stand out

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?

Let_Go_Busy_Right_Perfect_AmandaBlesing_Executive_Branding_Coach.jpg
  • 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

Dress for the job you want, not the job you have - even on casual Friday!

Because internal promotions rarely happen as the result of an interview - despite what you imagine.

In a world that is increasingly focused on appearance and personal branding, your image counts just as much as your impact.

Trivial maybe, but true for many.

Women and men.

Dressing professionally, and well, indicates that you take yourself and your career seriously.

It demonstrates respect for each of your work environment, your craft or expertise, the people you work with and yourself.

It shows that you are professional and that you value your own contribution.

Elevate_Executive_Branding_Amanda_Blesing_Women_in_Leadership_Coaching.jpg

Does this mean wearing exclusive labels to work every day?

No.

But it does mean elevating your standards so your future aspirations and your current self more easily intersect.

#elevateyourpitch #elevateyourstandards #elevateyourbrand #leadingwomen #executivebranding

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

Visibility, vulnerability & vitriol - when visibility makes you vulnerable

The flipside of lack of visibility is too much scrutiny. There is definitely a downside for those who do become more visible, in that it makes you vulnerable. The higher up the food chain you go, the more visible you become, in particular if you are unique or can identify as a minority in some way. In an ideal world that truly valued diversity, that difference would be seen as a unique value proposition. Obviously we're not quite there yet.
 
The more visible you are, the more vulnerable you become. And because we still have so few women in leadership, it is seen as unfeminine in some way at best and as taking jobs away from the blokes at worse, which opens us up to criticism. Unfortunately these criticisms are rarely about our leadership, what we say or even our results, but frequently about:        

FlamingoStandOut
  • Our appearance, hair and wardrobe choices
  • Our speech mannerisms
  • Whether or not we are nice enough
  • The way we manage our family obligations
  • How we articulate ambition
  • How we express our femininity  

And because female leaders are so few and far between, if a woman leader makes a mistake it’s as though she makes it on behalf of all women every where – which I'm sure is a deterrent for many and would definitely increase the sense of vulnerability.
 
In Australia we have a long history of personal attacks against senior female political figures. In recent years we saw the extremely personal nature of the attacks against former Prime Minister Julia Gillard by men and women alike – which prompted her world famous misogyny speech as a response.
 
Currently we are witnessing the on-going attacks of a personal nature against Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs. Despite your political view point, the extremely personal nature and the vitriol directed at her is enough to put to put anyone off becoming more visible including younger ambitious women who may have been considering a life in public office.  

Additionally, unless you've been off the grid or hiding under a rock, it's been very difficult to ignore the overtly personal criticisms and attacks of Hilary Clinton during the USA presidential campaign. In fact, I'm still feeling somewhat traumatised by the seemingly sanctioned overt acts of aggression.
 
This is not limited to female politicians or office bearers, but anyone in the public eye. You may remember the producers of Q&A on ABC in February 2016 discussing some of the challenges they experienced in getting women to appear on the show which included the adversarial nature of the show, plus the social media bullying and trolling that was highly likely to eventuate as a result of being visible on the show.
 
While most of my clients don’t work in public office, several do work in the rarefied air of C-suite executive offices or in masculine working environments where women are still few and far between. They are extremely visible and therefore somewhat vulnerable, unless adequately prepared.

And there in lies the rub.  How do you adequately prepare?

My clients tell stories of being accused, by men and women, of being aggressive, unfeminine and worse, when they are trying to impose tighter safety measures, transformational change programs or tighten risk management frameworks. I hear stories of Boardroom bullying behaviours that make me cringe where once again, the person, not the policy is under attack.

However, I also hear stories of both men and women calling out these tactics for what they are.  These issues shouldn't be swept under the table and ignored. Bullying tactics and personal verbal attacks need to be identified, called out and stopped. Easier said than done, but perhaps right now is the time to do something about it.

Remember the rule of thumb - critique the plan, the play or the policy, not the person, and certainly not for anything unrelated to the issue at hand.


There is an upside to recent political events - and that's the increase in awareness by men and women everywhere who have been horrified to see female leaders bullied so intensely and very differently from male leaders. Men have been equally as horrified as women.

My hope is that there is a newer understanding of some of the challenges that women experience in their quest to lead.  I am also inspired to think that a newer breed of courageous female leaders, and male champions of change will endorse and champion leadership talent, no matter how it expresses itself.

Gender equality will be achieved when we have as many incompetent women in senior leadership roles as we do incompetent men.
— Jane Caro


Vive la révolution!
#ambitionrevolution #LookOutCSuiteHereSheComes #feminineambition #careerfutureproofing #visibility

If you liked this article please share!

Otherarticles you might enjoy

PS: I help women future proof their future leadership goals and ambitions! Call or email if you want to get started on yours.

 

 

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 Stand Out from the Crowd and Get Noticed for the Right Reasons

I read an article recently by the Naked CEO on how to get head hunted, with being head hunted positioned as the holy grail of recruitment processes.  Sure, to be head hunted is a pretty exciting and lucky thing to happen, however it's not the only way to get ahead or create a career that counts. Plus, if we all wait around to be lucky, very few people would be going anywhere any time fast.  

Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity
— Roman philosopher Seneca

There are quite a few other things that need to happen in the background in order to attract attention from future employers and recruiters alike. Things like getting past the gate keepers so that you are even in the running for an opportunity to WOW everyone with your stunning interview skills.

DropPerfect

For women however, sometimes our socialisation gets in the way of us talking up the great work we've done and the results we've achieved. Maybe we assume this is simply "part of the job" and nothing unusual. Or somehow we've intuited that if and when we get this self promotion piece wrong, we lose in the likability stakes - and yes, it's a delicate balance. So let's learn from a bunch of experts about their top tips for getting noticed - for the right reasons.

Dorie Clark is a consultant, former US presidential campaign spokesperson, and the author of Stand Out and Reinventing You. I was privileged to meet Dorie at Michael Port's Heroic Public Speaking course (HPS) in Fort Lauderdale, USA, February 2015.  I've kept in contact with her ever since and she inspires me immensely. If anyone knows how to stand out - it's Dorie! 

Dorie's #1 tip for standing out?  I'd suggest the importance of content creation. If you write frequently and authoritatively on your subject of choice, people will start coming to you as an expert, because every Google search will lead back to material you created. That shifts the power balance; when you're a recognized expert, people come to you and you can name your price.

Emma Graham is the Practice Leader - Digital Marketing & Creative (Recruiter) at Morgan Consulting - in Melbourne Australia.  In fact, Emma's advice backs up Dorie's advice really well.

Emma's #1 tip for standing out from the crowd? Have an opinion, express that opinion and in turn to be seen as a thought leader. Whether it's as a subject matter expert in your field, or as an expert on how to use a particular piece of software within your business, or being known for having the best network.

Nikki Beaumont is the CEO and Founder of Beaumont Consulting (Sydney Australia) which she established in 2001. I met Nikki earlier this month when I spoke to some of her clients in the association sector. 

Nikki says: To stand out you have to get yourself in front of the interviewer in the first place!

  • Write a really well written cover letter, that's personalised and relates directly to the role advertised. Make direct links back to the business and other elements that may not have been touched on in the advert but can be found by doing a little bit of research.
  • A bit of flattery also goes down well too, it's true. For example one candidate recently wrote in an email cover letter to me "Having read through your website and some of the amazing testimonials in there from clients and candidates, I am now even more impressed with your business and would love the opportunity to meet you in person". How can you resist that? Of course it all has to be backed up with the relevant skills and attributes for the role, but it certainly shows that the candidate really is keen, and has done some research.
  • I would then expect some follow up within 2 to 3 days if we hadn't contacted her first. The candidate then has the chance to convince me over the phone as to why they should get an interview with me. There have been a few instances where I have discounted a candidate based on their resume alone, but then after a conversation with them I have brought them in for interview and indeed hired them!

Petra Zink is a recruiter with Hudson Recruitment in Brisbane Australia, and also the International Director of Women in Digital – an international NFP network, aiming to connect women in industry, empower them and upskill them and also provide mentoring.  

Petra says: Women don’t put themselves forward enough. Learn to be more assertive, confident and trust your skills and ability to learn on the job.  You need to get used to promoting yourself. Also learn to value the work that you do and the results you deliver. In my experience when it comes to recruitment, men frequently ask for $20k more at negotiation time! You can do this too. Also, be sure to keep networking and staying in touch with things outside of your industry. 

Vivian Simonelli has worked in recruitment for many years. She is the Managing Partner/Principal Consultant at Ellis King in Melbourne Australia, and also a committee member at Women in Mining and Resources Victoria (WIRV).

Vivian's #1 tip to get noticed?  Prepare well. Research the company you are applying to, understand the role and prepare examples of your experience and knowledge against the KPI's outlined in the position description. Know your strengths and speak confidently. Present well and wear business attire to the interview. In short, be professional.

Margie Stewart is a former Management Consultant and Executive Recruiter - also based in Melbourne. 

Margie's #1 top tip? Be supremely confident in your ability and don't under sell yourself. Easier said than done as we are often conditioned to be humble and expect people will know how great we are! 

So there you have it. Waiting around for someone to tap you on the shoulder is in fact a bit of a myth. You need to be doing a whole heap of work in the background in order to make that luck happen. 

I am not lucky. You know what I am? I am smart, I am talented, I take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and I work really, really hard. Don’t call me lucky. Call me a badass.
— Shonda Rhimes, Year of Yes: How to Dance It Out, Stand In the Sun and Be Your Own Person

 So, go on, why not start preparing for your lucky break right now!

Vive la révolution! 

#ambitionrevolution #lookoutCsuitehereshecomes #feminineambition

•  I work one on one with smart 'n savvy women to keep them agile, ambitious and focused on making a difference.

•  I work with organisations who are working on empowering women into leadership roles.

•  My book Step Up, Speak Out & Take Charge is due out mid 2016.

 

Curious about how I can help you in 2016? Pop me an email

ablesing@amandablesing.com.  

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