Enjoying Work When You Break The Routine With Marva Bailer

After years of working, meetings can start to follow one similar pattern over and over again. People lose interest and stop caring not just about the meeting but the people they’re working with as well. Online meetings and calls have added to the distance and can be a barrier to truly getting to know other people. The time to break the cycle is now. Do something unexpected, and you’ll find that your workplace will be both more productive and more enjoyable!

Joining us in this episode of Seek Go Create is the author and tech executive, Marva Bailer. She breaks the cycle and brings an unexpected fun start to this podcast’s episode. Marva shares her journey as a woman in technology, an innovative and energetic leader, and a breast cancer survivor. She talks about her experience writing her book and the lessons you can find within the pages of Be Unexpected.

Want to break the cycle of routine meetings and draining work environments?

Learn something unexpected when you listen to this episode!

3 Reasons to Listen:

  1. Listen and learn from Marva’s experience growing up and finding her career in tech.
  2. Find out why it’s not just about what you say but about how you say it.
  3. Discover how you can break the routine and do something unexpected to your work!


About Marva

Marva Bailer is an author, tech executive, and innovator who breaks down barriers and builds great connections. She has been leading top-tier teams as a professional in the field of technology and sales in the past 20 years. Marva is always empowering others and helping them grow with her energy and personal and career experiences.

Marva wrote Be Unexpected amidst the pandemic. In her debut book, she shares a collection of her experiences, learned strategies, and techniques for communication and connection. With it, leaders and professionals worldwide can foster a positive work environment and deeper relationships.

Find out more about Marva on her website. You can connect with her on LinkedIn, Facebook, or Instagram.

Episode Highlights

[00:31] Who is Marva?

  • In an exciting new introduction, you’ll find that Marva used to be in a band.
  • Now, she works as a technical executive playing a huge role in the supply chain.
  • Marva enjoys introducing herself in a way that shows a connection with others.
  • She is an author and is passionate about breast cancer as a breast cancer survivor.
  • Marva lives in Georgia and South Carolina.

[03:43] Doing Something Unexpected

  • Be Unexpected by Marva Bailer is a book for anyone who wants to communicate and connect with others.
  • Online calls for work and communication can feel like an unintentional invitation into your home. It gives a glimpse of people’s lives and makes them more real and vulnerable.
  • Do something unexpected and out of routine. This can help get things done and provide a way for you to get to know people.
[11:45] “You have to do something that's not routine because everyone is expecting certain people to say certain things at certain times in meetings.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[13:36] Growing Up with Marva

  • Marva is different from the usual people in technology and engineering. She’s known as an innovative, “out there” person who asks the hard questions in tech.
  • She has always been in a professional career in technology and software. Her first step into her work was a job selling typewriter maintenance.
  • Marva worked at Amazon, where she found an imbalance of people in the workforce.
  • Technology is a male-dominated field. Marva got hired with the help of her smart and friendly sorority girl personality. 
  • She found that the best tech salespeople are women athletes.

[17:16] Redefining Success and Work

  • In Marva’s first big tech job, she was able to rise to a managerial position. However, they got bought by IBM and employees started leaving the company.
  • Marva met a woman she saw in a magazine. During their conversation, they talked about faith and working with the community.
  • She was given a chance to work on the nonprofit board and work closely with the community rather than focus on money.
  • From then on, Marva looked at the values, community, and employees of a company.
  • She found that these are more important areas to look at rather than money and prestige.

[19:57] Uplifting and Empowering Others

  • Everyone has the power to give other people power. By doing this, you can also amplify your power.
  • In a talk she gave for women, Marva addressed how people’s ideas were often not listened to.
  • She identified two factors in this. First is that having preambles can get in the way of getting your idea across and having others listen. 
  • Second, it’s not just about what you say. Your body language can impact your communication. 
  • Fortunately, these issues are getting better by spreading awareness and teaching both women and men what they can do.

[22:41] Learning Business Skills

[31:12] “The power that we all hold is to give other people power. And when you give other people power, then you're actually amplifying your power.” - Click Here To Tweet This
  • Marva’s experience in Avon taught her different business skills including accounting and finance.
  • Back then, entrepreneurship relied primarily on physical rather than online means.
  • Many companies offer sales training for their employees. There, they can teach basic skills and show how people can connect with customers.
[35:03] “My advice is you really need to learn the science. And a lot of it is physical science. It's not just what you say- it's how you say it and your physical presence.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[41:49] Bringing Down Communication Barriers

  • Smiling can bring warmth and overcome barriers in communication. You can smile not only with your teeth but with your eyes and even touch as well.
  • Value every person you meet and connect with. Regardless of their title, show them the same courtesy.
  • Know and call people by their names. Using names can deepen your connection and show that you see them as a person. 
  • Practice asking for other people’s names and sharing yours.

[46:11] Marva’s Experiences Writing Be Unexpected

  • In the pandemic, everything stopped. People were trying to figure out what to do and Marva was left not having to do anything.
  • She took this opportunity to check off her adventurer’s list and write a book. All she had to do was learn how.
  • Through watching videos and getting connected with an author she knew, Marva was able to write Be Unexpected.
  • Growing up in a library, she knew this was a legacy she wanted to leave behind.
  • For anyone who wants to learn more about how to write a book, you can connect with Marga on her website, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Instagram.

[50:50] About Be Unexpected

  • Marva came up with the title with her daughter and her daughter’s friends. Her audience was the next generation of leaders who have yet to discover more about leadership.
  • At work and meetings, people often waste time and energy introducing themselves. Coworkers become complacent and simply getting to know people becomes routine.
  • The book is meant for anyone who wants to break out of this cycle. It encourages more fun, energetic, and unexpected times at work.
  • Get to know people better rather than simply talking about yourself.
  • With this, you can build a long relationship with trust and connection.
[54:01] “[People] forget. They get comfortable. They get complacent. And they move on. So it just becomes routine and being polite.” - Click Here To Tweet This

[58:15] Be Unexpected for Different People

  • As leaders, it's your responsibility to find and connect with the people who have the quietest voices.
  • Introverts can also lead. They just need time to decompress on their own.
  • The more we learn about different perspectives and people’s motivations, the more we can improve as well.

[01:00:15] Marva’s Journey with Breast Cancer

  • Marva’s parents and stepfather all passed away at 61 years old from cancer. Close to her 50th birthday, she received bad results from her mammogram.
  • Marva got diagnosed with breast cancer which she didn’t tell anyone at work about. From her previous experience, she thought that it would impact her place at work.
  • During her treatment with radiation, she finally told her team. Amazingly, she developed a somewhat clairvoyant sense that helped her team improve.
  • She had to undergo physical therapy after surgery to lift her arms. Additionally, her medication triggered her menopause despite her being only 52 years old.
  • October is breast cancer awareness month. Marva shares that everyone’s journey is different. Be careful what you say as others might be going through a difficult time.

[01:08:03] The Time to Go

  • Choosing between seek, go or create, Marva picks go.
  • The time to live and take action is now, so go for it.
[01:08:21] “I would say go. The time is now. We need to live immediately. The time is now so I'd say go let's go for it.” - Click Here To Tweet This

Enjoy the Podcast?

Seek Go Create is for anyone seeking excellence, moving towards success, or creating something new. We share topics, stories, and conversations that allow us to rethink how we live, work, and lead. The journey goes on, but through kindness, grace, and a creative soul, it will be worth the walk!

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To growing and becoming all we are created to be,


About the Podcast

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Seek Go Create
Redefining Success in Leadership, Business & Ministry

About your host

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Tim Winders

Tim Winders is a faith-driven executive coach and author with over 40 years of experience in leadership, business, and ministry. Through his personal journey of redefining success, he has gained valuable insights on how to align beliefs with work and lead with purpose. He is committed to helping others do the same, running a coaching business that helps leaders, leadership teams, business owners, and entrepreneurs to align their beliefs with their work and redefine success.

In addition to his coaching business, Tim is also the host of the SeekGoCreate podcast and author of the book Coach: A Story of Success Redefined, which provides guidance for those looking to redefine success and align their beliefs with their work. With his extensive background, unique perspective and strengths in strategic thinking, relationship building, and problem-solving, Tim is well-suited to help clients navigate through difficult times and achieve their goals.