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Episode 11: Learning to listen to others in the room to really hear

Updated: May 14, 2019

Dr. Sarah Andreas interviews Nicki about her leadership experience. And Nicki shares that learning to listen to really hear was the best lesson she learned as a leader.

You will learn:

Learning to listen helps with leadership

Loving family and career

You have to put work into being successful

Find Nicki at


Sarah: All right. Welcome back, everyone. Today, my guest is Nicki Snyder who is a good friend of mine. She's edited several of my books and is going to edit several of them in the coming future. I'm going to let Nicki tell you a little bit more about herself. Hey, Nicki.

Nicki Snyder : Hi, Sarah. First of all, thank you for having me. I'm so excited to be here. So excited that there's an opportunity to be here, that you're doing this and that we can watch this as other female leaders, we can watch you doing this. This is very exciting. About me. You may have to help me a little bit here. I'm not sure what you want me to share but I am the marketing director for Windy City Motorcycle Company which recently became Windy City Fox Motor Sports. We have 19 dealership locations in the Chicago land and motorcycle dealership locations in the Chicago land and southern Wisconsin areas.

I have been working in the motorcycle/Harley Davidson world since late 2007. Pretty much my entire adult career has been spent in some a marketing facet in the motorcycle world.

Sarah: Very good. You got to tell us about your family as well because we, of course, follow you on Facebook so we see all the momming the boys content. I'm like, "Oh my gosh. I'm so glad I only had one boy." I don't know how I would survive with three.

Nicki: I do have three boys. I have a blog. It's called Momming All The Boys. I don't even know where to start. I have twin boys who are seven. My husband and I have twin boys who were seven and then we have a three-year-old boy. It is every bit as chaotic as it sounds. My husband and I both work full time and so when we get home in the evenings and on our weekends and when we spent time as a family, it is just pure and utter chaos and I love every second of it. I do take to social media and to blogging. I have a passion for writing. I have a journalism degree and, yes, I have edited your books and love, love, love doing that.

I'm working on writing a few of my own books. I have not published anything yet but this is one of the things that I want to write about is both being a mom and a career woman but also finding the humor in momming three boys because it's ridiculous. The things that they say and the things that they do and the things that they write, I have fun sharing it because I think that there's so many other people who experience it so when I share the funny little snippets of what they say and what they do, I put that out there publicly, I think it helps other people to just laugh in the midst of all of the chaos where you can easily get overwhelmed.

I try hard not to get overwhelmed and just laugh and just know that it's a season of life.

Sarah: I love that. You make me wish that I would have done that when Marcus was little. He's going to graduate this year and I do a little bit. I did this a little bit but not nearly to the extent that you did. I think when your boys get older and you have grandkids and you can share those stories with them because you remember them because you have them written somewhere.

Nicki: Hopefully, they can appreciate some of them. Some of the things that I share are so ridiculous that I'm sure they won't believe that they said them but I document them on purpose and I document them in real time so for what it's worth, for everybody who does follow me on social media or my blog or anything, I don't just go straight to the blog and do it. I document it elsewhere because I am using it for content for a book eventually and then I share bits and pieces that I feel other people will find humor in and/or relate to.

Sarah: Awesome. Nicki, this podcast is all about leadership so here's the tough question for you. What's the biggest leadership lesson that you ever had to learn?

Nicki: It's a good question. I've had a couple. I started in a leadership role very young. I had a wonderful mentor who took a chance on me and that was Mike Davis who was a dealer principal for Ventura Harley-Davidson at the time and gave me the opportunity, gave me a chance. I think what I learned early on, and I came into it thinking that I knew everything and that I could just come into this leadership role and be successful without putting any work into it myself and learning that you're not always right and that's okay, and learning to listen to the other people in the room.

I tend to talk a lot. It's just my personality. I like to make others laugh. I like to have my input heard. So, I think learning to listen, to really hear instead of listening to think about what I'm going to say next, I often say that to people, was the best lesson that I either learned along the way or taught myself to do because it allowed me to see the different perspectives of everyone who's in the room or who's involved in the conversation.

Sarah: I love that. That's a really good one. Very good. All right. What advice would you give to a young professional who wants to be the CEO someday but is just at the beginning of learning how to deal with leadership and just trying to figure it all out. What advice would you give them?

Nicki: That is a very easy one for me. I think it's because I've been there. I always wanted to be the CEO. I always wanted to run my own business. The best thing you can do for yourself is to continue to educate yourself. Do your job. Do what you need to do. Find a career that you love. Continue to do it but don't rely on that job or that position or the other people who are your coworkers or your boss to give you the tools that you need to grow as a person and as a leader. You should have those types of tools but you need to go seek them out yourself.

Find a networking group. Find a mentor. Listen to podcasts. Read books. Read articles. Sign up for things. I feel like-- I shouldn't say I feel like I think and I know. So often, people just expect for those things to happen naturally. Sometimes they do and sometimes, you're going to have a skill set that you're blessed with and you're going to have a skillset maybe that is different than what others have but if you don't continue to educate yourself on your craft and on your leadership style and leadership in general, you'll never grow into what you could potentially be. Don't expect it to happen overnight. I think that's the big one too. Don't walk into a room with the CEO and say, "I want to be you and I need you to give me the outline of how that can happen." You really need to do the work yourself behind the scenes and continue to grow.

Sarah: Awesome. Nicki, thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me today.

Nicki: You're so welcome. You know how to reach me if anybody has any questions. I love to participate and stuff like these and I love to see what you're doing, Sarah, to increase the women leadership in the world and just increase the confidence of women leaders because I feel very passionately about it as well.

Sarah: If you enjoyed this podcast, make sure you subscribe so that way you can hear new podcasts that come out every week. Embrace your journey and we'll talk to you next week.

[00:08:50] [END OF AUDIO]

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