personal brand

Let's show them what crazy can do

Here's to all the "dramatic", "delusional", "nuts", "unhinged", "weird", "hysterical", "crazy" women in my network

Because you're kicking phenomenal goals, breaking glass ceilings, tackling issues and driving change like never before.

It's only crazy until you do it. Fine. Let's show them what crazy can do.

Inspiring video released in the lead up to #iwd2019

Superbly narrated by Serena Williams.

Thanks to Nike - just do it

Thanks also to both Carla Wall and Tessa Irwin MFIA for sending this my way.

Let's show them what crazy can do.

#womenofimpact #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

Stop apologising already and get on with the business of making a difference

As Jessica Bennett, author of Feminist Fight Club puts it, "Sorry is a crutch — a tyrannical lady-crutch. It’s a space filler, a hedge, a way to politely ask for something without offending, to appear “soft” while making a demand".

Apologising not only focuses on the fault but also assumes that the fault, if there was one, was yours and keeps you playing small.

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  • Credibility is key in your success and leadership journey

  • While rude is bad (and “unfeminine”), gracious and kind is good

  • And the best bit? Gracious is seen as “the feminine” plus seen as a highly desirable leadership trait in both men and women

  • And graciousness is a credibility builder.

So how do we be gracious yet not over apologise?

TRY THE REFRAME

Say “Thank you” instead of “Sorry”

  • “Sorry I’m late.” Instead - “Thank you for your patience”

  • "Sorry for the needing the meeting moved" Instead - "Thank you for your consideration"

  • "Sorry” when you express an option that’s contrary Instead - “Thanks and what about this idea ..”

Save sorry for when it’s really needed and matters most!

What other examples where thanks might be better than sorry?

#sorrynotsorry #womenofimpact #makeabiggerdifference

READ MORE? https://lnkd.in/fkQqN7r

 
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

Confessions of a recovering #perfectionist

Balance is something I’ve had to fight for all my life.

And I use the term “fight for” deliberately, because I haven’t found it easy.

As a recovering perfectionist, I frequently feel that if I can’t do something properly, I shouldn’t bother at all.

Yet this is a furphy. After all, 3 x 10 min walks around the block is better than nothing, and recent research tells us that it’s even better than 1 x 30 min walk around the block on some markers!

However back to choosing ….. throughout my career I’ve felt I’ve needed to choose between

  • Doing everything or doing nothing

  • Going at it like a bull at a gate or not even bothering

  • Strength or softness

  • The Masculine or The Feminine

  • Feast or famine

  • Flat out like a lizard drinking or lazing around on the couch .. well drinking! 🤣

  • Always on or always off or

  • Never giving up and always letting go.

My perfectionist tendencies have kept me constantly choosing between a rock and a hard place yet feeling guilty when it didn’t work out.

Balance only comes when I make peace with this part of myself and with that comes real impact.

HOW ABOUT YOU? - How do you find the balance between on and off? Any advice for others?

#womenofimpact‬ #perfectionismsucks #balanceiskey

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 #1 Worst Career Advice for Executive Women

What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever received?

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Maybe it was well meaning poor advice, rather than deliberately poor advice, yet poor advice none the less.

My biggest bug bear is the advice frequently doled out without much thought  at women in leadership conferences.

“To get ahead you just need to work hard.”

Not only is this misguided, but it’s incredibly poor advice for those who have been socialised to lean towards the conscientious and the compliant.

Of course there will be times when

  • we all need to work hard
  • effort is required
  • hard work is the currency of the day

But there should be more times when strategic, smart and savvy would be better served.

Work smarter, not harder! 

In a modern, globalised, digitised world that’s complex, nuanced and ambiguous, working smarter will suit you far better.

After all we’ve been working “hard” at gender diversity for years. It's time to work far smarter instead! 

>> So what’s the worst career advice you’ve ever received?  And what would your suggestion be instead?  COMMENT IN THE LINKEDIN LINK BELOW

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Have your say on LinkedIn! What’s the worst career advice you’ve ever received?  CLICK HERE  

 

 

Liked 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

⚠️ BREAKING NEWS - 150 #CEOs held hostage in carpark for $800K ransom

⚠️ BREAKING NEWS - 150 #CEOs held hostage in carpark for $800K ransom

Now that I have your attention - last night I participated in the Vinnies CEO Sleepout.

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150+ business leaders sleeping it rough for the night to raise awareness and money to help break the cycle of poverty and homelessness.

Yes, you guessed it! We raised $800K in Melbourne alone. 

Thanks to everyone who donated so far. 

We imagine we live in the lucky country - but do we really? When so many people are doing it tough? Unless we make substantive changes, maybe we need to rethink our branding.

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Lucky for some, unlucky for many.

Women are particularly vulnerable. Not only are women more likely to retire under the poverty line, but are frequently the victims of domestic violence, which also can lead to homelessness. They are the hidden majority unfortunately.

IT’S NOT TOO LATE

>> Don’t despair! You can still make a difference right there at your desk. DONATE here https://lnkd.in/fcSpTTg

- donations still open to end of August

#leadership #CEOsleepoutAU #womenofimpact

Read further:

 
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

Read further:

 
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

Can nice girls get the corner office? Reflections on likability and leadership

Leading while being female can be joyous, exciting, challenging, hard work and plain awful all in one.  Add into the mix that female leaders are still thin on the ground so those who do lead are highly visible and under intense scrutiny - ergo highly vulnerable. One woman appears to mis-step and all women are criticised everywhere. What a burden!

No-one said it would be easy, and they were right.

However for many, once you get past a few of the hurdles, there is no other choice. Leadership is the only viable option.

How we lead is another story.  Historically women have embraced, and been rewarded for, more masculine traits in order to fit in and be successful. You know - big hair, big shoulder pads, go hard or go home - assertive, competitive and/or combative. This not only doesn’t work any more, but society and business miss out on the various benefits that diversity of leadership styles bring.

In the early 2000s Lois Frankel wrote a book called Nice Girls Don’t Get the Corner Office. It was a page turner. I read it cover to cover and bought the CD set to listen to in my car. 

The inference is that you can’t lead and be liked at the same time.

But is that true anymore?

Last week, Hillary Rodham Clinton in conversation with our former Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, at the Melbourne Convention Centre, provided some interesting reflections on the topic of likability - and let's face it, if there were ever two women who have been harrangued for not being liked it's these two.

- The more successful a man is, the more likable he becomes

- The more successful a woman is, the less people like her

- When women advocate for ourselves, we lose in likability

- Instead, women run the risk of labelled by men and women alike as whiney, witchy and worthless when they challenge the status quo and dabble in anything other than women's arenas - all labels low on the likability scale.

And that's a double standard if I ever heard of one.

To paraphrase Lieutenant General David Lindsay Morrison AO - "the double standards we walk past are the double standards we accept". 

(Note: both women received standing ovations in Melbourne, so must have been doing something right.)

If recent history of female leadership is to be believed, then leading and being liked is still challenging, but not impossible. So don't give up

One thing needs to change. And that's the personal criticisms of leading women that we all engage in. When women challenge the status quo, their differentness and femaleness is critiqued, rather than their performance in the role.

Let's stop with the witchy, whiney and worthless labels. Stick to the facts instead.

And maybe replace with those labels with wise, world class and wonderful!

Thanks to two wise, world class and wonderful women who inspired this blog - Hillary Rodham Clinton and Julia Gillard.

Special mention also goes to Annabel Crabb for her superb emcee performance. It was an inspiring evening and I trust that talented younger women are now seeing a leadership pathway as a viable option to aspire to, rather than something to be avoided.

Want to explore this more? Three Actions


1. Live/work in Melbourne?  Join us for an event on 14 June - Nice Girls Can Get the Corner Office with Mary Anne Waldren and myself as we explore the issue of likability as an asset in your career toolkit.  Mary Anne has made a career out of likability and getting on with people. I'll be asking her how. Register now. Places limited.

2. Have your say on likability and leading while female on LinkedIn - here's my recent post with a snippet from Hillary's opening speech. Is it possible to be a likable leader?

 

 

3. Want to shift your personal brand from feeling worthless to world class?   

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

Take charge of the narrative before it takes charge of you!

 

 

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 are you up to in May? Executive Branding & Executive Impact intro sessions

Self promotion can be tough for executive women. We're damned if we do, yet doomed if we don't. Research tells us that most of us aren't especially comfortable with it, and even when we get it right there's likely to be someone in the wings ready to cut us down to size - too loud, too quiet, too nice, too assertive, too lucky, tries too hard, too ambitious, not ambitious enough, too ....everything.

"Who does she think she is?" 

(Argh!)

Unfortunately, the social penalty for getting it wrong is even worse and can make you wonder if it's worth doing at all which then leads to a lack of confidence and hesitation about tactics that really work.

All is not lost.  Self promotion tactics and Executive Branding are all under the microscope during the month of May. And if you're at all curious about working with me these events are a must.

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BY INVITATION ONLY - limited to 12 places - and you're invited.

  • Sydney - 2 May 2018 from 5.15pm (FULLY BOOKED)
  • Melbourne - 11 May 2018 Morning tea from 10am (FULLY BOOKED)
  • Adelaide - 17 May 2018 from 5.15pm
  • Brisbane - 23 May 2018 Morning tea from 10am
  • WEBINAR - 30 May 2018 from 12.30pm

Book in via the links.

Yes these events sell out fast.  

So email to be put on a wait list for future events and keep your eye on the events page on my website.

Presence, Positioning & Personal Brand - take charge of the narrative before it takes charge of you!



 
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 Executive Women Learn from the Cult of Celebrity and the "Celebrity CEO"?

Crafting a brand strategy for yourself as the face of your company is arguably as important as developing your company’s brand image
— Brant Pinvidic, Forbes

 

Cult of celebrity and the rise of the celebrity CEO - what can we learn?

Brand your way to success - executive branding is gaining traction

Brand your way to success - executive branding is gaining traction

  • We’re in an era demanding trust and transparency
  • Consumers trust individuals more than institutions
  • And reputation identified in the top 5 concerns for CEOs (2017 KPMG CEO Global Outlook report) 

Executive branding has become a thing!  

Modern, forward thinking, entrepreneurial CEOs and execs are creating huge followings online and it's delivering business outcomes.

Key learnings:

  • People trust people 
  • If you can’t be authentic don’t bother
  • You can provide far more value by being a “micro celebrity” than hiding behind the organisation you lead
  • Every entrepreneur is just one search term away from being in nearly every household in the world
  • It’s not a waste of time. It’s the cost of doing business in a modern, digital, globalised and increasingly complex environment, where people are looking for clarity & certainty, & follow those they identify with & trust

My question to you then is - is this simply smoke and mirrors? Or is it a legit part of the executive branding toolkit?

Would love to know your thoughts.

 

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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

Find your sweet spot for effective and strategic networking

If you are like many people, the thought of heading out to networking events gives you the heebie jeebies.  It's far easier to find great reasons not to go! 

  • "I've got too much work"
  • "I need to pick up the kids"
  • "I'm tired/it's raining/it's cold"
  • "I don't drink and networking events always involve alcohol"
  • "I just stand in the corner and feel stupid anyway"
  • "I'm one of the only women and feel uncomfortable"- or perhaps
  • "I've been to lots of women's only functions but the quality of the networking is not at the right level for my career"

I hear you.  Finding the right time, the right place, the right audience and the right network can be challenging.

But don't let that stop you.

Research tells us that those who have great networks are the ones getting ahead far easier.  

You might remember last month me sharing Shawn Achor's recent research on the benefits of attending Womens Conferences - where attending (and implementing)

  • Doubled your chances of getting a promotion and
  • Tripled your chances of receiving a raise of 10% or more.

I personally also recommend mixed gender networking events in the mix, because as someone who has hosted more conferences that most people have had hot dinners, I've witnessed heaps of manoeuvring, partnership creation and opportunities opening up for attendees who got out of their comfort zone and networked. Bold, hairy, audacious moves to the rescue! 
 

But wait, there's more!
 

Just last week, HBR published an article that stated that CEOs with diverse networks create higher firm value.

"Diversely networked CEOs generated an approximately sixteenfold firm market value increase relative to their compensation." ~ HBR, April 2010

Yes that's right. Diverse networks - breadth, not necessarily depth. 

Put that together with what is already well known - that "firms with better-connected CEOs can obtain cheaper financing, and firms with well-connected board directors see better performance"and you begin to see that networking is not just great for you and your career, it's also great for the divisions you lead and the organisations you work for.
 

Picture this ....


At one end of the networking spectrum there is Nigella No-friends. She's busy. Give Nigella something to do, and she does it. Well! 

Nigella is incredibly conscientious, diligent, works hard, and pushes the proverbial uphill. She is reliable and available - and doesn't have time or energy to invest in strategic networking.

Then at the other end of the spectrum is Garry (name changed to protect the innocent).

Now Garry is the CFO of an ASX listed organisation and I affectionately name him Gantt Chart Garry. Because he takes the notion of strategic networking to a whole next level by running a Gantt Chart on his professional networking activity. Not only does he schedule his activity over several years but he also ranks his network on their net worth, how helpful they have been, and tracking where and when he last saw them, what was discussed and how helpful they may be in the future.

Oh my.

Yes he exists.

And yes, he is incredibly successful in his career.

And if the research on the value of strategic networking is true, then he is also incredibly valuable in the C-suite of the organisations he works for. This approach helps him deliver better results.

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Networking counts


Now I'm not saying for a minute that we all need to go out and set up a CRM or Gantt Chart for our networking strategy. 

There's probably not a lot of room in that approach for emotional intelligence, intuition and ad hoc encounters.

But somewhere in between Nigella and Garry, there is a strategy or plan that's right for you. 

A sweet spot that enables you to balance a heavy workload, family obligations, your career and leadership aspirations along with your discomfort with networking.

And ... that's why I love LinkedIn so much. But that's a story for another day! 

► So what helpful tactics have you found to get out of your comfort zone help you network more effectively? 
► Drop me an email and let me know what works for you. Because your ideas might be just the thing that help someone else springboard more effectively in the future!

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 noticed (for the right reasons)

I didn’t know how to express my opinion on LinkedIn.

I was scared.

  • “What if I get it wrong?”
  • “What if I end up with trolls?”
  • “What if people don’t agree with me?“

When I found my sense of purpose ..... something surprising happened.

The more of an authentic position I took, the more my posts resonated, the more my clients and readers messaged me and …. the easier it all became.

Boom!

I realised that you don’t need to be right, to be the funniest or the best to express your opinion.

But you do need to be able to articulate your position.

Not simply regurgitate the opinion of others.

Why?

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  • People connect with people
  • People “buy” from people they like and identify with
  • Your unique perspective will resonate with your tribe

One of the most powerful opportunities for busy executives is to brand themselves via LinkedIn.

To help you stand out in a crowd and to ensure you are memorable even when you are head down backside up solving complex business problems.

So embrace your inner expert and work out -

  • What do you stand for?
  • Why is that important?

Then let go of busy, right and perfect … and give yourself permission to have your say.

>> Your thoughts? What’s helped you to express your opinion more confidently in meetings, on LinkedIn or other platforms?

#ExecutiveBranding #ExecutiveWomen #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

Take charge of your own career narrative before it takes charge of you

There is a good chance that if you are not controlling your personal brand someone else is
— Erica Nicole Founder & CEO of YSF magazine

I couldn't agree more! 

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We all have a brand:

  • whether we know it or not,
  • whether we like it or not,
  • whether we want one or not.

But most of us don’t realise we have the right, skills or authority to do something about it!

Of course you do. 

It’s your life, your career and your future. And to quote leadership expert, Avril Henry,

"no-one cares as much about your career as you do, so do something about it."

So it's up to you now.

Take charge of your career narrative, before it takes charge of you!

For those serious about standing out and getting noticed (for all the right reasons) there are a bunch of things you can do which you can start reading about in the link  https://lnkd.in/fTRbNJA

>> Great reading for a sleepy holiday weekend ☕️🐣📖

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

 

Photography courtesy of Luis Ferreiro 

 

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