Unapologetically BOLD: I'm not sorry for....
Wearing Skinny Jeans and Sporting a Side Part with Danette Scudder
March 15, 2021
Have you heard the latest news of TicTok? Skinny Jeans and Side Parts are out. So what are we to do? How are we to move forward as a society? All jokes aside, it is important to understand what to do with the latest trends and Danette Scudder is here to talk about why she is not sorry for going against society norms on this one.
Have you heard the latest news of TicTok? 

Skinny Jeans and Side Parts are out. So what are we to do? How are we to move forward as a society? All jokes aside, it is important to understand what to do with the latest trends and Danette Scudder is here to talk about why she is not sorry for going against society norms on this one. 

About the guest: Danette Scudder is executive vice president of member services and strategic relations for the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association (TVPPA), which serves 153 consumer-owned electric utilities that purchase wholesale electric power from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and distribute it in Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Kentucky, Georgia, Virginia and North Carolina. As executive vice president, Scudder ensures TVPPA delivers exceptional member value by advocating for members’ interests with the public, political arena, and TVA and by providing competitive industry-specific business services. Scudder has served in her current role since 2017, and has oversight of TVPPA’s strategic partnerships, government
relations, communications, conferences, and nationally-recognized education and training programs.

In addition, Scudder serves as vice president of Distributors Insurance Company (DIC), a wholly owned subsidiary of TVPPA. DIC provides utility-specific loss control, insurance, and employee safety products to utilities in the Tennessee Valley and nationwide.
Scudder’s began her career with TVPPA in 2001, working for more than 9 years in the association’s education and training department before gaining increasing levels of responsibility as manager of member services and then vice president. Prior to joining TVPPA, Danette worked in industry, staffing and university administration. A leader in the industry, Scudder is a past president of the Women’s International Network of Utility Professionals (WiNUP).  She served on the American Public Power Association (APPA) Reliable Public Power Provider (RP3) Review Panel and later as the first chair of APPA’s Mutual Aid Working Group. 

Today, she is a member of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Regional Resource Stewardship Council. Scudder also serves on the board of the Tennessee Center for Performance Excellence. Scudder’s national awards and recognitions include APPA’s 2012 Robert E. Roundtree Rising Star Award and WiNUP’s 2011 POWER Award.

Scudder received a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from the University of Evansville (Indiana), where she served as the president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. She was the 2009 recipient of the university’s Young Alumna Award. Scudder also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Texas Tech University.

[00:00:00] spk_0: visited. This show is brought to you

[00:00:02] spk_1: by Safety FM. Welcome to unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for If you're a person that is tired of apologizing for being you, you know the human part of you that sometimes feels like it has to be different at home versus work versus play. The human side that just wants to be hot, humble, open and transparent about your wants, desires and uniqueness. If you answered yes, this is for you. Join me, Emily Elrod as I dive into conversations with amazing guests about what you're not sorry for, And creative and loving ways Let's get started. Hello, everybody. Welcome back to another unapologetically bold I'm not sorry for. And I am so excited to have one of my new friends with me and that you are such an amazing lady that I love, too. Like every time I like before the show. I'm like, we're gonna have more coffee nerd out sessions because we could just talk and chat about just cool things about how humans work so and the things that impact them. So I am so proud of you for coming on the show today.

[00:01:18] spk_0: Well, I am really excited to be here. As I mentioned earlier, I have listened to plenty of podcasts, but I have never actually been on one. So when I turned 40 I made a list of 40 new things that I wanted to do that I've never done before, and that was many years ago. But I may go back and add to that list to be on a podcast just so I can check it off, because that's one of the ways I nerd out as I make lists. And then if I do something that's not on the list, I go back and put it on the list so that I can check it off. So I

[00:01:49] spk_1: love it. That's so cool. Yeah, that was That would be fun to see what to keep adding to the list. I am, Yeah, I'm a list person, too, and I will go in and it's like, Oh, I did this. I did this. I need to tell myself, Good job. You know the satisfaction with just that and checking

[00:02:09] spk_0: it is, Yeah, and I'm sure we'll talk about this later. But, um, my my behavioral profile in terms of being organized and task oriented. One of my previous co workers used to joke because we were in a meeting and, you know, they were off wandering mentally. They were squirreling as we say, Um and I said, Can we just get some check marks in this meeting? And so any time that the former coworker he'd be like, Well, you know, when it's going to keep us on task because you know she needs that kind of structure and list making and some check marks. So you know, it's whatever is fulfilling to you and knowing yourself and knowing that she needs and check marks.

[00:02:50] spk_1: Amen.

[00:02:51] spk_0: And I love that because

[00:02:53] spk_1: that is so true. My poor kids task at hand, task at hand and get it done. And so I call myself, I'm a tour. So for people that do not know who you are and let's go in a little bit and just tell a little bit about yourself, who you are,

[00:03:09] spk_0: I am a wife, a mother, and professionally. I work in the electric utility industry, my official title, which I would not expect anyone to remember, mostly because it's made up by me. Um, but that's the beauty of having a job where you get to not only make up your job description, but also your title. But I'm the executive vice president of member services and strategic relations at the Tennessee Valley Public Power Association. And I'm also the vice president of our wholly owned subsidiary insurance company. So lots of hats and lots of responsibilities, But, um, that's a super high level nutshell.

[00:03:47] spk_1: So the show is called unapologetically bold. Um, and we talk about how we want to be a hot human who is humble, open and transparent and no matter at home, work and play. And I love what you're gonna be speaking about today, and so I love just to hop on into it. What are you no longer apologizing for?

[00:04:08] spk_0: I am not sorry for wearing skinny jeans and sporting a side part.

[00:04:13] spk_1: Tell me more.

[00:04:15] spk_0: Well, so as recently as last week, I discovered that skinny jeans, which have been the rage for so long and I say so long, which is probably five minutes, and the side part which I have also been sporting for so long are fashion faux paws were no longer fashion forward. And so, um, you know I This is a little side story here. Um, I lost some weight over the pandemic because, as I alluded to earlier, I have some control issues, and I decided to control the things that I could during the pandemic instead of focusing on the things that I can't. And so I got back into my exercise and nutrition routine. Anyway, um, as a result of that, um, while baggy jeans apparently are coming back in and I would have been fine. I was trying to get pants that actually fit. And so in the course of that, I've actually increased my skinny jean wardrobe and and all of this ties together because, you know, I found out last week that all of these things that I have in my closet, um, which are certainly part of your outward appearance and persona we're not going to be hip anymore according to a different generation and the the wisdom of tiktok. And so I thought, man, you know, I just I really tried to present myself well, as, um, a professional and also someone who's at least, you know, sort of tuned into what's going on in the world around them. And so I had this conversation with myself and said, Okay, I just got these clothes and then I thought, Why am I worried about you know something as and please, I'm not going to resort into some sort of monologue like the double worst product and talking about how fashion influences society and everything because he does. But I I don't wanna, you know, get off on that squirrel train either. But I started having a conversation with myself saying, You know what? These things are good for me. The side part that I sport Well, you know, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I had a middle part. And, you know, I've gone back there. It's not flattering to me. It doesn't make me look professional. I'm going to keep sporting a side part, and you know what? For my body type, which you know this part of knowing yourself, knowing myself. I know that skinny jeans are much better than these high waisted baggy jeans, and I can convert them into something that I am proud to represent physically because, you know, first impressions people see you and they do make judgments. Whether it's fair or not, it is true. And so I am going to be confident and not apologize for presenting myself in ways that I know are more flattering. And I'm more comfortable in my own skin, which means I can be me. And I don't have to pretend to be something that I'm not or try to fit into. Some, um, fashion forward, you know, model that I'm not. And so while it seems like this, um, you know, very surface level conversation. I had that with myself, And it was funny because we've already talked about this conversation and I had already been processing Well, you know what am I not sorry for anymore? That I was at some point and how did I get to not being sorry about it? And so then I was having this internal conversation with myself about something at, like, skinny jeans and a side part, and I thought, You know what? This is the exact process that I have gone through and all of the things that I am not sorry for in questioning myself and why I was doing them and why it was or wasn't bothering me and how I got to resolution with it and to a degree of confidence that I could move forward with it and not apologize.

[00:08:06] spk_1: That's the thing that I love about this. Is that it? I love top models to that give, like a hit of like, Okay, tell me more, because the thing that comes with this, it's, you know, your truth. You know who you are and you're not going to let what the world tells you. Define who who you need to be. And I see this in every walk of life. It's even for my kids to what they're seeing on TV to even things that we may be telling them to. I'm as a parent. It's our sphere of influence, and Alec can

[00:08:37] spk_0: impact us very

[00:08:39] spk_1: huge if we let it. But the power of knowing what our strengths are, what we want to go for. How do we walk out? Um, and I think one thing that I love and I want to touch on more is you walking out in confidence.

[00:08:52] spk_0: Well, I I was actually on a a virtual conference earlier this week or last week. You know, the days run together, but anyway and it was. I'm a big on Maslow's hierarchy of needs. But this was a different kind of hierarchy in terms of leadership, and the first on the hierarchy was information. You know, we can get all kinds of information and access to it, and the next is knowledge. And that is taking the information and caring enough about it to try to process and understand. And then, you know, to channel my inner Spider Man, you know, with great power comes great responsibility with knowledge. Typically comes that responsibility and power and leadership. And it's not a linear process from that standpoint. And it's not exactly the pyramid that you're going to climb. But it was really interesting to me because I hadn't I hadn't broken it down in compartment legs in those kind of building blocks. But to get back to your question, you know how how I got there is as I had a lot of information, um, as you do as you grow up and have professional and personal experiences and and those kinds of things. And so I had a lot of information, and it was the process of distilling the information and the inputs I was getting about, Um what my strengths are what my areas for our opportunities for improvement are and where I can balance those two and bring my strengths to bear where they are needed, but also enhance my strength by, um, improving the areas where it may not be well received and things like so over time, actually being more analytical about that. So it has not necessarily been an emotional process, which is also, if we want to go back to knowing myself, not emotional, not an empath. I'm logical and reason. And there's a lot of reason and a lot of times that can be criticized for taking a logical, thoughtful approach. And I'm being more clinical about things. But over time, in applying what I had come to discover as my strength, because those were the things that people came to me for, they said, Hey, I know you're good at this or Hey, I want to bounce something off you because I know that you're going to assess it in a certain way and over time again, back to that experience, I grew in confidence in what my strengths were, and so I carry those with me. That's what I present first. And I'm not going to apologize for those things because they are things that the workplace needs. There are things that relationships need, and what you have to do is recalibrate yourself to on the spectrum of your strengths on what you're going to lead with and how strong. Um, and and so that's where that confidence comes from. And again I'll go back to, you know, we're not going to get into Myers, Briggs and this profiles and all of those sorts of things. But I also know that especially for those that either don't know me or may not appreciate those strengths, such as they are, that it can come off as as offensive or abrasive or goodness knows, arrogant. And so it is trying to understand the threshold of confidence, Uh, and projecting that because there's value and people tend to gravitate towards that versus the arrogance that is off putting and can diminish your effectiveness.

[00:12:35] spk_1: I love that, and there's a few things that popped in my mind. One is psychological. Safety is having the room prepared ahead of time, and the importance of that that the personalities can all come in. And then my other thought that comes with that is whenever I first got my disc assessment, Um, that was mine. I'm very fact based, and I understand that I know that feelings are not something that I like to have. The information. I know. I've I used to want to have, like, 5000 facts, and now I'm dwindled it down to, like, five. That's big

[00:13:07] spk_0: for me. But

[00:13:08] spk_1: the thing that was frustrating for me and I think it was miss talked was that I needed to not walk out in my strength. I need to lessen my strength so that it could not affect the confidence of others. But in essence, it affected my confidence because I didn't know how I was supposed to be. And I think that's really important to Is that even listening to like those things like, I know what I am. I know what I'm supposed to be. That does not mean I come in with you and be very like I have a lot of energy. Not all rooms need as much energy as I can put out. I understand that. But I think the interesting part two is with some of those. And I'd love to get your insight on. That is how can people walk this out with knowing who they are, but also may struggle with, like, for me? I struggle because I care for people so much I'm a people pleaser. And so for me on that aspect, it was like, Okay, Emily, just dial it all down and just be neutral. Literally. My first disc assessment, I was 50 50 51 uh, 49. I literally was straight across the board, and now I'm a d. I, uh Well, I guess I was my bigger one, but still, I didn't know how to walk out myself. So I'd love for you to talk about that a little bit, because I know that you do a lot in the leadership aspect as well.

[00:14:37] spk_0: Well, and I took my first Myers Briggs disc assessment in college, and it was, you know, it was one of those The clouds part, the angels sing. And I was like, Oh, my gosh, this is This is so me. And then you see that? Oh, this is how others might perceive me. That could be a problem.

[00:14:54] spk_1: Um, it might

[00:14:55] spk_0: be great, but it could be a problem. And so, um, again, over time and growth as, um, as a leader, because I in my leadership classes I like to make the distinction between being a manager and being a leader. And I've always wanted to be a leader, regardless of what my particular title or role is. And so as that I said, Okay, what what are the things that make leaders

[00:15:21] spk_1: successful

[00:15:23] spk_0: and without followers? You you aren't a leader, and followers tend to follow someone that they trust and respect and, um, that they feel safe with and and that they feel like it's looking out for them. Um, I am a quote junkie and I'm in my office. And so one of the quotes that's right here from Simon's neck is leadership is not about being in charge. Leadership is about taking care of those in your charge, and and and that's not because I'm not super nurturing. That's not about Mother hinting people. It's understanding that as a leader that that really is a big part of your role is making sure that those that you are leading are taken care of, and so um I tried to distill what I knew about myself and what I knew about those that I wanted to be able to lead and say, Okay, how do I get from where my comfort zone is? So where their comfort zone is, where we can all be successful in recognizing, um and it goes back to the platinum rule, which I think you've probably talked about on here before. But the platinum, you know, the golden rule everybody is familiar with, you know, do unto others as you would have done unto you. But the platinum rule is do unto others as they would have done unto them, you know, treat them like they want to be treated. So it has been a process for me to understand and say, you know, this is not a Hey, I'm sorry for being me. But I asked myself all the time, How can I not be me right now? Because how can I be, um, a different, um, side of me that is going to set my team members up for success, and and part of that is understanding. And I fully believe this. And I've had many a debate about it. And, you know, that probably could be a spinoff is I don't believe you can motivate other people. I think you can understand what motivates people and create an environment in which they can be motivated. And so because what motivates me is probably light years different than a lot of other people. And most of the people that are on my team that I'm leading, you know, I said, All right, I'm gonna I'm gonna throw some platinum rule out here, and I'm going to ask them. What do you need for me? How can I support you? How can I take care of you? Because that sets you up for success. And and that's what's most important in a leadership role is making sure that we're all successful together and surrounding it are surrounding yourself with people that are not like you that are better, um, at things than you are and and that are certainly have an aptitude for things that you don't for

[00:18:09] spk_1: people that are listening into this, how can they walk that out a little bit better of knowing theirselves and knowing who they are and listening to the gut, as we say serotonin. 90% is actually in our gut, so people think it's a brain thing, but it's actually a gut thing. That's where our safety, security and net is. But I see sometimes people just they just ignore it or they think it's this funny feeling or they think it's spiritual or they think it's whatever. It's like this hogwash when it's actually physiology. Um, I'd love your input. How can we help people, um that are apologizing. We're wearing skinny jeans and supporting a side part to be more confident in who they are, but also not dismissing others through the process.

[00:18:54] spk_0: Well, I think the the strength and peace that that coming at that that come from knowing you know who you are. So, first of all, you have to pay attention and not dismissed all the signs that are like, Nope, that's you. You know, you can't deny it. Um, and and so just stop because stop denying who you are. Because, um, interestingly enough, when you're stressed, you are less likely to be able to accommodate um, what others need you to be? You're going to default. You know, it's that fighter flight I'm going to do what's comfortable. I'm going to do what's natural. Um and so if If you are denying who you are, that is a stressor. And so you can't You can't get comfortable with that baseline of who you are, which means that you can't adapt. So So if you're stressing yourself by denying who you are by ignoring all of these signals, um, then you're not going to be able to be something more for people. Um, but you know what I find really interesting And again usually the first time that people go through a disc profile or whatever and and they're reading this and they're just shocked that some, you know, answering a series of how many questions can can just give them a summary of who they are. And then, um, they can read how others perceive them. And so, first of all, it comes from accepting. Okay, this is who I am. Second, it comes from understanding that just because you're comfortable in your skin does not mean that others are going to respond to you that well. And how important is it to you that others respond to you in a certain way? In a positive way, Um, and then wanting to recalibrate yourself, um, and and saying so when I when I teach classes about this, Um, that's what I say. I said I'm giving you information. This is not no guarantees that, um just because you understand someone, they're gonna make you crazy any less. You know, there I am not making you any promises, but at least you will understand why they get on your nerves and you will say Okay, So how can, in my confidence in myself, I understand how I am also making them crazy. And so it goes back to win win negotiations. How can we meet in the middle of our strengths and our personalities to find the best outcome for all of us? Um, but But it has to be, um, and I also say this in my classes. I say, Look, I know this sounds like a lot of work because you're like, I've got all these things to do. I don't have time to pause and think about how somebody else is going to perceive me and how I might need to soften something or how, um, another side story. So I I am an introvert. I am totally happy. Head down, you know, getting tasks out. And when I first got into a management role, um, because I wanted to be a leader, and I understood all this. I said, Okay, I I have an entire team of people that need me to come say good morning to them. They need me to come out of my office and be like, How was your weekend? And so I literally put a calendar reminder on that said, Get out of your office and talk to people. Um, so was that my comfort zone? Is that whereas happy? No, But I also knew that other people needed that for me and I It's not that I didn't care about them because I did it very, very much, and I still do. But the way I show that I care, you know, if you want to talk about your love languages, I show I care by doing things not by hugging you, not by talking to you, but other people need that. Now I know we can't hug in the workplace and especially not right now, But whatever they need for you in an appropriate workplace, setting is to be able to do that and and so that that's what um, So I say that because again the know thy self, there is great power in knowing myself and then knowing what other people need from you and then making an active choice to do that and not dismissing that they're experiencing something differently than you or that that you cannot even possibly relate. So I said earlier, I am not an empath. That has been a big revelation to me to understand how I receive other people who are impacts and so to say, All right, well, we are clearly on other ends of the spectrum, so all right, I need to I need to, um, not fake empathy because you can't fake empathy, but I need to logically and reasonably say Okay, they are really experiencing this. I need to meet them where they are. And, you know, maybe if I don't come across as completely dismissive of whatever they're experiencing, they won't feel like they need to emote so much. So we can go into this middle ground, and I can you know, I can be a little less comfortable in my skin and they can. They can be more comfortable than I'm not dismissing what they're experiencing. So I know there's some. You know, it seemed like that's also not a linear thought trained. But I mean it is every day. It is something different, and I fail at it every day.

[00:24:11] spk_1: But every

[00:24:12] spk_0: time I fail, I go, Oh, yeah, I could have done that differently. Let's not do that to go.

[00:24:17] spk_1: And that's the point that that is, that every day. And that's the one thing that I love about learning is. It's not linear so and I understand the 1% better principle. But some days you're gonna be 25% worse. So in average, let's get an average of being better daily, because the thing is, is that that is life like understanding. And it makes me think of even like my husband learning like our Actually, if we actually pulled up our disk yesterday, we both did on I'm a d I. He's an SC, Um, and how do we communicate better and it's not to come in, And that's the one thing that I love that you're talking about, and I think we've hit on it. A lot of times with this podcast has been unapologetically bold. Is not that you get to walk out in your dominance and say, This is who I am This is how I act. It's understanding who you are and understanding what best ways that we can have conversations, what best ways that we can know ourselves so that we can help others walk out in that confidence or we can actually help communicate. And it's more over those win win situations that are so important to understanding that we're all different and one of my things that my listeners have heard me say a billion times I don't like like minded people. I like light hearted. I want to have a mission. But my best growth is whenever I've been around people that do not think like me, and I got to work because they're going to come up with cooler idea than I can ever thought of, like I never want to be the smartest person in the room. If I am, I need to leave that room, and I think this in essence sums up a lot of what we've talked about in the past and past podcast to that. I just think it's just so beautiful. So I am so grateful for you. I'm like, you'll see what? I'm excited that I get her like I can I can have her and, like, just a short drive. You're such an amazing woman. You are. I love the work that you do. I love your heart. Um And I love just the care that you have for people, because that's really what? The first time I heard you, you talk, Um, in a meeting. I'm like, Oh, she gets it. She gets she understands people. And I Now I see. I think it's a lot of your analytical two of seeing as a power. It's a superpower, and and a lot of people are like, Oh, God, there just nerves. Like they just, like, look at books and they just type out. And I'm like, No, you need your analytical people. You really do, Um and I think that's important. So I just want to say thank you. Thank you so much for joining me today. And I want to say thank you for all that. Have listened. I hope you have an amazing and blessed day. Thank you so much for tuning in to this episode of unapologetically bold. I'm not sorry for If this test shoot anyway, please like and subscribe and share with your friends as we continue the message of being unapologetically bold by being hot. Humans who are humble, open and transparent. See you next time.