The Neuroscience Behind Being a Female Leader

As the business playbook has largely been defined by men, many women business owners struggle with feeling like typical approaches to sales, linear career paths, and other aspects of their business don’t align with their values or goals.

Part of this misalignment stems from a biological reason, that the male and female brain are built differently. In fact, women have a dozen more emotional centers in their brains than men. Given that, it’s no wonder female professionals often feel at odds with societal expectations around leadership and running a business.

Given how important mindset is to sales and overall success, Alycia Huston, a certified neuroleadership consultant, trainer, and speaker and founder of The Culture Cru, joined Dr. Nadia to demystify some of the workings of the female brain and offer tips for how women can cultivate confidence and belonging in their professional and personal lives.

Introducing Alycia Huston

00:01 – Nadia

Hello, hello. Welcome to another episode of Straight Talk About Sales with Dr. Nadia. I am so excited to have my guest today join me, Miss Alycia Huston. Welcome, girl.

Alycia

Thank you. I’m excited to be

00:19 – Alycia

here.

Nadia

I’m so excited to have you for a number of reasons. One, Alycia is a good friend and colleague. We’ve been down for years at this point. We’ve been through some things. Okay.

Alycia

Ma’am. Yes, ma’am.

Nadia

And I’m going to read her bio in a second. Because Alycia has a background in neuroscience and neuroleadership, I really wanted to bring her on to talk about, you know, some of the mindset challenges that I see women face as it relates to sales. So, I’m gonna share your bio and then we’re just gonna dive right on it.

Alycia

Love it. Let’s roll.

Nadia

Alycia Houston is a certified neuroleadership consultant, trainer, and speaker. She honed her craft as a female biotech founder in San Diego, where after a decade of implementing growth strategies and leading an inclusive, high-performance culture, she sold the venture in 2014. She now incorporates her 20+ years of experience in neuroscience, communication, and empathy to develop, restructure, and support business owners, companies, and corporations and develop a culture of belonging through her company, The Culture Cru.

Miss Huston is a results-driven professional with over 20 years of functional expertise in strategic planning and business operations management. She has a demonstrated track record of driving revenue growth by identifying and transforming clients’ business needs into valued solutions. Alycia is dedicated to using her expertise to create people-centered workplaces where psychological safety is experienced by all.

So y’all already see why we had to have Ms. Alycia Huston on the podcast. Welcome, Alycia.

Alycia

Thank you. I’m so excited to be here! And you know, every time someone reads your bio, you just, like, you go, ‘Wow, that’s me.’ And I feel so grateful, right, for all of the experiences, the ups and the downs, right?

How Mindset Is Related to Sales Success

Nadia

Yes, totally. So, one of the questions that I was preparing for our time together, I really wanted us to kind of jumpstart our conversation is

02:19 – Nadia

there’s a stat that says about 85% of your success in sales is based on your thoughts, attitudes, beliefs, right? And so, from a neuroscience perspective, you know, how do we move past that so that we can be successful in building our businesses and generating revenue?

Alycia

I think…so, I can speak from personally, and then I can speak from the science, you know, side of things. So, I can say, personally, myself, there was a lot of challenges when it came to sales, because I had put a label, a negative label, on sales. And so, it had…it was a challenge for me to step into it fully without feeling like I was somehow being this bad person.

So, with that, how you see things is how you will walk through things. So, if I see something as negative, I then take on that persona, that cloak that this is a negative experience that somebody else is going to have. And so, that is very scientific. That is in the brain. And so, what happens is we trigger the amygdala, the emotional center of the brain, and what we will do is we will retract when it comes to presenting our solution, presenting what we can do for a client, because we jump back into the negative space of, “Oh, I don’t want to be that sleazy person.”

So, the amygdala… that’s why we’ll say, “Obtain the amygdala.” Because that’s the emotional brain center – that is like the limbic system, if you’ve heard of that – and that is one of the most

04:10 – Alycia

“barbaric” parts of us. So, we have to operate in our higher mind, our prefrontal cortex; that’s your executive officer thinking, your functioning, your strategy to overcome and quiet the amygdala. Because it’s very real, because your lens, your experiences lend themselves to how you show up today. So, it’s very real. So, I don’t want to dismiss how people are feeling, but what you have to do is reframe it in a way that’s believable for you and walk in that lane of truth.

Alycia’s Journey in Neuroleadership

Nadia

Oh, that is so good. So, I want to back up for a second, because you know, in my excitement, we just kind of jumped right in.

04:52 – Nadia

Share with us. Because not only do you have this amazing background in neuroscience, but you’ve also led a company that you’ve then

05:00 – Nadia

sold, right? Like, you had a team; you had employees; you did the things, right? You had an office.

05:07 – Alycia

A very nice office.

Nadia

And so, how did you even end up in this space of now being this amazing neuroleadership expert, and speaker, and trainer? Like, what was your path and your journey to now?

Alycia

So, I am a woman of STEM. So, I have a background in biology, which then moved into the realm of neuroscience. But I did not dive into neuroscience until I was a co-founder of my biopharma company. We oversaw and monitored clinical trials, making sure that the rights and welfare of people who took part in those clinical trials were protected. So here you see a thread, right? Inclusive, protection, advocacy, that was a part of my journey.

And so, when you create a company… and in 2004, this was not sexy to be an entrepreneur, okay? Like, it was not sexy. My mom thought I was crazy. She was like, “What are you doing?” Other people thought I was crazy. And then other people were just like, “Go for it, girl,” like, without even knowing.

06:11 – Nadia

Right, without even understanding what it is that you do.

Alycia

Right. And let’s be clear, um, there was some negativity on my part, too, with what it looked like to be a business owner. And this was a brick and mortar; we had employees. So, there was no insurance. There were all these things that I had not navigated before. And it was like jump in and learn as you go, right? So, as I was learning as I went, I would say I had some innate leadership abilities, but there were also things I had to learn and I had to cultivate. And I had to have a willingness to be transparent that I didn’t know and seek help. Let me tell you, that is the one thing that we especially, as women who are leaders, we somehow have categorized it as a weakness to ask for support, to seek help in our blind spots. That actually catapults you and creates this level of leader that you cannot become on your own, right?

So, that is number one. I realized, I began to see where some of my gaps were in the realm of leadership, in the realm of organizational leadership and got help. Number one being: listen, I was not a phenomenal person with P&Ls and budgets, didn’t understand EBITA, all of these things that you don’t know you don’t know until you’re in it. So, I partnered with a phenomenal CPA, right? Like, just went straight for CPA, like, we got to get this level of help.

And so, all of this trajectory in those 10 years, I learned so much. I learned a lot from my employees. I always had a willingness to listen, I would say so. So, I was going to be a sociologist. I was going to go into the sociology field. After graduation, I wanted to be a social worker. So, I think I just had a knack for that. But then I saw what they got paid. And I was like, ‘No, I can’t do that.’

08:10 – Alycia

Sorry, can’t do that.

08:12 ­– Alycia

I always had a knack for helping, supporting, listening, being an advocate of some sort. And so, that was cultivated, sharpened, honed when I was operating as a CEO of my company. You have employees. You have community that you’re listening to. There’s people you’re partnering with. I was speaking on the clinical circuit. So, there were things that were being cultivated and sharpened and you have to sometimes sit down and be quiet and listen.

Nadia

Say that part, again.

Alycia

Be quiet. Sometimes your quiet, it does not represent that you’re ignorant and represents that you’re actually quite wise, and you’re sitting at the feet of others, and you’re zipping your lips to hear, to understand, and to deploy at a higher level when you are ready. And I will tell you, Nadia,

09:10 – Alycia

when I left, when I sold that company, I stayed on as executive vice president for about three years. And then I moved into this space, because what I realized is that I had a gift, I had an ability for cultivating the leadership of others, for creating an environment of inclusivity. Didn’t have the words around it then, but creating an environment of inclusivity, creating a space where people’s voices were all welcome at the table, where there was a level of safety felt because I had created a space of trust.

And so, when I first jumped out of the boat, I thought I was going to be a business coach like everyone else. Why not? I had built this business that was successful. So, I thought I was gonna be a business coach. But what it

10:00 – Alycia

was for me was to be quiet and listen, listen to the whispers of my soul, listen to the whispers of my gifts and not try to force myself into something that I felt I was supposed to be in because society said it or somebody else told me I was good at it. And so, when I did that, Nadia, when I really took stock in what my gifts were and aligned them with who Alycia is at her core, that is when I stepped into the sweet spot.

That is when I will also say that selling, right, began to take on new meaning, new form, because it was really this opportunity for me to partner with organizations, small businesses, nonprofits. It was an opportunity for us to partner and to create something more. And it was an equitable exchange. And so, that was the reframe that I’m talking about, right? That my amygdala did not feel like it was crazy on fire, out of line, out of alignment. But that my prefrontal cortex and my strategic brain saw the gift that I had and how I could partner with the right people. And that’s how I kind of got here.

Breaking Out of Others’ Expectations

11:31 – Nadia

And you know, and we met during that transition. That’s when we first met. So, I was hired. I had a front row seat to a lot of this that Alycia is sharing.

I want you to talk a little bit more, Alycia – because I think this is so key, especially for us as women business owners – that you and I had that thing, like, are we supposed to be business coaches? And you know, those conversations that you and I’ve had over the years. And it’s like, but then, if I’m not this, then what am I? Who am I?

11:59 – Nadia

And so, I would love for you to just share more about your journey and really having a courage, right, to break away from the “shoulds” and “supposed tos” and to step into something that was very different from maybe even something you might have been being guided into by people you loved and respected. And it’s like, ‘That’s not in alignment with who I am and my core values. I think I need to go in this direction.’ But that can be scary, especially when you don’t see the full picture just yet. And sometimes we give away our power to our coaches and our leaders and people we respect, you know. So, I would love for you to just share a little bit more about your journey into, “No, this is who I am. This is fully in alignment, and no, I’m not gonna be a business coach. That’s not who I am.”

Alycia

Yeah, thank you for that. That is so real, because – and you said it those values, those core values, you have to really ground into those. Because sometimes we can find ourselves sacrificing who we are because we are not clear fully clear on our own identity yet. And so, the identity is cultivating. It’s curing.

13:13 – Alycia

It’s being stirred. But sometimes we can misstep because we hear, to your point – and I’m speaking from experience – we hear something from someone else that they see in us. And we are not fact checking with our inner self, with the inner woman to make sure what someone is experiencing or what they’re just seeing on the outside is aligned with the inner woman on the inside.

And so, that is where I was when I stepped into the realm of business coaching. I had a lovely woman who helped me, right, who was helping me find my way after the corporate arena, because the employee mind is very different. Because remember, I said, I went back into employee after I sold my organization; let me bring that back full circle. And so, I had been ensconced in the employee mindset. And so, moving back out of that again – because those golden handcuffs were good. Let’s be transparent.

Nadia

Let’s be clear, they called “golden” for a reason.

Alycia

Yes, the paycheck was good, and it was consistent.

14:22 – Alycia

So, let’s just be real with that. Let’s honor it, and call it what it is, and be okay with that.

Nadia

Absolutely.

14:31 – Alycia

So, when it was time to move back out, again, Nadia… so, I had done it in 2004, built it with partners for 10 years, sold it, and was back under an umbrella of corporate. So now when the calling came again to step out, I was frightened. Like, let’s just be clear. I was frightened. It was going to just be me. There were no partners, right? It was just Alycia. And so,

15:00 – Alycia

doing that, I kind of looked to someone else, this coach, to not just help me figure it out, but I kind of even, as you said it, gave her some of my power. And I allowed her to kind of tell me what she thought I should be doing. And that was where the business coaching came in. And I tried it. And listen, I was good at it, but I did not enjoy it. And it doesn’t mean you’re gonna enjoy every aspect, but it was painful.

How Misalignment Impacts Sales

Nadia

You know, and I just want to pause right there, Alycia, because I know from a sales perspective, it’s hard to sell something when you’re out of alignment. Right? Right?

15:42 – Nadia

So, if you already have so some things you got to do with your brain to get it aligned and now you’re trying to sell something that you’re not even sure you want to do, honey, that’s a recipe for a hot mess express. Right?

Alycia

Yes, and let’s talk about the neuroscience behind that a little bit. Because if you do not have belief in it… in what you believe you build, in what you doubt you delay. So, if you doubt that this is the land you’re supposed to be in, you’re gonna delay having those conversations. And then, your inability to be convincing because you don’t believe in yourself, if you’re having a sales conversation, right, it’s going to fall flat.

Nadia

And people are going to pick up, even if they don’t know, they pick up on something about this that’s not right. And so, then it’s like a never-ending kind of cycle, and you know, you’re just caught in it because now I was trying to invite Alycia to work with me to do something that I don’t even want to do. And now she said no, because she could pick up on something that’s not quite right with Nadia’s energy or something, you know, however she words it when she leads a call. Like, “I don’t know. Something just ain’t right.”

So, she says no, or not right now, or let me think about it, whatever people say when they’re just not sure. Um, and now you’re like beating yourself up, because you’re like, “See.” You know, so it’s just that whole cycle all over again. And so that’s why this conversation is just…oh my gosh, it’s so good.

Alycia

And you’re right, and you picked it up. The brain has an error detection system. It can pick up. Like, you even said it. You just can’t put your finger on… you know, there’s something sometimes about someone you’re like, “I just can’t put my finger on.” It doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. It’s just something that’s not quite jiving for me, and I’m going to pass on this one.

But when you take ownership, when you put your stake in the ground, when there was a level of belief in what you can deliver because you’re clear that you have the skill set to create an outcome for the person on the other end, it then becomes a dignified sale, a dignified offering of what solution you have to place on the table for someone else to eat from and for you to feel very good about the exchange of dollars for that meal, right? We put it on the table. Then it’s very aligned. There was a level of confidence and security because what you really are looking for and when you have that, you have certainty.

Nadia

And confidence.

Alycia

Yes, the certainty and confidence that you have the skills to deliver. If you are not sure, if you are weak in that area, or you don’t have the evidence…the brain likes evidence. If you have evidence, you can tap back into, remind yourself of that’s why that folder of your wins is really powerful for the brain. Reminding yourself what you have done, whether it’s even been in corporate what you’ve created for people, that is evidence that you are equipped with the skill set to move into this space and can deliver an outcome. You then have the certainty and the confidence that “I got you.”

So, what happens when you don’t have that level of certainty, when someone begins to get stuck or they’re flailing, you don’t believe you can pull them out.

Nadia

Right? And you go down with them.

19:26 – Nadia

You know, ‘No, no, no.’ And you know, I love that because – and you know, and I teach that, too – when it comes to one, like you said, reminding yourself… I’m like, just go find the evidence. Because sometimes even I have to go find the evidence because, right, it isn’t always rainbows in this entrepreneurial journey, right? It’s like, ‘Oh, yes, I remember.’

Staying Persistent in Sales

19:47 – Nadia

I think the other thing, too… because let’s be honest, not every single sales conversation you go into is a yes right now, right? There are days you’re gonna walk away from the table, or it’s a not right now,

20:00 – Nadia

or whatever, right. And we didn’t walk away with the sale in that moment. And I think it’s so important, what you’re talking about Alycia, is when you have that confidence, that certainty, you have that alignment. And I love when you talked about partnership and equitable exchange. When all those things are in alignment and working together, you can walk away from that table with your head held high, right? You don’t have to go on that journey. Because you know you brought this to the table. You know what you have to offer of value, right? The value that you will provide to that company or that person, you know, whomever you’re working with, and now it’s just a matter of continuing a conversation. I might sail it over; we just move to the next phase, right?

And I think sometimes what I see often is go into that conversation, it doesn’t go the way we wanted it to go – because you know, we can be impatient sometimes.

Alycia

Yes, we can, ma’am.

Nadia

And then we decided to throw the whole baby out with the bathwater. I’m done. And it’s like no, no, no, no no.

21:07 – Nadia

Have the support, the systems, or whatever to continue the conversation, because you and I, we’ve seen it, people come back sometimes years later. They’re like, “Okay, I’m ready.” That what happens if you don’t have yourself together, and you’re not staying in it and staying with it in order, because you allow that negative conversation to drive the car, you know, to drive the bus, if you will, versus that confident piece to do so. And I think that that was you know, so key.

But I love what you said when you said what you believe we build, and what you doubt you delay.

Alycia

Yes, I heard that from another amazing coach. So, I can’t take credit for that, but it was awesome. And I gotta say, I gotta pull this one thing you said. People come back. So sometimes you can you have that level of certainty, that level of courage, and you have nailed it. But remember that some people are simply just their brain, their mind, their level of certainty is not where it needs to be. That’s because they can feel like, “Oh, she’s got me, but am I ready to go on this ride yet?” So, it’s not always you, as you said. And I love that you said that. It’s not always you. Sometimes it’s the person on the other end of the line. And we hold that space for them. And we continue to nurture them, as you said, and when they’re ready, they do come back.

Nadia

They do. They really do. And I think it’s so important that you brought that up, too.

22:34 – Nadia

Because sometimes when we go into the sales conversation, we’re only focused on us. Let us be honest. We’ve done all our stuff, right? Whatever fears we have, whatever goals we have, whatever the bank account may or may not look like, right, we bring all that to the table. And it’s sometimes very difficult, I’ll be honest, difficult to separate the two.

Um, but we forget that the person we’re talking to also has their stuff that they’re bringing to the table. And we’re trying to communicate, and we’re both wearing different types of glasses, right? And we’re looking at it from completely different vantage points. And like you said, sometimes we can work through our stuff, and we have that level of confidence, but the person on the other side doesn’t yet. And when we talk about in sales, overcoming objections, right? Sometimes the objections that are verbalized aren’t really the true concerns that a person really has, right. A lot of times, like you said, it’s, “Can I really do this? Am I really gonna commit? You know, I’ve tried this before and failed.” That has absolutely nothing to do with you. But if you don’t realize that it’s not all about you, you take on all that stuff and make it completely about you, and then you don’t do your part to continue to the finish line.

Alycia

You got it. Right on. Right on.

Creating Safe Spaces to Ask for Help

Nadia

Oh, my goodness. Oh, so good. So, one of the things I wanted to circle back because the work that you do is just simply amazing. But I see it a lot, especially with us as women, and I would dare even say, especially as women of color, when it comes to seeking help, taking off that cape,

24:17 – Nadia

admitting you don’t always have it all together. Like, how have you managed that, especially as a CEO, a woman that’s leading a company, because you don’t always feel safe to say, “I don’t know the answer,” right? So how did you manage that, and how do you continue to navigate that? Because it’s not over.

Alycia

It’s not over. That is a phenomenal question. And you know, Dr. Nadia, that is why my organization really operates in two divisions. There is a personal development component and then the professional development. Because as we were just talking, if that personal component needs a little bit of work, some attention, some love, some growth you’re never going to outgrow

25:00 – Alycia

your personal belief in your professional life. And so, we miss that sometimes.

So, how I navigated is I have created opportunities that really I needed that bring other women in. And so, that is why I created my women’s retreat, as you know. And we’re moving into year two, but it has also evolved, right? It started off as one thing about six or seven years ago, and it has evolved into something different.

And so, that is where Ethos was born. You know, it’s that women’s retreat for elite leaders, because we do need those spaces. We do need to have those conversations in a safe environment, but where there are women of the same caliber. And it’s no shots fired at anybody who’s at, you know, a lower level, but there are different conversations when you’re managing payroll, when you’re really taking care of people, when you have people’s families that you have to consider, not just your own, when there are different levels of insurance you have to talk about, when you’re talking about VCs, maybe some funding, some series ABC. But there’s these different conversations that are had at these higher levels that you need to have transparency. But you need to have this level of support.

And that is where Ethos was built, as well as my membership called Beyond the Boardroom. Because it is beyond the boardroom. There are things that happen in the boardroom. But there are a lot of things outside of that boardroom that can lend themselves to your level of success or pain. So, that is how I have navigated – quite honestly, like real talk, transparently – I have created environments that I needed that I did not have access to. If they existed, I didn’t know about them. So, I created them. And I have opened those environments up to other women at certain levels so that we can build a rapport, that we can build these levels of trust, that there is this level of a brain trust of IP that can go around in this space, in this Ethos and nobody being concerned about somebody’s going to steal my stuff and go. That happens. And there’s not this level of concern that somebody is judging me. There is a complete sisterhood. They are my ‘cru.’ C-R-U. They are my cru. Yes, they are.

Nadia

Yes, yes. And I can speak from personal experience being in these rooms with Alycia and her cru. It really is. And like you said, it’s so refreshing, right, to walk into this space and know that I can be real. I don’t have to have the mask on. I don’t have to use the five syllable words, right? Because you know, sometimes people judge you. “Oh, you’re a doctor, right?” It’s like, ‘Dude, seriously? Today, I just need to be Nadia.’

28:05 – Nadia

I need all the titles, all the labels to be gone. I just need a space where I can be real. And you do that. You create that for women. And it’s just phenomenal to witness. So, I’m so thankful that that is now available to women, because that wasn’t always so easily accessible to us as nowadays.

Alycia

No. And I believe it’s very important, because in those spaces there are new opportunities. There are collaborations that are born from that. There are people connecting other people for their requirements, their needs. And it’s really funny, because Dr. Nadia used to tell me, you used to say, “Alycia, you are so connected to so many people.” And I used to just say, ‘Oh, okay.’ I took it for granted. But that is one of my gifts, right, that I have this knack for remaining connected, for helping others to remain seen, whether they’re in that room at Ethos every year or every other year or not. There is a commitment. There is a core value for me that is relational, not transactional. That’s very important to me. And so, when I connect with these women, it’s women who have those same values, right? We call them in because we see each other, we value each other, we validate each other. And that is so important.

Women Leaders & Community Building

Nadia

Yeah. So important. It’s so good. Yes. And I want you to share a little bit more… ‘cause now that we’re here, right, I’m thinking about…and what you mentioned too, about, like,

29:40 ­– Nadia

the work that you do and it aligning with your values. So, it’s safety, inclusivity, like, these are all really big values for you. I know this. And when you look at the work that you’re doing with the Culture Cru, with Beyond The Boardroom, with your Ethos retreat, like tell us a little bit

30:00 – Nadia

more about some of the projects and just how you’re supporting women leaders. Because women need more of Alycia, right? So, I want people to really understand what it is that you’re doing in your work to really support these women leaders.

Alycia

Thank you. So, the Culture Cru is really, that’s the organizational side, right. That’s the professional development side. And we work with small businesses, nonprofits, organizations, leaders around creating an inclusive environment, right. And people, today inclusive has become so watered down that it just means people of color, or women. Inclusive means all of you – LGBTQ, right. It means people, even white women, black women, Asian women, white men, black men. Like, inclusive in its wholeness, people with disabilities, people that have neurodivergence, all of that. It is really inclusive.

And then in that work, it’s all about facing your biases, too, right. Which can be very uncomfortable for all of us.

Nadia

You don’t want to talk about those!

31:13 – Alycia

We do. I have biases.

Nadia

We all do, right? And we won’t admit it out loud, but it’s like, girl, come on now.

Alycia

And the brain actually has biases to help protect you and to help you move through life more quickly and safely. But what we have to do is help the brain compartmentalize appropriately. So, we’d have to call them out.

And so, we create these opportunities on the Culture Cru side, working with companies and organizations to help identify these biases, help with levels of communication, emotional intelligence, with helping with hybrid work, right? Because there’s biases in hybrid work. “Well, you’re not working as hard as me.” You know, all of those things, right?

Nadia

They like working with the kids.

31:57 – Alycia

Yes, yes! So that’s what the Culture Cru does. It’s about culture in all of its facets, in all of its forms, in all of its positives, in all of its negatives, in all of its neutrals, right? That’s what the Culture Cru is about. And we have an amazing team that bring in different components and different expertise to meet the organizations where they are so we can co-create a solution that works for that particular organization. It’s not cookie cutter. It just cannot be. That doesn’t work anymore. So, that’s on the Culture Cru side. And I will do speaking,

32:33 – Alycia

And I will work with ERGs on that side. And it is wonderful. It is very enriching work. And I enjoy the relationships that are built from that and the continuous opportunities, that if something is not for me they’ll call me and I’m like, “Oh, I have a colleague you need to speak to.” That’s what it’s about. It’s the thread of relationship. That’s a core value.

32:57 – Alycia

And then we have the other side, the personal development side. That is where Ethos, my annual women’s retreat, comes in, where we got to get out of our environment. I pull these women, and then… I know it’s really funny, because what happens is these women, as it starts to get closer, because we’re only a few weeks off now, there starts to be this thing that just happens, “Wooo, you know, I might have…” No, you’re coming. You’re coming.

33:24 – Nadia

Why are we like that?

The Neuroscientific Reason Women Lead Differently

Alycia

And we will sacrifice ourselves for others, but we won’t just create a space for ourselves. I know that as women we’re built differently. Women have 12 more emotional centers in their brain than men. So, we are built differently. I believe we are positioned for levels of leadership that we can handle things at a higher level, better than men. We just can because we’re equipped for that. I didn’t say men are terrible leaders; I just said, I believe we are equipped differently. We have an innate skill set for that. And that, to me, is demonstrated by just the physiology of the more emotional centers in the brain. We have a different level of intuitiveness, of intuition where we can sense things, where we feel things, right. That emotional capacity that we have, that’s just different.

And so, that’s what we do in Ethos. We really allow space for that. We allow honoring for that. We allow an opening for that. And we allow conversation around that. And then how does that translate into levels of leadership in your organization’s in, in your homes, right, all of that.

And then we keep that work going in Beyond the Boardroom, where we keep those conversations, where we continue to build, trust, uplift, create, cultivate, break down things that are not serving us, call each other out, right.

34:48 – Alycia

But it’s all in a space of uplift. And so, that’s how all of this works together. Because what that does on the personal side is it allows for people to show up more powerfully in their business, show up more powerfully

35:00 – Alycia

for their employees. Because these women are leaders. There’s always someone pulling at their coattails. There’s always someone that needs something from them. They are the trailblazers. So, we need a place to rest, to lay our heads, to lay it all out without assessments, to come and just say, “I am simply overwhelmed.” And to just be that.

Nadia

Just be, yeah. And I love it, because you know, it’s so… so, if you ever have the opportunity to attend an Ethos retreat, go. It is just it’s an experience unlike any other.

But I think, like you said, Alycia, as leaders – and it’s not just in our companies, it’s in our homes, and you know, we wear all these different hats – you just need a moment and the space where, you know, no one’s looking for you, or calling you, or expecting anything from you. And you do a beautiful job of building the balance between the space, and the connection, and the growth. And it’s just amazing. So yes, shameless plug for Alycia’s retreat. If you ever have a chance to go, go. Make the space, and get your hips on the plane if you have to, and be there.

Alycia

And I’m very much – I realized, too, Nadia – I’m very much about experiences, right? Because we want to create experiences. And the brain, the hippocampus in the brain is the memory center. And we remember experiences. There could be sense. There could be something that was said, and experiences lend themselves to memories, where you can bring yourself back to that with a picture, and you can release dopamine, serotonin, oxytocin, which then brings about a different level of commitment again. You can recommit yourself in that space. Yeah.

Nadia

It’s amazing how powerful it is to, like you say, get out of your everyday environment, go somewhere else, have that experience, and just how refreshed and rejuvenated… and almost you, like, come home like a different person. And it sounds crazy if you haven’t done it yet, but you literally, you get on a plane, or you get in your car, you go to this event, you spend three, five days or however many days, and you come back, and you’re like a completely different person.

37:17 – Alycia

Right? And then how to engage as that different person, right. ‘Cause when you come home, your home people, they weren’t there. So, you’re coming back. So, how do we reenter, right, that space? And so we don’t cause this level of friction when we go home as well. So important. So important.

Nadia

That is so true. We may need to have a part two about that one. Because I know, over the years, me going to different events, and I come home and I’m talking to Toby, and he’s looking at me like what are you talking about?

37:51 – Alycia

Yes, yeah. Exactly.

37:57– Nadia

I’m all excited and he’s just like, “Okay, baby, whatever.”

Alycia

And he’s like, “Yes, babe.” I know Toby. He’s just like this, “Oh, yes, honey. Mmm.”

 38:04 – Nadia

Sure, honey.

38:08 – Alycia

You gotta hear me.

Nadia

Right. But I learned to not be upset, because at first, I would get upset with him and angry, like, ‘I don’t understand why you don’t understand. And it’s like, ‘Dude, you just had three days of time – or more – in this environment and learning these things. He wasn’t there.

38:24 – Alycia

He wasn’t there. He wasn’t there.

Nadia

He just doesn’t understand whatever it is you all excited about. Like, he doesn’t have that same level of excitement.

Alycia

Right. Right, Nadia, right. And giving the grace, right. And that’s what we begin to appreciate in that space. And you have just made a case for why we need Beyond The Boardroom, right? Because we all are operating at that level. We all are vibrating there. We all can just continue to keep that momentum going, and we have an understanding for what was created and what we’re going to continue to step into when we leave that space.

Connect with Alycia

Nadia

Yes, absolutely. Oh my gosh, this has been so good, Alycia. Thank you so much for coming today. Please, please share with our listeners how they can connect with you.

Alycia

Yes, so you can connect with me; all my handles are Alycia Houston. Okay, and I know you’ll spell in… my name can be tricky, but Dr. Nadia’ll take care of that.

Nadia

Yeah, it’ll be in the show notes. You’ll get it right.

39:21 – Alycia

All my handles are Alycia Houston. I am much more active on LinkedIn than anything. I have been committing to myself, right? Because I’m very intentional. I’ve become much more intentional about where I’m showing up. So definitely come hang out with me on LinkedIn. I’m also on Instagram. That’s my expressive space, right, my pictures, my expressive space. So, I am also on Instagram. And you can also find me on Facebook, you know, Alycia Houston. Everything is Alycia Houston. Now, if you find me on Twitter, I just play there just to tap it.

40:00 – Alycia

‘Cause Twitter can be overwhelming for me. So, I have a presence, but, you know, if you want to just… every now and then, I’ll drop a little nugget that fell into my brain. I’m like, ‘Ooh, let me share that. Let me share that.’ And I’ll share it. But LinkedIn and Instagram are where I really play. Yes.

Nadia

Love it. I love it. Thanks again, Alycia for being with us. Stay tuned, everyone, for our next episode of Straight Talk About Sales. We’ll see you soon.

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