Eleanor Beaton Leader

According to Eleanor Beaton, much of leadership relies on confidence and a willingness to rise to any challenge.  

This confidence is not acquired overnight, however. Before the assuredness in your abilities comes the radical conviction required to push through challenges.  

Episode #093 of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is the first of a two-part series with Eleanor Beaton, a women’s leadership expert, renowned author, podcaster and entrepreneur.  She shows us the keys to acquiring the type of mindset that creates lasting impact.

Eleanor Beaton

Eleanor Beaton - Meeting Leadership Podcast - Effective Meetings

Eleanor Beaton is an internationally-recognized expert in women’s leadership, and an advisor to growth-oriented women entrepreneurs. She has served as chair of the Visiting Women’s Executive Exchange Program at the Yale School of Management and sits on the board of directors of two Canadian venture capital organizations. She’s been recognized by the Corporate Excellence Awards as Canada’s Leadership Coach of the Year, and was named by entrepreneurial guru for women Ali Brown as “one of the foremost women’s leadership experts in North America.”  Eleanor is the host and executive producer of a top-ranked podcast for women entrepreneurs, Fierce Feminine Leadership. A former journalist reporting for the CBC, Globe and Mail and Canadian Business, Eleanor was a finalist for a National Business Book of the Year, Canada’s top business book honour, and has won national prizes for her journalistic work covering key issues related to women in leadership. Eleanor has spoken internationally at events whose rosters include notables such as the former First Lady and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She lives in Eastern Canada with her husband and two sons.   

You can get in touch with Eleanor at https://eleanorbeaton.com/

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00:00 – Show Opening

Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership Podcast with Gordon Sheppard. 

00:27 – Podcast content starts here!

Gordon Sheppard: Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard, and as always, I want to say thank you so much for taking time out of your valuable day to come to this podcast to get another leadership skill, another tip, another way that you can go into your next meeting to make it highly effective because you know as a leader if you can do that, that it will have an incremental impact on your entire organization; and you know if you can do that, you can serve your customers and your community at the highest possible level. I really appreciate that you’re here.

01:00 – For leaders who want to take their conviction to an Olympic level!

Gordon Sheppard: And if you’re the type of leader who is ready to go next level, I mean Olympic athlete, I mean like go to the moon, you’re going to get a lot out of today’s episode because today, we’re going to talk about why leaders need radical conviction. And you know who came up with that term? Her name is Eleanor Beaton, and she is a women’s leadership expert. She’s got a great podcast; it’s called Fierce Feminine Leadership.

And with this idea of radical conviction, which is just one part of the work that she goes in to help leaders with, she’s going to talk about next-level confidence. She’s going to talk about ways to live, to lead, and to speak with major courage and major impact.

01:52 – Welcome, Eleanor Beaton!

Gordon Sheppard: It is a great interview coming up. You’re going to get inspired. You’re going to take action for sure as a leader after you listen to it, and I’m not going to hold you back any longer. Here’s the interview with Eleanor Beaton. Eleanor Beaton, welcome to the show. It is just great to have you here.

Eleanor Beaton: It is so great to be here with you. Thank you.

Gordon Sheppard: I really appreciate that you’re taking the time. And I was reflecting this back to you in the moments that we had to speak before we jumped on the call, here, to say it’s remarkable the body of work that you’ve been able to accumulate and how effective it is. And you can see the time that it’s taken to really do that. But what has struck me is when I’m seeing you, whether it’s listening on you podcast, seeing you in the video, hearing from the people that are throwing out those testimonials that are so well earned, it is your attitude, it is your confidence that is coming across in spades. I can’t get enough of it. It’s just really good to have you here on the show. Some people, though, who are listening doing know you. When you go to introduce yourself, what do you tell them?

02:37 – Eleanor’s self-introduction

Eleanor Beaton: I am a women’s leadership coach. My mission is to double the number of bold, fearless, ambitious women business leaders in this country.

Gordon Sheppard: And I remember hearing something recently about parody between men and women in an article. And it’s something like 200 years from now it’s going to be that kind of thing. The fact that you are chipping away at that to accelerate that curve is really, really valuable. And today we’re talking about some of the core of your work, which is why leaders need radical conviction.

03:07 – Question: Gord – What’s happening with the research that sets these extraordinary women apart?

Gordon Sheppard: And some of the backstory here as well, knowing that you’ve been a journalist, you’ve been a consultant, and now you’re a coach, and you’ve been researching these extraordinary women leaders throughout all of that, tell us what’s happening from the research that sets these extraordinary women leaders apart?

Eleanor Beaton: Well, what’s so fascinating to me is that what any leader is attempting to do is the impossible. As a leader, you are looking to guide either yourself, your business, your podcast, or your organization, if you’re working inside a larger corporate structure, to something, to a goal, to a vision, a desired result that you haven’t achieved before. So for all intents and purposes, what you’re trying to do is achieve the impossible.

03:52 – Relying on confidence and the willingness to rise to a challenge

So one of the things that I noticed as I started working more and more with highly successful leaders is that their ability to rely on their confidence was quickly out-stroked because confidence is the willingness to raise your hand or a challenge, and it is ultimately based on your prior experience.

Eleanor Beaton: So you feel confident to throw your hat in the ring for x, y, z because you’ve accomplished x, y, z before. But for many of the leaders that are listening to this show, what you’re trying to do is something that you have not accomplished before. And that’s where it switches from the comfort based on past experience to the conviction that is rooted in your belief of the worthiness of this goal, right? That’s conviction. It is one of the central things for a leader to be able to align his or her team behind a desired outcome that they have not achieved before.

04:50 – Question: Gord – Was there a moment for you when you saw conviction taking root in your own leadership?

Gordon Sheppard: Well, and let me just jump in here and say there must’ve been a tipping point. I mean, unless you were born personally with conviction, was there a moment for you in terms of your own sort of 10,000 hours or whatever it took The Beatles to get to where they got to, is there a moment for yourself where you understood that this was actually taking root in your own leadership?

Eleanor Beaton: Oh, 100%. It was when I can vividly remember having a conversation with Annette Verschuren. So she is a legendary business leader in this country. She took Home Depot Canada from $600 million in sales to $6 billion in sales. And she was talking about her career trajectory. And she was describing how so many times over the course of her career it was about jumping into the deep end and trying to keep her head above water, experimenting, throwing spaghetti against the wall and seeing what stuck.

And she wasn’t saying this in a cavalier way. So this is a women who’s had major corporate responsibilities, does a ton of due diligence, all of that stuff. What she was really saying is as a leader, you are continuously getting out of your comfort zone and into the growth zone. And when you’re in the growth zone, that’s where belief rules, not confidence based on prior experience. This was a person for whom I had incredible respect. She said that, and I finally got it. And I started looking around through this lens and realizing that I was surrounded by people in the arena with me who were gamely going after the goals and intentions that they had set for their business and for their company and their team. They were gamely going through the hoops to attempt to create this without a safety net of certainty.

And I looked around me, and I said, “If they can do it, I can do this too. And not only am I going to do it, I’m going to do what my zone of genius is, which is to kind of codify it so other people can follow.”

06:47 – Radical Conviction vs. Imposter Syndrome – Leaders must set the vision and align people behind it

Gordon Sheppard: Well, and the codification for me in doing a bit of homework on this is this phrase radical conviction. And I don’t mean to demean it by saying “phrase.” Those are just two great words that go together because they’re so impactful. And I mean to get away from imposter syndrome, which I think doesn’t have the flavor that you’re talking about in moving into radical conviction. Why radical conviction?

Eleanor Beaton: Ooh, I love it because radical conviction comes down to this idea of radical belief in the goal that you see possible. Not everybody needs radical conviction, right? The leaders do, though, because as a leader, your cheap aim is to communicate to set a vision, communicate a vision, and align your people behind that vision.

07:57 – An example of Radical Conviction in action

Eleanor Beaton: What is critical is that you have conviction that this is a worthy goal and that as a team, you can accomplish it. If you don’t believe it, your team is going to have a difficult time believing that also. And the reason that I call it radial conviction is because it is the conviction in something that is going to feel impossible.

I’m thinking about a colleague of mine who scaled her business from $2 million to 50 million over a three-year period. And the conviction required to produce something out of nothing, to generate that amount of value as a small business owner in this case is extraordinary. There was no roadmap to do it. There was no certainty that she would accomplish it. The alignment of strategy, and tactics, and execution on the part of hundreds of people to make that possible was born out of her radical conviction.

08:30 – MLP 094: Why Leaders Need Radical Conviction with Eleanor Beaton – Part 2  – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/94

Gordon Sheppard: You’ve been listening to part one of a two-part series called Why Leaders Need Radical Conviction. And we’ve been listening to Eleanor Beaton with all her great wisdom for leaders, how they have to go out and achieve the impossible, how they need radical conviction to do this. And of course I know you’re going to want to hear the rest of this outstanding interview. And that’s coming up tomorrow in part two on episode 94 of the Meeting Leadership Podcast. And you can get that episode by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/94.

09:04 – MLP 103: Inspiring Leadership Stories with Eleanor Beaton  – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/103

Gordon Sheppard: And we are lucky enough to have Eleanor back on episode 103 of the podcast where she shares an inspiring leadership story. I can tell you that one is worthwhile as well. And you can get that one by going to meetingleadershipinc.com/103

09:18 – More on Radical Conviction – http://eleanorbeaton.com/conviction

Gordon Sheppard: And if you’d like to dig in deeper to the radical conviction concept, just go to radicalconviction.com or get in touch with Eleanor directly through eleanorbeaton.com. And we’ll leave all that information in the show notes for you as well.

09:33 – MLP 017: Why Leaders Need Managerial Courage with Kevin Whelan – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/17 

Gordon Sheppard: And if you’re the type of leader who really enjoyed listening to the radical conviction concept, then I recommend that you check out another episode on the Meeting Leadership Podcast. It’s episode 17, and it’s called Why Leaders Need Managerial Courage. And that’s with expert Kevin Whelan. That episode’s been really well received. I think you’ll get a lot out of it as well. Please visit meetingleadershipinc.com/17 to listen to that one.

09:57 – Meeting Leadership Academy – https://meetingleadershipinc.com/academy

Gordon Sheppard: And I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership Podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. Now, there you’re going to find outstanding live training options for you and your team to learn how to have highly effective meetings. And if you want to develop your leadership skills, especially as a meeting leader, we’ve got some terrific online options as well. Visit meetingleadershipinc.com/academy to learn more. And as always, thank you so much for listening. And we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership Podcast. 

10:27 – Podcast Outro

Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader. And don’t forget to rate and review so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow right here on the Meeting Leadership Podcast.

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Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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