How to Lead with Humanity

with Intel's VP of Org and Talent Capability, Stephanie Crook

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Our guest today is the energetic, innovative, working mom, Stephanie Crook, Vice President and Director of Organization & Talent Capability at Intel. She is responsible for building talent strategies and solutions in support of Intel’s business execution.

An accomplished Organizational Development professional, Stephanie has fifteen years of experience leading cross-organizational transformation projects both in and outside Intel.  Throughout her career, she has maintained close ties to thought leaders in the organizational development, talent and strategy fields and is known for bringing industry best practices to the teams she leads.

Stephanie holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Russian from Utah State University and a master's degree in organizational behavior and business administration from the Marriott School of Management at BYU.

  • Stephanie's professional history
  • Her early experiences as a working mom of 4 children
  • The importance of a personal brand or reputation in the workplace
  • Bringing humanity into the workplace
  • The shift in understanding how culture impacts the value of the firm
  • Challenges of aligning the right talent with the right projects
  • Stephanie's proudest accomplishments
  • Stephanie's advice for younger employees
  • Building and investing in networks
  • 3 things you can do to stay engaged with your network

[Tom Finn]    00:00:02    Hello, and welcome to the Talent Empowerment podcast, where we lift up people leaders so they can lift up their organizations. I'm your host, Tom Finn, co-founder and CEO of LeggUP together. We'll learn how to drive people innovation, how to transform HR into people ops, and how to secure buy-in to disrupt the status quo. And as I like to say, it's finally time to stop smoking on airplanes and update your people strategy. Let's transform your organization and move from a culture of talent management to talent empowerment.

This week's episode of the talent empowerment podcast is brought to you by LeggUP’s Talent Insurance, an inclusive people development platform designed to help HR leaders empower their people through one-on-one professional coaching with results like a 66% improvement in avoiding burnout, a 54% jump in leadership skills and a 73% increase in job satisfaction, leg up guarantees, improved employee wellbeing, productivity, and retention. In fact, they ensure it, your people stay or they pay! And without further ado, this is Talent Empowerment. 

Welcome to the Talent Empowerment podcast, where we lift up people leaders. So you can lift up your organization. I am your host, Tom Finn, and today we have a high-energy and innovative guest. Her name is Stephanie Crook. Stephanie, welcome to the show.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:01:34    Thanks for having me, Tom, super excited about being here today.  

[Tom Finn]    00:01:38    Well, if you don't know Stephanie, she is the vice president and director of organization and talent capability at Intel. She is responsible for building talent strategies and solutions in support of Intel's business execution, an accomplished organizational development professional. Stephanie has 15 years of experience leading cross-functional transformational projects, both inside and outside of Intel. Now throughout her career, she has maintained close ties to thought leaders in organizational development, talent, and strategy fields, and is known for bringing industry best practices to the teams that she leads. She also holds a bachelor's in psychology and Russian from Utah state university and a master's degree in organizational behavior and business administration from the fabulous Marriott school of management at Brigham young university. So we are so happy to have you on the show with that detailed background. How did this all start? You just, you wake up one day and you're a leader in Intel. Is that how it happened?  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:02:40    Oh, uh, far from Tom, I feel like I've been really blessed in my journey of how I've gotten to where I am and sometimes I wake up and can't believe where I'm at. Um, but it actually started even before, um, I came to Intel, I, I, you know, explored going into clinical psychology. I realized that wasn't for me, I didn't have really the patients for it. So my professors said you need to go into organizational behavior or industrial psychology. And so I found a great program, “ go cougars”. Um, and I ended up having a lot of that program, um, sort of getting exposed to different companies and industries and HR. Um, and I ended up, um, selecting Intel as my, um, first job out of that, um, education experience. And I remember, uh, picking Intel, uh, I, I started in 97 when Andy Grove was named man of the year.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:03:42    And I had a professor that had shared with me that, you know, there's always an inverse relationship between politics and growth and Intel was growing like nuts and it was being led by, um, you know, leaders that were just known for great management practices and culture. And so I picked that company and, um, and I, and I picked it for, for those reasons and for the opportunity to do a rotation program into HR. So I got to learn quite a bit of different parts of HR in just one year. And then I, um, was able to go inside of, um, a business partner role and subsequently inside of the business. So, uh, lots of different experiences that I was able to have both inside and outside of HR, Intel afforded me to grow and learn and, um, left for a while. Uh, I, uh, had the opportunity to have four kids while I was in Intel.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:04:39    I call my Intel babies and I spent some time, um, thinking and contemplating what I wanted to do. Um, as I was doing a global job, as I had sort of got pregnant with my fourth and decided to go out for a while, work with my husband and growing a business. And then when I was ready to come back, um, I had the opportunity to come back into a role that I just, um, really resonated with me. I doing org development work and work inside of our design teams, where they were really having to do very different, uh, ways of working and then got asked to do some culture work when we really recognized it, Intel that we needed to transform some of the aspects of our culture as we really shifted the way in which we decided to compete in the market and some of our strategies. And, um, and then just recently, uh, was asked to lead the work associated with all of our organization and talent capabilities. Um, so it's been quite a ride. Uh, I know that was a lot to cover. Um, but I feel like, um, my first entry into Intel was really special because I got to learn so many different things in such a short period of time.  

[Tom Finn]    00:05:50    Yeah. That is wonderful. And, uh, what great work you did and great fortune to, to land at Intel and be able to grow your career. I think it's so brave also to leave. Uh, and then it says everything that we need to know about you, that they asked you to come back, uh, right. That is the, the value of having a fabulous reputation in an organization is somebody says, you know, can we have Stephanie back? That would be terrific. Um, I do wanna ask you a question though, about your journey, um, four kids, uh, working a working mom, um, what was that like?  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:06:24    Oh, it was crazy. Chaotic, really fun. Um, I, I would say Intel was pretty progressive back then in comparison to some other companies, I had leaders who, uh, believed in the, um, importance of diversity and they believed in me and they gave me opportunities to work flexible hours part-time hours. They made it very hard for me to ever quit. Um,  

[Tom Finn]    00:06:55    Even before that was a thing  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:06:57    Even before that was a thing. Um, that's wonderful. And I remember, um, you know, all of, all of them were men for the most part. Um, and they had daughters and they wanted the same for their, for their girls. And, uh, I remember one in particular did not care the amount of hours I worked. They only cared about the product that I delivered, which in this sort of this new imagined world of work that we're in post sort of COVID now that we're sort of more into the endemic phase. I think that more leaders are embracing right. That construct of trust. And we're not gonna be so concerned about when you're clocking in, but more of what you deliver. And I have the fortunate opportunity to have leaders all back way back then. Um, and so I felt like I could be a mom and grow those capabilities and, um, enjoy that part of my life.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:07:49    And I would never say it was like a perfect balance, but I was able to harmonize, um, my, um, motherhood being a wife, um, with being a work, you know, doing things in my career that mattered. Um, I was in a role though, uh, by the time I had my fourth where I was traveling quite a bit. Yeah. Intel's very global. And it was a very, um, intense sort of, uh, time that I was having to provide, um, the business and I am all or nothing, um, type of individual. So it was sort of the, so the moment in time where I thought, you know, it's not just about what I wanted to build and grow in my career, but it was also who I was serving at the time. That was important to me. And so I decided to take a break, uh, and I had a great leader that was a wonderful mentor to me.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:08:40    And he gave me the confidence to leave, uh, and the confidence that my skills would be valued, whether I, um, stayed, you know, or if I left. And, then I also had a wonderful network. So the, actually the the person that picked up the phone and called me and said, Hey stuff, do you wanna come back to Intel was one of those very first rotational managers that I had only done a three-month assignment with, but she knew me and we kept in contact and she knew that eventually I would be interested and coming back into the workforce. So I can't say enough about the networks that I was able to build early on in my career.  

[Tom Finn]    00:09:16    Yeah. I think that's, uh, so well said and, and a lesson for all of us that your reputation follows you. And even if you're my goodness, even if you're 23 and you know, and you're in, you're early in your career and you're thinking, you know, I've got this, I can sort of behave, however I want. It's not gonna, it's not gonna track me cuz I'll just leave the industry or go do something else or go to a different company. It, it's not, that's not how it works. Um,  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:09:41    No, your brand follows you, Tom. It does  

[Tom Finn]    00:09:43    It, does 

[Stephanie Crook]    00:09:44    It does. And does,  

[Tom Finn]    00:09:45    The nice thing is the beauty of it is if you do it well, it follows you in a beautiful way. And then you come back to perhaps a company you worked at early in your career to come in in a much higher seat, uh, where you can make an even bigger impact done. Right. Uh, which I think is fabulous. So let, let me ask you this. We we've talked about sort of being a mom and, and that work world, how do you bring humanity into work today, uh, for, for others?  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:10:13    So it's, it's such an important, uh, question because I think that the more the world has gotten fast, the more important this is, um, when I think about how I thought about early on in a career, cuz I, it was a, it was a purpose for me, um, to bring humanity to work. Um, that was what I wanted. That was what fueled me. And, um, initially that for me was defined as respect and fairness right in the workplace where people had a voice and they were treated fairly. Um, and you know, it's gotten more, it means more to me, it means, I think nowadays it means that I feel belonging. I feel included. I feel like I can create and innovate inside of a company that has a purpose that I'm aligned to. Uh, I, I think that it, it's, it's more rich and it's more deep and the expectations I think, um, uh, as they should, um, have become higher, um, for what that means for people and that, you know, what means, uh, what works for one person for their specific customized needs is not the same for, for another, but that, uh, the employer is willing to flex around the uniqueness and the diversity, um, of talent.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:11:36    So, you know, when I think about, you know, the humanity, it's, it's interesting cuz back in, when I started, I don't think ever we would have put inside of our values, the word care, right care. Right. Um, the words associated with embracing differences, you know, it was more associated with keeping Intel safe and making sure that there's a high degree of fairness and respect and that managers could be trusted to commit and deliver what there's, you know, delivering on and, and that employees were fairly paid for what they were delivering and that sort of thing. But I think it, you know, now inside of our values, we've got those constructs of care and concern, not just for each other, but for our communities. And I think that's part of bringing humanity to work.  

[Tom Finn]    00:12:27    Yeah. I love that. And, and really what you're doing is going from the world of top down management, in those sort of old models that you just highlighted to this world of talent, empowerment. Yeah. And empowering others and caring and uh, understanding how to be yourself, a work and that that's okay. Uh, yeah, that it's really important. And, and this shift in human behavior in, in the workplace is long overdue. Uh, it's long overdue. And I think what we're seeing is organizations are thriving. The ones that can figure this out. And then we're seeing other organizations really have a challenge in scarcity for talent because they haven't figured it out internally yet. They haven't turned that knob to say, we're, we're moving on from the old, the old ways. I always like to say, you know, some of these constructs, remind me of people still smoking on airplanes. I mean, there's a visual for you, right. I mean that, how awful is that people actually did that and people actually had these constructs as well. And so I think what we're, what we're leaning towards is this, this model of, of culture and organizational capability, which is shifting  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:13:36    Totally agree. And this is why it's interesting. When I look around at other companies and industries, how important cultures become, I mean, you know, we've always known cultures is important, but I have never seen more emphasis of culture in the C-suite in the boardroom and investors wanting to understand how that impacts, um, the value of the firm. Um, because it does drive talent engagement and talent is scarce. And so, uh, you know, before when companies needed to grow, it was capital investitures and being able to go global and now like it's easy to get money, right? It's not easy to find talent. And so you really have to figure out what it is that really sets you aside that, um, employees have a choice and where they gravitate to, to spend their most precious, um, resources, which is their, their talents and their time, um, into a company that they can do their best work and a company that also, um, connects with their purpose.  

[Tom Finn]    00:14:47    Yeah, absolutely. So philosophically, you're very connected to Intel. You, you match up with the values of, of the ecosystem that is created there. What, what's the hardest part of your role today? I mean, is it easy?  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:15:01    Um, no, and that's what makes it so great. Right? It's like some of the problems that we solve at Intel are, are, uh, most complex problems on earth. So I love that it's, um, hard, but it's also super rewarding. Um, I, I think for me personally, um, in terms of, uh, challenges is oftentimes just ensuring that you have the right capabilities inside the right roles so that you're enabling the organization to really thrive. Um, and that you align that talent around the right priorities. There is a never-ending, uh, list of wonderful things to go do, but, uh, groups and teams that aren't focused on the critical few end up getting burned out, um, and they don't win. Right. And it's fun to win. It's fun to win in the market. Right. And so, um, understanding what the work you ought to be doing in order to drive success, um, I think is really critical, but it's not always easy. I mean, it's, it's even if you would think about the inside of HR, we get so many different signals, uh, of what we think is important from various different entities inside the business, um, different constituencies. And so being able to understand what are the most important signals to pay attention to, and therefore what, how you prioritize your resources and making sure that you've got the right talent on those projects, um, can be a bit of a rubric. So, um, I think that that's also what makes the job so interesting though.  

[Tom Finn]    00:16:38    Well, I, I can't imagine all of the different projects you've seen and all of the different people you've seen. It's such a, a well-known brand as, as Intel with so many, uh, thousands of employees. But I, I have to wonder, you know, is there something that makes you the proudest of the work that you've done? Um, maybe there's a time that you can think of, uh, an event, a project, something that really made you proud of the work that, that you did in coordination with your team.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:17:07    Yeah. Um, you know, there are a lot of wonderful projects that I was able to support and then leaders, I was able to support when we were trying to stand up new capabilities. And, you know, when you're in the trenches with those leaders, you never forget, and you never, those bonds are forever. And even as they've moved on outside of Intel, we've stayed connected because, you know, when you go, when you're in the Fox hall with folks and really working through some hard things that that matter it's, um, very impactful. Um, but personally I would say the body of work that I was probably the most proud of is when we started the journey around our cultural evolution, uh, it was a lot of ambiguity. It was pretty complex. And we had to really dig in fast and understand what it was that our external customers needed most.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:17:59    And then what that translated to the behaviors inside of the company. Um, and, uh, and in con sort of in conjunction with that, we realized we didn't really take advantage of the amazing purpose that Intel, you know, is about. Um, we were talking so much about, you know, profits and stock price and, you know, financial growth, but not really capturing the hearts of our folks associated with what we really truly do, starting with the work that Grove started and the founders to democratize compute, but all the way into like how we're really developing world-changing technology that improves the life of every single person on the planet, which is huge. I mean, if you think about the impact that it has on the world. And, um, so really getting clear about that purpose, that body of work with the executive team, working with a lot of people across the organization, and then having the values be clear and come to life in the behaviors that really mattered most for us to really succeed that for me, I think was the body of work I was probably most proud of and the teams that, um, I mean, clearly it wasn't just me, but we worked with a lot of people across the organization and that, um, collaboration, um, and the work that it ended up translating to in terms of how we have adjusted structures and systems and reinforcing systems and processes has been, um, super rewarding  

[Tom Finn]    00:19:29    And, and is the most important part there listening and trying to get along with others as you work on a project like that, cuz that that's a very complex, integrated set of systems you're talking through. There must have been a number of stakeholders at the table.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:19:44    Oh yeah. Um, data is super important Intel. So getting the right data and understanding a lot of voices and perspectives around pain points and where there's a misalignment in your culture and making sure that you're asking, uh, the right people at all sort of different places along the way, bringing people along in that is a lot of work. It is, it is, it can be exhausting, but it's so worth it. Um, and so really understanding, having a framework was super important and knowing where and how deep you needed to surface those qualitative and quantitative data points so that you could sort of hone in on the, the core elements and aspects that were most important to the company's growth. Um, that was super fun. Um, but yeah, it, it, it did require a lot of, um, work. It didn't sort of, it wasn't like we, we went in a back room and we came out with these sound good.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:20:45    Um, there was a lot of data backed, informed, um, uh, constructs that ended up resulting in where we ended up and iterations. Right. It was iterative. So, uh, and that's also what makes it fun, cuz it is something that then you, um, end up feeling like ownership collectively across the whole company in some way, shape or form. So, uh, and, and, you know, with the system's elements, you know, some people are really kind of tied to the way work gets done and the way, you know, processes that they love. And um, and so you gotta really make the case for change that's and do the work, you know, at the fun too, to help people feel like, um, there's something in it for them, for the change and that the changes make good sense. Um, and that they're elegant and simple enough that they're not like, you know, hard to adopt.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:21:42    Um, so lots of fun things associated with my background and change in org development that I was able to apply in that space. Uh, but yeah, I mean, I would say that's also very, very rewarding when you hear employees saying, Hey, the changes that you made to the way I get feedback and the way I feel appreciated and the feel, feeling that I have more psychological safety to bring in race transparently issues. I mean, that's just so rewarding, um, to know that you've changed, you know, there, the work they've, you've changed the way in which they show up every day.  

[Tom Finn]    00:22:19    Yeah. I think that's so important. And, and that point should be sort of underlined and exclamation pointed, which is make the case for change. That's how you get buy-in from others. That's how you create change, in an organization you have to make the ch make the case. And that might be here's the financial model for the CFO. Uh, it might be, here's how it's gonna impact sales for, for the sales folks. Here's how it's gonna impact our service model, right? Here's where we're gonna be able to save money or here's where we're gonna need to invest. And all of that is making a case for change. And then you push forward, uh, once you've aligned your stakeholders. And I think that's so important that people understand that it's not just coming up with an idea in, in a silo and then pushing your idea on other people you really have to, to, to bring them in and put your arms around all of these different stakeholders and get their feedback, right? The, you, you talked about it right at the top of the show, you have to care, uh, you, you have to lead with empathy and on every project that has to come out and in every part of the business. And so I'm so glad that you, you shared that, uh, with everybody, cause it's a great example in a very complex system. And I think what I heard is you were able to do it at a very complex business like Intel, so kudos to you.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:23:40    Well, thank you. I mean, it, wasn't just me. I have to just underscore that lots of wonderful people, um, worked on that project and, and still continue to do so. Um, but yes, it was, it was a joy for me and it was awesome too because I got to talk with people at the C-suite all the way through the organization, to our technicians. And, um, Intel has, uh, six different business units, uh, supporting capabilities we're in every part of the globe. Um, and so the diversity was super cool, um, to be able to, um, interface with  

[Tom Finn]    00:24:18    What would 13-year-old Stephanie, um, be thinking if she saw you now, I mean, would, would you just be pinching yourself saying, oh my goodness, what? Like I've, I've had all these wonderful kids and I've had these amazing experiences and I get to work with this great brand and I've done this great stuff academically. I mean, what, what would 13-year-old Stephanie say right now she was standing in this room?  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:24:45    She would be surprised. I, um, I, this was never, I never had like a goal to aspire to, um, be an executive at Intel. Um, in fact, it's interesting when people talk to me about career growth, like, Hey, what, you know, what experiences do you need to have in order to get to this level? I, that never even ever crossed my mind, what drove me was the work where I found, you know, fascination and interest curiosity, and where I felt like I could deliver on some value. So actually I'm like, I'm totally surprised. Like I never came back to work thinking that's my goal. Um, and, and to be able to work alongside some of the most wonderful leaders who are rock stars, some of them are like, there's like five of them in the world that can do what they do.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:25:35    I'm just in awe. Um, I mean, and Pat Gelsinger, he's just amazing. And he's just one of a kind and to see his passion and his commitment and his just wonderful approach to, um, transforming the most iconic company is it's just a pure privilege and joy. Um, but yeah, I mean, if I, if I were to go back to my younger self, um, first of all, I, would've never, I would've never kind of, you know, laid this out as my career path. I just, I just, like I said, in fact, I never even really applied to jobs. Tom, I got asked to do jobs, um, because I think I got known in my brand to be capable at certain things. And people would just come and ask me, can you, can you come and do this work? Um, but I, but what I would say is what I probably didn't do enough when I was young was ask for help and sponsorship.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:26:34    Um, and as I've gotten older, I've realized that, um, now that people come to me and ask for help, I'm like, of course, I would love to help you. People want to help. And it also quite honestly builds trust and connection with someone who asks for help. And I just think I, I should have done more of that. Um, and you know, I also, you know, um, there was certain instances where I was like, ah, I don't, I don't know if I'm up for that challenge, but I was asked to do something where I was worried like, ah, I think that's a little bit too much of a stretch. I think I might, I might fail at that. And, um, I think that sort of imposter syndrome sits with a lot of talent and I didn't always take those advantages, um, take those opportunities I should say. Um, so that would probably be another piece of advice if I went back to my young self to say, don't be afraid to, um, ask for, for what you need or want. Yeah.  

[Tom Finn]    00:27:34    I, I think, I think that's beautifully stated we all have that imposter syndrome at some point. And we just don't want ask because we don't want somebody maybe to say, no, maybe that's the real answer is we don't want somebody to say, no, I, I'm not gonna help you, but that very rarely happens. Uh, and most of the time somebody says, oh my gosh, I'd love to help you. Uh, let me connect you with, with this person that can really set you on the right path. Right. And then off you go, uh, and it all works. I, I, I think that's fabulous. And I think what you've touched on is sort of this, um, balance of, of life and, and work and this coming together in the workplace. Is there a, a talent development tool, uh, or process that, that you, uh, adore or, or lean on more than maybe something else?  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:28:21    Um, yes, I would say the biggest way that I have learned is building and investing in networks. I, I learned from others. I learned from big thinkers and thought partners and, um, uh, and it takes time. It, it takes time to invest in those relationships. It, it takes energy and effort. In fact, some of my, um, relationships even from college, um, I've kept and have subsequently done, brought in professors to do work inside of Intel. Uh, so, uh, I would say that's probably the way I learn the most. Um, clearly, you know, there's a lot that you can, you can learn by reading and, um, you know, being, you know, part of conferences and that sort of thing, but really where I have been most educated is in the networks I've built, um, in my field, uh, with leaders inside of the company. I, I remember one of the, um, uh, recommendations that I got early on in career.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:29:24    It was so great, from somebody, um, as a business, HR partner found that engineer that loves what they do and can speak to you. Like you're a kindergartner, right? Because they can, it's a different language, honestly, be. And, and the reason why is because if you find that person that will be willing to sit with you in a conference room and whiteboard, how things are engineered, how work gets done, you are going to be so effective because you'll understand the work cuz everything starts with the work. And, uh, oftentimes people in HR, in our fields, um, you know, they, they have their own disciplines and language and, and then they have to come in and understand the language of the business and really understanding, right. Um, and unless like you really get what's going on, uh, you, and you don't really understand where the tension points are happening inside calls and you're not able to really unlock where you really could have, um, you know, effectiveness, you know, being brought into the way in which the organization functions.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:30:29    And so even in that place and space of learning, Tom, I would say that's also been a development for me. Um, finding those people that can, you know, really de codify how things work and um, and so learnings, wherever you find it, I guess. Um, and, and then I, so I would say, I learned by doing, and I tried things and I had some wonderful leaders that would let me experiment cuz I was curious. I was like, okay, well what if we designed things this way? I don't know, like I have a hypothesis, let's go test it out. Let's test it. Yeah. Um, so, and, and they, and they let me do it. So, you know, it's their resources, their teams, their org they're on the line for these outcomes and they were, you know, they took the risk to say, that sounds logical. Let's try it. So I learned by doing too.  

[Tom Finn]    00:31:19    So I'm, I'm gonna ask you a very specific question about networking because I, I feel like we've talked a little bit about this and, and just your brand of starting at Intel, leaving, coming back, being asked to do jobs and take on roles. I think just speaks to your ability to stay connected. Now, now my mom, uh, is British and she would always say, darling, uh, the best way that you can stay in touch is to always send a holiday card right now. This is from some generation ago. Um, but that was sort of the advice, uh, that I received, um, to always send that holiday card. Um, now it's a little different. So can you help sort of the modern workforce, just think through three things that they can do to stay engaged with networks or people they've worked with along the way?  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:32:11    Yes. So it's funny because before we had all of the social media, I sent holiday cards, Tom, your mother is right. Uh, all of those years outta the workforce, all of those leaders that I grew to know and love, they all got my Christmas card, they saw how my family was growing. So there you go. Boom. She's awesome. Um, but you know, I mean, clearly we have other ways that we know with LinkedIn and Facebook, right? That we can stay in touch with people. Um, and it was always really important for me to know about what other people were doing and to recognize it and that mattered to them. Right. So it's, it's more so like, you know, if, if, if somebody who I cared about just published something, a professor or what have you, I would send them a note. I would read the book and I would  

[Tom Finn]    00:33:05    Congratulations something ations  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:33:09    This is what I got from it. Right. Um, you know, if, if I, if I heard of somebody who, um, inside of Intel that got a promotion, I'd send him a note, like amazing. I just knew you could do it. Right. Like just making those, like, you know, things that matter to them know that you notice them, you're still in connection with them. Um, you care about them, I think makes, um, the networking easy. I, I also, you know, like to network with people who like to co-create right, like things, right. Like I, I actually am interested in what other companies are doing from a benchmark perspective and figure out ways that I can also help them. Um, so, that reciprocal reciprocity really makes good sense in terms of networking. I am terrible in a big room of people at cocktail hour. Like I'm, I'm impossibly awkward and, uh, super introverted. I'm just gonna ask, I just went to, a conference and that was like, anytime you saw cocktail hour, I was like cringe. I'm like, oh right. Don't wanna do it. That's never how I'm going to build relationships and connections. So I think everybody's different for me, that just doesn't work. Um, I like to make connections, uh, associated with the work and interest that's genuine and can span over, you know, long periods of time.  

[Tom Finn]    00:34:36    Yeah. I love the comment that you just sort of put yourself in other people's shoes and, and really engage with what's interesting to them, uh, along the way. And that's a really nice way to think about networking or staying in touch, um, versus the forced, uh, you know, cocktail hours, as you said, right? Where you're, uh, you know, networking and you're shaking hands. And I always say it's shaking hands and kissing babies, um, which, uh, which is wonderful. Um, but, uh, it's not for everybody. I am actually an introvert. Uh, most people don't know that about me. Um, so for you listeners out there that have no idea, it's the first time I've admitted that, uh, publicly I am an introvert as well, Stephanie. So I actually, um, start the day with a full battery, and the more conversations I have, my battery goes down, my battery goes down all the way down. And so others, the extrovert, start with sort of a, a medium battery and they go up and their battery fills up. The more conversations they have. So, um, you and I have had that, uh, introvert in common.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:35:42    We totally do. And I get mistaken for being an extrovert just because of the nature of the work that I do, but I am an internal thinker, and I don't like big crowds. I, I, I get exhausted from it, but conversations like, like these, um, uh, are very energizing for me. So the intimate small, um, and then ways that I can just recharge in, you know, go, go off and just take a walk and be away, you know, from people for a while, which seems counterintuitive, cuz I had so many children, but um, yeah, very much an introvert as well, Tom.

[Tom Finn]    00:36:22  Well I think, I think the lesson there is, um, that there are so many ways that we can do this to be effective in networking and connecting with other people. And one person's way doesn't have to be your way and you just have to find the path that works for you and that you feel, you feel comfortable in your own skin, in the behaviors and the tactics and the processes that you're putting in place to really grow your career. And I think that's the takeaway. There is, it doesn't have to be Stephanie's way. It doesn't have to be Tom's way. Um, but find your own way to really build a network and a reputation that follows you, uh, in a thoughtful and positive way. That's, that's my biggest takeaway from today. And then, uh, of course, um, you know, the other part for me is just this idea of caring and humanity and uh, looking at the business differently, uh, and, and embracing people along the way I think is just so important and they're connected, uh, right. They're both connected, having a great network and caring about people are very connected.  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:37:25    Yeah. I love that. That's, it's a nice thread red thread right through the conversation.  

[Tom Finn]    00:37:30    That's right. Well, look, uh, I have really enjoyed the conversation today, Stephanie. Um, obviously, uh, you're doing great things at Intel. We're so thrilled to have you in a leadership role and uh, taking on these different people, leadership, uh, components and positions so important that we have great people at the top. So if somebody wants to get in touch with you, where would they go about finding you  

[Stephanie Crook]    00:37:53    LinkedIn.  Because I am outside of social media. That's pretty much the one place that I check and I look,  but yes, I am active on LinkedIn.  

[Tom Finn]    00:38:05    Yeah. Perfect. And it's Stephanie crook. You can find her on LinkedIn and if you are in her network and haven't sent her a holiday card recently now would be a good time to think about that. Uh, you've got, uh, months and months before the holiday season, Stephanie is looking for your card if you're actively in her network. So Stephanie, with that, thank you so much for joining the show and for all of you out there, thank you for joining the talent empowerment podcast. I hope this conversation has lifted you up so you can lift up your teams and, and your organizations. Let's get back to people and culture together and we'll see you on the next episode. Thanks, everybody!

[Tom Finn]    00:38:50    I hope you enjoyed this episode of talent empowerment for more information on our show. And today's guests head to the show notes or visit talent, empowerment.com. And as always, don't forget to subscribe wherever you're listening. So you never miss an opportunity to empower yourself and your people. And if you enjoyed today's episode, please leave us a five-star review. It really helps the show grow.

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