career defining moments

6 ideas to get you started on a bigger, better, bolder, more beautiful, bodacious & brilliant year

6 ideas to get you started on a bigger, better, bolder, more beautiful, bodacious and brilliant 2018!!!

I'm not a fan of New Year's Resolutions per se. I am a bigger fan of the notion of 'off with the old, so you can get on with the bigger, better, bolder, more beautiful, bodacious & brilliant'. After all, if you keep on doing what you've always done, you'll keep on getting what you've always got.

My mum used to refer to me as unsentimental when it came to keeping old things like clothing, knick knacks and furniture. I learned to be. In one 12 month period way back when in my late 20's, I moved 7 times. It helped me develop 'the muscle' required.

Well your career and life are the same. Some of us keep on piling on with new ideas, bigger 'n better goals, maybe an increase in pay or two, along with more and more responsibility ... until the wheels start to fall off.

Getting laid off, or having a career/life defining moment where you're forced to re-evaluate, while incredibly tough in the moment, can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. Think of the old frog in a heating saucepan analogy. And the phoenix rising from the ashes.

Sometimes you didn't know you were better off out until something happened, and then you got out. 

In the absence of getting laid off, or having a career/life defining moment, here are some tactics you can use to force yourself to re-evaluate so that you don't get caught out in the future.

My plans for 2018!

My plans for 2018!

1. Write yourself a list of 50 things you are grateful for achieving in 2017. Personal AND professional. Don't hold back. You may have had the worst year ever, but in between there will be some gold - a new friendship, a significant learning, an opportunity. It will not only remind you of the wins and achievements, but help you reframe the things that didn't really go your way, and also help you identify opportunities or room for improvement in others.

2. Do set some goals and targets for 2018. But along with your goals, identify how you want to feel when you achieve those goals. Try setting your goals with an abundance mindset, an 'effortless ease' approach with some health, wellness and energy qualifiers attached. Landing a salary of $450K might be a great goal, but is it doing work you love with people you like working with? Is your voice respected and are you making a difference? Don't forget to ditch the old 'hard work' or 'busy is better' mindset so you don't wear yourself out in the process, ensuring you get there fresh as a daisy, or skidding in with a glass of bubbles having the time of your life instead.

3. If there was one big, hairy, audacious move you could choose to execute that would help you achieve your goals, what would that be? On a scale of 1 - 10 (with 10 being incredibly scary) how much does this scare you?  If you answered 8, 9 or 10, then it's big enough. Put it on your list. 

Don't let the big, hairy, audaciousness of a move scare you. After all, how do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

4. Do a drain and sustain audit. If you've worked with me already you know how good this is. Don't delay, do it today! And then schedule it again for 6 months time.

5. Ask yourself -"whats the dumbest thing I do around here?Make a list. You'll find heaps. Your staff can do this too. Once you've identified a few, get rid of them. ASAP.

6. Another variation on #3, #4 & #5 is to examine your plan for friction points. Where in your life do you have friction? Last year I did this process on my travel, because as much as I love travelling I don't sleep well in hotels which wears me out (friction). Instead of grinning and bearing it, I now have corporate arrangements in Sydney and Brisbane, in hotels I know I can get a solid 8 hours. Easy peasy. I can't wait to get started again!!! (Sydney tomorrow).

If you want help with any of this, let me know. I'm doing it all myself right now as I prepare for #WomenOfImpact2018 kick off.

And remember - you can think about an apple, you can study it, teach others about it, video it or put photos on Instagram of said apple. But until you eat the thing, you don't really know what the apple is like.

So just do it.

Then let me know when you're done!

Here's to your bigger, bolder, better, more beautiful, bodacious and brilliant 2018!

___________________________________________________________________


from invisible to invincible!

Women of Impact 2018

 

It's going to be brilliant!

 

 

__________________________________________________________________

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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 leading differently may just be your job

I turned down a really big promotion.

My bosses job with far more money & global recognition.

Even though I’d been working my butt off to be considered!

Yet had a crisis of confidence, and self selected out before even negotiating.

Not understanding the Career Limiting Move this was – until much later.

Hindsight is 20:20 vision.

This gave me HUGE insight,

Into the way that many see their capability to carve out a different path.

Today, I work with women angling for promotions, raises & the recognition they deserve.

Frequently, they self select out way too soon.

Just because your boss was super stressed or struggled,

Doesn’t mean the same reality for you.

Vive la difference_Amanda_Blesing_ Best_Career_advice_women.jpg

Just because your boss led a certain way,

Doesn’t make it the only way to lead.

We all have different ways of operating.

  • Some good
  • Some great
  • Some that truly make a difference.

So instead of saying no straight up.

Give yourself a fighting chance.

Don’t let others dictate your story.

“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

If feminine leadership truly is the way of the 21st Century,

Your job is to lead differently anyway.

Vive la difference!

 

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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

Are you getting in your own way?

I quit my job with nothing to go to in the GFC.  

No income, no options & no ideas either.  

During this time I discovered something important -  that we are far more than our role.

It didn’t matter the job title, the salary or the perks.  

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What really mattered was that long term unemployment looked like a real option, and I didn’t know if I was going to be enough!  

So with no easy wins on the horizon I invested in myself by

  • ditching trash (tele, novels & games)
  • learning to discern the difference between good & great advice
  • getting coached.  

But first, I got out of my own way.

I decided that I wanted a choice about my next role.

Instead of aiming lower or sideways, I aimed higher.

Then a funny thing happened.

People would stop & ask me what I was doing differently.

Someone even told me that I made being unemployed look great!

Then it all came together. And I landed a great CEO role in my industry that was right up my alley

Even better? I was energised by it and\ knew it was something I could sink my teeth into.

Now, I head up my own consultancy and help executive women get back in charge of their own destiny.

If your career is not going the way you’d prefer, ask yourself:

“Am I getting in my own way? Or am I making my own way?”

You have a choice

#feminineambitionrocks   

 

If you liked this, check out some of my other blogs -

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #executivebranding #personalbrand #standout #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

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

When Fixer Upper Mania is Bad for Executive Women

There are three typical areas in life where Fixer Upper Mania is bad for us.

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  1. Fixer upper houses - when it becomes a renovation rescue project that descends into a scene out of The Money Pit
  2. Fixer upper relationships - relationship rescue - because you truly can't change anyone else but yourself
  3. Fixer upper jobs/depts/organisations - reputation rescue - where you stay past your use by date because you keep thinking "just one more project and it will be ok".

If we focus on #3 - tomorrow never comes, and sometimes just over the crest of the hill is another crest, or worse, an even bigger mountain!

If you've been employed to deliver transformational change, then deliver that, then find another transformational change project and move on. That's your expertise. Own it and use it as a super power. No regrets.

If you've been employed in a BAU capacity, yet circumstances require transformational change and it's not floating your boat anymore, maybe it's also time for you to let go and move on.

If you've found yourself with a fixer upper role/dept/organisation that's more of a CLM (career limiting move) - perhaps it looked enticing on paper and at interview, but the reality is far, far different with resistance to change ingrained into the organisational DNA - then life's too short to keep wearing yourself to the nub trying to mend a broken promise anyway. 

Does this mean we stop trying any more? No way. It's just you need to draw a line in the sand that's going to be better for both you and your organisation. 

Fixer Upperers are expensive - on your time, on your energy and even your money. Don't let your version of a Fixer Upperer ruin your reputation and your longer term happiness as well.

Just saying.

Your thoughts?
 

Feeling like it's time for you to win? Book in a 45 min one on one  phone call with me to learn more.


Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition

#success #career #executivebranding #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

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

Are you unintentionally damaging your own credibility with this one small, yet common mistake?

Let me tell you a story.  

About six years ago, when I was heading up the consumer affairs peak body, an astute Board member took me aside to give me feedback after a meeting.

Feedback is right up there with complaints in my mind. While complaints professionals might go round espousing that "the complaint is a gift" and handing out stickers that say "I ♥ complaints" - they're likely few and far between. I've not met that many people who truly ♥ feedback or complaints. I fit in the second category in case you were wondering.

So there I was, exhausted after preparing and hosting a full day meeting interstate, and heading off to get some feedback.

Here's what he said -

"Amanda, when the Board pays you a compliment, we really need to you to accept it - no matter what else is going on for you. When you brush off the compliment it does two things for us -

  1. Makes us think you don't respect or value our opinion, and
  2. Makes us begin to doubt that you did a good job in the first place.

This habit is really undermining your own credibility. I highly recommend you address it. Fast."

Wow!  And there I thought I was being gracious, humble and making sure that the whole team were acknowledged appropriately!!

And here I was undermining my own credibility!!  I had no idea. Go figure! (And thanks Andrew. This truly was one of the biggest gifts you could have given me.)

Self harm

What's worse is that when you regularly reject compliments from others, you are doing something far more detrimental to yourself.  

You are feeding the itty bitty pity committee that sits on your shoulder and keeps you downplaying, underestimating and second guessing, resulting in you not putting your hand up for those bigger, better and bolder opportunities as they arise. You are telling yourself that you truly aren't that great even in the face of external evidence.

The narrative you tell yourself about your capability, your experience and your expertise, is equally as important, if not more, as the narrative you convey to others.

Time to address this now.

Navigating the feminine stereotype

The feminine stereotype is supposed to blush, be modest and deflect the compliment. According to research, when women don't accept graciously, others judge negatively.  And it's fear of this social stereotype judgment that keeps us playing small. 

So a better way to accept a compliment is to simply say "thank you".   Nothing more, or less, despite additional words bubbling up and you wanting to speak further.  

"Thank you" will suffice. 

Thankyou-to-amplify-feminine-ambition.jpg

Or if you really desperately need to be more expansive try "Thanks, I appreciate the acknowledgment or feedback."

Don't dismiss, deflect, or out compliment back. Simply smile, accept, acknowledge, then get on with the business of being great and making a bigger difference again.

 

The gift that keeps on giving

So when I received the gift of feedback, I now regift that on to you. If we all learn to say thank you more easily, then this becomes the new norm and even be the catalyst to powering us on to aspire for bigger or better outcomes.


Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #visibility #standout #leadership  #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

What happened last time you accepted a compliment with a simple "thank you"? Drop me a note and let me know.


Mentoring with Amanda Blesing.jpg
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 avoid becoming a viral internet sensation - or how to ace an interview via Skype/Video

At the bottom of this article is an awesome viral video of the BBC video interview with Prof Robert Kelly, where his kids and wife enter the room while he is being interviewed live on TV. It’s hilarious, human and a really great reminder about the importance of being really well prepared for a Skype or video interview. 

To put it in context……  

your dream role?

Maybe you find your dream role, or your dream role finds you. Your LinkedIn profile rebuild has worked and you turn up in a search that offers a chance of a lifetime role. You then send your cunning cover letter and CV that cuts through the clutter and end up with the opportunity to interview.  WOOT!  There’s only one hitch. You’re not going to be on location when they’re interviewing so they propose a video or Skype interview.

(groan .......)

How to put your best foot forward for a Skype interview for your dream role

How to put your best foot forward for a Skype interview for your dream role

I hear you!  It’s not ideal but becoming more and more normal with tele-commuting, video-conferencing and tele-meetings now part and parcel of a contemporary executive tool kit.  Plus you'll probably have remote staff management, companies reducing travel spend along with offshoring to contend with in your role, so it’s the new way of the world.

But what’s important right now is that you put your best foot forward so that you are on an equal footing for this said dream opportunity. 

What could go wrong with a Skype interview?

Anything, everything and nothing.

I have a rule of thumb that comes into play before Board meetings. This rule is "never leave any last minute printing to do on the morning of a Board meeting. The printer will 9 x out of 10 go off line."  Well the same principle applies before speaking events and interviews. Be prepared in advance so you can cope more skilfully, confidently and professionally with anything that might go wrong. 

The downside is a little overtime the night before. The upside? You might win the opportunity more easily.

So to help you avoid becoming an internet sensation like the viral Children Interrupt BBC News Interview below, here are 13 awesome tips crowdsourced from my Facebook and LinkedIn connections.  These people have been there, done that, for television and radio interviews, landing dream roles or projects and winning gigs in the USA, UK and NZ.    THANKS! 

  1. Do a test run the evening before - visual AND sound.  Familiarise yourself with your own technology and systems. Make sure it all works at your end.
  2. Connect in advance - if Skyping make sure you make the connection in advance. Nothing worse than a connection glitch where you simply can’t find each other or your Skype invitations miss each other in the ether somehow.
  3. Style the room - think about what's in the background of the shot/camera - keep it classy, clear and office like in appearance even if it's at your home. A bookshelf is a good look especially if you have some business books - and makes you look like you could possibly read business books. A win win.
  4. Reflect on camera angles - you don't want the camera looking up your nose or you don't want the camera looking down on you giving you jowls. Remember those historical items called phone books? I have a couple of old phone books that sit underneath my laptop to raise it up so that the camera angle is more flattering and so the actual camera and the image of the other other person are in alignment.
  5. Lighting is important - make sure the room is light, that there isn’t glare through a window or too much sun, or that the downlight in the ceiling doesn't make you look sinister. 
  6. Speak to the camera itself - not the picture of the person. Use a post it note or a piece of blutak to mark the camera and speak to that, not at the image of the person on your monitor. Put a yellow sticker immediately next to the camera to encourage you to "make eye contact".
  7. Look sharp - do dress up like you would for an interview, bright lipstick (if that's your gig), hair done and be your best self.  What ever you do, don't do the newsreader top only thing in case you have to stand up for some reason in a rush and forget you forgot your pants.
  8. Have a back up plan - back it up with a Wifi dongle or alternative device (like your phone) to help get through in case things simply don't work.
  9. Unplug - turn off your mobile phone and/or landline (yes they still exist) during the interview so you don't get interrupted.
  10. Take control of the room - before, during and after.
    • Before hand - brief any peers, pets or family members so they don’t come into the room.  Nothing like a cat reversing into the camera to put you off your game.
    • During - if someone does interrupt don’t simply ignore like our BBC interviewee. Acknowledge briefly and do something about it. And while ignoring is a no no, so too is yelling at the interruption, because - smile! You're still on show (!!) - even if there is a pause in the official interview while you deal with it.
    • After - do ensure you hang up and disconnect properly so you don’t say or do anything inappropriate .... like banging your forehead against your desk in frustration while accidentally still videoing or recording. 
  11. Remember the lag - don't forget to take the lag into account. Speaking slightly more deliberately and slowly helps, and remember you're appearing about one second delayed at the other side (even on fast internet). That helps avoid those awkward talking over one another and everyone pausing moments.
  12. Don't forget to move - use your body language to get you point across and show you're interested.
  13. And smile. Likability is an important factor in human connection. The other side want to know that they could actually work with the person who they are interviewing, so do smile.
  14. Bonus tip  - did I mention a rehearsal? If I did, it's worth re-iterating. Do a test run before hand. Find a trusted peer, colleague or mentor to coach you through the experience and give you feedback. 

Good luck and see you on the other side! And do let me know how you go. And do get in touch if you need help with that.

How to avoid becoming a viral internet sensation

So back to the video - here is the interview with Prof Robert Kelly with an unplanned guest appearance by his family. A great reminder to make sure you will not be interrupted.

 

 

How would a multi tasking working mum have handled it?

Jono & Ben (NZ comedians) took it one step further and demonstrated how a tongue in cheek, multi tasking, working mum might have handled the situation. In fact, it looks relatively legitimate until the chicken makes an entrance! 

And if something does go wrong?

This is how to recover and turn it from a career limiting move into a career defining moment.

Prof Robert Kelly and the BBC conducted a follow up interview which almost did better than the initial misstep. And it’s a great reminder that while you might do all you can to control the situation in advance, stuff happens. And it’s better to own it, rather than try and pretend it doesn’t happen.

 

If you liked this article here are a few more:


► I help women win raises, promotions and better opportunities

► I also help organisations create empowered female leaders

► Learn more www.amandablesing.com

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #visibility #standout #leadership #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

 

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 executive women can future proof their leadership goals and aspirations

The summer holidays act as a catalyst for many people to re-evaluate. You take time off. Your brain is less stressed and busy and all of a sudden you get back in touch with what's really important.  You may begin to acknowledge that you are bored at work, simply going through the motions waiting for the right time to make your move. Or maybe you are weary of the politics and the down time causes you to draw a line in the sand.

Great! Bring it on. These insights may be gradual to emerge but you get to do something about it and feel in charge of your own destiny - again. These are critical turning points and well worth taking advantage of.

Rapid response

But what happens when this critical turning point is rapid and you need to respond immediately?  You're not even looking and all of a sudden you need to put your best foot forward. The situation is beyond your control, you really want to capitalise BUT the thought of doing all this work right now, is almost overwhelming and could become an excuse for failure. 

These situations are not that unusual and even in the last few weeks (yes over Xmas) I've heard about the following:
1. The CEO or Head of Dept steps down in a rush ... and you're interested in the role
2. A recruiter rings you out of the blue with a role that's urgently in need of someone just like you  ... interstate
3. Your ideal dream role comes up via your LinkedIn feed and you didn't know you were in the market
4. Your #1 staff member leaves to go to a great role that's paying more than you are currently on
5. Redundancy/redeployment discussions

You always have a choice

So how do you respond? You decide:

  • You can do nothing - be passive, play a waiting game, panic and throw an itty bitty pity party for one, or
  • You can take advantage of the situation rapidly and effectively with confidence and purpose and re-engineer your situation to your advantage.

Why is this important for executive women?

Research shows that women are far more likely to:

  • downplay their achievements
  • underestimate their value and future performance and
  • second guess themselves when it comes to making big decisions and taking action

Worse, we are far more likely to behave this way when operating on the fly, caught out and feeling ill prepared.

On the flip side, critical moments in any situation require you to remain calm and in control in the face of uncertainty. They require a clear headed, confident and strategic response.

Don't be caught unprepared

The Smart 'n Savvy Executive Woman isn't caught out. She is prepared. She has her executive level tool kit ready to go and can clearly articulate her value, expertise and contribution in any situation.  She is confident, strategic and perfectly poised .... to take advantage of any career defining moment and leverage the situation to her advantage.

Because this is about future proofing your leadership aspirations. It's the difference between fear and opportunity, perception and reality ....

Comparison passive versus proactive career strategy


With a combination of attitude, preparation and grit, you'll be in a position to springboard up and out into something meaningful and better, instead of same or sideways.

Cllck to Download - 11 Point Smart 'n Savvy Executive Toolkit Checklist

Cllck to Download - 11 Point Smart 'n Savvy Executive Toolkit Checklist

 

Would love to hear from you.  Drop me an email and get in contact.  

 

 

 

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition

#success #career #visibility #standout #leadership#executivewomen #careerfutureproofing

 

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