career strategy

Self Promotion Blunders Executive Women Definitely Want to Avoid - national tour

Self Promotion Blunders we all Want to Avoid

If a girl pulls an all-nighter and there’s no one there to see it, does she get promoted?
— Helen Coster

I've made every self promotion blunder in the book and then some. In particular, back in the early 2000s when I'd come back from a stint as an expat and felt I had to make up for lost ground. No-one knew me or remembered the great work I had previously done and I needed to catch up, so I tooted my own hornblew my own trumpet and hustled with the best ..... and the worst of them. 

Then there are other times too, when I suspect that we convince ourselves we don't need to self promote at all, because if we miss out on an opportunity it simply wasn't meant to be.

I get it. It's tough for everyone - and especially tough for executive women.   


Yet it's an absolute career game changer when done right and can make you wonder why they don't teach this in uni.

I had one senior level client just last week tell me she finally feels as though she has made it!   What's changed for her? She is self promoting skilfully, subtly and powerfully inside her current organisation. She feels as though she has come of age career-wise and will never look back.  

This is empowering stuff and I'd love for you to feel this way too. And you can.

So I'm running a series of events to talk about self promotion blunders we all make - from not doing any, through to going OTT. Then we'll talk about what you can do about it and you'll definitely come away with a plan to move forward with.


If you're in the mid level of your career and you are feeling:

  • As though you've managed to get yourself pigeon holed

  • Frustrated and invisible as decision makers overlook you despite stellar work

  • Horrified as others take credit for your work or ideas 

  • Like you're about to be caught out if you don't do something different soon

  • Or maybe you're simply curious about working with me so want to see me in action.

If that's you, why not join me for an intro session? 

We'll examine the 7 self promotion blunders we all want to avoid - and what you can do about it.

Then let's get this self promotion party started! 

Places are limited to ensure everyone feels seen, heard and valued.  

Early registration recommended - check out the events page and book today.

#executiveimpact #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #womenofimpact


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

How making a decision can shift you from feeling invisible to feeling invincible

I was desperately unhappy in my role

Exhausted, feeling like a fraud, and secretly doubting that I had it in me to do much more!

I remember saying to my husband that I thought I only had one big role left in me …..

Little did I know 🤣🤩😂😜

This picture was snapped in an unguarded moment when I had made up my mind (thanks Facebook memories!)


And while I can see the tiredness, I can also see the relief of me taking control of my own destiny again

When you’re feeling stuck or frustrated in the wrong role

  • You’ve outgrown it

  • With a boss who may not “see” you anymore

  • In a culture that doesn’t sustain you

It’s exhausting and deeply unsatisfying

Security is one thing

But taking control of your career and destiny is a whole new exciting and joyful new ball game - and a heck of a lot more rewarding.

From invisible to invincible!

>> COMMENT - When have you taken control of your own destiny? And did it make you happier?

#womenofimpact #daretodream #business #careers

Helping clients shift from #invisibletoinvincible


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

The Importance of a Career Strategy for Executive Women

“She believed she could, so she set a goal, then made a plan and worked the plan til she did.”
— A J Blesing

Do you remember Susan Colantuono's TED talk The Missing 33%?  In summary she says that "The Missing 33% of the career success equation for women is not because women don't or can't have business, strategic and financial acumen, but because very few women are clearly told how essential these skills are for reaching the top."

Great advice. Finally. A solution that works. 

And doesn't it feel good to be able to pinpoint the problem of lack of women in leadership to one particular issue?


Of course not. It’s an idea, not a silver bullet.

I don't need to tell you that the issue is much more challenging than merely understanding balance sheets - after all there are many superbly financially savvy female executives out there who still struggle.

Case in point my recent gobsmacking conversation with a well known male Financial Columnist who told me that women weren't good with money and didn't care about money and that he only knew two financially savvy female leaders (paraphrased - and perhaps he had watched Susan's TED talk but got the wrong end of the stick).  

Other issues in this complex area include:

  • exclusion tactics by those already in positions of leadership leaving some women believing it’s not only not possible, but not something they really want anyway

  • fewer opportunities at the top for both men and women (ergo higher competition)

  • lack of female role models in CEO roles (just 7% female CEO's in S&P/ASX200 in 2018) and 

  • the subsequent high levels of scrutiny and potential for backlash for executive women, sometimes culminating in a fall over the Glass Cliff which deters many others from following in her footsteps. Another case in point - the recent débâcle at the ABC. 

ANOTHER Idea - another MISSING 33% 

I've discovered a startling fact.

Most women don't have a clear career strategy. In fact, they've probably never even heard of the need for one.

According to recent research from the Women CEOs Speak Study (Korn Ferry and The Rockefeller Foundation, published August, 2018), "65% of the female CEOs surveyed said they only realised they could become a CEO after someone told them so. With few .... female CEOs to model after, only 12% of women CEOs said they had aspired to a CEO role for “a long time.”

In a nutshell, many executive women, including those already leading, don't aspire to become the boss - they don't aim for the top job, they don't believe it's a real option for them and they don't plan for the possibility of getting there. 

Someone else told them it was possible.

And I'm not surprised.

After talking with literally hundreds of women about their career plans here's what I notice in the narrative that surrounds women and their career - 

  • "I was lucky"

  • "Someone tapped me on the shoulder"

  • "I didn't know it was possible until my boss suggested I apply, and even then I didn't feel ready"

  • "I was in the right place at the right time" 

  • "My career just unfolded"

I recently facilitated a discussion with a room full of female CEOs and Managing Directors in Sydney where all but one said they had no plan to lead or clearly defined career strategy, and that the opportunities just presented themselves or unfolded. Three of them said they were simply lucky.

Passive language. No agency.  

Don't forget that luck is really what happens when planning meets opportunity - and not passive at all.

Let's not just blame women for yet another issue that they get wrong. Executive women have enough to feel guilty about without adding lack of career strategy to the burden.

  • We teach women about work - and how to do that well, rigorously, thoroughly and appropriately

  • We teach women about the importance having an identity outside of work

  • We're forever reinforcing the need for women to have work life balance and the ubiquitous Women in Leadership Conference panel on said topic is testament to that.

  • But what we don't teach young women and girls is about the importance of having a career strategy.  

    Is it that we educate boys differently? Yes, but not that much. However, the informal education of young men and boys, along with the role modelling from so many more male leaders definitely  includes the possibility that the top job might be for them should they want it and plan for it.

The socialisation of women and girls leaves a lot to be desired.   After all, many still believe it’s better to have effortlessly been discovered than to be perceived as having strived, pushed and manoeuvred to get to the top.

Organisations need help defining and following the necessary steps to maintain a proven pipeline of female leadership candidates .....….and women need help identifying the right career approaches to prepare for CEO roles.
— Jane Stephenson, Korn Ferry

However educators, coaches, mentors, sponsors, L&D professionals, talent acquisition and retention specialists all need to keep this in mind and ensure career strategy is part of talent development from the get go.  

Ensure that the talent you recruit or champion knows where they are aiming for and of the importance of having a clear plan for how they might get there.  

After all, if they don't know where they are going, how will they know when they get there?


Senior level executive women need to ask for support in planning a possible tilt for the top from the moment they're appointed.  It's not over bold, it's simply a strategic play.  Wouldn't you prefer to find out sooner rather than later what the future might hold?

One super talented younger ambitious woman I mentor negotiated her tilt for her new bosses role, prior to her commencement date, with great success. It further enabled her boss to plan his exit strategy and groom her for taking over from the start.

If your career isn't working out for you right now, do something about it. Life's too short to stick in a role going nowhere, with a boss who keeps you playing small, in an organisation that you've out grown.   

You run the risk of becoming a smaller version of yourself and that helps no-one.

So take the time to get back in touch with what's important, where you were heading before you became a square peg in a round hole, and put a plan in action. 

Never forget, don't let perfect be the enemy of the good.

After all, a mediocre plan that you executive is far better than a perfect plan in limbo. And any strategy, even the wrong one, is frequently better than no strategy.

I'd love to know your thoughts - why not have your say?

  • It will only take two minutes and may be just the thing that helps us understand this issue further.

  • Do you attribute your success in your career to luck or planning? 

  • How has your approach worked for you?   

  • Click on the link for this survey to have your say. 

Want help with your career strategy and executive brand?
Why not book in a 30 min one on one  phone call to learn more. 1st in best dressed rules apply.

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

How to ensure your flex arrangements work for you, not against you

Navigating Flex Arrangements for executive women - Amanda Blesing.jpg
As the world of work is changing, employees are increasingly working remotely and the four walls of the workplace are evaporating
— Fay Calderone

A 2016 Report by Chief Executive Women (CEW) and Bain & Co entitled ‘The Power of Flexibility’ found that “in order to advance gender equality in the workplace, flexible arrangements must be available to and actively supported for both genders”.  From an individual perspective “where flexible arrangements are widely used, all employees are four times happier”.

Nice! Flexible work arrangements are great for both genders and make us four times happier. What's not to like?

So why is it that many of the women I speak with are hesitant to ask?  Reasons include:

  1. The boss is old fashioned and he or she will never allow it

  2. My organisation doesn’t really accommodate it – the policy is there but we don't make it easy with technology, and we need our people to be visible and on the ground

  3. I’m worried that if I do ask I’ll be perceived as though I'm not ambitious enough any more, and it will be harder to compete for plum assignments and negotiate on salary and future career opportunities.

True - these are all valid concerns, yet times are changing albeit more slowly in some industries than others. However, they are changing as organisations recognise that flexible working arrangements are incredibly helpful as a talent acquisition and retention strategy. 

“You are enabled to really attract the best talent to your organisation. If you are not limited by a specific office location, you can look anywhere in the country or anywhere on the globe.” Nicole McCabe – Director of Global Diversity and Inclusion at SAP

To assist you to carve out more flexible arrangements that are a win win for both you and your organisation – here are five issues to consider  

  1. Do ask – if you don’t ask you won’t get.

  2. Mindset - shift from thinking about trading time for money to trading impact or results for money. When you make that shift yourself its easier to see the benefits of your work for what they are which means you can articulate them more clearly to your boss. 

  3. Back yourself - Instead of Abba “take a chance on me”  think far more Kylie “you should be so lucky!” Self confidence combined with self advocacy are very compelling career assets.

  4. Make a plan, don’t just wing it – just like when you negotiate a raise, craft a plan beforehand, and include what you do want, how it helps the organisation and where your line in the sand is.

  5. Don’t accept the first no you get as “no forever” - maybe it’s “no, not right now but let’s revisit in a month” or "not sure? How about a trial for a month?"

If you are successful 

For those who have been successful in navigating this flex conversation you want to put some risk mitigation strategies in place to make sure that people don't side line or forget you exist.  They key theme is don't leave them wondering.   

  1. Proactively manage expectations and set protocols - Make sure your boss, team and customers know how and when to find you - when you are at work and when you’re not; when you’ll respond and when you won’t. 

  2. Be strategic re emailing and communications with your team, staff and boss - timing is everything. I knew a bloke once who took this to the extreme and would deliberately email the boss at 10pm at night every now and then.  It worked a treat for him, but made everyone else who knew about it feel vaguely ill and the boss look incredibly gullible. I'm not recommending that, but if you are worried your boss thinks you are skiving off, email a progress report at the end of your working day. 

  3. Be strategically visible on a regular basis so you don’t get forgotten -  When you do get into the office - stay visibile. 

One of my clients is a senior level executive, with young children and an overseas client in a very different time zone. The demands on her personally and professionally are high including spending much of her time working late nights on the client portfolio. She has flex arrangements. However, she noticed that head office staff started to bypass her in important decisions because she wasn’t perceived asbeing around. She was becoming invisible. So she came up with a plan that included making sure to stop in and have conversations with key decision makers before she headed to her own division area on the days she did come into the office. At the end of her stint in the office she would then revisit the C-level decision makers for ad-hoc visits and corridor chats before she left to work from home.  Highly visible. Highly sought after. Much more satisfied.

Drop me an email if you've got any tactics that might help others navigate flexible arrangements. 
And do get in touch if you want help with that.

Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolutionrocks #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #success #career #standout #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing


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

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.


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 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 working on the right things?

“So often people are working hard at the wrong thing. Working on the right thing is probably more important than working hard.” - Caterina Fake


I love this quote, and during the holiday period is a great time to reflect.

- Are you tired, exhausted and wondering if it’s all worthwhile? 

- Maybe it’s as simple as you've been working hard on the wrong things.

- Or is working on the right things more important?

- How easy is it to find the right things anyway?

- Can you find ways to redirect your efforts to the right things?


- Or at the very least, how can you remove friction so that working on the right things happens more effortlessly?

Would love to know your thoughts - comments below 





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

"You're the reason that I get bad hires!"  No, I'm the reason you get great hires ...

"You're the reason that I get bad hires!" 

This was feedback to me last month when I was chatting with someone about how I help executive women to win raises, promotions or better opportunities. 

And he was referring to the interview role play and rehearsal that I offer.

My response? 

"Actually, you're the reason you get bad hires.  And my clients are simply smart enough to know that people who win interviews are great at interviews. Why would they shoot themselves in the foot by not preparing?  In fact, I'm the reason you get great hires!"

And he laughed.

True story.  



So is it wrong to role play interviews? 

No, it's just super smart 'n savvy.  

Some people are naturally gifted at talking 'a good game', but they aren't necessarily good at a role.

Some people are good at a role, but find interviews themselves incredibly stressful and intimidating.

And some people have been interviewing others for so long, that they've forgotten what it's like to be on the other side of the panel.

With smart and savvy interview preparation you can demonstrate that you can talk AND walk a good game.  And that's where it's at.

  • The purpose of the cover letter? To get your CV read
  • The purpose of your CV? To get you an interview
  • The purpose of interview rehearsal? To help you feel more confident and comfortable, so you remember the important detail about specific projects, and articulate that in language that an interview panel will understand and value, in a format that cuts through the clutter.

To all of my clients who are interviewing this week - power on! 

And remember - 

  • Confidence equals competence in the eyes of most people so even if you don't feel confident, 'fake it til you become it' a la Amy Cuddy
  • It's a conversation, not a performance or a test to catch you out 
  • Keep your answers succinct 
  • Cover all the important bases (use a formula like STAR or STRE)
  • Do have responses for those random questions such as "tell us about your improvement areas", or "how can you add value?"
  • Don't be afraid to reframe (?!) yes reframe - its a great tool, more on that later .... and
  • Smile 

It's tough putting yourself out there over and over again to be judged. I know you feel uncomfortable and I'm proud of you anyway.

And good luck!

Feminine leadership superpowers + strategic interview role play = priceless

Liked this? Read more on interviews


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

112 million reasons why doing less might be far better for executive women


Melanie Whelan is the CEO of Soulycle in the USA - an incredibly successful spin studio business that has taken the industry by storm, yet started just 10 years ago in a candle lit basement.  

Now with 60+ studios, thousands of full and part time employees and revenues that exceed USD$112 million/annum, plus a company culture that is shattering expectations and standards in the USA, she is a role model for many. 

The demands on her in her day are endless and relentless and this is one of her strategies for keeping focused and strategic is to disconnect from her day in order to let the priorities settle.

"I play mental Tetris to let the pieces of my day fall into place, so I can come out and really prioritise ...... I can be busy with a million things, but to have impact, it’s got to be a couple things and without the disconnection for me, I’m not able to see where that is.”  - Melanie Whelan, CEO Soulcycle

Sometimes we imagine we need to be busy and productive all the time in order to be successful and have impact, when quite the opposite is true. Research tells us time and time again that downtime and recalibration are invaluable - allowing us to regroup, reenergise and course correct if we need.

So try it.  Take a moment, disconnect and allow your priorities to recalibrate once again.

Feminine leadership superpowers + downtime & recalibration = priceless

Feeling like it's your time to put yourself first? 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 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 Seven Deadly Linked-Sins 

Following up our recent article on the Eight Signs and Symptoms of Linkfluenza, The Seven Deadly Linked-Sins spells out online LinkedIn behaviour that most everyday users loathe.


For example, are you really an African Prince with USD $22MIL you desperately need to pop into a connection's bank account? Or are you merely tripping up because the platform is simply too tempting to resist and you're not sure of the unwritten ground rules? The devil is always in the detail, so do read on.

Either way, from time to time many of us have found ourselves succumbing to the lure of one of more of these Linked-Sins, whether by accident, design or over enthusiasm. So to help you navigate your way and become a better LinkedIn citizen, here is a list of sins in all their manifestations to keep you on the straight and narrow. 

  1. Lust - LinkedIn is not Tinder - commenting on appearances and profile pictures, sending creepy emails, dating requests, hook-up invites or offers of marriage is a definite no no. Do NOT be tempted. The Remove & Report Connection options are far too easy for recipients to find.
  2. Gluttony – More is never enough. Do you rate yourself by how many connections you have? Let's not forget that LinkedIn is an online platform and not real life. 10K connections does not make anyone a better spouse, parent, sibling or son/daughter or even corporate citizen. Don't mistake the map for the territory. To some extent the number of your connections doesn't matter, it's what you do with those connections that truly counts. So connection, conversation and engagement might be far better measures. Check out your LinkedIn social selling index instead.
  3. Greed - adding your new connections to your email database without permission and sending them unsolicited emails. Not only does this breach privacy laws in most countries, it's plain and simply rude. Another sin that falls into this category might be that you've set up a IfTTT (If This Then That) auto responder and your new connections get a full on sales pitch within a nano second of accepting. Don't forget, on average it takes 9 or 10 pieces of communication before an interested customer might purchase. A sales pitch within a moment of connecting is a turnoff. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Unsubscribe, delete or disconnect are too easy for the recipient, and hard to recover from for the sender.
  4.  Sloth - not changing your employment / job title in a timely manner once you've left an organisation. After all, why put things off today when you could put them off tomorrow? Right? Perhaps you don't know how to change it so you leave it there because you still get added kudos by being linked to the brand. It might be tempting, but resist the lure. Remember your LinkedIn profile is selling you to your contacts and perhaps prospective employers. Letting the world see that you are lazy is not putting your best foot forward. Perhaps just as bad is the fact that your profile picture is still that scan of your high school yearbook but that’s now 20 years ago and those big shoulder pads or the paisley tie aren’t a good look.
  5. Wrath - ranting or snarky comments on LinkedIn, either as posts or in comments, frequently about issues not relevant to the platform such as religion, politics or sex. Life's too short. Remember, LinkedIn is an international forum and sometimes the rest of the planet isn’t interested in your conspiracy theories about your government... There are definitely other platforms more suitable for you to be driving those issues on. We’re sure the CIA, NSA or relevant authorities in your own country will be more than interested in your views. Enough said.
  6. Envy - more to the point we’re speaking p****** envy. In this case we’re talking, Profile Envy (copying other people’s profiles, even using other people's profile pics!). Profile envy can even lead to Premature Publication – ( where you've been super organised with creating content for sharing but get too excited and let loose on LinkedIn every few hours with an update or published article. ) This is wrong on so many levels because A. people switch off from your posts like the boy who cried wolf, B. people assume you have too much time on your hands (and therefore unsuccessful) because you're on LinkedIn all day every day and C. you have missed such a great opportunity to showcase your thought leadership over a longer period of time, and at the time when your highest prospect target audience is on. So, ditch the keeping up with the Jones’ mentality and do your own thing.
  7. Pride - claiming job titles higher/bigger/better than you truly have. Yes it happens. There are some people so addicted to exaggeration that they can't tell the truth without lying. And companies are wising up with policies and processes that now police how staff describe themselves when representing the organisation online.

Don't panic. If you identified with one or more of the above list, all is not lost. Forgiveness is at hand, redemption is nigh, and LinkedIn nirvana is only a few clicks away. Simply eliminate those behaviours sooner rather than later and get on with business of building and maintaining meaningful connections along with creating engaging online content again.

Finally, we know there are many, many more Linked-Sins that we've yet to encounter. So if you've identified any other Linked-Sins please comment below!

Don't forget to help other Linked-Sinners to repent and redeem themselves as well, so they too can live long and prosper on the platform.  Please share ---- 



Amanda Blesing & Russell Boon

Amanda Blesing & Russell Boon

  • This article was jointly written by Amanda Blesing and Russell Boon, both of whom have become accidental LinkedIn ninjas.
  • Hand on heart, we've each committed one or two of the Linked-Sins listed above and humbly beg your forgiveness.
  • Repentance and redemption are yours to access too. And LinkedIn nirvana might be just one click or share away.





Vive la révolution! #ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #executivebranding #personalbranding #standout #leadership #executivewomen #careerfutureproofing #decisionmaking


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

Is your default setting to self select out?

This week's reflection piece was sparked by a discussion with one of my senior level clients.  She had asked for feedback from a trusted advisor in her network and the feedback was summarised as follows:

"It's as though you are doing the hokey pokey dance with your leadership goals and career.  You put one foot in, then you pull it back and retreat for a bit with your concerns about your own abilities. Then you repeat a few times, before you commit."


Tough, but quite possibly one of the most powerful pieces of career advice she will receive. (And she has given me permission to share).

In a nutshell, the feedback was about -

  • on one hand she was asking for challenge and leadership consideration, but on the other hand she didn't always see challenge as an opportunity,
  • on one hand she was ambitious, yet on the other she deferred to others who may be more experienced, and
  • in some circumstances she was supremely confident yet in others, not so much.

And I'm betting she is not alone.

The most referenced example to this can be found in the Hewlett Packard research into the differences in men and women applying for (internal) roles, where women tended to wait until they met all 5 of the 5 criteria, whereas a man would be more likely to apply if he met just 3 out of 5 criteria.  

(My executive recruiter friends tell me that it's not unusual for them to get calls from men demanding interviews, yet they only meet 1 out of 10 criteria.) 

Combine this with a tendency to underestimate and downplay your current abilities, which has a flow on effect to your future performance, and you're beginning to understand why I am passionate about helping people move beyond.

Too often we self select out because we don't think we meet all the requirements yet, have it all together yet or are good enough yet.

It must be confusing for those around to see that in some instances you are super confident, and the next minute you are leaning out, downplaying or underestimating.  In one instance you say you'd be interested in stepping up and leading, and in the very next sentence you self select out and seem to be asking for additional support.


Self selecting out frequently sounds like the following:

  • "Oh but there're are probably others who are better suited/need it more than me out there."

  • "You must work with others who are far more talented than I am, so maybe I'm not right for it." 

  • "Others in the group have been here longer than me and deserve this more than I do."

  • "The competition is far too strong, I'd never stand a chance so I won't bother."

Just like the humble brag, if this is your default setting, it's got a sting in the tail. Maybe you think you're being polite and humble, but to the outside observer, this sounds like low confidence. And in a society that correlates confidence with competence, this is yet another credibility killer.  Plus you've got the even harder job of making up ground and convincing yourself yet again of your own worthiness.

Self select in consistently instead

Flick the switch!  Back yourself 100% by investing in BRAND YOU; your unique combination of expertise and experience, the things that you are passionate about, along with your ability to learn. 

Back yourself!

Back yourself!

  • Next time you see a role with a price tag that looks higher or lower than you were expecting, but you love the sound of the role, at the very least give it your best shot so you get to have a great conversation with those recruiting. You might be just the talent they are looking for and/or they may just be prepared to meet your highest expectations on salary once they've learned more about the impact you make.
  • Next time you hear about a project coming up in your area that you'd like to lead, instead of assuming  the person with more longevity in the department should have it, why not throw your hat in the ring? You won't know if you don't try.
  • Next time you see a scholarship or award opportunity that you'd normally dismiss, throw yourself into the process 100% and give the nomination your best shot. The process of nominating for these opportunities is incredibly educational, and you can't win it if you're not in it. 
Might as well jump (Jump!), Might as well jump, Go ahead, jump (Jump!), Go ahead, jump.
— Van Halen

Because when you are prepared to back yourself consistently, it's catching. And others are more likely to invest in you as well.

Then instead of doing the career Hokey Pokey, get out your old 80's Van Halen album and  "Jump".  (Too daggy? Yep, I know, but I couldn't resist.)

And do let me know how you go!

Feminine leadership superpowers +  self selecting in = priceless


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

It's what you do with it that counts ......

So maybe you've started thinking that there has to be another way. It shouldn't have to be this hard, this frustrating, this ..... exhausting!   You've picked up a bunch of knowledge and ideas from around the traps and you've been mulling them over.

But now what?  What are you going to tackle next?

My challenge to you is to stop thinking about it and take action. Take action in the direction of your goals. Strategic action is best, but any action is better than none. After all, to quote decision making expert Russell Boon - 

Any decision, even the wrong one, is better than no decision

And history tells us that success and achievement is closely correlated with action.

It's rarely about - 

  • How much you know,
  • How big your network,
  • How big a game you are able to talk,
  • How perfect your LinkedIn profile,
  • How creative you are,
  • How loud your voice,
  • How skilled you are right now, or
  • How stylish you are, or even
  • How confident you feel.

It's what you do with all those things that truly counts.

With the rise in information freely available, the rapid pace of change, constant drains on our attention via digital platforms, reduced downtime and the increase of ambiguous environments in which we operate - experts and researcher estimate that the cost of inertia is increasing in both personal and business. 

Your proclivity for proactivity is what will make you more successful in the long run. 

So what action will you take this week towards Stepping Up, Speaking Out and Taking Charge?  

Then just do it. 

Then eat, sleep, do it again and repeat the next day until you achieve what ever it is you have set out to achieve.

You can think about climbing your mountain. You can read about it, talk to experts about it and even watch videos about climbing mountains. But until you go tackle your mountain, it's only supposition.

As the first female aviator to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean, Amelia Earhart, famously said 

The most difficult thing is the decision to act. The rest is merely tenacity

Feminine leadership superpowers + action = priceless

Mentoring with Amanda Blesing.jpg



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

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 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