• Sarah E. Brown

The Art of Alignment with Patty Beach


Are you struggling with leading because of being scared that you’re too hard or too soft? Do you want to know how to get people to listen and follow you as a leader but just don’t know how to?


Balancing between choosing masculinity or femininity depending on the given situation is important, especially as a leader. Aligning your attitude and actions based on what the situation is or who you are leading will bring out the best in you as a leader and can help people listen to you and follow you.


Patty Beach is the CEO of LeadershipSmarts, a firm that combines leadership best practices and coaching to help managers and executives build a better world in a better way. Her approach to leadership evolved over twenty years of coaching leaders in companies, non-profits, universities, and government agencies.


In this episode, Patty shares her insights on how to overcome the masculine model of leading and achieving alignment by welcoming a balance between masculinity and femininity as a leader. She also shares tips on how you can get people to listen and follow you without being too hard, too soft, or stuck in the mushy middle.


What you will learn from this episode:

  • Discover the importance of balancing masculinity and femininity in the workplace as a woman business leader

  • Learn how to become an inclusive leader through practicing alignment

  • Find out ways on how to stop being too hard or too soft or stuck in the middle


The world is a better place when we have a balance of masculine and feminine energy.
- Patty Beach


Valuable Free Resource:


Check out the First FREE Chapter of Patty’s Book. Visit: leadershipsmarts.com



Topics Covered:


02:33 - Challenge is attaining alignment between the leader and the group, and the so-called masculine model that businesses still follow


03:22 - Being too hard or too soft towards people which makes it hard to achieve alignment and make things work: a common mistake business women leaders make


04:18 - One free and actionable tip you can do to achieve alignment and make people listen and follow you: I really believe it's the combination of masculine or feminine energy in men and women that will create the best outcome


06:36 - One valuable resource to learn more about the four steps and 5 C’s of alignment: Check out the First FREE Chapter of Patty’s Book. Visit: leadershipsmarts.com


07:46 - Q: How do you go about bringing people into that equation to co-create with you so that it's not just about you, it's about the people that you're bringing along?

A: When you're trying to get people to move in a particular direction, and you're going to include people, before you ever ask them, get clear in your own mind. What is it that you really believe for yourself?


Key Takeaways:


“By practicing this principle of versatility, which is turning from the masculine to feminine, so being as masculine as you need to be and as feminine as you need to be, you know, not having this mushy middle place, right, is that actionable tip that I want to share with people because sometimes people don't think of it that way. They think they have to be just the right, you know, like one cup of this, and, you know, one cup of that.” - Patty Beach


“The main thing is just to write it down, come in with what you have in mind. It's not that it's anchored, you know, it'll move. But if you don't have that, you will lose sight of yourself.”

- Patty Beach


“If you find a place where you've got misalignment between the people that come into your inclusion, there's usually a solution that will work for you and work for them.” - Patty Beach



Ways to Connect with Patty Beach:



Ways to Connect with Sarah E. Brown



Full Episode Transcript:


Sarah E. Brown 1:02


My guest today is Patty Beach. She's the CEO of Leadership Smarts, a firm that combines leadership best practices and coaching to help managers and executives build a better world in a better way. Her approach to leadership evolved over 20 years of coaching leaders and companies, nonprofits, universities, and government agencies. Before earning a Master's Degree in Organizational Development from Pepperdine University, and becoming an ICF Master Certified Coach, Patty was a geologist and manager leading initiatives in new technology and emerging markets in the energy industry. Patty and her husband, Roger Toennis, are also managing partners of Founder Advisors, a consulting firm that helps startups quickly scale and grow. And Patty has just launched her new book, The Art of Alignment, which has already become a best seller. And she was featured by Entrepreneurial Magazine with this book as being one of the best reads for 2020. Patty, thank you so much for being here today.


Patty Beach 2:27

Hi, thank you so much. I'm really excited to talk. Have a chat.


Sarah E. Brown 2:31

Great. So tell me what is the biggest challenge you help female leaders face in business today? And what might be some symptoms of that challenge?


Patty Beach 2:41

Well, I think for female leaders, it's not exactly a unique challenge. Female leaders face the same challenge most leaders face which is getting groups to listen to them, follow them and work together to get on the same page to make things work. That's what I call alignment, and that's what I wrote my book about. I feel like, for female leaders, it's a little bit tricky, though, to do that in a way where they can fully express themselves. So many businesses still follow kind of the masculine model, it's more patriarchal, and so you got to break into the program without losing yourself. You want to bring your full self to work. So for women reaching alignment has its own unique challenges.


Sarah E. Brown 3:23

Ah, and what would you say is the biggest mistake your clients make before working with you?


Patty Beach 3:30

Well, I think that you know, oftentimes, they go into the business, and they are trying to lead in a manner that's too soft, or, you know, maybe too soft or too hard. A lot of that has to do with the fact that women are facing what's called the double bind. And the double bind is where if you're- you come in strong, and you're masculine, and you're following that model, then sometimes you get labeled with the “B” word like you're not friendly, and people, you know, feel like you're in there to get them, etc. But if you're the opposite, you're too soft, you're kind of coming in with the, you know, the velvet glove, as they say, for example, then sometimes you just don't get heard. So how to find that way through the middle is really, without being stuck in the middle. That's that kind of mushy middle that nobody wants to be in, right, where you're not really fully yourself.


Sarah E. Brown 4:16

Hmm. And what would be your number one free and actionable tip that could help our audience today address this challenge now?


Patty Beach 4:26

Well, you know, one of the things that I really, truly believe is that the world is a better place when we have a balance of masculine and feminine energy. And so many businesses tend to be more masculine, and then some nonprofits or some educational institutions may be too feminine, so to speak. And I really believe it's the combination of masculine or feminine energy in men and women that will create the best outcome. So in my book, I write about the different principles of how to reach alignment. And one of the key principles is a principle I call the "principle of versatility". And so the word "versatility" comes from a Latin word, which is called "versa". It means to turn from one to the other. And so what I really want to help women leaders do and men also is to turn from the masculine to the feminine approach depending on what they're trying to do. So, for example, if you're coming in, and you're trying to have people reach alignment around a compliance issue, or something where there's a very narrow bandwidth where you can move around, you need to bring your masculine energy and let people know this is something we have to do. If we don't do this, we put our company at risk. Now, on the other hand, there are more cases- there are other cases where you want to bring your feminine energy, where you're really listening, you're facilitating, you're helping bring other people into the room in order to get their voices heard and to co-create together. So by practicing this principle of versatility, which is turning from the masculine to feminine, so being as masculine as you need to be and as feminine as you need to be, you know, not having this mushy middle place, right, is that actionable tip that I want to share with people because sometimes people don't think of it that way. They think they have to be just the right, you know, like one cup of this, and, you know, one cup of that. The other thing I wanted to share is that in my book, there are these four steps and five C's, and it's a process for coming to alignment. And if you follow those four steps and the five C's, then you automatically work in a versatile way. You know, two of the steps are more masculine, two are more feminine and so groups just kind of fall into agreement easier when you use these four steps and five C's of alignment.


Sarah E. Brown 6:35

Ah, terrific. So what's the valuable free resource you can share with the women who are listening today to help them understand this challenge better?


Patty Beach 6:44

Well, you know, they can all head to my website, leadershipsmarts.com. There, they can download the first chapter of my book that's free. There are also other free resources. For example, there's a cheat sheet on how to practice the four steps and the five C's alignment. So hopefully, it's enough that they kind of get a sense of it and decide whether that's something they might want to spend a little more time and energy on.


And if so, they can go to Amazon, buy the book. It's not free, but it's, you know, the ebook's six bucks. So those are some resources. And then also they can sign up for a free kind of "get acquainted" chat to talk about versatility. I have an online assessment that they can take that can help them understand the balance of masculine and feminine energy as they move toward their own leadership, their perspective of themselves.


Sarah E. Brown 7:29

That's a lot.


Patty Beach 7:30

Yeah, that's a lot. But mainly just go and get- you know, download that first chapter. You know, like, again, it's on leadershipsmarts.com and if they go to resources, that's where they'll find the links for those free resources.


Sarah E. Brown 7:43

Great. So what is one question that I should have asked you that will help our audience take action to address this challenge? And then would you answer the question?


Patty Beach 7:55

Yes, I think the question is, helping leaders figure out- like, my book is about inclusive leadership, how do you go about bringing people into that equation to co-create with you so that it's not just about you, it's about the people that you're bringing along. And we know in leadership, this is really the fundamental thing of leadership, you know, that if you can't get other people to do stuff, then you know, that's not really leadership, right?


And a lot of times doing those things is moving out of the status quo, having a big dream, or a belief in things. So I truly believe that inclusive leadership is the most powerful way to go about doing that. But what happens for a lot of women practicing inclusive leadership is learning how to include people without losing myself. So that's the question, How can I include people without losing myself in that?


Patty Beach 8:26

What I want to advise people around that is to- when you're trying to get people to move in a particular direction, and you're going to include people, before you ever ask them, get clear in your own mind. What is it that you really believe for yourself?


It's not that you're not going to move off that dime, but if you don't know what it is, or you just feel it, and you're afraid, you're kind of holding it inside, then you're not benefiting everyone your leadership or your vision of what you want to see happen.


So that's the main thing is just to write it down, come in with what you have in mind. It's not that it's anchored, you know, it'll move. But if you don't have that, you will lose sight of yourself. And usually, there is a solution. If you find a place where you've got misalignment between the people that come into your inclusion, there's usually a solution that will work for you and work for them.


Sarah E. Brown 9:14

It's not losing either or it is finding a way that you can be yourself and you're stuck with while recognizing others as well. Great advice.


Patty Beach 9:21

Exactly.


Sarah E. Brown 9:30

Great advice. Patty, thank you so much for being with me today.


Patty Beach 9:27

I really appreciate it. It was super fun, and I wish you luck and your listeners.


Sarah E. Brown 9:31

Thanks.


Patty Beach 9:34

And what all they're up to.





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Sarah E. Brown 2019