Conversation with Kathy Tracey

Conversation with Kathy Tracey

1. You are a Guinness world record holder who rowed across the Atlantic Ocean with three other women. What inspired to you to achieve such an extra-ordinary feat?

Kathy Tracey: What really inspired me, is to do something which would be a really big adventure, and something which I would be always be able to remember and cherish that I achieved something special in my life. It was an amazing sense of achievement I felt, after going through huge storms and challenges during this adventure. Those experiences inspire me even now whenever I am going through some tough time. If I am ever having a hard day, I just remember those days and say to myself, “today might be a hard day, but not as hard as it was then”

2. Tell us about your “ABC to victory workshop” and you session in Women Leadership Summit 2014. What impact has this workshop created on its participants?

Kathy Tracey: It was an amazing experience. I hope the session was able to inspire people to reach their goals, to achieve what they wanted to achieve in their lives. Usually people don’t really have a set of fixed goals and often they really are unable stick to it. I rather inspire people to stick to their goals, even write it down in a piece of paper and then start working for your goal. That is what ABC to victory workshop is all about. A stands for acumen, which means knowing your goals, knowing about the subject of your goal, preparing for it, gathering all the related knowledge which you need to have to achieve that goal. B stands for bravery, which effectively means sometimes there is no magic, you just have to be brave enough and just do it without waiting for magic to happen. You just need to have the courage and take the initiative and go for your goal. C stands for continuity, which means relentlessly sticking to your goals, continuously trying hard for it. You might even fail sometimes, but you have to try again until your achieve your goal. This is the message what our workshop “ABC to victory” tries to convey to our audience. A lot of people came up to me after the workshop, saying that they were inspired after being in my workshop, which is always delightful to hear. They said they would even try some of the things at work to achieve their goals which I told in the workshop and asked them to do. I really hope I have been able to motivate at least some of them and they are inspire to go for their goals. If I am even successful in inspiring a few women, give them self-confidence, give them the self-respect and the right to feel strong about themselves, who would be able to achieve their goals further down in their lives, I would say I am happy with my work and efforts.

3. What was the main challenge you faced at your workshop at the “Women Leadership Summit”?

Kathy Tracey: As I was the last speaker at the end of a long tiring day, all of the audience were quite tired and they were lacking energy quite rightfully so. That is why, as a presenter, it is very hard to get the attention and get the energy back as well as their full concentration at such a time. As soon as they got energized, all went easy and the session turned out to be very interactive and resourceful in the end. The audience was extra-ordinary in their enthusiasm for getting to know the tips and tools for achieving their goals.

4. As an Executive Coach how do you find man and woman differing in their inspiration and motivation at workplace?

Kathy Tracey: I think sometimes they have the same issue, but how they come across or how they respond is the place where they vary. Sometimes the men that I deal with is quicker to identify the problem as someone else’s problem or a problem they need to get through. But women often identify a problem as their problem, it is somewhere where they are going wrong, not others. It is mainly a problem regarding their self-esteem. Women identify the problem as theirs and shrink in, whereas men are quicker to identify the problem if that’s outside them. The difficulty and issue needed to be dealt here is, men need to look inside more whereas women need to look outside more. This issue is a global issue where we see this kind of mentality not only prevalent in some part of the world, but all around the globe in public sector, as well as private sector.

5. You are a specialist in psychological profiling. How do you see man and woman differing in their psychological profile? How does this impact their performance and leadership traits at workplace?

Kathy Tracey: The main part that plays a vital role in women psychology is their focus towards family. They always try to think about others first, and then they think about themselves. So when they think about doing something out of their family responsibilities, such as professional jobs, the problem that arrives is someone has to take that responsibility, someone else has to share that burden, that slack which would be left void.  But normally men are often reluctant to share that responsibility. So it often makes it harder for women to focus totally on their professional jobs where they also have to maintain their responsibility regarding family issues too. So rather than women only caring about such family responsibilities, its men and women who both should be sharing the responsibility. As such change occurs, and men and women start to share such psychology, I think women would begin to move ahead for sure. I read an interesting research article where it said that during a job interview, men would ask for a higher salary first and then prove their worth whereas women would always like to prove their worth and then ask for that higher salary. So when a job opportunity or leadership role comes up, a man is always upfront and enthusiastic in taking that responsibility whereas women would first like to achieve all the qualifications needed for that job and apply for it. So immediately there is a different time frame and gap for men and women which creates a difference between the leadership roles played by men and women in their workplaces.

6. You inspired people to achieve their goals in their personal and professional life. How do you see goals vary across professional and personal life? How are they similar?

Kathy Tracey: It differs, it actually differs for everybody. Goals are personal achievements that people want to achieve in their particular life. Doesn’t matter if that person is a woman or a man, young or old, the goals are very specific to the person and their own motivation and desire to achieve that goal.

7. As a leading woman what are crucial factors that facilitate woman to achieve leadership roles in their professional life?

Kathy Tracey: I think self-esteem is a very important factor which plays a major role in shaping the leadership roles women play in their professional lives. How people see them also plays a vital part as a factor in the leadership roles of women. Women are often judged by their outside appearance more than their qualities which reside inside. Whether they are short or tall, dark or fair, properly dressed or under-dressed, somehow matters a lot for cases regarding women. This creates a differentiation between men and women where women always try to look nice because the outside world is there, judging her continuously. This is not how it should have been. Men and women should be judged based on the same criteria, only that person should be chosen who is more capable in doing the work.  A woman needs to be judged by her capabilities, not by her outer appearance.

8. What would be your advice to the men in the society?

Kathy Tracey: The advice to men is be aware that women sometimes don’t really speak freely what they are supposed to say. Men can help us by supporting us or just by reassuring and being supportive in a positive way and help us to be ourselves. If men can support women in their endeavours, women would be more inspired to take the leadership roles

9. What would be the message you want to convey to the readers?

Kathy Tracey: My message to the viewers would be to “live your dreams” and make sure your work hard to achieve those.


–  Amitabh Guha Roy

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