Find Your Voice, Take Back Your Power - Deb Liu

Deb Liu is a former VP at Facebook and the current President and CEO of Ancestry. As a woman who has worked her way to the top of the corporate ladder in Silicon Valley, she knows firsthand the challenges that keep the deck stacked against women in the workplace and the ways to overcome them. Deb Liu founded Women In Product, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing more women leaders into technology. She is the author of Take Back Your Power: 10 New Rules for Women at Work. She's here to talk to not only women but to anyone who wants to find their voice and achieve great things in a system that wasn't created for you.

Scripture References

  • Proverbs 31:10-31
  • Judges 4

Additional Resources

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Leah Archibald: Making It Work is brought to you by The Max De Pree Center for Leadership at Fuller Theological Seminary and the Theology of Work Project.

Mark Roberts: Welcome to Making it Work.

LA: Through conversation, scripture and stories, we invite God into work’s biggest challenges... so that you can live out your purpose in the workplace.

MR: I’m Mark Roberts.

LA: And I’m Leah Archibald. And this is Making It Work.

We live in a world where women make up only 20% of companies' board seats where for every 100 men hired into management only 86 women are promoted. Perhaps women cannot make the world of work fair but according to today's guest, we can take back our power. Deb Liu is a former VP at Facebook and the current President and CEO of Ancestry. As a woman who has worked her way to the top of the corporate ladder in Silicon Valley, she knows firsthand the challenges that keep the deck stacked against women in the workplace and the ways to overcome them. Deb Liu founded Women In Product, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing more women leaders into technology. She is the author of Take Back Your Power: 10 New Rules for Women at Work. She's here to talk to not only women but to anyone who wants to find their voice and achieve great things in a system that wasn't created for you. Deb Liu, welcome to the Making It Work podcast.

Deb Liu: Thanks for inviting me.

LA: So I wanna go to your book, Take Back Your Power. The first step you describe in your book is, Knowing your playing field. Tell us what is the playing field for women in your industry in technology and what does it give you to understand the playing field that you're in?

DL: Well, I think you shared some of the statistics that I share in my book. The first chapter, I write in there a little tongue in cheek that it's meant to make you angry, and it's meant to upset you. And part of that is just peeling back the covers on some of the facts. Some of the facts that you shared but also other facts right? For example, if there's four people in a hiring pool and there's one woman, the one woman would have zero probability of getting that job. Now no individual woman would ever realize that. Because she's in the candidate pool. And yet if there's one man in a candidate pool of four, he has a 33% chance of getting hired. But if there's two women and two men, it's 50/50.

And so there's just small little things that no individual woman would notice, and yet are just really pervasive in our industry. I talk a little bit about the VC funding given to venture capital. Only 3% go to women founding teams, and something like 18% to mixed teams. And so 82% go to all male founding teams. Why is that? And there's just all these really subtle things whether it's in tech industry, and all industries where the deck is stacked against you in these small ways that are very imperceptible. And part of writing that chapter was really to peel that back, share with you what those things are, so that you can understand them. And so you don't feel alone. I think the other part is really helping people look at the statistics and hopefully change them in their actions every single day.

LA: So what does that do for you? Knowing the statistics beyond making you angry? 'Cause I don't know... If for me, once I get angry maybe I don't have a step two. Like where do I go from being angry?

DL: Well, it's to make you angry and to understand that the system is not fair and not built for us. But then the second step is the next nine rules beyond learning the playing field is, really how do you address it? How do you every single day make some progress against it? One statistic is that now men and women negotiate almost equally for raises, but men get it 20% of the time, and women get it 15% of the time. But I tell women, if you don't ask, you get it 0% of the time. So yes, it's unfair between 15 and 20, but there's a huge gap between zero and 15. And so how do we think about this so that there are actions we can take to bend towards equity as long as we are willing to put ourselves out there? Is it absolutely fair? Can we close that gap? I hope we can some day, but in the mean time, what are those steps that we can take?

LA: Mark, I wanna bring you into the conversation. Do any of these statistics sound surprising to you?

MR: Well, a little bit. Just because I have worked in contexts in which I think women have more responsibility and respect and power. Not that it's perfect. Right now I'm working at Fuller Seminary and Fuller has for many, many years sought to lift up women and respect them and have women leaders. And my boss is a woman, and her boss is a woman. So my experience may be a little unusual. But I also have talked with many women in a variety of industries including tech. And from that, from what I've heard from them. No, it's not surprising. It's stark when you read it. It's just... It's very unsettling. And it's so obviously unjust that it's problematic. So I'm not really surprised but every time I read things like this and when I read Lean In I was like, "Oh man." This is really broken in ways that it's easy not to really realize. And that's part of the story. I really appreciate that that's where you begin, Deb. But I appreciate that that wasn’t the whole book. Then you're like, "Wait a minute." You actually have some power. You women in particular and you can do something with that.

LA: And I think it's slightly different industry to industry. The tech industry versus not-for-profits versus higher education where we've had different experiences. But all these industries have unspoken rules of power that maybe go under the radar until you really bring them to the fore. So Deb, I wanna ask you what kind of messages you heard in your career related to power? And what were the consequences of those messages?

DL: I think that a lot of the messages are... People have this discomfort with women and power. It's just... I shared a little bit of story like, They did a study where they showed two candidates' bios. And one was for a male candidate and one was a female candidate. And for the male candidate more are likely to vote for him. For the woman candidate some of the quotes were... It evokes more outrage. Same bio different genders, different names. And so there's just a subtlety where for example, for men to be a leader you have to be competent. But for a woman, you have to be competent and warm. There are warm men, there are not warm men. There are warm women and not warm women. So to have this extra hurdle to be seen as a leader because of what we expect. And by the way, this is other women and not just men who expect this. These are the kinds of challenges and I for many years, was not very warm.

So I'll share that, which is: For many years I grew up in a small town in the South. I was one of the few Asians in the state. Actually it was less than 1% Asian. And people told us to go home like, "Go back to where you came from." Constantly. And I just remember thinking how alienated I felt from the community that I was in and how difficult that was and I just shut down. If I closed myself up, if I just took up less space maybe nobody will notice me. And for a long time I really had a hard time connecting with other people because I was extremely shy and introverted on top of all of this. And not being a warm woman, it was very hard to be a leader and hard to be perceived as a leader. I got tons of feedback about this. People won't trust you. They can't connect with you. And it took me a long time and not just feedback... And by the way, just because the feedback seems unfair doesn't mean it's not true. It doesn't mean it's invalid, 'cause all those people who shared that feedback with me really wanted to connect with me. But connection is so important for a woman leader in a way that one... And connection is not as important for a male leader.

So these messages were told to me and I share this not to say that…I wish that women didn't have this extra hurdle to be warm. But it was something that I worked really hard at. It was a skill I ended up having to cultivate in order to get to where I am today. But that's completely unfair that there's this extra hurdle and yet I had to decide what to do about it. And so these messages that we send is: You have this extra hurdle, you've gotta go figure it out. You have to accommodate that hurdle or you're gonna be left out of the opportunities. And as I said, it doesn't have to... Just because something is unfair doesn't mean that it's invalid. That I didn't have to do that thing. So I had to figure out what I chose to do. And so this has happened multiple times in my career and... Chuck Swindoll has a quote. It's like "life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it." And that's the quote that I look in in all these circumstances. Just because something happens doesn't mean you don't get to choose to respond. And you get to choose to respond how you want. Is it with grace? Is it with dignity? Is it with fight? What is it that you're gonna do coming off of that? And so we were talking about the 10% but a lot of this book is about the 90%.

LA: So in my introduction, I talked about finding your voice for people who are in systems that weren't created for them. How do you find your voice and achieve great things? What I'm hearing from you is that finding your voice isn't necessarily 100% of your particular introverted [chuckle] voice. But how do you find your voice that works for the situation?

DL: Yes.

LA: So let me ask you the question. How did you find your voice? And do you think finding your voice is really uniquely personal? Or is it really situation-specific?

DL: I think one of the things we don't talk about is there's a huge bias especially in the workplace. And that bias is towards people who are willing to speak up. It is a very extroverted and kind of people... It's not just extroversion. It's people ability... Have the ability to process and speak on any topic intelligently on the spot. Just think about the people you perceive as a leader. It is a bias we absolutely do not talk about and I think we should talk about that. Because that leaves people out who are quiet. Who are contemplative. I remember somebody on my team said to me, "But I'm a processor and by the time I figure out what I wanna say, that moment has passed and the conversation has moved on." And she was one of the most thoughtful leaders and just kind and smart. But she would let conversations get away from her and people would say, "Well, she's not that great." And I'm like, "No, she's amazing. The problem is you just need to give her time."

And I think because of this bias, so often we have this natural bias towards people who are extroverted who speak on a dime as they say. And instead I think we should... I wish that we could just have more models of leadership. Of different kinds of leadership. But because of this bias in the workplace. Us having a voice, us being willing to speak up, us being willing to ask questions. That is an incredibly powerful tool that half the population cannot access as easily. And so it's something that I learned as a skill but it took a long time for me to get here.

LA: Mark, I'm thinking that this bias towards those who are really good at speaking off the cuff. Or are really good at being in front of a crowd may or may not exist among our Biblical heroes. I think some leaders in the Bible are certainly good in engaging a crowd. I think of Paul and of Jesus himself. But I also think of Moses as maybe a thoughtful leader who didn't have all the words at the tip of his tongue. What comes to your mind Mark, when you think about the biblical precedents?

MR: Yeah. I mean that's what actually Moses said to God when God told him to go to Egypt. He said, "I can't speak." And so God actually gave him his brother to do that which is so interesting. But you mentioned Paul. And one of the criticisms of Paul in Second Corinthians is that his letters are so strong but his physical presence isn't as strong. Isn't that interesting? That... Absolutely. Now, you have it in the Bible other people who have an abundance of strength. I mean Peter. And in fact, Peter would be just... Like you're describing Deb. In that he would just say it right? And a lot of times he'd say kind of dumb things. But it was... So I think one of the things...

LA: No filter. There's no filter here.

MR: Yeah, one of the things we get from scripture though is that God can use a wide variety of people with different strengths and gifts. There's also an awful lot in Proverbs about not speaking too quickly. And Deb I hear you and what you're talking about is a tendency to encourage people really to speak, as you say, really unfiltered. And that's not always going to be wise. And so, if a system really prioritizes that, it's running the risk of losing wisdom. Not to mention, not hearing other voices like voices of women or people who are slower processors.

LA: Deb, do you have a personal success story about learning how to speak up in some of these rooms that you're in?

DL: Well, yeah, I just remember early on I just never spoke. 'Cause I just really struggled with it when I first got into the workforce. I had been super private growing up as I mentioned, and I had the singular goal to graduate, get a scholarship, go to college, and then I studied engineering in college. And I remember we used to do our problem sets and our projects almost in silence. And then what works for you, stops working for you. I went into consulting and I remember my manager saying, "You're kind of bad at this... The client service part of client service." [chuckle] I just thought, huh? And they said, "You don't wanna spend time with the client and talk them up and... " And I said, "Yeah, but my analyses, my presentations are great." And they said, "Yes, but we are in client service." And when I got to business school it was very interesting 'cause you know, a third to half of your grade is actually class participation. Being able to debate out loud. And so you're literally judged on the skill that I did not have and I had to really practice that. But as I got back to the workforce, I still struggled with it for many years and it took me a long time to get comfortable with it.

DL: But the success story is that, that journey brought me to where I am today. That I learned... Sometimes I hear people say, "Well, I'm an introvert." And then there's a period at the end of the sentence. Or "I'm really quiet." Or, "I'm a processor period." And I said that for many years. And instead now I say, "I'm an introvert but I learned the skill to overcome some of the challenges so that I could be where I am today." And so I think sometimes we have too many periods in our statements. And instead actually putting a comma and saying, "However, I have learned X so I have grown in this way." Because then it opens up the door as opposed to ending the sentence. And for me, training is a skill I talk about in The Learning Mindset the book. Having a learning mindset. Someone who is always learning is gonna exceed somebody who's the expert today.

And to really kind of... God wants us to grow and change and evolve over time. And we believe that. And just seeing the opportunity not just saying, "Well, I need my... " As Moses said, "My brother to speak for me." But he had other gifts but he could have also blossomed as a spoken leader if he had chosen to do that as well.

LA: So how has your faith, Deb, helped you along in this journey? Was there a time that you turned to God like Moses and said, "I'm out. I'm not doing this." [chuckle] What was your faith journey like learning how to find your voice in the workplace?

DL: Well at one point I kind of... I had my anti-Lean-In moments which was I had my son and I considered staying home with him and I was working part-time at PayPal. And I was really kind of... The moment when you're between kids. You know you wanna have more kids. You're bored, I had a really tough pregnancy. He had a lot of... He had colic and all these issues and he had reflux and it just... I really struggled and I quit Tech. I basically went to the VP and I said, "You know, I wanna resign." And he's like, "Hold on to that." And he's like, "Hold the week and let's have a conversation." And so I said, "Okay." In the meantime though, my Bible study, a couple of people from my Bible study prayed about this decision. And they prayed a very specific ask of God, which was at the time, I thought completely crazy. And that exact thing happened. And I stayed in Tech and I have the career I have today.

And I mentioned the story recently, actually just a few months ago, to the person who prayed with her husband, and she had completely forgotten it, she goes, "Oh yeah, I guess that did happen." And I said, "This completely changed the trajectory of my career." And so, sometimes God answers prayers through other people, sometimes He answers their prayers in different ways. I have the career I have today because of my Bible study, because that was the moment when I needed to lean in and God made that possible. A couple of years later, I meet Sheryl, and she actually gives me the Lean In talk way before the book comes out, and it really accelerated my career in a bunch of ways. And so, I think that, that God puts the right people in your life at the right time to say the right things to kinda guide you towards where his will is for you as well.

LA: What was the prayer or the piece of wisdom or the conversation that you got in the... That moment that changed your trajectory?

DL: So at the time, I was thinking about... I was quitting, so that I can... I was working in a small business with my sister, and I said like, "The flexibility of owning a small business would be great." My sister still works in that small business today. And they said... The prayer was oddly specific, they said, "If she's not meant to leave tech and go and work on this business with her sister, have someone come out of the woodwork to say that, "This is not right," and that that job, that opportunity, will no longer materialize." Her husband comes, three days later... And I didn't tell her about this. Three days later, her husband says, "I would like to quit my job and work with Caroline on the business." And I just thought, "What?" I had not mentioned this to them at all. And I said, "Okay." And it's... A few days after that, the VP I talked to, Dana, called me, and he said, "There's an opportunity to run product at eBay, the entire buyer experience. Do you want it?"

LA: Wow.

DL: And I said, "Yes." And so sometimes God works in mysterious ways. And sometimes I think we just... Things like that, I just can't believe is a coincidence.

MR: Can I just say that I really appreciate also the way in which you are bringing your work to your small group? Faith work is kind of our thing. And just the fact that you did that, that you brought it there, that you talked with them, that they prayed with you, and that, I'm guessing that wasn't an unusual thing, that you brought all of life into your Christian experience. And then that could have an impact on your work life and your professional life. So I just wanna give a thumbs-up to that, as well as to God for giving you that pretty amazing answer.

DL: Yeah. God answers prayers in special ways. But so much of my life's journey, we... I talk about the people, the allies in your life. And one of them's your circle. And I've been in Bible studies for the last 20-something years. And that has been... Those are the people you live life with, that support you. And in the acknowledgements, I acknowledge the women of my Bible study, who made it possible for me to write this book and supported me all along the way.

MR: Wonderful.

LA: Deb, I wanna go back to your book, Take Back Your Power: 10 New Rules for Women at Work. Do you... When you're speaking to other women in the workplace, do you think it feels like a revelation to them, that we actually do have some agency in taking back power in the workplace?

DL: Yeah. I think a lot of times we have so much more power than we think we do. Every meeting, you get to choose how you walk in and how you show up. And when I say that, there's... My friend, Carol Isozaki, talks about ridiculous... Unintentional, ridiculous strategies that people employ. And I share a little bit about that in the chapter about Free Pass, where before you go into a meeting, you don't think, "In this meeting, I'm gonna add no value," or, "I'm gonna sit in the back and do other things." But how many times do you walk out of a meeting having done just that? And so we talk about that and we say, "No, what if you showed up every time you showed up? What if you didn't give yourself a free pass to lean back and you showed up and you actually made a difference in every moment that you spent time? Or you just didn't go to the meeting at all?" I think sometimes we kind of just sit back and we call back benching it, but at the same time, you have agency to leave your mark in that meeting, or not go. And I think it's just small things like that, where if we just...

You have to choose whether or not you ask your manager, not necessarily saying, "Hey, Leah, will you promote me?" But instead say, "Hey, what is the distance between me and the next level and how can we partner so I can get there?" A lot of people just don't even ask. And the people who ask will say, "Well, can you promote me?" But instead ask in a way that turns that person into your ally, that is power, because now they're aligned with you, you have ambitions, they wanna work with you to achieve those ambitions, and you're enlisting them as you're ally to get there. And I think sometimes we just kind of say what, I'm afraid they'll say, No, but how can you say no to, "Hey, this is my aspiration. Can you work with me to get there?" The answer is naturally yes, make it easy for someone to say yes to you.

MR: That's great. Hey, Leah, I may be stepping on your toes here, and you're gonna ask this anyway, but I have to say, Deb, yeah, I was tracking with you in your book, and I'm all with you, and then you have this chapter on forgiveness, and that really was kind of stunning to me, it's a great chapter and actually tell a story of someone that I know and used in my D-Min class, Rowena’s story... Can you talk about forgiveness? 'Cause I was not expecting that in your book. But...

DL: That's good to know...

MR: You made such a strong case for it. So I'd love for you to talk about it.

DL: Well, I think people just don't think they... When you get to the chapter on forgiveness, it's kind of the journey, you're kind of going through the different... And then, you get to forgiveness, and some people will ask me, did I feel like that chapter was out of place. And I said actually, that's the chapter I wrote first. Interesting enough. But part of that is, I think that a lack of forgiveness of ourselves and others is often a huge stumbling block for us in our lives, especially our work lives. And I tell the story of, I used to go to my career coach, and I still have the same career coach for the last, I think 10 years now. Over 10 years, I said to her, this happened at work. I can't believe this, I can't believe he said that, this is how I responded. I felt like I should have responded better, and she, at the end, after doing this for a while, she goes, "When are you gonna put down the backpack?" And I'm like, "What are you talking about? She said, "Every time you have a work grievance, every time something happens to you, you take a stone and you put in your backpack, you put the backpack on and you keep hiking. She goes, "You know what? You're carrying the weight, not the other person, when are you gonna put down the backpack?"

Think about that word picture, you're carrying grievance, you're carrying anger, you're carrying resentment, and suddenly it felt so freeing to say, "You know what, wow, I need to put this down." And it just really transformed how I worked because things happen at work. Things that are negative, things that you feel bad about, things that you struggle with, and if you carry that weight instead of letting it go, that's what lack of forgiveness is, and the Bible teaches about forgiveness, about even if the other person doesn't deserve it, forgiveness is both for you, not just for the other person. And I think sometimes we mistake that, but then the last part I talk about is forgiveness of yourself as well, 'cause I talk about Rowena Chiu, she was assaulted by Harvey Weinstein, and then there was a wall of silence against her. She told dozens of people and they just did not listen to her, and part of her held this, she's like, if I had just... If I could have stopped him sooner, I mean, she was 20-something, and this was 20 years ago, and she's like, "If I just told the right person, if I had just... I could have stopped the next 100 people from being assaulted," and yet that lack of forgiveness for herself was actually hurting her, and she had to find freedom in that too, and she tells her story. And this is the kind of thing that really holds us back in ways that we can't even imagine both at work and at home.

LA: I think...

MR: Well, that's a great... Thank you for summarizing that. It was a very striking chapter, and I think you do a great job laying out the case for forgiveness and then inviting people to consider moving into that in their life if they need to. Leah, you were going and I stepped on you.

LA: I think both sides of forgiveness are so imperative to getting to that next place in our work, and I know for me, I can sometimes get very angry at, especially men in the workplace, who are... I feel like who are belittling me, I can get my boxing gloves on and get very angry, and, but I can also get very angry at myself for being complicit in that behavior or for not speaking up in the moment, and both of those areas of unforgiveness can make me feel very stuck, but if I extend forgiveness to the other person and forgiveness to myself, then I can move past that. But for me, it really takes an act of faith. An act of bringing God into my own experience of my anger, feeling that, okay, justice would be for everyone to get their just desserts, but I'm gonna leave that to you, God, and I'm gonna right now, move forward with assuming the other person has the best intention and forgiving myself for that situation. I wonder, Deb, how much you feel like an act of faith is necessary in the process of righting the wrongs and finding your voice at work? And is it possible for you to really spread the message of Taking Back Your Power to other women in the workplace without... Is it possible to talk about it without faith? Or do we really need faith in this conversation?

DL: I think people who who aren't necessarily religious need this message too. But I think that having faith gives you hope, hope that, in redemption, for example, and I think that that's really important to me. But there's a lot of women who aren't religious, or come from a different religious background, and I think that that message continues to be really important to them, and that's something which... I wrote this book, I wrote this book as a woman of faith, but I don't think you absolutely have to be a woman of faith to find value in Taking Back Your Power, and I think that those are different things. I do talk about it from the lens, though, of how faith has helped me get to where I am and come to... Come to reconciliation with some of the challenges I face, but it isn't an absolute necessity.

LA: Tell us, how has faith helped you come... Be the person you are today? You told the story of your prayer team getting you past a difficult decision, but what other ways has your faith supported you in your own journey towards taking back your own power?

DL: Well, I think part of it, and 'cause this is probably... I start out the chapter about finding balance at home with a little bit of... I talk a little bit about meeting my husband, and then I talk about, in another chapter about when I was thinking about going to business school, and we were in premarital counseling, and the pastor... I got into Stanford, I was super excited, I shared it with the pastor and we were in... During one of the counseling sessions, and he says... He says to my husband, and my husband is like, "Yeah, and I'm moving to California with her." And he said, " Well why... You would have the leave a career. Why would you go with her? And why does she need a graduate degree to stay at home? Some day." And I just remember thinking, "What? Am I outside the will of God? Is He telling me, a man of... I really respected... The pastor of our church is telling me that my dream of going to graduate school was outside of the will of God? Like this is... "

And I remember as we were going home and I had a conversation with my then boyfriend, he said, "There's a reason you're named Deborah. She was a leader. She was a woman, and she was a leader." And he had told me when we first met, he's like, "I had hoped to name my daughter Deborah some day, but then I met you." And so it turned out okay. But he said, "In Proverbs 31, there's an incredible woman, who is an entrepreneur, she raises her children, she plants, she sells, and she, and runs a small business, and she is successful and she's praised." And he said, "Her husband probably sits at the gate spitting in each other's shoes, making contracts." And so, he didn't... And by the way, my husband is an attorney, and so he chose that, that would be our life. And so, it is...

I met my husband at church, at Raleigh Chinese Christian Church, and we were being counseled at Atlanta Chinese Christian church, and he said, "Let's go talk to the other pastor." And we talked to Pastor Lu, who is the other pastor, the senior pastor at Atlanta Chinese Church, Chinese Christian Church. And he said, "Look how successful my own wife is. She's a woman of faith, but she has... She has accomplished so much." And he actually blessed our marriage. And so, but for being a Christian and being a woman of faith, I would never have met my husband, much less had this experience. And the week after our pastor blessed our marriage, we moved to California, and we started our life here, and I started Stanford and we've been here ever since.

MR: Well, big thumbs up for your husband and his wisdom, and also big thumbs up for the two examples you gave, one of Deborah in Judges, what is it? Four or five, Leah? You always know these things.

LA: Oh, give me a second.

MR: And Deborah is a prophet, and she's the judge, which was a way of referring to the leader, she's in charge of the country, so she's an incredibly strong woman, who actually helps to lead the people of God into a battle that they win and she is a strong leader as there could be. And then, but then also mentioning this woman in Proverbs 31, which is... You read that text, 'cause I grew up in a tradition where everybody wanted a Proverbs 31 wife, but I don't think anybody actually read what that was about. And what it is, is it's, this is an extraordinarily competent woman, who is great at the home life stuff, if you wanna say, but great also at, as you say, the small business part, and it's just such a... Both of those are expansive models of what... Of the way God makes certain women, and the way they are to be. Of course, there are some women who are to be "stay-at-home moms", and that's their calling, and that's what they love, and that's what they're great at.

And then there're some women who are, for whatever reason, they don't have children and they're able to be sort of full-time in the workplace, and then there're many like you and so many others who are finding their own unique way of balancing this life in light of their diverse callings. The number one calling to love and serve the Lord, but then the callings of life, in terms of work, and family, and husband, and mother, and friend, and church goer, and boss, and all those things, anyway, I love that, I love your example.

LA: I think of... Deborah is described in the Bible in Judges 4. I looked it up, Mark.

MR: Thank you, thank you.

LA: It's Judges Chapter 4, 'cause I have access to Google, right over here. But, Deborah is described in the Bible in Judges Chapter 4 as a leader. And she has some military leadership skills, she has some people leadership skills, she has some speaking and encouraging skills, but I also imagine she had a life beyond that. At some point she went home and did whatever you gotta do at home, made herself dinner, I don't know if she had a family, but I think when we tell the story of, wither any hero from the Bible or hero in corporate life or even of our own selves, we often miss the backstory, or all the different types of work that we do. So I could tell a story about the work that I do, for my job, but in reality, I'm having this great conversation with you on this podcast, and then I'm gonna do some technical work, shipping the podcast to the editor, and then I'm gonna take... When the day is done, I'm gonna have a second different version of work, and I'm gonna go to the grocery store, and buy the stuff that I need for all the kids snacks for tomorrow 'cause we have kids coming over and I'm gonna get prepared for some home construction work that we're doing over the weekend.

And so there are all of these, all these other jobs at the same time that are not less important, but that they're hard to capture, in the full story of our work. And I think that's true for women as well for as for men, and I think we all miss out when we don't access and value the completeness of our work stories.

DL: Yeah. Well, I think sometimes when we look at work, we look at it in isolation, but work and home are like Yin and Yang. If one gets out of balance, it engulfs the other. And so you really have to keep that at balance. And I think part of what is really important is to figure out how do you balance this things, and what is the way that you bless both work and home?

MR: Can I just say by the way that you're talking about the balance between work and home, which I really appreciate, 'cause sometimes people talk about work-life balance as if work isn't your life. It's like work and then there's life. And you're not saying that, you're work and home, which I think is the right way to... 'Cause it's all your life. And it's all part of your calling and the context for your discipleship. And anyway, so I love the way you're framing it.

DL: What I tell people, is you probably spend more hours at work than waking hours at home, with your family. And so, you want... That's an important part of your life. And so, live it as if you're... That is part of your mission and that is what you're trying to accomplish in life. Like your influence is so great at home, but it's also really great amongst the people you spend eight, nine hours with every single day too.

LA: So that is the place that you want to have influence. And that's why you have to read this book, Take Back Your Power: 10 New Rules for Women at Work.

MR: Can I...

LA: Go ahead, Mark.

MR: Well, some who listen to this podcast are probably older and I would strongly recommend that they give this book to your daughters. Actually it'd be great for your sons too. Really, I mean that honestly, but absolutely share that with younger women, because many of them wouldn't have... There's wisdom here that would be great for younger women to have. So yes, buy it for yourself, but also buy it for the younger folk.

LA: Deb, do you have any last words that you wanna share for people who are either reading your book or who you would like to reach with your message?

DL: I think the message that I just want to reach is, you have so much more power than you think you do, every decision, every moment, you're influencing. And by the way, the word power is not a dirty word. It literally means to have impact and influence around the people and events around you. And so if you look at it as a positive, I wanna have impact in my life. I wanna have... I want that to ripple out, and you want that to be positive. Every interaction you have, you have power to make that positive or negative. You have power to influence and ripple through so many lives around you. So take that moment and take back that power and say, "I'm gonna make this the best I can be." This is a... And be intentional. And that's the message I wanna share, which is, and we can't change the system tomorrow, maybe even, years for now, but every day we are taking back our power, we're making it a little more fair. We're giving more opportunity. We're giving voice and we're having a positive impact on the world. And that's what power is.

LA: Deb Liu, thank you so much for joining us on The Making It Work Podcast today. It's been such a pleasure. Thank you.

MR: Yes. Thank you.

DL: Thank you.

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