DeWDish–Questions and Answers with Chrisie Bailey

As originally published in part in DeW Life Magazine Spring 2020

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What is the best part of your job?

The best part of my job is getting to be creative and strategic while traveling the world meeting incredible people!

There are days I’m involved in designing packaging, making global business decisions, and then get to sit down at lunch with an amazing person in our field to hear about their life.

What obstacles have you overcome in your career?

Recognizing and believing I don’t have to fit in a certain mold to deserve a seat at the table.

When I first started in a leadership role, I was meeting with a group of our international partners. When I sat down they kindly greeted me and said, “we will wait for your boss to arrive to begin.” I replied, “I am the boss, we may begin.” I will never forget the looks on their faces, how kind they were about my self-advocating. But even more, how that once sentence transformed the way I saw myself professionally by acknowledging my value and the power of standing up for myself..

Being the youngest person in many boardrooms, executive meetings and often only 1 of a few (if any) women taught me early that the way people treat you depends on the respect you give yourself, the respect you show others, and the respect you kindly, but directly request from others.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I have been working really hard to remove the feeling of “guilt” from my life, and wow is it difficult! In the era of social media and highlight reels on display, it is hard work to not feel guilty for saying no. So my new absolute pleasure is my newfound ability to say no, to not feel left out when I stay at home on Friday night eating take out in my PJs and watching 90s RomComs.

What advice do you have for the new person in your office?

  • Determine your boundaries before you are in a situation when your boundaries may be tested.
  • Learn how to say no in a professional, kind, yet direct way.
  • Do not take professional decisions personally.
  • Acknowledge and remember your value.
  • Your relationships really matter, both personally and professionally.

    When you know your value and what you bring to the office or company, you won’t question your value as much when you make a mistake. I recommend keeping what I call “a post-it note of success” somewhere you see often, and each time you do something that positively impacts your workplace, or have a big success, write it on the post-it note. This also provides you documentation, so if you are ever in a position where you find yourself needing to stand up for your role or position in the office, you have a running list reminding yourself of all the successes you have contributed to your company. This also provides a great place to launch from when advocating for a raise or at your annual review!

    When you learn to say no at the beginning of your career, it will help establish the value others see in you. I think it can be easy to start a new job and want to do everything right and be the “yes person.” While it seems easier to go with the flow, there are certain times where saying no not only protects your boundaries but sets you up for success. Strategic “no’s” help create value out of your “yes’s”

    It is easy to want to be liked and sacrifice pieces of ourselves to fit in, but we can’t uniquely exist in a monochrome world.

What “DeW” leaders do?

Leaders empower. Leaders set themselves up to be replaced. A good leader builds many other excellent leaders. A good leader recognizes and understands their faults and hires people to compensate. A good leader doesn’t pretend to be blameless or faultless. A good leader empowers and encourages, but is also kindly direct about acknowledging issues or problems. A good leader says “This is not a conflict, this is an opportunity to resolve” and then takes care of all the people around them while they actively work to provide resolutions to problems.

What famous person living or dead would you like to have lunch with and what would you ask them?

My dad. I would ask him more questions about his childhood, laugh extra hard at his silly jokes, and squeeze him as tight as possible.

What is your dream vacation?

Morocco!

What does balance look like?

Balance looks much different than I originally interpreted. What I have learned about balance is to stop worrying about creating balance, (because it often creates something else to stress about!), and instead focus on being very self-aware of your needs and what boundaries you need to feel healthy and accomplished. I use to try so hard to figure out how to “balance” professional and personal life until I recognized, and embraced the fact, that the best balance came from setting boundaries and recognizing there will be weeks where I work 60 hours, and then there will days when I take a random Tuesday off. Balance looks like recognizing what you need, acknowledging it and doing your best to try to be kind to yourself by practicing self-love and giving yourself what you need before you are desperately needing it!

How do you take your coffee?

French Press Coffee from Fazenda (a local Boston Coffee Roastery!), splashed with soy milk.

Share something about you that someone would never guess.

From Christie’s best friend, Erinne Kennedy, “when you first meet Christie in a professional setting, she kindly commands a room and exudes confidence and boldness that’s unmatched. When you get to know her personally, you realize that she has a tender heart and is the most caring person that I know.”

 

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