Leadership

The secret to getting noticed for all the right reasons for executive women

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I was not rescued by a Prince. I was the adminstrator of my own rescue
— Elizabeth Gilbert

A funny thing happened to me on a webinar the other day.  I was in the middle of introducing the Gold Standard of Executive Branded - proactive, intentional, future focused and strategic when someone asked me a question "Isn't it disingenuous to do this? Surely if we're doing great work people will notice us?" 

My heart stopped.  It was such a great question.

I then took a deep breath and thought deeply before I responded, because I knew exactly where she was coming from.

Let me explain.

My new book From Invisible to Invincible - a self-promotion handbook for executive women (advance orders available here) was originally going to be called Noticed: For all the right reasons. 

Oh, how I loved that title. It was punchy. It was going to have a sealed section with all the wrong reasons (and no, not those sort of wrong reasons). This book was about being noticed by the right audience, at the right time, in the right place with the right key messages in the right currency.

But when I reflected on the issues that many women face: a lack of agency or a tendency to rely more on waiting to be noticed than creating the notice, I simply could not go to print with that title. It would convey the wrong message and keep us stuck once again playing small.

THE SECRET

The secret to creating a career that really counts is that success comes soonest to those who create it themselves - deliberately, proactively, strategically and in a future focused manner.  Not to those who wait around for it to happen to them or for someone to hand it to them.

The socialisation of young women and girls is comes from fairy stories and romance novels where the female protagonist waits to be rescued. Even if we didn't consciously buy into that narrative, it was all around us - television, advertising, magazine articles, our mothers, grans, aunties, female cousins, babysitters or childcare workers who reared us with those same stereotypes in mind. 

After all -

  • Men sweat, while women glow

  • Men go on quests and adventures, while women are required to stay at home waiting and keeping the hearth fires warm

Our history is flooded with images of women sitting passively and looking amazing, without a hair out of place as though as though we didn't break a sweat, Mona Lisa style, while imagery of men is all guts and glory, of men riding, lifting, heaving, throwing, running, creating and leading.

This creates a tendency towards a lack of agency for women. We subconsciously end up imagining that someone needs to tap us on the shoulder, for us to wait to be invited, for it to be worthwhile; that being discovered like Australia’s Top Model is the holy grail (thank you NOT Dolly Magazine of the 70's and 80s'); and this somehow perpetuates a mixed up mess of, if you actually create your own success then it isn't as valid.

Logically this doesn’t even make sense, but it’s so ingrained in the thinking of yesteryear that it’s hard to decode or dismiss even now.

In 2015, I was attending an International Women’s Day function and was seated at a table with a mature-aged (75+) business woman renowned in the dispute resolution sector. She had just published her first, much awaited, book. When I asked her why she waited so long to write the book, she replied ‘No-one had invited me to write one before, so I didn’t think it would be the right thing to do’

This exemplifies much of what many of us still hold to be true. We're still waiting to be invited because we think it's the right thing to do. 

But the new rules for women are - if you don't have a seat at the table, BYO chair. 

This takes focus, striving, strategy, influencing others and right effort.

So to answer the question? No this is not disingenuous. We women simply got the wrong memo. This is the secret ingredient that we've only recently stumbled upon. The men and women winning all the glory are quite simply, creating it for themselves.

Instead, we need to stop waiting and get on with the business of being great then create a world we want to inhabit.

As television producer Shonda Rhimes famously said ... 'I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don't call me lucky. Call me a badass'.

YOUR THOUGHTS?  Have you had your badass moment yet?  Or deep down, are you still waiting?  Drop me a note and let me know.

#Icreatesheroes #womenofimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes

 

Share if you dare, to inspire another woman somewhere!

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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

Lead Like a Leading Woman

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"I don't think I'm displaying leadership. I just think I'm displaying humanity," said Jacinda Ardern, PM, NZ, in the wake of terror attacks against Muslims in NZ.

Which begs the question, why is this so unusual that we take notice? Why don’t more leaders display humanity?

My heart goes out to those affected by this tragedy.

My admiration goes out to a leader not afraid to show compassion.

READ MORE - SMH article in the link https://lnkd.in/fVQwip3

Credit: SMH article World's tallest building lit up with image of Jacinda Ardern, by Joel MacManus Photo taken by Wellington photographer Hagen Hopkin

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambitionrocks 

 
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

Farewell Julie Bishop

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“As crass as it is to concentrate on a lady's wardrobe, it is impossible to avoid comment on the former foreign minister's choice of frock for the announcement. Pure, dazzling white. The choice of the suffragettes, the choice of Democratic women lodging a visually-arresting protest against Donald Trump during the recent State of The Union, the choice indeed of Joan of Arc as she rode into battle.

Joan's was a gift from Charles VII; Julie's was probably more likely to be Armani, but there's no doubt that white is the colour for women of courage who are not afraid either of male-dominated environments or of eating a tomato sandwich at work.”

#IHeartAnnabelCrabb

Thanks to the ABC and @AnnabelCrabb for this stunning social commentary. Finally journalists getting it right. Still focused on her appearance, but quite possibly Ms Bishop did intend it that way.

> READ MORE https://lnkd.in/fihbeXU

#womenofimpact #leadingwomen #visibilityandvulnerability

 
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

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

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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

Leadership lessons from a hip hop dance competition? You betcha'!

Leadership lessons for #leadingwomen from a hip hop dance competition? You betcha’!

Don’t imitate the men. 

Toni Basil, best known for her multi-million-selling worldwide 1982 hit "Mickey", which reached No 1 in several countries, reminds female hip hop artists to not forget their femininity. 

  • It doesn’t take away your strength
  • You can be as strong as you want
  • I’m talking about women accepting the femininity within them and adding it to their “dance”

Love this as a lesson in leadership for women! 

Gone are the old days of “big hair, big shoulder pads, go hard or go home”.  

And to women reading this - let’s lead like a leading woman not like a man. 

“I haven’t found myself constrained by the male models of leadership because I haven’t found them particularly inspiring, so why copy something you didn’t like?” ~ Ann Sherry AO, Carnival Australia

And Toni Basil?  At 75yo you truly inspire and not just because of your amazing dance moves. For the groovers reading this post? Check out the video - this will make your day.

#business #branding #leadership

(Video - Youtube HHI's "Real Talk”)

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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 to be a Kickass Female Speaker – advice for those considering taking the stage

Three Steps to be a Female KickAss Speaker 

  1. Be female
  2. Kick some ass
  3. Then get onstage and speak!

Last month I interviewed Warwick Merry CSP who is the former President of the Speakers Association.

I asked for his advice for women stepping up, speaking out and taking charge via the speaker circuit.

Well we're in luck. Warwick had lots to say and all of it positive!  Bring it on! 

 
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

Why some executive women win

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In the last couple of months so many of my clients have had seriously big wins. I am so incredibly proud of them as they achieved –

  • BIG salary negotiations, renegotiations on negotiations, or even negotiating for the very first time (did you know that, according to Glassdoor, less than 68% of women negotiate on initial offer?)
  • Tackling bigger projects or career goals than ever before
  • Award nominations and wins
  • First time C-suite and CEO roles
  • $25K-$150K+ salary increases, and
  • Feeling like they are on track with their career again.
You were born with wings. Why prefer to crawl through life?
— Rumi

I get goose bumps just thinking about it!

But it made me wonder – why does it appear to be easier for some than others?  

To help everyone who reads my blog, not just the ones who work with me, I’ve examined the commonalities of those kicking major goals.

What is common amongst these women? 

1. They have an attitude of positivity, possibility and optimism. They're able to park their "critic" and the “cynic” at the door, to embrace new ideas and tactics and then simply get on with the business of being great. They also have a YES, AND approach. If I say “jump”, they say, “YES, AND how can I take this even further?”. If I saw "try this", they say, "YES, AND I also want to try this. What do you think?"  Does this mean naïve? Not at all. Does this mean they always win? No again. But action creates momentum and a positive mindset helps build resilience.

2. They are proactive, deliberate and strategic. They take proactive action - with minimal hesitation - and most importantly, in the direction of their choice. When faced with an obstacle they find another way – smarter, simpler, easier. For some this is the first time they've aimed at a role and tried to create/land/win it. Recently, two clients wrote out their ideal Job Description when they first started with me - and now both have created those roles. One created her new role from scratch, the other won an existing role. Either way, this has significant WOW factor.

3. They’re not afraid to ask for help. They ask smart questions to get the right information that will help them with their goals.  And instead of suffering in silence, wondering if they are on track, they reach out for additional support sooner rather than later. A fiercely, independent blueprint might sound good in theory, but definitely has it's downside.  It’s not weak or wrong to ask for more support. It’s human and can also trigger serious momentum.

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4. They get out of their own way – and don’t sweat the small stuff. They have been able to park the small me that will try and keep then safe. And they only worry about the things that matter most.  The down side of playing a safe game is that it's frequently also a small or comfortable game. And as the saying goes - “worry is like sitting in a rocking chair – simply rocking backwards and forwards going nowhere.”

5. They trust their gut. They’ve learned to trust their own judgment - how to discern the difference between excitement fear v's terrified fear, feedback v’s gaslighting or personal attack and good v’s bad advice, even if the bad advice is delivered by someone who is more mature, more authoritative etc. They know how to navigate through it and get to what's important. 

So excited! So proud.

A Winning Case Study

One wonderful client was feeling overwhelmed, as she prepared to go on holiday. She suggested to me that she would mothball nominating for an Award until 2019.  Others around her were all in agreement, because it was true. She was worn out. 

You can imagine my response.

There had to be a smarter way.   Old thinking such as working hard, brand busy and relentless execution will only get you so far and will keep you worn out. What about a new and easier way of tackling this?

As a result she has now not only effortlessly nominated for one Award, but found another Award opportunity while she was away, and felt so good about herself after the process that she created two more Award nomination opportunities upon her return.  All this while lying poolside on a drop and flop holiday!

I’ll keep you posted on how she goes. Wish her luck!

Here's the Twist - These Attitudes Also Keep you Younger Longer

These attitudes that my clients are displaying may also keep them younger longer. Researchers are finding that your mental patterns could be harming, or helping, your telomeres — essential parts of the cell’s DNA — and effecting your life and health, according to Nobel-winning scientist Elizabeth Blackburn and health psychologist Elissa Epel.

The tops three issues that that damage your telomeres and contribute to you aging faster?

  • Cynical hostility 
  • Pessimism 
  • Worrying 

Not only will all three take years off your life, but they will also keep you playing small.

So ditch the negativity and rumination and adopt a more positive approach and you win hands down. And to borrow a phrase from a catchy ditty from the 80’s – “Don’t worry, be happy”.

And if it hasn't happened to you yet, it will. Keep the faith.

► YOUR THOUGHTS?  Have you noticed a more positive mindset helps with your career, health and happiness? And what do you do to maintain that positivity? 

 

#MakeABiggerDifference #FeminineAmbitionRocks #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

Why Executive Women need to learn to speak to their own results, despite feeling icky!

The No. 1 #mistake in #selfpromotion is not what you might imagine

It’s not sounding arrogant - although given the 714,000 Google search results on the topic that’s a big concern.

It’s that we imagine that our results should speak for themselves.

Yet we live in a world that’s increasingly busy, where distraction is everywhere and people are the protagonist in their own movie - so others won’t always naturally see or remember your results unless you remind them.

And because we believe that results should speak for themselves, we then think there is something wrong with us and our achievements when no-one notices, or even remembers.

It’s a bit like getting upset when no-one remembers your birthday - but you didn’t even tell anyone when it was.

And that’s ridiculous.

The best bit? When we use real examples with real stories and real impact and outcomes, that helps you avoid sounding arrogant anyway, plus helps align others with your vision.

#executivewomen #womenofimpact #personalbranding

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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

Worried about getting older as an executive woman? Think again!

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Are you worried about getting older? Worried about discrimination or that you may simply be “past it” and not able to cut it any more?

Well maybe it's time to stop worrying and start celebrating your maturity, particularly if you are a woman.

Just last month, Jack Zengar, Zengar Folkman, shared stunning insights into age and confidence.  

Women gain in confidence far more as we age.

(Hallelujah!)

We may feel less confident in our 20s and 30s, but there is light at the end of the tunnel

  • Our confidence increases (men and women) as we head towards 40
  • As a woman your confidence will increase even more through 50 
  • And then from 50 to 60+ it's all up hill! 

In the words of Helen Reddy “I am woman, hear me roar”

To paraphrase “I am a more mature woman, see me soar!”

Combine this with research that we all get happier with age, we now have two great reasons to be happy about ageing.

For those experiencing age discrimination, let's not dismiss the fact that our society celebrates youth and older women are an invisible segment in our community.  I don't want to dismiss the fact that this happens. So let this confidence research be your secret weapon, to help you get on the front foot and turn your age into a tactical advantage. 

► What about you? Do you feel more confident as you age?  Why not get involved in the conversation on LinkedIn? Have your say.

#MakeABiggerDifference #FeminineAmbitionRocks #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

Nice Girls Can Indeed Get the Corner Office

What a great evening in #Melbourne on 14 June.

Thanks also to Mary Anne Waldren for sharing her insights at Work Club for my Women of Impact program.

Event photography thanks to Luis Ferreiro

Event photography thanks to Luis Ferreiro

Key takeaways and insights

  • Nice is not naïve
  • Nice does not mean being compliant, complicit or even capitulating
  • Nice doesn’t preclude being direct, assertive and highly competitive
  • Nice also can mean being willing to have tough conversations, or even sometimes using tough love principals to help someone move forward
  • Nice means being kind, generous and gracious - graciousness goes a long way in business and is hugely underestimated
  • Nice and likeable aren't necessarily the same and definitely not to be confused with needing to be liked

As one motivated attendee emailed after the event

"Being nice means being true to yourself and the situation by setting appropriate boundaries without aggression, anger, hatred or resentment. It’s about being strong and steadfast in your convictions whilst opening your heart to show kindness, compassion and gentleness towards others." 

>> Your thoughts? Can we keep it nice and still lead effectively?

#womenofimpact #leadership #feminineambitionrocks #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

I need your help - CEO SleepOut 2018

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Brrrrr!  It's cold and miserable outside this winter in Melbourne!

I need your help .... as do those who find themselves homeless.

With the winter weather well and truly set in, it's a great time to talk about the Vinnies CEO Sleepout to help break the cycle of homelessness in Victoria. 

I'm asking for donations (see link below).

Did you know that women are the invisible majority?  Not only do we see more and more mature women retiring under the poverty line despite working hard for most of their career, but women are particularly vulnerable if they do find themselves in this situation.

My contribution to doing something about it is to participate in the sleepout - which means sleeping rough and cold on the cement in Melbourne with a cardboard box and a cup of soup for company.

>> DONATE: If you would like to help - you can donate to the fund. https://www.ceosleepout.org.au/fundraisers/amandablesing/melbourne 

>> Or take part! Vinnies is hosting these CEO Sleepouts to raise awareness and funding all around the country. Get on board.

Special thanks to all the fabulous contributors already. At time of posting my fund was almost $5K. Watch this space.

THANK YOU!

POST EVENT REPORT - thanks to everyone for your generous support. Together we raised $10.6K which goes a long way.  

 
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