within yourself, and that's when  you can go out there and be a great leader and be the support for your team or anybody else around you. I also loved what you said about. You were great individual contributor. You were delivering results, which yes, of course a lot of the work we do at companies and businesses is about delivering, but what gets you to a leadership role doesn't necessarily get you beyond that.

And so you have to learn to evolve. And  I love that you mentioned this as a, as that evolution, but also the surprise that  becoming a leader part for you. . You,  also mentioned that yes, this was surprising. And then that's, you,  started self-regulating, self-managing from that time onwards.

And as you think about, , working with your teams, because you mentioned  your teams weren't happy and , a lot of your focus now is on team building. Tell us how your leadership has evolved from that time in the MBA class to today. 

Yeah, absolutely. So, What self-awareness brought me was that I want my teams to love working for me and with me,  in the team, right?

It's not about me. It's  I want them to love it so that they get excited to come to work every day and then we can be more successful. So this isn't although it does make me feel good,  this is really about. Tapping into my values an accomplishment.  How can I get my teams to  really deliver this level that I desire from a personal value perspective.

And man, that has been really transformative, I would say. And. So to answer your question,  what are some of the things that I do? So I say that my leadership style is authenticity. So I, come and I share about who I am with a goal of creating space for people to be who they are. And so I really want to help people be successful, not just in this job, but in life and how, and I'm willing and I'm ready to give the time to.

Invest in the people that are in my,  leadership care so that we can all be successful together. I can go into some examples of that, but that has been really helpful and, and fun. A lot of fun as well. 

That sounds so nice and  , I hope and wish that everybody finds a caring leader like you, and I would love to hear the examples if you have that.

Yeah, I think , probably  the most concrete example is that whenever I onboard anybody new onto the team, and probably lots of people are who are listening, have gone through this  an onboarding. They've hired somebody new and before I talked to about the job, before I talked to him about , the goals that the team has.

I share and, and about me, Manuel and lots of leaders do this, but I, think it's really important because it is a cheat code to trust. It  really helps somebody coming in new who doesn't really know, like what makes you tick to very quickly hone in like, oh, okay. I can  mentally understand where I plug in.

And the key to that is not just , here's my history and here's  my set, my set of expectations, but also here are the things I am working on as a human. Here are the things I don't do well. Here are the things that I ask. My team to help me on. I'd like for you to watch my back on these things.

If I show up this way, it might mean that I'm stressful and you have permission to push back, or I'm stressed out and you might, you have permission to put, push back on that. So I have that in my first onboarding call. And then anytime there are new  key stakeholders across the organization I'll, I'll feel that out.

Does it make sense for me to send, it's a deck, the whole deck? Or do I send  an abbreviated  email,  here, just want you to get to know me kind of a thing. What is wild about that is what people are then willing to share about themselves. And as a leader, that's goal. , okay, I understand my people better, so I know how to better support them, when to pull them on and off different tasks, how to organize the goals so that people can be most motivated.

So there's a lot that can come from just investing the time and getting to know everybody. 

Wow, I'm blown away by that.  A key part of the authentic leadership that you mentioned is being vulnerable and you are sharing that very openly . A lot of times leaders think  we need to be tough and we need to show that we can  have it all together and nothing phases us, but.

A job , for any leader who has a team, who has a bunch of different stakeholders, who have executive leadership on top of them, A lot of times it's very stressful. There's a lot going on, so many moving parts, and you sharing that very authentically and openly with new team members. You're right.  It gives them a way to say how to work with you.

And I'm sure it motivates them to say, okay, here's my document, here's how I am here's what , . Works for me and not works for me. And so then you're almost  what you're sharing is contagious and everybody starts doing it as well because you are sharing the great parts of you. And then , , some things that happen on the not so great days.

Yeah, exactly. It is contagious. I've seen so many people come back to me and say, I love this. I'm gonna do it now. And to that point, I will give a hat tip to my very close friend who no longer works with me, but Hannah Calhoun. I actually stole her deck cuz she did this. And so I stole it from somebody else.

And you should steal it too. Everybody's listening should go out and build one. 

Yes. I, was literally just thinking that , , I need to  come up with , let's have a template for this and share it with all the leaders out there. And, and that's such a great idea. I love it. I,  love that, , care and authenticity means so much to your idea of leadership.

And as we continue to move in this fast space world with all of these new technologies coming, especially with this whole AI revolution coming in, yeah, sometimes that can feel , ,  where's the authenticity? Where is the care? , it can make us question some of that. And so especially with your brand of leadership, how do you think AI plays a role for leaders and organizations and leadership in general?

Yeah, so I think one of the things I've learned about leadership, or that I've liked, I've seen Min, I've seen this MIN models and try to do this well, is. To really understanding in the individual people. And now this gets hard if your team grows, but at least the people who report directly to you, right?

Really understanding them individually and how this connects to AI is, AI is a tool, it's a technology, and it can be wielded by, by humans. And so how can you as a leader think about, Well, where are ways that I can use AI to support this person? And if there are multiple people who have  similar strengths or challenges you maybe it, it applies to a couple of where I sit in cs.

I see so much efficiency coming from the use of AI that will let my team offload tasks that they aren't. They don't like or they aren't equipped or they don't have time to do and let them focus on the things that they're really good at. So in cs, that's relationship building and client and client strategy.

But in marketing, maybe that's creative. Maybe that's writing really well. Cuz yes, chat, c b t can write but not really well. Yes. Maybe in a, in accounting that's  really managing  this highly complex thing that  chat c b T can't do yet. So there are ways that we could actually build on the things that are  human strengths.

As leaders  that is, I think the way that you can use it to improve your teams and to improve your leadership. 

Yeah.  I love what you said it, , even  if I were to ask this question to a business leader, they would talk about  how to utilize it and of course, efficiency and tools and things would come in there and how to make the business better.

What you talked about is how I can help my team get away with all of these other tasks so then they can go explore other work or build relationships and so you're. In some ways,  really helping your team, again, showing care for your team and saying, here, go use AI for all of these other things so that you can find time  or save time.

And that's wonderful , and you are right,  there's so much human aspect that obviously AI cannot touch, at least , in my opinion. And. Relationship building , is really, really important aspect of it. And you, work a lot with clients as well, and of course relationship building matters there,  your leadership probably has to show up differently for your clients versus your team.

I would love to learn a little bit more about that and how you think about when you are working with clients. 

This is super interesting to me. This is a good question.  I'm currently in the financial services sector, which you could think would be traditionally  very zipped up, I guess, or formal, a more formal environment.

And I think the brand that you're in matters. So I happen to be right now at the Financial Health Network in a place that honors individual individuality. And so I feel  I can. Own my leadership style, both with my team and with my clients. But yeah, I have to be a little bit more zipped up with, with my clients than I am with my team.

But I think how that connects back to  the way in which my leadership shows up differently is that my team can see that. And so I wanna honor who I am in both places and that has come up in the past. For instance, maybe there was a conversation where I felt like maybe the link,  maybe it just wasn't inclusive.

We'll, we'll say it that way. And so being able, and then of course supported by your organization on the back end to stand up and say, Hey, I think that maybe we should say it this way instead. Or at the very least being , we're gonna focus over here instead. Mm-hmm. And it's really important as leaders that your team sees that you're standing up for them.

And so I would say my leadership style doesn't change from internal to external. And I think because my style is authenticity, that's really important,  that would undermine that if it did. But it definitely manifests a slightly different in terms of. Your approach. , 

I can see that.

 The, the brand of authentic leadership is still very much present. irrespective of where you are.. Just , what outcomes are you driving? How you are doing it is maybe slightly different. And again, you're doing that and you're saying , okay, here's how we should do it in also the service of your team who's watching you.

. So, As a leader, the people who admire you, who follow you, or who may be part of your team are still watching you every step, even if they may not be in front of you, beside you in a meeting. And that again, becomes very important for a leader to be self-aware that what I do here still goes and  gets in front of other people.

, I. Just recently was thinking about how people, , there is a behavioral economics fallacy about how people really don't pay attention as much attention to you as you think they do. And I can't think of the name right now, but I think that that fallacy gets smaller and smaller when you're in a leadership role because people really are paying attention to you and what you do.

And I recently had. A colleague come to me and say it was actually really great. It was, Hey, I have a sticky note on my, my screen that says, remember to slow down,  Andrea,  when she's presenting me. And I'm like, oh, that wasn't something that I knew that I did well, honestly, I was , just  how I was talking, like it's a presenting style.

And so that was interesting and a reminder that  you're always in a spotlight when you're a leader. That people are always paying attention to what you do. And that is a responsibility for sure, an honor, a responsibility, a little scary and  certainly would hold you accountable, right?  If you, if you know people are watching, you wanna be the best person of 


Yes. I love that story. And it really brings me to my next question, which is what advice would you give rising leaders? 

Yeah, absolutely. So I would say if you are just transitioning from an individual contributor to a manager, You need to get support. And I'm just, I'm not saying that only because B Brianca is an amazing coach and leadership courses and things that you can take advantage of, but don't feel like you have to do it alone because this is something that people have traveled before and can, if anything else, just be there with you as you go through the journey and it is work.

And so be ready for that. And then I would say I think that you, the further and further you get, the more complex leadership becomes. Don't be afraid to get a coach, like an actual coach. So , support at the end could look differently. It could be community groups. It could be masterminds, it could be courses, it could be just  your friend who's in the same spot who just recently was promoted.

And, and you're getting support that way. But as you get, , further along, get an executive coach who can help you really.  Propel new growth, especially in the industry that we're in, when things are just going so fast. It will short change your growth curve or will cut your growth curve, which I found to be very helpful.

That's so great to hear. Yeah. Thank you for sharing that.  Thank you for the plug as well.  I'm of course very passionate about it and that's why I wanna get all of these stories out to the world because a lot of great leaders like you and others that have come across, it's hard to do it all alone all the time, and especially as you go up as a leader. 

, they say right, that it gets lonely at the top, and that's when you need the most amount of support because a lot is getting thrown at you. . So having somebody besides you, a support system, a personal board of advisors, like they say, 

yeah. Yeah. I love, I love that charm, although I don't really know that I have one.

I think when I hear the term personal board of ad advisors, I. Think about a lit, like I envision a table with people  sitting all around it at the same time. And that hasn't been my experience. I've found that you have people that you go to at different parts of your life or different parts of your leadership and that they don't necessarily have to talk to each other, right?

It's not  a convening or meeting about Andrea's progress this quarter. But it is a group of people that are all. Surrounding you and helping you. 

Yes, definitely. Yeah. They don't have to be, , and that's why people also have multiple coaches for different things. Advisors and mentors and sponsors.

So they're all of these groups, right? And then friends and family and other colleagues and so forth. So it's always great to have that. And you do a lot of community building as well, so and you've run masterminds, of course. , I've known you through OnDeck and through the mastermind that we have.

 So how has it been for you in terms of  running and having these mastermind groups and, and just e evolving through that? 

Yeah, I'm so glad you asked For those who are listing in and aren't sure what this is. On Deck is an online community for people who want to accelerate their careers in the tech industry.

And I'm part of a cohort and Bianca is too called Ex on Deck. And I have the extraordinary privilege to be able to facilitate what we call mastermind groups, which are small groups that come together and help you solve, , career problems or, or challenges. That has been as much a benefit to me as a facilitator, as I think it's been for the, the participants.

Although I hope the participants have gotten good value from them I has been most of all, Super validating to know the things that you're thinking about and that you're worried about and that you're not sure how to handle are also things that other leaders who you deeply respect are thinking about and challenged with and, and want support with.

So you're not alone. I think is is super important to. To  get over a helplessness ma mindset or , oh, I can't do this mindset because you're like, oh no, I have a group of people who are doing it with me. So that's great. And then just the network effect, getting to meet new people. So back to  what you, what I would suggest for early people or early leaders, the more people you know, ho honestly, the better and the more people you know well They can give you perspectives and times when you need it.

They can make connections for you in times when you need it. So just being able to call on people and say, Hey, I have this question. What do you think? I know you're an expert in this. What? What's your take? That's invaluable. So shout out to Laura Thompson in the community that she's building at OnDeck and to all of my fellow execs on deck.


Totally, totally. And I've loved being in the Masterminds with you as the facilitator. And in fact, having been in,  these masterminds, it actually inspired me to create another mastermind for a group of coaches that I was training with. And so we have had  one or two meetings so far, but it's just great  just to hear where everybody is.

And what they're doing, what challenges they're running into, and just the collective wisdom of all the people in that group. So, I mean, of course, , like Andrea said, these are great.  There's a network effect. There is you,  know how to get help or you don't have to feel helpless. And all of those things are very powerful.

So I highly recommend that people, if you get the opportunity to join a mastermind, either a free one or a paid one.  If you want access to the right set of minds and leaders and things, just go join one and see how it feels. 

Yeah, absolutely. A hundred percent. 

Well, and Andrea, this has been great. I would love to know what's coming next for you.

Yeah, I'm gonna  build, I'm gonna. Do what's right for my clients. I'm gonna keep making sure my team feels supported. I'm gonna hopefully keep learning along the way. And I, don't know,  we never know right, where the world is gonna take us. And I'm, I'm open to that and I'm excited to. To see, we talked about ai,  I feel like the world is gonna change dramatically, and I'm super interested in that.

And I'm super passionate about mentoring and building teams and people. So if that's a space, if listeners are in that space and interested in collaborating, definitely would love, would love to reach out and jam on those topics. 

Where can our listeners find you?

 I'm on LinkedIn, I'm not on Twitter.

I'm sorry. So I'm at LinkedIn a Galvez, G A L V E Z.  

Well, thank you so much, Andrea. This has been wonderful and I really enjoyed the conversation and got to learn so much  from you as well. 

Oh my gosh, I learned so much from you every time I talk to you. Thank you so much for having me.

Yeah, same here. , bye.