Self Promotion Sucks – but it doesn’t have to

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Self promotion sucks – especially for executive women

We’ve been socialised

No one becomes an industry leader overnight. Start with one self-promotion strategy at a time. You’ll be surprised at how things blossom from the smallest effort in the right direction.
— Michaela Chung
  • not to big note ourselves, yet owning and sharing your expertise is a key to a successful career

  • that if we do stand out, it’s should be for looking good, gracious or glamorous and never raise a sweat, yet the key to kicking BHAGs is to put yourself out there.

The social penalty for women who self promote and get it wrong, can be debilitating.

We’re all attuned to it because we’ve been hearing criticisms and advice about standing out or fitting in for most of our lives.

I run my own business

I have to self promote daily in order to stay successful.

I struggle as much as the next person, especially when I’m tired or feeling vulnerable.

And the biggest lesson I’ve learned in this journey?

Take the self out of self promotion

Instead focus on your why, a sense of purpose or a cause.

Not only will you find it far easier, but you won’t be criticised as much either.

And for the thousands who put themselves out there every day in the face of possible criticism or rejection?

I respect you.

We’re setting the scene for generations who come after to tackle things differently.

#selfpromotionmatters

#business

#leadership

#personalbranding

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— Hope K.
Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Who is your mentor for 2019?

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Guess what I'm doing this holiday period?

Having a holiday! YAY

The other thing I'm doing is finishing book number 2.

Book 2 is all about the challenges that executive women experience with self promotion - and (super importantly) what they can do about it.

It's been a long time in the writing. My editor wanted to get it finished before Xmas. Great in theory, but ..... it simply didn't eventuate. 

So I'm using the quieter weeks in December and January to tick this off of my to do list.

There is a saying "fortune favours the well prepared".

So I'm highly prepared
✔️ Notes 
✔️ Reference material
✔️ 15K word draft already written
✔️ Editor & publisher on standby
✔️ Chapter outlines
✔️ Willpower 

But I know that willpower simply won't be enough.  It's the end of the year and I'm tired. My willpower is flagging. I'll need something else.

DESIGN BEATS DISCIPLINE
Science tells us that willpower is a diminishing resource and despite best intentions, even with the best will in the world, unless you place great structures around your big goals and ambitions, willpower alone won't be enough.

Just like a muscle, it can get worn out when over used.

Especially when it comes to self promotion - if you are tired and worn out at the end of the year, the last thing you might feel like is selling brand you.

Dan Gregory, speaker, commentator and acknowledged wit, says "design beats discipline." 

He goes on to explain that despite great intent and strong willpower people still struggle to do what they know they should.

For example, we know a lot about the link between exercise and being healthier and happier, yet many of us resist exercising.  

Design beats discipline - so be sure to design out temptation, distraction or failure points - 

  • you wouldn't keep Tim Tams in the cupboard if you were going on a diet

  • you don't order a delivery of Wine Selectors when you are doing Dry January 

  • and you don't stay in a noisy holiday home with lots of distractions and competing family obligations, and no daily word targets, KPIs or accountability measures, when you want to finish writing your book! 

SUCCESS IS NO ACCIDENT 
Why is it that we still believe that success is accidental? That we were lucky in some way, or that there were universal forces at play? Yet worse, when we miss a goal or deadline that we start believing that it's our fault, we're not good enough and asking "who am I to aim so high"?

Stop beating yourself up, feeling bad or giving up. Maybe it was that you were relying on willpower alone when you needed something different.

Instead, make your success your only viable option, by designing accountability, rigour and structures around your big goals and dreams to make them more easily achievable. 

With that in mind - what structures, designs and accountability can you put in place to help you succeed more easily in 2019?

________

CURIOUS ABOUT WORKING WITH ME IN 2019? 

The number one thing that nearly all of my clients have in common is that they have had an "aha" moment. 

They woke up one day and realised that they had spent most of their career making everyone else look good.  

But had forgotten to prioritise themselves.

If that's you, and you're wondering about how to do that in 2019, why not find out how I can help?

My January calendar is already filling up - click on the link for a sneak peek. 

FROM INVISIBLE TO INVINCIBLE IN 2019 

And maybe the gift you give yourself this Xmas, is a structured program that gives you a new burst of energy and impact for 2019!

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambitionrocks #success #career #executivebranding

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Is it possible to lead and be “nice” at the same time? More on Nice Girl leadership

Is it possible to lead and be “nice” at the same time?

Dr. Lois Frankel wrote a book on this topic back in the early 2000's, but did we all get the wrong end of the stick by simply focusing on the book title? "Nice Girls Can't Get the Corner Office"

Reflections on “nice girl” leadership for those struggling to carve to a leadership brand that’s congruent and authentic - not just brash, bolshy and competitive because you’ve been told you need to be that way. 

After all organisations don't need more of the same style. Diversity works because of diversity - of thought, ideas, styles and perspectives.

No more "big hair, big shoulder pads, go hard or go home".  

Have the confidence to lead leading authentically.

#LeadLikeaLeadingWoman

#WomenOfImpact

#LeadingWomen

#NiceGirlLeadership

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

What can you do in just 2 minutes that will help you be more successful?

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Time to work far smarter?

You bet. 

You've heard of

  • 20 Min Tabata Protocols - designed to help Japanese Olympic speed skaters increase their fitness in very short period of time

  • 7 Min Workout - as popularised by the New York Times. Same principle as above. Intensity, short duration and frequency = more likely to do it.

  • 4 Hour Work Week, Body & Chef - thanks Tim Ferriss for helping us focus on the Minimum Effective Dose - not too little, not too much, but just right.

  • Pomodoro Technique - focus for shorter periods of time, so you can stay focused for longer. An oxymoron if I ever heard one! But it works. 


And now I give you Bo Forbes (neuroscientist, psychologist and yoga teacher) and her Tiny, Two Minute Tools - two minute specific activities you can (and are more likely to) do, more frequently (because they're super easy) to shift the dial on your health and wellbeing. 

Her research initially proved that a daily 20 minute yoga practice delivered far more benefit than 90 minute classes twice per week.

It went on to demonstrate that, despite their diminutive title, Tiny, Two Minute Tools punch above their weight on both health, hormones and happiness. 

But Amanda!  You don't write a fitness blog. Why are you sharing this?

Because the way that you do anything is the way you do everything.

Because the plan that you do, is better than the perfect plan that sits in the cupboard and never sees the light of day.

Because I feel for every executive woman who is trying to have it allbe it all, and create a career that really counts but who gets to the end of the year and is exhausted and wonders if it's worthwhile.

Because we all do it!  We work hard at something until we don't (or can't) because it's no longer working. 

Because I was disappointed to read this startling statistic from former Australian Prime Minister The Hon. Julia Gillard in a speech she gave at University of Adelaide in September 2018.

"The number of women in senior management globally has risen just 1% point in 10 years” 


Just 1%. 

We've been working hard at gender equity for years. It's time for both men and women to work far smarter. 

As Albert Einstein is widely quoted as saying 
“Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.

Because the Tiny, Two Minute Tool is a metaphor for paradigm shift, and instead of trying to fix all companies everywhere so we get overwhelmed and don't bother, let's start in our own backyard with things that don't seem threatening and are easy to put in place and do more frequently.

Let's find an equivalent of the Tiny, Two Minute Tool and implement it in our own careers in 2019.

Perhaps 2019 is the year of being far smarter about how we tackle gender equity and feminine empowerment collectively and our own careers individually. 

So what will you do differently moving forward?

Drop me an email if you have a big idea, that might benefit from baby steps. I'd love to hear.

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolutionrocks #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition 

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

What does Peppa the Pig have to do with a Legal Awards ceremony?

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Heaps if you are one of the #winning #women doing the #juggle as they deliver excellence in Australian legal services! 

Celebrating and recognising excellence and achievement from women in any industry is a powerful driver towards gender equity.

Absolutely chuffed to support @Gabrielle Guthrie as she was named #Finalist in the Sole Practitioner Category at the Women In Law Awards hosted by Lawyers Weekly at the Sofitel last night. So proud of her results and achievements in just two years of establishing her own practice providing accessible, specialist environment and planning law advice. Phenomenal woman. Phenomenal lawyer. Phenomenal result

The 21 acceptance speeches represented all the richness, value and #diversity that working women provide to society with many reflecting that despite the juggle they were still able to deliver substantive change or results for clients. 

One of the winners shared a vulnerable moment that her Award nomination video accidentally included the Peppa the Pig soundtrack as she juggled childcare duties, work responsibilities and a looming Award nomination deadline. Despite this (or maybe because of this!!!), she won her category (you can’t keep amazing talent down) but it was a great story that highlights the juggle that many women deal with to stay ahead of the curve. The audience loved it.

Kudos to all the 180 finalists in the room and to the 20 women who were named as #winners. 

Keep inspiring others.

Special shout out to the other finalists at my table including Lesley Symons and Harmers Workplace Lawyers

#business 
#networking

#winningwomen #womenofimpact #leadingwomeninspirechange

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

The burden of guilt for executive women - and how it's keeping us playing small if we let it

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Working Women Guilt is a thing. It's well documented and not just limited to working mothers. Executive women the globe over, whether they are parents or not, talk about feeling guilty. A lot.

Anne Marie Slaughter (Why Women Still Can't Have it All) and Sheryl Sandberg (Lean In) have both written about guilt and women. Feeling guilty has become a way of life for many. 

Negative emotions like loneliness, envy, and guilt have an important role to play in a happy life; they’re big, flashing signs that something needs to change.
— Gretchen Rubin

Things women tell me they feel guilty about:

  • Sleeping in and not getting a workout in before work

  • Not getting up at 5am to start work early

  • Earning more than male peers or partners (if lucky enough!) 

  • Leaving the office before others  

  • Not being there for kids while working

  • Working out, when you should be at home doing something for the kids

  • Asking working mothers to stay back late at the office

  • Making mistakes at work 

  • Not being thin enough / well dressed enough / good enough - full stop

  • Eating/drinking too much

  • Under/over performing 

  • Choosing to take a significant career break whether you are a parent or not

  • Choosing not to take a significant career break as a parent (working mother guilt)

  • Not having a career strategy

  • Not being ambitious enough

  • Being too ambitious

  • Speaking or laughing too loudly in the office

  • Not cooking proper home cooked meals for the family

And the list goes on .....

Guilt can be contradictory, convoluted and complicated. Lots of examples in the list above of damned when we do, and doomed when we don't. And then you feel guilty, or possibly even stupid, for having these contradictory feelings of guilt!

But importantly it's a huge list - hence the burden.

Brené Brown said

“Guilt is just as powerful, but its influence is positive, while shame's is destructive. Shame erodes our courage and fuels disengagement.”

But I suggest that when we are overwhelmed with guilty feelings for too many items, that it leads to feelings of shame. That too much guilt might be the thing that moves the needle on the dial into the danger zone where executive women head back into the realm of underestimating themselves, downplaying their achievements and leaning out, not in or up.

The Stereotype Effect is alive and well for executive women and stronger for women than men. Studies suggest that when we're reminded of our femininity we are more prone to performing to the stereotype, or feel guilty if/when we don't. 

IT'S NOT ALL BAD

There are benefits in feeling guilty. Research tells us that despite what you might imagine, the reward centres in our brain light up when we feel guilt and shame (weird, I know! But at least you are doing something about your problems, not ignoring them).

Then even more research demonstrates that guilt helps with empathy and building and maintaining relationships, with one study finding that while shame was linked to personal distress, guilt was linked to perspective taking.  Is this then why "the feminine" is said to be better at emotional intelligence and relationships? 

But when the burden of guilt becomes overwhelming and possibly even for contradictory issues, it runs the risk of becoming a Catch 22 and a waste of energy. It's distracting, draining and keeps us playing small.

BE LIKE TEFLON

Have you heard the expression "like water off a ducks back" - where hurts and infractions slide right off?  Perhaps we need to embrace that more fully. 

Much easier to do when you are deeply connected to your sense of purpose and why, or have your eyes on the prize. We know that the modesty effect is depressed when you are deeply connected to your sense of purpose, so why not the stereotype effect as well?

So next time you start to berate yourself for eating that extra Tim Tam, instead of feeling guilty, keep your eyes on the prize and practice being like Teflon.

Then remind yourself of the benefits of feeling guilty and then simply get on with the business of being great again!

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SHARE IF YOU DARE to INSPIRE A WOMAN SOMEWHERE

► I'm a speaker, mentor and writer on all things self promotion for executive women

► I challenge the status quo to help women carve new pathways for themselves

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

Three interview fails you definitely want to avoid

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Ahhhhh, the dreaded job interview.

It’s funny isn’t it, how we interview so rarely yet it's a critical skill in terms of landing your next big role and getting it right can add 10's or 100's of 1000's of dollars to your career over time?

Investing in interview planning, strategy and role play for those serious about their career, is not just a necessary evil, but a superbly smart play.

Once upon a time, in a land far, far away, I was taken aback by a particularly memorable interview performance.

  • Me:  "Tell us about a time when you've had to handle a difficult customer situation - what did you do and how did you handle it?"

  • Candidate: (standing up, dramatically thrusting their hand out towards me like a stop sign) "Talk to the hand!"

Later during the course of the interview the candidate reflected that maybe they were interviewing for the wrong role.

.....

I didn’t disagree. 

OTHER MORE COMMON ERRORS
We might not all make that particular mistake. But nerves are cunning, and the stakes are high, so anything could happen. Here are three of the most common mistakes I see, yet I know they are difficult to nip in the bud.  

  1. Treating the interview like a performance.

    You’re so rehearsed, polished and slick that you come off as inauthentic. There are no stumbles (unless deliberately and dramatically placed) and you sound as though you've learned rote responses off by heart. Pauses for dramatic effect, the over animated facial expressions or hand gestures, or the bigger than Ben Hur "presence" as you command attention from the panel are dead giveaways. A dramatic talk to the hand might get you laughs in a drama class, but was really inappropriate in the context of the interview. While rehearsal or role play is good, you aren’t a performing seal. People want to know they can work with you, not necessarily that you have dramatic flair. And while a certain polish and a panache can go a long way, this is not the opportunity to give the performance of lifetime. Keep it real people. Keep it real.

  2. Feeling as though you need to prove yourself.  

    So you end up coming across like an Eager Beaver or a People Pleaser as you jump through hoops to answer questions - leaning forwards, speaking fast, asking if you gave enough information, or alternatively providing far too much information as you try and demonstrate how great you are for the role. This makes others feel uncomfortable and as though you don't believe in yourself.  Instead, bring some executive equity into the room with you, some confidence, some self belief and a willingness to back yourself as a peer.

  3. Behaving as though it’s a test - enter the Energiser Bunny! 

    Signs you think it’s a test?

    - You respond so fast after you’ve been asked the question, that you barely had time to think

    - You take a deep breath, then grin in a self congratulatory manner at the end of each response

    - The answers come out in a rehearsed even pace, they are word perfect with business speak more suitable for a written report

    - Yet if someone asks you a question that you've not prepared for, you don't know which answer to give, because you didn't prepare for that question

    - You’re poised on the edge of your seat with a bring it on attitude, and

    - Finally, when you provide a particularly good response you then finish with an arm pump and a #nailedit comment. And you’re incredibly scary. (Okay I'm over exaggerating here, but you get the picture.)

WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?

  • Back yourself

  • Sell yourself and

  • Express your expertise in language the panel values and understands

Treat the interview like it’s a conversation. The quietly, confident candidate leans back slightly in their chair - they converse, connect, reflect and ask questions that demonstrate their interest in return. They use the three "feminine" super powers of emotional intelligence, active listening and clear communication to find the Goldilocks sweet spot of energy - not too much, not too little, but just right. They provide real and specific examples of where they've done something similar before - based in fact, grounded in context and backed up with impact. This helps them to not only look and sound credible and believable, but also helps the interview panel feel secure in their decision making.

A well-educated mind will always have more questions than answers
— Helen Keller

DON'T FEEL BAD

In case you're feeling bad about yourself, don't.  I once heard a story of a super smart candidate wearing a onesie to a corporate job interview and bringing his mum into the interview room with him to help him negotiate.  But that's a story for another day. 

However, if you identified with any of the three above, the easiest way to improve is to practice with someone who is prepared to give you feedback. The interview might not be a performance, but it is a skill you can develop. And the more you interview the better you'll get.

THANKS
Thanks to everyone who completed the 2018 Career Strategy Survey last month. I've been working through the responses and will contact you shortly if you asked for more information.  Drop me a note if you missed out and would like to take part.

Feeling frustrated and overlooked?  
Know that you do awesome work but others are taking you for granted?

Why not book in a 30 min one on one  phone call to learn more. 1st in best dressed rules apply.

#interviewfails #interviewpreparation #womenofimpact

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

How making a decision can shift you from feeling invisible to feeling invincible

I was desperately unhappy in my role

Exhausted, feeling like a fraud, and secretly doubting that I had it in me to do much more!

I remember saying to my husband that I thought I only had one big role left in me …..

Little did I know 🤣🤩😂😜

This picture was snapped in an unguarded moment when I had made up my mind (thanks Facebook memories!)

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And while I can see the tiredness, I can also see the relief of me taking control of my own destiny again

When you’re feeling stuck or frustrated in the wrong role

  • You’ve outgrown it

  • With a boss who may not “see” you anymore

  • In a culture that doesn’t sustain you

It’s exhausting and deeply unsatisfying

Security is one thing

But taking control of your career and destiny is a whole new exciting and joyful new ball game - and a heck of a lot more rewarding.

From invisible to invincible!

>> COMMENT - When have you taken control of your own destiny? And did it make you happier?

#womenofimpact #daretodream #business #careers

Helping clients shift from #invisibletoinvincible

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Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

The Importance of a Career Strategy for Executive Women

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“She believed she could, so she set a goal, then made a plan and worked the plan til she did.”
— A J Blesing

Do you remember Susan Colantuono's TED talk The Missing 33%?  In summary she says that "The Missing 33% of the career success equation for women is not because women don't or can't have business, strategic and financial acumen, but because very few women are clearly told how essential these skills are for reaching the top."

Great advice. Finally. A solution that works. 

And doesn't it feel good to be able to pinpoint the problem of lack of women in leadership to one particular issue?


IS IT REALLY THAT SIMPLE?


Of course not. It’s an idea, not a silver bullet.

I don't need to tell you that the issue is much more challenging than merely understanding balance sheets - after all there are many superbly financially savvy female executives out there who still struggle.

Case in point my recent gobsmacking conversation with a well known male Financial Columnist who told me that women weren't good with money and didn't care about money and that he only knew two financially savvy female leaders (paraphrased - and perhaps he had watched Susan's TED talk but got the wrong end of the stick).  

Other issues in this complex area include:

  • exclusion tactics by those already in positions of leadership leaving some women believing it’s not only not possible, but not something they really want anyway

  • fewer opportunities at the top for both men and women (ergo higher competition)

  • lack of female role models in CEO roles (just 7% female CEO's in S&P/ASX200 in 2018) and 

  • the subsequent high levels of scrutiny and potential for backlash for executive women, sometimes culminating in a fall over the Glass Cliff which deters many others from following in her footsteps. Another case in point - the recent débâcle at the ABC. 


ANOTHER Idea - another MISSING 33% 

I've discovered a startling fact.

Most women don't have a clear career strategy. In fact, they've probably never even heard of the need for one.

According to recent research from the Women CEOs Speak Study (Korn Ferry and The Rockefeller Foundation, published August, 2018), "65% of the female CEOs surveyed said they only realised they could become a CEO after someone told them so. With few .... female CEOs to model after, only 12% of women CEOs said they had aspired to a CEO role for “a long time.”

In a nutshell, many executive women, including those already leading, don't aspire to become the boss - they don't aim for the top job, they don't believe it's a real option for them and they don't plan for the possibility of getting there. 

Someone else told them it was possible.

And I'm not surprised.

After talking with literally hundreds of women about their career plans here's what I notice in the narrative that surrounds women and their career - 

  • "I was lucky"

  • "Someone tapped me on the shoulder"

  • "I didn't know it was possible until my boss suggested I apply, and even then I didn't feel ready"

  • "I was in the right place at the right time" 

  • "My career just unfolded"

I recently facilitated a discussion with a room full of female CEOs and Managing Directors in Sydney where all but one said they had no plan to lead or clearly defined career strategy, and that the opportunities just presented themselves or unfolded. Three of them said they were simply lucky.

Passive language. No agency.  

Don't forget that luck is really what happens when planning meets opportunity - and not passive at all.


LET'S NOT BLAME THE WOMEN AGAIN
Let's not just blame women for yet another issue that they get wrong. Executive women have enough to feel guilty about without adding lack of career strategy to the burden.

  • We teach women about work - and how to do that well, rigorously, thoroughly and appropriately

  • We teach women about the importance having an identity outside of work

  • We're forever reinforcing the need for women to have work life balance and the ubiquitous Women in Leadership Conference panel on said topic is testament to that.

  • But what we don't teach young women and girls is about the importance of having a career strategy.  

    Is it that we educate boys differently? Yes, but not that much. However, the informal education of young men and boys, along with the role modelling from so many more male leaders definitely  includes the possibility that the top job might be for them should they want it and plan for it.

The socialisation of women and girls leaves a lot to be desired.   After all, many still believe it’s better to have effortlessly been discovered than to be perceived as having strived, pushed and manoeuvred to get to the top.

Organisations need help defining and following the necessary steps to maintain a proven pipeline of female leadership candidates .....….and women need help identifying the right career approaches to prepare for CEO roles.
— Jane Stephenson, Korn Ferry


However educators, coaches, mentors, sponsors, L&D professionals, talent acquisition and retention specialists all need to keep this in mind and ensure career strategy is part of talent development from the get go.  

Ensure that the talent you recruit or champion knows where they are aiming for and of the importance of having a clear plan for how they might get there.  



After all, if they don't know where they are going, how will they know when they get there?


FOR THE INDIVIDUAL? 

Senior level executive women need to ask for support in planning a possible tilt for the top from the moment they're appointed.  It's not over bold, it's simply a strategic play.  Wouldn't you prefer to find out sooner rather than later what the future might hold?

One super talented younger ambitious woman I mentor negotiated her tilt for her new bosses role, prior to her commencement date, with great success. It further enabled her boss to plan his exit strategy and groom her for taking over from the start.

If your career isn't working out for you right now, do something about it. Life's too short to stick in a role going nowhere, with a boss who keeps you playing small, in an organisation that you've out grown.   

You run the risk of becoming a smaller version of yourself and that helps no-one.

So take the time to get back in touch with what's important, where you were heading before you became a square peg in a round hole, and put a plan in action. 

Never forget, don't let perfect be the enemy of the good.

After all, a mediocre plan that you executive is far better than a perfect plan in limbo. And any strategy, even the wrong one, is frequently better than no strategy.


SURVEY TIME
I'd love to know your thoughts - why not have your say?

  • It will only take two minutes and may be just the thing that helps us understand this issue further.

  • Do you attribute your success in your career to luck or planning? 

  • How has your approach worked for you?   

  • Click on the link for this survey to have your say. 

Want help with your career strategy and executive brand?
Why not book in a 30 min one on one  phone call to learn more. 1st in best dressed rules apply.

Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

How to get more done with less

You know when you have a looming deadline but everyone is pulling you from pillar to post? 

ARGH!!!  😫

Or when you spend so much time in meetings that you secretly wonder “when will I ever get my work done?” 

Combine that with open plan offices and sneaking time on LinkedIn and you have a recipe for disaster for your productivity.

Which leaves some wondering if creating a career that really counts is all it’s cracked up to be!

10 Productivity Hacks to Help you Focus

  1. Turn off your phone notifications during the day

  2. Tackle the hardest stuff first

  3. Set up an "email response time"... and stick to it

  4. Pomodoro technique

  5. Take proper breaks

  6. Get enough sleep

  7. Don't multitask

  8. Set yourself some mini goals during the day

  9. Get competitive

  10. Make a good old fashioned list

>> READ MORE  - I was interviewed by Claire Isaac on TEN DAILY and here is her article


Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

How to ensure your flex arrangements work for you, not against you

Navigating Flex Arrangements for executive women - Amanda Blesing.jpg
As the world of work is changing, employees are increasingly working remotely and the four walls of the workplace are evaporating
— Fay Calderone

A 2016 Report by Chief Executive Women (CEW) and Bain & Co entitled ‘The Power of Flexibility’ found that “in order to advance gender equality in the workplace, flexible arrangements must be available to and actively supported for both genders”.  From an individual perspective “where flexible arrangements are widely used, all employees are four times happier”.

Nice! Flexible work arrangements are great for both genders and make us four times happier. What's not to like?

So why is it that many of the women I speak with are hesitant to ask?  Reasons include:

  1. The boss is old fashioned and he or she will never allow it

  2. My organisation doesn’t really accommodate it – the policy is there but we don't make it easy with technology, and we need our people to be visible and on the ground

  3. I’m worried that if I do ask I’ll be perceived as though I'm not ambitious enough any more, and it will be harder to compete for plum assignments and negotiate on salary and future career opportunities.

True - these are all valid concerns, yet times are changing albeit more slowly in some industries than others. However, they are changing as organisations recognise that flexible working arrangements are incredibly helpful as a talent acquisition and retention strategy. 

“You are enabled to really attract the best talent to your organisation. If you are not limited by a specific office location, you can look anywhere in the country or anywhere on the globe.” Nicole McCabe – Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion at SAP

To assist you to carve out more flexible arrangements that are a win win for both you and your organisation – here are five issues to consider  

  1. Do ask – if you don’t ask you won’t get.

  2. Mindset - shift from thinking about trading time for money to trading impact or results for money. When you make that shift yourself its easier to see the benefits of your work for what they are which means you can articulate them more clearly to your boss. 

  3. Back yourself - Instead of Abba “take a chance on me”  think far more Kylie “you should be so lucky!” Self confidence combined with self advocacy are very compelling career assets.

  4. Make a plan, don’t just wing it – just like when you negotiate a raise, craft a plan beforehand, and include what you do want, how it helps the organisation and where your line in the sand is.

  5. Don’t accept the first no you get as “no forever” - maybe it’s “no, not right now but let’s revisit in a month” or "not sure? How about a trial for a month?"

If you are successful 

For those who have been successful in navigating this flex conversation you want to put some risk mitigation strategies in place to make sure that people don't side line or forget you exist.  They key theme is don't leave them wondering.   

  1. Proactively manage expectations and set protocols - Make sure your boss, team and customers know how and when to find you - when you are at work and when you’re not; when you’ll respond and when you won’t. 

  2. Be strategic re emailing and communications with your team, staff and boss - timing is everything. I knew a bloke once who took this to the extreme and would deliberately email the boss at 10pm at night every now and then.  It worked a treat for him, but made everyone else who knew about it feel vaguely ill and the boss look incredibly gullible. I'm not recommending that, but if you are worried your boss thinks you are skiving off, email a progress report at the end of your working day. 

  3. Be strategically visible on a regular basis so you don’t get forgotten -  When you do get into the office - stay visibile. 

One of my clients is a senior level executive, with young children and an overseas client in a very different time zone. The demands on her personally and professionally are high including spending much of her time working late nights on the client portfolio. She has flex arrangements. However, she noticed that head office staff started to bypass her in important decisions because she wasn’t perceived asbeing around. She was becoming invisible. So she came up with a plan that included making sure to stop in and have conversations with key decision makers before she headed to her own division area on the days she did come into the office. At the end of her stint in the office she would then revisit the C-level decision makers for ad-hoc visits and corridor chats before she left to work from home.  Highly visible. Highly sought after. Much more satisfied.

Drop me an email if you've got any tactics that might help others navigate flexible arrangements. 
And do get in touch if you want help with that.

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolutionrocks #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #standout #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing


LIKE THIS? READ MORE >>>>

 
Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months

🌺 9 compelling reasons why you need to attend the Palm Cove Women of Impact Retreat 🌺

9 compelling reasons.jpg

PALM COVE WOMEN OF IMPACT LEADERSHIP RETREAT
1 - 3 November 2018
  

Bookings and information in the link.

The grass is greener where you water it.
— Emily Culp, Chief Marketing Officer, Keds

Finding the balance between tackling big, hairy, ambitious plans and taking downtime to reflect, can be challenging for those with big career goals and even bigger roles. 

To help you make a better decision about whether this retreat is right for you here are nine compelling reasons why you need to make time to attend.

1. Priority #1 is YOU. Not in a self indulgent, lie around the pool, drop and flop way (although there will be time for that too), but in a way that helps you let go of the old, and get on with the new. It can be hard to find time when juggling perfectionism, likability and hard work along with family, friends and fitness!  Research tells us that women in particular are very good at making others look good, but forget to do the same for themselves.  This is the perfect opportunity to make you your #1 priority. 

2. Stop being busy, start being strategic. Did you know that only 12% of executive women in CEO or MD roles say they have a career strategy according to Korn Ferry? We'll take time to map out a plan for you, so you've got some idea of where you are going in 2019 and beyond. After all, if you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?  

3. The amazing Alessandra Edwards is joining the facilitation team. Alessandra is in demand with medical professionals, C-suite Executives and high flyers locally and internationally. She is an expert in the DNA of Performance and she'll be helping us unlock the core elements of energy and focus to keep you firing at your best.  She works at the cutting edge of tailored health and wellness programs. This is truly the way of the future, and we are privileged to have access to her on the program.

4. Another amazing addition to our team is ABC Journo, Penny Terry, an expert in powerful communication. Penny will show us how good storytelling and communication skills are critical along the path to influence and can change conversations from outrage to empathy and inspire collaboration over competition, helping you cut through the clutter around a Boardroom table, in meetings, in presentations or in the media.

5. It's Palm Cove!  You'll have to relax and take time out, because you simply won't be able to help yourself. Why not stay a few extra days and chill?

6. The 5 Star Award Winning Alamanda Suites - on the beach and at the quiet end of town. Enough said. 

7. All your meals catered for by the famous Nu Nu Restaurant voted the 2015 Australian Gourmet Traveller and 2017 Good Food Guide Queensland Regional Restaurant of the Year.  Did I mention dinner under the stars on the beach one evening?

8. You'll make great connections with likeminded executive women. A great location to exchange ideas, inspire and be inspired and simply learn from others in similar situations. There is a saying "your network is your net worth".  But it's not about the number of connections, but the quality of your connections. You'll have time to invest in quality relationships while at Palm Cove.

9. Because you're worth it!  

10. Bonus tip - If you live in Melbourne, it will get you out of town for that pesky horse race.  Why not stay on a few extra days? It's an unofficial long weekend in Melbourne anyway and the Alamanda is holding the room rate for you for 3 days either side. 


Bookings via Eventbrite

  • Current clients and former clients receive a significant discount (or included in your 12 month agreement).

  • New clients most welcome - and the best bit? The full Retreat fee includes a 2 hour coaching session with me. Book in a 30 min one on one  phone call to learn more.

  • For anyone wanting help with a Twin Share room buddy, get in touch now. Accommodation rates held to 21 September 2018.


Bookings and information in the link.

#thrivenotsurvive #2018andBeyond #feminineambitionrocks #womenofimpact #womenofworthwin

 
Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email ablesing@amandablesing.com to set up a 30 min one on one to learn more. Helping clients shift from feeling invisible to becoming invincible in just 12 months