Overcoming Ineffective Leadership and “Bad Bosses” with Architect Shawna Mabie

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Shawna Mabie

Shawna Podcast Overcoming Ineffective Leadership and “Bad Bosses” with Architect Shawna Mabie Podcast

Shawna started Architecture School right out of high school, but she decided not to continue with a little more than a year to go. When she moved across the country to North Carolina, where she now calls home, she decided to go back to school and finish an Arts Degree. After briefly exploring the idea of teaching, Shawna eventually circled back to Architecture and went on to get her Masters at NC State.

After graduation ,Shawna found herself moving firms due to a merger and a “bad boss”. As a Lab Planner in her new firm, she had the opportunity to travel to Qatar and experience a different culture. After completing her licensing exams she felt like she wanted to experience other areas of Architecture and found herself moving firms several times in an effort to find her perfect fit. 

Shawna made a bold decision and moved out of state, which caused her marriage to become long-distance. Here she pursued not only teaching but department management and community based projects. Faced with more ineffective leadership Shawna knew it was time to move on.

She now finds herself happy in her current firm and is very excited to work on more community based projects. Shawna is active in AIA, and continually mentors Emerging Professionals in her office. She talks about how her experience with ineffective leadership inspired her to be a speaker at the recent Young Architect Conference – Winter Series 2022.

What you’ll hear in this episode:

  • How Shawna circled back to Architecture 
  • How she was faced with “bad bosses” and made the best of it
  • How Shawna felt after becoming Licensed.
  • What it’s like working on an architecture project in a different country
  • How Shawna got into teaching
  • What Shawa is working on now and what she’s excited for
  • What it was like for her to speak at The Young Architect Winter Series
  • How Shawna became a Project Manager and how she uses her history with “bad bosses” to not be one

Top Three Takeaways from This Episode:

  1. Prioritizing happiness in your career
  2. How to not be a “bad boss”
  3. How teaching can make an impact on your community

Shawna’s Advice for Aspiring Architects:

“Sit back and enjoy the ride. Be a sponge, learn everything but know it will take time to get there. Architecture is a marathon not a sprint.”  

“It’s more important to know your strengths rather than constantly try to improve your weaknesses. I really recommend a strengthsfinder 2.0 online assessment to identify your strengths.” What Shawna knows today that she didn’t know then

“It’s called So Good They Can't Ignore you: Why Skills Trump Passion in the Quest for Work You Love by Cal Newport. -The book that changed everything for Shawna 

“I love negotiating with the client and the client interaction.” -Shawna’s favorite part of the project

“Audible gets me through workouts, chores and the long commute to and from the office, I also enjoy project management tools like Trello and AirTable.”- Shawna’s favorite resource, product, or gadget

“Get enough sleep! You can’t really focus on what needs to get done unless you’ve had enough sleep to properly focus. Also a place to dump all your to-do’s so they’re not in your brain taking up space.” -Shawna on her best time-saving trick

The best way to connect with Shawna

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Michael Riscica

Michael Riscica is a Licensed Architect, Founder and Head Coach of the ARE Boot Camp Coaching Program & Online Study Group.

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