Skip to content
<p><iframe allow="autoplay" frameborder="0" height="110px" src="https://player.acast.com/5a7367eb2219bdf808ec93f8/episodes/shaping-your-work-identity-ep-123?theme=white&amp;latest=1" width="100%"><!--cke_bookmark_746S--><!--cke_bookmark_746E--></iframe></p>

Listen to Episode 123

A few months ago, Josh sat down with Leslie Douglas, Sr Sales Manager at Dude Solutions, to dive into how you can shape your work identity and connect your purpose and passions to the work you do. Find out how you can focus on permission, purpose and plan to build your work identity. 

Show Notes:

Show Script:

Josh Peach  
Welcome to the Operate Intelligently Podcast, the podcast for all things operations.

Hello Operate Intelligently listeners! The episode that you're about to hear with Leslie Douglas was actually recorded on March 12, 2020. The last day that I was actually in our office in North Carolina and the last trip that I've made. I've been working from home as many of you have been through this pandemic. Hopefully we get back to our office and in the studio soon. I hope you enjoy the episode. 

Hello Operate Intelligently listeners! You are here for another episode and this is a great one. I am in the podcast studio at the Galactic headquarters of Dude Solutions with Leslie Douglas, who has been with us for six years as our Manufacturing Sales Manager. That's what she doe now, but she's done a ton before that to build up to today, where she is here in the organization, but she also works outside the organization with other associations to help employees and members feel a sense connection to their work, their mission and ultimately their greater life purpose. So Leslie, first and foremost, welcome to the podcast. 

Leslie Douglas 
Thanks, Josh. 

Josh Peach  
And this is your first podcast?

Leslie Douglas 
First time, longtime listener.

Josh Peach  
Longtime listener, first-time podcaster. So where'd you come from? You know, you've been here for six years. You have some other work experience? Well, how did you find sales being your passion?

Leslie Douglas  
Definitely. I think sales has always been in my blood. Since I was little selling Girl Scout cookies, all the way through working for Ecolab in infection control and selling coffee service, laundry soap. I eventually became passionate about the software community and how that can help people and I ended up working with Oracle. I worked there for a few years before finding the Dude and really fell in love with the the mission at the Dude and our clients and what they stand for. And I think sales is just always been a part of my blood.

Josh Peach
Yeah and those are some great experiences. I think the purpose there especially with Girl Scout cookies is is definitely an easy find. I'm hooked on the--what are the coconut ones? Samoas, I don't know how I drew a blank I got about 58 boxes of them.

Leslie Douglas 
Oh, they are caramels delights now.

Josh Peach   
Oh, is that what they're called?

Leslie Douglas    
Definitely, once a Girl Scout, always a Girl Scout.

Josh Peach 
Well, I'll tell you what I have a sales extraordinare of Girl Scout cookies. Lucy is her name and she is phenomenal. Her mom actually makes her sales pitch me. She doesn't let me just order them, she has to sales pitch me and tell me all the new products. They now so nuts, they've got magazines. I've got dill pickle nuts at my house. It's crazy. But what's really cool about it is that whole sales experience and understanding what you said in there is purpose. Finding that purpose is sometimes it's hard, right? 

Leslie Douglas 
Definitely

Josh Peach 
Sometimes it'll actually turn you away from being in sales altogether. So I'm really intrigued to understand, you know, how did you find that this was it? or How did you find that you thought the others were it? And then what were some of the outputs of that, like, I think you'd like to do some public speaking now and we'll get into some of your outside of work stuff.

Leslie Douglas  
Yeah. I think a lot of it really stems from when you find something that you feel like you're helping people. And a lot of times sales can be that go between where you're finding problems and solving them and helping people solve those problems. Connecting what their desired outcome is with a solution that you can provide for them.

Josh Peach 
We can tell when you're kind of attitude and your mindset and you're always smiling. You're upbeat, your team has just done amazing things. I mean, especially over the last three years, I've watched the manufacturing team not just grow in business but grow in mindset and grow in professionalism and understanding and really that that tie in for making a difference. So let's go with public speaking. You do a bit of that outside of the Dude, you're doing a bit of that inside the Dude, where did that come into play?

Leslie Douglas  
I've been working with a few associations. Locally, a lot with women in sales and just finding your brand and your identity in how you bring that to work and at home. And I think that that has just translated into speaking to different groups and figuring out how their employees, their membership can really feel connected to the company's mission and vision but also staying true to themselves.

Josh Peach 
And that brand is a brand and identity are two really key words in what you said, which a lot of people have a hard time figuring out what their identity is, who are they? You know, and then what does that outside world see? You know, the brand of the Dude for me is me, first and foremost in sales. I always say, I'm not selling the Dude, I'm selling me for you to work with me. How hard or easy do you think it was? You know, this is a highly male populated arena, you know, it's 90 plus percent of the people that you're calling are men. You know, how was that originally when you were, you know, building your brand and building your identity. Was that hard for you? Was it easy for you? I mean, I don't know how to put it for me to say Oh, yeah, I know. I know how it feels. No, I don't.

Leslie Douglas 
Yeah, I appreciate your asking that. I think that it's really split 50/50 and half of the time it's easy because I think that coming in with a female approach, we can be a little bit more emotional and you're more willing, as a male in this industry to open up about how you feel and those needs for software with someone who's female. And that in that sense, it's easy. And on the other hand, I think about 50% of the time, it's proving that my experience can help you. And a lot of that comes with what actually happens next, right? Am I able to deliver on what your expectations are? And I think a lot of times, maybe it's just looked at a little bit differently, like, okay, is she really gonna be able to follow through with this? Does she really understand my challenges that I'm facing in my male-dominated industry?

Josh Peach
Mmhmm. And when you show them then that just shuts it right down and that other 50% comes along just as easy as the first 50% 

Leslie Douglas
Exactly. And we're best friends for life. 

Josh Peach 
That's the best I had this conversation a couple of times because one of the greatest sales influencers for me is Kim Wool, who's been here for 18 years. And she had not only is she in this industry, but she's in the south in the industry, which is probably 95 or 98%, male dominated and she just is amazing and has done amazing things. And I never once looked at it like she's a woman or anything else like that. But that's in the minority of people in the industry. She just knew her stuff. So Leslie, what advice would you give for folks out there in how they would shake their identity and how they are at work? And how they should show up to work with their colleagues and clients?

Leslie Douglas   
Okay, I think a lot of times I start with if someone and you said this before, but if someone asks you who are you, what do you say? And a lot of times, we identify ourselves, based on our work and our job title. And when you engage in any sort of activity for the majority of your day, that naturally becomes more and more central to your identity. And so it's really common to wrap up your identity in what jobs you have in your career. And if you have a bad day at work, then it becomes, you know, I feel bad about myself because I feel bad about something that happened at work. Or if you fail, you then turn that into I'm a failure. So I think a lot of that is separating for yourself and asking yourself a different question and saying, what's my purpose? And then that becomes the driver behind everything, how you show up at work, what your values are, how you show up at home in all these different titles that you could carry--a parent, spouse, friend, manager or leader, whatever that turns out to be. So just flipping that question and figuring out what your purpose is, and then living that through, wherever you show up at work and at home.

Josh Peach 
Ready to get inspired about your work as a facility or operations professional? Join us at our annual maintenance and operations conference, Dude University in Raleigh, North Carolina, May 16-19, 2021. A four day experience for operations professionals that is packed with education, training and networking opportunities you'll actually benefit from. It's our way of celebrating you so you can go back to your organization with renewed confidence and inspiration. Learn more and register online university.dudesolutions.com.

I think that one of the things that's something I talk about a lot with people is you know, there's as often this misconception of the separation of delineation of home and work and the reality is you should be the same person straight through. Like the person you are at home making breakfast coming into the office, you should be pretty much the same person. That brand isn't just a nine to five brand, that identity is not just a five to nine, you know, when you're home, it's really a collaborative that's got to come together. It's all got to be in sync because otherwise, that purpose that you talk about when it comes to profession anyway, it's never it's never going to be true. It's never going to be so you're never going to have that happy go lucky skip through the hallway feeling like you're excited to be here because it's not you, it's not your true brand under your true identity. Right?

Leslie Douglas 
Right. And I think that you know, when you're interviewing for a job, you're on your best behavior. When you're dating someone, you're on your best behavior and then after a while that honeymoon phase is over, just like it is with your company. And if you can be comfortable with who you are and who your purpose is and show up as yourself from the beginning, it saves you from having to have that secondary, it's exhausting to try to pretend to be two people, right? It's like, here's home Leslie and here's work Leslie and it just becomes very emotionally consuming. It takes away from your ability to get other things done in your day.

Josh Peach  
Right. And it's the read from resume 101 book of what to say and how to say it. It's like, you know, the question, where do you see yourself in five years? And the you know, the answer that you're supposed to say something like, I see myself you know, growing with the company and being here doing wonderful things and making a difference and, you know, hitting my numbers and all this and the reality it's like, a lot of people just say, I don't know. I'm not really sure, I just, I really like it here and I'd really like the opportunity to work here and let's see how this goes. Like let's just give each other a chance and have a mindset like that opposed to having everything kind of all planned out. Right and  too many people do that. Great, what  are some actionable takeaways, Leslie, that you would want to offer to focus on for people's work identity?

Leslie Douglas 
Yeah, I have to use the three P's. Permission, purpose and plan. And we talked about this earlier how important it is to not separate who you are at home versus who you show up as at work. And so giving yourself the permission to untie that link between my title and who I actually am. And a lot of people have to do this more than once, right? It's like every day I have to show up and say, I am not my title. And the answer to who am I does not have to lie in all those titles that I carry. The next one purpose, I think asking yourself what do I want? What are my unique talents? What are my gifts and and how can I help other people? And being able to find out what your purpose is. And then that last part is to craft a plan. So how do you tie that purpose that you discovered through your work, through your home life and show up as yourself through every title that you carry?

Josh Peach
That title could be is very long if we think about it. So it's not just manager, leader, salesperson. It's, we carry a whole bunch of different titles. So that's a great, that's a great takeaway. You know, wrapping up just one thing that kind of came to my mind is, how can you also help others to show up to work, like what do we do to do that to help others not just ourselves?

Leslie Douglas 
I love this. It's something that's on my heart every day. I think all employees want to feel valued and respected when they come to work. And if we're constantly worried about how our supervisors and other people are perceiving us, then we're not able to really be effective and as productive as we can. So for most people, giving them confidence fuels their potential. And the most impactful way I think, for you to help others show up as themselves at work is to really take that time to see their talent and then shining a light on that good work and the positive traits that make that person an asset to your team or to our company. And providing that confidence for them to be themselves then helps them live through their identity at work.

Josh Peach  
That's good stuff. I have to tell you, that's a great way to wrap this up. I think that shining the light or celebrating, I think you and your team do a phenomenal job of that. It's a constant celebration, whether you guys are running around with costumes from what was the movie or show that you guys were doing? 

Leslie Douglas  
Oh, gosh, it's Game of Thrones!

Josh Peach
I saw the sword today and I'm like, hey, The Game of Thrones, but you guys do a great job of celebrating not just yourselves, but your team and this company. Well, Leslie, thank you so much for coming in and taking some time out of your day. I know you got to get back to the team and make things happen and get people rocking and rolling here. Reminding them of the permission, purpose and plan, I think that's a great takeaway. We'll put that on the show notes. And you did a great job, first podcast under your belt. This is exciting stuff. 

Leslie Douglas  
I'm a pro now!

Josh Peach  
You're a seasoned pro and we will have you back again some other time. 

Leslie Douglas 
Great. Thanks so much, Josh.

Josh Peach  
 Thank you. Talk to you soon. Have a great day everybody. Thanks for listening to the Operate Intelligently Podcast produced by Dude Solutions. You can reach us by emailing dspodcast@dudesolutions.com or check us out on the web dudesolutions.com

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

Interested in learning more?

Request a demo Talk to an expert
Back to top