All Episodes Senior HR Business Partner and VP of TA Kelly Culler

Kelly Culler, Senior HR Business Partner & VP of TA at Northwestern Mutual


Senior HR Business Partner and VP of TA Kelly Culler

Kelly's approach, challenges in the HR space, and relationship-building strategies

In this episode, we talk to Kelly Culler, Senior HR Business Partner and VP of Talent Acquisition at Northwestern Mutual. We discuss her unique role and why people are the heart of any company. 

Kelly is an accomplished executive with a distinguished career in human resources. She leads a high-performance team dedicated to sourcing, engaging, acquiring, and attracting top-tier, diverse talent aligned with Northwestern Mutual’s values. 

In our conversation, we discuss:

  • Kelly’s career journey and path to Northwestern Mutual. 
  • How the HR business partner role differs from traditional HR
  • Ways of differentiating yourself in the HR space
  • How the recruitment landscape is evolving
  • Why people are at the core of business outcomes 
  • How to sell your role as a recruiter 
  • How to unlock the full potential of people and teams. 

Gain insights into Kelly’s approach, challenges in the HR space, strategies for building genuine relationships, and much more!

Episode Transcript

Rob Stevenson 0:52
I’m your host, Rob Stevenson. And you’re about to hear the best in the biz. Talk Talent to Me. All right, everyone. Welcome. Welcome back to Talk Talent to Me, what I hope is your absolute favorite hiring, recruiting, people-managing, human resourcing podcasts out there in podcast land. And I have a special guest for you today. She is the Vice President, Human Resources Business Partner, and talent over at Northwestern Mutual, Kelly Culler. Welcome to the podcast. 

Thanks, Rob. You did something funny a minute ago, I asked you right before we started out, we remind me your title again. So I can introduce you. And you were like, it’s like VP, HR VP, talent, I don’t know. And it’s so funny. Because I feel like early in our careers, we’re so obsessed with the title. It’s like, I need the senior in front of the name I want the head of and as you get more senior and more experienced, just like, I don’t know, I just do my job. Is that kind of in your experience getting less fussed about title over time?

Kelly Culler 1:45
Oh, yeah, I think you get so consumed by the work the substance of the work. And that is what matters. Of course, you know, as long as people understand what you do, and the difference between you and maybe other people working on other things, I don’t think it matters. Unless you’re really driven by status, which most of us are not, or you would not work in HR.

Rob Stevenson 2:09
I remember early in my career, my boss was like, Rob, I feel like your title doesn’t necessarily reflect what you do, I think we need to come up with a different title for you. And I was like, Well, unless it comes with a pay bump, I’m not totally interested in changing my title. And I don’t really care what people think when they see me on LinkedIn, it’s more about the output. And it didn’t come with a pay raise. So I remained a digital marketing manager until I left that job.

Kelly Culler 2:30
Well, people probably understood what you did. And that’s the point of titles, otherwise, they can just get in the way.

Rob Stevenson 2:37
Exactly that. So since we cannot rely on your title to accurately infer what you do, would you mind sharing what it is you do over at Northwestern Mutual and how you wound up there?

Kelly Culler 2:47
Yeah, so I lead the talent functions. So talent development and talent acquisition, to put a finer point on that definition, because that can mean a lot of different things in different companies. And I’m also what we consider a chief HR VP, there are many CHR OHS effectively, over a couple of different business units. So I’m the key HR business partner for two of our senior leadership, team leaders and also lead the talent function overall, I did not start there when I got to Northwestern Mutual. So actually, Northwestern Mutual is an interesting little microcosm of what could be a whole career if you stretched out the ends of it. I started with one business unit, I was not achieved VP, as we say in the biz. And I grew through the system, and was given more to do as we matured our HR footprint, which was really interesting trajectory for those five years. Prior to that, I worked for other companies in my career, a range of recruiting and recruiting leadership roles, I was given an opportunity to jump over as an HR director, which is an old sort of traditional term that makes me laugh to myself, because we would probably not see that as often these days. And I thought it was really interesting. I sort of dipped my toe in the proverbial HR business partner water, and really liked the idea of being the significant trusted adviser to the business leaders, I was really attracted to that part of the role as much as I was to leading recruiting. And I grew up through that trajectory as much as I had recruiting. And so I sort of switched over. Let me develop myself through that track, and grow the acumen within HRBP role, which is pretty different than recruiting in my view, and ended up focusing there when the last 10 years because I knew and was coached by my advisory team that if you want to be a CFO and the end, the HR business part In a role is the closest to that type of role in terms of the diversity of acumen, the level of influence, the negotiation skills, the stress tolerance, that would reflect a CHR role. So, I’ve been focusing on that for the last 10 years, recruiting over the last five has been a little more incidental, which is a funny story for later. But I really sort of took a meaningful step away to go grow that acumen. And I point that out, because that’s advice I give all the time. If you’re in a company, or you have an opportunity in market to go try something else, it’s easier said than done. And I know that, but it’s so important to take those risks, and sharpen those skills and be really intentional about what you’re doing next.

Rob Stevenson 5:47
So had you not had as much time on the recruiting side of house? Is that why you wanted to go over there and sharpen that skill?

Kelly Culler 5:54
No, I hadn’t as much time on the BP side of the house, because I started as a corporate recruiter, and then recruiting leadership for probably first 10 years. And then I jumped over and started doing more HR. While I was doing that most of the time I was doing recruiting leadership, too. But I was more intentional about how do I become HRBP of significance.

Rob Stevenson 6:19
I like how you said that you chuckle when you think back to being made an HR director because it’s not really a job you might see why wouldn’t one see it? What’s changed?

Kelly Culler 6:30
Well, not pejoratively. I do not say this pejoratively. I’m not a traditional HR person, most recruiters by trade are not. My core DNA is not very traditional. It’s not conservative. And there’s a lot of things that the business of HR, if you will, has grown up doing that I don’t think works, I think it’s very traditional, I don’t think it influences people. So I’m not attracted to governance. I’m not attracted to rule setting. I’m attracted to persuading people to a decision, or a line of thinking that I think benefits the more than providing governance. And the HR profession was built around governance rules, and policies. And I use those when I need them. But they’re not a part of my core acumen. It’s really about the business partner, you know, trusted advisor provocateur, thoughtful thought partner, in really helping to think about your business in a different way. We’re just I’m gonna bring the people acumen to the table, because my expertise is people.

Rob Stevenson 7:44
Yeah, this is an interesting take. I’ve heard this a couple of times recently, it’s been going on forever. But you’re one of the first people Kelly to put a circle around it for me anyway. And that is that HR for a long time was like, like you were saying an administrative legal compliance playing defense kind of order taker in a sense. And now folks who wound up in that side of house because they like other parts of the business, it feels like they are the ones becoming more strategic clawing their way into having the proverbial seat at the table, right and wanting to be more offense driven, wanting to be more like, No, we are helping make strategic decisions, we have all those insight into the business, we are not merely going to be the fun stopper or you know, are the compliance people? Is that kind of the trend you’re describing is that HR people sort of taking the reins a little bit more and thus moving out of that HR director parlance?

Kelly Culler 8:32
Yes, I think the best ones, you’re gonna see more of that assertiveness. And here’s what we do. Here’s what we don’t do any more or, or even better put, that’s not the value prop I’m trying to drive. My value prop is very specific. It’s not governance. And it comes into well, here’s a vivid example of our history. And these turning points, you got to kind of force if you’re in our roles. I used to get coached all the time, you need to go do a tour in the business to grow your business acumen. And or your skills will be wasted in HR yield. People said that to you. That’s a shot to the solar plexus. If you’re an HR person that cares about the domain that wants to grow in it, and have an edge around it. Yeah, I would be insulted. And I would I would not understand it. Now. I understand it to counteract it. But think about what that means. And I think that’s corporate America. I don’t think that’s any single company I’ve been in. I think it’s like skills are wasted in HR. We’re just not differentiating ourselves. So I’ve spent the last 10 years of my career, specifically trying to differentiate myself and my skills and not have sort of put to weigh the traditional notions of HR and how I’m supposed to behave, to impact other people positively. And it’s interesting, as I said, in my my example, like the kind of feedback you get, and what people have expected of you in these roles, it’s really kind of underwhelming. I could go run a business, because my business acumen is really strong. I study the business all the time. But why do I have to when HR is so interesting? And to me, people are the heart of what creates those business outcomes. You need your greatest experts attached to the people? Why don’t we think that way, I’m really confounded by all of that. I don’t understand it.

Rob Stevenson 10:41
It is confounding. And for someone to completely dismiss an entire department and an entire arm of the business. I ran into that a little bit in marketing, too. And I probably didn’t deal with a grid at the time looking back on it, it’s like, oh, well, they didn’t understand my function, or maybe they’ve never worked with good marketers before, right. And in either case, it’s a little bit of my job, to do some internal PR, and to help them understand why my role is crucial to the company and to deliver and, you know, turn the franchise around for all marketers out there. But when you said that it is totally confounding, like you said, and and when you said that, you were insulted, but you understand it. Now in order to counteract it. Can you speak a bit more about that understanding in order to counteract how does that fall into place for you,

Kelly Culler 11:26
I have studied it enough that I understand their mindset, because nobody’s changed it. They were steeped in some cultural norms that led them to draw the conclusions we just talked about. That’s it, is it? I’m not gonna hold them accountable for it, but I’m gonna hold them accountable to working with me to change it together. And that’s very gratifying. I think that’s a gratifying but exhausting and relentless part of the job. You just spoke about it and marketing and marketers still telling me this, Rob? I support marketing, they’re in one of my business units. And they’re misunderstood. And you’re exactly right. And that is every conversation is both education and influence onto the agenda. And that’s exhausting for us as practitioners, and I don’t think business people have to do that as much. Unless you’re in a very new kind of business, think digital think AI. Think poor understood areas of, of corporate America, design has been a big one in the last decade, people don’t understand what they do. They’re also creatives. And people don’t understand creatives as much in corporate America. So I see it as a personal challenge. Although you don’t want to be doing this every day, or you’re not making progress, to turn their views on what we do and our impact. How do you define my impact? Don’t be afraid to ask that question. And I can say, mission accomplished when somebody says to my chief business partner, who’s the head of a business unit, or my leader, or to me, I’ve never had an HR business partner like this. I’ve never had an HR team like this, you’re probably the best in the business. They’ve been in Fortune five hundreds, just like us. So gratifying. But also, how are we still here in 2024? Fascinating.

Rob Stevenson 13:21
Yeah. And I kind of did the same way as you. I was like, this is a fun challenge, right? Like, I’m already going to be delivering my role as best as I can. But now I’m going to make extra sure that you see it person who’s giving you that bad feedback. And guess what, fast forward those people who are now VPs of sales VPs of technology, they’re the ones sledding into my LinkedIn, DMS, you know, being like, Hey, are you looking for any role? Like, no, you had your shot at me, you blew it. Now. I’m a podcaster. But yeah, anyway, I it is it is baffling that we’re still here, like you say, because here on the podcast, you know, we understand the function of talent and HR very, very well. But it is worthwhile to remember that this internal PR is unfortunately, a constant part of your role. So that is also by the way different than merely delivering merely being really good at your job and executing internal PR is a separate thing. Is that something you think about? Do you go on that? Warpath from time to time? You know, I think handshake tour, maybe.

Kelly Culler 14:26
It’s okay to say it. I think it’s so much part of my DNA now, because there’s so many barriers to overcome. And if you’re a person of color, and you’re a woman or you’re a woman or a person of color, like your barriers are different, too. It’s so part of my DNA. I don’t even think about it anymore. It’s I’m selling all the time. I’m selling so that nobody closes the door in my face. I’m selling to continue to secure my seat at the table. And any day that you think you got it for the rest of your career. You’re wrong. It’s just one of those tiring and relentless pursuit sayings that we got to deal with in this profession. And that’s even when you are at your at your peak, you think you’re a fantastic HRBP, or you lead a cov. And people are telling you all the time how much value you add, and how much you’re a trusted partner, I just never give in to that inertia, you have to constantly be thinking about, what am I going to do next with this person? How do I push them further? I’m thinking about that HRBP role, specifically, because that’s really the value is what can you bring to the table that they can’t on their own, and even their leader can’t, because you’re in that relationship. And you have to play that a very specific, intentional way, without blocking without having an ego, like, there’s so much art to it, that you’ve just got a nail and embody it all the time.

Rob Stevenson 16:05
Yeah, the HRBP. And really, everyone in talent, they’re in a unique position in the business because you interface with more functions than most other people do. So how do you take that unique relationship as you put it, and turn it into a differentiation, turn it into a unique offer to the business.

Kelly Culler 16:22
So BPS have their comfort zones, where they begin with a relationship, I start there, and I dig really deep. I want to know how this person takes I study them, I spend a lot of time with them. And I study them. And I learn how they think I learned their body posture tells I learned how to read them. Even when they’re silent. I teach them and train them and work with them on how to think about their development plan. And there’s nothing more intimate than that kind of conversation. They have to be vulnerable. And if they’re not, you can tell and then you have to figure out how to get around that. Once you have the relationship to me, you can accomplish anything with that person. And they’re also influencing you. They’re giving you fulfillment, either through the relationship or they’re helping you build your business acumen. I get a lot out of those relationships. I asked them a lot of business questions about my own curiosities. People appreciate you taking an interest in them. Curious people, I’ve I’ve benefited from being a naturally curious person. And I tell my folks that you’re not being curious enough, what questions can you ask. And if you’re not pushing yourself, or you’re not curious, I don’t know that this is the right role. Because you have to be so interested by people that you want to figure out how to unlock all of their potential. And that can be exhausting and tiring, like we talked about earlier, and people are confounding people are tricky, and emotional and strange, and have all kinds of dimensions to them, that you have to sort of grasp and embrace, embrace, not tolerate, to really figure out how do I get under this person and help them lift themselves up. That’s always the goal. And if you do what I just said, you communicate to them so strongly, that you’re interested and you care about them, they will become very pliable, and willing to accept your intrusion into their life at that level of intimacy. And it can you know, on the bad days, it feels like an intrusion, when you gotta tell them something tough, or you push them past their comfort zone and they fight back. It can be intrusive. So it’s really important to sort of set the dynamics up as beneficial as possible for both of you. Sometimes I even declare those conditions upfront. Like, look, here’s how I get results, what conditions here’s how, yeah, and here’s how I might make you feel and that’s going to be uncomfortable. I will do that until you trust me. We have to trust each other. And I think, you know, trust, you know, there’s 1000 books written about it. It’s the beginning and the end of I think what we do, because if you don’t have that you can’t do anything. I just said especially you know, what I’m describing to me is Nirvana, for HR business partner, and there’s no way you’ll get there.

Rob Stevenson 19:39
You really boiled the function down beautifully there, Kelly, because whether you are on the recruiting side, putting people in new positions in your company, or you’re on a talent development side on the HR side, a leadership coaching side, right, you’re helping leaders get better at their job, you’re helping people be more effective in their role move to a new position in the business. In either case, you are really helping people accomplish some longer term goals. And you may be one of the only people in their life doing that their immediate teammates are probably not worried about that, their boss should be worried about that. But they’re often not because they need you to deliver on that quarterly goal before they can ship you off to the new job, you know, and so that is a wonderful position to be in. And if you do it, honestly, and you like you say you build trust, then they’re gonna love you, right? Because you’re the person taking an interest in their career and trying to get them to a place where they’ll be happier, it’s such a unique place to be in.

Kelly Culler 20:37
I agree, I think it’s such a noble pursue. If you think about teachers, we all on our teachers, if you think about your therapist, or trying to find a therapist, or you have to find your child, a therapist, coaches, and how meaningful they are to our lives, at any stage, this job is all of those skills, and then some and those capabilities. And what you can do with someone’s life infiltrating their life positively, is magic. I think that’s the magic of what we do. I tell my people all the time, the people that support me is well, you know, I transfer my parenting skills into my work, and then I transfer out from work into parenting, because it’s all some sort of dimension of coaching, and internalizing these lessons. And a lot of the days I feel like I’m a therapist, for many people, because therapists, again, that intimacy, I think, is key to the results. And in our roles, you have to build it a little faster to get to the business conversation, which we should not lose sight of in this talk. But that’s easy to talk about those questions come easy if you have a natural flow with the person, and they trust you.

Rob Stevenson 22:04
Yeah, it’s all multidisciplinary in with the examples you gave coach, therapist, bus, Mom, you know, there’s a lot of overlap there. And it comes back to curiosity, anything you’re curious about, and you satisfy that curiosity is going to enrich you as a person. I believe in every other aspect of your life. I spoke to a doctor friend, and he was like, No, I don’t really read fiction, I don’t really have time for reading to keep up on you know, medicine and being a doctor. And I was like, here’s a book on poetry, it might help your bedside manner. And that like blew his mind. He’s like, Oh, shit, you’re right. Yeah, like that’s not really covered in these medical textbook. And so it’s all so connected. I’m glad you call that out. And I wanted to ask you about how that’s taking place, specifically, at Northwestern Mutual is like the the development piece, the coaching piece? How are you kind of taking stock of the organization and figuring out where to apply that skill of yours to help people sort of up level?

Kelly Culler 22:58
Yes, we’ve been talking a lot about leadership capability. Over the last several years, we’ve been on somewhat of a multi year journey, different dimensions of leader readiness, leadership skills, of course, as sort of the backbone of everything we’re talking about. You can call it learning and development, leadership development has lots of terms. Now, you have to sort of ask someone to define what they’re actually talking about in this domain. We’ve focused a lot on beyond business acumen, because that’s one of our strengths that nm, what the leadership behavior and the set of accountabilities to develop and lead a healthy team. And it showed up in many ways for us leadership commitments, we coined a set of leadership commitments. We have programs for leader readiness. And I talked about it as leadership capability as a sort of all encompassing of all of these dimensions of leader value. And leader productiveness, which is really what you’re trying to measure, in the end is this person capable of leading a healthy and productive team, because that’s what leaders should be doing first. And we spend a lot of time breaking down skills, commitments, how we will hold accountable, and the associated or hold them accountable, and the associated KPIs. And eventually, all of that through the course of teaching ourselves learning the organization. This regime I’m talking about that’s developed, this has been your five years to culminate into a scorecard that we’re going to use to sort of baseline. Here’s the fundamentals of leadership we expect to view and we expect you to be doing and we thought that was a good place to start to really say yes, all of this stuff is interesting and good. And we’ve been talking about all dimensions of leadership over time. It’s a lot to throw at it. early leader as you can imagine, commitments behaviors development, my development plan, like how do I bring this all together? Where’s my bull’s eye. And the scorecard is really designed to be the bullseye and the fundamentals. It’s not for a fully evolved leader. It’s for everyone. And we will iterate and mature it from here, we do have VPS stress testing our thinking in the pilot, which will be interesting to see some of the metrics they think are too mundane. One of the metrics is do all of your people have goals in our system? I think that’s a mundane, immature metric. I wish that that was fait accompli. And I didn’t have to worry about that. But that’s not reality. And it’s not reality for somebody that was just promoted. Right? They need to think about that. So we’re really trying to when I say baseline, I really mean like, we’re building the basement of the house. And we’re gonna jump off from there. But I think it was critical to enhance any sort of bullseye, we’ve drawn to say, No, we’ve been clear, we’re clear, because that’s how they get out of the accountability. So that the end of this pilot, we can go back to our senior leaders and say, Okay, we’re ready for accountability. How do you want to do this, because at the end of the day, HR can’t hold these people accountable. You have to, and you have to be comfortable that we got it right. In terms of the total picture of leadership, I love the scorecard that we’re using to do that. We think it will be powerful, very disruptive, we have a high reward, low disincentive environment. And that can be really disruptive. So I’m anticipating some growing pains. As we talk about the accountability component, I think nailing the what is going to be a lot easier than the how when this case.

Rob Stevenson 26:58
So the elements of what makes a good leader, I think one can rattle those off. When it comes to scoring them is that feedback from direct reports from peers at survey data? Is it like specific bottom line business outcomes, all of the above? How are you measuring folks,

Kelly Culler 27:15
it’s a combination of scores we already have in the environment that are fairly scientific. So how we measure our engagement score, for example. And that’s been in the environment, that’s going to be part of the scorecard. So engagement for my team, I will be held accountable to some of them are yes, no. So do all of your people have goals and goals in the system? Yes, no, pass fail. So that gives you a sense of we’re trying not to do everything new. Use what we have that is already accepted in the environment. Now we’re looking through the change management lens, right. But be very specific about why it’s here. And that’s what we’re testing in the pilot. Does this make sense to you? Does this resonate that these are the most important things we should be talking about? Does each of your people have a development plan? Yes, no. Now, look, this is where it’s not mature. My preference would be the quality of the goals are what matter, of course, the quality of the development plan. But that’s our and that’s hard to check with the machine, you really can’t right now. So we’re starting with what’s in the environment. Because the scorecard will be new, you don’t want to introduce a bunch of new measures. We think that that could increase the risk around rejection, when we’re trying to walk up to accountability.

Rob Stevenson 28:47
And so your early stages of this overhaul, and it sounds like you are selecting the levers, the measurements, hand in hand with the leaders themselves, the whole company, who was giving feedback on Yes, did these targets for leadership resonate?

Kelly Culler 29:03
So we took some of our top performing in our current paradigm VPS from different business units, that we tapped him on the shoulder and they agreed we thought of them as good examples. And from all kinds of different walks of life sort of in the business to bring us sort of big picture. Do you think this resonates with what we’re measuring this concept around scorecards and these attributes? Like are you on board? Does this make sense to you? Can you get behind this because you’re the people that have the biggest teams that have to execute this? So I’ve tested that idea with their leaders actually last Monday. So these are the type of VPS that are in the pilot, and it immediately landed in terms of oh, okay, so you guys are stress testing, you’re piloting. You’re making sure that there’s a little more we call cocreation we’re trying to do more cocreation from an HR perspective, so we have better alignment to business leaders and the business strategy. And it really works. It takes longer, you have to be selective or you got too many chiefs. And that’s not helpful. But it really works, particularly in our business model. And so that’s immediate credibility for something like this. And I think we picked the right VPS, because we’re getting you know, you get a lot of discerning feedback, both room for improvement, and upside. So the profile you want to think about for things like this is who’s the person in your business, I have these business partners, right? That I can give something to, and they are going to unpack that thing to the bones and tell you everything that’s wrong with it. And everything that can they can benefit from those are the best people for these type of pilots.

Rob Stevenson 30:58
What was the inspiration for this campaign? Was there a sense that previous leadership measurement was not effective?

Kelly Culler 31:05
Accountability. So we’ve had leadership behavior paradigms, we still have one, we had leadership commitments, we aligned with senior leadership team, that’s our top eight people. We had leader readiness goals. But where are we actually saying, if you don’t do these things, this is the consequence. That was late in our company. And it’s late and most of the companies I’ve been in, it’s the consequences that have to be delivered by their leader. That’s why the co creation, the alignment to business strategy, and the alignment with senior leadership team is critical for something like this, if you’re going after accountability, you can design lots of cool stuff, and we have, and you put it in the environment and the HRBPs DRIVE IT and the business kind of gets it, they kind of understand the value they’re gonna go along, because they trust you that you’re not gonna realize the kind of value you need to from that kind of level of effort and investment of the BPS time because you don’t have endless bps, unless you go back and make sure you have the business alignment. So we’re really thinking about that right now to before we can take that final accountability step. The talent leaders are talking about, okay, how do we get CEO alignment? How do we get senior leadership team alignment, that’s what we call it here. And we’re gonna go back and do that, again. Because we want explicit partnership on that accountability, or there’s just no teeth to any of these things. And they’re sitting in the environment. But people feel like they can do them or not. Right?

Rob Stevenson 32:49
Yeah, that makes sense. Kelly, this has been fantastic. We, we have my favorite kind of episode where we basically ignore all of the things we agreed to talk. But that’s just because you were on a roll. This episode has been full of great advice. But I’m going to ask you to give a little bit more before we wrap up here. For the folks out there listening who are forging a career in this space. What advice would you give them so that they can move onwards and upwards?

Kelly Culler 33:15
This is so hard to pick, because some of it’s so cliched, but it works. Like the cliches are take more risk. Yes, of course, it does work, I took a lot of risks. In my career, I trusted a lot of people that I had relationships with, to try new things. So I guess I go back there each time, forge a relationship with your leader, so you have the trust, because they’re gonna help you unlock more things than not from a career perspective. And if you don’t trust them, or they don’t trust you, it doesn’t work. And I’ve been with the same leader for three companies. And it’s because I know what he’s capable of getting out of me. And I trust him to take those risks. It’s really hard to do all of that if you don’t have that kind of relationship, or relationship with somebody on your what I call your advisory board. And look, I’ve left jobs because I didn’t have that. There was no connection. I didn’t feel like they appreciated me, which happens when you don’t have a connection. And it just does it. It doesn’t feel like you’re going places. So I give this advice all the time to people. What are you saying to your leader? How are you managing up? How are you putting pressure on them to do more for you? We’re not victims. We’re also not receptacles their job is not to take care of you 100% We have to advocate for ourselves. So even with a great leader, you got to have skin in that game and you’ve got to pressurize that system, to give you what you need and deliver things that you hadn’t conceived of I’ve done roles I couldn’t have conceived of at that age. I’m not ready for that. I was terrified. But the trust the work, the studying, pays off, and you leap. And you gotta have the confidence that you’re gonna figure it out. But I think that baseline of trust makes you more willing and capable of leveraging that trust at the right time.

Rob Stevenson 35:25
Being a little terrified, I think is a great career sign, right? If you are just on the edge, a little bit of your edge of your comfort zone. That’s where the magic happens, and where you can really take strides for it sounds like that’s been the case in your career. Kelly, what a great conversation. This was. Thank you for being here and for sharing all of your wisdom with me. I’ve loved learning from you today. Thanks again.

Kelly Culler 35:44
Thank you, Rob.

Rob Stevenson 35:47
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