[Ep#221] Embracing Professional Growth and Value Without Comparison or Apology

Embracing Professional Growth and Value Without Comparison or Apology

Are you tired of measuring your professional accomplishments against others and feeling hesitant to own your value unapologetically? It's high time to shatter those invisible barriers!

Join us on the latest episode of the Women in Leadership Podcast, titled “Embracing Professional Growth and Value Without Comparison or Apology.” Get ready to dive into an inspiring conversation with our special guest, Kelly Hopping, the accomplished chief marketing officer at Demandbase.

This discussion is not just a conversation; it's a toolbox for any woman ready to elevate her leadership abilities and accelerate her career trajectory. Whether you're looking to boost your communication skills, understand the nuances of teamwork, or navigate a male-dominated workspace with assertiveness, Kelly and Annemarie have got you covered.

Let's make professional self-doubt a thing of the past.

On today’s show, Kelly is going to share:  

  • Being effective in your job doesn’t mean that you have to be “better” than your peers. 
  • Leadership takes time and to not be afraid of making lateral moves as they help develop more well-rounded leaders.   
  • How to recognize you value and not apologize for it – especially women!   


WATCH NOW (and check out the Resources and Episode Highlights below):


Jump straight to these golden nuggets:

06:38 Company success over individual success is vital.

07:48 Co-elevation creates a winning team mindset.

11:16 Embracing curiosity, collaboration, and humility in leadership.

17:04 Diversify skills before reaching director level.

18:54 Lateral moves and skill development for success.

21:05 Soft skills crucial for career success and growth.

25:51 Be conscious of words that diminish impact.

28:27 Short stature doesn't make me a victim.


Topic: Insights from Marketing and Sales Collaboration

  • Kelly Hopping's encounter with the gap between marketing targets and sales follow-through.
  • The importance of aligning the sales qualification process with marketing efforts.
  • Implementation of an additional qualification question and the resulting improvements in conversion.

Topic: Leadership Approaches and Team Dynamics

  • Approaching challenges with curiosity instead of condemnation.
  • Avoiding blame cultures and fostering teamwork between sales and marketing.
  • The negative impact of ego and narcissistic behavior in the workplace.
  • Cross' views on the ‘us versus them' corporate culture.

Topic: Trust and Communication in Corporate Culture

  • Creating a culture that values honesty and transparent communication.
  • Discussing the importance of collaboration and co-elevation over personal gains.
  • The differences in communication styles between men and women leaders.
  • How a positive, proactive attitude shapes one's professional journey.

Topic: Empowerment of Women in Leadership

  • How women leaders can own their positions and address their skill gaps.
  • The significance of expressing one's value to progress in a career.


Empathy and Directness in Leadership: “To walk in, you have to that your partner in the conversation has to know that you're coming from a place of good intent. So, if you lead with empathy and come with that place, then that directness is actually incredibly freeing on both sides because you're setting up a culture that says, I'm comfortable to share feedback knowing that it's in a safe space, and I want you to do the same.”

— Kelly Hopping 00:03:0100:03:22

Corporate Teamwork Dynamics: “We either win together as a team or we lose together as a team. I tell my team all the time that your mindset and it's hard to do this, but in terms of the way you think about impact and priorities, company first, then team, then yourself.”

— Kelly Hopping 00:07:0300:07:16

Co-Elevation Culture in Business: “And the whole book is really about co elevation. So, it's this idea that by co elevating the people around us, we create 1, we create that, that mindset of winning together and losing together.”

— Kelly Hopping 00:07:4800:08:01

Constructive Leadership Approach: “You don't kinda come in and say, how come you're not working these leads? You say, hey. I noticed you have a lot of marketing sourced opportunities in your pipe, but they're not progressing. And I would love to understand why so that we can help bring you better quality leads in the future.”

— Kelly Hopping 00:09:3700:09:52

Effective Team Collaboration: “That was dangerously close to finger pointing. Like, we are all one team here. Like, if we wanna ask questions to kind of understand more, let's do that.”

— Kelly Hopping 00:14:0200:14:12

Career Advancement Strategies: “I believe that once you get in, you know, in a in a standard kind of corporate America world, I think once you get somewhat to a director senior director level, you really get typecast. At that stage it's really hard to kind of convince somebody that you have skills in other areas.”

— Kelly Hopping 00:17:1100:17:26

Career Development Strategy: “I sort of think of a career, or a a job, let's say, a sort of a 3-legged stool. You have your function, you have your industry, and you have your location. And if you wanna pivot, if you try to pivot 2 of those at one time, you know, your stool kind of topples over. But if you can hang on to 2 and kind of have stability, you can convince folks to pivot with you.”

— Kelly Hopping 00:20:0700:20:08

Career Change Strategies: “That's how you change careers is by saying, okay, I'm gonna plant my foot in something. I'm gonna pivot on the other because I can't hop with both.”

— Kelly Hopping 00:20:4100:20:48

Women and Communication Command: “But for a woman, like, we're asking to be told no because we are delivering it with such hesitation. And so, when I say don't apologize for it, I really think about this idea of how we can communicate with empathy and compassion but with command, and not apologize for that?”

— Kelly Hopping  00:24:3200:24:50

Overcoming Victimhood Mindset: “I'm not a victim because I'm female that somehow that I deserve special, you know, anything. It's that, you know, I'm hopefully someone in charge of my career as much as anybody. And if I have gaps in my skills, gaps in my communication, gaps in my ability to execute or communicate my value, that's on me.”

— Kelly Hopping 00:28:4000:29:01

Contact Kelly:

A Personal Message from Annemarie

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What did you think about the message shared today? What action step will you take to turn this around? Go ahead and share. We’d love to hear from you!

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