Empowered — RV’s Employee Resource Group (ERG) for women — strives to foster a community that inspires, supports, empowers, and educates all women-identifying folks and allies of all gender identities. And one of our favorite ways to inspire and empower our community is simply by sharing the wisdom of the amazing RV women we get to work with every day.
On this month’s Empowered leaders feature, we hear from Vice President of Corporate Technology Lisa Shasky. We discuss the joys of mentorship and how to maintain peace in a tsunami of involvement. Check out her conversation with Copyeditor Victoria Lurie below.
If you belong to even one ERG Red Ventures has to offer, you’ve probably seen Lisa Shasky in the channel. Connection is important to Lisa, as is development, whether that takes the form of helping senior leaders shape company goals or assisting an employee with personal growth.
Melissa Dixon nominated Lisa for this month’s Empowered feature, citing Lisa’s work in mentorship spaces, her blog, and her book. With so much to unpack, we happily dug in.
Victoria Lurie: Walk us through a day in your work life as VP of Corporate Technology.
Lisa Shasky: I spend a lot of time meeting with our leaders, talking about priorities and making sure we’re focused on the right things. I’d rather have 3-4 things we want to focus on and have a significant impact, than move a dozen things an inch. On any given day, I might be meeting with a stakeholder to agree on goals, discussing career development with an employee, conducting an interview, attending team meetings, or reviewing JIRA dashboards to keep up to date on the projects we’re driving.
One thing I’ve learned in the past year is to be better at blocking time on my calendar for focused work (thanks to my assistant Hannah). I’m so much more effective and present for people when I’m not context switching all day, every day.
VL: You belong to many ERGs here (The Bridge, Empowered, MoreThan, and VentureOut), and you’re also an active blogger on the side. What inspired you to take on these roles?
LS: Two things really. One is I like staying connected. ERGs give me a great way to do that in a forum an introvert can handle and not be drained by. This helps me stay grounded because real talk about real issues I encounter happen here [in these ERG spaces], and I like hearing everyone’s perspectives and “talking” about them in this way.
The second thing that inspires me is a deep-rooted feeling that I’m compelled to give back to others and share what I’ve learned. So the blog, books, and mentoring I’ve done are all me trying to help others discover their strengths and voice. I actually just finished my COVID project – my third book called Raise Your Bar: Essential Habits of Great Employees.
VL: With everything you’re juggling, what keeps you focused?
LS: It may seem like a cliche to say “I always like a challenge,” but it’s really true in this case. I get energy from being involved in a variety of things. Some people might think it looks like a lot of work – and sometimes it is – but in my mind, staying challenged and having a variety of problems to solve is energizing. The busier I am, the more focused I feel.
Getting to recharge in nature also keeps me focused; my wife and I are taking a bucket list trip to the Galapagos Islands in March.
VL: Has anyone pivotally shaped your career journey?
LS: My high school anatomy teacher pushed me harder than I thought possible to dig deep, to learn new things, and not be afraid of not knowing something. I’ve carried this lesson throughout my career, as I’ve rarely been the subject matter expert in any job I’ve had. I think of her when I’m tempted to give in to imposter syndrome, and instead think of how this feeling is really just an opportunity to learn.
VL: In regards to your books and mentorship program, have you gotten to see results or feedback from people you inspired?
LS: In terms of people that I’ve inspired, it’s hard to beat seeing our Road to Hire apprentices graduate from the program, get jobs, and be successful at their new companies. I recently got a call from one of my mentees saying he’d already been promoted three times and he loved his job! They work so hard and are so eager to learn – it blows my mind how far they come in such a short time!
VL: As a woman in tech, how have you seen the landscape change over the course of your career? What work do we still have left to accomplish?
LS: I like to tell a story about my dog Sydney and how much she loves her tennis ball. She will chase it for hours, jump through or over anything that gets in her way – she is obsessed! What is your tennis ball? What’s the thing that gets you excited to get up, or to go to work, or that you’ll find time and energy to do no matter what? That’s what’s different: the fact that women can chase their tennis ball without apology is definitely a big change over my career.
We still need to get better at not letting obstacles get between us and our tennis ball. There is always a way around, over, under, or through any obstacle – just ask Sydney!
VL: Now for some fun questions!
What holiday film is a staple in your household?
Definitely Home Alone! I love all the creative ways Kevin found to foil the Wet Bandits, while also eating ice cream for dinner and watching whatever he wanted on TV.
Smooth mashed potatoes or chunky mashed potatoes?
Smooth all the way! My wife makes the best mashed potatoes by ricing the potatoes and then adding sour cream and butter. Yum!
Do you have a unique collection that brings you joy?
I have a collection of wood-carved, hand-painted Santas. The first one started as a gift from my sister when she lived in Russia. I have about 20 Santas now.
Would you like a side of Empowerment with that Empowered Feature? Take a bite of last month’s article, highlighting Road to Hire Student Career Coach Ana Ramirez.