Episode 11: Interview with Connie Pheiff


Get to know more about Connie and how’s it like to have a true leader by heart as she shares how and why is it important for every leader and entrepreneurs to listen to their team members.

Listen to the podcast here:

Podcast highlights:

01:23 – Get to Know Connie Pheiff
05:10 – Woman Who Dare Means Business
07:17 – The Best Thing for Servant Leadership
14:05 – What is A True Leader?
17:17 – Don’t Get Stuck on the Learning. Start the Doing.


Connie Pheiff is an award-winning entrepreneur and a world-leading high-performance Mentor, Speaker, Celebrity, Author, and founder of the Total Leadership Masterclass (TLM) and Women Who Dare Network (WWD). Connie has been highlighted in national publications showcasing her business acumen and drives to help C-Suite Executives and Entrepreneurial leaders achieve excellence while developing high-performance habits and Be Unstoppable Together.

Connie has been featured in numerous publications, online and live in studios across the globe including Fox56, NBC and ABC (affiliates), iTunes, SiriusXM, iHeart Radio, C-Suite Radio. Connie stars in her own shows as the producer and host of the Award-Winning Podcast Up or Out with Connie and the WWD (Women Who Dare Network). Working with many top names like the C-Suite Network, UPS, National Foundation Center, Coca-Cola, and many others as their high-performance expert. Connie received the Iconic Woman of the Year award for 2017-2018 and is the former CEO Girl Scouts of Penn’s Woods Council. Connie is asked to speak around the globe.


Michael Silvers [00:01] : Hi, this is Michael Silvers. Wanted to welcome everybody to the mentors studio. It’s amazing that we gathered the best of the best in the world and for those that listened to the show often, you know the difference for those of you who want to coach we’ll go ahead and always find one for you, but they’re really going to kick your behind and get to where you need to go. A mentor is somebody who’s already there. It could be the lifestyle that you’re trying to achieve. It doesn’t have to be in your business. We also get, always get a little stuck on what a mentor means, but basically it’s someone who is already down the road and somebody that you can learn something from. And the biggest thing with a mentor is to always, what’s the word?

Michael Silvers [00:41] : Always. That’s right, to really take it to that next level and be willing to listen to them and turn off the mind that says, I know that already because that will stop you every time. So again, we have another amazing mentor today and she’s going to tell you her story will give her a minute to earn the right as we say and tell you a little bit about her background, but it’s great to again, learn from those that have really done it, been in the trenches, worked in, in a way in different fields, but the same. It’s always led down the same path. And with that I’d like to introduce everyone and I don’t always say the last name, Connie, because I like to bring people on stage sometimes with thunderous around of applause [Inaudible] you can give us your last. That would be good. Everybody. Give it up for Ms. Connie. Connie, welcome to the show.

Connie Pheiff [01:23] : Well, thanks. I’m thrilled to be here. And it looks like gorgeous where you’re at and where in Los Angeles, but just a little bit about me. So I’m Connie Pheiff. And so a little bit about me, my background, I started working as a customer service Gal long time ago. So I know they’re not, I’m no longer around, but you know, just fast forward a couple of years. I mean really my claim that they was, I moved down to Washington DC. I became the director at the US Chamber of Commerce. I was working with corporate executives and also for a time with entrepreneurs and helping them build their business, everything around commerce. And then I was the Director at a local chamber for several years as well. But what I really loved the most was I became CEO for girl scouts of Penn’s woods council and just loved what I did.

Connie Pheiff [02:23] : And so 12 years ago, 2006, they decided that they were doing this major reorganization, major realignment, for the girl scouts. So I became a project manager to make it happen. And it was like getting my phd all, it would everything that you had to learn from, you know, the media markets too, you know, where the boundaries are and mapping and how it was. It was just so incredible. So that ended a year later, and my role at girl scouts and a year later. So of course devastation set in because I really did enjoy. I enjoy what I was doing there, but then they called me and they started asking me to coach and mentor the new CEO and then another CEO came in and I coached the mentor, that person and then the third one and that’s when I realized that I had a gift and my gift was all around leadership and high performance and how to get your team to want to do more.

Connie Pheiff [03:27] : All about that emotional engagement. So I studied, I went back to school, I got a double master’s degree on top of degrees I already had and I wanted to fully understand leadership in the way that servant leadership and in the way that you are helping your people, you are helping the people that you were leading and then again around that high performance and how to get them to do more to get them to want to do more. And that’s all around the emotional engagement. And again, the high performance. So that the web man, I’ve been doing that for, Oh gosh, 12 years. Had about two years ago, as we always do in business, we start looking at, OK, well what are we doing next? What do we want to go from here? And it was some strong encouragement from colleagues to do a program for women.

Connie Pheiff [04:24] : As much as I love the programs I used to do for the girl scouts, so I put together the women who dare and the woman who dare network is just then phenomenal with the women that we have professional executive women from around the globe. We have chapters in many countries. We still have more chapters starting that will be travelling too soon in London, Spain, Australia and like what we’re all. We’re all over the place and many here in the US of course, as well. The program and woman who dare network, it’s lead up to very strong media presence, we have a very strong social presence, providing programs, educational programs were executive women that are helping them to step into their power. Because woman who dare means business.

Connie Pheiff [05:14] : I mean we are here to help women be educated because I do believe education is really important to have the skills for the job that you want and then step into that role with all of the needs, all of the training that you have. Now what many women will find is specially I focused with that Gen x age between 32 up to that keeps moving that number, but around 58 to 60. And it’s those women that are saying, OK, I’ve done it. I’ve raised a family, I’m working in corporate and I’m moving up and a lot are missing but you know what, I want fun, I want more time. [Inaudible] sandwich generation taking of mom and dad and the kids and we’re getting squeezed. So women who dare we ate at this network of women that are here for each other and for example, I’ve had several family members pass recently and I couldn’t go speak at an add any beds. So one of the women in our group and also the speaker, she’s knowing I have the time. She said, you keep the money that they’re paying you, I’m going to run over there and I’ll do the speech for you. That’s what we’re all about. And that’s to help each other and help each other grow. And when we come together, when we worked together, we’re disrupting status quo by doing this and really embracing that gender equality. And that’s when we make the world a better place. And our tagline is that we are all unstoppable together.

Michael Silvers [06:50] : I love it. I love it. You mentioned something there too that I think is really critical. It really, it’s that piece of giving back. It’s that piece of the old term servant leadership, but it’s really being there for other people where in your life, obviously that sounds like a big component of what you’ve done in your life. Can you name a time that, that really showed up in something you did in a life that you changed?

Connie Pheiff [07:17] : The best thing for servant leadership and there were lessons learned for me as well. And you know, I used to sit there and let, you know, this is what I have to do. We have to make the numbers, we have the goals. And so when girl scouts, I mean it’s an organization, it’s a business. We have to run it like a business. And I do believe in that. Whether you’re on a profit or private organization, you have to run it as a business. We took a look at the programs are offering, we took a look at our members, our customers and start listening to them and starting asking them what is it that you need from us, what is going to make us relevant to keep you as a customer with us? And it was really important to do that, not just for the external customer, but it was also important to do that for our staff because at the end of that year, every one of the 336 staff members had to reapply for their positions.

Connie Pheiff [08:27] : Yes. So now you have a full year. You still have customers to serve, you know, programs to meet, you have financial goals to meet. So you had all these goals that you had to meet. So this was, I mean for me, I mean it was just so telling. I sat down with them, I listened to the staff, to our team and said, OK, what is it that’s going to keep you here for the next year? Without an organization having to give out all of these stay bonuses, so as the leader, I started listening to them and what their concerns were and then there were a few that we did offer stay bonus is two and they said, no, we’re to the end with you. We’re not leaving. So I always joke that because I was offered a stay bonus and I had to refuse it.

Connie Pheiff [09:20] : But [Inaudible] I was like, well, I can’t accept that if my people didn’t mixed up and I didn’t to get a nice chunk change, but I can’t do that but being a servant [Inaudible]. So I started like our marketing graphics person and she was phenomenal. She was so excellent. She never had a higher education. So what I did, I reached out to a local community college and I’m really good at getting people to give me things. So I reached out to the community college and I was able to get her several courses at college on graphics. So she knew that. I brought in people and everybody knew that they were losing their jobs, so I brought in a resume writer and somebody, you know, our coach and an interview code. So we did that.

Connie Pheiff [10:15] : So I really listened to what it is, you know, mostly guys talk to them and you know, what are your concerns, what can we help you with? I mean, I was actually going up the camp and helping them put tents up. We need to do, we need to get it done. So it doesn’t matter. So the girls started calling me the queen of the role that I had it. It was just so moving to see these ladies and then even afterwards, you know, when it came to an end for us that the other thing I wanted to, I was part of the Philharmonic locally on the board of directors and every year, you know, you had to give back and participate so they were doing a scavenger hunt. What you’ll do you’ll run out of my limo and doing the scavenger hunt around the city. And then you come back and they have, you know, a party.

Connie Pheiff [11:15] : So I said to my assistant, I said, all right, I said, here’s my credit card. I said, go get some stuff to decorate the limo for our scavenger hunts. So I ran it, two limos and so they came back with goofy stuff. And so we did the scavenger hunts at night and we had team members, people that worked in the office who were, let’s just say, I’m very verbal about not wanting to participate, you know, you have some of those team people that really don’t want to be involved. They were involved. And the one that I can remember the most is when I told you that sent to school for that creative work the day that we were all leaving the office. I turned around and she was standing there with flowers and handed me a card thanking. And that was the most moving moment for me that I got through to her.

Connie Pheiff [12:08] : I got to her that it doesn’t all have to be replica. She grew up in, you know, and about family and so on. The other thing she wanted was a massage because she took care of her mom, like they’re like silly things sometimes it wasn’t more money in the paycheck and that was that emotional engagement and getting, you know, getting them to want to do or she took care of her mom. Her mom was [Inaudible] and on Friday she said, I did the afternoon off on Friday so I can go get a massage. I said, OK, done.

Connie Pheiff [12:44] : Create a dive off to do that. So it’s really to get as a servant leader, it’s being there for them stepping in for their. Oh. I just thought of another critical one. And I was working. OK, I won’t say which organization it wasn’t the girl scouts, but so we going out and fundraising and asking for dollars for site. I had a team and I to do all of this research and I will know everything about the person down to the color of their dog. And so we were doing a multi-city tour so the team was really working hard to pull those together. So we were staying late at night, so the one night I know of that are going to run out and I’m going to get a couple trays, a pizza come back, I’ll jump in and work with the team and my ceo, my immediate boss, the very next day actually corrected me and told me what I did was wrong, that it was inappropriate as a leader.

Connie Pheiff [13:46] : I should not have gone down there and I’m saying down there because they were lower for that, gone to their office. I should have brought the pizza in and said have a great night and left. We were there till 2:00 in the morning and every extra pair of hands for just that important. And I told him he was wrong. I said, you are wrong. I said, you know, they’re here till all hours of the night and if you want this information and it’s critical to have the type of money we we’re asking for, you need to step in and help them out. That’s what a leader is. So I’ve always stood by that. I have never, never changed that philosophy. And that said, the damage that I do see from some leaders today, they still have that can command and control type mentality rather than saying, you know, let me just step in, let me help out when they can actually get this done because we’re all under stress, you know, we’re all doing more with less. And so it’s really up to leader really from the top down to say, OK, this is how we’re going to have some even look. So many people are entrepreneurs and our upper out podcasts and that’s what that’s all about. Our other loud, right? So either you’re going out. So yeah.

Connie Pheiff [15:09] : So again, even going out as an entrepreneur. So now you’re trying to figure out. I know for me, I have to girl scouts. I remember now, this was 12 years ago, I remember calling my assistant and say hi [Inaudible]. She’s like, oh my God, she’s not [Inaudible]. I’m laughing so hard

Michael Silvers [15:35] : By the way, everybody listening to this have fun, right? Connie? You gotTa have fun. And you know, Connie, thank you for being on this show. It was expanded it beautifully. I’d like I couldn’t lead you anywhere else. And it’s so true because you and I talked about earlier, what we also look for with people we’re going to work with those people that come in with that attitude. How can I be of service? And the minute you see somebody like that, it changes everything. And you never have that feeling while I’m just giving away my time where I’m just, you need to stop that, right? Because how much in our lives, you could say, given away our time and it’s not [inaudible] fault, but that’s not what it’s about. It’s we’ve still been of service. So we’re just a minute or so left. What is just one thing you would tell a new entrepreneur, somebody new and during the entertainment field just to keep going. What’s a couple of words you could give them?

Connie Pheiff [16:38] : Just to keep going. The one thing when I started it and like I said, I went back to school, then I started getting all of these certificates. I had like five pages, I mean I could’ve had space. I just came to the point, you know, to know that point in time I just had to say stop because where our fear for a new entrepreneur, the fear as you don’t know what you don’t know, so you want to keep on learning, you’d definitely want to keep on learning, but there comes a time when you need to say OK enough, learning. Now it’s time to start doing. A lot of entrepreneurs get themselves stuck in that place of well I don’t know if I know how to do enough, so I better not do it. I mean look at technology. I mean there’s something new popping up every day like that. Thank goodness I work with millennials because push the button, push the right button. If I have a mail merge to them right now, you know, they’d be looking at me like with that deer in headlight look like, why are you talking about?

Michael Silvers [17:51] : That’s right.

Connie Pheiff [17:52] : All you need to stay relevant, but don’t get stuck in the learning. Start the doing.

Michael Silvers [18:01] : Thank you so much. This has been awesome and by the way, everyone, I just talked to Connie today and asked her to do this and she said, I’m in, let’s do jumping on at somebody you want to know and work with the preparation. So this was great. Thank you so much. Everyone out there, Connie will actually be on our faculty page if you want more information. It’s an amazing organization that she’s created and it’s gonna grow to the universe. That’s all there is to it. It really is. And it’s so needed and it’s so relevant. I love there’s the word for the day. It’s that relevancy. But Connie, thank you very much again. I really appreciate it. Everyone out there. Thank you for your time, whether it’s morning, afternoon, or evening, wherever you are in the world listening to this. We appreciate you spending the time at the mentors studio. Do you have any other questions? Again, you can always go to our website and we’ll answer everything you know, everything we know, who knows and just have a good time while you’re building again, your business. Connie, thank you again.

Connie Pheiff [18:01] : You’re welcome.

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