How colouring outside the lines can inspire action

You have to colour outside the lines once in a while if you want to make your life a masterpiece.
— Albert Einstein

Think that you've got what it takes but simply don't know how to get out of the rut that you're stuck in? Tired of watching as others overtake you in the career or leadership stakes?

Helping smart 'n savvy women in (and into) leadership roles is my specialty so let me share a secret with you.


Sometimes we need to learn how to colour outside the lines. Yes you read that right. We need to learn to let go of perfect, of needing the approval of others and of proper -  and instead, focus on what works.



To quote Russell Boon from his new book Think Decide Act;

If it’s stupid, but it works, it’s not stupid
— Russell Boon

As women we've been socialised to do things right, properly, well and appropriately. In fact we're usually the enforcer of manners and good behaviour within the family unit. We take our responsibilities seriously, but sometimes ........... just sometimes .... doing things differently might just be more helpful.


Colouring outside the lines, flying by the seat of your pants and being prepared to have a crack at it - so what might this mean?   (And no, I don't mean breaking the law.)

  • Put your hand up before you feel ready
  • Embrace the benefits of Just in Time Learning
  • Ask questions designed to shake up the status quo
  • Break with routine, orderly and risk averse
  • Have a crack at something even if you've never done it before
  • Apply for a role two or three levels up, instead of one - or worse, sideways
  • DON'T do things the way they've always been done before
  • When the computer says no, find another way
  • See limitations as challenges - Awards, salary negotiations, promotions, speaking gigs, entrepreneurial funding
  • Dream, plan and act in ways that create a new reality of your choice - not one that's expected of you.
  • Don't let other people's definitions of success become yours - become the definer, not the defined
  • When everyone else turns right, turn left
  • Fit your own mask, before you fit those of others
  • Maybe quit your job one day with nothing to go to - in the midst of the GFC despite the best advice of your friends and family (whoops that was me!)
  • Try creative approaches to applying for roles that really excite you
  • Find things to do at work that light your fire, fire up your soul, keep you awake at night with excitement and that make your friends green with envy
  • And if you can't find a seat at the table - BYO chair!   
  • Yes, maybe others will accuse you of "drinking the Cool Aid" but at least you will have fun along the way and won't be left wondering.

Two questions that might help you decide whether or not it's your turn to colour outside the lines:

  • What have you got to lose?   
    And perhaps more significantly .......
  • What have you got to lose if you don't?

Remember - my goal is that you win the feminine ambition trifecta - earn a great salary, have a big say/voice in your work and make an even bigger difference.

Vive la révolution!

#ambitionrevolution #feminineambition #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes


“Beginning when we are girls, most of us are taught to deflect praise. We apologize for our accomplishments. We try to level the field with our family and friends by downplaying our brilliance. We settle for the passenger’s seat when we long to drive. That’s why so many of us have been willing to hide our light as adults. Instead of being filled with all the passion and purpose that enable us to offer our best to the world, we empty ourselves in an effort to silence our critics. The truth is that the naysayers in your life can never be fully satisfied. Whether you hide or shine, they’ll always feel threatened because they don’t believe they are enough. So stop paying attention to them. Every time you suppress some part of yourself or allow others to play you small, you are ignoring the owner’s manual your Creator gave you. What I know for sure is this: You are built not to shrink down to less but to blossom into more. To be more splendid. To be more extraordinary. To use every moment to fill yourself up.”
— Oprah Winfrey (What I Know For Sure)
Feel like your leadership journey has stalled? Email 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