In this episode, Kristen Shepherd - Executive Director and CEO of the Museum of Fine Arts St. Pete, provides a glimpse of the behind the scenes project management excellence that has brought to you breathtaking exhibits and immersive experiences within the arts community.
This transparent discussion increases the appreciation for the beautiful atmosphere provided by the Museum of Fine Arts St. Pete.
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11:41:08 I get to talk to Kristen shepherd and you get to be a part of
11:41:12 that conversation. See Kristin.
11:41:20 Is one of my very best friends in the whole world,
11:41:23 but she's also the executive director and CEO of the museum of fine
11:41:26 arts located in St. Petersburg, Florida.
11:41:34 She has a lot going on right now.
11:41:35 So I am very privileged that she has been able to take the time to
11:41:39 speak with us today. It almost feels as if we're just having lunch,
11:41:42 which is wonderful. Absolutely fantastic.
11:41:47 I want to give Kristen the opportunity to talk about some of the
11:41:49 things that are taking place at the museum. Right now,
11:41:52 there's a lot of projects going on and because of the work that she
11:41:56 does behind the scenes,
11:41:58 We get to walk into a immersive experience as if
11:42:02 we're in a totally different world. We get to relax,
11:42:06 take a look at the artwork.
11:42:07 But there's a lot that has taken place that allows us to be in that
11:42:11 environment. Kristin, welcome to after hours.
11:42:14 Conversations with Veronica.
11:42:15 And I love.
11:42:16 Right now.
11:42:18 Thank you so much for having me. It's a pleasure to be here.
11:42:25 You know, I love how you just described that, that people,
11:42:27 when they come into a museum are sort of entering a different space,
11:42:30 a plus space where they can relax and be inspired and.
11:42:34 What's on view.
11:42:39 And you're quite right.
11:42:40 There is a lot that happens behind the scenes to make that really
11:42:44 seemingly serene and comfortable place possible.
11:42:48 Museum work is in many ways, a lot like theater.
11:42:51 There's the sense of sort of putting on a show when there's a
11:42:54 temporary exhibition.
11:42:55 But everything we do can really be framed.
11:42:57 In this matrix of project management.
11:43:01 Almost everything we do can be described as a project,
11:43:04 whether it's the publication of a catalog.
11:43:06 Whether it's the creation of a program for the public.
11:43:09 Or what.
11:43:22 W what probably comes to mind immediately for most people are
11:43:25 exhibitions that I'm using. And those exhibitions, for example,
11:43:28 can take years to come to fruition.
11:43:30 So when you walk through the door and there's an absolutely
11:43:33 beautiful engaging,
11:43:35 Intellectual creative, inspiring show on view.
11:43:39 It's the result of work by many, many people.
11:43:42 Primarily, of course, a scholarly curator.
11:43:44 Who's an expert in that area.
11:43:53 But also exhibition designers and preparers who
11:43:57 actually construct the space painters who are taking care of the
11:44:01 We've got editors who are looking at the didactics and all the texts
11:44:05 that's in, that's in the X that's in the exhibition.
11:44:07 To explain what's going on.
11:44:08 There are a lot of people across the entire organization who come
11:44:13 To create that experience. And it often is years in the making.
11:44:16 So thinking about an exhibition,
11:44:18 we're actually opening an exhibition to members only tomorrow.
11:44:21 Opens to the public, the following day.
11:44:22 This is an exhibition called Antioch reclaimed.
11:44:24 And it's about the museum of fine arts mosaics from ancient Antioch.
11:44:28 There were five of them.
11:44:29 That came into the museum.
11:44:31 They were actually the first objects received by the museum before we
11:44:34 opened in 1965.
11:44:43 And they came from a dig that happened in,
11:44:46 and Taqiyya modern and Taqiyya, which is in Turkey.
11:44:49 But at the time it was Syria in the 1930s,
11:44:52 Princeton university led this dig.
11:44:54 And there was a part Taj agreement among all the participants.
11:44:59 That allowed the legal export of some of the objects from that dig,
11:45:03 including lots of mosaics that then sort of scattered across
11:45:07 north America and in France and Europe.
11:45:09 And we are the very lucky recipients of five of these mosaics.
11:45:12 When I first arrived.
11:45:13 At the MFA in late 2016.
11:45:15 I was asked because I had grown up in this area.
11:45:18 Was there anything from the MFA that I remembered from my childhood,
11:45:21 from my high school years.
11:45:25 And I talked about this mosaic.
11:45:27 It was in the membership garden that I used to look at and I'm sort of
11:45:29 inspired by.
11:45:32 When I was a graduate student,
11:45:33 I had the opportunity to travel in Turkey and I actually went to,
11:45:36 and Taqiyya remembering.
11:45:38 This mosaic that I had seen at the museum of fine arts as a kid.
11:45:50 And so when, when I was asked,
11:45:53 what do you remember from the collection when you first arrived as the
11:45:56 And I talked about this mosaic and learned that the one mosaic I knew
11:45:59 about had four friends that came in at the same time.
11:46:03 That were in badly, they were in need of conservation.
11:46:06 So the very first project that I embarked upon as the new
11:46:10 executive director.
11:46:11 Was fundraising community involvement.
11:46:14 And the conservation of these mosaic pavements.
11:46:16 And building the team of people who could bring that project to
11:46:19 fruition, ultimately exhibit them.
11:46:22 And then later install them as part of our collection.
11:46:25 In the galleries.
11:46:26 So this is a project that began in early 2017.
11:46:31 Phase two of the project is the exhibition.
11:46:33 It will open on Saturday to the public.
11:46:36 In the year, 2021. And then later, next year.
11:46:41 We'll be installing them.
11:46:43 So this is a project that's about four years,
11:46:45 four and a half years in the making.
11:46:47 And it's, you know, it's been a privilege to be part of leading it.
11:46:50 I hired a senior curator.
11:46:57 For early Western art, Dr.
11:46:58 Michael Bennett in early 2018.
11:47:01 So about a year into the project.
11:47:03 And he has very ably and actively and creatively.
11:47:07 Put the exhibition together and the scholarship.
11:47:13 Bringing in more scholars from outside working with Princeton
11:47:17 bringing part of the archive here that has these fascinating.
11:47:20 Find cards from the archeological dig. It's this really evocative.
11:47:25 Environment of archeology and the first gallery that you very rarely
11:47:28 see in a show like this.
11:47:30 Leading into them.
11:47:31 Are conserved.
11:47:32 Mosaics that the community really helped us.
11:47:38 You know, clean up and be able to present.
11:47:40 We had an outdoor conservation lab.
11:47:43 In 2018 that allowed members of the public to see the conservation
11:47:46 happening at the time.
11:47:47 But I guess getting back to the idea of the project.
11:47:51 That's an awful lot of it's an awful lot of time.
11:47:53 There is an objective.
11:48:02 That had to be decided upon there's a vision and an objective that
11:48:05 comes from the leader, but then figuring out who are the stakeholders.
11:48:09 Who are the people? This is for what are our objectives?
11:48:14 Who are the, who are the team members,
11:48:17 who are the teammates who are going to make it possible for us to
11:48:19 bring that vision to fruition?
11:48:24 So that's one example. That's what, that's what an exhibition is.
11:48:27 We don't put together exhibitions like, Hey,
11:48:29 we think this is pretty cool. We're just going to put it on the wall.
11:48:31 It's, you know, there's, there's a lot to it.
11:48:35 And it's everything from figuring out what are all the steps?
11:48:38 Who are the people involved? How do you fund it?
11:48:41 Who's the leader who are the teammates? What's the production plan.
11:48:44 What's the schedule.
11:48:45 What's the timeline for it.
11:48:47 All the things you see in project management.
11:48:49 You definitely see in museum work and that's one example.
11:48:56 Of multiple projects that are happening.
11:48:59 We have an exhibition schedule that's set through 2023.
11:49:02 We tend to do between eight and 12 exhibitions a year.
11:49:09 Not to mention the public programs that support them.
11:49:12 So everything we do really can be thought of in this structure of
11:49:16 project management.
11:49:17 It's exciting. It's exciting.
11:49:19 I was listening to you.
11:49:20 Because I have that project management and brain.
11:49:23 All I'm thinking about is, okay. So that's the define phase.
11:49:29 This part is part of the planning phase. Okay.
11:49:32 So she probably has a stakeholder register.
11:49:36 She's figuring out what all of the skill sets are,
11:49:39 but what skill sets do I actually need for this particular project?
11:49:45 I wonder if Kristen thinks of herself as the executive sponsor and
11:49:48 the, and the.
11:49:49 Curator who she brought in.
11:49:53 As the project manager, getting all the different pieces together.
11:49:56 What are, if she's a part of the team assembly?
11:50:04 Or whether or not she just touches base to see how things are going.
11:50:07 Especially if you have multiple projects taking place.
11:50:10 At the same time, my brain was spinning.
11:50:17 While you were talking, because I said to myself,
11:50:21 I really don't believe that the rest of the world understands what
11:50:24 goes into all these pieces and the fact that it started in 2017.
11:50:28 That's very similar to that iceberg that we were talking about.
11:50:31 Prior to the camera holding because we only see the tip of
11:50:37 All of the other items that you just shared are, is the big.
11:50:42 Yeah, that's underneath.
11:50:43 That's right.
11:50:46 When we come in.
11:50:47 And we see all of the beauty.
11:50:51 Are there times when you said that we weren't quite ready for this.
11:50:55 Like, what, what type of challenges do you think you.
11:51:02 Experience along the way. And have you ever said,
11:51:06 you know what? I think we need to push this out.
11:51:09 And that's,
11:51:11 I think a really important part of leadership is understanding the
11:51:14 We're a nonprofit.
11:51:15 Funding is obviously always a challenge.
11:51:19 You do have to match funds with the ability to carry out.
11:51:22 You know, ambitious projects like this one.
11:51:28 But yeah, I mean, I think it's, it's,
11:51:30 it's critically important that we prioritize the work.
11:51:32 And there are times that we say, you know what,
11:51:34 now's not the right moment.
11:51:43 Certainly with COVID over the last year.
11:51:46 Plus we had a lot of projects that were slated to open during that
11:51:50 time that we ultimately were closed.
11:51:51 And so then it's a question of, well,
11:51:53 how do we move things around the chess board?
11:51:55 How do we move things out?
11:51:56 Is it possible to do that project?
11:51:58 Sometimes a project is quite time specific.
11:52:01 There might be.
11:52:16 For example, private collectors who are lending,
11:52:17 you works of art for a specific exhibition.
11:52:20 They're taking it off the walls of their home and lending it to a
11:52:23 museum for four months. If it's touring,
11:52:25 it might be three venues at three or four months each.
11:52:28 So they're going to go without this work from their own collection.
11:52:31 For a year or 18 months or something.
11:52:33 There was an exhibition last that was scheduled to open last summer,
11:52:37 we were closed.
11:52:38 The lenders, it was almost exclusively private lenders.
11:52:41 The entire show was private lenders.
11:52:43 And many of them, you know, quite famous.
11:52:45 Collectors of contemporary art.
11:52:47 It had already been at the first venue.
11:52:48 We were the second and final venue asking them if we could hold onto
11:52:52 their stuff.
11:52:53 For a little longer so that we could open it and share it with the
11:52:55 public in the fall.
11:52:57 Was ultimately approved, which was great.
11:52:59 But there are times when it's like the window has passed.
11:53:02 You know, and you have to pivot,
11:53:03 you have to be able to be flexible and pivot and agile.
11:53:05 But you asked an interesting question.
11:53:07 Early on about.
11:53:12 How I view my role in that project management piece with so many
11:53:15 different projects going on.
11:53:16 Am I, the project leader, am I the sponsor?
11:53:22 You know, sort of,
11:53:24 how am I checking in or am I actively project managing?
11:53:26 And the answer to that is.
11:53:28 Early in my directorship.
11:53:31 I was definitely more hands-on and it was almost.
11:53:35 I don't want to say it was lack of experience.
11:53:36 I'm a very experienced project manager.
11:53:39 But I was learning the landscape here. I was learning the team.
11:53:43 And learning what's possible and who the stakeholders are. And I felt.
11:53:47 As the CEO, it was very important for me to be very actively involved.
11:53:59 Getting to know the teams now that I, now that I've, you know,
11:54:03 built in, in many instances, I've hired in some incredible people,
11:54:06 very talented people.
11:54:08 Who were very capable.
11:54:09 I do find that the visioning approving the direction approving the
11:54:12 project is definitely my role.
11:54:15 But those curators, for example, for an exhibition,
11:54:18 that they are really the project lead.
11:54:22 And they're more actively managing the teams and the stakeholders and
11:54:25 all the pieces that go into it.
11:54:27 And I'm more sort of checking in and they're checking in with me at
11:54:30 various junctures.
11:54:31 If I am the curator.
11:54:36 Which happens very, very rarely.
11:54:37 I've only curated one show for the MFA since I arrived,
11:54:40 because it's very time consuming.
11:54:43 And I have to do all the other stuff.
11:54:44 Then, you know, in that case I was the project lead.
11:54:47 For that.
11:54:48 Show, but that was at the.
11:54:50 At the request of the artist.
11:54:56 Living contemporary artists who agreed to do the project,
11:54:59 if I would be the curator. So there wasn't really.
11:55:02 A lot of like,
11:55:03 But I'm very busy.
11:55:08 If it's someone, you know, so I was really honored.
11:55:11 I was privileged to do it, but it's not something I will do often.
11:55:13 Because they're just so many hours in the day. And as you know,
11:55:17 One of the.
11:55:18 I think one of the most important.
11:55:20 Parts of project management and especially effective leadership.
11:55:26 Is understanding what you can do well. And when you should delegate,
11:55:28 how do you prioritize?
11:55:30 Your own work, where can you be most effective and most valuable?
11:55:34 There are an awful lot of things I know how to do and that I can do.
11:55:48 But I shouldn't do,
11:55:49 I am more effective if I put my time and energy and emotional and
11:55:53 intellectual energy in this spot over here rather than over here.
11:55:56 So the fact that I know how to do certain things.
11:55:59 Doesn't mean I should necessarily be the one to take it on their
11:56:02 growth opportunities that need to happen for the rest of my team.
11:56:05 They need to practice those skills that I've already mastered.
11:56:08 And I think that prioritization.
11:56:10 Is a really important part of.
11:56:11 Of leadership and collaboration.
11:56:14 Absolutely because when we first start off and then it doesn't even
11:56:17 have to be in the very beginning.
11:56:19 Just over time. There's their reasons why.
11:56:22 We've achieved.
11:56:23 A particular status in our fields.
11:56:26 There's a reason why.
11:56:31 And we probably take a lot of pride in the work
11:56:34 that we do.
11:56:35 It's our happy place.
11:56:39 And at some point we actually have to get more of a
11:56:47 From seeing other people rise up and do great things.
11:56:50 I could run projects. I could run projects.
11:56:53 I've never had a project fail projects on my jam.
11:56:55 I love everything about it.
11:57:04 But I also know that there are other people who also need to be
11:57:09 We usually have at least one person in our lives that taught
11:57:13 us something or showed.
11:57:15 That we had promise.
11:57:16 And we were able to move forward because of that,
11:57:19 when we start off where the energy receivers.
11:57:22 Over time.
11:57:23 We become energy givers. We, we are excited.
11:57:27 About seeing the progress in other people.
11:57:32 And so I would say that tied to what you do.
11:57:35 You've actually become more of a project management office.
11:57:39 Within yourself.
11:57:45 Within yourself,
11:57:46 because you have all of these other items that are taking place.
11:57:49 Quiet part loud. 90% of what we do is communicating.
11:57:53 10% Is doing the actual work.
11:57:54 So with 90% of our time is communicating 10% is
11:57:58 doing the actual work.
11:58:06 That means that we have to pour into other people to make sure
11:58:10 that not only are they the right people to do it,
11:58:12 but do they have the passion on the inside to make it happen?
11:58:15 We could motivate people.
11:58:17 Or we could inspire people.
11:58:18 They don't mean the same thing. So when you have a day.
11:58:22 That you're like, oh my goodness.
11:58:23 I know that there's a lot of things I have to do.
11:58:31 I'm just not feeling this. I love my job.
11:58:33 I love everything about what I do,
11:58:35 but I have to figure out how to get myself going.
11:58:37 How do I get myself going?
11:58:38 You probably won't be shocked that there's Kristen,
11:58:40 but I have a morning playlist.
11:58:42 Sure do.
11:58:43 I have music that I play.
11:58:45 To get myself going in the morning.
11:58:47 And then I set my intention for the day.
11:58:49 Because I know that now I'm an energy giver.
11:58:58 I'm not an energy receiver.
11:59:00 So leading the museum of fine arts,
11:59:03 everyone's looking to you for the energy that you put out.
11:59:06 how do you inspire slash motivate those that come into your
11:59:12 It's a really thoughtful question.
11:59:14 I I'm not sure. I know the answer.
11:59:19 There's sort of a, a magical mix there there's an X factor there.
11:59:22 And I think it depends on who the person is.
11:59:25 I think.
11:59:26 Authenticity is very important.
11:59:29 And I think for people to understand and believe and accept.
11:59:33 That I am.
11:59:36 Ultimately very well-intentioned for the museum and for them
11:59:41 Helps me too.
11:59:43 Inspire the kind of.
11:59:48 High achievement that would otherwise seem very challenging,
11:59:52 you know, in a.
11:59:58 We don't have unlimited funds.
12:00:00 We don't have an unlimited number of people on staff.
12:00:02 There's an awful lot of magic that happens here because people care to
12:00:05 make it happen.
12:00:06 And I think my.
12:00:08 My passion and enthusiasm and authenticity in my leadership
12:00:13 Is part of what makes that possible.
12:00:15 We have.
12:00:19 I guess it's, I guess it's not too corny to share this, but one of my.
12:00:23 One of my management.
12:00:28 Key tools I think is whenever I start to lead a team.
12:00:31 One of the very first things that I do.
12:00:35 And I've done it with the last three organizations that I've led.
12:00:38 Is I lead the teams through.
12:00:48 A series of discussions,
12:00:50 almost like workshops in which we write for ourselves as a commitment
12:00:53 to ourselves and to each other, what our team values will be.
12:00:57 What kind of people do we want to be at work?
12:00:59 How is,
12:01:00 how are our values going to inform the way we work together?
12:01:04 And how we interact with each other with the public.
12:01:07 And going through this process has been really valuable because.
12:01:12 We are making a commitment to the kinds of humans we want to be as we
12:01:16 work together.
12:01:19 And celebrating the moments when those team values are really
12:01:23 Is a moment that people recognize.
12:01:31 That collaboration is important. Communication is important,
12:01:35 being supportive and trusting of each other is important or able to do
12:01:39 Incredible magical things.
12:01:43 Because we're actually living by the team values that we all agreed
12:01:46 would be our values. So every team I've led.
12:01:50 I always say there are two values that are.
12:01:52 That are my values and they are.
12:01:58 We're not going to debate them.
12:01:59 Like there are very few times as a leader that I say,
12:02:01 because I'm the queen. And I said, so.
12:02:09 But this is one of them.
12:02:10 It's just like one of the only times where I say this,
12:02:12 this is not something we're going to negotiate.
12:02:14 So two of the values already exist.
12:02:15 Let's write the rest of them together, but the two that exists first.
12:02:18 Our generosity of spirit.
12:02:19 And that means.
12:02:21 You know what it says, it's being generous.
12:02:23 With yourself to being generous with others.
12:02:26 Assume the best.
12:02:27 Assume the best motivations and the other people,
12:02:29 the people that you've worked with.
12:02:32 But also, if there's a way to extend yourself,
12:02:34 if there's a way to be helpful to someone else, you should do it.
12:02:36 And also.
12:02:40 That, you know,
12:02:41 it follows that there's just kindness and generosity involved in that.
12:02:44 So if someone screws up.
12:02:49 Your action is not to castigate them,
12:02:52 but rather to help them like to help them over that hump and be
12:02:54 generous of spirit. So generosity of spirit is one.
12:02:56 The other one is being gamed.
12:02:58 And that's super important. I've just, I've decided being gamed.
12:03:02 Is equally as important as being generous because being gay means.
12:03:07 You're going to try, like get in there, like bring your back self.
12:03:10 Let's be enthusiastic. Let's be positive people.
12:03:13 Let's problem solve for it. You may not know how to do it.
12:03:20 But the answer, if your game is, I don't know how, but let me,
12:03:22 let me try, let me take a, let me take a crack at it. Right?
12:03:25 Like being positive and being game is super important.
12:03:27 The worst thing you could be on my team is the person who says,
12:03:29 I don't know, it's not my job.
12:03:30 I had to do that.
12:03:32 Like right. Or like, it is what it is. It is what it is,
12:03:36 is like my it's my least favorite thing to hear.
12:03:38 Other than a close second is we've always done it that way.
12:03:42 Oh, I hate that. So generosity of spirit.
12:03:44 Being game.
12:03:45 And then the three.
12:03:46 Additional team bias of the team.
12:04:00 Distilled from a long list of adjectives are
12:04:03 being supportive, supportive of each other,
12:04:05 which also encompasses trust in their expertise,
12:04:08 willingness to compromise that kind of thing.
12:04:11 Creativity as a value,
12:04:13 very important in this field where we have to sometimes think on the
12:04:15 fly and.
12:04:17 You know, be flexible, be agile, be creative in our problem. Solving,
12:04:21 being resourceful lives in there.
12:04:22 And the last one is being committed to excellence, like being awesome.
12:04:24 Being committed to being awesome.
12:04:28 Best practices, but also like, let's do the best,
12:04:31 best thing we can do.
12:04:34 Those are the values that we live by.
12:04:35 So when you're putting together a team to run a project,
12:04:39 Or to, to bring a project to fruition.
12:04:42 Thinking who the team leads should be.
12:04:47 Is a person who is going to not just exemplify those team values,
12:04:50 but bring out the best.
12:04:51 In all of those teammates.
12:04:59 By way of, of accepting those values.
12:05:02 So the fact that we're all kind of living under that same value system
12:05:06 that we wrote ourselves.
12:05:07 I think has helped to coalesce this team.
12:05:10 Faster than would have happened otherwise.
12:05:13 I literally did these,
12:05:15 these workshops in the first two months of arriving at the museum.
12:05:19 And it has been a really effective way for us to celebrate the ways
12:05:23 that we work together.
12:05:24 And I think, you know,
12:05:25 Leading a project from that spirit of generosity.
12:05:30 Also helps people who are more junior or earlier,
12:05:33 along in their professional journey.
12:05:35 They're not afraid to mess up.
12:05:36 It's okay to fail and it's okay to mess up.
12:05:40 The question is,
12:05:41 do you have teammates who are then going to pick up the slack,
12:05:43 pick up the ball if you've dropped it?
12:05:45 Help you learn because if you're not screwing up now and then.
12:05:50 You're probably not trying very hard. That's the first thing, right?
12:05:53 Like if we're going to try new things,
12:05:54 We're not going to bat a thousand every time.
12:06:07 They're going to be some hits and some misses,
12:06:09 and that has to be okay.
12:06:10 And it has to be a safe place for that to be possible.
12:06:13 Otherwise there's no growth possible. So the team values, I think,
12:06:18 Make people work together more effectively and collaboratively,
12:06:21 but I think they also feel safer.
12:06:23 To do their best work,
12:06:24 knowing that they don't have to hold back and be real conservative and
12:06:28 Being expansive and open is actually a much more effective way to
12:06:32 bring out the very best result in a team.
12:06:34 When you're excellent. You're focusing in on the journey.
12:06:38 And if you're focusing in on the journey,
12:06:40 then you're paying attention to all of the things that you're seeing
12:06:42 along the way.
12:06:44 Which in turn means that you're adding to your toolbox.
12:06:49 And if you're adding to your toolbox, then when something pops up,
12:06:52 kind of like Dora the Explorer and that fantastic backpack.
12:06:55 You're able to see all of the other things that, you know,
12:06:57 what I think this is a great time for us to head into that backpack.
12:07:00 And find out all the other things that we could potentially do.
12:07:11 But that also tells me that you're leaning very hard into the
12:07:15 emotional quotient and emotional intelligence side of things.
12:07:19 Back in the day, we used to call that soft skills.
12:07:22 I have to take any soft skills classes.
12:07:24 I just need to focus in on my technical prowess and move forward with
12:07:28 that. But at some point in time,
12:07:30 we realized that is people who are doing it.
12:07:32 And people come from their feelings and their feelings from in the
12:07:35 thoughts and their thoughts turn into actions.
12:07:36 And that's how everyone is moving forward.
12:07:40 At one point.
12:07:41 People thought of this has a very female thing to do.
12:07:44 Like are.
12:07:45 Are you paying attention to your emotions?
12:07:47 We're not dealing with emotions right now.
12:07:48 We need to get this thing done.
12:07:49 Absolutely. We need to get it done,
12:07:51 but there's people getting it done.
12:07:53 And we have to lean into that. Now. I know we're not.
12:07:55 Bots, right. We're not robots.
12:07:59 And I will say that there are moments in my leadership.
12:08:02 When I say feelings don't matter.
12:08:03 So I do say that.
12:08:05 Where I say, this is not about feelings.
12:08:10 There's no room for feelings in this situation.
12:08:13 So we have a very clear purpose.
12:08:14 We have a clear purpose.
12:08:19 Bringing feelings or.
12:08:22 You know, hurt feelings or anger or whatever.
12:08:25 Doesn't matter. You have to put that aside and be a professional.
12:08:36 And, you know, follow the follow the path that we've,
12:08:39 that we've constructed.
12:08:40 So there are moments when part of your EEQ is actually saying no
12:08:44 feelings right now.
12:08:47 Use your brain.
12:08:48 Like that's okay. It's okay to say.
12:08:50 This is a rational problem.
12:08:52 Right now emotions have no place in this,
12:08:55 in the resolution of this situation.
12:08:59 Let's not ignore those feelings.
12:09:01 That needs to be something that we talk about later,
12:09:03 but in the solution right now for this particular kind of issue.
12:09:07 Being rational and putting those feelings to the side is the
12:09:09 emotionally intelligent thing to do.
12:09:12 Absolutely. I have been called an M and M.
12:09:14 But I have a hard candy shell.
12:09:16 But I have chocolatey goodness on the inside.
12:09:21 And having that hard shell doesn't mean that I don't feel anything.
12:09:25 I feel things.
12:09:27 But I have to make sure what is our directive?
12:09:29 What are the things that we need to do?
12:09:38 Who, who am I working with? Right. Because one size doesn't fit all.
12:09:41 A lot of people talk about that golden rule,
12:09:44 treat other people the way that you want to be treated. You know,
12:09:46 it sounds good on paper.
12:09:48 But says I'm not all that mushy.
12:09:53 If I treat people the way that I can be treated than other people are
12:09:56 going to have their feelings hurt.
12:09:57 I need to make sure that I work with in their paradigm.
12:10:00 I need to work within the parameters that.
12:10:02 They've put.
12:10:03 In to place.
12:10:05 Right. And sometimes that, that means that I can be full on me.
12:10:08 But other times I have to work within their limits.
12:10:13 They changing that communication style.
12:10:17 Is actually one of the skills you learn as you're coming up in your
12:10:23 And this is an area where I have failed in the past. I mean,
12:10:27 there early in my career.
12:10:31 I did not change my communication style for my audience.
12:10:34 I tend to be very direct. I'm very business-minded.
12:10:38 I am collaborative. I am generous.
12:10:40 I try to be all those things as well,
12:10:41 but I am direct and not everybody's ready for that.
12:10:43 When you come in and you say the answer is 12 and they say,
12:10:47 What, how was your weekend?
12:10:47 You know, what's going on in your life. And I'm like, what?
12:10:50 Like you wanted to know the answer.
12:10:51 The answer's 12, like, come on.
12:10:52 That's you know,
12:10:58 A simplistic example,
12:10:59 but I have had a boss whose communication style.
12:11:02 Was very different from my own.
12:11:09 And I did not adjust. And as a result,
12:11:12 I did not succeed in that relationship until I realized I had to
12:11:16 The way I presented material to her, the way I met with her.
12:11:19 We were very, very different personalities.
12:11:23 And I think, you know, as you said earlier,
12:11:25 90% of what we do professionally is about communication.
12:11:29 Until you are.
12:11:31 And until you're sort of tuned in and empathetic to the other person's
12:11:35 communication style.
12:11:37 Where they're coming from.
12:11:39 You can't be as effective working with them.
12:11:41 Without that, that sense of empathy.
12:11:44 You have brought me so much joy today.
12:11:50 So much joy because having this conversation went
12:12:00 One of my besties. True. But also the,
12:12:03 the fact that our conversation also leads me to
12:12:08 That we need a part two.
12:12:09 Like that part too.
12:12:17 Because there are so many things that I still want to cover.
12:12:20 So many conversations about being successful.
12:12:24 Like I had stated, we have known each other for a really long time.
12:12:27 We can say what the number of years is because it's a lot.
12:12:29 Did you do the math?
12:12:30 Did he do it?
12:12:31 I didn't, I'm afraid.
12:12:33 Okay. I didn't do it, but we'll just say sophomore in high school.
12:12:35 Well, let's do that.
12:12:36 And it doesn't matter.
12:12:38 And that was just like a couple of years ago. Just a couple, this.
12:12:41 We look and act just.
12:12:42 Should I lean in.
12:12:43 Do you see my gray?
12:12:54 So I just know that there are so many things that
12:12:58 could be of use to other people who are coming up.
12:13:01 It was as if we were raised together.
12:13:04 And based on that.
12:13:06 I know that when I started off I'm I would be really shocked
12:13:10 to think.
12:13:11 That the communication style that I had then.
12:13:14 Has an alternate least a little bit.
12:13:16 Oh, for sure.
12:13:17 That, that the things that I need to do now in order to be successful.
12:13:21 Hasn't pivoted at least a little bit that yeah.
12:13:27 That the fact that for whatever reason,
12:13:29 we have actually gone into the project management space.
12:13:33 Without knowing that each of us was going into the project management
12:13:36 space and you're thriving.
12:13:44 This is I, I absolutely adore going to the museum.
12:13:48 I can't wait to bring my son because now I don't think that he's
12:13:51 afraid to be outside. So. Yay. Yay.
12:13:53 We will head on over there.
12:13:58 See all of the greatness,
12:14:00 but there are other questions that I do have,
12:14:02 and I would love to turn this into a, a part too,
12:14:06 because we are.
12:14:07 We are moving into another space.
12:14:10 We're moving into another year and I say moving into,
12:14:13 because it's an F.
12:14:15 In March.
12:14:16 It was as if from March to March.
12:14:19 It's as if we were either on pause.
12:14:21 Or we were in a self.
12:14:22 Analytic role.
12:14:29 And figuring out how it is that we're going to move forward.
12:14:33 And that by itself is project management.
12:14:39 How are we going to get to that next place?
12:14:41 What are the objectives that we have,
12:14:44 who are the people who are going to bring along with us on our teams?
12:14:46 Also, what have we learned?
12:14:48 In the last year.
12:14:49 Right. What are we.
12:14:50 What are we taking from that year?
12:14:52 That was so strange in so many ways.
12:14:54 What did we learn from that? And what are we leaving behind?
12:14:56 As a result of that experience.
12:15:07 You know, there's every,
12:15:09 every challenge is an opportunity to learn something and make things
12:15:12 There's an awful lot of good stuff that came out of this COVID crisis.
12:15:16 There's obviously.
12:15:17 You know,
12:15:18 tragedy and disruption and terribly sad and awful things that came
12:15:22 from it as well.
12:15:23 But I think from, from a tragedy and a crisis like this.
12:15:26 There's a lot we've learned and there's a lot we can carry forward.
12:15:30 And if we refuse to learn from it,
12:15:32 We're missing an opportunity for betterment and,
12:15:34 and to make something positive of that time. So,
12:15:37 I'm certainly still on my journey. I am young in my leadership.
12:15:47 I am farther along the path compared to some,
12:15:50 and I'm not as far along the path compared to others.
12:15:52 And I think that journey and leadership.
12:15:56 Is very evident in project management because it's a lot about
12:16:00 leadership and communication and consensus building.
12:16:04 And bringing great results at the end.
12:16:07 So I think I'd be happy to do a part two.
12:16:10 I feel like there's a lot I can learn from you as well.
12:16:12 And I didn't get a chance to ask you any questions.
12:16:14 So I'd be happy to do a part two. That'd be fun.
12:16:22 Excellent. I'm excited. I'm excited about that. Well,
12:16:25 I would love for you to have the opportunity to share with our
12:16:29 What's currently going on or where should they look for more?
12:16:33 Information about the.
12:16:34 Affairs of the museum,
12:16:36 so that they'll be able to head out there and partake.
12:16:39 Absolutely. So our website is M F a St. pete.org.
12:16:45 We have recently renovated our collection galleries, which are split.
12:16:54 And there's some incredible loans from the art bridges
12:16:58 foundation in our collection galleries right now.
12:17:00 Including works by modern artists.
12:17:03 It's mostly 20th century artists.
12:17:07 And it's, it's very, very exciting.
12:17:08 We are really committed to presenting traditionally underrepresented
12:17:17 And these are some of the masterpieces of the 20th century from women,
12:17:21 artists, black artists, self-taught artists,
12:17:23 where we're very excited about those.
12:17:25 We have a show. As I mentioned earlier,
12:17:27 that opens on Saturday to the public.
12:17:33 It's called Antioch reclaimed.
12:17:35 And it's about the story of these incredible ancient mosaics from
12:17:38 ancient Antioch that are part of the MFA's collection and that
12:17:41 adventure story.
12:17:42 Of the archeological excavation in the 1930s.
12:17:45 So that is opening on Saturday.
12:17:56 And later in the month of may, we will have a show called Skyway,
12:18:00 which is a contemporary collaboration across four museums in our area,
12:18:04 the Ringling, the Tampa museum, and USF contemporary,
12:18:08 along with the MFA St. Petersburg.
12:18:09 That is a collaboratively,
12:18:11 curated exhibition of local artists.
12:18:14 From from our region. So it's showing.
12:18:18 Incredible contemporary art.
12:18:20 From artists in our area and that's a project. Let me tell you.
12:18:24 And you're going to curate a show collaboratively across four
12:18:27 museums. That's a, that's an interesting case study.
12:18:30 And this stead and I can't wait to see it. I can't wait to see it.
12:18:34 Well, I am.
12:18:35 Absolutely blessed.
12:18:38 To be able to spend this time with you.
12:18:40 I thank you very much. And I applaud.
12:18:44 All of the work that you've done up until this point.
12:18:46 I know that there's only fantastic things in the future.
12:18:49 True. True.
12:18:52 Well, thank you everyone. Thank you for our listeners.
12:18:55 Thank you for coming to after hours conversations with Veronica.
12:18:58 And have a great day. We will see you next time.