The key to Videoing like a LinkedIn Ninja

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How to Video like a LinkedIn Ninja - and did video really kill the LinkedIn star?

When I first started videoing, I was 🤮 dreadful.

Not just a little bit awful; I was truly catastrophic.
So much so that -

  • I'd do 10–20 takes to get one short clip

  • I'd be umming, ahhing and stumbling over words that normally came easily plus

  • I'd often forget my place right at the killer point and have to start again.

“A picture is worth a thousand words........and a video is worth a thousand pictures!”
— Ankala V Subbarao

Most of those initial clips never saw the light of day! And here's hoping they never will 🤣😂🤭

So, how did so many other people look so good, so fast? I couldn’t work it out and this kept me second guessing myself.

When LinkedIn launched video, it seemed like everyone jumped on the band wagon, and with recent technology advancements, video is far easier and quicker to produce than writing a blog.

According to research, on average, users spend around 5–6 hours consuming video content daily (yes, you read that right). Plus this figure is only set to increase, rapidly, as we become more time poor, consuming content between the cracks of our professional and personal lives.

So what happened? What did I learn that made it easier and helped me get better?

Learning #1 - Stop trying to prove myself. I was trying to be too intellectual. This came from that deep seated worry that I'm not really good enough. I'm not unusual. Research and anecdotal evidence says that when women start their self-promotion game, we often try and over prove ourselves. Unfortunately, this came through on camera with me packing too much information in and using language that was far too academic. But once I pulled on my big girl pants, and dosed myself with a shot of confidence, I naturally did better ... and it shows.

Learning #2 - Stop trying to be perfect yet expect progress. I learned to give myself permission to be bad at the start and to respect the journey. Some things fall into place much easier with less of a learning curve but maybe not video. Just like learning to do a headstand, you wouldn’t expect to do one in your first yoga class.

If you want to try using video to self-promote on LinkedIn, Facebook or Instagram, but are feeling a bit anxious. Or maybe you want to add video into your mix for addressing remote staff or creating content for the intranet at work, but worry you’ll shoot yourself in the foot, here are five practical tips that might help you tackle your video self-promotion strategy more confidently.

  1. Don't over complicate it. Pick one idea and speak to that. Just one simple idea. It could be answering one common question from your audience or one common problem that you know how to solve from which your audience may benefit. Consider a piece of a project that your audience might be interested in or an idea from a book that changed your life. Whatever the topic, pick one and save the rest for another day.

  2. Have a conversation. Use language as though you were chatting with a professional friend. I call it BBQ language—it’s as though you had friends over for a BBQ and you’re talking about your work. You wouldn’t use jargon or a bunch of annual report rhetoric, unless you want their eyes to glaze over. You’d personalise it; use real language, real context with real stories.

  3. Brief is best. People are time poor. Most people won't even watch more than 1 minute. Attention spans are short (and getting shorter). Make it easy for yourself - and your audience.

  4. Smile. I was so nervous about the video that I was forgetting to smile. Yet when you smile, it comes through in your voice; you connect better and find everyone enjoys the video more.

  5. Look at the lens. Look at the actual camera lens. Hard to find on the phone sometimes. This small thing was an absolute game changer. Put a dot, a piece of blue tack, anything, near the lens and look directly at that.

    So the question remains - did video really kill the LinkedIn star?

    Only if she dies of embarrassment!

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And get in touch if you want help with building your executive brand!

#executiveimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #selfpromotionmatters

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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

One great technique to help you meditate your way to the top

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I don't think I would have landed, or lasted in, a CEO role if I didn't meditate.  In fact, I know I wouldn't have. Between board responsibilities, ambitious growth targets, staffing, reputation management, AGMs, Awards and audits, life had the potential to be incredibly stressful. 

Meditation kept me clear headed, less reactive and better able to manage the constantly changing demands. 

What’s interesting though, is that I used to hide my meditation and yoga. I was embarrassed that people would think it was light weight and not leaderly enough, not cool or career minded enough, and that I was lacking in some way. 

Spring forward a few years and times have sure changed!  Meditation and mindfulness is considered the new black. It’s not just good for you but it’s uber cool as well.

If Jeff Weiner, CEO, LinkedIn, Ariana Huffington, CEO, Huffington Post and Oprah Winfrey, CEO, The Modern World (LOL) can do it, so can the rest of us. 

Multiple research studies have shown that meditation has the potential to decrease anxiety, thereby potentially boosting resilience and performance under pressure.

It has also been shown to

In the attention economy, focus is the currency. Fight for your focus
— Repa Patel
  • reduce stress

  • boost immunity

  • increase concentration and focus

  • improve sleep quality

  • help you make better decisions

  • increase memory and

  • enhance creativity

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....... all of which are highly beneficial to leadership.

Let's nip scarcity mentality in the bud 
It doesn’t have to be complicated or perfect. Tiny two minute meditation moments several times a day are not to be sniffed at. After all, the meditation that you do is far better than the meditation that you think about and don't do.

An abundance meditation is my go to at the moment. Designed to nip scarcity mentality in the bud in a few minutes. Literally. And scarcity mentality is not only one of the biggest barriers to women in leadership, but also to you and your own success.

  • "There won't be enough top jobs to go around"

  • "There won't be enough opportunities for us all"

  • "I'm not good enough"

  • "I'm not confident enough"

  • "There are only a few places so why would they give one to me?"

You've probably heard one of the above. You may have even said something similar to yourself.

The abundance meditation is really simple. When I do it I feel stress melting from my body - like ice-cream on a hot summer day (she pined wistfully). 

It’s great for those days when you have a bucket load of competing priorities, then worry that you won’t have enough time, energy or focus to get there.  

Deep down too, you’re afraid because the person you’ll let down the most is yourself and maybe .... today is the day that others will find out you're a big ol' fraud.

So what do you do?  Instructions below

  • Close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You can be sitting or lying. Rule of thumb - if you accidentally fall asleep, you probably needed it. Don’t get too pedantic.

  • Start breathing and allow your diaphragm to gently expand into your belly as you breathe

  • With a light touch, count how many counts it takes to inhale, pause at the top then count how long it takes to exhale

  • Repeat for about 1 minute and see if you can effortlessly extend your breath count each time

  • Then mentally repeat the following four phrases to yourself with your new slow breathing - about four times through

- "I am safe"

- "I am worthy" 

- "I am loveable"

- "I am enough" 

  • Remember you are not in a rush, take your time

  • If you have the time, or want a variation on a theme, take it one step further and repeat the following different four phrases for a couple of minutes

- "I have plenty of time"

- "I have plenty of energy"

- "I have plenty of focus"

- "I am enough" 

  • Finally, sit in silence for a minute longer and gently bask in the space this creates.

Then get on with your day!  

Remember, some days it's a dance. Other days it’s a juggle. While some days it feels like a tornado hit!

You being able to carve a calm pathway through is going to make all the difference between an indifferent or invincible 'brand you'. 

Let me know how you go. 

And yes, it is possible to meditate your way to the top.

Share if you dare, to inspire another woman somewhere!

#executivewomen #leadingwomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes

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The Macedon Retreat is FULLY BOOKED

 
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

Retreat Early Bird date extended - just for you

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It's not too late - early bird pricing extended to 5 July

Are you able to attend?

What would it take for you to create the time and space to focus on "brand you" and attend theWomen of Impact Leadership Retreat?  

Maybe it's an extension of the Early Bird pricing discount to help you make the final decision! 

Finding the balance between tackling ambitious goals and taking downtime can be challenging for those with big career goals and even bigger roles. The Macedon Women of Impact Leadership Retreat will help you create time and space to do just that.

Bookings and details in the link -  Early Bird pricing extended to 5 July  COB

In addition to reflecting on your own leadership brand, your ability to influence and carve out a future focused, positive pathway forwards, you will also hear from three amazing women who will co-facilitate with me.

1. Irene Scott, Copywriter, Marketer, Strategist, Engineer - a civil engineer turned copywriter and marketing strategist, who loves telling other people’s stories and helping them live their passion.  She is already helping several of my clients with prestigious award nominations so I'm very excited to hear how she does it. 

How to Write an Award Winning Application to Showcase Your Expertise… 7 Tips to Boost Your Nomination Success.

If you want more influence, credibility and authority amongst your peers, then being formally acknowledged with an award is key.  But if you’ve ever doubted whether you have the right experience, struggled to find the “right” words to express your accomplishments or been anxious your message sounds flat, then you know writing an award application can be a challenge.  In her presentation she'll share with you 7 tips and strategies you can use immediately to write winning award applications! 

2. Julie Hyne, CEO Stylist and Image Consultant 

Some people think that style and image is frivolous. However, perhaps they've never been on the receiving end of negative judgments or low confidence because you simply didn't have the right look!  
Your confident executive presence is a career tool just like any other and with competence so confused with confidence, a confident presence pays dividends. I've had clients tell me that they've been advised to change their look, straighten their hair and present themselves differently if they were ever going to succeed. And this hurts!  And when that happens, I call Julie.  Julie works with C-level executives around the country and advises on style, image and executive presence to have more impact.  For those attending the Retreat you get to experience her wisdom first hand in a group setting.

3.  Special guest female wine maker, Laura Swallow, winemaker for Rowanston on the Track, will share tasting notes and her career story in the breathtaking views of the Macedon Wine Room. 

If you're still sitting on the fence re the Women of Impact Leadership Retreat - this Early Bird extension may be just the ticket. 

Curious but not sure? Why not grab 30 mins with me to find out more?  Book a Zoom or Phone meeting straight away. Or simply hit reply to this email 

When: 1 - 2 August 2019 (arrival lunch served from 12.00 noon Thursday)
Where: Macedon Ranges Resort, Spa & Conference Centre 
             Just 35 mins from the Melbourne airport and 45 mins from the Melbourne CBD

Who should attend? Ideal for executive women with big goals, bigger drive and even bigger ambitions, or newer consultants wanting to establish their brand with more impact.

What's included?  All meals, sessions, a wine tasting, a fabulous group dinner, a tai chi class, and for those heading to the airport at the end of the Retreat there is a group airport transfer booked for 3.30pm Friday. (estimated arrival time 4.15pm)

Retreat bookings and details here

  • Note 1 - there is a special rate for former and current clients. I know you'll love connecting with each other as you all have so much in common.

  • Note 2 - there is also an amazing offer for those who have yet to work with me, but want to come along and meet others. You receive a 2 hour strategy session with me. I've already delivered 2 of these sessions to women who booked early.  It would be great to get your 2 hour session in before the event.


Drop me a note if you can't decide and need more information.  Happy to help.

Counting down the days ......

Stay visible!

#executivewomen #leadingwomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes

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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

Amanda’s 11 Step LinkedIn Ninja Posting/Publishing Process Guaranteed to Build Your Brand

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  1. Draft an idea for a Post or Published article - just have a crack at getting fingers to keyboard, pen to paper, words out of your head and onto a page. Sometimes I’m totally surprised by the material that comes out of my subconscious just waiting to be written and published. After all, the secret to getting things done is to get started.

  2. Let it sit for a day or two to settle before going back in to edit - just like you would with rising dough or bread

  3. Decide on style - What style post/article will it be? Will it be text only? Have you got an action shot of you? a video? or other media that might add interest factor? (no bland stock images thanks!)

  4. Identify 10 potential people in your network who may have something to add to the conversation. Don’t reach out to them yet.

  5. Finalise your Post/Article - edit then proof-read with view to how others will react to it. You can always test it with a friend.

  6. Check for the 6 Ps of LinkedIn Proof-reading

    • What’s your Purpose? Does this fit with your long term goals? Is it branded or in alignment with your brand? If not, how can you make it more so?

    • Does it Pop? Does your first line or opening sentence stand out? Is it dramatic enough? Does it have enough emotion? Does it entice people in to want to read more? (consider # 🤣 questions or challenges)

    • Is your language or idea Powerful enough? Can you amplify that more? Don’t start sentences with So, And. Remove passive language, weasel words or things that make it seem as though you don’t have an opinion and are hedging you bets.

    • Is your post Personalised enough? Where is the context? What’s your perspective? Are you using too much jargon? Does it make you seem human?

    • Does it Persuade? Do you provide a rationale & evidence, that would help people see your point of view? Be sure to explain the obvious so people don’t have to work for it.

    • Is it too Passive? Make it obvious how you need people to engage and take action (calls to action). Remember engagement is the gold - you want people to engage. Not only is it “social proof” but the algorithm loves it too. Make it easy/compulsory to engage.

  7. Consider your hashtags in advance - 3 to 5 at max. Why? To get them into popular news feeds on LinkedIn, consider who your ideal reader is and what #feeds they read, what your own branding is, or any words you want to pop in the 1st x 2 lines.

  8. Work out a good time to Post/Publish - i.e. when you have at least 30 mins available to Sweat the Post to get it running and when you know there will also be room for natural organic read rate (i.e. more people on LinkedIn)

  9. Post/Publish - note: when publishing, you need to have a pithy, catchy and short summary of your post, with a few hashtags when you publics. Consider drafting something in advance.

  10. Then Sweat the Post or Article - no more “build it and they will come”. No more relying on luck or happy accident. Take responsibility for the success of your post. If you don’t have 30 mins available at a good time to post, find another time to do it. What does this mean?

    • Send to your 10 experts who will have an opinion - “Hi (Brian), just wrote something for LinkedIn (insert Link). Would love your opinion to get the conversation going. A thumbs up or comment would be great. Happy to return the favour for you another day. Cheers - your name”

    • Share in any relevant groups you’re a member of - contextualise as you share

    • Consultants - share to your own company page

    • Comment back to any comments that others make within the 1st two hours. Consider asking questions to keep the conversation live for longer

    • Ongoing commenting back, at the 6 hour mark then daily with a few responses each day. PRO TIP - don’t comment back on everything all in one hit after the initial 2 hours. Spread it out over a few days to keep your post/article running longer

  11. Track your results - likes, comments, reshares. Consider also, did the post or article increase the number of views your profile got? Keep a record so you can measure progress or refine the process as required.

Once again - don’t leave success up  to luck or happy accident. Make it a fait accompli instead.

#executivewomen #leadingwomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes

 
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 did I miss this from 3 months ago??? 😱

Yet timely, as #Barbie turns 60yo

86% of 8000 mums surveyed by Mattel said that they were skeptical about buying a Barbie for their daughter, because of the negative stereotyped role modelling.

In response, they’ve created 17 dolls of real and famous inspiring women. The #Shero program includes both historical & modern role models including

> Frida Kahlo

> Amelia Earhart

> Martyna Wojciechowska, Journo

> Bindi Irwin, Conservationist

> Patty Jenkins, Filmmaker (Wonder Woman)

> Katherine Johnson, NASA Physicist

I never had a Barbie. Not sure why but for some reason they didn't feature high on my agenda.

As a kid I grew up on a farm and far bigger toys to play with - a mini bike, a go-kart, a toy race-car set and heaps of pets. No, I wasn't a tom boy. I didn't know that what I did was unusual. However it was when I started spending time with 'city kids' that I noticed the difference in play time.

What I do love about this is the redesign of the Barbie ethos. For those who want to play with dolls, Barbie now comes in all shapes, colours and sizes and with real life histories that educate and inspire.

YOUR THOUGHTS on the new SHERO Barbie range? CREDIT: Bored Panda & Womens Agenda

#womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #selfpromotionmatters

 
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

8 great reasons why you should attend my Winter Women in Leadership Retreat in Macedon

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We've all experienced the benefits of taking a break. But sometimes it feels hard to justify when deadlines are looming, you're on a roll or you have conflicting priorities.  Yet research has proven time and time again, that good old fashioned hard work with your nose to the grindstone, might not be the smartest play when it comes to creating a career with more impact.

While I love Sheryl Sandberg's Lean In message in principle, one of the things I dislike is the ease with which we can misinterpret the context of leaning in to meaning we should simply be doing more, working harder and we'll get there in the end. When in fact, we need to be working far smarter, far more strategically, with the space and energy to recalibrate and flex as we go. 

After all, if we keep on doing what we've always done, we'll always get what we've always got!  And the data proves that gender parity is still a long way off.

So what are the benefits in attending the Winter Women of Impact Leadership Retreat in Macedon?  Well, here are eight great reasons that you can go to your boss with right now -

1.     You get to prioritise yourself for a change - chances are you're really good at looking out for everyone else (your team, your boss, your family), and forget to look out for yourself. Remember, your priority #1 should be you. This retreat you'll get to fit your own mask first for 1.5 days and a great reminder to be doing this more frequently.

2.     You have time to re-evaluate your short and long term goals. Is this still what you really want? Or have you grown and changed in the last year and your plans need recalibrating? Or do you have hidden talents or interests that you haven't yet tapped into because you've been too busy?

3.     The big open spaces of the Macedon Ranges will help you decompress, which will in turn reduce your stress response, which will help you become less reactive and make better decisions.

4.     You'll get time to plan any required course correction as you have the space to see the woods for the trees far better. Stop being busy, start being strategic.  

5.     You'll experience a big creativity boost ensuring you work smarter, not just harder.

6.     You get a chance to refocus on your leadership style, helping you to lead like a leading woman more easily. Your organisation likely doesn't need more women who simply lead like men. Instead, you'll develop some awareness around your leadership style so you can lead far more effectively.

7.     You'll connect with other likeminded women who will inspire you, challenge you or reinforce that you're on the right journey, and who may end up becoming buddies for life.

8.     And finally, as a bonus, you get to hang out with Julie Hyne, Irene Scott and me for a few days. We love our work inspiring talented women and can't wait to get started.

 

And all this is before you get into the benefits of the Retreat curriculum or agenda!  

(Both you and your boss will thank me later)



When: 1 - 2 August 2019 (arrival lunch served from 12.00 noon Thursday)
Where: Macedon Ranges Resort, Spa & Conference Centre 
             Just 35 mins from the Melbourne airport and 45 mins from the Melbourne CBD
Early Bird Pricing: 30 June 2019 COB

Who should attend? Ideal for executive women with big goals, bigger drive and even bigger ambitions, or newer consultants wanting to establish their brand with more impact.

Bookings and details here

One of the biggest questions I get asked is "I'm not one of your existing clients, can I still attend?" 
Absolutely. I offer a rate that includes a 2 hour one-on-one mentoring session with me. An ideal way to start taking your career more seriously.

Note 1: Space limited to ensure a boutique, personalised and more impactful experience

Note 2: Taking time to regroup, recharge and refresh with likeminded executive women might be just the ticket to help you start thinking differently about leadership and your career.

#womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #career

 
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

“Do one thing every day that scares you"

“Do one thing every day that scares you" ~ as Eleanor Roosevelt is widely quoted as saying

Stand up paddle boarding is my one thing today!

For some reason the itty bitty shitty committee had done a number in my head and made this seem unreasonable.

Science tells us that regularly doing something that scares you will help you

🏝 Get out of your comfort zone

🏝 Create new neurons in your brain (super important as you age)

🏝 Feel good about yourself as you triumph over fear

🏝 Become more productive (go figure!!)

🏝 Become more resilient

🏝 See things differently & boost creativity

Yet most of us are stuck in a rut of routine, the mundane and doing more of the same in what can feel like an ever draining and frustrating daily grind. We’re struggling to find “different” let alone “scary”.

If we always do what we’ve always done, we’ll always get what we’ve always got.

Ask yourself - are you aiming for inside your comfort zone or out there where the magic happens?

COMMENT - It's easy on holidays, but back in the real world is where the rubber hits the road. So what can you do that’s out of your comfort zone today?

🌴 Aloha 🌴 See you back in Oz in a few days 🏖

#womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #selfpromotionmatters

 
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

Attention grabbing #pinkwash?⠀Or a really smart way to campaign by @L'orèal to highlight the gender equity business case?

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I don’t mind, even if they are paying #lipservice (pun intended) it’s a great way to draw attention to an old problem.

The gender salary gap, while diminishing slowly, is still a big deal in many industries and sectors, despite increased awareness and attention on the business case.

Some interesting stats from WGEA:

◾The highest paid men are earning at least $162,000 more than the highest paid women

◾Women are most under-represented in top-tier management positions. However, this category has seen the fastest growth rate, increasing by 4.4 percentage points in the last five years

◾The glass ceiling remains a barrier for women at CEO level, with very little movement in the last five years (+1.1 percentage point).

YOUR THOUGHTS? Comment below

#womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #selfpromotionmatters

 
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

"We don’t have balls, but we know how to use them"

I ❤️ ❤️❤️ this German Women’s World Cup team hype video that has been hailed for its strong message of female empowerment.

► I ❤️ the power of this clip

► I ❤️ the play on words

► I ❤️ the challenge to socialised norms & stereotypes

► I ❤️ the message - so inspiring. Makes me want to go out and 'kick goals' with the best of them

But it begs the question - why is it that a powerful woman is called a ball breaker but a powerful man is called a deal maker? Let's call her a change maker instead.

Words, language and names are powerful. When used well they shape and inspire. When used without thought they can cut people down or keep them playing small.

Use them wisely

COMMENTS WELCOME - Love it? Hate it? What do you think?

Kudos to the players and the coaches

Kudos to the creative and production team behind this.

Thanks to Jane Anderson CSP and hashtag#SBSViceland for inspiring me

►SHARE IF YOU DARE TO INSPIRE A WOMAN SOMEWHERE 😎

#womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #selfpromotionmatters

 
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

She believed that she could; so she made a plan and worked the plan til she did!

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Did you know that according to research from Korn Ferry, only 12% of female leaders had a plan to get the top job?

Maybe it's time to put your plan together, then work it til you get to where you want to go.

Because if you don't know where you are going, how will you know when you get there?

COMMENT - do you have a plan? And, whatever your approach, is it working for you?

#womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #selfpromotionmatters

 
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

I absolutely ❤️ ❤️ ❤️ this story.

Meet the millionaire CEO of Booking.com @Gillian Tans

- who bikes to work

- does not put on any airs

- wears casual attire on stage

I understand that sometimes we need to play the career game. But sometimes I chafe at this game, and wish women could be more authentic and real.

As an executive who has chosen to ride/walk to work for most of my career, who resents wearing make up and live very "simple" life, I don't see many success stories of women winning despite not playing the game.

Hence me loving this story!

Gillian strongly believes social and economic change are driven by technology, and if women continue to be under-represented in technical roles, it may create a larger social divide and give rise to gender stereotypes.

Gillian - you are my new role model.

So a quick question for you - which role models do you have who play a better game and get a better result?

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#womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #selfpromotionmatters

 
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

6 Curious Facts About Decision Making That May Be Holding You Back

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Decision making is something I struggled with as a young woman. I'd agonise and procrastinate, always waiting for a better offer or for a more perfect opportunity to come along. Meanwhile the things I was meant to be deciding on passed me by and life got on without me. 

Who was I kidding? I didn't just struggle - I was lousy at it.  

My work around was to schedule my life within an inch of its life so that my calendar and work commitments forced me to make decisions by the very nature of a looming deadline.  

'I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.' ~ Douglas Adams 

Spring forward 25 years and I'm now married to a decision making expert. 

The irony.

The pressure!

Yes, the gods must truly be laughing.

But things have definitely changed. With the wisdom of age I now practice the art of defencelessness, letting go of the need to be right. 

As a result I've become far better at decision making, far faster with less agonising and with far more comfort about course correction as needed.  After all, as my resident decision making expert says "any decision, even the wrong decision is better than no decision".  And I've learned he is right.

In fact, one of the reasons I'm really interested in gender diversity came from my own struggle with decision making. This drove an interest in male and female brain biology which, combined with data that demonstrates that organisations make better long term decisions with equal numbers of men and women on the leadership team, has shaped this significant part of my career.

WHAT HAVE I LEARNED?
Many people and organisations struggle with decision making. Despite the negative stereotype that women change their mind more than men, paralysis by analysis is not limited to women.  I'm hoping the following six curious factoids, based in research, will help you make decisions more easily. 

1. Decision overwhelm is a thing. Ever gone onto Airbnb thinking you'd spend a quick 15 mins to book your weekend away, only to give up 60 mins later because there were too many properties to choose from?  That's decision overwhelm, where you are presented with too many options so it's far harder for you to make a decision. 

We live in an era where we're spoiled for choice, but quite possibly it's slowing us down and making us less effective. The fix? Give yourself only a few options to choose from. You'll have your holiday booked in no time, with no regrets as well.  You can thank me later.

2. We make better easier decisions in morning. Yes, we are prone to decision fatigue. It impacts on the quality of our choices as well as our ability to make a decision. That's why it's far easier to make healthier choices in the morning, and far easier to sit on the couch drinking red wine, eating dark chocolate and watching reruns of Jane the Virgin, when you know you should be out working on your networking strategy! 

So what does this mean? If you've got a big decision to make in the evening, make a decision to sleep on it!   Make the big decision the next morning instead. Schedule important decisions or options in the morning when your decision making muscle is stronger and your willpower isn't wilting. You can thank me in the morning when you've slept on it.

3. Gender, decisions and stress - under intense pressure, women tend toward safer decisions and men tend towards riskier decisions.  Fascinating. Two things spring to mind here

  • Proactively manage your stress and wellbeing so you don't have to deal with the impact of stress on your decision making. Prevention is always better than the cure.

  • Keep this in mind next time your significant other makes a decision that appears either outrageously cautious or outrageously risky to you.  It may not be their fault, but the fault of their biology instead.


4. Time limits increase likelihood of making a decision 
- hmmmm, apparently I was onto the right track as a young woman. I've always known I performed well to a deadline.  After all, work expands to fill the time allocated, so when you give yourself time limits you'll be able to make a decision more easily. I love the Pomodoro technique as a tactic to tackle projects far more efficiently. 25 mins on followed by 5 mins rest x 4 cycles. Work. Rest. Rinse. Repeat x 4.  Because when we know time is short we're able to prioritise far more effectively and in just under 2 hours we can get far more done than we might do in a full day with no deadlines. Time limits will help you prioritise. Prioritising will help you make decisions more easily.

5. We tend to throw good after bad if we've already heavily invested - whether that's time, money, energy or ego.  This is called the sunk cost fallacy.  When we're heavily invested, we're more likely to keep going in the direction well past what might be sensible to an outsider. For example, you've already invested heavily in a particular direction in your career (you've told your boss, you've spent money, you've exhausted yourself every weekend doing it and wasted a year already) so you might as well keep going, even though you're desperately unhappy and potentially making a silk purse out of a sows ear. 

The fix? Get another perspective, and practice that defencelessness I mentioned earlier. Being aware of the sunk cost fallacy will help you make better decision anyway. And remember, it's okay to change your mind despite the negative stereotype. Sometimes you simply have to cut your losses and move on. 

It’s not failure, it’s data
— Dorie Clark


6. Things that are undecided take up mental ram and emotional energy - yes this sounds a little woo woo, but those who make more rapid decisions, move on more rapidly too. They're already scaling the next mountain, and we haven't yet bought a ticket to Katmandu because we couldn't work out which airline to go on! 

When we procrastinate on undecided items, it causes friction and slows us down, personally and professionally. The freedom of a freefall, that comes from making rapid decisions, is liberating. Because it provides more data that helps you progress far more easily. You can always course correct later as you need.

There is an old saying - action precedes clarity.  Combine this with the fact that success is really closely correlated with more rapid decision making and you begin to get the picture.  When we replace perfecting, proving, pleasing and polishing with purpose, passion and progress, life becomes a whole heap easier anyway.

And that success you are searching for?  A whole heap closer.

Your thoughts? What helps you make more effective decisions?  Drop me a note and let me know.

PS you might have noticed I've had a fabulous new photoshoot. The header image features "the bees knees" and other fun ways of reminding yourself that you're actually doing okay. Looking forward to sharing more with you in coming months. Why not follow me on Instagram as well?

#executiveimpact #leadingwomen #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes


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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