Office Hours: I'm the founder of The Forem and headed media platform sales at Google. I'm Alli Young.Featured

Hi Everyone! I’m Alli Young, founder and CEO of The Forem, a company that empowers womxn to accelerate their careers. Prior, I was SVP of sales and consulting at Turn, head of media platform sales at Google, senior account executive at DoubleClick, and media director at MediaCom. After realizing my passion was to unlock more opportunities for womxn and people of color, I spent a year researching career advancement and developed a unique strategy centered on Five Critical Skills.Ask me about leading teams, career growth, media, the founder journey, and more!
Thanks so much for joining us @AlliY!Elphas – please ask @AlliY your questions before Friday, August 14th. @AlliY may not have time to answer every questions, so emoji upvote your favorites 🔥👍🏾➕
Hi Alli, thank you for hosting an Office Hour! I'm mid-career (11+yrs experience) and at Director level in my company. For the past year, I've been thinking /strategizing about my career growth and advancement. Two questions for you:1. What is your Five Critical Skills strategy? And how have you leveraged this strategy to catapult your career from Senior AE role to SVP at Turn?2. For your career growth, how important was personal branding - either internal within the company, or externally (e.g. via public speaking, thought leadership etc)? Did you leverage mentors and/or sponsors for your career advancement? Thank you! Lisa
Hi LisaI was always good at job => excellent at strategy and being fearless when going after moonshots. So that got me far, but the truth is, based on my accomplishments and skills, I should have gotten even further. After leaving Turn, I realized no one is taught how to advance their career unless they have a sponsor (which is only 13% of women)We aren’t taught how to cultivate relationships with stakeholders (or even understand WHO our stakeholders are).How to build relationships & create sponsors. How to network so we build new relationships authentically.Essentially we are told to Lean In without any indication HOW TO lean in. So, I created the forem to ID the skills we need to be just as strategic about our career as we are our job. The 5 Skills we all need to advance are1. Self-advocate2. Personal branding3. Relationships (stakeholder alignment & broader network)4. Financial Fluency (P&L)5. Presenting as a leader We teach how to do all of these authentically and now that we’re all working remote the first 3 are mission critical to ensure all the amazing work you do is seen, and your impact made undeniable
Regarding personal brand...I believe personal brand is simply IDing your strengths & passions. When ppl around you know what you’re good at and want to do more of, you’ll get more work based on those things and crush it every timeSo personal branding is very impAlthough I think networking is the most important skill. Business (whether we like it or not), is built by and for ppl. So having a strong network (of people you like & respect...I’m not talking fake BS relationships) will open doors for you the next 30yrs
Hello!Thanks for doing this. I've created PuppetMaster, an app that lets anyone animate anything - www.puppetmaster.comIt's particularly popular with kids, schools and parents.With nearly a million downloads, educational awards, and a non provisional utility patent, I think there are some great potential partnerships I could do with media companies. We could leverage their branded characters and our patented methods, to turn a show or a brand into a two-way street. They could engage their audience in a whole new way, with viewers creating their own storylines and animations.With your background, do you have any suggestions of exactly whom I should reach out to about this, and how? I try of course, but find it difficult to reach them, and thought you may have advice on this, or really any thoughts on what I'm doing in general.Thank you!
The best salespeople have the biggest pipeline. It’s truly a numbers game. So my advice is to reach out to as many ppl as you can, get their feedback, adjust based on it and keep reaching out.If you don’t know anyone in these roles - does anyone in your network? Do you know anyone at these companies that can helpsteward you to the right person? For sales ppl, it’s always about the pipeline and never giving up. One more item - you have great metrics, but how can you talk about those metrics as it relates to the company benefit? What does your 1m downloads do for them? Figure out the benefit to them and lead w/ that
Thank you so much! This is very helpful.
Hi Alli,Would be very interested to hear your experience and get guidance on switching from senior AE role to Head of a department in Google. What advice can you give to progress career more quickly to a mid level manager?Thank youMaria
At google it was simply the next level up. I led new biz for a while, incubated teams to develop next stage GTM strategies and then truly sunk my teeth into exec level role at Turn and of course now as CEO.My advice for those coming up the ranks is to figure out what you like to do, and tell ppl so you get to do more of it. (It really is that simple)Build up different skill sets. Go from sales to operations to customer success. Learn different verticals, try marketing. It is this broad expertise that will be called on in the future as an exec and climbing vertically makes it harder to pick up those skills. In a word - don’t be afraid to experiment!
Thanks, Alli, this is a bit of great advice and I will try to stick to it.
Hi @AlliY How so you unlock opportunities for women of colour and how do we access them??? Cheers Sekayi
Hi SekayiI believe we need a massive multi-pronged approach to unlocking opps for ppl of color. We need to fix systemic issues with hiring, equity, inclusion and education. And we NEED diverse ppl leading, in particular Black men & women. And we NEED diversity in corporate America, boards, government and our communities. My very particular focus is teaching womxn how to advance their career. It’s a huge blind spot for all employees (we are told to go for more, but never shown HOW or there is blow back, especially for WOC).We built our 5 skills for women of color and what we’ve seen is WOC advance faster when the rules of the game are clear. (Who wouldn’t?!) That being said, we also see that many Black womxn have significantly larger challenges rising due to systemic racism (harsher feedback, lack of sponsors, longer promo cycles).So we partner closely with WOC & use our network to help our members find managers who see without a shadow of a doubt their value and true potential. We all deserve that. The principles are the same for everyone, and work for white men, but we try our damnedest to get it into the hands of womxn and underrepresented talent, which who are 95% of our members.Happy to talk more about this. It’s such a big and important topic. No single solution can do it alone - we need to unlock opps and help prepare POC to be ready to take on new opps and fly the moment an opp presents itself
How would you advise a growing sales organization to sculpt their culture around inclusivity for women and BIPOC?
Honestly - I think we should simply give new opps to womxn and BIPOC. Truly. And usher in a new generation of empathetic and diverse leaders.The place we can make a material change is in the 1st line manager. White men are 58% more likely to move into a 1st line manager role than a black woman. It’s nuts. And no matter how you slice it, leaders are taking a bet on the 1st line manager. As in, it’s their first time leading. So let’s get more BIPOC & womxn into these new mngr roles immediately with support to increase success rates.Within a decade those 1st time managers will be dept heads and c-suite w/in start ups