Katie Dill, VP of Design at Lyft, is a rising star in her field—and a celebrated leader in a historically male-dominated industry.
Katie Dill, VP of Design at Lyft, is a rising star in her field—and a celebrated leader in a historically male-dominated industry. From the surprising reason her childhood set her up for success to her predictions about the most important trends in tech, Katie’s insights into 21st-century leadership can help all leaders achieve their full potential.
Joe Hart (00:00):
Welcome to Take Command, a Dale Carnegie podcast, the show where we seek to uncover what leadership means in today's world. I'm Joe Hart, CEO of Dale Carnegie, and we'll be talking to diverse leaders with stories to tell across various industries to help unlock your potential for success. We'll be sharing real life insights into leadership, which in turn can help spark the next level of your growth as a leader.
Joe Hart (00:28):
In today's episode, we have a guest who is at the forefront of product design for one of the world's leading ride sharing tech companies, Lyft. She and her team drive positive behavior change that can help to improve cities at large by making transportation efficient, safe, and joyful. From leadership roles at Lyft, Airbnb, Green Star Ventures and Frog Design. Our guest has a long tenure of leading teams through the lens of design and creativity. She was named one of Business Insider's 10 people transforming technology and received the Girls in Tech Creator of the Year award. In 2017 she was named one of fast company's 100 most creative people in business. I'm delighted to welcome Vice President of Design at Lyft. Katie Dill.
Katie Dill (01:17):
Hi. Thanks for having me. I'm a big fan of Dale Carnegie.
Joe Hart (01:21):
Yeah, well thank you. It's actually interesting because I know that I, I had read a story about your affinity for the book, so we'll definitely want to make sure we talk about that. Tell us a little bit about your personal journey, Katie. How did you, you get to where you are today and certainly you're in a position of, of great authority and responsibility. We'd love to hear your story.
Katie Dill (01:39):
Well, let's see. It started on a rainy day when I was, I will start a little bit just from childhood. So I grew up in the suburbs of New York and I was lucky enough to spend quite a bit of time as I was growing up outdoors in the Adirondacks. My parents would take my sister and I up there and perhaps they were, you know, hoping for, you know, maybe a few more sons in their life, I don't know. But they kind of raised us in a way that was probably more commiserate of what young boys are doing, like chopping wood and driving things and making things. And you know, early on that taught me one, there's nothing that I can't do as a female in comparison, which I think is definitely prolonged my courage in the workforce. But then secondly, it taught me about using my hands and making things. And when you see a problem trying to go after it and solve it, I had no idea that that was a thing called design until much later. I graduated college, I went to Colgate and upstate New York and I studied history just cause I wanted to know why things are the way they are. And then I moved to Boston and I was kind of trying to find my path and decide what to do. I was interested in architecture. I won't get into why, but yeah, probably obvious reasons because architecture is wonderful. But talking to architects made me realize that that industry was probably not quite right for me. Maybe I'm just a too impatient for architecture. Uh, takes so many years to see anything built. But I learned about product design at that time. A roommate of mine saw a video from IDEO making the shopping cart and it basically took viewers through the path of product design. And that was the first I'd ever heard of it. And it was this kind of aha moment of here's this profession that is essentially what I just like to do on my own free time. And it's something that I've been doing since I was a kid. And so once I heard that, you know, nothing could stop me, I just wanted to get as close to it as possible. So started to cold call product designers and ask them about their careers and what should I should do. And basically every one of them recommended, well, you're going to have to go back to school because you have no design background whatsoever. So I went for a second undergrad degree and moved across the country to California to a place called Art Center College of Design that was well known for great product design and so I spent four years there learning design. And absolutely, you know, one of the most hasty decisions in my life, but certainly the right one and took me on a path where, you know, I get to do not only what I love naturally but you know, actually get to make a career out of it.
Joe Hart (04:06):
It's interesting though. I mean you are very intentional. I think back even to the story you talk about from a childhood you had a confidence that enabled you to, to make that decision. I mean to go across the country to do something new, to walk away from a lot of what you'd already prepared to do.
Katie Dill (04:20):
Joe Hart (04:21):
What was that like?
Katie Dill (04:22):
You know, and I actually have framed on my wall in my bedroom, a note from my father, he passed away 10 years ago, so I'm pretty nostalgic for the things from him. But it's a note that he wrote to me when I decided to move to California. And basically it says like, I have no idea what you're doing. This product design thing, I don't know, but we believe you and, we, you know, are always here. If you're only a phone call away and good luck in this adventure and we know you'll be a success. And so I daily am just so thankful for the support that I had from my parents, both in the independence that they gave my sister and I and that trust that they had in us, but also just like the unrelenting support even when they didn't understand. I'm actually about to be a mom and I really, really hope I can carry that forward. And you know, sometimes, you know, we talk a lot about diversity in the workforce and I think a lot of it starts with upbringing and you know what people are encouraged to do or not do and risks. They're encouraged to take and support that they're given. And I hope we can bring more of that to our young.
Joe Hart (05:22):
That's awesome. So you made that change and you moved out to California and tell us what happened after that.
Katie Dill (05:27):
Yeah, so I was at Art Center studying product design, um, Art Center, very well known for people that create these beautiful things. They're so great with their hands. So beautiful in their sketch work. I was not good at that. So for me it was, you know, definitely a learning curve to get better at that. But one thing that Art Center really brought for me was, you know, the perspective on what is design and not just you know, how to execute on it, but also how to use it to solve bigger problems. I took advantage of an opportunity to go to INSEAD, which is a business that's based in both France and Singapore. I went to the Singapore campus. It was essentially an exchange program of sorts with Art Center and INSEAD. And the whole point of it, why they wanted us as design students to go was to learn the business of design. So maybe one day, you know, when we create our own products, we could, you know, fulfill a business as well. But I got so much more out of that being there was really a kind of pivotal in my career because when I started to interact with MBA students, you know who kind of thought in a slightly different way than the design students that I was surrounded by and they had different tools in their tool chest. But yet, you know, the problems we were trying to solve weren't all that different. Like we all wanted to understand like what consumers, what people want, how do we bring it to them, how do we make a difference? And we had different routes to get there, but similar passions. So that was like this epiphany of you know, if we work together we can do some really great things because we have like a more well rounded approach to solving problems.
Katie Dill (06:57):
But it also made me realize, you know, some of the things that I could do and my processes of understanding users and creative generation, these types of things can be really powerful. And even coming up with things like business strategy and organizational structure. So that really put me on, I'd probably say a heightened or higher velocity path towards leadership and towards things like strategy, organizational design. Uh, and so later I went to a, um, a management consultancy in Australia and I worked there, this type of management consultant, say competed with things like Bain and McKinsey. They actually used the tools of design to do so. Uh, and so that was kind of like right in that sweet spot of where I was, you know, kind of gaining interest. And then I, uh, when I finished Art Center, I went to Frog Design and join as what they call the design analyst, which was kind of like do all the things related to design and started to lead programs where we would work with Fortune 50s on their product and their brand and their strategy. And you know, that was kind of a great inroad into working with these larger corporations. I think after that five years of that I was ready for startups and that's where I went next.
Joe Hart (08:05):
Well, and that's a, that's a pretty gutsy move going to startups, right? I mean, it's very, very different. So let me ask you, you had this epiphany really that kind of opened your eyes about working together, if you will. You talked about really having your eyes open to leadership. What were some of the things that you did to start to become a better leader? Because I mean today you've assumed a position of very significant leadership. What were some of the things you did early in your career to become a better leader?
Katie Dill (08:30):
While I was at Art Center, I had a teacher, her name was Maureen Thurston, and she, she's absolutely one of the biggest mentors in my life. She taught a class, I think it was called something like Design Leadership, and she assigned the book How to Win Friends and Influence People. And so reading that, and I still have the copy that's like heavily highlighted. I probably should highlight what's not important because I ended up going way too far the other way. But she had us read it and it was, it was really, really useful to me as a person, as a colleague, as a a one day a leader. Because I think that the key takeaway was kind of like recognizing that people around us, you know, have their own context, their own passions, their own needs, and it's not their fault, but of course they're going to think about themselves first as they should. And recognizing that, you know, shifts your disposition and how you interact with people. So for example, when I encountered, you know, this group of MBA students, it's like, okay, they think and act differently. And I could just like take that as a like, okay, we're, we're on different sides here. But I think the lessons from that book for example, had helped me want to better understand where they were coming from and to better understand, you know, what they were trying to do. And that like really made my mind much more open to, Oh, there's a lot of similarity here actually. And Oh, we have similar goals and maybe I communicate it in this way versus that I, I can get more done together. Uh, so I, I think I started to kind of like learn lessons of leadership through that and through the work at school that once I was at Frog I did move pretty quickly. From an IC , individual contributor to a manager and a leader of the team,
Joe Hart (10:11):
what, what were some of the things that you saw in yourself or the people recognized in you that helped you move so quickly from being an individual contributor to more of a leader
Katie Dill (10:20):
Perhaps. It kind of goes back to, and honestly I've not put these two thoughts together before. You're kind of asking the right questions I guess to get me there. I think it does come back to that courage piece as well. Like when I am in a situation and there's let's say a group of people and you could tell that we're all going off in different directions, I luckily have the courage to stand up, maybe grab the whiteboard marker and start like mapping out what are we talking about and try to bring clarity to that room. So it's a form of facilitation, but you know you do that enough. It ends up becoming leadership as well. I guess in part there's a part chutzpah, there's part, you know, just impatience and want to move forward. But it's also like I do see the value of us coming together and doing things more connected in an efficiently. And so I think it's, it's more of a, I was gonna say it's, it's a moral obligation to take on leadership. Not quite, but if I could provide value to the room, that's what will drive me there. And so that's what ended up.
Joe Hart (11:22):
Well that that's really a neat way to look at it as a moral obligation, right? I mean, you've got something to share, you've got something of value and yet many times people hesitate. They're afraid to break through. And you know, I think about, you talked about growing up and the role of your parents. I've got four daughters and I, my hope is that they will all be strong, competent young women. What advice might you have for strong, confident young women for women to speak up and to have that courage?
Katie Dill (11:49):
It's, it's tough because also, you know, everyone is different and you, some folks are more extroverted, some are more introverted and it may be completely uncomfortable for someone to speak up. And I think we have to, you know, be okay with that. I guess my recommendation would be like, find your, your own voice. It might not be to stand up and grab the whiteboard marker. Perhaps, you know, your voice comes through something written. Maybe after that meeting you, you share your thoughts. Perhaps your voice is better one-on-one and through building advocacy and allies and not necessarily standing in front of an audience. Also, there's so many forms of leadership, right? Leading from behind leading from the front. You know, I don't think you have to be necessarily the star of the show in order to make it happen. And in fact, leaders that aren't are often way more successful. But I do think the fear I have for young women or even folks that are underrepresented in general, when they don't see themselves, they don't know what's possible. Uh, so it's like, Oh, it's, you know, only men around me. So therefore I guess only men can do it. And, and that's a real scary factor. So I, I do hope that today at least there's enough options out there of people to see that you might have to just hunt it out and maybe it's not in your company, but it's somewhere else. Or listening to podcasts, reading articles, reaching out to folks might be the best way to find a mentor as well. Because I think, I don't think I'd be where I am without mentors. And so I'm a big fan of using the, the individuals around me that can inspire me for many different reasons. Not one mentor for everything. Different people for different things.
Joe Hart (13:20):
So Katie, tell us a little bit about one of your mentors. Who is someone who's inspired you to be your best?
Katie Dill (13:26):
Well, the, the teacher I told you about, Maureen Thurston, who I met at Art Center. And then later, actually when I was in Australia at that management consultancy, she was working there at the time and she actually was, who introduced me to it. But she is absolutely one of those people because talk about courage and she just the ability to break through and push through and be comfortable to walk into a room where everybody disagrees and give a new idea and yet be able to move people to it. I mean she's, she's like a black belt in this stuff. I did, I think a Dale Carnegie would be impressed by her because she actually leverages her knowledge of design. She was a designer and design done right, is empathetic. It tries to understand what does the customer or the user need. And that same thing is really powerful in the working world, right? You want to understand the needs of those around you just as you know you read How to Win Friends and Influence People like know where they're coming from so that you can then frame things in a way that people see as mutually beneficial. And so she has had immense impact as a teacher but then also in the working world now in Australia. And so I've really enjoyed seeing her career and being inspired by what she's been able to do. And the culture changes, she's been able to impact.
Joe Hart (14:40):
You've talked about some of the challenges you faced when you came into Airbnb and you've came into a team and it was a tough situation and some of the things you learn from that. Share a bit about that story please.
Katie Dill (14:52):
So, uh, before I was at Lyft, I was at Airbnb for almost four years and I joined the team, uh, when it was relatively small. Uh, the design team at the time was about 10 people and I came in ecstatic. It was a dream job, uh, working at a company that I was a huge fan of and in a role that I was extremely excited about. And during my interviews I learned a lot about what was working and what wasn't. And so, so it already started to kind of like frame a understanding of what the team needed. And you know, the TLDR of that was that it was clear that there was friction between the designers and their counterparts, engineers and product managers and the teams weren't working as well together as they probably should. There was concerns about quality of the work. And there were things that needed to be fixed.
Katie Dill (15:46):
And I of course wanted to make my bosses proud. I wanted to do right by the company. And so I very quickly set out to make change and thought things were going pretty well, like change was happening. But about a month in, so about 30 days into the time there, I got an invite on my calendar, uh, where five of the 10 designers wanted to meet with me and somebody from HR was on the invite, so not a good sign. An hour and a half meeting actually may have been two hours, not a good sign. So I show up, not really knowing what the heck was gonna happen. Um, but showed up, walked into the room and they were all there seated around the table and they had a pack of papers in front of themselves and they sat me down and proceeded to take turns reading from this pack of papers and what the pack of papers was, I don't know how many pages, but it looked like a lot were all the things that they didn't like about me and what I was doing and my leadership and they, they went on for quite a while going through it. And there were few things here and there that were probably, that were misrepresented. But I, I did my best to not, you know, refute or get defensive and just kinda took it in. But there were definitely things that were understandable and the theme of those things was that I didn't earn their trust before coming in and trying to make change. So they were saying things like, you know, you're critiquing our work and you don't really know, like, you know what we're trying to do or you don't know our skills. And they had a, a personal view of it. But if, you know, you zoom out and you look at it and it's like, Oh yeah, like they don't even, they don't even really know who I am. They don't know what I can do or what I'm capable of. They don't know how well I know them and that I even care about them or that I understand what they're trying to do or that I value what they've done before. So as hurtful as that occasion was, and certainly it was probably the scariest moment in my leadership career, it was a unbelievably powerful learning moment because I, I think, you know, in the end of the day, they were right and I came in swinging and I should have come in listening and really try and understand them. And then once, then I would be able to make change with them, with me by my side as opposed to change to them. Uh, so yeah, that was, that was a rough moment, but it definitely helped me course correct quite quickly. And so we made some changes. I started to like, you know, just spend better one-on-one time talking to them, learning about them. And we actually went from having the worst engagement scores in the company just before I got there to the best engagement scores. Like one of the, you know, the surveys a company does so and that was adjusted in six months. So honestly just like showing care and listening was pretty fundamental in a shift to how to better lead a team. And so when I later left Airbnb and came to Lyft, you can be damn sure I did it right that time and came in listening.
Joe Hart (18:42):
Well it's a great thing too that you are receptive to the feedback, right? Because you, you could have been defensive, you could have been self righteous about it and it sounds like it would have been a completely different result. It was really about you being able to, you know, one thing Dale Carnegie talks about is if you're wrong, admitted, it sounds like you were able to look inside and see some areas where you're wrong, admit it. And to pivot from that. So it sounds like a great result.
Katie Dill (19:06):
Yeah. You know, I think that another lesson from that book and why I've had to read that book three times, cause I'm not exactly great at this piece is you know, as he talks about if somebody else represents your idea or somebody else, like maybe they say it wrong and you, your gut is you want to correct them. And that certainly is my gut. But then you know, I think Dale Carnegie talked about like what is the benefit of that? You call them out, you make them feel awkward and is anything better off? Are you better suited now or are they in a, you know, any more likely to work in the direction that you were hoping they would? And so I think there were those kinds of lessons in my mind of calling them out in the room and telling them like you got that wrong. And like trying to like fight this little detail in that little detail. Certainly it wasn't going to make them more open to my leadership style. Uh, it probably would have put more friction in the room and been far less effective and me being able to turn things around.
Joe Hart (19:59):
What was that hard for you to do though, Katie?
Katie Dill (20:01):
Yes, I mean, I definitely was sitting there. I'm sure of my blood pressure was rising and uh, yeah, it was tough. I'll leave it there, but the reasons to not want to hear it were definitely on my mind, but it wasn't going to help.
Joe Hart (20:14):
Well it's, it's good. We talk about leadership definitely involving resilience and kind of that ability to self reflect,that social intelligence. It sounds like you leveraged all of those things in that moment and you did great things at Airbnb and now you're doing great things at Lyft. Tell us a little bit about what you're doing there and what some of the opportunities are that you see moving forward.
Katie Dill (20:34):
Yeah, so at Lyft I lead the design team. And so what that means is it's about the 140 folks that are working on basically all aspects of the product and the service. So if you are a rider and you open up your app and you order a ride, we are the team that determines what that app looks like, how it works. We work side by side with engineering and product management in order to create these products and determine what they should do and how they should do it. Uh, we also are the designers that are working on our bikes and scooters. So creating, you know, new vehicles for transportation to make it ever more efficient and we know work in a way that's really collaborative and you know, it's great to see the kind of connections that can happen. Just like I was talking about when I was at INSEAD, but like bringing people together that think differently. So it actually wasn't this way when I first joined design actually operated pretty separately from engineering and product management. But one of the first changes that I made after first earning trust of the team was to shift the way that we worked. So that design worked really hand in hand with engineering, product management and science. And then that way, you know, one design is a part of the conversation at all stages from what problems should we solve to how should we solve it and all the way through to launch and also, you know, design shared and the goals and could really become more effective as a partner with engineering and product. Also a big part of our design team is research. And so understanding what people really think and want, you know, that's a critical piece of product strategy as well as product definition. So we, um, have these individuals that stand side by side with their counterparts to really inform all that we do so that we can become a more customer focused company in all that we do.
Joe Hart (22:22):
So Katie, you're a leader in, not just Lyft but really in the tech industry. What are some of the emerging trends that you see shaping things in the next five years and what do leaders need to do to be prepared for those?
Katie Dill (22:36):
Oh boy. Uh, that's a good question. And there, there are a lot of things to talk about there. One, I'll start with thinking internally focused. Uh, the tech industry is changing not just in consumers' hands but also how we create tech. We, as I mentioned, are a team that work alongside engineers and product managers, et cetera. And there is a process for building product. Oftentimes it means that designers essentially paints a picture of what something looks like and then an engineer builds it. I'm very excited, but that there are great improvements into the way that we work in such that it's not quite so kind of like waterfall. These stages are all separate, but that the lines are blurring between folks like engineers and designers. And what that means is that we can create product faster and learn faster. So it might mean that we prototype and try things, and get it into customers' hands to assess whether or not it's the right thing or not. And that, you know, puts us on a much faster path to understanding and building something much better. Which leads me to my second part, which is the great deal of complexity that the tech industry is not a part of, but it's creating and we are, you know, this seems trite, but we are in this hyper connected world where the customer is kind of at the center of this web that is both very beneficial and super helpful. Is that like, Oh, could book a Lyft ride and it knows my calendar. It knows when I need to get there and it can make sure I get there and it knows the traffic and it knows, you know, all of these interconnected things that make your life much more convenient. But of course in that interconnection is where we are today as citizens sometimes losing our understanding of like what does this system know about me and what is this system doing with that information. And unfortunately there are plenty of companies out there that don't put the customer first and to think about how to protect the individual's rights. So we are living in a world where tech has an obligation and a responsibility to do right. And think about all the ways that somebody who wants to cause harm could cause harm. And think about the ways that we can protect our community. And it's, it's hard, like it's admittedly hard. I mean I have to ask my design team to think about the worst case scenario once they're designing something, like think about what a, a bad person might want to do and assess that before building this product. Because in the wrong hands, harm can be done. And so that new challenge is right on the top of our minds. And I think it's a big shift from what we've called for the past many years, consumer-based designe, user-based design to be like society based design. And think about the people that aren't even your customers, but the people that, you know, maybe one day might be, but the people that are going to be impacted by the product that you build regardless. And so that like ever expanding scope and complexity makes building tech pretty hard, but it also, you know, increases the feeling of significance, importance of, of what you do. But also tying back to the first piece I mentioned is why it's so very valuable to have better tools to build and learn and build the right thing.
Joe Hart (25:45):
Katie, how do you inspire people to be their best?
Katie Dill (25:49):
How to inspire people to be their best? I think comes in part from encouragement and another part in support is what I as a leader can do. But honestly, I, you know, the first thing I think of, I, I go back to Daniel Pink's book Drive. In that book he talks about autonomy, mastery and purpose as motivating factors for all in, in their work. And that really resonates. Uh, I do think that is, uh, you know, those are three essential parts of motivation for people in their job. And so what that's talking about is that, you know, you need to have the kind of autonomy to be able to feel your own self worth in your decisions, in your work. You do. Uh, you need to have the, the mastery of being able to exhibit the skills that feel like you're, you're successfully doing it. And then lastly, the purpose this day and age, there's, there's not enough time in the day for all the things that you could be doing or want to be doing. And so I certainly don't blame people that are wanting to use that time wisely to either make a difference, solve the things that they see as problems in the world or to build their career. So I think that encouragement and support that I mentioned that leaders should be giving should be, you know, trying to help foster those three things, help people find them for themselves and you know, really recognize that every individual is different. So their purposes may be different. How they feel that they want to be recognized might be different and their skills certainly will be different. So really trying to understand that can mean that you can provide more individualized and effective support.
Joe Hart (27:27):
That's a great point. I mean, especially when we think about, you know, we're dealing with people right in as Dale Carnegie would said, we're dealing with people of, of we're creatures of emotion and everyone has a desire to feel important and everyone is different. So how do we connect with each person individually in a way that is meaningful to them?
Katie Dill (27:43):
Joe Hart (27:43):
What, what is the, uh, the biggest challenge you face today as a leader?
Katie Dill (27:46):
I think one of the biggest challenges as a leader or anyone in the workforce is prioritizing time wisely. There really is too much to do. And the always on world that we're living in can be, you know, almost intoxicating and yes, I can open my app and do this and that at any time of day, but it sneaks up on you how all of a sudden that may affect you and your, your health, it may affect your team. And I think really being mindful and watching out for that and also as a leader kind of trying to prioritize things that sometimes feel like they're impossible to prioritize. I mean, I, I worry all day and night about the 140 people on my team, every last one of them, you know, their happiness, their career path, their effectiveness, um, and then probably all of the people that they interact with and it's a lot. And to prioritize what problem I'm going to solve tomorrow, which one affects 10 people, one affects 20, effects the 30 million people in our community, you know, whatever it might be is sometimes just absolutely impossible. But I think we have to remember that, you know, we're all human. There's only so much you can do. And in a running yourself ragged and working 24, seven is certainly not going to get you better results. It's really about, you know, the effectiveness of that time and being really clear with like where your time is best spent and communicating expectations well and you know, also making space for others to help solve those problems. And so if that's, you know, delegate and leverage that, you know, can go a long way. And I think that is probably something that I'll never feel like I'm done with trying to get better at.
Joe Hart (29:34):
And that's certainly a challenge isn't it? I mean everything you just described in terms of of balancing all those things, let me ask you, you are under significant, you've got significant responsibility, significant pressure, very dynamic business environment that you're in with with Lyft. How do you find balance? How do you for yourself find that way to balance all the demands that could be pulling on you with the need like you said, to be able to take a break?
Katie Dill (30:00):
Yeah, it's been a bit of a journey. I mean I've definitely gone from, you know, doing regular 80 hour work weeks to try and get it down to something maybe more like, I dunno, 60 50, but the, uh, I think the part of it is really recognizing first that there is value in not thinking about work all the time and seeing that as beneficial. Like I'll give a maybe a more, a better analogy. For a while I was only reading work-related books, so like leadership strategy, these types of things. And the way I looked at it as like, well, if I'm going to be reading like this should be nourishment, this should be something that's teaching me something. And my husband was pushing on me because he has a habit of reading workbooks on the weekend and then during the week it's only a scifi before going to bed.
Katie Dill (30:49):
And I didn't necessarily see the value at first, but you know, he convinced me to just give it a try. And it's kind of like exercise or meditation. It's just like, you know, free yourself for a moment and recognize that how taking a step away, not thinking about something 24 7 actually can make you more creative, more energized, more effective, and you really, you kind of have to do it to prove it to yourself because frankly it just didn't make sense to me. At first it didn't compute, but now I really do see that value. So I try on the weekends or you know, hours in the night too. I'm not going to do work. I'm not going to open the computer if it comes into my mind. I just kind of grab ahold of that and say like, okay, that's a work thought. I don't need to think about that right now. I'm going to put that on the table and shift my thinking and try to think about something else for a moment. And it definitely has made me much more energized and probably better suited to solve problems when I do engage in a way that I honestly wasn't expecting to see. Uh, so I'm still working on it. There's probably more I could do with that, but it's been really, really helpful this far.
Joe Hart (31:55):
Yeah. It's something that probably each of us needs to learn on our own. Right. I mean, because you can keep on going. There's always that temptation to do more and more and more, and until we actually take that break and start to recharge, we don't realize how much it's costing us.
Katie Dill (32:08):
Exactly. Next thing you know, you're running on empty. Yeah.
Joe Hart (32:11):
What would you say to young ambitious women who are hoping to follow your path? Who'd like to do what you're doing? What advice might you give.
Katie Dill (32:19):
For those that the young ambitious women out there that you know are looking to kind of grow in their career. Maybe one day make it into leadership or to run their own company or whatever it might be. I think the first thing to recognize is that there's no reason why they can't. Uh, I recognize that's easier said than done. Again, you know, if you don't see a lot of people like you doing that, it's really hard sometimes to imagine that you possibly can. But there are those stories out there and I would encourage individuals to dig if they don't first see the examples that remind them of themselves. There aren't as many women CEOs as there should be, but those that are there are super inspiring and can help us think about how unlikely it may have been at the time where they set out, but yet, you know, still were able to carve that path and overcome.
Katie Dill (33:11):
I think, you know, another piece of that is, you know, not being afraid to ask for help or even to just show your interest. When I was little, my, my father had a, he ran a movie theater. It was a tiny little movie theater in a tiny little town in upstate New York. And I was the candy girl. I was probably like 13, so this is probably illegal to be honest with you. But I, uh, was the candy girl and I, every day would go in and I'd clean the theater and get things ready. And I, one day came to him with a list of things that I needed him to do, like paint this, rebuild that, fix this, because I thought it was going to make the place look better. And he took the list and he crossed out a few things and he checked, marked a few things and he was like, okay, you know, these are the, you know, the five of the 10 things that I'm going to do. And I said to him, it's like, well, why aren't you going to do them all? They all need to be done. And he's like, well, I'm the boss and I don't want to, which was a weird response to be honest with you. But at that moment, um, and he loved to retell this story. I said, well then, all right, one day I'm going to be the boss. And what really was going on there is what, you know, I, I had a vision of what needed to be done and I was passionate about that vision and I saw that like if we do these things, things will be better. And I'm sure there were very good reasons why I wasn't going to do these things, but what kind of energized me and has definitely, you know, stuck with me and to my leadership career as well, is that having a vision and seeing possibility is so very valuable. And, you know, don't let that, you know, kind of fire die out because you think that the society or the people around you don't want you there. They need people like that there. And so I endeavor to not necessarily be the boss, but to, uh, fulfill a vision and to try to bring my, my abilities, which may be facilitation and maybe leadership to an organization because I think it can help. And so I hope those young women that you talked about, um, see what they have as ability to help. Um, and almost, you know, that moral obligation to, to bring that to the world even if it's scary, even if it doesn't feel like the right thing to do, even if it feels like nobody wants you there. Uh, they do.
Joe Hart (35:28):
Awesome. Well, great lessons, Katie. Thank you again and certainly appreciate you and all you've done here and sit here today and also the kind words about Dale Carnegie.
Katie Dill (35:36):
Cool. Cool. I meant all of it. I hope it wasn't too gushy.
Joe Hart (35:41):
I hope you enjoyed this edition of Take Command, a Dale Carnegie podcast. This episode was recorded, edited, and mixed by Justin Derite of Seaplane Armada. Please consider rating this episode and subscribing to us on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you get your podcasts.