lasha glennie headshot

Episode Description

How to Leverage Your Resources: With Lasha Glennie

One of the most important things in life that people tend to forget is that it’s perfectly fine to ask for help! We often take on all the work ourselves before seeking input from others.

Lasha Glennie, Project Manager at MITT, comes to The Frame of Mind Coaching™ Podcast with this exact challenge. Lasha is part of a great team and she does her job very well, but lately she’s been taking on other tasks that are outside of her expertise. She has had to learn many new things while still performing as Project Manager.

The main problem is that while trying to take charge of all of these tasks perfectly, Lasha isn’t really leveraging her resources, so she gets overwhelmed with the new work. The solution is simple: she needs to ask for help!

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Kim Ades: Hello, hello. My name is Kim Ades, I'm the President and Founder of Frame of Mind Coaching and the Co-founder of The Journal That Talks Back. You have just joined us at The Frame of Mind Coaching Podcast, where we invite leaders from all over the world to come onto the podcast and get coached live and in person.

Today, my guest is Lasha Glennie and she's a Project Manager and I'm so happy to have her on this podcast today. Lasha, welcome.

[00:00:32] Lasha Glennie: Thanks so much for having me, Kim.

[00:00:35] Kim Ades: So just fill us in a little bit. Where are you? What kind of projects do you manage? How long have you been doing it for? Tell us a little bit about yourself.

[00:00:44] Lasha Glennie: Sure, yeah. My background I've been doing project managing now for a little over eight years. I would say the projects that I usually get involved with are right from the ground floor. So we were building this thing from scratch.

A previous one that I worked on was with Tech Manitoba, we essentially were helping Western Canadian tech SMEs from across Canada at international events. And that was fantastic. Built a whole brand called Tech West from there.

And then currently I am with the Manitoba Institute of Trades and Technology, so MITT. And a little bit more specific, still in the tech community, we're building out cyber wave, which is their new cyber security center of excellence and, you know, around cyber security and just knowing the ins and outs of what goes into that more specific side of tech.

[00:01:48] Kim Ades: Okay. So you built-- and I'm sorry, you built this pretty massive project before...

[00:01:57] Lasha Glennie: Yes.

[00:01:57] Kim Ades: ...with Tech Manitoba. And how long were you there for?

[00:02:02] Lasha Glennie: That one was around six and a half years. We were very lucky to get some federal funding. We got refunded just because the project was so successful, so that was pretty exciting. and just kept building off the momentum that we were doing there.

[00:02:19] Kim Ades: Okay. And what made you move? What made you switch from that organization to this one? It sounds like you did a good job.

[00:02:26] Lasha Glennie: [Chuckles] Yeah.

[00:02:27] Kim Ades: It sounds like you did a good job.

[00:02:29] Lasha Glennie: Yeah, and it was an amazing team, it was such a fun project. But when COVID came around and you know, it's international shows, people obviously aren't traveling anymore. They did try to pivot and do the virtual shows, they just weren't the same though. You need that face to face personal interaction when you're trying to find investment in customers and things of that nature. So it kind of just petered out.

And from there, I was very lucky that the CEO had also moved on to MITT and she approached me and said, "Hey, do you wanna come over here? This is what we're starting". It sounded really exciting and I was like, "yeah, I do!" [Chuckles] And so I had to make the hard decision to jump over.

[00:03:15] Kim Ades: Now, is a woman?

[00:03:17] Lasha Glennie: Yes.

[00:03:17] Kim Ades: The CEO. And did you report to her directly?

[00:03:22] Lasha Glennie: So when I was at Tech Manitoba there was one layer between us, but it was a smaller team. We had high interaction altogether, and then now I report directly to her. She's the director, so...

[00:03:35] Kim Ades: Okay. So tell me, what is your greatest challenge? What's going on right now that you wanna share with us?

[00:03:40] Lasha Glennie: Yeah. So we have a physical space that we're trying to open up in downtown Winnipeg. In that physical space, there's things like the forensics lab and the soc simulation center and things of that nature, which I can talk about on a high level, but I am definitely not a subject matter expert.

And I think the reason I like being a Project Manager so much is because I'm pretty type A and I really like to have a great work back plan, I like to see the roadmap of where we're going. And there are a lot of things that, you know, you just don't know.

Especially when it comes to equipment and even just the job tasks of cyber security, I'm like, what do you need in this space? And not to say that I need to know a hundred percent of everything all the time, but I don't feel like I'm at my full capacity yet to be able to participate in some of those conversations, and it's a little overwhelming.

[00:04:45] Kim Ades: So you are tasked with creating this space, to make sure that it gets launched at the right time, in the right way with all the right pieces in place. And meanwhile, this space is designed to demonstrate, I guess, the element of cybersecurity. And you're like, "I don't know anything about cybersecurity". Is that the story?

[00:05:05] Lasha Glennie: Yes. Yeah, you hit the nail on the head there.

[00:05:08] Kim Ades: Okay, great. And so, what have you been doing up until now to deal with that gap?

[00:05:13] Lasha Glennie: Well, I mean, I do like to do a lot of self-learning videos, podcasts, reading articles, that kind of thing. But I mean, to be quite honest, after two years of being forced to sit in front of a screen, because of COVID, and working from home and things of that nature, I'm a little burnt out of doing that self-learning.

[00:05:37] Kim Ades: It's brutal.

[00:05:38] Lasha Glennie: It is!

[00:05:38] Kim Ades: It's brutal.

[00:05:39] Lasha Glennie: Yeah, it really is. So that's where I'm at.

[00:05:42] Kim Ades: So that's where you're at. And just a quick question, have you discussed this with your boss?

[00:05:48] Lasha Glennie: Yes, we've tried to find some more creative ways of maybe some in person learnings or things of that nature, but our budget is very tight right now, and it's been previously allocated to other things. And when you get funding, especially from government, it has to stay in that bucket, unfortunately.

[00:06:12] Kim Ades: Okay. So here's what I'm hearing, right? You're a type A personality, so you're like, "wow, I go to these meetings, I feel ill-equipped and that makes me feel very uncomfortable. And so I need to go and figure out how to become an expert at cybersecurity".

[00:06:30] Lasha Glennie: Yes.

[00:06:30] Kim Ades: But the truth is they didn't hire you to be an expert at cybersecurity, they hired you to manage a project. Which, by the way, you're very good at, you're an expert at project management. And if you look back at your previous projects, were you an expert in those areas? Probably not.

[00:06:46] Lasha Glennie: No. [Laughs]

[00:06:47] Kim Ades: Probably not. But so there's something that's happening for you, which is, "I believe that I can't do a good job if I don't have all the information", and to some degree you're accurate because how do you roll out a project in an area where... You don't come to the table with an education or a background or years of experience in cybersecurity, but someone believed in you.

And to me, it's very interesting that it wasn't your boss who took you with her, it was your boss's boss who took you with her, so she clearly thought that you would be a good addition and make a solid contribution to this particular endeavor. And so someone out there believes in you. Okay?

So you've been trying to learn, but your access to learning is limited, and your bandwidth is limited because your doing your job, right? And doing your job is, I think, different from being an expert in cybersecurity. So in your mind, you're like, "oh, I have two jobs. I gotta go roll out this project and I gotta be an expert in cybersecurity". And so what we see is that it's not a feasible option right now, right? It just doesn't make any sense, it doesn't work.

And so the question is, do you actually need to get up to speed? Do you need to be the expert? And I suggest, my point of view is that perhaps not, but what you do need is to be informed. And what does that mean? What's the difference between being an expert in cybersecurity and being able to pull off a project where you have all your Is dotted and your Ts crossed?

It means that you access the resources around you to ensure that your project is well executed. So that might mean you might hire a consultant temporarily to help you outline all of the elements in the project that you actually execute. You're not asking anybody else to do your job, to manage the project, but you're asking for help in making sure you're not missing anything, asking for help and making sure that you've thought this through carefully.

And so, is there somebody out there who can help you with that? I'm sure there are people who are more than willing to volunteer, and there are people who you can, probably even with a small budget, hire to help you make sure that you've got it covered. And so, what does that do?

That doesn't give you access to a conference where you sit down and you learn in a room with people, it actually gives you direct coaching, in a way, to say, here are the elements you need to think about, here are the elements you need to consider when we're creating, what did you call it? A sock demo? What did you call it?

[00:09:39] Lasha Glennie: [Laughs] A sock simulation center.

[00:09:42] Kim Ades: I have no idea what that is, but why don't we create a sock simulation center? Here's what it looks like, here are the pieces involved, here's what we need to make sure is in place. And so you're like, oh, now suddenly you're fast tracking your learning and you are also focused on the pieces that you will need to execute effectively rather than the science behind sock simulation. Right?

[00:10:11] Lasha Glennie: Yeah, that makes sense. And I mean, we do have a really great advisory council that comes on and they volunteered so many hours of their time to assist us in steering us into the right direction.

At some point you're right though, we probably would need to have a consultant to come on and walk through it. And, I mean, that is pretty nice to have that one on one time with them, where I can ask all of my specific questions and really wrap my head around those kind of things as well.

[00:10:46] Kim Ades: Now, here's the thing, right? It feels indulgent--

[00:10:50] Lasha Glennie: It does.

[00:10:52] Kim Ades: --To think about hiring a consultant. And it almost feels like, "Hey, I shouldn't have to hire a consultant if I knew what I was doing", but that I would suggest to you is flawed thinking, because if you wanna accelerate your learning, if you wanna get the job done well and make sure that nothing is missing, then in your shoes, I'd be asking everybody, "what am I missing? Have I done it correctly?"

So yes, find the right consultant, but also go to your advisory board and ask for some one-on-one time with each person on the board and say, "here's my plan. What do you think? Have I forgotten anything? Have I overlooked a critical--" And why is that important? Because a) you learned that way, b) you find the gaps that you may be missing, but c) you also get buy-in from your advisory board.

So on all levels, that's just a smart move. And so what I see is that people who achieve extraordinary goals, and this is very important for anybody who's listening, leverage the resources that are at their disposal. And if they don't have resources at their disposal, they go and find the resources.

And so rather than thinking to themselves "I should know everything, I should be good at this, I should be the expert", they say, "wow, I know what I'm good at and I know what I need to learn, and I know what I need help with. Let me go look for help". And they do that shamelessly.

And they think to themselves, "I deserve to access resources because there is no shortage of resource, there's no shortage of expertise, there's no shortage of time, there's no shortage of money, there's no shortage of anything and I'm entitled to access those resources". So that turns your brain from looking at the boring video online to thinking about "who out there can help me". Right?

[00:12:52] Lasha Glennie: Yeah, and I think those connections are important too.

[00:12:55] Kim Ades: And that's a different problem to solve than being a scientific cyberspace expert, right? Completely different problem to solve, and I think that's a problem that you can easily solve. You're resourceful, you know how to do that?

[00:13:10] Lasha Glennie: Yeah, and I think, one of the words that you had said really resonated as well is being shameless about it, of being able to go out there and be like, "no, I need to get this. I deserve to know these answers". And I mean, I'm very much a "you help me with this, I'm a hundred percent am there to help you with something in the future as well".

[00:13:29] Kim Ades: Right. And it's okay. I mean, here's the thing that people don't understand, that people want to help and people want to feel appreciated, and people wanna know that they have the ability to make a contribution somewhere.

And so what we don't do a lot of is give other people, others the opportunity to make a contribution, 'cause we don't ask for help.

[00:13:55] Lasha Glennie: Yeah, absolutely. And learning to give those opportunities and being okay with them perhaps saying no, and that it's not a slight against me and it's not something that I did, it's just they maybe have other things going on in their life.

[00:14:10] Kim Ades: Exactly, you just go to the next person and the next person and the next person. And so you just gotta keep asking and finding the right person who's willing to sit down with you and work through this problem. And somebody's out there, a hundred percent for sure on that one.

[00:14:25] Lasha Glennie: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:14:26] Kim Ades: How does that feel compared to the problem you came in with? Which is "I gotta learn cybersecurity".

[00:14:32] Lasha Glennie: Yeah, it feels a lot easier. I like networking, I love making connections and I feel like I have a pretty good village surrounding me, I just have to go out and utilize it.

[00:14:45] Kim Ades: Yeah.

[00:14:46] Lasha Glennie: And there's lots of different options, I think, just my brain's going in so many different directions of "okay, maybe I should do this and..." [Laughs]

[00:14:55] Kim Ades: You're already making a list of all the people you need to talk to, right?

[00:14:58] Lasha Glennie: I am. [Laughs]

[00:14:58] Kim Ades: 'Cause you're a list maker, right?

[00:15:01] Lasha Glennie: [Chuckles] How could you tell??

[00:15:03] Kim Ades: I can tell. Any good project manager probably has 10 lists going on at the same time.

[00:15:07] Lasha Glennie: Yeah, absolutely.

[00:15:09] Kim Ades: Well, for those of you who are listening, I hope you picked up something from this conversation. We often feel like we need to be the experts at everything, and the truth is what we need to do is understand what we really, really bring to the table, what we're really strong at, and we need to surround ourselves with other people who are strong in their areas.

And so when we're stuck, ask yourself "who out there can help me? What resources are available to help me?" And absolutely feel comfortable about shamelessly asking for help. So hope that helped you, Lasha, and our audience.

For those of you who are listening, if you have a challenge that you wanna share on the podcast, please reach out to me, I definitely wanna hear from you. My email address is Kim@frameofmindcoaching.com. Please like, please share, please let me hear from you! And we will see you again next time. Have a great week, everyone!