The next Women Who Wows is Dallas-based Leigh Doyle. Leigh is a marketing, communications and business development leader with more than 18 years of experience in the healthcare technology, startup and legal industries.
Her passion for people and human development is evidenced both in her education and training and in her daily operations at Winstead PC, where she works closely with high growth industry groups and attorneys to design strategies and initiatives that accomplish business growth goals.
Leigh is a mom of five (!) and they range in age from 20 all the way to 5, a runner, a lifelong learner and is passionate about helping others achieve their goals.
Do you have any advice to young women who want to succeed in the workplace?
You must master assertiveness, especially as a woman. This is not innate for all of us; being passive (or aggressive) will inhibit you professionally. Assertiveness means you speak to inform and are firm when asking for what you need and deserve; you are consistent with both respecting your and other’s boundaries; and you embrace conflict with empathy and creative solutions.
Commit to lifelong learning. Be a sponge for information and experience, however best you consume it. Read. Listen. Observe. Participate. Ask questions! Often, seemingly unrelated topics and sources of information spark new ideas and almost always teach you about yourself.
This, from Viktor Frankl, cannot be embodied soon enough: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose a response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Thoughtful responses (as opposed to emotional reactions) demonstrate leadership and earn respect.
Be patient. If things are not progressing as fast as you’d like, it is usually because there is more to learn first.
How do you achieve work/life balance?
The first thing that comes to mind when I think about “work/life balance” is quality vs quantity, and I think the key is being self-aware, intentional with priorities and always acting from values. I find when I am able to do this well, work/life balance happens naturally.
The second thing that comes to mind is grace. Many aspects of both work and life can be unpredictable and uncontrollable. There are days/weeks/seasons that feel significantly out of balance, and I think it is so important to give yourself (and others) grace in the challenging moments. I always imagine a “work/life budget,” and when I am overspending from one account, I know I will pay the other account back when the pendulum swings the other way.
Another important thing that comes to mind is asking for help. For a long time, I felt like asking for help meant I couldn’t do my job or that I was incompetent or deficient when all it actually means is that I am human. Raising a hand when you are too out of balance takes humility and courage. It’s funny because the people who struggle with asking for help are usually the first people to offer it. Whether I ask for help from my team, my network or my personal support system, doing so not only gives me some relief but also strengthens my relationships and produces better results anyway.
Last, it sounds very cliché, but it feels less like work if you are doing work that you enjoy. I was once asked in an interview how I find time to think creatively, to ideate, etc., when so much of a workday is consumed by meetings and interacting with teams and “getting work done.”
My answer was that I do that kind of thinking when I run or when I am cooking dinner or taking a shower or even when I am vacuuming (which I do compulsively) – because that doesn’t feel like work to me. I finally realized what this cliché was all about. I doubt there is any role in which all aspects feel purposeful and rewarding, but to the extent that your position is heavier on that side than the other, again, work/life balance comes more naturally.
What do you think is the key for success in a role like yours?
In real estate, they always say, “Location. Location. Location.” In legal marketing, I say, “Relationships. Relationships. Relationships.” The more you can authentically connect with people – on your team, in your office, who you serve, who serve you and who seem wise/creative/different from you – the better. Staying curious about other people – what is important to them, how they operate, how you can be a value-add to them, what they are working on, what “dots” you can help them connect, etc. – the more you learn and the more you build trust and personal brand equity.
Success in legal marketing requires the ability to move seamlessly and often from big picture strategy to precise execution while covering all the bases in between. And, one can never forget that the “devil is in the details.” It’s always that last question you meant to ask, the final proofread you didn’t make time for, the nuance you forgot about, the person you overlooked or the perspective you didn’t consider that gets you.
My role is dependent on effective teamwork. The most effective, creative, innovative results do not come from one person (or from one try, usually). Success is found in recognizing that the most impressive results are the products of collaborative teams who intentionally identify diverse individual strengths to harness and who are comfortable with the generosity of brainstorming, the integration of perspectives, the appreciation for solid process/project management, and the flexibility to make necessary adjustments along the way.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self?
- Refer to my response about mastering assertiveness. <insert palm to face>
- Essential communication often feels like serious over-communication to some of us. Embrace it.
- The universe has a beautiful way of working things out (sometimes it seems like it takes an eternity, but it does work out) – mind like water.
- The law of reciprocity is legit.
- Listen to your gut and trust yourself!
- Self-care is your responsibility. And, it is essential.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received?
- Avoiding conflict or differences of opinion to keep peace with others creates a war within.
- When something goes wrong with your initiative, communicating to the upset party that you are more upset than even they are enables them to move through the negative emotions and trust that you will take care of the issue.
- Bad moments are actually golden opportunities.
- Always ask yourself, “Who else needs to know?”
- It’s never about you. (Very helpful for over-thinkers and feelers.)