Episode 34: Ladies in Leadership (With Nicole Sanchez)

Episode 34 March 07, 2022 00:26:52
Episode 34: Ladies in Leadership (With Nicole Sanchez)
The Quit Getting Screwed Construction Podcast
Episode 34: Ladies in Leadership (With Nicole Sanchez)

Mar 07 2022 | 00:26:52


Show Notes

It’s Women in Construction Week! We are kicking off the celebration with a deep dive into industry leadership and a dialogue about how it differs for women in the industry. From making sure you have a seat at the table in an industry historically dominated by men to hashing out how to balance work, motherhood, and personal wellness, Nicole Sanchez and Karalynn Cromeens tackle it all. These women have a lot of wisdom to share after well over three decades of combined industry history between them, so be sure to tune in and take notes.

If you enjoy this episode and want to celebrate the Women in Construction in your life, be sure to like, subscribe, and share the podcast with the women who make our industry such a positive and empowering place to be.


Listen to Nicole's Podcast Here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-construction-influencer-with-nicole-sanchez/id1550478764 

Connect with Nicole: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nicolerayesanchez/ 

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Quit Getting Screwed was recorded on Riverside. fm and is distributed by Castos.

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Episode Transcript

Speaker 1 00:00:12 Welcome to the quick getting screwed podcast, where we talk about everything related to contractors, construction and information to help you run better businesses. Speaker 1 00:00:23 Hey guys, this is Carolyn Crummins and welcome back to the quick getting screwed podcast. You guys, if you haven't subscribed yet, please do that really helps and getting the word out there and getting this great podcast out there. Um, as I said, we'd like to talk about all the ways not to get screwed in the construction industry. And I always have some very inspirational guests and especially women in construction is a huge, you know, point for me because, um, that's what I am and I've, you know, it's got some original perspective behind it. And so today I have with me Ms. Nicole Sanchez, and she is the VP of operations for Cory engineering in California, has her own podcast as a mother, very inspirational, very exciting. And I love to hear different perspectives about, you know, how you balance work, work, and home, and just, you know, being a leader and, and doing it well. So welcome to the podcast, Nicole, how are you? Speaker 2 00:01:11 Thank you so much for having me. I'm fantastic. Thank you. Speaker 1 00:01:14 So before we jump into all the good things, tell us a little bit about yourself, kind of where you got started and how you got to where you are now, all the, all the good things. Speaker 2 00:01:22 Yeah. It's always fun to look back at the journey and remember, you know, where I started in, uh, where I've come and it's been really a journey of, you know, just pull up the bootstraps and let's, let's get it done. So I started my career, um, specifically as a leader with Wells Fargo, I was with Wells Fargo for 17 years. Um, I resigned from that company in 2013 and was exploring what to do next, right? Like what are you going to do when you grow up? Kind of a thing, um, landed. And the office of, um, one of my close friends, her, her husband's actually the founder of corre engineering and, um, ended up in a conversation with him about starting the business development with his company. And that's exactly what I did. He hired me, I think the following week. And I started in business development with Corey eight years ago and have worked hard to become the leader that I am today into work with the team that we have today. I was promoted to vice president of sales three years ago and promoted to vice president operations a year ago. So that has been the journey that's where I'm at. And, uh, it's been a lot of fun getting here. So, Speaker 1 00:02:34 And you go, you were the VP of sales and business development. So what kind of affected all of your effort have on Cory engineering? I'm just curious Speaker 2 00:02:42 What I was able to do because I did sell with Corey. So I knew, listen, I'm learning something new every day in terms of testing, inspection and construction, but I knew enough to be dangerous and to lead a team that was that we were able to, if we didn't know, the answers were able to find the resources quickly. I think being in business development, um, the beauty of that is being able to connect with so many people and finding so many resources to leverage. And I was able to share that wealth, right? Like being able to, to help the team, um, determine who to go to for what and when, and how to solve issues and how to impact our growth in sales and how that obviously, which answers your question impacts the business. So leveraging it, all that I learned and pulling it together and then sharing those nuggets and pieces of information with the rest of the sales team. Speaker 1 00:03:35 Awesome. So were you able to create your own team or did you have one that you took over? How did that Speaker 2 00:03:40 Yeah, both. Yep. So I had, um, a few people that were there when I was selling. Um, so they were my peers and then I, you know, jumped into the leadership role. Uh, and then I also was able to hire some people. Um, and then eventually, you know, we had, uh, we, we, we had a huge shift in our team and so building a whole new team was my next project. Right. And the next challenge and, um, building a team and then, you know, with that came the same thing that we were just talking about in my knowledge in the company, having to share that with somebody that's never even been with our company, right. Maybe even not just with the company, but in the industry, the construction industry, as a TA, as a whole, they haven't been there. So, um, pressing in and, and, you know, grabbing my bag of tricks and then being able to share that with a new, a brand new team. Speaker 1 00:04:28 Did you have any other background in construction before this really? Speaker 2 00:04:33 Yeah. I mean, like I said, still learning, I, you know, I, I came from, I was with Wells Fargo for so long and that's obviously in the financial industry, but, um, no construction. I knew nothing about it when Richard, Cory, you know, was interviewing me, I just said, listen, I know nothing about this industry. So I know I was aware that the journey was, it was going to be a process in understanding exactly what we do and understanding the construction industry. Um, but you know, you just, like I said, pull up those bootstraps and you learn and you decide that that's what you're going to do, and I've done it. I still have a lot to learn. Speaker 1 00:05:10 Yeah. But the construction industry really is its own niche industry and that, and the way that it operates. And especially if you're coming from finance and how normal corporate business works, corporate business in construction and construction businesses is so much different. Just the makeup of it. So what is your favorite part about being a leader? Speaker 2 00:05:29 Yeah. I don't know if there's one thing. That's my favorite. I think, um, any leaders that are listening, I think it's a, it's a collaboration of a bunch of things, because if it's just one thing and that thing crashes, you're, you know, you're probably a little in trouble. If that one thing doesn't work out, but for me, it's, I'm a people person at heart and I love to connect with people and I love to figure out what makes people tick and what their passion is. And in that I'm able to lead in a way that is in alignment with what they want to have their outcome be. So that's the number one thing. And then watching that and witnessing that person develop into who they shared with me that they want to be right. Just being a part of that in watching that person unfold and develop into what their aspirations are for themselves. Speaker 2 00:06:23 And then the magic of teamwork we talked about, you know, I, the team, isn't always the team that you, that you, that you select, you, you know, inherit some, some team members and watching. And even if you don't, I mean, you have people, right. Just individuals and watching that whole magic of a team, learn how to function together and work together and care for one another and have compassion for one another. Um, just the caring about the person to your right and the person to your left and doing your job in alignment with that, when that magic starts to happen, it's powerful. And it is absolutely an inspirational thing to watch. Speaker 1 00:07:07 How do you get over the frustration part? Like there there's so much in a working in teams and working with other people, there's always a level of, they should do this better. They should do this better. And I'm frustrated that they can't. And so then we get angry. How do you, how do you break through the frustration to get it on a level where people really care? Speaker 2 00:07:26 Yeah, well, unfortunately we can't make people care, right? I mean, we just, we can't make people care. And that's why I think selecting the right people for the team and being able to do some upfront interview things that show that people have compassion for other people and they want to be part of a team. Human nature is for us to want to be part of something. Right. So if you've got that piece in you, it's probably fair to say that I care about you and that you can care about me at some level. We don't have to be in love with each other and you know, that whole thing. But, um, I think transparency is one of the things that has helped me in this scenario with frustration, because I think it is frustrating sometimes, right? Like all kinds of things go on in a day. People may not get along. People see things differently. One person might want to do things this way, just all of those types of things. So I'm being very transparent in what the expectations are and setting those expectations with the team member and being okay with saying, Hey, you know, I'm really frustrated about this. And we're, you know, we're about to hit X or Y and Z. And I needed to either get on board or knock it on board and let them make the decision from there. Speaker 1 00:08:48 Gotcha. Which is, I mean, it's hard, that's hard to do. I mean like me, I get in those situations and sometimes I'd rather not deal with it than to have that conversation. Right. I know. And I'm thinking, I think it comes from truly, if you care about the person enough, you'll be uncomfortable enough to do it because if not, the long run is going to, you know, it'll be more detrimental than like, Speaker 2 00:09:12 Yeah, exactly. I mean, when you've got the person in mind in the company, right. Cause your impact it's, it's, uh, it's impacting more than just that individual it's impacting the company and it's also impacting the people around that person or, you know what I mean? Um, so it's caring enough to just be bold enough and brave enough to say, Hey, this isn't working, we need to fix it. And if not, then this Speaker 1 00:09:38 Exactly. I mean, have you, have you read any of Brene brown books? I'm just very curious. Oh my gosh. She's all about being vulnerable. That being a good leader has to do with vulnerability, which is, I think all the things she's got a great series on being vulnerable in being, you know, taking those, having those hard conversations and at the end of the day, that being clear Speaker 2 00:09:58 Is I love that. Speaker 1 00:10:01 Yeah. So, uh, all right. So good part. So then what's your least favorite part about being a leader? Speaker 2 00:10:07 Yeah. I mean, team members separation is always, no matter how many times it happens, it never is an easy thing or a thing that I, you know, look forward to. Um, regardless if it's us as a company separating from a team member or a team member separating from the company, um, it's always a hard conversation to be having. It is obviously you're losing a resource right from the company perspective. So that is by far my least favorite part of leadership is team member separation. Speaker 1 00:10:40 No, and I absolutely understand that. I hate it. I hate, I hate having this conversations and doing those things, but at the other, at the other end of the spectrum, the company needs to grow and do better. And if we don't have the right people in the right place Speaker 2 00:10:53 With the right people on the right seat. Speaker 1 00:10:57 So I know you have a daughter, um, and I have three. And I think about this question often, if your daughter, as a grownup was telling, explaining someone about their mom, what do you Speaker 2 00:11:08 Say heartstrings? Speaker 1 00:11:12 I'm not like I think about this all the time too. You know, especially my daughters are getting older and I'm like, man, I don't know. I don't, I'm sure. I don't like what you're saying about me now, but I hope when you get, Speaker 2 00:11:22 So that Isabella says about me that I was a difference maker. Geez. And then I taught her to be brave and current and respectful and bold, and I hope that she would love to follow in my footsteps. Speaker 1 00:12:03 That's amazing. And I think being a mom and being in this industry and being a leader, I think we forget sometimes that the most important. Speaker 2 00:12:16 Yeah. She's definitely watching your girls are watching too. Sorry. I just got into a little bit of a mess there. Um, but that, it's definitely, um, that's the why. Right. So this exact moment is what I love about leadership is because we're able to get to people's purpose and clearly she's my purpose. So being so mindful that this little chick who's seven is constantly watching her mom. And I'm the role model that teaches her, how to show up in this world. Yeah. And I just want her to be like, my mom was a difference maker and she loved people. Speaker 1 00:12:59 I think you're doing right now. I think you're doing a great job. I do. And I, you know, nobody ever asked me that question now, but I look, I look at my daughters are older now and I don't, you know, I wish I would have done some, I wish I would have been more intentional right. About some of the ways that I performed, you know, because I didn't realize that that, that what, how I was behaving, whether as a leader, in a business that they were watching. Right. And now I'm seeing some of them growing up and some of the things that I was lacking, I seen that, Speaker 2 00:13:31 Yeah. I happen to have the same thing for me. Cause I think it's so easy to, we're just, we go through the motions of what we do every single day. And it's easy to forget who you're impacting in any given moment. Um, my husband is an a he's phenomenal at reminding me, like she's watching you cause I'm not perfect. I have my moments and she sees them and I wish that she didn't. Right. But he is the person that, you know, reminds me like she's watching you and you make a difference in her life. So just remember that. And then I go, oh yeah, you're right, right. Okay. Speaker 1 00:14:15 It doesn't matter the dinner wasn't on time or it doesn't matter that it didn't, you know, Christmas isn't exactly how it turned out. You know, I think we get lost, especially as mothers and wanting everything to be perfect because we're not only running a business, we're running a household and we're in charge of all those decisions if we want everything to be perfect. And just, you know, realizing that at the end of the day, perfection is, she's not going to remember, you know, all the, you know, all of the stuff that you, you know, tries to, as long as the time is there and the day to day consistency in what we're trying to do. And so, you know, bringing that up, how do you balance the two of being a mother and having such a prestigious in, Speaker 2 00:14:52 Yeah. That's also a very good question and something that some days, and I'm sure you do too. You look, and you go, how did I do this day? Right. Like how did I do all of this? And I, you know, I would be remiss if I didn't acknowledge, I've got a small tribe here to support me. Bella is blessed with four parents, right? So it's, uh, her dad and I are not together. So I've, I'm married to my husband and he's engaged to his fiance. And so she has four strong loving parents and we are so supportive with one another. We will, you know, if things need to shift because I have something going on and vice versa, um, we're always quick to just jump in and support because at the end of the day, it's really about, it's not only about us getting what we need to get done, but it's about Bella knowing that she is taken care of and that she has the support that she needs to have the little life that Bella has at the age of seven. So the tribe, you know, I don't think a village cause our families, our families are away, but that we are a small and mighty tribe. And, um, I am so grateful for the people that are here to support me with my daughter. Cause I, I mean, I would figure it out a different way, but this is right. This works well for us. Speaker 1 00:16:13 Absolutely. And I think a lot of times as women that we don't ask for the help, Speaker 2 00:16:19 Right? Like I can do it on my own. That's my emo pretty much all of my life. I think, you know, I don't need this person or this person, I can totally handle this on my own, but that is silly and we all need the support and it's okay for us to say, Hey, I need help. It doesn't remove anything from who I am. It is. I mean, it really goes back to what you were talking about, about being vulnerable and being okay with that and saying, I don't, I don't have this. Like I need somebody to help me. Speaker 1 00:16:57 Yeah, Speaker 2 00:16:58 Absolutely. Speaker 1 00:17:00 And it just hurts you cause you're the one who's stressed out and then you get bitter and then you get mad. I've watched it happen over and over again. You know, it's interesting to me because when women went into the workforce, we didn't want drop that role that we already had. Right. Of taking care of the house, taking care of the kids. And now we have, you know, cause when you interview a man and I was thinking about this, getting ready for this interview, I don't ask him how he balances his work. You know, I don't ask him that question. Right. And don't be wrong. I don't see his point of view either. I see my point of view and, and I, and I don't know if it's that we take it on ourselves or if it was there and we just didn't say no. Uh, you know, and so being able to ask for help I think is, I think is hugely important. And if you can afford health. Speaker 2 00:17:47 Yeah. I, I think we fall into like the stereotype, right? Like you said, it just was that my grandmother was at home and she did all of this stuff for her family. And that's kind of the role that women have been expected to do. And that's just not the case anymore. That is not how we roll. You know, we're, uh, I'm an executive of a company. You have your own company. Right. So things have changed times have changed and we're powerful because we can, we figure out how to balance it, figure out how to balance it. And I think that there's just power in that itself. Speaker 1 00:18:30 Well, I think that's what makes us so such an asset to the construction industry. Right. We'll figure it out. Just like we figure everything else out, you know what I'm saying? And it's never, no, we can't do this. How right. What do we have to change and how, and I, I think sometimes, I mean, obviously I think, I think we add that. I think we add that. We'll figure it out and we add a special instinct or caring about other people that I think sometimes. Speaker 2 00:18:56 Yeah. I think when you and I originally spoke on the phone a few weeks ago, we talked about the, the dynamic of compassion that women bring to any business place, not just construction, but it just so happens that the majority of, you know, people in this industry are men and there are some compassionate men. So not to say that, you know, men aren't compassionate because, um, there are, and I've, I've had the opportunity to work with some amazing and compassionate men throughout the years. There's just something different about the love of a woman. And we bring that to, to the workforce and as beautiful. Speaker 1 00:19:36 I agree. I agree. I think we touched, yeah. I think like, you know, aligning goals with your employees, I think that's definitely more a, woman's definitely more comfortable doing that, you know, and realizing and working in somebody else's goals into the overall plan. Speaker 2 00:19:50 I do. So tell Speaker 1 00:19:51 Me about your podcast and who you're trying to help. Speaker 2 00:19:54 Well, thank you for bringing that up. Um, so my podcast is the construction influencer and my focus is all about leadership. So it's been an interesting and really fun journey because, um, about two years ago, uh, we launched a new initiative at Cory for our branding and marketing. Uh, we were pretty quiet in the industry in terms of like social media and, and doing just things out of the box, right? So we worked with a creative director that brought all of these really cool ideas to us. And, um, as it was unfolding, uh, I was having the opportunity to connect with so many different leaders within the industry and what dawned on me. It was like, no matter who we are as a leader, if we're a CEO, if we're a supervisor or if we're not even a leader with a title, right. But if we're just a leader as a PR, as a person, we all have something to learn. So I, we launched that podcast with the intention of being able to share with other leaders because listen, at the end of the day, we're all out here doing our best. We're all out here pushing along for our business to be successful. And if we can learn from one another, some strategies, philosophy, business practices, um, just how, what to do as a leader through some tough times how to celebrate as a leader. I was like, I want to learn this stuff and I want to share with you. So that was the whole premise. Speaker 1 00:21:25 Awesome. Um, absolutely. I think that's so important. I think it's what I try to do on the legal level too, is that if I can use somebody else's pain point or lessons that I've learned, so you don't have to learn it the hard way, you know, let's, let's share that let's all, let's all benefit from the struggle that we went through. Right. And I think slowly, um, so, well, good. Um, is there anything else you kind of want to add or think I'm missing, especially on the leadership side, I'm not, um, I'm always learning, I'm being a leader. I've come a long way. I used to be like one of those leaders that I, I didn't want to have the confrontation, so I wasn't very clear. And so just one day I'd be mad and somebody would get fired. And so, you know, learning along the way, what do you think is the most important thing to know as a leader? I guess? Speaker 2 00:22:10 Yeah. We touched on it already and it truly is the compassion for people and you know, not everybody has that just in, you know, the, that compassion for people. So sometimes we have to teach ourselves to be compassionate. Um, there were a couple of people that I remember interviewing, um, on the podcast here locally, uh, a builder CW driver, right. Um, interviewed their president, Carl and I also interviewed, um, GAF from Gafcon and there was a similarity in their leadership that really stood out to me because it, it is one of the most important things. And it is leading with compassion and both of these leaders who are, um, fantastic people, fantastic leaders who I admire greatly. They have such a compassion for people and you can see that in their culture, you can see how people respond to them and how, how they're, how everybody in their companies respect one another and have compassion for one another. So I think keeping that mentality of being compassionate for one another really loving people. Right? Which not everybody just, Speaker 1 00:23:35 Yeah. I think you point out another thing is, is that whatever it is at the top, it's going to be throughout like whatever your attitude is, whether you're compassionate or you're angry or whatever, that's, that's what your customers are going to see, because that's what, that's what the company is Speaker 2 00:23:50 A hundred Speaker 1 00:23:50 Percent is that your business is your business or as a leader is the psychology of who you are. Speaker 2 00:23:56 And just, it's such a reminder for leaders like how you show up today, how I show up today, how the person, you know, my peers show up today has a direct correlation to the success of the company. Speaker 1 00:24:12 Absolutely. It's not all just about numbers anymore. And I think we've, I think we've evolved and running companies and realizing that it's not just about the numbers, it's not, it can't always, there's, there's a human component that is, as that is unpredictable needs to be taken care of me, compassion, if you're going to be successful. And especially with the newer generations that are coming up, that are way different than it's not all about money either. Speaker 2 00:24:35 Yeah, no, it's not. But yes, it is about the people. I mean, look at some of the most thriving, thriving companies in the United States of America, right. And there is a high priority on their people and how their people feel about walking into their business, how they feel about the people they work with, how they feel about their leadership team. So, yeah, I mean, pouring into the people, like I said, is just a direct correlation of, to what your business success is going to be or lack of. Speaker 1 00:25:06 I think, I think that's a, such a different perspective from what business was 50 years ago. Right? Even if you hated your job, you went to work every day and you did what you were supposed to do. And there was, there was, you know, you just got the work done and now it's somewhat more about compassion and about, if you want to see success in your business, you need happy people. That's just the, Speaker 2 00:25:27 I mean, happy people is happy customers, and that's the bottom line. You want your customers to be happy. You've got to engineer that whole thing backwards. Speaker 1 00:25:35 Absolutely. And it takes, and it takes time and effort and intention. And the main thing is to be intentional about it. Right. Even if it's not a hundred percent is being intentional, that this needs to be out there is better than not doing it at all. So, Speaker 2 00:25:48 Yeah. And consistency, I think the intention absolutely has to be there and being consistent because they're watching just like my daughter is watching. Right. They're all watching. They watch every single move I make every single move. Michelle, our CEO makes they're watching and actions have to be in alignment with what we say. Okay. Speaker 1 00:26:09 Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, it has been a pleasure miss Nicole. I'm sure we'll have you on again. Thank you so much. Speaker 2 00:26:16 Thank you for having me really such a great conversation. I appreciate it. Thanks. Speaker 1 00:26:24 Thank you for listening to this episode of quick getting screwed. I hope you found it helpful if you like what you hear, please like us and follow our podcast. If you want further information. So you can find [email protected] We're also on Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram, and the book is available on Amazon now for a new episode.

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