Episode 22: Guiding with Grace and Leading the Next Generation of Women with Pamela Clements
Show Description: Heather speaks with an exceptional guest on today’s episode: her very own career mentor Pamela Clements. Pamela is a legend in the publishing world, having worked at some of the biggest names in book publishing, inducing Thomas Nelson, Hachette, and Abingdon Press. Heather and Pamela share how their personal relationship began and evolved and the power of Pamela’s influence on Heather’s career trajectory. They discuss empowering your team through compassionate leadership, being a female colleague in a male-dominated industry, how to navigate job changes and stepping up in your career, and being grateful for new opportunities when you lose an old one. Whether you are content in your current job or looking for the next right thing, we hope that Pamela’s wise words will be a gift to you during this uncertain season.
- If you’ve listened to the show before or you follow along with Heather on Instagram, you know that empowering and mentoring women is at the heart of all she does. Heather and Pamela speak about pouring into the women that come behind us. Pamela shares her lessons from decades of leadership, including:
- Surround yourself with people who are better and smarter than you. And then let them do their jobs.
- Think about impactful leaders you’ve had in the past. And, then mimic the qualities and leadership skills they have that made a difference in your own career.
- Prioritize communication. Communication is key to any successful relationship. Pamela says, “Communicate what you want as effectively as possible.”
- Listen more than you teach. Part of a strong communicator is being able to listen to your team. Listen to their issues, but allow them to troubleshoot and brainstorm solutions on their own. This empowers them to make their own decisions.
- Create a culture of grace. Allow people the room to mess up because that is part of growing. That doesn’t mean there is no conflict or repercussions. But a culture of grace and celebrating the good.
- Never pit one team member against another. Pamela believes this is the worst thing a leader can do. Every success should be celebrated together, and every missed opportunity or challenge should be looked at as growth.
- Pamela often found herself to be the only woman around a table. She shares with listeners how to speak up and be heard, including:
- Know your own value. You can only control what you do, what you say, and the work that you accomplish. Keep that in mind as you navigate your career.
- Collaborate, don’t compete. You are on a team together, not working solo. Use your strengths and speak up when it’s your area of expertise. And then other times, listen and learn from others who are more skilled in other areas.
- “I knew that if you could walk into my office and be comfortable and sell yourself as comfortably and easily as you did, that you could do that for the authors that we represented.” – Pamela Clements 5:35
- “You really trusted us with those relationships that you had been nurturing and maintaining. It’s almost like the baton being passed, right? In a relay race. And I felt like that now looking back. Fifteen years later, to the month, I took our Choice team on a very similar trip. We go multiple times a year to New York City to pitch our clients to the media. And in the middle of our trip, we were walking down the sidewalk in New York, and I broke down in tears because I was doing for them what you had done for me all those years before. It was really a cyclical moment for me.” – Heather Adams 10:01
- “I think so often, leaders are afraid, and that they should be the smartest one in the room and the most competent one in the room. But, when you surround yourself with people who are better and smarter than you, it’s only raising your game and making you stronger in the process.” – Heather Adams 13:41
- “We’re all flawed. We’re all doing our best. We’re all learning. And together, we’re stronger than any one of us is alone.” – Pamela Clements 20:35
- “I never felt diminished. I never felt dismissed. I didn’t. I always felt like I had a voice and was considered a colleague and professional, not a girl.” – Pamela Clements 28:20
- “I don’t think you’re ever completely ready for anything. You’re always stepping up slightly over your head.” – Pamela Clements 36:59
- “I think everybody is honestly scared all the time, a little bit. I think anybody who isn’t scared at some point is probably a sociopath.” – Pamela Clements 38:33
- “It was the first time that I realized that I had been running at this reckless speed for a long time, and I was exhausted. And, I had not been taking care of myself. And, I did not have my priorities right. And it was a gift.” – Pamela Clements 43:10
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