I vs We

Genelle King Heim
2 min readFeb 17, 2024

When I took the job, I knew that there were issues.

Six weeks in things started to get real when the head of HR began revealing the details of what was really going on and how the pending lawsuit impacted my team.

Eight months later I resigned.

The more I learned about the situation, the less I wanted any part of it.

But there was one huge mistake I made, one massive lesson learned, that would have changed everything.

I never asked for help.

When I resigned and shared my story with a friend who is an executive in tech, she said “Why didn’t you ask for help? You didn’t create this problem and it wasn’t yours to solve on your own.”

Why didn’t I ask for help?

Because it never even occurred to me.

As a new VP, I thought I had to prove myself.

You’re an executive now, you need to sort these things out I thought.

Then last week in my leadership course, my partner told me about “I to We”.

The single biggest thing you can do to make yourself appear junior is to focus on “I”.

I have to do X.

I have to accomplish Y.

My role is Z.

Focusing on the “I” means you are outside the circle.

You still are trying to prove yourself.

Still trying to break in.

Focusing on the “we” means you are inside the circle.

Part of the cohort who are working to achieve the group goals.

Part of the solution.

The goals at the top of the organization are “our” goals.

The challenges facing the organizations are “our” challenges.

The success of meeting the metrics is “our” success.

When speaking with senior executives, talk about how “we” are going to achieve the organizational goals.

Be part of the solution.

This gives you a seat at the table of problem solvers.

You are now part of the solution.

This one mindset shift is the most important thing you can do to go from showing up as junior vs. showing up with executive presence.

When you’re ready:

1) I highly recommend the same 2-hour course ($150) I used to get started posting on LinkedIn (affiliate link): THE LINKEDIN OPERATING SYSTEM

2) Book a call and let’s chat about how I can help: https://graysonhaydencall.as.me/

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Genelle King Heim

Strategy and Storytelling, Human Nature and Communications. Playing the long game. https://www.graysonhayden.com/newsletter