Unlocking Business Through People With Pamela Oberg

Hello, welcome to another episode of Unlocked. Today, I’ve got Pamela Oberg on the call. She is an experienced executive and relentless optimist. She’s got a great energy to her. You’re going to love listening to her or watching her depending on where you’re listening or watching this podcast. She’s got a really diverse background. She’s worked in education, healthcare and technology. She prides yourself on being on time, on budget, being cost effective, innovative in the processes she creates. She believes process is the foundation of agility. Process is the foundation of agility. So I love that phrase. We don’t talk about that much in here, but in her bio she says that. And I love that thought process. So you see what she prides herself on and what she really revolves her identity around, which is awesome. She is a chief member, which if you don’t know what that is, we’re going to talk about what that is at the beginning of the interview.

She’s a Nerdy Girls Success board of directors, which she’s on the board. She’s just got introduced to that board that this year. So we’ll talk about what that is. She’s a mystery writer. We’ll talk about what she’s doing there. So I love all this. We start off the interview talking about those things. We also talk about the generational dynamics of what’s happening now with the gen Z mindset that’s coming in also the millennial mindset, and what that’s introduced into our workplace and our culture is really interesting as far as what she brings out in this conversation. At the end, we talk about this empowerment and accountability balance. So stay tuned for that as well. She drops some awesome wisdom at the end. If you just want to fast forward all the way to the end and hear the end, then go for it, because it’s really good. But anyway, we’re going to get on with the interview. Here we come.

Pamela, it is wonderful seeing you here today, and I am stoked for this conversation. So you ready?

Pamela Oberg:

I’m ready. Thank you so much for having me.

Skot Waldron:

This will be good. I am, first of all, I don’t know if I’ve read anything I love so much in a bio as this, right. Chief member, Nerdy Girls Success board of directors, mystery writer, and then incredible proud mom and wife. So those things are like, I immediately go, interesting. Oh, that’s interesting. Oh, what is that? Right. So, please tell me about those briefly, I’m interested.

PAMELA OBERG:

Sure. So Chief is a private networking organization for executive women, and it’s about growing and expanding our numbers in terms of women in executive leadership positions. It’s about creating a space for yourself and making space for other women as well. How do we nurture and support each other to increase some of those numbers? The number of CEOs that are female, the number of board director members. It’s just the most amazingly nurturing and supportive place. And there’s a lot of coaching that goes on. So that’s fabulous. I joined in August and it’s just been an amazing experience. So love that. Nerdy Girls brand new board member, I was just accepted and offered that role in January of this year, 2022 and similar theme. We work with young women who are between the ages of 17 and 22, roughly. And we are just encouraging them to become amazing future leaders. And we bring in mentors.

If the girls are interested in careers and marketing, we find marketing executives who look like them to come and talk to them and give them advice and guidance. Just really helping to create those future decision makers in our young women and launch them into the future. So really excited about that work, even though I’m super new to it, but yeah, I love that. What was next?

SKOT WALDRON:

Mystery writer?

PAMELA OBERG:

Mystery writer. Yes. So I love crime fiction, all kinds of crime fiction. There’s a lot of sub genres there. And many years ago I decided my hand at writing some things and I’ve actually published two short stories.

SKOT WALDRON:

Nice. Very good.

PAMELA OBERG:

Yes. Yes. Very excited about that. Writing’s taken a little bit of a backseat the last few years, but I’m actually working on a third story right now, so yeah. And it’s so cathartic and it’s great stress relief to be able to decide who the next victim is going to be when you’re really frustrated. So there’s that aspect as well. So creative outlet and stress relief all in one activity. It’s fabulous.

SKOT WALDRON:

I was about to say, so there’s some people in your stories that represent real people that you’re killing off because some passive aggressiveness seeps in there.

PAMELA OBERG:

I will neither confirm nor deny.

SKOT WALDRON:

Okay. Gotcha. Fair enough. Fair enough. That’s cool.

PAMELA OBERG:

It’s possible.

SKOT WALDRON:

That’s good. That’s good. And then mom and wife, so that’s a piece of your life, right?

PAMELA OBERG:

Yeah. It is. It’s so important. Yeah. We’ve had a lot going on in the last couple of years as everyone has. My husband and I have had careers that have paralleled each other. We were both technical project managers for a long time. We both moved into management and then he decided that he just really wanted to own something. He wanted to take the helm of his own personal career-ship as it were. And so he and a dear friend of both of ours bought a small company and they bought it six months before COVID hit and the world shut down. And a heavy part of their business was trade shows. So that was terrifying. And they have just been so amazingly successful and he’s super excited about what he does. And it’s a great example for our daughter as well, because he shifted into something really, really different. Lots of responsibility, lots of opportunity. And during COVID… Yeah, that was a little bit crazy.

SKOT WALDRON:

Wow.

PAMELA OBERG:

Yeah. So super exciting there.

SKOT WALDRON:

That’s cool. Yeah, I was speaking with somebody and she was in charge of placing speakers for large events.

PAMELA OBERG:

Oh, yes.

SKOT WALDRON:

That hurt her. And her husband was an event planner for large events.

PAMELA OBERG:

Oh.

SKOT WALDRON:

And it was like, wow, you both picked the most anti COVID job that you could pick.

PAMELA OBERG:

Yes. Yes.

SKOT WALDRON:

That is scary, but you know what that caused, it caused a lot of innovation to happen.

PAMELA OBERG:

It did.

SKOT WALDRON:

Right. A lot of how do we repackage what we do? How do we serve the people that we serve still and let them know we’re here for them. So that was a very interesting time for sure.

PAMELA OBERG:

Yes. Yes.

SKOT WALDRON:

You’re very, very passionate about, as we’ve heard, right, in the chief member of the and the Nerdy Girls, is really supporting people and being advocates for not only the younger generations, but the female, right. That female workforce that is up and coming. And that exists, but is also up and coming. And you have a daughter.

PAMELA OBERG:

They’re two.

SKOT WALDRON:

And as you think about her and she’s moving into… she’s 18, 19 years old, right?

PAMELA OBERG:

Right.

SKOT WALDRON:

And moving into her next chapter of life of going into college and then moving on and getting careers. Talk about this a little bit more, as far as the next generation. And we talked about this previously, but what do you think about that next generation moving up? There’s a lot of, I talk about generational dynamics a lot and leadership. Right now we have five different generations in the workforce, which is by the first time ever that that’s happened.

PAMELA OBERG:

Amazing.

SKOT WALDRON:

And how do we manage that? So what are you thinking about right now as these younger generations are coming up into the workforce now, what is on your mind?

PAMELA OBERG:

Oh, great question. I think my first instinct, when I look at them is I want to protect them. And by that, I mean, they have such an amazing spirit of openness that… I don’t even remember from my own experiences of being 18, 19 years old. These kids, my daughter’s friends, my friends’ children are roughly the same ages. And these kids are just such open supportive people. And differences, they don’t really… They celebrate them very easily, right. There’s rarely a negative response to, if someone comes out as transgender to them or anything that creates diversity, these kids are like, they lead with curiosity. They lead with curiosity. They’re curious, they’re interested and they’re supportive. And they seem to really come by it naturally.

And so when I say I want to protect them, I want to nurture that because I think that’s their super power. That is this generation’s superpower, is that they see difference as opportunity. They see it as something rich, it’s part of the fabric of their lives. And I think to myself of the opportunities that they will have as adults, if they can preserve that within themselves and each other. I just think it’s going to be amazing to watch it unfold for them.

SKOT WALDRON:

That is going to be really cool. And talking more about that when I was doing more research on generation Z, right, what they’re part of. And thinking about the impact of world of global terror and war. They have never known a life without global terror and war. They were born into that and it’s existed their entire lives. And it’s just existed. And the idea of a world language. They have a global mentality, they have access to the entire world and it’s there all the time. Those types of things I think feed into a little bit of that empathy that you’re talking about.

PAMELA OBERG:

Yes.

SKOT WALDRON:

Right. And that understanding of, hey, there’s some opportunity here, differences create opportunity. I love how you said that, right. Because I think there’s some other generations or some other mindsets that may think differences are scary, and they can be, right. Because it’s not familiar to us. We don’t get it. So we’re just like, I don’t know if I want to engage with that. What’s the impact you think, the negative impact of that in particular on cultures?

PAMELA OBERG:

Ooh, that’s a great question. I don’t know that there necessarily has to be a negative impact. If I start teasing out threads of, will we see too much blending of culture? Will we lose things that make unique communities unique? I don’t think so, because I think that these kids, these young adults, while they are aware of the diversity of their world and they celebrate it, they also nurture it. As I said, they lead with curiosity, so they want to learn about each other. They don’t seem to have any sort of innate desire to change each other. The honoring of those differences and the looking to how that makes them collectively better and more interesting, I think that’s really, really present for them. I think that’s a foundation that they’ve somehow acquired and I think that will continue to move them forward. So I don’t know. I would have to think on that some more. I don’t know that there’s necessarily going to be a downside for them.

SKOT WALDRON:

Okay. I guess there’s just the thought of the opportunity. I think for the older generations working with the younger generations. How do we create more of that, that comradery as opposed to, you think that way, I think this way, let’s just agree to be different. And then we can just go our separate ways. But in doing that, you’re paddling the boat that way and I’m paddling the boat this way and we’re really not going anywhere.

PAMELA OBERG:

We’re not going anywhere.

SKOT WALDRON:

If we agree to disagree and we just got to go our separate ways, it doesn’t really work because we’re all in the same boat.

PAMELA OBERG:

Right, right. I like the way you’re thinking on that. And I would say as this gen Z really starts entering the workforce, I think if they can bring with them this openness, this curiosity, I think that one of the really positive things is they can encourage the rest of us to get more comfortable with being uncomfortable. And that’s something I coach my staffs on. I don’t have direct reports right now, but I have a lot of folks that I mentor and I was managing a couple of teams last year. And my leadership, we talked a lot about that idea of getting comfortable being uncomfortable. And that to your point, that doesn’t mean we necessarily have to agree to disagree, sometimes there really is a best answer. I won’t say a right answer, but a best answer in that moment. But it’s making space to hear the different messages, the different perspectives, and that is hard.

And I think some generations are struggling with it a little bit more. As I have parented my child I’ve had to challenge myself a lot. And we’ve had honest conversations about that and I’ve said, okay, I need a minute to think about this because your world is really different than mine. And I’m looking at you through the lens of what it was like when I was your age and that’s not fair. I have to step back and reset. And that started me on this journey of being comfortable being uncomfortable, which really is all about for me, trying to find that curiosity within me and the learner in me, I want to learn things and then come away with some conclusion that’s drawn from multiple perspectives. So I think these gen Zers can help push us a little bit more in that direction.

The flip side is the worlds that a lot of us have grown up in, we’ve learned really valuable things about values and mission. And we’ve learned a lot about the importance of structure and process. For me, those things aren’t limiting, right. I often will say when I’m dealing with my project management world, the strongest foundations allow the best innovation. If you are standing on a pile of sand, you’re always just trying to find your balance and you never really get to innovate. And so I think the folks that are in the workforce now, we’ve learned a lot through trial and error and we can help coach these kids on the importance of some of those things to help them focus a bit. And that blending, I think, is going to be incredibly powerful for industry, I really do. And for a lot of things. I think for sustainability and politics and environment, I think it can be really powerful. I’m excited.

SKOT WALDRON:

Yeah. And I guess I didn’t really intend this conversation to go be all about the gen Zers, right. It just happened that way. But that’s what’s great about these conversations is they end up shaping that way. So let’s take that though, that launching off point of talking about creating a space of empathy and how do we bridge this understanding gap, because I love what you said. As a mother, you had to sit there and say, hold on a second, I need to think about this. I need to reshape my thought process about what you’re going through. Because I can’t totally get it because I don’t grow up in this day and age. I grew up when I grew up, not when you’re growing up, and I need to put myself there.

That is what I call fighting for the highest possible good of somebody, right? Because now it’s not about leading how you need to be led or how you want to be led. It’s about leading how they need to be led. So now you’re going, you’re reshaping and reframing your mind into that space. So your big proponent of revolving business around the employee.

PAMELA OBERG:

Yes.

SKOT WALDRON:

As these young generations come in, I’m going to pivot this a little bit to say, yes, they’re coming in, how do we revolve it around them? But how do we revolve it around employees in general? And what’s the impact of that?

PAMELA OBERG:

Oh great. I love this topic. I love this area. I think most people are probably familiar with Richard Branson, of course. All of the many, many Virgin businesses that he has started. And he has some lovely philosophies that have worn out very well for the success of Virgin, about centering in on employees. And one of his quotes and I’m going to paraphrase this badly is, take care of your employees they’ll take care of your business. And he has another one that says clients don’t come first, employees come first. And if you dive into that and unpack it a little bit, what we’re really saying is that if you hire great people and you nurture and support them, you create spaces that are psychologically safe. You help drive a culture that is based on team and collaboration. You end up with this amazing group of people who not only collaborate to get work done, but they innovate. They explore, they take risks.

And when you have employees who are self-directed, when you have employees who feel as though a new fresh idea or approach will be seriously entertained, those folks are engaged in your business. They care deeply about your business. And that translates to amazing customer service, that translates to products that customers will benefit from. It also can mean that in lean times, these are folks that will pull together because they’re committed to the mission and vision of the business and the collective success. So I think companies that have created this kind of environment that is employee centric are better prepared to weather the storms, whether it’s a global pandemic or recession or whatever world challenges we’re facing at the time, because they feel invested. They feel invested in what is happening in the business. They care.

SKOT WALDRON:

And we did see a lot of that during COVID, right?

PAMELA OBERG:

Absolutely.

SKOT WALDRON:

You had the reactionary companies that we’re like, oh no, we got to fix this, right. And then people are being laid off and then they’re all of a sudden going, no, no, no, no. We care about people we care about… No, we do care, right. And then it’s like, whoa, it’s a little too late. When the house is burning down, isn’t the time to all of a sudden say you care about fire safety, right. And it’s like, we have these individuals that were actually also employees of the companies that were invested in their employees before that said, you know what? I know times are tough, but I know you’re for me, right. I know that you’re here to support me. I know you care about me, I’ll take a pay cut, right. Or like, I get that you cut half my team and that’s going to cause more work for me, but I’m willing to do that and stick it out for a while because I get that we’re all in this together, right?

And I think that you saw that happening and that dialogue happening a lot. So what do you think is the difference between the employee… we had that mentality beforehand with employers. It was just like, oh, I’ll just… The pool is wide open, right? There’s many fish in the sea. What’s the difference between that and the way it is now? Do you think COVID big impact on that mentality?

PAMELA OBERG:

I do. And I think there’s a few things that are contributing to what we’re seeing right now. And whether you think of it as the great resignation, the great reshuffle, the great re-prioritization, the number of words that are prefixed by re right now is entertaining. COVID definitely accelerated a change that I think was coming anyway. And I know a lot of folks love to poke at the millennials. They love to poke at anyone who is younger than a millennial. But what I think the millennials brought to the forefront was this idea of just because we’ve always done it that way doesn’t mean we need to keep doing it that way. And they did it in the context of, well, there’s no pension for me and my world is a global world. So I’m not limited to only working for this one company from my entire career, no matter how they treat me, I’m not limited to this one career.

I’m seeing people who are having multiple careers. The best boss I’ve ever had in my life has had three major careers in her life. She was a kindergarten teacher and then she was a business executive. And now she is a nurse in an oncology ward. And by far the most amazing human I’ve ever met in my life. And so I think we have generations of people who are like, “What do you mean you want me to work these crazy hours, and you’re not going to treat me well?” They’re like, “No. No, I’m not doing that.” And when you add in COVID and the acceleration of companies adopting a distributed or remote workforce, we have all these amazing tools and Zoom came out of the gate and exploded with a low cost solution to allow us all to connect over the internet. The world has shifted in a really quick way. And those things combined, I think, are what are driving the changes that we’re seeing right now.

SKOT WALDRON:

Okay. I agree with that. I think that you do think about that great resignation mentality and how people are scrapping to find things like, signs at McDonald’s, you get a $500 signing bonus or whatever, right. And we’ve never seen that, right. And at a fast food place, that’s a corporate thing, right? It’s like, hey, you get this signing bonus or whatever, but we don’t see it at a fast food restaurant. And so that just talks about the desperation that’s out there to find good talent and somebody… And then we always, we just say, oh, people just aren’t loyal anymore, right? You hear that all the time. There’s no loyalty. I’m a great person. I’m a great boss. And I have a great company and I’ve been at my company for 35 years, but I can’t find anybody who will work as hard as me, and I can’t find anybody that’ll be as loyal as me anymore. It’s over, it’s done, right. What do you think is the mind shift that needs to happen there?

PAMELA OBERG:

Oh, I love that question. So I think there are a lot of employers who need to take a step back and do some introspection and some self-reflection. And obviously a company is not an animate being, so it’s the leadership teams within these companies. And I’m going to take us a step back for a minute. So one of the things that I learned that was a little uncomfortable as I moved into more and more leadership roles. And I’ll say this really became obvious to me when I was first promoted to a director level role. And I think a lot of people early in their careers think, well, when I’m in charge, I’ll get to make the decisions. And so we navigate this path upward with this hope of someday being the decision maker, because too many people are feeling unempowered. They might have some small amount of autonomy within their roles, but really someone else is making the decisions. And folks don’t feel like they can contribute to that.

This is in the past. And so then you get into leadership and you suddenly realize that you don’t perhaps have quite as much opportunity to make all the rules and all the decisions as you thought you did. And as I coach new leaders, I talk about this concept of letting go. And my personal perspective is, the higher in the food chain you go, if you want to be successful, you want to have loyal employees, the more you have to let go, because you cannot know how everything gets done. You cannot know everything impacting every role in your business. That’s simply not possible. So as leaders, if we’re focusing on strategic things, we’re focusing on looking at how industries are unfolding and evolving, government, politics, whatever is appropriate. We have to empower the folks that are in the trenches, that are in the weeds, doing the work, they have the absolute best perspective on what they need to be successful. And if you trust them to tell you what they need, they feel empowered. They feel like they have some influence. They feel valued and appreciated. They do better work. They bring better solutions.

The more you let go and empower those folks, the more they do. And I feel like it just snowballs in this amazingly positive way. So some of these leaders who are like, oh gosh, I just can’t get good help. I think they really need to reflect on what that means to them. Are they just looking for someone who will clock in, do exactly what they’re told, clock out and it’s okay for them to be taken advantage of? Or do we need to change our perspective on how we’re looking at our workforce and really value the contributions of everyone, whether it’s the person working the cashier at the fast food that person’s important. If they make people feel good, when they come in to buy their cheeseburger, people will come back. It’s a really simple thing, but it threads throughout a successful business, I think. And I think some companies are going to struggle with that more than others, for sure.

SKOT WALDRON:

Yeah. Because I think there’s that old mentality of you should be grateful that you have a job, right?

PAMELA OBERG:

Absolutely.

SKOT WALDRON:

And I’ve done it this way and I’ve gotten to where… I’m the leader of this company now because I’ve done it a certain way. And if you just do it my way, then you’ll make it too, because that’s what I’ve done. And I love this, the higher you go, the more you have to let go, right. I love that thought. And it’s a really weird thing to think, the higher I go the more in control I’ll be of things. But it’s like, I got to let go of some of that control. So there’s a balancing act between authority and responsibility. So if I give somebody all the responsibility, but no authority, right, that’s what we’re seeing. It’s just empowerment scale. It’s tipping the scale. I’m giving you a ton of responsibility, but I’m not going to give you too much authority, right. I’m going to keep control over some of that tapping.

So that leads to the micromanagement, that leads to that overseeing and that mistrust that happens. And that lack of people just feeling like, “Well, I can’t grow here.” So maybe that’s why they’re leaving.

PAMELA OBERG:

I think so. I had this opportunity. I was in a role, it was titled portfolio manager at the time and I had five or six program managers and a couple of program assistants reporting to me. It was an amazing opportunity for so many different reasons. One of which was I was able to do most of the hiring. I didn’t inherit a lot of the staff. I actually, it was just strange set of circumstances. And it was my first real opportunity to manage this team of people and establish my leadership approach in that managerial capacity. Because of course we know management and leadership are closely aligned, they overlap, they’re not quite the same though. Anybody can be a great leader.

And I really worked hard to try out some of these philosophies that I’d been exploring for myself as I did my own self development. And I really wanted these folks to feel empowered. I wanted them to have autonomy because each of them was working with a specific client. And as time were on, what ended up happening was we had the most amazing team. They had trust, they had respect. They shared accountability for things. They were really intentional when they came to me for help with something. But they did the most amazing problem solving because they knew I wanted them to be able to do that. If they came to me with a problem, it was a problem, because they didn’t need me for the little stuff and stuff happened. And it was one of the few times in my career where, when I went on vacation, I did not worry. I did not worry about being away from the office for a week, because they had it.

They could function and make good choices and represent our business well and provide our clients with amazing service without me having to be there, to tell them every step to take. And that empowered me to do some other things we needed. Figuring out new ways to grow them as a team, new opportunities for us as a team to really think strategically. And that just cemented for me like, “Okay, this is the path I want to continue.” Because I got to see it work in real time.

SKOT WALDRON:

That’s brilliant because I think that’s a little bit of what we’re talking about, right. And when we talk in the marketing world, we just talk about what’s the benefit at the end of the day? What is the thing that you’re looking for at the end of the day? What’s that promise that you want to deliver to your customers or clients? And for you, and I would believe for a leader, it is that peace of mind. It that assurance that I can leave and I can go on vacation. I can go to this meeting. I can give up the reins to you on this project and it’s not going to crash and burn, right? And it’s going to be scary at first. So being comfortable, being uncomfortable, right? Yeah. Is that thing we got to learn of, okay, I don’t know if I feel good about this, but I’m going to give you the support, the training, the tools, then I’m going to let you roll with it.

And then as you build trust, then it just frees you up to do the things you’re built to do, right. And so that’s awesome. I love that whole principle. And I’m super glad that you talked about that, because really you said the biggest problem that companies make is that they don’t empower their people. And there’s a lack of accountability there.

PAMELA OBERG:

Yes.

SKOT WALDRON:

Talk about those two things as we sum up this conversation. Let’s end on that. What is the connection between those two words to you?

PAMELA OBERG:

Oh, so it’s really, really important. It’s a really important concept. I think there are folks who have not yet achieved that being uncomfortable, being uncomfortable, being uncomfortable. And that idea of offering more autonomy is scary. And it’s certainly, I don’t think anyone would suggest that it’s some free for all, of just, let go of the reins and you don’t give direction. No, there is still a great deal of responsibility on the part of leadership to establish expectations, to make sure that your mission and vision are incredibly clear and well defined. That when you offer people autonomy, they can do so from a place of support, from information that they have the tools they need to do whatever it is that they’re doing, that they feel safe taking those risks, but there is an accountability element as well. And that is both for leadership. Leaders have to be accountable for providing the tools for success.

Again, that mission, the vision. And also if I, as an employee want the autonomy to make choices or to solve problems or to innovate, I also have to be accountable for doing that in a way that keeps the business in mind, that keeps my colleagues in mind. There can be some really innovative ideas out there that really aren’t good for business. And there’s an opportunity there, I think for coaching and educating and mentoring, but keeping in mind, our clients are important. Our business is important. Our colleagues deserve our respect and our trust. You can’t have accountability or you can’t have autonomy without balancing it with accountability. The two need that handshake, I think. Otherwise, it could become chaotic. You just have complete autonomy and you don’t have some structures and framework in place. There might be some interesting things that come out of that but they aren’t necessarily going to propel your business forward or the professional development of your employees forward.

And I think we have to be honest that businesses want to be profitable. They want to grow. We want to have value for clients and for shareholders, we want to stay in business. I think that’s a fair set of expectations. We empower people to do their best work in a way that is creative and innovative and also safe. But we also have accountability so that your colleague, Joe, isn’t running down some road that isn’t completely related to the health and wellbeing of the business and the betterment of the company and the support of our clients. So those things go together. I went rambling on a tangent there.

SKOT WALDRON:

It was a good tangent. It was a really good tangent because the way I look at that and I’ll just reframe in my language, is that you offer, the empowerment piece is so critical because that’s how we’re going to liberate people, that is how we’re going to liberate companies and liberate the world, right. Is through empowerment and opportunity. And by providing high support, which means here’s the resources you need, I’m here for you. I’m a cheerleader for you, trainings, whatever it is, this is for you. That’s high support. High challenge is that accountability piece. There has to be a delicate balance of high support and high challenge to create that liberation, that opportunity and empowerment piece that you’re talking about. You said autonomy, it all revolves around that. It’s just the nomenclature, right? But that is so critical, and I love it because that’s what’s going to propel us forward. If you have an overly accountable culture without autonomy, without the support, then people just feel dominated, right.

But if you just have the autonomy and you just have the support piece, but not a lot of accountability, then you just have entitlement and you have mistrust and you have just this protective culture that’s just like never really does anything because there’s no pushing or accountability or expectation set. I love that whole topic. I’m on fire about that. So thank you for bringing that up. Last words of wisdom. What is the mic drop you want to leave with us, no pressure.

PAMELA OBERG:

No mic drop. Okay. Oh gosh. Wow. That is intense.

SKOT WALDRON:

You’ve had a few over the course of the conversation. So I’m saying I’m not going to say there haven’t been any, but any last words you want to leave with us?

PAMELA OBERG:

I think it is just critically important to remember that business isn’t a thing. Business is a collection of humans who are coming together to create a product or a service or an experience. And if we stay centered on the humans, we lead them with empathy and compassion. We provide opportunities for empowerment, supported by accountability, truly, we can propel ourselves into the future in a way that’s incredibly healthy and exciting and dynamic. And I think the times of not having to keep those things in mind, they’re dying, they’re dead. We have to look at business a different way. And for me, we’ve got to center on the people, it’s all about the people.

SKOT WALDRON:

Amen. That was mike droppable.

PAMELA OBERG:

Excellent.

SKOT WALDRON:

Well done. Well done. All right. Anybody wants to get in touch with you, how do they do that?

PAMELA OBERG:

They are welcome to email me or best yet find me on LinkedIn.

SKOT WALDRON:

There you go. Brings the world together.

PAMELA OBERG:

Yes.

SKOT WALDRON:

Awesome. Well, Pamela, you’re a rock star. Thanks for doing this. Thanks for being here, sharing your words of wisdom with us and look forward to seeing what you do, blazing new trails in the future. Congratulations on your new board position. And hopefully you help those younger generations fly.

PAMELA OBERG:

Thank you so much for this opportunity. I had a lot of fun today.

SKOT WALDRON:

We’ve got to get out of this mentality, that business is a thing. I told her, I’m going to get that printed on a T-shirt because it’s awesome. Business is not a thing. We need to think about how we’re revolving our business around our people and how we can use our people to accelerate what we’re trying to do in our businesses. She said a strong foundation creates the best innovation. The strongest foundations create the best innovations. That’s how she said. Strongest foundations create the best innovations. If we’re on a strong, solid foundation, it’s going to enable us to move faster, move better and to do the things we need to do and the way that we need to do them. The generational conversation was really interesting.

She talked about not the millennials, but the gen Zers and how they create this mentality of opportunity through difference. They see difference as not a scary thing, but as a human thing, and as a way to open up opportunities for what could be. Being idealists, being optimistic is really, really foundational in this generation. The millennials talked about bringing in this different way of thinking about the work, about work mentality of breaking mold, no limitations of how we can do different things.

So I love those topics and those discussions. Be comfortable being uncomfortable. If we’re not uncomfortable, we’re not going to grow, right. And the analogy of exercise is used a lot. But think about when we work out, it’s not always comfortable. And in fact it shouldn’t be comfortable. You’re sweating, you’re breathing and there’s some pain involved and that’s where the no pain, no gain thing comes from, right? But it’s this mentality of let’s be comfortable being uncomfortable because that’s where growth happens. So Pamela, super awesome. Thank you for being on the show. If y’all want to find out more about me, you can go to skotwaldron.com. I have more resources on there. You can check out. I also have a bunch of free information and lessons and tools and tidbits, as well as these interviews, and other podcasts I’ve been on, on my YouTube channel. Like subscribe, comment, do all those things there because I would love it.

And you can also connect with me on LinkedIn. I will connect with you and we can hang out and we can talk and do all those things. So thank you very much for being here. I’ll see you next time on another episode of Unlocked.

Want to make your culture and team invincible? You can create a culture of empowerment and liberation through better communication and alignment. We call these invincible teams. Make your team invincible through a data-driven approach that is used by Google, the CDC, the Air Force, Pfizer, and Chick-fil-A. Click here or the image below to learn more.

The post Unlocking Business Through People With Pamela Oberg appeared first on Skot Waldron .

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Skot Waldron

Skot Waldron

Internal Communication Strategist and GiANT Consultant/ Principal www.multipleinc.com / Speaker

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