Ep. 101 – Use Your Sway

We all admire women with sway.  They have presence but aren’t overbearing.

The problem isn’t that you don’t have it.  Like most smart, ambitious women, you just don’t know how to use it.

If you have ever experienced mansplaining, (and seriously, who hasn’t?) this is the episode for you.

Get out your papers and pens (hopefully, you’re using more than one color on  this notes collection. Lots of good stuff to take in.)  This is one episode you should be taking notes!

Today’s guest is the host of the Leader to Leader Podcast and he knows his stuff!

Mark Slemons is a speaker, podcaster, and coach. He helps leaders leverage practices and perspectives to make their people and their organization thrive. It’s challenging to lead well, especially young leaders who are just starting their journey. They don’t have to do it alone though. With more than 30 years as a husband, father, leader, volunteer, and employee working for a multi-billion dollar international company, his unique perspective combined with practical and actionable tips will help individuals and organizations thrive. Whether humorous, serious, or sad, he uses the past to create a better future.

Connect with Mark Slemons.Mark Slemons, Leader to Leader Podcast

Show highlights that apply right now are:

  • Mark decided to be consistent, (publish an episode every Monday) before he started his podcast.
  • Perfection addiction in his life: He struggles with not having something be perfect before he lets it go.
  • Now he has arrived at the point where he says, “This is a really good effort, and I’m okay with that.”  Couldn’t we all use more of that in our life?  
  • What your best is at one time is not what you do now.
  • Amy joins Mark on his show, Episode 8.
  • The ideas mature- just like you.
  • Why You Must Talk About Yourself, Episode 40-41.
  • Mark describes the feeling you get when you’re on to something…”You know that if you can get ahold of this it will make a difference in your own life and hope that it can do the same for someone else.”
  • You have to talk about yourself.
  • That’s not pride.  You can tell people about the good things in your life.
  • We undermine and underestimate the contribution we add, even in our own home.

Why Sway is Important in Your Life

“This notion that your great work speaks for itself while you are humble and unassuming…it’s not a reality.”

  • When you don’t talk about yourself enough, it comes down to a self-worth issue.
  • Talk about yourself too much?  You’re bragging.
  • Bragging is what has happened in the past.
  • The difference between swagger and cockiness defined.
  • It’s ultimately about sway. Sway is your influence.
  • There’s an art to talking about yourself.
  • It’s okay to talk about yourself that gives you credit for your capabilities, talents and results.

Six Steps to Help Smart, Ambitious Women Use Their Sway

  • Step 1. Track your performance.
    • Everyone has a body of work.
    • You need to demonstrate your contribution in the larger wheel. Build the body of evidence.
    • Use examples that show results in your space.
  • Keep “The Glory File*,” the file that keeps track of those compliments, kudos, reports of success just for you.  You can refer to them when you need to report in.
  • Step 2. Talk about your results.
    • You must communicate your efforts regularly.
    • Position yourself to show others, the business
    • Don’t be silent about your accomplishments.
    • Arrogance and silence both don’t help. Find the middle ground for you.
    • “If you’re too modest, you’re not helping yourself.”
    • If you don’t say it, there’s nobody else that’s going to do it for you. 
  • Step 3.  Share credit when credit needs to be shared.
    • Thank for the credit and mention how your team will appreciate it.
    • Mention the team amidst the effort.
    • Name them specifically, if possible.
  • Step 4.  Take credit for your ideas.
    • It’s up to you to get the respect & authority that you deserve.
    • You can’t allow others to take your credit and not put up resistance.
    • Don’t be childish.  Be strategic.
    • “I’m glad you like my idea. I’d love to hear how you would add to that.”
    • Your choice of words is really important.
    • Be willing to confront, not combat someone on the issue.
  • “I encourage your listeners to step up.  You have the ability to lead well.”
  • Step 5. Learn how to receive a compliment. 
    • Always say thank you.
    • You can acknowledge mistakes, but don’t mention your mistakes so they overpower the compliment given.
    • Give yourself the space to say thank you.
  • Step 6. Deal with criticism.
    • There are people everywhere who speak before thinking. Words can hurt.
    • Some of the feedback you get will be harsh.  If you are more sensitive to that, find a way to deal with those comments that work for you.
    • Take the valuable pieces of the feedback and discard the rest.
    • Others don’t feel the pain.  Even the person who said that remark will never feel the pain of a cutting comment. You decide if that thought persists in your mind or if you get rid of it.  You have the power.


  • “Don’t go to bed with that guy tonight. He’s living in your head, rent-free, and you need to evict him…”  These are the words you need to remind yourself when you find yourself fixated on a negative, or hurtful comment.

Find Mark Slemons on Twitter, or email him at mark@markslemons.com.

*  As recommended by Pamela Jett.

Power and Influence can be Yours.

“Learn more here.”

You can be an Influencer
Stop Chasing Influencers has helped me tremendously.

“Follow my plan.”

“Make crazy good money. It’s Easy.”

Once you start working in the online space these phrases show up everywhere.

This place is crawling with big shots.

People are looking for answers.  Seeking success. They want it.  They want it so badly that they just start following the big guys like sheep.  And not just following them, they’re hounding them, hoping some of that success rubs off on them.

And I just want to tell those people:


Stop hounding them.

Start being You.  Sharing You. Building those around You. (and yes, it’s capitalized because You have a voice and tremendous value.)

I’ve been thinking this for a while, had conversations about this with friends and my husband until he’s just about done with it.

This has been on my mind, most intensely, for months.

Because, sure, I want to be successful in this online space.  I want to share with others and encourage them on to success. I want to help a lot of people.

But I will not hound the big dogs.  (I’m sure there’s a better metaphor, but this is what I’ve got.)

I want to do this the right way for me and my friends who read this.  (And if you read this, we are already friends- we just haven’t been formally introduced.  Pssh. Details.)

Trust your voice.    Make a plan.     Move forward.  Be smart.  Don’t waste time following the crowd.  It’s not about them.  [Tweet “Trust your voice. Make a plan. Move forward. Be smart. @jaredeasley @kimanzic”]

That’s what I’ve learned from Jared Easley and Kimanzi Constable in Stop Chasing Influencers.  This isn’t a course with cookie cutter steps to follow.  No, this is the art class of  success.  The big enchilada.  They show you what works and give you the clay to implement what you create. After every session, I was telling my husband, “Ho. Lee.  Smokes.  I can not believe how much is possible.  This is going to happen.”

You’re like me.  We are all working hard at sharing with the world, what about working smarter than you’ve ever worked before?  What about the creating and connecting component of business?

It’s in Stop Chasing Influencers.  It’s about who are you becoming to help others.

I am learning to be a person of Influence.  When’s the last time you looked up that word?

You know our family is working so intensely to destroy our debt right now.  We have spent some money  so I can learn how to form a business from this creative outlet. Stop Chasing Influencers gives you the best strategies to quit wasting time, focus on what you’re doing and create something of value.  And then, take that creation and build your business, your power and yourself forward by being generous.

It has been fascinating.

This is how I’m learning to Be Me.  Sharing the very best I have with the world.

See, Kimanzi shows you that your dream could really be one drop in the bucket of how big the dream can be.  It’s possible.  It really is.  The choice is yours.  He shows you the specific steps he’s taken to share his work on major blogs like Huffpost, Entrepreneur, and others.  His dream for you is even bigger than yours. (How does that work?)  He helps you build your dream in depth.

Where Jared shows you the breadth of what you’re creating. He understands the power of relationships.  His podcast, Starve the Doubts, has impacted several people that I’ve been able to connect with online.  He has made hundreds, possibly thousands of new friends in the past couple of years.  I’ve never seen such a connector.  He teaches you specific strategies to connect with people and pull others into your support system, all by exhibiting generosity.  He’ll say, “Have you considered the work of so-and-so?  Might inspire something.”  Or, “Have you connected with this person? Your talents could work together effectively.”

Both of these strategies work together to make your work go even farther than you thought possible, while walking you through practical steps to take today and tomorrow and the next day to get your message out there.  You start building your dream and connecting with other entrepreneurs to make something even greater than you imagined.

Here’s the thing:  I’m great at big picture.  I can imagine the finished product.  But I struggle with the daily steps to break it down.

These guys break it down.

Best money I’ve spent in a long time.  And you know what that means to me.

I’m reading Today We are Rich:  Harnessing the Power of Total Confidence, by Tim Sanders right now.  (Fantastic read.  Highly recommend.  We’ll address that soon.)

He shares the story of Tommie King in the 1930s who uses the family’s fortune to give out interest-free loans to those around him.  He was focused on creating a farm community that could thrive.  He had the vision of where they could grow together.

Later, the family suffered a major financial fiasco and had nearly lost everything.  Sanders shares:

Tommie stumbled into a way to give unlimited power directly to other men in need. He learned the value of giving the invisible: wisdom, connections, and reputation.  When he shared business know-how with a young entrepreneur, he created wealth. When he networked an opportunity with an ambitious person, he made magic happen. When he lent his sterling reputation to a business owner to help him get a loan, he became a money machine.

In each case, unlike giving cash, giving power didn’t deplete Tommie’s supply. In fact, the more he gave the power of know-how and connections, the more he had because of the feedback he received and the goodwill he generated.”

Wow.  That example is still applicable today.  Even more so with social media.  It is possible to get your message out to those people who need to hear from you.  The media is looking for people who have something worthwhile to share.  You’ve just got to work smart.

This is the class that shows you how.  You need this class.

Tell Jared & Kimanzi I sent you when you take Stop Chasing Influencers.  Your path to success will never be the same.

Oh, and I’ll be cheering you on all the way, friend.

So, how do you plan to work on implementing your business to reach even more this year?