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Brig. Gen. Deydre Teyhen and CEO Marilyn Tam share tips.

Hear from Brig. Gen. Deydre Teyhen, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, and business executive and leader Marilyn Tam on their leadership styles, the importance of mentorship, and advice for the next generation of women who aspire to be leaders. Teyhen and Tam are the two keynote speakers for the first-ever APTA Women's Leadership Summit, scheduled for July 20 in Kansas City, Missouri. A limited number of seats were still available for the summit as of mid June.

Our Speakers

Brig. Gen. Deydre Teyhen, PT, DPT, PhD, FAPTA, is director of the Defense Health Network National Capital Region and 20th chief of the U.S. Army Medical Specialist Corps. She is the first physical therapist ever promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the U.S. Army and has received numerous military and civilian awards, including being named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of APTA in 2022.

Marilyn Tam is a former CEO of Aveda Corp., president of Reebok apparel and retail group, and vice president of Nike Inc. As a successful entrepreneur, she has built four profit-making companies, including a corporate consulting and training company, a web portal company, an online supply chain software company, and an integrated health and wellness company.

Rebecca Elrod hosts this episode. She is a digital communications associate with the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research.

The following transcript was created using artificial intelligence and may contain typos, omissions, or other errors.

Rebecca: Hi, my name is Rebecca Elrod and I'm a part of the communications team at the Foundation for Physical Therapy Research. The first-ever APTA Women's Leadership Summit will be held July 20th in Kansas City, Missouri. The daylong event will help attendees connect with and learn from a diverse community of peers and experts, including those outside the physical therapy profession. In this episode I'll be chatting with the summit’s two keynote speakers about their leadership journeys and their advice for the next generation of leaders. Later in this episode, I'll speak with Marilyn Tam, a former CEO of Aveda Corporation, president of Reebok Apparel and retail group, and vice president of Nike. But first, I'm excited to introduce Brigadier General Deydre Teyhen, director of Defense Health Network National Capital Region and 20th Chief of the US Army Medical Specialist Corps. She is the first physical therapist ever promoted to the rank of Brigadier General in the US Army and has received numerous military and civilian awards, including being named a Catherine Worthingham Fellow of APTA in 2022. Brigadier General Teyhen. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.

BG Teyhen: I sure appreciate the invitation. Thank you so much.

Rebecca: Starting off, I'm gonna just like to ask if you could tell us about your leadership journey and if you always expected to serve in leadership roles.

BG Teyhen: Well, you know, I started off as an orthopedic physical therapist and I love being a clinician. Everything about taking patients, taking care of patients I loved, I thought I would do that forever. And then the Army asked me if I wanted to go back and get my PhD and go teach at the Army Baylor program and do education and research. And I thought fantastic. You know, I felt so much in love with evidence-based medicine to be able to teach the next generation about evidence based medicine and the value of physical therapy really intrigued me. And I really fell in love with teaching. I thought I would teach for the rest of my life, and then I got deployed to Iraq, which is my second overseas deployment. And when I was in Iraq, through a series of events, I ended up having to run a slice of the combat support hospital in Iraq right off the Iranian border.

And then I realized, just as I fell in love with evidence-based medicine, there was a real need for evidence-based leadership. And really, the idea that if a leader can create the whole environment for people to thrive, then the whole organization can get better.

And then I realized that I actually like trying to make the system better so that all the clinicians could thrive and take care of their patients. And I really found value in trying to fix the system and so at that point, my career started to change and took a different direction. And then I got selected to command a public health command region. So I was in charge of the public health for the 11 Southeastern States and places in Honduras and Gitmo. And then after that I got selected to run a health care facility in a Hawaii and then it and then DOD's largest biomedical research facility here in Silver Spring, Maryland, and then our largest Department of Defense Medical Center in San Antonio. And it just started to build from there that you know, we need clinicians that really understand what clinicians need so that when you have them in leadership, they can make the system work so that the clinicians can really focus on the patients and I really have found that incredibly rewarding trying to create the environment so that everyone working in health care can thrive.

Rebecca: I can appreciate that especially the evidence base, because at the Foundation for PT Research, that is what we're trying to foster through the people that we fund. And I know that you mentioned it and I'm going to ask for you to touch a little bit more on sort of explaining what evidence-based leadership looks like from someone who is interested in becoming a leader and wants to look at resources and sort of understand the methodology behind it.

BG Teyhen: Yeah. So there is a lot of literature out there in what makes a good leader in almost all of that literature, if I simplify it is that the leaders really think about putting the people on their staff first and really figuring out how to create the environment of trust. And so I kind of call it a people-first philosophy of how I lead is really taking that literature on how to communicate with staff so that they know what's going on.
How do you ensure they have the ability to communicate with leadership? How do you show compassion to your staff? How do you ensure that you understand the needs and where they are professionally and you help them develop and grow as a provider, right.

And you could create that environment for that and all those things are really critical.

There's an interesting book with a provocative title that's called “Patients Come Second” [by Britt Berrett and Paul Spiegelman] but the idea of that book is that as a health care executive, your job is to take care of the staff and the staff's job is to take care of the patients. And if we really understand at the C-Suite, at the corporate level, executive level, that our job really is to create a great environment for our staff to succeed, they really do take care of the patients they got into patient care for a reason. They like taking care of patients. What gets in the way are all the kind of noise that can surround that. There's an old quote from Muhammad Ali and it basically says it's not the mountains ahead of us that wear us out. It's the pebbles in our shoes. So people become clinicians because they like to take the mountain they like to solve the problem of the patient in front of them and figuring out what they can do from an evidence-based medicine perspective to care that patient and help them on their journey for health. What causes provider burnout is the systems that, when they're incongruent, put a lot of those pebbles in your shoe, as Muhammad Ali said, and so I really believe not only is it a people first philosophy of really trying to take care of the people on your team so they can take care of the patients, but it's also the idea that you actually have to look at it as a system and figure out where the system has cracks in it and what cracks are leaving the pebbles in people's shoe that are leading to burnout and getting them into an environment where they can't thrive. And so I think we really have to be focused on bringing the joy and soul back to medicine after the COVID pandemic and that joy and soul is not potlucks, even though I love a good potluck. Right potlucks are fantastic, but that might bring temporary joy. What I'm talking about, and evidence-based leadership is creating systems where joy is easily obtained because we create environments where clinicians can thrive. And that's both taking care of them from a people-first perspective and then also using a system perspective to figure out how we take the pebbles out of clinician shoes.

Rebecca: That seems to be very well rounded and I can always appreciate that because you know, there's not just one thing that goes into success or failure, it tends to be a multitude, and I'm sure the same thing would be said being a good leader, that there's multitude of things that go into it, not just one or the other. And with your wisdom that you are importing upon us, parting upon me especially, I appreciate being able to talk to someone just as amazing as you are. I am curious as to like what lessons you have learned on your journey to becoming the leader that you are today.

BG Teyhen: I think it's really important that people know their why and what really makes them get up in the morning and excited to get to their job and to their work.

Once you know your why, then you're actually just pursuing your passion and you're not actually having a J-O-B, right? I really been in the Army now for almost 31 years and I never have felt like I've had a job. I really feel like every day I get up trying to figure out how do we best help America’s sons and daughters who have qualified and volunteer to serve our nation and that motivates me in a way that I can really get up and try to figure it out and it doesn't feel like a job. It's not to say there's not hard days. There's not to say there's not hard weeks, but that's different than feeling that you are just punching a clock and doing what's told of you, and you're just kind of pursuing task. It's it once you know your why, it's a calling and why this is important for leadership is the people that want to lead because they want to lead and their whole goal is they want the title, they want the they want the prestige, they're the worst leaders. They don't follow evidence-based practice on leadership. Pretty much they're not usually the ones that put people first. They're doing it for different motives, and although they can be successful and they can make success, they usually don't make the team successful and so I really have learned across my journey is that if you don't know your why and your why isn't really about being a servant-leader and really about helping others thrive in the environment that you're creating, you really don't have a leader that can really invest in the people, and although they might have momentary peaks of success because they usually are driving change and they might be a task masker and they might wanna look good by creating good metrics, we can do that for short periods of time. They can't do those for long periods of time. What creates sustained success is leaders that understand it's about servant-leadership. It's about making sure that everyone can excel cuz no one comes to work thinking how can I mess it up today, right? People wanna come to work and feel appreciated. They wanna feel valued. They wanna feel that they're contributing to a greater cause and when you can create that that really is magic. And so I think what I've really learned is that leadership really isn't being at the top of the pyramid. We need to flip that upside down. The leaders really at the bottom working up to all the folks on the front line that are doing the hard work and we're trying to make them successful.

And if we do that, then the organizations can thrive.

Rebecca: Just wow. I mean, it's so hard sometimes to figure out response to you because you're so you speak so well and what you're saying resonates so much, especially since I mean, I feel I'm very new in my career and new in the experience of being a woman leader, hopefully in some point, and I feel like what you're saying, especially regarding, you know, looking from the bottom up as someone who is on the bottom. I'm like, yeah, thank you. Like I need to hear that more and I was wondering if you have any other advice for someone who is starting to get into leadership or for the next generation of women leaders going down to my cousin's age, who are 14 on lacrosse team trying to find navigate all that.

BG Teyhen: Well, so I think there's two parts to the question you asked that the first part that I want to focus on is the fact that we do need women leaders. And if I just look at big data, we know that nation states that had more women leading them, did better during the COVID-19 pandemic than nation states that did not have a women at the leadership level. We know that on Fortune 500 companies, those companies that have at least three women in the C-Suite thrived more than those that don't have three women in the C-Suite. In so we can show that through research that's done by the McKinsey Institute. So what I hope is that no one feels that they can't achieve their goals, their dreams because of their gender, because it is that blending of both males and females and different perspectives. It's the diversity of thought. It's the diversity of perspective. It's the diversity of ideas that allow organizations to thrive. Because no matter what organization you're leading, you're trying to make it work for a lot of the population and for an organization to meet the needs of a good portion of the population, it actually has to have the voices from different perspectives. And so first I wanna make sure people know your voice matters. Your voice is important and it needs to be in the C-Suite, right? So let me just say that and that matters a sense of belonging matters for everyone in the organization. On the other one, which was really umm, how do you kind of as you start your career start to accumulate some of these skills is to realize that you don't have to be in a leadership position to be a leader. A Harvard talks about this thing as a meta leader, and so if you think of any type of event or crisis, there's people at the center of it. And there's people around it trying to solve the problem and the person at the center doesn't actually have to be the CEO. It's the person trying to solve a problem. So you mentioned the person playing lacrosse, right? So on a team on a sports team, there is leaders that help make that sports team thrive. Whether you're trying to build cohesion, trying to build a common understanding, a common goal, those type of leadership skills you learn in sports that are applicable later on in life, and even when you're not in a leadership position. You know, I remember the first time and you know, I was a staff, physical therapist and then I actually ran a small outpatient clinic at Walter Reed back in the 90s. But we consider those officer in charge billets, that's not a command position, but I treated it like a command position like, hey, I'm here. It might be a small team, but I'm gonna make this the best small team possible, right. And then I went from leading that small team to actually leading a bigger team that included physical therapy, podiatry, and orthopedics at Fort Meade, Maryland. And then just realizing that you can just build those skills and build how you create cohesive teams that have a unified goal and can drive change. And sometimes in my career I was on staff and not in a leadership position and actually being a good follower is really important to learn how to be a good leader, right? What do you want from your leaders so that you can thrive? And then understanding that actually helps you when you're in the leadership position. So I think every opportunity you have, you can look at it through the lens of leadership and figure out how you can build those skill sets up, even if it's a task that you might just be given to, hey I want you to lead this task will use that as a way to kind of build your leadership skills as you go along your journey.

Rebecca: I can appreciate that and it kind of answers a little bit of a question of sort of wondering what your approach to mentorship and sponsorship for women aspiring to be leaders in their fields, because you're saying being a good follower is a great way.

So let's say if I wanted to reach out to someone like you, and I'm trying to be a good follower and I would like to know how I can continue to grow and I would like for you to be a mentor. What is your approach to if you were to take me on being a mentor?

BG Teyhen: So mentorship and sponsorship are so important and yet so different. And I, you know, mentorship is helping people along their journey and giving them advice along the way and creating a relationship that I think extends over time. Right. I've been lucky to have great mentors over my career and all of those mentors, still, I stay in contact with. They're all still part of my life and it's fantastic and I hope I'm paying that forward. My front office knows that if anyone calls because they want mentorship, they schedule it. They don't need to ask me. They know that that's important to me. And they know how to the block it and know how to kind of figure out how to make sure that we make that time available. And we always, umm in the Army because we know we are only in the Army for a short period of time of our adult life. We know our job is always to create the next generation, so we always are focused on mentorship because we know we have to create the people that replace us and knowing that you do that, our culture is very good at understanding the value of mentorship. I do want to hit you brought up sponsorship, sponsorship happens when you're not in the room, right? So mentorship is when you're in the room with somebody. Sponsorship usually happens when you're not in the room, and they're and you're advocating for somebody else for that next job or that next position, or for the promotion or for their capability. And a lot of times people think they're the same and I just want to make sure it's so different because I do sponsorship behind closed doors. I do sponsorship when I make phone calls in the evenings and on weekends to advocate for someone's career. I do sponsorship when we're at a conference and I'm talking somebody up and saying, oh my gosh, did you meet so and so they're amazing. Right. And I tell their story for them and talk about why they have so much potential for the future and what they're capability is if they were given the right opportunities and they go hand in hand. But you're sponsor doesn't know you always be your mentor, even though they have to know who you are. But sometimes people are great sponsors and they're not for you. And they may not be also your mentor. And so I think that's an important distinction, but hopefully that's something I've improved on over the years because it does take time to do it right. But times really the most valuable thing you can give to somebody else, and their journey is to give them that time they need to develop for their next adventure.

Rebecca: Thank you for that clarification, I honestly did not know what the difference was between the two, but that does make a lot of sense for the wording. Why do you think listeners should attend the APTA Women's Leadership Summit?

BG Teyhen: You know. I think the APTA's Women Leadership Summit is going to be a great event that I hope advocates for more women, and I really believe more physical therapists, to understand that they have a role in the C suites of our hospitals and our health care organizations. I think our voice matters as an allied health provider, we see the world without as many pills, potions, and procedures. We see the world where we can help patients on their journey to health. We we're really not the type of profession that just puts a tourniquet on a problem and walks away. Our patients only get better if we're on that journey with them and I think for what we do in our profession really is important in helping to make the health of the American population better. I you know, I can't really. If all we do is treat folks with prescription drugs and they don't change some of their habits that are making them ill or injured, we're really not going to build the strength of our nation. And I really believe the strength of our nation is based on the strength of the health of each individual. And as we've seen, a lot of our health statistics aren't that great, although we spend more on health care than any of the other ten developed countries are health outcomes usually rank about 59 to 60 or 61 in the in the world, right? So we the what we're spending on health care isn't giving us the output that we would expect based on the money we put into it. And I think if there is more allied health providers, like physical therapists that were going into leadership positions and we have the potential to help change the conversation and it's only through changing the conversation, do we change how we actually help the folks that are ill and injured in our country? And I hope if there is a few people that attend this summit that see, you know what leadership is, is a path I would like to take. I think it would really not just help our profession, but help the whole health care system in America.

Rebecca: I agree. I mean, I may be biased cause I'm a child of physical therapists, so I think physical therapy is literally the gold standard in most cases, but I definitely agree with what you're saying. And my last question for you is what would you say is your biggest accomplishment?

BG Teyhen: Oh. I hope that's yet to be seen. I hope that it's the people that come behind me. You know, it's one thing to be the first physical therapist to become a Brigadier General, but if I'm the last and that I didn't do my job, right? So what I really hope is that there's someone that comes behind me also as a physical therapist, also from the Allied health professions that continue to carry the torch forward and providing diversity of thought in our version of the C-Suite. And so I hope it really is the future and the path that we're creating. I think that's a hard question to answer, but I don't think it's with me as much as it is with the folks that follow and if they had more opportunity because of the things I've done and I will say, you know as a the SP core in the Army consists of the physical therapist, the occupational therapist, the dieticians and the PAs and we've grown from 9% of all of our Army medicine to 14% of Army medicine, which is a huge growth. And I really think it's because our professions have been showing our value and what we bring to the fight that we've been able to grow at a time where budgets have been stagnant. And so to me the I think my biggest accomplishment will hopefully be the folks that have more opportunities coming behind me. That would be the best honor.

Rebecca: Spoken like a true leader. Thank you so much for sharing your expertise on leadership with us. I really appreciate it. Now I'm excited to introduce Marilyn Tam, who, as I mentioned earlier, is a former CEO of Aveda Corp, president of Reebok Apparel and Retail Group, and Vice president of Nike, Inc. As a successful entrepreneur, she has built four companies, including a corporate consulting and training company, a web portal company, an online supply chain software company, and an integrated health and wellness company. Marilyn was also a two term director on the National Board of Score Association, a resource partner of the US Small Business Administration. Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Marilyn.

Marilyn: It's my joy. Thank you for inviting me.

Rebecca: So for start off, could you tell me a little bit about your leadership journey?

Marilyn: Well, it's funny because when I start telling you, you think there's no way this person ever gonna be a leader. I grew up as a very neglected child, neglected a nice word, basically I was abused and so, needless to say, self-esteem was not high on my list. So usually you won't think that the leader would be very high in self-esteem. But what I found out at age 11 shifted my whole life and made me determined that I was gonna rise to be a leader to help others. Because truthfully, that's what a leader should be doing. At age 11, I was sent to a very beautiful well-regarded school because my family didn't want any child of theirs to be embarrassing. But I'm not being a good student, so I will send to this wonderful school and I connected with this, umm, classmate who was a scholarship student. In other words, she didn't have the financial wherewithal to being the school. And from her I learned what it really meant to be without. Her family was so poor that by the end of the month they didn't have enough food to feed the family. And this is where two working parents, working full time. At the end of the month, I could see her in school just looking enviously at our lunches, and of course you know I shared, but in sharing all that I learned what was happening in her family and it made me so angry, so mad that how can two working parents not afford to even feed their children? It didn't seem fair. Didn't seem right and I was gonna do something about it because I was only 11, but that set me on my life path that I was going to learn how to be in charge, truthfully, to make this not happen anymore. And so that's what drove me to become a leader. In all different ways, it became my driving force and I think really most leaders have a driving force and to acknowledge and know your driving force is what's gonna help you become a better leader.

Rebecca: That is inspirational and heartbreaking at the same time. Truly, I can only imagine and for you to find your purpose from it, to be a bigger thing, I think is just beautiful and makes it so meaningful. So I am wondering, you know clearly this is something that you sort of found your driving purpose for, but how did this driving purpose this driving matter come into your leadership style and philosophy?

Marilyn: Understanding that how I was treated was not what I how I want to. Other people were treated. I didn't want to have this top-down direction all the time. Top-down is really a nice way of saying that, you know, there's a dictatorship all the time, and I understood how painful that was when you couldn't give input or ask questions or actually even contribute what you already know to the situation. But also another important factor in in my leadership style was understanding that people can only follow you if you know if they know where you want to take them. So establishing priorities and bigger than that, establishing a North Point for your organization or your division or whatever. So that people know ultimately what it is that you want to do. Is it to serve? Is it to inspire? Is it to educate? Is it to do all three? Is it to give back? What is it? So if they understand the underlying purpose of the group organization or even the industry, then they can really align with the specific goals you have at the moment because you goals may change just like if you are, say, like a sailor, you go certain direction, but the wind may change and you have to, you know, adjust to the wind. Same thing in business or any kind of work you have to know how to adjust to the wind but still being consistent with where you're going. So my leadership style is to establish the overall purpose of the organization and then to clearly discuss the goals, what are specific goals we have now to lead to that ultimate purpose. And then engage and invite feedback, because without their wisdom and knowledge, because everybody in the team comes with different types of skills, knowledge and information that can add to the overall, which may even modify how we do things. But that's the only way we can get the best out of them, and also that they feel most engaged and empowered to be part of a team that's really working together to achieve what it is in a way that serves everyone.

Rebecca: I really appreciate what you said about different perspectives and everyone comes from different areas. I think that recognizing that really makes a strong team, and that's something that throughout my communications career, which given is not that long, has witnessed to be really into driving force for having things that resonate with other people. And I feel like that touches a little bit on incorporating sort of diversity and inclusion. But I was just curious if you could elaborate more on why you think it's important for leaders to have that ability to focus on inclusivity and diversity.

Marilyn: Absolutely. But we just really touch on it in our conversation about getting everybody's opinion and a lot of times, especially when I was growing up in the ranks of companies, there was nobody that looked like me. Nobody that looked like me, and what does that mean? That means the all the customers, if you will, that we're serving did not include my perspective and there's a great part of the customer base that would be uh in the be inclusive of who I am or what I would look like. The customers that look like me, that may think like me, or even have affiliation with who I am about will not be included. But equally important, the people within the organization that could be like me, the diversity that I represent, would not be included and even if they were in the organization, were they being heard because as a leader many times I was, I looked around the leadership committee, I was the only woman, the only person of color, the only person that was different in the sense that I'm an immigrant and also physically I was a lot at least a foot shorter than everybody else. So it was like a lot of factors were there that were not included in discussion and it makes a big difference in different organizations and different customer markets and for not have not to have that included, it's not only the service to the potential consumer base, but also to the product you're making because you're not including the consideration that is gonna serve or not serve a big potential audience.

Rebecca: I think the value that you expressed is true and we're seeing it more and more now the importance of having diversity and inclusivity as leaders and just throughout your entire organization. And touching a little bit on being one of the few women, And as this is the woman's leadership Summit, and being a woman myself, I was wondering sort of what advice you have for the next generation of women who aspire to be leaders?

Marilyn: First thing is to tell them you can do it. That's so important. It sounds so simple, but it's so important because so often we've been told as women that this is not something that you can even dream about, and that's not true. Aside from the fact that women have the capability, we actually have more understanding because conditionally we've been conditioned throughout our lives to be more sensitive to environment, to be more sensitive to other people's perspectives. And also we just have a tendency to be able to be more consensual. So these are all factors that really help in leadership and may not be obvious, but understanding and bringing in the overall empowers us to be stronger leaders because aside from everything else, we have the tenacity as well as the patience that a lot of times that men may not generally have as well as the ability to really think on a dime. I feel that it is a characteristics that are gender based, maybe not genetically, but definitely culturally is something that has happened for us. So whether is cultural or genetic, let's take advantage of it and bring it into the leadership. And then most of all to remember that we can do it, you can do it, we can do it, and not to let the naysayers tell us because I just read a study by age 5 that girls are condition to like certain things more than boys, not to like certain things like building blocks, engines, you know, such things that are traditionally regarded as male. And that's not true. I mean it would we allow a child to really flow with the cultural conditioning, which unfortunately is very difficult because social media is everywhere and it's telling us what we should like and how we should behave and especially our physical appearance takes on an overwhelming consciousness in our mind to shift that and think that you can achieve whatever you want, whether there's to be a neurosurgeon, an astronaut, a mechanic or just the CEO, whatever it is, you can do it because you have as many capabilities and wisdom and abilities as anybody else.

Rebecca: Everything you say resonates so much with me and I so appreciate it sounds like it's coming straight from the Barbie movie with how meaningful and true to point it is, and the fact that you know women may not have necessarily seen this as a path for them, I was curious as to how that knowledge impacts, if at all, your approach towards mentorship and also sponsorship for women who want to be leaders in their fields.

Marilyn: Mentorship is something that is crucial for everyone. When I was going through the ranks, there were no woman ahead of me, and so I didn't have any female mentors. So I'm looking around that only men and trying to learn from them with all the benefits as well as negativity that comes from trying to learn from somebody who's not like you and also the biases that come with that. So I think first of all, it's for people who can be mentors and that’s everybody because you can, there's always somebody you can teach and help. And what you find when you teach and help or support is that you have to articulate and learn and really share from a deeper level of wisdom than you thought you had. Because when you have the explain something to somebody else, you have to really understand what you're doing and why you're doing it. And so you learn from that. But also when you do that, you have an ability to learn from somebody who has a different perspective, who would ask you questions you might not have thought about, who is gonna give you a way to do things that you have never thought before. Also, it's good for you to give back and also but I wanna give the other side because we also need mentors and we need mentors because there's always something else to learn, either from the people who have haven't done it and away even when we're being a mentor, we're learning from them. But also you look for mentors who have already gone ahead of you. And as I said, you mentors can be women, but they can also be men. And here's where you have to be very careful, because when I was going through and I'm looking for mentors, I realized that they don't have to be my mentor. They can just say no, so I had to establish why they want to be my mentor and a lot of times people think ohh I want a mentor. So I'm gonna call so and so and have asked him to be my mentor. But why? Why do they want to take time out of their busy lives to be a mentor? And so you had to figure out why and what you can give to them so that they want to be a mentor and this is a very important aspect to think about because a lot of times when we say, oh, I wanna mentor and you start looking for a mentor. You put your eye on somebody who's you know obviously doing very well in in many ways and then you, but why do they want to be a mentor is what you need to answer. So think things you can give them. One is your attention. Two is to be honoring of your commitment to them. If they suggest something for you to do, you follow through and you come back the next time you have a conversation or any kind of connection with them, what you did and how it turned out, and what you learned from them and express thanks. What else can they get from you? They can get the joy of learning and seeing their lessons that they've learned so hard being manifest in another person because you can't pay them. You can't give them, you know, other things like that, but you can give them the satisfaction that they don't have from just doing their day to day. So, honor your commitments. Show them your appreciation. Be able to give back to them in ways that they can have from just doing their job, and also just be an enthusiastic supporter in a way. And because once you start just stablishing this relationship, you find that it's two ways they learn from your younger perspective or your less experienced perspective, just like we talked about earlier. When you teach somebody something, they learned also from teaching, but you also learn from giving from your perspective, because you can ask questions they had never thought about before because they are so far removed from the day-to-day, more gritty world that you're in. So it's a two-way street, but just recognize that they don't have to be a mentor; you have to make it worth their while.

Rebecca: Wow. Just wow, I feel like I will listen back to this and definitely be taking notes because the less the advice that you have is just amazing. And I don't know if you're writing a book anytime soon, but it sounds like it could be in one, umm. So another question for you is you know why we're all here, why do you think listeners should attend the APTA Women's Leadership Summit?

Marilyn: Well, first of all, they have to attend because it's gonna be fun. This is because you're gonna be with other people in the same profession who have different knowledge and experiences and also shared experiences that you can learn from, you can share your, your joys, your frustrations, and your funny things. That's number one, but more than that, you can also learn from others. You're gonna be in a place where you can network grow, umm, improve and also we get to meet. I look forward to seeing all these people, so there's so many reasons to go, but most of all, it's gonna be something rewarding in all aspects of your life. Join, network, grow, and just have fun.

Rebecca: Well, thank you so much. Is there anything else that you would like to add?

Marilyn: I would say if anything else. Thank you for what you do as a group, I really enjoy. I've enjoyed the talent and services of other therapists, and I'm grateful that I'm gonna be working and meeting with all of you and be brave. Go forward. Ask questions. Serve and give back.

Rebecca: Beautiful. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me. I really appreciate it and everyone should sign up for the APTA Women's Leadership Summit.


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