Janice Lamy: “Creating Your Success Plan”

My mission is to positively impact a generation of women by providing career success guidance through my book and online resources. Currently, I see a convergence of activity from many sources coming together to address the disparities between women and men in leadership roles. By helping women create their Success Plans, my intention is to […]

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My mission is to positively impact a generation of women by providing career success guidance through my book and online resources. Currently, I see a convergence of activity from many sources coming together to address the disparities between women and men in leadership roles. By helping women create their Success Plans, my intention is to contribute to that movement in a meaningful way.

As part of my series about “authors who are making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Janice Lamy.

She is an accomplished marketing professional with more than thirty years of experience leading successful marketing programs and mentoring young professionals. Lamy brings in-depth expertise in creating programs and processes aimed at fueling exceptional productivity and generating fresh revenue. She is a creative problem solver, instructor, team leader and communicator, Janice has a proven ability to develop marketing and communications strategies designed to increase efficiency while substantially heightening performance levels. Lamy has enjoyed serving as a mentor to others and offering guidance based upon her experience and observations. She finds fulfillment in watching young professionals grow into their careers and achieve their goals and aspirations. Lamy is keenly interested in positively impacting a generation of women by providing career success guidance through her book and online resources. She sees a convergence of activity from many sources coming together to address the disparities between women and men in leadership roles. By helping women create their Success Plans, her intention is to contribute to that movement in a meaningful way.

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive into the main focus of our interview, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your childhood backstory?

Growing up as the third of three children and the only girl, I felt I had to be strong and stand out from my brothers. I had to play tough and keep up with them yet fill the role of being the “girl” and “daughter” in the family. My mom was the caretaker of the family and didn’t get much of a chance to pursue her dreams. I decided early in life that I would not let that happen to me, I wanted more out of life. As a result, I’ve had an amazing career and have worked with some brilliant people along the way. It hasn’t always been easy, and I made some missteps along the way, but I’m very proud of what I’ve accomplished. I know that little girl who thought “I want more” would be proud.

When you were younger, was there a book that you read that inspired you to take action or changed your life? Can you share a story about that?

Jane Eyre by Emily Bronte really made an impact on me. I haven’t thought about that book in years, but as soon as I read this question it immediately popped into my mind. I love the way Jane argues throughout the novel about women having the opportunity to pursue their aspirations, express themselves completely, and chart their own pathways to what success means to them. Jane was probably the first feminist figure I encountered, she inspired me to be determined and take action toward my goals. She has sort of stayed in the back of my mind my entire life, urging me on. That foundation is what led me to write Creating Your Success Plan — it’s all about empowering women to take charge of their life and make it what they want it to be.

Can you share the funniest or most interesting mistake that occurred to you in the course of your career? What lesson or take away did you learn from that?

I moved into management in my twenties, due to my intense drive to advance my career. At the age of 27, I was a division marketing leader overseeing the marketing programs at 14 hospitals in the south-central United States. Looking back, I know that happened too early for me. Even though I had no idea of what I was doing, I certainly thought I did and evidently convinced others I was the right candidate for the role. During that experience, I made a series of mistakes centered around being “right” and having to “know it all.” I overcompensated for my youth and lack of management experience. I was probably a difficult person to work with. Fortunately, I learned a lot from those experiences and had some pretty frank conversations with myself. I’ve learned there is no way to know it all, and no reason to try. I enjoy learning about what motivates others and helping them to pursue their goals. I’ve had the chance to mentor several women during my career and find that process very rewarding. Another foundational reason why I wrote Creating Your Success Plan, is due to my love for mentoring women.

Can you describe how you aim to make a significant social impact with your book?

My mission is to positively impact a generation of women by providing career success guidance through my book and online resources. Currently, I see a convergence of activity from many sources coming together to address the disparities between women and men in leadership roles. By helping women create their Success Plans, my intention is to contribute to that movement in a meaningful way.

Can you share with us the most interesting story that you shared in your book?

In the second half of Creating Your Success Plan, I offer Success Tips and guidance for navigating your career effectively. One of the tips is about attracting success and creating the culture you want, even if it’s a microculture. I share the following story about Angie, a woman I had the honor of working with for four years:

Angie created her own microculture in order to remain positive. Her approach to what was a very difficult working environment with ever-changing direction, continual crises, limited resources, and very demanding internal clients was nothing less than inspirational. She had every reason to give in to the negativity that became somewhat rampant within the organization due to constant turmoil, ongoing reductions in force, and a lot of leadership turnover. But she chose not to, and I’m certain that was a choice she had to consciously make each day.

Angie created her own micro-culture, and it was the first time I had witnessed this in action. She kept her thoughts positive and stayed out of the rumor mill as much as possible. When she found herself involved in a negative conversation, she pointed out the positive aspects of the situation under discussion and helped shift things to the positive. When she felt stretched due to the lack of resources and ever-increasing workload, instead of complaining she said, “The work is the work; we will get it done.”

Because of her approach, people were drawn to her and thought very highly of her — not only as a colleague or coworker, but as a person. Team members within the department often sought her guidance in dealing with difficult people and situations. Even though she was very busy, she always took the time to talk with them and help find a solution to whatever was troubling them. She was seen as a shining star in the department and organization. And she was highly respected by leadership.

Angie’s micro-culture was pretty amazing to experience. I learned a lot from her and since the time she and I worked together, I have made a point of carrying her approach forward. It has proven to be one of the key learnings of my career.

What was the “aha moment” or series of events that made you decide to bring your message to the greater world? Can you share a story about that?

I never intended to write a book, It was never on my radar. I’ve spent the last 30 years in healthcare marketing and really enjoy what I do professionally. I’ve had exceptional career opportunities and have worked with amazing people. Simply put, my life has been dynamic and fun. However, I kept getting this feeling that I needed to do something more, not just something different but something more. It occurred to me that one of the main things I love to do is mentor others, specifically women as they navigate their careers. Taking this idea further, I began to think about how I could do it on a larger scale, and my “mission” came to me. I wanted to positively impact a generation of women. Out of nowhere, I received a very clear message: I needed to write a book designed to provide mentoring and guidance for women in their early and mid-stage careers. I began writing and the content seemed to just pour out of me. Through an invigorating process I wrote Creating Your Success Plan in less than 60 days.

Without sharing specific names, can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

The Creating Your Success Plan (CYSP) System is designed to help women get very clear about what they want to achieve in their career, within a specific timeframe. They start by identifying their core values and then determine where they want to be in the next 3, 5 or 10 years. The next step is setting goals that will help them achieve their aspirations. I have witnessed women going through the process and it is as if they wake up from a fog. Women find a confidence they’ve never felt before, because they realize they are in charge of their future. These women understand that they alone are responsible for their success, and the only thing that can ever hold them back is themselves.

A couple of women that I worked with prior to completing their Success Plans, went through the process. Today, they are completely different people. These women are driven, focused, and confident in achieving their goals. A light has been switched on. I can’t begin to explain how amazing it feels to watch that transformation and know that I was able to help make it happen.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

The problem I am focused on the most consists of the disparity between women and men in leadership roles. The roots of this problem are threefold, as I see it:

  1. Society’s continued general belief that men are more valuable than women in the workplace. We are making strides here, slowly. There are numerous conscious and subconscious reasons for this stigma, ranging from the distraction’s motherhood can bring, to fears brought forward by the “me too” movement, to the lack of a “good old boy network” for women. We must drop these beliefs and open our eyes to the many useful and unique qualities women bring to leadership roles.
  2. Women not fully stepping into their power and taking responsibility for their success. We’ve been taught to be nice, sugar, and spice. We’ve learned that being assertive comes off as bossy. Women let distractions take our eye off the ball, for example motherhood, taking care of the family, etc. A Success Plan is the perfect tool to remain focused as life tries to pull us in different directions.
  3. Women not supporting each other to achieve goals. I see this changing, and it makes me happy. Women are bonding together more than ever to offer support, laugh through the tears and frustration, and celebrate our successes. That’s what the Success Tribe is all about. It’s the online community included in the CYSP System.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

Leadership is hard, confronting, and sometimes a bit scary. It’s also exceptionally rewarding when done correctly. By that, I mean a leader encourages and motivates her team to achieve greatness. A leader lets an individual fail without repercussions and helps them learn and grow from the experience. A leader doesn’t take themselves too seriously and maintains a good sense of humor about life in general. A leader steps in to provide guidance when needed, and steps away when the team doesn’t need guidance and celebrates their successes. A leader is strong, fair, objective, and personable. A leader is a role model for their team.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

1. You don’t have to know everything. We feel vulnerable and weak if we come across as “not knowing.” Yet, when we actually admit to our team that we don’t know the answer and ask for their help, they get a chance to grow and share their wisdom. I’ve learned that a true leader lets their team be the expert when possible. In the end, everyone wins.

2. A sense of humor goes a long way. Don’t take everything too seriously. It just adds stress into your life and makes everything harder. Laugh, especially at ourselves, creates space to step back and realize that no one and nothing is perfect. It’s through our imperfections that we connect and build strong teams.

3. Thick skin is essential. Don’t take things personally. Although criticism can hurt and may not always be on target, there can be some kernel of truth. Instead of letting the critic get under your skin, thank them for their insights and discuss strategies to make improvements. Show an individual how the concept of criticism is occurring, one might not understand those processes. It always helps to see things from their perspective. Reframe criticism as an opportunity to learn and grow.

4. Let people fail. The best lessons learned come from some sort of failure. By letting your team members fail (small failures, hopefully) and helping them see the lesson it brings, teams grow to be more strong, smart, motivated, and loyal.

5. Network. Networking is an essential skill that I did not fully appreciate until later in my career. It takes time and intentional nurturing to build your network of contacts and mentors, as well as those you mentor. Focusing on a networking program early in your career, will create a circle of valuable resources to reach goals more effectively.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Each day, in everything that you do and say, you are interviewing for your next opportunity”, Janice Lamy.

This is a key theme in Creating Your Success Plan. We must hold ourselves accountable and capable of achieving our goals. This includes being intentional about how we come across throughout our day. It is similar to managing your personal brand. A key leader could be sizing you up and considering whether you are ready for a promotion, an assignment, or an important project that could help progress your career.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

Melinda Gates. As part of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s mission to help all people lead healthy, productive lives, she has devoted much of her work to women’s rights. In her next chapter, her mission is to close the funding gap for female founders, through her investment and incubation company, Pivotal Ventures. I would love to meet her and learn more about the amazing things she is doing to advance women, and if there is a way I can help.

How can our readers further follow your work online?

I’m available via email at [email protected]. You can also schedule a free 30-minute consultation with me through the website. I reserve a couple of hours each evening and over the weekend for those calls, and I’d love to hear from you!

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

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