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It’s Okay to Not Have the Answers

It's Okay to Not Have the Answers

In this episode of the Impostor Syndrome Files, we take a look at the ways in which lack of training and preparation for leadership roles undermine our confidence. My guest, Mark Herschberg, CTO and MIT instructor, shares his personal journey from individual contributor to manager and the realization he had that the skills required to make that transition were not taught. He also shares his perspective on leadership and what we can do to be more effective, confident leaders at any level.

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About My Guest

Mark Herschberg is the author of The Career Toolkit, Essential Skills for Success That No One Taught You. From tracking criminals and terrorists on the dark web to creating marketplaces and new authentication systems, Mark has spent his career launching and developing new ventures at startups and Fortune 500s and in academia. He helped to start the Undergraduate Practice Opportunities Program, dubbed MIT’s “career success accelerator,” where he teaches annually. At MIT, he received a B.S. in physics, a B.S. in electrical engineering & computer science, and a M.Eng. in electrical engineering & computer science, focusing on cryptography. At Harvard Business School, Mark helped create a platform used to teach finance at prominent business schools. He also works with many non-profits, including Techie Youth and Plant A Million Corals. He was one of the top-ranked ballroom dancers in the country and now lives in New York City, where he is known for his social gatherings, including his annual Halloween party, as well as his diverse cufflink collection.

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Kim Meninger Welcome, Mark. It’s so good to have you here today. I’m excited for this conversation. And before we jump in, I’d love to invite you to introduce yourself.

Mark Herschberg Thanks for having me on the show today. I began my career as a software developer, but quickly realized I wanted to become a CTO or Chief Technology Officer. The skills I needed to lead a department were different than the skills I needed to work in it. Leadership management, communication, negotiation. These were skills no one ever taught me but were important for this job. So I had to teach myself. And as I developed these skills, I realized they aren’t just for the senior leadership, they’re skills all of us can benefit from. And I began to develop these skills across my team to run internal training programs for them. Now, around this time, MIT had gotten similar feedback. The corporations were saying, “These are the skills we want to see, but we can’t find in people.” So MIT wanted to put together a program where we would develop the skills in our students, we heard about this, I reached out, I said, I’ve been working on this the past year or two, can I be of help? And he said, yes, please and invited me to help create the class. And that’s where I’ve been teaching for the past 20 years. So in addition to my job as a CTO, I’ve also been teaching at MIT for 20 years helping people with professional development. I’ve done similar work in the nonprofits I’m part of, and now I’ve turned it all into the book, The Career Toolkit, Essential Skills for Success that No One Taught You.

Kim Meninger I can’t wait to dig more deeply into that. Before I do that, I want to ask you my standard starter questions of what does impostor syndrome mean to you? And I know you share a bit about this in your book, and how, if at all, has it shown up for you?

Mark Herschberg Impostor syndrome is self-doubt and insecurity about our ability to do our jobs. All of us have it to some extent. And it’s not always a constant, it can vary. You might have periods where you have a lot of self-doubts, say, I don’t know if I can do this, or I’m going to fail, it’s gonna come back on me. And there are periods, we feel everything’s going great, I’m really doing well. So it’s going to vary throughout our careers and throughout our jobs. It certainly has for me. There have been periods where I wondered, can I really do this? But over time, I think if we both use the techniques you talked about on your show, and if we just look back at our successes, times we’ve had it before and gotten through, we can begin to overcome it.

Kim Meninger You know, I think that’s a really good point. I also want to go back to what you were saying before about these skills that are required for leadership that are not often taught. And it sounds like you’ve filled the gap a bit through your own instruction, and certainly through your book as well. But I still feel like even, even now, those kinds of skills aren’t taught in the, in the way that they probably could be or should be. And so I find that, certainly, if you’re stepping into a manager role for the first time, and you’ve never been taught how to lead others, you’re really good, perhaps at the work that you’ve been doing. But you’ve been given no direction around how to actually lead a team, it almost seems like it’s no wonder that people struggle with self-doubt and impostor syndrome.

Mark Herschberg Absolutely. Because the skills that got us to that leadership position, to that manager position are different than the skills we need to succeed in that position. When you’ve been an individual contributor, you have done, whatever your work is, whatever sub-tasks you’ve had, and you’ve done bigger and bigger sets of those tasks successfully. And that’s why you got promoted. But now it’s not about doing this task. Again, you may do some of that. Still, as you’re a first-level manager, you might still be doing financial reports, marketing, campaigns, coding, whatever your job is. But now you have a bunch of other responsibilities, hiring people, managing those people, including dealing with all the people issues that come with it, working with other departments, maybe say some strategy and planning. And this is not what you had been doing before. So all of a sudden, you have a new set of responsibilities, where you have little experience, and maybe no training. Most companies say welcome to your manager job. Here’s your chair. And that’s it. That’s your training. They never taught you here’s what to do. So we go in and we realize these are new challenges, and we haven’t had a training and that can be a little scary. Here is what you need to remember when you become a manager. Your job is not to have the answers. That’s different than when we’ve been the individual contributor and they say, Hey, your job is to make this happen. Figure out the campaign called the new level. Go, that’s your job. That’s what we hired you. But as a manager, it is no longer all on you, you do not have to come up with the answers, you have to help your team get the answers. And when you recognize that, you can remove a lot of the fear of, oh my God, I don’t know the answer, because that’s okay. You just have to know how to help your team get the answer.

Kim Meninger In some ways that’s taking the pressure off. In other ways, I think people get really attached to feeling like they have very specific expertise. And when you remove that need for individual work, sometimes they start to question what value am I adding here? And it doesn’t necessarily feel as quantifiable as some of the work that they were doing before. Do you have thoughts on just how do I feel like I’m measuring the effectiveness of that role now, getting things done through other people, as opposed to that more task-driven kind of role that I played before I became a manager?

Mark Herschberg I’m going to share a famous, probably apocryphal engineering story. Back in the 1920s, 30s, depending on the story you hear, there was a company that had their whole manufacturing line shut down, there was a massive problem, no one could figure it out. So they called in a retired engineer, and they said, Please, you always figured out problems before, please come back. Help us figure it out. Okay, give me all the blueprints to all your plants and the machines, and spent two weeks poring over the blueprints. At the end, he walked over to a machine took a piece of chalk, drew an X and said, open up the machine here. That’s where you’ll find the trouble. Lo and behold, they cut open the machine, found the problem, fixed it and the plant went back online. So thank you so much, please send us the invoice. So he sent them a bill for $1,000, which back at this time was a phenomenal amount of money. And the company said, well, could you please maybe break down where you came up with this $1,000? Can you itemize the invoice for us? And according to the legend, the engineer sent the following invoice, one chalk mark $1. Knowing where to put the X, $999. And that is what we do as managers and leaders, we know where to put the X. So it’s not about, I can do this. It’s about I can help others. I can direct them, asking the right questions, pointing them in the right way, helping facilitate the right conversations. And that’s what’s going to help the team. And by doing that, I’m helping not just me deliver, but I’m helping my team of 550, 500 people all deliver better. And that’s why you get paid more because your impact is bigger. So recognize that it’s no longer about he didn’t repair the machine, he told people where to look to repair the machine. And that’s what you’re doing as the manager.

Kim Meninger And when I hear you say that it makes so much sense. And then I think about the person who’s in the role and feeling insecure. Let’s say somebody who’s feeling like, I’ve been spending the first, let’s say five to seven years of my career, just feeling like I have to prove myself, always having to feel like I need to know the right answer. I need to be able to demonstrate my expertise in some way. I wonder if you see people who now step into these manager roles almost competing with their teams. In some ways, it’s hard to let go, it’s hard to now take more of I’m now staying behind the scenes, right? But now you’re empowering your team to demonstrate their expertise. And if you’re feeling insecure about the value that you’re adding, it might feel uncomfortable to let them do the work well, while you take a different role.

Mark Herschberg It very much can be, especially because this person on your team came with the brilliant idea that you didn’t even see and thinking, oh, maybe, maybe she should be in my job. Here is my favorite technique to help change your mindset and to avoid this issue. On the United States Supreme Court, when the judges are deliberating back in their chambers, they have a tradition where the most junior justice speaks first. They say okay, what do people think of this case? They begin with the most junior justice. The reason for this is because you have some justices, the senior ones who may have been on the Supreme Court for decades, who have these great reputations and for the new judge on the Supreme Court, it can be a little intimidating to be sitting next to this legend. So by letting the junior judges go first, they can get their opinions out and not feel biased or pressured by the seniority of their colleagues. So we can apply the same techniques on our teams. When I say my team, here’s the challenge, what do folks think? I will always let them speak first. And I sometimes even say, here’s why this is the process we use, I want all of you to come up with the ideas because I don’t want to influence or bias you. Now, if they come with ideas, and I have a better one, I’ll say, okay, hey, and what about this, which happens quite a bit, they have better ideas than I do? Well, I’m just going to keep my mouth shut. And they don’t need to know that I didn’t have an idea as good as that. It’s, well, everyone came out, we got good ideas. And that’s a great one. Let’s go with it. And so what you’re doing is you’re showing deference, but doing so from a position of, I don’t like to use the word superiority, but position, maybe seniority that I could go first and tell you what we’re doing. But I am magnanimous. I recognize it’s not about me, it’s about the team. And I want to empower all of you. So everyone come in, I don’t even want to go first one let you go first. And this way, you put, you prevent yourself from saying the stupid thing that someone says, Hey, but this idea is better. I love that for

Kim Meninger a number of reasons. First of all, it takes the pressure off of you as the manager, but it also creates a much safer, less intimidating space to access the expertise and the ideas of your team, which is so important. When you’ve got knowledge workers, right you want, you want to tap into that reservoir of new, new ideas and new ways of thinking about things.

Mark Herschberg Absolutely. And you can do some similar things in other areas. So for example, if you’re brainstorming, brainstorming, everyone begins by self-censoring. Ah, you know, I don’t know if I really want to say this silly idea. And say, look, I want everyone to be freewheeling, I don’t want you to think this is a dumb idea. Just throw out anything that comes to mind, even what sounds wild and stupid. So I’m gonna start, I’m gonna do so by throwing out the most outrageous dumb ideas. And then you throw out some good ones, too. And then other ones you might think are good but are actually stupid. But oh, no, no, that was just one of the other examples of like, the really dumb ideas, just want to encourage you all to do it. And so by mixing it up and saying, I am doing this, I am opening the door for you. You’re already saying, don’t judge me on my ideas. And that might take some of the pressure off as well.

Kim Meninger That’s a great idea. Now I have a question for you going back to how you talked about the fact that you personally realized, I don’t have the skills that I need to be a good manager or the skills are different. So you said you taught yourself right/ With anyone listening who finds themselves in a similar situation, How do they get the support they might need from their own manager? Or, you know, what does the conversation look like, either with yourself or with your own leadership to say, I’m not getting the support I need without that feeling of oh, no, I’m outing myself as somebody who’s not qualified for this job?

Mark Herschberg It might depend on the type of support you need. If it’s, almost I’m gonna say a physical resource, but that physical resource could be headcount for your team, could be more time on a project, you then just show up with your budget or timeline or whatever is tracking that resource. And showing here’s how we’re limited in some way. And that’s just an honest discussion because that’s not about you. That’s about the project. Now, if it’s about you saying, oh, I wish I was a better communicator. Then you might say, Oh, now about to show some, some weakness. But what you can do is talk about your development goals. And most people during their annual review, the few of us who have annual reviews, many people, unfortunately, don’t. But if you do, don’t think about I am weak here and need help. You just position it as well thank you for that feedback. I’d like to talk to you now about some of my development goals for this year, things that I’ve been hoping to do. I’d really like to get even stronger in my communication. I’d like to become a better negotiator. I want to really focus on continuing to develop my leadership this year. The way I phrase those and rewind, if you didn’t catch it, because the wording’s important, you’re not saying, I don’t think I’m an effective leader, I need to be better. You’re saying I’d like to continue to focus on my leadership development this year. And you’re saying not I’m weak. You’re saying I just want to get better because we all know, and really good managers and leaders know there’s no, there’s no top floor. There’s no point where you say I know everything I need to know about this, I am done. We know we can all improve. The other thing I would encourage you to do is not to rely on your company to help you with this. It would be wonderful if they do. And I’m sure some do, but most do not. You need to take responsibility yourself for developing these skills. And you can do so without any financial resources from your company. There are ways you can do that. So don’t simply rely on your company take the initiative yourself.

Kim Meninger That’s a really great point. I think that we do, perhaps have either unrealistic, and maybe they’re not even unrealistic, unfortunately, but expectations of what our employers will offer, but these are career management skills that are going to serve us no matter where we go. So it’s worth the investment, whatever that looks like, to develop these so that you can take them with you forever.

Mark Herschberg 100%. And here’s some simple math that illustrates it. Imagine you’re 30 years old, and you’re about to take a job for $80,000. But instead of accepting the job, you go and negotiate it, and you negotiate $81,000. That $1,000 increase, if you do nothing for the next 30 years of your life, you retire at 60, you just got $1,000 more, for 30 years, that one five-minute negotiation just earned you $30,000. But of course, you’re not gonna stay in that job for 30 years, you’re going to have other jobs, promotions, raises, if you just get a little better at negotiating, you read a book, you take an online class, you do a couple hours of work, and we’re really talking 10, 20 hours, just to start there, you can certainly go deeper, you can generate 10s of 1000s, even hundreds of 1000s of dollars in increased earning by just learning to negotiate a little better. Now I use negotiation as the example. But our leadership, our communication, building out our network, all of these skills can generate similar returns, it just won’t be quite as direct of oh, I negotiated and got literally $1,000 more. It will be better opportunities down the road. So as you point out, investing in these skills are going to have massive returns for our entire career.

Kim Meninger Hmm, that’s a really powerful way to frame that.

Mark Herschberg And of course, if you do it for your whole team, imagine if everyone in your team, in your department, in your company was better at communicating, better at teamwork, better at leading, what’s that going to do to your productivity and bottom line? Yeah, wow.

Kim Meninger Well, and that, that makes me wonder, too. I’m thinking about the, the flip side almost of let’s say, I’m working for a manager who struggles with impostor syndrome. Or I guess, maybe I don’t know that to be true, for sure. But I have the sense that this is somebody who’s insecure, and that is having an influence on how they’re showing up. Maybe they’re micromanaging. Maybe they’re being overly perfectionistic. They’re not letting go of things. Do you have thoughts on how to manage up when it’s the manager who struggles?

Mark Herschberg I do. And in fact, I talk about some of this in one of the chapters in my book, How to Manage Your Manager. It’s a broad topic. And depending on what your manager’s attributes are, you’re going to manage him or her slightly differently. If your manager is dealing with impostor syndrome, that’s a tough one. And there’s probably no direct way to call out your manager and say, by the way, I think you’re suffering from this, that’s not going to go over well. You could try an indirect approach. Perhaps you could say, hey, I could use your advice. Here’s something I’m struggling with. And share, I have impostor syndrome. What do you recommend? And see if that resonates. I’m not convinced that’s going to go far in most cases, but you’ll have to judge the dynamic between you and your manager. And if your manager might suddenly clue in to recognizing this in him or herself. Another thing you can do is recognize how does your manager behave? What are the patterns? So there’s a, I remember there’s a Simpsons, I think it was a Simpsons Movie, where one of the characters is going to the president and says, I’ve prepared five options for you. And the president keeps picking one of the options and the guy says, nope, go higher. Nope, go lower, double that. Okay, that one, and he really had the one option he wanted the president to pick, but of course, wanted to pretend you get to make the choice. And this is something we can do. Don’t say here’s the one option. And for some managers, they don’t like it when you bring them just one option. They want to feel, no I’m the manager I made the decision. So you bring multiple options, and you can bring the Goldilocks set, you can bring the option that’s not enough, the option that’s Oh, this is way too expensive or risky or whatever. And then here’s the just right. And your manager says, Oh, this is, this is the one right here. Oh, okay, great. I’m glad we had your input. And the others were just there to guide the manager to give him or her almost that false sense of yeah and you participated too.

Kim Meninger Right. And it sounds like what you’re saying, too, is to be respectful of the fact that this is an insecurity on the part of this manager, right. And we don’t necessarily have to name it that explicitly, because like you said, that would be awkward to do. But I do think that a lot of times, we’re so focused on ourselves and our own experience, that we’re not paying attention to, or perhaps misinterpreting the behavior of the people around us, especially people who are in more senior-level positions. And I think it can be helpful to realize sometimes it’s not about us, right? Sometimes, they’re struggling with their own impostor syndrome, with their own insecurities, and what can we do to make them feel more confident or feel more trust on the team, and that can be a powerful role to play. If we have the self-awareness and the, the capacity to serve in that way.

Mark Herschberg This is an important skill, understanding how your manager likes to work, and adjusting your process to fit into that of your manager.

Kim Meninger Exactly. Yeah. So are there other themes that you hear from you, you talked about teaching this course for the past 20 years. Do you hear from the participants in the course about particular challenges that they’re facing, or really challenging gaps that still haven’t been filled as we’ve continued to progress in terms of recognizing the need for these skills?

Mark Herschberg Well, I think all of them continue to be a challenge in the broader workplace. And we can, we can dive a little more to what we mean by them. Because some of these are very broad topics, like say leadership was that mean. Leadership, in particular, most people see positionally. And so how you can get your team who may be individual contributors to think of themselves as leaders, is very important to really upping an organization. On the communication side, helping people communicate, I don’t just mean now you can stand up and give a speech in front of 100 people, that’s a useful skill, and certainly develop that. But how we just communicate day to day, to other people who have other contexts, other background. In my field of technology, I talk with lots of technical people, we use lots of jargon. And we also know certain things I can talk about what it means to scale servers and other engineers know, when I talk to a non-technical person, I have to explain what does that mean. What are the costs, where are the risks, I have to put that in non-technical terms. All of us have technical terms for our domain, how we can communicate the risks, the opportunities to people outside the domain, it’s an important skill we often overlooked. Building effective teams, we’re all part of teams. And there’s actually theories on how teams develop and work together. And it’s not just oh, well go out for drinks one night, and everything’s good. That might help. But being a little more thoughtful in how we actually create this team, because again, if your team can be just 5%, more effective, what will that do to your bottom line? And what it can be more than just 5%? So all of these really do apply. It’s just how much individuals and organizations have focused on developing these skills, how much they put into getting that $1,000 or more ROI individually or at the corporate level.

Kim Meninger From your personal perspective, and, and you may have data on this or this may just be your own assumption, but what do you think is the reason why more organizations aren’t investing in providing these skills to their employees? Why is it so difficult for managers to get this kind of training and support?

Mark Herschberg My theory on this, I talked about a bit in the book has to do with just the development, the labor workplace over the past couple of decades. HR went from not only recruiting people, but also helping people up the corporate ladder, and investing in training and development. What we’ve done now is said okay, HR, by the way, you also, you do all this, but also you need to worry about harassment training and DEI. Oh, and what about our socially responsible initiatives? And by the way, benefits, it’s not good enough just to give 401k and healthcare. Now we need a corporate gym and we have to come with a flex-time plan, and we’ve thrown so much more on HR. We’ve also said in an increasing war for talent, you’re either fighting for jobs like engineers, where you just can’t find people and you’re putting so much effort into just getting a resume. Or you’re posting in a different field and you get 300 resumes in an hour because everyone can just send off a resume at the click of a button. So we’ve put so much more work on HR, but we haven’t increased the budget proportionally. So HR said, well, you know, one area we can cut back is learning and development. Now, even when they have wanted to do it, that’s usually the first thing that got cut. So through all the recessionary periods, we’ve had the last few years, it was L&D that got cut. And so for all these reasons, I think we have generally gutted the corporate development programs over the past few decades.

Kim Meninger From your vantage point, you know, both as a senior leader as well as an instructor and kind of having these conversations on a regular basis, do you feel optimistic? Do you feel, do you have a sense of how we should be thinking about any progress that’s being made?

Mark Herschberg I do feel optimistic. We are better today than we were years ago. Let’s take a more clear cut case. Let’s take sexism in the workplace or just women’s access to the workplace. We have a very long way to go. No question about it. But if you compare today 2021, When we’re recording this to 20 years ago, to 40 years ago, we are generally better off and I forget who said the arc of history is long but tends towards justice. And I think that applies. Not that it’s really every workplace issue is about justice, certainly, women’s inclusion is. But when we just come to skills, to recognizing personal needs, right, we’ve seen during the COVID pandemic, hey, you know what, I got to deal with some issues with my kid or my mother in law. And I just need to take off a couple hours to deal with this. Companies 20 years ago would have said calling your mother-in-law, that’s really not what you should be doing. And now Oh, totally get it. Yep, totally understand. So I think we do tend to evolve. It’s just very slow. We’d like to be faster, but we’re getting there. Overtime.

Kim Meninger Yeah, that is a good point. I think it’s a good reminder when we get frustrated that it is a slow process, and we are definitely making progress over time. I’m curious too of your thoughts on. I’ve been thinking a lot about the relationship between impostor syndrome and psychological safety or lack thereof, is that a theme that you talk about in your course?

Mark Herschberg Not explicitly although, think about the two of them. Psychological safety can mean a lot of things. But it’s basically the consequences of certain behaviors, or certain things that can happen in the company. And we’ve all seen companies where you might walk on eggshells, whether it’s because you have a boss who’s just prone to yelling, or because they do fire people at the drop of a hat, or the corporate politics. And so recognizing what those risk returns are, can impact almost how much of a risk you’re willing to take. Am I willing to say something I could be wrong? At some companies I’ve been at, Yeah, I’ve had no problem because I’ve been established. And I know if I say something really stupid, it’s not going to cost me my job. In fact, it might even be encouraged. Or say, hey, that was, that was a good out-of-the-box thinking even if it went nowhere. I remember on one of my teams, one of my proudest moments as a manager, is when I had a kid just to have school challenge the idea of someone with 30 years of experience. After the senior person drew his plan on the whiteboard, the junior kid said, hey, well, I think we should do it this way. Now, it did turn out the senior person had a better approach. But the fact that I could create that space, where the kid felt comfortable to say, I disagree with someone far older who has been working longer than I’ve been alive. And that was important for the environment. So when you have the opposite of that, I think certainly it can give us more fear and make us more risk-averse. Which, whether it’s literally impostor syndrome or something similar to it, it certainly decreases our tolerance for taking those risks.

Kim Meninger Hmm, exactly. Yeah, I think that’s a good point, too, about psychological safety being a consequence of leadership behavior. And I think that the more we raise the consciousness around what, what good leadership looks like, the more we facilitate the kinds of environments that create more psychological safety.

Mark Herschberg And a lot of that comes from corporate culture. A corporate culture is unfortunately very abused term because many people think culture are the seven values we put on our website. That is not your corporate culture, those are your corporate values, your corporate culture is the fact that your boss thinks it’s acceptable to yell at you if you’re five minutes late to a meeting, as opposed to saying, Kim, look, we really value punctuality here, please don’t be late to the meeting. Right? You can have the same desired goal, but how you approach is very different and that speaks to your culture.

Kim Meninger That’s right. And I think one of the things I think about when and, you know, like you said, there’s, whether it’s directly impostor syndrome, or something else that’s creating this kind of self-doubt, it is important to recognize, are my values or what I need in order to effectively do my role in alignment with the corporate culture, or the values that the organization prioritizes? And so sometimes it’s not about me, we tend to internalize a lack of fit as more of a there’s something wrong with me, when in actuality, it may be that you would do better in a different type of environment.

Mark Herschberg And this is something I talked about in the chapter on interviewing because I approach a lot from the hiring manager side as well as the candidate side. We don’t look for this type of fit, we look for fit based on do you have this experience? Do you have this knowledge? When companies do talk about cultural fit, they might talk about, oh, we’re a sports company. Are you into sports? Well, okay, probably does help if you are, and you’re working at sports company. But then more importantly, it’s, it might be at this real culture level of, we’re a team that likes to joke around a lot. And if you are just very reserved, and don’t like to joke around, can’t even take a joke, that’s not going to be a good fit. Or the opposite. Are you someone, maybe it’s a team where we’re all used to shouting at each other, not in a aggressive way. But we just talk over each other here. And that’s okay, we interrupt each other. And that’s just how we are someone who doesn’t like that is not going to do well on that team. And again, the reverse also would be a problem. Those are the cultural fits, we need to focus on when finding a match. But people don’t think about this when they define the role or think about what they’re looking for when they’re hiring. Yeah,

Kim Meninger I think that’s a good point. And it’d be so much easier for everybody if that kind of evaluation was done upfront, as opposed to bringing somebody into an environment that’s not a fit, and putting them through the pain of that realization. Oh, my goodness, Mark, I could talk to you all day, this has been such a great conversation, I want to just ask if you have any final thoughts, and then I want to share some more information about your book and how people can, can follow up with you if they have an interest in learning more.

Mark Herschberg If you want to develop some of the skills we talked about, or even just get better at overcoming your impostor syndrome, recognize that you can do this, without getting formal training from your company. You can create a peer learning group. This is how we teach at MIT. It’s how the top business schools teach. And so you can create a peer learning group with other people where you can talk about these issues like leadership communication, impostor syndrome, and share ideas and approaches. And the way you can do this is you take a source of content, yes, you can use my book. But you can use lots of other books out there. You can use content from online, use great podcasts like this one, listen to the episode together, read the chapter together, and then have that discussion. Because it’s in that discussion, where you’ll really flesh out those ideas and get really practical, and then you can talk about individual experiences that you’ve had. And that’s going to help you develop the toolset to be successful when dealing with the impostor syndrome or some of these other topics we talked about.

Kim Meninger I love that idea. And it’s accessible to anybody, doesn’t require a lot of financial resources or even time. It’s a great networking activity to I think that’s great. So where, where can everybody find you and your book.

Mark Herschberg If you go to my website,, you can see where to buy it on Amazon and everywhere else, you can get in touch with me or follow me on social media. You can download the free app from iPhone and Android stores, which has a lot of tips from the book. There’s a resources page that links to a bunch of other books’ free online resources. There’s also a download that explains how you can create this peer learning group. It’s completely free. All of these you can find on my website at

Kim Meninger Thank you so much, Mark. This has been such a great conversation really appreciate your taking the time and for anybody who didn’t catch that, the information will be in the show notes as well so we’ll link to that there

Mark Herschberg Thanks for having me on the show.

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