A first-generation immigrant who found herself $135,000 in debt as a single parent, Beate Chelette bootstrapped her passion for photography into a highly successful global business and eventually sold it to Bill Gates in a multimillion-dollar deal. Today, Beate is the Growth Architect® and founder of The Women’s Code®, a strategic business and balanced leadership development company. Recent clients include Chevron, Merck, the Women’s Legislative Caucus of California, Cal State University Dominguez Hills), the Association of Corporate Growth, and TracyLocke. She is a respected speaker and mentor and is the author of the #1 International Award-Winning Amazon Bestseller “Happy Woman Happy World – How to Go from Overwhelmed to Awesome”–a book that corporate trainer and best-selling author Brian Tracy calls “a handbook for every woman who wants health, success and a fulfilling career. She is amongst the “Top 100 Global Thought Leaders” by PeopleHum and “One of 50 Must-Follow Women Entrepreneurs” by HuffPost.
In a recent interview with Aspioneer, Beate spoke about her journey and her passion for her work. Below are the highlights of her journey towards and beyond success.
Transforming your results
Beate Chelette: “Our organization is Chelette Enterprises, Inc. We operate as The Growth Architect® and The Women’s Code®. We are a team of strategists and experts who advise organizations from start-ups to Fortune 100 global brands, and we turn chaos and challenges into clarity and growth. As The Growth Architect® through our 5-Star Success Blueprint, we uncover and diagnose time-consuming and persistent problems within your teams or business units that are stifling progress and efficiencies. When organizations operate in silos, many leaders struggle to identify the underlying causes but keep spending money on treating the symptoms. Once we analyze the real source, we co-create a phased solution that fits your timeline and budget so that you can grow, build, and scale. Our subject matter experts develop results-oriented tangible tools and techniques that will unify your teams, provide clear steps to streamline your business systems, and strengthen your leadership skills. In addition, we provide leadership development programs for organizations that want to implement the ROI of Balanced Leadership through The Women’s Code®, which educates leaders and helps companies achieve gender equality. The Women’s Code® creates and implements programs that improve organizational culture, foster productive work environments, and help companies improve their people ROI.
Our philosophy is simple, we know that many organizations struggle to keep their best people, adjust to rapidly changing market conditions, and fail to have an overall strategy to align their people and initiatives. We help them by developing that strategy. We help Visionaries and Leaders with Strategies and Tools so That They Can Make Their Impact.”
“Resilience is the audacity to not give up,” says Beate Chelette, Growth Architect® and founder of The Women’s Code®.
Appreciating the differences
Beate Chelette: “After I sold my business to Bill Gates, I was offered the position of Sr. Director of Global Entertainment. Truth be told, I wasn’t always a good leader. I believed a lot of the old stereotypes that “poorly aging women” were “angry at men,” “disappointed,” and it “was their own fault that they couldn’t get ahead.” But I discovered that the structure and inflexibility of the system don’t allow for variations from the status quo. I learned how differently men and women are treated in leadership and how the entire corporate structure isn’t working for anyone. Women Lead on C.U.E.--Compassion, Uniqueness, and Empowerment. Because men lead with strategy, power, and persuasion, it appears to be much harder to apply the recognition to women’s leadership attributes that they deserve. How many times have we heard a man say about a woman that “she is so emotional” as if having emotions is a bad thing? Women are 51% of the population--which is the majority--and men have emotions, too. We must accept women and men are different, we think differently, we process things differently, and I have and will always make my strengths my big assets. I don’t waste time covering up things I am not good at. To sum it up, I don’t back off; I double down. Women have to own what and who we are – unapologetically! It’s okay if we are different. With this realization, I quit starting The Women’s Code®. It is part of Growth Architecture, it’s the fourth step. The idea of The Women’s Code® is to support women. There are three parts: supporting women who are working moms, supporting female entrepreneurs and supporting organizations that want to foster balanced leadership. At the same time, I wrote my first book Happy Woman Happy World, to address why women don’t support each other and to create the idea that women do need a code among ourselves if we want to succeed.”
Shattering the stereotypes
Beate Chelette: “Throughout my journey, I have encountered every stereotype. Currently, I am being typecast as a poorly aging feminist, who hates men, lives alone, and has lots of cats. Well, I age as gracefully as anyone can, I am engaged, and don’t have a cat, but that doesn’t stop anyone from believing what fits their narrative. Likewise, women in leadership deal with the ridiculous assumptions that many men make about women--That we are emotional, that diversity quotas promote unqualified people, that women who have children are lazy and not committed--Basically all of the old, outdated rules of the Men’s Code. Unless you are white and male, if you ask for equal treatment, you are already marked. Because many white men don’t realize that the workplace is set up by them and for them, they believe what works for them must work for everyone else, too. This needs to change. Equality is not sameness; it means the equivalent. I have no desire to be a man--I am just fine being a woman. When I hear this abhorrent nonsense that physical strength is the deciding criteria of superiority, I have to roll my eyes. In so many words, the most significant challenges are the trite and outdated statements men often make because they are meaningless in today’s world.”
Achieving workplace unification
Beate Chelette: “As a speaker and educator, my business was wiped out during the pandemic, and I had to start from scratch. Redesigning, rebuilding, and reimagining what I wanted it to be. As a perpetual optimist, I always look for the gift, the opportunity in darkness. Because if my business had been set up as well as it could have been, it couldn’t have faltered the way it did. Therein lies the opportunity to get back to the drawing board.
During COVID-19, we saw that the leadership attributes that worked are all women-centric. Compassion, empathy, caring, and collaboration is what brought people together. When we look at equality, I prefer to look at this from a workplace unification perspective. Which attributes have to be equally distributed to move the organization forward? It pains me to see how divided men and women are; my goal is to bring everyone back together to tackle the larger issues. So, I am working on a new concept called the New Business Code. I have developed a mechanism by which we can bring the old Men’s Code and The Women’s Code together to form a new code. Business structures need to be updated, and they need to be updated fast. Once we establish that women’s leadership attributes are desirable and a required skill set for any organization, we will see more balanced leaders and less friction by applying my formula. When we achieve this, women can be who they are and receive the deserved recognition for their leadership style.”
Making an impact
Beate Chelette: “Because I was a single mom, immigrant, and endured a significant amount of adversity, I have and always will have a soft spot for women, especially women entrepreneurs and single moms. It’s hard. I didn’t have a role model per se, and I did not have a woman mentor. I believe in the abundance principle--that there is enough for everyone. I am involved in many things that drive the role and influence of women forward. That’s because I am very clear about my legacy. When you walk to my tombstone, it will say, “Here lies a woman who was instrumental in defining women leadership.” This vision rules everything in my life. I also want to continue to grow, build, and scale my business to help more leaders make their impact.”